A few recent house updates…..

Hi there and happy Tuesday evening….taking a much needed coffee break, just came in from being out.  We are in a deep freeze. It is almost too cold to go out. It takes every ounce of energy and perseverance for me to venture outside….yes, it’s that cold. Hoping for an early thaw….please!!

I realize I haven’t done any updates on my home in quite a while. But don’t let the quiet fool you:) I have been quite busy behind the scenes. The single most exciting thing of all is my bedroom. I am beyond excited over how its coming out. I want to give the full reveal when it is totally done but did include a few “sneak peeks”. Also small things here and there going, on and thought it warranted a small house updates post.

Other big news (I say it tongue in check) is that I joined Instagram! Woo hoo. Alert the presses. Now my friends can finally stop  making fun of me. True, I am still rather clueless as to how it all works or what the point even is but I am trying hard to think outside the box in 2014 and vowed to try a bunch of new things this year. So if you have any remote desire whatsoever to see whats on my Instagram, you can find me under you guessed it…..theenchantedhome (all one word) . I am not going to promise that it’s going to be that exciting as I have NO idea what I am doing, but I do promise to do my best:) I am staring sloooooow so bear with me please.

These were all taken with my iPhone so pardon the quality on a few…..camera was out of commission

So come on in……..

A few snippets of my bedroom. It is shaping up and shaping up fast but I want to wait until every last little item is in place. So far however my vision of what  a bedroom should be has come to life. I absolutely love it….

Loving my new slipper chairs….and remember this fabric? Well turns out it was the perfect choice!

I am not done with this arrangement but it’s getting there!
And of course my most favorite lamps in the world!!
And the trim I hemmed and hawed over….well it finally got here!

FINALLY getting this small powder room off of the library done! I got the floors finished, the toilet is in, this is an old chest we are using for the vanity, just waiting for the new countertop. I found these wonderful sconces and brackets at a local consignment shop and using this wallpaper that I have had set aside since before we even moved in! I still love it so its been ordered!!

 Love the floor! It’s a mess though, don’t ask what a painting is doing in the floor there, it’s become a bit of a storage closet:)

 The chest that will be the vanity, its not my all time fave but we own it so we are using it. Just waiting on the countertop (matches the floor)

 Do love these black tole chinoiserie sconces I found and will be using in here……
 The gorgeous wallpaper, still love it after all these years! Put your hands over that green countertop and you will get the idea:)

 I think the floor is really pretty…its honey onyx, that I had cut into 2 x12’s and did as a chevron/herringbone pattern

I was tired of seeing the red poinsettias tress on my island. It was perfect for Christmas and at the rate I was going, I guess I could have left them up for Valentines Day since they are red:) But I wanted to feel some spring so added my pink cherry blossoms to these new blue and whites and I must say I love it. It feels so wonderful walking into my kitchen and totally belies the fact that there is ice crusted snow everywhere outside…oh well once can dream:)

And speaking of the kitchen, I love the way the bright yellows of lemons and green of limes looks in blue and white…its uplifting given the dark gloomy days of winter we are having!

And since we are in my kitchen, how gorgeous is this copper pot my sister gave me for my birthday? She does know me well……

Bought this beautiful pair of black tole lanterns to put in two small hallway vestibules upstairs. I like the simplicity and shape.

And added this belljar to a small vestibule between my bedroom and closet. You  know I looooove my belljars:)

I have been finding the prettiest antique decanters lately. Look at these, they are antique Baccarat with the sterling liquor  name plates…gorgeous!

We have been starting to look at flooring for our basement. I am amazed at what they are doing with tiles! We want a maintenance free tile that looks like wood. I am leaning towards those ashy colored light to med. woods..they are so soothing and pretty. Amazing!

 It is so hard to believe these are porcelain tiles and not wood!

Now that the holidays are over, I am going back to the drawing board on a number of projects, with the bedroom and my dining room being two of the most important. Still tweaking but getting closer every day to the final background color of the gorgeous chinoiserie which I know will transform the space…..

And have had these really large chunky white ginger jars for a while (was going to carry them) but they are so darn big and heavy. So instead of sitting in storage I took them out and put them on the pale green French console in the upstairs hallway and I love the way they look, so fresh and crisp! I am going to add something to the center, just not sure what. I will probably refer back to my post from yesterday on accentuating with accessories!

Put in this gorgeous new lantern finally in our back stair hall…really pretty piece!

I think I have finally figured out the secret to keeping orchids alive well and super long lasting. Cool, cool cool rooms. This one is in one of the coolest areas of our house and this thing looks as beautiful as it did the day I got it over two months ago….still going strong! Very little water also (maybe once every 10 days)

Yes my Christmas tree FINALLY got taken down 3 days ago, my big soldiers are next in line:)

Another one still going strong that I now moved to a cooler spot

Just starting to get my orders in for the Annabell Ingall totes so if you are one of the ones waiting…..things are starting to ship out this week. Every time I see a new color/variation, I want one (it’s a bit of a problem).  I mean how many bags does a girl need? Nevermind, you don’t have to answer that:)  They are all so gorgeous….

 Sky and Cherry totes (med and large)

                                     This is a great neutral,new color String in the new style, Coco

A few important things……

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this magnificent bowl courtesy of Bonny Neiman! Click here for details. I will announce a lucky winner on Friday morning.

Also accepting pictures of your kitchens for about another week for my KITCHEN LOVE contest! If you think your kitchen has what it takes and is “contest ready”…….send it in! Details below….

My new contest is called Kitchen Love. A subject near and dear to our hearts, the heart of the home. Send in your pictures of your kitchen or it can be a snippet of your kitchen, something that makes your kitchen special and beautifully yours. I cannot wait to start getting the entries! Rules are-

Max. two pictures per entrant
They must be your pictures (not taken off the internet)
Please send your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com
You must put Kitchen Love in subject line to insure it is received and included
I am accepting pictures as of today and the deadline is Feb. 8th
The contest will begin Feb. 10th and run for two days.
The lucky winner will receive a beautiful large Spanish olive tray, a gorgeous addition to any kitchen.
Thank you for stopping in. Hope all is well with you….talk to you soon! Stay warm:)

A few recent house updates…..

Hi there and happy Tuesday evening….taking a much needed coffee break, just came in from being out.? We are in a deep freeze. It is almost too cold to go out. It takes every ounce of energy and perseverance for me to venture outside….yes, it’s that cold. Hoping for an early thaw….please!!

I realize I haven’t done any updates on my home in quite a while. But don’t let the quiet fool you:) I have been quite busy behind the scenes. The single most exciting thing of all is my bedroom. I am beyond excited over how its coming out. I want to give the full reveal when it is totally done but did include a few “sneak peeks”. Also small things here and there going, on and thought it warranted a small house updates post.

Other big news (I say it tongue in check) is that I joined Instagram! Woo hoo. Alert the presses. Now my friends can finally stop? making fun of me. True, I am still rather clueless as to how it all works or what the point even is but I am trying hard to think outside the box in 2014 and vowed to try a bunch of new things this year. So if you have any remote desire whatsoever to see whats on my Instagram, you can find me under you guessed it…..theenchantedhome (all one word) . I am not going to promise that it’s going to be that exciting as I have NO idea what I am doing, but I do promise to do my best:) I am staring sloooooow so bear with me please.

These were all taken with my iPhone so pardon the quality on a few…..camera was out of commission

So come on in……..

A few snippets of my bedroom. It is shaping up and shaping up fast but I want to wait until every last little item is in place. So far however my vision of what? a bedroom should be has come to life. I absolutely love it….

Loving my new slipper chairs….and remember this fabric? Well turns out it was the perfect choice!

I am not done with this arrangement but it’s getting there!
And of course my most favorite lamps in the world!!
And the trim I hemmed and hawed over….well it finally got here!

FINALLY getting this small powder room off of the library done! I got the floors finished, the toilet is in, this is an old chest we are using for the vanity, just waiting for the new countertop. I found these wonderful sconces and brackets at a local consignment shop and using this wallpaper that I have had set aside since before we even moved in! I still love it so its been ordered!!

