Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple Cinnamon French toast

This is a family favorite and often served at our Easter Sunday brunch. I love it because you make it ahead the day before and then you just pop it in the oven after church. Hope you enjoy it too.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast
3-4 Large Baking Apples, peeled, cored and sliced (can use more) I used fuji
1/2 cup butter
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
8 1-inch thick slices of French Bread I like to use the French toast bread (texas toast bread works great too)
5 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Milk ( I use heavy cream)
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Spray 9x13 inch baking pan with canola spray or Pam and put aside. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apple slices and saute stirring occasionally until apples are tender crisp. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and cinnamon to this mixture and cook until brown sugar dissolves. Pour into prepared 9x13 pan. Arrange bread slices on top of apple mixture. In a blender, blend eggs, milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour over bread slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover and refrigerate over night. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered 40 -45 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert French Toast slices on plate to serve so that apple slices are on top.
Can serve with a dollop of whipped cream  or toasted walnuts if desired.
Linking to: 

PhotobucketTempt my Tummy TuesdaysPhotobucketFOODIE FRIDAY Click for details

Sofa Buying Guide (part 1)

Hope everyone had a good Easter. Our day was wonderful. We started off with church and then home for our usual Easter Brunch, consisting of yummy apple cinnamon french toast (recipe later this week), fresh fruit and more. The weather was finally beautiful here, so we did get to spend a bit of time outside too. The girls and my son in law and grand baby Ezra were all here. Ezra has just started taking steps so we had fun making him walk between us. It was a perfect day. Now the sofa series:

So, you have decided to buy a new sofa. If you are like some, you may just go out and pick the first thing that appeals to you, with out much thought to size, style, or what it may have to match back at home.
Still others of us may agonize and over analyze the purchase so much that we freeze and do nothing. Others just don't even know where to start. 
My plan is to help you address the issues and help simplify the process.
Some people have the luxury of replacing their sofas as often as they paint. But if you're not one of those people, this can make the task daunting. Buying anything you think you may have to keep a long time can be a bit overwhelming. With some planning ahead and answering some questions before you start looking, the task becomes a bit easier.  For example:
What size sofa are you looking for? 
What colors  would you prefer?
Do you need a lot of seating to accommodate kids, dogs and movie night in the den? 
Are you looking for something more formal? 
Does it need to be durable for daily use, or will it be just a "pretty" sofa? 
Will other things in the room be changing too or will the new sofa need to fit into a ready made room?
What style sofa would you like, Do you like clean lines, modern, traditional etc. 
Do rolled arms appeal to you? Leather? Fabric?
What about quality and cost?
What is your budget and how do you find the best quality for the money you can afford?
All of these issues and so much more will be addressed in the next few posts.
Feel free to send me your questions and I will address them too.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Easter favorite

Friday, April 22, 2011


On this Good Friday, May you be blessed by remembering the incredible gift Jesus the Christ has given for us. Happy Easter!! Shared this song last year but it bears repeating and it is one of my favs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sofa buying guide: The series

If you stopped over for the sofa buying tips today, please bear with me. I ended up needing to tend to other things today, but I have found so much good information in addition to my own info, that I decided I am creating a mini series.. So give me a day or two to put it all together. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sofa buying tips

When is the last time you bought a new piece of furniture? If you're like me it's been awhile.
For the past several months, I have been on a search for a sofa for our living room. The set in there now is 14 years old. Although I loved it when I bought it, It just wasn't working for us anymore. Tastes change and styles change. As a decorator I always want to change something.  After the new carpet was installed, I couldn't wait to get the old set out of here. It was a process but patience and education led me to the right one for us. The tips I have learned over the years made the process easier, so I thought it  would be helpful to share with those of you, who may be planning on sofa shopping soon.
Here is a peek at the old sofa: Now don't laugh at it, it really did work in the room when the carpet was blue,  with yellow walls and lots of navy accents.

And the new one, still in the store:
much more my taste and style now!
I love the curve and the lines of this sofa.
Because I have 2 beautiful navy flexsteel chairs in this room, I will need to change out these pillows to tie the room all together, I will post before and afters when I get the room done.
Come back on Wednesday for tips I have learned both in my recent process and also as a designer in a few furniture stores over the years

Friday, April 15, 2011

Simple Pleasure

Is this not the cutest? My sweet grandson after we took him for a walk to see the animals at the pet/feed store. We wore him out. He's turning 1 this weekend. I cannot believe how quick that went. Spending any time I can get with this sweetie is one of life's simple pleasures and I savor every moment!!

linking this to Simple Pleasures over at a Collection of This and That

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dance your Shoes off!!

Saw this video recently and thought the Easter season was a good time to share it. Definitely worth 5 minutes of your time. May you feel uplifted and blessed today.

