Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tropical Gardening

 

 

It's been a bit of a learning curve, figuring out what to plant and keeping alive what I have planted. There were some annuals that I recognized at the plant store, but I had no idea how they would do in the heat. I did plant some salvia, because I know it can take the sun and also some New Guinea Impatiens in a shady spot on the porch. I have been watering them every day, but just keeping the soil moist, rather than soaked.

I'm having better luck and less to worry about with the tropical plants. They definately can take the heat and also can stand a heavy rain shower without becoming saturated. My favorite is the hibiscus and I definitely want to get a few more. And, I planted a palm tree in a big pot which was a little surreal for this Michigan girl. The landscaping is coming in nicely and we plan on adding a palm tree to the front of the house. Every Florida house should have a tall palm tree with its fronds gently waving in the breeze, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's all getting there and starting to feel like home. Melissa flew in last night, Megan flies in today and tomorrow is my birthday. It's going to be a great one!

P.S. A bit of blog housekeeping this morning - I changed my domain to lifeinmyemptynest.com and if you have been so kind to list my blog on your sidebar as a favorite, you will need to update the url in your list in order to receive new posts. It's easy - just delete the old url lifeinmyemptynest@blogspot.com and then add lifeinmyemptynest.com. Thanks so much!

Happy Thursday!

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Yoga on the Beach

 

 

 

 

One of the things I was most excited about when we chose where we wanted to live in Florida was that every morning at sunrise and every evening at sunset, our new city had a free yoga class on the beach. But, the idea of being able to wake up and head to the beach and practice yoga whenever I felt like it seemed very far away and slightly unreal, especially during all those cold winter days as we prepared to move.

Yesterday, I was up and out of the house, early for me, but excited to finally take another step toward the lifestyle I had dreamed of. When I arrived at Venice Beach, there was a yoga instructor inside a circle of seashells with about 100 people of all ages circled around her. You spread your towel or mat on the sand and could either face the instructor or face the water. The sun was warm, the surf sounds were relaxing and it really was a beautiful spot for yoga.

It wasn't the most challenging practice, but a good workout is not really the reason I will go. It's about being outside, feeling the sun on my face, the gulf breeze behind me and experiencing and being present in the fact that I am very lucky and blessed that I can start my mornings this way.

Namaste and Happy Tuesday!

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Reading List

 

 

It's always a difficult choice. Do I love to read in the summer when on the beach or at the pool? Or do I really prefer winter reading, with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea. Both have their charms and since I am now living in Florida with nice weather all the time, I need to have a book list that will be perfect pool side reading all year long. My summer reading list is filled with some new authors, but many are some of my favorites as well. There is a new book by Lisa See, a follow up to an author who's first book I enjoyed (The Widow), historical fiction (My Name Is Resolute) and several new crime series offerings ( Sue Grafton!) with characters who are old friends at this point.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

DC Maeve Kerrigan Series

 

PI Sharon McCone Series

 

PI Kinsey Milhone Series

 

Police Chief Kate Burkholder Series

 

British Special Agent Maggie Hope Series

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Technical Difficulties

 

 

Yes, my blog looks a little different today! It looks like the host my blog designer uses to store her designs is having some kind of issue that has replaced all my headers. I'm trying to get in touch with her, but I don't think she is designing blogs at this point, so who knows. Any recommendations for a good blog designer?

 

 

Update: Fixed by My Fairy Blogmother

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Sunny Saturday Morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sun was out, the top was down on the car and in order to beat the heat, we headed out early Saturday morning for a little exploring. Our first stop was for breakfast at a place that will probably become our regular breakfast spot. I love going out for breakfast, so I am happy to have found a place that compares to my favorite in Michigan. For the second time, I ordered their special plate of sautéed red skin potatoes and veggies topped with eggs. So good.

After breakfast we headed to downtown Venice for the Farmer's Market on one street and a small craft fair on another street. We were looking for some sort of metal art piece to hang on the wall of our lanai and found exactly was we were looking for; colorful and perfect for Florida. If you have been here, you know there are gecko lizards in abundance.

Because it was so beautiful and still early, we drove to Venice's South Jetty and took a stroll down the rocks to feel the gulf breezes and watch the fisherman. The water is so beautifully blue here. What a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.

