Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for January 2014

MLK Weekend In Brooklyn

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We had a great weekend.  It didn’t start out well because Mike had the stomach flu on Friday night (I started out with it on Thursday) but was feeling better by the time Ellen (Mike’s mom) and Lauren (Mike’s sis) got to our place on Saturday morning.  Ellen got Julian swim lessons at Aqua Beba for Christmas . . . she also got him swimmy diapers. 🙂  He starts in early February!

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I went with Lauren to get a massage on Saturday afternoon.  Felt awesome.  I so needed it (and a few more!) . . . then Ellen stayed home Saturday night to watch Julian while Mike, Lauren and I went to a new restaurant in Brooklyn for dinner.  Sunday, after they left, the three of us went to Long Island to visit Dan and Jeannine to watch the Patriots loose (boooo!).  We had a great time, though, and Julian charmed them like he does everyone . . .


Yesterday I went to yoga with Vicki and Katya . . . then to Vicki and Dave’s to have lunch (Mike and Julian also tagged along) . . . then home to install our new curtains and make  this amazing pot pie!


I want some of your yummy strawberries!  Have a great day!

Written by bevanddara

January 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Civil War Bride Quilt by Cindy B

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I was honored to quilt this spectacular applique quilt made by Cindy B.   The pictures don’t do it justice. The first few pictures were taken while on my quilting table. DSCN2749The background fabric was half cream and half blue/black.  I learned that quilting doesn’t show up on that combination.  However, tight stippling (stitching) does make the applique really stand out.  (It looks like a technique called trapunto.)
DSCN2750Cindy’s applique work is perfection. The fabric selection is amazing.  This quilt is a work of art.
DSCN2929 The pattern is a reproduction of a quilt made in the 1850’s.  The bride in the upper row, middle block is featured, no one knows why there is no groom.DSCN2930 Cindy modified the pattern a little.  The original quilt had elephants above the horses, not those cute sheep that Cindy stitched .  Plant City, FL is the strawberry capital of the world,so it is fitting that there is a lovely strawberry block.  Speaking of strawberries, the local strawberries are ripe. They are delicious this year; large and sweet and juicy.) DSCN2931Gorgeous quilt, Cindy!

Written by bevanddara

January 19, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts

“New” Flowers on Friday

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After writing the blog for several years(?) and over 700 posts I thought I had shared pictures of all the flowers in my yard.  Last week I shared a close up of the orchid tree flower. I had a request for a picture of the plant.   It is actually a bush in my yard. Although it looks a little worse for wear,  it survived the freeze.DSCN2970 The leaves on this plant open in the morning and close in the evening.  The brown leaves all over the ground are from the bamboo, which HATES the cold, especially when it is windy.  2-Putt enjoyed our Garden Tour today.DSCN2971I don’t think I ever posted a picture of these flowers.  Below is a plant I know as a Florida Live Forever.   I have no idea what its correct name is.  We had some of them growing up in Pennsylvania. A huge clump of them planted themselves and bloomed.  I don’t like the way when one of them blooms, so I usually cut them when the flower stalk springs up.  I’m so glad these escaped my pruning, because they look so pretty.DSCN2962 A close up of the flowers…DSCN2963 and the reason they are called live forevers.  Tiny plants grow along the edge of the leaves, eventually drop off, and grow into a new plant.DSCN2969 I couldn’t resist this picture…roses blooming in January!DSCN2957I love the pictures of the dogs and babies.  (Cats are cute, too.  Have you seen the viral video of the cat licking the baby’s hair?) I also wish I could take better pictures, instead I usually take lots and lots and hope that a few turn out. Hope you feel better, have a fun weekend with Ellen and Lauren!

Written by bevanddara

January 17, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Bev, Flowers

Little Boys And Their Dogs

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Pictures of little boys with dogs just kill me.  I hope one day Chet and Julian will be friends.

First up pictures that a Russian mother took of her kids at their farm.  How amazing are these pictures!?!?!




And I’m sure you’ve heard about Theo and Beau . . . the little boy (Beau) and best friend . . . a rescue dog named Theo.  They take naps together every day and Beau’s mom takes pictures of them and posts them to her Instagram account.  SO CUTE!







I wish that I was better at taking pictures.

