A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: August 2011
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31 August 2011

Touch a Lamb's ear and you'll never be the same...

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If you have never touched a lambsear, you are missing out on one of life's simple pleasures.  
The leaves are covered in tiny little hairs, and apparently true lambs ears are quite rough, but the plant is lovely.
Super soft, calming little leaves that are in the shape of little baby sheep ears.

lovely, lovely, lovely

You know what the best part is?
They grow like weeds.  

Write literally, they are actually considered weeds sometimes.  I happily welcome these weeds to my garden, though.  In fact, when I find them growing "wild" in my yard, I dig them up and give them a new home in my formal beds.  They have a silver tint to them and grow low to the ground in mats, so they are a perfect border plant to set off your big bloomers.(as in your roses, not your laundry on the line...)

Go buy one plant...they are cheap now!  You can divide it over and over again...
OR you could just buy a bunch up front, but that would be silly now, wouldn't it?

30 August 2011

David Austin's Evelyn, Hydrangea and a little Beautyberry

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Are you sick of hearing about David Austin Roses yet?  Might I remind you, they are NOT a sponsor of A nest for All Seasons, but I seriously adore them.  My rosebushes that I planted bareroot have produced about 5-7 blooms each during their first season.  (The climbing rose hasn't produced any yet, but it is putting forth a lot of energy climbing!).  The roses are still small, but they are beautifully cupped and small divine.  It is totally worth the $25+ pricetag each.

I mean seriously...look at the inside of that rose!  
It is beautiful...like a little french petticoat all ruffled and swirled.

I paired this rose very simply with a few sprigs of hydrangea, a smaller rose and budded rose and a teensy bit of beautyberry.

What is beautyberry?

Well, I will be delighted to show you a more in depth look at beautyberry in a few days.  It is a beautiful hardy little bush that produces purple berries in the fall - unique, yes?  Even better, the berries are a bright, almost lime green when they first appear and slowly turn purple, so you have two options.  For this arrangement, I decided to just use the green and let the rosebush take center stage.  However, when I went to pull the purple berries off, they all fell into the water and I loved the way they look bobbing around the rim of the little vintage glass cruet.

See them?

If only you could SMELL through the computer...you would be DYING....

29 August 2011

Grass and Mad Men

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Sometimes there are no roses, or peonies, or even cute sunflowers. Sometimes there aren't big, blousy, beautiful flowers for giant bouquets. Sometimes your garden seems empty. It never is though...a clear head and a little imagination and even grass can be your next subject...

Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.
Albert Camus

...and because I am in a quotey mood and because more than any other TV show, the one that leaves kernels of scenes replaying through my head months later, the one that creates beautiful pictures in each frame that ooze creativity and style, the one that speaks to this new era of SAHM's more than any modern period piece,  the TV show that is stuck in my head like no other is Mad Men......because Mad Men is one of the few pieces of work that is so inspiring to me that I don't want to create anything.  I simply want to watch it.

Credit:  Rolling Stone
If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don't let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else's advertising.
David Ogilvy

Much of the messy advertising you see on television today is the product of committees. Committees can criticize advertisements, but they should never be allowed to create them.
David Ogilvy

In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
David Ogilvy 

...and for those of you than cannot get enough Mad Men, check out these 7 BEST MUSICAL MOMENTS of MAD MEN via Rolling Stone.

27 August 2011

Sunday Citar | Why a cut can create.

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Check out more citars HERE!

Making Homemade Applesauce and a CELEBRATION!

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We have a few ancient apple trees in our backyard.  The apples have a slightly sweet taste, with a bit of a tart bite to them.  The problem is that we have not figured out how to care for the trees well enough to keep the apples from being damaged by bugs and birds.  The result is a bunch of apples that don't look very good, but have wonderful taste.

What to do?

Make applesauce!

See how beat up these apples are?  They are absolutely perfect for making applesauce.  In fact, if you are buying apples to make your own homemade applesauce, you will want to ask the farm or orchard for the "seconds".  Those are the apples that have fallen off the trees, apples that fell off the apple cart, or simply apples that aren't perfectly round and unblemished.  They cost less, but make applesauce that tastes just as good!  If you are purchasing apples, try to purchase apples that have a sweeter taste such as Gala, Fugi or even Red Delicious.  You will want to stay away from super tart apples like Granny Smiths.

So to read more and see how I turned those ugly nasty "seconds" apples into some sweet strained cider and applesauce,
head on over to CELEBRATIONS.COM where they are featuring my recipe today!

Now run out and get some "seconds"!
There is no better way to celebrate the cool air of the coming fall!

I can't seem to get the link working??   ...so here is the direct link if you are interested in the rest of the article:  http://www.celebrations.com/blog/?p=4415&cpage=1#comment-3925

Thanks Laura!

26 August 2011

Vacation Roundup

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We've been on several little vacations this summer. 
All driving, NO FLYING with the kiddos -  ever again.  


We spent a few days on the Jersey Shore with the in laws and drove up the eastern coast on our way.  My favorite off the map spot?  
Definitely IKEA.  The IKEA stop where hubby surprised me by stopping even though it was a bit out of the way and said;

"We just can't buy anything really big, you know?"  

...and I say "Yeah, of course not...it's not like I'm going to pick up a bunch of huge rugs or anything!"



I come home with 2 rugs....but they-were-in-the-as-is-section-and-they-were-super-cheap-and-not-that-big rugs :)  Pretty in the space, right?

...but anyway...sorry about that, IKEA is not quite a summer destination (unless you are me!!).  

I meant that my favorite off the map spot has to be...the Yankee Candle Factory.  ummm...sorry...I just truly enjoyed the shopping.  

