Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Banner (a little late....)

Better late than never right?

The reason I post this now?

Because it just went up last night!

It took me about 15 minutes, if that long, to make it.

Quick  and Easy, just how I like it!

I used Halloween themed scrapbook paper to cut out my triangles. Then trimmed the top with washi tape, to add little visual interest and also for a little extra support on the corners where I punched my holes for the twine.

Punched out 2 different shaped circles and added my green letters.

Thread the twine and hang it up! Easy, oh so easy! You should try it!
Hope you guys have a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wine & Dine Wednesday

The feature today...Fancy Pants from Target.

Cute label, it is a 2010 vintage, red wine.

This has a very fruity flavor, almost too fruity. This is one that you may not want to drink alot  at once...too sweet too fast means major headache for me. Just a warning!

It is not the best but it is still very drinkable, just in small amounts...

Check out my cute wine bottle topper!

This was a Christmas present last year from my In-Laws and so I thought since Christmas isn't that far away I should bring this baby out and show it off! Heck, I might even leave it out all year long. After all, drinking wine is a little gift at the end of the I right?! Oh and it has a little battery so it lights up too! How cute!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is one yummy, moist and can't stop eating kinda recipes. I have made this so many ways and it comes out perfect every time. Don't you just love recipes like that? I found the recipe on Food Network a few years ago and have made it many, many times since, the changes I made was I omitted the pecans and added chocolate chips. But this recipe is so yummy that I just had to share it with you!

I have baked this recipe in loaf pans, casserole dishes and of course as muffins. Just make sure you adjust your baking time. Also, I will give you a heads up....once they come out of the oven, top one with Nutella and OH. MY. GOSH!! Amazingly Yummy!!! I have made these also without chocolate chips and it is still so good!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 cups All-Purpose flour
1&1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line your muffin tins.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork, set aside. With a mixer, mix the  remaining 2 bananas and sugar together really well. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Mix in the flour  mixture  just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into muffin tins. Bake approx. 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

The original recipe can be found at Food Network, Banana Nut Muffins by Tyler Florence. The only difference I made was I omitted the nuts and added chocolate chips.

Linking up with Let's Get Bananas,  Jessica and Kristin.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Makeover

A while back I completed my Fall Mantel and I painted these cute pumpkins white. At first, I loved the pretty fresh pumpkins, but then it changed. I kept thinking it needs something more, more color, a little sparkle, something!

So I decided gold was it. More gold! My original thought was glitter, but I wasn't in the mood to go all out messy plus finding a can of the glitter spray paint in town is out of the question, so I remembered that I had some leftover ribbon from a past project I worked on and so I used it to tie around the largest pumpkin. Then I remembered I had gold paint so I thought polka-dots would be good. The easiest way to get good circles on the pumpkin was to use these great small circular foam pouncers. Quick, fast and easy clean up. My kinda craft!


On another pumpkin I added washi tape around the middle to add some black. I just love the color black and cannot help it!

And more photos!

Much better, don't you think?!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Landscaping Dilemma-Part 1

This is something that I have been meaning to blog about for a while now.  This space in our yard is almost overwhelming.

At the back of our driveway there is a huge hill that leads to the back yard. So far we have put down more mulch than you can imagine to make it look somewhat presentable. The slope makes it difficult to mow with a riding mower so that is the reason behind using mulch. When we purchased the mulch, all the times we purchased....the guy says "it will last you years!!!" Guess what? Nope. Never. happens. How about 6 months? Yep that is more like it.

This photo was taken in 2011. By July, grass had taken over the hill. While I can pull the weeds and grass out everyday, it just isn't enough. Needless to say I went a while without weeding and this is what we ended up with.

