Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tablescaping while the boys are busy

Sometimes, I feel like nothing gets done and everything is just kind of hairy around here. My husband is studying for his Engineering license exam in October, but is gone every weekend til then for study sessions. My big boy started preschool again, but hated his first day because they bumped him up a class because he is an August birthday. All his friends he's talked about all summer were in the other class. In fact at outside play, his new teacher said he gravitated back to play with his friends, didn't say a word in share time, wouldn't tell them what his favorite things to do were etc...etc...etc...This boy mom wanted to crawl in a hole and cry cry cry. I felt defeated and that it was my fault for not saying to leave him with his peers in the first place. They moved him back into the 'right' class, and hopefully things will be better now, although I came home to an empty lunch box...sigh...the teachers put his bento box with all his cute stuff in someone else's bag.

My little guy cries when we leave big brother at school. He's had him all summer long. They go to the gym with me and play together, so Andrew was very upset that he couldn't stay. I hope this doesn't last too long!
On top of all this craziness, I feel we are dealing with some new discipline and relational issues with the boys...anger is coming out, selfishness, and disrespect are the hard ones to name a few. At the same moment I can hear the yelling, two minutes later the sweetness comes out. I'm no therapist, but I think growing up and understanding yourself and your emotions is hard...just plain hard. And by God's grace alone, my boys will grow up to be godly young men.
Sorry for the long post, but thanks for listening:)

 This week I threw something together rather quickly. It seems like I don't have as much time to play around some days and then Wednesday night creeps up and I have yet to do anything. I put this together this afternoon while dinner was cooking. I used the same chargers and cobalt dinner plates from last week. I even left my pottery centerpiece! I just liked the way it looked on the table. I added some salad plates my mom gave me. She bought them when she was first married. I just love the berries and flower details. I used my blue rimmed glasses and silver from my grandmother.

 The napkins were linens from my grandmother. I love the details.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday

My sweet impatient boys (mainly the almost 2 year old)  couldn't wait for Mommy to run upstairs and get the real camera, so I took a couple pictures with my phone before the cups were spilled over and empty! The same almost 2 year old has a habit of dumping out each silicone cup back into the muffin tin, so if I wanted the picture, this is all I was going to get!
the frog and butterfly muffin cups are from a Texas Grocery store called HEB.
This was an early lunch / late snack  after we came home from the gym. 
My big boy is rather picky right now and only eats cooked vegetables which I usually do at dinner and we ran out of grapes and strawberries, so this is what we had left...
He's eating with the bears...
Colby Jack bear cut outs, Mesquite ham roll ups, Cheeze its, fruit snacks, Mesquite turkey roll ups, craisins 
My little boy is eating with bull frogs and butterflies
(I think that was one of our music programs when I was little!!)
Cheeze its, salami squares, chex mix, tomatoes (cute forks are in the $ spot at Target right now), Colby Jack butterflies, and craisins 
I'm linking up with Muffin Tin Mom!
Muffin Tin Monday at

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Romanian Artisan Pottery Tablescape & a GREAT tea recipe!!!

By the end of this post, you will definitely know a little more about Romania, how much I love the country, the pottery and the people. I miss it. It is very expensive for us all to go visit now, but the last time we were there, my 4 year old was 9 months old!

Here's my tribute to a beautiful country and all its beautiful people...
 I collected most of this pottery while I lived there for 3 years. A couple pieces were gifts from friends or former students of mine, but mostly a collection of my travels. Romanian Pottery is named or marked according to the region that produces it, thus you'll see a few types of pottery and glazes on this post.

I used my Mexican cobalt and amber rimmed glasses (from a friend's garage sale and Ross years ago), my every day blue cobalt dishes, my rattan chargers (from Walmart) and my grandmother's silver ware. I also used my embroidered napkins (from Target years ago) and the linen and lace Romanian tablecloth from a friend.
 The colorful floral pottery is named Korund and it is made for display. I don't use these plates. I actually brought some of them off the walls to showcase them today. The onion flower that you'll see on most of these plates is a popular design, as is the bird you'll see on a couple others. Korund pottery is blue and white, red and white and multicolored. You can see from my pieces the different regions of Korund.
Romanians are known for their hospitality, incredible cooking and generosity. I have been to someone's house at 9 at night and sat down to a full blown meal. I've been given china and other beautiful things right out of someone's home.
 The plates and bowls scattered in the middle are from Hatzeg. This is a completely different design form and they are known for the pulled swirls you can see in each design. Some of the smaller pieces, I bought over 10 years ago when I first lived in Romania. My husband (and I) carried back about 40 pounds of this in my small carry on baggage when we left in 2002.

