decorating with dodi

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Home Again, Home Again

Wow! I am back from our fabulous visit to New York City and I don't think we missed seeing one thing NY has to offer-well, maybe one or two but it felt like we saw them ALL...and walked it all as well.

We had such a good time and made memories for a lifetime!!

We headed to my daughter's house in St. Pete so we could get up nice and early-5 a.m.- to head to the Tampa Airport on Monday morning.

A small delay at both ends but a smooth flight and only about 3 hours later, we had arrived. Since we were celebrating two birthdays, we got picked up in style!

Got checked in and we were off!

We all wanted to head to Central Park first, so off we went.

We had so much fun climbing all of the rocks and visiting the "Imagine" mosaic which serves as a monument to John Lennon. We also saw the Dakota where he was shot and where Yoko Ono still lives when in NYC. We bought some art from a street vendor and saw many spring flowers just popping up. The girls found big icicles hanging in one of the tunnels.

Since we were all secretly hoping for the predicted "possible snow", we were "giddy" when we found this large mountain of snow that must have been piled up from a previous snow fall. We were up there throwing snowballs at each other like little kids!

After the park, we headed to the Plaza Hotel. We were all gawking as we entered the lower level and found the most incredible food court ever...full of gourmet goodies. We were seated in the Caviar Bar in a tall, leather banquettte and even though none of us wanted caviar, we were good with a nice bottle of wine for the adults and HUGE cups of hot chocolate and gourmet cupcakes for the kids! I must admit, it was a lovely place to spend an hour or so on such a chilly day.

After leaving the Plaza, we did some more walking and taking in the sights until the girls were ready to call it quits! We had to remember that 5 a.m. was a bit earlier than their usual wake-up time-especially on spring break, so we got them some food for the room and we headed out for a nice dinner New York style. I am not a city girl, but I do love that NY is the city that never sleeps so you can find about anything you want at any time you want.

Then it was back to hit the sack as Day 2 promised to be full!!! Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Hippity' Hoppity...Easter's on Its Way"....

Wow! With all of the St. Pat's fun, designing new gardens, switching decor and just plain spring-has-sprung activity, I have not had a free moment. I FINALLY got the Easter decor out and if you are a faithful readers from years past, I think you will notice a bit of a  difference.

Every time my daughters come into the house, they comment on how much better the decorations look in person than on this blog. I had a "new eye" look back on my past Easters and, quite frankly, if you are still reading this, I am surprised. We can only hope that things looked better in real life!

I guess by now, you probably know that I am NOT a "pastel" kind of gal. They are beautiful colors and I know they are appropriate for this holiday, but I just have a terrible time decorating with them. And yes, I still love all of the vintage things and yes, they are always in pastels, but I still hit a brick wall this year. And so, I changed things up a bit - almost to the point of not using the vintage but I caved - and went mostly with a dark violet and spring green color palette and used lots of naturals to complement. So far all I have photographed is the living room so we will start there.

So this is where I ended up using most of my vintage Easter. Since it is the first thing you see when coming in the front door, I thought I could use it here and then change color directions as soon as you turn the corner.

 I am not loving the paper garland I have festooned around but it is Bethany Lowe that I found on sale after the holiday last year and since a few of these pieces are actually Bethany Lowe as well, it matches perfectly. If time is available, I may come up with a better use for it...we shall see!

I am usually not a fan of egg trees. Think I just figured out that that may be because they are always so "pastelly". Think I told you my daughter gave me some of the eggs she scooped up on sale last year and for some reason I liked this tree...guess it is because these eggs are a deeper - and shinier - color. Always learning new things about myself - good to see what makes me "tick"...and scary too at times!!

Always a special place for the most current bunny photos. Hope to get some new ones soon!

Once again, the realization that my hutch is gone became all too apparent when I started decorating. The hutch used to hold lots of "little things" and, since the goal is to no longer "clutter" with little things, I found myself walking around looking for just the right spot for some of my favorites. I think my MS inspired cabbage basket and glittered beeswax bunnies look right at home here!

Yes, I know that 2 of the egg lights are out. I have 3 sets of these lights and hundreds of replacement bulbs but wouldn't you know that this set uses a bulb I DON'T have. I have been on the lookout for a new set, but no luck so far. Until then, I am "coping" - haha.

I love this old bunny I bought so many years ago and he looks just right in the moss covered cloche set that daughter #1 gave me last year.

So I will be missing in action for the next week. Can't wait to share more Easter but life is interrupting as I head to NYC with daughters and grand daughters for 5 days of fun. I will have MUCH to share upon our return. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 17, 2014

We Are Officially GREEN!

Wow, what a wonderful weekend we had! The little kids were here and we crammed in as much St. Pats as we possibly could!!

We started the day making t-shirts. This was the simplist thing ever and it was all kid made. I downloaded a shamrock shape, traced it on freezer paper, cut it out and ironed on shirts. Then, all they did was dip a pencil eraser in fabric paint and make dots around shape going from denser close to the pattern out to sparse.

When we were sure the paint was dry, they simply peeked off the shape.

I really love how they turned out and the kids were so proud of themselves. This would be cute with a heart for Valentines too!

We always like to make a craft for their parents that can serve as a decoration for the holiday but since this was so close to the real day and decorations would be soon coming down, we went with just green. Now it can be for St. Pats but will work for spring as well. We have done this idea a dozen times in all shapes and forms but it is so easy for the kids and they really can't do anything wrong. It is a no-brainer!

And they look so pretty when glittering at night!

Next we made chenille stem leprechauns. Hey, these guys look familiar!!

The kids thought this was the funniest thing ever!! I did too!

But Nana, what do we do with the leprechauns??? Oh, you'll see. First, we mix up the batter.

When that is ready, we frost.

Taste test always required!!

Second opinions always necessary!

So that's where they went! This is a shamrock shake cake. We are going to have it for dessert on March 17. It smelled so yummy while it was baking. Lots of minty goodness - can't wait!

Always the obligatory photo op. The kids really love getting their "Irish" on!!

Next gift for everyone was the Rolo pretzel candy decked out with a mint M&M.

Another no-fail project is making "smelly" play dough. The kids enjoy the making part almost as much as the playing but they really do enjoy lots of creative time with the dough. Always amazes me how long they will sit and play with it, This time we used lime (green) Kool Aid but we were UNDERwhelmed with the scent so we worked some mint extract into the dough and it was yummy!

Next, we made some shamrock tortilla chips to have with dip as an appetizer on St. Pats and then made leprechaun quesadillas for lunch.

These quesadillas were so good. Two small white tortillas filled with cheddar cheese topped with 2 spinach tortillas cut into a hat shape filled with cheddar glued together with more cheddar and then decorated with yet more cheese for the beard - what NOT to love? The kids put on 2 simple eyes with a food marker. We served them up with chips and a rainbow fruit kabob. Yum!!

Dinner started with a rainbow fruit salad that they made with Papa.

Entree was green pasta with pesto, broccoli and pot o'gold garlic bread.

Rainbow cubes in the water.

And to top it off, a shamrock shake with shamrock cookie for dessert.

What fun we had!!!

We ended the weekend with a treasure hunt. I found it on Pinterest and the kids followed the colors of the rainbow to each new clue and ultimately to their treasure at the end!

Hold on to your hat boys!!! I found the next clue! You can't tell it here, but she was really into this. She was running full speed ahead and was on to those clues like gang busters!

All's well that ends well. The treasure has been found.

What a fabulous weekend we had. Still have our celebration tomorrow to look forward to. But shhhh, don't tell anyone. I think we will order in Chinese. Think it will work if we just add a few drops of green food coloring - haha. More to come but I would say we are OFFICIALLY GREEN!! Stay tuned!