Friday, June 21, 2013

Seashell Wreath

Each year around Memorial Day, I add a few nautical touches around the house to bring a bit of that summer magic indoors. One of my favorite things to do is to hang a seasonally inspired wreath to the oversize mirror that hangs in our foyer. I never have to worry about outside elements destroying it and it adds a warm welcome to our home.
I had made a simple wreath of shells, florals and chiffon ribbon many, many years ago and since I had kept it in an all white palette it had really stood the test of time. Unfortunately, time takes it's toll and when I pulled it out this year I realized it has just become too shabby to salvage.
We needed a new wreath but my creativity was at a standstill and I was stumped as to the direction I wanted to take. In fact, my dining room table spent a good week or two (or three!) covered with bags of shells, a naked grapevine wreath and assorted rolls of ribbons as I tried to sort out what would be "perfect". Just when I was about to give up hope, I stumbled upon a bag of reindeer moss at Pottery Barn and knew it was the perfect starting point. After dinner that same night, armed with a glue gun, I got to work.
The only tools I needed were:
a glue gun and glue sticks
a grapevine wreath
1 bag of reindeer moss
assorted shells

I glued down the reindeer moss first then worked out the pattern the shells would go in before attaching them to the wreath. I arranged them according to size, shape and color until it felt just right. Then I glued them down.
The perfect summer wreath ~ kitsch not included!

Happy First Day of Summer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Not Even The Best Laid Plans...

Not even the best laid plans could have beat our impromptu Saturday afternoon. We decided last minute to go to a u~pick farm in Medford, NJ to pick fruits and vegetables with my brother and his family. Aside from picking our fair share of strawberries, cherries and sugar snap peas, we had unknowingly picked a simple  Saturday and turned it into some incredible memories that we will all keep with us forever. In fact, we carried our fun well into the darkness of the starry night sky silently hoping that these magical moments never end.

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
~Desmond Tutu

Saturday, June 8, 2013

And It Happened Just Like That

My baby grew up.
It happened so fast I can hardly believe it.
Last night was his senior prom and today he's off with his friends to Long Beach Island for the weekend.
He used to snuggle up next to me, throw his arms around my neck and say, "I love you with all my heart Mommy!"
This morning I got a text that says, "See you tomorrow. Love ya."
It's bittersweet but I'm so proud of the man he's become.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Fine Line

I have always been a "bigger is better" kind of girl. Blame it on compensation for my small stature, but I love nothing more than a big old item that makes a statement. Wall decor, table top ~ the same holds true for my costume jewelry collection. Big baubles, oversized cocktail rings and stacks upon stacks of bracelets have long been my signature.
But a funny little thing has happened lately.
I have become obsessed with thin necklaces. Whether I wear one at a time or a few layered together, I cannot get enough of these dainty pieces. They work perfectly with my renewed obsession for v~neck tshirts and the standard button up.
Perhaps it's the featherweight feel they exude that seems so synonymous with summer.
Or perhaps my "less is more" approach to life has finally found it's way into my jewelry boxes.
Regardless, this is one obsession that will not be shaken anytime soon.

diamond necklace: gifted from my husband many years ago
"v" necklace: american eagle

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies

What would you call these tempting little delights? They are certainly not a souffle and really don't fit into the "pudding" genre either. It's not a cake or a pie....Does it even matter?
When I saw the idea on Pinterest for these deep dish chocolate chip cookies I knew it would be the most mind blowing dessert we have had in ages. The simplicity of a good old chocolate chip cookie slightly undercooked and a bit gooey in the center, topped off with a scoop (or two!) of ice cream would be as All American as a slice of warm apple pie.
Your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe will work just fine. I always use the Original Toll House Cookie one - it's a classic. Once the cookie dough was prepared, I took a large ice cream scoop and filled each of 8 ramekins with it. I placed them all on a baking sheet and baked for about 15-20 minutes in a 375 degree oven. The goal is to have them slightly undercooked and gooey in the center. Once removed from the oven, let them rest for a minute or two then scoop your favorite ice cream directly on top.
Easy, right?
I can pretty much guarantee that this dessert will put you directly into rock star status. The trick is obviously to bake and serve it right away. I was a little sad about that because I wanted to bring it to the last dinner party we went to where I was commissioned to bring dessert. But this is one you will have to serve in the comfort of your own home unless you are comfortable with using your host's oven.
Summer has just begun. Think of how many people you can impress over the next 3 months! In fact, I think I have a backyard barbeque that I need to start planning....

Monday, June 3, 2013

Those Days

after mulching all saturday morning

scooter rides all weekend long

taking in all the pretty our neighborhood has to offer

ladybug, ladybug

6:15 am. coffee for us, hot cocoa for her

spent sunday swapping out drinks and reads all day

chased in by the rain

Those two days of pure I never want them to end! We count down the week inbetween, each dawn gets us one step closer to the time we get to spend enjoying each other's company and all the fruits of our labor. Those two days can be so magical that we wish we could stop time and hold still right there in those moments.
I wish I could rewind this past weekend and do it all over again.

We kicked it off by releasing almost 1,000 ladybugs into the yard to help our gardens grow. Saturday morning we had a dump truck of mulch delivered from our local recycling center and spent the morning mulching all of our flower beds. Late afternoon on Saturday we ran to our favorite home improvement store for bird seed and a new American flag for the front of the house and stumbled upon a small, inexpensive patio table that matched chairs we already owned.
After putting it together we barely set a foot inside for the remainder of the weekend. In fact, we met on the deck just after dawn on Sunday for our morning coffee and some quiet moments. We spent the entire day outside, chased in only by a late afternoon thunderstorm.
By my calculations, we have 120 hours to get through before we can do it again. And yes, I'm counting.

How was your weekend?