Sunday, May 31, 2015

VACATION IN LISBON PORTUGAL

Are you in the planning stages of your next vacation? Summer is quickly approaching......

It can be a daunting experience, at least for me! I'm not the greatest planner, but hey everyone has their strengths. I'm OK with my hubby planning everything!  He always asks me to weigh in with my thoughts, and this time I kind of surprised him with my desire to go to Portugal. He wanted to take me to Paris for a belated anniversary gift.....so we ended up tacking Portugal on at the beginning of the trip. And what a lovely surprise it was for both of us!



Thursday, May 28, 2015

SCRUMPTIOUS PEACH CAKE

We went to visit our oldest daughter last weekend. While we were driving, I spotted a roadside stand selling Georgia peaches! I LOVE Georgia peaches!! We stopped and bought enough for some snacking as well as for a recipe that I've been wanting to share with you.....Easy Summer Peach Cake



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SOFA CUSHION DILEMMA

We had a sofa dilemma. Our sofas are 10 years old. They are excellent quality and have fared all of our moves very well. The fabric and frame look terrific, but the foam on the inside corners of the cushions were showing signs of wear.

I called Ethan Allen, and because of the age of the sofas, I was referred to an aftermarket gentlemen. I made the appointment for him to come to our home, and give us a quote on replacing the foam in the cushions. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

RED, WHITE & BLUE LAYER CAKES



This morning I got the cutest text from my niece with audio attached from her son, my great nephew. He's 3 years old going on 16! We'll be seeing him and meeting his new little brother in July. We just can't wait!

I've been on the "struggle bus" (as my youngest daughter calls it). I really wanted to create a blog post for Memorial Day, but I couldn't come up with an idea that was different from others floating around in Blogland. After the text from my niece today, it came to me....it's time to create a little something for the kiddies for Memorial Day. 

I had just purchased a box of 1/2 pint jars from Old Time Pottery. They would be the perfect size for "little hands" to hold. (I'm sure big hands would do well too!) It seems all kinds of food from salads to desserts appear in jars today. But I needed something red, white and blue that was edible and that children would enjoy. Take at look at what I came up with.......




How "fun" this Pillsbury Funfetti Aqua Blue cake mix will be in my Red, White and Blue Layer Cake. Bake the cake according to the directions on the packet.



Then slice strawberries, (our Red), very thin and cube the cake (our Blue) once it is cooled.


I started with a little whip cream (our White), then a layer of Aqua Blue Funfetti cake, then strawberries, repeating this twice. The top is an extra nice dollop of whip cream and of course some red, white, and blue sprinkles.....the sliced strawberry adds a nice bit of red on top too!






My recipe made approximately #7---1/2 pint jars.

If you have little kiddies or big even big kiddies visiting for Memorial Day, 
why not give this easy, fun dessert a try.....I'm sure it will be a crowd pleaser!

Stars & Stripes Forever

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.

Let despots remember the day
when our Father's with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray.
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever!

John Philip Sousa



Wishing you all a safe and glorious Memorial Day weekend!

                     Kathleen

**I am not being compensated for this post by an affiliates. This recipe is my own creation.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DIY MONOGRAM TRAY



The completion of our kitchen remodel in our vacation home is right on schedule. Countertops and backsplash are complete, with doors, hardware and finishing touches being slated to finish by the end of the week. Now it's time for some fun decorative touches to bring our "family personality" into the new space.

Currently I am focusing on the display area above the cabinets. To stay within our budget, we decided against putting 41" cabinets above. We have 10 foot ceilings which leave approximately 32 inches from the cabinet top to the ceiling. In keeping with the casual feel of the house, I'll be adding some rattan and white ceramic pieces.

There is one perfect spot that can be seen from both the dining room and family room. I decided to make a DIY project, incorporating the Cobalt Blue from our front door and the first letter of our last name........hence the DIY Monogram Tray project in today's blog!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

SWEET TABLESETTING BY THE LAKE

I love these sunny warm days we have been having. I've been dying to do a photo shoot by the lake in our backyard. It's so beautiful this time of year and makes such a lovely backdrop, especially for a tablescape.

I started with my coral tablecloth. Of course I needed a colorful bouquet of flowers, so off to Publix I went. They had just what I needed. The yellows, purples, oranges, and lime green were just the perfect compliment to the placesettings.



