Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tunring You're $5 Keds Into Art!

You can find these shoes for $5.96 at your local superstores.
I found a few ideas on the internet about coloring my shoes but I wanted to do something with a touch of my culture, which is Maori from New Zealand, and I wanted to put inspiring words somewhere in the shoes like a wordle.

I used a black sharpie,
blue, red, purple and silver craft paints,
a small paint brush

I started by writing words over the front of the shoes then added the Maori designs around the sides and back with the sharpie.

I painted the shoes with the colors I liked and even if I made a mistake, I used the sharpie to color it in a little more or repainted it again.

This is how they look now.

Here are some other ideas I found on Pinterest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Aussie/New Zealand Treat ~ Chocolate Crackles

4 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup shredded coconut, optional
250 grams solid coconut oil
In a large bowl, mix the Rice Krispies, powdered sugar, cocoa, and coconut (if using).
Over low heat, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and allow to cool slightly.
Add to Rice Krispies mixture and stir until well combined.
Spoon mixture into cupcake liners and refrigerate until firm.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. I’m not sure how many it’s supposed to make, but I used 12 regular cupcake liners. You could easily make them smaller and get 24, or use mini liners.

White Christmas

250 grams solid coconut oil 
1c icing sugar
3/4c sultanas
1/2c finely chopped glace cherries
1/2c finely chopped dried apricots
1/2c desiccated coconut
1 cup full cream milk powder
1 1/4 cup rice bubbles* (Rice Krispies)

Melt oil, add all ingredients and stir. Lay onto cookie tray, refrigerate and slice.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lemon Pull-APart Coffee Cake

As I was browsing through my favorite online hangout....  PINTEREST! I came across this mouth watering recipe and had to share it with you.

Lemon Pull Apart Coffee Cake

Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake Recipe


  • For the sweet yeast dough
  • About 2 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 fluid ounces) whole milk
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • For the lemon paste pie filling
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • For the tangy cream cheese icing
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounce) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • Make the sweet yeast dough
  • 1. Stir together 2 cups (9 ounces) of the flour, the sugar, the yeast, and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, add the water, and set aside until warm (120 to 130°F [49 to 54°C]), about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract.
  • 2. Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture and, using a rubber spatula, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Attach the bowl to the mixer, and fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) of the remaining flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Add 2 more tablespoons flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.
  • 3. Sprinkle a work surface with 1 tablespoon flour and center the dough on the flour. Knead gently until smooth and no longer sticky, about 1 minute, adding an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons flour only if necessary to lessen the stickiness. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place (about 70°F [21°C]) until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step. While the dough is rising, make the filling.
  • Make the lemon paste filling
  • 4. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and the lemon and orange zests. Set the sandy-wet mixture nearby (the sugar draws out moisture from the zests to create the consistency).
  • Make the coffee cake
  • 5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan. Or, lightly coat the pan with nonstick spray.
  • 6. Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush spread the melted butter generously over the dough. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches. (A pizza cutter is helpful here.) Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the zest-sugar mixture over one of the buttered rectangles. Top with a second rectangle and sprinkle it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the zest-sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining dough rectangles and zest-sugar mixture, ending with a stack of 5 rectangles. Work carefully when adding the crumbly zest filling, or it will fall off when you have to lift the stacked pastry later.
  • 7. Slice the stack crosswise through the 5 layers to create 6 equal strips, each about 4 by 2 inches. Fit these layered strips into the prepared loaf pan, cut edges up and side by side. (While there is plenty of space on either side of the 6 strips widthwise in the pan, fitting the strips lengthwise is tight. But that’s fine because the spaces between the dough and the sides of the pan fill in during baking.) Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place (70 °F [21°C]) until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for baking.
  • 8. Bake the coffee cake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Make the tangy cream cheese icing
  • 9. In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, vigorously mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the milk and lemon juice until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  • 10. To remove the coffee cake from the pan, tilt and rotate the pan while gently tapping it on a counter to release the cake sides. Invert a wire rack on top of the coffee cake, invert the cake onto the rack, and carefully lift off the pan. Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up, and remove the original rack.
  • 11. Slip a sheet of waxed paper under the rack to catch any drips from the icing. Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the warm cake with the icing to glaze it. (Cover and refrigerate the leftover icing for another use. It will keep for up to 2 days.)
  • 12. Serve the coffee cake warm or at room temperature. To serve, you can pull apart the layers, or you can cut the cake into 1-inch-thick slices on a slight diagonal with a long, serrated knife. If you decide to cut the cake, don’t attempt to cut it until it is almost completely cool.

Get more deliciousness at Lemon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake Recipe | Leite's Culinaria 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Black, Gray and White, a Gorgeous Combo

While browsing through some of my favorite blogs I came across these absolutely beautiful photos of this well appointed home.  They decorated in black, white and gray tones and used fresh cut flowers to break up the color palette.  You can see more photo's here: http://blogg.blackballoon.se/

I love the little bits of purple from the lilac cuttings and how they contrast with the white painted floors.
TKH 3 V team

TKH 5 V team

The table is divine with its repurposed wood planks.

Most of the lamp shades have gathered covers in an assortment of colors.

Touches of green from the fresh cut flowers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

$1 Metal Picnic Table Clock

I was at a little estate sale and came across this old metal picnic table.  It was rusted, had chippy paint, the base was bent and awkward but I had to do something with this beautiful piece of metal.  As I lifted the table sideways and saw the rust lines underneath it..... I knew this had to be a clock.

I have 10' ceilings and this clock is about 4' wide as it is tall and fits perfectly in the kitchen area.

