Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NaNa's Garden

My garden is finally coming alive. The days are starting to be warmer, even if only for a few hours in the afternoon, but that is helping to green everything up.

I was out in my yard today with my granddaughter Chloe, playing ball and looking at all the different things in my gardens, some vintage, some getting there!

I always go thrifting with buying for my shop in mind, but occasionally......okay, more than occasionally.......I keep a few things! This red metal chair is one of them. Partly because it is big and too heavy to ship and mostly because I love it and it is red!

I saw this castle in a catalog and my husband surprised me with it as a gift.

He also surprised me with this fairy door and windows. Around the corner from the castle is where the fairies live. We had this thing about circling items we wanted in catalogs as gift ideas. It definitely makes it easier to decide what to buy for each other and you always get what you want!

Chloe loves to go over and pet the deer. I got it at a yard sale where I practically had to fight the guy for it. He was selling it but reluctant to let it go because his late mother painted it. I am happy to have her just to watch Chloe go over and pet the "mommy" deer.

This bleeding heart was very small when my husband bought it for me. It must be planted in the right place because it is thriving there. The metal frog with the pink flower was a gift from my friend Lisa.

Chloe is a natural! A perfect pose next to my made in Mexico metal sunflower.

I have a lot of frogs in my gardens and this couple is my favorite. I think of it as me and my husband! Surrounded by Hosta and tiny blue Spring wildflowers, he is hiding a bouquet of flowers behind his back waiting for the right moment to present them.

We "inherited" the Christmas tree ferns when we bought the house. They are such a beautiful shade of green and just fill in everything beautifully. They multiply too so they are popping up all over my yard and they look great all the way to September. There are Lily of the Valley sprinkled in there too. I love the random, wild look of a garden as well as the perfect manicured one, so I left this area to grow where they may.

A Jim Shore frog lives in the ferns every summer.

Chloe is mesmerized by a tiny red spider crawling on the stepping stone my son made at school.

I love this terra cotta bird bath. I got it in the early 90's at the Renaissance Faire in Sterling, New York. Made by a local artisan, it has a frog perched on a leaf.

This bird bath was found at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in nearby Canandaigua. It is totally rusted cast iron which makes it perfect for a vintage junkie like me. The plants are Marguerite daisies, a gift from my daughter Jena, that will soon be a mass of tiny white flowers. Next to the daisy bed is my orange Daylily, my most favorite flower of summer. Growing up we had the exact ones all along the side of the garage. 

I was so intrigued by gargoyles after seeing them displayed all over the gardens at a summer cottage we stayed at. I had to get one for my garden, but just a small one. They are a little creepy looking! The background plants are chives which will have fuzzy purple flowers on them. I transplanted them from my farmhouse 18 years ago!

I bought a tree face for my husband one year which started a must-have trend for our yard. As you can see here, four trees have faces on them, each one a little different from the other. They do make an interesting addition to the garden. That's my kitty, Miss Kitty, perched on the brick fireplace.

More Christmas tree ferns all along the garage and Chloe in her Cozy Coupe. The CM on it stands for Christian Michael, my almost 16 year old son. It was also used by my first granddaughter Cassidy who is now 9 and will be used by Jeremy Craig (JC as they will call him), due in September, when he is old enough. Those Little Tikes toys last forever!

Chloe found it a fun game for me to chase her around the path with the stepping stones around the tree. I had to slow her down because of all the roots coming out on one side. My husband spray paints them every year not to stumble on them when making his way to the grill.

At one point she wanted to hop around. It was really hard for this old body to do that, even with two new hips!

I think the new growth on the pine tree is so pretty! It is a huge tree and the focal point of our yard and gardens.

I have always wanted to live by water, probably from going to the Thousand Islands every summer as a kid. I just love the sound of water nearby. Well, I kind of got my dream. There is a creek (really a water run-off) running under our yard from the other side of the street, and then along the back of our yard. When the water is high there is a constant sound of rushing water in the air. I'll take it!

If you made it to the end, thanks for taking the tour with me. It actually helped me see all that we've accomplished in 18 years. There is so much more to do and maintain but I am not in a hurry. I do what I can, one day at a time.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog hop parties:

Wednesday's Adorned From Above
Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party
A Little R & R Wednesday Linky Party
What's It Wednesday
Fishtail Cottage Garden Party
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Home and Garden Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Fertilizier Friday/Flaunt Your Flowers
Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Weekend Retreat Link Party
Weekends Are Fun Blog Hop
Pink Saturday
Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party
Amaze Me Monday
Make It Pretty Monday
Masterpiece Monday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Return to Loveliness
Cottage Garden Party
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
A Little R and R

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


It's the little things of beauty that put a spring in your step on a warm, sunny Spring day.