?Love the floor! It’s a mess though, don’t ask what a painting is doing in the floor there, it’s become a bit of a storage closet:)

?The chest that will be the vanity, its not my all time fave but we own it so we are using it. Just waiting on the countertop (matches the floor)

?Do love these black tole chinoiserie sconces I found and will be using in here……
?The gorgeous wallpaper, still love it after all these years! Put your hands over that green countertop and you will get the idea:)

?I think the floor is really pretty…its honey onyx, that I had cut into 2 x12’s and did as a chevron/herringbone pattern

I was tired of seeing the red poinsettias tress on my island. It was perfect for Christmas and at the rate I was going, I guess I could have left them up for Valentines Day since they are red:) But I wanted to feel some spring so added my pink cherry blossoms to these new blue and whites and I must say I love it. It feels so wonderful walking into my kitchen and totally belies the fact that there is ice crusted snow everywhere outside…oh well once can dream:)

And speaking of the kitchen, I love the way the bright yellows of lemons and green of limes looks in blue and white…its uplifting given the dark gloomy days of winter we are having!

And since we are in my kitchen, how gorgeous is this copper pot my sister gave me for my birthday? She does know me well……

Bought this beautiful pair of black tole lanterns to put in two small hallway vestibules upstairs. I like the simplicity and shape.

And added this belljar to a small vestibule between my bedroom and closet. You? know I looooove my belljars:)

I have been finding the prettiest antique decanters lately. Look at these, they are antique Baccarat with the sterling liquor? name plates…gorgeous!

We have been starting to look at flooring for our basement. I am amazed at what they are doing with tiles! We want a maintenance free tile that looks like wood. I am leaning towards those ashy colored light to med. woods..they are so soothing and pretty. Amazing!

?It is so hard to believe these are porcelain tiles and not wood!

Now that the holidays are over, I am going back to the drawing board on a number of projects, with the bedroom and my dining room being two of the most important. Still tweaking but getting closer every day to the final background color of the gorgeous chinoiserie which I know will transform the space…..

And have had these really large chunky white ginger jars for a while (was going to carry them) but they are so darn big and heavy. So instead of sitting in storage I took them out and put them on the pale green French console in the upstairs hallway and I love the way they look, so fresh and crisp! I am going to add something to the center, just not sure what. I will probably refer back to my post from yesterday on accentuating with accessories!

Put in this gorgeous new lantern finally in our back stair hall…really pretty piece!

I think I have finally figured out the secret to keeping orchids alive well and super long lasting. Cool, cool cool rooms. This one is in one of the coolest areas of our house and this thing looks as beautiful as it did the day I got it over two months ago….still going strong! Very little water also (maybe once every 10 days)

Yes my Christmas tree FINALLY got taken down 3 days ago, my big soldiers are next in line:)

Another one still going strong that I now moved to a cooler spot

Just starting to get my orders in for the Annabell Ingall totes so if you are one of the ones waiting…..things are starting to ship out this week. Every time I see a new color/variation, I want one (it’s a bit of a problem).? I mean how many bags does a girl need? Nevermind, you don’t have to answer that:)? They are all so gorgeous….

?Sky and Cherry totes (med and large)

???????????????????????????????????? This is a great neutral,new color String in the new style, Coco

A few important things……

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this magnificent bowl courtesy of Bonny Neiman! Click here for details. I will announce a lucky winner on Friday morning.

Also accepting pictures of your kitchens for about another week for my KITCHEN LOVE contest! If you think your kitchen has what it takes and is “contest ready”…….send it in! Details below….

My new contest is called Kitchen Love. A subject near and dear to our hearts, the heart of the home. Send in your pictures of your kitchen or it can be a snippet of your kitchen, something that makes your kitchen special and beautifully yours. I cannot wait to start getting the entries! Rules are-

Max. two pictures per entrant
They must be your pictures (not taken off the internet)
Please send your pictures to theenchantedhome@gmail.com
You must put Kitchen Love in subject line to insure it is received and included
I am accepting pictures as of today and the deadline is Feb. 8th
The contest will begin Feb. 10th and run for two days.
The lucky winner will receive a beautiful large Spanish olive tray, a gorgeous addition to any kitchen.
Thank you for stopping in. Hope all is well with you….talk to you soon! Stay warm:)

2 year anniversary, mid week musings and a giveaway!

Forewarning…this is one of those looong posts worked on over several days that kept getting added onto. Grab another cup of whatever you are drinking! Hey its New Year’s day…a day to relax.



Wow! I can’t believe it, I almost forgot about the fact that today marks my 2 year anniversary!!!! Seriously?? How did that happen and so fast! I have had such fun riding in the fast lane, time literally just slipped away from me! Have to thank each and every reader, you make what I do possible and oh so worth it, you have warranted all my musings and encouraged me with your interest so THANK YOU!!!! Of course this milestone calls for a celebration…….a giveaway, and not one but two. So all details on bottom of my random musings post. The best is yet to come…….
 

First off, officially wishing each and every one of you a very happy, joyous and healthy 2013! Crazy that 2012 is now a thing of the past and it’s onto a new year! Wasn’t quite the holiday we envisioned (Christmas day was wonderful but the rest went downhill fast). My poor husband was diagnosed with pneumonia and has been quiet sick. Thankfully as the antibiotics are kicking in, he is feeling a little better but with our frigid weather and his weak state…..he had to stay home. So nurse Tina “extended her contract”  on a day to day basis and is back on the 24/7 shift. Yes, I was very disappointed but of course his health comes first….

The upside is that the surplus of time allowed me to truly rest, catch up on things around the house, mail and unanswered emails, even unpacked a few boxes! And lets not even talk about the unrelenting movie marathon I have been on, for starters saw It’s Complicated (again) Last Holiday again) The English Patient (again), The Horse Whisperer (again),  The Great Gatsby (again), As good as it gets (again), Sense and Sensibility (again)…seeing a theme here? Yes some movies never get old! Did see The Proposition, which was good too (and I was fainting over the house)! I really liked it though, house aside. Oh and the autobiography on Queen Noor (fascinating)!

I have some fun things in store for the new year, which I will talk about soon. In the meantime….here whats new in my world……

 
 
You know I love to cook! I tried this pasta and it is SO good! You know I love to share when I discover a great new recipe, not only is this easy but its so fresh and fulfilling without feeling too heavy. A light lemony pasta. The next is an easy appetizer with blackberries, this again is easy but so pretty, festive  and very delicious! So I have included the recipes since often you want to know. Both get my stamp of approval!

LEMON SPAGHETTI
? cup olive oil
? cup grated Parmesan cheese
? cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
? teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound spaghetti
? cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

instructions

Lemon Spaghetti
In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and ? teaspoon of salt and ? teaspoon of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside. (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.

And how pretty are these! I would have made these for a New Years eve soiree if I was having one…….(saw this on my buddy, Desirees blog) which led me to the wonderful Yummy Mummy’s blog!

Blackberry Goat Cheese Crackers

makes about 15

1/2 cup silver or gold sanding sugar (I used a combination of sanding sugar and shimmer dust)
2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons agave syrup
5 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
1 package favorite crackers (I used gluten free rice crackers from Trader Joe’s)
1 small bunch fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Make the Main Course Italian!

Place sanding sugar in a small bowl. Add 15 blackberries (or however many crackers you are making) to the bowl, using a spoon to turn to coat. If sugar is not sticking, toss a few drops of water onto the blackberries and try again.

In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining blackberries, lemon juice, and agave over medium heat until berries have broken down. Use a wooden spoon to break up berries and help them along. Once the berries have turned into a jam-like mixture, after cooking about 10 minutes, remove from heat. Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl if you do not want the seeds.

Spread a teaspoon of goat cheese onto each cracker. Top with a small dollop of blackberry sauce. Top with a single sparkling blackberry and garnish with mint.

*time saver: berries can be sugared 2 hours in advance. Do not assemble the whole thing until 20 minutes of less before serving if using rice crackers, as they tend to absorb moisture and become soft.

And finally for anyone who has been to heavenly Napa Valley and had the good fortune to eat at Bistro Jeanty, no doubt you experienced the most sensational quiche you have ever eaten. By far the best quiche I have ever been willing to gain five pounds for! So I was beyond excited when I found the recipe adapted from theirs for Gourmet Magazine. I have not made it yet as I just found it but you better believe I will be attempting this very soon. In the meantime, here it is…let me know if you make it and tell me what you think! I hope its the same….because that quiche was ridiculously amazing!

