Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Outdoor Party Helpers

Flowerpot Servers--Match the informality of a summer buffet with rustic serving dishes fashioned from clay flowerpots and saucers.Use brand new terra cotta, and wipe it with a damp cloth. Line flowerpots with tea towels to hold bread,buns,or biscuits; for saucers, use napkins or clean nontoxic leaves for cheeses.

Baby Update

Jennifer had her doctor's appointment today, and all is well. He is pleased with her progress and we are all anxious for the big day.

July's Thought of the Month

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as
you don't stop. Confucius

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quick and Easy Gift Ideas

Easy Teakettle Pincushion- Keep sewing supplies handy with this pretty makeshift pincushion. Simply wrap a foam ball with felt and push it into the top of a tiny teakettle
Embellished Canvas Tote Bag-- Add personal style to an ordinary canvas tote. Hand or machine stitch fabric along the side and bottom seams of the tote. Glue or stitch wide ribbon in a coordinating color to the top edge of the added fabric

Good Things for Outdoor Entertaining

Ice Cream Cone Stopper --Use this trick to keep ice cream from dripping out of the bottom of a cone. Drop in a mini marshmallow or two before you add your ice cream

Good things for Outdoor Entertaining

Flavorful Skewers-- With its sturdy stalk,rosemary makes a great skewer, infusing grilled food its garden fresh flavor. Soak stalks for a half hour before adding meat, fish, or vegetables. You may need to pole holes through the food fist with a metal skewer

Good Things for Outdoor Entertaining

Bill and I are going to try these for our 4th of July BBQ. Grilled Corn Disks--Enjoy sweet summer corn in a new way- as an hors d'oeuvre for a casual party. Cut ears of corn into rounds,about 1 inch thick, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium hot grill, cut sides down about 2 minutes per side I thought maybe I would melt some garlic buter to drizzle over .

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Low Cost Scrapbooking Storage Solutions

Convert a towel holder into a ribbon scrap storage solution- Found at the dollar store,these inexpensive suction cup towel holders stick to the wall and are ideal for holding ribbon scraps. Sort ribbon scraps by color, then push them into the center of the towel holder. It'll make using scraps super easy.
Tote pens and markers in a baby wipe case-- Instead of constantly losing your favorite pens and markers to the bottom of your tote bag,stash them in an inexpensive diaper wipe container. The flat case won't take up much room in your crop bag

Outdoor Living

Weight on Tables -- Come your next backyard dinner,these tassels will keep the wind from blowing your tablecloth into the neighbors pool. Wrap strands of colored raffia around a 3 1/2 by 2 inch piece of cardboard several times. Thread a piece through the top;knot. Cut raffia bottom to create fringe.

Place a fishing weight inside bundle toward top;tie a knot below using more raffia. Knot ends to form a loop. Make four tassels total. Sew decorative buttons onto each corner of the tablecloth for hanging

Rubber Band ID -- a guest wineglass won' end up in the wrong hands when one of these brightly colored name tags identifies it. Use a permanent marker to write the name of the guest on a wide rubber band after placing it around a glass. Alternatively, you might use the bands as napkin rings that double as place cards

Bird Watching

As I was sitting in my sun porch this morning having my morning coffee, 6 red birds landed on this yucca plant. Of course, by the time I got in the house to get my camera , some of them flew away.

They were the prettiest birds, they all had red going down their backs. Just wanted to share a beautiful day in Veyo

Outdoor Living- Herb Centerpiece

When herb gardens overflow more than is needed in any kitchen, why not use the extra yield in a fragrant centerpiece? Mix shapes and textures, and add color with edible flowers and her blossoms. This arrangement which includes dill,rosemary,mint,basil, thyme,lavender.and flowering herbs, sits in a high aided bowl;a smaller bowl within keeps the stems in place. But a vase,pitcher, or jar would works just as well

Bamboo Fishing Pole

These child-and fish sale poles are really for attracting fish so lids can get a good look;there is no barbed fishhook. This might be fun to do with the smaller children

Begin with a 4-5 foot stick of sturdy bamboo. Use a 6 foot length of waxed twine for the line. Lay about 3 inches of it along the top of the pole. Holding the twine to the pole, wrap upwards back to top Knot tightly

For a bobber, knot a wooden bead onto the line a foot and and half from the end. Tie a paper clip to the end of the string for your hook;for bait,skewer a piece of firm cheese with the paper clip. Tell kids to keep an eye on the bobber;fish will gather beneath it

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa Update

For all of your out there that have been following Ben and Jennifer's pregnancy, I just want you to know that Grandma and Grandpa are ready. We set up the play yard in our office , right next to Grandma's computer. Need him close by, you know!!

I was so excited that it fit right where I wanted it. We bought it several months ago, but thought this was the right time to put it up. Ok, William we are ready when ever you are.

