Thursday, June 30, 2011

Red, White, and Blue Cocktails

I know many of you are planning fabulous festivities for this weekend, and are looking to pull out all of the stops. Here are some colorful cocktail recipes that are sure to wow your guests!
Photos via SimplyStated

1. Fourth of July Cocktail
A thin slice of jalapeno or serrano pepper adds a fiery kick to this tequila-based cocktail, which gets it's pretty colors from cranberry juice, watermelon schnapps, and blue curacao.
 {via Guy Fierei}

2. Strawberry Sucker
Strawberry schnapps, vodka, and club soda make up this sweet & fizzy afternoon drink. Add a skewer of blueberries for a splash of blue!
 {via Rachel Rae}

3. Watermelon Mint Cooler
• 4 cups seedless watermelon chunks (about 1 pound)
• 1 1/2 cups lemonade
• 1/2 cup fresh mint
• blackberries for garnish (optional)
In a blender, puree the watermelon and lemonade; strain if desired.
Stir in the mint and serve over ice.
For an instant cocktail: Stir in 1/2 cup vodka or tequila before serving.
Garnish with a blackberries.
 {via Real Simple}

4. Patriotic Margarita
This pretty drink gets it's striped look from a layer of blue HPNOTIQ Liqueur topped with a red layer made from strawberry puree, dark rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and crushed ice.
 {via Coastal Living}

5. Red, White, and HPNOTIQ Blue Martini
Blue liqueur and grenadine give this citrus vodka-based martini it's patriotic flair. Garnished coconut adds a touch of white!
{via Bar None Drinks}

Originally posted at Simply Stated

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Festive Fourth of July

With the fourth of July rapidly approaching, what are you planning? Heading to the river, lake, having friends over for a bbq? No matter where you go, it is a perfect opportunity to put your creative skills to use and create a fun and festive setting for this holiday weekend. From baking and cooking, to colorful table settings and decorations, pull out all the stops and wow your friends and family. Here are some wonderfully inspiring ideas to get your engines started.

Pictures via

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weekend Getaway

I'm getting ready to hit the road for the weekend. We are going to spend it at the lake with family, and do a little remodeling to the house while we are there. Hopefully there will be equal parts relaxation and work. Here's wishing you a wonderful weekend! Try to relax and enjoy life while you can!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Space Savers

Apartment living can be difficult when you want chic, but don't have a lot of room. I am always seeking out creative solutions for storage problems, lack of space, and display. Better Homes and Gardens has a great little piece called 19 Ideas to Steal for Your Apartment by Joanna Smith. Here are a few of my favorites.

Open Air Furnishings...

My couch at home is similar to this one and has only one arm, which we have placed toward the wall, leaving the open end inviting guests to sit. Furniture placed away from the way from the wall also makes an area seem more spacious and free flowing.

 Wall Cover-ups...

Since apartment living is often temporary or comes with restrictions on what can be done with the space, here is a great option for covering unsightly or plain walls. You can make these as large or small as you like, with minimal damage, and change it up as often as you like.

 Home Office Organization...

Just like in large cities, when you start running out of room to spread out, start moving up. Stacked shelves such as these make organizing a cinch. And with so many colorful storage options available, your home office can be as chic as it is functional.

Hanging Storage... 

Most apartment kitchens have very little space for large pots and pans, so items like this hanging rack are an easy way to free up space and make these items more accessible.

Coffee Table Solutions...

This is a great way to work with what you have. In my living room, we similarly place a piece of glass over the top of a lovely green trunk to serve as a coffee table. We also placed wheels on the bottom to make repositioning it for game night or making room for my yoga a snap.

Double Duty Pieces...

Items like the ottomans that can serve as seating as well as storage are great for hiding away extra blankets, pillows, games, or magazines.

Pictures via Better Homes and Gardens.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Funday!

Happy Father's Day to all of you Dads out there! Hopefully you are all relaxing, flipping burgers on the bbq, enjoying a tasty adult beverage, hanging by the lake, fishing, floating around the pool, or participating in some sort of enjoyable activity on this fine sunny day. I myself am in my home town spending a little quality time with my own dear old Dad, relaxing with my family, and loving it. So, carry on with your lovely day and give ol' Pop a big hug or phone call and tell him thanks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trash to Treasure: Colored Glass

Another trip to Goodwill yielded a bundle of goodies! I nabbed a couple of small wooden crates, and a variety of colored glass objects, which you know how much I love! I just had to paint the crates, them being of plain, untreated wood, which in my house begs to be colored. One is now being used to hold mail, while the other has been used to store our unsightly, but often used and much adored wine opener, as well as spare decorative wine corks, and a bottle opener made of a railroad spike (a groomsman gift to Keith from our friend). I threw in an empty bottle of Lucky Buddha (Keith was kind enough to empty it for me), just for fun. Here's how it all played out when poised together...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dream Catchers

Recently I came across this blog on For Sure Jadore, and was completely taken back to summers at Girl Scout camp, when I used to make dreamcatchers out of grape vines, yarn, beads, and feathers. What a time warp! How I loved to go to Camp Kachina, and looked forward to it more than anything else each summer. At the end of each session, I would come home with an assortment of crafts I had made.  I still have a dreamcatcher that I made there around fifteen years ago!

I wanted to try my hand at it again, and remembered that we had seen a cluster of grape vines growing along a trail behind our apartment. Cutters in hand, we took to the path to garner a small collection of dried vines. I then assembled an array of supplies, from twine, yarn, and a colorful assortment of embroidery floss, to a multitude of shells, beads, buttons, flowers, sea glass, scrapbook paper, markers, feathers, and pastel chalks, then got to work. It took a few days to knock out three, but I have finished, and each one has a unique aesthetic.

The first has a Nautical theme, almost New England coastal, with shells, sea glass, rough twine, feathers, and found objects...

The second is colorful and eclectic, with ribbons, floss, feathers, beads, and buttons of every color...

The third is simple and romantic. I wanted it to look as if someone had hung flowers to dry, and feathers had somehow settled into them....

This coming week I should be opening a new shop on Etsy, where I will be selling art, housewares, refinished furniture, and crafts such these dreamcatchers. Check back in soon! Have a great weekend!