Colorado Red American Clay Before and After Entry

My in-laws are my neighbors and yes, it's a GREAT thing :-)  

They have been gone for 2 months in Ireland.  While they were away, one of their closest friends  heavily encouraged me to do their entry in American Clay before they came back.  I had talked about it forever with my mother in law and I knew she would be very blessed so I buckled down and began the project.

So, instead of reading my great novel (ha, I don't have time to read!) I got all the stuff out of my garage and walked over their house and got right to it.

Here are the BEFORE shots.

Upon walking in the door.

And magically after many days and many hours - this appeared!



OK so I'll go back a few steps :-) 

Step one:

 Initiate a helper....a willing child is a great choice :-)

Apply one coat of American Clay Earth Plaster.  Tell me that looks good enough to eat. :-)

After it dries, skip trowel another layer of American Clay on top.

Up close shot as the clay is drying.  Isn't that cool!

And the comparison.......Don't you wish I was your neighbor?  Hee, hee!

Their friend Chuck Gause is the most talented water color artist I know!  He did that beautiful bear painting.

Up close of the final dried product.  I used the Enjarre American Clay and the pigment (color) was Colorado Red.

And this is the other side of the entry.....I love a console table with lamps and a mirror.  That is such a staple for a good entry focal point.  I have a post dedicated on tips  to make your entry stand out.  You'll be happy you read it!

What do you think?  

Do you have a small space you would like to add American Clay too? 

You can see MANY more examples of the clay in other rooms by entering American Clay on the right hand side search bar.

Hope you enjoyed seeing yet another room makeover!

I'm COLD, he's HOT - Sleep Number DualTemp Blog Review

I have had so much fun working with with the Sleep Number company.  They asked if I would like to review their newest innovation the DualTemp Layer.

My first thought was, 

Are you saying I don't have to get into a FREEZING cold bed every night!!?  And my husband's first thought was, You mean I don't have to get into a HOT bed every night!!?  

Yes yes, my husband and I get along VERY well but when it comes to the climate zone.....we have issues ;-)  

I am always freezing and he is always hot.  We have the battle of the thermostat daily.

So off we went to our local Sleep Number store to check out the DualTemp Layer.

As you can see, I'm trying to do my very best Vanna White impression. :-)

After talking to our Sleep Number rep Barb, what amazed me the most was that the product works by AIR circulating, not electrical currents covering my body like electric blankets do!  The goal is for the DualTemp Layer, along with your normal covers, to work like a cocoon of circulating warm or cool air .  It has a small air filtration box that you would put either to the side of your bed or under it.  

How cool (or hot) is that?.....Yes, pun intended :-)

This is quite the awkward photo.....but, there was no way my husband was going to crawl into bed and have me put that on my blog! :-)

We have now had the DualTemp Layer on our bed for 2 weeks. Yes, they did give me this to review, but you guys know, all these opinions are my own.  :-)

The Review:

The product arrived in a big box that was very well organized.  The manual was on the outside of the bag in a plastic pocket.  My husband said it was very easy to set up on the bed and probably took him 20 minutes. (No stress, no irritation trying to put it up - YEA!) 

The first night I had mine set on the heat level TWO and my hubby had it set on cold THREE.  

The Result:

When I woke up I realized that our bed covers hadn't moved all night!  Neither one of us tossed or turned!  In general, our bed is a disaster in the morning.....that was very interesting, it meant we must have slept very well - right?

I decided that I didn't need the heat all through the night, the next night I'd set it for an hour as the problem I have is trying to fall asleep in a cold bed (my body just won't relax) but, I've never had problems after I have fallen asleep.  My husband on the other hand, woke up cold!  This is HILARIOUS!  That has never happened to him!  (He wakes up hot all the time, has to go to the thermostat and make it colder.....which bugs me so much!)  He ended up turning his down all the way to level one and in the morning, turned our air conditioner down.  (Hey, that will save us some money!)  He totally loved it.  He also loved that there is this very faint fan noise.  He has tinnitus so a small white noise really helps with the ringing in his ear.  I don't like noises, but the fan was quiet enough that it didn't raise any issues of dislike for me.  

  You can either put the layer under your sheet or just lay it on top (the grey casing is washable).  We put ours under the sheet.  We both enjoyed the feel the layer gave on the bed as it is lined with a memory foam.  In general, my husband likes his bed "hard" but said he liked that extra layer.  He said, "it still kept my bed plenty firm." You have a wireless remote that you can set to either hot or cold (this has 3 setting like warm, warmer and warmest)  It takes around 20 minutes to warm up if you are setting it to hot, and when I say hot, it's not really hot, but a cozy warm.  I have had an electric blanket years ago and that can get hot, this just gets to a very comfortable warm and takes the edge off of getting into a COLD bed.   The remote also has a timer on it where you can set it to turn off anywhere from 1 hr on up, but automatically turns off after 10 hours. 