I just had to stop and take a picture of this gorgeous row of lilac trees that I pass by almost every day.

It is lilac season in Upstate New York and this is by far the most spectacular array of gorgeous deep purple lilacs I have seen in my area.

No, this gorgeous hedge is not in the famous Highland Park where the Lilac Festival is held in Rochester, NY each May. It is in a small town on a side street off the main drag behind a dentist's office leading to a trailer park.

Can't you just smell their beautiful aroma?

Have a wonderful Spring day!
AnnMarie xoxo

P.S. I also have a spring in my step today for reaching 600 sales in my Etsy shop!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sausage Bites

I am going to say this right up front because you will surely think it once you see the pictures.

This delicious appetizer looks like dog food on toast!

Oh, but are they ever good!

This is a recipe I have had since the 80's and have used it on and off over the years. It is a quick, easy recipe and a total crowd pleaser! Recently I have had a craving for all things with Velveeta so I have made this a lot lately. I thought it was time to share it.

Sausage Bites

Heat oven to 425

1 - 2 sleeves of Party Rye  (your choice of kind...I used Jewish Rye) each piece cut on the diagonal, if desired
1 pound ground beef
1 pound HOT italian sausage (removed from casing)
1/2 of the 2 lb. loaf of Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes

Brown the meats together and drain. Add the Velveeta and melt all together. Spread on the bread.
Cook in oven till brown.

Serve right out of the oven and enjoy!

Some pics of the process.....

After the cheese is melted in the meat it really looks like dog food! You can freeze it at this point. It makes enough for about 1 1/2 sleeves of the party rye.

Put enough meat on the bread for a good mouthful but not too much that it falls off!

Nothin' fussy about this appetizer....serve it on a paper plate. Guys love it!

AnnMarie xo

I am sharing this recipe with these fun blog parties:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Mother's Day Tea.....with My Guys

My husband and son planned a Mother's Day surprise day out for me today, a day early. I didn't know where we were going, what to wear, what shoes to wear for comfort (were we walking alot?) or what we were eating. All things a woman needs to know!

But I went with it and dressed in a t-shirt, jeans and flip flops. We arrived at Sonnenberg Gardens in the quaint resort city of Canandaigua, New York for a Mother's Day Tea. The other ladies' were dressed in spring dresses and some in fancy hats. There were mostly women and children there, some with two to three generations of women of their families at their table. Sonnenberg Gardens is a grand 1800's mansion that is public supported and holds different events throughout the year.

Aside from my husband and son there were two other men there with their Mom's. I was a little uncomfortable with how I was dressed but was so proud of the fact that my guys would even take me somewhere where they could really be uncomfortable and um, bored! It was clearly a ladies' thing but my husband knows how I love the era, culture and atmosphere that an English tea and this mansion presents.

There were servants in full dress and we sat in this corner of the library of the mansion.

It was a five course meal served over two hours! My guys were troopers! It was quite the feminine meal with the shot glass size portion of fresh fruit, the thin slices of pound cake and scones, the finger sandwiches and other fancy morsels on the plate, the teeny portion of sherbet with a raspberry on top and the tiny assortment of cookies at the end. My husband even drank the tropical orange tea out of the English bone china tea cups.

It wasn't the meal for a growing 15 year old boy but Michael ate it with a smile because it was my day.

After the meal we walked freely around the mansion upstairs without most of the rooms roped off. We could walk in and see everything up close. This beautiful room reminds me of my grandmother's bedroom.

There were bathrooms in every room and each one was all white tile with old fashioned porcelain fixtures.

This dark green room had a gorgeous crazy quilt on the bed and another one on the bench at the end of the bed.

A gentlemen's trunk valet.

A hat cupboard.

Another great all white bathroom...this one with a touch of pink to match the intricate details in the tile.

A large room with a cradle. Most rooms had fireplaces too.

Gorgeous dresses were hanging in two of the bedrooms.

The balcony on the second floor with animal skins.

And more stuffed birds and small animals in this glass case. A little freaky!

Outside Spring finally arrived in Upstate NY! We walked the huge grounds back to our car.

These kinds of details were all around the outside of this magnificent mansion.

The Carriage House

They deserved this! Thanks to my husband and son for a very nice day out to celebrate Mother's Day.

And for my really nice gifts....

A keepsake centerpiece from the Tea

A handmade pair of silver earrings from an Etsy artisan.

I hope you all enjoy your day tomorrow and that it is as special as mine was today!

AnnMarie xoxo

Linking up with these great parties!

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday