Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees

Save those cereal boxes! These Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees are completely made from cereal and other small cardboard boxes. (such as crackers and mac & cheese) Turn them into beautiful Christmas decorations that are totally low-cost!

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

Materials:

Cereal Boxes

Poster Board or large cereal box

Glue Gun

White flat spray paint

Crystal  Glitter

First, make a cone from Poster Board. Go to “Make a Cone” for instructions.

Next, while watching TV, cut out the petal shaped branches. It does take a fair amount of cutting, but it costs nothing except a little time. The picture gives you an idea of the size of petals (branches) I cut. You can make them pointed, too.

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

DIY Christmas Trees!

The size of the branches depends on the size of the cone you make The large cone is about 11 inches tall and the smaller cones are 5 1/2 – 6 inches tall.

Once you have about 50-100 petals cut, start glueing from the base. I bend the end a bit and adhere it with a glue gun. When you start the second ring, overlap the seams of the first ring.

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

 

Here’s a close-up…..

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

 

Christmas Trees aren’t perfect so don’t stress out if everything isn’t exactly perfect. After a few rings, I adjust the length of the petals by bending the end a bit more. Another way is to trim them down. At the top, I cut 4-5 narrow petals and glue them to the top.

Finally, spray paint. I start by spraying underneath a bit and then the top. Shake crystal glitter on while the paint is still wet. Let dry and enjoy a totally recycled cereal box Christmas tree!

These work for using them in Christmas villages, too. Make the trees as large or tiny as you wish.

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

 

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

Once you start, you’ll make more than one.

I saw these trees made of corrugated cardboard, but I like the cereal box ones better.

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees  grandparentsplus.com

Corrugated Box Trees

 

Recycled Cereal Box Christmas Trees grandparentsplus.com

Enjoy!

 

Phyllis

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Sunflower Art Project for Kids

A Sunflower Art Project is perfect for 2nd-5th graders to show their creative touch. Just as each flower is unique, each project will be, too. They are beautiful to display or frame.Along with doing a Sunflower Art Project, kids can learn interesting facts about their project as they make it. This art project uses construction paper, pencil, scissors, paper punch, and glue.

Sunflower Art Project for Kids grandparentsplus.com

A very famous painting of sunflowers is by the Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh. Go to Wikipedia to see all these famous sunflower paintings.

Here is one…. Sunflower Art Project grandparentsplus.com

Here are other photographs of sunflowers….

 

Sunflower Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

Sunflower Art Project grandparentsplus.com

 

Making your own Sunflower Art is easy to do.

Follow these easy steps…..

Materials:

For the Sunflower Art for Kids, you only need 4 colors of construction paper!

Black (or Dark Blue), Yellow (two shades if you want variation), Green, Tan

Black or Dark Blue is the background on which you place the sunflowers.

Directions:

First, cut two- 4 inch squares, and four- 3 inch squares from the yellow.

Cut the corners to make a circle, draw a circle in the middle and draw the petals making sure they go out to the edge.

Sunflower Art Project for Kids grandparentsplus.com

Next, cut out your sunflower. Don’t worry about the pencil lines. Just flip over and none will show.

 

Sunflower Art Project for Kids grandparentsplus.com

 

Now, with the two cut-out sunflowers, glue together and bend out the petals to give it some dimension. Using a paper punch, make many tan seeds to glue in the middle. They can be glued on top of each other to give depth.

 

Sunflower Art Project for Kids grandparentsplus.com

Cut stems and leaves and add to project.

Finally, arrange and glue all in place on your background.

Now, you have your amazing and easy Sunflower project complete!

 

Sunflower Art Project for Kids grandparentsplus.com

 

Did you know?

The center of the sunflower is actually made up of tiny individual flowers called florets. Each one produces a seed when pollinated.

The normal stem of a sunflower can grow up to 10 ft. tall and the flower can get to over 11 inches wide.  The tallest sunflower was grown in Germany and it reached 27 ft. tall

There are different varieties of sunflowers. Some produce a black seed that is used to make sunflower oil. The striped seed is used for eating and bird food.

Ok, enough facts! Now, get busy and have fun making Sunflower Art!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Easy Blueberry Pie Bars

I do love blueberries, but can’t eat a whole pie by myself. When you want the taste of a blueberry pie, but not the work of rolling the crust, these Easy Blueberry Pie Bars will satisfy your craving. You can store them in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for future indulgence.

Easy Blueberry Pie Bars grandparentsplus.com

I used fresh blueberries, but frozen berries work, too. If you use fresh, rinse the berries and let them dry on a paper towel so you don’t add extra moisture. For frozen, do not thaw; just use them frozen.

