Sunday, August 2, 2015

Citrus Swirl Cake for Summer Celebrations

 
Let's begin with the inspiration!  You might remember the beautiful Pink Lemonade Picnic Cake from Tumbleweed Contessa that was a feature from June's Great Blog Train.  Hers is a gorgeous checkerboard!
 
Slice of Pink Lemonade Picnic Cake
 
I followed The Recipe at Tumbleweed Contessa and made just a couple of adjustments to suit our tastes.  First up, the original recipe was cut in half since it makes a really big cake!  Almond flour substituted for half of the cake flour.  This will be a very moist, dense batter.  I left out the lemon extract at this point, but it comes back a little later.
 
Once the batter was mixed, I added vanilla.  The batter was then divided into three somewhat equal portions.  In one, I added lemon extract and one drop of red food coloring for pink lemonade.  In a second bowl, I added the juice and zest of one lime along with one drop of green food coloring.  The third portion of batter remained vanilla with no food coloring.
 
 
Since I don't have a lovely checkerboard cake form, the three flavors were layered into a loaf pan.  Once baked, I drizzled lime glaze on top.  You can see I was too impatient to let the cake cool and glaze is all over the place!  ;-)  We love the warmth of vanilla swirled with the tart citrus of lemon and lime.
 
Yummy!
 
 
What are your favorite summer time desserts?
 
;-)  -Marci

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Leaf Ring Holder from just a Scrap

When life gives you a teething puppy, make one of these!



 While we love Sadi Bear very much, our sweet Akita - Mastiff mix is much taller than our Chihuahuas!  She keeps surprising me with just how high she can reach!



My dried gourds have become a favorite target for her.  She doesn't completely destroy them, but usually chews off the handles.  This gourd made me think of a Box Turtle, so it became one!  ;-)



The funny scrap cut to make the turtle looks kind of like a leaf to me.
 


In cartoons when a mouse or other small creature paddles downstream after a rainstorm, they are usually in a little boat made from a leaf.
 


Using green leather dye, my little scrap changed colors.

 
It now sits on my dresser and holds my rings and a tiny glass red bird.

 
 I love how each gourd picks up color differently.  The freckles and flaws are beautiful!  If you like this gourd project, take a peak at my CRAFTS Page.  I've done quite a few!
 
 Do you have a teething puppy at your house?  Any tips on survival?

;-)  -Marci


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It is Time for a LINKY PARTY!

We're your co-hosts:
 
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 
 Y'all make choosing features so difficult!  There were GOBS of great links last week!  Thank you!  Drum roll, please...

No feature this week.  Boo!
 
If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book Review: The Queen's Governess

By Karen Harper
 
 
 
 
Synopsis from the Author:
 
I am a life-long, avid anglophile and fan of all things Tudor.  (Yes, I even watch The Tudors on Showtime, though I would take me hours to list all the historical inaccuracies in the series.)  But in my reading, I always noticed a fascinating personality who seemed to stay in the background but who was, in a way, the power behind Elizabeth’s throne—Katherine “Kat” Champernowne Ashley, the queen’s governess.  And, since Elizabeth lost her mother at age three and did not remember her, Kat was what we would call today the queen’s foster mother.
I had included Kat as a secondary character in my QUEEN ELIZABETH I MYSTERY SERIES (9 books, still available in paperback from on-line book sites,) but I wondered about the mystery of Kat’s life.  And so began years of research to find the real Kat Ashley.  She was part of the tumultuous lives not only of Elizabeth Tudor but of her infamous mother, Anne Boleyn.  I begin Kat’s story with Anne’s beheading and backtrack to Kat’s early life.  As Elizabeth says in the novel, “Anne Boleyn gave me life, but Kat Ashley gave me love."
 
 
My thoughts:
 
After biographies, historical fiction is probably my favorite genre.  This book is very well written.  There are many tender moments between Kat and Elizabeth, as would be expected of a 3 year old left with only her governess.  At times, Elizabeth is allowed to be at court, tutored alongside her brother, Edward.  Other times she and her older sister, Mary, are ordered to stay in country houses.  The girls, along with their governesses, are completely at the mercy of the whims of their current stepmother.  Throughout Elizabeth's tumultuous childhood, Kat is allowed to remain with her.  I am not well versed in the history of Elizabeth I and immensely enjoyed this book. 
 
 What are you reading?

;-)  -Marci


Friday, July 24, 2015

The Great Blog Train Results {July}

Announcing winners is such a fun job!

___________________________________
Checkout the top 3 "Boxcars" (Bloggers) who received the most "clicks" from the July Great Blog Train (blog hop)!


 Great Blog Train
The 31st GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached our destination: L'Ile Perrot, QUEBEC.  It was a wonderful trip with 49 boxcars!!  We (the Engineers) would like to thank all of you for travelling with us and we hope that you all had a wonderful time!
The Giveaway Winners are: K.C. (The winner has been contacted by email)
Congrats!!!

 
W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo BlogTrainDestination_zps2925d251.jpg

(Being a "Destination Cohost" means that you get to pick our next destination!!  It also means that you will post The Great Blog Train on your blog on the first Wednesday of whatever month you will be cohosting (1 different cohost per month).  We (the engineers or hosts) will provide you with the html code for the blog hop & for the Giveaway - all you will have to do is add into that post some information on the destination that you picked (like population, known for, location etc - basic family friendly facts) and add a few pictures.  Also, if you cohost we ask that you promote it on your social media sites) (We are now scheduling for October 2015).

If you are interested in being a Destination Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)

We are now featuring the top 3 Boxcars!  (These are the links that received the most clicks)
All of the featured Boxcars will be pinned to the
Great Blog Train Pinterest Board
(click HERE to follow the board)
Banana Boats by "Turnips2Tangerines"



Crochet Wire Wrap Bracelets by "Content in the Meantime"

 


Framed Natural Tree Roots by "Redo It Yourself Inspirations"





Please join us for the AUGUST Great Blog Train
on August 5th, 2015!
 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just Get It Done

Patron of the Arts's photo.

Don't think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.  -Andy Warhol

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

LINK PARTY! Tuesdays with a Twist #120

We're your co-hosts:
 
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 
 Y'all make choosing features so difficult!  There were GOBS of great links last week!  Thank you!  Drum roll, please... 

It is a CUTE Panda Pillow with a FREE Pattern

panda pillow, pillow pattern, almofada do panda

from Teresa at Keeping It Real!

 
If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci