Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Favorites & A Giveway

Welcome to another wonderful edition of Sunday Favorites hosted by the lovely Chari @ Happy to Design. I love taking part in this weekly tradition since Sunday's are such busy and yet relaxing days at the Stepp House. It's also a fun way in which we can look back at what we were doing last year or years ago on our blogs. This always makes me smile as I can see how far I've come in life or how much I've changed from one year ago.

Before posting my Sunday Favorite with you I do want to remind of you of the wonderful giveaway that I am having. To read all about it and how to enter just read the post below this one. You still have plenty of time to enter. I am celebrating the Grand Opening of my new Etsy store with this giveaway. My stores name is T's Treasures and it's filled with all things vintage. Ok, without further ado here is my Blast from the Past.

This post originally was done on March 26, 2009. Oh how funny, that's my birthday and I didn't notice the date till now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frugal Friday & A Great Giveaway


Good morning all my Frugal Friday friends. It's that time of week again. Time to share some more frugal tips with you. I am enjoying this so much and learning more and more myself each day. Today I am posting more frugal recipes that I cook myself. These recipes are nutritious as well as being frugal. I love trying new recipes myself and thought everyone else would love to do the same. What makes these frugal are that they are made from many ingredients you will probably find in your pantry or on a regular shopping list. I hate recipes that I have to search for the ingredients and always calls for something I may buy once and never use again. So I am targeting things you already have in your pantry or freezer.

We'll start with your main dish
. For us this is usually always a meat. I know meat is expensive but around here we can't do without it. To save yourself money here, most grocery stores have a reduced meat section. At least I know all the ones in our area do and hopefully yours does as well. Our little home town store places the reduced meat out daily. I try to go by every morning or every couple of days and stock up. Last week I went three times and purchased three large family packages of tenderized round steak, four sirloin steaks, a family pack of boneless butterfly pork chops and a beef roast. I paid for all of this around $25.00 for all of it. That's not to bad in my book.

This recipe comes from the top of my head, nothing is wrote do
wn for me to go by so you may have to make some adjustments for yourself. Remember I cook for a family of five, when I cook.

Steak and Mushroom Gravy




1 or 2 large round steaks

flour
salt
black pepper
beef bouillon cubes
2 cups water
oil (to cover bottom of skillet)

2 small cans of mushrooms, drained

I usually purchase my round steak already tenderized, if you don't buy yours this way then I do suggest tenderizing it yourself.

Wash and pat your steak dry with paper towels. Cut into smaller serving pieces. Usually for two steaks I cut about 6-8 pieces of meat. Next combine in a med. size bowl your flour, salt and black pepper to taste. Get out your iron skillet (I always use an iron skillet but you can use whatever you like) and pour enough oil in the bottom to coat and fry your meat. Maybe about 1/2 inch on the bottom of your skillet. I just judge this myself. While your grease is getting hot dredge your steak pieces in the flour and seasonings. Sometimes I may also add a little seasonall as well. when your pan and grease are ready lay your meat in and brown on one side. Turn when browned to brown the opposite side. After browning both sides turn your burner down to finish cooking your meat through and through. While your meat is finishing cooking take out two beef bouillon cubes and unwrap and set aside. Also get 2 cups of water. Take your meat out of pan once cooked and set aside. Now time to make your gravy. After you have removed the meat from the skillet you naturally will be left with the oil (at least some). Add enough of the leftover flour to make a paste. Continue moving this around in the skillet till it becomes the color of dark coffee. Add in the two bouillon cubes and slowly add your two cups of water. Continue stirring on high heat till it thickens, add your two cans of mushrooms. Now turn the burner down to a simmer. After the bouillon cubes have dissolved then place your meat back into the gravy and continue simmering for about 15-20. If the gravy becomes to thick add a little more water. When it has simmered as long as you like it is now finished.

This is really a great way to cook round steak so that it becomes more tender and served with the mushroom gravy it is very hearty.


Once Baked Potatoes

I take the easy way out and microwave them the first go round. Wash and dry about 5 potatoes (depending on how many you are cooking for) and place on a microwavable plate. Take fork and punch about three places on each side of each potato. Place in the microwave about 20-30 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking. They are done when you can stick your fork all the way through.

While your potatoes are in the microwave cook a small amount of broccoli. Shred some cheese or use sliced cheese. Whichever you prefer.


