Late week musings.....

Hi there! How has your week been? Mine, busy and very productive.  I still am trying to get used to writing down 2013! Anyone else with me here? No small talk, going to delve right into this weeks post. Lots to dish about, so let's go. Call this my weekly newsletter.  Hope you have a splendid weekend.....
I have not showed much of the extensive landscaping/masonry work that is going on around here. For weeks on end, we have had a nonstop battalion of very talented workers completing much of the  masonry work on the patios/walkways/landscaping. It is still going on but the bulk is just about done. To say we are thrilled with how its turning out is a serious understatement. Now I cannot wait till spring! We have two small patios off of the kitchen/family room/breakfast room that are nearly done, here they are.....

So happy we were able to use the old planters from original home, we have 8 total so this was great

 We are going to have a built in BBQ done later in the spring to the side...much more to come soon!
Can you imagine losing your blog one morning? This, for bloggers is the ultimate nightmare.  Twice this past week I read about long term bloggers signing into their account only to find out their entire blogs were wiped out. That's longer there! Disappeared. Gone. Can you imagine? This freaked me out in a big way. I cannot imagine something I pour so much hard work, love and devotion to leaving me without any notice. That is beyond a bad breakup.
 So as I started seems the thing to do and likely many of you seasoned bloggers know this is to regularly back up your blog. Did you know this? I found two really easy tutorials and have since done this. Great and priceless advice. Secondly it also really has me thinking maybe a switch to Wordpress at some point in the near future is in order...any thoughts on that? Between other less significant problems with blogger and hearing this, I am feeling a bit nervous, hopefully undue stress on my part. So would love to know your thoughts on this matter! Click here if you want to learn how to back up your blog.
I visited my blogging friend, Sharons' blog, one you all likely know, French Country Home (its like a mini vacation every time you click over there). Anyway one of her posts about having received small baking rounds totally intrigued me and prompted me  that very afternoon to visit Sur La Table, a phenomenal kitchen store (its highly addictive) and to buy my own little versions. I ended up with the cutest 4" springform pans and came home and got busy. I started with mini Cherry cheesecake and ended with the most delicious potatoes au gratin! And it didn't stop there.......
 The next night we were having friends for drinks then heading to dinner. I was brainstorming about a last minute appetizer to serve, and immediately thought of my heavenly good pesto cheese dip which is normally baked in a Pyrex then spooned onto crostinis. This time I decided to try out my "new little friend' and lets just say he did not disappoint. The finished product was a perfectly rounded mold of the pesto cheese dip and I garnished with a few tomatoes that had been broiled and served with the costini. Thanks Sharon for unleashing a springform beast in me! I can't stop thinking of ways to make all of our foods small and round:) My boys think I am seriously possessed. Tonight? Its individual eggplant parmigiana!!! Tomorrow...who knows!
(Don't love the quality of these pics, taken with iPhone at night but you get the idea)
The innocent little springforms that fueled a cooking marathon with no end in sight!

"The helper" was my wonderful this thing!
Perfectly thin potatoes every time in seconds.......

 My mini cherry cheesecakes.....soooo good!

 The heavenly potatoes au gratin.......just so good and looked so pretty!

 Roasted chicken asparagus and the mini potato, healthy and pretty!
Coming out of the oven, let them sit a few minutes

My experiment, the pesto dip going in the oven...fingers crossed!

 Voila! It worked......added some extra grilled tomato on top.
 Added warmed crostinis with a drizzle of olive oil and its instant elegance!

I don't know about you  but I am already looking forward to spring. Unless we get a serious big dose of the white stuff, I have serious ADD during the winter. If we are going to have to deal with the cold...lets make it pretty. Bring on the snow. I normally do not shop for spring clothes this early but couldn't  resist these pretty accents that are classic and practically seasonless. So I put together this little mood board of some great recent finds/loves. Best part....some of them, most of them,  are really reasonable. Well not the Prada bag but......most of it:)
  One more thing I recently saw and immediately fell in love with, the new spring collection from Tory (yes we are on a first name basis:) LOOOVE these shoes. I want all three!! I cannot possibly narrow it down....they are all so great looking! The flats are a no brainer, as there is not heel height to have to mull over! But the wedges and heels are so darn cute too!

Finally tackling my dining room. Also planning on recovering my breakfast room chairs, I love my Pugsley fabric but its about 10 years old and quite faded so its time for a fresh change. The plaid chairs are temporary and I am excited to have finally made the time to select fabric for the chairs. I am also working simultaneously on the chinoiserie for the dining room and that has me incredibly excited. I will do a whole post on one of my favorite things, chinoiserie soon. . I want to keep it simple because I really want the chinoiserie to shine and not have much competition!  I am going to devote an entire post to the dining room next week, but here's a sneak peek of the fabrics that have made it to the final round.......

And dining room contenders though its still in the early rounds...I am probably using two fabrics on the chairs

Its always fun to share the results from my Which would you Choose posts. So, I asked you out of 16 designers who you would hand your home to...and here are the top four. Several others vied for a close 5th place..what can I say, you have excellent taste!
1st place John Jacob

2nd place Phoebe Howard

3rd place Mcalpine, Ferrier and Booth

4th place Charles Faudree

I will share the results from this week's coat edition next week.

I want to have a party with a blue and white theme (naturally) just so I can set a table that looks like this. This picture is enough to get my braincells working overtime just to think of an occasion to recreate this dream of a tablescape! Perfection...the green against the blue and white!

Store excited about adding this fabulous line of tole hand painted pieces to my online store. I am starting with a few pieces and will gradually add on. They are really special. LOVE them! All pieces will be added to "new arrivals" over the weekend. Feel free to contact me here with any questions.
Adore this black chinoiserie wastepaper basket, so classic!

And looooove these blk. chinoiserie brackets!

Also have this in a cream version which is also stunning!

How about this for a library/office or family room? Yes!

And you know I love this lamp. Already ordered one for my own office:)

  In addition to my beautiful French tea//bar towels, that are made in France, just got in greatest looking aprons. I LOVE these. They are so great looking, they are pretty enough to wear  even once your guests have arrived!! Just got added under new additions.

A few new silver items that are new additions to my very popular silver collection.....
 Stunning silver cake plate...14.5" round
Beautiful scalloped decorative flower bowl/planter
 Large decorative ornate tray 28.5" long by 14.5" wide.....stunning for serving or display

 Wine cooler (holds 4-5 bottles) 14" round by about 9.5" tall
  And by popular demand I have just added this gorgeous crystal handcut etched dome cake plate/cloche. Talk about adding some serious beauty to your kitchen! And what a gorgeous gift too! Only getting in 6 pieces. Click here to see.
I own this and its a definite jewel in my kitchen.

Some other great things coming this way soon. Just to let you know, I am phasing out of the canvas art. I have about 5-6 pieces left. Unfortunately the vendor is not reliable and the containers often take much longer than initially promised, its too unpredictable, so when these are gone, I will no longer carry the canvas art. 
Also my monogrammed linens are going up about 20%, they will still be a bargain even with the price increase. Prices will be going up early next week. As always if you have any questions about any of my products, just email me here!
So that is about it over here in my tiny corner of the world. As always, thanks for stopping by and seeing whats new. Whats going on over there? Any exciting plans for the weekend ahead? Hope whatever you do is wonderful and relaxing...until Monday!

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