Did you know?

Did you know that if you cut the lettuce in your garden at the base instead of pulling up the entire plant it grows again? I am just figuring this out and it’s amazing!!!!! Ok so I’m a little behind on the garden train, but if you are new at this like I am you need to know this before you yank all those roots up with the harvest. It applies to spinach and arugula too.

 

I cut romaine last week and already have new baby greens. The arugula is growing new leaves as well. I’m not sure how many times it will keep regrowing , I need to research that. Anyway I thought this little tid-bit would be helpful for us new gardeners and prolong the bounty of the harvest.

I also am reassessing my curb appeal factor. This is how my front entry looks at the moment:

This is what I would like it to look like or at least the same feel as you approach our home:Pinned Image

So I think this house is BEAUTIFUL! I may have to scale down the landscaping shown here , but you have to admit it is fabulous.

Another pinterest post I find inviting:

Pinned Image

How does your house measure up in the curb appeal area? Looking pretty welcoming or could it use a little help? It is the first impression of those who live inside. What do you want to convey to those passing by? A welcome inviting home or one that says ‘KEEP OUT’ ?

Pinned Image

Let’s shoot for ” Weclome to our home”.

Linda

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Arugula Pesto

In spite of our cool start to Summer around here, the garden is taking off. Since it has been cool spinach and arugula are out of control. Even though I tried planting them weeks apart, it is all ready at the same time. We’ve eaten it until I think our skin will start turning green soon so I had to find a use for the abundance. I wanted to harvest it before it went to seed so I decided to make arugula pesto.

I have made pesto many ways , traditional with basil and pine nuts, even spinach with pecans or almonds, but arugula was new to me this year so I decided to give it a try.

First I washed the arugula and gave it a spin in my salad spinner to remove the excess water.

To make the pesto , in addition to the arugula you will need :  olive oil, garlic, almonds, parmesan cheese.

I decided to use almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts, but really I think any nut would work.I chopped them in the food processor a bit before I added the remaining ingredients. For a colander full of greens I used about 2/3 cup of nuts.

Then I piled in the arugula gave it a few pulses in the food processor and added a bit more. I then added 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 2 cloves of garlic. Pulsed the food processor while adding just enough olive oil to to make a smooth pesto. You can adjust the amounts of each ingredient depending on your taste.

Honestly you can use spinach, basil, or arugula, any type of shelled nut, parmesan or other grated hard cheese, and optional garlic. Even a combination of greens works great.

I filled mason jars with the pesto leaving 1/2 ” space at the top to allow for expansion in the freezer. You could also fill ice cube trays with the pesto and when they freeze store in ziplock bags and pop out what you need and keep the remainder frozen. If stored in the refrigerator I would try to use within 2 weeks.

It really is easy and tasted wonderful stirred into pasta. I also used it as a spread for grilled flat bread (that is something I make often around here, I will share that sometime soon.). Any where you would add basil pesto you could use this instead for a change of pace.

Hope you’ll try it and let me know any other similar ‘pesto’ recipes.

Linda

Linking to :

 Somewhat Simple

   

Outdoor Baby Shower Whatever the Weather

These sweet young ladies from our church wanted to give Jen a shower for baby Avalyn and asked if they could use our patio area. I was honored to be asked to join in hosting the event but a little worried about whether the weather would cooperate with the plan. As it was it was about 72 degrees mixed with the occasional rain shower. So we opted to set it up on our covered deck and make the best of it.

Food was provided by friends and family and I just created the decorations and space. The little ‘Avalyn’ banner was made by the other 2 hostess’.

We used mason jars with tags for your name attached by twine for beverages of ice tea, pink lemonade and cucumber ,lemon diffused water.

 

Fresh fruit , veggies and other finger foods adored the table.

Toasted coconut cupcakes and homemade whoopie pies were delicious.

 

Beautiful Mama Jen expecting daughter #2 was showered with darling little outfits and lots of love.

 

 

It was so fun to share the joy of new little blessings and have some girl time together.

Linda

Rolled Paper Flowers

This weekend I am co-hostessing a baby shower at my home and I have been fussing with the decorations. I have chalkboards and mason jars,along with fresh flowers and such. I am still gathering the details together and hope to share photos when it is all set up and ready for Saturday.

In the meantime I played around with an idea of using some of my birch branches and paper flowers. It may lay on the food table or lean up against the wall behind it. That is still to be determined. Around here you can’t finalize your plans until the morning of, because the weather is so unpredictable.

I know rolled paper flowers aren’t a new concept, but I thought I would share my take on the idea for those of you who haven’t done it before.

You will need :

Scrap book paper ( 2 sided works the best, but I used what I had on had for this project)

scissors

hot glue

That’s it! You probably have all that on hand.

Instructions: Cut out a circle any size you like, I cut it about 8″ in diameter. I did it free hand but you could trace around a bowl if you’d prefer.

I then drew a spiral wavey line to cut along. I also freehand that but wanted to show it what I meant.

Then just cut along your line or freehand it in a wavey spiral.

Then begin rolling from the outside end.

You can adjust the size of your flower by letting the tension from rolling a bit. Looser the twist the bigger the blossom.Then hot glue to the last bit of the paper in the center.

Add a leaf if you’d like, and optional button or jewel in the center.

 

I then attached them to the birch branch. I have glued floral wire on them before and wrapped with floral tape to make a bouquet, equally cute.

Hopefully it will all come together for the shower on Saturday, and we are praying for sunshine so we can celebrate outside.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out .

