Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicken Chili

Hello everyone!

With the colder weather upon us and the new year just ahead, I thought a good recipe was in order.  This is another "comfort food" recipe.  It is from Paula Deen.  

We took some shortcuts with this recipe so, I'll give you both versions.  

The number one thing to keep in mind with this recipe is that it takes a bit of prep work to get it started and it takes a while to cook on the stove.  So, if you're making this, allow some extra time.  This is not something you can just throw together in a jiffy!  LOL.

However, with that being said, it makes plenty so you can save it for several meals.  Also, it is delicious.  You won't be sorry after making this.

Let's start with the ingredients.

You will need the following:

dried great Northern beans, or canned (which we used)
chicken broth
red bell pepper
jalapeno peppers
poblano pepper
 canned diced tomatoes
fresh cilantro
chili powder
ground cumin

We chopped all of our fresh vegetables.

Then combine the following in a large stock pot.

beans, chicken broth, water, chicken, onion, and peppers

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 1 hr.  If you use canned beans you don't have to let it cook as long.

Then add the following:

tomatoes, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt

Bring to another boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for another hour.  Again, we did not let it cook that long because we didn't have the dried beans.

Now it's ready to serve!  Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream if desired.  

One thing that we should've done was add more beans.  So, in the recipe below I've included the proper amount of canned beans if you should choose to substitute that.

Now, we have plenty left over!  This can be divided up and frozen for future meals too.


Chicken Chili

1 pound bag dried great Northern beans, soaked overnight and drained (or) 4 cans drained
3 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1 qt water
3 c chopped cooked chicken
1 large onion, chopped (we only used 1/2)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt

In a large stock pot, combine soaked beans (or) canned beans, chicken broth, water, cooked chicken, onion and peppers.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hr. 

Add tomatoes, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hr.  

Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese if desired.


I hope you'll give this a try.  It was um um good!

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year too.  Stay safe if out and about during New Year's Eve too.  

Thanks for stopping by.

~ Kelly ~

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bedroom Makeover Reveal

Hello everyone!

We are finally finished with my son's room makeover and I'm thrilled with how it turned out!  

First, an update for you.  My son's journey in the Marines boot camp has come to an end.  They are releasing him due to his recent illness.  They are still treating him and won't send him home until he is well, but his training session is over.  I hate it for him  because he has worked SO hard for this.  We have missed him so much and are glad that we will be reunited soon, but hate the terms in which it is happening.  I appreciate everyone's heart felt comments and prayers that have been sent our way.  We still don't know when he'll be returning home, but hope to have the ability to speak with him while he's recovering.  

So, his new bedroom will be waiting for him.

Here is the new "after" picture and then I'll remind you of the unsightly "before" pictures.  Just in case you were longing to see them again.  LOL!

The furniture got rearranged and painted in BM Chelsea Grey. And the walls got painted in BM Linen White.

Burlap curtains were hung.

New bedding was purchased from H&M. I already had the burlap pillow.

I hung my over sized clock in here and a wire basket was placed above the bed.

I brought in a stool I already had to go at his desk.  The TV came from our kitchen (since it got replaced) and the clutter was removed and his shelves organized.  I added the silver desk lamp that I already had too.

We hung a hat organizer on the back of his door as well.  

All of his clothes are now in his closet and the locker cabinets store his personal items.

This is where we started..................

I think the "afters" are a big improvement.  Now, if he will just keep it clean, I'll be happy.  But first, we have to get him home!~  Let the countdown begin.

Thanks for stopping by.

~ Kelly ~

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Morning and a Sneak Peek

Hello everyone!

Did you survive Christmas?  It came and went pretty fast this year didn't it?  It wasn't the same at our house this year without our oldest son being home.  In fact, it has been hard to fully embrace the season since knowing that he has been placed in MRP (medical rehab platoon) while in boot camp very close to completing his training and graduating!  He was supposed to graduate on January 10th, but has been suffering with Vasculitis for a couple of weeks now and is on crutches.  Not sure if he will get to continue now.  They are testing him to see if it's an auto immune disease causing this. We are waiting to hear from him as to the future of his training.  He may be coming home as a civilian and not a marine at this point.  

However, we did have another young boy that did embrace the season and got everything on his wish list!

