504 Main by Holly Lefevre: October 2011

10.27.2011

Tickled Pink No. 71

Happy Weekend!
Hi all!
I am not a big holiday person, but I do love the excitement in my kiddos faces when we celebrate. What are your plans for Halloween? 
My kids have the most boring costumes - sorry there are no other words - they have a creative mom who can sew and this is what they choose...
a baseball player and
"Rapunzeled"
(that is how she says it...it is a verb here - "I have been Rapunzeled!")
What are your kids OR YOU going as?
 ***** 
Just so ya know...I may be a little absent or worse than usual with emails...my Mac is the doctor and sadly, probably won't be coming home - it is only 2 years old and the biggest lemon I ever owned! Sorry had to vent...it has been nothing but trouble since day 1...but that leaves me with no laptop and not as much freedom. (sigh)
*****
Be sure to enter the Mingle With Melt! Sweepstakes
a $500 giftcard is up for grabs for the winner (and the referring blogger).
It is so easy to enter:
your name, your email, referring blog name.
EASY-PEASY!
 *****
The bidding for THE DIY CLUB online DIY silent auction called
31 Days of Hope is still happening with SO MANY GREAT ITEMS.
You should head over there and see the awesome creations that
have been created by the DIY ladies and some other FAB contributors.
*****
I'd love for you to check out my Harvest tablescape!
or
My interview with hgtv.com contributor Dan Berger
*****
Be sure to stop by byAimee on Saturday to check out her Saturday Spotlight!
Lots of great businesses and bloggers are spotlighted each week...you might even see me and learn a little something new this week!
*****
THANKS for YOUR OPINIONS last week!
I am going to try the following for features:
the top 1-2 in each category and maybe a few others that catch my eye will get featured here and on Facebook. This is how I started Tickled Pink anyway...but then I was featuring so many. Oh there is no easy answer!
I will still feature additional things on Facebook 
(because honestly it is easier).
BE SURE TO ADD A LINK OR BUTTON TO YOUR POST!
******************
Winners of the  SOCAL SOCIAL SWAG Bags are
Jenni from Kissed by a Frog and Michelle from So Wonderful, So Marvelous
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FEATURES
Turquoise Cuff from Aimee at Fancy Little Things!
*****
Homemade Mod Podge (decoupage) from Babblings and More
*****
You had me at ruffles!
Ruffled sandwich from Musings of a Glamourpuss
*****
I adore campfires...The Editorial shares some thoughts




I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone
who links up, reads, and visits. I truly appreciate it.

So, go on over and LIKE 504 Main on Facebook!
I share more features there throughout the week.
I am also inviting you to share your
link on my FaceBook wall.

Please no giveaways or etsy shops or "please follow" messages,
but whatever you link up here, feel free to share the link on my Facebook Wall.
(be sensible peeps...I reserve the right to DELETE!)
If I feature you on Facebook or twitter, be sure to grab a button HERE!

Have a GREAT weekend!
Signature


NOW FOR TICKLED PINK!

A craft...a recipe...a tip...a party...a short story...a  poem...
a  fashion find...a  favorite product...your favorite  post...
whatever makes  your blog  fabulous!
That is what Tickled Pink is all about!
{and it does NOT have to be PINK}



504 Main
PRACTICE PINK KINDNESS
1. Link  up...whatever makes  your blog  fabulous. Family Friendly please. Guess what? Your post does not have to be PINK!! 
2. PLEASE LINK TO A POST URL, ****NOT YOUR MAIN URL****
3. Pretty please...add the Tickled Pink button to the post* {people need  to know what the heck they are doing!}. 
4.  I reserve the right to remove posts that are offensive or do not  adhere  to the rules, without any discussion, at my discretion.
5. Please visit at least 2 other links!
TICKLED PINK Now Has Categories
I won't banish you if you mess up, but try to link appropriately, pretty please!
Craft, DIY, Decorate
crafting, diy, decor type links




Cook, Bake, Eat
stuff to eat, cook, drink, and bake






Read, Write, Share

posts you love, stories, favorite things, ideas to share




Mingle (and Bake) with Melt! Banacarapple Bread

I always feel like putting on a fancy apron and spending my days baking at this time of year. I think of rich deep Fall flavors - pumpkin, sweet potatoes, gingerbread, cinnamon, pecans - yum! This is the time of year I love to make all kinds of breads, pies, soups, and sauces and just enjoy the richness of it all (and workout!).
In the past I have tried working with new healthier ingredients such as brown rice syrup, buckwheat flour, and coconut oil. I still continue to try and find healthier alternatives to create new dishes and baked goodies with.

Recently I was introduced to Melt Buttery Spread,
a organic gluten-free butter substitute. It has become the perfect compliment to the dishes I have been making - not to mention a new component to my baking and cooking. Oh how I love the added benefit Melt brings to the table by incorporating healthy cooking oils into my dishes.

Since receiving some samples, I have fallen in love with Melt (not to mention the song 'I'll Stop the World and Melt With You" - one of my faves from my younger days - plays in my head every time I see it). It has a whipped creamy buttery yumminess, but it is better for you, made with virgin coconut oil, flax seed oil, palm fruit oil and canola oil. It is a healthy gluten-free butter and supports digestive wellness, optimal nutrition absorption and healthy weight.

I have been using it a lot - on toast, muffins, to saute veggies, and on my steamed broccoli, pretty much anywhere I would normally use butter,
I have tried Melt with great success.

I have a recipe for you using Melt (in just a minute)
...but want to tell you about the
that is going on right now...through through October 31, 2011!
And seriously it takes a minute or two to enter
(enter your name, your email, and my blog name)...
and the prize is awesome...
$500 VISA gift card towards your Mingle With Melt 
dinner party from Rich & Creamy Melt® Buttery Spread! Enter to win a chic, foodie evening-in with friends from Rich & Creamy Melt®, the great tasting, organic butter alternative that’s good for you. 

One winner (and the blog that referred them) will enjoy a $500 Mingle with Melt VISA giftcard with which to buy food, decorations, cocktails, cooking supplies, and maybe, the perfect little black dress, for your dinner party! Mingle with Melt! We'll also provide 3 packages of Melt and feature each winner's party photos and original recipes featuring Melt on the Melt Facebook page and website!
(all the sweepstakes details/rules on are the entry page)

Now here's the recipe!
This is a rich full bodied bread.
It has a sweetness to it but it is not too "sweet."
You can really taste the molasses and the fruits/veggies!
My kids "eat it up!"
Banacarapple Bread
(banana-carrot-apple)
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Melt, melted
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons of agave (or honey)
  • 3-4 (depending on their size) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups of brown rice flour (For this recipe, that is what I had, but in the past I have used a combination of healthier flours, like 1 cup Buckwheat Flour and 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour - I can find both of these at my regular grocery store or whole foods)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot (I just grated 4 carrots in the food processor)
  • 1 apple, cored and either diced or grated (I got lazy and after coring threw it in the food processor).
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Other optional flavors: Raisins, cranberries, ginger

MAKE IT!
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Use some melted Melt to butter the pan and then dust the pan with the flour.
  3. Mix the Melt, molasses, agave/honey, (room temp.) eggs, and mashed bananas together.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together
  5. Add dry to the wet in small batches
  6. Fold in the carrot
  7. Fold in the apple
  8. Bake for approximately 55-60 minutes
Voila...super yummy, totally healthy, kid-tested Banacarapple Bread!
And top it with a spread of Melt...super delicious!

Do you think your kids would eat bread with carrots in it?
Next time I want to add some zucchini!

Don't forget...don't miss out on your chance to win a
$500 giftcard in the Mingle with Melt Sweepstakes!
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received samples of Melt Buttery Spread.

10.26.2011

Create A Fall Oasis with HGTV.com Contributor Dan Berger

I adore being outdoors.
Perhaps because I am a native California girl, and have always
been spoiled with good weather year round.
Where I live now, Fall is actually the best time of the year.
So we are soaking up every second of our gorgeous Fall weather, and also taking this opportunity to "gussy up" the backyard so we can enjoy
our little piece of heaven a lot more.
(I wish this was my house and garden..its not...it's Dan's work!)

Now, while I love the outdoors, and live in an area blessed
with amazing weather...I am guilty of neglect.
I just keep telling myself I like that natural overgrown look...but NO MORE!

I was already anxious to begin the process of transforming our backyard and deck into our personal oasis, and then I was presented with the unique opportunity to interview Garden Designer and HGTV.com contributor Dan Berger. Dan's unique and creative approach to garden design has landed him appearances on over 25 episodes of HGTV's "Landscape Smart." He has also worked with This Old House and been featured in Sunset Magazine, in addition to numerous features in newspapers and other publications. Dan, a fellow Californian, is the owner of LandPlan Landscaping.
After chatting with Dan, I am even more inspired to get my own plans in action. He has some great advice for everyone  because no matter where you live there are steps you can take to enjoy the great outdoors this Fall - in any way you choose, from gardening to reading under a canopy to relaxing in a hammock - you can create a personal oasis.

