Friday, January 30

Friday Finds: Some Pinterest Fun!

 Today's "Finds" are some amusing pictures from my Pinterest "Stuff I Like" Board:

This one with the kid on the phone about the cooties just cracks me up!

Then there's this:
How to Get the Most Out of A Photo Booth:

And For Some Geeky Fun...
How About This: It Does Exist!
...with a bit of clever photo shopping...a Stargate.

Or This...A Time Traveler's Convention!
(The Delorean's are a reference to "Back to the Future" & the blue police box, a Dr. Who reference...for those who don't know.)

And Finally This...
Who doesn't want a photo of their Groomsmen being chased by a Jurassic Park T-Rex?

We attended a friends wedding at condo recently and, for fun, the bride walked in on the Star Wars ending Triumphant March.
I think a bride walking in on the Darth Vader suite would be funnier!  :)
If you were going have a fantasy wedding themed on a movie, TV show or comic now, what would you choose? 
(I think, at this point in time, if Hubby and I were just getting married, we'd go for a Pirates of the Caribbean theme!)

Thursday, January 29

Mama Kat Thursday: 7 Things I Rather Do

The Mama Kat prompt suggestion for today was,
 "List 7 things you'd rather do then clean the bathroom..."
However, cleaning a bathroom isn't my most dreaded chore.
It's washing dishes that I hate.
 I just let all the stuff that doesn't get put in the dish washer pile up because I'd much rather be...

#1)  Diddling around on my computer...

#2)  Organizing my messy desk...

#3)  Cleaning the garage...

#4)  Doing laundry (though I don't like folding and putting stuff away either. See item #1)

#5)  Doing just about anything else I can outside--mowing, hedging, weeding...

#6)  Watching a DVD movie on T.V...

#7)  Just sitting on the sofa watching the birds visit the feeder outside...
Plus I saw this photo below in Pinterest, about sewing a dust-mop on your tot's shirt who isn't crawling yet. LOL.
(I added the motivation poster!)

So, what's your most dreaded cleaning chore?

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 28

Wednesday Garden Pics: Green Bouquets!

 Today I'll be working on adjusting the castle wall blocks I'm edging the veggie bed with. To make the end work out, I end to adjust the height of both sides.
Tomatoes are planted in peat pots in my sunny kitchen window.
Some old Basil & Bell Pepper seeds are in wet napkins wrapped in plastic to promote sprouting roots, so I can tell which seeds are good.
I was going to post Daffodil pictures today, but my memory card for my camera finally kicked the bucket. I'll have to pick up a new one before I take any more pictures.

So instead of outside pictures, I have a couple pictures of fresh flower bouquets I designed:

First: this years Christmas vase with white & lime green flowers!
This was a $16 Walmart bundle consisting of white lilies, white alstromeria, white carns, white mums, baby's breath and large green spider mums, button mums & light green pixie carns.
Each lily blossom only lasts a couple days and needs to be trimmed off, but new ones keep opening, so lilies in a mixed bokay give you a good bang for the buck. Much better then roses, which only have one head.

I just love lime green flowers as arrangements!
You'd be surprised at the number of flowers available in citron/lime green: roses, hydrangeas, carns, mini-carns, large spider mums, bells of Ireland, button mums & pin cushion mums, gladiolas--and probably more I don't remember!
Next: An older all-green bouquet I made back when I used to work at the flower shop:
On holidays we were allowed to make a fresh flower bouquet to take home as gift. One of those times, because I love green flower arrangements so much, I made this all-green bouquet on the card front below:
Elegant Lime Green Rose Bouquet Thanks Note Card

I made it in a circular style, like a wedding bouquet, but just used it in a vase at home, but before that---I photographed it against a black fabric drape.
It consists of 3 citron roses, 3 green giant spider mums, 2 strands of asparagus fern, surrounded with green St. Johns Wort berries. (Florists call them "coffee beans" as a nickname, because that's what they kind of look like!)
The card & matching postcard are my newest designs!
That's all the pics today! Stop back to see what's up for Mama Kat tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 27

Polyvore Tuesday: Beware of Angels!

