Friday, August 30, 2013

Paper Banner

Do you like pretty paper as much as I do?

This week I'm sharing a banner I made with paper and doilies over at the Taylor House. Head on over to check it out! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Perfect Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

After 9 years of living in the south and wishing every fall for a great bowl of beer cheese soup like back home.....I have it.
Mmmmmm. Beer Cheese Soup.  I'm convinced it's one of life's great pleasures. Something everyone needs to experience.
The Perfect Beer Cheese Soup
slightly adapted from here
1 good sized carrot diced
1 good sized stalk of celery diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp butter - use the real stuff
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cans beer - just regular, plain ol' beer -what you do with the rest of the second can is up to you
4 cups water
4 tsp chicken base- I LOVE using chicken base. I make it according to the directions on the lid. Watch the amounts you use because it does get salty if you start adding extra
2/3 cup heavy cream
10 slices American cheese
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
Saute the carrots for a minute or two in butter, then add celery and garlic. cook until tender. Whisk in flour and cook one minute, whisking constantly. Add beer, water, chicken base and cream. Bring to a simmer and then turn heat down. Allow it to cook for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
Serve with french bread you buttered heavily and then broiled until it starts to brown.
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Pinterest Power Party

Hey there! Happy Wednesday! This week I'm co-hosting the Pinterest Power Party.

Come on and link up!  Don't forget, there's a prize!
Happy Wednesday, and welcome to this week's Pinterest Power Party!! If this is your first time at our party, thanks for joining us!! Every Wednesday we host this party in order to focus on YOU - the readers! Do you have a DIY project, frugal gift idea, or delicious recipe you want to share? We want to see them and share them on our Pinterest boards too!!

This week's Pinterest Power Party sponsor is our very own Chrissy from The Taylor House! Chrissy wears many hats through her day - she's a wife to her high school sweetheart, a stay-at-home mom to two boys, blogger, and more! At The Taylor House, you'll find delicious recipes, DIY projects, crafts, and other great tips and ideas!

Chrissy is giving away a $25.00 iTunes gift card! How sweet is that!? Thanks, Chrissy, for sponsoring the party - and for the awesome prize!!

You can keep up with Chrissy on
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Bloglovin'
a Rafflecopter giveaway {open to US residents only}

Wanna be a sponsor? It's easy, peasy! You just need to offer a prize to one of our fabulous readers. Prizes need to be approved, but almost anything family friendly will be accepted! This is a wonderful opportunity for your blog or business as you will receive major FREE exposure! We've got a combined followership of over 12,000 people! If you're interested in being a sponsor of our Pinterest Power Party, please email Danielle.
Alrighty, are you ready to get to the party?! We are too!
Sew Much Crafting

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Favorite Thing in the Morning

There's this thing we do every morning.
We draw hearts on each other's hands before I drop them off at school. I draw a heart on their hands and kiss them, then they each do the same to mine.
If they are sad or wishing they were at home during the day, the can look at the heart and know that I love them.
Some days I have a hard time washing my hands and letting the hearts fade.
Do you have any little things you do before the kiddos head off to school in the morning?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Turn a Mirror Into a Chalkboard

I have two favorite things right now.
Chalkboards and old windows. 
...and words. I love having sweet messages around the house.
The other day I was switching things up a bit as I was cleaning and here's what I ended up with.
This was a mirror we rescued from the curb. It was a part of a vanity.  It had two smaller mirrors on the side. I removed those, primed the mirror with two coats of Kilz primer. Then, two or three coats of Valspar Chalkboard Paint. Perfect!

Right now the table part of the vanity is serving as the desk for our command center in the laundry room.
For great chalkboard art ideas you need to look through Rhonna Designs! So many great ideas!
I set an old window and the chalkboard in our bathroom window.   I have plans to work on this room and our bedroom sometime during the school year. I can't wait to get started but there are other areas of the house that need some TLC first.
I found this little chalkboard at Hobby Lobby a few months back. This sits on top of my refrigerator as a sweet reminder to find joy in the small things. It's so easy to get caught up in the to do lists and schedules. Sometimes I need to be reminded many times throughout the day.
Hope you all have a great start to your week!
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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Best Toy Ever

