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Friday, March 28, 2014

My 2014 Easter Picks from Williams-Sonoma for decorating, dining, eating, crafting and of course HUNTING!


Nordic Ware Easter Bunny Cake Pan
Liven up your Easter table with a playful cake in the shape of the season’s signature rabbit. Our nonstick pan makes it easy, turning out a sculptural dessert to decorate any way you like. Whether you sprinkle your bunny with sugar, drizzle him with a chocolate glaze or adorn him with colorful icings, this magical cake is guaranteed to make everyone smile. Clever two-part design makes it simple to create the ultimate 3-D treat for springtime celebrations. Durable cast-aluminum construction ensures perfectly even baking. Premium nonstick finish guarantees that your cake will come out of the pan easily—and cleanup is a breeze. Made in the USA by Nordic Ware, a family-owned company famous for fine bakeware since 1946.


Easter Egg Chalk Decorating Kit
Our clever kit transforms eggs into miniature chalkboards, ready to decorate with colorful messages and playful designs. Decorating your eggs is fun and easy – just use the blower to hollow out the eggshell, then cover the entire surface with our special chalkboard paint. Use the chalk to write and draw on the eggs, creating one-of-a-kind works of art for your spring time celebrations. Create colorful Easter eggs with chalkboard paints in light blue, pink and black – plus blue, white, yellow and lavender chalk. Kit also includes an egg blower, paintbrush and egg tray.


Damask Easter Bunny Serving Bowl and Platter
Brighten your springtime celebrations with this vintage-style serve bowl, decorated with a playful portrait of a woodland bunny. For a traditional touch of elegance, we’ve set the bunny against a pale blue floral backdrop that re-creates the look of damask textiles. The bowl provides charming presentation for everything from pastas and salads to fresh fruit and breakfast pastries. Made of strong, durable stoneware. Microwavable; oven and dishwasher safe.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Easy Spring and Easter Decorations

Flowers-&-Vegetables Display ~ Carrots and lettuce leaves arranged around the inside of the wide vases create a unique look. Keep the vegetables propped up by placing a smaller vase inside the larger one and laying the vegetables in between. Wrap string around the vases for a homespun accent. Place a decorative bird or bunny nearby to give the display an Easter touch.

Springtime Door Decoration ~ Gather a bouquet of flowers, real or silk, into an umbrella for a door display full of country charm. Tie a ribbon around the umbrella to hold the bouquet in place, and add a few dyed, blown-out eggshells for extra Easter fun.

Twig Easter Nest Centerpiece ~ Celebrate Easter and spring simultaneously with this pretty table topper. Simply purchase a faux bird's nest online or at a crafts store (or build your own), and fill it with plastic eggs for a quick centerpiece.

What You Call Yourself and What God Calls You

“And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.’ ” Judges 6:12

In Scripture, God called Gideon a mighty man of fearless courage .... although Gideon looked around and said, “God couldn’t be talking about me. I come from the poorest family. I’m the least one in my Father’s house.” What Gideon is declaring is he seeshimself as weak, defeated and not able BUT sees something else ~ God sees him as strong, confident and more than a conqueror.

So my question is: Are we going to believe what God says about us OR are we going to believe what we feel, what we think, and/or what our circumstances look like? We may feel weak, but God calls us strong. We may feel like a victim, but God calls us a victor. We may be afraid, but God calls us confident. We may be in debt, but God calls us prosperous. We may be sick, but God calls us well. We may be addicted, but God calls us free. We may feel inadequate, but God calls us well able. You get the point, we can sit around and make the calls the way we see them OR we can sit around and declare God's word over ourselves and our circumstances!

Starting now, we need to get into agreement with God. No matter what the circumstances look like, we’ve got to dig our heels in and say, “God, I agree with what You call me. I’m free, forgiven and healed in Jesus’ name!”

Father, thank You for loving me and calling me Your own. I choose to receive Your Word which is life, health and strength to me. Fill me with Your peace and wisdom and help me see myself the way You see me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sweet Spring and Easter Mantel Decorating Ideas

Simple Easter Mantel with Topiaries and Wreath
Keep your spring mantel earthy and serene. For the primary decoration, add moss, butterflies, and dragonflies to a grapevine wreath and hang it from a chipped old window with a piece of muslin. Add two moss topiaries flanking the wreath along with cute ceramic bunny figurines and your mantel will scream Spring!

Colorful Spring Mantel with Book-Pages Wreath
Here the wreath is made from rolled-up book pages, secured in layers, and attached to a green artist canvas. Infused in with the bright and fun colors to decorate the mantel for spring, are touches of blue with wooden eggs that spell "spring" and paper birds, and a wooden birdhouse and a few twigs with flowers finish the mantel with natural spring touches.

