Friday, October 20, 2017

Feeling Grounded Once More

Going back to my childhood home and visiting with family and friends
has been the best thing I have done for myself in a very long time.  It has
given me a sense of connection and peace that has been lacking for me.

Whoever said that you can't go home again was wrong.  If one expects to 
find home exactly as it once was, you will no doubt be disappointed.  Things
change and people are not the same or perhaps are no longer there, that is
true.  What I did discover though, is that some things do indeed remain the 
same and old friends still share precious moments in common.  It's just
so therapeutic to reach out to dear family and friends and to keep those
connections close to your heart.

It's comforting to tend to your roots.  It's made me feel stronger and
more balanced once again.   

If you are lucky enough to grow where you were once planted, I
envy you.  If you are like me and have been scattered to the winds
for much of your life ~ go home again and dig those roots in once
again.  It will give you the strength to carry on.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Mini Fall Festival

Sorry I have been gone so long.  I was not feeling very well all last
week.  Whatever I had seems to be gone now, and I am bursting
with ideas to share with you.  

Welcome to our mini fall festival.  There will be pie and other
goodies and lots of Fall spirit.

It just isn't fall without a basket of freshly picked apples and a crate
full of pumpkins!

Getting those pumpkin pies ready for the oven!

Come on in and enjoy yourself!  Mini Bentley is here too.

So glad you stopped by!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My Fall Home Tour 2017

Hey y'all ~ it's my turn to show off my home for the Fall in Love with Texas
home tour for 2017.  I always get excited about these home tours.  I just
love the decorating and inviting everyone in to see what we have created
for the season.  Just ask my husband, lol!  All I have to do is mention
blog tour and he already knows the drill ;-)

If I have a theme for this Fall, it's to use what I already have and not
buy new.  When I go into my stash of holiday decorations, I realize
over and over again that I already have lots of seasonal decor and unless
I am willing to part with some of it, nothing new better pass through 
our door.  Well, guess what, I was able to keep that promise to myself
and I only purchased one new item and 2 yards of fabric.  

So let's take a look.  I created the vignette above with little hearts I made
for fun several months ago.  I just added a few berries an apple and a 
pine cone.  Nothing to it at all.

These aprons and the oven mitt are hung by my stove.  The big deep
pocket is just begging for a bit of decorating each season, so I just
dropped some berries inside to keep company with the spoon
and the old rolling pin.

Just one little Fall touch added some seasonal flair to this 
pre-existing vignette.  Easy peasy!

Here was my "big splurge" ~ I found this apple cider tin at Hobby Lobby.
Y'all know me well enough to know that I just cannot stay out of that
store for too long ;-)  This tin is the perfect display for flowers, and apples,
and pine cones.  

Oops ~ I fibbed, I bought a new candle too.  It's apple/cinnamon, my

This vignette is not Fall, exactly, but it's cozy and welcoming for 
a Fall day even if the temps outside are still hot and steamy, we 
can pretend can't we?

These short bread Scotties are so cute and I consider them decor too!

A vintage book tied up with twine.  No rocket scientist needed here :-)

I am calling this vignette Country Hearts because I love little hearts
and toss them around everywhere.  Please notice the little heart on the 
left, that is new Fall fabric and and plaid fabric beneath is new too.

This is a corner of our bedroom on a rainy October afternoon.  

And there it is ~ our home all dressed up for Fall!

This is the final day of the Fall in Love With Texas blog tour.
Be sure to stop by and visit these gals for some great decorating tips.

Thanks for stopping by to see all of our friends!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

What I Saw at Round Top

Saturday morning was lovely.  It started out with somewhat cooler temps
and clear skies, but by the afternoon the temps rose once again.  It did
not however, curtail my hunt through the tents up in Round Top.

After being up here many times now, I have my favorite haunts and 
one of them is Marburger Farm.  Because there is a fee to enter the farm,
it is a bit less crowded than many of the other venues and tends to 
attract the best dealers.  The wares have not varied too much over the
past few years, and I am not interested in everything that is offered,
but I was drawn in by this booth.  

For those of you who know me well, you are very familiar with my
fondness for all things tartan.  Although it's still a bit early to
be thinking of Christmas, I am still open to decorating ideas.

