Sunday, June 29, 2014

Silent Sunday 5-29-2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday Favorites from Habitually Chic, Many Kitchens, Heather Cristo and More

Good morning! Happy Friday! I could dance a little jig I am so happy its the weekend! My week has been long and crazy with too many projects and too little time. 

Image Habitually Chic

This week on my radar is the beautiful photography of Vivian Maier featured by Heather Clausen of Habitually Chic. Vivian lived in the US and Europe and then settled in New York and Chicago for work. What is interesting about her story is that her recognition as a photographer only came posthumously  after her film was discovered in a trunk in a storage unit that had been sold due to non-payment.

Image Habutially Chic

If you would like more information on Vivian Maier there is a documentary in theaters now called Finding Vivian Maier which I have on my list to see.

Image Heather Cristo

Heather Cristo featured Top 10: Summer's Best Desserts. I love dessert and think anyone of these would be perfect to add to my 4th of July Menu!

Image Many Kitchens Blog

Speaking of 4th of July, doesn't this Bitchin BBQ Chicken from Valentina of the blog Many Kitchens look scrumptious?

Sometimes we all need a wake up call or perhaps a little reminder of the important things in life. This week Susan of Simply Vintageous wrote a fabulous piece called We Are Not the House We Live In.

Image Here
Have you ever watched a movie based on numerous recommendations and then wondered why you just did not "get it?" This week I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and although I liked it I thought is was a little strange. Have you seen it?

What are your plans for the weekend? Sadly I will not have an entirely relaxing weekend as I would like but that cannot be helped, life does get in the way sometimes.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Camp Wandawega: An Midwest Summer Camp

Good morning! I hope that your week is going well. Mine is progessing along, although I must admit I am ready for the weekend. I am still a little sore from digging rocks and I want to get out in the water on my paddle board.

Long, sultry summer days always reminds me of camp. Did you go away to camp when you were young? I went a few times, a horse riding camp, a church camp, a fabulous camp where we swam, collected bug, sand and rock samples, canoed and learned to cook.

In addition to hiking and sitting around the campfire toasting marshmallows we sang songs, made new friends and just enjoyed the simple things in life.

Although I have not been to camp is years I was recently reminded of my outings by a wonderful article in Midwest Living magazine called We Bought a Camp! It chronicles the story of David Hernandez and Theresa Surratt, a Chicago couple who purchased a derelict Wisconsin summer camp called Wandawega.

What I love most about the camp, in addition to its Wisconsin location is that David and Theresa have left it as an old fashioned summer camp. Instead of tearing everything down and starting over they have refurbished the camp with flea market finds, finds from the property, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. They have recreated the camps of my youth.

Of course this sort of camp is not for everyone, there is no heat or air conditioning, there are walks to the showers, bugs, no room service or Internet service.

Basically a return to a simpler and more relaxing time. I think this would be a wonderful place for a family reunion, a weekend getaway with my husband or perhaps a ladies weekend.

 All photos from Midwest Living Magazine

A place to regroup, reconnect and relax! What do you think? Did you enjoy camp as a child? Would you enjoy recapturing some of those memories? I personally love to hear people tell stories so if you would like to share you camp adventures, I am all ears.

I hope that you have a beautiful summer day.

Note: If you would like information about renting a cabin, click here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rick Bayless Yucatan Spiced Chicken

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was fabulous, busy but fabulous! We are having a huge landscape project done this summer and my husband and I decided to "pitch in" and help move about 18 wheel barrels of rock, but before we could move the rock we had to help dig it out of all of the beds. It was a lot like I imagine potato farming to be.

Image Here

In addition to that we did manage to find the time to try a recipe from one of our favorite chef's, Rick Bayless called Yucatan Spiced Chicken. This recipe is delicious, the chicken is moist and tender with hints of cinnamon and cloves. It is perfect served with vine ripened tomatoes, tender asparagus and saffron rice. I am sorry that the photo is of such poor quality but all I had at hand was my cell phone.

Yucatan Spiced Chicken Recipe
Recipe from Rick Bayless



1 head of garlic broken into individual pieces
1/3 cup of olive oil
6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

4 chicken breast halves bone in
1 cup of chicken broth
2 medium ripe tomatoes
1 lb. fresh asparagus steamed

Cut a slit into the side of each garlic clove and then place in a microwaveable bowl covered with plastic wrap. Cook for 30 seconds, then cool and remove the skins. One at a time drop garlic cloves into a food processor and make sure each is chopped before adding another. Then add the remaining marinade ingredients and process until smooth.

