Friday, June 29, 2012

Inspiration from LMM

One my of favorite blogs is Lemonade Makin' Mama.  I am a "visual" person, and this lovely blog is picture-heavy -- which is a great thing for photo lovers like myself!!!

And then there's the fact that Sasha, the lovely blogger at LMM loves the Lord -- same as me. She is sweet, thoughtful, and full of thought... if you know what I mean.  [Speaking of thoughtful: I ordered a necklace from her ETSY SHOP.  As part of the order process, I typed her a little note that said I was excited to receive my necklace -- that I had set aside some birthday money to get myself this treat.  The other day, the necklace came in the mail with a "Happy Birthday!" tag attached.  How sweet is that?]

Anyways, I love to read Sasha's heartfelt posts about her family, and about lessons in faith. She also has lots to share about her home.

A couple months ago, I was struck by THIS POST -- one of those posts about making simple things beautiful. I'm all about that these days.  And, if I can do it without spending a lot of money?  All the better.  While I enjoyed the entire post, it was this picture that caught my eye.  It's dish soap in a beautiful corked decanter.

                                                                       Source: via Sally on Pinterest

While I've often admired the beautiful color of dish soap sitting on my counter-top in the sunlight, I don't keep my soap on the counter because the labeled bottle isn't particularly beautiful.

But now?  Well, color me inspired!  I sent a message to Sasha asking where she had found such a pretty bottle, and she directed me to Pier 1, saying the bottles were not expensive. (She was speaking my language!  This bottle was only $6.00.)

Of course, the soap was already at home... waiting for the perfect bottle.  Here's what I came up with:

Seriously, how pretty is that soap in the sunlight?

And here's the final result on my counter-top.  (Did you notice a sneak-peek of it yesterday in my post?)

Another happy ending.
Thanks for the inspiration Sasha!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thrift Score Thursday 6.28

Finally, an evening I had been looking forward to for months.  Two girlfriends and I had planned to meet for dinner.  We couldn't have known (God is in the details!) that the date we picked would be the evening before the day one friend's divorce would be finalized. We worked to make the mood light.  We ate.  We chose comfort food instead of worrying about calories.  We talked about the fact that my most recent birthday had been the big "5-Oh."  We told funny stories.  We laughed.  One of us may have even seemingly taken a picture of the other two so that a Twilight "Bella" double could be seen in the booth behind. AND, I'm just saying... THAT photographer would not have been me, because I don't know one thing about Twilight.  But... moving on.

We talked about Goodwill hunting.  No, not the movie.  Just Goodwill hunting -- you know, as in thrift shop bargains?  In fact, we talked about it so much that we actually talked ourselves into going to the closest Goodwill after dinner.

My friends hunted through racks of clothing.  I was in the mood for housewares, but the shelves were on the BARE side!  Everyone found bargains but me (cue sad face).

I walked around to the end of the check-out counter to meet my friends as they were paying for their items, and I spotted something that I hadn't noticed my friend carrying before.  It was a mug.

"Cute mug!"  I said to her.  She got a funny look on her face and started laughing.

"I'm glad you like it," she said.  "It's for you."  I was so confused until I turned it around and saw this:

I have great friends!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Sea is Calling...

Have you seen those Royal Caribbean commercials?  "The sea is calling..." -- and I totally want my own shell to put up to my ear, because I'm falling for it.  I get a little misty-eyed when they come on.  Some people cry during Hallmark commercials -- for me it's sea and sand commercials.  They get right to the heart of me and make we want to pack my bags.

Since 1987, our family has enjoyed beach vacations -- only missing three years along the way because of unemployment, other BIG TRIPS, or summer jobs.  We've missed the last two years, and so we were super excited to be going back this year -- to our home away from home.

Often the weather news is not good.  Hurricanes are out at sea, or there are storm clouds gathering. Sometimes red flags are even up, and no swimming is allowed.  This year, there were no hurricanes or red flags, but the forecast was for a cloudy, rainy week.  Thank goodness those weather-type-people are sometimes wrong.  We had a great week!

A kite for our nightly walks on the beach...

A place to clean off all of the sand before going inside...

Time moves slower at the beach...

Is there a vacation spot that tugs at YOUR heart?

A classic shot of the Outer Banks dunes...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time Lapse: Purple Coneflower

Is it weird that my favorite photo may be the FIRST one?  It's such an interesting "fuzzy" stage!  This particular time lapse post has taken the longest from first picture to last.  These Purple Coneflowers take their own sweet time to bloom!

