Acorn Banner printable

gratitude woven into your life like a tapestry ~ DIY acorn banner printable

Oh how powerful gratitude is…I am proof of that statement.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner on mantle

This time last week I was a mess…emotionally, spiritually, financially. What a difference a week makes or even a moment in time. Gratitude is perhaps the most powerful of all feelings as it can manifest greatness even among ashes. Being grateful for what you have instead of being sad about what you do not have makes ALL the difference…trust me on that!!!

Acorn Banner Printable

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner on mantle printable

In appreciation for my blessings, I am sharing some of my favorite things this week in preparation for Thanksgiving Day. I am decorating with nature (FREE) this year. Here is a little gift to you…an Acorn Banner for your mantle or window. It even looks great just strung across your wall.

Acorn Banner printable

Acorn Banner printable ~ click to download

I drew and painted these in PhotoShop. I also created a Place Card printable you can see and download here. Tomorrow see my Gratitude Tree. Thursday I share a charger plate made from leaves. This week gratitude is indeed woven into my life like a tapestry… Enjoy!!

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner printable

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner printable

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner printable supplies

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner supplies ~love Elmer's & X-Acto


Happy Holidays Girlfriend! Get Your @Girlfriendology Guide to Holiday Girlfriend Advice

Friendship-Girlfriendology-Guide-to-Holiday-Girlfriend-AdviceDo you really want to get through the Holidays without your girlfriends? NO WAY!

It is that time of year when we work hard, play harder, party hearty and shop a lot. Girlfriend, you can wear yourself out. So 20 or so girlfriend writers (me too) from Girlfriendology collaborated on the ‘Girlfriendology Guide to Holiday Girlfriend Advice.‘ It is 80 pages filled to the brim with the best advice for having a beautiful holiday season…advice that only girlfriends will share with you. Grab your FREE copy today…

Girlfriendology Guide to Holiday Girlfriend Advice

Find ideas and advice for girlfriend fun get-togethers, fab holiday gifts, yummy recipes, traditions and even some frugal tips. And while you’re at it, come on over and join Girlfriendology. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay in touch with the great women in this community. Hang out with us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Here’s what’s inside:

How to Host a Girlfriend Gratitude Party, By Shasta Nelson,
The Faux Diet Queen Shares Holiday Ideas, By The Faux Diet Queen
The Perfect Gift & No Stress Included!, By Janet DeVito,
Tips to getting the perfect gift … for you!, By Miss Kitty Plum, Plums Lingerie
Must-See Holiday Romances, By Susan Mallery, Bestselling Author
Happy Family, Happy Holidays!, By Patricia Sands, author “The Bridge Club”
Holiday Baking Tradition, By Andi, Udandi & LunchitPunchit Blogs
How Do You Keep Celebrating All Year Long?, By Michelle Cullum, A Renaissance Chick
Gusto-filled, guilt-free holidays at any size!, By Stephanie Rainbow Bell,
Finding Family Amongst Friends, By Robin Feltner, Supernatural Botanicals
Spend Time with your Friends at the Holidays (& all the Time!), By Jacqueline Cromwell, The NerdFamilyBlog
Country Style Holiday Saving, By Sherry Martz,
Practical Tips for Surviving the Holidays Without a +1, By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick
Seven Simple Tips for Stress-Less Gift Giving, By Sandy Fowler, Heart Filled Holidays
10 ways to be less stressed and have more meaningful holidays, By Bernice Wood, Living the Balanced Life
Girlfriend Advice for Black Friday (& Holiday Shopping), By Melissa Garcia,
Choose to Enjoy the Holidays, By Jennifer Hall, Just Jennifer
Easy But Impressive Vegetarian Recipes for Your Holiday Parties, By Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick
The 5-Element System to Empowerment, De-Stressing, Productivity & Friendship During the Holidays, By Dianne DelReyes,
Things I Love to Cook & Eat ~ Pumpkin Spice Cookies and Muffins, By Rebecca E. Parsons
Happy Holiday Networking, By Julie Bauke,
BONUS 1: Frugal Girlfriend Advice for the Holidays
BONUS 2: Holiday Gift Tags, designed by Rebecca E. Parsons

Download the FREE Girlfriendology Guide to Holiday Girlfriend Advice eBook

Thanksgiving Pine Cone Centerpiece

DIY ~ Simple, Inexpensive Thanksgiving Gratitude Table Decor & Place Card Printable

This year is all about simple living for me. I challenged myself to create the Thanksgiving table decor for FREE…yes free. I have a load of craft and creativity supplies in my stash…so I decided to use them to create this fun and natural table decorations for my Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving Pine Cone Centerpiece

Thanksgiving Pine Cone Centerpiece

I had the silver tray…I love to use my silver on a daily basis. Why have it if you keep it stored away? Enjoy your beautiful possessions!!!

