Monday, September 28, 2009

pumpkin centerpieces

fall is a great time to decorate with things right from the back yard...or the garden, anyway.

pottery barn has these beautiful pumpkin candles...adorable, but stinking pricey, from $6 for the itsy bitsy ones to $29 for the big guy.
here's the project{create a home} makeover...the revised pumpkin candles.

you need:
pumpkins, variety of sizes
tea lights
taper candles
votive candles
apple corer

using the tea light as a guide, mark your pumpkin with a marker slightly larger than the size of the tea light.

using an apple corer or knife, core a hole/slot at the stem of the pumpkin. then pry up the hole to remove the cut out.

for taper candle holders, cut the hole in the mini pumpkin slightly smaller than the end of the taper candles.

remember a good old fashioned decor tip...odd numbers look best! make 3, 5, 7, etc

put your tea lights and/or tapers in the pumpkins and viola...snazzy pumpkin candle holders!
add some dried leaves from the yard on the table top, pu the pumpkin lights on top and you have a fab centerpiece!

danyele @ a thorn among roses

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

{Pumpkin? What Pumpkin?}

I love everything about decorating for Halloween. My most favorite part is selecting the perfect pumpkin - going to the pumpkin patch - looking at a hundred pumpkins before I find that perfect match....

What I'm not a fan of - carving. My Honey is great at it. Me? Not so much. I have to wear gloves if I want to be anywhere near the pumpkin guts, literally. My sensitive skin + an acidic pumpkin is not a good combo. So I can feel a little left out when it comes to this decorating aspect until now!

Look what I found at Wrapables.

This little crew of pumpkins, er, spiders are silly & precious!

And this little Mama Witch and Baby Witch just make me smile...

I'm happy to have found some alternatives to decorating my perfect pumpkin and something that we can reuse year after year!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

{You Say VAAAAASE, I say Vase}

I want to start a collection of white dishes and vases. When I saw this on Hotstess {With The Mostess} I gasped with delight! I love how simple and elegant it is with a little bit of a vintage funky twist. I WANT it. I NEED it. At $29.95 it isn't out of reach. It is also a great contender for a Hostess gift or a gift for my Mother-In-Law who seems to have everything. LOL

If you're in love with this vase the way I am, you can pick it up at Wrapables. I'm warning you though, if you go over to Wrapables to get the vase, its probably not the only item that will be in your cart. They have a lot of great items!

Happy Shopping!


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

up the chic, baby

i have to admit something...i know bluetooth headsets are necessary, but they are typically ugly!!!
hubs has a few in particular, that i absolutely loathe!

but, well, apparently, i'm not the only one that thinks headsets are geeky...and unfashionable.

the cover of wired magazine this month has brad pitt {eye candy} sporting a headset...well, just look for yourself:
it says: "Rule No. 52 Ditch the headset. He can barely pull it off- and you are not him."

but the reality is that they are necessary and legally necessary in some areas, so well, if you have to sport one, why not find a cute one, right?!

this is the jawbone prime from aliph...the jawbone earcandy is super fun and full of summer colors...and well, bluetooth too, so why not?
got an extra $50k sitting around? well, do i have the headset for you. plantronics has the standard for much less, but this one is maxxed out wtih gold and was set for auction to raise money for the elle charities.
so for the normal people, here's a great option from fancy matters on etsy for a mere $73! it's full of sparkle and cute...
be safe...wear the headset...but do it in style. i'm off to find a bedazzler!

danyele @ a thorn among roses

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

{It Doesn't Get Better Than This}

Trust me, if you LOVE chocolate, you're going to love me for this.....

Take 2 boxes of this...

And 2 of these - yes they are the movie size, and yes, I know, LOTS of chocolate!
Just do it!
Mix both of your brownie mixes together according to the directions on the box. Pour half of the mixed brownie batter into baking dish, layer in Symphony chocolate bar(s) ~ you could use the milk chocolate version instead if you wanted ~ and then pour the remaining brownie batter on top. Bake according to directions on the Brownie box.

Voila! You have a little piece of chocolatey heaven in your kitchen. Every time I make these everyone asks about them and they are SO SIMPLE!

Go on - go fulfill that chocolate craving I just created. ;D I promise, you won't regret it!


