Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Blog O' The Week #3

I couldn't wait to tell you about the blog I want to share this week. 

 Dee Dee over at d dzine

has been a blog friend of mine for the past year and she has been an encouragement to me throughout my entire remodel process.  She found me over a year ago and left a comment on my blog.  She is beginning to release pictures of the beautiful home that she and her husband have remodeled with help and on their own as well.  Her husband is very talented at tiling and he has done some amazing work in their new home.  Dee Dee is a talented artist and has an incredible eye for decor and renovation.  Enough chit chat...let's get to the good stuff. 

You have GOT TO, GOT TO go over and see all they have is FABULOUS!!!  Make SURE you FOLLOW her because I know there is LOTS more to come.  And for heaven's sake, I wouldn't want you to miss out!


Here's a little taste of her go right now and see the rest for yourself...including her tiny little puppy.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Year In Review 2011

2011 has been quite a year.  We moved into this Lakeshore home, our "new" home in February and  a lot has happened to this house since then.  We moved in after the remodel was completed so there was just decorating to be done.  Although we still have many, many things to do outside the home.

  I thought it would be fun to see before and after pictures again in review of the rooms
I have revealed so far.

We'll start with the front entrance.

Here is the before:

And the After:

Before...(after we took possession)

and After (decorated at Spring Time):

This is the formal living room before
(the MLS photos)

And after:

Family Room Before:

And After (during the Summer):

the Kitchen before:
(MLS pics)

and After (decorated for Fall/Halloween):

I am sorry I don't have before pictures of the Mudroom, but here is the after:

The Dining Room Before:

And the After at Christmas:

It has been a very busy year and although the move and renovation was very hard, we are now glad that we did it and that it is over!  I hope to reveal more to you soon as I continue to decorate the bedrooms and bathrooms as well as the basement stick around!

One thing I want to say is that all of your comments throughout this year have been such an encouragment to me as we moved into this house and proceeded with making it our home...many friendships have been made and I have so enjoyed blogging this journey.  I truly think it has helped me to get through this year...very therapeutic!  So thank you to all of you who have left comments and who have sent emails and also who have featured me.  It has brought many smiles to my face!


I'm linking up to:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Baby Jesus

May the JOY of JESUS be with you today as we celebrate His birth...He came to this earth for YOU and for ME. HE is the most precious GIFT anyone could receive.  He is a gift for EVERYONE.

Merry Christmas to all of you.
I hope your time with your families is delightful!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chocolate Brick Cake...My Gift to YOU

Every Christmas my Mother would make this wonderful cake and I have treasured the recipe for many, many years.  I make it every Christmas and it reminds me of the wonderful Christmases with my Mom.  I always stored the recipe away never really wanting to share it with anyone for some reason.  This year as I was searching for my recipe was nowhere to be found.  I searched and searched my recipe basket (I am not good at filing things) and it wasn't in there.  I found my mother's old recipe box and knew it would be in there.  I looked under "C" and sure enough she labeled that little file "Cookies and cakes".  In the very back of the file, I found title, just the recipe.  She had it memorized and I do too for the most part, but I always check the ingredients to make sure.   The thought came to me as I was frantically searching for the recipe..."Who would I have shared the recipe with?"  And I told myself...(I told you I talk to myself)..."You didn't share it with anyone...cause you are selfish like that!" lol  So for security purposes, I am going to share it with you so that if I cannot find this recipe again, I can turn to you all and count on you having it.  So, are you ready?

Chocolate Brick Cake

1 Sara Lee Pound Cake (the smaller size)
If you want to double the icing recipe you can do the larger size pound cake.
Cut the cake in half long ways (horizontally),
and set it aside on a pretty oval platter
that you want to serve on.
The below pictures show you how
NOT to cut the cake...cut horizontally.
Ok, got it.

(picture from

Mmm. looks yummy.  Easy enough so far, right?

Now, the icing...

You need:

6 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup boiling coffee

Blend these two ingredients in the blender.
If you want, you can melt the chocolate chips in the microwave first...
but the hot coffee helps to melt them too.

4 egg YOLKS
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Stick of unsalted butter (softened)
I have used salted BTW and it was still really good.