I filled the tray with split peas, but any legume would do for this display. Hubby and I went for a walk in the woods and gathered the southern pine cones. They are larger than most. I also picked up some fall leaves to sprinkle among my tray. It is simple, but beautiful.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Place Cards

I created a gratitude card on my computer. It says  Thanksgiving 2011 – I am grateful for… Each member of your family can write their thoughts. Include a pencil or pen. I am sharing them with you. Just click on the image and download the PDF.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Place Cards 2011

2011 Thanksgiving Gratitude Place Cards ~ click to download

I used things from my craft supply closet to create the card. I used some green cardstock, X-Acto Decorative Edge scissors, Elmer’s X-treme Glue Stick and my card print out from above.

Thanksgiving Pine Cone Place Card supplies Elmer's #gluenglitter

I glued the card onto the green cardstock and cut around it with the decorative scissors. I then place it in the grooves of a pine cone. I will place this on top of the plates and each person at my table can write what they are most grateful this year. This cost me nothing to do!!! For that I am very grateful.

Thanksgiving Pine Cone Place Card

Thanksgiving Pine Cone Place Card

Let me know your simple ides below…

a midnight fly over printable gift from Rebecca E. Parsons

Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun…Fun…Fun!!! DIY Halloween Gift 4 YOU!!!

Tonight upon your pillow
Close your eyes and hide your head
For the fairies and the goblins
Will be hovering ’round your head…

here is my gift to you…

Happy Halloween to all my ghoulish friends…It has been an amazing Halloween season for me with all the #MMSGetCorny and #DontBeTheDarkHouse excitement…I want to thank everyone who made this campaign a huge success!!! I will be dancing the night away…but I forgot my shoes…am dancing barefoot…don’t step on my toes… thank you all ghouls and goblins….

Rebecca E. Parsons art #MMSGetCorny and #DontBeTheDarkHouse

just click on image, then copy

This is an original 6″ x 6″ digital painting from original artwork, doodles and textures and some PhotoShop. Please take a painting with you on your flight…you can frame it as artwork, use it to make napkins, coasters, decorate treat bags…be creative with it. You can print it as many times as you like..but it is for personal use only!!!

My inner child is full of wonder and very sweet. I fear people taking advantage for me. I am always worried about protecting my own interests. I’m prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, I enjoy being scared out of your mind… even if I don’t admit it. I am a total overachiever and workaholic… the type of person who plans their elaborate Halloween costume weeks in advance.

What’s Your Halloween Personality?




You Are Invited to a #DontBeTheDarkHouse Snickers Mini Twitter Party

Join Lauren Rodkin of Collective Bias, Beth Davis of Plus Size Mommy and me (Rebecca E. Parsons) to chat about Snickers mini candies, Halloween candy, trick or treating, Halloween costumes, Walmart candy and so much more. We will share treats and tricks, fun facts and give away three (3) $25 gift cards and one (1) $100 gift card to Walmart during the party.

WHAT: #DontBeTheDarkHouse Twitter Party
WHEN: Thursday, October 27th, 9-10 EDT
FUN: Treats, costumes and ideas & Walmart Gift Card giveaways
FOLLOW: Follow @RebeccaEParsons, @LaurenRodkin, @PlusSizeMommy
: Now for a chance to win prizes during the party!

Fine Print: We will be giving away Walmart gift cards. Please RSVP using the linky below (enter the URL to your Twitter profile) to be eligible for a prize. All winners will be chosen using from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Only open to US citizens, sorry!!!


Don’t miss this one…We will be talking about Snickers mini candies, Snickers Walmart, Sinckers candy, candy corn, Halloween parties, Halloween candy, Walmart candy, Walmart Halloween, everything Halloween.

