Open concept living has been a much sought after feature in homes for quite some time. What about the kitchen prep mess at dinner parties. They never mention this on the reno shows on television…how to conceal all the pots and pans when dinner is served. This is an easy project to do in a weekend. It requires a few tools, a track and a linen curtain. There are tutorials all over the internet on how to do this properly. Cruise a few and decide if this would suit your wants and needs or if this would even fit your style of living. This would be a useful project to define an office area or divide up a kid’s room.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: My biggest contribution to workplace safety is having a cup of coffee in the morning. Happy Monday!

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 2000 The last PEANUTS comic strip appears in the newspaper the day after Charles M. Schulz passes.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 13 BIRTHDAY TO: Neal McDonough 51, Stockard Channing 73, Jerry Springer 73, George Segal 83, Kim Novak 84, Peter Tork 75, Mats Sundin 46, Peter Gabriel 67, and Mena Suvari 38.

12 Feb 2017
February 12, 2017

Build A Campsite For Your Kid’s Room

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I found this on Facebook in a post from House Beautiful and couldn’t resist reposting. To get the full tutorial (because it is quite detailed) go to The Ragged Wren for instructions on how to construct the tent. This was first posted Friday October 4, 2013. Imagine the fun your kids will have all the time in their own room.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: CANADA: Come for the culture and scenery. Stay because your car won’t start.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 2010 – The opening ceremony is held for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 12 BIRTHDAY TO: Arsenio Hall 61, Joanna Kern 64, Michael McDonald 65, Robin Thomas 67, Michael Ironside 67, Jesse Spencer 38, Christina Ricci 38, Chynna Phillips 49, Josh Brolin 49, Lorne Greene (1915-1982), Charles Darwin (1809-1882), and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).

 

If things are looking a bit drab after the Christmas decorations are put away, why not bring back some life and color to your front porch? Rule #1. Never pack away clear mini-lights or wreath holders…they can always be used. This photo has hearts on sticks planted in otherwise dead looking flower pots. Dollar stores are the best place to find inexpensive Valentine’s decorations, or go the home made route. Tie a red ribbon around the pots, string some lights (or not) and you have the most welcoming house on the block. The decorations store flat and do not take up a lot of room. HINT: Store them in with your Christmas decorations.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: I’m going to make a voodoo doll of myself and give it a back rub. It’s Saturday….I deserve it.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 11 BIRTHDAY TO: Burt Reynolds 81, Tina Louise 83, Sarah Palin 53, Isaiah Mustafa (the Old Spice guy) 43, Taylor Lautner 25, Natalie Dormer 35, Cheryl Crow 55, Carey Lowell 56, Kelly Rowland 36, Jennifer Aniston 48, Brandi 38, Jazz Raycole 29, Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010), and Eva Gabor (1919-1995).

10 Feb 2017
February 10, 2017

Fill Your Home With Cat & Mouse Love

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Our black cat is 10″ tall and looking down on our 5″ mouse. Get them at Charter House while they’re still in stock. This cute pair are sold as a set for 49.95. If you are an animal lover, check out all the new arrivals of cat, dog, crow and bird statues.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: When a woman starts laughing in the middle of an argument, she has flipped her psycho switch and is about to murder you.

THIS DAY IN BUSINESS: 1858 – The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is Founded in New York – organization is dedicated to social and economic change around the world.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 10 BIRTHDAY TO: Laura Dern 50, Greg Norman 62, Elizabeth Banks 43, Makenzie Vega 23, Max Brown 36, Emma Roberts 26, George Stefanopoulos 56, Robert Wagner 87, and Shorty Rossi 48.

 

09 Feb 2017
February 9, 2017

Arriving Very Soon For Spring 2017

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The spring gift show in Toronto had a lot of new product to choose from this year. One of our suppliers, Down The Beaten Path, imports vases from Mexico. The vases range from 12″ high to 52″ high to fill most residential and commercial needs. We have more vases to see in the VASES AND TABLE TOP section of our website. You can also go to www.downthebeatenpath.com to view the entire line of vases, bowls, statues and wall art.

