a NEW photo challenge

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Happy Friday!

Fridays seem to be my challenge days.  This week I’m joining up on Nancy Merrill Photography’s A Photo a Week Challenge.  At first, I wasn’t sure I had any “gilded” photos, but since she reminded us of the definition, I figured this one would work:

According to the dictionary, gilded has two meanings:

  1. Covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint.
  2. Wealthy and privileged.

This photo is of the Prince’s Palace in Monaco.  Monaco is the 2nd smallest country in the world (after the Vatican), and most people who live there are “wealthy and privileged”.  Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and famous, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires. (per Wilkipedia)

Here’s another shot of Monaco’s yacht-lined harbor. Yes, a VERY “wealthy and privileged” place.

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I love a good challenge to urge me to sift through photos and come up with the theme.  Now, since I don’t seem to have any photos of items “covered thinly with gold leaf” I want to go see if I can shoot me something within that theme.  Too bad I’m not still in Monaco – or even elsewhere in Europe.  My hunt might be easier there. :o)

Have a great day!  Do some sort of NEW challenge!

 

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a NEW note to self…

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Note to self…Always plan a road trip (traveling north) toward the end of September each and every year!

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We traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming last weekend and the colors were gorgeous!  The best views seemed to be at spots that we couldn’t really stop and take photos…but the beauty is fondly stored in my memory instead of my camera’s memory.

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The dinner and show at Bar J Wranglers in Jackson was excellent too.  A friend recommended it to me, years ago, and I’m happy we finally got to go.

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Road trips are the best for taking in all of the beautiful fall scenery.  If any of you have a recommended itinerary for next fall’s trip, let me know! Have a great day! Do or learn or see something NEW!

a NEW recipe and a NEW baking technique

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Happy Friday!

So I baked a cake – and it wasn’t even a family member’s birthday! Yes, that is highly unusual!!!  I was so inspired by Jodi’s cake at the creative life in between – {You’ve got to go see! It was SO, SO beautiful!} It was a Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake and I just had to make one for my people.  I had three really large zucchinis on my counter, just waiting for my attention, so Jodi’s posting of this recipe was perfect timing. I only wish I could have copied her squash blossom garnish, but no blossoms were to be found in my garden (bummer!).

AND…I tried a NEW baking technique. I’ve been wanting to try out cake strips for a while. I didn’t even know about cake strips until recently. How many of you knew about these? (Have I been living in a cave??!??)

These are cake strips – they are supposed to make your cakes more moist and level:

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Since I wanted to try this technique out before purchasing a set, I used the DIY tinfoil/wet paper towel version this time:

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I learned how to do the DIY version here:

 

Thanks to Jodi for the inspiration (I get tons from her site!). Now to go eat some more Lemon Blueberry Zucchini yumminess.  Have a great day.  Do or learn or bake something NEW!

 

thinking up a NEW b.h.a.g.

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Happy Tuesday!

Well, on August 11th I reached my summer goal of riding my bicycle 100 miles in one day (odometer photo ‘proof’ above). The last time I had done that was about a decade ago. It was a hot day and we rode some of that 100 miles in 100 degree weather –  UGH!

So, now I need to think up my next B.H.A.G as my husband likes to call them (Big Hairy Audacious Goals).  Not that riding 100 miles is that big or audacious, because the day before that ride I got an email from a riding group that was planning a 140 ride on that day! And Tour de France riders do that every day for almost a month!  But it’s all relative, right?  A big hairy goal for some people is easy peasy for others.

Hmmmm…I have so many areas of interest that I’m contemplating lots of different BHAGs.  How can I narrow it down? Once I do and make a decision, I’ll let you know.  It’s kind of nice having blogosphere accountability.  It gives me a bit more incentive not to give up and move on when I get bored (which I tend to do).

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Have a great day. Do or learn, or plan something NEW!

 

 

 

a NEW addition to my garden

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Happy Friday!

So, where do you put your small garden tools? I made this handy-dandy mosaic mailbox for my garden to hold my gloves, spade, garden snipers and even a little notebook where I tape all the plant tags – you know, the instruction-thingy that tells you how to care for the plant?  I put that in a plastic bag with tape, pencil and reading glasses.  I’m all set in my garden! I LOVE it!

Can you tell I spelled out GROW with the broken up tiles?  On the other side I spelled out BLOOM. My hubby earned his way through college doing tile work, so now even though he’s a finance guy, we never pay anyone to do any tile work at our house – and that means I have plenty more tile scraps to do more projects.  This was my very first mosaic attempt and now I plan to make some garden stepping stones etc.

Here’s the front view:

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Isn’t it amazing what a boost something NEW and different brings to life?!?

Have a great day! Let me know know what’s NEW with YOU!

 

Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share

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Happy Monday!

It’s been a while since I’ve randomly rambled off some miscellany on a Monday, so here’s what’s up:

I rented the macro lens from the library again, and this little bee posed for me this morning.  A macro lens for my Nikon is definitely going on my Christmas wish list!

I’m loving a gardening YouTube channel called Garden Answer.  This YouTuber is knowledgeable without being overly talkative (aka wasting my viewing time with a surfeit of blah blah blah). Laura just comes across very “real” – very genuine. She’s a sweet young gardener who has worked at her parent’s nursery for a lot of years and has picked up a lot of knowledge that she shares with her viewers. I like her a lot.

I sometimes listen to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast on my way to work.  I had to laugh at a recent episode, when Gretchen challenged her listeners to make something that they’d normally buy. I laughed because if my family would have been listening with me, they would have yelled “Don’t encourage her!!!”  I have family members that tease me about trying to DIY a lot more things than I probably should. Doing a lot of DIYs means having my fair share of FAILS – thus the teasing! Ultimately, I’m just a cheapskate and know I can make most things for a lot less than I can buy them.  The trick is balancing  time expended with how much you actually save, right? I enjoy this podcast and wish Gretchen would record more than one episode a week, but oh well – I’d probably get behind if they did.

I made this really, REALLY easy cookie recipe call Oreo Pan Sugar Cookies,  Did I mention they were quick and EASY to make? I took the entire batch to work on a day I only worked a couple of hours, so I’ll have to ask around and see how everyone liked them. Personally, they were a bit too sweet for me, but then when has “sweet” been a terrible thing? I have a son who loves Oreos, so I’ll have to make these again and get his review.

Lastly, we’ll be renting a camping trailer later this summer and camping at a lake, so I need to get to get planning.  I need fun activity ideas, good, but quick meal ideas, and generally NEW fun family together time ideas.  If any of you have some good ones for me, please chime in!

Have a fabulous Monday.  Do or learn something NEW!