Saturday, October 23, 2010

Decorating and entertaining and preparing for Thanksgiving

The November issue of Country Living has great menus and recipes for Thanksgiving meals--from five chefs. The issue also focuses on some delicious-looking pies (from mail-order companies) and collectible pie birds, with other articles on homes, accessories with a feather motif, and one on sheep and wool. (I love those yarn colors!) The Real Estate Sampler focuses on the Carpenter Gothic style.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bathroom cleaning (link)

This is a useful website, and I'm going to try the vinegar tip because toilet rings have frustrated me for years! And I've tried all kinds of products!! Link: Clean a Bathroom in 15 Minutes: Our Minute-by-Minute Guide - Shelterpop

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Entertaining and decorating ideas

Here's a beautiful and generous idea I saw in Southern Living (November issue): Combine a group of vases of flowers together as a centerpiece, and then give each little bouquet to guests to take home. There are more ideas to dress up your table, including mixing fluffy white cotton bolls with branches and leaves. [We use our brown cotton bolls around the house and recently donated a metal basket of them as an arrangement in our church foyer.]

Among the delicious--and unique--ideas was a vanilla crepe cake. Another even more unique idea is Cornmeal-and-Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon.

And there was a wonderful selection of places to visit in the South, including a collection of favorite places to eat in Atlanta and a swamp safari in Big Cypress National Preserve, plus a tribute to Fannie Flagg's Birmingham.

Gardening ideas include a trinket garden with small treasures scattered throughout--an idea from To Kill a Mockingbird. And don't miss the concluding essay: City Girls, Country Table.

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting kids to clean (link)

Here are some useful ideas to motivate and help your kids to clean, including getting rid of the toybox and storing things on shelves and in bins--be sure to have plenty of room for storage--and add a map showing where things should go. [Hmm. Better yet. Have the kids help with that. And encourage them to cull now and then.] Check out this link for more ideas: Cleaning Children's Rooms : Rooms : Home & Garden Television

Friday, October 15, 2010

My new fire pit!

I've been talking about getting a fire pit for a long time, and recently I got an estimate from a contractor who was doing some other work for me. Hmm. OK. I can do that. So I gave him a down payment for materials, and he built it last week. We let it cure for a few days and gathered firewood, which we have a lot of from pruned and shed branches from our oak trees, and Monday evening we toasted marshmallows, even though it was still hot. (It's cooler now.) Can't wait to do that again and cook hot dogs, etc. (Note: Need more skewers.) It's fun just standing around and looking at it, especially in the dark when the red coals glow like jewels.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Colored cotton

My sister discovered brown cotton in Louisiana on a historical plantation when we were on vacation there some years ago, and she's been growing a few plants and sharing the cotton and seeds ever since. We've got some really big cotton plants in a front bed now (and baskets full of cotton around the house); and this year she discovered that there's green cotton and bought some seeds and is going to grow them. While researching colored cotton she discovered that there are even more colors--and had been centuries ago. Check out this link for historical background: The Revival of Colored Cotton, James M. Vreeland, Jr.

And here's a website for getting colored cotton seeds: Cotton - Reimer Seeds

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bathroom design ideas (link)

These suggestions, which include using warm or bold colors and open shelves and getting rid of clutter, give a small bathroom more space and/or the illusion of more space: Small Bathroom Design : Rooms : Home & Garden Television

Friday, October 8, 2010

A toolbox quiz! (link)

I actually did better on this quiz than I expected, but I didn't know there were so many different kinds of nail guns. Link: HGTV Quiz: Do you know your way around a toolbox?

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More entertaining and decorating ideas

There are some lovely and fun ideas in the October issue of Southern Living. You can scoop out a pumpkin (a flat-bottomed one is best), line it with foil or a plastic bag, add potting soil (about 3/4 full), and plant a small flowering plant or herb. You know it's going to rot eventually, right?! There are also ideas on how to remodel and some good recipes, among other things; and I enjoyed the photo essay on Autumn Golds. Two websites to check out are Main - Halloween Party Ideas, Recipes and Decorations - and Southern Plate - Recipes from Below the Mason Dixon Line (You are really going to love Southern Plate!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home decorating ideas

Here are a few ideas from Better Homes and Gardens (a flyer, not a magazine issue). Rearrange your furniture and/or your accessories or ungroup your matched sets. (Matched sets are no longer in, so if you fret about things like that, maybe you'd better unmatch them.) Paint your walls beige! (Well, it is better than white.) And use big baskets to store or display things. (I use them for catalogs.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Today's TV watching options (link)

I was on the cutting edge with satellite TV (the small dish), and I remember Blockbuster fondly (you could get snacks and drinks too!). I've never used Netflix; I find Cinema on Demand very convenient; and I have no intention of watching TV shows on a tiny computer screen! (I want a bigger TV!) Hmm. I wonder how Apple TV works? I see you have to use Google TV on your computer. Roku, a digital video player, sounds intriguing--if it has what I want to watch; but Boxee sounds like it has what I've been waiting for! Link: 10 Ways to Watch 'Mad Men' at Home : Slideshow :