Sunday, April 29, 2012

All Things White and Beautiful-Post Redux!

I was in the car taking the Sweetwater Daughter to the airport....
The conversation turned to the fact that exactly a year ago she was encouraging me to start blogging!
Her encouragement resulted in "Sweetwater Style"....who'd a thunk it?

I took my own little trip down memory lane and started reading some of my first posts.
I had some good ideas....
but as with anything that you are just learning to do...
They are/were pretty different than my latest things.

So this week I am going to revisit and update some of those first posts!
Kinda tricky, as I am too busy to do many new projects this week!
This post was published in June.... here it is again updated!

All Things White and Beautiful-Sweetwater Style

My ongoing big project last summer was to repaint all of the white woodwork in our lower level....

and it took me the whole summer to do it. 

The time and expense of  using oil based enamel paint was well worth it.

15 years of dust and grime....covered up!
The woodwork almost "glows"!


 We got a new patio door installed....it will need paint!  That will happen when summer break starts THIS year!

All that white paint got me thinking about the color white! Maybe it was looking at all the white specks on my arms and legs or perhaps the fumes from the oil paint!

White really is classic
Here at Sweetwater I use white around the house and in my wardrobe!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ribbit Ribbit! A Froggy Book List!

Disclaimer...this picture is from LAST SUMMER!



I was sittin' on the deck tonight listening to the spring croaking frogs....
I realized that I haven't done a kid's book list post for a while....






Kids love Frogs and Toads!
And since I still think of myself as an "old" kid....
So do I!




Now that I am a grown up...tee hee...

My frog collection has become a bit more sophisticated than it used to be!



This chunky fellow has a bit of an attitude!!!






This little guy likes to hide in the bushes...
or in this case the ferns and lamium!



The self-satisfied grin on this fellow always makes me wonder what he has been up to when we aren't watching!







The pure joy of jumping in the pond....
a welcome thought on a hot summer day!









If you know a frog lover....I have a bunch of fun books to explore!
Read on to see the list....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Planting My Window Boxes

I posted a couple weeks ago about my plans to give my planters a head start!

Our wonderful Mexico trip kept me away from the first planting weekends at The Holasek Greenhouses...
and then it was Easter Weekend....

Finally...last Sunday I actually got to go and do my planting!
What a fun outing this was!

It was gray and stormy outside....but not inside The Holasek Greenhouses!


The whole place was buzzing....and we were inside listening to the rain on the roof!
It actually smelled like summer....what a treat!

I really can't say enough nice things about how organized the folks at Holasek are!
They have these events running like clockwork!
And last Sunday was a fundraiser for Breast Cancer....$5 from each purchase was donated!




Just think....for just the cost of the plants....we had the chance to plant 8 planters....

which are now happily awaiting May 15th when they can come home to Sweetwater.



All the while the planters are staying warm, getting watered and fertilized!



 And the best part.....all the dirt stayed on the floor at Holasek!!!!

I can hardly wait until it is time to pick them up...the deck is looking a little bare with the window boxes completely empty!

Besides....those Holasek Greenhouse folks know what they are doing....when I go to get my planters I am just gonna HAVE to buy some other plants....don't cha know?
Look at this petunia....isn't it a gorgeous color?   HMMMM!

 Have a wonderful week!


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Photo Editing Fun!

I have all these vacation pictures that I would love to show you....
But I wouldn't do that to you!
I like you too much to bore you like that!

But how's this for sneaky?
I will show you some of the photos....
and show you a couple of photo editing tools you can use for free or almost free!

I never used Picnik....or at least not very often...
I know that lots of you did...
and
But now "the Picnik" is over.....and I bet some of you are trying out other photo editing sites.

Read on to see couple of really nice options that I think are every bit as good as Picnik...
Oh...and you will get to see some of our vacation pics too....tee hee!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Fabric Remnant Rug!



I took a quick trip to the fabric store on Saturday.

I really went to find fabric for a baby blanket....

I got that but look at the great remnant that I found for $4.00!

I figured I would use it someday....tee hee!


Sunday morning, I started to make the baby blanket.....and things didn't go so well!!!
Do you ever start a project and have it turn into a PROJECT!!!!????
That is what happened to me....I will post about this whole snafu when I finally get it done!

I have learned over the years that when a sewing project isn't going well....just put it aside and do something else!
Sewing is supposed to be FUN....NOT frustrating!




I decided to use my pretty remnant to make a new rug for the powder room!
I knew this was a quick project that would turn out!
I think it did!

Read on to learn how I did it....in less than an hour!




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cabin Cooking Mexican Style!

I haven't told you much about our vacation at the "Colima Cabin" in Manzanillo...


