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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

nothing goes to waste

It is hard for me to be quick to throw things away. The crafter in me wants to find a use and a purpose for everything. So I wanted to share what I did with the calamondin peels from the previous post. I love to dry citrus peels for all sorts of things...from potpourri to bath salts to tea infusions.
First start with the calamondin peels...
The calamondin-ade was a big hit! And the peels were so easy to remove in large pieces. Perfect for drying!

Once dry, I added them to my pile of favorite scented things from the garden and pantry...

I tend to like scents for the home that are a blend of citrus, spice and a subtle floral note. I added the calamondin peels to a potpourri in need of a pick-me-up. I also added dried lavender, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, rosemary and a few drops of lavender oil.

I will also use the spices and peels for tea infusions! It tastes great served hot or cold. You can also package the scented mixture for sachets!

Nothing feels better than a hot bath at the end of a long day. I will take all of the items from the potpourri blend and add oatmeal then grind everything to incorporate. Add the mixture to Epsom salts and voila...the perfect homemade bath salt!

Use your favorite dried ingredients to make wonderful household scents or flavorful tea infusions. Perfect for everyday or even better to give away as gifts! Now I just need to go pick more calamondins...
I do enjoy the simple things in life.
Every day is a gift...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

happy st. patrick's day

May this St. Patrick's day be filled with happiness, love, good health and of course...lots of luck!
To you and yours...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 9, 2018


A few months ago I moved off of Sanibel and into a dream. I feel so blessed. Every day I am exploring the house and the beautiful property. It's an old home built in 1925. Finding something old with loads of character on the Gulf Coast of South Florida was not easy, but we did it! Nesting has been so much fun! And I'm also getting to know the grounds that someone so lovingly created many years ago...from the old grape arbor to the beautiful garden paths to the side lawn that leads to the water. We've named the side of the property the orchard because of the old fruit trees. I guess it is fitting that an old property would have old trees. I was hoping the lush sweet smelling fruit were tangerines. After one bite there was no doubt that it was absolutely not a tangerine! It was my mom and dad who identified the fruit immediately when they were visiting...calamondin!
What on Earth is a calamondin...?

Well I might not know what they are, but I knew exactly what I was going to do with them!

Over the past few years I've been doing my best when life kept handing me lemons. Now it's handing me calamondins so I'm making calamondin-ade!

I dug out my old glass juicer and strained out the pulp and seeds...

...added some ice...

...and a lot of sugar!

Then I cleaned a few cute sections...

...topped off the pitcher with ice water...

...and calamondinade was born!

A sprig of mint was the perfect way...

to spruce up my refreshing treat.

When life gets tough you might get handed lemons or calamondins or something else altogether. But when it does, do your best to make the most of it. It is easier said than done and I know that all too well. Maybe we can all encourage each other through the good times and the bad. I wish I could share my pitcher of calamondinade but this is the next best thing. Sending out hugs to anyone who needs one!
Thanks for visiting...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

perk up

Getting droopy?
Not you...your Valentine's flowers silly!
It has been about a week so this is the time that beautiful floral arrangements start took look not-so-beautiful anymore and unfortunately they hit the trash. Oh no! Here is a short refresher on how to extend the life of your flower arrangements. 
Flowers are such a treat, especially when a lovely bouquet unexpectedly appears from someone special!

And it is a sad day when they start to droop. You can extend the life of your flowers by sorting through the arrangement and salvaging the perky blossoms.

Some flowers have the ability to last a long time once they have been cut. Alstroemeria has a very long life as cut flowers and they are often used in floral arrangements. Gently remove them from the arrangement, cut off spent blooms and leaves, and then cut the bottom of the stem at an angle. Place the newly prepped stems into a clean vase of cool water.

As roses continue to open, their heavy heads will droop. Simply follow the same steps from above. Cut the stems short then place them into a container that will help support the gorgeous full blossoms.

Even if their are only a few flowers that still look okay, you can place them into an old canning jar. It is an adorable way to create a rustic and informal bouquet to place in any room of your home.

As you take apart the floral arrangement, don't worry if a few flowers break off of their stems. They will be happy as "floats".

I like to pepper my home with floats. It's an easy way to be able to enjoy fresh flowers in every room of the house!

Mix-and-match vintage wine glasses are perfect for floating individual flowers.

I will get carried away and float flowers in all sorts of vases, glasses and unique planters.