BBQ Shrimp-Pasta Salad

This looks light and delicious for your summer dinners. We have never BBQ'd shrimp before we will have to try this one

You need

2 cups penne pasta uncooked
1 each red, yellow and green bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup mayo
1 cup Italian Three Cheese Blend
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
1 pd uncooked deveined peeled large shrimp
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
8 large red leaf lettuce leaves
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

How to

Cook pasta adding peppers to boiling water the last 2 minutes;drain Rinse with cold water and drain well

Toss pasta mixture with mayo in large bowl. Add shredded cheese and dressing mix lightly and refrigerate for 20 minutes

Heat greased grill. Thread shrimp onto 8 skewers, brush with BBQ sauce. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink

Cover 4 plates with lettuce;top with pasta salad ,shrimp skewers and Parmesan

July 4th Dessert

Oh my, these look yummy. Frosted Cookie Brownies .

You need

1 tube refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup butter cubed
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts


2 cups miniature marshmallows
6 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

How to

Press cookie dough into a greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes

Meanwhile in a large saucepan combine the marshmallows.chips and butter;cook and stir over low heat, until melted and smooth Transfer to a large bowl;cool . Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt;stir into marshmallow mixture . Stir in nuts

Spread over cookie crust and bake for 30-35 minuted or until toothpick inserted comes out clean Cool on rack.

For Frosting-- In a small saucepan,combine the marshmallows,milk, butter,and chocolate. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat beat in confectioners sugar until smooth Frost brownies and cut into bars.

July 4th BBQ Idea

Inside-Out Cheeseburgers Why put the cheese on the outside just to have it melt off. Instead form the burger around the cheese

You need

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Gruyere cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper

How to

Preheat grill Combine cheese in a small bowl Gently mix beef, Worcestershire sauce , paprika and pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 8 patties. Mound 2 tablespoons of the cheese on top. then cover each of the patties with the remaining patties Seal edges

Grill as usual to your perfection !!
This recipe by

This salad is wonderful warm, cold or room temperature. Because it's dressed with a vinaigrette, it's ideal for outdoor occasions.
Submitted by Taste of Home

Grilled Greek Potato Salad -

You need:

3 pounds small red potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large sweet yellow pepper chopped
1 large sweet red pepper chopped
1 medium red onion halved and sliced
1 medium cucumber chopped
1 1/4 cups grape tomatoes halved
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese cubed
3/4 cube Greek vinaigrette
1/2 cup halved Greek olives
1 can sliced ripe olives drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano

How to

Drizzle potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper;toss to coat. Grill potatoes, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until tender

Place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients;toss to coat. Serve salad warm or cold.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How Adorable is this !!

My friend Celeste sent me this picture in a email. Is this not adorable? Just had to share with you all .

Silk Flower Party Lights

These flowers look like the prettiest climbing vines. But they're not just sweet by the day-they're radiant by night. Despite their enchanted appearance, they are simply holiday lights covered with faux flowers.

Making this project requires a string of lights and faux flowers .

You'll need miniature holiday string lights for outdoor use, as well as silk poppies . One flowers for each bulb, with removable plastic stems and centers. Pull the heads of the stems, then use scissors to enlarge the hole to about 1/4 inch to fit the base of each light. Push the petals back, away from the bulb, so they don't touch it and overheat. Then hang the string of blooms just as you would any other decorative garland

Herb Pots

Give each herb its own personalized pot, and you'll never snip the wrong sprigs--or lose the markers- again. Clustered together, the pots make a charming little garden.

Individually, they're portable and easy to handle. Bring the basil indoors, for example, when making pesto, instead of stooping in the garden. When you plant the herbs,label the rims with a permanent felt tip marker, and use these pots year after year.

Fast and Fabulous Decorating Projects

Easy Access- Save money by re purposing old furniture. A paint job and a new set of casters turned this old bedroom shelving unit into a rolling kitchen cart. Its shelves are perfect for holding linens and dishes. The drawer, with its updated drawer pull,can stash takeout menus
Print Rooms- Cover your walls with copies! Copy pages from your favorite (non copyrighted) books onto high quality paper. Mat and frame images for low cost wall art

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Outdoor Living

Spring Fiesta-Add easy flair to your spring alfresco dining. Here's a super simple decoration; Drop a peony bloom into a margarita glass and top it with a tea light. TIP; Grab some inexpensive glassware at your local dollar store.
Bottle Beauty- Bars and buffet tables must be adequately lighted, but they're often located far from electrical outlets. An easy, inexpensive solution is to gather clear apothecary bottles and fill them with lamp oil and wicks. Arrange the bottles under a large hurricane for protection; these are set on a sturdy cake stand.

Flower Votive Displays- Flowers and candlelight are nothing new, but together they create tabletop decorations fit for relaxed summer entertaining. Place votive candles in tall glass vessels, and attach a flower outside each ,trimming the stem to fit and tying with raffia that matches the flower. Set each display in a saucer of water to keep the flowers fresh

Scrapbooking Storage Solution

Turn a candle holder into a storage station- This candle holder can sit on top of your desk within easy reach. Use it to stash your favorite small embellishments for easy access. This station also is great for scrap booking on the go;just pick it up and take it with you to your craft spot.

