August 28, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Barbecue

When Summer has whacked your wallet!

Budget Friendly, Crowd Pleasing

Watermelon Cooler

Arizona Brand Watermelon Juice
Vodka (flavored or not)
Crushed Ice
Mint and/or chunked Watermelon (optional for garnish)

There is no recipe here, can be made strong or weak, depending on your taste.  A cheap bottle of vodka and large cans of $.99 cans of Arizona from CVS go a long way with a crowd!

These recipes are cheap-ingredient friendly, with most of it already in your fridge and pantry.

I'm hoping everyone had a lovely summer and enjoy this last official summer weekend before school, sports and Christmas shopping begin (I'm kidding, kind of)!

Happy Labor Day Weekend ~ Thanks for Visiting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


August 23, 2013

Soccer Mom

Soccer starts next weekend.  In addition to our almost 9YO traveling soccer star, the little one starts clinics this year.  In the Mid-Atlantic, we play until Thanksgiving and the weather can vary from hot, humid 90's to snow showers; and we can spend h o u r s on the fields per week. So let's be prepared:

Travel Chair. See below for a future WVU Mountaineer {Cabelas}

A bit indulgent, but how nice would a rocker be on the soccer fields {Cabelas}

Great Insulated cup and dishwasher safe {Cabelas}

Rain protection for the kids {Lands End}

For dads {Lands End}

For Moms {Lands End}

I just threw this in! Cute Ipad cover from {Lands End}

Another Mom option - popover anorak {Lands End} On sale for $19.99 + go through ebates and get an add'l 6% back.

I got this Lilly wrap 2 years ago, love it and so warm.

LL Bean Boots ^ and Wellies v

More reasonable than Hunters and quite serviceable.

Our future Mountaineer :-)

Invite to Ebates

Are your sports programs beginning again?  What are your tips for traveling and sidelining in comfort?

Thanks for visiting!

August 22, 2013

Skull Scarves {Fashion Prep for Halloween}

{all photos courtesy of Pinterest}

A fun way to fashion yourself for Halloween!

Whether you are out trick-or-treating with the kids, at a haunted happy hour or hosting your own eerie soiree, why not do it in a fun + funky way?

Skull scarves are worth looking into this far out from Halloween.  From a high-end Alexander McQueen to a budget-friendly Target or Afflication Clothing version.  You can always check out eBay too.  I picked mine (SEE BELOW) up at a surf shop last year.  I received a ton of compliments on it last year.  I almost can’t wait for it to cool down here to start wearing it again….


You can also look into some gothic costume jewelry to complete your look.  One of my favorite reality TV personalities, Amy Bruni of Ghost Hunters, has her own line of paranormal jewelry.  You can find it at her online store here:

You can find skull scarves Herehere and here.

Thanks for visiting!

August 21, 2013

What I'm Wearing {wiw} + Lilly ESS

Trying to take pleasure in the last days of summer...

Pool Party 
(J.Crew Pineapple Caftan final sale + 30% off $23)

And Work
(Banana Republic Blouse & Cami eBay $17)

Did anyone take advantage of the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale? After a slow go (the site crashed again this year), I was successful in coveting a couple of Elsa's (perfect for work or play), a Lola hoodie, a Cayleigh cardigan and a Riley scarf.  It is a bit indulgent, but for the quality and 60-70% off, once per year is OK!

Working on a couple of new RECIPES this week, that will hopefully make it on here soon.

Also, getting back to a few house projects...starting with some new, UPDATED light fixtures this weekend!!

Will share shortly...

pleated poppy

Thanks for visiting!

August 15, 2013

Local Flounder Packets {recipe swap}

On-hand ingredients + 2 Buck Chuck

Bonus - my boys caught the fish on their 1st charter boat trip :)

Flounder Packets with Lemon, Wine & Capers

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
8-12 thin slices of lemon
3 tablespoons dry white wine (or 2-buck Chuck!)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Couple of twists of Pepper
4 - 4-6 ounce fresh flounder/fluke fillets

Preheat oven to *400

Combine green onions, parsley and capers in a small bowl.

Whisk lemon juice, wine, and melted butter in a small bowl.

Rinse and pat dry fish fillets.  Give a quick twists of pepper.

Prepare 4-sheets of heavy duty foil.  Start layering ingredients on foil 
squares(folded up so the liquids don’t spill all over), like so:

2-3 lemon slices
Fish fillets
Lemon juice, wine and melted butter mixture
Green onion, parsley and caper mixture

Fold and secure foil packets 
(leaving space above fish for steam to rise).

Bake for 20 minutes.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Serve.  With the rest of the 2-Buck Chuck!

Thanks for visiting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


13 Creative Uses for Coffee Filters

Protect China by separating each piece with a coffee filter between each dish before storage

Apply shoe polish to those boots & shoes when you take them out for the upcoming season

Line your potted plants.  Place coffee filters over drainage holes before potting.

Prevent a Popsicle from dripping; just poke a popsicle stick through coffee filter

{all photos courtesy of Pinterest}

Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter

Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave to prevent food from splattering all over

Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome.  Lint-free coffee filters are perfect for this (and cheaper than paper towels..hello Dollar Tree!)

Hold tacos and other greasy foods

Put a few in a plate and put your bacon, cheese sticks, chicken fingers, etc., on them. It soaks out all the grease

Keep in the bathroom, as they make great nick fixers

Put baking soda into a coffee filter, secure and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb odors

Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews

Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage

Do you have any other suggestions, please share?

Thanks for visiting!

August 14, 2013

Medley {wiw}

Wedding edition ~ My earlier post of summer wedding clothing for kids went up in smoke when I found out that the boys were in the wedding and there was a color code.  The bible attendants were to wear navy pants, light blue button downs and purple-ish ties.  Crew Cuts to the rescue from the navy pants to the muted grape polka dot ties.  We clean up pretty nice...

The wedding was lovely.  Held at a reception center at our regions concert arena.  We literally were feet away from the stage and while we could not see the performers, we were personally serenaded.  By Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5.  Cool. Very Cool.

Next day, comfy fishing charter boat trip.  Their first, but not the last....they loved it.

After a volatile cold front, temps have cooled and I'm feeling the summer/fall transition.  More neutrals with pops of color.  Focusing on the neckline, as the posterior has widened a bit; time to get back to healthy living...

Robbie & Nikki embellished jersey dress circa 2010 via NM Last Call.  

This ensemble via Nordstrom circa 2009.  Flounce dress, Vanelli shoes and Hobo clutch are staples in my closet for weddings, cocktail parties, events, etc...

Setting my sights on school shopping and sports prep...

Thanks for visiting!

pleated poppy