Monday, May 31, 2010

Wonderful Sunday

Our friend, Jerry, arrived from Titusville around 11 am and we were over to the kids by noon. The guys started on assembling the babies' beds while Kristen and finished wiping down the baby furniture that had been stored in the garage for the past three years.

The kids used gift cards, coupons and the twin discount and ended up paying less that 20.00 for two very nice mattresses and all the bedding for the boys' room. It was fun to help make up the beds and even more fun watching the guys try to figure out what went where and what to

Not pictured is a dresser w/changing table and a hutch and two shelves for the walls. But, should the boys decide not to wait any longer, they have a lovely room to call their own.

After the room work, Jerry, E and I headed to Molly Goodhead's in Ozona for lunch. This is the same place where E has shared oyster shooters with our dear friends, Pam and Clare. Then we met another friend at Santarini's for drinks on the river and then home for fried green tomatoes and rock shrimp.

It is off to Tuela's on the Trail for breakfast and then the kids will all be over around one. Have a great Memorial Day and hug a vet!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Road Trip Part I

We all met at Rodies' Restaurant in Tarpon Springs at 9 am to begin our BIG ADVENTURE. Sonia, Becky's neighbor, joined Jean, Jackie, Becky and I and the fun began. .
After we put food in our tummies (Becky and I counting our WW points), we headed out on what is the first for the Crew of our road trips. We have others planned already as this one was such a blast. Thank you dear Becky for driving the Miss Daisys!

Our destination was She Scraps scrapbook store in The Villages.

As is typical of a Becky/Jules road trip, we took the 'scenic route'; this is a euphemism for getting lost. But we always find new things out of our trips and this one was no exception. We pulled into what we thought was just a road side fruit stand to get directions. Brown's Market is anything but just another roadside produce stand.

This place is like Fresh Market on speed. It is open air part way and closed the other. Even the carts are cute...wooden wagons! The produce was shinny and pretty and plentiful. Since all four of us are into healthy eating for a variety of reasons, it was as if it was kismet for us to stumble upon this market.

Becky and I went nuts over some Amish licorice especially when we found out that 4 pieces equaled one WW pt. We got watermelon, raspberry, orange and green apple which was the group's overall favorite. I now have far too much of these four kinds...wonder if I can freeze it?

I also found green tomatoes that E had been wanting and everyone got something that was just good looking to resist.

We did finally make it to our destination. Like the saying goes, " is about the journey..."

(parts II, III and IV of Road Trip follow...scroll down please!)

Road Trip Part II

After several more slightly incorrect turns, we did manage to find the shopping town square where She Scraps is located. The town square in the Villages is a bit of a cross between Disney World and There is no litter, plenty of tourists and all the store fronts are uber cute and, like Disney, appear to be straight out of a Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kincaid painting.

Becky was in search of baby girl papers, I was looking for baby boy ones but we neither one wanted cutesy. Jean and Jackie were pursuing their own quests and we all managed to find a few things to buy.

She Scraps is having Teresa Collins in Oct. and now we are thinking of making our Oct. road trip back to the Villages for a weekend of classes and fun. The store is small so our group could easily fill one side of the cropping area as I am sure Diane and maybe Natalie and Janet, if she is down in Fl. would also want to come. Any one else want to join us?

Road Trip Part III

After we left She Scraps, we roamed around the shops in the town square. We got the best laugh out of all the golf carts and how the owners had then all decked out and designed a few for ourselves. We strolled in and out of a few shops but my personal favorite (and I think the others would agree) was Southern Accents. It is kind of mix of Anthropologies and Restoration Hardware with an eclectic collection of pretties every where we looked. Jackie bought the most beautiful canvas for her home and all of us got great inspiration and ideas for Christmas presents. And what a fun crop that would make...hmmmm! (sorry about the sideways loaded pic)

We also hit Cold Water Creek's 50% off the entire store sale but as many things as we picked up, we put back. The check out lines were long and moved at a snail's pace and the sky was clouding up.

Road Trip Part IV

By this time, despite od'ing on Amish licorice in a variety of flavors we found at Brown's Market, we had worked up a hunger. I think it was the marathon shopping! Next door to She Scraps we found Urban Flats, a beautiful place with amazingly fresh and mostly low cal foods on the menu. Jackie got the steak flat break, Becky ordered a salad and sandwich and Jean got the same but no bread. My baby spinach with mushrooms and walnuts in balsamic was wonderful. We left sated but not stuffed. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are even in the Villages. And lastly, Becky has been officially inducted into the Mad Hatter's Society. Like my friend Gail, she looks so wonderful in hats. I envy them both.

