country life · flowers · Gardening

How Does Your Garden Grow

Okra 3

I was worried about how my potted garden was going to make out. I have tried to grow things in the ground here before to no luck. I had roses bushes that were over 6 feet tall that had very little branching and maybe one or two flowers a year. My rosemary I planted a few years ago never took root and died. I had potted Indonesian peppers from my sister-in-law that did great for a while and then got a bug that just demolished them. My yard is primarily Bahia grass because of the heat and sandy soil.

Garden pots 1
To my surprise my tomato plants are about 5 feet high with lots of incredible blooms on them. I have a beef steak tomato and I forgot the other one that I planted. Can’t wait to see how they produce. My okra has done amazingly well. I will be cutting a few of those tasty treats today to put on the grill for my dinner tonight. How exciting is that!

 


My lemon trees are growing well, and I have 2 lemons on each tree already. One tree came with a lemon but to see new ones growing already is surprising.

 


I have been clipping my herbs and using them for cooking. They did great and I have new basil already growing after it has gone to seed. My lavender and mint got a little beaten up the past few storms we have had but they are hanging in there.

Potted plants 2
It is a sauna here most days and with the fierce rain storms we have been having I am just happy everything is still alive. While my sister struggles with lack of rain for weeks at a time, I am here hoping not to drown the roots of my little garden. We are expecting very little rain for the next few days, so I will be having to water. All in all, just the few months I have had my garden we are doing pretty good. I will be prepping for fall planting in a few weeks. I am excited to see if we can keep this thing going.

Potted plants 1
Part of me would like to have a green house so that I can protect my garden. My sister is going to have one built since they freeze for long periods of time. She has A LOT of plants in pots too! I can’t wait to see when she gets that built. Oh and the changes to the ranch, I will take lots of pictures for you when I visit so you can see what she has been up to. She is so busy she hasn’t had a chance to share anything. Don’t worry, she will be back soon to show you what is happening!

We ate the pineapple already!!!!

Crafts · Family · Silhoutte · Wedding

Flag on the Play

Wedding Flags 7

I have been busy working on wedding projects this week. One of my projects was to make flags for the wedding. I used my Silhouette to make a pattern for cutting out the duck cloth. I purchased a burgandy wine duck cloth to go with the wedding colors. I could have just cut it out with the Silhouette and save myself some time, but I forgot I could do that. Then I used my Silhouette to cut out HTV (heat transfer vinyl) for the wording on the flags. Once I was done with the Silhouette and had cut out all 45 of the flags, I used heavy duty Wonder Under and my Cricut Easy Press to make the flags. I love this little heat press. Then I pressed the little saying on the duck cloth. When all was said and done, I had decorated the flags up and prepared them for the final touches when I get to Texas.


Ashley had a couple requests for me to do. Again, using my Silhouette, I made tote bags for her wedding party. It took me a little while to find the font that I wanted but once I did, it was all magic from there. I purchased the beautiful rose gold HTV from My Vinyl Direct. I am so pleased with their version of heat transfer vinyl. I think they came out pretty good, don’t you?


I also made some vinyl decals for her. I don’t know how I ever lived without my Silhouette. I made these decals and they are ready to go on whatever she wants to use them on. I can tell you that I will be ordering from My Vinyl Direct again. My order was completed and out the door on the same day. I received it in a couple days from them and it was perfect. Great service and prices. Now, let’s hope that Ashley likes what I have done for her.

Sip Sip Hooray Stickers for Ashley 2018

Family · Food · Shopping · Vintage

Fancy That…

The Fancy Flea Lakeland 2018-1
Once a year, my husband and I go the Lakeland for the Fancy Flea. The Fancy Flea is not what I would call a ‘flea market’ but more of an antique or vintage market. It happens every year at the end of July in Lakeland Florida. They also have one in Plant City at the end of April which is always my birthday weekend. Lucky me! As I was saying, my husband and I do the Lakeland one together and make a date day out of it.

