30 June 2016

Fourth of July Desserts Round Up

My favorite summer holiday is the Fourth of July.  I love the family BBQ and picnics and these festive desserts you might want to make for the holiday!  Surely one of these will be on your list for your dinner!

Our neighborhood is gearing up for our fantastic fireworks display.  We have a couple of large lakes that we can watch the fireworks from and that is so fun.  The reflection is gorgeous (that's the photographer in me!)  One of these treats, the white chocolate popcorn with the red and blue M & M's will be accompanying me!

Our street has had a BBQ each Fourth and I am hoping it will happen again, although, I don't know of any plans for it.  If so, that strawberry cobbler will have to make an appearance.  The Fourth of July neighborhood parade is coming up, too and I hope to have some little treats made up to throw to the kids!

American Flag Rice Krispy Treats – by A Cultivated Nest
Push UP Pops – by Craftaholics Anonymous
Bomb Pop Shots – by A Beautiful Mess
Fourth of July Cake Pops – by Uncommon Designs
Raspberry Cream Dessert Shooters – by Meaningful Mama
Star Spangled Dessert – by Giggles Galore
Fourth of July Rice Krispy Treats – by Playground Parkbench
Red White and Blue Jello Salad – by The SoccerMom Blog
Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake – by Amanda’s Cookin
Fourth of July Popcorn – by Our Best Bites
Layered Fourth of July Drink – by Skip to My Lou
Strawberry Cobbler – by the Kitchen is My Playground
Red White and Blue Tie Dye Cake – by Hungry Happenings
Strawberry Trifle Dessert – by Crafty Sisters

Which one do you want to make?

29 June 2016

I am Love #foodnflix

Food 'n' Flix is a movie and food lovers group that uses film to inspire cooking.  This month's movie, I am Love, is set in Italy and of course, offers all kinds of inspiration. Our hostess, Evelyne, blogs at Culture Eatz.

The movie is of the Recchi family, a wealthy one whose money comes from the garment industry in Italy.  The grandfather retires, leaves the business to his son AND grandson, stating that "it will take two men to replace me" and from that point on, everything seems to unravel.  The wife falls for the friend of her son's, and they have a love affair, both physical and with food.  Watching her eat prawns, well, that will never be the same for me!  The movie has an abrupt but appropriate ending, different from what you might imagine.

The movie set was so beautiful.  Full of crystal, china, gloved waiters, chandeliers that sparkled, fancy silver.  For those who love mansions, you will love this set.

So how was I inspired to cook for this movie?   Do I even need to say it?


Pan Roasted Shrimp

by Our Good Life
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 2 lbs giant prawns, head and shells on
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 t paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thin
  • salt and pepper
Make a marinade of 1/4 c of the oil, paprika, garlic and lemon, salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp until coated and marinate for up to 2 hours in the fridge.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with the remaining olive oil. Remove shrimp from marinade and place into the skilled. Saute for 3 minutes until the shells are bright and there's a nice char.
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While these shrimp didn't make us close our eyes and swoon, they were delicious and there was a little heat going on... that Spanish paprika does it every time!  ;)

Join us in July as we watch Popeye with Robin Williams!

28 June 2016

Sunny and Bright Home Tour Wrap Up

The Sunny and Bright Home Tour was such a fun adventure!  It was the first home tour I have hosted and I knew I had a lot to learn, but I have to thank my co-hostesses for the fantastic job each did on their summer decorating.  I am humbled and so inspired, by each of them.

On Monday we visited White Spray Paint blog and was awed by the vivid colors in her home.  These flowers were taken from a plant in Laura's yard.  Exquisite, don't you think?

Tuesday we visited Poofing the Pillows (I adore this name!) and saw how Stacey made her home even more charming with her flowers and her cute printable that she shares!

Wednesday we visited Joyce's home at At Home with Jemma.  Colors everywhere!  I couldn't get enough!  I fell in love with this pillow on her bed.  I have a hello vinyl on my front door and love it!

Thursday was here at my house.  You can catch up with my summer decor by going here.

Friday we were at Laura's Decor to Adore.  Do you know that Laura did the kindest thing?  She was down in the back, in pain, and she insisted on doing this Friday post.  I just love this lady and her dedication.  Hugs, Laura, but gentle ones!  I love what she is working on in her bedroom.  

Aren't these beautiful?  I love the story, go head to her blog to read it.

So thank you, Laura, Laura, Stacey and Joyce!  You made my first home tour so easy and wonderful!

You can follow us on social media!  We all post lots of fun things on different forms.  Join us in our fun!

Terri:  Our Good Life , Instagram,  Twitter , Pinterest

27 June 2016

June Garden Party!


Our backyard got a tiny make over this month!

