Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Green Market Bouquet

How quickly this week has flown by. We were graced with five summery days and 20ºC temps, which was unexpected and very much appreciated.

As mentioned last Friday, I went to a small fair showing food, drinks, design and knick-knacks made in Stuttgart, but my friend and I agreed it hadn’t really been worth the 10€ entry fee. We were in and out within an hour, I bought a mug and some wild rose syrup, we had a coffee, and that was it.

My other plans turned out way better – visiting friends on the border of the Black Forest. A definite highlight was the smoked pulled pork we got for dinner ❤, but we also had fun going for a walk in the forest on Sunday morning to pick mushrooms. I have no clue about what’s edible, I only know that the fly agaric is one of the most poisonous mushrooms, because that was drummed into us as children. We encountered many of them, and they’re as pretty as they are poisonous but we had an expert with us. While he almost ran through the forest in his enthusiasm, another friend and I took pictures.

Today I need to go to the Friday market, which I haven’t visited in two weeks, to stock up on vegetables and flowers. The above bouquet was bought three weeks ago at the market and only just started wilting this week, so I need new flowers.

Apart from that, my weekend will be a lazy one. I’ll try to get my new picture rails up but there are rawl plugs and drills involved, so I may have to wait until my sister the DIY queen is available.

Wishing you all a relaxing weekend!

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Friday Flowers

Hello & Happy Friday! Above flower is four weeks old today and still holding up. I couldn’t find a bouquet I liked at the Friday market and was about to leave when I saw these hydrangea that were so tall they came up to my hip. I mentally checked my arsenal of vases, and – yes! – remembered I had that large floor vase I rarely use. It was perfect, sitting on the side table next to my reading chair. Only that table is quite small, and after three weeks the huge vase started to annoy me, so I cut off about 3/4 of the stem and put the hydrangea in a smaller vase.

As announced last week, I went on a photography outing with a friend, our destination was the forest close to where she lives. We knew it might be raining – and of course it started as soon as I left the house – but were prepared, and as my friend said “we’re not made of sugar” so all was well. We had a couple of hours to walk through the forest, taking lots of pics, and when we came out the rain stopped. I always have my white balance on the camera set to “auto” and prefer to edit it in post processing, but no matter which setting I chose, a lot of my pics turned out too colourful (though not necessarily in a bad way), so I used a lot of presets on them. For a first proper photo walk in over a year, though, I’m quite content with the yield.

This weekend I’ll be visiting a small event called – to my annoyance – “Made In Stuggi”. Stuggi being a ridiculous abbreviation for Stuttgart that I can’t abide as it just sounds utterly stupid. Nevertheless, I’ll be going there with a friend as they will have consumer and lifestyle products on display and for sale that are made in Stuttgart.

After that I’ll be visiting friends near the Black Forest – my friend’s husband is going to fire up his smoker. Really looking forward to that.

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Greenery Enchanted

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Greenery

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Friday Flowers

FF - Pink Cape Daisy Balcony

So I mentioned last Saturday that I’d been without hot water for two days and was expecting someone to come do something about it on Monday. That never happened, I had to wait until Wednesday afternoon. I guess it wouldn’t have been that terrible if those six days had been workdays, but they were six days off, so it was quite annoying. I now have hot water again, and I know to appreciate it even more.

Today’s flower was cut from my window box on the balcony. I have three different kinds of cape daisies in that box, and while this light pink one blossomed like mad in the beginning, it suddenly stopped producing new buds. At the end of September it just started coming alive again, so I’m enjoying that for hopefully a few more weeks.

Weather’s great right now, but we’re in for a rainy afternoon and weekend, it seems. Luckily I haven’t got much planned. Due to my five days off last week I’m ahead of the cooking game and have a few food post prepared, so no pressure there.

I have Monday off and plan to meet a friend for a trip to the forest, both of us needing to take our cameras outside. I wouldn’t even mind doing this in the rain, it might make it more interesting. I’d just need to find some proper rain gear, though, as this is something I think my wardrobe hasn’t seen since childhood.

Hope you all have nice plans for the weekend and a lot of crisp, sunny autumn weather!

 

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Friday Flowers

Happy Friday, everyone! As you can see from today’s flower picture, I finally made it to the annual dahlia show on my day off last Monday. The weather was superb, there weren’t really many people out due to it being a weekday, and it was a pleasure walking among the dahlia fields. A sight to behold.

Each dahlia field had a name label to it, but I neglected to take note or a picture, but Mr. Google tells me this beautiful two-toned variety is call Be A Sport. I knew and love the burgundy-white dahlias but have never seen this orange version before. At Killesberg Park everyone can vote for their favourite dahlia, but I really couldn’t make up my mind. I would have loved to steal a few, though 😀 .

