Simple advice for a better life.

Birthday InvitationAnother birthday rolled by, and this one was for a three-year old boy, who loves watching football with dad at his side.

He is very proud to yell out their favorite team name, which you will figure out from these pictures.

Not a  surprise to his parents, that he wanted a football theme for his birthday party.

Boys are very active at this age….or at any age for that matter…so his mom decided to have less structured party, and let them enjoy lots of free playtime outdoors.  It worked out great!

Today I will share some pictures from this party, in case you are searching for football theme ideas for your little football player’s birthday party.

The invitations were creatively constructed, to resemble a ticket to a football game.  Love that idea!

 

Football decor 2NY Giants Flag

 

 

 

 

NY Giant's decor

New York Giants is the favorite team for this little boy and his dad…what else would anyone expect from someone who grew up in New York  State..:-)

Football Helmet watermellon carving - close up view Party Food

 

 

 

 

How about this fresh fruit arrangement, topped off with a football helmet carved out of a watermelon.  Nicely done!

Football party food 3Pretzels and Strawberries with Nutella Dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Football Field - Taco Dip

This little boy loves food….so his mom had lots of goodies all over the party area, to pick from.

The above replica of a football field is spread over the top of a Taco Dip.

Red-White-and Blue punch

customized NY Giants bottled water

There was a tri-color punch, as well as spring water, in an appropriately labeled bottles (brainstorm of the parents of the birthday boy).

Football is ready to run with

NYYankees and NYGiants -  sand box play

 

 

 

 

 

 

Football Field tablecloth - coloring station

Little boys might love football, however, playing with trucks in the sand box, was favored over the football helmet coloring station, set up as an additional activity.

Birthday Cake - Yankees and Giants well represented

Interesting moment at cake time…not only Giant fan was present, but the New York Yankees had their young supporter as well.

It would be wonderful if at least one of those team players would stumble upon this post, just to find out how much support they had with this bunch of fans…:-)

Football Party Favors

After all the snacking, and fun in the sun, the little football players were ready to go home for a long nap, taking along a nice leather football, as a  party favor.

 

Antipasto SquaresMy family and friends often share recipes of their newest creations, since they know that I absolutely love trying these out as well.

Today I will share  a recipe for Antipasto Squares , recommended by a friend.

It is a very simple dish to prepare, and quite tasty, but I would not consider it light in calories.

Antipasto Squares make an interesting addition to a brunch menu, or as a Super Bowl party appetizer.

The original recipe calls for Salami and Olives, but since I do not like either of these ingredients, I added green peppers and tomatoes instead.  These ingredients can easily be substituted with your other favorite meats, cheeses and vegetables, or even make it a vegetarian dish.

My version of this recipe is posted below, for you to try out, and please share your comments.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Crescent Rolls ready-made crust
  • 1/4 lb. boiled ham
  • 1/4 lb. Provolone Cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 lb. Pepperoni, sliced
  • 1/4 lb. Swiss Cheese, sliced
  • 1 large Red Pepper, roasted (I used 1 jar of Pimento, sliced to strips)
  • 1 large Green Pepper, roasted, cut to strips
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Basil Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • Pam cooking spray, or Crisco shortening, to grease the pan

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with Pam cooking spray, or Crisco shortening, and set aside.
  2. Open one package of Crescent Rolls dough, and unroll onto the bottom of the greased pan.  Pinch dough together at perforations, to form a solid bottom layer.
  3. Layer ham evenly over the dough.
  4. Place Provolone cheese slices over ham.
  5. Layer Pepperoni over the Provolone cheese.
  6. Place Swiss cheese slices over Pepperoni.
  7. Top off with Red and Green Pepper strips.
  8. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, Basil and Onion powder.
  9. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of Parmesan grated cheese.
  10. Spread sliced tomatoes, then sprinkle with ground Black Pepper and Garlic Powder.
  11. Pour beaten eggs over the top of the casserole.
  12. Top off with 3 Tbs. Parmesan grated cheese.
  13. Cover with second sheet of Crescent Rolls dough (no need to pinch dough at perforations, to help the steam to escape during cooking)
  14. Cover with aluminium foil.
  15. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  F, and bake 25 minutes.
  16. Uncover, and bake 13 minutes longer, until the middle is set, and top is lightly browned,
  17. Cool to room temperature before serving.
  18. Also suitable to store in a refrigerator for a day or so, or wrap it well and freeze it for a later use.
  19. To reheat, use regular oven, toaster oven, or even a microwave.

Enjoy!

My Garden in July

Minature  DahliaMinature Dahlia

Gardening if a fun hobby of mine, but it takes time and patience to make it successful.

I was away from home for a week, and my garden “missed” me….:-)…actually it has gone wild.

My flower beds became overgrown with random plants, and my squash totally lost track of it’s “normal” size.

I have never seen such a huge size Yellow Squash as the one which has grown in my garden, during this week of my absence.

Today I will share some pictures I took upon my return home, while checking out my vegetable garden, and flower patches.

Flower patch

Here is my East side flower patch…it does need some thinning out, and trimming…

My vegetable  garden

Now you will agree that my vegetable garden has gone wild…..the squash plants, basil, dill and tomato plants overtook the whole garden.

I have some serious work here, to bring it back to reality.

self seeded flowers 2

These flowering plants reached five feet in height.    The only thing that can be done at this point, is to pull out the smaller plants, to allow more space for the thriving ones.

Blackeye Suzie

My Black Eyed Susan flowers really love this part of the somewhat wet spot of my yard, unlike the shrubs that we tried to grow there as well.

