Saturday, May 30, 2009

Morning Walk & Happy Weekend!

rose bushes on driveway over looking ocean

One more post for the week. It's been raining here in New England for days. The sun finally broke and it feels like we are going to have a hot muggy day. I took a morning walk to see what was in bloom. I saw lots of azaleas, irises, daisies, and wild rose bushes in bloom. The sun was so bright it was hard to get any good shots. I'll try again later in the weekend. A few of my favorites from this morning above and below. Hope everyone has a nice and relaxing weekend.


Lily of The Valley
Azaleas in Yard
Field of Daisies in Yard

Friday, May 29, 2009

Liberty Print Underwear


Now that my bad mood is gone I'm feeling sassy. How cute are these liberty print underwear? Yes, I avoided the word panties. Because please do you say to your significant other, "Can you remember to throw my panties in the wash." I know you say, underwear. Maybe some of you still say panties...Or maybe your thinking, "he washes your underwear?"

Bright Happy Pillows from Donna Wilson

donna wilson pillows

I think I was feeling grouchy most of the day and didn't feel like sharing. I forget to post these colorful beauties designed by Donna Wilson in collaboration with SCP. Enjoy!

Reader Polaroid Photos on nytimes.com

Reader Polaroid Submissions on nytimes.com

I was feeling kinda bored today and not really finding anything I felt inspired enough to post. It seems even if its late in the day I always seem to find something. Check out this interactive feature on the nytimes.com featuring reader's polaroid submissions. The article accompanying the images questions the fall of the polaroid camera. Online I know there are thousands of you who love the saturated and surprising images that appear in polaroids. A few of my favorite submissions below. Read more and check out the images: nytimes.com.





Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

A double recipe day. I baked these amazing bars a few months ago but never shared the recipe. Since it's a rainy kind of day I thought it would be a good day to share.


No-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate bars are super easy to make and taste insanely good. I probably ate the whole pan. I couldn't help it peanut butter/chocolate is my favorite combo. I would suggest cutting the bars a bit smaller then me. The bars are a little rich. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

Vegetable oil cooking spray

9 ounces chocolate wafers (about 40 wafers), finely ground (2 cups)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

5 ounces (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup chunky peanut butter

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted



Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 long sides.



Combine wafers, oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add chunky peanut butter and 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, whisking until well combined. Add peanut butter mixture to wafer mixture, stirring until combined. Transfer to baking dish, and use the bottom of a measuring cup or an offset spatula to firmly press mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.



Pour melted semisweet chocolate over chilled mixture and, using an offset spatula, spread into a thin layer that covers the entire surface. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 15 minutes.



Heat remaining 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter in a small saucepan until runny. Drizzle peanut butter over chilled chocolate. Drizzle melted milk chocolate over peanut butter. Refrigerate until hardened, about 15 minutes.



Use parchment to lift out chilled block of bars. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry well, and cut into 24 squares, wiping knife between cuts. Let bars stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. (Sliced bars can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.)


Adapted from Martha Stewart Living


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Recipe: Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

I had a sweet craving last night and seemed to have nothing in my cabinets to make anything good ie no chocolate. As I rummaged through my cabinets I came across a bag of almonds. I immediately thought to myself: almonds check, butter check, powder sugar check. I knew I could scrounged up the rest of the ingredients to make Mexican Wedding Cookies. A simple cookie made of ground almonds (or pecans) and basically butter. Yummy with coffee or tea. My sweet tooth was definitely satisfied.


Ingredients:

2 sticks soft unsalted butter

1 cup powdered sugar + additional for powdering

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup of Almonds or Pecans (toasted)

2 cups flour



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds or pecans in oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool. Put toasted almonds, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor; process until almonds are finely chopped, about 1 minute. Set aside.


In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add the almond mixture, and mix on low until dough just comes together.


Roll dough into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake cookies until lightly browned around the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack; let stand until cool enough to handle.


Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Let cookies cool 15 minutes, and roll again.


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart


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Weck Canning Jars


Can a girl be in love with canning jars? Curvy lines and simple shapes have certainly seduced me. I'm on a canning mission this summer. I plan to can strawberry jam, blueberry jam, maybe raspberry, and definetly some tomato sauce. I planted 9 tomato plants in my very small garden including 2 San Marzanos (makes the best sauce). For as many years I can remember I've canned with the good old Ball jars. True american classics but I am looking to switch things up around here. You can order Weck jars through Weck's website or purchase a limited selection from Heath Ceramics. Which shapes will I choose?


(discovered via bliss)




Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lichen Pin Cushions


Cute and funky lichen pin cushions by Ottoman. A unique gift for a friend who loves to sew and craft. I love the colors and their unique knubby quality. Buy now: Ottoman.etsy.com.




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Snug Harbor Farm Late May

Greenhouse at Snug Harbor Farm

I was in Maine over the long Memorial Day weekend. I made a short stop at Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk to check out what new plants they had in stock. I found lots of topiares and planters perfect for patios and decks. I'm still working on my patio space and I'm not quite ready for plants. I picked up a few pots for my expanding tomato plant farm and a few bamboo sticks to make a trellis for my sweet peas. A few of my favorite shots above and below.