The questions I asked Dan were definitely inspired my my own "issues," BUT they can help us all! Dan was great and so full of information. We covered everything from some very basic plant do's to creating a fabulous space in your own yard...or deck...or patio.

Some of you may be saying I don't have the money or the time to create a new space...but the space does not have to be entirely new or cost a lot of money. You do not have to cut down the trees to make way for a new patio or build a waterfall or redesign the entire property. You just need to create a space that feels warm
and inviting not only to you but to your guests.
In fact, one of my favorite things Dan said was
"It is about the people not the money."
Now let's get to it!
Oh yeah, and enjoy the GORGEOUS photos of Dan's work along the way!

WHY CREATE A FALL OASIS?
An outdoor room or oasis is special. It connects you and your guests with nature and each other. As you create your space use natural elements - gorgeous cedar, water features, etc. to facilitate that connection to nature. Make your space inviting and people will be drawn outside and you will create a sense of camaraderie.
WHERE and HOW TO BEGIN?
1. Create a space for you...for something you enjoy all the time. If you read, create a magical place to read, if you knit, do the same...if sitting and listening to the birds or the waves crashing helps you relax after a long day...if hosting dinner parties al fresco is your forte...do it - make the space work for that and your life.

2. Find and determine a good spot in your yard/deck/patio...then decide what it needs...a fire pit, a covering, "walls" for privacy, etc.

3. Start small and let it grow. You do not have to tackle the entire project all at once, especially if it is a major transformation. If you do, the whole process can be overwhelming and an oasis should bring joy...not stress.

4. Decide on the type of space you want: Is it for the kids (if you can call that an oasis!), is it for entertaining, is it a private space for you (or you and your spouse to relax)...for you to paint or create? Once you make the distinction of the type of space you are trying to create, your plans and the space will come together.

5. Define the function of the space and determine how it relates to what is happening inside the house. Select a spot that has a relationship to that. Think of the outdoor area as a room - an extension of the home, but don't forget about practicality. If your entertaining space is 200 yards from your kitchen, will it make a lot of sense (or be easy/practical) to serve a meal there regularly. It does not mean you can't but maybe it make more sense to serve lighter fare (coffee/cocoa and pastries or mulled wine and cheese) in the space.

MUST HAVES FOR YOUR FALL OASIS
For this season, as the air begins to chill, comfort is key...and that means warmth is essential. If you are cold or uncomfortable you will be distracted and not enjoying the space you create.

Warmth can come in a simple form...a cozy blanket or comforter or it can be a beautiful fireplace or even a portable fire pit.

Support that feeling of warmth with the food and drink you serve as well as the colors, music, and decor you add to it.

BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!
In colder weather, you may need to consider some type of an enclosed structure to protect yourself from the harsh weather and temperatures. At first it may seem a little "much" but when you think about the peace and joy that space can bring you it may be well worth it in the end.

Additionally, you may be thinking there is no way my guests are going outside...it's cold. Entice them...draw them out there. Create a space so inviting and magical they simply cannot resist. They can't help but venture outdoors to explore your oasis...and then they may not even want to leave!

KID ALERT! 
If you are thinking what I was thinking...here's your answer. I am a mom...I have a play house a play structure..most of my outdoor area is for the kids...BUT I should be able to claim a space for myself. As a mom (or dad) we need a spot for us...stake your claim.

FULL OF PERSONALITY
Think about what you do and who you are and use that to inject personality into your space. Dan emphasized, ""Whatever you can do inside to distinguish and differentiate your space you can do outside."

For example one photographer created a wall..and in essence it was a gallery wall. He blew up some of his photos and hung them outside. It was beautiful, enticing, and he could easily change out the art when he wanted. What a unique way to display art and bring yourself into your space.

If you practice a particular craft, such as beading or pottery, decorate the outdoors with your work.

If you are not a "creative" person, add a collection to the space - bring your milk glass collection outside for awhile. Create a nook to show off your tea pots and serve up some fancy teas! Create vignettes to showcase pieces that are so very you and make your space an extension of that.

If you are a cook/baker/chef - whip up your special cookies and make your signature coffee beverage and serve it in the oasis. An amazing afternoon treat.

Little things like this will bring your energy and personality into the space and guest will feel the warmth...and they will know it is yours.
TO PLANT OR NOT TO PLANT
My first thoughts when we scheduled this interview was to grill Dan on plants. (This may not be my strong point) So, for those of us with a black or brown thumb, I had to ask what type of plantings we should be looking for. Here are some GREAT tips.
  • Dan suggests to look for low maintenance plants. The trick to is get them established, but once you do that, you will have success.
  • Be sure to also make sure you purchase plants suited to your climate.
  • Create seasons with your plantings (especially in a place like CA where the seasons are not as distinct).
  • Use the colors and type of plants that are available to create a new look and palette for each season.
  • Buy varying heights, widths, and varieties.
  • Concentrate on perennials. Perennials are an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up the outdoors - you can grab small containers for about $2.50 each. Many perennials also flower and do well in shaded areas.
  • Remember it is OK to buy a plant for a season. Let it bloom and thrive and when it is done compost it.
SOIL
Sometimes getting the plant to grow and flourish is a matter of soil - the right soil is a must, and plants can fail just because of the soil! Take time to use the right soil mixture, and do not overlook the use of pots and containers grouped and placed through the yard. You can even dig a hole and plant the entire pot - this is a great way to ensure the plant has the right soil and it blends right in. (I LOVE THIS!)

DAN"S BIG TIP!
When you purchase plants/flowers, look for plants that have buds or are just beginning to bud. The full gorgeous blooms may entice you but the plants life cycle is shorter for you to enjoy when you purchase a plant in full bloom. "Everyone at the nursery may have already enjoyed the plants best moments. Instead buy that plant that has yet to flourish and get the most out of it. (DUH! I never even thought of that!)

CREATE "People Space"
If plants are not a strong point for you (or you cannot grow them at this time due to weather) concentrate on elements that are not plants/living/growing in the outdoors. A non plant/floral focal point is the key. Let the plants be the backdrop not the attraction. Wood structures, water elements, iron ornaments - whatever you love helps define the space as well.

I have to say a BIG thank you to Dan for taking time to talk to me
and sharing his advice and wisdom!
Check out this site where you can get 
"how to build" tips and view more photos: http://www.wrcla.org/  

So...what do you think?
Are you ready to create your oasis?
I took Dan's tips to heart as I designed my Harvest table the other day
and I am so inspired to get in the yard, and enjoy every minute I can outside with the waves crashing and the birds chirping and the squirrels playing in the pines.
Signature

All photos are copyright and property of Dan Berger.

10.24.2011

DIY! Halloween Boo Banner

Two amazing things happened today...
I made a Halloween banner and I used my Cricut.
I adore this paper from Canvas Corp and have had my eye on it for awhile...I am just slow in prepping for Halloween. BUT My daughter really wants to decorate for Halloween, so I am trying...AND she specifically wants a banner that said "Boo." I was trying to be more witty or original, but sometimes you just gotta go with it!
This is pretty simple and can easily be replicated with scissors and chip board letters (if you do not have a Cricut), or with different shapes and fonts (if you do have a Cricut). 
(don't those "O's" look like cat eyes!)
Supplies
2 sheets of Canvas Corp Kraft Spooky Words (12x12)
2 sheets of Canvas Corp Spooky Diamonds on Kraft (2x 12)
1 sheet of orange paper/stock (12 x 12 or 8.5 x 11)
1 sheet of black paper/cardstock (12 x 12 or 8.5 x 11)
Canvas Corp black jute cord
Krylon Super Quick Spray Adhesive
Orange ribbon, about 1.5 yards
Optional: other various ribbons in orange and black for adornment

Tools
Cricut or scissors/X-acto
Cricut Cartridge: Essential Elements and Cindy Loo (I only have 3 cartridges, so I was going with what I have. You could use anything else)
Hole punch (mine is a 1/8" hole punch, but regular size can work)

DIY IT!

Check out the FULL TUTORIAL and all the details at THE DIY CLUB

DIY Club
Cut the shapes and letters...I used my Cricut!
You can use scissors and chip board letters too.


Use Spray Adhesive to assemble


Hang and decorate it!


That's it - easy and cute and Jules loves it...
so that is what matters.
In fact she loves it so much we had to make a second one...
but slightly different...
...she wanted the witch hat paper! 
Signature 

Disclosure: Some items were acquired via my affiliation with the DIY Club. Please view my full disclosure by clicking in the top navigation bar. 

