2.28.2013

Sunday Supper {Breakfast for Dinner}

Breakfast for dinner always receives a resounding round of cheers when it hits the supper table.   Because let’s face it, churning out a home cooked breakfast only happens about once a week around these parts. If we’re lucky.

Last week we dined on Paula’s Hash Brown Casserole (originally shared here) and a simple salad.  It makes a whole bunch so we ate off of it for a few days straight.  (Which I always love!)  With Gruyere cheese and grated nutmeg, this hearty meat and potatoes dish far surpasses all other breakfast casseroles I've had the pleasure of dining on.

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January 2013 107


Paula's Hash Brown Casserole

3 T. butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns (though my mother's notation says "I use more")
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread
1 pound bulk sausage
2 cups (1/2 pound) grated Gruyere cheese (I use swiss to be more budget friendly)
2 cups (1/2 pound) freshly grated Romano cheese (I used some sort of bagged shredded cheese that had romano in it.)
2 1/4 cups milk
6 large eggs (recipe calls for 8 but my mom uses 6)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 T. dijon mustard

1. Spray 13x9" casserole with cooking spray.  Melt butter in large frying pan.  Add onion and saute over med-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the hash browns and break apart.  Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Place the bread cubes in the bottom of the casserole.  Spread the onion and hash browns evenly over the bread cubes.
2.  Saute the sausage in the same pan as the potatoes, breaking apart large clumps.  When the sausage is cooked through, remove it with a slotted spoon and distribute it evenly over the hash browns.  Distribute the grated cheeses evenly over the sausage.
3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mustard, whisking briskly to blend.  Pour over the cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight or at least 8 hours.
4.  Remove the casserole from the fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
 
Speaking of Paula, I wonder what ever happened with her search for the next Deen Team blogger!?!?!
 
Happy eatin’ y’all!
xoxo

2.27.2013

Wrecking Bar + Waffle Palace

We celebrated a belated Valentine’s date night over dinner and a show down in Little 5 Points last weekend.  It was so much fun to leave our regular stomping grounds and head down to a part of the city we really haven’t visited since well before the littles came along!

We enjoyed a lovely start to the evening at the Wrecking Bar Brew Pub, located in the lower level of this gorgeous 20th century Victorian-style home.  We sipped on half pints of a variety of their specialty beers and dined on a divine selection of craft pub food.

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We chose the Kale Ale Fondue, local bratwurst with house krat, hand-cut Wreck Fries and pickled veggies and pimento cheese plate.  We seriously could not take one more bite by the end of the meal!

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After supper, Honey’s mama treated the whole family to front row seats for the Waffle Palace at the Horizon Theater.


The set was like walking straight into the Waffle House and our seats were right there on the stage!  It was so much fun!!!  The show was cute and really entertaining…

From births to marriages, to police chases and lottery wins, anything can happen at 3 AM in the Waffle Palace. Inspired by amazing real life events at Waffle House restaurants, Larson and Lee let loose with this roller coaster of humor and imagination in which John Pickett and his staff battle to keep their Midtown diner open against heavy odds. The Waffle Palace: a place where everyone is welcome, and the only unforgivable sins are throwing waffles and under-tipping.

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Honey’s mama and my parents have all raved about the theater’s (slightly off-color) Santaland Diaries holiday production – I sure hope they bring it back this year because I’m anxious to attend!  Thanks JuJu for a lovely evening!!

Now I’m positively craving Waffle House.  Sooo, guess where the baby and I are headed for breakfast?!?!  (I assure you I am not kidding…it’s a family favorite.)
xoxo

2.26.2013

Funny Faces

The PCP “performed” in his first school concert since pre-K a couple of weeks back.  The entire first grade came together to sing all sorts of songs about recycling.  Of all things.  It was surprisingly cute and well done, but it wasn’t the scripted parts of the show that had Honey and I snickering.  Rather, it was all of the funny faces we observed on the PCP.  He certainly ran the gamut of emotions in the forty-five minute or so production before really going out with a bang.
bored
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caught in the act
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exhausted
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guilty
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vampire-ish
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irate
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put out
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dumbfounded
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beat
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gone
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“OMG. Honey…HONEY, WHERE IS HE?”
“There goes his teacher, up on the bleachers.”
“Seriously!?!?  Did he pass out?  Throw up?  I think he passed out.”

It was the next to last song of the show and I couldn’t get through the thick of the crowd to see what happened.  This is was one of those moments when I wished more than anything that I had Sister or bestie M with me.  They would have called off the show without a second thought to get across the room to their babies.  Instead, I fretted, freaked out and had a mini panic attack until I saw his teacher give me the “he’s okay” from across the room.  She saw him get flushed and then start to slip between the crowd and ran up there to get him.  A little fresh air and a sip of water later and his was back in business.

