Inspired by Life

Friday, June 28, 2013

Darden's Garden

Virginia country has the most beautiful scenery. We welcomed the sun this morning as we drove to Charlottesville via lush, green hills, and roads thickly lined with trees.  We saw horses looking into the rays of the sun as they warmed themselves, plump cows grazing in the meadows, and had a light, fresh breeze to accompany us. Nature outdoes herself in this part of the land!

We visited the University of Virginia's business school—Darden—this morning. While Aaron chatted with professors, students, and deans, I wandered around on the Grounds, trying to imagine the time when Thomas Jefferson laid out the plans for this very school! It is a beautiful plan and the campus is studded with gardens everywhere. The one I walked through had little gardens with benches all along the sides of this gorgeous courtyard and ended at a statue of Thomas Jefferson. The Darden Business School is a a beautifully-appointed place.

Here are some of the photographs of my wanderings in its gardens.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Moon

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Historic Occoquan, VA

Horses tied to the stalls in front of saloons; cobblestone sidewalks lined with lined with rocking chairs; old men smoking their tobacco-filled pipes watching the sunset; boats scraping up against the dock as they are pulled in for the night after a long day of trading on the river; men coming home after a hard day's work at the grist mill; children running after fireflies on a warm summer night while the women stirred the huge metal pot that hung on a stand in the oven, ready to lay the table for supper. 

These were some of the images that flashed through my mind as we walked through the town of Occoquan, taking in the historic buildings and sounds of people laughing and talking on a warm summer's night, last Friday. It was Aaron's surprise date night location and he picked well.  

Imagine living in a town of 975 people! (as of 2010 census)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Raspberries & Almonds

What better way to contemplate lunch options than snacking on my favorite berries!

Clingy Raindrops

This morning, as I inspected my tomato plants for any new flowers, I was amazed to find these little stubborn rain drops, clinging to the leaves for dear life! I knew I had to a take a picture before they evaporated in the heat of the day. So I grabbed my camera and snapped these beauties.

Always in awe of nature.

Friday, June 21, 2013

How to photograph the Moon

I took this picture of the moon tonight. Practicing my camera settings for the 'Super Moon' this weekend. :)

Here's how I did it:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Ahh.. summer nights. I wish I could bottle them up and store them forever, and pull them out when the winter drags on. Warm summer nights, long walks under the moonlit sky, sitting on our front porch steps amongst the potted plants surrounded by flowers and the scent of herbs, holding hands, and lost in thought. 

The other day, Aaron came home early from work, and I had dinner simmering on the stove. Knowing it would take some time before it would be done, we sat out on our front porch, just enjoying the time together. When suddenly, the dusky evening was punctuated by flickering little lights. Fireflies = summer in Virginia! I had always read about them in books as a little girl, and imagined what they would be like. I can honestly say, I still retain that childlike fascination for fireflies. I will also say this: those little buggers are hard to photograph! But I finally managed to snap a couple of shots when this guy stopped for a rest. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Little Garden

Since my last posts about My Little Garden Part 1 and My Little Garden Part 2, I have added to it quite a bit. Gardening has become somewhat of a passion for me now, and I love every minute of it. I have wanted to have an herb garden for a long time, and even attempted one when we lived in our condo. Alas, due to increasingly hectic schedules at work and lack of motivation to care for them, they withered and died in the scorching summer heat.

Since this pot of flowers looked like it was thriving, I decided to take on some herbs and see who won.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

I love garlic. I love cheese. I love cheesy bread. I love cheesy pull apart bread. I love cheesy garlic pull apart bread. Therefore, I scour Pinterest daily in search of new recipes for pull apart bread. This one has proved to be the easiest and tastiest one so far. It will be added to the Taylor Family Favorites cookbook, for sure!!

Read more to get the recipe, and enjoy!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Maine Ave Fish Market

This morning, I had the amazing opportunity to experience something that has been around for over 200 years - The Maine Ave Fish Market aka Fish Wharf aka The Wharf. It has been in continuous operation since 1805 and is the oldest open air fish market in the United States—even older than New York's Fulton Fish Market by seventeen years!  I stumbled upon this jewel as I was browsing the internet for DC Bucket Lists - things to see and do in DC - a regular activity for me each month. I have no idea why I have never come across this place before but it was mentioned on several lists, so I had to see it!