Saturday, July 30, 2011

. . . Tips and Tricks from Real Simple . . .

I just love reading clever household tips and tricks!  Most of the time when I read them I think "Why didn't I think of that?"  This is a fun list I gathered from Real Simple Magazine.  They are one of the best sources for great ideas for everyday household tips.  One of my favorites on this list is the Ice Cubes in the Collandar.  Brilliant!

I hope you enjoy and feel free to share some of your favorite tips and tricks in the comments.

**all images from Real Simple Magazine

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Friday, July 29, 2011

. . . Fun Friday Finds - Pink . . .

I am obsessed with all things Pink.  If something is Pink I am going to want it--guaranteed!  I was sitting on the beach reading a magazine the other day and it said that wearing Pink can be a stress reducer.  It actually said that it can give you the same results as a mild tranquilizer.  I better start wearing pink, eating pink foods, decorating my house with pink, etc. because I am always stressed over something.  Maybe my husband would let me start decorating with pink if it makes me calmer, what do you think?

After reading the article it has now been a joke with my family that I should be calmer than any of them because I have so many pink things.  I decided why not to a Fun Friday Finds on some great DIY Pink Projects.

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• Tissue Paper Wreath @ A Blissful Nest

• Painted Mason Jars @ 100 Layer Cake
• Chevron Stripe Chair @ Libbie Grove Design

• Yarn Letters @ Family Chic
• Pink Dresser @ Being Creative

• DIY Pink Headboard @ Or So She Says 
• Pink Love Bug @ The Decorated Cookie

Doesn't pink make everything better?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

. . . Cookie Time Tuesday--S'mores Bars . . .

Is it miserably hot where you are?  If so, then the last thing you want to do is roast marshmallows over the fire for s'mores!  These are the perfect solution...Indoor S'mores.  These are just disappearing before my eyes because everyone loves them.  I made a batch for the beach trip and within a few minutes of pulling them out they were a hit!  Super easy too which is always a plus.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Print Recipe HERE

You will need:
18 whole graham crackers
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
• Gather ingredients
• Press Graham Cracker crumbs and melted butter into a 9x13 inch pan
• Bake Graham Cracker crust for about 5 minutes then add Chocolate Chips
• Add Butterscotch Chips

• Top with mini marshmallows
• Drizzle can of Sweetened Condensed Milk over everything evenly
• Get ready to bake
• Make sure the marshmallows get toasty brown.  Let cool completely then cut into bars.


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Monday, July 25, 2011

. . . Homemade Salsa . . .

We love Salsa in my family!  I started making my own homemade about 2 years ago and it's so easy tasty!  My grandmother's neighbor made some for us and told me her recipe and I've tweaked it to work for our tastes. You will never get the flavor from store bought that you can get from making your own.  It's also so much fun to make with your family...when we make it we all gather in the kitchen and do our part. 

If you grow a garden it's even better with all those fresh veggies.  I'm lucky enough to have green peppers, jalepeno peppers and tomatoes from my mom's garden and that means I make a lot of Salsa in the summer.

You will need:
Canned diced tomatoes--I like the basil and garlic flavored
Fresh Tomatoes
Green Pepper
Red Onion
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Jalepeno Peppers
Optional: Rotel Chilis and Tomatoes

I don't have any measurements for you because Salsa is really about individual taste.  I can tell you for the large container you see in the photo below it was 2 cans of tomatoes, 1 container of grape tomatoes, 1 green pepper, 1 red onion, 1 whole jalepeno, and half a can of Rotel.

• Gather ingredients--fresh or store bought
• Blend your whole ingredients to puree them--green pepper,
jalepeno pepper, grape/cherry tomatoes and red onion.  Once those are chopped up then add your canned tomatoes and Rotel to the blender and blend well.  You can now add you spices--garlic, salt and pepper, a dash or two of lemon juice, some sugar (small amount).
• Store in an air tight container if there is any left.  In our house we don't usually have all that much sitting around.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

. . . Bouffe e Bambini Blog Giveaway . . .

Have you been to Bouffe e Bambini Blog yet?  If not it is amazing and you have to add it to your daily reading list.  She is celebrating her Birthday and is offering some great giveaways including a set of Personalized Stationery from Itsy Bitsy Paper.  It is super easy to enter and you can do so until July 29th.  I hope you will stop over and take the time to enter and check out her blog.

