Best Darn Soup Ever!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hey everyone! Can you believe that Saturday is November 1st!! Wow! Where has this year gone?

Today is a very special day. So just bear with me for a moment while I get sappy! You see, today is mine and Mike's 31st Anniversary!! That's a long time! And I'm very proud of the fact that we've been together for so long! He's truly my best friend and we have such a great time together! I love him more than words can say! Ok enough of that! I'll just let these pictures tell the story!

Are you lovin that burgundy velvet suit I wore for my going away outfit? I thought I looked like Jackie Kennedy! Brides today would say, "What's a going away outfit?"

So while I was strolling down memory lane looking at these old pictures, I remembered a soup that I used to make in our little one bedroom apartment, when we were first married.  It was French Onion Soup. I think I made it a lot because we got some cute little crocks for a wedding present. And I wanted to impress my new husband with my culinary expertise! 

I thought I would make it again since I was already in a throwback state of mind! I've had this recipe for years and years and it's always been a winner! 
Recipe at the end of post.
I call it, The Best Darn Soup Ever!
(And I'm not kidding!)

 Simple ingredients really. If you look online you'll see a million ways to make it. 
I use beef broth and chicken broth. I also use sweet onions, which some people say that's a no-no. But it tastes good to me, and that's all that matters. Also, for you wine drinkers look away!! Because I had no white wine, so I substituted for white cooking wine. And honestly I couldn't tell the difference. I also threw in a can of Beef Consommé (not pictured)

 Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

 Melt one stick of butter in a heavy dutch oven.

 Chop onions not too fine. They will cook down a lot. So keep them rather chunky.

 Saute' onions in butter for 15-20 minutes. Then I put them in the oven for about an hour with the lid cracked for the first 30 minutes, then take the lid off for the last 30 minutes.

 Then back on the stove where they've developed nice warm cracklins. Begin stirring and scrapping all that yummy goodness off. Add wine, and reduce for about 5 minutes.

 Then add broths, garlic, worcestershire sauce. Simmer for another hour.
Important step! Spray your crocks with a vegetable spray so the cheese will come off easily either by eating it or dishwasher.

Make sure you use a good crusty, hard bread. Give them a good slather of butter, and broil till golden brown.

I use three kinds of cheese. Because we are a cheesy family! My favorite for this soup is parmesan, provolone, and swiss. I've used Gruyere but it's not my favorite. And very expensive!

Place bread and top with cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly! I just had this, and my mouth is watering just thinking of another bowl!

I served it with a light arugula salad dress with EVOO and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
I'll just let you enjoy the rest of the pictures with no more words!

And this says it all!

Happy Anniversary Baby!!

Best Darn Soup Ever (French Onion Soup)
1 stick of butter
3 large sweet onions chopped
4 cups beef broth
2 cans chicken broth
1 can beef consommé
1 cup white wine (or white cooking wine)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 splashes of worcestershire sauce
crusty french bread (sliced and buttered)
parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
swiss cheese (I just bought the sliced kind)
provolone cheese (sliced)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Melt butter in large, heavy dutch oven. Add onions, and stir. Saute' for 15- 20 minutes. Place in oven for 1 hour with lid cracked for the first 30 minutes, then take lid off for last 30 minutes. Stir a couple of times. Remove from oven and turn on med-low heat and scrap brown bits off. Add wine and reduce for 5 mins. Add broths, garlic, worcestershire sauce and simmer for another hour.

Butter bread and broil till golden brown. Spray crocks with vegetable spray and ladle soup in bowls. Add bread and layer with cheese. 
Add as much cheese as you like!
Broil till bubbly and golden

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What It Means To Be Neighborly

Monday, October 27, 2014

This subject really doesn't have anything to do with home decor, but to me it does have something to do with HOME!
 I thought about writing this post as I was outside earlier today. Here's the scenario. I was working around out front watering and putting things back after the new driveway, when my neighbor who lives across the street, (No names are given to protect the innocent) came out to put her children in the car. So I keep looking waiting for her to look over to say hello and a friendly, "How are you today?" And as she is getting ready to get in the car she finally looks over, and I say, "Hi! How are you today?" Her response is a half wave and a side smile. Then she hops in the car and off she goes! Never glancing over again.

 I realize people are in a hurry and maybe she was having a bad day! But she is like this ALWAYS!! Never waves, never says hello! And for that matter never even looks our way!

So what does it mean to be neighborly? I'm not saying I want someone always up in my business and coming over every time my garage is open. But I do think just speaking to someone is neighborly. Maybe saying, "How are you today?

Now don't get me wrong we have some terrific neighbors who are just as friendly as can be! Even there to lend a helping hand when we've needed someone. I'm pretty sure that's where the phrase, borrow a cup of sugar came from. From being neighborly!

Maybe I need to live in a small town, where your neighbors will bring you a basket of muffins or a cake when something great happens like having a baby or sad like losing a family member.  Or when you go on vacation they'll pick up your mail or feed your dog/cat. Keep a look out when they see someone suspicious around your house. Not creepy keeping a look out, just neighborly!

Am I asking too much and living in a fantasy world?

So what's your idea of being neighborly? Do you know your neighbors and are friendly with them? Or do you keep your distance? (No judging!)

Also I'll have pictures and a post on the new pavered driveway in a couple of days. Which turned out fabulous!
Until then neighbor!
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My Favorite Pottery Barn Throws

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

With chillier weather around the corner there is nothing better than having a soft, comfy, snugly throw to wrap around you. Of course I use one year around, because somebody likes our house at a freezing 68 degrees!

What I love about a throw is they're pretty and functional. They really warm a room casually thrown over a chair or sofa. Adding that come sit with me look! So while scouring the web for the just right throw I thought I'd share a few that caught my eye.

