Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomato Quinoa Salad

Summertime is the best time to eat light and fresh foods.  I've been making a delicious salad lately that is perfect for warm summer days.

This is a great salad because it's loaded with flavor, but low in fat and sodium.  And it's so colorful!
I use a lot of grape and cherry tomatoes.  If I can find the yellow tomatoes, I always include them, because they are so sweet.

I also use a lot of fresh basil.  I really like the flavor that it adds.

So, here is my recipe for Tomato Quinoa Salad.

1 C cooked quinoa
2-3 C tomatoes, chopped into smallish pieces
Fresh basil to taste (I use a lot, probably about a cup)
2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained (I use the no added salt variety)
1/2 C feta cheese
1/2 C lemon and/or lime juice

Once everything is chopped up, just mix it together.

There you have it, a delicious salad that has protein, veggies and great summer flavor!  Bon appetit!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bye Bye Birdy

I hope that everyone is enjoying this Sunday afternoon.  It's a beautiful, sunny day here.

I just wanted to give a final update about my robin family.  A couple of weeks ago we had a tremendous thunder storm, complete with golfball-sized hail.  During the storm, I was worried about my birds, but trusted that their natural instincts would take care of them.  The next morning, when I went outside, I was very sad to see that their nest had broken apart and some of it was on the ground.

I saw three of the babies in the tree - two were standing on the remains of the nest and one was standing on the branch below.  There was no trace of the fourth baby in the tree or on the ground.  Since I was running late, I didn't have time to take a picture of them before I left.

I was very concerned about the fourth baby bird, so I came home during lunch to investigate further.  At this time, there were only two babies in the tree.  The one that was on the lower branch was gone.  Papa kept flying around and chirping at me as I looked all around the tree trying to find the other baby birds.  No luck.

When I returned home at the end of the day, there was only one baby left in the tree.  I thoroughly searched the tree and surrounding areas and found no evidence that the other babies were harmed, so at this point I assumed that Papa and Mama must have been helping to evacuate their babies, one by one, to a safer location.  Not wanting to miss my opportunity, I took some pictures of the last baby.

Isn't he a cutie?  Such pretty coloring.

While I'm relieved that the babies appear to have been moved to a safe location, I am sad that they are no longer in my tree.

And now my tree and I are empty nesters.

I hope that my robin family is thriving and that the babies are doing well.  I am also hoping that Papa and Mama will consider nesting in my tree next year, and that they haven't been scared off by the crazy camera lady!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patriotic Wreath

The Fourth of July will be here before you know it, and my front door is all decked out to celebrate!  I suppose I was also influenced to get started on some patriotic decor by seeing all of the great projects on Pinterest lately.  And the 50% July 4th products at Hobby Lobby didn't hurt!  So...I decided to make a wreath.

This wreath could not have been simpler to make.  I started with a straw wreath form (left in the plastic) and this fun red, white and blue ribbon.  In order to keep the stripes somewhat lined up, I cut the ribbon into lengths that would wrap around the wreath with a little extra to fold over.  I fastened each piece of ribbon with a pin.

Once I finished wrapping the wreath, I turned my foam stars into pins.  I made little wells in the back of the stars with scissors, filled with hot glue and fit straight pins into the wells.  Voila - cute little star pins!

Then it was time to place the star pins in different places on the wreath.  I decided to go with groups of 3.

I tied a piece of white grosgrain ribbon to the top, and fastened it in place with another pin.

I tied the ribbon to the hook on my front door, and now I have a little patriotic festivity on my porch.

Have you put up any Fourth of July decorations yet?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coffee, Tea or Table

I have a well traveled coffee table.  She was purchased in California, spent several years in Missouri with my Mom, came back to live with me in California, and is now residing with me in Colorado.  After several moves, every day use, and her most important role as a Nylabone stabilizer for this guy...

she ended up looking like this:

During my last move, her top got some really deep, ugly scratches.  Plus, her legs were completely mangled from when I had my dog, Harley.


Time for a makeover!

I used my handy Citristrip and trusty sander to remove the finish from her top.  

I lightly sanded her sides and legs, so my paint would adhere.  Inspired by Miss Mustard Seed, I stained her top using Minwax in Dark Walnut.  She is a nice, solid wood table, and I didn't have the same problems with staining that I did on my dresser.  I painted her sides and legs with Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Ivory Palace.  Once everything was completely dry, I applied a coat of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax to her top.  And now, my little table is ready for her big reveal.

Isn't she beautiful?  The makeover took years off of her appearance. 

The dark wood top juxtaposed with the white base is really striking.  And check out those legs.  
They are definitely whistle-worthy!


I'm so happy to have my table back front and center where she belongs.

She truly is a stylish gal.  She loves to accessorize with flowers.

Of course, I have other furniture pieces around the house that are just begging for makeovers now that they have seen what beauties they can become.

All in good time.


Furniture Feature Fridays

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast...

My little robin friends are growing into such little cuties!  Their eyes are open, they're getting bigger and their feathers are starting to come in.  I have been taking pictures of them every day, just like any good mama bird would do if she had a camera.  Here are a few of the shots I have taken chronicling the young lives of these sweet baby robins.

Of course, mama and papa aren't very appreciative of my photography.

Papa chirps like crazy and flies around trying to scare me away.  He is a very protective papa.  He even gets all out of sorts when I'm working on my latest project in the garage.'s time to refinish my coffee table.  (Don't you love my drop cloth?  It's an old trade show table cloth from the first company I worked for!)  This table got some pretty big gouges on the top when I moved.  Plus there are lots of little scratches all over it after many years of wear and tear.

More to come on my table.  I'm still working on removing the finish from the top and sanding it.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that Maria from Dreamy Whites is giving away a $250 gift card to use in her online store, Dreamy Whites Online.  She has amazingly beautiful things for sale.  Her blog is gorgeous, too.  I am so envious of the amazing flowers that she grows in her garden.  Check it out!

I linked up at Debbiedoo's Newbie Party!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Welcome June!

June is off to a great start.

Fresh fruit salad

Green apple lemonade

And four baby robins!

I hope that the first day of June brought pleasant things for you, too.