Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Trip to Georgia: Roswell Plantations

I had the great opportunity of traveling for work earlier last month; I flew to Georgia for a supplier assessment.  During the last day, after all the meetings and tours, A coworker and I decided to spend the last hours before the flight back to SeaTac exploring a couple plantations in little Roswell. (NO, not that Roswell, that one's in the desert).

The first stop was Smith plantation, see the sign...

This was a pretty modest plantation, and was blessed with a cozy garden.  Unfortunately, being too early for the full tour, we moved on to the next one: Barrington Hall.  After wandering through the fabulous gardens for a while, the doors opened up for the day's first tour.  Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed inside the home, so all I have to share today are images from the outside.  Nonetheless, I am sure you will be pleased!

I sweat, OOPS, I mean I sweaR, I could just watch those beautiful trees wave in the breeze ALL DAY LONG.  Reminds me of the trees in Michigan.  

Frankly, someone is a little sick of all this "lumberjack" vegetation we have here in the Seattle area.  Ugh.

Georgia has beautiful trees.  And I would consider living there.  Seattle sucks. Too many smokers, too much coffee.  (actually, just drove back from Seattle before posting this, so a little depressed/disappointed with my surroundings...when compared to the images in this post  ;-)

Anyway, let's take a stroll through the garden!!

One of my favorite parts about this garden:

La Reine Rose, a very fragrant rose reminiscent of the hot pink roses we used to buy from street vendors in don't find these at American Florists.  However, I do recall Harrod's department stores (London) would fly them in for Valentine's Day (from India...not from Roswell  ;-)

I hope you enjoyed all my photos!  I surely did  :-D 

Little A's New West Elm Princess Bed!

Dear Mom and Dad,

I am so sorry but I have not had the time to post anything lately.  As a result, I have a high backlog of posts which I intend on sharing with you.  Although I am using a FIFO strategy to post (first-in-first-out, aka chronological order), my first of many is actually the LAST one.  This is Little A's new bed which we put together last night, while she was away at a special "parents' night out" daycare event.

Be prepared to be AMAZED.

Are you ready?





Here is our little SPECIAL girl...

Of course, after this moment, I was unable to capture any "still life" moments.

It was ALL a BLUR.

WHEW!!!  That was exciting!


Bed:  West Elm, "2X2", full, white.  First one came damaged, West Elm promptly sent me a replacement and had UPS pick up the first one (luckily I only had to rip a little section of the box off to see the damage, so the first bed was pretty much packaged as it came).  Overall, for the price, I am happy with what I got (20% off bedroom sale!)  It is about a 3/4 step above IKEA  ;-)

Comforter/sheet set:  Style & Co. brand, (Macy's), VERY old design my Mom bought me at a clearance sale.  **Thanks Mommy**

Crochet Blanket:  Goodwill, similar ones can be found easily (yet more pricey) @ ETSY.COM

Pillows:  down alternative, 2 sets of 2, on sale for under $13/set at COSTCO!

Smaller blanket (on top of crocheted one): Goodwill/Dwell Studio for Target.  You can find similar mod designs still...

Mosquito Net Canopy:  OVERSTOCK!  $22 (with shipping).  WAY better than driving to *and having to deal with* IKEA.  My only complaint: product was described to come with a RATTAN hoop online, however came with a plastic one instead.  Still works fine, but I expect product descriptions to be accurate, and that people know what they are selling (probably not Overstock's fault...I believe the responsibility falls to the vendor actually supplying the product through Overstock.  DUH)  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Night Dinner: Smoked Gouda Mac N Cheese!

I am pretty proud to say I executed a successful dinner tonight!  Little A and I devoured our food (daddy joined us late, but liked the dish as well  :-)

See below for the BEFORE pictures...Recipe at end of post!

I was SO impressed with my ability to "wing it" on this recipe that I broke out the Vintage Eva Zeisel China!
(A gift from my husband for our anniversary).
(Now I don't have to pay for Crate and Barrel Knockoffs)!

