Love and Marraige ~ Our Tenth Anniversary

Ten years ago today I married the man of my dreams. We met the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2001 and celebrated the anniversary of our first date with our wedding. In those ten years we traveled, for me overseas for the first time, we adopted two children, wept over the loss of family and friends, celebrated milestones, ran a few marathons, but most of all we laughed and loved and have enjoyed our lives together.
This was posted on Facebook by one of my friends the other day, and I was surprised to find out that Lucy and Desi were wed 72 years ago today on November 30th, 1940. I have always been a fan of "Miss. Ball" as I referred to her as a child, so I felt honored to share the same wedding anniversary with this amazing couple. Here is a tribute to Love and Marraige as illustrated by Lucy and Ricky Riccardo.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband Chris, aka  Mr. Rosemary Lane. I love you more today than I did this day 10 years ago.



Another Festive Topiary

Ok I will admit it...I am on a huge topiary kick this year, I just think there is something regal about them. I also really like to create decorations from simple items I find outside and around my home. A few days ago I made a floor topiary using a tomato cage, to place outside my front door. To see that post click here. Today I created this really simple tabletop topiary with some boxwood, a 97 cent galvanized bucket and spherical floral foam or oasis.
STEP ONE:  Cut a piece of the stiff dry floral foam the height of your container. Force the foam into the container. If you want, place a piece or two of floral tape over top of the foam to secure it in place.
STEP TWO: Find a straight twig and force it into the dry floral foam.
STEP THREE: Begin to add the sprigs of boxwood to your floral sphere. (Before using this foam soak it on water for about 5 minutes.) I put the sprigs in the sphere starting at 4 points opposite one another to ensure an even look to my topiary.
STEP FOUR: Spear cranberries with toothpicks and poke into the topiary sphere.
STEP FIVE: Push the boxwood sphere onto the end of the twig. Push until the sphere is halfway onto the twig. Then tie a piece of ribbon to the twig...
...and you have your finished topiary! I went ahead and made a second one for display in the....well you'll just have to stop back to find out where I decided to put these pretty little topiaries!!!
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Mantel Inspiration

I like to switch my mantel display up with the seasons as well as changing how I decorate it from year to year for the holidays. So I went a huntin' for some cool ideas, wonderful inspiration, and guess what...I found some real beauties!

stone fireplace christmas mantel decorated with pine
via country living
christmas decorating fireplace
Christmas Mantel
Christmas Mantel

Christmas Mantel

Here is my mantel from 2010.

And from 2011...

Here is my sister Kim's mantel from last year.

Has anything inspired you???

I hope you are enjoying a fabulous day!!!

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How to Make an Easy Floor Topiary for the Holidays

I love the look of a topiaries but to purchase one is not exactly cheap, especially if you want a nice sized one which sits on the floor. So this year in order to save a few pennies, again I have to turned to using items I already have to decorate the house for the holidays!
To create this topiary I started with a tomato cage I pulled right out of the garden, and a planter which literally was blowing around during hurricane Sandy, landing in our yard.
STEP ONE: Place the cage into the planter.
STEP TWO: Cut a wire coat hanger into 3 long piece and bend wire into a "U" shape.  Use the pieces to anchor the tomato cage in the dirt of the planter. (Make the wire pieces are as long as possible, depending on the depth of your planter, in order to maximize the stabilization of the topiary.)
STEP THREE: Begin to wrap the cage with garland. If you use real garland, anchor it to the cage every so many inches with some floral wire. Here I used artificial garland I already happened to have. If using this type of garland you can easily attach it to the cage using the wire branches.
Continue to wrap the cage until it is completely covered, and then secure the top together with floral wire or wire from artificial garland. Now you can see the beautiful conical shape of an evergreen with the wide base and tapered top.
STEP FOUR: Wrap the lights around your topiary in the same fashion as you did with the garland. I used all white lights to make my topiary sparkle!
STEP FIVE: Add some additional fresh pine to fill in a few gaps as well as adding the beautiful pine scent.
STEP SIX: Adorn your topiary with anything you wish. I love the look of fresh fruits like apples or a string of cranberries mixed with popcorn. However given the fact that I want to use this outside, and that I also live in an area of which the wildlife can be anything from squirrels to bears, I opted for faux adornments. I used artificial lemons for a punch of color along with a string of berry garland to enhance my topiary, and then finished it with a simple jute bow on top.
I loved this project because it was so simple and the end results is a large scale topiary I would never have been able to afford.
Have a great day!!!
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Sprucing up Store Bought Greens

I trust everyone enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving with family and loved ones. Now that we are officially in to the Christmas season, I am beginning to think about my holiday decorating. I love a lot of greens around my home during this season, mostly because of the way they look but also for their wonderful scent.
So with that being said there can also be the argument on the side of using faux greens...you can bring them out each year without them fading or drying up. Call me selfish but I like the best of both worlds.
Below is a tree I purchased at Micheal's a few years back. It looks kind of scrawny right?

Well with one trip to my backyard I collected an assortment of pine and boxwood along with a few cranberries from my frig.
And I embellished my little tree simply by poking in the extra greens...my gosh is that pine scent wonderful! 
The cranberries were pierced with a toothpick and tucked them into the tree.
I did the same here with an old wreath.
Again I just poked in some fresh greens from my yard and a few cranberries on a toothpick. This time I grouped the cranberries into threes.
This really gave me a much fuller and richer looking wreath for my front door.
Here's a closer look...
This was a lot cheaper than purchasing a new fresh wreath and it makes good use for an old tired wreath.

You can also embellish garland this way as well.
I hope this may have given you an idea or two on how you can improve the look of store bought greens this season. I plan to use this technique often in my holiday decorating this year, so stay tuned!!
Have a wonderful day!!!
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Amazing Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Growing up we always had the jellied cranberry sauce out of the can with our Thanksgiving dinners, and of course I always loved it. But as I started to do more cooking as an adult, along with my changing taste, I wanted to make more of the canned items I liked as a kid from fresh ingredients. This recipe is unique in the way that it incorporates a little citrus tang to the flavor of the cranberries. Also instead of using all white sugar in this recipe, brown sugar is substituted. Then there is the optional liquor you can add to the sauce.
1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
3/4  cup orange juice
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 T. of orange liqueur (optional)
Rinse off the cranberries and place them in a pot along with the orange juice and sugars. Heat pot over medium high heat and stir. Once the mixture becomes hot you will begin to hear the cranberries pop. Let cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add your liqueur. Let mixture cool and store in the frig. It will jell up as it cools down.
Shred some orange peel for garnish and enjoy!
Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving day!
God Bless!!
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