{Life, Unfiltered} 4.15.2014 – My Kind of Garden Party

The weather was absolutely gorgeous here this past weekend, so I jumped on the chance to get some serious gardening done before it started raining again. The boys helped me spread soil and sift out the rocks. We managed to get both of the backyard raised beds ready for planting (which is a good thing since there are trays and trays of seedlings, currently living under grow lights, that will want to move to their new homes soon!).

Raised Beds, Ready to Plant

Raised Beds – Ready to Plant

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{DIY} Twig Garden Markers ~ Anthropologie Knock-Off

How cute are these garden markers?! I ran across the Anthropologie version a while ago, and of course thought, I could totally make those…” So, now that garden season is upon us, I did! I am pleased to report that they were super fun & easy to make. So much so, in fact, that I think I may make some more as gifts. Tied up with a bit of twine, wouldn’t these would make a cute gift for a friend who loves to garden?

{DIY} Twig Plant Markers

{DIY} Twig Garden Markers

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{Wedding Inspiration Board} Lavender Fields

I adore lavender. The rustic, earthy quality that it gives to a bouquet. The way it imparts a subtle note of sophistication when it’s added to food. The intoxicating smell. I love its soft, sun-washed hues. I think they are absolute perfection for a spring or summertime wedding.

*If you like the flower crown featured below in the inspiration board, be sure to check back later this week. I’m doing my first ever giveaway, and the prize just might be one of these hair wreaths ;) To stay ‘in the know’, subscribe to my mailing list so you never miss another giveaway or sale!

Wedding Inspiration Board - Pale Orchid, Lavender & Amethyst

Wedding Inspiration Board – Pale Orchid, Lavender & Amethyst

Photo Credits: Lavender Place Setting, Photo by KT Merry via Style Me Pretty  //  Vintage Bottles in Shades of Lavender via Bridal Musings  //  Bride & Horse featuring a Sweet Little Sparrow Flower Crown, Photo by Paige and Blake Photography via Wedding Chicks  //  Flowing Gown & Olive Branches, Photo by Jose Villa  //  Lavender Sachet in Bride’s Hands, Photo by Paige and Blake Photography via Wedding Chicks  //  Honey Lavender Macaroons via Hint of Vanilla Continue reading

{Kitchen DIY} Make Your Own Chili Powder Spice Blend

{Kitchen DIY} Homemade Chili Powder Spice Blend

{Kitchen DIY} Homemade Chili Powder Spice Blend

My enthusiasm for DIY spills over into nearly every part of my life, and most definitely into my cooking. I’m not saying I never go the store bought route when buying ingredients, because sometimes I do. There are some ‘convenience foods’ that are just too darn, well, convenient to pass up. It’s just that I’m always wondering ‘hmmmmm, how could I make this myself?’

Having a husband who can eat virtually no sodium, I really can’t use very many pre-made ingredients, which challenges me to make things I might not have attempted otherwise. Really though, this is just an excuse I use to justify the many hours I spend on kitchen DIY projects. The truth is, I enjoy the process. I love knowing that I grew the tomatoes, harvested them, canned them, and then used them to cook something delicious. In fact, I’m pretty sure it makes the food taste just a little bit better (at least in my mind) when I know I’ve made it all from scratch. Plus, I know exactly what’s in it and where it came from – something that is becoming increasingly more important (and more unusual) in this age of industrialized food production.

My point is, that this, and many of my other kitchen diy projects, are probably not strictly necessary. There are lots perfectly good chili powder blends available at your local supermarket (or by mail order if you’re super picky like I am). I happen to really like my own version that I’m sharing here with you today, but I make it not because it’s cheaper, or easier, or better (although it is) than store bought – but because I like to. So, if you don’t enjoy the process, don’t bother. But if you’re like me, and part of the enjoyment is in the making, then I guarantee this chili powder will knock your socks off (and make your next batch of chili the best you’ve ever made)! Continue reading

Shop with Me!

I am super excited to share with you my latest addition to the blog, the “Shop with Me” section. I hate to admit it, but I spend a LOT of time online, during the course of which I find many (many) things I would like to buy. Some of them I purchase, but the rest go on my wishlist. (The really expensive and/or frivolous ones go on my “things I would buy if I was a bajillionaire” list.) Now, should you so desire, you can browse my personal wishlist(s)!

If you click the “shop” link at the top of the page, it will take you to my latest and greatest finds from around the web (updated daily, so be sure to check back often). Eventually it will be organized by category, and you will be able to choose which category you would like to browse. For now though I have only added one category (my personal fave), Women’s Clothing & Accessories. To check it out, click here: Shop with Me: Women’s Clothing & Accessories.

I will do my best to go through and delete links to items that are no longer available, but if you notice one that I’ve missed please drop me a line and let me know. Thanks!



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{DIY} Kool-Aid Playdough ~ Recipe & Instructions

If you’ve never made your own playdough before, this is the recipe to try. It’s super simple to make, and it turns out perfect every time. Plus, the Kool-Aid makes it smell yummy ;)

DIY Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe

DIY Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe

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{Recipe} Cardamom Apple Crisp

My husband and I have a long-standing disagreement when it comes to the relative merits of pie vs. crisp. He has always maintained a strong preference for crisp. While I appreciate its ease of preparation, I have always ranked it below pie in my dessert preference hierarchy (yes, I have a dessert preference hierarchy, so what?). Pie is prettier. I like to decorate the crust with fancy little cut-outs, and crimp the edges just so. Crisp just doesn’t have the same visual appeal. And the taste? Well, I have always thought of it as a darn close second to pie – but always second. That was until I tried this crisp. The crisp to rule all crisps. It is absolutely, positively perfect in every way. In fact, it is so mind-bogglingly delicious you won’t even care that it doesn’t come wrapped in a pretty crust. I never thought I’d say this, but I like this crisp better than any pie I have ever tasted in my entire life. I am a convert. All hail the mighty crisp.

Cardamom Apple Crisp with Almond Crumb Topping

Cardamom Apple Crisp with Almond Crumb Topping

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