Monday, August 31, 2009

It All Started In A Dixie Cup....

Ok....just a few more horus and it will officially be September! I thought this was a very appropriate post for the last day of the month. As you know, I have grown so many things for the first time in my life from little packets of seed! Who knew? I walk around my garden and I am just constantly amazed at what has grown from those little seeds we sowed after Mother's Day. little boy Jackson brought home a little seedling in a dixie cup on the last day of school June 14th. I had already planted so many sunflowers...did I really need one more? For a brief moment I though about just tossing it (I terribel!)...but a few days later he went out and planted it with his Dad at the end of another row of sunflowers.....

I'm here to tell you that this is no ordinary sunflower...IT IS GIGANTIC!!!!! The biggest of all sunflowers....has to be about 14 feet high! It grew this high in only two and half months...isn't that incredible!

Yes, that is the roof of our garage in the background....

Now...let's put this all into perspective....Here it is with my funny little man next to it...the proud owner, you might say...He stands about 4 foot 6 inches you can see it is about triple his size.

I am so glad that I began this journey of blogging....this has been a good blogging month. I have been so inspired by so many other blogs out there in blogland. I feel as if I know some of you and it has been so wonderful to be invited into your homes, your lives, your creative thoughts and your honesty.
When we mopved our family from California just a little over a year ago, I have to admit that it was a bit scary. I have made some wonderful friends here ....and also feel like I have made some new friends through my blog and their blogs. I also think this is a great way to just share the little things that happen in our lives with the ones we are missing "back at home".
Tomorrow will be September and the journey into the wonderful time of Fall, Autumn, Indian Summer...whatever you want to call will begin. I am excited for this new time and this new season in our new home.
I'll talk to you in September.....have a wonderful evening.

Life Is Short, Eat Dessert First

You start with something incredibly healthy like this......

I have always been interested in the ways that companies market their products...I guess because I have always been a pretty good retail consumer. Well....a few years ago the Williams-Sonoma people decided to mix in some pretty awesome recipes amongst their fabulous kitchen toys. This was really brilliant!!! It made each of the gadgets and doo-dads that much more interesting and appeal ling to the buyer.

Next to the food processor for $289 is a well-plated delicious meal that was prepared with it...WOW! What a concept! Recently, they featured famous restaurant chef from around the country. All the recipes look wonderful. So....I went to their website and printed them all out for my ever growing recipe folder.

Yesterday at our local Farmer's Market I found some perfect peaches. They made me think of the peach shortcake recipe I had printed out a week or so before. So....when we got home I pulled ou the recipe and decided to give it a try. You make the shortcakes from scratch...OF COURSE! and then you make this incredible caramel sauce......

The shortcakes are easy to make and you cut them out with a 3 inch biscuit cutter. The caramel sauce was a little tricky to make--I had never made anything life this before. But, I have to tell you--it all came out fabulous. it is!!!! Everyone loved it....even my sometimes picky-eater kids! What a gorgeous dessert...can't wait to make it for company (not that my family isn't's just that I like to try most things out on them first)...

Yes, that is real whipped cream on there....I never said it was figure-friendly! We did have poached salmon and a healthy home-grown salad for the main course.....I know...I ordering a Diet Coke with fries! It's not a dessert you can eat often, but definitely a special one for a special dinner or a great bowl of fresh peaches....yum! I think it was a great way to celebrate an "ordinary" Sunday night dinner at the end of summer...don't you?

I know you're going to want the recipe and also take a look around the Williams-Sonoma wonderful just click on the link for the shortcake here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is It Fall Yet????

Well...September is only a few days away.....My favorite month.'s my birthday month and I have such wonderful memories of going back to school in September AND where I grew up in the San Francsco Bay Area, September was often our warmest and nicest weather. So there you go. I love September...I love fall...I love Halloween...Thanksgiving and sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie...all of it!
I'm realizing today that I've been kinda chatty this month. I have done more posts this month than any month since I started this blog. I guess I had a lot to say. Imagine how much I will have to say in the winter months when I'm not in the garden a lot of the time...OH BOY!
Well...I guess I'm just kind of wishing I would pick up a few more followers to my blog...a few more comments....that would be wonderful. So...if you're out there and on the fence about follwing me...take the plumge! I'd love to have you here. I have found this blogging experience to be very therapeutic...kind of like scrapbooking. We take the time to affirm the positive things in our life. YES, there are a lot of positive things. I mean, I have my share of ups and downs, BELIEVE ME...but I prefer to spend more time focusing on the good and positive. So here I what I preach...the glass is half full...ALWAYS.
Enough of all that stuff....I decided it was time to bring some fall into my china cabinet ...what do you think? I was feeling the browns and off-whites. I'm thinking I should fill the bins on top with walnuts in the shell. I don't like walnuts too much, but think the color and texture of those cute shells would look good. Where can I find those? Diane...aren't there walnut orchards there in the central valley?

I was feeling a little "branchy" here... Picked up these branches at my favorite little decor store here in Walla Walla --Real Deals? Have you heard of them? Incredible values on fun home decor "look for less" stuff. I also got the garden sign, little clock, calendar block and canisters there...incredible values. You gotta come to Walla Walla and visit Real Deals...really! Diane..I know you will be here soon for shopping again and I can't wait! Mom...I'm hoping you will just show up here at the cottage in September (maybe for my birthday?) and we can go to Real Deals together...whatdayathink? : )

Let fall begin....let the leaves start turning....let's wear sweatshirts and coats...I think I'm ready.

