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Showing posts from March, 2016

A Little Spring Cleaning

I am sure that my friends and family members are laughing at the thought of me doing a post on spring cleaning.  Housekeeping is not my favorite thing to do and so I avoid it whenever possible.  It is something that we all have to buckle down and do so I have spent a lot of time trying to find things to make it go faster and easier for me. I thought I would share some of those products with you.  Hopefully your cleaning chores will go faster too!  

My absolute favorite cleaning product is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. (There are also generic products in almost every store that work almost as well.) I resisted using this product for so long because I could not believe that it did everything that everybody said it did.  I am so sorry that I waited! This little sponge-like thing, whatever magical substance it is, works wonders on just about every surface and with just about any type of mess!  Just wet the eraser and wipe away food messes, fingerprints, dirt, etc.  Rinse it out periodically …

Easter Tablescape

I could not wait until Easter to "play" with this cute tablescape!  I have had my eye on these super cute bunny plates since shortly after the Christmas holidays.  When Pier 1 had a sale, I knew that they had to come home with me. 

How cute are they? 

and Dapper

and serious

and sweet

and full of personality! 
They are placed on grass green mats that I found at the Dollar Store.  The napkins are from Target (I hit a sale with them too!).  I glittered the wine glasses in an earlier post.  

The bunnies in my centerpiece are my favorite Easter decorations.  Don't they look like they are all dressed up for the Easter parade? 

They are both by Jim Shore.  The egg cups have been in my Easter "stash" for awhile. The eggs are toys.  

Just look at that sweet face! 

And what do Bunnies eat when they are getting ready for an Easter Parade? 

Why Bunny Chow of course! (Or maybe Rabbit Rations? We can't decide on the name.) This is very similar to the "Mickey Munch", "…

Homemade Easter Eggs!

When I was young, my mother and grandmother used to make chocolate covered buttercream Easter Eggs.  They were delicious and they would decorate them so prettily with icing flowers and borders and even our names.  When my children were little I made them for a couple of years and for some reason, stopped.  This year I decided to try them again and I would like to share them with you.  They are so easy and so good! 

Butter Cream Easter Eggs
2 pounds Confectioners Sugar (Powdered Sugar), sifted 3 sticks unsalted butter or margarine, softened 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (semi-sweet) or chocolate candy melts Icing or decorations 
Thoroughly mix together sugar and butter.  You can use a mixer if you wish, but you may end up hand mixing when you add the last bit of sugar.  Shape the mixture into egg shapes. Chill for at least two hours or overnight before dipping. 

Either in the microwave or in a double broiler melt the chocolate.  Dip the eggs. Return to refrigerator briefly.  Decorate a…

Happy International Day of Happiness!

According to the Day of Happiness Website  the United Nations passed a resolution in 2011 which recognized happiness as a fundamental human goal and decreed that March 20 will forevermore be celebrated as the International Day of Happiness. 

Well, I am all for a day that celebrates happiness for whatever reason.  As it is pretty gloomy and rainy (and even snowy!) on the East Coast today, I thought I would share a few reasons to smile to help us get through the cloudy day. 

It is also the first day of spring!  The cold and damp will not continue forever!  Spring is here and sunshine and warm days will soon follow! 

Flowers are starting to bloom! The "Forsythias" have begun to blossom.  As a child, I thought these flowers were named for me and I called them "Forcynthias".  Okay, I still do.

There are Eagle babies!  A pair of Bald Eagles nested in a tulip tree in the Azalea Collection at the National Arboretum.  The American Eagle Foundation has aimed two cameras at the n…

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We are celebrating the Luck o' the Irish here at Glitter and Gardenias this week!  

In fact, we are so lucky that we can set our table for our Leprechaun Lunch outside on the deck! Here on the East Coast we have been blessed with absolutely beautiful weather over the last two weeks and I couldn't wait to set my St. Patrick's Day table on the deck! 

We decorated with green and gold this year.  These pretty green plates are my Mom's and they adorn her Christmas tablescapes year after year.  I don't know if she has ever used them for St. Patrick's day, but they are perfect for it!  I placed them on gold chargers and used my old tableware from Pier1, along with my gold embellished glasses, also from Pier1. 

I also borrowed Mom's green table cloth and napkins. 

Because it is so close to Easter, we invited some bunnies along.  They are of course wearing green bows for the occasion. 

The centerpiece is this pretty little shamrock with the loveliest blooms.  

I didn'…

Happy Pi(e) Day!

This post is late, but I just couldn't let Pi Day go by without Pie! 

Today is March 14, or 3/14, the first three digits of pi. It is a day to commemorate the formula which has something to do with calculating the circumference or diameter of a circle. Anyway, it's math and I would rather talk about pie

I decided to make a treat for the members of my family who have to watch their sugar intake.  The original recipe was published in The Diabetic Bible, but I have tweaked it a little bit. 

Lime Cheesecake
1 cup reduced fat graham cracker crumbs*   3 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted (not butter substitute) 2 Tablespoons non-sugar baking sweetener (I used Spenda) 2  8 ounce packages neufchatel cheese (reduced fat cream cheese) 2/3 cup non-sugar baking sweetener 1 egg 2 egg whites 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel 3 Tablespoons lime juice (preferable fresh) 
*I crumbled my reduced fat graham crackers in the food processor.  One cup equals about 1 of the inner cracker packages. 
Preheat oven to 325 d…

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!

It is one of my favorite seasons- Girl Scout Cookie Time! And, along with enjoying the delicious treats, it is also the time to celebrate the birthday of the Girl Scouts.  On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Lowe registered the first Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.  (For more about the history of the Girl Scouts see here.)  

Did you know that the Girl Scouts actually baked the first cookies that they sold? As a former Brownie Leader, I am really thankful that tradition died out in the 1930s, but the original recipe still exists and can be found on the Girl Scout website here.

In the spirit of "Girl Scout Week", I thought that I would give that recipe a try.  Here is my updated (and I think, improved!) recipe for that original cookie. Unfortunately, I did not have a trefoil shaped cookie cutter, but I liked the spring flower and of course, some of them are sprinkled with Girl Scout green sugar ! 

Updated Original Girl Scout Cookies
1 cup butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons …

To Cricut or Not to Cricut

March is finally here and it seems like we have so many fun events and holidays all coming up in the next few weeks. St. Patrick's Day, Easter and a bunch of birthdays all usher in the spring version of party season around here! 

Before the season begins, I wanted to start working on some of the cards that I will send out. This card is very simple and a little different.  I made it using my Cricut ("Ribbons and Rosette" cartridge), but you can just as easily cut this by hand or using a paper punch. 

Simply cut out four hearts. These are 1 1/2 inches long each. 

Fold, either by hand or using a bone folder.  

Place the hearts in a circle with the small pointed ends toward the center. Add a small scrap for a stem, place a sequin, rhinestone or small circle of paper in the center. Place on your card.  Embellish as desired.

I am sure that your favorite leprechaun will feel lucky to get a handmade card from you! 

You can see another one of my St. Patrick's Day cards here

I am j…

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today is Theodore Seuss Geisel's 112th birthday!  That's Dr. Seuss to those of us who have had a life-long love of his wonderful children's books.  But then who among us does not love the Cat in the Hat, Yertle the Turtle, the Lorax, Horton (who heard a Who!) and TheFox Who Wore Socks! How many of us learned to read with One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street

There are television specials, movies, plays and even an amusement park celebrating the wonderful worlds he created.  

Dr. Seuss is such a beloved author that the National Education Association decided to celebrate his birthday with a nationwide reading event called "Read Across America". 

Libraries and schools across the country have created events to observe Dr. Suess' birthday and celebrate reading.  There are parties, and read-a-thons, crafts, games and other activities to motivate and encourage children in a life-long love of books.  For more information…