Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mancathalon

My son is a member of a wolfpack.  It's a group of guys he grew up with and they are really close friends.  They even have matching t-shirts.  Here is a photo from one of the wolfpack members recent wedding.  
A nice group of guys. 

Some of these guys recently got together for the second annual mancathalon.  
One of the Mancathalon Scorekeepers
 I'd never heard of such a festivity but the participants spent the weekend competing in the following: 

Hot Dog Eating Contest
Beer Tasting - 12 Beers, Name That Beer
Go Cart Races
Horse Shoes
Guess the Song
Video Game Play-off
The Battle of the go carts
Final Rounds of the Competitions
So as I was thinking about the mancathalon and I was thinking how much fun it would be to have a Woman-athalon, Femalathon or a She-athalon.  What competitions could we hold?  The whole event got me thinking about a fun girl's weekend!!!

This week I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

From Sunflowers to Moon Blooms

I planted sunflowers next to moon vine seeds so it's exciting to look out the window right now.  Morning or night there are beautiful blossoms.   The one mistake I made was planting the moon vine seeds so that they would climb on my Carolina Sapphires because the incredible fragrance of the cypress trees overpowers the lovely frangrance of the moon vine blooms.  
Have you ever seen a moon vine in bloom?   The flowers are so fragrant and the blooms are about six inches across.  As the sun begins to set if you are watching the vine, you can actually see the blooms open.  It happens in about 120 seconds!  
I'll stop carrying on about the flowers and let you see them for yourself.  In just a few minutes I'll be going out for a moon walk...just to enjoy the flowers.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Celebrating Summer With Sunflowers

 Finally!  I was so happy this morning when the first sunflower bloomed!   My husband and I both love sunflowers and he planted some seeds but unfortunately the squirrels made the most of them.
 A few weeks later I planted a dozen seed and six plants made it.   You can't imagine how excited we were when we looked out the window this morning and saw a large blossom looking like sunshine standing proudly. 
 Now I'm waiting for the moon vine to bloom.

I'm joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays as we celebrate summer.  Be sure to stop in and see what other bloggers are doing to celebrate summer.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pink Things Come in Little Packages From à la parisienne Blog

Last month one of my favorite bloggers, à la parisienne, posted a giveaway and low and behold, I WON!   In case you aren't familiar with her blog, you might want to stop in and visit Mandy's site.   I love her site because it's beautiful and I love it even more because of Mandy's beautiful spirit that comes through in everything she posts.

I hate to boast but I can't wait to show you the lovely gifts that were part of the giveaway.   My husband and I opened the small box together and he was just as excited as me to see the contents.  



After we read the enclosures we spotted the beautiful pink silk flower. 

Don't you just love the dainty pearl center?   I can't wait to wear this on my sweaters and coat.  The flower has a clip and pin backing so it can be worn on a garment or clipped to your hair.

Then there was a small box. 


Earring!!!  I just love jewelry and aren't these beautiful? 


And underneath everything was a beautiful CD!!!


 Mandy had posted about her romantic evening out and I loved listening to Pink Martini.   Click here to read about her romantic date.   Aren't they a beautiful couple!!
If you want to see more beautiful things that Mandy has made visit her Etsy store

Mandy, I hope you read this post.  THANK YOU!!!   This weekend I'll be wearing my pink and listing to my Pink Martini CD.  

Today I'm linking up with How Sweet the Sound's Pink Saturday to showcase all the PINK!  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Julia!

To celebrate this special day I should have made something from this book.
 But because tomatoes are in season and I had plenty of tomatoes on hand, I made my favorite tomato soup from this book. 

This cookbook is one that is worth looking at if you've never seen it.  It's beautifully illustrated and the recipes are wonderful too.  
So here is the tomato soup recipe.  Be sure to have a crusty french loaf on hand!

TOMATO SOUP AUX PARFUMS de PROVENCE
1/4 c. olive oil
4 leeks, rinsed, trimmed and minced
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and minced
8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 carrots, minced
1/4 c. fresh rosemary
1/4 c. fresh thyme
2 tbs. grated orange zest
12 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 c. dry white wine
4 c. chicken stock
Sea salt 
Garnish with Creamed Goat Cheese & Pistou (pesto)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat adding leeks, fennel, garlic, carrots, rosemary, thyme and orange zest. Saute until the vegetables are soft.  Add tomatoes, wine  and stock; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. 
To finish the soup puree half in a blender then recombine it with the original mixture.  Ladle soup into serving bowls and drizzle the top of each dish with 1 tablespoon of pistou and 1 tablespoon goat cheese.  Serve at once.  Makes 6-8 servings. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meteor Showers

