Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall Touches With a Vintage Garden Basket

Fall and cooler weather doesn't come too soon here in the Arizona desert. But, as it is, I've already started some of my "fall nesting" as Melissa from The Inspired Rooms calls it. I've started my fall plumping out in the garden.

Remember that lovely vintage garden basket I saw during my recent visit to one of Portland's secondhand shops? I did get it home and this is where it sits now. Simple, yet perfect. Have a wonderful day! I'm doing some gardening today, meeting a young mom, heading out to a lunch meeting and who knows what else.

Turning a Shed into a Charming Cottage

Would it be fun to turn an back yard structure into a garden cottage? This family did just that! Take the transformation tour of the cottage and the garden.

And stop by Julia's at Hooked on Houses - because sweet Julia shared this fun story first!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Sunday To You

Take a beauty pause today and don't forget to look up.

Finding New . . .

. . . .recipes while drinking a fresh cup of French Press is on my top ten list of relaxation - and it makes it to the top if I can sit and gaze off into the beach.

You could have almost heard me scream with delight during my morning garden check. Finally,my tepary beans are peeking out of all the foliage. I've been waiting and waiting - forever for beans, but when I stopped watering them every day (changed to once a week) the "fruit" started to pop out.

Isn't that interesting - kind of a life principle - when we are "stressed out" there's greater potential to bear fruit. How often have I learned the greatest life lessons when the stressors in my life stand tall.

This NY Times article is encouraging to understand the value of tepary beans. Perhaps you'll grow some!

Here's one recipe I found and will try soon.

Papago Tepary Bean Soup - serves 6
2 cups tepary beans, soaked
1 clove garlic, diced
6 cups water
1 ts mixed oregano and cumin
3 cups tomatoes with the juice
4 slices of bacon
1 medium onion - chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 carrots sliced

Drain soaked beans and bring them to boil in a big pot. When they're tender, fry bacon until it's limp. Remove the bacon and then add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and saute this.

Add the bacon, tomatoes and juice and the remaining spices. Cook for about 10 minutes and then add the beans. Cook this for another hour until the beans are "mealy-tender"

It's great served with tortillas or Indian fry bread. If you want to add a bit of a "kick" - dried red Chile pepper may be stirred into the pot during the last 10 minutes. Recipe source here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hooked on Lovely Vintage Lights That Sparkle

I don't know what it is, but recently I've been enchanted with vintage lights of all kinds so I thought it'd be fun to start a photo collection of them.

Where would you put this one?

I bet a Victorian type of dining room would perfect for this one.

How about this one? Where could it fit?

I think this is way too cute!

Love the soft colors in this light!

How about this one? Got a place where it could fit? Head on over to Julia's to see what she's hooked!

Blog Love

Love this. Want that Sprinkles cupcake real bad. Camelback Flowership - Phoenix, Arizona

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paris Envy

Believe me, I was so sad when this sweet little shop - right here in my city - was closed. Don't you want to see what else is in there? Have a wonderful day! xoxo

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Notebook on Morning Contemplations

And, when was the last time you slowed down long enough to contemplate the meaning of life? Don't hesitate to visit the Gratitude Community here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

From My Garden

We're in the midst of planting nasturium, spinach, lettuce, beets, radishes, squash, kale, carrots, swiss chard, arugula and more. This pretty salad plaste (minus the goat cheese) was from the spring/summer crop. Did you know pansies and nasturium are edible?

Simple Williams Sonoma StyleTable

Williams Sonoma has such class when it comes to simple yet elegant in everything home. I felt just a bit funny taking pictures of my recent window shopping trip through WS - but so glad to cature some this table dressing idea and this one here. Don't you love the crispness of the blue plates on the white and the touch of sparkle with those crystal goblets?

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget Between Naps on the Porch for more fun ideas to create sanctuary!

Simple Home Living: A Farm on Every Floor

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Notebook on My Garden

Early every morning, after I make French Press and pancakes or eggs and toast or
steel cut oats, hubs and I . . . . walk past our herbs . . . .

. . . .and head down this Princess Pathway (the story about the name on another post)
. . . toward the back of our garden . . .

. . . where we enjoy al-fresco breakfast together.

A Sunday Bouquet For You

Enjoy your day and those loved ones around you. May you grasp, today, what it means to live before your Audience of one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vintage Inspiration of Passed Lives

I'm a big one to leave a legacy that matters. I think about it all the time . . daily. I want my life to count and I want to leave this world having left what matters.

My grandfather, August Zentgraf, left much that mattered. He immigrated from Germany on a steamer ship with nothing but his worldly belongings in his steamer trunk, the required $32, and a black forest canary (which died on the way). Many of those things that matter for life my grandfather modeled for me. They live on in my head. Often, I will think, "what would grandfather do?".

