Monday, March 30, 2015

First Spring Walk

Hello All! I hope you enjoyed your weekend. We had a crazy Saturday. It snowed all day, yep I said snow. We probably ended up with about 1". Most melted as soon as it hit the ground. Man, winter does not want to give up here in New England.

The weather goes from freezing to almost 50 degrees. Most days we are 10-20 degrees below normal. It was been a wacky winter here.

For example, last Wednesday was an incredible day, it was partly cloudy with temperatures reaching 50. It was cause for a little dance and an opportunity for Otis and I to take a walk. Our first walk of the spring. It was like discovering a whole new world. 

Most of the snow is melting, there are just the big piles left, like to one on the corner of my walkway. Go away we are tired of you being around!

Otis had a blast sniffing, sniffing, and more sniffing. He was so happy, he actually got to walk on the grass. Tho the land still has that brown tone to it. 

It has yet to awake from its winter hibernation. The only green to be found is on the evergreen trees.

This is such a great time of year to get out and walk. Streets feel wider, the days are longer, and the world feels like it is starting anew.

As we finished up our walk, there is a tree on the side of our condo. It blooms white flowers first before the leaves come. As I looked at the tree closer, I could not believe my eyes. Are those buds I see? I think they are.

Oh Boy! Let spring begin!!

Have an awesome day!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday's Fancy

Our first walk of the season that we are not freezing cold.
Snow is melting and Otis can actually sniff and romp on the grass.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

For the Love of Donuts!

Doughnuts have taken off in popularity in recent years, and new "doughnut makers" have inspired some bakers to make them at home. I must confess I have not met a doughnut I did not like. 

While walking through Big Lots, I came upon Pillsbury Funfetti Lil' Donut Kits, a donut box mix that lets you make fresh donut holes right in your home kitchen, no deep fryer or donut pan required! How cool is that!

The first thing I noticed was how few ingredients you need to make the donuts! Besides the box kit all you need is milk, water and butter! The kit also comes with glaze and sprinkles.

Here is what to do:
Step 1 
Turn on Your Oven. Set your oven to 375°F. Coat baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray or use parchment paper. Make the glaze, according to the directions on the box and set aside. 

Step 2 
After making the dough according to the directions on the box, you just roll them into teaspoon size balls and place them on a cookie sheet. 

Step 3 
Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes and then allow them to cool for 2 minutes. 

Step 4 
Next, you will dip each donut into the glaze and coat evenly. Remove the donut and allow excess glaze to drip off. Place the donuts on wax paper-lined baking sheet or cooling rack. Be sure to add the sprinkles right away while the glaze is still “wet” on the donut. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If you happen to have any left, store the donuts in an airtight container. 

The mix comes in three flavors — vanilla, chocolate and maple, each with its own glaze flavor and multicolored candy bits. They had that distinctly pleasant doughnut taste, a nice texture, and they're not excessively sweet. I hope they continue to carry these is the supermarkets as they were a cinch to make.

                Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Decorating with Chalkboards

Hey There! I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Last night I went to see a High School production of Les Misérables. My longtime girlfriend's son, who is a senior, was playing the part of Javert. Can I just say OH MY WORD! It was the most amazing, stupendous, awe inspiring play I have seen. Now mind you I have seen the professional production and TV version. It was the kids that made it so special, they were amazing! It was truly Broadway worthy. I am sitting here this morning still marveling at the fact of how talent these kids were. I was brought to tears a few times throughout the production and was left breathless at other times. I had to keep reminding myself that these were high school students and I was not alone, many in the theater were saying the same as me. If you have the opportunity go see a high school play, I am sure, like me, you will be taken away!

Now onto a new project, I did last week, that I have been wanting to do for a while now. Lettering a chalkboard.
Chalkboards were found at Decor Steals

Still one of the latest home decor trends is the chalkboard. They are no longer just for schoolrooms and since they are associated with nostalgia, chalkboards add a vintage or retro touch to a space. Chalkboards can be both functional and decorative, the possibilities are endless since you can so easily change the message. Chalkboards are great for kitchens because you can write down groceries and to-do lists. They also look great in entry ways because you can write on them welcoming messages to your guests. 

