Mostess Summer Hostess

Summer is {FINALLY} here which means Cookouts, BBQ’s, Picnics, Bonfires, and all types of get togethers are in full swing! I love a good party, and I love being a great hostess! I’ve come across a few fun and easy recipes and serving ideas, and wanted to share them with you:

1.) “Easy Peasy Lemon Sqeezy” Homemade Lemonade

    via: http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com/

    Homemade Lemonade

    There is nothing more refreshing than homemade lemonade on the lazy, hazy, dog days of summer. This is my favorite recipe and it is so much better than store bought powdered mix.

    Ingredients
    4 to 6 lemons {enough to measure 1 cup of juice}
    3/4 cup sugar
    4 cups cold water
    ice cubes

    Instructions
    1. Squeeze fresh lemons to measure 1 cup juice. Pour into pitcher {clear glass pitchers are the best for serving…so pretty!}
    2. Add 3/4 cup sugar to juice and stir to blend.
    3. Add 4 cups cold water. Stir well.
    4. Cut one lemon into slices to use as garnish.
    5. Fill glasses with ice and add the lemonade.

    2.) Serving Salads Outdoors with No Bugs

via: www.cookiemondays.com

Glass Container Salads

Finding funky glass containers with lids is a great way to serve sides and salads outside to help keep them fresh and insects away. Also keeps little fingers out!

3.) Make a Vintage Chair Drink Stand

    via: http://www.ohmy-creative.com/

    VINTAGE-CHAIR-HEADER

    Take an old bottomless chair and repurpose it into a Vintage Chair Drink Stand! Perfect for entertaining, parties or bridal showers! So pretty and charming! There is an awesome step by step tutorial on the website to make one!

    4.) Mason Jar Condiment Dispensers

via: www.homewetbar.com

Mason Jar Dispensers

We all have old Mason jars laying around, pick up some pump lids from Target and turn them into condiment dispensers! Rustic and cute, and you don’t have to drag your giant plastic squeeze bottles of ketchup & mustard outside.

5.) Easy, Pretty Melon & Mint Salad

    via: http://www.stylemepretty.com/

    Mint and Melon Salad
    photo: Rikki Snyder

    Ingredients
    Half of a watermelon, scooped with a melon baller
    Half of a large cantaloupe, scooped with a melon baller
    Half of a large honeydew melon, scooped with a melon baller
    2 Tablespoons honey
    3 Tablespoons finely chopped mint

    Instructions
    Place scooped melon balls in a large bowl.
    Drizzle with honey and toss to coat the melon.
    Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint and toss again.
    Chill before serving.

    This looks so fresh and inviting ~ it just screams “SUMMER!”

    6.) Create a Super Fun S’Mores Bar

via: http://martieknows.squarespace.com/

S'Mores Bar

Add a little fun to your next bonfire by creating a super fun S’Mores bar, easy and yummy! Fill a pail with sand, put 2 or 3 marshmallows each on wood skewers and place in the pail.{ Make sure to soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes first so they won’t catch fire.} Surround with bowls of various fixins like; Graham Crackers, Hershey bars, Nutella, peanut butter, chocolate chips, strawberries . . . the possibilities are endless!

Finally ~ I’ve never met a Shrimp I didn’t like, so I had to include a great, easy shrimp recipe!

7.) Simple Chipotle Shrimp Cocktail

    Chipotle Shrimp Cocktail

    via: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/

    Ingredients

    1 large red onion
    1 medium red bell pepper
    1 medium yellow bell pepper
    2 lb. peeled and deveined, large cooked shrimp with tails
    1 cup ketchup
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    3 Tbsp. orange zest
    1/2 cup fresh orange juice
    2 to 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

    Instructions

    Cut onion and bell peppers into thin strips and layer with shrimp in a large zip-lock bag.
    Whisk together ketchup, cilantro, lime juice, zest, orange juice and chopped chipotle peppers and pour over shrimp in the bag.
    Seal and chill, allowing to marinate for 12 to 24 hours.
    Pour into a bowl when ready to serve, enjoy!

    Thanks for reading! Hope you found these helpful for your next gathering.

    Peace, Love, and Rust!

    Tamera

Repurposing old jars

Hello all!

