Friday, July 3

Friday Finds: For Coffee Lovers!

Today's Finds are from my Coffee Shoppe Collection!
The question I based this collection on is, "If I were decorating my home or coffee business in a coffee theme, what things might I choose?"
Then I searched through Zazzle for Coffee themed art posters, canvas & other decor that caught my eye!
And here's some fine examples of things I liked:

Juan Gris--Bag of Coffee Art Poster!
To see more of this designers art, visit Virginia 5050! 
Look in "Art--Prints & Posters."
Juan Gris - Bag of Coffee

An abstract Coffee Cup Collage Towel!
Also available in my Collection as an art print & a place mat!
For more art like this on a variety of products, visit St Hilaire!

A Beautiful Watercolor Art Coffee Clock!
For more visit Cricket Diane!
(Her categories just have colored squares, so you have to go by the titles underneath them.)
Coffee Floating Colors  3D Clock

A Splendid Green Coffee Mug Art Cloth Place Mat!
For more beautiful art on lots of different products, 
visit Jai's Jewels!
She seems to specialize in cat, dog, kitten & puppy art!

Coffee Cup Cloth Place Mat

For more of what I think beautiful coffee art & decor, do drop by and visit my Collection!
Be sure & check Zazzle's Offers & Coupons page for current discounts & deals!
That's it for today! Stop back for Good Eating Monday!
Have a fabulous Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2

Mama Kat Thursday: Baraboo

Today's Mama Kat blog writing topic is:
 "Share a memorable road trip."

When I was growing up in the 60's and early 70's in Indiana, we took a family trip every year. That's what our Dad saved his precious vacation days for. The trip. Usually it was to Minnesota to visit the grandparents, but because we camped along the way, there was always an adventure to be had!
The every state is full of fascinating State Parks and there are always local sights to see!
Traveling to Minnesota from Indiana generally meant driving through Wisconsin and on one trip, we stopped at Baraboo, Wisconsin to visit the Circus World Museum!
Baraboo Circus Museum Grounds 
Back in the day, Baraboo was the winter quarters for the Ringling Brothers Circus during the late 19th & early 20th centuries, back in the glory days of the traveling circuses! There, the circus would repair & paint their wagons, care for their animals and prep for the next season. 
The Circus World Museum was established to preserve the history of this sort of traveling entertainment, particularly the ornate wooden wagons.
I remember walking through the museum, looking at those wagons. Many had a photo display showing them in their original deteriorated state when found and the process of restoration. 
Since the museum has only been operating since 1959 and so many wood wagons date pretty far back, it's amazing they have managed to preserve as many as they have! (200)
They also had train cars to walk through, so you could see how circus performers lived and had a one-ring circus performance several times a day.
I remember I really enjoyed that place. Definitely worth a visit with the kids if you're ever traveling through Wisconsin!

We camped here, at Devil's Lake State Park.

The other memorable portion of the trip was the boat tour of the Wisconsin Dells.  The Dells are full of amazing rock formations, which are really best seen by boat.
 We took the Upper Dell Tour and back in those days the tour still included a stop where we left the boat to sit in an a stone amphitheater to watch the "Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial Dance."  It was cool. Full regalia, head-dresses and so on. Gorgeous.
Unfortunately, the tribe apparently discontinued that performance in the late 90's, which is too bad.

I suppose we stayed two days, then headed on our way to Minnesota. But that stop at the Circus Museum and boat tour of the Dells stand strong in my memory as fantastic.
In fact, Mother and I were reminiscing about this very trip on my last phone call!
I remember our Dad telling me one time that he thought it was really important to take us kids on trips to see things. He remembered his folks doing so and wanted to do the same and I have to say those family trips are some of the best memories of my life!
So, give your kids memories! Take them to see stuff, even if it's just stuff in your own state!
What's your favorite road-trip memory?

Thanks for Visiting!

Wednesday, July 1

Garden Pic Wednesday: White Mums & Dusty Miller

Today was mowing day. Also I had to pick up a bunch of clutter from a blustery thunderstorm a couple days ago. It kicked up a wind that pummeled the roof and sides of the house with green pine cones, like little missiles.  Bang. Bang. Thud. Plus threw a bunch of dead branches on the ground.
Another thunderstorm will arrive in about an hour. It might undo my clean-up!