This project is nothing new – I’ve seen it done so many times before. You can find step by step instructions on Pinterest or the internet. But this is my first go at this, so I thought I would share what I did. 
  1. Create a design and print out.
  2. Cover the back of your paper with chalk. 
  3. Tape your printed type just as you would read it (chalk covered side down) to your chalkboard. Using a pen or pencil, firmly trace the type with a pen or pencil. 
  4. Remove the paper, and you should find a fine chalk outline. Using chalk (or a chalk pen), you can trace and color in the lettering. 

Chalkboards are still going strong in their popularity—and for good reason! They are the perfect marriage of beautiful and inspirational, they allow for creativity and add a personal touch to any space. Keep chalkboards in mind next time you are looking for home decor.

                  Be Creative!

Sharing with the following:
Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday
MsMoozys Open House – Tuesday with a Twist
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
The Cottage Market – Junkin Joe

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday's Fancy

Mother Nature is playing a joke on us...

It may be the first day of spring
but here we are expecting 2-4" of snow.

source: stock photography

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dreaming of Spring

What day is it? It's Hump Day!

I have been dreaming of spring and what to plant this year. As I browse through some of my favorite blogs I see that some of you are already experiencing spring. That your tulips are all ready popping up. I am jealous. We still have a pile of snow covering our tulips, so it may be a while before I see mine popping up, I guess all in due time. Tho, we didn't break our total snowfall record this year, we did have the coldest February on record. Brrr - down right frigid! I am so ready for spring.

So to warm my soul I started thinking about what to plant this year. I usually plant herbs, a few tomato plants, and flowers in containers. Thinking of new ideas can sometimes be overwhelming and I thought why not look through some of my old posts to see what I did last year. This helped a ton since I was really happy with some of the plantings I did and some could use a little improvement. Then I thought why not recap them for you. 

Let us start with my Vertical Herb Garden. This was a great solution for the limited amount of space I have to work with. We also added some tomato plants planting them in gardening bags.
Next was using some of my flea market finds as containers for my flowers. An old watering can, colander, and buckets.

Then was the finishing touch adding a few more plants with new flea market finds (old roasting pan), some fun decorative garden stakes and a wreath for the door.

I think I might change things up a little bit this year. I still plan on using my repurpose containers for flowers but maybe using a different idea for my herb garden. I love the pallet idea, but it was a little big for my needs, I had more fresh herbs than I knew what to do with. I am thinking a smaller scale this year. I have this idea of using my old 28 oz tomato cans (I always have a lot of these) and hanging them on an old wooded board. 

Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

What are you planning for your garden this year? I would love to hear some of your ideas.

                       Have blessed day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Penne Caprese... A Yummy Pasta Dish

Happy Monday All! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. The melting has started here...yipee!

I have a confession to make... I am such a foodie. 

I love trying new foods, cooking new recipes, and oh my word the kitchen gadgets. I can not be trusted when I get around those glorious  

Here is a little proof of what a foodie I am, the first thing the Hubby and I do when vacationing is check out all the local restaurants & kitchen stores. We love to eat local wherever we travel to get a flavor of the region. I also need to check out the stores if there is any new gadget that I have not seen before. I know, it is a sickness. Best part I have a Hubby who indulges me... yes I was blessed with a winner!

So what can I contribute this foodie addiction to? Maybe it's because I am Italian and food being such a part of my world growing up. All major decisions, family celebrations, and hard times were discussed around the kitchen table usually with plate of food. When it came to family parties or casual get togethers the menu was the first thing we planned. Food was the center of our world.

I guess you can say we show our love through food. 

In my never-ending search of recipes I came across this little doozy. Penne Caprese. This is such a light pasta dish. It can be served warm or at room temperature. I can not wait for the summer tomatoes as it will only make this recipe even better.

Here is how to make this simple scrumptious pasta dish.

  • 1 lb Penne pasta 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic (or use can use garlic powder)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 10 oz fresh mozzarella balls 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried basil 
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Meanwhile heat oil over medium heat and grate in garlic (if using fresh garlic). 

