Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Hiatus

It is this time of the year again - I'm taking a break from my computer to enjoy summer in all its glory. Have a lovely time until I see you in September!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lavender in My Garden

The early morning sun lets my lavender glow

Recently I wrote about the beautiful lavender garden at one of our wineries. However, that's not the only lavender I enjoy. Of course there is quite some lavender in my own garden. I have several different kinds of lavender, from rather small to quite big, from pale blue to deep purple. Some of them do extremely well and grow bigger each year, some just... don't and die after a year or two. It's always a mystery to me why that happens, but it has never been a reason for not growing lavender. I just try a different kind.

I love to combine lavender with other flowers, especially with yellow and red ones. Stunning color combinations! But they're so pretty on their own as well.

They attract bees - and bees go crazy with happiness around the lavender. Sometimes I just sit there observing the little insects and listening to their busy humming. It's the beautiful sounds and scents of summer. What is not to love about that?

Usually I let lavender stay on the plant until it's faded. This year, however, I had so many that I cut quite a few branches and played with them in different combinations. 

They are gorgeous with dried up poppy seed pods!

Since I also have a lot of Shasta daisies in my garden, I made a little lavender-daisies arrangement. It looks natural and sweet - I love it.

The green pots, by the way, I found at IKEA. It is a set of two that looks like pale green milk cans (without the lids). Perfect for the more natural or country look. What do you think?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A Fun Day at IKEA

My friend Jeanne and I are lucky that our daughters are very good friends as well. They have been friends since 7th grade when Becca was new to the middle school whereas Kaefer already had an established group of friends who went with her to middle school. Kaefer and Becca soon became friends and have been two wonderful goofheads ever since. 

When both girls got accepted to the University of California - Becca to Santa Barbara and Kaefer to Davis - the four of us were quick to check our calendars for a dorm shopping day at IKEA. The nearest IKEA is near Berkeley and that is where we went.

There is this big metal chair outside between the blue-yellow store and the parking garage. Ever since it had been there Kaefer has enjoyed climbing on it, and of course nothing could stop our girls to do so this time. Becca is much taller than Kaefer, so they were arranging themselves on the chair until they looked the same hight. The goofiness had started and didn't stop until we were back home.

IKEA has not only furniture but also kitchen utensils, tools and all the decoration items we obviously cannot live without. They do a great job in displaying it in a beautiful way that of course tempts the customers to buy buy buy (which is really easy at IKEA since the prices are very reasonable).

Those orange dishes in the lower left corner are ALWAYS a huge temptation for me. They have the same dishes in turquoise and a combination of the two looks gorgeous. I wonder when I will finally become weak and buy both sets.

IKEA's showroom includes tiny "appartments" that are fully furnished and very inspiring. The closets always contain a few pieces of clothes and we had enormous fun taking those clothes out and "trying them on". 

The girls stopped in the "café" - another opportunity for silly photos.

And of course the four of us had to try out the beds! Not that we were in any need to buy one...

It took us hours to get through the showroom and we were exhausted and hungry (and still had to go through the Marketplace with all those decorative items - I always call this part the Bermuda Triangle). Fortunately IKEA has a restaurant (every decent furniture store at least in Germany if not Europe has a restaurant because furniture shopping makes hungry and you have to think over some good food about these big decisions you are going to make) and we soon found ourselves at a table at the window over Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes (an IKEA staple) and chicken tenders with fries. And look what we found for the "little ones":

Bibs!!! College kids need those for sure!!!

Before we descended to the Bermuda Triangle we saw this one in the children's department - it cracked me up! The wolf eating grandma! Now this is a great way to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood!