Saturday, September 1, 2018

September~because August is over..Oh MY.

Lee-Ann sent me these charming toppers:)  
I just keep using and using them♥

It's Oli's bday month..our littlest..

This little boy is golden..:) Like his hair..

He's got  Rod Stewart  like hair:)♥

One day I went to the yacht club pool to meet his mom..

Everyone was swimming and Oli came out of the water..

I was sitting in a chair with a beach towel draped on it..As he came out of the pool  I said :"Oh honey you want your towel?:"No..I came out to kiss you".
I mean.♥
No one else comes out of a pool to kiss me except my Littles.

This is a photo his mom the other 2 boys..and I made his bday card now they all have one.

May I talk about art a bit more?

That little one above..all 4 of them actually when they came over..much younger..and THEIR moms..when they were little..
I used to buy those painting books ..that had paints in the just added a wet brush..dipped in the color and painted away..

When I spotted Viviva Colorsheets..
I was smitten..

The memories..the ease of having this super light pad with vibrant colors..well it was just love at first sight.

I won't apologize for loving art supplies.

I worked for almost 30 yrs..
It's a time in space for me to play now.

I am not into jewels..and brands..and oohlala.

I am into gardening..baking..and art supplies♥

Look!  A grown up pad of wet your brush apply to the colors and you are on your way.

The colors are super vibrant.
They remind me of my QOR  High Chroma small watercolor set.

The packaging is so pretty..the ease of it all is a breeze♥
Portability plus..and just a swipe and you have COLOR.
Fits in a wallet!!

And VELLUM to protect each page..
I love vellum:)

16 colors in a wallet.

