Friday, July 30, 2010

Favorite Friday Recipe: Repeats for Poker Night

Made both the oven ham sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches for poker night tonight.  They'll go well with chips, rum punch, and my favorite new addiction: peanut butter filled pretzels (available at all fine Costcos)

Have I mentioned my new favorite coffee table book?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Terrariums

I love these mini little eco systems!  Adding this to my project to-do list! (which is suuuper long right now...I need a nap)

From Monkeysalwayslook

From Doodlebirdie

And Woodlandbelle actually made these into jewelry!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flowers of the month: July

Fresh white hydrangeas from J look so lovely this month.  In contrast I am wilting from this heat!

We added another little picture to the nook.  This time it's a print by Leah Duncan that I got from the Dallas Flea last month.

Vintage Monday (errr Tuesday): Vera towels and potholders

Sorry for the late vintage goodies post but I had to wait till the mailman got here!

Adding to my Vera collection/obsession with these lovely towels and potholders.  This is probably one of my favorite patterns and I was so happy to snag these on ebay.  They are in perfect condition--some little old lady must have hid these away just for me!

By the way, a quick google search for Vera potholders lead me to Bed Bath and Beyond and Macy's who are selling reissues of Vera patterns.  Interesting...

And I cannot WAIT for this book to come out!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Underneath all that rambunctiousness...

Kirby loves his big brother Link

Friday, July 23, 2010

Favorite Friday Recipe: Bananaberry Muffins

Here's a great muffin recipe from Tasty Kitchen.  I like that it uses the bananas to bind the mixture so you use less butter.  Of course, that just gives me an excuse to break open the muffins and put my own butter on it, but that's another story.

While these muffins are great warm out of the oven, the blueberries tend to get a bit tart when hot.  They were significantly better the next morning! 

Enjoy! (oh and notice my lovely Vera mug and new petalware plate!  and no, I did not eat all 5 once...)

Bananaberry Muffins

  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ⅓ cups Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas (about 2 Med Ones)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Fresh Blueberries (rinse And Pat Dry)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a tray with muffin cup papers.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together with a wire whisk.
  • Add butter, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
  • Mix on low until just combined.
  • Fold in blueberries. Reserve some to place on the tops of the muffins.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (I think I did 15 min)
  • Serve while still warm with butter. (YES!  see!)
  • Makes 12-15 muffins. (I made 17 with this recipe)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Striped walls

I really like the look of horizontal stripes and how it provides visual interest and opens the space of a room.  I've also realized after our stunt yesterday with tape, levels, and paint, that two people who usually just "eyeball" how to hang pictures should not be trying to paint stripes on their bathroom wall!  So for now, striped walls will remain firmly on my wishlist.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DIY: Vegetable garden July update

While we were gone for 9 days on vacation, our garden saw lots of sun and rain which the cucumbers took full advantage of and began their march towards total domination.

Here's what the garden looked like when we got back:

Before we left, we made sure to harvest everything and give them to friends.  However when we got back, B went out and came back with...

15 cucumbers!

Unfortunately they were gigantic and too old with many seeds.  Here's a side by side comparison with a ball point pen.

I believe our garden adventures are about over for the season.  We've had some triumphs and some losses (mostly to those pesky squirrels).  We're thinking about what we might plant for the fall now and are planning in advance for next spring!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vintage Monday: Fire King polka dot mixing bowls

A while ago, I got an email from the lovely R over at The Reluctant Floridan that said "Do you collect Fire King?"

Several thoughts ran through my mind:
  • "Do I love cake?"
  • "Do I enjoy afternoon naps?"
  • "Do I love snuggling my puppies?"
  • "Do I like rummaging through thrift shops?"
  • "Do I want to eat dessert first?"
All of these questions (as well as R's original one) can be answered with a resounding YES!

So through R's generosity and the post office, these beauties made their way from Florida to Texas and now have a new home in my kitchen.  I love love Pyrex and am especially enamored by this polka dot pattern.  For this picture I dressed the bowls up with some fresh corn and blueberries to celebrate summer.  Thank you so much R!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. ~Hilaire Belloc

Wrapping up my vacation posts with a final picture taken at Ports of Call and a video of Grace Bay.  We've settled back into our normal routine but once in a while we still get pangs of nostalgia.  It helps to watch this video and remember our beautiful beach!

Friday, July 16, 2010

We travel to eat...

Whenever B and I travel, part of our explorations always include a trip to the local grocery store to check out new and interesting food.

It is an understatement to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our meals in the Turks and Caicos.  Although it may not be the gourmet capital of the Caribbean like St Martin is (and I still dream of freshly made croissants from there), Provo held its own, especially with seafood dishes.

We loved the local favorite Da Conch Shack and our beautiful meal at Las Brisas.  Here are a few other meals we'll be remembering as well.

