Sunday, July 31, 2011

Autumn Giveaway at Black Creek Primitives

I just came upon a new blog ~ Black Creek Primitives~
She has wonderful items and her prices are great!

She is also offering an Autumn Giveaway, and I would highly suggest you stop on by and sign up!

This is one of the items she is offering!  So Cute!!

Thank you!

Organizing and Storing Spices...

I just received my order for spices and herbs from The Spice House yesterday!!  Over 40 new items to add to my collection... I can't wait to get cooing!

But, my challenge now is storage.  Anyone have ideas on how they store their spices?

I thought about storing them in a spice drawer.... like the one below.

But as it is I am tight on drawer space.

I currently have them stored ~gasp~ above my stove.  That has to change, I realize, and that is why I am working diligently to fix that.  There is a cabinet next to the stove that I currently have overflow spices and medicines in. My Gosh, what a mess that is, and how time consuming each time I am searching for that "one particular Spice! :-)

One other option is to move over one cabinet yet again, and take out all of the measuring cups, plastic storage containers, etc. And, fill that one up with the spices.  It is half the size of the other cabinet, but may work...  I also thought of my broom pantry.  My husband installed shelving in there for me a few years ago... currently I use it for everything... but mainly "my diet foods", overflow ethnic foods that I buy in bulk a few times a year etc.  This would be an ideal location for the fact that it is dry and dark... but it is clear across the kitchen...and lacks convenience!

Hmmm what to do??  I am going back in to ponder this.... and to take some pictures so you can see just what I am dealing with! :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Buying another job...

So my husband and I have been toying with the idea of buying a business for over a year.  It was a stainless manufacturing company just 15 minutes from our home.  It was going to be perfect for my husband and son to run.  Our son just graduated from college, and as most recent graduates is having trouble finding a good job.

So, after spending ALOT of time on this, and ALOT of money on this (lawyers, mostly) one of the two owners decided not to sell.  Frustrating... especially considering we asked him point blank "do you even want to sell this"???

So, I have been looking at other businesses for sale.  My dream has always been to run a bed and breakfast or a restaurant.  Well, last night we ate at a local supper club that we hadn't been to in a LONG time.  The road to it has been under construction for months, and frankly, we just didn't bother.  Well, I had seen on one the sites I use to research businesses for sale, that the restaurant was for sale.  Thinking... ugh, the economy... the locals... etc, was the reason, we decided to venture out and see what was up.  Well, immediately upon driving up, we thought "hmmm will we even find a parking spot?" the place was BUSY!!!  We went in, and saw the owners... the husband behind the bar as usual... and the wife at the hostess station.  The only difference is that she has no hair and is battling cancer and apparently it isn't going well for her.  I never expected that to be the reason for the sale.  However, the place was hopping!!  We had to wait 1/3 hour to be seated... which is GREAT, in my opinion.  We had a great meal, and as we were leaving and paying, I mentioned to her that we would like to sit down and chat about maybe buying the restaurant.  Her eyes welled up... and said, she was going for treatment on M & T but she would call us Wednesday for sure! She said "I am getting worse and we need to sell".

So, I think we are buying a restaurant.  Hope my son is up for it! :-)

Keep you posted ... keep your fingers crossed for us.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cute Dragonfly & Dinosaur Cakes for my neighbor kids... FUN

I made these fun cakes for my neighbor kids the other day.  Acutally I made a frog cake first, for the littlest guy... and then asked the older two what they would like.  Of course the little girl said "Dragonfly" and her brother said "Dinosaur".   Well, seeing that I am not a baker, this was going to be a challenge...but I was determined to make these for them.

The Dragon fly cake I made out of just one cake mix ~ confetti of course. LOL  I took two bread loaf pans, and filled one up a little more that the other.  The more full, or larger one would be the body and the smaller would be for the tail portion.  Then I made a couple of cupcakes for the eyes.  I watched carefully while they cooked as the smaller one came out sooner than the others.

So, when cooked and cooled, I cut the larger cake in half and layed the rounded tops so they were on top.  I frosted between to "hold it together".  Then I cut the smaller cake in half for the tail.  I ended up just cutting of the rounded top of the cupcakes for the eyes. Then chose colors and dyed regular vanilla frosting...and then frost, frost, frost.

For the wings, I melted sugar to the hard crack stage, and then drizzled on parchment paper in the shape of wings.  I made double the amount of wings I needed "just in case"...and good thing I did because one of the lacey pretty wings broke, and needed to be replaced.

