Home Design

Revive outdoor seating

Hi everyone!

Happy Sunday!

A while back we built a sitting corner on our deck using reclaimed wood. I wanted to add some much needed cushions and pillows by utilizing chaise lounge cushions that I had that were no longer being used.

I wanted to give these blah cushions some new life!img_4340.jpg

First, I had my boys help stain the reclaimed wood. Here we see them hard at work 馃檪

The stain gave the reclaimed wood a nice gloss and clean finish.IMG_4335

Seeing that I didn’t have enough chaise lounge cushions for both the bottom and back of the sitting area, I decided to purchase cushions for the bottom and utilize the lounge cushions for the back. Since the bottom cushions were solid colors, I bought a floral pattern to reupholster the lounge cushions for the backs. To complete the project, I wanted to add some pillows. I already had several outdoor pillows but they all had different patterns and in order to obtain a more cohesive look, I reupholstered the pillows with the same fabric.

The end result brought life into my otherwise bland sitting area 馃槈


But just when I thought I was done, I realized I could reupholster the back cushions of my outdoor swing to tie everything together.


We spend a lot of time in our backyard and now we have the added comfort of these freshened up sitting areas 馃檪 Hope you are enjoying your outdoor living area too!

Thank you for stopping by!

Best wishes,



Retro Toaster Cover


Hi everyone!

I know…once you read the title you thought, what??? A toaster cover? Who uses those anymore? Are we in 1955? 馃榾 And I get it. I never thought I would have one (or make one) but here is what happened. I was searching for an embroidery pattern on Pinterest when I stumbled across a photo of a vintage toaster cover. I thought what a perfect way to showcase embroidery; to actually be able to see it and enjoy it everyday. You see, the very few kitchen towels I have embroider are never used…how can I use them after such hard work!? 馃槈

But before we move on, I have a confession to make, I’m by no means an embroiderer nor a sewist. For those who master these skills, you would cringe to see how I complete my projects! But I’m ok with that. I still enjoy doing them and I learn as I go 馃槈 Having said that, I won’t attempt to teach you how to sew or embroider here today but I will share with you the steps I took to make this toaster cover and show you that you too can make it, even if you don’t excel in sewing or embroidery.

So, for the embroidery pattern, I used a toaster pattern from Stitcher’s Revolution and followed its iron-on instructions:

Work in progress: IMG_4246

Completed embroidery:IMG_4257

I purchased a yard of retro looking fabric (at least I thought it had a retro vibe to it 馃槈 at Joann’s. The yard was a bit too much fabric but it was in case any mistakes happened(shopping with two little ones isn’t very easy so the fewer trips I need to make, the better! 馃槈IMG_4268

I measured the height, width and depth of the toaster. I cut 3 pieces of fabric – 2 identical pieces for the sides and one longer piece that would run from the back, over the top and to the front of the toaster.IMG_4251

I just realized I didn’t take many photos of the actually sewing portion of this project but it’s just the same, it probably wouldn’t have been much help since there were many pins holding everything in place 馃榾 I essentially pinned the pieces of fabric while on the toaster and then inverted the fabric and attempted to sew as best as I could.

On the border of the two identical sized fabrics I put some piping which gave it that extra touch to the piece.

On the side that I attached the embroidery pattern, instead of sewing the white fabric with the embroider directly on the busy flower pattern, I added a red fabric with small dots separating the two. I went wild with my sewing machine and tried a new stitch on the border of the embroider pattern 馃榾


Here I’m almost at the finish line… just need to hem the bottom and add a trim to it:IMG_4259

No longer do I see this on my counter:聽IMG_4266

Now I have a cute toast saying: ‘Butter me up!’ 馃榾


P.S. Don’t look too closely at the picture, you just might find some mistakes 馃槈 But you know what? I still love how it came out and it makes me smile when I glance at it in the kitchen.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Best wishes,


Fourth of July


It’s hard to believe that today is already July 1st! And that also means we are days away from the 4th of July therefore I quickly made some last minute decorations.

First, I made my front door wreaths. Materials used: grapevine wreath, red ribbon about 2 inches wide, blue and white paper, cardboard paper and string. I wrapped the grapevine wreaths with red ribbon. I then made a center piece for the wreath using – blue cones and a white star out of paper that went in the center of the wreath. (Instructions on how to make 3D paper star via Doodlebug Design Inc. –聽http://www.doodlebugblog.com/2012/07/tuesday-tutorial-patriotic-3d-stars.html#.WVgHQ7pFxes).
It will be easier to use pictures as step-by-step instructions 馃檪聽 –


Some of the materials used.