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Sunday, September 13, 2009

how much left over?'s the good and the bad of having a little get together.
we just had a softball get together and there were 2 large packages of hamburger buns left over.

i got creative...and surfed the web for new ideas.
{i always make bread pudding with leftover bread, so i thought i'd try a few more things this time}

first raison french toast casserole from HERE
it's beautiful and delicious...and makes up the night before so it was perfect for a saturday morning breakfast before soccer games and a softball tournament! and i didn't feel too bad because it has apples and raisons in it and i served yogurt with fresh strawberries as a side. yummy to my tummy! cheese and onions creations from HEREliterally some blue cheese and diced onions on top of a bun and toasted until the cheese melts a bit in a toaster oven or broiler. delish!!! mexican pizzas!!!
super fun, easy and the kids love it!!! i altered a recipe i found HERE.
taco seasoned cooked meat {leftover is great}
shredded cheese
green peppers, onion olive for toppings
1 can tomato sauce or taco sauce
...and the famous leftover bunsplace the buns on the baking sheet open. spoon about a tablespoon of sauce on each bun. place meat and toppings on next. top with cheese. broil {or toast in toaster oven} until the cheese is melted.

well...enjoy some good old fashioned leftovers with hot dog and hamburger buns. we did!!!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

here chicken chicken!

chicken is so easy to have on hand...and it's even better when you find a super easy and delicious recipe.

and guess what? i found one!!! i modified a chicken enchilada recipe i found HERE to fit what we like and what i had on hand...

here's the ingredients:
1 T of butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 T mexican or taco seasoning
2-4oz can diced green chile's
1 can cream of something soup {i used mushroom bc i had it on hand}
1/2 cup cour cream {or you can sub in yogurt}
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken
1 bag of shredded cheese {i used mexican cheese}
6 tortillas
1/4 cup milk

preheat the oven to 350F to start things off!
in melted butter, grill the onions and garlic...add diced chicken. then set aside.

in a separate bowl, mix together green chile's, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream.
split the sauce in 3/4 and 1/4.

with the 1/4 sauce, add the cooked chicken and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
in a 9x13 baking dish, take each flour tortilla and fill with the mixture, placing the seam side down to keep the enchilada's all together!

with the remaining 3/4 sauce, stir in the milk. spoon the mixture over the top of the enchiladas and then top with the remaining cheese.

bake in preheated over for 35 minutes...and the cheese is all bubbly!!! serve garnished with green onion, tomato and sour cream if you like!!! eat up!!!!

danyele @ a thorn among roses

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Monday, September 7, 2009

cloth diapering

i am not a cloth diapering mother, but i always wanted to be. when i ran across miss josie's shop on etsy, "oh baby boutique", i almost changed my mind!! josie makes super cute, fun and environmentally friendly and healthy stuff for your kiddos...what more can you ask for?

josie is a very proud mother to her cute and adorable, 18 month old, bailey!

what's your most embarrassing mommy moment so far?
My most embarrassing mommy moment was probably any time I would try to nurse my baby somewhere and wanted to throw a blanket or nursing cover over her she would smile and rip it away and say "hi". hahaha, that was her first word at like 8 months!

when did you start using disposable diapers?
I started using reusable diapers because when I was pregnant I knew we were not going to have a lot of money. I started buying a pack of disposables every time I went to the store (ok maybe twice total...) and it blew me away how expensive they were! I knew there had to be a better way!

My mother in law used cloth pre-folds for her oldest child and thought I should give it a try. She bought me 3 packs of Gerber prefolds, some pins, and we set out looking for plastic pants to go over the pre-folds. We looked EVERYWHERE and could not find any, which lead me to the internet. Boy was I surprised to learn there was a whole new way to cloth diaper- who would have thought they would make some that LOOK like diapers! I knew I could make some myself and set off to try it out! I have been hooked ever since!

Once my daughter was born and about 2 months old we moved to a place where we didn't have some of the modern conveniences of life, and therefore had to ditch the clothies for a few weeks. I found that she was having 3-4 blowouts each day and it was SO frustrating! I got a good diaper cover and tried out the cloth again, even though we had no way to wash them, and the blowouts were all but gone!
how do you make your diapers and how do they stay on???
My diapers are made with flannel inside and out, with a layer in the middle of flannel that has a tri-folded terrycloth soaker layer sewn into it. They are absorbent without being big and bulky!

The diapers go together with snaps near the hip and are truly hard for baby to pull off! Each leg as well as the back has elastic to keep all the mess in. These diapers do need a cover because they are not waterproof (although I can make some that are! :) that can all be fixed with a cute fleece cover (which comes with my set) or a waterproof plastic cover or even a cute pair of hand knit wool pants!

