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All the Pretty Little Accents.

9 Nov


To me, home decor is about personal expression. Similar to fashion, one can take the liberty of doing whatever it is their heart desires. A blank wall becomes the canvas, the inhabitant becomes the artist. What a perfect dilemma.

Etsy is a great marketplace for anything and everything decor. I was searching for something unrelated and came across this fine art Polaroid print.

Love is Possible Polaroid print.

It inspired me.

How beautiful would this be in a simple frame perched on a mantle or hanging on a wall? Sometimes the best parts of room decor are the little details and smallest editions.

Below are some more subtle finds I feel would be beautiful to frame and display.

Luella says…Accentuate the Positive.

Mustard and Bloom Fine Art Botanical print.

This Tree Stands Polaroid print.

Rue des Saules in Montmartre fine art print.

Life is an Adventure letterpress print.

Melancholy Blossom photo with water-color overlay.

Keep Calm and Carry On photograph.

9 Polaroids of Paris.

Pearl and Marmalade Limited Edition letterpress print.

In the Light of Day photo using Analogue and Digital Techniques.

California letterpress print.

Peacock Feather Starry Night print.

Whirly Gigs original hand painted print.

La Vie en Rose letterpress print.

Cake letterpress print.

Caribbean and Sky Polaroid print.

All Glory letterpress print.

Tree with a Sea View Polaroid print.

Art Deco Wallpaper print.

Buy it. Frame it. Hang it. Enjoy it. Build your own nest.

I Pledge to Read the Written Word.

26 Oct

 

I love books. I hate the Kindle. I am sorry my husband is going to kill me for saying that but I simply won’t get on board. I love technology and embrace advancement but I can’t give up on the treasure of a real book.

 

Every Summer my Mother used to challenge my sister and I to see who could finish the most books. Unlike sports, Nintendo or Science; this I won every time. (Sorry Les)

I think it helped solidify an already present obsession with the written word. I love stories and details and there is something so rewarding about the resolute finality of placing a finished book on a shelf and starting a new one.

 

Dear Earth, Universe and Time,

I hope I never have to say goodbye to libraries and book shelves.  I want to turn the page of my book, I want to write notes in the margin, I want to pass it on to someone I know will benefit as much as I did.

Love, Luella

 

Some things are worth holding on to. (literally) If I had endless time this post would be 100 books deep.

Luella says…Save the Bookmark

A haunting book detailing Frank Lloyd Wright’s muse Mamah Borthwick and their illicit affair and tragedy in the early 1900’s. Literally couldn’t put it down. (Luella READ IT)


A frank and honest autobiography on the drug filled world of Anthony Kiedis during his rise to fame as lead singer of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Easy read and extremely rich with details. (Luella READ IT)


Emily Bronte’s only published novel which was originally written under the name Ellis Bell. An age-old tale of deep unresolved passion that led to destruction and despair. One of my all time favorites. (Luella READ IT)

 

The story of Pat Tillman and his choice to leave a lucrative career in the NFL and fight for our country post 9-11. His death and the mystery surrounding it is detailed in this book and THE PAT TILLMAN STORY, a documentary which was very well received at Sundance.  (Luella is READING IT)

 

A novel about the Mystery of the World’s most expensive bottle of wine and the journey of how and where it came to be. Did Thomas Jefferson personally own this bottle that was auctioned off in 1985? Read on to find out. (Luella has STARTED IT)

 

Is a novel about one man’s search for the happiest places in the world. How does one’s culture and habits affect their overall state of mind? (RECOMMENDED by Derek Sivers)

 

Dave Cullen’s harrowing and detailed account of the Columbine massacre. He was a local journalist first on the scene back in 1999 and took these last 10 years to analyze, search and detail the entire account from the an unbiased and honest perspective. Couldn’t put it down. Hard subject but very well written. (Luella READ IT)

 

The book which inspired THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Saw the movie this weekend and was intrigued to find out the real cast of characters and what really happened at the inception of Facebook. (Luella is BUYING IT)

 

My husband and I spent some time in Venice on our honeymoon and we went to the Peggy Guggenheim museum on the banks of the Grand canal. I left more fascinated by her story then the priceless Picasso, Kandinsky, Dali and Jackson Pollock art pieces we saw. This book details her life. She was blessed by wealth but cursed by reality. I look forward to this book. (Luella BOUGHT IT)