They make me feel young and that possibilities are endless.
~~~~~~~The boys  love that giant cookie..I shared it  with you.... Oli said at the time....: "Nana can you make a chocolate chip cookie cake?"Like bigger..thicker?

I was on a mission and there you have it..up above..

You can find the recipe here..

He was so happy..and he loved his card♥

Tomatoes..and zinnias and lots of golds everywhere..a sure sign the dog days of summer are already a thing of the past.
It was a hot and dry and humid the summers of my youth.

In August  for a combined party I made a few desserts..because we are 12 ..

I asked my 43 yr old daughter what dessert she would like..believe it or not she picked a childhood favorite..

..Butter Brickle~or here 
I make it in a 9x13..lovely for a crowd..make ahead..delish!
So many blogs have first one was about 40 years ago at Holly's house:)
I made a non descript Italian sponge cake..didn't save the recipe..
And Fairy Cupcakes..

Always home made dressing for a green tossed salad..

And often Ina's Orzo and roasted vegetables..this is so good!A tried and true forever.

We had chicken brochettes,peppers and red onions....garlic bread..

a few appetizers..these..empanadas  with a few changes.. and this Salsa from Chris.. which both my girls loved..garlic bread..

I had fresh French radishes which I drizzled that basil vinaigrette's my favorite..  It's not a salad dressing is a fab flavor maker to so many things..lighter than a pesto..thicker than a vinaigrette.I have made 3 more jars since..the recipe is from What's Gaby Cooking.

and that was it:)

The night was lovely..
Another summer of birthdays..over.

Basil..this is my Love year for basil..never ending..always beautiful!
Things I have learned.

Pot bound is not good..woody..stunted..quick to go to seed.

I took mine out of the pots and planted where my garlic a bed ..sunny..Success!

Keep pinching those flowers off..try and pinch where a stem joins a fork..look HERE.

A dry summer is actually better.Earwigs love dahlias and basil and zinnias..and  in a dry get way less.

Just my 2 cents:)

For my pesto..I eyeball it..I fill my Braun FP w/ the leaves..add a lot of my large White German fresh garlic cloves..salt..pepper..EVOO..sometimes pine nuts sometimes walnuts.
Parm cheese.
In some I added red pepper flakes.

I filled small containers and froze in 2 tbsps portions..but I also spread a few recipes on parchment in a pan..froze..and sliced like a pizza w/ a pizza wheel and froze like that 3 to a baggie.
Love that idea..where oh where did I find it?

That's August in a nutshell.

Like sands through the hourglass..So are  the Days of our Lives~(remember?)..

Putting herb bounty to use..oh those zinnias..I tell ya:)♥Not even my colors some of them;)
But I love much.
How one little seed can become such a big plant w/ so many blooms..Unbelievable.
How some people can be so nice..



  1. You've been BUSY!! So much good stuff :) Love the painting of Oli, so precious! You really captured him. Glad you enjoyed our salsa :)

  2. Oh summer. It went by too quick this year. I'm already looking for places to plant more phlox and zinnias this year. All of the zinnias this summer are volunteers. We have humidity that causes powdery mildew on the zinnias. Still. I don't know of prettier flowers that keep giving more than they do. Oli has grown like my Ollie. He still kisses me too and wanted to sit by me at dinner last night. I'm so glad you get to do all the things you love now. Is it the best of times?

    1. I am so glad they like to be with us too!I find Phlox fabulous also and divided and spread because of color late August early Sep..they bloom for a long long time🙂Here also they can succumb to unsightly powdery mildew..but this year only a patch in front by the road.
      It is the best of times and the not so best of times.
      I had to stop working and unfortunately the reasons persist..
      Fortunately..I seem to have free refills on hope..☺️
      The best of times because we can do what we want..most,y playing with dirt and paints and baking ings.And of course..all our Olis..Ollies..❤️❤️

    2. I started spraying the phlox with a fungicide when they came up through the soil this spring and it worked for the mildew. Guess I could try it on zinnias, but they come up much later. This year the mildew started on my hydrangeas so I guess I'll have to spray them next year too. Love you.

  3. I so enjoy coming here! Love the bouquet in the tomato can!

    1. I am a can saver:) I confess..not many just the pretties;)

  4. What a wonderful treat for the eye this post is. All your hard work in the garden has paid off👏👏👏. I will plant my zinnias next year, I do miss them. The way you froze your pesto into pizza slices is adorable. Would you use three slices to make a pasta dinner dish or less? As always, I love your paint supplies and your works of art even if I am so confused as how it works. Is it just like the kid paint with water books or do you still create the artwork on a blank sheet of paper using the blocks or color as your paint. To me it is a bit like learning to crochet, a bit confusing but so wonderful to see.