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He’s definitely got some drama in him.  I for one was thoroughly entertained.  That is until I was thoroughly freaking out.  One things is for sure… there is NEVER a dull moment around these parts. 
xoxo

2.25.2013

More Disney in the Etsy Store

I am super excited to now be offering a few more Disney items in my etsy store!  In addition to the Disney World Signature Picture books, I now have the following…
 
Disney Dream Cruise Signature Picture Books
These are very similar to my Disney World books (see more here - 2011 and 2012) but with custom pages for the Disney Dream Cruise.  The books have a personalized and laminated cover with your child’s first name and the year, as well as an intro page with your surname.  The book is sized at 5”x7” and holds five pictures in each of its sections: Sail Away Celebration, Nassau, Castaway Cay, Pirate Night, Around the Ship and Magical Memories.  The back of the book has pages for fifteen character autographs and photographs!

February 2013 197 copy February 2013 198 copy 
February 2013 199 copy January 2013 042 copy

February 2013 200 copy

Disney Bag Tags
These make great luggage tags and stroller tags for in the park.  After trying mine out a couple of years, I’m no longer producing with ribbon, but with strong plastic loops and heavier weight lamination.  Add your contact info to the backs in the Disney font!

September 2011 214 copy


A Magical Message from Mickey Mouse Note Cards
Each morning of our Disney vacation we leave a little treat and a note from Mickey for the littles.  It is truly a highlight of the trip for them to see what Mickey has to say each morning!

November 2012 668 copy



Disneyland Memory Signature Books
I haven't photographed these yet, but they are similar to the Disney World books with sections for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure!



Writing this post makes me wish we were there now… have a magical Monday!
xoxo

2.24.2013

Academy Awards 2013 Ballot {Free Printable}

Per usual, it’s with bated breath that I anxiously await the gorgeous gowns, dapper men and coveted Oscars that will be doled out on Sunday eve.  And while I’ll likely be watching in my jammies from the comfort of my bed, I will be keeping track of my picks and the big winners with another printable ballot.  (I have pictured last year’s because I just don’t have it in me to stage and take a photo this dreary afternoon.  I mean, as the four friends that popped in this morning can attest to, I still have on my PJs for cryin out loud.)

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Here’s how:

- Click on link below to download file
- Print on two sides of regular 8.5” x 11” white cardstock
Then, if you wish to dress it up a bit:
- Trim the left and right edges, leaving only a very slim margin
- Use a paper punch to round the edges
- Punch holes (I had to punch two holes side by side) at the top of the paper to hold your pencil



With that, I’m signing off of the old blog until Monday!
xoxo

2.23.2013

Tucker Gowan Memorial Scholarship

I’m taking a wee break today from decorating, crafting and child rearing to share the story of a great undertaking by a great friend for a great cause.  Our dear, dear friend Todd is celebrating his 10th cancer free year this year.  He is truly one of the most remarkable men that Honey and I have ever had the great fortune of knowing; the kind of person that gives selflessly and effortlessly and inspires good in all that he touches.

Over the last year, Todd, myself and countless others followed Tucker Gowan, a family friend to Todd, as he bravely battled cancer.  Tucker beat the disease but tragically lost his life to other complications.

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In recognition of this hallmark year for Todd, he is not only running a half marathon in Tucker’s honor, but he is raising money for an annual scholarship in Tucker's name.  The goal is to recognize one Pomperaug High School student each year, for the next twenty years, who embodies the spirit and overall zest for life that Tucker exemplified each and every day.

You can read much more about Tucker’s legacy and Todd’s story, and give to the cause here

I offer a heartfelt thank you to all that take the time to read, share and repost on your own blogs and Facebook pages.
xoxo

2.22.2013

Love of Family & Home Feature

I’m tickled to have my master bedroom featured over at Love of Family and Home’s Happily Ever Before & After series today!

 

Love of Family and Home

Many thanks to Tonya for her kind words!!  *blushing*

xoxo

2.21.2013

The Drapes that Dreams are Made Of

Y’all know that I made it a New Year’s resolution to pull out of the pretty things I’ve got stashed away and either use them or lose them.  The first on the list was the eleven yards of stunning coastal fabric by Design Legacy that I purchased at Lewis and Sheron for my one-day-playroom-turned-home-office.  Well, "one day" is one too many days away to let this sit sadly in my closet, so I went crazy last Saturday morning and sewed it right into new drapes for the living room.  These, my friends, are the drapes that (my) dreams are made of…
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January 2013 110  January 2013 112       
Of course, one thing always leads to another, so I pulled the oyster shell mirror (from Wisteria) out from under the guest room bed (it was in the master this time last year) and all sorts of other goodies out of hiding.  Like this collection of Oysteria plates

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This lamp from Pottery Barn and shade from Target…
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And these coastal finds from Home Goods in Savannah last summer…
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Change is afoot!  Y’all stay tuned!! (Oh, and as an added bonus, between this and the master bedroom changes the closet is really clearing out.)
xoxo

2.20.2013

Musings

SPOILER ALET: Please tell me I’m not the only one that didn’t know the handsome and enviable Matthew was going to be killed off in the season finale of Downton Abbey?!?! I mean, I really cannot come up with words to express my supreme disappointment. I immediately booted up my computer to find some answers – I mean WHY would they do that??? Well, it seems he wanted off the show and that was their only way to make it happen. UGH. I have just five words for him… the grass is always greener.


