Coneflower or Echinacea or Painted Daisy?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by
Painted Daisy |

Happy Tuesday from this pretty corner of my garden.  These beauties have been blooming for just over a week now.  What do you call them?  Either of these names..coneflower and echinacea…seem quite ugly to me for these perfect, pretty flowers.  But when I googled it that's what I found.  

Sharing is lovely...

Washi Tape and Chalk

Thursday, July 25, 2013 by


Hello, hello on this perfect summer day.  The weather is perfect, the laziness factor is perfect and our family vacation is imminent.  It’s a good day.  And I have some time to write about a little bandwagon I’ve been on.  Washi tape.  Is anyone else out there familiar?  If not be forewarned…it can be a bit addictive for the crafty types.  Almost anything can be decorated with this low-tack papery tape.

So here is just a small quick project to get you started.  I’ve used these to embellish any gifts or table favours that involve chalkboards.  But maybe some crafty teachers will have other fun reasons to decorate chalk…?

DSC_1264_washi chalk_002

So there’s your tutorial.

DSC_1282_washi chalk_003

Attach it with a bit of twine to a small gift.  These chalkboard clips are from Creative Bag

To include some with a gift basket, it’s a good idea to package them up to prevent dustiness.  Here are three pieces tucked into a little favour bag, and rubber-stamped to label the contents.

DSC_1279_washi chalk_005

I included it in a baby shower gift I made with a chalkboard sign on it.  Apparently not everyone has chalk lying around their house all the time.

DSC_0976_washi chalk_006

DSC_0983_washi chalk_005

Just tucked the little package of chalk right inside for future changing of the chalkboard.  You can read more about making up your own gift baskets here

But also, be sure to pick up a few rolls of washi tape for yourself.  Tip…they are on sale at DeSerres right now!  I promise they will come in handy for all kinds of decorating and packaging creativity.

DSC_1283_washi chalk_006

Aren’t they pretty?  What would you decorate with it?  Come on, jump on the bandwagon with me.

Sharing is lovely...

Pomegranate Seeds

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 by


I love a fun and useful discovery and this is the latest.  Pomegranates!  Who knew that it’s actually easy to get the seeds out of that weird fruit?  Not me.


I think I missed the pomegranate bandwagon.  Did I?  The cute little bottles labelled “POM”…never bought one.   Exotic cocktails garnished with a skewer of pomegranate seeds…never had one.  But the nutritional benefits of the seeds (technically arils with the seeds inside, all edible) are well documented.


This week Teenaged Daughter decided she was not passing by that fruit in the grocery store anymore without trying it.  Into the cart it went on the understanding that it was her project.  She took it on with enthusiasm…as she does…and has now been eating pomegranate seeds daily.


The clever girl went online and found some easy instructions and a new skill was learned.  Here she is to demonstrate it for you.  You’ll know it’s her and not me in the photos by the nail polish.

Equipment required:  a large sharp knife, a cutting board, a large bowl filled three-quarters full of water, a sieve.  Oh, and a pomegranate.


First cut the pomegranate in half, any which way.


Then break each half into a few sections.  This is even easier if you do it while submerging the pieces under water (we discovered after taking the photos).



Next, take each section, submerged under water, and the seeds can easily be loosened with your fingers.


When all the seeds have been loosened, you will see the magic.  All the seeds will have sunk to the bottom of the bowl, while the white membrane sections remain floating at the top.


So now it’s easy, right?  You scoop out all the membrane bits with the sieve, or even with your fingers.  Then drain the entire bowl through the sieve and only the seeds (arils) will remain.  Total time less than twenty minutes including taking all the photos.  I recommend omitting the photos and you’ll be much quicker.



This is the yield from one piece of fruit.  Lots.  So you can just munch on them as a snack like Teenaged Daughter, or add them to your breakfast cereal or a salad…be creative.  Check my Pinterest board for a few good recipes.  All yummy and super-healthy options.  Maybe make a fancy cocktail too and use them as a garnish.  Slightly less super-healthy, but hey…


So did you learn something new?  Fun, right?  And useful.  Please share if you have some good recipes too. 

Sharing is lovely...

Tissue Paper Pom Poms: Party Decoration

Saturday, July 20, 2013 by
Tissue Paper Pom Poms |

Hello, lovely blog readers!  Do you think we are seeing the end of this Heat Wave?  I feel like my brain cells are coming back to life enough to write a few coherent sentences.  So, a little decorating inspiration today in case you are envisioning any parties or celebrations in your near future.  And this from my sister who claims not to have been granted any of the creative genes in our family…

Sharing is lovely...

Summer Recipe: White Bean Salad with Thyme

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 by

A hot and hazy, mid-week “hello” to you all.  And a good day for a simple but substantial side dish recipe with white beans and thyme  to add to your weekday BBQ menu.

White Bean Salad with Thyme |

I found this recipe recently in Canadian Living magazine in their Quick and Easy recipes.  Right up my alley.  I was looking for ways to use the herbs that are flourishing in a big container at my back door.  Do you grow herbs in the summertime too?

Sharing is lovely...

How to Make Strawberry Jam for Beginners

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 by

Hello and Happy Summer Days!  It's strawberry season in our part of the world and it's been a year for beautiful strawberries!

How To Make Strawberry Jam |

Strawberry picking is an outing that I’ve managed with the kids almost every summer since they were small.  And I love that they still like to come along and help.  #trainupachild

Sharing is lovely...