Here is what caught my eye in this scene, I like the gate leg table.  I 
have one at home in my front entry, and while I like the idea of painting
the table gray, I won't be painting mine.  Isn't it charming though?
I also like that red tole tin on the mantel.  My Mama loved tole and
I have lots of it in my home and feel that it never goes out of style.
The ironstone tureen is great too.

I love this French Christmas pillow on the tartan chair!

This is what I am still kicking myself about ~ I did not buy this black
tole candlestick lamp.  I certainly don't need it, and don't know where I
would put it because I already have so many lamps.  Those facts don't 
stop me from loving it though, but I walked away when my common
sense won the battle over temptation.  Darn old common sense!

I love the skis.  I have a pair up in a storage facility in Idaho.  
Certainly won't be using them down here, but a pair of wood ones
would be great for a winter and Christmas decorating scene.

I have not seen one of these before.  A portable record player in a 
tartan case.  How cute is this???

If my Mama were still alive, I am quite sure that we would have been 
packing up that wrought iron console table and stowing it in the
back of the Suburban for the trip home!   That was so her style!!

This wicker sofa caught my eye.  It's a sofa bed!  It would be awesome
in a beach house, or one could paint the wicker a dark green, cover the
cushions in a red and black buffalo check fabric and use it in a cabin.
What a great piece!

The Garden Company has been setting up a booth at Marburger for a
few years now.  They are located down in Schulenburg, about a 45
minute drive south of Round Top.  They also have a great restaurant
where we have enjoyed lunch or dinner in the past.  The plan is to
open a restaurant in Round Top, but I don't know where that stands.

You won't believe this, but I did not purchase one thing!  I know, 
very shocking.  The only thing I can contribute this to is that since
Hurricane Harvey, I feel like I have been suffering a brain fog.
I should have purchased that little Tole lamp.  What was I 

More Fall home tours today!

I hope you enjoy these tours, I sure am!
See you tomorrow when y'all will see my home decorated 
for Fall.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, October 2, 2017

Follow Me to Fall Home Tours

Bentley and I are busy doing some decorating for Fall with some
dollhouse miniatures today.  While we are working on our own
projects, we are inviting you to tour some lovely homes today
 on the Fall in Love With Texas blog tour.

Enjoy these tours!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Wonderful First Day in October!

I hope y'all are enjoying this beautiful first Sunday in October!
No, it's still pretty warm here, but I don't mind.  I am polishing my
copper pots, making beef stew for dinner, and dancing around the kitchen
to my favorite Broadway show tunes.  Life is good!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, September 29, 2017

What to Wear at Round Top

There are three things I consider when putting together my outfit
for my trek up to Round Top.  I want to look cute, keep the sun off
my face and be comfortable.  

While we don't get the cool crisp days of early Fall here in Texas,
it is in fact Fall, and I want to look the part.  Enter a plaid scarf.  This
one is made from a light weight and crinkly fabric that will satisfy my
need for a hint of Autumn.  I bought this scarf years ago and I do
believe that it is my favorite accessory.   I am adding a chunky gold
necklace that will dress up my white cotton polo just a bit without
being over the top.

I am also wearing my Barton Creek bucket hat made with SPF 50 fibers.
I like to keep the sun off my face with a hat despite the layers of sunscreen
I now wear.  Fun shades are important too :-)

I am bringing my big plaid tote along as well.  Like my scarf, it's an oldie
but a goodie.  It's roomy and I can fill it with a water bottle and all other
essentials, and still have room for small packages.

If you have ever been to Round Top, you are very familiar with it's size
and scope.  I never wear cute flats or sandals.  This is a day full of 
walking and walking and walking.  

I think this is my seventh trip to Round Top.  I never tire of visiting.
It's so delightful to be out in the country, driving past pastures filled
with long horns and other cattle breeds.  The crowds don't bother me
because they are filled with principally women on a mission to find
just the perfect something for their own homes or for gifts.  They 
are women just like me who are enthralled by the variety of 
antique treasures.  Women who feel like they are wondering through
the pages of a decorating magazine as they enjoy the beautifully
styled stalls in the tents at Marburger Farm.

