Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hey Y'all!

As you probably know by now, I love to cook. But like most, I'm stumped and bored with cooking pretty often.

I've decided to start trying out one new recipe a week, whether it be taken from the Food Network, online, or a recipe I have tucked away in one of my cookbooks. I'll be sharing my new recipes each week, along with other dinners I have planned for the week.

My husband was feeling quite generous last night and I got the remote for a good part of the evening. (Thanks again, Baber!) Paula Deen showed me a few new recipes, but the one that caught my husband's eye (or stomach) was the Beef Macaroni and Cheese recipe. (Click the recipe title to be directed straight to the Food Network, where you can print out the recipe.)

Wayne's Beef Macaroni & Cheese


1-pound box elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 pounds lean ground beef
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon each dried basil, ground cumin, and dried oregano
2 to 3 cups grated Cheddar


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet; add the peppers, onion, and garlic, and saute until soft. Add the ground beef and saute until browned. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the basil, cumin, and oregano. In a large bowl, combine the macaroni and the beef mixture. Spread this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Top with the cheese and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Cook's Note: Ground turkey or chicken can be used in place of beef, if desired.

For the rest of the week:

  • Baked Chicken Thighs seasoned simply with Tony's Chachere's along with coleslaw and green beans

  • Lemon Pepper Tilapia with sauteed mushrooms, cheese & broccoli rice and spicy corn on the cob

  • Chicken Fajitas

  • Beef Macaroni & Cheese leftovers

If you're interested in how I make the dishes above, feel free to ask and I'll happily post.

Cooking with love,

xo Jill

Friday, October 30, 2009

Eye Candy

A couple of cozy fall items I've been eyeing lately:

Crochet Autumn Harvest Wrist Warmers by shendara

These would be perfect to wear at fall fairs with my red turtleneck, boots and jeans.

Slouchy Beret in Cranberry by rottencupcakes

And this beautiful beret would be the perfect finish to that outfit. Maybe I should hint to my husband. Oh wait, I think I already have. ;)

More of my fall favorites here:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grilled Fish and Vintage Necklaces

Weird title, I know. Just catching up on some things I wanted to post.

I took a photo of the redfish J grilled for my birthday. You remember, the one I posted about here?

Isn't this the purtiest thing you've ever seen? This is my favorite of husband's dishes.

I also got an external hard drive from Baber for the laptop, perfect for downloading obscene amounts of new music for my iPod. I'll be sharing my newest downloads soon.

I just posted this necklace, one I'll surely have a hard time parting with:

Hopefully it will go to a good home.

I've also joined PapernStitch this month. Have a looksie and let me know what you think!

Oh, one more thing: I'm doing Santa's Secrets emails starting November 1st. If you want in on secret sales, freebies, new items, and VIP coupons, comment here or email me to add you to the mailing list.

That about wraps up the loose ends in my brain this evening. Thanks for your attention. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We have a winner!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway I had last week on a $10 gift certificate* to my shop.

Sparkling Blueberry Earrings $12

We have a winner - Sydney Szumski, come on down! Sydney has been a regular customer of Jillry for a while now. She's a great supporter of all things Etsy, gotta love that girl!

Congrats Sydney!!

*Gift certificates of any amount are automatically paired with free shipping, even if the purchase is above the certificate amount.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Warm up on a cool night.

Click for recipe --> Baked Potato Soup

Rich, creamy and surprisingly not as fattening as you think. Made with reduced fat milk (I used fat free), low fat cheese & sour cream. Sure, the bacon will get ya, but only if you eat the whole pig.

I made this tonight, a little worried about the lack of flavor using skim milk. No need to worry, husband went back for seconds. I wonder if it was the bacon...

It was perfect for a cool night. Delicious. Enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Birthday Lovelies

Woke up at 6am. Have I mentioned I'm a morning person?

So far I've: Went for a morning walk with the Mini Monster. Visited Hobby Lobby, the post office & the bank. Painted new jewelry pieces. Treated myself to Subway & a movie for lunch. Had a lovely chat with the Avon lady & her little bebe who brought me Christmas goodies.

Tonight: chocolate chip cookie cake, ice cream & presents with the family tonight.