As for the Dinosaur, I again made this guy out of one cake mix.  I used two round cake pans.  Once cooked and cooled, I cut one in half and layed it side to side so that the rounded part was on the top.  And I left it so that there was a little space to make it look "ridgy".  Then I took the other round cake and sort of cut a crescent out of it for the tail.  then I cut a circle using a large glass for the head.  Frosted and then for the "spines", toe nails, etc I used organic fruit leather... the natural kind is harder and easier to cut then fruit roll ups.  Then, Ta-Da... drop off to your young neighbors and leave feeling like a rock star! :-)

Hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dinner Tonight... took all day, but WELL worth it!

I made an amazing dinner tonight, if I do say so myself! LOL

Homemade Vietnamese! 

Chicken Pho (soup) w/ home grown jalapenos, cilantro

 & Thai basil, 

Pork Banh Mi (sandwiches) w/ homemade garlic 

mayonnaise...(thanks to Laramie's help) , homegrown

cukes, and homemade pickled veggies! YUMMM

If anyone would like my recipes, just comment and I will post/send them to you~!

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Bright Idea..

I think I will add another option to my Mondays... Make Over Monday.

Yesterday I was working on some new ideas and realized I had not put together any of my glass plate flowers yet.  So, I got started and ended up making over 15 different beauties!  And then I thought... hmmm I bet I could share this process on my blog because everyone has glass plates, bowls, etc around~ and then everyone can have lovely flowers blooming all the time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Settling in after a LONG but WONDERFUL vacation!

The above picture is the view right out our back door of the cottage we rent every summer in Westport, MA.  Westport is where I grew up... litterally walking distance to the Atlantic Ocean and its sandy, beautiful beaches.  We lived their as a family until my youngest child was 3 and then we moved to Wisconsin... where we have resided for the last 13 years.  I must say, Wisconsin has been a much better place to raise our children.  Small town, midwestern values... its the mainstay of the environment here.  It has made us a much closer family and I see such honesty and trustworthyness in my kids.  It makes me proud to see them growing into the adults that they are... what more can a mom ask for?? 

Well, I suppose it only balances because we are fortunate to be able to take a two week vacation every summer to Westport, rent the same amazing waterfront cottage, and be able to visit with all of our family and friends back there! This year, we made many trips to Logan Airport in Boston, as our youngest daughter and her boyfriend flew in on the Tuesday after we arrived, then our middle daughter's boyfriend - who drove out to MA with us (20 hours, people..he's a keeper!) - flew back to WI on the Thursday after we arrived.  Then, our eldest daughter flew in on the Friday... her boyfriend and our Son flew in on Saturday... our son flew out on Monday morning...and daughter and boyfriend flew out on Tuesday.  You get the drift, I am sure! LOL It was special to have everyone there! 

Okay, so now I am home... and going to finish unpacking, laundry...all that moms do after an extended vacation. :-) 

But... also... I am going to....

Time to get on with primming up the place!  Over the years I have found lots of great ideas, patterns, etc for Prim Decorating, etc.  What I have decided to do is finally start creating these items for my home, and take pictures/tutorials for you all! It's a win win for both, I think!

So I figure there are 5 days a week that I can blog.
Mondays will be : Mason Jar Monday,
Tuesday : Tuesday Tutorials
Wednesdays: Wooden It be Nice- various wooden projects and also Whatcha Working on Wednesday...where I will post projects I am working on - you know the ones that seem to be endless and never finished, but you can't just leave them alone! and I would love for you all to post projects you are working on so we can share our works. -
Thursday: Thrify Thursday
Friday: Fridays Feast

I am going to spend the rest of this week getting ready... and getting my supplies together, etc. So, please check back with me on Monday, August 1, 2011 for our very first Mason Jar Monday project. I can't wait!

See you on Monday.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Country Sampler Ornament Exchange

I participate in a forum with Country Sampler... it is so much fun.  I get so many great ideas for decorating, etc.  You should difinitely check it out sometime.  The ladies on the forum are just the sweetest and it is so nice to know others are facing the same things that you are.  Plus, you can post photos of  your primitive decor dilemmas, and they will offer you lots of great opinions that you probably never would have thought of!

Right now, we are participating in a Christmas in July Ornament Exchange!  So much fun.  I have already received 5 ornaments... it's like Christmas every time I check the mail!  Love that!

Well, have a great day!  I am working on some tutorials on prim painted signs and some fall salt dough ornies. Hope to post tomorrow!