Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thyme for Herbs II

Freshly picked herbs not only bring excitement and variety to otherwise bland or uninspiring dishes, they add a decorative touch to your porch, kitchen table, patio, etc! Not to mention, a $3.99 plant can last you through an entire season of cooking {if you keep it alive}! I love cooking with fresh herbs, but dang, they get expensive when you have to purchase an entire container at the grocery store when the recipe calls for just a "pinch!" 

With springtime right around the corner, I am already daydreaming about how to spice up my 2012 Herb Garden. What sort of pots, labels, and herbs will I use this year now that I have so many pinspiring ideas!?..

{Sidenote: {Click Here} if you missed last spring's post on my 2011 herb garden success!}

 Chalkboard paint labels
 Clothespin clipped labels
 Popsicle stick labels
 Pot within a pot, within a pot
All in one pot, with chalkboard painted labels
Tea can pots
Somehow I managed to keep most of these herbs alive the entire season
 Decisions, decisions! 

Are you planning to grow your own herbs this spring?!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Brynn's Bachelorette Bash

This past weekend, 14 girls rallied in Savannah, GA to celebrate Brynn's "last fling before the ring." The trip could not have been more fabulous. B's MOH made sure we partied hard from Friday through Sunday. Although it is going to take days to fully recover, it was totally worth it!

 Friday evening started out with a delicious dinner, followed by a ridiculous night out on the town...
Our first drink stop of the night before heading to Savannah Smiles.
Of course, the bride-to-be made it on stage to dance! So proud! 
Saturday we shopped, ate lunch at Lady & Sons, and toured the town.
Later that evening we had the lingerie shower and ate dinner at The Olde Pink House.
Dinner was filled with LOTS of fun and bubbly!
After dinner we met up with our tour guide for a haunted pub crawl
a few pub stop photos
After the last stop on the pub crawl, we headed to Boiler Room for some dancing!
 such fun girls

 Sunday morning, Abbey and I surprised Brynn with a bridal shower at Huey's on the River
 the food was amazing

 Bachelorette Weekend Success!

Love you, Brynnie! So excited for you to get MARRIED!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Get Your Tulips to Tango

When winter gets me down, I attempt to energize my home with a bouquet of dazzling tulips, one of my favorite flowers! A vase of fresh tulips is both elegant and colorful, so I purchase them often while they are in season. However, I have learned over the seasons that cut tulips tend to have a mind of their own and to my dismay, I find they die quickly or do not hold the beauty that was seen in the pretty package at Trader Joes. 
So, in an attempt to extend the life of these happy flowers, I have been experimenting with several techniques to get the most out of my tulips. I am by no means a florist, but here is what I’ve learned about caring for fresh cut tulips: 

Arranging Cut Tulips

1.      Pour cold water into the vase until it is half full.
2.      Using a sharp knife or pruners, diagonally cut one-quarter of an inch off the bottom of the tulip stems while under water so that no air enters the stem. This opens the stem to receive water. Do not allow the stem to dry before plunging the cut tulips into a vase or decorative container.
3.      Adjust the tulips so they fall symmetrically in the vase. Arrange the tulips to give them room to grow and twist. Remove any leaves from the stem that would be under the water once the tulip is placed into the vase.
4.      Place the vase in the coolest possible spot where you can still enjoy the tulip arrangement. If you are going to be away from the tulips for several hours move them to a dark, cool location.
5.      Tulips are big drinkers.  Check the water level often and empty and refill the vase with cold water every day. Rearrange the growing tulips so they form a pleasing display. Snip the ends off the stems every other day for maximum water intake.

{Note:  Fresh cut tulips can last up to 10 days in your home if properly cared for}
Tips & Warnings

·         For the longest vase life, buy tulips while the buds are tight.
·         Do not feed tulips those little packets of cut-flower food. Pure water is all they need. Adding aspirin, lemon juice, pennies, soda and other mixtures to the water is only a myth for extending the life of cut tulips. Also, refresh water if cloudy.
·         Do not place the tulip vase in direct sunlight, near heaters or under lamps. Heat shortens the life of the blooming flowers.
·         Do not add daffodils to a vase of tulips. Combining tulips with daffodils {or any species of Narcissus} is not recommended as tulips exude a sticky sap that shortens the life span of other flowers by clogging their water uptake channels.
Tulips too unruly?

Remove the flowers from the vase, re-trim the stem tips and roll the tulips snuggly into a newspaper cone. The paper should extend above the flower tops but not cover the lower third of the stems. Place the wrapped bunch upright in a container holding cool water deep enough to submerge the exposed stems. Leave in a cool place for an hour or two to soak up the cool water in an upright position. Presto—stems will be straight again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Charlie's Birthday Pawty

This past weekend we celebrated Charlie's 6th birthday! It is so hard to believe our fur baby is already 6 years old! Obviously, we needed to go all out and throw him an unforgettable birthday pawty!

The pawty invitation! 
 Birthday boy!!
We had a custom peanut butter & banana dog birthday cake made at K9 Cafe. Cupcakes were served for the humans. 
 A few party details
 Beverage station #1
Beverage station #2

Everyone loved their pawty hats!
Charlie's girl friends
Charlie's guy friends
Charlie's presents from his friends


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