November 8, 2012

Cheesy Corn & Potato Chowder...

 It never fails...

As soon as Fall comes and the crisp chill is in the air, my cravings turn to warm comforting soups.  Hearty soups like chowders, are some of my favorite to make and eat. One of the chowders that I have been dreaming thinking about lately is a really yummy corn chowder!  I have tried many corn chowders over the years, some that I have liked more than others, but none that I really have said..."oh, wow...this is amazing!"  That is just how I think and feel about food...if it doesn't "wow" me why eat it?!

So, I have been on the quest for a really great recipe for an "amazing" corn chowder. I have been pinning a lot of soups, chowders and stews on Pinterest finding great inspiration. Do you love to read recipes as much as I do? I find reading the ingredients in a recipe and imagining what I think it would taste like tells me within minutes if it will be a keeper or not.

I found several corn chowders that sounded good but I still felt that they might be missing, I decided to just create my own!  This chowder is cheesy, creamy, chunky (all the c's that should be in a corn chowder) and very flavorful...meeting all my exceptions of what an "amazing" corn chowder should be!  I made sure it has a little kick with a little hot sauce and pepper jack cheese, but it's not spicy at all.

I realized it just wouldn't be fair if I didn't share with you, here it is...

Cheesy Corn & Potato Chowder
recipe by Victoria Hayden

This serves 12 (can be cut in half)

Prep time approx. 15 minutes

 Cook time 30 minutes

  • 4 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
  • Green onions diced 
  • 1 bag of frozen sweet corn or 3 cups of fresh corn
  • 2 cans creamed corn or if using fresh corn you can make your own cream corn approx. 4 cups (adds great texture)
  • 6 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of half n half
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 cup of pepper jack cheese shredded and extra cheese to garnish 
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese shredded and extra cheese to garnish 
  • 2 cups of diced ham or 2 cups of crumbled cooked bacon
  • 4-6 dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce...optional)
  • dash of grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put the cubed potatoes, carrots and whole corn in a large stock pot. Pour chicken broth over the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Once at a boil turn to simmer until vegetables are fork tender or about 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a saute pan melt the butter and add onions.  Cook onions until translucent. Sprinkle flour over butter and onions to make a rue.  Whisk into butter.  Cook the flour for at least a minute until lightly browned.  Add half n half slowly whisking in until thick.  Let simmer for a few minutes until bubbly and thick.  
  3. Add rue to the vegetables and broth slowly whisking in.  Turn heat up to medium.
  4. Next add creamed corn, ham or bacon, hot sauce, nutmeg, garlic powder.
  5. Simmer until thick. 
  6. Turn heat to simmer and add shredded cheese a little at a time and stir.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Serve. Top with shredded cheese and green onion
  9. Enjoy! Great with sourdough or french bread. 

I hope you enjoy and love this corn chowder as much as I do! Leftovers are even better the next day. This makes a big batch, but you can cut this in half for smaller servings.  I have a family of  7 to feed! 

 Have a great weekend friends! 

October 11, 2012

What's going on here...

I thought I would catch you all up on "what's going on here" and what I have been up to lately...

The last few weeks of summer flew by and now we are already into fall!  Hard to believe that it's already October and soon we will be onto the Holidays.  With that in mind I have been working on a few things to stock my Etsy shop up again in time for some holiday shopping.  I will be adding more of my Vintage Matelasse' Floral Stockings, (done in my favorite Tanya Whelan fabrics) that were in my shop last year.

Each stocking comes with a coordinating gingham rose, 
personalized letter of your choice and your pick of colored glitter...


There will be a few other choice of fabrics I am adding and some will be limited, so make sure to put your order in before those are sold out!  They will be wrapped beautifully and ready for that someone special you want to give it to...or yourself! ;) 

I will also be adding some beautiful matelasse cream tree skirts and a few other Christmas items as well...stay tuned for my shop opening back up here soon!  If you want to get an order in sooner, feel free to e-mail me

Something else I have been working on...some beautiful honeycomb smocked pillow slipcovers done in dupioni silk with detailed glass beads.  These are gorgeous and I can't wait to finish them to have them listed in my Etsy! Here are some of the colors that will be available...

Besides all the designs and items I'm working on, I have also been shooting quite a few senior portraits.  I have always been interested in doing something more with photography and have found I really enjoy working with the seniors.  They love to pose, have fun and be creative for their pictures. Here is just a few pictures I have done to build my portfolio...

My beautiful daughter...can't believe she's graduating this year!!

I had so much fun doing this shoot!

I feel like these last few months have been harder and harder for me to find a little time to sit down and get posts up.  I have found I really like giving little updates here and there...peeks into my life on Instagram.  If you would like to keep up with me on a more day to day basis, you can follow me on Instagram at Victoria Hayden. 

