Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bookend woes

I have some beautiful old marble bookends that my husband's Great grandmother had. They are a little small for the books I want them to hold up, but they also slide on the table. I came up with an idea.
Take some rug gripper material....
Cut a piece of it down....
Then take your bookend....and trace the bottom of it to fit....
then cut....
And under the bookend where you want it! Simple!
Now, if you want, you can glue the gripper material in place. In this case, the bookends are antiques as is the table, so I didn't want to glue the material in place. But, it seems to work!

You can see, on the other side I used a larger metal bookend as the books on that side are so tall, these bookends can't hold them without added help. But, on the right side there is no added I think this is something that will work!
Isn't it fun to find new uses for other items??
Have a great week out there!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yes, you can paint a lamp

My daughter works for the Fairmont. She is a world class concierge.....really....
Anyway, they were renovating and also changing out lamps in all of their rooms. They offered lamps for free to all employees, they could take as many as they needed!
Well, our daughter hopes to have her own place soon, and thinking ahead, she went and picked up three lamps...two table lamps and a floor lamp complete with very nice and expensive shades.
Of course, she didn't like the style so she brought them to me for a change of color and style.
Of course, I forgot to take the before pictures....they were black and gold. Not at all her color or style, but the "bones" were.
So, yesterday, I painted them for her using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen. They went from outdated and dowdy to simply fab!

She didn't want any dark wax used for a cleaner, crisper look but did want the two "rings" to be Duck Egg blue. They really turned out quite nice. Was I surprised, not is just so satisfying to be able to turn most anything into something new with a simple, truly simple, paint! We just dusted them and painted! Er, I painted....she watched and directed.
While we were waiting for the paint to dry, we slipped over to the design center near by, SoCo....and went into so new shops....Cisco and Farrow&Ball....ooohhh, eye candy. Then, we came back and finished up the lamps.
The true drying time was about 30 mins due to the surface of the lamp, drying times vary....
The lamps took two coats of paint, three if you count the duck egg touches.....
Then I waxed them let that dry and buffed.
Now, she has new lamps...cost 0 as I had the paint and wax....
Not a bad day.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gluten Free Pancakes, can they be good and good for you?

I love pancakes.
My husband loves pancakes.
However, pancakes are made with wheat flour and eggs, and if you are to avoid those, it is a sad state of affairs.....Until now.
There is a baking mix that I have tried (I have tried many!) that I swear by and recently was able to buy a 4 lb bag from Amazon....
I have used the little bags of Pamela's and honestly they taste like the "real" thing! It is an easy to use mix, doesn't make a million pancakes and you can stick to the plan!
 How about blueberry pancakes?? Just add a few blueberries to the cooking pancake and then when ready, flip...
I am supposed to avoid eggs too, which I never really liked anyway, however, they are so important in baking and pancakes! This egg replacer is really good! Follow the directions and you will be pleasantly surprised!
Oh! And another thing that is yummy that we have tried. "Southern at Heart" the cooking show, she used and swears by Sorghum. Well, here in So. Calif, you will be hard pressed to find, I ordered it online. The sorghum is made by a company outside Louisville, Kentucky and it is super!!
Sorghum tastes like maple syrup and honey got together and had a baby!! Soooo yummmyy!!!
Anyway, enjoy this mix, even if you don't have to avoid wheat or eggs.....
Changing your diet every once in a while, is good for the system....
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yummy dessert and dried beans

Yesterday, we harvested more figs and the first bunch of apples from the trees.
Ah what to do...what to do...
So, while dinner was cooking, I played...I chopped up some figs and some apples mixed them with brown sugar and dumped them into a glass pie pan. Then, I mixed up an oatmeal (I like Coach's Oats from Costco), brown sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in the food processor and dumped that on top of the fruit mixture. When dinner was done cooking, I put that into the oven and let it cook for about 40-45 mins at 375.
After it came out, it needed a little I took a large handful of chocolate chips and put those on the hot "pie" to melt...perfect! Then, hard as it was, we let it sit for about 15 mins or so....then we ate it. Oh, that was yummy!
Now, today was a gardening catch up day. We harvested figs, and had to trim the tree a bit as it was so full it was going over....
We went to Roger's Gardens to get Kale, but alas, they only had dinosaur Kale (not a fan) or Russian Red, of course I found other things we just had to have. I found an eggplant with a baby eggplant on it...and another variety of eggplant as well as mint. I read somewhere that mint will chase away I thought it was worth a try. They are in the pot with the fig.
But, aside from planting and all, I discovered that the King Bean had lots of dried pods already! That is early this year. But dutifully, I brought them in and shelled them.

They are such pretty dried beans! They will be perfect in the winter time in a soup!
So far I have dried about 4 quarts or more of figs and frozen several gallon bags of them....I will have to learn some new recipes for figs....besides fig jam.
I have to say, for a little backyard, we get a great deal of produce!
How has your weekend been??

