Are you eating your vegetables? Homemade vegetable stock

In summer our garden supplies us with plenty of healthy vegetables but in winter there are no fresh tomatoes or peppers straight from the garden. So I try to get every nutrient possible out of winter vegetables. I like to make my own vegetable stock whenever I’m prepping vegetables for the week. I throw the stems of kale,  greens from broccoli or cauliflower in a pot along with whatever other vegetable I have, like carrots, onions even sweet potatoes. Any vegetable at all. It’s all good.


This pot of stock is made from kale stems and cauliflower leaves, the core of the cauliflower, some tomatoes that were a little past their prime, onions, parsley from my garden that I had frozen and a bunch of carrot peels and ends. Yes, I use the peels to make my stock.

vegetables for stock

This stock was yummy. It had a strong vegetable taste which I love.vegetable stock homemade

After it cooks, I mash it a little with a potato masher then strain it and put it in jars or freezer bags. I freeze it and use it when I’m making homemade soups. It adds so much flavor and must be packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

homemade vegetable stock

The trick to freezing in jars is to allow enough head room for expansion when it freezes. Wide mouth jars work best.

Every time I make vegetable stock it tastes different.  I used the last of my vegetable stock in homemade lentil soup and it was really tasty! The next time you’re cooking up a mess of vegetables try making your own stock for soups, it’s good to the last drop and you can sneak more vegetables in your family’s diet.


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


frozen colorful ice orbs, A Pinterest project

With snow and cold all over the place what to do for a little entertainment?

While I was in western NY at my daughter’s house I decided to try a Pintertest project with my 5 year old granddaughter, icy orbs. This is a messy project with water, balloons and food coloring, so be warned. I made a drippy mess with these things! But they turned out pretty good and she was thrilled to show everyone her ice balls in the backyard.

ice globe 1

These pictures were taken with my phone so they’re not so good.

ice globe

They look so small but were actually about the size of a soccer ball. We made 5 balls but one broke and one is still in the freezer for another day.


I thought the icy orbs looked like frozen Easter eggs and if the snow would have been good for a snowman I would have built a snowman/Easter bunny beside the orbs! This snow was the most powdery snow I had ever seen, definitely not good for snowmen making.

Here’s the link to the project on Pintertest. I followed the directions and found that it helped to blow up the balloons to stretch them out first. Basically it’s just water balloons with food coloring in them. I put them in the freezer but probably should have just put them outside to freeze. I used a wash basket to move them to and from the freezer and each orb was wrapped in a plastic bag for a little extra protection in case they broke and one did break in the freezer. It took about 2 days for them to freeze completely. After frozen, cut off the balloon and that’s it.  I don’t think I’d put them on a porch or deck because of the food coloring causing stains but they do look so pretty and twinkly in the snow.mia snow

Even thought it was really cold we were bundled up and had fun in the snow that day!

Do you like being out in the snow?

Happy New Year!

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Merry Christmas in the kitchen 2013

The baker’s rack that I like to decorate for every season is decorated for Christmas.. This year I used those pretty and popular blue mason jars and red ornaments along with just a few other decorations. I made the NICE wreath last year and it’s looking great above the baker’s rack. Have you been naughty or nice this year or a little of both?nice square wreath


Here’s some homemade hot cocoa mix complete with marshmallows, candy canes and festive Christmas mugs. There’s nothing like hot chocolate on a cold winter night!santa figurine and blue mason jars



I’ve had the little red snowman since I was a child and love to put it out every year.wooden snowman and tree


This wooden snowman and tree were given to me by a sweet friend a long time ago and I love displaying them every year too. The jar is filled with vintage cookie cutters.icon wall sticker Christmas


Around the corner is a little hallway full of doors that leads to the garage. I never knew what to do with this space and I recently painted the whole wall with chalkboard paint. It’s now the perfect place to post appointments, grocery lists and seasonal art. I’m not a great artist but I do enjoy drawing on the wall!


The cow’s head, from Décor Steals is fancied up for Christmas with a wreath and a necklace of bright red Christmas ornaments.


The focal point of this wall is a pretty frame decal from Icon wall stickers and I’ve got a generous giveaway from them coming soon.Christmas decor

Christmas shelf kitchen

Even the microwave nook gets glammed up for the holiday.


