Sunday, March 31, 2013


Happy Easter to y'all. I hope your day has been full of family and fun, and that you took some time to reflect on, and remember the most important reason we celebrate Easter.

I thought I'd invite you in, to our family Easter Sunday celebration. For those of you, who may not know, we don't have any family close by ..... they're either a 9 hour or 18 hour flight across the ocean away, so our family celebrations include just the four of us.

We started off our morning with Sunrise Service at our Church. It's held outside, and is always so beautiful. We didn't see the sun rise this morning though, as the storm rolled in just as we were finishing up. The storm only brought a few drops of rain I might add, but the sky was dark and ugly !!!

We always have a special Easter lunch ..... something that we don't have often, but is one of our favorites and oh so yummy - lamb:-)
 Before I forget ...... my tree for March. Being Easter this month, it has been decked out in it's Easter finery. Hanging off the branches, are the most adorable, little, wooden animals - bunnies, butterflies to name but a few. I found them at Target - so cute. I plan on going back tomorrow to see if there are perhaps any left over, that will then be on Easter clearance. They would be great to use on the pincushions I make.
 First, I 'll show you our Easter table. Tubs (love the pink polka dots) of miniature roses, chocolate bunnies and more.
 The roses will look lovely potted on my front porch, once they've done their Easter table duty. The polka dot tubs are destined for my craft room. They'll hold pencils or crochet hooks, or other lovely things.
These sugar coated chocolate mini eggs, are hands down, our family favorite ..... yummy !!!
 Now on to lunch .... braised lamb shanks with mashed potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts and cauliflower cheese. There was lots of mint jelly to go with the lamb. It was store bought mint jelly :-(, as my mint plants only went in 2 weeks ago, and they haven't grown enough yet, for me to harvest the leaves and make my own again. I will make a lot more than I did last year .... it doesn't last long around here.

The kids dessert choice this year ... an Ice Cream Sundae Bar !!! Cherries, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, strawberry topping, marshmallow topping, M&M's (Easter colors of course), whipped cream, and the ever important sprinkles !!!! They loved it, and I must admit, it was easy and hassle free for me :-)

However you celebrated Easter - big or small - I hope it was a special day for you, full of fun and memory making.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


We spent a lovely day out today ... great food and a wonderful time with some very special friends !!!
I thought I'd share with you, the edible Easter treats that I put together for our hostess and her kiddos.

I was given these Dallas Cowboys/ Team football cups a while back. I didn't want to give the kiddos Easter baskets, as they're not small kids anymore, so these worked perfectly. I stuffed florists oasis in the base of each cup. Using packing tape, I stuck wooden skewers to the back of each candy. At varying heights, I poked the skewers into the oasis, to make an eye pleasing display. I stuffed the rest of the cup full of shredded paper (this helped give it stability), and then wrapped the whole thing in cellophane, with ribbon.

This next treat worked out better than expected. I had seen a picture of something similar on the internet, and thought it was so cute, and worth a try.
I made a batch of sugar cookie dough (Bakarella's recipe .... definately the best I've tried to date, and I've tried MANY sugar cookie recipes), and cut out the bunny head shape. I didn't have hand or feet cutters, so I improvised. I used the top of my carrot cutter for the hands, and the bottom part of the cutter for the feet. As they came out of the oven, I pushed lollipop sticks into them and left them to cool ..... essentially a cookie pop. I iced them with royal icing and used edible markers to draw on his facial features. I made a sturdy cardboard box by cutting up a cake board, and stuck that wooden picket fence you can buy at Hobby Lobby, around it. I put chunks of florists oasis at the head and foot, and then positioned the bunny parts in it. Then the fun part ..... stuffing in the green tissue paper - what is it about tissue paper? It finishes anything off so nicely!!! His tummy ..... I baked a batch of my Toffee Crunch Cookies, and popped them in a cellophane bag and tied them up with ribbon. All that was left, was to pop them in his tummy spot. I finished it off, by wrapping it all in cellophane and tying it with ribbon. Hubby called it the Halloween Easter Bunny - he thought it looked like it was lying in a grave !!!!!

Wishing you and your family a very blessed Easter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Whew allergy season is in full swing for me ....... you know how it goes - constant sinus headache !!!!
It leaves me feeling a little low in the creativity department. I know I should try the OTC allergy stuff again, but truth be told, it really doesn't work for me. A steroid shot when it gets unbearable always turns out to be the most effective treatment.
Enough moaning though, it's not what you stopped in to see :-)

I've had need of a few cards of late ..... Oh yes, I'm still staying true to my "Buy No Card This Year" resolution !!! I thought I'd share them with you. All the ideas for these cards came from Pinterest .... I see no need to reinvent the wheel ....... it works pretty darn well, as is :-)
 This is the Birthday card, I made for the littlest monkey in our family - my nephew. This card went with the Lego bag I posted about a while ago.
 This one was made for a friend of ours, whose been a little under the weather .... hope those smiling Band Aids helped cheer her up.
I love the simplicity of this card. This is for a bloggy friend who I wanted to say hello to, as I haven't heard from her in a while :-)
I punched out LOTS of different colored butterflies to give the rainbow effect, glued them together along their abdomens, and left their wings to fly free.

