My Casa Bella

COME IN THE EVENING, OR COME IN THE MORNING;

COME WHEN YOU'RE LOOK'D FOR,

OR COME WITHOUT WARNING.

KISSES AND WELCOME YOU'LL FIND BEFORE YOU,

AND THE OFTENER YOU COME HERE

THE MORE I'LL ADORE YOU!

-Thomas Osbourne Davis



Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.





















Sunday, December 4, 2011

Things I "Love"

This time of year when I find myself cooking and baking more I realize how much I enjoy kitchen "toys".
My DH bought me an Emeril Stainless Steel pots and pan set which I've waited for many years
(sorry for the picture quality)

Then for one of our anniversary's he bought me this wonderful thing that I've always wanted

(Exact color too)
I use it all the time. I have friends and family that own one and they told me they hardly use it because it's too heavy to move around or it doesn't scrap up at the bottom of the bowl, but I got it anyways and I LOVE it.
I have the perfect place on the counter for it so I don't have to move it around to use it.
Today I plan to make Gluten Free Cherry Walnut Oatmeal cookies and I'm using this baby for it.
DH also bought me a Knife set that we purchased at Kohl's, it's the Food Network brand of stainless steel knives, I couldn't find a picture of it, but oh my, I didn't realize how dull my other knives were until I pulled these babies out.
On the first try I sliced a nail off!
Don't worry, no bleeding involved, thank goodness.
They slice like butter, it's amazing!
And last but NOT least my parents bought me this wonderful time saver

I use this Cuisinart all the time, I'd cry if it ever broke down.
So yes, I get excited about kitchen gadgets like I do about shoes and clothes, so I have to stay out of those stores.
What are your favorite Kitchen gadgets?
(I know I said in a previous post I won't be posting as much because of time, well, looks like I have some to spare)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Getting More Done:


We recently got rid of our DirecTV and signed on for Netflix instead, that was a tough decision to make since I enjoy the Cooking Shows and HGTV plus the TCM channels as well but we wanted to make some changes and find time somewhere in our crazy schedules to be able to do more. Plus the price of TV these days is absurd and we thought it best to put that money towards gas since we are on the road quite a bit.
Now that we've been without TV I find that I don't miss it. On Netflix I get to choose the movies and shows that I WANT to watch and I'm watching movies I've never even heard of.
I also am getting more reading done, I finally purchased the
I found it at a local antiques store, I am missing two books which I will have to find.
As a little girl I watched Little House on the Prairie and loved it so much, I often wished I lived during those times, life was hard for them but they enjoyed work, family, worship and used their time wisely.
Today so many of us waste time in front of the TV, computer or playing video games all day long. They used their hands then, made their own things, learned so many trades, I'm not complaining, we have amazing technology now and can get more accomplished in a more timely manner, but we also waste a lot of time too and we don't even realize it.
Anyway, I at times say I was born in the wrong era and yet I'm amazed how far man has come since then.
But, my point was, I am enjoying more reading and doing more projects around the house here and learning another language with my DH. We're having a good time, busy but a satisfying busy. 
I didn't realize how much time I was wasting until now.

Friday, December 2, 2011

So Much To Say, So Little Time

As you can see, I've posted so very little these past few months.
Our lives here have suddenly taken on a very busy
course, like so many of you,
so busy that I don't have time to sit and play on the computer
and read some of my favorite blogs.
I also don't have time to write on my own blog.
Is this good-bye?
Not right now, every now and then I will post, but if it is far and
few in between, then it may one day be.
So you won't see many new posts, maybe once a month, maybe
more, we shall see!

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Design Ideas

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last blogged, it's amazing how time flies right by when you're so busy that you forget which way to come and go at times.
But that's OK, it's been a very good busy, learning a lot, traveling a lot and making new wonderful friends.
So our house has not sold and we wanted a break so we took it off the market and we're going to wait to Spring to decide what to do.
In the meantime, I'm thinking of repainting our guest room.
Right now it is a buttery yellow
Not sure if the picture shows it well, but, I purchased some fabric quite a while ago to use in our bedroom, but I changed my mind and decided to use it in the guest room,
 
