As another week closes, I can’t help but marvel at how the first part of February has flown by. Granted, there are a few more weeks to go, but I can’t help but wonder if things are ever going to slow down this year. Honestly, I am a bit torn on how I feel about that. Busy is good, busy keeps you on your toes, but the last couple years have had so much busy, and there is a part of me that wouldn’t mind a slightly more sedate pace for a while. Either way, the weekend is upon us, and I have some great links to help you kick things off.
Since January is all about making good choices for a better year, here are some recipes for fresh and festive mocktails.
A fantastic post with a little video about how to create a simple yet special table setting for the next time you host.
should embrace the New Year’s ethos throughout the year: Seek ways to simplify
you’re talking about how to do that inside your own home, maybe start small.
Take time to improve the key, smaller areas of your house to get you started.
Addressing spaces that don’t always get attention, could spur you to appreciate
more deeply what home means to you.
one’s life through interior design? Yes, it’s a new thing. We’re calling it
Start with THE ENTRY
shui that business. Your main entrance should feel welcoming and be free of
anything—think walls that obstruct or clutter under foot—that blocks the flow
to the rest of the house.
This article does a far better job explaining how to
use this sacred Chinese philosophy to create a space that welcomes habitants
and guests alike. Just know that the entryway to your home sets the tone for
all of the events that happen there. Take care with it.
Continue with THE LAUNDRY ROOM
first time I had an actual laundry room in a living space, I swear I thought it
was a gift acknowledging that I had managed to please all of the deities at
once. It felt magical to own a dedicated
laundry area that I could also hide behind a door when I was done with it.
doesn’t mean it’s OK to let it fall into disarray. Giving some thought to what
you store there and how you use it. Does It need more bars to hang clothes on,
shelves for supplies and detergents, or a super high shelf to stow boxes of
is the time to give it some thought and add and subtract as needed. Treat it
like a place that will always pay dividends if you take care of it.
Move on to THE GUEST BEDROOM
I have mostly lived away from family and friends, I am often the guest wherever
I go so I have opinions on guest bedrooms. I know what makes a good guest
bedroom: A comfortable bed. Yes, seriously. The bed is the thing.
along with every homeowner in the world, will be tempted to use the guest
bedroom as a dumping ground for stuff that doesn’t fit elsewhere and the
mattress no one likes to sleep on. But if you like having guests, you should
take a little more care with that space. You want them to come back, don’t you.
can provide a good mattress without breaking
anyone’s bank or back. As far as trying to accommodate different types of
guests, keep in mind that the most common sleeping position is on the side.
Choose a mattress accordingly. Side sleepers need support around
the neck area and then softer more forgiving support where the body curves,
like at the hips, knees and shoulders.
I think a bedside table box filled with essentials is a nice touch to welcome
family and friends into their sleep space for a night or two. I keep the one in
my own guest bedroom filled with travel-sized aspirin, acetaminophen,
ibuprophen, antacids, mints, gum, band aids, hand sanitizer, rubber bands, nail
file and clipper, tissue, cotton swabs and chocolates.
Then take a hard look at THE PANTRY
you’re rocking a can of jellied cranberry sauce dating back to 1999, you have
waited far too long to crack the whip on your pantry.
toss the cranberry sauce. Then get serious. Clear everything out. Clean all
surfaces. Have some fun and paint the interior walls a bright color! Replace
the paper lining in any drawers. Add hanging shelves on the back of the door if
Then designate areas for canned goods, boxed goods, all baking supplies and equipment that needs a place to live other than your countertop. And then start putting things back.
Finally, be brave and ADDRESS YOUR
down the towels, sheets, pillowcases and blankets. Donate anything you don’t
need and replace anything that is worn out, stained or past repair. Then place
things in groups according to items. Sheets,
towels, blankets, tablecloths.
way to keep your linen closet functional is to stay committed to getting everything
folded and back in its place after you launder any items you use.
designing, everyone. If you take this list space by space, revamping your house
won’t be such an expensive or daunting task. It can be done room by room when
you have the time to handle it.
