Backyard Bird Feeder – Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder

Backyard Bird Feeder – Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder

    Remember the little backyard bird feeder – DIY teacup bird feeder which I made a couple of years ago?   So many birds have stopped to eat the black oiler sunflower seeds and I have captured many in pictures.  Last week, a big fat pesky squirrel jumping from the magnolia tree to the teacup feeder knocked it off the pole.  In the garden, just like life, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - Cardinal on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The teacup was not broken.  So, I placed it on the deck railing and actually got to enjoy seeing more of the birds!  Right off the kitchen, the teacup on the deck rail is more visible than when it was right beside the patio.  This shot was taken from the kitchen window.  The pair of cardinals is a little bit more wary than the finches.

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - purple finch and female cardinal  on MyHumblehomeandGarden.com

 

   A  pair of purple finches has been using the cup of sunflower seeds to feed their babies.  They have three.  They don’t seem to be too bothered when we are quietly sitting around the table on the deck.  A sudden movement will send them away with a start but it doesn’t take long before they are back.

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The Blue Jays are the first I have seen here in quite awhile.  I love seeing these beautiful birds.  After making some corn hole bags for the boys game, there was some corn left over.  We put some in the teacup feeder and the Blue Jays showed up shortly.  Do you think it was the corn that drew them?  We have never seen them on the feeder with just the sunflower seeds.


Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - Blue Jay on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com   

   A mourning dove has also been visiting.

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - Mourning Dove on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   These tufted titmouse birds have also been seen on the feeder.  I love their big round black eyes!  They are really flighty and it has been difficult to get a good picture of any of them.  One little fellow keeps hanging on the window screen trying to get into the house.

Backyard Bird Feeder - Make Your Own Teacup Bird Feeder - tufted titmouse on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The grandkids have enjoyed seeing them, too.  Sitting on the deck and watching the birds, Sophia drew a picture of one of the purple finches.  

    The directions for the DIY teacup bird feeder are easy to follow.  I’ll be making another one!  If you don’t want to attach it to a pole, though, maybe you should consider gluing a cup to a saucer and just placing it on your deck rail!   The backyard bird feeder has been an enjoyable and learning experience, too, for the whole family.

Backyard Bird Feeder DIY Teacup Bird Feeder on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

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Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated

  Cheap plastic pots elevated?  Yes, by adding some paint, these cheap plastic pots look pretty good, don’t they?  By placing them on top of the soil in larger pots, they are actually elevated, too.

   The two large pots on the front porch looked like they needed some height. The spike plant, or Dracaena, have been used in the past to create height.  This year though, I decided to take smaller versions of the cheap plastic pots straight from the nursery, paint them to coordinate with the large pots and stack them for added height, ‘elevating’ them. 

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The first thing I did was wash and dry the cheap plastic pots.  Since the pots in the front were a light color, I chose a Plaster color of Waverly chalk paint.  You will notice I taped off about 1-inch at the bottom of the pot.  Whether it makes any sense or not, I knew the pot was going to be sitting in soil and thought it wouldn’t show after the flowers grew and the painted part wouldn’t be sitting in the soil.  It might not affect the paint since three coats of outdoor varnish were going to be applied but why take a chance?

   Two coats of the chalk paint were applied to the clean plastic pots.  Remember the cheap plastic pots I painted a couple of years ago?   Well, believe it or not, last fall I was watching grandkids a lot.  Our house is not set up to allow a toddler free range.  Memphis’ feet hit the ground running with reckless abandon.  Needless to say, some of my gardening chores did not get done.

   One of those chores was emptying and storing pots.  Those poor cheap plastic pots stayed outside all winter in the elements.  You would think that the paint would be peeling and they would not look too hot.  Nope, they really still look good!  Hopefully, this fall affords me a little more time for fall chores.

   Anyway, after two coats of the plaster colored paint had dried, I stenciled a design on the outside of the pot with chalk paint in a ‘Truffle’ color of Waverly paint.  That pot looked pretty bright and clean, unlike the pots in the front.  

