SPECIALIZING IN UNIQUE GIFTS FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN

Sunday, July 31, 2011

SWEET BABY O' MINE ETSY TREASURY

Here are a few of my favorite
baby creations 
by
Etsy designers.

by
MissyPop Creations

by
Sister Embroidery Shop

by
Playground Bound

by
Little Monkey Doodles

by
Abigail's Hope Design

Check out the other beautiful baby creations in my Sweet Baby O' Mine Etsy Treasury.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

SUMMER GARDENING TIPS

MULCHING
Mulching is one of the keys to success many homeowners use in their gardening and landscaping efforts. Adding a three-inch layer of mulch to your plantings will reduce evaporation of soil moisture and help insulate the soil from the drying wind and hot sun. Mulching also prevents weeds from sprouting and reduces the spread of soil-borne diseases. Whatever your choice of mulch, the final result gives a nice finished look to your flower or shrub beds!

SUMMERTIME WATERING
Conserving water is a must during our Texas Summers, and using soaker hoses will place the water exactly where you need it. Select a quality soaker hose to keep your flower beds and around pool decks and foundations adequately saturated during our hot, dry months. Soaker hoses "weep" instead of spraying thus reducing the amount of evaporation and run-off. When used correctly, soaker hoses can save you money, water and simplify your garden maintenance.

Friday, July 29, 2011

CHOCOLATE AND ALMONDS MACAROONS


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • (14-oz.) package sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 24 whole unblanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels

Preparation

  • 1. Stir together first 4 ingredients. Drop dough by lightly greased tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press an almond into top of each cookie.
  • 2. Bake at 350ยบ for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • 3. Microwave 1/2 cup chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute and 15 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals and at end. Transfer to a 1-qt. zip-top plastic freezer bag; cut a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe melted chocolate over cooled cookies by gently squeezing bag.
  • Note: For easy cleanup, put wax paper under the wire rack to catch the excess chocolate as you drizzle it on the cookies.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

PLAY DOUGH RECIPE

This would be fun to make with your children or grandchildren. Can't wait to try it!
Ingredients
1 cup water, cold
1 cup table salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 ½ cups All Purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Food Coloring

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the water, salt and oil.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring at this point.
3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch.4. Add a half cup of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients at a time, mixing thoroughly with each    
    addition.5. With cornstarch on your hands, knead the play dough until the right consistency.6. Store in a zip top bag.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DISPLAY SOUVENIRS OF YOUR TRAVELS

Table Traveler
    Keep the memory of a recent vacation alive long after you've returned home. Assemble a collection of vacation mementos to display inside a tray. Line the bottom of a tray with a souvenir map, layer a piece of glass or acrylic on top for protection, and include a small photo album to share your memories.

Monday, July 25, 2011

THE PIONEER WOMAN

Ree Drummond

I'm sure by now you have all heard about The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  If you haven't checked out her blog, please do so.  It has lots of delicious recipes and photographs.  She is a very humorous lady with lots of great ideas and stories!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

SUNDAY WISHES


Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday
with friends and family.


Jesus is peace,
Jesus is hope,
Jesus is love.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

5 TIPS TO BUILD WEALTH

Warren Buffett is worth $45 billion. That wealth isn't only a factor of savvy investing and good business — the "Oracle of Omaha" is also known as a penny pincher. Follow his frugal formula, and you too may wind up with a lot more money than you ever dreamed.  This week Financially Fit covers five tips to build wealth and success.

1. Live Below Your Means.
2. Bounce Back From Defeat
3. Self-Promote
4. Have Street Smarts
5. Buy Cheap

Friday, July 22, 2011

FABRIC COVERED JOURNAL PROJECT by Jennifer Paganelli

Covered Journal

I came across this great tutorial on covering journals.  I can't wait to make my own using this tutorial.  

Materials
Designer: Jennifer Paganelli
1/2 yard each novelty print (journal cover) and white flannel (interlining)
1 or 2 — 1/8-yard pieces contrasting prints (band, tie)
Finished size: fits 7-1/2 x 9-3/4" composition book
Quantities specified for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. 
All measurements include a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise indicated. 
Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.



Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.
From cover print and from flannel, cut:
1 — 14 x 29-1/2" rectangle
From contrasting prints, cut:
1 — 1-1/2 x 42" strip
1 — 6 x 29-1/2" strip


1. Fold contrasting print 6 x 29-1/2" strip in half; sew along long edges (Diagram 1).
    Turn right side out and press to make band.

