Monday, April 25, 2011

Ideas for my future sis-in-law's wedding!

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings
(This twist on this old-fashioned paper chain is that it is made with vellum and double sided tape.)

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings
(Although I don't care for the colors of this wedding, I think the whimsical chandelier is fun.  Use translucent fabrics in the same color family.  You can even spray paint the embroidery ring.)

Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings
Martha Stewart Weddings
(I love these tulle pom-poms, and I am sure they are easy to make!) Photo above shows a centerpiece designed by Melissa. She used the 8" round mirror and sheer ribbon with grapevine (you could also use twig ribbon) inside the hurricane shade to make this wonderful candle centerpiece. From Anthony and Melissa's wedding

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

17 miniature ice cream bars
1 (12 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
1 (12 oz) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
heath bar chips

Arrange ice cream sandwiches in an ungreased 13" x 9" casserole dish.  Cut remaining sandwiches to fill in the spaces.  Spread caramel on top of sandwiches and sprinkle with heath chips, reserve some to sprinkle on the top of the dessert.  Next, spread the whipped topping over caramel and heath chips.  Drizzle chocolate syrup over the whipped topping and sprinkle with reserved heath chips.  Cover and freeze for at least 45 minutes.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Joy's Stromboli

In college, I was known as the girl who could make homemade stromboli, dough and all.  In fact, it was the very first thing I made for my husband's mom when we were dating while attending Ohio University.  I remember impressing her by shredding my own mozzarella and baking with yeast.  And although I love my recipe for stromboli, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing; and that is exactly what happened with my husband and my stromboli.  Now I bake a new version given to me by one of my best friends, Joy.  Let me tell you, change is good.


Joy's Stromboli

* I double this recipe.

1 loaf frozen Rhodes bread dough (lay out 7-8 hours on a greased cookie sheet, rub dough with oil and cover with cling wrap and a towel)
2 egg yolks, reserve the whites
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 pepper
2 tablespoons oil
pizza sauce, for dipping

My Favorite Toppings:
red bell peppers
red onions
fresh mushrooms

Punch down bread dough and spread out on cookie sheet like a rectangular pizza crust.  Mix the next 7 ingredients and spread on dough like butter.  Cover with cheese and toppings.  Roll like a jelly roll, place seem down on cookie sheet and tuck in ends.  Brush with scrambled egg white.  Bake at 350* F for 30-40 minutes.  Slice and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Three Things I Could Not Live Without in my Kitchen

It is true that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  It's where friends and family gather, it's the central communication hub, it's where kids tell their mommies how school was while eating their afternoon snack, and it's where sweet and savory foods create lasting memories.  I love everything about the kitchen and how it is the single most important space that makes a house a home.

As I was cleaning up after breakfast, it got me thinking, "What three things could I not live without in my kitchen?"  The first one instantly came to mind.  My coffee maker.  It's a simple white coffee maker by Braun.  There are no special bells or whistles to this magnificent gadget unless you count being able to program it, which I religiously do each night.  Morning after morning, my faithful coffee maker has steaming hot coffee ready for me; not too strong, not too weak.  With my Bible in one hand, and my cup of coffee in the other, I can start each day out right.  All of this coffee talk is making me want to brew some afternoon java.

The next thing that came to mind is my set of Wusthof knives, which was followed immediately by my OXO Salad Spinner.  They obviously go hand in hand, so I paired them together.  Every cook needs a good set of knives because if you don't it can really make cooking a chore.  More specifically, I couldn't live without my Wusthof pairing knife, tomato knife, and 8 inch chef's knife.  And oh, how I love my OXO Salad Spinner!  It makes making salad easy, it's entertainment for my kids who often fight over who gets to spin the salad first, and not to mention your salad tastes fresh, unlike the plastic taste you get from bagged salad greens.  I love knowing how well rinsed my veggies are and they dry in a jiffy. 

The last, but most important thing I could not live without in my kitchen is my recipe box filled with deliciously wonderful recipes given to me by friends and family.  The recipes are tried and true and come with fond memories of the persons they originated from.  And believe me, anyone can cook as long as he or she has good recipes; I am living proof!