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   To age it slightly, I used a wash of small amounts of the Truffle colored paint and water.  Paint was allowed to puddle slightly along the edge where there is a little indentation, as you can see.   The picture of the pot below looks a little lime green around the curved edge of the top rim.  We bought two lime green umbrellas for the deck and patio.  When the sun is shining, things on the table have that green cast.

 

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The paint wash was allowed to dry.  That happened quickly in the sun on this beautiful day.  Then, the painter’s tape was removed from the bottom of the pot.  

   Three coats of Delta satin exterior/interior varnish were applied, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.  (We are an affiliate of Amazon.  If you purchase from this link, we will receive a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this site.)

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   That little strip of terra cotta color at the bottom looks pretty good, doesn’t it?  I kind of like it, even though it won’t really show as the Wave petunias fill in around them.  Each of the pots was filled with a layer of rock, potting soil, and a ‘Morning Star Calibrachoa’ placed in the center of each one of the large pots. 

Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com   

   Some rooting medium mixed with water was sprinkled on the soil around the newly potted plants for an extra boost for growth.  While the painted pot doesn’t match exactly, it blends in pretty well.  Soon, flowers will fill the pots and it should look great.  Cheap Plastic Pots Elevated, who knew?

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Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes

Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes

Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes seemed the perfect dessert for Emily’s birthday celebration.  She had sent me a picture and recipe for a “frosted animal cookie cheesecake” awhile back.  Frankly, it was not pretty.  In fact, it looked like a mess.  The concept was not a bad one but the implementation of it was not good.

I responded to her post,  “That does not even look appetizing.”

A few weeks later, she sent a picture of another “frosted animals cookie cheesecake”, which was well done and looked quite pretty.  Alright, at this point, I realized Emily wanted a “frosted animal cookie cheesecake”.

Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Don’t you love those cookies?  They are just shortbread cookies with pink or white icing and sprinkles but I have to admit I really like them myself.  Remember the shortbread cookies I made earlier?  The family loved those cookies as simple as they are.  Maybe I need to make those again, only smaller and add icing and sprinkles to create a homemade version.Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Anyway, the idea of a cheesecake made from those iced cookies actually seemed a little over the top and would almost assuredly be bordering on sugar overload!  My thought was mini cheesecakes would be perfect while a whole piece of cheesecake would be a bit overwhelming.  Mini desserts are such a great idea because you can enjoy the taste in a small dose without over indulging.

I did a little research to figure out how these cookies were used exactly.  The cookie crumbs, of course, were used for the crust.  Some of the cookies were coarsely chopped and added to the top of the baked crust.  Additional crumbs were added to the batter just before pouring into the pan.Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

With that information and my favorite base recipe for mini cheesecakes, this recipe was created.

 


Frosted Animals Cookie Mini Cheesecakes

Preheat oven to 325°

Crust

1- 1/2 cup Frosted Animal Cookie crumbs

3 Tblsp. melted butter

   Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a small bowl.

Lightly coat the tins with non-stick cooking spray.  Combine the cookie crumbs and the melted butter in a small glass bowl.  Put 1-1/2 teaspoons of the mixture into each of 18 little tins.   Press down firmly with a wooden mini tart shaper, or a shot glass works well, too.

 

Bake the little crusts for about 10 minutes in the 325° oven.  

Tip** Place a sheet pan on the rack underneath the mini cheesecake pan.  Butter does tend to leak out of the bottoms, which could create a smoky mess on your oven floor.

Remove and cool on a baking rack while you prepare the cheesecake.

►Turn the oven down to 300°.

Tip*** Forgot to set the block of cream cheese out to soften?   Don’t worry!  To soften cream cheese, completely unwrap the package of cream cheese and place in a glass bowl.   Microwave on high for 10 seconds just until softened.

