Monday, June 28, 2010

Coco Mademoiselle - Pink Martinis & Pearls give away!


I must make an attempt for this giveaway:

Hello summer!

I'm pairing a great pool-side summer read with the fresh and floral scent of
Coco Mademoiselle.

To accompany my Pass-Along Give-Away (my previously read book), 

"The Gospel According To Coco Chanel"

I thought a natural compliment would be one of her memorable fragrances.

I chose the soft and light Fresh Body Satin Spray with aloe vera and chamomile extract that spritz' on after a bath or shower and makes your skin feel so refreshed. And the scent of Coco Mademoiselle ~ if you are not familiar with it, to me, it softly announces summer has arrived while whispering 'remember me'.

good luck!

Monday Morning, coffee and a book - The Girl Who Played with Fire

So I just finished this!  And Wow!  I even missed kick off of the USA vs Ghana soccer game which is actually serious business at my house - very serious business -
I love these books by Stieg Larsson.  I am sad to know that he has died because I of course am selfish enough to wish he'd write us more.

They are violent books.  They are books with violence against women.  And I think anyone who is sensitive to that should know that before picking on up.  One of my friends was particularly disturbed by the violence in the first book and stated that she 'needed a break' before she read any of the others.  I sometimes wonder if my lack of senstivity is a bad thing -

Anyway.  Why did I love it?  Not because of the violence certainly.  I loved that it was so brilliantly thought out.  The characters are deep.  The plot is not predictable though, for the record I did call "Zala's" personal connection to Lisbeth but I was completely unexpecting several other more serious and more interesting connections.  The web is intricately woven.

And so here I am.  With "The Glass Castle" and "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" sitting on my desk and I really, really want to get my hands on "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"

I highly recommend Stieg Larsson!

And of course when I link to Amazon they happily provide suggestions.  I'm going to have to read this too... 

Blue Monday - Introducing the Birds

I am linking up with Smiling Sally this morning for a Blue Monday

M-Lyons has been after her father for a cat.  For that matter Dragon has wanted a cat as well.  We almost got one last fall as at the time their father was not likely to say no to anything, but I hesitated, and well, no cat.  For one thing, I'm allergic to cats.
Everytime we go to the pet store to purchase food for the lizards M-Lyons insists on visiting the rescued cats up for adoption.  It gets ridiculous.
I said to her last Tuesday, you know, dad probably will not say yes to a kitty.  He probably will say yes to a bird...
She pounced.  We went and looked at birds...
She chose two blue parakeets-
this is "Prince Philip" he is a feisty little fellow and has managed to escape once already and fly around the house a bit...

the lovely bright almost turquoise bird in the foreground is "Princess Aurora" I have no idea if they are both males or both females or what.  Generally our pet store's policy is to only sell one gender of a type of animal.  But we told M-Lyons that the birds don't know one way or another and she could name them what she wanted to name them.

They are rather entertaining.  We are working on getting them to come to our hand for a treat.  Slow going.  The dog also finds them very interesting and we are being very careful.  No doubt they look and sound like squeeky toys!

We are now up to 5 kids, 1 lab, 2 lizards, 1 snake, and 2 birds.  I'm going to have to change my blog title to "The Zoo"!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pink Saturday - Spa Day!

It is Pink Saturday and I am lucky enough to be off to the spa to use a package a visitor could not use (!) HOORAY!

Last Pink Saturday many of the participants blogged about their creative spaces - which got me started on cleaning mine out.  Hopefully I'll have photos to share before too long.

I'll be out visiting my fellow Pink Saturday Ladies later tonight and tomorrow.  If you choose to leave a comment know that I will stop by, I always return the favor.

