Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Front Door Decor

Here in Texas it's hot. Especially here in South East Texas where it's so humid you literally feel like you are living in an armpit. To say the weather is unpleasant is an understatement to say the least. Since we Texans deal with this for about 8 months (which is at least how long our summer is) we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of our long lost friend fall.

This weekend the hubby went on a camping trip to test out his manly skills so I decided to have a little fun :). When the husband is away, the wife will play! I decided if I decorated for fall, maybe it would decide to visit a little early (fingers crossed).

Now, when we moved into the house we currently live in, it was in BAD shape. Seriously, I'm pretty sure the last people that lived there hadn't done any cleaning, yard work, or home improvement in about 10 years because it was NAS-TAY. We are working really hard on it and the house is looking a million and one times better, but one thing that still needs a lot of help is our front porch. Just check out the before picture below and you will know why I thought this was the perfect place to start with my decorations.

So, to start off I went on a little browsing trip to Wal-Mart looking for some supplies to make my fall decor. I actually found quite a bit of stuff which was surprising to me considering the Wal-Mart in our home town is usually extremely picked over and unorganized. I must have caught them right when they were putting everything out. All in all this decor project cost less than $50 and I think it came out pretty darn cute!

To start off, I knew I needed a wreath. I already had a bunch of wooden wreaths left over from our wedding (enter 8 wreaths that are taking over our guest room) so I was good there but I still needed decorations to g along with it. Luckily, I found some leaf sting type things (sorry my description is failing miserably.... just check out the picture) for about $2. Two came in a pack so I picked that up and went on my way. If you don't have a million wreaths left over in your guest room you can pick one up at Hobby Lobby for $5.

Next I found a cute welcome mat for $10 (not really fall, but still cute) and some plastic pumpkins. Plastic pumpkins are  SO MUCH CHEAPER and are better than real pumpkins because they won't rot. I found a nice green one for $4 and some little ceramic ones with sayings on them for $2.

Finally I found a cute little scare crow pot holder for $14 and an orange colored plant to go with it for $3. I already had some pots at home but if you don't have any, you can get one for about $2-$3.

With all my fall goods (and a little more!) I was on my way home to decorate!

To start, I grabbed my wreath and attached the leaves. You can use whatever you want to attach it. I used floral tape and just hid it behind the leaves so it wouldn't show. I also found a little wooden W in my craft box that I stuck on there (if you buy these they are about $1). The wreaths still had green tull bows on them from our wedding so I left that on there and fluffed it up a little.

My little ceramic pumpkins were already ready to go, but I still wanted to fluff up my green plastic pumpkin a little. Since I LOVE monogramming things :) I decided to draw a little W on it. It was quick and looked so cute (if you ignore that it was slightly crooked). I used a white paint pen for this but you can also use regular paint or a sharpie (just whatever you have lying around).

After I finished the plastic pumpkin it took about 5 min to set everything up. This was by far one of my favorite crafts because it was so simple AND it barely took any time at all. I was done with this in less than 30 min (including shopping time) and was ready to lounge on the couch the rest of the day. :)

I hope you enjoy decorating for fall as much as I did! The final price on this was about $39, take that Martha Stewart!
Thursday, September 5, 2013

Roasted Okra

Hello everyone! It's been awhile since I have given you a quick and easy side recipe to make. I love this recipe because it doesn't have very many ingredients, is easy to make, and can really go with almost any meal.

Did I mention how good roasted okra is? Before trying this I had only ever had fried okra. We southerners love our fried food so I didn't think this would be very good. Let me tell you... fried okra totally pales in comparison with roasted okra. It's so good! If you like okra, you won't be disappointed and even if you don't give it a try! It kind of tasted like a french fry (the crunchy & salty part)!

When making this I usually buy a whole box of okra and we eat the whole thing in 1 night. YUM.

-fresh okra (as much or as little as you want)
-olive oil
-sea salt (you can use regular salt but it tastes SO MUCH BETTER with sea salt)

To make this preheat your oven to 425. I like to cut my okra into bite sized pieces but it can be made whole if you would like. I would definitely cut the tops off to make it easier to eat.

Next, lay your okra out on a foil lined pan and drizzle with olive oil. I always take a cooking brush and rub the olive oil on evenly but if you don't have one you can just move the okra around the pan until it's all coated. Finally sprinkle your okra with sea salt and pepper to your taste preferences. I never measure here, I just sprinkle it on like I would normally sprinkle salt and pepper on food. Here is what it should look like:

Bake your okra for 10-15 minutes. Here is what the finished product looks like:

YUM! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as a do! Leave your feedback in the comments below!

This recipe has been adapted from The Key Ingredient.