Spray painting and jelly beans

When we moved into this house, I knew I wanted to incorporate some turquoise in several of the rooms. The kitchen was the first one that came to mind. With several painting projects underway, I found time to paint this red gumball machine a pretty turquoise.


It was an easy project and I am glad I did it. For spring, it has some jelly beans. During winter, we had some chocolate in there and for Halloween, we used candy corn. The candy corn didn’t come out as easily. This kids love this little candy machine. ( I do too, but don’t tell anyone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Linking to Debbiedoos

Lasagna soup

There is one meal in this house that we all agree on, lasagna soup. I first found it on Pinterest and have modified it to make it my own. I am sure others have done the same. But, in case you haven’t seen it, here is the recipe.


Lasagna Soup
Yield: 8 servings


for the soup
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage (I use lean beef)
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I put this in the food processor so there are no chunks)
2 bay leaves (good even without these)
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
additional cheesy yum:
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Source: Adapted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, as seen in the February-April 2011 edition of At Home with Kowalski’s magazine from Kowalskiโ€™s Markets.

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Beyond The Picket Fence

Rainy days

I love rainy days, now and then. Today was one of those days and I enjoyed it to the fullest.

I even got a long phone call in with my mom. These two cuties like rainy days too.

We did school. By the way, I homeschool. Rainy days are always good school days. Kids feel tired and they are not begging to play outside. I also found some time to workout and read a chapter of this book:

If you love Downton Abbey, you would love this book.
I made some muffins for the family and called it a day.


My ektorp and a few other things

The bathroom mirror is up and I am so pleased with how it looks. It fits perfectly over the vanity.

Never mind the view of myself. I couldn’t get a good picture without me in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
After getting that project finished and a few others, I found another bargain! I have been wanting the ikea Ektorp sofa for a very long time. But, we would have to travel over two hours to get it ( and I am cheap) and I knew I would eventually find it on Craigslist. So, yesterday it finally happened. This beauty came home with us:


I have been moving her around and trying to find the perfect spot. My kids love it, which scares me a little since it is white. But, there is always bleach! I am very happy with it. The people selling it actually had two. Kind of wishing I could have bought both. ๐Ÿ˜‰


So, since I went over my invisible budget for this week, I will be finishing up some projects here and starting some spring cleaning this week. Only 23 days until Spring!


A mirror

A good deal at Homegoods yesterday turned into a little project today. I love Homegoods, don’t you? Every time I go in there I am sure to find something else I “need”. This time, I scored a big mirror for our master bath. I am slowly remodeling our master bedroom and master bath and have been looking for a mirror. I looked at mirrors at Homegoods and found a great deal.

Look at that price tag! Awesome! So, we getting it hung up today. Here is what it looks like so far:

Have a great weekend everyone! I plan to do a few more projects around the house. Tomorrow, my 6 year old daughter has a date with daddy at their favorite froyo place! I can’t wait to help her get ready!


Curb appeal

After buying our house last year, I knew we would want to do plenty of updating to the inside and out. We decided that 2013 would be the year we would try to finish a lot of projects and start on new ones. Something we have decided to do this summer is make the outside look a little more attractive. I have been looking on the net and found some good ideas. I am loving these colors:




We also plan to add these to the garage door:


I can’t wait to see these changes and I will definitely be posting it here with the cost!

There is a winter weather advisory outside and I am happy to be in here tonight! Stay safe out there. ( By the way, those blinds will be gone soon.)



My southern Indiana home

I am excited for my first blog post! I have been growing in my interest for making my house a home. We moved to southern Indiana in April of 2012. We looked at some houses and found one that I knew I could put my stamp on. We didn’t like the houses with pillars, nor the homes with small backyards. We were so happy to find this one. There were many projects to be done and I could see the “after pics” in my head already.


So, here I am. It is February 2013 and I am ready to get started. We have big plans for this house and I can’t wait to reveal them on here. This will take time, but it will be so fun to see the transformation! I hope you will join me in this journey!