There is nothing cute about a white plastic diaper, but imagine the possibilities you can come up with when the fabric store is your limit!

how long do your diapers last?
These diapers will last you well over a year. I have been using the exact same diapers since May of last year when my daughter was 5 months old, and she is 18 months old now! Many people save their diapers to pass down to the next kid, but we haven't gotten to try that one out yet!

now, the question we all want to do you keep them clean and sanitary?
To clean them, I chuck them in the washer with a scoop of Oxyclean on a cold soak. Once the cold soak is over I throw in a tiny bit of diaper safe laundry soap (go to for a link to a list of safe detergents!) and a bunch of baking soda and wash on a hot wash with a cold rinse and then another hot rinse. I then just throw them in the dryer and put them in the drawer!

SO easy! Obviously if there is poop on it you would want to try to get most of it off by shaking it over the toilet, but if it is newborn stuff or wont come off, it wont hurt if you throw it in the wash as is!

josie is offering all PCAH readers a special deal...because she wants us to know and experience how easy cloth diapering is!!!! drop her an email at and get a diapering!!!

oh, you aren't in the diapering stage? good news! josie makes all kinds of stuff! she had beautiful birthday sets for boys and girls...blankets, swim diapers, and so much more! go check her out HERE. you won't be disappointed!

danyele @ a thorn among roses

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

techie saturday--decor

it's time for some fun and geeky/techie decor again...

knick knack patty shack offer s a great selection of super fun plates that just beg for conversations!
this wine appetizer plate is $20.

girls can tell offers this super fun, puzzle like, retro domestic goddess coaster set for the woman with everything, and a side of geek. $16. and as a speial deal for project create a home readers, readers include the code "project 10%" in the note to seller at checkout, girls can tell will reimburse 10% of orders of $25 or more (before shipping) through paypal. this will be good through sept. 14.

etsa sketch offers this "superheroes among us" 10x13 awesome piece of art for $54...the comics are from incomplete books from the artist and made into art again!

the perfect pillow set for the geek kingdom, from diffraction fiber...$58. and for readers of PCAH, diffreaction fiber is offering free shipping free shipping september 5th through 11th by simply mentioning project create a home in the note to the seller at check out!!!
go get your geek on...come on. it's fun!

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Friday, September 4, 2009 it bad!?

the american heart association is picking on me! i mean it. they are picking on me.
i know it's for my own good, but seriously? limit my sugar intake? it's not funny! it's fact, it's close to impossible!

according to a recent article in the wsj HERE, the AHA issued a statement this week that says "most women should limit their sugar intake to 100 calories, or about six teaspoons, a day; for men, the recommendation is 150 calories, or nine teaspoons."

seriously...good recommendation and i'm sure good for us, but have you seen the food we eat? it's not good...we have become a country {and i am} who eats our feelings. have a bad day? grab a cookie from paradise and what ails you fades. need to celebrate a straight a report card with your kiddo? head to cold stone for some "love it's" in a waffle cone.
so what can we do to determine the amount of sugar we take in....and then reduce it to a reasonalbe level? first, the labeling is not really conducive to what we are trying to do...they are measure in grams, not in calories, so grab those calulators! the FDA has a great link HERE to answer all your nutrition label questions.

the most reasonable step is making different and better choices.
not gonna lie...this is the hard part for me!!

dessert around our house is few and far between, but one of the fav's here is a parfait {everybody loves a parfait...from shrek? no?} any fresh fruit, or frozen you have on hand, mixed with non-fat vanilla yogurt and topped with a granola cereal. i promise you it's a crowd pleaser AND the yogurt can be frozen to do the whole "fake ice cream thing" too!

making better choices with the sugar rice and breads and beer and even in milk for us and our families! use brown rices and unrefined breads.

and don't just skip on over to eating salads...beware of the dressing monster! salad dressings are chocked full of sugars...i know! use can use a vinaigrette or a yogurt based dressing and seriously reduce the sugars! {everyone's fav, ranch is really not so great on the sugar front}.

i'm totally trying...and still learning, so let me know what you are doing to reduce the sugars in your life! please!!!!danyele @ a thorn among roses

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

grandparents day

they fill you full of dessert right before bed.
they feed your kids sugary pop and suckers and popcorn and then pack them into your car to try and put to bed.
they pitch in when you are sick...
they buy outdated clothes for your kids that you have to put them in...
...but we all love them anyway!

and september 13th is grandparents day!!! has a plethora of activities to do for and with your kids/grandkids.
10 things essentials for fun with kids
they have coloring pages...

and one of my favs, there's incredible humor...with quotes from all sorts of folks:

"My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is." Ellen DeGeneres

so head on over there...find some good stuff, and remember your grandparents.danyele @ a thorn among roses

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