Latest Event Updates
So Handsome and I took a break from doing projects at the house and went on a day date 😘 That’s correct a day date! By the time we get done with work during the week and whatever were working on over the weekends I am so exhausted that I would never make it to dinner and movie, so we came up with day dates! I really think it’s a neat idea, there is so much to see and so much to do here in the Bluegrass state!
So we headed to Berea for their annual craft festival. Berea is a quaint town known for its rich history and beautiful crafts. It’s home to a private liberal arts college where the students create amazing art.
This artist was dying various yarn and wool for knitting, weaving and crocheting.
Well of course I couldn’t leave with out buying something so I found an artist who took very small flours that he grows and presses them in glass! Absolutely beautiful. This is the one I brought home with me.
The food was AMAZING and the service was none other than southern hospitality!
Handsome of course ordered the burger and I got the Tavern salad, but nothing beats the traditional spoon bread! If you’ve never had spoon bread you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world but it absolutely wonderful!! Yum!!
After that we went to some of the local shops in the area and there was a student from Berea College making place settings and coasters on the loom. She even gave me a lesson!!!! I was super excited- looks harder than you think, I swear there’s a science behind it!
Another adventure in the Bluegrass state, many more to come….
Hello everyone! Yes I know it’s been awhile….life happened and we’ve been busy and I have made a post in about 2 years! Since then a lot has changed. Handsome and I have bought a new house and taken on MANY diy projects. The newest project is an ottoman with storage. In our new house we have a basement that we recently remodeled.
Needless to say we’ve done ALOT of work!! Anyways….now we want to move our relaxtion spot down stairs to the UK Man Cave aka the basement….hence the reason for the ottoman with storage. 😊 I wanted to make something that serve many purposes. I wanted something to serve as a foot stool, and something we could also use for storage and something that would also be decorative and a centerpiece for the room….so that is why we came up with the ottoman. You know me, I had to add a little female classy to the UK Man Cave so I found this paisley UK blue fabric at a fabric store and decided to go with that to just add a little pizazz to the room!
Step 1: Gathering Materials
So we started by gathering our materials so we headed to our home away from home…..Lowes! Seriously…the people there know us by name 😀 plus Handsome LOVES Lowes, like I love shoe shopping! Isn’t he so cute?!? Such a serious thinker!!!!
3 1×12 @ 4 feet long
10 feet of trim
4 bun feet
4 bun feet plates
2 pieces of ½ inch plywood 36 x 24
1 piano hinge
1 ¼ inch Course Pocket Hole Screws
Golden Oak wood stain
2 yards of fabric
1 piece of foam – same size as your plywood 24 x 36
Batting (enough to go over your foam and cover your edges)
We started with the two pieces of the 1 x 12, and cut 4 pieces. I cut 2 pieces at 36 inches and 2 at 22.5 inches.
Then Handsome drilled 3 pocket holes in each end of the 22.5 inch boards.
The next step was to stain the base. I am a HUGE fan of walnut stain, but with this project we used Golden Oak because Handsome also re-did the basement stairs with the same stain, plus we have some other pieces that have the same stain and we wanted it to all match. We did not paint the inside of the ottoman, we kind of like it that way better, and we were going for the rustic look. I am on the lookout for a sachet to put in there so that our blankets don’t smell like plywood!
After the stain had a few hours to dry, we flipped the ottoman over and screwed the bun feet into the plates.
Ok so next was putting the fabric on the lid (the other piece of ½ inch plywood) which was my job, well it was a hard job! Probably the hardest job out of the entire project. I’m just joking, I was a little dramatic about this part because the first fabric I bought I DID NOT LIKE!!! So I was not happy with the outcome, but anyways, I started by laying out my fabric, then laying the batting on top of that, then laying foam on top of that, you see where I am going here, just keeping laying things down on the floor, one thing on top of another. Then finally laying the plywood down on top of everything, making sure everything is centered. Ok so this next step is very important, do what I like to call a trial run by pulling your fabric with the batting and foam around the edges of the plywood and flip it over to make sure that the design of the fabric is centered on the plywood and you like the way it looks before stapling it down. I made the mistake of just stapling it and then when I was finished the fabric was not centered and I had to pull out all of the staples and redo it! Not a happy person!!!!