The placemats, luncheon plates and coffee mugs are from my favorite HOMEGOODS store. I love the fun edge around the placemats. The colors sprinkled throughout are just perfect. My goblets were a recent find in DOLLAR GENERAL, yes, true....$1.00 each and they are very nice quality!


The white pitcher I am using for a vase is from HOMEGOODS.


The pattern on the coffee mugs and luncheon plates adds just the right amount of corals in various depth to compliment the yellow placemats and napkins.



Here it is.......all set for our girls luncheon on this lovely day!





Thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed your visit.


                       Kathleen






Thursday, May 14, 2015

TURKEY TEQUILA SLIDERS

WELCOME TO FOODIE FRIDAY!

Today's recipe is a bit on the unusual side, at least for me. Typically I prefer my Tequila in a margarita....it never crossed my mind to add it to my burger!

I'm always looking for a great slider recipe. They are terrific for parties or dinner. I love the fact that this recipe is made with ground turkey, so the calories are trimmed significantly from those that are made with ground beef.

I decided to make them for dinner last evening. Hubby and I were pleasantly surprised. There is a nice zip that comes from the jalapeno. That along with the combination of tequila, lime zest, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce all makes this a very tasty burger. Top it with Guacamole and melted Monterey Jack cheese on top and it's a winner!

Ingredients---





Here is the link to this yummy recipe:

http://realhousemoms.com/easyrecipe-print/22904-0/


  Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

                      Kathleen


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NAVY FRONT/FOYER DOOR

Welcome to Wednesday TLB friends!

It's hump day and I'm checking off all of the things on my lists that I've completed already this week! Do you make lists? It seems like when I check off something, another appears!

Our painter, Peter, came and painted our front door last week. The color I chose was OLD NAVY a Benjamin Moore color. I wanted both the inside and the outside of the door the same color. Our foyer needed a little pick-me-up so I decided the Old Navy color would be a great choice for both inside and outside the house. It's a great way to add color and a bit of drama to a small foyer like ours.

He sprayed the door with the new Advance BM paint. It dried quite quickly, covered very well, and left a beautiful sheen on the door. I would have painted the door myself, but I am not fond of brush strokes. When Peter mentioned spraying the door my hubby and I thought it was a great idea. You be the judge......what do you think?








I'd love to hear your thoughts on this project. Feel free to leave me a comment!

                                                  Have a fabulous Wednesday!

                      Kathleen
Don't forget to click the Instagram button on my blog to sign up to follow TLB!
                                                      

Sunday, May 10, 2015

VACATION HOME KITCHEN REMODEL--Part 1

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday friends!

I hope you all enjoyed your Mother's Day weekend. Mine was terrific!  Hubby and I went to mass and then he treated me to a wonderful brunch at Jack's at the Pink Shell Resort & Marina. A place full of family memories, where many years were spent with our daughters', neice and nephew for vacations. 

Since arriving at our vacation house hubby and I have been busy securing estimates for our kitchen redo. We purchased our home in 2004. It was a brand new spec house. The couple that sold it to us, had it built, but were actually "flippers" during the Florida house boom. They never lived in it.

We've been so fortunate to have found some outstanding contractors and so our work began last week.....starting with our countertops. After much research we decided to install Quartz countertops. Quartz looks like stone and feels like stone, but is much better because there is virtually no maintenance.

There are many quartz companies out there. We chose Pompeii,  color--Vanilla Ice. There is a very distinct likeness to the look of Carrera marble....which is what I was looking for.



The factors we considered when making our choice---
-practicality
-durability
-price
-requires no maintenance
-never needs to be sealed
-beautiful polished stone-look
-stain resistant
-resistant to scratches and abrasions
-antibacterial qualities

When we finally decided on the quartz we asked our contractors Savio and Alexandre from Trinity Marble and Granite, in Fort Myers, Florida, if we could visit the warehouse and watch the process of taking our 2 slabs and fabricating them for our home. We learned so much that I thought I would share with those of you that are making decisions like we are. Knowledge is power....hope you enjoy our journey.

Quartz slabs arrive at the warehouse....




Savio made templates of our countertop........




Template drawing.........














I hope you enjoyed viewing the fabrication steps to the creation of our quartz countertops. It was quite an enlightening experience for us. I'll be sharing the final results along with the rest of our kitchen remodel process with you in future blogs.

Stay tuned........

