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Archive for the ‘My Thoughts’ Category

Good morning, everyone!  I know it’s been a little quiet here the last few days and I apologize for the lack of posts, but things should hopefully get back to normal shortly. 

I hate that things slowed down just as I got the new Facebook page up and running, but sometimes life just gets in the way.  As the Terminator says…I’ll be back!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week.  See you soon!

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C & I moved into our newly built home in February of 2006 and we were so happy to be here.  The building process had taken right at a year so we were anxious to be in our new space.  When we went to purchase the last minute things we would need like towel holders and bathroom mirrors, we did it pretty quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, we were very pleased with what we purchased and wouldn’t change much at all, but I was never completely satisfied with the mirrors over our vanities.  Yes, they were big; yes, they were inexpensive, but they were boring!  We installed plain old “contractor mirrors” complete with the not-so-lovely plastic clips.  Ugh.  Here they are in all of their glory…

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The size of the mirrors was perfect so I really did not want to replace them, just make them more attractive.  I started searching the internet for ways to “frame” them and came up with a few ideas.  Some people used wood trim and made their own frames while some others had used a product called Mirror Mate.  Hmmm, this looked promising.

C & I are usually pretty handy at DIY projects, but the fact that Mirror Mate will cut your pieces for you pushed me in that direction.  It is quite a bit cheaper to do this yourself with trim, but since the frames came pre-cut and pre-finished, I was sold!  We ordered two frames in the Permaquid Slim Dark Cherry and received them in the mail just a week or so later, nicely packaged in bubble wrap.

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The directions sound so simple and they are to a point.  Just glue the pieces together and insert the plastic “joiners” in the pre-cut holes.

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The glue needs to dry for at least an hour, but we didn’t have time to finish so ours dried for a couple of days.  One of the frames must not have gotten a good seal because two corners came apart but I just re-glued them.

Next you have to replace the plastic clips from your mirrors with the replacements Mirror Mate will send you with your order.  This is where it got a little interesting for us.  The edges of our mirrors were beveled so the replacement clips didn’t fit tight against the glass.  C had to use a little (according to him) redneck engineering for the new clips to work, but they did. 

We replaced the ones we had to then cleaned the mirrors with rubbing alcohol according to the instructions.

Next put together the cardboard corner guides they send with the order to help hang the frame.  Take the frame to the mirror and level it where you want it.  Have a friend put the corner guides onto the mirror.

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Take the frame down and removed the paper off the back that cover the adhesive strips.

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Next, very carefully let the frame hang over the corner guides stuck to the mirror and make sure that it is level.  If it is, slowly press the top of the frame to the mirror and then down the sides and bottom.  It should stick tightly and not come off.  The bottom of one of ours is a little loose but I think it is because of the hanging clips, but you really can’t tell it so we are leaving it alone.

Installing these frames was not quite as easy as it first seemed it would be, but I think the results are worth it.  What do you think?

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One day, while watching a Lexington, Kentucky news broadcast, I saw a commercial that really caught my eye.  It was for Springhouse Gardens which, come to find out, was a nursery in Nicholasville, a nearby town to Lexington. 

I mentioned seeing this ad to my aunt and Nanny so we decided to take a little road trip to visit and it was well worth it!  Nicholasville is about 2 hours from where we live so we started out early one morning just a couple of weeks ago.  It is so worth it to take the scenic route up Highway 68 through Lebanon, Perryville and Harrodsburg.  The view up the Kentucky River when you cross is breathtaking!  I wish there was a place to stop for photos at that location, but there really isn’t.  The huge limestone walls and forests along the banks of the flowing river is absolutely beautiful!

We arrived at the nursery after passing some manicured horse farms and we weren’t disappointed.  Since they are located in a more upscale area, the prices reflected that a bit, but they weren’t too bad.  I bought an “American Hero “ hosta and Nanny purchased something I had never seen before…a non-vining Clematis which will make a shrub instead. 

If you are looking for some specimen trees or shrubs to add to your landscape, then I highly recommend going to Springhouse Gardens.  They had things I had never seen before, including a weeping redwood that was out of this world.  I didn’t even know you could grow redwoods in Kentucky.

