Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Days!

Hello! Happy lazy Saturday!

I hope you are staying cool and perhaps enjoying a refreshing glass of lemonade! It is blistering here, I think it is 100 and well over that with the heat index!

I am reading, relaxing and staying indoors! All of the beautiful flowers and flowering trees look great just outside my window! What are you up to this afternoon?

Enjoy whatever it is that you are up too, stay cool, hydrate and perhaps get out this evening and take some time to enjoy the stars and perhaps catch yourself a few fireflies( or at least remember the fun you had doing it as a child).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thank You!

Happy Friday! Happy Day!

Southern Charm

To say that I am filled with gratitude and happiness would be putting it mildly.

I went to the doctor yesterday to see if I had ovarian cancer. THANK GOD, and I have done that many times since yesterday, I do not.

Today I want to say THANK YOU God for my life! Thank you for answering my prayers, for listening to my late night conversations, ramblings and pleading and for giving me peace.

I want to thank my wonderful  husband, my mother, my father, my sister's, brother, my sister in law, and the rest of my family. Thank you to my friends who have known me for years and those that know me from my blog.

Thank you all for your kind words, your shoulder when I have cried so hard I thought there was not a tear left, your calls, cards and for all of your love, encouragement and prayers.  These last two weeks have felt like and eternity and I would not have gotten through this without all of you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I wish you a wonderful and happy day! Enjoy your weekend! I know that I will!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Party Ideas

Although I am not a "foodie" I do love to talk about food and in particular food for parties. I love picnics, pot lucks, ladies day, family get togethers, you name it.

Counrty Living
Wherever there is a large and diverse amount of food I like to talk about it and more importantly plan it. Since the fourth of July is right around the corner I have been perusing Pinterest, Country Living, Midwest Living and various other sites for interesting recipes and fun ideas. I found some great things and I think I will make a few for my own fourth celebrations.

Hamburgers and hot dogs are standard fare for the fourth, how about a few brats, pulled pork sandwiches, or little sliders?
Pulle Pork from Better Homes and Gardens

Stuffed ground pork sliders from Better Homes and Gardens

Brats and Italian Sausage from Better Homes and Gardens

Sides and Salads

Is there anything better than roasted corn, fresh from the vine tomatoes and potato salad? I found these great images and recipes at Better Homes and Gardens.


Or perhaps some roasted tomatoes, Tex-Mex salad,  macaroni and cheese or roasted fingerling potato salad? I found these recipes (and images below) at Midwest Living Magazine.

And lets not forget my favorite food at every party, Dessert!

 What are your 4th of July plans? Are you going to any picnics? Pool parties, lazy days at the beach, camping? Do you have some fabulous family recipes that you make for your celebrations that you can share?

I would love to hear what you are going to be up to! I hope you have a great day!

On a side note, I am headed to the doctor today to get the results of  some tests that I have been having done over the last few weeks, wish me luck and say a prayer that the results are good! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Photographs

Summer seems to be wizzing by, next week is already the 4th of July! Where does the time go?
I thought I would take a minute today to take it all in, the cool breeze wafting through my window (which is a rare occurance at this time of year), a 73 degree day, "my" squirrl tying to take a nap on my deck, and some flowers stretching out to take in the sunny day!

Take the time to take it ALL in! Winter is not far off! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pret a Papier by Isabelle de Borchgrave

I am in awe of artists and creative people! I think it is wonderful that someone can sit in front of a blank canvas and create a still life painting, or pick up a violin and play a piece that would make the angels weep. Would you have imagined that a stack of paper created this stunning dress?

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave created this magnificent piece of art using paper and paint. From a young age Isabelle knew she wanted to be an artist, she would use the walls of her bedroom to draw and sketch, and when the walls were filled her mother would have them repainted white so that she could start again.

 She left school at the age of 14 to go to pursue her passion for painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Art. After stints in advertising, and interior design; an exhibition about Yves St. Laurent in New York inspired to her to invite a designer friend, Rita Browne to Belgium to collaborate on a dress made of paper, the rest as they say is history.

Isabelle's work is on display all over the world, she recreated Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress in paper for the Kennedy Library, she was invited to make a permanent display of Marie Antoinette at Versailles, and has a permanent pieces in Russia, Belgium and many other countries, as well as numerous collections touring the world. With her team of 18 assistants in her studio in Belgium the artist creates everything from shoes, to handbags, to jewelry, to dresses from every period in history.

Currently, Pret-a-Papier is on display from now until December at the Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C. The pieces range from the elaborate dresses of 17th century Russia, to 18th century France and then the simple lines of the 20th century.  

I love every piece in this collection! But my favorites are the dresses from the French court, they are stunning. I have visited the Hillwood Museum website more than once to see these stunning creations and each time I do I cannot believe that they are paper! The pleats, the ruffles, and the painting are unbelievable.  I am now Isabelle's biggest fan and have spent about three hours on the web reading every article I can find and enjoying every image that is out on the web. If you think these pieces are amazing, wait until you see the pieces inspired by the Fortuny.

I have this exhibit on my list for summer and cannot wait to see it in person. I will let you know when I see it. In the meantime, if you are as captivated by Isabelle de Borchgrave as I am, you can read and see her work in more detail in her book, Paper Illusions.

Enjoy your day!

On a side note, if you would like to see some stunning paper creations from a fellow blogger than go visit Anita at Castles Crowns and Cottages. She has created the most beautiful shoes and dresses, they are works of art!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Peach Streusel Quick Bread

Happy day! How was your weekend? It was blistering hot in my neck of the woods, I did manage a few walks but for the most part I stayed inside. Ironically, I still managed some baking...I guess it is never to hot for that.

Although I love summer fruits, peaches, plums, cherries, and berries I do not normally like them in desserts, I love them plain. However for this bread I made an exception, and boy am I happy I did! The recipe for this bread is from my new favorite cookbook, I have yet to find a single recipe I do not like.

Peach Streusel Loaf
adapted from Quick Breads by Liz Franklin

2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 Tablespoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 stick of butter melted and cooled
2 ripe but firm peaches, medium size diced

1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons of softened butter
1/3 cup of packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and parchment placed
in bottom of pan.

Topping: mix butter, sugar and flour. Use fingers or fork to mix until crumbly.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add sugar and stir.
In small bowl, whisk eggs, milk and butter, then add to flour mixture. Gently
fold in peaches. Do not over mix.
Spoon mixture into pans. Add streusel topping evenly over top of bread. Bake for
45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out lean.
Cool loaf in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

This bread is light, moist, and delicious with just a hint of peaches coming through. The topping is crunchy, buttery and the perfect addition to this bread. Note: the original recipe calls for chopped hazelnuts to be added to the topping, but I do not like them so I left them out!

I would love to hear of your favorite summer fruit desserts! Or if you try this or any other recipe you have seen on my blog.
Have a great week!

Linking to the following:

French Cupboard for Voila!French Inspiration on Thursdays

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Fun! Enjoy your weekend!

Summer afternoon--summer afternoon, to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James

Hello! Happy Weekend! What are your plans for the weekend? Are you going to make the time to do something fun?

Perhaps a walk in the sand,

a swim in the pool,

or a walk down the path least traveled?

I personally will be sitting on my porch, watching the birds, and the flowers

sipping a glass or two of lemonade.

Or maybe I will be able to muster the energy for a game of croquet,

or a few hours out on the water.

Whatever the case may be, I hope that you enjoy your weekend!

Take some time to smell the roses! Look for a few fireflies! And enjoy your family and friends! Isn't that what summer is all about?