Friday, August 1, 2014

Dining Room Update - Decisions




My dining room update has been put on hold, while I have been distracted by vacation, outside gardening and furniture painting projects. Since things are winding down outside, I am ready to get back to my plans. Decisions have been made and I have placed some orders.

First, this neutral floral fabric will be used to recover the six dining room chairs. This should be a fast and easy project, though I have to admit, it has been years since I have attempted to do this. But, I remember it being pretty simple. I just need to find my staple gun :-)



This fabric from Calico Corners will pair well with the chair fabric and will be used for a table runner. The colors will also blend with a foyer rug that is adjacent to the space and some pillows I already made. Or, I may find another contrasting print (maybe a stripe) for some new pillows. Time to get out my sewing machine!



I decided on this oversize clock for a statement wall because it would blend well with the wood tones already in the space. This was my hardest decision, because I couldn't decide to go formal or rustic, but decided to keep the space a little more traditional.



Here is where I am adding the rustic and less formal elements with one of these wood shelves from Pottery Barn and whimsical accessories. I decided on one long shelf instead of stacking two or three and adding height with the accessories.

I am looking forward to finishing this up pretty fast once I start, so look for a reveal post within the next few weeks. An updated dining room, just in time for fall, sounds like perfect timing.

To see my Dining Room inspiration post click here.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Outlander Series Coming Soon




I can barely contain my excitement that the Outlander series on Starz, starts next Saturday, August 9th. My love for this series of books started many years ago when I read the first book, Outlander when I was on vacation in Florida and has only become stronger, as each of the eight books have been published. To see these characters brought to life will be amazing. And from the previews I have seen, they have done a wonderful job telling a unique story that involves time travel and much historical accuracy.



It is always interesting to see characters you only once imagined, brought to life and it can be a tricky business to get things right. Imagine Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler as anyone other than Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable and you will understand what I mean. The millions who read these books, all have a picture of Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp in their mind, me included. And for me, these two unknown actors look exactly like I imagined them to be.


To me, this is Jamie, come to life, with strong, handsome features and of course, that red hair. He is tall, broad shouldered and since the actor is a Scot, the brogue is perfect.



Claire looks like I always pictured her, with curly hair and a beautifully English complexion. She is delicate looking, but that is a facade, since she is strong, resourceful and very intelligent.

Soon, this wonderful romance will be brought to life and all the characters as well as Castle Leoch, Lallybroch and the beautiful Scottish countryside will be seen right on our television screens. To make things even more exciting, one of my friends is organizing some viewing parties for those of us in my book club who love the Outlander books, as I do. It will be interesting to discuss the show's treatment of the book with others who are Outlander fans.

I can't wait :-)

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vanilla Cherry Chocolate Cookies




July seems to be cherry month for me, since this is the second recipe I have used with fresh, local Michigan cherries. With the cooler than normal temperatures we have been having, there are no worries about heating the house with the oven and cool weather always puts me in the mood to bake something.

After making and enjoying this Cherry Coffee Cake last week, yesterday I decided to try these Vanilla Cherry Chocolate Cookies. They seemed the perfect treat for an afternoon snack, served with a glass of tea or lemonade and the flavors of chocolate and cherries together, are one of my favorites. Instead of using chocolate chips, I decided to chop up a good quality chocolate bar and the chunks of chocolate, paired with the sweet cherries, make these cookies special. I think they are the perfect summertime cookie.


Vanilla Cherry Chocolate Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick butter; softened to room temperature

1/2 cup sugar ( I used Spenda for baking)

1/4 cup light brown sugar ( I used Splenda)

1 T vanilla

1 egg

4 ounces chocolate chips ( I used a chocolate bar cut into chunks)

1/2 cup chopped sweet cherries ( I used local Michigan cherries)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder an salt; set aside.

Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars at medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Add vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate and cherries by hand.

Scoop the dough using a cookie scoop onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until the edges are brown, about 12 minutes. This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Happy Tuesday!


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

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The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

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The Dedicated House

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Craftberry Bush

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A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

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Jennifer Rizzo

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Rattlebridge Farm

Mom's Test Kitchen

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Gooseberry Patch

Mostly Homeade Mom


Monday, July 28, 2014




Lately, since I got back from a family vacation, life has been calm and quiet, just the way I like it to be.



Around the house and garden I have been keeping busy every day, just watering, weeding and creating bouquets from the flowers blooming now. I also made a little change to my kitchen window sill and added a couple green ball jars and a ceramic vegetable. A simple change, but I love how the summer sun shines through the color of these jars.



Lately in the garden, for the first time in years, the deer have left alone the daylilly buds and I have such pretty blooms to enjoy. When you are a gardener, there is a constant battle with nature, including the bugs and animals that like to destroy the flowers you take so much time nurturing. So far this season, the deer have stayed away, but the bunnies are winning in other places.



Lately, my new favorite tea is the Comforting Tea from Aveda. Since I go to an Aveda salon, I always ask for their tea when I am offered. This last time I decided to purchase some to enjoy at home and I love it. I discovered that this is a licorice mint herbal blend and have been having a cup late at night, since there is no caffeine to worry about.



Yesterday was an exceptionally relaxing day. My daughter, Melissa came home to go to a concert, so we spent some time together having a girl's day - lunch and a pink pedicure. It is always fun to spend time with her. She is full of plans for a trip to Cape Cod with her Pom team and her upcoming 21st birthday. I still can't believe she will be turning 21 soon!



Lately, I have started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and while I wasn't too enamored at first, I am slowly beginning to see what people love about the show. I am almost finished with season one and while football is central to the storyline, it seems to be less centered on the games and more on the relationships, as the season has progressed. And, I love the relationship between Tim and Tami Taylor.

Finally, The Bachelorette finale is tonight and while it hadn't been my favorite season, it's been fun to watch. Andi makes her pick tonight and the live, After The Final Rose show is always the most interesting of the season. I had hoped to have my Bachelorette watching friends over for a viewing party, but it was not a good night for most, so I will be texting Megan in Pittsburgh, as we watch this silly show together, but long distance.

Happy Monday!


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