Shalom's Cottage Home Blog

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Rock Island, IL, United States
Hi, I'm Shalom. Artist, crafter, gardener, flea market enthusiast, bargain hunter, and lover of flavor. Welcome to my journey!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Growing Herbs in Containers

Something like this is what I have in mind for the big metal tub I picked up over the weekend. I've always loved planting things in containers, as they get less weeds, I don't have to worry about moles destroying the roots and if I add a little fence around the edge, it should keep the rabbits out too. In recent years, the local deer population has made a regular habit of visiting my front yard as well, so luckily I have a fenced-in backyard I can start my new herb garden in. I haven't had a lot of luck growing herbs/veggies in the past, but I'd like to give it another go. Found a helpful article here on growing herbs in containers. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thrifting Scores - April 2014

Spent a pleasant, sunny day yesterday hitting up garage sales in 3 different cities with my junking pal. By mid-afternoon, we were tired and a little discouraged as we hadn't found much to get excited over. But onward we marched and after grabbing a drive-thru chai tea latte I was re-charged enough to continue the hunt. At our very LAST stop (an open-air flea market), 5 minutes before closing time, I scored these two 24" long wooden planters and the 24" wide metal tub for just $16 from a vendor who simply didn't want to load it back into his truck for the drive home. Talk about a score!!! Can't wait to fill the wooden boxes up with flowers and I'm thinking about doing a miniature herb garden in the big tub. I'll post more pics later after I've got 'em all planted up. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Baked Banana-Berry Oatmeal To-Go Cups

Yesterday, I had some very ripe bananas I needed to use up and it was a cool, rainy day - perfect for baking. I wanted something a little heartier than banana bread and I didn't want to have to go shopping for any special ingredients. I'd made baked oatmeal using this recipe before, but both my husband and I thought they were a little bland. So I decided to try my own adaptation, adding back in some traditional baking ingredients to give the oatmeal that little extra punch of flavor and sweetness it needed to be just right. We both loved them!! They are easy to store for a quick, protein-packed breakfast on the go and they re-heat easily in the microwave. I prefer mine warm, with just a dab of butter on top. Below is my version of the recipe.
(Yield: Approximately 24)

• 3-4 Ripe Bananas, mashed
• 1 cup Milk of your choice...I used whole milk
• 2 Eggs
• 1 tblsp Baking Powder
• 1 tsp Cinnamon
• 3/4 cup Sugar...or sweetener of your choice, adjust amount to personal taste
• 3 tblsp Butter, melted...optional, but adds a lot of flavor
• 3 cups+ dry Oatmeal...'quick cooking' will be smoother, 'old fashioned' will be grainier once baked
• 1-2 cups frozen Blueberries (not thawed)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin liners or muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix Bananas, Milk & Eggs. Add Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Sugar & Butter. Mix well. Add 3 cups oatmeal and mix well. If batter is runny, add more as needed (should not be stiff, but easy to scoop up with a spoon). Fold in frozen Blueberries.

Spoon batter into muffin tins (they should be just about full, as they will not rise much at all during baking). Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool slightly before removing liners.


Life's Better In Flip Flops

I NEED this sign to display on my mantel this summer. Is it not the absolute, hand-on-heart truth? Raise your hand if you LOVE flip flop season!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted...Finished the Sketch Today

So this is what I've accomplished in the past 2 weeks since I posted the photo of my partial sketch. I have to say, I was definitely motivated by all your encouragement to continue working on it in whatever pockets of time I could find (15 minutes here...30 minutes there...). So thanks again! The next steps to finishing the art piece, now that it's been scanned, are for me to move and re-size portions of the drawing digitally until I have the layout exactly where I want it (this is where it helps to be a graphic designer). Then I will print it out, VERY carefully trace over it with a fine art ink pen, then re-scan it again and digitally color it so I can offer it in different color combinations. After all that, VoilĂ ! It will be done...hopefully before the end of the summer. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Be More Like A Flower

And they are all different...yet all beautiful in their own ways. Great reminder as we welcome Spring and the start of Growing Season!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Flea market picnic table out of an old wood door

I have a picnic table on my back porch that needs a new top - it is missing large chunks where the wood has rotten through, but the supports and the seats are perfectly fine. So, rather than scrapping the whole thing, I'd like to just give it a new top. Came across this idea in my research of using an old wooden door. Wouldn't that just be so cute? And it would go perfectly with the rustic, weathered nature of what's left of my picnic table. I'll have to keep a look out this summer for discarded doors left on curbs.

Friday, April 4, 2014

INSTANT Modern Art...your kids can do!

I'd like to highlight a new artist I've just son!! Connor is 2 1/2 and LOVES to create with anything I put in front of him. Earlier this week he did watercolors and paper mosaics for the first time and suddenly I knew what to do with that barren spot on the wall in my kitchen. I hung up a bulletin board and then tacked up his artwork so it overlapped the board by 2-3" on all sides (thicker paper like card stock works best as it won't curl on the edges). The result is one big, colorful, abstract art piece and it looks AWESOME if I do say so myself. I know I'm a bit biased, but it's just such a cheerful pop of color now where there once was nothing but a phone jack we don't use anymore. Just around the corner is a dark hallway that could also use some sprucing up...can't wait to see what my baby comes up with next! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Whatever You Are Be a Good One...Art Print

Great reminder and such a cheerful design! Love this print by AnneGarrisonStudio.
Available in yellow, turquoise, pink & sage.