Please place a badge for the party on your Blog and link back to this post:


#DontBeTheDarkHouse500 px badge

#DontBeTheDarkHouse200 px badge


You’re Invited to #MMsGetCorny Crafty Twitter Party! #cBias

Join Lauren Rodkin of Collective Bias, Beth Davis of Plus Size Mommy and me (Rebecca E. Parsons) to chat about M&M’s Candy Corn White Chocolate candies, party snacks, Halloween party ideas, Halloween candy, Walmart candy, Halloween cooking and baking with M&M’s and crafting with M&M’s for Halloween. We will share treats and tricks, recipes, and give away three (3) $25 gift cards and one (1) $100 gift card to Walmart during the party.

WHAT: #MMsGetCorny Twitter Party
WHEN: Wednesday, September 28th, 9-10 EDT
FUN: Recipes, crafts from foodies & crafters & Walmart Gift Card giveaways
FOLLOW: Follow @RebeccaEParsons, @LaurenRodkin, @PlusSizeMommy
Twitter via TweetChat or our custom TweetGrid
: Now for a chance to win prizes during the party!

Fine Print: We will be giving away Walmart gift cards. Please RSVP using the linky below (enter the URL to your Twitter profile) to be eligible for a prize. All winners will be chosen using from the RSVP link and winners must be present and participating in the party at the time that they are drawn as a winner. Only open to US citizens, sorry!!!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Don’t miss this one…We will be talking about M&M’s Candy Corn White Chocolate candies, M&M’s Walmart, M&M’s candy, candy corn, party snacks, Halloween party, Halloween candy, Walmart candy, Walmart Halloween, cooking and baking with M&M’s and crafting with M&M’s for Halloween.

Please place a badge for the party on your Blog:

M&M's Twitter Party RSVP

code for 200 px badge

<center><a href=”″><img src=”” title=”M&M’s Twitter Party RSVP” alt=”M&M’s Twitter Party RSVP”></a></center>

M&M's Twitter Party RSVP

code for 150 px badge

<center><a href=”″><img src=”” title=”M&M’s Twitter Party RSVP” alt=”M&M’s Twitter Party RSVP”></a></center>


Giveaway-$25 Home Depot E-Gift Card from

UPDATE~Winner is Dary Lee…Congratulations!!!

Are you planning to move this summer?

Millions of Americans will be loading trucks and heading for a new home. The average American has over 60 tasks to do in order to prepare for the move. Important decisions can easily slip through the cracks unless you have help. offers help! (See Home Depot e-Card Giveaway below.) Gets Movers Connected is an easy way for consumers to find the cable provider in their new town. The website allows movers to quickly and easily schedule digital cable, Internet and phone service at their new address.

Lisa Laporta

Recommended by HGTV’s Lisa Laporta and tech guru David Gregg, helps you easily incorporate technology into new homes. You can connect your cable TV, phone and internet in one stop at

In a helpful article Lisa Laporta offers some practical tips to help prepare for a move. She talks about the latest on “techorating” – how to incorporate technology into your new home:

  1. Integrate key services in your new home i.e. Phone, Cable TV and Internet.
  2. Visit the official website of, there you will find fantastic moving plans of experts and you can choose one of your choice and requirements.

Most Americans make more than 10 calls to disconnect and connect during a move… Keeps You Connected Throughout Your Move

Being offline is a frustrating part of moving.

David Gregg offers a pretty simple and free solution. It’s not terribly revolutionary, but it makes settling into the new pad a little easier. Just type in the address where you are moving and the website will give you all your cable, internet and phone options. Not only that, you’ll get a list of the current deals offered by competing service providers. Once you choose a provider you can book a connection appointment ahead of the move so you won’t be weeks without access to your favorite website. (Which is, right?)~Ben

You can Call Now Call 1-877-605-3450 or visit the web at for assistance.

WIN IT… has generously given me a $25 E-Gift Card to Home Depot to give away to one lucky winner in the USA. Get entered below!

IMPORTANt STUFF: You must leave a valid e-mail address since the card will be sent via e-mail. One winner will be picked via and will be e-mailed. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends on 7/24/11 at 12:01 am EST. This giveaway is open to US residents 18+.

Required: Leave a comment telling me where you are moving; however, you do not have to be moving to win.

