Monday, July 21, 2014

(Recipe} Oven-Fried Chicken

When you grow up in the south, fried chicken is a frequent menu item albeit probably not the healthiest menu item… I’ve been making this healthier oven-fried chicken for years.  It’s easy to make with ingredients I usually have on hand and it’s always a hit with my family.  While you can use any chicken cut for this, we tend to go for the drumsticks since they’re easy for my girls to grab and eat.  Delish!

Oven Fried Chicken


1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3- to 3 1/2-lb cut-up whole chicken (or cut of your choice)


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Melt butter in 13x9-inch pan in oven.
  2. In shallow dish, mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour mixture. Place chicken, skin sides down, in pan.
  3. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Turn chicken; bake about 30 minutes longer or until juice is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (170°F for breasts; 180°F for thighs and legs).


Friday, July 11, 2014

Well hello there... and Summer Decor!

Hey, hey, hey friends!  Hello from the silence that has been brought to you by summertime and a new job.  Things have been pretty slow around here but that doesn't mean my to-do list has gone away.  And next on that list is some summer decor... here's some inspiration from the web.

Pottery Barn Inspired Jute Placemats & Napkin Rings From Loop Pulls

summer decorating


Summer Country Farmhouse Dining Room via Town and Country Living

Aren't these some great ideas?  Makes me want to start freshening things up right now... just something about summer that screams light and bright.

Have a great weekend friends!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dining Room Update: New Dining Set

Hi loves – happy beginning of Summer to you!  I don’t know about you, but these long summer nights are wearing me out (and cutting in to my project time)… Even so, summer means no homework and sports practice so we are able to enjoy more family dinners at our new dining table.

Wood and White Dining Set

This set replaced the antique dining set (seen here) I inherited from my mother – years of neglect followed by daily use had taken its toll on it so I decided to retire it before it was completely ruined.  The chairs were in an awful state so I decided to let go of them, but the table is stored away for now.

About this set: I searched dining sets for a long time, not quite sure which direction I wanted to go design-wise, but also knowing that I needed a quality piece for a good price.  I found this set on Overstock and liked it right away but wanted to be sure it would hold up for our family.  I read a lot of reviews on this set and it solidified my decision.  Then, I waited for the set to go on sale – once it did, I applied my “first purchase” 20% off coupon and got it for an incredible deal, saving almost $500 off the original price.  There was free shipping to boot!

Neutral Dining Room

True to the reviews, there was a lot of assembly involved with this set but the instructions were good and there weren’t a ton of different pieces so once Mr. home.made. and I got started, assembly went pretty quickly.  We did have two pieces of chairs that were broken but Overstock sent us replacement parts within a couple of weeks so that was no big deal.

Dining Table and Armoire

The off white color goes nicely with my Annie Sloan old white painted dining hutch, and the wood adds a nice touch of warmth.  My only complaint about this piece is the distressing – it’s obviously the same on every single chair, no random placement at all which bugs me, but it doesn’t bother me enough to make me want to get rid of this set.  I’m sure we’ll add our own natural distressing in due time…

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this dining set – I’m even thinking of getting two extra chairs to have on hand for larger gatherings.  It’s a snug fit with three chairs on each side, but its doable.  We’ll see.

Later this week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite dishes served on this table… stay tuned.

By the way, Overstock did not sponsor this post nor compensate me in any way for this post. I bought this set on my own and this is my honest review. They’re just the lucky ducks I chose.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

{The Vinegar Experiment} Removing Hard Water Buildup

We live in central Texas and the majority of municipal water is supplied by the Edwards Aquifer, a large underground artesian aquifer.  Because the aquifer was formed by limestone formations many, many years ago, the water is hard – meaning lots of limescale and calcium buildup if you don’t have a water softener (which, of course, we don’t).  Thus, I’m stuck with faucets that look like this:

Not only is is unpleasant to see, but the scale encourages a slimy layer of biofilm to form (ew) and clogs the faucet aerator.  It’s a constant battle and it sucks.

I used to try and clean away scale with lime-away,  but I was constantly having to reapply and the smell was overwhelming… so I decided to try an all-natural remedy to see if it would work.  Enter a little bit of vinegar, a sandwich bag, and a clip.

Simply fill your baggie about 1/3 full with vinegar and apply as follows to your faucet, making certain the faucet is submerged in the vinegar.

If you can let this sit overnight, it’ll work really well.  I soaked this faucet for about three hours and it worked well but there was still a bit of scale left.  Before you remove the bag, rub along the scale areas and aerator to help remove the loosened material.  It’ll fall right into your bag – be prepared for ick.  After removing the bag, run the water to flush out any residual slime.