As the oil is heating up, cut tomatoes in half.

Once you add the pasta to the boiling water, then add tomatoes to the oil. 

In about 10 minutes the tomatoes will start releasing their juices and soften. If using garlic powder you can add it in at this point.
Add mozzarella balls just before you add the cooked pasta. 

Season with basil and salt and add pasta. 
Reserve a little cooking water, if the pasta looks too dry you can add the pasta water in.

Mix well and ENJOY!

 This will definitely be a menu item on our list for summer dinner dishes!

Have a great day!

Sharing with the following:
Refresh Restyle – Inspiration Monday
Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday
MsMoozys Open House – Tuesday with a Twist
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
The Cottage Market – Junkin Joe

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday's Fancy

Ok, I must confess I am in love with the Minions.

These little guys crack me up, I told My Hubby I really need to go see the movie when it comes out in July. Yep I am a dork and love it!

On Facebook I subscribe to the Minion Quotes Page. Everyday they post a few little quips with a picture. They are so cute and hilarious I look forward to seeing them everyday. Some I actually giggle to myself.

Today I rounded up a few of my favorites.


I will leave you with this...


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Embroidery Hoop Orbs

Happy Wednesday and thanks for visiting today!

I’ve long-loved the industrial look of wood or metal orbs. We have several throughout our home. One our mantel that’s made of metal and a vintage dough bowl filled with a variety of wood and twig ones. But even one picked up at a discount store can come with a price tag that is a little steep for such a simple piece. 

I have seen Embroidery Hoop Orb tutorials all over the internet and Pinterest. These embroidery hoop orbs are quite easy to make and are really inexpensive. I threw these little babies together in under an hour – and I made two for under $5! Yep you heard me right!
The best part? There’s no glue required. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 
  • 4 embroidery hoops (I used two 6″ and two 4″ to make one 6″ and one 4″ orb) 
  • stain 
  • brushes 
  • rag 

First, you’ll want to separate all the embroidery hoops. 

Next, brush the stain onto each hoop – on the inside, the outside, and the edges. Let the stain sit for a little while (I waited about 30 minutes), and then take your rag and rub off any extra stain on the hoops. 

To assemble them, use the two “inside” pieces of the embroidery hoops and slide one inside the other. Add a third hoop (one of the outer edges) and tighten it until the hoop has completely closed. Add the fourth hoop around all three of them, and tighten it as much as you can. 

And there you have it! They make a great industrial decorative item to add to any shelf, tabletops, or a vignette! 

What quick decorating ideas do you use around your home?

Wishing you a sun filled day!

Sharing with the following:
DIY showoff – That DIY
Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday
MsMoozys Open House – Tuesday with a Twist
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
The Cottage Market – Junkin Joe

Monday, March 9, 2015

Jute Eggs

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. The Hubby and I hung out this weekend and I busied myself with a new craft project – Jute Easter Eggs. These were easy to make and only took less than an hour to make 6.  Well, it’s true! 

Today, I’m going to show you how easy it is to transform Styrofoam or plastic eggs.

Supplies Needed: 
– Styrofoam Easter Eggs (you can easily use plastic eggs) 
– Jute (I used 2 different thicknesses) 
– Ribbon and buttons for embellishment 
– Hot Glue Gun 

I started with a glob of hot glue on the bottom of the egg and then slowly wrapped the jute in a circular motion. Adding more glue as I went up the egg.

Once you’ve wrapped the entire egg, it will look a little something like this. 

I then started to decorate, I added a strip of ribbon around the egg.

And to top it off a button.

I continued with the rest of the other eggs. There are so many variations you can do, take a look at how the rest of my eggs turned out! 

Just the right amount of spring to make the long winter feel like it is coming to an end! 

Are you starting to decorate for spring? Do you have a favorite Easter decoration that you display each year?

Have a blessed day! 

Sharing with the following:
Refresh Restyle – Inspiration Monday
DIY showoff – That DIY
Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday
MsMoozys Open House – Tuesday with a Twist
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
The Cottage Market – Junkin Joe