Friday, January 30, 2009

Some of The Comforts Of Home

Flannel PJ's in a fun animal print (notice the touch of red on the cuff). $14.99 from JCPenney. Fluffy slippers, a birthday gift from a sister. A toasty fire in the fireplace.



These are some of my Comforts of Home. What are yours? How about comfort foods? Want a really great winter comfort food recipe? Visit my newest post at the Home Goods blog.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inspiration

The beauty of nature always inspires me. These pictures were taken from my side deck last night around 6PM. It had rained all day and the sun peaked through the rain clouds, promising a sunnier day tomorrow.





Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some Things I want To Do This Year

See this armoire? It is oak...See the dresser on the left? I bought that at an antique store in Asheville several years ago. I painted it a wonderful creamy white. The armoire is next. Only I think I might do a little something extra with it. It is one of the make overs I plan on working on this year. Hopefully in the next week or so I will get started on it. I will post step by step pics when I start.

Of course, after the armoire is painted, then I have to painted my headboard and foot board....
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Little Glam in the Bath

I love taking baths. It is a great way to pamper yourself. If you have a regular ceiling light in your bathroom, I highly recommend switching it out for a chandelier dripping with gorgeous prisms. If you have it on a dimmer switch, you will have bright enough light for task lighting and you can turned them down low for a relaxing bath. Below is the chandie I have in my master bathroom. It is not a vintage chandelier, but it has a vintage French look. You can click on the picture to enlarge.

For MY perfect bath, I light the candles and turn the chandelier dimmer on low. Some soft music and a little lavender bath salts sprinkled into the bath water and I am in heaven.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do You Own A Dog?

Do you own a dog? We have had dogs over the years, but have been dog free for the past 8 years. We are considering getting a dog. If we do, we have narrowed it down to a Golden Doodle. A Golden Doodle is part Golden Retriever and part Poodle. We have been thinking about this for quite some time.

So what kind of dog do you have?

Oh! I almost forgot to mention, my new post is up at Home Goods. Take a look if you have some time.

Welcome Home,
Penny

Friday, January 23, 2009

Solitude

Sometimes, we need to stop this crazy world we live in and just look around. There is beauty everywhere. Click the picture to enlarge and see the beauty of nature.

The morning winter sun bravely peaks out amongst the winter snow clouds.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup To Warm You Up!

Linking up with Vanessa of Southern in My Heart and Heather at Gourmet Meals for Less for The Sisters Soup Exchange!

Is it cold where you live? Are your craving warm comfort food? Then this fits the bill!

We are making Broccoli Cheese Soup today. Gather your ingredients..

To serve 6 you will need:

6 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated
1 Medium Onions chopped
2 Garlic Cloves minced
1 teaspoon of fresh or 1/2 teaspoons of dried Tarragon
5 Cups chicken stock
1 Cup Whipping Cream
4 Slices of Bacon Cooked and Crumbled
1 Ripe Tomato seeded and chopped
2 - 1/2 cups cheese separated

Ok...Separate the stems from the florets. Set the florets aside and chopped the stems. Chop the onion. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pan. Add the chopped broccoli stems and onions and saute for about 6 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add chopped garlic and tarragon and saute one minute. Add chicken stock and florets, bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir in cream.




Melt 3 tablespoons butter and add 3 tablespoons flour.


Wisk until smooth then whisk into stock. Turn heat up to medium and cook while constantly stirring for about 3 minutes until stock thickens.

Remove from heat and add shredded cheese, stirring until smooth. Spoon into bowls or mugs and top with remaining shredded cheese, chopped tomato and crumbled bacon. Serve with a crisp salad and crusty rolls.

Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some Recent Visitors

One of the great things about living in the middle of a forest is the neighbors you have! The first picture below is one of two Pileated Woodpeckers (remember the cartoon Woody Woodpecker?). He is about 20 inches long! They make a loud sound while pecking on the trees. I took this picture from my front deck. Click on the picture for a better look!


The picture below is taken from inside my guest room, through a window screen. That is why it is a little fuzzy. This rare white squirrel was visiting our front courtyard. They are known to be plentiful the next county over...This was a rare treat to see one in our area.

Click on the pictures to enlarge for detail. The white squirrel's tail is so feathery looking!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fluffing The Nest

I have had these two birds for about 10 years. I know a lot of you have them too. They were a chippy creamy white when I bought them. This past fall I spray painted them brushed bronze and dabbed a little black paint on them.

