Thursday, February 13, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day: Day 11: Make Memories and Art with an App

It's the last day of the 12 Days of Valentine's Day 2020 and I was trying to think of a way to make this string of delightful days last a little longer. How can I encourage you to make the perishable permanent. Yes, I've said that before, but when we're talking about remembering all of the love you have in your life, it seems even more important. 

That's when it occurred to me that though I've told you about the app Waterlogue (this is not an ad; I'm just a fan), I haven't told you to convert a photo in relation to Valentine's Day. Waterlogue is an app that can change any photograph on your phone into a watercolor image in about 5 minutes. The image is stored as a jpeg and can be adjusted in style, brightness and color. It is amazing. I used Waterlogue to convert my photo of Valentine's chocolates in the beginning of this blog series.
Isn't it fantastic? My suggestion is you take a photo to commemorate something fun from this week and then convert it to a piece of watercolor art you can print and save. Isn't that a great idea? Your desk needs a little something extra to show that at Valentine's Day you were extra.

Tomorrow is the big day. May you wear red. Greet people with kindness and enjoy some sweet treats. Happy Day 11.

#12daysofvalentinesday #valentinesday #valentine #waterlogue #makingmemories #finddelight #beautyofeverydaylife #littlepiecesofart #makeart

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day"Day 10: Be Yourself & Wear Red

Who is this girl writing about the #12daysofvalentinesday? It’s me! And thanks to my mom, we’ve been celebrating love and hearts and friendship for my whole life. I’m just trying to bring you all in on the fun. Yes, I’ve been expertly ladling punch since I was 12. Today I’m baking cookies for a party tomorrow and wearing a red scarf when I go out on errands. My message is be yourself and wear red today. Let me know how it goes. Happy Day 10! 

#valentines #valentinesparty #ivebeenmeforalongtime #day10 #beautyofeverydaylife #finddelight #beautyofeverydaylife

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day:Day 9: Dinner by Candlelight

12 Days of Valentine’s Day: Day 9: Candlelight. No matter what you’re having for dinner, it will taste better in candlelight. Happy Day 9. And as a friend pointed out on Facebook, we all look more beautiful by candlelight too. Can't hurt! Relax, breathe and enjoy the flicker.

#12daysofvalentinesday #imhavingcauliflowerpizza #valentinesday #beautyofeveryday #candlelight

Monday, February 10, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day: Day 8: Make A Scrapbook Paper Runner

12 Days of Valentine’s Day: Day 8: Paper Runner. A few years ago I made this pretty pastel runner (top of photo, above) for my kitchen island out of pieces of coordinating #scrapbook paper in shades of pink, aqua, cream & blue, stuck to a length of contact paper. It was unique and original and 100% my original idea. Today I made one for Valentine's Day out of the cute scrapbook papers you see spread out above, with a solid red heart paper place mat as the focal point...  

IT'S SO CUTE! I could not be happier with how this Valentine's runner turned out. I am having some ladies over for a casual Valentine's Girl's Night Out on Thursday and I know we will stand around in the kitchen talking. This will be a very festive focal point.

How did I do it?

I bought about 20 square sheets of American Crafts scrapbook paper at Joann Fabric. I trimmed off the edge with the corporate details and cut the paper into wide strips, large squares or big pieces. Then I arranged them on my island in the same width as a standard roll of clear contact paper and as long as I wanted on the island. When it looked good, I unfurled the contact paper (sticky side up - this takes courage) and taped each end down with a few pieces of clear tape for stability. Then I arranged the pieces of paper like a quilt until I was finished! Tah-dah! Yes, I've over-simplified, but you get the idea. 
Happy 12 Days of Valentine's Day, Day 8.

#12daysofvalentinesday #day8 #Celebrate #beautyofeverydaylife #finddelight #papercrafts #americancrafts #scrapbookpaper #thiscreativelife #makersgottamake #seattleblogger

Sunday, February 9, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day: Day 7: Flowers For the House

12 Days of Valentine’s Day: Day 7: Buy Yourself Some Flowers for the House. I bought this bouquet of Stock last Monday @costco for $9.99. They still look fresh and gorgeous and I’ll enjoy them well into this week. They make me happy every time I see them and the house looks great. Don’t pin your hope on roses next Friday. Enjoy any type of flowers today! 