Plus. Crate and  Barrel can't touch the original "Fantasy" pattern.  ha!



A couple Tablespoons of Butter

3-4 cloves garlic, minced (or you can add more!)

2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
I think I used around 1 cup of milk...start with 1/2 cup
about 1 cup of shredded smoked Gouda (once again, start with 1/2 cup, then add the rest slowly!)
some Parmesan cheese (real or "dried").  I added as I saw fit...

3-4 cups of chopped, rinsed, somewhat dried spinach
cracked pepper
8-10 strips of turkey bacon, chopped up.  YUM-O!!
Pasta.  I used around 3/4 of a 17.6 package of organic Penne from Costco.

First I sauteed the garlic in butter for 30 seconds.  
I added the flour, cooked that about a minute or two.
I added the milk (not all at once!)
Then the cheeses (not all at once!)
Some cracked pepper...the cheese gives the sauce enough flavor so I chose to skip on additional salts!

Once I got the sauce to the consistency I desired, I added the chopped fresh spinach.  Don't forget to mix the spinach into the sauce so the leaves wilt down enough. Afterward, add in the cooked pasta and crispy turkey bacon pieces.  


If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes for you.  Remember, no true measurements here to HAVE FUN experimenting!!




Saturday, April 14, 2012

Afternoon Visit to Purdy Spit

Today was pretty eventful for Little A and I.  First, we visited the local nursery to pick up some asparagus crowns, and a couple different rosemary plants.  Then off to ballet.  And then Costco...where we tried  all the samples and Little  A stopped to talk to her favorite (and my favorite!) pharmacist.  She cannot leave the store without talking to him  LOL.

We returned home and got the husband to work digging little ditches for all our new plants.  In went the organic manure/compost (also from the nursery), followed by our asparagus crowns and rosemary.  We chose a neat little area at the base of a couple large trees for the asparagus plot.  The rosemary was actually planted in between some larger roots.  When the rosemary grows up a bit, and after we find its garden gnome, I will do a post on our gardening efforts.

I plan on protecting my rosemary from being dug up by Mikio and Ari...maybe a simple tomato trellis or two, which I can re-use next year to help grow actual tomatoes?  Of course, next year we plan on leveling the yard and doing some real landscaping!!  Maybe even a fenced-in herb garden!  (They are easy to maintain and grow like weeds.  No failures there!!)

We went back into town for some QDOBA, including a pit stop along the Purdy Bridge on the way.

Easter Saturday...Cont'd

Yes, I know...posting the remainder of our "Easter" outing a bit late.  In my defense, I was out of town on business this week.  And Easter SUNDAY I was doing my taxes.  After our Saturday morning egg hunt, we took Little A to "the deep dark forest" at Owens' Beach.

Here she search of the Monster.  I like the blurry shot below.

Picking Flowers along the beach path...

I just LOVE the colors of the water in these photographs.  
So gorgeous.

My 75-300mm zoom lens took nice shots of the Mountains.

I even caught the cargo cranes at Port of Tacoma.

And of course, Mt. Rainier.
All the way from Owens' Beach! 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Saturday

I am leaving at 3AM Monday morning for a business trip (yipee!!!) so we decided to do our Easter Egg Hunt and other stuff (trip to Owens Beach and GELATO at super-nice Metro Market) on Saturday.  Plus, Sundays are to be lazy before the bustle of the dreaded work week.

I hate holidays.  Too much work.  Aren't Holidays to relax?!  What is wrong with the world?!  People get all hyped up over nothing.

Anyway, Chadbourne and I filled the eggs with little (individually wrapped!) gummy candies, miniature Reese's Peanut Butter cups, and a few different Hello Kitty stamps which I picked up as a set from TARGET.

Then, the "easter bunny" hid the eggs...(try keeping a 3-yr-old away from the windows while this is happening)... 

The end.  :-)