Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Come Out, Come Out...

The other night I found Toby in his chair in our computer room...like this....

The next morning...like this in our bed...

He is such a funny boy...who likes to bury himself under the covers.

La Maison du Gentry

Tonight my brother-in-law, Brandon came over for dinner and paid us a big compliment. He said after dinner, that it was a "Restaurant Quality Meal." Wow..it was like a food critic coming to your home and scoring the meal. You see...he's a chef. So when he compliments a meal or a dish...I take it as a very high compliment.
We had a nice dinner...Jeffrey did the "real" cooking of the food...I just prepped it and made the asparagus. We had grilled filet mignon, shrimp, grilled squash, and asparagus...it was delicious.

I made a centerpiece for our "restaurant table" out of the Black-Eyed Susan's, phlox, sedum, and Zinnias in our yard.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Conversation with Jeffrey

Natalie: "I know I'm old when I am washing my bras in the bathroom sink...with Dawn."

Jeffrey: "Hahhahahhahahhaaaa"

In the early Spring, I went to a lingerie store in Wilmington, Del. at the recommendation of a neighbor. She said once you go there...you'll never buy your bras anywhere else...SHE WAS RIGHT! It's called Bare Essentials. What prompted the conversation with the neighbor was the Oprah Show on women wearing the wrong size bra. The ladies in Bare Essentials were so helpful and they made me feel at ease. I tried on several different styles and I purchased two. Le Mystere Tisha Bra, which is Oprah's favorite and the Goddess Bra. Both are well worth the money and fit great. They make your clothes look better and I feel better. The funny thing, they recommend washing them with Dawn Dish Soap...it takes the oils out..just like the ducks covered in oil from an oil spill. It really works and I remember my grandmom doing the same thing with her delicates.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sweet and Sassy

That's how I like my cupcakes. A few weeks ago I visited the cutest store, Sweet and Sassy Cupcakes. They have adorable gifts and great cupcakes. My favorite flavors are Banana's Foster and Vanilla Vanilla. The icing is sweet, but not too sweet and the cakes are solid and moist. Check them out if you are ever in Newark, DE on Main St.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer is Slippin' Away

It just occurred to me that it is almost August. As a child I would dread the month of August...school shopping, fittings for the school uniform, cramming the summer reading into my daily schedule and practicing going to bed at a decent hour. Where has it gone? Here's a list of 10 things I hope to do before the summer ends.
1. Go to the beach at least 2 times this summer.
2. Pick blackberries.
3. Sit on the front porch at least once a week with Jeffrey.
4. Visit a few antique shops on a leisurely drive.
5. Open the windows and listen to the crickets.
6. Swim in the ocean with some friends.
7. Take a dip in a pool.
8. Bask in the sun with a good book...know of any?
9. Eat an ice cream cone on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach.
10. Enjoy the flowers in our yard and remember that summertime only comes once a year...so enjoy it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wedding on the Canal

My friend, Christy was married to Ken on Saturday on their boat at the Chesapeake City Town Dock. The reception was at the restaurant and it was just as beautiful as the rest. My favorite part was the cake!

My friend, Martina Kelly of Blueberry Moon Fine Pastries and Wedding Cakes in New Castle, Delaware did a wonderful job, as usual making the cake. The cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache...DELISH! Here you can see how talented she is with the sugared flowers, they look so real.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Midnight Fire

When you work in the restaurant business, you keep late hours. Last night was no different, my brother-in-law, Brandon decided to stop by after working at the restaurant, where he is the chef and our friend, Lisa, who worked with me came over too. We made a fire in our fire pit and sat around it. This all started around 12:30am and lasted until 3am. It was a beautiful night, almost too good to be true for a evening in July, so we decided to take advantage of it...listening to music, telling stories, reminiscing, and roasting hot dogs.

Toby even tried to get in on the action by stealing one of the hot dogs...bad boy!

