Thursday, June 23, 2016

Meet Me in St. Louis

We attended a conference in St. Louis last week,  I knew nothing really about St. Louis and it's history. Our schedule was full from morning to evening for three days, only leaving a small amount of time for touring and sightseeing, but we enjoyed the time we had and just scratched the surface on all there is to do!

Food is always important and we had some great pasta at Charlie Gittos Downtown, such a quaint atmosphere.  We also had some very good barbecue at Sugarfire Smoke House, although when you live in Texas and have delicious barbecue anytime you want, it doesn't quite compare.  Sorry St. Louis!

On Wednesday evening we attended a game at  Busch Stadium , it just so happened the Cardinals were playing our Houston Astros!  The stadium has  a very fun atmosphere and would be a great family outing because there is so much to do.

The Old Courthouse  was absolutely stunning decked out for the 4th of July!  I learned so much, I had no idea St. Louis was such a pivotal city in the fight to abolish slavery and the crusade for women's rights.  So rich in the history of our nation.

No visit to St. Louis is complete without a visit to the Gateway Arch.  The ride to the top was a bit claustrophobic in the little pod ride, but such amazing views when you get there! 

There is a huge amount of construction going on, including the museum under the Arch getting an update.

Even though it was 100 degrees we took a one hour river boat cruise on the Tom Sawyer and enjoyed a great view of the city from the river.

All of our sight seeing took place in less than a 24 hour period.  As it happened our hotel lost power and water the night before and as I said it was 100 degrees. We made the best of it and thankfully when we returned late afternoon all was restored and we were in major need of a shower!  (Good thing no one else was in that little pod with us!)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Easy Mixed Berry Cobbler

It has been a crazy stretch, for the last month I have either been traveling or hosting my parents.  I enjoyed each and every moment, but I have been a bad blogger.  As a side note,  I hate hotels' slow and spotty  wi-fi connections!

We returned home on Friday from a week in St. Louis, although we had a day of fun it was mostly business and I was wiped out.  Saturday I made a run to the grocery to pick up a few things to get us though the weekend.  With Sunday being Father's Day I wanted to make a dessert for Mr. Wonderful, but it needed to be easy, make a smaller amount and of course be delicious.  With berries on sale, I thought of a yummy cobbler I had at my friend Emily's.

The recipe was a Pinterest  find, I love having friends to share Pinterest successes and failures!   I used one cup each of blackberries, strawberries and blueberries.  Really a cross between a cobbler and a crumble,  the topping required pretty basic ingredients that I had on hand.  To prepare the whole thing took less than 15 minutes, can't beat that!  The complete recipe can be found here:  Bake or Break Mixed Berry Cobbler . The only change made was to bake in an 8' square pan.

As the heat rises I will be using my oven less and less, but I was thinking of freezing bags of the berry mix.  When the temperatures cool again, it would be a nice warm treat!  If you need something easy and delicious, this my friends is it!

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Visiting Our Kids

Two of our children live in Louisville, KY, that is about a 16 hour drive in case you are wondering.  We went to visit last week and had a great time.

Darling Daughter finished her first year of college and The Businessman is busy as always and we didn't get quite as much time with him as we would have liked but we still had lots of fun.

Big Four Bridge  was built in the 1800's and has been converted into a walking bridge from Kentucky to Indiana.  It is a couple of miles round trip giving amazing views of the city of Louisville and quaint houses that line the river on the Indiana side.

We also visited Louisville Stoneware , it is a pottery store dating back to 1815 and is still handmade today.  We didn't take the tour but I will next time.  The pottery is beautiful and although I was there to buy a gift I will be purchasing a couple of special pieces for myself in the future.

Crazy Daisy  was the cutest antique store and we spent several hours going through the many booths.  Finding lots of treasures I only bought two things, I had to get them home by the way,  one a table for the girl that is perfect for the dorm room.  It is like what we used to call a TV tray and folds flat but it is an antique table about coffee table height and the best color of green that shows a few previous layers.  Perfection!  I also came home with  a couple of plant stands for the front porch, not antiques but work perfectly for what I needed.

Lots of good food including some really good Oriental, one of my favorite pizzas at Mellow Mushroom  and Steel City Pops , the most yummy homemade popsicles.  I will be visiting the Steel City in Houston, (even though it isn't close) so what is your favorite flavor?  We also enjoyed some of Darling Daughter's favorite coffee, Heine Brothers.

It was a great trip, just not quite long enough!  (All of these photos were taken on my phone.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Building Shutters

Last summer we started working on the exterior of the house.   When we removed the vinyl shutters we decided to live shutter free and see how we liked the look.  As we were finishing the exterior this summer Mr. Wonderful and I both agreed that we needed shutters, but we decided to only put them on the windows not covered by the front porch.

After researching different cedar shutters we decided on raised panel.  We purchased our lumber in the morning and had them built by lunch!  Wonderful actually looked at the picture and built them without any directions.  Nail holes were filled and then I sanded while Wonderful mowed the yard.  

Saturday morning I stained the shutters and then we hung them.  I am going to show you just a sneak peak.  The gutters are going up and then the outside of our house is finished!  It has been a long 18 months of hard work, but I couldn't be happier!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Entry Before and After

When we first looked at our house I liked that it had an entry.  Even though it is just a small hall, it provided  separation from the rest of the house.

The foyer had dated wallpaper and vinyl flooring.  Coming in the door to the right is the dining room as seen here   and straight ahead leads to the family room.

Replacing the door was one of the first things we did and it made a huge impact.  We also removed the wallpaper, the worst job ever, and painted a neutral color.  The vinyl was replaced with hard wood flooring, the light was updated, the frame around the opening was made more substantial as were the baseboards.

This space is only about three feet wide, I have a Bombay Company half moon table that I found at a second hand store and a chalk drawing of my children when they were kids.  I change the vignette on the table often to reflect my mood or the season.

This is such a small space, but the first thing you see when you enter my home, my desire was that it would be an inviting space to welcome family, friends and perhaps a few strangers.

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