Monday, January 28, 2013

winter changes.

During the last couple of weeks, winter has finally decided to make an appearance, which means stronger fires in our woodstove and stronger coffee in our mugs.  I kinda like the cold, gray days that limit outdoor activities and force creativity within the home.  This time last year, I HAD to glue my hiney to our couch with my feet elevated on our coffee table while a large, baby spun freely in my belly.  This year, that large baby is walking (we happily skipped the crawling stage), and proudly giving free, house tours and demonstrations like opening and closing doors, organizing papers all over the floor, and showing us the magic of the TV remote control.  Like the seasons, our lives will continue to change, and it's up to each of us to embrace these bittersweet changes...I know, very "cornball" (as my Momma says) to say, but it's true!

Happy Monday.


"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you....
In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; 
only in the winter, in the country, 
can you have longer, quiet stretches 
when you can savor belonging to yourself."
-Ruth Stout

*Photos were from this past weekend and then today, Mase and I were outside with short sleeves.  ah, Tennessee weather...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Duck Fever


Long time no share. :) We're still around though - just busy bees! 

Today, I have an EXTRA special treat for y'all.  The husband is sharing a manly post.  I've eagerly been waiting to post this for awhile due to some edits, but it's finally ready.  I'm SO excited to share "his view," especially from behind the camera one, cold morning at the blind...

Y'all enjoy...



This year has been full of firsts and Duck hunting was one of them. I've always wanted to go, but there were so many factors that usually stood in the way. Earlier this year, God blessed my family and me with a new job closer to home, WAY CLOSER. Since starting my new career, I've had more time to spend with my sweet little boy, my beautiful wife, and my beloved hunting.

The group of guys I hunt with always try their luck at the draw for a duck blind on the first Saturday in August..every year. The wait was finally over and we figured that one of us would get drawn near the top. I heard one of the TWRA officers say, y’all that have known me for awhile know what’s coming,  “Michael! …My..Och….O?? (looking for the guy whose name he just butchered).” That’s when I heard my father-in-law’s voice “NAW! It’s Maiocco!” Beginners luck. We didn't have to do much to the blind, thanks to previous the owners. I had the itch to score some high flyers ever since. My wife, mentioned in a post awhile back, that the men folk made a Bass Pro run...the day before opening of duck season. For me I had to get the essentials (floating gun bag, shells, etc.). During the check out I got sticker SHOCK. I double and triple checked the receipt for the LARGE error this clerk my disappointment there wasn't one. While I’m blocking the entire checkout line, my father-in-law drops some real outdoor truth on me “Yea, it adds up quick!” and boy he was right.

After the larger than expected purchase, I still lacked a key item. Luckily, my in-law’s had a pair of waders I could use until I got my own. For all of those non-hunters out there, we haven’t had the best duck hunting weather this year. It was the second weekend duck hunting had been open and the weather was a real nice Blue Bird day. If you translate that into the Duck jargon, you ain't gonna see nothing, Jack! (In the Uncle Si voice). As an avid duck hunting co-worker said “A dern duck likes the nasty, coldest weather there is.” And you guessed it, the weather ain't be right for them this year, but we might get lucky this weekend.

When there isn't any wild game to be taken, I always fall back on my other favorite part of hunting…enjoying God’s great outdoors. That’s what I did that morning when I didn’t even fire a shot. I thanked Him for the great fellowship with my brother-in-law, father-in-law, our friends, and for our amazing scenery. Take time in your busy day to thank Him for your scenery too.

This was a view from my scenery that morning.

 A little closer look at that big orange ball coming up.

My little family on the levee behind our blind after the duck blind drawing. 
Mase and my beard a few months younger.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY jewelry organizing

Anyone else trying to get organized for the New Year?  We are at my house...well, we're making some attempts here and there.  Lately, I've seen lots of neat ideas for ways to display necessary household items.  One thing I keep coming across in the blog world is how to display jewelry.  It's kinda tricky, but it definitely can be done.  Most of my jewelry is in a cabinet, but I am lovin' these DIY ideas to proudly display necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings.  They almost are like pieces of art, and several of these ideas are nature-inspired, which makes me happy.

Happy's to keeping those New Year resolutions or just making small strides. :)


Source: my flights of whimsy
Using a large picture frame (if not the color you prefer - spray paint it), 
attach a few branches and then, easily hang various necklaces.

Source: my flights of whimsy
Using several smaller frames, 
have one frame with a few wire/string attachments on the back for earrings, 
and add some hooks for necklaces and bracelets to the others.

Source: my flights of whimsy
This is an upcycled printer drawer with a few added hooks,
which allows for tons of different options.

Source: visibly moved
I love this idea...
Use an old piece of wood (try barnwood maybe?) 
and attach nifty drawer knobs for necklaces.

Source: sarah n dipities
Upcycled rake for necklaces
with an added string at the top for earrings.

Source: miss renaissance
LOVE these deer antlers!  
Perfect for bracelets and rings.

Source: curbly
Lastly, a super cute twig tree. :)


Which one is your fav?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Handmade Quilt Patterned Signs For Sale!

Have any of y'all been to the small town of Dover, Tennessee lately?  Have you seen those huge quilt squares outside of local businesses?  You may have seen them in other towns, as well.  I actually know someone who is in the process of getting ready to sell some in Clarksville, and below are just a few of the patterns he has available so far...
handmade quilt patterned signs.
I'm actually thinking about purchasing one for our house!  I'll be able to provide a website with contact, sizing, and pricing information here soon, as well as more photographs.  For now, here is an email contact if you're interested in directly contacting someone OR if you know of someone who might be interested in one of these, feel free to pass this info along!

