Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homemade Salt Scrub

I don’t know anyone out there who doesn’t love a good body scrub - exfoliating, moisturizing and a nice fragrance.  I hate paying $10 plus and this way I also know what’s in my scrub.  It’s also nice to be able to change the fragrance and not have three or four big containers taking up room. 

What I used:

Plastic storage container
Kosher Salt
Olive Oil

What I did:

In the plastic storage container add ½ cup kosher salt,

1 tablespoon of olive oil

and 1 teaspoon of fragrance. 

Mix it up really good.

That’s it – just store it until you’re ready to use. 

I prefer Lavender as my smell of choice and I get it at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.  You can also use lemon or lime juice, or even go fragrance free.  Additionally, you can use sugar instead of salt, I personally prefer the salt since the granules are bigger and seem to do a better job exfoliating and salt doesn’t attract ants. 

Here are a few things you need to know:
Always use a plastic container, I’ve dropped my container in the shower and boy was I glad it was plastic!  I just use regular Glad ware with the twist on lid.

Start with just 1 teaspoon of the scent.  After you've tried it and it isn't strong enough, then add more.  I've made some powerful smelling scrubs in the past!

Be careful of slips.  You’re using oil here and oil in the tub can be not so good.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tea Strainers

I've shown you all little peeks into my home and the some of the projects I've been up to. No it is time for my longest running and most loved project - gray granite ware.   I love the stuff - forget the blue and white, the green Chrysolite and the chicken wire - it has to be gray! I started collecting many years ago and have found many different pieces over the years.  These are some of my favorites:

Yep, tea strainers.  But only gray granite ones.  I really love the one on the lower left, the embossed star, the pretty strainer pattern, it's everything a tea strainer should be.  They are currently and probably permanently on display in my kitchen over the sink.

I promise to show you more of my granite ware collection in the near future.  Have a super weekend everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Flowers

I finally got in gear and purchased the annuals for this growing season.   I over bought, which is normal for me - I just have a hard time picking what I want for each spot in our yard. Plus we have lots of shade and that limits what I can use.  There a nice greenhouse just 15 minutes from our house where I found some goodies, but the selection was limited.  They have some shrubs and trees I would have loved to had, but I like being married.

Then we headed 30 minutes northwest to a large greenhouse out in the country a county away.  It's amazing in there - 3,200 varieties of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, herbs, vines and aquatic plants.  I have such a good time there but making decisions is hard! 

My favorite this year, which are new ones for me are the Ptilotus and I think they look pretty good in the galvanized bucket I found the other day.

I also mixed some Swedish Ivy, Wander Jew and sweet potato vines in my old whiskey barrel planter.

We found these very pretty purple saliva and they went in the other whiskey barrel. 

And some Celosia that remind me of fire.  They make a good focal point in the back yard.

Every thing is planted and ready for summer.

I hope it all lives.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Treat Jars

We have dogs, therefore we have dog treats.  I used to keep them under the sink and in the kitchen junk drawer.  I never knew when we were getting low and walking out the back door without a treat for our black lab gives me guilt.  She has perfected that "don't you love me anymore?" look.  I decided treat jars were in order.

I went to my local Dollar General and found these nice glass canisters, the big ones were only $3 and the smaller one was $2.   The small one is for my mom's treat, coffee.  I don't drink it, but I make sure I have some on hand for when she visits.  I used my Silhouette and used the same red vinyl I used for my mixer makeover.

Sorry about the glare in the picture, the daughter wasn't available to do her job.  I hope my mom's okay being lumped in with the dogs, as far as treats go. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

If you are on a diet or are just trying to eat healthier – stop reading now.  This recipe is full of fat and calories, but man is it good!  I highly recommend a crusty French bread and an empty stomach. And maybe a salad if you have guilt. 

Introducing the main players of today’s recipe:

Yep - real butter.   Heavy cream.   Parmesan Cheese.  Pasta.
(I told you - lots of fat & calories!) 

We start by cooking the pasta to al dente according to the directions on the package. 


