Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Monday, September 26, 2011

Daddy’s Little Girl…or Boy?

Last week I was given the challenge of making not one, but two separate cakes for a single baby shower.  The parents do not want to find out the gender of the baby, so the grandmother, and hostess, had me make two cakes…one for a girl and one for a boy.  Decorations for the party included pink and green camouflage, so I incorporated a little bit of that into the cakes.

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This baby shower was unique in that it was for Dad rather than Mom, thus the inscriptions on the front of each cake.  Some of the decorations on top of the cakes also reflected Daddy’s interests, like music, hunting, and LSU football. 

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I love how all the decorations turned out, except for the fact that I forgot to put one of them on the girl cake.  I made the cutest little credit card (it was a Mastercard to be exact), and totally forgot to add it to the cake.  I even used the baby’s due date as the credit card number.  The Daddy is a banker, and the card was supposed to be a nod to that.  I’m so bummed.

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The babies turned out to be a little on the chubby side, but that’s ok.  Nobody ever says, “Aw, what a cute little scrawny baby!”

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The most fun I had while making these cakes had to be in sculpting this tree.  The whole process took only about two minutes.  I just rolled a small cone of green fondant, then clipped all around the cone with the tips of some very sharp scissors.  I love the way it turned out.

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Linking to:

Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple

Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our Kitchen

I know many of my readers have actually been to my home and seen it in the flesh, but just in case you aren’t one of those people, I’ve decided to open up my home for a little tour.

Today I’ll be showing you our breakfast room and kitchen.  I actually consider these two rooms to be the same space, because they are totally open to one another.

Let’s begin in the breakfast area, shall we?  The best feature in this room is, without a doubt, the windows - wall to wall, and nearly floor to ceiling.  One hundred twenty square feet of glass!  Talk about a light-filled room!

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Originally these windows were undressed, but…

Sunlight and little red couches don’t mix.

A couple of months after we bought the couch, I noticed that it wasn’t quite as vibrant as it once was.  Yeah, the couch was fading.  Eek!

The solution?  Blinds.

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This little birdhouse was a Christmas gift.  It’s got good bones, but originally it was red and blue and green.  Not the best color combo for my d├ęcor, so I gave it a couple of coats of white paint.  Much better!

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Here’s the table at which no one eats.  Ha ha.  Well, sometimes we eat here, but to be perfectly honest, we take most of our meals sitting on the living room floor around the coffee table. (And we wonder why our children won’t sit in their chairs when we go out to eat…)  This table didn’t come with any matching chairs.  I scored this set of four chairs at a flea market for $100.  After a new paint job, some distressing (what can I say, I’m a shabby chic gal), and some reupholstering, I think they look pretty darn cute.

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This little cabinet was FREE!  It was being tossed out of a Sunday school class at church, so I brought it home with me.  I did nothing to this cabinet but give it a good cleaning.  Its white, crackling paint is right up my alley.  Inside the cabinet, Lucy’s toys are neatly hidden out of sight.  Except of course for the ball poppers.  Thank you Papa and Sandy for providing us with not one but TWO of these incredibly annoying toys.

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The kitchen and breakfast room are separated only by this peninsula, so while I’m cooking or washing dishes I have a great view of the backyard through that vast expanse of windows.

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One of my favorite things about this house is in the photo right below…

The DISHWASHER!!!!!!!!  Woop woop!  Can you see it?  I love that it’s disguised with a cabinet door.  Another thing you may notice in this picture is that I have two different countertops.  Granite counters cover the cabinets around the perimeter of the room, and there is a butcher block top on the center island.  I love the combination of the two surfaces.  Both have their advantages.  One of the best things about the granite is that when you pull a hot dish out of the oven, you can plop it down right on the granite, no worries.

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Here’s a handy little kitchen gadget – a magnetic knife block.  Soooooo useful.  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend it.

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Here’s our pantry, or at least our pantry door.  No way am I taking a picture of the inside!  This little closet is in need of some serious organization.

