Crafts · Glass · Recycle/repurpose · Tools · Wedding

Dremel Me This

I am in love with my Dremel. Let’s be honest, it is a tool that can be used in so many ways. From carving wood to fixing tile in the bathroom the Dremel can handle it all. Currently, I have three of them. I have the mini engraver, a cordless one and of course the big workhorse. I have used it on metal, wood, glass, plastic and stones.

One of the ways I use it the most is on glass. I love the feel of the glass when you etch with the Dremel. Wet or dry, engraving with the Dremel gives you great results. You can etch/engrave sea glass to wine glasses with it. The ideas are as endless as your imagination.

When my daughter Lacey was in elementary school, one of the things expected of parents is to help earn money to support the small private school. Classes would make baskets to be auctioned off as fund-raisers. I etched beer glasses with my Dremel for a bar-b-que basket the class did. It drew a lot of attention and I must admit went for a good price too.

I have etched a few beer mugs and wine glasses through the years. Wedding gifts of custom pitchers and glasses make great gifts. Customized jewelry and Christmas ornaments all can be with the Dremel. Reverse engraving on a mirror and a little glass paint make unique items to give or sell.

Reverse etching Mirror Texas
Reverse Etched Mirror and Mug

On Pinterest you can find incredible ideas of how to use the Dremel. But I warn you, etching with the Dremel can be addictive and the possibilities are endless as what you can do. Just take a look at a couple of the boards on Pinterest for glass etching with the Dremel.

Baking · Cooking · Food · Surprise

Is That Brioche?

Bread Pudding 12
So creamy and delicious

My husband and I are huge fans of bread pudding. During one of our dinners at Kres is Orlando, the chef had sent out bread pudding for us to try after the incredible dinner he had prepared. What a surprise and enjoyment to taste this amazing creation. It was made with Brioche!

Brioche is amazing bread. So light and a little sweetness that you just can’t resist, or at least it is hard for me. When I was shopping at The Fresh Market in Kissimmee I picked up a package of their cinnamon swirl brioche tray. It is like a cinnamon roll without the icing and extra sugar. Such a nice balance of the brioche with the cinnamon. Tasted so good warmed up with a little butter on it. The next day I had a piece toasted with fresh fruit.

Tonight, after the brioche had been in the refrigerator for a couple of days I decided to fix my husband a little surprise of bread pudding from the cinnamon swirl brioche. Now there are a million recipes for bread pudding out there. But this recipe is mine. So, you’re getting my little secrets I don’t normally share.

1 loaf of cinnamon swirl brioche
4 eggs beaten
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon and a little more to dust the top
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried strawberries diced
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut brioche into 1-inch cubes and place in large bowl. In another bowl combine the sugar, beaten eggs, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon making sure it is mixed well. Pour mixture over brioche cubes and let soak for 30 minutes. (Brioche is not toasted or dry, so you don’t need to soak any longer than that. If you do have dried brioche, then soak at least an hr.) Fold in the cranberries and strawberries. Spray casserole or baking dish with Pam or you can use butter. Pour mixture into dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Allow the bread pudding to cool. You can top with whatever whiskey sauce, chocolate sauce, vanilla sauce, fresh fruit or ice cream of your choice.

Bread Pudding 9
Out of the oven and cooled

As I mentioned, I used dried strawberries in this one. You can use whatever dried fruits you would like and nuts as well. Here in Central Florida we are huge on the strawberries and if you haven’t tried dried strawberries, you should. It is like a little fruit leather (fruit roll-up) still in the fruit. There are recipes on Pinterest with directions for drying strawberries. You don’t need extra sugar with them as the drying process brings that out. But once you have one, it is hard to stop eating them.

Tonight, I had some fresh strawberries I need to use up. I cut them up and add a little sweetener (I use Swerve instead of sugar 90% of the time) to them (about a tablespoon) and let them sit in the refrigerator while I made the bread pudding. Then I added an oz of both vodka and Chambord to the strawberries. Gave them a little mix and put them back in the refrigerator. When I gave the bread pudding to my husband, I topped it off with the drunk strawberries. Now here is a little secret, take the strawberries (4 cups worth), leave them whole but remove stems and place in a Ziploc bag. Add the sugar, ½ cup fresh orange juice, vodka, and an oz of Grand Marnier. Let the strawberries sit for about an hour turning every 1/5 minutes. Serve the strawberries in a nice stemmed glass with a little sprinkle of rock sugar on top and some whipped cream. Taste incredible with a scone or shortbread cookie on the side and a nice cup of coffee.

