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Show Us Your House: Mantles

This week’s tour is all about Mantles. I never feel like my mantle is exactly how I want it. I go from minimalist to cluttered and there’s no in between, apparently. Just a little bit ago when I did our Family Room tour, the mantle was in a minimalist phase. A few weeks later and I’m back to cluttered. I suffer from indecision, in case that wasn’t already crystal clear.

I’m never sure when enough is enough and creeps into the realm of “oh my gah, she’s a hoarder.” I’m totally digging this look….for now. The large clock centerpiece is one of my favorite finds. It doesn’t work at all but it only cost $5 at Wal*Mart about 5 years ago. It was marked down to $15 from $49 because it didn’t work. I talked the manager dude down to $5. My thrift-finder mama was so proud. I was going to see about getting it fixed but when the quote came in at more than the original price of the clock I just hung it up broken. Ha!

I even dusted for you guys, don’t you feel special? The big wooden tray in the center came from Target, on clearance for $3.98! I grabbed the candles in bulk at IKEA since they are so cheap. The blue matches the color in our throw pillows.

I love this black birdcage. I bought it years ago (seriously, like 13 years ago) when a home decor store went out of business. Paid a whopping $3 for it. Bam! The set of 3 boxes came from my sister’s house. I snagged them from her Goodwill pile.

The wooden canister is a souvenier that Matt’s brother brought back for us from their recent trip to the Philippines. The bowl of river rocks….well that came from IKEA.

I didn’t realize how much stuff I could fit on this mantle. Pretty impressive, no? That might be my inner hoarder talking.

The bamboo stalk came from IKEA and I’d like to point out that it’s still alive despite my well-documented black thumb. Bam! The shadow box picture is from Target and I love the quote –> “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” Love it.

The tiered candle holder is from Pier One- I’ve had it for years. I have IKEA scented tea candles in there right now- apple pie and cinnamon scent. Yum. The picture is Maia circa 2006. People are constantly mistaking that picture for Zoey. They look so much alike that it’s startling sometimes. I need to do a comparison post so you can see the similarities.

That wraps up today’s mantle tour. Next up will be our small foyer.

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What’s for Dinner: Weekly Menu

Monday– Parmesan Sesame Chicken Strips, Corn on the Cob

Tuesday– Dinner Out

Wednesday– Steak Fajitas

Thursday– Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Friday– Pizza Night

Saturday– Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches, Tater Tots, Zucchini Boats

Sunday– FFY (Fend For Yourself)

Parmesan Sesame Chicken Strips

2 sleeves Ritz crackers (butter flavor)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 lbs frozen chicken tenders, thawed
1 cup light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons ground mustard

Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Crush crackers with rolling pin in ziploc bag. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, onion, and mustard. In a second bowl, combine crushed crackers, sesame seeds, and Parmesan cheese. Dip tenders into mayonnaise mixture, then into crumb mixture. Place chicken on foil-covered baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream

Whisk the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken in a Zip-loc bag. Let it marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, but preferably a half day or so. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill the tortillas with chicken, saving marinade, and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Put tortillas in 9×13 pan as you go. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (if there is any). Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Shared with Menu Plan Monday.

Strawberry Sensation Glazed Cake Recipe

Strawberry Sensation Glazed Cake

I love strawberries and when I found this recipe I knew it would be perfect to bring to our Fourth of July picnic! This was intended to be an upside down cake but I don’t have such great luck with the actual upside down part of the upside down cake. It never ends well. But if you have the necessary coordination required, this cake would be gorgeous upside down. The flavors were amazing. I served it plain although you could also serve it with whipped topping. 

1 bag frozen sliced strawberries (or 2 cups fresh)
1 pkg (6oz) Strawberry jello
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 pkg White Cake mix


Spread strawberries on bottom of 13×9 baking dish and slightly crush them. I used frozen sliced strawberries because I had a bag in the freezer. Next time I make this cake I’ll use fresh strawberries. 


Sprinkle dry jello powder over top of strawberries.


Top mixture with mini marshmallows.


Prepare cake mix as directed on box.


Pour cake batter over top of marshmallows.


Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Cool completely.

Serve slices upside down (whipped topping optional). Store leftovers in the fridge.


Doesn’t that look yummy? Let me tell you, it tasted even better than it looks! 
Strawberry Sensation Glazed Cake
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  1. 1 bag frozen sliced strawberries (or 2 cups fresh)
  2. 1 pkg (6oz) Strawberry jello
  3. 3 cups mini marshmallows
  4. 1 pkg White Cake mix
  1. Spread strawberries on bottom of 13x9 baking dish and slightly crush them.
  2. Sprinkle dry jello powder over top of strawberries.
  3. Top mixture with mini marshmallows.
  4. Prepare cake mix as directed on box.
  5. Pour cake batter over top of marshmallows.
  6. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Cool completely.
  7. Serve slices upside down (whipped topping optional).
  8. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/


Discontent- not content, dissatisfied.

Seems like a horrible word to apply to one’s life, doesn’t it? It’s not my whole life, don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I love my family. I love my kids. It’s just a general, underlying feeling of discontent. I know people will shake their heads and call me selfish or ungrateful when they read that. Believe me, I call myself those things on the regular. Even worse, I feel them in my heart. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a husband who loves me, and kids that I adore. I should be happy, it should be enough. I should be content. But yet, there is that niggling feeling inside myself.


I sit here writing this as I watch 4 of my children playing the Glee Karaoke game on the wii. I smile as I listen to them singing along and encouraging each other to sing louder. I giggle as the 4 year old belts out a super funny version of Gold Digger, complete with dance moves and full of attitude. I watch in amazement as the almost 2 year old busts out her own dance moves and tries singing along with her brother. I savor this rare moment of sibling harmony before the next argument breaks out. Despite the sheer joy of the scene in front of me, that discontent is ever present in the back of my mind.

I crave change almost as much as I abhor it. I’m an oxymoron. Or maybe just a plain moron. I feel restless when I should be relaxed. I feel the need to change or shake things up. I feel stuck in a rut, in a routine, inside myself. It’s nothing I can put my finger on, nothing that stands out and screams at me, nothing that I can just change to fix the feeling. It is just there.

My intellectual side knows that I am likely in one of my depressive cycles, the ones that have become somewhat common since my battle with postpartum depression and all that came along with that. I can go weeks, sometimes even months, before the next one hits but I know there will always be a next one. It’s as inevitable as the toddler eating play-doh. How I react to these cycles differs with the severity. Sometimes re-arranging the furniture can take my mind off of it. Sometimes getting out of the house helps me stop the endless self-hating script that runs through my brain during these times. I never know what will be the balm for my soul.

Despite my intellectual side knowing all that, the rest of me fears the long term effects that my depression will have on my children. I try to hide it, to plaster a smile on my face, to engage with them as usual. But I’m sure they sense the shift in my emotions. I try to snap myself out of the funk as soon as it begins, knowing that if I don’t succeed it will only worse as I sink into the black abyss for days at a time. I force myself to go through the motions of everyday life when all I want to do is curl up in my bed and sleep the days away.

It has to get better. It just has to get better. I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to be this depressed, sad, discontented person. I don’t want to be a shell of the woman I used to be, the mother I used to be.

I want to be whole again. I have to believe that I will be whole again. One day.

Pouring my Heart out