Saturday, September 30, 2017

Tartan Finds For Your Home

I love tartan! I love the colors, the patterns and if I could I would decorate my whole house with it. Instead I collect vintage tartan fabric and tartan blanket and the odd plate, cup, book, etc. 
This wallpaper is fabulous! Image Scott Meacham Woods

Jut in case you are wondering if there is a difference between tartan and plaids here is the definition from designer and owner of SMW Home, Scot Meacham Woods of the blog The Adventures of Tartanscot. By the way, if you like tartan as much as I do make sure to visit SMW Home for the most beautiful collection of fabric, furniture, wall coverings and even tartan carpet. 

All tartans are plaid, but, not all plaids are tartan...All plaids and tartans are comprised of stripes (in varying sizes and colors) that meet at a 90-degree angle. We start heading into 'tartan' territory by looking at the geometry on the pattern. With most every tartan, the pattern on the stripes running vertically is exactly duplicated on the horizontal axis too. Basically, this matching pattern in both directions will create a grid. The warp and weft threads are then woven in a two-over-two "twill" pattern. When looking at a simple plaid, you'll notice that the stripes — either in color, size, or pattern — are not the same in both directions. (Scot Meacham Wood, House Beautiful April 2014 HERE)

Image Scott Meacham Wood via Pinterest

If you are looking for a few things to add to your own tartan collection here are a few throws I found that you might like. Personally I think tartan is classic and does with any style and decor. 

A few of my tartan blankets

I personally love the old Pendleton throws because they remind me of my grandparents. 

Or perhaps you need a few pillows instead? Ralph Lauren always offer the classics like Blackwatch and Stewart plaid. 

If not soft furnishings you could try something tartan for the kitchen, like a beautiful set of mugs to serve your holiday beverages in. 

In addition to my tartan mugs I love to buy tartan salad plates and as I have said before mix and match them with piece I already own like my white plates, favorite transfer ware and whatever else suits my fancy. I think the plaid plate from Pottery Barn look great with a plain white plate, a charger and a cute reindeer! As for the antler napkin ring you can find something similar to that at Walmart!

Are you a tartan lover? Do you have any tartan pieces that you collect or do you have a favorite pattern? If so please share.

If you would like to see more of my favorite tartan pieces check out my Tartan Board on Pinterest or this post Tartan Parade.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday Favorites from Sally's Baking Addiction, Camille Styles, The Kitchen McCabe, The Freaky Table, Averie Cooks and More

Good morning! Happy Friday. I have high hopes today because it is supposed to drop 15 degrees and  hopefully we are going to see a little Fall. If you see someone dancing in the streets, that will be me. I will also have every window in the house open catching a little bit of the cool breeze. 

I might even bake something this weekend. The hot, humid weather zapped me and frankly I just did not feel like baking. When that happens it is a bad thing at my house. 

Image from A Beautiful Mess

Fall is all about pumpkins, pecans, apples and cranberries at least as far as sweet treats go. Doesn't this Pumpkin Almond French Toast from A Beautiful Mess look delicious? I will be making this tomorrow and I will let you know how it is. 

Image Sallys Baking Addiction

If you are looking for something sweet to bake this weekend why not try these fall Cranberry Orange Muffins from one of my favorite blogs Sally's Baking Addiction?

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

If you prefer something you have to try these Honey Butter Pumpkin Spice Dinner Rolls from Averie Cooks. I made these last Saturday and they were delicious. I cannot wait to make them again. 

Image from The Kitchen McCabe

I discovered 3 new blogs this week that I am in awe of . The writing, recipes and the photos are stunning; check out The Kitchen McCabeThe Freaky Table and Signe Bay.

Image Camille Stlyes

Origin Image Here

If you are a book lover here are 14 Highly Anticipated Sequels Coming Out this Fall.

I love Tom Cruise movies and I recently heard a review on NPR that American Made is fabulous. This is now on my list of movies to see. 
We read A Gentleman in Moscow at book club this month. Have you read it? Did you like it?

My niece posted Dear Mom, From Your Daughter in College if you have a daughter away at college you might enjoy it as well. 

What have you enjoyed this week? A good book, movie, recipe, article, podcast or more. I would love to hear about it. 

Have a happy and safe weekend. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fall Entertaining Accessories for Your Home

Good morning to you! It is a beautiful sunny, hot humid day here. On my walk this morning the leaves were falling and crunching under my feet but that was about all that I could recognize of Fall.

I do not care because I am making it Fall in my home and I am getting ready for all of the upcoming holidays by organizing my recipes and entertaining supplies and dare I say purchasing the last of my holidays gifts.

I love to buy and to give small bowls like this for gifts. I recently purchased the gourd and I have ordered the antler dip bowl to give to my Thanksgiving hosts. You can fill them up with Roasted cinnamon almonds or homemade treats or just wrap them and give them as is. I personally give them filled with homemade spiced nuts, or a separate container of homemade pimento cheese dip.  That way to can use it on the day of the party or save for a later date.

