Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BLINDY: Who will you nominate?

The 2009 BLINDY Awards will recognize Indiana's best blogs, bloggers, and social media magnates for their efforts across a spectrum of categories. Help put your favorite blogs & bloggers in the hoosier spotlight by filling out the nomination form. Do you think something's missing? Propose your own category at the end of the form.

Oh, this sounds like fun!!! :)

The 2009 BLINDY Awards will take place Saturday, August 15th during BlogINDIANA's Saturday Social Media Summit. Tickets for the summit are available for $49 - reserve your seat today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stella & Dot

Had my Stella and Dot Party this weekend! Lots of margarita cupcakes and even a few margaritas were consumed and lots of fun was had! :) Thanks to everyone who made it!

I'm not closing out my party until the end of this week - so go on over and take a looksy at this fabulous new jewerly line and place any orders by Friday! Make sure to enter in your host name when you order (yours truly!).

Colorful Crochet

I dabble in knitting and enjoy it, I really do. But one thing that is a little annoying about knitting are the all the needles you need. There are different sizes, then short ones and long ones and then round ones if you want to knit things like sweaters and blankets. And round needles are a tad expensive especially when you need a whole set of sizes. So, I've stuck pretty much to small projects like scarfs and things.

But I have been itching to make an afghan. So, I've convinced myself to learn to crochet. If I can figure out knitting, I can figure crocheting out too. Heck I even have two crochet needles already from my knitting stash.

Here's my recent inspiration!

Granny Square Joining Tutorial - photo from Carina's Craft Blog

I am going to start with this I think - a colorful granny square afghan.

Crochet Stash Basket - photo from the Purl Bee

And I need ones of these handy baskets.

Crochet Ripple Afghan - photo from Attic24

And this would be fun too!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What to Do With My Herbs: Bee Balm

I love the idea of having herbs growing in my garden, but with my obvious lack of culinary knowledge I find myself at odds when it comes to actually USING the herbs I have.

So, this ho-hum Sunday afternoon, whilst the husband is off at work being the marvelous, motivating manager he is, I've devoted myself to researching what exactly I can do with my herbs. Exciting, huh? ;)

First lets start with Bee Balm, one of my favoritest (thanks, Sarah, for classifying this as a perfectly fine verb! ;)) herbs. I love the look of the plant - the leaves are gorgeous, the flowers are quirky and colorful and the scent!! Oh I love running my hands over the stems and then cupping them over my nose - such a lovely smell! Not mention that the hummingbirds and bees swoon with this plant!

Summer Punch

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup Bee balm leaves
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves (any variety)
  • 1 47 ounce can chilled pineapple juice
  • 3 liters of ginger ale

In a sauce pan dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice, over low heat. Add the bee balm and raspberries. Bring to a simmer, stir to break up the raspberries. When the sugar is dissolved, strain leaves and berries out of the liquid. Add cranberry juice and mint, stirring well. Chill up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, pour into a punch bowl and add pineapple juice, ice and ginger ale.

Bee Balm Iced Tea

  • 1/2 cup Bee Balm flowers and leaves
  • 8 cups boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the Bee Balm. Cover and steep until cool, about an hour. Strain and discard flowers. You can sweeten with sugar if desired. Chill until ready to use and serve over ice.

Summer Tea Blend

  • 3 tbsp. dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 tbsp. dried bee balm leaves
  • 2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. apple or pineapple mint leaves

Mix all the dried herbs together in a jar. Use 2 tsp. of the mix per cup of tea. Steep for 5 minutes and strain. Sweeten with honey or sugar if you wish.

From http://oldfashionedliving.com/beebalm2.html

Uses for Bee Balm - from Creative Homemaking

This is a wonderful tea herb. To make a cup of tea, simply place tablespoon of fresh or one teaspoon of dried Bee Balm leaves and/or flowers in a tea strainer or tea spoon and pour one cup of boiling water over it. Allow it to steep for ten minutes and bring the tea out. Sweeten if you wish and enjoy.

Chop the leaves and flowers and add to fruit salads for extra flavor. Garnish any type of salad with the leaves and flowers.

Here's more helpful links!

Bee Balm Recipes/Ideas from Gardens Ablaze

Friday, June 26, 2009

Glidden Paint Giveaway!

One thing we really haven't done since we moved in a little over 2 years ago is paint anywhere in the house. Our walls are an off-white and the trim is painted white. It is pretty and I don't mind it, plus I am a little worried about painting because our walls have that textured look to them. Not sure if I have to do anything special when I want to paint them a new color.

