Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The night before Christmas...

It's  Christmas eve and we are getting ready for a Christmas brunch and snacking on a few yummy appetizers...

Here is a peak at my house all ready for tomorrow!

                                      making orange juice for Mimosas for Christmas brunch 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Your tea basket can be clean again...

I know, I know, I start this blog and then pretty much post nothing for weeks.  I've been busy working, for real working.  I need to make money to buy tea some how. :)

Today I wanted to share a little cleaning tip and tell you something you probably already know, which is that Oxi Clean is freaking AMAZING!  I know I sound like an infomercial right now but seriously this stuff is a miracle worker.  Look below at my before and after of this doily I washed in it.  Seriously, crazy town.

Yeah, see it's amazing, but you knew that!  The only problem with this stuff is that it's not really good for the environment so when I do use it I try to get as many things clean with the amount I have already mixed up.  I have heard that it's possible to make a greener version of this stuff on your own at home; so I am going to have to try that some day and let you know about it, but not today.  Okay, back to my original post...

Once upon a time a few months back I decided it was finally time to throw out my old stainless steel basket that held the tea leaves in my cast iron tea pot.  It was so dirty and looked like a serious health hazard. So I went online in search of a new one and stumbled upon a tip on how to clean it.   They said all I had to do was soak the basket in some water and Oxi Clean and it would be as good as new. Bullshit, this thing was disgusting there was no fixing it, but I'm cheap and thought I would give it a go just in case.  Well, to my surprise they were right! It came clean and really did look like the day I bought it.  

So back to the doily again...the doily is clean and now I have a bowl of Oxi Clean solution that I would like to get at least one more use out of so I searched my house for something to clean...

I grabbed my single cup tea basket, not too bad but a little stained and dingy.  I dropped it in the solution, left it over night and the next morning cleaned it with soap and water.  Soap and water! That's important! You really want to wash your tea basket well, maybe even toss it in the dishwasher, because i'm pretty sure you should be be ingesting Oxi Clean.  After that it's all sparkly and ready to go! Tea time!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rustic Star Ornaments...

Every Christmas gets a little prettier at my house because I am always adding, enhancing, or editing my décor and trees.
I already do a big traditional tree and a little “kitchen” tree, so this year I decided we were ready for a rustic woodsy tree. The Mr. is from upstate New York so naturally over the years we have accumulated some really cute Adirondack themed ornaments and we finally have enough for them to get their own tree.

I really hate things in my home to be overly perfect and matching. I like things that are more quirky and hand made, it just feels more like “home” to me.

So I gathered together some scraps I had left over from reupholstering a chair not too long ago and printed out a star template.

My first idea was to sew a few different stars together but that didn’t quite work out. The velvet and linen stars sewed up quickly and easily…

…but the jute webbing was not on my side. 

With every stitch it was falling apart more and more. After sitting there and making faces at my pile of fraying jute stars, I finally decided to brush some glue on the edges to seal them and just hang them like that. As I was standing there looking at my glued edges my obvious next train of thought was Glitter! I mean the glues already there and everything is better with a little glitter, right?

So I glued a little gold glitter to the edges of my jute stars and glued some red yarn onto them for a hanger.

I then let them dry over night on some parchment paper, because in my mind if cookies don't stick to parchment paper then neither do ornaments. The next morning they were dry and ready to go!

I think my rustic tree is looking pretty good for his first year, next year he might need a little something else...


Friday, December 5, 2014

Candles are a flowers best friend....

There are two décor items I can’t live without, fresh flowers and candles.  If I can find a candle that smells wonderful and looks good I’m a happy girl.

A lot of people spend good money on candles, burn them, and toss them.  What a waste!  If that candle was pretty enough for your home with wax in it and it will look even better with some flowers in it! If you love candles then you will never have to buy a vase again, okay maybe you will but not as many.

Once your candle burns all the way down pop it in the freezer and wait a day.  Soy candles burn down and disappear better than wax candles but you can do this with both.

Okay, so in my case it’s been a week I forgot all about it and I go to get some chicken out of the freezer, no worries it’s still good to go.  Postpone dinner, grab an old butter knife or screw driver and CAREFULLY stab the wax.   It will either pop out or break into chunks, either way you can empty the container fairly easy.  You may need to use a little goo gone if there’s anything sticky remaining on the bottom from the wick, but other than that just wash with dish soap and you are ready to go. 

Now run out side cut and collect anything in your yard that looks good, maybe your neighbor’s yard if it’s really, really pretty and they aren’t home.  Remember to clean the stems of any flowers or branches you just cut before arranging them, the leaves will rot in the water.  Now you have lovely little arrangements all over your house for free! Well sorta free, you bought the candle and maybe your neighbor hates you now…but you know what I mean…

    a few pomegranate branches

a little sage and dwarf myrtle, pretty and smells so good

and don't forget all the the reed diffusers you are throwing away make great bud vases...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Tea Yumminess

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well the way to my heart is through tea!  I love all things tea; tea pots, tea cups, tea sandwiches, and I have certainly never been one to say no to a yummy scone.  Some folks can’t get through their day without a cup of coffee, well for me it’s tea. Tea wakes me up,  puts me to sleep, and fixes pretty much every problem.  Anywho, you get the point, so since I am always finding new delicious teas and beautiful tea pots that I just have to have I will share them with you and maybe convert you to a tea lover as well.

