Friday, April 30, 2010

Dinner out with my friend

My friend, Roxanne from my old neighborhood asked me out to dinner last night. There was a new restaurant called Blue Basil that opened up not too far from both of our houses so we went there. She has been there before and said it was wonderful. It is a Thai restaurant. We started with Spring Rolls and progressed to Pad Thai and then Fried Bananas which came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce drizzled all over them. Everything was just wonderful! We usually go out with for breakfast and the husbands come along too but this was just us and we could chat til our hearts content! What a great evening!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Darius, the rabbit

Meet Darius the rabbit! He is from Worcester England. He weighs 50 pounds!! His owner says he is not fat just a very large bunny! My girls had rabbits for a little while when we had the farm in NJ and none of our bunnies grew this big! I think he is cute and found this picture amusing. I don't know many bunnies that eat at the table! If you would like to read more about Darius go to this link http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/36845356/ns/today-today_pets_and_animals?GT1=43001 Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roses, Roses Everywhere!

Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved roses. I have always had a garden since I was 9 yrs. old. My first garden consisted of purple and white violets that grew up around the flagpole in our yard. The flagpole was nestled in amongst 2 huge blue spruce trees. This was the second home my parents owned and it was old-150 yrs. old to be exact. One day I was walking through the field behind my parents house and I saw a rosebush. I didn't know at the time that it was a meadow rose, which grows to be one huge tangled mass and starts taking over things! I dug this little rosebush up and moved it into my garden, nutured it and waited for it to bloom. It bloomed and proceeded to grow and grow taking over almost everything I planted in that garden. Then my parents moved to the house they still live in. I bet the people that bought that house really loved the fact that I brought a meadow rose into their lives-LOL!!!

I attribute my gardening skills to my paternal grandmother, Nana. She always had huge gardens and I would help her weed them when I visited her and she would tell me the different names of the plants as we would scour her garden for those dreaded weeds! Over the years I have read books, magazines and pretty much everything I can get my hands on about gardening and plants. Roses are one of my first loves though. I battled the cold winters of NJ for many years and lost alot of my rosebushes year after year. I always felt every Spring like I was holding funerals for my beloved friends when they wouldn't wake up from their winter naps! Then 6 years ago John and I moved to Charlotte and presto chango roses love it here in the South!! I bought 5 rosebushes from The Antique Rose Emporium and they all survived much to my surprise and really flourished. When we moved from our home 1 year ago I could only manage to dig up 2 rosebushes because the others just got way too big. The William Lobb moss rose has just started to bloom and it adds gorgeous color to our courtyard. I have the lowest amount of roses I have ever had at any house we have every lived in but we are very limited on space here. These roses are really great choices though because they add fragrance and color in just the right spots! About one and half weeks ago my little pink rose started blooming and the fragrance is just intoxicating when you walk into the courtyard. I bought both roses from The Antique Rose Emporium-here is the link: http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/. (Sorry about just posting the link but something is blocking me from linking things on my blog.) The William Lobb rose is really cool because of the moss-like appearance on the buds. There are a ton of thorns on this rose though and if you have an issue with thorns this definitely is not the rose bush for you! Here are a collection of some rose pictures I took the other day. Oh and I just couldn't resist taking a photo of my prize hosta, which I have nicknamed Sunshine and Shadow (it's real name is Guacamole)! Enjoy!









Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some Living Room changes at our house!

