Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NOTHING like fresh squash!

Tonight we are having Baked Squash, a Southern recipe from Paula Deen! Pretty yummy I might add.. My dish above!  ENjoy!!  I have a few more servings.. come on over!!  Hugs! Valarie


1 teaspoon Paula Deen House Seasoning
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
6 cups raw squash
4 tablespoons butter
1   large onion, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a heated stewing pot, add 6 cups of raw sliced squash and water, and stir and let stew for 5-10 minutes. Then pour the stewed squash into a colander, covered in a clean rag or cheesecloth, and allow the water and juices to drain by mashing with a spoon.
In separate medium size skillet, saute the sliced onion in butter for 5 minutes.
Remove from pan and, using a large bowl, add squash, onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and sharp cheddar cheese. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

now that's a cushion!!

****** edited to add**** 

just so you all know the Serendipity Gypsy is doing well. We drove out for a visit tonight... I "HAD" to take the cushions... they seemed huge... so I placed them in there over all his working tools etc.. (window boxes built this week-end) and they fit perfect.... Also the faux wood floor is down, replacing our sub floor, and top flooring. Before her foundation was a bit rotten! We know a gypsy girl has to have a solid foundation! I can not tell you how excited I am..... This was a BIG DREAM on my BUCKET LIST!!! MORE to Come!! 

AND a whole lot of strawberries!! These are the seat & back cushions for the Shasta. These will sit over the boxed seating. Below is a close up-- corded in the red white check which I totally adore!!  Taking them out to where the rehab is taking place tonight.  Don't you think they are so
cheerful?  Have a great day! Valarie

Monday, June 28, 2010

AWNINGS for the 61 Shasta!

Awnings ordered for the Shasta... aren't these the cutest ever!! 
I am sooooo excited!! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

good bye east texas, good bye sky ranch!!

Sorry no post in a few days! Been out in East Texas, spending time with Mama AND visiting a dear friend. I then drove out to beautiful Sky Ranch camp, picked up the angel grandson! We saddled up and rode back to North Texas!

One last prayer circle for cabin 12 and good-byes!  If you ever have a chance to send your child, your grandchild or attend a retreat there.... go! You will be glad you did!
Have a fabulous week!! 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Applause please!!

Yesterday was LOML's (love of my life) 30 year anniversary at AT&T!  Certainly do not hear of this long of a tenure at a corporation anymore!! ! In the photo are very dear friends of his, many years of relationships, hard work and memories. A catered luncheon was enjoyed by 25 of his closest friends & peers, LOML was awarded a very beautiful gold ring with diamonds, looks a super bowl ring! It was a great day... he is counting the days till retirement and he can begin his dream full time.... in marriage & family counseling.  (photo l-r Vance, Jeff, LOML, John) Congratulations LOML, I am so proud of  you and thankful you are mine!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

minus one....

Tonight we are minus big brother for Mimi night. We dropped him off at camp last week-end ... just Jack & I playing in the water sprinkler tonight!  Isn't that the sweetest little face? Smiles..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

look what UPS delivered today.......

UPS just delivered BLUE FOREVER STRAWBERRY oilcloth for my dining benches for the 1961 Shasta window box seats.... I am going to cord the cushions in RED WHITE check oilcloth.  Decided to go with the oilcloth vs fabric for easy clean up with spills, wet bathing suits, etc...  I love the blue forever. I know you all were thinking I would go red, white, black.. Nope, no black... Trading in the black for aqua! Also, Lowe's called and the formica is in for the counter tops. Decided on color called  Nautical White, going to trim out edges in metal stripping. Very 60'ish. We are going to see her this week - end in rehab so will share the progress...  What do you think so far?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Salute to All Father's....

Wishing every father a Happy Father's Day!  For all of you that know me closely know I had the honour of being raised by a step father. He took my sis and I in and loved us as his own at the age of 2 & 4.  He never introduced us as step daughters - we were "his girls" AND always told everyone from the time we were tots to the day he passed away we were the "prettiest girls" anywhere as we still sat on his knee. He was an amazing man, hard worker, taught me true life lessons, how to ride a horse, taught me how to two step, most importantly how to buy a good pair of cowboy boots, how to appreciate the small things in life, and how to make the most of every good and bad situation. He is the one who gave me my first car, bought my cheer leading uniforms, prom dresses and more prom dresses when times were hard for the gas industry, gave me away at my wedding, was there at the birth of my first born, gave me advice on raising children, taught us how to build a campfire, taught all of us kids to work hard and play harder, and most of all how to treat people with honesty and respect. He is the one who was there all those years, He is the one I miss, 16 years later....  Wesley, this song is for you....  


Awnings! I personally believe every cottage should adorn the windows with one or two. Here at the blue cottage we have 7 windows adorned with the charm of them. However, let me warn you... if you have pecan trees or crape myrtle trees think again! With the tree sap you are forever scrubbing them. Yesterday afternoon, I began the task, ((wear gloves)) scrubbing, bleaching, hosing down, scrubbing, bleaching, hosing down, drying, bleached again..... yep 2 gallons of bleach later - they are clean once again! Charming right?
Happy Week-end!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Playing with Cindy today.....

Showing my before and after kitchen redo that I did last fall. I still love it and it makes me smile! Click here to see my space!  Hugs to all and happy weekend!  ((Thanks Cindy for letting me play))

Thursday, June 17, 2010

busy night here at MIMI's!

