Friday, May 30, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bloomin' Tuesday {...errr Wednesday}

Today my Bloomin' Tuesday post is coming a day late. That's what happens when you have a holiday on Monday. Here's some beautiful blossoms right outside my front door. It's still cool enough that my pansies are going strong. Love their happy little faces...

My lobelia plants are also strong contenders this year. They've already grown and spread and they've only been in the ground a month -- and it was a cold month with few warm days!

I do believe Bleeding Hearts are my favorite springtime blossom. So gorgeous...

A few more pansies...

And, last but not least I finally got my impatiens planted in my tiered garden This is always a huge undertaking, but I've had help the last couple of years which has made it so much easier. I used to plant 280 teeny plants. Now I buy a larger plants to begin with and I only had to put about 170 in the ground this year...

Happy Bloomin' Tuesday Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chipotle Bacon Potato Salad...

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We have a fabulous BBQ restaurant in our hometown called The Rib House. The smoked meats at this establishment -- which include pork, brisket, chicken, turkey breast, ham and sausage -- are fabulous, but what sets it apart from many well-known smoke houses is its side dishes. We've tried them all and there isn't one that we don't love. Red skinned mashed potatoes, coleslaw, bean salad, fruit salad, cheesy corn bake -- all are delicious. The Mac and Cheese Wedges are a favorite of my kids, but one of my favorites is the Spicy Chipotle Potato Salad. I've loved the smoky chipotle flavor of this salad since the first time I tasted it.

Now for the good news...

The other day my son found a fabulous Chipotle Bacon Potato Salad recipe. We've tweaked the recipe and it tastes much the same as my favorite at The Rib House restaurant. Now we can enjoy this yummy salad when we BBQ at home!

Here's fair warning. 
This potato salad is not for the faint at heart. 
It has a swift kick, but the spicy hotness doesn't linger...
and it is sooooo good!

Here's our version...

  • 7 small potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 + cup mayonnaise
  • 2 peppers diced from a 7 oz. can of "Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce"
  • 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce from the same 7 oz. can of "Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce"
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 4 sliced of bacon, cooked and slice thin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves,
    1.) Add potatoes to a pot of cold water. Over medium heat bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender. Drain the potatoes and place in a bowl until cooled. When cool dice into bite size pieces.

    2.) In a medium bowl mix greek yogurt, mayonnaise, diced chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, lime juice, honey mustard, salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

    3.) In bowl with potatoes add onion and bacon. Carefully fold in yogurt mixture until combined. Stir in cilantro leaves. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bloomin' Tuesday :: Thrill, Fill & Spill!

One of my favorite planting projects each year is the filling of a myriad of containers that grace our backyard patio and the stoop by our front door. Within a couple of weeks the plants fill out and the containers provide a burst of sumptuous color throughout the summer and early fall. I make lists as I plot out the design of different containers, then I run to the nurseries around town and select just the right plants to fill the pots. Here's one that I planted and placed by our front door this year...

Today I'm going to tell you the "Thrill, Fill & Spill" method of designing a container.  {Several years ago I did an "in depth" post about planting containers that discusses this method and several other variables when it comes to planting containers. Go here for that post.} "Thrill, Fill & Spill" is a phrase that best describes how to arrange plants in a container. The idea is to group together various plants that compliment one another and have three key components of design that create a beautiful container garden.

Thrill :: One eye-catching plant should be added to the container that has some height to it. This plant should make a bold statement and be a centerpiece. I generally use a spike in the center of the container for this purpose, but other great thriller plants could include banana plants, fountaingrass, caladium or something like lavender. I put this taller plant right in the center of the container, because I like the container to be able to be viewed from all angles...

Fill :: These plants literally fill in the pot, and I choose plants with big, full blossoms. My favorites are geranium, osteospermum, gerber daisies, coleus, marigolds and stock. Generally, I prefer a variety of colors and different types of plants. In the planter below I only used two different types of plants for the "Fillers", but each one was a different color. In a smaller container you will probably need three of these plants -- in a larger more...

Spill :: The final addition of creating a beautiful container garden is adding plants or flowers that will spill over the edges. These plants can be vines like the potato vine or an ivy, or they can be plants that spill or cascade over the edges like lobelia, million bells, vinca, petunia, asparagus fern or allysum. I tuck these inbetween the "Fill" plants close to the edge of the container so they can drape over the edge as they grow. Again a variety of colors and shapes of these "Spill" blossoms will add variety to the container.

The flowers in the container below were just planted so they haven't had the chance to mature, but you can still see the height of the spike {Thrill}, the geraniums and gerber daisies {Fill}, and the trailing million bells and lobelia {Spill}.

As these plants grow and mature the container will become even more beautiful...

Happy Bloomin' Tuesday!


Monday, May 19, 2014

"Snap Trap" Little Kid Wallet...

About a month ago my eight-year-old granddaughter called me with a dilemma. She had "accidentally" misplaced her Snap Trap Wallet and wondered if I would make her a new one. I told her I would be happy to, but it might take a few weeks because we had a wedding scheduled for the next week.

