It’s been a year!  On this day last year I published my first post.  WOW!  It’s been a pleasure writing about some of the things I enjoy and sharing with my readers.  I’ve learned some thing in this year and I’m looking forward to growing.  Thank you very much for sticking with me during this journey.

Well, my first blog post was about the Taste of Chicago and I wanted to show my experience from this year’s Taste.  I wanted to see what I can buy at the Taste for under $20.00.  This amount doesn’t give you much if you’re buying the full portion, but if you try the “Taste” portion, you can get a variety of dishes. The Taste took me down south to Cajunland for the shrimp po-boy, deep south with mustard fried catfish, further south to Mexico for the Tequila-lime marinated chicken tacos and west to Jamaica to taste the jerk chicken with peas and rice.  I topped it off with a nice cool gelato.

To make your mouth water, check out these pictures





My Jerk Chicken Kabobs

Hi All,

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I just love cooking outdoors and when I grill chicken, I almost always use my jerk sauce.  Now, this isn’t an authenic jerk sauce, but I love the taste of it.  I marinade cubed chicken breast for 24 hours in the following:

Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, serano peppers, scallions, cilantro, thyme, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, ginger, allspice, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt.

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I cubed pineapples, red onions and sweet peppers and arranged on the skewer.

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I cook on each side for about 6 to 8 minutes. I like this with either a side of black beans & rice or cold pasta salad.




Shrimp Tacos Yum!

Hi All,


Since I returned from Ensenada Mexico last month for my birthday, I have been thinking about those shrimp and fish tacos.  I decided to make them myself. See the photos of my trip here

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I used a tempura batter for the shrimp which consisted of flour, cornstarch and sparkling water alone with salt…then deep fried.  I topped the shrimp with pico de gallo, shredded cabbage and cilantro.

Pico de gallo:

chopped tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion and salt.

Simple with a big taste.


The June 30 Day Challenge Is Done!!!

Hi All,

The room is done, well almost done!!!! The 30 days is up, and it has been a challenge.  Wow, I think my biggest challenge was time.  Between traveling, entertaining company and a major storm Monday night, I really had to push myself to finish this one.

In case you’re wondering, I join Serena at Thrift Diving June 30 Day Room Challenge series to motivate myself to complete this room.  The challenge was to transform one room in your house, and I chose my daughter’s old room.  I decided to change it into a guest room/craft room. I am still embarrassed to show you guys the “before” pictures, but here it is.



A hot mess….right!  First, I  cleared out the room, and that was a huge task.  I believe that took the longest because at some points I wanted to give up.  It was just too much.

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Clearing this space allowed me to clear my head and think about my layout instead of thinking about how messy it was.  Here is what it looks like now…..READY


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This is my craft/sewing area.  I reused the bookshelf that was already in the room to anchor the desk.  Remember I found the long white board in the garage?  Well, that became my desk top.  The other white shelves came from a local thrift store and I purchased them for $10 total.  I lucked up on a 50% off sale.  Remember the frames were my mother-in-law’s collection except for the one in the middle.  I purchased that one from Blicks Art store on clearance for $9.00.

Next is the guest area….Check out the “before” pictures…..


Again….a hot mess.


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I arranged the bed similar to a day bed and added lots of pillows… pillows.  The pillow inserts are 26 x 26, 22 x 22 and 16 x 16.  The fabric is leftover fabric from other projects.  I think my most expensive item was the garden stool for $30 at Ross.  I just had to get it because I was in love with the color and it fits perfect in this spot.

The lamp was for my in-laws. It was the 70’s orange and I decided to paint it.  Oh, and I can’t forget the side table.  This was purchased at the Goodwill for only $5, and didn’t have to do anything with it.

I am so happy with what I’ve accomplish and it really has a peaceful feel when I walk in.

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I still have a few little items I would like to add such as a desk lamp, but I’m in love with this room. I’m so thrilled I joined this challenge because now I have a lovely room I can create in.

What do you guys think?












Weekend Update

Hi All

This was a busy weekend.  The Guess room/craft room project was my priority because I only had 4 days to complete  tons of project….OMG! I  worked long hours every night and on top of this, my daughter is in town.  I got a chance to spend some time with her, but she helped out by spending time with her brother.  They had a great weekend together at the beach.  Well, today is the last day and here’s what I’ve done so far.


I decided to assign Friday night to painting the projects. I painted frames I found in the basement gold, white and silver, and I  think the color combination works well together.

This tray was from a gift I received at my last baby shower.  I just couldn’t toss it because I knew I could use it, so I stored it in his closet.  Well, that time has come.  I painted the sides metallic gold. Always re-purpose unused items and save some money.

The lamp was another item that was in the basement.  It was a 70’s orange and the base was brown….I’m sure it was stylish 40 years ago.  I’ve decided to paint it white to give it a fresh look and the base gold.  I’m really loving this combination because it gives a classic feel.

Well, Saturday was for sewing.  All of this fabric was leftover from other projects, so I didn’t have to spend any extra money.  I purchased 26 x 26 pillows from Hobo for only $7.00 each….not bad.

As you know, today is the last day of the June 30 day challenge and I still have a couple of small projects to complete. I’m so glad I challenged myself and tackle this room. I love how the room is coming alone and I can’t wait to show you guys.

Steak and Potatoes w/Asparagus

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I purchased some asparagus from the Farmer’s Market  and immediately decided to make steak and potatoes.  I think asparagus and steak goes well together.  Now, I was never a big fan of asparagus, but loves all vegetable which means I had to learn how to cook them.  After searching all over the internet, I finally found a recipe I love that makes asparagus taste good to me.  Have you tried the Neely’s  BBQ rub from the Food Network?  Well, you have to check out the recipe here.  I enjoy many of their recipes.

Now, the steak.  I purchased two 1″ rib eye steaks and marinade them with, wait for it, Italian salad dressing for 24 hours.  It has seasoning and oil which is perfect for a marinade.  I also added kosher salt, parsley, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. I have my grilled cast iron pan flaming hot with oil and just places the steaks on it.  Now, I have a 1″ thick rib eye steak, so I cooked it on one side for about 7 minutes and the other side 4 minutes for Medium. It comes out great every time. Once the steak is done, I let it rest for about 5 minutes.  While the steak is resting, I just throw the asparagus in the pan and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes…..I like to have a little crunch.






Hey Guys!!!!

This week’s treasure came from out of the garage. I barely visit the garage because it’s so much going on in there. When we moved in the house, it was packed with 30 years of memories and we moved a lot of my husband’s parent’s things in the garage until we can go through it. Needless to say we never did. The garage already had a pile of things in there, but we added a lot more from the basement. It’s overwhelming.

I’ve decided to look around and see what I can find because I’m working on the Office/guest room challenge this month and I really do not want to spend a lot of money. I like to use what I have first and then buy the remaining items needed. Well, I found these items for the project.

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I’m thinking about using the long white board as a desk.  Hopefully, this project will look nice….crossing my fingers.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the shuttles or the crates, but tune and find out.