Brandon made these sturdy skewers out of wire coat hangers. They worked great.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cool Place to Beat the Heat

A few weeks ago I visited my nephew and niece in Chattanooga, TN and I took them to the Children's Discovery Museum. It is a great place for children of all ages. We wanted to see the Alice in Wonderland Exhibit. They had a blast...I did too!

This was really neat...a huge bubble maker.

Aislyn loved the playing in the water area.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If This Post Could Be Scratch-n-Sniff...

You would smell the sweetest, freshest scents. The Oriental Lilies are in full bloom in our garden. I just love sitting anywhere and smelling their strong fragrant blooms and looking at their beauty. I planted the ones you see below last year and they didn't do so well. This year they are spectacular.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday: Red

Landen's favorite color!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Orange

I never realized how much orange I see everyday. Today I saw 2 orange cars and many other things....however, my camera's batteries were dead.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Black, White or Brown

Color Week is moving along. It's actually a lot more fun that I expected. I look at things a little differently each day.

Farewell to a True American Lady

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” -Lady Bird Johnson

Tonight when I heard the news that Lady Bird Johnson had passed away. I was sad. I have always loved and admired her since I was a little girl. I remember vividly sitting on the floor at my grandparent's house and hearing her talk on TV. I asked who she was and my grandfather said, Lady Bird Johnson. I remember laughing at the name, but I was so enchanted with her Texas drawl. She sounded so graceful when she spoke, like someone narrating a story. The thing that sticks in my mind most about Lady Bird is her Highway Beautification Project and the Lady Bird Bill. Just yesterday, I was driving down the road and I passed this area where there are tons of wildflowers and I thought of her. I got stopped at the light and I just looked at how pretty they were and how they made the side of a dull highway so beautiful. No matter where I drive, I always check out the flowers and think of her. In 1983, Lady Bird received an Honorary Degree from my Alma mater, Washington College as a Doctor of Humane Letters. She witnessed so much of our country's history unfold and led a very privileged life so graciously. She leaves behind a legacy of beautifying America for everyone to enjoy.

Click here for Lady Bird Johnson in The White House

I think this photo epitomizes the true Lady Bird...a simple woman who loved nature. Click here for more information on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green


There is always hope... I have been watching after our rose bush this summer. I want it to bloom like it did in early June. I have been fertilizing, watering and pruning...in hopes that it will bloom again within 6 weeks from the last blooms in early June. Well...finally the other day I noticed 4 blooms.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blue Day

Here's the blue for color week...not too exciting...a storm rolled through as I was out looking and this was all I found that worked for me.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Color Challenge

I have never done this before, but I was inspired by Ms.Kathleen.
Hula Seventy started color week. The schedule is as follows...

monday: yellow
tuesday: blue/turquoise
wednesday: green
thursday: white or brown or black
friday: orange
saturday: red or purple or pink

I think this will be a lot of fun. Nothing says yellow this time of year like the Maryland State Flower, The Black-Eyed Susan.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Queen of Hydrangeas

One of my favorite summer flowers is a Hydrangea. My mom has always had many Hydrangeas at her house and I was lucky enough to transplant some small ones at our house. I couldn't wait for those blue beauties to bloom this year...well...here they are:

Something in the soil. My mom has a variety of colors, blue, purple, pink and plum. A few months ago while talking to a lady in town...she let me in on something I never knew. She told me that my grandmother was known as the Queen of Hydrangeas. She said her Hydrangeas were always so big, beautiful and healthy and everyone loved them. That really made me smile. She had many at her house and they are still there today. Last week I picked these out of a bush at my mom's house. I remember giving her this bush in a small 5 inch pot for Mother's Day one year. My dad bought her some perfume and this Hydrangea came as a free gift with the purchase. It is the healthiest plant I have seen...really strong and beautiful. Below is a centerpiece I made for last weekend's party and the top photo is a closeup of it's bloom.