#12daysofvalentinesday #valentinesday #findingdelight #beautyofeverydaylife #buyflowers

Saturday, February 8, 2020

12 Days of Valentine’s Day: Day 6: Shop For Heart Bedecked Paper Goods

12 Days of Valentine’s Day: Day 6: Shop for Paper Goods  I meant to post a suggestion for the 12 Day of Valentine’s Day earlier, but I left my phone at home! I was out all day with my husband running errands, drinking lattes and buying stuff @homedepot . So today’s  suggestion could be to “invite someone you enjoy to pal around with you all day.” I’ll share my original suggestion too. Buy heart-bedecked paper goods and use them! I’m co-hosting a #Galentines party next week and these are the plates & napkins I found. 

#12daysofvalentinesday #valentinesday #day6 #party #beautyofeverydaylife

Friday, February 7, 2020

12 Days of Valentines Day: Day 5: Sugar Cookies

It isn't Valentine's Day without my paternal grandmother Nama's sugar cookies baked into hearts. She made these gorgeous cookies for us every year and I remember that she liked to include a few hearts frosted in chocolate frosting (add cocoa powder to frosting when mixing) and she loved the color purple, so many of her heart were shades of lavender and purple. This batch was all shades of pink. I am helping to host a Valentine's Galentines Party next week and I am baking these for the girls. Yum! Happy Day 5

Nama's Old Fashioned Rolled Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter in mixing bowl. Beat in sugar, egg, milk & vanilla. Add flour, salt & baking powder. Mix well. Divide dough in half and wrap each disc of dough in waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour. Use plenty of flour on board, rolling pin & cookie cutters to prevent sticking. Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 375* on a parchment paper lined or un-greased cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes.

Nama's Frosting

Mix 2 Tablespoons of hot water to 1 cup powdered sugar. Mix with whisk until no lumps. Tint with a drop or two of liquid food coloring. Spread with knife. Frosting should not run off the cookie. add more powdered sugar if you make it too thin. Frosting will dry and look beautiful. Do not stack cookies or they will dent each other.

Note: Using hot water makes the frosting shiny. Add drops of hot water as needed to perfect consistency.

#12daysofvalentinesday #valentinesday #cookies #beautyofeverydaylife #finddelight #grandmothersrecipe #cookiemonster #prettyinpink

Thursday, February 6, 2020

12 Days of Valentines Day: Day 4: Add Some Whimsy

12 Days of Valentine’s Day: Day 4: Add Some Whimsy to Your Home. I hung framed and hung these 2 holiday cards recently. I love the contrast of soft winter white with shades of red. The painting of cherries was done by my great-grandmother and I was able to hang it with Elmer's mounting putty. Safe for the walls and this precious antique. But I have been grappling with what would finish this grouping and I have been patiently auditioning different things in my mind. Then it came to tin hearts would be darling. 

You may not have wire hearts ready to hang on the wall with mounting putty, but you probably have something cute to add a little something around your family room. Be on the lookout for some way to add some whimsy to your life this week. Push a straw into the dirt of a houseplant and attach red glitter heart. Buy red heart paper place mats and put them on your table for breakfast. Arrange the magnets on your refrigerator into a heart. You get the idea. 

Today’s the day look for a sweet (and inexpensive!) touch of whimsy. Happy Day 4.

#beautyofeverydaylife #12daysofvalentinesday #finddelight #day4 #whimsy

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

12 Days of Valentines Day: Day 3: Sentimental Jewelry

12 Days of Valentine’s Day. Day 3 Go to your jewelry box and pull out some sentimental jewelry and wear it. You’ll think of that person all day. This roadrunner pin was a gift from my Great Aunt Wezie. She lived in Arizona near her only sister, my grandmother Anne. She bought this and sent it to me, wanting me to have something distinct from the area where they  lived.  #womeninmyfamily #beautyofeverydaylife #12daysofvalentinesday #valentinesday #day3

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day: Day 2: Send Letters in the Mail

Could any of us really be too busy to write? I have chosen "Mailing Valentines" as my activity for Day 2 of the 12 Days of Valentines Day. You can do whatever you want to mark the occasion, no pressure. I just like to tell you what I'm up to so that you have ideas to work from.

