Family Updates!

Hey, y’all! What’s up? :) :)
Wow, I could write a bajillion updates (or at least 8 posts) at this point with all of the photos I’ve taken in the last month or two!

I will show you a few highlights, though; it’ll be a condensed overview of what could be 8 individual updates.

(I may double back at a later date to show you actual step by step tutorials on each of the 8 the projects and step by step recipe details, in individual posts.)

1) We made a fun, colorful “puff quilt,” by following this tutorial link: http://handmade-europe.com/2011/11/22/tutorials-quilts Remind me to tell you the backstory of these fabrics sometime!
IMG_1343.JPG

IMG_1342.JPG

IMG_1344.PNG

2) Garden:
a)My garden, especially the pepper garden, has been flourishing!
b) I submitted one of photos of my peppers to P. Allen Smith’s #ArkansasGrown photo contest and was selected as one of the weekly winners. I received a great prize package in the mail shortly thereafter!
c) I sure enjoy late season rose blooms and playing around with photo editing apps!

IMG_1346.JPG

IMG_1347.JPG

IMG_1345.PNG

3) One of my favorite herbs this year is Pineapple Sage! I bought it as a little starter Bonnie plant, and it has grown to 3′-4′. I’ve especially liked using it in “Brown Butter Sage Chicken!” I cook it until the Sage gets crispy! Yummm! I follow this recipe link: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/5-minute-brown-butter-chicken-and-crispy-sage.html

IMG_1352.PNG

4) In house decor news, I’ve purchased a new pair of long sofas for the living room and a new coffee table. I posted our old sectional sofa on Craigslist and Facebook to sell, and it sold the first day. However, it’ll be 6-8 weeks until the new LaZBoy sofas arrive! Oops! Haha! The coffee table has arrived, though:

IMG_1348.JPG

5) We also decided to paint the ceilings in the foyer, living room, and office a dark green! It doesn’t darken the room, but it does make the 10′ ceilings seem even higher! The Living Room has windows that are almost floor to ceiling spanning one wall, lights in the ceiling fan, and a pair of wall sconces, so it is sufficiently bright! Here it is:

IMG_1350.JPG

IMG_1351.JPG

IMG_1349.JPG

6) Our 3 girls are all flourishing! We received their benchmark standardized test scores from Spring testing; Caroline and Abigail have “Wow’d” me again! They both scored hundreds of points above state averages in Literacy. They also BOTH scored in the upper 90-99th percentile in every subject, nationally. Amazing, just amazing little girls they are! Caroline, 7th grade, has been invited to participate in Duke University’s talent identification program (TIP!) YaY!! Veronica, 3, stays busy playing with building blocks, puzzles, and her Nabi tablet, patiently waiting to be old enough to take standardized tests, too! Love:

IMG_1357.JPG

7) What else? Oh, yeah! We reupholstered another chair! I asked Baby Veronica to me find something green in Hancock Fabric Store, and she picked this green butterfly upholstery fabric, so we went with green butterfly fabric for the chair that sits in the foyer. It’s kind of an entry way into the library. We also covered the desk shroud! See:

IMG_1355.JPG

IMG_1354.JPG

IMG_1353.JPG

IMG_1356.PNG

8) This morning, Mitch got up early to make Cinnamon Sticky Buns from scratch for us girls! Lucky, lucky girls we are!! I sure love him! He used the recipe from this link: http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/21461/ooey-gooey-cinnamon-buns

IMG_1323.JPG

So, that’s what’s been going on around here!

I hope autumn is going well for you and yours, too!

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

A Blogland Halloween Party!

You’re invited!

IMG_8280.JPG

For all of the details, glorious photos, and fun stories, pop over to AFancifulTwist.com’s invitation!

You know Vanessa, right? Great!! If not, boy are you in for a treat to discover her site!!

Join us all on our blogs for wonderful a Halloween posts of all variety! Links to blogs hosting a Halloween party on October 25th will be on the left sidebar of Vanessa’s site, A Fanciful Twist! :) :)

Your Friend,
~Amber

“Newsworthy!” It’s HOT outside!

IMG_0900.JPG
With temps in the mid and upper 90s and heat indexes beyond that, everyone wants to talk weather! Whew! It’s hot out there!! #arkansas
IMG_0895.JPG
While I may be grumpy about feeling like I’m melting in the heat, my pepper plants are absolutely LOVING this weather! We’re having a bumper crop from our pepper plants! (These are all from Bonnie Plants that we planted in early spring and babied through late frosts!) I see red mexibells, golden cayenne, lots of cowhorns, lots of serranos, and few jalapeños. LOVE!