Ham, Leek, and Three-Cheese Quiche
Gourmet  | April 2006
Adapted from Bistro Jeanty, Yountville, CA

yield: Makes 8 main-course servings
active time: 35 min
total time: 2 1/2 hr
Marsha and John Antonelli of Whittier, California, write: “We recently had lunch at Bistro Jeanty, in Yountville, California, where the ham, leek,… more ?

?
Ingredients
    ?    1 round of refrigerated pie dough for a 9-inch pie (from a 15-oz package; not a preshaped frozen pie shell)
    ?    3/4 lb leeks (about 3 medium; white and pale green parts only)
    ?    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    ?    1/4 lb thinly sliced smoked ham
    ?    3 oz Gruy?re, coarsely grated (1 cup)
    ?    3 oz Italian Fontina, coarsely grated (1 cup)
    ?    3 oz whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated (1 cup)
    ?    3 large eggs
    ?    1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    ?    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    ?    1 3/4 cups cr?me fra?che (from two 8-oz containers)

    ?    Special equipment: a 9-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity)
print a shopping list for this recipe

?
Preparation
Prebake pie dough in pie plate according to package instructions, then remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350?F.
Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, then wash well in a bowl of cold water, agitating leeks. Lift out and drain leeks in a colander and pat dry. Melt butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat and cook leeks, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Line warm pie shell with sliced ham, overlapping layers as necessary to cover bottom and side of pie shell completely. Toss cheeses together and sprinkle evenly into pie shell (do not pack cheese), then spread leeks evenly on top of cheese. Whisk together eggs, nutmeg, and pepper until combined well, then whisk in cr?me fra?che until smooth.
Carefully pour half of custard on top of pie filling, gently moving cheese with a spoon to help custard disperse evenly. Slowly add remaining custard in same manner. Cover pie loosely with foil, gently folding edges over crust (keep foil from touching top of cheese mixture) and transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake until center of filling is puffed and set (center will be slightly wobbly but not liquid), about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool on a rack at least 20 to 30 minutes before serving (filling will continue to set as it cools). Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Last but not least..anyone had the good fortune of tasting anything from the famed Parisian baker Eric Kayser? His works of art are as beautiful as they are delish (trust me on this)! Even his little “signs” are edible. Oy vey.

 Humm…..wonder whats inside?

 Oh! That I think I can manage:)

Attack!

Now that I have your appetite in full gear (sorry)! lets move on to another subject….my bedroom! Admittedly this has been a room I have thought about doing for a long time but finally am getting ready to get it done I have always had a vision in my mind of a soft tonal room, in ivory with touches of a pale blue. Very subtle, serene inviting, elegant …a room that will envelope me and be my personal tranquil cocoon. I had started with a beautiful wallpaper as inspiration and a starting point and when I finally was ready to take the plunge, it was discontinued as a stock item and only available for custom order and it was prohibitively expensive so that was nixed. I am deciding between two carpets and am wavering. I will do an entire post on bedrooms later this week and will show you and ask for your opinions on the carpet.  This sitting room at the uber beautiful George V in Paris is another inspiration..love the feeling of this room and its one of the finest hotels we have ever been to…….

Many of you have written and asked me about my two powder room wallpapers. I did reply months ago but for those of you who have asked more recently, I finally found the information again so here it is an sorry for the delay! The first one is my formal powder room and the second one is my family powder room off the kitchen…..love love love both!
 Jester Caprice in pewter by Schumacher
Sanderson Palampore 
Have to get back to food and beverage one more time, sorry! I have discovered a new rose that I LOVE! Soooo light and perfect, its the perfect ladies rose to lunch with (works for dinner too) and you know that it has a blue and white label  earned extra brownie points for me! You must try it…sooo good! And come to think of it, this would go mighty well with the quiche:)
I think a lot of you are like me, kind of old fashioned in some ways? I do long to hang on to traditions from the past…and definitely prefer a  lot of things “the old fashioned way”. A few years ago I hot stamped every one of my holiday cards with a beautiful wax seal embossed with my last name initial. I decided to order some more and had to share with you the info on them on the most wonderful company, their website even includes tutorials. A custom stamper can be had for 35.00 with your three initial monogram! What a great gift…and talk about adding a serious dose of elegance to any kind of correspondence…love love love it! Visit Nostalgic Impressions here!


Even though the holidays are making a quick exit, I still want to give these luminaries a shot. Are these not insanely beautiful!! My friend, Phyllis from Henhurst Interiors made these and these are featured in her own Christmas post. Talk about impressive and beautiful……absolutely love this idea!! Click here to see more…..

Here are my new sconces that got put up in the family room. LOVE them, they are black tole. It is hard to see their scale but they are quite large so very impactful. About 24″ tall….they add so much to the room.

 A couple of newer vignettes from the holidays (that aren’t  going anywhere so fast) Yep Christmas lasts here just a little longer than most, it’s all about keeping the spirit and magic alive, baby. actually its all about being too lazy to lug all the big boxes and storage containers to and from the attic.

 I really love the way red pops against the blue and white……its a keeper!

 Giant pinecones are so great for decorating for the holidays, I got a big batch of them and had such fun!

 Took this a week or two ago, though it was so pretty, though the grainy quality doesn’t do it justice. Back door, new lattice planters, they are HUGE. My husband flipped when I  had them delivered, they are about 3 feet by 3 feet but with topiaries and pretty flowers will look wonderful come spring.

 I  I love having pretty pastries inside my beautiful domed cloche so was so happy when  I found these beautiful holiday ceramic cupcakes, no worries about crumbs or them getting stale…they look so festive around the holidays!

My sconces again, a better picture.

Paperwhites…my favorite holiday flower. The beautiful soft white petals, the intoxicating smell, the impact they have with their long stalks. I was late in growing them but they have really come along nicely. I love them and walking into the room smells soooo good! I loved the lighting I caught with my camera (totally by accident)!

The next few batches were planted later but will give me something pretty to look at during the doldrums  of January!

Moving onto my online shop. Doing a bit of replenishing….and plan to add some wonderful new items soon. One of my most favorite new items is this GORGEOUS with a capital G bed carona/crown! This could so easily inspire an entire room for me, and may actually do just that (my wheels are turning)! And of course as always, if you have any questions, just email me here. Lots more to come…including a wonderful truly beautiful new tole hand painted line!

 And then this absolutely gorgeous tureen, look at the beautiful metal filigree work. This looks like a precious antique but is brand new and truly spectacular…talk about adding a jewel to the table!

And this large beautifully colored ginger jar exactly reproduced from an important antique jar…..love it!

And back by popular demand, getting in a limited number of beautiful brackets/wall sconces again! These are so pretty and really unique! These will be up in the next day or two, if you have questions email me.

And the low down on the giveaway to celebrate my 2 year blogging anniversary….still can’t believe it. Does this mean I am no longer a newbie but gasp….a veteran! I never would have thought I could have so much to say, may it keep on rolling……for a long time! So here’s the scoop, I am giving away two lovely items. All I need you to do is visit my online shop, come back here and tell me which item is calling your name. Want a second chance? Comment on Facebook page, click here.  That’s it! I will announce two lucky winners on Thursday morning.

One lucky winner will win one of these gorgeous full length French aprons! A new addition to the shop in a few wonderful authentic French patterns (these are made in France).

And a second lucky winner will win a box of monogrammed soaps custom made to their specifications!


Many thanks for stopping in. I am sooooo lucky to have the most incredible readers (and ones with such divine taste to boot). Your friendship means the world and I am not “just saying that” but truly mean it. A two year anniversary is a big deal and doesn’t come along every day, and I consider it a celebration not only for me but for us...WE have gone through a lot of adventures together! But the best part you ask? That the best is yet to come. So stay tuned buckle your seat belt and prepare to go on one heck of an enchanted ride! Cheers to 2013!

Photobucket

2 year anniversary, mid week musings and a giveaway!

Forewarning…this is one of those looong posts worked on over several days that kept getting added onto. Grab another cup of whatever you are drinking! Hey its New Year’s day…a day to relax.



Wow! I can’t believe it, I almost forgot about the fact that today marks my 2 year anniversary!!!! Seriously?? How did that happen and so fast! I have had such fun riding in the fast lane, time literally just slipped away from me! Have to thank each and every reader, you make what I do possible and oh so worth it, you have warranted all my musings and encouraged me with your interest so THANK YOU!!!! Of course this milestone calls for a celebration…….a giveaway, and not one but two. So all details on bottom of my random musings post. The best is yet to come…….

?

First off, officially wishing each and every one of you a very happy, joyous and healthy 2013! Crazy that 2012 is now a thing of the past and it’s onto a new year! Wasn’t quite the holiday we envisioned (Christmas day was wonderful but the rest went downhill fast). My poor husband was diagnosed with pneumonia and has been quiet sick. Thankfully as the antibiotics are kicking in, he is feeling a little better but with our frigid weather and his weak state…..he had to stay home. So nurse Tina “extended her contract”? on a day to day basis and is back on the 24/7 shift. Yes, I was very disappointed but of course his health comes first….

The upside is that the surplus of time allowed me to truly rest, catch up on things around the house, mail and unanswered emails, even unpacked a few boxes! And lets not even talk about the unrelenting movie marathon I have been on, for starters saw It’s Complicated (again) Last Holiday again) The English Patient (again), The Horse Whisperer (again),? The Great Gatsby (again), As good as it gets (again), Sense and Sensibility (again)…seeing a theme here? Yes some movies never get old! Did see The Proposition, which was good too (and I was fainting over the house)! I really liked it though, house aside. Oh and the autobiography on Queen Noor (fascinating)!

I have some fun things in store for the new year, which I will talk about soon. In the meantime….here whats new in my world……

?

?



You know I love to cook! I tried this pasta and it is SO good! You know I love to share when I discover a great new recipe, not only is this easy but its so fresh and fulfilling without feeling too heavy. A light lemony pasta. The next is an easy appetizer with blackberries, this again is easy but so pretty, festive? and very delicious! So I have included the recipes since often you want to know. Both get my stamp of approval!

LEMON SPAGHETTI
? cup olive oil
? cup grated Parmesan cheese
? cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
? teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
? teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 pound spaghetti
? cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

instructions

Lemon Spaghetti
In a large bowl, whisk the oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and ? teaspoon of salt and ? teaspoon of pepper to blend. Set the lemon sauce aside. (The sauce can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the lemon sauce, and toss with the basil and lemon zest. Toss the pasta with enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowls and serve.

And how pretty are these! I would have made these for a New Years eve soiree if I was having one…….(saw this on my buddy, Desirees blog) which led me to the wonderful Yummy Mummy’s blog!


Blackberry Goat Cheese Crackers

makes about 15

1/2 cup silver or gold sanding sugar (I used a combination of sanding sugar and shimmer dust)
2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons agave syrup
5 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
1 package favorite crackers (I used gluten free rice crackers from Trader Joe’s)
1 small bunch fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Make the Main Course Italian!


Place sanding sugar in a small bowl. Add 15 blackberries (or however many crackers you are making) to the bowl, using a spoon to turn to coat. If sugar is not sticking, toss a few drops of water onto the blackberries and try again.

In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining blackberries, lemon juice, and agave over medium heat until berries have broken down. Use a wooden spoon to break up berries and help them along. Once the berries have turned into a jam-like mixture, after cooking about 10 minutes, remove from heat. Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl if you do not want the seeds.

Spread a teaspoon of goat cheese onto each cracker. Top with a small dollop of blackberry sauce. Top with a single sparkling blackberry and garnish with mint.

*time saver: berries can be sugared 2 hours in advance. Do not assemble the whole thing until 20 minutes of less before serving if using rice crackers, as they tend to absorb moisture and become soft.

And finally for anyone who has been to heavenly Napa Valley and had the good fortune to eat at Bistro Jeanty, no doubt you experienced the most sensational quiche you have ever eaten. By far the best quiche I have ever been willing to gain five pounds for! So I was beyond excited when I found the recipe adapted from theirs for Gourmet Magazine. I have not made it yet as I just found it but you better believe I will be attempting this very soon. In the meantime, here it is…let me know if you make it and tell me what you think! I hope its the same….because that quiche was ridiculously amazing!


Ham, Leek, and Three-Cheese Quiche
Gourmet ?|?April 2006
Adapted from Bistro Jeanty, Yountville, CA

yield: Makes 8 main-course servings
active time: 35 min
total time: 2 1/2 hr
Marsha and John Antonelli of Whittier, California, write: “We recently had lunch at Bistro Jeanty, in Yountville, California, where the ham, leek,… more ?

?
Ingredients
?? ???? ?1 round of refrigerated pie dough for a 9-inch pie (from a 15-oz package; not a preshaped frozen pie shell)
?? ???? ?3/4 lb leeks (about 3 medium; white and pale green parts only)
?? ???? ?2 tablespoons unsalted butter
?? ???? ?1/4 lb thinly sliced smoked ham
?? ???? ?3 oz Gruy?re, coarsely grated (1 cup)
?? ???? ?3 oz Italian Fontina, coarsely grated (1 cup)
?? ???? ?3 oz whole-milk mozzarella, coarsely grated (1 cup)
?? ???? ?3 large eggs
?? ???? ?1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
?? ???? ?1/4 teaspoon black pepper
?? ???? ?1 3/4 cups cr?me fra?che (from two 8-oz containers)

?? ???? ?Special equipment: a 9-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity)
print a shopping list for this recipe

?
Preparation
Prebake pie dough in pie plate according to package instructions, then remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350?F.
Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, then wash well in a bowl of cold water, agitating leeks. Lift out and drain leeks in a colander and pat dry. Melt butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat and cook leeks, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Line warm pie shell with sliced ham, overlapping layers as necessary to cover bottom and side of pie shell completely. Toss cheeses together and sprinkle evenly into pie shell (do not pack cheese), then spread leeks evenly on top of cheese. Whisk together eggs, nutmeg, and pepper until combined well, then whisk in cr?me fra?che until smooth.
Carefully pour half of custard on top of pie filling, gently moving cheese with a spoon to help custard disperse evenly. Slowly add remaining custard in same manner. Cover pie loosely with foil, gently folding edges over crust (keep foil from touching top of cheese mixture) and transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake until center of filling is puffed and set (center will be slightly wobbly but not liquid), about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool on a rack at least 20 to 30 minutes before serving (filling will continue to set as it cools). Serve warm or at room temperature.

?Last but not least..anyone had the good fortune of tasting anything from the famed Parisian baker Eric Kayser? His works of art are as beautiful as they are delish (trust me on this)! Even his little “signs” are edible. Oy vey.

?Humm…..wonder whats inside?

?Oh! That I think I can manage:)

Attack!

Now that I have your appetite in full gear (sorry)! lets move on to another subject….my bedroom! Admittedly this has been a room I have thought about doing for a long time but finally am getting ready to get it done.? I have always had a vision in my mind of a soft tonal room, in ivory with touches of a pale blue. Very subtle, serene inviting, elegant …a room that will envelope me and be my personal tranquil cocoon. I had started with a beautiful wallpaper as inspiration and a starting point and when I finally was ready to take the plunge, it was discontinued as a stock item and only available for custom order and it was prohibitively expensive so that was nixed. I am deciding between two carpets and am wavering. I will do an entire post on bedrooms later this week and will show you and ask for your opinions on the carpet.? This sitting room at the uber beautiful George V in Paris is another inspiration..love the feeling of this room and its one of the finest hotels we have ever been to…….

Many of you have written and asked me about my two powder room wallpapers. I did reply months ago but for those of you who have asked more recently, I finally found the information again so here it is an sorry for the delay! The first one is my formal powder room and the second one is my family powder room off the kitchen…..love love love both!
?Jester Caprice in pewter by Schumacher
Sanderson Palampore?
Have to get back to food and beverage one more time, sorry! I have discovered a new rose that I LOVE! Soooo light and perfect, its the perfect ladies rose to lunch with (works for dinner too) and you know that it has a blue and white label? earned extra brownie points for me! You must try it…sooo good! And come to think of it, this would go mighty well with the quiche:)
I think a lot of you are like me, kind of old fashioned in some ways? I do long to hang on to traditions from the past…and definitely prefer a? lot of things “the old fashioned way”. A few years ago I hot stamped every one of my holiday cards with a beautiful wax seal embossed with my last name initial. I decided to order some more and had to share with you the info on them on the most wonderful company, their website even includes tutorials. A custom stamper can be had for 35.00 with your three initial monogram! What a great gift…and talk about adding a serious dose of elegance to any kind of correspondence…love love love it! Visit Nostalgic Impressions here!


