Monday, June 10, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything!

Oh you guys. I am so behind on posting. I am sooooooooo behind. If you can believe it, I have five posts sitting in the queue, all with photos but no words. They date from early April until now. So much to say, so little uninterrupted time to say it! We went on vacation, cooked a bunch, had adventures, were interviewed and photographed for a magazine. There's been some neat stuff going on!  
But how are YOU? What's new?

I MUST get all of these posts finally written up and published to the blog. It's making me nuts!
Blogging friends, HOW do you do it!? When do you find the time to write!? Although the evening sounds like a good time to write, nine out of ten times, my brain is exhausted after Noah goes to bed, and I just don't have the energy.  So when and where to carve out writer's space? This is truly one of my biggest ON GOING dilemmas! AAAAaaaaarrrrghhhhhh. 

Let's just begin, shall we!



I give you :  HONEY LIMEADE


Ta dah! The weather is getting warmer, and what nicer way to bring some coolness into your life, than with fresh honey limeade? This recipe was super easy and took little time. All three of us loved it. Limes are easy to find right now, so I suggest you run out and purchase a whole bag of them!



The Honey Limeade went PERFECTLY with this dinner, our old stand-by  the Cilantro - Pepper Corncakes.  I've talked about this dinner before, it's one of our favorite vegetarian meals. I highly recommend making them. Throw in a side of rice and some sauteed peppers, and top the cakes with avocado, fresh salsa and cilantro. Yum! Yum! It can't be beat, especially for summer!


By the way, when this happens........I know that summer can't be far.


And when this happens too......



I might have mentioned this before, but one of the previous owners of our home was an amazing gardener. He lived here through the 80's and into the 90's.  I wish so much that I could thank him for all of the beautiful flowers and trees and shrubs that he has planted, that still surprise me by just popping up throughout the spring and summer. 

Our house was neglected in recent times. It stood vacant, and the backyard became a practical secret garden! It was so over-grown and unruly. We are still trying to untangle and tame everything. I wish that we knew more about gardening, but slowly we're learning. I hope to make Mr. L proud one day, and bring his garden back to it's original beauty. :)


Hi. Ever hear of a  MONEY PIT!?  There it is, right in front of you. Oh mini-pool, what are we going to do with you? We've now had the second renovation of the mini-pool fail, the plaster, cement, whatever it is is cracking. Not to mention that it is also an ugly BROWN color. Ugh. Don't ask. Please cross your fingers that the third time is a charm. And that it's BLUE! And that it happens SOON!


For many years I've wanted a wind chime. I love their sound more than anything, especially the mid-sized chimes. They're not cheap though, and I've always passed them over, worrying about saving our money to fix or purchase other things. Like in years past, I found myself in the wind chime aisle of our local garden store this spring. They have at least twenty different chimes, but it was easy for me to pin point just the right one. Jon is always so generous, and asked if I wanted it for the garden, and of course I did, but this particular chime felt like too much of an indulgence when so many other things needed to be addressed.....like the DECK! Yikes!

Well, Jon pulled out his phone and used his Red Laser App on the barcode, and voila! He found my wind chime at HALF OFF on Amazon. That made the wind chime a great deal and very affordable. It was even sent by free shipping. SCORE! Now it makes beautiful music from underneath the pergola. I just love it. AND, check out the old Wisteria vine covering everything. All the sudden it just exploded! 



One day Jon was in the kitchen when he heard some faint screaming. He called out to Noah and I to see if we were ok, but neither of us had said a thing, we were quietly in another room.  We kind of thought he was going crazy, or maybe.......................it was a Ghost!

Later that day we figured out what the screaming was................................



You know you live somewhere fun when you're close enough to hear the screams from the fair from your kitchen!

I believe that this was the 50th anniversary of our annual fair. I've been going my entire life. I remember how exciting it was, when the carnival came to town. It stays for several days, and this time around we took three evening walks to snap pictures and watch the fair goers.





Aren't all of the lights pretty?