I'm going to take an hour after dinner and hand-write notes to some of my oldest friends. I haven't done this in ages and I know that they will love getting something in the mail as much as I do.

Don't you love this Vintage Valentine? I found it at an antique show and knew that it would be fun to share here. I hope that even if you have been going on long walks in the woods, you still aren't too busy to write your friends. Happy Day 2.

#12daysofvalentinesday #beautyofeverydaylife #valentinesday #writeyourfriends #finddelight

Monday, February 3, 2020

12 Days of Valentine's Day: Celebrate the Joy of Loving So Many People in Your Life

Today is the first day of The 12 Days of Valentine’s Day! It’s a time when you do little things to show love for family, friends and yourself. Wear something red, set the table with pink place mats, put sprinkles on your kids' pancakes. Everything “counts” when you are celebrating the fact that you love a lot of people.

When someone notices, tell them about the 12 Days of Valentine’s Day and encourage them to find their own way of expressing love over the next 12 days. It's so fun. Today I am going to find something festive to hang in my front door. Tomorrow I will be mailing Valentines to a few old friends. 

This is how I celebrate the beauty of every day life. Join me? I'd love to hear how you are celebrating.

*How did this come to be? In February 2008, I had all of my heart-shaped cake pans out on the kitchen counter. I had pink carnations in a vase in the kitchen and was plotting all kinds of baking fun for the week. When I brought up which night we should order heart-shaped pizza (because they only make it for the 3 days leading up to Valentines Day) Dan blurted out, "What is this, the 12 Days of Valentine's Day?" and I stopped in my tracks. What an awesome name for what I had always done: the joy of celebrating Valentines Day for 2 weeks. It's impossible to get all of the heart-shaped food and decorations into one day, so why not spread it out over 12 days and share the fun with everyone you love.

#12daysofvalentinesday #beautyofeverydaylife #finddelight #givetoothers #sharethelove #itssofun #winwin #makeyourhearthappy

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Hygge at my House

I was at a meeting last night and as an ice breaker, we went around the table and said what we liked about Winter, or were looking forward to about Spring.

I said that after the layers of color, glitter and music of Christmas, I was enjoying the Danish concept of hygge at my house. The calming effect of candles, soft colors, warm drinks and cozy sweaters. I always write about the beauty of every day life. This moment in time (January) I dedicate to renewal with neutral colors and quiet moments. I think it is wonderful. 

I pronounced it wrong last night, BTW. Apparently it sounds more like "hoo-ga."

I have a green plant in cement pot. I am making sausage, potato & kale soup tonight. I love having a fire in the fireplace every evening. I put gray knit place mats from Hobby Lobby on my kitchen table. They are the definition of cozy.

On Instagram @FindDelight, you can see that I tried the mats with great print napkins (cute!) but style-wise, they have been delayed until the weather gets warmer. Too spring-y.
I am relaxing in all neutrals and I like it! 

Valentine's Day is coming and soon the cute will take over. 
#hygge #seattle #beautyofeverydaylife

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

2020 Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

Northwest Orchid Society display 2019

Have you found yourself standing wistfully in front of the grocery store floral department. Do you need some space to dream about nature? I am here to remind you that oxygen is on the way! The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival begins Wednesday, February 26 - Sunday, March 1 at the Washington State Convention Center. Mark your calendar, call your friends and make a plan. 

As a blogger who writes about the beauty of every day life, I love the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival because it showcases the best the industry has to offer. Horticulture, landscape and design professionals come together to show off their best work, dazzle the public, gain clients and wow the industry.  And you get to come admire their work. You will love walking among the Display Gardens - the scale is so big, it's easy to forget that you're indoors. 
 Nature Perfect Landscape & Design 2019/Dragon by Jeffro Uitto
Wherever you are in your action plan, the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival has your next step. You can go to be inspired or arrive with a list to start bringing a plan to life. There are nurseries selling flowering shrubs. Vendors selling garden tubs. You can think about color, texture, shade, spacing, fragrance...whatever your space requires.  