Today I have two sets for you!

First, a set I did for a contest sponsored several months ago by Thierry Mugler featuring his/their new designer perfume called, "Angel." 
The set consists of Polyvore clip-art: the interesting dark model, a set of feathery wings I add to the background behind her and some "cracked wall" special effects, a black rose and a display of the Mugler products with their logo.
It's a pretty nice set, one I've held onto. 

THIERRY MUGLER: Beware of Angels! Contest Entry

Second, a new 2014 movie Ninja Turtle set I just put together last night!
This one with a New York scenic background and the characters arranged in front. In keeping with the theme, one could say they are New York City's guardian angels.
This Is Our City--Ninja Turtles 2014

That's it for today!
Come back tomorrow to see what's up in the Garden!

Monday, January 26

Good Eating Monday: Toll House Pie!

Greetings! Last week of January!
Today I had my quarterly hair cut & color appointment, so my hair looks all spiffy again. The hair washing/conditioning is probably my favorite part!
I see a pair of Mourning Doves roaming around under my feeder, cleaning up whatever has been tossed out by the smaller birds and I've spotted their nest in a high pine branch above.

Today's Good Eating recipe is Toll House Pie! 
It's basically a chocolate chip cookie in a pie crust! Very rich.
Despite being a Nestle Toll House brand recipe, you can use any brand of chocolate chips you happen to prefer--even Hershey Special Dark!
This recipe makes one 9-inch pie, so if you want to serve more then 8 people, you'll need to double it! It also freezes well, if you want to make two and freeze one for another time!
It would make a great dessert for your Valentine!

Toll House Pie
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in flour, sugar & brown sugar until well blended. Blend in melted butter. Stir in chips & walnuts. Pour into pie shell.

Bake 1 hour. Removed from oven. Serve warm topped with ice cream or whipped topping.
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

Friday, January 23

Friday Finds: Choosing & Caring for Valentine Roses

I worked as a floral designer in a flower shop for 17 years and saw many a Valentine's Day. Because the demand for roses is so high, wholesalers raise the prices florists have to pay and, in turn, the florist have to charge you more per dozen.
So, todays find is my advice on choosing & caring for those vased roses:

Things to Understand About Roses:
Lovely, fully open red roses!

#1) They are very prone to bacterial stem blockage that prevents them taking in water. This results in a flopped over head.
Even the most careful care at the florist or at home can't necessarily prevent this. It's the nature the of beast.

#2)  No rose stays in that neat bud shape you see in photographs. 
Their goal in life is too open fully for bees as they would in the wild. 

 How Long May I Expect My Roses To Last In A Vase?:
I'm sorry to say the answer to that is somewhat vague--it really depends on the color and breed of rose, where the vase is located, whether the room temperature is very warm and whether it's well cared for by a complete daily change of water & re-cutting of stems:
* Red Roses, in general, tend to perform best & last longest.
* Yellow, Pinks, Red, Oranges & Browns vary quite a bit in their performance: most tend toward opening to a fully open state fairly quickly and, by that, I mean they may last a few hours to a couple days.  
* Lavender Roses, in my experience, perform the worst. 
They tend to be open and done very often in a matter of hours. Hardly worth the $100 dollars paid for a dozen. I saw this complained about over and over.
 I never recommend them for a dozen vase.

Do Rose Colors Have Any Particular Meaning?

A gorgeous light pink rose!
This is a common concern, but the answer is "no, not really."
Those meanings are made up, something like that list of anniversary gifts for years of marriage.
People go with red because it traditionally suggests "love."
The best rule of thumb is to choose what the person you're buying for likes, whether that's roses, carnations, sunflowers, candy, a dinner out, whatever.

Can I Get Blue Roses?
No. There are no naturally occurring "blue" roses to be found at a florist.
If you want blue, order 6 red roses mixed with
6 dark blue Delphinium.

