Celebrate July 4th!

Happy July 4th friends! Though I wish we were at the beach…alas…we are settled in to enjoy our little “retreat” aka-our home. we have a packed weekend with time on the lake, dinner with friends, a fireworks viewing party and a little time at the club pool. What are you doing? Any fun 4th traditions?

Advertisements

Summer is here

As if the thermometer on your car didn’t give you a big enough clue…summer is here. In honor of the heat…I mean the first day of summer, C. and I had the best summer dinner imaginable. If I could eat summer style all year I’d be so happy…and skinny.  The juicy sweet peaches, the tangy tomatoes and the slimy but oh so delish okra. Man….can’t get better than that. Tonight, after a long day in the office,  we had a simple summer supper – grilled mahi, a tomato, corn, basil relish and fresh avocado. Dessert- the sweetest watermelon imaginable.

I can remember how drastically our childhood summer supper menu changed from the menu the other nine months of the year. We would often just have veggies for dinner…always fresh…always from either a local farm or from Dad’s garden. Growing up in a small southern town, fresh veggies were always available and were meant to be shared with neighbors. 

This is probably foreign to you city slickers….My grandmother used to “put up” vegetables in the summer. Bags and bags of zip locks filled with corn and peas and butter beans…Can you even imagine shucking all that corn and then cutting off the husk? Or shelling peas…how dreadful. Guess that is why sitting on the front porch rocking and shelling was so popular. A different time we live in today…but the same summer flavor creates special memories. 

What’s your favorite summer food?

 

Nothing says “Birthday” like candles

Can you remember your favorite birthday memory?  I have the VERY unfortunate birthday of Christmas Eve. Seriously- it was only my birthday for breakfast then we were on to Christmas. And to top that off, I shared my birthday cake with Jesus. Happy Birthday AG and Jesus. Everyone thought it was cute….except me (I hate to share…even with Jesus)

But I must say, my mom always did her part to plan a special party…even if it was actually a week before the day. There was my 7th birthday that was held at an indoor pool…who says you can’t have a pool party in December?  By far the best was my 13th birthday in which I had a formal dinner party!  Very fun. Very chic. My neighbor wore his military blues and escorted each “couple” in as they arrived and my mom and her friend dressed in maid’s uniforms to serve us. Oh and Dad wore a tux and acted as a butler. Very sophisticated. 

Birthdays are special and should be celebrated. A celebration of the past, the present and the future. This weekend I had the special honor of hosting a dinner party in honor of my huband’s grandmother’s 90th birthday. 

From the moment I began to plan, I knew that we need to have fun candles. Nothing says birthday like candles!  I had a little project brewing in my mind and just had to act on it. Off to Goodwill! 

I bought 9 brass candlesticks ($4.50) (and had a couple that I had once painted black…time for a facelift).  I then painted them a variety of colors. Oh they look so fun and festive – just like the crayons in a crayola box! 

I always keep interesting jars (from pickles, olives, herbes-whatever). You should do this as well…they make great little vases and look so “collected” when paired together.  Luckily the azaleas in front of my house look like bright pink fireworks right now so I gathered up some blooms and dispersed them between the candles. What a fun expression of celebration and gratitude to life!

May we all live to be 90! Cheers!

Making Lavender Water

Are there certain smells that arouse memories and emotions for you? It’s amazing how a scent can be embedded in your DNA. For me, lavender is a trigger scent. I am not sure I ever really smelled lavender until I studied in Southern France. The streets in my little town were lined with tourists shops filled with lavender and the country side was filled with lavender fields. Fast forward to my married life, we spend our honeymoon in Southern France so once again wonderful memories accented with sweet lavender.

Not all processed lavender gives the same pure aroma. Candles usually have added essential oils and lotions never get

I can remember taking this picture...I thought it was so funny that they hung their dungarees out of the window for everyone to see!!!

it right. Lavender should be a subtle scent. It shouldn’t overpower.  So I decided to make my own lavender water to give a little je ne sais quoi to my laundry!  2 cups of water, 3 tbsp of vodka (yes vodka…how could this go wrong…vodka makes everything better) and 15 drops of lavender oil.  Mix vodka and oil. Then add water. Seal in airtight container and let it rest for 2 weeks in a cool, dark location. So in two weeks, I’ll have a little piece of Provence right here in Gvegas!

You can try it for yourself with your favorite oil. What scents are memory triggers for you?

A Place for My Peeps!

Spring is here and I couldn’t resist adding a few little peeps to my birdcage light fixtures. I love a good holiday and never miss the opportunity for a little decorating! And come on….it seems only fitting to add birds to my bird cages!

Aren’t these the MOST fabulous light fixtures. I fell in love the minute I saw them. I almost passed them up because they were so outrageous. But once they were  hung over our island,they MADE my kitchen. I couldn’t get a photo with the lights on- but the shadows make the most interesting design on the ceiling. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Sometimes a little risk reaps a big reward. And I do love to walk on the edge.

Spring is here

Spring is all about new beginnings and here are three things to kick of my Spring…..

1. Hydrangeas

Costco had the most beautiful potted hydrangeas. Yes…I’ll have 25 lbs of dog food, 8 bottles of red wine and some hydrangeas. Just the bare essentials please.

 

The hydrangeas add a nice pop of Spring color to our living room.

2. A new blue lamp

Lamp-$8 @ Goodwill...Lampshade $15 target. Pure bliss!!!!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Not sure what this lamp's history is. Check out the switch. How old fashioned! I think someone got crafty and painted an old lamp! What character.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Looking for just the right piece of art for this wall. The piece shown is just a place holder until I find something really fabulous. The skeleton keys on the chest are from the house I grew up in! Just a little piece of my past!

3. A new straw clutch

Now, I need somewhere to go!

 
 
 

The Key West of My Imagination…

Key West….a place I have dreamed about visiting. In my mind, Key West was a glamorous yet shabby chic tropical spot where beautiful people sipped rum runners and belinis. The women who came from my imaginative  Key West wore Lilly and Jack Rodgers…and maybe some fab gold hoops and a series of delicate bangles. Lots of pink. Lots of green. The men wore khaki shorts, freshly ironed fishing shirts and maybe a pastel polo with a fun belt and deck shoes. Maybe a visor.  My Key West was almost like a country club located on the water.  The streets were lined with chic little boutiques and art galleries. The precious cottages on the side streets were all updated and had tropical gardens.

Funny thing is…my little imagination was not exactly reality. Here’s the real Key West:

I croppped out this woman...she looks like many I saw. Someone please let America know that unless you look like Daisy Duke...you should not wear jean shorts. This goes for men as well!

 

It is so funny how our imagination can conjure up ideas that are grounded in fantasy. I have no reason why in the world I had painted such a glam place in my mind. Key West is a place were the average joe american unloads off of a cruise ship to buy a t-shirt from Hog’s Breath, Margaritaville or Sloppy Joes. It’s nothing more than a glorified Myrtle Beach with a sense of history.  

 I can say I have cruised down A1A in a convertable….and I can check Key West off of the bucket list. Nice to meet you Key West…but next time I’ll just go to Wal-Mart on a Saturday in small town America!  I think C. really had a great time. Perhaps Key West is a man’s kind of spot. Maybe next time he can go with the boys and do some fishing!

PS- If you are reading this thinking that I am a snob…well yes…your intuition is correct. I admit it. I am.

Here are a few other photos from our trip…the weather was amazing and we did enjoy renting bikes and cruising around the city.

I knew there would be many interesting artist...but I am not sure that this is what I expected.on the flip side...there weren't nearly as many chickens as I thought there would be. Guess all the cars and buses control the poultry populationI totally thought it would be one massive tropical garden...but this was really the only hibiscus I saw. Not a cloud in the sky.