Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Review and Giveaway With Jonathan's Spoons!

I'm extremely honored to be doing another review and giveaway with Jonathan's Spoons.

If buying quality merchandise that is handmade in the U.S. is important to you, Jonathan's Spoons is your perfect match. This company operates out of Kempton, Pennsylvania and has been in business since 1979.  Who wouldn't love to go to work here every day?

Jonathan's biggest claim to fame is their innovative Lazy Spoon, which is notched to rest directly on your pot during cooking.  How handy!

The Lazy Spoon is also used by Rachel Ray and was included in Oprah's famous "Favorite Things" list.

Jonathan's Spoons, however, extends beyond spoons into other beautiful and useful kitchen utensils.  I love their spatulas and salad servers.

For this review, I received the Cat Tail Spoon

I have an absolute ball cooking with this spoon!  I was preparing supper when my friend came into the kitchen.  The first thing out of her mouth was, "Oh my, where did you get that spoon!"  It's 13 and 1/2 inches, sturdy, wonderfully weighted, and just plain pretty.

Jonathan and the gang have offered to give one Till Death Do Us Part reader their very own Cat Tail spoon!  Trust want one!

Ready to win?  Here's how!

To Enter:
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.)

1.  Follow Till Death Do Us Part via GFC.  (Mandatory)
2.  Like Jonathan's Spoons on Facebook.  (Mandatory)
3.  Follow Till Death Do Us Part via Linky Follow.
4.  Follow Till Death Do Us Part on Twitter.
5.  Like Till Death Do Us Part on Facebook.
6.  Follow me on Pinterest.

Six ways to win! This giveaway is open to residents 18 years or older in the continental U.S. All entries will be verified. Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner is chosen.   Please make sure your email address is included in your entries or profile.  Giveaway will run until Wednesday, May 9 at 10 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen via and announced here soon after.

Good luck!

(*Author was supplied with free product to review.  All opinions and statements, however, are solely that of the author.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Five Ways to Make Your Home Decor Personal

A well-crafted seating arrangement and beautiful artwork is nice, but it's a personal touch in your home is what makes people want to be there.  Gorgeous decor feels false and stiff without pieces of ourselves woven into our design fabric.

Here are five quick and easy personal touches that add warmth to your home:

1.  Beloved books.

Not only do books make quaint decor, but they also make great conversation starters.

2.  Monograms.

Maybe this is the Southern in me coming out, but I adore monograms.  Personal, classic, stylish.

3.  Photographs

This is somewhat of a given, but so many people choose to skimp on the family photos in their home decor!  I love to be surrounded by the faces of my friends and family.  Especially since I live several states away from most of them!

4.  Sentimental keepsakes.

When something is special, don't tuck it away in a drawer!  Share it's beauty with your guests.  The hair comb I wore at my wedding is displayed in this silver creamer on our dresser.  Not only is it beautiful, but I love the memories it holds.

5.  Passions

Yes, I actually have a passion for cats!  Make that a lifelong passion.  When you love something, surround yourself with it!  Since it would be quite expensive (and impractical!) to fill my house with real cats, I fill it with felt ones, wood ones, glass ones.  They always brighten my day.

Make your home a personal space and not just a beautiful one and you'll create a happy atmosphere filled with warmth.

What are your favorite personal touches in your home?

College Memories

Even though I don't miss final exams or long, rainy walks to class, I do sometimes miss my college days.  Semesters ending, semesters beginning....Being in school gives such a nice, steady rhythm to life, doesn't it?  My college experience was so varied and full--challenging English courses, sorority sisters, student newspaper, campus activities.  I met some of my very best friends there.  College gave me so many tools for life.  I had wonderful professors that took my education very seriously, and I had wonderful friends that made my life a joy.  I'm proud to say that now that college is (long!) over, I've been able to use my degree in my profession.  My "real" job these days is editing, and I also love to exercise my (sometimes quite rusty) writing skills on this little blog! 

I was that person who knew her whole life that she'd study English.  However, there's truly nothing that I don't like to learn about.  Even though I've attained a bachelor's and master's degree, going back to school one day is definitely not out of the question for me.  Classes I'd love to take are business administration courses.  Having a business mind is important in today's corporate society and would be valuable for the future--we dream of starting our own business!  Business training would also really help me understand more of what my husband talks about on a daily basis!  He has also expressed interest in this area.  Even though he's a salesman, he actually got his bachelor's and master's degrees in education.  Who'd have thought!

