Sunday, January 29, 2012

♥♥ ♫♪ Valentines Day Preparations ♪♫ ♥♥

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We're full of fun ♥♥♥♥'s & other SWEET

Valentines Day preparations here at The Gazebo House.

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I had to try filling my apothecary jar with

pretty cupcake liners after I saw

darling display idea Kathy did on Kathys Cottage

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BJ, over at Sweet Nothings is having a

little give-away of some of those same

Mary Engelebreit cupcake liners,

so pop on over to her place & sign up.

They're A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!

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Ms. C. was here for a visit &

hung red felt ♥♥♥'s in our sunroom windows.

Don't you the contrast of them,

against the white snow?

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I've got a shaped wreath on the front door

that pays homage to my love of tennis.

*I've been playing weekly for over 25 yrs now*

I was inspired by Karen’s glasses holder from Sew Many Ways

(Did you SEE her sewing room??? TDF!!!)

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So I redid this little metal hanging ???? envelope???

whatever it is....was pale pink & green.

I sprayed it white but I think it needs another coat.

*note to self...don't buy the cheap spray paint EVER again*

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I've tucked in some of the many SWEET cards my honey has

given me over the past 25 years.

Yes, I've saved EVERY. SINGLE. ONE!

(plus the ones from my grands)

Someday he'll be gone & I want to be able to go back to

read the SWEET words he wrote to me while still alive.


Speaking of painting, I sprayed the above lantern

with oil rubbed bronze & it looks

SOOOO much better now,

don't you think?

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It is especially pretty at night with the little battery

operated tea light inside.

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I'm still trying to think of something creative to do with this vintage floral container. I'm not talented enough to make a sideways flower arrangement in it.

Look at all the wonderful ways to fill vintage containers.


Any suggestions on how to gussy mine up a bit???

I'm joining Susan's, Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday meme,

a rare treat for me!

I don't usually have very many

"Before & After" changes to share.

I'm also joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life

for her

Table Top Tuesday party &

The Tablescaper for

Seasonal Sundays

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

I hope you have a very SWEET start to your week.



Friday, January 27, 2012

Marinated Green Beans with Extra Garlic & Peppers

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A few years ago, we took a fabulous tour of Italy,
starting in Rome with an audience
with the Polish Pope, John Paul II
(us + 200 others!)
(my husband is of Polish heritage,
so this was extra special to him)
then going all the way down
the west side of the country,
we went past Anzio beach
where his older brother had landed during WWII.
Whizzing past Naples, we toured the ruins of Pompei,
(yes, we saw the *dirty pictures* on the walls)
We went to the beautiful Almafi coast,
and enjoyed Limoncello in Capri,

saw the BLUE Grotto
then motored back up to Florence

where we walked what felt like
every single mile of that beautiful city.
We also stayed in Venice, Italy
where we saw St. Marks Cathedral

and where I purchased some beautiful cutwork linens
(you can see some of them HERE)
right there, in the square.
I'm still trying to replicate their yummy pizza we ate for lunch!

Final stop was the European fashion capital of Milan
where we saw the ornate Duomo cathedral
The construction began in 1296 &
it is STILL the largest brick dome ever constructed.

We saw the world renowned La Scala opera house, too.
Throughout the trip, we enjoyed many WONDERFUL meals
but while driving between cities on the Autostrada,
we had lunch, cafeteria style,
at their rest stops where they
served the most delicious, room temperature
marinated green beans.
I have attempted, for years,
to duplicate that recipe,
to no avail but
when I tried this one by Marcella Hazen
featured at Mary's blog,
I knew I had found it!
Thank you, Mary!
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I had been mistakenly using either red wine or balsamic
vinegar in my attempts. It needed the much milder
touch of white wine or champagne vinegar to
duplicate the flavors of Italy.
Occasionally, I add red, orange or yellow peppers
to the recipe for a spark of color.

Marinated Green Beans with Extra Garlic & Peppers

Marinated Green Beans with Garlic & Peppers ~ adapted from Marcella Hazen & One Perfect Bite

1 pound fresh green beans

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar (Do NOT substitute red or balsamic!)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed ~we LOVE garlic so feel free to use more if you do, too~

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
red, orange or yellow pepper strips (optional)

Mix parsley, basil, oregano, onion, garlic & vinegar in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Let them marinate for 30 minutes.

Snap off ends of green beans, rinse & drop them into boiling salt water.
Drain beans while still very firm.
Add warm green beans to bowl with vinegar & herbs, then toss in the peppers now, too, if using them.
Marinate for at least 1 hour but you can leave them in as much as 5-6 hours.
Shake the bowl occasionally to make sure everything gets coated.
Serve beans at room temperature, adding olive oil and salt and pepper to taste just before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Printable Recipe HERE.

I'll be partying with Michael Lee at
for her
Won't you come join in the fun?

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House.
I sure wish we had digital cameras when we took that tour.
All my photos are stuck in albums so I had to mooch some
from the web. I have given credit to each...its the
proper thing to do when you "borrow" others photos!
Oh & since this post fits into the parameters of Donna's
I'll be linking up with her, too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

♥♥ National Pie Day is January 23rd! ♥♥

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Every year, we celebrate National Pie Day on January 23rd!