Linda

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Summer Tablescape and Sand Dollar Placeholder Tutorial

  I love having people over for dinner! I love figuring out the menu and planning the how I will set the table. It gives me a little creative therapy session in orchestrating the details. Even a simple gathering fills a need in me to give to people a good meal and fun ambience. I love the friends and family that gather at our home and lively conversation that always accompanies our time together. Lingering for an hour or two after the meal at the table is the highest compliment for me.

Last night we had a group of our closest friends over for a meal of grilled Copper River Salmon, fresh aspargus , roasted baby potatoes and spinach salad from our garden. Originally I had hoped we could enjoy this meal alfresco, but the evenings have been cool still and with a chance of rain still in the forecast I decided to set it up inside instead. Nevertheless this beach themed table would have been really fun outside and I will do a similar setting some evening when it’s warmer.

Over time my family has collected a bucket of sand dollars for me from our trips to the beach. We all like to find the ones that are whole and see who can find the smallest one. So I have this little bucket of the beachy treasures and decided to use them as placeholders.

I have had them long enough that they are well dried and don’t have a just off the beach smell. However they do have sand inside them, something your don’t really want to add to your guest dinner plate. I shook as much out of them as I could and then got to thinking..Hmmmm how can I plug up the little holes on the back to keep that last bit of sand for spilling out?

Since I’m always patching holes in the wall from my pictures and mirrors changing locations in my house, I keep some sort of spackle or filler around . It worked perfectly!

Here’s how I did it:

Filled the 2 small holes and wiped away the excess,

After the filler had dried , only took a few minutes, I gave them a little shake to see if my idea worked and ‘Voila’ no sand came out.Then I used a fine tip sharpie pen and wrote the names of my guest on each one.

Then I played with how to place them at each setting:

The evening was great and next time we dine outside I will have everything ready to go.  Just light the candles and enjoy good friends and some delicious food and wine around the table , doesn’t get any better than this!

Linda

Linking up with:

Creatively Living

Todays Creative Bloghttp://todayscreativeblog.net/craft-making/

Photobucket

DIY Tutorial

Hope Studios {Primp} http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com/

Baseball Treats

So baseball is in full swing around here. My husband is playing on the church softball team, and he is 20 years older than the rest of the men on the roster and loving it. Go BABY! Don’t you love it when you do things that make you feel young ?

My grandson , Canyon just finished his first t-ball season. Cutest thing ever to watch him slide at every base as he takes his turn. Every hit is a home run at that age. He is really into it and has serious atheltic potential. This makes his baseball Papa very proud.

Isn’t he the cutest baseball player ever? I think so.

I just had to share the t-ball treats my daughter made for his teams last game snack. Baseball rice crispy treats!

Way to go Summer! Such a simple cute idea I just had to share. I have such talented , creative daughters!

So ‘Batter Up” and make some for your ball player, young or old, they will love it! Maybe even a great addition to your Father’s Day menu.

Linda

Happy Trails

No it’s not the rain forest, just our property here in the Pacific Northwest. It has been pretty rainy the past couple of days and the grass is green and the foliage spilling over onto my husbands groomed trails and pathways. He is always mowing, burning fallen limbs and making new trails around here. He loves it when the kids are around and they run and hide amonst the ferns and trees. You can hear them giggling from the house as they make forts and spend hours in Papa’s trails.

I often refer to ‘out back’ or ‘ on our property’ so I thought I would give you a peek into what I’m talking about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood pecker nest, could hear them calling the parent birds for food this morning.

We do have beautiful natural surroundings and keep our landscaping to around the perimeter of the house. The garden area is new this year and we are enjoying the fruits of our labor in fresh greens at the moment. We are still waiting on sunnier and warmer days before tomatoes and other veggies are ready.

I’m not sure even Popeye could eat all the spinach we’ve been picking lately.

Peas are finding their way up the trellis.

Arugula, first time we have tried to grow this…. evidently it likes our cool PNW weather.

Waiting to put the rest of our outdoor furniture and hammock out once the nice days out number the rainy ones.

Have a great weekend!

Linda

Beach Decor

To me it is summer as of today June 1st, even if the weather outside refuses to cooperate. Rain or shine it is time to get this place ready for all the fun friend and family events on the calendar for the next 3 months.

I spent the day yesterday adding some of those summertime elements to the inside of our home. Around here that means BEACH and all that goes with it. Sea shells, sand , nautical touches, and the colors of aqua, blue, green and cream. That color part is not much of a stretch for me since I have those colors around most of the time anyway.

Before I headed out to look for any new ‘Beachyness” I scanned the Pottery Barn catalog, Ballard Design, Pinterest to name a few, for inspiration. Then I decided to dig out the beach stuff I have collected and stored from last year and start playing around with it.

First I put away Spring decor and cleared out some other items to make way for a’ Summer Make-Over’. Pillows got moved around from room to room and some were stored for the next change of season.

Tables were dusted and ready for displays of summertime and beach accessories.

 

 Little touches here and there but not so much you feel like you stepped into a seashore boutique.

Still working on the dining table arrangement :

Mantle updated for the summer :

Sea Glass Bottles (tutorial previous post):

I am still adding verses and such to my chalkboards, they seem to change often depending on the event or my whim of inspiration.

Funny I had all these things and didn’t purchase one new item of ‘Beachyness”. Since you can pick up driftwood , shells on vacations or a day at the beach I have plenty of those things. Photos of past beach vacations evoke a sweet memory and increase my anticipation for the new ones yet to be made. So pull out some favorite beach items and get them out to enjoy and share. Roll up the heavy carpets and lay down the sisal rug. Open the curtains, or take them down and let the sun shine in… at least be ready for when it does.

Next week I hope to share the patio and deck ready for entertaining… waiting on some hanging baskets to finish that off.

Have a great weekend !

Linda

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