You’ve made the leap and purchased very comfortable, and expensive outdoor furniture. The salesman has probably told you, “Sure you can leave your furniture outside; it’ll be fine.” Yes…and no. Car paint fades in time, shingles on your roof need replacing, asphalt on roads wears out and siding on your house needs replacing after several years…why would you think outdoor furniture will stand up to blazing hot sun if these things don’t. Good quality outdoor furniture starts with UV protected resin or cast aluminum, best in the industry SUNBRELLA fabric and quick dry outdoor foam. You want your furniture to last for years but putting cushions away (especially large cushions), can be a pain every single time. Protect your investment with outdoor furniture covers. They keep UV rays off the cushions and the frames, prevent fading, keep your fabric clean, are extremely water resistant and will almost always have a combination of elastic and a draw string around the bottom to keep cushions from blowing away. A couple of hundred dollars for covers is wise insurance for expensive outdoor furniture…”the better you look after it; the better it looks after you.”

SHARING: I do not claim any post to be my own…I post who, or where, the sites originate if they are known.

THIS DAY IN BUSINESS: 1889 – Eiffel Tower opens – becomes the most visited, paid monument in the world.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1967- Jimi Hendrix tries to burn his guitar on stage in London Astoria.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. Your lasting impression is your trademark.

HAPPY MARCH 31 BIRTHDAY TO: Angus Young still rockin’ at 62, Eric Clapton 72, Gabe Kaplan 72, Herb Alpert 82, Shirley Jones 83, Richard Chamberlain 83, Christopher Walken 74, Ewen McGregor 46, Tom Berenger 68, Pavel Bure 48, Al Gore 69, Rhea Perlman 69, and Gordie Howe (1928-2016).

30 Mar 2017
March 30, 2017

One Pot Sausage And Pepper Pasta

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INGREDIENTS
Servings: 4-5

1 pound any short pasta (we used bow ties)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 hot Italian sausages

3 sweet Italian sausages

1 red bell pepper, large diced

1 green bell pepper, large diced

1 yellow bell pepper, large diced

½ white onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

28 ounces can diced tomato

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black ground pepper
PREPARATION
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add a generous amount of salt, and cook pasta 2 minutes less than the package instructions.

2. Strain pasta and set aside. Toss with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking

3. In the same pot, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and fry sausages, working in batches as needed, until deeply browned on all sides.

4. Remove sausages, slice in ¾-inch rings, and set aside.

5. Sauté all of the bell peppers, onion, and garlic for about 2 minutes.

6. Add the canned tomatoes, all of the spices, and the sausage slices to the pot.

7. Simmer about 10 minutes.

8. Add the pasta back to the pot and stir gently until all the ingredients are coated in the sauce. Continue simmering until pasta is al dente.

9. Serve with grated parmesan.

SHARING: I do not claim any post to be my own…I post who, or where, the sites originate if they are known.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That’s the magic of what we in show business get to do…that it does live on. ” Patty Duke, 1997.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Let’s plan an exotic getaway to a different restaurant for lunch.

HAPPY MARCH 30 BIRTHDAY TO: Warren Beatty 80, Peter Marshall 91, Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) 91, Eric Clapton 72, Justin Moore 33, Ian Zeirling 53, Tracey Chapman 53, Mark Consuelos 46, Robbie Coltrane 67, Celine Dion 49, John Astin (1930-2014), Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), and Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) (1973-2009).

Stop fighting with the automatic sink sensors. Everyone has experienced the frustration of having your hands all soapy and the water quits running…over and over and over. Here is how you can buy an extra minute to wash and rinse your hands. Wet a piece of paper towel and stick it over the sensor to keep the tap on while you wash your hands. Just remember to remove it when you’re done.

SHARING: I do not claim all recipes or any post to be my own…I post who, or where, the sites originate if they are known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by haters.

HAPPY MARCH 29 BIRTHDAY TO: Jennifer Capriati 41, Brendan Gleeson 62, Elle ‘The Body’ McPhersen 53, Terry Jacks 73, Justin Tuck 34, Scott Wilson 75, Lucy Lawless 49, Cy Young (1867-1955), Pearl Baily (1918-1990), Sam Walton (1918-1992), and Philip Ahn (1905-1978).

