Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Color me pink!

While I keep one binder just for food ideas, I also keep another one full of decorating, entertaining and garden ideas.  What can I say, I have a problem with organizing!   Since little Miss Diva's christening is coming up this Sunday, I pulled out the binder to see what party ideas I had to try.  As luck would have it, Martha had a fun inexpensive idea that incorporated all the pink I was planning to use. 

I picked up three pink streamers and double sided tape from the party store.  Then, I pulled out all my cylinder candle holders and glasses in varying heights.  All you have to do is cut the streamers and adhere with the tape.  So easy, yet so festive!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Strawberry Fever!

We ran through the fresh picked strawberries pretty quickly.  These are just your typical store bought variety with a little lemon palm garnish.

A few weeks ago berry fever hit Casa Diva!  Thanks to my crazy picking sister, we were blessed with a large batch of fresh juicy strawberries.  Mr. Diva has been on the hunt for some good whole fruit popsicles, and since most of my recipes are the mother of necessity, I went to work.  The first batch was too tart due to small doses of sugar and out of season berries.  The 2nd attempt was far better and still oh so easy.

To start, I hulled about 1 ½ cups of strawberries, pureed and then added in a couple tablespoons of sugar. 

Pureed berries

Next, I sliced up about ½ cups of strawberries because a whole fruit pop isn’t complete without some chunks!  Finally, I poured the mixture in my newly acquired molds, plopped in a few slices of strawberries and froze. 

Strawberry pop ready to go.  Run these molds under hot water for a few seconds to loosen.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The FAC of the Matter

Ahh Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer!  I love the feel and smell of this season.  It just puts me in a wonderful place. As I sat on our patio sipping a delicious summer white, I started thinking we really need to have more afternoons with friends enjoying this space, especially after all the hard work I’ve put into our yard.  Why not show it off!  

Back in college, we used to do the Friday Afternoon Club, affectionately known as the FAC.  It would start whenever we rolled out of bed or class and last until the sun went down.  It was a great excuse to hang out and get ready for the weekend ahead.  Since old is always new, I’m bringing it back to Casa Diva!  If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and have a drink or two.  

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gardening Diva: Summer 2011 Updates

Before:  We inherited a backyard full of beds and weeds!

My gardening obsession started when we moved into Casa Diva, a little over 2 years ago.  It really took me by surprise.  I never thought I would care to dig into the sometimes tough ground and make room for pretty blooms.  I didn’t see myself spending hours killing weeds and churning compost, but here I am.   Mrs. Greenthumb I’m not, but I’m definitely learning.  

After:  It's still a work in progress with more sod and bushes to come, but a vast improvement. 
I’ve been rewarded the past 2 springs with returning favorites

We have lots of shade, which means plenty of space for hostas! This hosta type (Hosta Olive Bailey Langdon) is my absolute favorite as it grows large with it's beautiful leaves!


Patriot Hosta is all over my yard and can really fill out.  Believe it or not, some of my hostas were confined to a window box before we moved them to their new home!

My favorite garden bed!  I've worked hard on the hosta and vinca border. It's really lush and beautiful right now. 
and tempting the fates with new ones.   

Astilbe:  I've 4 of these shade lovers for background interest in the hosta bed. 

Viburnum:  I've planted this shrub in a bed next to my backdoor. I'm going to call it the godmother bed as she was the reason for all the plantings! 
Another godmother bed plant: Caladium

Salvia: I've planted 2 different types of Salvia in the yard.  Hopefully, I can keep it alive!
I’m learning so much about what plants work where and readjusting when Mother Nature has a new plan for my yard.  This year I’m also working on a color scheme for the yard instead of willy-nilly picking out plants that I read about or just fall in love with the moment I see them.  Back in 2009, I wouldn’t have given any thought to garden symmetry, but here I am with a hot pink and purple garden oasis…or at least an oasis in the making.   

The beverage cart is decked out with purple verbena and hot pink geraniums! 

The ivy is a constant in my window boxes throughout the year.  I love how it cascades over to create more interest.  This season I've placed verbena in between for the color pop! 

I picked up some pillows to spruce up the patio table.  These pillows were made by the fabulous Paula and Erika at Etsy!  Be sure to check them out.
 I'm off to enjoy the patio until my next post!

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