Happy Monday

Did everybody have a marvelous July 4th?!  Hope so.  We actually spent most of the week at the beach.  Believe it or not, the temperatures were milder there than here in Birmingham.

It was a ton of fun hanging out with my husband's extended family.  A grand time was had by all.  The below picture was taken at the Seaside July 4th parade.  See the water balloons?   My children preceded to throw these at parade floats (mainly those floats sporting massive water guns).  Only at the beach at 8:00 AM in the morning no less!  The hostess for our spot was wielding a water hose for any outrageous water attacks during the parade.  I find the whole thing totally hilarious.  

This is a sweet friend (on left) of my sister-in-law (on right) who invited our crowd to the best spot for watching the parade.

One of the highlights of our trip this year was the "all boys" deep sea fishing trip.

I know you're wondering why that's a highlight for me?
Yes, they are kissing the bait for luck!! I say - for Yuck! 

Well, one really good reason . . .

The freshest fish you have EVER tasted.

We ate our weight in grilled grouper the following night and had lots left over to bring home.

When we got back in town, I took a choice piece of the fish, and marinated it very simply (olive oil, garlic and lemon juice) for about 20 minutes.  I started off by browning it on both sides in a cast iron skillet.  Then, I finished it in a 350 degree oven until flaky.  I paired this fish with the most divine succotash recipe from my all time favorite "go to" cookbook for fish (you see that fish dish on the front cover!). . .

 Mr. Stitt's recipe paired the succotash with flounder.  But, I've served it with an all different kinds of white flaky fish (as well as steaks).  It's always delish.

What I love most about his book - the recipes are turnkey.  What I mean is (in contrast to many cookbooks from chef's of Stitt's caliber) they will include ingredients that require a separate recipe (like, two tablespoons of the lamb demi-glace - recipe on page 123 which requires cooking all day and also then includes one cup of the "melted onions -  which is a separate recipe on page 24, and on and on).  Not so with Mr. Stitt.  You just make it and it tastes like you are at Highland's Bar and Grill.  Not sure why, but fish just seems perfect for the summer season.

Now, for some interior design news.  I've been totally glued to a fabulous series in blogland called the "One Room Challenge."

 Several of the ladies in the challenge are on my blogroll, and this is how I discovered the group!  This series, the brain child of the very talented Linda of My Crafty Home Life, is a group of bloggers who have agreed to redesign one space (some are working on a client project while others are working on rooms in their own homes).  The are blogging about the process from start to finish.  They have agreed to post once a week (mainly on Wednesdays) for the next six weeks.  If you have ever undertaken a redesign project, you know that six weeks is not a ton of time.  So, their Wednesday posts are full of details on their progress.  If you have some time, it is worth a read!  Click here as Linda has linked to all the other bloggers participating in the series. 

Hope you have a great start to your week, everybody.  I am well rested and ready to get back to some design work.  M.


  1. One of my favorite dishes is grouper! And boy did yours look fresh!

  2. Mandi, thanks for the mention. I am glad you are enjoying the challenge. It's so hot in New Jersey, I would rather be seaside with you!

  3. Thanks Mandi! That is a lovely mention of our ORC. We are having a ball
    and a little stress- which makes it get done!
    Your vacation looked wonderful and relaxing and memory worthy. Thanks for sharing those beautiful images and see you again soon!

  4. Mandi, thanks for the ORC Mention ... we are having lots of fun and hopefully everyone is enjoying the process!! Your beach photos are fabulous .. My photos of my kids at the beach growing up are some of my most treasured memories!!

  5. Mandi,
    Very nice of you to mention the ORC! I love the pictorial of the deep sea fishing trip..wow...they caught some whoppers!!

  6. i just love that picture of you guys in the water -- that would be the BESt family portrait layout for my family too. hmmm - christmas card next year??

  7. It looks like you had a fabulous time. Can't believe all the fish they caught.

  8. Hi Mandi! Thank you for the ORC mention -- I'm so happy to know about your blog! Your trip looks fantastic. My 14 year old daughter thinks you have some cute boys in the family : )

  9. This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information.


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.