Saturday, July 30, 2011

You're Invited for Grilled Italian Kabobs

Did that get your attention?  Who doesn't love Italian?  How about pizza sauce?  And grilling? I know those are all some of my favorites.
Well, I pulled out an oldie but a goody (it's from a cookbook out of print - Smart Cook by Betty Crocker and it was a wedding shower gift 21 years ago - I used it extensively when Worker Bee and I were first married but it has been gathering dust for several years and for some reason I've pulled it out and started using it again - wow - that was a lot of background information) called Grilled Italian Kabobs.
We are trying to eat healthier so I made a few modifications to the recipe - easy ones.  To make this healthier I used chicken Italian sausage (also used less meat than the recipe called for) and I added a lot more veggies than the recipe called for.  Plus - BONUS - most of the veggies were from our kitchen garden.  And BONUS #2 - Baby Bee and Worker Bee ate their veggies with little complaint!

12 oz. - 16 oz. package of turkey or chicken Italian sausage (mine was from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup pizza sauce (again, mine was from Trader Joe's)
1 Tbl of olive oil
1 Tbl of dried basil or 3 Tbl of fresh basil shredded
Assorted veggies of your choice - I used mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, grape tomatoes, and red onions
Please note the food safety - fruits and veggies on the wood board, meats on the plastic board that goes in the dishwasher.  Yeah, I know you're proud of me.  

1.  Mix the pizza sauce, olive oil, and basil together.  You will use this to baste the kabobs as they cook on the grill.

2.  Cut up your sausage in about 1" chunks.

3.  Cut up your veggies into about 1" chunks.

4.  Assemble them on the skewers in any order you want.  

5.  Grill covered on a medium hot grill for 20-25 minutes.  Baste the kabobs with the pizza sauce mixture 2-3 times during the grilling time.
We used a vegetable grilling tray in case any little grape tomatoes fell off the skewers.  (oh my stars we ADORE those grape tomatoes - even Worker Bee does and he is not a fan of tomatoes)
Love how they're all lined up and ready to report for duty - on the grill!
There were so many veggies on those skewers I just served them and an Italian dinner roll that we dunked in olive oil sprinkled with fresh ground pepper.
since I practically invited you for dinner
I set the table for you too...

I used my oilcloth placemats (from Crate & Barrel a few years back), our everyday dishes (from Pottery Barn a few years back), my favorite red flatware (from Target a few years back), and blue plaid napkins (from Kmart a few years back).   Yep, it's all from a few years back!

To dress it up for you just a little bit I took my cheapo candles and wrapped some paper doilies around them and then tied them up with some different colors of baker's twine.  Very simple but it adds just a little special something to show how special your visits are.  (Of course, Worker Bee and Baby Bee said why don't WE get this special treatment.  Ungrateful wretches.)

Gratuitous candle shot.

Another gratuitous shot of candle - can't help it.  I like how they turned out with minimal, er, I mean great effort.
Will you join me for dinner?

I've got a nice glass of iced tea waiting for you.
Oh and we're going to make S'mores over the dying coals of the grill.  

Well, even if you can't stay this time, please know that you can pull up a chair any old time.  You are always welcome to drop in on Sweet Bee Cottage.

With honey,

Oh, and don't forget to enter my giveaway!
Just leave a comment on that post by clicking here for your chance to win.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Icy Pink Deliciousness

I just love Susan Branch!  Raise your hand if you agree?  

Okay, I see all those hands.  (And if you're not sure who Susan Branch is, head on over here to meet her.)

Susan has some wonderful recipes in her books.  This particular one is from The Summer Book.

One of our summer favorites is a cocktail called "Skip and Go Naked."  The skip because it's so tasty and you want to skip around and the go naked because if you're not careful and have too many of these, you might start running round naked.  

The ingredient list is simple:

pink lemonade frozen lemonade

Now I know some of you might be saying beer?  I don't like beer!  Well, I can't stand the stuff, but mixed in this drink?  It's absolutely scrumptious.  Trust me (and trust Susan too).
Plus you will need a blender.
1.  Fill the blender half way with ice.
2.  Add 2/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate.
3.  Add 1/4 cup of vodka.
4.  Add 2/3 cup of cold beer.
5.  Blend together and pour into a glass - pretty glass preferred of course.
Icy pink deliciousness!
One for me and one for you.
Let's go enjoy these on the patio.  We could listen to some nice music and pray the June bugs don't crash into us.  (Thankfully, June bugs are almost done around these parts.)