I promise to take lots of photos to share with you and hope that
one day you too have the chance to visit this fabulous show.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Little Hutch Dressed for Fall

In my efforts to keep things simple this Fall, I just added a few touches
to the little hutch in my breakfast room.  

The warm colors of Fall add just the right pop to these shelves.

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you all a happy Thursday!

A quick update on Bentley.  He is adjusting so well to his blindness.
He gets around the inside and outside of the house and is so 
cheerful and playful once again.  Seeing him happy and enjoying
life is the best gift of all.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin

Fall is always the time of year when I have a renewed interest in cooking.
The long, hot summer is filled with salad days.  As much as I love them,
by the time September rolls around, I am ready for a change.  

Now that October is just days away, I am ready to make the kitchen the
heart of the home once again.  One of my favorite recipes to welcome the
season is a pan seared pork tenderloin.  It's easy, delicious, full of flavor.
This dish always makes my hubby believe that I am indeed a good cook.
He seems to believe that it takes special skill to create, but in truth is
really simple.  I'll share my secret with you.

Start with a nice pork tenderloin.  There is not much prep work.  Just trim
off any excess fat and or silver skin.  I like to let the meat rest a bit before
cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.  This is when I sprinkle
it generously with garlic powder, and a bit of sea salt and pepper.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil.  Turn the heat up to medium
high and let the oil get hot.  Add the tenderloin and brown the meat 
on all sides.  You want some color on the pork, without burning or
cooking it through.  The time this takes can vary depending upon your
stovetop, I generously allow about 10 minutes to brown the meat on
all sides.  

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while prepping and browning the 
meat.   You will be finishing the pork in the oven.  Make sure your
skillet has an oven friendly handle so that you can place the 
browned pork directly in the oven for 15 minutes.

After removing the pork from the oven, place it on a cutting board, 
cover loosely with foil, and allow to sit while making the pan sauce.

When the pork comes out of the oven, you will be left with the 
delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  This is when I pour in
1/2 cup of chicken broth and crank up the heat under the pan.  This 
heat will dislodge those bits.  Keep stirring and scraping the bottom of 
the pan and allow this liquid to reduce by one third.  This is when I add
a bit of Dijon mustard and a pat of butter.  The addition of these two
ingredients will add to the flavor and richness of the sauce.  This is not
a gravy, but a pan sauce, so it will not be thick, but it will be delicious.

Slice the pork and plate it with a bit of the sauce drizzled over the top.
I served this dinner with oven roasted tiny red skin potatoes and 
some green bean casserole.  I will share my green bean casserole with
you in a later post.  It's not the traditional recipe, but I have jazzed it
up a bit.

I hope that you try this pork tenderloin recipe, and if you do, I hope
that you and your family will enjoy it.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fried Chicken Dinner Date Night

Well, I was going to wear this outfit tonight for Fried Chicken dinner night
at the club, but I was stood up ;-)  Let me explain, David tries to get in a few
 holes of golf after work every Tuesday evening.  He also plays golf on Sunday
afternoons, but he can never play too much golf.  Of course this comes into
conflict with Fried Chicken Dinner night.  Once a month, our club serves
this dinner.  It is met with great anticipation for two reasons.  One, this
is South Texas and we love our fried chicken.  We take this meal very
seriously and don't want to miss it.  Secondly, it is because Sheila makes
the most delicious fried chicken I have ever tasted.  Hands down the
very best, I kid you not!

The days are getting shorter and it won't be long before the Tuesday night rounds of 
golf are over until spring.  I really don't want to deny David the pleasure he gets from
chasing the ball around the course, so we are compromising.  

I will put these clothes, shoes, jewelry, and bag back into the closet to wear
another time.  David will get the dinner all boxed up and bring it home for
us to eat later.  It works for me.  I'll be in my comfy clothes and I won't 
have to cook!

I'll do a big long aerobics session so that I can freely indulge.  Not only is
the fried chicken delicious, but the macaroni and cheese is fabulous, the 
green beans too, and the best biscuits ever.  Mmm, mmm good!  Of
course y'all know that Bentley will have some chicken too :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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