Monday, December 30, 2013

Stained Glass Salad

During the busy holiday season, we prepared several meals and dishes. Many of the items that were prepared we had made at one time or another, a few were family favorites but we had yet to try our hand at them. This stained glass salad is one of those recipes.

This is a fun and festive salad that my great-aunt would bring to special family gatherings. The salad can be changed up to fit many occasions, based on the colors of jello used for the "stained glass". A little time consuming, due to the set up of the jello, but worth it!

Starting Lineup
1 pkg. of lime Jello*
1 pkg. of cherry Jello*
1 pkg. of lemon Jello
1/2 c. hot water
1/2 c. cold water
1 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. sugar
1 container Cool Whip

*Other flavors of Jello can be used, or added to the mix. The lemon jello is necessary for the salad base.

Play by Play

 Fix Jello according to package for each type aside from the lemon.

When water has come to a boil, dissolve one pack of Jello in the boiling water and add in the cold water. 

I cheated so I wouldn't have as many dishes and  dissolved the Jello right in the 8 in. square pan. Let the Jello set up.

While the Jello was setting up, I started getting the salad based started. I'm too cheap to just buy pineapple juice, when I have another recipe that calls for just the pineapple. 

Saving the rest of the crushed pineapple for another tasty salad.

Next, heat the pineapple juice and sugar, dissolving the sugar. 

Once heated,  add the juice and sugar mixture to the lemon Jello. (Some of the crushed pineapple made it into this jello salad, but it still turned out great!)  Let this mixture set up until think and syrupy.

 When set, cut the various types of Jello ("stained glass") into cubes that are about a half inch. Too big and it's hard for the salad to 'hold' the pieces of Jello for the stained glass effect.

After that, add the Cool Whip to the now syrupy mixture of lemon Jello, sugar, and pineapple juice.

Add the Jello pieces (mine were too big. Live and learn.)

Refrigerate until serving. Not the best picture, I should have one after dipping into the salad, but our niece and nephews inhaled this salad before a better picture could be taken.

Happy Holidays!

--The Whitehairs

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas is Coming

Although I know our home won't be too "pin worthy" this Christmas, I cannot wait to celebrate this holiday in our first home. Such a wonderful time of the year celebrating to the true reason for the season!

We started by hanging the lights. Tony & his dad did the grunt work. I helped to check the lights and photographed the guys as they worked.

Just a couple of days later, the first snowfall of the season came. Which made for a good photo opportunity. The hubs had to pull over so I could snap a picture on our way to the grocery store.

Looking festive with the fresh fallen snow and tree in the window

A close up of our tree

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

--The Whitehair's

Friday, November 29, 2013

First Family Gathering

We hosted our first family gathering: Thanksgiving for the Stones side of the family on Thanksgiving day. It was a wonderful day! Everything turned out well (our first time fixing the main dishes) my first time attempting mashed potatoes. The day couldn't have turned out better. After a quick tour of our humble abode dinner was ready and set out by noon.

My little homemaker heart swooned at having everything ready and set on time.

However, in all of the hubbub of fixing, stirring, prepping, and baking I forgot to take pictures. There were a couple of iPhone snaps to share.

I guess we will just have to host again, as I feel this was a picture perfect holiday!

World's simplest cookie. I'll share the recipe in another post. This way, I have an excuse to make more! :)

Take a look. Lump FREE mashed potatoes.

Thank you Pioneer Woman for giving me the gumption to attempt mashed potatoes.. and for the very tasty results!

If you have not attempted mashed potatoes, or if you want to make them ahead (like I did, and they tasted like they were made the morning of our gathering!) Please check out this amazing recipe

A few quick clicks on PowerPoint and I created a little time-filing activity, that also added to the place setting.

We hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family, friends, and plenty of food.

Counting our blessings,
--The Whitehairs

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Project: Dog Edition

There is a third member of our little family: Remi (short for Remington), our yellow lab pup. 

She is full of spunk, life, and loves to go hunting. We've never seen a dog so set to retrieve, she'll chase anything you throw long after your arm begins to ache. Remi is loving our new place, especially the extra outdoor space to run around in. The yard is a wide open space, and when the hubby and I are home, she sticks around well, but we didn't want to leave her roaming when we are at work. 

