Thursday, 5 June 2014

Best of Living Magazine May and June 2014

Something to browse for the weekend and the summer in fact.

I notice everyone is getting in the mood and getting fresh flowers to decorate nightstands and tables.

As flowers are so expensive, I always ask florists tips on how to make them last longer.  They mumble and then give me a plastic tube with something that says "flower extender".
At one very short stage in my life I tried to be like Martha. 
I actually put water in the freezer to get it slushy 
so the cold would refresh the stems and petals.

But this is the official stance from Martha.

I never knew about putting a pin through the stem.
I might do a comparative test to prove it.

Of all the various tips I have heard with flowers, 
I have never heard of anything involved with fire.

There is something extra special about picking berries straight from the bush and slightly warm from the sun.
Picking fruit and vegetables is a dying art with the pre-selected and pre-packaged bags at most stores.  Some friends have complained that when they go to farmer's markets they have a hard time choosing fruits and vegetables.

Then there are certain items that are just difficult like avocados.
For those who want official advice from Martha can read below and study this before your next trip to a farmer's market.

Here are some beautiful looking recipes for you to try out.
I haven't tried them myself so I chose them purely based on looks.

If you feel like growing any veggies or fruit yourself, 
here is how to build a raised garden bed.

While you are out in the garden, you could jazz up your planters.

I love serving tortilla as nibbles for drinks or starters and 
I thought this was a clever way of cutting it other than
 the standard pie method.

Here's the recipe.

Curious to know how to get grass stains out of jeans after a picnic or from your child's clothes? Cheesecloth is involved.

But I am glad rhubarb season is short.
I don't understand nor like it. 
Could go extinct for all I care.

This is a problem that healthy eaters have.
I don't get smoothies. It's filling but being full never stopped me eating further so
 I need a plate and not a cup to feel satisfied.

Isn't a muffin essentially a naked cupcake?
Never understood all those people eating muffins in the morning thinking it is a semi healthy option.

Her health tip was probably one of the most important ones that gets most neglected.  It's so tied to so many different areas of health.  Growing up I hardly ever got colds probably 
due to my love for kimchi. 

Since I stopped eating it on a daily basis, I noticed that for a few years I was constantly under the weather.
So now I make a concerted effort to have my quota.

But not all bacteria is good however...
Considering how many things go into an average fridge, I wonder if the average person cleans it sufficiently?
I try and leave an open tub of baking soda plus another tub of coffee granules to soak up any smell.

I love how Martha finds so many uses for cotton buds.

Here's some general overall useful summer recipes.

Fried chicken is one of those things that is not so popular here in the UK.  They have KFC and those 3 am dives but no one takes it seriously enough to make it anything other than hangover food.

But this is one dish that I will make once my house is all sorted.

Summer is all about the barbecue but I do feel that even with the extra fruit and veggies that vegetarians are a bit left out on the festive eating.

It's nice when some hosts have a separate grill just for veggies 
and baked potatoes that 
make such a lovely base for numerous toppings.

This is a interesting take on guac.
If anyone tries this, please let us know.

I love these non alcoholic drink recipes.

These could make a nice cocktail with just splashing some vodka
 so everyone has a choice and is merry.

While I would looooove an ice cream maker, 
I know it will end up like 90% of my other kitchen gadgets so I appreciate a no churn and no machine ice craem recipe.

Got any herbs leftover?

My favorite clothes tip is cutting the collars of the men's shirt with pinking shears.

I also love the coffee ice cube idea! I am always in such a hurry to drink it when I order it because I hate that insipid taste at the end.
I also love the drip dry rack because I always run out of space after a party or get together.

You can download these pretty paper patterns as listed below 
to jazz up any bouquets or use them 
for popcorn servers at a summer party even.
That popcorn thing was my idea! ;)

Don't you love these fabric flowers?
In fact, I am planning on taking a class on making ribbon flowers this summer.
I don't know what I shall do with them but still....

I love their feature about the different ways to use one ingredient.
There are some staples I never buy and I always pass tahini in the store but I like what the options they came up with.

Even if it isn't summer where you live, I hope you found at least one useful tip that applies to you.
Have a great weekend!

