Monday, May 30, 2011

Carrot & Pineapple Muffins (Sugar & Dairy free)

Several weeks ago, our oldest daughter was diagnosed with an intolerance to dairy and sugar. She has been checking out some new recipes so that she can eat more along the lines of what is healthy for her. This is one of the recipes she found. Since we could all benefit from less sugar, I decided to make it the other day and try them out! They were very good. A very moist muffin. Definitely a keeper! I thought you may like to try them too. Let me know what you think.

Carrot & Pineapple Muffins

1/4 C honey
1/2 C veg oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 C grated carrots
1 C unsweetened, crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 C chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Combine the honey, oil and beaten eggs in a medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Mix together well. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir just until blended. Add vanilla, grated carrots, pineapple and walnuts. (We omitted the walnuts and added some frozen cranberries and a few raisins) Stir until just blended. Line muffin cups with paper liners and fill 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen fairly large muffins.

**Note: I found it took the full 20 minutes. I used all the batter in 12 muffin cups. They were more than 2/3 full. If you fill them only 2/3 full, as the recipe states, you can probably get 14-15 muffins and only cook them for 15 minutes. :0)

I am joining:
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Traditional Tuesday at Whole New Mom
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Friday, May 27, 2011

It's not Thanksgiving, but. . .

I'm trying to live in an attitude of thanks these days.
That isn't always easy for me. How about you?

You see, it has been raining for weeks now. Weeks. Ummm. . . W e e k s.

It has been raining for weeks, but my community hasn't been eaten up by fire.
And, I'm thankful.

It has been raining for weeks, but my home and/or livelihood has not been ruined by flood waters.
And, I'm thankful.

It has been raining for weeks, but I'm not searching through piles of rubble for missing family members.
And, I'm so thankful.

It's been raining for weeks now.
My heart goes out to the people of Slave Lake, AB, to the people in Manitoba and Quebec, and to the people of Joplin, Missouri.

You too?


Linking to {Titus2}sdays at Time-Warp-Wife
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Celebration of New Leaf (Life)!!

Today I'm inviting you to join me for a cup of coffee. Let's just sit and chat while I share with you the story behind my table setting. It is in celebration of the leaves bursting out on the trees!! They have just started to open up. We have had so much rain in our little corner of the world, that if we get a few days of sun, everything is going to POP!!


The inspiration for this table came from my little green leaf plates. I generally use them in the fall. I'm not sure why, but I haven't thought of them as "springy," until now. The green color of the plates is almost the same as in the tablecloth. I picked up this tablecloth for $3 at Marden's on one of my trips to Maine. It is double the size you see. I have folded it in half for my smaller table today.


The burlap place mats continue the theme. Protective burlap wraps are taken off trees and shrubs in spring time, and new life bursts forth.



I have used hemp cord to tie on pewter leaves as napkin rings. They are really Christmas tree decorations. I bought several different ones in December. I knew I wouldn't use them as tree ornaments. I felt sure they would be a part of my fall decor...

The purple napkins have leaves on them. They match my fall table cloth...

Do you see a pattern developing here?? *wink*

Flexibility is the name of the game in decorating.


Purple looks so nice with green. I immediately thought of my pansies that I had purchased the week before. Pansies are one of my favorite flowers. I had them sitting on the counter in the kitchen. I know I will soon have to give them up, and let them enjoy their new home in my deck pots for the summer. But I'm keeping them inside with me for just awhile longer.


Several years ago I picked up two of these little birdhouses in purple, and three yellow ones. They were on a clearance shelf in a little gift shop.


See the tiny little bird nest snuggled in amongst the pansy plants. My son climbed a tree to get this nest for me.


I snipped a few branches from one of my trees and stuck them in among the pansy plants. You can tell that the leaves are just starting to open.

This little table sits in the corner of our dining room. I generally use it as a dessert table. Beautiful mahogany wood sits hidden under my table cloth today. It belonged to a former employer of my father. This gentleman had taken it all apart to refinish it and never got around to completing it. He lost interest, and my father rescued the table from upstairs in a warehouse and refinished it. With love, he gave it to my husband and I as a dining room table when we built our 2nd home.


This little cream and sugar on the matching plate is another precious gift from my dad.

