Thursday, July 20, 2017

I wanted to add light to one of the darker corners in my kitchen.  I had a small white
spotlight in my cupboard.  I sat that behind this planter and filled it with four small
palms from my local grocery store/garden store.  For now, I am happy with this
simple addition.

Our granddaughters had an unexpected sleepover the other evening, here at our home.
They asked to borrow their grandfather's tee shirts to sleep in.  I really like this
early morning picture!  Seriously, it was 6:00am.

Since they slept over, and since they always enjoy baking, I had them bake banana
bread.  I know I shared this very easy way of making banana bread before, but every
time I bake it, we are reminded of how delicious it is!  I had them make it by
themselves.  I love that they are growing up!  You know this recipe would be good,
since it is made by the Chiquita Company.  The recipe is right on the box, and
calls only for bananas, eggs, and water.  We added vanilla, yellow raisins, and
chopped pecans.  On the box, it says that chocolate chips are optional too.

They took their banana smashing quite seriously:)

 Before baking, they sprinkled cinnamon sugar lightly over each loaf.

While waiting for the loaves to bake, they colored in my adult
style coloring book.  We were headed to a local retirement
village, to visit a lady who resides there.  They
were sharing the pictures that they colored and loaves
of freshly baked banana bread with her.

The two boxes of mix, made three big loaves and six small loaves.

They both think that the taste testing is the best part of
this whole baking process.  All of us agree here, that
this is one of the best banana bread recipes.

Speaking of quick, easy, and so delicious.  This morning I made a potato and egg
dish for my husband.  I took a can of Fresh Cut Diced New Potatoes, drained the
small pieces and dried them with a paper towel. 

I then added Morton Season All.  One of my favorite seasonings, that my Amish
friend introduced me to, when I was raving about the chicken she served us.

 I sautéed the potatoes in a bit of butter until they were lightly browned.  I added
the scrambled egg mixture, covered with a lid, cooked them, stirring a few times
while cooking.  Right before serving, I added a light amount of shredded cheese,
salt and pepper.  It was a hit with my husband, so I thought I would share it
with you.

I used to be totally opposed to using canned vegetables, but now they have
made vast improvements on them, and I like serving them once in a while.
This is such a quick, simple way to whip up a breakfast, and can be served
with a small loaf of banana bread.

My sister-in-law introduced me to one of their favorite ways of serving eggs, and it is
now one of our favorites too.  The extra special part of this method, is that she used heart
cutters, instead of circles.  Just adds a bit of love to an ordinary breakfast.

It is Thursday, and it is so hot and sticky.  I hope you have a good
day and that you stay cool.  May these fresh flowers I captured with my phone,
at the local market, bring a smile to your day!
Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Black Eyed Susan flowers.  They add charm to any garden or landscape.  They are easy
to grow, low maintenance and quick growing.  They are good flowers for beginners to
grow.  They are drought and heat resistant, making them ideal for hot and dry climates.
And, best of all, these flowers will reseed after the first season, so you will have
flowers next year, without having to replant. 

The flowers will bloom prolifically between early summer and early fall.  As a
bonus, they will attract bees and butterflies.  They are lovely to cut for bouquets
too.  ~info from ...

While visiting my friend yesterday, I was reminded again, as to how much I like this
particular flower.  She had a bouquet by her side door, in the white ironstone

And a bouquet of the same black eyed susan flowers in an old crock on her porch.

Along with a small, delicate bouquet in an old glass jar, on the table.  I thought to myself,
that it was a tiny presentation, that made a big statement.

But, truthfully, not as big of a statement as the delicious crystal glass of iced coffee
my friend served to me.  If you ever want to up your iced coffee recipe up a notch,
try adding just a few very small amount of chocolate chip ice cream to it, in place
of cream.  It tasted so good on that hot summer afternoon!  Friendship, flowers,
sunshine, and iced coffee...perfect combination!  What a rare treasure!

Her gardens were so well manicured and hosted an abundance of both daisies and the
black eyed susans. 

The pink cone flowers added another dimension to the gardens, and the bees never
noticed me taking their pictures.

Out front of her home, the blooms of lavender, offered a lovely fragrance.

And looked so good growing near the purple and white overflowing window boxes.
My friend is most certainly a gifted and artistically minded gardener!  I guess opposites
attract in friendships, right?  She grows them and I photograph them.  Good team!

Speaking of nature, I recently purchased this book at our local Barnes
and Nobel Bookstore.  Seeing it's colorful cover, interesting title,
and most of all, the author's name, immediately sparked my interest.
I have read other books by Francine Rivers and always found them
to be on my favorite's list.  I must tell you though, this is my all
time favorite of hers.  It is done in short chapters, sharing many
aspects of nature.  It is truly inspiring, and educational!
It opens one's eyes to the amazing world of nature from God's point of view.
For example, did you know, that "ants offer good life
They work hard.
They know winter is coming.
They make preparation for the lean times ahead.
They work together.
They thrive.
They survive.

Good concepts for us to keep in mind, as we live here in this
Great book!

Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Every once in a while, I pay a visit to one of our local Dollar Tree Stores.  Recently,
I did just that, and I found packages of disposable flatware that looked too good
to pass by.  Eight silver and black, sturdy place settings for $ l.00.  I also found
attractive black and white designed placemats for a dollar each. 

Here I used them with Costco sturdy disposable/reusable plates, for a casual luncheon. 

Of course a few fresh flowers and a candle, make everything look better.

Right?  Thank you Dollar Tree, for providing some fun surprises for people like me.

 This week, while keeping our three grandchildren, I let our
granddaughter use the purchases to set up her pretend tea
party.  She also used the empty yogurt jars and a
faux carnation that I had in the cupboard, to finish her
tea party table top.

This was the plate of food that she served to me:), in the early morning hours
of her play time.

I purchased extra fruit in anticipation of their visit.

Along with the place settings, I had also purchased a bag of 12 forks of the same
design.  Here I chose to serve my fruit, using the forks.  It was a fun way to serve
fresh fruit and dip.  She loves helping me in the kitchen, and I enjoy teaching her
ways to add beauty to food served, especially using my dollar finds.

It is a cloudy, overcast day here, so I thought I would share a touch of sunshine with you.
This basket of sunflowers were on the floor of a local market we visited on Friday.
Thank you for stopping by today!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Our daughter lives with her family, in an old farmhouse.  She knows how
to throw parties celebrating holidays.  Recently, she shared these photos with me,
from a July 4th get together that they hosted for friends.  I liked them and thought
I would share them with you today.

I like the old window that she painted with chalk board paint and decorated, along with
the old radio displayed.

I have always admired how she can take the very old and make it look good again.
But, more than that, I appreciates how she welcomes many into their home, and
extends old fashion hospitality.

 As for my husband and I, we said "goodbye" to this dear group of people, and are now
welcoming the next group:)

Today, these sweet children will be visiting us for a few days.

And, we only wish these two would be coming too.  Miss them so much!

Whatever your July 4th holiday holds, may you be blessed with some
quiet moments to remember why we celebrate this special day, and if you
can, thank a veteran for their sacrifice for our freedom.
I want to thank our son-in-law for his years of
service in the United States Coast Guard.
As for each one of you, here is a little something for you today,
from me.
Happy July 4th!


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