Extra Entries: leave another comment for each please…

  1. Tweet about the contest -click the t button under this post \/
  2. LIKE Cre8Tive Compass Magazine on Facebook –> click LIKE at top of column
  3. Follow me on Twitter –> click the BIG BLUE follow me on the right side of page
  4. Follow me on Google Friends –> click Join this site in the middle of the column



You should know that this review has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Mom Spark Media. The ideas and opinions are 100% my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

GiveAway ~ Win Cars 2 Tickets from Fandango (#gocars2)


Twitter Follower: Heidi @TheBusyNothings

FaceBook Follower: Lisa Fulmer

1st: #13 Jill

2nd: #1 Penny

3rd: #31 Dee

The tickets will be sent by e-mail…

Yes…that’s right…You can win 2 tickets to see Disney-Pixar’s Cars 2! RIGHT~HERE RIGHT NOW!!! Enter Below with a comment!!

Start your engines! I have 5, count ’em, 5 pairs of tickets to Cars 2 (#gocars2) to give away to 5 lucky winners on my blog!!! Courtesy of Fandango*, the giveaway will run for 5 days…starting today!!!

C8C is offering you an opportunity to win one of five sets of 2 tickets (valued at $14 per ticket). The animated summer blockbuster sequel to Cars opens June 24 and can be viewed in 2D or 3D.

The sequel features the main characters from the original Cars, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and tow truck Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy). The two are heading for an adventure in Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix, but Mater finds himself caught up in an international espionage situation, helping with a top-secret spy mission.

The film also features several of new characters such as Finn McMissile (voiced by Michael Caine), Francesco Bernoulli (voiced by John Turturro), and Holley Shiftwell (voiced by Emily Mortimer).

To enter the contest:

I hate having to jump through hoops to win something on a blog…and I hate loads of rules to read through. Winners will be chosen at random at 9PM Eastern on Wednesday, June 22. The 5 winners will be e-mailed a code to get your F*R*E*E tickets from YOU MUST LEAVE A VALID E-MAIL ADDRESS TO WN!!!

All you need to do to enter is LEAVE 1 COMMENT ONLY telling me which is your (or your child’s) favorite Cars  character and why!!! I am giving 1 pair to a fan of Cre8tve Compass on FaceBook. I am giving 1 pair to one of my Twitter followers. I am giving 3 pairs to readers who leave comments below. All will be chosen through

Good luck!

*Fandango tickets to nearly 65% of the theaters enabled for online ticketing and 80% of the country lives within 20 miles of a Fandango theater. Please indicate in your post/giveaway that the tickets are for “theaters available for ticketing on or any of Fandango’s apps”.

I created a little video of the ticket ordering process from I recorded my actual first time ordering experience. as some fun promotions right now:

  1. Buy your Cars 2 tickets on Fandango and get a FREE Cars 2 Father’s Day card to send to dad (ends Saturday, June 18th).
  2. Buy your cars 2 tickets on Fandango and get a FREE iTunes download. Once you buy your tickets you will be sent an e-mail with the code for your download.

Other movies coming soon and You can purchase tickets on

  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon – 6/29;
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – 7/15, etc.

Go to to see other releases.


More family movie fun:

All films are rated G or PG.

You should know that this shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Fandango #gocars2. The ideas are 100% my own.

Ordering Movie Tickets from (#gocars2)

I cannot wait to see the movie Cars 2 #gocars2…the further adventures of Mater and Lightening McQueen. I am going opening day!!! It has been five years since we first met them in Cars. This time the pair is heading to Japan and Europe to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

I pre-ordered our family tickets on I documented my first time buying process in this little video. It was easy peasy…you need to try it!!!

The hubby and I will make a date of it this Friday in St. Mary’s, GA…just across the state line. We have a favorite restaurant on the marsh in this quaint little city near Cumberland Island.

I ordered the tickets today (June 17th) for the opening day June 24th. As you can see in the little video, it took me less than 3 minutes to complete the order. I captured the process as I experienced it because first time ordering processes can be confusing some times. This process was not.

You simply click on the movie you want from the drop down list, enter your zip code and click find theaters. It takes you to a screen that shows all available theaters within 15 miles. Then you pick the date and the time you want. On the next screen you chose how many tickets you want with choices for children and seniors. Then fill in your payment method…(you can use a credit/debit card or PayPal. It takes a few minutes to fill out your info) …and you have tickets.

There is a voucher to print with your confirmation number. You take that to the theater to receive your tickets. I like this because we don’t have to stand in line to buy…especially on opening day when the lines will be long for sure!!!

There are some fun promotions at Fandango right now.

