Tag: summer

Making Fudgesicles and Popsicles!

No little children in our home anymore, just two aging, forgetful, cranky at times, adults.

Doesn’t matter, we still love afternoon treats!

I decided on making some chocolate fudgesicles and very cherry popsicles before the end of summer.

Have you ever read the ingredients on a box of fudgesicles?

Ingredients:

Nonfat Milk, Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Polydextrose, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Whey, Palm Oil, Contains 1 Percent Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Tricalcium Phosphate, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Mono And Diglycerides, Malt Powder, Salt, Guar Gum, Aspartame, Polysorbate 80, Acesulfame Potassium, Polysorbate 65, Citric Acid, Carrageenan, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Caramel Color, Locust Bean Gum. Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine.

Oh my gosh, make your own!

The recipe I am sharing is so easy and so chocolatey.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups of milk

Instructions:

  • Whisk together cocoa powder and sugar in a pan
  • Add corn syrup and vanilla and place over low heat
  • Add milk while whisking constantly until everything is dissolved
  • Pour mixture into 6 molds and freeze until solid

(source of recipe was cincyshopper.com)

For the cherry, really cherry popsicles, I just used a Kool-Aid unsweetened packet adding sugar as directed, but shame on me, I used less water than directed to make the flavor intense. I taste tested as I added the water.

Seriously, they were wonderful!

As kids, we would fill ice cube trays with Kool-Aid to make popsicles, some of you folks might remember.

Now days there are so many different molds on the market that are inexpensive and fun to use. Lots of different shapes.

The one thing I like about using molds is the fact that the stick is plastic.  I hated, and still do, running my tongue across a wooden stick!  Chills!

After my husband finished his very cherry popsicle, I looked over at him and he had bright red lips, as if he had just put away his lipstick. We laughed together.

Where was my camera?

Just a precious “sweet” moment shared.

Don’t let your summer pass without making yummy chocolate fudgesicles and very cherry popsicles.

“Sweet” love to all of you today!

Adding Whimsy To My Yard

Whimsy is defined as, “playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor”.

Add whimsy to your life when you can, it’s happy stuff!

That is what I did this past Saturday, I added some whimsy to my yard!

No need to go into much detail for this fun project.

I purchased two unfinished decorative dowels at Home Depot, sanded and painted.

Selected a small birdhouse from my garage stash of unfinished wood items, and again sanded and painted. Small birdhouses can be found at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

Added extra whimsy to the birdhouse by attaching an old knob.

Nestled the birdhouse in my vinca vines for just the perfect spot.

For the birdbath, I simply added a rescued tin pan from the thrift store to the top of one of the dowels.

I pounded the dowels into the ground first, and then using E6000 glue attached the birdhouse and tin pan.

Love the color of the birdbath dowel and the contrast with the old tin pan.

This was just a simple, one day project, that has added a colorful, delightfully friendly, and of course, whimsical touch to my yard that I will enjoy the rest of the summer.

They make my heart smile.

As the week goes on add some “whimsy” to your days, giggle, laugh at yourself and by yourself, wear some color, be yourself when no one else is looking, let your heart smile.

Love and “whimsy” thoughts to all!

 

How to Carve a Watermelon Basket

It’s only the 9th of July, lots of summer still left to enjoy.

I thought you all might need an idea for something to take to a family gathering or cookout.

This is my most popular pin on Pinterest, pinned hundreds of times.

Here are the instructions from a previous post.  http://lovingmynewsimplelife.com/wow-them/

This is seriously so easy to do, and a show stopper on a food table.  Love the scalloped edges!

Can be filled with colorful mixed fruit, or simply cut up watermelon chunks as I did in the top photo.

When putting this post together I thought of my first memory of having watermelon.

I loved to spend time with my grandmother in the summer. There was a truck that would come down the street selling fruits and vegetables, and on one hot day, she grabbed her little black change purse, and we went to the truck and bought a watermelon.  Grandma cut it up, and we enjoyed it that hot summer afternoon.

My oh my, what a sweet memory for me!

Make some sweet memories this summer, and also try carving a “sweet” watermelon basket.

Love you all this July afternoon!

 

Let’s stay home!

Once the weather turns warm and wonderful, our yard and back porch become an extension of our living space.  We spend much of our time outdoors including having meals.  Even when it is hot you can find us sitting under one of our large shade trees, one or both of us usually napping.

Staying home is just part of our lives now.  My husband just cannot go and do so much anymore, his difficulty walking and low energy level just does not allow it.

Since this is how our lives must be it is important for me to make a fun, colorful space, that we love and enjoy!

A happy place!

Thanks to a Walmart gift card I have tucked away since Christmas, I was able to purchase a couple of inexpensive items from a Better Homes and Garden galvanized line, especially designed for easy outdoor dining.

