Tuesday, June 30, 2009

file under: swoon

Photo credit: Amazon.com

I have a hunch that most of you will understand why I had to buy this lovely set of file folders. One side is a lovely robin's egg blue and the flipside is a wonderful pale pink. I found these at TJ Maxx while wandering through the paper goods (a favorite section).

Another knock-out paper product from Punch Studio.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

b is for . . .

B is for Buttercup & Roses
This beautiful photo recently showed-up as a thumbnail on my blog roll for Buttercup & Roses. GASP! Look how dreamy. If I ever had a little shop this would be among my inspiration photos for sure. Even the name is adorable and when reading owner/blogger Jennifer's profile, I am so impressed that she is just 25 years old. (I was a late bloomer. Gosh, at 25 I was back at college working on my English degree. TMI?)

~ b ~

B is for Banana Bread
My boys and I love banana bread. I actually don't care for buttery baked goods (despite the photo I found) so I was happy to find this recipe. I have made a few small adjustments (ah, tinkering) to the original. Easy to throw together and quite delish with a cup of coffee. I think I shall give it a cute name . . .

cottage banana bread
(Original version: Lower Fat Banana Bread II found at Allrecipes.com)
Photo credit: BHG.com

2 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup applesauce (or 1 little Motts cup)
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
A little brown sugar and cinnamon

Preheat over to 325º. Spray a bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas, milk, oil, applesauce and vanilla.
Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix just until blended.
Pour half of the batter into your bread pan and then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon (how much is up to you); pour the remaining batter over. (Also yummy with a little more sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon on the very top, too.)
Bake in preheated pan until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. About 1 hour.
Let cool and enjoy.

Bread packaging ideas from Martha Stewart. Even a can!

B is for Have a Beautiful Day


Friday, June 26, 2009

a very pink shop swap

Happy Pink Saturday Eve! Mid-week when Pink Saturday-Beverly's email arrived to ask if I would be participating I replied that I would be skipping this week.

And then this arrived in the mail! Dear Beverly: I'm in!

One evening I hopped over from the Cute Pink Stuff blog to the Etsy shop and GASPed when I saw this "white flour sack tea towel detailed with a pink fleur de lis detail, 'FLEUR' lettering and a bottom ruffle." Ooh la la!

I told my boys that we won't be wiping our hands on this towel. (As if they would use anything besides their shirts! Silly me.)

How do you think it looks here?

Is this too staged?

Imagine it as a valance or cafè curtain?

Upon knowing I must have the towel, I asked Cute Pink Stuff's Cindy if she would be interested in a little swap between our Etsy shops and she agreed! In exchange for the towel she requested 2 sets of my cottage clips, which I customized for her. To thank her for her generosity, I added some cute pink stuff for her.

In addition to her blog and Etsy shop, Cindy has an online shop also filled with cottage chic dècor. Beautiful!

~ * ~

And here is a wink of pink from my Etsy shop, Tinkered Treasures.

Happy Pink Saturday!

If you are not familiar with Pink Saturday, please visit Beverly's blog and join in on the pretty fun.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

post 101! an unfussy tablescape

This is my 101st post! How can that be? Perhaps I lost track because it has been so busy around here. Last week my guys all took turns being sick. In between keeping everyone comfy and keeping the house in a decent state, I decided to fit-in a little down time, oddly enough, by playing around with a tablescape. I say "oddly enough" because I must have wiped-down the dining room table a million times over a few days but what did I choose to do while the boys watched a movie? Set the table! Last week was my first Tablescape Thursday and I thought it was so enjoyable.

As you can see my "dining room" is small and so I keep things very casual and simple.

And even though I love details, I don't care if say, the metal of my flatware matches the trim of my dishes or not.

I am using a valance as a table runner. For a quick centerpiece, I grabbed a potted plant from outside.

The floral patterned place setting is a lovely mis-match of pieces inherited from my Nana and my husband's great-grandmother.

(My boys drank water from the glasses pictured that night at dinner. They felt very dignified!)

LinkSmall clippings in bottles grouped together on a cake plate complete the "unfussification" of my tablescape. How about a simple champagne brunch?

For more tablescape fun, please visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. It really is fun!

This was my original inspiration photo for the dining room. As soon as we bought our house, I placed an order with Pottery Barn: different table but I have the chairs, chair pads, valances and etagère.