If your family is anything like mine, you consume a lot of food items that come in glass jars (a favorite meal in our house is spaghetti). I’ve noticed that some of the jars are actually kind of pretty and I have been storing (NOT hoarding!) them away on shelves in our basement kind of like a squirrel stores up nuts in a tree for the winter. I’ve always known I would find a good use for them!
I was out shopping at Target and saw the prettiest Fall centerpiece! It consisted of three glass jars painted in Fall colors with silk flowers in them, and twine tied around the necks. My little crafting feelers (much like ‘Spidey Senses’) started tingling, my thoughts drifted back to my bountiful jar collection at home and I thought to myself, ‘I could totally make this’!
I took a trip to Michaels where I purchased some Acrylic paints, brushes, silk flowers, stencils, and stencil brushes, then rushed home to begin my project.
I found three jars that matched and soaked those pesky labels off in our kitchen sink using boiling water, Dawn, vinegar, and baking soda. I don’t really have a recipe or exact formula, I just dump it all in and let them soak for a while till the labels easily scrape right off. A piece of steel wool can help scrape off any stubborn yucky glue.

Soaking off those pesky labels
Soaking off those pesky labels

Be careful of the annoying ‘best if used by dates’ stamped on the jars, I missed one and the paint did not cover it no matter how many coats I used. I will never make that mistake again! If a jar doesn’t turn out the way you want it, the paint will always wash off with the same boiling water, Dawn, vinegar, and baking soda mixture you used to get the labels off (I’ve done that as well and started all over – must be the perfectionist in me!). These don’t become really permanent until you bake them in the oven according to the paint label directions.

I started with a coat of Dark Chocolate paint on each jar as a base, drying it really well with my hair dryer. I’m way too impatient to let them sit overnight to dry! Then I used a crafting sponge on a stick (this covered better than a regular paint brush) to apply a different color on each jar. The colors I used were: Folk Art Pure Orange, Americana Paprika, and Americana Muted Gold. I used only one coat of the Americana colors, but had to use two coats of the Folk Art paint because it didn’t cover as well as the other colors.

Pretty Fall colors
Pretty Fall colors

One at a time, I carried them proudly into the bathroom to give them a good drying with the hair dryer. Then, using my newly purchased stencils and stencil brush, I painted on the word ‘Fall’ and some pretty leaves using the Dark Chocolate paint. In case you were wondering, Yes you do have to actually use a stencil brush! I did not know this and tried using a regular paint brush (silly me) and the paint bled under the stencil. Bummer!
I thought it needed a little more ‘pop’, so, using an old toothbrush, I speckled on some Dark Chocolate paint at random all over the jars.
I tried tying some Raffia around them, but wasn’t happy with the way they looked, I like things to look a bit more Primitive, so I found some brown and cream plaid homespun that I had lying around – voila! I think they turned out great!
Thanks to my jar saving (NOT hoarding!) habit, and spending a minimal amount of cash on crafting supplies, I made a beautiful Fall centerpiece for a fraction of what the one cost at Target!
(Insert pat on the back here!)

Fall centerpiece 2

Okay, I admit while at Michaels I had trouble concentrating on the task at hand, so I also purchased some brighter colors of paint, and some butterfly, dragonfly, and flower stencils. I mean why stop at just Fall decorations – right? Just imagine all the possibilities! I grabbed an old Pastene spaghetti sauce jar from my stash. I love these because they are sort of squared off and have the word ‘Mason’ raised into the glass (and happens to be my family’s favorite spaghetti sauce). I had these mini terra cotta pots laying around and for the heck of it, I stuck it down into the neck of the jar ~ and it fit perfectly (woo-hoo!). I came up with an idea to put a battery powered tealight into the little pot, and so it began!

Butterfly jar 1

I started with some Americana Chartreuse paint (no base coat this time) and covered the jar and terra cotta pot both with two coats. Using Folk Art Perfect Purple paint I stenciled the word ‘believe’ on the side and added a few butterflies and little starbursts. I finished it off with a purple polka dotted ribbon, and just like that I have a pretty little tealight jar made from an old spaghetti sauce jar. It is going to look so cute on the shelf in our daughter’s bedroom!

Butterfly jar 2

Butterfly jar Instagram

Ever since then, I have become unstoppable, and am filling up our dining room table with jars and jars of all shapes and sizes and have been painting them all sorts of color combinations with different things stenciled on them. I guess now I know what I will be giving all of my friends for Christmas this year!

Pretty paint

Hope you found this helpful! (May you never throw away another jar!)

Happy crafting and God Bless!

Tamera

Blogging is Hard!