And here’s the after – it’s crazy how well it works and this wasn’t even a full soak!  I can’t wait to bust out the gallon bag to try on my showerhead!

Now, as for the title of this post: The Vinegar Experiment.  I’ll be experimenting with the many ways vinegar can be part of a homekeeping routine and will be sharing those posts here so stay tuned!

Do you have hard water like me??  What do you use that works?  I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Living Room Update: New Side Table

Hey, hey, hey friends!  I’m slowly coming out of my funk and getting my decorating mojo back but man… is it tough!  Luckily the kids are out of school for the summer so that schedule has calmed down, leaving evenings free to get some shizzle done over here.  Today I’m sharing the latest addition to my living room, a fun wood and brass side table from Target Threshold.

I had another Target side table in this very spot that did not survive a collision with my daughter… the wood composite top snapped like a twig when it fell over and there was no salvaging the top.  I’d hemmed and hawed over this little number for over a month after seeing it at my local Target store.  I just couldn’t make a decision.  I’d put it in my basket… I’d take it out.

A funk will do that to ya.  Seriously, has this ever happened to you?  I couldn’t make a d├ęcor decision to save my life.

All of that ended this weekend when, on a quick run to Target to pick up a gift I saw this table yet again and just knew it would be perfect.  Just like that.  And I’m so glad that it came home with me.

It fits perfectly next to my hubby’s recliner, it’s seriously cute, and *fingers crossed* it won’t fall over if one of my chicks happens to run into it.  Target Threshold wins again.

I’ve got an ambitious list of things to tackle this weekend, so let’s hope I can stay on a roll.  It’s getting hot already in Texas so I need to get started now before my garage becomes a virtual oven.  Anyone up for a painting party?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{What I Wore} Coral Stripes and Turquoise

Happy Tuesday y’all… I’m totally going out of my comfort zone today and doing a fashion post of what I wore for Mother’s Day.  This is not my typical post – usually I’m dressing up something around my house and I’m comfortably behind the camera so throw me a bone, mmmkay?  Here we go.

I bought this dress from Forever 21 last year sometime… and it hung in my closet ever since cause I just couldn’t get over the length (or lack thereof).  I threw proper hemline length out the window on Sunday cause I felt like wearing a fun colorful dress on Mom’s Day and by golly, this was the one.  The wide coral stripes were the perfect pop of color!

I paired the dress with a turquoise and wood necklace set that I bought at a $5 jewelry sale (heck yeah) and then threw on my fave brown Franco Sarto sandals from Ross.  All I’m missing is a little bit of color on my pasty tree trunks.  Lordy, get me some self-tanner, would ya?

I love this pic and how the top of my head is cropped out.  My adorable seven year old was my photographer this Sunday;  I asked her to zoom in on the necklace and stripes and this is the end result.  She was so excited to get to take pictures… even though I ended the photo session early when my neighbor came outside.  Baby steps on the being in front of a camera thing (especially when the neighbors are watching)…

I hope you had a fashionable, fabulous Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

{Organization} Jewelry Storage

Hey hey friends!  It’s so good to finally be back to share a project with you – this having two kids in two different sports thing is really putting a damper on my to-do list… but it has been fun to watch them each embrace a team sport and make new friends so it’s all worth it, right?  (And season ends soon – woohoo!)

So I have one of those ClosetMaid storage systems in my closet to help corral purses and scarves, and it had turned into a drop zone for all of my accessories (not in a good way).  I finally decided to tackle the tangled mess and organize my jewelry once and for all.

Organized Jewelry Station

After saying I would DIY a frame for my jewelry for about a year and never getting around to it, I finally just gave in and bought this one at Hobby Lobby (for 50% off).  It was a great solution to my mess of accessories.  And for the sake of keeping it real, here ya go:


I’d love to have a “real” piece of furniture here but my closet is just too small so this will have to do for now.  I’ve thought of a few little ways to spiff up this particle board masterpiece, but in all honesty, who really cares?  It’s in my closet.  It serves its purpose.  And Lord knows I have far better projects to work on… okay, well maybe I’ll just switch out the handles.


Anyhoo, here’s a few more pics:

Jewelry Organization

The two Command Hooks on the side keep seasonal scarves at the ready and the vintage glass bowl holds extra long necklaces and additional flower brooches.

ROYGBIV Jewelry Organization

Like any good control freak organizer, my baubles are arranged in a ROYGBIV colourway.  It makes me very happy to look at my spectrum of costume jewelry, and it makes it easy to accessorize when I’m getting dressed.  I find I’m wearing my jewelry more now that it’s organized and accessible.

There are so many other great ideas out there for jewelry organization.  Have you come up with any great ideas?


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