A Tree for Tuesday

This vibrant tree was painted by my talented cousin, Katie (the Texas one – I have two cousins Katie!) and is currently on loan from my parents. I have it in my bedroom, where I see it first thing every morning. I hope you enjoy.

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Family Ties

"Solace" by my sister, Abigail Murray, at http://www.violetbloomart.com

Hi everyone. Sorry for my disappearance – missed blogging, that’s for sure! Unfortunately we had a couple of deaths in my husband’s family, so my time has been spent offline with family, celebrating the lives of two wonderful aunts, and taking comfort in having a close-knit family for support.

These past couple of weeks really emphasized to me the importance of family. When I was a kid my dad always told my siblings and I, “be nice to your sisters and brother, they’ll be the only constants your whole life. No matter what else happens, they will always be there, and they’ll be your best friends.”  It took years for that to sink in, and a lot of experiences to truly believe it, but here I am, headed towards middle age (gasp!) and I really do know in my heart that my family is the most important thing in my life. Through the years I also have come to understand that it’s not that way for everyone. I feel very lucky that I got that with my own family, and when I married my sweet hubby I gained a big, close, supportive family that truly considers me one of their own. I hope that all of you have some family in your lives (whether blood related, adopted, or gathered) that can provide you solace when you need it.

It Blooms Again

Hey yall, sorry for the continuing absence. The past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling pretty crappy, but I think (hope!) I’m back on track health-wise (fingers crossed!).  I’ve been missing posting and connecting with you all!  I’ve been thinking of lots of things to share, and I hope you enjoy the fruits of my downtime!  Today I’ve got a gorgeous flower, from my Mom’s back yard. I probably shared her Pride of Barbados before, but this year it’s even bigger and better! I think in another year it will cover half the yard! Oh – and I took this with my new iPhone – I think I’m figuring out the camera!

Stop by later this week for an Anthropologie-inspired tutorial, courtesy of my sister, some cool blogs, of course some great Etsy finds, and a new column I hope you’ll enjoy! Have a great week everyone!

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! I’m really looking forward to a fun weekend. Tonight I’m making some fabric buttons with our new 1 1/2 inch button maker and the cute fabric I picked up the other day at Stitch Lab. The hubby and I are headed out to some sales Saturday in the early morning (I never would have thought I’d be getting up earlier on Saturdays than weekdays, but what can I say, the early bird gets the deal!). Then after a nap we’re hosting poker with a few friends – wish me luck!  Sunday we’re headed to the Citywide Garage Sale for some research – we’re hoping to get a space there sometime in the next few months.  And I’m definitely hoping to get a few minutes here and there to enjoy the latest issue of Marie Claire Idees, and play with my IPHONE 4 that just came in the mail! (I have to figure out the camera! This picture is a bit fuzzy)

Wishing all of you a happy weekend!

Golden Gazpacho

A friend at work was raving about a gazpacho recipe she tried this week. She sent it to me yesterday and I’m picking up some tomatoes this weekend to try it out. I’m going to try it without the olive oil (I know – sacreligious, but we’re watching the fat very closely at home these days) and see how yummy it is. The original recipe is from Women’s Health and can be found online here: http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/blender-golden-gazpacho.aspx. I’m including Kat’s notes on her tweaks. If you try it let me know what you think!

In a blender combine and puree:

5 medium yellow or orange tomatoes (Kat used cherry tomatoes, but suggested peeling and seeding if you use full size ones)
1 1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon seeded minced jalapeno
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (substituted rice wine vinegar)

Serve chilled with diced avacado ( and/or toasty garlicky croutons)

I like my gazpacho with a combination of a smooth puree and some toothy chunks of veggies, so I’ll be chopping some extra tomatoes, peppers and cukes. I’ll let you know how it turns out! Happy weekend everyone!

mmmmm…..tomatoes…..

Doesn’t this photo just make your mouth water? It’s from Amy Goldman’s The Heirloom Tomato (found via Bay Area Bites). Between thinking about summer (and the end of summer) and picking up another fun book, Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff, I’ve been ruminating on tomatoes for a while now. 

When I think of canning I think of salsa. I know, not the most traditional thing to think of, but the reason is a great one. For years my grandmother put up jars and jars of salsa every summer.  This salsa is cooked, with a little kick but not too much, and just a bit sweet. My version is not quite as sweet, and a little spicier, but very similar. And I feel proud to say that I’ve eaten at a few fairly authentic Mexican places (now that I’m in Texas) that have a similar salsa. At Grandma’s house we pulled out a jar of salsa every time we visited, and that jar was completely cleaned out by the end of the day. 

I don’t know that I’ll ever preserve as much food as my grandmother did. But I have to admit it’s a pretty cool thing to have jars of salsa or jam, that you made with your own two hands, stacked prettily in the pantry waiting to be taken down and enjoyed or given away for a loved one to enjoy. If food is love then preserving makes that love last, and that’s a pretty cool thing.

Daily Blossom

It’s a new week folks, are you ready for it? Well, grab some caffeine and dive in!  Thought I’d share a photo of these gladiolas (or gladiolus) that I got on sale at the grocery store for a total of $10! Can you believe it? I just couldn’t pass up that much gorgeousness for that little money!  They’ve made it a good full week, but are starting on the downward spiral, I’m afraid. But still beautiful. (however, my tablecloth looks ridiculously wrinkly!)  Have a great Monday guys!