I met my Dad in Fayetteville, TN yesterday to bring him something. Until then, I had not spent any time there.
I fell in LOVE.
 It was like walking into a movie. I stopped a His and Hers Antique Shop and found some great things to bring home. Not having planned on shopping, I had to go find a cash machine. I got out of my car and heard church bells ringing. *swoon*
Here's what I came home with.
This phone. Best toy I have ever picked up! The kids had never seen a phone like this.
It's home is in the playroom but it hasn't made it there yet.  They have played with it non stop since they came home from school yesterday. They even started playing with it right away this morning.  I plan on going back to get another one. Thinking of the conversations I would overhear if they both had a phone to play with makes me smile.
Does it get any better than an old Pyrex bowl? I imagine a cute little mom whipping up something yummy and filled with love for her family.
Wearing an adorable apron of course.

Command Center

I finally set up a command center to help keep up with all those papers that my kiddos come home with!
The school work and art is organized elsewhere. I'll be posting about that in the near future!
Here is how the command center looks from the hallway. (Excuse the dark photos. No natural light gets in this room no matter what I do!)
Each child has a spot in the hanging file holders.  The folders are marked 'action' for things that need my attention and 'information' for papers that are important to keep like handbooks and newsletters. That idea came from
 I Heart Organizing a few years back and works well for us.
There is also an embellished clothes pin on each basket to clip up notes, small papers, or money that needs to make it to the backpacks. Click over to read the tutorial!

We also added a backpack station. Read about it here.
Read my origional post at The Taylor House by clicking here.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Backpack Station

Projects have been getting done left and right! What a great feeling!  Here's a little one we did this weekend.

Last year we kept the backpacks in the laundry room. That didn't work so well. They always seemed to end up on the floor by the garage door. This weekend my husband picked up a board, trim, and hooks and helped me create this backpack station.  My kids have started school and I didn't get a good picture with my camera with their backpacks on the hooks. Use your imagination. Picture two cute Pottery Barn backpacks hanging there all ready to go. 
(Those backpacks are not the cheapest thing, but let me tell you, they last a long time! This is Kayla's third school year with hers.  Worth. Every. Penny.)
Above the hooks is our gratitude board from a couple of years ago. I got that idea from Becky Higgins. It is one of my favorite things in our home. I adore the illustrations, backward letters and misspellings. And also the 10 or so smiley faces with arms and legs coming out of them. Noah had just learned to draw them and they were everywhere that year.
Here's to a great and organized school year! (Filled with hugs and kisses!)
Be sure to read about our command center to see how I organize those important school papers! 
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Monday, August 19, 2013


Well, the first day of school is off to a great start!  We celebrated last night with a feast. I made a special dinner and we prayed over our school year.  We prayed for the kids in the class, the teacher, our kiddos, and the school as a whole.  I know it's going to be a great year.
Our youngest started kindergarten today and my emotions have been all over the place.  The tears didn't come until we were walking out of the building.
He's my baby.
After I got in the van, I went to get a cup of coffee at my favorite little shop and you know what? I started to get really excited.
With more time on my hands today, I want to share some hoops I made for the kiddos. 

My Etsy shop will be opening up soon (I'm thinking a week or two) where you can find cute hoops like these!  I'll keep you posted!
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cold Spaghetti Salad

Today I want to share our favorite salad! It's easy to put together and tastes even better a day or two later. 

Cold Spaghetti Salad 

2 envelopes Good Seasoning Italian Dressing, mixed according to packet (you'll need vinegar, oil, and water)
1 bottle Schilling Salad Supreme seasoning
1 lb spaghetti, cooked, drain and put in ice water
5 tomatoes, diced
2 green peppers, diced
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 pkg pepperoni
1 onion, diced
4 oz shredded cheese

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate several hours or over night. Enjoy!

Need Gluten Free? Leave out the spaghetti or use GF noodles. All the flavored will be there without the noodles! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Brighten Your Kitchen in 3 Steps

 I love my house and I love my kitchen...except that it's in the middle of the house and is a little dark. That, and I'd like to have white cabinets. Other than that it's perfect. Well, I'd also like bead board for the back splash. Or subway tile.
But it's perfect.

I have wanted to take my cabinet doors off for quite a while now but just necer thought i could keep things looking nice. A while back, April from
House By Hoff took her doors off. That gave me the nudge i needed. Thanks, girl!

Here are the three steps I took. They were easy and fast. And best of all...


Step 1. Remove the screens from your kitchen windows. 
I love to open the windows when we can but  I never open these. The screens just never did quite fit right.  I just open different windows.  The screens are stored away in the garage.
This made an immediate change. It is so nice to look out a clear window!

Step 2: Take the doors off one or two of your cupboards. Seriously easy.
Step 3: Arrange your glass items in one cupboard. Store and display a serving plate at the same time.  The glass looks clean and adds a bit of sparkle. The white dishes and other items help to lighten the area
I don't have a before picture, but this area is brighter. It has a fresh open feel and is easy to keep organized since it's just all glasses and jars. I use the large jars for food storage in the fridge.
Go ahead and do it! Make the spaces you use every day beautiful!
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment}: a moment that needs no words. a glimpse into our life as it is right now. a moment that makes me want to slow down, enjoy and remember. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Small Homework or Art Station

Hey there to all you lovely readers!  I'm so glad you have stopped by! There has been a big jump in readers so I thought I'd give you a little info about the blog...

While we are still in summer mode, posts aren't really following a schedule. I try to get 3 posts up a week, but the kiddos come first. I try not to blog when they are home or awake. So......when they start back to school on the 19th, things will pick up and follow a more regular schedule.

With both kids in school this year, I have decided to open up an Etsy shop. I have wanted to do this for a while now.  I will have paper crafts and embroidery hoop wall art.  Look for this to open up soon!  I'll  be sure to keep you posted!

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment and follow the blog on Facebook,  Instagram, and Bloglovin' so you can keep up with all the fun things going on!  I have some great ideas that will start to take shape!


Summer always goes so fast, doesn't it? It is almost time to send the kiddos off for their first day of the new school year. Maybe you already have.  We are starting to get ready around our house.

One way I like to get ready is to make sure there are fun areas around our house. I set up this little art station that can also be used for homework. 
I had this little desk (or phone table or....whatever this thing is called) that I picked up on clearance at Hobby Lobby a few years back. I pulled it out of my craft room and gave it a makeover with some paint...
lined the drawer with scrapbook paper and a layer of Mod Podge (dont' you love that stuff?!)...
Added wrapping paper-covered cans with pens and colored pencils...
and set it all up near the play room. I looked at Rhonna Farrer's chalk art to draw on this chalkboard.  She has so many great chalkboard ideas!

Many little treasures will be created here!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

How I Organize Under the Sink

Update: Thank so much for stopping by! If you like this post, follow my blog on Facebook or Bloglovin' to keep up with all the great projects that are happening around here! Now that both kids are in school, things are getting done around here! And I can't wait to share it all with you!
Hey there! The area under the kitchen sink can be such a cluttered area.  Come see how I tackled that mess.

I love the Itso bins from Target. I stash them all over the house for quick organization. Add a diy chalkboard label and you're good to go!

This is what you'll find under my sink. I love making my own cleaning mix when I can. For a concentrate, I use Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. Have you used it? What's your favorite scent?

I covered a box with wrapping paper to store my grocery bags in.  I take the time to quickly fold and wrap each one around my fingers before I stick them in the box. That way they stay somewhat neat and it's easy to grab just one without pulling them all out.

You can find the recipe for my homemade sink scrub here.

What you can see in the small jelly jar is my Scotch Brite green scrubbing pad. I buy them in a pack and cut them in quarters. The rest are stored in the laundry room.
Here's how it all looks under the sink.  We had to replace our garbage disposal last year. When my husband replaced it, he taped the receipt with the warranty info right to it. Now if we need it, it's right there.
You can read more about my covered garbage can here. I used Mod Podge attach fabric. I used a shower curtain that I picked up at Target. I also made sure to seal it with a couple good layers of Mod Podge so I could wipe any drips or messes off the side of the can.

linked up at:
give me the goods
ditto DIY projects
i heart organizing
 the 36th avenue
tatertots and jello
 a bowl full of lemons
tips and tricks


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Stories of Home

Our homes are where we rest, regroup, spend quality time with our loved ones, connect... Yet we often leave it out if our documenting. Becky Higgins wrote a great post about this and is sharing her stories of home. You can read her post here.
Today and tomorrow (for roughly 24 hours) I will be sharing #storiesofhome on Instagram. Follow me at prairiegirltosouthernbelle and share along with me if you like!