Tomorrow: Babers is taking me on a hot date. To do what? That is the question. :)

Off for more birthday fun. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Last Day of 30

Last year I looked forward to turning 30 while my younger friends moaned about it. This year, I sort of forgot about my birthday. Has it already become "just another day"?

In the past year I've learned:

  • As a thirty-something, I can't wake up in the mornings and just stretch without the possibility of pulling something.
  • That the older I get, the more comfortable I am with the person I've become.
  • Some of the things I hated as a kid are the same things I still hate today.
  • That I hold my tongue less when people wrong me. And it feels good.
  • Who my real friends are.
  • That lipstick is overrated.
  • Being a newlywed is everything I had hoped it would be.

Here's to the last day of being 30, and to "just another day" tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Weather Fun

Things are changing down south. Fall is here and hopefully to stay.

Pops (J's Dad) asked his two sons to go fishing this past Saturday. I was quite lonely but excited at the prospect of some good fish to throw on the grill at their return.

And boy did J catch a fish:

The fish ended up being placed in the freezer for another day; we had plans with my little sis and nephew to hit Octoberfest. Unfortunately I have no photos for this as my newest motto is: enjoy the moment first, take photos second. Okay okay, I didn't want to lug around a camera for crying out loud. I needed my hands for my pockets!

Toot rode several rides and even got J to ride the Scrambler with him. Man I love that ride but it was just entirely too cold to be whizzed around at 80 mph in 40 degree weather.

Monday I made a pot of gumbo.

This is our latest dining experience. (I caught J mid-laugh after his picture protest, isn't he cute?) Occasionally we dine at the kitchen table. We figure we may as well enjoy this for a minute - when we have children it will be the table from then on.

Since its been so beautiful out I've been working on some new projects outside. The Mini Monster loves this.

Her puppy stretches are the cutest.

Its Wednesday, we're almost to the next weekend. Hang in there friends. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fleur de Lovely Earring Giveaway!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on a couple of great giveaways for Jillry!

The initial giveaway - my Fleur de Lovely earrings, held by Kelly of Keeping Up with Kelly.

Head on over to her place to participate!

If you choose to participate in this giveaway, I will place all participants in a drawing of my own this Saturday to win a $10 gift certificate to my shop: Jillry

To win the $10 gift certificiate, simply enter the giveaway at Kelly's blog, then come on over here and leave a message at mine.

1.) One comment noting which piece you like best from my shop gives you one entry in my drawing.

2.) Follow my blog and receive a second entry. You must show up in my "Follow Me" box to the right.

3.) Join my fan page on Facebook for yet another entry! Search "Jillry" or click on my fan box to the right.

Don't forget to leave your email address on your comments.

Good luck to those of you entering Kelly's giveaway & mine as well! Big thanks to Kelly too!

A love greatly missed

Riding in the car with the music loud in the mornings. Oh how I miss that part of working out of the home.

I don't post about things related to religion or faith or spirituality much: I'm a bit of a private person when it comes to those things. However, this morning I read the lovely Lindsey's recent blog post in which she ended with a David Crowder Band song and I thought "Where did that part of my life go?"

Dear KLove, its been two months since I've listened to you regularly. I've missed you so.

Here's one of my favorites. As in chills, play and repeat. (Scroll down and mute my music box on the bottom right first.)

Happy Monday. Enjoy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

For the Love of a Trade

Jill of Blue Serendipity Designs contacted me over the weekend. This talented lady from Ireland and I conversed on and off all weekend on how similiar we are, from our pieces, props to even our names!

We both fell in love with jewelry from each others shops and decided to trade. She mentioned her love of cajun food, so with her new Sparkling Blueberry Earrings and Earth Goddess Ring (below) I'm sending some cajun specialties with love from Louisiana! :)

The gorgeous Midnight Rendevous Necklace I'm anxiously awaiting from her shop:

And the pieces she chose from my shop:

The two pieces above will be relisted in my shop in the next week or so. I'm not sure if the necklace from Jill's shop is one of a kind or not, but she has other stunning pieces so go check her out.

I just love a trade...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bessie Mae Berger, Homeless at 97, Begging on the Streets of L.A.

Her little voice just breaks my heart. I know most would think "Can't the two sons find work somewhere?" I find myself wondering the same.

