New Garden Plantings, Yoga Essentials, Summer Reading & The Masters Signature Cocktail

Today I’m sharing an update on our garden, a few yoga essentials, a summer read to pre-order immediately, and, if you’re following The Masters, you need to know about this cocktail.

Happy Weekend Friends!

It’s time for the weekend post with Kim and Elizabeth.

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

Speaking of goings on,

Elizabeth’s had quite a week.

If you don’t already know, I’ll let her tell you about it.

This article includes affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Snapdragons on a garden trellis.

As you know, because I won’t stop talking about it,

Homestead Design Collective replanted most of our front and back gardens.

Last week I promised to share some photos today.

And I did take them, but they mostly highlight the beautiful black mulch topping the new plantings.

I mean, most of the plants are young.

Read small.

We had gorgeous weather this week.

Of course today it’s raining.

But I expect the new plants take off over the next few weeks and months.



This week on the blog I gave a brief tour of our kitchen coffee and cocoa station. You know how crucial morning cocoa is to me. Recently I had to make a big adjustment when my original model Breville milk frother died and I was forced to upgrade to the newer, fancier version. For whatever reason this purchase triggered another … a  hammered brass tray to corral all our cocoa and coffee making stuff.

My fancy new frother and I had a bit of a rough start. But we’ve worked out the kinks and it’s going to be a beautiful relationship. I also feel like it’s sturdier than than older model. When it worked, it worked beautifully, but it was temperamental and I went through three in four years.

If you’re a caffeine lover, Jim adores and highly recommends his Breville Espresso Machine. Pricey, but it’s a very popular coffee maker and he’s had great success with it going on five years. He makes a latte every morning using Leftist Espresso beans that he orders from Gimme! Coffee, Califia Farms almond milk (Barista Blend), and Tornani vanilla syrup.

Kitchen coffee bar.

Breville Milk Cafe Frother | Hammered Brass Tray



Last week I promised to share some photos of our newly replanted gardens. It may be a bit of letdown as most of the new plants are young (small) and will need time to settle in. Luckily we’ve had ideal weather for new plantings and I hope everything will be growing and blooming in soon. Stay tuned.

First things first, our very old Magnolia tree died a slow death after our initial landscaping and we had to take it down last year. It left a big empty space in the front of our house and I was excited to see it replaced with a Chinese Elm. We opted for the largest tree that would fit through our gate and we hope it lives up to it’s reputation as a fast grower.

Front yard garden anchored by Chinese Elm tree.

These are some of the other plants Homestead deemed suitable for our front garden ~

Shrubs – Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Little Ollie and Bush Germander | Perennials – Lady’s Mantle, Spurge, Geraniums, Phenomenal Lavender, Flowering Tobacco, Germander Sage, Lavender Cotton, Green Santolini, Spreading Germander, Blue Throatwort, and Cedros Island Verbena.

In the backyard, new perennials include Lady’s Mantle, Japanese Anemone, Columbine, Bellflower, Strawberry Foxglove, Geranium, Himalayan Foxglove, Corsican Hellebore, Lemon Verbena. And Jasmine on the upper hill to cascade down the stone wall.

Some of what remains from our original plantings include boxwood balls lining the front and back paths, a lemon and lime trees, and shade loving plants like camellias and hydrangeas. Oh, and Rosella … our beautiful climbing rose that adorns the front trellis fence. She’s been a bright spot in an otherwise bleak landscape.

And finally we got a nice new layer of mulch and gravel. Fingers and toes crossed everything is happy at Snowberry and our underground critters have left the premises.



Speaking of The Masters, apparently they have a signature cocktail, The Azalea. I have made a cocktail in a while, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of late. Picture a little duck paddling furiously under the surface.  But where I’ve fallen down, my friend Nicolle of Our Tiny Nest is taking care of business and she’s made the Azalea Cocktail. Isn’t it pretty? You probably have all the ingredients in your house already. Lemonade, grenadine, and vodka. I’ve got a baskets full of lemons and a tree that’s still producing so I’ll start squeezing the juice now.

The Azalea Cocktail from Our Tiny Nest.

Azalea Cocktail Recipe at Our Tiny Nest



Earlier this year I started taking yoga classes again. After recovering from back and foot injuries I decided to take a gentler approach to exercise and found a local studio where I feel comfortable and they offer classes that allow me to ease back into a yoga practice.

We do have a treadmill and other workout equipment in the garage, and I use the treadmill fairly frequently. In fact this week I finished a running program in Morocco. Just me and the Dromedaries on the beach … alongside our coach, Tommy Rivs. But let’s bring it back to yoga.

This week I attended five yoga classes. That’s right, five. And I’m headed there this morning after we walk the dogs. Tomorrow too. I’m into the groove.