Here I shared Instagram photos on a slumber party breakfast, a cute new handbag I bought, 
and a fun mid-summer soiree' I threw for my daughter and her friends.

One of the things I am most looking forward to this month...
*Photo permission from Jeanne Oliver*

If for some reason you missed my last post on Creatively Made Home, you can catch up here. I myself will be taking this course and am so excited for it to begin!! The amazing Jeanne Oliver has been giving little sneak peeks from all of the talented ladies this week on her blog that are hosting this course. 

Sharing in Jeanne's own words...
"This course is not just about decorating and it definitely isn't about creating the perfect home. 
 It is about creating a home that reflects you and your family."
Here are some of the sneak peeks she shared from three of the talented hosts...

*Photo permission from Jeanne Oliver*
Just a few of the things Kimberly will be talking about...

*Her personal journey with her home and family
*Her design influences
*How she found her own style and how she began incorporating it
*Share favorite recipes and photos of her home
*Have a live, online discussion with members of the course to ask whatever they wish about her style, home, passions.
*Share 10 project videos in different areas that are true to how she incorporates her creativity and passions in everyday living.
A peek into her project videos
Kim will have three different videos about harvesting from her land and how to enjoy it all winter long.
She will also talk about how to harvest seeds from your favorite plants and how to add to your garden naturally and cost effectively.
She will talk about food, herbs and flowers.

*Photo permission from Jeanne Oliver*
Here's a few things Jennifer will be sharing...

*Her personal journey with her home and family
*Her design influences
*How she found her own style and how she began incorporating it
*Share favorite recipes and photos of her home
*Have a live, online discussion with members of the course to ask whatever they wish about her style, home, passions.
*Share 10 project videos in different areas that are true to how she incorporates her creativity and passions in everyday living.
A peek into her project videos…
Jen’s project videos are full of creative ways to add beauty to your house!
She will show you how to turn inexpensive tablecloths into your favorite curtains.
This project video is really amazing for all of you with huge windows that you can’t find curtains to fit (or can’t afford huge custom curtains)!                                                      

*Photo permission from Jeanne Oliver*
Here's a peek into what Sara will be sharing...

*Her personal journey with her home and family
*Her design influences
*How she found her own style and how she began incorporating it
*Share favorite recipes and photos of her home
*Have a live, online discussion with members of the course to ask whatever they wish about her style, home, passions.
*Share 10 project videos in different areas that are true to how she incorporates her creativity and passions in everyday living.
A peek into her project videos…
Sara will share 10 project videos but here is a glimpse into a FEW of them!

See why I'm soo excited to take this course?!!  Again...this is only 3 of the 5 hosts and sneak peeks. My question for you...have you registered yet?! You don't want to miss this much valuable information, all kinds of tips, videos, recipes, inspiration...the list can go on and on!  There is still time to register if you haven't till October 22nd 2012!! I can't wait to hear if you too will be taking the course!! 

So, there you have it...what's going on here!  Lot's more to come on updates and designs for my Etsy.  Oh...I have lots of home projects I've been working on too...will share more when I can!

Have a great weekend friends!

August 6, 2012

Creatively Made Home...A Gift

I have something wonderful and amazing to share...

Something that all of you have a chance to be a part of... 

A gift that could help you create everything you wanted that helps make your house a "home".

 Before I tell you all the details though, I wanted to give you my thought on that very word "home".  

Here is just a few meanings for the definition of home...

home [həʊm]

1. the place or a place where one lives  
2. a house or other dwelling
3. a family or other group living in a house or other place

  Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "home" I have images, feelings and words that I can connect with other than this basic definition.  "Home" to me is the epitome of love, safety, comfort and happiness. A place where I want to share in laughter, good food and creating memories with family and friends. I'm sure the saying "There's no place like home" and "Home Sweet Home" were derived from just this very meaning.  Our homes are a reflection of us and what we want others to feel when with us in our homes.

  Let's talk about what helps to make a house a home. When you hear the words "Creatively Made Home" what comes to mind? Do you think "oh, I don't know if I am creative enough" or "I don't have a lot of money to spend" or even "I'm not even sure where to start".  Many times when we are trying to make our house a home we might have those exact questions and feelings. These thoughts and feelings can keep us  paralyzed, which in turn keeps us from doing anything.

  Well...I'm excited to share something so wonderful and amazing...something that can help all of us have a...

5 beautiful, talented and creative ladies have put together an amazing e-course for us all!   

Creatively Made Home is a 5 week course hosted by...

Jeanne choose each of these women not only because of their beautiful homes they create, but how they have incorporated their truest joys in everyday life. Each women has a style and story all her own.   

