Wednesday, August 23, 2017

{Recipe} Cucumber-Citrus Salad

Here's a light and refreshing salad that is perfect for a summer pot luck but you can make it any time of the year.
 Ingredients:
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 3 navel oranges (and zest of one)
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 shallot or 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (I used red onion)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (I used the squeeze tube)
  • salt and pepper

 To prepare:
Slice the cucumber in half length wise, remove seeds (optional) and slice the halves into thin half moons.  Add them to a large bowl.
 Zest one orange and add the zest to the bowl.
 Segment the oranges by slicing off the two ends of the orange so it sits flat, carefully slice off the peel all the way around the oranges.  Remove segments by holding peeled orange over bowl and carefully cutting the membranes of each section to allow the section to fall out (into the bowl).  Squeeze remaining membrane over the bowl to get as much juice out of it as possible.  Discard membrane.
 Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
 Add basil(I did a few squirts of the stir-in paste), 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper to taste.
 Stir to combine all of the ingredients.  If you are not serving immediately, toss again at serving time. It gets more flavorful the longer it sits.
Tip: I would have used an additional cucumber to soak up some of the dressing and bulk up the salad. Pin It

Monday, August 21, 2017

{Get Organized} Master Linen Closet Makeover {Dollar Store Style}

I got bitten by the organizing bug again this summer.  
After this visit to the Dollar Tree I was especially motivated to tackle another problem area in my house.
 This was my master bedroom linen closet and it's embarrassing to look at now! I had one green bin that was supposed to be keeping me organized but the other shelves and floor area were never tamed.
 Eek!
 It had to get worse before it got better so I emptied out the whole closet.  I started a pile to donate and a pile to toss.
 In progress: I added some Dollar Tree fabric bins and started to put things back in the closet.
 It was so much better! The top shelf holds a heavy afghan (only used in the winter)and a zippered bag for our knitted Christmas stockings (I don't store them in the attic). The next shelf holds extra towels and sheets.
 Everything now has its own place and I know where to find it.  The green bin remains for my hair dryer and curling irons. The smaller bins hold other hair tools and brushes.
 The medium size bins leave me room for my travel toiletry bag and make up bag on one shelf and I keep our extra travel supplies in one bin.  Miscellaneous items are stored in the other one.
I'm most happy about the floor area, that was always such a disaster. Now it's organized with the large fabric bins and I can see everything in them.
I love looking in this closet.  It's right next to my vanity area which also got a little makeover. I will share that project later. For now, I'm just basking the organizational bliss of this closet!
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

{Shopping} Dollar Tree Haul

Oh how I love a big, clean Dollar Tree Store!
On this particular day, I came home with a very nice haul.  
 Look at this cart! I usually don't fill a cart when I'm there but they had so many good things.
They had all of their organizing and school supplies in stock and I found a few other goodies too.  I still only spent about $20!  I'm using the organizing bins in an upcoming project that I'm excited to show you.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

{Travel} Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania

It's another summer of staycations and day trips but we've been branching out a little more.
We recently visited Bushkill Falls, dubbed "The Niagra of Pennsylvania". It's about two hours outside of Philly in the Pocono Mountains.
This enormous chipmunk greets you as you go through the entrance.
Bushkill Falls encompasses over 300 acres, with eight waterfalls and over two miles of hiking trails, bridges and walkways.
A lot of the walkways are boardwalk style but there are some rocky areas too.
We wanted to see all eight waterfalls so we took the Bridal Veil Fall Trail.
Here she is!  She does look like a bridal veil.
It was nice to go when it wasn't too busy and early in the day before it got too hot.
I'm glad I read up on the trails before we left because this sign might have scared me from taking the harder trail. It wasn't that bad...a bit challenging but we could handle it.
There were plenty of places to stop and take a break... 
...and marvel at nature's splendor.
It takes about two hours to hike the longest trail but you can stay in the park as long as you like. You can also get your hand stamped reentry if you want to leave for a bit to have a picnic or use the restrooms (no food or restrooms on the trails). There were some cute shops, a snack bar and a Native American exhibit outside the trail area.
I thought this water fountain had a clever name, get it?
Pretty sound advice!
On the way home we passed a sign for the "World's Largest Christmas Factory" so we just had to stop!!  It was a fun little detour! 

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