Monday, July 31, 2006

Lemon Bars

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I made lemon bars for church, Sunday evening. To get the flower and butterfly shapes on the top, I traced small cookie cutters onto paper, cut them out, placed them on top of the cut, cooled bars and dusted them with powdered sugar. Then, I gently lifted off the paper. I got the idea from Martha of course! ;0)


2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. baking powder

1. Mix crust ingredients with a fork. Press into 9x13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350.F

2. Mix filling ingredients and pour on top of crust. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.F

3. Dust with powdered sugar. Cool. Cut into squares. (If you make the shapes on top you will want to cool, cut and then dust with sugar.)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Now I just need to learn how to cut even squares. :0)

Thank You!!!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I want to say a special thank you to all who visited here on the Home Tour this past weekend. Your kind and generous comments blew me away and I have had a smile on my face since Saturday morning! :0)
It was so fun to visit all of your homes and see the wonderful ways you have decorated them. I came away with some great ideas!! Thank you again!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Accept the consequences of your actions whether the action was purposeful or accidental. Answer the call of duty.

~Be trustworthy and dependable.
~Follow through.
~Take pride in everything you do.
~Be independent.

Responsibility in Action:
~Discuss the difference between reasons and excuses.
~Come up with an allowance policy (i.e. spending, saving, giving).
~Reward intiative on the spot.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blog Tour of Homes

If you are looking for the "Blog Home Tour", you have found the right place! Welcome to my home.

Front door
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is our living room. We watch movies, play games, read books and do alot of our schoolwork here.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is where all my blogging happens! I think it needs a little color. Do you think Phillip would mind if I added some pretty doilies and some flowers? ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Next up is the kitchen, where we spend alot of time cooking, baking and even making crafts!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

My last photo is of a special kind of house. A fairy house! And as you can tell from their front door, they are very friendly.
My fairies like to tease their friends, the snappy snapdragons, cause lots of mischief bouncing off my fern leaves and staying up late, playing in the moonlight. They do have some good habits though, they enjoy a cup of tea at 4:00pm every afternoon!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Thank you for visiting my home!

Go over to BooMama's to continue the tour and peek inside all of the wonderful homes!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Butterfly Barrettes

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Since our air conditioner wasn't working yesterday, we headed up to my Mother-in-law's cool house with some craft supplies. We made these cute butterfly barrettes. This afternoon, I went to Michaels for some more pipe cleaners, (I found out today, the proper name is "Chenille Stems!) so I'm still finishing up some tonight. I'll take another picture to share with you.

While Grace and I were cutting out fabric, my M-I-L's neighbors, Theresa and Katherine stopped by and made a pair for themselves. We had lots of fun visiting and coming up with different ways to use them.

Tracing the butterfly pattern.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Cutting out all of the pieces.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Ironing on the adhesive.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

You will need a pipe cleaner and a bobby pin.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace models her new red barrettes.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Theresa chose a cute blue dragonfly print.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Katherine uses hers as a cute pin on her pocket.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace and Emily are going to make some extra sets for their friends. I hope you enjoy this craft for celebrating summer!

Detailed instructions are available from Martha Stewart.

What is going on in the blogging world?

Let's just forget about that mess down below and talk about nice things. :0)

Have you heard about the Tour of Homes? You can read all about it here.Tour of Homes
I think it's going to be alot of fun so get those camera's clicking!

My friend, Sandra started her own blog this week. She is having theme days:

~Mondays will be "At Home" - all things on the home-front such as decorating, crafts, gardening, pets and family.

~Tuesday is "Everyday Elegance" - the small details that make life special.

~Wednesdays I'll be in "The Reading Room" - all things books and reading.

~Thursdays will be "Tea Notes" - tea, recipes and ideas for the perfect cup.

~Friday is "The Maple Leaf Forever" - a day dedicated to my country, Canada, with snippets from yesterday and today.

I am really enjoying my time there and want to share the link with you. Head over to Ravenhill Cottage for a nice visit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Our Livingroom Ceiling

I recently heard this question:

~If something needs fixing around the house, do you:

1. Fix it yourself?
2. Call a repair person ASAP?
3. Ignore it in hopes that it will go away?

Judging from the looks of our ceiling I would have to say the answer is 3! Let me give you a run-down of what happened to our lovely "popcorn" ceiling. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

1. A few months ago (well, more like 9!) our air conditioner, which is up in the attic, right above our livingroom, started leaking. (We do have a unit outside too.) We were not home at the time and originally these huge bare patches were brown spots. That blue thing you see is actually a light that I covered with tinfoil and tape. It really goes with the room. ;0) Phillip went up in the attic and discovered a hose had come undone. Just a fluke accident. Anyways....

2. We went back and forth on what to do about it, but we mostly ignored it.

3. Then, Phillip went out of town on a business trip back in April. I thought I would surprise him by touching up the brown spots with white paint. I moved all the furniture, got out the ladder, started to *gently* touch up the paint and the stained popcorn started to fall down. In large chunks. 4 hours before I was to pick Phillip up at the airport!

4. I scraped off most of the brown part. It came off very easily. Ran to Home Depot for spray bottles of popcorn paint. I was very excited. How hard could it be?

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

5. Evidently, a few dropcloths thrown about the room are not enough cover for the power in one of those cans! Next hour is spent cleaning up the paint that went flying everywhere.

6. I called a ceiling repair place at 6:30pm and someone actually answered!!! I was quoted $800.00 to have them scrap the ceiling and another $300.00 for them to paint it. Not with "popcorn" though, something they called an "orange peel."

7. I picked Phillip up at the airport and we continued to ignore the problem. Anytime someone came over we would explain we were in the middle of a home repair project. Boy, were we ever!

8. Fast foward to July. I was just about to call a repairman and have this problem taken care of. Not scrap the entire ceiling, just spray some paint up there. I can't tell you how sick I am of looking at this mess!! 2 days ago, we noticed a new wet spot. It is the cute little one in the picture. :0) Phillip went back up in the attic and the hose that had come loose before was just fine, in fact he couldn't find any leak at all. I ran all over the house trying to find the phone number for our home warranty company. Finally found it. They said someone would call us back right away. Soon, the leaking stopped, not sure why exactly.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

9. Yesterday, someone calls at 9:00am. The earliest they can get out here is Thursday, between 9 and 2. Since the leaking had stopped I figured that would be ok. Then around noon, drips start to fall from the ceiling. Phillip rushes home and heads back up to the attic. This time he takes my cooking thermometer with him. 130+F degrees up there! LOL

10. It appears that the air conditioner is "sweating" out the bottom. We can't fit a tray underneath it. That would explain why the leaking starts in the afternoon and stops at night - it is much hotter up there in the afternoon. So, as of this yesterday, our air has been turned off.

We could have someone out here faster but our Home Warranty said we would have to pay overtime. We could also call a completely different company but we have had such wonderful luck with our warranty service. I at least want to see what they say.

We have all the ceiling fans turned on high and it isn't has bad as I thought it would be, although today might be worse. We may plan a little outing in the afternoon and come back when it cools down.

After it is repaired, we are going to scrap down the entire ceiling ourselves. Well, actually, Phillip's 3 brothers are going to help us but they don't know that yet. Surprise!!!

Then we will go ahead and pay somone to paint it. I just want a white ceiling again!

Our Back Porch

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

While looking for homes to buy 7 years ago, I said it had to have a front porch. Well, they just aren't very popular in this area so we settled on a small back patio that we use like a porch.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We put down grey patio carpet to match the walls. We added the lanterns a few years ago. Just plug in the switch and they are on!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We have a group of friends from church over about once every other month and we all end up out back. We like to call it a game. "How many people can we squeeze out there?!" I think our record is 12!!! We have such fun memories of talking and laughing out there together.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

It has been so hot lately that we have stopped eating lunch out at the table so I am looking foward to cooler days and evenings when we can get out there and enjoy it again.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Good night! Goodnight!
Far flies the light;
But still God's love
Shall flame above,
Making all bright.
Good night! Good night!
-Victor Hugo

Monday, July 24, 2006

Zucchini-Lemon Muffins

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I found this recipe in a 1995 Cooking Light magazine. They were moist and had a wonderful lemon flavor. I have enough shredded zucchini to make another batch tomorrow morning!

