Archive for March, 2016

Trendy? Not So Much!

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My dear readers….yesterday, I posted about a few farmhouse style elements that I like to incorporate into my mostly traditional home.  

However, today I want to re-iterate that it is easy to follow a trend and then have it backfire and go completely out of style as quickly as it came onto the decorating front.  I am sure you have seen a new design trend…but you were unsure of it so you waited to see if the trend sticks around, then you decide to follow it and Boom! the trend that everyone seemed to be on board with suddenly departs and  you are left with a dark gold Mediterranean sofa and love seat and wrought iron dining room chairs covered in maroon-ish red paisley cushions sitting around an octagon shaped wrought iron dining room table. Uhhhh, I believe that was the 70’s and 80’s and that, my friends, would be me.  Read more »

Decorating….My Way!

 

 

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My dear readers….yesterday I posted the pictures of my almost finished Hall/Guest Powder Room that-happens-to-have-a tub and apparently many of you liked it and commented to me along with a few questions! The questions I will talk about at another time because I want to focus on decorating, …my way. My beautiful grand daughter did an oooh and aaah and asked me to help her with her home decor.  Of course, I told her I would help and she sent me pictures of her two baths that are needing updating.  We will discuss that later also.  

In the past, decorating has been corralled into a distinct category, ie; Farmhouse, a mismatch of furnishings and items handed down from various relatives., Early American (remember that with maple wood and plaid chair coverings?) Contemporary, with all the abstract and clean lines, French Provincial, with Edwardian curves, spindles and tapestry type window coverings and chair coverings, Country, with gingham fabrics and galvanized pails….  And the list goes on and on and on and on. 

I would call my current decor…Tuscan Farmhouse or Spanish Country, because it definitely has a European farmhouse style underlying decor. Read more »

Hall/Guest Bathroom Reveal….

My dear readers…I promised you pictures of the bathroom reveal and I know I have been a little slow in getting the pictures posted.  I am so pleased with the way the bathroom turned out…it definitely makes a statement compared to the rather mundane bathroom it used to be. I may be a bit goofy…but I smile each time I walk down the hall way and glance in at this small bathroom….whereas before I would just avoid looking in.  See?  I told you I am goofy or weird or whatever!  

Oh, and one more disclaimer…these photos were taken with my IPhone so the quality and contrast and lightness are not the same as working in the ‘Lightroom’ for my photo editing…I have been having a few issues with Adobe, but I promised to show you pictures, so I am showing you, warts and all.  Remember this room has no windows.  Read more »

Tips For After the Dance/Party…..

The Party is over…..it is time to call it a day….ok, for those of you who follow me, you know I am talking about two things here.  First, on Saturday…the Kansas Jayhawks ended their run for the final four dance. They made it past the first and second rounds on to the sweet 16 and finally to the elite 8, but they didn’t have the “stuff” to make it on to the final four. I really thought they could have gone all the way, but alas…they had to get on the plane and go back to Lawrence, Kansas. But that is ok…they did win the Big 12 championship and they were a great team!  Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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Secondly, the big Easter dinner party is over too! I love planning and executing all the details around a dinner party or family gathering! And I won’t sugar coat it….it is a lot of work, but for me it is rewarding work.

Easter Tablescape

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My Easter Menu 2016! YUM! YUM!

Good morning my dear readers…today is Good Friday and it is a beautiful day here in my part of the country.  I was in the Supermarket yesterday and there were beautiful white tulips in bloom!  Be still my heart….you see, that is the only way we are able to have fresh tulips …they have to be shipped stemmed or in pre-planted in pots, never to be planted in the warm soil of SW Florida.  They are so beautiful.  I just couldn’t resist! The purity of white….perfect for Good Friday!

wh tulipsYesterday, I showed you my menu for our Easter Dinner and I promised recipes.

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Easter Tablescape and Menu….

My dear readers….Easter is almost upon us and the activities at our church are many, after all, it is holy week.  First Psalm Sunday, then Good Friday, (our pastor performs full immersion baptisms in the Caloosahatchie River and a potluck and service later at the Yacht Club) and then….on the third day….Sunrise Services and Easter.  He has risen! Shout Hosannna!  

I have been planning our menu and tablescape, as we are inviting friends to share in our Easter dinner.  So without further ado…I will point out a few of the pieces on my table, perhaps it will give you inspiration for your own Easter tablescape. Read more »

Pushing Up Daisies…

My dear readers….IT IS SPRING!!!!!!!  I love Spring! 

I love flowers…real and faux…AND I love making cookies shaped like flowers and these little tartlets are the best!  Not only are they pretty and make you think of Spring….they taste delicious AND they are so easy to make.

