Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crazy for Aqua!

I originally thought this post was just going to be about the aqua touches I have been adding to my front porch. I started adding my new favorite color last year with this vintage chair I got at a barn sale for $2 and the reproduction vintage watering can I probably paid too much for! This year I have just gone more crazy for aqua and keep finding new ways to add it in.

And, as I was working around the yard and even when I went for a walk I realized I had even more aqua to show you.

Starting on the front porch....
I saw this idea for a colander planter a while ago and I just happened to have picked up the aqua colander purely for it's color. I found the weighing plate of a vintage kitchen scale at a local vintage/gift shop. I had a hook on the front porch just waiting for something new. I planted Lobelia in it and now I am just waiting for it all to fill in and out.

I found the chair with the rush seat on the side of the road last year and immediately painted it in aqua chalk paint. Picking through my own basement turned up the 80's style birdcage that got a quick spray paint of a lighter aqua.

The nest was found in our yard under the pine tree and the paper mache birdie was already in the cage.

Even my little hand painted flower pot has aqua flowers!

I found this great iron wall hanging at a yard sale last year and it just ended up in the basement. Finding it again in all my porch stuff was fun and I knew it too was going to get a coat of light aqua. I only did one coat and kinda liked how the original dark color came through. I left it like that for now and hung it up.

A close up.....does it need another coat?

The original brass house numbers are in an odd spot and so darkened that no one can find my house! I got the brilliant idea to paint them aqua! They show now!

Just around the side of the front porch is a small area where iris are planted. I stuck this hand made teacup garden stake in there. The plate and hand painting just happens to be aqua!

Down the side of the house are massive amounts of greenery and varieties of foliage that were here when we bought the house. These cute Forget Me Nots are aqua and I love when they appear every year.

There are some on the other side of the yard too!

Another item picked from my own house is this wire planter. I spray painted it aqua last year when the aqua craze started. The Lobelia is starting to fill in.

This chair was lovingly painted aqua last year and then it got quite worn over the summer from all the rain. I took it out this year to repaint it and decided I really liked the bare look with just a hint of color. Those huge impatiens better fill out to 12" wide like the girl at the garden center told me!

I have decided that I love all shades of aqua....pale, like on the birdcage, to the bright, rich aqua like on the colander and all the other shades in between.
I recently bought a pair of Skecher's for a diabetes walk I was going on. I chose them for the color of the shoelaces.

I would love to add aqua somewhere inside the house, and I have a plan in the works, but that is for a winter project and a future post!

Is there a color you just can't get enough of?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

 Share Your Style
What's It Wednesday
Chic By You Wednesday Linky Party
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
 Home and GardenThursday
Vintage Inspiration Party
Share Your Cup Thursday
Best of the Weekend
Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Anything Blue Friday
Something to Talk About Link Party
Make It Pretty Monday

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

It's Rhubarb season in my area and Strawberries will be coming along in June.
I made my first Strawberry Rhubarb Pie yesterday and my oh my was it good. The only recipe I ever use is from my Betty Crocker's Cookbook from the 1970's. That cookbook is in rough shape, proving how much I have used it over the past 30+ years and how enduring the recipes are.
The rhubarb was from a local farm and was given to me as a gift. It was huge. It was about 3" wide by 2 feet long....really! Sorry I didn't get a picture of it. I have enough for at least two more pies. It freezes well in a plastic freezer bag.
I had to use store-bought strawberries, which aren't as sweet as local, but this recipe has enough sugar in it to make anything sweet!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Pastry for 9" two crust pie ( I cheat and use Pillsbury's All Ready Pie Crust)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
2 cups cut up 1/2" pieces of rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry in your pie plate.
 Stir together sugar, flour and orange peel.
Turn 1 cup of the rhubarb and one cup of the
strawberries into the pie crust and
sprinkle half the sugar mixture on top.
Repeat with remaining rhubarb, strawberries and sugar mixture.
Dot with butter. Cover with top crust, seal and flute.
 Cut slits into the top. Sprinkle with sugar.
Cover the edge of the pie with foil to prevent excessive browning.
Remove the foil the last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes. or until crust is brown and juice bubbles out of slits.
Enjoy this sweet, tart pie either warm or cold with whipped cream. It is quite juicy so I could not get a good piece out of the pie plate for a mouthwatering, enticing picture!
It's not about the presentation, it's about the taste!
AnnMarie xoxo
 I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Flour Sack Cafe Curtains

I didn't even know I needed new café curtains in my kitchen....