Easy Blueberry Pie Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 Parts....
  • CRUST AND CRUMBLE TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed tight
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • FILLING
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 heaping cup of Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp.vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • BLUEBERRY LAYER
  • 12 oz. (2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen;( I used fresh) If you use frozen, don't thaw!
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Instructions

  1. CRUST AND CRUMBLE TOPPING
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch pan with foil and spray the foil ( I use the spray with flour) Set aside. If you line the pan, the clean-up is a snap and the bars lift up easier.!
  3. Melt butter, add the white and brown sugars, and whisk together. .
  4. And the flour, salt, and stir together. Mixture will be somewhat dry and form some clumps
  5. Take a heaping 3/4 cup crumble mixture out and set aside for topping.
  6. Put remaining mixture in the 8 inch pan and pack it down to form a smooth and flat crust. Set aside.
  7. FILLING
  8. Add the yogurt, egg, sugar, vanilla and whisk to combine. Combine the flour into the filling mixture Pour filling over the crust and jiggle pan to help even it out over the crust. Set aside.
  9. BLUEBERRY LAYER
  10. In a separate medium mixing bowl, add the filling ingredients combine. Sugar will not completely dissolve, but that's OK!
  11. Place the blueberry mixture evenly over the filling.
  12. Now, sprinkle evenly with the reserved crust mixture over the filling.
  13. Bake for about 60 minutes, or until edges are bubbling and there's a little bubbling in the center. Crumble topping should appear set with a pale golden brown color. Important....Cool at least 1 to 2 hours or overnight before slicing and serving otherwise they will fall apart. Keep in refrigerator in air-tight container for up to 10 days or freeze (up to 6 months). Cut into bar size or cut a larger serving and serve with whip cream for a dessert. (or ice cream)
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Ready to bake…….

Easy Blueberry Pie Bars grandparentsplus.com

Bake @ 350 for 60 minutes.

Done! Light brown and bubbly.

Easy Blueberry Pie Bars grandparentsplus.com

Be sure to let cool for at least 2-3 hours. When set, remove by lifting foil from the pan. Cut and store in an air-tight container in your refrigerator or freeze.

Easy Blueberry Pie Bars grandparentsplus.com

These taste like pie, but no rolling out a crust! Delicious!!!

 

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Spinach Ravioli Casserole

Need a delicious dish to serve for a vegetarian? I’m not one, but this Spinach Ravioli Casserole is one that I would make for my family whether vegetarian or not! It is delicious and easy to put together!

Spinach Ravioli Casserole grandparentsplus.com

 

 

Spinach Ravioli Casserole

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. Alfredo Sauce, divided
  • 18 oz. package spinach and cheese ravioli
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 fresh garlic close, minced (I used freeze dried garlic)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 c. chili sauce (I used Heinz)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 t. chili flakes (optional - adds heat)

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease 9x13 pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Cover the bottom of pan with 1/4 inch or more of Alfredo Sauce.
  4. Top with single layer of ravioli and 1/2 cup of mushrooms.
  5. Sprinkle with 1/2 of garlic and 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella.
  6. Add chili flakes, if desired.
  7. Repeat the layer.
  8. On the last layer pour the chili sauce over the top and spread it evenly.
  9. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered.
  11. Uncover and bake and additional 15 minutes until top is light brown.
  12. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  13. Serves 4-6
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Layer the ingredients in a lightly greased 9×13 pan. When making this casserole, make two! Freeze one for future use and use the second one for dinner.

Spinach Ravioli Casserole grandparentsplus.com

 

Now, you’ve got another meal to share or serve on a later date.

Spinach Ravioli Casserole grandparentsplus.com

 

It doesn’t take long to put this together for a yummy evening meal! It’s a good way to get kids to eat vegetables, too!

Spinach Ravioli Casserole grandparentsplus.com

Delicious!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas

Sometimes it’s fun to do something special such as doing a theme for a tea or luncheon. You can carry  out the theme in various ways through food and decorations. These rose tea party or luncheon ideas are ones that my sister and I did for a tea. Some are original and some we found through various sources.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

The table and place settings of course, reflected the theme. As soon as you entered the room, you knew what to expect. We found some fabric that had teapots and roses on it. It was perfect for making a table runner. Teapots, roses, rose plates and pretty pink napkins carried out the theme. Even rose teacups hung from a chandelier adding to the festive affair.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

Rose Themed Tea or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

We started about a week early and wrote down all the ideas we found and then came up with some of our own. We tried a few of them and then decided on which ones we wanted to use for the tea.

Here is what we used for each course……

Tea, of course! At a local tea store, they usually carry varieties of tea made from dried roses. Check out your local store. Select two varieties and switch teas half way through.