July Crop - tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, huge squash

I saved the best for last….here is my HUGE Yellow Squash.  Some of these are 18 inches long and 5 inches in diameter.

Best tasting squash is at a smaller size, as the large one has very large seeds and is not as tender.  It is still usable, but the seeds and the middle section needs to be discarded, before using the remaining vegetable.

My son made some really tasty squash on the grill.

He sliced it into spears, flavored it with Italian spices, salt, pepper, olive oil and some kind of vinegar (wine or apple cider…not sure).

It was yummy.

 

Drummer Boy cupcakesThe Brithday Drum Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My little grandson absolutely loves music.  He dances to any tunes, and is quickly advancing his dance “moves”.

His First Birthday Party theme was all about music, of course, so today I will share a series of pictures from his fun day.

His parents were very busy planning fun decorations, and even a “beach size” sandbox was constructed for the special occasion.

The party room was decorated with music notes suspended from the ceiling, as well as hand constructed “singles records” representing each month of the past year, with an appropriate picture matching each song title.

Best Seller Singles - NewbornBest Seller Singles - One Month Old

Newborn – “Born in the USA” .               One Month Old – “Raise the Roof”.

Best Seller Singles - Two Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Three Months Old

Two Months Old – “Dear Momma”.     Three Months Old – “Pass the Popcorn”.

Best Seller Singles - Four Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Five Months Old

Four Months Old – “Turkey for me, Turkey for You” .     Five Months Old – “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”.

Best Seller Singles - Six Months OldBest Seller Singles - Seven Months Old

Six Months Old – “Sittin by the Dock of the Bay”.     Seven Months Old – “Father of Mine”.

Best Seller Singles - Eight Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Nine Months Old

Eight Months Old – “99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall”.   Nine Months Old – “Crawling Back to You”.

Best Seller Singles - Ten Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Eleven Months Old

Ten Months Old – “Peek-a-boo, I can see You”.  Even Months Old – “These Boots are Made for Walking”.

Best Seller Singles - Twelve Months Old

Twelve Months Old – “Go Shorty, It’s Ya Birthday”.

Best Seller Singles

Birthday Cake Display

This view displays the wall decor, and some of the music notes dangling from the ceiling, and the beautifully handcrafted banner at the cake display corner.

Birthday Thank You favors

Party Favors displayed here consist of a individual bags filled with age appropriate goodies, plus a homemade CD.

The Brithday Drum Cake

The proud and talented mom of the Birthday Boy, improvised the decor of the Birthday Cake, transforming it into a drum.

She used small pretzel sticks to form the sides of the drum, plus two Huge Campfire Marshmallows pierced by large pretzel sticks, turning them into drum sticks.

She also baked cupcakes, and decorated them with little drum sticks made out of small pretzel sticks and mini marshmallows.  Pretty cleaver; wouldn’t you agree?

Backyard Beach - Oversized Sand Box

The handy daddy of the Birthday Boy, constructed this over-sized sandbox.  Someone actually referred to it as the  ”backyard beach”, which was filled with happy kids, during the outdoor activity time.

Make your own tambourine

The other craft the children enjoyed, was making their personal tambourines.

Make your own tambourine - finished product 4Make your own tambourine - finished product 3

 

Make your own tambourine - finished product 2Make your own tambourine - finished product 1

This craft required two paper plates stapled together to form a pocket, then filled with some dry beans, stapled some more to close up the pocket.  Then decorated with googly eyes, ribbons, and finally colored with paints or markers.   The age of these “artists” ranged from 1 – 6 years old….soooo cute.

Safari Baby Pool

Mommy, Daddy and Baby Pool

Lunch and cake were served outdoors, to accommodate the kids and parents to an easy access to the sand box, playground, and the baby pool.

After the numerous fun  activities, everyone was ready to cool off in the pool.

The tired out parents enthusiastically welcomed the idea, and enjoyed it even more than the little ones.

It was a great party, and the weather was very cooperative as well.

 

 

 

Wine Corks – Interesting Backsplash

Container filled with hundreds of wine corksI would be very interested in knowing how many of you are into wine cork collecting?

Pinterest has  numerous  arts and crafts ideas from wine corks.  You should check it out!

You will find cork floor mats, coasters, place mats, wall decor, candle holders, Christmas Tree decorations, etc.

My daughter and her husband have been collecting their wine corks for few years now, with some help from other family members as well.

They were contemplating several ideas to use up those wine corks , but once their basement was finished, which  includes a fairly spacious kitchen, they knew exactly which cork project to pursue.

Yes, you guessed it….a very interesting backsplash for their new kitchen.

Today I will share some pictures I took of that project, which began with my daughter’s idea, and finalized by her husband, with a helping hand from his dad.

This actually turned out to be a nice family project.

Wine Cork backsplash - begining stages

It all started with a special backing board attached to the wall, to outline the backsplash area.

They also installed extended (protruding from the wall) electrical outlets, to allow for the thickness of the corks in the backsplash.

Wine Cork backsplash - close up

As you can see here, the electrical outlets are nicely fit on the surface of the cork backsplash.  Nice job!

Wine Cork backsplash - close up 2

Here is a close up view of the corks, placed in a specific pattern, to create a very interesting backsplash.

Wine Cork backsplash

At last, the finished project, with lots of corks still left over…ready for another project…?

Please note, there are some color corks placed strategically throughout the  backsplash,  to add a little more color and character.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this project.

What a great way to recycle wine corks, and be surrounded by many memories of the numerous occasions these wines were shared with family and friends.

Please share your comments, plus other ideas and experiences you may have with creating interesting projects from wine corks.

 

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