  • buy your tickets on Fandango and get a FREE Cars2 Father’s Day card to send to dad (ends Saturday, June 18th)
  • buy your tickets on Fandango and get a FREE iTunes download

I have 5 pairs of tickets to give away here until 9PM EDT June 22, 2011.

There are many other movies coming soon that you purchase tickets for on For example: Transformers: Dark of the Moon – 6/29; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – 7/15, etc. Go to to see other coming attractions.

You should know that this shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Fandango #gocars2. The ideas are 100% my own.

KMart Outdoor Makeover Flamingo Soirée~Day 3

This is day 3 of a four part series showcasing my outdoor makeover, courtesy of KMart, and a Flamingo Soirée, inspired by Party Bluprints dot Com to celebrate my new outdoor space.


On day 1 I created the invitations and paper goods. (See FREE recipe card printable below) On day 2 we saw the remarkable Kmart outdoor makeover. Today I turn my attention to the all important menu. With my Outdoor Entertaining Party Blueprint in hand, I sat at my new table and chairs and planned the menu!!! There are simple and special recipes, tips and ideas for you to host the best party of the season and much more. I love the advice…

Dawn of Party Bluprints writes, OUTDOOR PARTIES can be easy and enjoyable when you are prepared and have a great plan.

Partty Bluprints dot com

The Party Blueprint offered an easy, affordable and delicious Outdoor Party Menu including an appetizer, main dish, side dish, dessert and cocktail! Each recipe features grilled ingredients and stars summer favorites like corn, tomatoes and berries! A good thing for sure.

I wanted to keep it simple, yet stylish and easy!! [I have a tendency to go way overboard.] In the mad rush to complete this makeover/party, I did not want to feel harried on party day. So the grill would be used to the fullest as it would allow me to get out of the kitchen and let somebody else cook!!!

As the blueprint advised, I prepped everything before guests arrived and let the guys be in charge of the grill. My daughter loves to entertain as much as I do, so I let her help as much as she wanted. Her husband loves to mix drinks, so I assigned him chief bartender. See where I am going here?

Fresh summer produce from the local farmers market–tomatoes, onion, basil, corn, scallions and berries are indeed front and center on my menu. The main dish is a Mixed Grill of pork chops and chicken. Easy peasy.

I used The party Blueprint as a guide and added some of my own faves and ideas to the mix. I didn’t want to be a total copy cat. You will see some adapted recipes and some that are completely my own and one that I didn’t change a thing…it was perfect as is for my Flamingo Soirée.



pink flamingo-tini

Pink Flamingo-tini: My summer cocktail is a favorite and oh so pink. I use fresh squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice and splash of grenadine syrup.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp


  • 6 oz. fresh squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit  juice
  • small splash of grenadine syrup
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 grapefruit slice (garnish)


Place all ingredients, except garnish, in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Strain into martini glass.

Added touch: The kids can have mock-tinis of Hawaiian Punch in plastic wine or champagne lasses!




Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta: This light version of The Party Blueprint bruschetta features local shrimp and fresh produce. This starts the pink meal out just right!!!

Marinated Grilled Shrimp


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • skewers


  1. Marinade: Stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum, stirring once or twice. (HINT: You can do this early morning of party.)
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard the marinade.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Grilled Bruschetta

Ingredients (serves 10-12)

  • 1 loaf Italian bread (sliced into ½” slices)
  • 1 clove garlic (cut in half lengthwise)
  • 4 plum tomatoes (rinsed, sliced thinly and chopped)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • fresh basil (ribbon-cut/thinly sliced), to taste


  1. Preheat grill. Spray or brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil, then rub each side with cut side of garlic.
  2. Combine tomatoes, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Grill bread on medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. Mix in basil to tomato mixture as you grill bread.
  5. Top each slice with a generous tablespoon of tomato mixture and three grilled shrimp.




the main dish is grillin' with corn and green onions

Mixed Grill Chicken & Pork Chops: I adapted the Party Blueprint by substituting pork chops for London Broil. I also doctored their rub with my own faves…like cocoa powder (yes, cooca powder). Try it, you will love the flavors. I am not a big fan of spicy, so you can adjust “the heat/spiciness” of your rub according to taste.