2. Layer cover print and flannel 14 x 29-1/2" rectangles wrong sides together.
    Position band on right side of cover print rectangle; topstitch long edges of band in place.
    (See Diagram 2)
    Zigzag-stitch around all edges of rectangles.
3. Turn under short edges of layered rectangles 3/4"; topstitch close to edges.
    Then fold each short edge 6-1/2" toward center to make a 14 x 15" rectangle.
    Sew 2" from each long edge (Diagram 3).

4. Turn under ends 1/4" on contrasting print 1-1/2  x  42" strip (Diagram 4).
    Press strip in half lengthwise with wrong side inside.
    Open up fold and press under 1/4" along long edges.
    Re-press strip along center fold; stitch close to both long edges to make tie.
Finish Journal Cover

1. To reduce bulk, trim upper layer only of cover seam allowances as shown. 
    Topstitch tie in place to complete journal cover (Diagram 5).     Turn cover right side out and insert 7-1/2 x 9-3/4" composition book.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

"LET'S DO THE MONKEY" ETSYKIDS TREASURY

Who doesn't love monkeys?
Here are a few of my
favorite "monkeys"
created by
the EtsyKids South team.

by
My Little Angel Co.

by 
Originali Tee Too

by
Little SideKick


by
BronStar Originals

Please check out the other monkey creations in my "Let's Do The Monkey" treasury by  EtsyKids South designers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BHG MONOGRAMMED WALL ART PROJECT


A Personalized Gift
    Need a quick gift? Round up scraps of pretty patterned paper and a few frames. Cut a piece of patterned paper to fit the frame opening. Die-cut or hand-cut an oversize monogram and, if desired, a mat. Mount the initial to the patterned-paper background with adhesive foam, add the mat, if using, and slide the assembly into the frame. Dress up the frame edge with ribbons and charms.
    These would make perfect teacher gifts or party favors for your best friends.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TRIPLE DIGIT TEMPERATURES IN TEXAS

Can't wait for our Texas hot summer to cool off. It has been over 100 degrees the past 17 days with no end in sight.  At least my purple coneflowers are loving the heat.

Monday, July 18, 2011

INDOOR POTTING ROOM

I love to flower garden and would enjoy having a potting shed. This is a potting room I found that had been added as an extension to a sunroom.  Maybe in my next lifetime!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

JULY ETSYKIDS DESIGN CHALLENGE ENTRY

by

This month's design challenge theme is "all about the boys".  My entry is a security blanket created from Robert Kaufman's Spacewalk Royal designer cotton paired with a soft, blue dot minky fabric.  I was drawn to the designer cotton by its vivid colors and real-life space icons.  I entered it in the challenge because what boy doesn't dream of becoming an astronaut!

Check out the EtsyKids Design Challenge for other entries.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

HOW TO CLEAN AND STORE BERRIES

Curtis Stone

This week I highlighted several recipes using fresh berries. Here is a video by Curtis Stone on how to clean and store berries.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

WHITE CHOCOLATE - RASPBERRY PIE


INGREDIENTS:
1
Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
5
oz white chocolate baking squares
3
tablespoons milk
5
oz cream cheese, softened
1/2
cup powdered sugar
1/2
to 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1
cup whipping cream, whipped
3
cup fresh raspberries
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely.
  • In microwavable bowl, microwave 4 squares of the white chocolate and the milk uncovered on Medium about 2 minutes or until almost melted. Stir until melted. Cool to room temperature.
  • In small bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange peel with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Beat in white chocolate mixture. Fold whipped cream into white chocolate mixture. Spread in bottom of cooled baked shell. Arrange raspberries on filling.
  • Melt remaining square of white chocolate; drizzle over pie. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until set. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CHICKEN SALAD WITH GRAPES AND PECANS RECIPE


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light or regular mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light or regular sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 3 cups red and white seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)

  • Preparation

    1. Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. 
    2. Add chopped chicken and grapes, tossing gently to coat. 
    3. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. 
    4. Stir in pecans just before serving. 
    5. Serve in stemware lined with lettuce leaves, if desired.
    Southern Living AUGUST 2006

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CHICKEN AND STRAWBERRY SALAD RECIPE



Strawberries and sliced avocados might seem like unusual toppings for chicken salad, but paired with a poppy seed dressing, they create a delicious dish that is loaded with flavor. Slivered toasted almonds and crisp red onions add a crunch to each bite.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup poppy seed dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 pounds chopped cooked chicken (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • celery ribs, sliced
  • pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • avocado, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • (10-ounce) package mixed salad greens
  • Garnishes: avocado slices, whole strawberries
  • Preparation
    • Whisk together dressing and mayonnaise in a large bowl; cover and chill 30 minutes.
    • Add chopped chicken and next 5 ingredients to dressing mixture, gently tossing to coat. 
    • Serve over mixed salad greens. Garnish, if desired

