Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Squeals of Delight

If you were standing in Heathrow airport this afternoon you would have heard squeals of delight when the lovely Kate and my daughter, Miss Claire first caught sight of each other. They were BFF (Best Friends Forever) in Auckland, where we moved from at the end of 2009.  Kate was one of the friends that was there at the end, the one who shared and passed the tissue with us as we spent the last day in the country we called home. Here we are seven months on and the lovely Kate has graced us with her warm smile and bubbly nature once again.

I was grinning from ear to ear on the ride home just listening to the two of them. You would never know that they talk on Facebook nearly every day and then some. No matter, you know what it is like when you catch up with someone you have not seen in a feels like it was just yesterday.

A gaggle of girls jumping with joy last year...

rowing together...

Not sure if they are checking out the races 
or the boys in their zooties:)

The effervescent Miss Kate

Kate travelled from New Zealand to England on her own...that kiwi ingenuity never ceases to amaze me.
Do you remember when you were 17?  A trip driving solo from my home town to the mall 
in the next town was about as far as I got and I thought that was pretty cool! 

I wanted to make sure Kate feels comfortable after a long journey
so I put on my thinking cap and thought like a teenager....

A little night time reading provided by Miss Claire...

Lots of pillows to sink back into and sigh...

Flowers from the garden to remind her of home...

A few essentials to wash away the memories of the flight...

Two weeks and lots to see...
They are going to have a ball!

Thought I would share a little teenage lingo with you that I picked up over dinner.
Ever wondered what all these abbreviations stand for that they use in their conversations?
I do and here is what they told me.

TTYL- talk to you later
TTFN- ta ta for now
TTFG- ta ta for good
BRB- be right back
NVM- never mind
WU2- what you up to?
NM- nothing much
JW- just wondering
DW- don't worry
GTG- got to go
BFF- best friends forever
ILY- i love you
LOL- laugh out loud and or lots of love

and one I made up BBF- best blogging friend

With that I say

Jeanne :)

First two images provided by another BFF 
other images~me

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thinking Green and White

It is a hot summer's day
and I am thinking green, 
all shades of it..
emerald, sea green, mint, aquamarine, forest, chartreuse, 
moss, sage, viridian, lime, spring green, apple
I am thinking how much I love them with white.
An accent here, an accent there...
Green is life. White is fresh.
Bringing the outdoors in,
winter or summer,
even the slightest hint
and I feel calm again.
Time for tea...iced green tea
join me?


and the perfect way to end a green and white summer's day...

at a beach house...

with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!

Green and white :)


Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Sundays and the Sea

I can't tell you how much fun it is to create these 'meme's for Summer Sundays.
It really has been the next best thing to being there for me.
If you are interested visit The Tablescaper and join in the fun.

I grew up along the sea, in a small town outside of Boston.
It is along Cape Ann and has a rich history but more importantly it is filled with
wonderful people. It hasn't changed much in the many years since I moved away.
That in itself is a treat for me and my family each time we return.

I like to think that I go to the sea to find the best in me.
The sea has a way of doing that.  It brings you in and sweeps you along.
Walking the beach, collecting shells, swimming, boating, fishing..
you always feel like the best is yet to be.

Along Cape Ann, artists thrive in summer. 
Everything falls into perfect pitch.
There is no better time to live a creative life. 
Whether it be artists or writers...the sea has a way of 
helping one to define themselves.

    I created this blog on a painting which I called
the painting served as a reminder of my 
childhood by the sea.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow inspired me with
Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
My grandmother and me
on a porch along the sea

With that...I say 
Hooray for

Next week 4th of July celebrations in the little town by the sea
more on that next week :)

image 1, 2-7~me, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12~me, 13, 14~me

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bellissima Villa Bordoni

Cooking with Miss Claire yesterday brought back wonderful memories
 of a perfect summer lunch at Villa Bordoni in Tuscany.

We had all the ingredients for success.. 
family, great food, great wine, a perfect setting
and nothing but time to enjoy it all.

If you are planning a driving trip thru Tuscany
and plan to be between Siena and Florence,
you will find Villa Bordoni in Greve in Chianti,
right in between :)

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend !


Note: If you have difficulty accessing the website,
try googling 'Villa Bordoni'. My linking system is acting up.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Think Pink and Retreat!

"Ahhh" by Jerri Finch

It has been a long week and I have decided today is the perfect day to retreat. 
I am throwing up the proverbial pink flag and saying "ah, ah, no way, I am staying put".


and the wonderful exhibit I went to see in London yesterday. 
It is what sparked my idea to retreat. 
More on that here.

 and attempt to add a few more stitches into my son's needlepoint 
Christmas stocking which I have been working on for the last ten years! 

out of closets and accept that summer is here and it is time to put away the winter clothes. 
I say this with hesitation because it is England after all.

and pop in the pink impatients and nasturtiums 
that have been sitting by my back door for the last five days.

and put Miss Claire to the test with one of her favourite meals.  
It is easy peasy and should be a good intro to her cooking lessons with Mom.

Salmon Steaks 
with hot pesto and tomatoes
serves 4
4 salmon steaks, 175 g each
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
350 g baby plum tomatoes, halved
extra basil leaves to serve

Basil Pesto
2 garlic cloves, peeled
55 g pine nuts
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or aged pecorino cheese
55 g fresh basil leaves (no stalks)
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
55 g unsalted butter, softened
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the salmon in a shallow non-metallic dish. Put the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce in a measuring jug, mix well, then pour over the steaks, turning to coat.  Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
To make the pesto, put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth as you like. Store in a jar with a layer of olive oil on top to exclude the air. Keep in the refrigerator until needed, making sure that each time you use it, you level the surface and re-cover with olive oil.
Remove the salmon from the marinade and put in a foil-lined pan. Cook under a preheated grill for 4 minutes on each side, brushing with the marinade once on each side. Remove from the grill and keep warm. Put the pesto in a saucepan and heat gently until warm and melted. Carefully stir in the tomatoes. Serve the salmon on warm plates with the pest tomato sauce spooned over, then topped with basil.

To ensure I stay on track, I will be back with an update at the end of the day :)
PS.. proverbial pink flag is a notion concocted by Jeanne
I have a tendency to do things like that:)
Phew... Nothing like putting it in writing to make you get a move on it! 
Happy to report that my closet is just about there.  Claire did a great job....the salmon was delicious. She made brownies too, all went well until I came in the kitchen and saw huge gashes in the brownies. She had used a chopstick to see if it was done :) Impatients and Nasturtium are in along with a few other herbs. My needlepoint is coming along... I am thinking this may be the year that I finally finish it! and I am still thinking reflecting on the art exhibit I saw yesterday.
This was so much fun I am going to do it again today!!
Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4&6~me, 5, 6, 7

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Helping Mother

'Helping Mother'
Painted by
Jessie Wilcox Smith (1853-1919)

 This little girl looks just like my Miss Claire (child #3) did at the same age. 
All curls and as cute as a button. 
She is just shy of 17 and still as cute as a button and as of yesterday is officially on 'summer vacation'. 
Vacation is great but can be exhausting for Mom. 
I haven't told her yet but Mom has a few things on her list for Miss Claire to accomplish this summer.
'The List'
-Learn how to cook a complete meal by herself.
- Learn how properly stack and run the dishwasher.
-Learn how to sort and run the laundry machine and dryer.
-Learn how to properly iron clothes.
-Learn how to mend her own clothes.
-Learn how to get her doona (duvet) into her doona cover.
-Learn to take the initiative to do all of the above without being asked!
Of course, with all this comes self satisfaction for her.
Oh yes, she also has to learn how to drive a car :)

Am I being a taskmaster???
Should I calm the Virgo in me?

Did I mention that I own this too?
PS...Thank you to everyone who commented on my 
'Shoeless in England' post. All I can say is wow!
So many fantastic suggestions. I am going to write a post on your suggestions.
Stay tuned....

Images 1, 2~me, 3, 4


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