At a tea, scones are traditionally the first course. There are many great scone recipes, but what we did with our favorite recipe was to add dried rose petals. We added a few to the batter and then sprinkled a few on top of each scone. Be sure you order these online and use organic ones; not from your garden. You don’t want insecticides on your rose petals!

Rose Themed Tea or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

 

The second course is savory sandwiches.

 

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

This was an idea that I came up with for the savory course. I bought oven roasted turkey and had it sliced a bit thicker than the usual super thin slices. I wanted the brown roasted edge to show. Laying each piece on a cutting board, cut in half and roll up to look like a rose. Place a toothpick in it to hold. Slice off the end so it sits on a cucumber slice garnished with a small spinach leaf. If you like, place a dollop of cream cheese to hold the “rose” to the cucumber. The toothpick also holds the turkey to the cucumber slice. Be sure to warn guests that there is a toothpick in it. This is a nice low-cal choice. In the center of the plate, garnish with a tomato rose made from the outside peeling of the tomato.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Not everything needs to look like a rose, but these roll-up tortilla sandwiches look great when they circle around the rose-cut watermelon pieces (use a rose cookie cutter).

 

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Open-faced egg salad sandwiches is another idea we used. While they don’t look like roses, again we used the rose cookie cutter and created a center accent of roses made from red and green peppers.

Cut squares from a dark pumpernickel bread. Freeze the bread squares for quick preparation. Take out of freezer and spread with a light coating of butter. Add a spinach leaf. Then, using a small cookie scoop, place a scoop of egg salad on top and garnish with a slice of olive. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

We found Rose Petal Jam online and used it with strawberries.  First, cut off crusts from white bread. Freeze. When ready to prepare, slice strawberries, spread bread with Rose Petal Jam on one side. On the other side spread with a little butter or cream cheese and cover with sliced strawberries. Place both sides together and cut into triangles.  In the center, make a strawberry rose for a garnish.

 

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

A small sweet item for this course was a failure that we revived…   We tried making small roses out of refrigerated cinnamon roles. They didn’t look like roses!  We salvaged them by using part of the frosting on top and then used a little bit of green food coloring to the remaining frosting and placed a dried rose on top!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Third, and final course, is the dessert. I found the rose dessert on Pinterest and decided I should try it out before the tea. It was fine, but I felt it needed more flavor. I changed the recipe a bit. Check out my version!

Puff Pastry Apple Roses

Ingredients

  • 2 Delicious apples (or any bright red pie apple) for 6 roses.
  • 1 sheet of Puff Pastry (thawed)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese (softened and lightly sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • Powdered Sugar - optional

Instructions

  1. Thaw puff pastry and roll out almost double in length.
  2. Cut pastry into 6 - about 2 - 2 1/2 inch strips.
  3. With cream cheese at room temp. Add 1-2 tsp of sugar in a small bowl.
  4. Mix 1/4 cup sugar with the 2 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl
  5. Cut apples in half and core. DO NOT PEEL
  6. Slice apples quite thin (as shown in the picture) and place in water with lemon juice.
  7. Microwave apples in the lemon water for 3-4 minutes until just pliable.
  8. Take each section of Puff Pastry and coat with a layer of cream cheese.
  9. Arrange apples across the top half making sure they overlap well.
  10. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the bottom part of the apples.
  11. Fold pastry over and start to roll from one end to another.
  12. Place in greased and floured muffin tin.
  13. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
  14. Sprinkle with Powered Sugar, if desired, just before serving
  15. Serve with ice cream - optional
  16. Serve warm.
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Rose Tea and Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Rose Tea and Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com Rose Tea and Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Puff Pastry Apple Roses….. so beautiful and they look like a rose!  Be sure to serve warm! Maybe serve with a small scoop of ice cream on the side!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Another idea for your tea or luncheon is adding small rose mints made from candy melts. These can be done way ahead of time, too. All you need is the candy melts and a mold. You can find rose molds at Michaels.

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

We found these small petit fours and bought them. Not everything has to be homemade!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

At the end, each guest was given this special Rose poem! The author was simply listed as Elizabeth. It was originally published in Poems on Life.

Rose tea or luncheon ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

Another idea is a rose napkin….   Check the link for an easy demonstration!

Rose Tea Party or Luncheon Ideas grandparentsplus.com

 

Hope you enjoyed these ideas. It’s easier when there a two to do it. Find a friend to work with, divide up ideas, and give a memorable Rose Tea or luncheon.