Overhead view of yoga props and yogi's socked feet.

Now that I’m over 50 (ahem … over 60) I’ve had to make some adjustments to my fitness routines. Getting older can be humbling. It can also be pretty awesome so I’m not going to drone on about injuries, illnesses or other boring stuff that no one wants to hear about. With regard to yoga, I’ve found a couple things to be helpful.

  • Doubling up my yoga mat. It’s easier on the knees. Sometimes I even put folded blanket down on top of the mats for extra protection.
  • Wearing socks at the beginning and end of class. My feet are always cold. I had to laugh at myself this morning as I walked out of the house wearing leggings, socks and Birkenstocks. Who am I?


Woman dressed for yoga, holding yoga mat.

I used to suffer through painful knees and cold feet and ankles during class. Why? I have no idea. I suppose I thought I’d look dumb or old or weird. Which itself was dumb. One of the many gifts of getting older is no longer giving a flying fig what anyone else thinks.


For anyone dealing with foot related issues, Hokas are the best workout and walking shoes. They changed my life … in terms of comfort and ability to get back to most of my regular workout related activities. And, I was very late to the Birkenstock party but now that I’m here I’m all in.


As dismal as the weather may be where many of us are, summer is coming and it will be here before know it. And that means, vacation, lazy days in the backyard, by the pool, on the beach. And … easy summer reading. Last summer I read my first ever Elin Hildebrand book, The Five-Star Weekend. I loved it. So much so I decided to explore more of her books because obviously I had a lot of catching up to do. Well, I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I haven’t found another one that I like nearly as much and I’ve struggled to find the motivation to even finish a lot of them. Yikes. Cleary the problem is me because … I mean, she’s Elin Hildebrand. If you’re an EH fan, please share your favorite titles with me and I’ll give it another whirl. And if you haven’t read The Five Star Weekend, I thought it was very very good.

The five-Star Weekend book cover.

The Five-Star Weekend

And that brings me to favorite blogger and NYT bestselling author, Kristy Woodson Harvey. Oh, she’s also a podcast co-host alongside three other big-deal authors. Friends & Fiction is very popular on podcast platforms, YouTube and their Facebook community.

Her latest book, A Happier Life, is available for pre-order which I’ve already mentioned a couple of times. And then this happened, she sent me an advance copy. How exciting and fun! Well, I dove right in and I’m already halfway through. If I wasn’t writing this post I’d be finished. And that’s my plan for today. I’m dying to know what happens. Anyway, A Happier Life’s release date is June 25th, just in time for summer so be sure to pre-order so it lands in your mailbox, or e-Reader, on that date.

A Happier Life book open on bench next to pillow and a pair of reading glasses.

A Happier Life


Current Favorites ~


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And that’s what I have for you today.

Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what’s inspiring them.



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If you missed last weekend’s post, you can catch up here.

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Cheer from Snowberry!

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  • If you’re looking for a good book, our book club just read The Women by Kristin Hannah and loved it. It’s about the nurses who served in Vietnam and what they dealt with in wartime and at home after. Not a light read but I couldn’t put it down. If you watched M*A*S*H as a kid, you will see the similarities in this book. Elin Hildebrand’s Paradise trilogy was very good too. Hope you find a read you enjoy soon!

  • Hi Juliet!
    As a master gardener, I have learned that taking the skinny support and green tape is the first step and replacing that with 2 T posts (one for each side of tree) and use a sturdy nylon string to keep the tree supported. I use about one ft of old hose to cushion the string and to keep the string from stripping the bark off your tree. And some types of trees, I used tree wrap to prevent sun scald . I used it for 2 years. Good luck on your new tree! Your landscape is beautiful!

    • Thank you, Marcia. I really appreciate this advise. And I realized our last newly planted trees were supported by those larger stakes on either side. We’re going to get on it. Oh, and I’ll look into a tree wrap. So much to learn … I’ll do anything to protect this tree so it thrives! xo

  • Juliet, your new garden looks fabulous!!!! It is always sad when our original and expensive landscapes need to be fixed and replaced so soon.
    Speaking of my exciting week, it is the gift that keeps on giving, all of the landscape in front will have to be removed or trampled while they fix the house. We are waiting to hear from our landscaper to see if it can be salvaged or if we have to start over.
    You cocoa and coffee bar looks beautiful! I love the addition of the tray. Treating yourself to a delicious morning coco or coffee is a must and it is the only way to start the day.
    Yoga! I love yoga. Before we moved I did hot yoga 6 days a week and love it. Here I just started back, I am not too sure about the teacher yet but it is nice to be back stretching. We have to be kind(er) to ourselves as we age.
    Kristy is an amazing writer, blogger and friend. I love all of her books and cannot wait to get into this one. I personally cannot wait for the new Ina Garten book.
    Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy your new garden and beautiful weather.
    xo Elizabeth