Monday, July 11, 2011

FOUR-BERRY SMOOTHIE RECIPE

Ingredients
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Garnishes: fresh blueberries, raspberries, mint sprigs
  • Preparation
    • Process first 7 ingredients in a blender. 
    • Add ice cubes to 4 1/2-cup level; process until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. 
    • Garnish, if desired; serve immediately.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

RASPBERRY TIRAMISU BITES RECIPE


These luscious little gems are so quick to fix you can make dozens at a time. Inexpensive shot glasses sparkle as contemporary dessert dishes. For large parties, miniature (5-oz.) clear-plastic tumblers, available from party stores, are a great option.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • ladyfingers, halved crosswise
  • fresh raspberries
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs
Preparation
  • 1. Microwave raspberry preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 20 seconds. Stir in liqueur.
  • 2. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy (about 1 minute).
  • 3. Beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into a zip-top plastic bag. (Do not seal.) Snip 1 corner of bag with scissors to make a hole (about 1/2 inch in diameter).
  • 4. Press 1 ladyfinger half onto bottom of 1 (1 1/2-oz.) shot glass. Repeat procedure with 7 more shot glasses. Drizzle about 1/2 tsp. raspberry mixture into each glass. Pipe a small amount of cream cheese mixture evenly into each glass. Repeat procedure with remaining ladyfingers, raspberry mixture, and cream cheese mixture. Top each glass with 1 raspberry. Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

BIPPITY BOPPITY BOUTIQUE - DISNEY WORLD 2011

My daughter and I 
had lots of fun 
watching the girls get
"beautified"
at 
Disney World's
Bippity Boppity Boutique!







Friday, July 8, 2011

QUOTE OF THE DAY


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap ... but by the seeds you plant! 
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, July 7, 2011

TIPS FOR FARMERS' MARKET SHOPPING



1.  Go Early

The best produce is often found right when the market opens. Avoid choosing from picked-over produce by arriving at your local market as early as possible.

2. Go Often

Buy only as much as you will eat within a few days, and store produce (except tomatoes) in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. Flavor and nutrients diminish quickly.

3. Bring Cash

Most vendors appreciate it if you have small bills for purchasing. And while some larger markets will accept credit cards, most will not accept personal checks.

4. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

You're already a steward of the environment by shopping at your local farmers market, so remember to take it one step further and bring your own canvas bags, baskets, or boxes to carry away your purchase for the day.

5.  Take Your Time

Scope out the entire market before making your selections. Prices and types of produce vary among the different vendors. You'll want to shop just as wisely here as anywhere else.


6.  Bright Is Best

Look for blemish-free, brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Any bruised or damaged produce will spoil quickly.


7.  Don't Wash Right Away

Wash fresh produce just before cooking or serving–not before storing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NOT GUILTY DOES NOT MEAN INNOCENT

Caylee Anthony

I was so surprised Casey Anthony received the "not guilty" verdict.  Now my question is - who killed her daughter, Caylee, and disposed of her body?  Let's see how Casey Anthony lives her life in the aftermath of this trial and the cloud of guilt that surrounds her.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DIY WALLPAPER PROJECT IDEAS



To dress up the plain fold-up tables, Stephen Saint-Onge used decoupage glue to line the tables with wallpaper scraps. This is an easy and inexpensive way to add personality to the area.
Budget Tip: Use scraps of wallpaper to embellish items in any room. Here, Saint-Onge adds personality to a tray table, but wallpaper can be used in a variety of ways. Frame it for easy wall art, use it to cover storage bins, or add it to the backs of shelves for a pop of pattern.

Monday, July 4, 2011

RED, WHITE AND BLUE BEAUTIES - ETSYKIDS SOUTH TREASURY

In celebration of the 4th of July holiday, I made this treasury collection of red, white and blue creations by EtsyKids South designers.
by
Originali Tee Too

by
Atutudes

by
My Little Angel Co.
by
fanTABBulous Designs

Check out other patriotic creations in my Red, White and Blue Beauties treasury.  Find more designers at Etsy and EtsyKids.

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

God Bless America

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ina Garten's Potato Salad


We enjoyed this potato salad at a 4th of July neighborhood gathering today.  Tasted wonderful!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds small white potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion

Directions
Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.