 This post won't have amazing pictures because it was nearly impossible for me to capture the moon, stars and meteors on Friday night/Saturday morning with my camera, but I can tell you how much fun my husband and I had watching nature's show.
We got up at 2:30 a.m. EST and I grabbed my daughter's childhood sleeping bags (Lion King and 101 Dalmatians), fleece throws and some pillows, and headed outdoors. My husband grabbed the camera, tripod and coffee and still in our pajamas, we set up camp and watched the night skies until 5:30. This is not our first time to be stargazers but there are so many new technology tools that made the process more meaningful.
Our home is minutes from the airport so unfortunately the skies are generally bright and the full moon added even more light to the sky but we positioned our viewing station in the NE side of the house and the house itself helped block the view of the moon.  
It took a while for our eyes to adjust but it wasn't long before we could see a very faint formation that looked to be Camelopardalis.  
 My husband helped us find the best viewing direction and assisted in identifying what we were seeing with an iPhone app called "Planets" and there are plenty more apps and websites to help you for those interested in night skies.   The coolest was being able to chat with other stargazers about what they were seeing (or not) on the NASA website (yes, I had my iPad with me)!  The best was being able to see the meteors.  Such a memorable night.
If you want to really have some fun, grab Susan Branch's Summer Cookbook and try the menu she has for an evening picnic.  It's the best cookbook ever for this time of year.  
So today I'm celebrating our Dog Days of Summer with The Tablescaper and linking up with Seasonal Sundays.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Do Restaurant at the View

I am not a trendy person but tonight I felt I had dropped in on the Jetsons when we met good friends at Do. 
My husband saw a segment about the restaurant on CNN so we made a reservation.  This place is not necessarily about the food because it really is an experience, an iPad experience.  
This is the home page for the menu, but it's more than a menu.  The center app is a place to chat with others in the restaurant.  It's a great way to talk about the food or drink you are enjoying, or comment on the music, or just meet others dining.  And speaking of the music, when you arrive there is an app you can download on your iPhone that allows you to be able to vote on the music you want to hear...a modern day "jukebox!" 
The videos on the wall change continuously
Now going to the W.C. is also an experience.  There are buttons you push and the doors automatically open!!
Take a look at the bathroom mirror.
 After putting on your lipstick you can even take a picture of yourself!!

When it's time to order food it's just like online shopping.  Just select the items you want and they will appear in your cart.  

Go to your cart and submit and within seconds your server comes to your table to confirm your order.
Our friends are much younger than me and my husband and they were complimenting us on our contemporary choice of restaurants (a real first for me).  Honestly, I think we were all amazed. 
It wasn't long before we had to hug and say goodbye. 
So we entered our valet parking ticket number into the iPad so the valet had our cars waiting on us when we got to the exit!!

This was one of the coolest experiences I've had in a while and it was fun to enjoy the evening with good food, good friends and our favorite electronic device.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Front Porch Visitors

Our family spends a lot of time on our front porch.  It's not a big porch but there is a two-seater swing, two rockers and a small bench so it's the perfect cozy place to hang out in the summer.  
 My husband loves birds and he spends a lot of time feeding them and with the heat we've been having, he keeps all the birdbaths filled with fresh, cool water.   

Over the years we've had a number of hummingbird feeders, but a couple of years ago at the Powers' Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival  we found a handmade pottery hummingbird feeder that has brought us so many beautiful hummingbirds.   Because our porch is so small the birds are always just a few feet away so we are able to capture some beautiful photographs.   If you look carefully as you watch the video my husband filmed yesterday you will see the hummingbird's tongue.   Read a bit more about the hummingbird tongue here.
video
Today I'm linking up with The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.   Hop on over and enjoy other scenes of summer.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Carve Out Some Time For Carver's!

Today my girlfriend invited me out to lunch so instead of going to lunch with my TLG (Tuesday Lunch Group) I went out for a lunch time adventure.  
Not far from my office is a place called Carver's.  Have you heard of it?  If you love southern food you might want to check it out.  

This is not necessarily a place that you would notice driving by but then again the fish might catch your eye.
Once I was inside I had no trouble deciding on my entree.  My pick was the Dolly Parton Fried Chicken Breast along with mac and cheese, crowder peas, a biscuit and sweet tea, of course.
 Honestly,  I haven't had a biscuit that good since my Aunt Elphia made them for our breakfast back in 1966.  If you live in Atlanta or happen to be visiting the area and you like southern food, you have to try Carver's.  They are only open weekdays from 11-3 and it's a cash only restaurant.  Hope you like it!