Friday, July 30, 2010

Pickled Teamwork

Hello, everyone!

Our lovely garden continues to bless us with bountiful crops of broccoli, zucchini, peas, green beans, crook neck squash, and pickles.

And I've been busily freezing broccoli, zucchini, peas, green beans, crook neck squash...
and canning the pickles.

 Actually, Hubby and I really enjoy canning pickles.  

We pick.
He chops.
I stir and stir and stir.
He stuffs.
I pour.
He bathes.

(The pickles, that is....not himself.
Well, he does bathe but just not while he's canning pickles.
That would just be too weird.)

 No, he's not bathing here - just washing up in preparation for bathing with those pickles!

He loves to add his own little touch to them with a sprig of dill, a tiny clove of garlic, 
and a small slice of purple pepper.

My hubby...
always the one-of-a-kind chef making his own statement.
Gotta love him for that.

Ok.  So I know that it looks like I'm not doing a darned thing here, right? 

(But please do keep in mind that I have done all the freezing of all the other veggies up to this point - remember?  

Do I sound like I'm justifying my menial stirring job....?)


I'm still stirring.....

Remember? That's my assigned job.

Still stirring............

Well, I do put the lids and rings on, too...

And 19 pints later

we have crunchy, dilly, garlicky-with-a-bite-of-heat perfect pickle heaven! work.

Nothin' like it.
{Hugs} to you and have a pickle of a day - a sweet one, that is!

~ laurie

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Faded Charm ~ with love from Heaven's Walk

Happy White Wednesday, my friends!

I'm keeping it sweet and simple today.

Yup. No blabbering on about my life or how hubby can really irk me get my goat sometimes or how my diet isn't going well because my body and my fat are really good friends now or why my mind not only wanders - it just sometimes leaves me completely...

Nope.  None of that.

Just some pretties from my home as I wandered around with my camera. 

(It must'ave been one of those times my mind was wandering too...) 

Hubby, of course, gave me 'the look' out of the corner of his eye like "she's got nothing better to do....?"
(Hey, just leave this mindless beach-chic to her wandering, ok?  
She's got blogging to do!)

Ok.  See?  Here I am blabbering on like I said I wouldn't do.

So, in honor of White Wednesday with Kathleen at Faded Charm
enjoy the pure joy of pure white.

My 'simply summer' kitchen shelves...

My first French body pitcher I ever owned...from a new friend in France.

My summer fireplace mantel...

My yet-to-be-read Jeanne d'Arc magazine...

 Yeah, I know...I know.  You're all just thinking "How in the world can she not open it up? I'd have that beauty devoured by this time!"
I'm just dyin' to sink into those pages and get to know Jeanne
....but just have not found the time yet!

(Possibly due to more mindless wandering....or me wandering around looking for my mind....?)

But I promise...I will...I will!

And last but certainly not least, the second French body pitcher in my new obsession, 
...umm...collection (eBay treasure).

Seriously...can a gal have too many of these....?
I think not.

(I'm still pining away for one made of zinc, though...)

She, too, is from France and was mailed with a sweet note from Anne.

Blessings to you all on a beautiful White Wednesday!


~ laurie

Monday, July 26, 2010

Victorian to Coastal...

Good morning, everyone!
How are you?
I am so glad to see you!

I'm meeting you in my bathroom today.

LOL!  Weird place to meet, I know - 
but I wanted to share some befores and afters with you for Metamorphosis Monday!
(Meet us all over at Susan's at Between Naps on the Porch here.)

I fell in love with this room the first time I walked in to it.  The beadboard.  The high ceiling. The beautiful shimmering glaze over the white paint. A pedestal sink. 
The original clawfoot bathtub! 
It was love at first sight.

I originally brought in some seaside inspired treasures to try to brighten the room up a tad, 
but quickly discovered that it was just not enough. 
Hmmmm...something was still wrong.

Ugh!  Like the icky brown window trim.

(All right, stop drooling over my tub. I know you are...) 

Ugh! And the icky brown Victorian-looking linen closet. 
So dark and gloomy.

Now take a look at the afters....

After a weekend of serious 9-5 painting, the entire 'feel' of the room was changed.
Lighter. Brighter. Very much more coastal beach house.
Very much more to my liking.

Amazing what a little white paint will do, huh?

 From dark Victorian...

to vintage coastal!

Actually, I even painted the bottom part of the tub, too.  The original color was dark green.  Double ugh!

The bathroom door trim was on my radar, too,
so I primed that next.

Ta da!  

(Yes, I can read your mind, and yes, I really really wanted to paint that door - but I didn't want hubby to have a cow. He was already going to have kittens over the fact I painted that linen closet.)

