Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tried and True Chili Recipe

After many years of trying different chili recipes, I always fall back on the one that EVERYBODY says is great! It is hard to find a recipe that fits all ages... not too spicy, not too runny, not too thick,etc... This one meets everyone's approval!

I got this recipe from my dear friend, Jill, about 4 years ago. She said that she had copied it down years before that out of Southern Living magazine. If your feeling like making some "comfort" food this weekend, give this one a try!

4 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
2 (1 3/4 oz) envelopes French's Chili Mix
3 (16 oz) cans Chili Hot Beans
3 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

*Brown beef in a dutch oven (big pot) and drain. Stir in chili mix and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Mini Masterpiece

For the past two days I've been at home "nursing" my youngest back to good health. I think the shot I persuaded him to get actually did the trick but a little TLC goes a long way too. It is persuasion that we moms use, right...I mean, the strawberry milkshake promise isn't bribery is it? Whatever it's called it works...and I don't hesitate to use it! Anyway, the second day home he's feeling a bit more perky so I decided to let him paint. What a great idea. I heard just the other day that painting makes you feel better, kind of a therapy, they said. It actually doesn't cure physical sickness but mentally I think it does wonders. The results were amazing!!! I was in awe at his finished "masterpiece."

He explained to me that this was the playground at school...his favorite part of the day is, of course, recess. When I tried to help him along by suggesting he "fill in" certain areas he responded that those are secret passages to the slide and don't need to be "filled in." I decided then that I needed to let him be the artist and stay out of it. He showed me the ladder and the slide and even went to the trouble of adding handlebars. You see them, right, those big red balls in the center that look like eyes staring back at you? I did show him how instead of reaching for the green paint tube we could just mix the blue and yellow already on our pallette. He thought that was great! So he began to experiment with mixing and surprisingly already knew how to make purple and orange. It was great fun for both of us. Now I have this incredible, priceless piece of art for my collection.

Blessings, Rachel

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dear Mr. Mailman...

I think that this time of year provides me with a little strength training each time I go to the mailbox. Now each time I take my trip to the front yard, (at precisely 2:30) my load is a bit more heavy. As we approach the holidays, my mail seems to take over my house. The above picture was taken after just two visits to the box.
I am thinking about telling my mailman that it is OKAY to ditch all of these in my outdoor trashcan if he gets tired of carrying them all day. I won't tell! Do you enjoy getting all of the magazines, doing a quick flip, then tossing? Or, would you rather save the man in the cute little white jeep 5 minutes of figuring out how to get all of them "stuffed" into such a small space?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fancy Field Trip

On Friday my daughter's class took a field trip to the local park to have a Fall Scavenger Hunt. She asked the class to bring food items so that we could have brunch while we were there. I signed up to bring breakfast pinwheels, my friend drinks, another mom napkins (you get the picture). Boy were we suprised when we showed up and another mom had made these!!!


You take regular donut holes, roll the tops in chocolate frosting, then roll the icing in toffee bits. Stick in half of a pretzel stick and VOILA!

Another mom used a cute little leaf cookie cutter to cut out her apples.

LESSON LEARNED: Do not think that just because it is a field trip for kids that they won't appreciate a little fun and creativity. Which items do you think that they reached for first? Here is a wasn't the pinwheels!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Setting Pretty

Another take on polka dot pumpkins...which we LOVE, by the using the little miniature pumpkins. Here's how to embellish your table setting with these adorable finds. First paint your pumpkins the color of your choice and let dry. Indicate with a pencil the placement of dots around the pumpkin being careful with a straight line. Trace a small circle at each marking. Paint the circles a contrasting color...for example, try brown dots on yellow or orange on white. Add some napkins and plates, maybe a table runner down the middle or two going across the center of the table (depending on size of table), and a centerpiece of gourds. You've now got your table set for fall.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The leaves are starting to change colors and are beginning to fall to the ground at our house. My husband is usually ready to get the "leaf vacuum" out after the first one falls, but I like to look at them scattered all over the yard for a few days. BEAUTIFUL!! I also enjoy hearing the giggles that come from a good run through the foliage.

Here are my sweet kiddos on a recent visit to the GARDEN PATCH!

Then, we decided to go to the local apple orchard, all in the same day!

They love to pick out a bag of apples to bring home.

After a ride on the hay wagon, the kids took a trip through the corn maze.

They each got to pick out a pumpkin to take home. My daughter chose a small one, my son... not so small!

Rachel is on vacation with her family this week so I thought that I would go around the house and capture a few glimpses of FALL that have made their way inside our home.

This is a paper banner in the dining room that spells out "Happy Halloween"

This is our homemade version of a spooky tree. We spray painted a bucket black, and added twigs from the yard (sprayed those black too) and added little pumpkins!

Here is our pumpkin family on the dinner table.

While we were at the Garden Patch, I found these gourds that looked like apples. They were already green, but I painted them "apple green" and of course gave them some polka dots! They match my kitchen perfectly!



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ATTENTION ALL LADIES... October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We all have been touched in some way by this Horrible Disease. Don't FORGET the mammograms...they save lives!! Do what you can to help find the cure.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Caramel Apple S'mores... YUMMY!

We took a trip to the local Apple Orchard yesterday and the whole way home I kept thinking about THESE!!!!
All you have to do is slice some apples ( I think that the green looks pretty), roast some marshmallows, and melt some caramel.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A New Angle

This geometric-patterned pumpkin will make a modern statement wherever you decide to put it. Here's how to make one:

Paint the pumpkin white except for the stem. For the cutouts, draw freehand different size squares. The squares do not have to line up with one another but they do need to be at least 2 inches apart. Carve out the windows using a serrated craft saw and then paint a lime green border around each one.

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Don't Squash the Pumpkins!

Well... I think that I have found a craft that I really enjoy! I LOVE to paint pillows! This probably stems from my love for fluffing up a chair and the desire to put a little umph in the ordinary.

Right now my design of choice is this cute little punkin. Funny thing though, I have made quite a few of these for others and everytime I make one for myself and find the perfect spot for it... I sell it! This project has my brain a spinnin' with other possibilities (Christmas, Birthday, Valentine's, Monograms, summer themes). Watch out...I think all the stuffing has gone to my head. Look for other pillows to follow soon!

Later Sweet Pumpkins!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's been a year and a half and, finally, after searching endlessly I found something to put over my mantel. Little did I know that that something would be found in the middle of a pasture...hmm, you wonder, but I think it's fabulous!! We took this barn door off of the old barn we own...lucky us...secured it a bit better and hung it. I am inlove with it, seriously. Granted, it sat in my garage for several months because my husband refused to try and hang it. I finally found someone who was "skilled" enough to give it a try. You never know when or where you'll find that "perfect" something for your patient and look for the unexpected!
Have a Happy Day,