Boy this week flew! Hard to believe its the weekend, we have a busy one ahead, having friends over for drinks tonight, a dinner tomorrow night and a graduation party on Sunday and in between a two day lacrosse tournament and a heck of a lot of driving back and forth. Better get my coffee maker cranked up and ready to do battle. No rest for the weary….our summer has been full of parties, more than usual, we had 5 within 4 weeks…kind of glad that “string of events” is over for now, I am looking forward to a slower pace (call me an old lady but I love a chunk of time with nothing on the agenda). We are planning on going away for a few days for a little rest and relaxation and I am looking forward. Part of the fun of summer to me, is not having to adhere to any kind of schedule and just “winging it”. I see lobster rolls, coastal shorelines and lazy afternoons in my future:)When we near July 4th, that is when I realize just how fast summer is flying! I saw my first “back to school” item in a pharmacy the other day and nearly fainted. No no and no. We need to stop and savor summer for a bit before we can digest anything having to do with fall and back to school! Finally so happy you enjoyed my recap on The charm of Charlottesville, oh yes…I will be back and will be including several other southern cities in the next tour! Click here if you missed it. Ironically this was originally going to be one of my shorter random musings post…but as I always do I start it in the beginning of the week then add on as I am inspired to do so….and it ended up being a long one afterall (surprise surprise). So take a seat and an extra five or ten minutes……..let’s get started! My house projects. Yea, yea, yea…I know I say it all the time how I am getting back, really I am this time! Two rooms, actually three I really really want to complete are my dining room, living room and bedroom. Actually make it four, we finally finished the tiny powder rooms floor off of the library and I am finalizing the wallpaper for that room to be done once and for all with it! My bedroom is held up because of wall to wall carpet, I will not budge and nothing is happening until the carpet is there. Period. The dining room..finally our chairs are almost here, another two weeks! Once they come then I think I will feel motivated to work on window treatments and go back to the chinoiserie drawing board and the room will be complete. Seems doable. Living room…..we are all over the place, so I think I will stop now with the bedroom and dining room. Here are some of the latest samples for my bedroom (I have not swayed) and living room pillow ideas……. Funny my master bedroom ideas have not changed one iota since we moved here over a year ago! Here is a mood board I had created, still loving it….. And these handpainted tole lamps just have to be incorporated somehow……. Some of the pretty fabrics up for consideration……. I cannot wait to use my gorgeous monogrammed bedding…and look at these scrumptious trims! And for small powder room, still love this wallpaper, so that is what I have decided on! And up to my ears in trims for pillows for living room A gorgeous tablescape. By now you know this totally “floats my boat”. Almost makes me want to have another party. Almost 🙂 But boy is this pretty…… Carolyne Roehm working her magic…again! White jeans. Thought this post on white jeans and the psychology behind it was right on the mark and so interesting, I have always thought white pants or white clothing for that matter to be so chic…Click here to read the article on Tory Burch’s blog…… Pretty crudite idea. Went to an event at the Safavieh store last night and loved this crudite idea. It was in a wicker “trunk”….so cute and fun! Reminds me to stay creative when thinking of ways to display even something as mundane as a crudite platter! Best flank steak. You know I like to share recipes when I love something. Have been making this flank recipe forever but its soooo good, easy and worth sharing. If you like to BBQ and have flank steak lovers in your household. This is a must try. The key is marinating for at least 8 hours preferably overnight and the ginger is a big part of the tenderizing process. Here it is “doing its thing”….. Ingredients- 1 flank steak1 ziplock bagabout 1/2 cup soy sauce1 bunch scallionsabout 4 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)1 heaping Tbsp sugarabout 1/4 cup oilabout 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (if you don’t have ginger spice is OK but fresh is preferred) Simply place all ingredients in bag, shake well. Then season your steak with sea salt and pepper generously. Put in bag, seal well and “massage’ it so the marinade has covered the entire steak. Lay flat in your fridge, and turn over at some point mid way. That’s it! When you are ready to grill, remove and throw on hot grill. It is DELISH! The ginger helps to soften/marinate the meat and its absolutely wonderful! Flower power. Went to my local Italian specialty shop and they had the most spectacular hydrangeas in bloom! Looks like a late summer show of flowers to me…..