Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond vs. Magnolia's Joanna Gaines

NewImage

I’m a die hard Pioneer Woman fan.  I love her show, her food, her family, her work ethic, her ranch, her photography, the list just goes on and on, and I LOVE her Walmart kitchy kitchen collections.  I’ve been a fan since her first episode on Food Network and I believe I’ve seen every one of them.  I also was a huge Joanna Gaines fan back in the day.  I’ve never been a fan of the Chipster, he acts so goofy and now he looks even goofier with that scruffy beard and man bun, let’s face it the poor fella will never be the Marlboro Man.  But I thought Joanna was so talented, I loved her farm, her darling little children and all the animals.  I eagerly looked forward to every episode of her show, and then I kind of lost interest.

I thought Chip and Joanna became too commercialized, they were spread too thin,  Ttheir houses became too contemporary for me and while Ree was selling her Walmart line at awesome, affordable prices, Joanna teamed up with Pier1 and her products were really pricey, she was selling her pillows for over $100 a pop. And her rugs, oh my, they were as high as $2300. No, that’s not a typo, they’re selling them for TWENTY THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS.  Total turn off for me, total.

But now Chip and Joanna are teaming up with Target with a new line, Hearth and Hand and guess what??? It’s inexpensive!!!  No surprise here, The Pioneer Woman’s Walmart line sells like hotcakes and I bet Pier1 still has a boatload of those $100+ pillows left in their warehouses.  And I’m sure those rugs didn’t fly off the shelves at $2300 either.

I hope she does well, she’s a sweet woman and I’ll be checking the Target site to see what she has to offer, but I think I’m more of a kitchy retro kinda girl. Oh, let’s face it, I just think The Pioneer Woman is da bomb, always have, always will.  I hope she’s around for many more years and one of these days I’m gonna be on a road trip to Pawhuska.  Yeah, I know it’s in the middle of nowhere, but I want to go.  I have no desire to go to Waco and see the silos, but oh I want to be Pawhuska bound sometime within the next year.

Just my thoughts this afternoon, it will be interesting to see how competitive this gets.  Walmart vs. Target, Ree vs. Joanna, I know who my bets are on...

Photo snagged from Facebook, blatant advertising on my part for the 2nd issue of her new magazine

Monday, September 4, 2017

My Pillows, do I love them?

H209189 001

I like them, I’m not in love with them yet, but I just got them last week so I haven’t had time to really bond with them.  I’m brutal on pillows, BRUTAL - I punch them, flip them to the cool side incessantly, wad them in a ball, flip them again, fluff them, pull them toward my head, then away from my head, all in the space of, oh an hour.  You guessed it, there hasn’t been a lot of restful sleep going on at my house.

I’ve watched the infomercials about how these pillows are the end all, I’ve talked to people, our neighbors, Don and Jacquie have them, they hate them, my buddy V has them, she loves them, her hubby, Rich hates them.  Zuilly occasionally has these pillows for a good price, $64.99 for a set of king size, and when they came back in stock a few weeks ago I ordered them.

Now LC was just shaking his head, he’s lived the pillow wars with me.  I’ve had goose down, duck down, chicken feathers, foam, gel, poly filled, are you starting to get the picture here?  I’ve spent a chunka change on pillows over the years and they just aren’t all that! Currently I have this worn out feather pillow that I drag everywhere like Linus with his blanket.  Seriously, if we’re going on a car trip, that pillow is the first thing that is loaded.  Other people have horrid pillows too, it’s just not me and I detest a hard, unyielding pillow with a purple passion!!!

So last week the pillows arrive, it takes for-ev-er to get things from Zuilly, I’m spoiled with Amazon Prime, Zuilly is in no hurry to ship.  They came in this little box, hubby unpacked them and instantly complained that we had been ripped off because they were flat as a flitter.  I explained to him that V told me you had to put them in the dryer sandwiched between a damp towel, so I did that and they came out nice and puffy.  I bought the soft-medium ones, I put them on the bed and took them for a spin.  They are supposed to have a “cooling” effect, so you don’t put a pillow protector on them, just a 100% cotton pillow case.  When you lay down they feel firm, they’re filled with shredded foam, they don’t lump, but they do adjust to your head and it’s kinda soft in the middle where the indentation is.  

