Thursday, January 29, 2015


Hey y'all.  That's it, just wanted to say HEY!

Naw just kidding. You know I'm gonna say A LOT more than just hey because you know I am one of those types who never shut up. Right?

Anyway, just to ramble a bit, I want to let you know that I finally got my DIY Restoration Hardware inspired wall art hung but I am still waiting to take pictures. I had plenty of sunshine last Saturday to get some good shots but just as soon as I got the tripod (a Christmas present to myself) setup the hubs said he wanted to take a trip to Lowes to grab a few things for a project he was working on.  Well you know me, I NEVER pass up a trip to Lowes and by the time we got back it was too dark to take any pictures. Everyday since then has been really dreary so no pictures yet but as soon as I get the chance I will make sure you get a good look at everything.

Also, I wanted to report that my Pancreatitis is getting better. I am feeling MUCH better too!  I will be going in for another check-up next week but I think everything is going good. My blood sugar levels are finally coming down (with the help of insulin) and I have a ton more energy.  I am feeling more like my old self everyday. Hooray!

Healthy eating has played a big part lately in getting all this under control. I know none of you struggle with poor eating habits but I do...BIG TIME. My whole family does. We are very busy people and eat mostly junk foods, fried foods and fast foods simply because they are convenient and easy. We are late night snackers as well and unless I am working on a project, doing something to keep me occupied, or I'm out of the house all evening, I snack here and there from the time I get up from the dinner table to the time I go to bed. I know, I know you don't even have to say it...that's HORRIBLE. I try to eat healthy snacks but nevertheless that's too.much.eating!

However, I have been trying really hard to make changes in my eating habits and to my diet, to all of our diets, and though we don't do everything perfect and there are still times we fudge a little, we are making a conscious effort to do things right. I don't want to be making anymore trips to the hospital!

You may have noticed that I put a list of some Healthy cooking sites on my side bar. These are really interesting sites and have a ton of good, healthy, easy recipes. Don't worry though Beyond the Portico is not going all Foodie on ya, though I do hope to post some healthy recipes here and there. I mainly put them there to give me a few sites to access quickly for ease of meal planning. However, feel free to peruse them yourself if something catches your eye.

Mainly I have been trying to use all fresh ingredients, eat more vegetables, lean meats and less carbs.  I LOVE pastas and breads so less carbs is REALLY hard. However, I have now been introduced to Zoodles (zucchini noodles). MMM, they are A.MAZING!...I will share more about those some other time as we ate ALL of them before I got a chance to take pictures. Oops! Yeah, they.are.that.good! Seriously!

The other night I experimented with Spaghetti Squash and made this AWESOME Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Casserole. 

It was FABULOUS too!

Now let's face it, squash is NOT noodles nor do they have the same taste or texture but this stuff had so much flavor you never miss the noodles. I swear that's the truth! It was soooo good there were no leftovers that night either. Even the hubs ate some and he pretty much refuses to eat veggies. He even mentioned that he wished there was some left because he wanted more.  Can you believe that?

With both the Zoodles and the Spaghetti Squash I ate less but felt more full and satisfied than I do when I eat real pasta; and, though I was full I did not have that heavy, miserable bloated feeling afterwards. I had a lot of energy and felt really good both evenings. I also did not feel the need to snack constantly on those nights either. Is it possible these are MIRACLE foods?

Not sure, but I do know they are good for you, they are low in carbs, low in fat and we love them. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest for both Zoodles and Spaghetti Squash and I hope to post a few recipes here too if you are interested in trying them.

I will be back soon with some pics of that RH inspired wall art...well, just as soon as the sun comes back out.  Until then, ciao!

Monday, January 19, 2015


A LONG time ago, in a land far away...well, maybe not in a land far away but it was a long time ago, I found this gorgeous glass chandy for just $3...

I posted about it HERE way back in June of 2013.  See I told you it was a LOOONG time ago. It was dirty and missing all it's crystals but I could see its potential and I dreamed that one day it would be hanging in my dining room.

Unfortunately the hubs REFUSED to get rid of the ceiling fan in the dining room...

a) because we paid quite a bit of money for it when we moved in, b) it was beautiful and c) I hadn't cried yet.  Just kidding!

Really, he did not want to get rid of that fan but I convinced him that it was "necessary" when we kept having problems taking the globe on and off the light to change the bulbs and there was constant frustration with the fan chain getting kinked. We could hardly ever use the fan because the chain would not pull right. Truthfully the fan was beautiful but it was very poorly designed and very frustrating to use and maintain. If I ever buy another ceiling fan it will come with remote control and the light bulbs will be easily accessible...I swear to that.

