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Tag Archives: garden

italian terra cotta love

23 Apr

I have always loved terra-cotta {or baked earth translated in Italian} pots because they remind me of being in Italy, and they remind me of summer and beautiful flowers.

I’m heading to Home Depot this week to make this for my son’s teachers, and might have to buy a couple more terra-cotta pots to make the projects below. It’s the time of year for planting, so it’s the perfect time to start these easy, affordable DIY’s.

Chalkboard Pots, Martha Stewart
{These would make for great gifts, escort cards, favors, place cards and home garden}
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Terra Cotta Gift
, Martha Stewart
{fill the terra-cotta pot with seed packets, top the pot with the saucer and tie a bow on top with twine for a lovely, affordable gift}
terra cotta diy gift

ImageDIY Potted Banana Bread, Style Me Pretty
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Thank You for Helping Me Grow Teacher Gift
, Giggles Galore
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DIY Cupcake Stand, Once Wed
{This idea can be used for a wedding, a birthday party or a shower. It’s an affordable way to make a cupcake stand the color and design of your choice.}

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Graphic Pots for any Celebration, Chicago Home and Garden

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Favors and Wedding Decor, Snippet and Ink
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DIY Terra Cotta Pot Coasters, Joy is at Home

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Pretty Pots, Christine Chitnis
{click here for her tutorial}
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{images via Once Wed, Martha Stewart, Giggles Galore, Style Me Pretty, Chicago Home and Garden, Joy is at Home, Snippet and Ink and Christine Chitnis}

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eat {and celebrate} what you sow

8 Sep

OK, I know…fall is almost here. But, before summer is officially over, why not throw a garden party. I’m inspired to do so this year because it was my first year growing a garden {along with my lovely neighbor, Regina}. I came to the conclusion that I am great at growing Kale and Carrots. But first to admit that my areas for much-needed improvement include Spinach and something that I just can’t do in the mountains {unless I start as a plant inside} – Zucchini. There’s always next year!

Invite your mom, girlfriends or neighbors…and with the ideas below, your party will be fabulous…and healthy!

What’s on the Menu?
Caprese Skewers

{recipe via With Style and Grace}
Ingredients
Cherry [or grape] tomatoes – any color, halved
Mozzarella balls, cut into slices
Fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt, to taste
Toothpicks
Ceramic ramekins

Directions
Skewer one tomato half, cut side up. Stack the thin slice of mozzarella, followed by a sprig of fresh basil and then topped with the other tomato half, cut side down – forming a tomatoes mozzarella & basil “sandwich”.
If you have individual dishes, add about 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil – more or less depending on the size of dish. Rest the tomato skewers on top.
NOTE: You can also serve these on a plate and drizzle the olive oil and balsamic directly over the tomato skewers.

Veggie Pizza
{adapted from Colorado Cache}
Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dry dill weed
1 teaspoon minced onion {dried onion}
2 cup finely cut veggies {cut in small pieces…I like to use broccoli, red pepper, carrots and sometimes cauliflower}
1/2 cup green onions, thinly diced
1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls

Directions
Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill, dried onion in a medium bowl.
Roll out crescent roll onto baking tray and connect ‘seams’ to make one large square with dough.
Bake for 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then cool. Sometimes its less time, so just keep and eye on the dough to make sure it doesn’t get too brown.
Once cooled, add cream cheese mixture and top with veggies, then with green onions.
Store in refrigerator before serving.
Cut in squares and place on pretty serving tray.
Yes, it’s that easy and it’s so yummy!

Corn and Avocado Salad

{adapted from Martha Stewart}
Ingredients
4 shucked ears of corn
1 sliced Hass avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions
Heat grill to medium-high. Grill corn, rotating often, until lightly charred, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Carefully cut kernels from cob. Gently toss with avocado, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.

Veggies in a Cup, Individual Servings
This is so simple, but it’s a garden party, so there has to be plenty of veggies, right?
Place sticks of veggies in a cup, arranged to look pretty, and serve with a side of ranch or hummus.

Drinks
Serve lavender lemonade in mason jars, like Oprah did for her garden party. Coffee and tea {and champagne or white wine} would hit the spot too.

Dessert
Pie in a Jar


Read the Pie in a Jar tutorial here. Apple Pie or Cherry Pie – you decide.

Zucchini Bread
{adapted from , found at WebMD}
Ingredients
1 rounded cup of fresh, grated zucchini
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch (sometimes called tapioca flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light olive oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2 free-range organic egg whites, beaten or egg replacer (1/4 cup liquid)
1/4 cup coconut milk {we used So Delicious}
Optional: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment paper.
Press the grated zucchini with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as you can. After pressing, fluff with a fork. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, and cinnamon. Add in the brown sugar. Add the oil, lemon juice, egg whites or egg replacer, and the coconut milk. Beat to combine and continue to beat on medium high until the batter is smooth – about two minutes. Add in almost all of the shredded zucchini and stir by hand to combine. If you are adding nuts, stir them in to distribute. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and using a silicone spatula, even out the top.
Bake in the center of a preheated oven until the top is golden and firm, yet gives a bit when lightly touched. It should feel slightly springy. This may take anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes. Test with a wooden tooth pick –  it should emerge with no crumbs or batter.

Decor
Stick with white/ivory colors with an accent of green.

Create a herb wreath to greet your guests with fresh sage, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves from Swith and Hawkin or make one yourself.

Place a large vase, or three small vases with a hydrangea arrangement from your yard in the center of the table.

Use mini terra-cotta pots filled with herbs such as rosemary, basil, cilantro, etc as place cards. Use popsicle sticks to write your guests names and stick in dirt. You can give as favors, or save for your own herb garden.


Use artichokes as candle holders. Cheap and adorable.

Favors
Give guests seeds packets for next year’s garden, or bulbs to plant this fall.

{images via You are my Fave, Martha Stewart, With Style and Grace, Country Living, Intimate Weddings, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Lowes and Thrift Shop Romantic}