Thanks to Beverly for hosting us everyweek!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The British Are Coming! Colonial Williamsburg

Our summer project as a family is to obtain a better understanding of American History from 1760 through the 1780s.  We've been reading books and coming up with an itinerary of places to visit...
This weekend in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, the British are taking control.  While Colonial Williamsburg is a living museum as a British Colony, this weekend emphasises 1781.  Described as:

Experience Williamsburg under the control of invading British forces. Watch British soldiers, commanded by Lt. Gen. Lord Cornwallis, as they plan their advance. Interact with the townspeople as they struggle with the loss of liberties after the British impose martial law. Witness drills and exercises, mounted troop and artillery demonstrations, and surgeons caring for the wounded in a military field hospital. This weekend reenactment of a 1781 struggle is like nothing you’ve ever seen!
Events begin Friday afternoon, June 25 and last through Sunday, June 27.
Click here for more information on Colonial Williamsburg's Under the Redcoat
There are many events throughout the weekend.  We just stopped in for the end of the day.  We walked down to the Court House, across the street from the Magazine, and on the green there the British were pitching tents.  There are three regiments, a Scottish Regiment, His Majesty's Thirty Third, and the Royal North Carolina Regiment.  Because the North Carolina Regiment is acknowledged or something like that, under the crown, they are awarded special uniforms and so on.  I am not sure what these are though.  The gentlemen enacting the Scottish regiment had their tents pitched, and were standing about with their bonnets on, one remarked on the dog "is that a bear madam?" and so a conversation began.  First, they are bonnets not hats.  Secondly as is typical they apologized when I said I'd married a Campbell.  And then I asked why some of the tents were different.  An officer explained.  Back row was the kitchen tents.  Then officers row.  Then the enlisted personnel. 

The Scottish Regiment Officer's tent. (above)
Kitchen tent (above)
Enlisted men's tents.
I noticed a remarkable number of women and some children milling about.  So I asked one of them who was from North Carolina in real life and was with her husband who was part of the North Carolina Regiment.  She said they (the characters) were camp followers.  That her husband had left to be in the Army, and was paid (but money was taken out for his uniform amongst other things) but she had no support so she followed.  Camp Followers were seen as baggage by the Army and worthless so anything she had she had to carry.  If she brought a wagon or a horse it would be confiscated by the army.  They were using an old tent left over from the British/French conflicts and her husband could stay with her and the children.  It was interesting to talk to her.  
This woman is pregnant, has a child dressed for his part as a camp follower, and another child.  She cheats and brings an air mattress to sleep on.  The children sleep on sheep skins.  They go to an enactment about once a month although she'll cut back when it gets closer to the baby's due date and then for several months after.  her kids enjoy it and get excited when she says "we are going camping."  Her in-laws are also part of the enactment and her father-in-law sometimes portrays John Adams as well.  So interesting!
We also spoke to a gentleman with His Majesty's 33.  They were absurd hats that look like Santa hats or Sleeping hats, red with a big 33 on the front.  I asked who he was portraying and he said 'himself."  hmmm.  He is a soldier named McGee and his family were farmers, farming sheep for wool.  But the most popular color for dying wool is indigo.  Sadly indigo fades easily so it is set with arsenic.  Once the color is set the wool dyers turn the dye into the river.  All the sheep are dying but nobody knows why.  When his father's sheep died and the farm failed Mr. McGee enlisted in his Majesty's army.
I googled the 33rd for kicks: 33rd Regiment of Foot, Light Infantry Company and here sited as Under the Command of General Henry ClintonSearch for General Henry Clinton  

Victory on Sullivans Island-The British Cape Fear/Charles Town Expedition of 1776

in front of the Scottish Regiment.

the thirty third

soldiers and presumably their wives in period dress

resting in the shade
I love this photo of Colonial Williamsburg, the Fife and Drum Core coming out of the mist.  There was a picture like this 10 years ago and 1/2 the core in the photo were young men I went to High School with.  
It is kind of a neat and unique place to grow up from that perspective!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Container Garden

It is Outdoor Wednesday, and I am trying to squeeze in my Outdoor Wednesday post-

Last year we tried container gardening on the deck.  Went over okay, but not fabulous.
So this year I decided to use the containers as part of my landscaping out front.

Armed with the book, Easy Container Combos: Vegetables & Flowers by Pamela Crawford and a gift certificate to Lowes (thank you American Express points!) I got started.  I wanted vegetables.  In particular, I want tomatoes, having just read that canned tomatoe products top the list of things one should never eat, I want to attempt to freeze & can some myself and so I need a good batch of tomatoes.

In addition I picked out some marigolds because I love their bright color and because they are meant to be good at keeping the bugs away.