So next make sure everything is lined up correctly and pull your fabric with the batting and foam coming over the edge of the plywood a little bit and staple into the plywood. You want to pull somewhat tight, but not too tight. Work on one side and move to the opposite end before moving to the other sides. Now on the corners, I did those last, I just grabbed the remaining fabric, pulled it and kinda twisted it at the same time. I am sure there was a better way of doing this, but like I said this was the hardest part of the project and once I got to this step I was wore out and I just wanted to finish! It was like playing twister with a big box in the middle trying to maneuver your way around it!!! LOL
So Handsome and I went to Asheville, NC last year for our anniversary and we ate at Sunset Terrace at Park Grove Inn where we had the most AMAZING pork chop ever! Breathtaking view at dinner of the Blue Ridge Mountains….romantic! Yes it was!
Well Handsome had the pork chop and I ordered the salmon, but he shared his pork chop with me 😘 Ever since then I’ve been trying to come up with a recipe for that pork chop and this one comes pretty close.
So almost a year in the making I think I’ve come up with the easiest and tastiest pork chop ever! Simple and scrumptious.
Easiest Pork Chop Ever
1/4 cup of EVOO
1 1/2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 Tablespoon of Mrs.Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning.
Mix all ingresdients in a bowl and let the pork chops marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour.
We grilled our pork chops because we are grill people, until the meat themometer read 170 degrees, but you could also roast them in the oven on 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut.
Ta da! There you have it! We paired ours with roasted red potatoes and green beans. You could have mac-n-cheese and broccoli as well. And if you wanted to be fancy you could serve the pork chops with my Raspberry Sauce from an earlier post.
1/2 cup raspberry jam (can be substituted for any type of jam)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Add the jam, vinegar and mustard to a sauce pan. Cook on low and stir for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork.
Hope you enjoy! 😊
Hello everyone! It’s been awhile….I’m hoping I can get back to blogging. Life is crazy 😜 Since we last spoke 😊 Handsome and I bought and new home! Yay! I am not sure that it is considered a fixer upper by true definition, but I promise you it’s been a fixer upper for us!! Handsome takes care of all the MAN POWER and I get to decorate! Yay!!
First things first, the front of the house needed a way overdo facelift….so that’s what it got! Out with the old and in with the new!!!
Please don’t mind the crazy lady on the ladder, she’s just cleaning the cobwebs. Haha! As you can see there was WAY too much white and an aqua door!! Plus the landscaping was out-of-control!! So we put together a plan to give some TLC!
Ta da!! So we cleaned up the landscaping and laid new mulch, planted some flowers in the planters that were already here, I just gave them a fresh coat of paint. Then we replaced the mailbox and light fixture. We painted the front door and shutters with a really pretty rich blue to bring out the beautiful brick. We also painted white trim around the door. Then we replaced the doorknob, lock and kick plate to match.
More to come…..😊
So here in Kentucky summers can vary….we have some summers where the weather is ideal with temperatures in the low 80s….however, we have been experiencing a HEAT WAVE for the past few days with temperatures in the 90s!!! Yes!…you read correctly 90 degrees in Kentucky! In fact, today’s high is 92!!!! HOT!
When the weather gets this hot I tend to want to eat cool things…like salads, salsa and smoothies! So I was craving a good salsa… and when I say good I mean GOOD….not store bought! So of course when I am looking for a good recipe I grab one of my Pioneer Woman cookbooks…and of course I found one! Just a little side note Ree Drummon the Pioneer Woman is coming to Lexington for the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show on October 11, 2014…Oh and I will be there! Mark your calendars! She is my favorite!!!
Ok, ok back to the salsa. I used some can ingredients but if you can find fresh ingredients this time of year that would be best! I hope you enjoy!
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
2 10 oz. cans of Rotel (mild flavor)
1/4 cup chopped onion (you can use red onion or white onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ jalapeno, sliced with ribs and seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 of a lime, juiced
Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Pulse about 10-15 times, or until you get it to the consistency you like. I prefer my salsa smoother than junkier so I pulse more than lese.
Refrigerate salsa for about an hour to allow the ingredients to merry and then serve with tortilla chips!
*You can use a food processor or a blender is smaller batches to make this recipe.
First Stop – Olympic National Park
So our morning started out pretty earlier….6:00 a.m. and that’s west coast time…we were used to Kentucky time.
Our flight landed in Seattle Friday night at 11:40 p.m. of course delayed…so we were running on about 3 hours of sleep and a Starbucks!!!!!!
So this was the farthest I had been a way from home and I felt like I was on the biggest adventure of my life.
My sister, dad, Handsome and I planned to travel from Olympic National Park and work our way to Glacier National Park and finish at Yellowstone National Park.
So I’m not proud of this next pic but the roads out there seem to be nothing like I-65 back in Kentucky…so after drinking all of that Starbucks we needed a potty break…and yes this was the ONLY place we could find….please don’t judge me….but when Mother Nature calls you can’t be picky.
Kalaloch Beach “a good place to land”
The Tidal Pools at Kalaloch Beach were absolutely amazing!
The tide pools are home to all different kinds of sea creatures.
My sister found a sea cucumber… pretty interesting. However, I don’t think its looks like a cucumber, or at least not one I would like to have on my salad! Haha
My favorite sea creatures in the tide pools where the sea stars and they were everywhere….I love the vibrant colors of these two sea stars!
Dad was the photographer for most of trip so he is not in our first picture.
After leaving Kalaloch Beach we traveled down the road to find the infamous Root Tree…. and when I say Root Tree… I mean ROOT TREE!!! It was fascinating to see a live tree with its roots exposed.
The Root Tree
Here is a picture of my sister and dad, and myself sitting below the roots of the Root Tree!
The next place we went to was Ruby Beach. This beach was filled with all of these wonderful flat stone rocks and the home to giant boulders.
The beach had huge boulders down the coastline.
Also the beach had these flat beach stones that people had stacked and placed them along the tops of driftwood the tide had brought in. Shhhh don’t tell anyone but I took some of those rocks to make my own zen stacking rocks at home…. I will let you know when I get that put together…. I hope it’s ok that I took them….
*I am going to start with a disclosure statement: the only reason this part of the posted has been inserted is at the request of the rest of my family on the trip.*
There was a BIGFOOT sighting while we were visiting Ruby Beach. As you can see from the pictures below the BigFoot was found to be one of us….can you imagine who?……ME! My Dad took this lovely picture which captured me walking down the beach in such a way that reminded him of a picture he had once seen of a BogFoot sighting on a beach….. and I think you can figure the rest of it out…..Needless to say this picture was posted all over Facebook and Instagram to be shared with the rest of the world…..Haha!
After ending our first day we went and checked into the Lake Crescent Lodge which is a turn-of-the-century resort that was built in 1912. And it was definitely turn-of-the-century, it did not have any TVs or telephones. Now I understand that this may not come a shock to some of you, but to me was an absolute shocker! Evidently this a place where you come to be unplugged and off the grid. However, it was a very beautiful place to stay and amazing food. This was our magnificent view of Lake Crescent.
On day 2 at Olympic National Park we went to the Sol Duc Falls. We had to hike a .8 mils trail back into the wilderness but it was well worth it.
At this next picture you can tell I am just so happy I made it to the falls…I am not much of a hiker!… Ha!
The next place we came to was this stop for a salmon viewing, which evidently the salmon can no longer be seen at this place. However, we took some amazing pictures of the canopy of the trees.
I have to say that this is my favorite picture of the entire trip…..me looking to the heavens.
Our final stop in Olympic National Park was Hurricane Ridge. It has stunning view of the mountain ridge lines but it was a little foggy there and snowing a bit. It was kinda weird to experience snow in June, but that is not the only place we had snow…I will get to that a little later.
