Monthly Archives: September 2014

Friday I’m in Love: Sand “Ikat”

Walking on Newport Beach earlier this year I was struck by how the tide made patterns with coloured sand. How lovely are these?



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Make-it Monday: Peach Tea Vodka

While in Charleston this summer, Lovely Man and I stopped at the Blind Tiger Pub for a break from the heat and humidity. The stop proved to be rather longer than planned due to our discovery of a little something called “Sex on the Plantation”. It’s basically a riff on Sex on the Beach, one of my favorite summer cocktails.

The main ingredient is peach tea vodka. The Blind Tiger uses Firefly‘s version, but we didn’t have time (or the luggage room) to track down a bottle to bring home. So, once home, I decided to have a go for myself.

I added the contents of a two packs of peach tea P1030229 (40 teabags) to a jar P1030231along with approximately three litres (roughly 100 fl oz) of vodka, sealed it and stored it in a cool, dark place. After about 2 weeks the vodka had taken on the color of black tea and smelled and tasted of peaches. You could add sugar at this stage (let it sit a little longer) if you like; I decided I preferred it without. I then strained off the tea and poured the resultant vodka back into bottles. IMG_7840

Party time!


P1030099 - Version 2

Sex on the Plantation cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz  peach tea vodka
  • 1/2 oz peach schnapps
  • 2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 oz orange juice.

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled highball glass filled with ice. Enjoy!

Click here for other recipes from Firefly. Do you have a favorite summer cocktail? What lengths would you go to to reproduce it?


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Filed under Parties, Recipes, Travel

Friday I’m in Love: Indian Summer

I love September mornings in Southern California!



Filed under California, Happiness Project, Photography

Descanso in August

Not just flowers!



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Filed under California, Descanso Garden, Gardens, Nature, Photography

Friday I’m in Love: Crepe Myrtle

I’ve written about my love of lilacs and my regrets that I don’t seem to be able to make them survive here. I’ve been looking around for an alternative and at last I think I’ve found it…the crepe myrtle. They grow in abundance here, but it was only on a recent visit to Charleston that I really came to appreciate how attractive they can be, given the right setting.IMG_0722

Like lilacs, they come in a variety of colours. IMG_0721Unlike lilacs, many have interesting bark.IMG_6462Some are evergreen. Others offer the possibility of autumn foliage.

Sadly, their fragrance, though sweet, is not as powerful as that of lilac. But I’ll take what I can get!






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Filed under California, Flowers, Gardens, Nature, Plants, Travel

Summery Summary

Happy Labor Day! While the distinction is irrelevant in SoCal (where September is often the hottest month of the year), for most Americans today symbolises the end of the summer. So it seemed appropriate to mark the day with a summary of the summer chez nous.

Work on the house has seen less progress than we’d like. We do finally have a fence at the back of the kitchen garden IMG_0708so that’s one promise kept, but the original doors on what used to be the kitchen proved to have termite damage and it has taken FOREVER to get new ones. Hopefully, once they arrive it should be a fairly quick process to finish the floor and paint the walls. That said, the spa area is almost complete…IMG_0712expect a longer post soon!

As distractions, there was a wonderful weekend in Charleston with my Lovely Man IMG_0697and visits to family in England and France. IMG_0713As to the rest, just kicked back and enjoyed the summer!


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Filed under California, England, France, Gardens, Happiness Project, House Updates, Photography, Travel