Sunday, January 29, 2012

Drop Cloth Curtains!

I always struggle with curtains.  I love how they look in other homes, and yet I can never decide what will work in my home.  I pour over magazines and google images, then I start adding up how much $$$ it costs for those beautiful curtains and I get a little nervous.   Earlier this year, I went with the Pottery Barn Cameron Drape in white for my family room.  At first I thought they looked a little bland, but they have really grown on me.  I love the curtain rod and rings I purchased, I think those make the look.  Here they are:

As I was looking for tips on how to recover a chair (more on that project later) I stumbled upon this idea of canvas drop cloth curtains.  I thought it was BRILLIANT!   Thank you Musings From A French Cottage.

In both of the front rooms we added these "curtains".  I've posted pictures below.  Both of these rooms are still a work in when they are complete I will post pictures of the whole room and not just the windows. 
Dining room

Dining Room - Working on the tablescape next!

Music Room

I encountered a few stumbling blocks while hanging these curtains:
  1. Drop cloths do come in different shades.  The first drop cloth I purchased was more of blue/grey that wouldn't bleach and did not match my wall colors.  I picked it up from Home Depot.  The drop cloths I picked up from Lowe's and WalMart were a "khaki" color, and bleached nicely.
  2. I discovered that some drop cloths  have stitching that runs horizontally across the panel vs. vertically. I was using the whole 6x9 panel and a horizontal stitch was not what I wanted.  Unfortunately, I washed two before I check before you wash!
  3. The drop cloths from Lowe's did not wash as nice as those from WalMart.  They had what looked like "pilling" on clothes.  It took time to clean that up.
All in all, I am thrilled to have floor length cutains for $20 a window! My only reservation is that I wish I could have gotten them to be completely white.  Let me know what you think.

All the best - V

Friday, January 20, 2012

Roasted Carrots & Malbec

Last night I was browsing in the produce section and spotted fresh carrots with the greens still attached, I LOVE those.  Last Christmas we roasted them with duck fat and they were fantastic!!  I didn't have any duck fat, but I wanted those carrots.  I even felt special carrying them out of the grocery store with the greens peaking up over the top of my bag.

I decided to roast them with coconut oil, and used a version of this recipe from Nutmeg Nanny.  I skipped the dill and "eyeballed" the oil.

Here are some pictures of my adventure.

Love the greens on the carrots!

Ready for prep work.
Here they are!  Peeled, trimmed and roasted at 425 with coconut oil, salt and pepper.  YUM!

Paired the carrots with a Malbec (our house favorite!) Flank Steak and Spaghetti Squash


It was a successful meal, and the kids LOVED the carrots.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Playing With Flowers

I am in the process of so many different projects, and I wish they were all complete!  Thanks to a little feedback from a couple of viewers I decided to focus on having my next posts consist of a few of my own project pictures.

Today, I took a trip to the Wholesale Flower Market...I loved the selection.  I discovered Kangaroo Paw, it is such a cool flower.  As soon as I got home, I put together a few arrangements.  Here they are, let me know what you think.

In the foyer...bought the container for $6.00 at Ross!

The leftovers...I still think they look great
I forgot to add water to this container!  Please excuse the slight wilt.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kickstarter - First Time

I just had to back this upstart company...sounds like a company with great soul and FANTASTIC cookies!  I like that The Cookie Department and it's owner Akiva Resnikoff use local and organic ingredients, and take pride in their product.  I believe in quality and heart over volume when purchasing products.  I look forward to seeing what Akiva and The Cookie Department do in the future.  If you can, consider donating a little something to get them to their goal.

If you haven't had an opportunity to check out Kickstarter, please do! It is a very cool way to help an upstart you belive in.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Planning A Trip To Tennessee

I feel very blessed, and constantly in awe of my children.  When I was their age, I wasn't half as bright or mature.  As a reward for achieving straight A's for the entire school year, our kids are able to pick a vacation spot....wherever they want and we all go.

This year our daughter picked...Tennessee. None of us have ever been there, so I had a lot of research to do. I stumbled upon Blackberry Farm, and it looks amazing!  At first I had a bit of sticker shock, until I dug into this fantastic place a little more.  The nightly rate includes meals and gratuities, in addition to being in such a beautiful place.  I am already dreaming about the food and wine experience.  To top it all off Blackberry Farm was awarded Travel + Leisure Magazine's “Number 1 Resort in the Continental U.S. and Canada” for 2011.  Truly impressive.  We plan to indulge in some of the additional equestrian and adventure activities with the kids while we are there.  Can't wait!

Here are a few of the pictures I have perused online:

Photo from Blount Today

Photo from Blackberry Farm
Photo from Blackberry Farm
Photo from Blackberry Farm


In addition to visiting the smokey mountains, we plan to visit Nashville and the Grand 'Ol Opry.  I am still trying to decide where to stay in Nashville. I am bouncing between: the Hermitage Hotel, The Renaissance or the Gaylord....any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I can't wait to write about our trip in the spring. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wonderful & Low Carb

One of my resolutions for the New Year is to eat healthier (fewer carbs and lower fat) and lose some weight while I'm at it.  I am a lover of great food, so the idea of cutting back on some of my favorite breads and other fabulous carbs is a bit of challenge. 

I found this amazing recipe at  For dinner tonight I am planning to pair this with seared scallops and sauteed mushrooms.  Enjoy!

Avocado and Watercress Salad

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day One & A Look Back At Christmas 2011

Day one of my blogging life and quite honestly I can't wait to get started!  Our family really enjoyed the holidays and I  know that there are a wealth of ideas that flurry around the web when preparing for the season.  Right now, I am focused on finding time to clean up after the holiday events.  

So, for my first post here is a look back at our Christmas Foyer 2011.  I will need to take some better pictures going forward (sounds like another new year resolution to me!)  I have to give a big THANK YOU to paper source and Michaels for their fabulous paper and ribbon.