Scrape 1/2 the marinade into a medium bowl, and add the chicken, toss to coat evenly.

The other 1/2 of the marinade pour into a small saucepan and add the chicken broth. Set aside.

Heat your grill to medium-hot and cook chicken skin side down until richly browned. Usually 5-6 minutes on each side. Make sure to cook the chicken until completely tender at the bone. The juices will run clear when a for pierces the thickest part. If breast are large cook about 10 minutes longer.

While the chicken is cooking bring the broth/marinade mixture to a boil. Arrange the vegetables on the plate and drizzled with a bit of the broth mixture. Then top with chicken and add more broth. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE: Times are approximate, all grills are different. You may have a gas grill, I may use charcoal. 

I hope that you try this chicken recipe. I realize it is a departure from my usual sweet treats but I am trying to branch out this summer. If you need a sweet fix, click HERE to see the latest chocolate treats I have been making on my other blog, Once Upon a Chocolate Life.

Enjoy your day!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Friday Favorites from Brian Mallman, Decor to Adore, Vulupes Libris, Providence Design and More

Good morning! Happy Friday and welcome to my Friday Favorites post.

 Today I am particularly excited because one of my finds is my cousin, Brian Mallman, Brian is one of many talented people in my family, he is a Los Angeles based artist who has had his work shown around the world.  Recently Brian gave a TEDx Talk at Moorpark College,  called Smaller Pieces that I think you will enjoy.
Summer vacations and adventures are in abundance on the web this month, my favorite this week is from Decor to Adore, Laura's stunning photos of Napoleon III apartments in the Louvre make you feel as if you are right there!

Image HERE

I am constantly in search of a good book and one of my favorite blogs, Vulpes Libris has complied a list of the Best Books of 2014, So Far.

Image Midwest Living

If you live in the Midwest, Midwest Living has 20 Great Lakes Getaways that you may want to explore.

Vegetable Struedel from Providence Design

Of course I have a few foodie favorites, this scrumptious Vegetable Strudel from Providence Design seems perfect for any vegetables that you should find at the farmers market. 

Image HERE

The hot, sultry days bring out the sweet tooth in all of us and what could be easier than Nigella's No-churn Ice Cream?

Whipping Cream Pound Cake

Or what about this fabulous Whipping Cream Pound Cake from The Ribbon in My Journal? I think it would be perfect with a pile of summer berries! I think I may save this for the 4th of July weekend.

Image HERE

My summer reading is coming along a little slow so I have no book this week, but I did watch a good movie called Possession.

As always, I hope that you find something that you like here and if you have something to share please do.

I hope that you have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

21 Things To Do This Summer

Good morning! The first official day of summer is just around the corner and I have been thinking up a list of things that I would love to do. You know the quintessential things that summer is all about, long lazy days with family, enjoying barbeque's, or time at the beach.

Here is my list of 21 Fun Things to Do this Summer:

1. Visit the beach
2. Build a Sandcastle
3. Plant an herb garden
4. Make S"mores

5. Go camping
6. Take a Summer Vacation

7. BBQ
8. Fireworks
9. Eat Cotton Candy

10. Visit the Boardwalk
11. Visit the Farmers Market
12. Go to the Drive In
13. Visit the Zoo
14. Spend the day reading

15. Make lemonade 
16. Go on a road trip
17. Watch the fireflies
18. Pick some wild flowers

19. Go on a picnic
20. Long walks with my husband and my pups
21. Make homemade ice cream

Of course there are a ton of other things that I would like to do but these are the highlights, after all it is the little things in life that make it worthwhile.

What are your summer plans? Do you have a list of your favorites? Whatever you plans I hope that you find time to spend with family and friends and that you travel safe.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Making Simple Syrup

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend! Summer is in full swing here or at least it feels like it; warm weather, thunder storms, long days at the beach and barbecue dinners with friends. Summer at my house also means fresh squeezed lemonade, limeade and another other thirst quenching drink I can come up with.

Although everyone has their own way of making lemonade I find it taste best using simple syrup, that way you can be sure the sugar dissolves and you can control the amount sweetness in your drinks. I personally like mine tart.

