Friday, April 30, 2010

Off to the Races

Lately horses have been on my mind; maybe its because we live in the country, maybe it's because I desperately want to tag along with The Hubs when he goes riding or it could be that we are finally at a point where we can buy me a horse and tonight we are looking at one. Whichever the reason, it got me thinking about the Kentucky Derby. I have always dreamed of attending the Kentucky Derby (it's tomorrow folks, tune in) and wearing a fancy, flouncy, ginormous hat but haven't made that dream a reality yet.

If you, like me, have always wanted to attend this prestigous race but haven't (or maybe you have-lucky duck!) you can still throw yourself, and your friends, a fabulous soiree geared toward this race. First things first though, get yourself an incredibly, beautifully BIG hat like this one.

Me personally, I like how the brim is wide and flops over in front of one eye (and it doesn't hurt that it is in pink!); Gorg! Next is a beautiful dress or dapper suit for you fella's; definitely needs to be fitting for spring. It looks so fresh and bright. Love it!

Now onto the menu, you can't have a Derby party without a Mint Julep. I personally do not care for them but if I secretly make me a mojito (what it still has mint in it-ha!) and put it in a non clear glass who would be able to tell?!?!

  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • splash of simple syrup; cooled completely (1 cup water/1 cup sugar brought to a boil until sugar is dissolved)
  • crushed ice
  • sprig of mint for garnish
Put mint leaves and sugar in the bottom of a tall glass and with a wooden spoon (or I find the handle works well too) crush the ingredients. Fill the glass with the crushed ice and pour in the bourbon; top it off with the splash of simple syrup. With your spoon, stir the cocktail and garnish with the sprig of mint.

No one can have a party without some amazing food. In keeping with tradition, here are some past time favorites. 

Grits (who better than the Southern Queen herself, Paula Deen, to turn to for grits)
Derby Pie (I have had this and it is phenomenal)

It's a bit too late to host a party on such short notice this year but maybe I will be able to make this happen next year. If you have ever had a Derby party or known of someone that has I would love to hear all the amazing details and see some pics. Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Farm Chicks Giveaway

The Farm Chicks

Wonderful news; Farm Chicks is giving away a "VIP pass" to a special Blogger or Twitterer to accompany her to the show on the day of set up (squeal!!!) and to a dinner with all the vendors! Check it out here! If you have never heard of the Farm Chicks then hurry on over to her blog and check it out. They have books, a store and so many wonderful things to inspire you. It's truly amazing; she is fabulous!

Also check out this website to find more information about the show. I will be there the day of the show, maybe I will even set up camp and stay the whole weekend-just kidding (sorta); I hope to see you all there too! Have a terrific Monday!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Easy Magnet Art

I know I promised a couple projects and trust me they are really cool but I got a tiny bit sidetracked with some thrift shopping on Saturday and before I knew it my day was spent. Before I move on to the easy "art"work I did I wanted to show you my find from yesterday. Check this beauty out!

It's an old fruit box; I'm in love. I plan to make this a container to corral our outdoor entertaining items but I will show you that on a later post.

Now back to the project at hand...I grabbed all of my scrapbooking materials and picked out a neutral color paper.

I had this old picture frame for years and haven't ever used it. Are you the same way; carrying things from house to house, year after year, but never do anything with it? I'm nuts, I know, but it came in handy today for this project.

I cut the paper to the desired size for my frame, took the back of my frame off and removed the matting that was inside.

These are magnets that I got from the dollar bins at Michaels; I liked the words and knew that I would eventually use them for something.

I layed the magnets out in a few different ways to visualize how I wanted this "art" to look. Once I found my desired look I grabbed left over Command strips and stuck one piece to each magnet.

Here is the end result; easy peasy! Its cute, bright and great for a craft room, a little girl's room or a home office. Perfect for spring! Also the great thing about this is it was so cheap to make; $3.00 for the magnets, scrapbook paper and frame I already owned (free!!!) and the Command strips I also owned (free!!!).

