Thursday, August 30, 2018

Admire A Garden Growing

Have you ever pulled off the road in order to photograph something? I couldn't resist this huge garden in the sunlight. There is a thriving business (farm, cafe, bakery) called 9 Bean Rows on the Leelanau peninsula. This is their farm and if bounty like this doesn't entice you to buy their produce, I don't know what will. Beautiful rows of rich soil and healthy green plants. 

Sometimes you need to stop and make the perishable permanent with a photograph. That is delight.

#momentsofdelight #photography #leelanaupeninsula #garden #vegetablegarden  

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Family Medical Leave

***Update: It's October and I'm happy to report that my mom is doing well and is back living near me in Washington. It's been a tumultuous summer, but we made it! I am going to take a step backwards now, fill in the blog where I can and move forward slowly. Thank you all for your support.

Can you take FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) from your own blog? My mom had to have emergency surgery in northern Michigan and I flew from Seattle to be with her. Surgery was a success but I need to focus on her for the time being. I encourage you to look back over the 2,500 posts I have written over the past 11 years and enjoy those. Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Living Necklace: Accessorizing with Air Plants

Have you ever seen a living necklace? I was a fan from the moment I saw it. Of course, it will require a gentle life and a little TLC, but it is a really great conversation piece. This beautiful air plant (Tillandsia) is glued into this simple vessel which hangs on a chic leather cord. Once a week you should soak the plant in lukewarm water (read more about caring for Tillandsia here).

This necklace by LiveTrends was a gift to invite garden writers to attend the Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE), a trade show for foliage and tropical plants, which is a  held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on January 16-18, 2019. Wouldn't I love that!

Garden writers and communicators from around the country (GardenComm) were at their national conference this summer when we received the living jewelry. The enthusiasm for this necklace (and buzz about the TPIE show) spread quickly and I saw happy attendees wearing their new accessory with pride throughout the day. 

Once I  returned home, I found the perfect spot with bright light for my air plant. She now hangs on my cookbook holder in my kitchen. Visually, this dangling air plant seamlessly blends my kitchen into Joanna Gaines' kitchen - doesn't it look like it is part of the cookbook cover? 
The idea that a necklace can be living aligns perfectly with my goal to highlight things that are beautiful and interesting. This is delight.

#TPIE #livingdesign #airplants #airplant #unusualjewelry #living #tropicalplants #fortlauderdale #beautifulandinteresting #livingnecklace #gardencomm #gwa #2019 #gardencommunicators

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Renee's Seeds Produced Bountiful Flowers

This is our second summer in a house east of Seattle and we are still trying to get a handle on our zone (8b). The wind/sun conditions on the front (sunny & hot) and back of the house (partial shade and windy) are like night and day. We are really loving the beauty of Washington and are having fun trying plants in different locations around our yard. Look at my "Climbing Phoenix" heirloom nasturtiums (above)! They were full, healthy and busting with blooms. 

After zig-zagging across the country this summer, I wanted to make sure to stop and highlight the magnificent results I had with Renee's Garden seeds.  
Since I knew that I would be traveling for 6 weeks over the summer, I decided to concentrate on growing just a few flowers from seed in a container. 

I planted the flowering seeds that Renee's Garden had generously sent me to try in peat pots (read all about it here) and transplanted them outside into a raised planter bed in mid-May.

Our deck is just off the kitchen, but stands a full story above the ground. Running down a flight of deck stairs every time I needed herbs & flowers for dinner, would not work, so we started looking for a container garden that would fit on our deck. 

I found a handsome elevated patio garden bed called the Keter Urban Bloomer at Home Depot (pictured with the nasturtiums above). It is the perfect height for tending and has a plug that I can open and drain off any standing water that is trapped inside the garden bed after a good rain. I love it.  
The "Grandma's Johnny Jump Ups" thrived in that container next to the nasturtiums and whenever I was in town, I would pick some blooms to add a cute touch to drinks, cheese trays and all-things edible. "Never Underestimate the Power of Cute," that's my motto, and Johnny Jump Ups are cute!  
And you must see the "Jewels of Albion" sweet peas that took my breath away. I was able to admire daily from my kitchen window and it will be my new "thing I always grow." They grew happily in a pot on my deck and clung to a classic black tuteur. They were everything I hoped they would be and I thank Renee's Garden for the opportunity to try them. I suggest you spoil yourself this summer and grow some too! 

