Tuesday, July 26, 2016

slice of life ~ end of july

Like most of the country, the weather here has been hot and humid. I'm not complaining though, as I'll take this kind of weather any day over one of the harsh winter days that we have. You'd think with the high humidity that we'd have a lot of rain. But no, we're actually at a deficit. The grass is brown and crunchy. We did have a couple of good ol' Midwestern thunderstorms this past week though. I ran outside to get this photo of the sky a few nights ago, right before one of those storms. 

One perennial that thrives in the heat is purple coneflower. These are in my butterfly garden but seems the bees love them the best.

As far as annuals and the heat, these zinnias are in all their glory. I'm not sure what variety they are - they're not tall, but they've really spread in width. I've barely even watered them and they continue to produce these hearty blooms. These will definitely be one of my go-to flowers for next year. 

As I've said before, I don't go into Goodwill often anymore, but I dropped off four more bags of donation items the other day and ran in to look around. I found this crossbody fabric purse by LexiWynn. I Googled the name and found that this is a custom purse where you can pick your style and fabric ~ and this style is $85. I paid $5! This will be a cute purse for fall.

Even the inside is pretty.

I also found two of these vintage Paden City plates. I was immediately drawn to the pattern ~ I think it's so unique. 

Do you know Kimberly at Imagery by Kimberly? {If you don't, you should. :-) } I was one of the winners of one of her beautiful photos when she had a quick contest on Instagram.

Isn't it beautiful? That's one of her little ducklings, Ruthie. She posted this photo on her blog right after the shooting in Orlando, Florida.

I'm keeping the photo on bottom shelf in the main bath.

Yesterday was Brian's birthday. We went out to dinner at one of our favorite Thai places to celebrate. Brian tried pho for the first time and loved it. I tasted the broth and it was incredible: such a depth of flavor with subtle hints of ginger and star anise. The secret to delicious pho is indeed the broth.

When we got home, the birthday boy got his wished-for banana cake for dessert. As we don't eat processed sugar (for the most part), I found a healthy banana bread recipe online that used pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and whole wheat flour. I figured if I made it in a Bundt pan and frosted it, it'd be more like a cake. I also found a recipe for cream cheese frosting that's simply the cream cheese, pure maple syrup and vanilla extract. Turned out that the cake was a little dry. I was really disappointed but hubby said it was pretty good and he's been eating it anyway.

 He's such a good sport.


  1. I'm not familiar with purple cone flower and I need to check it out. It would look pretty in my garden.

  2. That photo of the duckling is one of the most amazing photos that I have ever seen!!

  3. What a fun birthday celebration. I love cone flowers and they do well in the heat for sure. Hugs!

  4. Your flowers look wonderful and OH does that Pho look mouth-watering. Sounds like a great birthday! :)

  5. There is a lot of good stuff in this end of July post. I need to know about those zinnias. Love the purse, I try not to eat sugar, too, and the photograph is charming. I would like a poster, a big poster, of that image. And the Patten City china...precious. I would have bought that, too.

  6. Melanie, would you correct the spelling of Paden City. I think I spelled it wrong on my comment.

  7. Happy birthday to Brian! I hope he had a great day. I love your new purse, it's very pretty. You got a good deal. Those custom purses are crazy expensive. My sister was selling them for a while and she and some other family members were trying to pressure me to buy one "to help her get started." Her kind was usually in the $200 range. I laughed! Sorry, no, you want to sell purses like that, you pound the pavement, LOL. My most expensive purses are Vera Bradleys from Amazon and eBay. Everything else is second-hand or I made it myself. Good enough for me. I loved seeing your flowers. Coneflowers are one of my favorites. I hope you're having a good week, enjoy the heat while it lasts.

  8. Tell him Happy Birthday! Hard to believe summer is almost over. However the heat will go on for months here.

  9. I love everything about this post - especially the handbag - cause I have a real thing for handbags -- and the picture of the duckling -- that simple picture speaks volumes. what a treasure! Hope your husband had a great birthday!

  10. I love how you styled the shelves in your bathroom.

  11. A happy and blessed birthday to your sweets... he looks so happy. A nice guy I can tell. Love your bag, and that recipe looks yummy.... glad I stopped here today.

    Much blessings to you and yours, dear Melanie!


  12. Hello, my friend! Still in Asheville but A went off fishing so I have some time to lounge around. May even write a post, its now or never!

    I got all caught up with you though. Your post on Phil's birthday really brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully written and it makes me see what a strong person you are and what a loving threesome you, Brian and Tim are. Congrats to Tim! The party looks like it went off nicely. Getting his grandfather's watch was wonderful!

    So much more to comment on but know I enjoyed catching up. My back is okay, it started to give me trouble yesterday but I could tolerate it. Just so much walking...

    The weather here has been hot and humid but we haven't had the storms you've had (I get the alerts for Chicago on my phone). It's not bad wandering in the village, downtown or any of the other places we've been because we are in and out. The pool was fun but the pavement burned my feet, that's how hot it was. And we decided not to tour The Biltmore gardens because of the heat. So our summer visit has been a little different than we expected.

    Take care of that back!


  13. Your coneflowers are pretty. Mine are blooming too, but look a little forlorn this year. I don't think I let enough go to seed last year, so they are thin.


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