Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Decor & Food ~ 2011

In this corner, tucked in a patch of thick (real!) grass is one of my favorites - a ~chocolate~ vintage bunny! Olivia planted a 99 cent thrift store shallow ceramic dish with a TON of dollar store grass seed... and about 2-3 weeks later - voila! The rest of this vignette is perched on a pale blue tweed suitcase... a recent antique store find - charming tin eggs in a hand beaded bowl, more warm hues: a ceramic egg in earthy shades, a fabric ribbon completes this tiny display... And then we are back to ALL pale, ALL pastel, lovely Spring hues ~ that I usually identify with Easter decor. I hand embellished these styro eggs a few years ago with vintage millinery effects and sequin, beads... Another recent Spring find - a pretty aqua candle holder... And a wreath I started a few years - from simple egg wooden shapes from the kiddo craft aisle, I added the ~prettiest~ vintage polka dot aqua gift wrap paper, which I added glass glitter to the dots for accents and then I cut out charming Bunny Family graphics. Gee - those were def. done in my SAHM days were I could sit in the craftroom and craft for hours with the girls!!

The shapes had been lost in the chaos of abandoned craft stuff forever...but this year I decided to add crocheted lace to a styro wreath, a kids ribbon scarf, and a pretty ribbon bow with pink button... and I love it!

My pal... Mrs. Bunny Bunny...

I got it just in time for Easter ;) Maybe next year it will see more display time!

I was lucky enough to spend the day with my parents and children - the six of us had a delish dinner that I embarrassed to say that I made not a morsel of! Dad made the perfect paska (Easter Bread)... how's that for perfection! An egg hunt in the front yard... good company - and Olivia's 8th Birthday! And what a trifecta - Her bday, Easter and she lost a tooth = the tooth fairy all in one day! And, this evening, Cathrynn lost a tooth too! The Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy... what a memorable day... hope yours was as well!I'm adding a link to Donna's weekly share-fest... pop in and see the pretties or share your own!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Biggest Losers - Motivation - Nanette Leopore Fall 2011

I am in LOOOOOVEEEEEE with the Nanette Lepore Fall 2011 line. What better motiviation than these long lines, romantic but oh so sophisticated and elegant without being the least bit sweet.

After years stuck in my self-imposed exile in the land of Plus Sizes, I want to know what the knock-offs in my price range will have available this Fall when I hit my goal. Oh yeah!

Keep going fellow Biggest Losers - as my boss has kindly advised, it is a marathon not a sprint! Takes time to loss it and keep it off. I spent my lunch munching on tuna and low fat crackers and looking at fashion sites and avoiding the work function - pot-luck lunch full of bad choices.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cupcakes & Sunkist Orange (Crates/Shelves!)

Two serious topics this Saturday evening... the first: CUPCAKES made by my little Cupcakes, Cathrynn & Olivia, with generous assistance from Pappy (aka the Baker) and Grammy (aka the one who finds the creative kid crafts and buys all the supplies). The top picture is supposed to look like lattice pie crust on a cherry pie! From jelly beans and icing.! And can you see the chocolate jelly bean bunny on Liv's cupcake...Next Sunday (EASTER!) is Olivia's birthday so we're going to make these for her friend party. I can't tell you how much I wanted to eat one. But nope, nada, no way, especially when Mom mentioned a piece of cake with icing is 14 points. I am not doing WW exactly, just my version from years of doing it before. Sent these pretties off to the STBX. :)

And, tonight's next topic - STORAGE in a tiny cottage condo. In about 1 square foot of space I have about half of my crafty tins of treasures, some supplies, tools...for jewelry making. I love old tins with hinged lids. And I love these Sunkist Orange wooden boxes that were haphazardly painted a good green. I stacked them strategically, slightly pulling the bottom one out so so the weight is distributed so that they aren't top heavy and wobbly. I'm sharing my unique shelving over at Donna's...
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Grandparents' Mason Jars

Mason Jars = My grandparents. And their basement and their gas stove down there at full blaze as they canned. Boiled jars. Canned. Boiled more jars. And canned more. Tomatoes, of course. Hot, spiced pickled mix of cauliflower... that I never acquired a taste for. They had a HUGE garden - so it was months of work down there. Fresh peaches and pears. Fresh peach and ,strawberry jelly. OMG I would kill for a big spoon on fresh bread right now. Of course, Gramma sealed with jelly with wax, and it was scary stuff to see her scoop off some mold, when not sealed right and enjoy the rest.

They had a cool, dark fruit cellar under the stairs, complete with a damp fabric curtain and dim light - it was a scary journey being asked to grab a jar of tomatoes or sauce. And even scarier when they passed away and the deepest contents were deemed more likely science experiments.

Unable to part with the jars and the memories, my cousins and I took them all. One of my cousins makes homemade salsa - I imagine he uses his the most. I've heard another cousin's hubby moan at the thought of moving her jars! I mean we aren't taking about one or two found at a flea market- I have at least 2-3 full totes of regular size, and probably 30-40 of the big ones boxed up. Sadly, most are in storage as this condo cottage doesn't allow space for them. It is ironic that they were packed up and sent to storage by my STBX (soon to be ex!) :) He had to move them again, lol!

I love to use them for storing buttons, beads, baubles. Kitchen staples... And this winter, we planted little bits of spring in them. The wire top ones with the glass lids are my personal favorites - and offer the perfect visual for the bulbs and their delicate roots entwined in the layers of gravel and soil. My grandparents also had a nursery and green houses. They would love that I've discovered a green thumb even in my little yardless home.

I'm sharing this post over at Donna's... much more inspiration over there... join the fun and link with the others...
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Profiteroles & Vanilla Crème Chantilly

Confession... Here's a dessert I *successfully* tackled last fall in France. It was glorious - with the popular foil sparkler accessory, pale green wafer leaves, it was an American size portion. On closer look you will notice that Yes, they are creme puffs, which I used to make all the time for entertaining friends. Filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce and whipped creme.

But let me tell you, when my native French co-worker pronounced it, well... it sounded magical and so were the fillings, and the whipped creme. And the texture was just different, just like we can make croissants in the states, until you have one in France you won't believe the difference - especially in the crisp exterior... same here.

On my last trip I had the same thing at another restaurant. The offering was smaller and daintier and topped with O M G... Vanilla Crème Chantilly. (no picture as that same Frenchman may not have been able to handle the embarrassement of my camera again!)

I am a tea drinker in the states, but LOVE their tiny little after dinner coffee - so different - strong but not bitter. And who doesn't love the wrapped sugar cubes - wish that would catch on here!

Yummmmeeee. More French inspiration... I'm linking to The French Cupboard... check it out!

And here's my reality check, I start The Biggest Loser contest work with my department in work. Last year they decided not to let this middle-aged, dessert loving gal in on the competition due to known lack of willpower. I am determined to do it for health and personal reasons, and occassionally have a dessert like this on special occasion. So I will ALWAYS have one when I'm in France! Maybe I'll share next time...

Pretty in pink...

Cotton shirts.  Love 'em. Usually can't wear 'em.  Too tight. Pull at the boobs.  Or, shrink in the first wash.  And being a plu...