Thursday, May 31, 2012

Throw Pillow Talk

Remember a year ago when I found white euro pillow covers and plopped them on a couple pillow forms that were a little too small for the covers?  My initial solution was too shrink the covers in the dryer.  That idea worked for a couple weeks until they got stretched out and started looking really sloppy again.  I had two bigger pillows that I put inside the sweater covers and they worked much better, but I had always envisioned three matching sweater pillows across our king sized bed.  I've been on the lookout for a huge pillow for awhile now.  I was excited when I found this pillow at Marshall's one date night (post-dinner...pre-movie).  

 The pillow did have a relatively big problem:
...see the tear in the lower left corner? The tear/slash went into the pillow insert even.

 Since I really only needed the pillow insert, I could look past the tear, especially for this price:
In complete honesty, when I picked it up, it was marked $7.  I asked if they would take $3.  They countered with $4.  I said okay.  

I gathered up a couple materials including $2 in pink ric rac, the extra pillow cover I had on hand and a different pillow insert I already owned.

 Here is what I ended up with:


The colors in this fabric are perfect in Lucky's room, so that's where this new pillow is living.  I'd been wanting to try making a pillow using ric rac along the edge instead of piping.  It looks okay, but I learned that I much prefer the look and ease of piping.  I consider it a lesson learned on the cheap:).

Project cost:
Two new pillows for $6 ($12 if you count the original sweater cover).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Love Summer Weekends!

We had a blast this weekend while visiting Oma and Opa up north.  We got to see their gorgeous, new sun porch addition:

And play by the fire:

 Lucky the Monkey:

 Post-tree collision:


Uncle D.B.'s Show Time:

 Happy 43rd Anniversary Oma and Opa!

 Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're...
Happy Early Father's Day Opa!

 Cooking with Oma:

Haircut time with Uncle Fritz:

Fish Feeding at the Pond:

Ice Cream Ball Rolling:

What a wonderful weekend!!  Thanks Oma and Opa!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Silverware Herb Markers

Now that we have our herb garden planted, I wanted to add some fun herb markers to help me keep my herbs straight.  I originally wanted to pick up some fun Smith & Hawken copper herb markers that Target is selling for $2.99 each, but my local Target hasn't had them in stock for several weeks, and I'm thinking that since it's a seasonal item they might never come back in stock.  I searched for herb markers on Etsy and found several listings for silverware herb markers.  I thought I would try to make my own using this metal stamping kit that I ordered off Amazon.
I ordered this kit because I liked that it had numbers and letters, and I liked the $12-ish price.  I would have loved to pick up a kit in a bigger size, but as the size goes up, the price also goes up...dramatically.  I also picked up some random pieces of silverware at Goodwill for $0.29 each.  I pounded them flat with a hammer, and used the stamps to write out the names of my herbs.  I discovered that it was best to give each letter one solid hit from the hammer versus several smaller taps.  Smaller taps created duplicate letters in some cases.

After I stamped all my spoons and forks, I got out a Sharpie marker to help make the letters stand out better.  I just colored in the letters and then wiped off the excess Sharpie with a wet wipe.

 This one reads 'Cilantro'.  The sun makes them tricky to read at times:).





I think it's funny that there are forks and spoons in the garden:)!  

And with that...I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Travel safely, eat lots of grilled food, and most importantly...don't forget your sunscreen!! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fresh Herb Time!

On Monday, I posted about our new organic herb and spice collection, but there's one thing that's better than cooking with herbs in jars, and it's cooking with fresh herbs!!   Unlike last summer, we decided to take on a small landscaping project this year.  We took these before images:

and we transplanted a few bushes and added some edging, black dirt and mulch.  Now the same area looks like this:

It's our new herb garden!  We had done some work in this area last year, but we still weren't thrilled with the way the poured concrete stepping 'stones' had mulch on one side and rock on the other.  I wanted a bigger area for an herb garden, so we transplanted a few bushes that had been there and increased the mulch area.  We planted basil, rosemary, parsley, sage, dill, cilantro, oregano and lavender.  We already had a small area of chives that we planted by seed last year.  And there are a few strawberry plants in this area too.  

The night after we planted it, we started harvesting fresh herbs for dinner!  Does anyone else have plans for an herb garden this summer?  It feels so good to have the bulk of this year's landscaping done already, and it's not even June:)!  And an extra special thank you to my brother for his help this past weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Hello Goodbye Series: Feeling Spicey!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Why do they always fly by so fast?   We've been enjoying some quality time with my brother, better known around here as Uncle D.B.!  We've been working and playing and eating yummy food!  

One thing that we've been especially enjoying is our new spice selection:

Our current spice selection is a huge improvement from our 'before' selection which consisted of a variety of spices, most of which were really, really old since we rarely used them:

To create a new collection, I picked up a new spice every week since February.  I chose Target's organic spices because I like the price ($2.49 per jar, some purchased for $1.99 with coupons), the look and the size (less spice=less likely to hold on to old spices).  And more important than owning a new spice collection, we're actually using spices now that we are eating less processed foods and cooking healthier meals!  Here are some of the meals we've made recently:

Asparagus Pizza

Shrimp and Asparagus Gnocchi

Arugula and Apple Salad

Spinach, Garbanzo Bean and Egg Hash.  

Bleu Cheese and Red Onion Portabella Mushroom Burger

Goodbye to old, out of date spices.  Hello to fresh, organic spices and homemade cooking!
I'm telling you, we've never eaten better:)!!