Thursday, June 28, 2012

First Tastes From The Garden

This year we planted our first vegetable garden. We kept it simple by planting cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, green peppers, and jalapenos. A few days ago, Levi and I tasted the first two cherry tomatoes. Yummy--straight off the vine and still warm from the sun!

We also picked a few of the first green peppers. John enjoyed the first one last week while the rest of us were in Iowa.

It's so fun to pick your vegetables in your own backyard. We are already making plans for a bigger and better garden next year.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grilled Pizza

The other night we tried making grilled pizza for the first time. In the past we have grilled frozen pizzas or pizzas made on a pre-baked crust from the store. This time, we used freshly made pizza dough. I made my favorite pizza dough in my bread machine using 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 wheat flour. I followed the tips from Serena of The Farm Chicks on getting the dough onto the grill. I made each pizza dough a little small so that it would be easier to work with. Then I grilled each on both sides, just to cook it a little and make it firm. This makes it much easier to transfer when it's piled high with toppings. Plus, you don't end up with raw dough and over-browned toppings.

Once they are pre-baked a little, you take them off and top with your favorite toppings. Levi has not been a big fan of pizza in the last six months. I've figured out he doesn't like the tomato sauce and all the cheese. So, I'm always trying to create a pizza he will like. This time (by his request) it was garlic and herb spreadable cheese with sausage and peas. We also made sausage, sausage and onion, and barbecue chicken pizzas.

Return them to the grill and cook on medium low until they are browned to your liking and the cheese is melted. These pizzas are definitely better than ones baked in the oven. Plus, by making smaller pizzas, it's a great way for everyone to get what they like on their pizza. It's a great meal on a hot day when you want to keep the kitchen cool or a fun meal when you're entertaining.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day at the Beach

We spent most of the day on Sunday at John's parents' beach. We are so fortunate that their neighborhood has a private lake with a great beach. It's one of our favorite places to spend time in the summer and perfect place to celebrate with family. The kids were able to fish, swim, and play in the sand and we all had lots of fun.

Levi caught a nice catfish with Daddy's help.

Lillian enjoyed digging in the sand

and playing with her cousin Trenton.

Papa got some cuddle time in with his youngest grandchild.

Daddy's little girl gave John some love on his special day.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Father's Day as well.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tattered Tiques

Last weekend, I had a rare day out...all by myself. I had arranged it with John so I could visit a local shop I had found on My Favorite Find this spring, but hadn't yet been able to visit. I'm always so excited to find new shop in my area. Every shop is different and you never know what it's really like until you get to go there yourself.

Once John and the kids were on their way to Grandma and Papa's house, I headed to Lake Barrington to visit Tattered Tiques. I had gotten a taste of their style when I saw them at the Na-Da Farm Barn Sale last month. Their shop is a little off the beaten path, tucked away in an industrial area, but inside, it's full of personality and inspiration.

I loved all the different styles that were represented because most of us don't stick to one style when decorating our homes. We like a little of this and a little of that. There were retro items and antiques combined with handmade pillows and linens.

They have amazing painted antique furniture and lots of architectural pieces. Some were more rustic and others where more polished and refined.

They also offer painting classes so you can learn to repurpose and reinvent furniture of your own using Annie Sloan paint products.

There were great collections of pitchers, vases, and antique dishes.

Fun sets of vintage bingo cards have lots of possibilities for decorating. You could frame them or use them in paper crafts.

Wooden crates are always interesting. These Pepsi ones are fun and are a nice mix of rustic and industrial.

They also had fun wooden signs in great colors, as well as jewelry pieces.

I'm so happy to have found another local shop that I can visit frequently when I'm looking for something new or just searching for some fresh inspiration.

While they don't have regular business hours, they are open a few weekends each month and also by appointment. Plus, you can find them at antique markets and sales in the area. They will be open next Thursday, June 14-Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 until 3:00.

For more information on Tattered Tiques you can visit their website, blog, or find them on Facebook.

Tattered Tiques  
22029 N. Pepper Rd.   
Unit 2   
Lake Barrington, IL