Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We're Thankful...

...for fans, right about now. Whoa, is it HOT!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Twist On An Old Favorite

Our evenings have been so magnificent this summer. Most nights, we're found playing a game out on the patio and then staying out late watching for bats and finally star gazing. One of our favorite patio accessory is our fire pit. There is just something about sitting around a fire that makes summer evenings even more fantastic! Everytime we have a fire in the pit, the girls want to roast marshmallows which then leads to wanting s'mores.
The other day I decided to try something different from the same old, same old - graham crackers and Hershey chocolate bars. To change things up a bit, I bought Pepperidge Farm Geneva cookies since one side is covered in dark chocolate and also have an added bonus - pecans. I thought these cookies would make a great twist on the classic.
Geneva cookie s'mores did not disappoint. Definitely not as economical as regular s'mores but oh were they wonderful and such an extraordinary treat!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Refreshing "Tup Pops"

Remember these?
My mom used to make "tup pops" for my brothers and I when we were little in the 60's and 70's. If you've never seen the containers, they were made by Tupperware. I'm not sure if Tupperware makes them anymore...
My girls are loving their homemade strawberry lemonade popsicles - they're so refreshing on hot summer days!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Busy Little Stinker

I'd like you all to meet who's responsible for ruining my rose bushes - it's good thing he's so cute! Bun Rab is growing so fast, thanks to all the leaves he's eating off my roses! My plants are looking so sad... Regardless, we've been having fun watching for Bun Rab visits. He's come out to dine near us a few times while we've been dining al fresco - we're loving the entertainment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Huckleberry Muffins

Yesterday, the girls and I picked enough "hunkle berries" (as Daphne would say) to bake something. We were trying to get enough to make a tart - but we'd still be out there picking... If you've ever picked wild huckleberries, you'll know what I mean, it really takes awhile to get any accumulated. We decided to make muffins (thanks for the suggestion Vicki!) instead since we ended up picking only one cup of berries.
My Huckleberry Muffins
1/4 Cup butter
3/4 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 Cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup huckleberries
(blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries would work as well too)
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time - beating well. Add vanilla. Alternate flour, soda, and salt with sour cream into butter mixture. Fold in berries.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes approximately 16 muffins
Since I have eager pickers and have been asked to make more muffins, I better get busy...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Retro Cupcakes

I've had this totally cute cupcake fabric laying around for far too long, so last weekend, I made Sydney a dress.

Another fun way to upcycle old jeans.

2604 Yo Yos

The other day, my mom and I did a little thrift and antique shopping in the town of Freeland, here on Whidbey Island. One of my favorite antique mall - The Red Rooster in Freeland is a must visit, each time we're on the island.
I don't think I've told you how much I love yo yo quilts and how I've wanted one for a super long time... a really super long time... Well, I finally got one. Yippee! Whoohoo! While we were shopping my favorite antique mall on Thursday, I found it. Oh, and the best part - my mom bought it for me for my birthday, which is in August. Yay!
There are 2,604 yo yos hand sewn together to make this coverlet. So many awesome old feedsacks were used for the fabric. I particularly love the small size of the yo yos - they're about 1" in diameter. Think of the time that went into creating this quilt - whoa!
Can't wait to display it in our "couch room" - first I gotta get hubby to make me some type of hanging quilt rack... Ahem...oh, Honey!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

July On Whidbey

We're enjoying a fabulous week up at my parents beach house! I put together this picture mosaic capturing some of what we've been up to. The week started out with a fantastic 4th of July celebration - loud and festive, just the way we like it! Tuesday, we headed up to Fort Casey for a picnic and to do a little exploring and since we were so close to the town of Coupeville, we went in to town and enjoyed yummy ice cream cones. The rest of our time has been spent doing our favorite activities - enjoying the view, crabbing, clam digging, tubing (that's my hubby being tossed)hehe, beachcombing for sea glass and shells, s'mores at the beach fire, family football games, watching bunnies, good food, soaking up the sun, antiquing, and thrifting.
It's all about making great memories and relaxing - we love it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Filled Cupcake Goodness

When I was little, I loved going with my mom to the Hostess Bakery outlet store. Mom would stock up on Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, Cupcakes, Fruit Pies, etc... and keep them in the freezer for snacking. Frozen Twinkies were (still are) my favorite! The other day I tried making my own "Hostess" cupcakes. The first batch I made from scratch had too many steps, and weren't fantastic . For the second batch, I changed things up and made them with less steps - definitely my kind of baking!
Surprise Cupcakes

1 Box Devil's Food cake mix prepared as 24 cupcakes

Cream Filling:
3 TBSP Flour
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter or Shortening
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Cook flour and milk until it's thick (do not boil) cool to room temperature. Whip butter or shortening and sugar together, add vanilla. Add flour/milk mixture to butter/sugar and whip for 7 minutes.

When the cupcakes are cool - cut out a small cone shape from the center of the cupcake, and then cut off the pointy end of the cone shape. You'll be left with a flat circle Add a small spoonful of cream filling into the hole and put the circular piece of cake back on top of the filling.

Frost as desired with chocolate frosting.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Old Jeans Upcycled

After clearing out some space in the girls dresser drawers, I found too many jeans that were either to short or had holes in the knees. Since our weather has been so beautiful, all the girls want to wear are skirts anyways, so I got busy. By using the top part of the jeans and adding fabric ruffles, they got something new and cute to wear!
Grand Revival Design fabrics for Free Spirit are wonderful to sew with - the two fabrics I used are from the Ava Rose collection designed by Tanya Whelan.
I didn't have to ask twice - Daphne was more than happy to model her new skirt and smocked top. What the girls love best, is how great the skirts are for twirling!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wild Red Huckleberries & Pretty Weeds...

Everyday lately, I've had to announce I'm going down our driveway to the mailbox or I'll get in trouble. You see, it's huckleberry season and we have a plethora of berries right now and I know two little girls that can't seem to get enough of the tart berries. If I go without them, I never hear the end of it. It's one of their favorite summer things... Red huckleberries are unique to the Pacific Northwest. I've never made anything with our berries since we mainly only pick and eat our fill, but one of these days, I'll have to make something - I'm getting quite a few requests...
While on our little jaunt to the mailbox, we spotted a few "pretty" weeds too. Sydney was busy gathering flowers to make a tiny bouquet. Here's a little sampling of what we came across.
Top row left to right: huckleberries, red maids, fireweed.
Bottom row left to right: morning glory, red elderberry, buttercup
I wouldn't mind if these pretty weeds grew in my flower beds...