Monday, December 20, 2010

Chicken (or Turkey) Tortilla Soup

Okay, so I've really been a bad blogger.  BUT, in my defense I have finished school (for now) and am waiting to take my boards (NCLEX) so I can be a "real" nurse.  Right now, I'm just a pseudo-nurse.  Haha.  Well, I've been SUPER busy this last few weeks, but here's a couple pictures from my pinning ceremony:

This is my husband putting my nursing pin on me.

This is one of my best friends from nursing school, without her, I think I would have pulled out all of my hair.

My sweet husband, and myself after the pinning.  Can you see the relief on his face??

So, since I have finished school, and am now free on Monday nights (until I start working), I have had ample free time.  I roasted a 15 lb turkey last was in my freezer and needed to be eaten.  Actually it was on the back deck and then needed to defrost in my fridge and then be roasted, but thats neither here nor there.  I have 15 lbs of turkey (well, I guess its really like 8 or so pounds).  One of my other friends from school called me and wanted to hang out tonight.  She suggested I make chicken tortilla soup, and gave me the recipe.  I made some alterations to the plan, so this is what I made:

2 cans of chicken broth
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can rotel
1 can fiesta corn
1 small can green chilies
2 blocks cream cheese
shredded cheddar (about 1.5 cups for each can of broth)
Chicken (either two cans of white breast meat in water...or TURKEY!)

That's right, I used turkey, because while I had canned chicken...the chicken is in a can, and isn't going to go bad.  I chopped up quite a bit of white meat turkey and added it to the soup. 

Basically, pour all the cans into the crockpot (I drained the corn, rotel, green chilies though), add cream cheese (in small cubes to promote meltage), and shredded cheese (I had pre-shredded on hand).  Then, I let it sit on "High" for about 2-3 hours, or until it is hot and bubbly good.  I guess you could cook it on low all day, and if you like more spice, add more spice-by all means.  This was plenty spicy for me though. 

That was dinner, and it was good.  I followed it up with some gooey butter cookies.

Now, for something else exciting-my niece is due in about 6-8 weeks (I think it will be 6 weeks, but the official due date is 8 weeks)...I have a HUGE surprise I get to blog about, and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!!!

Thanks for stopping by! 

P.S. I'm linking up to:

The Girl Creative


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lamp Shade

So, if anyone has read through some of my posts you know that I've had this ongoing war with a lamp in my living room.

Here is the lamp, and my brother-in-law...

First I painted it white, and I loved it.

Do you see it in the corner? 

Please note there is no lampshade.  There hasn't been a lamp shade since I painted it.  I wanted something barrel-shaped and burlap.  So I've been looking.  I've tried to make some even.  It has never gone right.  I end up burning my fingers and getting mad and scraping the whole idea.  So there this lamp set in the corner with no shade.  Until...

It broke.

That's right.  It broke.  I don't know what happened to it.  I went to pick it up and it fell apart in my hands.  Upon further inspection--it was REALLY broke.  I have sent it to the garage for my dear husband to fix. :)  So, instead I brought up this lamp I had in the garage where I had painted and rewired it and it was waiting to go into the basement.  It also needed a lamp shade.  Desperate I bought a $10 shade at the store, but it was way too small...

So I left it because we had company coming over and I didn't really have a choice.  This week I was in my local goodwill, and I saw it.  As soon as I walked in I saw it.  From all the way across the store-there it was.  A HUGE barrel shade.  I kind of ran (seriously) over to it, and grabbed it.  $1.50! Even better.  I took my prize home.  I was so proud of myself and so excited I forgot to take pictures of it before.  I got home and ran down to the basement and immediately covered it in burlap and glued it down and put it on the lamp.  

Here is the finished product, please don't judge my endtable, it belonged to the inlaws, and I'd like to refinish it. or paint it. But doesn't my lamp look soooo much better????

And a couple other things...I'm in my last semester of nursing, and I had a study session yesterday.  I was completely fried by the time I got home and so I lay down on the sofa to watch some TV with my darling Belle.  She took the remote.  I guess it was too much TLC for her.

