Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crepe Myrtle Loveliness

"Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came ...

"... and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness.

"The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health ...

"... and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond.

"The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad.

"It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing."

~ Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

The crepe myrtles were in beautiful bloom when the girls and I visited Southern Homes and Gardens in Montgomery last week. Join us for a special garden picnic!

"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~ Henry James

Monday, July 30, 2012

Refreshing Summer Menu

I had such a great visit with my friend Allison last week! I always look forward to spending time with my good friend, but this visit was especially exciting because she came over Friday to photograph 6-year-old Emma's new room. Allison shared a little preview of our session, and I cannot wait to see more! Take a peek at Emma's new room on the A Little Loveliness Facebook page here. I cannot wait to hear what you think! And you can see more of Allison's photography here.

After our photo session, we enjoyed a refreshing lunch of veggie pizza, chicken salad croissants, fresh fruit and veggies, and raspberry lemonade ice cream cones. So our afternoon was a celebration of creativity, mothers and daughters, girlfriends and great food.

I topped our veggie pizza with fresh broccoli, cucumber and carrots. Find the pizza recipe here and my raspberry lemonade ice cream recipe here.

I have a full week of posts this week, so please stop by every day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ice Cream Celebration

We are celebrating National Ice Cream Month at our house with a scoop of homemade ice cream. It's practically a law. I developed this recipe for Raspberry Lemonade Ice Cream for my post at Culinary.Net. I asked Emma to give it a try, and she was an eager taste tester. (My children are so grateful I was invited to contribute desserts rather than vegetables.)

Emma gave this recipe rave reviews, although she was most excited about finding a straw in her ice cream cone.

In addition to National Ice Cream Month, we have something else to celebrate today. After a few weeks dedicated to Emma's bedroom, my sweet girl finally has a spot to call her own. My dear friend Allison of Allison Hilyer Photography is coming out this morning to take pictures, so I hope to share details soon.

My Raspberry Lemonade Ice Cream recipe is featured today at Culinary Chat, so please stop by to take a lick before your cone melts in this summer heat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shopping Fairhope, Alabama

We couldn't visit The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala., without venturing to nearby Fairhope. On our anniversary trip last month, Joe indulged me with a few hours to explore the downtown before we headed home.

It was love at first site! Fairhope is known for its charming homes, artsy shops and trendy boutiques.

We arrived at lunchtime and saw a number of cute eateries, but I was drawn to The French Quarter Shops.

Inside we found a few shops and a delicious cafe, Panini Pete's.

I peered into nearby boutiques while we waited for our food, then enjoyed a delicious lunch in the courtyard. After our trip I noticed an Alabama tourism ad in a magazine, and it suggested one of the must-eat dishes for our state was a panini from Panini Pete's. Check!

Joe lingered in the courtyard after lunch while Emma and I checked out the downtown shopping.

Emma was eager to go in every shop. Here are a few that caught our eye.

I like to look for Christmas ornaments to commemorate our travels. It is so much fun to reminisce about the places we have visited each year when we decorate the tree.

I told Emma that I would get her a little something to remember our trip, and my silly girl asked if she could take home the lady in the photo above.

Now that's more like it. Goodies from the American Doll Store were perfect for Emma, and we found toy-store treats for Carson, Christian and Mary Ashley.

I hope you have enjoyed our travels to Point Clear and Fairhope -- two sparkling gems on the Alabama Coast.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Grand Garden Moments

"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips." ~ Violette Leduc

I hope you have enjoyed this visit to The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala. Before we head home, we can't leave without taking a peek at the shops of Fairhope.

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart." ~ Celia Thaxter

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grand Garden Views

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time." ~ John Lubbock

When Joe, Emma and I visited The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala., I was eager for Emma to join me to explore the pond in front of the hotel. Join us as we take a morning stroll.

This garden path was a popular route for pedestrians, bicyclers and ducks.

I'll share more garden moments tomorrow.

"Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year -- it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul." ~ Author Unknown

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