It was extremely cold and windy….brrrr….or so I thought until we arrived at our next park…but we survived!
Second Stop – Glacier National Park
Our next stop was Glacier National Park, however the weather wasn’t so nice and prevented us from seeing and doing some things we had planned. Upon our arrival there was a winter storm warning and some areas even received up to 10 inches of snow…brrrr……
Our plans for the first day at Glacier National Park were horseback riding through park. That morning when we woke it was 37 degrees and misty rain….so Handsome and I decided that we would sit this one out, but Amber and Dad braved the winter storm and pushed on…..although, I small part of each of them wished that hadn’t. The trail ride lasted about 2 hours and they were in higher elevation which was colder than 37 degrees and not a misty rain, but a snowy rain. I think they both were afraid that had hypothermia by the end of the ride….see why Handsome and I decided to sit this one out….
So our first day at Glacier National Park was somewhat uneventful….. We then had dinner at Lake McDonald Lodge which they had an amazing Lentil Tomato Soup…which I think I am going to try and mimic that recipe…. and as cold as it was there it was a perfect eat to the end of very cold day…. who knew it could snow in June?!?!
Handsome and I stayed at a Hilton in the next town over because the rooms at Lake McDonald Lodge were so small…and when I say small, I mean two rooms with each a full size bed… so on the way home after dinner we saw some amazing views.
The next day it was still cold and rainy so we decided to drive over the east side of Glacier National Park to the Many Glacier Hotel. On the way there we stopped at the Continental Divide…..and as you can see it was snowing there…brrrr
At Many Glacier Hotel you can actually see three different glaciers: Salamander, Grinnell, and Gem. Unfortunately, when we arrived it was somewhat still foggy and we were unable to see any of the glaciers. However, we got a wonderful view of mountain scenery from the back deck which is nestled on the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake.
Even though it was cold, rainy and foggy the views were absolutely magnificent! Here are some more views of around Many Glacier Hotel…
Our trip to Glacier National Park concluded with our last stop at Lake McDonald…..we had seen a beautiful picture of its shoreline on the internet and had to see it for ourselves. The lake’s shoreline is filled with small color pebbles and when the sun is shining the pebbles seem to glisten off the water. However, when we went….you can guess….yes it was rainy and foggy…so our pictures do not capture the true beauty of the colorful pebbles but it is still another wonderful view.
Third Stop – Yellowstone National Park
Our third and final stop was Yellowstone National Park….. YAY! We made it…… I have to say this was the most amazing park out of all three parks, however we had wonderful weather here too! The landscape was out of this world and nothing like I had ever seen before. It was beautiful!
Roosevelt Arch entrance
We arrived at Yellowstone National Park about 5:00 p.m. in the afternoon and decided to go into the park and drive around for awhile before it got dark. This was the entrance into the park…..Roosevelt Arch entrance. The Roosevelt Arch was constructed under the supervision of the U.S. Army in 1903 at Fort Yellowstone by the President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt…..hence the name. At the top of the arch inscribed is a quote “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People” which was from the legislation which created Yellowstone from the Organic Act of 1872. Just a brief history lesson for those of you who did not know that……I had no idea!!!! This trip was very educational!
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine….yes travertine… the same things people put in their houses for counter tops….CRAZY… I know! This spring was created over thousands of years ago!
Lamar Valley is home to many different types of wildlife in Yellowstone Park including bears, wolves, elk, bison, pronghorn, eagles, and bighorn sheep. We were told that the wildlife is most active at dawn and dusk. We did see a coyote and some buffalo, but no bears or wolves😦 The landscapes here were AMAZING! and I have to say this was one of my favorite areas of the park……the sky was wide open and you could see for miles and miles…..
