September 2, 2014

Bring Spring Indoors

Here’s a  little easy to care for indoor spring garden to cheer the soul that I recently made! I went to Home Depot and got some primroses and a pot of daffodils to plant.  A container of forget-me-nots would be pretty too!

Bring spring indoors by potting up some spring blooming flowers

I placed some little rocks on the bottom of this fabulous punch bowl (that I found at Goodwill last summer) for drainage.

rocks for drainage in the bottom of bowl

I didn’t add any extra dirt. I just took the plants out of their pots (but you can leave them in their pots depending on the container you use), placed them where I wanted them and used moss to cover any exposed areas.

Indoor spring garden planted in a thrifted container

I’m so glad I made this little garden since were supposed to get another snow storm in Atlanta. Ugh! Which means we’ll be house bound  (again) for a few days if it really happens!

primroses

Plus it was soooo good  to get my hands in some soil.  Can’t wait for spring!

Indoor spring garden of daffodils and primroses

In the mean time we’ll be staying warm and cozy at home!

 

A Simple Pleasure – Fresh Cut Camellias From The Garden

Life is full of little pleasures and joys if only we take the time to pay attention to them.  As I was walking my backyard in the freezing cold, thinking about all the leaves I’ve got pick up & shred with the mower and plants that need cutting back, I noticed that one of my camellias still had lots of blooms and even some buds.

A Simple Pleasure - fresh cut camellias from the garden

Fresh cut flowers on  a gloomy cold day would brighten any interior.

camellias on a diy mod podge tray

Free fresh cut flowers from my own garden (in November) on a tray that I made only makes it better!

 

fresh camellias in the living room

Objects are concealed from our view, not so much because they are out of the course of our visual ray as because we do not bring our minds and eyes to bear on them….

Henry David Thoreau (1817-18620)

$2.30 of Prettiness!

I bet you didn’t know that I have the largest Kroger Supermarket  (Fred Meyer, Ralphs)  in the US in my town!  Well I do. They tore down the old one  over a year ago and built a HUGE one. So huge that it takes me an average of  2 hours to go grocery shopping! I’m not a fan of the new size – it has a horrible layout!

sunflower closeup

At the old Kroger I used to know the flower lady and  would buy some marked down flowers every other week. But when they built the new Kroger, there were suddenly new people and no marked down flowers! Which made me sad because nothing brightens a room like fresh flowers.

sunflowers

Until last Friday!  I happened to be walking past and spied an assortment of flowers in a corner, went to have a look and low and behold they were marked down!

marked down flowers

I got two bunches of sunflowers for $1.15 each (and they aren’t even old)!

sunflowers in a glass vase

The new flower lady tells me that she will be marking down flowers Thursday evening into Friday morning from now on. Yay!

flowers on a burlap runner

It gives me so much enjoyment to be able to have some lovely fresh flowers on my dining room table. And what great timing! Clearance flowers available just when there’s not too much for me to pick in my yard.

yellow sunflowers

Having fresh flowers in winter is definitely something I’d call a “simple pleasure”. Just a little something that makes every day life a little sweeter!

What are some simple pleasures you enjoy?

The Pleasure of a Good Book

Books have always been an important part of my life. When I was little the first thing I did on the first day of summer break was head to the library and check out a stack of books. Having all summer to read what you want to read instead of what you have to read was pure bliss.

 reading glasses on a book

Reading a good book is one of my favorite things to do next to gardening.  Re-reading a book that I know well is like having a cozy chat with an old friend.

The Long Winter Little House on the Prairie book

So today, with the icy winds howling around the house, I’m going to  lose myself in a much loved book that I  read every year.

heart shaped sugar cookies

I’m going to nibble on my sugar cookies while I read and be more grateful than usual that I have a warm home and plenty to eat.

What books do you re-read?