More than 2,000 people from Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, gathered at Discovery Green in the heart of Houston to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The purpose of Dance Your Shoes Off! was to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ in a powerful and celebratory way. Most importantly, each participant left a new pair of shoes on the field for those in need. 
Linking this to finger print friday over at therustedchain 
And to


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A recipe for you

I won my hubby's heart with this meatloaf (just kidding I had his heart long before I could cook)
Seriously though, he never thought he liked meatloaf until he tried mine.  This is not your mommas meatloafWe love this one and it is great served with garlic mashed potatoes or this french bread Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It is a favorite go to recipe when I want to take a meal to someone too ( it travels well) It is so moist and for someone who like veggies very well it's a way to get them with out really tasting them

The Best Meatloaf
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs
2/3 C. milk
3 slices bread run through the food processor to make crumbs
1 finely chopped onion
1 C. grated carrot
1 C. grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix all together well and form into a loaf
top with mixture of
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
1/4 C ketchup
Bake 350 degrees for one hour or until internal temp reaches 170

Substitute Italian bread crumbs for the bread and use mozerella cheese for the cheddar, and add 1 cup grated zucchini  for a bit of an italian twist

Linking to the following parties: Foodie friday at Designs by Gollum
PhotobucketMouthwatering Mondays

TastyTuesday200pix Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fun weekend

Whew! It was a crazy but very fun weekend. We had a houseful. Everyone was home except for one daughter. We laughed. ALOT! (no surprise her huh), stayed up way too late, and ate too many of these :
You can go here for the recipe(warning addicting)
The highlight of course was grand baby Ezra. He will be 1 year old next week( I can't believe it ) so he is going all the time and all over the place.
Like here where he was trying to help me with dishes.

Our local feed store had a "Chick Day" with all kinds of baby chicks and a petting zoo. We wandered over and let Ezra see all of the animals.
He seemed to really like this calf. Wish I had more pictures but they are on his mommy's camera. He kept wanting to poke the baby chicks in the eyes. We all cracked up when he went after one with his  thumb and pointer finger looking like he wanted to pinch one. (I know we are sick)  but it really was funny.
Anyway we had a blast and I hope your weekend was great too. Oh and one more thing. Here are the Weekly deals in the outlet. Order early before things are sold out

Friday, April 8, 2011


Looking forward to a visit this weekend from this little sweetie, and of course my daughter and son in law
It's gonna be a fun one!! Hope yours is equally blessed!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coffee lover

Anyone who nows me know my about my coffee addiction. Although my decorating is not all about the coffee, I recently feel in love with a couple of coffee cup prints at CSN stores. As luck would have it, I won a CSN giveaway over at my friend Debbie's giveaway blog.

When she told me I won, I was so excited!! I had to think for  a minute (okay about a second) what to get with my gift code. I ordered these very cute prints and, here they are looking so cute above my refrigerator

Thank you Debbie for making my day with a very fun win!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Defining your style (rerun)

When it comes to defining your taste and style in decorating, I have found most people don't know where to begin.
I often meet people who want to make a change or redo a room but don't really know what to do first. I have heard women say "I know what I don't like but I am not sure what I really want". If this sounds like you, I can help. My advice for clients I meet is simple. Start a notebook filled with magazine pages. Not just any magazine page mind you, specific pages. Gather up your favorite decorating magazines, and as you flip through them tear out pages that have things on them you like. Even if there is only one item on the page that grabs you tear it out anyway. (I know that destroying a magazine is going to be hard for some of you, but bear with me it is so worth it). It could be a whole room on a page you like, or just the sofa on another page, perhaps there is a vase, or a painted chest you love. Work on this over the course of a few weeks, don't do it all in one day. Doing it over the course of a few weeks will be a more realistic picture of your style verses doing it all in one day where your mood that particular day may sway you one way or another. You can also take pictures of vignettes in your favorite decorating shops. Always ask permission first prior to snapping pictures in retail stores. Most retailers don't mind, but I have run into a few that would rather you don't. During the course of this project you will begin to see a common theme occur. For example, you may notice that almost every page you picked had brown walls, with white trim work. It would be safe to assume that you would then be drawn to that scheme. Maybe you picked pictures that contained lots of antique furniture or pictures with wood floors in them. Maybe you are drawn to rooms with draperies and lots of pillows etc.
You will begin to narrow down your likes and dislikes and as you go through your notebook again and again you will definatly begin to see your unique style. I have done this process many times over the years. It always amazes me how many times what I think I might like to do, changes by what I see in the pictures I find. For years I thought that when I remodel my kitchen I wanted warm cherry cabinets. As I began the process of tearing out pictures of kitchens I loved every single kitchen I pulled had antique ivory cabinets. I would not have realized this without the process and could have been disappointed with the result of cherry cabinets. See where I am going with this? It really does help you to define your style.
If you are still having trouble, I do offer online decorating services, leave me a comment and I will get back to you with details and pricing.
You can see how this process will help you figure out what it is you really like, helping you create a home you'll love coming home to.

Monday, April 4, 2011

You don't want to miss this!!!

There is an incredible deal in the outlet this week. I just don't want you to miss it!!!
This tray table is normally $129.96 and this week only $32.96.
Edited to add that it has sold out(by 11:00am) but take a peek at these other great deals

Napa Wood Tray Table

More great deals in the outlet just click on the image and place your order today!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's the ultimate blog party

It's party time around blog land and I'm ready to join in!  Starting today and all next week it's the 5th Annual Ultimate Blog Party happening at 5 Minutes For MomThe Ultimate Blog Party is just that — the ultimate place to party and meet new friends,  Go check it tons of new blogs and enter to win prizes too! 
If you are new to my blog Welcome!! I am a Willow House design consultant, Decorator and Home stager. I am a wife, mom to 4 grown daughters and a great son in law as well as Grandma to one wonderful grandson. My blog is often about decorating and design tips as well as about life in general.
You can read some random tidbits about me here.

Oh, and One of the prizes you can win over there, is this great metal cookbook holder from my Willow House collection