Wednesday, June 30, 2010


That was the sound that was screaching from my throat when I first laid eyes on the amazing, lovely, better-than-I could-have-imagined-or-deserved spread of my dining room in the new At Home in Arkansas magazine.

Oh my goodness! is all I could say. Over and over and over and over.

This is my house? It looks like something out of a magazine! 

Finally I drank a sweet tea and settled down and went back to the reality in which my dining room table is usually covered with mail and the Lego's instead of cupcakes and sprinkles.

But now they have done it again by putting the pictures from the magazine up on their blog and naming my little ole dining room as their Room of the Week on the At Home Blog- just in time for 4th of July (my favorite holiday, fyi.)

And "Oh my goodness!" is all I can seem to say again as I do a little happy jig in my studio.

I need to give a huge thanks to At Home's editor Diane Carroll who found me last year through Etsy and has made me feel so welcome within the At Home family.
A huge thanks also to At Home's Art Director Mandy Keener who always makes my house look even better than I could through her amazing styling.
And to my seperated-at-birth sister Nancy Nolan whose pictures are the cherry on the sundae of this whole experiance! 
Having my red dining room preserved for all time by her is just too wonderful!

A big hanks also to the judges of the contest Toby Fairly, Beth Davis, & Sandy Sutton- you have honored me beyond words and I have to admit I feel a whole lot like Sally Field, clutching my copy of the magazine and squealing "You like me! You really like me!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Krafty Kits for Summer

One of the great things about my new job is that every now and then I get to do my old job - mostly for fun!

I am a little late getting on the ball with these, but not having to rush or feel pressured is part of the perks. I love to create because I am inspired. And I love to share my inspiration with all of you!

So late or not, here they are, the Summer Kits:

Grand Ole' Flag

Sherbet Delight

They are all for sale HERE w/ reduced summer shipping!

(The craft kits are super easy and are fun for kids of all ages!)

Tradition & a Recipe

At some point during my High School years I read an article about the perfect Super Bowl Sunday meal in either YM or Seventeen Magazine.
I don't know why I was possesed to try this recipe but I did, and my dad loved it so much that it became tradition. That is until I grew up, got married and moved away. 
For a few years I would try and make it home on SBS just so I could make this for him, but with the advent of our kids and life doing what it does, the Hoggie Roll tradition fell by the wayside.
This year my dad actually requested the Hoggie Roll for the Super Bowl but I just couldn't pull it off. So instead I offered it as a Father's Day gift.

Back in the good ole' days people begged me for this recipe, and for some reason I guarded it like gold. It was my one cullinary moment of glory and I wasn't about to share. 
But once I got out of the small town I grew up in, I realized that my "Hoggie Roll" was really just an easy version of Stromboli and not that unique at all. 

So there is no reason to keep the long guarded secret anymore. So without further adieu here it is at last

Recipe for J4's Super Bowl Hoggie Roll

Because I grew up in a small town with very limited (at the time) grocery options I had to make do with what I could get my hands on. Turns out my parents once again live in a small town and I still had to make do with what I could find at Wal-Mart.
So here is a visual of what went into this. If you want to kick the recipe up a notch you can make your dough from scratch, and you can get much finer or wholesome ingredients but if fancy is not your cooking speed, then there is no need to panic. Everything you need is easily found at your local grocery store.

Step one: 
Dice up the filling:
2 Bell Peppers (any color. I used green b/c they are less expensive)
1 Package Provolone Cheese Slices
1 lb. Honey Baked Ham
4 -6 oz of Hard Salami

Step 2: 
Mix diced ingredients w/ 2 cans Diced Black Olives

Step 3: 
Mix together the Hot Roll Mix following the directions on the back of the box

Step 4: 
After letting your dough rest for 5-15 minutes
Split it in to round balls. Then roll each ball out seperately into a rectangle.
They should be about a 12" x 18" in size.
(I like to roll my dough out on one of those inexpensive laminted kids placemats.
It is the perfect size and so easy to clean!)

 Step 5: 
Spread half of the filling mixture down the middle of one of the rolled out doughs and then gently gather the dough up on each end, wrapping the filling up like a present.

Step 6:
Let the roll rise for about 30minutes - 1 hour. I do this by turning my oven on to 100 degrees and then setting the ban with the rolls on it on top of the oven. This seems to provide just enough heat to aid in the rising process.

Step 7:
Cook in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or unitl golden brown and bubbly.
You can brush the top with an egg mixture or butter just before you take it out to give it a nice golden crisp on top.
Remove from oven and let cool and rest for just a few minutes so it is easier to slice.

Finally slice and serve and watch it disappear as everyone will love it!
(I forgot to take pictures of it sliced so this one from Emeril 's recipe will have to do)

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

back home

These are my grandparents. Having lunch on a summer day. Something they have done many times over their 60 plus years together.
These are the sorts of images I try to capture when I am with them.
The everyday images. The little bits of what life is like in their company.
Their house is my hide-away. My resting place. My oasis.

And not just the house, but them as well.
They have always provided sanctuary for me, for as long as I can remember.
Wrapping me up with their handmade quilts and handmade love.

Their home is where I go to rest. To think. To celebrate. To read. To dream.
Their screened in porch is is my favorite spot of all.
Calm resides there.

If I could choose what heaven could be like this would be it for me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

away away

I am going away away for a few days.
Unplugging, lounging, jumping in, cooling off, kicking my shoes off...

While I am away I will be pondering this:

Wallpaper; Friend or Foe?

Dare I go there?

I promise lots of fun things when I return - including another giveaway and fun news!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

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