Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Bunny Loves Me

I bought these bunnies a few weeks ago from Pier1.  The more I see them, the more I fall in love with them.  They are so adorable and oh so photogenic.  They posed for the watercolor painting I painted and posted at the top of my blog

I love their pudgy little tummies

I placed them for awhile on my kitchen counter along with the rustic Easter basket  and cookbook holder I also bought at Pier1

I'm also in love with these rustic Easter eggs and grapevine basket

I moved them last week to the buffet in the dining room.  The table runner belonged to my mom.  There's no telling how long she had it before she passed away in '95 but it's something I will treasure forever.

 This is my favorite picture.  Looks like he's looking straight up at the camera

I have them placed on the center of my dining room table on my favorite Spring tablecloth that I've been using for probably a decade now.  I'm always excited to pull it out to place on the table.  That means it's Springtime and Easter

As you can see, I don't have a lot of bunnies and Easter decorations around my house.  Just never got around to it.  I just might change my mind next year though after seeing "Be Book Bound's" blog.  I've been smitten by her Peter Rabbit mantel and just may end up copying it for next year.  Take a look at it HERE and you'll see what I mean.  While you're at it, take a look at her whole series on Beatrix Potter posts.  They are adorable and I've been spending a lot of time over there lately.

Have a great weekend as it's just around the corner and don't forget to savor every moment.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring around Spottswood Place

Welcome to the springing sprouts of Spottswood Place

Scarlet Flame Creeping Phlox and Touran Neon Rose Saxifraga.  Both will return year after year :)

Tulips and Hyacinth.  I bought these in a pot last year and planted them in the ground a couple weeks later.  I was thrilled to see them come up this Spring.  I must've done something right

 These same Hyacinths from above picture were taken a couple days later.  They're planted just below the sunroom windows so their delightful fragrance was welcomed into the sunroom - who needs Air Wick?!

I planted Red and Pink Tulips along with some Miniature Daffodils a couple of weeks ago just below the sunroom.

Here they are about two weeks later from the picture above this one

Dianthus I eventually planted near the Tulips

Pansies my MIL and I planted near the front entrance to greet our visitors

I threw away the information tag that came with this flower so I can't remember it's name but the purple is so vibrant and the picture still does not display it's beauty

 Camellius around the northeast side of Spottswood Place

 Miniature Daffodils in a pot by the front entrance of Spottswood Place.
For several years I have adored miniature Daffodils from afar and finally bought my own.
I look forward to many more next year
I love and adore having all kinds of flowers, floral bushes and plants around my home and am elated when I'm able to keep them growing and flourishing which is very challenging for a brown thumb.

Hope your weekend is going well and don't forget to savor every moment

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Fertilize Friday @ Tootsie Time

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Hubby's China

Blue Garland by Johann Haviland, Bavaria, Germany

We celebrated March Birthday Madness with family today and I decided to use my hubby's china.  Yes, you read right, my hubby's china.

I married a man (almost 30 years ago) who came with his own china set.  I was thrilled, I didn't mind, made me think what a special guy he is.  Through the years he mentioned how he acquired them.  I asked him again today to tell me the whole story from the beginning.

He was a single bachelor in the mid-70's, a US Army soldier stationed in Germany.  He said a family "adopted" him and took him everywhere they went.  If you're not familiar with the military and being stationed in Germany, there is SOOO much to do.  From visiting all the ancient museums,churches,castles to taking a nature hike Volksmarch to visiting a neighboring country like France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, over the weekend.  So one of the trips he tagged along on was to a china outlet in Eschenbach, Bavaria Germany (Germany is full of these types of outlets and crystal shops).   He figured that while he was there he might as well start collecting his own china (it was really cheap and sometimes flawed but not so noticeable).  He said they made several trips so by the end he had accumulated a whole set.  Fast forward about 10 years, we're married and stationed in Germany and almost living near the same area he was previously.  He took me to the china outlet store which I ended up visiting several times before we headed back to states.  We may have lost a couple of pieces here and there with the many moves we made but not a lot.

About five years into our move to central VA I had to make a run to the local grocery store (Kroger).  I was flabbergasted when my eyes set on a display of china they were selling.......  I had mixed emotions, from "yippee" to "no way, this can't be".  There sat my pattern of china in the middle of a Kroger store!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I was upset because I was convinced I had the genuine, limited Blue Garland of Johann Haviland, Bavaria from Eschenbach, Germany and that Kroger had stolen the pattern .  The stamp on the back of my china had the same stamp that Kroger's china had.  I found out when I looked it up on the internet a few days ago that because the pattern was so popular for the company back in Germany, they decided to make it available in the states too, why a grocery store?  I don't know, maybe it wasn't as expensive for them.  I eventually gave in and decided to purchase a platter and some dessert plates, since the stamp in the back matched, what would it matter??  

I finally decided to accept that my china pattern was sold at the local grocery store.  I continue to use my china on special occasions several times a year and am realizing that it's becoming more and more special to me as the years go by.  Knowing that the majority of it came from the actual factory purchased by my hubby or myself is all that matters.

I used the china in another post, click here to see it:  Meyer Lemon Scone.  Makes the scones look so divine!

So that's the story behind my hubby's china.

Have a great weekend and savor every moment.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meyer Lemon Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsps. cold butter
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
2 oz. (2 blocks) white chocolate, roughly chopped
2 meyer lemons to zest
1/4 cup juice from meyer lemons
3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp. meyer lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F degrees

Combine the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks grainy and crumbly

Add the cranberries and white chocolate and combine

Zest two meyer lemons into the flour mixture and combine, save the lemons for the next step

Squeeze the juice from the two lemons and add to the flour mixture

 Add the buttermilk and combine thoroughly, use your hands if you have to (I try my best to avoid using my hands as it's not fun getting guck on my camera) and form into a ball.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes or overnight, just make sure to cover it with plastic wrap.

Place chilled dough on surface sprinkled with flour

with a rolling pen roll out the ball of dough until it's about 3/4" thick

With a sharp knife, divide into eight slices.

 Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown

In the meantime, zest and juice one meyer lemon and add to the confectioner sugar

Whisk until well blended

When the scones are done baking, set aside to cool

Drizzle glaze onto cooled scones

Serve with tea and on your hubby's china...... ooopsy, did I say hubby's china??  I'll save that story for another post....

The more I use Meyer Lemons, the more I love them.  This new batch I bought was amazing.  The second I punctured one, the strong sweet lemon scent permeated my nostrils and my kitchen.  I couldn't wait to see how they tasted in my scones.  It definitely has a tinge of tartness from the lemons but the sweetness from the glaze is a perfect match.  My MIL was so impressed that these scones were homemade and hubby loved them of course.  What a treat to end Spring Break and to ease the "pain"? of heading back to work in the morning.  Mind you, I truly love what I do, but it's been so, so nice to stay home especially with the beautiful weather we've been having.  I was able to do a lot of yard work and gardening, sleep with the windows open, babysit my 19 mo. old grandson and go for a stroll.  I dream of heaven being like this, partly sunny, with a nice breeze, in the mid 70's with my Meyer Lemon Scones, *whimper*  Have a great week!!
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Skip To My Lou

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