Sunday, February 27, 2011


Another great post from Amber!  What would I do without her!!!

We, like a lot of the country, were buried in six feet of snow for over two weeks this month.  This is not an exaggeration.  It was charming and idyllic at first with the fat snowflakes piling up outside our door, soup simmering on the stove and card games and movies galore.  After about day four or five of being cooped up inside tempers began to flare, toys and books and games and movies lost their luster and we all began to get cabin fever.

Fortunately for our family we live in a part of the country where the weather never ceases to surprise us, so today we have the windows open and are wearing short sleeves while the sun shines at a balmy 70 degrees.   Not a drop of snow is on the ground and this warm weather makes me sit with my chin in my hands gazing out the window dreaming of spring.  I thought you might want to join me in my daydreaming today and gaze out the window in anticipation of spring...

I long for open windows...

 ...backyard barbecues...

 ...the fourth of July...

 ...cold lemonade in the sunshine...

....swinging on the porch swing with my bare feet just barely brushing the wooden floor boards...

...picnics on quilts...


...Spring Cleaning...

...hamburgers on the grill, just the smell sets my heart going pitter pat... life...

...dreaming under leafy bowers...

...root beer on ice...

...cherry pies cooling in the window...

 ...homegrown tomatoes...

 ...vegetable gardens...

...sheets hanging on the line...

...fragrant blossoms...

...tea parties...

..little girls in sundresses...

Sigh...a girl can dream...

Thanks for the indulgence.


Photos Courtesy of Country Living

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The old becomes new...

Every month you can find me drooling over the latest small home featured on  The Old Painted Cottage blog.  It gives me inspiration even in my most non-creative phases of Tiny Home Living! 

Today I was glancing through some of the archives and appreciating the homeowners' imaginative uses of furniture and displays for storage and showing off collectibles.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

All Photos Courtesy of The Old Painted Cottage

Old shelving in an entryway holding jars, shoes and dishes of money and car keys.

Vintage cabinets displaying ironware and linens. Metal baskets of rolled towels. 

Ugly plumbing and cleaning supplies hidden by long fabric skirts.

Crates stacked to form a shelving unit holding baskets and collectibles.

Utility shelving artfully displaying kitchen pots and pans, metal strips to hold knives.  Bathroom fixtures with hooks to keep coffee mugs at the ready.

Ladders serving as a pot holder and drying rack.

Old screen doors closing in a beautifully lit linen closet.

Jars with decorative labels to store laundry supplies.

Vintage pharmacy cabinets in a bathroom holding towels, soap and bath salts.

Open kitchen shelving decorated seasonally.

Inspiration at its finest.  Go for a visit on a snowy afternoon.  I promise you won't be disappointed! 


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Decorating with Red and Pink

In honor of Valentine's Day let's talk about decorating with red and pink!  Red happens to be my favorite color.  I always carry a red purse and love red accents for a pop of color. In honor of Valentine's Day, Amber has some wonderful suggestions for decorating with red and pink. 

Amber ...

Red and pink are often bashed and trashed as difficult colors for home decor, especially smaller homes.  But if used right, these vibrant shades can work wonders in any living space.

Let's look at pink first.  This lovely soft, classic color can be relaxing while providing an atmosphere of glamour and romance.

All Photos Courtesy of Country Living

Decorating with pink need not be overwhelming.  Pinks are soft and pleasing to the eye.  Especially when painted on a large piece of furniture.

White paired with pink is airy and calming.

What says glitz and glamour more than pink paired with mirrored furniture?

Mixing fabric patterns in pink such as ticking, paisley, damask or chintz keeps the pink effect from being fussy and overdone.

One pink focal point, like candlesticks, adds an easy accent color.

This desk and pink chair cushion remind me of cotton candy.  What a delicious place to work!

A fluffy pink throw adds femininity and grace to this room.   No need to paint every surface pink to create the feeling of romance.  Just a dash will do!

When it comes to using red, think beyond Christmas.  This is a strong color, ideal for making a statement and adding life to a room.  

A perfect accent color, red curtains and accessories brighten up standard white and cream decorating schemes.

Touches of red in curtains, collectibles and dishtowels add a splash of color to this pristine kitchen.

A distinctive piece, like this red dresser, adds a touch of drama to this neutral room!

Rather than clashing, the different patterns in this dining room add depth and a playful feel.

I just want to bake a tray full of chocolate chip cookies in this kitchen and sit on one of those fun stools and dunk it in a big glass of white milk.  (Psssst...the glass would have red polka dots on it!)

Easy update!  Paint a few chairs!  What a simple to change the feel of a room.

What could be more fun than walking downstairs on a red path....a whimsical and cute touch to any farmhouse.

This red, striped wall paper is warm and refreshing to the eye when paired with a pristine white chair rail.  Classic and traditional.  

This Valentine's Day consider adding a touch of red or pink to your Jewel Box® Home!  Add romance.  Love.  Snuggle.  Eat chocolate.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Comfort Food!

Its cold outside and I'm hungry!  Last week my kids were out of school for two days due to snow and bad roads.  We snuggled up in our little Jewel Box® Home and drank hot chocolate, read books and watched movies.  Mid-week my feet were cold and I had cabin fever so we all headed to the kitchen to warm our bellies.  I thought I'd share my potato soup recipe with you in case it is cold where you are!

In a 4 quart saucepan melt 1/2 STICK BUTTER and saute' 1 SMALL ONION, diced and 2 MEDIUM CARROTS, diced.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in 2 TABLESPOONS FLOUR and cook for one minute.  Add 8 RUSSET POTATOES, peeled and cubed.  Dissolve 2 CHICKEN BOUILLON CUBES in 1/2 cup hot milk.  Add to pan.

Add 3 1/2 CUPS WHOLE MILK.  Cook for 15 minutes or so until potatoes are soft.  Add 1 CUP HALF AND HALF and salt and pepper to taste.  

We jazz up our soup by adding cooked shrimp and sprinkling it with bacon and grated cheddar cheese.  


Happy snuggling!