Category Archives: Uncategorized

Halloween Chalkboard Art

Happy Halloween

The other day when I was filming in downtown Los Angeles I went into a Starbucks and they had a picture on the wall. I’m not sure if it was a picture of chalkboard art, or if someone actually did it with chalk. The picture was on the other side of the store, the line was long, and I was in a hurry so I didn’t walk over to it. I liked the way it looked so I snapped a picture of it. 

Chalk art

The picture I saw at a Starbucks was my inspiration for the chalkboard art I did in my Koffice (kitchen office). I love chalkboards and I use mine often for notes and holiday art.  My chalkboard  has special meaning to me because it was my daughter’s when she was a little girl.

Here is my attempt at drawing with chalk

Halloween chalkboard Art

Wishing you a safe and happy day!

Tamara Maellaro

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all those that are Mom’s!

To those that have children, or been a

Mama to someone who needed you.

Enjoy Your Special Day!


All We Need is LOVE

I’ve been  thinking about Valentine’s Day decor and I had to have some of these

Wordless Wednesday

Picture of candy hearts with words

Spa H2O – Watermelon • Plum • Blueberry • lime • Mint


I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for Spa Water on Pintrest lately. The first time I had Spa Water was 10-12 years ago at a spa. I find the lightly flavored water to be so refreshing. This is a short and sweet post so I will get right to the recipe.

Spa Water

5 chunks of seedless watermelon
1 white plum sliced
handful of blueberries
Several mint leaves
1 Sliced lime
1-2 quarts Filtered Water (or good tap water)

Add some ice to the pitcher. Then, add your fruit, mint, and water. Stir with a wooden spoon. Put in the refrigerator for an hour to let the flavors mingle.

Here is a picture of Spa Water I had at work

Here is a picture of the spa water made by John Bourg (Craft Service Master). He makes this for us everyday on the TV show we’re working on. The film crew was especially thankful for this refreshing drink when we were on location last week. It was blazing hot and everyone who tried the water left saying, wow! this is soooo refreshing. Check out John’s, Studio App Pinterest board to see some of the tasty treats he fixes for us on the set.


Cucumber • Lemon • Mint 

Don’t be afraid mix it up and try different combinations.

Have you tried spa water before? If so what is your favorite flavor combo? I would also like to know if you have a flavor combo that you don’t like. Don’t be shy start typing in the comment section 🙂



Decorating Your Home with DIY Flower Decor

Guest Post by Patricia Hall

Flower arrangements placed throughout the home create a fresh and welcoming focal

point each time one enters the room. Flowers have the power to lift ones spirits when the eyes are drawn to their beauty. A combination of browsing on line florists, enlisting the assistance of flower delivery and unleashing your creative design talents will assure a perfect decorators finishing touch with minimal effort.

Leave No Room Behind

Every room in the home will benefit from flower decor. The first room that typically comes to mind is the dining room; an attractive vase brimming with blooms to adorn the center of the table seems to be a requisite in every home. When presented with a surprise bouquet from a significant other or a dinner guest, this is often the chosen spot where the arrangement is relegated for display.

In taking the appeal of flower decor beyond the dining table, consider other rooms in the home that could be enlivened with colorful and unique arrangements. The welcoming vibe cast by flowers makes them a perfect addition to a guest room when overnight visitors arrive. For an unexpected decorative design, consider arranging the flowers in a vessel that compliments the guest room decor. For example, in a room that carries a seaside motif, arrange blooms in a large, upturned conch seashell.

For avid gourmet cooks who embrace spending time in their kitchens, a floral arrangement on the counter will inspire creativity as one conjures culinary delights. Arrange the flowers in an unexpected, kitchen-themed, container. Poking around in the recesses of the cabinets will unveil some perfect candidates, such as a honey pot for some daffodils and baby’s breath, a teapot for colorful English garden blooms, a white porcelain pitcher for vivacious pink dahlias or a galvanized jug for hydrangea blossoms.

The bathroom is not to be excluded from the benefits of flower power. This room is, after all, a space where beauty emerges from morning dressing routines, as well as a place to relax and unwind when basking in the jet spa tub. Muted hues in a bathroom are soothing. Consider arrangements of understated warm shades, such as pink, cream and peach, to adorn the vanity. An ideal container would bear a metallic finish that matches that of the fixtures throughout the room, such as the brushed nickel of the light fixture, shower door frame, doorknobs and switch plates.

If a finished laundry room includes a sunny window, an eye pleasing flower arrangement of cheery, sunny-colored blooms will temper the drudgery of laundry duty. Outdoor patios will come alive when galvanized containers or watering cans display sunflowers on the tables and deck steps.

Through the Seasons

When designing arrangements for the home, whether in a classic vase on the bedroom dresser or a grouping on the living room coffee and end tables, embrace the opportunity to celebrate the seasons. Welcome springtime with bright yellow daffodils and colorful tulips. Transition the arrangements with the summer solstice by swapping out those early blooms for lively daisies, bold sunflowers, bright dahlias and pretty peonies. As falls first cooling breezes arrive, showcase summers final hydrangeas along with chrysanthemums in autumnal shades of maroon, gold, orange and purple.