It is a cream background with brown swirls and I have another just like it except it's a brown background with cream swirls.
The bedding is white with brown trim, so I thought of painting the walls in brown, with white trim and making the windown treatments out of this fabric and using the other fabric as throw pillows and shams.
This room only gets the morning sun, so it's nice a bright but only until about lunch time, so I'm concerned of the room being too dark.
I love these pictures:
courtesy of country living
courtesy of Omahlicious
This room is by far my favorite but it looks nothing like my guest room....:(
courtesy of Decopad
This bedding looks similar to what I already have

So anyway, I've been searching for ideas, but Hubby thinks maybe I shouldn't paint it so dark in case it would scare a buyer away later, but I say, "if it's decorated beautifully then they won't even notice"
well, we shall see.
So what do you think?
Paint the walls dark brown or more of a neutral?
If neutral, what were you thinking?
I'd like to do this by early next week,
HA! Yes, I'm being optimistic!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pumpkin MIA

(image by Mariquita Farm)
So my dearest friend Valerie asked me if  I've seen any
canned pumpkin at the grocery store lately?
I didn't notice, I told her. So the following week I went to the
market to get some canned pumpkin for a few
recipes and sure enough,
"item out of stock".
HMMMM, that's strange.
So we went to NYC this past weekend and I thought while I
was there I'd see if I could get some canned
pumpkin.
Went to Trader Joe's and they said it's not in season just
yet.
So we went to Stop 'N Shop in Queens, NY
the same thing
"item not in stock".
The very next morning it was on the News:
PUMPKIN SHORTAGE!
Oh no, you know what that means, when they come into the
stores, people will be stocking up on them,
and I will be one of those people!
So disappointing, I LOVE pumpkin, I love it in so many ways
and I can't have any of it right now!
Had I known that, I would of planted some in our
garden!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Amazing place!

This truly is the one place that relaxes me
and makes me slow down
and take a breather and reflect on my life.
Allows me to meditate and
appreciate all that I have and not take for granted
those around me.
We just returned from O.C. MD and had glorious
weather and enjoyed some
wonderful seafood, fresh and sweet and delicious.
It was a well needed vacation and
a great end to summer.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Great Reading!

Wow, is it September all ready?!
Beautiful weather so far
but looks like we're in for lots of rain
which I hope will give us
a pretty and colorful Fall around here.
So we spent the weekend at the
Beach,
One of my most FAVORITE places on the
earth,
and I read a book that will bring some tears
to your eyes.
It's not a happy book, or a funny book,
but one that is based on
actual events that took place in France,
one that I never heard of until I read this book,
It's a movie now, which I wanted to read before
seeing the movie,
but now, I will wait until I can rent it because
this is a movie I'd rather see
at home and not in theatre's, with a box of
tissue beside me.
It is a really good book, don't let the fact that
it is sad scare you,
it's a piece of history.
The character's are not real.
Hope you're having a nice long weekend!



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gluten Free Blackberry Cake

Over the weekend, after the Hurricane scare was over,
which was after the earthquake scare was over as well around here.
(tornado a mile from our house in May, so scary, then the earthquake that made my sofa literally bounce, now the hurricane, we finally got our emergency back packs ready for the "just in case we have to run" situation!)
I was ready to make a new recipe, gluten free. I received an email
with this delicious looking cake and I had to try it.
It is absolutely delicious and moist and if you served it to your non-gluten free friends, they'd never know the difference.
The recipe is from
and it is so easy to make and so delicious, the only thing is that the recipe doesn't call for any salt so I added a 1/2 teaspoon and it came out delicious.
Great with coffee or tea.
Next time I will make it with blueberries, because I LOVE blueberries!

On another subject, I added a curtain to my kitchen window which I left bare because the views from there are just beautiful and I didn't want anything to cover that up, plus we only get the morning sun there so I wanted to keep from putting anything up that blocked any natural light.
Going through my moms linens a week ago and we came across these pretty lacy table top runners and I took one to turn into a valance

It lets all the light in and the color goes perfectly, it's a cream color. I didn't even bother making holes in our walls I just hung the rod over on top of our cabinets and added cafe rings.
Can you see the pretty lace detail? Mom had a bunch of these in different sizes so I think I may be picking out some more when I see them again in New York.
Hope your day is as beautiful as mine!



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just Because....

I know it's been awhile since I've posted.

