Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY Chevron Ombre' Earrings

Good Afternoon!  I just want to share with you a quick picture that I snapped in the ladies room at work of my latest DIY project...

I love them!!  Any guesses what they're are made from?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Silly Bella

Matt and I often go back and forth about who's in charge at our house, but let me tell you the one who is really in charge is this girl...
We got Bella shortly after New Years 2011 and have been wrapped around her paw ever since.  Matt would want me to clarify that she was NOT named after the Bella in Twilight, as many people think, but for the hunting store Cabela's.  Matt is an avid waterfowl hunter and Bella is his partner in crime:
But don't let that serious hunting face fool you, this dog is SPOILED rotten!!  In no particular order she:
Sleeps in bed with us.
Steals spots on the sofa and chair when you get up.
Loves ice cubes out of the freezer.
Rides in the front seat of Matt's work truck and gives you the evil eye if you make her sit in the back.
Has her own baby pool outside to play in.
I could go on and on...

Last weekend we were at my parents for Mother's Day weekend and Bella loves to run around with the two Australian Shepards they have.  These three will run and play for hours!  This next series of photos were shot when there was a break in the action and proves Labs are water dogs, no matter how much water there is...


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Last week my Mom's father... no he wasn't a grandfather or grandpa to me, passed away.  From what I know it was a relatively sudden and short-term illness, but I also didn't ask a lot of questions about the details.  Why?  At almost 28 years old, I'd never met him.  The situation of my mom's family has always been an interesting one, but I'll explain it the best I can.

My mom was the second oldest daughter of eleven kids.  To hear her tell stories of her childhood, it still makes me smile.  She was a daddy's girl, had tons of fun with her sisters and was as horse-crazy then as I am now.  When she got older, graduated, and moved out on her own, she stopped attending church services with her family.  Eventually, she distanced herself further from the church and dropped her membership.  This was not a favorable practice and the elders of the church told her parents and family that if she chose to leave the faith that they were to presume her dead.  Rough, huh?!?

She lived essentially with no nuclear family until she met and married my Dad and was welcomed into his family.  *Side Note-This side of the family is the only one we ever did anything with growing up..holidays, birthdays, Mother's Day, etc.  When my parents were married, nothing fancy or elaborate, they went to the courthouse and had a small reception at my Dad's parents house.  Looking back at photos of that day, there are pictures of the newly married couple with my Mom's parents.  Come to find out this weekend at the funeral the story goes:  Her parents chose to come a celebrate with their daughter, but after that day, again the elders of the church said "No more!  This is it!"  And with that she was 'dead' again to her family.  Over the course of the last 28 years, I've seen my Mom sought out by some of her family members when they were confused about God, religion, and their lives.  I've also seen these family member's build her up and knock her down when they leave her again and go back to the church. Thankfully, my Mom does have three brother's who have also left the religion over the course of the last fifteen years or so and they have managed to grow close again.  The four of them and each of the families consistently get together once a month and have "Family Game Night". 

If I've learned one thing living through this saga with my mom and her family is that having the same genes as someone doesn't make them your family.  Family means loving unconditionally, being there whenever you need them, and having their support when you're feeling down and out or on top of the world!  I'm so blessed to have the unconditional support and love of the people I truly consider my family!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Planting Veggies

When we first moved to our house one of the first changes we made outside was tilling up a patch of the yard for a garden.  Matt and I were both fed from garden goodies growing up and knew that we wanted to keep that tradition alive.  Our garden square footage has managed to increase each spring as we have grander and grander plans.  This year Matt is actually tilling up a separate location for produce that vines out, he really hates it when they take over the other vegetables.  I think it might be one of his biggest pet peeves!  He's affectionately started calling this patch 'Garden #2'.

All summer long we harvest the produce that the garden provides.  Sometimes we give it away to friends and family, other times I use the fresh produce in recipes, I freeze things like pepper rings, onion rings, and shredded zucchini and we can a LOT of green beans and tomato products (salsa, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and bruschetta) for use during the fall, winter and spring.

