DIY Whimsical Planter

The parameter of my parent’s backyard is filled with flowers and grasses that bloom from spring until fall. My mum is always doing various creative things each year to change up the backyard. One thing remains the same each year, and that is the abstract planter. The planter gives the backyard a whimsical touch that I absolutely love, and it makes this topsy planter one of my favorite aspects of the yard. This quirky planter is so simple to make you’ll want to put one up in your yard this weekend.
You will need:
• one rebar rod
• 1  12″ tall terracotta pot for the base
• 4   8" tall terracotta pots
• flowers of your choice (I used impatients)
 {hammer your rebar rod straight into the ground.}
 {thread your pots onto the rebar and fill with soil.}
 {thread your next pot (this one will set in the soil) onto the rebar and tilt it to the side}
 {thread the next pot and tilt to the opposite side-remember to fill with soil}
 {keep layering each pot and filling with soil until you reach the end}
 {hammer the rebar into the ground further if needed}
{fill with flowers and enjoy}

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

While the official start to summer may not be until the end of June, this humid 90-degree weather has made it feel just like summer.  I decided to start the season off with a quintessential warm weather treat, my Papa’s old fashioned vanilla ice cream.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes 4 quarts
• 2 ¼ cups sugar
• ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 5 cups whole milk
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 4 cups heavy whipping cream
• 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1. Combine sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan, and gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat (about 15 minutes) or until thickened, stirring constantly.
2. Gradually (you don’t want to cook the eggs) stir about 1 cup of hot mixture into the beaten eggs. Add egg mixture to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly and cooking for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat, pour mixture into a new bowl, and place bowl into a larger bowl that has been filled with ice water. Once the mixture bowl has cooled, place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
4. Combine heavy whipping cream and vanilla in a large bowl, add chilled mixture stirring with a wire whisk to combine. Freeze as directed on your ice cream maker.

Nostalgic Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day weekend always feels like the beginning of summer, and would not be complete without a great barbeque. Besides dodging raindrops during 15-minute rain showers the tone of the weekend was relaxed. Here is a peak at my weekend plus a peak at my backyard barbeque.What did you do this weekend?
 {perfectly patriotic manicure: Revlon Ruby Lounge}
{old fashion hamburger and onion rings}
 {mum's homemade potato salad}
 {the goodie bar featuring nostalgic goodies}
 {ice cream toppings}
{summertime favorites: peanuts + crackers and Michigan made chips, pop and kettle corn}

Dear Summer

{Miners Castle: Munising, Michigan}
From grocery to goals and everything in between, growing up I always found these list around the house courtesy of my mum. Ever since then I have been a sucker for to-do-list; usually written on post-it notes. While in college one of my friends had the idea of creating a list of things to accomplish before Labor Day. The list is lighthearted and inspiring -  an ideal way to help savor summer before it's gone. Here are the 11 things I would like to accomplish this summer. What is on your summer to-do list?
1. Learn how to BBQ on my own.
2. Make homemade jam(s) with my mum.
3.Learn new braids.
4. Crochet at least one washcloth each week.
5. Learn how to make bread and butter pickles.
6.  Have Sunday Brunch at least once a month.
7. Make homemade ice cream with fresh picked fruit.
8. Take a spontaneous trip.
9. Learn how to sew.
10. Have breakfast on the beach.
11. Dine Al Fresco whenever possible. 

Five Things

{Pixy Stix for a nostalgia candy display}
Memorial weekend in my mind is the official start to summer. This weekend will be filled with plenty of backyard barbeques, including the intimate one my parents are having that I have given an "old time" theme. Spending time at the beach soaking up the rays, and of course plenty of indulgences. What are your plans this weekend?
{The amazing cookie plate from my great aunt when she returned dishes}
I was always taught that when you return someone's dishes that you have, you should always fill them with goodies prior to the return. What are your thoughts on this? Do you do the same?
{miniature bud vase + first garden peony}
{current nails: Duri "The Renaissance" (dark) and Dashing Diva "I Lilac It" (light)}
{current favorite spa water: lemon, raspberry and lemon balm leafs}

Lemon Sorbet Cups

During the warmer months I frequently find myself entertaining company.  When it comes to the heat, entertaining with ease is a necessity, as is keeping it simple. For a sweet treat with little effort, I hollowed out lemons to serve perfectly portioned scoops of lemon sorbet.

   {cut the lemon(s) in half}

  {scoop out the insides}
  {slice the bottom so the lemon sits flat}
 {add lemon sorbet and place in the freezer for at least two hours} 
{add garnish if desired and serve}

DIY: No Slip Hangers

My closet is filled with dresses, blouses, and all things that have a tendency to slip off hangers.  As the amount of these items grew in my closet so did the lost and found in the middle of it. I couldn’t keep my clothes on the hangers, and wanted a budget friendly way to keep my clothes from falling to the floor. That is when I started to use pipe cleaners as my “no slip surface”. 

{Place the pipe cleaner on the top shoulder section of the hanger.}

 {Wrap the pipe cleaner tightly around the hanger until you run out.}
{Add a second pipe cleaner into the one you already wrapped on the hanger.}
 {The pipe cleaner should have little to no gaps on the hanger when finished.}
 {Repeat on the other side.}
{final result}

Petite S'more Cups

Over Memorial weekend my parents will be having an intimate backyard BBQ. To me nothing kicks off Memorial weekend quite like a S’more. Since the get-together is during the day, and having a S’more or two around a campfire is unlikely.  I will be bringing mess free petite S’more cups that will have the guest wanting S’more than one. 

Petite S’more Cups
½ cup (about 4 whole graham crackers) finely crushed
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
¼ cup powdered sugar
12 milk chocolate wafers melts or or 1 Hershey bars, broken into rectangles
6 large marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and powdered sugar in a small bowl.
3. Place one tablespoon of crumb mixture in 12 cups of a mini muffin pan. Using the back of your measuring spoon press crumbs to form shallow cups.
4. Bake 5-7 minutes or until edges begin to bubble.
5. Remove pan from oven, and place a milk chocolate wafer melt or candy bar rectangle into each cup.  Return to oven for 1 to 2 minutes to soften chocolate.
6. Get a pair of scissors wet, and cut marshmallows in half.
7. Place a marshmallow half, cut side down into each cup. Return to the oven on broil (be sure to leave the door cracked) once marshmallows begin to brown remove from the oven.
8. Allow the pan to cool on a cooling rack for 13-17 minutes – remove cups from pan and allow to cool completely.
Makes 12 petite s’more cups
double recipe as needed

DIY: Herb Wheel

My parents have a spectacular backyard overflowing with flower gardens, fruits, vegetables and of course herbs. My mum is always looking for a unique way to alter certain parts of the backyard. One memory she has is of a rickety wagon wheel (for ornamental purpose only) her dad had in their backyard. Since the herbs do not need a lot of space to grow, the wagon wheel becomes the ideal addition to the backyard. When herbs are collectively placed they become an aesthetically pleasing work of art. The wagon wheel I purchased is from here.
{Place the wheel in a cleared area, use a cultivator to turn the soil between the spooks}
{My soil did not come up high enough on the spooks so I added some potting soil}
compost or whatever type of soil you have will also work
 {To plant your herbs be sure to break up the bottom to allow for proper growth}
{To give it a finished look surround with mulch. }

Herbs used: rosemary, lavender, thyme, basil and parsley