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Showing posts from 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! Cotton Candy Ice Cream Cones – by Tikkido American Flag Rice Krispy Treats – by A Cultivated Nest Push UP Pops – by Cra
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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
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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
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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 purcha
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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&
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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 Monday  White Spray Paint Tuesday  Poofing the Pillows 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 r
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Popsicles!

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.
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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
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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. 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,
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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.
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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!
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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!
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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.
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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!
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