...the Life and Times of Karolyn Lewis.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fallin' in Love

If I had to list my favorite seasons in order Fall would come in at number 4 (a.k.a. last).  I know, I know...   Try not to hate on me, but I'm just not a big fan of Fall.  I'm just not.  I'm not really a big fan of Winter, either, but...  

Honestly, I think it's the colors.  I love to decorate, but my house has more of a beachy, Spring/Early Summer feel.  The Fall colors just don't look right with what I have goin' on.  I can make due at Christmas and work it all together, but it takes a LOT of effort (and you HAVE to decorate at Christmas...).  

Anyway, I found this tutorial on how to make pumpkins and I sent it to the lady who leads the sewing group I'm in.  It looked like something the common Fall-loving person would like, and maybe something good for the class.  She replied to my email with  "That looks fun!  Make one and bring it to the class.  You can teach."  

Oh, boy...  I don't really like Fall enough to make anything Fallish.  What to do? (tisk-tisk) What to do?  

After a bit of thought, I decided to adjust fall to who we are here at the Lewis abode.  Yup!  We're not into cornucopias, scarecrows, and amber waves of grain.  We're just not.  Give us some conk shells and jute.  We're good with that.  

I spent a few hours sewing and crafting these super cool, beach friendly pumpkins!  And if I do say so...  I really like them.  They fit!  I threw them on a silver platter with some black beans and rice and- WHALAH!  I have a great centerpiece.  

If you'd like to make your own pumpkins, you can find the tutorial HERE.  The Cottage Home is a great blog to add to your reader if you like to sew and craft.  

I was super glad I took some time to get in the Fall spirit!  So in honor of my little pumpkins, I'm going to list 5 things I LOVE about Fall:

1.  I love the slightly-cooloer-temperatures of North Florida.
2.  I love that I can carry my tweed bag and wear my harness boots without my feet getting sweaty.
3.  I love that...  hmm....  (think...) I'm that much closer to Spring?

Okay, I can only legitimately think of 2 things, but that's okay...  Fallin' in love doesn't always happen over night.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pick ME!! Pick ME!!

It is with great pride and honor that I introduce to you Vice President Michal Lewis!  Although President Obama would be lucky to have such an amazing girl as his back-up, Michal is content to let Joe Biden do his thing while she learns the ropes at our local elementary school.  Oh, Student Council!  What fun!

Vice President Michal-- who would marry a microphone if she could--  LOVES the stage.  She is happy to recite, quote, sing or mimic anything she knows.  She tries to act shy about showing off, but it's easy to tell it's a cover up.  She loves any and all forms of attention.  I honestly think she ran for VP because she knew she'd get to make a speech to the whole school...  While other kids were nervous, soon to be Vice President Michal was pining away to get on that stage.  Who'd she get that from, hmmmm?  

Thankfully, I have no shame and showed up at the school with my Flip in time to can the big event!  So sit back and see perfection on the platform... (may take a second to pop up)

After giving this well-written, beautifully rehearsed and faultlessly performed speech, are YOU surprised she won?  It was in the bag when she paired her boots with the one-sleeved dress.

We are proud and will celebrate with ice cream!!

Kuddos to my niece, Molly, for winning Sergeant of Arms.  Way to go, Molly!  If only Zeb were to have run for President...  We could have formed a coup!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cater Me Cupcakes!

A few months back, at the suggestion of a great friend, I started selling gourmet cupcakes.  Tons of fun and tons of work!!  I decided to name my little endeavor
Cater Me Cupcakes!
After all, who doesn't love to be catered to? And everyone loves a good cupcake!

So far, my biggest hits are the Key Lime Pie Cupcake and the Mile High Strawberry Cupcake.  I've also gotten a very good response from my Chocolate Caramel and Rum Cream Cake.  All my cupcakes are filled, frosted, garnished, and super fattening.  Oh, and they taste fabulous.  And since I've got a great taster, you can take that to the bank!  

This week has been a very busy week in the kitchen...  I had orders for over 7 dozen cupcakes.  Whew!  I've inhaled enough powdered sugar to almost send me over the edge. 


I'm very excited because tonight I'll have a tasting session with a bride and groom!  They'll be sampling Traditional Wedding, Key Lime Pie, Mile High Strawberry, Rum Cream and Chocolate Caramel. Bound to be a lot of fun!

More pictures to follow~  I have several dozen cakes waiting to be adorned for a party tomorrow.  Now if I can just keep from snatching a few for myself...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well Hot Dog!

This week I received this piece of pyrex from an old friend.  If "happy" were a color, it would be this exact shade of yellow.  This bread pan makes me smile.  Thanks a million, Kacie!!  I do love it!  ♡♡♡

Several weeks ago, I made an announcement in church about a women's retreat.  Sister-Lady Susan must have surely liked my Southern Georgia impersonation because she bought me this  ceramic Southern Bay-yull.  And it's a planter!!  Eventually, this beauty will have some flowers coming out of her head.  She just cracks me up!!


