Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And The Winners Are...

Well, it's Tuesday and I'm finally doing Monday's Giveaway Drawing!  Ahhh...such is the life of a blogging mom of 10!!! Actually, this week we are preparing for Connor's big send-off, so it's already been a bit crazy with 2 trips to Costco {Business and Regular}  and we aren't quite done yet!!!
I do have some ideas for your own graduation/send-off parties, if you have any upcoming events.  I'll post those later!
But, for now, without further ado, here are the winners of the Bento-style containers from Dollar Tree!

I put an entry in for each idea, including all Facebook and Private Message suggestions, then had my lovely assistant {Stephanie} draw numbers:

The first winner is: Tristen Haertel!

The second winner is: Annika Manchester!
Congratulations to the two of you, and thanks to everyone for the awesome ideas!
Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Fast Tip! {Penny Perk Up!}

One of my all time favorite flowers is tulips!
{I know, it's not a picture of tulips below!} 
The problem with tulips is how quickly they will droop.  A few years ago, my friend Amanda taught me how to perk them back up...
A Penny!!!
Our daughter Stephanie just recently started working at our local fruit market.  One benefit of her working there is that she is able to bring home "un-sellables".  The other night she brought home these sweet Gerbera Daisies...not sellable because they were droopy!
She added them to a vase, plopped in a penny, and...

I just saw some flowers marked down at our local grocer to $1.99, for the very same reason! $2.00 could make a great, inexpensive pick me up in your home!
Don't forget to add your comments to "this post" for Monday's Giveaway!
Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Giveaway - Bento Style!

Last Friday I was so excited to discover these Veggie and Dip containers at my local Dollar Tree, that I decided you need them too!
So, this week, I am giving two sets of them away!

Here's how to enter:
In the comments section below, list your idea of what you would pack in these convenient containers.  Let your imaginations soar!  I really want to hear all of your crazy ideas!  One friend of mine suggested Beads and String for a long car ride!  That's perfect!!!
Enter as many times as you like!  The more ideas you enter, the more chances you have to win. On Monday, I will have one of my lovely assistants pull two numbers, and then I will announce a winner!
Here's a quick picture of some veggies I cut up for a quick grab and go snack.  You could put dip in the smaller compartment!  Oh, and I tested it...it doesn't leak!!!!
Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Fast Tip! {Lunch}

I know, it's been ages since I've posted a Friday Fast Tip, but today I absolutely HAD to post!

While I was at our local Dollar Tree, I found these fabulous Veggie and Dip containers for, you guessed it, $1!!!

For a while, I have been eyeing the idea of Bento boxes and checking out different websites for fun lunch ideas.  What always stops me short is the price of those cute little boxes with the different compartments.  I always think, "Really, $14 for a small plastic container?" 

But today, my search for something inexpensive ended!  The kiddos and I love to bring lunch with us when we go to the park, beach or zoo!  I absolutely can't wait to find some fun ideas to fill them with!

If you want to pick some up at your local Dollar Tree, here are my quick ideas of what to put in them:

*Veggies and Dip (Of Course)
*Pita and Hummus
*Apples and Peanut/Sunflower Butter
*Pretzels and Cream Cheese
*Salad and Dressing

What else?  Please send me your ideas!  I'd love to hear some other creative combinations!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


One of my favorite things to hear my husband whisper as he's leaving for work is, "It's snowing!"  It's like the little girl in me comes alive as I envision what the front yard must look like!
But this mid-July morning, I was just as delighted to hear him whisper, "There are pink flamingos in our yard!"

Under the veil of darkness the Young Life group from our local high school planted these classy yard ornaments.  As a fundraiser, they will "flock" your friends yard with these lovelies for a donation toward their camp fund.  The next evening they come and remove them, and hopefully you have passed along the fun to the yard of one of your friends!

Whoever donated to have us flocked, all of the Cooks say, "Thank you for adding a smile to our morning...and a story to tell!"

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dilly Beans!

This past weekend, the girls and I made some of our family's infamous Dilly Beans! 
 We made the trek to our local fruit market to purchase our ingredients fresh.  My mom and I used to make this same trek years ago.  I can remember packing jars with my mom as a little girl.  Then came the eternally long wait for them to be ready to eat! 
Kiddos would pop in and out of the kitchen and say, "When can we eat those?"  To which I replied, just as my mom would reply to me, "Oh...around Christmas!"
Here are some pictures of the process:

 {Ken snapped a picture of us girls working...}


This is a copy of the original recipe in my own mother's handwriting.  Of course it would be so much more organized to have this in my computer, but I don't want to lose the heritage and memories that come with each scribble and scroll. {The "boxing" around the title is exactly how my mom always delineates her recipes!}
Just in case you want to make some of your own:
Dilly Beans
{makes 4 quart jars}
2lbs green beans
1tsp. cayenne pepper (or 1-2 red "hot peppers")
4 cloves garlic
4 dill heads
1/4 cup salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups vinegar
Remove tips from beans and wash thoroughly.  Pack clean canning jars with beans lengthwise.  Add pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1 dill head. 
Combine water, vinegar, and salt and boil until salt is dissolved.
Pour into jars with 1/4" of headroom.  Add lids and rings.  Hot water bathe the jars for 4 minutes.  Remove from water and let cool.  Lids with "pop" as they seal.
Wait...wait...wait!  They'll be ready around Christmas!
Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!