Monday, July 22, 2013

Best Strawberry Ice Cream Evah

I used this recipe. It has a very deep, rich berry flavor, and I'll bet this method would work great with a number of other fruits.

The recipe calls for three-quarters of a cup of sugar, but I used half a cup and it's plenty sweet. I also left out the rosewater, 'cause where the heck do you find rosewater?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This or That?

I've been wanting to upgrade my art collection for some time. I have a few wonderful original pieces, but also plenty of mass-market prints in Target frames. I like them, but it's (way past) time for something a little more grown up.

West Elm has several works that caught my eye, and a couple of them would look great in my office:

The office is black, white and gray with touches of pink, so either one would work beautifully. The abstract is on sale and would be more versatile, but I'm really drawn to the flamingo. It just makes me smile.

Any thoughts?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Antique Store Score

I picked up this little beauty at a store downtown not too long ago:

Then I found this on Pinterest--almost an exact match!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mad Men Season 6

Did you watch the season premier of Mad Men last night? Shhh--don't tell me what happened. I won't get to watch it till Tuesday! These pics will have to tide me over till then:

Mad Men Season 6 Episode Photos: Photo Gallery

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Meyer Lemon Pudding

And you thought lemon season was over around here. Not quite. There are still a few fruits left on the tree, so I was excited to find this simple Meyer lemon pudding recipe. It all came together in less than half an hour. My only quibble is that the recipe didn't say how long to stir, so I kind of guessed -- I'd say it took about 10 minutes, though I didn't time it.

I used a tiny bit more lemon than the recipe called for. Next time I make it (and yes, there will be a next time), I'll use less sugar. Husband's reaction: "Whoa, that's sweet." Sweet.

Monday, April 1, 2013


We had an unexpected overnight guest this past weekend. Very sweet and well-trained. I'm happy to report that she is back with her family.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Smooch is here to wish you a happy Valentine's Day. Show some love today!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Decorating Blues

You've probably guessed by now that I like blue. From calming and serene to energizing (and even appetite-suppressing), the range of hues is vast. Here are some great ways to use blue in decorating.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekend Celebration

Can't wait to dig in to the most delicious cake ever. Hope your weekend is just as sweet.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Colorful Combinations

Like going bold with color? Here are some great tips for using color and some lovely palettes that you might not have thought of. I know which one is my favorite--can you guess?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Lemon Perfection

Around these parts, January is lemon month. We recently picked bags and bags of Meyer lemons (not to mention oranges and grapefruits), and there are still bags and bags' worth left on the tree.

We give most of it away, but I always make a few sweet treats. This year I made lemon squares and Meyer lemon sugar cookies for my book group.

But my new favorite is a Meyer lemon tart, a variation on this recipe:

I substituted Meyer lemons for the key limes. It's easy to make and deliciously tart-sweet. (And once we're past lemon season, I plan to make the key lime version -- key lime pie is my favorite!)

What are cooking up these days?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Welcome Home

I have a fascination with foyers, probably because my house doesn't have much of one. There's a small pony wall and column to separate the entry from the living room, but no space at all for any sort of furniture or even a mirror for a last makeup check before heading out the door. We have coat hooks (very handy this time of year), but I long for a bench or a pretty chest where I could stash a few running-out-the-door necessities, especially a sticky roller for removing dog hair.

Entry No. 3 here makes me swoon, but it's more than I could ever hope for:

And, of course, the organization in No. 2 is insane. What's your favorite entryway?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dr. King at the August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pattern Play: Houndstooth

I'm so excited that houndstooth is popular again. I've always loved this traditional pattern, and it so fun when done in unexpected colors and sizes, or used in unusual ways. So when I came across this Houzz article, I had to share it. Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Easy Updo

I usually wear my hair down. I like it up, I just can't seem to do it myself. But this style is so simple and chic, I decided it was perfect for our New Year's Eve/anniversary celebration.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again: the making of resolutions.

Last year I set a goal of becoming more fearless. I don't know if I achieved that; it's difficult to measure fearlessness. But I have been trying to take more chances, step out of my comfort zone and try new things. My role in the community, while still quite small, has grown in the past year. And I've noticed a new self-confidence, something I'd lacked for some time.

But this year I'm going for a straight-up, achievable resolution: to buy less cheap crap. For me, that particularly means clothing, but it also pertains to things for the home.

I have a longstanding aversion to buying things made in China. One day I intend to blog about that (when and if I can ever set my thoughts out properly), but it started as my own personal protest against the country's human and animal rights abuses. Stories of contaminated pet products, children's toys and baby formula over the past few years vindicated my choice, and I've continued to try to avoid products that come from there.

It's not easy, and sometimes I give in. It's nearly impossible to find sweaters or boots or purses (and not just cheap ones but designer labels) that aren't made in China, and when buying online it's usually impossible to know where a product comes from. But there's been one good side effect: I've saved lots of money by not buying cheap, Chinese-made crap.

But it's not enough. I love stuff and I love shopping, but I really believe it's better for me and better for the world to make more-conscious, thoughtful decisions about where to spend my money. So no more "just looking" at the clothing racks at Target. No more $20 dresses at H&M.

I'd also like to teach myself to draw. Nothing too intricate, just some simple fashion- or architecture-related sketches that I can use on the blog.

Oh, yes, and I'm back to blogging. For now, anyway. I'm not going to post as regularly as I did before. It began to feel like a chore. No, now I'll post when the mood strikes and I have the time and energy to devote. (Check back next week for pictures from my trip to Paris and Brussels!)

Do you have any new year's resolutions you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them!