Roasted Cinnamon Almonds Recipe Here Bowls are Old, Small White Dip Bowls Here

Another thing that I like to have are serving platters, you can use them to serve meats, appetizers, vegetable trays,  charcuterie and more. Sometimes I even use my as a bar tray or on my island with candles and other seasonal items. The Ralph Lauren feather platter is traditional and a little modern. The Spode Woodland pheasant is an iconic classic and looks beautiful in any setting. Of course if you do not want feathers and leaves you could always add a few of my favorite things, acorns and pinecones to your decor.

What sorts of dishes, bowls and other items do you like to use, give and entertain with? Do you have a favorite pattern or something that was passed down from your family?

Please share your entertaining tips, tricks and favorite appetizers and dips. OR maybe your signature cocktail.

Have a wonderful day.

The Colors of Fall: Fashions for You and Your Home

A magical pumpkin farm. My sister took this photo and I love it!

Good morning! How is your week? Can I be honest, I wish it was Friday. I am ready for the weekend so I am happy that it is only a day away. It has been hot, humid, rainy and windy for the last two days with the hurricane swirling of the shore.

My mind is on Fall, cool weather, road trips to see the Fall colors, trips to the apple orchard and long weekends by the fireplace. Have you been to the orchard, or the pumpkin farm? Have you made your first pot of chili? I have been baking a few pumpkin treats, I will share them with you soon.

Image and Sweater Here via Pinterest

In the Fall I dress for comfort, cashmere cardigansjeansplaid scarfs for casual days out. While at home working I am typically in my comfy yoga pants, t-shirt and a warm cardigan. If you are looking for a beautiful Fall colored  cardigan to add to your wardrobe I found a few that you might like, they are all reasonably priced except for the two splurges that I threw in because I like the colors, the gorgeous burgundy Burberry cardigan and the plaid poncho.

If you do not need anything for yourself perhaps you would like to add a touch of Fall color to your house with a soft, fluffy, comfy throw!

I personally love the brown plaid throw and any of the orange throws. The orange makes me smile and I think it would brighten a gray winter day.

Image Pottery Barn

What is your favorite Fall color, orange, brown, yellow, gray, burgundy? Do your dress yourself or your home in Fall colors? Or do you enjoy the colors of Fall in another way like bringing natural elements into your home?

Have a great day!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Spicy Chicken Salad

Good morning! How was your first Fall weekend? Did you have a little cool weather in which to enjoy your pumpkin spiced latte? It was pretty toasty here as it was in many parts of the country so I spent my time walking, biking and reading on the porch soaking up a little sun. I have decided just to enjoy it because soon enough the cold long winter will be here.

I love food that is easy to make, delicious and that you can use for more than one thing, like this chicken that you can use for tacos, wrap sandwiches and a simple salad. This is the easiest and tastiest( if I do say so myself) rub. You simply mix it in a bowl, add your chopped chicken, let it sit at least an hour and you can either bake it in the oven or grill it. Either way it is delicious.

Chicken Chicken (Taco/Salad) Rub
1T chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
1T sea salt
1T fresh lime juice
1T olive oil
1T water

2-3 boneless chicken breasts,  cut into 1 inch pieces

Add all of the rub ingredients to a bowl and mix, add the chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour. If baking, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Internal temperature of 165 degrees.

I am not even going to write a "recipe" for the salad because it is basically whatever you like. I used chopped lettuce, drained and rinsed black beans, sautéed corn cut fresh from the cob, cherry tomatoes, pickled red onion, chicken and a sprinkling of feta cheese and cilantro. All of this was topped with a lime cilantro vinaigrette.

Similar Galvanized Tray HERE, Similar White Tray

That's it! Easy and delicious, my favorite way to cook. 

I hope that you have a great week!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday Favorites from Broma Bakery, The Sweet and Simple Kitchen, Pretty Pink Tulips, and More

Scrabble Tiles,Vintage plaid blanket,  Similar Blanket Here

Happy Fall! And of course a happy Friday to you. Does it feel like Fall to you? In my area it is still in the 80's so its doesn't feel much like Fall but thats ok I am still celebrating its arrival. 

Image from Broma Bakery

Fall is all about apples, pears, pumpkins and butternut squash. This Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese from Broma Bakery looks like the perfect dish to celebrate the coming of Fall. 

Chicken Pumpkin Quinoa Soup from Whole Fully

If you are looking for a healthy soup this Chicken Pumpkin Quinoa Soup from Whole Fully looks delicious. 

If you need a little chocolate fix this weekend you could make a batch of these Triple Chocolate Fudge Browneis.

Image from the Sweet and Simple Kitchen

Of all of the sweet treats to eat my absolute favorite isn't cookies, cake, brownies or candy, it is yeast doughnuts with frosting and no sprinkles. I search out the best doughnuts in every place that I travel and I have been known to eat a doughnut for breakfast and dinner too. Oddly, I have never made yeast doughnuts, but that is about to change because I will be making these Perfect Yeast Doughnuts from the Sweet and Simple Kitchen

Recycled Glass Pumpkins

Typically I decorate with pumpkins, gourds, pine cones and other natural items but I think I may have to get these recycled glass pumpkins from Pottery Barn. 