We purchased a wooden table, bench and chairs from World Market two years ago.  While it looked fantastic for the first summer, last year and this year, not so much.  The table's stain faded badly and peeled, and the surface became very rough.  We decided to donate it to someone who wanted to spend the time to fix it up.

Our daisies have started to bloom.  This shot was taken prior to the redecorating.  See the lounge chairs?

I shopped for some sales over Memorial Day weekend and found this set at Kohl's for a fantastic price!  With a coupon code given to me by a neighbor, we saved 20% off the sales price.  Kohl's was unable to fill the order, so they offered to sell us a more expensive table for the same price.  Needless to say, I was very happy to do so.

We love the yellow against the blue of the house.  Our front door is yellow, so this is a nice transition to the backyard.

The rugs were purchased at At Home.  I love all the colors in the rugs!  We are also seeing a lot of Stella d' Oros in bloom right now.  This picture shows them early in the season, but now we have tons of them!

There's a garden party going on at Poofing the Pillows.  Go and check out all the different gardens.  We're joining up!  

26 June 2016

Jalapeno Pumpkin Waffles with BBQ Chicken Thighs #SundaySupper

It's the week of the waffles at Sunday Supper!  Such a fantastic theme, from sweet to savory.  If you like waffles, you are going to be so happy to see the line up!

My chicken and waffle recipe might not be the most original, but my take on this is completely so!  I love savory waffles, and this waffle is delicious with bbq'ed chicken wings.  Let me show you how my husband and I work together to make this dish rock.

My husband will do a quick brine on the chicken thighs by soaking them in salted water for about 20 minutes.  He heats up the grill while they are soaking and when the grill is ready, he pats the thighs until they are dry.  He seasons them with salt and pepper and puts them skin side down on the grill. He likes to get a good char on the skin.  He cooks them until the juices run clear, then he slathers on his favorite BBQ sauce and lets the thighs carmelize.  He might also have a couple of ears of corn on the grill, too!

While all that is happening outside, I'm on the inside making waffles.  I also make a simple syrup using equal amounts of sugar and water and 3-4 sliced jalapenos (no seeds).  I cook it to the syrup stage and then cool.  I'll lace this syrup over the chicken at the end.

Jalapeno Pumpkin Waffles

by Our Good Life
  • 1 c pancake mix
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1/2 c canned pumpkin (puree)
  • 2 T finely diced jalapeno, no seeds
  • 1 scant cup of water
  • 2 T canola oil
  • Cooking spray
Mix together the pancake mix, water, oil and pumpkin until mixed but still lumpy. Fold in the jalapenos.
Heat up the waffle maker. Spray with cooking spray. Place 1/3 c of mixture into the waffle maker, close lid, wait til light turns green and remove. Stack on plate, cover with dish towel to preserve heat and absorb moisture.
To serve with BBQ chicken thighs: Plate waffle. Place chicken on top. Drizzle with jalapeno simple syrup.
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I like to serve this with a jalepeno syrup. It is so easy to make. Boil 1 c of white sugar with 1 c water. Add in 2 sliced jalapenos (I remove the seeds). Continue to cook until thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove jalapenos and save. These are delightful on top of burgers or this chicken dish! Pour syrup into a jar and let cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Sweet and Sinful:
Savory Brinner Winners:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

23 June 2016

Sunny and Bright Home Tour 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Sunny and Bright Summer Homes Tour!
We are so glad you are here.

Our tour schedule this week is

Wednesday At Home with Jenna
Thursday (me!)
Friday  Decor to Adore

So let's get started on my home in St. Charles, Missouri.  I live in a wonderful community based on new urbanist principles called New Town that promotes walking, outdoor living, residential live/work units, businesses, all within the footprint of the development.  Our home lies within the Beach District, one of five districts within New Town.  All homes in New Town are designed by a single architect, in the Neo Traditional fashion.  This article by Southern Living magazine does a fantastic job of describing our neighborhood.

Today's tour features the main level of our home.  Our master bedroom, bath and a powder room are on the main level but won't be featured today. Coming in from the front porch you step right into the living room and can see all the way through to the back door!  This open concept is what sold us on the house when we decided to build three years ago.

22 June 2016


One of the best things about summer are popsicles.  I do love the store bought ones in the plastic sleeves.  Recently I learned you can buy those sleeves so I am just thinking of the possiblities...  My favorite is grape and then the pink one, is it watermelon or strawberry?

Call it what you might, popsicle, freezer pop, ice lolly, or whatever, it is essentially flavored water frozen with some kind of a stick to hold on to.  A gentleman by the name of Epperson claims to have invented the treat by accident in 1905.  Commercially produced by the same man in 1923, he sold the rights and later the frozen treat became known as the Popsicle.