IMG_0897.JPG
In other news, Veronica, age 3, unbothered by the heat, weather or pepper, continues to entertain us all with her antics. Tonight, she put on quite the fashion show by dressing up in ALL of her jewels and parading around through the house whilst declaring herself to be “fancy!” LOVE!

We also finished our quilt! New post, soon! I promise!

Love,
~Amber

Linked:
http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/sunday-link-august-31-2014

Roadside Watermelon

20140803-193340.jpg
I’m a pretty content chick.
I stay pretty happy and just go with the flow.
But, one thing makes me EXTRA happy every year!
Do you know what makes me so happy?
Roadside WATERMELON sales!!
Love, love, love summer in Arkansas!
I’m in the Capitol city of Arkansas, Little Rock.
This time of year, farmers from more rural counties bring truckloads of watermelons into the city to sell, and I. LOVE. IT.
Love it, love it, love it soooo much!
I love how fresh and flavorful the melons are.
I love how friendly the farmers are.
I love the big hand painted signs that get used year after year.
I love all of it so much!
I know, Arkansas grows lots of rice, soybeans (edamame), peaches, pecans, pumpkins, and more here, and I love them, too, but it’s the WATERMELONS that get me really excited!
Right now, as I type, I know of multiple locations that are starting to sell Arkansas watermelons and I’m SO EXCITED!
As a family of 5, we’ll eat one or two a week every week until the season ends and my beloved watermelon trucks are replaced by my also beloved pumpkin trucks.
It’s officially watermelon season in Arkansas!
I Live it!

20140803-193543.jpg

PS
This post will link with some great blog hops this week!
Pop into the parties at these links:
ArkansasWomenBloggers ~ Sunday Link Up
SavvySouthernStyle ~ Wow Us Wedsnesdays #181

Blueberry Pretzel Salad!

20140803-163145.jpg

20140803-163155.jpg

Happy Sunday, y’all! How was your weekend? Ours was awesome! Yesterday, I went to an estate sale, had lunch at Purple Cow diner and then spent the afternoon with Mitch, our girls, my dad, Tammy, and a few nephews. Today, I visited another estate sale this morning and bought a cute little hand painted bowl, grocery shopped, have had a parade of my daughters’ friends stopping by to see Abigail’s newly redecorated room, and am now making this yummy, yummy treat!

This year, we grew enough blueberries to eat a few fresh, shared some with the birds (not by choice), and we froze the rest. Today, we decided to put some to use in a BLUEBERRY PRETZEL SALAD! It’s great as a snack or dessert!

Using whatever fruit is seasonal, make a delicious Jell-O dessert that is sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy by adapting this easy recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup melted butter
4 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
1 (6 oz) packages Berry Blue Jell-O gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water + 2 cups cool water
1 pound of frozen blueberries (mine are from my garden, frozen)

Easy Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Make Jell-O with water per package instructions.
Take off burner and stir in blueberries. Set aside to cool.
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and the 4 tablespoons of sugar.
Press pretzel mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes.
Set aside on wire rack to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar
Fold whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
Once crust and Jell-O is cool you are ready to put your salad together!
On pretzel crust, spread cream cheese mixture evenly then pour Jello with strawberries on top
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until well set.

Notes:
Please be sure to spread cream cheese mixture evenly and up against the edges of the pan…this will ensure that the Jell-O will not seep to the bottom under the pretzel crust. Also, kids LOVE helping with several steps of this recipe! Enjoy!

(For the strawberry version from which this was adapted, visit Strawberry Pretzel Salad at Women Living Well.)

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

20140803-163344.jpg

20140803-163358.jpg
image

PS
This post will link with some great blog hops this week!
Pop into the parties at these links:
ArkansasWomenBloggers ~ Sunday Link Up
my1929charmer ~ Sunday’s Best Par-Tay #64
Rattlebridge Farm ~ Foodie Friday

Abigail’s Room, 100 yards of Fabric Later!

20140730-191503.jpg
It’s been really hot (for Arkansas) during the last few days with heat indexes over 100* and intense humidity, but we’re having some sort of unusual cold front today and tomorrow with temps only in the 80s. It’s so nice! I’ve turned off our AC, turned on fans, and opened the windows for the day!

