Show & Tell Friday: New Friends….

A few post ago, I made mention that I had discovered several blogs that I began following via my process of redoing my kitchen.   I came across numerous blogs over the process, but there was something about these blogs that I felt an instant connection with the writers.  I think that maybe I see some of my very own dear friends in each one of the following women. 

May I introduce……

Edie @ LifeinGrace



Don’t tell the others below (because I have learned that via blogging three of them are friends), but Edie is my favorite new friend. I could spend hours with Edie at LifeinGrace looking at her beautiful home, listening to her podcast and reading her wise words. I met her when I googled “Is marble good for kitchens”. She had an entire post on it. After reading her post, I knew for certain that I was getting marble counter tops in my kitchen regardless of how many people tried to talk me out of it.  I had wanted marble in my kitchen for years, and I was going to have it.  I got it and LOVE it!  There so many other reasons I feel connected to Edie.  Go meet her and you’ll understand…you’ll connect with her too. 

Here is:

  Karen @ Redoux Interiors

     

She had me at the title of her blog…..REDOUX!!!!  Is that not the way we’d spell “redo” here in Louisiana???  We give every word we can a french spelling to it, and so does she even though she is in California.   I think one of my favorite things about Karen is that she makes up her own French words.  It cracks me up, because I have my own invented spelling…LOL!!!  Read her “All About Moi” as well as her New Here? if you want to giggle and fall in love with her too.   She dumpster dives and shares her trash finds every Tuesday. I found her as I was researching information on redoing my kitchen cabinets.

My next two friends I met through Edie.  She introduced them to me not long after she and I met. 😉 

Meet:

The Nester (Myquillyn) @ Nesting Place 



I think I love The Nester so much because she is slowly convincing me of her motto….”It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful”.  As you can see, I am not totally convinced of that; otherwise I’d share my unfinished kitchen redo with you…Ha!  She is the author of the book The Nesting Place. Maybe if I finish the book before Mr. Miss Nola finishes the kitchen, I’ll be convinced to share the incomplete.  Although, she has confirmed that my take on decorating is not totally wrong.  I always said that I do not have a particular look or style.  If I like it, I put it in my home regardless of whether or not it followed some designer’s decorating tip. 

Next up and finally is:

Big Mama (Melanie) @ Big Mama



Big Mama…just the name of her blog alone is sure to get a giggle out of you.  She is the Seinfeld of the blogs.  She literally writes about “nothing” in her everyday life and does it so that you are wanting more. That is true talent!!!  Read about her and discover how she had me at “diet coke”.    She is the author of two books in which I’ll let you check them yourself out via her blog. 

I think that each of these women are worth sharing with you.  I hope you take a minute to check out each of them.  I’ll be honest in sharing that I know there is the possibility that you may drop me for them.  I mean, seriously, how many blogs can one person follow. Let’s take Edie for example.  She has 16,000+ followers and I have 16-17….LOL!!   I get it!! Who can compete with that? So as I take the risk of losing you to them,   I hope you keep this in mind as you get to know each of these woman on your own…….

Enjoy your weekend!

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It: An Update and a Few Good Recipes

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It!

That is used to get readers’ attention and believe me this post is so uneventful that I needed a headline to capture your attention.  Did it work?  If it did not work maybe these yummy recipes will……. 

Click on the photos for the recipes but continue on reading for an update on the latest happenings.





I know I have had more post lately about food than monogramming.  That’s because I have been cooking more than monogramming, and sadly, I have been eating more than I have been cooking. (I will spare you those pictures!)  Someone duck tape my mouth closed with some of that designer duck tape!!!  BUT..with school almost closer than further, the monogramming rush is coming soon. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have read that I had been transferring my blog over to a new host.  It’s been quite the learning experience for someone who knows NOTHING about the computer programming language.  I may have been better at trying to read Greek for the past week and a half, but I did it!!! (Yay me!!)   During this transfer, I have missed several Show & Tell Fridays.  I was in the middle of a post when I started having server problems.  I hope to share that post with you Friday.  Then I may have to rethink this weekly version of Show & Tell Fridays to a monthly version….maybe to Show & Tell First Friday of the Month. 

Exciting news for ME….Mr. Miss Nola has purchased a tile cutting saw.  He said he needed it to do the finale in our kitchen….the marble subway tile backsplash.  We also went and priced the tile last Friday at some stone companies. (Insert several jumps and claps!!) Hopefully this will happen sooner than later. I am excited to share Operation Kitchen Cabinet Redoux with you.  Hopefully I can do it before the summer is over and gone. 

Thanks for reading!  And remember don’t throw out that left over rice. 

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Behind the Scene of Embroidery: The Challenge of Monogramming an Over-Sized Tote



In theory an over sized tote bag would be an embroiders easiest items to embroider next to a towel.  The fast frames would be used with sticky stabilizer.  The biggest challenge then would be centering the tote on the fast frame…… but not all over sized totes are created equal.  Some are lined with a liner that is sewn in the tote only along the top of the tote as shown in the picture below.  With a loose liner, only one layer can be secured to the sticky stabilizer, and unfortunately it’s the liner layer of the tote.  The layer that will have the monogram on it, will need to be pinned to secure it on the frame. (As shown in picture #5 below) 



Then, as if the liner was not a big enough challenge in itself,  some over sized totes have pockets inside in the front of the bag and in the back of the bag as shown below.  



In some cases a tote like this could not be monogrammed with out embroidering the pocket closed, but this zipper pocket was large enough that the fast frame was able to fit inside of the pocket.



