Are you ready for summer to be over? I'm almost there but not quite. My favorite thing to do when I am home is to sit on my back porch. With the heat in SC, that is not easy to do in the summertime. Now that we are starting to see a break in the temperatures, I'm back to my favorite place. The great thing about a porch is that you can make your porch your own special place, simply and affordably. It doesn't take a lot to make a porch cozy: old wooden chairs, blankets, benches, porch lights and personal accessories. Take a look at these great porch spaces.
Paint some old chairs, pick up some new pillows or a throw rug and you are close to having your own special place.
Today, I want to stop and take moment and be still. I want to listen and pay attention to the life that is happening around me. For just a few minutes, I want to be thankful for what I have and for all that is in my life. I want to take a deep breath and put everything on pause. I want to close my eyes and feel the life force that is within me and say thank you for this amazing body that God created and blessed me with. I want to put my hand on my heart and feel it beating, feel it's strength and know that it's power and constancy in my life happens without my effort. It beats for me so that I may have another day. Another day to make choices, another day to live and make a difference. I want to look around. Really look around at what surrounds me and be content with where I am. For just a few moments, I want to pay attention to what is happening now, not what is coming later in the day or reflecting on what happened yesterday. I want to feel the moment and just enjoy it.
I posted a picture of a blueberry cobbler on Friday's post and I've already had several requests for the recipe. So here you go.
If you don't make cobblers on a regular basis, then you are missing out on one of summer's best kept secrets. This is one of those recipes that you will want to keep because it is super easy and you can't mess it up. I promise. It only has 4 ingredients in it... It's also best with blue or blackberries because you just wash the fruit - no peeling involved (another plus).
This recipe is a bit sweeter than most cobblers because of it's buttery crumb topping.
Place a stick of butter (that's real butter, not margarine or something that looks like butter) in a saucepan. Boil the butter, whisking constantly until the butter browns. This takes just a few minutes. Add the browned butter to one box of yellow cake mix and blend until crumbly.
Add a 1/2 cup of sugar to 4 cups of blue berries (or berries of choice).
Place the sugared berries in a 9x9 baking dish and pour the crumbled cake mix on top.
Bake this at 350 for 40 minutes.
Serve warm (all cobbler should be served warm) with vanilla ice cream. Holla!! :)
I hope you enjoy it.
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of sugar
4 cups of blueberries
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
I had this recipe in my "recipe folder" but also found it on Kevin and Amanda when looking up cobblers. I'm not really sure where it originated from but wanted to give credit back to at least one source :)
Summer is not over....yet. So put your romaine on your grill and bring a new twist to dinner.
Yes,......grill up your salad! This is an awesome compliment to any summer dish. Its easy and will bring smiles to all of those at the dinner table.
Take 3 large romaine stalks and put them in a 9x13 baking dish. (this is where the salad starts and also where it ends up). Keep the stalk bottoms on. Sprinkle oil over the leaves and generously salt and pepper. You don't want the stalks to be dry...they need to have oil on them. Don't worry, most of the oil drips off when you grill it.
Place the stalks right onto the hot grill and toss frequently with fork tongs so the edges begin to wilt and warm. The leaves may brown or char a bit and that is ok! Put the grilled stalks back in your pan. Cut off the stalk bottoms and chop. Add your caesar dressing, toss and you are done. We added tomatoes and bacon above for a little twist.
Watch the faces light up as they taste a warm salad with a grilled flavor! YUM.
My friends often comment on my projects and say that they wish they had time to paint. Some say they don't have time to clean out their closets. Have you looked in your closet lately? Is it jam packed with more clothes and things than you know what to do with? Is your closet overwhelming? Sometimes, what keeps us stuck and feeling like we can't move through the day, is the fact that we have too many things in our way and in our life. Clutter is an energy drainer. It sucks the life out of us.
Look at this closet, from PB. I looked at this the other day and thought it was so beautifully simple. The closet feels good. There is room to see what you have and room to breathe. You can actually think in this closet. I know, you are thinking that this closet isn't reality. But the reality is that you don't need all the things you have. You don't. How many times did you buy something that you "had" to have....only to wear it once? Or, you bought something because it was a great sale...but you didn't really need it. The end result...is too many things.
Many of us put off cleaning out our closets because it is overwhelming. So grab a friend to help you! Your friend will help you be honest with what to keep and what not to keep. Brew a big pot of coffee and start early in the morning.
Take all of your clothes and things stuffed into your closet and pull them all out. Every last piece. Vacuum and dust your shelves. Go through your clothes and put back only what you know you want to keep and only what fits. (Don't keep clothes in your closet that don't fit. They make you feel bad about yourself and they secretly taunt you). Then, make a pile for things you "aren't sure about" (include your clothes that don't fit) and a pile to give to Goodwill. Put the things you "aren't sure about" in a tupperware bin. Store them in another place but get them out of the way so you don't look at them every day. If in a year, you haven't reached into that bin, you can either consign your items or give them away. When you are done, take your Goodwill items to Goodwill. Do not let them sit around for days looking like another "thing to do." Finish strong. :)
Your closet is an important part of your daily routine. It is where most of us start the day. Start your day with an open and clear mind and make room for good things to come your way. It's a big project but it will have big results.