10.22.2011

31 Days of Hope ONLINE AUCTION for Breast Cancer Awareness

The 31 Days of Hope online DIY auction is O-P-E-N.
View the items HERE
At The DIY Club we have been working hard to create an online DIY auction that includes one of a kind creations form some very talented bloggers, donations from other amazing people who wanted to help and our sponsors who generously donated to this auction.

100% of the auction earnings to the American Cancer Society and specifically the funds will go towards their Breast Cancer division. 


PLEASE help spread the word...
we have over 50 items to bid on starting at $1.00.
Please help spread the word on facebook, twitter, your blogs, etc.!

It is all being handled through ebay.
View the items HERE!
 We have handmade shelves, glittered ribbon,
ornaments of hope, photography - and SO MUCH MORE!

Again, please help spread the word through your blogs, facebook and twitter!
This is an easy and special way to contribute.

Signature

10.20.2011

Tickled Pink No. 70

Happy Weekend!
Hi all!
Neither of children want to sleep through the night right now...I feel like I have a newborn...Oh my I am exhausted. I am used to running on little sleep but usually the sleep I do get is uninterrupted. Makes such a difference.
*****
I NEED (WOULD LOVE) YOUR OPINION!
So, I tried something new...I did some features early in the week on Facebook,
and today I shared the most viewed links in each category.
It is a test: tell me what you think...Love, Hate, Who Cares?
Would you rather see those links featured here?
Give me your thoughts? 
Pretty please!
BY THE WAY AMAZING PROJECTS, RECIPES, AND THOUGHTS LAST WEEK.
*****
What are you all doing this weekend?
I have so many project to finish up. Why do I do that, start something and then almost finish it - that is a really annoying trait. As opposed to my hubby who finishes his projects (which are few and far between)...just not the way I want him too.

Did you notice I made the thumbnail larger last week?  Like, not like, did not notice?
Well, I like a bigger photo, so I am keeping it!
That is thanks to a convo at the SoCal Social!
******************
And, now some business...
If you link up in the wrong category...now worries - I can fix it later...just go ahead and linkup in the right one!
*****
The winner of The Big Ass Book of Crafts 2 is Life as Leah!
*****
and the
NEW GIVEAWAY IS:
WIN THE SOCAL SOCIAL SWAG Bag - great little surprises.
I HAVE 2 BAGS TO GIVEAWAY! 
Head over to the giveaway post to enter...
You have through Sunday 10/23 at midnight PST to enter.
*********************************************
The bidding for THE DIY CLUB online DIY silent auction called
31 Days of Hope starts on 10/22.
You should head over there and see the awesome creations that
have been created by the DIY ladies and some other FAB contributors.



I know I am not the only busy lady or man out there..
I know I have been awful at returning emails and comments.
I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone
who links up, reads, and visits. I truly appreciate it.

I LOVE the ease of sharing links on Facebook, so this is how I will make my way through Tickled Pink links. I will now get more active with that!

So, go on over and LIKE 504 Main on Facebook!
I am also inviting you to share your
link on my FaceBook wall.

Please no giveaways or etsy shops or "please follow" messages,
but whatever you link up here, feel free to share the link on my Facebook Wall.
(be sensible peeps...I reserve the right to DELETE!)
If I feature you on Facebook or twitter, be sure to grab a button HERE!

Have a GREAT weekend!
Signature


NOW FOR TICKLED PINK!

A craft...a recipe...a tip...a party...a short story...a  poem...
a  fashion find...a  favorite product...your favorite  post...
whatever makes  your blog  fabulous!
That is what Tickled Pink is all about!
{and it does NOT have to be PINK}



504 Main
PRACTICE PINK KINDNESS
1. Link  up...whatever makes  your blog  fabulous. Family Friendly please. Guess what? Your post does not have to be PINK!! 
2. PLEASE LINK TO A POST URL, ****NOT YOUR MAIN URL****
3. Pretty please...add the Tickled Pink button to the post* {people need  to know what the heck they are doing!}. 
4.  I reserve the right to remove posts that are offensive or do not  adhere  to the rules, without any discussion, at my discretion.
5. Please visit at least 2 other links!
TICKLED PINK Now Has Categories
I won't banish you if you mess up, but try to link appropriately, pretty please!
Craft, DIY, Decorate
crafting, diy, decor type links



Cook, Bake, Eat
stuff to eat, cook, drink, and bake





Read, Write, Share

posts you love, stories, favorite things, ideas to share