Thursday, February 28, 2013

Placemats for a Round Table

Our breakfast nook off the kitchen has a glass top round table.  We love the table because visually it doesn't take up any space and the view out the window is actually what we see.

Our dilemma lies in the fact that we have rectangular placemats that are perfect for any other table but don't actually look right on the round table.  We have searched in the kitchen, household, and department stores in our area and believe it or not, have not been able to find any placemats that would fit a round table.

Our search continued online and we found the coolest peppermint swirl round placemat and several others as you can see below.

Set of 4 PCS,17" ROUND Placemats, RED PEPPERMINT

Placemats for a Round Table by Dining in the Round
Dining in the Round

Luxury Placemats for a Round Table by BC Design Partners
Luxury Placemats for a Round Table

Placemats for a Round Table by Shannon Sews
Placemats for Two at a Round Table


Sid over at Sid's In Stitches came up with a nice tutorial for placemats that fit a round table.  Since I'm usually one for a DIY project, I thought about using Sid's tutorial as my jumping off point to make my own placemats.  Aren't they cool?  I really like the fact that they are double sided.  As Sid says, if one side gets dirty over breakfast, flip them over and clean placemats for dinner!  (I paraphrased - she actually said it much better)

Placemats for a Round Table by Sid's in Stitiches
Placemats for a Round Table

As soon as I complete my creations for our breakfast table, I'll show you how I did it.  Hey! An actual tutorial by me...


P.S.,  If you choose to purchase the peppermint placemats through the link (to amazon), you will be helping this website stay alive.

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Substance of Living

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Prayer...


Little Girl Praying
Source
Hi Lord, its me. 
We are getting older and things are getting bad here.
Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs too high.
I know some have taken you out of our schools, government and even Christmas, but Lord I'm asking you to come back and re-bless us.
 
We really need you! There are more of us who want you than those who don't! 
 
Thank You Lord, I love you.

 


"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
 

This was another wonderful email I received and couldn't resist sharing.  Please keep sending me your thoughts, jokes, quotes, and of course stop by anytime to just say "hello".

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Substance of Living

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

You will forever and always be my Sweet Valentine.


How do you and your special Valentine spend the evening?  Do you go out to a nice restaurant, purchase a beautiful card or exchange gifts?  Do you send roses or a bouquet of balloons?

DH and I used to do all that.  In fact, we still do to a certain degree.  One year we might go out and splurge and another year, like this year, we will stay in.  (Staying within the full-disclosure guidelines, DH and I will celebrate with friends at a restaurant the day before).

I thought we might have the following romantic dinner menu and present DH with a heart pillow Lilly and I made him. (Promise to show you how she and I made this) 
Heart Pillow
Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine Dinner Menu

Porcini Crusted Tofu with Shallot Gravy by Post Punk Kitchen
Porcini Crusted Tofu with Shallot Gravy

Sweet Heart Valentine's Day Cocktail by Celebrations at Home
Sweet Heart Valentine's Day Cocktail

Decadent Truffles by Substance of Living
Decadent Truffles

Hope you have a wonderful evening.  Sharing Valentine's day with a special someone is always nice, but it can be just as great with the whole family.

You are the most precious Valentine you can give yourself.

P.S., How was your Valentine's Day?  What did you eat?  Did you make or purchase anything fun?

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Substance of Living

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Host Your Own Mardi Gras Party

Whether you have been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or not, you can still host your own Fat Tuesday celebration with ease and confidence.

Follow the suggestions below and all your guests will be happy.  We have something for those that like the traditional fare as well as vegan and gluten-free.  There are also two types of the ever-popular drink -- The Hurricane.
 

The Decor

If you love Halloween, then you are going to really like Mardi Gras.  The official colors for Halloween are Black and Orange.  However, coming off Christmas, you get to continue with vibrant colors.  Mardi Gras colors are purple, gold, and green.

Ginger at Deep Fried Kudzu starts our party off with a beautiful wreath on the front door. 
Mardi Gras Ornament Wreath


Mardi Gras is a bit of a cross between a Masquerade Party and Halloween.  Decorating the house over the top with feathers, masks, beads, and streamers is a must.  In addition, everyone gets to dress up in harlequin, black, and all the fun colors.  Check out this table scape by Kendall from Kendall's Entertaining Life.

Mardi Gras Table by Kendall's Entertaining Life
Mardi Gras Party Decorations

The Menu

Now that we have the house decorated, let's take a look at the menu.  New Orleans is known for its cajun spicy dishes.  So, we'll have some spicy food, King's Cake to satisfy our sweet tooth and pay homage to the three kings.  Oh, we didn't forget a couple other items that are a New Orleans/Mardi Gras tradition.  Keep reading...


