Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pretty Silver Champagne Bucket and Bust

 Just before Christmas I came across this pretty silver bucket in an antiques shop in Olde Towne Orange for 28 dollars.  I thought it would make a nice planter.  :)

Near the vase was this beautiful man.  So I bought him too, for about the same price.  :)
Bringing these two in meant that at least two items needed to exit which is never a problem for me, but I still have not taken the donation box in yet!  :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Small Family Room Updates

Hello!  Just a few small updates to our rather neutral family room.  Above, I restyled the mantle after Christmas in a much "quieter" fashion.  The two cachepots were on sale for 50% off and are the only new additions....
I also added this chevron patterened rug (I hear you naysayers thinking chevron is already OUT...yes, I am late again! :))
This room is quite difficult to photograph and the camera is not behaving properly lately, but just to get an idea.
I do like how the rug breaks up the space and makes it a wee bit more interesting.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Super Easy Weeknight Dinner for a Working Mom/Wife/Gal!

Hellooooo!  Is it cold where you live?  I have been frozen here in SoCal (I realize this is nothing for most people but I honestly am not used to wearing anything but sandals on my feet unless I am out walking in my running shoes!).
Here is a SUPER EASY and FAST dinner.  The kind that tastes amazing and requires virtually no effort, plus is warm and satisfying on a cold evening. 
I actually wrote this down while hearing a woman who works for Trader Joe's speak at a Christian woman's event, but I changed it slightly.  I call it...
Empty two cartons of TJ's Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup into your pot (there is a lower sodium version) and begin to heat.
Add 1 bag of TJ's frozen Chimichuri Rice
Do the usual slow boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer thing until it is right.
This soup tastes amazing!  My husband likes to add a bit of sour cream on top, but I don't think it needs a thing!

Also....if you are lucky enough to own a decent bread machine (in my opinion every working mom should own a high quality bread machine and a high quality rice cooker...but if you can only afford one of these, get the rice cooker!)....
throw the ingredients in your bread machine for a nice loaf of hot, homemade bread to go with the soup...
If your bread machine has a timing function, use this so that when you walk into your home after working hard all day you smell the wonderful smell of baking bread....then throw the soup together and you are good to go!
I hope this is helpful to someone out there...I know I get crazy trying to figure out quick but tasty things for the family on weeknights.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A coffee and tea bar

There is something downright SUBLIME to me about clusters of similar objects grouped so for a special purpose.  I think that this is why I finally succumbed to getting a bar cart even though I am really not much of a drinker at all!  Sometimes I've felt myself a virtual throwback to the 1950s and 1960s, and I recall asking my husband if we could get "one of those martini carts that you see in old movies" when we were first married (he found this funny and when I came home with said cart from the Long Beach Antiques Flea Market 25 years later all he could do was  to laugh and say "wow, it's finally here!).
So what with our very cold and rainy winter thus far, I decided to corral my coffee and tea supplies so that anyone can easily make a hot drink.  Thanks to our Japanese water heater, using one of our French presses or making tea is very easy.  And the kids sometimes like to make instant hot chocolate when they are cold.  This is a nice little bit of hospitality for my family and any friends that might be over.
I looked around for a tray that would accommodate the items I wanted on this coffee and tea bar, but most of the large trays were either very expensive or would not stand up to water being spilled upon them.
Finally I found this lacquered tray for a steal and thought it would be a fun addition to our kitchen.
Since I live with three males, my decorating must wax masculine lest they rebel!
Included on the cart is a Zojirushi Water Heater, milk frother, tea glass with infuser, packets of Stevia, a large Bodum French Press, and two canisters of loose tea (one Green, one herbal). Coffee mugs are stored in the cabinet above and we always store our coffee in the fridge.
Stay warm, my friends!  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Show and Tell: New Lamp for our Living Room

Just a little something that I picked up recently!  The lamp makes a nice addition to our living room, and the more I look at it the more I wish I had purchased two of them!
After Christmas, I was so eager to have our space look quieter.  I had all the decorations put away well before New Year's Eve and rearranged the living room furniture for a nice change.  Looking at the space with fresh eyes is always helpful and I could clearly see that a more interesting lamp was needed. 
I moved the former lamp to our family room so it is still getting a good workout.  :)

Happy weekend!  I am back to work as of Monday and plan to tackle 2013 with as much peace and joy as possible!  I have wholeheartedly embraced our winter break.  We've had unusually cold weather for SoCal and I have enjoyed wearing winter clothes, wool socks, and reading by the fireplace.  I have also managed to sleep 9 hours most nights and see what a tremendous improvement it has made in me!   :)
Romantic Home

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Green Tip of the Week!

Hi Friends!  Whilst discussing Resolutions of New, my youngest son told me on New Year's Eve "Mom, you need to write more on your blog!" 
Yes, I have really been struggling to even READ blogs, lately let alone write a post now and then.  And my photography skills, while evidencing some improvement this past summer, have slid back into former status! 
But he is right and I need to partake in more activities that bring me joy. posts will likely be short this year, and my photos of questionable quality, but nevertheless onward we trudge!
I still have some remaining gift wrap in my possession (like the birthday paper above), but I am gradually moving toward butcher paper, newspaper, and brown craft paper for my wrappings in conjunction with reused ribbon and reused gift bags.  In fact, I have been reusing one gift bag for one of my sons each Christmas for at least 5 years!
The ribbon above was part of a thoughtful gift we received this Christmas.  I loved the sheer beauty of this ribbon and decided to use it for my sister's birthday gift, pictured above. 
Yes, I did iron the ribbon.  :)
Below is a photo of some paperwhites I tied up with ribbon from other gifts received.  I mean, why toss such prettiness?
I will be posting more green tips soon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


JANUARY 1, 2013

image via
From my home in SoCal to yours, HAPPY NEW YEAR.  May this year be filled with positive changes and many blessings, kindness, love and good manners (had to throw that in!).
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