Phyllis

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Italian Pork with Balsamic Potatoes

This meal of Italian Pork with Balsamic Potatoes tastes delicious. It is low in calories, yet very filling. Now, doesn’t that sound appealing? When you’re looking for an easy dinner, try this recipe! A few basic ingredients and you have a complete meal in one dish! Use an aged Balsamic Vinegar which you can find at an Olive Oil store or check with Love That Olive.

 

Italian Pork with Balsamic Potatoes grandparentsplus.com

 

 

 

 

Italian Pork with Balsamic Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. (about 10) small new red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1" pieces (use 1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2-3 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan combine potatoes and enough water to cover. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat until fork tender (approx. 10-12 minutes) Drain
  2. Meanwhile, in a nonstick pan, heat oil, add pork, and Italian seasoning. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until pork is lightly browned )6-10 min.)
  3. Toss together potatoes, pork, tomatoes, basil, and vinegar.
  4. Season with salt & pepper
  5. Add additional balsamic vinegar, if desired.
  6. Serve with a green vegetable to add more color!
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If you can chop, you can make this!  Cut pork up into 1 ” pieces, chop and seed the tomatoes, and chop the basil into small pieces. Not hard, right?

Italian Pork with Balsamic Potatoes grandparentsplus.com

 

Add a green vegetable and you have a complete meal! I love flavorful and colorful food.  This recipe certainly fits that description. I, also, love easy!

Italian Pork with Balsamic Potatoes grandparentsplus.com

This recipe is also delicious with chicken or beef. Don’t just limit to pork!

Enjoy this tasty recipe! It’s great eating with quick preparation!

Phyllis

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Beef Breakfast Burrito

Switch up breakfast a bit with a Mexican menu. A lot of the fast-food restaurants now have breakfast burritos on the menu. You can do it even better with this tasty Beef Breakfast Burrito recipe. Your family will love it.

Beef Breakfast Burrito grandparentsplus.com

 

Beef Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. ground beef
  • 1 med. red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. shredded Mexican or Cheddar cheese
  • 4 medium spinach or plain flour tortillas. (10 in.)
  • Salsa
  • Ingredients for Lime-Cilantro Cream
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef, onions, and red pepper. Add chili powder and cumin. Break into small crumbles.
  2. (At this point, you can freeze this for future burritos)
  3. Combine eggs, water and 1 tbsp. cilantro in med. bowl.
  4. Spray skillet with cooking spray.
  5. Pour eggs into skilled and scramble them, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.
  6. Add to beef mixture, add cheese and cook 1 minute to heat through.
  7. Spoon beef mixture across center of each tortilla, leaving a 1 inch border on right and left sides Fold right and left sides of tortilla over filling. Turn over and cut in half diagonally. Serve with Lime Cilantro Cream and salsa, as desired.
  8. Serves 4
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This Beef Breakfast Burrito recipe is so easy to freeze the meat mixture for future use or refrigerate the beef, onion, bell pepper for the next morning ready to add the eggs.

Then, all you need to do in the morning is warm the beef mixture up, scramble the eggs, and mix together. It makes breakfast quick and easy.

During the summer around our area, many people head north to a the lake for the weekend. What an easy and yummy breakfast for family and guests at the cabin.

Step 1  Browning the beef, onion, and bell pepper mixture.

Beef Breakfast Burrito grandparentsplus.com

 

Step 2

Scramble eggs   Beef Breakfast Burrito grandparentsplus.com

Step 3

Combine scrambled eggs with beef mixture and add cheese.

Beef Breakfast Burrito grandparentsplus.com

 

Step 4

Wrap in tortilla. Beef Breakfast Burrito grandparentsplus.com

Step 5

Fold it like a burrito or roll it long like a taco!  Either way, it’s a wonderful start to the day. Use ground turkey in place of beef for fewer calories!

Step 6

Serve and eat! Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Beef Breakfast Burrito grandparentsplus.com

I’m all for doing things the night before to make mornings easy. This recipe is perfect to do ahead. You don’t need to get up early to fix this hearty breakfast!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Watermelon is so good in the summer, but this Watermelon Salad even makes it better and sweeter! It’s a bit unusual, but absolutely delicious!

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing grandparentsplus.com

 

 

This Watermelon Salad is a summer winner! When you want something different, delicious and quick to make, this is IT! It’s wonderful to take to a potluck or a picnic! The Strawberry Balsamic vinegar actually makes the watermelon taste like candy!

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients

  • Watermelon - 2 cups or more
  • Cucumber - diced 1/4 cup
  • Red Onion-diced 1/8 cup
  • Cilantro - diced 2 Tbsp.
  • Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cut watermelon into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces
  2. Run fork down the outside of the cucumber to make the green part look pretty. Slice and cut sliced into sixths.
  3. Dice red onion and add
  4. Drizzle Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar all over the mixture. Stir to cover all of it. Don't skimp!
  5. Sprinkle Cilantro over the top.(if desired) or substitute parsley.
  6. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Serves 6
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Make your cucumber look fancy, by running the tines of the fork down the side of the cucumber. Then, cut slices and divide into sixths. The green and red look so colorful together mixed in this salad.