When is a toss cushion just a toss cushion? Not when it is the Dunolli collection of cushions. We have yet to unpack all the new cushions in this series, but the “Dunollie I” gives a great example of what will hit the showroom floor in the coming week or two. The Dunollie decorative pillow has soft cushioned fill and several unique pattern covers. It is a generous 22 x 22 x 2″ cushion with textures and design elements with a wide appeal for buyers. Mix this in with some of the great art pieces and home decor items in this shipment.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites, who and where they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: The only exercise I’ve done this month is running out of money.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1979 – Three Mile Island nuclear reactor incident.

HAPPY MARCH 28 BIRTHDAY TO: Annie Wersching 40, Lady Gaga 31, Reba McEntire 62, Kate Gosslin 42, Conchata Ferrell 74, Vince Vaughn 47, Brett Ratner 48, Dianne Weist 69, and Ken Howard (1944-2016).

27 Mar 2017
March 27, 2017

Just Arrived – New Art & Decor

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One of the new pieces that landed on our dock today is called Benoit. In The photo, these two statement pieces are on either side of a love seat and pieces of art. They are designed to help add bulk to a small wall, or flank a doorway. They can be also hung on either side of a bed. Pair these beautiful pieces with our Realite Candles and you have yourself a show home. Realite candles are as close to the real deal as you can get.They operate on 2-AA batteries and can be set on a 5 hour timer.

Bronzed metal with 4 glass candle holders designed to be wall hanging
Item: 53293
Name: Benoit
Size: 16 x 6 x 72

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I wish “friends with benefits”  meant your friends paid all your bills

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1973 – Marlon Brando wins Best Actor Oscar for his work in The Godfather, but he declines the award.

HAPPY MARCH 27 BIRTHDAY TO: Fergie 42, Quentin Tarantino 54, Michael York 75, Nathan Fillion 46, Mariah Carey 47, Tony Banks 67, Pauly Perrette 48, Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives (1813-1888), Gloria Swanson (1899-1983), David Janssen (1931-1980), and Maria Rasputin (1898-1977) daughter of the famous Rasputin.

People must be anxious for spring because Saturday was super busy at Gardenscape. It started off slow and then the noise level kept increasing. The aisles were packed all day. Our Adirondack chairs always draw a good deal of interest and the condo size Tuscany Sectional was far more popular than we had anticipated. We are heading into the last day of the show beginning at 10:00 this morning until 5:00 this afternoon. Come on down and spend an hour of two enjoying the sights and sounds of spring.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I am one step away from being rich, all I need now is money.

HAPPY MARCH 26 BIRTHDAY TO: Amy Smart 41, Michael Imperioli 51, Keira Knightley 32, Diana Ross 73, Alan Arkin 83, Larry Page (co-founder of Google) 44, T.R. Knight 44, Martin Short 67, James Caan 77, Jennifer Grey 57, Marcus Allen 57, Vicki Lawrence 68, Steven Tyler 69, Kenny Chesney 49, Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015), Teddy Pendergrass (1950-2010), and Robert Frost (1874-1963).

25 Mar 2017
March 25, 2017

Day One Of Gardenscape 2017 – Done

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All the hard work is done, now for ‘the show.’ In a word…today was BUSY. The aisles were packed and people were buying everything! The many gardens are gorgeous, the super dog show kept people entertained all day and there are many artists who have their works displayed in a special section. So many old friends, acquaintances and customers stopped at our booth for a visit. It was great catching up and getting feedback about the show in general. Last year our ‘hot’ item was embroidered stadium cushions and this year it seems to be colorful outdoor metal birds and geckos to hang on the house or fence. Cheesy as they are, the pink flamingo watering cans are running a very close second. There is still lots of time to get down to Gardenscape and enjoy the beginning of spring. Today, Saturday March 25, Gardenscape is open from 9:00-7:00. Here is a little secret…the best time to come is from 5:30-7:00, that is when it is the least busy and you can enjoy every single booth.

SHARING: I do not claim any post to be my own…I post who, or where, the sites originate if they are known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: PRO TIP – Keep cake moist by eating it all in one sitting.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 1973 – 76ers lose 73rd game; setting record for most single season losses in NBA history.

HAPPY MARCH 25 BIRTHDAY TO: Elton John 70, Sarah Jessica Parker 52, Katherine McPhee 33, Gloria Steinem 83, Laz ‘Tsu’tey’ Alonso 44, Paul Michael Glaser 74, Aretha Franklin 75, Danica Patrick 35, Marcia Cross 55, Kiowa Gordon 27, Anita Bryant 77, James Lovell 89, Jeff Healey (1966-2008), and Howard Cosell (1918-1995).

