Thursday, April 23, 2009

Buffet Finale....and a Giveaway!

My buffet is finished! I couldn't get a very good picture today for some reason though. Keep in mind that the walls in my dining room are a gold/yellow. They look beige here, so the color is kind of off on the mosaic too.

I will try to take better photos later. In the meantime, I also wanted to announce my 400th Post Giveaway on my Lavender Hill Studio blog. If you want to be entered in the giveaway leave a comment here or on my Lavender Hill Studio post. You will be entered once here and once there if you leave a comment at both blogs.
The contest ends May 1st. I am taking a blog break until then.
The giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced later today. Thank you for all of your wonderful comments!
Welcome Home,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Almost Finished!

My buffet is almost finished.

Hopefully I will have it done in the next couple of days. Oh! and I picked up the thing I needed to finish my red silverware chest at Michael's the other day, so I should be getting that finished soon too.
Welcome Home,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Biltmore Flower Festival with a Blog Friend

Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC has their annual flower festival during April and May. Every week there is something new popping up. Today was a SPECIAL day to visit Biltmore Estates, because I got to meet a blog friend in person for the first time! Jeanne from Backyard Neighbor lives about 2 hours from me. She purchased one of my mosaic pieces a while back and instead of shipping it to her we decided to meet at Biltmore Estates during there flower festival and bring our husbands with us!

Here are some of the beautiful tulips blooming at Biltmore right now. These are outside of the winery and the Bistro where we met for lunch.

Here we are! Isn't Jeanne just adorable? She was exactly as I thought she would be. Full of warmth and charm!

Jeanne and I soon realized that we had a lot in common. We both have 4 sisters and a brother. We both were born in Michigan. But it didn't end there. Our husbands both worked for the same company in Florida - though at different times and places. Here are our husbands below. Do you notice that they are almost dressed alike?

Some more beautiful tulips. Please click on these pictures to enlarge them so you can see how beautiful the flowers are at the Biltmore.

My lunch at the Bistro. Salmon salad. Jeanne had the same.

My husband had mushroom ravioli and Jeanne's husband had the trout.

Some orchids in the greenhouse at the Biltmore.

Hydrangeas - also in the greenhouse.

These tulips were yellow, red and almost black. My fav decorating colors!

It was so much fun meeting Jeanne and her husband! We really had a great time. I would love to meet all of you! So if you are ever in the Asheville NC area, let me know!
Welcome Home,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bit by Bit

One piece at a time......

It feels good to get started on this. I think the colors are going to look great in my dining room.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Unfinished Projects....

Remember this plate from a few posts back?

Well it is now part of ANOTHER project that I have going on in my home and not finished yet. This buffet is in my dining room. I had painted the sides and front black last year when I redecorated my dining room. I had planned on covering the top in mosaics, because it has seen better days. I am finally getting around to it.

Remember this silverware chest? STILL NOT FINISHED! I am waiting to go to Michael's to pick up something I need to finish it.

Sometimes, I just whip through projects. Other times it seems to take forever!

Do you have any projects going on around the house?

Welcome Home,


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thank You

Recently Pat of Back Porch Musings had a giveaway that I was fortunate enough to win. It arrived this weekend. Look at the pretty butterfly that sealed the note.

The package was filled with wonderful goodies. A pair of mugs with matching tray and coasters. Beautiful cloth napkins. Tea, chocolate wafer rolls. ME note cards and sticky notes. And a book, that has been read and passed on for over a year now. Everyone that has read the book, signs and dates it and passes it on to the next reader. The author of the book includes a hand written note too. How fun is that!

Thank you so much Pat! I really love my gifts! And speaking of giveaways. My 400th post at my Lavender Hill Studio blog is coming soon! And when that happens I will be having a mosaic giveaway. Keep checking there, so you don't miss it!

Welcome Home,


Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bits and Pieces

What makes a house a home? I think it is the little details. The "bits and pieces" than make a home comfortable. Here are some of my "bits and pieces".

The ornate arm on a lamp, along with the crackle finish.

Pom Pom fringe on a pillow.

A seashell from a walk on the beach, while on vacation and a piece of coral my Mom and Dad brought back from Hawaii in the late 60's before we realized that was bad for the environment.

My Dad's walking stick and a blue umbrella in a stand made from a vintage wine barrel, next to my front door.