The arrival of winter’s equinox coincides with the winter holiday season. While one’s first thoughts drift toward traditional poinsettias, incorporate different blooms in the holiday red and white combination. For example, an arrangement of roses and carnations in festive crimson and snowy white make a yuletide statement that is a refreshing change from the poinsettias. Likewise, autumn arrangements need not be limited to mums; select gerbera daisies, carnations, roses and lilies in a variety of fall colors. Enhance holiday arrangements by adding decorative picks, pinecones and ornaments to the mix. During the barren gray months of winter, enliven your living space with arrangements of brightly colored roses to chase away the bleak weather blues.

Alive and colorful, flowers inspire a zest for life. Take advantage of the benefits of on line florists and flower delivery to put a smile on the face of your day by decorating with beautiful and creative flower arrangements for every room in the home the whole year through.

About the Author

Patricia Hall works part-time for Serenata Flowers UK an online florist and loves to surround herself with flowers at any given point of time. Even in her free time she loves to involve herself with everything flora and fauna.
‘To me there is nothing more beautiful and global as the language of flowers – it is the easiest to understand all around the world in the same way. That is one reason why I truly admire flowers for what they represent in some ways – unity of all mankind!’

This Guy Was Cute Until He Jumped On My Head

Kind of a Wordless Wednesday

When I was taking this picture I was a couple of inches away from this praying mantis. We were both in shock after it jumped on my head. I got lucky and I got a picture.

Click on image to view larger

Enjoy Your Day!

Tea Lights and Coziness ~ Make A Sweet Little Gift

Can You Find the Little Angel?

Hello Friends,

Are you trying to think of a little gift for a girlfriend, teacher, or coworker?

I thought I would share a craft + little gift I made for a friend recently.

I made this gift for my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago for her birthday. We have a group of girls that get together to celebrate each birthday throughout the year. We have an unwritten rule that there are no gifts. Cards and homemade things are OK.

This whole project took me about 20 minutes to put together and cost about $5.

I’m going to get right down to the details.

Inside the Gift Bag:

  • A pretty handmade box with a slide off top

  • 5 – Customized Tea Light Candles (you can buy a bag of 100 plain tea lights on sale for under $10)

  • 1 – Tea Light holder  (Dec. is a great time to get these cheap)
  • 1 – Pair of cozy slipper socks

  • Throw in a couple of pieces of dark chocolate and some Calm tea for an extra treat. Thank You @CandyDye for that idea.

I buy cozy socks on sale in December to have on hand for little gifts. Cost $2.50
The crystal tea light holder I got on sale at Michaels Crafts for $2.50
I recycled the cellophane bag that was in my craft cupboard, same with ribbon
I had the paper in my scrap-booking paper stash. The pink tissue was rescued from an old gift bag hiding in the linen closet.

The way I see it,  this sweet gift cost me about 5 bucks. Not bad for a thoughtful, useful gift made with lots of love. Hey a store bought Card cost around 5 bucks. This gift can be used for a long time,  and it’s fun to make and put together.

Making the Custom Tea Lights

Items Needed:

  1. Tea Lights
  2. Colored tissue paper
  3. Paper punch of choice. One that will fit the candle. I had a heart that worked perfectly. You could even cut out a shape by hand.
  4. Heat gun or a hair dryer would probably work fine

Punch your shape out of tissue paper. *note when you punch tissue paper use a piece of regular scrap paper with it. Punch through both the reg. paper and tissue paper. This just makes it easier. Discard the regular paper, keeping only the colored shape. In this case a heart.

Next punch a small hole in the center of your tissue shape. I used a small hole punch, but you could use a paper clip or something.

Place the tissue shape onto the tea light with the wick going through the little hole.

Take your heat gun and melt the wax slightly. This only takes a few seconds, use caution so you don’t burn yourself. You just want a little wax covering the tissue.

That’s it.! You are done customizing one tea light. Now finish the rest just like the first one, or make them all different, use your imagination.

Let’s Make The Pretty Box

You will need two pieces of card stock. Pick your favorite color. If you’re a scrapbooker you probably have tons of paper hanging around. I just went through my stock and picked some I thought looked pretty together.

  • Cut one piece card stock 7 1/2 in. x 3 in. (this will be the bottom)
  • Cut one piece card stock 6 in. x 5 1/4 in. (this will be the top)

Now we want to score the paper. Scoring paper is making a crease in the paper prior to folding. To do this you can use a ruler and a bone folder. Or, you can use a scoring board. Look for one in the scrap book section of your craft store. I have done it both ways.

Instead of writing all the measurement here I thought it would be easier to give you a printable with all the measurements.
***Download Rectangle Box Template

Once you have your paper cut and scored, tape into place using double-stick tape or glue. I prefer tape because it is not as messy, and I don’t have to wait for it to dry.

Decorate the box to your liking. I used paper, cut out a section and popped it up using foam squares. I wanted to keep this box simple. They can be fancy or simple it’s totally up to you.

Now It’s Time To Put Your Gift Together

I chose to put the tea lights, cozy slipper socks, and crystal candle holder in a clear cello bag with a gross grain ribbon.

This is what the final gift looked like

I hope you enjoyed this post. I want to give credit where credit is due. I first learned how to make the boxes years ago at my favorite scrap book store Hearts and Crafts in Covina, Ca. The tea light idea I got from the 6/6/11 issue of 350 Cards & Gifts by

*** Print Rectangle Box Instructions ***

Happy Holidays!


Easy Bake Pumpkin Cake

This easy recipe will fill the house with the sweet smell of cinnamon and spice. It’s perfect for potlucks, and family gatherings. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Serve with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.

I came up with this recipe, or should say modified, because I did not have a yellow cake mix. I was going to make the well known “Dump Cake” with cherry pie filling, but didn’t have the right ingredients. So, I looked through my pantry and came up with something kind of like it, but in my opinion much better than my original thought. I also thought this would be perfect for this time of year. I love  pumpkin, and spice.

I wish I would’ve thought about taking pictures of this before I was into making it. I also stopped everyone from taking a bite long enough after serving it, so I could snap some pictures with my iPhone. They all laughed at me, but hey, who cares. I thought, yikes I have to make this into a blog post. I know all you other bloggers out there know what I’m talking about.

Print Recipe


  • 1 pkg. – Trader Joes Pumpkin Bread Mix (or your favorite brand)
  • 5 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 30 oz. Can Pumpkin Pie Mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x13in glass baking pan with Pam or butter. Mix pumpkin mix, evaporated milk, & eggs in bowl. Pour mixture into baking pan. Sprinkle ½ of bread mix over pumpkin mixture. Run knife through mixture in a zigzag to combine some of the bread mixture into the pumpkin mix. Then, add remaining bread mix to top.

Sprinkle pecans and spices evenly over surface, and then drizzle butter over mixture. Bake for 40min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Keep an eye on your cake; it can burn easily in last few minutes. Let cool for 2 hours, then refrigerate or serve.

This recipe takes 5-10 minutes to prepare. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the wonderful smells coming from your kitchen as this cake bakes in the oven.

I hope you enjoy as much as my family did.

Bon Appetit!

Almost Wordless Wednesday — A Heart For You

My hubby sent me this picture. A picture of a heart, how cute, you might say. The funny thing to me about this heart is… It’s a piece of cereal that has been sitting on that drainage grate for 3 weeks. He dropped it so he knows how long it’s been there. It has rained 3 times. You think it would have disintegrated by now. The birds didn’t even want to eat it, and crows eat almost anything. Fiber cereal, no wonder it gives me gas. Oh gosh, did I just say that out loud.

Super Easy One-Dish ~ Chicken, Beans, and Rice







Have you ever arrived home from work and thought Ugh! What am I going to make for dinner. It’s 9:00 pm and DH and I are starving, and the chicken is still slightly frozen.  Dinner  had to be simple and I wanted it to almost cook itself with little mess. We both had some work to finish up before dinner. Well, hubs and I went to the pantry, looked around, and this is what we came up with.

At first we thought just black beans and rice. Then we thought how about adding some cream corn. Well, actually I thought it was regular corn until I opened the can LOL. I thought, Lets give it a try and see how it turns out. To add some liquid we added the diced tomatoes, and for a little spice we added onion.

Here is the recipe we came up with. Basically you plop everything in the baking pan and forget it until it’s done.

Super Easy One-Dish Chicken, Beans, and Rice
Serves – 4

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
15-oz. can Black beans. Drain the liquid on the top leaving some
15-oz. can cream corn
15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 onion cut into chunks
cracked black pepper to taste
Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute to taste (a mix of common seasonings)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
4-6 cups of cooked jasmine rice or white rice
(I used TJ’s frozen Jasmine rice-1pkg for two people)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Picture of tomatoes, black beans, chicken in glass baking pan

I used a 13in. x 9 in. glass baking pan.

Sprinkle some 21 salute and cracked pepper on bottom of pan. Add just enough to season one side of chicken. Then place chicken thighs in pan on top of seasoning. Now sprinkle more seasoning on top of chicken. Pour black beans, cream corn, onion, and then diced tomatoes on top of the chicken.

Put into the oven and let cook until bubbly around 30 minutes. Give the pan a stir mixing up all the ingredients. Cook another 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Add cheese on top and cook a bit more until it melts.

To Serve:
Place rice on plates and top with the chicken and bean mixture. How easy is that.
Top with a bit of sour cream and or avocado for an extra flavor bonus.

Both my husband and I thought this was a delicious dinner.

We were kind of surprised how yummy this was and how easy it was to make. Both of us were able to get our work done with little attention to our baking dinner. I know eating at 10pm is not recommended, but that is how it works at our house. We have late schedules.

We also ate this the next night using brown rice instead of the jasmine. The brown rice was also very very tasty. I was going to add a pic of the finished dish, but my food styling was not very good and it looked, well, let’s just say not very pretty 🙂

Print the Recipe

Bon Appetit