Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Love Paris

My very good friend and co-worker Judy has just returned from a wonderful trip to France. Her son married a French woman and the wedding took place in Bordeaux - in a chateau! Can you imagine? Well I can because I saw the pictures! For those of us that have only dreamed of what France looks like, let me tell you that it is tops on my list of places to visit! They started in Paris, which looks just as I imagined with the magnificent architecture and sweeping views. They then traveled down to Bordeaux stopping in a few additional wine regions. Oh I wish I had the photos to share with you! I knew her return to work would be difficult so I made her the above sign and hung it from her computer - because a little crepe paper and glitter certainly makes up for being in France wouldn't you say? NOT!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cheers to a Special Couple

This past weekend we (Jeff, myself, my sister-in-law, and her husband) hosted a surprise 40th anniversary party for my in-laws and were they ever surprised! They had absolutely no idea and my father-in-law still didn't know what was going on when he came into our backyard! It was quite funny. We were all thrilled that no one spilled the beans (I was especially proud of myself - I don't like being evasive and keeping things from people - it is too hard to keep track of what you can and can't say!). We were blessed to be joined by two friends from Virginia. They drove up on Saturday, attended the party on Sunday, and drove back that night. That is dedication and true friendship! They also provided the perfect excuse to get my in-laws to our house as they thought they were coming to see old friends. In the photo above, the happy couple is cutting their cake - they recreated that famous wedding moment of feeding cake to each other - though I think it was a bit messier this time through!

Pre guest arrival - these tents are great. You can get them at Costco or BJs and if you are like our family - there are plenty of parties and opportunities to use them! They work out great and we pass them back and forth to each other for use in all sorts of manners. My sister-in-law enlarged various photos and we put them all around the tent. Everyone enjoyed viewing the pictures and reliving old memories.

I made various word combinations and purchased the letters from Every Jot and Tittle - can't say enough good things about her. I ordered the letters at the last minute and she was more then accommodating.
I missed the opportunity to be part of Jenny's Bits and Pieces Swap but was so inspired by all the collages that everyone posted - I decided to make one for my in-laws. My mother-in-law made my day when she pronounced it a family heirloom!

Three cheers to the happy couple and here's to many, many more wonderful years!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heather Works Her Magic Again!

A great big shout out to Heather at Bluhm Studios for the wonderful new banner! Another beautiful work of art. I am so loving it! Thanks so much Heather!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Flea Market Fun

Yesterday I brought my mother to the flea market for the first time. She used to be very crafty but hasn't been in years. I explained what I like to look for including skeleton keys - she found a whole bunch for me! The loose keys above came from two separate vendors. After I purchased these, I heard my mother say she found some more keys. I told her I thought I had met my quota for the day (I was just about out of money!) but I went over to look anyway - low and behold, there was this entire lot for just $15! Better yet, my mother bought them for me with the stipulation that I make her a necklace with any key she chooses - no problem Mom!

We also came across a lovely lady who had loads of vintage cards. I especially love the clock card in the upper right of the photo. She was so happy to find someone who appreciated the cards, she came after me after I left her booth and gave me another card for free! She also had these vintage flowers buried amongst some items. Finding unexpected treasures is always the best part of the flea market experience. Thanks for sharing it with me Mom!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Butter Almond Citrus Rice

I am not a big fan of Rachael Ray, however I actually watched one of her Food Network shows while folding laundry a while back. She made this awesome rice and I knew I had to try it. That very evening I went to the grocery store to pick up all the ingredients. It is such a yummy treat! I was on my own for dinner tonight and I made a big bowl. Very simple and very good. Enjoy.

Getting ready to add the broth.

Everything is all mixed and ready to simmer.

The delicious results.

2 T Butter (I prefer Smart Balance spread)

1/2 cup Slivered or Sliced Almonds

2 cups White Rice (I use Jasmine Rice)

1 Orange zested

1 Lemon zested

1 quart chicken stock

Heat a sauce pot over medium heat, add butter to the pot and melt. Add almonds and toast 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and the zest of an orange and a lemon then turn the rice to coat, cook 1 minute. Add stock and bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 17 to 18 minutes.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tag Sale Treasures

I hit a great tag sale this past weekend. I picked up the above simple white pillow cover, brought it home, threw it in the wash to brighten it up and added this great vintage lace from Heather, some vintage seam binding, and one of the vintage millinery flowers I just received from Andrea.
Speaking of Andrea, here is a photo of my beautifully packaged order I received. She really put the details into everything. It is all so nice and neat and sealed with the cutest stickers. She also included a cute pink and yellow lollipop which I promptly ate. Yummy! May I also say, she wasn't kidding about the glue stick! It definitely smells good enough to eat.

Okay, back to my tag sale finds - above is a cute basket I got for $2. I'm going to use this in the guest room for guest towels. I added the other millinery flower I got from Andrea as well as a scrap of her fabulous One Hundred Wishes ribbon, and some more vintage seam binding.

I was super excited to score this bureau from the same tag sale. I saw it bright and early when I first arrived but passed on it. Well, I couldn't get the darn thing out of my head so I went back during the last 30 minutes of the sale, fully expecting it to be long gone. Low and behold it was still there! I was able to get a great deal on it too since it was the end of the day! This isn't the greatest photo, but I need your help in figuring out what to do with the bureau. I'm going to use it in my living room. I love the roughness of the top and drawers. The base is painted a tan color. I think I want to repaint this portion with a blue wash to give it more of a French feel. What do you think? Should I leave it as is or would a blue wash work?

