May 31, 2011

Pin addiction

This is a confession.

I can't stop pinning.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, a bulletin board, if you will, for us computer junkies. Pinning means all my favorite ideas are happily tucked away inside my trusty laptop. No more torn magazine pictures littering my filing system. There's even an iPhone Pinterest app! What could be more fun?!!

Here's a teeny-tiny sampling of some of the lovely images I've tacked to my boards:

So, here's a formal invitation to find pretties for your very own pinboards! Click on the little red button {it will serve as your invitation}, then set up an account, and finally, grab your pin-it-button for your browser.

In case you aren't totally convinced, here's a little more eye-candy!

So, happy pinning! And please don't blame me if you find yourself afflicted with a similar pin addiction!

P.S. If you're not a design-junkie, know that among my fellow pinners you will find wildly creative crafters, photographers, chefs, art lovers and more!

May 18, 2011

Garden Love

While living in Denver, I worked for an incredible interior designer. Our shoppe was based out of the charming greenhouse on her grounds, overlooking her amazing gardens. Melinda introduced me to midnight gardens. Designed for twilight, or a full moon, such gardens features all white flowers and variegated foliage, which seem to glow after the sun sets itself. Illuminated by the stars themselves, these gardens are magical.

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I have imitated her midnight gardens. And her signature pony-tail. And a classic watch, worn daily. But back to the great outdoors . . .

A new favorite of mine is this lime green coleus. There are over one hundred varieties of coleus, but I think this is exhibition limelight. It is full, happy and seems to thrive on neglect. It has been growing steadily since early March, and while it should fade with the first frost, I'll gladly replace it next year. I don't mind container-gardening with annuals.

Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else? -Betsy Garmon

These limelight licorice plants are new to the garden. They are a mixture of pale grey-green and milky chartreuse. They survived a serious trampling by the tree-man who came and ground up our thirty-two stumps. The squirrels love to bury their treasures amidst these velvety leaves. Hardy to twenty degrees, I hope these endure. Arbor Gate is a long drive for more!

This is peacock ginger, a perennial, one of few plants here when we moved in. Self-spreading, but not obtrusive, these 10" leaves uncurl themselves to reveal tiny lavender flowers in the summer.

My sweet roses! They're giving me a hard time. Lost one a few weeks ago, and two more are looking questionable, but I love them. The sweet white blooms are breathtaking. Early spring and late fall weather bring out their best.

God made rainy days so that gardeners could get the housework done. -Author unknown

The happiest potato vine I've seen! It just grows and grows, meandering about, trailing over the rock edge. The lavender blooms are completely hidden, preferring the cool shade of the large gothic-hued leaves. Normally an annual, these returned this spring, a pleasant surprise!

Admittedly, it's hard to have a favorite in the garden, but this may be it. Escapade White Plumbago. These grow and grow, lasting well into the winter months. I had white blooms for Christmas last year!

Whirling Butterfly {Guara} also called Apple Blossom Grass . . . Aren't they darling? Guara is a sunlover, happy even in hot Texas sun. It's actually a Texas wildflower that has been propagated. There are multiple varieties, but I'm sucker for the white.

Be still my heart. I love these so. Agupanthus, or Lilies of the Nile, are simply delicious. These are about to explode, and I can hardly wait to see the enormous blossoms unfold!

The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. -George Bernard Shaw

Fox tail ferns are a staple in my book. I love them in mass plantings. They just get prettier and prettier, filling out over the years. Seems I grab about three more every time I visit Lowes!

I cannot recall the name of this tender plant. It was given to me by my mother, which makes me love it even more. Doesn't it look like a flower? It's a shrub, but all new growth on it is white. It then turns a pale green before maturing to dark kelly-green. I may have to go pick up one more {Arbor Gate, of course} just so I can figure out it's name!

So this is the small beginning of my midnight garden. I haven't heard any nightingales yet, but I'm just getting started!

I have reached the end of the woodland path. The overhead breeze returns, clearing the sky of clouds and revealing the bright July moon once more. The white flowers glow again, illuminating my way back towards the house. The garden has taken me in, subdued and seduced me for a moment of midnight, and as I leave it to its secret nocturnal activities, I am ready to sleep. The leaves close in behind me, the flowers nodding in whispered acquiescence, and the moon smiles sleepily on all. -Alan Ilagen

Summer List

May 16, 2011

Eat your greens!

Delicious, delicious, delicious. And easy!!

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes (Cooking Light)
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

*I omitted salt & pepper and didn't miss them!

May 03, 2011

Rapunzel & Moo-gene

Have you seen Tangled? We have. About ninety-nine times thus far. And it's a happy movie, so I'll gladly watch it again!

Cameron is a little bit obsessed with Rapunzel's big hair. She tells me she wants a "big yellow hay-uh from Target". It's in the mail, en route, and I can hardly wait for her to see the new Rapunzel dress-up wig her daddy found for her online.

In the mean time, she continues to rob every bathroom of it's much-needed toilet paper. She wraps it around a headband and happily dances about. I find myself frequently hollering from the loo, "Rapunzel, let down your hay-uh." She doesn't like to lend her locks to her mother, and doesn't consider theft of Charmin a punishment worthy crime.

Some days we settle for lots of beautiful ribbons. Lots and lots. Inspired by these lovely locks . . .

Can you see the resemblance?

Cameron's favorite part of the role-play is when big brother Ben assumes the role of Eugene, whom she calls Moo-gene. He's a plays her love interest with conviction, and always dresses the part.

I hope there's someone with Rapunzel hair or at least a Superman cape in your life this morning!
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