Friday, July 12, 2013

Flower Boxes

What a lucky gal I am!  Look at what my sweet hubby built and surprised me with this week!

Yes, a gorgeous flower box full of colorful blooms!  He certainly knows well my love of these gorgeous ornamental plantings...and if you know me at all, you probably know it too.  You see, my dear Irish Isle is just covered with colorful blooming flower boxes, and I've longed to recreate that charm here in hot, dry Texas.  Being a pragmatist, dear hubby has continued to point out how bad they look when all the flowers are dry and dead.  But, being a problem solver of the finest degree, he obviously found a solution!  And an inexpensive and easy one at that!

Look closely at the photo...yes, indeed!  That is simply a section of vinyl gutter transforming my little fence into a glorious garden!  A quick coat of spray paint, a few drain holes drilled in the bottom, and voila!  Beautiful!

Here's his instructions:  Cut vinyl gutter to desired length if needed.  Spray paint all white vinyl pieces as desired.  Assemble per instructions for gutter.  Drill drain holes in bottom approximately 12 inches apart.  Hang with cable ties (see detail in photo below).  Lay landscape fabric (or coffee filters) in bottom of entire planter, then fill with potting soil and flowers!  The vinyl makes this very light and easy to handle!

Dear Hubby hung this on our low fence where normal lawn watering will keep them moist.  He also selected heat & drought resistant plants (portulaca) which thrive in our hot and humid climate.  I'm thrilled with this surprise, so I'll repeat....what a Lucky Gal I am!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Recipe - Fried Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Reposting a favorite!
My whole family loves this dish!  Especially in the summer, when the Texas heat makes it hard to find meals that are both filling and refreshing, this one fits the bill.  While it's got healthy fresh veggies, it IS NOT a diet meal - far from it!  But it's so, so good!
Adjusts easily for your tastes, and the number of folks you need to serve.

1 3/4 cups Mayonnaise (I prefer Kraft for the texture)
1/4 cup prepared Mustard
1/4 cup Honey
2 teaspoons Paprika
Mix together until blended, adjusting to taste...then serve.  It stores well, but we rarely have much left over.

Salad:  (adjust portions and ingredients to taste)
Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
1 lg. ripe tomato, diced
1 cucumber, diced
3 Green onions (or scallions) diced
1 cup of cubed Cheddar Cheese
2 boiled eggs, sliced (or 1 per plate)
4 strips of fried bacon, crumbled (2 per plate)
Prepare salads in individual plates or bowls; adding any ingredients your family likes.

Fried Chicken:
Chicken (1 breast or 3 tenders per person)
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Cumin

Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then toss with Ranch dressing.  Dredge into flour and spice mixture and fry in hot oil until golden brown.   Drain on paper towel.  Serve immediately on top of salad and drizzle with Honey Mustard Dressing.

Almost as complicated as Thanksgiving dinner, but well worth the effort!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

With a Little Help from my Friends no 3

This week we're happy to introduce Cindy Nunn, of Cindy Nunn Photography, located in Simi Valley, California!

Cindy has a lifelong love of photography and a fascination with the photographic process. She explains, "my father had an old Brownie Bullet and I remember loving the feel of just holding it. I also had a thing for antique photos from a young age and would search through antique and junk stores to find them. I didn’t really get into photography on a more serious level until 2010, when my sister and I started going on intensive hikes three or four times a week. We would often come across scenes that were “picture perfect” and I was always regretful that I had not captured it. So, I began to take along my camera, and the rest, as they say, is history. I have now been selling through Fine Art America and other venues since 2011. "

Cindy selected these 3 images as her favorites, and we can certainly see why!

 “The Frog Pond.”
She explains, "I love this one because it is a favorite destination when out on a hike. I can just sit here and think quietly or not think at all while absorbing the peace and serenity of the area. This is located on what used to be part of Chumash tribal lands. "

 “Fine Feathered Fantasy.”

 Cindy composed this by throwing together some masks, beads, peacock feathers and Japanese fans and just started shooting away. She says this series always lifts her mood because of the vibrant colors and it is a fun reminder of that slightly quirky, bizarre side of her character.

“Living Canvas.”

Cindy explains: "This is an interior shot of 1st Amendment Tattoo Shop, where I recently had my first tattoo done. For me, this marked a major milestone in my life. Like photography, I have always been fascinated with tattoos. My father had a “Sailor Jerry” that he acquired while serving in the Merchant Marines during WWII. It was a classic three-masted schooner, which incidentally also provoked a love of old sailing ships in me, LOL! When I turned 50 this past February I said to myself, “Hey, you are 50 years old, have been married twice, raised two children, have five grandchildren, and have spent a lifetime playing by everyone else’s rules of what is acceptable. Now its time to play by my own rules!” So, I had my right upper arm and shoulder tattooed with a peacock feather rising from the flames, signifying how I feel about my own life and the strides I have made in my growth as a stronger, more confident woman. "

We think you'll agree that Cindy Nunn is an inspiring artist.  Her advice for those wanting to follow in her footsteps is,  "Never, ever give up! If you think you have something to offer to the world get out there and promote yourself, and never stop believing in yourself. With access to the internet becoming easier all the time there is no financial excuse to hold yourself back. A lack of finances has limited me to an extent, but it has not, and will not, stop me. Be tenacious, be bold and be brave. "
If you've enjoyed this brief meeting with Cindy, stop by and tell her Hello at some of the following links.  Tell her Texas Eagle sent you!