My collection of Jadite looks so festive with a little Christmas décor. The cute little signs came from the dollar bins at Target. The sweet little Santa boot was given to me by my 4th grade teacher. He was my first male teacher and I was terrified of him but he ended up being one of my favorite teachers. I was so happy when he moved to 5th grade and I had him as a teacher 2 years in a row!branch


The branch hanging above the island was a Pinterest inspiration.



We had a Christmas party on Saturday and the branch was a big hit! You get a big impact from something as simple as a branch! I love it!Christmas kitchen with branch


Merry Christmas

                  and Happy New Year

to you and yours

from the Bungalow blog!

        Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))



Christmas Fireplace 2013

The fireplace is all dressed up for Christmas. I try to come up with a different look every year but sometimes I think it all looks alike!  I’m calling this mantel, rustic glitz, a little rustic and a little sparkle. But anyway, this year the centerpiece is a big twig star.  I had the twig frame left over from a long ago project and added many more twigs to it, painted it white and added Epsom salt snow and glitter.mantel christmas2 2013


At night, with the twinkle lights lite and a fire going it looks so on mante 2l


I’ve had the garland for many years and it’s seen better days for sure. I tuck in some fresh greens to fill it out a bit

.star on mantel


The burlap ribbon is new this year.


Antlers are layered on a short tree stump.tree stumps on hearth


The urns hold more Epsom salt snowy branches and are wrapped in burlap scarves.frosted branches

More fresh greens are in a galvanized bucket on the hearth.

Fireplace hearth greens

The other side of the hearth with another star, more stumps and natural elements.

Fireplace hearth star

I still have some Christmas decorating pictures of the kitchen to post soon. We’ve been busy around here getting ready to host a Christmas party on Saturday so the kitchen has been in a perpetual state of messiness! But it’s a good thing. Fireplace hearth banner


I hope you are enjoying this season and are remembering why we celebrate! Merry Christmas!

Linked to Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))



Unique and creative ways to give money at Christmas

Every year we give money as gifts at Christmas. With some people being hard to buy for. it can get pretty frustrating , that’s why we just give money. I know, I know, lots of people think it’s an impersonal gift but it works for us.  I think teenagers appreciate getting dollars over something  they’ll have to return, like that sweater you think is perfect but is so NOT. I searched the web and found so many cute and creative ideas appropriate for Christmas gift giving.

Creative ways

I searched the web and found so many cute and creative ideas appropriate for Christmas gift giving. Here is just a sampling of what I found. I know I’ll be trying some of these cute ideas.

money complete_tree

From Then She Made, this is a version of a money tree in a Christmas tree shape. It looks cute in a red pot and even has a star on top. It doesn’t look too difficult either. That’s always good!


Here’s another Christmas tree on a home made card featured at Stephanie Lynn. She shares more great ideas on giving money at her site.


Over at Hog Wild About Stamping I found this cute wreath. It looks to be made from 15 ten dollar bills. Yes please, but I wouldn’t want to take it apart.


This star shaped fold looks pretty impressive. You can find the directions and a video tutorial at Hand Made Gifts Made Easy. You’ll hear plenty of oohs and aahs over this one.

money flowers5

This is from I can’t keep up with a blog with instructions HERE. I think these pretty creations would look great tucked in a potted poinsettia.


From How About Orange, how about a shirt for your best guy, uncle, son, dad or grandpa? It’s sure to put a grin on his face.


Mom and dad or grammie and gramps would probably like this. I think it’s a great idea to give to any couple. Also from HomeMade Gifts made Easy.

money box4d94c09bf12d55544a9b582b45363adf

Money Origami shows you how to make a cute little box to hold a special treasure….or more $$$ maybe. Smile 

If you don’t think you could master the art of folding money into shapes, here are some ideas for you.


This idea is from The Seasonal Home, she used a cheap umbrella and added money. Surprise! I happen to love this idea!


From Photo Place, a mason jar with gum balls is a fun way to hide some bucks. It doesn’t have to be candy, it could be nuts, homemade granola or even pennies. Would your grandkids like getting a jar full of pennies? Probably not, but open it up and voila……big bucks inside!