So, in February I was super gung-ho and all about becoming an official blogger. I feel like I have a lot of things I want to share with all of you! Now, here it is almost two weeks into March, and here I am at my desk staring blindly at my computer screen. Turns out, creating an attractive blog site with beautiful pictures and links turned out to be a lot harder than I thought!
I worked for a very large medical device company for 5+ years where I spent my days in a cubicle entering data, typing up invoices, letters, & price quotes in Word, and creating endless spreadsheets in Excel (complete with nifty formulas). Unfortunately, when it comes to my blog site, all of these data codes, plug ins, and widgets are kicking my butt!

I am very stubborn, (just ask my husband) so please don’t give up on me. There is a lot of great advice out there from seasoned bloggers and social media divas, so I’ll just keep doing my homework, asking questions, and eventually I’ll figure it all out!
I was a Marine, for crying out loud!!!

I have received lots of help and words of encouragement from my sisters in Christ, who I know continue to pray for me and my frustration. I feel as though The Lord is whispering in my ear to be a voice of faith and encouragement for other women in the great big “blogosphere” of life. Our family has been blessed far beyond my wildest dreams, and I want to pass along a little of that love. Whether it’s sharing a recipe or fun craft idea with a busy mom, or just plain shining a light on someone’s path, I want to share what I can. We need to lift each other up as much as possible!
Till then, I will spend time sitting at His feet in prayer, and continue to read His Word, and I have faith that it will all come together in HIS time.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I will eventually figure all of this out, and whatever God puts on my heart to share, I will gladly pass along! My God is with me and goes before me, I do not fear because I am HIS!!!

I am His
* I got this image from artsymumof5.tumblr.com

Blessings,
Tamera

Short Happens | Our Little Miracle

Because February is Turner Syndrome Awareness month, I feel like I need to share Olivia’s story.

Olivia for blog

This story begins in August 2011, hubby and I found out we were expecting our second child, we were overjoyed! During a routine ultrasound, it was revealed that we would be having a girl (which my husband was wholeheartedly hoping for)! It was also discovered that the baby had an abnormal thickening of the nuchal fold at the base of her neck, which is an indicator of Down Syndrome.
After lots of waiting, praying, and more ultrasounds, we decided to have an amniocentesis done to find out for sure, so we could be better prepared. When we got the results, we were told
she did not have Downs, but in fact Turner Syndrome, we were a little dumbfounded. What in the world is Turner Syndrome? When we started sharing with friends and family, turns out we were not alone, no one else had ever heard of Turner Syndrome, either. We were caught up in a whirlwind of ultrasounds, tests, endless consultations with Geneticists and specialists, even more tests, (and a whole lot of waiting).

Turner Syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality only found in females where they develop just one complete X chromosome instead of 2. It occurs in around 1 in every 2500 females, and statistics show that the miscarriage/stillbirth rate of babies diagnosed is around 98% (this usually happens in the first trimester.) The most common characteristic of TS is short stature. The average height of an adult TS woman who has not received human growth hormone treatment is 4’8”. Another is premature ovarian failure; Estrogen replacement therapy is necessary for breast development, feminine body contours, menstruation and proper bone development. I won’t bore you with all of the other physical characteristics and details, if you are curious and want to read more about TS, you can visit:
http://turnersyndrome.org/learn-about-ts/what-ts

Once recovering from hearing the miscarriage rate (98% – really?), our next hurdle was discussing the abnormalities of the heart associated with TS. The most common is Coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta and bicuspid aortic valve (a valve with two leaflets instead of the usual three). Olivia was found to have this, so was now considered a “high risk” birth. So instead of labor and delivery at the planned hospital with my doctor, we were told we needed to have a scheduled delivery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, so we would be right next to the NICU at Boston Children’s Hospital (the two hospitals are connected by a large breezeway). Most likely, Olivia would need heart surgery within a few days of her birth. We were put in touch with a cardiologist right away and given all of the scary details of what could possibly happen on the day of delivery. We were scheduled on a Monday morning roughly a week before my due date to head to B&W Hospital for me to be induced as planned.

Olivia had other plans.

