Friday, June 20, 2014

Beach Treats for the Petites

Whenever we travel with family and friends I like to include a special little treat bag for the petites in the group. This year I’ve whipped up a snack bag with a treat for each day that we’re at the beach (minus travel days) and created a tag to personalize them for each child. What child doesn’t like seeing his or her name on a treat bag?


First I chose the snacks, a few salty, a few sweet and one that can even be considered a ‘game’ if you’re so inclined! Each bag included a Capri Sun in the flavor Lemonade, I’m going to encourage the Moms of our littles to put them into the freezer and instead of using the straw, cutting them open and letting them eat it like a slushy or snowball. There’s just enough sugar in them to keep them from freezing rock solid and a cold snack like that when you’re out on the beach is so refreshing. I also included plain Pringles, Mott’s gummies made with ‘real fruit’, delicious Oreos, a package of Popping Snack candies we all enjoyed as children and a bag of Scrabble Junior. Cheez-Its. I sure hope they try playing a little game of Scrabble, practice letter recognition or play a word game with them!


Next I created a little custom gift tag in Lumapix Fotofusion using Shabby Miss Jenn Designs “Pool Party” kit. Click on the preview below to get it in her digital scrapbooking store.


After printing them, I cut them out, punched a few holes in them and they were ready to be tied onto the treat bags. Although Dave and I aren’t “Lolli & Pop” to all of the children who will be on our beach vacation, we’re certainly known by our grandchildren’s generation of friends and second cousins as such and sign the tag with our “grandparent names”.


If you are interested in digital scrapbooking I highly suggest giving the very versatile Fotofusion program by Lumapix a try, there’s a trial program you can download and use before purchasing, which I highly suggest you do. It’s a user friendly program that I’ve used for about nine years now and could not do without. Click on the image below and check out their fabulous sight. If you check out the gallery you may even see a few faces in layouts that you recognize.


I use it to create my scrapbooking pages, gift tags, labels and many other printable projects. I use it to design my custom tags, labels, bottle wraps, signs, invitations and more for the birthday parties for our grandchildren. Combined with a printer, custom punches, scissors and ribbon you can create just about anything you could imagine!



After filling the cello bags with the treats, I chose and cut curly ribbon that matched the colors in the gift tag, tied them on, attached the beach shovel tag and curled the ribbons.


I sure hope the petites enjoy them as much as I had fun preparing them! Making memories with our children and grandchildren and extended family and friends is so important and I truly love how excited the little ones are when they receive these little gifts from the heart!


I hope everyone is having a safe and exciting summer!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Light Summer Supper in June

Our friends enrich our lives in countless ways, on many special occasions, but its especially sweet in our every day lives. I am blessed to have mentors who are phenomenal cooks, amazing photographers, and many sweet hearts who have generous souls and inspiring spirits. Tonight I cooked a meal inspired by a few of them and with the bounty that was so generously shared.

My friend Janey shared her recipe for marinated crab claws a while back after I’d had them at her house, I came home and raved about them over and over to my Honey Dave and asked her for the recipe, which she so generously gave me. So I made them tonight for our light summer supper along with a salad with delicious homegrown tomatoes my BFF Missie and her husband grew and shared with us and homegrown cucumbers my sister in law Connie grew and sent to us. I whipped up a batch of fresh strawberry lemonade to go with our light fare.


The strawberry lemonade is very easy to make and only takes a few ingredients. Fresh strawberries, sugar, fresh lemons, water and ice.



To make our delicious drink I combined about a cup of fresh strawberries and 1/2 cup of sugar in my Ninja blender. Pulsing them together until the berries were chopped into very small pieces.



Then I squeezed the juice of four lemons into my pitcher filled with ice, poured in the strawberry mixture, added water and stirred. It really is the most scrumptious strawberry lemonade I’ve ever had! I’m drinking a little glass of it as I type my blog, so happy that I had more than enough for a few glasses for Dave and myself.


The crab claws and tomato and cucumber salad were simply scrumptious. We were full with the salad and crab claws and the strawberry lemonade was delightful with them both. Next time I may add a little fresh spearmint from my garden to switch it up a bit.



Thanks to Janey for sharing your delicious recipe, Dave and I really enjoyed it and appreciate that you shared your cooking expertise and experience with us.DSC_5759-017

Thanks to Missie and Connie for sharing your summer harvest with us, we truly appreciate it! I love this type of summer meal, I can go to bed after a few hours without feeling stuffed or overly full. It was a healthy and satisfying meal that was easy to make and quick to put together while I cooked for our upcoming family vacation to the beach. More about that in tomorrows blog.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

They Love Her So

…and she loves them too!
I created this special scrapbooking page for Kali Marie as a keepsake from her Dance Recital 2014. Her “Taunte and Lau-len” were there to cheer her on and share this special time with her. I used Shabby Miss Jenn Designs kit “Country Girl” because the elements and papers were adorable and suited my photo so well. I used a pretty layout as inspiration from Erica Webster titled “Beautiful Life”.
They Love Her So_katylarson

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pesto with Home Grown Basil

After my herb harvest this evening I searched around online for a yummy sounding pesto recipe and found quite a few. I tweaked one that sounded really good to me and it came out quite delicious.

