Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Flowers And An Antique Baby Scale...

Do you remember when I found this antique baby scale at a neighbor's yard sale last summer? I've enjoyed filling it with pumpkins in the fall and pine branches and bulbs in the winter. Now that spring is here, I wanted to bring a little garden goodness inside...

I chose ranunculus (because they're pretty), English lavender (for the scent) and dusty miller (the whitish plant that looks dusty - because it will fit in perfectly here ;).

Are you bringing any new plants or flowers indoors this spring? 

So glad you stopped by today!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The BEST Pound Cake Recipe Ever! (Alpha Moore's)

I'm glad my Mom cut this recipe out of the newspaper so many years ago, because you can't find it online (until now :). It's hands-down the best pound cake we've had!

The directions are easy to follow. It's one of those cakes that always turns out, which makes it a great dessert to prepare for company. And chances are, your guests will ask for the recipe... it's that good!

Alpha Moore, who provided this recipe to the newspaper, said she liked the challenge of cooking for a lot of people. She went on to say that, "My advice on cooking for crowds is to cook like you're cooking for your family, because you always want to do your best - no shortcuts allowed." 

Alpha Moore once made a Christmas meal for 200 seniors in her home kitchen!

I used a cathedral shaped cake pan from Williams Sonoma for these cakes, but in the past, I've used a standard tube cake pan (like you use for angel food cake).

The pound cake is delicious, all by itself, served with coffee. Or, even better, served with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream.

Alpha Moore's Pound Cake
Serves 10 -15

3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups), melted
3 cups sugar
6 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
Additional butter and flour for preparing the pan

Lemon Glaze
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons fresh or bottled lemon juice

1. Cake: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except flour and sour cream. Blend well with a hand mixer.
2. Add in flour, once cup at a time, combining after each addition.
3. Blend in sour cream.
4. Grease and flour a tube cake pan (the two-part type used for angel food cakes).
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until top cracks and a knife inserted comes out clean.

1. Glaze: Let butter cool for five minutes, then combine all ingredients with hand mixer.
2. Drizzle glaze over cake.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Simple Spring Farmhouse Mantel...

I have long loved how beautifully and seemingly effortlessly Courtney of French Country Cottage and Mary Alice of Chateau Chic have used old books and mason jars in their mantel decorating. (I'm sure there are others - but these were the first two who came to mind!). 

I was especially drawn to this look because old books and mason jars are items I already have on-hand!

So, I snipped a few flowering branches from the yard and simply added a few books, jars and the branches to our existing mantel decor...

These trees in our front yard, are now in full-bloom. Even when it is still dark outside, their white flowers seem to be illuminated - almost like fresh fallen snow! They catch my eye from our laundry room windows. I am in awe of the Creator's artistry!

I hope it's beginning to feel like spring where you live. I know many have had an extra cold and long winter... and are extra ready for spring this year!

What do you have planned today?

I'm off to our youngest's field trip, which is to the grocery and pet store... so today especially, here's to finding beauty and wonder in the ordinary! ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

An Indoor Garden Party & Spring Table Setting

This past week, we celebrated my (amazing!) Mom's birthday at both my sister's and our home. It was a milestone birthday (though she requested I not share the exact mile ;), so we tried to make it special.

My Mom's sister (my Aunt) surprised her by coming from Florida...which made for a very "happy-tears" kind of reunion. Our kids and their cousins had a couple of days off of school so they were able to celebrate with us!

The day we hosted lunch at our house was the first official day of spring. These little nest favors and vintage-inspired mini cake stands were at the adults' place settings. 

Although the weather was only partly cooperating, I hoped the dining room lunch would feel like a garden party. I found the vintage-inspired floral paper runner at Michaels. It, along with the hanging paper flowers, were part of their "Paris in Springtime" line of party products.

A little easel at the birthday girl's place...

Our Mom is the wind (and sometimes the tornado - she's got a lot of energy! :) beneath our family's wings! It was a special time to celebrate all that she means to us...

Thank you for sharing in this special memory with me.

Have a blessed day!


Sharing with:
Coastal Charm
Karen's Up On The Hill
Cozy Little House
Worthing Court
Savvy Southern Style
From My Front Porch To Yours
Share Your Style

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Decorating {Fragrance}

Ahhh, those first smells of spring!

Has spring arrived where you live? The other morning, I took our dog out to the happy sounds of birds chirping. There was a new smell in the air - the fragrance of spring!

Bringing that spring scent indoors really adds to experiencing the season more fully day-to-day.

I clipped a couple of flower branches and added some very fragrant jasmine to the simple bouquet. It gives our whole family room a light, fresh scent of spring! Even our boys have noticed... "Mom, that smells really good!" :)

Here is the "giant" jasmine that grows up the side of our porch...

