July 30, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

I find myself so drawn to dog art lately. It has such personality and I think that is a component of art that is too often missing. I'm thinking it would be impossible to look at this picture and not smile each and every time you see it. (photos: cottage living and sugarboo designs)
I adore these colorful options from art.com. I think these pictures started it all for me. Wouldn't you love to have one of these in your laundry room cheering you as you do that dreaded chore?
For a more traditional spot in your house this one fits the bill perfectly. This print, from Ballard Designs, hopes to find a place to live in my house one day.

I'm not sure how much dog art is too much dog art. I do know that these pictures make me want to find out.

I hope you are enjoying your dog days of summer. Next week is my girls last week of summer vacation and we are trying to enjoy every moment of it. We have a lot going on with registration, ice cream socials, play dates, shopping, dental appointments and trips to the museum. I'm really trying to focus on them and there isn't a lot of time for the computer so please understand if my posts slow down until school starts. There will be plenty of time for projects and hobbies when they are gone and I am just trying to squeeze every last ounce of joy out of this time with them. Thank you all for your super sweet birthday wishes for Miss Maddie. She and I really cherish them.

July 24, 2008


I'm not quite sure how it's possible that my 1st born is 15. It sure seems like just yesterday she was grasping cheerios with her pudgy little hand. Now she is grasping for her freedom with both fists, refusing to be anything other than what she wants to be. No longer content to conform to her parents expectations, she is proving to us and herself that she is her own person. I suppose that's how it should be, although it has been quite an adjustment for everyone in this house. This has been a year filled with many bumps but I wouldn't trade it for anything because in the end those bumps brought us closer together. She is a bright, dramatic, beautiful, hilarious, tender-hearted girl and we all love her very much.

Her birthday cake (above) based on one from Country Living (below) doesn't look as perfect as the one in the magazine, but it was made together by a mother and daughter who at times this past year didn't even want to be in the same room. It was baked with love, laughter, mistakes and a big mess. I think that actually makes it the most perfect cake ever made.

July 23, 2008

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This picture doesn't have anything to do with this post, but isn't it pretty? Wow! I want to thank all of you for stopping by and saying hey! I truly wish I could give each and every one of you a gift. I especially want to thank you brave lurkers that stepped out of your comfort zone and left a comment. Keep up the good work.

I can't wait to check out all of your blogs. I love visiting the blogs of people that leave me comments, so keep them coming. I want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you, including all of you that never leave a comment. Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself here, which is not unusual for me, but it is nice to know that sometimes someone is listening.

Thanks to the random number generator thingy here are the 3 winners.
Southern Living Easy Entertaining goes to commenter #30 Jamie.
The Pretty Little Pincushions goes to commenter #19 V&co
Cath Kidston's in Print goes to commenter #68 Amy

Congratulations ladies! If you have email addresses or blogs I will be in touch and will have those books out to all of you as soon as I find myself on the side of town where the post office is.

July 18, 2008

Let's Talk About Books, Baby and a Giveway

If you girls are paying attention, then you know that I adore books. My addiction to them is only rivaled by my addiction to magazines. And anything lemon. There are a new batch of books coming out that have me in a tizzy and I thought, just in case your life doesn't revolve around books, I would share them with you.

French General: Home Sewn by Kaari Meng (pictured above and below)

Seriously, how could you not get this book? You have The French-Inspired Home by Kaari from a few years ago, right? No? What are you waiting for? Go order it too!

Country Living Storage Style by Lesley Porcelli

Country.Living.Storage.Style. What else really needs to be said? This appeals to me on so many levels and anything that might encourage me to continue on my quest to have an organized home, automatically goes on the list.

Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson

Finally a book by Miss Posie Gets Cozy herself. Pinch me, I must be dreaming. If you aren't familiar with her blog then click on the link to the right and you will be so happy to lose yourself in her world for a couple of hours.

