This and that

Monday, August 29, 2011

My kitchen smells lovely... and it isn’t exactly the smell of food!


This is by far the loveliest of flower arrangement I have had sitting on my table this year... well, maybe... but I do love this one!

...The pretties of pink and the loveliest of scent... from my roses, Chicago Peace.


Oh but let me tell you, the scent of roses is also mingling with the yummy aroma of food around here! Ah yes! Have you ever tried the “Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa” recipe from Steel Magnolias? I'm curious to see if anyone has actually tried that recipe from Steel Magnolias. You remember Dolly Parton's character said: “A cup of flour, a cup of sugar, a cup of fruit cocktail with the juice. And you mix and bake at 350 'til gold and bubbly.”

Is this an actual dish or is it something the director just threw together for the movie? I dunno, but I actually tried it this weekend! ;)

And Ms. Parton also said “you serve it over ice cream to cut the sweetness”. I didn’t want ice cream on mine, so I whipped up some holly and pure home made whip cream to go with it, with half the sugar required, of course...

My Peter Pan and Ms. Wendy tried it and loved it! Truth be told, I didn’t find it quite as appealing... too much on the dried side me thinks, but I must have overcooked it, that’s it… plus I waited far too long to taste it... this dessert must be eaten right off the oven for ultimate goodness.

We’re drowning in a bumper crop of tomatoes again this year. If you have never cultivated tomatoes it’s something I recommend doing. Organic grown tomatoes, picked fresh from the garden to your plate would surprise your taste buds! They taste so much different from dull store bought tomatoes... The ultimate experience for all your hard work in the garden, I tell you!

Although I must say I had nothing to do with this goodness... all the hard work and goodness thereof after, I owe to my dear husband!

Do you love photographing food? I do! ;) And I love photographing all my ‘tomato’ salads ;) Don’t know why... food just looks so pretty in photos... ;)

Now can you come with me to the garden? I have something to show you!


My gigantic sunflowers! What a height they’ve stretched to! First time ever planting them from seeds—planting them from anything as a matter of fact! I had never had sunflowers in my garden before, and was totally surprised to see them grow this high—way above my neighbor’s roof...

These beautiful bright, cheery flowers have the most amazing power in them... they always but always put a smile on my face whenever I pass by them! Hope they’d do the same for you! ;) But really, there must be a dwarf or intermediate cultivars available that would better suit my garden... any body know?

May you find peace and joy while you're here.


Dear friends: I just want to let you know that I’ve downloaded a new version of my e-book “Hollow Woods” unto Smashwords and Kindle Store.

When I first published my e-book I already had a second volume ready for publication, which I thought I would publish at a later time, however, after some thoughts I decided to combine both versions and make it into just one book. So now you have double the delight!

If you enjoy reading my blog “Hollow Woods”, you’re going to love this ebook! Over a hundred pages of pure imaginative delightful short stories are now ready for your reading enjoyment... with lots and lots of new stories!

You’re welcome to download the new version onto your reading device.... it’s free to those of you who have already purchased a copy!

And just in case you read Spanish, I now have two new poetry books ready to be downloaded! Here they are: My poems