    1. Hi Terry!

      I make a large round pizza pan size by making a full Braun FP full..I freeze ..then pizza slice..I am putting 2 or 3 sections per bag..You don't need much.

      I made a very delicious meal this week..

      I did not have burrata..will get soon..used parm..

      we both enjoyed it very much..but I only had to use 1/2 cup of's potent!!
      I will make again and again:)
      I did make less pasta..only J and I..and I baked my breast according to here..

      because it was raining..the brown sugar nails it;)

      I have frozen pesto in small plastic containers..they are upstairs..and all the triangles are downstairs..

      You cannot give the triangles as gifts because they thaw so quickly.

      I will be making a few small pots for one of my dd's tomorrow.

      And you HAVE to make that is a KEEPER.Been in my fridge 3 times over..and KEEPS..

      You don't need a lot of pesto for dishes..

      And I love walnuts in it!!I love it on flat's so mediterranean:)

      For these paints..

      I used watercolor paper and a waterbrush.And I used as examples..paintings in Peindre La Provence A L'Aquarelle..that I bought in Provence last yr..

      You look at a photo..and try and draw it..then you paint..:)

      Would love to have a few hrs w/ you..

      I think I might recommend some paper.. paints.. and a brush and book..spoil yourself..and just try:)

      My favorite book is..

      Yuko Nagayama
      You Can Paint Vibrant Watercolors in 12 Easy lessons..

      WEll you cannot really..but I love the looks of her work.It shows you how to be a bit loose.

      I have a few books I should never have bought.

      No matter how easy they say.. you have to be a graphic artist to get through them.
      Wasted on me.

      Cheap Joe's for you..Dick Blick..the world is your oyster in the US for supplies:)
      Legion renowned..
      But even Fluid..etc..

      Try it..w/ a minimal investment you can be on such a road:)
      Hope you do.
      It's yoga in a different way♥

      Another fun one is by Jenna Rainey..I lent mine to one of Caroline's friends.. she has 2 more books on the go.

      Perhaps start w/ Jenna's?

      Every Day Watercolor.

      Hope this helps!

    2. Thanks Monique for all your suggestions. Those dishes look great too. I will have to start very small with painting as I’m not sure how talented I am. You have it in your genes.

    3. I think it is like baking and gardening..the more we try the more adept we can become.I am very limited in my artistic abilities but it has been invaluable to me.
      Something we can do into our 90's☺️And such easy clean up!!Watercolors are a breeze.. No much cleaner than acrylics too!!

  5. Dear Nana, you’ve been very busy. I’ m still enjoying my very last days by seaside. As soon as I come back trillions of domestic tasks will be waiting me. Hugs

  6. I love that way of freezing basil! I love your art supplies. I, for one, can't turn down a pretty notebook. I have notebooks every where.

    1. OH Pam..I am a sucker for notebooks too!Paper..words..paints!!I love this way of freezing pesto!!No jars etc..

  7. awww dear Monique always enjoy all yours pictures and yoours paints, all beautiful and your little are adorable. Dont work so much in the garden , take care :)

    1. Thank you for your words of wisdom!!☺️👍🏻😌I should start delegating!!😂

  8. Like you I am so amazed at how very quickly August disappeared! I tried not to blink! The sweetness of your grandson. It made me smile. What a dear little boy. I think you are so blessed to be loved so very much! Your basil,so wonderful and so green. I have learned something today. Mine bolted and turned to flowers far too quickly. I will pinch next year and repot into the garden so the roots have plenty of space. We have soil like clay. It is good for somethings, but very poor for others. Love your tip about freezing the pesto on a pizza pan! Your paintings are so lovely. I absolutely adore when you post about painting and your supplies. You inspire me so very much. How have your chickens done this summer? Love, hugs and Happy Labour Day! ♥♥♥

    1. Sadly one chicken was found w/ Rigor Mortis one morning Bécassine has been on her own..Caramlle had not laid an egg since she had arrived so I gather she was a bit off..Bécassine we had to be vigilant as something was trying to get in and eat her..they have so many predators! We even..well Jacques even had to put metal sheeting strips around the wood on her main door because something was gnawing the wood to get in..heavier rocks were placed all around her coop..anyways she survived:) and eggs galore..1 a day is enough for us..before I know it..there are a dozen extras!