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing grandparentsplus.com

 

Still in doubt? Well, make a small amount to try and you’ll be amazed how good it is! People can’t figure out what is in it!

Purchase the Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar from an olive oil store.

Check out lovethatolive if you don’t have a source for the strawberry balsamic near you. (You won’t find it in the grocery store.) I use this strawberry balsamic as a salad dressing, too. There are so many ways to use it besides this Watermelon Salad. The bottle will not go to waste, I promise. It might just be your new favorite dressing!

Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing grandparentsplus.com

Did I entice you to try it? Hope so!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2

Part 2 of the Spring Decor Idea House has just as many ideas as Part 1.  You’ll want to go back if you missed it! The trends are vintage pieces repurposed (especially ladders and shutters), galvanized metal items, and reclaimed wood. You’ll get ideas of what to look for at garage sales this summer!

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

At the entrance, an old ladder becomes a focal point. With the addition of the hanging mirror and arrangement on the table, the ladder becomes the backdrop and lifts your eye upward.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Ever thought of using dish towels on your dining room table? Yes, they are used as a table runner and placed at an angle! Nobody knows they are just dish towels. With dish towels, you have access to a variety of colors, stripes, and floral patterns, too! Try it!

Permanent cabbage leaves serve as placemats. The napkin is folded as a utensil holder with Lilly of the Valley permanent stems inserted and decorated simply with twine.

Wood planter boxes decorated with taper candles,  permanent cabbage, and moss are placed at an angle. In between the boxes, floral vases and candlesticks give height. Beautiful table!

 

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

 

This is simple to do, but looks great!

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

 

Two vintage screens from a stable, make a dramatic backdrop for the vintage pieces. Plants on each side give balance and are in galvanized metal containers.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

In the vintage style kitchen above the stove, they used vintage lighting kits along with garden hooks for the pendant lights. A wire basket serves as a cookbook holder.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

The walls are painted in chalkboard paint with old rakes turned into utensil hooks.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Interesting “curtains” are made from corrugated metal. They used binder rings to hang them and twine as decoration. Have you ever thought of this?

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

More use for shutters….. by adding a couple small shelves, it makes a cute wall hanging.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

The downstairs bathroom uses shutters behind a mirror as wall art.

 

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

A piece of salvaged pipe is turned into a unique toilet paper holder.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

On the wall in the bathroom, a salvaged rake becomes an interesting hanging vase holder!

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

 

In the hallway hangs another vintage wood ladder with wicker baskets filled with permanent stems! Various vintage frames hang in an overlapping mass creating wall art.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Chicken wire is added to some frames for interest.

Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 2 grandparentsplus.com

Looks like ladders and shutters are used anywhere! Oh, don’t forget the rakes! What was your favorite idea?

Be sure to check back at Spring Decor Idea House 2017 Part 1!

Now, watch for Part 3 coming up!

Phyllis

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Favorite Color Day – “Blue”

Favorite Color Day - Blue grandparentsplus.com

I do summer camps with my grandkids. If that sounds like more work than you can do, plan a special Favorite Color Day with your grandchild. A favorite color day can be done any time of year.

My sister asked her granddaughter if she had a favorite color. “Blue” was the answer. So, for her special day, she planned a “Blue” Day of fun!  My sister called me to brainstorm some ideas so I became an adopted grandmother and helped plan this special day.

One of the ideas was to learn about the Bluebird. We have Bluebirds that always nest on our property. It happened to be past their nesting time, but I had made a book about my bluebird story that told interesting facts about the bluebird. We walked to one of the bluebird houses and learned about the best place to put one and why www.allaboutbirds.org.  She is very much a nature lover so learning about them was really fun.

More “blue” ideas we did….

A Blue Lunch:

Yes! You can have a blue lunch. The menu included peanut butter and blue jelly sandwiches, blue chips, blueberry fruit salad, and blue raspberry juice. The table was set with blue placemats, blue flowered china, and blue centerpiece.

Favorite Color Day - Blue grandparentsplus.com

 

Favorite Color Day - Blue grandparentsplus.com

Blue Craft:

This craft can be any color, but of course it had to be blue for this day. Complete directions for this craft are on Easy Notebook Cover.

I had bluebird stickers and other items for her to choose to use. I think she made a beautiful notebook cover out of the various items along with permanent markers.