You can follow along with Bouffe e Bambini on Facebook and Twitter

Make sure you check out the other great giveaways too so you can enter them all!

Friday, July 22, 2011

. . . Beach Trip . . .

I love my Business, my Facebook Followers, my Blog Followers and of course my Customer's but everyone needs a great vacation now and again.  The next couple weeks I am going to be chilling at Ocean Isle Beach, NC so my posting will be limited.  I'm working while I'm there but I probably won't post as much as I normally do and wanted you all to know I still love you and my blog but I'm taking a little time out for family and relaxing. 

On another note...if you haven't been to Ocean Isle Beach it is a fantastic place to go!  We go several times a year but always do a couple weeks in the summer with my family and it's such a nice break!  The beach is a perfect spot to vacay because it's affordable, nearby Myrtle Beach, SC, family oriented, quiet and absolutely beautiful!

The next couple weeks I will hopefully be doing a lot of this:
Laying out in the sun, Drinking lots of Sunset Slush and hanging with my family!
 Bottom LEFT photo: Al from Sunset Slush serving the best ever Italian Ice!
Bottom RIGHT photo: Me, my Son and my beautiful Sister, Claudia

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

. . . Cookie Time Tuesday-No Bake Golden Graham Cookies . . .

When I was growing up I loved Golden Graham Cereal and thought it was a real treat when my mom picked it up for me.  Now I will grab it and measure it out in a baggie and eat it for a sweet snack.  I have to say I have never baked with it, though.  Today I did and it was delicious!  These are from the Everyday is a Celebration Blog  and I sure am glad her ex boyfriend's mom was so willing to share this recipe because these are worth making!

One thing I learned from this recipe is that you have to use your brute strength to manage stirring in the Peanut Butter mixture with the cereal because it starts to firm up right away.  I also worried I was crushing the cereal too much but it was absolutely fine when the cookies cooled. Also, you will want to make sure you have your cookie sheets lined with wax paper before you pour the hot mixture over the cereal because of it hardening quickly.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Print Recipe HERE
 You will need:
6 cups of golden graham cereal
1 cup of M&Ms
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup light corn syrup

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

• Gather ingredients
• Mix corn syrup and sugar together and bring to a boil over medium heat
• Remove from heat and add PB into the sugar mixture
• Stir until smooth

• Mix cereal and M&Ms together in large bowl
• Pour PB/sugar mixture over cereal and M&Ms and stir well
• Drop by spoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet
• Let the cookies cool completely then store in a container

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Friday, July 15, 2011

. . . Fun Friday Finds-Pinwheels . . .

I love pinwheels and projects using them.  I have a few Pinwheel Projects on my "To Do" list but it just hasn't happened yet.   You can do so many great things with Pinwheels and they are easy to make.  What a great way to dress up a party too!  Here are a few I've rounded up that would make great projects.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

• Pinwheel Wreath @ Just Sew Sassy
• Fabric Pinwheels @ Naptime Crafting
• Pinwheel Hair Clips @ The Mother Huddle
• Pinwheel Pancakes @ Jenni Price Illustration

• Pinwheel Cookies @ Oh Goodie Designs
• Pinwheel Mobile @ Sew Mama Sew
• Felt Pinwheels @ Eighteen25
• Pinwheel Garland @ Hossier Homemade

What is your favorite Pinwheel Project?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

. . . Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint Project . . .

The joke around my house is that I'm so in love with Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint that I'm going to paint my son next.  

The other day I was standing in my kitchen and my Cracker Jars from Anchor Hocking stood out like a sore thumb because the lids were silver.  I decided why not paint them with the ORB Paint while I had it out for my register vent covers.  I was really pleased with the end result and now the jars match everything else in my kitchen.



I need to invest in the Rustoleum Company now that I've discovered Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

. . . Cookie Time Tuesday-Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies . . .

I think every single week I have a new favorite cookie but this one is delicious!  I know you will enjoy it.  It is soft and moist and tastes just like Cookies and Cream!  When I saw this on Lovin' From the Oven I knew I had to give it a go on Cookie Time Tuesday.  They aren't lasting long in my house because my husband and son love cookies and cream anything.