Recipe: 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, 3 cloves garlic, 4 cups packed tightly washed and air dried basil leaves, 1/2 tsp sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Directions: pulse together pine nuts and garlic cloves until you get a finely chopped mix, stopping just before it turns to a paste, add basil leaves, sea salt, black pepper and pulse until the leaves are very finely chopped. While processor is on drizzle olive oil into mixture and pulse until combined. Add cheese and pulse a few more times, I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on top and added a few basil leaves as garnish.


From what I read the cheese shouldn't be combined unless you're going to use it right away or refrigerate it for a few days. If you're going to freeze the pesto for later use don't add the cheese until you defrost it.

It is indeed scrumptious! Since we're not eating bread, which is my favorite way to eat pesto I'm going to be experimenting with new recipes. Tomorrow I'm going to make zucchini 'pasta' and add some sun dried tomatoes in addition to the pesto for our supper and serve chicken tenderloin stuffed with the pesto and topped with cheeses.


Any other recipes you'd care to offer that are tried and truly delicious welcome!

Herb Harvest

Tonight when I went out to water my little raised bed garden I decided it was time to do a little pruning of the herb bushes, I have a kitchen which is just absolutely divine smelling, thanks to my friend Janey’s suggestion. I cut fresh herbs, rinsed them out in fresh cold water then stacked it all in my drain board to let the water drip off of them. I’m going to make a little bouquet just for the glorious scent but for the most part I’m going to make some pesto for starters and investigate how to freeze some of this goodness for use later in the kitchen.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Five Days til they Say I Do!

Our middle daughter Alexa will be marrying the love of her life, Fred next Saturday, all the details have been attended to and we’ve got everything ready to go. Alex certainly made the planning a breeze, she’s a detail kind of girl and is pretty decisive about what she likes, so with her wedding planning binder in hand and sticking to a budget that Dave and I gave her she really made the most of it. I have no doubt that she will make an amazingly beautiful bride, she’s over the moon that their amazing honeymoon trip will be twelve days in Italy. I shot this beautiful photo of the happy couple at Caroline’s birthday party this afternoon. Praying for blissfully beautiful weather and a happily ever after for our girl and her groom. I know we’ll make great memories and as always it will be a day to remember forever!

Five Days Left

Caroline Ann’s 2nd Birthday: Raggedy Ann Themed Party

I have had a long admiration for Raggedy Ann and when Krista and Zach named our youngest grand daughter Caroline Ann after Zach’s deceased mama Debra Ann and Dave’s mother Nettie Ann I just knew I would be planning a Raggedy Ann party one day. About five weeks ago we shot an adorable photo of Caroline one afternoon of her in a little pale blue gingham dress with a pretty little apron top over it for our invitation photo. I love including a photo of the birthday girl or boy on the invitation, it just makes it so much  more personal. Because the Raggedy Ann doll has several story books, Golden Books and even a movie based on her, I figured a comics type action on the photo to make her look like a story book character would be perfect. I really do love how the action worked on our photo and it was perfect for our invitation.

Comix Action

I used the ‘storybook’ image on the invitation that I created and Krista had printed at Sam’s Club, they always do a great job and the price point is excellent! I used a few elements from a Shabby Miss Jenn Designs kit called “Monkey Love” and “Snow White” and a free paper in the perfect red that I found online. The invitation sure turned out sweet!

Invitation web

Now that we had a party theme and color scheme it was easy for me to find a few treats and favors to make Thank You packages for Caroline’s friends and cousins who attend the party. I included strawberry applesauce, cheese crackers, gummy candies, bubbles, a snack sized KitKat bar and a little red, white and blue star shaped ring (thankful that July 4th is around the corner and the Dollar Tree had lots of options in our colors) I packaged it up in red and blue containers that matched our theme, wrapped them up in a clear cello bag and tied it up with pretty red, white and light blue curly ribbon, the final touch was a little thank you tag that I designed using the same paper and theme as the invitation. We printed, cut and attached them to the top of the package.


Caroline 2nd BD Thank You Treat











Krista ordered blue and red cupcakes and I made a little cupcake topper with the traditional Raggedy Ann heart and “I Love You” on them. They came out adorable and really set off the cupcakes nicely for the party.


The table was covered in blue and topped with a little red and white checkered tablecloth  and attached a few pretty red bows on the edge of the table to go with our theme. We found the tablecloths and bows at the Dollar Tree and Walmart. I wrapped my gifts for Caroline in pretty red and white chevron paper and topped them with blue and red and white bows. In a basket on the party gift table were red Twizzlers in a pretty blue and white basket and we had a tray of cupcakes on there.


I made three center pieces using red roses, white carnations and two red and blue pinwheel tucked inside. The party was originally scheduled to be held outside and I figured the gentle breeze would be pretty blowing the pinwheels around, they did add a festive touch to the party and I’m sure Caroline and friends will enjoy playing with them for the 4th of July.


Caroline had a wonderful time playing puzzles in her bedroom with her friends and cousins during the party.



Kali really enjoyed blowing out her candle with Mama and opening her many gifts from friends and family.


Caroline especially loved her baby doll from her Godmother Brie who is pictured with her and Mama below.

Nanny Linee and Mama


Here are a few photos of Caroline with her Mama, Daddy and sister Kali Marie.



We didn’t want to get that bright red cupcake icing on her pretty new blue dress so we took it off and she ate in her bloomers.


Thanks to everyone who attended Caroline’s special party and special thanks for all the pretty and thoughtful gifts you so generously gave her.