Yes that fan has been a BIG pain in the patoot but all of that was to my advantage. It made it that much easier to convince the hubs that we needed a beautiful glass chandy where all the bulbs could be changed without having to remove a globe to do so. It made it even more convincing when I told him that we would not be spending hundreds of dollars for a chandy but that I had gotten one for just a few dollars and that replacement crystals would only cost around $30.  HE AGREED and now I have this gorgeous chandy hanging in the dining room...

It was an ordeal to get took ALL day and a trip to Lowes because apparently I didn't get all the hardware to it when I purchased it. Oops.

The hardware we got from Lowes didn't work either but fortunately I had the hardware from our original chandy in the attic. It worked and we eventually got the new chandy up. The hubs was NOT happy with all the work involved or using up his whole Saturday on this but I am EXTREMELY happy with it.  Thanks hubs!!

So this is how the dining room looks today...

The table and chairs are a recent Craigslist find for $50. The chairs eventually will be reupholstered and painted white as will the china cabinet I bought a few months back. That is, when I can convince the hubs that these things are "meant" to be painted. LOL!  He's VERY reluctant.  He just doesn't have my vision.

As you can see I did not get my Restoration Hardware style art hung this weekend as I had hoped. Hanging the chandy, though it should have been a 30 minute job, turned out to be too huge an undertaking for one day. Perhaps I will get the art hung some time this week. I'll be sure to keep you up to date.


Friday, January 16, 2015


Happy Friday y'all! I just love weekends, don't you? The work week has been long but at last it's finally coming to an end. How's your week been?  Long? Yeah, I know!

What's even been longer than this week is how long it has taken me to finish my Restoration Hardware inspired art for the dining room.  It's been so long since I mentioned WAY back in NOVEMBER...that you probably don't even remember anything about it so let me jog your memory...

Remember now?...If not you can find the post about them HERE.

Well I got the frames built over the Thanksgiving holiday but am just now finishing everything up. I know, right!  Anyway, I think they turned out great and I couldn't wait to share a little peak with you...

I will share more and give you all the details as soon as I get them hung, which I hope to do this weekend.

I also hope to have some other exciting stuff to share with you next week...that involves this...

Yay, I can't wait!!!

Until then, have a FABULOUS weekend! Ciao

Friday, January 9, 2015


Happy 2015 everyone!  Well we are already more than a week into 2015. How'd that happen?

I was hoping to have posted my goals and project list for 2015 by now but I spent all of last week in the hospital. Yes, I finally found out why I have not been feeling well. I was admitted to the hospital right after Christmas with Pancreatitis. I'm telling you the pain was worse than child birth...not even kidding...but I am glad to know what the problem is and to be on the path to better health.

I am taking medications for my diabetes and high cholesterol and watching my diet. There is no fast, sure or easy cure for this condition. It's going to take a while and a lot of hard work on my part with good diet and exercise in order to correct all of this but I am starting to feel more like my old self everyday. Thank you Jesus!

I haven't gotten much done at home since Christmas...with the exception that the hubs put away all of the Christmas decor...bless his the house is pretty much back to normal.  Yay! I love all the pretty Christmas decorations but it always feels nice and refreshing to get it all cleaned up and put away for another year.

I have started to think about my project list for 2015 but first I want to reflect a little on 2014's project list to see how many things I have been able to check off and what is left to do...

Okay, so there are still quite a few items on the list that I did not get checked off but I think I did pretty good.  There are a few items on the list, like the capiz shell chandy for the master bedroom and the ottoman for the living room that I have changed my mind about so technically those could just be removed from the list.  Also I am about halfway finished with painting the trim and doors in the stairwell and I hope to get that finished and crossed off the list in the Spring.

For 2015 I think I am going to concentrate most of my energy outdoors. I am excited to say that we are currently working on redoing the screened porch...a project I have wanted to do for quite some time. The new panels have been made, thanks to my Father-in-law (love ya pops), and are ready to be sanded, painted and screened. We were hoping to have more done by now but with my hospital stay and the super cold temps this week we have had to put the project on hold; however, we will have it all finished up by the first signs of Spring.

I have great plans for that little porch and can't wait to FINALLY be able to spend some time in the evenings enjoying some time relaxing, fellowshipping with friends and sipping some Iced tea. Of course you know you are all invited!

Besides the screened porch, there are a few other outdoor projects that I want to complete this year...

I'm sure I will do a few things indoors too (like finish the dining room makeover) but right now the outside of the house needs more attention. Besides the list of things to do indoors is still so long that I'm not sure I even want to think about it all. It gives me a BIG headache. One thing's for sure though...I will EVENTUALLY get it all done.

So what's on your to do list this year? What are your plans for 2015? Have you written out a list to keep you on track?

I think the BIGGEST things on my list this year is to...

Yeah, that sounds nice!

Have a fantastic weekend. Ciao!

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