For all of you that follow my blog, understand that I have had a standing Thursday night date for 10 years!! Mimi night!  I always work around this event, and everyone that knows me - knows that Thursday's are off limits!
Tonight I thought we could have a date to a one hour cooking class at Young Chef's Academy.  Thinking I would stay to take pictures for the scrapbook, talk to the mom's and dad's... You know a relaxing hour of fun for both of us! Well, when the girls arrived and the other boys his age arrived on the scene, he quickly turned to me and said "YOU CAN GO NOW!"  So, I snapped one photo and that was it!!  I highly recommend Young Chef's ... Hope you all have a relaxing evening with those you LOVE!! Valarie

BF Steak Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped white chocolate (or you can use chips)
½ cup chopped milk chocolate (or you can use chips)
½ cup chopped dark chocolate (or you can use chips)
¾ cup chopped Snickers bar
¾ cup Heath Bar Crunch pieces
Brownies (we use the scraps left over from our Baked Alaska, so just make or buy brownies and cut them up and add some in!)
1 cup mini marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla extract.
3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined. Remove bowl from the stand and fold in the remaining ingredients. Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball and place on the baking sheets 2 ½-inches apart. Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Remove cookies to a baking rack and let cool for 5 minutes. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Look at these fun tea glasses I found at Dollar Tree today! I love them... they are so colorful. Love all the colors... red, orange, lime, green, yellow,  and they compliment my dining chairs & cloth napkins!
Dollar Tree has glasses for you too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

in rehab!

We drove Serendipity Gypsy to rehab 1 week ago. We thought she was going to be a simple project!  ((NOT)) Turns out she needed a few minor things, the back of the trailer was wood rotted, the flooring after pulling it all out, needed a new sub floor, etc.. So 16 bids later, we drove her out to a remote site in NORTH, NORTH Texas to deliver her and we went back today for a visit and planning stages. What a difference a week makes!! Here she is now with a new sub floor, the back is being rebuilt with insulation added.

My original plan was to have a very shabby chic mobile on wheels, was going to paint all white inside, white slip covered love seat, a few of my favorite chandeliers, a microwave, and a sink..... well.... that was great vision but the love seat was too heavy, a futon(EVEN SHABBY'D they are not cute) would not roll out over the wheel wells, the cart for the microwave would not exactly fit against the curve of the kitchen window... and then they ask me "HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT A/C?" AND do you want a porta potty?  I mean it is 96 degrees in Texas 4-5 months of the year!! and I do need a potty! So the final plan is to rebuild her back to original ... a sleek 1961 Shasta Compact!!  more to come!! Valarie  

Monday, June 14, 2010

It was a Success!!

We sold close to 900 tickets for the MCKINNEY HOME & GARDEN TOUR!! I met some fabulous folks and dear friends that came to see the beautiful gardens... Stacey @Poofing the Pillows and my dear friend Janet and her husband Charlie surprised us and came to the VIP Garden Party... IT was a grand time.. OF course, with all the excitement I did not take photos!! This is Stacey and her friend... pop over to her website and enjoy the photos!

Please do come back and see us here in the Lone Star State!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2 days out..... MCKINNEY GARDEN & HOME TOUR!

Thanks to the 35 of you that sent me an email stating that you will see me at Jan & Vesta Garcia's home! I can not wait to meet you!  For you that live far away and can not attend .... here is a sneak peek of the day.... We will miss you .. as always you are here in kindred spirits!  Smiles...Valarie 

Glory of the Garden
Tracey Collins
501 Heard Street
Take a meditative journey through this sacred and spiritual garden

Heirloom garden and home of generations past~  
Kerry Randol-Johnston & Ricky Johnston
401 North Church Street

A Trip to Bountiful
Vesta & Jan Garcia
406 Heard Street
Come and see this bountiful organic garden and backyard brick bread oven 

A Garden Symphony
Sandra & Fred Livingston
801 West Hunt Street
Seeing this labor of love shows us a little bit of heaven on earth

European Escape
Jennifer Magers
206 North Morris Street
European style cottage in historic district 

Outdoor Living at its Finest
Debbie & Mark Denissen
2715 Clublake Trail
Visit this home to see the beauty of nature and the fabulous outdoor living areas
This home is also the site of our "Evening Garden Party"

Old World Revisited
 Deanna & Ron Ross
  1503 Silverlake Road

                 This home is filled with "Old World" charm...A must see! 


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

pimp my ride!!

Working on my marketing, this may be a bit BOLD, however I am driving around 900 miles a month so you know how many folks i pass on the road?  I had to share ... you all are my biggest fans! I thank you all for the emails referring business to North Texas!  You ROCK and I would not and could not do without any of you.
lOVE, hUGs, and happiness in your day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

won't you join me?

For a glass of sweet iced tea? Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

from my front porch!

Wishing you all a week-end of fun! 
 Hugs.. Valarie 

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I attended Wesley's last day of 4th grade today. Seems like yesterday was the first day of 4th grade!! It was a themed Hawaiian Luau. Very fun! Lots of sugary snacks of course, laughter, and conversations surrounding the excitement of the summer break!  And... we are celebrating here tonight as we always do on Thursday night for MIMI NIGHT!! Enjoy your family... hugs!! Valarie

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


96 degree days in North Texas already..... trying to keep my new flower bed alive!! Maybe a sprinkler system? Hope you all are having a nice glass of lemonade and staying cool!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I want this as my "AFTER"

This vintage shasta makeover is a new project for me and LOML so we are cussin' and discussing what to do with her. I found this one on line and loved the article courtesy of Sarah Brown. Click here to read more! Don't you love her? It is a 1962 so I am thinking Sister #1446 can polish up like this one! (still waiting on approval for my official name, so we will call her sister for now!) ) Love the inside... all of our birch is still good.. needs a little polishing but am thinking she could look this good!  Thoughts? ((think LOML is rethinking this gig??)) Hugs! Valarie
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