Notice anything missing in this picture?  A doorknob.  This door, like most others in our home, came from an old hotel in our hometown.  My family owned the old building when I was a kid and, through the years, we used it for architectural salvage.  The pieces we brought down from there have so much character.  No two doors are exactly alike.  The only problem is that it is difficult to find hardware for them.  We finally installed a simple latch on this door to keep little Lucy out. 

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Remember I told you my family owned the old hotel building in town?  Well, the bottom floor of the building was a pharmacy about 60 or 70 years ago.  This beautiful cabinet came out of that pharmacy.

That in itself is a good story, but there’s more.

In the 1950’s my grandfather suffered and died from a disease known as Myesthenia Gravis.  He purchased his medication from this particular pharmacy…

More specifically, off of this particular cabinet…

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Even more specifically, off this particular shelf…

This is the original label taped to the back of the cabinet right where his medicine was located.  $3.75 for 50 tablets.  I think it is wonderful that he was only charged 1/2 price.

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You can tell from that picture that the cabinet used to be green, but a couple of years before it came into my possession, the cabinet was stripped of all its paint.  Thankfully, whoever stripped it took care not to disturb the label.  Talk about a piece with history!

What southern woman would be caught dead with out a few of these…cast iron skillets.  Most of these belonged to my grandmother.  My mother “generously” gave them to me in a long-neglected, rusty, dusty state.  Well, after a good scrubbing and a couple of rounds through the oven to season, they are black and shiny and good as new.  The only problem now is that my mother wants them back!  Ha! Not happening.

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Moving around the room is the pass thru to the dining room.  (You can read more about the dining room here.)  The tiny chalkboard in the corner belonged to my mother when she was a little girl.

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This is just a portion of my ever-increasing collection of cookbooks.  I hate really don’t like to read “book” books, but I can read a cookbook like it is a novel.  The book on the stand is from my grandmother’s collection.  It was compiled by a small country church some 50 years ago.  Many of the recipes were submitted by my family members…

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Including this one from my great-grandmother.

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I mentioned earlier that I have two different countertops in my kitchen.  I also have two different cabinet finishes.  The majority of the cabinets are painted cream and finished with an antiquing glaze, but the island is a horse of a different color – black.  When I originally revealed my plan to paint the island black, I got a lot of raised eyebrows in response.  But I love the way it turned out, and I think everyone else does too.  I get a lot of compliments on the color, and I’m glad I went with my gut.  There are supposed to be three barstools down the back of the island, but I’ve had to temporarily remove them because of a certain little monkey.  Lucy is the world’s worst climber, and she has taken a tumble from the top of a stool more than a few times.  So for safety reasons, I’ve moved the stools out of sight.

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How do you like my pot rack?  You may have seen it before in this Christmas post, but I wanted to show you what it looks like every other day.  No family history involved here.  This is just an old ladder I picked up at an antique store on the banks of the Mississippi River.

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Well, that concludes our little tour for the day.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to cook in this kitchen for the past four years.  After moving from a kitchen where you could wash dishes and cook on the stove, all while sitting at the dinner table, who wouldn’t love this kitchen?

Over the next few weeks I hope to show you around a few other rooms in our home.  If you are new to my blog you may want to check out this and this post showcasing a couple of the other rooms in our home.


Linking to:

Nifty Thrift Tuesday @ Coastal Charm

Weekend Wrap-up @ Tatertots and Jello

Ta Da Tuesday @ Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night

Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lazy Weekend

This weekend was just the thing we (at least the Tool Man and I) needed around here … a few days to relax.

Nothing to do.

Nowhere to go.

No one to see.

A lazy weekend.

I spent my time neglecting my housework and working instead on this.

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I added a sweet, little applique flower on one side and festive pumpkin on the other.

I realize the dress is looking a little wrinkly here, but I took these pictures after Lucy had worn it.  Unfortunately, the pictures that I took of the dress while it was on Lucy somehow disappeared in the time it took to get the card from my camera to my computer. :/

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I got so excited when I found this scrap of rick rack left over from a previous project.  It was the perfect detail for the hem of this dress.