And just to prove, that I have tried to not let this allergy nonsense get me down ....
We took part in the Firefly Dallas 5km Fun Run on Saturday night ........ as cold as it was, we had a blast !!!
Taking part in 5km fun runs has become Girl Child's and My, mother/daughter thing to do :-) We put it out there to any of our girlfriends who wish to join us, and we make a fun event of it. This particular race ended with a trip to Starbucks on the way back to the car ....... we needed to warm up, as did many of the other participants. Don't think I've ever seen such a busy Starbucks, but it had a really fun, festive vibe going on, with all of us in there.

I'm hoping to get a few Easter treats done in the next day or two, so I'll keep you posted.
Stay warm Northern Hemisphere visitors, it seems we're all unseasonally (certainly for Texas) cold at the moment.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Foody Friday again !!! Another week of Bible Study .... Another new recipe tried ...... and this one is another keeper !!!!

Apple Coffee Cake

This cake is lovely and moist. The apple in the middle of it, cooks to the consistency of a filling .... imagine apple pie filling in the middle of a cake, with a crunchy, nutty top ..... everything that is good and delicious about a cake !!!

- 9oz Yellow Cake Mix (just measure it out of a regular box of yellow cake mix)
- 1 (3.4oz) Package of Vanilla Pudding Mix
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
- 2 Medium Tart Apples, peeled, cored, and shredded. (I used Honey Crisp apples)
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

- In a bowl, beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream and melted butter for 2 minutes.
  The mixture will be very thick.
- Pour half of batter into a greased 8"x 8" baking dish.
- Top with shredded apples.
- Combine sugar, cinnamon and walnuts, and sprinkle half of this mixture over the apples.
- Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the apples (this just makes spreading easier).
- Spread batter over the apples.
- Top with the remaining sugar mixture.
- Bake at 350 Deg F, for 50 - 55 mins. A toothpick inserted in the center, must come out clean.
- Cool cake completely and enjoy !!!!

Let me know if you give this a try ...... you'll be really glad you did.
Wishing y'all a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


In celebration of this, I thought I'd take you on a tour of our garden. We've been showing it ALOT of love over the past 2 weeks. We've cleared away all evidence of Winter (20 garden bags of leaf litter later !!!), and it's beginning to show its Spring glory.
 The hummingbird feeders are filled and up - one of my favorite Summer treats, is a visit from those little birds. I know it's still a little early for them, but we want to be ready.
 The hibiscus are all potted. We've learned from past experience, not to plant them in the garden. They thrive in the summer, but as soon as the first really cold spell came, they'd die. This way, we'll just move hem inside for the cold winter months.
 My veggie patch is planted. 3 different tomato varieties, potatoes, basil, parsley and mint. I need the mint to grow prolifically, so that I have a great harvest to turn into mint jelly .... yummy!!!
The bed you can just spot in the back, is my Texas wild flower bed. I've tried it for a number of year, with no success. I changed my method this year, so hopefully the wildflowers will be prolific and gorgeous. Things look hopeful, as they're already sprouting.
 The fountain garden ..... we just need to try and get the fountain running. We've remulched it, and I've planted some Dianthus around the outer edge. I love those flowers, they remind me of my Granny .... I still miss her so much, every single day. In the back left corner, you can just spy Chateau De Toad ..... the toad house I made a couple of years ago. It's had a resident every single year since I made it:-)
 This bed had tons of weeds in it, and it was where I found a little visitor ..... a Garter Snake. I love those little things. When we first moved into this house 8 years ago, we had so many of them, but their numbers have dropped off over the years. I think we may have discovered why, this past Summer ..... we had a King Snake take up residence. They eat other snakes.
 This old mill stone, was a treasure left by the previous owners, and I love it. We use it as a birdbath.
 Of course Spring also means a return to the barbeque ..... we have our own resident pyromaniac now:-)
All the leaf litter has been removed. We laid black weed cloth, and dumped the mulch ...... just love how this bed looks.

Moving to our front porch now .......
Each Spring I replant my fairy gardens. I've always planted succulents (just because they're easier to care for). This year I'm trying annuals ..... we're holding thumbs!!!!