I have loved this book, since I watched the movie with my Mother a million years ago and became obsessed. Isak Dinesen was really Karen Blixen from Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the benefits of working for a Danish company for 8 years, was that I actually got to go to her home on the outskirts of Copenhagen, in Rungstedlund and visit where she was born, wrote all of her renowned literary works and returned to after 17 years in Africa. It is a treasured memory, go if you are ever in Denmark. (Luella READ IT)


A scientific approach and study on how one can manipulate their chances for survival. In the middle of it and very interesting! (Luella is READING IT)

 

One of my favorite books ever. Dramatic tale of the rise of a lowly country servant to the inner circle of the King in 17th century England. Large read at over 900 pages but reads like a short story. If you are into this era, you must read it. (Luella READ IT)

 

A skeptic on marriage and love, the author explores and learns to accept the  idea of marriage on her own terms. (RECOMMENDED by Derek Sivers)

 

Dominick Dunne, amongst many other things, was a constant contributor to Vanity Fair. I loved his articles and always wanted more. After his death in 2009, his publishers reprinted some of his earlier novels. I read People Like Us on my honeymoon and couldn’t put it down but this one has received even better reviews. This is an alias/fictitious  recount of Dominick’s rise and fall in high society in the 1950’s. (Luella BOUGHT IT)


A memoir of survival and perseverance to better her life on her own. She went from homeless to Harvard with no mentor or college prepatory. Inspired after just reading the foreword. (Luella is BUYING IT)

 

Read this 8 years ago and can’t say enough about it. Krakauer was an editor for OUTSIDE magazine and was assigned a story on civilians paying their way to climb Mt. Everest. Ended up being caught in one of the worst tragedies in the mountain’s history. Didn’t put it down. Such a good book. (Luella READ IT)


An explanation of the art of joy and how to achieve it. Learning how to be aware of the present and embrace it. (RECOMMENDED by Derek Sivers)

 

McDougall tracks down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall marvels at the tribe’s ability to run ultra distances (over 100 miles) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners. Excited to get into this! (RECOMMENDED)


A warm yet vivid portrayal of depression as written by an author who suffers from it himself. So many people encounter this in some form or another during their life. This book allows the reader to know they are not alone in their plight. (RECOMMENDED by Maria Bello)

 

I read this book 6 years ago and again couldn’t put it down. It reads like a love story. John Adams fought through so much adversity in his days as president. He was NOT the popular choice. His dedication to education, his family, his country and his wife makes for beautiful reading. I highly suggest this for anyone who would enjoy a blend of history, love and sacrifice.

You too can make the PLEDGE.

Support your local bookstores.

Estee & Aerin says.

20 Oct

  

I love Peonies. They are one of my favorites flowers. I had them on the tables for our wedding in various ball jars, green depression glass and white hobnail vases. It was so beautiful. When I was creating the aesthetic in my head, I knew I wanted it to be vintage-antique. Truly the less it looked like a wedding, the better.

 I read an article a while back from either Vanity Fair or Vogue discussing New York socialite Aerin Lauder and how she puts on the perfect dinner party for her high-profile friends.

 

(via Vanity Fair)

(via ELLE DECOR)

The main take away, (besides desperately wanting to be invited) was her quoting her grandmother, Estee Lauder, in saying “One should never have matching china for it looks rented.”

(via blueskybutterflystudio)

 I loved that concept. I decided against following the tradition of picking out a china pattern, and instead collected vintage mismatched dinner plates to use for our head table of 22 people. What could be more meaningful than serving the most important people in our lives on something  we then get to keep with us forever?  

 

 

There are a couple of things to remember when doing this.

  • Start well enough ahead so you can space out the research and expense.
  • Make sure you buy plates that are AT LEAST 9 inches across, 10 inches is the best. Vintage china comes in various sizes and I made the mistake of buying plates that were too small to use for dinner.
  • A lot of sellers specialize in china, so research all they have for sale, so if you find more than one, you can combine shipping.
  • Established brands are Haviland, Homer Laughlin, Bristol and my favorite is Spode.

Flea markets, estate sales, Etsy and Ebay are the best resources. I did a little shopping on Etsy for you. Just click on the photos for details.

 

Luella says…Add a Splash of Significance

 I also LOVE these other items I found while I was searching for the plates. Why not round out your table?

