Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thyme for Herbs

Spring is such a wonderful time of year for the herbalist and gardener. I am pleased to present my collection of Spring Herbs this season. These herbs are most commonly used for cooking as well as for fragrance.

1. Oregano -- A signature flavor of many Italian, Mexican and Spanish dishes. Oregano is a perennial, thrives in full sun, and is very easy to grow from seed or as a transplant. Of all the dried herbs, oregano has one of the highest antioxidant levels.

2. Cilantro - Like politics and religion, cilantro elicits strong opinions. People love it or hate it. Edible from root to flower, cilantro has become one of the most popular herbs around. Cilantro is a short lived annual, lasting approximately 8-10 weeks.

3. Parsley – An underappreciated, easy growing herb.
Although parsley is a very attractive plant, it is generally grown as a culinary herb and often wasted as a garnish or plate decoration. Parsley is a curly, leafy sprig that germinates very slow, and thrives in full sun, well drained soil.
4. Rosemary – Long known as the herb of remembrance, rosemary symbolizes loyalty and friendship. Requiring very little care, Rosemary can be grown indoors or outdoors, as long as it receives full sun, and grows as a fragrant perennial evergreen shrub.

5. Basil – The classic herb of summer, basil brings fragrance, beauty, and flavor to any garden. Used fresh, it makes delicious pestos and is an ideal partner for homegrown tomatoes. Plus, it thrives in the South with little care, so it’s great for new gardeners. It will grow perennially in warm, sunny climates.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wine Down Wednesday

Although a lover of wine, I am no wine connoisseur. In fact, you can typically find me sipping on a glass of Charles Shaw, also known as “Two Buck Chuck.” However, I’ve recently been cheating on Chuck with Clay…Clayhouse Wines that is! As a matter of fact, I just opened a bottle of my new obsession…Clay’s Adobe Red!

If you’re a red wine drinker, REJOICE, this is the wine for you! A blend of 40% Zinfandel, 17% Syrah, 13% Petite Sirah, 9% Malbec, 6 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Tempranillo and 5% Merlot, adding up to a 102 % enjoyment!

The Clayhouse Adobe Red’s label sums it up: "created for that rebellious, hedonistic red wine lover inside of you, rustic like the adobe but refined with sensuous dark fruit flavors," (who writes this stuff?!). Clay is a perfect balance of red blends, ideal for entertaining and guaranteed to be a party pleaser. Oh, and did I mention that a bottle of this luscious red wine is less than $14? (BARGAIN!) Now go delight your palette! J

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Deliciously in Bloom

I confess - I have a bit of a floral obsession.  Nothing really makes me happier than coming home to a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers on my kitchen table, spending hours wondering the farmers market, or spotting the first blooms of spring in my backyard.
Few seasons can rival the exquisite giddiness of spring in Charlotte – the breathless beauty of hydrangeas, azaleas, tulips, geraniums, and all the pretty trees...i LOVE it ALL!

Here are some ways to bring the spring sunshine from your garden to inside your home!

Celebrate the simple pleasures of spring with a combination of blue iris, pink and red roses, green hydrangeas, red snapdraggons and yellow billy buttons. (above)

Capture the fresh breeze of a spring day with a mason jar of hydrangeas and lillies. Matt surprised me with this homemade arrangement (I am one lucky girl J). Excuse the quality, he snapped this pic with his blackberry to send to me at work.

Have a glorious Easter weekend y’all!!! XOXO

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions…5 months later…

I have never been big on New Year’s resolutions.  Honestly, I just try to live everyday postive, all year long. However, this year I decided to try and implement a few resolutions that will help me become a better version of myself. So, it is time to exercise goal # 5…write more. Now, I actually tried to keep a written journal for quite some time before realizing that my hands are no longer capable of writing for more than 20 minutes since 8th grade. So here we are…Carolina Charm.

SO… a little bit of information on the 4’11” redhead, blogging under “Carolina Charm”: First and foremost, I’m a God-fearing woman.  I’m also a sister, a soon-to-be-wife, and I am a full time Marketing & Public Relations Specialist. I was born and raised in Florida, but absolutely adore my new home in Charlotte, North Carolina and will never, ever leave. I love the color pink, I am a red wine girl, my fingernails are always painted, I drink waaay too much coffee, I treasure my true friendships, I am blessed, and obviously I am a wanna-be Southern Belle!

But back to my New Year’s resolutions. In case you were wondering, here are the rest:

1.      Plan my wedding (almost done)
2.      Lose 10 lbs before my wedding (workin on this one…joined Weight Watchers this week!)
3.      Get involved in our Church  (Matt and I just became Youth Group Leaders at New Charlotte Church!!)
4.      Re-read Redeeming Love (favorite book of all time)
5.      Write More (HELLO CAROLINA CHARM!)
6.      Preserve my youth…starting with skin care!
7.      Be a less aggressive driver (and hopefully save on gas)
8.      Get a new job  CHECK! Marketing & Public Relations Specialist!
9.      Expand my recipe collection …accomplished due to a prescribed vegan diet!
10.  Home Improvements: paint bedroom, buy new couch, plant more hydrangeas.
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