Friday, August 31, 2012

Enjoy the Holiday Weekend

Enjoy the holiday weekend my dears.  I hope you have splendid plans, or maybe better yet, no plans at all...just relax.  School and schedules will greet us all bright and early on Tuesday morning.

I saw this strange creature on  my deck making the rounds of the flowers.  Is is a humming birds?  or a bee?  Neither, it is a Hummingbird MOTH.  It was not skittish at all and let me get close enough for a photo.  
Happy Weekend

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer "To Do" List: Bedroom Curtains

Did you have a summer "to do" list?    I had a list in my mind of things I wanted to accomplish this summer. 

One of the items on my list was curtains for my bedroom.  After 6 years of living in this condo, I felt I wanted a window treatment in my bedroom.  I have honeycomb shades but I wanted a softer look.  

I picked up these curtains and the necessary hardware at Ikea.  I like the softness that the curtains add without making a huge statement.  They make the ceiling feel taller too.

Before... dull and stark.

This project was a success.  I'll have to try to accomplish another project on the list before the end of the week.

Do you have a summer "to do" list?  What tasks have you completed?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Virtual shopping

I am slowly starting to think about autumn.  Shopping for a few transition pieces is a good way to begin.  A little virtual shopping from Club Monaco.  They are featuring quite a bit of navy with khaki given a punch from deep jewel tones such as emerald and ruby.

Virtual shopping

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stila Makeup Palette

When I visited my friend, Pam, in Montana, she had a Stila makeup palette on the dresser as a welcome gift for me.  I thought it was a very thoughtful and practical gift and I wanted to pass along the idea.

The makeup palette contains 5 eye shadows and a guide for their use as well as a color for lips and cheeks.  She chose the "Sensational in Sydney" palette.  This collection is very neutral and worked well with my complexion.  

You may prefer one of the other palettes with a bit more color.  

I think these palettes are fantastic for travel, gym bag, or handbag.   All you need are a few brushes and some mascara and you are set.  What a great gift or stocking stuffer.  
Just $16 at and  $16 at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saving Summer: Herbs

 Happy Monday.  I hope you had a glorious weekend.  

Our weekend was relaxing but lots of things on the summer "to do" list were accomplished. 

Our deck plantings still look great after the hot, dry summer.

I've love being able to snip some herbs while I'm preparing a meal and add their fresh flavor to the food.  I recently read about freezing herbs in oil.  The herbs can be defrosted and then used in soups, stews, and other foods later on.

The method is quite simple.  Use herbs that grow on a woody stem, like thyme, rosemary and sage rather than softer herbs such as parsley, dill, chives.  You can use basil in pesto.  Fill the compartments of ice cube trays with the herbs, chopping the larger pieces if necessary.  Add olive oil to each compartment so that the herbs are submerged in the oil.

Freeze the herbs in the trays and when frozen, pop them out and place in ziplock bags and return to the freezer.  Simple!  I'll be real happy I did this when there is snow on the ground and I have no fresh herbs available other than the grocery store.  If you've got an abundance of herbs, why not give this a try.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friend Philosophy

I saw these napkins for sale at Nordstrom and took a photo.

Have a great weekend.  Enjoy one of the last summer weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hiking and Fishing in Montana

There is nothing like a few days in Montana to help a person re-connect with nature.

We hiked Cinnamon Mountain, elevation about 9,200 feet.  

Lunch was well deserved by the time we reached the top of the mountain

One day was spent floating down the Yellowstone River in a raft.

Hubby was busy fishing and I was just along for the ride.  

A pleasant hike along a stream in the Montana section of Yellowstone National Park.

I love the green and orange colors and texture next to the burned trunks of trees.

We were so fortunate to spend 5 days with our great friends who planned great outings and  were amazing hosts.

These photos were taken with my iPhone camera and the Camera + app and the panorama shots were done with the Photosynth app.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If I Was Going Back To School

I always eagerly anticipated back to school shopping.  I would pick out a new lunch box (I was a nerd) and new school shoes (a budding fashionista)  If I was going back to school now, this is how I would like to stock my tote. (I don't like backpacks)

If I Was Going Back To School

School Shoes

Tod's strappy shoes, $300 / Donald J Pliner wedge heels / Ivanka Trump shoes / Wingtip shoes

Help a child going back to school

It costs between $50 and $70 to fill a backpack with supplies for a typical 4th grader.  This is difficult for many families.
If you aren't going back to school but would like to help a student who is, you can donate to the Volunteers of America Operation Backpack.
Click here to be taken to the website.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

About Molly Wizenberg and Delancy for Pizza

I have been a fan of Molly Wizenberg for several years, ever since I discovered her blog, Orangettte.  Molly's blog, started in 2004, as a creative outlet for her passion of food, markets, cooking and recipes.  Orangette garnered awards and gained an international following.   
Here is a link to the Orangette recipe index.

