Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pom-Pom Hanging Mobile

I am in love with my current project...

It's still a work in progress, but i love how it's coming together!
 Last night I started working on this mobile, hanging thing. I stayed up into the wee-hours of the night making the pom-poms for it.  I didn't know where I was quite going with it...  but, sometimes those kind of projects turn out the best!
For those who don't know how to make pom-poms, check out these links....  [there are a bazillion tutorials out there, I'm not going to take the time to write one up.]

I started by making a "hanger" out of ribbon. I cut [approx.] a 18" piece of ribbon, folded it in half, and hot-glued the ends to a pom-pom.

I took a chinese lantern and hand-stitched it to the bottom of the pom-pom, to hang.
One by one, I added the rest of the pieces, guesstimating & 'following' my eye.

I'm having too much fun rearranging and playing! 
**This is the perfect project for a nursery!

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July 4th Giveaway WINNERS

I'm so excited to announce our two headband winners! Without further ado....the two comments that were picked [at] were........................

Comment # 5 and Comment # 8!!...

lolo said...

"I love those headbands, my 3 yr old granddaughter would wear it, she loves headbands"

MommaHen said...
"I love the, first, elastic headband! Too cute! I would give it to my itty bitty best buddy , Gabriella Grace "

 Ladies, please send me your mailing address ASAP- -!!

Thank you all for participating!

Chocolate-Caramel Cupcakes

 I shouldn't have.... but i did. These babies are irresistible!  If you're a chocoholic [like myself] you'll want to give this recipe a try! 

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).  
Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. 
 Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
Heat oven to 350° and bake 22 to 25 minutes.
Cool completely & frost.

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa.
Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beat.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed.
Stir in vanilla. 

Makes about 2 cups frosting.
**Sprinkle cupcakes with Heath Toffee bits and drizzle with caramel syrup.

For the love of chocolate,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July 4th GiveAway!

Happy Tuesday! 
Yesterday I spent the afternoon creating July 4th accessories.... the headbands are definitely my favorite!  Wanting to share the things I love, I thought it would be fun to have a quick giveaway, just in time for the festivities. 
Tomorrow evening, I will draw two different names [at] and surprise the "winners" with one of the following headbands.  To be entered, simply [comment below] tell me who would wear the headband.
 * you will have choice of elastic or hard headband

Happy red, white, & blue!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Planner  Week 1

I have always admired you ladies who are 'on-the-ball' and plan weekly Dinner menus.  I'm especially envious around 4:30pm, when I've got hungry men whining, my brain is spinning for ideas, I'm sending little ones out the door, and I can't find any of the ingredients I need to make something... anything!      Today is the day! I'm going to end the madness and plan ahead for this week!...
This first menu is our 'tried & true' receipts, our family must'haves! - I hope this menu will be helpful to you also!   [oh, and you're on your own for veggies & side-dishes, etc.]


Poor Man's Steak
  • 1.5 pounds hamburger
  • 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • a couple shakes of Lawry's salt, pepper, & Worcestershire sauce
Mix ingredients together and form into patties.
Coat patties with flour, and brown both sides in a skillet on stove.

** [my BFF grills hers instead, they taste smoky... delicious!]
Place in a 9x13."

Combine 1 [10.oz] can of cream of mushroom soup & 1/2 cup milk. Pour over meat and cover with tin-foil. Bake at 350' for 1 hour.
Makes 6 servings

Grilled Talipia

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, squeezed

Mix ingredients and marinate fish.
If you prefer using tin-foil on grill, do so. - Grill fish on low flame-heat until flaky.


Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

1 package [16 oz.] linguine or pasta
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli
3 tablespoons butter
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can [26 oz] Campbell's Cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare linguine according to package. Add broccoli during last 4 minutes of cooking time.
Drain linguine.

Heat butter in saucepan until melted Add chicken and cook until browned and thoroughly cooked, stirring often.  Stir soup, milk, cheese and pepper into saucepan. Add pasta.
Cook until hot and bubbly.
Stir occasionally.
Makes: 8 servings

* This recipe is perfect for freezing. Make a double recipe and stick half in the freezer!


