Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yard Work

This rose bush is gorgeous this year!  It has been a head  turner for walkers in  the neighborhood.  I have been cutting them for a bouquet in my front window over my sink which has been so nice.  

Out back by the patio I have been working on adding in a flower bed between the backyard and my brick patio area.  I wanted to define the area between the two and I think this is working.  I have topped off the area with Cocoa mulch.  Love that stuff.  The aroma is wonderful and is also great for the soil!
I was hoping these iris would have bloomed this year.  I had transplanted them from another area in the yard so hopefully next spring they will bloom. I also have a kangaroo paw to the left of the iris which are fun plants.  They have such a cool texture to the flower, like velvet.  Projects are always nice once you get to the end of them.  Mine seem to be ongoing~

Here is one of m beautiful artichoke plants.  I am so exciting to have 9 chokes between my two plants!  I harvested my first one a couple of days ago and am going to cook it up today.  This guy is next!  Love artichokes!!

I have never grown strawberries in this type of planter before and thought I would give it a try this year.  I have 25 plants growing and it seems to be working.   I have some blossoms going so hopefully I can try to some great strawberries soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


My love for cookbooks is growing. I have run into the problem of space for them which is the only thing holding me back from purchasing more! These are just a few to give a taste of what I like. America's Test Kitchen is a great book because they also comment on kitchen gadgets, cookware and ingredients which is a great learning tool to read.
I love the Food Network. My TV must be programmed only to that channel. I enjoy watching the chefs and learning from them. I get a lot of ideas from them and like to think of how I could make a dish similar but change up a few ingredients to my liking. I think that is why I prefer to cook than to bake. To measure precisely is not my cup of tea. I like to be creative and add my own ideas for ingredients. One of my favorite's is Giada de Laurentis. She makes me sick looking at how skinny she is and can still eat pasta! Pasta is one of my major food groups but sticks to me like glue.

I think it is fun to give cookbooks as gifts as it is fun to receive them too. I think I should retire early, like now, so I can stay home and cook and try all the recipes I have tagged to try SOMEDAY. I think I will need a guinea pig to try them too!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Garden Time

Hydrangeas are beautiful! I couldn't pass them up while doing a little shopping in the garden department. I have been slowly working on landscaping my backyard which had not been done in years. It is a long, slow process with only one worker-ME. I decided to incorporate several hydrangeas along the fence line to help take up space and add beautiful color and foliage.
I also have a few iris plants as well. This guy below just opened up Easter weekend and needed his picture taken! Iris's are a nice bulb to have because they come back every year and are easy to maintain.

I also picked up a flat of impatiens to add into some of my shadier areas in the backyard, along the side of the garage and off the patio area. They are always a cute flower to look at and I think they will do well where I plant them.

Also in the backyard, since I have the room, I have added a few citrus trees. I have planted an orange and lemon tree and have a new addition-Pumello tree. Have you ever had a Pumello? If not, you need to try one. They are awesome! They are a large yellow Chinese grapefruit. They are delicious and I am hoping to at least get 1!

Finally I was able to con my brother into picking up a yard of planing mix from a local landscape yard. I wanted this for my garden "box". I have decided to downsize my garden from the previous years so it would be more maintainable for me. So far, this hasn't happened. I started growing items outside the box too! This years garden consists of artichokes, potatoes-red, yellow and russet, red onion, sweet onion, green onions, garlic, leeks, carrots, radishes, spring mix lettuce, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, red bell peppers and pablano peppers...and not to mention 8 heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe. I may be forgetting something. Today I took a look at thins and from seed, I have 1 iceberg lettuce that poke his head out of the ground, 4 radishes and 4 green onions that have sprouted-so exciting. I had to look closely to see them but was able to count something!

And a must have was this cute little garden hat that I needed to get the job done!!! Why did I need it~it was paisley!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Amber Rose

Amber Rose is one of those GREAT friends! She is so honest, reliable, funny and generous. She and I met at college and soon became great friends. After college she moved away to Nevada City. While it is not terribly far from me, it is an all day event. So needless to say, we do not see one another ofter. This past weekend, she was heading to San Francisco for the weekend, so I met up with her there and met her first baby for my first time! It was wonderful! This is baby Zanyon! Is he winking at me in the above photo?Aren't I the cutest? No smiles but was a very good baby that day. I say that because Amber and I went shopping for her wedding dress. Yes, she is getting married next month in Hawaii and still needed a dress! Wish I could be there for her wedding but I will hear all about it and see all the photos.Here I am, Auntie Julie, with baby Zanyon. He was so good about letting me hold him although he was hungry and I couldn't help him out with that~

Monday, April 6, 2009


There is something about Paisley that I just love. I love the pattern and colors that are used in most of the designs. To me there is something whimsical about it.

I am also fond of quilts and quilting texture too which is also why I love the combination of Paisley and quilting together! Brands like Lemon Hill and Vera Bradley are definitely trouble with their designs.

These two pictures of are my bedding. I am enjoying the pink and green combination of the Paisley. What are your favorite designs or patterns that you are attracted to?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Healthy Lunch

My new healthy lunch that I have been enjoying and thought I would share. I have been trying to eat a little healthier unlike the sandwich below. This salad is made with Spring lettuce mix, raw pecans, dried cranberries, chicken salad and poppy seed dressing! I know it isn't too low fat but low carb. My chicken salad is pretty simple-shredded chicken breast, mayo, lots of celery, green onions and crushed red pepper flakes. This combination is very yummy and recommend trying it.
This sandwich was awesome! Right up my alley! Crab cake melt which was from KC's Downtown Grill in Windsor, CA. Filled with melted Jack cheese, 2 crab cakes, tomato slices, lettuce, avocado and a sun dried tomato pesto! Not to mention the nice stack of onion rings on the side! My favorite. I could go on and on about dishes like this but I am trying to cut back and be good! Maybe I will come up with a little healthier version~

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