Many of us here will have a long weekend, as with Tuesday being a holiday we’ll be taking Monday off. Luckily I’ve already done my chores throughout this week, as someone will come round this afternoon to exchange some parts of the heating system.

As for the long weekend – I need to make a buying decision. Both my oven and stove top are defective, but boy is it difficult to make a choice for a new one. You have to really know what you want, what you felt your old one was lacking that you absolutely want in a new one. I looked online, went to several shops, dealt with unfriendly sales people… I now think I know what I want, so hopefully I’ll be placing an order and soon have new kitchen equipment.

Apart from that, as usual, I’m hoping to do some outside photography and some recipe testing.

Have a good weekend!

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Friday Flowers

FF - Balcony Zinnias TALWL

Good morning! It actually is really good, so far. As of yesterday the weather has done a 180 and gone back to how we expect September to be – sunny, blue skies, a handful of fallen leaves already on the ground, and others changing colour in the trees. Weather’s supposed to be like this all weekend, which will be very much appreciated.

Today’s flowers are from my pot of homegrown zinnias. Last week part of the plants got terribly bent during a night storm, so I cut a few and put them in a vase.  The zinnias are pretty much the only survivors of this year’s planting efforts, which is why I can’t get myself to cut them all.

I’m having today and Monday off again for a long weekend, because I need to use up quite a few vacation days I have left until the end of the year. As I’m not going on a vacation this year, and I didn’t fancy hanging around at home for two weeks I’ll be taking more long weekends over the next couple of months.

For this long weekend, I’m trying to get some cooking and baking in for the food blog, because I want to make the most of the light while it’s pretty outside. Those days when you go to work in the dark and come back home in the dark as well will come soon enough, and time & light for photography will be limited.

Saturday I’ll be at a birthday BBQ, and Sunday my sister will be cooking for the family – a rare occurrence as she almost dislikes cooking as much as I love it. Monday I’m hoping to get a chance to finally visit the annual Dahlia show I mentioned last week. Fingers crossed.

Hope you all have something nice planned for the weekend. Happy Friday!

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Friday Flowers

Good morning on this first sunny day of the week. Heavy rain storms have been the norm up to today, so it was a nice surprise to wake up to sunshine even though the temps won’t go above 16ºC. Of course, our storms were nothing compared to the hurricanes in the US, and I hope if any of you are from those areas you’re well and still have a home.

Personally, I’ve had quite a decent week. I got a book recommendation on “Decluttering Your Mind”, which I decided to buy as it was only 0,99€. I’ve realised recently that I can’t go on like this – I can’t change the state of the world, but having access to and being bombarded with terrible news on a daily basis, together with your typical “normal” everyday thoughts and worries accumulating in your head, I felt like I wanted to sleep for a week just to keep my mind as close to switched off as it can be.

I was nodding my head at most everything in the book when suddenly there was talk about meditation. o_O If there’s one thing I dislike it’s meditation. However, I gave it a go – it’s only 10 minutes a day – and I can live with it 😀 . After only about a third of the book, I feel calmer. Let’s hope I can maintain that state.

On to photography. I finally – about 2 years after first thinking about it – bought a tele lens. It’s an 18 – 250 mm lens, but so far I feel like a total beginner! It shouldn’t be that difficult to get used to a new lens, especially after I’d borrowed a friend’s tele lens a few times. 98 % of my experimental pics taken handheld turned out blurry, and as this is a lens that I want to mainly use outside – without a tripod – I need to get a grip on this asap. Any tips welcome!

Plans for the weekend? Nothing firm apart from cooking for my sister. Also, there’s an annual dahlia show close to where I live to which I’ve never been, so if the weather stays nice I’m hoping to go see it. People can vote for the most beautiful dahlia, and around the end of September, shortly before the show ends, the dahlias are going to be sold off in bunches.

Speaking of dahlias – the above one is from my parents’ garden. When I picked up my weekly choice of vegetables I get from them, I cut this one but declined my mother’s offer to take a whole bunch. Somehow it seemed a pity to cut those beautiful things down just to display them in a vase for only a week, so I made do with this single one.

Happy Friday, and have a good weekend!

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FF - Raindrop Daisy

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Friday Flowers

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Friday Flowers

Good morning on this first September day! I’m having today and Monday off, so I’ve got a long weekend ahead of me. After August went out with a mighty rainstorm yesterday, it’s cooled down considerably to only 16°C today, which – if I’m lucky and the forecast is accurate – will go back up to at least 22°C on Monday, so I might get one sunny day out of four.

I haven’t got much planned anyway, except meeting the family at the Friday market later today, and there I’ll be stocking up on what’s left of the summer fruits to freeze and do some baking. Other than that, I might try doing another DIY photo background, and hopefully take a few food pics.

Hope September will treat you well!