A beverage server for only $12.48, and a tiered server only $17.88.  I also found some very reasonably priced outdoor dishes ranging from $.98 to $2.48.

Beautiful, bright colors.

The tiered server saves me many steps in and out of the house, I keep it stocked and close to the back door for use anytime.  You can find the beverage server filled with lemonade for us to enjoy throughout many hot afternoons.

Summertime, bright and beautiful long days, warm, just so happy!

Kick back, relax!

Warm loving thoughts for all of you this weekend.

Spending Time with Ana!

The leaves are falling in my part of the world like crazy, so before the snow falls, I want to share a special time I had at the end of summer with my niece Ana.

Ana with water dropsI have written before on the joys over the years of spending special time with all my nieces.  Since God blessed me with only one son, my nieces were gifts that allowed me the fun of shopping, buying dolls, dresses for special events, crafts, all the things you just don’t do with boys!

During our few days together we shopped, for clothes, some extra school supplies, including a silver glitter notebook, and some neon colored pencils.  Ana loves “bling”.

I let her pick out her favorite treats, cereal, donuts, Sun Chips, nothing healthy of course, I did say treats.  This is something my Grandma would do when I would visit her as a little girl. Such a sweet memory for me even to this day.

We played “Crazy Eights” until I thought I was going crazy, decorated a large wooden “A”, painting it glow in the dark hot pink with black glitter dots, and put together an outdoor place for Ana.

Our days were perfect, warm and sunny, so we set up our “swimming pool” in the backyard.

Ana with beachballCartwheelsWe came up with a game where I gave her actions to complete around and over the flowing water, so many cartwheels, jumping jacks, and such.

The morning we decided to build Ana a special outdoor place, we first needed to shop for fabric. Ana picked a black and white zebra like print.

Once we were home, we found a rope in our garage, attached it to two branches on the large maple tree in our backyard, and using some bricks we secured the fabric across the rope.

Ana's Crazy EightsWe added a quilt and lots of pillows, and finished up with a chalkboard paper banner, “Ana’s Place”, which added the final touch.  Perfect!

Just Ana

Our finished placeWe did laugh together and enjoyed our creation all day. I felt like a kid again.

Although Ana also loved time spent on my tablet, playing games, and working with my touch screen computer, watching movies, listening to music, I thank her for spending time with me doing creative things and spending silly time with her aunt.

As this second part of my life is playing out, and Ana is growing up, I thank her so much for being with me for a few days this past summer.

Life has a way of keeping us from our love ones, jobs, relationships, just life and living it our way, good or bad.

I so regret the years that passed and I did not keep in touch with Marissa, Amanda, Dawn, Amber, Carrie, and now Ana.  Those years are gone.

Please make time to connect and be with your family as much as you can, even if it is just a call, or text.   “I love You’s” mean so much, especially the unexpected ones!

Blessings and love to all!

 

Sunshiny, lemony…..it’s the color Yellow!

Simple lemonade recipe

Most of my life I have loved the color yellow!

In the past, I have had a yellow front door, and when country decorating was so popular, I had a yellow and white checked, wallpapered kitchen.

Even with changing styles, I have not let go of it!

A pop of yellow!I now have settled for using yellow in my living room and dining area.  The white sofa with the yellow drapes works happily, for me, especially with the floral print on my dining chairs and matching toss pillows.

I think I have mentioned and shown you in the past that I absolutely love toss pillows.  Pillows are an inexpensive way to change and update any room.

Bright yellow pillowsI like to bring other simple yellow things into the room when I can find them.

Found this distressed yellow clock at Hobby Lobby when all clocks were 50% off!

Our home is small and our budget, even smaller! I really cannot do a bunch of decorating and updating in every room, but oh how I have learned to embrace what I have in my home, even the messes.  There is beauty in taking care of what you have, and of course, in appreciating what you have!  It took me a long time to realize that!

Yellow flowering plantDuring my growing process, I know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect in life, or in our homes. Much work to be done on the rest of this life of mine, but today I took a big step by sharing with everyone a bit of my home, feeling proud of it….it is beautiful to us!

Today was a perfect summer day, hot and humid, so I made a pitcher of lemonade, photo above. Tall glasses, filled with ice, and garnished with “yellow” lemons. So refreshing, and a treat for us when taking a break from our yard work.  I have included my favorite lemonade recipe at the end of this post. Invest in a wonderful glass pitcher!

Yellow will always be somewhere in my home, it’s brightness, joyfulness, like bringing sunshine into our lives!

Love you all so much, enjoy some lemonade today!

 

Simple lemonade recipe:

Ingredients:

Bag of lemons squeezed to 1-1/2 cups of lemon juice

1-3/4 cups of sugar

8 cups of water

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and one cup of water.  Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to chill.

Remove seeds from the lemon juice, but leave the pulp.  In pitcher stir together chilled sugar syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups of water.

Enjoy!