Fall Weekend Getaway in Alabama

I travel a lot with my job – so when we go on a trip, I love to find a beautiful bread and breakfast.  Over the weekend, we had a fall getaway to Alabama and we found a neat bed and breakfast.  It is located in the small town of Valley Head, Alabama.   It is right on the Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama state lines – at the foot of the Lookout Mountains.Even though the leaves were not at peak like they are in Kentucky, it was still beautiful.  The weather was near perfect and if you love Bed and Breakfast with flair of history, I highly recommend Winston Place.

There is a lot of history of this beautiful old house.  The innkeeper proudly shares the history as he provides a tour of the house.  It really takes you back in time, a time when life was simple.  

My favorite spot was the porch.  We had our own sitting area on the porch with a door from our bedroom,






We found a neat dinner spot on top of the mountain behind us in Mentone thanks to the suggestion of the innkeeper.  .  

Moonlight Bistro

Moonlight Bistro is a log cabin setting with a wide variety of food from pasta to filet, chicken, salmon, and sandwiches.  Dessert choices included deep fried Oreos with ice cream and chocolate sauce.  We skipped that!   Warm chocolate cookies awaited us upon our return to Winston Place.

Breakfast was served in the beautiful red dining room.  The innkeeper kept us company telling us about stories from his days playing football for Alabama. 

Breakfast included scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese grits, potato casserole and biscuits.  It was yummy!

We relaxed on the porch with coffee.  The air was a little cool – but the sun was shining and it was a perfect morning.  I could sit there all day, rocking and relaxing.

When we left Winston Place, we headed back up the mountain to the DeSoto Falls. 

The view was beautiful.  








Our trip ended with a family wedding.  I have to share this picture from the wedding. 

They used cotton plants from the fields for their decorating.  I loved it along with the burlap.  It was perfect for the wedding held at a stable. 






Now, it’s home and back to work.


Coconut Lovers Beware

I haven’t been blogging much lately in case you haven’t noticed.  It’s hard juggling work , family obligations and all those other things that mess up having fun.  Blogging had to wait – and I have missed it!  I am going to try and do better!

The first Saturday day in May is kind of a big deal.  It is Derby Day in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.  The run for the roses!  All kinds of derby activities happen across the state.  I started the day doing something I have never done before…a 5K event.  No – I didn’t run.  A friend and I walked – and even if we were in the last group to cross the finish line,  we didn’t care.  We did it!  We have been walking together and trying to get healthier since February.  We will most likely never run a 5K – but we can now say we have done it!  One check off that bucket list.

Also on the agenda was a Derby Party with our Sunday School class.  We gather every year and have all kinds of good things to eat.  We watch the derby together on a big screen TV.  I usually take a Coconut Cream Pie.  It is almost a requirement for me to be allowed to enter the door.  But…..guess what?  This year I decided to change things up a bit.  I haven’t been baking much and I was in the mood to make a cake.  I decided on a Coconut Pound Cake.  After all, I think it is closely related to Coconut Cream Pie.  Anyway, I think they liked it.  My family loves it.  I even had to freeze a piece for one of my daughters until she could get home to have a piece.   I thought I would share the recipe with you.  I got this recipe from my friend, Donna, who is an excellent cook.  She served it at a Christmas Brunch and it was a big hit.

Coconut Pound Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup crisco shortening

5 beaten eggs

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. coconut flavoring

1 cup flaked coconut


Cream sugar and shortening in mixing bowl.  




Beat the eggs.

Mix eggs into the shortening and sugar mixture until creamy.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. 


Add flour dry mixture alternately with the one cup of sour cream – to the creamed shortening mixture.  Blend, but don’t mix hard. 



Stir in coconut flavoring and flaked coconut.





Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.  Lower your top rack for baking this cake as you don’t want it to brown too quickly. I usually lay a flat piece of aluminum foil on top of the cake the last half of baking to keep the top from becoming too brown.  

Use the toothpick method to make sure cake is done.  Warning – this cake will fall if not completely done when you pour the hot glaze over the top.