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Friday Flowers

Good morning! Let’s start with the flowers first today. These zinnias are homegrown on the balcony, there are a lot, and they look gorgeous out there. When I cut off the wilting ones last night, I decided to put some in a vase but in the end they were just too pretty to cut. So I decided to just put these two half-alive ones in a vase and leave the others on the plant until it gets too cold to sit out on the balcony, then I can cut them.

The weather’s been great all week, about 29ºC mostly, and we’re in for a hot weekend as well. Tomorrow I’ll be having breakfast in the city with my friend E who’s visiting from Dubai. We haven’t seen each other for a year, but we always have breakfast together the first weekend she visits. Thank goodness for modern technology, though, because if it weren’t for chat apps and FaceTime I imagine it could be easy to lose contact.

On Sunday I’m invited to a friend’s birthday BBQ, and I’m always looking forward to those. I’ll be making a cake for that occasion, but other than that I’ll play it by ear.

What are your plans for the weekend? Can you believe it’s almost September already? I’ll definitely be enjoying the good weather on my balcony for the remainders of August.

Happy Friday!

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Friday Flowers

What a week! The weather forecast was somewhat inaccurate, instead of all rain it was mixed with quite a bit of sun in the evenings so I was able to spend time on my balcony. Tuesday was the worst day weather-wise with ice cube sized hailstones flying around. My sister, who is a mail woman, had to hide in her mail van because it was really bad where she was, and when it was over she couldn’t leave the van for a bit because the sidewalks were hidden under golf ball sized hailstones. It feels more like April than August right now, I hope the weather will be more normal for the rest of summer.

Speaking of which, I see a lot of posts – mainly American food posts – where people start blogging about autumn food just because August is their ‘back to school’ month. It’s still summer, until September 22, so why not enjoy it?

I’m definitely enjoying summer, and I’m still receiving lots of vegetables from my parents’ garden. I make tomato sauce every other week from a variety of their garden tomatoes, and cook a lot with aubergines, zucchini, and green beans.

I also enjoy the flowers on my balcony, of which the zinnias are currently the biggest success of my planting endeavours. I’ve also recently been enjoying the above bouquet, which came into my possession in a roundabout way. My colleagues from another department get flowers for their birthdays, and the colleague who received these particular flowers went on vacation just after getting the flowers. So she passed them on to someone I’m friends with. This friend doesn’t really like pink flowers, so she handed them over to me, I managed to surreptitiously pack the whole bouquet into my lunch bag and leave the building with these beauties 😀 .

This week I’m hoping to buy my own flowers at the market, though. On that note – happy Friday & have a good weekend!

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Friday Flowers

Hello & Happy Friday! It’s a rainy day here, and we’re in for a rainy Saturday and cloudy Sunday if the forecast app is to be believed. That’s OK with me, though, because I don’t have any plans, although I’d much prefer a few rays of sun to a rainy weekend.

Last weekend I did manage to do everything that I’d planned – making macarons, experimenting with a brisket dish, and going to a farm brunch with a friend. The latter was quite nice, with good organic food, good weather, and nice photo opportunities.

I still need to think about a vacation destination as I need to take two weeks off in September. I’ve been looking at photography workshops and foodie farm stays, but nothing really spoke to me. Maybe I’ll find something on short notice.

How about you? Have you had a summer vacation yet? Have you been anywhere exciting?

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Friday Flowers

Good afternoon! I’m having the day off, and have spent the morning getting a reflexology massage (after which my feet and legs felt so light I almost thought I was floating – heavenly!) and then getting food supplies at the market. It was a beautiful morning but right now it seems like the daily shower is just around the corner, the sky already covered in clouds.

My plans for the weekend are some baking experiments with berries, hopefully another experiment with brisket, and on Sunday I’ll be going to a farm brunch with a friend. Really looking forward to that and, of course, hoping for photo opportunities.

Today’s flower was originally mistaken for a fringed gerbera. That happened because I’ve only ever seen fringed gerberas but not sunflowers. So there were yellow ones in a bouquet at the garden center, and looking around for some single stems, I saw a huge vase full of fringed sunflowers. No question, I had to buy one. It’s been sitting on my coffee table for a week now and is still keeping up.

Hope you’ve got nice weather, wherever you are, and a good weekend!

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Friday Flowers 

Hello on the first rainless day of the week. The temperatures are supposed to go back up to 30°C on Monday, so there’s hope they’ll already start going up this weekend.

Above flowers are the ones I bought when the florist gave me the bunch of daisies I recently posted for free. These snapdragons and prairie gentians were unusually tall, and I was lucky I had a vase they fit into. Hadn’t really thought about that when I bought them.

I have no specific plans for the weekend, I’ll just see how it plays out. How about you?

Happy Friday!

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Friday Flowers

Good morning. What a week – heat, heavy thunderstorms, torrential rain, then beautiful sunny days again. Today seems a bit mixed, when I left the house it was quite cloudy, but further along the way I needed sunglasses. So fingers crossed it’ll stay like this.