Written by bevanddara

January 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Anita Grossman Solomon – class and workshop

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This week, you were flying home to NYC, my Brandon Quilt Guild was doing the reverse, flying a New Yorker to Florida. Anita presented a lecture Monday night and a workshop on Tuesday to the Piecemaker’s Guild of Brandon.  She was brilliant!  It is unusual that a speaker benefits both beginner and experienced quilters. Anita, did just that.  DSCN2951Anita has a great smile!  She was wonderfully personable, and was willing to share every single technique and every bit of knowledge she had. Judy and Anita are standing behind a sample of the block we were learning to make.DSCN2949The finished quilt looks like this, if you use red and white solid fabric.

two color pinepapple

These are my completed blocks. I have very little solid fabric, but these pieces snuck into my stash. I am surprised that actually really like these blocks.DSCN2954Anita is very enthusiastic.  She wanted to demonstrate how to make corner blocks.  She looked around the classroom but didn’t spot a way to hold several loose blocks up for people to see.  So…she grabbed Claudia,spun her around and used her back as a design wall.DSCN2952 (2)
I loved this teaching tool.  She had each step of the block sewn, cut size noted, and attached to a strip of fabric that she laid on a table. DSCN2953 Anita is well-known for a block called Anita’s Arrowhead.The pattern is one of Mom mom and Pop Pop’s favorite patterns.  These are several of the quilts top they have made from her pattern:DSCN2264My favorite tip: After cutting the fabric for a quilt block, iron each piece onto freezer paper.  This serves two purposes; one can audition the block to see if you like the fabric selection AND it keeps the little pieces from becoming lost.   (I doubt that means anything to non-quilters, but I thought this was BRILLIANT!!! )DSCN2950Thank you Anita for two inspirational days.  If you are a quilter, and Anita is presenting a lecture or workshop in your area, I highly recommend both! (Anita’s website )

Written by bevanddara

January 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

Posted in Bev, Quilts

I Survived!

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I officially survived my first multi-night work trip since having Julian.  I was at my Company’s conference from Sunday night until last night (JetBlue KILLS me . . . didn’t get home until 1am . . . lovely).  Mike sent me this picture while I was at the airport on Sunday night.  It made it even harder to leave!

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The conference was a huge success.  We had 2,200 attendees . . . up from 800 when I first started 8 years ago.  One of the companies that presented was Chipotle (you have those in Florida, right?).  They showed this video . . . makes you really think about where you buy food (which is obviously their message).  Kind of sad.

Mom – hope you post about the class you took yesterday!

Written by bevanddara

January 15, 2014 at 9:37 am

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Flowers on Friday and Vacation Recap

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Vacation is over.  Neil and I were able to spend the last few weeks of 2013 with family.  Neil endured the rigors of a “Bev visits the North” tour with grace.  He was motivated by this:
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We flew into Philly, spent a few nights at The Eden Resort.  Christmas dinner at Mom and Dad’s included Cathy and your cousins Andrew, Joel, and Josh.  It was Julian’s first Christmas, Santa left so many presents that everyone helped him open them.  Bentley was his Mennonite self, so he and Chester actually got along well.  “Lil Bro looked content in GMM’s arms.DSCN2938We woke up the day after Christmas  to several inches of snow!  Neil and I spent the next few nights sleeping in twin beds at the “Big House.”  ( A guest room at M & D’s retirement community.) Mom, Dad, Neil and I ventured to Millers for a great lunch and Burkholders for some great fabric shopping.  Cathy picked us up and chauffeured us to Barb’s.  We spent a lovely evening with Barb, George, assorted dogs and kids.  The Lyngarkos house was still beautifully decorated for Christmas. ( If you are counting, this was bed number 3.) We took a train to NYC, another chauffeur, Mike, picked us up at Grand Central Station.  It was wonderful to spend time with Dara, Mike, Julian and Chetty. Thanks to Katya allowing us to enjoy a few nights in her very, very comfortable bed.  As you know we spent a night babysitting Julian while you and Mike celebrated your 4th wedding anniversary.  (Since we stayed at your house, we slept in very comfortable bed number five!)DSCN2945

We said goodbye to the Williamsburg Bridge, the snow, and cold.  I enjoyed every minute of this special vacation.  I was happy to return in time to see my orchid tree bloom, before the polar vortex descended.DSCN2947

Written by bevanddara

January 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm