Monday, February 28, 2011

Painting tips series part 1

I have had several questions about paint lately so I am starting a new series over the next week or two on finishes, types, and picking the right color. I am starting with a post I did in 2009 as a review for some of you and new info for many of you.

I thought it would be fun since most of my clients lately have been people needing help picking paint colors, to give a liitle bit of information about paint types and finishes. You already know that paint can update and help personalize your space for very little investment. However going into the paint section of your local hardware store can be a bit intimidating. There is ceiling paint and floor paint and satin finish and high gloss, flat paint and glazing etc. There are tools that we never knew we needed and tools what can't figure out the use for(stay away from those :)). Hopefully this will help take a bit of the intimidation out of it for you.

Flat paint is just that, it is flat in appearance or matte if you will. It is harder for cleaning, so use of it is best in a room that doesn't get high traffic. (I personally never use flat paint.) While it will hide some imperfections better than other finishes it is not my favorite.

Satin paint has a slight sheen and gives a nice glow to any room. It cleans up well, much better than flat paint. Satin is my very favorite finish and is in most every room of the house.

Gloss in my opinion should almost never be used, but is great for high moisture areas such as a bathroom. It is also great on trims and doors. It is intersting to note that using a gloss on trims and doors in the same color as your satin wall paint will create a slight contrast in color just because the finish has changed.

Ceiling paints are designed for just that use and again the finish you select should be determined by the use of the room. It is best to keep your ceilings a lighter color than your wall color to keep the room from feeling closed in or small.

When taking the time to paint, don't skimp on quality. The better quality the paint, the better coverage and the less paint you will use. Make sure you have all tools you need, good brushes(again don't skimp here there is a difference in brushes), painters tape, rollers and tarps or other floor and furniture coverings.

Feel free to ask questions and I will help the best I can. There is so much more about paint, but I thought the basics would be a great place to start.

Happy Painting! Oh by the way, after you get your painting done, stop by to find new accessories for your new look.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A recipe for you

This is a family favorite. I often make two to do a meal for a friend in need, or to put one in the freezer. I believe I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens way back in the 80's

Spaghetti Pie Recipe

 Spaghetti Pie

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup canned  Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup (8 ounces)  cottage cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, garlic powder, sugar and pepper; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, butter, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Top with cottage cheese and beef mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.
  • Note: on a busy night I have been known to use Jar sauce to speed up the process
  • Serve with green beans or a salad and your favorite french bread

Linking up to :

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life and some Willow House deals

Sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging time and that 's okay. We had all of our family home this past weekend including our sweet grandson. It was so much fun. Although a bit chaotic. The house is still all torn apart as we are still painting and replacing doors and trim and baseboards. I am almost done with the Dining room and will have pictures by the end of the week.
In the mean time I would love if you would hop over to my Willow House website and take a peek around. If you haven't been over in awhile you will be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful new products like these:
Maribel Tabletop Clock

Continental Kitchen Ruffled Apron
Belle Meade Flatware caddy
Devonshire Lidded Trifle

Devonshire Lidded Trifle

  Business has been a bit slow and I am really trying to grow this business. I would love your help!!
There is an outlet and some wonderful deals going on now. Like, spend $39.96 and get 1 item $50.00 or less at 1/2 off.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A sneak peek

 Here is a sneak peek at the dining room with the new tile. Let me say I am loving it!! We had the "ugly blue" carpet that you have heard me talk about previously in here and  it was a pain to keep clean.  The tile as many of you know was part of the surprise Hubby had for me when we got home from vacation last month.

You know how, when you get something new, it makes all of the things that need work look even worse.
I have been wanting to paint these ivory walls forever, and since we are replacing the molding and window trim what better time to do it, so ....

I emptied out the room, My carpenter friend is working on the trims and moldings, and hubby and I will be painting this weekend.
Goodbye white walls hello beautiful Sheraton Green (by Sherwin Williams)

I know it seems a bit dark but this room gets a ton of light from both the front windows and the back one too.  besides it's only paint : ) More pictures when we get the this project finished and things back on the walls. Hope you get to do something fun this weekend too!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cute Idea!

I thought this was a cute idea from this month's issue of Country Living Magazine. If you generally start your seeds indoors in the spring this may be a great new way to do it.  The nice thing is: no waste you can just gently break up the shell and plant it too.