So far we've got:

 8 Roma's, 1 Better Boy, 3 Super Fantastic's and 1 Yellow Heirloom
Green, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
2 Watermelons

In addition to all those goodies, we've planted spinach and lettuce and also have pumpkin, green beans, and sugar snap pea seeds, as well as sweet yellow and sweet red onions coming from Gurney's.  We will also plant cantaloupe, zucchini and cucumbers once Matt gets the patch for "Garden #2" tilled up.  And last but certainly not least, we have our strawberry and rhubarb patches!  It's a fairly good bet that we are going to be up to our ears in fresh produce and that makes me giddy just thinking about it!

Do you have a garden or raised bed at your house?  We love ours... if you couldn't tell!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Marshmallow Rolls...Yum!

Last week I read online where someone had an 'official' appreciation week for their significant other and I decided that this week, starting Sunday would be 'Matt Appreciation Week'.  When I brought this up to Matt one night last week you should have seen the glimmer in his eye when I told him about my plan.  I asked him to pick several recipes that he would want made and the first thing out of his mouth was "Marshmallow Rolls!"

Marshmallow Rolls were a special treat that Matt's mom made for him when he was growing up and he loves them so much!  When we were first dating Matt would make these for us on lazy Saturday mornings, but I've pretty much taken over the creation of these delicious rolls now.  Although it was a bit intimidating to be the girlfriend/fiance'/wife making Matt's mom's recipe!  There were times there when I just told Matt he should make them, but he would give me the big puppy dog eyes and say, "But you do such a great job..."  And I would cave in!  Do you make recipes that once belonged to your in-laws or do you stay at a safe distance from them?

These rolls are pretty freakin' delicious, but not the least bit healthy, especially if like Matt... you eat the whole pan by yourself!

Marshmallow Rolls

2 T butter, melted
8 marshmallows
1 tube crescent rolls
1 1/2 t Cinnamon
1/4 c Sugar

Melt butter in microwave.  You can use more butter if you're so inclined, but this is the minimum amount I've ever gotten away with without having to melt more butter to finish the recipe.  Roll the marshmallow in a dish of melted butter.
Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and roll the marshmallow in the C-S mixture.
Unwrap and separate crescent rolls.  Place marshmallow on crescent roll and wrap up.
Roll the ball of dough in the melted butter.
Place in muffin tin.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and serve warm!  Enjoy!
Hello Lover!
Note:  I made this pan of rolls and then ate a banana and went for a 5 mile run.  I only ate one when I got home... it was the last one left!

These rolls are easy to make and delicious too!  I always put up a fuss about making them, but they are always a hit with Matt, as well as house guests.  Try them this weekend for Mother's Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

My 30 x 30 List

Almost a year and a half ago, I was inspired to start a 30 x 30 list by Elizabeth.  I originally created my list as a document, printed it off and hung it on our refrigerator, but with the creation of The Purple Front Door I've add a tab for it here too!  The list is broke down into multiple categories: Personal, Travel, Health and Fitness, Financial, Creativity, Smarts and Make a House a Home.  Since starting, I've accomplished a respectable number, in my opinion anyways!  Here are the one's I have successfully completed, as well as the date.

1. Mail Christmas Cards, CHECK! 12-18-11
8. Take a honeymoon with Matt, CHECK! 4-4-12 thru 4-9-12
15. Run a 5K, CHECK! 4-29-11
19. Sew on a button, CHECK! 12-16-11
23. Learn how to knit, CHECK!  
25. Start a book club, CHECK! 2-20-11  
26. Learn how to drive a stick shift, CHECK! 5-6-12
29. Get horses to the farm, CHECK! 5-7-11

This weekend I accomplished #26, Learn how to drive a stick shift!  As a kid growing up on the farm I never learned how to drive a stick, nope never did!  Once or twice my dad tried to teach both my sister and I and it usually ended up with someone upset, crying or walking home instead of getting back in the truck... sometimes a combination of the three!  Anytime learning got brought back up my anxiety would rise and I'd come up with ANY excuse not to learn.  

