Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Flat Stanley came to NY.....

Each year a second grader from Ohio sends me a Flat Stanley.

One of the reasons the Flat Stanley Project has become the longest-lasting literacy project is due to the simplicity of the concept.

Students send a Flat Stanley cut out paper boy to a school, a celebrity, a family member, a politician or anyone of interest and the recipient returns the little flat boy along with a completed journal and perhaps some souvenirs such as post cards, photos, or special items.

Flat Stanley and I ventured out around town and took some photos...

...and Flat Stanley and I went shopping and bought this sweet second grade girl a few little gifts...

...and he even got to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap!

I made a booklet out of all of the photos and wrapped the gifts and sent it back to Ohio, along with Flat Stanley!

In years past the Flat Stanleys who have visited me have gone on airplanes, visited Cape Cod, blew away from me in Boston (but was retrieved), and even went to the Syracuse Univ. Carrier Dome.  

It's always fun to have him come and visit, and to help a young student who is learning to connect literacy with geography!

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Monday, March 19, 2018

A simple dinner and table setting....

I have set the table for just the two of us....

... with MacKenzie-Childs enamel dishes and Ikea placemats.

You might notice that the black Flower Market dishes are not bright and vibrant, but rather pastel....

....I purchased these at the Barn Sale and went though 3 stacks of dishes to find 4 matching salad plates.  I like the softer pink and thought they would coordinate better with my Taylor ceramics!

This is what the actual pattern should look like:

I purchased flower balls at Pier 1 Imports to use on my candlesticks for spring....

So, what are we having for dinner?

Tonight we are having Beef Stew and hot rolls!


  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bite size chunks
  • 3 baby red potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2T 2% milk or your preferred milk/milk alternative
  • STEP 1: Add 1 cup of the broth, the ranch seasoning, tomato paste, sugar and black pepper 
    to a large 6 quart slow cooker. Whisk until well combined. Whisk in the remaining broth.
  • STEP 2: Add the beef, potatoes, onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir well.
  • STEP 3: Cover and cook on low for 8–9 hours
  • STEP 4: Add the corn starch and milk to a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve. Add the corn starch 
    mixture and peas to the slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and increase the heat to high. Cook for 
    30 more minutes to thicken the stew. 

    Give this stew more flavor by searing the beef before placing into the slow cooker. Make sure your pan is hot with a thin 
    coating of oil and gently set the pieces of meat in the pan for a few minutes on each side, until browned. This will 
    caramelize the beef and give your soup a complex, savory flavor.
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Patty's Day Happy Hour

So what to drink?

Blue Lagoon: 
Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in your vodka and blue curacao. Top the rest of the way with lemonade, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Why I choose yellow....

Yellow is the color of sunshine. 

It's associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. 

Yellow produces a warming effect, 

arouses cheerfulness, 

stimulates mental activity,

 and generates muscle energy.

Those are probably the reasons why I pull out all my yellow dishware and accesories during the winter months!

 Our winter months in NY are grey and gloomy, 

and this year we have had over 150" snow!

So, those are probably the reasons why I choose to decorate with yellow all winter long!

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Ten on the 10th....

The Ten on the 10th group was challenged this month to find "home decor" that could be created for less than $10!

I was stumped at first, but then realized that I change my family room cornice-valances quite often.  I refer to them as "cornice-valances" but they are truly neither.  

They are simply lined fabric stapled to a thin board and nailed to the inside of the woodwork:

The directions and other treatments can be found in these old posts:
Here and Here and Here

I LOVE fabric and am always searching for remnants on sale.  This pair can be made with less than a yard of fabric and can be lined with the cheapest of white fabric.  The trim is the most expensive part, but I can often find a few yards in the sale bin, too!

Fabric was $7 yd
Trim remnant was $4 for 3 1/2 yds
Lining was $3 yd
Total was $14, so only $7 per window!

The best part is that I can change them out so easily.  I just pull the fabric and staples off the boards and make new ones - OR - use the old ones.  I have about 6 different fabric patterns and change them quite often!

These have also been on the same windows:

These are in the morning room windows:

I added a band on the top of each panel to coordinate with the slider curtains:

And this is currently in the dining room:

It was made with a dupioni silk that I purchased for only $8!

We have been in our home for almost 8 years and I love the idea of having just toppers on the windows.  There are shades on each window, so we can have privacy at night, but during the day I enjoy the brightness - and I have a husband who keeps the window glass nice and clean for me!!

Visit these other blogs to see what can be created with only $10:

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