Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dream House

Sean and I have a million ideas that we talk about for our dream house. I want to start keeping a good file of all these ideas. One thing we dream about is a tree lined drive...

Best Bears Ever

My dear friend, Hallie, has become an amazing knitter overnight. She makes these bears that I think she should sell on Etsy. Aren't these absolutely irresistible? I love the picture of the bears hugging. How sweet. Come on, need to sell these...I will buy one in every color.

Chair Idea

So, since I can't afford Imperial Trellis, and despite the fact that I continue wasting time trying to find it or a good copy, I figure I'd better look at other options. Here is one thought...maybe just plain burlap though...

Image from Apartment Therapy


I am on the hunt for the purse of my dreams and pretty much have been since late last year. I don't know why it takes me so long to find one. I want one that will last many seasons, is made of good quality leather, can go with as many colors as possible, can be worn with something casual or to work...basically, it needs to be everything in one. Why is that so hard to find?

I am so sad that my large cream bag has worn out, but I LOVED having a cream could go with everything. Sean thinks I should get a small purse, but there is something about a big bag that I just love. I have gotten used to just toting my wallet recently, and I would have to is nice not carrying around an extra 10 pounds...but I think my love of big bags will prevail.

So, I am thinking, cream or camel colored purse, and my obsession is Ruehl purses - however, they are too pricey, in my opinion. I keep scouting eBay, but no luck yet!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stained Glass

We have one full bath in our apartment, and it only has a roller shade. The window unfortunately looks right into our friend's/neighbor's kitchen. I leave the shade open if I am not in there to give my plant some light, but many of our visitors have sat down before they realize that they might be a little too intimate with our neighbors! So, I was hoping to get some stained glass for a window treatment in the bathroom. Instead of buying one, I signed up for a Stained Glass class with our neighbor, Jan - whose kitchen we can see into :) We have our first class tonight.

I have no idea how this is going to go, but I have found some pictures so that I can have some potential designs. I hope it will be fun if nothing else!

Repeat Listener

Much to the dismay of Sean, and probably others at times, I am a BAD repeat listener. Are you? There are just songs that speak to me on certain days, especially nice spring days.

These are my two favorites from the last couple days:

The Starting Line - Something Left to Give
Eric Hutchinson - Rock n Roll (I really like the acoustic version)

Dave Matthews always seems good for a nice day out, too. Which takes me back to college days...

Dave Matthews Band - Crush
The Foundations - Build me up Buttercup...I remember listening to this with the girls while driving around campus during the week of Little 500

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mother Nature

Sean, Glory and I went to the Arnold Arboretum yesterday and spent most of the day there. It was so gorgeous, fun and relaxing. Mother Nature really is amazing...

I love how Glory is smiling in this one...look closely :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A slight chill in the air

The last few days here have turned out to be beautiful, warm spring days. In the mornings and evenings though, there is still a slight chill in the air. Sean and I spent some time on the porch later last night, and it was so peaceful to be outside. I was wrapped up in my blankets, which reminds me of this great bar that we went to in was right next to the Tate Modern on the Thames...what a brilliant idea - a cart full of blankets, complete with snuggle rules!

One day, I will have a big basket with a mess of blankets for guests when I make them sit outside with me when it is a little too chilly :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I love planting too early

Being as impatient as I am, I always buy plants too early. I spent most of the day going up and down all our flights of stairs in pursuit of getting some planting done in hopes of attempting a small "urban" garden up on our porch. There is no water source on the 3rd floor, so upkeep is going to be a blast. I have to figure out how to collect rain water up there so I am not lugging a watering can up there every day!

Planted so far:
--three types of lettuce
--two tomato plants
--LOTS of basil. I was in the mood for pesto
--lavender (makes me happy to smell it)

Now...if I can just resurrect my one lemon tree that is trying to make a comeback!!

Maybe one day I will have my dream garden...once we are settled.

Images we took from Powerscourt Gardens, County Wicklow, Ireland.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wax Seals

I have been wanting a wax seal for years. I just find them to be so classy. They are such a wonderful detail and nice finishing touch to a handwritten letter. I thought this one was really pretty...

via I love typography

Monday, April 20, 2009

Irish Bangers

So, when Sean and I were recently in Ireland, we had a lot of Irish bangers (sausage). Bangers are SO much better than any sausage I have ever had here in the states. Thankfully, there are Irish grocers in the Boston area, so we have been able to get them since we have been back. If you can find them, you should definitely try them.

A couple of years ago, Sean and I had a fantastic banger appetizer at an Irish pub in Florida, and we have craved it ever since. I happened to get Sean an Irish cookbook, and we stumbled upon the exact recipe in the book. We were so excited and couldn't wait to try it out. Sean made them while my brother, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Jamie, were here. They were a hit!

When we had these in FL, my favorite part was the was so creative! I need to make one of those serving pieces. I will add that to the project list.

Here is the recipe if you are interested:

Beer Battered Cocktail Sausages with Mustard Mayonnaise
from: Full On Irish by Kevin Dundon

sunflower oil, for deep frying (we used peanut oil instead)
1 lb cocktail sausages, skinned (we used Irish Bangers)

For the Beer Batter:
1 3/4 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup cornflower
1/2 cup lager
1 1/4 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

For the Mustard Mayo:
10 tablespoons mayo
7 1/2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
juice of 1/2 lime
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 degrees.