Anyway, Glidden Paint is have a giveaway! Choose any interior color you want and they'll send you a free quart within 3-4 weeks! I picked Bittersweet Chocolate. I want to add an accent wall in this dark color somewhere in the house - maybe the living room or our bedroom. I also liked the Tropical Blue color. Hmm...is a quart enough to paint on small wall?? Now I am kinda excited about the idea!

Here are some of the terms & conditions:
  • This promotional offer is only available on glidden.com or by calling 1-800-GLIDDEN
  • Offer good through July 2, 2009 or while supplies last
  • One quart per household
  • Quart is Eggshell finish
  • Continental U.S. only
  • No P.O. boxes
  • No military APO or FPO addresses
  • Valid e-mail address required

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Weekend in Review

Last weekend went by in a kind of blur! So many things going on! Friday night, I made it out to the Indy Wine & Brew Fest with Jessie and sampled many an interesting drink. I found I particularly enjoy Moscato wines and that I still don't care for beer too much. Though the Abita Strawberry wasn't bad and anything Leinenkugel is more than tolerable. :)

Saturday we woke up early and headed to our friend Tim & Jessie's neck of the woods and took part in the Julian Avenue Garage Sale and the Celebrate Irvington festivities!

Found ourselves more garage sale goodies!

And ate lunch at Jockamo's Pizza - which is a must try! I could make an entire dinner of just the breadsticks and be happy - they were sooo good!

The breadpudding was FANTASTIC!

Pizza was pretty amazing as well - we had the Margarita pizza - but may try a different kind the next time we stop in.

Saturday night I made it up to Lafayette for an old friend of mine's bridal shower where I was the reigning champion of the "Stuff in Your Purse" shower game! Booya! LOL, sadly though my purse contained everything on the list except Keds/panty hose, a tampon, a $50 dollar bill and red lipstick. Got points for my nail clippers, paper clip, library card, 1984 penny, 5 different business cards, Victoria Secret card, calendar and perfume. :)

Sunday most of my family came down to Indy for my baptism! :) Yay on both accounts! More about that in a later post!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden Update!

The garden has grown another foot! The white trellis behind the cucumbers and squash is slowly disappearing! You can also use Lola for size comparison! ;)

Going to have lots of summer squash! Anyone have any good recipes? I have NO CLUE what to do with summer squash. No. clue.

A baby watermelon!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pass the Peas Please!

There's an over abundance in our garden right now - peas!! I normally just eat them raw, but I may have to try to cook some up or give some away since I have so many right now! Though there is a certain white chihuahua I know who'd love to help just eat 'em up! It is so funny - but she really likes peas! Silly pup!

Anyone have a favorite recipe that include peas?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Warrior Post Edition: Indieana Handicraft Exchange

Between two closes and a mid I managed to drag my tired, slightly grouchy husband out to the Harrison Center (ahh...memories from Sculpture class) and check out the Indieana Handicraft Exchange! I love, love LOVE the logo and the whole play on words with Indieana. Marvelous!

Not to mention the tons and tons of insanely creative people!!

Some of my favorite booths were:

Cute Cooties
- adorable bibs!

Herb & Ginger
- loved the mango tea!

Owly Shadow Puppets - Need I say more?!

Sycamore Street Press
- Loved the alphabet prints!

You can see a list of all vendors and learn more info here at the Indieana Handicraft Exchange website - www.indieanahandicraftexchange.com.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Globe to Gaze Upon

Please pardon the blurry pic! But look what we found garage saling yesterday! The perfect addition to our work-in-progress room for future (way in the distance) wee-ones! A Replogle Treasury Globe for $2! After venturing through the "How old is your globe?" section of the Replogle website I was able to determine that it is a 1997 - not too bad. A few little discrepancies, like the Democratic Republic of the Congo still being named Zaire and one or two other changes even I wasn't fully aware of on our globe.

Looks magnificent next to our little bookshelf - also a recent garage sale find - though I think I want to paint it white eventually - for now it gets Matt and I's childhood books out of the storage tubs and into plain sight. My modern vintage room is becoming a reality!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Early June Garden Update 2009

The gardens are all growing marvelously! Here's our potato, squash, watermelon, garlic, cucumber and cantaloupe garden. Yeah, I MIGHT have pushed the envelope on how much I planted here - but it IS called square foot gardening for a reason, right? :) There's less weeds that is for sure! I didn't know the potato plants grew so big - this is the first time I've ever planted them.

Here's a glimpse of all three gardens and you can even see the rhubarb patch growing behind the strawberry patch in the background!