One year I gave my grandkids a one dollar bill in a card with an apology saying that I ran out of money and was so sorry. My granddaughter gave me a disappointed look that said are you crazy?! My grandson said, “oh, it’s ok.’” I let them think that was my only gift to them  Later I remembered another gift Winking smile and gave them a new unused quart paint can and a paint can opener and said I had just one other thing for them and to open the can. Inside each can were 99 crumbled up $1 bills!  That was so much fun, They were fooled and very happy unfolding and counting the money.

That’s a great Christmas memory. Do you give money gifts at Christmas?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Christmas in the dining room

Christmas has arrived in the dining room at last. I used fresh greens with silver, gold and brown accents, a sort of woodsy sparkle theme. Here’s the sideboard with the horse art that came from Home Goods, a thrifted horse head figure and a Christmas ornament tree. This room was painted recently in Sherwin Williams Anew gray. It’s a taupey gray and I never thought I’d love a gray room but I do! Christmas sideboard 1

I like using fresh greens to decorate at Christmas but the clean up is a mess! My husband loves that part…….if you knew him, you’d know what I mean. He has the shop vac sitting in the little bedroom all ready to go. christmas horse figurine

The chippy horses head is wearing a collar of gold stars.

Christmas tree made from ornaments

Here’s my ornament tree made by threading ornaments on a knitting needle. I tucked in some white feather boa to hide the needle. It’s sitting on a silver platter with sparkly pinecones.

dining room

Snowflakes and silver on the painted bombe chest on the other side of the room with pinecones and tree bark under the cloche.

dining room silver

I love the look of tarnished silver but one day I just might decide to polish it for a different look.

Christmas hutch at Bungalow

The hutch is full of white ironstone and more greens and pinecones.

Christmas greens in white tureen

Here’s the sweet little deer that I’ve had since childhood. I put it out every year.

Christmas dining room at Bungalow

The tablecloth is the only new thing in this room. I got it at Target. I used old wedding ring china and thrifted silver trees on the table. The napkins are folded into a Christmas tree shape.

Christmas dining room2 at Bungalow

Stars and icicles dangle from the chandelier.

tablescape Christmas

See the almonds on each end of the table? OH  MY they are delicious! Honey cinnamon almonds from Target. I have them hidden now so someone……ahem…doesn’t gobble them up!

napkin Christmas tree shape

These are vintage napkins that I’ve had for years. The snowflake tags will be used as place cards.

So that’s the dining room, next will be the kitchen and family room. I still didn’t do anything on the front porch because it been so cold, in the 20s this week. I better get out there when the sun shines today or it won’t get done.

There’s so much Christmas in blogland, too much maybe…. what will happen when it’s over? A collective sigh on relief I think.  Smile

Linked up at Open house party at No Minimalist Here

It doesn’t have to be perfect at Nesting Place

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Decorating for Christmas, the Christmas tree is up

The house is all dressed up for Christmas this year and I’m anxious to share our Christmas home. Let’s start with the tree and the living room. I recently painted this room a soft gray, Sherwin Williams Agreeable gray. It looks good with the teal and aqua accents in here. Christmas living room1 , Bungalow blog

The rug is from RugsUSA, the ottoman and lamps are from Home Goods and the mirrors are from Lowe’s. You can see just a peek of the Christmas tree on the right.

Christmas living room2 , Bungalow blog

Here’s the tree decorated in blue, silver and gold and everything is so glittery and sparkly. The only new things are the ribbon and wrapping paper and poinsettias, I had everything else.

Christmas living room , Bungalow blog

A wooden tray on the ottoman holds greenery from the yard and an oversized Christmas ornament.

Christmas tree at Bungalow blog

The polka dot wrapping paper is from Target. I think it’s so cute and the colors coordinate well with the tree. Do you do that too? For a tree skirt I used a throw from the couch.

Christmas tree2 at Bungalow blog

Lots more sparkle and glitter on the top of the tree. There is glitter all over the house and I know I’ll be vacuuming it up for months!Christmas tree3 at Bungalow blog

Here’s looking into the living room from the dining room. You can see a glimpse of the crèche on the table below the initials. It’s so easy to lose track of the real meaning of Christmas but we need to keep focused on the reason for the season.

Since my fabric order was delayed I didn’t have time to sew the curtain panels so they’re pinned on the rod! Ha ha, don’t tell! I’ll sew and line them after New Years.

Christmas desk at Bungalow


Christmas tree4 at Bungalow blog

Merry Christmas!

