Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Perfect House or a Comfortable Home?

Not so long ago, as I was browsing through decorating, home and garden blogs, I thought to myself, "I decorate pretty well.  I home make nicely.  I garden just fine.  I should blog.  Everyone would be interested in what I have going on over here at the Flying Pig Ranch. 
 I have a brand new camera and I know a thing or two about English Grammar.  
Sure, I can blog.
So I set up an account and begin...and stop. 
 I cannot get a decent picture of my home looking "blog worthy."  
How do these woman do it??  Their houses are amazing.  
They even have time to shop, talk fashion, and create amazing things from thrift shop finds. 
 How do they keep the children out of the pictures?    
 Here is what my kitchen looks like on any giving evening:

and our Living Room:
and our Laundry Room:
And here is what I was striving for- in my unrealistic "blogger mind."
(angels singing)
Living Room:
and Laundry Room:

I will never get my home picture perfect.  I have a gorgeous husband and 5 incredible children.  We keep 2 dogs, 8 chickens, 1 parakeet and something like 200.000 bees.  
(again, the angels sing)
Words to live by:
At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.
~ Dame Rose Macaulay

So, I have decided to continue living as I do, and blog on!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trays! Glorious trays!

I love trays!  For years I had a major collection of old silver trays that just seemed to be sitting around collecting dust.  Once I took a few out and started putting little things on top, I discovered a whole new way to organize- and decorate at the same time!   
I love them in my kitchen.

This one isn't really a tray.  It's a marble slab.  I keep it next to my sink.  It holds my soaps and lotions and my flying pig is there to keep jewelry.  The honey and the coffee press? I can't figure out how they fit into the "next to the sink" category, but I know this is a place where they're safe from little hands!  

It works for me!

This one holds my everyday cooking ingredients like salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, garlic.  It stays right there so everything is always close by.  It's all neat and contained too.  
 Love it!
 Here I have a gallery tray that holds breakfast items- the toaster, butter, and tea.  You know all those little crumbs that spit out from beneath the toaster?  Ahh, there ya go- right into the pretty tray! 
 How cute!
Nice and neat and organized!  And ready for fall, I might add.

So go find some trays and use them.  They're great!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Giveaway.

Not that I have the power to giveaway anything, yet!  But the Pioneer Woman does!
Here's the question:
If you could have dinner with one man throughout the history of time, whom would it be?
Here was my answer:
Jesus.  He would answer all my questions.  If the question said- besides Jesus then I would have to say John Travolta.  Not that the two can compare, but because maybe after dinner, John would take me dancing.
I long to dance with John Travolta..."More than a woman.  More than a woman to me."
My chances of winning the Le Creuset 7 1/2-Quart Round French Ovens are 3:28753.  
I may have a better chance at dancing with JT.


I love color.  I love dishes.  I love Fiesta!
The most popular American dinnerware ever, designed by the Englishman, Frederick Hurten Rhead, was introduced to the American public in 1936 by the Homer Laughlin Pottery Company.  
Fiesta  was originally introduced in just 5 colors, Red (it may look orange, but everyone seems to have agreed to keep with its original name of "red"), Blue (cobalt now), Green (light or original green), Yellow and Old Ivory (simply ivory now), with Turquoise not hitting the shelves until 1937.
My very first piece was the pink platter on the second shelf.  My mom picked it up for me at Marshall's.  She just thought it was cute.  My second piece was the yellow compote with the fruit in it.  I found that at a historic house estate sale.  The other 80+ pieces were given to me when I finally got the nerve to call my husband's Aunt Evelyn and ask, "If you ever want to get rid of all those boxes of Fiesta ware that you have down in your basement, would you let me know?"  To which she replied " That?  I was going to put it in a yard sale last week, but darn it, I forgot to bring it over.  Please, come get it!"  
  The collection was used for years as the camp dishes. 
 Later, she called me to let me know she found the matching tablecloth!
      I mix it up with a few vintage Bauer pieces and a few brand new pieces in lemongrass that my husband gave me one Christmas.  So colorful!
     I love my vintage fiesta!  We use it whenever we have a Spanish or Mexican dinner.  It's so much fun.
     Fiesta makes me smile!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

    Autumn has finally hit out here.  The leaves are changing, the mornings are dark, and there is that certain crispness in the air that only this season brings.
Time to bake. 

  This is my family's all time favorite.  My children even ask for it instead of a frosting covered birthday cake.   It's so easy to make.  *I always make it in a bundt pan, but my friends have tried it in two loaf pans or as muffins.  They just tweeked the baking time.

     Did you know that baking is a science?  It's true.!  A chemical reaction occurs while baking.  This is why you need to follow baking recipes exactly.

     Now I am not one to tell you to following cooking recipes exactly.  Actually, I rarely follow those recipes exactly.   Except Barefoot Contessa recipes.  She calls for the perfect amount in every recipe I've tried.  I don't mess with Ina.  More on her later...
But with baking, you MUST follow.  
Here is the recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 small can of pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2t baking soda
2t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.  Stir together the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.  
Add the chocolate chips
Pour into a well greased bundt pan*  
Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Let it cool COMPLETELY before you invert it to a pretty plate.  I always sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Friday, October 1, 2010


One of my all time favorites.

I don't know why I love it!  I just do.  I just finished reading it to the 3 littlest piglets.  We all think Wilbur is terrific!

"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you." 
     "You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die... By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heavens knows anyone's life can stand a little of that." 
Charlotte is pretty fabulous, too!
We hope to watch the movie this weekend.  That's always fun. 
If you've never read this great classic, or if you haven't since childhood - pick it up.  It's even better if you read it to little ones.  It will remind you
 ... friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world.