Saturday, September 8, 2012

Some Of My Annual Fall Time Favorites!

Well, it's official...I'm in full swing for fall at my house! Too early? No way! I will show you a few of my favorite things for fall! I am a creature of habit, and candles are one of my favorite things to have in my home during the fall season. I just picked this one up yesterday, and oh my goodness, it does smell my home up like I have fresh pumpkin bread baking!
 
 
 
I love burlap, and you can decorate with this inexpensive fabric in endless ways!

This is one way our kids know its fall time in our world.  We buy this scent for our car every year for the fall season. When we get in our car, we start reminiscing about our annual family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains each fall!

 
 Speaking of the mountains, I simply love our trip to the mountains, and it is a highlight of our year!  I love where I live, but our tropical weather has one draw back...fall seems to skip where we live!  So, to escape the heat and get some fresh mountain air, we head to the mountains. 
 
Here are a few pics from some of our trips to the mountains!
 


 
 
 
 
I have many more favorite things about fall that I will share with you soon! I would love to hear about some of yours!
 
 


 
 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Rock Garden Remodel!


I was hosting a Father's Day dinner at my house for my family this year, so what do you do when your hosting? You look around and see what needs to be fixed or made presentable! My family decided to grill out steaks this year. So, I went to my rock garden where the grill is located, and to my horror I found  this... 



It was overgrown with weeds from all of the rain we had, and the chairs that were once black were now faded gray!! Not only were the chairs faded, but the print on the cushions were faded too...they were worse than the chairs!
 I sat thinking about how I could avoid spending money on new cushions that were perfectly fine other than the faded out color. I had a few ideas, researched them online, and decided to paint my cushions! Yes, thats right.... PAINT MY CUSHIONS!!  I realize you're looking at these words about the same way the Lowes associate was looking at me when I told him I wanted to buy some paint to paint my cushions! He suggested that I use a flat paint and made me promise to bring them back in so he could see this project! From my research I learned that using Textile Medium ( 2 oz to a half gallon of paint) mixed with flat paint of your color choice will leave your cushions soft and normal to the touch..





              I used a sponge roller and simply rolled the paint on my cushions..


 


Now if you have a wild print or dark colors you might want to use a primer first.. Mix the fabric medium with this primer and paint over those prints. I incorporated my little helper( my daughter) and she worked on alot of the details for me! She was bored and I couldn't think of a better way to cure that...so we painted! 

Let the cushions dry, flip them over, and paint the other side.  I chose this beautiful teal color to liven up my rock garden!




   I used a Valspar outdoor spray paint in black for my chairs.. My son and husband tackled this job for me!



Before


After!



Didnt they do an awesome job?? I love my thrifty redo!


Much better!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hurry you still have time!

My.. Let Freedom Ring Punch!




This is our punch for Fourth of July!  I made this in a cup so I could share this in time for you to make this for your festivites.. I am making this in a large glass jar on the Fourth of July.. I will update a pic for you of this soon!

You only need three drinks and ice!





The trick to this drink is the sugar content.. You must have one drink that contains a high sugar content, one in the middle range, and one with no sugar at all.


First fill your glass or container to the top with ice. Make sure to pack it to the top full!




 My Mountain Dew Blue Raspberry (blue) drink has 46g of sugar...  Put the high sugar drink in first...





My Gatorade fruit punch (Red) has 21g of sugar.... This will go in second.. Very important to slowly pour this in over the ice to the side of the cup! This keeps it from mixing.




Here is the second drink...how cool is that?



My Tropical flavored water (white) has 0 grams of sugar! Honestly, this will blend with the ice either way.. You can use  Diet Mountain Dew here or any clear diet drink as well.. I just went with flavored water (we are not big on diet drinks) for my punch..


 When you go to drink this punch you will get a mix of the drinks and the punch will not seperate! I love it! How festive is that? Your punch will last without mixing for around 4-5 hours. Hurry!  You have time left to go pick up your favorite drinks and make your Freedom punch for Fourth of July!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I have a new favorite jar! You will want to see this for sure!

I have a new favorite jar!!





  I am going to be using these for a whole lot of things. I saw these and simply fell in love with them! I prefer glass over plastic these days , so when I saw how you can get small, medium or large jars in this style I went nuts!! I first laid eyes on  them at Wal-mart  but since then I have also found them at Target. I went with the large jar so I could fit more of my homemade mixes in them. The large jar was (your not going to believe this) $4.97!! That's my kind of find!


  Now, I like things to have a label! I am not big on finding out(that to my surprise) my memory failed me, and I have the wrong mix in the wrong recipe! Here is what I decided.  I used a stencil and my homemade chalkboard paint (see my blog for that recipe) to add my own label. I wanted a label that I could wipe off ,that way if I change what is going in the jar I dont have to redo the label! 

These jars are wide and they are airtight so they work for almost anything! I have an all purpose mix , a brownie mix, an oatmeal mix just to name a few..

                  I taped the stencil design down on the jar...




                  
                        
                 Then I sponged on the chalkboard paint and let it dry..






Remove the stencil after it dries to avoid smearing.. I also wiped down my stencil before I used it on the next jar.. This keeps any leftover wet paint from getting on the bottom of the jar..



Now you can write on your jar and remove it when you want!
My Top Recipe of the week!




You'll need:



8 oz. of cream cheese, softened

1 stick of butter, softened

1/4 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 cup mini chocolate chips





Mix first five ingredients together

Then, fold in chocolate chips...



Once mixed, scoop it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and chill until firm...

Once it's firm, form it into a ball and roll in chopped pecans or extra chocolate chips. It's delicious served with graham crackers and strawberries.
I have to say thank you to Julie, for posting this recipe. She has a great blog that shows steps to preparing (click) this recipe.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guess what I've been mixing up? Homemade chalkboard paint! Check this out..



Homemade chalkboard paint!



I am all about making a craft go from expensive to cheap! Those of you who know me well understand what a thrill I get from this kind of savings!  If you haven’t noticed, Chalkboard Paint is pretty expensive. This recipe is super easy and only requires two ingredients…paint (of any color or type) and some Non-Sanded Tile Grout.  
You can use any kind of paint!
 I used some tile grout that I purchased when we had our tile installed, which we bought from Lowe’s. You can purchase it from any home improvement store as long as you get non-sanded!



You will need to simply mix 1 cup of paint and 2 Tablespoons of grout. That’s it! Just make sure to stir it really well so that there are no lumps. Did I mention you can use any paint! How simple is that?  You can use paint for plastics, acrylic paint, or house paint. You can also use any color of paint. How cool is that? Look around at your left over paints and you just might have your color already..


Stir the paint really good...









 There are so many ways to use chalkboard paint. I took some stones and painted them for my porch lantern. I also made a sign that is hanging by my front door. You can decorate on containers, pots, glass bottles, etc.  There are so many possibilities! Below are some pics of my chalkboard crafting! Enjoy!


Cute sign we can change out from season to season!
How cute are these? Love them!

These are important words to me!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hey ya'll! It's hot outside! I have a cool treat to beat the heat!

My Orange Julius!








Ingredients:






6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate



1 cup milk



1 cup water



1/4 cup granulated sugar AND 1/4 cup powdered sugar sugar


1 tsp. vanilla extract



8 ice cubes



Directions:


1. Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in blender.






2. Blend for about 1-2 minutes and then add ice cubes one at a time.






Voila! You have an Orange Julius! This is one of my family's favorite drinks on a hot summer day!


Enjoy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rolled Marshmellow Fondant


Rolled Marshmallow Fondant

I have heard several people say they use marshmallow fondant and how easy it is to make and use. I decided to be brave and try it. I was shocked at how few ingredients you need to make this.  I made this in a matter of minutes and it’s almost fool proof. The only drawback is that it dries quickly, and it is hard to work with if you need to cover a cake.  I recommend keeping it wrapped and using it in small amounts as needed. Coloring the marshmallow fondant was just as easy to color as with store bought fondant, and I liked the taste of the marshmallow fondant much better.

You will need:


 1 pkg of  white marshmallows


2-5 tablespoons water


2 lbs (about 8 cups) confectioners’ sugar


½ c solid vegetable shortening

Place your marshmallows and 2 tbs of water in microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir till mixed well. Continue to microwave for 30 second intervals then stop and stir for an additional 2 ½ minutes.
When melted it will look like this.

Knead fondant for approx. 8 minutes

Place 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar on top of melted fondant and fold in. Flavoring can be added at this point. Put grease in a bowl and start kneading like dough with grease on your hands. If the fondant starts tearing due to being too dry then add water ½ tsp at a time and knead till fondant makes a ball (about 8 minutes). Double wrap the fondant in plastic, then place in airtight container. Keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks.







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Make sure to store in Fridge!