PS for those of you who don't view this on a tablet to zoom on the pictures then please download the image and then you can enlarge them according to your preference.


  1. Forget the flowers, I'll take the milkshake on my nightstand. Of course fried chicken is heaven in these parts... And I prefer mine served with waffles. Yum! I do believe I make a pretty good guacamole and have learned to "feel" when the avocado is ready. Not sure about the peaches though. I had all kinds of tummy troubles many years ago and after lots of testing my doc suggested a probiotic once a day...I am much better thank you.

    1. I like the waffle combo as well although it seems very different and i prefer it with mash and gravy. Peaches are so hit and miss that I will admit to buying the ready ripe ones at the supermarket otherwise it ends up hard then all of a sudden ( to me anyway ) mouldy!! Don't forget the prebiotics as well to really boos the probiotic :)

  2. You're so funny Naomi! I used to want to be like Martha Stewart, but realized it was giving me an inferiority complex so dropped that goal. Plus she does have an army of "peep's" doing and thinking up her ideas. This mag could entertain me all summer. Your right about that. I do see a couple things I'd try, so will scan the mag when I see it and decide if I can make any if her magic!! Enjoy your weekend! xoxo

    1. I think everyone of us has tried albeit some for seconds and some are still at it! My time being her was weird bc my house and my tulips were perfect but I was exhausted...I like a balance of neat and chaos. I hope you find some great summer party ideas and have a lovely weekend too xx

  3. I feel exhausted just reading through that with you - if you actually did all the stuff she suggests with the OCD cleaning you'd never do anything else in your day.
    One thing I pride myself on is picking fruit and veg. My husband finds it highly amusing to accompany me to the greengrocer and watch me sniffing things (rockmelon) or weighing things in my hands (mandarins). He does the grab and stuff in bag selection, which never works well.
    Incidentally, I came across this link on Maggie Aldersons' blog the other day

    1. Yes, in the beginning of the issue they show her calendar of all her chores and projects and it is chock a block and it doesn't even have her business meetings on there! There aren't many great fruit and veg shops here so I have lost the art unlike when I lived in Oz and Asia....I saw that link and it is hilarious!! xx

  4. If I only had the time to prepare all those delicious desserts, but then again I can't manage to think of myself as the perfect housewife... there are two persons within me, the misses Jekyll (housewife) and misses Hyde (the anti housewife). there is no solution at all.... i'm hopeless. however, the Jekyll - housewife loves reading magazine issues about how to have the perfect home etc, etc.....
    thank you for the post!

    1. The only thing I might do is cut things with shearing scissors. Although a barbecue is nice it is hard not to be a pest in the middle of a city with the smells and smoke! Hope you have a lovely weekend x

  5. oooh I'll have to print this page off because it's got 3 key things that I'm focusing on at the moment: the garden/flowers/plants; recipes and BBQ's. Don't you just love summer, especially when it's cheap! Have a lovely weekend xx

  6. I am not a fan of tahini, but I am a fan on seeing everything which summer is all about on this one post!!
    Now, if only we can get the weather to enjoy all these fabulous things ..

    1. @India - I don't like tahini on its own either and find that it tends to be a supporting ingredient mostly! But I must admit that I do think that half the time I don't get to use these tips over in London!

      @Colleen - I am hoping to use that tea virgin cocktail recipes this summer - hopefully they will be drunk outside too...xx

  7. Lots of interesting info here!

    i love fresh flowers, but don't seem to be able to make them last very long!

  8. Wow lots here to consider. I will be coming back to this post often. I struggle to keep cut flowers alive for as long as I can so will try some of these tips.

    1. @Dawna - I hope those tips extend the life of fresh flowers for at least a few days??

      @Mary M - I hope you do postmark this post as there is a lot of tips in this issue :)

  9. You can use the fabric flowers as hat pins! and I am keen to try the coffee deodorizer for the fridge.

  10. Love the silk flowers!! Thanks for the rundown of this issue. Lots of good tips and especially the pro-biotic stuff. I like all the fun tips too. Hope your summer is getting sunny. xx Kim


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