And what do I think of them?  Well, they are not what they advertise, I still toss and turn all night, and I flip the pillow, but I no longer wad it up or fluff it, I just flip it.  Does it have a cooling effect?  Oh who the hell knows, I’m still hot all the time, so I’m not a judge.  But I have been waking up lately with neck pain and I have to say that it’s gone now, probably in part because I’m laying on a pillow that isn’t all bunched up.  I just asked LC this morning how he’s liking them and he says, “oh they’re okay I guess, I never know which pillow I’m sleeping on anyway.”  Men Schmen!

But I am going to order two more of them, so I must like them.  Well, actually it’s more economics and desperation.  They’re decent pillows, and you don’t buy decent pillows for $32.50 apiece, at least I haven’t been able to do so.

So, if you think you might like them, go ahead, knock yourself out, pull out that old credit card and CHARGE!

The link, ya, I know you want it, here it is...

Let’s face it, you’re not breaking the bank, these pillows in king size are usually over $100 for a set.  The worst case scenario, you blew $64.99, less if you buy queen size.  Hope you enjoy.  ~ Jan

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Downy Fresh Protect, It's AMAZING!!!!

NewImage

In a perfect world I would have clean sheets every single day.  No, let me rephrase that, in a perfect world I would have a maid who would put clean sheets on my bed every single day.  But, it’s not a perfect world, hubby is the closest thing i have to a maid, oh he will love reading this, but seriously, he always strips the bed for me, we wash the sheets and we both make it again.  But back to my story.  I love the smell of clean sheets, who doesn’t.  I grew up with line dried sheets and nothing in the world smells better, but that’s not possible anymore, so I dump in tons of fabric softener in an attempt to get a fresh smell.  And it works, for a day and then they don’t smell fresh anymore.

I read online that Gain Detergent scent lasts a long time so I bought it after making myself nauseous in the grocery store, smelling all of their different fragrances. I ended up buying their original scent, bought the pricey pods, bought the softener, came home, washed the sheets and they smelled HIDEOUS.  Those reviewers must have been paid because that Gain was some nasty stuff!  It went in the trash and it was back to Tide Pods and Downy for me, but I still wanted that fresh smell to last longer.

Then a few weeks ago we were at Costco and I saw this Downy April  Fresh Protect Scent Booster with Febreze, you add it to your wash and you can sprinkle in a little or sprinkle in a lot.  Well, I washed sheets and blankets and I sprinkled in a lot, I filled that little pink cup to the rim, if a little dab will do ya, then a lot has to be better, right???  And the result...

NewImage

Oh my, my bed smells amazing and the scent lasts for days.  

You may think this is an unnecessary expense but the smell is so worth it, your bed smells so fresh, your linen closet smells fresh, your clothes smell fresh, your laundry room smells fresh, what’s not to love..

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner, these little pink beads pack a big punch, this is definitely holy grail at our house now...

Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo, It's Good Stuff!

NewImage

I used to wash my hair every single morning, my entire adult life I washed it and blew it dry every morning, and then a year or so ago I realized I didn’t have to do this anymore.   I wear my hair long these days, but never down, I look like a hag with it down, it's always up and I realized that 2nd day hair was always easier to work with then freshly shampooed hair, it had more texture, wasn’t as flyaway and as I age, it’s not oily like it was when I was younger.  It’s a freeing experience, not washing your hair every morning, and my secret trick is Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo.  It gives your hair texture, and VOLUME ladies, you would be surprised at how much VOLUME it gives you.  Not to mention that it smells positively delicious.

So now I can go 2 days, 3 days even, I just spritz this shampoo at the roots and my hair smells mahvelous, dahling.  And it has tons of VOLUME!  The price is great, too $5.99 at your local Target and comes in several scents.

You know I always share the good stuff and this dry shampoo is a game changer!  Did I mention that it gives your hair VOLUME? ;-)  Seriously, it looks so much thicker when you use this!  

Try it Mikey, you’ll like it, pinky swear you will.  ~ Jan

Friday, September 1, 2017

The chili of my childhood...


IMG 1465


It wasn't until after I was grown that I realized not everyone ate pickles with their chili.  It was a staple at our house, and looking back, it was probably mother using what she had.  We always had sweet pickles and dill pickles with chili, no peanut butter sandwiches, no cornbread, just pickles and crackers and always in the fall apple pie.

I loved it then, and I love it now.  I make really good chili, you want to know how I do it?  Okay, here goes...

First of all, I’m a slow cooker kinda girl, it’s easy, you set it and forget it.  But if you don’t use a slow cooker, I’m a fan of putting it in a big pot, adding the lid and baking it in the oven.  You don’t have to watch it or stir it to make sure it doesn’t stick like you do if you cook it on top of the stove, I’m all about easy in my old(er) age.

2 lbs. ground chuck browned with a large chopped onion, two onions if yours aren’t really big, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 can of Brooks Chili Mix with Beans

NewImage

Thought you might like a picture, so you can see what it looks like.  If you can’t find this, just substitute a couple of cans of chili beans with sauce 

Now back to the recipe...

1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
2 or 3 cans of light red kidney beans, drained
sometimes I use 2 cans of light red kidney beans and 1 can of chili beans with sauce, I don’t drain the chili beans with sauce
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons of sugar to cut the acidity
1 dry packet of chili seasoning mix - I like Brooks best, it’s hard to find, but any dry mix will do 

Brown the ground beef and onions, stir into chili mixture and cook on high in your slow for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  If you bake it in the oven, cook it at 350-375 degrees for an hour.

If you like more heat, add a dash or two of cayenne pepper to the ground beef as you are browning it.  Then taste it after it cooks to see if you need additional chili powder.

The Hoosier way of eating chili is to stir in macaroni.  I don’t do this at first but a day or so later, I cook jumbo elbow macaroni, put it in the bowls and ladle chili over it like I did in the picture above.  I never chili mac as a kid, it’s strictly an Indiana thing, but it is good.

Mother didn’t make her chili like this, she just used hamburger, onions, a quart of her home canned tomatoes and added cans of chili beans.  Hers wasn’t highly seasoned, but the pickles took it over the top.

Oh, the pickles - the best pickles EVER, EVER, EVER are these - 

NewImage

Oh my, I can’t say enough about Famous Dave’s Signature Spicy Pickle Chips.  They are absolutely wonderful, just the right combo of sweet and hot, they are YUMMY!  We buy these at Costo in big jars, I add them to so many things. tuna salad, macaroni salad and sandwiches and they are gone before our next trip back.  Amazing pickles, if you’ve never tried them, look for them in your market, they are delicious!  If you can’t find them, of course Amazon has them, Amazon has everything... 

 

 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dreaming of Fall

7bc8546b2928219d9e149569d6dfcf73

It’s that time of year and nothing is better than fall decorating, I like it even more than Christmas.  This is so warm, so inviting, nothing at all that would work for me, well except for the grapevine and twinkle lights.

Maybe those lights will happen on my back porch, or maybe they won’t but it’s a nice little dream on a Sunday afternoon.

And last week we were in an antique store in Franklin and saw this poster.  It’s perfect for my kitchen, but I have no wall space, so I guess this isn’t going to work either.

Gentrys farm poster 2

But wait, there is a positive note here.  It’s the butcher block.  My buddy V sent me this picture last summer and I loved it.  

6b82a472530dc0fd7cedb28346a0cd56 butcher block tables butcher blocks

John and Deanna had a very similar butcher block in their garage, it’s sat there for years, they weren’t using it so they hauled it to our house, hubby cleaned it and it’s in my kitchen.  Isn’t it amazing, it called to me.   