Would you like to see a few photographs from that day?  I thought so…I’ll be quiet now and just let you bask in the beauty of Springhouse Gardens.  Oh, one last thing…the owners were there that day and they are just delightful.  Let them know if you are from out of town and they will have you sign a guestbook.

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Yes, we are in horse country.

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Beautiful Japanese Maple trees:

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I loved the tree they trimmed to look like a flower:

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For today’s Thoughtful Thursday post, I would like to tell you about two garden centers in my area that I love to visit.  When my mom was living, she ran a small garden center with my aunt and grandmother and, on my days off, I would go with her to pick up wholesale flowers.  I loved these trips and enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful things offered by these businesses.  Thankfully, they also sold retail and now I return every year to purchase my flowers from them.  Please excuse the phone pics…I didn’t have my big camera with me.

Mammoth Cave Transplants is located in Edmonson County, Kentucky,  just a short distance from Brownsville.  The owners are retired school teachers who have this wonderful business right beside their home.  If you are near, please stop in and have a look around.  There are many greenhouses packed tight with blooming beauties along with trees, shrubs, garden art and vegetable seeds.

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While you are there, take a second and pet the resident nursery cat, Smoke, who has been there for YEARS!

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The second business is Greenleaf Nursery in Glasgow, Kentucky which is only about 30 minutes from where I live.  This was the main place we bought flowers when I was a child and I remember going here with my mom every year.  I have loved gardening from an early age and always enjoyed looking at all of the pretty plants and wanting to try them all! C & I stopped in a couple of weekends ago to pick up a hanging basket so I grabbed a few phone photos while we were there.  It was a nasty wet day but the bright cheery flowers made it worth the stop in the rain.

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Greenleaf had some beautiful displays set up to give people ideas of how to decorate with their flowers.  If it had not been so rainy, I could have spend hours just wandering around looking at everything!

I hope you enjoyed this short virtual tour of two of my favorite places to shop.  If you are in the area, please stop by and support these two long standing Kentucky businesses.

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Yes, you read that right…this is the first post of several about the first annual Kentucky Green Living Fair that C & I attended last Saturday at the Barn At Redgate in Somerset, Kentucky.  Thanks to Jamie at Sustainable Kentucky along with the other sponsors: ClearChannel Media, eat., Good Foods Market & Café, JD Country Milk, Somerset Farmers Market, Story Magazine, Rough Draft Farmstead, Sweetgrass Granola, and Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen, this was a remarkable first time event that brought together people interested in sustainable and clean living.  We loved it and had a great time! 

Today, I would like to thank those wonderful sponsors above along with others that gave items for the Kentucky Food Bloggers’ gift bags.  I will list them all below with several photos of the goodies.  It was great just to get free tickets by being a member so I was overwhelmed with the contents of the bag.  I also got my first media pass…

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Who knew that being a blogger meant that you were media?  I sure didn’t, but it felt pretty good to wear that little badge.  I am not normally an extroverted person, so it took me a little while to warm up and strike up conversations with the different vendors, but I am so glad I did since all of them were full of personality and information.  I also got to hand out a few blog business cards for the first time.  I just might make a go of this yet!

Without further ado, here are some photos and links of the gifts that were given to us bloggers:

Watermelon mint tea from Rooibee Red Teas:

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A pound of ground beef from Pike Valley Farm Foods:

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I plan on using that beautiful ground beef tonight for hamburgers.  Yum!

Salmon filet from Caught Wild Salmon:

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Boston Brown Bread from Halcomb’s Knob Farm:

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A cute re-usable shopping bag:

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A beautiful hardback book named “the pantry” by Catherine Pond (loved talking to her):

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Another wonderful hardback book: “A Feast For The Eyes” by David Domine:

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Two magazines: eat. and Story:

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Cherry Almond granola from Sweetgrass:

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Moisturizer and soap from Rock Bottom Stables & Soap:

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Honey from Solar Place Farm:

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Organic sheep soap from Windsor Wool Farms and native grass/wildflower seed from Sustainable Kentucky:

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I also got a free baked item from Clementine’s Bake Shop.  Thanks to all of these wonderful vendors and if I left someone off, I apologize, but I have listed as many as I can remember.