Even though the holidays are making a quick exit, I still want to give these luminaries a shot. Are these not insanely beautiful!! My friend, Phyllis from Henhurst Interiors made these and these are featured in her own Christmas post. Talk about impressive and beautiful……absolutely love this idea!! Click here to see more…..

Here are my new sconces that got put up in the family room. LOVE them, they are black tole. It is hard to see their scale but they are quite large so very impactful. About 24″ tall….they add so much to the room.

?A couple of newer vignettes from the holidays (that aren’t? going anywhere so fast) Yep Christmas lasts here just a little longer than most, it’s all about keeping the spirit and magic alive, baby. actually its all about being too lazy to lug all the big boxes and storage containers to and from the attic.

?I really love the way red pops against the blue and white……its a keeper!

?Giant pinecones are so great for decorating for the holidays, I got a big batch of them and had such fun!

?Took this a week or two ago, though it was so pretty, though the grainy quality doesn’t do it justice. Back door, new lattice planters, they are HUGE. My husband flipped when I? had them delivered, they are about 3 feet by 3 feet but with topiaries and pretty flowers will look wonderful come spring.

?I? I love having pretty pastries inside my beautiful domed cloche so was so happy when? I found these beautiful holiday ceramic cupcakes, no worries about crumbs or them getting stale…they look so festive around the holidays!

My sconces again, a better picture.

Paperwhites…my favorite holiday flower. The beautiful soft white petals, the intoxicating smell, the impact they have with their long stalks. I was late in growing them but they have really come along nicely. I love them and walking into the room smells soooo good! I loved the lighting I caught with my camera (totally by accident)!

The next few batches were planted later but will give me something pretty to look at during the doldrums? of January!

Moving onto my online shop. Doing a bit of replenishing….and plan to add some wonderful new items soon. One of my most favorite new items is this GORGEOUS with a capital G bed carona/crown! This could so easily inspire an entire room for me, and may actually do just that (my wheels are turning)! And of course as always, if you have any questions, just email me here. Lots more to come…including a wonderful truly beautiful new tole hand painted line!

?And then this absolutely gorgeous tureen, look at the beautiful metal filigree work. This looks like a precious antique but is brand new and truly spectacular…talk about adding a jewel to the table!

And this large beautifully colored ginger jar exactly reproduced from an important antique jar…..love it!

And back by popular demand, getting in a limited number of beautiful brackets/wall sconces again! These are so pretty and really unique! These will be up in the next day or two, if you have questions email me.

And the low down on the giveaway to celebrate my 2 year blogging anniversary….still can’t believe it. Does this mean I am no longer a newbie but gasp….a veteran! I never would have thought I could have so much to say, may it keep on rolling……for a long time! So here’s the scoop, I am giving away two lovely items. All I need you to do is visit my online shop, come back here and tell me which item is calling your name. Want a second chance? Comment on Facebook page, click here.? That’s it! I will announce two lucky winners on Thursday morning.

One lucky winner will win one of these gorgeous full length French aprons! A new addition to the shop in a few wonderful authentic French patterns (these are made in France).

And a second lucky winner will win a box of monogrammed soaps custom made to their specifications!


Many thanks for stopping in. I am sooooo lucky to have the most incredible readers (and ones with such divine taste to boot). Your friendship means the world and I am not “just saying that” but truly mean it. A two year anniversary is a big deal and doesn’t come along every day, and I consider it a celebration not only for me but for us...WE have gone through a lot of adventures together! But the best part you ask? That the best is yet to come. So stay tuned buckle your seat belt and prepare to go on one heck of an enchanted ride! Cheers to 2013!


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Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Hi there……hope you are off to having a wonderful holiday weekend, whether you are on the road, traveling, doing something big or nothing at all! We are going on a friends boat, have dinner plans and invited to a BBQ, and possibly having some family over,  to me the perfect way to spend a lazy holiday weekend. Originally, we were going to go to Newport but my sons team is in his county playoffs so he has to be around for practices, which is just as well. I am looking quite forward to a more low key weekend. I would love to do some gardening too but have to admit I am petrified of getting poison ivy, to which I am highly allergic and its rampant here! Hopefully the weather will cooperate with our plans, it has been ridiculously rainy, muggy and humid all week long…we need a break! How about you? Whats on your agenda? Anything exciting?

So here  this is just a bunch of randomness (something I am getting good at)!

So we finally got in the last batch of sconces for our downstairs hallways and leading down to the basement. So nice for it to finally be done!


Was so excited that I got my wallpaper done in the powder room! Bad news is we were short, originally we were going to have a chair rail and paneling so we ordered paper under that assumption but then I decided against it, so we are short 2 rolls, getting it next week and will finish then but you get the idea! Love the mood and the way it transformed the space. Cannot wait to get the onyx top and sink put in, add the chinoiserie feeling mirror and get some window treatments done, add the chandelier and we are done! Its kind of a pewter metallic-y paper from Schumacher (one of go to faves) in warm and cool tones…… Woo hoo…..

For those of you who didn’t see my window treatments in my bathroom, here they are….for those who did sorry I am just loving how it came out!

One of the lines I carry that I love love love is the European kitchen line, so finally got a few Bavarian bread boards for myself….really really like these! This weekend I will serve crostinis and a baked brie on them. In the meantime, they are pretty just to have on display.

One of the fun parts bout blogging is discovering new sites, new people and sharing our discoveries along the way! One I recently discovered and adore is Jenny Stebbens. She is a talented modern day Martha! Love her style, aesthetic and her user friendly approach. A fabulous go to resource for recipes that are not difficult but really fabulous and the presentation well…..you will see what I mean! So she came out with her Summer guide on everything from grilling recipes, appetizers, drinks to table settings…you absolutely must check it out! Click here to visit  and a sneak peek…..



Sorry if I am making you hungry so early in the morning! 
Also don’t you just love getting exquisite little care packages in the mail….you know what they say about small boxes! Well,  I got this magnificent necklace and earrings in the mail courtesy of my buddy, Marsha from the beautiful and super stylish blog, Splenderosa. Yes,the one who recently launched her online store featuring all kinds of gorgeous extremely affordable baubles! How stunning is this? We have never met yet she knew right away the colors that I love. Here it is…along with some of the things found on her beautiful site, click here to visit her!
Everything is 14kt goldfilled, the earrings and earrings are gem quality London blue topaz
factted briolettes, the pink is pink tourmanline and the luscious big drop is aquamarine!

Thank you Marsha…..LOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!!!
And some other beautiful items in her gorgeous online shop…..

Click here to visit Splenderosa!
Just planted (still working on it, have to add more moss and wrap in cellophane and pretty ribbon)  this beautiful orchid in one of my favorite silver planters that I carry in my online shop,  to bring to someones house, part belated birthday and part thank you for having us over…..kinda want to keep it but I will be a nice person and give it to her:)
So everyone, that’s about it around here. Happy to wrap up a busy busy week, a good one, a productive one but alas a tiring one! I am looking forward to some down time and hopefully Mr. sun will decide to grace us with his presence! Hope whatever you are up to is lots of fun, enjoyable and mostly relaxing! I may be back over the weekend to pop in and say hello…….

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Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Hi there……hope you are off to having a wonderful holiday weekend, whether you are on the road, traveling, doing something big or nothing at all! We are going on a friends boat, have dinner plans and invited to a?BBQ, and possibly having some family over, ?to me the perfect way to spend?a lazy holiday weekend. Originally, we were going to go to Newport but my sons team is in his county playoffs so he has to be around for practices, which is just as well. I am looking quite forward to a more low key weekend. I would love to do some gardening too but have to admit I am petrified of getting poison ivy, to which I am highly allergic and its rampant here! Hopefully the weather will cooperate with?our plans, it has been ridiculously rainy, muggy and humid all week long…we need a break! How about you? Whats on your agenda? Anything exciting?



So here ?this is just a bunch of randomness (something I am getting good at)!



So we finally got in the last batch of sconces for our downstairs hallways and leading down to the basement. So nice for it to finally be done!



Was so excited that I got my wallpaper done in the powder room! Bad news is we were short, originally we were going to have a chair rail and paneling so we ordered paper under that assumption but then I decided against it, so we are short 2 rolls, getting it next week and will finish then but you get the idea! Love the mood and the way it transformed the space. Cannot wait to get the onyx top and sink put in, add the chinoiserie feeling mirror and get some window treatments done, add the chandelier and we are done! Its kind of a pewter metallic-y paper from Schumacher (one of go to faves) in warm and cool tones…… Woo hoo…..

For those of you who didn’t see my window treatments in my bathroom, here they are….for those who did sorry I am just loving how it came out!

One of the lines I carry that I love love love is the European kitchen line, so finally got a few Bavarian bread boards for myself….really really like these! This weekend I will serve crostinis and a baked brie on them. In the meantime, they are pretty just to have on display.

One of the fun parts bout blogging is discovering new sites, new people and sharing our discoveries along the way! One I recently discovered and adore is Jenny Stebbens. She is a talented modern day Martha! Love her style, aesthetic and her user friendly approach. A fabulous go to resource for recipes that are not difficult but really fabulous and the presentation well…..you will see what I mean! So she came out with her Summer guide on everything from grilling recipes, appetizers, drinks to table settings…you absolutely must check it out! Click here to visit??and a sneak peek…..







Sorry if I am making you hungry so early in the morning!?
Also don’t you just love getting exquisite little care packages in the mail….you know what they say about small boxes! Well, ?I got this magnificent?necklace?and earrings in the mail?courtesy?of my buddy, Marsha from the beautiful and super stylish blog,?Splenderosa. Yes,the one who recently launched her online store featuring all?kinds?of?gorgeous?extremely affordable baubles! How stunning is this? We have never met yet she knew right away the colors that I love. Here it is…along?with some of the?things?found?on her beautiful site, click here to visit her!
Everything is 14kt goldfilled, the earrings and earrings are gem quality London blue topaz
factted briolettes, the pink is pink tourmanline and the luscious big drop is aquamarine!

Thank you Marsha…..LOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!!!
And some other beautiful items in her gorgeous online shop…..

Click here to visit Splenderosa!
Just planted (still working on it, have to add more moss and wrap in cellophane and pretty ribbon) ?this beautiful orchid in one of my favorite silver planters that I carry in my online shop, ?to bring to someones house, part belated birthday and part thank you for having us over…..kinda want to keep it but I will be a nice person and give it to her:)
So everyone, that’s about it around here. Happy to wrap up a busy busy week, a good one, a productive one but alas a tiring one! I am looking forward to some down time and hopefully Mr. sun will decide to grace us with his presence! Hope whatever you are up to is lots of fun, enjoyable and mostly relaxing! I may be back over the weekend to pop in and say hello…….

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Random Thursday musings and a new winner!

Its Thursday and I for one, am happy the weekend is almost here. Here in NY, we are supposed to get all the way up to the high 60’s! I feel spring is in the fair…at last! Today, is a bunch of different things, a little bit of this and a bit of that. Its a long post, so you might just want to grab another cup of coffee (or whatever you may be drinking)!  Starting with a new winner then moving on to the homefront.  I have to say its hard to get terribly motivated when I still have quite a few people working here but I did get some wallpaper ordered, and that’s got me anticipating getting it up on the 19th! And we did try some rugs, which was very exciting!  So here we go with all the randomness…….

Unfortunately since the winner of the gorgeous transferware pitcher did not contact me, despite many efforts,  I have drawn a new winner from the same pool of names. The new winner is…..Delores Wieding!

Please contact me ASAP to provide shipping details.
Prize ID Winner ID Public Info Private Info Random Sorting ID Weight
1: transferware 1343069 Delores Wieding 00B11159-59CB-41FF-8023-A4327BB12119 1


A few things on the homefront. Tried 2 rugs for living room and dining room. Both rugs from Safavieh. They are stunning! I am trying to conjure up  some serious visuals of decorating around the rugs. The dining room I wasn’t sure about, love it at night more than during the day…..so we are living with both rugs for a few days  but the living room is a serious contender. Yesterday the very soft colors of the French rug in the dining room were growing on me in a big way when I had a three minute window of being able to really visualize the completed room. What do you think?

Dining room….the colors are fabulous, pale golds and blues
A few close ups when its not as sunny……

The “darker side” of the dining room rug
The living room…..shown from the lighter side, its a beautiful rug too

From the dark side

Closer up of the dining room

Stepping back

Put this beautiful french black console from Safavieh in our hallway……

And how pretty are these? Believe it or not they are resin given an old look and you can lift them with a few fingers! (will be carrying this line in my online store) About 12 inches tall, perfect for indoors or out!

You know I love your opinions…here’s the current state of my closet. No top, so pay no attention to  the ugly temporary wood top..am leaning towards white marble, really loved the antiqued mirror idea but it’s not practical and I don’t want to freak out every time I set something down on it. Any other ideas you want to throw out at me? Or do you agree with the white calcutta gold marble choice as it ties in with the bathroom right next door?

One of my dearest friends in the universe swung by and gave me such a beautiful housewarming gift..I nearly fainted it was so pretty!! Check out this magnificent domed etched cake dish! How beautiful is that? Then she gave me this fabulous crystal pitcher. I smell a batch of Sangria!
Pretty things come in big shiny gold boxes…….
A little last minute plate of munchies…..
Whoa!! How magnificent is this!!!!!!!

And this pitcher…..serious dose of gorgeous!
Almost too much pretty for one picture……..

And next to my other etched cake dish..they are perfect together, like reunited sisters!

OK moving onto a more delicious topic……  more than a few of you asked about my spaghetti carbornara and Pistachio sandwich recipes. So…I am not the only one who loves good food, eh? I am happy to share the recipes with you…both actually super easy but beyond tasty. I have zilch willpower around each so only make them every now and again! Below is the recipe for the Carbonara and a few pics I thought to take with my iPhone while in progress……


Step 1. Start with four to five slabs of thick cut bacon or pancetta in about 3 TBSP olive oil

                                            Brown with approx. 5-6 garlic cloves

                                   

                     Step 2. Start cooking your pasta al dente, I like Barilla thin spaghetti but any variety will do

                               Call me lazy but I LOVE pre peeled garlic cloves..what a cinch!

                               

                    Step 3. brown really well, takes approx. 10-15 minutes

                      Step 4. In separate bowl whisk two eggs and 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan

                              Mix very well until you have a thick consistency

                     Step 5. When pasta is well drained, add pasta to the olive oil, garlic and bacon, toss well (at this point add salt and ground pepper)

     Step 6. Then add your egg/Parmesan mix on top of well mixed spaghetti, immediately take off of heat and on the side  and use a fork to mix thoroughly

       Step 7. Once mixed very well, add about 1 to 2 TBSP of freshly cut parsley, add more fresh Parmesan on top and mix once again
Step 8.Step back and admire and get ready to feast on one decadent meal…..yummmm!

    Bon Appetit!
Now these pistachio sandwiches are easy peasy but oh so good. I make them when we have people over during the summer and they are such a big hit. Simple as this…..

Step 1. Thaw at room temperature for about 15 min. a pint of Haagen Daaz Pistachio ice cream

                     Step 2. Get a package of butter crisps or other paper thin cookie
Take the entire package off of ice cream, put chunk of ice cream on cutting board and slice in to 1/2″ thick “slices” put between two butter crisps and set aside on plate.

Step 3. I take shelled pistachios and pound them into small bits and roll the edges of ice cream sandwiches for an extra delicious burst of pistachio and voila! There you have them, your very own gourmet ice cream sandwiches!
How easy is that! I neglected to take pics of the healthy part of the meal…baby arugula salad with lemon juice and olive oil and a small wedge of Parmesan. Made for one heck of a great meal!
My bookshelves always have more space for one more great book to add to my family of books. I just did a preorder on what I suspect is going to be one great book due to come out in May!! If the cover is any indication..this is going to be a homerun!  Have you preordered it?
My wallpaper sagas continue……found out yesterday that the paper for my bedroom that I have been working around for a  few months cannot be fulfilled in its entirety from the same dye lot and that if I want to get it it is going to now have be a custom order!! I nearly fell off my chair when she told me the price, so its now no longer “my paper”. I was like a deflated balloon, it was perfect but I need a lot and they are charging a lot of money to have it custom from the mill so its a mute point. Thanks Stark. The only silver lining yesterday was I got a box in (love getting boxes) and it was my desk alcove paper! Now this made me happy. Very happy. So I promptly called my paper hanger and asked him to please come over if something frees up before the 19th. Fingers crossed…I cannot wait to see it up!

