Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not just for girls

I have a confession. Not a huge embarrassing one, but still, I have to admit: I dislike girly colors. you know the kind I mean, don't you? The bubblegum pinks, pale blues, minty greens, and soft purples so often associated with young girls.

I, however, have nothing against grown-up takes on those colors. In fact, my bedroom decor has been inspired by delicious lavender hues (tempered with gray). How can you resist the combination? check these beautiful examples from Apartment Therapy:


Here's some more grown-up versions of "girlish" tones:

Soft pink on living room walls, at Making It Lovely.

Minty green, from The Inspired Room (originally from Country Living)

Nearly-baby-blue, from House Beautiful

What do you think? do these pastels have a place in home decorating, or are they too feminine?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thanks for Tuesday

Thank you, God, for

1. Today

2. Friends joining us for dinner

3. Bounty of food to share with friends

4. This time of year, and the memories of years past

5. The sanctifying circumstances in my life. They are tough, but without them, I would forget (more than I already do) how much I need Christ.

Merry (3 days before) Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday's Blessings

Today I am so very grateful for...

1. My husband, who knew I needed encouragement today, and left work early to be with me.

2. Peppermint mocha's. Actually, this is just misplaced gratitude for my husband, who brought me a peppermint mocha from Starbucks just 'cause.

3. My sister-in-law, D. She is the kind of sister-in-law I hope to be to my other dear sister-in-law, Y. Thank you for your gentleness, D!

4. Mom Chrisman. She is an encouraging, godly woman whom I admire greatly and hope to know better and better as the years pass.

5. Mom Warfield, who bore and raised me, and loves me anyway! Another encouraging, godly woman I hope to be better and better friends with through the coming years.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My day in pictures (just because)

My day started all began by sleeping until 10 (yes, 10!) in this:

Well, not exactly that bed. That would be nice though, wouldn't it? that looks like a bed you could really dream in. Ahhhhh.

Next, LOML and I pulled ourselves reluctantly from bed and warmed ourselves by drinking strong cups of this:

After our tea turn tepid, we ate a delicious breakfast here:

And when we were done, we went shopping for dear friends here:

Upon returning home, I made some of this:

While LOML did this:

And then I decided to be a nice wife, let him sleep, and amused myself doing this:

The End (have a wonderful weekend).

Friday, December 18, 2009


It is a challange to put my mind towards the good grace of God today...I'm feeling ill and tired. Even so, His grace is evident.
To begin...
1. It's Friday, which means I have two whole days with LOML

2. I got to sleep uninterrupted all morning. It's not fun to feel ill, but it's delightful to get to sleep so much!

3. I had energy to clean my messy house. I really just wanted to crawl into bed and pretend I didn't even have a house, let alone a messy one. But despite my complaining body, the house got cleaned, and it makes me happy.

4. Entertainment for low-energy days. I've been watching 84 Charing Cross Road...what a sweet, only-slightly-sad tale.

5. Frozen dinner. The frozen lasagna that will be our dinner tonight is enough to make a gal sing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yet more grace

I'm so thankful brother and sister (and 3 cute nephews!) are traveling our way for Christmas. And, I got to go Christmas shopping for them yesterday! So those 2 things will start out today's list of grace shown and received.

3. my family. They're not perfect, but they are wonderful.

4. love. How is it that I have a marvelous relationship with a dear man who loves me? amazing grace.

5. my sisters -"A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double. "

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Grace

1 a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
2 a : approval, favor s> b archaic : mercy, pardon c : a special favor : privilege d : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency e : a temporary exemption : reprieve evident in:

1. hot, nourishing food

2. Christmas gifts from friends

3. my kitties who are affectionate and keep me company

4. hot tea on cold mornings

5. my friends at bookclub and fellowship with them

Monday, December 14, 2009

Grace for today

Today, I am grateful for Gods grace, so evident in:

1. Salvation, which is free, and comes only from God

2. my husbands job

3. my job as a homemaker, which, although not your typical 9-5, is fulfilling and helpful to LOML

4. the house I am sheltered by while typing this

5. this weather...all this rain is good for my parent farmers

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Daily Grace

God's grace was evident to me today in:

1. my husband who took me out to lunch just because

2. my church family

3. worship, prayer, and the rich, nurturing Word

4. Christmas plans, and people to share them with

5. warm clothes, warm car, warm house.

