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Frozen and a Little Blue

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I know many of you are very tired of snow and ice and winter and cold, and you are more than ready for spring.  I had absolutely no plans for showing you more snow today.  In fact, I had plans to share with you some rooms that say springtime…But our daughter is home from college for the weekend, and she showed me a couple of youtube videos this morning that were soooo funny!  I was laughing so hard I cried. Seriously. What in the world has this got to do with snow? you might be wondering. The videos are related to the Disney movie Frozen. So…I’m sorry… but no springtime for you today…just Frozen stuff.

You may remember that our daughter is a member of a charity organization that makes appearances as Disney characters at hospitals, parades, fundraisers, etc. to raise money for various children’s charities. To say that she loves Disney would be an understatement.  She is one of those people who are addicted to all-things-Disney.  In this year’s Christmas parade she appeared as Elsa, the ice queen from Frozen.

Elsa in the Christmas parade

She has seen the movie several times, but the rest of us here had not see it until tonight. (It was a sweet story!) And even though I had not seen it before I watched these videos, I still enjoyed them, and I think you will too.  Check out this hilarious weatherman.

Frozen weather man videoyoutube.com

And Christina Bianco can sing as well as anyone out there.

Christina Bianco video Frozenyoutube.com

And while we are on the subject of Frozen, did you know that there is an ice hotel in Canada that has a Frozen suite in which you can stay?  Hotel de Glace is open for touring this year until March 23. (There is no way a sleeping bag would keep me warm enough in there.)

Hotel de Glace Frozen Suitefacebook.com

While I was perusing all things Frozen, I saw that there must be hundreds of Frozen-inspired parties out there.

Frozen party cupcakesspoonful.com

Frozen party from Karas party ideaskaraspartyideas.com

Throw a Frozen theme partybrowniebites.net

The title of today’s post is Frozen and a Little Blue. Since so much of the movie seems to be covered in blue, I thought I would include a few rooms for you to enjoy that have some of that icy blue in their decor.  Enjoy!

bhg desk in bluebhg.com

House Beautiful living roomhousebeautiful.com

bhg blue cabinets in kitchenbhg.com

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle kitchenatlantahomesmag.com

and finally, a blue house in the frozen snow.

blue housevillakoenig.blogspot.com

I hope I have not left you too frozen today. This is probably my farewell to winter post for the year (unless we get a crazy very late winter snow out of the blue!:))  Spring is just around the corner, and I will be back with some spring rooms for you to see very soon. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Until next time…

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Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA - February 23, 2014 - 8:43 am

Kelly , we have had our FAIR SHARE of snow here in VA this winter. To say I am ready for spring would be a serious UNDERSTATEMENT!! As a teacher I love a snow day every now and then (because we close, PRAISE GOD!!) But after a while staying cooped up gets to you and definitely fifteen 4 and 5 year olds!!!!
So I for one can’t WAIT for your spring posts!!!! Our family has eaten your potato soup recipe many, many times this winter! I plan on making the shrimp creole.

PS. I love, love, love your blog!!!!! I may not always comment, but I always read every post!
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Jennifer, yes it is not fun being cooped up in the winter! (especially with 15 little ones!) Spring IS coming. :) I am glad that you have made good use of the potato soup recipe. Thank you for your always encouraging comments!
Kelly

Louvina - February 23, 2014 - 8:58 am

Brr— I woke up to this post this morning– now I am freezing !! You could not have pleased me more— 2 of my favorite things– SNOW & BLUE!! I got the chills reading and viewing the pictures! Had to go get a sweater!!:)my daughter and I went to see Frozen and loved it! Just kids at heart, I guess!! Nice ideas for a winter theme party. We have started a box of decorations since we had a bridal shower theme “Snow is Winter’s Butterflies”. Found the best recipe for hot white chocolate drink in crock pot, whipped cream on top with blue snow sprinkles on top. My friend made it later for her K-class while doing a snowman unit– she put it in teacher’s lounge and they loved it! I especially LOVED the falling snow video at the beginning of your post! I could watch that all day! I think if I could invent an all seasons window to put over my living room picture window that looked liked snow falling, or leaves coming down, rain and even sunshine with butterflies — I could sell it!! I so would buy it!! I just don’t know how to do it??? Tell your husband and maybe he could invent it? :)
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Louvina, your white hot chocolate sounds delicious! (But I am ready for sweet tea and lemonade now that we are in the seventies here. :) ) I don’t believe my husband could invent your creation, but it is a great idea. He always wanted to invent something similar so that it would show a redecorated room, and I would have it “done” without having to buy anything.
Kelly

Mimi - February 23, 2014 - 9:51 am

Kelly,
The falling snow video looks like it could have been filmed from my window this morning. It started snowing last night and doesn’t show any signs of letting up soon. I am tired of snow, but I truly wouldn’t mind it if we get a day off from school tomorrow!

I am looking forward to your spring posts. Warmer weather will surely find its way to your neck of the woods before it reaches us here in Nebraska, so I will enjoy it vicariously!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
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Mimi, you all have certainly had enough snow this year! Warmer weather has already made it here – at least for a little while. March has been known to have an ice storm or two before, but we will take our February with highs in the seventies (and green grass showing up in the yard!)
Kelly

Polly in KS - February 23, 2014 - 9:59 am

Kelly – love the blue rooms/house/desks/stuff. I think that soft, icy blue is a beautiful color of blue, but then I like all things blue. It’s such a tranquil color and has a very calming effect (better than Ativan or Xanax! Hee, hee.) Thanks for sharing.
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You are too funny, Polly! Blue does have a calming effect. Makes me think of the beach – the ultimate in calm!
Kelly

Debra - February 23, 2014 - 10:25 am

Wait, gulp! I had to have more of my steaming hot Sunday morning coffee after reading through your post. How cute. Why is it always the wacky weathermen who is so willing to involve themselves in a parody? Oh, Christina is too talented. Beautiful voice. Well Kelly, we have plenty of blue here today in the Midwest, sky wise, but temps continued to give us a wake up of 13 degrees. I am getting tired of the word cozy, I think? I saw temps in the south of around 70’s? Really, you guys? Ok, I grumble, but I could watch that snow fall video for quite awhile too, like Louvina. I would so love viewing it through those gorgeous windows of the blue house you posted. I won’t hold it against you for this very “COLD” post/ Kind of glad this month is only 28 days. Ha. Have a happy week ahead Kelly.

