Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Glass Forest

A few years ago we had a mid-Winter storm that coated every surface with ice. I could hear the ping-ping of freezing rain hitting the windows all night and I remember wondering if the power was going to go out. By the next morning, the storm had passed and we had bright blue skies and full sun. Each tree looked like it had been dipped in glass. It was a photographer's dream.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Whimsy & Flavor

I am working on an article about how "things you love" can be brought together with remarkable results.

As an example, I love:

  • the taste of candy
  • photography
  • beautiful packaging

and the result is this darling candy collage.

This image is full of whimsy and flavor. Let your eyes slide along the packages and see which products you can "taste."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Country Home magazine

One of my favorite memories is attending the 2005 Country Home "Be Creative" event in New York City. My dear friend, Kerry met me in New York and we spent the day at design lectures, book signings and enjoying a perfect Fall day in Central Park. I had hoped that this event would hosted again, but I am sad to say that the magazine has ceased publication all together. The April 2009 issue that I received in the mail yesterday will be their last.

I have 74 back issues of Country Home in "The Reeves Library" (my linen closet) so at least I will be able to refer back to years of beautiful articles. I wanted you to know right away in case you'd like to print off favorite recipes etc. from their website - it is anyone's guess how long the online content will be available.

I'd like to say thank you to the editors of Country Home for publishing a glorious magazine. I have loved every page.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hail the Hibiscus

I love the candy-like colors of tropical flowers. This beauty is a hibiscus, blooming easily in the Florida landscape. The bushes are usually loaded with flowers wafting in the breeze, relaxed, as if creating an 8-inch bloom wasn't a major accomplishment.

I usually see hibiscus blooming in some one's pretty landscaping. If I had a bush of my own, I would pluck a flower off the stem and tuck it behind my ear like a movie star in Hawaii.

I was thinking that I'd like a nail polish this color, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Aren't these bubble beautiful?

This picture could be the inspiration for a folktale. Something about a mermaid washing her hair in the surf. The waves were churning just enough to create a foam. Simply gorgeous...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Deep Blue Sea

I have been drawn to the colors of the Atlantic lately. Turquoise, aqua, marine blue. These fishermen are spending the day soaking up the deep blue sea. I wonder what type of fish they caught...

Are you looking for a new way to serve fish? Broil a firm white fish with butter and lemon, then serve with homemade Pineapple Relish.

Pineapple Relish
Mix a jar of pineapple preserves, 1/4 cup chopped green onion, a few sprigs of fresh mint and 2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Worth Avenue

There is nothing like spending the afternoon shopping Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida. The shops here are the best of the best (Dior, Pucci, Hermes), but what I really like is simply strolling the avenue soaking up the atmosphere. There are endless courtyards and outdoor "living rooms" designed to charm its guests with fountains, mirrored walls and lush plantings. Bougainvillea vines have climbed these walls for decades and accent the old buildings like raspberry curtains. Take a moment and imagine walking through this archway with me on a lovely afternoon...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Creme Brulee

Sometimes a sweet bite after dinner makes the evening complete. My husband loves creme brulee and we shared this gorgeous dessert at our anniversary dinner last year.

At home, I have made creme brulee for 12 by using a few Dean Jacobs' dessert kits. The ramekins, dessert mix, sugar crystals and torch are all included. Nothing says "party" like firing up a (culinary) blow torch in the kitchen. I'm not kidding - I think people like to try something new.

Imagine the stories later:
"I was at this terrific party last night...we laughed and talked and I got to use a torch after dinner!" Priceless.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moments of Delight

This is my 500th blog post.
My name is Anne Reeves and I am an entrepreneur dedicated
to bringing the world Moments of Delight.
I am including the forward from my book to relay how I feel
on the day of this big achievement, my 500th post.
Thank you for reading.
Delight can be found by appreciating
what is right in front of you.
In a cupcake or a sunset.
in a wonderful story or a lavender field.
You can enjoy these moments in your life,
if you slow down and look for them.

I’ll show you and then you’ll start to see it.

This book combines gardening, crafting,
baking, collecting,
travel, story-telling and entertaining -
punctuated by my photography and
rolled into the state of mind I call delight.

As you read through this book, notice which pages you react to.
Notice how happy you feel, simply by thinking.

I find delight all over my life...
at different times of day,
in different cities and settings,
with people that I love and in strangers that I meet.

These are Moments of Delight...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Resort Collection

I have been designing jewelry that has a distinct resort wear feel. Beautiful pieces that are fun on their own, but put them with khakis and a pretty t-shirt and the cute comes into focus. These limited edition bracelets ($20) will be offered on my website in March. Each piece is signed and will ship April 1st. You can place orders now in colorways: Pink Palm (top), Sea foam (left) and Surf (right). Stack 2 or 3 for a super cute effect.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Plan an Escape

Can you hear the quiet? I couldn't think of a nicer place to watch the sun go down than on this deserted beach. All the sunbathers have given up the sand in lieu of a Lilly Pulitzer dress, some pearls and an icy tropical drink. I was able to sneak in this moment before heading off to my own dinner reservation. Shrimp cocktail, anyone?

