Sunday, April 24, 2022

Carrot Cake and End of April


Carrot Cake - End of April

I cannot believe how fast this month is flying by !  Easter is over - but not without a Carrot Cake for company.  I found a great recipe at Inspired Taste - Carrot Cake   It was super easy, I used only one layer and froze the other for another time.   Cream cheese icing using low fat cream cheese and Smart Balance margarine made it not quite such decadent dessert.  I loved that it used whole wheat flour as that is what I use most of the time these days. I had fun decorating the cake with little icing carrots and some walnuts.  
It was a huge hit with our guests.  We had friends stop for an overnight visit on their journey home - and we had not seen each other for over a year, so I never got photos of  us having a great time...we were too busy talking!   I also shared a piece with neighbors and yesterday they stopped me to say how good it was! 

It was a creative week....after years of not sewing any clothes - just mending, making pillows, quilts, etc. - I found some material while searching for a zipper in my box of sewing stuff.  I gave away SO much fabric and notions when we downsized, but kept ONE big box of fabric I could not bear to discard. Pulled out this old, but great, pattern...

And my cutting board....

This is the fabric...I purchased a cardigan sweater at Talbots and thought it would work with a skirt made out of this fabric.  For many years I made a suit for each Easter...then wore them when I needed to dress professionally. I have not done that for over 15 years....but was ready to dip my toe back into sewing a skirt...

Older eyes made it difficult to find the "right" side of this fabric...

But, I figured it out and started cutting....

The process quickly came back to me..."with right sides together and raw edges even...."

WOW !  Noticed the pattern was almost 30 years old !  Have not purchased a pattern in years but when I browse through fabric stores I am amazed at the price these days!
My trusty Sears Kenmore sewing machine - purchased in 1972! - is still working like a charm.

The guest bath between the guest room and the huge guest closet - aka my sewing room - is the perfect spot to set up the board and iron open my seams.

This skirt is really easy to sew...just two side seams with another back seam that ends in a slit...

and a casing for an elastic waist.

Turn up a quick hem and I was done!
The finished skirt  - Easter Sunday outfit!
Had to wear a coat on Easter Sunday as it was freezing here - we went to church and then out to brunch.
Peeps Mimosas

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

and the largest Banana Chocolate Chip pancakes ever!  We ended up taking them home and finishing them for lunch the next day.
We had a wonderful time at The Imperial  which was walking distance from our church in downtown Lancaster.
Our huge, guest storage closet is where I had my sewing station set up - and I forgot to take a photo of the before.  It was really sad - I had my machine on an old metal typing table that I think was being held together only by the multiple coats of paint...and using an old vanity stool with no back for a chair.  We had a hard time finding a desk that would fit the space and came across this one in a local discount store.  The perfect size...and then bought a task chair from Walmart.  I ended up buying two Sterlite rolling carts to have on each side of the desk...

I can roll them out of the way if I need to get to our luggage...

The drawers hold my sewing notions...

And the chair is very comfy.  I did not want to spend a lot of money on this set up as really - I am the ONLY person that goes in that closet except for occasional guests to hang up any hanging garments, so this is working perfectly for me.
Finished off the Easter holiday with a college girlfriends brunch later in the week.

We were lucky to find a day that we all could get together...even though we are all retired everyone is busier than ever.  These place mats and napkins are from Kohl's a few years ago...

I set up a coffee and tea station for everyone to help themselves...

Super easy brunch with a Spinach Quiche purchased from the grocery store, fruit, bacon, some chocolate goodies, and Morning Glory Muffins from The Simple Luxurious Life.

Of course, no brunch is complete without some mimosas...
We toasted our long friendship - Johnson Babes !  We met at college in Johnson Hall in 1973/74 where we had tee shirts  ( now long gone) that that sported the Johnson and Johnson font with Johnson Babes printed on the front.  I wish I had saved one to use as a model and could make some for us today.  But...even if the shirts are long gone, the friendship is still going strong.  We are blessed to be in each other's lives and just LOVE when we can get together!
What special things did you enjoy over the Easter holiday?  Did you try any new recipes?  Hoping whatever you did, your holiday was filled with good food, friends, family, and peace. Please let me know in the messages below.  I love hearing from you! 
Thank you for stopping by Our New Vista!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter !

Looking forward to Easter and a visit from good friends.  I was excited to pull out the Easter/Spring decorations and get ready for the holiday and warmer weather.

The tray above is on our coffee table.  The beautiful Ukrainian Easter Eggs belonged to my dear mother-in-law.  I love that they are painted wood and there is not chance of them breaking when packed away.  The silk tulips are SO old...bought all the tulips you will see in this post probably 20 years ago at, believe it or not, Bath and Body Works.  The store near me was moving and they were selling the silk flowers at a great price.