Following the success of the blog, Molly wrote A Homemade Life, a delightful book of stories centered food memories and a recipe.  While the recipes are excellent and make you want to start cooking, it is the charming stories of family, friends and events that have you captivated.  

So, all of this to say that I just experienced Delancy, the restaurant enterprise of Molly and her husband, Brandon Pettit, located in the Ballard section of Seattle.  I read about Delancy in Molly's blog and a NY Times review and I was very excited to be able to enjoy the restaurant first hand.  

The restaurant is a casual pizza place with a hip vibe.  The menu includes several salad made from the freshest ingredients as well as killer desserts.  The focus, however, is pizza.  This is not just any pizza.  Brandon spent two years perfecting the pizza dough to rival the New York style pizza he loves.  The pizzas are topped with the the freshest vegetables, delectable cheeses and flavorful meats, herbs and oils and then baked in a wood-fired oven.  The result is a lovely chewy thin crust with a bit of a sourdough taste.  

Most pizza offerings are classic combinations.  I ordered the white pie with homemade ricotta, fresh and aged mozzarella, grana and garlic.  A dining companion ordered the crimini mushroom with fresh mozzarella, thyme and olive oil.  Another pie I sampled was the fennel sausage pizza.  My dinner partners and I ordered 3 pies with the intent of taking slices home for the next day.  That never happened.  The pizza was too good to not eat on the spot.  Click here to view the menu.  

If you can't get to Seattle, check out Molly's blog or book.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seattle Great Wheel

I had a fantastic visit to Seattle last week.  I visited favorite spots and some venues new to me, one of which just opened the end of June, 2012.

The Seattle Great Wheel is a brand new attraction on the Seattle waterfront.  
175 feet high.  42 enclosed gondolas.  $13/ticket

Views from the wheel are breathtaking and the perfect photo ops.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sleepy in Seattle

After three active days in Seattle, I'm exhausted.  BUT, my alarm is set for 3:45 am for a 6 AM flight and part two of my vacation.

This photo was taken in Volunteer Park, Seattle.  The placement of this sculpture makes it about impossible to pass up a photo with a view of the Seattle Space Needle in the center of the "wheel".

The weather put on quite a show this week with perfectly blue skies and warm temperatures.  Having lived here for 3 years (quite a while ago) I know that Seattleites treasure these days because they are rare.  

Swimming in Lake Washington at Madison Park.

I can't resist a stroll through the Pike Place Market...the oldest continuing public market in the country.  Opened in 1907, this farmers' market attracts 10 million visitors a year!  
I bought the best peach I've ever eaten at the market this week.  I had to eat it over the sink as it was so juicy. (and delicious!)

A rooftop herb and vegetable garden growing in downtown Seattle.

A view of Seattle from a Duck tour on Lake Union.

On to Montana for fishing and hiking.  
Have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hotel Hospitality

I love a hotel that reminds you what day it is when you enter the elevator,

and provides all the essentials to brew a French Press pot of coffee in your room!
Simple pleasures that mean a lot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DIY: Bottle Stoppers

Crate and Barrel $4.95 each
I was walking around Crate and Barrel on Saturday and spotted these colorful bottle stoppers.  Then I walked into Anthropologie and spotted some fantastic drawer knobs.

So I thought, why not use a drawer knob on a cork for a bottle stopper?

I purchased the appropriate sized corks from a craft store.  Using a hack saw, I cut off the screw end of the knob to fit the cork.  

Mark the center of the cork.  Drive an awl through the cork as a path to keep the screw straight as you screw it into the cork.

Done!  and no glue gun necessary.

I really like the way these bottle stoppers look on my bar cart.

I'm going to be on the lookout for antique and unusual drawer knobs for more stopper options.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Travel Organization

Travel Totes

Beach tote bag / Tumi travel handbag / Longchamp travel handbag / Louis Vuitton tote

Yesterday I posted about Pinch Provisions, little kits of necessities so that if you are in a pinch, you are prepared.  This post is about being prepared while traveling.

I'm traveling to the west coast today.  I always take this leather Tumi tote with me on a plane.  I've had it for at least a decade.  I keep it "stocked" so it is always ready.

There is a big, zipped pocket inside where I keep these essentials.  

Pockets on the outside contain these items.  I have a hardshell case for the sunglasses and eye glasses.  Spare glasses are a must if you need eye glasses.  Having your eye glass or contact prescription with you is a good idea too.  Water!!!  Take a bottle on the plane with you!!  A folded fabric bag (I like Baggu) is so versatile, for shopping, dirty laundry, beach bag or gym bag.  An umbrella is vital.  Earphones are handy.  

Having a few healthy snacks with you is essential.  You may miss meals with a plane delay or if you are (horrors!) stuck on the tarmac waiting.  

What would your essentials be?  Do you have a bag ready and waiting for travel?


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