 

The Fancy Flea has a theme each time and it is always a treat to see how they decorate the entrance. After paying to get in and getting our hand stamped, I have to decide which side to start on or if I want to start with a mimosa! Oh yes, they have lovely drinks and food. Since this one is held inside, no worries about the heat. Just enjoy the adventure in the air conditioning.


I am sorry to say that I got so wrapped up in my shopping that I didn’t get to take many photos for you. But you can check out what they posted on Facebook. One treat was a wooden child’s murphy bed. I had not seen one of those in years and it even had the feather mattress. As I looked at all the vintage clothing and jewelry my wonderful husband watched and asked questions. I always go with a goal in mind of what I am looking for, so I don’t go crazy buying all the ‘wants’ I have. From old windows to unique jewelry, quilts, clothes and vintage kitchen utensils, you can find it and more when you visit a Fancy Flea market. I must admit, I found furs that I wanted again. It was so hard not buying this beautiful mink scarf I found.
One of my all-time favorites is the County Argyle. If you have not seen them at one of the many vintage markets here in Florida, then you need to check them out at The Lovely Boutique Market in Orlando. A few years ago, I picked up an incredible vintage snake belt/necklace. LOVE IT! This year I wasn’t so lucky in finding what I wanted from them, but I need to go hit up the boutique soon. You will not be disappointed when you shop with these gentlemen.

Harrys after Fancy Flea 2018-1

After spending a couple hours shopping, we headed downtown Lakeland for lunch at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille. A nice Cajun inspired restaurant that never disappoints. Had myself a nice dirty martini and a grilled chicken Cesar salad. My husband opted for a po’boy with his beer as we sat out on the patio area enjoying the gorgeous day. Lakeland had a farmer’s market that was wrapping up when we arrived but that didn’t stop us from walking off our lunch shopping downtown.

One place we must go to is Lloyd’s of Lakeland. What a treasure trove of vintage and antique wares! We met the incredible Ms. Ruby a few years ago when I purchased a vintage Whiting & Davis handbag from her. I sat and listened as she shared her story with us. What an amazing and wonderful lady. Unfortunately, she passed away and we will miss seeing her, but we always think of her as we explore Lloyd’s of Lakeland. When you visit Lloyd’s don’t forget to check out the upstairs. The incredible furniture you will find will be a delight.

Closet Cleanout 2
I just love this purse

Lloyds of Lakeland after fancy flea 2018-1
Scout & Tag is another favorite of mine. Furniture is amazing, and they do teach classes there too. The soaps and candles are smell incredible and I never know what I will find or what I idea I will take to try at home from them.

A town rich in history, Lakeland Florida holds fond memories of cobblestone streets, lake walks and family. I spent many a summer with our great-grandma Penny and Aunt Betty as a very young child. And every time I visit, it brings back those sweet memories. And every year, my husband and I make memories of our own walking the cobble stone streets of downtown Lakeland. And of course my goodies I bought at The Fancy Flea! The pink vintage top, costume jewelry snake necklace, vintage leather driving gloves and dog knife rests.

 

Crafts · Family · Party · Surprise · Wedding

So What’s New?

