Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Vacation

Time for summer vacation!

Once again, this summer finds me packing, moving, and traveling. Don't know if I'll make it to a porch like the one above but I'll be on the lookout!

No, we haven't sold our house yet. We've decided it's more important to keep our family together even if it means renting a tiny apartment. Besides all the work awaiting me, I need to take this time to be with my children. Big adjustments ahead. Last year I lost a lot of followers during summer break. Sorry to disappoint if you follow for a daily or even weekly reading. At this point in time, it is impossible for me to keep up. I'd rather take a hiatus and come back fresh. Thanks to all of you who have offered encouragement and prayers on this new journey we are about to begin. It means so much.

Wishing each of you a summer filled with cool breezes, warm sunshine and a happy heart.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Party Recipes

The best banana pudding recipe ever! Easy and has a homemade flavor.

Mix16 oz sour cream, 3 large boxes vanilla instant pudding mix and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. 

Add whole milk to desired consistency. It will be thicker than regular pudding.

Layer vanilla wafers, bananas and pudding. Top with  whipped cream or cool whip.

*Tip- When making individual dessert cups for parties, cool whip works better than  canned whip cream. It will melt, especially if cups sit out for any length of time. 

Strawberry Shortcake (original recipe found here.)

1 yellow sheet cake baked per box directions, cut into small squares
(This was my friend's secret ingredient. The cake is moist and sweet. Makes it delish!)

1 large box vanilla pudding mixed with milk per box directions.

Mix 1 lb fresh slice strawberries with 1 lb frozen strawberries, thawed. 

Layer cake, strawberries, pudding and cool whip until cup is full. Top with fresh strawberry.

 An old stand-by favorite fruit salad recipe. Easy, of course!

1 can peach pie filling
1 lb frozen or fresh strawberries
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
sliced bananas
optional- nuts and coconut
Mix and refrigerate.

I love this recipe because the pie filling keeps bananas from turning brown.  We froze the leftovers. For our grill out yesterday, I let it thaw until slushy. Throw it in the blender, add yogurt or ice cream and it makes a great smoothie!

Another party hit was the sausage cheddar balls. Sometimes it's great to bring out old recipes that maybe people haven't had in a while. I found a secret ingredient to add from Plain Chicken.  Cream cheese! Keeps them moist and tender.

1 lb hot sausage, uncooked
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Bisquick
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix until well combined.  Roll into 1-inch balls.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.

Sausage balls may be frozen uncooked.  If baking frozen, add a few minutes to the baking time. You can also freeze the leftovers. We ate the rest of these yesterday too. Heat in the microwave and pop them in your mouth!

Posting to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backyard Party

How do you handle a large gathering at home? Send them to the backyard! 

This is the last of our graduation party photos. To see the other photos of party decor and food, go here, here, here, and here.

For months I pondered the venue. We talked about a formal sit down dinner at a nice restaurant, etc. But we really wanted a place to mill around and visit with every guest. Eat a little, laugh a little, talk a little, repeat, repeat....
So we kept it at home sweet home.

My party table inspiration was found over at The Sweetest Occasion
Loved it the minute I saw it. So wish I could have found antique chairs. But where do you find 50 of them? And on a budget? No ideas came to mind. I thought the metal chairs looked a tad vintage. 

You might recognize the veggie cans filled with water and floating candles from a previous event I decorated. It was quite windy that day so the candles wouldn't stay lit. But at a beautiful and comfy 70 degrees no complaining!
Mason jars filled with mini bouquets from our local grocery store. Why do they use so much dye on flowers? It was Mother's Day weekend so maybe they wanted to bring out the pinks. Some turned the water pink. 

 The runner is just a roll of brown craft paper cut in half. One roll was plenty for 5 tables. 

Have a happy weekend!
Posting to:
Show and Tell at My Romantic Home
Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Home Sweet Home Friday at The Charm of Home 
The Great Outdoors at Thistlewood Farms

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Southern Back Porch Party

Moving the party outdoors.
Hopefully I am not boring you with so many party posts. Just too much to post at once.
A sweet friend helped me make all the banners. She has a Cricut. What an awesome machine!  Wanting one. 

I used the baker's rack to hold drinking jars, napkins and flatware. 

 You can find these striped straws everywhere on Etsy. I was a little disappointed in my flags because it showed them to be personalized. They didn't arrive that way. However, they were shipped quickly and the straws were sturdy.  We had a very hard time making the flags stay together. Glue dots, double sided tape, etc. So much that I can't even remember what finally worked. Good thing we started ahead of time!

 Same thing with the  paper cones. We finally gave up and used clear shipping tape.  Turned out fine. You could barely see the tape.
I can't remember where I saw this idea to put them in the Coke box. Probably Pinterest or maybe I dreamed it up myself. Do you ever do that? Have so many ideas floating in your head that you forget their origination?
The Doc will be the first to tell you that, unfortunately, he put on weight from eating late night snacks to stay alert. With as much studying and crazy hours he worked, food would have not even kept me awake. This was his favorite so I wanted to bring it to the party. Everyone loved it including out of town guests who loaded  up for their road trip.

The drink station.

The red plastic tub held ice while the other two were for dropping off used drinking jars. It worked out to be a nice system. 

Can you tell we are Southern?

For the final party post, we'll head out to the patio.
Posting to Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Spoonful of Sugar Dessert Buffet

A little sugar makes everything better.

Posting more photos of the graduation party. 
(You can see the cookie bar here and the food table here.)

I planned to do a fancy cake. But in the end, we just ordered from the bakery at Publix. I have to say it was the most deliciously moist cake ever. I asked them to put strawberries on top. They were the best part!
 Of course, the chocolate was for me. The Doc's favorite dessert is banana pudding.

After finishing up the photos, I will share some of these recipes in a later post. Let's just say this is probably the easiest and best pudding you'll ever eat! 

Strawberry Shortcake was our 3rd selection for desserts. 

Blogging buddy Laura commented on my last post and asked, "do you mean you're going to post about your hubby when you say the shuga?" lol  Well, he is a sweetheart let me tell you. He gave me more credit than I deserved in a little speech at the party. Made me cry!
And I got some "shuga" at the graduation. I told him, "let me kiss the money." haha That's a joke because residents hardly make any money. I should have said, "let me kiss the debt."

Here are a couple of more things inside.
Kitchen chalkboard.

 The credenza held his degrees and awards and was also a place to drop gifts.

A tribute to his father and grandfather who were surely smiling down on him.  It was very emotional for us that my father in law was absent. Sure wish he could have lived to see this day.

I will take you outside in the next post.
Posting to Mod Mix Monday at Mod Vintage Life