Project Doll House Is In Full Swing

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A few months ago Mr. Husband came home carrying a huge doll house. I apparently made a comment on Facebook that I’d love to refurbish a doll house for the Sugababies. My brother-in-law came across this beautiful wooden house, along with a few pieces of furniture and thought of me. Since then it’s been hanging out waiting for me to get to it. This gem is in need of a little TLC by way of a good cleaning, sanding, and painting to make it ready for the Sugababies to play with.

Two weeks ago I bought sandpaper, but it wasn’t till late last week that I finally decided it was time. After my morning walk last Thursday, before it got too hot I grabbed a Coke and the sandpaper and went to work.

Doll House

 

Initially I thought it was going to take a lot of work, as in days just to sand it. To my surprise, I was able to sand the entire house in two hours. That included a few breaks to sip my Coke, get a bottle or two of water, and cool off. I knew it would take a lot of elbow grease, but I was up for the challenge.

Sanding doll house

When I got through sanding I was a dusty, sweaty mess… and I loved every minute of it. There is something about being creative and seeing a project come to life. This week the first coat of paint goes on, and the pieces of furniture get cleaned and sanded. I will do the basic painting, then my daughter the artist and painter will add the decorative touches.

I have three full weeks of summer left, and #ProjectDollHouse has top priority. It’s the “thing” I want to  check off my list as “Done.” What projects do you have plans to complete before the end of summer?

Tea Party For The Bride

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Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a bridal shower tea-party for our oldest daughter.

It was my bright idea to do EVERYTHING myself, with the help of my personal assistants (younger daughters). To say I didn’t understand how much work was involved is an understatement. But I… ahem… we pulled it off. Everything was simple from the menu to the decorations and it turned out beautiful!

Bridal Shower Tea Party Menu

From the very beginning I knew I wanted to do a mini pound cake. Since March I’ve been looking for mini-bundt cake pans, after having cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  Petit-fours are traditional tea party desserts, and these cakes served its purpose just fine. The first batch didn’t turn out so pretty! Although they were not burned, they were a little too brown to serve to our guest.

Using a simple pound cake recipe (minus the cream cheese), with a dollop of an even more simple cream cheese icing, and pink sprinkles was the perfect touch. The cakes that didn’t make the cut were made into a bread pudding, with a caramel sauce made with Eagle Brand Sweet & Condensed milk.

Cream cheese icing: 1- 8 oz package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and one cup of powdered sugar mixed well. 

Tea party bunt cakes

Another staple of a tea parties is cookies. I found a wonderful, and again very simple, recipe for short bread cookies. Five simple ingredients yielded buttery deliciousness. This recipe is great for any occasion, it stands up well to decorating, and when there nothing else…  devouring.

Months ago I was tagged in a video of cream cheese filled strawberries on Facebook. I knew right then they would be on the bridal shower menu! If you haven’t noticed the underlying theme was SIMPLE. This recipe fell right in line. We started by hollowing out the strawberry (I used the pointy end of a vegetable peeler). After making the cream cheese icing above, my youngest daughter used decorating bags to pipe the icing into the strawberries. Afterwards we sprinkled graham cracker crumbs over the top. How simple was that?! My friend said the strawberries were the best!

Of course fruit had to be a part of the festivities! Instead of fruit on a platter my vision was this watermelon arrangement. Taking my time I used a melon-baller to create dainty little balls. The arrangement consisted of watermelon balls, green grapes and pineapples. When both halves of the watermelon were filled, we put the leftover fruit on skewers.

Bridal shower teapot

With a tea party theme, teapots had to be a part of the decor. The teapot above has been hanging out in my China cabinet since my wedding. It made a perfect center piece. I also used several other teapots to round out the look of the tables.

Last but not least, I must share the cake. It was made by a local cake maker, and it was absolutely beautiful. I found a picture on Pinterest of the inspiration cake, and we could not have been more pleased with her craftsmanship. The guest didn’t realize it was a cake until it was time to cut it. It was confused as a centerpiece.

Wedding Dress Cake

While we were cleaning up after the shower, my middle daughter commented “We’re ready to start catering.”

No way! I enjoyed making all of the delicious treats, but it was a boat load of work. I never want my love of cooking and food to feel like work. For now I will continue to cook for the love of it.

 

#MagicMoments For The Entire Family

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Recently Magic Springs invited me to the park for an adventure of fun, sun and excitement with my family, in return I’d share our experience with you.

It rained the night before our trip, making it great weather for our truly magical family adventure. I couldn’t have ordered better weather from Todd Yakobian himself. We had mid-80s with nice winds, it was absolutely perfect!

It had been about three years since my girls had been to Magic Springs, and it was the Sugababies very first time. The kiddos didn’t know what was going on until we got there. Try telling a small child they’re going somewhere exciting, they’ll ask every day, several times a day “When are we going? Are we still going? How many days before we go? Are we there yet?” Yes I avoided that! The look of excitement on their faces as we walked through the parking lot, and into the gate was priceless.

Magic Springs
Welcome to Magic Springs!

While the kids prepared for a fun time I was taken on a tour of the park. One of the first things that caught my eye was the Sky Shark! I watched a couple be slowly hoisted in the air to the top of an arch. OMG, my heart was beating fast, stomach churning, and was breathing like I was right next to them. Without warning they dropped and swung back and forth over Magic Springs Lake. I got the biggest rush just watching it! This is a ride for thrill seekers, and adrenaline junkies.

