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Monday, July 21, 2014

aquarium to terrarium

Well I think most of us have purchased an aquarium at some point in our lives. I bet they are hiding in many basements and attics right now. (I sure see loads of them at yard sales!) Well here is an easy way to turn an ordinary aquarium into an extraordinary terrarium...

Old watertight terrarium
River stones or pea gravel
Plant material
Decorative tape

Before you get started: Check to see if the aquarium is watertight by filling the bottom 2 inches with water. If it leaks, seal the seams with silicone and allow time to dry.

1. Fill the bottom of the aquarium with one inch of clean pea gravel.
2. Add a layer of potting soil.

3. Arrange plant materials and cover all exposed roots with soil.

4. Press gently to fill all air gaps around the roots.

5. Cover the soil with stones and seashells.

6. For a nice finishing touch, cover the top edge of the aquarium with a decorative tape.

7. If you wish to have a terrarium and not just a planter,
cover with a piece of glass.

NOTE: Be sure to choose the plant material wisely. Enclosing a terrarium creates a very damp environment. Plants such as ferns and ivy will thrive while plants like succulents will rot. Research your plant materials to provide the best possible growing habitat.

TIP: When it comes to creating terrariums, be sure to sterilize everything. Work with a pristine tank, clean river stones and fresh soil. If you like the idea of adding seashells, clean off all sea salt residue. Salt can be fatal to some plants.

This terrarium and other great ideas are featured in my article
“Off the Beaten Path”
in the June/July issue of Flea Market D├ęcor magazine.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

nothing beats the best

My Mom makes...hands down...the best chocolate chip cookies!
Writing and photographing for magazines offers me the opportunity
to share many things and I was so thrilled to share
her recipe for yummy home-made chocolate chippers.
Nothing fancy...but utterly scrumptious.
I thought I would post her recipe just in case you are in search
of something yummy to take to a 4th of July celebration
this weekend...Enjoy!

¾ cup of butter
¾ of brown sugar
¾ cup of white sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
12 ounces chocolate chips

1.       Using an electric mixer, cream ¾ cup of butter, ¾ of brown sugar, ¾ cup of white sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla.
2.       Continue mixing and add two eggs (one at a time)
3.       Beat until smooth
4.       In a separate bowl combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 t of baking soda and ¼ t of salt
5.       Add the dry mixture slowly into the mixing bowl to incorporate
6.       Once incorporated add  12 ounces of chocolate chips and stir
7.       Drop by rounded spoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet
8.       Bake at 350 degrees for 8 10 minutes
9.       Allow cookies to stand on the cookie sheet for one minute then remove to a clean surface to cool.

The only thing better than her cookies...
is actually sharing them with her!
Love you Momma...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

decorating for a big birthday!!!

Is there a bigger celebration than the birthday of our country?
I had a great time decorating a client's outdoor
sitting room for a Fourth of July party.
Here's a little peek...Enjoy!

This article is in the July issue of Romantic Homes magazine.
I will post more pictures of this space
with more holiday decorating inspiration soon!