No one told me that when you put your house on the market
your life is OVER!
What I mean is, it takes OVER your life. You can't let a day
go by without organizing, sweeping or vacuuming,
when you've got cats, you've got to do it
EVERY DAY
because you'll see rounds balls of fur scurrying across your
floors, (did we get another cat?)
DID I NOT JUST SWIFF THESE FLOORS YESTERDAY!!??
So yes, I'm stressed, and frustrated and tired of people
walking through my house,
having to leave when they come, not knowing exactly when they will show up since they can't give you an exact time,
so they make it an hour.
Yes I'm whining, can't help it, I'm tired, and we dont' have kids
how do you do it with kids and toys and all that extra stuff?
My mom gave me this pretty and simple white valance with a lacy detail at the bottom and I think it is so sweet, so I put it in our
bathroom and I love it. It'll be the summer curtain.

I bought this sugar bowl a few years back and loved it. I used it
well, for sugar, until one day the lid broke and I was
so upset, I got it from an antiques store, not sure if it is
antique but either way, I thought it was sweet and I wanted to figure
out another way to use it, and,
Voila!
I can use it for my make-up brushes and it matches the bathroom
color so well.
Now I feel better.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gluten Free Yumminess and Redecorating

I made some wonderful, peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes
by using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Choc cake mix then found a
recipe from Taste of Home website
and they turned out so good, the only thing I would do differently
is add more PB in the cupcakes, the recipe says a "scant"
whatever that means, but I'll add more,
either way they turned out moist and yummy.
DH is a peanut butter freak, and I say that in a very loving way,
so when he came home I surprised him with these.
They need to be refrigerated, so before you eat one, let it sit
out for a half hour and they're perfect.

Very tempted to have one right now for breakfast, hmmm!
I also made salmon, one of our favorite meals,
salmon has been so expensive lately so when it
FINALLY went on sale, I bought some and made
Salmon Dill
You salt and pepper your salmon, then add chopped garlic
and chopped dill and sprinkle over it.
Next you slice lemons and place over the chopped herbs
and sprinkle with chopped green onions.
Cover it like a gift

Lay it on a sheet of aluminum foil before seasoning,
after seasoning then lay another sheet over it
and close in the edges tightly.
Bake it at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or till it flakes
easily

Then you have this wonderful, fresh goodness.
We had it with a BLT salad that I got from Allrecipes
website.
We were very happy!
I also decided to do a little furniture arranging.
Since I was a kid I was
ALWAYS
rearranging my bedroom, I get bored easily with the same
look,
so I rearranged our sitting area off the kitchen, one of my
favorite spots in the house.
So it went from this
To this

I feel by moving the folded table over closer to the fridge it
allowed more light to come in.
I like angling furniture, not sure what it is but I like the look
of it and I feel that sometimes, not always, it opens
up the room a bit.
So I'll live with this for a while, or if the house sells,
we have two more months from today before the contract is up
then we'll decide what to do.
Hope you enjoyed my recipe ideas and decorating ideas.



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Never thought I'd say this!

But I am SO ready for
Fall!

(picture courtesy of Photo Bucket)
Every winter, by February I was ready for
summer.
Ready to get my hands dirty, planting new
veggies and plants.
Sitting on our swing underneath our huge
oak tree.
Grilling and sitting with friends outside.
But it's been to darn hot to sit out there,
too hot to stand by a grill,
afraid of passing out
and falling into it.
I'm getting tired of watering my plants almost
every evening because this sun is drying them and
crisping up the leaves.
Need to go out and water the flowers now, sigh!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cute but MEAN!

So how does something that is this cute
be so destructive and mean?
For weeks now we have had SOME THING
come around our back porch and just destroy it.
I keep cat food out for our one outdoor cat
and we woke up one morning to find her feeder
tossed off the porch into the cornfield.
And not just right at the edge of the field,
DEEP INTO THE FIELD!
What the heck! What could have flung that feeder
so far in there?
So DH was not happy to go in there and retrieve it.
HMMM!
So I put it away during the night and we'd see paw prints
all over our back table.
Looks like raccoon prints.
We went away one weekend and our neighbor kept
an eye on things,
fed my outdoor cat and put the food away
then one morning she came back
there to find the waterer gone!
We looked, and looked in the  corn field and it has
DISAPPEARED!
How could a Raccoon have that
much strength?
At this point we thought maybe it was Bigfoot's child!
So, I was lazy one evening and decided to put the cat food
on top of our propane tank when I came out the
next morning, there were paw prints all over
that tank and my planter was laying against it with dirt
everywhere.
It used the planter as a ladder since you could see he
kept slipping down the tank.
Now I'm FRUSTRATED!
Our neighbor offered his shotgun but we didn't want
to do that, no need, so we got a trap yesterday
put in grapes, marshmallow's and honey.
Hoping to trap whatever this thing was
and move it to another location.
Sure enough!

