Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts

May 19, 2014

The Porch Garden

While I'm waiting for my tomatoes to actually grow in our garden, I've been busy on the porch creating a little urban haven. 

I read something a long time ago that mentioned the need to get outside and to actually see green things grow (a photo doesn't count). There is something therapeutic and calming about sitting or strolling in a garden setting -- even an urban one.

While we have an amazing array of outdoor glory right at our fingertips, it doesn't escape me that I still live in an apartment complex. That's where porches make for great getaways -- even in the midst of other people living around you. 

In my early 20s, I lived and worked in England. The British are known for their gorgeous flower gardens. 

My backyard however, was a total disaster. I didn't have access to a lawn mower or any other equipment necessary to keep the area in British tip-top shape. Thankfully, a neighbor took it upon himself to mow the grass for me on occasion.

Once the grass looked presentable, I still didn't know how to keep the flowers in the ground alive, but I did know how to re-pot a plant. So, I ended up with a little potted garden near the back door, and every fine evening, I'd sit out on the steps with whatever beverage the day called for, along with my journal. I'd write while listening to the birds settle in for the night, pausing every now and again to admire my few flowers. 

Last night I had a little flashback to my 23-year-old self. The neighbors have certainly changed; so have I. But one thing is for sure, I still know how to re-pot a plant, I like a bit of green all around me, and I still write in my journal surrounded by that beauty. 

April 24, 2014

Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day was this past Tuesday. I completely forgot, even though my trusty iPhone automatically put it on my calendar. I didn't mind. The Sailor and I spent the day wandering around garden centers looking for the perfect ferns and some red flowers to attract a few hummingbirds. What better way to celebrate the environment? 

I feel like most days around here are Earth Day in any case. I remember as a teenager, collecting aluminum cans was something we did for church fundraisers. Nowadays it's far more in vogue; our recycling bin is much bigger than our trash can at the moment.

We do our best around here to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but we don't obsess over it. I still use paper towels on occasion (after all, how else do you grease your cast iron pan?) and when we're out and about, we still buy a bottle of water when we're thirsty (usually after my glass bottle is completely empty!) 

But for the most part, we try not to waste food or electricity, and we tend to repair items in our household before we replace them. When we do have to replace them though, we usually donate the older item to a thrift store. (The Sailor is not a fan of clutter... and I have to say that most days it makes me crazy as well, even though much of the clutter stems from my own craft supplies. Here are more tips for Spring Cleaning, plus some tips on decluttering the craft supplies.)

And, of course, we plant stuff. We have a vegetable garden going at the moment, and now the porch is a perfect little plant haven for those times we want to sit outdoors. 

Happy Earth Day, every day! 

January 31, 2014

Friday Flowers

Many, many moons ago, when I was a 20-something writer living in England, I used to buy myself flowers nearly every Friday. I lived in a little village that had everything you could ask for: a post office, a train station that went directly to London in 20 minutes, a small grocery store, an even smaller corner shop, the best bagels I've ever had in my life, and a flower shop. 

We used to get out of work early on Fridays -- around lunchtime. Believe me, we still worked a 40-hour-week (sometimes much longer!) but those Friday were glorious. Unless there was a crazy deadline, I was out the door early. 

I'd clean my house, get food for the weekend, water my plants, and I'd almost always go for a walk. England has the best footpaths that make you feel as though you're miles from civilization, even though you're just a block away from a main street. And even when you're in a residential area, people are serious about their flower gardens.

My actual flower garden was in a sad state. The lady who lived in the house previously had multiple green thumbs and she left an amazing bunch of flowers for me to tend to. Sadly, I didn't have a clue what to do unless the flowers were in a pot. To make matters worse, in what was meant to be a good deed, my neighbor mowed my tiny front yard for me and hacked my flowers apart in the process. (They hadn't yet bloomed... and somehow he couldn't tell the difference between flower stems and the giant grass growing around them.)

Along my walk home, I'd invariably stop to admire the buckets of flowers outside the florist's. And then, I'd almost always purchase some. Even if my outdoor flower garden wasn't up to snuff, I'd have some gorgeous blooms indoors. 

Today, after going for a walk (the temperatures were above freezing, I'm happy to report), I stopped to get some groceries on the way home. At the entrance to the store, I saw these mini yellow roses, and I realized far too many Fridays have passed since I bought myself some flowers. I think the last time may have been months ago, when I bought these carnations.

I think it might be high time to re-institute the Friday Flower tradition. 
Have a great weekend! 

December 27, 2013

Holiday Indulgences and Lamb Leftovers

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, wherever and however you celebrated! 

The Sailor and I enjoyed a slow-roasted lamb roast (YUM) and veggies, including baby carrots from our garden. 

I brought out the vintage Federal Glass 'Golden Glory' plates I thrifted eons ago, along with the matching platter I found a few months ago at an antique shop. I also found this glorious tablecloth for only a few dollars at an antique store over Thanksgiving... and while I purchased it with plans for a holiday party in mind, it suited the table for two just right.

A Pyrex casserole dish also made an appearance (of course). Overall, our day was lovely. Not stressful and just the right amount of overindulgence on food. 

And of course, there was also mince pie, cheesecake and sugar cookies for dessert. 

The best part about having all of that food were leftovers for Boxing Day on December 26th. I thought leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches were the business, but the Sailor showed me how to make a mean leftover lamb sandwich. (Heat up some chopped onion and tomato with a little sugar and oil... toast the bun or bread, shred the lamb, add spinach, cheese and sweet chilli sauce. EAT. Enjoy. Repeat as often as necessary.

While America doesn't really recognize Boxing Day, it's popular in England and other parts of the world. And when we woke up to a leaf blower outside our apartment building on the day after Christmas, the Sailor reminded me that America missed the memo on having another day off.

Next week, I'll be posting some (non) New Year's Resolutions ideas, as well as highlights from Typing Sunflowers from 2013. In the meantime, enjoy those leftovers. And if you missed Boxing Day this year... at least pretend it's another holiday over the weekend!