Here is a little more of what Jeanne has to say about a Creatively Made Home and e-course...

  "I wanted to create a course that celebrated what really matters in your and your family.  I also wanted to celebrate making life beautiful in the everyday.  I know that so many want to make their homes beautiful but feel overwhelmed and don't know where to they do nothing.  I believe that everyone should be surrounded by beauty in their homes and that shouldn't have to do with how much you spend.  I think sometimes we can get lost and distracted with everything that comes at us each day.  Sometimes things can look so perfect and we as women may feel inadequate.  It is time to exhale and delight in your home.  It is time to open your doors because of what is inside of you...not what is inside your home.   Our desire is that this five week online course will change how you see yourself, your home and your family."
  • Each week you will have amazing truthful videos from not only the five teachers but other creative women.
  • Each week we will take a room from one of YOU and all five women will give their     suggestions telling you how they would transform the room with their style.
  • There will be 50+ project videos.
  • These will be incredible videos that include everything from gardening, cooking, gift giving and decorating.
  • There will be written tips from each woman telling you how she starts a room, picks  paint, fabrics, etc.  You will learn where to start when putting your own home together.
  • Tons of beautiful house photos from each of the five women.
  • Videos that truly reflect what life is like in each of their homes.  The stuff that life is really about.  Believe me it has nothing to do with the perfect table setting.
  • Each woman will share their own truthful journey about how they started making their home a reflection of their hearts.
  • *Each person registered will get an easy entertaining e-book to download.
  • It will contain go to recipes for beautiful and easy entertaining (they do go together), photos of table settings that take the stress out of having people over, favorite drinks and so much more (and their funniest entertaining story).
  • There will be a private Facebook group to connect with other class members.
  • There will be a once a week live discussion with one of the teachers!
  • You will get printable's and pdfs to keep and use again and again.
This course is about loving your home, loving your family 
and blessing those around you....and having fun doing it.

If you have taken my other courses you know how much I put into them.
This course will lavish you with ideas, beauty, inspiration, joy and encouragement!
Come and play house with us.
Class begins October 22.
Registration is now open!
Early registration price is $48 for the next two weeks.
After August 6 the price will go to $58. 

I am so excited to tell you that Jeanne Oliver has been very generous and is letting me do a giveaway for my readers... there will be 3 lucky winners for this full course!!  This is an amazing opportunity to learn from these talented ladies and help you to make a creatively made home!!  You don't want to miss this!!

Simple to enter...

Leave a comment here on how you would like
 to make your home more creatively made! 

More ways to, tweet, Pinterest and FB this!!
 Please leave a separate comment for each with a link back to here!

Good luck!!

This giveaway ends August 13th, 2012 
and the winners will be announced August 15th, 2012!

May 17, 2012

House Update...

Where do I begin? 

 I left you all back in February with our Happy News and I have not had a chance to blog until now!  There is so much I want to share and hopefully over the next few weeks will be able to do so.

If you read my last post...Happy News, then you know we have bought a new home.  The same day I shared the post we signed the closing papers later that day and by the next morning, the work began!

So far...we have done some painting, added and refinished hardwood, had new carpets installed in the bedrooms and moved.  There still is a lot more painting that needs to get done and of course...a list of projects.

It took us over a month to do the hardwood...whew, it is a process...but so worth it!  I hope to share a future post on all that we learned on installing and refinishing hardwood floors.  As of this week, I have now been working on a painted floor design in my studio...excited to show you the finished design soon!

I wanted to let you know I do frequent updates on my FB page, more often than my blog.  I would love to have you connect with me there and see more of "behind" the scene updates. :)

We love it here!! This has been the best move for our family and the ideas to make this our dream home are just waiting to come to fruition!  I hope to be back to blogging more frequently, I share when I feel inspired and when I find the time...thank you all who have been patient and those that are new here!  I am excited to share all that's ahead!!

I thought today for those that have not seen our new home, I needed to show a few photos. These were taken by my iPhone so excuse the quality...

We love the big driveway, 3 car garage to park inside, bay windows and brick!

Just one of the views from our backyard!  

Even pretty with the snow!

A view from our window as the sunset...

Before we started the work...

New paint, carpet, and refinished floors. 
 Will be doing the staircase in hardwood too. 

A new crystal and wrought iron chandelier was!

Spring has sprung!

Such pretty blossoms in our backyard and front!

There is still so much more to share, I will have to break it all up. :)  We are enjoying the peace, nature and lots of room in our new home!  Looking forward to making this home the french cottage I dream of...happy to have you on the journey!

  Enjoy your weekend friends! 

February 3, 2012

Happy news!!

Sorry to have been a little absent here. I hope you all have enjoyed your start to the new year so far. 