Fast forward to March 2012, I had just turned in my leased Pontiac G6 and was left to drive our GMC Sierra.  Well gas prices what they are, Matt and I began exploring options for a work car for me.  Our friends, have a 2002 VW Jetta sitting in their garage that doesn't get driven... perfect solution to the problem of the gas guzzling truck, right?  
 Wrong!  It has a manual transmission! Houston we have a problem.... I didn't immediately recognize the transmission issue, Matt actually called me and said, "That Jetta is a stick.  Are you going to be able to drive it?"  Ugh.  I had no idea!  
 I went back and forth with this in my head, do we keep looking?  Do I buck up and try to learn?  

This past Saturday before the Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby party I went out with Dennis, the current owner, and had a lesson.  Things went surprisingly well!  I only managed to kill it a few times and more importantly no tears or angry outbursts.  It was actually kind of fun!  So that night I drove the car to our party and then from there back to our house, all by myself!  Winning!  

Yesterday, Matt and I went out for a drive in it and he had me practicing hill starts and other tricky situations I might get myself in...  Amazingly enough, we didn't get in one fight the whole time! 

Okay, so what about you?  Do you know how to drive a stick shift?  Are you terrified to learn or are you a seasoned professional?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Super Saturday

Saturday was a pretty big day around these parts what with the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo being the same day and all!  Some friends had decided a while back that they wanted to host the big party this year so Friday I spend cooking and baking for the festivities.  I made some corn salsa, a black bean layer dip, zucchini brownies and a derby day pie.  You can't call this specific pie by it's official name, "D#$%y Pie" because there's actually a trademark on the name, so I was brainstorming all day and came up with 'KY Pie', as in Kentucky Pie.  It never really clicked until I said it out loud in a room full of people that it could be interpreted as a certain kind of lubrication, not as a state abbreviation!  Oh boy, did everyone get a kick out of that! Listed below is the recipe I used and some not so great pictures of the process...  I don't have a big fancy camera to take beautiful pictures with, sorry!

Derby Day Pie  

1/2 c butter, melted
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp bourbon
3/4 c pecans, chopped
3/4 c chocolate chips
Pie Shell-I followed this great lady's recipe!

Put the pie shell in a shallow pie plate.

In a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients in the order given.  I flip flopped the butter and sugar, and it still came out okay...

 Just keeping it real folks...
 This was all that was left of the pie, two thumbs up.  Side note, the pie would be even better served with some vanilla ice cream. Next time!

This year's Kentucky Derby was a great race!  Bodemiester, the horse who broke first and lead almost the whole race had a great trip.  Unfortunately for him, but good for me, I'll Have Another came from the #19 post on the outside pole to win!  My pocketbook may be a little more fat than it was yesterday prior to the race... It seemed fitting that I'll Have Another won the race on a day that we spent with great friends, good food and amazing margarita's! 
The Derby Gals (l-r) Me, Jody, Karen and Cheri

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Come On In!

Hey Everyone, I'm Myla!  Welcome to The Purple Front Door!  

I've had this website for a few weeks now, but with everything else I had going on at the time I'm just getting around to publishing my first entry!  My life is generally a whirlwind in which I split my time between work, graduate school, keeping my husband happy and having as much fun as I can!

My husband and I live in the country on our 'farm-ette' just outside a teensy tiny town in Central Illinois.  I was born and raised on a farm where we grew corn, soybeans and also raised cattle and Matt grew up in the country too, so no city living for these country bumpkins.  This blog will center around my random thoughts, trips, recipes, craft projects and much more! 

Oh, and there will probably me way more information than you might ever want to know my husband, our dog and my horses... just a fair warning!

Thanks for stopping by!