Debra
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Aren’t you the clever one, Debra! Love your play on words. 13 degrees…whoa that is cold! Yes, we are enjoying early spring weather here. Spring rooms are coming for you all very soon here on the blog!
Kelly

Dawn - February 23, 2014 - 10:26 am

Kelly,

I love the snow falling video at the top of this post even though I am completely finished with snow for this year! I also took my daughter to see Frozen twice, bought the soundtrack for our ipods and even made Olaf Valentine’s for my homeroom students (all the other students got Smarties…I teach 121 students total) and my nieces! To say we love the Frozen movie is an understatement! The DVD comes out this Tuesday and I have already pre-ordered the Blueray on Amazon which doesn’t come out until next month. The parodys are awesome! You have to look up two little girls singing Let it Go on Youtube…Maddie and Sophie I think are their names. Thanks for yet another wonderful post that made me laugh with tears in my eyes!
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Dawn, it sounds like you and your family are Frozenaholics! My daughter should come live with you since she would fit right in. I looked at your Pinterest board with your Olaf valentines. Those were precious! I know your students loved them! I also saw the Maddie and Sophia youtube videos when I was putting this post together. They were so cute! I am so glad you enjoyed the post.
Kelly

Cheri - February 23, 2014 - 10:40 am

I just saw that newsman’s video before coming to your blog…so funny. That Christina can really sing and change into whoever at the drop of a name…very talented. Loved how you incorporated other “frozen” items in your blog.
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Thank you Cheri! Wasn’t that weather man hilarious?! I can see our local weather guy doing that too. He would be perfect. There must be something about weathermen that just naturally makes them hams!
Kelly

anita - February 23, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Kelly, we have our own version of frozen and blue this morning. It’s -22 F and well we have beautiful blue skies. But that’s o.k. because Canada won gold in men’s hockey today! The newsman’s video was hilarious…and I enjoyed the blue rooms. Next to red, I like all things blue. Must see one day the movie Frozen. And yes, please bring Spring on, as I am certainly ready for it!
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Anita, congratulations on the Olympic win! I know your entire country must be proud. Your weather sounds much too cold for me. I cannot even imagine how -22 feels! Stay warm!
Kelly

Megan - February 23, 2014 - 2:26 pm

Hi Kelly,
2 days in the 40’s here in MA have me just itching for spring. We had so much snow and cold this winter! I loved the blue decorating pics – that pale blue reminded me of the icy color on the frozen cliffs along a highway in NY. It was so beautiful. I need to use that shade somewhere in my house!
Think Spring!!
Megan
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I know what you mean about itching for spring, Megan. Our warm temperatures here with lots of sunshine make one think it is already spring. Icy blue is exactly what I think of that blue in the rooms too. I don’t have any of that in our home here, but it is daughter’s favorite color.
Kelly

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - February 23, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Your daughter is so beautiful as Elsa!…and I am so into those beautiful blues lately!!…
and yes, onward to Spring!!
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Shirley, thank you for the very sweet comments about our daughter. She was so excited to get to play that part on the float! I agree with you…onward to spring!
Kelly

martha - February 23, 2014 - 6:32 pm

I have 4 granddaughters, ages 3,5,6 & 8 so you imagine how much we love Frozen and all things Disney. The 6 year old had a Frozen themed birthday party in Jan and we had real snow!!! That doesn’t happen much in North Carolina. Your daughter was lovely on the float and I know she brings lots of joy to children through her charity. The ice blue rooms are pretty, but I think they look cold……I like warmer colors. Can’t wait for your Spring posts!
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Boy Martha! Four granddaughters so young would be such fun with all things Disney – especially the Disney princesses. And a Frozen b-day party with snow would be perfect!! Your comment about our daughter was so sweet and very appreciated. I agree that the blue rooms do look cold. I suppose that is why people who have rooms in warm climates like to use that color. Like you, I tend toward the warm shades myself.
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - February 24, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Kelly,
That was so much fun. That first image made me cold just looking at the snow falling in droves. The traffic guy has a really great voice and I thought his clip was darling. The other girl is amazing too, she sounded like each name the guy called out.

Love the blue rooms.

Your daughter is so pretty and how fun that she gets to participate in these engagements as one of the characters.

I told you that Mr. B and I worked at Disneyland in our youth and that is where we met and we celebrate 41 years today…Disney magic is real.
xo,
Karen
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Happy Anniversary to the both of you!! That is the perfect way to put it, “Disney magic is real.” I LOVE that!:) (Must share that with my daughter.) I thought the traffic guy did great. He has done a number of crazy things recorded there on youtube, but I think the Frozen parody is his best. Thank you for your kind comments about our daughter. She has a major big event with that organization this weekend, but they want her to walk around playing her flute for it…so no ordinary princess for this one. (At least she doesn’t have to be the Little Mermaid and sit out in the pool in February!)

Kelly

Jayne - February 24, 2014 - 7:24 pm

I am enjoying this warmer weather today. Too bad it’s going to feel frozen again later this week. I am so ready for warmer weather. I’ve been working on springtime posts too! I have to admit, I haven’t seen the movie yet. But, I love the rooms. I love blue and white! Those are the colors I’m going to use in the guest bathroom. Just waiting for some warmer weather, so I can open the windows and enjoy listening to the birds as I paint!
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I did not even know it was supposed to get cold again this week. Thanks for the update! That blue will be pretty in a bathroom, and painting with birds singing outside would be so nice. Great idea! Looks like you are going to have to wait another week or so to have the nice sunny weather, though.
Kelly

rebecca@midcenturymodernremodel - February 25, 2014 - 11:39 pm

You people in the Midwest and East have suffered so much! Thanks for poking a little fun. I am not sure which video I enjoyed more. Here’s to springtime and tulips!

A Birthday Dinner: Shrimp Creole and Banana Pudding

shrimp creole and banana pudding birthday dinner

And now for the rest of the story.

You know that Valentine’s dinner that was in the last post?  Well you need to know that it wasn’t actually on Valentine’s Day.  Nope – that dinner was the night before Valentine’s Day.

And why was that, Kelly? you might ask.

Well you see,  my husband left. (collective gasp here) He left me and ran off to the mountains of North Carolina.

On Valentine’s Day??

Yes, on Valentine’s Day.  And do you know what was even worse than his leaving on Valentine’s Day?

What could be worse than that?

His birthday was the day after Valentine’s Day!

Oh my!  He better have a good explanation for doing such a thing!

Well he does.:)

My husband loves to ski, and he loves our church youth group.  So he ran away to the mountains of North Carolina (Boone to be precise) to be a chaperone for their ski trip, and they did indeed leave on Valentine’s Day. And yes, he was not at home for his birthday either.

So…

porch party

We had a birthday dinner last night when he returned home.

