Monday, March 31, 2014

Kicking off Spring Break with my Simply Simplistic Spring Mantel

Yes, today officially kicks off Spring Break for us and because of a fractured foot in the house, the family will be enjoying the week taking a stay-cation. We got a whole schedule of events that the kids picked out and we can hardly wait to enjoy the week with each other.

Since today is the first day of spring break, I thought it appropriate to share the spring mantel...... before the kids summer break starts! 

This is probably the simplest spring mantels I have ever done and guess what..... I love it. The approach to my mantel this year is similar to my approach on a lot of decisions in my life these days, simple, effortless and without complication....courtesy of items that were within arms reach in the house and some Bradford Pear trees outside that I co-mingled with some cute little blue blooms from Hobby Lobby.

My beloved Cairn terriers, Kara and Kayla, are making a repeat performance this year (first performance was here) , as is this cute egg print that I got from a book that I ordered here and framed. 

I filled a white compote bowl with mega huge eggs, my kids seriously think a dinosaur laid them, that I used last year here and topped it off with a bird nest that I used on the Spring wreath here.

If you follow my blog regularly you may have noticed two changes to my mantel. Any guesses????

Yup, the mantel is now white and my sweet little family picture has now been replaced with this gorgeous blue clock that I picked up a few months ago while antique shopping in Atlanta. And if you are really observant you will notice the lack of clock hands.

Remember, I am going after simple and effortless ....who cares what time it is anyways! 

What's your approach to life these days?

Grateful for~
Movies, bowling, chuckie cheese and all things on 
the stay-cation list.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Wow's...and friendships

Happy Friday to you! This week I was so blessed and fortunate to spend some time with my family in South.Florida. What was also amazing, was that I got to connect with friends that I had not seen in many, many years. I have been friends with these girls for more than 30 years and just sitting with them..... for hours,  reinforced for me what true friendship really means. 

Such a gift.
We also celebrated the life of my niece Jessica at a Paint party in her honor, on what would have been her 24th birthday. This is the group of us holding our paintings of Jessica when she was younger with her horse. 

Special night.

Here's some amazing ideas that I found this week.

Looking for some inexpensive art ideas? Try applying coasters to some cardstock and then frame.

Gorgeous...Butcher Paper Wreath. Tutorial here

How fun is this colorful desert here

Great idea ... include some colored eggs in your spring floral arrangements.

source unknown

When adding a pop of color.... try adding it inside the cabinets instead of outside. This approach also provides such an unexpected surprise.

When's the last time you connected with an old friend? How about today.
Hope you have an amazing weekend!

PS- for more of my Weekly Wow's click here

Grateful for~
The chance to see Ana, Lisa and Alex

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Twist on PB & J

Don't tell my kids that while I am down in S.Florida for a few days this week, I am noshing on Peanut Butter and Jelly..... cupcakes. And since they aren't looking, I am calling it lunch.

Yup, cupcakes. Good ole peanut butter and jelly on a graham cracker crust, topped off with a glass of cold milk.
And boy are they yummy. 

At a barbecue on Sunday, my sister whipped up a batch of these crowd favorite cupcakes, and I just couldn't wait to share the recipe with you.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup of butter
3/4 cup of preserves- your choice. We used strawberry
Cupcake liners

combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter and mix until thoroughly blended. Spoon a 'healthy' tablespoon into each cupcake liner. Press crumbs with a bottom of a cup to secure and set into place. Set aside crusts.

Peanut Butter Filling
Combine cream cheese and peanut butter in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Add sugar and milk. Mix thoroughly. Spoon peanut butter filling into graham cracker crusts, filling 3/4 full. Spread preserves on top of the cupcakes.
Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Who know's..... perhaps when I go home, I will conveniently forget the bread while shopping and whip up a batch of these for my kids instead..... when they want a PB&J sandwich. 

They are after all..... mom approved!

I am taking a few days to thoroughly enjoy my time with my family and friends in South. Florida.  
I hope you will have a great week too!

Grateful for~
Time with my sisters and family in Florida this week and for hubby and nana holding the fort down back home.


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekly Wow's

Happy Friday...Happy Spring...Happy Everything!

For anyone who has ever wanted Ruby red slippers you go

Oh my...beautiful. Tutorial here. And in case you missed my succulent gardens this week, you can catch up here.

My kids love these. Now I can stop spending money and make my own from here

Speaking of read all week here. If you have kids or know someone who does, you must read this.

After seeing this picture, I bet you will plant some of these for next spring, every color.

I enjoyed myself touring this beautiful home. You will too!

We will be working on finishing the kitchen cabinets, squeezing in a birthday party and attending a Cub scout banquet this weekend. My little Wolf is becoming a Bear.
What are you up to? Whatever it is....make sure it's amazing.
PS- For more of my Weekly Wow's click here

For friendships that last forever

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Build a Succulent Garden in under 5 mins

I wrote this post specifically for the green and non green thumb plant lovers. You know who you are....we won't tell.

Succulent gardens..... Aren't they pretty?

The definition of a succulent, is a plant that retains water. That's why the leaves are generally thick and full looking. For the non-green thumbs, they require little maintenance and for you green thumbs, the options and designs of succulent gardens are endless.

I have a few gardens around the house and during these 'almost spring time days' when things aren't quite in bloom, the gorgeous colors of some succulent plants more then make up for the absence of color outside.

I wanted to share a super easy method of putting together a succulent garden that you can do in less than 5 mins. Really..... you can.

Container for your garden. In these pictures I am using wood crates and milk glass 
Small rocks for drainage
Succulent plants- you can pick these up at a nursery or home inprovement store. I use at least 2-3 different varieties in my gardens. You can pick these up for $2-$4 each,depending on the plant.
Potting Soil
Sheet Moss- found in floral departments

Step 1
Choose your container and place a few small rocks on the bottom for drainage. For the wood crate or anything else without a solid bottom, I would line it with some sheet moss first.

Step 2
Place potting soil 1/4  full in the container right over the stones.

Step 3
Take your plants out of the container and gently break up the root ball. Place the plant in the center of your container. The base of the plant should not be higher then the container.

Step 4
Take your other plants and divide into several pieces. You don't want the smaller plants to grow bigger then your center plant. Be gentle as some of these smaller plants are fragile and will break easily. Place these plants around the center plant in the container.

Step 5
Fill in the container with potting soil, covering all the bases of the plants.

Step 6
Water your plant thoroughly. You can place rocks, marbles or wine corks on the top of your soil if you want to add some added interest and bling to your garden. Be assured that your garden will still grow without the bling added. I cut up wine corks and added them to the first garden picture shown above and the picture below.

Okay, I fibbed a little. It actually takes 3 mins and 21 seconds to put a succulent garden together. Are you ready to make yours?

Do you have a green thumb or one that's not so green?




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Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Mantel Ideas

I honestely don't know what the Leprechauns would say if I put the flowers and bunnies up on the mantel before St.Patrick's day, so I will pause, have a pint of green beer and some corned beef hash and wait till ....... 
Until then, here's a few of the ways that I have styled my mantel in the past that say Hello Spring from the mantel top.

Spring Mantel using Cherry Blossoms here

And my Spring mantel using forsythia here

I think when I am done dancing the Irish jig I will start on this years Spring mantel. 

Happy St.Patricks day! To all you Irish readers I say "An la brea" and to the non-Irish readers.....Have a nice day!

PS- click here for some of my favorite Spring projects that you can do while drinking your green beer.

For a lazy Sunday with the family

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