Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gratitude Is My Attitude

Hi friends! I've been kind of on hiatus for a few days. There have been a lot of things going on in my family that needed time and attention and I'm happy that I took the time off to attend to them.
One wonderful thing that came out of this little time off is the fact that I really hadn't realized how much I needed a break til I took one.
I caught up on my sleep, played with my boys, and spent amazing time really reconnecting with my husband. I didn't do any household projects!! Just did routine cleaning , laundry and cooking and it felt great!!
Sometimes I get so flustered by what isn't completed at my house that I fail to focus on important things. Yes it's nice to notice what has been done but I'm talking about the real "stuff of life". Time with family, holding hands with my husband, a good cup of coffee while we chat and just the simple task of folding laundry are all things I am so grateful for. I've been really thinking about the fact that I am so blessed to even have children and a husband to do laundry for!! I have a home that we can afford, in a free country, in a nice neighborhood and it keeps us safe, warm and dry. That's enough for a house to do~that's enough reason to be grateful for it. It really doesn't much matter that my kitchen still isn't "finished".  My kitchen held a room full of hungry, happy teenage boys, my 2 middle sons and their two friends, my baby, hubby and me. It is always full of food and laughter. Kids gathered around the island asking "Mama Owczarzak" for advice. It was a gift to watch my son Nick, his girlfriend Emily and Nick's best friend Brian run races in our backyard in the nice weather. We are blessed to be "the house" where everyone wants to congregate.
I'm not worrying about projects right now. Right now I'm happy to run the vacuum, light some candles, cook a good meal and just enjoy the home and family I have.
I hope you're feeling blessed this week ~ melissa

Below~pics of a typical weekend :)


Sharing at Tweak It Tuesday #31

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Berry Spinach Salad

I do not consider myself much of a cook although when I do cook no one dies and everyone seems to love it.  Haha. I'm starting to embrace cooking more as it really makes my hubby happy!! I posted an easy Swiss cheese tuna casserole recipe yesterday that I concocted all by my little self and it turned out fantastic.

I will be trying to post some original recipes as I come up with them and some from my friends, many of who are amazing cooks!!

Note: My recipes will be EASY!!!! I am not a rack of lamb kinda gal so I hope you like them and if you are looking for complicated gourmet stuff you may want to look elsewhere ;)

Today I'm sharing a recipe for Berry Spinach Salad. So good, everyone requests it when we have a "potluck" dinner.

I use bagged spinach but always wash it even though it is prewashed.
2 bags of spinach, add one box of dried cranberries or "Craisins".
Add 2 cups  of slivered almonds (as much as you feel you want~this is a recipe that can be tweaked as you like).
Crumbled feta cheese
A large bottle of balsamic dressing ( I prefer Newman's)
Mix it all together and let it sit in the dressing for about an hour.
If I feel like it I add fresh strawberries and blueberries and sometimes instead of almonds I use candied walnuts. Not as healthy but ridiculously good!!!

I hope you like it!! It's so good in the Summer on the patio with some fresh bread. I also always make it as a side dish for Thanksgiving (I feel it fulfills the cranberry requirement lol).

See you soon!!! Melissa

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yummy Tuna Casserole~Easy!!

Ok I've been brushing up on my "culinary" skills lately and messing around with recipes. I wanted to make a tuna casserole but not "my mom's tuna casserole"~ya know what I'm sayin'?

This is so easy and my kiddos loved it.
Preheat oven to 425
Cook one large package of egg noodles according to package.
Grease a large casserole dish. Mix together two cans of cream of celery soup  (condensed), 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese and a cup of milk.
Stir and add in noodles and one large can of tuna
Crush ritz crackers on top and bake for 15 minutes
Yep that easy and it was so good! No peas but you could add them (hubby hates them).

Hope you like it!! ~melissa

Friday, March 1, 2013

Our Farmhouse Historical Photos Found!!

Yes!!! It has finally happened! After living here for eleven years and having no luck, even from the previous owners, we have found pictures of our home in it's "more original" state!!

I met the new President of the Ross Township Historical Society and with his help I have a piece of my history forever. I feel so much more connected to this house, it is something strange and wonderful.

These photos were all taken in 1931, exactly 100 years after our home was built.

Below~ the view from our home of the farm that was once over 300 acres and is now only one.

A side view. I'm getting chills looking at this. You can see my kitchen door (it's black) and my kitchen window to it's right. My oldest sons' bathroom is the top right window. Gosh this feels so surreal!!!

This is the back  yard and cart path that is now a pretty major road. Rochester Road for Pittsburgh locals.

The back entrance to our home which now has a home on the left and a chiropractor on the right and a bunch of homes  in between :( Oh to have lived here then!!!

 I hope you enjoy these I am blown away and feel like God smiled on us today with these.


Sharing at http://nominimalisthere.blogspot.com/2013/03/open-house-party.html

Brave Enough For Color?

Oh guys I am stressing over the livingroom redo. I went from a medium taupe to an almost straight white. I think it may give me the look I want. I have been pinning like crazy, gathering fabric and paint samples for my inspiration board and mostly just kind of panicking.

My former color palette ~strictly neutrals, taupe, ivory and chocolate. Very pretty and soothing but so dark and in this Pittsburgh weather and with a young, active family I just want cheerfulness and energy in our main living spaces.

With that in mind here are a few pics of my new pinning delights. Here's hoping that I will soon narrow it down and make some buying decisions.

This is the sofa I chose from Overstock. I love it. Gray, being a neutral, is the perfect backdrop I need to showcase bright, fun colors.

I'm envisioning bright pink pillows as accents.  Like this chic "London" pillow I found from Etsy. I apologize to my 4 sons now...

Backing my bookcases with a fabric like this~

  Adding black and white accents like this gorgeous table and mercury glass lamp. I love how the photo wall is white on white, this would be a great personal touch that I will keep in mind.

And adding some black and white accessories~especially on the bookcases against the pink and white fabric!

And maybe a pop of turquoise.

Now the question is...Will I be brave enough to carry this out? I am not convinced yet. But I sure do hope so!!