Small Space Decorating

When I was a young girl, we lived in a 3 story house in town. My dad loved to decorate the house for Christmas as did my mom. We had lights in every window. My mom had some kind of decoration everywhere in the house that she could.

Run time forward to today. Hubby and I live in a small trailer. Neither one of us like cleaning so the size fits us just fine. However, I still like to decorate for the season. So I have had to adjust my decorating ideas to fit my space.

The Front Door

Most of us have lovely Christmas wreaths to hang of our front door. What about the other seasons?

This is a perfectly nice wreath for spring but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. So I tried making my own.

I took a basic woven wreath, covered it with ribbon. Then I used my Cricut to make the flowers to glue on. It ended up hanging on the inside of the door.

Again, I started with a basic woven wreath. Only this time I wound a pair of flower garlands around it. Simple but looks good. Something anyone can do.

The Dinner Table

Most people have something as a centerpiece and tablecloths are easy to change.

Last year my husband surprised me with a Crystal Swan and a Crystal set of candleholders. They are beautiful and so very versatile to decorate with. Both are available from Amazon.

It started with filling the swan with ornaments and using red candles at Christmas. Quick change of candle color and add flowers. At the same time I switched the table coverings. Chargers are inexpensive and another way to change the look. Chargers can also serve another purpose. If you have a messy eater, they will catch the food that otherwise would have dropped on the table. The final change is dinnerware. I actually have different sets for different seasons.

Look Around The House!

Take a look around your home. Are there any other places where a small decoration can go? I’m not talking about the massive displays of knickknacks that I remember as a child. Our one home had a build in book shelf that my mom filled with knickknacks. It was my task once a week to go through and dust all of them! In today’s fast paced world, that’s not going to happen.

However, there are other options. Take a look at these pictures. After the season, I pack them up and put them away. It keeps things around the house looking fresh.

Don’t let the fact that you don’t have as much room as others stop you from decorating and enjoying your space. It’s your home, make it reflect your family!

The Sunday Post #21-27

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, I have included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Twinkle, Twinkle, Sassy Little Star by Julia Mills

These two are such a wonderful couple. Star still believes that she is the reason her entire pack was wiped out. Grey still grieves the disappearance of his brother. Neither one knew just how connected the two incidents actually were!

Fire Maidens Greece by Anna Lowe

Another wonderful book in this series. I absolutely love how the great descriptions allow you to picture the setting in your mind. Even better are the characters created, this couple are wonderful together. Well written, yet with flaws that make them come alive for you, I’m dying to read the next one now!

Nearly Twisted by Melanie James

Fabulous! This pairing is great. A little quick with the “insta-love” but still enjoyable nonetheless. Nice job with this continuation of the Twisted Tail Pack

Curves ‘Em Right by Milly Taiden

A BBW in search of love + two sexy wolf shifters ready to claim her as their mate = Sizzling Ménage Romance

Breaking Sass by C. D. Gorri

What happens when a sassy Dire Wolf, with a penchant for breaking rules, and a Lion, who’s in love with the law, clash? She’s a sassy Dire Wolf with a fondness for speed, and he’s a Lion who knows how to lay down the law. Get ready for fireworks when these two dominant personalities clash.

Closing Thoughts

It’s been a bit “wet” around my house. At this point, all of Florida is still on alert about TS Elsa. I’m sure by now, everyone has started running around like a chicken without it’s head trying to get ready for the storm. It usually makes me laugh to see what gets snatched up as emergency supplies.

Thursday night we decided that given my husband is on oxygen therapy, that getting a small generator would be a good idea. We checked the wattage needed for just a few appliances and determined what size to get. Friday morning we were waiting at Harbor Freight for them to open. At that point in time, there was a good number of generators available.

I had to return to the store that afternoon to pick something else up. Almost all of those generators were gone. I wonder how many people will try to return them if the storm doesn’t actually hit our area?

That’s it for this week. Keep dry and keep reading! ‘Til next week!

It can happen anywhere!