Perhaps you would like to carve out a space to entertain more often. You can consider just about anything to make an outdoor living room more cohesive. Come wander around the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival and take notes, I know you will be delighted and inspired. #

Designs by deLeuw 2019

Friday, November 1, 2019

Alison Roman: Dining In to Celebrate at London Plane in Seattle

I was really happy I could support Alison Roman when her first cookbook, Dining In, came out in 2017. I like her point of view in the kitchen and have watched short New York Times cooking video clips of her for years. She is a casual, lemon-forward cook who loves ingredients and friends and eating and I admire her non-nonchalance. She has a new cookbook now called Nothing Fancy and I know it will be a great success.
My friend Amy bought tickets with me and we had a really beautiful dinner at The London Plane in Seattle. Alison was there and did her best to wander and chat with the guests. The food was delicious and the combination of the grand glass windows and lights strung in the trees in the plaza outside made everything feel special. I think of this night as the beginning of many great times in Seattle.  

Amy moved to Seattle from Washington, D.C. right about the same time I arrived from Michigan. This dinner was a great time for us to talk about what it was like to leave our lives and move across the country with our husbands. We met through our work with the Junior League and are thankful for it.
We ate family style at long tables and started with preserved lemons chopped on labneh with fresh bread, olives and nuts. 
Most were enjoying wine with dinner, but I appreciated the waitress making me a shrub - a non-alcoholic concoction of fruited vinegar & rosemary that was cold and light.  
These vegetable course was cumin-roasted cauliflower with caramelized dates and tahini. Why aren't I using cumin in more recipes? Why are dates destined to sit in half-empty boxes in my pantry? This side dish was a star.    
It's blurry, but you needed to see the succulent spiced chicken that kept us going. She was fragrant and delicious.
Dessert was a rich Chocolate-tahini tart with Jacobsen sea salt. As someone who collects salt, I am glad that Alison Roman gave a shout out to the brand (from Portland, OR!) because sometimes details matter...a lot.   

I often flip through her cookbook and feel inspired. I like her how she insists you try things. I like how she is sure you'll find your way. I like how she wants the world to invite people over...even if it takes ages to pull a meal together and you end up eating late. I like her and she makes it seem like I might actually use the anchovy paste I bought. Good luck to you, Alison Roman! 

#alisonroman #cookbooks #seattleblogger #londonplane 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Local Honey: Puget Sound Beekeepers Association at Gifts & Greens Galore Event

This year my apple pies have a local touch, thanks to the beautiful honey I bought from the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association. The honey is rich amber and absolutely delicious. I found this honey source in 2016 when I was driving past the Washington Park Arboretum one December afternoon and saw signs for the Gifts & Greens Galore event. 

Inside the Graham Visitor Center at the Arboretum, the Gifts and Greens Galore event sells pre-bundled fresh cut greens donated by area gardeners and Arboretum horticulturalists as well as nature-inspired decorations, ornaments and honey. Shopping at this event helps to "support maintenance, environmental education, and volunteerism at the Arboretum!"   

There are a variety of places to buy honey from the Puget Sound Bee Keepers Association, but I thought that this was a particularly great way to attend a local event, buy a unique hostess gift and support local beekeepers. Huzzah!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 10 am - 3 pm at the Washington Park Arboretum gift shop & visitor center. Free admission and parking.  

#beekeepers #localhoney #washingtonparkarboretum #hostessgift

Friday, September 20, 2019

Jennelle Marcereau Gallery: A Stunning Landscape Photography Gallery in Tacoma

My friend Jennelle Marcereau opened her own photography gallery in Tacoma, Washington! It is beautiful; I am proud and I want to tell you all about it. 
Do you remember that one point when your Facebook connections grew exponentially because all of your college or high school friends were finding each other all at once? Well, Jennelle and I connected online during that flurry and though we sent a nice message saying "We're both living near Seattle!," we never set up a time to see each other. Then recently, Jennelle posted that she was opening a gallery of her photography! I was in Michigan the night of her Grand Opening, but we were able to connect and talk in her beautiful space for hours one afternoon not long afterward. 