You can also change this out for the seasons. Since the magnets are stuck to the paper you can just remove the paper and start the process over for something new as the seasons change.

For now I am liking the little addition to our home that I cranked out in less then 5 minutes (I told you it was easy) but I think maybe, just maybe, I might add some pizazz to the frame itself. I hope everyone had a terrific weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The long way home

Ask anyone and they will tell you that most days, after work, all I want to do is just get home and pronto. I have a pretty stressful job and running errands after work, though it may seem like "me" time, just makes me cringe and whine and mope but you get the point.

Yesterday however, I decided that I wouldn't rush to get home but I wouldn't run errands either; I was going to just take my time and let the wind blow through my hair. Take in the country views and maybe catch a glimpse of some beautiful things.

This was a cute little opening on the Centennial Trail. What a terrific little hiding spot!

Oh and yellow flowers-my fav color!
And pink!!

Wildlife of all kinds live out in my neck of the woods. We even have a rabbit (not a pet) living under our deck. I haven't got a picture of him yet but I will. Oh yes, Mr. Bunny-I will!

And of course, red barns! Love!

And to finish off this beautiful day--a gorgeous sunset. I hope everyone enjoyed Earth Day yesterday and took a little time out of their busy schedules to appreciate this wonderful world.

I am going to be working on a couple projects at home this weekend so don't forget to come back and check it out! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How I Met Our House

AnNicole from Our Suburban Cottage is having a party and everyone is invited!! She has a brilliant idea of documenting how we came to meet our homes, even if you don't own your own home or even if you don't particulary like your home. So grab your party hats and confetti and tag along to the party and read some, what I can only imagine, terrific stories.

After a year of dating my boyfriend, now husband, he took me to a piece of land that was owned but a sweet lady he knew from a previous place of employment. It seemed like just an innocent drive to the country until we stopped in front of a fence and he said "What do you think?". I wasn't aware at that moment what he was eluding to and asked him to elaborate. That is when he said "I have had my eye on this piece of land for years now and eventually I would like to develop it and put a house on it". It was then that I knew he was serious and committed to not only me but also his dreams. I swooned and was literally over the moon that he was comfortable enough and confident enough to know that I would be a part of that adventure.

Fast forward two and a half years and we are finally breaking ground on our new 10 acres. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. Since we had a relatively small budget to make this happen we opted for the manufactured home. I was hesitant at first because I had previously lived in a manufactured home and everything seemed well, cheap. The Hubs convinced me that they are now built the same way (with all the same codes/standards and lumber etc) that any other house is to be built. To seal the deal, The Hubs took me out to the property one night and parked the car where the house would eventually be. As we sat there gazing at the stars and talking about our hopes and dreams, everything else sort of melted away and all of the worries and 'what if's' no longer existed.

First up, choosing a floor plan (or making our own version) and color schemes of tile, cabinetry and carpet. Next prepping the land for septic, foundation and a driveway so we can access the property.

As the budget permits, we have intentions of building on to our house to accomodate as our family grows and adding outbuildings like our shop, maybe a cute little red barn for lil ol' me. Oh I adore red barns, like a moth to a flame!

Anyway this beautiful piece of land is where I feel the most at ease with who I am and with the world; afterall it is where we married and started our beginning chapter in this crazy book of life!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Simple Spring Decor

I came down with a nasty cold for the last few days and the doctor said it was just that, a cold, and to get plenty of rest and fluids. I sat around all day yesterday and was bored out of my mind so today I decided to go against doctor's wishes and do something, ANYTHING! I had to break out!!

First I picked up my brother and our mom to go to the Home & Garden show at the convention center. They had a few booth's that were fairly impressive but in my opinion, if it matters, it wasn't worth the $8.00 per person to enter. We made one good sweep of the place and then headed back to the car to enjoy another activity. My brother has never been to Real Deals-get the heck out!!! I made the executive decision that was the next stop, he just had to go but after I explained what it was there wasn't any arm twisting required.