To make the beer batter: Sift the flower and cornflour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the lager and mustard. Whisk the liquid ingredients together and then gradually whisk into the four mixture until you have achieved a smooth batter. Season to taste.

Dust the cocktail sausages in a light coating of flour and then dredge in the batter, shaking off any excess. Deep-fry for about 5 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your fryer.

To make the mustard mayonnaise: place the mayo in a bowl with the mustard and lime juice. Season to taste and mix until well combined.

To serve, drain the beer battered cocktail sausages well on paper towel and stick onto forks or cocktail sticks. Arrange on serving plates with small bowls of the mustard mayo on the side for dipping.

Auntie Anne's

Do you love that delicious smell of Auntie Anne's pretzels when you are walking through a mall? Sean had brought me this pretzel recipe a while ago, so I decided to give it a whirl today. Before I used the one he brought me, I found a copy cat recipe for Auntie Anne's as well as videos of how to make them. So, I tried it. I definitely have some things I will do differently next time; however, a homebaked pretzel, fresh out of the oven, with some salt, honey butter, or garlic was awfully tasty.

I should have rolled out the dough to be thinner - they plumped up a bit too much...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pretty Laundry

Even dirty laundry can look nice in a pretty laundry basket...I wish I would have bought two of these!

Love affair with Imperial Trellis

I have been obsessed with Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis for probably two years now. I know a lot of people say it is going "out", but I still want it. Being that I can't afford $105/yd, I have been looking for something similar. I actually had the perfect solution, and I let it slip away. Tell me, does this ever happen to you?

1. Find a great bargain on item.
2. Talk yourself out of buying item.
3. Give yourself a pep talk about how you saved money and did the right thing by not buying "unnecessary" item.
4. Wake up at night thinking about item.
5. Start praying that no one else saw item and hope it is still there.
6. Quickly get in your car and go to the store.
7. Walk quickly toward item...holding your breath.
8. Find that item is gone forever :(

I found a duvet set at Marshalls that was a great knock off, and an ABSOLUTE steal - $39.99. I had it in my hands...and let it slip away. I still think about it all the time, and curse myself for not buying it. I could have made it into drapes...maybe even used it for upholstery?!

Plus...I have these two chairs from Salvation Army that are just waiting for some green Imperial Trellis. I have a commitment phobia with bold patterned fabrics, but Imperial would be PERFECT. I have to deny them, until I can find an affordable option. Sorry, chairs. I will keep the faith and keep searching.

Moral of the story - buy what you love. You can always return it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One space or two?

I am a die hard "two-spacer" a.k.a. person who puts two spaces after every sentence. I am noticing that even though I put two spaces after every period, the blog grammer policeman removes one of them! Argh. Apparently, upon further research, we don't need to use two spaces anymore...I will spare you all the details. Oh well, I will proceed with my two spaces, even though you won't see them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Finally...dining alfresco.

I didn't realize how much I would miss the warm southern weather when we came up to the NE. I terribly miss our backyard. I miss the flowers, the plants, the birds, the outdoor entertaining area, the lounge chairs, the herbs, the lanterns, the globe lights...cocktails, dining, friends, music, relaxing, memories.

I have been waiting for the warm weather to hit Boston, and today, it has. I had lunch with a friend and we were able to sit outside...yeah! I am determined to take advantage of the shorter outdoor dining season we will have here.

We are fortunate to have a very teeny 3rd floor porch here that I hope to have some plants/flowers on. Maybe I will be adventurous and serve our dinner up there tonight!

One of my favorite outdoor dining experiences was on the Jenny Jack farm in GA this past fall. It was to benefit some organic farmers, Chris and Jenny, as they prepared to travel to Italy to represent GA at a food conference. These pictures don't do any of it justice, but it was so charming...150 people seated at one long table with a backdrop of a beautiful field of zinnias. The details, the meal, the whole evening...breathtaking!

Bust a move?

Just want to break out into a dance? Whether you are on a run, cleaning the house, at the gym, in the car, wherever...don't you sometimes just want to bust a move?

I don't know if it is because I have been going to the gym, and am surrounded by college kids which then makes me think back to my fun days at IU, or what, but sometimes, I just feel like breaking out into a dance. Wouldn't the world be a little more fun if we did that? Can you just picture the guy next to you at the gym whose foot starts tapping and before you know it, he is up, doing his thing, trying to be the next Justin Timberlake? Not much can make me want to go to the gym (stop laughing), but a funny moment like that would.

How many of us look like Elaine when we break into dance?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ahhh, organized linens.

Thanks for the inspiration, Hallie. Hallie inspired me to get my linen closet in order like she just did...using the September 2008 Domino as a guideline. First of all, how much do I love Google? I am thankful for this man who helped show me how to fold a fitted sheet. I am still not sure I did it correctly, but none the less, better than before. And what doesn't look pretty with some nice ribbon?

Is it wrong that having my linens so pretty makes me feel like I really accomplished something today and that my life is suddenly way more organized? I know, I am fooling myself.