 

Favorite Color Day - Blue grandparentsplus.com

Other ideas for Favorite Color Day – “Blue” or any other color

  • Make blue cookies
  • Tell about a time when you felt “blue” (sad)
  • Describe the blue sky
  • Blue Raspberry popsicle
  • Mix Blue with other colors. What do you get?
  • Blue Sundae or shake
  • Why do lakes look blue?  Swim in a lake.
  • Find as many objects as you can that have that color (scavenger hunt?)

“Special Days” don’t have to be the color blue. Plan it around any color and adjust your activities to a child’s interests, take pictures, and have fun! That’s the most important thing!

A few green ideas: Green eggs & Ham, frogs, green slime, how to make the color green –

Brown ideas: mud pies, chocolate chip cookies, make peanut butter, leather stamping, building with wood, horse-riding (on a brown horse)

Now, you get the idea! It’s all about enjoying one another, and making memories!

Any favorite color day can be happy and fun!

Hope this gives you some ideas for a special time with your child or grandchild.

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad

This Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad recipe is from my mom. She made it when entertaining large groups and family Sunday dinners when I was young.  It became a hit with everyone and today, it is still requested.

Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad grandparentsplus.com

It is quick and easy to put together. This recipe uses canned pineapple and mandarin oranges  (grapes, blueberries, too, if desired) so it is less expensive per fruit serving for a large group.

I grew up with my mom making a big Sunday noon dinner each week after church. (Not many do this today.) Everything was in the oven before we left for church. We often had company and Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad was a favorite. There used to be a Jello product called “Orange Tapioca” and I think she got the recipe off the box. I loved it so much back then that now I make it with the regular tapioca pudding, but add fruit juice instead of water to make it taste similar to the original recipe.

 

Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 1- 3 oz box of "Cook & Serve" vanilla pudding
  • 1-3 oz box of "Cook & Serve" tapioca pudding
  • 3 cups of orange juice (or orange and pineapple or any combination along with at least 1/2 of it orange juice)
  • Large can (15 oz.) of Mandarin Oranges - drained
  • Large can (20 oz.) of Pineapple Chunks (in its own juice) - drained
  • Red Grapes (optional) cut in half

Instructions

  1. In saucepan, combine the dry vanilla pudding and tapioca pudding with 3 cups of orange juice or combination of juices. You may use the pineapple and mandarin orange juices with the orange juice.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
  3. Cool until fruit can be added.
  4. Fold in the fruit and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  5. Serve in a large bowl or individual dishes.
  6. Top with whip cream, if desired.
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This is very important!!! I made the mistake once and it didn’t work!

Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad grandparentsplus.com

While this is called a fruit salad, it makes a delicious dessert, too. Put into individual parfaits or sherbets and top with whipped cream and a cherry. Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad is light and very refreshing. If you choose, other fruit may be added as well.

Orange Tapioca Fruit Salad grandparentsplus.com

Both adults and kids love this recipe!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Easy Notebook Cover

This Easy Notebook Cover idea is so easy, yet it looks amazing! It is simple enough for kids to make while adults can make this elegant looking. It makes a lovely special gift, too. Materials are easy to find and very inexpensive.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

Materials needed:

  • Natural Sponge –
  • Acrylic Paint – 3 shades or colors
  • Fun Foam – choice of color
  • Decals, Stickers, Artificial Flowers, Buttons, Felt, Permanent Markers, or any Semi-Flat Decorative Objects
  • Glue Gun
  • Round Elastic
  • Notebook – any size, but I prefer journal-size (without a metal coil) I found ones at Walmart for under a $1.00

First, lay the notebook open on the Fun Foam and measure around it leaving an extra 1/4 in – 3/8 in to cover completely. You may use a regular scissor or a decorative one to cut out the cover. (For small kids, I did this part ahead of time.)

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

Next, with the Fun Foam laying flat, lightly dip the sponge in a dark color. Dab it on newspaper a couple of times so your paint is very light on the sponge. Now, dab the paint over the sheet of Fun Foam. Be sure to leave spaces for the other colors. Let dry in between colors.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

With a lighter color (you can mix just white with the base color), continue dabbing the paint onto the Fun Foam.
Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

Using an accent or third shade, dab again over the Fun Foam sheet and let dry.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

This project used one color of acrylic paint. Start with the dark color and apply. Add white to lighten and sponge the paint again. Finally, lighten even more for the third step.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

Finally, when you have reached the way you want it and it’s completely dry, fold the Fun Foam over the notebook. Use black elastic to keep the cover in place. Place the elastic in the middle of the pages in the book and around the outside cover. Tie a knot in the elastic and slide the knot inside the notebook so it is not noticeable.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

At last, decorate the cover with stickers, artificial flower, feathers, etc. It works best to have the decorations fairly flat on the cover.

