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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A New Website to Check-out

Hi everyone,

I have found a great website with some very cool items called Cachette, it is a French website that does ship internationally very reasonably.  You can view it here:  Cachette.  Here are a few things I think are pretty neat.

Basket with small handles


Handmade Stoneware Jug
Handmade in Provence, South of France by a Manufacturer who has been firing clay into objects since 1857.  It is a contrast between a chalky white and a glossy texture.  Because I collect creamers and jugs, this one fit in nicely with my collection so I purchased it.
Large galvanized S hooks
100% Linen Pillowcases that can be purchased in 18 different colors.
Oyster Baskets
Storage Bags in Painted Linen with three colors to choose from.
Wire Word of your Choice.
I'm thinking of getting this with letters that spell out OUI



I think this is a fun website with lots of interesting and different items to look at.

I hope everyone is staying cool in this hot humid weather.  Just walking around outside this time of year in Florida will make you sweat!  LOL

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lazy June Days

Hi Everyone,

It's sure been H~O~T here.  For the past couple mornings, around 6:00 a.m. we awake to a 2-3 minute downpour and then sunshine and H~E~A~T the rest of the day.  Not enough water to give the plants a good drink. So, we water, and water, and water.  Already my plants could use a good pruning and some have already had that done. They are almost top heavy!!  But I take pride in the colors of the garden that is in the front of the house and also pride in the garden in the back which receives morning sun and shade the rest of the day.  I've taken a few photos of the back garden that has my ferns, gardenias, and hydrangeas.  I've added a few annuals to give the garden some pops of color.

Hydrangeas, and my Jasmine that I just transplanted and tied to the white trellis

My Asparagus and Boston Ferns

Another shot from the opposite end of the garden





I am truly amazed that the ferns even grew back because of the two freezes we had this winter but they surprised me with their hardiness.  Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me!

I did manage to make a batch of dark chocolate Brownies for Husband today to celebrate Fathers Day.  I hope all the dads out there were remembered and had a special day with their children!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer has arrived!

Happy Memorial Day and a big thank you to all of our veterans who have served our country throughout the years.  As we enjoy this three day weekend, we should pause to remember their sacrifices which has ensured our freedom.



I don't know about you, but it has been really H~O~T here!  It has already been in the low 90's and the humidity is at 100%.  It makes for a most uncomfortable morning and evening walk!

I've been working in my garden doing the usual weeding and cutting back some of my plants that have grown so large they are taking over the garden.  I spent the better part of yesterday washing the front porch down while husband edged around our flower garden (we like a natural edge and that means that at least once a month we have to show the weeds who's boss LOL).  While husband was edging,  I took a tumble off the ladder and ended up in my flower garden.  Thankfully, I was  lucky and escaped with only a few minor scratches and bruises on my arm.  The fact that I didn't break any bones is amazing to me!  LOL  I did have to remove some damaged stalks from my flowers though which made me extremely unhappy!  :-(.

I do have an exciting new website to share with all of you.  For all of you who love to cook and are interested in new and different recipes as well as in quirky and helpful kitchen tools Provisions 52 is wonderful!  This link is specifically for their shop   Food 52  and this one  Food 52 Recipes  for recipes.  You can send in your recipes to share and they have contests for the best recipes.  I recently tried one of their recipes for Cheddar & Black Pepper Cornbread by Vera Obias and it was wonderful.  You can find the recipe here:  Vera Obias' Cheddar and Black Pepper Cornbread.  It has a sweet and yet salty taste which complements the cornbread.  Sugar is added to the batter and sea salt and pepper sprinkled on top of the batter which has been brushed with heavy cream.  This is not a lo-cal recipe  LOL!


You can find the recipe here'
Vera Obis' Cheddar & Black Pepper Cornbread
I also found many great kitchen items in their shop and hope you enjoy the peek I offer through these images.

A wooden biscuit cutter that comes in different sizes

Beautiful Stoneware vases

Who doesn't love white linen napkins?

Great for adding your own hand soap and to give your kitchen a vintage look.


