10 September 2010

Fall Festivities...

Whose beautiful fall wreath is that, you might ask? 'tis mine!

I don't know about you but fall is officially here in the Jones' household.  I spent the better part of my afternoon decorating my house.That wreath adorning our front door is homemade! I am quite proud of it. I saw tons of them that look almost the exact same at Michaels for around $25-40 dollars...I spent a grand total of $6.00 and some change on that one.  I like it a lot. I may take the pumpkin off...haven't decided yet, but for now, it'll stay.  All I did was get the leaves, flowers, and pumpkins from The Dollar Tree, the pinecones were from Goodwill for .50 cents or so and the  twig wreath (or whatever you call it) was 3.00 from Michaels. I had a 50% off coupon. I will definitely be hanging that up every fall... Wreaths make the front door feel so homey and inviting.  :)

What else did I do?  Well..I also got some brown placemats and red napkins from The dollar tree...for REALLY cheap! Yes, they may not be the best quality but I am not going to use the napkins at dinnertime. They are just for looks.  Here is a few photos of our dinner table:

(I kept the tags on the chargers on purpose..I am not that tacky, i just haven't decided if I am keeping them or not!) :P
Does it look fall enough for you?  I LOVE that I registered for white dinner plates because they are good to decorate with for any season! AND I can use the red napkins for Christmas time as well!!

I don't really know why I get so excited about decorating..but I guess it's alright to. Seth has tennis, and I have decorating.  Here is our end table in the living room..I got those pumpkins for $1.50 from Goodwill!!

It may look like I spend a lot of money on decor, but really it's all from either Goodwill or The Dollar Tree!  I love saving money and I think it looks great!

Here are a few recipes that I've tried the past few days..they are really yummy and easy to make!

I got it from crockpot365.blogspot.com

Chicken Parmesan CrockPot Recipe

The Ingredients:

--2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
--1/2 cup bread crumbs
--1/4 cup parmesan cheese
--1/2 t Italian Seasoning (I ran out, so I used Mrs. Dash)
--1/4 t black pepper
--1/4 t kosher salt
--1 T olive oil
--1 beaten egg
--sliced mozzarella cheese
--favorite jarred marinara sauce (I used Ragu spaghetti sauce)

The Directions:

--spread the 1 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert
--whip the egg with a fork in a separate bowl
--mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the parmesan cheese in another separate dish
--dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings
--place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crock
--layer 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese on top

--cover with entire jar of marinara sauce
--close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4. If your chicken is still frozen, it will take longer.
Serve with your favorite pasta.

Seth and I gobbled it up! It was really yummy and so tender! I will definitely make it again.

Here is a recipe that I cooked tonight called Cornbread Taco Casserole.  Seth and our friend Allen said it was really good too.  I'm not sure if they were just making me feel good, but I'll take their word anyway!

Cornbread Taco Casserole

1 lb ground beef (For a healthier option, I used ground turkey and it was delicious!)
1 can cream corn
1 packet taco seasoning
1 box cornbread mix
2/3 cup salsa
1 onion 
1 cup water
1 can black beans
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Mix cream corn, cornbread mix and 1/2 cup water in small bowl.
Spread mixture into bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and then remove.
Cook meat with onion, drain well.
Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning and simmer until water is absorbed.
Add salsa and black beans to meat and mix well.
Spoon meat mixture over cornbread evenly. Top with cheese.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

Also, the other day at Harris Teeter, I picked up 15 bananas for 50 cents! I decided it was time for me to bake some yummy banana bread.  I started looking for recipes online and noticed that they were somewhat high in calories.  I finally found one that I LOVE! I will forever be using this recipe from now on.  It's from the Cooking Light website.

Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf, 14 servings (serving size: 1 slice)


  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3  cup  plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Since I had so many dadgum bananas, I Quadrupled this recipe. I made 6 loaves regular and two with chocolate chips.  I stuck all but one loaf in the freezer and they should last a while since Seth doesn't eat Banana bread..he is allergic to bananas!

Yes, that IS a cat platter that my sweet meme got for me.  haha, it's adorable

I will post the pumpkin bread recipe when I figure out what the heck I did with it.

But yes, as you can tell, fall is here..whether the weather wants to cooperate is another story.  I took Penny outside this morning around 10 and it felt PHENOMENAL. Then it got up to around 90 this afternoon...I'm still waiting for those 70 degree days...they will come with time, i am sure.

What's the plan for the weekend?  We actually have none yet...a cookout at our place was talked about amongst a few of us Charlotteans <--is that the right word?  Or is is Charlottites? Either way..we may grill out on Saturday or Sunday..and of course we will be watching the Final of the U.S. Open and some football...other than that, not much.  

We are visiting a new church on Sunday called Elevation church.  It's in Uptown Charlotte.  Don't really know the different between uptown and downtown, but it looks like this:

I googled uptown and downtown Charlotte and it gave me the same photos..

We are excited to find a church home here in the Charlotte area. We've heard good things about Elevation church..we will see.

It's time for me to get in bed! I have lots of stuff to get done tomorrow for work.  Addressing postcards, cutting ribbon, gluing papers on paper bags..etc.  Our first wedding is in 15 days so I am getting the decor stuff ready to go.  Seth works tomorrow until 2 and then I think we may just take it easy..we will probably make a trip to Barnes and Noble and take Penny for her evening stroll.

Have a Happy Happy Friday!

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