a mention, a recipe, and a date recovered

Ever since bringing home my fireplace mantel it’s been the story I’ve loved telling…Pottery Barn…gave.it.to.me.

Unheard of…

So when one of my favorite bloggers, Layla at The Lettered Cottage began running a feature on mantels I thought I’d send her the story and a picture…I mean not only was it free but it had just recently been given a little bit more glam.

Imagine my giddy self when she wrote back joining in on my happy dance over the freebie that really made our dining room.

Are you picturing it?

In all it’s glorified dorkiness?

If you’re having trouble let me add a minor detail. I have no moves…zip, nadda, nothing.

You get the picture…dorky.

Now imagine my happy dance on fast forward when I headed over to The Lettered Cottage on Friday and low and behold…there was my story and mantel included in her mantel mania post…for everyone to do a happy dance with me over!!!



She’s done that twice now.

Made my day.

This was the second time.

The first time was when she posted about this amazing table face-lift (which you can see here and here) that brought a nearly 4 year beg fest to an abrupt end.

All it took was seeing pictures of Layla’s amazing table to convince the hubby that painting my dining room table would up it’s visual anti.

So double thanks Layla!!!

Saturday was fairly routine…naps, meals, picking up messes…however Sunday brought a little bit more fun to the weekend’s end.

After church I headed to the grocery store for well, groceries. And Sunday being soup day I decided that I would attempt to recreate Hope’s favorite Annie’s soup…the Barley and Veg one.

No pictures during because I really didn’t know what I was doing…but let me tell ya…it is good.

Plus it’s infinitely cheaper than buying one can as we’ll be getting three meals out of it plus some left over to freeze. Deal.

So here’s my Barley N’ Stars recipe plus a picture of the finished product…


1 cup pearled barley

1 cup star pasta (this was my addition to make it fun for Hope)

2 yellow squash

4 Roma tomatoes

1 can of peas (I know…and this may gross you out, it did me too at first…but I actually wanted the olive green color so they’d match the peas in Annie’s version)

½ onion diced

2 garlic cloves minced

20-30 baby carrots sliced into carrot coins

Garlic salt…no wonder Hope wants garlic in everything

Onion powder

1 Tblspoon dried chives

1 Tablespoon parsley

1 Tablespoon of this chicken seasoning I buy from Sunflower Market

1 box of low-sodium chicken broth

5-6 cups of water…the pasta will eventually soak so much of it up so you’ll just need to keep an eye on it and season more or less depending on how much broth you’d like

*You could also add a few chicken breasts to this…diced.


1. Chop it all up.

2. Throw it in the seasoned and boiling broth/water; let boil on high, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

3. Turn heat down, cover and let simmer for at least another 30 minutes.

4. Serve and enjoy!!!

OH! By the way…I forgot to include one small bag of frozen green beans to the Hamburger Soup recipe. SORRY! Just throw them right in the pot and let em cook with all the other veggies!

Now on to Sunday night…for several months we had been planning on attending the David Crowder, Mercy Me…Jesus loving musical extravaganza down at the World Arena. Months.

As in we actually arranged in advance for my sister to come over and stay with the little people so we could go on a date…

Sweet, precious Seth had other thoughts…actually his tooth had other thoughts.

Any other night the little mister would be out cold right after his last feeding but last night that darn little tooth was causing him grief. Poor little guy!!!

Didn’t make it out the door until 7:30 (the show started at 6) and with a 25 minute drive ahead of us we scooted in the door as the stage was being set up for Mercy Me.

That’s when the call came…this never happens…he’s usually too preoccupied with smiling, screeching like a dinosaur, or sleeping…he was wailing.

So we loaded up and headed home. En route we determined a date at home could be just as fun…so after a quick stop at our local big box store we picked up some of this…I’m not even going to attempt to describe this to you…just go buy some and you can thank me later!

And this…because it’s Alex’s absolute favorite…

This game…$1.97

This game…$3.67

And a few Starbucks’ fraps…because with the ice cream and all we didn’t feel like we were quite maxing out our sugar intake…and apparently we really wanted to.

Once the little guy was in bed we settled into ours with our goodies, as Hope would call them, fired up old Office episodes from last season that we had missed, and played a hand of Go Fish then two rounds of Toss Up!

Go Fish is Go Fish and it’s always a good one…but we had no idea how grand this little 10 dice game Toss Up! would be. Money well spent.

So even though the evening started out a little differently that we’d hoped it ended with laughs, amazing ice cream, and quality time. That’s what a date is all about anyway isn’t it?

On another note, with all this excitement over The Lettered Cottage, soup, and games I’m apologizing that I didn’t get Kathy’s interview up today…tomorrow…I give my word…plus…dare I say it…a give away!!! I know…I wish I could enter…


2 Responses to “a mention, a recipe, and a date recovered”

  1. Susan Says:

    Your #1 read had better win this giveaway. I’d better, ya hear? 🙂
    And basically your famous so when you send my amazing gift please send your autograph as well.. no one will believe me otherwise.
    And I’m so glad the date went well.. what.. no pics of your shirt?! 🙂

    • Stacey Says:

      Susan…I may be off on this…and even though you are my most loyal reader and I’d like to profusely thank you for your continued support and encouragement…but I think that’s “against the rules”…as in rigging the giveaway isn’t a good idea…as in, if you win fair and square I’ll do a backflip but if you don’t you may just have to let.it.go. :0)!!! HA!!! I sure get a kick out of reading your comments though everyday!!!

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