While I was running around like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off getting all the Valentine’s Day things done, I was thinking about plans for his birthday in the back of my mind. (Major multi-tasking!)  Originally, I was going to have some of his friends over for a barbeque dinner, but his friend with the-crushed-ankle-that-has-had-surgery still could not make it, so I am postponing that idea. Instead we had a little family birthday dinner out on the back porch (since you know it is now spring here in crazy-weather Georgia.)  And you know I have to share the menu with you.

shrimp creole dinner menu

This menu is actually kind of important.  When we got married looong long ago, shrimp creole was prepared by my mother-in-law for our rehearsal dinner. It was one of our favorite dishes.  My husband still loves it (a lot!) but since I have developed a serious allergy to shellfish, I can no longer eat this divine dish. And boy did I loooove me some shrimp.  It was my all time favorite food.  I loved it even more than chocolate, even more than fresh summer tomatoes with salt and pepper, even more than…coffee!  Yes, that much! And I have not even prepared anything with shrimp since my first shellfish allergic reaction years ago.  So for me to make this dish, and to sit at the table with it right in front of my face, well… they should just go ahead and nominate me for sainthood or whatever it is that you do to become a saint (and I am not even Catholic.) Don’t you agree?!

It is not a difficult dish to prepare. In fact, it would make an easy Sunday supper main dish.  All you do is chop up the holy trinity of vegetables (bell pepper, onion, celery) and cook them in a little oil.chopped vegetables

Then you add canned tomatoes and spices.

tomatoes and spices

Simmer that for an hour, and finally you mix in the shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Viola!  You have yourself some delicious shrimp creole.

shrimp creoleDo you see that small bowl above?  I love the sauce with all the vegetables cooked in it, so we pan fried some chicken tenderloins sprinkled with garlic salt and pepper, cut them into bite size pieces, and mixed them in a couple of cups of sauce (before we added the shrimp)  so that I could have Chicken Creole. It was a great substitute for this non-shellfish eater. Here is the recipe for the real deal dish.

shrimp creole recipe

Since I was being so kindhearted to risk my life with the preparation of this dish, I thought I would just go ahead and go all out by  adding steamed shrimp to the dinner since my husband loves it so much.  See it there below on the right?  Oh my gosh did that ever smell good! (Further assuring me my nomination into sainthood.:))

dinner tableThat salad had to be one of my favorites that I have made around here…spinach leaves, strawberry slices, bacon pieces, chopped pecans, purple onion slices, and crumbled goat cheese.  I bought crostino slices and broke them up as croutons on the salad. For the dressing, we just used a grocery store bottled orange poppyseed dressing.

And that French bread was simply loaves from the deli that you bake.  It was very delicious dipped in melted butter.  I tried to find a recipe for a dish called Paradise Shrimp that we get at Bayou Bill’s in Destin, Florida. The shrimp are cooked in a lemon butter with a heavy dose of pepper, and it makes some great dipping for the French bread with which it is served. That butter sauce is what I wanted for dipping our bread, but I had no luck finding that recipe.  Anyone out there have it??

french bread and saladAnd now for the dessert. I thought about making a cake, but I knew my mother-in-law was going to be making one for my husband, and we didn’t need two cakes around here.  One of his favorite desserts is banana pudding, so I decided I would make it. As I started looking for recipes, I came across Paula Deen’s recipe for Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding. It looked a little fancier than your traditional one, and it sounded delicious, so I gave it a try.  In case you are not familiar with it, you begin by layering Pepperidge Farm chessmen cookies in the bottom of a casserole dish.

cookie layerThen top that with a layer of banana slices.

Talk of the House banana layerOn top of that you put a layer of a mixture of Cool whip, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, French vanilla instant pudding mix,  and milk.Talk of the House pudding layerThen you put one more layer of the chessmen cookies as the “icing” for the pudding, and refrigerate it for several hours. And if you add birthday candles to it, you have yourself a banana pudding birthday “cake.”:)

Talk of the House banana pudding birthday cake

You can find the recipe on Paula Deen’s site by clicking here. I loved the taste of it!  My husband says the traditional version tastes better to him when they are both freshly made (especially if the traditional one is warm,) but the Paula Deen version is far better than the traditional one after they have both been refrigerated. You will have to make it and decide for yourself I guess.

And here is the table all ready for serving. (Sorry for the blurry photo.  Everyone was ready to eat!)

buffet for birthday dinner
I totally forgot to take a photo of a plate during dinner, so I took one of the leftovers tonight.:)

Talk of the House plate of shrimp creoleAnd that was the birthday dinner for my husband who ran away on Valentine’s Day.

Talk of the House after dinnerAnd now you know the rest of the story.

Thanks for stopping by today!a signature

   
DeeDee - February 19, 2014 - 8:36 am

This shrimp creole recipe looks oh-so-yummy and oh-so-easy, not to mention, it’ll make a perfect Mardi Gras dinner!
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What a great idea, DeeDee! I had not even thought about it being for Mardi Gras!
Kelly

Retha - February 19, 2014 - 8:39 am

I am really liking the way you have draped your buffet area with the fabric in the front and on the sides. I can see that the sides don’t seem to be gathered, and the front is. I’m assuming the sides and the front are not connected, are they? Separate pieces? And the front – it appears to be gathered on a rod of some sort. But how is that rod attached to the table? If you have time, would you be willing to explain how you created this affect? Or direct me to the place you might have already done so? You have such an elegant style. It’s really beautiful. Your hubs’ b’day meal sounds scrumptious, too! :)
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For the skirt on the table, I sewed the cloth into curtain like panels. Then I put all of the pieces on a tension rod for each side – although it did not have to be a tension kind because it is obviously not wedged between two ends. They just happened to be the rods with the smallest diameter that I could find. I then screwed 2 screw eyes into the end of each overhang of the tabletop on each side. (2 on each end and 4 on the front, I think.) To attach the rods, I used a needle and thread and sewed the cloth (that was already on the rod) to the screweyes at each end – looping it into the fabric and through the circle of the screweye several times to be strong. This means that when I wash it, the thread has to be cut and then sewn on again each time…not real efficient but it works. My original plan had been to put the tension on the underside of the table, but it just didn’t look proportionate there.
Hope this makes sense!
Kelly

Gail - February 19, 2014 - 9:02 am

Hi Kelly: What an angel of a wife you are. To sacrifice your life for the pleasure of your hubby’s heart! I just know he feels like the most blessed of all men. The dinner looks delicious! Thank you for such a cute blog!
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Ha, no angel here. I just felt like he deserved a nice meal. HE is the one with the servant’s spirit. One of the youth got sick with a stomach virus on the trip, and my husband gave up a day of skiing just to stay with the sick child until his parent could arrive from home and pick him up. (No fun!)
Kelly

