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Showing posts from June, 2015

Fourth of July Decor

I love to decorate my house for every holiday. In fact, I have been accused by my children of going a tad overboard at times. Nonetheless, today I began (a little later than usual) to decorate for the Fourth of July.  I'd like to share some of my decorations with you.

I began by adding lights to the fireplace.  I firmly believe in the old adage- "To celebrate, you must illuminate." (Not to be confused with another family saying "To celebrate you must inflate.") 

I added a banner. 

I created the pennant with my Cricut, using the Ribbons and Rosettes cartridge for the rosettes and the Pretty Pennants cartridge for the individual triangles.

Also, I planned out a deck party tablescape.  Most of the plates, chargers etc. have been in my possession for years, and I really can't remember where they came from.  

The centerpiece is hydrangeas from my yard in a pretty red vase that my husband brought me flowers in last week.

 I added the "fireworks" which are ma…

Disney Week- Snacks

On my last blog I talked about some tips and hints for planning your Disney trip.  Today I am going to post some treats to share while planning your trip, whether you are on your trip or just dreaming about a vacation.  But first, just to show that I have been a Disney fan for eons- here is a picture of me meeting the Mouse in 1987! 

One of the favorite Disney experiences is the Disney Surprise- how to tell the kids you are going to Disney World.  Now, my girls are in college and were away at school when we decided to go and made our plane and hotel reservations. I knew that I could not wait until they got home for break to tell them so, not wanting to be deprived of any of the fun, I prepared a surprise Disney package to send to school to let them know that we were going to Disney World and when.

Inside the package was a handmade card with a Disney them and a copy of the itinerary. (To make this simple card I traced a coloring book outline of Mickey Mouse onto black scrap book paper, c…

Disney Week- Planning a Perfect Trip

It is officially summer! 
School is out and a lot of families are going on vacation (or wishing they were!). Of course, one of the most popular family vacation destinations is Walt Disney World in Orlando. My girls and I are big Disney fans.  In fact, we are all convinced that we are long lost Disney Princesses who will one day take up our rightful home in Cinderella’s castle!  

In the meantime though, we love to visit Disney World. We were fortunate enough to go last December and hope to go again next year.  There are plenty of websites and books with tips and recommendations for Disney trips, but I thought I would add one more list to the collection and share My Top Disney Planning and Preparation Tips. 

PLAN IN ADVANCE- I mean waaaaaay in advance.  I went a few years ago, not having not been in years, thinking that we could just get plane tickets and hotel reservations  a couple of months in advance and decide what to do when we got down there.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a great tim…

Father's Day Tablescape (Bonus Post!)

You may have read my Father's Day post. If so, you have already seen the cake that I made for my Dad. The theme was Super Hero.  Then I got a little inspired.  With the assistance of  my oldest daughter, here is our Super Hero Tablescape. 

The tablecloth is fashioned from some leftover Marvel Comics fabrics that my daughter used for a project.  The glasses are part of her superhero collection and include Thor, Spiderman, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. 

 Hallmark "Itty Bittys" characters Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Flash were also in attendance.  

Another look at the cake: 

As you know, I am new to the whole blogging experience, so everything I do here is as a beginner. Today I am going to try to link to a Tablescape party at Between Naps on the Porch.  Hopefully I am doing this right!  Please stop by and visit the party and the other participants.


Happy Father's Day!

With no disrespect to mothers- after all I am one and I have an awesome Mom- I think that society today does not appreciate the importance of a good father (or father figure) in the life of a child of any age.

Please indulge me for a moment while I share a little about my Dad. 

An artist, he taught me how to appreciate the visual arts and the importance of art in society.  As a child I would go to art shows he participated in and I can still, to this day, put up and take down a visually pleasing display in record time.  A former industrial designer, he taught me the importance of function and design in everything from an automobile to a television to a cell phone. It is from him I got my photographer’s eye.  He is always there to support me in any endeavor, no matter how crazy. For example, when I decided two days before orientation that I wanted to go to law school, he drove me to Georgia, found me an apartment and furniture and paid my tuition. He and my Mom sat on cold metal bleache…

Happy National Flip Flop Day!

According to the Tropical Smoothie Cafe's website, the company started National Flip Flop Day on the third Friday in June as a way to show appreciation for their customers.  Later, they joined forces with Camp Sunshine to raise funds for the camp and to provide for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. 

So, if you go into Tropical Smoothie Cafe today between 2 and 7 p.m. wearing flip flops you can get a free 24 ounce Jetty Punch Smoothie.  Other companies have jumped on the bandwagon and are offering freebies and discounts as well, including Old Navy which is offering free flip flops to the first fifty customers in their store on Saturday, June 20 and $1.00 flip flops for the rest of the day.  
Now, I am a big fan of the flip flop and I pretty much wear them daily from mid-April through October.  I will be donning my favorite flip flops of the year- my already well-worn  Lilly Pulitzer from Target- and heading over for my free smoothie and to make a donation …

New "Taste" in Hampton Roads

At first I did not intend to do restaurant reviews in this blog. When my original idea for today's post did not turn out as planned, my daughter suggested an alternate idea. Since we were doing a first time visit to a new restaurant in town I should take the opportunity to write about our experience. 