Our new year has brought us a big change that is coming our way over this next month. If you had asked me 5 months ago if I would be making this change my answer probably would have been "no".  Little did I know that there was a change ahead. Life has a funny way of doing that you know, changing your plans. 

 Being a military family, our family has learned that changes can come at anytime.  The good thing...we all have learned to be flexible and adapt to anything that comes our way.  One of my husband's favorite joke's is "How do you make Heavenly Father laugh?"...tell him your plans.  This is so matter how much we think we have it all figured out and know the plan...Heavenly Father knows what he has in store for us and things can change at any moment.

 This change is a blessing...a bigger blessing than we knew when we first realized we would have to make a decision.  It is very happy news for our family...

So, what is our happy news? 


We are yet again...


 However...not to another state this time, only about 10 minutes away.  We are all very excited and can't wait to be in our new home!  This house is somewhat a dream home for us.  It has so much more of what our big family needed and wanted in a house.  I love the peace that we have felt there when we have done our walk through's.  I just knew the moment we walked in the door it felt like home. 

 I truly believe after having to move so many times in my lifetime, home really is where you make it.  Yet, there have been different houses I have lived in that just feel more like "home" to me.  This house feels just like that.  Looking out my kitchen window makes me feel incredibly blessed for the beautiful view we will get to enjoy!  I might even like doing the dishes just so I can stand and look out my window...maybe. We have no neighbors in the back of us and our home sit's up on a ridge that looks down to the valley with the back drop of the beautiful mountains.  I know I will want to spend a lot of time sitting outside enjoying this beautiful view, along with my family.  

 Another exciting thing I get to share...lot's and lots of new home projects with you all!!  The ideas have already been on overload, we are motivated and ready to get to work!  The first project on our list...installing more hardwood floors, sanding existing floors and refinishing them.  It is going to be quite the challenge and already the money is adding up for all the supplies, but it is something that will be worth it and add value.  So as thrifty as I want to be, it has to be done right. :)  

I will be taking photos of our home over the weekend and I will share soon!

 Some of the other things I have been up too?  Finding beautiful fabrics to create with for our new home!  I have decided to only fill our home with mainly vintage french fabrics that I love.  In fact, I have already made my first purchase from France for some pillows.  It is a beautiful french vintage floral that dates to around the 1930's to 40's.  There are more that I have my eye on as well.  I am going to have to be patient and purchase as I go, being that vintage french fabrics can be a little pricier, but to me worth every penny!

 Here is some pictures I took of the beautiful fabric I just purchased and some sweet vintage called to me when I saw the V!  This etsy shop, Petits Details and shop owner Shannon was wonderful to work with and I definitely will be back to buy lots more! Shannon also has a beautiful blog  that I have enjoyed visiting. She has quite the eye for colors, design and photography. Her blog is one of my new favorites! I think you all will love visiting her too!

Love these paper labels she sent tucked in my package...

Such beautiful floral the reds, blues and soft gold tone background!

 Came wrapped in a pretty package and some sweet notions...

Vintage french V monogram, 6 of them...

Pretty vintage crocheted trim she sent along with it too...

Here is the paint colors I picked out for the main living room. 
 A hint of blue on the ceiling, warm creamy gold for the walls and a crisp white for the trim. 
I think this fabric looks great next to the colors for the room!

I can't wait to show you more and so excited to share this journey with you all.  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


December 28, 2011

The best of 2011...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!  We enjoyed ours here in Colorado.  There had been a few days before Christmas that brought snow and the cold, so it made it feel even more like Christmas here. I just love this time of the year and remembering the importance of what Christmas is truly about.

  As I look forward to the New Year to come, it is always a great time to look back over this last year and reflect on what 2011 brought.  I feel many of the goals I had set for this last year I was able to accomplish or to start on that path of getting to the goal I had set.  Setting goals give's me a chance to try to attain them in a realistic way and if I don't get there before the end of the year, I can continue to work towards them.

I wanted to share with you all what I think was some of the best things that happened to me this year and posts I shared with you.  I am really excited for what this New Year brings and some of the goals I would like to attain.  I have something coming up that is a big change for me and my family and we are really happy about it.  I can't share just yet, but very soon!!  A new road on my journey and of course I will be bringing you all along. :)

I hope you will enjoy going back in time over this year and visiting some of my posts that I felt were the best of 2011...

I will be back in the New Year of 2012 with new designs for my shop, lots more decorating in my home and exciting things that will be happening in my business!! Thank you to all of you who stop by for a visit, leave sweet comments and have become my support as friends!! I appreciate you all so much and look forward to what this new year will bring!!  I wish you all a very Happy New Year friends and many great blessings in this new year to come!!

Hugs and love,