During one of those thunderstorms I had to get up at night to save some of my plants on the balcony. The winds were so strong they knocked over some really heavy clay pots that carried larger plants, but luckily nothing was damaged.

When I bought the above trio and planted them, I decided it was a mistake, because they looked really pale. The original colours were cream, a very pale pink and lilac. After a couple of weeks, though, the blossoms seemed to turn colour, all of them turning into stronger shades of their originals. It was like someone had run them through Photoshop – very weird, I’ve never seen anything like it before, but I’m certainly not complaining as I love the stronger colours.

Plans for the weekend? Not much, but I’m hoping to make macarons. I don’t mind making the shells, but when it’s time to do the filling, I always get fed up fiddling with the piping bag and the nozzles, so I tend to avoid making them altogether. We’ll see what happens.

I’m also quite eager to do some photography, although I don’t know exactly what to photograph. I ran through lots of my “The Month In Pictures” posts from when I started that series, and I realised I used to do so much macro photography. I might go out taking only the 105 mm lens, I hope I can stick with it.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

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Did Someone Just Call Me Bacon?

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Friday Flowers

Good morning! It’s a bit dreary here weather-wise, but the past few days started out like this as well, then turned to 30ºC ones, so there’s still hope.

Today’s flowers were an unexpected gift from a florist. There’s a nice shop not far from where I live, but unfortunately when I drive past on my way to work they’re not yet open, and they’re already closed on my way home. So when I had to take my car to have its MOT earlier this week, I was close to the shop and able to pop in. The ones I chose were snapdragons and prairie gentians, both very long stemmed, but I also wanted to have these daisies for a smaller vase. While the lovely florist lady packed everything up, she said she wanted me to have the daisies for free. A very nice surprise, but then she’s also a very nice woman, which is why I like to shop there. Most of these daisies are still holding up on my coffee table.

Tomorrow I’ll be going to a farm fete with a friend; it’s an organic farm, and apart from having attractions for children and – from what I’ve heard – fantastic burgers, they also sell organic beef from their farm. Really looking forward to that, and hopefully I’ll be able to fill my freezer for when the beef craving hits.

Hope you have nice plans and pleasant weather wherever you are!

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Friday Flowers

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Friday Flowers

Good morning. After last week’s hot temperatures we’ve had a quite pleasant week here in the South with light winds during the day and quite heavy rain during the night, which produced medium – and bearable – daily temperatures. Today’s quite nice, and apparently we’re in for a sunny weekend as well.

Last Friday at the market I checked out the price of  above flowers and was told – I guess because it was so hot and the vendor needed to sell his flowers quickly – that I could have the whole bucket for €15. So I brought home 4 bunches of those lovely roses, they held up for 4 days instead of the promised 5, but in the kind of heat we had I guess that’s fair.

On Saturday I went and finally bought myself a nice reading chair for the living room. This came about through watching too much TV (or YouTube, in this specific case). Ever since watching HGTV in the US with all its home renovation shows I got really hooked. We don’t get those shows over here, but also I don’t have a TV, and I don’t know why it took me about two years to look those home reno shows up on YouTube… I basically binge-watched Property Brothers, and I just love the way they stage homes, which in turn reminded me of that reading chair I’ve been wanting to get for a while.

So I found one online, aqua coloured like one of the walls in my living room, and it turned out the warehouse 10 minutes from where I live had it in stock. I needed to bring my sister, though, because I wasn’t sure the chair would fit into my small car, and she’s got a much better eye for stuff like that. It did fit, and I’ve been happily reading – and watching home reno shows – in my new favourite piece of furniture this past week.

Today it’s quite unbearable at the office because the building is being renovated while we’re working, and the noise is extremely counterproductive. So I’ll be heading out early, go by the market, and then it’s back to my reading chair.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Friday Flowers

Happy Friday! We’ve had really hot days this week, the hottest so far being yesterday with 38ºC here in the South. Although we all prefer summer temperatures to rain, 38ºC is definitely too much for many people, including myself. I don’t mind having the shutters closed all day to keep the heat out of the house while I’m at work, but when I come home and on the weekends, I really don’t like hanging out in a dark-ish space just for the sake of keeping the heat out. It’s also getting unpleasant to break out in a sweat just from sitting there reading – or doing nothing. So this overly good weather is a mixed blessing.

I don’t have any specific plans for this weekend, except try some salad recipes I found online, because this weather just screams for light and fresh food. As for drinks, talking to my sister last night we found we’re both already at the stage where we’ve had enough of water to avoid dehydration, so it’s time to freshen that up as well with citrus fruit, apples, berries, mint… Do you have anything special you add to water in summer?

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend with bearable temperatures.

 

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