Step 1: Wrap wreath with red ribbon.



Step 2: Cut a circle out of cardboard paper that will fit in the center of wreath. Make a hole for string to pass through to later hang this center piece from the wreath.


Step 3: Make paper cones out of the blue paper and glue them on to the cardboard.


Step 4: Make a 3D star out of white paper. Glue the star to the middle of the blue cones. Pass a string through previously made hole on cardboard and tie to wreath so center piece is hanging in the center.





Finished product hanging on the front doors.




Secondly, I聽 decorated my mantel. img_40971.jpg


I made some 3D paper stars (as mentioned before, instructions on how to make 3D paper star via Doodlebug Design Inc. –聽http://www.doodlebugblog.com/2012/07/tuesday-tutorial-patriotic-3d-stars.html#.WVgHQ7pFxes) and I hung some aged USA flags. In order to age the flags, I soaked them in tea until I obtained the desired brown tint to the flags. Picture tutorial:


Step 1: Utilized small fabric flags (removed from stick).
Step 2: Soaked flags in tea to obtained an aged color. Once desired color was obtained, allowed flags to dry.
Step 3: Hung flags on the mantel using string and mini clothes pins.

And now I’m ready for the 4th of July parade and BBQ 馃榾


Thanks for stopping by!

Best wishes,




P茫o de L贸

Good morning!

Hope everyone is doing great! My sister just gave me some fresh eggs聽and nothing beats baking with fresh eggs 馃榾聽So I decided to make P茫o de l贸 since the recipe requires a聽total of聽15 eggs.IMG_3150

For folks unfamiliar to this Portuguese cake, p茫o de l贸 is many times compared to angel sponge cake but the flavor is聽a bit聽different and unlike the sponge cake that is usually accompanied with another聽elements such as fruit, p茫o de l贸 usually is eaten as-is.

P茫o de l贸 is a traditional Portuguese cake that can be dated as far back as 18th century. Depending on which Portuguese region you are referring to, p茫o de l贸 can look and taste quite differently. 聽For example,聽 p茫o de l贸 from Ovar the filling is almost liquefied.

P茫o de l贸 from Ovar

The recipe I’m sharing with you today聽is for the more typical form of p茫o de l贸 – uniform in sponge-like texture.


A while back I found a video on YouTube in which two ladies were making p茫o de l贸 as it was traditionally made by their grandmothers, in other words, no electrical appliances. The video is in Portuguese but just to summarize, they would have to beat the mixture for an hour to make the batter airy. The batter would be placed in ceramic bowls lined with paper (a form of parchment paper) and they would be baked in a wooded stove. All I know is, thank goodness for our modern kitchen appliances 馃榾 The following is the link to the video- 聽https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkACgSJdJ_g

Ceramic bowls/forms used for p茫o de l贸.


P茫o de l贸 being prepared as it was traditionally.



Preheat oven to 350掳F.

Place 5 eggs and 10 yolks in a stand mixer bowl. While on low-medium speed, add sugar in small batches (below, left photo). Once all the sugar has been added to the eggs, beat batter for 30 minutes on medium speed. Batter will become smooth and airy (below, right photo). I suggest using a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer because of the long beating time 馃檪

Once the 30 minutes have passed, stop the mixer. Fold (do not beat) in sifted flour in small batches. Its best to add the flour in small batches because when folding the batter pockets of flour are easily formed and are undesirable.

Sifted flour being folded into batter.


As mentioned before, traditionally p茫o de l贸 was made in ceramic bowls. The ceramic was porous and therefore the bowls needed to be lined with paper (a form of parchment paper). These ceramic bowls can still be purchased today in Portugal and some confectionaries still utilize this method today. I used an angel food pan and lined it with parchment paper just to have the traditional look but you can simply grease the angel food pan with butter or cooking spray.

Batter goes into oven at 350掳F for about 35 minutes. Check doneness with toothpick. Once ready, remove from pan. Allow to cool but can be eaten warm too 馃榾


Out of the oven.




Baking time: 35 minutes

5 eggs
10 yolks
300 gr sugar
200 gr flour, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 350掳F.