A Purple Coneflower visitor

linking with:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recipe: Bacon-Cheese Dreams

Need an easy lunch or dinner?  How about a delicious open-faced sandwich?  I served these the other night with a salad, and it was such a simple dinner.  Here's what you'll need for:

Bacon-Cheese Dreams

1 slice of bread for each sandwich you'd like to serve.
bacon (cooked, 1-2 slices per sandwich)
tomatoes (sliced, 2-3 slices per sandwich)
1 slice of American cheese for each sandwich

Lightly toast the bread in toaster.
Place cooked bacon pieces on toast.
Cover with tomato slices.
Cover with slice of cheese.
Using broiler-safe pan, place sandwiches under broiler for about 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  WATCH carefully!

You can eat these with your hands, but sometimes it's easier to cut them up, and use a fork --because the sandwiches are still hot!  My mouth is watering as I write this post.  I'm thinking we're going to be making these again soon!

linking up here: 

Also at: 

But wait!
Don't go away just yet!!  I want to tell you about a sweet giveaway going on over at Lemonade Makin' Mama.

[photo used with permission]

The goodies include:
  • goat's milk soaps
  • a pretty flowered bowl
  • green party napkins
  • organic peanut butter cups
  • Branch colored pencils
  • shimmery mineral eye shadows with an applicator brush

Just go to LMM to find out how to enter to win!
(A winner will be chosen by Thursday 6/28/12.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Finishing the Job

Remember this applesauce jar "vase" that I wrapped earlier in the week?  Not a complicated project, right?  I didn't show you this side with the cute border.  That's just the border that was on that piece of scrapbook paper.  I cut the paper with this idea in mind.

Today, I decoupaged the paper, and sealed off the top and bottom edges, as well as the vertical paper edges where they overlap going 'round the jar.  Hopefully, it will last a little longer now -- you know, it case it sees a splash of water here and there.  Still, I felt like it needed something else.  A little embellishment, perhaps?  So, I went hunting in my button jar.

The buttons were either totally the wrong color, just round and boring, or the wrong style of button for this purpose.  But then, I spotted this.

It's an old arcade token.  I hot-glued it on, and TaaDaa!  Just the ticket, I think.

You might notice (in above photo) the mess up around the neck of the jar.  It's Modge Podge that's still wet. After decoupaging the top paper edges, I realized it looked a little messy on the glass.  Using my foam brush, I put on a heavier coat of Modge Podge moving my brush back and forth in an "X" pattern to create a textured look.  The end result is sort of a bubbly mottled look that I rather like.

But the quirkiest part of this project is probably this:

which I never even SAW until I was completely done with the project.  And that's the truth!

How about you?
Have you put the finishing touches
on any projects lately?

Somewhat Simple

UPDATE:  I've just realized that there were a handful of birthday-wish-comments that I missed while we were on vacation.  Thanks for thinking of me friends!!!  It was a great birthday.  ~Sally

Thursday, June 21, 2012

what else IS there?

I know I told you all about our trip to Charleston, and all the cool things we did.  But... there were a few more awesome moments.

Like... have you ever had the chance to sit behind the wheel of a firetruck?  A really big one, I mean?  No?  Well, I have.  One belonging to the United States Air Force, in fact.  I didn't have that chance in my first forty-nine years.  But, turn fifty? -- and things happen.  I'm just sayin'.  Also, ummm,  it's all in who you know.

In addition, I can say pretty confidently that I have never boldly eaten (just) cake and ice cream for lunch on my birthday.  But, how do you say no when four little nieces (one missing in this photo) are jumping up and down and singing to you?  Answer:  you don't.

AND, I got to enjoy the sights and sounds of Charleston, South Carolina with my family.  A treat, for sure!

Lastly, I counted my blessings -- and there are many!

Had a big milestone birthday lately?
How did you celebrate?

Pssst.  HERE is another great idea from Pinterest --> a way to keep necklaces from getting tangled when you travel!  Unclasp the chain, and feed through a straw.  Then reclasp and pack it in your suitcase.  Try it.  It worked for me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hydrangea Joy

This morning, I looked out my window and realized that while we were on vacation, the hydrangeas had started to bloom.  I love our hydrangeas.  They're just white, although someday, I'd love to get the blue variety.  One of the reasons that I love them is that since putting plant supports around them a few years back, we have done nothing but smile at them and cut them back in late fall, and they grow like crazy.  A friend's husband once asked me what our secret was, and I told him... IGNORING them.  We're really all about survival of the fittest in our garden.  We don't pamper.  We don't feed.  Good heavens, we hardly WEED!