Dry Rub:

  • 4 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. Spanish sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder


  • 6 1″ thick Pork Chops
  • 6 Skinless Chicken Breasts

Secret Sauce:

  • Homemade orange marmalade
  • Prepared horseradish or horseradish sauce


  1. Mix dry rub ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Arrange chops and chicken on separate platters. Sprinkle both sides with dry rub then press the rub gently into the pieces. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
  3. Preheat grill to high. Cook pork Chops and chicken breasts 10-12 minutes/side, or until desired degree of doneness (cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the cut and the temperature of your grill). The juice on the chicken should run clear.
  4. Remove meats from grill to platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Mix marmalade with horseradish to taste and dip your meat in it…you will love it!



Grilled Corn Couscous Salad: I  borrowed this straight from Party Bluprints…why mess with a good thing!! This side salad is the perfect cool complement to the any outdoor grill fest. The fresh flavors from the produce brighten up this wholesome grain resulting in a refreshing and tasty salad. It’s an easy and affordable salad to make – a little couscous goes a long way!


  • 1 cup tri-color Couscous (you can substitute plain couscous)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ears of grilled corn on the cob (kernels removed)
  • 6 scallions, sliced thinly
  • ½ dry pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat grill. Remove husks and silks from corn. Grill corn on medium heat 15-20 minutes turning midway through. Allow corn to cool thoroughly and then using a knife slice off the kernels from the cobs. Set kernels aside.
  2. Add chicken broth and grilled corn kernels to a pot, cover and bring to a boil. Remove pot from heat, add couscous, stir and cover. Allow couscous to sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork until fluffy and all clumps are removed. Add scallions, tomatoes and parsley and gently mix. In a separate bowl, prepare dressing by mixing fresh lime juice, canola oil, salt and pepper – mix thoroughly and then dress salad.



grillled pound cake, fresh berries and strawberry frozen yogurt

Grilled Pound Cake ALA Mode:  I had to make mine pink!!! I just altered the pound cake and the ice cream for this recipe from Party Blurprints. We love this dessert because it’s so simple to make, but looks so special (and it tastes just as special.) The grilled pound cake serves as the base – its crunchy exterior hides a soft buttery interior, both tastes and textures are equally delicious in combination with the refreshing sweet flavors of the berries and the creamy rich ice cream.


  • 1 large loaf of strawberry pound cake (cut into ¾” slices)
  • 1 16 oz. package strawberries (rinsed and sliced)
  • 1 dry pint blueberries (rinsed)
  • 1 dry pint blackberries (rinsed and sliced in half)
  • 1 1.5 quart carton strawberry frozen yogurt or ice cream


  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Rinse and dry berries. Mix together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Put slices of cake on medium heat grill, grill on each side 3-4 minutes per side until cake is heated through and grill marks appear.
  4. Remove from grill, top with berries and add a scoop of yogurt or ice cream.

The food is ready the tent is up so…

Let’s get this party started! tomorrow…

click image to start download

Here is a FREE printable Set of 3 Recipe Cards just for you…enjoy it an think of me every time you use them!!!
flamingo recipe card

Visit to other days of the Kmart Outdoor Makeover/Soirée by clicking the links below.:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 4

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

The WalMart Ice Cream Social (#icecreamsocial)

Believe me when somebody says FREE ice cream…people come. It is a hot Florida evening on this Memorial Day weekend. Loads of people have come to Amelia Island for the first long weekend of summer. And some of them even found their way to our local  WalMart Supercenter on the mainland (Yulee) for The WalMart Ice Cream Social! (#icecreamsocial)

Kids and adults came by the Bright Ideas Station at WalMart to enjoy a FREE sample of Edy’s Slow Churned Ice Cream topped with yummy  Nestlé Nesquik Chocolate Syrup and creamy Reddi-Wip.

Click to view a slide show of the #icecreamsocial event.

We arrived at 5PM sharp…as my husband is an ice cream lover big time. He had been excited ever since I told him we were going. I stopped and asked the greeters if they knew where the ice cream social was…but they didn’t know. They did call someone to ask. They said the hostess knew about it.

Next, I headed to the Customer Service area. The woman behind the counter was talking to another employee about their wallet. I waited a few minutes for them to finish. I asked her about the Ice Cream Social I had heard so much about for days…she, however, had no idea what I was talking about. She also didn’t know about the Bright Ideas Station. She called Daniel, the CS manager… and he did know about the Bright Ideas Station and said that it is usually by the double black door in produce. We were making progress.