Speaking of Downton, did you see the fantastic party printables at Tatertots & Jello? I wish I’d had a good reason to use them but it seemed a little over the top (even for me) to string them up around my bedroom while I laid here by myself to watch the finale.



The student council at the PCP’s school sold lollipop Valentine’s to be delivered on the big day.  The PCP sent a few to kids in his class and besties in other classes and came home with one himself…  From our family friend Jacob: “You are my best frend”.  awwww

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The baby’s fourth birthday party was featured at Hostess with the Mostess!  I mean, that’s only like the best party planning blog EVER :-)  I was beyond excited to his smiling face in my blog roll.  (See all the details here)

Creative Tool Time Party {4th Birthday}
Photo from HostessBlog

Daddy-O has come up to Savannah with a trunk load of oranges straight from my parent’s next door neighbor’s yard on his last three visits.  They are simply the very best oranges I’ve ever wrapped my lips around.  I made fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast one morning and the baby said it best when he exclaimed “Mommy!  This is the BEST thing I’ve never had!”

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Another success in the kitchen has been Oh Sweet Basil’s Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas.  I’ve made them twice over the last month and they are divine!  They were so good, in fact, that they were the chosen meal for our “prepare a meal for someone who doesn’t expect it” Lenten activity.


Photo from Oh Sweet Basil

On the flip side of successful foodie finds would be the salt and vinegar kale chips I made for snack last week.  Let it suffice to say they have nothing on Lay’s.  (In retrospect I am wondering why on earth I thought I'd like them in the first place.)

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I received the sweetest email and shot out from Amelia at Monograms ‘n Mud yesterday.  I was completely humbled at her kind words and then completely wowed by her blog.  I die at her basement – full of DIY goodness and totally my style…


Photo from Monograms ‘n Mud

I ate lunch at Zoes Kitchen for the first time this week and it was SO yummy!  I had the half sandwich (chicken salad) and half salad (greek minus olives) and was super happy with the meal.  It felt good to break out of our “errand day” Chick-fil-A lunch rut.


With that, I’m off to “nuggle” the baby before feeding him his usual three breakfasts and coercing him into helping me fold the four loads of laundry piled up all over our bedroom.
xoxo

2.19.2013

Chocolate Tasting

I spent last Friday night sipping on wine and tasting all sorts of divine chocolates with blonde AW. She brought over the treats as a “working dinner” to discuss her up and coming foodie blog and, I must say, it was quite likely the best girls-night-in I’ve ever had!

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The Mo’s Dark Bar (laden with bacon) was like a dream come true, and the salted chowchilla almond bar was simply to die for.  All were from Whole Foods. 

What’s truly ironic about me blabbering on about chocolate is that I went the first twenty-nine years of my life not liking the stuff.  I strangely started craving it when I was pregnant with John and have loved it ever since.  (As an aside, I craved Chick-fil-A milkshakes with Whit, gained an obscene amount of weight both times and had humungous 8 and 9 pound babies.  I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that your body craves what it needs.  And my body obvi needed chocolate cakes, pies, bars, doughnuts and milkshakes.)

This would make a fabulous party – have everyone bring a chocolate bar and bottle of wine.  If you do it you positively MUST invite me :-)
xoxo

2.18.2013

On My Bedside {Gone Girl}

After hoards of you have advised me to add Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to my must-read list, I finally took the plunge!  And you were SO right!! 

Gone Girl

Goodreads says:  On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?  As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?  With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

I was fascinated with how a marriage can become so toxic so quickly, and with the whole innocent-until-proven-guilty conundrum that Nick found himself in with the media.  I adore a book where I can’t really figure out what the next page will bring, and Gone Girl certainly accomplished that!  I was a little let down by the ending and had hoped for something more after such a twisted book.

As always, I’d love to hear what’s on your bedside!!
xoxo

2.17.2013

The Valentine’s Dance

The PCP was a complete doll to be my date the club’s annual Young at Heart Valentine's Dance. 
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When I came down the stairs, he presented me with a sweet pink corsage, thoughtfully chosen with a little help from his Daddy. 
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We dined, danced and talked.  He opened the doors and used the very best manners, and I couldn’t have been prouder to have him on my arm.  He taught me Gangem Style and I taught him the Macarena.  I conned him into a few slow dances and he got me to play Simon Says.  You know, we were pretty much a match made in heaven :-)

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And, at the end of the night, I got a very proper kiss on my cheek as we were recounting the night’s events to Honey.

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When I thanked John for one of the best dates of my life, he replied “You’re welcome, Mommy.  But it wasn’t a REAL date.  It was more like a scrimmage date.”

I totally get what he means in his seven year old way of saying it.  And perhaps it was a “practice” date for him, but I assure you it was very real for me.  In fact, I look forward to many, many more “scrimmages” before sending him off for “real”  :-)
xoxo
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