Saturday, February 28, 2009

San Francisco Inspiration and My 100th Post

This is my 100th post... gosh, is it 100 already??? Like they say, "Time flies when you're having fun." When I began blogging last year, I had no idea I would enjoy it so much. I have discovered so many wonderful people and blogs along the way. And have really enjoyed getting to know new friends, and visiting with some old friends. This blog world is incredible... people willing to share ideas, inspiration, personal stories, hopes and dreams. And let's not forget the recipes ;) I have discovered some wonderful recipes! I look forward to the next 100 posts and hope that you enjoy them. My day is made when I log into my blog and find that I have a comment. So please, if you are so inclined... I love comments!
Now, onto some inspiration.
This home is located in San Francisco.(Where my daughter happens to be spending the day today, in the city, not this home ha ha!)


I really love the contrast of the white against the chocolate brown walls. The chandelier is gorgeous, and the little zebra stool adds a nice touch of whimsy.





Love the white and yellow in the kitchen. Beautiful marble counters, open shelving. All the whiteware, what's not to love???


Beautiful corner sink. Wouldn't mind calling this place home ;)
all images: House Beautiful

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Room re-arrangment


When I was a child I thought it was very exciting when my mom would re-arrange the furniture. Whether it was the living room, or even better when my brother and I would get to switch rooms. This gene must have been passed down to me, because I am always switching things around in search of the perfect spot, whether it's the sofa or the silverware. And as an added bonus re-arranging is like getting something new...without spending any money;)
Today I re-arranged the family room. I borrowed a few pieces from the living room. I'm really liking the blue and green together. Now I need to find something to go over the sofa.
This is a really awkward room to work with, very narrow. I have often wondered if this was actually meant to be the dining room way back when the house was originally built???


The office area. Someday I would like to actually have a room. But until then, this corner works out ok.


This is the only eating area in the house. It's rather small, another reason I wonder if the family room was originally the dining room. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Make Lemon Meringue Pie


Our little lemon tree produced the prettiest lemons this year. I'm not going to let any go to waste. Today I made a lemon meringue pie. I haven't made one in years. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.



Tomorrow my friend Jen is coming over and we're going to make two more, and anything else we can think of...maybe lemon squares.

Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pie shell:
1 recipe pie dough for a single crust 9 in. pie (I use Pillsbury's as I am pie dough challenged)
Fit dough into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim edge of dough leaving a 1/2 inch overhang and crimp edge. Prick shell in several places with a fork, cover and chill for 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Line shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of the oven 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights carefully and continue to bake shell until golden, about 12 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Filling:
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water 1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs yolks
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in water and milk. Continue whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook over moderate heat until mixture comes to a boil. In a bowl whisk eggs yolks. Add approximately 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to temper the yolk. While whisking add approximately another 1/4 cup of hot milk mixture to egg mixture. Now whisk the egg mixture back into milk mixture. Simmer mixture whisking for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, lemon juice, and zest until butter is melted. cover surface of filling with plastic wrap.
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Using an electric or stand mixer, in a clean bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar in a slow stream, beating until meringue just holds stiff peaks. Pour filling into pie shell and spread meringue on top, covering filling completely, sealing it to the edges. Form meringue into peaks with spatula and bake pie in middle of oven until meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Bachelor

Melissa or Molly
Anyone watching? Who has your vote?
I really like Melissa. Personally I think she's perfect for Jason.
Do you think DeAnna has a chance?
Any thoughts on the big build-up they are showing for the finale?
Ok, so I am way too into this ;)

image: aceshowbiz.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Melissa and Tommy


I am so thrilled with these pictures of Melissa and Tommy (aren't they sweet?) that were generously taken by the very talented Brodie Sisneros of Brodie Jayne photography. She is famous for her hand painted black and white portraits. I could go on and on about how wonderful and talented she is...but go check out Brodie's site and see for yourself!


I couldn't be happier, they are perfect!
And the kids are pretty good too ;)

Now...which one to have blown up and plastered on my wall?!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Little Bit Of Color

I'm looking forward to Spring. Thought I'd share a few photos with pastel colors.


image: House Beautiful



image: Country Home


image: Country Home
Cute cabinet. Perfect for storage.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Rosie!


Rosie is two years old today.... time goes so fast!
No, we didn't have a party ha! But isn't she cute?
Looks like it's time for a hair cut. Next week.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day Cupcakes


It's okay to cheat if it's from a Barefoot Contessa mix ;)
Honestly, her mixes taste just like her recipes from her fabulous cookbooks.
So I thought I would use a short-cut tonight. And I only got rave reviews. I added fondant heart cut-outs, valentine sprinkles, and red liners...instant Valentine's Day Cupcakes.


image: Barefoot Contessa

Now if I had this cute apron to bake them in I'd be set.


image: Jessie Steele

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lasagna

I think this is my first post without an image. I wanted to share my recipe for Lasagna with you, and frankly it looks like any other lasagna and not really photo worthy. But I knew you could use your imagination... and it is delicious!