There is a great deal going on right now. We are down to the wire on the wedding shower for Ashley. That means I have a lot to get done before I head back to Texas. I had her brooch bouquet just about finished and torn the whole thing apart yesterday! It just wasn’t what I thought it should be. I scrapped the whole thing, ordered what I wanted for it and now I am waiting for my deliveries. Crazy I know, but it just didn’t speak ‘Ashley’ to me like it needed to do. I think my sister and niece were a little surprised at the news, but they know if I don’t like, ain’t nobody gonna see it.
I will be finishing up the rest of my to do list for the wedding next week. Bouquet, hair pieces, corsages, jars, flags, dream catchers…the list goes on and on. But I will be done and everything ready to head to Texas with me in a few weeks. I will be taking a few days after the shower to visit my daughter Lacey in Houston. She just returned from vacation with Abby and Maya, so I can’t wait to catch up on what is going on with her. I am hoping to see Amber and Chris while I am there. It will be great to see them. Their wedding is just after the new year! You will see what I am doing for Amber later this year.
We now have our official Facebook Page up and running as of yesterday. Look and ‘like’ our page so that you can see the latest of our adventures in your newsfeed. We are also on Instagram and will be posting little pictures and videos of our adventures between our blog posts. Our Pinterest boards are growing, and we are sharing the great people we have been following with you. We are also on Twitter.
It is all so exciting for us. Marie introduced me recently to an app called Marco Polo. On this app you send little videos for free back and forth instead of having to type out a text message. You can find it in the app store so check it out. We have had so much fun with it and when we shop it is easier to communicate when you need someone’s opinion. No longer must we take pictures and try to get them to send. We just make a little video and share.
In September we will be adding a series of blogs/posts called ‘Tips, Hacks and Cowboy Hats’. It will be where we share helpful hints and open it up for you to share your helpful ideas with us or questions. I always find it interesting when Marie and I cook or work together at the different ways we do things. And I am always learning about new tools, programs or apps from Ashley and Marie. They seem to know what is the latest and greatest that will make my life easier.
So, have a great weekend, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I can’t wait to hear from y’all and please share with us your ideas or questions. What are you working on? Is there something fabulous you would like to share? Hope to hear from you soon!

Crafts · Glass · Recycle/repurpose · Tools · Wedding

Dremel Me This

I am in love with my Dremel. Let’s be honest, it is a tool that can be used in so many ways. From carving wood to fixing tile in the bathroom the Dremel can handle it all. Currently, I have three of them. I have the mini engraver, a cordless one and of course the big workhorse. I have used it on metal, wood, glass, plastic and stones.

One of the ways I use it the most is on glass. I love the feel of the glass when you etch with the Dremel. Wet or dry, engraving with the Dremel gives you great results. You can etch/engrave sea glass to wine glasses with it. The ideas are as endless as your imagination.

When my daughter Lacey was in elementary school, one of the things expected of parents is to help earn money to support the small private school. Classes would make baskets to be auctioned off as fund-raisers. I etched beer glasses with my Dremel for a bar-b-que basket the class did. It drew a lot of attention and I must admit went for a good price too.

I have etched a few beer mugs and wine glasses through the years. Wedding gifts of custom pitchers and glasses make great gifts. Customized jewelry and Christmas ornaments all can be with the Dremel. Reverse engraving on a mirror and a little glass paint make unique items to give or sell.

Reverse etching Mirror Texas
Reverse Etched Mirror and Mug

On Pinterest you can find incredible ideas of how to use the Dremel. But I warn you, etching with the Dremel can be addictive and the possibilities are endless as what you can do. Just take a look at a couple of the boards on Pinterest for glass etching with the Dremel.

Baking · Cooking · Food · Surprise

Is That Brioche?

Bread Pudding 12
So creamy and delicious

My husband and I are huge fans of bread pudding. During one of our dinners at Kres is Orlando, the chef had sent out bread pudding for us to try after the incredible dinner he had prepared. What a surprise and enjoyment to taste this amazing creation. It was made with Brioche!

Brioche is amazing bread. So light and a little sweetness that you just can’t resist, or at least it is hard for me. When I was shopping at The Fresh Market in Kissimmee I picked up a package of their cinnamon swirl brioche tray. It is like a cinnamon roll without the icing and extra sugar. Such a nice balance of the brioche with the cinnamon. Tasted so good warmed up with a little butter on it. The next day I had a piece toasted with fresh fruit.

Tonight, after the brioche had been in the refrigerator for a couple of days I decided to fix my husband a little surprise of bread pudding from the cinnamon swirl brioche. Now there are a million recipes for bread pudding out there. But this recipe is mine. So, you’re getting my little secrets I don’t normally share.

1 loaf of cinnamon swirl brioche
4 eggs beaten
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon and a little more to dust the top
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried strawberries diced
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut brioche into 1-inch cubes and place in large bowl. In another bowl combine the sugar, beaten eggs, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon making sure it is mixed well. Pour mixture over brioche cubes and let soak for 30 minutes. (Brioche is not toasted or dry, so you don’t need to soak any longer than that. If you do have dried brioche, then soak at least an hr.) Fold in the cranberries and strawberries. Spray casserole or baking dish with Pam or you can use butter. Pour mixture into dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Allow the bread pudding to cool. You can top with whatever whiskey sauce, chocolate sauce, vanilla sauce, fresh fruit or ice cream of your choice.