Image from Country Living

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grace in small things

God is so gracious to me. I know it in my head, I see evidence all around me, everyday. But in my heart, I struggle with discontentment. I forget. I ignore His grace. Do you ever do that? I think we are prone to forgetfullness...prone to selfishness.

So as a personal challenge to recognize Gods grace daily, I'm resolved to lists 5 evidences of His grace per day on this blog (inspired by this) until Christmas. And as a matter of fact...I'll begin right now!

I saw God's grace today in the small things...
1. Having enough money for the groceries I needed today.
2. Having enough money for the things I didn't need, but wanted.
3. My wonderful husband, and his buying me a peppermint mocha
4. Friends coming for dinner
5. Beautiful snow that delights my soul, and being able to keep warm despite it.

Ahh. There. Thank you Lord for all these blessings, and the ones I didn't list as well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good eats

Feeding people graciously and lovingly is one of life’s simplest pleasures: a most basic way of making life better for someone, at least for awhile.

- Anna Thomas

To kick off the quickly approaching holidays, I made a new-ish casserole for last night's dinner: Green Bean Chicken Casserole.

My plan was to combine lots of healthy green beans and low fat chicken with the...uh...shall I say less forgiving ingredients that make the classic green bean casserole the creamy-crispy goodness it is.
Here's the recipe:

1 14oz pkg frozen petite green beans
2 10 3/4oz cams of cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup chicken broth
4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
freshly ground pepper
1 can of french fried onions

Preheat oven to 350. Completely thaw green beans. Combine chicken and green beans in a 9"x13" pan. Mix cream of mushroom soup with chicken broth, pour over green beans and chicken in pan. Top with freshly ground pepper, to taste. Bake for 25 minutes at 350, top with french fried onions, and bake 5 minutes longer.
Bon appetit!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Autumn, gratitude, and simple joys.

It is hard to escape the beauty of Autumn, even harder to avoid thinking of Thanksgiving, and the blessings of the quickly waning year. Reminders are all around us -in grocery stores, magazines, on TV. As a result, I have gratitude on the brain, and the Fall season is irrevocably intermingled in those thoughts.
I'm not much of one for New Years resolutions, but I do have a few for Fall.

1. Appreciate -Allowing ourselves enjoyment of simple pleasures that we have been given is in essence, active gratitude. Burning candles is one of those things for me.
2. Express -I have been so blessed by friends, family, and even strangers -now I just need to tell them so!
3. Give back -not for personal gain, nor for appreciation. Instead, in loving obedience to Christ (Matthew 6:3-4, 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Colossians 3:23-24a).

More Pillow Talk

I am broke, but inspired...bad combo if you don't have resourcefulness and creativity. While I can't boast in my own creativity, I can credit many beautiful blogs (check out my sites to see) for idea after idea, and inspiration heaped upon inspiration.
Sadly, I cannot credit any one blog for today's craft -although I gleaned ideas from many. I have a couple of painters-cloth covered pillows that are rich in texture, but not rich in design. With some brown acrylic paint and an old paintbrush, I gave the little bits of fluff some charm.
Here's the end result:
Pretty nice, huh? funny... the cat looks just like my kitty Obi, although I didn't use him for my model at all. The "C" is for our last name. And it was a practically free craft -gotta love that!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Soup and Salad

After hosting a archeological-dig-murder-mystery dinner party for my dear sister D on Monday, I had an abundance of middle-eastern inspired foods to munch upon. One of the dishes was a delicious Israeli Carrot Salad that sister D discovered the recipe for while in Israel.
Today I shall share the loveliness:

Israeli Carrot Salad

4-5 carrots, grated (I used a few more)
½ yellow onion, diced
1 big handful cilantro, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ lime
3-4 Tbsp olive oil

Toss carrots, onion, garlic and cilantro together. Sprinkle with cumin and coriander and toss again. Squeeze lime over and pour olive oil over and toss again.

