Friday, March 30, 2012

Hello Yellow... our home in Raleigh

Many of you have inquired about where we call home when not at Lowfields. Well, we have a lovely "city" cottage in beautiful Raleigh, NC.  Our escape to the city after being on the farm is a cheery one as you will see - my signature color for our city home is bright yellow!

How does one pick a "signature" color for a home?  I know it sounds weird but I always let the house itself tell me what it wants with the light, the style and the vision I am trying to create.   When I walked into this cottage 7 years ago, it was screaming at me to brighten it up and give it life. I felt like sunny yellow was only appropriate for this task!

As many of you know, I typically take things to extreme measures.  This is no different when I pick a signature color for a home.  I put it in EVERY room, even if it's a small detail.  I think it brings the entire home together and provides a much calmer atmosphere to live in.   We were fortunate enough to have our home in Raleigh showcased in Country Living Magazine. Some of those pictures are below, along with a few other ones that show the detail of my color theme madness!    Hope you enjoy a sneak peak into our city living...
Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

Country Living Magazine

One of my signature design moves - lyrics on the walls

When I decided on yellow, I picked up everything I could find...

Yellow pencils...

Yellow purse with bumble bee keychain...

Even yellow on the porch accessories! 

And you wouldn't think there were yellow tools - THERE ARE! 

And don't count out a yellow garden hose!  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Burger Night

Can't imagine anything better after a long day in the garden then coming in, getting clean and having a glass of wine and a cheeseburger. I know it sounds silly but it is truly the simplest things in life that make me happy!  

Since our ground beef is so good, it doesn't take much to make a great cheeseburger.  A little fresh garlic, some thyme and a tablespoon of dijon mustard - throw it on the grill for a few minutes and it's perfection!  

Quick simple ingredients


Can't forget the wine... 

Operation Vegetable Garden Continues...

Gardening has continued throughout the week... lots of hard work goes into making the perfect garden of which we will reap the benefits once it's done!
Since we expanded the size this year, Charlie and the guys made these great raised beds in the middle to section out each area.  I planted 2 lemon trees and 2 lime trees in the center and can't wait to add more to it.  
It's an ongoing process so stay with me... more gardening updates to come! 
Raised garden beds with citrus trees

Lots of lovely dirt patiently waiting for it's new residents

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

An Afternoon Siesta

When we headed down yesterday afternoon to continue our work on the vegetable garden, we interrupted some of the girls having an afternoon siesta in all the soil we had turned up for the new garden bed.  Now I am not one to frown upon an afternoon nap, but it definitely hampered the start of our work for the day!  

How appalling that we would interrupt their nap! 

Quite comfy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Lovely Snack

While reading an old English book on vegetable gardening, I came upon this recipe.  The English are famous for their cheesy toast and it's the perfect snack when you come in from weeding the garden!  

English Cheesy Toast
1 small onion, grated
1 stalk of celery, grated
1 apple, grated
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated

Saute the onion in butter and then add the celery, apple and cheese.  Add a pinch of nutmeg and serve over toast!  
English Cheesy Toast in the making... 

A lovely afternoon snack!  

Spring Awakening

Yesterday was the first day of Spring and so began many fun projects on the farm.  With the unusually warmer weather this month, we decided to go ahead and get started on one that I am particularly excited about - enlarging the vegetable garden!  

Hard at work expanding the vegetable garden

First is the awful part, the weeding and clearing of last year's vegetable refuse. All the weeds will be thrown into the compost to make more soil and worms. Everyone helps with the weeding, most especially the chickens, they love it when we weed because of all the worms we turn up. Worms are a sign of good healthy soil!  They also love to dig in the compost pile, which helps to aerate. They really are quite useful.  

All the weeds from last year's vegetable garden - great for compost! 

The chickens are loving all the good worms they are finding!  

Even the landlord helps with the weeding!  
More posts to come when we start to plant, but it's exciting to get our hands in the dirt and get started!   Happy Spring!  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To Catch A Quiche

I love to watch old movies and a particular movie moment that I love is in To Catch A Thief  with Cary Grant & Grace Kelly when he introduces his lunch guest to a quiche for the first time.  Quiche has always been one of my favorites and although I think it's reputation is that it's hard to make, I actually think it's pretty easy because of simple ingredients and it's all in one meal appeal!    You can always use what you have in the fridge or out of the garden to add variety and make it interesting.   

One of my favorite quiches to make is a Spinach & Goat Cheese quiche... see below and enjoy!  

Spinach & Goat Cheese Quiche

1 bag of fresh baby spinach
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 log of goat cheese
6-7 eggs, beaten
Salt, Pepper & Tabasco to taste
1 pie crust (homemade or the frozen work well too!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Saute the onion and spinach until it softens and wilts.  Mix in the goat cheese.   Set a side to allow to cool a bit.   While it's cooling, beat the eggs and add salt/pepper/tabasco to your taste.  

Combine the egg mixture with the cooled onion/spinach/goat cheese mixture and pour into pie crust.  

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until quiche is set and  knife comes out clean.  
Spinach & onions ready to cook

I think Cary Grant would approve!