The silver spoons are two of a mish mash collection. I love silver cutlery, and keep a collection of odd spoons in a cream pitcher beside my coffee maker on the kitchen counter. Here are a few more. I love how they are all different.



Thank you so much for visiting with me today. I have truly enjoyed our time together. I would like to leave you with this thought.

Please don't leave all your "special dishes" packed away in boxes, and china cabinets. Bring them out, dust them off, and use them. No one is more special than your family, and the loved one that you associate with that special item, will seem closer when you are using it!


All photos taken by Nicole at Nicole Payzant Photography

I will be joining the following blog parties this week.

Tablescape Thursday at "Between Naps on the Porch"
Show and Tell Fridays at "My Romantic Home"
Feathered Nest Friday at "French Country Cottage"
Home Sweet Home Friday at "The Charm of Home"
Inspiration Friday at "At The Picket Fence"
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

~Victoria Day~

Victoria Day is a federal Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the last Monday on or before May 24, in honor of both Queen Victoria's birthday and the current reigning Canadian Sovereign's official birthday. It is sometimes informally considered as marking the beginning of the summer season in Canada. The holiday has been observed since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign's actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country on the fixed date. (Wikipedia)

Victoria Day, to me, is definitely the unofficial beginning of summer. My grandparents, used this date as permission to plant their annuals. Although I believe it has been safe this year, to plant prior to this weekend, I still have not put any annuals in my pots. I'm quite a traditionalist, and it just didn't seem right. I did put a couple new perennials in the ground last weekend, but my annuals are still at the garden center waiting for me!

The other duty that falls to many on the Victoria Day weekend, is the opening of the cottage, trailer, camp etc. We will open our trailer this weekend. The bedding is all freshly laundered, and ready to go. I will give the trailer a good cleaning, wash up the dishes, and prepare for another season of camping. The family all is preparing in their own way for this weekend. Hubby is getting ready to build a shed by the trailer. Daughter #1 is going to be taking Daughter #2's graduation photos. They are excited to do this in the field near the trailer. Our son has been working on his RC car in preparation for driving it around the field, and through the river. I wonder if it will still be in working order when we come home Monday?? ;0)

Wherever your path takes you this weekend, I hope you are able to squeeze in some rest and relaxation and a bit of fun too!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

House Renovation!

I was able to complete three house renovations on the weekend. Are you impressed? I sure am! Now, these houses are on the smaller side, so it really only took an afternoon and evening. I was at. . . the Dollarama. . . (I know you are shocked) last week and found the smaller wooden candle holder you see pictured. Then later in the week I found the taller one at a thrift store. (Both cost $1)

The three bird houses below, ( I did say three house renovations!! ) have been in my spring decor for about ten years. In their day, they were cute little bird houses. As the years went by they got dinged up, and the wood started to darken in color. Although I still liked them, their "cuteness factor" had lessened for me. I could feel a renovation coming on. As you can see in the pic below, I almost forgot to take the "before" picture. I started to paint the tallest house black, when I suddenly remembered to take a picture.


A coat of black paint
(the wooden candle holders were painted black as well)

Everything then got a coat of white paint.

I took a small sandpaper pad and scuffed off the paint on the edges. The black shows through in those spots. Then I glued two of the houses to the candle holders.

Voila! Reno complete!

I will be joining the following blog parties:
Metamorphosis Monday at "Between Naps on the Porch"
Marvelously Messy
Show & Tell Wednesday at "Blue Cricket Design"
Wow us Wednesday at "Savvy Southern Style"
Good Life Wednesday at "A Beach Cottage"
Workshop Wednesday at "Goodbye City, Hello Suburb"
All Things Inspired at "All Things Heart & Home"
Newby Party at "Debbiedoo's"
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Container Gardening

By the end of this month, in my neck of the woods, it will be time to head to the garden center and pick out some annuals for my deck pots. In an attempt to become inspired, and not resort to the same layout on my deck as I do every year, I have been collecting some ideas online, and thought I would share them with you.

Last fall our community held a "free yard sale". A date was advertised, and you simply placed anything you did not want anymore at the end of your driveway and people could take it, for free!! I was able to find an old wicker rocking chair at the end of a driveway just looking for a new home!! Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. I popped the back hatch of the vehicle, and hubby wrangled it in. Watch for an upcoming before/after post, featuring my old/new rocker. I am going to make a plant container out of it, much like the picture above.