And, at last, I have a fun post for Pink Saturday!
Come join the party over at Beverly's.

Such a treat to see you too!  
Thank you so much for dropping in for a visit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Trip to the Magic Kingdom

Last Saturday, my Baby Bee was invited to perform at Disneyland.  Well, not her by herself, but her dancing group was invited.

Now, even though we live in California, Baby Bee has NEVER been to Disneyland, which she all too frequently reminded me about.  Then I would gently remind her that she has been in 16 states, been to Chicago, flown in airplanes MANY times, and visited places others can only dream about.  Plus she saw fireflies when she was 3 and I had to wait until I was 37!  So, she's been sort of okay with it, but she has still dreamed of visiting the Magic Kingdom.
Walt welcomed us all in.....

Disneyland has changed quite a bit since the last time we were there.  Worker Bee and I went shortly after we were married about 21 years ago.

Baby Bee's group was whisked off behind the scenes at Disneyland where they dressed in their costumes and then were escorted to the stage entrance.  I keep asking her what it was like, but she's not spilling a lot.
One of my favorite dances they do to the song "Do You Wanna' Dance?"

Baby Bee and her BFF waiting for their next cue.

The Disney folks did such a wonderful job announcing the girls and making this feel very professional.  It kind of gave me chills and made me a bit teary eyed.  

After all that dancing, the rides and attractions were calling our names!

It's a Small World.....

(only picture inside that turned out halfway decent)

BFF and Baby Bee on the teacups.  I rode that one too and loved it.  I'd forgotten how fast that one goes.
Can I just say I love how all the teacups are decorated?  They are just so cute!  I wouldn't mind having them in my own teacup collection.

Baby Bee wanted to go on the Storybook Cruise.  (Not quite sure what the name of this attraction was.)  It was filled with miniature villages and plants - from Jasmine's castle to Cinderella's castle.  It was very sweet and Baby Bee enjoyed it enormously.  (And no, that's not Baby Bee that you see riding on the front of the boat.)
For a time, we hung out with some other dancers.  Here they are waiting (for an hour) for the Indiana Jones ride.  

Of course, we went on all the iconic rides......Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.....but there are still some things we didn't get to do because Disneyland on a summer Saturday is CROWDED!  Honestly, if you are planning to head to Disneyland, don't go in the summer!  

But, we still had fun!  And the best part?  Seeing Disneyland for the first time through Baby Bee's eyes.  That was the best by far.

Do you have a favorite at Disneyland?  

Thank you so much for buzzing in!  We're still recovering from our trip.  (We're a wee bit exhausted.)
And please stop by for my giveaway by clicking here and leaving a comment.
So nice to see you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Look What's New on Blogger? Favicons!

Have you ever wanted a favicon for you blog?  Not know what a favicon is?

Well, for those of you who aren't sure what I'm talking about, a favicon is the little logo that appears next to your blog name in the browser window.  If you look at mine, instead of the orange blogger logo, I now have a bee skep next to my blog address.

And, by the way, is it pronounced favicon with a long a or favicon with a short a as in cat?  Burning questions you know.

Want to know how I got it there?

I just stumbled upon this on the design page.  I noticed that there was a favicon box in the upper left above the nav bar.


I couldn't stand it!  I wanted one!  I've wanted one, but I sure don't know enough HTML to make one for myself.  So I tried this.

1.  Choose an image - keep it simple because these are very tiny.

2.  Make sure the image is square.  Bogger won't accept it if it isn't.  My little bee skep wasn't quite square, so I uploaded it to  There are probably other sites you can do this one, but I'm partial to picnik since I love how they "pick blackberries" or "steal picnic baskets" as the site loads.  Appeals to my sense of whimsy.

3.  Upload your image and the first screen is the edit screen.  I clicked on resize and made sure to unclick "keep proportions".  I then made sure the numbers matched.  I had to play with these a bit so the proportions didn't get too off.  At first I had a very skinny bee skep - not nearly as cute as the one I have now.

4.  Once you're happy with your image, save it.  I called mine "Sweet Bee Favicon."

5.  Then click on the edit button for the favicon, upload your image, and then save!  That's it!  Really, the hardest part will probably be finding the right image to use.