Kathy - February 19, 2014 - 9:10 am

OMGoodness! That is the saddest story ever….not that your hubby left you at Valentine’s….you can celebrate that anytime…but that you developed a shellfish allergy. Sad, sad, sad! Shrimp is also my favorite food of all times. I guess it is its connection to the beach…along with their deliciousness! The birthday dinner looks fabulous, you saint! I want to try the shrimp creole as well as the banana pudding. I have made a similar banana pudding recipe using Pecan Sandies that was pretty awesome. One question: It appears that you have written on the chalkboards with a chalk marker. When you erase what you have written with the chalk marker, do you have a “ghost” of what you wrote left on the board? P.S. Hubs owes you!
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It is sad, isn’t it! I grew up in Mobile, Alabama where seafood was abundant. Pecan Sandies would be good to use in a banana pudding. To answer your question about the chalk marker, Kathy, it does leave ghost letters some. I just have to be sure to rub regular old chalk back over it every time to smear it and cover it. But yes, it does leave that…especially if you leave the writing on there for a long time.
Kelly

Debra - February 19, 2014 - 9:41 am

So thoughtful, so accommodating, so talented, so caring and giving. I will vote you for sainthood. (smiles) Kelly, that shrimp dish is making my mouth water. I love shrimp, so this will be a must try recipe. It does look so easy. That banana pudding dessert is putting an extra pound on my hips just looking at it. Oh Paul Deen! Well, at least she didn’t put any butter in that recipe. Looks yummy and I love any Pepperidge farm cookies. This is a DROOL post Kelly, as I LOVE your porch and how being in the south lets you utilize it so much. I can only dream of an all seasons room off our family room since we live in the Midwest. We too, have a room above our garage that is yet to be finished off. Oh the list… sigh!

Debra
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Oh yes, sainthood is coming…NOT. :) I hope you enjoy making and eating the shrimp creole, and you are right, there is no butter in the banana pudding. (But I am sure there are a zillion calories in it!)
I know all too well the unfinished to-do list. What would we do without one?
Kelly

Jayne - February 19, 2014 - 11:14 am

Oh how I hate that you can not eat shell fish anymore! Shrimp is one of my favorites too. My mom used to go to the docks, when we lived in Fernandina, at least once a week to get fresh shrimp straight off the boats. Then in later years when we went on vacation, she would always go right before we left to come home and buy some and put it in the cooler to bring home. Nothing better then shrimp right off the boats.
I’ll have to give your recipes a try. They look so good!!!!
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Oh Jayne, such wonderful memories! We used to always bring home fresh shrimp from our visits to Fernandina, too. Boy do I miss that! (And the fried shrimp from the Sandbar restaurant there.)
Kelly

Scribbler - February 19, 2014 - 11:24 am

I have made this pudding recipe, and it is very good, but very sweet. You are a trouper for preparing shrimp with your allergy. My mother was allergic too, and it is a serious thing. However — I sure wish I had some right no — it looks fabulous!
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Yes, it is very sweet. I am wondering how it would be without the cream cheese.Sh ellfish allergies ARE serious. I made sure to not touch the shrimp and had someone else drop them in the tomato sauce in the pot.
Kelly

Marianne in Mo. - February 19, 2014 - 11:53 am

You ARE a saint, not one, but two shrimp dishes! Making my mouth water for that Shrimp Creole! I know how you feel about your allergy – I’m allergic to eggs, sort of. I can have two or three mixed in a cake or something, but cannot eat them as a breakfast food, in salads, etc. I often make them for the Mr. or family, and have to resist eating them myself. Of course, I think I would die to have a fried, scrambled, poached or deviled egg! But have to recall how bad they make me feel to resist eating them. And it’s really fun to dine at a friends house, or restaurant, and have to ask the egg count. My friends are so sweet, they usually either accommodate my allergy, or call ahead to see if I can have what they are planning. But sometimes they forget, and I feel awful having to decline what they prepared – embarrassing for both of us!
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Gosh Marianne, I don’t know how you avoid eggs. They are in soooo many things! That would be a very hard allergy to deal with. At least shrimp are not in everything, and it is easy to know if they are in a dish.
Kelly

Polly in KS - February 19, 2014 - 1:14 pm

Looks absolutely yummy, real drool-worthy. Have you ever thought of writing a cookbook? I’d buy one, two, three or more if you ever decide to. Hint, hint.
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A cookbook is a ton of work from what I understand, but thank you for the suggestion Polly. I will add that to my list of projects for when I retire. :)
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - February 19, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Kelly,
This looks delicious. I love the way you’ve made the banana pudding. My grandma used to make it with vanilla wafers but these cookies are so cute.
I love shrimp, but Mr. B. doesn’t so I probably won’t fix this recipe, but it sure sounds yummy and pretty easy.
Happy Birthday to your hubby.
xo,
Karen
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We like the vanilla wafer version of banana pudding too – especially when it is served warm. That is a shame that your husband does not like shrimp. My oldest does not like them either! (I cannot imagine not liking them.)
Thanks for the birthday wishes for my husband.
Kelly

Louvina - February 19, 2014 - 8:32 pm

You are really treating us ALL with these Fabulous February posts! You put so much love and time into your blog — if your are not a Saint (yet) you most certainly are an angel to use your precious time off work to bless us with these eye candy ideas!! While at the Cheese Cake Factory, I tried their shrimp tacos— oh, my—so good with the summer rolls! When going out– I try to get something I haven’t had before— but it is hard when you know what is your favorite. I do think these winter posts are my favorite ones of all time– even though fall is my favorite season! You make every season/holiday a “Kodak Moment”!
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Okay. Stop. I was just kidding about the saint stuff! :) But I am glad you enjoyed the post. Shrimp tacos….that sounds very delicious! In fact, if I did not have this allergy I would order them and the Cheesecake factory tiramisu. I LOVE fish tacos, so I know that shrimp tacos would be heavenly!!
Kelly

Pat in Georgia - February 19, 2014 - 9:08 pm

Kelly, I love the fact that you make every occasion so special for your family. That does make you a Saint. I can’t wait to try your Shrimp Creole recipe, it sounds delicious. And, Paula Deen’s recipe for Banana Pudding is one of my favorites. I often make it for church and it is a huge hit every time. I want to try your favorite salad. Have you used other dressings? I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday and has a year filled with lots of blessings. Thank you for the inspiration you provide to all of us who enjoy your blog. I hope you enjoyed your Winter Break! By the way, what kind of cake did your Mother In Law make for the birthday?
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No Saint here…I just like “pretty things.” :) I hope you will try the recipe Pat. It is very good, and I can see why that banana pudding would go fast at a church dinner. I have not used other dressings with the salad when it has had goat cheese on it, but a raspberry vinaigrette was excellent with it when I did not have the goat cheese. I would think it would work great with it as well. You would ask about the cake. :) She was supposed to have baked it yesterday, but my father-in-law has been ill. She plans to make it this weekend, and it will be…wait for it…red velvet! (Your fabulous specialty!)
Kelly