Lasagna
1 lb lean ground beef ( I use 7 %)
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
4 ( 8 oz.) cans tomato sauce ( I use no-salt)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
16 oz. reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup or more Parmesan cheese ( has to be the kind in the green bottle, not fresh grated)
Italian seasoning to taste (we use a lot...probably about 2 Tbsp, just eyeball it)
1 lb. lasagna noodles
Spray large skillet or saute pan with cooking spray ( I use olive oil spray) brown beef, when almost completely browned add onion and saute for a few minutes. Add minced garlic and saute a few more minutes. Add canned whole tomatoes and break them up as much as possible. Add tomato sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes then add tomato paste and simmer. While your sauce is simmering Boil the water in a large pot for the pasta and grate cheese. Cook pasta according to package directions and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and drain pasta. Lay it out in a single layer on paper towels or clean kitchen towels blot dry. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Layer a row of noodles on the bottom, spread 1/3 of the sauce over the noodles, then the mozzarella cheese, repeat with another layer of noodles, then the sauce, and so on. On the last layer after ending with the mozzarella cheese sprinkle the Parmesan cheese to cover the top. Use more if needed. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before slicing. This lasagna is even better the next day...if that's possible.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Guest Bedroom


image: Coastal Living
I have always wanted to have a guest bedroom with twin beds. I think it must be the symmetrical look that I like. A nightstand or dresser in-between completes the look. The simplicity in this room appeals to me. The window is incredible. And I don't think these headboards would be too difficult to replicate.


image: Southern Accents
Very pretty and feminine.


image: Coastal Living
Another simple room that appeals to me. Love the hospital beds, very retro. Notice the glass door knob? This room would be perfect in the right house... like mine, ha!


image: Sunset
What a cute guest bedroom this would make for grandchildren.....someday. Much later ! ;)
I really like the french doors, windows, wainscoting, and the shade of green on the walls. Well okay, I like everything about this room.



image: Coastal living
A very nice, neutral guest bedroom.
So...which one is your favorite, or do you have something completely different in mind for a guest bedroom?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Luggage Rack Dilema


Update: Thank you so much for all of your opinions! I thought I would go ahead and hang it to see how I liked it. Whats a little spackling and paint if I don't right??? Not sure if I love it... it's ok. I think it helps having the stainless phone on the side table to tie it in. Just thought I'd share with you.


I would like your opinions on this luggage rack. I've had it for about 5 years, and 2 houses. A friend gave it to me. I have always loved it, just never had a bathroom it would work in. I have seen it in catalogs used in mudrooms as coat racks, it is called a luggage rack, I know in the picture with towels on it it's hard to get past. But... How do you think it would look next to my front door in the living room as a coat rack? Any other suggestions. I love this piece, and would really like to use it. Thanks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

More Favorite White Kitchens


image: Living etc.
I'm a big fan of industrial kitchens, and this one does not disappoint. Love the stainless steel, the subway tile, and the utensil system over the professional stove. I have always wanted a clock like this in my kitchen, but for some reason the three kitchens that I have had, have never had wall space to hang anything on. Note to self: Next kitchen make sure there is plenty of wall space.

image: Home and Gardens
I love the pop of green the French bistro chairs add.


image: Country Home

I really like open shelving, and these galvanized containers add a nice element. Notice the touch of green the apples lend. (I'm noticing a pattern here)


image: Beautiful Kitchens
And now to totally throw you, I thought I would share an image of a red kitchen for my friend that reads my blog and loves red. As much as I love white kitchens... this red one makes me smile!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Welcome to PDC the Boutique

I wanted to give you a tour of a fun little boutique in my town that I have recently discovered.
It's located in Lodi's historic downtown in the old Woolworth's building.
Lisa just celebrated her first anniversary on the 2nd of February. I have really enjoyed getting to know her...we have similar taste, she is very sweet and helpful as is the rest of her staff.
The store is filled with unique and handmade treasures. A touch of french-modern, vintage with a funky twist. Anyway, come on in, let's start the tour.






This is Stephanie, Lisa's assistant. When Lisa is away, her boutique and customers are in good hands.

I love these black chandeliers. And the words on the wall.
There really is something for everyone here. If you want to pamper yourself, or need a gift. She even has things for your dog. I purchased the cutest leopard print leash for Rosie here, which I believe was handmade.

Love the black and white lanterns.







All Ready for Valentines day.

Vintage movie star posters. Love Veronica Lake!
We are changing Melissa's room to this style. I have picked up some wonderful artwork, black feather pillows (would love that black chandelier) from the boutique. Lisa has been very generous with her ideas. Hopefully in the not so distant future I'll be posting on Melissa's room make-over.
All images courtesy Tom Saragoza (thanks Tommy)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Home Staging

My friend's husband flips houses. So this is my new endeavor... He asked my friend and I to stage them, which I am really excited about.
This house was just finished, and put on the market.


He completely gutted the kitchen.


The kitchen is on the small side, but there is a laundry room to the left with plenty of storage.


The rest of the rooms are pretty good sized.

I love these ceilings. And that old chandelier is going to be wonderful once it's painted black.
This house has a nice floor plan, three bedrooms, two baths, great room... I think we can do some nice things with it.
I just hope it doesn't sell before we get a chance;)
More photos to follow once we have staged it.