And, as is so typical of a Becky/Jules road trip, it rained. It not only rained, it poured on our trip home so much so that it was hard to see the car ahead of us. But, Becky, being the great driver she is, got us home safe and sound. We are already planning our next road trip...look out Violette's, here we come.

Friday, May 28, 2010


We declared Thursday, play day for us and play we did. We did a bit of clean up around the house, rode our bikes into town, and visited one of our favorite nursery places, The Garden Room on Alt. 19 in Palm Harbor. This nursery is filled with all sorts of fountains, water falls and lovely plants. We have purchased several here over the past three years and they are such healthy plants! We have been on the prowl for what is referred to as a Rasta Plant. I don't know its real name. We fell in love with one about a year ago and, alas, lost it in one of last winter's frosts. We named our Bob Marley, of course. But no Bob Marley for us yesterday.

I am all packed up for the private crop at Cathy's tonight and need to run by the bank ahead of time so I have money for the Road Trip with the Crew tomorrow. We're meeting for breakfast at Rodies here in Tarpon Springs and then heading out on our adventure in search of new scrap book stores. Watch this spot for pictures to follow.

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It was a wonderful Wednesday

Diane and I made plans to meet for lunch at Ozona Blue. There is nothing better than a pretty day here in Paradise than having lunch with a friend outside on the water and Ozona Blue is a great place to do just that. Jackie was having some tests run or she'd have joined us. We missed you tons!

Before I could meet Diane, I went to yoga and then to the dentist for the third time in one week. My little yoga instructor is headed to Alaska for a month and those classes won't resume until September but I still have Goddess Temple and Eve so may double my class tickets so I can still get in my 2 practices a week.

Ozona Blue is one of the only places around where you can bring your swim suit and take a dip in their pool before or after your meal. It is surrounded by marinas and has a great view of Honeymoon Island.

Diane got the Southern Fried Chicken salad and took half of it home with her. I had the pork tenderloin sandwich and skipped the bread. Instead, I concentrated on the rice and black beans for my fill food (I was a pretty good Weight Watcher).

It was so nice and breezy that when I got home, E and I headed for the pool for a dip and then down to the lower lawn to grill ribs. They were a tad crunchy on the outside but so tender on the inside. But, the winner in my book was the pasta salad. The recipe came from my Week One book from Weight Watchers and we both love it!

Nothing beats dining al fresco here in Paradise. We opened a nice bottle of wine, put some jazz on the player and had a great time. Come join us sometime.

Busy week end followed by a busy week but today is mine all mine. Tomorrow is Happy Hair Cut day and a sb party at a friends; Sat. is the road trip with Becky, Jean and Jackie; Sunday we are helping K and C put the babies' room together; Monday is a bbq here and Tues/Thurs I volunteer at K's school. Good thing I love to stay busy!

Hope you all have a great day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My June A Cherry on Top Reveal

I worked with the Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby Paper Stack this month and what a delight! The paper stack comes with such a variety of patterns and in three colors that I love: pale pink, a soft blue and a creamy beige that helps combine the others. In the stack are 12x12 designs, 6x6 designs, 2x2 snippets, ATCs and borders.

I decided to use the papers for my Mother's Day layouts. E took pictures of the kids and I and I love how they turned out. I wanted to integrate both the pinks and the blues and I am very pleased with how these all turned out.

The .My Baby photo was taken by my good friend, Pam Bennett and the rest by E.





I paired the papers with Shimmerz paints, Melissa Francis ribbons and lace, KI brads and 7 Gypsy paper tape. All of these products and more are available for purchase at A Cherry on Top

To see my altered project for this month's reveal, please go to A Toast to
Altered Art. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A dream comes true!

Ever since Kristen found out she was pregnant, she has wanted to use the "Expectant Family Parking" spots that can be found at some malls and stores. But, until last Sunday when she and I went to Citrus Mall shopping, did her dream come true. Up til then, either the places she and Chris had been shopping were missing this reserved parking or if there were some available, they were full. So, I recorded this moment for her and it will go in her Pregnancy Album.

and, if there were a Baby's Quarterly magazine like there is GQ for men, these Twins would surely make the cover as two of the best dressed little tykes out there! We can't wait to start dressing them up in all the cute clothes they have been given as gifts.

