Monday, July 21, 2014

Decorating and Patience

family room...

i'm not sure when i started redecorating our family room, but it has been a long process. i'm still tackling areas in the room and my patience definitely has gotten a second wind since it is finally coming together and the decorating is getting fun!  i have changed the color scheme and i'm loving it. i thought i would post a few photos of the fireplace. i'm not sure if you remember from past photos, but our fireplace was painted a tan color and as much as we would love to replace the brick... i had to come up with something that didn't spend too much money. so 2 quarts of paint later, i freshened it up by painting it a bright white. i'm happy with the results and the space is looking so incredible and fresh. so thanks for stopping by and please come back throughout the week for new posts.

this weeks line-up 

wednesday ~ decorating with silk flowers

friday ~ inspirations through thrift shopping

saturday ~ painting my outdoor chairs

this photo wasn't working against the tan brick, but now with the new white it is looking very happy! thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Zealand Pavlova

yummy pavlova

i used to work as an in house graphic designer for an opera company.  yes, i used to have another life before blogging! it was a great job and i especially loved the special events that i was in charge of decorating. but, back today's post... i had a co-worker who was originally from new zealand and he generously gave me his mom's delicious pavlova recipe. at the time, 16 years ago i had no idea what pavlova was. according to wikipedia it is a meringue-base dessert named after the russian ballet dancer anna pavlova. this dish is believed to have been created in honor of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to australia or new zealand in the 1920's. i guess there has been a argument between new zealand and australia as to which country this dessert originated from. formal research indicated new zealand as the source. in the two countries, it is popular dish for holidays but is mostly identified with the summer time. i agree that when the fruit are fresh in the summer, this dessert is the best dish to grace any party!  

craig's pavlova cake

1 cup sugar
1 oz cornflower (1 large tsp of corn starch)
3 egg whites
6 oz heavy cream
fresh fruit

sift sugar and corn starch together twice. beat egg whites til foamy. then add half the sugar mixture and beat until egg whites stand in peaks. then add the rest of the sugar and corn starch and beat until the sugar is well blended. on a non stick cookie sheet, or cookie sheet lines with parchment paper... place the mixture in a circle and add a scallop edge. to make the scallop design make a circle and then put little dollops on the edges and blend with circle. bake for 2-3 hours in a 200 degree oven. bake until dry and crisp. lift off tray and while still warm, place on cooling rack and store in air tight container. you can make the meringue base ahead of time, like a day or two. the bottom of the meringue will start to liquefy after a bit so don't make it too far in advanced.  also the meringue tends to crack, don't panic since most of this dessert is covered in whip cream and fruit, so just patch it up and carry on!  :o) in the meantime, whip the cream and add a small amount of sugar and vanilla. whip until cream is thick and then place a layer of it on top of the meringue. the cream can be just spread in a layer about 1/2 inches thick. with your cut fruit arrange a layer starting in the middle and working out. have fun with the fruit and the colors, this is the best part of this dessert since it looks so amazing and it will impress your friends!

the eggs are looking foamy... it is ready for the first half of the sugar mixture.

egg whites are stiff and standing up, it is ready for the second batch of sugar and corn starch.

this is how it looks, all thick and ready to smooth out on a cookie sheet.

this is how the baked meringue will look like out of the oven.

this is antique cake stand that makes a nice presentation of the pavlova.  so dig out your cake stand and decorate it with this yummy and impressive dessert. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Upcycling Containers

shopping in berkeley to find scrapbooking paper

as some of you know, i have been working on my redecorating our family room. i've finally found the color scheme that works for the space and so i need to redo some of the decor. these little containers were originally light blue (here is the original post of how to make it, upcycling tin cans) and now they definitely don't work with the gorgeous annie sloan's, french linen color. so, i knew i had a shopping trip to berkeley and my favorite paper stores. so, i got to thinking that i should share with you my local stomping grounds and inspirations! 

looking forward to my next post:


saturday ~ my favorite fruit pavlova recipe

this is the most amazing scrapbooking store!  i always love hanging out here, i get so inspired to create! if you happen to be in the area this store is called, scrapbook territory.

this store is full of creative ideas. i need to make these cute holiday trees, they are so bright and fun!

this locally own coffee shop, artis is just incredible. the coffee is the best i have every tasted. it is nice that they aren't the big chain coffee shops.

their gluten free coconut macaroons are sugary gooey yummy cookies!

rejuvenation is an amazing store that has such incredible products for the home. here is wikipedia's background information on them, rejuvenation is an american manufacturer and direct marketer of light fixtures and hardware. the company builds most of their lighting in portland, oregon.  williams-sonoma acquired the company in 2011.

my fantastic little shopping buddy!

here is a view of 4th street. usually on the right corner you'll find young people playing music which just adds to the great atmosphere of the area.

this store, the nest has this wonderful trompe l oeil. the store has a french twist and is quite fun.

such great and playful decor!

i just love this store. the paper source makes me want to create something! this is where i found the paper for my canisters. i hope you enjoyed my trip and please subscribe and return back for future blog posts! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Creative Containers for Your Home

i love containers...

