Guest Bedroom, Wedding Ideas, Back in Florida, Owls, Fifty Shades of Grey, Crazy Birds and a Landscape Log

I’m back in the sunshine state to work with Gigi and thought I’d take a breath and say hello! Isn’t that container grouping (photo above) on her side patio adorable? I was busy earlier this week working, getting ready to travel and doing last-minute things at home before I left… things like making sure my poor abandoned husband has food, clean laundry and a blank check to pay for the golf league that starts this week – the last being most important.  I’m in the middle of lots of projects around my house, but I’ll have to wait to share them till I get back and have time to finish them! Projects like a guest bedroom, making a workstation for my office/craftroom, using milk paint, experimental wedding decorations and more! Here’s a snap shot of this week!

I found this fabulous chandelier at The Ohio Valley Antique Mall for $69.00 and finally hung it along with the ceiling medallion in a guest bedroom…

Isn’t it pretty? I am in love with it! The room is finally starting to take shape!

As I said the other day, I am addicted to exploring Pinterest for Wedding Ideas for Ashley and Greg’s big day. One thing she has said is she wants lots and lots of candles on the tables. She also likes some of the DYI  tissue paper flowers we’ve seen. I’ve been playing with all kinds of ideas. One was flowers made out of wax paper – I decided to give it a try…

It has potential, don’t you think? I really like effect of the wax paper back lit by a candle, I’ll show you that when I get back home.

Yes. I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a New York Times Best Seller. It’s a book that some are calling mom porn. Really? I don’t think that covers all the bases… I know women ranging from 23 to 75 years of age that are reading/loving this book and being a mom has nothing to do with it. Okay, well yes, its a bit racy. Some might say naughty. Others will say trashy.  Literary critiques will say not well written. I say lighten up, loosen up and enjoy. I got it for the plane and yes, in retrospect, I should have covered it in brown paper, haha! All I can say if you want to get lost in a highly charged story about romance, sex, sex and sex… run out and get this book. Warning: Like Hunger Games, it’s a trilogy. Be prepared to read two more. I am getting the second one for the trip home. Yes. I. Am. Don’t judge me.

When I got off the plane, I made a new friend who hung out with me as I waited for my luggage…

Nothing fazed this guy.

And before I left Cincinnati, I had to stop my car and take a photo of this guy…

He wasn’t moving either. Crazy birds. Speaking of things that have wings…

GiGi picked me up from the airport and when we got to her house, the first thing I did was look for the baby owls who last time I was here, looked like this…

But their nest in the Banyan Tree was empty…

GiGi took a photo of the tree right after I left last time…

Do you see one of the parents on the large branch?Look underneath it… someone has ventured out!

I couldn’t find them anywhere… and then I looked in the back yard, up in a really, really tall tree…

One of them is sitting at the top right at the end of a branch – he’s just a dot. Our babies are growing up!

Next week we have several garden projects to do including one that involves this…

and these…

Say tuned! Have a great day! xo Amy

Ready to Fly, a Goat Show and a Mystery

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! I’m still down in Florida and watching the adorable baby owls get ready to leave their nest. They left a dusting of tiny owlette feathers under their nest over the weekend – apparently this means they are getting ready to fly. They are so darn cute. Their big round eyes just look down at me whenever I come to say hello. Last week they would peer out at us from inside the nest. Now they are venturing out onto the branch to see the world. Take a look…