My favorite plate. This hangs above my sink, so I can gaze at it every single day. I bought this on our last trip.
 My favorite pitchers. I bought this on a trip to Sibiu, Romania with my mission team. The price was written on the bottom in pencil. I have several display pieces in this exact pattern, but never found more just like it.
 My husband gave me these coffee mugs when we were dating. They hand on a wooden wrack.
 Starbucks Tea Recipe
Boil 2 cups of water, add 4 Passion tea bags, 3 Berry Blossom White tea bags, and 2 Zen tea bags. 
Let steep. Add 3 tsp of honey.
Fill a large pitcher with ice and half cold water. Squeeze in the juice of a lime.
Add tea and enough water to fill the pitcher. Stir and enjoy!
a fun estate sale find...cut glass plate for $3!!
I'm joining these blogs 
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday

Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garlic Feta Mayonnaise

It's SO hot here and some days I just don't want to turn on the oven or stove top to add to the heat, so we had Club sandwiches with Garlic Feta Mayonnaise. I needed to use up my feta and deli meats, so this was a great way to do just that and it was so yummy! I did crisp some bacon on the stove top, but that was's just too HOT here right now!
1 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3 green onions chopped
3-5 garlic cloves (depending on your taste)
1/4 block of feta
black pepper
parsley and oregano
pinch of celery seed
large pinch - 1 tsp of dill
EVOO to thin it out.
Pulse til you like the consistency. Put in a sealed jar or container and spread on your toasted bread and build your club. This would be GREAT as a mayo for a zesty chicken salad or shrimp salad with avocado...I think I just figured out a menu for the weekend. YUM!

Mixing it up
yummy goodness in a jar

building the sandwiches
Dinner is served.

I'm linking up with the following blogs for some great recipe exchanges!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birthday Boy Tablescape

Getting ready to party!!!  They were coloring pictures of Thomas the Train. Here you can see the snacks set out in festive Train Depot themed attire!
Train Depot themed birthday tablescape!
A sweet family friend lent me her stash of goods when I asked for a picnic style tablecloth! She had enamalware, bandanas, mason jars, silk flowers, tablecloths and more. My mom had a small set of bandana style melamine plates and bowls she bought a couple summers ago from Target. Thanks, Mom!
Birthday boy and a couple friends!!! The little ones ate on cute bandana paper plates from Michael's dollar spot. I had matching napkins too!
Train cupcake cake!!!
My sweet Adrian asked for another train cake this year, so I played around with gum drops,
sprinkles and m&ms to add to the theme.
Grandpas eating snacks!!!
My dad is on the left, Papa to my boys.
Our dear friend, Doug (Da) is the closest thing to a second grandpa to our boys
since my husband's parents live overseas.
His wife, Mimi, was the one with the great stash!
I'm linking up with Susan from

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday & Muffin Tin Recipe!!

grapes, goldfish, White chocolate Chex Mix, pizza stuffed biscuits, summer squash
We haven't done many muffin tin meals over the summer and since we moved, but I love the idea and the portion size. It allows to me try new foods on my boys and get them to eat in a fun and cute way!
Andrew is learning how to eat a muffin tin meal with his mini fork! Adrian is a pro!

pizza stuffed biscuits
 Last night I made muffin tin pizza stuffed biscuits. I love this recipe because you can change it to your liking. I had leftover mini sausages and cheese from Adrian's party and a little salami in the refrigerator, so that's what I used.
1 can biscuits
mixture of cut sausage, salami and mozzarella
marinara sauce

Mix meat mixture with enough marinara to just coat it. Kneed each biscuit to flatten it and make it like a mini bowl and put it in the muffin tin. Add a heaping spoonful of meat mixture. Top with extra cheese. Bake at 350 until done.