 I added a beachy wire basket to hold the rolls,
and the transformation was complete!

You like?

Cheers to white paint!

{And hugs to you!}

~ laurie

(Oh, and before I you think I should paint that little cabinet over the loo? 
Would love to hear what you think!  :) )

Friday, July 23, 2010

Passin' On The Love!

Good morning!!

Bloggy Love.
That's what I'm feeling.

My day was made extra special by being honored by my second blog award.
I'm humbled to say the least.

It was given to me from a sweet new friend I made in blog land.
Diana, over at Nana Diana Takes a Break writes a blog that you must visit.

Really, you must.
I mean it.
Her sense of humor ('wicked' as she so devilishly puts it) is pure joy and will have you giggling all the way through her prose.  Yeah, it's one of those blogs where you must hit the little girls' room before you sit down to read it (as someone said so perfectly in one of their comments to her).
So, pop in and meet her here!

Ok.  I'm supposed to list seven more things you don't know about me....
Hmmm....I think I'll share some "Girlie Wisdom" with you that I believe in
and live with daily:

1.  I can eat a 2-pound box of chocolates and gain 5 pounds.  (yeah, go ahead and tell me how that happens...)

2.  The best way I forget about my troubles is to wear tight shoes (preferably stilettos, please).

3.  I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting my panties on fire. (don't ask)

4.  I hung a new dress in my closet a year ago and when I pulled it out the other day, it had shrunk two sizes. (sigh! guess I've got to go shopping....again, darn it!)

5.  I hate it when people say that they 'forgot to eat'.  What?!  I haven't the slightest idea of what that's like.

6.  Seriously...I'm so very addicted to blogging, I'm scaring myself.

7.  I am SO BLESSED to have met all of you wonderful gals (and guys) who follow my blog; who share your world with me through your own blogs; who inspire me and make me laugh and cry and dream with you; and who continue to encourage and support my addictions (read: shopping, decorating, and blogging just to name a few...
I just tell hubby it's all your fault). 

Now, I'd like to pass this lovely award on to four other sister-bloggers I love and cherish!

* Maria at Dreamy Whites because she's created a home that I have always dreamed about and she's sweet and wonderfully talented. (And did you hear?  She's opening a new online shop soon! woohoo!)

* Tracey at French Larkspur who is not only just as sweet, but she's made me fall in love with all things French (and inspired the French in me).

 *Tia at Cottage by the Sea because the stories she tells of her house transformation are always so funny and creative.

* Anne at Fiona and Twig who is always sweet, supportive and encouraging.

Meredith at The Weathered Bungalow for her creativity and giving heart.

* Tamra at The Gilded Barn for nudging my creativity and to take risks.

All that's six.  But I could go on and on, you know.
There are SO many other gals out there that deserve this, too!
Check them (and all of my other favorite homes I love to visit) at my sidebar.

Thanks again, Diana!  Love ya, girl!  xoxo 
Oh, and your rocker is waiting for you on my deck...along with that glass of FatCat*HappyDog wine I promised you...  :)


~ laurie


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sidetracked Reunion

Good morning, friends!

I'm joining Kathleen at  
Faded Charm for White Wednesday today.
I hope you'll join me there!

There's nothing more fun than going to a family reunion, is there?

 (Hmmmm...well, I do guess that it depends on whether you like your family or not.)

Hubby and I left early on a recent Saturday afternoon  
(which is highly unusual for us since Saturdays are usually 'working days' around here) 
and headed out for an hour's drive toward Lake Michigan for a family reunion.

Freshly showered in spanky new summer duds, we sailed along the countryside as I contemplated my committing a huge blogger's sin.

I forgot my camera...ugh!

I asked Hubby if we could stop somewhere so that I could purchase a camera.
 He looked at me like I had grown horns and did his infamous head shake.

(I guessed that meant 'Are you crazy?' - which in reality, he should actually know better....but that's a whole 'nother issue...)

The day was beautifully warm and sunny as we cruised by rolling hills of farmland, 
talking about who we were going to see that day and remembering his sweet mother who passed away last September.  She always loved these reunions...


(Cue brakes squealing)









"Look, hon! They saved me a parking place!"

Now, you must know that Hubby loves a barn sale.  I mean really loves a barn sale.
He will spend hours strolling, picking up, turning over, looking under and inside of things that I wouldn't throw a glance at.
Which, I daresay, is quite nice for me.
It gives me more time to look at real treasures and envision them painted white and finding a place at Heaven's Walk.

So, we did quick check for cops, performed a looey in the road, spitting gravel as we did a perfect 180, and pulled in to my goddess parking spot.

