Monthly Archives: May 2011

Quick Fix…Muddy shoe trays

It’s been muuuuuuddy here in Vermont lately with all the rain we’ve been getting, so mopping & vacuuming the front hallway has been happening often.  I got this “quick fix” idea from a friend of mine- I visited her place in Cambridge, MA & thought it was a great idea to help keep shoes a little less muddy & will be great w/the snow, come winter…Rocks in the shoe trays!

BEFORE…

Muddy shoes.

For 2 shoe trays, I used 2 bags of polished rocks (purchased at Home Depot)

And 4 bags of River Rocks (also purchased at Home Depot)

Filling the trays up

AFTER…

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Fun with Fruit Friday…Mohawk Fruit & Veggie Appetizer

This post is a bit on the unusual side, I’ll admit.  This fruit & veggie appetizer was concocted for my friend’s going-away party.  He has a mohawk, which he’s rather known for, so I decided to make an appetizer to show how much we’ll miss him (and his mohawk)…

 Unfortunately it’s not a terribly flattering picture of him, but it was the only one I could find that he had his mohawk up and his tongue sticking out…sorry buddy!

Ingredients:

12 skewers, 6 toothpicks, 1 cucumber, 1 bag mini carrots, 1 red pepper, 1 block cheese (I used cheddar, but I’d recommend something softer), grapes, 1 watermelon, veggie dip & a large tray

Directions:

Start off by cutting off a small chunk of the bottom of the watermelon to help stabilize it on the tray

Cut up the veggies- the cucumber into thick slices & the peppers into long slices.Wash the grapes & cut up the cheese into cubes.

Carefully put the cubes of cheese and grapes on the skewers.

As I mentioned above, cheddar is good, but the skewers split the cubes…I’d use a softer cheese, like Muenster.

Cut up the toothpicks approx 2mm long (tip to middle- must have the pointed tip!)…Note: when I was cutting them up, the ends went flying, so hold down the part you want to keep!  

I got 2 out of each toothpick- you need 11 2mm points.

Stick the toothpick point through both ends of a mini carrot, all the way through, so the flat end is hardly seen.  Do the same for the cucumbers & the peppers.

Carefully stick the toothpicked cucmber, carrot and pepper in the watermelon.

Voila- you have a nose, eyes and a mouth…as you can see below, I added part of a pepper for a tongue sticking out!

After the face is stuck on, add the skewers of cheese & grapes.

Lastly, add veggies around the bottom.

Serve, laugh, enjoy!

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Filed under Fun with Fruit Friday, Recipes: Appetizers

Spring is in the air…blog background changes

Just as I posted yesterday, Spring is in the air….soooo I decided my blog needed to have a little Spring redecoration.  Hope you like the changes!  Happy for any feedback on things you would like to see more/less of.

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Decorating Ideas…Spring Collections

Spring has sprung!  Spring is also a time for change- when people have been staring at their old furniture all winter & need an update/upgrade…or want to be outside.  Here are some fun ideas that might get your creative juices flowing… Some do’s and dont’s of some Spring Catalog collections:

Do’s…

Restoration HardwareLeather is timeless & trunks are useful not only for storage, but also make great coffee tables

I love this fire pit

Baskets are great & inexpensive to use for decoration.  This porch is warm & inviting.

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Pottery Barn:This look is very clean & refreshing…But if you have small children and/or a big dog, I would NOT suggest a white couch…

I love the idea of bookshelves all over the bedroom (I love libraries) & the duvet cover is very tasteful/works with anything

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LL Bean:Traditional Collection…classic

Rockers aren’t just for old people- these are well made & great for any porch!

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Garnet Hill:Adorable shower curtain to add some color to your bathroom!

French Country is in this season…add color in the bedroom, too!

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Ballard Designs:Simple & not too bulky

What a great idea to have a built-in drink shelf!

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IKEA:I love everything about this kitchen

Great look for an apartment

If you have a large living room, two couches are great idea- especially if there is a fireplace or TV on one side.  It’s like you have two different living rooms all in one!

Do Not’s….

Only put picture frames all over the wall of a hallway- this look can be very overwhelming in most rooms (unless you’re wanting to create a museum…)

I’m honestly not a huge fan of Pottery Barn’s affection toward seashells this season…some of the items just seem little tacky to me

Restoration Hardware Spring 2011 image…I’m not sure what they were thinking with this one… the TV stand & bookshelf are nice,  but the chairs are horrid!  They look like like little spaceships!

This is supposedly a “farmhouse chic” pillow from the Nicola Home collection…Love farmhouse chic, but I do NOT love this pillow…

Just say NO to pretty much everything in this room (except the white chair)… A poor design choice by Ballard Designs (in my opinion)

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Fun with Fruit Friday…Jazzed up ice cream

The hips & bellies of my loved ones (and my own) are all suffering from Fun with Frosting Friday, so I’m going to have to occasionally switch it up for Fun with Fruit on Friday…Especially since bathing suit season is fast-approaching!