Salt and Pepper cellars ( I love the anchors inside)

Cake toppings for holidays

I purchased this print taken from a image that is over 100 years old.  It is dated 1890 and is attributed to the Cafe' Anglais in Versailles, France.  Among  the dishes offered on the menu, is Poulet Marengo, a chicken dish created in 1880 for Napoleon when he defeated the Austrians on the battle field at Marengo in Italy.   The Emperor of France then considered it his "lucky dish". 
Here it is framed and hanging in my kitchen.
If you have a chance, do check out this website, I found the recipe website full of interesting and different recipes, something a bit different than the usual fare.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Memory Lane

Gosh,  I'm so sorry that it's been such a long time since I did a post but I was busy preparing for a visit from my girlfriend from high school.  Yes, you heard me right, a girlfriend from high school.  It has been at least 40 years since we have seen each other and the excitement of seeing her again took precedent over anything else.

The two of us on the Pier

We could sure tell you some stories but girls gotta have some secrets.   We might have had a few secrets but not very many because we sure couldn't pull the wool over her mom's eyes. LOL  We had a curfew of 11:00 p.m. and her mom always waited up for us when we went out on Saturday night.  One interesting fact was that husband and I introduced them.  My husband and her husband grew up in the same neighborhood and her husband was in a class at college with my husband so my husband brought him home and I invited her to meet him.  They dated and married and have been married almost as long as we have!  So, her husband and mine have a lot in common just like my girlfriend and I had.

We did some "retail therapy" shopping at the outlet mall in Destin,  about an hour from here.  We spent most of the day there.  From there we went out to dinner at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.
We started out the next morning with breakfast at The Egg and I (which served us the best breakfast ever). We also took a stroll along the Pier overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and stopped by Starbucks just in time to hear a young jazz musician playing a saxophone ( my favorite instrument) outside.  It seems they had had a jazz festival last weekend and on Sunday he had set up in an area and was playing outside for all the world to hear (and I might add he was really good).

When we weren't talking in between trips to the various places we went , we stayed well up into the night...we had a lot of reminiscing to do and not a lot of time to get through it all (but try as we might, we didn't quite get through it all.  After all, it had been almost 40 years!!)  The husbands went to bed not the least bit interested in our conversation.  Hah   All in all,  even though our visit was a short one we had a wonderful time and vowed to continue to text, call and visit and I hope we see each other again real soon.  Below are a few photos we took while they were here:


Girlfriend and Husband  

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville


The view from the Pier
The weather was picture perfect the whole weekend while they were here and they left just in time avoiding the torrential downpour we had for 4 days dumping 7 some odd inches of rain.  We were  fortunate but the people in Pensacola didn't fare well and were flooded.  They got 20" of rain within 26 hours.  (Pensacola is 2 hours from here).  The rain washed away entire streets, and houses were filled with mud and water.  My heart goes out to people there as it will be a long time before things become normal for them.

Well, that's it for this post.  The weather here for the next 6 days is supposed to be sunny and h~o~t a welcome change from all that rain!  Enjoy the weekend.  :-)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter Everyone

Hi,

Hope all of you are having an enjoyable spring.  I've been busy planting flowers and awaiting a shipment of Ranunculus bulbs to plant.  I ordered some 20 pink and 20 white and they came today all the way from The Netherlands so I will be planting them tomorrow in groupings.  In case you are unfamiliar with Ranunculus I found this lovely image via Google to show you what they look like.  If I plant them now they will flower in late May and June (hopefully, if I do everything right).

Aren't they gorgeous!
We purchased some bird feed and have been enjoying the native birds of Florida that visit to feed.  My, I've seen such gorgeous birds.  Try as I might,  it is hard to capture them in photos because as soon as I see them from my kitchen window, grab my camera, open my kitchen back door ever so quietly, aim my camera they have already flown away.  Anyway, husband has done a marvelous job of getting a few snaps of some of them and I might add very good shots!  I've a few to share with you.

Mr. Blue Jay is a regular feeder now and I have just noticed Cardinals and Yellow Finches too.















This lil guy is hard to capture and husband was able to get him from behind.  HAH!  It is a woodpecker!  Such a beautiful bird.
Did you know that Yellow Finches (tiny birds with a bright yellow breast) lose the bright yellow color in the summer? Yep, you wouldn't know what type of bird you were looking at except for a bit of yellow still in-between their wings.

It rained all of last night and all day today and when all is said and done we were to be blessed with  2-4 inches of rain before it stops tonight but tomorrow and Easter Sunday will be glorious and sunny!