We recently moved my husband’s mother to a nursing home and I wanted the house to be especially festive for her this year. I know she’ll enjoy the decorations. At age 97, she won’t be with us forever.

I’ll be sharing the dining room, kitchen and the mantel in the family room soon.


Linked to Nesting place holiday house tour.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Kick off the Christmas season with this awesome giveaway! A $600 gift card!

Is all that leftover turkey getting you down?

Could you use some extra cash in the form of a Visa gift card for holiday shopping?

Are you ready to kick of the season with a bang?


It doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice, if you answered yes to any or all of these questions then you are certainly at the right place!

A group of some pretty amazing bloggers put together the most awesome holiday giveaway/sweepstakes.

One lucky person will win a gift card in the sum of $600. bucks!  Yep, you read that right! Just enter this giveaway by following the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget. 72 possible entries! Open to USA and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for Stopping by! Good Luck!

Homeright SteamMachine review and GiveAway

After trying out the Steamright SteamMachine in my home I was convinced that this is one powerful cleaning machine! Don’t let its small size fool you. The SteamMachine is a little gem that puts out some powerful steam. In fact, I can say for certain that it is a great tool for deep cleaning and disinfecting. I already love it for cleaning  in the bathroom but it doesn’t stop there! If you think you would love a HomeRight SteamMachine there’s a giveaway at the end of this post!

Homeright steammachine giveaway

Being small and lightweight with 3 wheels, it’s easily moveable.

Homeright steam machine accessories

It comes with lots of accessories too. There’s a plate for removing wallpaper, a pad for floors and several nozzles and brushes to clean all kinds if things easily.

cleaning oven door

Our oven has a self clean setting that I only use in winter because it makes the kitchen so hot. I thought I’d try cleaning it with the SteamMachine. Forgive the poor quality of the pictures, I was really into cleaning! The oven door had so much grease on it but the SteamMachine cut right through it. I should have taken a picture of the pile of dirty paper towels I used to wipe away the grease. Needless to say I was amazed.

cleaning oven with homeright steammachine

The SteamMachine knocked built up gunk off the bottom of the oven.

dirty oven 2

More gunk in the corner of the oven!

cleaning oven with homeright steammachine 2

After just a few swipes with the SteamMachine the same corner looked like this. I continued to clean the oven until it sparkled!


Next I moved to the stove top….Look how shiny it is now. I always hated cleaning this stove top but now I know the SteamMachine gets it done in no time.

master bath shower

Moving to the master bath shower. Ugh….soap scum is my nemesis! Hate it and it’s so hard to get rid of!    (We talk about remodeling this bathroom a lot. Getting rid of the whirlpool tub that hardly ever gets used and adding a big shower, new flooring, you know. Some day, sigh.)

cleaning with Homeright steam machine

This is the shower door. Oh my! I thought it was pretty clean before because we always wipe down the shower and doors after we use it. Using the jet nozzle to direct the steam, the SteamMachine worked its magic.

shower before cleaning with Homeright steammachine

Look at the soap scum! I’m embarrassed! I almost don’t want to post these pictures. I used the squeegee attachment and gave the shower walls a few passes with the hot steam and started to see gunk coming off the walls.  I decided to use an oxi type cleaner to help the process and this is what I got. Look at that scum! This is how the scum looked as it started coming off. It gunked up first.

shower soap scum

Soap scum on the squeegee, wow! Like I mentioned before, since we wipe out the shower after we use it, I never expected to see this!

Think about cleaning your home before holiday guests arrive or in January when it’s time to purge and organize. Disinfect your home in flu season and clean without the addition of chemicals.

Now for the giveaway. If you’d like a chance to own your very own Homeright SteamMachine, enter the giveaway by following the directions on the Rafflecoptor widget below. If you are new to using Rafflecoptor click HERE for info. Giveaway open only to residents of U.S.A.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer, I have received a Homeright SteamMachine for my personal use and review. All opinions are my own.


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Creating a design on fabric with permanent marker

Using permanent fabric marker to create a design on fabric is such an easy project.  I made some cute towels to go with the re-purposed vintage kitchen cart to bar cart.

For this project I got a pack of 2 bar towels at Walmart. They’re 100 cotton, about 30’”x 30” and are fairly thin, which it great for this project. I washed, dried and ironed them and was surprised to see that they didn’t shrink. You can also find similar towels online.