How about this - favorite off the map location for the kids?

Chincatique Island.  

Well, kind of.   We actually didn't go to see thee wild horses (it was that week of 112 degree temps and the boat tours were 2 hours long...gross!), but we did go into the national park to walk on the beach and had dinner at the top of a short walking trail to an old lighthouse.  As we were leaving, we noticed the booth had closed, so we should have come later and skipped the fee.  If you show up around 8:00 PM, you'll be golden with plenty of time to see the sunset on the beach and hike to the lighthouse.

If you are far braver than us and are planning a full fledged family vaca for next summer, check out these great ideas for family trips from Megan!

Top 5 Summer Vacation Spots
Megan Gates is an active blogger and handles communications on behalf of Elliman.com.  She provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York City Real Estate, Long Island Real Estate, and the latest in architecture, design and fashion.  Follow her on Twitter @ MEGatesDesign.

When it comes to summertime, there is no need to limit yourself or your family on the amount of fun and adventure that you can squeeze into the season. Visit these top 5 hot spots for family and friends to vacation to in the summer to get your fill of culture, nature and thrills.

Top City: If you want to get a taste of the ultra-metropolitan scene, there is no other city to visit quite like New York City. A melting pot of culture and entertainment, you would have to work hard to be bored in the city that never sleeps. The choices of for food, entertainment and culture are practically endless with the famous Times Square, Broadway and Museum of Modern Art to name very few. Get your closest friends and family together, rent a place in the city for the weekend and live like a local to take in all the sights and actions of the Big Apple.  (Amy's Tip:  Don't miss GROTTA AZZURRA - $20 (for 2!) for some fabulous Italian food just off the subway stop in Little Italy!!)

Top Theme Park: In Sandusky, Ohio, thrill seekers will find their true home at the Cedar Point amusement park. Over 300 acres are filled with 75 rides, 17 roller coasters and a water park. Some of the most notable coasters call Cedar Point their home; Mean Streak is an enormous wooden coaster that boasts a length of 5,400 feet and 65 mph of adventure. Even if you have someone in your family or group of friends who prefers to keep the ground under their feet, there are several award-winning shows there to watch for some good laughs.  (Amy's Tip:  While you're in Ohio, make it a double feature and head down south to King's Island - don't miss the BEAST!)

Top Museums: In the nation's capital of Washington D.C. is the National Mall, which contains many beautiful landmarks, museums and memorials. There are 13 museums in the National Mall that make up the Smithsonian Museums, all of which are free to visit. With no charge to visit, feel free to make multiple trips to this beautiful, culture rich area to expand your mind without breaking the bank. (Amy's Tip:  You definitely want to take your kiddos to the Air and Space Museum and for the adults, take the metro to King St. in Alexandria for great food on the waterfront.  If you want something a little more exotic, check out the Indian buffet at White Tiger downtown on Sundays.)

Air and Space Museum - Washington, DC
Top Water Park: If you're looking for an entertaining way to stay cool this summer, then visit the largest water park in America, Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells, WI. With 49 water rides, 4 children's water play areas, 2 wave pools and 2 rivers, Noah's Ark has more than plenty to offer any aquatic adventurer. With more than 30 years of experience, you can also be sure that Noah's Ark offers only the safest and cleanest rides.  (Amy's Tip:  Get your tube before heading to the top of the line...am I the only one who has ever ended up at the top without a tube and had to walk all the way back down to grab one?  UGH!)

Top National Park: (If you are out west and happen to travel through South Dakota, you do NOT want to miss WALL DRUG on your way.  It is a fabulous stop on the way to your destination with tons of stuff to entertain the kids for free, along with free ice water and coffee - yum!  The map of activities is below!)

So where have you been traveling this summer?
Any great finds?  Places to avoid?!  Please share!

25 August 2011

Tripped Up Thursday #4 | How do I get a Wibiya bar?!

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WIBIYA what?  

My trip up this week was solved by a little things called the WIBIYA bar.  Have you heard of it?
Maybe you have, and you just think I am ridiculous for just now stumbling upon it, but I have been trying to come up with a solution for the twitter, facebook and rss buttons for awhile now and have not been able to find anything I love.  The main problem is that I do not have a sidebar.  I am happy to not have a sidebar...I wanted readers to be able to focus solely on content in the middle of the page and then cluster most of the extranneous stuff at the bottom.  I wanted you to be able to get at all of the various information, ads, links, etc. without comprimising the aestetics of the post body.  SO, I couldn't find an easy way to integrate all the buttons I wanted to in a small, non-invasive way.  Until I heard about the Wibiya bar.  I was searching google for buttons and out of no where there is this site called Wibiya.  

I sign up, select my buttons in the EDIT BAR section:

Some buttons might take a bit more configuration, such as the contact me section where you will need to put in your email address and upload your site icon if you choose. It is super user friendly and you don't have to know a lick of html. 

Once you are finished picking out all the things you would like on your bar, you simply click install and Wibiya automatically sticks a 
widget on your blog.   When you want to update the bar, you simply hit install again and it reconfigures.

Now the trick is whether or not it worked!  So I need your help:   
Do you see a green bar way at the bottom of the site?
  If so, then SUCCESS!  A simple pop up that gives all the various little buttons and icons I need in a small size, 
easily accessible on all pages that does not detract from the main content of the blog.  YAY!

So what has been tripping YOU up lately?
Link up and let me know! 
Let's see if the readers can help with your trip up!

A Nest for All Seasons

A Nest for All Seasons

...and remember when you tweet anything with the hashtag #trippedupthursday I will retweet your post!

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