This salad is a great way to eat fresh carrots, and has a bit of spice and zing to it...perfect as it is, but perhaps even better (if that's possible!) as a soup.

Because I had gobs leftover after the party, I decided to turn it into a warm and cozy soup. To do this, I used these ingredients and steps:

Carrot Salad Soup

Leftover salad (I had about half of a normal recipe)
2 carrots, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cans (~14oz each) chicken broth
¾ cups milk

In a medium pot over, saute carrot salad, carrots, and green onions in butter for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add celery seed, chili powder, and black pepper -saute 1 minute more. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool (at this point you can freeze or refrigerate the mixture), using a hand-held blender (or working in batches with counter-top blender), puree soup until smooth. Mix in milk, and slowly warm over medium-low heat.
It's pretty delicious! And perfect for these cool Fall days. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A bird in hand...

A cute little bird has been a regular visitor to my front porch this week and last. He comes along in the afternoon, perches on my door-wreath, and pecks on the glass window in my door. No kidding! I have to think of name for him, but until I do, I have rounded up bird-inspired products in his honor. Here's to you, birdie!
Adorable plates, to feast upon (Pier 1)

These clocks, specifically the one on the right, so you can always arrive on time for your friendly window-pecking (Pier 1)

This beautiful piece of art, so I can remember you when you no longer visit (Target)

And lastly, this delightful bird book, so I can figure out what type of bird you are, and why you're pecking on my window.

Monday, October 26, 2009

'tis the season...

...To dress up.

*DISCLAIMER: this post has nothing to do with home decorating, home improvement, and has only a tiny bit of DIY*

Although Mr. C and I don't celebrate Halloween, I have always thought it was fun to dress up in costumes -as a kid especially. It's hard to find a store that doesn't have costumes for sale right now, but costume cost a small fortune, and honestly, the cheapo costumes don't look fun to wear anyway. But that didn't stop me from virtually dressing up Mr. C and myself...

You can dress up too, at

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pillow Talk

See that pretty green pillow? it's new. There's another one on the other side of the couch. Guess how much they cost? they were full priced when I purchased them. Would you believe they were just $7.99? For both!

I've had my eye on green pillows lately, wanting to emulate this family room mood board in our living room (since it's lively, contemporary, and we have several of the pieces already).

Unfortunately, I've been practically broke for that last couple of weeks, due to our current bathroom renovation (which is being finished tonight!). What's a girl to do?
Well, while perusing Target the other day, I stumbled upon a beautiful green tablecloth, and decided I must add it to my Fall decor. Loving the color, the weight of the fabric, and the machine-wash-ability, I began to scheme and ponder the versatility of tablecloths and cloth napkins. They are, after all, just fabric. So I grabbed a package of 4 20"x20" green fabric napkins for $7.99. I sewed my own pillow covers with those napkins, covered 2 pillows I already owned, and voila! new, inexpensive -but nice- pillows!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Albion Manor Scones

I love scones. I have never eaten a scone I didn't love, and I've eaten lots.
But this scone recipe is by far my favorite. The resulting bit of heaven is light, delicately tangy, and takes to butter, cream, or jam as though they were made for one another (and indeed, they are!). Of course, it doesn't hurt that the B&B that developed this recipe (Albion Manor), shares my name. There is an obvious bias because of that, but still, -believe me! these are excellent scones.
Here is the recipe, which I originally found on this website, quite by accident. I took the liberty of re-writing it, because I found the original version to be less than straightforward.

Albion Manor Scones

3 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled butter

1 cup butter milk (I use ¾ cup milk + ¼ cup lemon juice)
1 egg

Beat together milk and egg.

Mix the dry things together. Add butter and rub in with your fingers (as you would when making pie crust).

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. If the dough is way too sticky, mix in a bit more flour. Carefully- the dough will be a bit sticky, but you should be able to get it out of the bowl. You can't add more liquid and you musn't overwork the dough. Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a surface and press out the dough. Don’t work it too much. Use your cooker cutter, any shape, or a glass with straight sides, dipping it into flour between each use and put the scones on a baking tray. Brush with a beaten egg.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 – 16 minutes (should be cooked through and golden brown in colour).

You may add whatever you want to add to the scones: pecans, currents, cranberries, ginger, lemon or orange zest, etc. A fun addition is to dip sugar cubes into orange juice and press them into the top just before putting them in the oven.


I am properly ashamed at my lack of blog updating. I have been busy decorating/painting/working, but haven't blogged a bit about it! I've also neglected to take pictures of the "befores" of these projects! I will though, post the completed projects soon... most of them aren't quite finished yet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If Only In My Dreams

Above is a picture of a fun chest my dad and I refinished. I love it, want to keep it in my living room, but have to admit, it is dwarfed by the huge bay window it resides in front of. I have visions of a built-in window seat dancing through my head. Something like this:

Yummy! and the best thing? there are instructions for building it right here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bath Remodel -Update

Today Mr. Chrisman and I went shopping with Mr. Chrisman Sr. (aka Dad, aka contractor-remodeling-our-bathroom), to pick up supplies for the Master Bath remodel (heretofore known as the M. Bath). A few posts previous I presented a mood board for the M. Bath, which due to some good advice from Dad Chrisman has changed a little.

Another reason for the change was an issue we had with the tile -the type we previously decided upon wouldn't work as well as believed. It turned out to be in our benefit though, when we went shopping for different kinds and found very good deals on porcelain tile for the floor and tud surround (with matching quarter round for trimming), and beautiful marble for the vanity top. Both were on clearance and we snatched them up.

Another thing that has changed is the shower curtain. We've been using a very nice striped shower curtain (on previous post's mood board) in our M. Bath. Due to a very fortunate clearance find at Bed, Bath and Beyond, we will be able to hang a lovely white and extra long (so we can follow these wonderful blogger's example) shower curtain in our renovated bathroom.
Here is the revised mood board for those of you who are as nosy as I am.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Porch or Not to Porch.

In this neck of the woods, Summers can be quite warm. Thus, having a zero shade, west facing backyard was perhaps, an oversight of our home's builders. In order to enjoy our yard (something Mr. Chrisman and I were both eager to do after living in a condo with no yard), we improvised a little.Our shady, semi-private front yard is 90% landscaped, with just a patch of concrete in front of the living room window.
When we purchased our house, we thought that the little porch, with it's rancher style fence, was adorable. However, after purchasing two wooden chairs to enjoy on our little porch, we quickly realized how small it really was. The cute fence prevented comfortable sitting and stretching out of legs.
So what to do? tear down the fence, naturally! it came down quite easily, and resulted in a more welcoming house-front, and a bit more space.
We weren't quite done though. The next step was to tear out a big ungainly bush that hid the porch in a menacing way. Menacing because it was infested with spiders.

After adding a few flower pots and using a bit of creativity with some candle holders, we had a great place to sip our hot tea in the morning, or chillax with a glass of wine at night.

The entire porch redo cost $119 from start to finish, and here's the price breakdown:

Chairs, $80, Yard Furniture Liquidator
Flower Pots, $17, Ikea and Walmart
Plants, FREE! clippings from my Mr. Chrisman's mom
Candle lanterns, $5, Target
Wire and hooks (to hang lanterns), $5, hardware store
Paint to revamp light fixture, $3.50, Home Depot
Side table, $5 for 3, at neighbor's garage sale
Paint for side table (originally black and roughed up), $3.50, Home Depot