After spending some time picking through all the dusty, dirty, spider-webby items the guy had setting about in that gigantic barn,
we literally danced our way out of it.

Hubby holding a router saw like it was his firstborn child.

Me manhandling some very cool pieces of a vintage fireplace.

An hour late for the reunion...but oh, so very happy with our treasures!

 The price sticker on these old pieces had said $50.  I smiled, batted my eyes at the nice, old man (just kidding!) and asked if he would take less.

Thirty dollars (and a fun reunion) later they were propped up against our chimney at home while I swooned over them and imagined them in our bedroom in some manner.

Two days later the garage was turned in to a palace of painting frenzy much to hubby's chagrin.

I decided that since I had to get all the painting supplies out, I might as well complete a few tasks I had been procrastinating on.
(Yes, yes, I will share them with you later!).

After a little scraping and sanding, on went Benjamin Moore "Ivory Tusk", the soft white color that I've used all throughout our home.

I envision this mantel piece mounted above our bed
complete with some romantic candles, shells, and a black and white photo or two...

Mmmm! Glossy, soft, creamy white decadence ready to go up on the wall... 

"Hun?  Are you done drooling all over that new toy of yours? 
I need you to do something for me....."

Stay tuned for the unveiling (*wink).

{Hugs!} - and see you over at Kathleen's!

~ laurie

Monday, July 19, 2010

French Wire Garden Basket

Good morning!

Since it's Monday, you know that I'll be over visiting Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday - and I'm sharing my French wire garden basket with you today!

Remember these treasures I discovered at the antique market last month?  

Well, I'm still playing around with the small square industrial ones, and I thank all of you for your wonderful suggestions! My creativity has been in overdrive trying this and that and using each of your ideas in various ways. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to see how I may use them .  :)
(And I'll be showing you that sweet little vintage fan soon, too.)

The large wire basket holding all of these goodies, which I would like to think is a French wire garden basket (since I'm embracing more of my French ancestry) was sitting in a sweet woman's booth on a low shelf all by itself. I couldn't believe that no one had scooped it up and lovingly purchased it. 

So, since I believe that certain things are just meant to be - I did.

And it found a place of discrete honor in my kitchen.

Right there on the bottom shelf of the side table. See it? 

And I filled her with some wonderful Mother-Earthiness.

The vintage pots I claimed at a neat little garden shop in Indiana many years ago and have always loved their aged perfection.

Smeared with dark, irony looking color, white lime from the earth, and crusty pieces of other pots...

And of course, they were just crying out for a gift from the sea to keep them company,

as well as a discovered bird's nest that holds four faux robin eggs whispering that perfect 'Heaven's Walk Blue'.

(I just found myself staring at the word 'egg'.  Is that not a weird word, or what? lol!)

(Hello? Earth to to laurie.....snap out of it and get back to business.)

Ok. Anyway, that rusty, worn wire basket went from this.....

to this.

A simple touch, and just a bit more French-seaside-garden influence

to soothe my summer soul.

{Hugs!} - and see you over at Susan's!

~ laurie

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Raspberry-Lime Birthday Cake at Heaven's Walk

Good morning!

Ok.  So, I am not a cook
and I am not a baker.

I've said it many times before - I'd probably starve to death if Chef Hubby didn't enjoy cooking and baking.
(His momma taught him well.)


I DID make a cake for my dad's birthday.
Believe it!

And to be honest with you -
it was actually kind of fun.

This was one of the easiest cakes I have ever made
and I never even had to turn on the oven.

Have I got your attention?

Here's the scoop!

It's called Raspberry-Lime Cake and it's so very easy, you're going to want to make one right after you read this.

The ingredients:

1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1 store-bought angel food cake
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raspberry preserves
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice
Garnish:  grated lime zest and fresh raspberries (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk pudding mix, sour cream, and milk for 2 minutes until blended and thickened.

Invert cake onto serving plate; cut horizontally into 3 equal layers.
(I used a bread knife and it worked like a dream.)

Spread bottom layer with 1/4 cup of preserves; top with half the raspberries. Spread 3/4 cup pudding on top.  Place second cake layer over pudding; spread with remaining preserves, raspberries and 1/2 cup pudding.  Top with remaining cake layer.

Stir confectioner's sugar and lime juice in small bowl until blended and smooth.  Spoon over top of cake letting some drip down sides. 

Garnish with lime zest and additional raspberries.

 And there you have it!

A light, fresh, not-too-sweet dessert that you can whip in in about 20 minutes!
Low fat - low sugar, and it only has 216 calories per serving, too!

 Needless to say, Dad was very surprised that his daughter 
could actually create something eatable...

(and no white paint was involved!)

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Have a sweet day, everyone!


~ laurie