Step in the hubby and father-in-law. 

Pouring concrete and setting posts

Men at work :)

Just waiting for the concrete to set. I don't have pictures from putting up the fencing. I was involved with that step too.

Remi was excited about the finished product!

A space of her own

Here soon, we'd like to put in a doggie door into the shop, and have a small pen in there too for her to get out of the elements if needed. For now though, she's loving the ability to be out and about even when we aren't around.

--The Whitehairs & Remi

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Little Facelift

Before we moved in all of our worldly goods into our new humble abode we decided to freshen things up a bit with a little bit of a facelift: a fresh coat of paint.

We didn't paint everything, but the vast majority of the upstairs was done in two days. It was a lot of painting. Thankful to our parents and family members for grabbing brushes and helping us to move. We couldn't have completed this without all of their help.

However, before we could move any paintbrushes we had to pick a paint. This was much easier said than done. We thought we knew the color we wanted. The little square looked great. It was called "winter wheat". We thought it was a match made in heaven.

Then we put it on the wall and reconsidered that crush we had on that paint sample.

It was back to the drawing board, and with family waiting to help out, we had to act fast. We grabbed three different samples in the same earthy tone family. We put those on the wall too. Better... but still not "it". Finally, we opted to go to the dump for paint in the closets so that something productive could be done and try to figure out what we wanted on our walls.

The local dump takes old/unused paint and mixes it generally into white, off-white, black, and blue. Our realtor told us about it. You can purchase it for a dollar a gallon! The day my husband headed out there, they did not have any white left, but they had just mixed a 55 gal drum with a tan/light brown color. My husband bought a gallon, put it on the wall and waited for the me to arrive for the final yay/nay.  Surprisingly it was perfect. The hubby went back to retrieve more paint and the rolling and trimming began.

The following are pictures of the before/during stage. Hopefully around Christmas, when the house is a little more put together, when pictures are maybe hung, I will post pictures of the semi-after pictures. (Sorry about some of the picture quality... I used my phone mostly).

View of the dining room looking towards the kitchen. Gotta love the shag!

Another look at the dining room from the living room. The paneling is staying for now. May paint it after awhile.

The living room. Love the window!

Front entry way that nobody uses. The door cut off in the picture is a big closet. Thankful for family to help paint.

The hubby... Master of the paint roller. The first door to the left goes to the laundry, the door behind him is to the "blue" room. The pink bathroom is the second door on the left, and the master and second spare bedroom round out the rest of the rooms down the hall.

Here is the blue room that's no longer blue.

Front view of the blue bedroom. Double closets that have shelves running behind the built in.

Pink bathroom.

Everything... tub, toilet, sink are all pink!
Master bedroom looking toward walk-in closet

Looking towards the master bath

Cozy little space for now.. hopeful to demo someday

Sure is nice to have a master bath though!

Through the closet is a "bonus" room. No heat/air, and leads out to the garage.
Washroom.. was all yellow, but received the same brown treatment.

Pantry shelves on the left, storage closet on the right

Another look at laundry room, the open door goes to the kitchen.

View of kitchen from the sink, to the right of the fridge is a door to the hall/entryway

View from the door by the laundry

View from the entry way.

That's most of the house. We didn't paint the spare room/office, the half bath (still currently orange), and the backroom. The original owners used it as an office, I'd like to make it a mudroom as it leads off of the back porch and down to the garage and basement as well.

For now the basement is completely unfinished. Which is leaving us with a ton of possibilities. Just need to gather a few funds and add a few pieces of our own style and personality in the mean time!

--The Whitehairs

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Our first BIG purchase...literally and figuratively...

 A place that we finally put money towards and in the end we actually own!!

We've bought a 1960's ranch on a small parcel on land just outside of town. A wee bit of a time warp including shag carpet and paneling, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

We cannot wait to make this ours. To enjoy having family and friends over (our rental was too small for many guests to be over at once). A place to live in, laugh in, grow in. A place to establish some roots.

--The Whitehair's