How to use flowers from your garden inside your home.
Two weeks ago, I learned how to make a container garden for your porch or patio from Southern Living Plants' expert Carmen Johnston, and I wanted to share four easy tips she taught me. I always love our outside garden this time of year, and wish the insides of my house could be just as pretty.
I can put clipped flowers in a vase. That's easy...but what are some other ways to bring the feeling of my summer garden inside?
Salvia Swizzel Sticks
Clip a few stalks of salvia, and drop them in a pretty drink, like sparkling cranberry or other sparkling juice. Serving them in a champagne glass, even on a regular day, makes you feel like a pretty princess.
Verbena Napkin Rings
Roll your cloth napkins, and add a clipping of verbena tied with a bit of ribbon, raffia, or string.
Cut Flower Cake Topper
Add clipped flowers to the top of a plain white cake. So easy, and so pretty. Cut the stems very short and push them down into the frosting. Try the famous Southern Living White Cake recipe or take a short-cut and get one at your local grocery store's bakery!
Floating Flowers Candle Holder
Carmen found this neat Extra Large Hurricane Candle Holder at Target. The tray for the candle is a good 6 inches from the bottom, so it appears to "float" inside the glass. We filled the bottom of the glass jar with water and pushed the flower clippings down into the water. Then we added the tray, and the candle. This made a beautiful centerpiece.
Southern Living Plants:
Find out more about what kinds of plants to put into your garden if you live in the south (like me), and Carmen will give tips on different kinds of container gardens, with all kinds of how-to videos. She's such a doll, and I really loved learning more about plants and how to decorate with them.
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Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Southern Living Plants.
A little dirt never stopped a girl.
Join the Pretty Muddy Mud Run, ladies, and test your metal thru 5K worth of mud, obstacles, and the great outdoors. The Pretty Muddy Mud Run, sponsored by Old Navy, is coming to Dallas on June 1st, and Sacramento on June 29th.
This women-only race boasts these crazy obstacles to go thru with your friends, from a mud-pit, foam tunnel and water slide, to climbing, crawling, and racing thru mud, nets, and even beach balls.
Photo Source: Pretty Muddy
The end of the race features an Old Navy fashion show featuring their new Active Gear line. The super cool Active Gear from Old Navy has compression pieces like tanks, shorts, and jackets. The affordable Active Gear line also includes yoga wear and Go Dry Activewear with moisture-wicking Go Dry fabric. I'd race in these Wide Leg Yoga Capris and pink Go Dry t-shirt, although both would certainly be mud-colored by the end!
Pretty Muddy works with non-profit partners for each race to raise funds for charities like Alex's Lemonade Stand, Project Sole, and Susan G. Komen. You can see pictures of past races here and get a good idea of what the whole dirty day is like.
The Dallas race will be held June 1st, at Skyline Ranch: 1801 E Wheatland Rd Dallas, TX 75241
There are even more races scheduled in other cities the rest of the year. Find your participating city here.
You can get a $10 discount (thanks Old Navy!) when you register for the Dallas Pretty Muddy Race by using the code BLOGON at check-out on their registration page here.
So, who's up for a run thru the mud? *whee*
Find out about more fun Events here.
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Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old Navy.
Sonic Shakes Half Price?
Yes please! Again this summer, the lovely and talented Sonic roller skaters will bring a Real Ice Cream Milk Shake to your car for HALF PRICE after 8pm any night of the week. Says so here.
And we're not talkin' just chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla here. Check out 25 super-duper crazy amazing flavors here. No coupon needed, they're just nice like that.
I'm sure, like me and Luka, you try to find as many ways as possible to incorporate ice cream into your daily diet in the hot, hot summer.
50¢ Corn Dogs for Last Day of School.
May 23rd, corn dogs will be .50¢ all day at Sonic, says the Sonic Facebook page. Yippee! Even though we don't get out until June 11th, we're happy to eat 50¢ corn dogs.
Get more deals at Sonic.
And, join the Sonic Cruisers email club here if you haven't done so already to get the scoop first on deals like this one next time.
Find your nearest Sonic here. Sonic has 3500 locations nationwide, and they're all participating.
Find more recent Dine on a Dime restaurant articles, so you can eat out for less at your favorite places.
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These fun Mini Sombrero Taco Salads are Texas-themed appetizers, healthified by the dietitians at HEB, are economical to make, and fun to serve at your next party.
For a collection of other Appetizers recipes, visit my Pinterest Boards for ideas here. These would be excellent and easy to take to a summer party (which is what I made them for), or for family game night where everyone can top them with their favorite toppings.
I needed a cute appetizer to take to a party.
This weekend marked the end of soccer season, so there was a big soccer team (and families) party. Everyone was tasked with bringing a fun side dish, as our neighborhood usually does. We are a big ol' potluck-trapped-in-the-50s type place.
I had just gotten the HEB My Texas Table cookbook, and thought there might just be a perfect recipe in there to make for the party. This cute little cookbook has 100 Family Favorites (Texas Style recipes for sure) and all are done light by the HEB Registered Dietitians.
This cookbook, and the HEB My Good News newsletter are part of their Ready, Set, Cook Challenge this spring. The challenge is to cook your family dinners in a little more healthy way at least one more time per week than you are now. If you sign up for My Good News, you'll even have access to a menu plan with recipes in it, which is super helpful.
Cooking one more meal a week really is a challenge for me, since I went back to work a couple months ago. And since the sports practices and games are also killing everyone's ability to cook and eat dinner together, fast food gets very attractive around 7:30pm.
But we're trying.
Like with this recipe. Not a family meal, but we cooked. Then, we took it to a neighborhood party to share. That counts as a big family meal! I was surprised how easy this was to put together, and that I had all of this in my house already. No weird ingredients. I hope you like it as much as we did.
Mini Sombrero Taco Salads
Non-Stick Cooking Spray
24 Corn Tortillas
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small can green chilies
2 tsp cumin
1 can fat-free refried beans
1/4 head of lettuce, shredded
1 roma tomato, chopped in little pieces
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1 TBSP Chipotle Sauce (I used Lawry's Chipotle Marinade)
Preheat oven to 375.
Spray two 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray. Cut a slit in your tortillas from the center out to one edge. Spray both sides of each, and form into a little cone. Set each cone in one of the muffin cup spaces.
Bake your cones for 10 minutes til they're crispy. Take them out and let them cool.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onion, and sauté two minutes. Add ground beef, green chilies and cumin. Saute 10 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
Open the beans and place them in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir til smooth. Prepare the salad dressing by whisking together the ranch dressing and chipotle sauce.
Chop up tomatoes and lettuce. Fill each tortilla "sombrero" with 1 spoonful of beans, then 1 spoonful of the hamburger mixture. Then top with the chopped up lettuce, shredded cheese, and chopped up tomatoes. Drizzle the Chipotle Ranch Salad Dressing on top of each.
Looks pretty darn cute. Tastes amazing. Not so expensive to buy the ingredients, and it's been healthified. Kids will have fun, too, topping their little sombrero with ingredients they like: sour cream, guacamole, kernels of corn, use your imagination. And, everyone thinks you're a genius on Instagram.
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