Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry Summers

Summer is captured in a sweet, festive berry-

The strawberry is humble and fun, bright and earthy...

But cleans up nice and can be quite fancy...

...and gooey

...and pretty
...and refreshing

...and classic.
Grandma's cookie jar! (Grandma loved strawberries too!)

I've long had a thing for Strawberries-- as a youngin' I loved this girl:

Course, when I knew her she looked more like this-
...and less like this. Oh, time changs everything !

My room wasn't this decked out in Strawberry Shortcake decor, but pretty close to it.

I had those curtains, and that sleeping bag!
Maybe it's time to revisit my love for this cute red berry, and make this little hat! 

Buy one like it on Etsy
...or go get my nails did like this!

or host a strawberry-tastic brunch!

Where I could serve this! The most amazing strawberry shortcake I have ever seen!!!

Recipe for Strawberry Short Snake
Hope you're having a Berry delicious summer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Forgotten Garden

Here goes another one of my half-assed book reviews...

Let me start with this horrible fact about myself: I judge books by their covers. I always have. Luckily for me, lots of different kinds of covers appeal to me, so I am tempted to pick up even the single-colored generic looking titles. This book, however, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, caught my eye because I am currently head-over-heels obsessed with cottages. Double points if they are made of stone. Triple points if they are seculded in their own magical garden. And that's what was on the cover of this hefty paperback. So I bought it. Not ever having heard of it, and without any idea as to what story it held inside it's lovely cover.

And sometimes, things are just meant to be. I was supposed to read this book at the very time that I did. I'm not saying that this is the most fantastic book I have ever read in my life-- but it had a significant meaning to me (a strange, almost spooky coincidence that would not add to the book for anyone but me, I imagine). And that made it an extra-special read.

The story was a good one. It was full of secrets and twists-- most of which were pretty predictable, but figuring them out before the author lays it down is half the fun. I enjoyed the multi-generational perspective and developed a substantial girl crush on who I consider to be the main character (Eliza). Course, I think that was what the author intended, as almost every charater in the book loved her as well... almost everyone.

This book reminded me a lot of the last book I read, The Thirteenth Tale. In fact, I predict that in a few years when I look back on either book I will get the two confused. If this sort of thing happens to you too, and you want to read both books, I'd recommend spacing them out a bit. Like The Thirteenth Tale, much of The Forgotten Garden takes place on a huge English estate. This one, Blackhurst Manor, is in far better repair than the one from the other story, and sits on the coast of Cornwall. The estate, and the gardens (especially the part of the estate that is depicted on that cover I raved about earlier) are really more like characters than setting. They had just as much influence and charisma as the people in the tale, and were described with such loving detail throughout the ages that I felt present while reading.

For anyone interested in reading the book, or if you already have and you just want a bit more (I get that way a lot with books, I am hungry for more story, even after it's all said and done) I recommend visiting the author's page (or the Authoress, I guess I should call her). It's gives little tidbits as to what the story is about (since I realize I have not spoke of plot at all) and you can listen to her read the first chapter. There are lots of other fun links... like to the real-life estate that inspired Morton to create Blackhurst. It's called Heligan, and I just found out that it allows visitors, so I think I have my next dream vacation all planned out. In fact, the place looks so awesome, I might have to give it its own Happy post.

The first day of year 3

Yesterday marked our two-year wedding anniversary, and this morning, my loving hubby woke me up by whispering in my ear, "Happy first day of our third year of marriage..." What a sweet, happy way to start the day... to start another year of marriage. How happy it makes me to have found my other half.

To my husband:
It makes me happy thinking about being old with you-
Because I know, that all the days that build our lifetime
will be filled with friendship
and sillyness
and laughter
and passion
and closeness
and adventure
and magic
and so very-berry much love.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Farmhouse Wares

I happened upon this website ( and started drooling over all the pretties they sell for the home. Everything is rustic and charming and looks as if it's belongs to a simpler time. After thoroughly exploring their wares, I have collected my favorites (ie: what I would buy if I bought myself everything that tickled my fancy). Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, my birthday is coming up next month...   ;)

Glass Jam Pots with Covers

French wire cake stand
Cupcake stands

Vegetable cutting board

Rustic glass dryer rack

Vintage bulb tray

Bait bucket  lantern

Rustic Birdhouse

Wire picnic basket

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I really love the windchimes and windbells from this site-  Just looking at them, I can almost hear their songs flittering with the breeze...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Solstice

Hope you all took a little time for sun worship, on this wonderul midsummer day!

Read up on this important day: National Geographic Article and another fact-filled article here.

Happy 10 by Matthew

1. Playing guitar

2. Reading epic fantasy stories aloud

3. My Cats (sometimes)

4. Single Malt Scotch Whisky

5. My beautiful, funny, sexy, rockin', well educated wife

6. A fine fitted hat

7. Playing with Dogs

8. Gym time/b-ball time

9. Escape time with friends
(preferably in a small, cozy cabin amongst snowy mountains)
(or at a game)
(Or playing golf)
(or the gun show)
(and goofing around)
10. Helping people to see the world a bit more clearly

Thanks Matthew, darling, for your Happy 10! What a wonderful list of happy things, I especially love how you worded number 5 ;)

If you'd like to make up your Happy 10 list, and post it on Dreams & Happy Things, please read this post. It tells you how (and why). Believe me, it's fun, and it helps spread the happy around!