Cheesecake Filling

2 – (8-ounce) blocks of softened Cream Cheese

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup of heavy cream

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup chopped frosted animal cookies, dividedFrosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Add the sugar and the salt, and completely mix.  Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes

    Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in the heavy cream and the vanilla.Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    Fold in 1/2 cup of the chopped animal cookies.  Stir just until combined so the color from the sprinkles doesn’t bleed into the batter too much.Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

    Divide the remaining 1/2 cup of the chopped animals cookies and sprinkle on top of the crusts in the mini cheesecake cups.

     Pour the batter on top of the crusts and fill almost to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 300° oven.

 Remove from the oven and cool on wire baking rack.

Remove each from the pan and place in a covered platter or dish.  Chill for at least two hours.

These mini cheesecake pans make such cute little desserts and they work perfectly!  Two of these pans were used for this recipe but only 18 of the cups were needed.  (If you purchase from this Amazon affiliate link, we will receive a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting our website!)Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   When the little cheesecakes have cooled for at least 2 hours or overnight, make the white chocolate ganache.

 

White Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup white chocolate chips.

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Pink gel icing color

Sprinkles

Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

4 Tblsp. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Ganache:

    Place the white chocolate chips in a small heatproof glass bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to come to a boil.  (You can also heat the cream in the microwave. Bring the chocolate just to a boil but watch carefully!)

   Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate chips in the glass bowl and allow to sit for a minute.  Whisk until smooth.  Add some of the pink gel food coloring to desired depth of color.

   Spoon the ganache over the mini cheesecakes and spread evenly over the tops before serving.Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Whipped Cream:

   In a medium bowl, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and the vanilla extract.  Whip on high until stiff peaks form.  Pipe onto the tops of the mini cheesecakes and garnish with frosted animal cookies and additional sprinkles.


So, I was wrong.  These were really tasty!  My fear of them being almost unbearably sweet was for naught.  These just might be one of my favorite mini desserts!

Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

These look really appetizing, too, don’t they?  After all, you eat with your eyes first!  Presentation is everything!  Frosted Animals Cookie Mini Cheesecakes, aren’t they adorable?

Frosted Animal Cookie Mini Cheesecakes on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

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Delicious Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting

     This Delicious Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting will definitely impress your guests!                                              

Delicious Carrot Cake!

  Preheatoven to 350º

2 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour      

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 Tblsp. vanilla extract

3 cups lightly packed shredded carrots

1 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup golden raisins

1 can (8 – 1/2 oz) crushed pineapple in juice

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

 

   Line the bottom of two round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

   In a large bowl, with the mixer, beat eggs until blended.  Gradually add sugar, then brown sugar; beat 2 minutes, frequently scraping the bowl with rubber spatula.

 Beat in oil and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat about 1 minute, until smooth, frequently scraping the bowl.

   Fold in carrots, walnuts, raisins and pineapple with juice.

   Pour batter into pans. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake, comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs attached.  Cool cake completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting, (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

8 Tblsp. unsalted butter softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

   In a large bowl, with mixer on low speed, blend the butter and cream cheese together.  

Whip for 8 minutes.

 Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until blended.

 Add the vanilla and blend, then increase speed to medium.

 Beat 1 minute, or until smooth and fluffy.

 

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Print Recipe
Delicious Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting
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Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Carrot Cake - Moist Delicious!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Carrot Cake - Moist Delicious!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Delicious Carrot cake on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com
Instructions
Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350º Line the bottom of two round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, with the mixer, beat eggs until blended. Gradually add sugar, then brown sugar; beat 2 minutes, frequently scraping the bowl with rubber spatula.
  4. Beat in oil and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat about 1 minute, until smooth, frequently scraping the bowl.
  5. Fold in carrots, walnuts, raisins and pineapple with juice.
  6. Pour batter into pans. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake, comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool cake completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting, (recipe below).
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, with mixer on low speed, blend the butter and cream cheese together. Whip for 8 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until blended. Add the vanilla and blend, then increase speed to medium. Beat 1 minute, or until smooth and fluffy.
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Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration

May 4, 2017

  Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration are in my thoughts at this time of year.  I can’t believe the first few days of May are here and the flowers in the garden are blooming!  Yes, you will probably see roses blooming this early at the local nurseries, but in the garden?  This is the first time I can remember having roses this early!
Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

 

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   These pastel irises are blooming now, too!  You can see the deeper purple irises behind them.  I love the combination of the pale periwinkle blue iris alongside the deeper purple irises.