I want to wish all of you a very wonderful and happy Easter and if you have kids or grandkids, watch out for the candy that will be calling your name!  Hah.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter Granola


I have found the ultimate recipe for homemade Peanut Butter Granola.  It's so easy and makes a great nutritious snack for not only the kids but adults as well.  I've added a few extra ingredients to this recipe and the next time plan to add a few more.

Here is the basic recipe:

2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats (not quick serve)

1/4 Cups Creamy Peanut Butter (I wondered if Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter would work and I think I will try it the next time)

1/4 Cups Honey

2 Tablespoons packed light-brown sugar








Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Pour oats into a mixing bowl, set aside (I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and two handfuls of dried cherries and cranberries to the oats). In a microwave safe mixing bowl (or it can be melted in a saucepan), combine peanut butter, honey, and brown sugar and heat mixture in microwave or pan until runny and smooth, about 25 seconds. Pour mixture over oats in mixing bowl and toss mixture with a spatula until evenly coated.


Spread mixture onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet into an even layer and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, 18-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking.  I inadvertently skipped stirring halfway through) Allow to cool completely (it won't be crunchy until it cools) and store in an airtight container.



It is delicious!!  I broke my granola by hand into small bite size pieces.  This is a great recipe and I think next time I will add some pecans and maybe some coconut.

Bon Appetit!

Here are some photos I took recently with and without the Waterlogue app.  I hope you enjoy them!


Photo I took
Painted in Waterlogue

Painted in Waterlogue

Photo I Took
Painted in Waterlogue

Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflections on Last Week

Since my last post, I have had a cold which threw me for a loop!  As colds go it started out with me being achy and tired... and because it has been 2 years since my last cold I had forgotten how my body reacts to one.  But, after the aches came the congestion, nose blowing and the overall feeling of fatigue.  I knew then I was going to be s~i~c~k, and I was for about 5 days.  I'm feeling much better now but still a bit on the run down side.  I'm not one to give in to colds, so I tried to continue doing my gardening, going for my morning and afternoon walks and cleaning.  Soon though I was praying for a rainy day so that I could sleep in and not feel guilty about it.  LOL

During my "sick" week I

Planted some Jasmine

More Jasmine

Close up

Same photo painted in Waterlogue

I always find time to play with Waterlogue!


I helped husband put cedar mulch in my fern garden which now has Gardenias, and hydrangeas added to it.



And, I was extremely excited to see my asparagus fern and my other fronds shooting up from the ground.  After the cold winter (for here) I was very concerned about them because even though I covered them with a blanket we had two freezes where it rained first and then turned to ice and snow and I could not protect them.

So pretty!


My "babies"
I must admit that I do "baby" my plants and feed them regularly with hubby's help.  I try to keep the leaves from getting around them but as you can see it is isn't working to well as tree leaves are constantly falling on my back garden.  Sigh...

To reward hubby for all his hard work I also made homemade Macaroni Salad


YUM
And I made some Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Coconut cookies and added some dried cherries and my special ingredient...which I didn't even tell husband about.  LOL  I also shared these with (3) of my elderly neighbors, Dot who is 81 years old, a widow, and still drives a car, Mr. W, who is in his late 70's and can be found on the pier of any neighbor along the Bay fishing, and Mr. and Mrs. K, in their 70's and late 80's.  Mr. K can be found on his bicycle everyday but Wednesday picking up cans from various places for his church.  The church use the money to help the homeless and people in need.

So many of our neighbors have lived here all of their lives (some in upwards of 60 years) and are in their late 80's.  Mr. S turned 89 today and was out raking his yard as we see him do nearly everyday.  He is a spry small man with a remarkable smile that makes me smile every time he smiles and Mr B who is also 89 and can usually be found on his tractor preparing his garden for summer or mowing his yard.  These are amazing people and I hope that I can be as productive as they are when I am their age. Its funny to hear them talk about how lovely the day is and how lucky they feel to be able to get out of bed and how they give God a big thank you for it!

We also hung a handmade metal fish made in Haiti on our back patio wall to add some extra color.

I love this!!!

And here it is painted in Waterlogue



Well,  I ended the week with purchasing some tulips for myself.  I do love them so much and they also bring a big smile on my face when I look at them.  So, I'm sharing them with you along with another photo I took painted in Waterlogue.



One of my favorite photos.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and that spring has finally brought all of you in the East/Northeast and Midwest some nice warm weather!
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Panama City, Florida