Once your potatoes are done remove from microwave and let cool a little. When your broccoli is finished cooking drain off all water and set aside. Now take a towel and hold on to each potato and slick lengthwise down the middle. While holding your towel take each half potato and scoop out the inside of the potato leaving a small amount around the edges of your potato. put all the scooped out insides into a bowl and make mashed potatoes with it. I'm not explaining that if I don't need to. I figure everyone knows how to make mashed taters. If you don't back away from the kitchen now................

After you have mashed the taters then add your cooked broccoli, some bacon bits and salt and pepper. Mix well and use your spoon and place the mashed into th
e half potato shells and lay side by side on a baking sheet. Place sliced or shredded cheese onto the top of each one and place all back into an oven set for 350 degrees about 20 minutes or till cheese melts and gets a little brown around the edges.

Now add some fresh vegetables or a dinner salad and you have a great meal for your family. I also suggest cooking a few cans of biscuits to go along with the meal. yes, I said canned biscuits, you know the whop on the counter
kind. The leftover biscuits can be used for dessert as well. Recipe to follow for this.

Chocolate Gravy & Biscuits



The gravy can also be cooked in the microwave while the other dinner fixins are cooking as well. Now if you are from the south chocolate gravy is breakfast, snacks and desserts. It is practically considered a staple food. If you've never heard of it, well huney chile you have been missin out.

You will need:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbls. cocoa

Stir this together in a large bowl. Add 3 egg yolks beaten, 3 cups milk. Stirring your milk in gradually so as not to clump. Be sure to beat the egg yolks as well. Add your flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir well removing any lumps with a whisk.

Place the bowl in the microwave and cook about 15 minutes. If it's not thick enough by then cook an additional 5 minutes more. Take out and stir, if still not thick enough continue cooking five minutes at a time till thick as a gravy. Once thick and removed from microwave add 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. That's it your done now. Serve hot over the leftover biscuits for a one of a kind treat. Your kids will love you.

Now I never said they would be good your heart or waistline, only frugal and taste good. Enjoy this meal and let me know how you like it if you decide to cook
any of them.

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Have a wonderfully relaxing Sunday my friends.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pink Saturday-Giveaway-Grand Opening

Welcome to Pink Saturday hosted by the sweet Ms. Beverly of How Sweet The Sound. She is our gracious hostess for this special event each Saturday every week. Be sure and head over to her blog and see all the wonderful pink postings to make your day special.



This week I wanted to share with you my excitement! I am thrilled beyond belief to say that my new Etsy store (T's Treasures) is up and running and your just in time for the Grand Opening and a special giveaway in honor of this event. Yes, you heard it correctly! I am giving away a beautiful Moss Rose perfume bottle to one lucky winner. I will choose the winner on March 19th (by random integer) and announce the lucky winner on March 20th's Pink Saturday post. Here's what that lucky person will win.

Front View

This is the back of the perfume bottle.



Isn't it gorgeous? As you can see it has red/pinkish moss roses on the front and one single bud on the back. The ruffled top is decorated with beautiful gold trim as well as the stopper. This perfume bottle is in very good condition, there is some slight wear on the gold trim from use.

How do you win this? I'm making this giveaway a little more interesting for me. Here's what you have to do. The first way to enter (and this is mandatory) is really quite simple.

1. Go over to T's Treasures and take a look around. Come back here and leave a comment letting me know your favorite item in the store. That's it, just be sure and leave a comment for this. Counts for one point.

There's also other ways for extra entries.

2. Become a follower of this blog. If you already follow that's wonderful. Leave a separate comment for this entry as well. Counts for one point.

3. Write about this giveaway on your blog for five additional entries. Just leave me 5 (you need to do this for it to count five times) separate comments as well as the link to the post that contains the information of this giveaway.

4. Make a purchase from T's Treasures for 10 entries for the giveaway. Be sure and come back here and leave 10 separate comments for them all to count.

If you do everything listed for entries that will be a total of 17 chances to win this gorgeous Moss Rose perfume bottle.

I also want to let all of my readers know that for the time of this giveaway I am offering to everyone a special discount of 10% off any item from my store. Wow, what a savings this will be to you! Before placing your order however email me and let me know what you want. That way I can go in and send you a special invoice for payment that will provide you with this discount. You will need to pay for the item as soon as you receive this invoice (within 12 hours of receipt). I will go into my store and mark the item sold when the invoice is sent to you. This guarantees no one else can purchase the item(s).

Be sure and check back in my store as I will be adding more items this afternoon. Check back weekly as well as I intend to add new items each week.

Good luck to all the participants! Have a wonderful Pink Saturday everyone.