Final thoughts after 2 week review:

I am the type of person who has to take a hot bath EVERY night in order to feel relaxed enough to go to sleep.  Being able to relax my body from the moment I step into the covers has been wonderful.  If I want to take a bath I do, but it's no longer a must to get my body relaxed.  My husband no longer has to crank the AC on in order to sleep through the night.  I would say, my husband and I will enjoy this product for many years to come.  

Our Tuscan bedroom - click to see whole tour.

You can check out their website for even more information:

Can you guess what I like?  Ya, a soft, cuddly and now a very WARM bed to snuggle in.  You can see more mattress reviews by clicking the highlighted link.

I'm a very happy camper :-)
If interested, please see my full disclosure policy.

~Coconut Caramel Protein Bars~ Plus intro to Flax Milk!

Alright, you guys can probably tell I have been on a protein kick lately (see the chia chocolate pudding recipe!)  On the health plan I have been following, eating protein is VITAL!  (to build muscle!)  In fact, I pretty much eat some kind of protein every three hours.

So this next recipe is one of my FAVORITES, as in I start to panic when I only see one left in the freezer.  

It's quite an easy recipe too, I will warn you though, it's sticky!

Looks good - huh ;-)  

If you're not a coconut fan, just roll it in something about chocolate flakes?

RECIPE: (12 bars)

10 dates (or any favorite dried fruit) chopped
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/3 c Almond (or any nut) butter
3/4 c milk (or any "milk", my personal favorite is FLAX milk!)
1 1/2 c oat flour (which is just 2 c oatmeal ground up)
160 grams of any protein powder.  
(I used NOW vanilla whey protein isolate @ 5 scoops)
1 c shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

Lastly all these can all be adjusted to your personal taste:

1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Stevia or 8 packs Truvia
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract


Simply put all the ingredients into a mixer (except coconut) and mix.
In a 9x13 baking dish sprinkle half the coconut flakes on the bottom.
Pour (yes this will be sticky!) your mixture into the pan.
Use some water on your clean hands to spread it around.
Sprinkle remaining coconut on top!

(adapted from Desserts with Benefits)

I like to put it in my freezer for 20 min before cutting it up.  I then place each bar in a baggie and keep it in the freezer and pull out whenever I need a very filling and healthy snack!  My favorite way to eat it is with plain Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia and cinnamon.  Adding fresh berries to the yogurt makes this extra yummy!

Please note, if you use a different protein powder than I listed, the consistency may change but that's not a bad thing, who knows, maybe you'll like it even better!

Did you notice I mentioned Flax milk?  Ya, my new favorite!  I have tried almond, soy and coconut milk and I'm not a big fan of any of them.  But the other day, I ran across Good Karma Flax milk and OH MY WORD, I loved it!  And I loved that it was only 25 calories a cup, full of Omega 3's and had as much calcium in it as a glass of cow's milk.  Did I mention (for me) the taste was great?  Like creamy good.  What's there not to like?    :-) 

Just dip the caramel bar right in the yogurt and ENJOY!

As you can see, in this picture, the bar is thawing (bending) a little.  You can eat it right out of the freezer or wait a few minutes and it becomes a caramel gooey delight!

For those who would like nutritional facts here they are:

1 Bar (makes 12)

Protein: 13.5 grams
Carbs: 18.3 grams
Fat: 7.7 grams
Fiber: 1.2 grams
Calories: 196

Feel free to use my coupon code ESE794 for $10.00 off your first order from

ENJOY my friends and let me know if you try them (or the Flax milk)!

 Don't miss out on Selina's home decor tips and inspirations - Sign up to receive her once a week post :-)

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

see full disclosure policy regarding links

A Visit to Ireland's Lisheen Castle - Downton Abbey Lovers Dream Destination/Vacation

Last year I was introduced to the television series Downton Abbey.  I was HOOKED (and so was my husband, and that's saying something!)  Honestly, it just puts you in another world.  So, when my in laws sent me some photos of THEIR castle stay in Ireland I knew I MUST show my readers.

You can RENT this castle out!  Ya, you can sleep and eat there!  My in law's friends had a big family reunion and rented out the castle for all of them.  It just so happened that it was at the same time my in laws were up there too (they were there for 2 months!) so they stopped over for a night.  Really, if you have enough people staying there and divide up the cost, it is NOT all that bad.  You can see the owners website for rates. His name is Zane and my inlaws said he's a super nice guy :-)  He and his wife were the ones that had to vision to restore it.

Here they are - my wonderful in laws......they are also my neighbors, we missed them!

I think my favorite room was what was probably the servants quarters!  Nothing add as much character as an old rock wall.  Lovely.

This was their view from their room.......

Can you just IMAGINE sitting out there drinking tea and reading a good book?!

And here is where most people would eat.  Ya, like if you were there, YOU would be eating at that table.  I just think that's so cool :-)

This looks like a guy room....maybe this is where they would go for their cigars and cocktails after dinner?  I don't know, maybe I have been watching too much Downton Abbey :-)

And well this looks like the ladies, not the bathroom :-)  You know what I mean, a room the ladies might hang out in and cross stitch?  OK, now I KNOW I've been watching too much TV!  

Beautiful stairs leading up the the bedrooms - Maximum capacity is 16 people!

They have titled this "My Lady's Room"

Look at that wonderful grand piano!  Ah, I would just LOVE to stay here!

And that's it for the Lisheen Castle Tour!  What do you think?  

Have you ever done anything like this yourself?  

Flower Boxes, Garden Tips, Landscape and My Own Backyard

An amazing thing has happened - 

We bought and planted some TREES!!

Honestly, after building the house, there was just no extra $ to do this!  So, I'm excited :-)

Those three plants from Left to Right are:

Wolf Eyed (Kousa) Dogwood
(known as a slow grower - hence the fact I am excited to get it in the ground!)
I also found out that you can EAT the berries it produces!

Multi Stemmed River Birch
(I am so in love with that peeling bark!!!)


Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce
(a little cutie)


So overall we bought 15 trees - pretty much all the trees that will be in our front yard.  No bushes or shrubs yet and we haven't barked or rocked the area either.... all in time!  

I'll wait till October when the trees are turning color and snap a shot for you guys!!!!  

I had a lot of fun with my window boxes this year.  In June I had stopped by a fruit stand and they had these filler flowers that had "Seen Better Days" and so they were selling them for .33 cents each!  How could I go wrong?  Ya, they look wilted and wimpy but isn't that what WATERING and fertilizer is for?

So for under 15 bucks each box - here is what I got!

.33 cents for that luscious hot pink wave petunia!!

That planter I got at 80% off one year at Target - it was a Smith and Hawkins copper planter that was originally 100 bucks and I got it for 20!!  Love Target sales!

I have a fun tip for all you novice gardeners.  I say novice because all you advanced green thumbs might already know this but when I learned it I was floored!

Did you know you can put your geraniums from the year before in the garage ALL WINTER LONG and they will come back for SUMMER!!!!  You just water them once a month and trim them back a little.  

I didn't know I was supposed to trim them so they became really top heavy this year but these are the SAME red flowers I had last year that sat in my garage all winter.  

That's cool - huh!!  Talk about a good money saving tip - right?

That's it for this gardener - next year maybe trees for the BACK yard which will include some fruit trees!!!  

Is there anything better than picking fruit in the summer from your own backyard?   Oh and some raspberry bushes - that's on the "must have" list.  

Someday it will all come together......I'm working on patience :-)  

My Favorite FALL Recipes - How to Use Up Apples, Cherries and Pumpkin


I can hardly believe it!
(This was yesterday,  once again, striking a pose for her first day of school shot! :-)

I hope you all had a fantastic summer.

Some of my long time readers will remember me saying that this summer I was going to focus on my health, getting in shape and being outside more.  (hence the lower occurrence posts June - August)

Let me tell you, I DID!  I learned how to eat right, lift weights and run ;-)  It was a HUGE learning curb but after TONS of studying and applying my new knowledge I am down 24 lbs!

This was the program I followed:


I bought the dress below for $3.00 from the thrift store - hee,hee!


But now, I can focus more on the blog and get back to my regular weekly postings. (-:

 Of course, I'll continue with my workouts, but it's just a habit now and I don't have to spend hours trying to figure it all out. :-)  And no, I'm not starting up a fitness blog too - Ha!  ONE blog is plenty for me!

One of the things I did learn this summer is eating enough calories is VERY important.......(don't ever go on any starvation diets they just shut down your metabolism!) The best way to balance the great food you eat is with exercise.  (I wish I could tell you it was a magic pill!)

In keeping in with the food theme, I wanted to highlight some of my own favorite FALL recipes.

You might be surprised, but you do this all in a crockpot - SO EASY!  If you have a pear or apple tree, you HAVE to make this!!!!!!  

Yes, this has a secret ingredient that I promise will make this soup A MA ZING!

This is a HUGE hit in my family and has over 6,000 page views!

Another secret way to make this taste LIKE NO OTHER!  I promise, read the comments even!

You will NOT be disappointed!

I have made this too many times to count.  Have I ever mentioned I LOVE crockpot cooking? :-)

OK OK, I'm going to leave you with an amazing and easy desert that well, probably won't get you down 20 lbs BUT hey, everything in moderation is OK - right!

This is so simple (unlike a traditional apple pie with homemade crust) maybe this is the reason it has over 3,000 page views.

ENJOY my friends!!!  Here's to a wonderful Fall season.

OH, and for those who subscribe to my blog via Feedburner, I apologize for the 12 post email sent to you!  Unfortunately, the technical side of blogging is not my friend (insert a sad, crying avatar face here) If it happens again, I will try to figure out what in the world is going on.  Just know, I wasn't trying to send out 12 posts in one email!  Horrible!! :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...