These Notebook Cover samples were made by my grandchildren. The foam colors they started with were red, black, and white. Stickers were applied after the paint dried. Using a black permanent marker, one child made a black border around the edge. Their choices were entirely made by them.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

As I said, this project isn’t just for kids. You can make this elegant, too. It makes a great hostess gift or sell your creations at a craft sale.

Easy Notebook Cover grandparentsplus.com

This Notebook Cover was one of the crafts I did with my grandchildren (ages 6-12) at our Oma and Opa Camp this past summer. They really enjoyed making them. But remember, this is not just for kids!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Amazing Stuffed Jalapanos Recipe

While visiting in Arizona, we had an extended family get-together which grew to over 70 people! One of the relatives brought these Amazing Stuffed Jalapanos! Now, I’m from the midwest and don’t like really hot spicy food, but these were absolutely delicious! My second-cousin, Beth, graciously shared this recipe.

Amazing Stuffed Jalapanos grandparentsplus.com

The recipe makes a generous amount of appetizers, but people absolutely love them and they really go fast. So, plan accordingly. They’re stuffed with a combination of sausage, cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Then, they’re wrapped with bacon. Ooh, my mouth just waters thinking of them. Please don’t shy away from this recipe because you might think of it as way too spicy. You can control the amount of heat. If you want it spicier, just leave some pulp, seeds, or use a spicy sausage for the stuffing. Make one batch spicy and another fairly mild, just to please everyone.

 Click on the “YUM” button to add to your recipe box.

Amazing Stuffed Jalapenos

Ingredients

  • 15-20 jalapenos
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
  • 1 pkg. of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 pkg. bacon

Instructions

  1. Brown and crumble sausage.
  2. Melt cream cheese in with sausage and add parmesan cheese.
  3. WEAR GLOVES
  4. Halve jalapenos, lengthwise
  5. Remove stem and remove seeds and pulp
  6. Fill with sausage mixture
  7. Wrap with 1/2 slice of uncooked bacon
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 min.
  9. If you want bacon really crisp, broil on high for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately.
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I wanted my family to taste these and give me their opinion. I didn’t want to make the entire recipe for just a couple of people, so  I made half and refrigerated the sausage-cream cheese combination and made the rest two days later. It was nice to have them fresh-made two times in a week.  By the way, the family opinion was that they were AMAZING!

These are ready for the oven…..   I baked these Stuffed Jalapanos on foil for an easy clean up.

Amazing Stuffed Jalapanos grandparentsplus.com

 

Baked at 425 degrees and ready to eat!

Amazing Stuffed Jalapanos grandparentsplus.com

Just wait until you taste one…..you’ll be amazed at how delicious they taste! These are perfect for Cinco de Mayo, too, when you’re looking for something Mexican to serve.

Amazing Stuffed jalapanos grandparentsplus.com

I hope I’ve convinced you how delicious these appetizers taste. They were a big hit at the family get-together!

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Roast Beef Reuben Sandwich

Try this new version of a Reuben. I call it a “Roast Beef Reuben Sandwich”! This sandwich is so delicious with the new combination of flavors that it may become your favorite. My mouth just waters when I think of it. My family loved it!

Roast Beef Reuben grandparentsplus.com

Roast Beef Reuben Sandwich
Recipe Type: Lunch or Dinner Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Author: Phyllis Van Rossum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A new combination of flavors make this Roast Beef Rueben Sandwich absolutely delicious!
Ingredients
  • 8 slices of bread- Sourdough
  • Sliced Roast Beef – don’t skimp!
  • 8 slices Gouda cheese
  • Jar of Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (found ready-made in vegetable aisle) or homemade
  • Coarse Ground Dijon Mustard – optional
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat skillet
  2. Drain Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
  3. Arrange 8 slices of bread
  4. Place a slice of Gouda Cheese on 4 slices of bread
  5. Layer Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage on top of cheese
  6. Add Roast Beef on top of Cabbage
  7. Top with remaining slice of Gouda Cheese
  8. Spread remaining 4 slices lightly with coarse ground Dijon mustard (optional or serve on the side)
  9. Place those 4 slices with mustard side towards the four cheese-topped sandwiches.
  10. Spread with butter and place buttered side down in pre-heated skillet.
  11. Butter the top of the sandwich while in the skillet
  12. Grill until browned on each side.
  13. While grilling cover with a lid to warm the inside of the sandwich and melt the Gouda cheese

The combination of Roast Beef, Gouda Cheese, along with Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage is fantastic! My husband was skeptical and then after tasting it declared it to be his favorite!! You just have to try it to believe how good it is.