Face it folks, when we are watching the evening news and they show neighborhoods where there has been some kind of crime, our first reaction is “that would never happen in my neighborhood.” It’s just human nature to assume that nothing bad ever happens around us. The truth is, it does.

I live in a very quiet neighborhood. The most exciting thing to happen here is when a nearby street was closed for repaving, and all the traffic was rerouted on to our street. This led to a lot more speeding than we normally see. Then this morning, something else occurred.

As I turned the corner from our trailer park on to the street, I was greeted with the sight of police tape across the street at the bike trail and the street was filled with police cars. Both from the city I live in, and the one that starts on the other side of the street. Now this was decidedly not a normal occurrence!

An admittedly nosy question to a police officer 👮‍♀️ yielded the story that it was still an active crime scene. For me, that was enough said. As I turned to go down the trail, a young woman who could barely keep herself together, walked up. She was a family member, and my heart hurt for her.

As I took Coco on her second walk. I noticed that the police presence had reduced. A question to the volunteer you see in this photo got me the information that the other officers had been sent home to get some sleep. In other words, this crime started sometime during the night. As I said before, this is a quiet area. Our peace had been shattered.

As the morning went on, other police officers arrived. Here’s the police photographer taking shots down the street.

The Mobile Command Center was a surprise. The local NBC affiliate was there talking with people. Surprisingly, a crew from Telemundo News was there. I didn’t know the family who was involved, but the Spanish crew was a wonderful addition.

The next time you are tempted to think that crime couldn’t touch your neighborhood, think again. Look at the peaceful street behind the police vehicle. It could happen anywhere.

The Sunday Post #21-17

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received. Share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead. Join in weekly, bi-weekly or for a monthly wrap up.

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

The Scars of Her Dragon by Julia Mills

The past is never just the past especially when it haunts your every thought and turns your dreams to nightmares. Forgiveness is the only path to peace. Unfortunately, that route is filled with the faces of the dead.

The dove brings love, peace and protection to the world. She has the power to restore what’s been lost and heal the wounds of the past. If only he would let her.

Rebel Lion by Anna Lowe

Lion shifter Dell O’Roarke has never been serious about life, but life is about to get serious with him. The beautiful stranger who’s just arrived in Maui isn’t just looking for anyone — she’s looking for him. And that’s not just any surprise she’s brought along — it’s a baby who looks a hell of a lot like Dell. Soon, he discovers there’s more at stake than his lifestyle as a swinging bachelor. Vengeful shifters are hot on the stranger’s heels, making Dell wonder… Are they after the woman, the baby, or him?

Leap of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair

After a decade of captivity, Darcy MacCormac escapes the corrupt, clandestine organization called the Scythe, leaving family and friends behind. She must find a way to rescue them. Discovered by other shifters, the brand-new cougar gets two mentors. Blademage Gawain is an easy-going blacksmith with a steel-hard core. His brother Owen is a deadly warrior. Grumpy. Rude. And he doesn’t like her.

Matched and Mated by Grace Goodwin

Miranda Doyle has spent months in the arms of a mysterious Trion doctor. His hands are skilled at more than just healing, but their casual “friends with benefits” arrangement isn’t enough for her. She wants it all, and the Interstellar Brides Program guarantees her not just a mate, but a perfect match.

Outlaw Wolves by Heather Long

Luciana Esposito Barrows never imagined her dream of uniting the Lone Wolves and giving them a home could go so terribly awry. First, her brother rejected her, repudiating her from Seven Hills and leaving her without a powerful ally. Then the U.S. packs put her on notice, monitoring their movements, keeping them contained…then the Russians came. The last person in the world she expected to turn on her, was her own mate.

Our last pet wouldn’t go outside when it was raining. It didn’t matter whether it was raining a lot or a little, he just wouldn’t do it.

So you can imagine my surprise when Coco insisted upon going out come rain or come shine. Her coat is rather thick so she stays wet for awhile after coming back inside. We gave in and bought her a rain coat!

