Monday, June 24, 2013

God Bless America (4th of July decor)

I told myself that I wasn't decorating for the 4th this year.

No way, no siree, I'm not doing it!

My daughter had all 4 of her wisdom teeth removed on Friday and I've spent the weekend playing nurse to her.  The weather has been simply gorgeous (finally) and here we've been...inside for days.

I guess I should mention that I'm not going to win any Clara Barton awards.  The patient told me I fell asleep once while sitting with her.  lol 

Anyway, sitting inside, playing nurse, led me to decide that I would, in fact, decorate for the 4th.   After all, I only have one little box of decorations, what's the big deal? 

While visiting my mom earlier in the week, she had just shortened her new window blinds.  I spied the discarded blind slats and decided to bring them home should inspiration strike me.
It struck me alright.  I decided to make this sign from the slats:

4th of July is an easy holiday to decorate for, especially when your kitchen colors are red & blue.  I just pulled some stuff from the kitchen shelves.

 Pretty checked & polka dotted pitchers filled with patriotic picks & straws.

 Dollar Tree horns look festive in a red pitcher.  

I used some dotted bowls I had hold my wicker stars from Pier 1 and also flipped upside down to give that silver star a little more height.

I'm glad that I decided to decorate for the 4th.  Let the festivities begin!

Linking to:

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll thru Life

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Jam Hand Pies

Hello friends!
Time to share  a recipe.
This one comes from Everyday Food magazine.
The magazine is no longer in circulation,
and I miss it. :(
These hand pies are a cinch to make!

Strawberry Jam Hand Pies
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
¾ cup strawberry jam
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry sheets to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut each sheet into quarters and place on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon jam in center of each piece, brush edges with egg yolk, fold into triangles, and press tightly to seal.  Freeze pies until firm, 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.  Bake pies until golden and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack.  Whisk lemon juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Drizzle glaze over cooled pies and let set 20 minutes. 
Store in airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.
Makes 8.

They may look difficult to make, but with the puff pastry
they are simple, simple, simple.
The next time I make them, I want to try adding
some fresh chopped strawberries in with the jam
and see what happens. 

I hope you give them a try sometime.
Linking to:
On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable
Summer Dessert Link Party at The Checkered Apple

Monday, June 17, 2013


I love peonies.
Can I share a peony story with you today?  I think you'll enjoy it.
When I was a kid, my parents had a very long driveway.  Along this driveway, were, white & pink.  There must have been 15 bushes all in a row.  
Not once do I recall, in all my childhood, seeing a vase of peonies in our house.  My mom HATED the ants that swarmed the blooms and wanted no part of them.
One day, my dad & brother decided to get rid of all the peonies along the driveway.  (To this day, neither my mom, nor my siblings seem to recall why they did this.)  Tragic?  Yes, but what did I know?  I was young and never gave the flowers a thought. 
Forward ahead 20+ years, while visiting my in-laws.  I entered their home and immediately my nose caught the whiff of something very pleasant.  It was a scent that I recognized, yet I had no idea what it was or why I recognized it.
I quickly asked my mother-in-law what it was I was smelling.  She told me it was her peonies.  She had them in a vase on the kitchen island.
I ran over to them and took in their heavenly scent.  I froze on the spot.
Oh my goodness!  I couldn't believe it! 
Wasn't that the scent that I remember permeating the outside air while I played outside as a kid?
Wasn't that the scent I smelled while riding my bike, playing hopscotch, and jumping rope?
Wasn't that the scent I remembered while playing hide n' seek &  roller skating too?
It was the scent of my childhood, yet until that moment, I didn't realize it. 
It astounded me that a scent could bring me back 20+ years and give me such happy thoughts.
So after all these years, I finally have my own peonies in our yard.   
I may not have 15 bushes of them, but cut & placed in a pitcher on the table, I can have the same beautiful scent that takes me back to my childhood in an instant.
So tell me,  can you relate?  Do you have a scent that takes you back to another time & place?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DIY Ruffled Shade: The Spin-off

May was such a crazy month for us and somehow in the middle of everything going on, I decided to redecorate my kids' rooms.  Yeah, and now you no longer have to wonder why I disappeared from blogland for the entire month!

