Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mediterranean Chicken & Pesto Recipe: LoftTalk @ Contributor {DARYN - April 2015}

Hi There!

Thanks to my hubby this month for contributing a recipe to my LoftTalk initiative!  Yes, he is a dynamic cook and you have to try this recipe because the flavors are awesome!  I appreciate his input this month and hope to hear from others in the coming months with your ideas, tips, recipes, etc.  He shares his recipe and instructions below.
Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!! 

*LoftTalk submissions for May 2015 start on May 7th thru May 27th...hope you will participate!  Remember, you will be eligible to win a LoftTalk designer t-shirt also ;-)

*This submission will ARCHIVE to Corner Loft101 Page in 30 days for future reviews 
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Mediterranean Chicken & Pesto Recipe
Chicken tenderloin (seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper)
Black Kalamata olives (pitted)
Spanish olives
½ white onion
1 bundle Scallion
3 or 4 cloves garlic (crush)
1 sprig of rosemary
1 Bundle of fresh basil
1 handful fresh parsley (chopped)
½ cup olive oil
Butter (half stick)
1 stick celery
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
¾ teaspoon red pepper
¾ teaspoon Paul Sutter Home seasoning
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ to 1 jar roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
Saffron rice (large)
1 frying pan
1 medium saucepan
Place olive oil in a large frying pan and place on low heat. Slowly add the onion, crushed garlic cloves, celery, scallion, basil, parsley, rosemary and olives. Begin to simmer and stir these ingredients on medium heat, adding roasted red peppers, and seasoned chicken tenderloin.  Add the remaining seasonings, stir and cover with a lid. Lower the temperature to medium low. Stir every 10 minutes, adding the butter 10 minutes before the end. Takes 25 to 30 minutes.
Cook rice separately until water runs dry in a medium saucepan. Spoon ingredients over rice and enjoy. Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Thought For Today {A Mother's Day Gift Idea}: Looking Back, Remembering When & Making Your Heart Smile...Again! is Praying for Baltimore, "Charm" City and all that have been affected by this unfortunate occurrence.  Stay strong and keep the faith..."Our Lives Matter!"

As I begin to think how I want to celebrate Mother's Day this year with my Mom, I began to reflect on the past.  I remember how my parents would wake up on an early Saturday morning, so happy that it was the weekend and the first thing my Dad would do is put an album on the turntable and that was our indication that the weekend was here!  I grew up on some old pastimes that are still very present in my life today. 

I can't forget LP's (albums), 45's (smaller version of albums), roller skating on 4 wheels with a stopper, setting up my lemonade stand, helping Dad with our weekly garage sales so we could keep the garage clean from catch-all stuff, house parties, barbecues, penny candy, flea markets, school shopping, Easter outfits and the only hair dryer I knew, was the sunlight.  Oh, my Mom would sit me outside in the sun for my hair to dry, on the patio that my Dad and Grandpa built, brick by brick.  I can smell the barbecue chicken on the grill that my Dad built from concrete bricks.  The past is so present when I begin to reflect.

I've lived over half my life already and it's been a wonderful ride!  As I look to the third quarter, I will continue to "preserve my past", "enjoy my present" and "build on my future", knowing that I'll always have the memories to cling to.  I long to have the "old days" back again, especially when I think about my Dad but I realize that with life, there is death and knowing that fact, I celebrate the old times by closing my eyes and remembering when

Here's A Unique Gift Giving Idea.....
The turntable in this picture is one of the gifts that I plan to give my Mom for Mother's Day.  I'm doing something different this year for my Mom and perhaps you may like this idea too. On Mother's Day this year, I am planning to give my Mom three gifts: 

1.  a gift to celebrate the past
2.  a gift to enjoy the present
3.  a gift to look forward to the future 

The turntable pictured is a gift for her, to celebrate the past.  She will be surprised and I know she will enjoy listening to some of the old albums that she and my Dad had, from back in the day.  I have not decided on gifts that I will give her for the present or future yet.  Looking back can sometimes be sad but if you can find joy in remembering when, it really will make your heart smile...again ;-)!  

**LoftTalk for April 2015 ended yesterday.  So, I will advertise that contributor submission before the end of this month.  Thanks!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Travel & Vacation Tips {My Top Picks}...4 Spots To Spend, Spoil & Splurge!

Take me away,
to a quiet place,
where I can dump my daily routine.
I need a surge. 
I want to splurge.
Only for a little while. 
I've earned a break,
so glad to take,
some deserving time for me.
Vacation Ideas... 
Oh yea ;-)!
Time to calm this urge.
Come with me,
and check this out...
4 Spots to Spend, Spoil & Splurge!
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Hi There ;-)!
So, my last post shared how you could create a paradise getaway in your backyard but by no means did that rule out you taking a vacation ;-).  It's nice to know that our homes are our sacred place that we can find peace and relaxation, whenever we want.  Well, that's what your home should be and if it's not, then you need to begin a transformation that will provide that calmness that you can call your own!
I'm sharing ideas and tips on 4 vacation spots that I know for sure, will deliver rest, relaxation and fun!  I vacationed at each one of these spots with my hubby and my favorite is Miami Beach, Florida!  I've mentioned my love for Miami on prior posts and that has not changed.  We have taken on that vacation spot as our favorite to visit, at least once a year!  Now, don't get me wrong, I love Jamaica like crazy and New Orleans and Las Vegas, well, there is just no where like them!  Here's my favorite experiences from each and some photos too (courtesy of online images:  BING site).  Take a vacation and enjoy being away from deserve it!!

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1.  Miami Beach - My favorite!!!!!!!!!!  Yes, I love to go to Miami.  Fell in love with this vacation spot about 4 years ago and we have not stop visiting ever since then!  The beaches are crazy beautiful.  The fine sand is like fresh powder on your feet and the sun is on and popping in Miami like no where else!  We love the water and we love hanging out at the beach, so maybe this is why we enjoy going back to visit each year.  Do you love seafood?  Oh yea, another favorite for me and my hubby too.  Miami has seafood spots all over and the sights are unlike any other.  You see a little bit of everything in Miami!  It's such a fun place and a freestyle place for all people. Stay up all night long and enjoy!

2.  Jamaica -The food  and music are my favorites!  They have buffet spreads that are ridiculous!  From fresh salmon to papaya and mango ice cream!  They serve it all, all day long.  The music is like sweetness to your ears, as you eat.  Caribbean sounds that are authentic and original beats.  You just feel like you are on an island when you hear "real" Caribbean music...LOL!  Book an all inclusive Sandals Jamaica trip (the best)!

3.  New Orleans - The beignets are so good and fresh.  Fluffy, hot and loaded with powder sugar, OMG, STOP this goodness!!  A hot cup of coffee with a beignet is like a "pastry party in your mouth!!"  For real...they are that good. If you visit New Orleans, please do not leave without having a beignet, for you and for me...LOL!!!

4.  Las Vegas - Absolutely awesome!  You can literally stay up all night long and there is still so much more to see the remaining days you are there! Cirque du Soleil shows, famous celebrity restaurants, famous hotels, casinos, the very best that shopping has to offer and five class service is Las Vegas! There are celebrities walking around too!  Walk the Las Vegas strip, sightsee, enjoy the lights at night and soak up all that you can because there is so much to see and you will want to "try" and see it all!  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Outdoor Decorating: 4 Tips & Ideas For Creating the Ultimate Deck Appeal & Backyard Outdoor Getaway!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!
What a perfect day to begin thinking about decorating outdoors!  Now that spring has sprung and summer is on its way, I'm beginning to think about planting some flowers, barbecuing and letting the sun shine in ;-)!  My spirits are high as I begin to transform my thoughts and ideas from cold to hot!  Thinking of the pleasures that the summer weather brings, really makes me happy.
I've got some ideas I want to share with you as we all prepare for this next season of sun and summer.  The deck has been sprayed down and cleaned and the outside furniture has been set the fun begins!  Time to create that paradise and private getaway you call your deck or backyard.  It's all about the landscape, colors, space and aura you create that sets the stage for comfort and nature's noise, right outside your door! 

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*All Courtesy Online Images Below:  BING Site

1.  Color - Add and use bright colors to decorate your outdoor area. I love yellow for the summer and I often pair it with pink or red.  A yellow plant pot with red geraniums is so pretty together.  Another idea you could use to play it safe would be to carry the same color that you use inside your home right to the outside of your home.  That way, all the colors flow.  You can introduce the same paint color palette by using flower pots, pillows and citronella candles.  Using bright colors really introduces summer and creates great appeal.  If you are not one that likes vibrant colors, then try to go a shade brighter than what you normally like.  That should be bright enough for you and less dramatic.

2.  Water - Now that our colors have been added, think about purchasing a water fountain for your backyard or deck.  OMG, these are great!  They not only look good, but they do wonders for those R&R moments that are necessary.  You don't need a huge one unless you have the yard space for one.  Many times, you can find water fountains in Home Depot or Lowes that are electrical and can do the job that needs to be done! The designs are nice, so they will look good with your décor, as well.  Another option is  They also provide garden essentials like water fountains.

3.  Privacy - Are you beginning to get the picture now of your paradise ambience!!  The colors are working and the water is flowing.  Now for some privacy.  In my opinion, the best and cheapest way to create privacy in a yard or on a deck would be to use tri-fold screens, planters, bushes, hanging pots or tiered vines.  These days, many houses are built very closely together and sometimes privacy is almost out of the question.  Trailing vines like ivy are great to use or hanging pots work well too.  Another great privacy tip is using a tri-fold screen.  They add privacy that is not permanent and can be moved around as much as you like.  Try making your own my using some bamboo shades and thin plywood.  Be open to learn while creating this DIY project, that is very simple to do.  A few nails, some bamboo window shades, a few double hinges w/screws, plywood and  a "think-out-the-box" mindset, is all it takes to create this DIY that provides ultimate privacy and great appeal.

4.  Lighting - Last but not least!  As the sun goes down, your lighting will set everything off.  You want your lighting not only be soothing but at the same time, be the best.  I still believe in the old faithful "bug light!"  I just have to have one of these hanging in our yard.  Yes, the noise is annoying as it snaps at each little critter, but that's less mosquito bites you will have to deal with.  It's been studied that standard LED lights attract bugs because of the blue light rays they give off.  So, you may want to stay away from LED in this case, for the outdoors.  However, yellow bulbs are said to work well.  Now, for decorating, Lowes or Home Depot sells individual decorative post lights that you can purchase for your deck posts.  They come in various styles and are really nice for décor purposes.  Another idea, are string lights.  You can purchase these from Target,, Home Depot or Lowes.  You can be creative with string lights.  You can decorate your deck posts all the way around or add two artificial topiary trees to the corners of your deck and decorate the trees.  This looks beautiful at night!  Lastly, many stores sell patio umbrellas with string lights attached to them.  This amount of lighting provides direct light to an area and is just enough for entertaining outdoors.