Lemon meringue is MY very most favorite of all time &

my sweet hubby makes it for me on my birthday each year.


It is also Ms. C's favorite flavor to share with her dollies.

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My hubby's favorite kind is APPLE &

I make it for HIM every year on HIS birthday!

He like BIG pies...

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but we like little ones, too!


Last year, it seems CHERRY was a

frequent choice.


Topped with sparkles of sanding sugar!



But when PEACH season rolls around,

THAT one becomes the favorite!





I hope you get to eat some pie today!

I'm making lemon meringue ones for my

*Smock & Talk* group's visit tomorrow.

Hopefully, I'll remember to capture some

photos before we start to eat.

Thanks for stopping by &

Happy National Pie Day!

(I still say it should be moved to


I'm joining The Tablescaper


Seasonal Sunday

Sunday, January 22, 2012

♫ ♥ ♫ My sisters visit me for lunch! ♫ ♥♫

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♫♫ ♥♥♥ ♫♫

so they could sing

Happy Birthday to Meeeeee!

♫♫ ♥♥♥ ♫♫

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Two of my four sisters came to visit last week

to help celebrate my birthday.

The other two live in AZ & CO,

so its a little hard for them to pop over,

but I sure wish they could have joined us!

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I set the table using my Valentines Day

tablerunner that I made last year.

It is a free pattern HERE & was very easy.

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I'm anxious to make another one, only longer.

My kitchen table is 60"x 60",

so its a challenge.

There are lots of darling ♥♥♥ prints out right now

at JoAnn's Fabric.

Did you know they are also carrying April Cornell fabrics??

Woo-Hoo...I see some pretty tablecloths

with matching napkins in my very near future.

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You're probably sick of seeing these same dishes

again & again but they are some of my favorites.

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I ♥♥♥ RED & I ♥♥♥ Polka-dots...what can I say?

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Since my younger sister is a Vegan &

my older sister is a diabetic,

I had an all veggie lunch planned.

Marinated garlic green beans with

RED (what else?) ORANGE & YELLOW peppers.

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and Cowboy Caviar with fresh cilantro.

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Normally, I make it from scratch,

(Printable Recipe HERE)

but my grocery store carries this wonderful

black bean/corn salad to which

I added the fresh cilantro &

some chunky salsa & it was just as good.

Lime flavored tortilla chips were used for scooping.

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They each took home a piece of cake

to enjoy later.

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As part of the decorations, I added

this little drink carrier I recently found

at a thrift store, so I

tucked in some little jars, filled with

both red & white candy & then

tied on ribbons & strips of fabric & selvages.

**Mother, you never throw anything away!**

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I have lots more Valentine REDS to bring out,

especially since my *Smock & Talk* sewing group

is coming here next Tues.

I better get busy!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House

I'm going to join The Tablescaper

for her Seasonal Sunday meme

along with Marty's Tabletop Tuesday

at A Stroll Thru Life

and Susan, Between Naps on the Porch

for Tablescape Thursday.

Thanks Ladies!

Pop on over to visit these gals...lots of inspiration there!



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowy January Decor

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This year, I got smart & every time I carried some of the

Christmas decorations down to the basement,

I brought back up with me,

a box of BLUE & WHITE snowmen!

It seems lots of bloggers use blue & white during January.

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Those are just about the only colors we'll see

here in Ohio for sky & white ground cover!

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My husband always says the way to tolerate winter

is to learn to have FUN & play in it.

You can ski, go sled or toboggan riding,

ice skate or cross county ski,

build a snowman or a fort,

have a snowball fight or

just make *snow angels*

while lying on your back.

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We did several of those things with

the grandchildren recently & then came in to warm up.

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We had a little tea party,

using my collection of FUN in the snow plates.

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Some had tea

while others enjoyed hot cocoa

with peppermint candy canes to stir it with.

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These snowmen plates came from Kohls,

(I think)

and the blue stemware are from the Dollar Store.

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We even have some sparkly snowmen on sleds.

I tucked the napkins through the runners

& used them for napkin rings.

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Speaking of "sparkle",

look at these GORGEOUS notecards

that I recently won from Kathi at South Bay Studio!

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The snow scene glitters!

These are her own hand drawings,

done on a wonderfully high quality, heavy weight paper.

You can see the texture in the photo below:

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Can you see the deckle edges that are on

both the cards as well as the envelopes?

(she calls them "feather edged")

Love that touch!

These blank cards were PERFECT

for all my Christmas "thank you" notes.

She has many different styles to chose from.

In fact, they just got home from Maui &

she painted a tree that was on the beach!

To see it & more, pop on over to

South Bay Studio

Thank you so much, Kathi,

for my lovely win in your give-away!

I'm joining Susan at

Between Naps on The Porch


Metamorphasis Monday

The Tablescaper

for her Seasonal Sunday

as well as Marty at

A Stroll Thru Life

for her

Tabletop Tuesday.

Be sure to visit their blogs to see

what others are doing this January.