***Information directly from Down The Beaten Path Company*** Down the Beaten Path’s vases are artisan designed, handcrafted terra cotta vases made in Mexico. Our unique products range from floor sizes to tabletop and appeal to a variety of styles, tastes and colors from modern to traditional that will compliment everyone’s home décor needs.

Down the Beaten Path is a leading designer, importer and distributor of home décor to Canadian retailers for over 15 years. We work with artisans in Mexico to create unique and beautiful decorative home accessories including vases and paintings that appeal to a wide variety of tastes and styles.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites, who and where they originate if the source is known.
JOKE OF THE DAY: Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me three times, you’re good at this and I respect that.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles legendary appearance, one that had 700 Ed Sullivan Theater attendees screaming bloody hell (simply because that’s all the venue could hold), and one that easily pulled in a whopping 73 million home viewers across the country; a record during that time.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 9 BIRTHDAY TO: Charlie Day 41, Mia Farrow 72, Travis Tritt 54, Joe Pesci 74, Ciaran Hinds 64, Carole King 75, Tom Hiddleston 36, Tyson Houseman 29, A.J. Buckley 39, Gypsy Rose Lee (1914-1970), and Carmen Miranda (1909-1955).

08 Feb 2017
February 8, 2017

Plan A Valentine’s Table For The Kids

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Make the kids feel important and included in your Valentine’s festivities. Sitting at the ‘kids table’ is usually not all that much fun but when the table looks like this, they’ll want to stay there. The table is easy enough to do with Dollar Store table cloths in white, red or pink and add a table runner as well. It is east to go overboard on the Valentine’s color scheme so dial it back a notch with plain white napkins and paper plates.

Break out a cake plate and stack it with Valentine’s themed cupcakes. Heart shaped cupcakes can be made by placing a marble between the muffin tin and the cupcake paper and then adding the batter. Bake as usual. The marble pushes against the paper, forming a heart shape. Place a large marshmallow on the top of each cupcake 5 minutes before they finish baking, it will melt and make yummy toasted topping…add coconut. Get the kids to help decorate your cupcakes while the marshmallows are still warm.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: Let’s all take a moment and be thankful spiders don’t fly.

SAD DAY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD: Richard Hatch died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71. The actor received a Golden Globe nomination in 1979 for playing Captain Apollo on the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica TV series as well as the mid-2000s reboot.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. – Jack Lemmon (1925-2001).

HAPPY FEBRUARY 8 BIRTHDAY TO: John Grisham 62, Seth Greene 43, Mary Steenburgen 64, Mary Mccormack 47, Ted Koppel 77, Nick Nolte 77, Vince Neil 57, Gary Coleman (1968-2010), James Dean (1931-1955), and Jack Lemmon (1925-2001).

***Editor’s Note*** Found this blog somewhere on the internet and have no idea where it came from. The “I” in the article is the author, not me. It looks like a great cleaning idea.

The Easiest Way to Clean a Burnt Pot or Pan

I hate doing the dishes…like, REALLY hate it. But there’s one thing that makes doing the dishes truly unbearable and that’s when food gets burnt to the bottom of a pan. Instead of fighting and scraping the pan til it’s spotless, here’s my favorite method for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans. All it takes is a few cut up lemons and water. The acid in the lemon and the boiling water get off all the really tough gunk, plus the lemons get rid of any burnt smell and replace it with a sweet citrus scent.
Time: 10 Minutes Cost: $1 Difficulty: Easy
easy way to clean a burnt pot or pan
Here’s a pot that has been burnt to heck. You don’t even want to know what I was trying to cook! Let’s just say that I needed a super powered cleaner, and a fresh scent would definitely help.
Step 1: Chop Up Two Lemons
easy way to clean a burnt pot or pan
I cut my lemons into eights, but you can cut them into quarters or slices, as long as you end up with enough pieces to cover the bottom of the pan.
Step 2: Add Water
easy way to clean a burnt pot or pan
I added enough water to cover the whole burnt bottom of the pan. It’s no use trying to cover the lemons – they float! As long as the burnt area is covered, the lemons will do their job.
Step 3: Bring to a Boil
easy way to clean a burnt pot or pan
I brought the water to a rolling boil. You can even see the burnt specks coming off the bottom of the pot as the lemons swam around.
Step 4: Let Water Cool & Dump It Out
easy way to clean a burnt pot or pan
After I dumped out the lemons and dirty water, I was left with a thin brown layer on the bottom of the pot. All I had to do was scrub it lightly with a brush, and all the leftover grime fell away.
Step 5: Rinse out Your Pot