If you don't have jasmine, hyacinth also smells wonderful. As you may already know, you can purchase hyacinth plants or the cut version at most grocery stores. 

Are you bringing touches of the outdoors in? 
What is your favorite scent of spring?

I'd love to hear!

Thank you for stopping by...


Sharing with:
Cozy Little House

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Farmhouse Style Spring Decorating

When I consider farmhouse style decorating for spring, I think of the simple 
joys of this season, where new life can be seen throughout nature. 

A rustic nest and a few eggs atop some weathered books...

Some whimsical baby birds and a bunny in the windowsill
 (that will hopefully catch the kiddos' eyes and imagination...)

Some speckled eggs on Spanish moss under a little cloche...

Burlap eggs and baskets add some texture to these kitchen shelves.

My Dad brought us these beautiful hand-painted eggs (below) back from his travels in Europe. This is only part of our collection! Over the years, our three boys have had many Easter egg hunts with these eggs, as one hides them and the others search for them. The thrill of the hunt! (We flea marketing, yard-salers can relate! :)

The framed felt nest with felt eggs art was a gift from a sweet friend.

Flowers collected from the garden and placed into a vintage blue mason jar...

As beauty seems to spring up each day now, I'm reminded of this verse...

I'm so glad you stopped by today! I always love hearing from you...

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Desk / Work Area Makeover... Before & Afters

A week ago, this desk had a dark green formica countertop. I had wanted to change it since moving in over a year ago. But, some projects just take awhile to get to.  

Painting the desk was a small change but it made a big difference! 

It freshened up the room and made it feel more open. 

To see why this made such a difference, you need to see how the desk started...

Here's another before picture (dark and cluttered!)...

And after...

It was one of the first times I've used an oil-based paint. It was a type of paint specifically made for formica countertops (by Rustoleum, found at Home Depot). 

It took four coats. Hopefully, it will wear well! 

I found oil-based paint harder to work with than water-based because it had more of heavy, "sticky" consistency and the odor was really strong. You definitely want to wear a mask! I used a foam roller so lint wouldn't be left behind. I think that was helpful.

After the paint had dried, the fun part began. I brought in a plant...

And filled some of the jars with faux berries to go along with the Farm Shop sign...

Some fresh spring flowers...

I "shopped" our house for a lamp that fit the space better...

I now feel like I can breathe when I look at this corner of the room! :) It's nice, because this is where I do almost all of my work on the computer. 

Our middle son (9), who would like to see a lot more color in our house said, "I actually like the white. It looks clean." Ahhhhh, he said it! (And he does have color in his room, in case you were wondering!)

What have you painted that has made a big difference in the way an area in your home feels? A piece of furniture, fireplace, wall, room? Is there anything you're wanting to paint when you can find the time? 


Sharing with:
French Country Cottage
Cozy Little House
Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Easy Spring DIY (Mini Wood Rounds)

These little wood rounds add a natural, spring touch to indoor potted plants or porch containers. They would also be adorable as part of a spring table setting.

They take about five minutes to make (not including dry time) and don't require any special tools.

Here's what you need:
  • Mini wood rounds (I purchased a pack of seven for $3.99 at a craft shop)
  • Sand paper (optional)
  • Modge Podge or any brush on glaze (optional)
  • Paint brush (optional)
  • Vinyl letters, words and/or images (I used bird images, spring, grow, plant and live)

I chose to prepare the wood rounds by quickly sanding each one (my youngest son (5) helped me with this! :). I then used a small paint brush to apply a coat of glaze (Modge Podge would work well). These smoothing steps are optional, but help ensure that the vinyl letters and images adhere well.

I positioned the words and birds how I wanted them on the rounds. Then I burnished (rubbed) the vinyl to the surface of the rounds. A credit card works well to burnish.

Hope you have a wonderful day!


For you locals, I saw this idea and purchased the wood rounds (on sale now!) and vinyl transfers at Ben Franklin Crafts in Redmond.

Sharing with:
From My Front Porch To Yours
Share Your Cup
Savvy Southern Style
French Country Cottage

Monday, March 9, 2015

Colanders and Clovers {Farmhouse Porch Style}

When I came across these adorable spring color colanders (that were on sale!), I knew I wanted to use them as planters. I had just seen colanders used as hanging planters in the April issue of Country Living magazine, so they were fresh on my mind.

It's the simple, country feel that repurposed every-day items provide. 

I chose to fill the colanders with clovers (shamrocks), since St. Patrick's Day is next week. Shamrock plants are available at most grocery stores this time of year. I tucked in some Spanish moss, gave the plants a good watering and called it a day. :)

I'm so glad you stopped by! 
Wishing you a four-leaf clover kind of day...

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