    • Oh, Elizabeth. I’m so sorry, it just keeps getting worse. I hope your landscapers can find a way to salvage plants … maybe temporarily relocate them. Ugh. I’m going yo hope for the best. I did hot yoga once and thought I might die, but did make it through. I’m working my way up to it … but you’re right, as we age we sometimes have to make allowances. It’s a fine line. xo

  • I am with you on Erin Hildebrand. Not into it. But then, I don’t love the kind of reading that most ladies love! I do like Emily Henry, although I skim through a some of it.
    The Women is supposed to be great and I loved The Nightingale. Just finished The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and loved it.
    Your yard looks wonderful! ❤️

  • I just read The Five Star Weekend, loved it. I look forward to reading A Happier Life, in June. Your garden redo looks very pretty. How did you get rid of the critters? I just planted my raised veggie garden only to look down the hill to see the quail all over it. Hopefully they left me a few things. I enjoy your style.

    • Hi Cristi … wasn’t 5-Star Weekend good?! You’re going to love A Happier Life … I’m nearly done and need more. As for the critters, I’m not sure we got rid of them. After they ate everything they moved on. The question is, is their relocation permanent, or will they be back. Eek. xo

  • I just can’t get past the big letters on the side of Hoka shoes. Why they do that I don’t know. I’m a Brooks fan myself and do have feet injuries.
    I agree with Maria about how to stake the tree. You want it to be able to sway a bit which helps the tree get stronger.
    We just replaced a 45 yo American elm that died…Hoping the new Chinese Pistache makes it.

    • Hi Nanci – oh my gosh, that’s so interesting about the Hokas. I never really thought about it … but you’re right, the letters are HUGE! I really appreciated Maria’s comment and we’re going retake the tree. Anything to insure it thrives. The drought has been so hard on tress and losing them is so sad … and it changes not only the landscape for shadiness inside. Ugh. xo

  • Juliet your yard always looks so pretty. Love the boxwood balls and the little shrubs. As soon as we get more sun, all your garden things will takeoff.

    The coffee bar is lovely… and I love your mug. Jim’s latte sounds good.
    Yay for yoga. It really is so good for the flexibility right? My dr always says it prevents injuries and so does pilates. I need to get into it. You look cute in your workout gear. Love the jacket and Birks. I even have a sherpa pair. Love it all.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

    Oh the book looks good too. Perfect rainy day for reading. xo

  • Always look forward to your post! Ordered your book suggestion, perfect timing for me. I was on the hunt for a new book. I haven’t done yoga in years, walk a lot. But feeling like I need to a little more. Like you found a class to ease back in.

    • Christine, I was feeling the same way and I’m so grateful to have found a ‘gentle’ class. You’re going to love the book … I may finish it today. xo

  • Love my Hokas…Elin Hilderbran’ paradise
    trilogy was enjoyable…Winter in Paradise, What Happens in P. and Trouble in P.
    Good on you for starting back with yoga,

    • Joan … we love our Hokas, right?! I just finished the Paradise trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, but the next two had me struggling. I’m still bothered by the open ended ending. What’s wrong with me?! xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    Your garden looks beautiful. Planting at the right time is everything along with the right location for the plant or tree. I hope everything that has been planted thrives. It’s wonderful you have a team of professionals that you work with that know their stuff.
    You look adorable going out to Yoga. As you reach an “advanced age” it’s so freeing to not care what others think. A big YAY for you Missy Girl. You have arrived. It’s so freeing.
    Anyways people are more concerned about how cute they are to pay attention to you.

  • Oh Juliet! First of all, thank you for sharing my azalea cocktail! Second, I loveeee all of EH’s books so I am adding this one to my to be read list! Happy weekend 🙂

  • Hi Juliet! Your yard is looking fabulous! I hope the critters stay away. And good for you for work out streak! Keep it going! Just preordered the book. Thanks for the recommendation! I have been on the Birkenstock train for a while, and I can’t get off!

  • I love your posts. They make me giggle as well as
    inform! Your gardens are stunning. I live in Arizona
    and our color in the summer is various rock granite
    colors(desert landscaping) and the great greens
    of cactus! Seriously, we get bougevvilla too!
    Miss the plushness of flowers and shrubs. The Birks
    with socks was so funny, I even succumbed to that
    after swearing to never wear those ugly sandals!!

    • Hi Char … I love bougevvilla and wish we could grow it here. I guess every region has its can and can’ts and we have to do our best to accept it. As maddening as that is. I hear you on the Birk. I never thought I’d see the day, and yet here we are. Ha! xo

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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