24 Mar 2017
March 24, 2017

Gardenscape 2017 Is Upon Us

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There is nothing like the smell of fresh flowers to get everyone in the mood for spring. I admit, the weather could be a bit warmer, sunnier or melt-ier but…we’ll take it. All the exhibitors have working their butts off to make the show a success, Thank you to the organizers and background staff who help keep things running smoothly.

Admission
Daily General Admission: $12.00
Two-Day Admission: $18.00
Three-Day Admission: $26.00
Student (15 & under): FREE

Show Hours
Friday, March 24: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 25: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 26: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Plant Auction: Sunday, March 26: 6:00 pm

Wheelchair Rental: Located at the Coat/Parcel Check Hourly Rental Rate: $5.00
A refundable deposit of $25.00 is required

A special thank you and hats-off to our staff who have been putting in extra hours and extra work. In alphabetical order:

Bill: Who was dragged out of retirement to help in the store while we’re out at Gardenscape. He brings a world of sales experience to us and no lack of stories to tell. He helped load the truck and set up the ‘bones’ of the booth and will help with the tear down.

Ken: He has lots and lots of booth setting up experience so things run a bit smoother every show. He’s the one to say, “This isn’t going to fit so we aren’t bringing it.” He is in charge of lighting, carrying the heavy stuff and reaching the high places. He and Bill are holding down the fort this weekend.

Mona: What can I say? She puts in tons of extra effort, makes great lists and keeps focused on the task at hand. Setting up goes so much easier when she is there to help. We even press-ganged her husband into helping put the final touches on the booth. Come to the show and meet Mona this weekend.

Scott: Even though he no longer works at Charter House, he made a special trip to lend tech support to three of the least tech-savvy people on the planet. How hard could it be to plug a lap top into a computer to run a power point presentation you ask? What cord? What button? “Fix it Scott, please.”

And myself, Jenny: There is no one else who can turn around six times and do absolutely nothing physical but has done 20 things in her head. I fine-detail, micro-manage, list make and organize the bejeebers out of the entire trade show process. Thanks guys for putting up with me.

SHARING: I do not claim any post to be my own…I post who, or where, the sites originate if they are known.

SAD DAY IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: Boston drummer Sib Hashian has passed away after collapsing on stage. The musician died on Wednesday night at the age of 67. Hashian was in the middle of a show while performing on the Legends of Rock Cruise when he suddenly collapsed. All efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: My mind says I am in my 20’s. My body says: “Yeah, you wish.”

HAPPY MARCH 24 BIRTHDAY TO: Jessica Chastain 40, David Suzuki 80, Payton Manning 41, Valentin Chmerkovskiy 31, Alyson Hannigan 43, Robert Carradine 63, Chris Bosh 33, Jim ‘Sheldon Cooper’ Parsons 44, Louie Anderson 64, Star Jones 55, Tommy Hilfiger 66, Lara Flynn Boyle 47, Kelly Lebrock 57, Lake Bell 38, Fin Jones 29, Steve McQueen (1930-1980), Harry Houdini (1874-1926), Clyde (Bonnie & Clyde) Barrow (1909-1934), and Joseph Barbera (1911-2006).

23 Mar 2017
March 23, 2017

Coconut Macaroon Easter Nests

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With Easter just around the corner, this is a recipe that you can make for the kids. Leave off the ‘eggs’ and you still have a great tasting cookie for anytime. Theme them with black and orange jelly beans at Halloween or green and red M & M’s at Christmas.

COCONUT MACAROON EASTER NESTS

14 oz. sweetened flaked coconut
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. almond extract
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
2 oz. chocolate candy melts, melted according to package instructions
Candy coated chocolate easter eggs or Jelly beans
Peeps marshmallow Chicks
Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl add the coconut, sweetened condensed milk and almond extract, stirring until evenly combined.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer (a regular bowl and hand mixer will work too) fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. DO NOT OVER BEAT.
Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture and use an ice cream scoop (about 4 tbsp) to scoop out balls. Place the balls on the parchment lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart and gently press your thumb in the center to create a nest. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from baking sheet immediately to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Dip the bottoms of the coconut macaroon nests into the chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper to dry. Fill each nest with the chocolate eggs (or jelly beans) and top with a Peeps marshmallow chick. Enjoy!

SHARING: I do not claim all recipes or any post to be my own…I post who or where the sites originate if they are known.

THURSDAY MARCH 23 IS: National Puppy Day.

JOKE OF THE DAY: SPLENDA DADDY definition: A man who strives to be a sugar daddy but just doesn’t have the funds to pull it off.