Now for the delicious part:

1 Tablespoon Kahlua or Brandy (Cherry or Orange).
Refrigerate until spreading consistency and spread on pound cake between layers,
on top and all around.

Delicious.  I have just made the icing made and it is in the regrigerator.  I'll try to take a picture tomorrow and post the final results.  It really does look like a chocolate brick. 

I am also going to make a raspberry glaze to drizzle next to each slice when I serve it.  That is easy too:

(picture by Cookstr)


Heat the raspberries on low on the stove until they break down.
Add sugar as desired to make a syrup..stir, stir, stir.  Done.

You can also purchase raspberry syrups or just eat the cake without it.

I just want to give a shout out to all of you who are feeling very lonely this Christmas.  I know that many of you are alone and I really prayed for you as I made the icing tonight for this know who you are.  My heart breaks for you.  Sometimes, even when we have a house full of family and friends we can be lonely too.  I guess if we can just remember that the REAL reason for this holiday is the birth of Jesus and the wonderful blessing and GIFT that He is for each of us, that helps, right?  Wished I could give you a hug right now!

So, go get your apron on and make yourself some cake.  You will love it, I promise!  Oh and for you Baptists out's ok..the Kahlua alcohol evaporates lol.  A good strong whiff of it never hurt anyone ;)

Merry Christmas to you all!
and Merry Christmas Mom...I miss you.


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Blog O' The Week #2

is a blog I have discovered this week
(after she first found me) 
with the most beautiful pictures. 
She has a lovely, lovely, and did I say LOVELY Christmas tree. 

Her mantel is really gorgeous...

and just look at that chandelier!

She has even made the most beautiful wrapping paper.  You can see the tutorial by clicking HERE.

I hope you will go over and check out her blog right now and FOLLOW her.  She has a really great eye and has a new home that she is decorating. 
Although her blog is Sophia's Live Beautifully, her name is Kristen.

Merry Christmas...I am off to prepare my grocery list for a Christmas Eve Italian meal for friends and family...I have LOTS of cooking and baking to do and I am looking forward to it about you?

Merry Christmas!!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Blog O' The Week #1

There are so many blogs out there and every once in a while you make a connection with someone very quickly.  It is always interesting to me what draws a person to your blog or what draws me to someone else's blog.  You can find others who decorate like you, who have children your children's age...or you just might read a post that touches your heart or find someone who you pray for regularly.  They may not ever know, or you might just leave them a message letting them know...or you just might "stalk" them for a while until you get up the courage to leave them a comment.  Am I right?  I started blogging many years ago when trying to adopt our 4th child from Russia.  We have one home grown and 3 children from Russia.  Did you know that?  Some of you may have.  It was a wonderful outlet for me to document the adoption process and to connect with others in the adoption world who could give me advice or encouragement.  After realizing that 4 children was enough (lol) I moved onto starting this blog about our newly renovated Lakeshore home.  And once again, I have met so many lovely ladies out there and a gentleman or two....ok, maybe just one. lol 

I always wait each week in the blog linky parties to see who is featured and I really enjoy visiting those features, but there are so many that go unrecognized and hardly visited for one reason or another to no one's fault.  Well, anyway, I decided...why couldn't I start mentioning a blog or two that I have found that I "connected" with? And in answering myself, I decided that it would be just fine. lol  (I talk to myself regularly). 

Sooooo, here goes, my first featured blogger:


Simone lives in Sydney, Australia and is a very crafty Momma.

You really must check out her blog and you really should FOLLOW her.

I found her when she posted about Reindeer Poop.  It sounds DEEEElicious. 
Click HERE to check it out for yourself.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Home Tour 2011

I am so happy to be participating in these fun parties:

Welcome ...our front entrance...

Our Formal Living Room

Our Dining Room

Our Family Room

And the kitchen....

 Of course these were just a few shots of the Christmas decor.  I hope you will stay a while and look around.  There are many, many before and after pictures of our complete remodel.  If you are new to my blog, I hope you will decide to follow.

I look forward to visiting the other home tours and getting inspiration from all of you for next year!

Merry CHRISTmas!