A precious find from Asheville
Happy August! We're in the home stretch now. I'm trying to be a good Flower Mother in keeping my pots watered, a bit of the sprinkler action going on in the evening and trimming the ivy. Not sure if I mentioned that I have ivy growing over a large window which happens to be the biggest window in our living room. We can no longer see out. That's not the effect I was looking for when I planted it back in the Renaissance age. After my tumble off a chair last summer and resulting broken arm, I certainly don't want to get on a ladder. I don't want to embarrass The Husband but he doesn't care for ladders either. I was able to pull a bit of the ivy from a section of a shutter and it took a chunk of paint with it. OH NO! Somehow I have to figure this out. The problem with ivy is that the more you cut it back, the healthier it becomes and it grows much more vigorously. I don't EVEN want to think of the Wisteria at the lakehouse.
On to an entirely different subject. While in Asheville last week we toured the Grove Park Inn as I mentioned in my last post. There were a great many shops just off the lobby and in one of them I found what was called a tumbler although I thought it was a vase. Love at first sight. I look at it and it makes me happy. And it screamed for bright flowers, not pink or white or pastel blooms. That's it above. Those babies are still alive after days.
New ideas after shopping the house
I've had this tin pail (for lack of a better description) for ages. I'm a little slow on the take but I couldn't think of a way to use it for fresh flowers as the WELCOME is cut out. Duh. I found the perfect vase to fit inside and now I'm loving using it on the dining table. I really like these yellow carnations. I rarely see them in this shade and as they last so long they are a good buy. The pink flowers are asters. I'm going to plant some next year...a done deal. They are annuals but I've never really paid attention to them before. The colors are a pretty combo. Don't you think some vases just beg for a certain sort of mix and color?
Stumbling upon a fabulous festival
Again, going through the last of my pictures from Asheville I wanted to share a festival The Husband and I stumbled upon the day before we flew home. We were just planning on doing a bit of souvenir shopping in the downtown area. We stumbled upon a park and noticed all of the white tents and throngs of people in a park. Turns out it was the annual Leaf Festival. How lucky we were! We really had a great time. I found so many great treasures; new collars for my dogs and a portion of the proceeds go toward 'No Kill' centers. The Husband found some great local pottery and I came upon some candles for our daughters. They are quite amazing. The warmed liquid wax surrounding the wick is meant for dipping your fingers in and it's basically oil you can massage into your hands that smells just like the candle! It was amazing to watch the sellers demonstrating. Not sure what sort of wax they used...I'll have to ask one of my girls to give me the website and if you are interested you can check them out. All in all it was a great ending to a marvelous week in my favorite mountain place! If you ever visit, give me a shout and I'll try to help you out with places we've loved. :-D
Making a beautiful hairdo my own
This was one crazy busy and fun filled week after getting my bearings being back home. We were invited guests to a family wedding on The Husband's side. And when I say family I mean all 4 of our kids and their partners and many, many in laws, cousins and friends. I haven't been to a formal event since my son's wedding last summer so I was sort of excited to get a new dress. I had been to one of my favorite shops three times, once actually in Asheville, and had my eye on a pretty dress. I bit the bullet and of course that led to new heels and an evening bag. Tuesday Abby was home and wanted to get a pedicure together. It wasn't on my agenda but I love doing this sort of thing with my daughters. This was a 'new to me' salon and it was so cool. The package I chose involved a paraffin wax treatment for my feet and an incredible leg massage. The guy was so nice and after a lot of encouraging I had my nails done, too. Nothing artificial, just a good 'ol manicure that was close to having Madge soaking my fingertips in Palmolive. Remember those commercials? ;-)
Later in the week I went with Emily to a maternity shop in the local mall and helped her select a dress. She found a beautiful one in a light floral silk. I love that girls are showing off their growing tummies. A far cry from my pregnancy days and before when we wore loose smock tops, as if we needed to hide something. Anyway, she looked gorgeous. After leaving this shop we moved on to Sephora as she needed one of her favorite foundations. I roamed around and ended up buying 3 lip glosses. How I love makeup, products and playing around with different looks. I've been that way since I was allowed to wear makeup when I was about fifteen. You don't want to see my vanity table!