Monday, February 16, 2009


There is something about an orchid that can elevate a room. For years, it has been my "go to" plant for February and March, when the living room needs a little something special.

The widely available Phalaenopsis variety blooms for months and needs very little care. I thought it might be helpful to link to the American Orchid Society. I had the pleasure of visiting (and photographing) their unbelievable collection last year in Delray Beach, Florida and the colors and patterns were astounding.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vintage Valentines

Valentine's Day has always been my favorite holiday. My Mom loves it too and we would throw Valentine's parties for my friends (remember this post?) all through elementary and middle school. We wore red, played games, drank red punch and wore heart stickers on our cheeks. It was wonderful to celebrate together and I think my Mom is a genius for planning it all. So throughout my life, one way or another I "overdo it" around Valentine's Day and my friends know it.

My dear friend, Dana, surprised me this year with antique vintage valentines! Imagine my delight when I opened the envelope and found these treasures. They were manufactured in Chicago by Carrington & Co in the 1920's-1930's - wow. I am going to attach a magnetic pin back to one of them and wear it to my niece's 5th grade party today. Thank you, Dana, from the bottom of my heart.

12 Days of Valentine's Day
Day 11: Do something to make someone feel loved. Call a far-away friend, frame an old photo and put it in a place of honor, do what feels right.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Free Inspiration

I love magazines so much and my instinct is to reach for every issue on the newsstand, particularly around the holidays. Put cupcakes on the cover and I am a goner. It was around this time of year that I realized the genius of the library. If I could carve out 30 minutes or so to stop in the library, I was able to "flip through" every issue on the newsstand for free. I subscribe to tons of magazines and want to support them, but there are "more magazines than I can have" being published right now.

By visiting the library, I can check out the Sweetheart Cakes at Better Homes and Garden, winter travel destinations at Travel & Leisure and see some Valentine's projects in Country Home.

12 Days of Valentine's Day
Day 10: Check out your local library for some free inspiration.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Love Cookies

This is my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe. Enjoy it and be sure to pass it on. Good recipes are meant to be shared.

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 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 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) for 5-8 minutes.

Nama's Frosting

Mix 2 Tablespoons of hot water to 1 cup powdered sugar. Mix with knife. Tint with a drop or two of liquid food coloring.

Note: Using hot water makes the frosting shiny. Add drops of hot water as needed to perfect consistency.
12 Days of Valentines Day
Day 9: Make a batch of heart cookies and share with your neighbors.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heart-shaped Pizza

Every year during the week leading up to Valentine's Day, Papa Romanos offers the "Love Pizza." It is a small heart-shaped pizza and I order one every year. For some reason it makes me very happy.

Want to make your own love pizza? It's easy with frozen pizza dough, Dei Fratelli pizza sauce and the toppings of your choice. Follow the pizza dough instructions and when the time comes, just shape it into a heart! You know they'll LOVE it. 

This photo is one that I took of a grocery store in Paris -doesn't it look like it is brimming with wonderful pizza toppings?

The Twelve Days of Valentines DayDay 8: Make or order a heart-shaped pizza.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Roses Are Red

I had a thought. Maybe this year, instead of a rose bouquet, you like a rose bush.

Wouldn't it be fun to pick out a beautiful rose from a catalog (or online) and then buy & plant it this Spring in honor of Valentine's Day? You'll have romantic roses in the garden all Summer long.

This is very romantic suggestion. You could choose any variety you want: "Falling In Love", "Truly Yours", "Summer Love."

Tape a picture of it on the refrigerator and look forward to bloom after bloom.

(This rose is a David Austin English Rose that was named after David's mother, Lillian Austin.)

The Twelve Days of Valentines Day
Day 7: Plan to have flowers in your life - either by picking up a bouquet at the grocery store or by planning a symbolic planting this Spring.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Crystal Heart Pendant

This time of year, it seems that every television commerical is for a heart-shaped pendant in a velvet box. Romantic gestures are lovely, but you can guarantee that you'll have something pretty around your neck if you make it yourself.

I designed this necklace to be simple, elegant and cost less than $11 to make. All the supplies you need can be found at Michael's Craft store:
1 metal chain in soft-gold by Fresh (you'll need 18 inches)
1 packet of "Golden Shadow" Jolee's Jewels crystal bicones
1 packet of gold-plated 3 inch head pins (you'll need only 1 pin)
1 packet of gold-plated 10 mm jump rings (you'll need only 2 jump rings)
A needle-nose pliers (with wire cutter in head)
Slide 20 crystals onto a head pin. After 20th crystal is on, use a needle-nose pliers to gently bend tip up a tiny bit (this will prevent crystals from sliding off). With your hands, start by gently bending the crystal-covered pin in the middle and then arch each end into a heart shape. Be slow and gentle. Now you have a heart.
Measure 18 inches of the chain. Wear safety goggles. Using the "wire cutter" portion of the needle-nose plier head, snip through the first link after 18 inches and the excess chain will fall away. Now your necklace is 18 inches long.
Using needle-nose pliers, bend open 2 jump rings. Place one ring through heart and then through the last link of the necklace, bend closed. Your crystal heart is now attached to chain.
Drape chain around your neck with the heart in the front. Slide second jump ring through heart and then through the last link of the necklace, bend jump ring closed with fingers. This jump ring works as the "clasp." (Over time, this jump ring may need to be replaced as it will be bent often as you take it on and off. Simply pull out a new jump ring from the packet you bought and replace as needed.)
Voila! A pretty heart necklace with almost no skill required.
The Twelve Days of Valentines Day
Day 6: Dig through your jewelry box and wear some love-inspired jewelry.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Heart-shaped Waffles

