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Showing posts from May, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Wow! It has been over a week since I posted!  My apologies- someone forgot to tell the powers-that-be that teachers are supposed to have the summers off!  My summer semester began this past week and with a major school project due in two weeks there has not been much time for anything fun or creative.  I decided that I was going to give myself an unauthorized fourth day of the Memorial Day weekend and get back in the craft room, for a few minutes anyway! 

According to, the Memorial Day tradition began in 1868 as a way to remember the soldiers lost in the Civil War.  Originally called "Decoration Day", the tradition expanded during World War I to commemorate American soldiers lost in all wars. 

Growing up in Hampton Roads, an area with a Navy, Coast Guard, Marine, and Army bases all located within 30 miles of each other, I learned early to appreciate the role of our troops in procuring and maintaining the freedom that we all enjoy today. I thought that this little s…

Its the Preakness!

This Saturday is the 141st running of the The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in the Triple Crown series.  Since Nyquist won the Kentuck Derby two weeks ago, we have been looking forward to cheering him on in the last two races of the Triple Crown.  How cool it would be to have a Triple Crown winner two years in a row! 

The only thing that I ever really knew about the Preakness is that while the winner of the Kentucky Derby is draped in roses, the winning horse in the Preakness is draped with a blanket of Black-eyed Susans.  At least that is what we are told!  Interested in the tradition behind the race, I decided to do a little research.  

According to the official Preakness Stakes website, the first winner to wear the flowered blanket was Bimelach in 1940.  The Black-eyed Susan was chosen because it is Maryland's state flower. (The race is run at Pimlico in Baltimore.)  Unfortunately, the Black-eyed Susan doesn't bloom in Maryland until June.  So the 18 inch by 90 inch blan…

Celebrating 100 Posts!

Wow! We have posted one-hundred times over the past year!  To celebrate, I thought that I would repost a few of our (and your!) favorites. 

Beginning with the first post back on June 4, 2015:

I introduced myself and my blog to "the blogosphere".  I have learned a lot since then, especially about computers and all of the fantastic things you can do with them. 

One of the pretty cool things that I learned is that I can link up with other bloggers for "parties" where we show off the fun things that we are doing in our lives.  One of my most viewed posts was this tablescape from last September. 

I linked this post to the blog, Between Naps on the Porch, which has a tablescape link-up "party" each week.  These parties are great ways to get ideas and "meet" new people with similar hobbies.  

Another "party" I link up to is Fantabulous Cricut Challenge. On this blog crafters use their Cricut machines to make cards and other crafts. 

I posted this s…

It's Strawberry Season!

We had a dry day this week (finally!) and my daughter and I were able to go strawberry picking!  
Look at this bucket of beautiful berries! 

These strawberries are so good by themselves, but we always make strawberry bread with our first batch of fresh local berries.  

Strawberry Bread
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced 3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups white sugar, plus about 2 tablespoons 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil 4 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark or non-stick pans) Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Place strawberries in a medium sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a large bowl; mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries.  Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture.  Blend just until dry ingredients are just moistened.  Divide batter evenly into pans.  Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in th…

Happy Mother's Day!

I love any opportunity to celebrate family- birthdays, holidays and of course, Mother's Day. This year I have decided to make one of my family's favorite cakes to celebrate the occasion, but first I want to tell you a little bit about my Mom. 

I think I used this picture before, on her birthday, but I love it.  And she is wearing the tiara she deserves.  She is sweet, beautiful and brave.  She taught me how to be a mom- the importance of truly being there for children and participating in their lives.  Anyway, I'll stop now, before I start crying...

So, back to the cake- I found this recipe in some magazine years ago.  It has been a warm weather staple forever- it tastes like lemonade and is perfect on a warm sunny day with a little bit of vanilla ice cream (and even without). 

East 62nd Street Lemon Cake
3 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 2 cups sugar 4 large eggs 1 cup milk 1 TBSP finely grated lemon peel (from 2 lemons)

Cinco de Mayo!

I took another quick break from grading papers to make this wonderful Mexican Party Dip. Years ago, my friend Lynn shared this recipe with me and it is always a favorite. And it is perfect for a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! 

Mexican Party Dip
1 16 oz. can refried beans  1 packet taco seasoning  1 4.5 oz. can of green chiles 8 oz. package Mexican Blend shredded cheese  1 2.25 oz. can of diced black olives 4 oz. sour cream  1 diced tomato Guacomole (optional)
In casserole pan mix together refried beans and taco seasoning.  Spread on bottom of pan. layer the remaining ingredients with the cheese as the top layer.  Serve with nacho chips or spread on tortillas.  Lower Fat alternative:  You can also use low fat refried beans, cheese and sour cream.  A low sodium taco seasoning is also a good alternative.  

Print Recipe Here
I will be finishing my last on campus class on Cinco de Mayo, so there may or may not be a Margarita accompanying these chips and dip! 
Happy Cinco de Mayo to you!  Thanks for stopping by…

May the Fourth be with You!

It has been a hectic exam week here at Glitter and Gardenias, but as a certified (or is it certifiable?) Star Wars geek, I could not let May the Fourth go by without some sort of commemoration.  

So of course, I made a Death Star cake...

I know- the Force destroyed the Death Star, but that is beside the point....

My original plan for this cake was to cover it in fondant and really make it a big deal.  It would have been pretty cool. But the stack of exams and projects that have to be graded this week keeps on growing higher and higher, so I had to compromise- do the cake, but more quickly and not as "fancy" as I would have wanted.  (Maybe next year!)  

I used a Wilton sports ball cake pan.  This is a very versatile shape for everything from basketballs to pumpkins to, well, Death Stars.  When using a shaped pan like this, it is best to use a heavier, more solid cake such as a pound cake. It has been a long time since I did any piping work and I found this great tutorial by a Los…