I come from gardener genes…until this year I thought they skipped over me. Well we are having a harvest of tomatoes, all kinds of peppers and eggplants. I’m not sure what to do with all of it. If anyone knows any good eggplant recipes pass them along. I’m seeing some homeade salsa in my future….

When we were engaged our pastor recommended we be married for a year, then grow a plant for a year, then get a dog for a year…then consider kids. We did it all backwards. Our yard was a clean slate as far as landscaping goes, so last year I TOILED to start a flower garden in the front.

Here is was in September 08:


And now July 2009…I can’t believe how much it has grown!

I have to post these flowers because Chris refers to them as my ‘weeds’. They just turned yellow.

For the past months they have been about 6 feet tall and just green…they did look like huge weeds until now.

Just to be honest…these are the flower pots as you walk into the house. This is what all my flowers have looked like in years past. Evidently I can’t keep potted plants alive, so I will stick to the planted in the ground kind. Sad.

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  • meg duerksen - it looks good!
    except the pots…
    growing a garden is incredibly satisfying. you plant a tiny seed and something beautiful comes from it. it’s so cool.

  • bopha - there’s nothing better than homemade eggplant parmesean(?). I’m waiting on some from my brother-in-law for that very reason.

  • Dee/reddirtramblings - Oh, Ashley, it looks wonderful with all of the daylilies, zinnias and salvia. Did you know that your “weeds” are showy goldenrod? I didn’t know if you knew. It looks just splendid. You could add a couple of Echinacea plants and some black eyed susans (Rudbeckia) if you want. They would go great with what you’ve already done.

    As to the pots, it’s not your fault. It is difficult to keep clay pots moist all summer long. You could make Thai eggplant with the eggplant. Just google it for a recipe. A little spicy, a little sweet. Thanks so much for coming back by the blog.~~Dee

  • Ethel White - Peel the eggplant and then slice it in 1″ slices. Dip in egg wash and then in Italian bread crumbs. Place the slices on a cookie sheet oiled lightly with olive oil. Drizzle a little olive oil over the slices and bake in 375 to 400 oven until slightly fork tender and kinda crisy edges about 40 min depending on thickness of slices. Turn slices halfway through cooking. For easy clean up line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Your ol’ buddy Zach loves eggplant made this way. Leftovers can be used to make Parmegian* just add Marinara and pasta with a little cheese on the top.

Just thought I’d start the week sharing a couple from our weekend…

Our youngest really wanted to join his older brothers. I told his dad he may think he wants to go down the slide, but he’ll cry.

His dad let him try it out. I was right. Once he stopped crying he went right back like he wanted to do it again…we really aren’t mean parents.

When the boys are at my parents my dad has been building rockets with them. If you look closely you’ll see that H’s rocket is pink (his favorite color). My dad filled the rockets with Black Cats and the engines…H’s rocket didn’t survive the Black Cats.

All tuckered out Saturday night – it was a BUSY weekend full of late nights for him. I love how snuggly he is when he is tired…savoring the moments.

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  • Lauren - Glad you guys had a great 4th!

  • Marina - That last picture just melts my heart! So sweet!!

  • Emily Lusk - Looks like you all had a great 4th!! The pool looks really cool I bet the older boys loved it!!!


There were some requests for more info on the lanterns I hung from the ceiling. They are all from the Martha Stewart collections at Walmart (there is a previous post with links). To hang them I constructed a rectangle frame made from dowel rods. I then strung twine across the frame and tied each lantern to the rods or the twine. I attached 2 eye hooks to the ceiling and tied the frame from those hooks. Not too technical…I like to keep things simple:)

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  • Christine - you are so creative!!! i am so going to do this! thanks for sharing!

  • Chrissy - So smart! I absolutely LOVE it … I’m going to be copying you. :o) I was in Target today and trying to figure out how to recreate it … I’ll have to go to Wal-Mart to accomplish it. :o) Thanks for sharing!!

  • babies…to be! « life’s little embellishments - [...] decor we hung paper lanterns in the carport via some Ashley Ann inspiration. I also made some adorable condiment caddies for rolled silverware and ketchup and mustard. ┬áI had [...]

  • Faye - love, love,love this!!!! making it for my 2 year old’s room! found the tissue paper pom-poms and eyelet lanterns but can’t find the other lanterns… where did you get those? thanks so much!

  • hanging tutorial : Party Perfect - [...] of you asked about hanging techniques after seeing this paper lantern ensemble. Lucky for you, Ashley Ann posted a tutorial. Instructions┬áright here. via…simple lovely Leave a [...]

  • {DIY} Paper Lantern & PomPom Grouping - [...] no secret I love the room Ashley Ann created from her daughter, and this is another project that was borrowed from that [...]

  • Shiloh - what sizes of lanterns did you use to create this? I’m wanting to put together something similar in my newborns nursery but am not sure of how big/little it should be??? please and thank you, shiloh

  • Jenny S - These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the info. I told my husband we have to do something similar to this in our master bedroom. We’ve had a blank spot over our bed for almost five years. It’s time for something fun as a focal point. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration and message of hope. You’re awesome!

  • Alicey - Hi,
    Please don’t take this as a criticism, because it’s not intended that way, but isn’t there a risk that a baby could pull on it while you’re holding them, and since it’s mounted on a frame, it would be dangerous? Because instead of pulling down one pom, the baby would pull down the entire thing?
    I only ask because I really want to do this in my LO’s nursery, and I’m wondering how you got the frame to stay up securely. I am sure you wouldn’t have done anything unsafe :)

  • AshleyAnn - Alicey – I can’t even reach it unless I am on a ladder, so there is no way a child could reach it even if standing on the short pallet bed. I wouldn’t put it anywhere within grasp of a child.

  • Alicey - Ah, ok. Please don’t misunderstand: I didn’t mean to imply that you had done anything unsafe. My ceilings aren’t high enough to do the frame, in that case.

  • AshleyAnn - Alicey – oh no, I knew you weren’t implying anything. No worries at all!! It is a good question to ask, no one wants a little one to pull down something on top of them! :)