Please fell free to ask me any questions if you give this little project a try.

Have fun with it!

Thanks for buzzing in today.  I'm always tickled to see you've popped in for a visit.

And, if you want, please enter my giveaway by clicking here and leaving a comment.


For those of you who love Cath Kidston, you can download desktop wallpaper for your computer by going here.  There are several to choose from.  I downloaded all of them, of course.
Sweet, isn't it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lunch with Fabulous Phyllis (and Baby Bee)

My friend, the Fabulous Phyllis, owns the most charming shop in our small town.  She is a wonderful seamstress and has made many slipcovers and other delights for Sweet Bee Cottage.  I always feel welcome in her store and she and Baby Bee have a special relationship.  Baby Bee dreams of the day when she is old enough to work in Phyllis's shop.  (Phyllis also has one of the cutest grandbabies ever!)  

I wanted to let her know how much I appreciate her friendship so Baby Bee and I invited her over for lunch.
Our weather has been very, very pleasant here in Central California.  Normally we are in the high 90s or more often, the 100s.  So the low 90s feel like spring!  (Sorry Midwest - I hope your heat wave breaks VERY soon!)

So I set up our table out on the patio.  (Of course, having a very shady backyard helps keep it cooler - but doesn't make for the best pictures.)
I used my Spode Chelsea Wicker as a charger and my green depression glass Dogwood luncheon plates.  The flatware is Gorham Melon Bud.  The glasses are a set of vintage water glasses.
The bouquet is picked from my kitchen garden - herbs and zinnias!
The tablecloth is a vintage blue basket weave and ivy design.  (I had been considering selling it on etsy, but I reconsidered.  I fell in love with it all over again!)  My napkins are some Waverly ones I think I bought when I was first married (1990 or 1991).  
On another table we had beverages and other dishes.
We had cherry limeade, iced tea, or water.  Under the wicker cover were croissants on another depression glass plate.  
For lunch we had a salad.  I combined a spring lettuce mix, sliced toasted almonds, blue cheese, and sliced fresh peaches, and grilled chicken breast with a balsamic vinaigrette.  It was really delicious.  I love the combination of blue cheese with a sweet fruit and the balsamic just brings out the delicious contrast of this combination.  We also enjoyed a croissant with our salad.

For dessert?

Glad you asked......
chocolate pudding with whipped cream!  One of my favorites and just the right amount for a sweet treat!

We chatted and chatted.  It was a wonderful afternoon.

And, she gave me the sweetest needlepoint rose!
Don't you just love the blue background?

And I promise to take pictures of Phyllis's shop soon!  Wouldn't you like to see it?

Thank you for buzzing in today.  
Would you like to come for lunch someday?
I would enjoy that!

Oh and please don't forget to enter my giveaway!  Just click here and leave a comment to be entered.  

And, I'll be joining the party over at Between Naps on the Porch for

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some Inspiration for Baby Bee

Baby Bee is officially a tween, but unofficially she's a teenager - after all she says, "I'm now in the double digits, Mama."  I love that she still calls me Mama, although she doesn't usually do that in public.  

So thanks to some gift cards and a giveaway I won from Blondie's Journal, we have some new inspiration for her room.

When she was born, we had all primary colors - especially blue, red, and yellow.  When she was three (and we realized what a girly girl she was) she had pink and green.  It was (and still is) a very sweet room and although Baby Bee is very sweet and caring, it just doesn't suit her right now.  So it's time to start working on a change.  She loves the color aqua and the beach so guess where we're going.......

I picked up these two aqua/turquoise bowls/dishes at the thrift store.  Can't you see her jewelry stored in these?
And here's the duvet that will provide the color palette.
Add polka dot sheets and a solid lime green quilt......
and we have the start for a new room for Baby Bee.  We'll be working on all the paint color, furniture, and other details.  Probably won't get it finished this summer, but maybe by Christmas.

Here's some more inspiration for her room......

........all are on my Pinterest board for Baby Bee's room.

I'll be linking this post to

over at Cindy's My Romantic Home


I hope you can visit some of the others for Show and Tell.

I also hope you take a moment to leave a comment for my 500 followers giveaway!
It's such a treat to have you come by for a little visit.

We're going to enjoy cherry limeade out on the patio tonight, won't you join us?

maybe I can meet you at the