I took these photos yesterday:
from my front door, there is a little bench and then some shrubs with planters tucked in.  There are three large pots with tomatoes, and two with cucmbers and one with squash behind this bench!

my squash is just getting started-

This pot has cucumbers and they are coming along nicely.  I didn't start these from seed, they were in a hanging basket at the grocery store and were an impulse buy...
but they look promising

here is one of the tomatoes, those pots make them seem very tall and they make the front of my house look like I have lush greenery planted.
it looks like I should have tomatoes soon if I can keep the birds, rabbits, squirrels and deer away...
I let ya'll know how it goes.

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by A Southern Day Dreamer.  Please stop on by and link up!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pink Saturday - Catching up

Wow! What a week it has been!  The last week of school for K-Bear, Tiger and Dragon.  M-Lyons had a fabulous play date on Monday and I spent most of the week glued to ESPN hollering at footballers-
And can you believe it?  Greece & South Korea are battling for number 2 in their group and England and the United States are as well.  What?  We are of course cheering for USA and South Korea.  North Korea played an amazing game against Brazil.  I hope they do well-

Tuesday night I ran out to meet my friend M at the Kimball Theater in Williamsburg to see the Swedish Movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Sadly it was sold out, so we went to the Fat Canary instead for a glass of wine.  I had a Spanish Rioja which was lovely as was the conversation.

Wednesday was a playdate at the park.

Thursday I took the younger two to the library to begin our summer project (family project re: revolutionary war) and attempted to get some laundry done.

Friday my friend Susan came over with her three kids.  The kids played well and Susan and I talked about her role as Martha Washington for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Fascinating.  And Nana came to have rootbeer floats with the kids for their last day of school.

And now it is time for Pink Saturday again!

I was out and about last week at the Williamsburg Antique Mall while M watched my kids. I was looking for white dishes with gold trim to use for our Cocktail Party last Saturday (catered by Florimontes - fabulous!) And saw these ones with the pink rose border. They reminded me of dishes my mom had. I thought they were "Baba's" (my great grandmother Fitzgerald) but I showed the photo to mom today and she said they were Nana Eitelbach's. Cool. Either way they evoke feelings of home, hearth and happiness and I may just go back and buy them. Mom was going to check hers at home and see if they had any markings that would help me know if these are the same or just similiar.

Pink Saturday is hosted weekly by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound please stop in for a visit.

Beverly also features participating bloggers, so stop by and see who she is featuring this week.

And I would like to encourage you to stop by Dog Mom Diva. I am new to her blog but she hooked me with her last Pink Saturday post- all about aprons! and they are cute!

Search for martha washington

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Champagne Saturday

The Bon Bon Rose Girls have a "Champagne Saturday" link up?  Lovely!  I didn't have champagne this saturday but we did have a wonderful day.

We had friends over to watch the USA Mens Team play England in the World Cup.  One of our friends (and my husband's business partner) is English so we were all wearing USA Jersey and he wore his English jersey.  I am not sure he was pleased with the tye and I hope England is able to forgive Green that fumble... but USA was 'organized' as they say and played well.

Saturday evening we had a lovely cocktail party at our home.  While I had quite a long invite list it is a busy time of year so the party was actually nice and intimate.  6 couples.  We had finger foods catered and I tried a brandy punch (in the new to me punch bowl I'd picked up at the Williamsbug Antique Mall for $30.00)  But I floated pineapple sherbert in the punch and my friend Steven wouldn't taste it- he found the look of the melting sherbert less than appealing.  M- tried it, she likes brandy and said it was good.  M- thank goodness - brought Gin & Tonics and then proceeded to make them for everybody - we had a fully stocked bar but I'm not a cocktail person normally so I didn't know what to make anybody- silly me.  I think that will be my summer goal - learn to make 5 cocktails - well.  And find a good punch recipe.

I think I might start with the Bon Bon Girls Vodka Tonic Slushy - it sounds yummy.

I would also like to let you know that the Bon Bon Girls are hosting a giveaway- really cute Kate Spade ring.  Click here for details

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pink Saturday - Lilies

Pink Saturday!
another stroll back in time - drawings from 2005.  One of my girls was born in January 2005 and was hospitalized for a week, I stayed with her.  Afterwards we were told not to go out with her as it was cold and flu season, so I spent nearly 8 weeks in the house with the baby.  I had received several flower arrangements with lilies and did a few drawings with water color pencils...

