Friday, January 30, 2009

Teacup Lights from Martha Stewart

I think these would make a great gift to give a friend.
Teacup Lights Antique teacups that have lost their saucers still make sweet gifts when fitted with candles. Tools and MaterialsNested pansPartially burned candlesCandy or candle thermometerTongsNew wickingTeacupsWick sustainersWooden skewers Teacup Lights How-To1. In a small pan set over a larger pan of simmering water, melt down old candles; clip the thermometer to the upper pot, and keep temperature at about 185 degrees. Remove old wicks with tongs. 2. Cut a piece of wicking to the cup's height plus 2 inches. Clamp one end to a wick sustainer; tie the other end around a skewer. Dip wicking and sustainer into melted wax to coat them. Remove and stick sustainer to cup's bottom. 3. Pour in the wax, stopping 1/2 inch below the cup's rim. Allow wax to set, about 1 hour. The candle will harden with a well in the center. To even it out, use another skewer to prick a circle of holes about 1/16 inch deep around the wick. Pour in melted wax until surface is 1/4 inch below rim. Cut wick. Copyright 2008 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dream Home Give Away....$700,000.00 ????

Or Maybe $500,000.00 if were really lucky!!!

Anna and I were out playing yesterday (i got a spray tan, can you believe it) and we decided to stop at the house across the street from ours......turns out the builder walked away from it. The bank must own it now, I had no idea. I thought it was just a new house for sale. We went inside
and Now were in LOVE and want to move across the street to our New Dream House!!
Since the builder walked away, there a just a few things missing, wires are hooked up to the breaker box, drawers, toilets, paint, faucets....just the little things....Gina and I get get this house and running up in two weeks.......any takers??? It's about 6,000 sq feet, I only want the middle can have the upstairs , two master en suite's or downstairs which also includes two bedrooms and baths walking out sliding glass doors onto the Ashley

Monday, January 26, 2009

Homemade Marinara

This is something I do at least once a month.
I make homemade marinara from scratch.
I love homemade Italian food and I love to cook.
I make Chicken Parmesan with this which is a family favorite.
Sometimes I make a meat sauce or "Sunday gravy" but this is without meat.
these are fresh plum tomatoes that I blanch so that I can peel and DE-core and squish into sauce
this is olive oil, 2 onions and fresh garlic cloves chopped
these are some of the fresh herbs I use. I love rosemary the smell alone makes me happy and of course basil and oregano this is the same onion mixture with 1/2 cup of wine and lots of mushrooms
this beautiful pot is a lot of work these are those plum tomatoes that have been peeled and DE-cored and squished. It does take some time for them to cool down and I usually don't have enough patience to wait and my hands burn.
this is the onion, mushroom etc. mixture with the sauce
and more wine
these are the sterilized jars that will eventually hold the sauce
adding more VINO!
finally after several hours of simmering the sauce is done and ready for the jars
this is the water bath they must take in order to seal the lids and they will stay fresh
a few of the completed jars.
I hope you all enjoyed my little cooking post and If you have never tried sauce from scratch Please try it I think you will enjoy it. Gina

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love me if you dare

I recently noticed a post from a blog I truly enjoy.
and she had talked about this movie so I decided to rent it.
It is all in French with subtitles and what a love story.
It is full of emotion and excitement. So if you get a chance please go and rent it.
Ever since they were kids, Sophie (Marion Cotillard) and Julien (Guillaume Canet) have gotten their kicks out of a game where they continuously attempt to one-up the other with a chain of extreme pranks. When their relationship escalates to romance, the game turns harshly negative, and the two lovers' view of reality grows increasingly skewed.

Visit This Blog!!!

Sorry, I don't normally do this, but I love, love, love this blog.... esp. the trailer and decor!!!! Please visit Mary Jane at the The BeeHive Cottage

Part Two of On The Road Again.....

Just to update everyone, this a fictitious trip. Some bloggers thought I was reliving a recent trip I took. (Any characters, reminding you of anyone, are just coincidence, and soley for the purpose of entertaining others...and myself, of course (ha, ha) except I do own 3.5 acres on Stroud Mountain Trail.)

