Home Runs

Outdoor Living

By Charlotte on October 1, 2010 8:25 AM

Bob and I got the middle-age crazies after Cole graduated high school. So bad that while he toured with his band Verae, we bought a lot and began building our "dream" home. (We're still trying to explain that one.)

Full view-350.jpgWhen designing what would become our empty nest, we added a comfy outdoor living area. Though that meant we'd soon become very familiar with the CA-CHING of change orders, it was worth it. We practically live out back now and, like many of our Texas neighbors, we enjoy our wide open spaces most of the year.


So when the seasons change, I'm always looking for ways to dress up the backyard. That was no problem this fall thanks to the kind folks at Kirkland's sending us some fabulous autumn accents to try.



With Linda and Debbie onboard, I relaxed.

It was time to step back and enjoy the show

because these girls work decorating magic.


After receiving the goodies, I immediately called my friend Debbie. She owns Inspired by Ella Grace, the cutest shop in Colleyville's Vineyards Antique Mall. Debbie's got quite a knack for finding reasonably priced treasures and gladly pitches in whenever I have a decorating dilemma.


close up on fireplace 350.jpgWe agreed Kirkland's harvest-hued wreath, acorns, pumpkin and doormat would give my back porch a welcome fall facelift. To complete the picture, Debbie suggested adding an inviting throw, brightly colored crotons, and, of course, real pumpkins. I also picked up purple asters, golden mums and a garland that complemented the wreath. We both searched our attics for other items to enhance the fall scene; then we called Linda, the design maven in our group, to help pull it all together.


With Linda and Debbie onboard, I relaxed. It was time to step back and enjoy the show because these girls work decorating magic.


side view with page 350 2.jpgThey placed the colorful Kirkland's "Welcome" mat and my rust candle-laden candelabra in front of the fireplace screen while adorning the mantle with the wreath and garland. Debbie warmed my black rocker with a cozy, orange-and-gold striped throw while Linda tilted copper tubs from my garage, filling them with asters, mums and pumpkins. Then we accessorized the stone shelf beside the fireplace with Kirkland's woven pumpkin and three, oversized acorns; a gourd-packed, antique-brass hurricane and an auburn plate (an earlier Kirkland's find).


A few minutes later, we'd outfitted my porch for fall in a style suitable for framing. All it needed was a little help from my friends and these delightful signs of the season from Kirkland's:


Autumn Harvest Wreath $29.99







Harvest Acorn $6.99



 Harvest "Welcome" Doormat $9.99




 Woven Pumpkin - Small $17.99





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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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