Skeleton keys in my grandfather clock.
These are some of my bits and pieces....
Welcome Home,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Paella, Paella

We had friends over for dinner on Sunday. Mr. Comforts of Home and I decided to make Paella. We had never made it before. We purchased a Paella pan and cookbook from a local store and after looking at all of the wonderful recipes, decided to make the traditional version you would find in a Spanish restaurant in America. This is the Paella that most people think about. We did find out, that in Spain, they usually do not mix meat with seafood in Paella. But this American version does. You can click on the pictures to enlarge for detail.

Red, yellow and green peppers, with onion and garlic simmering in the fry pan.

Chicken and spices simmering in another pan...

The finished dish, served right from the pan

Sunflowers and some great Spanish wine, made us almost feel like we were dining in Spain!

Paella Mixta
10 Mussels
1/4 cup, plus 4 tablespoons, plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2/3 cup onions, chopped fine
1 medium tomato, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 whole chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 teaspoons Spanish Paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups rice
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 Chorizo sausages, cooked and cut into chunks
20 uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons capers
Lemon wedges, to garnish

1. Scrub and debeard the mussels, discarding any that do not close when tapped sharply. Set aside.

2 Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Add the peppers, onion, garlic and tomato, stirring constantly till cooked. Set aside.

3. In another skillet heat 1/4 cup olive oil and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary, thyme and cumin. Set aside.

4.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, and saute the rice until it is translucent. Pour in the chicken broth and combine well. At the pepper, tomato, onion mixture. Sprinkle in the saffron and stir until well mixed.

5. Transfer the rice into a paella pan. Mix in the chicken, sausage, mussels, shrimp, peas and capers, combining well. Bake the paella, uncovered and on the lowest shelf in over for around 25 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

6. Discard any mussels that have failed to open. Serve paella straight from the pan, garnished with lemon wedges.

Welcome Home,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Look Who I Spied

Look who I found hiding in my garden! Is is Peter Cottontail?

Welcome Home


Sunday, April 5, 2009


I'm waiting.....

Waiting for the leaves to come out....

Waiting for the hummingbirds.....


Welcome Home,


Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Obsession

I confess. I have an obsession. Can you guess what it is? You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

To read more about my obsession, you can go to my Home Goods Post. Have a great weekend!
Welcome Home,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Some Thank You's Are In Order

I was fortunate recently to be the winner of TWO blog giveaways.

The first one was from Rosanne from Bits of Life, Scrapbooking and Cooking. She had a giveaway a few weeks ago for Blog Candy. Rosanne is an artist that creates wonderful altered art cards, notebooks and more. If you have met Rosanne yet, click on the link above and stop in for a visit. Tell her Penny sent you!

Rosanne includes some of her wonderful art in the giveaway. She send me some wonderful cards, a notebook and a wonderful Lindt candy bar! Thank you Rosanne. I love everything!

The next giveaway I won was from another Penny! Her blog is called, Confessions of A 40 Something Momma Queen . And speaking of Momma Queen, Penny just announced a new little on is on the way!! Congrats Penny!!

Penny's Giveaway was all about Easter. And since I don't own ONE Easter decoration, I was thrilled to win this giveaway! Everything was wrapped in this beautiful box. Do you see the birds and butterflies?

Look at all of the goodies inside! I couldn't wait to start unwrapping.

Look at this sweet note card!

Inside the box were, Easter dish towels, a Bunny Cheese Spreader, a beautiful Egg plate, some note cards, a little notepad, some chocolate eggs, PeePs....

And last but not least this BEAUTIFUL bunny vase. Look at the face on this!

Thank you Penny! I really love everything!
Welcome Home,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baked Shrimp With Tomatoes and Feta

What's for dinner? This is what we had last night.

Baked Shrimp With Tomato and Feta. This recipe is loosely based on a recipe in Eat Smart magazine with Ellie Krieger. I changed up some of the herbs to suit our taste and added a splash of good red wine.

This is my version:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic minced

Two 14.5 ounce cans no-salt added diced tomatoes, with their juice

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

splash of good red wine (about a 1/4 cup)

1- 1/4 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, wine, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the tomato juices thicken.

Remove from heat, stir in the shrimp. Sprinkle the feta over the top. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.

I served mine with oven roasted zucchini sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.