My 100 yards of sheer “butterfly” chiffon/voile fabric that I ordered online from Ronnie Home Textile for daughter Abigail’s windows and canopies arrived. (Abigail is nine years old.) The fabric is even better than I anticipated it to be from the photos online! It’s soooo soft and drapes splendidly! Abigail LOVES the vibrant butterfly design that repeats up both sides of the fabric!

20140730-191600.jpg

Then, our project began! Lol! Oh, my!! I totally underestimated just how much time it would actually take ME to cut and sew all of these panels! (We covered one big wall of windows, and made floor to ceiling canopies for the two daybeds in her room! = 15 white butterfly panels that are floor to ceiling length, 4 solid hot pink panels of the same length, and 4 turquoise butterfly canopy panels at 27′ each!) Wow! Not having a proper studio space, I scooted our dining room and laid it all out on the floor and then took to sewing on the kitchen counter. We were destined to eat fast food for dinner a time or two, but the outcome was worth the sacrifice! I made pretty good time, though, and got it all done in less than three days only working sporadically with three daughters underfoot. That three day time period also included making the three long wall curtain rods!

20140730-191705.jpg
I used glass doorknobs and electrical conduit as curtain rods to mimic the ones I liked at a Bedding and Bath big box store. Theirs were like $129 each for the lengths we needed; we made them for about $12 each! The conduit came in ten foot lengths, we left one full length and trimmed two of them to eight feet, spray painted black satin (in our driveway) to cover the steel and brass, then epoxied the door knobs into the conduit! Yay! Easy, peasey, and saved hundreds of dollars!!

20140730-191848.jpg

20140730-191859.jpg

Her room is actually painted a vibrant purple, which only shows here and there. Her room is mostly fabric, now! It’s amazing! I told her it reminded me of the inside of Jeannie’s bottle. She had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently, she’s never seen the show “I Dream of Jeannie!”

In her room, she also has a few other neat features, particularly her neon sign from my dad’s (her Pop’s) sign shop, a purple dollhouse that we’re still working to complete, shelves of photos, … :)

20140730-192039.jpg

20140730-192051.jpg

20140730-192102.jpg

20140730-192116.jpg

20140730-192134.jpg

So, what do you think of our new 100 yards of fabric we’ve added to her room this week?
I think we’re going to add l.e.d. twinkle lights to the canopies next, and add a few big plants on either side of the white shelving. I’ll update this post with photos when we do!

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

20140730-191503.jpg

This post will link with some great blog hops this week!
Pop into the parties at these links:
ArkansasWomenBloggers ~ Sunday Link Up
my1929charmer ~ Sunday’s Best Par-Tay #64
SavvySouthernStyle ~ Wow Us Wedsnesdays #181
FromMyFrontPorchToYours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
SweetBellaRoos ~ Pin It Thursdays
MyRepurposedLife ~ Catch As Catch Can #175
FunkyJunkInteriors ~ PJ 259

Jewels Behind the Scenes become the Scene!

My poor, lucky husband is so outnumbered cohabitating with me and our three daughters. He’s such a good sport about it, especially considering that I have the audacity to leave a path of personal accessories in my wake throughout the house intermittently throughout the day.

I wear jewelry everyday. Sometimes, when I remove it, I’m not near my jewelry chests in our master bedroom, so I’ve taken to adorning miscellaneous places to suit my fancy of the moment as I remove it, lately. For example, if one were to feel heated after wearing a heavy stone necklace outdoors to water the garden, it makes sense to remove it when returning indoors. If said stone necklace looks fab adorning a cross atop the fireplace mantle in the dining room, then it is only logical it should reside there. Right? Right!!

20140722-212809.jpg

And, Earrings dangling from a bowl above a new book that just arrived in mail because I took the earrings off while using the phone look great on the bowl . . .

20140722-212912.jpg

. . . Furthermore, a black shell floral necklace and an oversized gold floral bracelet hanging from leaf plates on the dining room sideboard because I took them off while clearing the table after dinner should stay on display.

20140722-213057.jpg

The plan: I have multiple jewelry jewelry chests with jewelry organized by color and theme for each drawer that is only seen by me, unless worn. While it stays protected, it sure is a shame that the beauty of the pieces is largely unseen, thus unappreciated, by my daughters and me while tucked away. So, for at least the next few weeks, I’m wearing a new piece or two from the chests each day and adorning a new spot in the house!

