Sunday, June 30, 2013

Silent Sunday 6-30-2013

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Favorites on Friday from The Adventures of Tartan Scott, Things That Inspire, and More

 It's Friday! If I was a dancer I would be doing a little jig right now, sadly I am not, but I am still excited to have a few hours to relax and enjoy all of my new favorite finds from this week. 


Books, books and more books, I can never get enough of them. Two of my favorite posts contained excellent suggestions of old classics and best sellers. Sunday, at Ciao Dominico shared a list of books that have the "power to sweep us away to a light and brighter world"---books to make us sparkle.  If that is not enough to entice you I do not know what is. 

Jeanne at Collage of Life shared her Kindle list for whiling away the hours at her new house Tahllia Farm, the list is extensive as well as diverse, so I am sure that there is something to peak your interest. 

Image from Scott Mecham Wood The Adventures of Tartan Scott

Summer is a chance to let go and relax, perhaps with a cocktail or two. This past month Scott at The Adventures of Tartan Scott has been hosting a bar cart giveaway(pictured above) and all of the entries include a cocktail recipe. There are so many interesting and amusing entries, "Skip and Go Naked" and "Old Yeller" to name but a few, that will want to go over and check them out HERE. Not to mention submitting your own custom cocktail to win this fabulous cart designed by The Guilded Stag.

For those of you who are flea market fans, more specifically Paris flea markets; Holly from Things That Inspire wrote a great post about her recent trip, she also offers suggestions as well as tips from other sources    that include maps and shipping information. Just in case you find something that you cannot live without. 

This week I discovered two new blogs, the first Journey Into la Ville Lumiere written by Hana about beginning a new chapter in her life in the "City of Lights", beautiful photos and adventures. 

And Margie O'Harra. If you enjoy art, food and gardens then head over to Margie O'Harra, I have already bookmarked several recipes to try and found a few pieces of art I would love to add to my collection.

Last but not least, I watched a couple movies this week, and I enjoyed this one. Quartet  is funny, predictable, light and has a cast of my favorite British stars( Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon), the perfect movie after a long day.

I hope that you find something new, and as always if you have found something we should know about please share. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tell The Wolves I'm Home, Illuminations and More Summer Reading

Summer, a time to relax, to sit on the beach or the front porch with the sun shining down, a slight breeze blowing by, a tall glass of lemonade or sweet tea whiling aways the afternoon with a good book.

I LOVE to read and frankly will read anything, cereal boxes, magazines, advertisements, etc. My only exception is real crime and scary novels. 

Luckily reading has always been a part of my life, specifically summers as I would walk back and forth to the library with my sister to get piles of books, week after week. I can still  remember bringing home Judy Blume, Madeline L'Engle, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and more.  I am still the same today, between the library, Amazon and my local bookstore I am never without a stack no make that a mountain of books. 

These are a few of the books I have read lately.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

From the publisher: 
In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.
1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.
An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

The Golden Straw by Catherine Jackson

From the publisher:
The Golden Straw, as it would be named, was a large, broad-brimmed hat presented to Emily Pearson by her long-time friend and employer Mabel Arkwright, milliner and modiste.  And before long it was to her employer that Emily owed the gift of the business itself, for Mabel was in poor health and had come to rely more and more on Emily before her untimely death in 1880.

While on holiday in France, Emily and the Golden Straw attracted the eye of Paul Steerman, a guest at the hotel, and throughout his stay he paid her unceasing attention.  But Paul Steerman was not all he seemed to be and he was to bring nothing but disgrace and tragedy to Emily, precipitating a series of events that would influence the destiny of not only her children but her grandchildren too.

Illuminations by Mary Sharratt

From the publisher:
Skillfully interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Sharratt’s redemptive novel, Illuminations, brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.

Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was entombed in a small room where she was expected to live out her days in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned but disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. Instead, Hildegard rejected Jutta’s masochistic piety and found comfort and grace in studying books, growing herbs, and rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died some thirty years later, Hildegard broke out of her prison with the heavenly calling to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters and herself from the soul-destroying anchorage. Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed.

The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

From the publisher:
“Every good love story has another love hiding within it.”

Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II.

There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother’s “lost summer” when Heidi was a child. As three generations collide with one another, with the neighbor who seems to know all of their family skeletons, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and healing amid the vineyards, warm winds and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal Heidi’s heart, too?

I loved all of these books and I think you might find a few to enjoy also. Although not all are "light beach reading" they are nevertheless funny, informative, interesting and take you traveling from Provence, to New York and England.

What are you reading this summer? Jeanne at Collage of Life wrote a great post yesterday sharing her summer reading list and if you have one I would love to hear about it and link it here.

I hope you have a great day! If you need something tasty and chocolaty to munch on while reading visit Once Upon a Chocolate Life for my latest chocolate treat. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Love

This post contains affiliate links. 

Summer means different things to different people. For some it means the kids are out of school and off to summer camp, for others it means time with family and friends on trips to the cabin or the beach, or it could mean long afternoons with sweet tea on a porch swing, and sultry evenings with a cocktail watching the fireflies.