The size of this monogrammed depended on what size fast frame was going to fit in the pocket.  I was able to use the fast frame with a 4.5 x 5.25 opening which allowed me to put a 3.5″ monogram on it nicely.  Since the monogram was of the larger size, the font was digitized using the fill stitch. This is stitch is great for totes because it’s a tighter stitch for something that will get a lot of wear and tear on it. This fill stitch does require more stitches which will cost a little more, but it creates a nicer quality of monogram as shown in the last picture.

 



 



Thank you for taking a minute to understand a little behind the scene of embroidery.      

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Green Bean Italiano

 



I am convinced that if I sprinkled Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic on anything it would be delicious.  I love green beans, but my husband was never a fan of them until…..I introduced him to this version of Italian green beans.  I have to give credit to a cashier named Queen that worked at one of my local grocery stores.  As she was checking me out one day, she was talking about cooking her son green beans for his birthday.  {I’m not going to lie; I have never heard of anyone asking for green beans for their birthday.}  Of course I had to ask what she put in them.  She listed her ingredients, and when I was ready to cook green beans all I could remember was bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic.  She could have named ten more items, but for us these few ingredients were all we needed for these green beans to be one of our favorite sides. I, NOW,  get why her son asked for them for his birthday…..THANKS QUEEN!

 

 

 

Green Beans Italiano

Serves 6
Green beans seasoned with Italian bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and garlic.


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Cook Time
45 min

Cook Time
45 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 16 oz bag of frozen cut green beans
  2. 2 tablespoons of butter
  3. 1 tablespoon of Italian bread crumbs
  4. 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese
  5. 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  6. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan or pot, cover frozen bean with water.
  2. Boil beans in the water uncovered on med high heat until the water is gone or until beans are soft to your liking.*
  3. Turn the heat to a lower temp now, add the butter and mix until butter has melted.
  4. Add bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Mix well.
  5. Salt to taste.
Notes
  1. I sometimes have to add more water to get them soft to my liking. I like them soft not mushy. If they get soft and there is still a lot of water, drain the beans and return to the sauce pan to a low heat.
  2. Cooking time will depend on how soft you like your beans. For me it takes aproximately 45 minutes.
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Spinach & Artichoke Tortellini Salad

 

 


I love pasta salads. They have come a long way since the tri-colored spiral noodles drenched in italian dressing with chunks of pepperoni. This recipe evolved for me as I was browsing other pasta recipes. I came across several that I knew I loved all of the ingredients but they were missing a WOW factor. All of the ingredients were those of the bland version, so I did what I do to a lot of recipes that I come across…….I put my own spin to it. It’s the perfect side to any summer meal, or it’s a perfect light summer meal in itself. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Spinach & Artichoke Tortellini Salad


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Ingredients
  1. •3 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  2. •12-14oz Cheese Tortellini Pasta (Cooked; follow directions on package. This comes packaged several ways and by different oz.)
  3. •12 oz Jar Marinated Artichokes Hearts
  4. •14 oz Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts (Drained)
  5. •14 oz Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Drained)
  6. •1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder (May need to adjust to your taste on this measurement)
  7. •1/2 teaspoon Basil Seasoning (May need to adjust to your taste on this measurement)
  8. •Salt (To taste)
  9. •Ground Pepper (To taste)
  10. •Shaved Parmesan Cheese (To garnish)
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to directions and drain it.
  2. Coarsely chopped spinach and place in a large salad bowl.
  3. Spoon out marinated artichokes and add them to the bowl of chopped spinach. You want some of the marinate in the salad because it is full of flavor, but adding all of it will be too much. What is on the spoon with the artichoke piece will be enough. NOTE: I also will pick the hard part of the leaves off of the artichoke.
  4. Drain and rinse the can of quartered artichokes. Rinsing them will take away of some the tartness. I also will pick off the hard leaves and sometimes I will cut the leaf portion off depending on how tough the leaves are. Add them to the bowl.
  5. Drain the tomatoes. Add them to the bowl.
  6. Add the pasta to the bowl.
  7. Add the garlic powder, basil, salt and ground pepper.
  8. Gently toss and top with Parmesan Cheese. May serve immediately, or I like to chill it prior so that the flavors marinate together in the frig.
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Directions

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Show & Tell Friday on Saturday…almost Sunday: My Paradise

 

Oops….I’m late! I know y’all were wondering what happen to me yesterday. {Insert a giggle and a wink!} Well, this happened to me…..I spent the day caught up in my own paradise.



Last October one of my childhood dreams got one step closer to becoming a reality. I know that sounds corny, but it’s a fact. Ever since I was a child I dreamed of living on the coast. Not just any coast….this coast has to be close to home. When you’re born and raised in Southeast Louisiana, it becomes part of your soul. Transfer here and stay a while and it even becomes part of your soul. So the coast I have always dreamed of would have to be close to home and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is close to home.

After years of driving and searching the Mississippi Gulf Coast from the Louisiana state line to the Alabama state line, Kenny and I found and bought a small lot a block off of the beach in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The photo above is the view of my short walk to the beach.

I’ll be sharing more of our lot in the Bay with you in the future as our lot progresses into a beach house. Kenny had his truck, trailer and tractor on it yesterday so it wasn’t looking picture pretty. Pictures to come soon.

The picture below is of the beach yesterday with all of its perfect imperfections! It’s not the Caribbean, but it’s my perfect paradise.



The kids, as much as they were against us getting a lot on the coast in fear that we’d move immediately and take them away from friends, seem to be warming up to the idea of  the “Salt Life”.  Skim boarding with the cousins may be a new found hobby.







AND NOW………A little candy box music collection of “Paradise” for you to choose from. I’d love to hear which version of “Paradise”  is your favorite!! I  couldn’t choose.  I love them all!

 

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