Decorating is endless.
Cooking never ends.
Gardens are always changing.
And best of all shopping goes on and on!

Hence the name,
Open Ended!

Friday, April 30, 2010


What a bittersweet week it has been for me.
One of those weeks with the ups and downs of everyday life.

First, I had a refreshing heart to heart with
my oldest and dearest best friend!
We laughed and cried and decided that
getting old is what you make it.
We decided to embrace it!
(At least for that day! Haha!)

Then the next day my mom and I went to another friends home.
She had us for tea and homemade pastries!
She's such an interesting friend who makes the
most wonderful pastries!
I met her last summer when she catered our sons
wedding reception at our home.
Her home and gardens are a direct reflection of her,
all are very unique!
{I will show you photos soon.}
What a special time we had!

the next day I had lunch with another very dear friend.

And....was so very sad to learn that she
will be moving far away to Pennsylvania. :-(

For many years we lived only a block away from one another.
We worked on many church projects together.
I attended many of the bible studies she taught.
We have raised our children side by side.
{And that was no small feat!!}

She was always there for me.
She's loving, tender, compassionate, forgiving and very wise.
She's a women of God!

Even though I moved a short distant away
to another town we still have stayed in touch.
But Pennsylvania that's a whole different story.
I am still trying to let this news sink in.

~I will miss you dear friend~

it was a bittersweet week......


Your Thoughts?

I came across these photos when
I was browsing online.
They caught my eye!

now here is were you come in.

Can you figure out what caught my eye?

It's the same thing in every photo!

Figured it out yet?

It's the one thing I always notice first
when I walk in to a room.

The pictures are to HIGH!!

I would rather see them to low then to high.
I'd rather look down then up!!

Now this is strictly my own opinion!
I'm not an expert picture hanger,
it's just an uneasy feeling I get!

I bet your looking around your room right now
to see if your pictures are to high?

Made ya think. ;-)

I'd love to hear your opinion!
What's Your Thoughts....
to high or not?

~Have a fantastic weekend~

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


That's right....
A Terrarium!!
They're making a come back.

they are really simple to make.

First you need a way cool glass thingy!!
{even one with a lid will work}

Like this.

Then you need:

*A Layer of Pebbles
{small pebbles for drainage}
*A Layer of charcoal
{you can find it in the house plant department}
*A layer of cactus potting soil
{it has sand in it, which is a good thing}
*Some fern type plants
{good because they can handle dark, damp places}
*A little garden jewelry
{some fun little trinkets to jazz it up a bit}

Now... layer, plant, jazz it up a bit and you have......

A wonderful Terrarium!!

So... what do you think???

{As always say a little prayer that I keep mine alive!!}

Bye bye now,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ever heard of a Morel Mushroom?
For some people, Morels are a big deal!

My mom is one of those people.
She has hunted for morels for a very long time,
without much success.


Until last spring!!

Last spring was our first spring in the house we live in now.
We are blessed to have 6 acres of woods and lots of the
ever popular Morel Mushrooms.

Kind of Ugly? Don't you think?

But to the "shroom hunter" they are beautiful!

So..... on Sunday afternoon the hunt began!

Actually we picked up these cement garden statues
for my mom for Mother's Day.
My husband decided that we should put them out in the woods.
Then when she was out hunting she would come across them!

So here she is.....

With her little mesh bag & silly boots!

Having a wonderful time "shrooming."

The bigger...

the better!!

In our family it becomes a competition.
Who can find the biggest!
Who can find the most!
So even if you don't like to eat them
you still like to hunt for them!

Here's my Step-dad with his great find!

These two didn't find much!

They were just modeling their trendy rubber boots!!


All in all a successful spring day of mushroom hunting!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

~Flip Flop Love~

It's that time of the year again in the northern Midwest.

You know that time when the weather starts to warm up.
And as always I don't know if I should pull out the
summer clothes and put away the winter ones.

Is it to early?

Meanwhile my closet turns into this giant mess
of summer and winter!


And the SHOES!

That's the worst.
I love shoes!
I have way to many of them.

my real weakness is flip flops!!!

I can remember as a kid begging for a pair of flip flops!

Back then there were two kinds of rubber flip flops.
The kind that had the thingy between your toes
and the kind that didn't.
Of course the cool kind were the ones with the toe thingy.
I got the ones without! :-(

But over the past several years flip flops
have made a strong come back.
Ones with jewels, ones made of fabric,
bright colored ones, rubber ones.

Pretty much any thing you can imagine they make!

(I can't say I ever imagined these!)

My two favorite pair of flip flops have a leather bottom and
one has a copper strap the other a black patent strap.
I am hoping they still make them.
(Much to my daughters dismay!)
Because I might need a new pair this year.

What does you favorite pair look like?
And does you daughter cringe when you wear them out in public?

Maybe it's time to put away the boots and bring out
ALL the flip flops!!

Have a great weekend!!

{P.S. While I was looking for photos, I found my favorite flip flops online
and ordered a couple pair.
~ Our little secret!}

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Biggest Winner!!

Watch out...
because I am going to do some "Mom Brag'n!"

That's when a mom (that would be me)
shamelessly does alittle bragging about
one of her children.(that would be my daughter, MaryKate)
But I am so excited for her that I just had to tell you about it!

MaryKate is an editor and sales rep. for a local fitness newspaper!

She's into health.
Eating right.
The Biggest Loser.

You've probably heard of
The Biggest Loser.

It's a very inspiring T.V. show that we like to watch.
Where 2 fitness trainers help two teams of
overweight people lose a lot of weight and change their lives.

If you've watched the show then you know who Bob Harper is.

He's one of the trainers on the show.
And, last Saturday night he came to our town and spoke.

MaryKate was there in the second row,
loving every minute of
Bob Harper!

She said he was very inspirational and yet very direct about
what it takes to get healthy and stay healthy.

Afterward she got to meet him!

YEAH for you, Miss MaryKate!

All in all, a great night for someone who is into health and fitness!

Ok, that's it. I am done shamelessly bragging about my baby!!

~Have a good one~

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Friends~Good Food~Good Wine

There's nothing better!

My oldest and dearest friend Gina, her husband, Phil
and their son, Gabe came by for dinner Saturday night.

She brought me this.....

It was a wonderful get-well gift for little o'l me!!

And...I just had to show it off cuz it's just so stink'n cute!!

Thank you so much my friend!!


I decided to pull out my new go-to meal!
Everyone needs a go-to meal don't you think?
Mine used to be a Creamy Chicken Enchilada dish.
But I have served that to almost everyone by now.

So it was time for a new one!
I found this one in a this cookbook.
Which I have talked about before!

It's really pretty simple.
If you like pasta with Vodka sauce
then you'll love this healthier version just as much!!

Penne alla "Not-ka"

Serves 4
Calories per serving: 371

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes in juice, pureed in a food processor
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 ounces penne
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons evaporated nonfat milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the penne.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the 2 teaspoons oil with the garlic over low heat until the garlic begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook
until the onion is softened, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer very gently 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and evaporated milk and simmer 1 more minute.

3. Meanwhile, after the sauce has cooked 5 minutes, add the penne to the boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water. Add the drained penne to the saucepan and simmer until the penne is al dente, 1 to 2
minutes, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if the mixture is dry. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, along with the basil and black pepper.

4. To serve, divide pasta among 4 serving bowls. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Since I can't get away with a meatless dish.

I cut spicy Italian sausage and
Italian chicken sausage in to 3 in. diagonal pieces.
Then cook it in a little olive oil.
And serve it on the side.

Now add....
alittle salad, some french bread a great bottle of wine and
you've got a perfect go-to meal!


Friday, April 16, 2010


ice cream cones

swimming pools

4th of july





this is where we have our bonfires!

it's our first firepit

we've laughed, told stories and I can even remember my
sister & sister-in-law singing
the "go cubs go" song around this firepit


although we have had some wonderful summer night bonfires

i am just not love'n the look

my husband would say.... why change it......who can see it in the dark

but i can see it in the daylight
and it's just not pretty


here is my firepit wish list


which one gets your vote



i could use your input



some are simple



some are more complicated



so there you have it

got a favorite

good thing dreaming is free........

happy weekend to you