Spring Mantel with Happy Easter Bunting
Lime-green shutters decorate this mantel year-round, and they work especially well with these Easter decorations. The mantel is lined with faux grass (available at crafts stores) and then added in are fake carrots, a chick, and an apothecary jar filled with white eggs. Spring touches added to a grapevine wreath like faux forsythia, more artificial carrots, and mossy bunny shapes, a colorful "Happy Easter" bunting fashioned by attaching white cardstock circles to orange, green, and yellow damask-pattern paper and vinyl letters attached to the cardstock spell the message tying it all together.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cheerful, Simple and Fun DIY Craft Projects


Stenciled Animal Mugs
Look no further than the nearest pasture for inspiration to dress up plain dishware. To duplicate these mugs, print and cut out the animal shapes. Use these templates for Cow, Sheep, and Pig shapes. Place each shape atop a small piece of contact paper and outline it in pencil. Cut out with a craft knife; then discard the paper inside the outline. Peel away the backing and affix the stencil to a clean, dry mug, making sure to center the image. Following the package directions, use a soft brush to fill in the outline with dishwasher-safe PermEnamel paint ($3.49 for two ounces, joann.com); let set for a few minutes. Carefully remove the contact paper, clean up any edges with a damp cotton swab, and allow the paint to cure for 10 days.

Create A Hankie Table Runner
Inspired by Amy Barickman's latest book, Hankie Style , this craft breathes new life into old-fashioned linens. To make a table runner, measure the length of your table (plus overhang) to determine how many hankies you'll need (we used ten 12-inch squares for an 82-inch-long table). To connect the first two, flip them pattern side down, overlapping the edges by about ⅜ inch; pin, then stitch together. Continue attaching handkerchiefs in this manner until the runner is complete.

Make Your Own Vases
Floral foam and glass marbles aren't the only ways to hold flowers aloft. Instead, a bunch of vintage milk bottles gives this arrangement—featured in Decorating with Flowers by Paula Pryke—its structure. Simply line up nine same-size vessels in three rows of three. Then wrap gardener's twine around the grouping twice and tie the ends. Finish the blooming display by placing two to three stems in each container. Smart idea: Separate the milk bottles and flowers afterwards to give to your guests as party favors.

Friday, March 14, 2014

10 Bad Decorating Habits To Quit Now, Especially If You Want To Sell Your House

Wheather your putting your house on the market this season or just spring cleaning, consider these decorating habits that may be hindering your home's potential.

Entryway Neglect ~ Make a good first impression by finding another spot to pile shoes, mail and keys. Your foyer is the first thing people see when they come to your home, so use the space to display an important piece of art or to hang an unusual light fixture.

Too Formal Dining ~ Dining rooms should feel warm and welcoming, not cold and stuffy. Give your room a lived-in vibe with comfortable, upholstered chairs and personal touches.

Over Matching ~

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Easy Home Decor DIY Crafts and Projects for Spring

By simply changing a few colors, you can do any of these projects to transition into each new season. These are all spring colors....to get you in the mood!

Floral Stenciled Dresser
Nondescript wood dressers can often be found for rock-bottom prices at garage sales. To give them a dose of character and contemporary style, cover the top in color and embellish the fronts with stencils. Removing drawers in favor of lined and labeled baskets is another easy way to add color and charm.

Framed Up
Even if the art inside a frame isn't your style, a pretty frame is still a secondhand score. Round up a series of pretty frames, remove the art, spray paint them in a unifying color scheme, and arrange them on a wall.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Got a Collection You Want to Show-off? Check Out These Inventive Ways to Display Those Collections

Vintage Silverware on a Cutting Board
Create a vintage feel by pairing an antique silverware collection with an old wooden cutting board. The polished, mismatched knives and spoons seem to float on the worn board—a homey yet stark contrast to the silver's cool gleam and a reminder of days gone by.

Clocks on a "Book" Shelf
This delightful arrangement rests on a very literal interpretation of "bookshelf." Antique clocks, books, and memorabilia are displayed on wall shelves made from... you guessed it... books! The combination of horizontal and vertical book spines is unexpected, functional, and sure to surprise.

Wine and Stilettos
For the gal who has a weakness for fine wine and a great pair of flashy stilettos, here is a imaginative and practical way to showcase both. These glamorous high-heeled shoes prove to be the perfect resting place for a special bottle of wine—an unexpected display choice sure to delight both wine aficionados and shoe-fetish friends!

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's March.....The Month of Spring and That Means Time to Spring Clean ~ Here Are a Few Easy Ways to Get Your House in Shape for Spring.

Get rid of dust ~ When dusting, move around the room in a circle, starting with the highest points and working your way down to the floor, says cleaning expert Laura Dellutri of healthyhousekeeper.com, who suggests using Swiffer dusters, air purifiers, and vacuums with sealed HEPA filters to get the most thorough clean.