Well, back to my story... I looked out and saw the hydrangeas, and knew I had to have some in my house.  I wanted a good sturdy vessel for them so that the mop-like flower heads couldn't cause it to tip.  My creative juices started flowing.  In my dish drainer sat a large applesauce jar rinsed out and ready for the recycle bin.  I grabbed a piece of sturdy scrapbook paper, and trimmed two pieces that would meet in a band around the applesauce jar.  Then I headed outside to collect hydrangea stems.

What an easy project!  I'm kind of liking this applesauce vase.  Filled with water, it is nice and heavy.  For now, the paper is just taped, but I'm thinking I may decoupage it on, so that water won't damage it.

Did you do something creative today?

Was it a big project, or
just something simple, like mine?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beautiful Charleston, South Carolina

Have you ever been to Charleston, SC?  I hadn't, and I was excited to go.  Not only would I finally get the chance to see this amazing city, but my sister-in-law and brother-in-law live there with their four girls, and our nephew is a Sous Chef at "Slightly North Of Broad" -- a restaurant in the city.  I was really looking forward to seeing all of them, as well as looking forward to sharing a great meal together -- and I wasn't disappointed.

My sweet hubby and I @ Waterfront Park Pier.  The Ravenel Bridge in the background.

Before going, I poked around a little on-line and found a lovely video about Charleston HERE.  There's lots of great information at this site, and you can even ride along on part of a carriage tour of the city!

We enjoyed one of those awesome CARRIAGE RIDES around the city, and saw so many beautiful old homes -- as well as homes that were built to look old.  Of course there are certain building standards in a historical city like Charleston.  They don't care what you do to the inside of your home, but the outside must blend in with the other historical homes and buildings.

A "new" home

We walked the length of The Charleston City Market, and saw all kinds of interesting booths.  There were many sweet grass basket makers.  I heard one man say his family had been making these baskets for 40+ years.  You see these sweet grass basket stands everywhere in Charleston -- in the city, and at the side of 4-lane highways!

We ate a delicious gourmet meal at SLIGHTLY NORTH OF BROAD (or S.N.O.B.).  Prior to our meal, we enjoyed a fruit plate and a cheese plate.  I ordered the Maverick Beef Tenderloin (perfection!) with Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, served with Bernaise and Green Peppercorn Sauce.  Dessert was lemon sorbet with blueberries (with a birthday candle!)  I also tasted my niece's Peach Cobbler, and it was to die for!  Every single thing I tried was delicious!!!  You can view their menu HERE.  They have a gluten-free menu as well.  If you're in Charleston, I recommend you stop in!  Reservations are suggested, but I understand that you might be able to catch a table without one if your timing is right (meaning come when they're not busy.  Good luck with that!)  The atmosphere is relaxed and low-light -- a nice break from walking up and down the streets of the city.

Charleston was awesome!

-- and fifty is feeling pretty great so far!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

Well, we're back from a fabulous beach vacation, and guess what I'm doing today?
L-A-U-N-D-R-Y.  The only thing good about it is the sand and sea that I smell as I open each suitcase.  Aaaah, memories!

Well, while I'm doing laundry, and trying to get things back in order around here, I thought I would share a recipe that is a real favorite in our family.  We usually make this in the summer time, and traditionally on our beach vacations. It is always unanimously voted onto the week's menu.

This is one of those great recipes that you can adjust for any pan size, and for any "chocolate+" flavor preferences.

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

Here's what you need.
  • whatever pan you'd like according to the size of the crowd you're serving -- and it will need to fit in your freezer!
  • enough ice cream sandwiches to cover the bottom of the pan.  You may have to cut and piece into odd spots.
  • your favorite hot fudge sauce (I like Smuckers) - enough to cover the ice cream sandwiches
  • whipped topping (like Cool Whip) - enough to cover the fudge sauce (are you catching on?)
  • and.... something fun and flavorful to sprinkle over the whipped topping.  The original recipe called for Heath toffee pieces (which I have found in the baking aisle in bags like chocolate chips -- or you can crush Heath candy bars).  OR, we've also used mini chocolate chips, MINT chocolate chips, crushed Andes mints, or crushed starlight mints (red & white hard candy).  See?  You can get creative with this part of the recipe.

After you have layered all of your ingredients (eaten the odd remnants of ice cream sandwiches, and licked the hot fudge jar), THEN cover your pan, and place in the freezer until you are ready to eat.  We usually make it in the morning to serve for dinner.  The sandwiches will get pretty soft while your working, so everything really needs time to set up!

Oh my - if you are a chocolate lover... just wait.  You're gonna love this one!  And if you can eat it with the sea air swirling around you... all the better!  ENJOY.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled laundry load!

[Linking to the cool, impromptu Linky Party at Hating Martha.]

Also here:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...