Ordering & Delivery Advice:
#1)  Order early. 
Where I worked, we stopped taking orders by the afternoon of Feb 13 and very often wouldn't take any more delivery orders on the 14th; just to-go pick-ups at the shop.
Frankly, we'd just run out of roses for doing dozens then.
So, there is no sense berating the florist because you forgot to order in adequate time.

#2)  I recommend early delivery: choose the 11th or 12th!
Why do I say that? 
A) In my experience & opinion, you'll get a fresher set of roses earlier vs later.

B)  On Feb 14th, yours will be 1 in 500 arrangements being delivered in mass by a horde of contract drivers hired to use their personal vehicles. Sometimes we'd start using contract drivers even on the 13th.
 If you deliver on 11th or 12th your vase will most likely be part of an ordinary delivery load in the flower shops own air-conditioned vehicle, driven by the flower shop's own driver.
There's just a difference in how well-cared for your vase will arrive.

#3) What About Ordering A Mixed Arrangement With Just
 1 or 2 Roses Added? How Much Should I Spend?
Always a nice option---but do calculate properly the cost of the roses. At Valentines, roses cost more per stem.
 You should ask your particular florist what roses are costing per stem, then add that extra amount on top of amount you were thinking of spending for the mixed flowers in a vase.
For example: say, you were thinking $40 for the vase of mixed flowers and your florist says 1 rose is $8 a stem, so you add $8 to $40 and you get $48. That's what you would spend for a mixed arrangement with one rose in that case. 

Price of roses per stem will vary depending on where you live.

A lovely yellow rose & baby's breath.
How Should I Take Care Of My Roses?
#1)  Do place your vase in a spot away from heat vents and direct sunlight. 
Do NOT put vase on a high location. (Heat rises making it hot higher up.)
Do NOT place vase on top of any electronic device, such as a TV, DVD player, video game unit, radio, etc
Remember: the warmer the home or office environment is, the faster your roses will pop fully open.

#2)   Do: daily empty vase and refill with fresh, warm tap water and give the stems a fresh cut, cutting a little off the end at a slight angle.
(The stem juices gradually seals the ends, blocking water flow; re-cutting the stems allows for a fresh intake of water. Warm water perks them up.)

What If I Buy Roses At A Retail or Grocery Store?
 Those are fine. Get them home promptly, then with scissors or clippers, cut off a good inch off the bottom of each stem, cutting at a slight angle (45 degrees) and place your stems in a vase filled with very warm tap water.
After that, just change the water daily with fresh warm water and give the stems a tiny fresh re-cut to keep them drinking that water.

  Additives To Help Flowers Stay Fresh:
* Use the flower food packet that came with your flowers. 
* Once the flower food packet is gone, you can add 1 or 2 teaspoons of a non-diet citrus soda, like regular Sprite, to your vase water, but really, just keeping the vase filled daily with fresh warm water will be enough. 
When I worked at the flower shop, I used to often bring home roses that were fully open; too open to sell. I'd bring them home, re-cut their stems short for a short vase, then put them in fairly hot tap water and they would last 3 or 4 more days, even fully open.
(All rose photos are from Pixabay.)

Thursday, January 22

Mama Kat Thursday: That First Coffee

The Mama Kat topic for today is:
 "The best part of my day is..."

I guess I kind of fulfill that famous Folgers Coffee Jingle: "the best part of wakin' up is..."some kind of my cup."

The first best part of my day is Hubby finding my head somewhere under the covers to plant a kiss on my forehead, then the second best part of my day is that first cup of coffee.
Usually a mix of Decaf Community Coffee and regular Chocolate Mint 8 O'Clock Coffee.

The next best part of my day is our cat, Sunni, asking me to take a time out, away from the computer, let her sit on my lap for a little attention.
We rest together that way, she and I.

The final best part of my day is when Hubby comes home and we trade stories about how we spent our days.
   Then the cat sits on him.

So what's the best parts of your day?

Thanks for visiting!