Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Porch Rules and Pinwheels

Pinwheels are making an appearance on the porch again.......and they still make me Smile!
(For more on pinwheels, last year's post is here.)

 I found the Porch Rules printable from On Sutton Place. It fits perfectly, especially in an aqua frame!

A "bouquet" of pinwheels on the table.
 Back in March, when summer breezes were just a hope, I found this giant beauty at Hobby Lobby. How could I not take it home? (It almost set sail on the way to the car that blustery March day. But oh, was it fun!)
Warm sun. Colorful pinwheels, Perfect Day.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


I stopped by an estate sale this morning and found a few treasures. A couple of aprons (which I will share in detail later) and a curtain.
I am not sure what I am going to do with the curtain, but I loved the fabric the minute I saw. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Strawberry Picking

We went Strawberry picking last week! Our Cousins were visiting and I was thrilled the berries were ready to pick! We all had a fabulous time!
 It was a gorgeous day; bright blue skies, a slight breeze to keep us from getting to warm and lots of berries!

 We have been having a rainy summer so far, so wellies were required. But we didn't let that slow us down! In no time we had 6 baskets picked.
Time to head home with visions of strawberry pie, jewel toned jam and shortcake dancing in our heads.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Strawberry Season

Summer is finally here (It's official, we turned on the AC!) and Strawberry season is just around the corner!
Below I have put together a collection of links celebrating Strawberries. I have been collecting these on Pinterest just waiting for June!

Strawberry Pie recipe from The Red Feedsack. (We made this last year and it was delicious!)
Or how about Strawberry Cobbler or Chocolate Strawberry Oasis Pie. Both sound great to me!

I can't wait to try recipe for Strawberry Rolls with Vanilla Glaze from Baker by Nature. They look heavenly!

And of course, don't forget a strawberry apron before you head to the kitchen! Here is a tutorial on making your own cheerful Strawberry Pocket apron.

And here are a few projects to decorate with, you can never have too many Strawberries!

Knit your own strawberries. Isn't that fun? And they are so cute!

A darling quilt, Strawberry Social from The Pattern Basket.

Or even a strawberry pillow. Too too cute!

We are hoping to get to the strawberry fields this week! The last several years we haven't been able to make it, so I am very excited to finally get there again! Picking strawberries are one of my favorite memories growing up.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Geraniums

Summer isn't complete without geraniums! This year there are reds ones on the porch..........

 ....................And bright pink in the flower beds!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

For the love of a Cottage

While browsing Houzz the other day, I came across several articles about cottages. They made me laugh at how true they were! There certainly are pros and cons to living in a small house! I hope you enjoy.

In her 8 Benefits of Cottage Living, Becky Dietrich talks about how cottages can save money, encourage togetherness and simplify your life. "Whereas large homes have multiple rooms where families can scatter and hide, the cottage demands that everyone remain in pretty close proximity. Even if everyone’s nose is buried in a cell phone, they are still together, and there is something basically wonderful about that."
So very true! And even if a person is in the other room, they are usually only a shouting distance away!

"Cottages make you feel good. Apart from all the financial, social and ecological benefits, cottages simply emanate warmth, comfort and welcome. Maybe it’s because they tend to be unique rather than cookie cutter, and compact rather than vast."

She then goes on to explore the 8 Challenges of Cottage Living. of living with cottage sized kitchens, bathrooms and closets.
"And then there is the challenge of fitting furniture. Finding pieces that you love can present a tricky trinity of challenges. They have to fit your budget, fit through that charming-but-nonstandard front door, and fit in the rooms of the cottage you have fallen in love with."

In here article Cottages: The Comfort Food of Architecture, she shares "While the term “cottage” has been used to describe everything from a contemporary faux chateau to the massive seaside sanctums of the uberrich, Merriam-Webster, quite pedantically, calls it “a usually small frame one-family house.” It is, however, so much more than that."

I loved this quote from Jane Austen "I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might … collect a few friends about me and be happy. I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage.”

Friday, June 5, 2015

If at First You Don't Succeed.......

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! This has always been my motto for gardening. If the plants don't look right or aren't growing good in one spot, try them somewhere else! (Not that it always worked! Ha!)
Last year, I wasn't too excited about my front flower beds. They were just okay. I thought in another year when it grew in I would like them better. But this Spring I realized it was the not-so-clear landscape plan I wasn't enchanted with!
  I also realized I was trying to make both sides of the flowers beds too even. Obviously the right side is larger, no getting around that! A tidy semi-formal landscape was what I was leaning toward, something that would be welcoming and soften the yard, but not overwhelm the tiny yard or house. I also knew what plants I wanted, but didn't know where I wanted them.
Then inspiration hit! On our walk one morning, I spied a front flower bed I liked and thought it would work for my house too. Now all I had to do was wait until it was warm enough to garden!
It was one of my first projects on the list this spring and I finally got the finishing touchs done last week! 
 Bleeding Heart  and Geraniums are filling in until I find another bush, (probably a hydrangea) on the right side of the stairs.
 I choose very traditional plants, planted in three rows; back row, Hydrangea, next a row of Boxwood and then Geraniums.
 Since Geraniums are annuals, next year I might plant something else!
 You can't see them in this picture, but there are three more little Hydrangea bushes there. Hopefully they will make it!
Coral Bells by the front step. One of my favorites. I am so excited to see them blooming this year!
 Now I just need lots of warm weather to get things growing!
 We also tried coco shells for our mulch. It is looking very nice and the smell is heavenly!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Great Great Grandma Jessie

Meet my Great-Great Grandmother Jessie Ellen Freed. You might have noticed her in my Daffodil post. She hangs above the side table between the living room and dining room. She is one of my favorite family heirlooms and comes with a story!
 Jessie was born in Feb of 1882 in Clinton, Ohio and as far as the records go lived a fairly normal life. Married in 1906, raised two children, moved a few miles over and back and died at the age of 87. She left us five pictures and a bit of mystery.

Did you notice the little brooch Jessie is wearing in the portrait above? It was also handed down to me. Which is amazing! It is rather small and easily misplaced. But I think it had a special place in Jessie's heart and was well cared for.

 My Grandfather loved telling how he would walk down the hill as a boy to visit Jessie, his grandma. He would take a nap on her big bed and fall asleep looking at her portrait. Whenever he asked her about the picture on her brooch, she would just smile, because it certainly wasn't his grandpa!
Don't you love stories like the mysterious young man? Do you have any in your family? A lot of living is in our family genealogies and histories, its fascinating to catch an occasional glimpse!