(snapped these with my iPhone) And my own white flowers are really lasting and standing the test of time….love white on green! A favorite jewelry line. Are you familiar with Jose and Maria Barerra? Their line is sold at Neiman Marcus and other sites..and their things are exquisite. I splurged on a gorgeous turquoise necklace (first one) and have been hooked on their line ever since. Total statement pieces…va va voom kind of pieces! I wore the turquoise necklace with a gorgeous red chiffon gown to a wedding held at a yacht club two years ago and have to say I looooooved my outfi, it ranks right up there as one of my all time faves. Turquoise and red together…oh yes! Here’s a sampling of the beautiful pieces they create….. Pretty amazing huh? Granted you aren’t wearing this bling to the market or a school meeting but for a special occasion or night out..these pieces are soooo gorgeous. Love their style…Jose and Maria, if you are reading this, and need someone to “test out” your pieces…I am willing able and will do it for free:) My outdoor pillows. Several of you asked about the pattern. I am going to do a post on my pillows and the selection process. But for the record the gorgeous fabric is Chiang Mai by Schumacher…its a stunning pattern! And here they are, this is still being “tweaked” but I am officially in love with these pillows!! Dough bowls! A new batch of dough bowls after a long dry spell. I am getting in some rounds (about 18″ round) a hard to get size, and a handful of 20-24″ and then one really big one, about 34″. As usual if you have been waiting on one, just email me, they go really fast and are exceptionally beautiful! Due here next week….woo hoo. A great new movie…The Wolf of Wall Street. I am itching for a great movie..haven’t seen one in ages. Come on Hollywood…you are slacking! So The Wolf of Wall Street is coming out soon and this is particularly fun for me because both of the main houses in the movie incidentally belong to two of my friends! I got to see the filming at one of them but was sworn to secrecy at the time. It was so exciting to “be on set” and see Leo who was totally in character and adorable cute little Martin Scorsese. It was quite a production and the movie looks like its going be one heck of an entertaining story……..then you factor in that its based on a true story and it really makes it one to watch! Here is the trailer……. White love. Remember my post on my love of all things white? Well take a look at this stunning dinner table that a reader sent me. How beautiful!! Thank you Nancy for sharing…… A new favorite nail polish. I am obsessed with this color, Go Ginza by good ol Essie. Its on my toes and fingernails (and I don’t usually wear polish on my fingers because its such maintenance)! But I am seriously in love with this gorgeous Essie color..its so perfect for summer. It is the perfect blend of a pale lilac, light pink and white…….hello Ginza:) A great new book! Calling all readers! I need a great book pronto. I am talking one I just cannot put down. I am itching to read a great book. Last two I read was The Burgess boys and Rules of Civility, both I loved. Please leave your suggestions in the comment box!! Bill Gates for President. It is likely that most if not all of you have seen this circulated but boy is it ever true. And so good that it warrants getting passed around some more…Bill Gates, I would vote for you for President in a heartbeat!! Common sense goes a long long way:) It really is worth reading the entire way through….. ~ Bill Gates ~ This should be posted in every school or kid’s bedroom. Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this.!!! Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world. Rule 1 : Life is not fair – get used to it! Rule 2 : The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity. Rule 6 : If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them. Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were: So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.. Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. *This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. *Do that on your own time. Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.. Shop news. Some exciting new additions this week. Finally scored the gorgeous line of hand etched hurricanes. They are exquisite and the perfect crowning touch to any vignette, whether it be a console, coffee table or dining table. Just gorgeous! They are now officially on my online shop, click here to see them. Limited quantities of each style. (scroll to bottom of page on new additions) And these beautiful new porcelain pieces and my top two selling ginger jars are officially back in stock! Last these stunning new trays are back and getting put up in the online shop. Super heavy, magnificent heirloom quality NO POLISH REQUIRED trays! That in itself is worth its weight in gold!! Comes in silver and ant. brass….truly exquisite and possibly my favorite tray ever! Email me if you are interested, otherwise they will be up under silver in the next day or two. Measures 23 x 19.5 x 2.5. And equally gorgeous in antique brass.. Calling all Enchanted customers!!!! I love getting pictures from you of your homes with my products! Please send me your pictures…take it with your phone and send it over. Such fun for all of us to see your stunning homes and how you are using the products purchased from my shop…email me here. Pretty please???? Well that wraps things up over here. Thank you so much for stopping in, I love to hear what you are up to, whats new in your world and if there is anything you have discovered, that you love, are enjoying, cooking or reading!! Do tell……hope you have a fabulous Friday and wonderful weekend. Crazy that it’s July 4th next week, isn”t it? This summer is flying by…take time to watch the fireflies, smell the ocean and breath in that unmistakable summer air….I know I am:) Two days left for the giveaway!! Click here to enter over at Art by Karena!