my husband jokes about my love for containers, he says that i have containers for containers! yes, he is probably right but, i can't help this obsession.  so, when it comes to containers, i do try and think outside the box.  i like to choose containers that don't necessarily fit the norm and that is what gives our home some character! so have fun with it and starting hunting for those amazing containers that will accent your home while they are helping you organize your things!

stay tuned to this weeks posts:


friday ~ inpsirations

sunday ~ my favorite fruit pavlova recipe that's perfect for summer

i found this at a boutique store that was going out of business.  i'm not sure what it suppose to used for, maybe it's a pot for a plant?  hmm... we'll i've been looking for a container for our mail and keys.  i've tried a ton of various baskets and when i saw this container, i thought it would be perfect. and it would add a little sparkle to our kitchen.

it feel a little naked, so i added the chocolate bow to pick up the color in my mocha color cabinets. also, the bow just added a little warmth to it's cold exterior!

my husband wanted me to find a storage solution for all his wine and i really didn't care for the standard wine racks,since they can take up so much space. so i decided to get out all my baskets and try storing the wine in them. also, i found that these baskets fit perfectly under our dining room cabinets.  

i love how they look under the hutch and they also are out of the way and still readily available during a dinner party! the basket also add a nice napa style feel to the room!

one of my passions is to peruse thrift shops, i'm sure my kiddos think that i've lost it. well, there are great treasures to be found at this fun second hand shops.  i found this little garden pot at our local thrift shop, i think it came out to be a whopping $7 purchase. i have been looking for a container to put all our garden gloves in. it is the perfect organizer for our garden and it looks pretty outdoors!

maybe i need to find more fun pots to organize our garden stuff in.  then they can be cutely displayed outside!

i snapped this photo without my daughter knowing! she is picking out her gloves so that she can work out in our garden while i work on this blog post. so, i better shove off and go help my wonderful kids! glad you stopped by, and please subscribe to my blog via email... thanks so much!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Family Room Updates

i think i finally found my look!

our family room is still transforming and it is finally taking shape.  i find it strange that i originally started this project with one color scheme and finally two styles later, i found the right look! strangely, i have bought things along that way that are now working, like the mid-century bottle in the above photo. the funny thing is that my latest color choices and style all started with the little wooden box that i painted in a chalk paint class. the color that is annie sloan's french linen and i fell in love with it at first sight. it has a very calm and rich color that nicely compliments the white that embodies this room. this room has been quite the long process and i'm sure my family is confused about the many purchased objects that have come and gone. i never take the tags off my items until i'm totally sure i'm going to keep them. my husband calls me the return queen. so anyway, i thought i would bring you along my journey to finding the right pillows and the right look for this room.  

come back later in the week:


wednesday ~ my latest purchase from ikea

friday ~ inspirations

sunday ~  a yummy new zealand fruit pavlova 

so originally the sofa was an olive green and i tried all kinds of different colored pillows. my husband doesn't notice many of my decorating shenanigans, but he did noticed that new pillows kept popping up in our house! of course these pillows just fell flat against the green sofa.  notice all the tags are still on the one pair.  :o)

ok at this point, i tried some throws from pottery barn.  i was thinking maybe the sofa could be buried by the throws. well, none of it was working. so i returned the throws to pottery barn and was thinking that i needed to change the dark moss colored sofa cover. i was fighting this notion since i thought that our love seat was a special size and that they would have to custom make a cover!

so i found a place on-line that has the slipcovers for futons and it turns out that our love seat size futon is a standard size and that i would only cost $50 to buy a white canvas one. so, i quickly ordered another cover and immediately when i covered my futon mattress with it, i knew this was the right color. i also added a lime green pillow that seem to work somewhat, but still wasn't the solution. the mission continues, my husband said i'm one of the obsessive, compulsive people he knows!

then i took a basic chalk paint class and i immediately fell in love with this annie sloan color, french linen. i quickly decided that this was the look for our family room.  i had tried the whole aqua and powder blue colors, but it wasn't natural enough for me. i was really trying hard to make this color combo work in this room, but i was forcing it when it wasn't a great fit. but, this french linen is a color that feels more in sync with my personality, so i think the decorating will flow a little easier.

i made a trip to target and found all these wonderful pillows that are perfect! the grey ticking pillow caught my eye immediately and then the others followed. i bought the bee pillow since it picks up the lime green lamp shades.  i'm liking how the dash and albert rug goes so well with this new color scheme. hooray! the grey fleece throw is one that i have had a long time, and now i think it has found a home on this couch!

here is a close up of the pillows. i'm just loving the earthness of them and also how nicely they go with the white slipcover.

i'm also quite happy that the dark wood frame goes well with my new color scheme, it adds a nice accent to the room.  i tried to echo the wood color in the the pillows.  also, the brown is echoed in my little wooden box handles that i chalk painted. it all works out one way or another, just give every project time to settle and find itself. i'm learning that patience is so important to decorating a room!

who knew that this would be the catalyst to trigger a whole change in decor.  btw, the chalk paint class was amazing and i hope to sign up for the next class that i believe will be a little more advanced.