Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Twine Tassel

 

Simplicity makes me happy. I like simple projects that I can finish quickly and enjoy immediately. When I saw this project for a tassel made from twine on the blog DIY by Design, it was love at first sight. You might find things like this hanging from all kinds of places in my home - doorknobs, hooks and cabinet doors. I think they add a bit of unexpected interest, texture and fun to any room.

The step by step instructions can be found here and I was able to easily follow along. Putting the tassel together took no time, but unraveling the twine was actually pretty time consuming. Still, I finished the project in a little over an hour and would love to make some others. This would be a great rainy day project this summer.

As soon as I finished, I knew just where I wanted it to go. I think the neutral color looks great hanging from the door of this cabinet in my dining room. It provides a softer texture next to the glass and wood and makes things less formal.

It is going to be a beautiful day here today - hope yours is great!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

Beautiful Mess

Thrifty Decor Chick

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Southern Lovely

Two Yellow Birds

Diana Rambles

Somewhat Simple

Your Home Based Mom

Six Sisters Stuff

Tutus and Tea Parties

Primp

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

I Heart Naptime

Sunny Simple Life

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

Fox Hollow Cottage

Debbiedoo's

Stonegable


 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sugar Free Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping

 

 

Saturday was a beautiful day here - I worked in the yard cleaning up leaves and sticks and then spent the rest of the day sitting on my patio enjoying just being outside in the sun. But, all good things must end and since the forecast was predicting rain, all day on Sunday, I knew I would want something warm and cozy for breakfast.

I found a loaf of French bread in the freezer and used a combination of various french toast recipes that I adapted and turned into a healthier and sugar free version by using fat free milk and Splenda Brown Sugar. I find that now and then, breakfast can be my indulgence for the day when using a sugar substitute. Two pieces of this yummy french toast with a little sugar free syrup and my carb count remained in control.


Recipe for Sugar Free Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping

1 loaf french bread

4 eggs

1 3/4 cup fat free milk

1/4 cup brown sugar substitute

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch salt

Struesel Topping

1/4 cup brown sugar substitute

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 T butter, melted

pinch salt

 

Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Slice bread into 1 inch slices and arrange in baking dish.

Whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar substitute, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour the milk mixture over the bread. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 dregrees.

In a small bowl, combine struesel ingredients and mix well with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over soaked bread and bake 35 - 40 minutes until lightly browned.

 

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Gooseberry Patch

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Back For Seconds

Mom's Test Kitchen

Semi Homemade Mom

Barns and Noodles



Between Naps on the Porch



Savvy Southern Style



DIY by Design



Lil Luna

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Soft Place to Land

 

The thing about an empty nest when you have college age children, is that it doesn't always stay empty for long. They tend to come and go as semesters end and job opportunities and circumstances change. But, I think that is what providing a home is all about. It is a safe place for your your children to land from time to time. They need to know they can always come home - that there is a room open and a place for them to just be themselves.

As parents, the role changes too. We listen more and realize we are that sounding board they need when they come home. They don't want advise unless they ask for it and while sometimes that is hard, it gives them the space they need to think and make their own choices in life. They just need to know that you are there, in their corner, ready with help if needed.

So, the boxes and bins move in and out. The noise level goes up and down. And, you appreciate the fact that you have time with them. Time to just be a family and do all those little things together again. You take each moment as a gift and are thankful they know they have a safe place to go and a family that loves them.

Have a great weekend!

 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday...books, reality tv, etc.