This is how the dining room looked after we settled in. As you can see I have painted the walls (and went with mint instead of blue), removed the border, painted the top of the sidebar and changed all of the hardware. I am currently using different valances, too. Just thought this would be fun to share! Thanks for indulging me!

Oh, and one more thing ... there is the most beautiful giveaway going on right now at Vintage Bella Studio. You will not want to miss this!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

beachy keen

Look what arrived in the mail!

I recently won this very cool sand dollar pendant painted by Ruth Welter at a blogiversary giveaway at Barbara Jacksier's blog, The Book Blog.

In The Book Blog, Barbara shares experiences of having her first book published. Awesome.

Barbara's book, Waterside Cottages will be available in stores in July but you can pre-order a personalized (!) copy here at Barbara's new website, Waterside Cottage Styles.

The website has a wonderful pale and breezy feel to it and is full of beautiful images, recipes for coastal cuisine, decorating ideas, home tours and more.

Photo credit: Dan Mayers

{I think I want to begin collecting these little tin sand pails!}

I love the relaxed feel of a beach cottage and hope that shows throughout my home. Especially the living room and bathroom which are filled with shades of blues, baskets, and jars of shells and sea glass.

Design elements from the bathroom

I'm all pre-ordered for personalizin' and know Waterside Cottages will be one GASP after another!

Tell Barbara -- Elyse sent you! LOL


Friday, June 19, 2009

tagged: 6 "unimportant" loves

I have been tagged by the adorable Beki which means that by playing along, I must share 6 unimportant things that I love and then choose 6 other friends to tag. Hmmm? Okay, here goes . . . unimportant things that I love . . .

Panera coffee
Black with 2.5 packages of Sugar in the Raw. Mmmmm! Panera baked goods are also quite dreamy and always displayed as impeccably as if ready for a photo shoot.

My Martha Stewart glitter set
Best use of a Michaels 50% off coupon EVER!

The Lemonheads/Evan Dando
This cover is actually the one CD I do not have but I like how it looks. The older I get, the more I want to listen to old favorites and I have been a fan of The Lemonheads and Evan Dando (frontman) for gosh, twenty years? I just need to listen to their music sans-kiddies for the occasional "#$%@"

Dental tape
Not floss -- tape. Your teeth feel practically dentist-visit clean after use.

I love the smell of this fruit and they are only perfect for a short time each Summer. Delish. I must sniff these for a few seconds before eating them.

Bonne Maman preserves/jars
All it takes is a quick look around my house to see that I love these little jars (and obviously the preserves inside). There is probably at least 1 jar being used for something in every room of my house. The labels come off very easily which is another reason why they have made the list.

Okay, so there is my round-up of unimportant things. Of course, in many ways they are important. I also hope I haven't scared anyone away with wacky TMI facts!

Now the difficult part to choose 6 friends to tag. I enjoy learning fun facts about all of you, so if you are reading this post but haven't been tagged, please feel more than free to share your Unimportant 6.


Of course all of my blogging friends are important and dear to me.


Unimportant honorable mention

Chewy, fruity goodness!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

happy tablescape

A few weeks ago, I posted about treating myself to a set of Cath Kidston plates.

Last week I had a weekday to myself. When does that happen? What to do?

I remembered there being a blog called Between Naps on the Porch, which features weekly tablescapes and thought it would be fun to take my time, set a pretty table and take photos. So I did.

Welcome to my first Tablescape Thursday. Okay, it's Wednesday but because I know I have the time right now, I'm getting my post together early on Tablescape Eve. I will officially link up via Mr. Linky (new to me) tonight.

I played around with coordinating a lively color palette, patterns and textures

Much of this post could be called Target Tablescape because the tablecloth (repurposed curtain panel), S&P shakers, napkin rings and yellow polka-dotted plates are all from good ol' Target.

I am loving Ball canning jars for summer drinks

Cath napkins from "the good" HomeGoods

How about a luncheon of simple favorites like tuna sandwiches, potato salad, watermelon with blueberries, crackers with hummus and tabouleh, lemonade or home-brewed iced tea, and cookies?

Together we'll have a ball!

Thank you so much to Susan for hosting. Check out Susan's beautiful blog for this and many more inspired ideas and weekly parties.


Monday, June 15, 2009

the tiny guest

So, I'm walking outside to gather the trash barrels on this damp and drizzly Monday

when I notice something flat and gray at my back door railing. Is it gum or a rock?

It's a toad sitting very still! He is tiny and kind of cute.

Now where did he leave his bicycle?