Thanks, y'all!


Monday, January 7, 2013

football & pigs-n-a-blanket recipe.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have not followed much college football this past season.  I love college sports, especially basketball and football, but this season has been filled with a little more than just being able to sit around on a Saturday eating pizza and drinking an adult beverage while watching games all day.  However, tonight, I will be watching Alabama as they take on Notre Dame, and I will temporarily separate myself from my belief that the SEC is the best and root for the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame is a team I passionately followed during their '06 season coached by Charlie Weis.  I have two words as to why....Brady Quinn.  Cue husband rolling his eyes.  Saturdays, I would glue myself to the tv to watch a super cute quarterback, the dancing leprechaun, and awesome traditions their program continues season after season.  I enjoyed watching Jeff Samardzija, who is now a pitcher for the Cubs - talk about talent, as well as speedy Darius Walker.  They were my team.  I have various t-shirts, hoodies, and jerseys to support my case.

So, tonight, I will be watching a football game - pacing with a crying baby or not.  
If you're planning on watching, too, and you're needing a quick, guaranteed crowd-pleaser....Try pigs-n-a-blanket.  I recently used Nathan's Famous Beef Cocktail Franks, and they were pretty good.  Get one pack of the franks and a couple packs of crescent rolls...Separate the crescent rolls accordingly, and then, further divide them into 2 or 3 sections per triangle.  You can also add cheese, if you want.  Roll the crescent rolls around franks (doesn't have to be perfect) and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

These little piggies are ridiculously easy, and people love 'em!

Happy Monday...enjoy the game.  I gotta go find my jersey for tonight.  I'll give ya one guess whose number I'll be wearing...


Friday, January 4, 2013

before+after pantry.

Our farmhouse has been one of those homes that is one big, constant project.  You work a little here and there...take a break...then, work on something else.  It's actually kinda fun to live in a home where you can freely be creative without worry about making things line up perfectly or triple checking to make sure the paint is matchy, matchy.  Ya, it is kind of annoying because nothing is ever "complete," but it's fun to embrace the idea of endless, not-so-perfect possibilities.

Anyway, YEARS ago when Mom and Dad upgraded to an oven with a stove-top all in one appliance, the spot that once held the oven was left empty.  It was a huge, awkward square area in the kitchen that later housed everything from canned goods and dishes to pots and pans in leaning stacks.  I think at one point it even had scrap fabric casually draped over it in an attempt to provide some sort of curtain...

When Michael and I first moved in, we used it as a pantry, but it looked like we had a mini grocery store since you could visually see every, single box of food, canned good, and chip bag we preferred.  So, we transferred our food to a cabinet with doors and kept our glassware in the awkward space.  It served its purpose though.  The glassware was much more appealing than our soup preferences.

Then, one day I thought about creating some sort of simple door.  It clearly didn't have to be fancy, just some sort of board thing to make it more like an actually pantry.  I mentioned the design idea to my husband (chalkboard with barn wood), and during the last month or so, he assembled a simple, pantry door!

Of course, I had told him that I wanted it put up by in the middle of opening presents Christmas morning, we had to stop and put the door up before guests arrived.  "Why did we not already take care of this?" was a question that was repeated several times, but you move on. :)

We have since transferred our mini grocery back into the pantry...We're still searching for a vintage doorknob to add to it, but for now, it's doin' the job.  Below is proof of the awkward gap (left) and our new, pantry door on Christmas mornin' (right)... 
Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

easy squeezy, crock pot chili {version 2}

The weather around here has finally become cold enough to enjoy extra warm meals!  So, on New Year's Eve, I decided to make some of my {easy squeezy, crock pot chili} that I threw together back in October.  I changed it up a little, so I wanted to, I got a photo worthy of including.  Chili is kinda hard to photograph, ya know?  

Send me some of your suggestions or favorite recipes for hot meals in the cold winter...


easy squeezy, crock pot chili {version 2}

1 lb. beef
2 cans 
(14 oz can) diced tomatoes with added garlic
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cans 
(15 oz can) kidney beans
little bit of flour - if you want to thicken...


cook your meat.
mix all ingredients into crock pot, except flour.
cover & cook on low 6-7 hours.
uncover, gradually add some flour, & cook another 15 minutes.
to serve, add some shredded cheese and scoop chips for dippin'!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I really wasn't too particular about stuff on my wedding day.  The main thing I kept saying during the planning process was that I wanted photographs to be taken at the farmhouse after the ceremony.  It's the family farmhouse where several families before me have's where I was raised for 21 years...and it's now where nugget calls home.  

This past August, I decided to take a break from being behind the camera (and also not bug my Momma to help), and hire a photographer for a quick, photo session with my new, little trio.  I was unsure of where I wanted our photographs taken, and then, I thought the farmhouse would be so, so perfect.  

I love the photos taken on the deck, the sidewalk, and in the creek bottom on a cold January 2, 2010...and I love the photos taken on the deck, the sidewalk, and in the creek bottom around nug's sixth month birthday (and one during our November Christmas card session with my Momma).

I just spent way too much time formatting these pictures, and now, little man is awake for the day...gotta go change a diaper, throw some wood in the stove, and start breakfast.  So, happy THREE! year anniversary to us....

{top Katherine Holly Photography
bottom Iron Lace Photography}
{top Katherine Holly Photography
bottom Iron Lace Photography}
{left Katherine Holly Photography
right Granny's Photography :) }