Until I walked by this end cap in Walmart, and there they were! The cutest pattern that would go so perfect in my cobalt blue and white kitchen, where I have recently been adding touches of red. They are flour sack towels so there would be some sewing to do. So easy to make with basic sewing skills.
The first thing I did was wash them to soften them up a bit.
Then be sure to cut the tag off (it shows through!) first. I forgot with the first panel and had to cut it out all wedged in between the seams!
I turned the top of the towel over 3 1/2" and pinned it down.
Then I sewed a 5/8" seam across the top. It's easy to do with the markings on the machine!
I then added another seem about an inch from the first for the casing for the café curtain rod.
I tacked the sides of the casing down and done! The bottom was already finished, being the bottom of the towel. By then my machine was making awful screeching noises so I had to be done!
Here they are hung up!

There is one of my added touches of red....the dish pan!
They cost $6.01 (with tax!) and took about 10 minutes to sew up.
I love them for Spring and Summer to add a little fun and whimsy to my kitchen.
Have you made anything fun from something you found at Walmart?
AnnMarie xoxo
 I am linking up with these great blog parties:


Monday, May 4, 2015

Brownie Trifle


a cold dessert of sponge cake and fruit covered with layers of custard, jelly, and cream"
Or whatever ingredients your little heart desires!

I am the kind of baker that likes to have too many goodies as opposed to not enough to share when I bake for an event or a meal but often have lots of leftovers! Am I the only baker like that?

Dessert is the most important part of the meal to me but others like to fill up during the meal and leave no room for it, even though I constantly remind them to do so throughout the meal!

Such was the case when we held our Grand Opening Open House for the new facility for our community theatre. Too many desserts despite my promptings to please indulge in them!

I just can't stand throwing anything sweet out even though some were just a box brownie mix (really good from Aldi's, by the way!)  I stuck them all in the freezer knowing someday soon there would be an occasion to use them up. There were frosted brownies and Oreo M & M bars.

They were so moist that it was hard to cut them square
let alone pick them up to eat.  I had to put them in little paper cups.
This past weekend I needed a dessert to bring to a picnic at my daughter's. Luckily I had some cool whip, a box of instant chocolate pudding on hand and of course all my frozen goodies in the freezer! Brownie Trifle!

I made the pudding, defrosted the cool whip and goodies and in about 10 minutes I had a really easy, quick, decadent dessert.....Trifle.

I used a medium size glass mixing bowl and started the layering with the pudding. I have a trifle bowl like the one in the first picture but just can't bring myself to take it out of the house where it can be broken! All you need is a glass bowl so you can see your layers when you are done.

Add some broken up brownies and Oreo bars on top of the pudding, a layer of cool whip and repeat till the bowl is filled.
Mine ended with pudding so I just sprinkled some more brownies and used up the rest of the cool whip. Sprinkles on top are optional!

Mmmm, look at this from the side....
I did not get a chance to get a picture of a scoop of this yummy dessert in a bowl. It was devoured in a few minutes, even though the guests all had their fill of hot dogs and hamburgers!
Who can resist chocolate at the end of a meal filled with comfort food?
Not me!
AnnMarie xoxo
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Be still.....

and know that I AM

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)
Wishing you a peaceful Sunday
AnnMarie xoxo
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Friday, May 1, 2015

April One Day at a Time

Time for another look at every day life here in Upstate day at a time. A fun thing to do throughout the month and then fun to share!

April 1st

Still lots of snow in my yard :-(

April 2

I had 15 minutes to spare so I quick ran into my favorite thrift store. Score! The frame may be getting a makeover, the jadeite plate is a very special find and the silver fork and spoon already has that great natural verdigris on it.

April 3

Decorating cut-out cookies with Cassidy, an annual fun afternoon we've been doing since she was about 4 years old. I have pictures of this pose every year. She will turn 10 on the 11th!

