Monday, February 28, 2011

Mug Shots-Coffee or Tea

The coffee bar gets a change of mugs.....again! 
This time I'm using my Longaberger mugs in cornflower blue and ivory. 
I keep the coffee filters handy in a small basket hanging on the mug rack.

Everything I need is in one area.
A back-up bag of coffee beans and the tea bags I use every day are stored in ceramic canisters.
Fresh baked muffins for an afternoon break.
Banana muffins, warm with just a little butter. 
Click on Rita's Recipes for the recipe.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blog Background Decorating

I love changing my blog background for the holidays and seasons. But once I change it I can no longer see a past seasonal background that I've used. So I went back to all backgrounds I've used since I started blogging on May 1st, 2010...MAY DAY. I edited the HTML code for each design so that I could take a picture of each background on my computer. I changed the code six times!  Now I have a picture of all my backgrounds for posterity. I'll remember to take a picture of each new background in the future. That would be so much easier!
First background - Flaunting Florets, from May thru September.

Second background for Fall - Circa Fall, from September thru Thanksgiving.

Third background for Christmas - Candy Cane Lane, after Thanksgiving thru Christmas.

Fourth background for New Years - New Year's Greetings, after Christmas thru January.

Fifth background for Valentine's Day - Crush Away, February 1-14.

Sixth background for Winter - Humming Bird, February 15-March 1.

So if you change your background often, always take a picture! 


ps: The next background change will be for St. Patrick's Day. I haven't picked one yet.
Links: BNOTP

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Beach Umbrella

We don't go to the beach often enough. Its only a 35 minute drive, 
and once we get there it's like being on vacation.
Every time we go we promise ourselves to go at least once a month. Have a May Day.
 I keep a beach tote bag in the closet ready to go, but there are still chairs to pack and drinks and our beach umbrella. Our beach umbrella has been a problem for years. It's always tipping over in the breeze. Other umbrellas are still standing. What's the secret?

This time Larry brought a mallet and proceeded  to pound the pole into the sand.

A skinny man with skin darkly tanned and weathered by years in the sun was sitting on the short wall nearby smoking a cigarette. He was watching us.

 I looked at him, smiled, and said hello.

His shook his head and said, "you're doing that all wrong."

 I told him that we can never get our umbrella to stay up very long in the wind.

He said "just twist it in". So we twisted it. No luck. I looked at him.

He shook his head again and said, "you're doing that all wrong."

I asked him to show us. He came over and rotated the pole in wide circles into the sand. 
Amazingly the pole was quickly and easily buried deeply and securely into the sand.
 We opened the umbrella and it flapped in the breeze and the pole didn't move! WOW!
We thanked him for sharing this genius technique and helping us. 
Have a good day, was exchanged and he walked away down the Ft. Lauderdale boardwalk.
We got to sit under the now secure beach umbrella.
If you ask a question or need help with a problem, the answer will always be sent to you. Not always as expected. You just need to to be open enough to receive it.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brown Paper (napkin rings) Tied Up With Strings

Q & A
 QUESTION: What are bits of string, a brown paper bag, an address label, and a cardboard tube?
ANSWER: Things people throw away.
.... a quick napkin ring project.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cottage Style Dish Pantry Makeover

I converted my boring builders built-in pantry into a charming cottage china closet.
Now, most of my pretty dishes are in view, and I can enjoy looking at them.  It also makes it much easier to choose which ones I want to use each day.
 Here is the pantry before. It held all the food items.
 I moved all the pantry items into the cabinets and all the cabinet items (dishes) into the pantry.
 I  used two reclaimed louvered doors that I found discarded on bulk trash day.
We punched out the louvers to make room for an insert .
We stapled chicken wire to the back.
I decided on chicken wire because glass would have taken this budget makeover over budget.
What's more cottage than chicken wire?
We added quarter round trim to cover the slat holes.
We painted  the inside walls Bleached Denim by Behr.
We painted the shelves glossy white.
 Two Longaberger trays and two large baskets on the floor hold extra pieces.
Larry installed lots of cup hooks under each shelf. I arranged all my dishes.
We painted the doors and installed them .
 I had saved some blue glass knobs for years.
(in a tennis can, of course!)
 I got to use those again.
It gives my kitchen a touch of cottage style, and gives me great dish storage.
The whole project cost very little because I used recycled items.
I found a place to hang a ceramic rooster that I've had for years. 
It holds a blue and white striped bib apron.
A chicken and chicken wire, a classic cottage combo. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Day In Delray

Delray Beach is less than an hour drive from our house. It's a real beachy, Florida town.  
 It has a vibrant downtown historic district.
 We stroll along Atlantic Avenue, which is filled with lots of shops and restaurants.
 There's an event or festival almost every weekend.
 It's a great day trip and a mini vacation day.
 Outdoor cafes line the street. So many to choose from. 
We decided on the lobster roll! Five words describe this sandwich..yum, yum, yum, yum yum!
I can't wait to come back for this one.
We stroll the side streets.
We save room for an afternoon cupcake treat. 
at Cupcake Couture
Each cupcake has a designer name
We chose the Christian Louboutinilla.
 Red heart for his signature red-soled shoes.
 Isn't this pretty?
 Valrhona chocolate buttercream icing on vanilla cake.
We shared.
We then headed to the beach. It's only 2 minutes away.
 We sat a spell and watched the ocean.
A parade of seagulls along the water's edge.
Jonathan Livingston, I presume.
We say goodbye to Delray Beach. We'll come back another day.
We drive home into the setting sun.
We get an enthusiastic greeting from the welcoming committee.  

A good day!