Friday, February 25, 2011

Who would have thought?

Who would have thought "Mustard Greens" could look so pretty?

I wish I had the heart to grow vegtables like my Dad. I am much more a flower garden person. Flowers are more forgiving of a Mommy's schedule.

Who would have thought a single wild violet could be so lovely?

Who would have thought that a row of pines could look like a cathedral?

It's springtime in my backyard and I am loving it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What a weekend!

Such a wonderful weekend. My husband and I did not have a Valentine's celebration until this weekend due to planning a banquet at our church (we are the youth leaders and the Banquet helps us raise funds for summer camp). He surprised me with a trip to a local B&B, shoping, great food, hiking in beautiful hill country and offering to buy me a new car. The car thing is huge considering mine is 15 years old. It runs great but at 15 years you start to look at it with a skeptical eye. As a stay at home mom, I don't have to have a fancy car, just reliable one. We decided to wait until our tax refund comes in but that should be next month! I have such a wonderful best friend.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ode to a stylish Blog

Oh, trendy blog- I read you with your quirky, trendy decor. Your diffuse lighting, great camera angles and crisp close ups. Your your Company Store/Crate and Barrel interiors. Your soft dreamy topic perfect music. You draw me in- Cheers to you!

This little blog is just like me- basically, well basic. Solid. Reliable- but I was made that way for a reason so I'm at peace with it.

So beach families, Mountain folks, farm gals and chic city people, I have enjoyed my visits with you. My imaginary day trips to fun places and unique lives. Thanks. I grew up secretly wanting to eat cheesecake on the veranda with the Golden Girls or go to summer camp with Haley Mills in Parent trap. I don't know why, but I was given this deep drive to travel, see new places and people.

But today I am just strolling around Candyland with a special tour guide.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's day

I see Valentine's day through the eyes of a happily married woman so it a great day for me. A great time to think about all I have but I am aware it's a hard day for some. My heart goes out to those.
Here are some great books about keeping lasting love:

I have personally read and used both and they are life changing. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They both can translate in to other relationships- parents, children, etc...
Here's a video that pretty much sums up Valentine's for me:

Have a day filled with love!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

#1 best Valentine's gift so far- a weekend getaway

Last year my husband surprised me with a weekend trip to New Orleans. We stayed at the St. Louis Hotel and had a breakfast at Cafe Du Monde. We strolled, shopped, sipped coffee several times and ate wonderful food. We spent time in book stores and skipped a Mardi Gras parade outside our hotel to practically have an entire restaurant to ourselves. I had fried shrimp and key lime pie. It was wonderful. One of my very best memories of all time.
As a mother of two, nothing says "I love you" like giving me two days to feel foot loose and fancy free.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

#2 flowers to plant

I revel in flowering plants and digging in the dirt. Sunshine, hard work and flowers, a triple crown of Springtime I hold dear. That's why my #2 favorite gift of Valentine's are roses you can plant. I am not talking about those "delicate Miss" roses that must be sprayed constantly and tending compulsively, I am talking about antique roses. The grand Dame roses, the Judy Dench of Roses. They aren't picture perfect but they bloom all summer with vigor, smell amazing, need very little tending and are disease resistant. These roses sometimes come from abandoned gardens of 100 year old homes where they have flourished without the hand of man. Now that is my kind of rose. And what better plant to symbolize lasting love! I have four or five varieties of these.

This is from my own garden- I got this cutting from my grandmother. It's called Cramoisi Superieur and grows like a weed.

Called Rosette Delizy and I want to get one soon.

Called Reine des Violettes
I have a small one of these I started in the fall.

                   Clytemnestra-I love peach roses.

I can Highly recommend this site to order some:

Friday, February 11, 2011

#3 Baked Goods

Homemade or from an owner operated bakery, baked items are high on my list of great valentine gifts. Here are a few good examples:
Pretty and you can see how they used the cookie to create the shape with powdered sugar

bake chocolate chip cookies in one large sheet then cut into heart shapes

I love how these look like snack cakes but personalized

So cute! and when you break down the elements it would not be that hard to make.

Red Velvet- need I say more.
Oh, BTW Sonic has a Red Velvet Cheese Cake Blast this month

Now if your arrives to you looking like this realize you have just won the food lottery and chow down. Mine was slightly less fluffy but tasted pretty yummy- just request the icecream is well mixed or you will have streaks of red flavoring in vanilla icecream.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

#4 Hardcover Book

Many book stores offer these hardbound versions of classics for very reasonable prices. These beautifully illustrated covers make these books not only great reads but also decorative too. I am still attached to hardcover books. Maybe some day I will move to an e-reader but I love the feel of an actual book. Reading is a hobby of mine. I read about 3 books a week sometimes more. For those who don't read much Magazines subscriptions make great gifts. There has to be 1 million magazines for every interest and getting it every month is a bonus. Buy the latest issue and attach a card explaining about the gift subscription.
Now let me settle down to a chapter or two of Persuasion- my favorite Jane Austen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#5 Handmade cards

My husband has artistic talent but not everyone does- that's what tracing is for. Take the time to draw a picture for the one you love instead of a store bought card. Store bought cards are really nice but sometimes you cannot find just the right one or they just seem too cliche. My husband knows I like cute, so he draws something cute (or traces) and writes a personal message inside. I have made homemade cards as well but mine are usually photoshopped pictures of us with funny thought bubbles. Glitter, glue, stickers- go old school elementary style. If the surprise factor is off the charts- your loved one will never forget.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#6 The Classic Valentine with a twist.

Tied in to chocolate's natural counterpart, love, each bar resembles a love letter, complete with a romantic poem inside the wrapper.

I am a chocolate expert. What does it take to be a chocolate expert you may ask- thousands of hours of research (eating) on said chocolate. I especially love dark chocolate. What I don't love is the bitter, gritty taste of some gourmet dark chocolate. But fear not, I have found the perfect super dark smooth organic chocolate and it comes with a love poem in each wrapper. All the hard work is done for you to make the perfecto Valentine's gift.
Target carries these but Whole foods has the most varieties of bars.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine's count down #7

I am a hopeless romantic. Just a fact. Here are my favorite 7 valentine's gifts. Bless my dear husband because he is the only man who has ever had to figure me out for valentines but after 18 years of buying me Valentine's gifts he's pretty darn good.
Gift 7:
A message in a bottle- points for creativity and being heart felt because he wrote the message himself and it was very complimentary toward me as a wife and mother.

Feel free to send this link to your special someone as a not so subtle hint ;).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wintry Mix day

It's only snowed here 3 or 4 times in the past 50 years so we get Wintry Mix days off of school and work. Today my husband and kids are home. The day has started off like a beautiful fairy tale in Mommy land.
I slept to 8:00 AM- (weep at the sweet rarity of that)
Hubby made me this:

The kids are making pillow castles in the playroom and playing video games.
While we don't have the option of running around outside in pristine snow drifts- think a three inch lake of freezing water covering our entire yard- we still know how to  make the best of it.
I will be cuddled on the sofa watching Net-Flix with the family, taking deep breaths and savoring this little pearl in the middle of a muddy oyster of a day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crafty in the cold

With the weather proventing any yard work, I finished up some crafts for our  valentines charity event. We loaded our cans with chocolates, bath salts, a journal, heart shaped suckers and these little items I made.

These are book marks, earring and pens. I made the earings myself and all the graphics come from

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Mitt of the Month

Valentine's Owls- enough said. Target knocked it out of the park with these and for $2.99 for the set. What's not to love?