Yay for peas!! Look how many there are!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baubles in a Box

Been cleaning out our spare rooms and closets going through things for our garage sale. While going through the many totes of things and came across all these little bits and pieces that had come from a miscellaneous box from my childhood bedroom.

I put them all into an old jewerly box (bought at a garage sales years ago) and it looked all so pretty I just had to take a pic!

So many little things that grab at the heart...charms from a matching set "Best Friends" necklace from my childhood friend Corinna, who is getting married here towards the end of the year!! So excited for her!! A picture of my father from 5th grade - lol! :) Little rocks, coins, jewelry and other little bits and baubles.

A little old empty bottle of perfume from my great-grandparents' basement I think - or a garage sale - memory is fuzzy on that one. And skeleton keys - love them!

These are all keepers, definitely not in the garage sale, nope, they are getting up right up with all my arrowheads.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Web Finds Wednesday!

4 cute animal knitted toy patterns

Don the Dillo Knit Pattern

Watermelon Lemonade Recipe

Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie

Summer = Busy

Here's Lola and I manning our garage sale we had last weekend with our church - hoping to have another one in our neighborhood soon. Can you believe that someone asked if Lola was for sale?? Sheesh!

And here's our almost finished patio table!! It has its first coat of oil-based primer here in this photo - never again will I use oil based anything - ugh! It is STILL burning in my nostrils! Gorgeous though isn't it? My hubby even drilled a 2 inch hole in the middle of it for an umbrella! I am thinking blue or yellow market umbrella and white bench seats on each side!

What have you all been up to, my lovely readers? Anything grand? I have been slow on catching up with my blog reading but I can't wait to see what you are all are up to!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reader Poll!

I missed the Perennial Plant Exchange that was held last week by the Morgan County Master Gardener's program at the Mooresville Library. It was a choice between that (an EXTRA far drive for me) or making it to the last yoga class before our three week break - which was 1/2 yoga and 1/2 socializing with wine. Quite a toss up, but needless to say the wine and yoga won! :)

So, here's my question for you all! Would anyone want to come to MY perennial plant cxchange if I set one up?? Kinda like the Soup Swap idea but with perennials!! Yup, I am a gardening dork - but, really, my very best plants have come from starters from other people. And I would love to share the love and pass along more starts of the perennials I have (bee balm, lemon balm, mint and day lilies - maybe chamomile and tarragon as well.)

Let me know what you think of the idea - and take my poll over to the left!

Though I am worried that it may be too late into the spring/early summer season - fellow gardening geeks, let me know if I should wait until later in the fall season or sometime next spring!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bleeding Hearts

My bleeding hearts are blooming! I wasn't sure I would see blooms this since since I just put them in the ground this spring!

Bleeding hearts were a childhood favorite and my adult backyard just wasn't complete without them. Thankfully my mother-in-law is an absolute sweetheart and bought me two for my birthday this year!! Thank you, Sue - you're the best!!

I planted them inbetween two hostas and they bring just the right touch of color and foliage - so lovely!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

May Indianapolis Area Blogger Chicks Meet Up

(Photos taken by Sunflowers in My Kitchen Blogger - Joanna!)

Attended my first Indianapolis Area Blogger Chick Meet Up last weekend and met some lovely new blog pals and caught up with some I already knew. We chatted it up long enough to close down both Paradise Cafe AND Barnes & Nobles! Cupcakes were on hand from the fabulous new Our Bake Shoppe in Old Towne Greenwood and, of course, I had two. ;)

If you've got some time check out these fabulous Indianapolis Area Blogger Chicks!

Queen of Free
Sunflowers in My Kitchen
Moosh in Indy

It is always great to put a face with the blog and meet the personality behind it all! :) Can't wait for the June meet-up!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good Things Come to Those to Wait??

I know the pic above is above is hazy - but there is just SOMETHING about hazy, sunny, shimmery, summertime pics that I just LOVE!

Picked our first, and so far ONLY, batch of strawberries from our newly installed strawberry patch. Hopefully next year it produces something more than the 4 little berries I plucked off. This waiting business is for the birds - gotta wait a whole 3 years to harvest my rhubarb, gotta wait till probably next year to see my peony bloom AND now I'm not going to get any dang strawberries?! Sheesh - patience isn't my high point people.

Anyone know of any sort of fertilizer or anything that strawberries like? Or if they keep producing all summer into the fall - or is this it? Seven strawberry plants to get a whopping 4 berries??

Here's my strawberry patch! Sorry for the dog butt in the picture - they always manage to sneak in! ;)