I'm linking up with Muffin Tin Mom
Muffin Tin Monday at

Happy 4th Birthday, Adrian!!

Coloring pictures of Thomas the Train
Sharing a snack with his friends!
Opening presents can be a bit overwhelming!
Andrew got a present too! I love all the itty bitty toes in this picture!
Cupcake Train Cake

blowing out the candles
Eating my yummy cake!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cranberry Dill Chicken Salad & White Chocolate Cranberry Chex Mix and a birthday

Today I wanted to share two recipes I created from memories of potluck school lunches and parties I've attended or hosted. 
I love chicken salad, but I'm REALLY picky about it...the consistency of the mayonnaise dressing, too sweet, too savory, too herby.   
I've eaten a lot that I don't like and just a few that were completely I tweaked my recipe a bit to satisfy my taste buds!
I hope you'll like it too!
Cranberry Dill Chicken Salad
3 cooked chicken breasts cut in chunks or shredded
3 green onions sliced on the diagonal
3 celery ribs, each cut in half and sliced on the diagonal
1/2 - 1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
Dill (probably a good tablespoon)
Pinch of celery seed
1/2 tablespoon of mustard
***You could add sliced grapes too. 
I just didn't want to pay $3 a pound right now***

Mix everything together well until salad is coated in dressing. Enjoy on a buttery croissant!

We are celebrating this weekend. 
My sweet Adrian turns 4!!! I can't believe I've been a mommy for 4 years. 
He is a handful of energy, sweetness, determination and stubborn will. 
He is a charmer and with good direction will grow up to be an amazing young man. I look forward to all the memories we'll make, but savor the time I still have with him as my little boy...
did I mention he's almost 4 feet tall and over 44 pounds? 
Yeah, he's not so little anymore! He weighed in at 7 lbs, 6 oz at birth. 
He was absolutely beautiful.

I made this last year when I was trying to come up with a party favor for Andrew's 1st birthday party. It was a hit!  
1 1/2 boxes of Honey Nut Chex
1 package of white chocolate / white almond bark
1-2 cups of dried cranberries
1 cup m&ms
Melt bark over LOW heat. Take off heat and add cereal. Mix well and spread on a cookie sheet to cool. Add cranberries and m&ms after cooled but not dry. Mix in and let harden. 
White Chocolate Cranberry Chex Mix

I packaged this up in little baggies for each guest and had a bowl of it at the party. It was so good, I thought it would be a great treat again. 
The possibilities are endless. You could add cashews or pecans. I used candy corn for Andrew's October birthday.
We are having a train cake...again and a Train Depot themed party, so with all the planning, I didn't post pictures yet. I'll get pictures of the tablescape and muffin tin ideas I used and share them all next week!

I'm linking up with 
Miz Helen for Full Plate Thursday

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brunch in Indies Blue

 My mom gave me this Indies Blue teapot, platter and a couple serving bowls for my birthday in May. They stayed at her house til we moved in June, so I am very happy to have them out on display! 
The detail in this pattern is exquisite in my opinion. I love the scalloped swirls in the china itself. My mom  has a full set of Regency White and this compliments it beautifully. I'll have to 'borrow' hers for a tablescape one day! 

Today, I am thinking of my grandmother Jane Wallace. She had beautiful taste and very pretty things. Most of my silver pieces were hers. I will polish my tea set and use it in a tablescape soon! She was a well educated lady for her day and yet was an amazing homemaker. I think she would have loved taking photographs of her tables. 
Enjoy! I've saved a place for you...
We're serving omelets, bacon and breakfast sausage, homemade cinnamon rolls, orange juice and coffee (Texas Pecan)

Tablecloth--Romanian linen, gift from a friend
Rattan Chargers--Walmart
Johnson Brothers Indies Blue china--Ebay
Blue Swirl glasses--Pottery Barn years ago
Napkins--handmade by my mom
Napkin rings--Target Christmas clearance years ago
Silverware--stainless from Target years ago and Wallace Antique Bead -- Home Goods
Silver spoons-- from my grandmother...Tiffany & Co (I can't remember the pattern name)
 Silver plate teaspoons  Narcissus by International Silver plate -from my mom 

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!
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