If you have followed me for any length of time you know that Fall and Winter are "my seasons" but I do enjoy summer too...just not the incessant heat and humidity.

To me summer is...

Time at the beach

potato salad


swimming pool

beach reads

the smell of sun tan lotion
cotton candy
4th of July


corn on the cob



What does Summer mean to you?

Enjoy your summer day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blueberry Pancakes

Good morning! A happy Monday and beautiful summer day to you! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend!

I made some scrumptious pancakes to celebrate the the first weekend of summer. Although I love them plain one can never go wrong with the addition of blueberries. When I was little my family would often pile in the car with a bunch of my cousins and we would spend the day picking peaches and blueberries. To be honest I think we ate more than we took home. 

Blueberry Pancakes
Recipe from Southern Food


2 cups of flour sifted before using
21/2 tsp of baking powder
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
11/2  cups of milk
2 Tablespoons of melted butter
1 to 11/2 cups of blueberries washed


Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the milk and the eggs, then add to the flour mixture, stir until smooth. Blend in the melted butter. If the mixture seems too think add a little more milk to reach the desired consistency. Add the blueberries and stir lightly so as not to break the fruit.

Cook the pancakes on a lightly greased griddle. Pour 1/4 cup of batter on griddle and cook until little bubbles appear on the surface and the edges are slightly browned, then flip and brown the other side.

Serve with butter and syrup.

Are you a pancake fan? Or do you prefer waffles? Do you have a favorite recipe? Do you like them with or without syrup? 

I myself love both, they always remind me of my dad as he would make them for us on Sunday morning. In fact he still makes them when I am in town and see him for breakfast. 

I find that some of my favorite foods are connected to people and memories, waffles/pancakes with my dad, rice krispie treats with my sister, homemade bread and cinnamon rolls with my grandmother, hot chocolate with my mother, cheese with my husband. 

Do you have foods that you associate with people or favorite food memories? I would be interested to hear about them.

If you would like a recipe for Light and Fluffy Pancakes visit HERE.

If you love cinnamon rolls and pancakes than click HERE.

Or if you like Buttermilk Waffles click HERE.

I hope that you have a fabulous day!

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style
Ivy and Elephants
DIY By Design
Between Naps on the porch

Friday, June 21, 2013

Favorites on Friday: Summer Salad, Fashion, Movies and More!

Good morning! Summer is finally here, at least according to the calender. In my neck of the woods the weather is perfect, mid-70's during the day and low 60's overnight. The perfect weather to open the windows, listen the the chirping birds, and crickets and awake to the sun streaming in on your face. 

This week there were many beautiful and inspiring  posts on the web, here are a few of my favorites. 

What could be better in the Summer than a great salad? This is a refreshing and delicious salad with quinoa, chick peas and beets. Here.

I would love to sip lemonade and while away the day on this beautiful porch from  On Sutton Place.

Image from The Paper Mulberry viaHenhurst Interiors

Then after I am sufficiently rested I would contemplate changing the color of my front door to this beautiful gray or any of the other colors suggested by The Paper Mulberry . This post will inspire you to try new colors and combinations on your house. 

Oscar De La Renta via Simple Luxurious Life via Pinterest
Or if updating your paint is not on the agenda but updating your wardrobe is than hop over to The Simple Luxurious Life for a few ideas. 

Summer often means a family vacation. I have yet to enjoy the beauty of Australia but Four Days in the Barossa by What Katie Ate has me thinking that I need to remedy that sooner rather than later. This post features stunning photos and recipes from a four day photo shoot of food and wine artisans and where they create their magic. 

This is my favorite find this week. I actually discovered this blog, Laughing at My Nightmare from the Katie Couric Show. Laughing at My Nightmare is the story of  Shane Burcaw, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. Shane will make you laugh, show you that there is humor is everything, that life is short and should be enjoyed. Please visit Shane's blog and help him reach his goal of 1 Million followers. He is a special young man and his message should be heard and spread. 

Image from Style Cartel

Lastly, a little entertainment, not a new movie but one that is new to me, Cocoa Chanel and Igor Stravinsky. If you would like to read a review visit HERE.

I hope that you found a few new things here this week. If you found something memorable on the web this week please share with us.

Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Glimpses of The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City


Good morning! A beautiful Spring like day here, ironic considering that tomorrow is the first day of Summer. 

On a recent sunny day I found myself wandering the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. For those of you who have never been, it is the first shopping center in America built to accommodate automobile traffic. 

The Plaza, as it is known, was the dream of J.C. Nichols; opened in 1922 it is modeled architecturally after the city of Seville, Spain. In between the upscale stores, restaurants and cafes you will find fountains, tile and metal work, statures, urns and more brought over from Europe or collected from grand estates on the East Coast. 

I love to walk on The Plaza to discover not only new stores but more of the sculptures and fountains, although there are over 30 I have never managed to find them all. 

Have you been to The Plaza? If not I highly recommend it at Christmas (the most wonderful time of the year) when the spirit of the season is high, the lights are blazing and the smell of hot chocolate and cider waft in the air.

OK, enough about Christmas and back to Summer fun, what are your plans for the day? Whatever they are I hope that you enjoy them!

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style