So…whats on your plate literally and figuratively? We are supposed to get to a whopping 68 degrees today! Anything exciting happening this weekend? Anything good cooking in your kitchen? Would love to hear! On that note, wishing you a fabulous Friday!!

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Random Thursday musings and a new winner!

Its Thursday and I for one, am happy the weekend is almost here. Here in NY, we are supposed to get all the way up to the high 60’s! I feel spring is in the fair…at last! Today, is a bunch of different things, a little bit of this and a bit of that. Its a long post, so you might just want to grab another cup of coffee (or whatever you may be drinking)! ?Starting with a new winner then moving on to the homefront. ?I have to say its hard to get terribly motivated when I still have quite a few people working here but I did get some wallpaper ordered, and that’s got me anticipating getting it up on the 19th! And we did try some rugs, which was very exciting! ?So here we go with?all the randomness…….



Unfortunately since the winner of the gorgeous transferware pitcher did not contact me, despite many efforts, ?I have drawn a new winner from the same pool of names. The new winner is…..Delores Wieding!

Please contact me ASAP to provide shipping details.
Prize ID Winner ID Public Info Private Info Random Sorting ID Weight
1: transferware 1343069 Delores Wieding 00B11159-59CB-41FF-8023-A4327BB12119 1




A few things on the homefront. Tried 2 rugs for living room and dining room. Both rugs from Safavieh. They are stunning! I am trying to conjure up ?some serious visuals of decorating around the rugs. The dining room I wasn’t sure about, love it at night more than during the day…..so we are living with both rugs for a few days ?but the living room is a serious contender. Yesterday the very soft colors of the French rug in the dining room were growing on me in a big way when I had a three minute window of being able to really visualize the completed room. What do you think?

Dining room….the colors are fabulous, pale golds and blues
A few close ups when its not as sunny……

The “darker side” of the dining room rug
The living room…..shown from the lighter side, its a beautiful rug too

From the dark side

Closer up of the dining room

Stepping back

Put this beautiful french black console from Safavieh in our hallway……

And how pretty are these? Believe it or not they are resin given an old look and you can lift them with a few fingers! (will be carrying this line in my online store) About 12 inches tall, perfect for indoors or out!

You know I love your opinions…here’s the current state of my closet. No top, so pay no attention to ?the ugly temporary wood top..am leaning towards white marble, really loved the antiqued mirror idea but it’s not practical and I don’t want to freak out every time I set something down on it. Any other ideas you want to throw out at me? Or do you agree with the white calcutta gold marble choice as it ties in with the bathroom right next door?

One of my dearest friends in the universe swung by and gave me such a beautiful housewarming gift..I nearly fainted it was so pretty!! Check out this magnificent domed etched cake dish! How beautiful is that? Then she gave me this fabulous crystal pitcher. I smell a batch of Sangria!
Pretty things come in big shiny gold boxes…….
A little last minute plate of munchies…..
Whoa!! How magnificent is this!!!!!!!

And this pitcher…..serious dose of gorgeous!
Almost too much pretty for one picture……..

And next to my other etched cake dish..they are perfect together, like reunited sisters!

OK moving onto a more delicious topic…… ?more than a few of you asked about my spaghetti carbornara and Pistachio sandwich recipes. So…I am not the only one who loves good food, eh? I am happy to share the recipes with you…both actually super easy but beyond tasty. I have zilch willpower around each so only make them every now and again!?Below is the recipe for the Carbonara and a few pics I thought to take with my iPhone while in progress……





Step 1. Start with four to five slabs of thick cut bacon or pancetta in about 3 TBSP olive oil

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Brown with approx. 5-6 garlic cloves

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Step 2. Start cooking your pasta al dente, I like Barilla thin spaghetti but any variety will do

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Call me lazy but I LOVE pre peeled garlic cloves..what a cinch!

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Step 3. brown really well, takes approx. 10-15 minutes

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Step 4. In separate bowl whisk two eggs and 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Mix very well until you have a thick consistency

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Step 5. When pasta is well drained, add pasta to the olive oil, garlic and bacon, toss well (at this point add salt and ground pepper)

? ? ?Step 6. Then add your egg/Parmesan mix on top of well mixed spaghetti, immediately take off of heat and on the side ?and use a fork to mix thoroughly

? ? ? ?Step 7. Once mixed very well, add about 1 to 2 TBSP of freshly cut parsley, add more fresh Parmesan on top and mix once again
Step 8.Step back and admire and get ready to feast on one decadent meal…..yummmm!

? ? Bon Appetit!
Now these pistachio sandwiches are easy peasy but oh so good. I make them when we have people over during the summer and they are such a big hit. Simple as this…..

Step 1. Thaw at room temperature for about 15 min. a pint of Haagen Daaz Pistachio ice cream

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Step 2. Get a package of butter crisps or other paper thin cookie
Take the entire package off of ice cream, put chunk of ice cream on cutting board and slice in to 1/2″ thick “slices” put between two butter crisps and set aside on plate.

Step 3. I take shelled pistachios and pound them into small bits and roll the edges of ice cream sandwiches for an extra delicious burst of pistachio and voila! There you have them, your very own gourmet ice cream sandwiches!
How easy is that! I neglected to take pics of the healthy part of the meal…baby arugula salad with lemon juice and olive oil and a small wedge of Parmesan. Made for one heck of a great meal!
My bookshelves always have more space for one more great book to add to my family of books. I just did a preorder on what I suspect is going to be one great book due to come out in May!! If the cover is any indication..this is going to be a homerun! ?Have you preordered it?
My wallpaper sagas continue……found out yesterday that the paper for my bedroom that I have been working around for a ?few months cannot be fulfilled in its entirety from the same dye lot and that if I want to get it it is going to now have be a custom order!! I nearly fell off my chair when she told me the price, so its now no longer “my paper”. I was like a deflated balloon, it was perfect but I need a lot and they are charging a lot of money to have it custom from the mill so its a mute point. Thanks Stark. The only silver lining yesterday was I got a box in (love getting boxes) and it was my desk alcove paper! Now this made me happy. Very happy. So I promptly called my paper hanger and asked him to please come over if something frees up before the 19th. Fingers crossed…I cannot wait to see it up!

So…whats on your plate literally and figuratively? We are supposed to get to a whopping 68 degrees today! Anything exciting happening this weekend? Anything good cooking in your kitchen? Would love to hear! On that note, wishing you a fabulous Friday!!

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A little retail therapy and a lot of house biz!

Ahhhh….its the weekend, thankfully! This post features random musings about many topics mostly related to my home building. As we are inching our way towards moving, I am naturally starting to think of our new house as a place that we will actually live in, not just a construction site I visit a few times a day! While we are eager to call it home and make it feel like home, this is no small undertaking and we realize this will be done over a long period of time and will be a labor of love that will require much patience.
 However, there are a few rooms we are determined to finish soon after we move in, namely those rooms we will be living in most of the time. The kitchen, family room, breakfast room, my bedroom and my sons bedroom are all top priorities.. As much fun as it is to plan a living and dining room, these rooms right now are on the back burner, but in due time they will get their well earned attention too. So I have been spending a good amount of time looking at furniture, bedding, fabrics, wallpaper,etc……some days my head feels like its going to twist and literally spin off my head, and yet on other days I feel so in control and so in tune with what I am wanting. Below are just a bunch of random things I have seen that I am loving, some I bought and others considering. What do you think? Love your opinions!!!

A VISIT TO THE GORGEOUS SAFAVIEH SHOWROOM! Oh boy this really made my head spin but I tried to focus focus focus and lo and behold was able to actually concentrate enough to narrow down a few things! Their showroom is incredible, and has every conceivable brand and type of furnishing known to mankind. It is important to know what you are looking for, otherwise its VERY easy to get ridiculously sidetracked! Below are some of the things that I thought were so interesting and gorgeous, click here to visit them.