So as you are looking at your drooping floral arrangements, step away from the trash receptacle! Find clever ways to extend the life of the perky flowers. It will give you so much more time to enjoy them. Everyone deserves a second chance...even the flowers. Just as a fairy (they always know what's best when it comes to enjoying flowers!).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

happy valentine's day

I just wanted to wish you
a Happy Valentine's Day!
I hope you are surrounded by people you love.
Take a few minutes to spoil someone (or yourself!) with something special.
How about some pink frosted sugar cookies with sugared rose petals...YUM!
Maybe you can place a big bunch of flowers in your favorite spot in the house. Anything that will make you smile!

No matter how large or small the gesture, do something that will warm your heart and the hearts of those you love.
Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Valentine's Day is right around the corner!
I wanted to share a quick and easy way to create a centerpiece for a coffee table, foyer table or dining table.
I try to advocate "using what you have" to decorate. I am the first to splurge on beautiful fresh flowers and plants for my garden. However, for holidays like Valentine's Day I try to rummage through my closets and cupboards for decorations.

For this centerpiece, I started with a tray. You could also use a large platter. When you create a tablescape on a platter or tray, you can move it from one room to another if you are entertaining.

First, come up with a color palette. I selected pink, purple and green. Next I dug out vintage Christmas ornaments, beautiful ephemera and silk flowers from my Easter decorations. 

I placed the florals in large pink cut glass bowls, then I peppered in some green votives for lovely warm candlelight.

Finally, I added layers of mix and match vintage floral china.

Whether you are going to have a romantic dinner for two or host a fun couples dinner party...
use what you have to make a creative and colorful centerpiece from the heart!
Happy decorating...

Thursday, February 1, 2018

february filled with flowers

I love February because I feel like I have carte blanche to fill my world with flowers. Who am I kidding? I surround myself with flowers 365 days a year!
At least I feel like I am a bit more "normal" in February.
Having bought every kind of cut flower imaginable, I have come up with my top 5 list of "go-to" flowers that are long lasting and no fuss. (Plus they all come in a variety of colors...surely colors that will coordinate with your décor!) Now I am a creature of habit, I tend to buy the same varieties over and over again.
Here are my suggestions if you want to surround yourself with romantic no fail flowers this February.

TIP: Whether you shop at a farmer's market, the grocery store or a florist, make sure you go with a list in hand.
If you are anything like me...I get totally distracted the second I see buckets upon buckets of beautiful blossoms! It's so easy to over-shop.

IMPORTANT: Take the time to properly clean the flowers and containers. All leaves that will be below the water line in the vase need to be gently removed. Next, trim away all spent blooms. They take energy away from the rest of the flowers. I wash all of my contains with a diluted bleach solution and rinse them thoroughly. Make all cuts with clean sheers then place a freshly trimmed stem into clean cool water.

TIP: Most of the time, fresh flowers are packaged with a packet of flower food. If you do not have any, you can keep the flowers lasting longer by adding a crushed Aspirin to the water. The salicylic acid in the Aspirin will help keep the water clean and free of flower damaging bacteria. Another option is to use a solution of sugar, bleach, and lemon juice to keep your cut flowers lasting longer. 

TIP: If you are intimidated by making formal flower arrangements follow this easy rule of thumb. Divide the flowers by variety and shape, Then match a container accordingly. I like to group 3 sizes and shapes together. This is a terrific combination: delphinium, baby's breath and roses.

TIP: Select colors that coordinate with your décor.

I use vibrant delphinium in my living room and a slightly lighter shade in one of my bedrooms... 

A coffee table is a lovely place to display an arrangement.
TIP: It is best to keep the shape low as to not interfere with conversations or television watching.
This is one of my very favorite combinations for an easy-to-create arrangement: cream hydrangeas and blush roses.

I use the same blush roses combined with pale blue hydrangeas on the breakfast table. For special occasions I will add a few white lilies. They add a wonderful fragrance!

Since I have an affinity for white and cream, I always have buckets filled with baby's breath around the house.
TIP: Be sure to change the water often to keep the flowers looking healthy as long as possible. Cut off the ends of the stems if they start to look like they are beginning to rot.

Another favorite to add to the list is stock. It lasts a long time and the scent is so refreshing.
TIP: For a punch of color, add a bowl of fresh fruit to your floral displays. These apples are as delicious as they are beautiful! The green and white colors make my kitchen look so cheerful!

So here is my list of go-to cut flowers:
baby's breath
The other reason these are my favorites...
all of these flowers can be dried! I can enjoy them while they are fresh then they get a second life in dried flower wreaths, flower arrangements and potpourri...then I can enjoy them forever!
Make your list and go shopping!!!
Happy February...