Anyhoo, I'm not ready for any big reveals quite yet, but I did want to share my daughter's lamp with you. 

Olivia has had a white pig lamp in her bedroom for a decade or so. I have tried many times over the years to eliminate the pig, but no deal.  She was adamant about it then, and at 15 years old, she is adamant still. The pig has to stay.

The pig sported a pink & white gingham shade from Pottery Barn.   It was cute, but certainly would not match with her new bedding now.

Once my pig elimination attempts were thwarted, I knew I had to do something about the lamp shade at least.  I stated aloud, "I don't know what to do with that shade.  I don't think I have the skill to recover it."

And then it happened.  That sage offspring of mine came out with it...

"Well, you are the creator of the lampshade, aren't you?"

Stunned, I looked at her and replied, "Yes, yes, I guess I am."

The lampshade that she spoke of is this one:

What I thought at the time was a no big deal "look what I made" lamp shade moment,  has turned into my biggest achievement.  It's been pinned & repinned.  Blog page views are approaching 80,000.  Crazy, right?

So,  with a little ruffled trim & my trusty glue gun, I made this:

Here it is donned by the pig:

Cute, right?   
Somehow, in a way that I can't comprehend, I have now come to adore the pig.   Could it be that he was just in need of a more stylish "hat" to make him acceptable to me?  Hmmm.  I wonder. 
I do have to tell you, that sunny yellow lamp shade is just what I needed.  It seems as though we may not get a Summer this year.  The weather has been truly awful.  Chilly, rainy & gloomy.  It's so depressing.   
I hope you are having a great week and that the sun is shining brightly for you!  Talk to you soon!
Linking to:
Work It Wednesday at The Blissful Bee
Create it Thursday at Lambert's Lately
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots & Jello

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Mantel 2013

Hello everyone!!
I guess I should begin with a small apology.  I took an unscheduled break from blogging and in the process I guess I worried some of you.  I really am sorry. I'm fine...all is need to worry!  

I can't believe I missed the entire month of May from blogging.  I never intended to take a break.  It just sort of happened without my knowledge.  Really.  I've been so busy, busy, busy, it's almost been to the point of ridiculousness.

Now I want to say....thank you!  Thank you for your emails inquiring about my whereabouts and if everything was ok.  It's nice to know that I was missed and that I was in your thoughts.

You girls are the best!!

How about I share my Summer mantel with you?

I wanted to go with something a little fun & whimsical this year.  And for once, I didn't care about trying to match the colors to the living room couch or the area rug.  I just did what I wanted to do and enjoyed myself doing it.  Ha!  No rules!

I didn't buy anything for this mantel display.  I had everything on hand...except for the baseballs. Those were courtesy of my husband.  I promised to return them to him after Summer was over.  Scouts honor.    

Sorry about the reflection in the mirror.  You all know how much I hate the ceiling fan.  But the pictures on the opposite wall are quite visible in the reflection too.  Oh well. 
I just love that big jar of baseballs!  We are big fans of baseball in this house.  There is always a game being played or being watched on TV around here.  Would you believe I bought that jar for $5.00 at a tent sale?  I think it was a steal!
The left side of the mantel.  I bought the sailboat last year at Michaels. 

 The right side of the mantel. 

I whipped together the banner for some fun color. 
Thank you for stopping by for a visit today.  I'm hoping to return to blogging more regularly now.  I don't know that I'll ever be able to catch up on all that I've missed with all of you, but I will be over to visit you soon.
Linking to:
Swing into Spring at DIY by Design
Tuesdays at Our Home at Our Home Away from Home


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