Last Monday, Michael and I went vintage shopping for our anniversary, and you must know that it was more for me - than for him. One of the places we stopped at had the "passed lives" above display that caught my attention. . .and the pictures and mementos behind the glass reminded again of how short life really is and how much we take for granted.

Seeing the beauty of this tea set caused my to wonder about the woman who owned it. Did you serve many with it or did it sit on a pretty shelf collecting dust? Was she loved and cared for and did she truly love and care for others by giving of herself. Was she centered out of her home? Was she content or was she trying to fill vacant spot in her feminine soul with more that won't last?

Who was the man that walked in these shoes? Did he love his wife and provide for his children. What kind of legacy did he leave. . . one of self-centeredness or one of other centeredness? Did he teach his children about God by the life he modeled or was it one of hypocrisy?

Why is it that younger women (and men) don't often think about the legacy they want to leave? How many life as if what they do doesn't really matter and that the consequences of poor choices won't effect them or others - for a life time?

And, how many do you know, who are the "end of life" time, finally consider attempting to repair broken bridges between people they are bitter toward? What legacy will you leave? Leaving a legacy is a beautiful thing and for more beautiful things visit Melissa's The Inspired Room and Julia's Hooked on Houses.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Notebook On One Thing I Love

I'm sure I can never get enough of the beauty and fragrant soothing power of Lavender. The front entrance to our home is graced with French lavender and I keep finding new spots in our garden for more touches of English, Spanish and French lavender which fortunately, for me, it grows well here in the Arizona desert.

Lavender is a hardy perennial native to the Mediterranean and one of the most popular herbs grown. It soothes my soul, clears my mind and puts a smile on my face.

Lavender has a way of soothing the soul. Taken in deeply, it clears the mind of clutter and clarifies what is important. Lavender is a God-connector to me. I think of its beauty and I think of God and how much He must love me to place such a gift across my pathway.

What connects you to God?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Notebook on The Beauty of an Antique

Lately, I've spent some time vintage looking and shopping.

While in Portland, my heart was drawn to this vintagy shabby chic garden basket and this week it's found a pretty new spot in my garden.

My friend, Melissa (Seattle area) is also a lover of things old, unique and full of history. She says (about antiques) . . . it's remarkably special to own unique pieces with a real history. I love knowing that a piece was around way back when. There is something beautiful about an antique that no piece made today can quite capture . . . . . . and, antiques have a story to tell.

And, so for all lovers of history, old and vintage, I'm really thrilled to tell you about a rare and special give away . . . at Melissa's The Inspired Room . . . something vintage, something old . . . and something with history . . . something timeless . . .

. . given by 3 Fine Grains . . . and your opportunity to win . . . you'll definitely want to go here . . . The Beauty of an Antique & A Very Rare Giveaway - so run - don't walk to Melissa's Room!

Notebook on Weeds

Sometimes life has too many weeds and by the time we notice them, they've overtaken the surrounding simple beauty. Digging and weeding and pulling and hard work is often the only way to get rid of those nasty roots.

Is it time to do some weeding? In your garden? In your feminine soul?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Femininity of a Woman . . .

Another thing that caught my eye at Peggys Sunday were these beautiful and colorful displays and collection of things fragrant and French for the feminine soul. Aren't we always drawn to fragrance and beauty?

What woman doesn't love lovely lotions, pretty colors and beautiful scents that seem to heighten her self-awareness that she is feminine.

Years ago my daughters gave me Angel for my birthday and for many seasons it was my perfume of choice. When Angel no longer worked for me, my passion turned toward Channel Number 5. ( birthday is coming soon, honey.)

And, today I still love her.

But, really, is it what we add to our outer self that makes us truly feminine or is it what we think about ourselves that will grace us to walk in our true femininity that sometimes is masked by the outer?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Notebook on Beauty and the Table

This past Monday hubs and I celebrated our anniversary and he was such a love to let me lolly gag through Williams Sonoma. I always love to get new ideas to create beauty at my dinner table and what better place than WS or PB or CB.

I'm very drawn to white these days.

Lovely? Yes? Peaceful, yes? More beauty can be found at Between Naps on the Porch and at Melissa's Inspired Room and at Julia's Hooked on Houses! Enjoy your weekend - mine is spent gardening, time in my kitchen, kissing my husband and snuggling grand kiddos on the home front.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Notebook on A Perfect Morning

What's your idea of a perfect morning? Mine is al-fresco-ing with fresh eggs just laid, fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes just picked, fresh brewed French press coffee being just poured and sharing it all with the one you love.

How about you? What gives you full of joy?