Zucchini-Lemon Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
3/4 cup skim milk (I used 1%)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
Vegetable cooking spray

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl, and make a well in the center of the mixture.

Combine zucchini, milk, oil and eggs; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Divide batter evenly amoung 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately, and let cool on wire rack.

~Monday, July 24, 06~

Good Afternoon! I hope you all had a great weekend. Let's see, Friday evening, Phillip had his movie night. That has turned into a regular Friday night thing so if anyone is bored and wants to chat, ask me for my AOL Instant messenger name. :0)
Saturday, I got to sleep in a little. I practiced piano in the morning, then Phillip's brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner and we drove about 45 minutes south to a *huge* Half Price Book store. This place is the size of a warehouse! I found 2 books and a magazine.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

A spring edition of Martha Stewart kids. It is filled with lots of fun ideas, like a spa sleepover party that I want to do with the girls sometime soon. Included are instructions on how to make adorable "felt sleep masks."

Next up is a book called A Victorian Courtship-The story of Beatrice Potter and Sidney Webb. It took me awhile to figure out it wasn't the story of Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit. But, I got the book anyway, since it looks interesting.
Last but not least, a Emilie Barnes book, The Spirit of Loveliness. I read it yesterday. :0) It is full of wonderful homemaking and hospitality ideas, stories and quotes. She talks about how she created a Prayer Basket with her Bible, a devotional, a prayer planner, etc. I plan on putting one together this week. I will post pictures. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

One of the best parts about Saturday was finding a $20.00 IKEA gift certificate, while cleaning out some papers. Phillip's parents gave it to us this past Christmas and I must have tucked it away. You know what they say..."Finders...keepers....";0)

Sunday, we went to church. I read my book, took a nap, and went to bed early. I woke up at 7:05am this morning, ready to face the day!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Be careful what you say or do. Respect your own privacy and the privacy of others. Use good manners so you don't offend other people.

~Have a sense of propriety.
~Self-possession: know who you are.
~Have self-control.
~Be considerate of other people's feelings.

Modesty in Action:

~Talk about the difference between prying and expressing concern
~Establish a family standard for dress, language and personal space.
~Keep family matters private
~Recognize gossip as an invasion of privacy.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Online Home Tours

I tend to do some pretty weird things, but Phillip says what I'm about tell you, is one of the wierder ones. ;0)
On the rare occasion when the house is clean, the children are tucked into their beds and Phillip is busy watching one of his "guy" movies (AKA boring!) I like to go to Ebay and look at house listings.

Now, I am not interested in moving or leaving my wonderful home, I just like to go on what I call "Online Home Tours" and Ebay is the place to do it. I go to the "Real Estate" section and type in a variety of search words. My favorites are: Victorian, Farm, Farmhouse, Historic, and Historical. You can get some wonderful decorating ideas but be sure not to look at the prices, that ruins the fun!

I want to share a few that I found tonight.

This first one has a wonderful story that goes along with the ad! I can just imagine myself dancing away up on the 3rd floor of this 1891 Home

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Be sure to check out the gorgeous porch, the path to the backyard and the woodstove in the office while touring this 1894 Victorian Home

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

This next one is a 1880 farmhouse and I can't decide if I want a glass of sweet tea on one of the porches (there are 3!) or in the darling sitting room first! It has the original 1900 wallpaper in the parlour. I guess you could say no eating in that room!!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Last but not least, a 1800's farmhouse on 58 acres. There are no pictures of the inside but who cares what it looks like with a view like that!
Be sure to check out the creek with all the moss covered rocks. Sigh. So pretty!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I hope you enjoyed my online home Tour as much as I did!! Let me know if you find anymore good ones to share!