      I love learning about new art supplies..methods..classes too:)
      Have a beautiful Sunday!

    2. Ohhh how very sad. 😟 poor Caramelle. And how scary for Becassine! Our friends had all of theirs taken by a fox. 🦊Foxes can be such pretty animals to look at, but they do have a taste for chickens and eggs. Xo

  9. How adorable is Oli coming out of the pool to give you a kiss. Melted my heart, the love is amazing.

    I said to myself, his hair looks like a famous person. Couldn't think who then you saidRod and I said that's it.

    I love making pesto and I never thought of adding red pepper for a kick. May try it out

    Have a good day


    1. Hi Cindy..He melted my heart too..Yes red pepper In the VInaigrette and in some batches of have to try her vinaigrette:)Have a nice Sunday:)

  10. Happy Birthday to Oli!!! What a sweet child. You have been so busy - funny how even after we retire - we fill up our days. I sometimes wonder how I managed when Jim and I were younger, raising three children, building houses and establishing careers. Do we ever fully retire, or do we just change it up and work at something different? Hopefully - just that. More time/less pay🤣 for the things we love to do. Your art is truly lovely - cherished keepsakes for your littles. This year has been so hot and dry way down here. I am envious of your lush garden, as I struggle just to keep things alive this year. The bougainvillea is about the only color in my garden now. Even the Oleander refuse to bloom.

    1. So hot here also..with the least rain the grass looks like jute in parts..
      So funny more time..less pay is right..I hardly had time to shop when I I have time..but I am not getting paychecks anymore;) I need far less anyway..however..I get tempted in the art dept;)
      Thank you for Oli's bday wishes..funny how we can have children..that can be so different,and the same goes for Littles..same different!:)
      Have a lovely day Ry~

  11. You are SO artistic!
    Everything you touch becomes art.
    My mother was like that...

    1. I don't know what to say:) As YOU are the artist.
      Who can forget Le Métro de Paris?
      I shall never forget:):)

  12. I love your painting of Oli and that hair! ♥ Oli and Mack, hard to believe! Lindsay's Bday party was last night and Mack had just gotten a haircut, he looked so big! His party is in another two weeks :) I need to start freezing some basil and pesto, AND make that basil vinaigrette. Do you put the cheese in before you freeze or add it after you thaw it? Funny, I find my basil does better in containers than in the ground! Slugs perhaps? Ina's roasted veggie salad sounds amazing! I went right away to grab the recipe :) Will try it after a visit to the Farmers' Market for fresh veggies. So many delicious things you've made recently :) You are making me want to try zinnias again! I love the how the butterflies love them too :) So photogenic. I can't believe it's September 2nd!!! :(

    1. Forgot to add, of course I remember Days of our Lives. Julie and Doug, Marlena and John (etc), Beau and Hope. It was the only soap opera I allowed myself to watch. Taped or DVR'd for years to watch later. Haven't watched for years though.

    2. I put the cheese in before:)
      You ahve to try this on a crab oops I mean carb day..:) Leaving it in because I make frightful typos..this one I can leave in..some could be censored;)Some letters are too close one to the other:)

      With the pesto you make.. the past my basil did better in pots also.
      I think this year's weather had something to do with it..So slugs..way less earwigs..
      So in the ground w/ room to just became the most prolific..Every day..I have made a FP fullof leaves..of course you don't end up w/ a full FP of pesto..but one pizza pan:)
      It's also in the bed where most of my girl's manure is in;)

      I will see next yr if indeed it does as well..Started in pots..till the garlic harvest..then where the garlic was.
      I am itching for a tomato bed..seeing all these colors..I am saving you Bumblebee Sunrise..too cute:)Save DWS if you easy to save seeds..Have you seen Antonio's zinnias?
      Everything he grows.

      That orzo sald..YUM..YUM.
      Yes Oli and Mack:)
      When they get haircuts they look so different:)

      Bet your dinner was lovely..:)

    3. Yes Marlena..♥Julie and Doug♥Beau and Hope..It was the only soapie I watched also.. feeding the girls lol..blk and white teeny tv in my ORANGE kitchen..w/ an ORANGE rug..
      I thought I had taste;);)

    4. DOOL is still on! I Googled. Still many familiar faces :) Must be keeping the plastic surgeons in practice - LOL. I am still sending you more nasturium seed for next year with wishes for better luck. It was a strange year - 3 plantings for me. Just now they are taking off but I have interlopers, orange, darker yellow. I'm only buying the Pinetree seeds this time and we'll see if they are better. Diane Morrisey recipe looks fab too! Thank you ♥

