Flower shopping and no, these are not all mine. Emily and I made a killing at our local nursery and you might remember, I had that Mother's Day gift certificate from my kids. That was really such a big help and I'm all set. We always do a lot of petunias. They do so well in our area. Emily chose a hanging basket of them and I went with a simple fern for my back porch. I find sometimes you notice flowers in some spots if you keep things simple in other areas. We just had a great time as always. I love watching Emily search through the rows of flowers and plants. 27 years ago she sat in the front of my cart, drinking her bottle of juice while I pointed out the pretty flowers...in this very same nursery!
Charlie The Painter was here Tuesday and part of Wednesday. The old, old wallpaper came down with just a bit of a struggle and this is a glimpse of the finished room. A little 'tone on tone' going here. I wish I could show you more---even a before and after is iffy at this point as we have absolutely no furniture for the room yet. The Husband just can't make up his mind, not so much about what to do with the room, but how much and how long he can give me grief. I'm running out of strategies to get the chairs and tables I want. You'd think I'd know more about those 'buttons' of his to push after almost thirty years. Nah. He seems to upgrade them every once in awhile. Totally throws me off.
I also mentioned in my last post that I had Charlie (The Painter) do Abigail's old room. It's a soft gray with crisp white trim and I absolutely love it. I just can't seem to get a good photo of it and I have some pieces of furniture in the center of the room. I'm making better progress on this room, and it's surprising as this will be a guest room and I can't imagine why for the life of me why we need a guest room.. We've never had guests in our life! Abby has been a frequent one since she moved out in February but she's happier than a clam sleeping on the sofa in the family room. Anywho, I found an upholstered linen headboard at Pier 1 that I can pick up in a few days and I'm almost finished painting a dresser. Lots more to do but I feel like I'm chipping away at it. :)
We went to my soon-to-be daughter in law's wedding shower Friday night and it was a spectacular time. So much to say---but first, I did find the shoes I wanted. Emily and I went out to the suburbs to a favorite outdoor mall and I found these at Macy's. May I say I saw a picture of Jennifer Lawrence on Yahoo News wearing these? So you know they are cool. I wore them with tapered black pants, a long black lightweight cardigan cinched at the waist with a bright sort of 'Dreamsicle' orange tank under. Abby helped me out a lot.
The shower was held at Deirdre's sister's house. Katie and her husband have been renovating their home for over a year and the architectural work is simply stunning. For all of us to wander around oohing and ahhing without much furniture to look at, you have to know this is going to be a beautiful home.
Maeve, Deirdre's mom, made all of the food; three different sorts of small sandwiches with her own homemade condiments on each. A very different (to me) wild rice salad with dried fruit and veggies served at room temperature, as well as a few other side dishes. The desserts were plates of cupcakes and brownies, as well as sorbet with a dollop of blackberry sauce. Since Katie hasn't yet furnished the whole house, two tables for ten were set up in the dining room and another in the breakfast nook. Tablecloths, candles and beautiful centerpieces of white lilies in simple vases completed the ambiance. Sorry---no pictures. I didn't want to intrude, especially since we were being introduced to so many of Deirdre's family and friends for the first time. We really had a wonderful time.
I spent Saturday working in the backyard. I planted a thousand pots it seems. I have so many unique and pretty planters, it's like those Christmas ornaments you just HAVE to hang on the tree even though you already have too many--they are just so beautiful. Around six o'clock, The Husband grilled steaks and I made a salad, and he, I and Abby had dinner on the patio. The weather was gorgeous.
Sunday we had another social event. My niece, Lizzie, graduated from high school and they had a party for her afterward (she's off to Villanova in New York in the fall---bragging rights!). Great food, good times. Family is everything. I love this picture of my two sons, Jeff and Kevin, together here. And look at Kevin with a protective hand on Elsie's stroller. He's like mama bear. He's obsessed with her. It's absolutely fascinating to watch him and MC take care of her. I've never seen such love and devotion firsthand. And they chose Jeff to be the Godfather along with MC's sister, Nora, as Godmother. The Christening is on Father's Day next month.
I had been wanting this book after seeing it at Anthropologie, and since I'd rather chew my right arm off than pay their prices, I finally ordered it from Amazon. I'm not vegetarian or vegan, but I pretty much eat a ratio of 75% veggies to 25% meat. I was a child that grew up for the most part on canned vegetable but for the occasional corn on the cob. Fresh vegetables are like candy for me now. But I was short on various ways to prepare them. I rely heavily on Pinterest, but I love the beauty and feel of a good cookbook, and I especially enjoy the great photography. I'll let you know what I try.
Finally, if I still have your attention, I have a recipe I found and modified a great deal. This is a layered Greek appetizer that I brought to the graduation party which I mentioned above. So many similar recipes call for hummus but I loved the fresh taste I achieved here with just plain Greek yogurt and simple spices. The recipe is below but please know...it involves a lot of chopping, in fact, you want to really dice things up small. Everything has to fit on a cracker or Pita chip for one big bite. So the chopping part is time consuming and you don't want any mishaps (which happens to me all the time when a sharp knife meets up with a time crunch). Here you go.
Layered Greek Salad Dip
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
2 T. dried oregano, divided
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
16 oz. (or 2 cups) plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 t. salt and pepper each
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 c. red pepper. diced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
In a casserole dish at least 3 inches deep, layer tomatoes. Top with cucumbers (in order, in layers), red onion and green peppers. I smooshed the layers down with a spatula to make room for everything. Sprinkle with a pinch of the salt and pepper.
Now do a fine layer of half the feta cheese, half the oregano and half the parsley. Add dollops of the yogurt over this and press it down with a spatula. A tip--press and spread like you are frosting a cake. Do not lift the spatula up and down or it will pull up the layers and make a holy mess. Sprinkle with another bit of S & P.
Finally, make a layer of the romaine lettuce, remaining feta, olives, red pepper, oregano and parsley. Chill for 1 hour. Serve cold or room temp with crackers or pita chips. Serves 10,000. :)
On the Home Front...The Mi gets his stitches out tomorrow and the evil cone off. He is so miserable with that thing. His ears are pressed forward and they, along with his neck, itch him terribly. I can only scratch him so much. He learned awhile ago how to maneuver around walls and furniture but he has a hard time hearing with this contraption on and it makes me so sad. The guy is going to get the scrubbing and brushing of his life tomorrow afternoon!
The Husband, my sons, and several others are leaving for their hiking/camping trip in Colorado at the end of the week. You would think my guy was going to appear on a season of Survivor. Still, I love how much he is into this...how he worked out at the gym for four months to get the strength and endurance up. All the research he did from purifying water from streams to burying your...well, doo doo so the bears don't know what you ate the night before. TMI. Totally. But a precaution in the wild.
Bedtime. Glad to know I've brought you up to date in this long absence. We just had a change in weather forecast from warm temps to the 40's this week. I may be covering my plants in plastic like the geek I never thought I'd be, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And I have plenty of painting indoors to keep me busy. :)