My Casa Bella

COME IN THE EVENING, OR COME IN THE MORNING;

COME WHEN YOU'RE LOOK'D FOR,

OR COME WITHOUT WARNING.

KISSES AND WELCOME YOU'LL FIND BEFORE YOU,

AND THE OFTENER YOU COME HERE

THE MORE I'LL ADORE YOU!

-Thomas Osbourne Davis



Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.





















Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trees, Trees, and More Trees, OH MY!!!!

So this is where we live.
In a very wooded area, just outside of Washington D.C., believe it or not.
This County we live in do not believe in cutting down trees unless you have a very good reason for doing so.
And in this community, not sure if it's a County Law, but in this community we live in, you cut a tree down on your property you have to replace it with another.
Because as you can see we're lacking in trees.
Now don't get me wrong, I love trees, I love how it keeps us cooler in the summer here.
We have lovely views from our deck and windows
 
Trees:
 
Trees:
 
And more trees:

 
And it's beautiful.
But when a storm comes through, and not just rain, a severe storm it scares me half to death because a lot of these trees are very tall and old.
They built this community in the middle of the woods here.
So when it storms and you see these large trees swaying side to side it makes you sick because you're just waiting to hear or see a tree going down.
And it has happened. We've been here two years and so far we've been OK
BUT NOT LAST NIGHT!!!
Storm suddenly came, winds picked up, rain coming down so hard you could hardly see out, the trees were bending way too much for me not to be frightened, then the lights went out!
Suddenly I see this black shadow go past our living room windows and I just braced myself to see what that was and where was it going
Then a loud crashing sound and this is what we saw
 
 
Believe it or not, it's not a tree, it's a tree limb, that's how large these trees are.
It shattered our table, crushed a chair and broke another chair.
Split our pine tree and it's hanging over the fence.
The fence seems to be OK.
Hmmm, will the Insurance cover a new table and chairs?
We'll see.
But all is OK, we're fine, the house is fine, it could of been a lot worse.
UGH, these storms are getting really scary and violent.
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Time To Start Over

Spring has arrived here, finally, although today is a bit chilly and damp, kind of going right through me.
I love days like this for it's coziness, curl up on the couch and watch a good old movie
or to bake a wonderful Gluten Free Banana Choc Chip Walnut Bread
But days like this are not good for Fibromyalgia, not one bit. It was close to 90 degree's yesterday then today
in the 60's and chilly and damp,
bad weather for me.
The Fibro doesn't seem to want to just stay steady, I know I won't get better from it but it's getting worse.
I had to cut back on work, significantly, and I hope to be able to hang on to what I do have and not have to quit completely but time will tell.
So I decided to get back into my sewing. Making my handbags and selling them.
I have four orders right now, so I'm happy, and I hope to be able to have some more.
It'll allow me to work from home, do what I love doing and do it at my pace.
So we'll see what this starting over will do.
I have beautiful fabrics that I'm having customers choose from.
Prices vary from $30.00 to 40.00 depending if using trim and if so what type of trim. The price includes shipping in the USA, out of the country, sorry, I'll have to charge you for the shipping.
To see photos of my bags go to
if you like what you see message me here on my blog.
 
Purple and white:
Trim can be added and solid handles as well 
 
Dragonflies and Lady Bugs:
Perfect for that little girl
Hot pink trim and pink handles will make this adorable 
 
Shabby Chic:
Pinks, green's and white.
Handles will be the fabric over the shoulder handle, can add pink or green trim as well 
 
Pink Family:
From top left Brown/Pink Polka dots with matching butterfly fabric
Brown/Pink/Green Polka dot with matching floral print fabric
Pink/Brown and White stripe with matching Floral fabric
Brown/Pink gingham and Toile
Coral and Brown/Coral and Green fabric
I would use dark brown handles either solid or beaded with pretty coordinating trims 
 
Green's:
Two left prints go together, green/pink/dark brown and robin's egg blue
Two right fabrics go together, a tweed green and brown with a cotton duck green, brown and cream fabric
Dark brown handles and coordinating trim will add the finishing touch 
 
Blues:
Two far left go together, blue, cream, dark brown, taupe stripe with the retro flowers fabric
Two far right are blue, dark brown polka dots with the blue and brown toile fabric
Dark brown handles and coordinating trim will be beautiful 
 
Brown:
Two far left, the Vienna Fabric, shows different Vienna scenes
Two far right, brown, pink, cream and green's
Dark brown handles and coordinating trim will finish these off 
 
Pinks and Black:
Two far left go together, black with pink polka dots and pink and black toile of the Eiffel Tower
Black, pink, green and white retro swirl is on its own, makes a lovely full purse
Add black handles and fun trim to the Eiffel tower fabric and black handles to the swirl 
 
Teapot:
The fabric in the middle is the main fabric with either the red or green to coordinate.
Add brown handles or black with trim and it's lovely 
 
Cottage:
Red and cream gingham with red and cream toile.
Add light brown handles and a pretty trim and its complete 
 
Red
Red and cream fabric will make a great one piece purse. 
 