I admit have to stop myself from walking outside every hour to see if they have taken their first flight!
Gigi and I did lots of things this weekend, one was a first for me – we went to a goat tailgate show to see her grandchildren Grayson and Loring show their goats. I love tailgating for Ohio State Football Games (O-H!), but had no idea people tailgated at Goat Shows – how fun! I will admit that I was pretty clueless about both 4-H and Goat Shows, but I left pretty impressed. What a great way for kids to get involved and grow!
My friend Lisa of Pick Me Yard – Grayson and Loring’s mom, will probably blog about it soon and give you all the details, but here are my observations…
Adorable is a word you could use all day. These kids get up in the morning to feed, clean and milk their goats – what a great way to teach responsibility! They adore the goats and the goats adore them. To see them interact is, well… adorable. Here is Loring with Pearl telling her to be a good girl and to follow her lead. According to Loring it’s easy to show a goat, you just have to show them who’s in charge.  P.S. I want pink cowboy boots just like hers…
This is Grayson with Daisy. He did such a great job showing his goat, guiding the little ones and helping out with the show. When you’re showing your goat, they should stand strong with legs stretched apart and a bit behind them with the tail out.
Here’s Grayson talking to the Judge. One of the most impressive things I saw is the judge talks to every single child. Kids share what they know about their goats and answer any questions the judge may have, the kids have to be prepared for this interview. They also have to ALWAYS keep their goat between the judge and themselves… it’s like an ongoing dance as the judge walks around the arena and the kids constantly change their positions.
Here’s the Judge talking to two of the PeeWee’s… This is some serious stuff for Loring and her friend Ty…
It’s a family affair at the Goat Show – even the babies come along for the day. This little guy is only a week or two old…
The coolest thing families with Milk Goats is they have fresh milk daily when the mom’s are finished nursing their young. They use it to make cheese, creamy fudge and soap.
Of course after a hard day’s work at the fairgrounds, you need some food!  We brought some yummy vegetable soup that Gigi made. I love to use mason jars to bring juice to work and this worked perfect for a tailgate. You can visit Krista and Jen who have some great recipes for Jar lunches.
Overall it was such a fun day!
So here is a mystery… Gigi ordered this amazing kitchen tool and put it away in a drawer. She re-discovered it the other day and we can’t figure out what it does. The “bolt” is not threaded, doesn’t come off one end, but comes off the other. We have no idea and can’t find it on the internet. It’s by a company called kuchenprofi. It’s driving us nuts! Check it out…
Have a Great Day! Tomorrow I’ll have some more landscape ideas. xo Amy

A Confession, Banana Smoothies and Baby Owls!

I’m just going to say it. I am was a compulsive eater. Binge-eater is probably the correct word, but I am winning the battle lately and I like the word compulsive better. Here’s the deal. I am really good during the day and into the evening, but at night… when all the little creatures are asleep… I become obsessed with wanting something sweet. Enter my newest love…

Smoothie

This is not just not your ordinary banana smoothie… it’s loaded with really good things and I choose to have this now whenever those pesky little cravings rear their ugly little heads. You really need to try one. Trust me, you will thank me! Here’s the scoop!

BANANA SMOOTHIE RECIPE

In a blender combine the following:

  • 1 cup of vanilla flax milk (you could also use soy milk, almond milk, goat milk or cow milk as well!)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 banana’s (try them frozen for a colder treat!)
  •  2-3 tsp of vanilla – make sure it’s not imitation!
  • up to a Tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • a Tbsp of Coconut Oil (in liquid form)
  • a Tbsp of Chia Seeds
  • a Tbsp of Flax Seeds

Flip the switch and blend till smooth! So why, you might be wondering, do I add all those things? Here’s why…

Flax Milk – vanilla or plain. I will tell you that I just don’t love milk. In fact, unless it was with a handful of Oreo cookies, I have never poured myself a glass of milk. Flax milk on the other hand is a different matter. I adore it. Flax milk is good for you – it has lot’s of Omega goodies, tastes great and is only 60 calories per cup. Sixty calories… I really can’t believe that, but there it is on the side of the carton – 60 calories. It’s low in sugar (7 grams) and lactose, dairy, gluten and soy free.  Some Wal-Marts are starting to carry it along with whole foods. Yum.

Banana’s – Mostly because they are good, less than  and a comfort food –  click here for 14 reasons why banana’s are good for you!

Vanilla – Tastes delicious and has some healthful benefits as well! For my smoothies I use pure vanilla extract – have you ever used a real bean? Here’s a great article on the vanilla bean

Cinnamon – Again, tastes delicious and is good for a range of things including high Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes as well! You can click to this link for more about cinnamon!

