"Tree Bark" Favors

I recently helped out with an engagement party by creating "tree themed" party favors.  The groom is an arborist and the "tree theme" seemed very appropriate.  I was hoping to come up with a one-of-a-kind idea.

I stamped squares of packaging paper with a tree bark stamp.  I'm allowing them to dry here.

I created diaper-like pockets, punched two holes in the folds of the paper and tied them with burgundy ribbon.

I found a "Pine Bark" recipe on line.
How appropriate!

This is a mixture of butter, brown sugar and almond extract.  This gets baked in the oven for 4-6 minutes.

Then you melt milk chocolate bars on the top.

Here's the result.  The "Pine Bark" was delicious!

Placed the "bark" in clear baggies and tied with string.  Don't they look cute?!
Ready for display...almost!

The display needed something else.  I added yellow flowers in water tubes to keep them fresh.
I loved how these favors came out!

I wanted to share these pictures of my Lenten Roses or Helleborus, the botanical name of this shade perennial, with all of you because they are so beautiful and resilient.  Helleborus has become my very favorite Spring flower because it starts blooming in April and continues all the way through much of the summer, at least that has been my experience.

These plants seem to multiply quite well once established and moving them around my garden has been very successful also.  They come in many colors, including a light green, but I haven't tried that color yet.  The light pink seems to have been the most successful for me. 

Lenten Roses are supposed to like shade but these plants do get some sun and have flourished anyway.  I encourage all of you to try to find a spot in your garden for these lovely perennials!


Enjoy the Day!

Kiddie Foam Sticker Easter Wreath Party

This was a very impromptu party I put together last minute.  It was a "get together" for a group of children.  Their ages ranged from three to nine.  Oh, yes and we had a 3 1/2 month old baby join us, as well.  She wasn't able to make a wreath, of course, so we made one for her!

I got the idea for this craft from my garden club.  Our club organizes crafts for a local nursing home throughout the year and the member of the club in charge of these activities always comes up with some really neat ideas.  So, I stole this one and used it for some of the little ones in my life.

To make the wreath shape I traced two dinner plates, one smaller that the other (the smaller one inside).  The colors of the wreaths were supposed to match kids' favor colors.

I also purchased Easter themed foam stickers.  The idea is to arrange the stickers on the wreath form to make a colorful
and fun Easter Wreath.

I added some regular stickers to the mix for

I was going to have the kids decorate these egg shapes
also but, I quickly found out that elderly ladies have
a  much longer attention span than young children do.  The kids
were done after about five minutes!! 

I even added a decorated Easter Tree to create a
festive atmosphere but, by this time, they were
drawing pictures on the chalkboard I have in my basement!

Here are some of the
wreaths the kids (and parents) made.
We hot glued a ribbon to the top for hanging. 

I think in the end, everyone had fun.  Next time I might have to try to think of other ways to keep the kids entertained, however!


  Garden to Table Dining

I was on vacation last week and wasn't able to post anything to my blog even though I tried many times.  For some reason the Internet or my computer just would let me add pictures or create a post.  So, I am home now and wanted to share this little garden that I found at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa, where I was staying.  The garden was set behind the beach restaurant, right next to the pool.  This poolside restaurant overlooked the ocean and was simply beautiful!! The hotel uses the herbs to create yummy and innovative cuisine.  It seems to be part of this whole "garden to table" movement, which I think is great!  And, the food was really, really good.  I had the best grilled salmon sandwich I've even had there!

Lemon Grass





I took a picture of the whole garden but was unable to download it properly.  The garden itself wasn't the prettiest herb garden I have ever seen but, the simplicity of it showed me what a little space can actually do.  This restaurant used these herbs everyday in their recipes.  This is spurring me on to make my herb garden, which has been a window box garden on my deck in the past, into a more substantial space.  I want to start to learn how to use herbs more in my cooking, as well.  I hope this inspires you to add an herb garden to your garden area also!  As they say, "Bon Appetit!

Since I couldn't download a picture of the total herb garden, I thought you might like to see the view from the restaurant.  My photo really doesn't do it justice but, you get the idea!


I found a neat quote today about happiness and thought I would share it.

     "The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something
     to do, something to love and something to hope for."
                                                         ~~~Joseph Addison

I am showing this photo so we can
hope for Spring!

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