Friday, February 27, 2009

New Buds

Slowly but surely my little garden is coming back to life. The irises shown to the right seem to have survived their late-season transplant from my Mother-in-law's garden. I'm looking forward to seeing them because I never actually saw them in bloom over at her house.

I believe that these are tulip buds... seem to be the right location and right color for the buds anyway. They never really came up properly last year, too crowded and lots of old nasty bulbs. I dug them out this past summer and put them away in my garage. Hopefully a replanting with some nice blood meal will do the trick. Maybe this year I won't have to travel all the way to Iowa to have a tulip festival! I love my Dutch roots.

And these little jems are my "King of the Striped" Crocus. I hope they look as cute as the picture did on the box! Pin It Now!


I found this cute idea to liven up a dining location through the Belle Maison blog. I'm seriously considering making these colorful pom-poms to hang over my eclectic dining tables for Easter this year. I will be hosting it in the brightest room in my house: bright "Lettuce Alone" green. They will sure have the WOW factor! I'm so excited to get started to see if these are an actual possibility to make in bulk.

You can find directions for these here.

I simply love these cute little pom-pom napkin rings! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vintage Chenille Pillows

Found these adorable pillows made from vintage chenille through Katy Elliot's blog this morning. These cute pillows and other chenille creations can be bought at

Even though they are being sold for only $17, I think I'll try to make a few of these with an old chenille blanket that I have.

I wonder if my local Goodwill has any of these colors...

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tea gift idea

I love receiving unique gifts and the surprise is even better when the wrapping is just as unique. A very good friend of mine sent me a sampling of some of her favorite teas, but she didn't just send some tea sachets in a baggie. Using some sturdy scrapbooking paper she precisely printed labels for each type of tea with a brief but delicious sounding description. Inside this well crafted box she put in some of her favorite selections, each type packaged separately to ensure the best flavor .

Very sweet.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Tangy Honey Glazed Ham

A few days ago I found out that Estevan and I will be hosting Easter dinner for the family this year. That night I couldn't sleep and kept thinking about what I was going to do because I have never cooked a full meal of this caliber before. At first I was thinking of just doing finger foods and cold sandwiches... but then it sank in that Easter really is all about the ham. What would we do without ham for the next week... no cold ham sandwiches, no ham and cheese omelets, no etc... no ham leftovers would be sacrilege. I have to make a ham!

I scoured all of my internet resources today for a homemade recipe for a delicious ho
ney glaze and came across this one at I tweaked it a little to suit my slight dislike of cloves and love of cinnamon, I also decided to add sliced pineapple for the last half hour, continuing to glaze so that they get nice and carmelized. Plus, I love a very moist ham so I put tinfoil over the ham.

Tangy Honey Glazed Ham

1 10 pound fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 large orange, juiced and zested

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham in a roasting pan with rack.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Bake ham in preheated oven covered with tin foil for 2 hours. Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.
Glaze, glaze, glaze......... and glaze some more!

Ta-da! My very first ham... yum. Pin It Now!

Decorating with grass blades

Nothing says "Springtime" to me like fresh grass. These are ideas for using grass to decorate for Easter which I found at various sites.

Cute little place card holder using new grass blades and a personalized blown egg.

These placemats were made by hammering grass blades into a crisp linen placemat. Grass stains can sometimes be very beautiful.

Light colored pillar candles are used here as the perfect backdrop for lovely fresh grass blades. A nonflammable all-purpose glue is used to adhere each individual blade to the candles.

This idea doesn't use grass blades but I couldn't help myself. Too cute! Simply cut out egg shapes from white cardstock and decorate with brightly colored paper. You could cut out grass shaped pieces of paper and affix to cardstock cutouts to continue with the grass theme. Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Java Bean

Java may have spent a little too much time running around in the snow today!

He is such a little java bean when he curls up in his chair... his name really is quite fitting.
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Banana Nut Bread

It is a very snowy day here in Michigan, we are expected to get 5-8 inches before the day is out. It's days like this that I like to bake warm breads and drink lots of warm liquids. I'm looking forward to cutting into the warm and tasty banana nut bread that Estevan and I baked this morning. The recipe which I added to this post came from our Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. I'm glad that we didn't decide to throw away those brown bananas!

Banana Nut Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Grease 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and butter. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake @ 350 for 55-60 min. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 min. Remove from pan, cool completely on wire rack.

Mmmmm.... Pin It Now!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kitchen makeover

I walked into my kitchen today and had to take a picture of it with the light coming in and my beautiful flowers (still holding up well!). My husband and I (and Father-in-law) have put so much work into re-doing our house and the kitchen is the best part. We took down wallpaper, re-did the flooring, painted the walls and ceiling, put in new corian counters and sink, new light fixtures, new cabinet pulls, new fridge, new stove, new dishwasher, and new window treatments. WOW! I never realized until now just how exhausted I am.

The countertops look superb, I'm so thankful that we could have them done for free thanks to my Father-in-law. Thank you!

Java would like you to notice the collage of "Java" artwork next to the back door.

This picture gives you just a little hint at what we had to work with. Apples in the kitchen is normally a good thing, but these apples made me want to puke! Pin It Now!

Teacup Pincushions

I haven't made these yet, but I love the idea and will soon get started for Christmas time this year. This is such a cozy idea and think that it will make perfect gifts for the sewers that I know... you know who you are and now you know what you will get from me for Christmas ;)

I have to thank Martha and Betz White for this idea and Sage Mommy for an easier and just as cute idea for making similar cupcakes (scroll down to Dec. 4, 2008). You can find directions for the teacups here.

I'll keep you updated as I progress through this project.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Overnight rolls

Overnight Rolls


3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
18 frozen dinner rolls
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4.6 oz Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding *not instant

Generously butter bunt pan. Sprinkle in pecans, covering the button of the pan. Place rolls in pan on top of pecans. In a small bowl melt butter in microwave, mix remaining ingredients with melted butter and pour over rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and towel, let stand overnight in room temp. Bake @ 350 for 25 min. *You may want to place a cookie sheet underneath when baking to keep oven bottom clean.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I seriously can't wait till it gets warmer and I can finally see the outcome of all my hard work this past fall. I planted many bulbs in my side and corner beds (mostly tulips, daffodils, and crocuses) but I am the most excited about the alliums which I planted. The pictures below are the three types which I planted: Globemaster, Karataviense, and Aflateneuse. They are going to look so good along the fenceline in my side bed... I'm pumped!

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Garden Wish List

I've been thinking ahead for spring lately, you might call it wishful thinking because of all the terrible weather we've been having here in Michigan lately. I am a compulsive organizer and have been scouring through my gardening books for new perennials that I can put in my side flower bed. I'm hoping to get more perennials than annuals to be able to cut down on costs each year.

The following plants are on my wish list... hopefully the local nurseries will be able to fulfill all my wishes!

Brunnera Macrophylla

Geum Borissi
Heuchera 'Lime Ricky', 'Amethyst Mist', and 'Purple Petticoats'
Hosta 'Radiant Edger'
Hosta 'Royal Tiara' Pin It Now!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Garden shots

Spring is coming, I know it is! The sedum I planted in a corner bed is s
howing lovely little rosettes under all those nasty leaves. They started showing last fall and have since grown very large over the winter. I'm hoping that the leaves will continue to shelter them well until all this dang snow melts.

Meanwhile, some things aren't looking so alive as the sedum. This is my little 'Limelight' hydrangea which I sure hope didn't die because of my lazyness to not shelter it with anything other than mulch. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!

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Valentine's Day Flowers

My Valentine's day flowers are still going strong and they may look even better than before! I'm so thankful that my husband is thoughtful... and that he knows that I don't like roses but instead love tulips. Pin It Now!
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