The Saturday before, I went into labor at home, and the contractions were pretty close together. Hubby called B&W, and we were told not to try to make the 30 minute drive to Boston for fear of not making it in time, to drive instead to the hospital nearest to our home. We drove to a hospital 10 minutes away – and having never been there, we didn’t know they don’t have labor & delivery and don’t deliver babies. Oh-no! Now what??? They called an ambulance, loaded me in wearing only my hospital johnny, wrapped in a blanket (it’s March, Brrrrr), and in full labor. We flew to the next closest hospital with hubby following closely behind in our car. We made it in time to get my epidural (hooray!) and off we went – Olivia was born shortly after. The first time I heard her cry, my heart leapt with unspeakable joy! After so many months of waiting, meeting with specialists, hoping, and praying, it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Our baby girl was here, and I was holding her!

Olivia born

Olivia born2

We still needed to get Olivia to Children’s Hospital in Boston, so a few hours later, two ambulances were called for us. Olivia was loaded into one, and mommy into the other (still in a hospital johnny, but thankfully no longer in full blown labor), and off to Boston we went. Poor, exhausted hubby had to get in our car and drive himself there.
We finally made it, and got to climb into bed for some much needed sleep for all. Olivia was in one hospital and we were in another, the fact that the two were connected didn’t make it any easier. We were able to visit her frequently, but holding her was a bit of a challenge with all of the gadgets, wires, and i.v.’s connected to her. If you have never experienced a NICU in a large hospital, the one at Children’s in Boston is a sight to behold! We were in awe of the amazing doctors, nurses, and staff involved in the care of our little angel.

Olivia orange paci

Time for surgery

When she was 2 days old, we were told that the surgery to correct her heart condition was necessary and would take place that day. No parent should ever have to make the walk to the ER pushing their newborn baby in a tiny hospital bed surrounded by Cardiologists, Anesthesiologists, Surgeons, and Nurses. I am not ashamed to say I was bawling my bloody eyes out! At the end of the hall, when they continued on through the double doors with Olivia leaving us standing there, I nearly collapsed on the floor. (My husband will tell you, I am a very emotional person, plus, I had just given birth and this was all a little overwhelming.)
We sat in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity, I prayed, cried, and prayed some more.
Olivia came through her surgery like a rock star, and everything went beautifully! She headed back to the NICU where she was monitored around the clock while she rested and recovered. After a few days, she was moved to a semi-private room with a bed where Nick and I took turns spending the night with her (Someone had to go home and take car of her big brother Aaron). We spent the following days hanging out in her room, holding her, watching t.v., sleeping, reading, snacking . . . the normal hospital activities. Nana even got to come and hang out with us.

Olivia angel

Olivia Nana

Eventually we were able to bring our little angel home. She is going to be 2 years old next month. Even though the odds were against her (remember only about 2% of babies diagnosed with TS make it to term), she is here, and she is our stubborn little beautiful miracle. We thank God every single day for the precious gift of our Olivia, she brings us immeasurable joy!

IMG_20131104_161530

Olivia blackandwhite

Olivia ballcap


“And though she be but little, she is fierce”. ~ Shakespeare

Turner awareness

Thank you so much for reading Olivia’s story, my hope is to make more people aware of Turner Syndrome.

God Bless!

Tamera

Mommy thinks she can blog

My name is Tamera, and I used to have a full time job at a fast paced medical device company. Now, I spend my days at home with my two beautiful children.

Aaron & Olivia portrait

 

After learning to adjust to being the boss instead of having one, and spending my days changing diapers, filling sippy cups, and singing along to Elmo & Big Bird, I realized Mommy needed a hobby.

A friend turned me onto Pinterest, where I have found endless DIY projects, home decor ideas, and have tried all sorts of crazy recipes (which my husband has happily consumed without a word). I have pinned and pinned into the wee hours of the night, created new boards, and then pinned some more.  

I have always had a love of rusty, crusty things, and quickly realized that I have a passion for primitive decor – our home is filled with it. There is nothing better than an old wooden box filled with treasures, or something made out of a rusty bed spring! I decided I wanted to share my “primitive passion” with the world and that’s how Rusty Dreams was born.

My husband set up a little work area in our basement, and I started creating things to sell.

Aaron

Rusty Dreams Open House https://www.facebook.com/RustyDreamsHomeDecor

After several months of making things, and a few failed projects that sadly made their way into the trash barrel, I decided that it might be fun to write a blog.  I would love to share my trial and error DIY projects, amateur chef experiences (Barefoot Contessa I am not, but am getting better!), and just plain funny Mommy stories.

Glad you took the time to read this, hope you will continue along with a crazy Mommy’s journey into the blogging world!

Blessings,

Tamera

 

 

 

 

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