My friend, youngest daughter and I made our first trip to the new Suffolk location of "Taste Unlimited", a local restaurant which has been a Hampton Roads fixture since the 70s.  "Taste" calls itself a “specialty food retailer” which specializes in locally sourced foods, primarily sandwiches, salads and soups.  They also have an extensive catering menu which includes menus for parties, tailgates, and other events. I saw listings for Pimento Mac & Cheese and Crab Mac & Cheese which are not available in-store, only for catering. (Quick- someone plan an event!) They sell wine by the glass and by the bottle. They also create the most wonderful gift baskets, whi…

Happy Flag Day!

According to the Federal Citizen Information Centerthe first national observance of Flag Day was June 14, 1777, one hundred years after the Second Continental Congress authorized the Stars and Stripes as the new flag of the newly formed United States of America. In 1949 Congress made this day a permanent observance, but not a federal holiday.

This year I am celebrating by flying the flag (of course I do that every day!), but also with a little bit of good food and fun. 

Aren’t these plates and napkins cute?  They are part of Target’s line of July Fourth/Peanuts products for summer.  I placed them on a plastic plate from the dollar store for extra stability and color (a tip I recently learned from my Aunt). They are just waiting for some hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob and of course, cake!

This cake is part of my Flag Day and Independence Day celebrations just about every year.The star pan is by Wilton purchased from Michaels several years ago. The recipe is from The Better Hom…

Salute to Dinosaurs

The movie "Jurassic World" is opening this weekend so my girls challenged me to create a blog about Dinosaurs.  Challenge accepted!

I went to work with my Cricut and the Create a Critter cartridge and put together this "Centerpiece".  In order to stand, the dinosaurs, palm trees and nest have small tabs glued to each side of each of them and to the foam board disk which makes up the base of the piece.  Don't Mr. and Mrs. Dinosaur look excited about the arrival of their little one?  

I then made some sugar cookies with some dinosaur cutters from Wilton.  Years ago I purchased a set of 101 cookie cutters and I never imagined that I would ever use the dinosaurs!  

The cookies are covered in a marshmallow fondant using a recipe I found online and adapted quite a while ago.  
1 Cup Miniature Marshmallows
1 Tablespoon Water 1-2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Microwave marshmallows and water in a microwave safe container for 30 seconds.  Stir.  If marshmallows …

Hydrangeas and Glitter?

After several rainy days last week the sun broke through on Saturday morning and we were blessed with a beautiful weekend.  I was able to spend a great deal of time outside and cut these beautiful hydrangeas from the bush in my front yard after doing some yard work.  Of course, gardenias are my favorite flower of all, but hydrangeas are certainly up there on my favorites list as well!  Don’t they look sweet in this pretty pitcher I inherited from my Grandmother?

Of course, no matter how beautiful the weather is, there are still errands to run.  I was walking through Target and all of a sudden I spotted this: I think that anyone with a blog called Gardenias and Glitter needs a Glitter Library, don’t you? I am going to be thinking of some cool projects to do with this over the summer!

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend some time enjoying your favorite activities as well! Until next time- Thanks for stopping by!

A "Paris" Birthday

In my family I am known as the “cake builder” (or “Cakerator” according to my Dad).  So when my little cousin turned the big 1-0 it was my pleasure to create her birthday cake. She chose a “Paris” theme for the occasion so I went to work planning and “building” a cake for a very special girl. 

The cake is chocolate with a light pink buttercream frosting.  The ribbon roses and ribbon/bow are fondant.  The roses are made by cutting a strip of fondant (I use a pizza cutter) and folding it in half length-wise.  I then roll the fondant slightly off center until it the rose is the desired size.  So easy and so cute!  
The Eiffel Tower is actually paper, cut with my Cricut die cut machine and the “Summer in Paris” cartridge. I put little fondant blocks on the top of the cake to put the tower on.  I usually do not use anything non-edible in my cake decorating, but there was no way that I could sculpt anything as intricate as the Eiffel Tower or even a reasonable facsimile. No one seemed to mind…

Happy National Doughnut Day!

According to my local newspaper, the PilotOnline, National Doughnut Day began in 1938 by the Salvation Army in Chicago to honor women who served doughnuts to soldiers during the war. So, in the spirit of the day, I broke out my new-to-me Baby Cakes doughnut maker (hand-me-down from my mother.  Thanks Mom!)  and attempted my first batch of homemade doughnuts.  I neglected to take pictures of the process, but here is the finished product.

I used the recipe from the instructions, but made a few changes as noted below.  While I used a doughnut maker, I think you can also use a doughnut pan that you can find at Target and other places. 
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour ½ cup cocoa ½ cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 egg ¾ cup buttermilk* ¼ cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil) 1 teaspoon vanilla
1.Stir the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Add egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Using a mixer on medium speed, blend until smooth.   2.Fill each donut with about 2 tablespoons o…

Welcome to Gardenias and Glitter!

Welcome to Gardenias and Glitter! As this is my first blog post let me take a few moments to introduce myself and my blog to you.
I love to plan celebrations- big or small! Holidays, non-holidays (Taco Tuesdays, Shark Week, Royal Weddings…), and don’t even get me started on birthdays! Through this blog I will share some ideas for putting a little celebration in the big days and the not so big days in life.
I have a lot of hobbies- in the “About Me” section I introduced a couple of them to you- cake decorating, the aforementioned party planning, etc. I didn’t mention crafting (I’ll try any craft once!), quilting, reading, stand up paddle boarding and doing anything at the beach.  I will be sharing some of these experiences with you. 
In a nutshell, this blog will be about food (especially cake!), parties, crafts, books, the water, family- basically anything worth celebrating!
So why did a choose Glitter and Gardenias for the name of my blog?
Once I decided to blog, I took a long time to de…