Monday, February 22, 2010

I Just Have To Tell You About A Wonderful Giveaway

Yes, it's very rare that I take the time to post about other's that are having giveaways, but by golly I want to win this one very badly. So I need this extra entry, but of course I'm not going to be stingy or rude and will tell you all about it. Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is where you can win a beautiful handmade tassel. These gorgeous tassels are made by Angela of The Tassel House. Angela does beautiful work on these tassels and takes much care and time with them. Would you like to see what you could win? You have a choice of either of these adorable tassels.




Aren't they both adorable? I would love to win either one of these. To get yourself entered in this fabulous giveaway head over and pay Susan a visit today.


Mosaic Monday

What a wonderful weekend we had here at the Stepp house! I am almost 100% back to being healthy and well again, so we celebrated by having dinner out, not once, but twice. Now that's my kind of celebrating. Friday night Trucker took us out to the Mexican restaurant here in town and Saturday night we went out for Chinese. Plus my little ole heart went pitty patty because we got to go shopping. Woohoo for shopping. It's amazing how much better I feel when I get out and spend money. LOL.
Let me show you some of the new things I acquired this weekend. I am so excited about all of them.



This first grouping is three Amber Etched Apothecary Jars, two Cloches and an Angel.

This grouping is all things for the bedroom. Moss rose tray, Chintz Vanity Tray, Royal Munich Roses Vanity Tray, Silver and Ruby dresser set, Silver filigree vanity tray and Rose curtain tiebacks.

This last grouping is two Moss Rose perfume bottles, Moss Rose tea set, two china plates (moss rose), Moss Rose Bud Vase, Moss Rose tea pot, and the small vanity tray.

I'm so happy with my purchases and I love them all. However one of the above will be in an upcoming giveaway I'll be having here very very soon. I'm still deciding what item I want to giveaway, which ones will be going in my Etsy store and what one or two I may keep. What do you say ladies? Which would everyone be interested in being in the giveaway? What do you think I should keep? Let me know what you think and hopefully the giveaway will be later next week.

Thanks to our wonderful host Mary at The Little Red House for featuring our beautiful mosaics each and every Monday. I know Mary and all the other participants would love for you to view their mosaics today as well, so head over and give them all a looksy today.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pink Saturday

Welcome to Pink Saturday everyone. I hope your day is filled with all things Pink and Wonderful.

Today I wanted to share a couple of new Pink items with you. I just recently acquired both of these gorgeous pinks and will be adding them to my Etsy store very soon. Yes, I've decided to open an Etsy store and see how it goes. I've got so many wonderful things around the house that need to find a new home that I thought I would join Etsy as well.

This first item is a pair of gorgeous Ribbon Rose Silk Tassel Bow and Lace Curtain Tiebacks. Aren't they beautiful? If you didn't want to use them as curtain tiebacks you could easily add a silk ribbon to them and use them as gorgeous tassels.




This next item is a Chintz Victorian Vanity Dresser Tray that is covered in Pink Shabby Roses. I feel in love with it and just had to have it. It's totally shabby chic and exquisite.

Watch for both of these beautiful items to be added to my Etsy store as soon as they arrive to me. I haven't even named my store yet and as soon as I do will be making a huge announcement and having a GIVEAWAY as well. So drop back in and often for this to happen.

To see more gorgeous Pinks head over to Ms. Beverly's Pink Saturday and tell her Treasia sent you over.

Have a special Pink Saturday my Pinkie friends.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not Dead Yet


I wanted to give a shout out to all of my faithful readers (all two of you) that I am still in the land of the living. Though I must admit that many many days I have had my doubts on that one! Have you ever been "sick of being sick"? That's where I am now. So sick of being sick and not having the strength to do more than lie in bed, or the couch and take meds. I have another appointment at the doctor this afternoon and could very well end up in the hospital. Would this upset me? NO, if that's what it takes to make me well again then by all means bring on the hospital food. I'll happily suffer along if it means I would be well again.

Only a very few of you know exactly what I've been suffering through and I feel the need to share with the rest of you what is wrong. You see I developed MRSA (resistant staph) about two years ago and it is steadily getting worse. Each time the doctor thinks we have it cleared up it comes back worse than before. I won't go into the gory details of it, but I would never wish this on my worst enemy. That includes the ex's in my life! So you know that's how bad it is. The staph has now entered my bloodstream (which makes me believe that the hospital is the next step in finding a cure) and is making me have numerous other horrible infections. Not to mention running a high fever as well.

For the winners of the Tea Bags, please know that I have not forgotten you at all. I just haven't left my couch or my house for three weeks now other than going to the doctors. I will get those out to you as soon as I feel like it. I do hope that is very very soon.