Last week I was finally able to whip one up for her...

This little kid wallet has a "snap" compartment with a metal measuring tape closure for treasures that snaps shut and a "trap" pocket secured with a zippered for valuables {cold hard cash}.

These wallets can be made with fabric scraps and they take no time at all to whip together. This is a pattern that I created, and I've made the pattern and tutorial available to all at no charge. Just go HERE to make one for someone special in your life.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bloomin' Tuesday...

Today is certainly not a typical post for Bloomin' Tuesday. Then again, we aren't necessarily having typical weather in Colorado for mid May. This is what happens in Colorado {mid May} when it snows on Mother's Day and the low temps dip down to the 20s at night.

Your utility room becomes an indoor nursery for all the potted plants you've purchased recently. I don't even trust the garage to keep these blossoms alive when it's that cold at night.

The unfortunate thing is that there is still a pathway cleared to the washer and dryer. I'm quite sure another trip to the nursery could take care of that.

I'm so glad we decided to plant our veggie garden after Mother's Day. That's generally the rule of thumb in Colorado. "Don't plant annuals till after Mother's Day." This year it's even later than that, but I am looking forward to getting some annuals and veggies planted next week! 

Hope it's a little warmer in your neck of the woods!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Grocery Bag Dispenser... {another one}

A couple of months ago I made a Grocery Bag Dispenser for myself. I have to admit I've loved having a place for all those little plastic bags I accumulate from stores.

Since then I've made a few more for others in my life and given them as gifts. I needed a little "thank you" gift for someone recently so I made another one...

I followed the tutorial that I found at Moda Bake Shop. Instead of using a Charm Pack, I just cut out 16 - 5" squares of coordinating fabric from my stash of fabric and use 1/2" seams. I usually use 8 pieces of coordinating fabric and cut two squares from each fabric to make the 16 squares.

I particularly loved the combination of colors in this one...

I don't normally have the patience for quilting, but I can somehow manage to put 16 squares together to form this little bag.

I'm hoping that a sweet lady that hosted us recently for a family dinner will be able put this to use around her house.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Visit to "First Monday" in Canton, TX...

During our trip to Dallas, Texas last week we had the chance to go to "First Monday" in Canton. "First Monday Trade Days" is the oldest and largest continually operating outdoor flea market in the United States. It is only open one weekend a month -- the weekend before the first Monday of the month. It attracts up to 100,000 shoppers and provides space for 6,000 vendors located on hundreds of acres. It is a place to buy home decor, furnishings, antiques, clothing, crafts, jewelry, and flea market/garage sale items.

I'd heard about "Canton" for years from another daughter-in-law. Her family lives in the Dallas area and they'd frequented First Monday many times. I was so excited when my son and new daughter-in-law, Stephanie, suggested we go there Saturday morning before the reception that night.

Stephanie's family has been to Canton many times and each time they go they have a tradition of going to two stores in Canton before heading over to First Monday. The first store we went to is called LaurieAnna's Vintage Home.   If you appreciate vintage inspired farmhouse living you will fall in love with LaurieAnna's. Beautiful linens in shades of cream and white greet you as you enter.

The store provides options in furniture, lighting, home accents, linens, area rugs, clothing, ceramics and more. Upon arrival home I was happy to learn that LaurieAnna's has an online store as well!
LaurieAnna's Vintage Home
1457 N. Trade Days Blvd.
Canton, TX

The next store we went to -- which happened to be my favorite spot the whole day -- was Paul Michael Company. I fell in love with the furniture in this store. If I could have found a way to stuff these stools in my suitcase, they'd be sitting in my kitchen right now!

Paul Michael sells both home decor and furniture. Their furniture is made in the USA and some of it looks to be made from recycled materials. The furniture is unique, trendy, beautifully made and comfortable! I was particularly taken by the items that mixed metal and wood -- like this Walnut/Galvanized Island. Gorgeous!

 Paul Michael Company
2100 N. Trade Days Blvd.
Canton, TX
Paul Michael also has a home decor building with beautiful accents and useful kitchen and dining supplies. I ended up buying some pretty and {very} reasonably priced serving dishes for the newlyweds in this section of the store!

Next we moved onto First Monday Trade Days and a crowd of thousands...

I'll have to admit it was sensory overload for me. Thousands of stalls of crafts and flea market items. I'm told that it helps to come back time and time again to get a lay of the land and return to specific vendors that strike your fancy. I'd be willing to do just that to feel more comfortable -- over and over and over again.

Somehow the only thing we managed to buy at First Monday was a funnel cake. It was my second ever funnel cake, and it lived up to the memory I had of my first a few years ago. Yes, there is every conceivable fried food at First Monday.

This was such a fun day. The next time I think of coming to Canton for First Monday I'm driving my car from Colorado to Texas {instead of flying}. That way I can purchase to my hearts content and bring home some of the wonderful items I would be sure to find!