 

 

  • Cold, wet rain on a forsythia bush, almost ready to bloom. This is a perfect caption to the spring we are having. My only consolation is that I am hoping this means we can look forward to a mild summer.
  • My book club read an amazing book this month and I highly recommend it. Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler is a thought provoking and heart warming story of forbidden love and an unlikely friendship between two women of different generations and race. It flows back and forth between two eras in a seamless narrative of an interracial relationship that serves as a parallel to the women's friendship. There is an emotional ending that will stay with you well after you finish.
  • The Real Housewives of Orange County has started off with drama that once again leaves me wondering how these women look at their behavior and feel proud. There has been a lot of talk about bullying, but I think they are just mean girls who find someone to gossip about and pick on, thus creating drama. Self awareness is a beautiful thing - and they don't have it :-)
  • I have to admit I haven't been watching Dancing with the Stars as much as I would like. There just isn't that one dancer who has grabbed my interest. And, after watching Sean on the last Bachelor season, I can't help but feel duped by his regular guy persona. I think he has gone Hollywood.
  • I am looking for new everyday dishes and can't seem to make a decision. I am pretty sure I will go with white, to work with the changes I have planned for my kitchen. However, should I get round or square plates? Maybe a combination of both? This weekend, a decision will be made :-)

Happy Thursday!

 

Linking with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, Thursday Thoughts

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My New Rug

 

This rug has a story. And in the end, things fell into place with the kind of serendipity I like. For me, bigger purchases like this are never spur of the moment. I look around at stores and on line, make lists of possibilities, think about what I like and then think about it some more. Finding the style and pattern is usually easy. The problem is narrowing it down. Sometimes the size is wrong. Sometimes the quality is bad. And sometimes the price is just too high.

I loved many different rugs from Pottery Barn, but I really wanted a 4x6 rug and that size is not available there. I found some possibilities at Ballard Designs but they weren't exactly what I wanted and for the price I wasn't willing to settle. Home Goods only had bigger sizes - I love Home Goods, but you have to get lucky.

Then I tried Overstock.com. I made a list of of few possibilities that were perfect and decided to think about it for a couple days. Imagine how happy I was to receive an email that one of the rugs I liked was on sale and would be eligible for free shipping. After ordering and receiving it within a few days, I am thrilled with the price I paid and the quality of the rug. The colors look great and it is plush underfoot. I love when things work out like it was meant to be :-)

Happy Wednesday!

 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Twine Wrapped Vase

 
 

The use of twine is an easy and quick way to add texture and interest to any object. I also think that twine has a sweet quality - interesting in the fact that it is simple and natural. I am drawn to using twine in the same way I love the use of burlap. Both can be mixed with modern elements to add warmth to your decor.

I have been using an inexpensive, clear glass vase for the fresh flowers I like to bring home from the grocery store each week. I pinned this inspiration for a similar project and thought it would look great to use twine to add some texture to the glass.

Starting with a bit of hot glue at the bottom of the vase, I began to wrap the twine, adding more glue in intervals. Since I had three different colors of twine from a previous project, I decided to layer the colors - first natural, then brown and ending with a layer of pink. This took no time, I used supplies I had on hand and it is something I will use throughout the summer months. I can't wait to fill it with blooms from my garden.

Have a wonderful day!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

Keep Calm and Carry On and Beautiful Mess

Thrifty Decor Chick

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Our Fifth House

Southern Lovely

Two Yellow Birds

Diana Rambles

Somewhat Simple

Your Home Based Mom

Six Sisters Stuff

Tutus and Tea Parties

Primp

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

I Heart Naptime

Sunny Simple Life

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

My Repurposed Life

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

Fox Hollow Cottage

Debbiedoo's

Stonegable


 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

 

There are very few foods that I crave, but enchiladas are definitely one of them. We have several favorite Mexican restaurants where I always order the enchiladas - either cheese or chicken - and I don't even really need to look at the menu. One of those funny things, is that I have never made enchiladas at home. I think I thought they were hard to make and with this recipe, I couldn't have been more wrong.

You can find this easy recipe I pinned here and it is a good one. Quick to put together and the enchiladas taste just like the ones from my favorite restaurant. The only change I made was that I baked a couple chicken breasts to shred, instead of using rotisserie chicken. To make this a little lighter you could use low fat cheese and sour cream, but I didn't have those ingredients on hand this time.