Happy Monday! I'm off to try the yoga class at our clubhouse and hopefully meet some more neighbors :-)

 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Asparagus {Pinterest Success 45}

 

 

 

It has been so long since I posted a recipe, but not having your own kitchen really does not inspire any kind of culinary creativity. For the first meal I cooked in our new house, I really wanted something fresh and with a Florida twist. The grocery store had some amazing, fresh Florida pink shrimp that I knew would make this recipe something special. We really enjoyed the garlic flavor of this dish, along with the fresh seafood and the slightly crunchy perfectly cooked asparagus. It took me no time at all to put this together (once I peeled the shrimp) and it's basically a one pan dish. The only change I made, was the addition of about 1/2 cup of white wine at the very end. The original pin and recipe can be found here.

 

 

P.S. This was my after dinner view tonight following a late evening thunderstorm. I am getting used to living in paradise :-)

Happy Thursday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

Skip To My Lou

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Best of the Weekend

 

 

 

I'm still working on the house, but trying to also get out and do some fun things and try to start to feel like life is getting back to normal. Friday afternoon, after hanging some art on the walls, I packed up my bag and walked to the pool for a couple of hours. It was a perfect day; sunny and a little breezy, but great for jumping in the pool to cool off. I'm trying to pace myself in the sun and always wear sunscreen and a hat, because this light skinned girl will get burned very easily in the hot Florida sun. Later, I even cooked dinner for the first time in my new kitchen and I'll share the recipe this week.

 

 

 

Saturday, the weather was very rainy, but we had dinner plans with friends in town from Michigan and we just grabbed an umbrella and made the best of it. We had to eat inside, but still had a great time catching up. We anticipate quite a few friends calling us to make plans when they visit Florida. St. Armands Circle on Longboat Key is a great place to enjoy a night out.

 

 

There was more heavy rain on Sunday, which delayed my flower planting plans, but I went shopping instead and found some pillows and other things I still need to pull everything together. It will be a process and you will get a peek every now and then until I can show you a complete room.

Happy Monday!

 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

All Moved In

 

 

 

The moving truck came on Saturday and it has been a whirlwind of a week since then, but I unpacked the last boxes yesterday morning and it feels really good to be finally in our new home. Because we downsized so much, I have found space for everything even though we went from a two story house with a finished basement to everything on one floor. But, we have large walk in closets in every bedroom, a really large walk in pantry and an extended garage for extra storage space. We even have room to spare, believe it or not. When the boxes started coming into the house and I started to unpack things that I thought were important to me and that would fit with Florida decor, I realized quickly that another trip to Goodwill would be in order. Everything just needs to be lighter, brighter and more colorful. It will be fun to find just the right things to make it all feel like a Florida home.

There is still a lot to do, but since it is a new house, there are really just finishing details that we can accomplish over time. Next week a handyman is coming to install ship lap on a wall in the dining area and install the remaining ceiling fans we need. I need to find a rug for the living room and decorate the guest bathroom. I need colorful pillows and bits and pieces of beachy decor that I can find in all the cute little shops in downtown Venice. And, in the next few days (if it ever stops raining) I hope to fill some pots with colorful flowers. I am itching to discover what kinds of flowers I will find at the plant store.

The photo is just a hint of some of the new things we have found and as the rooms are finished, I will post more photos. Now that life is a little more back to normal, I hope to start posting on a more regular basis. I miss writing about all the little, day to day happenings that this blog is about. Thanks for hanging in there with me as my life took a huge u turn. It will be fun to bring you along on my Florida experiences.

Happy Thursday!

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Beach Adventures

 

 

 

 

 

While we are waiting for the moving truck to arrive, we have been exploring some of the different beaches in our new area. One of the reasons we picked Venice, is its close proximity to the gulf beaches, including free and easy parking. We are also very close to the number one beach in the United States - Siesta Key.

The Sarasota area is full of tourists and we made the mistake of trying to go to Siesta Key on the Sunday of Memorial weekend. After driving around and learning about the area for a future visit, we gave up on finding parking and headed south to a beautiful beach on the tip of Casey Key, planted our beach chairs and had a relaxing afternoon. We even saw dolphins swimming close to shore. We decided that the next time we attempt Siesta Key, it will be earlier in the day and may involve mimosas.

One of the things we will enjoy the most is heading to the beach for sunset with just our beach chairs and a cooler with wine and beer. We found the perfect beach for this in Caspersen Beach, at the very tip of Venice Island. It feels remote and even a little like Hawaii, with a rocky shore and palm trees lining the sand. I've never seen a beach like it in Florida, but I think it may become my favorite. It is also full of seashells and shark's teeth if you want to wander, rather than sit.

Life in Florida is good so far.

 

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