Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Florida Decor - Lanai











A tour of our Florida home, would not be complete, without my favorite spot in the whole house; our lanai. When we were deciding on what we wanted in a Florida home, my number one necessity was an outdoor, screened space. I envisioned spending a lot of time outside, taking advantage of year around warm weather. We were lucky to get a fantastic lot, right on the water and it has been everything I hoped. There is Florida wildlife galore; mostly tropical birds, but resident alligators too. At first it was a little startling to see one, but now we take them in stride as part and parcel of living near the water in Florida.

We chose not to have a pool since we have a beautiful clubhouse pool, just down the street. But we did upgrade to an extended lanai, so we have a covered and shaded space, as well as a sunny area. To keep things cool, we also have a ceiling fan. The furniture is casual, comfortable and like the rest of our home, neutral, with pops of coastal color; aqua, green and blue. We installed a television on the wall and it's a perfect spot for entertaining, having a cocktail and watching the sunset.

A big part of the decor, are the tropical plants. I am enjoying learning how to take care of them, finding new varieties to try and filling colorful pots with plants that compliment our Florida style.

It's all about outdoor living here and we are definately set up to take advantage of that.

Happy Tuesday!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal Cups





It's strawberry season here in Florida and they have been looking delicious and fresh, both at the Farmer's Market and the grocery store. Getting in the kitchen and baking something delicious for breakfast was calling my name this morning, so I decided to put together a variation of the baked oatmeal that I love.

These Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal Muffin Cups are the perfect size for portion control, look pretty and keep sugar to a minimum. All the sweetness is natural and comes from the coconut and the maple syrup. To cut the fat, I used applesauce instead of oil, as well.

For me, this is the perfect sweet, rather than savory breakfast. I'm getting heart healthy oats, fresh fruit and natural sweetness, all in a pretty portion. Add a cup of coffee, sunshine and the fact it is Friday and it's a lovely start to the morning.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal Cups

2 cups oatmeal

1 cup coconut

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup chopped strawberries

3/4 cup milk (I used low fat)

2 eggs (beaten)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup oil (I used applesauce)

Spray cups in muffin tin with cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together oats, coconut and salt. Add chopped strawberries, milk, beaten eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and applesauce. Mix well, then using an ice cream scoop, fill 10-12 cups in your prepared muffin tin. Bake 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees until firm. Remove when cool, by running a knife around the edge. Serve with additional fruit, chopped nuts or a splash of milk. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!


{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane


Thursday, February 15, 2018

40 Days





For the past few years, I have tried to take something on during lent rather than give something up. The thing that really spoke to me, especially at the stage of life that I was in, was the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge. The premise of this challenge is to use the 40 days of the Lenten season and let go of things that you no longer need and do not serve you. To clear your home of clutter and open your mind to new things, including the peace of the Holy Spirit.

I wrote about my process here and here and here and while I no longer need to do this, since my downsizing is complete, I am here to be your cheerleader and let you know how amazing this challenge can be. We all have too much stuff and it's incredibly easy to accumulate things over the years. When we get ready to downsize, it can be overwhelming. Use this challenge to make it less so. One bag a day, whether it be for donation, the trash bin or resale, can add up nicely over the 40 days. As you are filling a bag, let yourself feel the weight being lifted and the opportunity for new beginnings.

We made our move 8 months ago and besides the sunshine and beach living, downsizing and having very little in storage has been my favorite thing about the move. I kept what I love, use and had room for and continue to be very judicious about what I bring in.

It's not easy, but it can give you the greatest feeling, once complete. The 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge is a great way to start.

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sand Dollar Island






One of the ways you can take advantage of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico is to either own a boat, rent a boat or book an excursion on a boat. We most likely will not be buying a boat at this point in our life (though it would be so fun) and we haven't yet, but plan to rent a boat in the near future and do some exploring. When my daughters were here in July, we found an excursion that takes you, at sunset, to a pristine sandbar in Sarasota Bay called Sand Dollar Island. The name comes from all the shells and even sand dollars that you can collect.

Our friends had some out of town company from Michigan this weekend and since I had mentioned how great this excursion was, they asked if we would like to join them on their first time going. We never turn down a boat trip and it was a lovely afternoon on the water. The boat company provides drinks, or you can take your own and it is so relaxing to cruise by beautiful gulf front homes, a bird sanctuary and look for dolphins and manatees. Arriving at Sand Dollar island, just before sunset, makes you feel as if this sandbar is a million miles away from civilization and it's big enough that you feel you are alone there. You put your feet in the water and all your worries melt away as you watch the sun slowly sink.

There is a lot of talk here about "the salt life" that includes beach days, sunsets and boat rides. I'm living it and I love it.

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Golf and Two Books




One of the things I wanted to do once I moved to Florida, was revisit my golf game. I have golfed my whole life, but for a variety of reasons, including a nagging thumb injury, I have not golfed nearly enough in the past few years. Once that happens, your game starts to suffer and it becomes a roadblock to getting out and playing. My neighborhood just started a ladies golf group on Tuesday afternoons and so far, it has been a lot of fun. We play nine holes and then have a drink in the clubhouse, so a great way to spend the afternoon. It gets me out on the course at least once a week and more important, I've met even more people in my neighborhood. I feel like it's really going to help me settle into the Florida lifestyle I imagined.




It seems like it has been forever since I read a book that I really liked and could recommend. This week I read two really good ones.

Still Me by JoJo Moyes is the third book in the series that started with the wonderful Me Before You. The second book in the series, After You, was not my favorite, so I wasn't holding out too much hope for Still Me. I was wrong. It is very good and an entirely new story for Louisa, with only brief mentions of Will and his impact on her life. It takes place in New York, with new characters, as well as enough visits with her quirky family to make things feel familar. Louisa is once again the lovable, strong and funny character from Me Before You and the story feels complete and full circle at the end.

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs was intriguing to me since I love her Bones series with forensic expert Temperance Brennan. We are introduced to a totally different character and style of writing, but it was a fast paced story that once started, I couldn't put down. It was gritty, intelligent and I found the new character, Sunday Night, completely facinating. I'm hoping there will be more books to come.

Happy Thursday!


Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl Party Dessert Tray




We were invited to a Super Bowl party at a new friend's home and I was happy when asked to bring a dessert. One of my favorite things to put together for a casual, buffet style event is a dessert tray with a variety of small desserts that are easy to eat and portable. I find that most people are too health conscious to want a big slice of of cake, but can't resist sampling a cookie on a dessert tray. It is easy to make a platter of desserts look pretty by mixing flavors (chocolate/citrus/fruit) and colors.



Here's what I put together for Super Bowl Sunday, including recipes. I started by using a large tray with four sections. One section was filled with a variety of pastries from the grocery store bakery. Section two was filled with one of my specialties - Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. Section three contained my favorite Lemon Brownies and Section Four was filled with a new recipe from Pinterest - German Chocolate Cookies. They are made with a cake mix, a can of frosting and quick drizzle of dark chocolate and were definately the hit of the party.

A sweet ending to another football season.

Happy Monday!


{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane



Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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