Enjoying My Garden in July

Purple Coneflower in July Garden

Wow. I can't believe we're more than halfway through July. I want summer to slow down because I'm a warm weather gal and I feel so alive during the summer months. The earth is bursting with flowers and plants, the birds are singing, the butterflies are winging, and I feel like Mr. Bluebird's on my shoulder! Almost every day I take a little walk through my gardens because they're always changing. So without further adieu, here's my garden in … [Read more...]

Country Style Decorating from Hometalk and Me!

Farmhouse Kitchen Sideboard at Town and Country Living

For at least 20 years I've been a fan of country decor and it's certainly changed and evolved during that time. Country style decorating has become more sophisticated and its horizons have broadened. Today you'll see country decor in cottage, farmhouse, and even modern style homes ... yes, there's actually a style called Modern Country! Country style decorating is all about comfort, practicality, and beauty. To share my love of this flexible and … [Read more...]

Charming Suburban Home ~ Golden Boys and Me

Ikea Billy Bookcases serve as kitchen island embellished with fancy corbels

Today's charming suburban home is the perfect example of how to marry comfort and beauty for today's busy lifestyle. Courtney at Golden Boys and Me proves her resourcefulness as she leads you through DIY projects in her home ... some of which are truly genius. I love her sense of style and use of color. She's created a warm and welcoming haven in which to relax and enjoy! Courtney's cozy comfy family room displays a touch of Americana. A large … [Read more...]

Beautiful Oriental Lilies in the Garden

Easy to grow pink Oriental Lilies

Yesterday when I came home from work I saw a flash of beautiful pink out in the garden. That's when I realized my oriental lilies were in bloom. Just a couple of the buds were open. And now today, several of them are blooming their hearts out ... and they're just gorgeous! So pretty! I had to grab my camera and try to capture their beauty.   I have both white and pink lilies out in the garden. The white blooms are huge ... about 6-8" … [Read more...]

Mild and Creamy Guacamole Recipe

Mild and Creamy Guacamole Recipe. Warning ... it's addictive!

Would you believe me if I told you I never ate guacamole until a few years ago? It's true! Avocados were never a part of my childhood diet ... we never had them in our house. Ever. Since Mom said avocados didn't taste good, I simply believed her and never tried them.   But one day a few years ago I tried an avocado. And I loved it!! Which then led me to eat some guacamole.   And I loved that too! This week hubby and I made mild … [Read more...]

Summer on the Front Porch ~ Humpdays with Houzz

Collection of 13 Front Porches

Summer is front porch sittin' time ... that is, if you're not at the beach, peddling a bike down a shaded trail, or enjoying a picnic with family and friends. When I have a few moments to myself, I love to sit out on our front porch. It's peaceful and shaded and perfectly situated to capture summer's breezes. For today's Humpdays with Houzz, I'm sharing a collection of refreshing summer porches.   Beach Style Porch by Chicago Interior … [Read more...]

How to Create a Summer Coastal Centerpiece

Summer Coastal Centerpiece with Candles and Seashells

Cool blues are always a refreshing color palette when it comes to summer decorating. As part of the summer edition of Seasons of Home, I'm sharing a very simple tutorial on how you can create a summer coastal centerpiece in just a few minutes. Seasons of Home is a group of bloggers who share seasonal ideas throughout the year. Be sure to visit the other ladies listed at the end of this post for even more summer inspiration. And now, here's the … [Read more...]

Summer Afternoon in My Farmhouse Kitchen

Summer Cooking in a Farmhouse Kitchen

Yesterday I spent the majority of my day in the kitchen. It rained in the morning so I figured, why not get an early start on canning some fruits and vegetables. I cleaned my farmhouse kitchen twice, canned dill pickles for the first time, and then got some peaches into mason jars, too. I'm inspired to cook when the kitchen is clean and ready to go. And when there's fresh fruit and veggies ... that just adds fuel to the cookin' fire!   I … [Read more...]

Cottage Style Happy Housie ~ Charming Home Series

Aqua and White Entry Way

Today I have such a fun and cute house to share with you! Touring this charming home will put a smile on your face and you'll soon understand why Krista calls her blog, The Happy Housie. The cheerful colors in each cottage style room will leave you feeling light-hearted and happy as you enjoy each room. Ready to begin? I know I am! As soon as you cross the threshold into Krista's charming home, you're greeted with color and whimsy. Note her … [Read more...]

Water Lilies ~ The Jewels of the Water Garden

Tropical Water Lilies in a Backyard Pond

If you're an avid gardener looking to do something a little different, you might want to consider adding a water garden to your landscape so you can enjoy the many varieties and colors of beautiful water lilies. There's something so special about these colorful jewels.  (All photos courtesy of Aquascape, Inc.) I have to confess I never thought much about water lilies until I started working at Aquascape. And now every day I get to work in the … [Read more...]

5 Ideas for Adding Coastal Style ~ Humpdays with Houzz

Coastal style living room

When the kids were little our favorite place to vacation was Hilton Head Island. I love that island with its graceful palmetto trees, saw grass beaches, and beautiful coastal homes. Like Hilton Head living,  coastal style decorating is carefree and beach-inspired. For today's Humpdays with Houzz, I've rounded up 5 ideas for adding coastal style to your home. Beach Style Living Room by Sarasota Interior Designers & Decorators Tracey … [Read more...]

Orange Braised Sweet Potatoes

Orange Braised Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes in July? Sure, why not?  Sweet potatoes are available year-round but typically eaten in the fall.  They've been stereotyped as a holiday food but I love 'em and enjoy them any time of the year. I especially like them baked in the skin but decided to try something different. I wanted to braise them (I love braised carrots) and found a recipe at Food Network's website ... which I tweaked to my liking (recipe at end of post). This … [Read more...]

Summer Decorating in a Farmhouse Dining Room

Cottage Style Summer Decorating in the Dining Room

We've been having some fabulous weather here in the Midwest ... enough rain for the garden and plenty of sunshine to enjoy. Of course, this means the weeds are growing like gangbusters and in order for me to get out in the garden as much as possible, I need to simplify things indoors. As part of my summer decorating routine, I've edited vignettes so there's less to dust and clean. To add a bit of color, I hung a vintage hankie banner onto the … [Read more...]