31 Days to Getting It Together


I am joining the Nester and hundreds of other bloggers for a 31 Day challenge.  Join me here as I try to get my life, home and family organized and on track throughout the month of October.  I will share organizing tips, challenges and set-backs all on my quest to get it together.  If only I could get 25 hours in a day! Smile

Day 1: Here is My Mess

Day 2: Preparation and Purge

Day 3: The Pantry

Day 4: The Fridge

Day 5: The Planner

Day 6: The Keys To Getting It Together

Day 7: Get Your Stuff Off the Floor

Day 8:  My Work Space and Vision Board

Day 9:  Look the Part

Day 10: The Virus

Day 11: The Exterior

Day 12: The Playroom

Day 13: More Keys to Getting It Together

Day 14: Get Together!

Day 15: The Catch-up Day

Day 16: The Armoire

Day 17: Magazines and Catalogs

Day 18: The Linen Closet

Day 19: Eating Healthy

Day 20: Exercise

Day 21: Use What You’ve Got

Day 22: The Hall Closets

Day 23: The Master Closet Part 1

Day 24: More Keys To Getting It Together

Day 25: Art Files

Day 26 & 27: Craft and Toy Storage

Day 28: The Car

Day 29: The Master Closet Part 2

Day 30: The Guest Room

Day 31: I Really Feel More “Together”


***Sharing at:   It’s Overflowing

October Menu Options–Faves for Fall

I am participating in the 31 Days series with The Nester.  I will be blogging for 31 days straight!  Wish me luck!  Therefore, my weekly menu will be halted for the month.  I may sneak it in once in a while, but to be safe, I wanted to let you all know.  So here are some of my Fall favorites to get you through the month!

Butternut Squash Soup

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad recipe

Kale Salad

So Easy and Tasty Apple Streusel. Photo by Tea Jenny

Apple Streusel

Slow Cooker Beef Stew IV Recipe

Beef Stew in the Crock Pot (This is close to my recipe.  I don’t use any flour.)

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf (I use the cornbread stuffing mix.  And I don’t add any cheese.)


Beet Salad with Goat Cheese (mixed greens, cooked beets, walnuts and goat cheese with Balsamic vinaigrette)

Pork, Apple and Cheddar Meatballs with Egg Noodles

Apple Meat Balls

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream-Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (no, I don’t bake, but these look so good I have to give it a try!)

** I have realized how much I truly change recipes and make them my own.  Some of them I will definitely have to write down and post!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples

There is absolutely no way to make slow cooked meals look good in pictures so I’m sorry for the lack of good pictures.  I tried.  Really, I did.


This is a wonderful fall meal.  It has all the flavors of the season.  It has been kid tested and approved, too.  My neighbors made it the other night and I got a thumbs up from the whole family.  (Thanks, Bob and Melora!)

1 pkg. chicken thighs with skinIMG_5926

1 C apple juice

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar



1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/3 C packed brown sugar

1 onion, sliced

2 apples, cut into slices or IMG_5923chunks




Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Brown them on both sides.  Place in slow cooker with skin side up.  Sprinkle each thigh with a little of the brown sugar.  IMG_5920

Mix together the apple juice, cider vinegar and mustard.  Pour around the chicken.

Arrange the onion and apples around the chicken.  Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar over the entire dish.


Cook on low for 6 hours.


I suggest serving over brown rice or quinoa just for a little nutty flavor.  Also, a couple sprigs of thyme arranged on top of the whole mixture in the crockpot would add a hint of flavor.  I didn’t do it this time but I will next time.


Super Easy FALL Letter Blocks


This project was very easy to do.  And I did it all for $4!  Yep.  4 bucks!

First you need a 2×4 from your local hardware store.  Then measure out 4” blocks.  Cut them to size and sand the edges.  (Isn’t Prince Charming cute when he uses power tools?!)


Next, gather your cutest helpers to help paint!  For this project we did two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Barcelona Orange.


Once the orange was dry, I chose to make a white wash out of ASCP in Cream and water.  I brushed it on the orange blocks and let it dry.


Then I found a font that I really liked online and free-handed it onto the block with chalk.  That way if I messed up I could just wipe it off.  I’m not a good artist!


Then I painted the letters black using Van Gogh Chalk Paint in Revenge and a small paint brush.  (I am deeply in love with Van Gogh paint, but I’ll discuss that another time!)


Once the black was dry, I lightly distressed each piece and brushed over them with a matte finish polyurethane.  All in all I think it took 1 hour and it was fun.  My kiddos loved it and I got to “get my creative on!”


Sharing at:

It’s Fall Y’all Link Party at The Lettered Cottage


Feature Wall in My Daughter’s Room

The little princess has a favorite color.  That color is purple.  (and sometimes pink and turquoise)  When we moved, we let her decide what color to paint her room.  Guess what she chose!

Yep.  Purple!  Not a subtle lavender or anything, but knock you out purple.  The actual color is Kismet by Sherwin Williams. 

Pottery Barn Kids had a duvet in the exact purple of the paint with white paisley on it.  I ordered it right away and couldn’t wait to surprise the princess with a new bed in her new room!  When I put it all together I realized something – that’s a lot of purple!

I had to do something to break up all that purple.  I had the thought of mimicking the paisley on the duvet up onto the wall.  And leave it to Martha Stewart to have the exact paisley I wanted!

image I purchased this silk screen kit at Michaels.

