Thursday, April 28, 2011

Congratulations William and Kate!

Image via  Pigtown Design

Will you be watching? Are you old enough to remember the pomp and splendour of 1981? I can remember getting up early to watch the wedding of Charles and Diana, and I will be up to watch Kate and William. There are so many sad and crazy things going on in the world, it is nice to see two happy people in love and committing themselves to each other. If it gives everyone something to smile about and a few hours to forget their troubles, excellent! Three cheers for a long and happy life together.

Raspberry Almond Jam Cookies

This is a great spring recipe. It is delicious, easy and something that you can whip up in about 10 minutes, minus cooking time. I made these over the Easter holidays for my guests and we really enjoyed them.

Ingredient List:

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup raspberry jam


Mixed dough

1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Line baking pans with Silphat or parchment
3. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer. Add egg and almond extract and beat to combine.
4. Gradually add flour and salt until combined.
5. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Flour hands and roll into logs about 3/4 inch think. Place logs on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Use handle of wooded spoon or your pinkie finger to make an indent in the logs. Fill with jam.
6. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, using sharp knife slice logs diagonally into 1 inch thick cookies. Optional: Drizzle with white or dark chocolate.

Finished cookie

Easy and delicious! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blog Love: Home Made Happy

I love blogs! I love the photos, the stories, the recipes, the ideas, the decorating, the book recommendations, the before and after projects, the travel and so many more things. Although I have been following blogs since 2008 and have an entire journal of about 400 blogs that I have either followed or read something on that I like; I couldn't  muster up the courage to start my own blog until this year. I finally decided to start my own blog to chronicle some of the same things that I love about all of the above so that my family and friends who are spread far and wide could see some of the things I am making, baking, reading and doing. In addition to all of those things,  I thought I might start a regular feature where I profile a blog that I love, either because I recently discovered it  or because I have loved it for a long time.

I recently found this blog Home Made Happy  from a link on Sugar City Journal a blog written by two sisters in law, who live across the ocean from one another and share their adventures and their projects. Check this one out too!

Home Made Happy is really a great blog because there are so many beautiful photos, ideas, recipes, and all sorts of things about life. Tricia the author, is the mother of 6 beautiful children, and let me tell you this woman seems like she can do it all. She home schools the children, runs a farm, a home, bakes, cooks, writes, makes really beautiful things, decorates and takes really wonderful photographs.

These are a few of the photos from the family home, and if you like white this is the place for you! I love the understated elegance of this house.

This is the After, check out the before photos.

Kitchen update
Great place to read.

Favorite Nook in the living room
New craft room. Fabulous!
All of the above photos are from Home Made Happy

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quote of the Week

What a delight it is when, of a morning, I get up and go out to find in full bloom a flower that yesterday was not there.

Tachibana Akemi JapanesePoet

Monday, April 18, 2011

Renovations, remodel and updates! To be or not to be?

As we are nearing the third year of the worst recession or some would say depression, I was curious if renovating your home or doing updates to a home that is not your "forever home"  is dictated by your taste or with a view of resale in mind?

What do you think?

Let me tell you a little bit of my own experience. In 2006, at the very beginning of the bad housing market in Florida, we put our home on the market. Personally, we thought the price our realtor's told us was too high, and during the realtor showcase, the majority of the people said lower it $30,000 for a quicker sale. Never the less, we thought we did everything right, our realtor's were new to the business and in many ways that was a good thing because they were fresh with ideas. We had the house staged even before the house was listed and we did everything the stagger recommended, from painting the front door a new color to changing the furniture arrangement. We had professional photos taken, and they looked beautiful! We even left all of our furniture in the house after we purchased our new home, just to help it show better.

The house sat on the market for 18 months before it finally sold and I am told we were lucky! We certainly did not feel like it. But we were more fortunate than most in that we could afford to keep both houses although not without sacrifices.

The house we live in now could or could not be our "forever" house, who knows. When we purchased it, it was way overpriced and really did not need any immediate work. Good thing, because being a two house family we did not have the money anyway! A coat of fresh paint and that was it. Anything else we wanted to do would have to wait.

Recently though, this issues has come up because we are having repairs done to the house because of a terrible Nor'easter. And like everything in life, when you change one thing there is something else that needs to be done to work with that project, and so on and so on. Or you decide the the time is ripe to make some changes while the whole house is in disarray.

So I wonder as I compile my file of wants, am I looking at something that is trendy or that is "over" or something that is going to come back later to haunt us?

So far we have had the floors in the entire house sanded and stained. Because of that we decided to have the cabinets painted. When they painted the ceiling in the entire house we thought it was a great time to get crown molding in the family room and hall. When they change the granite in the kitchen we are going to take part of the leftover granite and have it put in the guest bath and the list goes on. Some days it feels like we are building a new house.

I will share the progress as we move along on this adventure.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Quote of The Week: George Bernard Shaw

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
Geroge Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lonny+Traditional Home=TRAD Home

Introducing Trad home online magazine!

via Tradhome

I love Traditional Home magazine, always have, and eagerly await it's arrival to my mailbox. Sometimes I get so impatient I have been known to just go out and buy it.

I am traditional and my decorating taste runs toward the traditional, not that I cannot appreciate Mid-Century modern, or any other type of decorating. I just feel the most "at home" in a traditional space.

I love that Traditional Home has stayed true to its roots and yet is moving into new and more fresh areas of traditional decorating in its collaboration with the online magazine Lonny by creating Trad Home.

These are a few images from the first issue that I really like.

All images via Tradhome

This is a great issue, don't forget to check it out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Remember Japan

 "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Ann Frank

Although it has been almost a month since the first earthquake, then the tsunami, and then this past week another earthquake, the people of Japan are still suffering. They need our help. Please donate whatever you can to the Red Cross or any one of the numerous charities that are helping the suffering people of Japan. Don't wait a single moment to help change the life of these people and help make a change in the world.

Can you imagine that a month later you still do not know the location of your family or it's missing members? Can you imagine that everything you have worked your entire life for is gone?  I cannot even imagine the suffering of this country. Please remember them in your hearts and prayers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quote of the week: Marcel Proust

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make ones soul blossom

 Marcel Proust

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Weekend! Happy April Fool's Day!

"If every fool wore a crown we would all be kings"
Welsh Proverb

"Spring" by Giuseppe Arcimbaldo