katrina - February 19, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Saint Kelly, you did good! That dinner looked fabulous! I have a tried and true banana pudding recipe but I think I will try your version next time! From a woman who loves shrimp, I hate knowing you can no longer enjoy it!
If you are ever in Memphis, check out the restaurant Brennan Owen. We ate brunch there on Sunday after church with my sister and brother in law. Oh my goodness….while a jazz band played I feasted on shrimp,crepes,omelets and banana foster. There were more food stations but after 3 trips I was too embarrassed to explore more! Happy belated Valentine’s Day!
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So glad to see your comment here Katrina! You are just rubbing it in with the shrimp at the restaurant though. LOL BUT an omelet and bananas foster would be fine anytime. Because I was serving creole at the b-day dinner, I seriously looked for a bananas foster cake (just to add to the Louisiana vibe of the meal.) Nothing I found appealed to me, and that is when I decided to go with a banana pudding. I hope you will give ol’ Paula Deen’s recipe a try. I keep going back for more of it! If we are ever in Memphis (which is supposed to have tons of great places to eat!) I will give Brennan Owen a visit. (That is such an unusual name for a restaurant.)
Kelly

Colleen - February 20, 2014 - 12:26 am

Hi Kelly

I made your shrimp for dinner last night. It was delicious!!!!!

My presentation of the dish wasn`t anything like yours though :-) but it tasted deeevine.

I cant wait to make it for my son when he visits from West Africa next month. He LOVES chilli and this is just the right amount to handle in the middle of a heat wave as we are having at the moment LOL.

Xx
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I am so glad you were able to make it, AND that you enjoyed it. Our old recipe called for putting it over Reese’s Creole rice. Unfortunately it is not made anymore (or we just can’t find it anymore.) I miss it, because it really gave it more flavor. I hope your son enjoys it too when you make it for him.
Kelly

Dawn - February 20, 2014 - 10:38 am

Kelly,

I will totally nominate you for sainthood. You are a very sweet wife to prepare those dishes and super nice friend to share them with us! Everything looks wonderful! I love the fresh green plant and how inviting your porch looks!
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You are so sweet to say that. The weather here has been perfect for enjoying the porch. I love that it is warm enough to be able to leave those fern like plants outside! But I KNOW we have not had our last taste of winter. This is just fooling us. After all, it is just the middle of February!
Kelly

Lori - February 20, 2014 - 9:43 pm

Such a good wife! :)
My best friend ONLY makes Paula’s recipe for this and swears by it. I, sadly, have never tried it. I think it’s about time, right?!
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Yes, Lori it is about time for you to make it. It is VERY sweet, but my children really liked it. When I mentioned to them about perhaps leaving out the cream cheese the next time I make it, they said, “No way.” Definitely give it a try.
Kelly

Jane - February 21, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Hi Kelly! I just found your blog whole at Hooked On Houses and I’ve spent the last half hour exploring it!! I love your personality and your love for family and cooking and going that extra mile. My hubby’s birthday is right before the 4th of July, so I always try to squeeze something special in. The birthday dinner (and the Valentine’s Day dinner) shows how you love to spoil your family. We are a lot alike!

I’m thrilled to have found another great blog to follow! :)

XO,
Jane
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Jane, I am thrilled you found my blog! So glad Julia at Hooked on Houses has sent such kind readers my way. It would be fun to do a birthday dinner around the 4th of July…lots of possibilities there. Thank you for your sweet comments. I hope you will be back to visit again!
Kelly

Cathy N from Calgary - February 22, 2014 - 10:15 am

Dear St. Kelly,

I’ve thought of you as a saint as soon as I discovered you (and I am definitely not Catholic!).

I am going to make your shrimp dish for dinner tonight. Yes!! So easy and yet so delicious. Mmmmm. Hubby Bill is working today (poor him, lucky patients) so he will appreciate this on the table when he gets home.

We just got back from a few ski days at Skoki Lodge in our Rocky Mountains and shared the lodge with a whole group of teenagers and their parents (sounds very similar to what you hubby was doing!). I, unfortunately, was the one with the ailment. After skiing in 8 miles I developed a MONSTER of a blister on one foot… it was fine for the 3 days we stayed in the lodge but I was faced with the return trip with half my left heel skin ripped off. We covered it with Second Skin and moleskin and I survived the ski out but not without quite a bit of pain. Ouch!! Oh well, we are home safe and sound and my heel is healing ;)

Now I have Shrimp Creole to look forward to… thanks to you!

Hugs
Cath
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Ha ha..far from sainthood! I hope you made and enjoyed the shrimp creole. Your blister sounds terribly painful! I know that had to hurt, and I hope it heals quickly. Perhaps you can stay inside and be barefooted for a few days while it heals.
Kelly

Ginger @dwellinginthehouse - February 22, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Love me some shrimp creole…and some Paula Dean Banana pudding! Everything about this meal was lovely!
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Glad you liked the post on the meal, Ginger. It was yummy!
Kelly

Sheena - February 28, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Hi Kelly,
I love your blog. It’s so inspiring. The meal you prepared looks delicious. I was wondering if you could tell me about the bread basket you used to serve the French bread. What a lovely way to serve bread. Can you share where you got the basket? Thank you for the inspiration!
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I believe that basket came from Pottery Barn a couple of summers ago. It IS perfect for serving bread. (I looked for a long time to find one like that.) I bet PB still has a similar one available in their stores (or perhaps online.)
Have a great weekend Sheena!
Kelly

Some Gift Ideas & a Table for Your Valentine

Talk of the House an Old School Style Valentines Day
I have one more Valentine’s Day post to share with you.  Yes, I know it is after the holiday.  Unfortunately there was soooo much to cram in the last couple of days, I didn’t get this finished until today.  But have no fear!  I think you will find at least one idea you can use for next year’s day of love.:)

Talk of the House red chair

Remember, we are going old school here this year.  While we were out for the winter storm, I made a valentine box like the ones you probably remember from your childhood. (Those are our daughter’s first valentines saved from when she was a toddler in day care.) The sweet students left their valentines for me in the box on Friday.  I found the red box at Target, so that made it super easy to simply decorate it with paper doilies, magazine cut outs, construction paper,and a chalk pen.

Valentine boxWhile we were out, I also made valentines for the 120+ students with whom I work.  Since I am a math teacher, I really wanted something math related. I kept looking, but nothing really grabbed me.  So I did a spin-off on the chalkboard that is in our playroom and included a little candy (as if they needed anything else to hype them up yesterday.  Glory!!)

Talk of the House math valentines

 I printed them on cardstock and used double sided tape to attach the candy.