Refreshed from our early evening, we start off to Asheville, N.C. home of the Biltmore House. The "largest house" in the United States, was built by George Vanderbilt, in 1895. There is a 3 mile approach drive that takes us to the the Biltmore Estate. I can see 100 year old landscaping designed by Mr. Vanderbilt's friend, Fredrick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in NYC, as were driving through the winding woods. Looking ahead I see the house, it seems more European than American in design. In fact Mr. Vanderbilt hired the famed Richard Morris Hunt to design his dream home for his wife. Not only is the Biltmore House the largest home in America but it is a totally self sustaining farm, including it's own winery, gardens that flourish veg, fruit and flowers. The estate also raises all its own organic meat that is served in it's many restaurants, now open to the public. We decided to have lunch at a restaurant called The Stable Cafe'.
Even though I was entranced in great conversation, I couldn't stop looking around at the original Stable so beautifully transformed into a Restaurant. Our booth was actually an old stall with original barn tile climbing up the wall. I could only imagine George Vanderbilt’s horses staying here. We sampled Biltmore wines, and organic salad with the largest beef ribs I have ever seen. Mr. Vanderbilt built his own village where his workers lived while the home and gardens were being built. He brought only the best craftsmen from Europe to work on his home.We spent the afternoon exploring the Biltmore, with our bellies full and our minds enhanced we drove north to our next destination, Washington D.C. Our drive from here will be about 470 miles through Virginia, and then north into Maryland, where we will find The District of Columbia.
We will stop somewhere in Virginia along the way for the night. We have decided not to plan everything on our trip as we have no time restraints or obligations, other than to make phone calls and emails in the evenings to our loved ones. The terrain is green here, forests are thick in North Carolina and Virginia. The air smells good and we are definitely stopping to smell the Roses.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My favorite bath soaps, scrubs and bubbles

"Would you rather choose to be tempted? Or be tempted to choose?" The business of Sabon was launched on the sheer popularity of these soaps. Based on olive oil and coconut oil, and containing a diversity of aromatic oils and herbs such as almond, calendula, rose, lemon, vanilla and lavender, to name a few, these soaps are as gentle and nurturing as soap can get. Choose to suit your skin type. Sabon uses olives grown in Israel. Never aim for squeaky clean skin, as this means that all the natural oils have been stripped off the skin surface. No animal testing.
A few years back I was introduced to Sabon NY by my friend Joyce who had gifted me with the olive oil soap and I fell in love. The scents are wonderful, they last forever and they don't leave soap scum in the shower. This year I was gifted by her again but with the Vanilla Coconut scrub and was told by her
"Your husband will want to devour you from head to toe after you use this"
So what is a girl to do? Vanilla and coconut are 2 of my husbands favorite scents. I love the way I feel and smell after using their products not to mention the extra that comes along with it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Girls It's Bubble Bath Night........

Is there anything nicer than a hot bubble bath. Get a great book, send the kids out for the evening and get ready to relax. Go this week to HomeGoods or TJ Maxx and buy some pretties for your tub!!!! I got this bubble bath from TJ Maxx, it's called Steve's Charm Bubble Bath. It is the best bubble bath, I've ever used!! Apropos right Gina..... Fill up that tub......on these cold winter nights, nothing feels better. Turn the lights down low and Soak. Sweet Dreams......Katie

This Week At the Movies

Brideshead Revisited has just been released this week on DVD

Gina and I are both going to watch it, thanks to Netflix. We will let you know our feelings next week, please feel free to leave your comments now. Along with the great film just released "Last Chance Harvey"

See you soon at the Movies.........

Photos Promised

This is a photo of my "Morning Room" as we call it in South Carolina, the rest of the states (to my knowledge) calls it a breakfast room. Now that I'm a tried and true Southcarolinian (one word) I like the term Morning Room. I promised this photo to Mary, living across the pond!! Be sure and visit "Across the Pond." My welsh cabinet, pictured above, has traveled with me to 4 different houses now. I love to decorate it for every season. Spring is just around the corner! The french door opens onto a beautiful wrap around porch where my orchids live. They are all inside now, as we've had our coolest winter nights this week. I also feed the wild birds on the porch, they come and visit in the mornings when i have my tea.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A real page turner

