Monday, March 19, 2018

New Coffee Mug Tree Rack

This is our little coffee station nook in our tiny kitchen showing off its new coffee mug/cup tree rack.  Finally all of our coffee supplies are in one spot.
The Longaberger lidded basket holds our coffee filters.  We still have a small 4-cup coffee maker and it does the job for us since we are just morning coffee drinkers.  Lately though I've been getting the itch to update to a single cup Keurig machine.
Our coffee of choice for several years now is Medaglia D'Oro Espresso Italian Roast ground coffee...delicious!!!
I found it at Walmart, and I love it! 
As of right now it's holding an array of different cups.  My plan is to hang seasonal/holiday mugs according to the season.  I plan to be on the lookout for these type of mugs at garage sales or thrift stores.
While I was at Walmart, I got a glimpse of the Pioneer Woman's new collection of cups and I really love the bright colors and design, and I think they would fit perfectly with our kitchen.
I needed a spoon holder for my coffee tray, so I recycled a used candle votive by simply adding this pretty burlap and lace ribbon.  I used hot glue gun to adhered the ribbon.
This is the candle votive I recycled...from Dollar Tree.

This cute Cinnamon spice jar is a recent acquisition.  I found it a garage sale for 25 cents!!!  I also came home with the Paprika and Nutmeg spice jars.  At the bottom of each jar, Made in Japan is stamped.
I just recently got into the habit of adding a sprinkle or two of ground cinnamon to my morning coffee.  It's super tasty, and apparently cinnamon curbs the appetite.  I sure hope so!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have thorns.
~Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Don't get pinch,
Wear your GREEN!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Our Easter Porch

Lately our mornings by the front patio have been sunny and warm.  I decided it was time to clean it up and have our daily morning coffee here and greet the day.
I brought our Bunny Welcome stand and spruced it up with a new burlap chevron ribbon, new grass and eggs.  The lantern is a new-to-me from a garage sale, as well as the white bunny.  I brushed and cleaned the lantern as best as I could, and gave it a new life by adding a burlap polka dotted ribbon and made a bow from a small piece of recycled springy ribbon.
I brought out our hurricane lamp from indoors and gave it new life outdoors.  I simply added grass and eggs surrounding an old bunny (atop an inverted plastic container for added height).
The "HELLO" rock is a new acquisition from Michaels.  I thought it would be a whimsical way to greet our guests.
While Hubby and I enjoy our morning java, our babies get to enjoy the sunny warm mornings as well.
I recently found the folded screen gate at a garage sale for $10.  It was my lucky day!  I had been looking for something similar to this gate for a while so we can keep our pets close by and protected from any coyotes going by.  I never leave my babies out of sight just in case coyotes get any crazy ideas!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bunny Hop & Cleaned Windows

I made a little sign using our Scrabble tiles and rack to announce the very near celebration of Easter in our TV room.
Hubby and I used to play a lot of Scabble years ago.  So I have decided since our board game is simply collecting dust, I must as well use the tiles and racks for something constructive.

I'm recycling my Bunny Banner one more time.  I just think it's so cute!
I made this banner maybe three years ago and never posted about it.  I believe I got the template from Pinterest, and then traced it on polka dotted scrapbooking paper, strung it up on baker's twine and added a fat cotton boll for its tail.  It was so simple and easy to make.
You can read about my framed bunny silhouette here.

Continuing with Spring Cleaning:
Window Washing...yuck & broken nails!
I was going to break down and have some window cleaning business clean all of our windows this spring.  I considered how much I was going to spend, and finally broke down and decided that I could do it myself.  Money saved I can use it for my monthly mani/pedis, and hair and eyebrow waxing and golf, get the picture...LOL!
Here is the first window of five in our TV room that we can finally see through; and 
...our kitchen window that can let lots of sunshine in!
I have some more windows to clean, but I will try to pace myself and not break anymore nails!
I just hope we don't get a crazy out-of-the-blue dust storm before the summer gets here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rose & Milk Glass Pedestal Plate

Our first beautiful spring rose from our garden.

Our life is like a thorny rose, not perfect but always beautiful!
~via Pinterest

I needed a small plate pedestal to hold my hand lotion and other "stuff" right next to the kitchen sink.
While I was recuperating from my fall the last couple of months, I watched lots of YouTube tutorials/videos, and copy this quick DIY.  
I sacrificed this pretty and simple Milk Glass plate from my collection for this handy plate pedestal.  The candle stick is from the Dollar Tree Store...there was no way I was going to use one of small sacrifice per DIY!
I glued the candle stick to the bottom of the plate and let it dry overnight just to make sure it sticks and holds tightly.
It keeps everything tidy now and not all over the place.
Love it!