I was sitting in the living room the other day and the weather outside was a little rainy and gray. I realized the living room was a little dark-the furniture, the wood floor, the pillows, etc. I have a entertainment cabinet my Dad made and we haven't been able to use it in this house so we have been storing it in the garage. I feel bad that it is out there because of all the work he did on it. I decided the huge wall unit that I had to break up the sections in this house to make it fit was too dark and overpowering and I liked the one Dad made much better and it is golden oak so it would brighten the room. I also decided the one armchair, the coffee table and the end table were too dark too with the wood floors so I put everything on Craig's List! Of course, I discussed this with John first and he agreed. Come to find out he never liked the one armchair and he always thought the coffee table and end table were to dark! I have decided to retrieve the Pottery Barn wicker chairs I was storing over at Megan and Ken's back from them and I'm putting them in the living room. I am going to take the dark green pillows off the couch and one and half chair and I'm making dusty blue and cream striped pillows to replace them. I'm going to take the painting over the fireplace down and I'm replacing it with a mirror or a beach inspired picture. I will also put some shells, coral and beach glass on the mantel. I'm going to use the oversized ottoman for the coffee table and I'll put a tray on there in case someone would like to put a glass down. I have a stick lamp that I'm going to whitewash and I'll use that on another little table my Dad made. I will also be looking for a jute rug for the floor to complete the beach-themed room! The only thing I will have to buy is the rug and I'm sure I can find something inexpensive at one of the stores here! It will look like a totally different room when I get done with it. Here are some pictures of what it looks like now and then I'll take some pictures of it completed.


This the wall unit all together (this is in our old house). I have had to split up the unit because of wall space here.


This is the fireplace side of the living room.

I have a picture of the other side of the room but it wouldn't upload for some reason. Here is a picture of the coffee table and couch on that side of the room.



I can't wait to show you how the room looks all finished. We have sold the wall unit and the armchair on Craigs List and they will be picking it up Saturday. The coffee table and end table will be going out into the garage and then the decorating will begin!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Finally finished the purse/tote

Hi Everyone! I'm not feeling so good today-I've got a stomach bug. I did however, decide to finish the purse/tote I was working on. I'm glad I made this prototype because I want to make it bigger. I also want to make the bottom squared not rounded. Please let me know what y'all think about it-I need some opinions.







Now off to rest and get rid of this bug! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

South of Broad by Pat Conroy Review



About South of Broad
Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of high school outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.
Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

My thoughts:

The main character of this book is Lepold Bloom King a/k/a The Toad. I really felt sorry for Leo in the beginning of the book with all the troubles and trials in his life but then I realized by the middle of the book what strength he had. His mother was overly critical and also the principal at his high school. His father was very gentle and kind. There were alot of surprising, tragic and heart racing things in this book. I love the way Pat Conroy brought some things that were happening in Charleston into the book and it flowed with the storyline. Leo was a loner at times (alot of the time) but he always had this connection to go back to which was his group of high school friends. These friends remained friends and came to each others aid all through their lives. I must admit there were times in the beginning and even the middle of the book that I struggled and then something just started clicking with this book and I couldn't put it down! Charleston is such a lovely and beautiful city but this book is much more than a book about Charleston it is about people who could have lived that lived there and their complicated lives!

GIVEAWAY

The publishing company that asked me to review this book is giving away 1 trade paperback copy of this book. Here is what you need to do for the giveaway:

Open to US & Canada only (No PO Boxes), the publisher will send the book directly to you.

Leave a comment. Make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you in case you win! Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing.

Giveaway ends, April 30, 2010. I'll use random.org to choose a winner.


About Pat Conroy



Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of nine books: The Boo, The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life and South of Broad. He lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina.
Visit Pat Conroy’s website for more info about his work.
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Pat Conroy's website: http://www.patconroy.com/

South of Broad on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/South-Broad-Novel-Pat-Conroy/dp/0385344074/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

The link part of blog is not cooperating but here is a link you can go to for TLC's reviews and tour schedule: http://tlcbooktours.com/2010/02/pat-conroy-author-of-south-of-broad-on-tour-april-2010/

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flat tires are not fun!


Last night I started to drive home and I didn't think my car was driving right. Well was I ever right, I had a flat tire on the driver's side in the back! I am 50 yrs. old and I have never had a flat tire before. I called John and told him I would try to change it and he said that he would be right there. 35 mins. later he came and changed it for me. Thank goodness he was home and not at work! I hope tonight is a better evening for us!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hydrangea season is coming soon!

This is probably the longest post I have ever had. I just found so many things to show y'all! Enjoy!