Restoration Hardware Fall Collection

OK....I've been getting their ctalogs for years...I've bought a few things there and been into their store in San Jose CA many times....BUT, when the Fall Collection catalog came a few days ago I was BOWN AWAY. They have taken it up a hundred notches!
This collection and catalog is just beautiful! I love the style of these rooms. I am inspired. Now Restoration Hardware is quite spendy...don't get me wrong. But, these rooms inspire me and I know there is a lot of "the look for less" in these designs.
This catlog will be a keeper for me. I will look at it over and over, just like I do my collection of favorite decorating magaines.
Check these rooms out....

The trunk for a coffee this!

The huge mirror and those lights! Unbelievable. All this style in a netrual, soothing palette.

Thanks for letting me share.....I just thought this was too good to not shout out about. I just may get some of the pillows above for my J C Penney (look for less) off-white slipcovered sofas : ).
If you've just gotta have more....just click here for more design magic and dreaming...

Flower Arranging Friday

"He Who Plants A Garden Plants Happiness" - a Chinese Proverb

Well...this mroning I decided that instead of going to the gym I would cut flowers from my garden. About a year ago I started reading books on planting a cutting garden...lots of books. I started with my srping bulbs, which were absolutely amazing. Then I began planning a summer garden.

I knew the stars of my summer garden had to be these.....

and trust me....they did not disappoint!!!! Sunflowers are just such gorgeous creatures. I planted just about every variety of sunflower you could think of. I think the ones above have the best vase performance. They can last fresh in the vase for a week!
The next flower I just had to give a try were these....

the gorgeous and fragrant sweet peas! Now....these are not easy to grow. I started some from seed inside in the fall and they didn't work out. So....I met a great lady at our Farmer's Market who I bought some gorgeous starter plants from. I planted those and them sowed the rest of the seem I had left over next to them in the ground. They didn't disappoint in the long run either.
They smell heavenly......ahhhhh.....
Now the next flower surprised me.....

The zinnia! Easy to grow, good vase life and they come in an unsual array of colors...including a light green that makes arrangements quite different and interesting...

Then there are the Dahlias that Vesna suggested......(white and yellow flowers on the left) and the fun lacy Cosmos (purple ones with the dahlias in the gold bowl on the left).

and all this started with another dream, some reference books, and a lot of work. But every bit of it is worth it for me. No more buying flowers at the grocery store for I grow my own. I'm sure next summer will be even better. We learn along the way as we garden...just like we learn along the way in life. I have always had a passion for flowers and now I have a passion for GROWING them! How divine!

Now I will move all my arrangements from the fireplace mantle where I took these photos and place them around the house. Allison loves the sweet peas, Mike likes the sunflowers, and Jackson likes the vibrance of the zinnias and the dahlias. Me????? I just love them all.

I want to thank all the gardeners in my life who inspired me to grow my own flowers and bring them inside to enjoy. There is Vesna...there is my ex mother-in-law, and of course my mother who always has a beautiful garden that is happy and immaculately kept.

We can learn a lot from flowers....a lot of my sunflowers are now starting to fade and droop. I'll have to get out there with a machete to clear them away soon. But, those droooping sunflowers have become a "bird paradise". All of a sudden I have hundreds of birds swooping in and out and chirping with joy. They are loving all the seeds. As they droop, I am excited to say that my hollyhocks are just started to bloom. I am sure they will pop up in a future post (stay tuned).

AND...of course I've got all my spring bulb catalogs to pour over and plan my next spring garden...even better than last year's I hope.

Flowers make me happy. Can you tell? : )

If you don't have them in your garden, treat yourself to a deserve it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Hooked On....

Friday Night Lights!
Almost two years ago I had some major surgery. My BFF Diane gave me the entire collection of "Sex In The City" dvds. I had never really watched the show before. Well, let me tell you how much those little round discs helped me get through a very tough time of recovery. I would pop one in in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. I laughed...I cried...I became freinds with those women and felt like I really knew them and their lives.
That began my love of really good series shows like that one...from there I started watching Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, Weeds, Dexter, United States of Tara...on and on. I don't find there is too much worthwhile on regular television these days (except HGTV and Food Network) these series dvds are something I look forward to in the evening after the kids go to bed. My hairdresser recommended Friday Night Lights and assurred me it wasn't just about a bunch of high school kids and a football team. It isn't. It is a very well acted series which showcases the kids, but really focuses on the lives of the parents, families, values and small town life. I am really enjoying it! I am just about through the first season and have the next one coming via Netflix. Love the the show!
If you haven't seen it, give it a try...from the beginning.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Gallery of Creations and Re-Creations

Bon Lemon Custom Dress Form Art
(sold in my Etsy shop)

Ladderback Chairs In A Blue Paint Technique

Cream Trestle Table

Vanity With Black and White Fabric Drawers

Antique Cabinet Turned Unique Table

Small Sunny Console Table/Desk with Walnut Stained Top

Antique Mirror With Paint Finish

one-of-a-kind dress forms

cowboy girl art canvas