Blissfully Ever After- Guest Blogger

Sunday, August 28, 2011
Good morning!  I hope that you are enjoying my guest blogger’s week!  I had fun sharing new blogs with you.  Today’s guest is a friend of mine named Jennifer!  She is a sweet mom-to-be who loves taking care of her home, her body and her hubby!  She is so excited to meet her little guy this fall!
Meet Jennifer…
Hey there!! My name is Jennifer and I am the author behind {Blissfully Ever After}.
Blissfully Ever After
Bonnie has been sweet enough to allow me to be a guest blogger today and I am so excited to share my bathroom remodel with you! Thanks, Bonnie!!
Our Bathroom Renovation
To kick the New Year off to a great start, my Hubby and I decided to tackle our main bath redo that we had been wanting to complete since we moved into our house 3 years ago. This was no easy task….so don’t be fooled by these pics =)
{p.s. we had no clue at this point that I was pregnant, and we are so happy that we were able to get this bathroom done before the baby arrives. He will like the bath tub, don’t ya think?!}
This redo costs us under $1,000 for a completely gutted {well almost} and remodeled bathroom. Take a look at how we completed our project on a budget:
Here is our bathroom after it had been gutted….
Sorry, for some reason I didn’t take any true BEFORE pictures {now, I’m mad}!
Here my Hubby is removing the drywall to install cement board above the shower
Cement board installed
Starting to tile….
Shower tile complete! We chose subway style tiles with a decorative border. What do you think?
Here is a pic of the cabinet base painted black {using BEHR paint/primer in one in semi-gloss}, granite countertop installed {we used a remnant piece from a local  installer and this only costs us $500 for the granite and installation!!}, under mount sink, and tile bask splash. We also removed our large builder mirror and took it down to a local glass cutting store to have them cut it a little and clean up the edges. This costs us only $20 and was well worth it!
The Hubbs installed a new energy efficient vent fan w/ light. Costs was around $60. We went with a very quite model because out last fan was so loud it sounded like a jet airplane every time we turned it on.
Here is out tile floor installed. My Hubby laid cement board over the existing laminate flooring before laying down the tile. We used a Microban mortar for all  areas we tiled to prevent mold and moisture intrusion. We also used an epoxy grout which is the best you can use to keep out moisture, mold, etc.
Here are the walls spackled and ready for  some primer/paint. DO you like how the last family didn’t paint behind the toilet? Hot, right?! Oh, I almost forgot to share that we installed a new window for the bathroom as well. Our old window was an octagon shape and didn’t open. My Hubby framed out the window and installed the new one which now opens and has a built in design so people cannot see in.
Showing some love
Ok, are you ready to see some AFTER photos?
Here they are….
Bathroom AFTER Bathroom AFTER2
We made custom moldings for the mirror using trim from Home Depot that I painted black using the same paint as I did on the cabinets.
Bye bye builder mirror!
Bathroom AFTER3
We used existing lighting for our master bath and painted the frame black and then  installed new energy efficient bulbs. Love the new look!
Cost= $0
Bathroom AFTER4
Bathroom AFTER5
Bathroom AFTER6
Cabinets painted black and new knobs/pulls installed. Knobs are from Hobby Lobby using 40% off coupons and pulls are from Lowe’s. Don’t you love the beaded accent!
Bathroom AFTER7
New faucet I found online from Amazon for  $50!!! Can you believe it! Similar designs at Lowe’s and Home Depot were around $200. Score! Plus, all of the inner piping for this faucet is copper…not plastic, which makes a big difference in quality. Make sure to check Amazon for reputable sellers/dealers to find a great deal!
Bathroom AFTER8
Countertops….ahhhhhhh love!
Bathroom AFTER9
Custom/homemade Damask {fabric is from Joann’s using a 50% coupon} curtains on a Fleur De Lis rod and small ring clips I found at Hobby Lobby using 40% off coupons.
Bathroom AFTER10
Love these cute square picture frames I found at Michael’s {again using my coupons}! I took some photos my husband has taken, printed them in black and white, and put them in the frames. Total cost $15
Bathroom AFTER11
Here is our shower faucet I found at Lowe’s  and we got it on clearance before this model went out of stock. I love the faucet…seems so spa like! Wait, why is this faucet is my soon-to-be baby boy’s bathroom and not mine?? haha! Oh well, he deserves the best!
Bathroom AFTER12
Still on the lookout for a plain white shower curtain to add the Damask print at the bottom to match the curtains. Found the brushed bronze curtain rod at Lowe’s…under $10. I already had the ring clips.
Bathroom AFTER13
We kept our existing toilet that was new and low flow {which saves money/water}. We purchased the brushed bronze toilet handle for a little under $20 from Lowes.
Bathroom AFTER14
I found these beaded towel hooks at Ace Hardware and we actually were able to use some of our Ace Rewards to get two of them for FREE. It was awesome! I love how the beaded accent matches the cabinet pulls.
Bathroom AFTER15
OK, this is one of my favorite decor items….it is a cute little topiary bush I found at an antique store for only $5. It fits this space perfectly =)
One last look
Bathroom AFTER
ahhhhhhhh, refreshing!
Wow, it feels good to have this space completed…especially before the baby arrives! This was one of our most challenging projects yet, but so worth it! By doing all of the work ourselves {beside the installation of the granite countertops and under mount sink}, we were able to save A LOT of money!!! I know this project came in under $1,000 including $500 for the countertops. So, if you ask me…that is a pretty good deal. Don’t ya think?!?

Breakdown of what we did:

  • Gutted bathroom
  • Installed new vent fan
  • Installed new window
  • Installed new shower tile
  • Installed new granite countertops w/ under mount sink
  • Installed new tile backsplash
  • Painted cabinets black and installed new hardware {including black hinges}
  • Installed new tile flooring
  • Painted bathroom using BEHR paint/primer in one {two coats in Winter’s Day}
  • Put back existing toilet but installed a new toilet handle
  • Put back existing mirror {that had been cut} and added chunky trim
  • Installed an existing light from another bathroom that we painted black
  • Installed new sink and shower faucets
  • RE-installed window, floor, and door trim
  • Put up towel hooks, curtain rod, and custom/homemade curtains
  • Put up inexpensive picture frames with self taken  photography
There you have it! Our Bathroom redo!
I hope you have enjoyed the tour. Are you working on any bigger home remodeling projects? If so, please share!

Check out how I Clean & Disinfect my bathroom naturally here!
Thanks Jennifer!  You did an awesome job on your bathroom!  Thanks os much for sharing it with us today.  For more transformations, organizing posts, schedules and more, check out and follow her blog now!
Have a great day!
Bonnie :)

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Hello to you! And welcome to Show Off Your Cottage Monday. If you're new here, thanks for stopping by and if you've visited before, thanks for returning!

The House in the Roses

Do you love romantic decorating? Adding romantic touches to my decorating comes naturally in me... it’s something I do even without noticing I’m doing it... are you like that too? So here are just a few 'romantic style' inspired images for you today. A little touch of loveliness.

Pinks and pastels for some truly romantic rooms... yummy!

Decorating on a mirror with flowers and candle holders gives maximum romantic effect.

The ruffles, the lace, all the white to off-white to the lovely creaminess... everything speaks romance here...

Details... everything is in the details...

Roses are the quintessence of romantic decorating... they just make everything looks so dreamy...

Pretty for guest room or bathroom or mini porch table settings.

Lace and romance are inseparable if you ask me... I would dream my life away in these rooms.

Love love the romantic country cottage feeling to this room...

Nothing like vintage dishes and ruffled tables for a romantic inspired setting

Such a lovely feminine setting... delicate yet so elegant

So pretty, and colorful... love the vintage variety.

Our decorating style reveals only a small part of our personality... our personal style reflects our taste and speaks volumes about our preferred style, as well, don't you think so? Love this soft pink lacey blouse and necklesses... so very romantic and feminine.

And of course... I had to add some garden love here! Isn’t this a most romantic little corner?

Photo souce: Pinterest

What are you celebrating today? Take us there! But don't forget to link back to the house in the roses so others can find us too!