Right now I am all about seasonal everything, as is the rest of the world and there is no shortage of holiday teas out there.  The other day I picked up this “Harvest Stackable” tin from Sprouts Farmers Market.  It’s by Zhena’s and I really love their teas.  They only sell 100% organic and 100% fair trade certified teas which is super important to me.

Think about it, you can’t wash off your tea leaves before steeping them, so you are basically drinking a nice warm cup of chemicals.  Yuck!

Okay, back to the tea.  This tin comes with 4 sachets of each flavor; Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Truffle, and Cranberry Bliss.  I have tried them all and they are delicious.  The only bad thing I have to say is that I have had better Pumpkin Spice tea else where, but it’s still incredibly yummy.  I have seen Zhena’s sold at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and even at HomeGoods once in a while so keep your eyes peeled and pick some up!

The next tea I am loving this holiday season is Peppermint Bark.  A couple of weeks ago my mom and I were out shopping and were lured into Teavana by their free samples.  They have a limited edition White Chocolate Peppermint tea right now that is to die for.  I was in love and about to buy a tin for myself and my mom but it wasn’t organic.  I know we would drink all of this tea right up and as tempting and delicious as it was I wanted an organic version.  Flash forward a week and I get my favorite catalogue in the mail, The Republic of Tea.  My favorite because well it’s all about tea and they always include a free sample.  Who does that?!?!  It’s always exciting for me and guess what the sample was this time…Organic Peppermint Bark!  As soon as I took a sip I was all Teavana who? and this was now my official tea of Christmas.  It's organic, nongmo, caffeine free, gluten free, sugar free, carb free…free of everything but deliciousness! Go now and get some, you can thank me later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Saving fabric and your ass from spilled wax

I am amazing at cleaning stuff, somewhat of a cleaning expert if I do say so myself.  How did I acquire this skill? Well I am also an expert at ruining things; I have a knack for it.  If it stains, I've spilled it.  Once I even managed to spill an entire quart of paint on the carpet going upstairs and the carpet is still there and looking good.  So you are in luck, I am going to share all the tricks I have learned over the years on how to save things after that “oh shit" moment.

Today I need to fix this doily.  Yeah, I know I’m, and well maybe your grandma, are the only people in the world still using doilies.  I don’t care, I like them.  Anyways I let a candle burn a bit too much and it melted over the side, now my lovely doily has a big pile of dried wax on it.  I have sadly done this before, more times than I want to admit.  Carpet too, I have somehow spilled wax on to carpet multiple times, sorry Mom!  Lucky for me after all these accidents I have mastered getting wax off of everything.

Here is the doily with the dried wax on it.

First you need to bend the fabric and break off as much dried wax as you can.

Next get out some brown paper bags, I feel the thinner paper works best because the heat penetrates them more, but who knows.  Place one bag under the fabric and one on top.  Make sure you are putting the brown part on your fabric.  You don’t want any pictures or writing transferring on to it.

Now get out your iron and warm that baby up.  Firmly press on the area where the wax is for a few seconds at a time.  You will see the wax melting on to the bag.  Keep going and moving the bag around for clean areas.  Keep on ironing until the wax is gone or until your happy enough to live with it.

When I was done ironing I hand washed it and TADA! Good as new, and apparently it desperately needed to be washed.  Now go burn some candles! Preferably the Christmassy smelling ones...

Friday, November 28, 2014


Hello World! Nice to meet you.  Charmed, I’m sure.  This is going to be my little place to share.  I will share  what’s on my mind because I have an endless supply of opinions and stories and to share what project I am currently working on because there is always something! 

Since we just celebrated the delicious holiday Thanksgiving, I will share a couple recipes from our dinner. 

First the most important thing the drink! Holiday Sangria stolen from Tommy Bahamas, well sorta stolen.  I have no idea what the recipe is other than the description on the menu.  Soooo the recipe in my kitchen goes like this:

1 Bottle of Port
½ a Bottle of cranberry gingerale
Some spiced rum
A little bit of cranberry juice (the unsweetened kind)
Mulled spices
Pumpkin pie spices
Sliced green apples

Mix all of the above in a large bowl or pitcher to taste and let steep? Soak? for a little bit then drink! Very tasty..3 out of my 4 guests loved it, and the 4th well doesn't count because they don’t like wine so boo on them.

The next recipe I was very excited to try this year was Pumpkin Mousse.  I am tired of the traditional pumpkin pie and wanted something different but the same and this was the answer and it was delicious!

Here is the link to the recipe I used:

Instead of crumbling the cookies into the mousse I served them on the side for dipping.  Yummy!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and tasty Thanksgiving!