Regarding the picture above, I've had this on my Pinterest board of hairstyles forever. I remember wearing my hair blown out and straight at a salon for son Jeff's wedding last August. The heat and humidity caused it to curl up and frizz beyond the point of an actual hairstyle. I can't even bear looking at the pictures. My girl, Peggy, who's been doing my hair for the last 8 months said, "Sure. I can do this for you." And that she did. I wish I had someone take a picture of how pretty it was from behind. In fact, my sister in law, Megan had a very similar hairstyle. She said she had wanted something loose that looked like she had done it up herself. That was my plan, too. And Peggy also offered to do my makeup. I'm so glad I had her do it...she had so many products and expertise in applying everything I couldn't believe it was me. Yet it was very natural. When my own kids say I look great and I could truly feel it.
Me and the ever elusive Husband
Here's The Husband and I at the reception. It looks like we have cartons of Chinese food in front of us! Just napkins tucked into glasses. The curls around my face sort of wilted and I can't begin to tell you how hard it was to remove all of the pins from the back of my head once we got home. It was so worth it. And we had a ball. We all danced as soon as the Deejay started and I don't think I rested a minute. So fun, well until...Abby's boyfriend Tom pulled me out on the dance floor and we were dancing to a great upbeat song. He grabbed my hands and we were whirling and twirling and the next thing I knew I was falling, falling, falling and I ended up on my rump on the floor. I was mortified. To make things worse, a heavy bracelet I was wearing flew off and hit one of the bridesmaids in the chin. In the background I could hear one of my sister in laws yelling, "Jane's down! Jane's down!" Arghhhh... Well, I survived, we all do. I kept my dancing to slow ballads with The Husband and Papa.
A little change in subject matter. This is my Emily at six months pregnant. Isn't she a doll? She's having a few issues with her feet swelling but otherwise she's on the go. I don't think I've mentioned, the baby is going to be named Madelyn Elise. Isn't it a beautiful name?
Roasted Asparagus with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan
I know, another terrible food picture from me. I hope you don't judge a book by its cover. And trust me, I would never post a picture and recipe if it wasn't delicious.
In trying to keep carbs down at dinner we have our protein (otherwise known as meat) and then 2 vegetables rather than a starch (otherwise known as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta). Maybe not so appetizing to some. But keeping things interesting is the name of the game.
I roasted a bundle of asparagus after cutting off the woody end and then slicing the remaining piece in half. Toss the pieces in a bowl with a tablespoon of oil. In another dish mix together a half cup each of breadcrumbs and shredded or shaved pieces of Parmesan cheese. Toss the asparagus in the dry mixture and place on an oiled baking sheet. All it needs is about 7-10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. I found that some of my shaved pieces of Parmesan came off and toasted a bit on their own. Tasty but not what I had in mind so I recommend you use shredded cheese.
I've been coming upon so many other veggie recipes in cookbooks, magazines and Pinterest. Variety is the key and as I said, we eat two different vegetables with our dinner (and I usually have a salad for lunch, and cucumbers, carrots, celery or zucchini with a creamy dip as a snack), I really need to put thought into dinner to keep it interesting.
It looks like everything is wrapping up at the lakehouse and our belongings, furniture, etc., may be delivered back to us possibly within the next two weeks. I am beyond excited. We have a long road of hard work ahead in getting everything inside and out put back together but it's a clean slate and that helps. I can't wait to share pics with you guys. We may have missed our second summer there but I have to admit, autumn is beyond beautiful in Michigan. I can foresee many nights relaxing around the bonfire after a long days work. And having family and friends back up next spring...we are going to be in good shape by then. How blessed we are!
That's it for today. Have a great week everyone!