 

   This past weekend, Dave and I ventured out to one of the local nurseries, Kinman Farms in Burlington, Ky.,  for some garden inspiration.  When we first walked into the greenhouse, I immediately noticed this lime green colored plant.  I had never seen it before.

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   ‘Limelight’ Helichrysum Petiolare, have you ever seen or grown these before?  They were so striking potted with these ‘Amore Queen of Hearts’ petunias.  Look at those petunias!  They do look like little hearts all around the petal edge, don’t they?Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The Helichrysum, also known as “Licorice Plant” is a low grower, only 6 – 8 inches tall, and spreads to about 12 – inches. This is actually a tender perennial evergreen shrub, but it is usually treated as an annual.   The tag indicated they like full sun.  A little investigating concluded that these plants also benefits from being cut back a few times over the summer, which encourages new growth.

Amore Queen of Hearts Petunia, and Deep Purple Calibrachoa on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com


Nemesia, is perfect for planting in hanging pots, in containers, and even planting as a low border.  Aren’t these adorable?  They look like tiny Snapdragons.  Nemesia grows 6 – 10 inches high and spread 8 – 12 inches wide.  They bloom spring through fall.

Nemesia, mini-snapdragon shaped flowers on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   In stark contrast, these purple petunias looked so pretty nestled among the ‘Cascadias Indian Summer Petunia’ at the nursery.  The Cascadia Indian Summer Petunia opens a bright yellow or orange and matures to a Salmon pink color.  You can see the variety of color on these in the picture below.  The velvety blossoms are lightly ruffled.  This is a mounding, trailing petunia and it is self-cleaning!  Don’t you love that?

Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The contrast of the deep purple with these Cascadias Indian Summer Petunia was beautiful, but the idea of adding the Deep Purple Calibrachoa seemed like a good choice.  I liked the idea of having the miniature flowers in contrast to the larger petunias and bought a few of those.

 

   This gorgeous “Starsister Yellow Stripes” dahlia looked like it needed to be photographed!   What better way to photograph it than as it’s growing in my garden all summer long?  So, this little beauty came home with us, too.  This one is supposed to grow 12 -24 inches tall and about 15 inches wide.  This little plant looks healthy and has lots of buds on it.Yellow Striped Dahlia - Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Three little Ranunculus made their way onto our cart, too.  The three are just so beautiful in bright yellow, red orange, and pink.  These have multiple layers of crepe paper thin petals.  I couldn’t resist!  These need part shade so I’m thinking they will be planted in some pots, too.
    Having had no experience with these flowers, I am going to have to do a little research.  It seems the Ranunculus like cooler weather and doesn’t like wet soil.  So, pots would probably be the best home for these.

Spring Gardening Ideas And Color Inspiration - Ranunculus on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   These beautiful pink and white verbena caught my eye.  I love the little blue Lobelia flowers with the pink petunias, too.  Not exactly sure where these will end up, but I love this combination.

Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   Back to our flowering plants right now, the Azalea have been blooming and are almost done.  They made a beautiful show this year though.    

Azalea - Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   The rhododendron has just begun to bloom.  It is loaded with buds this year.  It looks like such a tropical flower doesn’t it?  

   These bushes are striking from the street at a distance, especially when they are loaded with blossoms.  But, seriously, look how beautiful they are up close!

 

Rhododendron - Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

   It has been a very busy past few weeks with family and other commitments but the time for gardening is right now.  These little beauties need to be planted and we will definitely be needing another trip to the local nursery.  I love this time of year!

Spring Gardening Ideas and Color Inspiration on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

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