Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This week I would like to invite you to my friend Sue's Shabby Mosaic Cottage. She also sells on eBay now and then and I just love the shabby suitcase she has up for auction right now!

Sue does the most beautiful mosaic pieces.....just take a look at her website. When I visited her in New Hampshire last summer I was lucky enough to see one of Sue's mosaic tables before it was shipped to the buyer and I can personally attest to the quality and beauty of Sue's mosaic pieces. So take a few minutes, visit Sue's website and then drop by her blog and say will enjoy your visit!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Free Helpful Hints

Easy-Peel Bananas. If you peel a banana from the bottom you won't have to pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how all the primates do it.

Storing Bananas. Separate bananas when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen much faster.

Storing Cheese. Store opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. The cheese will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Picking Peppers. Bell Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Bell Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Remove grease from meat. Add a teaspoon of water when sauting ground beef. It helps pull grease away from meat.

Leftover Candy Bars. Snickers bars leftover from Halloween or Christmas make a delicious dessert if chopped up with a food processor or sharp knife and baked with apples. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle chopped candy bars over them. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Reheating Pizza. Heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove. Set burner to med-low and heat until topping is warm. This keeps crust crisp. No soggy microwaved pizza. Saw this on a cooking show and it really works.

Easy Fancy Deviled Eggs:
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash until they are broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, and keep squishing until thoroughly mixed and soft. Cut the tip off the baggy and squeeze mixture into eggs in a pretty design or swirl. Easy cleanup; when done, just throw away the bag.

Reheating Refrigerated Bread.
To warm biscuits, pancakes, muffins, or bread that was refrigerated, place in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper Weeds Away.
Start putting wet newspapers in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Put layers around the plants, overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic but not wet newspapers.

Broken Glass. Use wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up small shards of glass you can't easily see.

No More Mosquitoes. Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away. Really!! Try it!

Squirrel Away! To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle plants with cayenne pepper. The pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Reducing Static Cling. This one is AMAZINE! Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a problem with a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works when wearing panty hose under your slacks. Put a pin in the seam of each leg of your slacks and --TA-DA! -- static Is gone. The metal in the pin dissipates the static electricity!

Measuring Cups.
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water then dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter or cooking oil or shortening or marshmallow creme or honey, etc. and watch how easily it comes right out.

New Use for Conditioner. Use hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it on your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies and Gnats! To get rid of pesky fruit flies or gnats, fill a small glass with 1/2" Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish-washing liquid and mix well. Flies are drawn to the cup where they drown. Just pour them into the commode or down the sink.

Get Rid of Ants. Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home but can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works, without the worry about pets or small children being harmed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just a few things I've been working on.....

I just finished this shabby cottage style desk set....a letter try and standing organizer for mail, CDs, bills, or other whatnots. I painted them with three coats of Country White paint and then shabbied them up with sandpaper. The inside of the letter tray is lined with pretty pink floral paper. These items are sold separately in the Organize Your Home category on my website.


I've also been working on this handbag/tote for the new Cottage Heirlooms category on my website. It is crafted from a repurposed quilted pillow sham and lined with a repurposed quilted rosebud pattern bedspread. I used the "ragged" technique and it is soooo soft and cushy now!!!

This isn't all I've been working on though.....I'm finally going to have a own place for bringing to life all of the ideas I have running around in my head right now! I'm painting and furnishing my studio so that it will a very nurturing space for my creations......and also a very organized space. No more paint/paper/sewing machine on the dining room table for this girl....yea! I'll have pictures of the completed project for my Show and Tell post in a few weeks though.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Mamo's Shrimp Salad

This is a salad my grandmother made in the summertime for as far back as I can remember. It is great for those days when it is so hot outside you don't even feel like eating. I am not listing amounts, just the ingredients. How much you made depends on how many you are feeding. Enjoy!

Butter lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
Boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
Tomato, chopped
Green onions, chopped (optional)
Canned baby shrimp, drained

Toss all ingredients with a dressing made of lemon juice and black pepper.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I am starting a new feature on my blog where I will be introducing you to one of my favorite e-shops each week. I am going to start off with my friend Francie's shop, The Scented Cottage. I can personally attest to the quality of Francie's products.
Her wax melters and scented waxes are "to die for" and her other products are just lovely! One of her best-selling melters is the Garden Bird Melter seen above. She also carries mini-yardlong prints and I recently ordered two from her....they are absolutely gorgeous! Here is a pretty one she is offering right now.
Receiving your order from The Scented Cottage is an event in itself. Francie takes pride in her packaging and it definitely shows! Take a few minutes and browse through The Scented Cottage" where Francie's goal is "making your home 'sweet' home".


This week's recipe is quick and easy!

Good and Easy Grilled Pork Chops

Marinate 4 lean pork chops in 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing and 1/4 cup canola oil while grill or broiler is heating. Grill for about 7 minutes on each side, or until done. Voila!

Bake potatoes in the microwave while the chops are grilling, put bagged salad in a bowl, and your meal is complete in 15 minutes or less!