Coconut Oil – I actually started adding this because I read it’s beneficial in the quest to slow down or even stop the onset of Alzheimer’s. It runs and my family and I thought to myself…why not? You really can’t taste it and an added bonus I find is it ensures that I am “regular” on a daily basis! I know… TMI. Sorry! Here’s a link to an article I read about coconut oil and Alzheimer’s. FYI… Coconut oil comes in a jar in a semi-solid state unless it’s warmer in your house or at the store and then becomes liquid. If it’s solid I melt on medium heat for less than minute to liquefy. Click  here and here  learn more about coconuts from my friend Lisa at PickMeYard!

Flax Seed and Chia SeedsDr Oz has been raving about them lately and when I looked into them further I decided to add them too! Here’s an article I read from Livestrong! They add a bit of a texture to the smoothie and it’s not bad at all! You can also sprinkle on salads, in soups and more!

So see… this smoothie tastes good AND is good for you! I love that!

LOOK WHOOOOO’S PEEKING DOWN AT ME!

I’m in Florida for a bit working with Gigi – my friend and business partner. She’s my inspiration for getting healthy, cooking clean and more. I’ll introduce her to you soon, I promise – she’s going to start blogging with me and I’m pretty sure between the two of us, you will be entertained, haha!

Two years ago when I was in Florida visiting, we discovered two Great Horned Owls had nested in a tree at Gigi’s house. You can read more about them here. Mom and Pop are back again for the third time (they mate for life) with new adorable little babies that hatched about 7 weeks ago and they are so stinking adorable! Here’s a few photo’s…

For the longest time Mom and Dad took turns sitting on the nest… Finally, the owlettes hatched and OMG… they are so adorable! The one peeping out above is a bit bolder. There is a second one in there, but he’s a little shy! That’s dad in the photo above – he’s a bit smaller than mom.

Once the babies hatched, momma and papa began to hunt together and sometimes watch from afar. See them above perched high on a nearby tree keeping watch?

I walked out today and saw both of them sitting in their nest! As you can see, the second one is getting a bit bolder!

And then tonight, we saw them being fed! They stopped eating when they saw me, but isn’t this a great shot? You can’t see it here, but mom is laying inside the nest watching them. So adorable!

Hope you had a great Monday! xo Amy

Tea Parties, Toads, Baby Mockingbirds, Brown Rice Tortillas and Baby Great Horned Owls…

    

I really am getting work done here in Florida, but there are a ton of distractions from Mother Nature today. I am in continued awe of the beautiful things surrounding me here in Florida…I stayed within a 50 foot radius today and saw some pretty cool things! See if you agree…  

This little guy actually greeted us when we got home the other night...

 

Isn't he cute? Thanks for the greeting Mr. Toad!

 

To kick-off the afternoon, Loring stopped by to visit and invited me to a fabulous tea party

 

I'm pretty sure we solved some the world problems during this conversation

 

and I'm thinking I need a few sets of this children's silverware from Ikea to use with appetizers at my house - it has tiny forks, spoons (2 sizes) and knives...isn't that a great idea? You can get service for 4 for around $5.00

 

Look inside this thorny Bougainvillea bush. Is this Baby Mockingbird not adorable? Just to let you know I risked my life for this shot...mamma was about to dive bomb me. She was not happy

 

For lunch we had my new favorite dish. I am telling you it is to die for...low calorie, with a bit of crunch, juicy and healthy. Plus: it's ALL organic. We simply toasted the tortillas via a frying pan in grape seed oil, spread on a bit of Vegenaise (like mayo) and filled with a corn and black bean salsa from Wal Mart. Delicious!

 

Last time I was here, two (obviously mated) Great Horned Owls were pretty guarded about this Banyan Tree. Today, it cradles a couple of surprises...

 

Look waaaayyyyy up at the top of the tree on the end of a branch...

 

Do you see four sets of baby owl eyes looking down? Their adorable little heads followed us with their eyes wherever we walked...

 

Here Mom (or dad) is on the right, with her two babies to the left. One is being pretty brave now that mom is sitting next to her, the other is barely peeking her ears up...

 

The babies don't fly and have really soft looking feathers. Do you see his little head looking at me?

 

I just can't get enough of them, they are that cute...do you see mom's ears on the left? A storm was brewing, so their feathers are blowing with the wind.

 

 Okay, it’s time to get back to work…hope you discovered something fun today! xoxoxo Amy