Talk of the House math valentine with smartiesSo that was for the math.  Now for the writing.  (I’ll tell you about the reading part of the day in a minute.) For this year’s teacher’s gifts, I found some nice note card sets at Michael’s.  They were packaged in a cellophane package. So I purchased some red pens, slipped them inside, tied them all up with red ribbon, added a sticker label, and ta-da…all done.  My original plan was to hand letter them with From the desk of ______ (their name).  Or perhaps run it through the printer with that, but as usual, I had more ideas than time.  I’ll save that idea for another gift.:)

Talk of the House teacher valentine giftsNow for the reading portion of this school style Valentine’s Day. I decided to get a book for everyone here (little Hallmark books in case you are wondering.)  Since they were going to be on the dinner table, I wanted them wrapped in something that matched the table setting.  I didn’t need a lot of wrapping paper for this, so I copied part of the cover of a composition notebook a couple of times and glued the sheets together with a glue stick.  It worked perfectly. (Someone needs to make composition paper gift wrap.  I would certainly buy it. I bet you would as well.)

Talk of the House books with copied composition notebook paper wrapAnd what is Valentine’s Day without something sweet to eat?  Girl Scout cookies to the rescue!  We fight over the Thin Mints and Samoa’s.:) Do you have a favorite?  Again, I wanted something “school-y” to wrap them in. So this time I glued sheets of notebook paper together for this. That would also make a good gift wrap for someone to market.  (Hello Hallmark are you reading??)

Talk of the House girl scout cookies with notebook paper gift wrap ideaThere is also a gift card inside the small notebooks.  Our younger son looked inside his notebook first.   He then smartly said to his older brother, “Hey Will.  Do you want your little notebook?”  Before big brother could answer, I said, “Oh yes, he does!”

Now to the table.  Let me just say that because of the gifts, this table had waaaay more on it than I usually put there (except New Year’s had a lot, too.) I tried to at least keep the centerpiece low, and because we served off the island in the kitchen, no serving dishes had to actually go on the table itself.  Here is one table setting…

Talk of the House Valentine table place settingOh, I forgot to mention the napkins!  You may remember the comforter I took apart when we redid our daughter’s bedroom.  This was the fabric on the reverse of the extra comforter I cut down in size.  That great alphabet print was perfect to use to sew into napkins.

Last year’s Valentine table had tulips, but this year I thought daisies would be nice. (Do I sound like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail? ):)I also loooooove those little boots (aka Christmas ornaments from Target) and couldn’t resist using them for this.

Talk of the House Valentine table centerpiece

daisies in rain boots

Now here is the whole shebang.

Talk of the House Valentine tableThe kraft paper runner with chalk to write with is always fun .Talk of the House kraft paper runner with chalk for valentines dayTalk of the House school style Valentines table

Now don’t get too excited over our menu.  This was just a normal family dinner amped up a little.  I always like Italian for Valentine’s Day so we had homemade spaghetti, a green salad,  and garlic rolls – and I did not even make the rolls.  But we made a great discovery.  I asked my husband to pick up an order of the garlic rolls we love so much from a local restaurant.  He asked for a dozen.  They threw in some extras and only charged $2.00 for the order. He even asked if that was correct, and it was!  What a bargain!Talk of the House Valentine spaghetti dinner

Oh and one other restaurant related tidbit.  When we used to go skiing in Maggie Valley, NC, we would go to a restaurant in Waynesville called Antipasto’s.  They had the best salad we have ever eaten, so I tried to make a similar salad for our Italian dinner including strips of ham and cheese rolled up.  I believe that Antipasto’s is now closed.  If any of you NC readers know for sure, please let me know. (Kathy or Katrina, do you know?)  Dessert was brownies, ice cream, and these sauces from Williams Sonoma.  (I could seriously eat the entire jar of that salted caramel sauce…mmmmm.)Talk of the House williams sonoma saucesThere were also red velvet cupcakes as another dessert option, but the bulk of those were for our daughter at college. (And don’t think I made them from scratch.  The box mix was actually VERY good, and we did make the cream cheese frosting from scratch.:))

Talk of the House red velvet cupcakes for valentines dayThe cupcake envelopes were Wilton icing decorations from Michaels, and the cute school related cupcake toppers and papers were from this Meri Meri kit.

meri meri kit from amazon via Talk of the House

Meri Meri School Days Cupcake Kit

And that was our old school style Valentine’s Day.  I hope you had a day full of love.  This weekend promises to be absolutely gorgeous here – sunny with highs in the 60’s (and by the middle of next week highs in the upper 70’s!) We have Monday and Tuesday off for our scheduled President’s Day break. (I’m loving these short work weeks!)

red schoolhouse chair

Hope you have a lovely weekend!a signature

   
Scribbler - February 15, 2014 - 12:25 pm

I just love coming to your blog because you are one of the most creative people I have run across in the blogosphere. This whole presentation is outstanding!

Did you feel the earthquake?
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Thank you for the compliments! We did not feel the earthquake here. Where else but in Georgia can you have an ice storm, 65 degree weather, and an earthquake all in the same week?! Never a dull moment here. :)
Kelly

Vickie - February 15, 2014 - 12:43 pm

WOW!! I want to spend Valentine’s Day at your house!! I am always amazed that you come up with so many adorable ideas!!!
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You are so sweet, Vickie. Thank you. I am glad you liked the valentine’s ideas!
Kelly

Retha - February 15, 2014 - 12:52 pm

Wow, wow, and wow! This is great! How beautiful! And clever! What a treat to see these pictures and read your comments! Thank you!
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Thank YOU for reading and leaving your kind words here, Retha. :) Enjoy your weekend!
Kelly

Dawn - February 15, 2014 - 1:03 pm

Kelly,

I love it all! The gifts are my favorite! I did smarties for my students too. We love girl scout cookies here too. I’ll have to remember those for next year.
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Thank you Dawn. Smarties work great for teachers to give their students, don’t they? (A whole lot better than those dum dum suckers!) Sometimes our Girl Scout cookie orders don’t make it in before Valentine’s Day, but when they do, they make great gifts. (We are still snacking on one last box here today.)
Kelly

DeeDee - February 15, 2014 - 1:08 pm

You are amazingly creative & I love everything about your blog! Enjoy your well-deserved break from the classroom!
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You are so sweet DeeDee! Glad you are enjoying the blog. I am definitely enjoying our loooong break. :)
Kelly

Lynne Smith - February 15, 2014 - 1:16 pm

I have an exceptionally creative friend and neighbor like you. And also like you, she is a beautiful example of kindness and humility. Because you are such beautiful ladies inside and out, it is possible (most of the time) to kept envy at bay. :-)