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: That awkward moment when your sarcasm is so advanced that people actually think you are stupid.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 7 BIRTHDAY TO: Stephan Colletti 31, Miguel Ferrer 62, Chris Rock 42, Deborah Ann Woll 32, Garth Brooks 55, James Spader 57, Ashton Kutcher 39, King Curtis (1934-1971), John Deere (1804-1886), and Charles Dickens (1812-1870).

06 Feb 2017
February 6, 2017

Go Bold With Small Injections Of Color

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Try an accent wall. It’s tricky to successfully pull off a supersaturated color on all four walls, but by sticking to just one or two walls, or a small accent area, you get the benefit of a fun injection of color without the color’s taking over the space. Of course, any room clad from top to bottom in a vibrant green or hot pink would be too visually jarring, but by limiting the color, you introduce the perfect amount of the dynamic hue. The hot pink in this room for example is limited to just the fireplace area. It draws attention to the fireplace without going overboard.

In a bedroom, paint the lively hue on the headboard wall — either the entire wall or just a part of it — to anchor the bed and create a focal point.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize that my voice is a lot worse than my problem.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 6 BIRTHDAY TO: Robert Townsend 60, Josh Stewart 40 Kathy Najimy 60, Chris Humphries 32, Fabian 74, Axl Rose 55, Rip Torn 85, Mamie Van Doren 86, Tom Brokaw 78, Mike Farrell 78, Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016), Patrick Macnee (1922-2015), Natalie Cole (1950-2015), Babe Ruth (1895-1945), Bob Marley (1945-1981), and Ronald Regan (1911-2004).

05 Feb 2017
February 5, 2017

No Blog Lazy Sunday

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: KILT…That’s what happened to the last person who called it a skirt.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 5 BIRTHDAY TO: Darren Criss 30, Chris Parnell 50, Don Cherry 83, Hank Aaron 83, Jennifer Jason Leigh 55, Michael Sheen 48, Bobby Brown 48, Barbara Hershey 69, Roberto Alomar 49, and Steven J. Cannell (1947-2010).

SHREDDED CHICKEN TACOS

2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
1/2 onion, small diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2½ tablespoons taco seasoning
1½ teaspoon Mexican oregano, dried
1/4 cup cilantro, rough chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
In a 6-quart slow cooker, add in all ingredients. Mix well. Be sure to rub the spices into the chicken.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
Using 2 forks, shred chicken in the slow cooker. Mix well.
Serve with crunchy or soft tortillas along with your favorite toppings.

***Editor’s Note*** Tried this recipe and it is good. I would use tortilla shells for this one, they are a bit messy.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: Having a beard from being too lazy to shave helps cover my double chin from being too lazy to exercise.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1938 Disney’s first animated film “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs’ is released.
HAPPY FEBRUARY 4 BIRTHDAY TO: Gavin Degraw 40, Clint Black 55, Lawrence Taylor 58, Michael Beck 68, Alice Cooper 69, David Brenner (1936-2014), Conrad Bain (1923-2013), and Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974).

03 Feb 2017
February 3, 2017

Exciting New Product For Spring 2017

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We just returned from the 2017 Spring Gift Show in Toronto and have some super exciting new products which will be arriving over the next few weeks. One of the products is this twin bookcase and console table combination with a matching coffee table. Not that many people use a book case anymore for actual books but this is a stunning piece to display home decor items…and we have plenty of home decor items on order as well.