Fish and chips at Hemmingways--our first dinner, right on the beach

Crispy aumoniere of scallop (scallops in a thin pastry shell) from Mango Reef at the Royal West Indies

Grilled lemon chicken and couscous tabouli salad from Lemon Cafe

And the best lemon tart ever from the same cafe

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Taylor Bay and Chalk Sound

Though we spent most of our time on Grace Bay, we did take a day trip out to Taylor Bay, another beautiful beach on the Caribbean side of the island (versus the Atlantic).  Taylor Bay has the same amazing blue water and white sand but one huge difference is that it is shallow for hundreds of yards.  B and I started out walking to knee deep water and kept walking for at least 300 yards and the water was still knee deep!  Here's a video (sorry for the shoddy video taking) of an almost 360 degree look when I was standing out about 200 yards or so from the shoreline.  And the end of the video you can hear B say--"it's shallow out here!" 

Since Taylor Bay is a bit out of the way, there are very few people there which makes it feel like your own private beach.  The million dollar houses surrounding the beach are really luxurious as well.  We waded around and picked out our favorite seashells.

Then we drove down the road a little to a fabulous restaurant called Las Brisas where we had a yummy seafood lunch.

Scallops for me

And a grilled fish sandwich with fries for B

The restaurant overlooked Chalk Sound National Park--the view was amazing!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Da Conch Shack

One of our favorite places we ate at was a local place called Da Conch Shack.  It's on the other side of the main island of Providenciales and we were happy to have rented a car for the week (even if B had to drive on the left side) so we could explore the island and visit Da Conch Shack.

View of the older conch shells on the way in.  The restaurant is on the beach where they fish for conch and prepare it fresh for you.

The menu featuring their famous rum punch and further on down the menu, you'll notice that a "Fuzzy Happy Feeling" is FREE!

We ordered cracked conch (similar to fried calamari), along with conch fritters and homemade fries and rice and beans.

And as always in T&C, every meal comes with a view!

Here's a quick video showing some parts of the restaurant and bar as well as the shelves of polished conch shells you can purchase for souvenirs (you'll hear them blowing on the conch shells near the beginning and then again at the end of the video).  You'll also hear a hammering noise and that's part of the process of getting the conch meat out of its shell. You can also see the kids fishing for conch quite close to the shoreline (the blue water is slightly darker because of all the conch on the ocean floor)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another starfish in the sea

So remember the starfish that B stepped on discovered earlier in the week?  We found its grandfather on our last day on Grace Bay!

Here's my foot in comparison--it was about 18 inches in diameter!

And just how did we discover this one?  Well, I was the guilty party that stepped on it this time.  Sorry grandpa starfish!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An extended day in paradise

The vacation gods smiled down on us and we were given an extra day (well really just 14 hours) more to spend on the island. After 5 hours in the tiny airport (with no a/c), it was determined that our flight was canceled. When the announcement was made, B and I made a mad dash to get reticketed and we got put up at the Alexandria, an awesome resort on Grace Bay. We immediately got into a cab, checked into our suite and rummaged through our luggage for our swimsuits, determined to enjoy one more dip in the ocean.

Everything went smoothly for our trip back today and while it's nice to be home and with the pups, we're still missing our home away from home...

And of course, the view...

Incidentally the internet gods (or the google gods) disabled my account (email, blog, documents etc) because it was hacked into on Friday. In order to verify that I was in fact, me, I had to wait until getting back into the US before regaining access (and then having to go through and delete 500 or so spam messages the hackers had sent out from my account--if you got one--sorry!). Even though I suffered from email withdrawal, ultimately this was a good thing and helped me savor the last bit of vacation. And it'll allow me to relive everything as I have plenty to post about for the next week!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunset dinner at the Somerset

One of our favorite evenings so far was a beachfront dinner at the Somerset--one of the many grand hotels that line Grace Bay

It has a gorgeous infinity pool that leads out to views of the beach

We had read rave reviews about Caribbean night from tripadvisor and so were excited to make reservations for the occasion. Tables and chairs were set out right on the beach

Good food was served (you're looking at lots of sides and cracked conch--a local favorite--B had ribs, bbq chicken and grilled fish)

Entertainment was provided by local duo, Nada (just Daniel here, Nadine was off somewhere chatting) while we watched the sunset and stars come out that night

And here's my first attempt at putting up a video to help capture some of the sights and sounds of our evening

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sailing the Beluga

We had the best time sailing on the Beluga with Captain Tim yesterday.

Here's his first mate Scooner getting comfy for the sail ahead

It took Captain Tim about 15 min to talk me into the water for snorkeling.  In my defense we were in the middle of the sea, the reef was about 20 feet deep and he had just mentioned sharks!  This particular reef is the 3rd largest in the world--it was absolutely beautiful--like being in a tropical fish aquarium!

We sailed all afternoon, enjoying french bread, cheese and rum punch.  Near the end of the day, we stopped off at a beach to wander and pick seashells and then took in the sunset on the way home.