20140722-213010.jpg

I have a big chandelier in the foyer hanging snugly to our 10′ ceilings that sure looks like it for awhile it may need vintage colored pearls and rhinestone brooches on ribbons and . . . :) What do YOU think? Should I just GO for it? I think I shall!!

Oh! Oh! Oh! Speaking of jewelry adorning things, I almost forgot to show you a little jewel I purchased for a few dollars at an estate/moving sale recently: it’s a heavily lacquered painting on wood that is inlaid with mother-of-pearl/abalone shell! It features three young ladies in an orchard, so I immediately connected it to represent our three daughters in our backyard with their big
walnut, little apple, and 3 peach trees! Love it, love it, love it, I do!

20140722-213321.jpg

:) Looking forward to hearing from YOU!
Your Friend that wore a Batman tshirt with a shiva shell/fossil coral/smokey topaz silver necklace today,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

>

Stuffed Dates Re-Invented!

20140718-205858.jpg

Y’all, I love to give to a precise, technical recipe, but that’s not how this one went down. I saw a cool story/recipe about stuffed dates and decided to use the same ingredients in a slightly different way, because I just couldn’t find the time to stuff all of the dates individually, but I was drooling about using those flavors and textures together!

So here’s what I did:
I baked a traditional, flour based pie shell.
I softened 8 oz cream cheese.
I mixed in a few Tbsp of local honey and a tsp of cinnamon.
I folded in about 1.5 cups chopped walnuts.
I folded in about a pound of pitted dates, cut into quarters.
I spread the mix into my pre-baked pie shell.
I used a few leftover dates and walnuts to make a cute heart shape on top!
Fam and I ate it! LOVED it!!

Photos:

20140718-205948.jpg

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

This post will link with some great blog hops this week!
Pop into the parties at these links:
FromMyFrontPorchToYours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
SweetBellaRoos ~ Pin It Thursdays
SavvySouthernStyle ~ Wow Us Wedsnesdays #181
RattlebridgeFarm ~ Foodie Friday

Table For Two! It’s my Birthday!

20140717-152036.jpg
Happy Birthday to Me!
I’m 36, today!
My husband is making my favorite lamb dinner for me, tonight!
Knowing this, as a surprise for me, my middle daughter, Abigail, age 9, set a “fancy” table for two featuring “lovebirds” while my oldest, Caroline, 12, watched after my youngest, 3, so I could shower and dress uninterrupted by 3 year old Veronica.
I am in awe of the beautiful table and display she’s put together for me! So, I’ve snapped a few pics and editted on my iPhone pretty quickly to share with YOU!
She promises not to go into the china cabinets again without permission, but assures me she knows how special these things are to me and handled them all carefully, one at a time, because it’s my Birthday!
I LOVE my girls, so much!

20140717-152201.jpg

20140717-152223.jpg

20140717-152234.jpg

20140717-152250.jpg

20140717-152306.jpg

20140717-152323.jpg

20140717-152338.jpg

20140717-152349.jpg

20140717-152404.jpg

More Later!
:)
~Amber

>

BANANA PEPPER POPPERS!

20140714-183513.jpg

Q: what should I do with a bumper crop of Banana Peppers from my little garden?
A: I should stuff them and bake them!

Q: what should I stuff them with?
A: a mix of softened cream cheese, crumbled bacon, & fresh chives!

Q: should I top them with anything?
A: grated sharp cheddar cheese, of course!

Q: how long should I bake them?
A: a 375*F for about 10 minutes, then with broiler for a couple more!

20140714-183610.jpg

20140714-183702.jpg

:)

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

More questions?
Just ask!
I’m here!

Feel free to pin, fb, tweet it, etc!

20140714-183757.jpg

20140714-183513.jpg

PS
This post will link with blog hops!:
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesdays
IvyAndElephants ~ What’s It Wednesdays #127
MigonisHome ~ Everyday Enchanting #6
FromMyFrontPorchToYours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday #164
MizHelensCountryCottage ~ Full Plate Thursday
SweetBellaRoos ~ Pin It Thursday
FiveLittleChefs ~ Fantastic Thursdays
RattlebridgeFarm ~ Foodie Friday

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 92 other followers