The show itself seemed busier this year and retailers were placing decent sized orders which speaks volumes about consumer confidence. Talking to people in the business, everyone was reducing inventory in 2016. This appeared to be the show to get things moving again with trendy ideas and buying incentives. Suppliers were saying they had written some big orders and were extremely happy about how the show was going.

The ‘in’ color popping up everywhere (even in Christmas decorations ) is blush. It is the palest of pink which designers have paired with soft grey and buttery beige. Another color coming on strong is cobalt. It is in everything from art to kitchen gadgets, to bedding and appears to be the new black.

Once again, Charter House Interiors will be participating in Gardenscape March 24-26 where we will be showcasing many of the new outdoor patio products, furniture and trends featured at the show.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: I’m stuck somewhere between playing my cards right and not playing with a full deck.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1959 – Don McLean’s “The Day The Music Died”: Rock and Roll singers died in a plane crash.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 2008 – Patriots lose to Giants in the Super Bowl – ending their quest for a perfect 19-0 season.

HAPPY FEBRUARY 3 BIRTHDAY TO: Isla Fisher 41, Rebel Wilson 31, Blythe Danner 74, Warwick Davis 47, Julio Jones 28, Amal Clooney 39, and Norman Rockwell (1894-1978).

Since February 14th is on a Tuesday this year, why not stay home and make it special. This recipe is for the ladies who want to go to a bit more work for Valentine’s Day. Men…there are cupcake shops in most cities that will have Valentine themed cupcakes. The extra thought and effort won’t go unnoticed. If there aren’t any specialty stores, most grocery stores and bakeries will have special Valentine’s cakes and pastries.

CHOCOLATE AMARETTO CUPCAKES
1 Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
4 Tablespoons Instant Chocolate Pudding
4 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Amaretto Liquor
2/3 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
1/4 Cup Melted Butter (slightly cooled)

FILLING
1 Can Cherry Pie Filling

CHOCOLATE AMARETTO BUTTERCREAM
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Shortening
1/2 Tablespoon Almond Extract
7 Tablespoons Hershey Cocoa
8 Cups Powdered Sugar
3-4 Tablespoon Amaretto
4-6 Tablespoons Milk

TOPPINGS
24-30 Cherries

Makes 24-30 Cupcakes

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake mix and pudding and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) using the paddle attachment, beat together eggs, sour cream, liquor, milk, and extract at low speed. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Beat in melted butter just until combined. Once all ingredients are incorporated, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and turn mixer up to medium – high and beat once more for 15-20 seconds.

Step 3: Spoon 3 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner and bake on middle oven rack, for 16-18 minutes, baking up to 24 cupcakes side by side at a time. (for best results bake cupcakes 1 pan at a time) Once a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and allow cupcakes to rest in pan for 2-4 minutes before removing and transferring to a cooling rack. Prepare pan and repeat this step with any remaining batter.

Step 4: While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) using the paddle attachment, cream butter at medium speed until soft and smooth. Add shortening and extract and beat until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar and cocoa beating slightly between each addition. Add in amaretto and then milk 1 tablespoon at a time beating in between additions until desired consistency. Turn mixer up to medium- high and beat for 1-2 minutes.

Step 5: Once cupcakes have completely cooled, core and fill cupcakes with cherry pie filling. Frost cupcakes with chocolate amaretto buttercream. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until served.

If you’re a lover of amaretto, feel free to increase the flavor by adding more amaretto and less milk to your buttercream. I didn’t want it too strong of course.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: I hate when I see some old person and realize we went to high school together.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1887 – First celebration of Groundhog Day (Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania).

THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 1936 – Babe Ruth is elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame with a record 60 home runs in 1927.
HAPPY FEBRUARY 1 BIRTHDAY TO: Gemma Arterton 30, Donald Driver 41, Christie Brinkley 62, Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman 63, CJ Anderson 25, Shakira 39, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) and Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)