I am 68 years old with a chronic illness that keeps me housebound a lot, but sites the calibre of yours are a godsend for keeping me connected to the outside world in an uplifting and inspiring way. The time and effort you put into your endeavor is greatly appreciated.
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Thank you so very much for your very kind (and humbling!) comment on the post. I truly appreciate it, Lynne. I am so sorry that you have an illness that prevents you from getting out much, but I am happy that I can help to brighten your day. Comments from readers like yourself certainly help to brighten MY day and keep me motivated to keep on blogging. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to leave such a heartfelt comment.
Have a wonderful day.
Kelly

Patty in Michigan - February 15, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Over the top amazing! You out did it this time. Love the “old school” theme. I just loved your Valentines Day posts. Thank you as always, Kelly.
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Wow! I am glad you liked it so much Patty. The old school theme was an easy one for this old teacher. :)
Kelly

Arlene@Nanaland - February 15, 2014 - 1:43 pm

Kelly…beautiful as always. I have a question for you. Could you recommend a good restaurant for hubs and I to go to in Atlanta when we visit in March. I remember you mentioned one in a previous blog. We are staying at Georgian Terrace to see the Broadway show, ONCE and we want to enjoy lunch in aTL before we head back to Alabama on Sunday. Thanks!!
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Thank you Arlene. As far as a restaurant recommendation from me, I had to discuss it with the guys here. Both of our sons have lived in Atlanta for awhile, so you get a lot of STRONG opinions about eating in Atlanta from our crew! Everyone says that if you are looking at lunch on Sunday, your best option above all others is the brunch at Local Three. My daughter and her boyfriend even went there this past weekend instead of doing a Valentine’s dinner on Friday night. Local Three brunch is THAT good. If you are looking for lunch on Saturday, I suggest Parrish or Murphy’s. I think the food is better at Parrish, but the atmosphere is better at Murphy’s (and their food is also good.) My husband would say Okay Café (for country style food). My oldest would say Local 3 for ANY meal. My middle child would say go to Antico for an out of this world pizza and then get a doughnut from Sublime Doughnuts for dessert. Lots of options!
Happy eating!
Kelly

Nancy - February 15, 2014 - 1:47 pm

You really do inspire me! <3
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Glad I could give you a little inspiration Nancy!
Kelly

Jill - February 15, 2014 - 2:01 pm

Such creative ideas. You never cease to amaze me. I especially like your creative wrapping papers. What a sweet Valentine’s Day for your students and your family.
Enjoy your days off this week. Our kids were off on Friday and will be off Monday. They haven’t had a full week since before Christmas! We’re all a bit spoiled, I think.
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I do wish someone would make a roll of gift wrap that looks like composition notebook covers. Maybe one day. I have seen a great one (in sheets not rolls) that looks like green chalkboard with chalk handwriting…should have bought that when I saw it! My sons commented the same thing about my not working a full week since Christmas. I’m not complaining! :)
Kelly

yarlette - February 15, 2014 - 2:10 pm

You are so creative Kelly. You must be a wonderful teacher. I just know all your students love you. Great post.
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In my new job, I don’t get to be quite as creative as I would like…but then with our curriculum as packed as it is these days, no one does – which is very sad to me. I think we need more wiggle room in our curriculum for creativity – especially in elementary schools. (Okay, I will quit preaching now.)
Glad you enjoyed the post!
Kelly

Colleen - February 15, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Wow! 100% gorgeous
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Well I 100% thank you! Glad you liked it, Colleen.
Kelly

Patty - February 15, 2014 - 3:53 pm

You have such an amazing passion for the details. Never over the top but always beautiful. You rocked this one Kelly. Lucky students, blessed family.
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What a sweet comment, Patty. You always leave the kindest words here. Thank you!
Kelly

Donnamae - February 15, 2014 - 4:07 pm

Great ideas! I hope you will repost this next year… I’ll never be able to remember them! ;)
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I will try to Donnamae. I am not sure I know exactly how to do that! LOL Pin some of it on it on Pinterest, and perhaps that will help you remember. :) I have recently added a Pinterest button at the bottom of each post to help folks that don’t have the Pin it button on their toolbar.
Kelly

Amanda @ Dixie Delights - February 15, 2014 - 4:21 pm

As usual, I adore every detail! I’m going to have to revisit this for next year :-)
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Thank you Amanda! I think you are the queen of party themes, so I consider that a big compliment!
Kelly

Jayne - February 15, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Once again I have come across some great inspiration! Thank you! Love all the ideas and decorations! Especially the notebook paper wrapping! I saw in one of the other comments that they asked if you felt the earthquake. We sure did. Kind of scary and exciting at the same time. Enjoy your break!
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Jayne, I am happy that I could give you some inspiration! That is amazing that you felt the earthquake. We are near a train track and an airfield, so even if we felt it, I probably would have attributed it to a train or a plane. I tend to tune out those noises these days (plus our sons are so rowdy, they shake the house!)
Kelly

Pat In Georgia - February 15, 2014 - 5:59 pm

Kelly, I lived Valentine’s Day through your beautiful posts. I was reminded of sweet Valentine’s when the children were home. Your post shows that Valentine’s Day can be special and beautiful without costing an arm and a leg. We, too, always did Italian for Valentine’s. Your table setting was heavenly. You may have told us, but remind us again, where did the heart shaped bowls come from. How adorable!!!! I love your ideas for wrapping paper;maybe, you have a reader who works for Hallmark and will take the hint for all of us who are educators. Thank you for remembering your students and teachers. I believe it is so important that we take the time to make holidays special for our students. Those are the times we remember in elementary school. Enjoy your Winter Break! Hopefully, there won’t be any more crazy weather events.
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Hi Pat! I am glad that the post could give you good memories. :) The bowls came from Michaels (but they are sold out in the closest store now. :( ) I hope you have enjoyed your break too. Perhaps we will get in a full week of school next week for a change, but I bet we will get another round of wintry weather before this season is said and done.
Kelly

Debra - February 15, 2014 - 6:27 pm

Love your old school theme. Everything was just so charming. You are so inspiring Kelly. You can tell you are a very organized, thought out teacher. It shows in your posts.
I think daisies were very simple and perfect for your table. Love daisies. Oh, and I have one of those cute little boot ornaments too. Love Target. Well, now looking at your yummy spaghetti dinner layout, I am getting even hungrier. No cooking here tonight. Its time to head on out to a local pub, as we stayed in last night and just had a family pizza night, complete with a homemade salad and cheesecake for dessert though. The twins wore me out today, in a good way. Happy weekend!