This glass tulip plate always found a place in my kitchen window over the sink...since we moved I keep it near the porch window to catch the light.

This little bunny was a gift and she sits on the kitchen counter..

Some Target bunny pieces in the kitchen...

and Easter touches near the wine rack.

Simple centerpiece on the dining table.  I used Easter filler from Dollar Tree and put all this on a small tray I found at Ikea.  That way when we have guests and need space on the table for food I can quickly pick it up and move it.
The wreath on our door is several years old...bunny, tulips, and sparkle eggs are all from Dollar Tree.

A little bit of Easter at the foyer...

and over the fireplace.

The entry gets a Dollar Tree umbrella in the stand filled with Dollar Tree tulips, and the bunny is a cookie jar!  My mom and I found it probably 40 years ago at J. C. Penny for a few dollars on one of our epic, all day shopping trips.  I miss those days with her.

Since we will be having guests I added some bunnies and eggs to the Powder room...

And made sure there was a cute bunny tail guest towel there, too.
Now that the decorating is finished I am going to give our home a good cleaning and get the guest room ready for our friends.  Then grocery shopping and getting some meals prepped for the visit.   Our guests will leave the day before Easter.  We will be attending church, and then made reservations for Easter Brunch.  In between all this I am hoping to make a skirt to wear on Easter Sunday.  When cleaning out my sewing supplies I found a piece of fabric that would make a great skirt to go with a cardigan sweater set I found at Talbots.  I have not made any clothes in a LONG time...used to make an Easter Suit each year, but those days are gone.   Hoping that my sewing skills come back...I will keep you posted.
Wishing everyone a blessed and peaceful Easter.
Please let me know if you decorate for Easter, what recipes you make for Easter...I love to hear from you.  Until then - thank you for stopping by Our New Vista!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Easter, Dollar Tree, and Target!


Easter, Dollar Tree, and Target!

The daffodils are out and blooming outside my window, but it sure does not feel like Spring.  Hoping the weather soon improves for Easter.  Gearing up here for company coming soon - after such a long, Covid time without friends visiting.  
To prepare for guests and Easter I made a visit to Dollar Tree and Target - and found some great items.
Dollar Tree had a good selection of eggs that I plan to fill with candy and use as place markers for upcoming dinners and brunch.  I use a marker to write each guests name and put at their place setting. I also picked up some vase filler in Easter/Spring colors.  I had some that is egg shaped from last year, but it was not enough to fill the candle holder, so I mixed some of this type in and it looks fine.

Also snagged an Easter basket and some cute egg themed ribbon - old friends will be staying overnight right before Easter and I thought it would be nice to have an Easter Basket in their room to welcome them!
I found these in the craft sections...perfect for chalk board signs or even on glass.  

Always pick up a few candy bars while at Dollar Tree.  Living in an apartment building it is fun to remember birthdays of neighbors with a card and a little treat.
I never leave Dollar Tree without picking up some of the 2 for 1 dollar cards.  Even though Dollar Tree raised prices to $1.25, the cards remain at the $1.00 price.  I snagged several Easter cards for family and friends, and some sympathy cards to have on hand.
Some non Easter/Spring items also followed me home.  I notice these Peds that should work with peep toe shoes.

I always pick up some of these containers when I see them....I use them all over to organize things in the bathroom and other drawers...
recently I cut some of them in smaller pieces and used them to organize our cutlery drawer.  I fastened the containers down with a little double edge tape and they help to keep the drawer neat. 

Always pick up some batteries, too. 

Found this shower comb to help the conditioner evenly go in my hair...even though my hair is pixie short, this seems to work.
Found this metallic tray and now use it on my desk to corral all the papers that seem to pile up each day.  
The next day I headed to Target - 
This riser will be perfect for pies and cakes in a buffet..
And I could not resist these little bunny egg cups!
I love the scent of Mrs. Meyers Clean Day when cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.  I bought some Rosemary for now, Lilac to use in May, and Rose for June.

Lastly I picked up this mirror for only $7.00  We have an oak cheval mirror in the bedroom, but I think this one will be great in our big closet...I can see what things look like while I am getting dressed.  May hang it on the wall, but after only a few days in the closet I think it was a good idea!
Now to get all that Easter decorating out and about - it has been a busy week and another busy one coming up, but I hope to decorate, bake, and get things ready so I can relax and enjoy our company!
Are you prepping for Easter ?  Getting ready for family or friends coming to visit?   Let me know in the comments below.  I really love hearing from you!  Until then, THINK SPRING and have a great week!

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...