See that big TV box?  That is a bigger TV for him to play Xbox games on.  The smaller TV went into his brothers room.

He got a couple of Xbox games as well.

  And a new iPhone!  He's been very excited about that.  We figured since he's now in middle school, it was time.  This was the first year that he didn't get any "toys".  It felt strange to have such grown up gifts for him this year. Also, he is now aware of the "Santa" situation too.  

Our dog, Max, got a stocking with treats and a toy (that he's holding in his mouth).  It has batteries in it and moves around on the floor to entice him to play with it.  The only problem is that it's quite painful if he hits you with it while he's swinging it around!  So, we all have to stay clear when he starts playing with it.  LOL!

This is Will pulling out all the "sugar" out of his stocking.  Oh, did you notice I have new stockings?  They arrived just in time for Christmas.  I fell in love with them from World Market and decided to change them up last minute.

After Max discovered goodies in his stocking, he won't leave them alone now.  He doesn't understand that they're empty now!  I caught him sniffing one this morning.  

One thing that I've been doing lately (that is also very therapeutic) is to finish working on my oldest sons bedroom makeover.  I'm happy to report, it is finally finished!!!! 

Here is a sneak peek.

Sorry it is so grainy,  I cropped the photo so small that it's not very clear now. is only a peek for now.  I will post the full room reveal very soon!  I love how it turned out and can't wait for him to see it.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Kelly ~

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Some New Christmas Decor

Hello everyone!

How is your weekend going so far?  Mine has been pretty busy as I'm sure yours has been too.  It is, after all, the last weekend before Christmas!  I wanted to share just a few new goodies that I've gotten for my Christmas decor this year.  Better late than never, right?!

I ordered this cute little Christmas pillow case from H&M for just $3!  It was on sale, so I included it with my sons bedding order.

I just used it on my sofa for now.  After Christmas, my polka-dot pillow will go back on here.

I also found this cute red and white striped stocking from West Elm.  I hung it on a wreath in my kitchen window.  I love stockings combined with wreaths.

And guess what I won recently?!  I won this beautiful candle from Ron at Uptown Acorn.  It smells heavenly.  Just like a Christmas tree.  I love the container it comes in too.  It looks like red mercury glass.  It's a Fleur de Light candle.  

I took pictures of it at night.  That's why the lighting looks different.

I'm thrilled to have it since I didn't have a Christmas scented candle yet this season.  Thank you Ron and Fleur de Light!

And remember the bedding that I ordered for my sons room?  Well, it arrived the other day and I loved it so much that I "borrowed" his pillow sham for my bench in the foyer just during the holidays.  I liked the winter look of the plaid.  Of course, it will go back in his room as soon as it is ready! 

 I wish you all a very merry Christmas with your family this year.  

Are you ready for Christmas yet?  

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Kelly ~  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Room That I've Never Shared Before

Hello everyone!

I must warn you first and foremost, this post is not pretty.  In fact, it pains me to even post these pics because now you're going to KNOW what has been lurking in my house all these years!  What is it that I'm talking about?'s this.

Gosh, isn't it hard to look at??????!!!!!!!

I feel like someone that just had to admit that they're an addict or something before a lot of people and now they're ALL in judgement of me.  LOL!

This is my oldest son's room.  And why am I sharing it with you now?  Well, it's because we are FINALLY redoing his room.  It has been neglected much too long.  He is away at Marines boot camp right now so we decided it was the perfect time to get started on it.  

So, please go take an aspirin or something that will help you digest these unsightly "before" pics that I'm sharing with you now.  

Notice what a pack rat he is!  This is after I picked up all the clothes on his floor and stripped his bed and moved a big ugly blue sofa out that left an even uglier blue mark on the wall and all the way out the front door where it will soon reside in a big ugly dump (where it belongs)!  Can you tell I hated that sofa?

Whew!  Now that the ugliest part of these photos are over, here are the "progress" pictures.

The first order of business was to paint over the light blue walls which included patching the hundreds of thousands of holes that my son made by hanging crap things on them. We painted the walls in BM Linen White.  I had to repaint all of the trim and closet doors too!  It was THAT bad.

Then we started placing the furniture where I wanted it to go. (That is a drop cloth under the desk.)

He had so much stuff, that I had to put a lot of it on top of his bed and out in the hallway while we worked on his room.  Remember all of this used to be on his floor! (His favorite dumping spot.)