Vintage china plates adorned with modern artist lettering.

Vintage platter with Pink Lady Artist motif.

Vintage Clay Lace Platter (various sizes available).

Vintage patina tray. Perfect for a candle & vase centerpiece.

Vintage Pyrex glass bud vase.

 

Now each time we throw a dinner party I get to use our plates and watch the significance grow.

Thank you Estee for your clever advice, thank you Aerin for passing it on.

Variations on Beautiful.

19 Oct

What is beautiful? Is it happiness, contentment, vanity, companionship, friendship, love or the sum of all the parts? Everyone defines it differently. Throughout our lives our concept of what is beautiful will change. I look forward to that.

Today is my parent’s wedding anniversary. In 26 years there have been highs and lows but today I would say, they love each other more than ever.

In their honor, I moved up a post I was working on for a later date. What is beautiful?

Real Simple did an article a year or so back on authors describing what makes them feel beautiful. I was so moved by the above submission from acclaimed author Anne Roiphe,  that I tore it out and put it on our vision board next to Marilyn et al.

It is simply profound. Please read for yourself.

“It was mid-December of 2005. I don’t know why he said it. I don’t know if a shadow had fallen across him, something appalling he saw out of the corner of his eye. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or intuition that prompted him, but about a week before my seemingly healthy 82-year-old husband suddenly died, he emerged from the kitchen ready to go to his office, his face clean-shaven, his eyes shining, smiling shyly, holding the copy of the Anthony Trollope book he was rereading, and said to me, “You have made me very happy. You know that you have made me a happy man.” There I stood in my work outfit, blue jeans and a T-shirt. There I stood with my white hair and my wrinkles and the face I was born with, although now much creased by time, and I felt beautiful.
 
“What?” I said. I wanted him to repeat the words. “You heard me,” he said and put on his coat and drew his earmuffs out of his pocket. “Say it again,” I said. He said it again. “You’ve made me happy.” We had been married 39 years. We had held hands waiting in hospital corridors while a desperately ill child struggled to breathe and thankfully recovered. We had made financial mistakes together. We had spent hours out in fishing boats. We had raised the children and then second-guessed our choices. We had stood shoulder to shoulder at graduations and weddings and we were well-worn, but still I had made him happy, and I was proud and flushed with the warmth of his words.
 
I know I looked beautiful that morning. Perhaps not to the young man holding his toddler in his arms who rode the elevator with me; perhaps not to the friend I met for lunch, a true believer in Botox; perhaps not to passersby on the street; but I knew it for a certainty. I was beautiful.
 
I don’t believe that inner beauty is sufficient in this cruel world. That’s the pap one tells a child. I don’t believe that positive thinking improves your skin tone or that loving or being loved changes the shape of your nose or restores the thickness and color of hair, but I do know that there is a way of being beautiful, even as age takes its toll, that has something to do with the spirit filling with joy, something to do with the union with another human being, with the sense of having done well at something enormously important, like making happy a man who has made you happy often enough.
 
Ten days after that morning conversation, my husband and I returned from a concert and dinner with friends and walked down our windy block toward our apartment house when suddenly he stumbled and fell and died within minutes. As I waited for the ambulance, I remembered his words, a beauty potion I would take with me into the rest of my life.”

Those words are hard to follow but I figured why not reflect on and share what makes me feel beautiful, in the hopes it will inspire you to do the same.

Below is my list, the next time I am feeling melancholy I will revisit it and take notes.  

 

Luella says…Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

MY HUSBAND & HIS LAUGH/SMILE

THE PERFECT DRESS & PAIR OF SHOES

  NESTLED IN READING A GREAT BOOK

TRAVELING EUROPE

ACCOMPLISHING MY GOALS/TO DO LIST

  FEELING SUNKISSED ON VACATION

 LISTENING /ABSORBING WHEN OTHERS REMIND ME

(All Images above via MEMORY BOOK  &  Krystal Muellenberg)

 

EARLY MORNINGS SPENT OUTSIDE

  DANCING – (always)

 BEING WHERE I HAVE BEEN BEFORE – WHERE PEOPLE KNOW MY NAME

 BEING INSPIRED BY HIGH FASHION & FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY

 VIEWING VINTAGE ARCHITECTURE / HOME DECOR

 EXERCISING TO GOOD MUSIC (loud)

 PARTICIPATING IN AN INTELLECTUAL CONVERSATION / DEBATE

A CLEAN & ORGANIZED HOUSE

(All images above via AN ABUNDANCE OF)

 

TIME SPENT WITH MY FAMILY

 LONG EYELASHES

MY CHILDHOOD HOME/BACKYARD

(All images above via Krystal Muellenberg)

 

COOKING A GREAT MEAL

(Image above via The City Sage) 

LIVE MUSIC

(Image above via Doublecrossed)

DECADENT WINE & DINNER PARTIES WITH MY GREAT FRIENDS

(Images above via Remodelista  &  Country Living)

 

I realized in making this list, beautiful to me means contentment and happiness. I look and feel best when I am at peace with my actions, state and surroundings.

Find your own variation of beautiful and hold onto it always.

On Our Way to the Bay.

15 Oct

 

My husband and I are San Francisco bound. We are going to see our dear friends and collectively go see a band called The Weepies. As I have said in previous posts, it’s a win-win. (I misspelled that at first and put wine so maybe my inner self is trying to tell me something.) Either way, I am in.

We have seen The Weepies a couple of times and they are amazing. If you don’t know about them, you should.

(ie. Click Below)

 

 

I had already planned to do travel posts of places I have been, seen and loved. Not to quote the Black Eyed Peas, but San Francisco, Let’s Get it Started.

 

If you have not been, put it on your “life list.” The city is a perfect medley of sophistication, architecture, artistry, culture, intellect and nature. Sort of like the perfect song. In my opinion, it truly is the New York City of the West Coast.

 

Luella says…Visit, Explore, leave Enriched.

(With A LOT of help from SF Girl by Bay)

REST, SLEEP, RELAX Here:

Artists Inn

Edward II B&B

Hotel Boheme

Jackson Court B&B

Stanyan Park Hotel

The Clift

 

EAT, MANGIA, INDULGE here:

900 Grayson

Alembic Bar

Ariake Sushi

Bacco

Chez Spencer

Chow

Contigo

Ferry Building Marketplace

Firefly

Fish

Gracias Madre

La Cocina

La Mediterranee

Liberty Cafe

Miette

Outerlands

Fino

Radio Africa Kitchen

Range

Rose Pistola

Slow Food

Spork

Suppenküche

Tadich Grill

Tartine Bakery

The Candy Store

The Slanted Door

Universal Cafe

Walzwerk

Weird Fish

Yum Yum Sushi & Fish Market

Zuni Cafe

Zushi Puzzle

Boulevard

 

 

SHOP, SPEND, COLLECT here:

Apartment

Aria

bae home

Beach House Style

Bell Jar

Cat Seto

Cisco

City Lights Bookstore

Cliff’s Variety

Collage Gallery

Curiosity Shoppe

Eden & Eden

Ferry Building Market Place

Fleur*t

Flight 001

Flora Grubb

Fourth Street – Berkeley

General Store

Heath Ceramics

Homme

Jak

Lavish

Little Otsu

Lotus Bleu

Maison Réve

Mascara Vintage

Mebel Furniture

Mignonne Decor

 

Modernseed 

Not For Tourists

Only In San Francisco

Park Life

Past Perfect

Paxton Gate

Perch

Period George

Picnic

Podesta Baldocchi

Propeller

Rare Device

Rockridge Home

San Francisco Antique Mall

Splendid Little Shoppe

Summer House

The Hive

The Perish Trust

Trove Home

Urban Ore Salvage Yard

Wishbone

Zinc Details

Zonal

Dish

Wilkes Bashford

Dress

Catherine Jane

Divine Girls

 

EXPLORE, STROLL, SEEK here:

Alcatraz Island

Golden Gate Bridge

Barbary Coast Trail

Union Square

Fisherman’s Wharf

Architecture Tour

Haight Ashbury

 

Go and send me a postcard.

Dark Decadence.

14 Oct

I have loved fashion since I was born. (I think) My parents embraced this, if not encouraged it. My mom started buying me Vogue and Harpers Bazaar and I had subscriptions to Sassy and Seventeen when I was in grade school. My Dad put up 2 huge gypsum boards on either side of my bedroom so I could display all my magazine findings in appropriate fashion. Thanks Mom and Dad, I love you.