So, I am throwing this question back at you.  What three things could you not live without in your kitchen?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Girl Talk

As promised, here are more pictures of the Girl Talk event hosted by the Pregnancy Care Center of Union County. 

Behind the scenes getting ready for Girl Talk 

The loving hearts of these God fearing women warmed my heart.  It was a blessing to serve the Lord along side of everyone who helped the PCC with their first ever "Girl Talk".

Beautiful Southern Porches

This gloomy, rainy day has me longing for the warmth and sunshine of summer.  I look forward to enjoying my quiet time and morning cup of Joe (well, let's be honest, more like several Joes) on our currently unfurnished back porch.  I desire to create a cozy, inviting and functional outdoor space.  I want splashes of color, a mixture of textures, eclectic accessories, and sweet aromas.  So, this dreary afternoon I have spent some time gathering inspiration from Southern Living because let's face it no one knows how to do up porches better than southerners.

He Opens and Closes

Our pastor's wife, Jennifer, often prays that "God will open doors no man can close, and close doors no man can open."  When I was searching for beautiful porch designs, I came across this picture and it reminded me of her prayer.  Currently, my younger (and much wiser) sister is living far away with her husband and baby.  I desperately pray that they can continue God's work, but be closer to home.  I miss her terribly and know she too desires to be close to family.  I have to patiently wait on the Lord to bring her and her sweet family home, and if it is His will, He will open doors no man can close, and close doors no man can open.

Festive Potted Pinwheels

Festive Potted Pinwheels

Decorative Pushpins

Decorative Pushpins

Looking for an adorable teacher gift or something to give your home office a little added "charm"? Check out these embellished pushpins from Better Homes and Gardens. I can't wait to make some for my kids' teachers!

Fabric Scraps Bowl

Fabric Scraps Bowl

Another wonderful way to use your fabric scraps!

Scrap Fabric Balls

Here is a reason why you should NEVER, EVER throw away your fabric scraps!  Aren't these fabric balls adorable?!  It's an excellent and inexpensive way to add a splash of color to your room, not to mention it is also fun, funky and green.  I also saw this technique applied to plastic Easter Eggs at

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens

New Use for Mint Tins

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

"Honey, don't throw away those Altoids tins!"  What a great way to put those cute little tins to use!  Simply cover the lid with scrapbook paper and use the tins to store your business cards.

Picnic Plate Flowers

Picnic Plate Flowers

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hello Kitty 4th Birthday Party

I can't believe my baby is four!  Where does the time go?  It seems like just yesterday I was just bringing her home from the hospital, and now she has become this precious little girl with a witty sense of humor and winning personality.  I couldn't possibly love her anymore than I do.  I wanted to make her first "friends" party a special one.  So, the night before her birthday, I decorated the kitchen and family room in pink and pops of teal.

It's amazing how much you can decorate with $15 dollars worth of party products!  The tissue pom-poms took a while to make, but they were definitely worth it!  I hung them from the chandelier with fishing line, so they appeared "floating".  I alternated light pink, dark pink and blue crape paper over the table, making a canopy and curtains.  I love the way it framed the table!  Leah picked out pink flowers from the Dollar Tree and the the pink tin cans came from the dollar bins from Target years ago.

The plastic table cloth was too big for the kitchen table, so I used the remnant on our sofa table and made a gift table.  It was a little short, but I still like how it coordinated with everything else. 

The look on Leah's face was priceless when she woke up and saw all of the pretty decorations!  She kept saying, "Wow, Mom!  Look, Mom! Thank you, Mommy!"  I think she definitely felt like a very special birthday girl.  Enjoy viewing her birthday party pics! 

I love you Leah!  Happy 4th Birthday!!!

Five minute Dollar Tree candle make-over

If you have some candles in need of a quick make-over, this project is for you!  I bought two battery operated candles at the Dollar Tree last November and decided they needed a little something.  All you need is a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun.  I wrapped the candle in cream colored burlap, moss ribbon and jute, but you can wrap a candle is almost anything: ribbon and buttons, cinnamon sticks, scrapbook paper... the options are endless!