Start up your dehumidifier ~ Clean it, make sure that it's in working order, then run it in a humid basement or partially underground room. Dampness during spring and summer months causes mildew.

Air out rugs ~ Air out throw rugs on a clothesline to freshen.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Simple St. Patrick’s Day DIY Crafty Decor

Simple St. Patrick's Day Bunting ~ Use book pages cut out 5 or more rectangles approximately 3.5" x 6" in size. Cut a triangle shape out of the bottom of your rectangles. Cut out the number of shamrocks you'll need from green cardstock. Attach shamrock's to your banner pieces being sure to allow enough room to fold over the top edges. Place a button in the center of each shamrock. Simply cut a length of string and attach banner pieces to string by folding top edge of banner pieces over the string & staple. Space banner pieces evenly along the string by sliding them back and forth as needed.


Simple St. Patrick's Day Lucky Me Board ~ Spray paint a board, get creative with the accessories, find your some favorite photos of your kiddos and you too will have a one of a kind photo display!

Simple St. Patrick's Day Subway Art ~ With a board, paint, fabric rosettes and St.Patty's lingo words, you too can create this fun piece of art to display for all to see and for years to come!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

8 St. Patricks Day Craft Ideas for Kids

I am Lucky Because ~ Cover a block of styrofoam in green tissue paper. To make the fringe-cut two strips of green cardstock and adhere (spray glue is best) around the edges. Have family members write down reasons they are lucky on cardstock shamrocks and tape to green toothpicks and insert into the foam. Cut out circles in rainbow colors in descending sizes using, layer and adhered them altogether centered and cut in half.

Lucky Gold ~ Spray paint garden rocks gold and use a Sharpie to decorate.

Giant Rainbow Collage ~ Collect rainbow-colored art scraps and make a big, easy-to-make collage for St. Patrick’s Day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

10 best home improvements for your dollar

With the house selling season right around the corner ( Spring being the most common month for sellers to list their property), here are 10 tips to get you started and get a jump on the competition.

1. Replace your front door ~ You may not even notice your front door anymore, especially if you regularly use another entrance, but a new steel front door makes a great impression on buyers and yields an amazing 96.6 percent return on your investment. If your front door doesn't need replacing or you'd rather spend less money, you can paint it and replace the hardware for a similar impact.

2. Add a deck or patio ~ No matter where you live, buyers want outdoor living space. You can recoup 87 percent of your investment on a new wood deck. If you already have outdoor space, consider sprucing it up with a water feature, an outdoor fireplace or new landscaping.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

St Patricks Day Sweet Treats

Lucky Rainbow Jello
You’ll need 1 small box of jello in each color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).
1 large container of cool whip (you may use sour cream or yogurt in place of the cool whip).
Follow these directions for each layer…
Chose the color you want on the bottom (in this case purple). Dissolve jello as directed on the box using the “quick chill” method (which includes some ice). Once dissolved, pour the liquid into your glasses, reserving about 1/3 of the jello liquid. Put all of the glasses in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes, until jello is slightly set. Mix about 1/3 cup cool whip (sour cream or yogurt) into the remaining jello liquid. Pour cool whip/jello mixture on top of partially set first layer. Place all cups in the refrigerator and allow to set (at least 15-30 minutes) while you mix the next color. Repeat process with each color, allowing each layer to set 15-30 minutes before adding another layer. The total process will take several hours.
Top the finished rainbow jello with a dollop of cool whip, or whipped cream and add a chocolate gold coin.

Stout and Ice-Cream Float
Mix Ice Cream, Stout, Dash of Luck for his Saint Patrick's Day. Enjoy a cocktail version of a root beer float: vanilla ice cream topped with Irish stout. With the ice cream sweetening the rich beer, the float is as much a dessert as it is a drink. Scoop ice cream into a pint glass, and pour in enough stout to fill it. One pint of ice cream and one 12-ounce bottle of beer will yield 2 servings.

Mint Chocolate Cookies
Dig out that box of plain sugar cookie mix hiding in your pantry and give it an Irish makeover. Mint-flavor chocolates and emerald-green candy toppers add charming St. Patrick's Day appeal.
You will need1
1 7 1/2 ounce package sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 ounces layered chocolate-mint candies (1 package), coarsely chopped, or 1 cup creme de menthe baking pieces
36 green candy coating disks or wafers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl stir together cookie mix, butter, egg, and mint extract until a soft dough forms. Stir in chopped chocolate-mint candies. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Place a coating disk on top of each cookie. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.
Look for green candy coating disks or wafers in the cake decorating section of hobby and craft stores, the most common brand being Wilton.