Linking to 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Get yourself some sweetheart deals

Many of you know I am a design consultant for Willow House. I am trying to reach some goals for February and would love your help. While Willow House is a Home party business, we have also launched an on line store for you convenience.  That's right, You can order from my store and have your items shipped right to your front door. We also have an outlet that has some wonderful items too. Every Monday there are several items in the outlet at even more reduced prices
like this wonderful pot rack(I am in love with this pot rack!)
Can you believe it is only $26.96  order quickly though cuz it is going fast!!
Napa Pot Rack

Here is a list of the deals good through Sunday. Think ahead to those summer weddings or shower gifts you may need and place an order today!! I would be ever grateful.
Start stocking your dream home — our catalog is packed with ideas, inspiration and beautiful products for you and your family!
Also new from Willow House for all of my cooking fanatics:

Monday, February 14, 2011

My favorite "go to" soup

We love soup on cold winter nights! One of my favorites is one we call
Carolina hot pot (not sure why it has this name) It was a regular meal almost weekly  when I worked full time. It is easy,quick and delish!!!  Great served with home made rolls or cornbread.( even a loaf of hot french bread from the grocery on the way home from work is yummy too!!
add beans and corn

Carolina Hot Pot
3 cooked diced chicken breasts ( I have also used canned chicken from Costco  2 cans)
2 cans each pinto beans ,kidney beans, Rotel tomatoes, and diced tomatoes
1 Tbl  Chili Powder (can add more for spicier soup)
2 cans corn (I prefer frozen so I use about 2 cups frozen corn)
I packet Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix (dry)( do not leave this out)

Do not drain cans. Dump all ingredients into your favorite soup pot stir well and heat through. Ready in about 30 minutes.
enjoy!! Great wit ha bit of shredded cheddar cheese on top too
Many times I will put this in the crock pot in the morning on low and then it is ready when we walk in the door in the evening. Every time I make this for company everyone always wants the recipe.

Linking this to
Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s BeansHip HostessPillsbury and Westminster Crackers” 

TastyTuesday200pix Can You Freeze Soda?


Happy Valentines Day!!

Valentine day flowers

Happy Valentines Day to all of you!! Do you have special traditions in your home on Valentines day?
Do you celebrate as a family or do just you and your hubby celebrate? One of our traditions when all of my girls were home was to make waffles topped with Strawberries and whipped cream for dinner. The girls loved this tradition. Often we would make heart shaped cookies to decorate too. We mainly just keep it low key. would love to hear what you do.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A weekend Devotional

Hubby passed on this devotional to me today and I felt it was so worth sharing
“And we … are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
"God is asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things."
This week’s devotionals are by Buddy Owens, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of ‘The Way of a Worshiper’.
I want to help you learn to confess your faith, and then let that confession lead to life change so that it demolishes your old way of thinking and gives you a new way of thinking about life, God, yourself, hardship, your family and your world.
And here’s how to do it: Stop confessing lies. Confess your faith! Say the same thing God says about you. Let it change the way you think . . . and it will change the way you live.
Here are some things the Bible says about you that need to become things you say about yourself. Start every day by confessing these truths --
My Faith Confessions
  • I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • The Son has set me free. I am free indeed! (John 8:36)
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  • There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
  • Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
  • In all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)
  • God is faithful. He will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • My light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
  • He is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • God is for me! Who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)
When you say what God says (confession), you begin to think what God thinks (repentance). So let this be your confession of faith. And let it be the foundation on which you build your new life.
This is not the power of positive thinking. It’s not your good thoughts that will turn your life around. God’s power will turn your life around. He’s just asking you to believe he is who he says he is, believe you are who he says you are, and then live like you believe those things.
Does that mean bad things will stop happening? No. But it does mean you will experience many more victories than losses because the Word of God is at work in you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Picking Paint

Well, most of you know by now that when we went on vacation, Hubby arranged to have the carpet and tile (that I had picked out months ago) installed as a surprise to me. He also had some minor remodeling done in our kitchen. We have never liked the placement of the fridge, it seemed to be in the way, right in the middle of the kitchen. Now the fridge is resting in a great little nook that used to be my pantry.  I love this and will be showing pictures soon, but because of these projects, it is necessary to repaint much of the main floor. We are replacing the interior doors and all of the trim too.  Everything connects to everything else so I have been racking my brain on color combinations. Let me just say, I do this for a living. I help people make these choices all the time. Why then has it been so difficult to do it in my own home? I am not sure but I finally made a few choices.
From left to right All Sherwin Williams Paint. SW2802 Rockwood Red for 1 statement wall( near the entry in the hall, also seen from the living room), SW6122 Camelback for many of the walls, SW0014 Sheraton Sage for the Dining room, SW6119 Antique white for all the doors and trims, and ceilings.
I am still working on the Family room color but am leaning towards a Valspar paint called Mark Twain House oak
Sherwin Williams is having a Coupon Sale good for 25% off all paints and stains Check out  their facebook page for more info and to get the Coupon

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hospitality 101

1 Peter 4:8-10, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Head on over to (in)courage for a wonderful post on hospitality and reaching out to others. It is written by the Reluctant Entertainer(Sandy Coughlin). I have learned so much from her!!