This weekend flew by, but started with a fun lunch on Friday with Megan and Melissa. We visited Melissa in East Lansing and went to this little outdoor shopping area to eat and shop a bit - just for fun. I didn't remember to take any photos, because we were all shivering from the cold, cold wind. I reminded them we would soon be sitting on the patio, having lunch at our golf club - but it is getting hard to be patient with this spring we are having. And, Melissa reminded me she has finals starting and is coming home for the summer next week! Where did her sophomore year go? My empty nest will be busy and full again :-)

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Gooseberry Patch

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Back For Seconds

Mom's Test Kitchen

Semi Homemade Mom

Barns and Noodles



Mockingbird Hill Cottage, Favorite Things


 

 

 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Earth Day = Flowers

 

Earth Day is Monday and there is a reason it is celebrated in April, where the beauty of nature is all around. Flowers are ready to bloom and plants long dormant during the winter months are now delicate buds, so close to reminding us of the renewal of spring. These pretty pink flowers help bring some color into my home this morning - an Earth Day celebration as we wait for the abundant April showers to help fill our yard with flowers.

In Michigan, April is early in the season for blooms. But the forsythia, tulips and even some hostas are showing us their green buds and getting ready to come to life again.

Earth Day is about appreciating the abundance of the earth and taking care of and being thankful for the beauty of nature that surrounds us. For me, gardening is my way of experiencing this miracle each spring and summer. The bulbs I plant in the fall, become beautiful tulips in the spring and the perennials never fail to bloom, year after year. I garden because I want beauty in my life. And, my flower garden is a little piece of the earth that is mine to take care of and nurture.

Happy Earth Day!

 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday...walking, books, etc.

 

  • The past few days I have been able to just wear a light windbreaker type jacket while walking. No gloves. No earmuffs. No heavy coat. It has been so nice to feel the warmth of the sun on my face. And, the grass is even starting to get a little green along the paths. Slowly, but surely our spring weather is coming.
  • I am still so amazed by the stories of the heroes that have emerged from the terror attack in Boston. There are so many good people in the world, ready to help others, without thinking of their own safety. Here is a really good article that gives some examples of the selfless acts that occurred. There are angels among us.
  • While I have been reading lately, I can't say that I have read anything good enough to recommend. There has been nothing particularly thought provoking or that I haven't been able to put down. I keep a running wish list on Amazon, but there is nothing on it at the moment that I am dying to read. There are books from some of my favorite authors, but they are not actually due to be published for months. Do any of you have anything to recommend? All suggestions would be welcome :-)
  • Later this morning I am getting my hair highlighted and trimmed, and I am looking forward to it. The salon I go to is very relaxing and calming; where the appointment starts with a scalp massage and a cup of Aveda herbal tea. If you have never had that brand of tea, it is a very interesting blend, with the flavors of lavender and mint. My hair is at that stage where it is past due for the highlights, so I know I will look and feel great when I leave. We all need a little pampering.

Happy Thursday!

 

Linking with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, Thursday Thoughts

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wine Cork Initial on a Canvas

 

This pretty canvas sign, with a wine cork initial, was a fun project that my daughter Megan made for an update to her bedroom. She had saved a bag of wine corks from a catering job and looked around on line for inspiration to make a DIY project that would incorporate these corks. This project and especially this font style for the initial caught her eye and although she had no clear instructions, she was able to figure it out with trial and error.

On a canvas, arrange the wine corks ( approximately 90) in the initial shape and font desired. With a hot glue gun, begin to glue the bottom and sides of the wine corks. Keep gluing until the initial is completely attached to the canvas. This will be heavy, but don't worry - the glue will adhere well to the fabric frame. Attach a ribbon and bow to finish. Allow the glue to dry completely before hanging.

This would also look great in a kitchen or a bar area. For Megan's wine cork coaster project look here.

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

Thrifty Decor Chick

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Our Fifth House

Southern Lovely

Two Yellow Birds

Diana Rambles

Somewhat Simple

Your Home Based Mom

Six Sisters Stuff

Tutus and Tea Parties

Primp

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

I Heart Naptime

Sunny Simple Life

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

My Repurposed Life

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

Fox Hollow Cottage

Debbiedoo's

Stonegable


 

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