Saturday, July 24, 2010

How does your Garden Grow?

Last year I tried to plant some vegetables in pots on our back patio.....while they started off growing quite well, somewhere in the middle of the summer they got ruined. I produced maybe one tomato and the rest all turned to weeds. I have no idea what went wrong, but this year I was determined to grow some proper vegetables in a garden setting. There is nothing better than vegetables straight from a garden!

So, I invested in a small container garden and Scott helped me fill it with loads of mulch and manure. Now, well into the growing season, I am happy to report that my little garden seems to be growing quite well. In fact, the plants are slightly growing out of control....note the cucumber plant taking over the entire front of the container!
The container garden in our yard. I have three tomato plants, one cucumber plant, two pepper plants, lettuce and herbs on in this little box.
The little peppers are starting to grow!
And the tomatoes are sprouting. I cannot wait until they are ready to eat fresh off the vine!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Picture Perfect London Weekend

While Scott's friends were in the country, we all went into London for a long weekend before they departed. The time in London was one of the most picture perfect weekends we have experienced yet! The weather, the sights, and the company all added up to a great time.
En route to London, Andy, Chad and Scott decided to take a detour and visit Stonehenge. In true tourist form, they rented the audio guides and all! Meanwhile, Chris & I took the train into the city and enjoyed a few extra hours in London.
On the list of things to see - Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards.
For dinner, we dined at the MOST FABULOUS restaurant in the Kensington neighborhood, Ffiona's. Chris' parents lived in London as expats for a few years and frequented this restaurant where they got to know the owner, Ffiona. She was there the evening we dined at her lovely establishment and could not have been more welcoming and amusing. She remembered Chris' parents right away and sat down with us throughout the meal to chat and check on us. We will most definitely be returning to this restaurant on a future visit to London - it was excellent!

The next day was another one filled with sightseeing and more dining. While the boys headed off to cruise the Thames, I decided to spend my morning at Portobello Market in Notting Hill. I love antique shopping there and I think Scott appreciated not having to accompany me this time!
Chad, Andy and Chris cruising the Thames.
London Bridge as seen from the Thames.
A stop for lunch at Borough Market. Chris enjoying a local sausage.
Paella was also sampled while at the Borough Market.
That evening, we had dinner a one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants. Compared to Ffiona's, it was just OK. After dinner, we headed to a local pub and had met our friends BJ & Beth for the evening so I had another female friend for the night! It was a great end to a great weekend in London.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A treat of a find!

Just in time for "summer" (I say loosely given the short summer experience in England), I was almost in disbelief when I went breezing through my local ASDA (Walmart for the UK) to see American style Root Beer staring me in the face! For a mere 68 pence for a 2 litre bottle of Carter's Root Beer, I thought trying the soda was worth a shot. Sure enough, it is the real deal!

While A&W Root Beer and others are available here through speciality food stores, they come at a high price - over $2USD PER CAN of soda! So, a normal priced authentic root beer has been a real treat of a find - most especially for root beer floats in the warm weather!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Aged another year

Scott was away on his "mancation" on his actual birthday this year, so upon his return to our house with his friends, we celebrated his birthday a few days late. In honour of his time at the scotch distilleries on his birthday, I attempted to make him a cake with a scotch theme.
One of Scott's favorites bottles of scotch is called Caol Ila. So, I changed the birthday scotch to "Scott Ila" which has been aged 33 years.
Happy Birthday Scott!
One big wish for a great year to come. And then we all enjoyed the mint chocolate chip and chocolate ice cream cake for dessert.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Scott does Scotland

Scott had a break from life with me and took a "mancation" (as I have been fondly calling it) with some good friends of his from the US. They all initially all flew in from various parts of the US to meet in Scotland to do some manly things - namely drink lots of scotch and play golf.....
Scott in front of a large display of MaCallan scotch. A favorite of his.
The whole gang - Chris, Chad, Scott and Andy in front of the The Glenlivet distillery.
Sampling the goods inside....
I can only imagine the shenanigans that went along with all of this scotch drinking.....

Scott along the beach in northern Scotland.

A hike in the highlands of Scotland.
Scott and Chad discover Scotland's largest slug. Glad I wasn't there to witness this one!