Debra
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“Thinking it out” is what probably makes me so darn late in getting these posts done! I spend too long thinking about things! :( I had trouble finding daisies for this…everyone had roses and tulips. Imagine that! Hope you enjoyed your meal out. Cheesecake sounds wonderful to me! Yum.
Kelly

Ron - February 16, 2014 - 9:33 am

Lovely! You are one of the most creative bloggers out there. I am sure your students loved their treats. You set a perfect table. Have a great Sunday.
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Thank you for your very kind compliments, Ron! I so appreciate it. The students did enjoy them…the candy AND the math problems. :) Thank you for stopping by.
Kelly

Polly in KS - February 16, 2014 - 10:04 am

As always – elegant, simple, heartwarming, love from the heart. Something I can replicate and share with my loved ones next year. Love the table setting. Happy Late Valentine’s Day!
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YES definitely something you can replicate. :) That is my goal when I share things with you all. I hope your Valentine’s Day was a wonderful one Polly!
Kelly

Marci Johnson - February 16, 2014 - 12:20 pm

I loved every detail. Your attention to the small things makes every holiday so special. I love it. I also have no idea how all of these people out there get all of their holiday posts out thee before the holidays!
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Maybe what they show is actually from last year, and I should have just saved this post for January of next year to be ahead of the game! LOL Thank you for your compliments on the Valentine’s things. Yep, I obsess over the small things. Hope your Valentine’s Day was a fun one!
Kelly

Anita - February 16, 2014 - 3:17 pm

Thank you for the lovely post. Us readers are blessed to read your posts! I love the table runner idea. Did you know you can purchase kraft paper at home depot in the painting section. I believe painters use it in drywall application. Anyhow, I use it to make banners etc. It is so inexpensive and fun to use. Have a nice weekend. I have tomorrow off as well as it is Family day here.
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You are too kind Anita! I did know that about the paper, but perhaps some of the readers here didn’t. So thank you for sharing that tip. I purchased mine (well actually our son picked it up for me) at Lowes. It is a good wide paper, but I would like to find one that is not quite so heavy weight. It would be better for wrapping gifts if it were a little thinner. Hope you enjoyed your holiday!
Kelly

Kathy - February 16, 2014 - 8:35 pm

OMGoodness what a fabulous post! We used to love going to Antipasto’s in Waynesville. Yes, that salad was awesome! And, yes, they did close the restaurant. Thanks for bringing back a fun memory. (There is a great restaurant in Sylva called LuLu’s that you would love if you ever make it to Sylva. It was written up in Southern Living.) I loved that one of your sons tried to outsmart the other out of his gift card. (That is so like something I would have done.) I bet your teaching partners LOVE teaching with you and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Your gifts are always so cute, thoughtful, and fun. I want to copy them all. My husband took me to Atlanta for Valentine’s weekend…or I would have seen this post sooner and commented. (We had such a great time. He took me to every place I wanted to go and some places I know were not where he wanted to be. I won’t mention them because those places may someday be your sponsors….I hope!) I bought Annie Sloan paints and waxes and I am so excited to try those out this week. (Katrina lost a dear family member unexpectedly this week but I know she will be commenting when she returns. Thoughts and prayers…love you, Katrina!) Think spring, Kelly!
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I wonder why Antipasto’s closed. They were always so busy on the nights we were there, and the food was always so good. We will give Lulu’s a try the next time we are there. Good for you getting to go to Atlanta for Valentine’s weekend! I would have loved to have done that. My husband says that he hopes you have psychic powers about a sponsor for me! Ha ha.
That is so sad about Katrina. Definitely thoughts and prayers for her and her family. I must be the only one in the country who is not wanting it to be spring. I know everyone is sick of the cold and snow and ice, but I really want a big SNOW here – not ice…snow that covers the pavement and blankets everything in white. We have had cold and ice and just a little frosting of white, but it did not even cover the roads. So while all of you want spring, I am still crossing my fingers for one more snow spell.
Kelly

Louvina - February 16, 2014 - 8:45 pm

I was in Winter Park, FL when I got this post– out celebrating with my daughters by eating at The Cheesecake Factory, viewing the movie “Winter’s Tale” and opening gifts at Star Bucks with our favorite coffee drinks! It was fun looking at your pictures and reading about your lovely Valentine’s Day! I hope some company will pick up on your great gift wrap ideas! I’m glad you have some more winter days off— to do what YOU want to do!!
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Oh I LOVE Cheesecake Factory! Which cheesecake did you get for dessert, or did you try their fabulous tiramisu? And how did you like Winter’s Tale? It looks like a romantic movie, but when I look at Colin Farrell, I can only think of the dad in Saving Mr. Banks – and that doesn’t make me think romance. Perhaps he is a good character in Winter’s Tale? I could use a few more days off to get caught up, but I’m afraid that is not going to happen.
Glad you liked the post!
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - February 16, 2014 - 10:05 pm

Kelly,
You are so right, this post has some great ideas for next year. What fun gift ideas you’ve shared and I loved the way your table looked with the books, boots and gifts.
A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you.
Karen
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Thank you Karen! I thought the table turned out nicely. The school theme was such an easy one to work with, and I had so many things around here that I could pull in for it.
A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!
Kelly

Lynne - February 16, 2014 - 10:14 pm

Can I come to your house for any holiday? Gees… I feel like such a loser! I used to do special things for the lesser holidays when my kids were small but it kind of fell by the wayside as they grew up. I’m not sure why, but now I’m really pondering it. You are awesome! That just looks like a house full of love! Great ideas and lots of time put into every detail!
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Sure, come on by Lynne! There are plenty of things to raid the refrigerator for right now, so you won’t go hungry either.:)
Kelly

Wanda - February 16, 2014 - 11:53 pm

You are amazing!
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Aw thank you, Wanda. I am just resourceful to work with what I’ve got!
Kelly

DiAnne - February 17, 2014 - 9:48 am

Kelly,
You should be a photo/product stylist for Pottery Barn! Such a great post. I live in Sylva, NC. (Kathy’s neighbor). I loved to go to Antipasto’s Restaurant and am sorry it closed. I agree with Kathy, you would love Lulu’s in Sylva if you ever find yourself in these parts.
I am ready for spring!
DiAnne
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Oh that would be such a FUN job, DiAnne! Glad you liked the Valentine’s post. You live in a beautiful area of this country. I will definitely give Lulu’s a try the next time we are in Sylva. Thank you for leaving your comment here!
Kelly

Amy O'Quinn - February 17, 2014 - 2:15 pm

Love all these great ideas and the table setting is perfect! You have got to be the most creative person ever! I have the same ‘little red boots’ ornament from Target and I keep it out all year long. It’s just too cute to put away! :)
Great post as always!
Amy
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Thank you so much Amy! Aren’t those little boots the cutest thing?! I wish I had bought more of them. I waited until the after Christmas sale, and there were only 2 left at that point. I think that is a great idea that you leave them out all year. I might just have to copy you on that!
Kelly

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