Print Recipe HERE

You will need: 

1 stick softened butter 
6 Tablespoons sugar 
6 Tablespoons brown sugar 
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 ¼ cup flour 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt 
11 broken pieces Oreo Cookies 
1 cup chocolate chips

 • Gather ingredients
• Combine butter and sugars
• Add dry ingredients
• Add crushed oreos and mini chocolate chips and combine well

• Scoop by small spoonfuls onto a baking sheet
• Bake cookies for 12 minutes
• Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes
• Transfer to a wire cooling rack to completely cool

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Monday, July 11, 2011

. . . Paper Plate Holder . . .

I was trying to think of a great way to store Paper Plates in my kitchen.  They are so convenient to have around with an 8 year old but I hate that they just sit in a stack in the corner because it just doesn't look very nice.  I also always want something that looks nice when I have a party instead of just stacking them or putting them in a basket.

I was cruising a thrift store looking for Vintage Pyrex dishes when all of a sudden I saw this CD Holder or maybe a File Holder--not sure exactly what its intended use was.  Anyway it was so beyond perfect for my kitchen because I have a lot of black wrought iron items.  I love how convenient it is to just walk by and grab a plate.  My husband thinks my idea was genius so of course that is an added bonus.

 The best part was that I bought this holder and all I had to do was wash it!  
Love when that happens.

Just stick your plates down in the sections.

Easy Peasy!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

. . . Brown Sugar Cinnamon Peach Pie Recipe . . .

It's time for Peaches and it is great because they are readily available and usually really sweet and juicy in the summer.  I was at the store the other day and they had them on sale so I bought a bunch of them, not having a clue what I would make with them.  Then I got the new Southern Living and right on the cover was the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Peach Pie.  Sounded good and the perfect thing to make with my peaches.

The pie was very tasty with the combination of the brown sugar and cinnamon.  I think you will enjoy it but it is a bit of a time consuming pie to make so be prepared that you don't just throw it together and forget about it. 

Print Recipe HERE

You Will Need: 
1 1/3 cups cold butter 
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice-cold water 
8 large fresh, firm, ripe peaches (about 4 lb.) 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 
1 large egg, beaten 
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

**I used the Pie Crust Recipe that I posted HERE instead of the one listed above.

 Gather your peaches
You will need to peel the skin from your peaches
Chop peaches into small pieces
Combine dry ingredients

Toss dry ingredients over peaches
Stir well to combine
Pour into pie plate and top with chunks of chilled butter
Make a lattice top for your pie and coat with a beaten egg.  Bake


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Saturday, July 9, 2011

. . . Sweet Heat Shrimp . . .

I am not a big seafood eater but I love Shrimp.  I find it to be so simple to cook and there are so many quick and easy recipes out there for it.  I was doing a blog hop the other day and found this great recipe over at Balancing The Dream.  I loved the fact that there were no measurements but just a list of ingredients because that is always the best kind of recipe in my opinion.  I just sort of added as much or as little as I wanted and then I adapted the kabobs to our liking.  I made the shrimp again recently and I added pineapple juice to the marinade and pineapple chunks to the skewers.  Yummy!  I should have taken a photo of it because honestly it was even better this way! 

You will need:
Shrimp--fresh or frozen (I used frozen uncooked)
Olive Oil
Frank's Sweet Chili Sauce
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
Pineapple (fresh or chunks from a can)

To Make the Shrimp:
•Gather up your ingredients.  It really is just a dump as you go recipe so whatever your heart desires
•Mix everything up in a bowl
•Whisk it all together 
•Pour the marinade over your shrimp.

•Let the shrimp marinate for several hours
•Soak your wooden skewers in water so they don't burn on the grill
•Load up the shrimp and veggies on the skewers
•Place on a hot grill and let them cook for a couple minutes on each side.  I like to baste mine multiple times so they stay really moist and the flavor "sticks"

What to have with the yummy shrimp?  
How about Roasted Ranch Red Skin Potatoes

To Make the Potatoes:
You will need
Potatoes (red skin works really well)
Olive Oil
A packet of Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Powder

To make:
•Clean your potatoes and cut into chunks
•Drizzle with olive oil and stir around.  Then add your Ranch powder mix all over the taters
•Stir so all the potatoes get coated
•Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 30 to 45 minutes.  Just watch them and stir frequently to avoid over browning.  We like ours pretty brown but you may just want them slightly browned.

Yummy in the Tummy!

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