Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
For all the mantel-less this Christmas season
1. Michelle Morgan Harrison via Habitually Chic 2. Martha Stewart (putting pairless kid's socks to stylish good use--domestic genius) 3. Country Living (not to short-change the stockings, which are very beautiful, but those chairs are the real reason I'm posting this picture)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Spray paint, once again, you've won my heart.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
we're celebrating our recently restored chimney & newly arrived sofa, and blogging by firelight.
In honor of our living room's upgrade from neglected hallway to comfy perch, I made a simple garland inspired by the bridesmaid necklaces my sister made for her wedding (anyone who knows me knows it to be my favorite possession) and a Smith & Hawkin swag that I couldn't justify buying. It's made almost entirely out of things the girls and I found around the house and yard...pine cones, cinnamon sticks, kitchen twine, buttons, a few round silver beads, and ribbon. Festive and not too flashy, we like it.
Besides the garland and our advent wreath, we're holding off on Christmas decorations for the time being, but here are some great holiday designs from Martha the Master Stewart with her subtle, elegant colors and creative use of natural objects.
I think this wreath would be a very appropriate addition to our front door.
this is a creative take on an advent calender. each stocking has a number and little gift to count down the days to Christmas.
cookie tree, yum...I don't think it'd last long in this house. Oh Martha, she's so great.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Now that Thanksgiving has kicked off the holiday season, I wanted to share a couple of easy and festive recipes for the coming weeks.
Cranberry Salad with Pomegranate & Mint
this is a twist on a family favorite of my dear friend, Jennifer's cranberry salad. I just added a few ingredients to her already incredibly delicious dish.
-3 oz box of raspberry jell-o
-20 oz can crushed pineapple
-16 oz can whole berry cranberries
-11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
-about 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (some reserved as garnish)
-1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 4-6 sprigs of fresh mint (some reserved as garnish)
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (or whipped cream cheese)
-2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
-2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
1) drain crushed pineapple and reserve the juice
2) pour pineapple juice into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil
3)reduce heat to low, stir in jell-o until dissolved, then mix in cranberry sauce, stirring until an even consistency is reached
4)remove from heat and stir in the mandarin oranges, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, mint leaves, and pecans
5) pour into a greased bowl or jello mold and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
6) when the salad has congealed, mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside
7)remove the salad from the bowl/mold (setting the salad bowl/mold right-side up in a bowl of warm water for a minute or so helps to loosen the salad if it doesn't slide out easily on its own)
8) top salad with sauce mixture, garnish with extra pomegranate and mint leaves, and serve it up
Camembert with a kick
I made a version of this a few weeks ago for my friend Ruth's bridal shower and it was a hit. Since then, I've added a few things to jazz it up. It's incredibly easy and takes maybe 5 minutes to prepare. Its a great mix of flavors.
-a round of Camembert cheese (but I think almost any soft-textured, slightly mild flavored cheese would work. Brie or goat cheese would be great variations)
- 2 Tbsp-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (adjust the amount to your liking. I like mine with more tang, so I use the full 1/4 cup)
-2 Tbsp. honey
-1 Tbsp. chopped green onions (scallions)
-1 tsp. raspberry jam
-2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
-1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1) mix all ingredients except the cheese together
2) pour mixture over the cheese and serve with crackers or thin slices of a french baguette
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Our old house was filled with color. We had fun experimenting, but realized that as our life grew more colorful we wanted our home to grow more restful...at least parts of it. Now, with 2 small children, a busy husband, a business to run, a couple writing jobs (which means lots of computer time), a huge dog that's every bit as needy as my kids :), and lots more that fills my time with fun and (mostly happy and exciting) chaos, one of my favorite small luxuries is sitting in a quiet room, one that's slightly spare, and taking in the subtleties of light. Just being quiet, reflecting, and taking it in...weird you might say, but just you try it. It's one of the realizations that convinced me of the power of a well-planned interior. I think every busy mom should have a quiet little corner...or ideally a whole room!
I've been making a visual inspiration list for our own neglected living room. Here's a peek...
Thursday, November 13, 2008
she should go into the bow business for sure.
And Molly's mittens, which she made for our big girl last winter.
I need a matching pair!
Whole Grain Baby
besides being an awesomely creative seamstress, she's a mother of 4. You can check out her blog here.
All the Numbers
she makes some of the most beautiful children's things I've seen. Santa, we'll take the whole lot!
I've bought 2 of her clutches and can vouch for the great quality and awesome service.
I have many more favorites that I'd love to share in future posts, but these should get your gift-giving wheels turning. Hope your week is off to a great start!
Monday, November 10, 2008
For the past few weeks I've been trying to figure out what to do with our very shabby kid's bath.
At first we thought we could live with the purple paint, but with time we realized that the color was close to horrendous, and having the house re-piped this summer left it in even a more disheveled state. Instead of ripping everything out and filling our own small landfill with the retro-turned 80s-remnants of our bathroom, we decided to work with what we had, which basically meant just painting.
Usually picking the wall color is my favorite part of of redoing a space. But in this case, it was so difficult because the wall tiles are a mismatched variety of whites and the floor tiles are a VERY big & bold black and white checkered pattern. Most colors I liked looked cheesy with the floor tiles. Somehow everything seemed to clash (but not in a fun, interesting way). I didn't think that was possible with black and white...
Then, I was flipping through my magazine clippings and was grabbed by a vintage-y but simple kitchen that I saw in House Beautiful this summer.
I didn't want to go overboard with the painting. Just enough to add some interest and tone down the color. So, I was delighted to find this placemat on a recent trip to anthropologie. It was the only one left. I thought it would make nice wall art for another bright wall in the bathroom.
So nice to have another room feel like a room instead of a construction zone.