And lastly, I'd like to introduce you all to my baby niece.  She is due in February.  We just found out it is a girl.  Here is her latest picture-and yes, she is staring right at us.

That's all for now.  I have a test tomorrow so, I probably should go study some more. :)


Thursday, October 7, 2010


So, as I have mentioned previously, I am a nursing student.  One of the most important tools I keep in my uniform (I will NOT share a picture-its horrible) is my stethoscope.  It is handy to keep it around my neck because it is accessible there, but the oils from your skin can break down the rubber and ruin your stethoscope...and they are not cheap.  Some of the nurses have these cool covers that are fun colors and keep the rubber safe.

One of my girlfriends gave me a TON of fabric, so I decided I was going to make one of these covers for my stethoscope.  I have a basic idea of this is going to work-so bear with me.  First thing I did is I picked out a fabric.  I used a drapery weight because I liked the pattern...I picked it out of this stack:

So I took the fabric, and found online that I needed a piece that was 36x6 inches.  The one I had was 28 x 12.  So I took my stethoscope and measured:

The key is to have the bell out, and the ear pieces out, so once I hem things up, it leaves a good amount.  So, I sewed.

When sewing, if you use pins, do NOT point them toward the machine, you WILL stick will hurt, and you may bleed.  Fair warning.  I will be completely honest, I have played with this three times now.  The first time I sew the long end then added the elastic to one end and hemmed the other-then the second time, I did the elastic first and then the long end.  Really, I don't know what the best way to do this is-but the moral of the story is try it out and figure out what works best for you....

Also, its important to add a snap or velcro to the top end to keep things from sliding down toward the bell.  But this is my cover, and I'm very excited about it and am making a couple more for my friends at school!  One last photo of the pretty fabric-it matches our uniforms.

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial-

p.s. I'm linking up to:

Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest

Friday, August 27, 2010

Entry Closet

As I mentioned previously, the weather is beginning to change here.  It is no longer 90 degrees every day with 100% humidity.  It was almost as if a switch was turned once school started.  Anyhow, I love it.  I have the windows open, I can hear the crickets, there is a nice breeze, and best of more air conditioner (those are expensive to run).  Today I went to our hall entry closet.  

It is not my favorite closet, there are actually a lot of things wrong with it.  For starters, its too small.  Then there is the fact the door opens so that it blocks the ONLY light.  The linen closet is directly across the hall, and the hall is small...thank you 1980s home design.  I went to this closet because this is where we have to keep our dog food, in locked containers, behind a closed keep our lovely lab from eating himself to death.  When I opened the door, this is what I saw (I am sad): 

And this...

Ick.  There are coats, shirts, pants, hats, collars, name it its in there...including a waffle maker!  I decided something needed to be done, there had to be a better use of this space.  I pulled everything out and used the vacuum on the carpet.  Then I assessed the situation, my closet looked like this...

...but now, my living rooms looks like this...

The dog was not in the closet.  But he wanted to be involved.  AND, the mirror and plastic containers there were purchases today to complete the closet.  The first thing I did was sit down and sort.  What can go to goodwill, what has to be kept, what can be thrown away.  That's always liberating.  The things I wanted to keep were put into plastic boxes.  One for me, one for my sweet husband, and one for the puppies.  

I like that they are clear and you can see into them, but I wanted to decorate a bit.  So I took some white cardstock and cut it to fit, and decorated. 

They aren't perfect, but I liked this look better, I wish I had enough caps and lower case letters to make everything match...this is what I ended up with.  The next thing I had to address was the lighting.  Because the door opens in such a way that it blocks the hall light, and is far enough down the hall that it doesn't get the light from the kitchen or living room, its a very dark place.  This makes it hard to see, and find stuff etc.  I picked up two fluorescent lights, battery powered, at wally world for $4 each.  Not too bad.  They had screws to mount them on the wall, so I used:

I managed to drill holes, put the plastic anchors in, screw in the screws, and hang the lights...


Now with light, we can see what we are doing in here!  FINALLY!  The next thing was to hang the mirror and put everything back.  


I still need to paint and get some nicer hangers.  For now, this will do.  I already feel better about it.  Tomorrow I'm hoping to work on the other closet....

Thanks for stopping by...

p.s. I'm linking up to:

My closet still looks like it did when I finished this, which is a huge accomplishment for us since its been 4 months! :) ...except I was able to purchase some AWESOME wooden hangers from biglots for $10. Yay!!! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Things are going....

So, I feel really bad for neglecting my blog.  It is something I really enjoy, and reading everyone else's....  The problem is, I was in school over the summer.  13 hours.  Microbiology and Nursing 3 (OB/Peds).  I'm wore out.  I did however manage to score Bs in both classes and an A in my micro lab.  That is fine.  My final in nursing was last Wednesday, my last clinical was Friday...AFTER the final, and I started my final semester of my ADN program Monday.  So I have class two days a week, a clinical on a third, and because I'm a loser and have to remain full-time, I started my first BSN class.  "Intro to Professional Nursing."  It has 5 more books in addition to the 10 I already have for Nursing 4 (which is advanced care/medsurg in case anyone was dying to know).  Basically, I am exhausted.  I haven't done anything around the house, my sweet husband has been cleaning it....

Good news is, this weekend since it has finally cooled down to a reasonable temperature, that sweet husband and I are going to remodel the deck somewhat.  I honestly am not sure how this is going to go.  My mother-in-law is giving/selling us her thermaspa hot tub.  Its a 6 person $13000 (new) hottub.  So, our poor deck isn't up to the task of holding an additional 700lbs (plus the weight of the water).  We are going reinforce and rebuild part of it to make the space we have more efficient.  I will post pictures of before and after when we are done.  I'm really hoping to get it mostly completed this weekend.

I think that is about it for now.  My lovely mother had a post she wrote for me to put here to update everyone, but I decided I had a spare couple minutes while my peach cobbler was in the crock pot and sweet husband was still asleep.  Maybe I should repost my cobbler ... let me see how it turns out first.  I will say the peaches I bought at the farmers market were soooooo delicious.

I hope everyone is having a great day, I'll let you know how the cobbler comes out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I think we all have a love for Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, and Ballard Designs.  I know I do.  I also know that I cannot afford much, if anything from those stores.  Its fine.  My hand-me-down kitchen table, sofas, and coffee tables work just fine with my peddler's mall finds.  My other favorite is The Country House, they regularly have some cute decor things...again I mostly cannot afford, but they are more in my price range.  My dear sweet mother-in-law gave me a sack full of magazines she had collected for me.  She receives a ton of them apparently.  In any case there were clothes magazines, junk magazines, and more home decor magazines....  I just wanted to share a couple of my new favorites, and why.

  • Sturbridge Yankee Workshop - This is much like The Country House, very cute decor items and some curtains and other things that would be nice in my house. 
  • Garnet Hill - Some really cute dresses in here.  I love light summery dresses.
  • Cambria Cove - I have never heard of this, and some of the items look like what my grandmother would have had in her house, BUT they have some really pretty china tea sets etc that would be nice to have for yourself, or to give as a gift.  I love pretty china.  
  • Viva Terra - Again, I've NEVER heard of this.  However, they have some cute items for the home and garden etc ...some are even affordable.  
  • Van Dyke's Restorers - OMG...I can build a house from this magazine....enough said. 
 I found this in Viva Terra, and I want it. :)

I love enamel ware.  I don't know why.  I think it looks so bright and vintage.  :) 

On a side note from all of this, I have a project in the works.  Thanks to Ana at Knock-Off Wood I have plans to build a bench for my landing area, coffee table, and end table.  She has excellent plans that if I can follow....I KNOW anyone can do it.  You can't get any more step-by-step than this.  I'll be posting those photos as they become available. :)

I am sorry I haven't been around that much.  I am taking a summer course (okay actually 3) so I can graduate in December.  Summer school is only 14 weeks instead of 16 weeks.  That has caused me to be super busy with studying, care plans (ughhhhh), and school in general.  I start my other two classes tonight, Microbiology with exciting.  8 weeks of that....  I'm actually hoping it wont be too bad.  AND though all of this I have had to continue wifely duties-take care of puppies and Miss Kitty, and hubby...occasionally I cook. :) 

I look forward to getting back in the swing of the blogging soon enough!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guest Post

Since my daughter is a sluggard and won’t write a new post, I will.  Actually, her time has been taken up with school and trying to get healthy.  As to the latter, she has sprained her ankle and now can’t run for another week and a half.  However, her garden is producing some wonderful things .   

