WINTER'S WHIMSICAL WONDERLAND...
February is usually the time of year we tend to get "winter" like snow & ice storms, even though we had a snow storm in January. By the end of January, we've had "spring" whether like in the 60's & 70's with 1/2 a week of 20's-40's, all while being rainy, sunny, & windy. All of this crazy whether has an impact on everyone & everything!
Most everyone I know has had the sinus crud or the stomach bug in the past 3 weeks. My berry plants have buds, I just hope they don't open too early & become damaged by the impending ice that will inevitably come!
Decorating In WiNtER...
This year we're having a Mardi Gras party, so decorating for the party is what it's all about! I love Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) & all the festivities that go with it...I love learning about history & how art relates to it aesthetically or functionally. I could talk about the history of Mardi Gras all day long, but I'll stick to the decorating side. I put some resources @ the end of this section for background information, as well as, contemporary relevance.
Purple, green, & gold is the symbolic color scheme used for Mardi Gras. Purple represents justice, green represents faith, & gold represents power. Common images are masks, coins, a king/crown, joker/jester, fleur-de-lis, & beads. Patterns include harlequin or diamonds, masks, & stripes.
To make your party look professionally composed, layer items to add depth & texture! Encompass all the senses for the ultimate experience. Visually, think top to bottom. Even the ceiling needs decoration. Touching & seeing a variety of textures will make the setting feel complete. Hearing traditional jazz music in the background sets the festive mood. Of course, making your mouth water with the traditional treats of the festival is always a party favorite. Some of those treats include the king cake, beignets, pancakes, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice, po' boys, shrimp & grits, etouffee, & crawfish boils.
OrganizING IN WINTER...
Space planning is a major part of the organizational process. Knowing what needs to be accomplished will help you decide what items belong in particular places to function efficiently.
Sometimes it's hard to get rid of items/furniture that no longer make sense in the space. If the issue is that it just doesn't fit the space or function effectively, move it to another space or get rid of it. There are a variety of ways to get rid of items/furniture, you just have to pick the one that's right for you! Organizations/Clubs will sometimes pick items up when donated. Yard Sales & sites like Craig's List will help you make some money on the items. And of course, gifting your item to family or friends is always a great way to see someone appreciate your item!
Keep the items that make sense in the space. If the issue is the style/decor of the piece, revamping it is always a great way to keep the piece personalized, fresh, & relevant!
Art IN WINTER...
Light & bright colors add a little inspiration in this cabin fever...
Love is in the air, or is it? Forget Valentines, I'm doing Mardi Gras! Masks are a very popular costume accessory to wear to the ball/party!
WINTER's warming in the kitchen...
The vote is in... Chicken & Dumplings this month!
I make my dumplings like fluffy clouds. My Nanny makes hers out of strips of biscuits. Others make pasta or noodle dumplings. No matter which type of dumpling that you make, I think you'll love these!
*1 Shredded Rotisserie Chicken *Large Pot/Slow Cooker/Crock Pot
*4 c. Chicken Broth *Long Spoon or Ladle
*1 Tbs. Chicken Base *Med. Mixing Bowl
*Pat of Butter or drippings *2 Forks
*1 sm. Diced Onion Dumplings:
*4 cloves Minced Garlic *1/2 c. Milk
*1 Tbs. Dried Oregano *2 c. Bisquick
*2 Tbs. Chopped Parsley *1 Tbs. Garlic Salt
*1 c. Chopped Spinach *1 tsp. Ground Pepper
*1 c. Chopped Mushroom *1 Tbs. Dried Oregano
*1 c. Shredded Carrots *2 Tbs. Shortening/Lard
*1 Tbs. Turmeric (optional)-it's an anti-inflammatory
Gather ingredients & utensils; prep the fresh veggies & shred the chicken. In my slow cooker, I put in the butter/drippings & chicken base, sauteing the onions, carrots, garlic, & mushrooms. Mix in the chicken, spices, & broth letting them simmer covered for about 25-35 mins. While you're waiting to add the spinach, make the dumplings. Add in the spinach & stir before dropping in the dumplings.
Mix the bisquick, garlic salt, oregano, & pepper in a medium bowl. Use the forks to cut the shortening into the mixture until crumbly. Make a well & pour in milk. Mix the ingredients completely & form balls.
Once the balls are formed, drop them into the pot & let them simmer with the lid on for 25-30 mins.
Uncover, serve, & enjoy!
WINTER'S WARM waffles...
We got a new kitchen gadget this winter...a waffle maker!!! We love waffles, so I've been waffling it up by making everything with the waffle iron! Give it a try & see what you come up with...
Art is an awesome thing when you have the right pieces. Aesthetic art is just to look at, but applied art is functional as well as good looking!
Being organized is a life skill that starts with knowing how to be organized & how to maintain that organization. It's your life, let's take it back!