Snug Harbor Farm

87 Western Ave (Route 9)

Kennebunk, Maine

(207) 967-2414


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Snug Harbor Farm Potting Shed
chickens at Snug Harbor Farm

Lily Of The Valley

In love with lily of valley from the neighbor's yard.

I love Lily of the Valley in the springtime. Delicate green shoots adorned with white little hats. The smell is intoxicating. I'm lucky enough to have a little patch behind my house. For the past few weeks I've been gathering bouquets for my dining table and bedside. Below Lily of The Valley fading at my Monday night dinner table.


Last Night Of The Memorial Day Long Weekend

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Black Ash Baskets


I was totally blown away by process of making woven baskets. Each one of the baskets is made by hand from start to finish. Watch a video of the entire process on marthastewart.com. Below a few of the baskets Jonathan Kline makes by hand. View more on his website: blackashbaskets.com.






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Sailboat Napkin by Teresa Green


Just caught my eye; sailboat napkins designed by Teresa Green. Might be cute as placemats too?


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Recycled Glassware at West Elm


Kinda digging simple recycled glasses and carafe for just $5.50-$12 at West Elm. Perfect summertime inspired gift.


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House Renovation: Mulch, Sprinkler System, Basement Window, and a Rock Path

Front of House End of May

Front of house end of May 2009


Welcome back from the long weekend. We had gorgeous weather here in New England. Greg and I stayed home majority of the weekend and worked on house projects. I assume this will be a theme for the next couple years! Greg put in a outdoor faucet, sprinkler system, replaced a basement window, made a garden path, and worked on turning a fence into a garden gate. I added a few more flowers to my garden and put in some mulch. I guess he did a lot more then me? Maybe factor in all the beer runs I had to do to keep him motivated. Oh and I rewarded him with mighty tasty dinners. Saturday night I made rhubarb crisp that was super yum!


Above and below photos of our outdoor renovations from the weekend. Greg thinks my garden is getting too fancy. He said, "Why don't we just live in your garden!" I think he was meaning the outside of our house is getting a little more attention then the inside at the moment. This week? Back inside to finish scraping the paint in the living room.


p.s. all the red cages have tomatoes in them. Nine plants in total. We are going to have a tomato farm!



Mulch in garden and trellis up!

Side garden with mulch.


Before & After shot of Mulch

Before and after mulch.


Bamboo Trellis Up!

Bamboo trellis up! Made of six bamboo rods tied together and staked into the ground.

Outdoor Sprinkler System

Sprinkler system on for a morning watering.


Hydrangeas about to bloom

Hydrangeas I planted last fall are getting ready to bloom.

Basement Window In!

New basement window in and painted Battleship Gray


Gate and Rock Path

Greg built a rock path that will eventually continue through a garden gate.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Going Away & Beach Studios Film Locations

Beach Studios: Film Locations England

I'm off for the weekend. I'm heading up to Maine to get some more flowers for my garden and to bring my cat to the vet. My mom has a few plants in her garden she going to cast off to me. I'm scoring a lovely purpley Sedum I fell in love with last week. See everyone back here next Tuesday for images from Maine and Memorial Day weekend. Hope everyone has a relaxing and restful long weekend.


Oh, I almost forgot. How amazing is this house? I dug it out of my blog inspiration folder. Gorgeous interiors from a Film location company based in England. Check out more: beachstudios.co.uk.


Beach Studios: Film Locations England
Beach Studios: Film Locations England
Beach Studios: Film Locations England

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Feeling Blah and Lilacs from {Frolic}!


Feeling totally blah today. I woke up at 3 am with horrible back pain, went to work at 9, felt like I was going to puke, came home, took a nap, and then went back to work. I haven't really found anything to inspire me to today expect for a Bombay Gin bottle and Tiger Balm. I'm trying to relax while cruising my favorite blogs. The above photo is from Chelsea at {Frolic!} Mother's Day brunch. Totally gorgeous. Lilacs and blue and white china definitely make me feel better. Night!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Campo De Fiori Aged Terracotta Hurricanes


I was searching for outdoor lanterns when I came across these beauties (above). I love the terra cotta paired with the glass. They remind of the terrariums I spotted this past winter at Farmhouse Wares (below). The price is pretty steep for the lanterns; $135 for the small version. I wonder if it would be cheaper to buy a basic terra cotta pot base and a basic glass hurricane? I have the bases and think if I really search my closets I have hurricanes. Would be so pretty in a garden.



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Organic Cotton Stripe Towels


More stripe towels to love. Stripe sage and tan organic cotton towels come in a set of two for $19.95. Oh so pretty.


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English Cottage Garden Inspiration

Miss Thrifty


I've been on a bit of search for cottage garden inspiration. Many of the images I've found are in books or magazines. My scanner is on the fritz which makes it hard to share. I discovered a group on flickr called, Cottage Gardens. Hundred of photos depicting quintessential English style gardening: wild untamed garden beds filled with layers upon layers of color. Someday I wish my gardens will be this beautiful.


Chezmundo's Photostream



UGArdener's photostream



UGArdener's photostream



devonpaul's photostream


lpbascom's photostream


Queen_Pigletta's photostream


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