 

 

Happiness is…..pleasure in simple things

Happiness is the little things in life….

morning light through toile curtains

…the morning sunlight shining through my favorite drapes

vintage tea towel

… or a pretty vintage tea towel

blue and black toile bedroom

…what’s better than slipping into some fresh sheets at night

narcissus

…or how about blooming bulbs in the dead of winter! Did you force any bulbs? I did two pots of Narcissus.

apothecaryjar

I know some people don’t care for the smell of paperwhites but I love it! Every Christmas Target sells various containers of the bulbs and I always buy some at the after season sale (they’re pre-chilled and most of them have already started sprouting by then). Makes it easy to force bulbs cause all the work is done for you!

hand soap in sink area

How about a bottle of moisturizing handwash with a pretty label that brightens the sink area (I always buy them at TJMaxx – they have an unusual selection and they’re not expensive)

tips of spring flowers

Happiness is…..finding the first bits of green in the garden after a long, cold, (very cold for Atlanta) winter! Is spring here?  Now that would make me very very happy!

blue toile container with white roses

Those are just a few little things that are making me happy this week! What’s making you happy?

A Snowy Cozy Christmas Weekend

We had a really lovely Christmas and I hope you all did too! The thing that made this Christmas super special is that we got snow!!
snowchristmasday
It rarely snows in Atlanta in December and it’s even more rare to get snow on Christmas Day. It was a lovely surprise and made the day even more special for everyone. I think the children in the neighborhood enjoyed the snow more than any presents they received under their trees!
urn
Here are a few wintery scenes from my garden….I’m sure the  snow will be gone by tomorrow.
BirchTree2
hydrangea
bench
barn
bellondoor
BirdNest
MaxieBark
Maxie is enjoying the snow and doesn’t want to come back inside. Yes, I’m leaving you and going inside where it’s warm…crazy dog!
christmasbooks
I’ll make some scrumptious hot coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer, snuggle under a plush throw, have a few Christmas cookies and enjoy my new books for the rest of today! I’m especially anxious to read The New Low Maintenance Garden!

Thanks for dropping by!

 

The Morning Light

Morning Light on a bookcase.
decortingbooks
One of the things I love about this house is the wonderful morning light we get in the living room.
birdnest
My bookcases are stuffed full of all kinds of books.
Toileboxes
Comments are off.

Enjoy your day and I’ll be back tomorrow.

 

A Simple Pleasure

I love being able to use apples that I grew to make homemade apple butter!

homemade oat bread
Having homemade apple butter on homemade bread is definitely something I consider A Simple Pleasure! I’ve been enjoying trying out different bread recipes too.

tray
That’s been my breakfast of choice the past few mornings. Which I’ve been having outside on the screened porch. It’s really the only time we can go out there these days since the heat index makes it feel like 105!

This is my basic recipe for Crock Pot Apple Butter.

Ingredients

  • 5/6 lbs of apples cored and sliced
  • 4 Cups of sugar (adjust to taste as it depends on the sweetness of the apples and how sweet you like things)
  • 2-3 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt

Directions:

Put all the apples in your crock pot. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over the apples, stir. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour then reduce to low and cook about 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally and mash your apples with a potato masher to get a smooth consistency. Taste to adjust the sugar. Your apple butter should be dark brown and thick when done. Makes 3-4 quarts.

You can place this in hot sterilized jars and use the water bath method, but I just make one jar to use immediately and the rest I freeze. It’s supposed to keep for about 3 weeks in the fridge but honestly, it never keeps for longer than a week in my house because everyone eats it up!
apples
This basket of apples (I don’t spray them – they may look splotchy but they’re fine) made just enough for one jar and one that I put in the freezer and I only used about 2 cups of sugar. I don’t peel my apples because I normally use organic ones, but if you use conventionally grown apples, I would peel those (I don’t peel my apples for apple pie either but I know some people don’t care for the texture of the peel).

crock pot apple butter recipe

Yummy! Hope you try the Crock Pot Apple Butter. I don’t know what I’d do without my crock pot!

 

Simple Pleasures

The joy of a stack of yet to be read books! I already started Made from Scratch and am really enjoying it!

Books
A comfy chair with a pretty vintage pillow case from the thrift store.
comfy chair with white vintage pillowcase
Thanks for stopping by today!
chair2 

Make time to do something for yourself – you deserve it

I love reading your comments but instead of leaving me a comment today – find a new to you blogger and give them some love and encouragement.

 

My Comments Are Off Today.

A Simple Pleasure

homegrown strawberries
Home grown strawberries!

colander
I picked some today to make a strawberry-rhubarb crisp.

strawberrypatch
But you know what? They taste so incredibly delicious plain and warmed by the sun. 

French lavender in a crate
That I’m going to have a little bowl of them just as they are! Au naturale!

strawberry bed

This is my strawberry bed. The pots on the sticks are so I don’t poke my eye out when I go to remove the netting!

netting

As you can see, once the berries start to turn red we have to net them or the pesky birds come and take nibbles out of them!

Yummyberries

I really want to encourage you to grow your own! They grow in pots if you don’t have a space outside. I read that they grow well in those Topsy Turvy planters too!

Believe me, a store bought strawberry doesn’t taste anything like a homegrown one!

As always, thanks for visiting today. I hope you all have wonderful weekends!

Simple Pleasures

Bow
Fresh flowers on my dining room table.

I love having fresh flowers in my home and I’ve found that the best place to buy them is at the grocery store.
Vase

I’m fortunate that my local grocery store marks down their flowers every week. But even if they didn’t, I’d still buy a bouquet.  I budget $5-10 every other week for flowers – it’s that important to me!
Flowers

I’ve found that I don’t have to buy them every week. If you take care to change the water frequently and remove the leaves below the water, they will often last up to two weeks (and I’ll confess that I use faux flowers if they don’t)!
runner
Another thing I love – pom pom fringe! Everything looks so much cuter with a few pom poms don’t ya think?

Afternoon Coffee Break

Don’t you just love rituals! Every afternoon when my daughter was in school she would come home and I’d have a cup of coffee and she would have a cup of tea, or hot chocolate and tell me about her school day. We’d always have a little snack.  Most of the time it’s something I’ve baked.  Like this Southern style cola cake I made recently!

Easy to make root beer bundt cake

Now that she’s  finished with High School we have Afternoon Coffee Breaks where we have some one on one time and talk about what we’ve been doing  or just random things. On the weekends my husband and I always stop to have afternoon coffee together,  sometimes our daughter joins us and sometimes it’s just the two of us. We always have a little treat!

for one tea pot with cherry design
This cake is super easy to make since it uses a box cake mix and it’s so delicious and flavorful!

Root Beer Cake a Southern style cola cake

It’s really easy to make since it uses a box cake mix.  It was very moist and I found that it was actually even better the next day. It’s nice to have dessert that’s good the next day and the next!

Here’s  the recipe for this  delicious Root Beer Spice Cake.

Root Beer Spice Cake

1 box of Spice Cake mix & ingredients listed on box (this is also good with Devil’s Food Cake mix)
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Root beer (not diet)

  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray.
  • Make cake according to directions on the box except substitute root beer for the water. Add the remaining ingredients. Bake according to box directions or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let it cool.
  • Dust with confectioners sugar or frosting of your choice.

Enjoy and have a lovely weekend!

A Cold Autumn Day

There’s no place better to be than home on a cold blustery day! There’s no room in my house that’s as cozy in the fall as my kitchen since it’s always the warmest place to be! It’s also usually the best smelling room in my home as there’s bound to be something good in the oven, stove top or the crockpot!

It was 40 degrees when we woke up today! Just a few days ago I had to turn on the AC it was so hot. We have our first freeze warning for tomorrow so I went outside this morning and brought in some chilies and basil to dry in my dehydrator and some other veggies to use up this week.

It’s kind of early for us to have a freeze so I left a few things in the garden and I’ll just cover them. We might only get one night of freezing temps and then it could be back to warm weather.

My reliable Mr. Coffee Dehydrator that I’ve had for about 20 years!

Taco Soup simmering in the crockpot for dinner tonight. I think I’ll make some cornbread with that. Here’s the recipe I use Southern Food Taco Soup. So I have the oven on, the dehydrator and the crockpot!

My very very cute “Home” pillow from Kathy at Kathy’s Cottage is on my kitchen window seat. Isn’t the red polka dot door just the sweetest thing! She has an Etsy shop but you have to be quick! Kathy’s creations go fast!You can click on the picture to enlarge it and see all the cute details Kathy added.

I made a plum blackberry crisp for afternoon coffee. Yummy! I had half a bag of frozen blackberries from our bushes left and added that to 6 plums. I made the topping using juice and olive oil this time instead of butter (gotta watch my cholesterol apparently it’s creeping up every year). It turned out really good! I don’t have a recipe – I just threw things together and hoped for the best!

Those bowls are from the fabulous Country Living Collection at K Mart. So much cute stuff! I bought a few things which I’ll share next week.

Well, I think I’m going to snuggle under some covers and watch my Netflix DVD “Little Dorrit” now. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

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