She has gotten her baby groomed and clipped for the summer and is taking wonderful care of her husband and close friends.  


Decor at her house has not improved a great deal but I have put out some flowers and a few pots of vegetables (not that you want to see my stuff).  Even though she does not have time to write to you all, she does think of you and, I’m sure, writes messages to you in her mind… they just don’t make it to the Blog post.   



Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I apologize for the hiatus.  We had a tragedy in our community (see previous post -and if you've seen it, I've added a video on there as well), and then I had finals, then I got sick, then I started a new semester in nursing...blah blah blah.  SO-I apologize for being gone for a month.  :)  I do have a project.  Of sorts.  I have been on this mirror kick because our house is circa 1980s, and has about 1 window per room--and is a very closed floor plan.  The plan is that the mirrors will help lighten things up some-you know, reflecting light and the whole gig.  :) We have a hallway that I've been wanting to place a mirror on for the longest time.  The hallway is very closed, no natural light, and the light that's there is kinda wimpy (its on the list of lights to be replaced).  Here it is:

I found the double matching mirrors on craigslist:

Well, I decided I didn't like them.  So I took them apart.  My friend bought a HUGE mirror at the peddler's mall, but she only wanted the mirror, so I took the frame.  It was the kind of mirror that goes on the back of a dresser.  Well, my wonderful hubby helped me cut the frame down to the size of the mirror and put it back together.  I honestly thought I had more pictures, but I guess not.  Oh well.  Here is the finished product:

Here it is with the mirror and the nice paint.  It is the same paint as the trim, kitchen cabinets, and chairs.  I just keep reusing it. :) I have now placed this mirror at the end of the hallway!  I like it because it helps brighten the hall, but also serves as a full-er length mirror.

Well, that's all I have right now.  I'm working on some other things, so I can't wait to share them soon!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Thin Blue Line.

I know I owe a post to everyone, I have it.  Swear.  But right now, this is much more important.

Last night one of Lexington's Finest was killed on duty.  This is the first incident the department has had in 25 years.

Ofc. Durman was 27, married, and has a young child.  He was struck down just doing his job.  Then, the man drove off, leaving him.  Please pray for his family.  His wife and child.  They will need it.  I cannot fathom the pain they are going through right now.  

I'd like to share this with you as well:

"Wife's Goodnight Prayer"

Dear God as I ready myself for a night of rest
take care of my police officer he's the best.
Watch over him as he works the streets,
With danger and violence surrounding his beat
I pray every night he's able to come home,
because I don't want to grow old all alone.
I know I married for better or worse,
But some days God, his job is a curse.
So please hear my prayers, Dear God this night,
Because I am a police officers wife.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  Next time you see a police officer, firefighter or solider, remember these men and women risk their lives EVERY DAY so we can all be a little safer at night.  Please thank one of them the next time you see them. 

After the funeral, this video was made, and it really shows how a community came together to support the man who gave it all for his community.  The funeral processional was MILES long, and some accounts say over 600 police cars.  I was able to ride in the processional, and was able to see first hand everything.  People lined the streets as we rode past.  Some held flags, others held signs, some saluted, and some held their hands over their hearts.  One of the officers who was on a motorcycle escort with the hearse said the most powerful moment for him was seeing an elderly lady kneel and place her hand over her heart as they passed.  It really was overwhelming, and I know that I personally did not expect to see the outpouring of support that was displayed.  