If you would like to knowWhere to See the Best Fall Foliage check out this post from Pretty Pink Tulips

My favorite story of the week HERE

I hope that you have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Branching Out with New Things From West Elm

Good morning! I don't know about you but I am so happy tomorrow is Friday. It has been a long week and frankly I need a rest. I want to be a slug and just do nothing. OK, let me rephrase that, I don;t want to be on a schedule and I do not want to work and I just want to relax, putter around and do what I want, like bake and eat. 

Image West Elm

I had a conversation a few months ago with an interior designer and she mentioned that she was thinking of giving up her profession because everyone seemed to want the same thing, "the perfect white/grey house" that they see on Pinterest and Instagram. Really? What happened to originality, and making your house your castle? Why would you want your house to look like everyone else? 

Image Pinterest

I do not have a white or grey house and shockingly there are no slip-covers. I have a traditional house with a collected interior. My husband and I have been traveling the world since we were teens and our house reflects that. 

Image Stone Gable via Pinterest

We have very eclectic taste, I love traditional Ralph Lauren plaids, and paisleys in dark blues and browns but then I love modern art in bright fuchsia, green and cobalt blue. I think the family crystal looks beautiful with hand-made pottery plates and twig flatware.

I typically shop vintage, antiques and more traditional looking shops, and I love one of a kind things. But I also shop at Williams Sonoma and Pottery barn for seasonal items and occasionally West Elm when I receive their new catalog.

Image West Elm

As I paged through the latest offerings online I found several items I liked. I really want this bright rug although I have no where to go with it. I love these mixing bowls and can always use a few more.  We buy these Rewind candles all the time and I am pondering these lamb mugs for my niece and nephew. 

What in your decorating style? Modern, eclectic, traditional? What is your favorite place for accessories? Do you shop at West Elm? What if your favorite but there?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Just Curious...What is going on in Your World?

Good morning! I hope all is well with you. In the news there is another storm, another earthquake, another missile test and a half a million people have cholera in Yemen. Some days I do not like to face the harsh world around me. What about you?

I recently read this post on Jen's blog Peanut Butter Runner and I sat down to write the answers of my own life in this survey-style questionnaire. 

What are you...

Making : Anything with pumpkin, to included pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pasta and a few other recipes I will share later. 

Cooking : Meatballs and homemade sauce and chili this weekend. 

Drinking : Water and Trying to cut out my 1 mini Coke Zero every other day because I have read terrible things about artificial sweeteners. 

Reading: The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Wanting: Cooler weather, no humidity. 

Looking: At a huge pile of books and magazines that I have stored like a squirrel to read in the next few weeks. 

Playing: Classical music while I type this post. 

Wasting: Time. I am a worrier and I waste too much time thinking and worrying about things I have no control over. 

Sewing: I can sew by hand but I cannot sew on my sewing machine, the thread always gets bunched up. 

Wishing: For peace and calm in the world. Sorry if this seems like a "Miss America" answer but I am sometimes overwhelmed by all of the sadness in the world and wonder if God is trying to send us a message. 

Enjoying: Pumpkins. I love them, orange, white, grey, pink, whatever the color, size or shape I want to bring them all home with me. 

Waiting: To have my first piece of pumpkin pie!

Liking: Plaid, Fall colors and warm cozy clothes. 

Wondering: If I have what it takes to complete the 200 hour teacher training classes for yoga. I am actually a shy, introvert and the thought of teaching a class scares the heck out of me and takes me so far out of my comfort zone I can't tell you. 

Loving: My new haircut and "winter color", basically the same as before but no highlights.

Hoping: To be with my family for the holidays. And to take a few photography lessons this winter. 

Marvelling: That I survived my August challenge. I attend hot Vinyasa yoga 5 days a week, an hour a day. I challenged myself for the month of August to attend 2 classes a day either back to back or one in the am, once in the pm. It was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I have done to date and I am proud that I was able to do it. 

Needing: Nothing. 

Smelling: Williams Sonoma Pumpkin Spice Candle and Spiced Chestnut two of my favorite Fall and holiday scents. 

Wearing: My Fall/Winter wardrobe, Minnetonka slippers, a comfy sweatshirt and flannel pj's. 

Following: The weather forecast. 

Noticing: All of the suffering in the world these last few weeks with the hurricanes. 

Knowing: Life is short. My sister lost her fiancee 13 years ago and last night his son passed away. Hug the ones your love and ALWAYS tell them you love them. 

Thinking: Lately, I have been thinking that I need to live more "in the moment." My mind runs off worrying about stupid stuff and I am missing out on the present. 

Feeling: Happy that Fall is on the way. I am looking forward to lazy weekends, wrapping gifts, making cookies and getting ready for the upcoming holidays. 

Bookmarking: Many recipes on Pinterest for comfort food, Mexican recipes, desserts/cookies of the holidays. 

Opening: My mind to the possibilities of new adventures and activities this year. 

Giggling: At the antics of my pups Pisa and Paris. 

That is what is going on in my world, what about you? What are you, liking, making, feeling?

If you would like to answer your own set of questions here they are. If you post them on your blog let me know I would love to read what is going on in your world.

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

Have a great day!