Bread Pudding 9
Out of the oven and cooled

As I mentioned, I used dried strawberries in this one. You can use whatever dried fruits you would like and nuts as well. Here in Central Florida we are huge on the strawberries and if you haven’t tried dried strawberries, you should. It is like a little fruit leather (fruit roll-up) still in the fruit. There are recipes on Pinterest with directions for drying strawberries. You don’t need extra sugar with them as the drying process brings that out. But once you have one, it is hard to stop eating them.

Tonight, I had some fresh strawberries I need to use up. I cut them up and add a little sweetener (I use Swerve instead of sugar 90% of the time) to them (about a tablespoon) and let them sit in the refrigerator while I made the bread pudding. Then I added an oz of both vodka and Chambord to the strawberries. Gave them a little mix and put them back in the refrigerator. When I gave the bread pudding to my husband, I topped it off with the drunk strawberries. Now here is a little secret, take the strawberries (4 cups worth), leave them whole but remove stems and place in a Ziploc bag. Add the sugar, ½ cup fresh orange juice, vodka, and an oz of Grand Marnier. Let the strawberries sit for about an hour turning every 1/5 minutes. Serve the strawberries in a nice stemmed glass with a little sprinkle of rock sugar on top and some whipped cream. Taste incredible with a scone or shortbread cookie on the side and a nice cup of coffee.

Enjoy!

 

Clothes · Shopping · Vintage

My Closet

Closet Cleanout Hats
Hats

This is my final closet clean out for my clothes. Yep, there is a huge pile of clothes that do not fit. I even got into my winter clothes and pulled out those that no longer fit. Talk about an emotion event. I love clothes and shoes. I buy vintages hats and coats all the time. I love them! Oh, and fur coats are my weakness. Not that you need coats like that here in Florida, but I love them.


When we would go antiquing, I would always be drawn to the vintage clothes. When I was young I would go second-hand shopping in the wealthy areas. I would get clothes with the tags still on or ones that were only wore once. There was nothing like picking up a Chanel suit still in season to make this girl happy. I had so many clothes when I was younger that I never wore the same outfit twice. I kept a journal of just my clothes and what I wore to where every day. It included my accessories and jewelry. I was a little clothes crazy back then I guess you could say. For those that are my age, you might remember that Pier 1 Imports once also carried clothes. Oh, I loved shopping there too.


So fast forward and here we are with a pile of clothes. No more holding on to clothes I can’t wear. I am excited about finding my new style at this point in my life. I still love vintage. I love that 50’s vibe. No need for power suits but a good LBD is in my future. Blazers and ankle pants. Vintage accessories and pretty shoes. And I am still gonna get more hats my friends.

Clothes Cleanout 1
Final Closet Clean out

Marie and I went shopping on my last visit. It was exhilarating to try on clothes. To be honest, it is exciting to shop with someone who will be honest with you too. I love that about Marie and Ashley. Ashley is our fashion guru in the family, so when she says something isn’t right, it isn’t. We all go through different phases in our lives and our clothes should too. So why don’t we upgrade our wardrobes like we should? Why do we try to hold on to our younger years? There is nothing back there that we need. We are incredible women no matter what size or shape we are. So, embrace your life. Embrace your age. Embrace the beauty from within and let it show.

 

As for me, I am gonna try on those vintage clothes next time. I am going to continue to upgrade my wardrobe. Maybe a little more 50’s vibe is needed or a little western flair. Boho isn’t my thing but how about a little color other than black. I wore tenni runners (casual tennis shoes not athletic shoes) in public y’all, that ain’t ever happened before! I love skirts and miss those blazers. So, keep an eye out and let’s see what my future wardrobe holds. And did I mention I have let my hair grow out some. Yes people, I have had short hair for years and spiky hair for at least the last 6 years. I am so excited!!!

Closet Cleanout 2
I just love this purse