In case you haven’t checked out my insta account, @laurasprettyfood I’d like to share a few screenshots of what you’re missing. This account represents my passion for food, some I’ve prepared and others I’ve enjoyed while traveling.
After a fun day with my BFF including an art fair, delicious lunch, shopping and wine tasting we were headed home. She noticed a little roadside stand for flowers, $5 per bouquet. They were so lovely I had to photograph them. It’s a mix of perennials, annuals, wild flowers and herbs
Always looking for new experiences, I came upon this cooking class and signed up for it during my recent trip to Tennessee.
With an ever-changing menu, I attended the class with one other couple and learned to make Bananas Foster French Toast, homemade pork sausage patties and an omelette with ingredients of our choosing. We each got a chef’s apron to take with us.
Stephanie Foley, the owner and instructor was delightful and the class was interactive and fun with the added enjoyment of consuming the delicious food we prepared. I’m now planning to sign up for a class whenever I’m visiting the Wears Valley area.
I’ve vacationed in Tennessee for years and am so in love with the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, the kindness and hospitality of the people, southern food and the endless fun things to do there.
This trip I sought out new experiences and happened upon Rocking Chair Farm. Located in Corryton, it was an easy 30 miles drive from my Sevierville cabin. A cool day with a possibility of rain (which didn’t happen) it was perfect for a tour of this special farm run by David and Christine Rogers. I was their only customer for the 10 a.m. tour and got to have lots of interaction while learning about and feeding these adorable animals.
The herd is comprised of Huacuya and Suri Alpacas guarded over by the couple’s four livestock guardian dogs. Before we entered the first of three pens, David and Christine went over a number of rules for my safety as well as the alpacas. I was told there are some that are really friendly and if there were those who didn’t approach me, not to worry. I learned how to feed them with a flat, open palm; it was the sweetest feeling as they gently nuzzled my hand. There is a gentleness about them, their personalities and curiosity is endearing.
After the tour we visited their gift shop. David designs and makes the lovely hats, scarves, gloves using yarn made from their alpaca’s wool and there are a number of other quality items to choose from. Given the opportunity I’ll visit again – this was an experience I’ll never forget!
For the last week things have been busy and I’ve had a lot of company. It’s different than our day to day life which is pretty chill and quiet. While Biscotti was his usual outgoing and entertaining self, my guests caught only glimpses of Reo as she is shy…
This morning it was back to the three of us and this photo montage was taken as my fur-babies snuggled on my lap.
My love affair with puzzles continues though I haven’t posted updates in awhile. 2022 was an incredibly eventful year and as I searched out these photos of completed puzzles I’m surprised I had done this many. It goes to prove regardless of how busy and overwhelmed I get by life, I still seek out the solace and focus of putting on a playlist and doing puzzles.
This morning I found that I’d be given The Happiness Tag by a favorite fellow blogger, Becky Ellis at beckysbubblesblog.wordpress.com – here’s the link: https://beckysbubblesblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/the-happiness-tag/
Becky’s blog encompasses information about my favorite bubbly adult beverages and frequently pairs them with amazing recipes; I hope you’ll check her out!
To accept The Happiness Tag:
- 5 Things that Make Me Happy
- 5 Songs that Make Me Happy
- 5 Bloggers who Make Me Happy and Notify those Bloggers
5 Things that Make Me Happy
Being married to my soulmate. Spence and I spent 18 years together before making it legal. As we approach our 7th wedding anniversary in a few weeks, I’m grateful knowing how lucky we are to have found each other and made this life together.
Being Cat Mom to Tipper and Biscotti. Our two kitties were born in our back yard. Once they’d made eye contact with us we had to make them a part of our lives. Seven years later and each day they show me love with snugggles, purrs and playfulness.
When they were kittens…
Cooking. If you’ve followed my blog you could have predicted that it would make the list. There is something soothing and zen that happens to me during the creative process of preparing delicious food. Learning new techniques, trying out recipes, tantalizing aromas filling our home and of course, sharing the meals with others who enjoy them all equal happy to me.
My garden. In the first warm days of Spring, my hands start itching for contact with the dirt and with each week that passes, I’m in some stage of planting, pruning, gathering blooms and herbs, weeding and photographing it. Since retiring I’m able to spend more time enjoying it, stopping to smell the roses.
Travel. A goal of mine since retiring two years ago was to travel with Spence as much as possible. Our travel is comprised of new destinations and returning to places we love. I have chronicled many of our trips in my blog and hope to share many more!
5 Songs that Make Me Happy
- Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars – no matter how many times I hear it I can’t resist the urge to break into dance. Every.Single.Time.
- Locomotive Breath – Jethro Tull – a throwback to my teenage years, this has remained a classic rock favorite that never loses it luster for me. The beat, the lyrics, the imagery plus the power to transport me back in time, simply brilliant.
- September – Earth, Wind & Fire – doesn’t this song make everyone happy? I defy you not to smile and stay in your seat.
- God Only Knows – The Beach Boys – one of the greatest songs about love. Ever.
- Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond – so many great memories of this song, seeing Neil Diamond perform it when I was a teen, singing and dancing along to it in the ensuing years at numerous parties with great friends.
5 Blogs that Make Me Happy
tastingeverything.com – Chef Anne is not only responsible for creating healthy, delicious recipes but her food photography is unequaled. She plates like an artist and I only wish she was in Michigan so that I could try her food.
storyshucker.wordpress.com – Stuart M. Perkins has a writing style that is honest, touching and his stories make me slow down to savor each word.
badcatchris.com – This blog may have begun with Chris, The Baddest Cat You’ll Ever Love (and he looks like my Biscotti) but he shares this blog with his siblings including recently adopted and adorable kitten, Floki. Cat lovers, this blog is one you need to check out.
https://purrseidon.wordpress.com – Purrseidon is the star of this blog and is a cat. A cat who a fearless lover of water and a water sports enthusiast. But more than that, many posts written to Purrseidon’s “Furiends” feature stories of siblings, selfies and everything that is good, informative and helpful for cat moms and dads. “Purr-fectly fun”!
lovingleisuretime.wordpress.com – Frances is a breath of fresh air, pairing beautifully photographed flowers with perfect quotes and sharing delicious recipes. Retired since 2013 her posts are like a welcome visit with that friend that truly “gets” you. Simpatico.
In Michigan, we’ve had summer like temps but little to no rain. As a result, the garden is growing quickly, everyday yielding new blooms. This morning I was thrilled to see even more blooms in the garden, including my Dwarf Korean Lilac.
Much to my surprise, under the lilac bush, I found two of the feral kittens born about seven weeks ago on our porch. I imagine that the fragrance of the lilacs is relaxing for them.
Lots of shades of purple and yellow abound.
As I strolled around this morning, I found several “volunteers” that I didn’t plant but am happy to see all the same. My rule is, if it’s growing in a crack but it’s a flower, vegetable or herb – leave it be!