Love, love love this idea!

Something old, is new again.

A simple concrete block. Use them like this,
or stack some on their side and plant hanging plants out the side.

I found an old silver kettle, much like this.
You know exactly what I'm going to do with it,
don't you!

Do you have an old plasticized shopping bag you no longer need?

These boots were made for. . . growin!!

Such a cute idea!

You don't have room for a veggie garden
in your backyard?
Put a few veggie plants on your back deck in totes!

Sometimes when toys are outgrown
it is hard to part with them.

An old enamel pee pot. I have one,
and yup you guessed it!

I'm going to put a potted plant in it.

I hope these pictures have inspired you to get your hands in the dirt and enjoy some time outdoors. I know they are making me eager to get started. Gardening is such a rewarding pass time.
Have fun!!

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

-Dorothy Frances Gurney

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Sunday, May 8, 2011


Proverbs 31: 28b

Her children rise up and bless her; (NASB)

Her children respect and bless her; (MSG)

Her children praise her, (CEV)

Her children arise and call her blessed; (NIV)

Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) (AMP)

Anyway you say it, my mom is a gift. And I love her.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pink & Green for Mother's Day

Welcome to my dining room. It is all prepped for our Mother's Day dinner. We celebrate Mother's Day with my mother. She will have dinner with her three children and their families. I much prefer this to battling crowds and long wait times at restaurants, and everyone is always willing to please on Mother's Day!!


As I began to contemplate my table for Mother's Day, I knew I wanted to use my china. This is the pattern we picked out 26 years ago. We received all of our china as wedding presents. I love it just as much today as I did when we picked it out. The pattern is "Shenandoah", by Noritake.


I started the setting with a pink napkin as the place mat. The ruffled look on the edge of the silver charger plate is so pretty. It looks almost pewter. I proceeded to layered the china plates, with a pink glass salad plate in between. The silverware is "Reflection" by Rogers Bros. The pink and green water goblets came from a beautiful gift store that has since closed. I miss "Le Cache".


The centerpiece is very simple. I love pitchers, and have a small collection. I thought this pitcher (a cluster of tied asparagus) would continue the pink and green color theme very well. Since I wanted the focus to be more on the pitcher, I chose some grocery store flowers that would blend in well. The pitcher is sitting on a pink depression glass cake plate.


A stack of matching china teacups are nestled under a wire cloche. They are sitting on one of the pink glass plates, and then on top of an antique 'off white' plate. Notice the tiny spring bird standing guard on top!



This sweet little green salt cellar has the tiniest of spoons inside.

Wikipedia says, "A salt cellar is a vessel, usually small and made of glass or silver, used on the table for holding salt. The use of salt cellars continued through the 1940's but has been in decline since, gradually replaced by salt shakers."


This cream and sugar matches our china pattern. I just love sugar cubes! The little silver tongs belonged to a family friend until they were gifted to me when he passed away.



Pedestal cake plates just look so fun and elegant. Believe me when I tell you, I would not have to try AT ALL to want to collect them. I am restraining myself!! I made this pedestal plate out of a tea cup and plate that I got on clearance at Home Sense. I have stacked alternating (pink glass ware and china) plates on this one in preparation for our Mother's Day dessert!

I would like to thank my daughter, Nicole, for taking the photos for this post. She is currently studying photography and is going to have no problem making a career out of her photography passion. (Proud mama speaking!) Please visit her at Nicole Payzant Photography, and tell her you saw her photos on "Take Six"!!

I am joining Susan at "Between Naps on the Porch" for Tablescape Thursday! If you like dishes even a bit, and table settings. . . there is just no other place to be on a Thursday!!

I am also joining Sherry at The Charm of Home for her "Home Sweet Home" Party. You will want to stop by and see all the super ideas there!

For the very first time I am joining the party at How Sweet the Sound. It is called "Pink Saturday". If you love pink, this is the place to be!

Last, but certainly not least, I am joining Courtney at French Country Cottage, for her "Feathered Nest Friday" party. Check out her backyard makeover! Oh my!!!!
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