I really need to get my stuff organized and get back into it... I wasn't half bad and these are all rotting in my basement!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blue Monday - Flower Pots!

Been trying to catch up on our spring planting - we've had several 90 degree days already so I'm behind!- and I stopped in at Ross for less the other day just to see and lo! BLUE ceramic pots! Priced from $7.00 to $15.00 (they go for $30 -$60 regular retail) I was thrilled like you have no idea thrilled!  I still spent a small fortune over the week (I kept going back for more) but they make me so happy everytime I pull in my drive way.

And we added little flags - for July 4th of course but we put them in early so on Saturday when our dear (English) friend Tim Cooper comes over to watch the USA Men's side play England in the World Cup Soccer- well he'll know he's on our territory ;-)

We've got a tomato growing in one, and basil in another.  The front of my house gets the best sun...

and this big pot on the back deck - I love this pot!  Tim just painted the deck too - looks great!  (except for those scratches I made last night dragging the pot out of the corner so it would recieve the rain coming down... and then I had to go confess that I'd just made a mess of his newly painted deck!  aiy - yi -yi!)

Linking up with Smiling Sally for her Blue Monday Blog get togethers-
come along and join us!

Monday Morning, coffee and a book - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

It is Monday - the rain last night brought in some cooler temperatures.  YAY!  the dog and I have been out for our morning walk/run and I'm sipping coffee - my favorite way to start the day.

My book club agreed on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson.  We haven't gotten together yet to discuss it so I cannot share the general opinions- but I devoured this book.  I thought it was fascinating.

The inner jacket introduces the book as "The international publishing sensation.  A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue."

The characters were well written.  There is a depth behind them that allows to reader to believe if one asked the author questions about these characters that he has answers, they are not cardboard cut outs.  I was fascinated by Uncle Vanger and wish he was a real person.  I'd like to know him.  Lisbeth Salander I think would scare me in real life- her ability to hack into information for one thing.  I know in the age of the internet there is no such thing as privacy.  But her ability to dig beyond the usual amount of dirt is uncanny and yet I can't quite dismiss it as purely fictional.  She is ruthless as only a child who has grown up fending for herself could be and that too is scary.  She seems to have an on off switch in her brain that allows her to disengage emotionally.  But the way she handles the predator in her life, well that was brilliant in my opinion.

The book is not a feel good breezy read.  My friend M- said she had read it and liked it but was not going straight to the sequel as she needed a break.  She found it a bit grizzley.  I'm drawn to this sort of thing, it is a bit dark.  There is an element of "weird" and "deranged" and of course there is murder.  But the mystery does get solved and in the end things work out for the main characters involved.

Myself, I'd like to get my hands on book 2 and book 3.  The whole story is a trilogy-

The Third is reviewed on Amazon:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2010 As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last. A familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must do more than confront the miscreants of her past; she must destroy them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the stakes are highest. To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. This closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned. --Dave Callanan

There is also a movie, in Swedish, that looks wonderful but very dark.  And I think they made one or are making one in Hollywood as well...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Treasures that make me think of my Grandmothers & Pink Saturday

In honor of Pink Saturday:

A little trip around the house, and through time.

This pink vase was mother's and when she moved it made its way into my house and here it has stayed.  She doesn't seem to want it back and I use it all the time.  It was my grandmother's "Mama Jo".  It doesn't have any markings on the bottom, or any place else.  My grandmother died in the early 1970s so it is from pre-70s but I've no idea anything else about it.

These are "Madam Alexander Dolls."  My other grandmother "Mama Kay" liked to buy them for us.  I have one rather clear memory of the airport in Las Vegas; it was new at the time I think, and I was little, and there were all these fancy shops and my grandmother was looking at dolls.  It was probably 1977 or so.

Not pink but fun anyway.  This tea pot was my husband's mother's grandmother's.  So my husband's great grandmother.  Granny I think they called her, was from Scotland and liked her afternoon tea.  My husband's grandmother gave this to me several years ago.  My oldest daughter and I googled it for fun.  Circa 1950 a popular style and maker of tea pots.