Friday, April 27, 2012

A Special Announcement

I'm not sure if you've heard, but the fabulous Debbie of Debbiedoos
has come up with a spectacular idea for her weekly Newbie party.

She has put together a team of bloggers who will spotlight
a different newbie from her party each week.
The team will consist of:

What this means is that if you are a new blogger who links up to 
Debbie's party, you will have  the chance to be spotlighted on one of
the above mentioned blogs as the
Spotlight of the Week! 

Remember in order to participate in Debbie's Newbie Party you must
 be a blogger who has been blogging for 6 months or less
and/or have less than 100 followers.  

I am so excited to be participating in this fun new venture!  
It all begins with the April 30th Newbie party at Debbiedoos,
so please be sure to link up. 
Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quit Copying Me!

It's time for another Magazine Copycat Challenge hosted by none other than Debbie of Debbiedoos!

If you aren't familiar with Debbie's Magazine Copycat Challenge,  it goes something like this:

Find an inspiring image in a magazine that you'd like to copy,  go ahead  and put your own spin on it, take a photo of your copycat & share it with us at Debbie's party!  Easy enough, right?

I found my inspiration in the May 2012 issue of Better Homes & Gardens...

Here is my copycat...

I didn't have that pretty blue basket that BHG used, so I chose to go with colorful accessories instead.

Having a little fun in PicMonkey.  Love giving a photo like this a vintage feel.... 

Head on over to Debbiedoos for the Magazine Copycat Challenge.  You don't want to miss out on all the fun, now do you?    

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Springtime Fireside Chat

Donna at An Anglo is Quebec is having a Fireplace Show & Tell Party.  Since I'm not quite ready to share my newest mantel decor, I'm going to show you a couple of photos from last Spring.

As I'm sure you've heard me complain say before, our fireplace mantel is huge.  It is 79 inches in length and 17 ¼ inches deep!  As I'm sure you've heard me complain say before, having a mantel so large makes for a decorating challenge every time I switch up the mantelscape.

Our home was built in 1933.  This fireplace is almost 80 years old.  When we first bought the house, the brick had been painted an antique white and there was dark paneling on the wall behind it.  Since then, we have painted the brick a brighter white and of course, we've also painted that dark paneling. 

This is a wood-burning fireplace.  We've often thought of having it converted to a gas fireplace, but it's not a high priority on our list.  Before using the fireplace for the first time, we had a professional come check it out and make sure everything was ok.  We also had it cleaned at that time.

The professional, or chimney sweep as I like to call him (I'm thinking Mary Poppins here), said the inside of our fireplace is made of cobblestone.  He said in the 25 years he's being cleaning chimneys, he has only ever seen one other fireplace made of cobblestone.  He said it is beautiful and well made and we'd be crazy to convert it to gas.  (It's possible his words have also held us back from making the conversion a reality.)  I do love having a fireplace on cold evenings.  There's just something so cozy about gathering around a fire and snuggling up close.   

I hope you enjoyed getting to know my fireplace a little better.  lol

If you have a chance, stop over to Donna's Fireplace Show & Tell Party.   Whether you choose to link up and inspire us or just visit and get some inspiration, Donna's blog is the place! 


Monday, April 23, 2012

Seeing Coral

Everywhere I look, I see this beautiful color. 
My daughter and I did some shopping over the weekend
and I can't get over how much coral-colored happy was all around.
Have you noticed it too?
Here are some of my favorite finds that I wish were mine, all mine!



But suppose you want just a hint of coral? 

Margo's Originals-Etsy

I think I really may need to buy this sweet starfish necklace!

Dress Barn

My daughter fell in love with this dress, so needless to say, I bought it for her!

As if coral is not pretty enough on its own, look at how pretty it looks
 paired with aqua.
Shannon, this part is for you! 

Mary Kate McDevitt-Etsy

Elma's Box-Etsy

Willow Faire Decor-Etsy

So tell me.  What do you think of coral? 

Just so you know, this sweet jacket leapt into my arms in Macys. 
Would you believe it if I told you there was only one
hanging on a remote rack with nothing else around it and
 it just happened to fit me?
Hmmm....very strange.   

There was no way I was letting it go. 
Let the coral madness begin!

Have a good one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Let's Make a Cherry Pie! Tablescape

I feel as though I've been missing in action lately.    I honestly don't even know what I've been doing!  This time of year brings the start of softball and baseball season for my kids, so I've pretty much been sitting at the ballpark instead of sitting in front of this computer.

I did get an opportunity to play with my dishes though.  I came up with this tablescape to share with you, although don't go looking for a pie to go along with it.  I don't foresee much baking (or even cooking) going on here for the next couple of months.


Placemats:   Home Goods
Green flatware by Cambridge:   Home Goods
Green dinner plates:  Oneida Outlet 
Red dinner plates:  Pier 1
Brown napkins:  Pier 1
Dragonfly napkin rings:  Pier 1

Salad Plates:  Kohl's

As my centerpiece, I used my large wooden board as the base.
I had the cherry crate for years and I believe I bought it at Home Goods.  I filled it with my one & only house plant and my rolling pin.
I added my jar of flour, my son's rolling pin (when he was little he always baked alongside me), a cherry votive candleholder given to me by my sister and a cherry ramekin from Kohl's a few years back. 
I know it's hard to see but in front of this, I have a rectangular cherry dish also from Kohls a few years back.

Oh yes,  how could I forget to add that I used my green bubble goblets from Target?  I sure do use these goblets more than I ever thought I would! 