It is Day 5 of the Twelve Days of Valentine's Day! Time to break out the heart-shaped waffles and pancakes. We were given a heart-shaped waffle maker as an engagement present (17 years ago!) and it still works like a dream. My favorite waffle mix is Classique Fare Belgian Waffle Mix - you can find it in most specialty grocery stores and I think you'll agree, it is worth it. This batter also makes delicious heart-shaped pancakes - yum! Get out some pretty plates and dig in. I just know you'll love it.
The Twelve Days of Valentines Day
Day 5: Make heart-shaped waffles or pancakes this weekend.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine Dishtowels

I bought three white & red dishtowels at IKEA ($.49 cents each!) and my first thought was to embroider my monogram on them with red thread. It would be really cute, right?

Then I realized that if I marked my plans with a red fabric pen it would look like hand-work, but be much more modern. Voila! Two minutes later I have a set of personalized Valentines dishtowels.

The Twelve Days of Valentines Day
Day 4: Get out your red, pink and heart-related dishtowels to brighten up the kitchen. Or better yet, make some of your own!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Meringue Cocoa Kisses

Have you ever baked meringue cookies? They are light and crunchy and use only 4 ingredients.
Heart-shaped Meringue Kisses
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, beat 4 egg whites until bubbly and beginning to foam. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar and beat until very stiff and glossy. While whisking, slowly pour one cup of white granulated sugar and 1 Tablespoon Valrhona cocoa powder into the bowl until mixed.
Put batter into a gallon-size ziploc bag. Squeeze contents into one corner and fold bag so that it can be a "piping bag" for you. Trim off 1/4 inch of corner and squeeze batter in a small "V" shaped onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 275, then raise oven temperature to 300 and bake for approximately 10-20 minutes more. (Some meringue recipes call for baking at 175 degrees for 1 hour and 40 minutes, but my timing and temp works for me.) I bake one sheet at a time to avoid burning. Cookies should be dry and a little chewy on the bottom.
The Twelve Days of Valentines Day
Day 3: Bake heart-shaped cookies and eat them all week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Making Valentines

This year I am using a quick & easy way to make my own Valentines. I am scanning a vintage Valentine (more than 100 yrs old), duplicating the image on a MS Word document and then printing them out on 8 1/2 x 11 heavy white card stock. I will then have a sheet of postcards that I can cut out, address and mail. USPS requires postcards to be between 5-6 inches in length and 3 1/2 - 4 inches in height. Postcards can be mailed with just $.27 in postage (a bargain, I think).

I'll write corny things like "I LOVE that we're friends" and mail them to friends
and relatives far and wide. Why not? It's the 12 Days of Valentine's Day!
The Twelve Days of Valentines Day
Day 2: Make a list of who you are sending Valentines to (that's Anne with an "e") and decide if you are going to make or buy this year. Then shop for what you need.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

12 Days of Valentines Day

Today marks Day One, of the 12 Days of Valentines Day. For the next 12 days we will be celebrating love and friendship with color and creativity.

Here are some suggestions that might help you celebrate:
  1. Gestures can be as big or small as you like
  2. Recipients can be anyone you know - bake for a neighbor, leave a treat for the mailman, send a card to your college roommate. See what I mean?
  3. Lots of food items look cute in a heart shape.
  4. Wearing red & pink "counts" as celebrating. So does digging a heart necklace out of your jewelry box and wearing it.
  5. Celebrating this way should make YOU (and everyone around you) feel good and light-hearted.
I will give you a suggestion here each day, but it is just to give you a nudge.
Won't you celebrate with me? The more you talk about it, the more others will be intrigued. "What was today?" they'll ask.

Day 1: Hang something Valentines-y on your front door.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Drama Queen

We were headed to our reservation at Kyma in Buckhead (for a delicious Greek dinner finished with Olive Oil ice cream!) when I saw her.

The store (next to Kyma) had an all-glass front filled with mannequins dressed to the nines. Behind the party-girls, you could see huge racks filled with peacock-colored gowns. I had to take a photograph. When I approached the glass, I nearly jumped out of my skin.

This drama queen was guarding the front door. For a girl made of plastic, I think she looks amazing.