Roast Beef Reuben grandparentsplus.com

 

Serve with Coarse Ground Dijon or regular mustard on the side. Not a mustard fan? You’ll still love it without it.

Wish you could taste it right now. YUM!

Roast Beef Reuben grandparentsplus.com

Even if you don’t particularly like a corned beef  with sauerkraut Reuben sandwich, I know you’ll enjoy this one! Try it! 

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake

There’s a favorite restaurant that I like to go to for breakfast. Their Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake is amazing! I go there just to have that with an omelet or eggs.  I had never tasted hash browns like that before. I finally asked the cook if he gave out his recipe. He wouldn’t tell me the amounts, but he did give me the ingredients. So, I’ve experimented and have come up with a recipe that tastes like the one at the restaurant. They are the best! You might say they’re GOOD-Ah!

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake grandparentsplus.com

 

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake
Recipe Type: Breakfast or Brunch side dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Phyllis@grandparentsplus.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-12 servings
Gouda Cheese melted in with a hash brown mixture! The best hash brown recipe you’ll try!
Ingredients
  • Frozen Hash Browns (28-30 oz.)
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda Cheese
  • 3/4 cup yellow onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vegetable base (look for this in your soup aisle)
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Thaw hash browns and place in large bowl.
  2. Add shredded Gouda cheese
  3. Saute onions and garlic until translucent in 1-2 T. olive oil and add to bowl.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Mix together
  6. Mix 2 tsp of Vegetable Base into 1 pint of heavy cream and stir until combined.
  7. Put hash brown mixture In a grease 9 x 13 pan
  8. Drizzle the heavy cream with vegetable base over the hash browns in the pan.
  9. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour
  10. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Cut in squares and serve.

The vegetable base, in this recipe, adds great flavor. It’s a bit expensive, but you’ll use it again and again.

This Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake makes a nice big pan. If you have left-overs, just freeze the individual portions to use later. Take out as needed and microwave.

Another great recipe for hash browns are the Shreds. You might want to check them out, too!

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake grandparentsplus.com

Oh, I’ll still go back to that restaurant for breakfast, but now I can have those hash browns anytime.

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake grandparentsplus.com

I know you’ll enjoy this recipe!

Phyllis

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Winter Sunset

Most of the beautiful sunsets occur during the summer with the gorgeous colors mirrored across the lake. However, this winter sunset was awesome with the patterns on the ice. I had to take a picture and show that winter can be beautiful, too. 

Winter Sunset

 

 

This is the view out our great-room window! We never tire of the beauty of God’s world around us!

This is not my usual post, but thought I’d share.

Thanks for viewing and Happy New Year!

Phyllis

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On Grandparentsplus.com, we use third party companies to advertise on this site. These companies may use non-personal info (NOT INCLUDING your name, address, email and or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide goods and services that may be of interest to you. More information about this is here.

Other ads may produce some revenue from purchases. We truly thank you for your support!

Phyllis

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About Us

 

My blog is from my experience as an elementary teacher, children’s pastor, mother of 3 , and grandmother (Oma) of 7! The ideas that I share have three requirements: inexpensive, fun to do and look good! All parents, grandparents. teachers or anyone that works with kids needs lots of ideas for crafts, games, and kid-friendly recipes. I hope the ideas I post are helpful and fun!

Along with having great times with grandkids, I like to decorate, cook and entertain. You will see posts that are along this line as well. Sorry, I just can’t stick to one subject. When I find something interesting, I enjoy sharing it. I like variety, don’t you?

How I got started doing this blog:

Each summer, my husband and I have held an” Oma and Opa” Camp for the grandchildren (age 4 and up). The purpose is to have a special time with them where we just have lots of fun activities, laughs and enjoy being together. It is also an opportunity to bond and form friendships with their cousins. We find that having them with just ourselves is quite different from when their parents are around. It is fun to see them become independent, responsible and helpful with what they have learned from home. At the beginning of the 4 day camp, we talk about expectations ( the teacher in me) and what they will be doing. They are so excited and look forward to coming each year. Last year, Kyle, age 4, told his mom that he had waited for Oma and Opa Camp all year!

I  build around a theme and plan activities, crafts, food, games, and Bible stories that relate to it in some way. During camp, I take lots of pictures and after camp is over, I create a photo memory book of all the memories from Oma and Opa Camp. They love these books and look at them over and over.

Many people encouraged me to share these ideas online and so I started to do just that.

I hope you’ll find some interesting things to cook, plan, create or just have a little fun with your family!

Phyllis (Oma)

(By the way, “Oma and Opa” is Dutch for Grandma and Grandpa)

 

 

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