Am in love with this Kilim bench for a family room or library…..thoughts?
Love the worn faded effect……
The colors are sooo exquisite!
I just love this chair for my sons room! Thoughts?
So fun!
Something about cream with accents of black that always catches my eye
Such a pretty little arrangement, took a pic just for inspiration
Love this blue linen tufted bed….not the bedding but love love love the bed!
I thought this mirrored desk was so pretty….it has a pale gold/silver antique leaf finish and its gorgeous!
THE MAKING OF A POWDER ROOM. Then I moved on to wallpaper….yes that endless nightmare paradise. Only problem for me is that there are so many incredible choices that it seems every time I turn around I am falling and falling hard for yet another beauty. But at the end of the day, you must think rationally and know that when you find something that you truly love, you should go with that first instinct. I do believe in them and therefore I have actually made a few choices!! Well almost, for my formal main powder room, I have ordered the floor below (LOVE IT) its a honey onyx “flower” with a white marble accent. I am definitely sold on the Schumacher paper which has a gorgeous metallic finish to it but then I saw a chinoiserie and it got me mildly confused. So, here is where all you “experts” come in…..want your opinion! Which do you like? Thanks in advance! I love a powder room to feel like a little jewel, have also enclosed pictures of the sconces and chandelier that will be going in there….to give you an overall “visual”. Thanks! (bear in mind I am going for a very formal powder room here)

Already bought these, which I love I can use these in this powder room or….
These…both beautiful, the chandalier I am using is the one below…
And deciding between one of these mirrors for above vanity….
CHAIRS FOR MY SITTING ROOM/MASTER BEDROOM. Looking for beautiful, French styled comfortable chairs and to find chairs that I don’t even need to recover because the color works is amazing!! (not to say I won’t eventually recover them but they certainly work well for now) So I have ordered two of these from Safavieh, I love it and look how beautifully it ties into the wallpaper I have selected for our room along with a few fabrics that work nicely….
And I had to share with you, my very first mood board! I was sooo excited to finally figure out how to put one together, albeit a basic one. But I will eventually add more layers to it, however for now…may I present “my master inspiration”…..
A CHAIR FOR MY BATHROOM. I love these two chairs from Curry, and have always wanted a beautiful delicate french chair in my bathroom…..do you have a preference between these two? Click here to visit Curry.

BATHROOM SCONCES FOR MY BATHROOM. Speaking of my bathroom I need sconces, though my bathroom will be one of the last to be completed (doing a good amount of woodwork) it will be painted a creamy white, has Calcutta Gold marble on the floors, and the vanity will be very similar looking to the one below (coloring wise) with polished nickel faucets. 
So….now that you have this info, which sconce do you like?

SCONCE CONTENDERS ARE…..(have seen them all in person and they all come in the right finish and they all work)
1.
2.

3.

4.
5.
(The back plate is crystal)
PAINT COLOR. I have gotten several emails asking about what color we used for paint and trim in the upstairs hallways/bedrooms. I decided to go very neutral, for two reasons, A. namely because I am making so many decisions simulataneouly, that going neutral was safe and easier than choosing colors and B. I am also intending to use wallpaper in  many of the bedrooms so the paint will be a non issue. In any case, we wanted a rich warm creamy white with white trim, so we went with trusty and much used Linen white, Arcadia white and White dove for the trim, all by good ol Benjamin Moore. It looks great and pretty much eliminates any second guessing.
So that’s about it for my random musings…..obviously the house is VERY much on my mind and pretty much consumes my days (and nights) but its all in the name of getting it done and hopefully being able to move within the next 6-8 weeks which is very ambitious but I also believe in the power of positive thinking, and a few crossed fingers. (your prayers and good wishes can’t hurt either)! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!! Would love you to weigh in on any of the above….value your opinion greatly!

Photobucket

A little retail therapy and a lot of house biz!

Ahhhh….its the weekend, thankfully! This post features random musings about many topics mostly related to my home building. As we are inching our way towards moving, I am naturally starting to think of our new house as a place that we will actually live in, not just a construction site I visit a few times a day! While we are eager to call it home and make it feel like home, this is no small undertaking and we realize this will be done over a long period of time and will be a labor of love that will require much patience.
?However, there are a few rooms we are determined to finish soon after we move in, namely those rooms we will be living in most of the time. The kitchen, family room, breakfast room, my bedroom and my sons bedroom are all top priorities.. As much fun as it is to plan a living and dining room, these rooms right now are on the back burner, but in due time they will get their well earned attention too. So I have been spending a good amount of time looking at furniture, bedding, fabrics, wallpaper,etc……some days my head feels like its going to twist and literally spin off my head, and yet on other days I feel so in control and so in tune with what I am wanting. Below are just a bunch of random things I have seen that I am loving, some I bought and others considering. What do you think? Love your opinions!!!

A VISIT TO THE GORGEOUS SAFAVIEH SHOWROOM! Oh boy this really made my head spin but I tried to focus focus focus and lo and behold was able to actually concentrate enough to narrow down a few things! Their showroom is incredible, and has every conceivable brand and type of furnishing known to mankind. It is important to know what you are looking for, otherwise its VERY easy to get ridiculously sidetracked! Below are some of the things that I thought were so interesting and gorgeous, click here to visit them.

Am in love with this Kilim bench for a family room or library…..thoughts?
Love the worn faded effect……
The colors are sooo exquisite!
I just love this chair for my sons room! Thoughts?
So fun!
Something about cream with accents of black that always catches my eye
Such a pretty little arrangement, took a pic just for inspiration
Love this blue linen tufted bed….not the bedding but love love love the bed!
I thought this mirrored desk was so pretty….it has a pale gold/silver antique leaf finish and its gorgeous!
THE MAKING OF A POWDER ROOM. Then I moved on to wallpaper….yes that endless nightmare paradise. Only problem for me is that there are so many incredible choices that it seems every time I turn around I am falling and falling hard for yet another beauty. But at the end of the day, you must think rationally and know that when you find something that you truly love, you should go with that first instinct. I do believe in them and therefore I have actually made a few choices!! Well almost, for my formal main powder room, I have ordered the floor below (LOVE IT) its a honey onyx “flower” with a white marble accent. I am definitely sold on the Schumacher paper which has a gorgeous metallic finish to it but then I saw a chinoiserie and it got me mildly confused. So, here is where all you “experts” come in…..want your opinion! Which do you like? Thanks in advance! I love a powder room to feel like a little jewel, have also enclosed pictures of the sconces and chandelier that will be going in there….to give you an overall “visual”. Thanks! (bear in mind I am going for a very formal powder room here)

Already bought these, which I love I can use these in this powder room or….
These…both beautiful, the chandalier I am using is the one below…
And deciding between one of these mirrors for above vanity….
CHAIRS FOR MY SITTING ROOM/MASTER BEDROOM. Looking for beautiful, French styled comfortable chairs and to find chairs that I don’t even need to recover because the color works is amazing!! (not to say I won’t eventually recover them but they certainly work well for now) So I have ordered two of these from Safavieh, I love it and look how beautifully it ties into the wallpaper I have selected for our room along with a few fabrics that work nicely….
And I had to share with you, my very first mood board! I was sooo excited to finally figure out how to put one together, albeit a basic one. But I will eventually add more layers to it, however for now…may I present “my master inspiration”…..
A CHAIR FOR MY BATHROOM. I love these two chairs from Curry, and have always wanted a beautiful delicate french chair in my bathroom…..do you have a preference between these two? Click here to visit Curry.

BATHROOM SCONCES FOR MY BATHROOM. Speaking of my bathroom I need sconces, though my bathroom will be one of the last to be completed (doing a good amount of woodwork) it will be painted a creamy white, has Calcutta Gold marble on the floors, and the vanity will be very similar looking to the one below (coloring wise) with?polished nickel faucets.?
So….now that you have this info, which sconce do you like?

SCONCE CONTENDERS ARE…..(have seen them all in person and they all come in the right finish and they all work)
1.
2.

3.

4.
5.
(The back plate is crystal)
PAINT COLOR. I have gotten several emails asking about what color we used for paint and trim in the upstairs hallways/bedrooms. I decided to go very neutral, for two reasons, A. namely because I am making so many decisions simulataneouly, that going neutral was safe and easier than choosing colors and B. I am also intending to use wallpaper in ?many of the bedrooms so the paint will be a non issue. In any case, we wanted a rich warm creamy white with white trim, so we went with trusty and much used Linen white, Arcadia white and White dove for the trim, all by good ol Benjamin Moore. It looks great and pretty much eliminates any second guessing.
So that’s about it for my random musings…..obviously the house is VERY much on my mind and pretty much consumes my days (and nights) but its all in the name of getting it done and hopefully being able to move within the next 6-8 weeks which is very ambitious but I also believe in the power of positive thinking, and a few crossed fingers. (your prayers and good wishes can’t hurt either)! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!! Would love you to weigh in on any of the above….value your opinion greatly!

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