I tore this picture of Marilyn Monroe out of my father’s NEWSWEEK back in September of 1993. (I know this because it is date stamped on the back) I was 14. I took it with me to college, to NYC and then to California. It was always displayed in a place where I could see it.

Now, married and living in Hermosa Beach, Marilyn has been on our vision board amongst to die for shoes, dresses, places we want to visit and all of our number bibs from various runs and races we have finished. When I launched this blog, I knew I would bring her to the virtual world as well.  

The look on her face is haunting. Much like Halloween, the state of our economy and the weather in California today. I was inspired in an earthy, dark, dramatic, intense sort of way.

 

Luella says…Sometimes You Don’t Need to Say Anything

The End.

(PS. Please check out the blogs in which I found these stunning photographs.)

 ◊ MemoryBook, An Abundance of, Blue Sky Butterfly, SFGirlbyBay, Vifardent, Saipua, BienenKiste, Solid Frog, Field and Sea, Studio Choo

Hearty and Homemade.

11 Oct

 

When I was in grade school, every year around this time we would take a field trip to a local apple orchard. We would see how the fermentation process worked, taste all the various flavors of cider and be allowed to tour the grounds and see the rows and rows of apple trees. It was so beautiful and peaceful. We would finish the day in the pumpkin patch picking out small gourds and pumpkins to take home to our parents. It was such a simple time.

Every year when Autumn weather starts to set in, I think of those childhood field trips to the orchard. It dawned on me, what a perfect inspiration to build a menu of good eats from! How decadent would eating outside in the splendor of an orchard or vineyard be, with your closest friends, homemade food, candles lighting the table, full-bodied wines and stars illuminating the sky? I intend to find out.

 

 

My next “life list” endeavor is to plan a wonderful outdoor dinner party at either an orchard or a vineyard. I can’t imagine an evening better spent.

In preparation, I decided to post some wonderful family favorite recipes that are hearty, healthy and good for the soul. If you are searching for what to cook tonight, look no further.

 

Luella says… Cook and be Merry

WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

Submitted by Luella

INGREDIENTS:

 (please note I sometimes double this recipe to make enough to have leftovers. It is great re-heated)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1.5 lbs. Cooked Chicken (please see preparation below)

2 Cloves Garlic – minced

14.5 oz. Chicken Broth

1 can (18.75 oz.) Tomatillos (drained and chopped)

1 (16 oz) can Diced Tomatoes

1 (7 oz.) can Diced Green Chiles

1/2 Teapsoon dried Oregano

1/2 Teaspoon ground Coriander seed

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 (15 oz) can White Northern Beans

salt and black pepper to taste

1 lime sliced

Fresh Cilantro for garnish

**Cooked Chicken – 1/2 cup  white wine, 1 Tablespoon of Dill Weed, 1 Chicken Bouillon cube, 1 cup of Water, Fresh squeezed Lemon (half), Minced Garlic, Lemon Pepper to taste**

PREPARATION:

Cook chicken in the wok/large pan first. Combine all the ingredients listed **above  in your wok. Cut the chicken into cubes. Put it on Level 8 for a Wok or Medium-High heat if it is in a pan. Cook/simmer half covered for 10-15 minutes stirring often. Save one cup of the juice to add into the mixture later.

1. Heat Oil and minced garlic until soft.

2. Stir in Chicken broth, tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies and spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add chicken and beans and 1 cup of cooked chicken juice to the mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve with fresh lime and cilantro on the side.

  

MUSTARD ROASTED TILAPIA

Submitted by my sister, Leslie

 INGREDIENTS:

4 (8 oz) Tilapia filets
 
Kosher Salt and ground Black pepper
 
 
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
 
1 tablespoon Whole Grain  Mustard
 
2 tablespoons Minced Shallots
 
2 teaspoons Drained Capers
 
PREPARATION:
 
1. preheat oven to 425
 
2. sprinkle filets generously with salt and pepper
 
3. place in oven proof glass pan
 
4. combine rest of ingredients and mix well
 
5. pour over fish to completely cover
 
6. Cook 15 to 25 min depending on thickness of the fish filets.
 
  
  

 

Southern Style Spare Ribs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Submitted by my Mother-in-Law, Maria

INGREDIENTS:

1 Package of Southern Style Ribs (please note this is an actual type. They are heartier and have more meat on the bones.)