20 June 2016

New Town Garden Tour 2016

The New Town Garden Club had its annual garden tour June 12.  The weather was so miserably hot that our attendance was down.  I was disappointed for our residents who spent so much time getting the gardens ready.  Still, those who went on the tour had nothing but wonderful things to say about the gardens.

This year we did something new:  we had a wreath raffle!  Say that three times fast!  We had 12 wreaths donated to the club and we sold tickets.  All the wreaths were very beautiful and the winners were thrilled when they learned they had won a wreath!

The Garden Club is raising money to put in a bird garden at the end of the big lake.  We've been raising money for some time now.  We need quite a bit to do the work we've envisioned.  I would guess we are about 2/3rds there.  Once we hit 3/4, I believe we will do a Go Fund Me effort for the rest.

Here's a brief walk through of some of the gardens and their highlights.  Some of the photos are from one of the tour participants. 

Fantastic color.


Love this outdoor room!

Fairy tale garden

What a beautiful dining space.

The art in the gardens is just beautiful!

A fantastic water feature

This color combination!

There is nothing more alluring than a rusty garden gate!

These trees add just the correct amount of whimsy to this garden.

The colors of these lilies are so beautiful!
 I hope you enjoyed the tour!  Next year I hope we have better attendance so we can begin to start our fantastic plan for a bird garden.  Stay tuned for the 2017 New Town Garden Tour!

19 June 2016

Poke Cake #SundaySupper

I remember clearly the first time my mom made Poke Cake for a dessert for our family.  It was a vanilla cake with strawberry jello topped with Cool Whip.  My sister and I looked at her in disbelief. How did the jello get into the cake?  My mom just shrugged her shoulders and gave us a little smile. We ate and ate and ate of that cake, all so good.  It was special, too, because it was stored in the refrigerator.

Poke Cake

After some time, she showed us how she poked a cooled sheet cake with a fork, and with slightly thickened jello, she poured the entire batch of jello over the cake and put it in the refrigerator to set up.  She smoothed cool whip over the top and served it in large squares with big glasses of milk.  It still is a favorite memory, even though mom hasn't made it in years.

I recently asked her about making poke cake.  She said that my Grandmother Oliver had made it and showed her how to make it.  That made perfect sense to me.  My Grandmother always had the best fashion, recipes and decor.

15 June 2016

Red White and Blue for Your Home

How many of you actually decorate using red, white and blue?  It is my go-to decorating scheme from May 15 to July 15.  I'm usually very ready for something new by July!  I started thinking about when Americans started decorating with red, white and blue and did a little research.  Here's what I found.

13 June 2016

No Bake Summer Blueberry Cheesecake #SRC

It's time for the June Secret Recipe Club reveal!  This month I had the pleasure of being assigned to Searching for Spice.  Corina is the curator for this blog and does a fantastic job of introducing her readers to wonderful recipes.

For example, I fell in love with these biscuits:  Parmesan and Basil.  Can you imagine how wonderful those would be?  Divine!  I imagine them to be buttery and delicate.  Or how about this Beef and Tomato Bake?  I had to laugh when I read about the photograph. Corina is spot on when she says one pot meals are hard to make pretty!  However, this one looks so good to me!

08 June 2016

Bee Bath

I read this post by Garden Therapy and was inspired to make this adorable bee bath for my garden. When you read this article about bee baths you will learn all about why water is important to the bees. I want to focus on the plant that brings bees to my garden and that is catmint.  Catmint is the bushy plant with the blue/purple flowers below.  You can see the bee bath in the lower left hand corner!

Catmint has so many redeeming qualities. It's beautiful, with its ever blooming purple stalks, it's deer and rabbit resistant, easy to care for, grows well in all soil types and likes both shade and sun.  As the name implies, cats seem to love it, too!

06 June 2016

Garden Bowl Salad Creations #TasteCreations

My salad bowl is quickly coming to a halt as the temperatures have been climbing upwards steadily since mid May.  Just in time to share with you one of my favorite creations for our Taste Creations Salad Month!

Growing your own lettuce is a breeze, especially if you use a large flower pot!  The rabbits and deer don't seem to notice the yummy goods in the flower pot and I always get a fantastic crop!  I tend to overplant but that helps keep the soil moist when the sun is bright and shining.

01 June 2016

Memorial Day Hamburger Cook Off #8

My family was able to be together again this Memorial Day.  I cherish these times as I have come to realize that things do change, whether you want them to or not.  This year the big change has been Ashley and Eric's move to Chicago last week.  While that is a welcomed change, I think that some of our traditions, this being one, might change when Eric enters the world of work in August.  We've been very fortunate that all of us had have time to get away and be together since we all of us were involved in higher education and had much of the same times off.  It remains to be seen how many traditions will be kept and which will have to go by the wayside.  It's a good thing to be flexible.  We wouldn't have this tradition if things had stayed the same!
Memorial Day BBQ