FullSizeRender 1

The shelf above it holds some of my favorite things, mother’s butter mold, an old cow bell with the brass embossing worn off where it rubbed against a cow’s neck, an Elsie the Cow cookie jar, mother’s chicken cookie jar that always sat on her kitchen table and my favorite, a green cow pitcher that Veronica gave me after I told her how much I  loved it.  She had it for years, and she gave it to me.  It was a huge deal for me...

IMG 1405

I could take down the cow collage, put up the Gentry Farm picture, I could redo the top of the butcher block to make it look more like the photo V sent me last year, and if I really wanted it to be authentic, I could draw the pumpkin on chalkboard, well not me, I’m not arty, but hubby is and so is Deanna or Veronica.  I’m looking at this picture and I know I can do better, it’s not vibrant enough, it needs shades of orange and gold and a real pumpkin instead of this raffia one.

It’s only August, one of these days I’ll get a wild hare and redo it.  It’s too cluttered, I need to take away some things, ditch the pig and the turkey, use that real pumpkin, get rid of the snacks in the basket, take better pictures with a real camera instead of my cellphone and repost it.  And I will, as soon as there is a chill in the air I’ll be ready.

But this afternoon I’m going to play with my granddaughter, take her some chocolate and see what’s going on in her three year old world.  Works for me... 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

I'm a boot girl...

12918961

I’ve loved boots my entire life.  I had my first pair of majorette boots when I was about three years old, and still have a vague memory of them. I guess that seed was planted early.
 
Every year I buy a new pair, it’s my fall indulgence, and I’ve always been a fan of the weathered vintage look.  I’m a big Ugg fan as well, but Middle Tennessee winters are so mild, that I might need to rethink buying Uggs.  Anyway, I was poking around on Nordstrom’s site the other evening, I like ordering from them because its free ship, free returns and you don’t have to fight the crowds in the store.
 
I’ve been a fan of Born shoes and boots for years, they work well for me, the prices aren’t cheap, but they’re not hateful either and they usually have the casual styles I like.  I saw these boots and it was love at first site.  They’re weathered, they look worn in and they’re a shortie boot.  They called to me, so they’re on the way, due to arrive next week, I just hope they look as good in person as they do in this picture.  
 
So now I’m on the search for a new fall bag to go with the boots.  But it’s only August, I have plenty of time.  I’m just so ready for autumn this year that I think I’m rushing the season a bit.
 
Do you like them, too?  Umhmmm, I thought some of you might.
 
Here’s the link, they come in taupe also but I love the tobacco brown.  Now go, look, browse and see if you might like to buy them, too.  Nordstrom’s should give me a discount for the publicity, ya think???

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lexi's off to School...

NewImage

When your youngest grandchild starts preschool you cry a little bit.  It’s what Grammie’s do.

Just not ready for her to be this old yet...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Kindle Paperwhite, I'm loving it...

White paperwhiteI’m so late jumping on the Kindle bandwagon, and I’m a techie gadget girl, oh Kindle where have you been all my life…  I got on the e-reader bandwagon as soon as they came out with a Sony Reader, it was bulky, didn’t operate well, but this was in the e-reader infancy and my first experience with any kind of electronic reading device.

And then along came my iPad and I read non-stop on it using iBooks.  Then I bought an iPad mini and read using it. 

And then I fell out of love with iPads, instead gravitating to a MacBook Pro, and once again reading books on it.  I’m a voracious reader, I read fast, sometimes I skim, but I go through several books a week.  I never ever read a real book anymore, I like the convenience of digital books and the fact that I can have so many loaded onto whatever device I’m reading them on.

So last month when Amazon had their big July blowout, on a whim I bought a Kindle Paperwhite.  It was on sale for $89, it was a good deal, and I thought I might enjoy it.  It took a bit of getting used to, it doesn’t operate as fluidly as my Apple products, and it’s greyscale, no color, but after a few days I was hooked.  Why?  What sets it apart from an iPad or my MacBook?