The Sunday Post #21-15

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Her Dragon, His Demon by Julia Mills

Her Dragon is strong and loyal, a leader among his kin. He makes her feel things she never thought possible and…he is her only hope for survival.

His Demon is beautiful and alluring, the other half of his soul. She is the One the Universe made for him and… she is his only hope for eternal love.

Together they must battle a darkness unlike any other led by Hell’s Chancellor himself. It’s not just their love that’s at stake…this time it’s their very existence.

Key Lime Pie

So many people think that making pies is difficult. That’s not necessarily true. Take this pie for instance. Believe it or not, it only takes 3 ingredients besides the pie crust!

This recipe was given to me when we first moved into the place where we live now. I don’t know who created it originally but since it was freely given to me, I am freely passing it on.

Rebel Dragon by Anna Lowe

Off to Maui for a relaxing vacation? Hardly. Surfer Jenna Monroe is on the run from a stalker who lusts after her blood. Instead of combing the beach for lost treasures, she’s forced to venture deep into the terrifying world of shapeshifters. There, even the good guys are hard to trust — all except for the hot-blooded rebel she can’t get out of her head.

Uncorked by Delta James

On the backroads of Italy, a fatal accident takes the lives of three of the four people in the car. The only survivor is an unconscious Kinzie Edwards, who is mistakenly identified as her twin sister. In a targeted act of violence, Kinzie loses her sister, Kayla and her humanity.

Claimed by the Vikens by Grace Goodwin

The only thing former Coalition warriors Calder, Zed and Axon have in common are long years spent battling the Hive, and their eagerness to claim their personal reward—their own Interstellar Bride.

Thunder Wolf by Heather Long

Most Lone Wolves have a story—a pack they left behind, a love they lost, or worse, one they buried. Some leave their packs to roam because they crave freedom, and independence. Some leave because in their hearts, they can’t bear to stay. Some leave because they see no way to go back…

Decorating and Redecorating!

Remember when I first showed you this arrangement? Recently we decided to make a few changes in the centerpiece.

It really is amazing what a big difference just a small change of color can make!

Key Lime Pie

So many people think that making pies is difficult. That’s not necessarily true. Take this pie for instance. Believe it or not, it only takes 3 ingredients besides the pie crust!

This recipe was given to me when we first moved into the place where we live now. I don’t know who created it originally but since it was freely given to me, I am freely passing it on.

Key Lime Pie

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup Key Lime Juice
  • 1 graham cracker crust (use the 9 inch one)

Combine the egg yolks, milk and juice. Mix gently without beating air in mixture. Pour into pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool and top with Whipped topping if desired.

This is the brand I use, Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice. Recently I was able to find it at either Costco or Sam’s Club. You can also add in lime zest.

Char-Broil Everybody Grills!

200 Prize-Worthy Recipes to Put Sizzle on Your Grill (Creative Homeowner) Includes Easy-to-Follow Tips & Tricks for Grilling, Smoking, & Low-and-Slow BBQ, and 250 Photos

Char-Broil’s Everybody Grills! is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for everyone who loves preparing meals in the great outdoors!

  • 200 prize-worthy recipes for grilled and barbecued appetizers, main courses, salads, veggies, marinades—even desserts on the grill! 
  • 250 color photos illustrate each recipe in mouth-watering detail 
  • Expert tips & techniques from Sizzle on the Grill Web writer Barry “CB” Martin for brining, marinating, and grilling that yield juicy steaks, ribs, and chicken 
  • Developed in partnership with Char-Broil, one of North America’s leading grill manufacturers 

Sumptuous spreads of exquisitely grilled food; step-by-step prize-winning recipes; lists of ingredients plus preparation and grill/cook times; expert tips on techniques and the latest equipment; delectable marinades, sauces, and rubs: Char-Broil Everybody Grills! is the definitive cookbook and how-to guide for everyone—from the beginner to the seasoned barbecue enthusiast—who loves preparing meals in the great outdoors. 