    5. Ahh..the plastic surgery business..I was a fan of a certain show and was sorry to see one of the stars get plastic surgery at such a young age.I can spot those lips anywhere.Unrecognizable.:(
      On some the surgeries have gone well..and they do look frozen in time in an acceptable way..but poor others.

  13. Monique, I love your pool story! Of course they get out of the pool to kiss you!!!
    I also love your priorities in life. I prefer simple things too! Give me pretty fresh flowers, a blue sky with crisp air, a long walk, a good book or magazine, or better yet snuggles with Sadie and time with my husband. I think you more than deserve your art supplies!!!

    1. :) Thank you Sarah:) I know what matters to you:)Have a nice labor day!

  14. A belated birthday wish to Oli, he is such a handsome boy and you captured him perfectly. Love your August post and of course all the colorful zinnias.

  15. I love your beautiful photos and wonderful stories Monique. Your grandson is so handsome and I love that your littles will take the time to give you a kiss. How precious! Your flowers and basil are gorgeous and that cookie cake is perfection! Have a lovely week ;)

    1. Thanks so much Tricia!So nice of you to say..I find my pics pale compared to I try to not☺️🙏🏻You too have a great week!!

  16. Your Oli is such a sweet boy! I don't remember my kids doing anything remotely like an I Love You out of the clear blue sky! Your birthday celebrations sound like they were lovely. I'll check out the link for the cookie cake, as well as the pesto and vinaigrette, thank you!

    Have a wonderful week, Monique!


    1. Have a most wonderful week too Jane.Loved seeing M's recent pic:) Such a baby doll:)

  17. Bonjour chère nana,

    Un petit billet bien abouti ! J'aime toute la vie qui l'anime...
    Une sublime aquarelle de votre petit-fils ! (Joyeux anniversaire, jeune homme !)
    La photo avec ce magnifique papillon sera peut-être une idée pour une prochaine oeuvre ?...
    Mes yeux se régalent et mes papilles sont attisées par les douceurs... L'odeur du basilic embaume mon écran...
    Cela me fait penser que j'ai beaucoup à faire dans le jardin aujourd'hui...

    Bisous 🌸

    1. Toujours des choses qui nécéssitent notre temps au jardin:)Mais un plaisir indispensable:) J'espère votre été bat encore son plein!

  18. Happy belated birthday to handsome Oli. Love that they got out of the pool to kiss you! I'm sure they enjoyed the kiss as much as you. We enjoyed a simple, but fast paced weekend. Pretty zinnias, and when I saw that tomato can, I smiled. Your artwork truly blows me away. I can relate to your art so much more than museum art...LOL...I will really have to pay attention in Italy. So happy you have found the joy of watercolors.

    Do you know if salsa can be frozen? :-( We had a bazillion tomatoes we had to use so I made salsa for the weekend. Filled one of those huge 12" tall canning jars, brought it to camp and we all ate it over and over. Yummy! But I still have a half jar left, so was thinking I may have to freeze it. Or make soup? Must act fast...LOL

    1. I have never frozen salsa..try it and tell us:):):)
      Myabe Chris mentioned it on her post? Should check for next time.
      Yes we were both canning flowers..:):):
      Ciao Bella !! Ciao Joe!!
      I am more into painting ..ordinarily as you can see..;)

  19. Your littles are so sweet. :) Glad you use the toppers! I love how you freeze your pesto. xo (PS I love when I have free time to play too, everyone should make more room for that...)

    1. You will always there and everywhere because you are so creative :) My daughter liked the topper too:) TY:)They are sweet..I remember telling you how they enriched my life:)Look at you w/ a sweet 16:):)♥

  20. Where to begin, my friend. Where to begin. I think at the beginning with the glorious portrait of Oli on his card. What a treasure this is now -- and always. He sounds like a dear, dear boy and a very cute one, too, I might add! I'm checking out the butter brickle recipe!

    I will be making my last batch of pesto, probably, very soon. Love the idea of doing it the parchment, freezing and repackaging. I run out of little containers. Sometimes I put it in the small snack baggies to freeze flat -- that portion size works well for a typical recipe. I use a wee bit of lemon juice in mine, too -- I like the zing! And I can use less oil and still have it blend well.

    Those painting sheets -- wow, what a great idea. Like I need to add one more painting thing to my collection. You know I will, don't you. You need only to say, "These are wonderful" and I follow like a pathetic little dog, wanting another's treats! Fortunately, we can both enjoy! I love the idea that it makes you feel young -- who can't use that?

