Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yes, I’ve Been a Bad Blogger :-(

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Oh, I know I’ve been a bad blogger. But before I say more, let me tell you about my day today. Dad is about to turn 86 in two days and so we celebrated with a birthday lunch.

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For each birthday, Dad gets a bottle of champagne and a basket of seasonal fruits that I select at our local farmer’s market. Mmmmm…. the grapes were so sweet. Dad is so funny, he showed up with two cantaloupes today for me and the sis. A nice trade, don’t you think?

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I gave him the choice of going out for lunch or having me cook for him. He chose to have me cook (which I was planning anyhow) and so I made a yummy pasta with red and gold cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and Italian flat leaf parsley and garlic.

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I wish I could cook like this more often but weekends seem to be when I have the time.

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Oh, did I mention we had a nice heirloom tomato salad and Italian Pugliese bread with our pasta?

Aug-29-2010_0038  Here’s Dad the big pasta eater!

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While we were eating, Miss Gracie hopped into an empty grocery bag and watched us eat.

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Miss Gracie is one cute kitty.

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Before Dad left, I took a picture of him with his new “old” car he purchased recently. He loves this car!

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Dad placed his hat in the window next to my Fourth of July decor. I thought this was fitting, as he is a WWII veteran. After lunch, we took a walk around the neighborhood as we had a gorgeous summer day today. Then we came back for chocolate almond torte with fresh whipped cream and sliced nectarines for dessert. It was a wonderful way to spend the day.

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As I mentioned, I’ve not been blogging much lately. Somehow, I just haven’t found the time, or when I do have time, I either have to much to do or am too tired after work. Yesterday, for example, Mom came over all day, went on the shopping errands with us; I then made lunch for us and we visited until dinner time. Today we prepared for Dad and spent the day with him and now it’s almost time to go to work again. I really do need an eight day week right now (or hey, a four day work week!). Thank heavens for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Oh, and I forgot a big reason I haven’t been blogging: I’ve had major computer problems in the past weeks. My old pc got so slooooooow, I’m sure I have major viruses and malware on it. So I decided to purchase a new computer and I just got it up and running a few days ago. I must report I’m no longer a Mac person. I wound up selling my iMac and going back to the pc although I now have a 17 inch laptop. It has the new version of Windows and I lost all my preferences in PSE so it’s still taking me a while to get used to it. The best part (and actually why I got a laptop) is that I can now go online in any room where the sun is coming in and Miss Gracie is sleeping in it. She always tries to lead me to the sun with her and I feel so guilty when I want to be doing something in another room. Miss Gracie, this laptop’s for you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Lovely Luncheon

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Oh, yum! Last week, I was invited to a luncheon at Ulla’s, who is a friend of my mom. What a wonderful afternoon we had together.

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A fresh salad and two kinds of quiche were served. So yummy, we finished up the quiche and I had seconds (and thirds of the salad!).

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Fresh whipped cream and raspberries adorned the jellyroll cake.

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A cup of coffee with dessert topped off the meal.

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My mom’s friend is Swedish like my mom, and she served a tea from Sweden for those who preferred tea.

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Oh, wait! There was fresh fruit, too.

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A day off from work to enjoy time with friends and family is very civilized and something to do more often.

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Ulla must have thought I was nuts (my family knows this already) as I photographed everything that afternoon. Here I am in the bathroom and the only reason I photographed it ,too, was that it was so gorgeous. I felt like I was in a beautiful hotel.

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After lunch and conversation, we went outside where the weather was perfectly gorgeous.

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Ulla’s house is at the very top of a hill in Silicon Valley and has a panoramic view of the bay area. If you look directly in the middle of this photo, you’ll see the financial district of San Francisco. To the right is the Bay Bridge, with the Golden Gate hidden from view behind the hill on the left.

We’ve been having a cool summer this year (in fact, the coldest in 40 years on record) but this day the weather was perfect. What a great way to start the weekend!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Flea Market Finds Do Come In Handy

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This weekend, I attended a lovely wedding shower. My shower gift was two large bath towels and that meant a very large box to be wrapped.

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I shopped late Friday night and didn’t pick up any wrap. So Saturday morning, I began to look around my house for wrapping items. Tissue paper? Only white in the large sheet size. Wrapping paper? Some, but not quite what I was looking for this day.

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Luckily, I happened to have some striped, lavender, clear acetate sheets that my former neighbor had given me before she moved out of the country. I had several pieces of colored tulle from the flea market, so a lavender piece was wrapped around the box. But what to do with the ends? Always save those small pieces of ribbon! Two lavender pieces fixed that, then the tulle was pulled to the middle and splayed into a circle. A quick flower pin from my flea market supplies and ta da! I was worried it was going to look like a rag tag present before I finished but happily it all came together.

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A little card and it was done. Whew, that was a close call!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Create a Lovely Outer Envelope – It’s Easy!

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Recently, a friend had a birthday so I decided to make the envelope as pretty as the card inside.

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First, I chose a piece of pretty paper to adhere to the envelope. Next, I added a crystal paisley decor to the white part of the envelope as well as below the flower.

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Then, I selected a pink seam binding ribbon and gold beading which I attached to the pin on the back of the flower. After, I simply pinned the flower piece to the envelope.

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For added sparkle, I glued a large pink crystal to the middle of the flower.

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Oooooooh, I just love all the pinks together. But of course, you can choose any color scheme you wish.

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As a final touch, the recipient’s name is adhered with crystal alphabet letters at the top of the envelope. I truly enjoy making the envelope as special as the card. Of course, it’s a bit hard to mail this way!

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And inside… a pretty cake topper ballerina card. Sometimes I print the sentiment on the inside of the card; other times, I use rub-ons for the sentiment and decor. On cards like this, I also add a small cupcake embellishment inside. And that’s it. Simple, yes?