Another plus of simple syrup is that you can add herbs to infuse them with flavors like mint, basil, etc to give your summer drinks a little something special. After all doesn't Basil Strawberry Limeade sound delicious?

Simple Syrup could not be easier to make, you simply take sugar, water and whatever herbs you want to add, cook them until the sugar dissolves and let cool. 

Simple Syrup Recipe

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Place sugar and water in a pan, bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat let cool. Store in refrigerator.

Infused simple syrup:

Use the recipe above then add a bunch of whatever herbs you like while you are cooking the syrup. After the syrup is cooled strain the herbs out and store in refrigerator.

What are your favorite summer drink recipes? Sweet tea, lemonade, iced coffee? If you have a favorite recipe to share let me know I love fruity drinks in the summer and am always looking for something new to try.

I hope that you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Dad, I love you and wish we could have spent the day together. We will make up for it when I see you next. Happy Father's Day.

I love you, 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday Favorites from Ciao Domenica, Twigg Studios, The Candid Appetite and More

Good morning! Happy Friday and a Happy Father's Day weekend to you! Do you have big plans with your dad this weekend? I unfortunately will not be seeing my dad until I am back in Wisconsin but I will be spending the day with my husband and my pups.

Image Ciao Domenica

Summer is a wonderful time to entertain, out in the garden, under the stars, enjoying a glass of wine and the company of family and friends. This week Sunday at Ciao Domenica shows you exactly how to throw just such a party!

Brigaderos from Twigg Studios

Twigg Studios  is one of my favorite blogs for so many reasons, the beautiful photos, the wonderful writing and of course the scrumptious recipes! This week Aimee made Brigaderos, these delicious looking Brazilian treats which I am going to make myself this weekend.

The Candid Appetite

This weekend is going to be hot and steamy and I think this Watermelon Basil Lime Iced Tea by The Candid Appetite will be a perfect while I relax on my porch and read.

Image Here

I enjoy movies as do many and have been watching a few old favorites lately, I think you might like this one, Dear Frankie, staring Emily Mortimor and Gerard Butler.

Image Amazon

I also read a great book this week called the The Founding Gardners by Andrea Wulf. If you like gardening, history and politics than you will enjoy this well researched and wonderful book.

What did you find this week on the web that was interesting? A recipe? A book? A movie? Please share whatever you think might be fun and interesting.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and hope that you get to spend it with your dad.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Fine Art Painting: Father's Day Gift Idea

Father's Day is Sunday and there is still time to place an order for something one of a kind and fabulous for your dad.

I have featured my friend Marian Buis on this blog before when I showcased her beautiful painted furniture and today I wanted to show you just another one of her talents, fine art painter! 

Marian has been a life long artist and although her house is filled with her beautiful watercolors, acrylic and oil paintings she has not sold too much of her work until recently. 

This month she launched her new web page and I am so excited for her and you! What could be a better gift than a painting of your beautiful children, your dog or a special memory?

If you would like to see more of Marian's work please visit her web page, HERE, you will find examples of her work as well as all of her contact information.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Father's Day Dinner Ideas

Image Martha Stewart

Good morning! Father's Day is Sunday and of course all dads deserve a fabulous meal. As I mentioned the other day, in my house you can push aside the sweets, and the side dishes because for my dad and husband it is all about the main course. Pork loin, lobster, steak, or burgers would all make a perfect meal for them both.

Image MArtha Stewart

I scrolled through pages of recipes on Martha StewartWilliams Sonoma, and of course Pinterest to put together a few recipes that I think many, many dads would enjoy. 

Image Martha Stewart

Image and Recipe Williams Sonoma

Image and Recipe Williams Sonoma

Image and Recipe Williams Sonoma

Image and Recipe Williams Sonoma

For those of us that do not want a dinner plate piled high with meat, here are a few of my favorite sides.

Baked Beans

Cheddar Grits from Martha Stewart

Image Martha Stewart

What will you be serving your dad or your husband for Father's Day dinner, do you go out, make his favorite meal, get together with family? 

If you have a few recipes to share please leave a link or the recipe in the comments, I know I love a tried and true recipe.

Have a fabulous day!

Note: All the recipes can be found in Williams SonomaMartha Stewart and Pinterest, simply click the link under the photos.