Hello and welcome to my blog, I am happy to see you here!

If you like something you found here please leave me a comment, I am always glad to hear from our customers and friends!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Guacamole recipe to celebrate Cinco De Mayo

When I first tried Mexican food 15 years ago, I did not like it at all. It was full of unusual flavors and spices and my throat was on fire. My least favorites were cilantro, jalapeno peppers and tamales. In fact, first time I cleaned jalapeno pepper, I paid with temporary coughing, eyes watering and nose itching :)  I did not know that even if you wash your hands with soap and water, the hotness is still there. So I always wear gloves when cleaning any type of hot peppers since then.

But, with time I started to like some of foods. I started with deep fried chimichangas and fajitas deliciousness and gradually increased my favorite's lists over the years. I am even cooking some dishes at home now and my family and friends love them.

One recipe I'd like to share today is guacamole, a perfect dip to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. I am not adding hot spices to mine but you can, of course.

3 ripe avocados
1 lime
2 garlic cloves
3 scallions
6-8 cherry tomatoes
cilantro leaves, about 2/3 cups or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How to make it:
Thoroughly wash and dry your vegetables. 
Cut each avocado lengthwise in halves, remove the pit.
Scoop avocado pulp into medium bowl with spoon and mash it with potato masher or a fork. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocados and gently stir it. Add crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, scallions and salt & pepper. 
Adjust seasonings to your liking.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.

You can serve it with chips, tortillas or pulled pork. It's fresh, healthy and delicious!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Monday, May 2, 2016

A swallow steampunk necklace project

Here is another project we made with Albina Manning recently, a steampunk style necklace. We used some natural stone beads, copper and antique finish finds, and a vintage copper swallow charm as a focal point.

I think it turned out   great. Use your finds and imagination and you will make a great necklace for yourself.

Here is what we use to make ours:

Tools: Wire cutters, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers (2 pairs)
Materials: beads, charm (bird), chain, clasp, jump rings, 20 ga wire.

Here is how to make this:

Lay out your beads, charms and chains to see how you want your future necklace to looks like.

Using 20 ga wire and your tools, make wrapped loops on the both sides of beads.

Using jump rings, attach beads and pieces of chain in the order you would like.

Attach the clasp with jump rings.

Happy making!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Easter!

Today is a great day, it is Orthodox Easter. My best wishes to all who celebrate!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Our 15 years anniversary

Just a short 2 hour drive trip up north made my week. In just 24 hours we've seen a snow, a blooming trees, a beautiful spring flowers and wildlife.

A Kaibab squirrel came to our balcony in the morning hoping to find some nuts and a large robin was sitting on a tree branch outside of our hotel's window. 
We spotted a herd of about 12 deer in the woods on the way down from the mountains. 

What a great day!

It was cold in Flagstaff, the lowest I noticed was 31'F. The wind was harsh but Flagstaff has a lot of  great places to eat and shop so the windy day became fun and cozy. 
We stopped by Beaver street brewery for some warmth and a quick bite (I love their woodfired pizzas!), then went to shop downtown. 
Simple pleasures but so much fun!

We celebrated our 15 year anniversary that night with champagne and delicious dinner. 
A perfect  day among the ponderosa pine forest!   

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter fun

Easter is such a beautiful holiday. Everything is so gentle and tender, the colors are soft and the food is simple but delicious.
Some painted eggs, an Easter bread and a cup of tea in the garden, what a great treat!
This morning I saw a couple of birds through the window. They were trying to get some pieces of branches and ribbon off my wreath in the garden. Then they found some other nest building materials under the tree and flew off to the nearest tree. What  fun watching it!
I was happy to see some beautiful flowers open, a gift from friends which I got several years ago. Right in time for Easter!
Happy Easter, dear friends! May you have a great spring!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Celtic Wig Jig Earrings fo St. Patricks Day

These Celtic copper & green beads wig jig earrings are gorgeous. Albina (aroundbeads) made it during our last craft party and just posted it on her blog.
If you'd like to see how to make these, simply watch her video and follow the instructions. The earrings  are lightweight, very pretty and great to wear for St. Patricks Day or any time you want. Such a universal design.

 If you'll make these or similar please share your photos with us!

Monday, March 7, 2016

St. Patrick's Day finds at agardencottage

... And here is St.Patricks Day related items in my vintage agardencottage shop!

Something perfect for your morning coffee, a tall espresso cup and saucer Shamrock pattern. Micratex Ironstone by W. Adams & Sons, England:
A couple of lucky leprechauns Wade figurines (made in Ireleand), to bring you luck:


Planning to bake some treats this St. Patricks Day? Here is a 4 leaf clover cookie cutter by Tupperware.
 Not so much into baking but would love some beer? Here is a perfect green rubber vintage beer coaster by John Gleanson:
 Cute vintage shamrock buttons to decorate your clothing with:

And last but not least, some great shamrock sterling silver jewelry for you or for your loved ones.

... and the cutest lucky 4 leaf clover brooch

Happy St. Patricks Day!