I loved every part of the sweet process of growing flowers from seed. In the hustle bustle world we live in, I think we could all benefit from the pace of watching seedlings sprout and flourish. I know that from now on I will always grow a little something from seed.

#reneesgarden #seedlover #gardenfromseed #momentsofdelight #gardening #gardencomm #iamgardencomm #spreadtheword  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

H&M Home: A Wonderful Edition to the Brand

Whenever I travel, I look over my retail wish-list to see if I can visit a rare or specialty store that I've had my eye on.

Visiting Chicago meant that I could visit the new Home department within H&M. Right now, the H&M locations that have a home department are in: New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, New Orleans and Denver. With 25,000 people moving to Seattle each year, I hope we are candidates for this beautiful and reasonable home collection.
The area dedicated to Home was beautiful. They were loaded with inventory and it was artfully arranged. H&M is definitely all-in with this category and I hope it takes off. To me, the overall mood was between Banana Republic and Calvin Klein. At the time, the main colors were Powder Pink, Black, Gary and natural wood. The products ranged from beautiful candles through kitchen statement pieces and on to bed linens and bath accessories. The quality was high and the feel was modern. 

I want you to look over their pillow cover collection. I was in heaven when I saw a wall of zip-on pillow covers in a vast array of colors and fabrics. Look online at H&M Home pillows.
I can see shopping for distinctive home items from H&M for years to come. New glassware, ever changing pillows etc. I'm in!

#HMXME #interiordesign #retailtherapy #chicago #magnificentmile #shopping #seattleblogger #homestore #scout 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Tupperware Museum: A Colorful Diversion

It is true. I went to the Tupperware Museum (and Headquarters) when I was at a family reunion in Orlando. I'm more of a Pyrex girl, but the women of the family declared it was to be Tupperware then pedicures, and I am not one to stand in the way of girl fun.
When I talked to my mother-in-law on the phone that night, she started naming off the pieces she owned and how they had never let her down. I don't have any Tupperware, but it was neat to read the descriptions in the exhibit and learn about their role in empowering women to make their own money. It really was ground-breaking for women to sell to other women in their homes.
Though I didn't spring for any of these containers, tempting as they were, my family made a major dent in their inventory and I'm sure created a blip on the sales reports. It was a fun stop for us, we took a group picture and all reminisced about wedding showers and the challenge of cupcake carrying. It was light and fun (and air conditioned. 96 degrees in Orlando that week).
Thank you, Tupperware, for a lovely walk down memory lane.

#tupperware #orlando #familyreunion #housewarelove #housewares #cleverstorage

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Hadley Pottery: Tea Sets the Mood

I have started a new collection! It's Hadley Pottery and I just love it. I think what speaks to me is the fact that its based in blue and that the style is charming. It's sturdy enough to really be used. The themes painted on each piece are sweet and classic. And the style is rustic enough for a man to use too. Dan won't balk at drinking out of a mug with a horse or a farmer on it. I'm just saying.

I grew up drinking warm milk and Ovaltine in a cow mug that had "The End" painted in the bottom of the cup. I loved it then and my mom has gifted it to me since. 

My Hadley collection has been growing quickly and that wonderful story is for another time. Today I simply want to make you aware of this American pottery and show you how cute it looks on my sideboard on a Scandinavian tray. Don't you love it? I see it every time I walk through the house and it gives me Visual Vitamins.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Family Reunion in Orlando Florida

We just had a great week at my husband's family reunion in Florida and I wanted to share this rental location with you because it was perfect. The rental property certainly doesn't know that I'm posting this, but I feel that something this great should be shared. Maybe you can have a delightful family reunion too. 
The goal of this reunion is to rent a house for a week that can accommodate 28-30 people. I know, that's a tall order. This rental property had a nice room with private bath for each of the family units. The kitchen is huge and the large clean space made it fun to cook as teams each night. The location is close to all of the amusement parks and every generation seemed to find something they loved to do nearby.

The price varies by season, of course, and we were there when Florida is at its hottest (96 degrees is no joke). If you are looking for an Orlando getaway for a large group, this could be a great home base. Drink some orange juice for me, okay?

#orlando #rentalpropertyorlando #familyreunion #familyreunionorlando #castofthousands #disneyescape #familyreuniondisney #rentalpropertydisney