Bessie Mae Berger, Homeless at 97, Begging on the Streets of L.A.

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love the One You're With

There's no underlying tone here. I'm not saying that even if you aren't happy or in love, still love the one you're with. I'm hitting on the more obvious tone: LOVE the one you're with, and make sure they know you love them.

Baber took me on a date to one of my favorite seafood restaurants a couple of weekends ago. I dressed up, he held my hand, we talked about everything under the moon across a wooden table with beer in our hands. The most fabulous dishes were placed before us and we ooed and ahhed over them. Afterwards, he took a different route on the way home and we ended up on the grounds where we were married just 10 months ago.

It was dark out, so I struggled with being a 'fraidy cat and living in the romantic moment. Okay, so I didn't struggle, I blurted out a few times that someone was going to "get" us, but J grabbed my hand and told me not to ruin this. *snicker*

We walked hand in hand around the beautiful grounds, past the fountains and trees and lighted seating areas. Reminisced about the night we were made husband and wife. I was grinning ear to ear. My husband is spontaneous, so I never know when he's going to pull a romantical stunt on me.

My husband loves me. He doesn't send me flowers all the time, he doesn't buy me gifts. He doesn't dedicate songs to me on the radio. But he loves me, and he does show it.

When we pull in for gas at the local station he always comes out with two banana Laffy Taffys; one for me, one for him, to enjoy together. At night, J turns on my air purifier for me before I even get in the bed. He also lets me spoon him at night, even though he thinks he should be spooning me. On pizza night, he saves the middle pieces for me when we bake one of those brickhouse square pizzas. Even when I object, he still saves them for me. He always does the dishes because he knows how much I despise that chore. When he talks or brags about me to one of his friends or work buddies he always tells me about it later, knowing I would never hear it otherwise.

We should all really pay attention to what we have. Stop nit picking and hanging on what we don't have or what our loved ones don't do for us. Love is shown in so many ways, so many forms. We should appreciate these little moments, acts of affection, ways of giving.

And love the one we're with.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Accident Recipe

Last week I was making our usual Lamonte family BBQ Chicken recipe in the crockpot when I decided I wanted to experiment a little. Some added pineapple chunks and bellpeppers and wallah! A happy accident that the husband and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Pineapple BBQ Chicken or Happy Accident Dish

2 large chicken breasts sliced into two thin pieces (making 4 total "breasts")
1/2 bottle bbq sauce (I used Jack Daniels Honey BBQ)
1 1/2 cup water
1 large can pineapple chunks
1 bell pepper chopped into 1/2 inch squares
garlic powder
red pepper flakes

Place chicken, bbq sauce and water in the crock pot. Set on low heat for 5 hours.

After 5 hours cook time, place bell pepper chunks & entire contents of pineapple can in crock pot. Add dashes of salt, pepper, garlic powder and 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes. Cook for another hour on low.

Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Advertising Swap

So. I'm thinking of growing the blog. Watering it a little, venturing out.

For starters, I was thinking of doing an advertisement swap. Basically a trade on a 150x100 size ad for your blog, shop, or website of choice. Mine on yours, yours on mine. My sidebar could use a little of your pizzaz, don't you think?

I'm offering this free trade for exactly one month. Contact me if you want to do an ad swap. Or just contact me if you have any questions! This could be fun!

For those of you who already selflessly advertise my Jillry shop on your page - you know who you are - just send me your ad if you want to snazzy up my sidebar.

Raring to go,

xo Jill

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'm not Superwoman...

Was feeling quite low yesterday evening. After working most of the day Saturday at the bazaar and coming home to company, I was ruffled a bit with not being able to relax. Sunday I forced myself to do some much needed relaxing, but found myself getting up out of guilt... picking up and tidying, folding clothes here and there.

Monday and Tuesday I was overwhelmed with orders and a messy house. Undone chores and to-dos piling up. Went for my usual walks in the evening with Mini and friend, came home to showers and swollen feet.

I felt old and exhausted. I lost it a little.

Asking for help is hard for me. I want to be able to do it all. Though I want help, I don't want to ask for it. I feel since I can see the work needing to be done, that others should be able to see it as well. Eventually the laundry piles up and I'm in tears because I just can't fold another stitch.