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Easter Egg Braid

My dear readers, I would like to share with you a sweet bread recipe (or you could use your own recipe) that has Easter eggs baked right in the bread.

I love to dye Easter eggs and I love to bake them in a bread braid.

egg breadI get many compliments from my guests as it is such a pretty presentation. I make a special effort to make an Easter breakfast and if we have guests, this Easter Egg Braid is definitely a hit.  

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Impossible? Not in my vocabulary…..

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Yep! that pretty much sums up the happenin’s around this house these days.

Lots of irons on the fire….or is that in the fire?

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Of course, March Madness has started….and the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team started off with a win on Thursday and they play again today! So excited, but also nervous for them. I know it is not impossible….and it turns out that 3 Big 12 teams have made it into the second round. Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa State! I believe in the impossible!

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AND…this cough and cold that I can’t seem to shake? Impossible??  At least not before the customary 5-6 weeks of coughing my insides inside out….so they say. I carry a box of Kleenex and a package of Halls made-with-real-honey-that-soothes-sore-throats-relieves-coughs, cough drops with me where ever I go.  And thank the makers of my sleep number bed which has a button to elevate my head so I don’t have as many spasms of coughing.  I can sleep sitting up. Also, not impossible.  I will shake this.

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AND…the work on the Hall Bathroom Makeover is pretty much going according to plan….except the Captain had to go back to flying before setting the vessel sink and faucet! Everything else is pretty much done…., the marble counter top is in place and the wainscoting is on and painted, the walls are painted and I am editing pictures to show you the finished make over.  Impossible?…  naw, it will be “set” when the Captain returns home.  Nope, never impossible. Read more »

Fluffy Towels Please….

My dear readers….I don’t know if you have the same issues I do with my bath towels, ….but I am guessing you do.  After many, many washings, the towels just seem to have lost that fluffiness….and with guest season on it’s way here in Florida, I thought you might like to see a few tips I have learned over the years.

Several years ago, I decided that all the towels in my home would be white! It took a few years, but eventually all the colored towels that matched each bathroom wore out (or were delegated to the rag bin) and were replaced with beautiful, white fluffy towels.

I pulled out a couple previous posts showing my assortment of colored towels.

Clearing One’s Thoughts…

De-cluttering The Linen Closet!

towels

Now that I have all white towels…..with a new found determination, I vowed to keep these towels as white and fluffy as the towels in upscale hotel rooms.

Below are 6 tips that you might find useful in keeping your towels fluffy.

#1. Don’t use fabric softeners! I know what you are saying…..all the ads and everything we have been taught about soft, fluffy laundry… centers around using fabric softeners.  Actually, fabric softeners will stop being effective after several uses and can actually damage your towels. Softeners collect on your towel and will eventually push the fibers of the fabric down. Your towel fibers then stiffen and become less absorbent because they are full of buildup from your softeners.

#2.  Vinegar Removes Buildup!  If you add about 1 cup of white vinegar with your laundry detergent, the vinegar will pull out the chemical buildup and hard water that sticks to the fibers of your towels.  As the fibers fluff up again, you will begin to feel the softness and the absorbency they once had.

#3.  Tennis Anyone?  Ok, not the game of tennis but a few clean tennis balls tossed in the dryer along with your towels will also aid in keeping the towels fluffy. The sound however, might be a little annoying.  Not sure if those store bought dryer balls work any quieter.  I guess it is the price we pay for fluffy towels.

#4.  Baking soda has so many uses….and your laundry room should have a large box of it sitting along side your detergent. For softer towels, add about 1/2 cup of baking soda mixed in with your detergent.  The baking soda loosens the towel fibers which in turn cleans off chemicals or grime on your towels. If you have experienced musty towel odors….as we sometimes do with swimming towels here in Florida, you will find the baking soda makes them smell fresh and clean.

#5.  This next tip is one of the easiest to utilize, but for me it is the most difficult. Wash fewer towels in each load.  If you are like me…you want to get the laundry done in as few loads as possible.  I, personally do not like being tied to the laundry room when I have places to go or people to see….or I just want to settle in with a good book. However, trying to wash and dry too many towels at once will not only hurt your washer and dryer, but it also interferes with the dryer’s ability to dry your towels properly. The larger the load of towels (or any clothing for that matter) the less air circulation and this results in towels with packed, matted down fiber …also know as not fluffy…as well as really stiff towels.

#6.  Less is more when it comes to detergent. As you use less detergent, you’ll find that the rinse cycle will wash out all of the detergent that could potentially create a residue on your towels. I use a liquid detergent rather than a powder (I think most people do these days) and I find this works much better than the way my Mother and Grandmother did their laundry.

So there you have my 6 tips for fluffy towels. I would be interested to know if you have any special tips you would like to share.

Blessings always…. 

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