SAD DAY IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS: Larry Highbaugh (January 14, 1950 – March 21, 2017) has passed away at the age of 67. Edmonton Eskimos, Hall of Famer Larry Highbaugh played 13 seasons in the Canadian Football League, including 12 with the Eskimos.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 1994 – The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, breaks the NHL record with 802 goals scored.

HAPPY MARCH 23 BIRTHDAY TO: Kerri Russell 40, Richard Grieco 51, Mo Farah 33, Chaka Khan 63, Mark Cherry 54, Princess Eugenie 27, Rick Ocasek 67, Roger Bannister 87, Joan Crawford (1905-1977), and Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977) (this guy really is a rocket scientist).

We all have our household gripes: The bathroom faucet drips, the closets are too small, and remodeling that dated kitchen won’t make it onto the list (again) this year. But whether you’ve just moved into an new, unfamiliar house, or you’re simply tired from years of living in a space that never quite suited you, there are easy tactics you can employ to put the “sweet” back in “home sweet home” this year.
1. Fill the spots you hate with stuff that you love. If you loathe busy wallpaper in hallway, cover it with a gallery wall of family photos. Can’t figure out what to do with an oddly placed shelf the previous owners hung? Place some special knick-knacks there to reclaim it as your own.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of a houseplant. A well-placed succulent or fern can bring life (literally) into a dull space. They’re simply beautiful, can camouflage eyesores, and offer an organic design punch. Plus, numerous studies have shown that a bit of greenery can improve your health and well-being.
3. Fix minor annoyances. Set aside a weekend to take a lap around your house with your tool kit, and repair all of the little things that drive you bonkers. Patch tiny holes, tighten fixtures, and nail trim back into place. You’ll feel so much better when you’re not tripping over that loose baseboard or fighting with a wiggly doorknob every day.

4. When in doubt, try a tray. If you’re space is too small for your everyday necessities, corralling the clutter can help things feel more tidy. Park a cute tray on your coffee table to hold catalogs and magazines, place one in your entryway for keys and gloves, and use another on your nightstand to drop jewelry, eyeglasses, and bedside reading. (But remember, some things aren’t as hard to purge as you think, so think about clearing some of that clutter, OK?).

5. Pick up some pillows. They’re inexpensive, colorful (if that’s your thing), and cozy. Plus, they instantly freshen up that worn-out couch you just can’t replace right now.

6. Create conversation spaces. Sure, it makes sense to face all of your living room furniture directly toward the TV. But create a spot where chairs turn into each other, too. This will foster a close-knit vibe amongst your family (as well as visitors) and encourage fulfilling conversations you might not have had otherwise.

7. Invite the neighbors over. If you’re new in town, you might feel uncomfortable in your house simply because it’s a symbol of your (temporary) isolation. So get to know the people who live next door by hosting a dinner party or game night. Soon, happy memories will fill your space, you might develop a soft spot for that cramped dining nook or awkwardly shaped living room.

8. Make your bed every day. This simple task starts your day off on the right foot, and you’ll appreciate slipping into a tidy sleeping space each evening. Plus, research shows that making your bed might help you develop good habits all day long.

9. Go for a walk (or a drive). If you’re not in love with a space, it’s obviously best to just leave it every now and then. Get out and clear your head (move at a brisk pace to stockpile some rose-colored endorphins), or hop in your car and explore a section of town you haven’t seen yet. You might just discover the park bench, coffee shop, or bookstore that makes you feel right at home.

10. Focus on silver linings. Bummed you don’t have a dishwasher? Turns out, hand-washing dishes might be healthier for your kids. Dealing with a dim bedroom? The lack of light could foster a great night’s sleep. Sad you don’t have a dining room? That’s just less square footage to dust, vacuum, and furnish!

Thanks to: Good Housekeeping for this helpful blog.

SHARING: I do not claim all recipes or any post to be my own…I post who or where the sites originate if they are known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: If we are ever in a situation where I am ‘the voice of reason’ then we are in a very very bad situation.

HAPPY MARCH 22 BIRTHDAY TO: Stephanie Mills 60, Reese Witherspoon 41, Nick Robinson 22, M. Emmett Walsh 82, Elvis Stojko 45, Bob Costas 65, William Shatner 86, Dave Keon 77, JJ Watt 28, Andrew Lloyd Webber 69, Wolf Blitzer 69, Tanya Raymonde 29, and Werner Klemperer (1920-2000).