All’s Well That Weekends Well

A late week project opportunity came about at the last minute, and to say I’ve been otherwise engaged is an understatement.  No complaints, but I made a promise to myself and Dave the Builder I would stop and smell the roses, or in this case, magnolias this weekend.  My fingers may have been crossed behind my back just a wee bit, but I’ll do my best to take the weekend off.  After all, all’s well that weekends well.

magnolias-in-vase

Southern Magnolias make a beautiful “it’s the weekend” arrangement. Grab a crystal vase, silver bowl, mason jar or ironstone pitcher, fill  it with warm water ( yes, warm water) and add whatever fresh  flowers you wish.  It’s guaranteed happiness at home.  Fresh flowers and maybe a Margarita with Citrus Salt.  All the delicious details of this tempting recipe from Jad Driggers the chef, husband and Mr. Mom behind New South Food Company are featured over at  How to Decorate from Ballard Designs.

Citrus-Margarita

Still loving the Waterlogue app.  I am seriously considering having  personalized stationery made using this image.

Waterlogue (2)My nephew wrote these words down on notebook paper when he was eight years old.  His dad saved the scrap of paper in his wallet all these years.  When my nephew recently married, his dad took the piece of precious paper to the printers and had refrigerator magnets made for each member of the wedding party and family members.  A faded piece of paper with profound words from an eight year old boy made a priceless keepsake.

Joy-wedding

I hope your weekend is restful and full of joy.

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A Growing Trend: Living Grass Easter Basket

Grass is a quite the topic of conversation lately.  Not that type of grass, Easter grass.  Which do you prefer, plastic or living grass Easter basket?

Petrus

A long time spring and Easter tradition involves a run to our local feed and seed store.  We ooh and awe at the baby chicks, check out the spring bedding and vegetable garden plants, and scoop up a half-pound of wheat grass seeds. The latter purchase results in a bumper crop of live Easter grass.  Egghibit A:  my Easter 2013 live and in color living grass Easter basket.

living grass Easter basket

Okay, living grass Easter Temp-tations casserole dish basket, but you get the general idea.

 casseroleGrace Baker with Wire Rack

I lined the bottom of the container with black river rocks from Dollar Tree. Next, I filled the casserole dish about ¾ full (about an inch below the edge of the dish) with a mixture of potting soil and good old dirt.  Dampen the soil, cover the top with seeds and within two days marvel at sight of growing grass.

landscapingOn another type of grass front yard front ~

Places In The Home is Easter Sunday central again this year.  Company’s coming, therefore, a DIY landscaping session made the all things house that make a home make ready list.  The combination of looking at ugly winter wrecked beds together with well-timed spring Black Friday sales presents the perfect incentive to get in gear with a front yard freshen up.  Ferns for the front porch, ground cover clipped and managed, and sixteen bags of black mulch later we’re making some progress.  The jury is still out on the status of the Sago palm. I hope it makes a full recovery.

landscape

Exteriors lead to interiors, and next up in my Easter entertaining plans is the tablescape.  I’ll share my ideas and suggestions with you all midweek. Enjoy your Monday.

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Strawberry Orange Jam

All things house that make a home can be a less than glamorous gig at times- like when it’s cleaning out the refrigerator day.  On the upside, I did find the pint of strawberries I bought over the weekend and have overlooked thirty times between then and now.

strawberry orange jam

A rediscovered pint of strawberries connected the culinary dots straight to let’s make something very berry recipe development.  An easy Strawberry Orange Jam recipe it is.  In case you didn’t know, strawberries are my jam.

strawberry-jam1

 

Strawberry Orange Jam

Ingredients

1 16 ounce container fresh strawberries

1  small carton frozen strawberries

2 oranges

juice of one large Meyer lemon

2 cups water

1 Tablespoon orange zest

½ teaspoon allspice

3 Tablespoons orange juice

2 ½ cups sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1  3 ounce box orange jello

Directions

First, zest both oranges and then cut into wedges.  Remove peel and white membrane from fruit and discard. Place peeled oranges wedges and allspice in saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook oranges for approximately 10-15 minutes or until softened. Drain off water.  Meanwhile, slice fresh strawberries in quarters and place strawberries in food processor, pulsing until crushed. Add crushed strawberries to the cooked oranges in saucepan.

strawberry-orange-jam

Add sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, honey, orange zest and frozen strawberries and mix well.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and stir in jello. Boil uncovered for 25-30 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Skim off excess foam before carefully spooning mixture into jars.  Place lids on sealing tight for optimum storage freshness.  The mixture will continue to thicken once refrigerated. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Enjoy!