Kristen found the cutest little cargo pants for the boys and paired them with surfer button down shirts...she bought them in 18 mo. as most of the clothes she had received are anywhere from birth to 12 mo.

Hope everyone has a great day! I am off to buy a pack of cheap crayons and some freezer paper for my altered art challenge for this next month at ACOT. I've done this one before years ago and wanted to play some more with it and try a couple of new things I have in mind. I love to see what happens and how something turns out that I haven't done with a tried and true technique! Stay tuned!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Happiness Quotient

I have been reading a lot about HAPPINESS lately in a personal quest to discover why I am an a essentially happy person. It is not that life has always gone smoothly for me or that friends have always been true or I've lived the life of the rich and famous or had everything I've ever imagined my life to be come true...BUT, I am a happy person.

Life has dealt E and I some blows...we've lost 3 of of our 4 parents; my sister has battled cancer; E has major heart issues; we have to save for eons to do the things we want...BUT we are happy.

Life has dealt us far more joys...Rob lives the life he has wanted to and still finds time to come visit the 'ol' folks'; Kristen and Chris' dream is coming true so soon so soon! (and ours also); we revel in our existence; we celebrate our joys daily...the small things: the lavender, the solar lights at night that light the path to the lower lawn, the roses in all colors and aromas...and the gardenias...oh me oh my!
We take pleasure in our food: fresh seafood, fresh greens from the farmers' markets and herbs from our small garden, and Dinner Club with our friends.

and our friends...who add to our happiness every day. My gfs Pam and Janet with whom I have coffee every morning; our friend Clare from NZ with whom I have vino when she is waking or vice versa and my oldest pal Jo and Bill with whom we are cruising the Med this fall; our Hazelwood Central pals who still stay in touch...we have been blessed with a rich and amazing group of friends. And the most incredible part of this is that when we mix them...they all fall in love with each other!

So, am I happy? YES can any one possibly be this happy and not have it a "LIE LIE LIE"? YEP YEP YEP!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

International Food Festival in my town

E and I biked through the preserve again yesterday and the results of the controlled burn that was done on the woods is not a pretty sight. I am sure the recovery will take a bit of time. I know that these burns are necessary but it all looks so sad and forlorn right now.

After our bike ride, we got cleaned up and headed back down to the Sponge Docks for the food festival. There were tons of booths featuring foods from all over the world. We had our choice of Jamaican, Mexican, Far East, Italian and, of course, Greek to name a few but what called to us the most was our local bbq expert, Bill's. E got a beef brisket sandwich and I got the pulled pork and we sat a bench on the docks to eat our lunch. There was live music along with other vendors. It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

After lunch, I picked up Kristen at her house and she, E and I spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the pool and dozing. Chris finished some tile work in the guest bath at their house after he got off work and then headed over for supper. It is so good to see how happy and excited they both are about the eminent birth of the Twins and to hear all about their plans for the future.

Another busy week coming up with dentist appointments, doctor visits and some fun things too. Hope your weekend has been a good one.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's the Weekend! Let the fun begin.


We actually started our weekend a tad bit early but, when you are retired, you can do that. It is just one of the fringe benefits. Thursday, after helping Kristen organize papers in preparation for the ending of school, E and I went to Crabby Bill's here in Tarpon Springs for some cold beer and a late lunch. It was cool and shady in the courtyard and quiet and we ended up taking home most of our late lunch for an early dinner.

We putzed around the house on Friday. E got some of the algae off the lanai struts, fertilized and treated some of the plants and I read on the lanai. Around three, we headed to our new favorite Friday place, Santorini's. There was the usual wonderful breeze off the Gulf and the water traffic is always a delight to watch. This view is facing up the river and we live a short distance over the bridge. I love the fact we can ride our bikes anywhere in town in such a short time.

When Becky got off work, she and Bob headed over to join us and invited the most delightful couple, Sandy and Dave. What a great evening and such good food. Although I am not an octopus lover, E is and he had what he said is some of the best ever. I had baked lemon chicken with artichokes and still have half of it for lunch tomorrow.

Our waiter, Vinnie, is new to the area originally from Brooklyn and he was an excellent waiter taking great care of us. Ask for Vinnie if you go.

Today we are off on another adventure. Tarpon Springs is hosting an International Food Festival down on the Sponge Docks and my honey and I have a date to roam the vendors and have a leisurely lunch. Kristen is coming by later for some pool time. Who knows what tomorrow will bring...hope you are having a great weekend too!