We had to give back a little so C & I purchased a few t-shirts along with some delicious cheddar cheese from Heavenly Homestead. You can’t have too many tees, can you?

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Please come on back next week for the next installment of the Kentucky Green Living Fair redux.  I have so many post ideas swirling in my head that it may take a while to get organized.  Can’t wait ‘til next year…March 29, 2014!

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In slowly finishing the upstairs, we have painted the walls and hung hardware in the bathroom.  I have even refinished an antique metal bed to use in one of the bedrooms.  The next thing on the list was a couple pieces of furniture to be used in that same room.  I really wanted something that at least looked antique to match the bed, but did not want to pay antique prices.  Enter more family furniture like the bed. 

In my great-grandparents’ old house were some pieces that no one had room or use for so my Nanny offered them to me.  I jumped at the chance, not only because they have family history, but also because they are two beautifully detailed pieces of furniture that were begging for a make-over.  I made sure that it was okay with Nanny to completely re-do them before I started and she was excited that I was so excited about them.  Here they are in their pre-redo glory:

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I just love that scalloped edge on the dresser and both pieces are in excellent shape.  I do need to put new drawer runners on them, but they are okay for now.  Refinishing furniture was a new endeavor for me so online I went to search for a few ideas.  Here are some links that I highly recommend for product ideas and how-tos:

Before Meets After, Censational Girl, and Just A Girl. I am sure there are many more than that, but these three really helped me a lot.  One thing that was consistent with all of theses were their use of Zinsser primer.  I know why now…it is tintable so it is easy to use with dark paint and it hides a multitude of sins.  Along with this primer, most also use Elmer’s Wood Filler to hide pesky holes and dents in the wood.  Sherwin Williams is my paint of choice so that is what I used here.  It is oil based enamel in black satin.

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First I cleaned the pieces with warm soapy water and dried them thoroughly.  Next I light sanded to remove any chipping paint and smooth out the worst dings.  I didn’t sand these completely smooth because I wanted some of that old distressed look.

I filled in the worse of the dents with the wood filler and also filled in the knob holes in the dresser drawers because I wanted to use different pulls.  Let the filler set up and sand until smooth.  Cover all of the surfaces completely with primer.  I used 2 coats for a nice base for the paint.

Paint the pieces any color you want.  In my case, I wanted black to go in the purple bedroom with the silver bed frame.  I think I put 3 coats of paint on the pieces to get the desired look I wanted.  On the dresser, I then measured each drawer front to find the center and drilled new holes for the pretty glass knobs I found at Hobby Lobby and attached them.

For the chiffarobe, I wanted to add a little extra pizzazz so I stenciled a floral design on the door in silver and highlighted the pretty trim in silver as well.  I was thrilled with how they turned out and can’t wait to start my next project!

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Speaking of my next projects, here is a sneak peek:
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Since the President gives the country a State Of The Union address and our governor gives a State Of The Commonwealth address, I thought I would give my own version, The State Of The Blog address.  As of March 9th, 2013, I have been blogging for 4 years at this little site.  When I look back at some of those first posts, I will chuckle at myself and realize how far I have come in my writing and photography skills.  I am still not the greatest, but at least I have improved.  While my dad was in the hospital and rehab facility for weeks these past few months, I worried that I would have to give up blogging for a while since there wasn’t much free time.  Thankfully he is now at home and doing great so back to blogging I go, very happily I might add.

This is my creative outlet.  The cooking of the food, the photographing of the food, and, finally, writing about all of it brings me joy.  This is kind of like my alter-ego and it is a place I can go express myself and write about what I want to write about. 

Since this is definitely not my full-time job (hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?), I try to keep my hobby as inexpensive as possible.  The most expensive thing I have bought for blogging is a new camera, but we use that for many other things.  I have purchased a few bowls, plates, and pretty dishtowels to use as props, but that is about it.  I love to look at other blogs that are professionally designed with all kinds of buttons and gadgets, but didn’t want to pay for it.  Enter my amazing husband, C! 

A few weeks ago, I needed to learn how to enter HTML code into a blog post using Windows Live Writer (another great FREE product).  While C showed me how to do it, he asked if there was anything else I wanted to add.  YES!!! Many blogs had “Pin It” buttons so readers could “pin” their posts and I wanted one.  We did a little searching on the WordPress site and found by going to “Settings” and “Sharing”, we could make those buttons a reality.  Now at the bottom of every post, there is a Pinterest, Print, Twitter and Email buttons.  Love it! 

