Friday, April 13, 2012

Garden Design No. 9 - Play It Cool Outdoors

In the warm summer days, I like the simple life. Slowing down a bit and actually feeling the warm summer sun, the cool breezes, the smells of flowers, suntan lotion, minted iced tea, fresh get the picture.

So for this Garden Design post I wanted to say yippie to playing it cool outdoors.

PLAYING IT COOL IDEA #1 - The outdoor chalkboard

Okay, so this first idea is supposed to be for kids, but I think it would be cool for playing a game of Hangman or keeping score during a game of horseshoes or an epic game of Pictionary.

Now ordinary chalkboard paint probably won't hold up outdoors so here is a "recipe" I found on Pinterest for chalkboard paint for use outdoors.

Random leftover non-VOC paint in black {one cup}
2 Tbs of unsanded grout

Use any scrap of wood you have and ta da!

PLAYING IT COOL IDEA #2 - Outdoor Movie Night

Setting Up Your Outdoor Screen
What you need:
2 thick, white queen–size ironed flat sheets
Top pole 1.5" diameter x 10' long
Bottom pole 3" diameter x 10' long
Rope — 2 different thicknesses
Step 1. Start with two queen–size ironed flat sheets. Sew them together with white thread so the long sides are joined creating a tube.
Step 2. Insert the 1.5–inch diameter pole and let the fabric hang down.
Step 3. Attach thicker rope to the ends of the top pole so that it can be attached to a tree.
Step 4. Once attached to a tree, slide the thicker pole through the tube created by the sewn sheets so that it creates a weight at the bottom of the screen.
Step 5. Attach thinner rope to the ends of the bottom pole.
Step 6. Insert two tent stakes directly beneath the bottom corners of the screen, tie the thinner rope to both of the tent stakes and pull taught. This will insure that the screen doesn't sway in the wind.

PLAYING IT COOL IDEA #3 - Stargazing

The Summer sky has some of the most amazing stargazing. Take the time to marvel. And if you need a bit of help check out this book for the recreational astronomer.

PLAYING IT COOL IDEA #4 - Outdoor Scrabble

This has got to be the ultimate in outdoor fun. The tiles are made from wood trim and vinyl lettering. And the board is stamped concrete. Ahem...score keeping on the outdoor chalkboard.  A really cool handled woven basket for the letter "bag", a good bottle of wine, paperback dictionary for those challenges, and a few good friends. 

Image Sources: Sunset, Pottery Barn, Amazon, Pinterest

Friday, April 6, 2012

RSVP Collection No. 33 - The Easter Egg

Yup, chalkboard paint.

No pressure here, just some "blow your mind" decorated Easter eggs. So if you haven't colored your eggs yet, have at it. But be warned, this is not the Q-tip, food coloring, newspaper down on the table coloring of eggs, oh no....these eggs even have Martha Stewart pouting.

Someone has a very delicate hand.

Loving the luster!

Leave it to Roberto Cavallini

It's fabric!

With a Sharpie pen, really?
(who are these people?)

Truly tie-dyed.

And after the Easter egg hunt, here is the best egg salad recipe.

Bella Cucina Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Boil the eggs just until the centers are still wet. I put my eggs in boiling water and cook for nine minutes.   The eggs continue cooking once you take the pot off the heat, so by the time they cool off for peeling, they have the perfect golden sun yellow yolk. 
  • Chop the eggs with a pastry cutter.  I love the chunky texture. Is this the secret? 
  • Mix mayonnaise {homemade best, of course, but Hellman's is my choice} with basil pesto. About 1 cup mayo to 1 Tablespoon pesto.  The "secret" ingredient revealed.  
  • While the eggs are still warm, gently fold in the pesto mayo into the chopped eggs. 
  • Slather  slices olive bread or Italian country loaf lightly on both sides with olive pesto
  • Generously spread the egg salad onto the dressed bread. Top with washed baby arugula leaves. 
  • Cut in half and enjoy immensely.  

Image Sources: Sharpie, Italia Living, Scribbet, Notcot, La Scala, Tutorial Lounge, Dumage, Bella Cucina

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