Sweetly Summervia

Southern Living, the holy grail of southern recipes goodness, has done it again. This Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake screams spring, summer and strawberry goodness.  My maternal grandmother could rock a strawberry cake like no tomorrow.  I would love to be able to turn back the hands of time and be standing next to her in her kitchen right now whipping up this cake.

strawberry-lemonade-layer-cake-lvia

Creole Cream Cheese Crêpes with Strawberry Compote.  Need I say c’est si bon?  This recipe from Louisiana Cookin’ is on my recipe card radar.

StrawberryCrepesLouisiana Cookin’

It’s one of those lazy afternoons spring is so well known to host.  I went with it and kicked off my shoes, turned up the music and proceeded to jam.  I popped over to our next door neighbor’s with a spring share of strawberry orange jam. She’s my Meyer lemon connection and official taste tester, and she gave my latest creation an enthusiastic thumbs up.  I returned home to this sight.

kitty cat

That about sums up this spring afternoon.  Hope you enjoy yours!

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Outdoor Living It Up

Our neighborhood has suddenly become lawn care central.  It’s like a U2 concert block party with the rattle and hum of mowers and blowers. There’s a cloud of pollen as far as the itchy and watery eye can see. Seasonal allergies how I love to hate thee, but the colors on parade evens things out.  Dave the Builder reminds me the work to rid the porch and patio of pollen, refresh flower pots and beds, and paint and clean the outdoor furniture is so worth it.   When the man is right he is right.  One must prep in order to properly patio- it gets the outdoor living party ball in motion.  Do you refresh or replace outdoor furniture, pillows and cushion?

wicker outdoor chairGiesel Wicker Outdoor Chair from Wayfair

outdoor-pattern-throw-pillows

When it comes to the decision to refresh or replace I consider the initial investment of money and retail resource availability.

Big $$ = Refresh

Small $$ and ample availability = Replace

Simple math.  Chic look.  Stylish equation.

Although, the Giesel Wicker Outdoor Chair from Wayfair and the summer chic collection of outdoor pillows big on color, texture and pattern  do make me want to load up the shopping cart.

antique-style-outdoor-planter

Outdoor Luxembourg Planter

Decorative outdoor planters give good outdoor living it up visual appeal.

window-herb-garden

Micasa

Vegetable and herb gardens unite and produce.  It’s your turn to be in the spring spotlight.  From full-on rows of growing goodness to a patio container garden, fresh is best.  There is something so delicious about the combination of a warm spring evening and a cold summer salad.  I’ll take mine with tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and fresh herbs.

outdoor lighting ideasOutdoor Lighting Options Available from Lowe’s 

The right lighting fixture coupled with the right lighting sets a scene. When I was four years old my parents took the family to Disneyland compliments of my paternal grandmother’s good luck (she won the trip). Past the Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World and Tinkerbell flying each night promptly at ten, the white twinkle lights adorned trees stood out in the magical night and made quite an impression on me.  Good lighting will do that.  Deck out the deck, patio and backyard spaces with chic outdoor living it up accent lighting.  Vintage chandeliers, mason jars with tea lights, twinkle string lights adorned trees, tabletop lamps or paper lanterns- all super ideas!

iron chandelier

I purchased two iron chandeliers at auction several years ago and repurposed one as a bird feeder and the other as an outdoor candle chandelier.  I recently replaced the votive candles with battery operated LED tea lights.  Flicker fabulous!

led votive candlesLED Votive Candles from Dollar Tree

Spending time outdoors is a big part of spring and summer fun, making it easy to understand why outdoor living spaces have become extensions of the life lived within our home- a retreat of heart and home.  Is your outdoor living it up escape ready to greet the season?

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Good Things and Warm Temps: Spring Is In Sight

Our local weatherman just made my day with the forecast that pays- sunny with an expected high of 78 degrees.  Can I get a spring is in sight! The first day of spring didn’t necessarily bring spring like weather to some, but let’s look at the iced tea, water and lemonade glass half full. Good things and warm temps will come to those who patiently bundle up this week.

beverage stationWedding Chicks– Photographer: Fondly Forever Photography

Now that the weatherman and the calendar have established that spring is in sight, one’s thoughts naturally turn to spring break vacation, daycation and backyardcation destination ideas.  There’s places to go, people to see and parties to plan.  I received an email from our friends at Pinterest inviting me to create a place board of my ideal dawn to dusk daycation.  Any guesses where we’re going?

Beach Blanket BingoDisney Blog

Times have definitely changed and styles have evolved, but fun in the sun with our SPF50+ on is still highly recommended.

designer swimming poolTraditional Home

What colors do you see in your spring into summer color palette future?

tropical entry

Studio M Interior Design

This season’s color crush is brought to you by Sherwin- Williams Aloe and Sherwin-Williams Bunglehouse Gray.  

bunglehouse-gray

I love any excuse to contemplate and coordinate bedding with spring and summer colors and textures.

barbara berry celadon

The Barbara Barry Poetical Celadon Collection is about as let’s spring and summer update inspiring as it gorgeously gets.  If the color blue had a scent Pure Grace by Philosophy is it.  The fresh and light scent makes a nice linen spray, and it’s my summer in a bottle scent suggestion.

pure-grace

An acquaintance of ours has recently purchased a beach property in need of a decorative update or two.  Too many miles between us and certain time constraints makes this project a prime candidate for my edecorating services.  I’ve been perusing shops and sites for furnishings and accessories that say beach chic.  I’ll share the design board with you all soon.  Your comments are always welcome!

