The Little Things

Lot’s of sunshine, seasonable temperatures, and the little things made today a perfect fall day in the Finger Lakes.  It was one of those days when I felt like a lot got done.   I baked homemade cinnamon pumpkin (yeast) bread, made an apple pie, AND whipped up a dish of coleslaw for dinner to boot.

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like spending that much time in my kitchen!

Once I closed the kitchen down for the afternoon I headed out for some fresh air.  These little plants, or should I say weeds, were begging to have their pictures taken.  And so I obliged and I even gave them each a caption.

Sunny Fall Flowers
Sunny and Bright; Yellow and White
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More Pink Than Purple
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Pretty and Periwinkle

What kind of weekend did you have?  Busy, slow, productive, or not so much?

 

 

 

PicMonkey Makes Photo Editing Simple

 

Have you ever worked with photo editing programs?  And if so, are you intimidated by them?  A long time ago I  purchased a photo editing program that I found wasn’t very user friendly.  Since then I’ve played around with some of the programs on-line and I’ve found PicMonkey  to be my favorite.  I can easily enhance, add text, make a collage, or turn an ordinary photo into the unordinary.  

This isn’t a sponsored post, it’s just me gabbing about a website that I’ve found quite useful in my blogging.   And because  I’m  somewhat  frugal, I work off of the basic (free) PicMonkey program.  But if you are willing to spend a few bucks then you can upgrade to their Royale package for $4.99 a month, or $33.00 annually, and the first month trial is free.

The photo above has been slightly enhanced through the photo gallery program on my computer.  Just a little tweaking was done to brighten the images and correct the color before I uploaded them to PicMonkey to make my collage. 

From this point forward I’m going to show you just how creative you can be using  PicMonkey.  In the pictures below  I used multiple design options.  My suggestion is to sit down and play with the program and get familiar with it.  I think you’ll see that there are plenty of features to keep you busy.  If you run your cursor over the image it will tell you what photo process I applied to each photo.

 

If you have a favorite image above please go ahead and share it on Pinterest – one of my most favorite places to hang out!

Brightening a Cloudy Day

Yesterday was a fairly dreary day here in the Finger Lakes. Clouds and rain filled the sky.  However, plans had been made.  My daughter and her husband were going apple picking (rain or shine) and they promised to bring us a taste of their harvest.  In return, I offered to make Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese for dinner.  A fair trade in both our opinions.  We always like to fill our family’s bellies when we have them for dinner, and considering that most of our family doesn’t like to cook, it’s a fairly easy task for us to accomplish. 

When my daughter walked in the door her hands were full with a bright and colorful bouquet of flowers.  Apples were not the only thing she had been picking.  What a perfect way to brighten an otherwise cloudy day. 

I couldn’t resist taking pictures of these flowers to share here on my blog.  As for the Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese, the recipe will be forthcoming one of these days.  And the apples?  I’m going to make a batch of homemade applesauce.

Hope these help color your day bright!

Easy To Make Party Favors

If you’ve got the time, making your own party favors is the perfect way to deliver a bit of uniqueness at any party you are hosting.

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When I needed to come up with a party favor idea for an 80th birthday party for my mother in-law, I searched the internet for ideas but nothing really stood out at me.  I ended up digging out my faithful Cricut and some card stock paper which saved the day. 

A favor shouldn’t just be pretty in my opinion, it should include a tasty treat as well.  So for this, I opened boxes of  delicious, 100% natural, Ovation chocolate covered candy sticks courtesy  of Sweet Works Candy

I covered each candy stick in a pretty green wrapping paper and used them for the stem of each flower I created.

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Now, everyone will find a surprise in their favor.  The flavors of the Ovation candies that guests will get to sample include; Irish Cream, Orange, Cappuccino, Mint, and Dulce de Leche.

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Do you like being creative and making your own party favors, or do you let someone else do the work for you?

Summer is… And a vintage camper update

Summer is hot – 100 degrees here today!  My baking has been replaced with sugar-free Popsicle’s.

Summer brings beautiful flowers, and with beautiful flowers comes bugs.  Some are more obvious than others.

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Summer is a time to work on projects that otherwise might be neglected.  Below is the latest picture of the Pink Paradise.

I’m hoping to get some trim work up in her when things cool down a bit.

The big change here?  Re-upholstered cushions.  I have to thank my father in-law for making them for me.  He graciously made the covers for me after I picked up enough off-white vinyl at the Gunlocke Company outlet store to cover all four cushions for $21 bucks – a true steal!

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Yea!  It’s finally starting to come together.  The stove has been thoroughly cleaned and put back together.  The wallpaper is up, and a television/entertainment center is in the works at the rear of the camper.  I’m saving that for the next post because I like to keep you guessing – lol…

What is summer to you? 

Peonies Are In Blossom

Most of this weekend was spent working on the Pink Paradise and we made a considerable amount of progress.  I’ll be sharing an update with you later this week.

What I didn’t do this weekend was bake.  I have had an idea for a cookie bar that’s been stuck in my head and I can’t wait to make them and see how they turn out.  When I get around to making them I’ll share those too!

What I couldn’t resist sharing today are some pictures I took of our peonies.  Aside from lilacs, peonies have to be one of my most favorite fragrant flowers.  It’s too bad that the fragrant flowers have such a short bloom time.

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What did you do this last weekend?  Bake anything good we should know about? 

Stop and smell the flowers

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I’ve been somewhat absent from my blog the last few weeks.  I don’t like it either.  I have a whole list of things that I want to write about, but no time lately to prepare each post. 

I promise I’ll be back in full swing soon.  In the meantime, stop and smell the flowers.

Lilacs and peonies are two of my favorite spring flowers.  What are yours?

 

 

 

Be creative; make your own cupcake picks

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When I was a little girl my mom would take my sister and I to a local bakery, and on occasion, she would let us pick out a cupcake as a treat.

The first criteria in picking out my cupcake was usually it’s flavor.  Chocolate usually won out over vanilla.  But sometimes the decorations won me over before the flavor did. 

I loved the cupcake picks the bakery used, and I imagine today they might even be described as vintage.  Ah, nostalgia…

Recently, I decided to make my own cupcake picks.  Although they are not identical to the picks I got in my cupcakes as a little girl, they are very bright and cheery.  Something most of us could use a little more of during the winter months.

With a little help from a Cricut that my hubby bought me a couple years ago – my plan came together.  

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You can be as creative as you want making these.  Different shapes, colors, layers – it’s all up to you. 

 

 

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I opted to make a variety of hearts since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  And I couldn’t resist making a large bouquet of flowers that radiate fun.

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The only thing these picks are missing?  Cupcakes…

Now for the best part of this post.  I just couldn’t keep all of these bright cupcake picks to myself.  So, I’m giving away one dozen picks (6 hearts and 6 flowers) to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post between now and when the contest officially ends at noon  January 18th. The winner will be picked randomly. Good luck!

Thanks for entering the giveaway.  The contest is officially closed and we have a winner.  Congratulations Debbie Alve!