Other news in my life is that Trucker has been a godsend to me. I had to take a raincheck for our fabulous Valentine's dinner at Red Lobster and he's been doing everything around the house. I married the most wonderful man on earth. Not because of all he does for me, but because he does ALL of it without complaint.

Rest assured when I am back to being normal, as normal as I can be anyway, that I have so many projects I can't wait to share them with you. My one end table I did get finished looks wonderful and I am so ready to do the other one.

All of you in blogland have made these last few weeks easier because I have found the strength to read your blogs and have learned so much from all your projects. I want to say "thank you" for posting so many gorgeous furniture, table scapes, and DIY projects for me to read.

I love you all and miss blogging. Hopefully I can join in the blog parties soon.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pink Saturday-In Honor of Valentine's


Hello and welcome to Pink Saturday here at Stepp Into My World! As everyone know's Valentine's Day is tomorrow and what a wonderful time to celebrate our love of Pink than the day of Love!



Rain or Shine ... Be My Valentine
Raindrops on our dresses,
Sunshine on our face,
No matter what the weather,
The look of love won't be replaced.

The silent sound as rain falls,
The brilliance of the sun.
They only promise radiance,
Caused by either one.

Let it rain, or let it shine,
It won't matter none.
You're such a lovely Valentine,
In either rain, or sun.

Let it snow, let it hail,
Earth blanketed with white.
It won't prevent our day,
Or deny the magic of our night.
Donna Wallace

No matter what you're doing today, or tomorrow, may it be filled with Love. May your lips only speak words of that love to all you talk to!

Pink Saturday is hosted by the lovely Ms. Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound.

My Trucker is taking me to my most favorite restaurant today to show his love. We are going to Red Lobster, all alone, no children, just the two of us. I couldn't ask for anything better.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm So Excited

I'm so excited that I just had to go ahead and share my fabulous finds now instead of waiting on them to be delivered. I could not believe I have finally found one of the things I've been searching for for such a fantastically great price. I found my chandelier shades for the chandelier in our dining room this week. I've searched for awhile now trying to find the perfect ones that didn't cost me an arm and a leg. I was about to give up on it when I decided to give Ebay a try. I have looked at Home Depot, Lowe's and many many other places on line and the cheapest I could find a set of five was in the neighborhood of $35.00 Now I know this might not sound to rich for most people's blood but for mine, well I wanted it to be more frugal for our families budget. My chandelier is old, it's probably in all likely hood been hanging in our dining room since the house was built in the early 30's. I have always disliked it. It's made of brass and wood and very fragile glass shades. Half of the shades were broken and after hanging in a house of smokers for years and years I couldn't get them clean. So a few weeks ago I just finally decided to remove them altogether.

I found these little beauties for........................$1.99 each. Can you believe that? For less than $20. I have a new set of five silk shades with glass beads dangling from them. I plan on adding some silk ribbon to the top and bottom of each shade when they arrive. I am also going to paint the chandelier in a country pale blue. Naturally I'll post before and after pictures when the project is finished.

I'm even more excited about this next find. I am redecorating our master bedroom to soft blue and chocolate colors and have been doing some shopping around for accessories. I really really want to find a vanity and mirror for myself but so far no luck. Next stop for those items is the thrift store and goodwill. In the meantime however as I said, I've been looking for some pretty blue and chocolate accessories. While I was looking on Ebay to find the chandelier shades I kept shopping. I love window shopping on Ebay as much as actually ordering/bidding from there. I know that's weird, most people don't like to window shop without money, but it takes me away from everyday life. Geez, get back on the subject ME. Another few things I've been looking for is frugal/cheap apothecary jars. While I was perusing what Ebay had to offer on those I ran across this gorgeous blue/gold one. It instantly took my breath away. I fell in love at first sight. I placed it in my watch category and was hoping, and doing some praying as well, that I could win this beauty. She's 11 1/2 inches tall and just perfect! Her starting bid was only $9.99 for her. I watched it for a few days and then finally placed my bid a few hours before it was over. I just new I would have to fight for her and figured in all honesty she would never be mine. I have my limits for spending and figured someone would outbid me quickly for it. Not one other single person placed a bid but me. I got her for the minimum bid of $9.99. WOO HOO!!!! Isn't she just gorgeous. I have no idea what I will use her for, if anything at all, other than simply to look at! She's going to be beautiful sitting on my soon to find vanity table.





Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dreaming In Color

When I was a little girl oh so many years ago I liked to think I was like all the other little girls. I dreamed of what I would someday grow up to be, who I would someday marry, and where I would someday live! I had all sorts of visions, dreams and ideas of what life would be like. How many children would I have? Would I only have one, two or three? Where would I live? Next to the ocean, on another continent, in the mountains, or close to my family? Would the man who swept me off my feet be wealthy or poor? Would I dress in high fashion or denim?

One thing about my dreams was always the same. I would be married in a beautiful long red dress, carry a bouquet of red roses, and have a red feather in my hair. My lover would have a black tux with red tie and we would ride away in a white carriage with red bows on it, to a white mansion or cottage with a white picket fence around it.
Oh what dreams we dream when we are young. I did grow up to marry my lover and he wore no red tie, I wore no red dress, or carry a red bouquet and had no red feather in my hair. Even though I really really wanted to. We didn't ride away in a white horse drawn carriage covered in red bows and flowers. He did however take me to a white house with a partial white picket fence. I can't help but think someday, someday in the future when we renew our vows I will have some of those dreams come true, to go along with all the others that have already came true!



What were your dreams when you were young?

Today I am participating with Sue @ It's a Very Cherry World for Rednesday and at Faded Charm for White Wednesday. Be sure and go over and see all the other beautiful whites and reds today that everyone is sharing.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So Soft So Peaceful


It's finally stopped snowing now in our part of Arkansas. Not sure if this is the last of it or more is expected. Either way, it was so soft and so peaceful while falling. We ended up with around 6-8 inches of the pretty white wet stuff. Perfect for making snowmen and snowballs. Late yesterday evening Trucker and I took a brief walk outside to enjoy the flakes falling on our faces, heads and tongues. It felt so good to be out of the house even if briefly. We acted like a couple of kids and threw snowballs at one another, took some pictures and just listened to the complete quiet of our neighborhood. That's one thing I really love about snow! The world around us stops, stands still and becomes so quiet and peaceful. Not a single sound when you go outside. It's almost surreal.


I've been working on the progress of the end tables and today I will hopefully finish at least one of them up and be able to show the finished project later this week. Here's what I've got so far.




For now....I'm safe, warm and cozying up to Trucker.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet Trucker Brought Me Spring & Winner Announced

I almost forgot to announce the winners of last weeks drawings for various tea bags. We have five winners total and the first one is: Annie, Tammy, The Faveros, Lynette and Laurie. Congratulations to all the winners that were chosen. Winners were chosen by Random Integer, but for the life of me I cannot remember how to copy and paste that picture(s) over here. Take my word for it ladies! Thanks to everyone who entered to win and I hope to do it again very soon. I'll be contacting the winners for their address.Delete

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I do believe I am married to the sweetest man on earth. No if's, and's or but's about it, this time around I found a keeper! He's been through a lot with me since we got married and especially the last few months with me being so sick, but today he surprised me once again. Trucker always amazes me with his surprises and this time was no different. You see this weekend he brought me Valentine's Day early. He knew I needed a little pick me up as I've been feeling so down and out. Just not my chirpy usual self and let me tell you, this darned weather isn't helping me any at all! We are supposed to be getting another 4-6 inches here tonight and tomorrow. Now I know this in no way is like the rest of the US seems to be getting right now, but for us here in Arkansas, it's a lot. So without further ado......................

Didn't I tell you? The sweetest man to walk this earth!

Well after shedding a small tear or two I ate almost the entire box of candy! Of course I shared it with him, RugRat 1 and 2. This means now that I will have to make many many trips up and down our staircase this next week, but it's all worth it.

After smelling the intoxicating blooms it made me long for spring in the worst way possible. However, looking over and admiring my spring mix made me remember that hopefully God will bring us spring like weather very soon. It also made me decide to do today's mosaics in spring flowers.

Today (as I do every Monday) I'm joining Mary @ The Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Mary is such a gracious hostess to do this for all of us each week. After you've enjoyed and dreamed about what spring will be bringing by viewing my post be sure and head over to Mary's and enjoy all the other wonderful Mosaics that is offered today. I am also joining in with Sally @ Smiling Sally for her Blue Monday. So be sure and go by and see all the gorgeous Blue posts at Smiling Sally's. Better yet, take part in them yourself. It's really very easy to do.

Tonight Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker refused to work for me, so I decided to try out using Picasa 3. I had this already downloaded on my computer and have really never used much about it at all. I wasn't even sure I could do a mosaic with it. But by golly I could. I actually like these better than using Big Huge Labs. So once again here's my tribute to spring.............