The other day we were outside doing some yard work when Kevin looked up at the front door and said it needed a bigger wreath. It sure did. Rather than hang nothing there I hung a simple wreath that lacked that certain character. To be honest it was an unfinished piece that desperately needed switching out. My solution was a new bright spring floral wreath. It was an idea I had been toying with for a while and when Hobby Lobby put their florals on sale for 50% off I knew I had to act.
To make my spring floral wreath you will need :
Six bunches of 12 flowers, or 72 flowers of your choosing.
Floral wire cut into 1-2 inch sections
A hot glue gun
Wire wreath form
Start by stripping the flowers from the stems and the hot glue the wire to the inside of where the stem was. This will allow you to attach the flower to the wreath form by wire wrapping the flower to the form. I twisted the wire around two of the wires of the wreath form as tightly as I could get it. After each flower was attached, I simply hung the wreath on a hook on my front door.
I opted to use green, pink and white daisies to tie my front entry together. Our door is a light shade of green and I’m using the same color for pots that hold pink geraniums. Our wicker chairs have a another shade of green to round out the entryway.
I am always on the hunt for the perfect summer bag. I tend to look for classic pieces that will stand the test of time without being pigeon holed into a trend. Few things are as classic and timeless as the quintessential summer straw bag. Whether it’s wicker, sea grass or rattan the look is perfect for warmer weather. Straw bags can be found in many styles from cross bodies to totes and classic clutches. I love that they pair nicely with a pair of jeans or a linen shift.
Lord, knows I don’t need another bag, but it’s fun to look. Am I right? Here are a few cool summer straw bags I’ve uncovered and may actually have to treat myself to one or two. Each of these will last you from one summer to another. I have to admit my favorite is the Tory Burch clutch, most likely because I have one very similar from J.Crew.
It’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! The day was likely started by an ice cream manufacturer in an attempt to boost the sale of chocolate ice cream. Interesting fact, the first known chocolate ice cream dates back to 1692 when the Italians froze hot chocolate. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but it gave the world decadent chocolate ice cream to rival vanilla as the most popular flavor.
Now, I don’t need an excuse to make ice cream. I tend to make homemade ice cream all summer long. It reminds me of my childhood summers, when we would venture into the harbor for ice cream. However, if I have a readymade reason to make a batch I will happily take it. So, to celebrate National Chocolate Ice Cream Day I whipped up a batch of the Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream. I took a chocolate base and added chopped chocolate covered cherries to the mix. I must say it came out really well.
The recipe is super easy and eggless, which I prefer. Using eggs in ice cream can be tricky. The eggs are mixed with milk or chream, cooked and then cooled. They make a richer ice cream but adds an extra time consuming step to the process.
To make my Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream start with:
3 cups heavying whipping cream
1-cup whole milk
1 cup Cocoa
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 5oz package of chocolate covered dried cherries- chopped
Mix the dry ingredients and then combine with the cream, milk and vanilla. Add it to an ice cream maker to churn. As it’s churning pour in the chopped cherries. Transfer to a container and freeze for about 4-6 hours.
I use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and generally keep the two containers frozen, so I can make up ice cream whenever the mood strikes. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for it to freeze before use.
How are you celebrating National Chocolate Ice Cream Day?
If you love chocolate and need an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast, then you will love these chocolate muffins. These muffins are quick and easy to whip up. What I love most about this recipe is that it doesn’t have eggs, allowing you to safely lick the spoon or the bowl. It’s a great recipe to make with the kids and they can fight over the spoon.
I have made these for Kevin’s office and have given them to friends too. These chocolate muffins get rave reviews and most of the time I’m asked for the recipe. I love that they can double as an after dinner treat with a cup of coffee or can be tossed into a lunch bag for a mid morning snack.
Chocolate Muffins – makes six to nine muffins depending on the size of the muffin pan used.
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
scant 1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 390. Grease and flour muffin tin (I use cocoa). If you opt to use a silicone pan you can skip the grease and flour step. The muffins will easily pop right out of the pan.
Combine dry ingredients. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide batter equally between muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
My husband found this recipe when he decided to give baking a try. Baking is usually my domain, while he is more comfortable cooking or grilling. When he found this we both agreed they looked to easy and too yummy not to try. Well, they have become my go to muffin recipe especially when we are in the mood for chocolate.
It’s hard to believe Mother’s Day is only two days away. Are you ready to celebrate mom? If not, I have a few do it yourself last minute gift ideas that she will love!
If you follow me on Instagram you know I have a thing for flowers. So it should be no surprise that my first mother’s day gift idea is fresh flowers. You can find reasonably priced blooms at the local grocery store. I find Whole Foods has the best quality. Pair them with a unique vase to create a complete gift. I made the one pictured above using an inexpensive glass vase from the Dollar Store and with a pretty ribbon and button hot glued to it to give it a little texture.
Another wonderful gift idea is to create a personalized coffee mug for mom. All you need is an inexpensive white mug, glass paint and an oven. See my blog post here for more info. You could also use this technique to create a personalized vase.
Painted terracotta pots make a sweet Mother’s Day gift for mom or Grandma. Let kids create whatever they want on the pots. Rainbows, butterflies or ladybugs are all cute motifs that kids can easily paint. By including a package of citronella tea lights, you can turn the pots into adorable candleholders for the back porch.
Create a beautiful tray by adding handles to a unique piece of tile or an older frame. You could also buy a wood tray at the local craft store and paint it, or dress it up with decoupage. Present it to mom with a mimosa and home baked muffins for breakfast.
Let your creativity inspire your own ideas. Sometimes it only takes a walk through the craft store to trigger an idea or two. You could take the easy way out, buy her a card and let her sleep in.