Today's Garden Pic is one from early spring this year, back when the chrysanthemums I have planted along the front walk under the kitchen bay window were blooming.
I have multiple colors, but the white mini-mums next to the Dusty Miller was especially eye-catching.
The two together have almost a Christmasy look.

Here in Florida, mums can bloom twice a year.
I cut them back short after they start turning brown in the summer heat and they come back from the root, then bloom again late in the fall.
I'm thinking it will take a good fertilizing in late fall and early spring to get the best out of them.
Mums can be perennial, (winter in cold areas can kills them), spread by root underground and turn into clusters individual blooming stems.

The Dusty Miller is great here in the South because it lives through the most bitter cold and continues to give my garden some color in the dead of winter when everything else is gone.  
Sometimes I cut a whole vase of it for a table arrangement in winter.
It roots easily in water; sometimes I can stick a stem straight into the ground and it will take. Though, that doesn't always work.
I'm still figuring out how to best prune it. I think it's the previous years growth that flowers, then once it's done flowering, then old stems can be trimmed back and any new growth should be left alone.
That's it for today! Stop back tomorrow for Mama Kat!
It will be a fun family travel memory!

Tuesday, June 30

Polyvore Tuesday: Coffee Originality

Today's Polyvore set is an interior design set featuring modern furnishings themed on coffee. It showcases some of my most recent Coffee Minimalist Graphic Art designs.

Coffee Originality.

You can see all my coffee themed designs here!
That's it for today! Stop back tomorrow for Garden Pics!

Monday, June 29

Good Eating Monday: The Real No Bake Cookies!

Sometimes you can have a bad experience with Pinterest recipes.
 I have. 
Usually it's because there's a mistake in the directions, such as cooking time or ingredient quantities or some such thing.
This time it was misrepresentation of what the cookie recipe would look like when done---i.e. someone attached the wrong picture with the recipe. 
The picture they attached is the one below: it's really a photo of a stack of No-Bake Cookies, which have sugar, cocoa, peanut butter & oatmeal, and actually come out shiny looking once cooled.
It was attached to a recipe called  "Skinny Monkeys," which did require baking.
You can see how the Skinny Monkey's I made came out in the second pic: dry, ugly clumps.
The Skinny Monkeys recipe just calls for mashed bananas, peanut butter, cocoa, vanilla, applesauce & vanilla. It was hailed as a yummy, lo-cal, fat free cookie!

I should've trusted my instincts.
I had doubts that any cookie comprised almost entirely of oatmeal & banana could have ANY spreading power---and I was right.
But worst of all--they tasted nasty!
If you see a recipe for Skinny Monkey's on Pinterest---run!  Don't do it.
When I read other people's comments they agreed: terrible tasting.

So, that said---today's Good Eating recipe is for real
 "No Bake Cookies."
They're a fun easy treat that is closer to being a candy then a actual cookie. For that reason the sugar, the peanut butter & the margarine or butter must all be the real deal. No lite alternatives. The ingredients must be measured precisely in the amounts given and must be boiled for exactly 2 minutes, then removed from heat.
These cookies require the granulated sugar to reach a certain temperature in order to set properly.I find it a good idea to lay down a layer of newspaper under the wax paper you'll be dropping the hot cookies on--it protects your counter or table.

No Bake Cookies
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired
2 Tablespoons cocoa (regular or Special Dark)
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
2 cup quick oats

In a heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan: melt butter. Stir in sugar, salt, cocoa and milk. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, then oats. Mix thoroughly and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. (They will spread out slightly and should harden up as they cool.) Cool completely, then chill. If candy cookies stick to paper, peel them off. Yield: about 56.
I have had occasions when making No Bake Cookies, even though I used the proper ingredients, measurements and cooking time, that they still won't set up & harden right. It happens.
More often,though, I've had set up failure happen because I tried using low-fat peanut peanut or lite margarine.  That's why I say--use the real thing.
I know a lady who makes hers using coconut sugar--but they stay squishy and fall apart. 
Want to make them healthier? Use real butter, Hershey Special Dark Cocoa, a natural peanut butter & organic rolled oats.
I say Go Big or Go Home.
Visit my Pinterest to see more recipes I've tried, good & bad.
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!