The table was only $1 and the clock ware was purchased at clockparts.com  for only $24.  It was really easy to assemble and I screwed two small pieces of wood at the top and at the bottom so the clock could sit against the wall without being lopsided.

 The clock hands are almost 18" long and the motor only runs on a AA battery

So the next time you come across that old, chipped, rusted metal table, maybe you can make your very own clock or better yet, find something even more creative to do with it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake Recipe

Have you ever gone somewhere to eat and wished you could make that at home?  I found a recipe for this lovely cake and believe me, its yummy!

Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake
adapted from: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2

1 Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 egg whites

Note: These measurements are based on a Betty  Crocker cake mix.  If you chose to use a different brand, the ingredients and measurements might be different.

Lemon Cream Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbl. lemon juice
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Crumb Topping
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cold butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Make white cake according to the directions on the box.  Divide batter between two 9'' cake pans.  Bake according to box directions.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes.  Then, invert cakes to cooling rack and cool completely.

Make the lemon cream filling by mixing  cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.  Mix in lemon juice.  Whip the cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks.  Fold cream cheese mixture with whipped cream.  Stir gently by hand until blended.

Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.  Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract.  Use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix cold butter into flour and sugar.  Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients.  Be sure not to press the mixture together.  You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea.

When the cake is cool, spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully place the top half of the cake over the filling.  Spread remaining filling over the top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.  Now chill the cake for at least three hours before you serve it.  When you are ready to dig in, slice cake into 12 slices.  Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer.  Serves: 12.  Keep refrigerated.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inexpensive Cleaning Ideas from Common Household Products

Did you know that you can fix many problems with common household products you have stashed around your home?  I certainly didn't and through one of my favorite past times..... pinning on Pinterest, I came across a fabulous board on this particular subject.

Here are some of my favorites:

Coffee Filters

  1. They can be used to wipe down glass, computer screens, iPads and more because they are lint free.
  2. When moving dinnerware, place between each plate to keep from rattling or breakage.
  3. Use a coffee filter to pour oil into your car engine without messy spillage.
  4. In case you run out of dryer sheets and you’re in a pinch, just apply a few drops of fabric softener to a coffee filter, rub the sides together and stick it in the dryer.
  5. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
  6. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.
  7. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.
  8. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

Hair Dryer

  1. Removing those horrible sticky price tags on the bottom of your glasses
  2. Set the dryer on cool and point it at dusty shelves or intricate knickknacks to blow the debris right off. (Start from the highest shelf to make gravity work for you.)
  3. Dewrinkle plastic shower curtains or table-cloths. Blow hot air onto fresh-out-of-the-bag material to "iron" out wrinkles—just keep the dryer 12 inches from the surface so it won't melt.
  4.  Perfect frosting or icing. To harden frosting on cakes or cookies, blow cool air directly on it. To brighten a dull finish, give the icing a hit of hot air.
  5. Erase crayon marks or wax spills. Kids gone wild? Blow-dry the stain on high until the wax melts, then wipe with a soapy sponge.

  1. Crayon messes on the wall.  Rub a damp cloth and some toothpaste on your marked-up wall and rinse with a clean wet cloth.
  2. Carpet cleaning and stain removal.  Scrub away with an abrasive brush and toothpaste, rinse, and you’ll scrub the stain right out. You may even realize how dirty the rest of your carpet is in the process.
  3. Clean those tennis or running shoes.  Similar to above, scrub away (especially on those scuffed up white rubber soles), wipe with a damp cloth, and watch your tootsies gleam.
  4. Jewelry cleaner.  I used this the other day to clean my seriously dull gold rings.  Use a damp rag and rub it all over the jewelry piece.  They are truly gleaming!
  5. Pesky bug bites?  Instead of scratching those bites until they swell up and become unbearable, dab a little toothpaste on it and forget about your itchy worries.

Baking Soda

  1. A box or small bowl of baking soda in the refrigerator, freezer, or any cupboard will keep away unpleasant odors. 
  2. To clean silver, use a paste of 3 parts baking soda to one part water. Rub the paste onto each item, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
  3. For burnt-on food in the bottom of pots, sprinkle with baking soda, then add hot water. Let soak overnight; the dried on food will come loose much more easily.
  4. Baking soda will keep away garbage odors; sprinkle the bottom of the pail, and then sprinkle again after you put a new bag in.
  5. Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to keep clothing fresh.
  6. Baking soda increases the effectiveness of chlorine bleach. Add 1 / 2 cup to your laundry, along with the usual amount of bleach.
  7. Lawn furniture can be easily cleaned with a rinse of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Color of Green

I have noticed more people decorating with the color green.  Its always been one of my favorite colors, usually worn rather than displayed but I love the way it looks in some of these photo's below.

How the color green affects us physically and mentally:
  • Soothing
  • Relaxing mentally as well as physically
  • Helps alleviate depression, nervousness and anxiety
  • Offers a sense of renewal, self-control and harmony

Green apples displayed in a clear glass bowl, chartreuse throw on a white ottoman

The large mid-century green lamp adds 'color punch' to this room

Chartreuse accent  pillows look great with the gray and white

The vintage light pendants are wonderful

This is one of my favorite Fiestaware colors

Just the right amount of green to a neutral room

I like how green is used in decorating for this wedding

Stunning vintage bathroom

Here's a low priced and practical table display, a white bowl filled with green apples

This is one of my favorite styles to wear.  1940s silhouette, pencil skirt dress with short sleeves and a deep V neck.  I'd probably prefer less of the deep V but all in all, its stunning!