A Nautical Vase Made from a Plastic Pretzel Container

We have this beautiful back patio which is screened-in however the floor is concrete and anything glass which falls on the floor  immediately shatters into a gazillion pieces. Therefore I have a "NO Glass" rule for the back patio. You know plastic plates, glasses and so on, but being me I do tend to break my own rules. A couple weeks ago Buster ran up on to the patio while still on his tether, and my 100 pound puppy managed to take out the glass table top of one of my end tables. I was sick! So now I am looking for creative ways to decorated and furnish the back patio with safe non-breakable items. 

Anyhow, last week the kids and Chris polished off one of those big containers of pretzels, but I wouldn't let them toss out the actual container...I had an idea.

I washed the container and completely removed the the paper label...glue and all. Then I sprayed on two coats of white paint. Once dry I used some jute twine I happen to have lying around, and using spray adhesive I wrapped the bottom of the container. I also added some twine to cover the threads at the top of the container.

Then taking another piece of twine, I folded it in half and began making simple knots spaced fairly evenly apart. The twine was lightly sprayed with adhesive and tied to the container. To finish the look,I put beads on the ends of the tied twine.

Would you ever know this was made from a plastic pretzel container? The cost to make this for me was nada...and I recycled a plastic container and made it into a functional "unbreakable" decoration for the back patio.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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Our Camping Getaway ~ Assateague Island

I know I have been a little bit absent the last couple of weeks, very unlike me. This was pretty much due to the end of the school year activities for both Michael and Grace with field day events and the wrap up of all their sports. Finally this past Tuesday, about an hour after the bus dropped off Michael for the last time this school year, the kids and I were on our way to spend the next three days camping with my dear friend Donna, her son Ryan and stepdaughter Ashley, in  Maryland's state park known as Assateague Island. (Poor Mr. Rosemary Lane had to work, so he had the house all to himself for three days!)

Legend has it that these horses are descendants of survivors from Spanish galleons that were shipwrecked off of Assateague Island back in the 1700's. Assateague's horses are considered ferral which simply means they were once domesticated horses which have gone back to the wild. Assateage has a "hands-off" policy regarding these gorgeous animals. The only contact they have with the horses is a once a year immunization for the females to control the horse over population. In addition to population control mares also live longer and healthier lives without the stress of yearly foaling.

The horses pretty much have the run of the land...nothing is off-limits to them, and they are completely uninhibited by the presence of humans.

This stallion decided to take his morning snooze right next to our camper.

I managed to snap a picture of the kids with the horses grazing in the background. There are safety rules with regard to campers and the horses of Assateague. Rule one is for campers to stay a minimum of 10 feet away from the horses as they can both kick and bite. Rule two has to do with the feeding of the horses. It is strictly prohibited to feed these animals, they are wild and need to depend on their own resources for obtaining food. 

We actually camped just behind the dunes of the beach so there was plenty of swimming, playing and exploring in the sand.

And what is camping without a fire and making s'mores?

We did check out the Island's Visitor Center and Museum to learn about the wildlife of Assateague.

No TV, no DVD's, no music...just the air, sky, sun and moon...plenty of nature, surf, sea critters and horses. Yes there was much to do for the three days we spent in Assateague...next year I think we may need to make it a whole week!

Wishing you all a very happy start to your summer!!!

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Have a Shake to Boost Your Energy ~ With a Delicious Greek Yogurt Shake

Studies are now showing how healthy Greek yogurt is for the body. It is low in sugar, lactose and liquid whey. It is about the same number of calories as its regular counterpart but packs double the protein and half of the carbohydrates and salt. 

Adding bananas to this shake adds much needed potassium, fiber and vitamin C. It is also an energy booster. Dark chocolate is wonderful for your heart and cardiovascular system. It lowers both blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies have shown that consuming just a small amount of dark chocolate each day has lowered the blood pressure in individuals with severe hypertension. 

The coconut, while it does contain saturated fats, a small amount of it added to your drink will help you to feel full longer, helping to ward off any temptations to eat unwanted calories. The coconut flakes have fiber and fats, both pretty much canceling each other out, but it does add wonderful third flavor to the the shake.


1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into smler pieces
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, cold
1/2 cup milk, cold
2 oz. dark chocolate, melted
2 T. coconut milk
2 T flaked coconut
1 T maple syrup
1/4 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients into your blender and blender on high for about 45 seconds. Pour into a large glass and enjoy!



Front Porch Revival ~ How I Prettied it Up!

A few years back I decided to paint the concrete floor of our front porch. I had already painted the back screened in patio floor and it came out fabulous. (To see our back patio floor click here.) But alas, the front porch concrete is not as porous as the back concrete and it does get exposed to more traffic, so as a result the paint had begun to peel.

I tried to fix it a few times but the peeling problem always came back. So last Friday I power washed most of the red and gray paint off. Then I asked you my wonderfully creative readers what you thought should be done about the floor...repaint, cover or simply leave it as is, all chippy looking. 

So after spending about 45 minutes yesterday in Home Depot...yes again...looking at all of the different outdoor carpets they had, what I finally decided to do is to follow the majority of your input and leave it like it is. If at some point I come across a small carpet I think will work then I'll try it under the table, but for now this is it.

I actually think it is beginning to grow on me.

As you can see the front porch is rather small. Someday I would love to yank out the shrub in front of the bay window and expand the porch all the way down to the end of the brick wall. But until then I will be happy with my little spot just outside the front door.

I had purchased the bistro set from Home Depot for $70, cute isn't it? And the absolute perfect size for my porch. I also hung the plant the kids gave me for Mother's Day...they love the fact that it is right in the front of the house. 

I had an old iron piece I bought at Pier One about 6 years ago, so that went on the bare white siding. I wrapped an antiqued flag around a grape vine wreath and used it to adorn the front door for a little touch of Americana. The evergreen in the back I potted at Christmas and had it in my kitchen. It has been living outside ever since and is doing pretty well, although I know she won't be happy forever in that bucket and will have to be put in the ground at some point. 

The perfect spot to enjoy a little wine!

I also threw some bright red geraniums in one of the planters a neighbor was getting rid of...one man's trash is another woman's treasure!

Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!

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The Classic Look of Window Boxes Filled with Geraniums

To me bright red geraniums are nothing short of classic. They are so cheerful with their dark and light green leaves.

This year I decided to replace my coconut husk window baskets with new redwood boxes. Then I filled them with geraniums, sweet potato vines, and variegated vinca vines. Geraniums love morning sun, afternoon shade and good drainage.

I am very happy with the simple and classic look of both the new boxes and their fill.

Wishing you a wonderful start to your week!


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