So the wildlife here is CRAZY…..they just do what they want to and roam around…which I guess technically this is their home and we are visitors, but it was wild to me to see all of these buffalo everywhere! They have what they call buffalo jams here, which is when a herd of buffalo crosses the road at their own pace and a traffic jam forms for miles. We were actually fortunate enough to experience a buffalo jam (see below)…and let me tell you these tourist they are CRAZY…..they would get really close to these animals to take pictures and the park specifically has warning signs to keep your distance from the wildlife….what people will do for a picture….haha
Norris Geyser Basin
Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone and is the location of the world’s tallest active geyser. Let me tell you about the small though…GROSS!…it smells like a rotten egg!!!! It is actually bacteria that eats and creates sulfuric acid. When it evaporates it becomes hydrogen sulfide gas and that is the smell…. but regardless of the smell they are still natural beauties! So not only a history lesson on this trip…but a science lesson as well….You’re welcome🙂
Artist Paint Pots
Artist Paint Pots was a very popular place in the park. It is home to over 50 springs, geysers, vents and especially mud pots. The post have varying shades of blue, grey and brown….which gives the name of artist pots! I have to admit I wasn’t really impressed with this spot….but hold on we’re getting to the MAIN ATTRACTION!
Firehole Canyon Drive & Falls
So the key to visiting these parks is talking to the locals….they have so much knowledge about the area and will share the wonderful locations not found on the maps. In a gift store we stopped at before entering the park a woman told us about talking an alternate route inside the park and driving through the Firehole Canyon….and it was beautiful! The canyon is also home to Firehole Canyon Falls which are 40 foot waterfalls and the Firehole River.
And you know me and Handsome, we have to take pictures of ourselves everywhere we go…haha!
Grand Prismatic Springs
So this next stop was Handsome’s favorite and you can see why…the colors here are stunning and beautiful! It is the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest hot spring in the world. It has the colors of the rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green and blue.
Excelsior Geyser Spring
Excelsior Geyser Crater is a hot spring located near the Grand Prismatic Spring. This spring is a little different from the rest, because it dumps 4,000 to 4,500 gallons of 199 °F water per minute directly into the Firehole River…..now that would be a warm place to swim…smelly…but warm!
And here we are…….the MAIN ATTRACTION….Old Faithful!!!! Old Faithful was the first geyser in the park to receive its name in 1870. It was named Old Faithful because it known as one of the most predictable geysers which erupts almost every 91 minutes. There is literally semi-stadium seating around the geyser and people come from all over the world and sit and wait for it to erupt. Crazy…huh? Another one of the world’s beauties.
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Exiting the park on our last day we saw the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone….not to be confused with The Grand Canyon…haha! The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone has been formed over the years by volcanic eruptions and glaciers….pretty amazing!
This concludes our wonderful trip…I feel very blessed to have been able to have this experience with Handsome, my Dad and my Sister….the only thing I recommend if you are thinking about taking a trip such as this, make sure you pack for every type of weather possible and call and ask where you are lodging if they have TVs in the rooms…..most importantly that you do realize this is NOT a vacation, but an adventure…one you will treasure for a lifetime!
Here in my small Bluegrass town we have a Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. This past Tuesday I found some wonderful vegetables at the Farmer’s Market. When the Farmer’s Market is open I try to buy as much of my produce that I can at the market rather than at the grocery store. It is very important to me to buy local and fresh ingredients when cooking. Also there is a certain kind of feeling that comes from bringing fresh vegetables home from a local farm in your home town….it kind of brings things full circle.
Our Farmer’s Market has wonderful fruits and vegetables, but it also has beautiful flower bouquets, baked goods such as breads and muffins, spice rubs and other homemade items. While visiting the Farmer’s Market I picked me up a little breakfast snack….chocolate chip zucchini muffin… and it was delish!!!
So after returning home from the market I came up with some recipes to cook my famer’s market finds for dinner. Plus this gave me the opportunity to use my pressure cooker that Handsome and I got as a wedding gift. Let me tell you this pressure cooker is one fancy kitchen appliance…it is nothing like my grandmother’s pressure cooker! I have to admit I was kind of scared to use it at first, I thought that maybe the top would blow off and put a whole in my ceiling so I waited for Handsome and I to use it together….Haha! And there was no blow up and the green beans and new potatoes turned out amazing!
I hope you enjoy my recipes and get to your local famer’s market and see what you can find to bring home and cook!