April 4
NaNa and Nonno (Italian for grandfather) delivered the Easter baskets to Chloe and JC. We will all be going separate ways on Easter Sunday. The pink basket for Chloe is my daughter Jena's basket from her childhood. The plush car for JC was my son's when he was a baby.
 April 5

Easter Sunday. We went to Sticky Lips BBQ Sunday brunch with a side of gospel. Great southern food....dirty rice, shrimp and grits, brisket, mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles. Plus breakfast food including the best banana pudding. Different gospel groups perform each week. These guys were great!

When we left....SNOW!

April 6

Can you see it? There by the base of the tree? That's the first sign of Spring in my yard!

 April 7

Thirty years ago today on Easter Sunday, my daughter Jena was born. The sweet, young child has grown into a sweet, caring woman and I am proud to have her as my daughter and friend.

April 8
It is a cold, rainy damp day and I am feeling under the weather! Does that mean I feel worse than the weather is?! Here is a bright spot in my day. A second flower bloomed on my pretty red Asiatic Lily, an Easter gift from Jena.

April 9

A little over a week later and finally the snow has mostly disappeared.

This is all that is left!!

 April 10

Baking, baking, baking for the open house at our new facility for Impact Theatre's Christian Arts & Cultural Center. A great example of God closing one door and opening another! More on that in a future post!
I made a boxed brownie that is so moist I had to put them in mini cupcake cups, my famous biscotti, my famous oatmeal cookies and a new cake recipe I just had to try to make sure it was good! It was great!

 April 11

A scene from the Open House. My friend Bonnie was there knitting to promote The Knit Whits Prayer Shawl Ministry. Our friend Karl, my son Michael and her husband Lou thought they'd join in.

Fred, who is 85 years young, was painting in front of the gallery wall of his life's work, all donated to Impact Theatre to raise funds.

 April 12

Cassidy's 10th Birthday party. Blowing out the candles with cousin Chloe.

April 13
First Spring day playing catch. It was 80 degrees today!

 April 14

I am so sick today. My closest allies.

 April 15

Had to graduate up to this medicine. Double the mg. Hopefully it works.

 April 16, 17

The view from my bed where I spent the last two days. It was as dismal as it looks!

April 18
The winter in the northeast did a lot of damage to roofs from heavy snow. The repairs begin.

April 19th

Today was supposed to be my daughter's 30th birthday party.....rescheduled till next week because I'm still sick! :-(

April 20th

I gave in and went to the doctor. First day I could get out of bed anyways! Sinus infection. Antibiotic. Yuck.

April 21st

Had to take my son Michael to the doctors. Sinus, chest pain. He had a collapsed lung last July so there is always the fear of that again. Antibiotic, chest x-ray. All Clear! Had to get groceries and had to thrift, just a little!

April 22

The Forsythia is starting to bloom!

April 23

WHAT??!!?? I woke up to this blanket of white stuff this morning. But...but...but my daffodils are bloomed and my tulip leaves are up!!

You can just barely see the little yellow daffodils in the foreground and
the green in front of the garden chair are the tulips.
 April 24

Ya know when you have to make all the food for a party and today is too soon but tomorrow there won't be enough time in the day? Lots of my menu falls into that category! But  I decided to cheat a little and make the angel food cake tonight. I figured it would be okay till Sunday when I make lemon parfaits out of it. It has been a long time since I've made angel food cake.....anyone know why they make you cool it upside down?

April 25

Watching Mickey on Nonno's computer.....

Oh! Nana's taking pictures!

April 26

Finally, I was able to have the 30th Birthday party for my daughter Jena!

with baby JC

with her mason jar lemon parfait "birthday cake" and dark chocolate pistachio cookies
April 27
Every year my family and I walk the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Rochester, NY in a team called Cassidy's Crusaders for my 10 year old granddaughter Cassidy who has Type 1 diabetes. Adding to that this year is the MS walk in Canandaigua, NY for my son-in-law Britt who was just diagnosed with MS. I need some new sneakers! I went straight to Skechers and couldn't decide because they are both cute and comfortable. I might have to keep both!
 April 28

 Been craving homemade banana pudding since we had it southern style at brunch on Easter. This is how mine came out!

April 29
I spent a little time outside today in the gorgeous weather and noticed that my tree on the edge of our property has really leaned over even more than ever! I kinda like it.

April 30

Bye, bye April!

Happy May to you!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Best of the Weekend