Tagged Times Two

I am so honored! I have been tagged twice in the past few days. First a big thank you to Mary for selecting me for a Nice Matters Award! Mary, I'm so truly honored that you consider me a nice blogger. It made me think that being nice really does matter. I always try to be nice to everyone I encounter, even if they aren't necessarily being nice to me. There have been several times where I feel I've been taken advantage of and I've thought "To heck with being nice! It gets me no where!" Of course, this is only a temporary mind set (and quite a bad one at that!) and I'm usually back in my right mind before too long. I've tried to make my blog an interesting place to visit and get a peek into my world, and I'm happy that you all are here and that Mary considers me worthy of this award! Now, I'm supposed to nominate 5 more people but I can't pick just 5 for this. I nominate all of my wonderful blog friends listed in my sidebar! Each and every one of you has been so kind and wonderful to me and I give you big hugs back!

Second, Laurie, aka The Glitter Fairy, a wonderful new friend, has tagged me for a 4's tag. Do check out Laurie's blog - she is so super talented and has many great ideas for using glitter. She has even appeared on Martha Stewart multiple times! You can check out the links on her blog to see some of the fabulous projects.

4 Jobs I've Had
Grocery Store office clerk
Clerical assistant for an insurance company
Business Planning Consultant
Special Events Director
(Can we get any more random?)

4 Films I Would Watch Over and Over
High Society
Holiday Inn
Miracle on 34th Street
My Sister Eileen

4 Places I've Lived
I know I'm not that exciting, what can I say?! I did get to travel to some great spots though!

4 Favorite TV Shows
Cosby Show (Gosh how I wanted to be a Huxtable)
Golden Girls (I know I'm only 29!)
House Hunters (I'm pretty good at choosing the right house!)
24 (My husband used to be the only one who watched this. I would be in the kitchen and I would hear that annoying ticking sound at the commercial breaks and I would want to scream! Then a few seasons ago, I actually sat down and watched it and was hooked.)

4 Favorite Foods
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Eggplant Parmesan
Chocolate (the good stuff!)

4 Website I Visit Everyday
Soap Opera Digest (I love soaps but don't have time to watch so I read up!)
TMZ (I know but I can't help getting some celebrity gossip)
All of your blogs (if not everyday, at least several times a week!)

4 Places I Love To Be
Dennis, Cape Cod
My home
My mother's home

4 Favorite Colors
Aqua Blue
Pale Yellow
Apple Green

4 Names I Love But Wouldn't Use For My Children

I can't pick for this one either! I'm being very indecisive today. If you are reading this post - let us know what your Favorite 4's are!

Love ya all!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Master Photographer

One of my very best friends recently received her certificate in photography, a life long dream. She is a beautiful soul and a very talented individual. We are so alike in so many ways except for one. I often say that she is the nature version of me (read, she likes to camp and my idea of roughing it is a 3 star hotel LOL. No wait, I'm really not kidding). A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a road trip up to her home in New Hampshire and viewing her first photography exhibit! Three cheers to Erin! You know you are my all time favorite shutterbug!

Erin's exhibit

Erin and Me

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bows for Kari

Welcome and thank you for stopping by! I'm so enjoying Kari's party and I am so happy that she has decided to host such a wonderful event again! I'm often asked how to make a decorative bow so I thought that would be the perfect thing to share with you all today! Start with a length of ribbon and floral wire (for the small bow here I used about 18 inches of ribbon and about 12 inches of wire).
Make a small loop at one end of the ribbon and hold tight with your thumb.

With the tail of the ribbon, make a twist at the base of the loop and hold with your fingers.

Bring the tail to the other side of the original loop.

Twist the tail (if using a one sided patterned ribbon, make sure the pattern is facing up).

You should now have the original center loop and two loops on either side. Continue to create loops on each side of the center by twisting and bringing the tail from one side to the other. I usually create 5 - 6 loops on each side (the one shown here is much smaller).

Be sure to leave a long enough tail so that you can create two even sized finished ends. Once you are done with your loops, take the remaining tale and bring the bottom up to the underside of your bow. Hold securely.

Take the floral wire and feed it through the large loop you have just created and bring it through the original center loop.

Twist the wire securely at the base of your original loop (on the underside so you won't see it).

Snip down the center of your large tail loop to create two end pieces. Fluff your bow and viola! You now have a pretty bow wired and ready to go!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Keeping Cool

It has been a hot few days here in Connecticut! Temps have been in the 90s and the humidity is off the charts. We are hosting a neighborhood party tonight complete with a drive-in movie in our backyard. Its so much fun, this will be our 4th year doing it. The neighborhood kids and our niece, nephews, and cousins love it. The grown-ups love it too because there is lots of food, wine and good times! Hopefully I'll have a chance to take a few photos.

In the meantime, I leave you with a few photos of some projects I have been working on. Have a wonderful and safe weekend dear friends!

This is a special necklace. My father-in-law gave me the skeleton key - it used to belong to a lock in my mother-in-law's grandfather's home (did anyone follow that!?).

This brooch was a flea market find.

And this stunner is by the talented Jennifer at Sweet Eye Candy Creations. Jenn just opened an Etsy shop - make sure to check it out!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fruits of the Garden

We are starting to see the first yummy products of my husband's garden. Some simply delicious heirloom tomatoes and a few peppers have been picked, washed and are ready to go. I think I'll make a simple tomato salad to have with dinner tonight. A little olive oil, some salt and maybe some cheese is all that is really needed to highlight these little garden gems. What are your favorite garden treats?

The mailman brought some fun treats yesterday. This is a wonderful collage card from Miz Smoochie Lips. Just love it!

This is a birthday wand from the ultra talented Kris Hurst. I'm going to use it on my birthday in October.

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