The Ginger bread House

Every year since my son was born we have made ginger bread houses. When he was really little we made houses out of graham crackers. That is the easiest to do with little ones.

Then when he got to be  about 4 or 6 we bought the prepackaged houses and would add our own candy.

It wasn’t till a few years ago that we started to make our own houses from scratch. I found a recipe  from a friend and we made our own dough. I drew the house out first and everything I wanted on the houses.Then I cut that out and put the houses together to make sure that it would fit. I actually had a few templates until I came up with one that worked. I then used those templates to cut out the dough.

After rolling out the dough, lay the templates on the dough and cut around. Place these sections on a bake  sheet and bake to temperature in recipe. As soon as the baked ginger comes out of the oven, clean up the edges with a knife. This will make it easier to put together when it is cool. Make sure the ginger is fully cool when you go to ensemble it. I found it helpful to have something for the walls to lean against when putting it together. Start with 2 walls and wait until that is dry before putting up everything else.

We love going to the candy store to find our decorations for the house. The other thing we do is save candy from my son’s trick or  treat bag. We put it in the freezer until December.

These pictures were our houses last year. I’m behind on doing this years houses. Hopefully we will get to it this weekend. I made the dough yesterday during our snow storm. This year I’m going to try a recipe from Martha Stewart. I down loaded her templates and cut them out. I’ll share it when we are done.

Enjoy this wonderful Christmas season.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tracy

Have a Happy Summer!

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School is out  & Summer has begun ! ( If it ever stops raining that is) I’m signing off for a couple of months while I enjoy my family over the summer holiday. I will be back in the Fall when the little one is back in school.  I hope you all enjoy your Summer!

Take care!

ox,

Tracy

Family & Friends Entertaining Outside ideas

My family enjoys gathering  with our kith & Kin (Kith means friends). In the summer time we love to be outdoors. Here is  some inspiration for you to have your own outside gathering. It shouldn’t take a lot to pull together. Cut some flowers from your yard, pull out your good dishes, and have everyone bring something to eat and drink. Grab a chair and gather around the fire pit.

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I hope that I leave my son with memories of friends &  family gatherings, the way my mom has given me all my wonderful memories.

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My mother and I would  go along old country roads gathering wildflowers to put in old crocks and glass vases. We’d gather them and  put them through out  the house. We would  leave some for any outside  tables. Everybody would bring food and their own drinks. My mom’s knack for putting a party together has rubbed off on me. My son gets so excited when he knows we are going to be have company coming over.

I like to add little touches with  candles,  in glass jars. I fill the bottom of the jars with pebbles. ( You can find them at a craft stores or where they sell fish. That’s where I found mine) Make sure not to put them where they would get tipped over by little ones or pets.

Here is some photo’s of how I added a personal touch to the picnic  table, by displaying the food in  a beautiful and unique way. The good dishes are not  just used for the holidays. Take them out of their cabinets and show them off.

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As dusk sets in the kids keeping asking when the S’mores are coming out. Having a camp fire and S’mores is a  must at all our outdoor gatherings.

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Make a fire pit in your backyard for free.

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1-Dig a hole wide and deep enough to hold a few pieces of wood. The fire department said that you have to be able to step over it. So no huge circles.

2-Make sure that there is no grass on the outside of the circle. We put About 4 inches of stone around the fire pit

3-Gather rocks around your yard. Place them on the outside of the circle and on top of the stone gravel you put down.

4- Call your fire department and get a permit.VERY IMPORTANT. They will come out and inspect it. Each town and state is different so call ahead before you go and build it. It would be very disappointing to have to take it apart.

5-Gather your Kith & Kin, food & drink, and great conversation.

6-Don’t forget the marshmallows.

7- ENJOY

Napkins for a Tea Party

I just listed these whimsical napkins in my Etsy store My Pretty Poppies.

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Over the next few days I will be adding the matching table cloths and napkin ring holders. The table cloths would fit a child’s 24 x24 table.

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They would make a great gift for a little girl or even a mom who would like to add a little whimsy to her home.

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I just love these colors. They are from the Tutti Frutti collection. The tea cup is from my china tea cup collection. When my mom moved the last time and we bought our house, she gave me all her tea cups.

When I was little we would have tea time. She would purchase lose tea, seep it, and then strain it into the tea cups. There is nothing like fresh tea made from flowers and herbs.

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Take a few minutes out of a busy day and grab a cup of  herbal tea. My favorite scenes in Masterpiece Theater Productions are those where the women and men are all dressed up outside enjoying tea. Zoe Wannamaker in The Old Curiosity Shop is shown in a wooded area sipping out of her tea cup when  the main characters in the show come up on her.  A scene from Emma ( I think it was that one) shows all the help lugging tables, food, and linens up a steep hill so there employers can have a picnic up on a hill. How romantic.

Enjoy and I’ll hope you join me in a spot of tea.

Have Fun!

Tracy

Slow down and smell the flowers

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It’s that time of year when families are  in full throttle . Running with the kids to games, school concerts, plays, recitals. The weeks blend into each other until Summer vacation hits.

It’s also one of the most beautiful times of the year. The trees & bushes are in full bloom. They are  decked out in glorious  colors. Each a little bit prettier then the other. It can be a wonderful inspiration to anyone that opens  their eyes and just enjoy the beauty. Even if it’s only for a moment.

Live in that little moment because, like a magnificent Magnolia flower, the moment will not be there for long.

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I was talking to a client the other day who was about 20 minutes away from our home town. She said she was driving along and  thought how beautiful all the green and flowering buds looked. She spent the whole time driving home admiring each town as she passed through it. When she pulled into her drive way she realized how beautiful her road was.  She couldn’t get over how she had missed the beauty on her own road, until she took a minute to really look.

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So if your life is spinning at a fast pace try to step off the merry- go-round for just a second and admire all the new life that is popping up.

Up here in the Northeast our growing season is not long. We learn to appreciate what we have before the next season begins. Slow down and smell the flowers.

Pinewood Derby Time

This was our son’s first year at the Pinewood Derby in his pack. He decided he wanted to try Boy Scouts this year. He is in Weblos 1. We found a great den in the next town over from us. He is very active so we wanted to find a den that did a lot outside. His den leader is awesome with the boys.

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He worked on his car with his dad. He wanted to use the Weblo colors.

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The night before the race they weigh the cars and then confiscate them. They can’t weigh more then 5 ounces.

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He came in last for his group but he got the Scout Spirit Award for his design. He is already working on next years design.

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For Christmas we had bought him a kit to build. He had fun making that one to. Great project for the boys to build with mom or dad. They sell them at craft stores or hobbies shops. It’s amazing that all these cars started out looking all the same.

Have Fun!

Does the male in your life Craft?

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When you think of crafts you think of women crafting. Did you know that fly tying is a craft.  The intricacies that goes into making a fly ? Tying flies is the craft of making an item looking as really as possible. My husband started showing our son how to tie when he was just walking. He would sit on his lap and watch Hubie wrap the delicate material around a hook. There is quite an art to it. Personally I don’t have patience to sit their and do it but Hubie does. He ties all my flies for me.

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This is a great hobby to share with your kids. It helps pass the Winter and in the Summer you have the memories of fishing together.

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