Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A NEW BEAUTY PRODUCT

I have a new product that I have to brag on. I think you'll want to try it, too.

I've never really been one to use concealer as part of my morning make up routine. I usually just add a touch of cream/white eye shadow to give me a little brightness under the eyes. But, Father Time is catching up with me, and I'm noticing some darker areas underneath and around my eyes.

Here's how I fixed my problem: Mary Kay's Perfecting Concealer.


This is a newer product to the Mary Kay line, and I love it. It's not heavy--lighter than foundation--yet heavy enough to cover what you want it to. When it dries, it has a somewhat matte finish. I even use it on my lids at times as a base for my eye shadow. Some days when I don't feel like going through the entire making up process, I will just use the concealer with powder, and it does the job.


The concealer is $16 and comes in six shades. I use the lightest one, "light ivory."  If you are interested, you can see the Mary Kay catalog here.

So how's your Christmas shopping going? I haven't even started... : (

Kathryn

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A FEW ITEMS FOR CHRISTMAS DECORATING

I've come across a few cute Christmas items while surfing around the Internet. I thought I'd pass them along to you today in case you're thinking of adding to your decorations this year. 

A pretty door wreath from L L Bean

Wreath

H and M has tons of cute holiday pillows and cushion covers for under $10.00. This one is just $5.99. See the others here.

Pillow

I ordered this one with tassels, but they are sold out of it now. :-(  I only tell you that to say even though the prices are low on these holiday pillows, the quality is good. 


This holiday mug set from Target will look great with any color combination, and you know your guests will enjoy their coffee more from these pretty cups.

Mug Set

If you still need ornaments of the smaller size, here is a great set from Pier One.

Ornament Set

I know this one looks like a necklace, but it's actually garland from Wayfair.

Garland

You have to use your imagination for the next one. I know at first glance it doesn't say "Christmas", but if you have a farm house motif or a rustic style, this would be perfect. It's only $7.99! (Also from H and M.) Several of them together would be perfect filled with ornaments, Christmas greenery, or even Christmas cards. It measures 4 3/4" x 4 3/4".

Wooden Planter

Let's review...

WREATH  //  PILLOW  //  MUGS

Happy Decorating!

Kathryn

Friday, November 25, 2016

MACARONI AND CHEESE WITH A TWIST

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you're looking for a "new" or "different" dish to share with your friends and family this holiday season, I have one you might like. It's easy to put together and only a few ingredients. My friend Amanda, who has been doing my hair for years and years, gave me the recipe at my last appointment. I carried it to two Thanksgiving gatherings with our family and it received good reviews both places.

Ingredients:

2 cups of mayonnaise
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 cups of sour cream
1 - 16 oz block sharp Cheddar cheese
1 lb cooked penne pasta (mini)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta as directed. Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Grate cheese and add it to mixture. Mix well.




Spread in a 13 X 9 baking dish. Cook until bubbly and browning. I cooked it for about 40 minutes total. It's really rich and creamy with a yummy unexpected flavor.


It's just as good (or better) on day 2 or 3 also. I hope you like it.

Kathryn

Thursday, November 17, 2016

AN ART LESSON AND SOME OLD FAVORITES

When I was in high school, one of the classes on my schedule my senior year was called American Studies. The class captured me in ways very few others did. We left the high school by bus each day and were transported to a building downtown where we spent about half the school day. We learned the basics: English, science and social studies, but we learned extras, too.

Our class met in a historic building known as the "old jail." It served as the county jail from 1856-1890. It's one of the oldest buildings in town. It's a two-story, brick building that is unfortunately now on the "places in peril" list.

Image Source

One of the "extras" we were introduced to in the old jail was art, specifically impressionism. I loved everything about it: the colors, the subjects, the serenity, the classic look and style it adds--all of it. Here are a few of the painters I met in my American Studies class.

CLAUDE MONET

My favorite from Monet is Chrysanthemums. I had a giant print of it framed and over my couch for years. I'd actually forgotten about it until I was getting this post together.

Image Source

EDOUARD MANET

This is The Railway by Manet. The shades of blue and the simple scene are what stands out to me. For a little more insight, here is a short video I found.


This is another work of Manet.  A King Charles Spaniel.


MARY CASSATT

Mary Cassatt is probably my favorite. Her subjects were often people, usually women and children.


Other than three of the finest teachers in education at the time, the best part of American Studies was our field trip to Washington, D.C. I still have such vivid memories of the trip, even though it seems like a lifetime ago. I'm thankful and grateful my parents were able to send me. While there, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw the works we had studied in class. It was wonderful to see them up close and personal. I bought the previous three prints as souvenirs.

When I became an "adult" and had a place of my own, I had the prints framed. I've been using them since.


The frames need to be updated, but the prints still look great and hold significant sentimental value. They've traveled the house--bathroom, bedroom, and they currently reside in the living room.


Thank you, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Crowder, and Mrs. Sloan for making me think, learn, and love all things American Studies.

Now I'm curious. What's the oldest thing you are using to decorate in your house?

Kathryn

Friday, November 4, 2016

DECORATING WITH RED FOR FALL

I don't really go "all out" for fall, just a few touches of darker reds and browns here and there--I can only do orange in small doses. Replacing blue and white pieces with fall colors or rearranging a vignette is about our only hope in Alabama for feeling the change in the season. The thermometer hovers around ninety degrees until mid November, and sometimes we are still wondering in December if our boots will see the light of day. I haven't even worn fall clothes to work yet.

I thought I would show you how I did fall this year and suggest a few things for you to try if orange is not in your color wheel either (One of my favorite lines from The Blind Side.).

Here are a few places I added some red--not fire-engine red, just a muted, darker red that implies fall.

I swapped out the basket and topiaries on my breakfast table for a cake stand and decorative woven wooden spheres.


I brought out my reddish vases and at the time I took this picture, there was just enough greenery left in my yard to complete the look--for a few days anyway.


I created a place setting with some different dishes. I haven't collected enough of the red and white for an entire table yet, but when I do, it will look something like this...


Pillows and lamps are my favorite way to update a room, a corner, or a vignette. For this spot, I put away the summery green and white pillows and added red. This one is from Home Goods a few years back.


And speaking of pillows... I borrowed the small cheetah print, Euro sized pillows from my daughter's room for my bed.


In the living room, I added some natural elements to the mantel (antlers and pine cones) in the place of my blue and white, and I swapped out the gold mirror for this darker one.


And that's how I did fall in my house this year...

Red, brown, a couple of trips to my yard, and a little flip-flopping of accessories. How do you do fall at your house?

Enjoy the weekend!

Kathryn

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LAYERED MEXICAN CHICKEN

Mexican has been the theme around our house lately. It all started with the taco ring a little over a week ago, and it shows no signs of stopping...


Today I'm sharing an easy Mexican chicken recipe. If you cook the chicken ahead of time, it can easily be a work-week meal.

Ingredients:

5 chicken breast cooked and chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans of Rotel tomatoes (I use mild, original)
12-16 slices of Velveeta cheese
1 package of large tortilla shells

Directions:

Lightly spray the bottom of a 13 X 9 casserole dish with a non-stick spray. Line your dish with half of the chopped chicken. Open the tomatoes and drain one can. Combine the two cans of soup with both cans of tomatoes. Spread half of the soup mixture on top of the chicken. Add 4-6 slices of Velveeta.


Fold and tear the tortillas into strips. I use a pizza cutter. Arrange over the cheese to cover the dish.    


REPEAT. Add a layer of chicken, soup, cheese, and tortilla strips. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove and turn the oven up to 375 degrees. Add 4 more slices of cheese. Return to the oven for 10-15 more minutes to melt the last layer of cheese and to make sure the dish is nice and bubbly. Don't cover it this time, but watch it to make sure the top doesn't burn.


Serve it with the side of your choice. I serve it with a shell and a green salad. It's one of my husband's favorites! 


Here are a few other chicken dishes you might like.


Happy (still hot) November...

Kathryn

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS FOR YOUR HOME

I tend to forget that Walmart carries a really nice line of home goods from Better Homes and Gardens. This is the mailer that came a few weeks ago. Did you get one?



Just in case you're not on their mailing list, I thought I would point out some of the things that looked to me like they would work well in our homes as we welcome fall and cooler weather.

First up:  Throws and blankets...


ONE //  TWO  //  THREE

Window decor...



Table lamps...



And, remember that headboard idea I mentioned a few months ago? Here it is again. I still love it and think it's a great value.



Thanks for the inspiration Walmart and Better Homes and Gardens... Have you bought any home items from the BHG line at Walmart? If so, what did you think? Were you pleased?

Tuesday it is. Have a good one!

Kathryn

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A HALLOWEEN RERUN

I'm sure this breaks every law of blogging ever written, but this was one of my very favorite posts from last year, and I wanted to share it again. After all, it's ghost season! I found this Halloween recipe in Family Circle magazine. I had never tried to make such a fun dessert, and it really turned out cute. Please forgive me if you've been following along for a while and you've seen this one. And, if you're a new reader/follower welcome aboard!!

The blue link will get you to the original post!






Monday, October 17, 2016

I'M LISTENING TO MORE MUSIC

I'VE JOINED THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY:

I now have a Spotify music account. I love it! I've created my very own play list and everything. True to my age, it has oodles of songs from the eighties and lots of today's feel-good music. Spotify also has premade play lists you can follow. One of my favorites (I'm listening to it as I type) is called "Have a Great Day!" It's a fun, happy mix. You can also share lists if you have friends on Spotify.