Friday, August 15, 2014

No Place Like Home

Ah, no place like home......
We have been on Washington State. We went to Union, WA, which is where the Alderbrook is, on the Hood Canal. August is the prime vacation time and it was busy....but lovely.
Tall trees everywhere and lots of water. The Alderbrook is an old hotel that has been beautifully fixed up and is now a resort and spa.
We spent a week touring around, including a trip up to Sequim, WA to visit a friend of a friend.
So, I thought instead of just writing about it, I'd give you pix to enjoy.

It was lovely to get away and see different sights, trees, water, rivers, eagles, seals maple trees, geese and more, but it is always wonderful to be home.
Have a great day!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Shower

Well, it all came together yesterday. 28 people at the first part of the shower and 42 for dinner. It was a two part day. The ladies with the shower, snacks, games and presents and then at 5 the "boys" joined for a BBQ dinner, catered by Newport Rib, which was perfect.
It took a lot of work to get it together, but it worked, even when their was a small rain shower that made us move inside for a short time....but we were able to move back outside for dinner (phew!) and a lovely evening for chatter and fun.
We had all the elements that I had read you should have for a good party....color, a theme, and surprises...especially for the guest of honor.
We did that "diaper raffle" which is so much fun that they are well supplied with diapers! We supplied a really generous couple of baskets, "night out" that had movie ticket coupons, wine, wine glasses, & popcorn. We did two of those drawings, one at the first part of shower and one with the boys. The games we played were fun but not "gross" as one guest put it (and trust me some of the games can really be!).
Our theme was based on a rain shower (because we were showering her with gifts) raindrops, parasols and teddy bears. The pictures that follow don't show them so well....but we made raindrops and put them on a clear line....those were inside and out. We used parasols that we found at thrift stores and online.
A dear friend does balloons for a living....we gave us a great deal and that was a surprise in itself....
At 4:45, the Newport Rib Company came and what was on the main table got moved to the counter and they set up with their tablecloths the food....ribs, chicken, sausages, beans, coleslaw, salad, & corn bread. Dessert was a cake we got from Costco.....even my daughter who dislikes cake said she loved it!
Beverages from the shower carried over into dinner in addition to wine, beer, soda and Pellagrino (people made wine spritzers!) Food that remained from the first part of the shower also carried over...everyone ate and ate!
So, without further are only some pictures from the shower. They were taken by my husband and daughter who helped put this show on!

 This was when gifts started to the end the table was overflowing...they got almost everything they asked for and then some!
 The fruit platter my daughter and her friend created.
 The table was covered with food....
 There were two platters that were empty in this quiches and "pinwheel" sandwiches that hadn't been put out....
See the Paddington Bear? That was my eldest daughter's (who was helping put on the shower)...he was perfect with his raincoat, rain hat and rain boots.
 We had simple table centerpieces of blue ball jars with baby's breath and white roses, which opened as the day progressed and then little candies that were white with blue baby footprints going down the table.....

Hope you enjoyed your day, I rested today!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Light at the end of the tunnel

My daughter's shower is tomorrow...and almost everything is ready.
In the mean time, we have been fighting our dog's horrible itches. I mean serious itching, scratching, chewing all the time. Her skin is raw and tired as are we all, because she wakes up in the night with it and furiously goes at her body. This has been going on for well over a year. Yes, we have taken her to the vet....numerous times. Her skin is turning black from so much scratching, and the vet says the itching is common to dogs in So. Cal...and it is considered an epidemic. The vets say it can be contact dermatitis or from something they eat.
We have changed foods. We have added probiotics. We have added enzymes.
We have literally spent hundreds both in vet visits and in sprays and lotions.
With such a problem we were desperate to find something that would really work. Even, if it worked only for a short time, to give her skin a rest and a chance to heal.
Day before yesterday, I was online looking for info....something, anything....and came across a blog by a lady who breeds Great Danes. Her site was just the source of comfort I needed and had strong suggestions and ideas. One was to wash the dog's bed in only a bleach and water, no soap or detergent. Makes sense....and did that. The other was to get this spray formula. She said she had seen great results.  So, I ordered it through Amazon and also ordered the shampoo that it works with.
It arrived yesterday and I gave our dog a bath immediately. As I washed her, she relaxed. Her eyes rolled with pleasure and it was no problem to leave it on for the prescribed 5 minutes.
Then, when she was dry, I followed up with the can be sprayed directly on open sores even, which is good, because those itch.
In minutes, her whole body relaxed. She stretched out and enjoyed the sun. EUREKA!
There is an added bonus. The biting flies didn't like the spray and flew away....they went and bit the other dog, so we sprayed him too....NO flies ! Now, we are on to something!
I am really happy to report, she truly slept last night! Now, her skin can start to heal.....
What is this magical product?  I will show you.
I have to say first....I am not being paid to tell you about it or any other reimbursement. I just had to share something that is making life a bit better for our dogs, and therefore for us.....
It really does stop the scratching and the "smelly" dog thing that can occur from skin troubled dogs. In fact, next time we see the vet, I will pass it along....