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

Love, love, love all of her books. If you only own 1 cookbook, it better be one of hers. The best birthday present Sweet Hubby ever got me is a handsigned copy of her french cookbook. Love that man for knowing me so well. I've promised Maddie a full library of the Contessa books when she gets her first place. I suspect she will have men lining up at the door when she starts cooking from them. Maybe I should rethink that.

Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle by Tone Finnanger

I received her Sew Pretty Homestyle book as a gift last year and I love it. I'm sure this one will be just as wonderful.

Now for the giveaway (drumroll please)

3 of you lucky peeps will receive a book from my personal collection, leaving me a little extra room on the bookshelves for the above mentioned titles. I will be giving away:

A decorating book:

A Craft book:

And a cooking and entertaining book:

Leave a comment on this post telling me which of these books you would like to win & what your favorite decorating, craft or cooking/entertaining book is by noon eastern time on July 23rd and you may the winner!

July 16, 2008

Blueberry Fields Forever

Another first for our family- blueberry picking. The best things in life really are the simplest. My love of all things blueberry making this one of the best ways to spend a rainy Saturday morning with my family. Here's one of my favorite ways to use them.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake
2 cups brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 can Grands refrigerated biscuits
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup sugar

Generously grease an 8x11.5-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Cut each biscuit into six pieces, and dip each one in melted butter and then coat with brown sugar mixture. Place in baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the oats.
Combine blueberries and sugar in a bowl and toss to coat. Spoon over oats and biscuits and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 oats. Drizzle remaining melted butter on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and center is done.

Notes: To keep the calorie count down a bit I usually use the reduced fat biscuits, light butter, and splenda in this recipe with great success. Who knows if it helps all that much but it sure makes me feel like I can go back for 2nds!

July 11, 2008

The Temptations

I don't know why I do this to myself. They come in the mail. I fold down page corners. I plan. I dream. I wish. I toss. All that coveting can really get to a girl, a girl on a budget. I find it better to just dump most of them in the recycling bin. I save a few pages for thrifting & diy inspiration, projects that can be done much cheaper using imagination. A few very special items are actually purchased, the majority remain a dream. Here's what I'm dreaming about.
From Paper Source

From Paper Source
From Uncommon Goods

From Pottery Barn

From shabby chic From garnet hill

From Pottery Barn

July 10, 2008

Sis Boom Cool

Seriously, how lucky am I to win these from Jennifer at Sis Boom? I'm trying to decide how to use these gorgeous fat quarters in a way that is as special as they are. I'd love to hear your recommendations. My sewing machine is standing by.

July 08, 2008

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Or is that just something we procrastinators say? Here's a little work in progress shot of the dining room. What a difference curtains make. I'm buying the same curtains in white to go in the study. The rods are the same in each room too and I think it will give it a nice balance when all is said and done. Love those linen curtains so much. I bought 1 panel for each window and split it down the middle and hemmed it to create 2 panels. I just can't justify spending $300 on curtains for 1 room.

You can see by my project list on the sidebar that there's lots left to do, but I'm not in a huge hurry right now. We have less than 5 weeks left of summer and now that the travelling is done, I'm focusing on the fun stuff. I let you know when there is something fun to see.

July 02, 2008

A Grand 'Ol Flag

We are headed out of town again, this time to celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends.

There will be hot dogs, popsicles, swimming, fireworks and a small town parade. I can't imagine a better way to celebrate.

I hope your holiday is filled with family and fun and time spent enjoying the simple things.

July 01, 2008

Bella Bliss

I'm a Bella, she's a Bella, wouldn't you like to be a Bella too? It's official, I am finally going to Silver Bella. Cammy from Freckled Farm has decided she can put up with me for a few days and we are going to be roomies. A 3 day slumber party complete with shopping, food, wine and creating. What more could a girl want? Cammy and I are a lot alike in so many ways, we have discovered. One of many things we have in common is that we don't do much for ourselves, but spend our days taking care of others. That's about to change. Won't you join us and do something for yourself too?

I apologize in advance for blathering on about Silver Bella for the next 4 months. I will do my best to contain myself but, I make no promises. As for Cammy, well she has no self control at all so I don't speak for her.