Now, things are starting to look a little bit better since I'm painting all of his furniture in BM Chelsea Gray.  I like the look of painted furniture and he had ruined this furniture with scratches etc.  So, I had no choice but to paint it really.  It was once in perfect condition if you can believe it.

This is the bedding that I've ordered from H&M.  I think it will look nice with the other colors in the room.

I plan on introducing some burlap in his room as well.

So................I have faith that his room is going to turn out great!  We hope that he is getting more organized and disciplined in boot camp so that when he comes home, he will KEEP his room clean!  

I am still working on his room as I write this, so the full room reveal will have to wait.  I hope to have it done very soon though!  Anyone want to come over and help me finish painting???  

(Oh, and I didn't watermark my photos, because I was pretty sure noone would want to pin them!)

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Kelly ~

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

They Can Stop Growing Now!

Hello everyone!

Remember when I was showing you pics of my newly planted paper white bulbs?  I was enjoying seeing how they were getting taller little by little every day. In fact, I recall wondering if I could grow these things at all!

Well, I'm here to tell ya, I have NO problem growing paper whites.  In fact, I have the documentation to prove it. I honestly wish they would quit growing now, too, because they are getting a little bit out of control. 

Here's my proof.

This was earlier.

And this is now!

Notice all of the string I've used to tie it up?  It's gone way past just tying a cute little bow around the stems.  I'm now having to anchor it down to what it's sitting in so it doesn't topple over!  

Not convinced yet?

Here's another one earlier.

And here it is now.

They were leaning over one morning, very dejected looking too, so I had to rig some string on this one too.  

See that fancy get-up?  The back of the chair came in handy.

So, what I've learned about planting paper whites is that they are easy and pretty when they're small to medium size.  But when they get mature and tall, they get unruly.  Then you sort of have to babysit them.  I wish I had used that Vodka trick that I've heard so much about.  Just didn't want to spend the money on it for flowers!

If anyone knows from past experience about these flowers, please tell me that they eventually do quit growing.  Otherwise, I'm going to have to go get some rope!

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Kelly ~

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I'm Seeing Spots!

Hello everyone!

I recently purchased these new pillow covers from H&M and thought I'd share them with you.  There's only one small thing though, it is causing me to see spots everywhere!  LOL!

Do you see it back there on my sofa?  

That's right.............spots!

And what about here?  See any more spots?

Or, over here.  Yep.  I believe I may need to call a doctor.  

Hey!  Now I see different colored spots on the back of the pillows.

To my surprise, when I received them, I discovered they are reversible!  

I'm liking these spots!

Actually, they are called polka-dots, but either way, I'm liking how they look in my family room.  

I think they have a Cath Kidston sort of vibe.

(I hope you're not seeing spots now when you look away from your computer screen.)

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Kelly ~

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Now the Fun Begins

Hello everyone!

I don't know if this is true for everyone but it seems to be true for me every year.  After I get my house decorated for Christmas, and I think I'm ALL done, I tweak a few things here and there just for fun.  There's no pressure to get anything done, just having fun with it.  That's what I'm doing now.  

Of course, what I most look forward to is the baking of cookies, wrapping the gifts and setting them out (watching my son guess what each one is) and watching Christmas movies. I've been lucky this year to have my husband do most of the Christmas shopping because we have boys.  He is in his element shopping for "guy stuff" in the electronics department and other places.  I will shop for everyone else.  

Now on with some tweaking I've been doing.  I remembered that I have some little trees down in my basement that usually go out on my front porch every year.  I didn't use them this year, so I decided to bring one inside and place it in my kitchen.

I placed it inside a vintage olive bucket and draped a simple kitchen towel out of it (for the red stripe of course).

But wait...........there's more!

Look.  It lights up too.

Cute eh?
And here's a little night time shot just for fun........

Also, I felt like my hallway leading down toward the kitchen could use a little something, so I hung some red ball ornaments off my plate rack (and even the antlers).

Red is such a cheerful color and just feels right at Christmas.

I recently purchased this cute Christmas table runner from H&M too.  I'm using it over my oven handle though.

So, now when I walk into the kitchen, I'm greeted with just a little more cheer.

Here's to tweaking at the holidays!

Thanks for stopping by.

~ Kelly ~