Next, I printed out clipart from a program that’s on my computer, and now I was ready to trace the design with my permanent fabric marker.

tracing design on fabric with permanent marker

Before you start tracing, make sure the fabric is smooth and held tightly in place, I used large office clips and paper clips.

tracing design on fabric

There was just a little feathering from the ink but it didn’t bother me. After I was finished tracing, I ironed the design to help set it and then washed and dried it again.

permanent marker on fabric, holiday bar towel

And here is the finished towel. I was surprised that some of the feathering washed away but so happy that the design didn’t fade.  

bar cart from vintage 3 tiered kitchen cart, permanent marker on fabric bar towel

It’s so ca-uute!

These towels are fairly large and if I make more I’ll cut them into smaller sizes before I trace on a design.   I‘ve seen designs made with sharpies on pillows, but for this project I was really concerned about the design washing away and it didn’t! Yeah!

permanent marker

The permanent marker I used has a fine tip on one end and a wider tip on the other.

What an easy project with so many possibilities! Think about tracing your child’s hands or their artwork on kitchen towels or making thanksgiving or Christmas napkins. Endless ideas for gifts too!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


A retro inspired bar cart from a vintage kitchen cart

With the popularity of the series Mad Men, all things 60s are back in style. Bar carts are making a comeback. I had a vintage 3 tiered kitchen cart in my laundry room that I wasn’t using and decided to turn it into a bar cart. Not for us, but for my grandson who lives in Brooklyn. I know he likes to invite people to drop in on the holidays for a bit of cheer so I think he will like it.

retro inspired bar cart, the Bungalow blog



A few years ago I found the cart at a yard sales for only 2 bucks!






wood grain on metal

I don’t have a complete before picture but here’s what it looked like before I painted it, wood grain on metal. You can see it was in good shape.

After I took it apart and cleaned it well, I sprayed the shelves with Rustoleum’s metallic aluminum and the handles with Rustoleum’s metallic rich caramel.

bar cart from vintage 3 tiered kitchen cart

It’s so cute now! I love the way it turned out.

bar cart from vintage 3 tiered kitchen cart, permanent marker on fabric bar towel

I styled it with a vintage ice bucket and red napkins for a festive touch.


I’ll be posting how I made the cheers and martini bar towel next.

Growing up in the 60s, Mad Men’s mid century modern style furniture is not new to me. I remember my aunt Grace’s sprawling ranch home that was filled with brand new furniture. She had a long sofa with tall art behind it and kidney shaped tables that I thought were so cool back then. It was so different from today. No cell phones, internet or microwaves, imagine that!

Are you on Pinterest? I have a new board dedicated to vintage bar carts but I’ll be expanding it to include 60’s style. I’d love for you to check out my boards, you might find some inspiration or decide to create your own boards. It’s fun!


Linked up at; DIY Show Off,    Tutorials and Tip at Home Stories A to Z The Scoop.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Roasting a blue pumpkin, they’re not just for decorating.

Blue pumpkins are so popular these days but have you ever wondered what they look like inside or if you could eat them? The answers are about to be revealed! You can indeed eat them and they are as bright orange as any orange pumpkin I’ve seen.

I think these bluish pumpkins I bought are called Jarrahdale pumpkins. I’m not positive though. Anyway, there’s a predicted shortage of canned pumpkin this year and I noticed that a can costs $1.65 at the local grocery store. That was a regular sized can, about 2 cups. If you like to bake pumpkin recipes, that can add up.

Since I bought 5 of these pretty blue pumpkins for fall decorating,  I decided to use them for baking.

roasting a blue pumpkin

They’re bright orange!

inside of blue pumpkin2

Be extra careful when cutting them apart because they are hard to get through! I mean these babies are tough. After cutting my pumpkin into quarters, I scooped out the seeds and placed the quarters on a baking sheet shin side up. I didn’t use any salt or oil.

pumpkin after roasting

They roasted at 350 until they were soft and then after they cooled, I pulled off the skin.

mashed pumpkin22

I got a good 4 cups from a pumpkin that weighed about 5 pounds. I used 2 cups for a recipe and froze the rest for later and I still have 4 more blue pumpkins to use up! I never tried cooking with a white pumpkin or a Cinderellla pumpkin, have you?

Let the baking holiday begin!

