Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Little Girls Tea Party

Last month, my niece Ericka and her beautiful family came to visit from Florida.  Truth be told, Ericka is like a daughter to me so having her home was a true blessing.  I just can't believe how grown up she is and what an amazing mother she turned out to be.  We are so proud of her.  

It was a busy time for sure.  Plenty of activities, day trips, fun meals and memories to last a lifetime. One of the surprises I had planned for the girls was a little tea party.  And what little girl wouldn't love a Tea Party? I know I do...  

I wanted the tea to be fun, playful and a little fancy.  As part of the activities I had planned to keep the the girls busy while they were here, was a bit of baking.  We baked cupcakes, mini tarts and cheesecakes.  They also helped me decorate all the sweet treats for the tea party although they had no clue that all the treats they were helping me put together was for their surprise tea party. We had so much fun in the kitchen.  I think both girls have more appreciation for baking after learning how simple ingredients turn into such pretty delights.

Part of the plan included having my husband take the girls to the aquarium for a few hours to give me time to set everything up.  That worked out perfectly.  They had an amazing time at the aquarium and I had plenty of time to do my magic.  And let me just say, what a priceless moment it was to see their reactions the moment they walked in and saw the table setup for tea.  They had no idea.  Such a success!!!



Here is Ally's happy face.  They were both so thankful.  



Here are Ally and Julie.  All Julie could say for the first ten minutes was, "You tricked us"..






Here they were playing dress up.  I did have dresses with tutu's for them to wear but they did not even think of changing into them with all the excitement going on the table.  Such eye candy for them. They were slowly taking it all in.



These are the cupcakes the girls help me decorate.  Aren't these gorgeous?  I think a tutorial is in order right?  Let me know if you agree.



Hats and feather boas' were a must for this party.


I made these sweet paper funnels with scrapbook paper and filled them with candy, then I filled the teacups with nail polish is pastel colors.  




Paper plates in fanciful floral designs complete the table.  A table full of giggles, laughter, fun and everlasting memories.  

Thank you for visiting.  Wishing you a great weekend ahead.

Janet





Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Few Favorite Things

Hello friends.  I hope your weekend is going well.  We all know how busy weekends can get.  Often times full of activities, chores and unwanted errands which frequently leave no time for ourselves.  

It is so important to set-aside a few minutes of a day to decompress, to take a deep breath and enjoy the very things that are meaningful to us.  We work so hard to achieve our individuals goals that we often forget to take in all the beauty that surrounds us.  

A simple smile, a pretty flower or a beautiful sunny day.  And when I find that house chores will consume most of my day, I try to squeeze in a few minutes to relax, listen to some music and stage a little area in my home with things that make my day a bit brighter.  Things that touch my heart, besides my adorable pooch Max who never fails to put a smile on my face.

So today, I am sharing a few photos of a sweet vignette I put together this morning.  Some recycled stock flowers from last week that are still just as vibrant and beautiful, a few vintage linens in shades of purple and lavender and my favorite lady who I lovingly named Esther after my mother-in-law who gave it to me a few years ago.

House chores got done today.  A bit slowly I must admit, but nevertheless complete.  Lunch and dinner were made and most importantly, surrounded by all the lovely things that make our house a home.



















Now tomorrow will be a day to enjoy a stroll by the beach.  Perfect ending to the weekend.  

Thank you for stopping by.  May you all have a great Sunday.


Hugs,

Janet








Monday, April 18, 2016

Early Spring In The Garden

Hello everyone.  It feels great to be back on blogland after a few weeks without a post.  Truth is, things got a bit crazy right before Easter with family visiting from Florida and the much needed repairs of the ceiling in our living room ceiling.  But I am so glad I got to spend time with my lovely nice and her three kids.  It filled my heart with so much joy to enjoy those cutties.  And now that things are back to normal and with warm days ahead, our attention shifts on to our beloved garden. 

I just love this time of year when spring slowly makes its entrance.  Sun warms the earth, grass turns a shade of pretty green, pansies are in flower and the sweet scent of spring fills the air.