Sauteed Garden Blend

3 fresh squash
2 fresh zucchini
5 small red potatoes
1 onion
Slice vegetables. 
 Melt 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in saucepan. - add potatoes and cover.
Let cook 5 minutes, occasionally checking & stirring.
Once tender, add remaining vegetables. Saute until tender and browned.
Add your favorite seasonings. 


Homemade Pizza

* I'm excited to try Pillsbury's Mediterranean Pizza recipe, with cheese stuffed-crust!

Hooray for less-stress and simplifying life!!
Happy Monday!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

July 4th Inspiration

I've got a par-taaay in the works, and I cannot wait!  There are loads of 4th of July ideas circulating and I've fallen in love with several of them. Here is the inspiration for our 4th celebration this year.... I know you'll be inspired too!



Patriotic desserts:

Festive clothes & accessories:

Happy Planning!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The entryway  A work in progress

Last month I took an afternoon to give our entryway a quick spring-lift. It is still a work in progress, but does look better than it did. 

 I started with paint, of course.  The wall had been burgundy. I used the gray that the connecting walls are.  The little area now feels bigger and more spacious.  The only downside:  the gray washes-out the hutch & mirror, I need more color-contrast.  My plan is to paint the hutch black and distress it??
Let me back up a little.... I had been looking for a foyer table ever since we moved in, but had no luck.
The start of this year, my parents began remodeling their home. Mom and I went on a de-cluttering rampage. There were a couple pieces of furniture Mom wanted rid of, one being her china hutch that had been in the kitchen.  She offered it to me, and I gladly accepted it.   Here's a snapshot of what it looked like with the top piece.....
I knew i only wanted the base, we sent the top piece to the thrift store .

Before painting..... & After!
[the view from our front door.]
I loved rumaging through my closests and drawers, looking for spring-inspired decor.

All of the display decor. was either thrifted, a gift, or homemade.

[Looking from the living room]  
Next on the list, is to organize those stinkin' shoes.  I'm thinking of a bench with cubby holes underneath?? .... We'll see what I can find.

Until next time,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Dad...

With Father's Day approaching, I have been reflecting on my relationship with my Dad.  As I think of all he has done and who he has been in my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and a deep love.  I sure wasn't the easiest gal to raise [especially as a teen] but I thank God he and my Mom never gave up on me.  No matter what stage I was going through [and believe me, there were some crazzzy stages] he never stopped loving and encouraging me. 
One of my sweetest childhood memories of my Dad is him rocking me.  I can recall several times as a teenager too, when he sat down in the recliner and asked if he could hold me.  His arms were a safeplace, a refuge from the cares and struggles of life.  I can't help but think of one of my favorite childhood books, 'Love you forever' by Robert Munsch... "And very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth".  I was read this book as a child, and now read it to my son.
As an adult and Mom now; I realize my Dad {and Mom's} love is a reflection of Christ's love for us... for me. It is a selfless, strong, and never-changing love. 
 I pray that I will be even half the parent that my parents have been to me, to us children.    ~ Dad, for all you have done for me, and the man you are, I am forever grateful! I love you endlessly.      

p.s.  and I'll always be your "cutie-kitten!"  [smile.]

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NEXT! the Living.Room

Most of my projects this spring have been outdoors, putting in new flowerbeds, working in the garden and on the lawn.  I did manage to give our entryway a quick, spring face-lift.... which I'll post soon. 

For sometime now I have been itching to change things up in our living room, and I'm finally motivated to do it!!  Here are a couple pics. of how it has looked since we moved in....

If i had to pick a couple words to describe the room, they'd be "dark, cold, and bare."
The walls are a slate gray, with an accent wall of burgundy. The sofas are ivory and in desperate need of  pillows and new throws.

Our previous home's living room was prominently burgundy. When we moved I just went with what I was used to and what I already had.  I am ready for change and color!

The first step, paint! Yesterday, I said "adios!" to the burgundy wall and boy, did it feel good! Here's a sneak-peek of the new color!...

Paint:  Valspar's Blue Skylights

I am thrilled with how the blue looks and compliments the gray. The room feels larger and much brighter! Now, for the fun part... picking out new decor., curtains, pillows, and throws!

Here is some of the inspiration for the new and improved living room....

[don't freak out, I'm not serious about these curtains, though they're cute. But stripes? yes, please!]

Stay tuned for the reveal, I cannot wait to finish up the room and share it with you!!