Start the sauce.   I use the same pot I cooked the pasta in.

Start by heating the butter and cream over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter is melted. 

Add 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.  I usually buy the pre-grated stuff – feel free knock yourself out if you want to and grate your own.  Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and a heavy dash of pepper.  Stir until sauce is blended and smooth. 

Add the drained noodles to the creamy goodness and toss until pasta is well coated. 

Serve this up in a pasta bowl or plate  and top with grated cheese and some parsley.    Or you can just eat it straight from the pot. 

Here’s the actual recipe:

1 pound Fettuccine  
½ cup butter (please please please don’t use margarine)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
dash pepper (or a little more if you so desire)
chopped parsley (I used dried but fresh would be better)

*CLEAN UP NOTE:  After served up, before you dig in – get that pot filled with hot soapy water!  Otherwise the sauce coagulates and become a real pain to clean.    

linking to:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Artist

My oldest daughter, whom I will refer to as Rose, has taken a liking to drawing. And photography. Personally, I think she is doing a great job - she's not afraid to get down and dirty when taking the pictures and is expanding her drawing into different mediums.   Here are a few of her recent projects:

This is a chalk drawing she did at my mom's  house on Easter weekend.  The picture doesn't show the entire drawing, she did the entire body and had a ball dong it.

This is what she gave me for Mother's Day.  Rose is on the left and Birdie is on the right.  I'm not sure what this type of drawing is called but I love it.  I can tell which character is which daughter since she added some realism to her work.

This second one is an "inside family joke".  All I can say is that Birdie is a Mario Brothers fanatic and I hear this a lot when they play the game.

As for photography, Rose takes her camera all over the place.  She has gotten some great pictures of family.

and she enjoys taking pictures of nature and just random stuff:

A majority of the pics in my posts are taken by her.   She does such a good job!  Thanks Rose!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Kitchenaid Mixer Makeover

I know I’m a little late to the party on this project, but I just got my Silhouette and this is my first project.

Before:  white classic Kitchenaid mixer.  I received this as a gift from my step mom at my wedding shower and it has been a work horse in my kitchen.  Over the last 17 years it has churned out dozens and dozens of cookies, gallons of whipped cream and even a bit of bread dough.

After:  same classic mixer just spiffed up a bit. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Deco Daisy & a Silhouette

I recently had a birthday and I was lucky enough to get to see my parents, siblings and their families on my birthday weekend.  We had very nice weekend visiting family and celebrating Easter. 

My father and step mom gave me this very pretty retro looking tote.  I love the pattern and the size is perfect.   The pattern is called Deco Daisy and I really really want the flip flops that match.

Mr. Manly Man has learned a lot about gifts over the years.  This year he gave me a choice; fire pit – which I have wanted for years or a Silhouette craft cutter.  (Thank You Mr. Manly Man!)

I chose the Silhouette.  I’ve wanted one of these for a while too and I am so looking forward to getting crafty with this baby!  I have a couple hundred different ideas for projects, now if I can just find the time to do some of them!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cordon Bleu Stromboli

I made this the other day and it was gone in a flash.  My recipe for "home made" bread is the bread machine or the frozen loaves, I think this recipe came from the frozen stuff.   I didn’t have Swiss cheese so I used Mozzarella and I didn’t measure the amounts.  I just can’t cook that way.  If I’m baking I do measure but for everyday meal cooking, not so much.  I consider a recipe more of a guideline.   Next time I'm thinking maybe a good garlic spread instead of the butter to kick it up a bit.

This was a really good guideline that I am glad to share.

1 loaf frozen bread thawed
2 tbs butter, room temperature
8 oz thin sliced deli ham
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
5 oz thin sliced roasted deli chicken

On a lightly floured surface roll bread dough to a 10 x 8 inch rectangle.  Spread with butter.

Top with chicken, ham and cheese.

Roll up jelly roll style.  Pinch the seam and tuck the ends under. 

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes. 

*I don't know if leftovers reheat well or not, there were none.