Monday, August 30, 2010

Easy Tomato Soup Recipe

It' been a little stormy here, and in weather like that, I love tomato soup. I have a few fancy and delicious  recipes that require a bit of work, but a nice simple recipe is always good too (especially when you need to go to the store and are out of all fresh ingredients!)

1 can Campell's Tomato Soup
1 TB butter
1 1/2 c water (or milk or heavy whipping cream for creaminess)
dried basil (use fresh if you have it)
garlic powder
onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Serve with crackers and shredded cheese. A toasty grilled cheese sandwich and pickles make a perfect side.
How do you make your soup? Sour cream and chives? Crumbled crackers? Homemade from scratch? Do you like it smooth, or prefer it with lots of texture?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ruffle Shirt Tutorial and Layering Cardigans

Sachiko, the talent of Tea Rose Home has a beautiful ruffle shirt tutorial here.  In fact, she has several different ruffle shirt tutorials, and many other tutorials on making wonderful things as well. They are much more sophisticated than my layered lace shirt tutorial. All are beautiful but this one with the horizontal ruffles, and the demure fabric roses is my favorite.

Maybe it's my favorite because how soft it looks, or the calm, grain color, or even how it is paired with this cardigan in the perfect shade of robin's egg blue. Do visit here to see the step by step instructions (with clear photos) on making this shirt. Then, find a nice, light, cardigan you can layer over it. How about one of these?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homefront: Our 1960's Kitchen

I love this table cloth. But really, it's a nice cloth shower curtain I got on major sale. Perfect size, cute colors.

My shabby candleabra that I painted a soft apple green, in one of my first blog posts ever.

I have this changing table my husband painted that housed plants in our former, pretty home and holds extra kitchen dishes and such. We couldn't find a place to put it, so I thought... how about in this here ugly spot? It's the best we could do since we are renting this here house.

Presto-change-o! Now there's more storage, more counter space for a lamp and a catch all bowl and papers.

The top of this cabinet got ruined while painting it, so I lined it with leftover shelf liner. It makes clean up much easier and adds a punch of color.

To hide ugly buills and coupons, I found this letter A at an antique mall. I just put a white cardboard strip under it. and place it on top of everything else to hide the clutter.

Yeah, the fridge got banged up during the move. White spray paint made it look somewhat better. I am fully aware the counter tops are uneven, and a weird yellow color, and that horrid copper tinted tin tiles, improperly used as back splash are a nightmare, but we are stuck with them for now. Though, what Nester did with her renter kitchen back splash was wonderful, we just don't have the resources for that yet.

 The Dreamy Giraffe's Eat Your Veggies Fairy print is trying to hide a poor patch job in the corner.

Keeping an even and neutral color palltte up here just seemed like the best thing for this hodgepodge kitchen.

Here we have it, leading into the playroom. And yay! After a month, our oven was fixed today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jeweled Ambrosia Shop Update: Sale!

 *new designs sneek peek*

Free Shipping Sale on all jewelry in my shop this week to make room for new designs! Just make your orders and I will refund your shipping through Paypal. Extra gift included for orders over $45!

New designs sneek peek can be purchased directly from my facebook fan page here!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Homefront :Salvaging a Garden

Here it is. The yard. Amazingly, I've done a lot of work in it. And no, we do not have a lawnmower yet. This post is me showing you what I have and asking for lots and lots of help! First question: Those ivy things in pots were 50 cents apiece. Do they have to come inside, or can they stay outside in full sun?

Because our budget is limited, I am trying to find creative ways to garden. Considering the weird placement of plants, which looks even weirder with the blank spaces from all of the dead plants I pulled... I am considering pulling all of the plants around the trees and putting them in the garden area closer to the house. Screwed up Texan, I will be needing your advice, since you are familiar with the climate and  plants and all ...

These ornamental grass things were 1 cent for a planter of six. So, I spent 2 cents for twelve half dead plants.

My two minuscule roses have yielded about six flowers between them in the last 4 weeks. Unfortunately, they only last about two days, and the leaves are in pretty poor shape.

 "I'm here!" ~miniscule rose

 I thought those ornamental grasses shown above would look nice against this brick wall , where the two minuscule rose bushes and those three uneven smallish hedges dwell.

The little bushes have these green berry things on them, what kind of bush is that?  I'm thinking of removing those hedges and putting them somewhere else... or at least placing them evenly somehow. "scratches head'"

I got these moss rose little things. They are really pretty and my mil has some that are doing very well. I know they do well in containers, but I hope to put them in the garden. Trying to figure out a good spot. Suggestions?

The large rose bush next to the entry is in poor shape. The one next to it, is in so much despair, that it is laying sideways. I think I have seen maybe three roses between the both of them  in the last 3 weeks.

See how the large 'rose bush' it is growing on it's side? Can I remove it and plant it standing more upright? If I remove these two  rose bushes, (b/c I feel like they are in a weird place, where do I put them?) See the dried up looking lavender there between the roses?

The lavender (right?) flowers haven't been very bright, is that because the blossoms are dead? A few around the tree has just started to get some color back, but the ones in front of the rose bushes and the hedges are pretty dried up looking. Anyways, they are planted in random spots just on the very right and left of the hedge and around the backside of one tree.  I was considering pulling the ones from the tree and spreading them more evenly in front of the hedge.

Crazy, orange bugs like them apparently.

Speaking of the hedge... guess what I found under it and behind it? These succulent type things.

  I was thinking of maybe removing them and adding them to the garden next to the brick wall. But is the root system all weird now from all of the shoots that came up from the main plant, so I wouldn't be able to dig it up?  Do they prefer the shade, which is why they are under the hedge? I would love to have them actually, visible in the garden!

Now, time for the weirdness of the tree placement plants. Seriously, why is it all uneven? My ocd is going crazy. (I know I need to remove those pine needles... eye roll)

Hey little guy, what kind of plant are you? I see your root system is half sticking out of the ground. Too bad all of your friends died from that.

Hey there, are you a begonia? I can't tell because you are so dried up and shriveled. Poor thing.

Silver dust, one of my favorite plants of all time. All I can say, is, "I'm sorry".

What are these? Weed things? Shoots from trees? What to do with them? Plant in the garden, or pull them?

(This here tree on the far right, the other half has a whole bunch of dead and barren branches)

Speaking of trees... what kind of pine tree is this with the crazy cones?

What kind of tree produces these crazy seed pod things that my kids like to smash?

Well, there you have it. My yard, you know it intimately now. Any suggestions on placement or what I can do to maximize what I have with little cost would be most appreciated. I would love to get some more plants, maybe some flowers to add color to the hedge area and the walkway in front of the brick wall, but I want to move plants around first to utilize what is there already and save some money.

The type of landscaping we love most, are cottage style gardens with tall ornamental grasses, rocks, wild flowers, lots of growth and herbs such as cilantro, basil, chives, rosemary and such interspersed throughout. I would love honeysuckle or hydrangea and full rose bushes, though trying to stay away anything that climbs or needs a trellis, since we are renting and I don't know if they would approve of that. Lots of white flowers, with some different colors throughout, but not placed in pristine rows, varying heights. Something, free and unscripted. Like me.

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