1/2 Cup of Chris and Pitts BBQ Sauce

 1 Reynolds Brown N Bag

 For Dry Rub:

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Cumin

1 Teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

PREPARATION:

Cut off fat on bottom of ribs

Pat them dry

Combine ingredients of the Dry Rub and drag and douse the ribs in this so they are covered

Place the ribs into a Reynolds Brown N Bag and poke holes in the top of the bag

Cook at 350 Degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Cut open bag and use 1/2 Cup of Chris and Pitts BBQ Sauce to cover the ribs completely

Put back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes to solidify the rub and bbq sauce taste

Serve with Garlic Mashed potatoes:

Place 8-10 Yukon Gold Potatoes and 3 Medium Cloves of Garlic  in a pot of boiling water

Boil till tender (10 minutes or so)

Drain the water and add 1/2 Cup Low Fat Milk and 2 Tablespoons of Smart Balance

Whip them and Enjoy!

 

Cheddar Chicken Chowder

Submitted by my Mother, Debra

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts cut into cubes

2 Bacon slices

1 cup diced Red Bell pepper

2 Garlic cloves – minced

4 1/2 cups Chicken Broth

1 3/4 Cup Diced & Peeled Red Potatoes

2 1/4 Cups Fresh Cut Broccoli

1/2 Cup all Purpose Flour

2 cups 2% Milk

3 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salt and Pepper to Taste

PREPARATION:

1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Crumble and put it on the side

2. Add Chicken, Garlic & Bell Pepper to the bacon grease pan and saute for 5 minutes

3. Add Potatoes & Broth to the pan and bring it to a boil

4. Cover and reduce heat and simmer until potatoes get soft (about 20 minutes)

5. Add brocolli and stir well

6. Place Flour in a bowl and gradually add Milk whisking till it is smooth, add it to the soup and simmer, stirring frequently over Medium heat for 15 minutes. (until it thickens)

7. Stir in Cheese, Salt and Pepper and top it off with the Crumbled Bacon 

 

 

GRILLED EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup Olive oil

2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried hot Red-Pepper flakes

1 (15-ounce) can crushed Tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 cup coarsely chopped Fresh Basil

1/2 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup)

4 small Italian Eggplants (1/2 pound each)

16 thin slices whole-milk Mozzarella (from a 1-lb block; not fresh)

PREPARATION:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and parmesan.

2. Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderate heat or Cooks’ note: Eggplant (brushed with 1/4 cup oil) can be roasted on a foil-lined large baking sheet in middle of a 450°F oven, turning over once, 20 minutes. Top with sauce and cheese, then stack and bake 5 minutes more.

3. Trim 1/4 inch off 2 opposite long sides of each eggplant. Cut each eggplant lengthwise (in same direction as trimmed sides so each slice has skin just around edge) into 4 slices. Brush slices with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

4. Grill eggplant, covered, turning over once, until tender, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a work surface.

5. Spread top of each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato sauce and top with a slice of mozzarella, then restack each eggplant. Transfer stacks to a shallow baking pan and grill, covered, just until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.

 

BEEF LOAF IN WILD MUSHROOM SAUCE

Submitted by my Mother, Debra

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef

1 Cup Fresh Grated Bread Crumbs

3 Eggs – Beaten

1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley

1/2 lb. Ground Pork

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/2 Teaspoon Marjoram

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

PREPARATION:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pack into a loaf pan and cook it for 1 hour – or until brown on top. Remove from Oven and slightly cool. Serve with Mushroom Sauce.

INGREDIENTS – MUSHROOM SAUCE:

5 Tablespoons Butter (divided)

8 oz. Fresh Wild Mushrooms – Sliced

4 Tablespoons Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Cups of Beef Broth

1 Tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet

PREPARATION:

1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of Butter in a small saute pan.

2. Add Mushrooms and simmer over Medium Heat until soft.

3. Remove Mushrooms and set aside

4. Add remaining 4 Tablespoons of Butter to the pan and let it melt

5. Add Flour, Salt & Pepper to the pan and Stir until mixture is smooth

6. Blend in Beef stock and stir until sauce is thick

7. Add Kitchen Bouquet and Reserved Mushrooms and bring to a boil

8. Remove from Heat and serve over Beef Loaf.

 

Home Office sweet Home Office.