I'm a huge believer in higher education.  I hope that a Ph.D. is in my future, even though I may have white hair when I finally get it!  A college degree isn't just about learning but self-discovery.  I learned career skills and life skills and would re-enroll in a heartbeat.  What was the best part of college for you?

(*This post is brought to you by your friends at CBT College in Miami.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Five Ways to Make a Room Look Bigger

We live in a small (cozy!) house. 

Decorating small rooms is fun but challenging.  So what can you do to open up small spaces?

1. Use light wall colors.

Small spaces can easily turn into dark dungeons if the walls are painted in too dark of a color.  Stick with light hues to give your room a larger, more open look.

2.  Choose long window panels.


Cafe curtains or valances will cut the window short and minimize the height of your room.  Choose window panels that go from all the way to the floor to elongate your window and visually heighten the entire space. 

3.  Use mirrors.

Mirrors give a window-like illusion to small rooms, opening them up and reflecting light.

4.  Think vertically.


Opt for tall, narrow wall hangings that are vertically oriented.  These will draw the eye upward and make the room appear taller.

5.  Minimize decor and clutter.


Too much stuff--whether it be throw pillows, knick-knacks, or wall accessories--can overwhelm a small space and make it appear even more cramped.  Choose a more minimalist style for a clean and airy look.

Just these few simple steps can change the look of your small space instantly.  What are your favorite small-space tricks?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Winner of LorAnn Oils Giveaway!

Thanks so much to all those who entered the lastest giveaway!  The winner of the emulsions from LorAnn oils, according to, is Trish from Mom on Timeout!  Congrats, Trish!

Check back soon...another giveaway from Jonathan's Spoons is on the horizon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Summer "Grow" Wreath

The fact that I love wreaths is no secret.

I loved my Easter yarn wreath so much that I decided to make a similar one to last me through the summer.

After all, summer is a time to grow, right?

A simple wreath.  Mostly yarn and moss.   A little white sign, reminding us to grow as well.

A small crochet doily at the top....

Enjoy your summer....

And don't forget to grow!

Wildy Original
House of Hawthornes
Feathered Nest Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Show and Tell Friday

Monday, April 16, 2012

To Make a Summer

Emily Dickinson wrote that it only takes a clover and one bee to make a prairie.

So what does it take to make a summer?  Little more than that, friends.

It takes.....

Fresh flowers

Fresh Vegetables

Good food

Melon Salad with Basil


It's right around the corner!

Spring Can Be Scary

I love warm weather.  Spring and summer are my prime months. 

I love the flowers and vegetables and warm weather and times with friends.  When the weather is warm, you will find me spending all my spare time in the garden or at the beach!

Unfortunately, these are the times of severe storms that can wreak havoc on our carefully cultivated lives.  Tornadoes, floods, and other disasters always come when we least expect it.  For those in the Austin and Dallas area, The Steam Team is the number one choice to help you put the pieces back together after a disaster, especially water damage.  They've been in business since 1983 and use their experience to strive for complete customer satisfaction.  With service 24 hours a day and seven days a week, The Steam Team uses state-of-the-art methods and products to help restore and protect your property.  They use the latest products, procedures, and equipment to assure the highest level of cleaning performance and protection for your property and furnishings. They use a six-step process that concludes with them monitoring the progress of the restoration.

In addition to water-removal services, The Steam Team also offers cleaning services for oriental rugs, tile floors, hardwood floors, leather, upholstey, air ducts, and drapery.  They'll also treat your home for smoke and fire odors as well as pet odors.  Another reason to hire The Steam Team is their commitment to the environment.  They use the safest chemicals possible, and all of their products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for pets and humans.

Do you have round rock water damage?  Do you just need a little extra help?  So whether you need help rescuing your home after a disaster or just help sweeping out the cobwebs during your spring cleaning, call The Steam Team to get that extra help you need.

(*This post is brought to you by your friends The Steam Team.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review and Giveaway with LorAnn Oils!

I'm particularly excited about today's review and giveaway, because it gave me the chance to try a product I was completely unfamiliar with:  baking emulsions.  I love to bake, but I've always used extracts in my creations....until now!

