Thursday, September 27, 2012

something pretty

We'd waited all spring and even all this long summer.  We meant to save it until we were desperate for some cheering up in the middle of our first Iowan winter.   Alas, we only made it three-quarters into a very sunny September.   My sweetheart and I gave in and finally started watching Downton Abbey.

It's perhaps sad but true what a happy difference it's made this last week - each day having the anticipation of watching another episode in the evening.   I can't say that it has even so much to do with the story - though it's growing on me -'s just so pretty.   With a cup of peppermint tea in hand,  I just sit back and enjoy forty minutes of beautiful decor, clothes and scenery.

It's a lovely way to end a long day. 

Have you seen it yet?  If by some extraordinary chance you have not heard of Downton Abbey yet or have put off watching it, I urge you not to deprive yourself any longer.   Though we didn't hold out as we'd planned, I'm thinking we can do reruns in February. ; )



Monday, September 24, 2012

it's growing on me...

I've been living with this old, harvest gold, Frigidaire Deluxe double oven and electric range for about three months now.  I can't say it was the reason we bought the house, but it definitely has a certain charm.  And I have no complaints about it's performance.  It works quite well, and I really love using the smaller upper oven - heating it up somehow doesn't feel like the same level of commitment as heating the bottom larger oven - it's perfect for just a half batch of cookies.

I really do hope to have pictures of the whole kitchen soon...finally put the cabinet doors back on (on the bottom cabinets and pantry area) only to realize we somehow managed to paint a cabinet green that was supposed to be white.  Sigh.  So time to get the paint brushes out again!  Finding it hard to wrap up these projects...especially with fall in the air, cozy books to ready, and apple orchards to visit, and maybe this pumpkin bread to my Frigidaire Deluxe.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a garden delivered to my door

We subscribed to our local CSA.  It was our first time to do anything of the kind, so I did not know what do expect and was certainly not prepared for the vegetable bounty that was delivered to our doorstep this week.  It was all so Beautiful. 

I admit I am mostly smitten by the romance of it -  bags of vegetables just picked from the garden, sitting on the front porch of my house in a small town in the Midwest.   Everything was so fresh, and natural, slightly dirty and dewy.   Really, who could not be charmed by these fingerling potatoes?

And these little carrots are right out of my provincial dreams. 

 There was also arugula, red, yellow and purple tomatoes, sweet potato, garlic, red onion, squash, peppers, and the most amazing Grecian mixed greens.

This evening I roasted the fingerlings, carrots, and red onion and used this recipe I found on Pinterest.  Fresh herbs always feel like a splurge to me, but if you can find a "poultry pack" at the store it includes thyme and rosemary - so you kind of get two for one.  It is completely worth it.  Our house smelled so good, and it tasted even better.   I left my carrots and potatoes whole, because they looked so lovely and rustic that way, and served it with my favorite roast and gravy...I'll have to post that sometime.   Planning on trying this recipe to use the arugula tomorrow - can't wait.

I most certainly hope that a garden of my own will fit into life one day, but for now this is quite nearly just as good.

For those of you who may not know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  It's a lovely way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.  Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables or fruit.  Interested households purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce weekly or semi-weekly throughout the farming season.  And it is delightful!

with love,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

in print for the first time

The email came just a month or so ago. Nothing could have been more unexpected I sat in the middle of the dust and debris of our new home than a request from Cottages and Bungalows magazine to include my fall mantel in their November issue.

Oh, happy squeals of joy.

This was the fall framed mantel I did almost exactly a year ago in our old home.  The ironic thing is how little time and attention I took with the photos.  I remember taking them in a hurry, early one morning when the light was terrible.  I didn't dust or clean the glass or fix the light fixture, or clean off the frig reflected in the mirror.  

 And yet here the pictures are, printed in a magazine.  Dust and all.

It felt pretty special to receive a couple complementary preview issues via fedex a week ago.  I believe the November issue is now for sale, and though I admit I'm not a Cottages and Bungalows regular, I did really love looking through this issue.
(update: I'm thinking that actually the Nov. issue isn't for sale till Oct?)

No, not just because I was in it.   Didn't hurt, though. ; )



Friday, September 14, 2012

Pretty and All in a Row


As I mentioned, finding homes for all the odds in ends that managed to make it from Colorado to Iowa was quite the job.  Somethings adjusted more easily than others.   Somethings sat about homeless for days...poor vacuum.  Somethings were just plain fun to put away.

In our old house this cabinet  housed china-type items.  But as it couldn't fit in the dining room it was around the corner in the library/living room, and so also kept books and miscellany fragile items.  In the end it looked too busy.  Now in the new house, the cabinet is at home in the dining room, and it was time to simplify.

 I seriously was channeling my inner Martha Stewart as I thought these shelves through - what would Martha do?  

I decided that Martha would group like items together - whites with whites, glass with glass, pattern with pattern. 

She would probably find another home for the odd blue and white pieces and the figurines.
She would try for some easy symmetry and balance. 

 And she would surely keep it as simple and clean-looking as possible.

I really love how it turned out, and like that the top is kept uncluttered too with the simple clock and pitchers.  It's a pleasant place to rest your eye.  Everything feels happily at home and even easy to get out and actually use.   What a lovely idea.

Martha would probably also have the glass doors clear and clean and the walls painted by now. 
Never mind that.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Unpacked and Trying for Settled

So that little two-week vacation from blogging wasn't quite planned.  But perhaps it was inevitable.  My dear mother just left after an almost two week stay - bless her heart.   I had thought when she came we would wrap up some house projects, but when she got here, she said, "Let's just unpack these boxes already!"  So smart.

So that's what we did, we unpacked and unpacked and tried our darnedest to find homes for everything.  (Though I did start a get-rid-of box pretty quick)  It was hard work but goodness, we did have fun. 

This picture is a good representation of our house as a whole as it stands now.  Some order has been achieved, all the packing boxes have vacated the building ...but plaster is in a crumbling state and paint color swatches adorn the walls.   And there seems to be a fair amount of dust, everywhere. 


Nevertheless, we are feeling much more settled, so my plan is to do Nothing for a least one month.  No house projects that is.  For one month I will simply focus on keeping things clean, finding a steady rhythm for the day, enjoying our home as it is, and see if we can't remember how to have fun together.  We haven't completely forgotten how, but almost.  I also hope to catch up a little bit here!  I've so missed blogging and hope to be more steady in the coming weeks.  

with love,