Just remember that little changes in small spaces can yield big results.
You read that correctly – “cuffins.” These little guys maybe baked in muffin shape, but this is a sweet tangy lemon loaf recipe, which is more of a cake. That left me with two choices mufcakes or cuffins, and of the two, “cuffin” sounded a little less…risque. Anyway, these little guys came from a casual conversation I had with one of my coworkers about The Great British Baking Show. We were discussing flavor combinations that sounded interesting, and one of my favorites is lemon and thyme. She is vegan, so I decided to go home and whip up something she could enjoy as well. I’m still learning about vegan baking, and this particular recipe utilized the trick of adding acid (vinegar & lemon) to activate the baking soda in your recipe, which yields a fluffier texture – something that can be difficult when you don’t have some of the traditional leavening included. I was really pleased with how these turned out, and Andy liked them too. So I am calling it a win 🙂
Ingredients: – 1 1/2 Cups of Cake Flour – 2 Tblsps Chopped Fresh Thyme – 1 Tsp Baking Soda – 1 Tsp Baking Powder – 1/2 Sugar – The Zest of 1 Lemon – Pinch of Salt – 6 Tblsp Vegetable Oil – 1/2 Cup Room Temperature Water – The Juice of 1 Lemon – 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract – 1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar Glaze: – 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar – 1/2 Lemon, juiced
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with muffin liners.
2. In a large Mixing Bowl Wisk Together flour, zest, thyme, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.
3. To the mixture add the water, juice, vanilla extract and vinegar. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
4. Bake for 18 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
5. Combine ingredients for glaze and drizzle over cooled cuffins.
Enjoy while watching your favorite episode of The Great British Baking Show.
The weekend is finally upon us! I glanced at the calendar and realized we’re almost half way through January… I still feel like New Years was yesterday. I would love to say that I am killing the new year, but I think I am still trying to get into the new beginnings groove. I’m getting there; I’m just more easing in then out right cannonball. I haven’t done a link love in a while, and I figured what better time to bring it back, right? So here you go, our first link love of the year. Enjoy!
Having a guest room is a wonderful asset to any home. However, sometimes you have to trade luxury for practicality, and this room makeover turning a guestroom into a home office is a wonderful way to utilize the space in your home.
This minimalist nail art is perfect for carrying a little subtle sparkle into your new year.
Savannah, GA. There are few places I’ve been that have resonated with the soul like this city. I first visited when I was look at going to SCAD for grad school; it was where Andy introduced me to his family and where we honeymooned. There have been quite a few other trips in addition to those memorable visits, but no matter how much time I spend there, I am always ready to go back. After a incredibly busy holiday season, Andy and I decided to spend Christmas this year past year on a quiet vacation, just the two of us. And by “we” decided, I mean I came up with the idea and brought it up incessantly until he gave in.
We spent three days just walking around, enjoying the incredible weather, and visiting some of our favorite haunts like Mate Factor – I have never had anything quite like their Dandy Blend (dandelion latte), and they always have a some sort of baked good or breakfast sandwich that I just have to try. We took a walk through the more touristy section of the historic district and stopped for a bit to watch the truffles being made at Choclat by Adam Turoni. We walked along the River Walk and lazily perused our favorite shops along the way. It was glorious.
For our Christmas Lunch – that’s right: it’s fancy enough to be capitalized -, I took Andy to The Olde Pink House. I’ve been with my friend Rebecca, but it was his first time. They were doing a special three course Christmas Dinner, and Andy assured me that it was everything I promised and more. We sat in the upstairs ballroom which was decked out in holiday themed Southern splendor.
The trip was over all too soon, and we had to head back to Florida. Odd side story: as Andy and I were heading out, we saw firetrucks heading into the historic district. We didn’t think much of it at the time, but it turned out the a fire had broken out at The Olde Pink House in the same ballroom we’d had dinner in two days earlier. Fortunately, they were able to get everyone out, and the blaze was put out fairly quickly. There is smoke and water damage, but the historic building should be okay. We might have to check it out on our next trip, just to make sure.