Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sofa Slipcovers Made From Drop Cloths

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When I was growing up in the 1970s my sisters and I played in every room of our house — especially the living room.

With four girls running from room-to-room then plopping on the sofa at the end of each chase, we put a lot of wear on the comfiest piece of furniture in our house.

Mom said our home was lived in — no museum care taking or plastic covers over our green floral couch.  She was easy-going about things like that.

Of course back then when we were making forts in the living room with cushions, Mom didn’t know washable canvas slip covers could be sewn from painter’s drop cloths or I’m pretty sure she would have made them.

Now that I have my family, I know how much work it is to keep our home looking tidy. We like to lounge, watch movies, eat buttery popcorn, read and wrestle with the dog on our couch, too. Or as my grandma used to call it… the davenport.

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Save Time With Early Morning Freezer Pancakes


The other morning before school my two teenagers notified me they had nothing to eat for breakfast. Well, we had oat and nut cereal, fresh fruit, and yogurt but that’s not what they had in mind, nor the usual fare they prefer. I had forgotten to pick up frozen waffles when I was at the grocery store. But we did have a half bag of multigrain pancake mix in the cupboard I had been meaning to use up. So I made a bowl of batter and “magically” whipped up two plates of warm flapjacks they devoured before skipping walking off to the bus stop.

With quite a bit of batter left I went ahead and made the rest and decided to freeze them. I’ve never frozen pancakes  Continue reading

Some of My Favorite Thrifty Finds

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I love the thrill of a good thrifted find. Some of my favorites have been picked up during a quick drop into Goodwill or a garage sale while running errands. It’s fun to change out accessories on tabletops and shelves when the mood strikes, so I’m always on the lookout for unique and inexpensive things I can rotate in a vignette.  And it’s amazing how a $2 bauble can make a room feel like new… much easier than rearranging furniture.  Cheaper than a maid, too!  (Not that I have one, or that there’s anything wrong with having one.) I’ve been inspired to clean our whole house just by plopping down a used tiny statuette in the middle of the coffee table.

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Vegetable Lasagna Alfredo

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This delicious lasagna is one of my favorites — hearty, packed with veggies, and loaded with savory cheese. It’s also easy to prepare a large batch the day before a big gathering then bake when you are ready. Lasagna is also great for those busy weeks when you need to get a lot of mileage out of cooking time. I cut leftovers into serving squares, wrap in cellophane and freeze. When the kids need a quick snack or meal they can simply uncover and reheat in the microwave.

Vegetable Lasagna Alfredo

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 – 6 oz bag fresh baby spinach leaves
6-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 – 15 oz. jar Bertolli Alfredo Sauce Light
1 – 15 oz. jar Bertolli Garlic Alfredo Sauce
2 – 9 oz boxes Oven-Ready Lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 – 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 – 8 oz bag of shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

In medium sized pan sauté garlic, crushed red pepper, onions, bell pepper, and carrots in olive oil until onions are transparent. Add bag of spinach leaves and basil, continue sauteeing until wilted. Turn off stove and set aside to cool slightly.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine both jars of Alfredo sauce together in a mixing bowl. Ladle a large spoonful of sauce across the bottom of a 10 x 14 baking dish then layer with uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread ricotta cheese over the noodles and half the cooked vegetables. Top with 1/3 of shredded cheese. Add next layer of noodles and cover with sauce to cover then repeat with ricotta, vegetables and 1/3 shredded cheese. Top with final layer of noodles, cover with sauce and the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top and place on a sheet pan (to catch any bubbling). Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly brown on top. Allow dish to rest 15 minutes, slice into squares and serve. 


Fall-ish Begins & Best of The Blog August 2014

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day friends!  It’s hard to believe summer vacation is over and the fall-ish season begins. Of course summer is still here according to the calendar, so let’s enjoy every bit of it until the cooler weather settles in (at least here in Michigan) and the calendar officially changes.

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Today is the first day of school for the boys and they were ready-to-go, however I think they would take a few more weeks of sleeping in and hanging out if offered. Summer break was short this year. Our fall calendar has already filled up, too, with sports dates, apple festivals and craft fairs. I’m kind of excited about all the traditional stuff that goes on over the next few months. What are your favorite September traditions?

There were some great recipes and other fun posts in August. In case you missed any, here’s the round-up: The Best of Modern Hen Home – August 2014.  Once you click on the link, scroll down to see each day’s posting. Reader’s favorites for August were:

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding #5Frozen Yogurt Bananas

photo 2Baked Brie With Jezebel Peaches

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Fried Green Tomatoes With Spicy Northern Beans

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10 Lovely Chalkboard Ideas

Photos from Pinterest

Photos from Pinterest

I hope you have the best September ever! Thanks for stopping by!


10 Lovely Things: Sweet Shop Party Ideas

I recently went to a family celebration and was intrigued by the host’s unique way of thanking guests for attending by offering a beautifully decorated candy table.  Large glass jars and huge bowls were filled with an assortment of popular old-fashioned and current sweets. Gorgeous vases were brimming with colorful hard candies, chocolates, and licorices. There was something special for just about everyone to enjoy!

The whole experience reminded me of my childhood and the penny candy store I used to ride my bike to visit. I couldn’t wait for the cashier to fill a brown paper bag to the top with pieces of my favorite candies from inside the glass case.  My mouth waters just thinking about it!


Dum Dums looking regal in a tall and fancy glass.

Anywhoo… back to the real world and a little Pinterest sweet shop party idea inspiration! At this particular event the kids went crazy filling pink and white striped bags with silver scoops of sugary, edible souvenirs.  Even the adults got into it and grabbed a bag or two for filling up. It was so much fun choosing whatever I liked, but just as much fun watching guests smile, laugh, oooh and aaah while handpicking their favorites.

I remember getting swirled lollipops like these as a gift or on special occasions when I was a kid. They remind me of the game Candy Land and the movie “The Wizard of Oz” with scenes of the Munchkins and the yellow brick road.

The retro and old-fashioned motifs are sheer fun and I love how they attract the mature guests as well as the little ones. Many of the guests at the party were excited to find candies they hadn’t seen since their youth, and the younger kids were intrigued with seeing some of them for their first time.

imageThis photo reminds me of a 1950’s soda shop and is a great idea for an ice cream social.



Colorful cake and marshmallow “suckers” rolled in sparkly sugar and confetti sprinkles make for delicious treats and look so beautiful on a table.


I think most young girls who would love to open a gift box with a candy necklace or receive a jewelry tree filled with strands of them, too!

I love this fireman theme. It could easily be adapted to a farmer or favorite character from a children’s book or movie.


Such a pretty display of colorful confectionary and clever use of glass containers, bowls and covered cake display. So fun!

With the variety of candies and beautiful apothecary jars available, along with the invention of Pinterest, my imagination runs wild with candy shop party idea possibilities! How about you?



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