This company out of Lansing, Michigan has been in the "oil" business since 1962.  LorAnn was founded by O.K. Grettenberger, a pharmacist who began distributing essential oils (such as peppermint, lemon, clove, etc.) to pharmacies.  Gradually expanding to consumers, LorAnn oils now offers a full line of baking products.

LorAnn's provides everything from baking emulsions to candy molds to ice cream flavors.  Their selection is beyond extensive, and they also have an online recipe book!


For this review, I received LorAnn's Butter Vanilla Bakery Emulsion

Confession time....I didn't know what an emulsion was. And I call myself a baker! In the off chance that you don't know either, an emulsion is a water-based flavor, unlike an extract, which is alcohol-based. This means you won't lose flavor due to evaporation while cooking.  It also substitutes perfectly for an extract in measurement--one tsp. of extract equals one tsp. of emulsion.

I put vanilla extract in everything I bake, from cupcakes to muffins to pancakes, so I was curious and excited to try this product.  I decided that the perfect theater in which to test the its performance would be a good ol' pound cake.   I was first struck by the color and texture of the vanilla emulsion.  It's nothing like the extract, which has a very thin consistency and is very dark.  The emulsion was light and had a thick, slightly creamy texture.

I used the emulsion just as I would have an extract.  The results were wonderful.  I can honestly say the flavor of the emulsion seemed much more authentic than that of an extract.  As I noted earlier, the flavor won't cook out when exposed to heat.

For this review, I also got to try LorAnn's natural peppermint oil.  I've never used oils for flavor, so this was an exciting and new thing for me.  I used it to flavor the icing for cupcakes, and they were delicious!  Just a drop or two gave the freshest flavor, and I can't wait to try it in future creations.

The good folks at LorAnn Oils have offered to give one Till Death Do Us Part reader three of their amazing products:  Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion, Lemon Bakery Emulsion, and as a bonus, a vial of natural Peppermint Oil.

Ready to win?  Here's how!

To Enter:
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.)

1.  Be (or become) a follower of Till Death Do Us Part via GFC. (Mandatory)
2.  Like LorAnn Oils on Facebook.  (Mandatory)
3.  Follow LorAnn Oils on Twitter
4.  Like Till Death Do Us Part on Facebook.
5.  Follow Till Death Do Us Part on Twitter.
6.  Be (or become) a follower of Till Death Do Us Part via Linky Follow.
7.  Blog, Tweet, or Facebook about this giveaway.
8.  Pin this giveaway via Pinterest.

Eight ways to win! This giveaway is open to residents 18 years or older in the continental U.S.  All entries will be verified. Winner will have 48 hours after being noified to claim their prize before another winner is chosen. Giveaway will run until Wednesday, April 25 at 10 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen via

Good luck!

(*Author was supplied with free product for this review.  All statements and opinions, however, are solely that of the author.)

Outdoor Furniture

The weather is warming, and I'm spending more and more time outside, whether it be for gardening or grilling and the like. 

Outdoor furniture is essential to the summer experience.  At the top of my wish list is
adirondack chairs.  They're such a popular choice for outdoor furniture.  They're so chic and stylish, and the ones from Terra Bound Solutions come in wood, teak, or 100% recycled plastic, which is my personal favorite, because it won't mold, rot, and splinter!  These chairs come in dining, bar stool, and love-seat style.  And they're available in kid's sizes as well!

I also love the idea of picnic tables.  What's more summery than a picnic?  They are so versatile and are great choices for parks, backyards, playgrounds, churches, and schools, just to name a few.  Terra Bound Solutions offers tables in a variety of materials such as wood, recycled, aluminum, and even concrete!  They also make picnic tables that are wheelchair accessible.

And last but not least, park benches.  My neighbors have a park bench in their yard, and it's just so charming!  Although I like a more traditional look, Terra Bound Solutions has a wide variety of styles and sizes as well as materials, such as aluminum, wood, or concrete.  These can be mounted into the ground for added stability.  They also supply steel benches for locker rooms!

What are you waiting for....get outside! 

(*This post bought to you by your friends at Terra Bound Solutions.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Winner of the Giveaway with Kami's Beauxtique!

Thanks so much to all those who entered the Kami's Beauxtique giveaway!  The winner, chosen via, is Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy!  Congrats!

Stay tuned for another giveaway starting tomorrow from Jonathan's Spoons!

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