2. Add 5 eggs and 10 yolks to a stand mixer bowl. While on low-medium speed, add sugar in small batches. Once all the sugar has been added, beat batter for 30 minutes on medium speed.

3. Once the 30 minutes have passed, stop the mixer. Fold in sifted flour in small batches.

4. Prepare angel food pan either by lining with parchment paper, greasing with butter or cooking spray.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely or enjoy it warm.


Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy this recipe!

Best wishes,


Home Design

Hello June!

Hi there!

I can hardly believe it鈥檚 already June! June means聽summer is literally just around the corner! And with summer creeping up on us, I wanted to do some changes around the house.

I find that any time of the year is a great time to聽renovate home d茅cor but even more so when seasons change. But remodeling does not need to equate to spending loads of money. There are simple changes that can be made on a budget that can give a room a refreshing new look.

So with that in mind, I recently made two changes at home- one in the kitchen and one in the master bathroom. Although they were minimal alterations, I felt that they were sufficient to bring new looks to the rooms.

The weather is getting warmer and I wanted to add some warmth into the kitchen so I decided to change the curtains. I went to Joann鈥檚 and purchased a peach and turquoise fabric. I made the curtains myself which made this project quite inexpensive. Don鈥檛 let that intimidate you though; you don鈥檛 need mad skills with the sewing machine to make curtains (well, not this style at least ;). These curtains were made with simple straight stitches.


Before picture



After picture with warmer toned curtains.



The second change was made in the master bathroom.

Before picture

Lately I鈥檝e been noticing a trend in bathrooms with beautifully patterned tile floors. Though I find these tiles to be striking, I didn鈥檛 want to go through the trouble of ripping out my existing tile floor! So instead, I opted to purchase a rug that would give the illusion of a new tile floor 馃槈 I purchased a rug online and was quite pleased with its quality, color and pattern.



After pictures with new rug.



And with that, my bathroom and kitchen have been recharged and are ready for the long summer days 馃榾

I hope these ideas inspire you to make a change or two too! Thanks for stopping by!

Best wishes,



Torta de Laranja

Good evening!

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Portuguese desserts – Torta de Laranja (Orange Torte). Simply explained, its a very moist roll. Unlike a jelly roll that is cake like, the torta de laranja is almost like a pudding roll, if you will聽馃榾 The only ‘flour’ is two teaspoons of cornstarch and there is no filling.


Baking time: 15-20 minutes

6 eggs
200ml orange juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
200 gr sugar
finely grated orange rind of one orange
sugar to sprinkle on baking sheet, cloth and top of torte (if desired)

1. Preheat the oven to 355掳.

2. Dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice.

3.聽Mix the eggs with the sugar. Then add orange rind and orange juice containing cornstarch. Combine well but don’t whisk too hard (attempt avoiding聽air聽bubbles to form).

3. Butter (or use cooking spray)聽and line a Swiss roll tray (I used a 15” baking sheet) with parchment paper. Then butter (or use cooking spray) the parchment paper, as well, and sprinkle with sugar.

4. Pour the mixture onto the tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until the torte is firm.

5. Turn torte onto a slightly damp, clean cloth sprinkled with sugar.

6. Roll carefully with the help of the cloth and place on serving dish. (More times then not, the roll will crack but that is normal, the taste will still be delicious!) Best served cold. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Preparing the baking sheet.


Once removed from oven. It will have ‘high and lows’ which is normal.




Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Best wishes,


Fence Plank Sign


Happy Friday!

Today I wanted to share with you this quick and easy project to create a sign with your favorite quote.

For this project I used one plank of reclaimed fence. DSCF2248
Initially I wasn鈥檛 sure how the chalk writing would look on the plank since the surface wasn鈥檛 smooth but as you will see below, it came out just fine.

After painting the plank with chalk paint (I love how there is a variety of chalk paint colors, we no longer are restricted to using only black) and allowing it to dry, I wrote on the plank using a regular, old-school piece of chalk.

The final touch was nailing sawtooth picture frame hangers to the back side of the sign.
I hung my sign near our dining area in the kitchen.
My boys have always loved licking the spoon after I have whipped up dessert. I, too, enjoy it! 鈥楬appiness is lickin鈥 the spoon鈥, wouldn鈥檛 you agree? 馃榾
What is your favorite quote?

Best wishes,