First, it’s so lightweight, there is nothing to it.  It doesn’t get hot to the touch, it’s very portable, there is never any glare like I have with my iPad or my MacBook. I read outside, I stick it in my purse to read in the car, I grab it and take it to bed, I carry it around everywhere.  The battery life is awesome, too.   I bought a white one, I’m a fan of anything white, and I bought a Vera Bradley blue paisley quilted case for it.  So I’m all set, right?  No, not exactly, after watching MsKristin321 on YouTube, she had this cute little Ayotu cover for hers, I just had to have it, the price was right, $15.59 so it’s now in my Amazon shopping cart. 

Here’s the link

91EOflY4B7L SL1500

I know several of you are reading this and wondering why i didn’t buy a Kindle years ago.  I dunno, I guess I’m such an Apple fan girl, I never thought outside my box.  But I’m so glad I finally did, it’s a relatively cheap thrill, it’s easy to convert .epub books to .mobi using Calibre and the portability of it is wonderful!  

I’m in love, what more can I say… ~ Jan

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dark Chocolate Dusted Almonds, they are AMAZING!

NewImage

If you haven’t tried these yet, run don’t walk to get them.  They taste like Mars Almond Bars, but healthy.  A friend gave me some this week, I looked for them in Krogers, couldn’t find them, went to Walgreens, they didn’t have Blue Diamond, but they did have Nice Cocoa Dusted with Dark Chocolate.  They are awesome, seriously awesome.  Great nutritionals, too!

 

NewImage

150 calories for 1/4 cup (28g)

4 Net Carbs

1gram of sugar 

You can all thank me later just go buy the darned things… ~ Jan

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reliving my childhood summers

Oh, the lazy summer days of childhood, I have so many good memories of my childhood, and I’m recapturing some of those days here in middle Tennessee.

It wasn’t an easy childhood, but it was a happy one and the pleasures were simple.  My memories are so vivid lately,  it’s amazing at how many things I remember.  

We lived in a little house by my beloved ditch on a dirt road, we didn’t have air conditioning or an inside bathroom or even running water, but what we did have were shade trees and we lived in a valley so there was always a breeze,  We had a great little front porch where I spent many hours playing with my dolls, sitting in the porch swing reading an endless supply of books while drinking iced tea.  My memories are so strong I can still hear the swing creaking and the sound of the screen door slamming shut when I went in and out the front door. 

Our house faced south, but it was so shady the sun didn’t hit the porch, so it was always cool, even on the hottest of days.  It could get dusty when the cars drove by and it was such a small community, I knew every car that passed.  Sometimes I would run in the house until the dust settled, it would be thick and if the wind was blowing toward the house the grit would get in your eyes and they would feel like sandpaper.  And when it rained, oh it was wonderful, the smell of the dust mingling with the rain, we lived for summer rains and the cooler temperatures that followed.

I loved the fence row across the road, the dappled sunlight and the way the big trees swayed in the wind, and I would sit and watch the trees, listening for the train to curve down Appel's hill.  My playmates were dogs and cats, and the birds, the crickets and the frogs were all familiar sounds.

FullSizeRender

Fast forward to this summer.  Our house faces north, but we have a great little porch, and the ferns have gotten so big that they totally shade everything.  When I look across the street there is a fence row of trees, and I watch them blowing in the wind.  We always have a breeze, and so I sit on the porch, with Maggie beside me, reading an endless supply of books, drinking glasses of iced tea, listening to the old familiar country sounds of birds, crickets and frogs and occasionally glancing at the cars that pass by.  Even though the days are hot, I welcome the warmth, and the cooling breeze coupled with the nature sounds just transport me back to that simple life in our little house by the ditch.

It’s like a gift, being able to have this glimpse of my childhood after all these years and I treasure every moment.  And as I remember those years, I’m very grateful for what I have now, running water, bathrooms, appliances and air conditioning.

So many similarities, that I wouldn’t have thought possible even last year.  It’s never to late to discover new things, there are adventures awaiting us around every corner.

And who says you can’t go home again, in a way I have...

© all the latest from heavensville..., AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena