Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Naturally Nesting {Wasps}

I love to use natural elements in my decor- nests, antlers, turtle shells, and of course seashells. I love to use them in bowls, baskets, and glass apothecary jars.


I spotted these natural wasp nests while in Savannah and just had to have them. They were quite delicate, so I had them shipped in mass from my fave The Paris Market to my door. 


For months, they stayed packaged in a closet until recently when each ended up in my favorite English oak bowl on the parlor mantle. 





Isn't it amazing how such annoying creatures construct something so intricate and interesting?
 The nests of some social wasps, such as hornets, are first constructed by the queen and reach about the size of a walnut before sterile female workers take over construction. The queen initially starts the nest by making a single layer or canopy and working outwards until she reaches the edges of the cavity. Beneath the canopy she constructs a stalk to which she can attach several cells; these cells are where the first eggs will be laid. The queen then continues to work outwards to the edges of the cavity after which she adds another tier. This process is repeated, each time adding a new tier until eventually enough female workers have been born and matured to take over construction of the nest leaving the queen to focus on reproduction. For this reason, the size of a nest is generally a good indicator of approximately how many female workers there are in the colony. Some hornets' nests eventually grow to be more than 50 centimetres (20 in) across. Social wasp colonies of this size often have populations of between three and ten thousand female workers, although a small proportion of nests are over 90 centimetres (3 ft) across and potentially contain upwards of twenty thousand workers and at least one queen. Nests close to one another at the beginning of the year have been observed to grow quickly and merge, and these structures can contain tens of thousands of workers. Some related types of paper wasp do not construct their nests in tiers but rather in flat single combs.



Do you use natural elements in your decor? If so, what are your favorites?
Wasp nests, y'all!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stuffed Red Peppers {Recipe}

J & I discovered this recipe in the July/August issue of My Rouses Everyday magazine and decided to prepare it as a perfect summer supper treat.




Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 Hatch chili or jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.5) ounce can of black beans
  • 12 ounces corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 4 large red peppers, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup avocado, diced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil, add the onions and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add jalapeño and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add black beans and corn kernels; cook for 5 minutes, until warmed. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper; stir to mix completely.
  • Stuff the mixture into each pepper half. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the peppers have softened.
  • Garnish with avocado and cilantro. (Serves 8)


They are so fresh tasting and yummy! It is such a healthy summery treat.

Stuffed Red Peppers, y'all!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Feelin' Crabby and a Winner

I'm loving my newest door decor for the summer as painted by Melissa Henry of Show Me the Door







Two colorful crabs hand painted to summery perfection in shades of red, yellow, and turquoise greet the guests all summer long. The talented Melissa did it again.



I am also happy to announce the winner of the Party Cup Express give away.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to Sean C ! Please email me your mailing address so that you can receive your prize.


Crabby, y'all! 
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