He walked us over to the area and the Bright Ideas Station was set up…but no one was there. It was 5:05. There were cups and spoons on the table…so we thought that was a good sign.

I was really hungry…a bad thing when you go to a grocery store.  Hubby kept an eagle eye out for the ice cream social to begin.

At 5:30 still no sign of activity. So we continued to shop.

Kids were lining up and dancing around.

At 5:40 things began to happen at the Bright Ideas Station.We shopped for groceries as we waited for the hostess to show. They do have some great deals for the holiday weekend. I will show you those later.

Hubby wanted to get in line but didn’t want to appear too anxious. I was still grocery shopping. I have company coming as you always do when you live at the beach!

The first two social patrons were offered a choice of vanilla or caramel Edy’s Slow Churned ice cream with Nestle’s Chocolate Sauce and Reddi Wip. Yummmmmm!!!

At 5:45 the first scoop was served to two very polite boys. How cute they were as they licked and love the chocolate sauce.

By 6PM people had appeared from everywhere. Hubby was happy but wondered if he could have seconds?

Everyone had a good time cooling down on this hot evening in Florida. I really love the taste of Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel ice cream topped with yummy Nestlé Nesquik Chocolate Syrup and creamy Reddi-Wip. It has been a while since I tasted Nestlé’s Chocolate Sauce and I was pleasantly surprised. The caramel ice cream was to die for. I bought both for my Memorial Day weekend celebrations and will add them to my faves!!!

As you can see from my car, I found some great deals on food while at WalMart.

The Walmart Ice Cream Social proved to be a success. Look for another on on July 2, 2011 at participating WalMart stores.

This shop/project has been compensated as part of a campaign for Nestlé andCollective Bias. All ideas and opinions are 100% my own.


colorful pinwheel

Celebrate Spring with Bright HandMade Pinwheels & Cupcakes

What better way to celebrate spring that with a bright, colorful pinwheel?

I loved running with a pinwheel as a child. Now I enjoy watching them spin in a spring breeze. A whole line of them up the walkway could welcome guests to a Celebrate Spring party. A pinwheel in a glass of jelly beans or spice drops is a great centerpiece. A smaller one on a toothpick could top a brownie or cupcake. There are a million ideas for these.

see recipe for key lime cupcakes below

Download and print out the FREE pattern below. If you want you can adjust the size to make smaller or larger ones…just make sure it stays square. To adjust the size on your printer, chose a smaller percentage when printing. You could also use a copy machine.

You will need:

1 sheet double sided paper or 2 coordinating sheets (8.5 X 11″)
push pin
1/2″ diameter wood dowel

the pattern and paper by the Paper Studio

I used paper from the Paper Studio…Girl Flowers and Girl Diamonds. I glued the sheets together with paper glue and let dry. Then I used the pattern and cut out the square along the dotted lines. Then I cut from the corners toward the center as indicated on the pattern. Cut carefully as precision counts if you want the pinwheel to spin properly.

Mark the hole in the center with a permanent pen.

fold every other point toward the center

Fold every other point toward the dot in the center of the template and tape or glue. You can also use eyelets to fasten it together for added strength.

The pinwheel completed.

Push your push pin into the dowel about 1″ from top. Cut a tiny flower that will cover the push pin head.

Paint the dowel with acrylic paint…two coats. Let dry.

Push the push pin through the hole in center of pinwheel and into the dowel. Leave a little wiggle room for the pinwheel to turn. glue the tiny cut flower to the top of the push pin.  Curl the pointed edges around your fingers.

Decorate with ribbons and take it for a spin!

Click on the Printable pinwheel pattern PDF to download file.

Margarita Cupcakes with Key Line Frosting

2 dozen cupcakes


1 (18 1/4 ounce) box white cake mix (not pudding type)
1 (10 ounce) can frozen margarita mix, thawed (do not add water)
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated lime zest


  1. In large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients with electric mixer.
  2. Stir in lime zest; mix well.
  3. Fill prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  4. Bake according to box directions (usually 325 degrees – be sure to check box!) 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan on cooling rack 5-8 minutes.
  6. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely before frosting.

Key Lime Frosting

Makes about 2 3/4 cups


1/2  cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons Key lime zest
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon  salt
1  (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
3  tablespoons Key lime juice
1  to 2 Tbsp. milk


1. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternating Key lime juice, 1 Tbsp. at a time and 1 Tbsp. milk. Beat at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Can add up to 1 Tbsp. additional milk to reach desired consistency.

