Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bay Leaf Wreath

  I like saving money by finding bargains or making things to decorate my home with.  When I came across this bay leaf wreath from Pottery Barn I loved it!  This wreath is no longer available on their website.  I loved that wreath, but I was confident I could make my own.
To make my wreath, I purchased a pack of fresh bay leaves from my local farmer's market.

 For my wreath form, I used a picture mat that I had on hand.

Using a hole puncher, I made a hole in the mat to mark the spot where I would place twine to hang my wreath.

I glued the leaves in a desired position using my glue gun.

 To complete the look I made a bow out of twine and glued a single anise star to the center.

Voila!  The leaves smell very pleasant and the anise star has a nice licorice-like smell.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spaghetti Jar Vase

There's no better way to welcome Spring inside than to fill vases with freshly cut flowers.  After browsing through some inspiration photos online, I decided to give this simple project a try.  This project was easy!  You can create your own vase with twine and an empty spaghetti jar too!

I started by wrapping twine around the bottom of the jar, then added a little hot glue and placed the twine on top.  Repeat this method all around the jar.  A few flowers from my yard complete the look!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mango Cream Cake

  There's something very satisfying about compliments received for a cake you made from scratch.  It's a little harder to make a cake from scratch, but it's so worth it.  I am a huge fan of mangoes. Mango season for me is heaven. This cake has a slight citrus flavor from the mango puree.  Be sure not cut the mango too close to the can give the cake a bitter taste.

Ingredients- Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup mango puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large mango (peeled, seeded and finely diced), for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 325̊ F. Lightly coat a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add eggs, one-at-a-time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the puree and the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture with the sour cream, stirring until just blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until top of cake is golden and a tester, inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean, about 50 - 60 minutes.

Cool the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife between the edges of the cake and the pan to loosen, and then invert cake on rack. Turn cake right side up on rack and cool completely.

Ingredients- Icing
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mango puree

Put all the ingredients into the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on low-medium speed until smooth.  Frost the cake and garnish with sliced mango.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Thank so much to Amanda @ The Sweet Detail for featuring this recipe on her blog!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Small Craft Storage

  I've had this small wooden mail holder around for quite some time.  I purchased it months ago from the thrift store.  Today I decided to something with it!

  I placed stickers on the mail holder,

and gave it a couple coats of spray paint.

Once the paint dried, I peeled the letters off.  It looked plain, so I decided to add to it.

  I cut small triangles pennants from leftover fabric.


  *Quick tip:  When cutting shapes from fabric, try placing a piece of thick, sturdy paper behind the fabric.  It makes cutting through fabric A LOT easier!

  Using my glue gun, I attached the pennants to the holder.  I added rosettes made of twine and felt leaves to finish it off.

  It's the perfect size to store small craft items!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Updates in the Kitchen

  I recently found this adorable pair in the thrift store.  The saleswoman suggested that they might be sundae cups, but I had other plans!

  My plan was to use my thrift store finds to update this shelf in my kitchen.  Although I like the current setup, I wanted to brighten the shelf up for Spring.

  I planted some oregano in each of my cups and switched out one of the pitchers hoping for a fresher look.

Hmm... still not sure if I like it.

  I played around with the grouping a little more until I came up with this.

 I am pleased!  The natural accents add the perfect touch of spring!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Garden Blooms

I love gardening!  The sun is shining and Spring has arrived.  Gardening encourages me to be more creative and can be a great way to relieve stress.  I wanted to share with you some of the flowers blooming in my yard this week.

Impatiens, Petunias, Coleus, Ivy


Pink Carnations

Green Shamrock Oxalis

Climbing Ivy

Spanish Lavender



Japanese Maple Tree

future Sunflowers

A Rhododendron bush

Creeping Phlox



Knockout Rose

Orange Tulips

Thank-you so much for visiting!  What's blooming in your garden?

I am linking this post to: Centsational Girl