Happens to the best of us, right?

Today I took it easy. My hair is in bed-head effect still and I don't care. I watched Pride & Prejudice this morning - not while making jewelry, just laid up on the couch and watched it, uninterrupted. That two hour "me time" did me a world of good.

This morning my husband left me a message that made the day even better. Received it while making his pasta salad for lunch the rest of the week. It read: Thanks for taking care of me. I really do appreciate it even though I might not show it much. I love you soooo much. Can't wait to come home and see my little family.

Yeah, I love him.

The point of all this? *deep breath* Ask for help. As women, its hard enough to ask... let alone ask for the same help all the time. Still, the resentment will catch hold of your heart if you don't.

And besides, we all need a break sometimes. Take one. You deserve it.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What I've been up to today

*rubbing hands together*

If I could eat these beads, I would.

Hungry? Lots of fresh jewelry here:

Be sure to check back later this week for a giveaway that's way past due!

Monday, October 05, 2009

An Amazing Weekend

The Bazaar on Saturday was a-ma-zing! (Yes, I'm a Rachal Zoe clone this A.M.) Here are a couple of booth shots:

I've been feeling very protective of my work lately so I feel vulerable posting these pics. However, there's so much GOOD in this business.... so much support, friendship, and just plain JOY that it overrides the aggravation of copycats.

The bazaar was a huge success. I went home feeling straight up giddy and with a much lighter jewelry case! Now I must get my butt in gear for the parties and shows I have coming up. Where does hubby keep his energy pills again....

Below is a photo of my new favorite piece! I RARELY keep anything from my collection for myself and I finally put my foot down on this one. It all started years ago when customers began purchasing items off my neck, which I think is a hoot! Still, it made most of my personal creations temporary. Someone asked for this one yesterday and I love it so much that I was able to say NO. Eat your heart out! ;)

The bazaar was located just one town over from my town and I saw so many of my old friends from high school. It was so nice to visit with them, to catch up from the years lost and see their creativity. Oh and I felt very much like a princess that day: J dropped me off in the morning, but not before helping us set the bulk of the booth up and then coming back to tear it down that evening. Didn't break one nail. ;)

Sunday was filled with a whole lot of nothing, which we enjoyed like you wouldn't believe. It rained all day so we spent most of the day inside, snuggling in for a small nap, watching football, reading a book a regular customer lended me - Hi Christy!! - and I even did a little tidying in the craft room. A much needed break.

How was your weekend? Hope it was happy as mine. :)

Much love & hugs. And of course, Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Finding Happy in the Small Things

This morning started off great. My calendar now has only 2 more spots open for jewelry parties or shows, which makes me feel comfortable financially. The only downfall to this business is the worry of the month to come. Sure, we'll pay our bills, have money to save and play with, but I have goals for myself and I am affected emotionally if I don't make that goal. No one wants a depressed artist living with them, trust me.

I thought I'd make a list of things that make me happy TODAY. Things that are small, that may be insignificant to others but that make me giddy and warm inside. I'd love to read what makes you happy, so please feel free to post yours in the comment section!

Finding Happy

1. Waking up in a freezing room with a personal heater in the bed. (That heater being the hubby.) Makes me want to snuggle all day!

2. Morning showers. There's a large window on the wall of my shower which is frosted, so we have no curtain on it. The sunlight pours in that window in the mornings, so much so that I don't even turn a light on in the bathroom. Its just so pretty and starts my day off right.

3. Being on a "diet" and actually having CHOICES in the house. There's nothing worse than trying to eat healthy and having to pass up the toaster strudels for plain old toast. This morning I had PB on wheat with sliced banana and honey. How could I not be happy after a breakfast like that?

4. When J gets off work early. Now that I work from home, I can take off for a spontaneous outing with him. Yesterday he came home in the early afternoon, so we had a little adventure on a new trail to the river. There wasn't a soul out, except for three large white egrets that would perch until we got closer, moving up the river and settling until we approached them again. I love that we can do things like that together now, during a time of the day when its quiet.

5. My crockpot. Simply enough, I love the thing. :)

Hope everyone is having a great day! Again, please share your happy things.

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