Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Fun: Wine Tasting & Paddleboating

Yesterday morning actually felt like June is supposed to feel here - at least early in the morning you can catch a feeling of mountain air. It was just lovely! In fact, all weekend was lovely.

Pepe loves a good blow dry with the blower after a bath. It makes him all fluffy. Scout does not enjoy it as much!

I finally made it to the yoga class at NOMA Square on Saturday morning. Ryan passed on going with me -- his last yoga experience a couple of months ago left him sore for three weeks. I told him it's not supposed to do that!

We checked out a new {to us} farmer's market that is in between Travelers Rest and Marietta called Beechwood Farms. It was really good and they have a pick your own option. 

It's so nice to have Ryan around to do "normal" Saturday stuff. We took the dogs to the mobile pet vet and then had a picnic in Cleveland Park. 

Saturday night I went with a group of girls to City Scape winery in Pelzer for a wine tasting. I'm not much on fruity wine and thought that was all they would have, but we were all really impressed. My favorites were the Uptown White (grapes grown in Italy) and Downtown Red (grapes from Argentina). After the tasting, we opened a few bottles and enjoyed the view!

Afterwards we headed to Pomegranate on Main and shared the Tour of Persia. If you go, it's a great way to try a little of everything. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I really liked the Kashk Bademjan which is a sautéed eggplant and onion, topped with Persian cream of whey, crispy fried onion and mint and the Koobideh Kabob, a blend of ground tenderloin and ground chuck that is charbroiled. 

Sunday we went to church and then headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Paris Mountain is just a couple of minutes from our house but feels like a different world. We stuck to the swimming area and tried out the paddleboats. 

Ryan also installed a window air conditioner unit in our upstairs. We have some fun visitors lined up in the next couple of weeks! Hôtel de Greenville is open for business!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Trail Ride & Garden Talk XIII

We went to see the movie "Jurassic World" last night and it was so good. I jumped so much I may have lost a year or two off my life, but it was worth it!

The complete opposite of Jurassic World would be the dude ranch in Wyoming where my cousin Ivy is working again this summer as a wrangler. Her pictures like this

and this

make me wish I was there with her. Part of her job is to dress the part and last year I'd passed along some horse show shirts leftover from my Western Pleasure days with Lady at the Tate County Horse Show. This was my favorite one and made by Mama Jean. Ivy's picture brought back lots of fun memories. At least I'm in Wyoming in spirit and shirt!  

My riding outfits these days aren't nearly as cute. Yesterday morning Kristin and I rode at her new barn (she's moved to Bushy Creek Stables in Easley - check out her new website!) and had a wonderful time. It wasn't too hot if we stayed in the shade! Sonya and Charm did great except they were both totally freaked out by the tiniest little creek. We finally got them both to cross it. Obviously, we need to practice walking and not jumping across it!

Charm & Kristin

Sonya & Me

And when I can't be out at the barn, my second choice is my garden! These pink gladiolus may be the prettiest we've had so far. They are so happy looking!

Some kind of lily is just blooming and there are many more right behind it! Any one know what type of lily this is?

In the backyard the hostas are looking dainty. They remind me of the talking flowers in "Alice in Wonderland."

The first cherry tomato has turned red and is waiting to put in a salad tonight. My vegetables seem pretty scrawny and I'm not sure if it's my dirt lacking nutrients or not enough sun. 

The watermelon is growing and has a couple of blooms. 

The squash is continuing to bloom, but, according to our friend Richard, we only have male blooms and just female blooms will produce vegetables. Learn something new everyday!

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Eats

Is anyone else super excited about summer foods? Our little garden doesn't have any vegetables ready to go yet, but fortunetley our friends are sharing their produce.

This zucchnni is from Maggie & Richard's garden and the cherry tomatoes were grown on St. John's Island, S.C. and were the best I've ever tasted. The basil for the pesto came from my garden.

Tilapia & Zucchini Pesto Salad

Pesto for two: 2 handfuls of basil (I used normal green and purple basil), 2 teaspoons of pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves, a glug of EVOO, salt and pepper to taste. Process all in food processor. Parmesan cheese would also be a great addition, but I didn't miss it and it made this dish a little healthier!

Tilapia: Heat an iron skillet with a little EVOO, salt and pepper tilapia fillets and cook for about 3 minutes per side. In a separate skillet melt 1/4 stick butter with 3 tablespoons and brown one clove of garlic. Add in basil, salt and pepper. Pour over fish.

Broccoli Salad

This is my mom's recipe (as is the fish above!) and is one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli. It's easy to double and keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. Mix 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup Italian dressing. Pour the dressings onto two heads of chopped broccoli. Add in 4 pieces of crumbled bacon, 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup craisins. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Tomato Sandwich

Our neighbor, Don, gave us a tomato from his garden and I do believe there is nothing better than a homegrown tomato sandwich. I could eat one every day for lunch: wheat bread, mayo, cheese, fresh tomato and basil grilled in skillet until the cheese is melted! 

Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca 

A few months ago the hospital stopped selling "real" Cokes and started selling a ton of sparkling waters. My favorites are Dasani's Mixed Berry and the lime LaCroix. Funny side story: My dad loves to tell the story of our first afternoon in Norway when he purchased five very pricey bottles of "water with gas" and watched Sis, Thomas and I twist the tops off, take one sip, spit it out and declare it disgusting. For the rest of the trip we made sure to request water without gas. 

Anyway, I saw this recipe for Watermelon Basil Agua Fresa and knew it was something that my adult self would now like. 

Another wonderful thing about summer is that it is staying light well past 9 o'clock. Monday evening we took the dogs to Falls Park just to walk around. It was such a nice way to end the day!