 While cake is still hot and in the tube pan – poke holes in cake and pour glaze over the top letting it soak into the cake. 

Let set several hours (overnight is even better).  Flip cake out of the pan – and enjoy!



1 cup sugar

1/2 cup hot water

1 tsp. coconut flavor

Boil 1 minute – and then pour over cake.  I added some buttercream frosting flavored with coconut oil and frosted with shredded coconut just for the presentation. 

Yum, yum….

While I am at it …. I think “I’ll have Another” piece.

I’ll Have Another is on the way to the Triple Crown…having won in the Derby and Preakness!

Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Thanksgiving… a time of reflections and giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives.   We typically celebrate it by gathering with friends and family and eating the traditional turkey and dressing with all the fixins’ and top it off with all kinds of pumpkin pies and desserts.  The turkey isn’t the only thing that is stuffed on Thanksgiving – we do it to ourselves as well!

An afternoon of football games on the TV, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the morning and now add the “early” black Friday sales.  I love the Thanksgiving holiday – not only because of the reminder to give thanks for our abundant blessings- but for great food and fellowship with our families….and don’t foget a four-day weekend!   I don’t do the “black” Friday shopping frenzy.   I don’t like shopping crowds and I don’t know of anything I need bad enough to fight for it.

We have always traced Thanksgiving Day to the celebration for their harvest that the Pilgrams had in Plymouth Rock.  I have learned that Thanksgiving in our earlier nation took place with a church service giving thanks to God.  It didn’t start out as a feast.    I am sure someone later (possibly Baptist as they are known for their casseroles…and yes, I can say that since I am Baptist!) decided food was needed  and started the covered dish potluck.

As I reflect on my blessings and give thanks, I am so thankful for family, friends, my health, my country, my church, and all the little things we all take for granted each day – like a roof over my head and food in my belly!   My wish for you is a safe, comfortable and blessed Thanksgiving. 

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generationsPsalm 100:4

Just a few pictures of my “Thanksgiving” season decorating.  I love the fall colors and  enjoy the simple “things” of this season more each year.


Strawberry Shortcake Party Time

I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last post.    Fall is my favorite time of the year and I get carried away with the cooler weather and fall projects.  It seems once we hit October, there is never enough time!  My granddaughter, Parker, turned 4 in October and she had a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party.  I remember when my girls were young and Strawberry Shortcake was so popular.  Now it seems Strawberry Shortcake is back again! 

The weather was beautiful and we were able to celebrate with an outdoor party.  A lot of Parker’s friends from preschool came and lots of family.   My daugher did a great job in decorating with the strawberry theme and with the food.   She served stawberry lemonaide, strawberry milk, strawberry jelly/peanut butter sandwiches, hotdogs and fresh fruit including, of course, strawberries. 

Her cake was adorable and, of course, it was strawberry flavored cake.  A friend of Parker’s mom from college, Shelby, decorated her cake.  Doesn’t she do a beautiful cake?  Not only was it beautiful and pleased Parker “pink”,  but it was also delicious!

I made her Strawberry Shortcake dress and what fun it is to sew little girl’s dresses once again.  I actually gave up sewing for my daughters when they were young – not enough time and it stressed me.  Now it is totally different.  It’s just another reason to love having grandchildren!  My daughter picked out the dress on Pinterest and gave me a picture to go by.  I found a pattern that was close and modified it to match the picture.  Parker was thrilled with it – which of course, thrilled me! 

Check out the strawberry necklace!  Pinterest to the rescue again to find a tutorial on making strawberries.  I may have gotten did get a little carried away, as she even had a strawberry on her headband…but she isn’t wearing it in this picture.  Lily, our daughter’s lab is right in the middle of it all!  I think she wanted a strawberry collar.

Since Halloween is so close to her birthday, Parker wore her Strawberry Shortcake dress again and her baby sister wore a strawberry costume!  Let me tell you – they were the cutest strawberries in the line at Church  for Treats and Eats.  (Spoken like a true Mimi.)

Speaking of the Treats and Eats, Pop and I decided to get in on the action this year and we decorated a trunk and handed out treats to kid, and even more kids  

Our theme was “Follow Me and I will Make you Fishers of Men”.  Matthew 4:19.   We had a lot of fun getting all the items together to create a “fishing hole” and dressing up ourselves as fishermen.  (Sorry, we never got a picture in our costumes. We were kind of busy.)  We thought about letting the kids actually “fish” for candy but when you face a line of over 1,500 children, we decided it would take too long.   Our Church fed supper to our community as well, handing out hotdogs and chili in our Christian Life Center.  This was the largest crowd we have ever hosted for Treats and Eats.  We handed out approximately 2,000 hotdogs!  The hours were from 5 until 7 pm – but we didn’t stop handing out candy until 8 pm.  What a night and what a ministry opportunity!  The children were adorable and we had the chance to see a lot of old and new friends.

Since Halloween and the birthday bash, my energy has been directed to making a Thanksgiving (turkey) dress for both girls and filling orders for embroidery and applique.  This is a busy time of year for monograms and other personalized gifts.  Thank goodness my daughter has learned to use my machine and can help with all the jobs that are coming in. I am also working on a birthday dress for Pace who will be 1 in December.  (She is so stinkin’ cute!)  

Can’t wait to show you pictures of the Turkey dresses and Pace’s birthday dress! 

Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8

If the Broom Fits….Make a Wreath!

 I saw a witch wreath on Etsy.com not long ago that I fell in love with.  It was too pricey for me at $350.  So…a trip to Michael’s was in order.  I found just what I wanted to make the wreath…. the witch’s hat, a broom, flowers, and feathers, round ball ornaments…..but I knew I would have trouble finding legs for the witch.  I decided I could make legs.  I am not too artsy when it comes to sketching….but after sketching, a little sewing – and I had legs fit for the witch.  (The boots are my favorite.)   I think I did ok.  They turned out really cute!  I decided on the red and black color scheme…but orange and black would be adorable too.

Using a very large grapevine wreath, I attached the legs to the wreath with hot glue and pins.  A little skirt with black tulle was added next.  Once the legs and skirt were accomplished, I added a broom – after all, what’s a witch without a broom – right?  A witch hat with gray hair was the finishing touch to the witch!  

I added red and black feathers, red and black ribbon, pumpkins and black and white Christmas balls.  I topped it off with the black bird at the top left! 

I love the finished project and can’t believe I am actually finished it before the first day of October.   I am thinking maybe for Thanksgiving a turkey on a wreath would be cute….better get to working on those turkey legs!

Paula Deen…..Make Room for Mrs. Wilkes!

If you haven’t been to Savannah, Ga – put it on your “bucket list”.  Savannah takes you back in time and gives you many reasons to love visiting.  The history of the City, the beauty of the trees with spanish moss, the beautiful squares, the fountains, River Street, cobble stone streets and the unique shops are just a few of the reasons I love this city.  And now I have a new reason to love Savannah  – Mrs. Wilke’s Dining Room.  I heard about Mrs. Wilke’s – (sometimes referred to as Mrs. Wilke’s Boarding House) from many friends who highly recommended the entire experience.  Most of my trips to Savannah have been afternoon or night visits while vacationing on a nearby island.  Mrs. Wilke’s is only open for lunch so my family had been unable to find a time to give it a try. 

A work-related conference in Savanna allowed me to explore the City for 4 days recently.   Many of the meals were included in the conference, so I had to pick and choose carefully where to eat during our “free-time meals”.  The choices of restaurants are unbelievable.  A lot of people at the conference wanted to go to Paula Deen’s Lady and Son’s Restaurant.  I had eaten there a few years back – so I wanted to try something different.  After all, I am not as big a Paula fan as I once was.  I really liked her before they started air-brushing her portraits on the magazine covers and before she started being so “polished” on her show instead of down-to-earth.   Don’t get me wrong, I am still a fan.  I love her story of where she came from and the obstacles she overcame to be who she is today.  I also admit I have most of her cookbooks and I have had the opportunity to attend two of her personal appearances.  I just wish she would stick to food instead of trying to sell furniture! 

On my list of “to-do” on this trip to Savannah was to eat at Mrs. Wilkes.  Believe it or not – there are no promotional brochures in the tour racks for Mrs. Wilkes.  I had to get on the internet to find out the details.  Mrs. Wilkes is only open from 11 am until 2 pm Monday thru Friday and she doesn’t take reservations.  Her website indicates customers just start lining up in front of her restaurant a little before 11 am each weekday.  You are called in by the host to be seated according to how many seats are available at a table.  Unless you have enough people in your party to fill up a table, you sit with people you don’t know.  The food is already ready on your table when you sit down in bowls, served old fashioned family style.  You spend the first part of the meal passing bowls, and believe me that took a little while as there are plenty bowls to pass.  We were there on a Tuesday and they served fried chicken, barbeque shredded pork and beef stew.  I passed on the beef stew – but the other two meats were good enough to write home about.  The side dishes – well, in order to sample everything, I could only allow a little more than taste of each dish…. cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, creamed corn, lima beans, green beans, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, squash casserole, okra and tomatoes, cucumbers, and rice.  I am certain I missed a few…it was overwhelming.  I tried not to overload my plate – but as you can see, I wasn’t too successful.   Opps, I almost forgot to mention the cornbread and homemade biscuits.   Sweet tea was the token drink, after all we were in the south!      

I get hungry just looking at this picture.  Close your eyes and you can even smell the goodness!! 

After consuming the main meal, they had offerings of banana pudding and peach cobbler.  I was only able to take a bite of the banana cobbler.  I just couldn’t hold anything else!  

I will admit, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of sitting with complete strangers and breaking bread.  But….it was ok.  In fact, it was better than ok.  We ate with two couples from Florida, one couple from Ohio, and another lady from the northeast.  We exchanged stories of our favorite restaurants, foods, and moaned together as we started filling up!  You can bet my next trip back to Savannah will include Mrs. Wilkes!

Coffee Filter Wreath

Remember my Pinterest addiction.  Here is one reason why I am addicted.  I found a tutorial on making a wreath out of coffee filters.  There are several coffee filter wreaths out in the blogging world – but I found my instructions on  http://thelittlebrownhouse.us/2010/04/08/frugal-friday-coffee-wreath/.

                                      This is a picture of my finished wreath!

I made it in one hour.  All you need is a foam wreath, coffee filters, and straight pins.  I used a 18 inch wreath and natural colored coffee filters.  

        The coffee filters seem to want to stick together so I separated them before I started. 

                                     Pinch the bottom of the coffee filter together.

                                     Pin the filter to the wreath with a straight pin. 

I started on the outside of the wreath and made a row all the way around before starting to fill in.

                                   The wreath as I start filling in the middle.

I love a fun project that can be finished in one sitting!   I used approximately 100 coffee filters (we may not be able to have coffee in the morning).  I had all the items at home except for the wreath – and that was easy enough to find.   I plan to make one soon with the white filters to use in one of my bedrooms.  A mixed wreath with the natural and white filters would be neat too -don’t you think?   That might have to be a project for my mom’s door.  I can think of a bunch of ways to personallize the wreath….hmm…possibly fall flowers, feathers or ribbons added.  Wonder how a quick spray with paint to tip the edges of the coffee filters would look?  Any suggestions on making these wreaths more personal – please comment!!!  One of my daughters suggested maybe using cupcake liners in place of the coffee filters would give more color options.   It will be fun to see what suggestions you have.

I plan on hanging this at work on my door at work.  I need to get a brown ribbon to loop around the wreath and let it hang down with a pretty bow tied at the top. 

Just remember…this wreath will not work outdoors unless it is protected from the weather.  A wet coffee filter wreath hanging on a door could be a reflection of how one feels outside in the Kentucky heat and humidity!

Happy Crafting!