Ole..I love Mexican Food!

My favorite food is Mexican. Salsa, burritos, enchiladas, tamales, you name it, I love it! So for today's Tablescape Thursday and also Foodie Friday, I have pics of two different Mexican tablescapes. The first one is what you can do when you want to entertain and have nothing of your own to work with like I did when on vacation at a timeshare recently. The preparation was perfectly minimal. Just a stop at a grocery store where I purchased the pretty orange flower wrapped in orange wrapper. (Sorry the flowers got cut out of this picture).
Then across the parking lot to a wonderful Mexican restaurant for the organic salsas and chips. The salsas were put into clear glass tumblers from cupboard. The multicolored chips were displayed in a large glass mixing bowl. We transferred the enchiladas from their black plastic containers right onto the white plates but first we put the colorful napkins on them so they would look festive as the guests arrived at their places.

The flower centerpiece was placed on a lovely rust colored raised shallow bowl that was already in the center of the table. The color was perfect for our festive look. The guests arrived and loved the very easy entertaining that we did for little or no effort.
Table #2. The Sunflowers provided the centerpiece for another Mexican table..Book club meeting dessert I had at my home. The Sunflowers are in a large rustic vase in the center of the table.
I crisscrossed two different runners on the table. One is plain red with multicolored ball fringe on the edges. The second one is a multicolored flower print. I used these ceramics from guatemala at the base of the large vase of Sunflowers.
For the napkins I used these wonderful hand woven Indian-patterned small cloth ones which I tucked white paper napkins inside. (They were a garage sale purchase). The bright yellow with polka dot plates were used for the Lime Pound Cake served with Raspberry sauce which also went beautifully with the colorful tablescape.
Along the center of the plain red runner I placed these wonderful hand stitched little embroidery pieces that I found at a garage sale one day.
Here are close-ups of some of the detail stitched on them.
Both tables were very festive and colorful and used items that I found around the house, or condo as it were. They were both fun to decorate with this theme.
I think Ina Gartner's Guacamole is the BEST! It follows:
4 ripe Haas avacados
3 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 small lemon)
8 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup small diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands) Immediately add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until thyey are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.
Enjoy! Ole!
To enjoy more tablescapes click here for Susan's Between Naps on the Porch, our hostess and Designs by Gollum for more Foodie Fridays


Service Club--Ten Club

Friends at work and play.

There are times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities and challenges facing us. It is times like this when we wish there would be someone to intervene and help us. There are other times when everything is going well, we feel good, we have energy and we want to help make someone else's burden lighter. We have all experienced each of these times. Often the added benefit of giving to others is that we feel our burdens less as well.

Recently our local TV news program had a segment about a service club called the Ten club. Each member puts in $10.00 a month and then that money is used the next month on a community service need. Friends of mine thought it was a great idea and so we began our own Ten Club. The first month we met and organized ourselves into teams of two. Each team is responsible for finding a need and getting any supplies needed to fill that need when we meet as a group for their month.
We had seven women at our first meeting. Each person was asked to bring a winter coat. We collected 11 coats the first meeting. The coats were given to a homeless shelter afterward. As we investigated further we found so many needs in our community that we will never run out of ways to help and in our little ways we hope to help even if it is a drop in the bucket. We are enjoying our time together as an added benefit.
The next month we decorated 116 boxes that would hold the monthly food for Senior Citizen of the local Food Bank. We thought that by putting this bright paper on the boxes, that it might also brighten the day for these Seniors.
We also made 150 cards to go with the food in those boxes to give a little cheer to those sweet older faces who would receive them. We put a personal message on each one too.

The next month we sorted medical supplies which were then packaged and sent to a disaster afflicted area in Florida.We worked along this long table as quickly as we could before another box was dumped out for us to sort. We were able to sort through 2 pallets of supplies. As you can see there are lots of boxes needing attention.
Next month we will be assembling activity kits for children who are staying long term at a local hospital. One never knows when a need will be your own so it is nice to give when you can. We know it is only a small way to help another but we feel we have been given so much that we, too, must give any way we can. We also like knowing that when we help others, when our turn comes around, our own needs may be met by someone else. Here is a short clip with that same message.

