Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fall at Casa Golondrina

Welcome to the Fall in Love With Texas Blog Tour and welcome to our home Casa Golondrina.

Fall has arrived here in El Paso.

This is our second fall season in our home after living here almost 15 months.

What is this second fall season teaching us?

That fall has and always will be about family, friends near and far, good food and good football, and comfort.

This is a comfortable house.

I have learned that I still love and enjoy my fall things from the past, but I am now seeing fall in unexpected places-

like this pillow I found at the Santa Fe flea market, or the colors of the nicho I found years ago at the McAllen flea market.

Those things look like fall to me too.

But, the very next minute I turn around and see my beloved blue and white and my gathered and collected fall things from years past, and I think, 'that looks like fall'.

And so it all is, right? 
I hope your fall season is wonderful!
Don't forget to look in unexpected places:)
If this is your last stop on our tour, organized by the wonderful Katie of Let's Add Sprinkles, we are so glad you visited. Here are links to all of the tours.



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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Blue and White Fall Tablescape and Ten on the Tenth

Welcome to October's Ten on the Tenth, where our theme this month is all about fall.

Fall is that perfect time of year to use what you have and to keep things simple.

There is nothing I enjoy more than opening up my cabinets (where I store my dishes and other treasures) and putting together a special tablescape or vignette.
I rarely have a plan.
It is almost like looking through family photographs.
There are memories attached to every single piece.
The Spode Blue Italian is the pattern our oldest daughter selected when she got married ( in addition to Blue Danube and Old Britain Castles).
I fell in love and started collecting all three that same year:)

The small blue and white planters are from my favorite thrift store in El Paso.  
There were about 20 of them, and they were $3 each.

Here is where I erred on the side of caution.
I only bought 6.
Here is also how I think- six won't do much.

I tend toward 'extravaganza' thinking.
As in- wouldn't it be nice- if hosting a party- to have blue and white planters on round tables with tablecloths, all filled with succulents?

But no. 
I didn't need 20 :)
The yellow woven napkins are a flea market find.
The bee patterned stainless from Horchow was a great sale find.
The woven chargers were collected from Overstock .
And of course there is my collection of blue and white- all found at the flea market or Ross or Marshall's.

I have had most of these things for years.
They are part of the family.

Please visit all of the bloggers listed below. They are all sharing wonderful fall ideas, all under $10. You will be inspired!

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Fall Kitchen Favorites

This past summer I added some new kitchen items to my everyday cooking routine, and I think you will enjoy them too.

We are about to hit the holiday cooking season, and these simple, inexpensive solutions can truly make life easier.

  Dollar Tree Place Mats

I now use plastic Dollar Tree place mats to line my kitchen drawers, and to protect the glass shelves in our new refrigerator.

I am adhesive shelf paper challenged, and I do not enjoy wrestling with it or cutting it to size. It reminds me of dealing with tangled coat hangers or packing tape.  Please tell me you understand.

I first saw this solution in Totally Tikaa's instagram feed.

They are easy to remove ,wipe down, and return into place. 
If you buy a pattern with a grid, as I did, (I bought the gray and white ones above) it is easier to cut to size if you need to.

Cost? $1 each.


Small Inexpensive Paring Knives

I may be a little obsessed.

These knives can be found at all of my favorite places:
Ross,T.J. Maxx, and Marshall's.

But who are we kidding? Ross is my kryptonite.

I know the experts say we are supposed to have high quality knives, and I have a few, but most of my daily chopping works great with one of these.

Plus they are colorful and light.

Cost? $5.99-$7.99 a package.
 Wooden Cutting Boards and Serving Pieces

Ever since our youngest daughter schooled me on the fun of creating charcuterie boards, I keep my eyes peeled for wooden bread boards or cutting boards or pedestals that I can use for serving. 

Did you know there are all sorts of charcuterie board accounts on instagram (#charcuterieboard)? 

Here is the first one I did, but I am working at improving.

Ross has every size of wooden tray you might need, and the prices are so low.

Cost?  $5.99 and up

I love the ones that look like wood slices..

There is something about the 'getting ready for the holidays' that I especially love, don't you?

Oh... and about Ross.
As you walk in the door, take a deep breath, and let go of any preconceived notions you might have .

It's worth it!

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Things About Reading I Never Thought I Would Admit

 (My newly collected Mexican cookbooks)

First of all, I can't write a post about reading without saying how we as bloggers/readers are all blessed by Katie's book and movie reviews on her wonderful blog,Preppy Empty Nester.

Aside from the fact that I am usually laughing and have a grin on my face throughout her posts, her comments are always spot on.

Katie's reviews combine 3 of my favorite things: 
wit, smarts, and truth:)

Thank you Katie!

And now to my reading confession.
As a child, I was always an avid reader.

Growing up on a ranch- as I have shared often here at White Spray Paint- taught me the value in entertaining myself.

Is there anything better than reading a good book to do that?

And so my love of reading was born.

As a result, I have never entered a public library in a small town or large, that I didn't love.

I loved all of Emily Loring's books, any novels based on historical events, and what would now be called young adult fiction.

Looking back, I remember one particular reading experience very vividly.

I have shared this memory here before , but it bears repeating.

I can still see myself sitting in the back seat of our family car, on a long car trip to Arizona, immersed in Gone With the Wind.   

I can remember my mother saying, 
"Laura Ellen! Look out the window."  
"You are missing things!"

Uh no...I wasn't:)
Scarlett and I had things to figure out, and of course there was Rhett. 

That was also my first experience with an ending I didn't like- until of course I saw the film The Way We Were.
 Now jump ahead many years to 2018.

I realized early this year that I had became more of a blog reader and a phone checker and a YouTube watcher and a Google searcher, and I confess my traditional reading habits had lessened.

And so one day this past spring, I set out to change that.

There was only one problem. 
My abbreviated instant gratification reading habits (from everything I listed above) were firmly in place. 

I gave myself permission to enjoy those habits to the fullest, while adding something I knew was missing.

And so I checked out books from the public library and placed them on my nightstand.

I bought books at the flea market and at thrift stores , and I had fun doing it.

The biggest game changer of all, however, was checking audio books out at the library.

That meant I was listening in Hauler II as I ran errands or 'made a round' or was driving out of town.

In listening to those audio books, I gave myself permission to take five minutes, pull over, and hit 'return to the library' if it was disappointing.

It disappears instantly, I feel relieved, and later I can add others to try.

Currently I am listening to Circe by Madeline Miller.

 I just finished listening to two Linda Castillo mysteries set in Amish country. I love mysteries.

Waiting in my queue, is Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.
On my nightstand is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

My recent purchases at the flea market have been Mexican cookbooks. 

I am determined to master cheese enchiladas like Taco Ole's in Mission, Texas.

My reading/listening is on fire again with very loose parameters.

I learned quickly that it is all about the narrator on audio books.

Two of my favorite narrators are: 

Polly Stone ( The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah) and 

Juliet Stevenson (The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert)

If their voice or lack of inflection gets on my last nerve, I pull over and hit return.

If the author is a tad wordy, my daughters (the librarians) taught me I can speed up their reading just a bit. 

And so I have reclaimed something that was always important to me.

It has been wonderful!

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