You think the grass is always greener..... Well read this memoir. I read this and couldn't believe how these kids survived childhood. This was a fascinating read and it kept me thinking of my dad's childhood he didn't have the best of anything and had parents that truly should have never been parents. ReviewJeannette Walls's father always called her "Mountain Goat" and there's perhaps no more apt nickname for a girl who navigated a sheer and towering cliff of childhood both daily and stoically. In The Glass Castle, Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents--Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father. To call the elder Walls's childrearing style laissez faire would be putting it mildly. As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices. But while Rex and Rose Mary firmly believed children learned best from their own mistakes, they themselves never seemed to do so, repeating the same disastrous patterns that eventually landed them on the streets. Walls describes in fascinating detail what it was to be a child in this family, from the embarrassing (wearing shoes held together with safety pins; using markers to color her skin in an effort to camouflage holes in her pants) to the horrific (being told, after a creepy uncle pleasured himself in close proximity, that sexual assault is a crime of perception; and being pimped by her father at a bar). Though Walls has well earned the right to complain, at no point does she play the victim. In fact, Walls' removed, nonjudgmental stance is initially startling, since many of the circumstances she describes could be categorized as abusive (and unquestioningly neglectful). But on the contrary, Walls respects her parents' knack for making hardships feel like adventures, and her love for them--despite their overwhelming self-absorption--resonates from cover to cover.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ring In the New Year.......Time for New Adventures

It's the start of a New Year, so I thought we would take a trip together ...for all you snow bound bunnies, on your mark, get packed, let's go. First, will stop off and pick up our mode of transportation!!!! That's right, you guessed it a totally decked out RV. For all you Designer's out there reading this, yes, we get to Decorate the RV. Design it in your own taste, including dishes, furniture and Bedding of your choice!!! Yeah. ( Maybe this will be a contest later!!)
Road trip........we are going to take off a few months and travel the States and stop where ever we like and stay as long as we like. Why, because this is my story and we can! So let's get out our maps, and high lighters and Go. Our starting point will be Charleston, SC The RV is packed and ready , we're heading North West on Interstate 26 to Asheville, North Carolina, there's not much to see on this drive through S.C., we're just trying to make good time to get to NC.
I see we are approaching the N.C. border, as altitude is climbing drastically before my eyes. We are now entering the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, called the Piedmont.
We climb from sea level to an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. I look on both sides of our RV while we wind around our first large mountain, just north of Spartansburg, heading towards Hendersonville. I'm grasping the arm of my chair while I look over the guard rail at the majestic beauty of this pine covered mountain. I own 3.5 acres in this Neck of the Woods (as they say her in N.C.) so we will stop for the night, after our short 4.5 hr. drive and enjoy the Hills. My acreage sits atop Stroud Mountain. We drive up the mountain and park the RV. I'm very excited to start up the generator and cook a great meal. Tonight, we will eat a la Fresca, over looking the Blue Ridge's almost dusk, we may see a wild turkey or peacock.
We set up camp with our table and chairs. He opens the wine and we wait for sunset. The deer start peeking out from the pine forest. We watch the moon rise, as we talk non stop, at almost a whisper, taking in this breathless moment. I can't help but notice the stars coming out, as we finish our wine. We head into our beautifully appointed RV, and make love all night.
This is the End Of Part I. I hope I have caught your attention. Check back in a day or two for
Part II or as we sometimes like to call it "On the Road Again" just can't wait to get back on the Road again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just finished book

Deborah Monroe and her daughter, Grace, are driving home from a party when their car hits a man running in the dark. Grace was at the wheel, but Deborah sends her home before the police arrive, determined to shoulder the blame for the accident. Her decision then turns into a deception that takes on a life of its own and threatens the special bond between mother and daughter.The Secret Between Us is an unforgettable story about making bad choices for the right reasons and the terrible consequences of a lie gone wrong. Once again, Barbara Delinksy has delivered a riveting study of family and a superbly crafted novel, perfectly targeted to reading groups and fans of provocative fiction.