Have you noticed our obsession with the the British flag? The Union Flag or Union Jack is the national flag of the United Kingdom. So what is all the "ta doo" about it over here? I found these pictures on Pinterest and want to share what I'm talking about with you.
The Union Jack shows up on all kinds of furniture and home decor. The one above comes from Miss Mustard Seed. A little bit of history.... it is called the Union flag because it combines the crosses of three countries united under one Sovereign; the kingdoms of England and Wales, Scotland and since 1921, Northern Ireland. Hence the flag consists of three heraldic crosses.
The cross of St. George, patron saint of England since 1270, is a red cross on a white background. After James I succeeded to the throne, it was combined with the cross of St. Andrew in 1606. The cross Saltire of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, is a diagonal white cross on a blue background. The cross Saltire of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is a diagonal red cross on a white background.
Got that down?
The term "Union Jack" is kind of unknown in origin. It may come from the "jack-et" of the EnglishScottish soldiers or from the name of James I who originated the first union in 1603. Another alternative is that the name may be derived from a proclamation by Charles II that the Union Flag should be flown only by ships of the Royal Navy as a jack, a small flag at the bowsprit. The term "jack" once meant small.
Regardless, I think the Union Jack is pretty cool. I might have to try creating this. How about you?
Friday Feature posts are really for my very favorite new things. But today, I am featuring my very favorite home friend....Isabelle. I mean, look at that sweet little face all sleepy on her pillow.
What is it about our pets that make us go all mush at just the sight of them? We talk to them in strange little voices, we pretend they understand what we are talking about and we ask them questions throughout the day expecting them to respond. Oh I forgot, they do respond and we repeat it back to them, over and over, just to be sure.
I really didn't want a dog. I love them, but knew it would be one more thing on my long list of things that I would have to take care of. They all promised to walk her and feed her and brush her and take care of her. We all know how long that lasted right?
I wake up every day to the sun shining off all of her hairs on the floor reminding me that I forgot to vacuum yesterday. Vacuuming is pretty much a daily occurrence in our home, or should be. And then there are the scratch marks on the wooden floors and the slobber she leaves from her jowls on both the floor and the walls. She's like that dog in the movie "hootch" where she sits and salivates from her cheeks to the floor when you are eating. And then she violently shakes her head and it all flies every which way across the room. She sheds constantly. Especially in the Charleston, SC summers. She passes wind regularly and snores mightily throughout the night. I can't tell you how many times I've jolted out of bed and gone looking for this loud noise only to realize it's Isabelle snoring. She has swallowed a mini-nerf football (yep, that had to be cut out), at an entire box of salt water taffy (wrappers and all - which was a great little trip to the emergency room), an entire T-bone steak (bone in), a looooong soccer sock (imagine the kids on the field when they saw that come out a few days later) and 20 starfish that I found on the beach one day (all 20 in one quick snack). If you walk through our yard, you are sure to find a variety of VS underwear in nice little piles of you know what..... At 5 for $25, that gets expensive.
Isabelle isn't like most dogs where she wants lots of attention and she doesn't want you to pet her all the time. She wants to greet you hello and then just wants to be in the same room with you; either at your feet or beside your chair. The only time she truly wants to be with you is when there is a thunderstorm outside. Then, all 75 lbs of her wants to be in your lap. When we have to board her, it's like leaving a child behind. Will they take care of her during a storm? Will they feed her on time? Will they play with her during the day and give her her binky at night? Binky is a fleece soccer ball she uses as a pacifier to put herself to sleep. (I know....crazy right?)
But for some reason, that little hind waggle (she doesn't have much of a tail) when she sees you coming and the little hop she does when she is excited you are home and the way she greets you as you walk in the door, that makes all those things I mentioned above pale in comparison to the joy she brings to us every day. It's the sweet comfort and security she provides just by knowing she is there. With her, you are not alone. It's the unconditional love that a dog gives back that you just can't put a price tag on.
Isabelle isn't just a dog or a pet.....she is truly one of the family. I love all sweet sloppy 75 lbs of her, wrinkles and all. She is my buddy, my pal, and my forever furry friend.
I can't believe that summer is almost over. School here starts in little over a week. I'm going to take some time off and be with the family.
Have a great rest of the summer and I'll see you in a week or so.
Just like life is an evolving roller coaster, so is decorating. We all go through decorating phases of what we like and don't like right? From bright bold walls, to faux walls, back to neutral walls. Change is good. Even if you don't like change...moving through change and trying different things brings us to new places; emotionally and spatially.
I am becoming a greige person. You know, it is the color between grey and beige. Look at these great colors from Benjamin Moore.
A lot of my furniture painting of late includes Annie Sloan Country Grey, French Linen, Old White and Paris Grey. A great combination to create a greige look.
Greige is a great neutral for fabrics. It mimics linen.
Greige is also great for walls, doors and moldings.
The color on the wall below is Tapestry Beige from Benjamin Moore. Isn't it pretty?
The colors are so soft and create a calming effect throughout the home.