On one of our nightly walks, we passed a Google office. They have the best time in there. I just know it. I stare through their front windows at the twenty or so lava lamps that they have going on everyday. Here's some proof of their fun: An arcade machine called something like "Tokyo Drift" was sitting outside on the side walk. I think Jon and Noah really wanted to play it.


Here is Willow. Tonight we had to give her  her very first bath. She was a little stinky, and I think sending Willow to a groomer would be very scary for her. We didn't really put her in a bath. I watched a video on youtube posted by a cat groomer, and got some good tips. I lined one side of our kitchen sink with soft towels, put her in there, and just used a bit or warm water from the tap and a very gentle, natural baby shampoo. She did great, and I think she feels better also. I noticed that she was trying to groom herself all day, I think she was having a kitty litter issue.  I hope we were able to help her. Good job Willow!



Ok, switching gears! I need to tell you about an amazing, super easy, THREE INGREDIENT cake that I made, and you can make it too! This is a souffl√© cheesecake, AKA  Japanese Cotton Cheese Cake!  I'm linking to a video with all of the instructions. I've been following this lovely vlogger, Ochikeron, who makes instructional videos on cooking wonderful Japanese home cooked meals!

This cake was whipped up in no time. It only uses a few eggs, 4 ounces of cream cheese, and 4 ounces of white chocolate chips. It doesn't get easier! The texture was beautifully light and airy. My parents came over for cake and coffee, and it was so light, that our buddy Garrett, who stopped by on his evening run, he even indulged in a slice before running home!  Also, fyi, in Japanese fashion, this is just a tiny 6" cake, so there was no waste, we ate it all up.


Once in a while, not every year, but sometimes, I find myself in need of a bag or purse to fit the season.  This time around I needed a tote in a neutral color, to lug our summer gear. I came across this sweet bag on ModCloth and instantly loved it. That was in the winter time, and I really didn't have a need, so I passed it by and the bag sold out. I was a little bummed, but when I received an email saying that it was back in stock last month, I decided to jump at the chance!  The natural colored canvas is printed with an illustrated scene of a french cafe. I've always enjoyed drawing, actually, almost in this style, and I like coffee, cafes and France too! So, it was a no-brainer. And, at just $29, it felt reasonable. If you are so inclined, you can find your own HERE. They have lots and lots of cute bags and purses in all kinds of fun style, colors and patters. You should check it out!


By the way, if anyone is wondering (Hint! Hint! It's almost my Birthday!), my next two coveted bags are: 

1.) This Tory Burch "Viva Backpack", which, although a backpack, would still be by FAR my most grown-up purse/bag. Which is sad, but still.


2.) This Cath Kidston "London Backpack". Look at the cute print! I just LOVE all things Cath Kidston.  Her prints are all lovely and her bags are quality made. LOVVVVVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!

London Backpack

Ok, enough with material things. Let's talk nature.....

The bird feeder has been hopping and I couldn't be more excited!!!!!! (I know, I'm such a nerd.)
Here's the thing, in years past we had wonderful bird varieties in the winter, and then things would slow down in the summer. For some reason though, the bird watching has been great recently. I think the word finally got out, that we have some of the best suet in town! Well, maybe not really, but I refill it all the time!

LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
I was going CRAZY. He is one of my favorite birds around, and this time, he came right up to our family room window!!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, he came with a cute House Sparrow friend too! (Click the picture to enlarge.)


I've seen so much wildlife in our yard this week, including many baby birds! To name just a handful:  Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downey Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Starlings, Grackles, White-Breasted Nuthatch, a couple of different kinds of Sparrows, Robins, Mourning Doves, chipmunks, brown squirrels, black squirrels and fox squirrels....... AND........................


................. AND.......... A BABY BEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


OR IS IT A MONKEY!!!?????


OR A PLATYPUS!!?!????


OR A POT BELLY PIG!!!!!?????


Oh gosh, it's just our good old Whistle Pig, AKA Ground Hog coming out again from hibernation.

Well, it's 11:15 and I can't believe that my brain is still working, let alone that my eyes are open. I hope to be back soon with some of the other posts that are waiting to be published, and then I'll be all caught up!

Until then, take care!
xoxoxoxox,
Lauren





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