Tag Archive | relax

Vodka Ice Cream is a Thing Now. And It Will Get You Smashed

Be still my heart! Someone has mastered the art of vodka ice cream ๐Ÿ˜ I know many folks that would love to get their hands on this stuff. We need to help them branch out from only selling in Maryland. For now, road trip anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Oily Guru

The liquor industry has long sought new ways to package their distilled spirits. While the demand for traditional alcohol remains strong, upstarts in the industry have a hard time competing. Perhaps thatโ€™s why there is now a new trend: alcoholic ice cream. Looking for a cool way to end summer? Try some vodka ice-cream.

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Or, as the company says: โ€œchill out, eat vodka.โ€ย ArcticBuzzย has launched a line of ice cream that combines flavors like cookies and cream and key lime pie with the kick of vodka. The Baltimore company has figured out how to keep the mixture from separating, which is a challenge because of the low freezing point of vodka.

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โ€œIf you have ever put a bottle of vodka in the freezer,โ€ ArcticBuzz writes, โ€œyou know the vodka wins every time. After working with several different recipes and numerous tastings, ArcticBuzz has cracked the code and delivers homemadeโ€ฆ

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Ah, Home Sweet Home!

This is my front door. I took the left side photos May 30th and the right, June 20th.
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Most of April and all of May was a rain-out. We had 10 inches (25cm) of rain in those 8 weeks. Even when it wasn’t raining, Sweet Sol was hiding behind her fluffy, white shawl. There’s not even a trace of her shadow on the wall. At least, the foliage looks green and lush in this light!

June 9th it got hot… like Hell Hot. I’m not complaining… Yet.

Things grew very well until the heat. Things were looking really sad and I even had to water my established perennials.

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We don’t use our front door. It’s too awkward to enter here. No overhang. No space. No where for shoes… It’s so much easier to enter from the garage. It’s like having a huge foyer! So, this year we finally decided to embrace our inner Red Neck and start sitting on the porch. It’s so nice to enjoy all the beautiful things that fill our senses. The flowers smell so sweet, the fountain sounds so melodic, the birds look so joyful and the chipmunks make us smile.

Ah, Home Sweet Home!

 

ยฉ Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve – Spring Blooming Flowers 4-5-2017

Last weekend, my hubby allowed himself to get talked into a quick jaunt around Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve in Long Grove, Illinois. It’s a pretty small preserve at 36 acres. It was donated to the Long Grove Park District by Barbara Reed-Turner. It’s a fabulous little gem with so much diversity and wildlife to see. The town of Long Grove does have many activities such as Strawberry & Apple Fests, along with it’s quaint feel, makes for a great day trip. All of the following flowers were captured at the preserve. Since I’ve not had another blooming flowers in the past that’s remotely close to this one, I’m not linking back to any past blooming posts.

Winter aconites – Eranthis hyemalis

Aren’t they adorable? They look like little ballerinas.

Pussy willows ~ Salix discolor

Scilla Siberica โ€“ Siberian Squill or Wood Squill

Vinca minor ~ Periwinkle

Salem Lake

Bird Log – Lots of birds fly through here!!

Natural Stadium Seating

More Squill

Indian Creek

The only bird I can pick-out here is the White-breasted Nuthatch. An maaaybe a red-breasted. Their noise is a bit higher pitched.

I hear Redwinged Blackbirds, Robins and many loud ‘Clicky’ birds. I could see it was a midsize bird, but that’s it with the dank gray skies.

Lots of clean-up going on this spring.

Common snowdrops ~ Galanthus nivalis

Forsyhia

ยฉ Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Relaaaaax

via Daily Prompt: Relax

I don’t celebrate Christmas, however I love, love Christmas lights! This regular sized bulb was located in the normal bulb shelves, not by the decorations*, and for only $5. Score! I do tend to zone out looking at it. Relaaaax ๐Ÿ˜Ž

*So that means I can keep it lit all year?!?

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Rock Stack Pondless Fountain

This fountain may look familiar to you if you were around when I first started my blog in 2013. It was one of my first few posts. What started thisย whole fascination with pondless fountains was my husband bringing home a large clay pot from a client’s house. I looked at it, thinking to myself, “Gee, this would look cool laying on it’s side, spilling out water.” And the rest is history.

After having him install that first fountain, we were addicted. When I started my garden design business, I was approached by a client wondering if I installed these type fountains. I said, “Heck yeah!” and showed her the clay fountain we had installed. She had found some copper pots and hoped my artist hubby could figure something out for her. He did and it is so unique. (check out the link above to see it).

Since then, he’s been putzing around with other designs. He likes the ‘rock-stacked’ look and this one was created. I love it! It was placed in the front of my house. When the windows are open, I can hear the splish-splash of the water. I like to sit in the window on weekends and see all the wildlife that visits it. Bees, wasps, birds of all sizes (saw my first flicker!!), squirrels, bunnies and chipmunks all take their turns enjoying the water.

I was so excited to reinstall it after havingย to temporarily remove it so I could redesign the front garden. Afterย two long years,ย its back in operation at the Farrell house! Woo-Hoo!!

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I’m not the only one to see it back in operation!!

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Coloring for your Stressed Brain

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The practice of coloring generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.ย 

My favorite days at work are when I need to color plans for the plant install crews to follow. The landscape architect my boss hired under contract, is great at some things (seeing grade, focal points and balance), however he has a bit of trouble with using the same symbol for different plants and lack of labels. As I’ve scoured over the plan during the estimating process, I know the plan very well and can easily color code it for others.

Coloring is not a passive act, coloring involves logic to make creative decisions about which colors to use and focus on not going over the lines. During this process, other parts of your mind are freed up that allow you to become more creative.ย ย This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.

I’ve seen a plethra of adult coloring books hit the market in the past few years. My hubby even got one from his Mom last Christmas. They are not what you think of when you think of the coloring books you used as a child. These adult books use intriquit designs and adult themes to keep us older folks interested. See below.

owl coloring page

Coloring isn’t just for relaxation either. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Art projects can create a sense of accomplishment and purpose. They can provide the person with dementia โ€” as well as caregivers โ€” an opportunity for self-expression.”

Although, when considering coloring as an activity for your elderly loved one or someone suffering with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, it’s important to present the activity correctly.

  • Colored pencils are a better choice over crayons or markers.ย  Crayons may be perceived as childish or insulting, and colored markers can be messy or bleed through the pages.
  • Selecting a proper coloring book is important, as a coloring book for children could belittle a senior.
  • The theme of the coloring book should be thoughtfully considered.ย  Since adult coloring books have become increasingly popular, there are many with very busy, abstract or surreal images (like above) that may be unsettling to an already confused mind.

Now go out there and color!!!

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl