Friday, December 30, 2011

Going grey with grace

Once Hubs and I moved into our new place and some of the "new" wore off, we got to thinking about just where we were going to start to make this place our own.  

The day we looked at the house, the master bedroom looked like this. A lot of furniture, bed up against the wall and not much free space.  

And, while I thought that we should start the renovating with the main living spaces (such as the living room, dining room, kitchen), Hubs was pretty steadfast that we start in our bedroom.  And let me tell you, it's the best idea (other than marrying me) the man has ever had! 

So, over a lunch break one day, I picked the color for our bedroom.  While that is not something I highly recommend or typically do (I am much more of a "let me sleep on it" style decision maker), it worked out great! 

It's a really soft grey. The color is from True Value and is named Stunning Maiden. 

We painted the walls grey and the trim white.  I am a lover of white trim.  

Two things I want to point out:

We went to Best Buy and bought two new TVs (one for living room and one for bedroom)  The TVs we had were old and were big, heavy tube TVs.  (The poor kid at BB looked at us like we were ancient when we told him that.  Then he looked at us like we were really crazy when we played, rock, paper, scissors in the middle of the store to decide which ones to buy.... we're adults and we make decisions like children.  So what?)
But we knew we wanted to hang the bedroom TV and we wanted it to swivel up completely against the wall.  But what's so cool is the way Hubs ran the cords.... behind the wall!  I know that's like "duh" but as much as I HATE cords being exposed, I was really not thrilled about TWO cords hanging from the TV.  This is one more reason I LOVE HIM!

Number Two Thing I Wanted To Point Out:

I bought this picture at a fancy schmancy decorating store, which is usually only a place I go to look for ideas of things I can hack, but once I saw it, I  

And here's why: 

 It was the first thing I bought for our new house and I love it. 

I'm still looking for something for the big wall in our room and I still need to paint the doors.  However, lemme tell you, I LOVE that this room is "done." After stumbling over boxes and paint cans and tools and "stuff" all over the rest of the house while we were working on it, I love that we can come in here, shut the door and relax.  

I tell you what...that man of mine... he's a thinker... and a keeper!

I loved the grey color so much, I used it in other parts of the house, too, but you'll have to wait to see that in another post! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Village... updated!

Remember last Christmas when I posted about my awesome Snow Village?  (If not, I won't hold it against you... the post is here.)

After posting the pics of my village, I got a note from one of my friends that said, "I didn't know you were one of those crazy village people!" 

I don't traditionally think of myself as crazy, but in this instance, the label might apply.  :)

I have new pieces to add this year and, because this blog is more of a place to virtually "keep" things, I wanted to share!

This is a grainery, or what would today be an elevator.  And with my job switch, it seemed pretty appropriate.  We added the tractors :)

This gazebo came with ....

...this lighted tree.  Hubs got me these last year because they are part of the set that goes with....

... this inn!  And how fun are the people that came with it that are checking in at the inn?

It's technically named that Eden Prairie Inn, just fyi.  

Last year, Hubs also got me this sweet little log cabin.

And it came with this little guy and his dog who are out collecting firewood for the cabin. 

My village is just a small part of the way I carry on our family's tradition of Dept. 56 Snow Village.  

Any other village crazies out there?

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

By Request: Cheeseburger Soup

So here's what happened...

I posted on Facebook that this seemed like a Cheeseburger Soup kinda day and I had a few people ask for the recipe.... 

....and since I had a blog at one time *wink* I decided to just do a post about my loverly cheeseburger soup.

This is Hub's favorite, or one of them, and it is one of those meals that I only fix on rare occasion.  

If he loves it (and I do too, BTW) why is it a rarity   
Because it takes me a long time to fix it.  Today, it took me two Miranda Lambert albums and one Christmas music album... not kidding, dude.... it takes a while!  

It's not hard to make, but it requires multiple steps and lots of chopping.  I also made a triple batch because if I'm going to go through the work, we're going to eat it for more than one meal. And, in my opinion, it tastes better after the first day, anyway.  It also freezes well.

Without further ado, here's some pics of my soup.  (I'll type out the full recipe at the bottom, so you don't have to take notes throughout the post... just sit back and admire my awesome photography skills)
(that's a joke...about the photography...I didn't work too hard at it)

Step one: brown hamburger, drain and let it sit in the sink

Saute celery, onions and carrots in some butter.

Chop up potatoes

Line up canned ingredients and some more butter and take a picture.
Add broth, potatoes and beef back to veggie mix.

Think to yourself, "is that too many potatoes?"

In another pan, create a rue with butter and flour.  
(I don't know if that's really how it's spelled, but I that's what I'm going with.) (Also, I will note, I screw up this step every.single.time. I make this recipe.  So I know from experience that whether you do this right, screw it up and add it anyway, or screw it up and don't include it.... the soup's still delicious)

Add cheese and evaporated milk

Let it simmer till you're ready to eat.  

At this house, we eat it with bacon bits sprinkled on the top, but do whatever you like!

This is a recipe my mom found somewhere and she's passed it on to us. Therefore, if someone out there needs credit for creating this, I honest-to-goodness don't know who it is.

So here's the actual recipe: (sorry I didn't put it on printable cards, I missed that day of blogging class and I don't know how to do that.  But you can copy and paste!)


Cheeseburger Soup:

1/2 lb ground beef
4 T butter or margarine, divided
3/4 cu chopped onion
3/4 cu chopped/shredded carrots
3/4 cu chopped celery
1 tsp dried basil
2 cans (14.5 fl. oz each) chicken broth
4 cups of peeled and diced potatoes
1/4 cup flour
2 cu. cubed Velveeta
1 can (12 fl oz) evaporated milk
3/4/ tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper
bacon bits

Cook ground beef in large saucepan over medium heat until brown; drain and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in same saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, and basil; cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Add broth, potatoes, and cooked beef; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Melt remaining butter in small saucepan over medium heat.  Sprinkle in flour; cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly.  Add to soup; bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low; add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted.
Garnish bowls with bacon bits, if desired.
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