Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Red Shoes

Who doesn't love red shoes?  I found this pair today while doing a little treasure hunting at my local Goodwill thrift store.  I wasn't looking for shoes and very soon I will share the project I was working on that took me on a treasure hunt to Goodwill.

This beautiful pair of red patent leather pumps, size 8 with come hither heels was on the rack calling out to me.  Wouldn't these look beautiful with my gray business suit?  They surely would!  Alas, my wide feet and inability to stand or walk in 4-inch heels made these beauties a bit unpractical.

What is a girl to do?  This girl purchased the $6.99 shoes, stopped at the nursery to pick up a few succulents and potting soil, came home and put my new shoes to great use as planters.  I wish I could take credit for this idea but I owe it all to my sister, Faith.  She is the repurposing queen!  My new shoes will look great on my patio.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Healthy Dog Treats

Finding healthy dog treats can be a real challenge.  It seems that those of us with dogs are always hearing about pet food/treat recalls.  I monitor what I give my dogs for meals and treats very carefully.  One of my dogs' favorite treats are frozen pumpkin balls.

While I don't have an actual recipe for frozen pumpkin balls, I thought I'd share how I make them.  They're so easy to make and the measurements really don't matter.

Today's pumpkin balls will include 100% pure pumpkin (this is NOT pumpkin pie filling), four bananas, some Greek yogurt, and a bit of peanut butter.  They can be made without yogurt, banana, or peanut butter.  I've made pure pumpkin balls before and that's fine too.  I tend to use what I have on hand.  Sometimes I will heat apples to the point that I can mash them a bit and throw them into the mix.  Anything that is safe and healthy will work.
I add the pumpkin and banana to a mixing bowl and mix while mashing the banana.  It is easier to incorporate the banana if they're softened (over ripe).  For bananas that need help softening, you can place them in a microwave safe dish and heat them slightly.  Add them back to the pumpkin and they will mash nicely.  I find a potato masher helps get the bananas mashed so they will distribute through the pumpkin.

When the bananas and pumpkin are mixed, I add the yogurt.  I usually add what looks "right" to me.  Today I measured it and added 1-2/3 cup of yogurt.  I started adding yogurt for the probiotics.  The yogurt also increases the number of pumpkin balls you get from the mix.  The rule of thumb with adding the yogurt is to keep your mix thick enough that it will spoon into a small dropped heaps on a cookie pan.

I add peanut butter for a little bit of extra flavor.  Peanut butter should be used sparingly as you can see in the photo.  Peanut butter contains sugar so it is important to use just a bit.

After mixing the peanut butter in, the mix is ready to be dropped into individual treats.  I use a small cookie scoop to portion and drop the pumpkin mixture onto cookie sheets/pans.  A teaspoon works fine too.

I use high quality non-stick jellyroll pans that do not require any cooking spray. However, non-stick cooking spray (like Pam) is advisable when using regular cookie sheets or pans to keep the pumpkin balls from sticking.  Drop the balls close together on the pan and place in the freezer until frozen.  Keep in mind that you want to make them size appropriate for your dog.  Since mine often eat treats on the couch or on the carpet, I want these to be finished off in a couple of bites.  They freeze up quickly - I find I can usually transfer them to a ziploc bag for storage after an hour or so in the freezer.

Be ready for these special looks from your dog.  They know the yummy smell of pumpkin and peanut butter and will be very excited to get a taste.  I admit it. . .mine get to lick the bowl.   How can I say no to those faces?              

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Other Pink Contessa

Is it possible that there is more than one Pink Contessa?  Yes, it would seem so.  But that's okay.  In fact, it is better than okay and if I have to share my title with another Pink Contessa this one is the perfect companion.  The other Pink Contessa hails from Australia and she is a pink Mascoto wine!  How perfect is that?  A sweet pink wine shares my title.

Pink Contessa Moscato - Delicately frizzante, seductively sweet & flavours followed by a refreshingly clean finish. Enjoy anytime. 

She certainly sounds like a wine I'd like to meet.  I have attempted to find a bottle of this wine in the USA but have not been successful.  Perhaps I will have to order a bottle from Australia.

Take a few minutes and visit the other Pink Contessa.                                 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meet Roxie

Roxie is one of my three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  She's a petite girl, weighing only 10 pounds and what she lacks in size, she makes up in attitude.  Roxie is all girl and although we live in southern Arizona where sweater weather is when the temperatures drop below 70 degrees, Roxie loves to wear sweaters and t-shirts.  Some of you might wonder how I know she "loves" to wear clothes.  I know this because when I take a sweater off of her, she will stand at the counter or dresser where I've placed her sweater and bark for it.  Roxie knows what she likes and she is relentless about getting it.  She will be four years old next month.

Recently, one of my friends who is a professional photographer specializing in pet photography acquired a new prop for her studio.  I knew the moment I saw it that I had to have her photograph Roxie with the new prop.  So without further ado, here is Roxie!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cute Shoe Bags Make Packing More Fun

I finished four adorable shoe bags this morning.  The bags are lined and hold one pair of women's shoes.  Packing using shoe bags keeps clothing clean and protects the shoes.  I love the whimsical fabrics.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My House Smells Pink

What does pink smell like?  Pink smells like the inside of a flower shop.  It's that combination of carnations, roses, lilies, and all the other delightful smells that make up the aroma of a flower shop. . .or pink!   So how do I get my house smelling pink?  Scentsy wax melts in Flower Shop.  I'm new to Scentsy - this is the first product I've tried and the smell is amazing.  This particular fragrance is retired and only available until the end of this month.  I'll be placing an order with my Scentsy rep for more "pink" wax melts (which are actually green) and will enjoy the aroma of pink while they last.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow

One of the benefits of living in southern Arizona is our mild winters and our winter growing season.  Having never gardened before, I decided to give it a try.  I'm not a great vegetable eater so purchased a small raised bed set up and some lettuce and carrot starts and headed home to plant my garden.

Arriving home from the nursery and ready to plant
I carefully planted the carrots and lettuce in the tiny raised bed set-up just as the guy at the nursery instructed.  I watered the garden and was feeling very proud of my accomplishment.

Planting Day
I carefully checked to ensure that the irrigation system was providing enough water each day but also noticed a number of my carrot starts and a couple of the lettuce plants had withered away.  But, as the weather got cooler and with some feeding I started to see progress - my little garden was growing.  I   used some of my home grown lettuce for the first time last week.  It is a good feeling eating food grown in your own yard.  I am planning to plant a bigger garden for the spring growing season and am looking forward to enjoying some sweet carrots very soon.

My garden today (1/9/14).  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Introducing The Pink Contessa

I am Jamie, The Pink Contessa.  A lover of all things pink, I use it in decorating, baking, quilting, sewing, and clothing.  As far back as I can remember I have loved the color pink.  Perhaps it has something to do with being the first child and a girl as I am usually the one wearing pink.  The photos below are a good example of my early introduction to pink.  The photo on the right is my 4th birthday.  I still have that little nightstand that my mom so lovingly painted pink.  It hasn't been pink for many years but a little sandpaper and paint can change that. Whatever it was, my love of pink has stood the test of time!

So why the blog?  What will The Pink Contessa be sharing?  Is it all pink?

My plan for the blog is to share a glimpse into the world of The Pink Contessa.  I am looking forward to sharing sewing projects, recipes, quilts, gardening and preserving (a relatively new interest), craft projects, and all things pink.  And to answer that last question:  No, it isn't all pink.

Add a little pink to your life by following The Pink Contessa!