So there we have it - a quick around the garden tour!!!
Hope your Spring is lovely, wherever you are.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Perusing Pinterest, as I'm known to do, I came upon a tutorial on using Kool Aid to dye yarn (
It was far too good an opportunity to miss. Couple of packets of Kool Aid and some liquid food coloring (Kool Aid sadly doesn't come in every color I desire), and a ball of 100% wool yarn, and you're set to go.
 The photo is ugly, but it's a ball of plain white, 100% wool (this is VERY important apparently) yarn.
 Next up, I unwound the ball, around the back of one of my dining room chairs. I made a solution of water and white vinegar, mixed at a ratio of 2:1. I popped the yarn in a 9"x 13" baking dish, poured the solution over the yarn, made sure it was well saturated, and left it soaking for 30 minutes.
 Tick Tock ... Tick Tock .... 30 minutes later, and I'm back. I squeezed out the water gently, and placed the yarn back in the dish (which you've rinsed and dried out).
 Now, to back track, just a little ..... the day before, I'd made some colored ice cubes. I bought those little sachets of Kool Aid, and mixed the entire packet with 3 tablespoons of water ( or enough water to fill 3 ice cube holes). I set it in the freezer to freeze.
The fun part .... place your ice cubes on the yarn randomly, and cover the dish with plastic wrap .... nice and tightly !!! Take the dish outside into the sun, pop it down, and forget about it for the day. It will get all hot and condensation will form on the plastic wrap .... perfect!!!
Just a side note at this point. It was not a hot enough day here, and I started out a little late, so my dish of magic did not get hot enough. How do you know it's hot enough ..... when you lift the dish, you will see the liquid that collects at the bottom of the dish is clear. It will have no color to it (the color has been taken up by the yarn).
Don't panic if it doesn't get hot enough ..... take the covered dish, pop it in the microwave, and nuke it!!! I did mine for 5 minutes in the microwave, and all the color was taken up.
 See, like magic, you have lovely colored yarn. Now you need to rinse and gently wash your yarn. The water used to rinse and wash the yarn, should run clear.
Next up, spread it out on a towel to dry. This part took way longer than I had expected .... a full day, before it was bone dry.
All that's left is to wind it into a ball. This can be a little time consuming, depending on how careful you were (or in my case, weren't) about tangling the yarn. Isn't that just the most perfect ball of color .... I'm not sure what I want to make with it - it's such a ball of happiness !!! Boy Child suggested a monster, aptly named Tye, but I'm not sure. I thought perhaps a tote bag, or I even wondered whether I should dye some more, and turn it into a blanket ..... Hmm, decisions, decisions !!! For now though, I'll just put it where I can admire its loveliness.

The mom in me, did wonder however ..... if this is what Kool Aid does to yarn, then what could it possibly be doing to the insides of all the little people who drink it. Luckily, my kiddos never developed a taste for it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It continues to amaze me just how fast time seems to fly .....
My little nephew turns 2 shortly - it seems like just the other day, he was a newborn. Now he's a walking, "talking" bundle of 100% boy !!!!
I LOVE being an Aunty, it's a title I cherish, and I'm lucky to have 3 nephews and a niece, whose ages range from older than our eldest, to the soon to be 2 year old.

This is one of those gifts, that I wish I'd had when our kids were younger ....... Lego under foot, is not a pleasant experience ...... it hurts !!!
 A Lego bag, that doubles as a play mat. 2 circles of fabric sewn together with a contrasting fabric channel, to accommodate the drawstring. I used denim for the outer circle, because it's a hard wearing fabric, and stands up well to washing and being dragged around. The whale fabric for the inner circle .... what's not to love about those cute whales. The drawstring, is cord that I found in the hardware section of Walmart - you get MANY yards of it, for just a few bucks.
 Once play time is over, the Lego gets dumped back onto the mat, a quick pull on the drawstring, and there you have it, a neat bag. It makes taking Lego places, very easy and convenient .... a weekend away at Granny and Grandpa's house ... holidays away. It also makes tidy up time, so much easier and quicker for little people.

Happy 2nd Birthday Alex ..... We love you lots big guy !!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013


I'm REALLY going to have to put some distance between us !!!!
You are a real diet wrecker !!!!

I see a trend forming here ... Friday seems to be Food Day :-)
Friday is our Bible Study morning, and we start our get together off with breakfast - oh so yummy!!!
I have found it to be the perfect opportunity to try out new recipes - all of which these days come off of Pinterest. I honestly have yet to make something, that hasn't turned out well, and tasted delicious. I think the reason being, that people really only post about dishes they make regularly and that taste great ...... truly Tried and Tested !!!

Today these two yummies were my contribution ....
 Crescent Roll Chicken ..... so easy, and so tasty. The dish was wiped clean !!!
Pop on over to to find this recipe. It's quite possible, that, you have everything you need to make it, right there in your pantry. I think it would make a great dinner dish, served with a fresh, crisp salad. Perfect for the warm (if you live in Texas like us, you know that means HOT!!!) summer evenings that will soon be upon us.
Next up Christmas Crack !!! I'll make it year round, it's that good. was the  clever lady behind this delicious creation.  The only thing I'll do differently next time I make this, and this is only because my family prefer milk chocolate to any other, is use milk chocolate chips (or chocolate bar), instead of the semi sweet chocolate chips. This is one of those recipes that would make an outstanding gift, all wrapped up in a pretty container.

The weekend is upon us ..... Yay !!! This week has been a little trying for our family.
My boys (big one and child) are off camping this weekend ...... Boy Child is off to earn his Wilderness Survival Merit Badge for Scouts. Hubby will be teaching some of the requirements.
That leaves Girl Child and I to our own devices ........ Hmmm, we have a great time doing girly things on these All Girl Weekends !!!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend !!!!