This book was developed by editors at Creative Homeowner in partnership with Char-Broil, one of North America’s leading grill manufacturers. For 60 years, millions of folks have relied on the Char-Broil name for great backyard cooking. Now, this trusted grill company presents Everybody Grills!, a cookbook filled with everything you need to know to get outside and join the fun. You’ll find hundreds of recipes for grilling, smoking, low-and-slow BBQ, and frying a whole turkey for the holidays—without oil! 

Filled with more than 200 easy-to-follow recipes and tips for delicious grilled and barbecued beef, lamb, veal, pork, poultry, seafood, vegetables, sides, salads, appetizers, snacks, marinades, sauces, rubs, and desserts, plus more than 250 mouthwatering color photos, Everybody Grills! will help you grill, barbecue, and cook delicious meals outdoors that will have family and friends licking their fingers! 

Char-Broil Everybody Grills! has been recognized for: 

  • 2009 Benjamin Franklin AwardPublishers Marketing Association
  • 2009 IPPY, Bronze, Recognizing Excellence in Independent Publishing, Independent Publisher Book Awards
  • 2008 USA Best Books Awards Winner (Cookbooks: Grilling & BBQ), USA Book News
  • 2008 Indies Finalist, Book of the Year AwardForeward Magazine

You see all those little blue pieces of paper sticking out of the book in the photo? Those are all the recipes that my husband and I want to try. Whether it’s a full (new) recipe to try, or just a new sauce for your favorite dish that you already make, there’s something for everyone in this book. Yes, you may find duplicate information but this is definitely a keeper!

Erica S D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
nice bookReviewed in the United States on January 2, 2021
full of great recipes with nice pictures that make me unsure what I should try first.

James Anderson

5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gotta have it!Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2018
This is a very nicely done paperback. Glossy pages. Recipes are mostly single-page with picture (love that) and simple and "normal" ingredients".

pkkmmokelly

4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
decent grillin guideReviewed in the United States on July 8, 2020
if you like to cook your dinner outside especially in the summer/spring/fall you'll enjoy this book great pictures and nice ideas well photographed...

Accessories for Your Instant Pot

Why Accessories?

While there are plenty of recipes that you can make in your Instant Pot without using any thing more than the pot and a trivet. You don’t need more than that for soups or stews. However, there are so many more recipes that just need an accessory or two to expand your use of it. I’m going to list a few of them with reasons why you might need it.

Egg Bite Molds

If you’re a fan of Starbucks, you have undoubtedly noticed their little egg bites. Now I don’t go to Starbucks, and couldn’t begin to tell you what is in them. Using a silicon egg bite mold will let you make egg bites of your own! Now besides your basic egg bites, I’ve seen cheesecake bites, meatballs, pancake bites, to name just a few. My favorite is muffin bites. If you buy the Martha White brand of muffin mix, it will make 7 bites, which is how many fits on a mold. I’ve been collecting recipe pins on my Pinterest Board, From My Kitchen and Instant Pot Recipes.

6 Inch Springform Pan

I didn’t quite believe it when I saw recipes for cheesecake that could be made in this smaller pan. I just didn’t believe you could cook a cheesecake in an Instant Pot. Then I did a little checking. It seems that custard recipes such as cheesecake, need a water to enable them to cook more evenly and slowly. The traditional method is to use boiling water in a roasting pan. Doing it this way, you would need to wrap tinfoil around the bottom of the springform pan to keep the water from leaking in. Now contrast that with placing your smaller springform pan on a trivet inside the Instant Pot. You get all the benefits of the water bath while still keeping the pan above the water! For a empty nest couple like ours, 6 inch pans are perfect.

6 cup Bundt Pan

This is another potential work horse in your kitchen. There are fabulous recipes out there for pound cakes that are sized for a 6 cup pan. In our current economic climate, wouldn’t it be better to make smaller cakes that will serve your family for one or two meals instead of three or four? I’ve even come across a recipe for “Monkey Bread” that is made in a 6 cup Bundt Pan in an Instant Pot! What a great treat!

6 cup Round Bowls, Cake Pans

These are great for making all kinds of things, casseroles, cakes. Just use your imagination. You may have to reduce the number of servings you are making, but wow, it is fabulous.