We knew we needed to get this mess cleaned up because the following weekend we were hosting a community gathering in our back yard and to be honest, this was embarrassing, there was no way we were having people over with this eyesore!
See the Mr. at the top up there, that is where the driveway begins. I was at the bottom looking up, so you can tell it is a really steep hill. The pipe you see there, we  the Mr. buried that during the process to divert the water from the downspout under the hill to the bottom of the hill to prevent erosion. Actually there is one on each side, the left and the right for the same reason.
This time we removed all the grass, cleared all the old mulch away and then placed a weed barrier down. Then came a huge dump truck and dumped the mulch at the top of the hill and spread it out ourselves.  Talk about a huge undertaking. This was a dirty job.
But in the end it looked great and most importantly we could now have our neighbors over. Here is the after, sorry about the photo is was taken just before dark. After all the hard work I almost forgot to photo the after. (This project took an entire weekend).
See much better!
Fast forward to this year, the weed removal has become a monthly task and even then it looks so horrible that something had to be done. Plus the mulch had broken down to the point where it looked discolored and thin. Also, because of the slope of the hill when a downpour of rain comes, it washes alot of it down the hill into the grass.
This is also the way the boys access the back yard so when it is wet, the mulch gets tracked all in the driveway and makes a huge mess. The weed barrier helped some but it got to the point where the weeds were growing to the weed barrier which did not help the situation. Oh and don't even get me started on the ant hill that almost ate us alive or the massive earthworms that scared me to  death! I am not kidding, they were so big I thought it was a baby snake the first time I pulled one up while pulling up the weeds!
For many reasons we needed to rethink the layout of this hill and come up with a better solution.
Our solution?
As I stated earlier, we pulled up the weed barrier and headed to Lowes to see what we could come up with.
Here it is!
#1: Driveway
#2: The top of the hill will now be a small area surrounded by a rubber lining barrier that will keep the pine needles in the bed and the grass out, we added 3 Hawthorne bushes and a small Butterfly bush and filled in with pine needles.
#3:The slope of the hill will now be seeded and will hopefully grow grass. Since the slope is steep the grass will need to be cut down by a weed eater or push mower instead of our riding mower but either way  I feel sure that this will be a better way to maintain this monster of a hill.
The look from the road is improved just by this small adjustment. Once the bushes fill out and get a little bigger is will be perfect!

In a week or so we will work the dirt and seed the area for grass and cover with straw. This time I look forward to seeing the grass grow on the hill!
Well, grass growing on the hill is out. The Mr. thought that would not work and to be honest, it really wouldn't. I mean look at that slope...would you want to mow it?
I didn't think so.
So the Mr. took off and bought plants, weed barrier and more pine needles to finish off this area. He worked past dark then finished it up the following afternoon. And believe me it looks so much better! And another plus...the boys cannot run down the hill because if you try to step in the pine needles with the slick weed barrier underneath you fall instantly on your butt! Trust me on that one!
Here is the after and final photo. Hopefully this is the end of this madness! (not even close...)
 Here is another view from the bottom of the hill.

And here is another angle..from the side. The rocks were there when we had the mulch down. So we just left them this time. There is a drain at the top of the driveway to allow the water to run under the hill and the rocks were placed in case the drain overflowed, the rocks would still hold the mulch in place and the water could go between the rocks to divert it instead of a waterfall situation.
Ok, so in the spring we called our landscaper to come and help us fix this eyesore (the cliff). To us it is no big deal. I mean as we enter our home we never see this side of the driveway but coming from the other direction, all you see is a cinder block wall. By the way, there is a curb along the edge of the driveway that prevents you from driving off the driveway and rolling your car into the neighbors yard.  However, we have had people fall off of it before..and bikes....and scooters...and crock pots....

Anyway, I'll spare you the details...
Here you can see just how much of a drop off we are dealing with.
Well, because of all the rain the spring and summer gave us we are now looking at this project being completed next week......lets just hope it doesn't rain!
While this is something that isn't a big deal to us, I feel sure the neighbors will appreciate it and I hope the people that buy our home will too!
Stay tuned for Part 2!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wine & Dine Wednesday!

Today this feature is well, lacking.

While the label attracted me to this bottle, what was inside turned me off really fast. But as you can see the bottle is almost empty so apparently the Mr. liked it?

We purchased this wine from Target a few months ago and it is for sure the worst one we have ever bought from there, in my opinion.

It lacks in the aroma and taste. Not a good mix of flavors if you ask me so next time I will pass on the Junebug.

Monday, October 7, 2013

We have a (talking) Snowman in our Refrigerator!

Not sure if any of you can say that! I personally do not know anyone who has a snowman in their frig, much less a talking one!

He is cute but don't let that fool you, he has an attitude.

The first time I opened the door to get yogurt for my oldest, it scared me to death! I mean who expects to hear "Is it cold in here or is it just me?" when you reach for your yogurt.
I jumped and our oldest just thought it was so funny!
Me, I thought it was funny and cute once I realized that he had put that snowman in the frig and set me up (the snowman came from Papa & Nana's house).

Mr. Snowman also has a cute little song he sings about keeping the door shut. But he also says "shut the door, you are letting out all the cold!"

If you continue to open the door a few times in row, like when you have kids that want something then change their minds so you have to open it a few more times ..... the attitude begins.

Mr. Snowman will say "You again!, I'm gonna have to put a lock on that door!"

Oh, no he didn't!

Yes, he did!

When I hear that it makes me want to pinch off his little carrot nose!

All funnies aside, it is a cute reminder to the kids to not stand with the door open. So for now he remains, but thank goodness he has an Off switch.

Happy Monday!