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July 30, 2014

My Honeybee Adventure


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Something I've always wanted to do is to get up close and personal
with honeybees in their hives. Here was my chance!

Kurt welcomed us to visit his hives in lovely Furlong, PA (Bucks County).
His passion was evident as he told us all about his beekeeping hobby!


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Here I am in full regalia!

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This is the smoker used to calm the bees.

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Lifting out one of the frames.

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Laura is having as much fun as I am!

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Identifying the female workers and the larger male drones.

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Hoping to locate the queen, but she managed to elude us.

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Drew enjoyed the experience!

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Happiness is a hive loaded with honey!

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"The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb."
-Psalm 19:9,10




Crossing that one off of my Bucket List!
Thanks, Kurt!

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July 28, 2014

Blueberry Crumble Cheesecake Bars

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 Did you know that JULY is National Blueberry Month?
In honor of the blueberry, I'm sharing this sweet recipe:


Blueberry Crumble Cheesecake Bars

Graham cracker crust:
10 graham crackers, finely crushed
3 tbsp. sugar
4 T (½ stick) butter, melted

Filling:
12 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
½ C sour cream at room temp.
½ C sugar
2 eggs at room temp.
½ t salt
1½ t vanilla

Blueberries:
2 t sugar
2 t flour
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 C fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry

Topping:
1 C flour
¼ C brown sugar
¼ C sugar
7 T butter, cold

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

In medium size mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients. Spread into baking dish, pressing flat to create an even layer. Bake for 10 mins.

In a small mixing bowl, combine blueberry ingredients, set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine topping ingredients. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until coarse, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the slightly cooled crust. Spread evenly with a spatula. Place blueberries on top, evenly covering the cheesecake. Top with crumble topping.

Bake for 45 mins. until set and topping is light golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 ½ hours to room temp.
Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours before cutting to serve.

Makes approximately 12 bars



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Found this recipe at Life Made Simple,
which was originally adapted from Tyler Florence

July 25, 2014

Auntie Illustrations of Inge Löök



Oh, how I love these illustrations by Inge Löök of Finland!
They're part of her series called "Aunties", for which she is best known.
She's painted at least 36 of them!

This verse comes to mind:
"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance."
-Proverbs 15:13a

As my sisters will tell you, we had two such fun-loving aunties of our own.
Aunt Irene and Aunt Margaret were true friends; I remember them always laughing together!
They'd go out on shopping sprees and return with treasures such as
sparkling rhinestone brooches and lavish boxes of candy.
I remember them coloring each other's hair or giving one another perms.
They'd take on decorating projects at my Granny's house-
wallpapering, reupholstering or sewing new curtains.
I was always entertained by their endeavors and antics!
To this day, whenever any of my sisters and I are doing a project together,
we grin and playfully ask, "OK - Do you want to be Irene or Mag?"

So - in memory of my aunties, here are several of Inge's Auntie illustrations.
You'll get a kick out of their childlike spirit and zest for life!

And it is this same joie de vivre with which I hope to spend my golden years~
Kicking off my shoes, eating cotton candy, dumpster diving.
Enjoying a good throw-my-head-back belly laugh and dancing with abandon in the living room.
Come to think of it...why wait until my golden years?





























Visit Inge Löök on her
Website and
Facebook page.




Images used with direct permission from Inge Löök.

July 23, 2014

Live Succulent Jewelry!



Can you believe this fabulously clever idea?
 These pieces of jewelry are made with live succulent plants!
How's that for unique?
Susan McLeary creates them in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
through her business, Passionflower to Wear.
Each piece can be worn for 3-4 weeks,
and then the succulent plants can be gently removed and planted!












Find Passionflower to Wear on Etsy.


Images used with direct permission from Susan McLeary.

July 21, 2014

Fishs Eddy - New York, NY

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We found a fabulous shop in NYC called Fishs Eddy! Their vision:
"Commercial quality dish and glassware with plenty of other things to make people smile."
And smile, we did, as we wandered up and down the aisles
to take in dinnerware, gadgets and linens with a fun spin!



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Cake stands in terrific colors!

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True vintage china~ American-made restaurant ware.

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A super display of vintage mugs.
Random oil portraits like this one were scattered here and there.

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A rainbow of colored American hand-pressed glassware
looked lively against the big window.

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Nostalgic printed dish towels, some with a New York City theme.

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A vintage eggbeater chandelier.

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This "Brooklynese" line is what first attracted me to Fishs Eddy!

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Please pass the buttah.

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Colorful pressed glass dolls line up beside a huge bucket of marbles.

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Those same dolls were the stars of the front window display!

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Fishs Eddy is located at 889 Broadway at 19th Street, New York, NY.
Here's their website
and facebook page!


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Bonus photo:
What a gorgeous selection of roses at a sidewalk stand!

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July 18, 2014

The Relaxing Aromas of Lavender Lane & Co.

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Oh, the scent of lavender!
Can you beat it for fresh, relaxing calm?

Lavender Lane & Co. captures that fragrance perfectly.
This family-run business consists of Denise,
her 4 daughters: Kristin, Marisa, Jaimie and Faith,
and Kristin's 2 daughters Abby and Mikaiya.

Each of the ladies has her own special talent to contribute,
be it computer skills or baking up lavender biscuits and cookies
for their popular open-houses!

What a treat for me to visit Kristin's home and to hear all about what they do!
She & Denise explained the particular uses of the many varieties of lavender.
There's even a white lavender - Kristin's favorite.


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As I entered the home, I was greeted by that oh-so-lovely lavender fragrance!
Lavender Lane & Co. references Jeremiah 31:25:
"I'll refresh tired bodies; I'll restore tired souls."

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Mikaiya is busy helping her Grammy prepare the aromatic mists.

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Denise is especially knowledgeable and passionate about
the health benefits and healing properties of lavender.



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Pretty labels at the ready.

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There are 4 varieties of mists.
Besides Relax, which is just lavender,
Renew adds lemongrass & thyme to lavender,
Revive is lavender with grapefruit & sage, and
Reflect - the one I think I'll be trying next -
combines lavender, lime & rosemary!

I love spraying my Relax mist on my sheets
and pillowcase each night before bed!



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Along with sprays, Lavender Lane & Co. creates
dryer bags, wands, sweet gift sets, and much more!



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Charming sachets!

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I stopped by Lavender Lane & Co.'s booth at the Playwicki Farmer's Market
held in Bucks County's Playwicki Park.

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Here's one of their recent creations- bath salts!

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Abby & Mikaiya love to help out at the Farmer's Market!

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Three generations of Lavender Lane!
The girls are joined by their mom Kristin, and grandmother Denise.

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"...whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
-Proverbs 11: 25b

Visit Lavender Lane & Company online
at their blog, their Etsy shop,
and on Facebook!

Here's a link for the Playwicki Farm Farmer's Market,
which happens every Wednesday 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.,
June through October!