While we were there I picked up a package of black wicker balls, in various sizes and a package of large white wicker balls; each package was around $3.00. I put them in a glass jar that I already owned.

It still needed something else so I began to raid my craft room and found these green, moss "rocks" that I had purchased a month ago from the Dollar Store.
Much better!

I put this up on top of some cabinets by my iron scroll piece. I added a stack of black and white damask (I love damask) plates from the hutch and put them slightly behind the jar.

It still needed something; so I brought my book stand and my Believe book up from the counter to this space also. I love how the book's writing is in green and matches my moss covered rocks perfectly.

Love it!! Really really love it!!

I found these birds at Michaels a couple week's back for only $1.99 each. I loved the creamy color and the 'cracked' look, like old china. I thought they were very shabby chic and vintage looking.

I also remembered that I had a sack of rocks from the Dollar Store and pulled out one of my entertaining dishes from the kitchen and a candle from the hall closet and decided to make a fun centerpiece for the table.

I know that The Hubs hates burlap but I needed a little extra texture for this photo and put one of my $1.99 burlap bags as a "placemat" for my centerpiece. The Hubs is away on business so he won't have any clue because I will have removed it prior to his arrival back home. Shhh!

So far these are my little spring items that I have added into our decor for the season. I bought some robin blue faux eggs (also from Real Deals) for only .20 cents each but I haven't decided where to put those yet. I am sure I will continue to tweak the Spring decor, most likely all the way up until Summer, but for today I can promise that I will enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter fun with the family

I started this post Easter morning but quickly ran out of time and I didn't want to keep the Lord waiting so I busted a move to mass.

In the Easter spirit, the commercialized spirit with bunnies, candies and egg hunts, I decided to make Easter egg rice crispy treats. All it called for was 2 tbsp of butter, 38-40 marshmellows and 6 cups of rice cereal. I choose to use fruity pebbles because I want them to be fun and colorful.

First spray your mixing bowl with cooking spray and add your rice cereal. Then melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a pot on low and add your marshmellows. Continue stirring until all the marshmellows are melted; this took about 10-15 minutes.

Add this mix to your cereal and stir with a spoon until it is all incorporated. I then wet my hands slightly and picked up chunks of the mix and formed into egg shapes. I layed them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put them in the fridge to harden.

I wanted to make the packaging for these treats a little special but with so much going on all I could muster was ziplock baggies. I don't think the kids will notice too much.

This year Easter is extra special because our nephew's birthday falls on this glorious day. After mass we will be celebrating both Easter and a birthday with the family. I was in charge of the cake; I sure hope he likes it. I decided to go outside of the box and try something I have never tried before.

I made two 9 inch round cakes from a box of devils food cake mix. Once cooled I sliced off the tops of both to make sure that they were even and weren't going to topple on me. Then I mixed instant vanilla pudding with some cool whip (I eyeballed it until I thought it looked right) and then sandwiched this in between the two layers of cake.

Then I took the can of fluffy white frosting and frosted the entire cake while it was on the cake stand.

Once I was done frosting the fun part started...themes and decorations. Last year the nephew was really into construction/machinery/cars etc and I was sure hoping this year would be the same because I went with a construction themed cake.

I broke up Oreo cookies and made a "dirt pile" and then I put a dump truck on the cake and wrote Happy Birthday. Now I am a complete amateur but I do believe this a super cute cake if I do say so myself.

Next time I bake a cake though I think I will try my hand at buttercream frosting because the pudding was a little too "wet" and it made it difficult to frost the entire cake.

Isn't this so adorable though! The dump truck is actually dumping "dirt". I love it and I believe everyone else did also. I hope you had a terrific Easter holiday and I'm deeply sorry that this post was incredily delayed, for those who have been dying to see the pictures.