John Bull vs. Johnny Bull

It has been brought to my attention that we have too many cutesy piccie on our blog..... Not enough verbiage........even though I can carry a conversation with the best of them, I can attend a party and chatter all night, and tell a great story (one of my forte') But when it comes to blogging (99% of our audience are "girls" who like pretty pictures) I don't seem to say much. So here is goes, the topic tonight is Johnny Bull, how many of your girls have been to the Bahamas? Cruise? or any other Caribbean Island, don't you just love to shop for jewelry duty free??? Is it because it's cheaper, or because there is a plethora of it in front of you, or because your on Holiday and that's what your suppose to do on Holiday is spend money???? I think it is a combination of them all. My two girls will tell you, we don't travel without Mom buying anything they want on vacation or what kind of vacation would that be!!! With shows like the Real Housewives of Orange Country, what hope do we have??? Let alone I've taken both of them shopping since they were in stroller's (pram's) My youngest daughter is better picking out things for me than I am (since she has been 6) I admit I love to shop while on vacation, esp. in the Bahamas. Remember Gentlemen of the 1800‘s, he knew how to keep a wife happy, he told her he loved her everyday, treated her like a lady, like the most delicate lady he had ever met, pretended she is a china vase, that you treasure. Oh, for all of us girls to dream that a man would treat us like that, what hope do we have? With all the Romantic movies and books Girls watch and read. Do you know one Man who would ever Read or Watch any of those movies or books and really enjoy them? One of my favorite Movies is "Deja Vu", it's set in London, Paris and Jerusalem, I have shared it with quite a few people over the years and only women seem to enjoy it. Men just don't get it. We seem to live in two different places......remember Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. That's enough for today.....I didnt seem to talk about Johhny Bull too much, so I'll add this little blurb below. Links of London at John Bull & Co. Links of London was founded in 1990 specialising in unusual silver and gold cufflinks. Since then they have seen a meteoric rise as a must-have brand! The success of John Bull & Co. is due to them always having something new to offer and producing jewellery of the highest quality.

Baby It's Cold Outside......

Spring has sprung in Charleston! Last week it was 34 degrees, the fireplace burned each evening, I brought all my orchids indoors, this week it's 70 degrees. See what I found at my front step, while taking a stroll around my garden.......a Hyacinth....blooming on January 5th. Is it spring in Charleston???? To whom a hyacinth is dearer Than I shall ever be dear. On nights when the field-mice Are abroad, he cannot sleep He hears their narrow teeth At the bulbs of his hyacinths. But the gnawing at my heart . . He does not hear.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Sometimes you think you've lived before All that you live to day Things you do come back to you As though they knew the way Oh the tricks your mind can play It seems we stood and talked like this before We looked at each other in the same way then But I can't remember where or when The clothes you're wearing are the clothes, you wore The smile you are smiling you were smiling then But I can't remember where or when Some things that happened for the first time Seem to be happening again And so it seems that we have met before And that we laughed before, also loved before But who knows where or when.........

Chase Your Dreams..............

There'll be bluebirds over
The White Cliffs of Dover, tomorrow just you wait and see. There'll be joy and laughter and peace ever after, Tomorrow when the world is free, the shepherd will count his sheep the valleys will bloom again, and Jimmy will go to sleep in his own little room again, There'll be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover,
Tomorrow just you wait and see.
I've always wanted to go to the White Cliffs of Dover, do you have a dream
that is in the back of your mind, that you haven't done yet? It seems to linger there, not always there, but there. Every once in a while it comes to the fore
front, and almost haunt's you..........that's mine. The White Cliffs of Dover.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Day Project

Close up of Envelope Pillow........... Most of you know, I just moved a month ago to South Carolina, after living in Florida for 21 years.... Each time I move, I try and use items that mean alot to me. This round back corner chair has been with me for 23 yrs. ~I bought it in South Bend, Indiana from a picker (someone who goes to garage sales, estate sales and then resells to anitque dealers) when I owned my Antique Shoppe in the 80's~It was a mess!!! I've recovered it more times than I can remember. Last August I recovered it in this beautiful Fabricut fabric. I wasn't ready to cover it again, soI sat it in the corner of my dining room. It looked kind of lonely there after Christmas when I looked at again. I decided that I would make a custom pillow for it. All of you that know me, know that I always design all my own pillows ~but have never made a pillow in my life.~ Ahhhhh~ I had a fabulous woman in Sarasota who made all my cushions for me for years. Remembering I had lots of left over Strohiem and Roman Linen fabric from my dining chair seats and lots extra trims and tassels. I designed the envelope pillow and made it in just 2 1/2 hours, and I am very happy with it!! It's not perfect, but I love it!!! It just goes to show you, if you want to do something, no matter how hard it is, give it a try, it's a New Year after all!!! The Finished Product!!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Kate I found a place in your new home town that you should visit:

But you have to come on over to my other blog to find out: or just click on the green flocked wallpaper and chair pic to your right, Purdy's Wallcoverings. Here's a little hint: A centuries-old South Carolina garden leads the way in preserving ancient camellias.