Sunday, July 29, 2012


During this, the hottest time of summer, does everything just seem so alive?

Even your dog?  (Ours just had a little surgery, as you can see)

The air is so heavy and hot.

Things just seem to bloom.

This vines creeps and creeps, even when rain is scarce.

And this purple beauty needs little water to survive.

And thrive.

It's July, and all the world seems alive.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Simple Summer Salsa

I love chips and salsa, especially in the summertime.

While I do like the more exotic salsas with pineapple and lime and corn and avocado, my favorite salsas are more traditional, just your tomato-and-cilantro numbers with a few other goodies thrown into the mix.

Just a simple summer salsa.

So that's what I set out to make with the abundance of tomatoes from my garden.

It doesn't take a lot of ingredients or a lot of time, really.

Let's get rollin'!

(makes about one pint of salsa)

approximately 2 pounds of tomatoes (I used about half roma, half better boy.)
one tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped white onion
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
one tablespoon cilantro
one tablespoon garlic salt

1.  Boil the tomatoes for 30-45 seconds to soften the skins.


2. Remove from water and place into cold/ice water to stop the cooking process and cool them for handling.

3.  Peel away all of the skin from each tomato.  They should be soft and easily removable.  Also cut out any soft spots or bruises.

4.  Slice the tomatoes in half and remove the hard inner "core" as well as all the juice and seeds (you only want the fleshy tomato walls in your salsa).  Place the desired tomato parts in a colandar over a sink or bowl to further drain.  I stir them to further remove remaining liquid (tomatoes are *extremely* juicy.)

5.  According to how chunky you want your salsa to be, remove 1/4-1/3 of your tomatoes to a cutting board, coarsely chop, and set aside.  (These will not be used in step 6.)


6.  Place the remaining tomatoes in a food processor (I use a magic bullet) and process till smooth.

7.  Place processed tomatoes in a large saucepan on stovetop.  Add chopped tomatoes, onion, and chiles.  Add tomato paste to thicken salsa.  Bring to a boil, stirring continuously.  Reduce to medium heat.  At this stage, I used a measuring cup to drain off 1/3 cup of excess water from my salsa as it cooked.  Add cilantro and garlic salt (you may, of course, adjust these quantities to taste and add other seasonings, such as basil or cumin, as desired!).  Let simmer for 20 minutes.

8.  Ladle salsa into jars, chill, and enjoy!

 Fresh and bold...just like summer!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review and Giveaway with Core Bamboo!

You know what super-summery material I'm loving this hot July? Bamboo!  Not only is it exotic and beautiful, but it's very versatile as well. 
Nobody knows this better than Core Bamboo.  They manufacture, wholesale, and retail the world's best bamboo products made by the world's finest artisans.  This socially responsible company uses bamboo that's 100% organically grown and sealed with natural lacquers from cashew trees. 
Core Bamboo prides itself in its extensive line of fine products.  I love their selection!  Their line includes home decor

Bamboo knives (Can you believe it!)

And beautiful crushed bamboo bowls.

 For this review, I received Core Bamboo's large rectangle two-tone woven tray.  It is so beautiful and without a doubt the most unique tray I've ever seen.

There are actually two contrasting shades of bamboo woven together to achieve this look.  One color is a natural blond bamboo and one is a rich chocolate shade.

This serving tray measures 19'' by 13'' and is two inches deep.   It is very sturdy, making it functional as well as beautiful.  It would be perfect for indoor as well as outdoor entertaining!  It would also make a lovely tray to hold magazines and be a catch-all on a coffe table or be part of a centerpiece on a dining room or kitchen table.  I love how the orange in this ceramic pitcher picks of the shades of the bamboo in the tray.

Core Bamboo is giving one Till Death Do Us Part reader their own woven bamboo tray.  How perfect for summer parties!  Readyt to enter?  Here's how!
To Enter:
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry.)

1. Follow Till Death Do Us Part via GFC. (Mandatory)

2. Like Core Bamboo on Facebook.  (Mandatory)

3. Find something else that catches your eye from Core Bamboo.

4.  Follow Core Bamboo on Twitter.

5. Follow Till Death Do Us Part on Twitter.

6. Like Till Death Do Us Part on Facebook.

Six ways to win! This giveaway is open to residents 18 years or older in the continental U.S. All entries will be verified. Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner is chosen. Please make sure your email address is included in your entries or profile. Giveaway will run until Sunday, August 5 at 9 p.m. CST. Winner will be chosen via and announced here asap.

Good luck!

(*Author was supplied with free product to review. All statements and opinions, however, are solely that of the author.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Orange and White Zinnias

Summer means


Zinnias in orange.


Zinnias in white.



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review with iMo Camera Straps!

Today I'm excited to profile the premier maker of fashion camera straps--iMo fashion camera straps. 

Based out of Hong Kong, this company focuses on the fun and beauty in life and encourages you to go out and experience it.  iMo--which stands for "In My Opinion"--looks at life as a gift and wants to help you capture every moment with beauty and style, and their straps certainly have plenty of that!

From sweet and understated....

To bright and bold....


To something a little wild....

iMo straps has a style for every photographer.  A few of my favorites are the Japanese Owl Pattern...

and this bold black and white strap.

Fashionable iMo straps are available in three materials--neoprene, jacquard, and cotton tape.  iMo crafts straps for DSLR as well as SLR cameras, with some straps, such as the Watercolor and Sunshine (left to right, below), being suitable for both varieties.

iMo straps are not just stylish. They are the perfect blend of beauty and functionality (which I love!). These straps, which are all handmade when ordered, are tested for durability and reliability. The quick release straps can hold over 120 pounds, and the non-quick release straps can support more than 180 pounds.


For this review, I received iMo's gorgeous Orange Wheel neoprene strap for my DSLR Cannon camera.  

I absolutely love the funky circle pattern and the bright orange color with the contrasting black and white.  The fabric is very bold and eye-catching.   This strap is approximately 1.5 inches wide and can be adjusted to be from 45.5 to 55.5 inches long.  The nylon webbing measures 13 inches on each end. This strap also has a quick-release, and it's best-suited for a DSLR camera.  
The two key factors I think most people want in a camera strap are security and comfort, and this strap definitely has both.  The nylon webbing is very securely sewn to the sturdy leather, and the strap is nicely padded from end to end. This strap is definitely not just for show--it gets the job done as well!

iMo straps lets you snap all those fun and special moments in style.  They also offer gift sets and gift certificates.  You can connect with them on Facebook by clicking here!

Capture those fun summer moments with iMo!

(*Author received free product to review. All opinions and statements, however, are solely that of the author.  Photos are courtesy of iMo.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just Tomatoes

It seems as though some years, some vegetables do better than others.  Last year, it was squash.

This year, it's tomatoes.

Every day, I'm picking and washing more ripening tomatoes.

Roma and Better Boy.  They haven't let me down this hot, hot summer.

 There's something so right about a home-grown tomato.

What backyard vegetable is filling your table this summer?

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