Monday, March 26, 2012

Teddy Bear Tea Party

I can't believe my baby girl has turned 5 years old! For her birthday this year, I wanted to do something she would really love. Since she loves to dress up and loves to play with her dolls and stuffed animals, I decided to make this year's party a Teddy Bear Tea Party.
We set everything up on my parent's screen porch.

We had treat cups with teddy-shaped cookies and gummies:
 We had teddy-shaped PB & J sandwiches. I used a cookie cutter to cut out the bread teddies and laid them flat in gallon freezer bags to freeze them. I did this about a week ahead, which saved lots of time. I didn't make the sandwiches til the morning of the party, though, because I was afraid the jelly would seep through the bread.
And of course, there was a teddy bear cake:

On the invitation, I asked each child to wear her (or his) favorite pretend dress-up clothes and bring a favorite stuffed animal. When they arrived I took their picture in an old rocker covered with a quilt. I am using iphoto to antique the photos. I don't like the way my printer prints, so I am sending them off to be printed. I will give them to each child when they come back.
The first game we payed was "Musical Bears". The children stood in a circle passing a bear around while we played music. When the music stopped, the child holding the bear came out of the circle and got a treat cup (pictured above). I gave them something because a party should be a happy time- being "out" is NOT happy. :) The last child in the circle got a new teddy bear as a prize.
Next, we made teddy bear necklaces. I found the kits online (cheap!) at  (This is also where I got most of the decorations, along with my local Dollar Tree. Birthday parties should be fun- but they shouldn't leave you broke!)  The necklaces were a big hit.

Finally, came the pinata. We hung a teapot pinata (also from Oriental Trading) from the apple tree. I had filled it with toys (yes, also from oriental) rather than candy. 

I think everyone had a good time. (I know I did!)
Oh- and a highlight of the day-
My husband found a blue-tail lizard. Kids LOVE lizards! (Well, ours do, anyway...) Here they are stalking the lizard:

Of course, they let him go...eventually....
He is probably off under a rock somewhere warning his lizard buddies to stay away from birthday parties......

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gourds & Gardening (A Busy Week)

I meant to do a daily blog this week. However, we were so busy, all I did was get a few pictures in. I was off this past week, since schools were out, so I tried to make the most of the time I had.
 My seedlings were getting leggy and needed to be re-potted. As you can see from the photo, I don't use fancy flower pots. I used recycled soft drink and juice bottles. I use Metro Mix from the local Farm & Garden Center. A bag that I can't even lift (really) costs about $15.
 I let the tomato seedlings get a little leggy, then I plant them up to their true leaves. That long, white stem will grow roots all over, making the plants stronger. (Works for me, anyway...)
These are flowers, mostly delphiniums. I also re-potted some fig-leaved hollyhocks and a few herbs. I WISH I had a greenhouse, but I don't. I have a potting bench outside. Good enough, I guess.
We planted onion, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage this week. I had planned on getting them out earlier, but it has just been too rainy. Honestly, the garden could have used another turning, but we needed to make the most of the time we had. Hopefully, we can turn the rest of the garden before anything else goes out.
 This is my sweet helper putting compost into the onion holes. We used double staggered rows for the onions and cabbage this time. I've never tried it before, but I read how it was great for saving room. We'll see.....
Here is my helper putting water in the holes.  She was having fun. :)
We also checked the strawberries to see if any were coming up yet.  These were looking pretty good:
 We had to add a few replacement plants, too. Hopefully, they will all be coming up soon. The strawberry planter is a 3-tier pyramid that my husband built a few years ago.
I've had some gourds drying in the shed all winter. I left them on the vine until the vine died, then I brought them into our 3-sided shed. I placed them where the air could circulate around them but where they hopefully wouldn't be disturbed. Sadly, one of my dogs did, indeed "disturb" a few of them.
I decided to make bowls out of the ones with broken necks.  I took the ones we want to use for birdhouses to my dads.  He has a hole bit for his drill.  Honestly, I should have cleaned them first.  I do things out of order sometimes.....

He put drainage holes in the bottoms, and a couple holes in the sides for circulation. Then, he put holes in the top for hanging.

He put 1 1/2" holes in each gourd. This is the standard size for bluebirds. One of the gourds is really too small for bluebirds, but we went with a 1 1/2" hole in it also.

We cleaned them out and saved the seeds.
We added wire for hanging.

And here they are awaiting inspiration.....
I'll post pics later...
Have a wonderful week!
Beth :o)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tex Mex Scrambled Eggs

An easy and yummy way to start the morning.
For each person you need:
1/2 c. your favorite salsa (thick)
2 eggs beaten & seasoned with salt & pepper
about 1/8 cup finely diced onion
about 1/8 cup finely diced bell pepper
garlic to taste (optional)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 sliced green onion
2 T. butter (a little extra may be needed.)

Heat salsa in a small pan & keep warm.
Melt butter in a skillet. Add onion (not green onion) and bell pepper.
Cook until almost done. Add garlic now, if desired.
If you need to add more butter before adding the eggs, do it now.
Add the eggs and scramble with onions & peppers until done.
Transfer to a plate and top with cheese, salsa, and green onion.
You can add a little sour cream it you wish.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Flea Market Day

What a beautiful day! We decided to drive over to the flea market in Collinsville just to see what we could see.  In the south, actually, local flea markets are usually called "Trade Days". Collinsville is open every Saturday. You can buy ANYTHING there. In the summer I love to buy flowers there. You can find things there you can't find anywhere else.
 I usually come back loaded down with plants (and a guinea or chicken or two), but today we didn't buy much at all. I did see these daffodils:
I loved these, because of the peach-colored center. I had never seen any like this. The man selling them actually told me the name of them...but I forgot. :( I bought a few. I love finding new plants!
We also bought a new bluebird house. We only bought one, for the pattern. David can use the measurements from this one to make more.
Like I said, when I go to Collinsville I normally come back loaded down. Today, daffodils and a bird house were my only purchases.  If we have good weather, we will go to Trade Day in Summerville this coming Tuesday morning.
We planted the daffodils around a tree in our front yard.
I finally got to use the new cobra-head cultivator/ weeder I bought at Baker Creek (  I really like it. I just wish it had a longer handle.

Well, I'm off this week, so I hope to get a few things put into the garden.  We turned it a week ago, but we haven't had the time to do anything with it. I can't wait to get out there and get started!!!
Beth :o)