Baby Update

Jennifer just had a doctor's appointment. Everything is still on schedule. The doctor is very happy with her progress. She needs to be seen every week from now til the big day,so I will have a weekly report until then. It's getting very close and we are extremely excited.

Dad's Day Photo's

Here are some photo's we took on Father's Day!!!
This is a photo of the love's of my life !!

Bill proudly displaying his "World's Greatest Grandpa shirt "
We had a great day. We made one of our favorites ,Fondue. Ben and Jennifer make the best cheese fondue ever.We also marinaded some steak in a Peppercorn and garlic marinade and cooked it in hot oil.
We all ate until we were very uncomfortable, but it sure was good.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Garden Ideas

Rolling Container Dolly--Heavy potted plants are easily moved with a homemade dolly. Begin by finding a large flat stone that is large enough to hold the pot. Cut a a piece of 3/4 inch thick exterior plywood into a square just smaller than the stone. Stain the plywood to match the stones color, and attach the four casters to the bottom. Set the stone on the plywood and the pot on the stone. Hold the pot when moving to avoid tipping

Second Life to Tools- Well worn garden tools find new life when fastened together into a tee pee for climbing plants. This inexpensive trellis instantly adds country charm to any garden

Summer Garden Crafts

- Invisible Trellis-- Vines appear to defy gravity- and let your wall show through-when they climb without supportive woodwork. Eye hooks screwed into siding or walls , and networks of medium gauge wire hold delicate vines. Design a grid by placing eye hooks 12- 16 inches apart and running wire through them. Support wires across a large expanse intersections. Support wires across a large expanse with hooks every 2 feet. To install eye hooks in a brick or another masonry surface,use a masonry drill

Pots of all stripes - Here's a easy way to give new life to old terra cotta pots you have around the
the shed;Paint them to create coordinating striped. Using masking tape in various widths, mark a simple striped design on the pot. In a well ventilated area,spray the exterior and the rim and saucers with weatherproof spray paint;let dry completely. Peel off tape

Low Cost Scrapbooking Storage Solutions

Make a tiered wire basket work for stamp storage-- Found at a kitchen supply store, this tiered wire basket was originally meant to hold fruit. But re purposed as a spot for stamp storage,it no only becomes a handy desktop catchall, cut it also is ideal for air drying just cleaned stamps. Toss ink pads in the bottom basket to keep colors visible and nearby

Turn a mug tree into storage for pens and markers- Many of us have these mug trees in our kitchen, but have you thought about turning it into storage unit for scrap booking supplies? The individual cups allow you to group writing tools by color, and since most manufacturers recommend storing pens and markers horizontally, the angle is just right. It's also easy to take color groups to another room to work

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tower of Herbs

Don't miss out on fresh herbs just because you don;t have a big yard. Situate this compact herb garden in a sunny spot near the kitchen door for easy snipping

You need 5 terra cotta planter/soil less potting soil/assorted herbs

How to This planter has rosemary,sage,parsley,thyme,oregano, basil and chives-Any herbs can used.

Place largest planter in the location selected for the herb garden. Center 1 smaller pot within,upside down;fill ring between the two with potting mix

Repeat to create a second layer with 2 smaller pots,with 4 inches between them. Place final pot right side up on second inverted pot.Fill with potting mix;Plant herbs in all three layer

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Garden Crafts

Plant Platform-To create an attractive multipurpose garden shelf,lay a sturdy weathered board between the tops of two large pots. Use the surface as a staging area for plants on their way to the garden,to showcase smaller specimens that might get overlooked on the ground, or to provide a spot where houseplants can get fresh air and sunlight in the summer.
Natural Plant Markers- Unsightly sticks and flags look like trespassers in your herbs. Instead, make tags that appear as though they belong in your landscape. Fins several flat, smooth stones, and label each one with the nae of a plant using a alphabet stamps and dye based permanent ink both available at craft stores. Then nestle each stone near its corresponding plant

Low Cost Scrapbooking Storage Solutions

Turn a plain bucket into a tool toting caddy - Found at the hardware store, this low cost tool apron fits over a 5 gallon bucket. The pockets are ideal for carrying punches, brushes, and inks, while the inside space can easily hold larger items such as paper trimmers,cutting mats,and magazines. It's a great solution for on the go scrapping
Use Muffin pans and ice cube trays to organize scrap booking embellishments -These colorful silicone trays are an easy, low cost way to organize all those small embellishments littering your scrap room. Purchase a variety to organize your accents by color,type,or size, then stash them in a drawer and simply pull out the tray when needed

Envelope Funnel

This is a good trick-- When transferring dry ingredients to glass jars,use an envelope if you don't have a small funnel nearby. Cut a generous triangle from one end of the envelope,then snip tip off corner,and open into a cone. For large amounts,use manila envelopes.


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