We will start the menu with Shrimp Etoufee brought to us by Buttery Books.
Shrimp Etoufee by Buttery Books
Shrimp Etoufee


Tonight is about everyone so we have a Vegan Etoufee, courtesy of Susan from FatFree Vegan Kitchen,  for those who are vegan, vegetarian, trying to get a little more vegetables in their diet, or still sticking with their New Year's Resolution to eat a bit healthier.  :-)
Vegan Etoufee by FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Vegan Etoufee

For the meat lovers, here is a Jambalaya dish The Two Bite Club has cooked up for us.
Laura's Jambalaya by The Two Bite Club
Laura's Jambalaya


Heidi over at The Conscious Perspective is providing us with a vegan version of jambalaya for our Mardi Gras party.
Vegan Jambalaya

Feeling a little thirsty yet?  How about quenching your taste buds with a powerful hurricane?  Do you ever watch The Food Network Channel?  If so, then you've probably caught an episode or two (or at least heard) of The Neelys.  Patrick and Gina Neely came up with a true Southern Hurricane for those who are of the legal age to enjoy.
Hurricane by The Neelys on the Food Network
Hurricane by Patrick and Gina Neely


Is one Hurricane enough for you?  "Wait a minute, Marie.  Isn't this party supposed to have something for everyone?  What about those who aren't quite of the proper age or don't drink alcohol?"  I hear ya!  Never fear.  We have a family friendly Hurricane for everyone to enjoy.  In fact, Holidays Central came up with this particular beverage as well as some others you might like to try.
Non-Alcoholic Hurricane by Holidays Central
Non-Alcoholic Hurricane


Carol Fenster has made some light and fluffy beignets.  Years ago there was a stand in the New Orleans airport that sold beignets and whether I needed it or not, a bag of beignets and a cup of cafe au lait went on the plane with me.  Now, with Carol's help, these can be made in the comfort of our own home!
Gluten Free French Beignets by Carol Fenster
Gluten Free French Beignets

After our beignet detour, are you ready for the official dessert of Mardi Gras?  It is the King Cake.  Traditionally, it is in a bundt style shape, half cake/half bread texture, and decorated with Gold, Purple, and Green.  Also, a porcelain baby or uncooked bean (lima or something on that order) is placed inside the cake somewhere.  The lucky person who gets the surprise is usually crowned king or queen for the day and gets to bring the cake and/or host the next Mardi Gras celebration.

Jeanne Sauvage of Art of Gluten-Free Baking has a wonderful recipe as well as a little history for this King Cake.
Gluten-Free King Cake by Art of Gluten-Free Baking
Gluten-Free King Cake


Sometimes single portions or miniature cakes are the way to go.  Try these Mardi Gras King Cupcakes by Frog Prince Paperie.
Mardi Gras King Cupcakes by Frog Prince Paperie
King Cupcakes

What will you serve at your Mardi Gras Party?  Please link your posts with us showcasing your decorations, projects, menu, or celebrations.



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Substance of Living

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fescue Lawn Maintenance Schedule

Fescue Lawn by Outsidepride.com
Fescue Lawn

DH has this thing about our grass while I tend to be more about the plants in the yard.  Our differences make us a good team, as I'm sure you can understand.

I don't remember who gave us this schedule to care for our fescue lawn but it never failed us.  We followed this schedule and had the most beautiful lawn.  It was lush, thick, healthy, and weed-free.  We have shared our "little secret" throughout the years one at a time and now we'd like to share it with you.

The time schedule may have to be moved a bit depending on your region; we are in the Carolinas.

Fescue Lawn Maintenance Schedule

  • February 25 (or somewhere between February 20th and March 1st) - Fertilize and Crabgrass Preventor
  • March 7 - Lime 30 pounds/1000 square feet
  • April 7 - Weed and Feed
  • May 20 - Fertilize and Crabgrass Preventor
  • June 15 - Lime 20 pounds/1000 square feet
  • July - Iron Chelate
  • August - Iron Chelate
  • September 4 - Aerate, Lime 30 pounds/1000 square feet, Fertilize 10-10-10 10 pounds/1000 square feet, Seed
  • October 10 - (5 weeks after seeding) Fertilize Starter 18-25-10 6 pounds/1000 square feet
  • November 20 - (5 weeks after fertilizing) Fertilize, Weed and Feed


P.S.,  What type of lawn do you have and what maintenance schedule do you use?

Please share me with your friends! Please forward this post to your friends or better yet share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  THANKS!  Your comments and help in spreading the news about this site is ALWAYS appreciated!  Be sure to sign up to receive future articles delivered directly to your inbox.
Substance of Living