Life, Recipes

A fun & girly weekend

What an amazing weekend. My next-door neighbor, her twin and I drove up to West Chester, Penn., to visit my sister Emily! Em took us shopping at all sorts of places — a discount store at her work, Amish country, outlets, the mall. It was so much fun and we all got a ton of fun stuff. I’m talking boots, purses, coats, jackets, pottery, jewelry… SO FUN!

It was just what I needed after a few weeks of feeling crummy.

We got home early Sunday and I wasted no time getting to canning some new recipes using items from my garden. I had about 15 tomatoes. 4 cayenne peppers, 1 green bell pepper and an entire basil plant. It turned it into four jars of pasta sauce, two small jars of pesto and five jars (most are really small) of hot salsa! I’ve never made any of these things before, so it was a lot of fun experimenting with these new recipes.

Sauce and pesto

For the pasta sauce, I used this recipe from Wellness Momma. I added a lot more basil than she called for. And now that I’m thinking of it, I forgot to add the bay leaf. Whoops. Somehow my sauce turned out way more orange than hers is, but it looks, smells and tastes delicious! When we eat it, we’ll cook up some ground beef to toss into the sauce. I can’t wait to try it.

For the pesto, I modified this recipe from the Food Network. I didn’t add pine nuts to mine. And I didn’t measure anything. Shocker, I know.


And for the salsa, I used this recipe from Stop lookin’, Get Cookin’. Again, I modified it to use the ingredients I had available. I used a lot less green peppers, and a lot more cayenne peppers. I am actually slightly scared to try it. It’s gonna be HOT!

Hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did 🙂


Light: Installations by Bruce Munro at Longwood Gardens

I had the pleasure of visiting Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Penn., this past weekend with my mom, sister and godmother. We had a day full of activities, including shopping at the QVC Employee Store (my sister works there), visiting Amish Country, tasting wine at three separate vineyards, and walking around Longwood.

I’ve been to Longwood Gardens before and it’s gorgeous, but Saturday night was spectacular. There was a special installation by British artist and lighting designer Bruce Munro called Light, and all around the gardens were beautiful displays of colorful lights. The conservatory was decked out in glass orbs hanging from the ceiling, the fountains were lit with colored lights, and there was a fiber optic display of lights winding up a mini hill.

Glass orbs hang from the ceiling in the Conservatory.
The fountain was lit with different colors.

But that’s nothing. The best parts of Light were the Forest of Light on the Forest Walk and the Water Towers on the Meadow at Hourglass Lake.

The Forest of Light on the Forest Walk.
The Water Towers on the Meadows at Hourglass Lake.

The Forest of Light was amazing. You walk down a dimly lit path at Longwood until you reach a winding path that meanders through a dark forest. Munro’s installation brings the forest to life — More than 20,000 glass sculptures (a 2.5′ tall glass stick with an orb on top) lined the pathways. Each orb was glowing with a color, which slowly changed, rotating through the various colors of the rainbow.

It was like walking through a forest in a fairy tale!

I was also reminded of the levels in Crash Bandicoot where your only light source is a firefly. Does anyone know what I’m talking about?

Once we were finished walking through the Forest of Light (which took a while because Emily and I lost mom and Phyllis for a while), we headed over to the Meadow at Hourglass Lake. Here we saw the Water Tower display.

Again, it was absolutely amazing. You are standing in an open field surrounded by these huge, glowing structures made of clear, plastic soda bottles! It was unreal.

On the way out of the gardens, we passed by one last installation: The Field of Light at the Small Lake. The same orbs that dotted the forest paths were on the opposite side of the lake, glowing radiantly under the starry night. The reflection on the lake was gorgeous.

The whole display was beautiful. If you are anywhere near Longwood Gardens, I highly recommend checking it out.

Here’s a video of the display being set up. Munro has set up many other displays of light around the world, too. His art is amazing.

Thanks for stopping by!

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