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A Decorating Road Map

For the past two months I've been immersed in a decorating dilemma.  After all the excitement of finding and buying our vacation home, the next step was to begin the decorating.  Some of you might find this to be a fun, creative challenge, but for me decorating is more often an overwhelming challenge.  That's especially true when the space I am decorating is new to me. Seven Steps to Guide Home Decorating Living Room-Before Decorating is easier for me when I know the space.  I like to have a sense of how the rooms will be used.  Where will we hang out most?  How will the light from outside fill the space?  Which cabinets will house the plates?  Which drawers are best for the utensils?  What direction should the beds face? How will the storage spaces the organized?  Can I imagine family and friends filling the rooms with conversation and laughter? Dining Room-Before It may seem strange, but one of the things I like to do when faced with decorating a new space is

New York City by Water Taxi

A few weekends ago, four friends from my college days and I got together for a couple of days of great talk, good food, and fun times.  We spent one of our amazing days together in New York City seeing some of the sites.  We got to New York City by boat, first on a NY Waterway ferry from Weehawken , New Jersey and then a Hop on-Hop Off water taxi. Touring New York City by Water Taxi New York City from the Hudson River If you are looking for a stress-free way to spend a day in New York City, the water taxi is the way to travel. For just $26.00 (in 2012) per person, we were able to stop at multiple destinations.  The day we visited New York City was hot, about 90 degrees, and the water taxi was comfortable and dependable.  You can choose to ride the water taxi either inside, or outside.  Outside was lovely on a hot, summer day. A View from the Water Taxi We visited the beautiful 9-11 Memorial. The 9-11 Memorial If you plan to visit the Memorial you'll want to re

Metallic Paint Updates a Dated Light Fixture

I'm in overdrive these days, working to make our vacation getaway feel like a home away from home in just a few, short weeks.   With a number of pricey changes underway in this new-to-us home, prioritizing expenditures is important.  So, instead of replacing the existing gold toned bathroom light fixtures, I decided to try to make them tolerable for a period of time. A Budget Friendly Way to Update Light Fixtures Using Metallic Paint Dated Light Fixtures I remembered the transformation a metallic glaze made to some old, brass urns I had purchased years ago,  Perhaps the same paint would transform the light fixture for me?  Well, it was worth a try.  The existing light fixtures were a ghastly brassy-gold color that needed to be toned down a bit. The light fixture makeover was an easy, four step process: Step One :  Remove the fixtures from the wall. Step Two:  Clean the Fixtures. Step Three:  Apply the metallic paint and let it dry.  I used a Coffee Glaze,

Strawberry Cupcakes

My sister-in-law brought a delicious strawberry cake to a family picnic at my house a few weekends ago.   The cake was a hit with everyone because it was moist and packed with fresh strawberry flavor.  Of course, I asked for the recipe.  It was a Paula Dean strawberry cake recipe that started with a white cake mix. Delightful Strawberry Cupcakes Strawberry Cupcakes I wanted to make cupcakes from the recipe so I went into test kitchen mode.  If you decide to make this using Paula Dean's recipe be sure to read the full recipe through to the end.  I know, that's rule number one of baking, but once in a while some of us break the rules.  If you don't read the recipe through to the end you'll most likely end up with a very soupy frosting.  I may, or may not, know this from personal experience. Through my test kitchen experience, I made a few changes to the original recipe.  I thought the recipe ingredients unnecessarily added too much sugar.  To adjust for

What's in Your Garden?

It's August 6th and my garden is in full production.  How is your garden doing?  I checked in with my garden this morning to see what needed harvesting.  My onions, and beets should get pulled right away and my lettuce has bolted.  It's time to put what is left of the lettuce into the compost pile. August Vegetable Garden Update Onions, Lettuce, and Beets My tomatoes are finally turning red.  We wait impatiently every summer for those wonderful garden tomatoes.  There's nothing that can compare to a home grown tomato picked fresh from the vine.  It's time to make our favorite tomato salad . Tomatoes are Finally Ripening! I'm hoping for an abundance of cherry tomatoes, all ripening at once, so I can roast up a tasty roasted tomato bruschetta topping.  Yum! Cherry Tomatoes The cucumbers are growing with vigor up and around three tomato cages.  Vertical gardening of the cucumbers has saved me lots of space in my raised beds. I wish I could s

Grilled Pork Medallions with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapples were on sale at my local grocery store recently.  The sweet aroma of the ripe pineapple inspired me to find a way to use it for our dinner. Since the temperature that day was flirting with 90 degrees F, I decided the only way to cook dinner was outside on the grill.  This delicious pineapple salsa was a refreshing addition to medallions of pork tenderloin, tenderized by a lime marinade and grilled on skewers. Pineapple Salsa and Grilled Pork Medallions Pork Lime Marinade Ingredients Grilled Pork Medallions with Pineapple Salsa Printer Friendly Recipe 1 pork tenderloin, sliced into medallions zest of 1 lime 2 limes, juiced 1 tablespoon of honey 3 green onions, chopped 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup olive oil The Pineapple Salsa Pineapple Salsa Ingredients 1/2 fresh pineapple, cored and chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/2 English cucumber, chopped 1/2 red pepper, chopped 1 jalapen

Quick and Easy Fudge Sauce

Truth be told, ice cream doesn't make its way into my house all that much these days.  Why, you ask?   Well, friends, when ice cream is in my freezer it has a nasty way of calling to me...letting me know it is in there...waiting... Oh, yes, I do love ice cream.  Occasionally, I'll break down and buy some ice cream.  I did just that a week, or so, ago and it sat for a day or two in the freezer, just waiting for a crack in my resolute armor.  The crack surfaced one hot evening.  Did I mention it was chocolate peanut butter ice cream?  Who can resist that, I ask you? "Hubby, would you like a dish of ice cream?"  "We have ice cream?" "Would you like hot fudge sauce?" "We have hot fudge sauce?" We didn't have any hot fudge sauce, but I had the ingredients to make some.  It is so quick and easy to make a delicious fudge sauce, there really is no reason to buy the jarred kind. Quick and Easy Fudge Sauce 1 cup chocolate chips