My peeps <3 comment-3--="" nbsp="">

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Snaps

We are getting totally spoiled by Ryan having normal working hours and weekends off! August is going to be a rude awakening back into the world of residency, but for now we are enjoying every single moment. And enjoyed kicking off the true start to summer with lots of summery activities.

My favorite place downtown is Sip Wine Bar. I love the view, love the patio, love the half-off wine during happy hour.

Can you see the people posing on the rooftop garden? 

We met Kristin, Amanda and Brandon for a drink. Kristin and I decided we should check out Sip's competition across the street, Stellar Wine Bar. Sip still wins in my book! Then we went for sushi at Miso's. So good!

Saturday morning it wasn't too hot and we played a round of tennis. I did better but still lost 4-6 :(

My Junior League transfer group had a little pool party to celebrate no longer being transfers. This has been such a great group of girls to get to know. Our fearless leader, Shari, hosted us and even ordered this gigantic swan float so we'd look like Taylor Swift. I had no idea this was a thing!

A rouge thunderstorm drove us inside to eat, but we waited it out and got back in the pool. It was fun to meet everyone's husbands. 

And, of course, Sunday was Father's Day and am so thankful for Facetime and getting to "see" my dad even if not in person! Funny story about the bottom pic: Mom sent it to me and I told her I had a copy of that picture but thought it was Sis and not me. She told me this morning she thinks I'm right, but that no would know! 

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five for Friday

In no particular order here are five things that I'm grateful and/or excited about for at the moment...

1. A/C

I can't imagine living without an air conditioner. I know people did, and it hasn't been that long ago that they did. BUT I'm so thankful I've never had to experience that. And I'm super thankful that our neighbor, Don, is an A/C repair man. He and Ryan had a new unit installed before the house even heated up.

2. Tennis Tourny Update

Ryan is still winning. And the only set I've won was when his eyes were dilated from a trip to the eye doctor. I'm thinking he will win our summer tournament. We finally decided the prize would be a nice pair of sunglasses. My chances of winning these are pretty slim.

3. Saying good-bye to our Mississippi friends

Amber & Sam are heading back to his hometown of Kosciusko this weekend. He is finished with residency and they are so excited. We are excited for them but sad to say good-bye! But we are looking forward to a visit in August!

4. VBS

My mom and sister both had Vacation Bible School this week at their churches,and I so loved the thought that we were all three doing the same thing -- just not at the same place! Mom said, and I agree, that VBS must make God so happy. The children were precious and I feel like I know a lot more people at our church. An added benefit is I've finally figured out the layout of the church. It's very old and has been added onto multiple times and it's easy to get lost. I only locked myself in a courtyard once trying to take a shortcut between two buildings!

5. New {to me} blog from Bloglovin.

My friend Emily introduced me onto Bloglovin about a year ago. It's a site that allows you to bookmark favorite blogs and receive e-mails when there's a new post. It also suggests blogs you might enjoy. That's how I found my new favorite design blog: My Scandinavian Home. Look at this post featuring a Swedish Summer Cottage on the western coast of Sweden. It reminded me how much I loved last summer's comedy Welcome to Sweden. I'm happy to report that the second season starts next month. Here's a fun story about the show's creator and main character Greg Poehler (he really is a Swedish citizen now!).

I'm looking forward to a weekend at home with Ryan off work. Hopefully, we'll get in a few rounds of tennis if it's not too hot. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Garden Talk XII & A First Round of Golf

Somehow it's been awhile since I've posted about the yard! We are in the middle of a heat wave (at least I hope it's a wave and not just how hot it's going to be all summer!) and everything needs to be watered at least once a day. On the first day of the extreme heat the horses at the barn drank the entire 100 gallon water bucket.

But even with the heat, our plants are still growing and changing. The best part about going out of town for a few days is coming home to see what has bloomed.

Stealing the show this week are zinnias lining the porch. Hard to believe these were the little seeds in an egg crate way back in March.

And I finally got around to planting the side and back window boxes. On the side are 'pacifica polka dot' vinicas. 

And below that box, the grapes are really getting big. I've got to read up on when/how to harvest them!

The front window boxes are getting a little more full looking. And sporting American flags!

Big lilies have popped up in several spots in the front yard. After they bloom, I'm going to do a little rearranging so they aren't coming up inside a boxwood.

Continuing to love my lantana. And moving on to the back...

In the kitchen window box, I put 'pacifica punch' vinicas - they are the most vibrant pink color. And the hydrangea started off with darker blue blooms but is now getting more purplish/pink in color. 

The banana trees are HUGE. Don't know what we are going to do about this!

My clearance rack hibiscus has bloomed. Isn't it pretty?

The cherry tomato plant has 16 little green tomatoes that are going to be so tasty on a salad. There are blooms on the squash plants and the other tomato plants all have a couple of small green tomatoes. I'm losing the battle of the strawberries to the bugs. The watermelon (in the far right in the above photo) has grown about a foot. 

The Carolina jasmine is making its way up the arbor to the garden entrance. 

And the lime tree continues to fill out and has one little bloom on it. 

Watch my garden grow: III, IIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIX, X and XI

And this is back tracking a bit, but one of the fun things we did last week when Ryan was off was play 9 holes of golf! It was my first time to actually play and not just tag along in the golf cart. 

It was a beautiful day but so incredibly hot. But not as hot as the heat wave we are experiencing this week! I was totally worn out though by the time we got done. Mainly because I did not wear the right shoes - boat shoes are made for boats not a walking golf course!

I only got in the sand pit once but was extremely frustrated trying to get my ball out of it. I may have just picked it up and chucked it as hard as I could. 

Ryan asked me if I felt like I was at home. Apparently, it is courtesy to sweep the sand pit after you mess it up. This I do not understand!

It was fun, but next time we are definitely going to a course with golf carts.