Black and Whites:
So these go like this, the top left gingham goes with the two under it, toile prints.
The chevron print goes with the black with white damask print
The white with black polka dots goes with the white with black print damask
The black with white polka dots goes with the Eiffel Tower print
and the bottom two can either go together or make one bag on it's own.
Add black handles and some fun trim and it's done 
Have a lovely evening!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Gardening

I drive past this garden center for work once a week and I've had to control myself from stopping in because the weather was still chilly, nights were still in the low 30's
BUT finally weather has been steady low 60's nights are in the upper 30's to low 40's and I could plant Spring flowers.
I LOVE LOVE Ranunculus flowers, they look like roses and the colors they come in are amazing.
They just put them out and I had to control how many to buy.
I have two wall hanging planters so I bought the same flowers for both but in different colors.
Here's the Pink planter:
A Ranunculus in the center, Prim Roses on either side
and Pansies front and center.
This one is at the side of our home, at the side deck.
 
Here's the Orange planter:
Same flowers in this planter, this one is at the front of our home.
 
And a box of pansies as well on our deck:
 
We have issues with lots and lots of squirrels here and they love to deconstruct my flower pots, last summer they dug them up and I'd find them on the ground,
needless to say I started to hate squirrels.
So this year I'm trying  this
I added shards of broken ceramic planter, so far it's worked, it sounds cruel though, hubby says to me "I can't believe you'd do that to those poor little furry cute animals what if it slices itself and gets hurt"
I said "well he shouldn't be in there digging in the first place"
So far it's worked, we'll see for how long though.
I've also planted some perennials we'll see how they do. Still have a lot of work to do and more space for more plants.
But it was nice to finally get out after a long, snowy winter and dig into the soil and do some yard clean up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Southwest Spaghetti Pie (Gluten Free)

It's been awhile since I've posted recipes on here, but today I thought I should share this easy and delicious
comfort food.
 
It came out of a small magazine called "Hometown Cooking" not sure if they still publish that.
Anyway, they had this recipe in it and it is so good!!
Here it is:
(I tweaked it a bit for my taste, I'll put those in parenthesis)
 
Southwest Spaghetti Pie
 
8 oz of dried Spaghetti (I used GF Brown Rice Spaghetti)
1/2 cup milk (you can use non dairy if you need to)
1 egg
1 lb ground pork (I used beef it's what I had)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1  medium red or green pepper chopped (3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic (I used 4 cloves, love garlic)
1 Tbsp chili powder (if you can't handle heat just use half)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I added more to taste)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt ( I added to taste)
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
(I had Italian mix on hand)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
 
Directions:
Cook spaghetti, (now some people who've cooked Gluten Free spaghetti have gotten quite frustrated, if you'd like to try it here is the way to cook it, water HAS TO BE BOILING, add salt to the water and a little bit of olive oil or whatever oil on hand, it helps prevent sticking. The trick with GF pasta is the water needs to always be boiling while it's cooking and you HAVE to stir every two minutes, to make sure the noodles don't stick. They won't stick if you follow these rules. Make sure there is enough room in the pot for the noodles to move around, do not cook any pasta in a small pot, it doesn't work well.
For this recipe I cooked the noodles for 10 minutes, they need to be al dente, which means when you bite into it, soft on the outside with a little firmness inside. This will cook through in the oven. It's simple, and so good, I do not miss regular pasta since I started eating GF pasta)
For all those who I may offend right now, sorry, but I broke the pasta in half, I know that's against the rules but for a casserole it's easier if you break them in half, in my opinion.
 
OK, after the pasta has cooked, drain well. Return pasta to the pot, add milk and egg and stir quickly into the hot pasta.
Transfer pasta to a lightly greased 3 quart baking dish.
In a large Skillet cook meat, onion, pepper and garlic until meat is cooked through.
Drain any fat. Add spices and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce next, (I added a teaspoon of sugar, helps with the acidity) cook 2 more minutes.
Spoon meat over top of pasta,
In a bowl combine the shredded cheeses and top meat with the cheese.
Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, or until bubbly. Let it stand for 5 minutes before cutting into.
ENJOY!!
 
It has a spicy kick to it and very flavorful. Leave me a comment and tell me if you liked it.
I served it with Gluten Free cornbread, it was so good!
We'll have more tonight.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bath Remodel and Sewing

So another before and after. Been here now almost two years and it never ends.
Always something to do, which is fine that's the point of having your own home, right?
I've been home for a week, sick, so sick I couldn't lift my head up. I thought I may have actually gone through a winter and not catch a cold.
WELL, this cold has made up for that. Coughing and sounding as if there is a dog barking inside of me. UGH!!
Anyway,
I was going through some pictures of projects and realized I haven't post any of them.
First one is of the half bath.
Oh that was a scary room. Very 70's with the gold and black.
Gold wallpaper, thankfully this was the only room in the house that had wallpaper.
Black vanity and mirror, and wait for it
Black toilet seat with that nasty cushion on it!!
Oh it was awful. Absolutely gross. And like everywhere else in this place,
it smelled.
So after removing the wallpaper, and the toilet and the strange toilet paper holder
Martha Stewart Moss green paint, new fixtures and new light.
Same vanity just painted white and painted the frame around mirror white as well.
 
And of course a new toilet. Painting above is from a friend who's dad is a very talented artist, I love his stuff and it went great in here with the colors.
Then later I bought some fabric to cover the vanity with. It's the only original thing in this house, other than the hot tub downstairs.
We plan on replacing the vanity, but in the meantime, I wanted to hide it, even though I painted the cabinet I still didn't like the way it looked.
Colors in there are moss green with eggplant color. Love those combinations.
Still have to finish some trim in here as well as throughout the house.
Also did some skirting in the laundry room.
Sink Before
Sink After
Well, that's it for now. There will be more, especially with the warm weather coming I hope to have a lot done with our back yard.