July 25th, 2013
Earlier this summer Daniel and I visited Duke Gardens. I had been once before way back in high school, but I can appreciate it so much more now that I’ve tried my hand at gardening and understand how challenging it is to transform a landscape. There are ponds, streams, picturesque bridges, fountains, winding trails, and all sorts of beautiful plants and flowers. We meandered around for an hour or two and still didn’t see everything. I’d like to revisit the gardens multiple times throughout the year, because I’m sure they transform completely as the seasons change.
Flowers are some of my favorite things to photograph. I think my camera picks up even more detail than my eyes can. See how the center of the flower in this first photo is brimming with tiny stars?
July 23rd, 2013
A couple years ago I made these chalkboard lid storage jars to hold my loose teas. They worked well for a while, but the lids of the canning jars gradually absorbed the scents from the teas I swapped in and out. My last batch of teas was completely ruined, because the lingering lid scents changed the flavors.
So, I was forced to come up with a new way to store my teas. This is really too simple to even be called a DIY project! I got a bunch of glass jars (here) with glass lids that can be thrown in the dishwasher to remove any unwanted scents. Then I got a wet erase marker and scribbled my tea specs on each jar. This storage method is working even better than the chalkboard lid jars did, because I can fit more information on these jars—tea name, caffeine level, serving size, steeping time and temperature, etc. Unlike dry erase markers, wet erase markers don’t wipe off easily, so the labels stay on until you purposefully remove them with a quick rinse.
July 19th, 2013
Tomorrow is the Wit & Whistle blog’s fourth birthday, and I can hardly believe I’ve kept at it all these years! I didn’t have long term plans for my blog when I started it, but I never could’ve guessed how rewarding blogging would be. Knowing that you are all checking in encourages me to keep creating and helps me stay motivated. Thank you so much for reading and for keeping me on my toes!
Today I picked up my annual blogiversary cupcake. While standing in the bakery trying to decide which lucky cupcake I would devour I thought, “Amanda, you always get chocolate—branch out!” I chose lemon and was filled with remorse half way through eating it. I couldn’t believe I passed the triple chocolate cupcakes by. Lemon is good, but it’s no chocolate. Fortunately the remorse wasn’t strong enough to keep me from finishing the entire cupcake.
If you need a good excuse to eat a cupcake, visit your favorite bakery this weekend and eat one to help me celebrate Wit & Whistle’s blogiversary! If you instagram a shot of your cupcake and tag me (@witandwhistle), I’ll add your photo to this post with a link back to you.
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Delicious looking celebratory cupcake eaten by Stacy of The Little Red Button! While you’re at it, check out her shop full of the most gorgeous paper bouquets!
July 18th, 2013
I’m going to start sending occasional Wit & Whistle newsletters that will contain new product updates, special offers, and exclusive coupon codes. You can sign up in the left sidebar under the “newsletter” heading, and I hope you will! I would love to be able to get in touch with you directly when something new and exciting is going on around the shop. I promise not to email too often—cross my heart. My goal is to send emails rarely enough that it’s a treat when a message from Wit & Whistle pops into your inbox.
Please note that the newsletter will contain updates about my shop and products, but not blog updates. If you want to receive Wit & Whistle blog updates via email, check out the “blog subscribe” section in the sidebar.
July 15th, 2013
I had heard of gooseberries before, but for some reason I always thought they were mythical. Last night when I found some for sale I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was just as surprised as if I had suddenly discovered that unicorns existed. Wait… do they? I don’t trust myself anymore.
Not only are gooseberries real, but they’re beautiful and delicious. Each berry is cocooned in intricately veined leaves that form a delicate paper lantern of sorts. I was compelled to hang them along a bit of twine to make a gooseberry bunting. They’re almost too pretty to eat, but I managed. Scrumptious! For some reason I assumed with a name like “gooseberry” they would be sour, but they’re quite sweet with a hint of tartness and citrusy acidity. There’s something tomato-y about them too. It’s almost like a fairy godmother waved her wand and turned a tomato into a berry. You know, that’s probably exactly what happened, because if gooseberries exist then fairy godmothers do too!
Thank you Martina (and everyone else) for letting me know that these are not real gooseberries but ground cherries, which are also called “Cape gooseberries”. I’m excited that there are two fruits that go by the name “gooseberry!” Although, from your descriptions of the green gooseberries I think Cape gooseberries must be a lot tastier. ;)