                                                      Wishing you a wonderful day!
                       Kathleen

****Many thanks to Trinity Marble and Granite for allowing us to photograph our countertop creation process.

                                                                

                                           

Thursday, May 7, 2015

YUMMY POTATO SCALLION & KALE CAKES

WELCOME TO FOODIE FRIDAY!

My family has always been huge fans of mashed potatoes. How about yours? Potatoes have a good amount of potassium, Vitamin C, B-6 and protein. They also contain carbohydrates....but as the saying goes, "everything in moderation."

I'm always searching for ideas for leftovers and potatoes are at the top of my list. The recipe that I have used enables you to use leftovers or from scratch potatoes. I love the fact that the creator adds Kale for that super nutritious benefit of fiber.

I followed the creator of the recipes instructions: (recipe link below)

1. Boil until tender 2 medium potatoes (Yukon gold)
2. Mash or rice them adding butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper to taste.
Let cool.



Heat oils in pan. Scoop some of the batter using a cookie scoop. This makes the cakes a nice manageable size. ***My cakes were a bit mis-shapen. They contained a bit too much liquid making them a little tough to make into a patty.

Cook until brown and flip to do the same on the other side. Serve warm.


These tasty cakes make a nice side dish with dinner, but would be great with just about anything! The crispy outside and the tasty inside.....yummy!  The kids won't even know there is "good for you" Kale inside!!

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2015/04/potato-scallion-and-kale-cakes/


                                                  Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

                                                                 Kathleen

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TLB CURATES HOMETALK BOARD

Good Morning friends!

I have something fun to share with all of you.......Hometalk has asked me to curate a board for them titled 14 Brilliant Ways to Repurpose a Rake. Of course I jumped at the chance to peruse the Hometalk pages for some great projects. By now you all know how I LOVE thinking outside the box and coming up with unusual ideas on how to use unique items. Rakes seem to fall into this category quite easily. Come check out the board. I have put together some of the best ideas from some very creative people.

http://www.hometalk.com/b/7100271/rake-upcycling

Many thanks to HOMETALK and the creative minds that created such a fun and inspirational ideas!

                                           I hope your browsing experience is enjoyable!

                                                              Have a terrific day....

                                                                   Kathleen

HEALTHY TEX MEX TACO SALAD

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

TLB has found a great healthy TEX MEX TACO SALAD for you all to enjoy! 




Click the link to some deliciousness.........and enjoy your day! 

http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/vegetarian/tex-mex-taco-salad-recipe/

                                                      CHEERS,

                                                   Kathleen



Sunday, May 3, 2015

UPCYCLE PICTURE PROJECT

Good Morning Monday friends!

I hope you all had a great weekend. We enjoyed a couple days with our oldest daughter and her new puppy. She took her Dad out deep sea fishing yesterday so we ended up having a delicious fish dinner last night. Nothing like fresh caught fish!!

Today's blog isn't about food, it's all about recycling. When we do home renovations I really love to recycle some of things that I already have. As I looked around the house I thought I would start with an easy project and upcycle some of the picture frames in our living room.

Here is what I started with:


We have two of these similarly framed botanicals above our sofa. At the time (11 years ago) I was in to the Tommy Bahama theme, using much darker woods. But I've fallen in love with Navy, Coral and White....so here is how I started the transformation.

I went to Benjamin Moore and picked out a complimentary blue in the same family as our newly painted front door. (Blog to come in the near future on this!)



Ben Moore paint is so great, I only needed one coat. I also added a bit of gold paint to the inner edge of the frame. I had some Craft Smart Metallic Gold from Michaels on hand that worked perfectly.

I carefully separated the mat board from the board that the print was glued to. My hubby spray painted the old brownish mat white for me, which looks terrific with the coral. 


I sprayed the back of the new coral print with Spray Adhesive and pressed it securely into place directly on top of the other print.  I purchased my prints from Elizabeth at The Beach House Gallery on Etsy. She is awesome to work with!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeachHouseGallery


Then we placed the newly painted white mat on top and secured them into the newly painted frame.




I'm so happy with the outcome. The living room is already starting to take shape with my new color palette.  A little application of paint and some elbow grease sure can turn into something beautiful!  I LOVE that feeling of satisfaction when I look at projects like these side by side.....you can do this too! Take a peek around your house and share your projects with us!

Don't forget to follow TLB weekly as the renovations continue on the house!

Have a terrific Monday!

                         Kathleen