Note: The picture frame behind plate pedestal is in the progress of being a DIY/upcycle/recycle project

Product Recommendation:
I use this kind of glue for most of my DIY, crafts, altered art, and so on.  I get it at the Dollar Tree Store, and I really love it!  The best part is that it really works, so I keep extra on hand!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rosemary Scented Hand Soap

Our rosemary bush is growing so fast I cannot keep up with it and it smells so good as you brush by it or come near it!!!  Two nights ago it rained here in the Valley, and in the morning when I open the back door to the patio, the aroma of fresh rain mixed with the rosemary scent was intoxicatingly sweet.
Here in the Arizona Desert, rosemary grows like a bush, and around this time of the year it grows non-stop!  I been cutting it back and trying to use as much of it in recipes to no avail.
So while watching a YouTube video/tutorial, this lady suggested adding a sprig of fresh rosemary to your hand soap.
So I followed her advice, but with a twist.  I used the hand soap that I already had (I think it was lime scented) and added my freshly cut rosemary sprig.  In order to see the sprig inside the bottle, I simply removed the labels (front & back of recycled bottle)...and voila...easy peasy
and my hands smell so good, especially after chopping onion and mincing garlic!

I noticed that the hand soap liquid has changed in color, after a day or two with the rosemary sprig added to it.  I think that the scented hand soap is overpowering the rosemary scent so far.
My plan for next time is to refill the soap dispenser and I will simply use plain unscented hand soap with the rosemary sprig.  I'm also thinking of bruising or gently crushing the rosemary sprig to release its oil and scent.
I think it just adds a little charm to my plain see through dispenser.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Printable & Bunnies

Home is the nicest word there is.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
Free printable via Ann Sutton at On Sutton Place.

  These are just a few bunnies in my collection.
I have received all of these bunnies as gifts, except for the little blue plate.  I found it at a thrift store many years ago.  I think it is used as a chop stick holder.   In the picture you can see my late father-in-law as a child (in the white little outfit).  
  The Norman Rockwell's "The School Teacher" collectible plate is a recent acquisition.  I paid $1 for the plate and stand at a garage sale.  I love Norman Rockwell, and I especially love this piece of artwork by him.  I would have loved to have been a school teacher, but instead I married one & I also worked for a school district for 27+ years.
This little nook is in our living room.  I love to sit here and read in the is just feels so cozy and comfortable.
I made the book page wreath  several years ago around Thanksgiving.  I just recently noticed how the pages are turning yellow as time goes by; giving it an aged look.

We are so lucky that we are enjoying the best weather possible here in Arizona.  I'm soaking it up and loving it!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Life is like making tea...
Boil your ego, 
Evaporate your worries,
Dilute your sorrows,
Filter your mistakes, and 
Get a taste of HAPPINESS.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Shrimp Gumbo & Pink Saturday

For Valentine's Day Hubby and I usually stay home and celebrate with a homemade dinner.
This year I cooked our dinner: Shrimp Gumbo 
and I loved it.  Hubby not so much.  Shrimp Gumbo is more like a soup, and Hubby prefers his soups thick like stews.  Oh well...
This was the first time I had ever made Creole-Style Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo ever.
The ingredients were easy to find, and I had most on hand.  I didn't realized how labor intensive it was to make it though.  Preparing all of the ingredients was the easy part.  Once you start making the roux which is the first step to gumbo, you basically have to be by the stove/pot just about til the last step.  Anyways after several hours later standing by the stove, I was done and exhausted, but worth making it!
A tip for next time I make Shrimp Gumbo: Make it a day ahead!!!  Not only you will be rested on the day you serve this dish, but the flavor of the gumbo will taste so much better...yummy!
I call it the "Cooking Bible".
I followed the recipe from this cookbook that weighs a ton.  Hubby and I agree that the recipes in this book are the real thing, but you must follow them to a "T".
  ~Creole-Style Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo recipe~
I used the andouille sausage instead of kielbasa.
I also like to make little notes after each recipe I make for future reference.

Needless to say I had a lot of gumbo I shared it with my Golfing Girlz at our Happy Hour after golf.  Kate who was born and raised in the South gave me the "thumbs up" for the gumbo.  She said it tasted just like to my ears!  The other Girlz loved it, and have requested I make it for our next Happy Hour here at my place.  Yeah!

 Now for Pink Saturday...
a tiny bouquet of pinkish flowers and my china with pink cherry blossoms, ....and the pink shrimp!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Daffodils & A Clean Spice Cupboard

Spring is here!
 ~Daffodils from Trader Joe's~
A little yellow cup
A little yellow star 
A little yellow frill
And that's a daffodil.

And the spring cleaning continues...
 Here is my very clean and well organized spice cupboard with new shelf liners.   I threw away old dried herbs and spices that we had not used in years.  I am no longer embarrassed to open this cupboard whenever there's company in the kitchen😁
Hubby better not mess it up...that's all I have to say.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Citrus, Neat Messes & A DIY Farmhouse Inspiration

 Is that time of year again here in Arizona...CITRUS SEASON....which means grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, kumquats,...
Most of our community here in Sun City, have some kind of citrus tree(s) in their yard...which means a lot of neighbors have boxes/bags full of citrus by their curb for the taking!
I am so thankful for their generosity and take advantage of it.  There is nothing better than freshly squeezed juice for drinking, cocktails, and more.

One of my pet peeves of having to juice citrus is the wet mess all over the kitchen counter though.  I have found a better way to deal with this mess, and it was a cinch to clean up!
Actually I copied the idea from my friend Gin who did share her tip with me.
Use a tray and then set a cutting board atop of it and cut citrus away.  The running juices are collected by the tray.  When all is done or as needed, all I did was rinse the tray and wipe the counter cleaned.
This tip will work great for cutting tomatoes, watermelons, and much more.
I juiced enough juice for the week or as needed for my AZ Citrus Season favorite cocktail: Vodka Greyhound

 Now for the farmhouse style decor inspiration...
 I wrapped both of the handles on this wire basket with jute twine.
I found the wire basket at a rummage sale for $1!!!
I had been wanting one to keep our fruit, vegetables, or other supplies in our kitchen or pantry.
I just love it when I stumble across items that I have been looking for or needed at great prices!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Shamrocks & Spring Cleaning

I have been doing a little spring cleaning and organizing here and there throughout the house!
I did a great job cleaning out my closet of clothing, shoes and other stuff.    A friend of mine took several tops, shorts and more that she can wear while she's in the process of losing weight, until she reaches her weight goal.  What was left I donated it to our local thrift store.
 While I was at it, I decided to clean and update my dresser with a new-to-me embroidered dresser scarf.  Not only that, I added a shamrock banner to the mirror to brighten up our room.
I found the earring/jewelry bird stand at a garage sale for $2!  I was so thrilled when I spotted it at the garage sale!!!
I went ahead and added some of my favorite earrings to remind me to wear them more often.  Since I'm no longer working and no need to dress up for work, I tend to wear my simple pearl earrings daily...boring.

I hope to continue on this spring cleaning streak on a daily basis if I can, but without going to an extreme...I tend to do that.  My house (which really needs it) and Hubby will be thankful I am doing this!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Bunny Lantern

I simply can't believe Easter is almost here!!!
 For the last couple of days I have been adding little touches of spring and Easter throughout our home.
This is my decorated Easter Bunny lantern gracing our dining room table.
I made this lantern for myself late in December for Christmas using five picture frames; which by the way I never got a chance to take a picture of it.
The bunnies inside the lantern are from Target Dollar Spot, and the little "Bunnies" sign is from one of my favorite little boutique/shop here in town.
The rest of the supplies are mostly from the good old Dollar Tree Store.
It was so easy to create this Bunny Vignette.  All it took was adding Easter grass, eggs and the bunnies.  The tray is a recent acquisition from a local church rummage sale.  I believe I paid like $2 for it.  I got it just before the rummage sale was closing and packing up on their last day of the sale.

By the way, my friend Gin and I had a lot of fun finding great garage sales the last couple of weekends!
Cooking and Crafting with J & J #137

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Page Stamping & Coloring

my MOOD lately ~
Learning something new: Book Page stamping and coloring
I'm pretty sure I can master this new-to-me technique.  What a great way to use up all of those leftover torn book pages from making wreaths.

What you allow
Is what will continue

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Valentine Snail Mail

Two weeks ago, I finally had the motivation and created a little Valentine gift in my dusty and forgotten craft room.
My intention was to make Valentine cards for all of my dear and close family and friends.  Unfortunately I only had the energy and time to make just one.  The good thing about this experience is that it has made me spend at least 20-30 minutes daily in my craft room and has motivated me to work on more crafts.  Not only that, it has also made me blog's a start!
 While organizing one of my "crafts" closet, I came across a stack of CD covers/holders (chipboard) I've had for years!!!  The idea struck me that I could use them to create a kind of pocket card with them.
I had so much fun working on this card!  I used all kinds of embellishments, used up scrap paper and ribbon and stickers, and...

~D for Deb~ 
This is the first page as you open the card all decorated sweetly for my friend.
In the upper right hand corner, you can see the little folded note card for Deb; and I used a heart sticker to keep it sealed.

 This is the second page of the card with a with a beautiful quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.  I finally had a chance to use this very pretty lace and applied it to the edge of the flap/pocket.
 I created this cute layered tag.  Tea bags tucked under each layer.

This was my very first attempt at making a wand and I was so happy how it turned out!!!  I used a cupcake liner for part of the flower and a plastic straw for the wand.  I also made the small distressed layered flower.
 I added all kinds of heart-related goodies for Deb to use as she sees fit.  I included a little shaker pocket (lower right hand corner) filled with love.
To make the shaker I cut a pocket from a baseball card holder.  I filled the plastic pocket with confetti, hearts, sentiment and sealed it with pretty Washi Tape.
Deb loves Mary Engelbreit, and I included a teapot pin for her to add to her collection.

I want daisies in my hair,
Peace in my soul, and
Love in my Heart.