Avocado Tips and Tricks

love avocados.  I could live on sliced avocados on top of an avocado salad, with a side of guacamole!  And I’ve been eating them for 30 {ahem} some odd years!  But only recently did I find out some tips and tricks to making these delicious fruits even easier to eat!

Avocado Logo Square

I like to buy several avocados at a time, and then place a couple in a brown paper bag, next to some bananas on the counter.  This helps them ripen faster, and within a day or two, the firm avocados have become slightly soft when you gently squeeze them.  That is your first clue that they are ready to eat.

Avocado Tips and Tricks- Palmettos and Pigtails

The second tip to check ripeness is to pop off the little stem thingy {yes, that’s the technical term thankyouverymuch}.  If it’s greenish on the inside, then your avocado is ripe!  The trick with this though is to only pop off the stem if you’ve already checked the fruit for a little squishiness… because if you take the stem off and it’s still brownish, then you’ve used up that opportunity to check for ripeness.

Avocado Tips and Tricks- Palmettos and Pigtails

After slicing the avocado lengthwise, use a sharp knife {one that has a wide blade…no pairing knives} to “Hi-ya!” into the pit.  Again, another technical term.  You will hit the pit straight on with your life, hard enough that it sticks into the pit.

Avocado Tips and Tricks- Palmettos and Pigtails

Then gently twist the knife, and the pit will slide cleanly right out of the fruit.

Avocado Tips and Tricks- Palmettos and Pigtails

Then, if you want cube-ish pieces, draw a grid of lines with your knife through the flesh {be careful not to cut through the skin}.  If you are using the avocado to make guacamole, feel free to not cut a grid, but just scoop out the flesh into a bowl for mashing.

Avocado Tips and Tricks- Palmettos and Pigtails

Use a spoon to gently scoop around the edges of the flesh, scraping the inside of the skin…and all of the cube-ish pieces will come right out into your bowl.

Avocado Tips and Tricks- Palmettos and Pigtails

For avocado salad, add some mozzarella balls and tomatoes with a little white or balsamic vinegar.  My favorite healthy lunch!

I don’t have a photo, but if you are making guacamole, prepare it fully in your serving bowl, then take a piece of cling wrap and lay it directly onto of the guacamole.  Make sure all of the top of the guacamole is touching the cling wrap, ensuring that there is no air in between.  Seal off the guacamole all the way to the edges of the bowl and up the sides.  Then take a second piece of cling wrap and lay it over the top of the whole bowl.  Your guac shouldn’t turn brown, as long as there is no contact with air!

Enjoy!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

DIY Circle Picture Frames

One of my favorite projects in Lincoln’s nursery is the set of three circle picture frames I made for the wall above the rocking chair.  Although I would definitely say the room has more of a “vintage” theme {if any!}, there are also some nautical notes scattered here and there.  And I think the circle frames give a nod to that a bit by subtly mimicking portholes.  I’m even thinking about lining the edges with rope, perhaps.

DIY Round picture frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

The hardest part about this project for me, was picking out the scrapbook paper for the backgrounds, and choosing {only} three photos from Rachel Weber’s Newborn Photo Shoot.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Materials:

- 3 wooden circles {I actually got 6 of these and used wood glue to secure two together to make them a little thicker}

- 3 plexiglass sheets

- 3 sheets of scrapbook paper

- 3 five by seven photos

- Modge Podge and sponge

- 3 frame hangers

- 12 tacks

- sharpie

- Kobalt glass cutter and/or X-acto knife

- 150 grit sanding sponge

- measuring tape or ruler

- straightedge

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

If you want to make your circles a little thicker, use the wood glue to secure two together.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

 Put something heavy and flat on top and let glue dry completely.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Cover one side of your wooden circle with Modge Podge and secure your scrapbook paper to it.  Be sure that any imperfections in the wood are on the back, not under the scrapbook paper.  Use your X-acto knife to carefully trace around the circle to cut the paper.  I didn’t push down very hard, but rather gently cut around the edge several times, and you can see that the paper still ripped a bit on the edges…so be gentle!

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

I then covered the front of the circle {over the scrapbook paper} with Modge Podge to create a protective barrier, and give it a little shine.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Use some wood glue to secure a frame hanger to the back of the circles…make sure you position the hanger how you want your circle to hang.  My striped circle ended up being a little crooked, and it drives me crazy! {Dave assures me that no one will notice unless I point it out, so I’ll never tell you!}

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

The sheets of plexiglass that I got at Hobby Lobby were the bigger size above {not sure exactly what size they originally were}.  Use the sharpie to measure out a 5 1/2 X 7 1/2 rectangle.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Use your glass cutter or X-acto knife and the straightedge to score the plexiglass.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Gently cut over the lines three or four times.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

You should be able to use your straightedge to carefully break the plexiglass along the scored lines.  Be careful, as the edges will be rough.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Use the 150 grit sanding sponge to gently sand the edges of the plexiglass, only moving in one direction.  Also, be carefully to sand completely straight along the edge, so you don’t scratch the front of your glass.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Carefully position the plexiglass over your photo, taking care to be sure your photo will be straight when you hang your circle.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

I found that by gently sticking a tack on the edge of the circle, aligning it with where the center of my frame hanger was, helped me center my photo and plexiglass on the front of the circle.

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

Then use the tacks to secure the corners of the plexiglass.  This will allow you to change out the pictures as often as you’d like!

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Round Picture Frame tutorial for a vintage-themed baby nursery - Palmettos and Pigtails

And thanks to the Panoramic setting on my iPhone, here’s a picture of the whole room!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

Summer Recap 2014

Newborn Shoot by Rachel Weber Photography - Palmettos and Pigtails

It's official....the summer has yet again, flown by!  So today I thought I'd give you a quick recap of our summer in pictures! Millie graduated with honors from the 2 year old class at her pre-school...mastering the potty, recognizing the letters … [Continue reading...]

From Florida with Love: Saint Augustine

Recap of our Florida Vacation from Palmettos and  Pigtails

Our last stop in our roundabout tour of Florida {to visit the grandparents}, was to the quaint old town of Saint Augustine, just south of Jacksonville. We obviously needed a break from all of that relaxing in Saint George Island....so we packed as … [Continue reading...]

September 2014 Cleaning Calendar

September 2014 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

Good morning!  There is just something about September that makes me want to break out my boots and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Even though it's still 104 degrees outside!  Dave and I have had many discussions lately about decluttering and … [Continue reading...]

From Florida with Love: Saint George Island

Recap of our Florida Vacation from Palmettos and  Pigtails

So, I may be kicked out of the family for saying this, but my in-laws are crazy.  I love them dearly, but they are absolutely nuts.   After moving only once in the past 9 years...I can safely say that I find it to be extremely stressful and a huge … [Continue reading...]

Montreat 2014

Montreat, North Carolina

My favorite summer tradition is going to Montreat, NC.  This tiny college town on the edge of Black Mountain and about 20 minutes northeast of Asheville is my Mecca.  Each summer the kids and I trek there to meet our oldest and bestest friends from … [Continue reading...]

Hold Me Close Nursing Cover and Infinity Scarf

Hold Me Close Nursing Scarf Review from Palmettos and Pigtails

*I was given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.   As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own! Back when I was coordinating all the the Etsy vendors for my Big Baby Giveaway, I stumbled upon Hold … [Continue reading...]

Five Years of of First Days

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for Jayna.  She started kindergarten this year, at "Big School."  Also known as the local Elementary school....but we've been calling it "Big School" for years now to differentiate it from the preschool she went … [Continue reading...]

{From the Archives} School Lunch Ideas

School Lunch Ideas from Palmettos and Pigtails

This is an oldie, but goodie!  My school lunch ideas round-up has been one of my most popular posts ever!  So I thought I'd repost it for you with a couple of new ideas at the bottom too! AND...Don't forger that I have a giveaway going this week … [Continue reading...]