I had some left over paint samples from when I was testing whites for my trim.  I decided to use Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams because it had a hint of pink in it.  I also mixed in some Valspar paint crystals to add some sparkle.  And I picked up some adhesive rhinestones. 

finley's stencil 1finley's stencil 2

As you can see, the “self adhesive” part of the silk screen quickly wore off so some painters tape was needed. 

finley's stencil 4finley's stencil 3

When the paint dried I placed one rhinestone in the center of each stencil.

finley's wall

The wall was complete.

finley's wall 2

And the princess was happy!


Weekly Menu 9/23–9/27


Monday – Creamy Mushroom and Fontina Pasta – this looks fantastic! 

Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta

Tuesday – Cali Turkey Burgers – regular turkey burgers with creamy avocado and bacon wrapped in lettuce.


image via

Wednesday – Parmesan Honey Roast Pork in the Crock Pot with smashed garlic potatoes.  This looks so good I can’t wait to try it!

Thursday – Taco nachos!  Made with taco meat, black beans, fresh salsa and lots of gooey cheese!!!  Add some guacamole and Greek yogurt on the side.

image via

Friday – French Mussel Bisque with Crusty Bread – just watched this on Barefoot Contessa and I must try it!


Parmesan Bruschetta

This is truly the easiest appetizer ever.  And a true crowd pleaser.  I promise.


Yes, I know that the actual definition of bruschetta is “ an Italian appetizer consisting of toasted bread slices drizzled with olive oil and usually topped with tomatoes and basil.” (from dictionary.com), but I’m using the term loosely because I can’t think of a better title for it.  Parmesan Toasts just doesn’t sound right, you know?

There are 3 ingredients, 4 if you count the bread.  You need a sliced baguette, mayonnaise, diced onion and shredded parmesan.  That’s it!


Mix the parmesan, mayo and onion together and spread on the baguette slices, which you should have arranged on a baking sheet.


Pop them under the broiler until they start to brown up just a tad.


Arrange them on a nice serving dish and voila!  Easy, right?!



Parmesan Bruschetta

1 baguette, sliced into rounds

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1 1/2 C. mayonnaise

1 C. shredded parmesan cheese


Arrange the baguette rounds on a baking sheet.  Mix together the onion, mayonnaise and parmesan in a bowl.  Spread the parmesan mixture on the baguette rounds. (You can even just plop a dollop of it in the center.  It will spread as it cooks.)  Broil until the top begins to brown just slightly.  Take out immediately and serve.


Fall Around The House


I love fall!  It is truly my favorite season of all!  The cooler weather and the leaves changing just gives me such a feeling of contentment.  I don’t know how else to describe it!

I love the colors of autumn… red, yellow and orange mixed with brown and still a hint of green.

And fall food… soups and stews and squash, oh my!

In honor of this wonderful season I have started decking out my house for fall.


Just a little touch here and there.  A leaf or two.


No space would be complete without an antler.


And this will easily transform into Halloween, but I hold back until October 1st!

Sharing at:

Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Falling for Fall at The Inspired Room

It’s Fall Y’all at Thrifty Decor Chick


Weekly Menu 9/16–9/20

As you are reading this I am on my way home from a wonderful visit with my family.  We all flew up to Maine to celebrate my mother’s birthday which is actually today!  Happy Birthday, Mom!


Monday – Pizza!  We will go out for this.  I haven’t been home to do any shopping so the fridge is bare!

Tuesday – Chicken Parmesan Meatballs


Wednesday – Pasta with Proscuitto, Tomato and Olive

// Prosciutto, tomato, and olive spaghetti

Thursday – Stuffed Peppers (a DC original!)


Friday – Shrimp Pad Thai

pad thai noodles with shrimp


Home Office Reveal–FINALLY!


I feel like this was the longest before and after ever!  The problem wasn’t getting it done.  The problem was getting Prince Charming to tidy it up enough so that I could photograph it!  He is a clutter bug.  He’ll never admit it, but he is.  He leaves piles everywhere.  Just piles of paper or business cards or mail.

All. Over. The. House.

I was hoping that this office would force him to be more organized, but so far things haven’t changed.

But I love him anyway. (I don’t love the piles!)  At least the piles have a prettier space!

Just to jog your memory, here is the before (from the previous owners):


Here is when we first moved in:


This is the inspiration behind the room and the design scheme:


We decided to have book cases built in along the entire side wall.  This would allow for storage of all my hubby’s books and office supplies.  The room already had a beautiful coffered ceiling so we thought the book cases would just enhance that.


We chose to have the desk top done in a stain grade wood instead of solid white.  It would match the regular desk we had chosen.  The bookcases and trim are all painted White Sand by Benjamin Moore.  The walls are Refuge by Sherwin Williams.


So, after the built-ins were done I could begin to see the room take shape.  I had curtains that previously hung in our old kitchen, taken down to the right height.


I found a beautiful Berg`ere chair on Craigslist for only $100!  It matched the colors perfectly!  The lamp is from Home Goods.


I also found a storage bench at Home Goods for $120!  Don’t you love the nailhead trim?!  The rug was a Joss and Main purchase and once resided in the foyer.


We purchased the Hendrix desk from Pottery Barn.


I purchased cute little accessories and baskets from Home Goods and World Market.


And this is how the room came together!  Several folks, including Prince Charming, were skeptical about the color scheme, but I think it works.  I love it!  That rusty orange is just the right pop of color, don’t you think?




All of the woodwork was done by our wonderful carpenter, Yerif, of YGM Xtrim Carpentry in Charlotte.

All of the piles were expertly hidden.  You may see some evidence of them in those baskets! Smile

Sharing at: Thrifty Decor Chick