I found this awesome metal tackle box at Goodwill this weekend.  After it's cleaned up, I'll use it as a sewing caddy.  It has a bit of rust, but I don't mind.  It was a great find...

I haven't googled it to see if it's worth anything, but I think it is totally worth the $6.99 I paid! 


In other news...  

I did a little bit of laundry today. 

and....  (drumroll please)

Today marks the official We've been home for 6 months mark!  Henry is the happiest and cutest kid ever.  I'm telling the truth on this one.  Seriously, I am.  I'd pit him against any kid in the world in the happy department.  He 'd win, hands down.  He just beams!

I asked him to smile with his eyes open.  As you can see, that didn't work too well.  So I got the brilliant idea to try to make him laugh.  Like every other kid in the world, he gets thoroughly cracked up about human gas.  I said, "Who tooted!!?" 

His reply (which was more of a shout/laugh/declaration):  MEEEEE!!!

Why is gas a universal funny?  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Around the Table Weeks 5 & 6

Week 5:

Monday, Thursday and Friday:

Spaghetti made with ground deer and turkey.  Very yummy!!  Although I never dreamed we'd eat it 3 times this week, we did.  I was planning on freezing some of it for later, but...

Tuesday:  Steak with Green beans and a salad.

I bought a few BOGO steak packages from Winn Dixie a couple weeks ago and separated them into freezer bags.  I doused them good with Worcestershire, salt, and pepper, and froze them.  They grilled up nicely and the flavor was wonderful. 

I have no clue why this picture is sideways.  Errr. 

Wednesday:  we all ate at different places.  

Saturday:  Gotta love a good sandwich!

Week 6:

Sunday and Monday we ate at the coast with my in-laws so no cooking for me.  Though I did make a batch of rum cupcakes that were out of this world!!

Tuesday:  Peruvian Spinach Soup.  Also known as "ugly soup."  This is the most amazing soup in all of Peru AND every other country you can name in 15 seconds.  It is green, hardy, and distinct!  All of my kids eat it and 1/2 of them are happy about it.  Liliana had 3 bowls.  Yup- its that good! Want a closer look at all that green goodness... 

The rest of the week was totally downhill after that.  

Wednesday:  Take and Bake Pizza from Sam's.  Probably won't be buying this again.  

Thursday:  Smoked Chicken, Green Beans, and Rice and 'mater Gravy

Friday and Saturday:  Lee and the kids were on their own.  I was with a super group of ladies from my church at a women's retreat.  Praise God for good friends, good times, and a great husband!  

And because I have a super cool friend named Tara who said I could spread the love and share her recipe...  Here is it:

Ugly Soup 

(Peruvian Spinach Soup)

8 ounces spinach
6 cups vegetable broth
36 sprigs fresh cilantro
2 tbsp oil
1 med onion
2 med potatoes, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounce pkg frozen baby lima beans, thawed
2 tsp cumin
Tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1/3 cup quinoa (or millet, or couscous)

6 ounces feta

In a blender, combine half of spinach with half of the broth and the cilantro.  Blend smooth.
In a large soup pot, heat oil over med-high heat.  Cook onion until golden.  Add potatoes, garlic.  Cook, stirring until well coated, 1-2 min.  Add the remaining broth, the blended puree, lima beans, and seasonings.  Cover and cook until the potatoes and limas are tender, 15 minutes. Add quinoa and remaining spinach, cooking 12-15 min.  Serve with feta cheese crumbled on top!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Struck Down but Not Destroyed

Zeb was 6 months old and Lee was out of town.  My mom called and told me the news.  Then she called me again.  Then she called me again.

The first tower.  The second tower.  The Pentagon.  

Then somehow, in a fog already, I learned that a plane had gone down in Pennsylvania.  Lee was in Pennsylvania and I hadn't heard from him.  I was scared for my country and my family.  

In the coming hours I learned that Lee was fine, but it would be a few days before he could get home.  The country was pretty much scrambling.  He told me to pack my bags and head to my parents' house.  In such a time of upheaval he didn't want me alone.  

I spent the next few days with my parents.  It was almost surreal.  I don't remember much, but I do remember crying and wanting to see Lee.  I remember holding Zeb and wondering if he would have the chance to grow up and be happy.  War was something that happened far away.  

Lee came home and life went on.  We began another adoption in November, and on the one year anniversary of 9-11, we were in Colombia again falling in love with Michal.  

Although time seemed to stand still that day, the world kept turning.  We didn't forget, and we won't forget, but we do live on.  

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;

perplexed, but not in despair;

persecuted, but not abandoned;

struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Cor. 4:8-9

Saturday, September 3, 2011

annndddd... ACTION!

For the girls' birthday I decided to re-do their room.  It can stink having to share a room with a sibling, so I wanted them to really like their living space.  Since their room isn't really a bedroom, but rather an  upstairs  living room, I had a lot of space to work with.  

For weeks the girls had been lining the kitchen chairs and bar stools up in my kitchen and making a run-way to sing and dance on.  They would even move the fan behind them so that their hair would blow while on stage.  It was so cute, and so creative!  I knew a stage in their room would be so much fun!  I told Lee my idea and we got to work.  

Lee built two separate boxes that we painted black and lined with lights.  I then made curtains out of black satin fabric.  (On a side note, satin is only one letter away from Satan for a reason!!  That stuff is heck to work with!!)  Our lights already need attention as some have blown and come unattached, but they looked really nice in the beginning. We painted the room a nice dramatic grey and added four sets of vintage theatre chairs!!  The chairs totally make the space believable.  

Eventually, we'll mount a flat screen on the back wall of the stage and the kids can have a home theater.  Add in a popcorn machine, and it will feel like the movies... old fashioned way.  

Michal loves to sing and dance on her stage.  No plays as of yet, but we have plenty of time...

On the far side of the room is the traditional bedroom area.  A few years back, we bought Michal the Pottery Barn play house bed.  It was too cute and too fun, for sure!  We realized it may serve us better by flipping it around and sticking a full size bed in the gap.  

Michal chose purple for the walls and we used her original bedding.  I actually bought her another set, but took it back.  I really like the mixing of patterns and colors.  Her quilt is Shabby Chic from Target.  I adore the drapes; they are Target as well.

The walls are in serious need of something.  The only thing I've hung is a canvas painting of a lady with two little girls.  It was painted by a friend's ultra-talented, semi-famous grandmother.  Although I met her only on one occasion, this painting is very special to me.  A friend trusted and loved me enough to share something very dear.    

If you look closely behind the coat rack, you'll see the change in paint colors.  I'm planning to mount a split column on the wall as a divider.  I'll paint it white and it will visually separate the bed room from the theater.

Fun, fun, fun!!  Love us some vintage hats and scarfs!

Kentucky Deby, anyone?
M and L's favorite dress up clothes.

Henry the acrobatic butterfly...  We have got to get some boy costumes!!

This was a super fun project that I will hopefully finish soon.  I spent hours on line trying to find ideas and inspiration, but found nothing!  You would think that in this wide-wide world there would be another little girl out there with a stage in her bedroom.  If there is, her mama has yet to blog about it!  

Still lots to do, but I wanted to share our progress.

That's a wrap!

Friday, September 2, 2011

One Man's Trash...

Although I started feeling a little puny yesterday, I decided to push through and go ahead with the junk-run my friend and I had been planning all week... and boy! I am glad I did!!!

We whizzed through quite a few rummage and second hand stores; a few I had never been in before.  

Oh, you want to see my goodies?  No problem...  

Here we have a 1964 Singer.  It's compact and packs a lot of bang for the buck.  
I swear it must weigh 20lbs and it's clean as a whistle! It didn't come with a manual or box, but it works and I love the color. Great find for any lover of sewing!

I don't know what I'll do with the turquoise vase, but something about it called my name.  It's not marked, but it's fairly old.  The Milk Glass will probably go in my bathroom.

I spotted this awesome, metal box (no key) and whipped it up!!  My shopping companion (who was my friend before this little treasure threw a wrench in the relationship) nearly cried.   Thankfully, she's a good sport (and still a good friend!!).

Probably my FAVORITE find of the day is this vintage suitcase.  It's tweed and I LOVE it!!!  I tried and tried to get Fred (who doesn't have the best customer service skills) to come off his price, but he wouldn't  budge!  Why would I expect him to budge?  

1.  It was on sale yesterday for 1/2 off.  
2.  It was locked and no one knew the combination.  

We tried the standard 3 digit combos and nothing worked.  Everything in me wanted this little case, and against my better judgement, I bought it... inside unseen.  

As we loaded our other finds in the trunk, I sheepishly asked my friend to let it ride shot-gun with her so she could try her hand at the combo. She started with 001 and 5 miles and 106 numbers later, that baby popped open.  We cheered!  

Not knowing what we'd find inside, we decided to just leave it closed until we could pull over and get out of the car.  There are some crazy people out there and who knows what we'd find in there.  What we found...

A really clean suitcase.  I'm so glad I bought it!!  It will proudly accompany me on a women's retreat I have in a couple of weekends!  Whoo Hoo for my new, fun treasure!

It's by no means a perfect match to my other super cool bags (bought new, Vera Bradley), but it works for me!  The larger Vera is not quite big enough for overnight, but now...  now I'm set!

So what did I pay for all this stuff?  I did pretty well, I think...

A few pennies under $50.  Yup, that's about $30 more than what I wanted to spend today, but I'm happy with my treasures.  If only Fred would have given me a break...  Darn that Fred!