Enjoy!

 

Clothes · Shopping · Vintage

My Closet

Closet Cleanout Hats
Hats

This is my final closet clean out for my clothes. Yep, there is a huge pile of clothes that do not fit. I even got into my winter clothes and pulled out those that no longer fit. Talk about an emotion event. I love clothes and shoes. I buy vintages hats and coats all the time. I love them! Oh, and fur coats are my weakness. Not that you need coats like that here in Florida, but I love them.


When we would go antiquing, I would always be drawn to the vintage clothes. When I was young I would go second-hand shopping in the wealthy areas. I would get clothes with the tags still on or ones that were only wore once. There was nothing like picking up a Chanel suit still in season to make this girl happy. I had so many clothes when I was younger that I never wore the same outfit twice. I kept a journal of just my clothes and what I wore to where every day. It included my accessories and jewelry. I was a little clothes crazy back then I guess you could say. For those that are my age, you might remember that Pier 1 Imports once also carried clothes. Oh, I loved shopping there too.


So fast forward and here we are with a pile of clothes. No more holding on to clothes I can’t wear. I am excited about finding my new style at this point in my life. I still love vintage. I love that 50’s vibe. No need for power suits but a good LBD is in my future. Blazers and ankle pants. Vintage accessories and pretty shoes. And I am still gonna get more hats my friends.

Clothes Cleanout 1
Final Closet Clean out

Marie and I went shopping on my last visit. It was exhilarating to try on clothes. To be honest, it is exciting to shop with someone who will be honest with you too. I love that about Marie and Ashley. Ashley is our fashion guru in the family, so when she says something isn’t right, it isn’t. We all go through different phases in our lives and our clothes should too. So why don’t we upgrade our wardrobes like we should? Why do we try to hold on to our younger years? There is nothing back there that we need. We are incredible women no matter what size or shape we are. So, embrace your life. Embrace your age. Embrace the beauty from within and let it show.

 

As for me, I am gonna try on those vintage clothes next time. I am going to continue to upgrade my wardrobe. Maybe a little more 50’s vibe is needed or a little western flair. Boho isn’t my thing but how about a little color other than black. I wore tenni runners (casual tennis shoes not athletic shoes) in public y’all, that ain’t ever happened before! I love skirts and miss those blazers. So, keep an eye out and let’s see what my future wardrobe holds. And did I mention I have let my hair grow out some. Yes people, I have had short hair for years and spiky hair for at least the last 6 years. I am so excited!!!

Closet Cleanout 2
I just love this purse
Beach · summer · Surprise · Vacation

Weekend Getaway part 1

Jeff and I don’t really get away from the ranch very often.  Usually people come visit us, like Misha and Jimmy.  Plus we always have animals to see after, which makes trips a little hard.  But this summer we managed two long weekend trips.

This past weekend we ventured to Galveston.  My old stomping grounds.  Oh how I love the beach!  It is my happy place.  If you have ever seen the movie, City Of Angels with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, and then you know the scene when all the angels go to the beach and you can just feel the presence of God.  Well that is how I feel about the beach.  I think it is the most amazing wonder God created.

On our way to Galveston, we made a stop and visited my Mom and Dad.  I got to see my older sister Libby too.  It was a nice visit.  I haven’t seen them in forever.  After that we headed to the Galveston with a pit stop at the boardwalk in Kemah.  If you have never gone to Kemah you should.  It is a little town on the west coast of Galveston Bay.  They have a boardwalk with restaurants and carnival games and rides.  There is an aquarium and you can watch gorgeous sailboats on the bay.

We enjoyed some Bubba Gump seafood and couple of rides and games before heading back on the road to Galveston.

My favorite hotel to stay in Galveston is Hotel Galvez.  It is old historic hotel built in 1911,  and has survived so many hurricanes.  There is a documentray on the History Channel about Galveston.  If you like Texas History it is a must watch.

We did a little shopping and visited an art gallery on the strand, we walked the seawall and ate some delicious seafood, we had an afternoon of spa time,  and of course we went to the beach.  Each day Biv and I would take a walk on the beach and look for seashells.