Speaking of the print option, this is due to another freebie that C knew about call Print Friendly.  Just go to their site and click on “website button” at the top right and you, too, can have a print option on your site.  I really like it because it pulls the photos to one side so all of the text is together and that makes it much easier to read as an actual recipe.  Also, you can hover your mouse over sections and delete them so they won’t print and empty your ink cartridge.  Genius, I say, just genius.

I also added a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button right under my “About Me” info on the right hand side of the page.  I love Pinterest so please follow me and see all of the stuff I may never get around to doing or buying.  Ha!

If you are new to this space, thanks for stopping by and I hope you return many times.  If you are a regular reader, thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I love doing this and if only one person gets enjoyment out of besides me, then it is completely worth it.

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Way back in October before my dad had his accident, C & I spent a couple of days in Indianapolis for a getaway.  Indy was a city in easy driving distance for us that we had never been to so we hit the road to see the sights.  The first day we went to Edinburgh, Indiana to do a little shopping at the Premium Outlets and, let me tell you, it was the BEST outlet mall we had ever been to.  We found lots of bargains and only went in about 10% of the stores there before we ran out of time.  I would love to go back this spring to shop there again.

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We spent the night in Edinburgh and headed to Indy the next morning after going back to the mall for a few minutes.  Along the way, we stopped and ate at Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant.

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This is a chain restaurant, but not one in our normal area and it was good.  We both got cheeseburgers and fries.  The meal was tasty, but if we go back I would like to go to a couple of local eateries instead of a chain.  Maybe next time.  One of the main reasons we chose Indy was to go their zoo and aquarium located inside the zoo.  Unfortunately, it rained all day long while we were there, but we still enjoyed the zoo. The aquarium part is pretty small except the dolphin exhibit.  The underwater dome was awesome!  The next pics will show the zoo highlights.

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Indy has a great skyline even in the rain.  We did a drive-by of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but since there wasn’t a race we couldn’t get a very good view.

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The attraction that I most wanted to see was Monument Circle and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument so we braved the rainy weather and downtown traffic to go. If you are in the Indy area, I highly recommend visiting this area of downtown.  There are several shops and restaurants that I would love to go back and visit if we have a chance to.  It is also just down the street from the arena where the Indiana Pacers play.

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Hi, everyone!  It is so nice to be back in my little blogging world after having to be away for a while.  Thankfully, I had several recipes and book posts pre-scheduled or this space would have gone completely silent.  For those of you who have not had a chance to read my previous Thoughtful Thursday post, my dad had a very serious car accident on October 22 and was in ICU for almost five weeks.  To say our lives turned upside down would be a gross understatement!

After about 3 weeks in rehab, Dad is now home and able to take care of most of his needs.  We have witnessed a miracle in his healing.  To go from where he was right after the accident to where he is now in a relatively short time is astounding.  God’s blessings have just poured over us in never ending waves since this all began.  Every time I went to Him in need, He was there.  Small needs, big needs…it did not matter because He is more than able to take care of everything in our lives.

I can’t imagine how I would have gotten by during this time without God and Jesus in my life.  If you don’t know Him, please seek him out NOW with all your heart.  I know there are bad things happening all over the world, but that’s not God.  That is the devil and the ability to make decisions that God gave us.  He gave us the opportunity to choose him or not; to make good decisions or bad.  It is called free will, and if we follow His voice in our lives and make good choices, good things will happen to us. 

Believe me, I am not saying that we won’t have hard times.  Far from it as my recent past has shown me, but He will lead you through it and give you the strength to deal with whatever “real life” sends your way.

I’m no preacher by any means and I am really shy about speaking out in my everyday life, but this little spot on the world wide web gives me the confidence and freedom to shout to the world how much I love God and Jesus.  Seek Him, find Him, and ask Him into your heart.  You just can’t imagine the peace and love that will fill you.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours! 

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May the amazing Lord above and our wonderful savior Jesus Christ light your path and may you feel the abundance of His blessings all year long!

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