HOW I'M LISTENING TO MY LISTS:

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to hang out in Atlanta with my besties from high school for a relaxing, much needed girls' weekend (a post on that later). We listened to some fabulous music on a Bluetooth speaker. Of course I had to have my own speaker when I got home. One nice thing about being married to a tech guy is he loves to buy electronics. So, I assigned him the task of picking one out for me. True to (his) form, he spent an afternoon researching the best one, for the best price, with the best reviews, etc. This is what he picked out for me...

Bluetooth Speaker

It's perfect. Not too fancy, not too big, travels well room to room, easy to use, and not too pricey.




He found the Anker Soundcore Bluetooth speaker with 24-hour play time for $35.99 at Amazon.


You music people will love it if you don't already have something to play your tunes on. A big thanks to my husband for my little treat.

Turn off the television and listen to some music today. It will change your outlook...

Are you a music person?
Have a great week!

Kathryn

Friday, October 14, 2016

5 DIY IDEAS YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO

This is a super cute idea from Polka-Dotty Place. If you were hosting a baby or wedding shower, or any event that required table signs, this would be perfect.

Polka-Dotty Place

I loved the dressed up look of these pots from Garden Therapy. The things you can do with paint! And for nine other great ideas for terracotta pots head over to Better Homes and Gardens' page. Some super cute ideas there.

Garden Therapy via BHG

Here's a great idea for using mason jars as planters. Use wire or fabric mesh to keep your flowers in place and spaced like you want them. I pinned this from Driven by Decor. Kris is creative and has such a pretty, classic style. 

Driven by Decor

This might be my favorite from an ease stand point. These would make great teachers' gifts or a sweet hostess gift. I pinned this idea from Crafty Texas Girls.

Crafty Texas Girls

The ideas for coffee cans are endless. Here's one idea from my own back yard: painted planters.



And perfect for the time of year from A Diamond in the Stuff, pumpkins.

A Diamond in the Stuff via Pinterest
I plan on making the monogrammed candle holder first. Which one are you most likely to try? Leave a note. I love hearing from you guys. :-)

Kathryn

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

TURKEY TACO SOUP

In case you were wondering, aliens have not abducted me. :-)

My day job (You know, the one that pays the bills) has been hectic and much more time consuming this year than in previous years, so my apologies for the sporadic postings. I love blogging and interacting with you guys and all my new virtual friends.  Unfortunately though, the blog is the first thing to go to the back burner when time gets tight. I'll just be taking it one day and one blog post at a time! I hope you'll bear with me.

Oh, and by the way, if you're interested in having new posts from Woodbank Lane come to your inbox, you can sign up here.

Now, on to Turkey Taco Soup.

I've told you before how I use and really like the My Fitness Pal app. A little more about it here. That's where I found today's recipe. I was excited to come across it because I'd had all I could take of sandwiches for lunch during the work week and wanted something hot but healthy and low calorie. This was perfect. I've changed a few of the ingredients to tailor it to my taste.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium bell pepper, diced (I left this out.)
1 pound of lean ground turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 can (28 ounces) of petite diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) of reduced-sodium black beans (I used the Publix brand.)
1 can (15 ounces) of corn kernels (I used the white shoe-peg corn)
1 can (4.5 ounces) of green chilies (I only used 1/2 the can.)



Directions:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and minced garlic. Cook these until softened, then add and cook the bell pepper.  Next, add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Stir in the taco seasoning, and add the tomatoes, beans, corn and chilies. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer until ready to eat. I added a plop of sour cream to mine, and I ate it with a small VerolĂ© tortilla shell (81 calories). The soup, according to the My Fitness Pal blog "Hello Healthy," has 297 calories in a two-cup serving. Not too bad for a meal.



If your people are soup eaters, I bet they will love this one. Enjoy!

Kathryn

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

MY LATEST INSTAGRAM CONTEST WIN

I really shouldn't be saying this out loud, but I'm an Instagram give-a-away winner, again...

I'm starting to feel, well, lucky. The prize this time was a beautiful water color print from Ruth at GraceLaced. She is a talented artist, blogger, wife, and momma to a house full, who is also in ministry. Read more about her here.

I'm not sure why she chose me, but I'm happy she did. Right now, I'm using my print in a white frame from Micheal's on my desk in my faux office.


It was delivered with an information card, a bookmark, and a pretty little business card.




Her work is beautiful! Not only did I win one, but the friend I tagged as part of the contest did also--my friend Staci. To see more of her work, follow her on Instagram @gracelaced. Thank you, Ruth, for picking me!!

Have any of you won anything from a social media contest?

Kathryn