The beach is so relaxing to me.  And Galveston brings back so many memories.  If you have never been to Galveston, you need to make a trip there.  Especially if you love history.  There is so much Texas History in Galveston.  It was a major port for the United States.  There is the Bishop Palace, which is a must tour.  There is a tour of wood carvings around Galveston.  You can walk or rent motorized bikes.  There is pier 21, Moody Gardens and Aquarium and Pleasure Pier.

1BB63BB8-43B2-47B7-921A-A460347C3D08

Just to list a few things to do.  Now I know the water is not gorgeous blue like Florida beaches but it is just so relaxing to sit under an umbrella and to feel the ocean breeze.

B919DA94-431B-4C09-B63C-0A07B3D59A28

Oh how I miss living on the beach and smelling that ocean air.

But you know what I miss the most?  The fresh seafood!!!  And did we eat seafood, even for breakfast.  The Hotel Galvez is famous for their Sunday Brunch.  You don’t have to stay at the hotel to have Sunday brunch there.  Many locals come to brunch after church on Sunday morning.  The food is amazing.  The best buffet I have ever eaten at.  They have waffle, omelet, pasta, prime rib stations with a chef to cook up whatever you want.  Jeff had an omelet with shrimp, not to mention all the other food he ate.  Like his second plate with prime rib and mashed potatoes…which he said reviled mine.

B6B894A6-6B35-4AF9-B8D6-12FA859AAAA0

I had gulf shrimp, raw oysters and  eggs Benedict. Yum! And of course some seafood gumbo!

Here are a few pictures of the Brunch buffet.  And these are just some of the buffet.  I love the pelican ice sculpture with the gulf shrimp. oyster and crab legs.

Then we hit the dessert bar.  OH MY!  All these wonderful desserts.  I didn’t stay on my diet here.   Bread Pudding, Creme Brûlée, Red Velvet Cupcakes, tarts, Chocolate Creme Cups ( which tasted so similar to my chocolate pudding ) ,  Cherry Cobbler and Cheesecake to name a few.  Here are some pics.

Brunch may have started our day with a bang but it was the fireworks out over the Gulf, that really gave us a great finale to our Sunday.  Jeff was so tired from our day of exploring he took a nap on the Adirondack chair on the lawn waiting for the fireworks.


So if you have a chance for a weekend getaway, don’t forget about Galveston, Texas.  So much to do and enjoy there or just sit back and relax on the beach.

2D6208A7-7677-43FB-944D-54E0211C8550

Cooking · country life · Family · Food · Party · summer

Grandma Treva’s Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of my favorite foods to make when you have a cookout or large gathering. It brings back such great memories of watching my grandmother make it. She would make it for church functions and to go with fried chicken. I have not tasted potato salad like hers anywhere else. It is very refreshing and different.

Potato salad 07
Grandma Treva’s Potato Salad

It has been a while since I have made it. I had to pare it down for just the two of us this time. I think it is pretty good even if I say so myself. There are no true measurements, so you will kind of have to take a light hand and add more if needed. But give it a try and let me know what you think.

Grandma Treva’s Potato Salad

5 lbs of potatoes cleaned, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
½ a large onion finely chopped
1 large bell pepper finely chopped
1 apple peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks cleaned and finely chopped
2 eggs boiled and finely chopped
1 tbsp prepared mustard
½ cup to 1 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup to ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of salt or more to taste
Paprika

Put potatoes and salt in large pot with water covering potatoes by 2 inches. Boil until just done so a fork can easily pierce through the potatoes. This should take about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes into strainer and sprinkle vinegar on potatoes making sure to cover all and let drain. Put potatoes in a large bowl with onion, bell pepper, apple, celery and eggs. Add mayonnaise, mustard and gently combine. Add more salt if needed but taste it first. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle gently with paprika.


** I switched out the usual vinegar with an apple balsamic vinegar. It gives it a deeper flavor. The sweetness of the apples and the tart of the vinegar makes this such a light salad. No sugar, pickles or relish is added!! You don’t need it. I have used granny smith apples and even ambrosia apples so use the one that you like the most. And being from the south, I have also been know to use Miracle Whip/Mayonnaise combo if I don’t have enough mayo.

Potato salad 03
New vinegar for my potato salad. Unbelievably wonderful!
Boho · Crafts · Decorating · Party · Vintage · Wedding

Catching Dreams

Remember in our post ‘And We’re Off…’ when I talked about projects I was working on? Here is an update on Ashley’s wedding decorations I am making.

I started off taking apart dreamcatchers my sister had purchased. The feathers and all did not work with the vision of the wedding. I had feathers floating all over my house after that. Sammy even got into the fun for a while.

dc12
Hoops in the trees

My neighbors by now are used to coming home and finding things hanging in my trees. One day I will break down and make myself a paint tent but until then, my trees will have to do. Some of these are macramé hoop and some are hula hoops from the dollar store. I removed the beads inside and stripped them of the covering if I was able too. Then hung them to be spray painted. When you are working with light colors you want to make sure that none of the dark shows. I even covered some in white tape to help with string get a better grip on the hoops because sanding wasn’t doing it for me.

I use Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton string/yarn to cover the hoops. It works great and won’t damage the doilies when you attach them. Some of the macramé yarns are rough on them. After wrapping the hoops, I attached the doilies using the same yarn. We bought some of these at Antique Week in Warrenton and I had quite a few already.

 

Then it is to the stringers. I have everything from vintage lace and ribbon to yarns and muslin that I am using. I try to get an assembly line going so that I can focus on each stage instead of having chaos in my office. My husband made me a bar to hang things from to work and it made it easier when I got to the stringers. But now I have taken over my dining room. I see new tables in my future for my office and a little rearranging in there too.

I am not finished with these beauties yet. There are feathers and so much more to be done but so far, I am pleased with my progress. Tomorrow I will sit and work on the pompoms and tassels for a while. This is love ladies and gentlemen. My niece would tell you I am not known for showing emotions, but there is a lot of love for her in each twist and turn I make. It warms this Mimi’s heart that she will know she is surround with nothing but love.

Dreamcatchers 0706-04
Little more organized…

When I am done, and they are hung at the wedding I will update you on these beauties. Until then, look at Pinterest at some of the great ideas people have come up with on dreamcatchers. See y’all later, I’ve got to get back to work!

Cooking · Food

Buttermilk Heaven

pancake breakfast 0701-13
Yummy buttermilk pancakes with fruit compote!

Breakfast in my house is very simple. My husband has what he wants, and I have whatever I want. Normally anything heavy or big is saved for the weekends or special days. It’s not unusual to find him drinking a protein shake while I am trying to fold my breakfast taco without my salsa dripping out. What can I say, I am Texas girl who loves her tacos anyway I can have them.

This weekend I decided to make my husband his favorite buttermilk pancakes. This recipe is one dating back to my home economics days in junior high. Tried and true recipe that can be tweaked to please any palate. From adding chocolate chips to chia seeds, I have manipulated this basic recipe so many times over the years. This includes making it lactose free, fat-free and dairy free. This is a good base and basic recipe that also is incredible as a waffle since the buttermilk can make it thick.

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup oil
2 tsp vanilla

Shift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Combine the egg and wet ingredients in medium bowl. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened.
Preheat griddle or large skillet to 325 degrees or medium heat. Lightly grease your griddle/skillet. Pour about ½ cup batter onto the hot griddle for each pancake. Cook until the tops are bubbly and seem to be look dry. Turn and cook until browned. That usual takes a couple of minutes.

 

I happen to not be a big syrup fan and we try to eat as healthy as we can muster. I am a big fan of either making your own fruit syrup or compote. Mixed berries are what I chose to make for these pancakes. Strawberry, blueberries and blackberries is what you will find in the recipe, but you may use whatever combination you want or just one type. I have been known to also do a pineapple compote. If you try that I suggest adding a little cinnamon to your pancakes. Great combination of flavors.

Fruit Syrup

1 cup of strawberries sliced
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of blackberries
1 tbsp. of orange juice
2 tbsp. of honey
1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick

Combine the fruit and orange juice in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring as the fruit begin to cook. As the fruit starts to break down and release their juices, add honey. You may need more depending on how sweet you like it and the sweetness of the fruit. I try to use fruit that is ripe to almost too ripe. They have the most flavor and juices. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon stick. Allow fruit to simmer until cooked and you have a thick syrup. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Stir and it is ready to serve either hot or you can let it cool.

 

I don’t cook the pancakes, my husband does. He is great at making eggs and cooking pancakes so why change it now. These pancakes can also be kept in the freezer if you have leftovers and so can the compote.

 

I hope you enjoy these fluffy treats!