This weekend  was truly perfect to be in the garden.  Sunny and temperatures in the high 60's.  Hubby and I spent all of Saturday working in the garden,  Pruning trees and shrubs, picking up dead branches and leaves, fixing parts of the fence, putting mulch and planting my fresh herbs.  Fresh herbs are a must in my garden.  There is nothing better than cooking with fresh herbs.  Such wonderful satisfaction that comes with gardening.  Seeing nature transform into something glorious. It is magical.

One of the things I enjoy about spring, is planning what new plants I will be adding to our garden.   So I set myself up on my favorite spot of the garden, surrounded by a few of my favorite things, which always include fresh flowers, pretty china and a few inspiring garden books.  I like P. Allen Smiths books.  They offer great instructions, ideas and lots of photographs.

At the top of my list of flowers to plant are roses...  what a surprise!!!  I plant roses along our wrought iron fence.  Mostly climbing roses.  And what a spectacular show it is once those irresistible plants begin to bloom.  Lilacs always seem to find their way into our garden too, along with peonies, dahlias, irises, lavender and anything that catches my eye.  I'm careful about the colors I select.  I try to keep a soft color palette in our garden. What about you?  Have you started to work in your garden? Do you have a yearly ritual or favorite flower?

Here are a few photos I took in our garden this weekend.
























Thank you for stopping by.  Wishing you a great week ahead.


Janet


Look at these adorable kids.  Love them so much.  I have to share photos of the tea party I put together for the girls.


















I am sharing this post at the following lovely blog parties:


SUNDAY


The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com



MONDAY


The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com

Dwellings for Amaze Me Monday
http://www.dwellings-theheartofyourhome.com

One More Time Events for Share It One More Time Monday
http://www.onemoretimeevents.com

Rose Chintz Cottage for No Place Like Home 
http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com

Julie's Lifestyle for Cooking and Crafting with J & J Link Up

Strangers & Pilgrims On Earth for The Art Of  Home-Making Mondays



TUESDAY

A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
http://www.astrollthrulife.net

A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness Tuesday
http://www.adelightsomelife.com

Bernidee's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea Tuesday
http://blog.bernideens.com

Cedar Hill Farnhouse for The Scoop Tuesday 
http://www.cedarhillfarmhouse.com

Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
http://www.cozylittlehouse.com



WEDNESDAY

Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

Savy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net



THURSDAY


From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday 
 http://www.frommyfrontporchtoyours.com

A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday
http://www.adelightsomelife.com

Katherines Corner for Thursday Favorite Things
http://katherinescorner.com

No Minimalist Here for Open House Party Thursdays
http://nominimalisthere.blogspot.com

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday
http://jannolson.blogspot.com


FRIDAY


French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday 
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com

Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday 
http://shabbyartboutique.com

My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
http://romantichome.blogspot.com

Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
http://www.commonground-do.com

Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday

Rooted In Thyme for Sweet and Simple Fridays
 http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday


SATURDAY

Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Party
http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com

The Rosegarden in Malevik for Saturday Show Off
http://maleviksrosentradgard.blogspot.com



 
























Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Luscious Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Hello friends.  I hope you all had a lovely Easter.  

We finally finished with the repairs of the plaster ceiling in our living room.  What a job that was.... Cleaning all the fine dust after all the sanding was a huge task. Everything had to be dusted.  And I mean everything on the first floor.  But I am so glad that it is finally done.  It truly looks amazing. Such a big difference.  Now it is on to giving the living room a little makeover.  I am so excited about it to.  

And the repairs all took place Easter week.  So much to do before the holiday.  I was totally exhausted the Saturday before Easter but I somehow managed to cook for the family on Easter Sunday.  I don't know where I got the last bit of energy to pull it off but I did.

I also want to take a minute to apologize for been a bit absent from the blog and from visiting you all but I have so many things going on in our home right now.  I also have family visiting from other parts of the country so my time has been very limited.

Today, I want to share this delicious recipe for lemon pound cake which celebrates all the flavors of spring and summer.  I found this yummy recipe on Pinterest....What would we do without Pinterest today right??  So so many recipes to be found yet.

Please enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea.  






















Recipe


LEMON CAKE
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 slices
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • Lemon Glaze
  • 6 tbsp butter , melted
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In large bowl, add flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Add oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, water and lemon zest; whisk until well combined. In large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold ⅓ of whipped egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until mixture is combined; do not over mix or batter will deflate. Pour into ungreased pan; tap gently on counter to release air pockets.
  3. Bake 50-60 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Invert pan immediately after removing from oven and allow to cool completely. Run knife around the sides and center of cake to loosen.
  4. For glaze, combine butter, zest, powdered sugar, juice and vanilla in medium bowl; stir until smooth. Pour over cooled cake and spread with spatula. Glaze will set hard within 30 minutes.


The original recipe was for a bundt pan but I actually used two loaf pans to bake the cakes.




Thank you for stopping by today.  Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week.


Janet



Here's a little view of the ceiling...









Friday, March 18, 2016

Moss and Faux Flower Egg Tutorial

I have been working on decorating our home for the upcoming Easter holiday.  We are expecting family from Florida, California and Puerto Rico this spring so I have been putting my efforts into early spring cleaning and organizing. 

There is also the living room ceiling repairs that need to be completed before the family arrives.  Our ceiling is plaster and that is one messy job to complete.  But I am happy that it is finally getting done since I have been wanting to do a makeover in our living room for a while now and could not until the ceiling was repaired.

As we all now, decorating for each season can be expensive so I am always looking for easy and inexpensive ways to make my own seasonal designs to decorate our home.  Being handy with a glue gun surely offers a solution and plenty of possibilities if you are a bit creative.  One of the crafts projects that I came up with this year are these sweet and darling foam eggs covered with moss and faux spring flowers.  Easy to do and perfect for Easter or spring.

Below is my tutorial.  I hope it is easy for you to follow. 













SUPPLIES NEEDED

  • Tacky Spray
  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutters
  • Ribbon
  • Moss
  • Floral 
  • Foam Eggs
  • Glue gun











Begin by covering your table or work surface.  Moss is very messy.  Now start spraying the foam egg with tacky glue and cover with moss.  Do small sections at a time so glue does not dry.  Continue until you have the entire egg covered with moss.  Press moss firmly to ensure that it is well adhered to the foam egg.




Wrap egg with ribbon of your choice, tie at center to and make bow.  I used two ribbons for this project.






Now begin to glue flowers on top of egg.  Place larger pieces on the bottom and work your way around the bow,  Finish by putting your prettiest and/or accent flowers on the center of the bow. Check for any empty spaces but do not over do it.  And know you are done.  So easy and beautiful isn't.  









Now use your little masterpieces to decorate your table or home for Easter.  These are also great for your spring decorating, spring gatherings and even bridal showers.

Thank you for your visit friends.  I hope you have a great weekend.

Janet



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Easter Table Setting Inspiration

Hello to you all and happy Sunday.  I hope you all had a great weekend.  March is such a wonderful month isn't? It brings the first day of spring, family gatherings, pretty flowers and the promise of warmer days.  And with Easter just a few weeks away, it is a good time to start planning our menus, getting our homes ready for guests, and decorating for the holiday.

And if you are hosting Easter dinner this year too, I am happy to share a little inspiration for your table this year.  And there are a ton of different ways to style a table for Easter but after the grey days of winter, I think we all crave a bit of color - think vibrant colors and spring accents.  

Since Easter marks the beginning of beautiful weather and pretty blooms, I created a table celebrating nature.  Natural textures, cheery colors and cute furry bunnies add unexpected whimsy to table



I love these adorable bunny accent plates from Pier 1 Imports and linen napkins from Terrain.  They add a pop of color and rustic charm to the table.  


















This adorable moss bunny and egg add a whimsical and natural touch to my table.  In fact, I made the moss eggs.  An inexpensive and sweet project that I will be sharing this week.

 





So glad you stopped by today.  I hope you were inspired today.  No matter what your decorating style is, I think you can all take something from this table to style your own.  Just remember to have fun and to be creative.  

Have a wonderful week.

Janet