Today I’m posting a fun, quick and super easy way of jazzing up ice cream…with fruit!

Ingredients (for 2-3 large bowls or 4 smaller servings):

1 1/2 cups frozen fruit (I used strawberries, raspberries, a banana & blueberries)
1/2-3/4 a pint of vanilla ice cream  (I used Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla-yum!)
1 Tablespoon honey (to sweeten the fruit a little)

What you’ll need

A mixer or food processor…you can use a potato masher, though, if you don’t have either of these items.

Directions:

Add the banana and honey.

Add the FROZEN fruit…mine got a little thawed out, so I added some ice chips to thicken.

Mix on medium/high until blended-have the fruit still be a little chunky, but not see any large chunks of vanilla (probably about a minute or two).  Make sure you don’t over-mix or it’ll get too soft…Also  make sure you use FROZEN fruit or your mixture will turn to mush!

Eat right away- YUM!!

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Filed under Fun with Fruit Friday, Recipes: Desserts

Local Spotlight: Hydragea Too

My local spotlight today is a cute boutique in Burligton, VT- Hydrangea Too
Location: 199 College St, right off Church St

Locally owned & operated- the owner is super friendly and helpful w/any questions you may have.

The store typically has some pretty good sales, too!

I went in there yesterday & bought a new wallet- it’s by Derin, Oriental rug-inspired items that are just beautiful.


Vegan items
:

Shiraleah Vegan Merton Bucket Bag

Fair Trade items:

Natural Habitat Co. Handmade Ceramic Soapdish

Jewelry:

Bird on a Branch lithograph necklace by Everyday Artifacts

And more

Not in VT?  Shop online: Hydrangea Too

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What to do this weekend…5/20-5/22

My picks for this weekend…


10th Annual Clothes Exchange
Annual event benefiting the King Street Center.  Essentially a clothes-swap, where women & stores donate clothes (ahead of time) and then sold at bargain prices!  I went 2 yrs ago & will be going again this year- lots of fun!
@ Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, Burlington
Shop First event Thursday, May 18 6-9pm (sold out)
Main Event Friday, May 19 5-9pm Tickets

Friday, May 20

Spielpalast Cabaret, 8pm at Burlington City Hall Auditorium.  Adults only- vintage 20′s burlesque cabaret!
Tickets:  FlynnTix $23 advance/$25 door
Additional shows: 5/21/11 8:00 PM, 5/21/11 11:00 PM, 5/26/11 8:00 PM, 5/27/11 8:00 PM, 5/28/11 8:00 PM

Saturday, May 21

Plant Sale
Annuals, perennials, veggies.  Benefits the senior center of Charlotte.
9am-12pm @ Charlotte Senior Center (free)

Antiques & Funky Junk Flea Market
9am-5pm @ Lang Barn Antique Center in Essex Junction (free)

Sacred Rubble Tag Sale
Dishes, glassware, furniture, etc!
9am-3pm @ Unity Church of Vermont in Essex Junction (free)

Burlington Parks & Recreation Driftwood Clean Up (via the United Way)
When: Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. – 2pm
Where: The Burlington Waterfront. Meet at the bottom of College Street, by the Information Center at 10 a.m.
Work Involved: Volunteers will work with Parks & Recreation staff to clean up flood debris, being deployed in supervised groups from Perkins Pier to the Coast Guard/Fishing Pier area.
Wear/Bring: Work gloves & closed-toe shoes (NO sandals or flip flops)
Children/Teens: Must be accompanied by a supervising adult

Heavyfest
Outdoor beer garden party w/BBQ & live music.  Benefits Big Heavy World.

12noon-5pm @ Magic Hat Brewing Company in South Burlington 

Farm to Yarn Tour
How fun does this sound?!  It’s a bit of a drive (Northeast Kingdom), but looks like it’ll be worth it- various farms are doing tours & demos…alpacas, llamas, goats, sheep & rabbits!
More info: Travelthekingdom Farm to Yarn
Saturday AND Sunday 10am-5pm

Junip
This band was recommended to me by a friend of mine in Boston, so the show is highly suggested.  Jose Gonzalez is playing, too, who also has a good sound.
Higher Ground, 7pm, $16 advance/$18 door

Saturday Farmers’ Markets:
Middlebury Farmers’ Market @ The Marbleworks in Middlebury 9am-12:30pm.
Capital City Farmers’ Market @ 60 State St, Montpelier 9am-1pm.
Burlington Farmers’ Market @ City Hall Park 8:30am-2pm.

Sunday, May 22

5th Annual Women Who Rock Fundraiser Event
Supports the Eleanor B Daniels  fund for cancer research.
Show of 25 women who sing with a live band.  @ Higher Ground, 6:30pm, $12 advance/$15 door

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