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


A visit to the town of Rogersville TN

Recently I traveled the long road down route 81 to my daughter’s house in the little, historic town of Rogersville TN. It’s really a nice place to live with a homey feel. There are shops, restaurants and historic places downtown. It’s a great place to visit. Here’s a little of what makes Rogersville historic:

On each corner of the town square in the center od Rogersville is a historic site. The Hawkins County Courthouse, built in 1836, is the oldest original courthouse still in use in the state.

Just across Main Street is the Masonic Temple, site of the oldest continually operating lodge in Tennessee.  The building was built in 1839 as the first branch of the Bank of the State of Tennessee, failing just after the Civil War because all its assets were in Confederate bonds and money.

The Hale Springs Inn and Kyle House are on the other corners of the square. The Kyle House was built in 1837 as a twenty-two room mansion for William Simpson. During the Civil War, Confederate officers and soldiers were housed there. Just across Main Street, Union officers and soldiers were housed in the Hale Springs Inn.

The first Tennessee newspaper, the Knoxville Gazette, was printed in Rogersville on November 5, 1791

It was along a major stagecoach route leading to Kentucky and the Cumberland settlements which allowed Rogersville to prosper.

Davy Crockett’s grandparents had a cabin alongside Crockett Creek running through the town. They were massacred by Indians in 1777 and buried in what is now the Rogers Cemetery in Crockett Springs Park, along with Joseph Rogers, the founder of Rogersville. source

bless your heart

They say things like y’all and I’m fixin to, eat cornbread and biscuits and gravy. I have nothing against those foods or sweet tea it’s just that I eat too much of those foods when I’m there! And the sweet tea is SWEET! Pal’s has the best tea. There are no Pal’s up here so it’s always a special treat.

kenzie the dog

This is my granddog Kenzie, She’s the most nervous dog I ever met but she sure is cute with her ears going in the same direction. All she wants to do is curl up on your lap and sleep.

cowboy Jake

My grandson Jake, wearing just one spur, is reluctantly allowing me to take his picture.


My granddaughter Tay is a beauty! She has a cosmetology license and did my hair. I got a color and trim and she did a great job.


We did a little pumpkin carving. I didn’t remember how much work it takes to carve a pumpkin. Mine was the owl.

Lamp post

Visiting Rogersville in the fall is always fun because of the fall festival and the beauty of the colorful leaves.


In this picture you can get a glimpse of the leaves just starting to turn a pretty golden color and some of the food available at the festival.

scarecrows in town


The town square is dressed out with some creative scarecrows.

Dancin Deb

You’ll find food and more food,


banana pudding

foods of all kinds!


And even a chili cook off. Do you put corn in your chili?


The amazing work of this blacksmith caught my eye.

art contest

We found out that Jake won 2nd place in the trash art contest. The art work was on display at the festival.

Jakes art 2nd place

It’s supposed to be an overview of the town with McDonalds at one end and the football field at the other. The rest of it…I’m not sure, but he got second place! Woohoo!

tara n me 2013

Later that day, my daughter and I doing a selfie at Amis mill restaurant.

Amis Mill

Built in an old mill, this place was so pretty. It rained on us while we were there and they were out of fried green tomatoes but it was still a nice experience. I tried fried okra instead and it was good! The place was packed because of the Heritage festival.

Amis Mill. waterfall JPG

Across from the restaurant is this pretty waterfall. It’s such a beautiful setting.

waterfall at amis mill


Heritage days parade 2013

If you love a small town parade, here’s a short video you might enjoy.


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


A Fall lunch on the patio

Our patio gets lots of use in the warm summer, but after that we don’t use it much. We don’t have a fireplace or heat source out there and are content just to use it in warm weather. Well, the weather has been gorgeous, except for a few rainy days and we were still eating outside until this week. With the sun shining and a little chill in the air, it was relaxing and fun to eat al fresco at home.

Fall centerpiece

Most of our patio furniture is put away for winter but we left our table and chair set out to get a couple more uses out of it. I added a simple centerpiece of pinecones, pumpkins and a branch from a pretty maple tree.

grilled cheese apple sandwich 2

The menu was grilled cheese with apple on whole grain sourdough bread and home made tomato soup. I used a mandolin to slice the apples thinly. It was only a short time ago that I was introduced to cheddar cheese and apples. The combo is scrumptious. Warm apple pie with cheddar melting on top is yummo! If you’ve never tried it you should.