She and I are Theta sorority sisters from Michigan State University. We were roommates in our sorority house and it was incredible to laugh and fill each other in on everything that has happened in our lives since we were 21. I kind of wish we'd been recording it, because we really did a good job of boiling our stories down. Have you done that lately? It's quite a mental exercise.
Jennelle has a fascinating life. She balances life as an emergency room doctor with the creativity & physical strength of being a professional nature photographer. In just talking with her, I felt kind of jealous of her brain.  It gets a healthy workout in two completely different kinds of thinking. What a thrill. 

Jennelle loves to travel and hike to capture photos that are absolutely incredible. The color and composition she is able to see and then capture, is just beautiful. Though many people are moved by her images and make a purchase right on the spot, I see an important future for Jennelle in medical spaces. I think her images could bring comfort and inspiration to patients during the uncertainty of the office visit and waiting room.
On a different note, Jennelle thought it was very cool that I had become an artist and writer. She said that she remembered that I was creative and enthusiastic in college, but didn't know that I would become a maker. She invited me to bring my cigar box purses to display & sell at her gallery during a Tacoma Wine Walk. When she saw them in person, she asked if I would like to keep them in her gallery for a while. She liked that it would give her customers a variety of art pieces to look at. It was a kind and generous offer to share her space with me and I am grateful to her. It feels wonderful to have some of my collection on display in an art gallery. My life just keeps surprising me. Thank you, Jennelle, for the honor. Your gallery is beautiful!

Jennelle Marcereau Gallery 702 Broadway #1C Tacoma, WA 98402

#seattleblogger #finddelight #tacomawa #pnw #HerPNWlife #wanderwashington #photography 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

View A Cut Flower Catalog: Dahlia Barn

Take a Tour of a cut flower catalog of every dahlia blooming at the Dahlia Barn in North Bend, WA.  

Listen to some mother/daughter chatter about loving dahlias.

The Dahlia Barn has this Living Cut Flower Catalog on display every weekend thru September in their barn from 10 am - 5 pm. If the weather and blooms hold up, they may swell their display dates into early October. Check their post on Facebook. They sell cut bouquets for $10. It is a memorable way to spend part of your weekend and I encourage you to find this moment of delight, just 40 min from Seattle. 
I first heard about the Dahlia Barn from a glowing magazine article and was thrilled to make my first visit out to see them in 2014. I was living in a hotel at the time and could only dream of having a house just miles from this very farm. I was able to meet the owners of The Dahlia Barn, Aimee and Jerry and could see for myself how passionate they are about these magnificent plants. 
In my opinion, The Dahlia Barn is THE source for dahlia tubers and I encourage you to order some for your garden. I am impressed with their entire operation, including the detailed care and planting instructions they offer online. 
(flowers on my lap!)

#dahlias #dahliabarn #flowers #farmstand #flowerfarm #ayearinflowers #growdahlias #instalove #seattleblogger #finddelight #farmtovase #floralglory #farmers #buylocal

Monday, September 16, 2019

Missoni: Target: 20 Year Anniversary Collection

How do I love Target...let me count the ways. I have been a huge fan of the Target designer series since it's inception. I remember buying my parents the Michael Graves knives & knife block 20 years ago and insisting that they would love it.

I have been buying pieces selectively when they had special collaborations and love displaying them throughout my house at different times of year. Above is my new Missoni tray on an ottoman in my family room. I want everyone to realize how effective a $20 can be! I was thrilled that it was designed to match a 3-piece tray I bought 8 years ago. Follow this link to read my blog post from way back when and see my home and how this 3-piece tray complimented my decor when I lived in Michigan.
copyright 2011 Anne Reeves
For the gardeners reading this, the magnificent milk chocolate roses on the tray are Koko Loco by Weeks Roses.

#seattleblogger #target20 #missonifortarget #missoni #interiordesign #finddelight 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Mount Si High School Tour

The resounding sentiment I overheard from adults when touring the new Mount Si High School was, "Can I go too?" 

On September 7, 2019, the residents of greater Snoqualmie Valley were invited to the Grand Opening Celebration for the new high school. Dan & I both wanted to support our neighbors and see the state of the art facility where the kids of our neighborhood would be going to school. We plan on attending Friday night football games and high school musicals at the very least and we wanted to be there on Day 1.
First of all, the school is enormous at 350,000 sq ft. There are glass walls, raised desks, brainstorming rooms and technology at every turn. The Career and Technical Trailing area was stunning.
Can you imagine being able to learn welding here?! Lucky Ducks doesn't seem to adequately describe how the adults felt. We would all love to be kid for a day and get some time in on this beautiful equipment. I overheard one woman say that touring the classrooms made her feel inspired to help. I heard her brainstorming with her friend who she should contact to offer her skill set.
You really should read the excellent article by Danna McCall on the Living Snoqualmie website to get all of the details about the challenges of building a large school in a flood way. See, I told you that you'd want to know more. This school is build completely on "stilts" with student and faculty parking underneath. It is a feat of engineering and vision.
This (above) is the classroom dedicated to photography and those are the monitors the kids will be working on. Um, yes please. Could I have taken photography classes in my high school? Maybe if I wanted to stand on the sidelines at football games, but that's not the type of photography I'm drawn too, obvi.
What really got me was the rooftop greenhouse and the on-site horticulture classes. Sign me up. I am so thrilled for the students. I will support you in every way that I can! Go Wildcats! 

#seattleblogger #mtsipride #washington #mountsihigh #community #neighbor #education 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Star Salad

I was inspired by hours on Pinterest to make a 4th of July salad by cutting stars out of mozzarella cheese! Mozzarella logs come pre-sliced now, so it was very easy to cut out mozzarella stars with a cookie cutter. 

I wanted the salad to be a nod to red, white & blue, so I used fresh cherry tomatoes (halved), fresh blueberries and white stars. I added fresh basil to punch up the flavor and it was deliciou. Before I placed the white stars on top, I tossed the salad in a light dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you dress the salad with the stars, the white cheese absorbs the vinegar and it isn't as pretty. Happy 4th of July!

#starsandstripes #blockparty #salad

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Succulent Succotash: Mixing Plants and Neighbors

My neighborhood is all new construction and is a gold mine of potential friendships. It seems like each house has a family from a different state, if not country. It's wonderful and we are all trying really hard to get to know one another. We created a Facebook group for the women on our street and once a month a different neighbor hosts everyone at her house for a night of wine, appetizers and camaraderie. 

When it was Amanda's turn to host, she announced that she was having a Terrarium Making Party. We needn't do a thing, just come ready to build a little portable succulent garden. The RSVP's started pouring in - everyone wanted to participate in this fun activity. 
She had lots of plants for us to choose from. We were to select two different style succulents from the: Spiller, Chiller or Thriller category and then add a touch of creeping moss.
Amanda had tables set up on her deck so that we could work with dirt, sand, gravel and charcoal without our worrying about making a mess in her new house. So smart!
Shoulder to shoulder, neighbors became friends. It was such a great environment to talk, laugh and fuss with sand patterns. Amanda had each step written out for us. Instructions like how much of each medium (charcoal, dirt, sand etc.) to scoop into the bowl and in what order. We bonded over the awkward motion of arranging delicate plants with our adult hands. We encouraged each other to pump a touch of fertilizer into the dirt. We handed each other water misters to dampen the soil. It was therapeutic and wholly enjoyable.
At the end, we posed for a large group picture (each neighbor holding her accomplishment) and posted it on our group's page. I think the best way to make friends is through a shared experience and I give this activity top marks in every category.
Thank you, Amanda, for having the vision to host an event like this; we are all better friends because of it. Bravo.

#succulents #succulentparty #newneighbors #washington #snoqualmie #neighbors #friends #gardening #indoorgardening #terrariums #partyplanning #wearesolucky