Thursday, December 18, 2008

winter whites

Not your usual chilly fare

I really love color, but I also love the visual break and simple sense of calm that a white room with interesting, uncomplicated accents provides. I would happily welcome any one of these rooms into my life. What about you?

1. I'm sorry not to remember where I found this beautiful living room. 2. Twig Hutchinson. It took me a very long time to realize this was a sink, not an elegant entry table. I like how understated it is. 3. Country Home. I especially like the mirror above the stacked dishes. 4. another Country Home the variety of textures grabbed me. 5. Domino. What struck me about this room was that there is nothing in particular that makes this room wonderful aside from its simpicity. 6. Skona Hem. I have a special love for beautiful doors, and this one with it's perfectly placed windows just made my day a little happier.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

stockings hung with care and flair

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

Easy Fashion

In case you haven't heard

bags are definitely in

Nature's Last Green is Gold

So sorry Robert Frost

Spray paint, once again, you've won my heart.

1. leaves for our bedroom mantel. Fall passed by too quickly this year. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the leaves. I love the shapes they curl into. 2. gold pine cones--I'm claiming no originality here, but they are very pretty. 3. Rose of Sharon stems. For being weeds, they really have an exceptional shape even after the flower falls off. They are in a vase on our bedroom mantel too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

cozy up

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

holidays underway

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was a fantastic weekend long celebration made all the more special by my little sister's visit from New York and all the laughs she brought along with her.

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

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