Fall lunch

My cream of tomato soup didn’t turn out so great but it was ok for dipping my sandwich. Smile Next time I’ll find a different recipe.

grilled cheese apple sandwich

Doesn’t that melting cheese look good? It was!

grilled cheese apple sandwich tomato soup 2

So that was our yummy lunch on the patio. This week the weather is much cooler and tomorrow the temps are expected to be around 50 degrees! Winter is coming!

Winter is coming and that means Christmas. You know that bloggers are already working on Christmas projects. I’m thinking about Thanksgiving first, but I will admit to thinking about decorating the mantel for Christmas!  How about you?

Don’t let the Monster NTune headphone giveaway pass Please ENTER HERE. I love mine and these headphones would make a great gift for all ages!

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Decorating the porch for Fall

This year the front porch is decorated with a mum, pumpkins and the wreath I made last year. I added some corn shocks that look kind of skimpy so I may add more stalks. I put mums in the plastic caldron that I usually use to hold Halloween candy and one pumpkin sits in an urn. I don’t decorate too much for Halloween, just fall, as a sort of celebration for the season because I love everything about fall; the colors of leaves, pumpkins and gourds, the smell of wood fires, apples and a chill in the air, it’s a beautiful season!

fall front porch

I have one fern on the porch and think it will be okay until frost hits. Several ferns are still on the patio. I can’t keep ferns alive inside all winter. I tried in the past but they always lose leaves and get too messy, so I give up. But I’ll probably bring them in again this year.

fall wreath front porch

We added a storm door on the front porch that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love opening the door and letting more light in but hate the way it looks from the outside. Here’s the post with the stenciled pumpkin wreath tutorial.

Since the weather has been so pretty I decided to add some Fall decorations to the patio.

bakers rack, fall decorating

I added fall accents from my stash to the baker’s rack beside the back door.

falll decorating

I pulled up a hot pepper plant and used it on the top shelf along with a sunflower seed pod.

porch,fall decorating

I brought all the ferns up close to the back door to keep them from getting hit with frost. So far they’re doing fine.

porch, fall decorating

It would be wonderful if the beautiful weather would last all year. Imagine perfect temperatures, not too hot or cold all year round.  Love that!  Smile

More fall decorating HERE.

There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a set of Monster NTune headphones! $150. value! 25 sets given away! Great gift!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Crockpot applesauce and apple butter

The pretty apples I saw at the orchard inspired me to try making crockpot applesauce. It was my first time making it in the crockpot. I looked online for recipes and hints and saw that some people don’t peel the apples, so that was what I tried. I washed, and cored the apples, added lots of cinnamon and cooked them in the crockpot until they were the consistency I liked, not too smooth, I like chunky applesauce. If you want to add sugar, go ahead and add that now too. I used honey, just a little. One of the perks of making your own is that you can add as much sweetener as you like.crockpot apples 2

After mashing the apples with a potato masher I had to pick out the skins. The bits with skins still clinging to them I pressed  through a sieve to finish the process.  I decided to try making more applesauce with cored and peeled apples.  So much easier, at least I thought so. It takes more time to peel the apples but it’s worth it, I know that’s not what everyone thinks but it’s what works for me.

applesauce for freezer

I ended up with some beautiful, chunky applesauce. The cinnamon tasted so yummy. I like lots of cinnamon!


You can add cloves, allspice or nutmeg or whatever you like to make your applesauce extra good.

needed for crockpot applesauce

I used the potato masher to smash the apples and  pressed them through a sieve to get out the last bit of skin. Next I made apple butter and used my new toy, a hand held blender.

apple butter in crockpot

I made apple butter the same way, loaded the crockpot with peeled and cored apples, lots of cinnamon and a little brown sugar. I left it cook on high for about 6 hours, then mashed the apples and turned it on low overnight. It depends on your crockpot, if you want to cook them overnight, you don’t want to burn your apples. In the morning this is what was left. A beautiful caramel colored apple butter. 

apple butter jars

But, this is what I got, 3 measly jars from a crockpot filled to the brim with apples. It is so good though! Maybe the best I’ve ever had, but wow…. only three jars! I’m treating it like gold and have it stashed away in our safe. The combination is top secret! I’m not sharing!