But what a minute!  What's that I see in the upper right hand corner of that last picture?

Do you see it?

Ahhh yes, real life goes on here in our home!  Need a close up?

I just never know where or when these wrestlers of the WWE are going to show up!  Ugh!

I hope you enjoyed my Let's Make a Cherry Pie! Tablescape today, even though I didn't make a cherry pie. 

Thanks for visiting! 

Linking to: 

Your Cozy Home Party at Cozy Home Scenes
Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen
Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

Saturday, April 14, 2012

From the oven

The more I try not to eat sweets, the more I get the urge to bake!  I made this cake earlier in the week and thought I would share the recipe with you. 

This came from an old Everyday Food magazine.

Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup packed light brown sugar
3 apples, Empire or Gala (about 1½ pounds), each peeled, cored and sliced into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat bottom and side of 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle bottom with brown sugar.  In a medium bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; arrange in prepared pan in two concentric circles (you might not use all of them).

In a medium bow, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat until incorporated.  With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture in three parts and the milk in two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. 

Spoon batter over apples in pan; smooth top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.  Cool cake in pan on wire rack, at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours (if cake has risen above rim of pan, simply push back inside rim.)

To serve, run a knife around edge of pan, and invert cake onto a rimmed platter.

Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and enjoy the weekend! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Phantom

My daughter turned 14 years old on March 31st. 
Her birthday wish was to see 
The Phantom of the Opera.   

Yesterday, she and I took a trip to New York City...

...and her wish came true!

This was her very first show on Broadway and she fell, 
♥ hook, line & sinker ♥  
for all things Broadway.   This was my third time seeing The Phantom,
but watching it through her eyes was really incredible.  
We were in the 3rd row and being so close to the stage,
especially for her first time, made it all the more special.

She reacted just as I do when I see a show. 
She became overwhelmed by the beauty of it
and got tears in her eyes several times.
  Not to mention that her mouth hung open 
in awe for the first few minutes! lol

After the show, for a donation to
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,  
Olivia got her picture taken with Kyle Barisich, who plays Raoul.

She tells me the whole experience was the best birthday gift ever!
I just wish I could make all of her birthdays this special.

And just for the record, this morning she told me that she would
prefer to be addressed as
"The Phantom of _______ Street."
(For privacy matters, I didn't want to use our actual street name.) 
I think I've created a monster! lol

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Wide Open Window

I have a big dilemma that I hope you ladies will be so kind as to help me with. 

Last week, we had some new windows put in the dining room.  I am ashamed to admit that prior to this, two out of three of the windows did not open at all.  The other only opened if the planets were aligned correctly and you had a crane to lift the window up.  The joys of a home built in 1933.  Ok, moving on....

Once I saw this fresh new window, unadorned by curtain panels, I sort of liked it just the way it is.   (I still have to paint the trim yet.)

I'm sure you are asking, ok, so what's the problem then?

I live in a city.
I live on a corner.
There is a stoplight on this corner.
We don't have a huge amount of traffic, but it is a thoroughfare for schools/community college in the area.

So, what can I do?

Do I just cover the window up with the same lace panels that I had before and call it a day?

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo above, but raised at the top of the window, are cellular shades.   These were ordered when we first bought the house.  Honestly, they were great for awhile.  Opening them up & down, every day, over such big windows caused them to break several times.  Luckily, they were always repaired free of charge, but I guess the annoyance factor got to me.  I think they were just too big to handle the wear & tear, so I opted for the lace curtain panels.

Let me show you some pictures of the dining room and the adjoining room so you can get a better idea of what I'm dealing with.

Bear in mind, there is a radiator under this window, making long curtains to the floor impossible.

The other thing to consider is, will I need to change the curtains in the seating area as well, since the rooms are adjoined? 

So my decorating genius friends, let me have it.  Any ideas or thoughts on how to solve this dilemma?

I  really appreciate any help you can give me.    

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Giveaway Winner

Sorry to keep you all waiting, but I've been Spring cleaning like a madwoman today.

Announcing the winner of my Spring Giveaway..........drumroll son has picked..........

Shasta of In The Old Road!!

Congratulations Shasta!  Please send me your address so I can get your package out to you.

Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway!  How I wish I could send a prize to each of you.
Wishing you a happy new week!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Wishes

It's hard to believe I haven't posted since Wednesday. 
(Spring Break officially started at 2:48 pm on Thursday, so I've been flying high ever since.  LOL)

I just returned from Easter Vigil Mass and
I wanted to make sure and wish all my dear, sweet friends
a Very Blessed and Very Happy Easter!   
Love to each of you! 

See you again on Monday when I announce the winner of my Spring Giveaway!
If you haven't entered, click on the giveaway picture on my sidebar.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Flowers Tablescape

When it's Spring on the calendar, but the weather is anything but Spring-like, some bright color is in order to boost the spirits.  What better way to begin than with a tablescape?

Red flower plates from Pier 1.  Yellow plates are from Dollar Tree, I believe.   Blue chargers are Lenox, purchased at a consignment shop.  Placemats were a Christmas Tree steal at 29 cents each!  Flatware is Cambridge purchased at Home Goods.  Dotted glassware is from Target.

A watering can filled with flowers makes a nice centerpiece along with a couple of cute birds.  I've had these for years. 

I do believe that bright color was just the cure for Springtime blues. 

Don't forget to enter my Spring giveaway here!

Thanks for stopping by today.  I will be linking to:

Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

My Blog Designer- Linda

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