Sunday, July 29, 2012

~ I'm ready for my close up ~

I think every girl needs her own vanity area
where one can sit and primp and play
and be surrounded by pretty things.
If I would have known just how much I would LOVE  having a make up vanity
I would have made sure I had one sooner.
But I didn't realize what a difference it would make in how you FEEL
I've had my special little area for several years now, and I still love it.
 To be able to  SIT at my little spot and put on my make up
 just starts my day off on a much better note.
Though petite in size, it's just right for me.

I love the curves and swirls of this old Singer sewing machine base.
 I designed the tile top and 'you know who' built it for me :)

Mr. Wonderful calls it my magic pixie dust
and yes this is where a minor miracle is performed daily
where I am transformed just enough to be let out into the world
An artist with his brushes can create magic.
but in my case not so much like a Michelangelo
but more like a bad Picasso. 

I don't have a famous make-up artist to help me out...
so here I am, doing the best I can.
 As with any project, the proper tools are important.

Of course good lighting is a must.

 If only one could have the 'proper lighting' follow one around all day
instead of dealing with that ghastly office lighting which reduces one to a  washed out paler version of oneself.
 Which causes people to always ask if you're ill.
 How unfair?

I need only keep my everyday items on my vanity
So this charming little box ( a  long ago gift from BFF)
works perfectly to hold my smaller items.

but you needn't worry, all other options and colors and are still close at hand.

I LOVE my little Fifties Lady vase.

 I purchased her for a song, as she has a chip on her hat and she was missing her earrings . But I didn't mind, I let her borrow a pair of mine
and that little chip just means
she had a life before she came to me
 She loves to hold a bouquet of Q-tips.

And EVERY single day she makes me smile.

A couple of my favorite perfumes and powder rest on a vintage silver tray

I'm able to keep track of time,
with a little French Flair.
I love the curvy details of this sweet little clock.

Above the vanity is one of my favorite pictures. I've had this for years and have always loved the vintage scene. It's a nice way to start my day.  In the midst of a hustle bustle workday morning, I can still find a moment of peace
 and something beautiful to look at.

Even Granddaughter can appreciate sitting at the make up vanity

You can never start too early  :)

If you don't already have one,I hope I have encouraged you to find a way
to carve out a little niche for yourself.

I remember my Grandmother lecturing me
(when I complained about having my hair combed or some such thing)
saying, "You have to suffer to be beautiful".

Truer words were never spoken.
It does take work.....and a little trick here and there.
So now after all my magic,
let me peer into that mirror again

Oh yes

 that's more like it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

~Summer Snapshots~

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. " ~Sam Keen

                                            Victoria magazine

Here we are knee deep into Summer,
and I thought I would share a few snippets of what Summer looks like
from my point of view
This is the Midwest  and though I don't live on a farm, I do live in a rural area
so summer means;
fields of corn rolling out into the distance for as far as the eye can see.

 with their little gold tassel hats dancing in the sun

which leads us to
roadside stands and Mom and Pop farms selling
the delicious results

The meaning of making hay while the sun shines :)
  Here the dinosaur sized bales are rolled up in preparation
for winter

I live in 'small town America'.  Very small town. And I love that.
 But even with that being said,
one still doesn't expect random horses and or mules in one's front yard.

Apparently they had escaped the confines of their situation and were now on a leisurely stroll through town. Here they stopped for a moment to visit with the horse in the field behind our house to discuss their adventure, and share any latest gossip.  In case you didn't know, horses are very 'gossispy'.

Warm weather always means lot of these:
Yippee !!!

Summer days roll along,
Then before you know it, fireworks stands are springing up overnight.

When Mr. Wonderful asked what this post was about
he said he had a great contribution;
He caught this little tree frog posing for his close up
uh........thank you, Honey??
note to self: no further contributions from Mr. Wonderful

As we settle into the HEAT of Summer
what could be better than lazy afternoons spent at the pool

with a good hat and a good book?

Lizzie agrees that Summer days are meant for swimming,
but she prefers the nearby creek.

 If it's Summer, then that means lots of stops at
 for the very best frozen custard

Nothing left to see here folks.....move along

Here's the lovely vegetable garden,
that Mr. Wonderful coaxes and cajoles all season long

And then comes the payoff. After the soil has warmed in the June sun
we get to enjoy the bounty from the  Good Earth.

If you could pluck the word 'Summer' out of the dictionary and place it on your tongue
it would taste like
 vine ripened yellow tomatoes and  fresh basil from the garden
drizzled with a good  olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Another pure taste of Summer is
cucumbers and  red onions in a lovely vinaigrette

These are the flavors I  happily wait for all year long.
And before you know it, it's the end of July.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my little corner of the world....
and enjoy the rest of your summer

Sunday, July 15, 2012

~What's for dinner? ~

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Mr.Piggy loves it when I serve 'chicken'

This is a recipe I have adapted from one I found online at

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut up into medium dice
1 medium onion diced
2 TBS vegetable or olive oil
Lightly saute chicken and onion in oil.
Do not overcook, jut until lightly browned
Remove from heat.

Use 8" flour tortillas
Spoon a couple tablespoons of chicken mixture along tortilla
Now here's where you get to be creative
the original recipe only called for cheese
but I decided to add this great salsa we had on hand
I also think rotel tomatoes would be great
or how about corn? or some black beans? or......
Top with a couple tablespoons of cheese
 ( any cheese will do. Monterey Jack or Mexican blend, or....)
Roll tortillas tightly and place in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray

Now make the sauce.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter
add 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux
slowly add 15 oz of chicken broth ( I happened to have a jar of homemade from Mr. Wonderful)
stir until combined
stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil
remove from heat
immediately whisk in 1 cup sour cream
and one small 4 oz can of chopped green chiles

Pour over tortillas

top with more cheese
( Mr. Wonderful came in and added peppers from his garden at the last minute)
Gotta love him :)
Place in 400 degree oven for 20 mins or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is well melted

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 mins before plating.
makes approx 6-8 enchiladas

mmm...mmmm good
This is an easy breezy recipe
perfect for a hectic week
which has been the case  here at The Dressed Up Cottage
It's great with a side salad or maybe some little green chile corn muffins.
Hope you enjoy.