I love apple butter on toast or bagels. It’s great with cottage cheese too. Do you have any hints to share on making crockpot apple butter or sauce?

Be sure to get in on the sweepstakes for a pair of really great headphones valued at $150. Monster NTune is giving away 24 sets.  Read my post here, I love my headphones!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Fall decorating, the kitchen backer’s rack

The baker’s rack in the kitchen is something I enjoy decorating for the seasons. I love the cozy, homey feeling of seasonal decorating, it’s something I look forward to. This year the baker’s rack is decorated with my favorite blue pumpkins and old crocks and vintage bakeware. I added some old cookbooks and blue jars for more seasonal color and concentrated on pulling out colors from the oil painting, which is a yardsale find. Gotta love that!

Since our kitchen is small I like to keep most of the surfaces clear for food prep, so it’s fun to have this piece to decorate.

autumn, bakers rack, blue pumpkin2

The colors of the old bowls and crocks are perfect for fall decorating.

autumn, bakers rack, blue pumpkin3

The baker’s rack was originally dark wood. You can se the  previous looks here.

fall decor, crock

The handled crock was given to me by a friend for helping her move. The blue pumpkins are Jarrahdale, pumpkins (I think), and this is the first year I tried them. I like the color for decorating but don’t know how they taste yet. When I’m done with fall décor I’ll try them and see what they taste like in a pie.

.blue pimpkin, antique pottery

I nested a pumpkin in this piece of bakeware that I found in my Mom’s things and I love it! It even has a lid.

squash in vintage bowl

We grew the butternut squash and the vine practically overtook the tomatoes in the garden. I thought I was buying a zucchini plant but surprise, it was a squash! Someone must have been playing with the tags in the garden center where we bought the plants. Sarcastic smile The squash are in another old bowl.


Fall gives us so many beautiful things. We haven’t had a frost yet so we are still harvesting vegetables from our garden.

chalkboard wall

Here’s a peek at the hallway off our kitchen that leads to the garage. It’s got 3 doors, powder room, closet and basement door and I never knew what to do with it so I decided to paint it with chalkboard paint. Now we have a place to write lists and notes or decorate for the seasons. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! It’s an ideal spot for a chalkboard. Now, if only I could do some fancy hand lettering it would be beautiful too.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))



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Monster Headphones and a Sweepstakes!

When asked if I would like to receive a pair of Monster N-Tune headphones I gave it a thought and decided why not.  I was feeling like I had no real use for a pair of headphones or that I was too old and wouldn’t use them, either way I decided to give them a try. I’m so glad I did.

When they arrived, I’ll admit that I didn’t open the box right away, I think I was still feeling like I wasn’t going to use them that much. But when I finally did open the box, I was surprised by the cool blueberry color.

I plugged them into my iphone and tried them with my play list. Just a quick listen and I was smitten. I loved the sound and they were comfortable. No more ill fitting ear buds falling out of my ears, yeah!  I can use the headphones with my laptop since I don’t yet have a tablet to take with me everywhere I go. Technology sometimes leaves me in the dust but I do try to keep up.

monster headphones

I have to tell you, I really love the crisp and clear sound. Monster’s N-Tune headphones have noise isolating technology to seal out distracting environments and give you the full impact of your favorite music. That means they are perfect for car trips, when my husband is driving, but he’ll fight with me over who drives and gets to use the headphones. He really likes them too!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, think about giving headphones as a gift.Young or old I think we all could use a great pair of headphones. These headphones are super tough and durable, almost indestructible. You can twist them around and they won’t break, just what’s needed for kids learning computer skills or watching movies in the car. Of course a teen would love all the bright colors, red, orange, green, purple and blue.

Monster N-Tune headphones are comfortable, have an awesome sound with noise isolation and are extremely durable! You’ll also get an in line microphone to answer calls or speak with Siri.
headphone microphone

To win your very own pair of N-Tune headphones (valued at $150), read all about the Monster headphones HERE and let me know in the comments of this post which color you prefer. The comments on this post will be aggregated with the comments on the posts from the other bloggers participating in this review, and 25 pairs will be given away. This giveaway will close on Nov 1.
Think Christmas gifts and good luck!

I received a pair of Monster headphones for review but all opinions are my own.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/2/13 – 11/1/13.


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))