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Spring Home Decor Ideas

Color, texture, edits and updates usher in spring and spring home decor ideas. The colors of spring take winter’s edge off our interiors and fashions- the mirror images of style.  Pantone’s  fashion color report for spring 2013 colorfully illustrates that  exact point.

Pantone spring 2013 colorsPantone

Home decor items in decorative and colorful choices spring up everywhere this time of year. Regardless if your seasonal update involves a major weekend color infusion paint party throwdown or a more subtle approach of the decorative throw pillow, lampshade, and decorative accent kind, inspirational and affordable ideas abound.

pink bedroomTraditional Home

That’s a moiré wallcovering! Designer Jamie Drake selects a silk moiré wallcovering that not only exemplifies optimum pattern and color choice, but highlights the accessories in the always spring appropriate fuchsia. I like how the balance between feminine and masculine in this bedroom tips the scale toward perfection.

fuchsia bedroomFreshome

Hydrangeas in full bloom housed in a porcelain pitcher or galvanized metal bucket never fail to take my thoughts back in time to Saturdays spent at my grandmother’s antique shop.

spring flowers in farmhouse sinkCountry Living

A bouquet of hydrangeas sitting atop an oak server, walnut dining table, or mahogany parlor table brings out the natural beauty of the flower and the furniture.

pink wing chair

How spring does love the classic and timeless color combination of pink and green!

Nick Olsen Lee Jofa designer roomKravet

The Featured Designer room at Lee Jofa in New York City features the color inspired brilliance of Nick Olsen. The  Cheshire Tight Back chair is upholstered in Lee Jofa Ayla Trellis in fuchsia red. Bold colors in big doses too much  for your tastes?  My advice for that is to practice the ABC’s of impact-

Adjust Big Color.  

A seasonal splash of color through spot accessories can achieve just as big of an impact as color drenching the entire space.  Big and colorful things do come in small packages.

Let’s Go Shopping For Spring Things~

decorative throw pillows

 

1.  Morrocan 18-inch Embroidered Blue Decorative Pillows (Set of 2) ~ Overstock

2.  Trina Turk Needlepoint Shanghai Links~ Layla Grayce

3.  Grand Estate Pillow ~ Kirkland’s

4.  The Room Essentials 2-Piece Outdoor Decorative Throw Pillow Collection~ Target

5.  Greek Key Orange Reversible Square Decorative Pillows (Set of 2) ~ Overstock

6.  Azzure Gold Square Throw Pillow ~ Overstock

Look what was spotted on Home Goods Facebook page last week.  I am soooo jealous of those of you who have a HomeGoods in your town!  I’ll be HomeGoods happy when and if  we ever get one.

spring home decor

Welcome spring, friends, and family with color!

decorative door mats

From  left to right~

Pink Spring Floral Doormat from World Market

Life’s a Beach Doormat from Overstock

Pink Poppies Doormat from World Market

Spring Blocks Coir Doormat from Overstock

Beautiful Sunflower Doormat from Overstock

 

How do you welcome spring into your home decor?

Lemon, Orange, And Rosemary Air-Freshener

I’m all about stopping, smelling the roses and not hurrying through one thing to get to another…usually.  This week it’s all about smelling the fresh scent of lemon, orange and rosemary air-freshener.

Bless Punxsutawney Phil for not seeing his shadow! Winter has been a brr of a season, and is fast on the way to overstaying its welcome.

I was inspired to try my hand at creating an all-natural air-freshener after seeing  a post from Folk magazine on the Places In The Home Facebook page.  Isn’t that what the blogosphere and social media is really all about?  The fresh citrus aroma associated with spring is a lovely thing to enjoy in February.

Homemade fresh from the garden and cupboard ideally puts creative control in your hands, pans, and jars. The citrus of fresh lemons and oranges pairs well with the pungent scent of fresh rosemary.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon extract and spring is in the air. Simmering new or tried and true winning combinations of fresh fruits and herbs, spices, extracts, and essential oils is a natural, clean, and fresh way to eliminate odors and bring the scents of a favorite season indoors.

Lemon, Orange, and Rosemary Air-Freshener

Ingredients

2   quarts water

2  stems fresh rosemary

2   lemons, sliced

1   large orange, sliced

2  Tablespoons lemon extract

Directions

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, adding additional water as needed.

 

enjoy-hydrangea