My first stop of course is to my all time favorite store Pottery Barn! This isn't a sponsored post by the way…I just love the store!

I'm a sucker for anything monogrammed! And these have my name on them! Well actually they have my initial on them!

You can't go wrong with a chunky cable knit. Doesn't this look like it's calling you to snuggle with it?

And how cute is this chevron throw? Love the pop of color! Oh Pottery Barn you really know how to get me!

In the faux fur category there's lots to choose from!

If you love fur and knit then this one is for you. And there's a bonus when you buy this throw.  20% goes to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Now that's a win win!

 I'm seeing pom poms everywhere! Just take a look at Pinterest and you'll see what I mean. This pom pom trim adds an interesting touch to this hand crocheted throw.

These solid colored faux mohair throws are generously oversized at 55x80! Maybe big enough to snuggle with your honey! And what beautiful colors too!

So there you have it! My favorite Pottery Barn throws. Now the only thing to decide is, which one? 
I was thinking one for every room?
Wait…that wasn't a question!
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Fall On The Back Porch

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Since I showed you my Fall front porch, I figured I would go ahead and show you the back porch! If you missed the front porch you can hop on over and see it here.
 We love our back porch! I've tried to make it comfortable and homey, because we use it like it's another room. It's always been a great space for overflow when we have a party. Just open up the french doors and it easily flows with the rest of the house. We have the T.V. out there and my husband loves to sit and smoke a good cigar while watching a baseball game. The Rays? Don't ask! :(

We haven't had the furniture too long. And I know I promised you guys that I would show you what we bought a while ago. But, time has a way of slipping by. So sorry. I ordered it from Target online. It's the Threshold Heatherstone Wicker 4-piece set. And we love it! It was a little stiff at first but I think with time it will soften up!

I'm in love with industrial looking furniture right now. And when I saw the Aiden 3 shelf console from World Market I knew it was exactly what I was looking for! The wood is mango and it's gorgeous! I also love the mixture of wood and metal, and it has wheels so moving it will be super easy! 
It should be okay outside given that it won't be exposed to water, but I'll definitely keep an eye on it!

Would you like a glass of cool lemonade?

Mums never do well for me. But they sure are pretty!

I added an indoor lamp and it looks really pretty and cozy at night! Looking forward to cooler temps today and for the next few days! :)

We strung these cute little cafe lights also from World Market along the ceiling. They add such a festive feel to the porch! It feels like a party every night!

Love it at night!

Don't forget to pin this to your Fall inspiration boards! I would greatly love that!
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Our New Pavered Driveway!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I've talked about this for a while and finally…finally! It's coming true! We are getting our driveway redone in pavers tomorrow! I can't tell you how excited I am!
 The biggest reason is we have oak trees and they make such a mess on the driveway it's a real maintenance problem. With the pavers the stains from the trees won't be as noticeable. They'll seal them too, to prevent staining. Another problem we have is at the end of the driveway it's a lob-lolly!

 That's a southern term I believe!
 In other words water stands at the end of the driveway so when you drive through it mud is everywhere! They'll level it all out and add drains so water won't stand! I hear angels singing!!

We also have major cracks too. I mean the driveway is after all 40+ years old! Tomorrow they'll start by removing the old driveway and sidewalk. :)

Here's an example of a driveway with pavers to give you an idea of what we're doing…


We're also pavering the sidewalk leading up to the front door and widening it near the porch to give us a little more space.

Make sure you check back for progress and after pictures later this week!

So I'll be going to bed early tonight, so I'll be ready for the big day!!

Did I say I was excited?!?!
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Rug Pad USA!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Rug Pad USA. Although all opinions are 100% truthful and mine.
If you've followed along with my blog you'll know that I have some decorating obsessions. One being area rugs! I love them! To me they can make or in some cases break a room. So sad! But, not to worry the choices out there are limitless to say the least.

For years I owned rugs but never bothered to put a rug pad underneath.  And why? Mostly for cost reasons. In some cases it was a big enough investment just to buy the rug. Then to have to purchase a rug pad on top of it?  I figured my family could slide around and take their chances staying upright!

One day after my Husband had had enough of sliding through the kitchen I bought a rug pad! Great right? Not so much! The rug pad stuck to the floor and caused a discoloration on my beautiful and not mention new wood floors! Not cool!

So I was excited when I was contacted by Rug Pad USA to try out their higher end eco-friendly rug pads that are made in the good ole USA! Besides I'd been gun shy in purchasing a new rug pad for my new living room rug anyway!

You see the market is flooded with low quality, toxic pvc imported rug pads, that can actually be quite toxic and will actually damage certain types of hardwood floors. Rug Pad USA products are guaranteed to never strip, damage or discolor floors and come with a 15-20 year warranty!

They sell a variety of rug pads that will best meet your needs. Their pads are cut fresh from the factory after every order, which is particularly important since most handmade Persian rugs often come in unusual sizes. Every one of their Oriental rug pads are custom cut from large rug pad rolls and shipped within a 24 hour time frame. How many companies can say that? Oh and did I mention that shipping is free?


Rug Pad USA was kind enough to send me the Eco-Cushion for my Moroccan Trellis Wool rug. The eco-cushion is for higher end rugs and made with an eco-friendly blend of bio-based polymers and soybean oils. It also has a 20 yr. warranty and is extra cushioned at approx. 1/4" thick.

So after using our new rug pad for a while now I can safely say that every ones feet are planted firmly on the ground and my beautiful wood floors are safe too! 

If you're in need of a rug pad head on over to Rug Pad USA and know that you're bringing in a non toxic product that's safe for your family and your floors!

Thank you Rug Pad USA!!
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