I move them all around the house. Sometimes they are on a bookshelf. Sometimes they are on my night stand. Today they are making there home on an old Italian Florentine chippy gold nesting table in my living room.

I also changed the background of my blog. Do you like it? Kathy from Kathy's Cottage inspired me! Her blog always looks so nice. So I asked for a little help from her. Thank you Kathy! OH!! And Kathy has some wonderful news!!! You need to HURRY over to her blog and check it out!!!!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cheap Chic

A little bit Country a little bit Country French....

I love buying big bunches of flowers for CHEAP at the grocery store and finding fun ways to display them at home. Click on the picture to enlarge.

For more pictures and some fun ideas on decorating with flowers visit my post at Home Goods, by clicking HERE.

I am off to visit all of you now! See you soon.

Welcome Home,
Penny

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Newest Members of My Family

I would like to introduce the newest members of my family....

My rooster family, that is :-). This is just the most adorable piece. There is father rooster, mother hen and a couple of fat baby chicks...Click on the picture to enlarge for detail.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Biscotti

Guess what I made this weekend? Biscotti! I had never made it before and it was alot easier than I thought it would be. The great thing about Biscotti is that they last quite a while. They go great with tea or cappuchino.




Below is what they looked like after the first baking....



And here after the second baking


Here is the recipe I used. I did make one substitution. This calls for Anise and I didn't have any so I used almond extract in its place.




3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons aniseed, ground
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
1 large egg white


Preparation
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract and ground aniseed in large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds.


Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush over top and sides of each dough log.


Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes. Cool logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.


Transfer logs to work surface; discard parchment paper. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)


Welcome Home,

Penny

Friday, January 9, 2009

Shady Lady

Hmmmm.....what could this be?



Head on over to my Home Goods Post to see....

Welcome Home,

Penny

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tres' Chic

Our living room was getting a little crowded, with a ottoman and coffee table, so we removed the coffee table. Now we are using the ottoman as a coffee table, when need and and a footstool when needed. In order to do that, I took an old black metal tray and decoupaged it. It originally had the declaration of independence decoupaged on top. I bought it at a thrift store for $1.00. I sanded the old decoupage off and then spray painted it black. Wiping off the black on the edges while it was still wet to reveal the original gold trim.

Purchased a decoupage kit from Michael's....


And with a lot of cutting (around those rooster feet!) and some gluing it was done. I did spray it with clear poly spray because I will sometimes have drinks set on it.

Now it sits in the middle of my living room....

This was a fun easy project. I had never decoupaged before and really enjoyed it.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thinking Ahead And The Winner Of The Giveaway

I know...it is only the beginning of January and spring seems forever away. But it is never to early to start planning your garden layout and outdoor landscaping jobs. If fact, I can't think of any way better to warm up, than snuggling by a fire with some great gardening magazines.

Here are my raised beds. First I used them for veggies. But they don't get enough sun. Then this past year I experimented with a flower cutting garden. It work really great! But as you can see below. The deer have discovered my raised beds this past fall.



Yep, she found the left over snap dragons....and had no regret at all walking through the empty bed to get to them


After finishing eating she wandered across my driveway and back into the woods.


So this winter, I am planning and dreaming of a way to keep the deer out of my cutting garden. I will be doing a lot of research, with magazines, gardening books and a big pot of tea.

For some great tips on planning your spring and summer garden, head on over to my Home Goods Blog.

Now, on to the winner of my New Years Giveaway! First I want to thank all of you for entering. And I really appreciate all of the comments on my Home Goods post too~you guys make me look good :-).

The winner is Brenda @ Spare Minute Cottage! Congrats Brenda!! I will be in contact with you for your address. And I will be by to visit all of you later today and this evening. Over 90 entries here and over 50 on Home Goods. I have a lot of visiting to do!!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January

I have this great poster calendar. It is 11" x 14". It is framed in a black frame. There is a different poster for each month. I love January's picture of the Rooster!

I have ordered these posters for the past 4 years. They are really pieces of art. I am going to try to remember to show you each poster when the month begins. To see more about these posters you can visit Linnea Design, by clicking on their name.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway, by leaving a comment in the previous post. The giveaway ends at noon EST Jan 5th.
Welcome Home,
Penny