    Oh, in heaven reading this. What a joy to lighten a humid and hot day! Happy, Happy!

    1. You make me laugh..the words you use..:) LOL..

      So these sheets..are super bright.. have your tried QOR Chroma?

      Super bright..

      These are great to have tucked in a wallet:)
      They are fun.

      I am afraid I like to accumulate toys in my advancing age.Art toys.

      Carol..and it's tre..says you need only a few colors..and look at her art♥..a cool yellow..warm yellow..same for red and blue..maybe an orange..

      I do love a limited palette but I am such a sucker for looking at art things.
      Sometimes I am Pinning in bed at night..I see online and dream about what I found.Not literally but can't stop thinking about them.
      I guess like some with shoes.

      What I would give to have some of my mother's art supplies..
      What on earth did she do with them?
      I never ever saw them:(

      I am that pathetic dog:)
      Trust me.
      We should get name tags .
      Return to the art dept. if found:);)
      Stinkin' hot and humid these past days..yesterday was the pits..;)
      PS I put some lemon juice in my latest batch:)
      What a terrific keeper this pesto and vinaigrette.
      My breath barks I think:)
      Have a great afternoon.

  21. Oh how I dislike my comment not showing up. Such a sweet post with a lovely portrait of Oli. Happy birthday to your little. Love how he got out of the pool to kiss his nana. What a terrific way to preserve pesto. The butterflies are so beautiful. I hope your week is wonderful. Rest up from all of that gardening.

    1. A great week to you also:) I hate when that's as if there was a key on my keyboard that makes my email or comment dust in the wind:( Which one?:):)

  22. Dearest Monique,
    You managed to get a LOT out of your summer!
    Look at your picture perfect FAT zinnias. Here in the South they get often mildewed and turn ugly...
    Your basil looks like winning the beauty contest; how perfect and healthy looking.
    And I'm in awe about your sweet water color; so perfectly matching the photo.
    No doubt the birthday for your Oli will be a memorable one with so much love from his Grandmère.
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Boone journée the stores are full fall mode and today will be one of our hottest days..pumpkins and gours and happy fall y'all on blogs..why do we rush life so much?:)
      It has been a good gardening yr albeit the weather.Lost some things..gained win/win or lose/lose:)Fat zinnias..perfect attribute!!!

  23. Late to the show as usual!
    I have loved seeing your August in the footlights...fabulous photos...darling boy💛...delicious food...artistic flair!!!
    I have so enjoyed getting to know you over the past few years...hope our friendship grows...
    You're the best Monique...truly...
    Can't hardly believe the Summer is nearly over...such a blur this year...
    Gonna feel like 43 today!!! Started a new crochet project...happy!!
    enjoy your day...
    Linda :o)

    1. I feel the same way:) It CLICKED:)
      Looking forward to seeing your new project:)
      It's been so hot and too..risk of thundershowers..
      What a summer.I refuse to talk pumpkins until October at least lol..
      Everyone is on the It's Fall Y'all lol bandwagon:)
      Get all the beautiful days you can in at the beach know how long our winter is..supposed to be FRIGID.
      Have a great DAY!

  24. I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited,Thank you for sharing good topic.


  25. I always love your posts because the artwork and photography is so beautiful, and there is always so much to learn. Happy belated birthday to Oli! You captured him perfectly in your artwork. It’s beautiful! I also love that new way to freeze pesto. I’m trying that this year, if I have enough. I also have to try making one of those big chocolate chip cookies. What a wonderful and inspiring post!

    1. Thank you Pattie!A real good idea this way if freezing it..I have done the ice cube trays etc..much prefer this way.I have small glass and plastic jars also..but nothing to clean with this method!

  26. Your Oli painting is enchanting, Monique--A true gift. ♥

    Rod Stewart hair! :) Indeed. What a good-looking boy.

    'Glad you can enjoy your retirement years. ♥

  27. I just LOVE your paintings!
    A lovely post and lovely pictures...
    Best wishes from Titti

  28. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!! Art materials and the opportunity to enjoy them, they are blessings, gifts...And the way you use them and the way you share your blessings, a blessing to us...

  29. I love what you wrote. are so inspiring in everything you share with us!I was so pleased the day I found you:)

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