5 Oct

   

“Clean it up John.” – Anthony Kiedis      

My husband’s favorite band is Red Hot Chilli Peppers. On their album, Stadium Arcadium there is a song called Ready Made. Listen to it and let me know what you think. Although John Frusciante is “cleaning” it up musically we should still heed Anthony’s advice.   

 Ok, enough about music.    

A home is a respite but what if it is our office as well? A lot of us nowadays, myself included, fall into this category. If you’re job searching, studying, working from home or just surfing the web it is important to make the space, no matter the size, comfortable and organized. I think it helps breed creativity, passion and focus.   

    

       

The basics are a desk, chair, lamp, computer, an all in one printer/fax/scanner, paper, black ink pens, a storage shelf or tower, cork board for inspiration posts, a vase with some fresh flowers and an Ipod docking station. A desk can just be a desk but if you fill it with the right combination of interesting items/inspiring details, it could be the one thing that keeps you striving toward landing the job, finishing the project or finding the perfect pair of shoes.     

Less is more… always. Keep it clean, keep it organized and good things await you.     

Home Office sweet Home Office     

    

     

Crate and Barrel

 

Etsy

 

Pottery Barn

 

    

     

Terrain

 

Ballard Design

 

Horchow

 

    

     

CB2

 

Etsy

 

Etsy

 

    

   

Etsy

 

Etsy

 

Etsy

 

    

   

Etsy

 

Pottery Barn

 

Etsy

 

    

    

Terrain

 

World Market

 

Terrain

 

    

    

Etsy

 

Etsy

 

Etsy

 

Etsy

 

    

    

CB2

 

West Elm

 

The Container Store

 

    

    

Room and Board

 

Ballard Design

 

Overstock.com

 

    

   

Terrain

 

Unica Home

 

Pottery Barn

   

If you are struggling for inspiration, stop what you are doing and go for a walk or a lap around your house, exercise or read a book. (a real one) You would be surprised what a little fresh air can do to your perspective.   

Sadly, I heard about an old friend who passed away yesterday at the age of 31. Billy Joel was right, “Only the Good Die Young.” Hug your loved ones, be present and grateful.   

Related Articles   

  

Let There Be Light.

27 Sep

     

As much as I love fashion, I love home decor.  I am fascinated by  how much it can change and/or create a space.  For the last 7 years, I have collected various antiques and vintage items and have refinished, re-painted, appliqued, sculpted and DIY-ed them to fit into my aesthetic of beach shabby. I am planning on detailing some of my “finds” in upcoming posts so stay tuned for that.    

Now to the rest of the story. Our friends from Encinitas are renovating their beautiful home.  They have been searching for the perfect chandelier for their master bathroom to no avail. (Can we say luxe? Love it!) She loved my idea of INSPIRE TO FIND and to my absolute delight has commissioned me to seek out some possibilities for her.        

Chandeliers are the perfect accent to any room. They are decadent and purposeful, the perfect combination. Below are some of my favorites. Click on the photo to view more details. I also took the liberty of adding in some inspiration photos of rooms designed in various tastes. Let me know which one is your favorite!          

Let there be light.          

      

Old World Glamour.           

     

Neiman Marcus Venetian

 

 

Erich Grinder Mansion

 

     

Art Inspired.         

     

 Traditionally Elegant.        

     

Brocade Home
 

Anthropologie High Minded

 

  

 Beauty at the Beach.        

      

Jayson Home and Garden Madame Noire

 

 

Design Within Reach Murano

 

     

Seaside Hideaway.         

     

Graceful Estate.         

     

Neiman Marcus Harlow

 

 

Jayson Home and Garden Eliza

 

     

Art Deco.         

     

Great Chandelier Jet Black

 

 

Ethan Allen Michaela Twelve

 

   

Vintage in Virginia.         

     

A Room in the Manor.         

     

Neiman Marcus Durango

 

 

Jayson Home and Garden Jenny

 

     

Art Deco          

     

    

Atelier Abigail Athern Neo Baroque

 

 

Atelier Abigail Athern Mud

 

     

 Scandanavian Retreat.         

     

Country Cottage Chic.         

     

Unica Home Venini

 

 

Erickson Beamon Glam Rock

 

Inspired?        

    

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