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I made it reversible and only added Lucy’s monogram to one side.  That way, the dress could still be handed down to someone who probably won’t share her initials.

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While I was busy sewing, the Tool Man kept an eye on the monkeys.  Come to think of it, maybe the Tool Man’s weekend wasn’t so relaxing after all.

Let me just say here that my children, especially Ty, have always had an affinity for prancing around in nothing but their skivvies, but it seems that, as of late, they just refuse to stay dressed.  I’m telling you, on Friday both of them went the entire day in nothing but their undies!  And they spent most of that day outside!

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Something else we did this weekend…

Give away our chickens.Sad smile

Yep.  It’s not that we didn’t love our ladies, because we did.  They were so docile and friendly.  And we loved getting fresh eggs.  But these girls would not stay in their enclosure.  And they had recently taken up roost under our garage, and you know what that means.


Then there was this little matter of a chicken hawk who managed to snag at least half of our younger hens.  So thankfully, our friends, and fellow chicken farmers agreed to take in our girls.

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But we are gonna miss our girls.

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If this last picture doesn’t solidify our place in the Redneck roll call, I don’t know what will.  A dirty little girl, naked from the waist down, shorts and underwear strewn on the grass beside here.  (And, yes, that’s a deer target on the ground behind her.)  I had to crop out the “cutest” part, but you can imagine what’s going on here.  She’s seen big brother doing it, so she figured she could too. 

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Oh, the joys of life in the country!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Second Blog-iversary

Happy Anniversary to me! Party smile

Today marks the second birthday of The Allen’s: A House on the Rock!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who think our simple little life is worth reading about.  I love my followers and your sweet comments.  Y’all are great!!

I know y’all are probably wondering about how school has been going for us.  I started out really on top of things by writing a weekly post reviewing our academic activities.  But you might have noticed that I’ve skipped the last couple of weeks.  No reason, really, other than laziness.  Or maybe it’s fatigue.  Mental fatigue.  There’s something about hanging around monkeys all day every day that can make you go bananas. (No pun intended.)

So whenever I’m feeling up to it again, I’ll update y’all on our homeschool happenings.  Until then, just know that we’re plowing through with our studies, working hard on mastering the three R’s. 

In the meantime, though, I’ll be posting about things that require less thinking, like random monkey business, cute cakes, and my latest crafting adventures.

Thanks again for following along with me!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Snaggle Puss

Finally, finally, finally Ty lost his first tooth last night!  It’s been loose for about 6 months, and the permanent tooth that’s replacing it has been in for just as long.

It took the Tool Man and Ty a good half hour last night to get the tooth out, but they finally did it!  Little Lulu even got in on the action as you will see in some of the pictures.


Well the whole thing pretty much grosses me out, so I stood at a safe distance and watched through my camera lens.

One last look at Ty’s before smile.

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I just love the look on Ty’s face here.  I guess maybe most kids are like this, It seems that the thought of possible pain causes Ty more distress than the actual event itself.

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Lucy wasn’t intimidated by the action at all.  She jumped right in and gave it her best pull!

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That little tooth was pretty slippery.  They just couldn’t seem to get a grip on it.

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Lucy was trying to show Ty how to open nice and wide.

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The boys finally regrouped and came up with a new plan of attack – Floss!

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The hardest part was looping the floss around the tooth.

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Ty tried pulling it out himself, but the floss just kept slipping off the tooth.

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So Daddy gave it a good yank and…


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Ty was so funny after his tooth came out.  He tried to speak with a lisp, but since his permanent tooth was already in place, he just didn’t have one.  I think he was a little disappointed by that.

So what about the Tooth Fairy?

Well, it seems she almost forgot to come!  Eek!  Ty said he woke up several times during the night and found no money.  He even checked once when, “the sun was starting to come up,” but still nothing.  Well, Daddy crept upstairs early this morning to check on Ty, and when they looked under Ty’s pillow, they found a five dollar bill.

Boy, that was a close call, Tooth Fairy!