I received my Victoria magazine for May/June and I fell in love with it immediately! First of all I love blue and white and secondly there were gorgeous pictures of hydrangeas and lilacs in this issue! My daughter, Megan was married 2 yrs. ago April 12th and she used hydrangeas in all her wedding arrangements. I decided to share some of the photos from Victoria and Megan's wedding with you!


Here are all the bouquets from Megan's wedding. The bridesmaids all carried blue hydrangea pomanders and Jenny and Megan carried actual bouquets made with hydrangeas and other flowers.


The photographer took all the pomanders and hung them on hooks in the back of our church. I thought this was a very clever idea!


At the reception Megan had hydrangeas in round fish bowls with curly willow wrapped around the inside of the fish bowl under the water-very pretty!


This is a closeup of one of the bridesmaid's hydrangea pomanders.

Now for this section of this post these pictures are from Victoria magazine:


Even the cover of the magazine was beautiful with all the blue and white!


Hydrangeas are such a beautiful flower. It comes in many colors depending on the soil type, but I am especially in love with blue!


These blue and white tea cups are beautiful! I wouldn't mind having them in my cupboard!


I would also love to have this beautiful blue and white bedroom-absolutely gorgeous!


Wouldn't these multi-colored hydrangeas in the white wicker basket be a perfect Mother's Day or birthday gift!

Here are some wonderful ways to arrange and display hydrangeas:







I love this rocking chair with the hydrangeas-gorgeous!



Victoria magazine also had an article on a lavendar farm. I love the smell of lavendar. It is thought to have calming affects too!


Here are some lavendar cookies and a lavendar cupcake-they look so yummy!


I love this basket with lavendar it in. I can smell it now!


I can't wait until I have some homemade lemonade too! This table setting was just lovely.


I love perfume bottles and soaps. Here are some really beautiful robin egg blue soaps and some really pretty perfume bottles.


These peonies look beautiful in this wicker basket!


Here are some lilacs hanging on a fence on Mackinac Island in Michigan. This is a very beautiful island and there are no cars there. You have to use bikes or horse drawn carriages. Sounds like my kind of place!

I hope y'all enjoyed all these beautiful pictures! Enjoy your day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday's Garden Stroll

Hi Everyone! I'm getting here a little late, but it is still Saturday! Today I saw my first rose of the season popped out. I love this rose. About 5 yrs. ago I bought it from Antique Rose Emporium through their catalog and every year it is just wonderful! I have decided to take you on a tour of the plants in my courtyard and a few inside my house. I hope you enjoy it!









I have a lovely moss rose bush called William Lobb that I also bought from Antique Rose Emporium. Here are some buds that hopefully will open tomorrow or the next day. See all the "moss" on the stems-you can definitely tell where these rosebushes got their name from!


This hot pink dianthus is in a container in my courtyard. I thought it looked so beautiful today and the color is just amazing!

My hosta plants have just exploded! They are gorgeous! Here are a few pics of them:




Now we continue down the path in the courtyard and here are some more flowers:


The red snapdragons are doing really well in my pottery container this year. They look spicy!!


These are the Coral Bells in my urn that are just blooming away. My Nana gave me these coral bells from one of her plants about 30 years ago! I hope she is looking down from heaven and smiling at the sight of her plants in my garden! When we lived in NJ we had hummingbirds fighting over these little bells, but I haven't seen any here in NC-atleast not yet!

Well my tour now takes you into my house into the living room to be exact. I have a very large Bird of Paradise plant that has been unfurling a new leaf for about 1 month now. Today it decided to start getting down to business and really coming undone!




There are some beautiful colors of green in this leaf. I have really been enjoying this plant. Hopefully it will get a bloom on it too! When it does I will be taking a picture of it to show you.


Last year for Mother's Day Ken and Megan gave me a beautiful orchid. Now I have never been able to get any orchids I have bought over the years to rebloom until now! I was pleasantly surprised about 3 weeks ago with 3 little buds forming on the orchid. Two of the three have opened and here they are!

Thanks for joining me on my plant tour today! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!