It was wonderful....
and although my tan is fading....
it's a rainy Sunday....time to remember those wonderful sunny days!

Usually people come back from vacation and rave about the wonderful restaurants they discovered.....
those fancy places....
those little out of the way spots.... 
 Manzanillo has those...and we have eaten at lots of them in past years!
Dolphin Cove Inn is a great breakfast spot just a 5 minute walk away 
with a beautiful view of the harbor.
 Hotel Tesoro....an elegant hotel with great...but expensive food!
Right on Audencia Beach....with fabulous views day or night.
 La Recíf....an expensive cab ride to a gorgeous upscale restaurant. 


But would you believe that we only went out to eat dinner ONCE on our WHOLE ten day trip!
Yep....me....the queen of take out and restaurant eating here in Minnesota....
cooked every day ON VACATION!
WHY...you might ask!


  1. Because we had nothing but time....
  2. Because the "cabin" is so "all inclusive"
  3. Because the fresh food from the markets is so amazing!
  4. Because it seemed more relaxing!
  5. Because I am really a pretty good cook!
  6. Once we got started....it was like a challenge to see if we could!



Look at some of the great food we enjoyed!





Our breakfasts were simple....

Pastry or French Toast for me...

Omelets with
Chorizo and Tortillas for Mr. S. ( I was too busy cooking to get a photo of that!)





A typical mid afternoon snack.....
fresh pico di gallo and guacamole!

Chopped onion, sweet peppers, tomato, cilantro, lime  and a dash of tequila!





 These grilled shrimp are so fresh....they hardly taste like the same food as here at home....








 After several years of  unsuccessfully looking for cocktail sauce in the local markets....we got smart and brought some prepared horseradish in our suitcase....
 add it to a little catsup....cocktail sauce!

Some grilled potatoes and some garlic toasts rounded out this meal....







These are our own version of a dish served in a little restaurant called La Cabaña de Gaus....they are called "Vampiros"

They are made with sauteed onion and Chorizo on a wheat tortilla.
Some pico di gallo....freshly  made....
Sprinkle on some Cheese and Cilantro!
Grill on a griddle until bubbly....





I even made a Flan for dessert....

from a box...but still!

And you have to give me extra credit for reading the directions in Spanish!!








I served the meal  with this view

and a few glasses of wine!









We also had snacks at the beach.....with the addition of margaritas and  cervezas...



Don't you agree that the culinary part of our trip was about as good as it could be!
And it was pretty thrifty too!!

Oh....and if you were worried that I have started to cook every night here at home....
Not so much! 
We are back to our old pattern of take out and restaurants again!
I wouldn't want Mr. S. to get any ideas!

Linky Parties
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Use What I've Got-Early Spring Planters

Spring is here in Minnesota...sort of!

 The warm weather we had in March was wonderful....all the perennials in the garden have come up and there is a lot of green in the garden.

Alas...it is still a whole month before it will be safe to plant annuals.
 
 I planned to go out and buy some pansies to add some early color to the planters......

but when we returned the tulips and daffodils were in bloom and the gardens were full of green.

It just didn't feel like I needed to buy anything...
and yet the planters were certainly looking "naked"....



 Instead of heading to the store.... 
I decided this would be a good way to challenge myself to "Use what I've Got"!

Read on to see the results!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Spring Clothes From Goodwill!

I was having a little "Goodwill withdrawal" yesterday....so I just had to solve that!
I was hoping to find some fun spring clothes....
And I did!

I just love when Goodwill shopping gets social!



 A lovely lady walked up to me with this great jacket....she said "You've got to try this on...it is a CABi-probably worth $100 and it doesn't fit me....maybe it will work for you!"  And it did!

Thanks lady!








 My white jeans took a real beating on our Mexico trip....they were already getting a little worn...


GW Score!









Would you believe these are the exact brand and size of my old ones!  I think the GW Fairies were watching over me!

















And look at this fun skirt from Talbots!  One button is missing-but that is a simple fix!
















Our new little great-nephew....Kyzer will soon be sporting...






 this cute little OshKosh Vest












and a Viking's Sweatshirt!















And there is more!



These 2 pans will be great to use to cook vegetables on the grill....$2 each....so it won't matter that they will get all grungy...when they do...we can throw them out!







This great looking $2 vase has a flower frog built in!


Too funny that I just posted about finding flower frogs at thrift stores....and there was one just calling my name!






 And finally....$2 each for these 5 dinner trays that are in perfect condition and the perfect color!


They will be perfect for taking snacks to the firepit this summer!








Wow....you can't beat that!

Total cost.....Ten items for $42!

Gotta love it!

Here's wishing YOU great luck on YOUR next Thrift Store outing!

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