Frogs, Bunnies, Trike rides, Birthday, Dancing in the Rain, Potato Guns

This year Memorial Day was spent in the country--Idaho country. It had a little bit of everything beginning with a 6 hour ride to get there (It went surprisingly fast), a birthday and a funeral, dancing in the rain after a thunderstorm we watched come across the plains, a fashion show, frogs and bunnies, trike rides, potato guns and fresh banana shakes! Here are a few pictures, in no particular order.

Just one of the funny license plates we saw on the way.
Soft, furry little bunnies

Sadly, Peter Bunny succumbed while we were there, hence, the funeral for him. This is his marker.

Will, with the beginning of his Darth Vader costume he wore all weekend.

Bike rides and trike rides were in order.
Also rides to the lake courtesy of Maddy.
Preparing for the funeral of Peter Bunny.

Rafting in our own private lake.

The birthday girl...big 14!
A little fashion show.
I hope your weekend was memorable also. Have a great week!


Fences and Walls

I have been consumed with fences and walls lately after discovering that my fence that was here when I moved in, is in fact, not new but in a sorry state of disrepair beyond repair.

The existing fence is right next to a paved road which gives no privacy in my backyard.
I have traveled high and low looking at what other people have decided was the best fence for them. Is it right for my yard as well? I have researched the merits of a solid brick wall, brick with brick columns, Atlas brick (a longer, wider brick), cement block wall, cement with stucco, concrete block wall, with and without columns and precast concrete. I have narrowed the field down to precast concrete.
This (blurry) picture is of a stacked-look tan wall with columns that match.
Do I want a random brick-look on a grey fence? I actually would love the waterfall but that would never happen unless other people wouldn't mind driving through it instead of the existing road.
And I have noticed that a lot of people like this "polka-dot" random colored rock look.

This multi-shaped flat rock look is nice too. What would you choose?
I went with Precast concrete because it is durable, goes up very quickly, requires minimum foundation work and is very good value for the money ( much less money to tell the truth!!
And the winner is:
And this is the one I chose. I like the symetry of the "bricks" and the flat columns. Mine will actually have flat frames around each panel too. It goes in next week and I can hardly wait. That's about all the excitment for now. Happy Memorial Day to all of you. I am off to Idaho to see Wenderful and family with JenJen and her family. It's just one big happy family!


Tablescape Thursdays

While browsing through a wonderful nursery looking for plants, I happened on their gift area and found this lovely black and white tablescape I'd like to share with you today.

tThe silverware was set on black/white paper towels in a shallow box.The tablecloth is a toile print with a black border.
Lots of crystal was used for candlesticks, hurricanes and such.
These black balls were part of the centerpiece as shown below.
At each place were glittering name cards in small beautiful frames.

The square plates are paper ones. The chandelier in the center is a coctail napkin!
I hope this gives you an inspiration for your own black and white tablescape. Thanks for Susan at Between Naps on the Porch having this Tablescape Thursday. To see more ideas click here.


Thankgoodness forTulips

There is a wonderful place nearby with walking paths through 55 acres of gardens. In the spring the tulips are magnificient! Here are some pictures taken last week. Each picture is of a different area. It was truly spectacular. My camera does not do it justice. I invite you to join Chris and I as we tiptoe through the tulips.

On either side of the walkway are beautiful color combinations with underplantings of pansies or English daisies.
The iris with pink and white tulips and yellow daffodils are beautiful.
Do you like golden tulips?
Or are your favorites the pink and red?

This spot on our tour you can look down the stairs to tulips....
And up the stairs to more tulips.
There is also the largest man-made waterfall which at this time has beautiful wisteria growing on it.
Have you ever noticed the centers of flowers, how unique and colorful they are?

The color combinations with these pansies are gorgeous.

Continuing down the path...

One area is all daffodils in curving paths. Very striking.
Another feature is a Hidden Garden with an old door leading into it with ivy-covered brick walls and a fountain and benches to sit and meditate.

No wonder this gorgeous and spirit-renewing place is called Thanksgiving Point. I hope you have enjoyed this tour. To view more Outdoor Wednesdays click here