Monday, January 31, 2011

You Want What???

Toilet rolls here, toilet rolls there, toilet rolls everywhere. Here's a little peak at what I'm working on right now. I just started putting it together last night and I'm not even close to being done but I really wanted to join the "newbie" party at Debbiedoos blogging and blabbing. I've been asking my family to save their toilet rolls and trying to explain (although not very well) what I was planning on doing with them.

See, it all started with a sad, blank wall. I've been looking for just the right accent piece to hang for a while now but I couldn't find anything in my budget. However, that was before I stumbled upon Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom. Here's the link: She made four faux metal frames out of, you guessed it, toilet rolls! How creative is that? I thought they looked amazing and was inspired to make my own. The only thing I needed was the balsa wood which I bought at Michael's.
So taking a bit of creative license, I decided to make one large frame to better fit my narrow wall. Although I didn't have a pattern, I decided I would make a ton of curls (from the rolls) and see what I could come up with. When all the curls are glued in place, I'll spray paint it a gray or soft black to mimic wrought iron. If it works out, great! I have a unique conversation piece. If not, I'm hoping my sweet, husband will take pity on my efforts and take me to Kirkland's. Either way, it's a win, win situation! Check in with me later on this week to see the finished product. Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter nesting

First off, welcome and thank you for stopping by. I finally got all of my Christmas decorations packed up and put away, yeah. I like to start the year fresh and clean, even if it looks a bit bare right now. I'm not quite ready to put out my spring accents just yet. To be honest, I'm not through with winter...sweater weather, fuzzy socks, the glow of the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Yep, I'm lovin' it! So, here's a little peak into my home. This is the front/dining room. I love the open floor plan. It really comes in handy when we host a party or holiday. We are really blessed to have a big family and need every square inch. At thanksgiving, we usually have 40+ people over.

The family room and kitchen is also one big room. This fireplace originally was covered in beige tile which was just too modern for us. Last summer, my husband ripped it out, added the stone work, and built a ledge. This is how I decorate it during the in-between seasons.

To the right of the fireplace, is our entertainment center that my husband also built. I'm so thankful he's handy. Originally, there was just a big hole there. I love the way it turned out, especially given the fact he's never done anything like this before. Nice work, honey!

And this is our family room. Here is where we spend the bulk of our time, especially since the kitchen is near. Speaking of kitchens, I have a family favorite recipe I'd like to share. It's my pork Tex Mex chili; perfect for those blustery days and oh so easy.

Mama's Tex Mex Chili
1-2 pounds of pork roast
1/2 cup of flour
1 t salt
1 t pepper
2-3 T oil
1 small onion
1 jalapeno diced (seeded if you don't like it spicy)
2 T cumin
2 T paprika
2 T chili powder
2 T garlic
1 large chicken bullion cube
1 c water
2 t pepper
1 t salt
2 16oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. can of black beans (washed)
1 16 oz can of kidney beans (washed)
1 16 oz can of pinto or red beans (washed
1 16 oz can of corn
Toppings of your choice
Cut the pork into bite size pieces and dredge it in the flour with one teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the pork. This should be done in batches so that it browns nicely.

Heat up the crock pot and add the pork. Remember, you only want to brown the outside, it's going to cook in the crock pot. Add 1 extra tablespoon of oil to the same pan that browned the pork and saute the onions with the jalapeno. Now, add the spices (cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder) to the oil and onions. I like to toast my spices this way to add a depth of flavor. While that's cooking, heat the cup of water and add the bouillon cube to it so it dissolves. After 5 minutes, add the seasoned onions to the crock pot along with the diced tomatoes, water with bouillon, pepper, and salt.

I cook it on low for about 6 hours but about half and hour before I'm going to serve, I add the remaining ingredients.

Taste it to make sure it's flavored properly. This is usually where I like to add some extra salt or cumin if needed.

Serve with the toppings of your choice. We like shredded cheese, cilantro, red onion, corn chips, and sour cream. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bring on the New Year!

Happy New Year to all and welcome to my little corner of the world here in sunny, Southern California!

Over the years I have been so inspired by all of you that I want to join the bloggin' sisterhood. I love to decorate, craft, and bake so check back with me soon to see what I'm up to. Right now, I'm in the process of taking down all of my Christmas decorations. Although I've been heavily decorated since September, I'm really going to miss the glitz and tinsel! However, it's time. I'm ready for a fresh start. How about you?

Although he didn't make it into the Christmas photo, we added another member to family. Isn't he a cutie. Snowball is the sweetiest, little Maltipoo ever!

Thanks for the visit. Once the house is tinsel-free, I'll take you on a house tour and share a family favorite recipe. Don't be a stranger now, I look forward to getting to know you all!