 This post really resonated with me, in that hubby and I used to have friends over almost weekly for a meal in our home. We used to do "spur of the moment" dinners with friends, make meals for those who needed help, bake cookies or muffins and share with the neighbors. Some how in the busyness of our daughters' high school years we just simply got out of the habit. Oh, we would say we were too tired, or the house wasn't perfectly clean, I needed to go shopping, etc. To some degree that was true, but often it just became an excuse to be selfish with our time.  One of the things we talked about on our recent vacation was to re establish that quality in our home once again. Of course two weeks back from Vacation and it was far from my thoughts until I read this post.

 Thank you Sandy for the reminder !!


Weekly Deals

I want to share with you  one of the weekly deals from Willow House this week.

I love these canisters and can think of many uses for them. The blue is amazing!! If you want to add a pop of color to your kitchen or bathroom order these today. With prices like this they are sure to go quickly!!

Beautiful blue glazed pottery and graceful, functional design? Our cup runneth over! Robin’s-egg blue with a hand-brushed edge looks gorgeous. (set of two; Medium is 4 5/6" square x 8 3/4" tall; holds 6 cups. Small is 4 5/6" square x 8" tall; holds 4 1/2 cups.) $24.96 for set of 2
Tuscan Canisters: Medium and Small

Beautiful blue glazed pottery and graceful, functional design? Our cup runneth over! Robin’s-egg blue with a hand-brushed edge looks gorgeous. (4 5/6" square x 10" tall; holds 7 cups$14.96 for the large one That is just $39.92 for all three!!
For more weekly specials head over to my store now to save!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A bit about Vacation

Vacation was so much fun!! We started out in Texas first visiting my favorite Aunt. I had not seen her in 3 years and so it was great to get time with her. I was able to spend time with a cousin and his wife that I had not seen in about 10 years.
Next it was off to San Antonio to visit friends and some sightseeing. We of course had to do the River walk filled with shops and restaurants. Of course we had to visit the Alamo as well. We also visited a few of the other San Antonio missions which were my favorites. There is so much history there

The Alamo

San Antonio Mission

These were paintings discovered under years of dust and grime
After a week of visiting family, friends and sight seeing it was off to Cancun for a week
All I can say about that was AHHH! Hubby and I have never had a two week vacation and never in all of our married life, 2 weeks away just the 2 of us. We have had many vacations over the years but always with children or friends. This time it was just us two and  It was A-MA-ZING
A peek at the resort we stayed at

Hubby enjoying a mango margarita (gotta love happy hour)

Yes that's a crocodile  on the way to the pool

A beautiful view of the caribbean sea

We had all these plans before we got there, to do so many things, but the resort was so beautiful and the water breathtaking, as you can see. We ended up mainly spending the time on the beach in the warmth of the sun and the joy of each others company.  We ate wonderful food, did a bit of  shopping in Playa Del Carmen, laughed , rested and relaxed, oh and did I mention the Mango Margaritas : )
One of our best Vacations by far.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Review of Auto-Steam Iron

Rowenta Auto-Steam IronRecently I was asked to review a product for CSN Stores. I have had my eye on a Rowenta steam iron for quite some time now and since my iron was about 15 years old, I decided to go for it.
I love the retractable cord and the lightweight feel of this iron. Lightweight but gets the job done!!
The steam feature works wonderfully also!! I like the option to steam while ironing or in an upright position as well.

Originally submitted at CSN Stores
The new Rowenta DZ1900 Auto-Steam Iron is lightweight with cord reel providing maximum convenience, outstanding performance and ease of use for consumers looking for a simple to use iron that will safely take care of all their ironing tasks. The Rowenta Auto-Steam Iron also includes a Self-Clean feature to help with mineral build up too.

I love this iron!!! Thank you CSN stores for the opportunity!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Back

Good morning sweet blogging friends.
Hubby and I are back from a wonderful 2 week vacation. I will tell you all about it as soon as I get pictures uploaded and settled in here at home. My wonderful hubby had arranged while we were gone, to have some work done in our home as a surprise to me. More info on that also. I have lots of catching up to do so I will share pictures and more with you all soon.
Have a wonderful blessed day!