Thursday, January 10, 2013

My post-Christmas mantel & a yummy recipe

This week I took some time puttering with the fireplace mantel in the family room. It was time to put away all the greenery and glittery Christmas stuff and get out some fresh, new things. While I do love Christmas, I'm always ready to move on to January and all the newness that comes with the beginning of the year.

I created this sign using a round, salvaged piece of wood. Behind it, I hung a window frame and a flag banner inspired by all the banners at the wedding on the season premier of Downton Abbey on Sunday night. Best show ever.

And I put out my little collection of old green bottles.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm not a great cook. Honestly, I just don't really enjoy being in the kitchen and coming up with new meals day after day. But this dish makes me feel like like super woman. And it's so easy, I just had to share it with you. It's crockpot chicken enchilada soup, and I found it here.

{Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup}
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes and jalapenos
1 package (10 ounce) frozen or canned corn
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, diced
1 can (10 ounce) Enchilada sauce
2 whole chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth. Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. In a large bowl, whisk together the enchilada sauce and chicken broth mixture . Gradually whisk in remaining milk until smooth. Set aside.
In a crockpot, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and bell pepper. Place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker. Cover; cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. When you are ready to serve, remove chicken and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken back into the soup, mix together. Top with cheese and serve. I topped ours with slices of avocado, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.


  1. I love the simplicity of the mantel! The bottles and that sign are just fantastic!

    Have a great day.

  2. I LOVE your mantel. clean & crisp & pretty! & I LOVE downton abbey too!

  3. Love it Aimee! Quick question, how do you manage to hang so many signs all around your house and for little photo shoots etc without leaving tons of holes in your walls??? I feel paralyzed about putting tons of nail holes in my walls but love the look of moving things around the house to keep them feeling "new" and my perspective "fresh." Any hints or ideas??? I love your work and your blog- keep it up and thank you! - sarah

    1. I have lots of holes in my walls, but I really don't mind too much. If it starts to look too bad, I just fill them with quick drying, light-weight spackling, then put a quick coat of paint over the holes. I say - don't worry about putting in new holes! It's totally worth it and very easy to cover up. Go for it!!

  4. Love your look on the mantle. And the soup looks yummy too. If it ever decides to be winter I think I'd like to try and make it!

  5. I absolutely love your signs..we are moving into a new home with walk around fireplace.I would lo be that sign.(newly wed 7mos.) Im so excited to start my new life with my husband in our own home..I will definitely need this website for help with decorating and trying alot of diy ideas...thanks for sharing your talents with us

  6. First of all, your work is amazing! You have such a gift and thank you for not only sharing it with us but giving us tutorials to inspire us! Thank you ;) Question for you on this last sign...did you sand and glaze the edges? I love the look that it has with the black edge...just wondered how you achieved it! Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for your comment! On the sign, the background was originally dark brown, and I painted over it with white paint, leaving the edges unpainted. That's why the edges look darker. Pretty simple!

  7. What type of white paint do you use? Also have you done a tutorial on how to distress a canvas? I would love to see one if you have. I love your work!!!

    1. I just use regular latex paint - typically in flat or satin finish. To create a distressed look to canvas, I rub an ink pad around the edges. Let me know if you have any questions!


I love hearing from you! Thanks for your comments! ~Aimee


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