Steamer baskets

These should be another given accessory. There are any number of foods that are steamed. Steamer baskets come in a number of sizes. I even have one with a divider so that you can steam 3 different foods at the same time.

Hard Boiled Egg Rack

Easter is coming, folks. For those of you with small children and grandchildren, that means Easter Eggs. Now no one seems to argue that you need to boil the eggs for around 9 – 13 minutes. The problem comes in how long it takes that water to boil in the first place! The more eggs you need to make, the more water since you need to have water covering the eggs by 1 inch. BUT if you are doing them in a Instant Pot, you only need 1 cup of water no matter how many eggs you are making. Set the timer to 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the IP release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. Scoop the eggs out and place in ice bath for 5 minutes. No matter how many eggs you are making, they are all cooked completely! So much easier!

The Sunday Post #21-10

In case you didn’t see it on the home page, I’ve started a Podcast called “Book Reviews by the Reluctant Retiree.” Yeah, I know, not exactly original. WordPress has partnered with Anchor, a Spotify division, to create podcast episodes from blog posts. My husband and I had looked into creating a podcast for him but were always afraid of the costs involved. With Anchor, there is no cost involved. My plan at the moment is to create episodes from the Sunday Posts rather than trying to create episodes from all the posts during the week.

Books Reviewed This Past Week

Fighting for Her Dragon by Julia Mills. Dragon Guard Series Book 7. One doomed dragon. One very special woman. One destiny no one could have predicted. Will they save dragon kin or destroy it?

The Science of Good Cooking from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. Unlock a lifetime of successful cooking with this groundbreaking new volume from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, the magazine that put food science on the map.

Lure of the Wolf by Anna Lowe. Jewels of the Heart Book 2. Nina only has the vaguest memories of who she is or why two men tried to kill her one terrifying night. All she knows is how quickly she’s falling in love with her rescuer — a man with secrets of his own. With her, he’s kind, gentle, and fun — but there’s a ferocious, animal side to Boone and the group of Special Forces vets he shares an exclusive seaside estate with. Can Boone help her uncover the past before the killers catch up with her? Or will an unexpected twist of fate steal her only chance at true love?

Sealord by Delta James. Alpha Lords Book 6. Only one thing could have awakened Kellan from long centuries of sleep. The scent of his mate.

Míorúilt has the blood of dragons in her veins and taming her will be no easy task, but Kellan wouldn’t want it to be. While he slumbered he dreamed of how sternly and shamefully he will punish her defiance and how thoroughly he will claim and ravage her beautiful virgin body.

Now it is time.

Her Mate’s Secret Baby by Grace Goodwin. Interstellar Brides Program Book 9. An attack on their outpost leaves Roark fighting for his life. For her protection, Natalie is transported back to Earth. Roark thinks she’s dead. But she’s very much alive and so is his newborn son. Natalie’s anger and regret grows with each passing day her mate does not keep his promise to come for her. By the time he discovers his mistake, it may be too late to win back her heart.

Desert Wolf by Heather Long. Wolves of Willow Bend Book 8. Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before it utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.

Coming Up!

As you can see (I hope), I am trying to expand the information I present on Sundays. Not everybody is interested in the paranormal romances and that’s okay. I plan to keep including the cookbooks and other informative posts. A blog should always be evolving otherwise it grows stale. So if you are listening to this as a podcast episode, thank you very much for your support.

Upcoming Posts:

  • Her Dragon’s Heart by Julia Mills
  • Accessories for Your Instant Pot
  • Lure of the Bear by Anna Lowe
  • Skylord by Delta James
  • Mating Fever by Grace Goodwin
  • Snow Wolf by Heather Long

Recently my husband and I decided that it was easier to get a couple of fleece throws to cover up with when things got a bit chilly. The weather can be quite changeable in early spring and if we put a heater on, it only leads to needing the AC by afternoon. Needless to say, Coco had to investigate this new covering. At this point, I gave in and bought her a blanket of her own.