My Watergarden in July

Here is the view of my backyard, when I sit on my porch. The fairy garden is off to the left. The watergarden is in front, the sandbox behind it and then further out the picnic table and playhouse.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I have always loved watergardens and decided when we got our own home, I would have one installed. I started out with a container garden but the plants outgrew it and the water got to hot for the fish. So, one day, 2 years ago (in August!) I started to dig. After awhile, I started to wonder what Phillip would think when he arrived home from work and saw a hole right by the back porch. Then I got the idea that it would be a fun surprise! Like a gift to him somehow. Clever huh? ;0)
Since it wasn't that big, and only 18 inches deep, I finished by noon and headed to Home Depot for the lining. By the time Phillip came home for dinner, it was full of water, with the plants enjoying their new home. Boy, was he surprised!! A "good" surprised though, we have spent many peaceful evenings out there, listening to the water and watching the fish.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is a view from the back. We have 5 goldfish, along with many snails. We saw one the size of a quarter last night! No frog though. :0( I have purchased 3 tadpoles (all at different times) and we have such fun watching them grow into frogs and then they leave. The neighbor behind me, has a large pond and I can hear frogs singing over at her place, so I think that is where mine go.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

See the little bunny trying to crawl into the pot?

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

These pink flowers are in one of the hanging baskets. Sparrows like to come and take some of the basket lining for their nests.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The lilies are enjoying the sun!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I hope everyone has a great Friday. Stay cool!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

~Saucy Chicken~

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is another Anne recipe.

~"Then the girls tripped out of the kitchen, which was filled with appetizing odors emanating from the oven, where the chickens were already sizzling splendidly."-Anne of Avonlea, XVII~

Saucy Chicken

2 1/2 pounds chicken (I used chicken breasts)
1 small yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375.F

2. Arrange chicken pieces in a baking dish.

3. Chop the onion and garlic. Melt the butter in saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon.

5. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Pour sauce over chicken and bake until chicken is cooked all the way through.

*I doubled the sauce so everyone would have extra to put on the rice I served with dinner.

Chocolate Raspberry Tartlet

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I found this recipe at Turkey Feathers earlier this week and made it for company last night. It was very quiet at the dinner table, while everyone ate it and that is always a good sign something is yummy. :0)

Cookie Nut Crust Recipe
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened (or margarine)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (pecans, black-walnuts or butternuts)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
2. Add the butter, brown sugar, walnuts and vanilla.
3. Blend well.
4. Press the mixture, a small amount at a time, into a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan.
5. Prick with a fork. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Ganache Recipe:

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces ( I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.

Pour into crust and top with berries.

A *SIDEWALK* Fried Egg Sandwich

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Are you tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Scratch all the teflon off your frying pan? Most everyone has a sidewalk and I put mine to good use tonight.

A hot sidewalk. 106+F works well. ;0)
Non-stick spray (some sidewalks may not need it.)
1 egg

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Be sure to keep a close eye on your egg. The edges of mine are already turning white.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Ta-da!! A yummy fried egg. Put between two slices of bread. I like a little miracle whip on mine.

Fried egg
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

As with all hot cooking surfaces, children should get permission from a parent before using.

Ok, confession time, the egg didn't actually cook on the sidewalk but given enough time in this Texas sun it may have! My kids enjoyed this "silly mommy" moment!

A Hot Day

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Good Morning! It looks like another hot day and not just here in Texas. From what I've been hearing, most of the country will be experiencing a very hot day. Guess what our high is for today? 106F!! We have been here for 10 years and I don't remember it ever being that hot. (I think I say that every year!)

I was cleaning up some of my computer files and came across Celestial Seasoning's website. I love drinking their teas and they come in the cutest boxes!! There are lots of fun things to do at their site. Word searches, matching games, sending postcards, recipes, but my favorite thing are their coloring pages.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Aren't those the cutest pictures ever?!!? Click here to see more

I'm off to color (it's not just for little ones!), and to think of something for dinner that doesn't require turning on the stove.

Stay cool everyone!