3. Pipe on to cupcakes. Decorate with tiny pinwheels.

Addison's 1st Birthday hat

Birthday Hat & Designer Jeans for Addison’s Birthday

My sweet grandddaughter is 1 year old tomorrow!!! I love that sweet baby girl! I am on my way to the party. I, of course, had to make her something special for her 1st birthday celebration…here it is:

Addison's 1st Birthday hat

I designed the fabric, the hat pattern and an outfit to match!!! I will share how and I will give you the pattern to make your own birthday hat for a special girl or boy!!!

  1. I created the hat pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

    click on template the open full size pattern

  2. I designed the fabric in PhotoShop to coordinate with the party decorations!!!
  3. Then I printed it on Leslie Riley’s TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) from C&T Publishing...the neatest thing since sliced bread!!! You must print a mirror image if you have text on the design.

    design printed on TAP

  4. Then I cut it out just inside the outer line. I also did some extra design elements on the same sheet to put on her shirt and jeans.
  5. I cut a piece of white felt, lining and interfacing from the pattern. Make sure that you have them going the right direction before cutting.

    lining fabric

  6. Next  I ironed the TAP onto worked but I would not do that again. I would put it on smoother fabric!!!  I then sewed the felt to the lining along the side/straight edges. I sewed the ribbons to the inside of the hat after I glued it…do that before you glue!!!
  7. I hot glued the flap to the back of the hat. Then I hot glued a pink boa along the bottom edge and at the top of the hat point. #@*@#&^…yes I burnt my fingers!!! But is was oh so worth the pain!!! ;}}
  8. I then ironed the TAP butterfly and name to her back jean pockets. She now has her own designer jeans!!!
  9. I also ironed a design on a white shirt.

Did I tell you how much I love this little girl? And I love TAP…It feel great on the fabric and all the white areas disappear!!! I also designed an apron for my TV show with TAP!!! I just love that stuff!!! TAP should come with a warning though…it is highly addictive!!!



floured surface

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Soda Bread Gift Set

click to download printable

I have designed a great printable for YOU!!! It is one of my Mason Jar Gift Sets. And I give you a step-by-step tutorial with photos for making Irish Soda Bread. Plus a little video to cheer you!!! Happy St. Paddy’s Day!!!

You just layer the dry ingredients in a Mason Jar…print out the printable Gift Set…cut out the recipe and punch out the 2″tag…decorate your jar lid and you’re all set. It is a great hostess gift for your St. Paddy’s Day party throwers.

Just click the recipe card and tag printable to the left and that will start the download. Once it is downloaded to your computer, open it and print it on cardstock. Cut out the recipe and combine the dry ingredients in a Mason jar. Try to make nice layers.

HINT: Place the flour mixture on the bottom. If you place it or even part of it on top of raisins, the flour will seep down into them and cover them. See the video above and you will understand!!!

Cove the jar lid with a cute green print fabric. I used a leather showlace to tie it on. Punch out the round tag with a 2″ punch. I designed the tags with a little play in case you get a little off center. Punch a hole in the top of the tag and hang it from the shoelace. You could also glue it to the front of the jar as in the picture above.


So let’s make Irish Soda Bread


YUMMY Irish Soda Bread!!!


This is a quick and easy recipe. This is a great recipe to try for your first attempt at breadmaking…as it is almost foolproof!! The traditional recipe calls for raisins, but I often substitute semi-sweet chocolate shavings, craisins and a new fave is pomegranate craisins. So feel free to experiment.

  1. Combine dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Cut in butter until it is thoroughly mixed with dry ingredients.
  3. Spread mixture out on floured surface.

    floured surface

  4. Make a well in center of the mixture.

    hole in center of dry ingredients

  5. Wisk egg and buttermilk together. Pour into the well in center of dry mixture.

    pour buttermilk mix into well

  6. Mix with your hands. It s sticky.
  7. Knead for 1 minute adding small amounts of flour to make it less sticky.

    kneading the bread

  8. Shape into a nice round loaf.

    resting afte kneading

  9. Place on greased baking sheet. Score the top with a cross shape with knife.

    ready to bake

  10. Bake and enjoy!!!

YUMMY Irish Soda Bread!!!