There are other rides for those seeking that ‘something extra’ including The Gauntlet. This huge yellow monstrosity can be seen from the highway as you make your way to the park. It stands tall like a beacon calling to park goers and passersby alike. We found our comfort zone in a perfect combination of family rides, and kid rides including the Bugga Booga Wheel, Fearless Flyers, and classic amusement park rides like  bumper cars, and the carousel. During the recent off-season the carousel was updated. The renovation includes pictures of Arkansas history.

I had no idea my little ones were so adventurous when it comes to rides. Pictured below left, that ride takes them very high “Into the trees,” Nadia said. Neither one of the girls was scared, they just giggled with excitement. When it was over they just ran to the next.

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Riding, giggling, and having a great time!

 

For our family the highlight of the Magic Springs trip was the water parks! There are so many water attractions to chose from. We started at the Crystal Lagoon Pool where we all played in the water. It’s just right for beginning swimmers, with not too much water, but enough to make a big splash. I almost had to pull them away from the lagoon in order to experience something different. A short walk led us to Splash Island, it’s perfect for the entire family. There are little water slides, big water slides, and water slides in-between. It reminded me of something from a Dr. Seuss book, and quickly became our favorite. Water is dropping from everywhere. When the huge cup at the top of the island fills up, it dumps its contents causing a torrential down pour, and screams of delight. It’s the coolest thing ever!

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Getting Wet and Wild at the lagoon, and Splash Island.

After all that playing everyone including little Jericho worked up an appetite. Magic Springs offers a variety of concession stands, snacks, and restaurants serving burgers, chicken, fries, and pizza. X Pizza serves THE largest pizza ever, so big it can feed a family. We visited Smoke On The Water restaurant  overlooking Magic Springs Lake. The kids ate their usual chicken strips and fries, while Ajia and I tried the barbecue pork sandwich. The meat was cut right there in front of us. We had a choice of sweet or spicy barbecue sauce which was perfect for our different tastes.

Magic Springs 4
Barbecue pork sandwiches at Smoke On The Water restaurant.

After an awesome lunch we rode a few more rides until the kiddos were completely tuckered out! Approaching the exit gate Nadia says  “Nunnie, this was the best day ever!” Followed by “when do we come back again?”I agree, that was a great day!

There is something for everyone at every age to enjoy at Magic Springs. The opportunity to make magical moments and memories that will last a life time is a true treasure!

Throwback – Way Back

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Every now and then I participate in #TBT Throwback Thursday when I come across something truly throwback worthy… This is one of those days!

While going through my desk to retrieve my daughter’s birth certificate, she’s taking the written drivers permit test today… which is a total different post, I realized that drawer is stuffed! Before throwing a few away I starting going through them. There are certificates from high school, 1985 to be exact, along with one from Jr. High, and a poem that had been (gasp) typed on a type writer.

Although these certificates expose my true age, it also reminded me of a very good time I don’t mind looking back and smiling about. I wish I had more of these throwbacks to go through.

What memorabilia from yesteryear’s do you have tucked away?

throwback

Summer Sewing Fun

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zoeyMonday’s in June, are Make-It-Mondays. I know it’s Tuesday, but I missed posting yesterday and this little skirt and the little girl wearing it are too cute not to post!

I bought this gorgeous yellow gingham months ago for pillows to complete a particular daybed I am still working on by-the-way. Any whoooo that’s another post for another day.  I’d gone as far as cutting the pillow out and stopped right there.

While on one of my daily strolls through Pinterest I came across this oh-so-cute tutorial for little girls simple skirt. Before long I had turned out two itty-bitty skirts, one for this cutie and another for her sister.

Being a ham, trying the skirt on and taking a picture was a must… Then she didn’t want to take it off. My plans are to make several more of these little skirts, and shorts! Looks like soon we’ll be making a trip to shop for cute fabric.

What are you making on Mondays, this  June?

Mother-Of-The-Bride

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MOTB

In a few months our oldest daughter will get married. That makes me the Mother-Of-The-Bride. The clock is ticking for this #MOTB to find the perfect dress… something classic, classy, and stunning.

I’ve started my search online and so far I’ve found mostly matronly dresses for someone much older. Google mother of the bride and see what you get! Let me tell you, I’m anything but matronly!

Right now I have three full months to look for the perfect dress. And the hunt has officially started. My daughter has given us (including the mother of the groom and grandmothers) one directive, off-white. That means we have full autonomy. Although I’m not a “shopper chic,” I’m going to use this as an opportunity to channel my inner fashionista. This shindig calls for a dress, shoes, and a bag.

So far I’m interested in a 1950’s vintage Audrey Hepburn-ish look. My dress must serve its purpose for the ceremony, as well as the reception. I’d really like to be able to wear it long after the wedding. There is no room in my closet for show pieces.

Like anything else, I’m treating this experience as an adventure, and will document the looks I find and try on. Follow my hashtag #MOTB15.

M is for Mother Of The Bride – Blogging From A To Z

The Best Cleaning Life Hack Ever

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To say I enjoy cooking is an understatement! If you cook as much as I do, every now and again (not often) something might get burned. A couple of years ago I scorched one of my favorite pans. I washed, soaked and scrubbed but this is as far as I got.

pan1

I was devastated. This pan is the perfect size for making small omelets, sauteing just a little something, you get the point. Mr. Husband said I should throw it away, because it was ruined.

No way! That’s a really good pan, I wasn’t giving up so easy.  Every once-and-a while I’d try again… You guessed it, nothing worked! That is until I came across two life-hack post on Pinterest! It was worth a try right? Of course it was.

I followed directions of the first post, then the second. I put the pan on the stove filled with water and a little baking soda then scrubbed with foil. OMG things started happening so I scrubbed a little harder and faster, boiled again and scrubbed some more. Then… Voila a clean pan!

pan2

What do you do with burned pans?