Hubby said the thing scared him half
to death.
He snarled, growled, tried to get at him through
the cage.
He drove him to an area in a woodsy
"neighborhood"
and the poor, scared thing was so angry, but of course
probably more scared than anything
was not happy.
I asked my hubby when he let him out, did he try to get
at him?
He said
if it had we'd be talking in a hospital because he
would of been recovering from a
heart attack!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Herb Bouquet

We're having gorgeous
weather today!
I wish summer could be
in the low 70's
all summer long.
It seems for the first time in
YEARS
I am minding the heat.
I NEVER thought
I'd say that.
Well this morning I picked
herbs.
Greek Oregano and English Thyme.
Oh they smell so good.
I decided to hang them
from my light
fixture above my sink
so I can smell them as they dry.
I planted French Thyme, Rosemary
and Basil.
This season I didn't plant as much
as I would of liked.
With the house for sale I didn't want
to invest too much into
my garden.
So we planted two types of tomatoes
and a zucchini plant.
A few flowers and all my containers.
So I'm still enjoying some
gardening,
I've just done it simply this time.
I never thought how
time consuming
it is to have the house
for sale.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hello my Darling!

Here she is!
She made her first debut yesterday!
Hello my darling rose,
welcome.
In her lovelines,
gorgeous pale pink color
and sweet smelling
way,
she has opened up.
But she's a little shy,
she was tucked
in between the leaves
and buds
who are still hiding.
I've waited for you all
winter long.
The meter reader person may
not like having to
move my rose bush in order
to read,
oh well, he just better
not hurt her!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring Brings a Smile

April was such a cold and rainy
month,
bone chilling some days with a
couple of
80 degree days.
But May has turned out to be a
GORGEOUS
month so far and everything is
either in bloom
or ready to explode
bleeding heart almost done
but so beautiful!
columbine in bloom now, love the colors
clematis in full bloom
you see my rose bush?
It's massive and loaded,
can't wait until they open
and smell the air
I can't believe how quicly this rose
bush has grown, it has
pale pink small roses,
it too is loaded with buds!
Tulips are just about done, but
right now I have tulips that are
about 3 feet tall and pink
in bloom,
they're from Holland,
my one brother-in-law
brought those back for me
they are my pride and joy!
I'll need to post those next time!
I take a walk almost
everyday around my yard
looking at the progress of
my flowers!
Love this time of year!
Hope you are too!
(although right now I'm dealing with
horrible allergies, the worst ever
and evidently I'm not the only one,
I guess you have to suffer to enjoy the
beauty that surrounds you)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Pie (Chocolate Town Pie)

This pie is one of the easiest,
simplest pies to make,
that is,
unless you make it
Gluten Free.
I've made this pie for years,
and just
LOVE IT!
But now with my Gluten and Wheat
intolerance's
I've had to stop making some
things.
But, now with great GF flours
out there,
I can make my favorite desserts
again.
The hardest part is the crust!
What a nightmare.
The directions tell you to place dough
between parchment paper
and roll.
Easier said than done.
I'm rolling it out like I did when I made
regular pie crust,
well big mistake, you can't do that.
You have to GENTLY
roll it out,
barely pushing down otherwise it
just separates.
It takes a lot of patience to make
GF pie crusts,
but it is worth it in the end.
Now after rolling it out,
flip it onto your
pie dish

Oh  my, now I'm frustrated,
they also don't tell
you that this is going to happen,
why bother rolling it out?
So after some fixing up, squeezing
together, piecing it like
a puzzle
Voila!
Looks pretty, heh?
Then they tell you to fold over edges
and crimp,
HA! Yea right, I wasn't messing
with it after what
happened, so I took a fork and press
along the edge of the crust.
Pretty enough!
So the filling I made GF as well, not
a problem there.
Filled the crust and baked it and
this wonderful
chocolaty
heavenly
sweetness
came out,
YUM!
I was a very happy girl,
that's for sure!
So, I will attach the crust recipe for you
(this is a pumpkin pie recipe but it has the crust recipe as well)

(I'm having some for breakfast can't help it)

Chocolate Town Pie:
9 in. unbaked pastry shell
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (there are GF Vanilla extracts out there)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 flour or Gluten Free flour mix
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of walnuts or any nuts

Prepare pastry shell, set aside. Heat oven to 350. In small mixer bowl cream butter, then add eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl combine flour and sugar and add to the
butter mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Pour into your pastry
shell. Bake for 45-50 minutes or til brown.
Cool for one hour and serve warm.
You can serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rain, Baking, Relaxing....

So it's one of those days,
rainy, cold, and windy.
Yesterday it was
80 degrees
and gorgeous, so I took
advantage of
that
but I knew that today I would
feel miserable.
My FM has flared up, not a
surprise
Fall and Spring wreak havoc
on that.
I love those times of the year
but my body
does not
So today, I am attempting
to make a pie
out of Gluten Free products
which I will
post later today whenever
I get it
done.
Making a pie today is an all day
affair when you
feel like I do.
The sun tried to come out
after it poured all morning
but now its dark
and dreary again,
welcome to
SPRING!
But I got laundry almost
done today,
we had our Open House this
past Sunday
and it turned out well,
that was stressful.
I will tell you the one benefit
to selling your
home,
you are FORCED to keep your
house clean and organized.
You just don't know when you'll
get a phone call
telling you
someone wants to
see your home!
YIKES!
But, we have been
disciplining ourselves
to keeping up with our home
every single day.
Otherwise it's not fun having
strangers walking through
your home,
I feel like my privacy is being
violated but I know it's
part of the process,
but I don't have
to like it.
I also got to reorganize
my closet
and swap out my winter
clothes.
I enjoy doing that because
I forget what I had
for the Spring/Summer
season so it's like
shopping in
my own closet every
season.
I bought a skirt
at JC Penney and have been
trying to find the right
top for it, mainly
because the color is so hard
to find
and who would of known
that I had two tops
already
that go great with it.
You see, like
shopping!
And the other great thing is
that I get to sort through my
things and decide
what to pitch, donate
or take to a consignment
shop. I have two
bags to take.
I need to stop shopping.
That is a goal that I
am setting
for myself.
Buy only what I NEED,
not what I want,
plus my closet is not a walk in as
some of you women
are blessed with,
so I have to be careful with
the space that I
have to work with.
(Yes I did NEED that skirt that I bought at Penney's)
On another note, I saw
this on a site, wish I
could remember where,
 I just love it
Isn't it  beautiful?
I'm trying to figure out if it's
a dresser at the end
of the bed or
one solid bed frame?
This would be great in a small space.
Well, just wanted to stop
in and say
hello!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Adventure

So DH and I are planning a new
adventure!
We have our home on the market,
yes I know,
of all times, right?
It's one of those things, you know,
there's someone
out there who's looking for a home
like ours
in this area,
we hope.
Today is a week it's been for sale
and we've had
one showing, so that's good.
We'll have our first
Open House
on Sunday,
so we shall see.
But in the meantime, we've
been busy
staging our home.
Fresh paint,
organizing,
rearranging,
cleaning,
etc..
Our Kitchen:

Dining Room
Sitting Area
Living Room
Master Bedroom
lots and lots of stuff to
get our home
ready.
This is our first house together
so it's hard to
try and let it go but
at the same time
we're excited about our future
plans and are ready
to move forward.
No matter where we live
it will be our home.
It's kind of exciting
decorating a new place,
although we'll be renting
for a bit
so we can't do
whatever we want,
but
that's
OK,
we're ready to let some one
else worry
about the leak
under the sink,
or the toilet
not working.
And we'll
get to live outside
of a
big city,
and I am a city girl
at heart
so it'll be fun.
We shall see what happens.
On a cute note,
here are my
"kids"
looking so cute
Kahlua was trying to figure
out how
he could
fit in there with them,
but it wasn't happening,
poor baby!