Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Occasion

Today is a very special day, especially for the people of England. But it is also very special for us here in our local household. Why? It is my sweet hubby's birthday and mine. Yep! We were born on the same day, 3 years apart.

So, when I saw what the official souvenir plate and tankard looks like, I had to have them. I ordered them directly from London on line and they arrived this week, just in time for the very special occasion.

Do you just see those initials? They are exactly my initials and of course the date is also exactly my birthday, oooops, I meant, our birthday.

It will be very hard for me to forget England's new Royal couple, Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton's wedding day.

For it is also this household's royal couple's birthday.

Happy birthday to US! LOL!

These china are my new favorites in addition to hubby's birthday presents to me (but I'll maybe show those to you later) so I am linking with Laurie's A Few of My Favorite Things at

and The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday at

Thanks to our hostesses and I hope you get to visit them and their participants too.

And I really appreciate your visits and greetings today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Luncheon in the Gazebo with Lemon Chicken Roll

I really want to take advantage of the nice weather outside before it gets too hot. So, I try to have lunch out there with my mom, as often as possible. I already had a plan to get together with my friend Debjani in the early afternoon, either for some karaoke or jewelry making fun. I told her to just come earlier and join us for lunch, and just as a good friend should be, she naturally


Just a simple table setting here since it was a simple lunch, with no extra trimmings. I made a lemon chicken roll. I got the Pampered Chef recipe on line and it was easy, pretty and really tasty.

Again, I am linking with our gracious hostess, Susan of

for Tablescape Thursday.

I cut up some parsley from my herb garden to add to my centerpiece. See how long they are? I just grabbed the first vase that I saw and stuck them there. I just realized it did not match the table after I saw the pictures but that's ok, it blended with our tops, lol.

I bought the hydrangeas from the grocery. They are already planted now.

Just like I said, a simple place setting. I did not even use a dinner plate. I used charger plates with parsley though and an outdoorsy salad plates with bamboo borders. I could have used the matching dinner plates as the chargers but I wanted the parsley in the chargers to match my centerpiece. Besides, I had no time to think. This was another one of those impromptu luncheons. Pewter bunny napkin rings to complete the set.

Debjani brought wine, Moscato. It was so good. Even ma drank a lot and went straight to bed after lunch, lol.

Carrot cake for dessert. Yum!

We enjoyed being out there, eating, chatting and relaxing for too long that we ran out of time to make jewelry, but we sang, which is always fun too.

Thanks for joining us for an al fresco luncheon and thank you, Susan, for hosting.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birds, Skinks and Flowers

Happy Wednesday to all!

Have you ever seen a skink? I saw this little fella on our back porch 3 years ago. I think he is a very young one. He is really pretty with his black and yellow stripes and a blue tail. With his tail, he is approximately 4.5 inches long.

Well, last week, I saw this one on the pool deck. He is much bigger than the one above. It is probably around 8 inches long with his tail. He is not as pretty as the little one. They change in color but you can still see some stripes on him.

I was walking around the deck drinking my coffee one morning and when I looked down in the secret garden, I saw this thing which I thought was a snake. The head is a pretty orange. I would have run inside the house but I was way above him so I just kept observing him and took pictures.

Then he moved a little more forward and I realized it wasn't a snake but a huge lizard. I think it is an adult skink. He must be at least a foot long and I did not even see the end of its tail.

The next day, I saw this guy near the gazebo. It's funny that I do not see any of them for 3 years and then I see 3 in 2 days.

We see the green lizards all the time but usually, not these type.

Anyway, I know I have posted about the bird's nest and eggs in one of our hanging planter on the back porch before but I'll show you the progress.

They hatched and grew feathers.

Look at the beak and big eyes!

Last Easter Sunday around 7 PM, I heard lots of chirping in the back porch. So I looked and I saw 3 baby birds on top of the nest. I called John who was just about to take a nap and he got up right away to take a look. He was worried that they would fly into the pool and drown so he was watching them closely but they didn't even go near the pool. They pretty much stayed in the back porch, flying from one hanging basket to another, unto the potted plants on the ground and on the chairs and tables. I immediately grabbed my camera and took pictures. Sorry it is blurred but I was taking it in a hurry from inside the house through the glass door. I wonder what happened to the 4th one? I could have taken more pictures but the birds kept flying all over the porch. One even flew on top of the roof. I could not believe how well they already knew how to fly. It was so much fun to watch. Then the mom came and they were all chirping, talking to each other. It was really exciting!

Do you see 2 baby birds below? One is on the left chair and the other one is under the right chair.

Here is a close up of one. He has blue eyes! The birds are not sparrows but Carolina wrens.

They must have been excited about learning how to fly because they flew all over the place for quite sometime.

The next morning, they came back to play on the back porch again, at least I saw 2 of them.

Let me just show you more blooms and birds in our garden. Here's a dahlia.

Isn't this red necked woodpecker gorgeous?

Peonies, gaura and orange roses in the background on the left.


Not sure what type of bird this is. Do you know?


My tomatoes are starting to bear fruits.


These flowers are growing wildly in the secret garden. What are they?


The squash are blooming.

Confederate jasmines creeping up on the arbor

Before the area behind the arbor was cleaned.

This is "after".

I am linking with Susan for Outdoor Wednesday at
and Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday at

Thanks to our hostesses for these fun events and thank you all for coming by!

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Mary's Masterpiece Monday

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