Friday, March 30, 2012

Thunderstorms and lemonade

This morning I found myself at Meijer while the rain poured down, the thunder clashed and the hail hit the roof so hard it was almost all you could hear in the store. Since I was without an umbrella, I found myself shopping a little slower, trying to wait out the storm.  While browsing around the produce section I came across strawberries in the marked down basket. They looked ripe, but not too mushy and it was a big ole pack for only 0.98 cents! That's a deal I couldn't pass up, after all it seems everytime I buy strawberries I have to throw out almost half because they are too cruddy anyway. I figured even if I threw out half of them, I would still be ahead. Once I got home I noticed that I also had a few lemons that needed to be used up, and so the idea of fresh strawberry lemonade was born!
I was shocked to see how nice the berries looked!

First I googled strawberry lemonade and came up with a recipe from Heather's Dish.

She suggested using the whole lemon rind included, which I had never heard of.  I did use a simple syrup recipe instead of adding the water and sugar separately.  This is basically bringing a cup of water and a cup of sugar to a boil on the stove top and then allowing to cool.  

After blending the lemons and syrup, I added 1 cup of strawberries and blended.
This is how it looked.

I would be happy to drink it with all the pulp, but I know my kids would not like it that way, so I strained the pulp and kept the juice.  Afterward I added water to fill the pitcher.  

I do have to say, I had to add more sugar.  I think the rinds add a more tart taste so it's not as sweet as when you just use the juice.  Next time I would just use the lemon juice and leave out the rinds.
Not to say it tastes bad, because it doesn't. 
It was very tasty and fresh.  I would just leave out the  rinds so I wouldn't have to add more than a cup of sugar. 

 It's a sugar control thing and not a taste thing. 
Get it? If your a mom, I think you do.  

So it's not only tasty but beautiful too.

I still had lots of strawberries left over after this, so I also made a strawberry juice concentrate and froze it for another day.  I'll post the recipe for that another time. 


And so it was me and my lemonade on a rainy spring day, dreaming of summertime. . . . 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peep pops

This is an easy one.  I actually made these last year for my daughter's 6th grade class.  I admit she was embarrassed by them at first.  But judging by the mob of children and teachers trying to get one, I am calling them a success.   
Here's all you need:
lollipop sticks (from Micheal's)
melting chocolate
decorative candy

Pop the marshmallow on the stick pushing it down far enough so you can stick the peep on top.
Push on the peep.
Lay flat and drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle on candy. Dry.
It seriously took me less than 15 minutes to make over 40.  No baking required.  
To hold them,  I poked a hole in a shoe box with a screw driver.  Make sure the screw driver is slightly smaller than the diameter of the stick or they will fall over.

Hope you enjoy this quick and simple idea!


The 36th AVENUE

Monday, March 12, 2012

boys room reveal

Over the last few weeks I've been working on my son's room.  I am so happy to share the results with you today.  This was a tough room for me.  First of all, this was how the room looked when we moved in.  So although I had never decorated this room into a young boys theme, I was redecorating the room into a more grown-up space.  Not an easy task for a mama whose little boy is growing up.  It's hard to believe he will be 9 next month.  My second challenge came in decorating in a football theme.  I am not a big sports fan, so channeling my inner sports fan was not easy.  In the end I decided to go with a more classic theme and only add in football related accessories.  I explained that if in a few years he wanted to change the theme it would be easy enough to just change out the accessories.  He seems to have bought that - whew.

So here is the before shot.

And here is the after!
I love how much larger the room looks and feels.  Not to mention how much cleaner.  There is no better spring cleaning than a fresh coat of paint!

Enjoy your week!  


Closet after - see closet organization here

Football sign made with scrapbook paper and pressed wood letters.

Home Stories A2Z

Thrifty Decor Chick

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Frog Tape VS Scotch Blue with Edge lock

I know you are probably sitting around and wondering, "What's better, Frog Tape or Scotch Blue?"  Well I think I may DO have the answer!  

They both cost almost exactly the same.  Which is how I must of ended up with both in house at the same time.  I was adding some stripes to my son's room (even though I swore off adding stripes after the nursery incident, but I digress) and I only had enough Frog tape to make it once around the room, so I finished up with the blue tape.  I used the same method on both tapes, since I wanted this to be a true controlled experiment.  Once the tape was up and firmly sealed down I used the underneath wall color to paint once around the room.  I've read about this method and it is supposed to seal off the tape and eliminate the feathering and bleeding that is so frustrating.  

Then I painted.  As you can see it's Frog on the bottom and Blue on the top.

is. . .

Frog! Clearly.  Look at those nice smooth lines along the bottom.  The top, not so much.

So next time you are painting, I recommend Frog Tape.  I know it's going to be my ONLY choice from now on!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Closet - Shambles to organized!

This WAS my son's closet.  I am not proud, but it was the reality.  He wanted his room painted, but
I could not do ANYTHING in there until I addressed this! Not completely his fault.  When we moved into this house 3 years ago none of the closets had any organization.
I wish it was as easy as waving a magic wand, but it took way longer than I thought it would.  But it's the end result that matters, right?  So here it is now.

I took these plain wood boxes from Ikea, and stained them, added some rope as handles, and a chalk board label.

The stainless steel bins are from Lowes.

Look there is even some extra room!  I wish I could invite you over a month from now, and it would still look like this. . . . A mother can dream can't she?

Up next?  The newly decorated room.  Still in the process of finishing it, be patient it's coming!
Momma Hens Coop

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wine Tasting party

Wine Tasting Party 2012

Last night I invited a small group of friends to my very first Wine tasting Party.  It was a great time!  I decided that this should be a blind tasting, so out of paper wine bags, burlap, and raffia I fashioned some cute wine bottle hiders.    The only thing guest knew was if it was red or white (designated by the tag around the neck of the bottle).

A wine tasting rating sheet was given to each guest (graphics compliments of Graphic Fairy) .  Rating were kept very simple with 5 loving it, to 1 a very diplomatic "I don't care for this wine".  This didn't stop my friends from creating their own 0 and negative ratings!

And then there was all the yummy foods!
Cheeses, fruits, nuts
cakes, chocolates, dips
It seemed the food just kept on coming!  Everything was so delicious!

Here are some girls at the tasting table.

The conversationalists.


It was a wonderful relaxing night.  I am so grateful to have such a nice bunch of friends.  

Here are a few of the decorations of the night.  

This is my grandparents wedding photo from 1924, printed onto transfer paper and transfered onto a canvas bag.  I then cut off the top handles, and plan on making it into a pillow sometime soon.  Right now it's home is on an extra frame with chicken wire.

I made this runner with a graphic from the Graphic Fairy, doesn't she have the best printables!?
Doilies with printed numbers helped to keep the wine bottles in the right place. 

  Hope you enjoyed reading about my wine tasting party as much as I enjoyed sharing it!  


The Graphics Fairy

Friday, March 2, 2012

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

I know it's a little silly, but I've always been intrigued by those bags lemons come in. 

Seemed wasteful to just toss it, so I grabbed an apothecary jar(owned it), and a strand of yellow garland (Micheal's $4),  wrapped it around the top....

Pulled the bag over the glass (and yes I cut the tag off the bottom and tied it off).

Filled it with lemons, and I think it's a really pretty spring accessory!