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News from the Nest, February 26

Hello from I-75, somewhere in Florida.

We are on our way home from a truly delightful weekend in Sarasota. 

Our first visit to this lovely Florida city was this time last year, and now we are back for a delightful wedding. And we are quite smitten with the town. It’s lively, filled with art, easily walkable, and has great restaurants…I mean, it has it all. And, it doesn’t hurt that one of my besties and her hubby live here part-time.

The wedding weekend was, as expected, just wonderful. A colorful and love-filled celebration of a delightful couple. Indian weddings are characterized by great dances, so of course, on Saturday evening we had all the Sangeet dances and a visit from a Bhangra dance troupe. But, an unexpected twist was a visit from an Irish dance troupe as there is also an Irish connection with the groom and my girlfriend’s husband.

The wedding on Sunday was held outdoors in the gorgeous Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota. The weather could not have been more perfect and truly, it was magical. It started with all the attendees, dressed in colorful outfits and gowns, parading/dancing the groom through the gardens to the bride, with rhythmic drums leading the way. And it ended under the stars overlooking Sarasota Bay. The bride was just beautiful beyond words, which is so fitting because she is truly just a beautiful soul and we are thrilled she has found her soulmate.

Sadly, we had to bug out just as the dancing got underway as we needed to hit the road bright and early this morning.

From the Knit Studio

  • I’ve been updating my knit patterns, slowly but surely, to make them more cohesive with the theme of the blog and to make them even more useful to you. I’m adding QR codes, where applicable, that will take you right to relevant and helpful posts or videos. I started with the Daisy Stitch Washcloth and the Moss Stitch Washcloth. You can pop over to the Subscriber Library (if you’ve forgotten the password it is at the bottom of the email you receive every Monday or you can email me and I’ll remind you).

From the Kitchen

  • These Marinated Castelvetrano Olives always disappear quickly when I make them. It is important that you find Castelvetrano olives, they have a lovely texture and buttery flavor that is not your typical green olive. And the pink peppercorns are also a necessity in this recipe. If you’ve not had pink peppercorns, I encourage you to seek them out. They have a unique, sweet, and fruity taste that is unlike true peppercorns.
Marinated olives.
  • This mixed pepper jelly uses sweet red, orange, or yellow bell peppers and spicy green jalapenos for a delicious ‘stoplight’ jelly that is great with both hard and soft cheese, cream cheese, meats, and especially bacon. It can be water bath canned or frozen.
Pepper jelly on cream cheese on a cracker.
  • These oven-baked meatballs are big, tender, and juicy. Of course, they are wonderful with marinara sauce and pasta, but for a change of pace, serve them over a little ricotta, with a little marinara sauce and a lightly toasted piece of bread! *Chef’s kiss!*
Three meatballs in a bowl with marinara sauce.
  • I updated my Grandma’s Date Nut Bars recipe by swapping out white sugar for brown sugar. That little change gives these easy-to-make, classic bars a more mellow, molasses-y flavor that just ups the yummy a bit.
Stack of three date nut bars.

From the Arts + Crafts Studio

  • Choosing a favorite project is sometimes a little like choosing your favorite child. That said, this Oyster Shell mirror is surely in contention for my favorite project…ever. And not for nothing, if you have a seafood store nearby, you can make it for almost zero dollars…just the cost of a piece of plywood, glue, and a small round mirror.
Oyster Shell Mirror.
  • Head to your local fabric store for a piece of wide linen fabric and just start pulling threads to make your own fringed linen tablecloth and napkins. The ‘pulling threads’ part is oddly satisfying and is easily accomplished while binge-ing your favorite show… attention needed.
linen tablecloth and napkins

In the Home

Vintage embroidery before and after being cleaned.
Freezer Bins

In the Garden

  • While it may be too early for many of us to start our summer gardens, it isn’t too early to plan. What plants should be planted as companion plants and what plants should you avoid with certain plants. This overview of companion planting, its benefits, and suggested pairings will help you get your garden going right this year.
Green tomato and marigolds.

Book Read in 2024

Some of these links may be Amazon affiliate links and I may earn a small commission from the sale of these products to help defray the costs of operating this site, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

I’ve updated my books read thus far in 2024 list. I may need to add a ‘books listened to’ section as well, as I continue to work my way through all of the Charles Dickens books on Audible. Thus far, I’ve listened to Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. I’m about a quarter of the way into David Copperfield.

Remember, you can easily find the book list on the home page of the website. It’s in the third section down.

Some Fun Finds and a Few Favorites

  • Who couldn’t use this reminder every morning when we brushed our teeth?
  • This Sourdough Bread cookbook was a great purchase! I’ve shared it with several friends who have gone on to purchase their own. The step-by-step instructions and video QR codes help demystify this bread-baking process.
  • If you, like the past me, often play freezer roulette with your frozen leftovers, then I have a simple solution. These freezer stickers are easy to write on, they stay on your container in the freezer and then peel off easily without leaving a residue.

Well friends, I am mostly back in the saddle for the rest of this week and I actually have several projects that I’m so close to having ready to share with you.

So, until next week…

Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. I do enjoy your site. A suggestion from an aging person… the links you post in a “very light color font” I find difficult to read. I know it might be different and stylish but frustrating to these old eyes! Thanks
    [email protected]

    1. Hi Scharlie,

      As an aging person myself, I greatly appreciate your input! I will try some different variations to see what is most eye ‘friendly.’ These old eyes need all the help that they can get!

      I really appreciate you writing in with your suggestions! I always welcome ideas to make this website more enjoyable for everyone.

      Thanks, Lynn

    1. Aw, thanks Mary! I look forward to writing them every week, too. I’m a very lucky gal to have this job with readers like you.

      Have a fantastic day.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Oh, my goodness, what a beautiful wedding! And in sunny Florida, to boot! I’m sorry you had to leave early, I’m sure it was great fun. I printed out your recipe for Date Nut Bars, I have a package of dates on my counter and will be making those soon. Jan in MA

    1. Hi Jan,

      It really was a gorgeous wedding! But, it is always good to get home.

      And I hope you enjoyed those date bars as much as we do!

      I hope you are getting spring in Mass! It’s starting starting to peak out down here in NC..

      Hugs, Lynn

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