Please take a second to watch this-

Bryan Durman's Funeral

The "last call" is the last call for the officer over the radio, the tone you hear is the signal for an officer who needs assistance. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quick Note

So I've kind of been absent this past week.  I'm finishing up my last weeks of my psych rotation, I had a nursing test today (yeah I had one like 2 weeks ago or something), I have an A&P lab test Wednesday and I haven't even scratched the surface on finals.  I have a post in the works about 1) a mirror hubby and I made together, and 2) my one year anniversary was Sunday (4.25).  Hubby was amazing as usual and bought me 4 doz roses and a box of one other surprise! I love him!

I promise I will have my post up--like tomorrow. :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

April Showers, and Some Flowers!

 (new sign for the front door)

Okay okay-so the title is a little cheesy.  Its just not may yet, so it has to just be flowers. ;)  I've spent all day playing in dirt!  I love planting flowers.  Its awesome to put something in the ground and watch it flourish (if you remember to water it).  Last year we had all of the landscaping ripped out.  It took a small backhoe thing and about 8 guys to do it.  At somepoint, someone who owned this house decided it would be a fantastic idea to plant holly bushes and then put red lava rock on top of the ground.  Fast forward twenty years later-lava rock was NOT the best plan folks!  I digress.  I took some pictures to show what I have been up to in the yard.

First let me show you my planters.  I had hubby hang these last year and I love them.  This year I actually bought real planters and planted things myself.  Here's why:

Pre-Planted Planters: $7 (WalMart) - $12 (Lowes)...just for petunias!  Really??

Planters: $5 each (liners included)
Plants: $3 for 6....4 in each pot = $12
AND the planters get reused next year. :)

So, here they are:

And here they are hung up on the upper deck and lower deck:

I should probably explain what else I have planted back here.  After we the landscaping crew removed all of the lava rock and installed some nice top soil, I planted two yellow climbing rose bushes.  They were just roots last year, so they are doing well I think-hopefully they will bloom this year.  In the planter closest to where I'm standing I planted this creepy plant (the plant isn't creepy, but that's what it does-it creeps) with these BRIGHT blue flowers.  Its not come in all the way yet.  I think of it as a creeping phlox, but for the shade.  On the other side of the stairs, I have 2 Moose (Big Moosie and Little Moosie) 3 creeping phlox and another climbing rose bush.  The whiskey barrels have a bleeding heart and a trumpet vine.  Here's a better look (I guess I could have put the hose away-sorry):

Aside from the hanging baskets, and the trumpet vine, I planted everything else last year as little baby plants and this is what I got this year.  Next, the side of the deck, there isn't much sun except for really early in the morning.  I planted 8 hosta last year.  7 have started coming back.

Can you see where our boys run my little fence line there?  Its driving poor hubby nuts.  We also have a shed in the back, and again, once the lava rock was removed, I went to planting.  Originally I had a honeysuckle in this spot, but honestly, its too invasive (its native to KY sooooo I guess it thinks it can just rule the roost).  This spring I ripped it up, and planted a clematis instead.  A nice pink one.  Right now, its just a root, but hopefully soon it will grow.  I also have planted a Hydrangea root x2 (but I think I'll only get one) and my daylilly I planted last year.

The flamingos were a gift from my sweet Mother-In-Law.  What does that yellow extension cord go to you ask...let me show you...

That's right.  A bug zapper.  This is our source of entertainment in the summer.  I LOVE this thing.  Okay-so back to the tour.  Our yard is fenced in and in the corner I have planted a dwarf lilac, 2 peonies, and 3 roses.  There were 4 roses, but one didn't make it...twice.  I just gave up planting anything else there.  Oh yeah, and I moved a daylilly over here too-I'm think the one next to the shed will join it soon.

That one needs a little love...and mulch.  Well, I gotta have something to do this weekend.  These are some more daylillies I planted last year.

I can't wait for this stuff to start blooming!!!  Okay, so now to the front of the house.  The front of the house is where all the holly bushes were, so I pretty much got to start with a blank slate up front.

This is now.  I'm moving some decorations around in front, so please don't mind the flag and welcome flag and how they don't match.  I'm changing over to a patriotic theme for the summer.  When the holly bushes were in, you couldn't see the bottom windows at all, which meant no light inside.  The windows on the right are the garage so that doesn't matter, but the windows on the left are the family room, that needs some light! I'll start on the left side though, it gets 8+ hours of sunlight per day.  ALL of these plants are sun loving plants.

There are two rosebushes and those are dwarf daylillies.  Unlike regular ones, the flowers don't get any taller than the greenery.  I added the white and pink geraniums today, the rest I planted last year.

These are the new daylillies I planted today to complete the boarder.  In the middle is a purple clematis (it was just a root last year).

I have a confession.  I do not like hate "knock out" roses.  I may have just hurt someone's feelings, but I have a deep dislike for these flowers.  Don't get me wrong, they are great for most people.  They are disease resistant, come in standard colors, and they are hybrids etc.  I just don't don't like the way the blooms look AND they don't smell.  It defeats the purpose in my mind.  So all of the roses I have shown you to this point have been the real deal.  I have to prune them, treat them with chemicals, and baby them.  BUT they make the BEST flowers.  When Hubby and I were shopping for two more flower bushes, I considered getting some nice hybrid tea roses in orange or yellow or something.  Instead what I found was this:

This is a "double bloom knock out" rose.  It looks more like a "real" rose, but it still doesn't smell.  I can live with that.  I bought two.  That's right. Two.  They were the most expensive plants I bought-$20 each.  BUT they are really pretty.  :)  hehehe.  Okay-so back to my list o' flowers.  I also have a peony, bleeding heart, and two blue salvia.

My idea is, this flower bed should bloom from spring to first frost.  Its awesome.  On my stoop I planted a gerbera daisies and wave petunias in two planters.

I also have a little gnome that likes to welcome people.  He was a gift from my mother.

The other side of the stoop.  I start my shade garden.  Here's my problem.  This side of my house gets very little direct sunlight, mostly indirect (8+ hours a day).  So I begin with mostly sun/partial shade plants and move to shade plants.  I added 4 new columbine.  Some species like sun, some like shade.  These liked sun.  I also have two white azaleas (I just planted), 1 peony (from last year), and some dianthus (begin shade plants). 

Here is a close up of my new columbine.

If you notice, I have plants not planted yet.  Let me show you why.

That is a yucca.  Or what is left of a yucca.  This is a full-size version:

Well.  We had those and holly bushes.  I don't know if you've ever tried to remove a yucca-you can't.  Its impossible.  I cut them back ALL SUMMER LONG and they kept growing.  I dug them up, and they kept growing.  Its like nothing I have ever seen.  This spring, I got the idea to cut them back and spray round up on them.  It seems to be working so far.  We will see.  So the reason I don't have the flowers planted is because of roundup.  

This is what is in the containers still.  I don't remember what they are called, but I LOVE them.  They creep along and make a NICE boarder plant for shady areas. 

The rest of the flower bed is shade loving plants.  I did manage to not plant any hosta here though-

I have a all-summer-long hydrangea, a rhododendron-bought on clearance last year because they forgot to water it, half of it didn't make the winter, but its doing better now-, dianthus and columbine.  Oh yes, and froggy.  Here is a close up of my shade loving columbine. 

This is where I keep all my gardening stuff.  It was built by Hubby's Father and Grandfather for my Mother-In-Law.  She gave it to me when Hubby and I got married.  I LOVE it.

If you don't have a potting bench, you really should consider it, especially if you are outside in the garden a lot.  Also, that bag there on the floor-that's my secret to successful gardening.  I always dig a hole for my plant, and put the plant in, then instead of just pushing the dirt back around it, I add new dirt from this bag.  It feeds my flowers for 3 months or something, but it really does make a HUGE difference in my flowers.  I also water everything with one of the miracle grow hose attachment things.  Its wonderful.  The other thing you need, is a friend to help you pass the time, I think I wore mine out-what would you say?


So that's what I've been doing today-what should I have been doing?  Working on my careplan, but that's no fun.  Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be more than happy to help with any questions you have have about planting flowers.  I sort of design flowerbeds as a hobby.  :)