Friday, August 31, 2012

Coffee on the Patio

It's a simple ritual, but one I look forward to just the same. Saturday morning coffee on the patio with my husband. On this particular day we lucked out and had some Blueberry Gateau from dessert the night before.

Have you made my blueberry gateau yet? It is very easy and absolutely delicious. Come on...blueberries are still available, but not for long.

Join me on the patio?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Honolulu: Waikiki: Royal Hawaiian

Today's moment of delight is about location, location, location.  I knew that I wanted to go to a restaurant on Waikiki Beach to have dinner and watch the sun go down.  A friend had told me about the Barefoot Bar at Duke's Waikiki and although I loved the setting, menu and mood of the place (think "The Love Boat" meets Jimmy Buffet), but Corinne and I couldn't stand the volume of the live music.  She told me that she was sure we would like it at a place she had in mind, just down the beach.  I reluctantly gave up our coveted spots at Duke's, bought a t-shirt for Dan and followed Corinne down the strip.

Rule #1, always listen to Corinne.  She took me directly to the Royal Hawaiian and the photo above is the view from our table, and it's a great place to get a picture of Diamond Head.
We had this gorgeous, yet still beach-y and casual meal, in this perfect (and I mean perfect) beach side restaurant at the Royal Hawaiian.  The music was light and relaxing, we had a table closer to the ocean than I thought was possible and I loved it.  Plus, the hotel has a lot of history (Bing Crosby, Elvis) and it was fun strolling the shops in the lobby and the shades of pink Ladies Lounge (bathroom) with mirrors and sofas had a design and scale that was right out the movies.   
And I got my sunset.  The waitress knew we were there to see it from our beach table, so she made it easy for us to stay as long as we wanted.  You must, must, must make time to have a meal at  beach side restaurant in Waikiki, and if it is at all possible, head for the Royal Hawaiian, you'll love it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunset Swim in Lake Michigan

I took this photo many years ago during the "Summer Camp" my parents and I created for their grandchildren, who are my nieces and nephews.  Year after year, we had one week at the lake with just the girls and then one week with the three boys.  I was Head Counselor and it was so much fun.  We did crafts, baked cakes, hiked, painted landscapes, took them golfing, swimming and ended each night feeling that we had squeezed the best out of the day. 

On this particular night, the girls decided to go for a "Sunset Swim" and I am so happy that I had my camera with me at the beach.  I've frozen this moment in time.

For these girls, a moment of delight is floating in a pink inner tube with your cousins.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

David Austin English Rose "Abraham Darby"

"Good Morning, Abraham!"  

Yes, I'll admit it, I talk to my roses.  On a quiet morning, standing on the patio with a hot cup of coffee, I am quite the chatterbox. In the mornings, there is no where I'd rather be than on my patio checking on my roses and imagining bouquets with the flowers that are in bloom.  I definitely use my rose garden as a cutting garden and I cut flowers for arrangements every day, if I didn't cut the flowers they would fade really quickly in the Summer heat.

Would you believe that the roses actually last longer as cut flowers in the house?  But on mornings like this, when Abraham Darby is showing off, I just have to let you see them in their natural habitat. Ha!

Do you remember when I met the David Austins in England?  I think of that special day all the time. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Anna Griffin Paper Tape

I love how my new table setting looks!  This is Step 2 in my pursuit of the color "biscuit" for my kitchen.  I bought four new dinner plates, salad plates and mugs (with a matching platter in the center) for my birthday to support the soft aqua elements in my kitchen.  Remember Step 1?

It all came together when I could finally use my custom vase and fill it with pale pink roses.  I made this vase more than a year ago with an empty jar (horseradish sauce?) and strips of adhesive Anna Griffin paper tape.  Isn't it beautiful?

Part of this post is to remind your creative spirit that sometimes you have to wait to showcase your art.  When inspiration struck, I taped the glass jar with varying patterns of pastel tape.  It was perfect and I loved it, but it was also probably Fall outside and I was thinking about apple pie.  I didn't force it.  I didn't display it.  I put it away and waited for the perfect time, a lot like you would with a bottle of wine or new necklace.  Even in interior design, timing can be everything.

(Plates, "Palm" and "Ashwood Bronze" @Home Target...yes, Target!) 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Little Crazy

If you check with me often, you've seen lots of crazy things happening here on my blog this week.  The system wasn't working, so I couldn't post.  Then I decided to change formats, to allow for more customization.  In short, all is well.  I am tweaking the layout and improving the content, links and options.  I will be fixing links etc for the next day, so if you get automatic updates for me, you may want to "look away" today, or your head will spin.  I promise that you will like it when I'm finished. xo Anne

*What I mean is if you get updates generated by me sent to your automatically, your inbox will be full!  I'm fixing links, improving labels and changing layout.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Scrap of Paper

The design on this paper works so perfectly with my heart-shaped shell box, that it is actually difficult to see where the box ends and the paper begins.  Isn't that interesting?  I wouldn't have believed it was possible, if I hadn't seen it myself.  My own little Modern Doily made with one sheet of scrapbook paper.

You know that I love to use scrapbooking paper in vignettes when I decorate (see my Sweet Halloween tablescape here) but the great thing about this post is that the sheet of paper was part of my birthday present from my friend, Angie!  I didn't even choose the paper design and it still works perfectly with some of my treasures.

This is where I will advocate "walking around your house carrying the object you want to incorporate into your design."  I'm sure that quote won't trip off the tongues of the HGTV hosts anytime soon.  But I am serious!  You will never know how something will look (or what it will look good with) until you experiment.  I would never have put some of my shell boxes with this paper if I hadn't seen them near each other.  

The white shell box actually got my attention first.  I realized that the white flowers and dark background would make the little box seem delicate sitting on top of the fabric-like print.  When I added another shell box to try and fill up the empty space, I was shocked at how the colors blended together.  It's gorgeous!

I have this pretty vignette on a black coffee table in between two candlelight white love seats.  It is a delightful conversation piece.  Thanks, Angie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rose and Basil Bouquet

The combination of Rose and Basil scent isn't just magic in a candle - the real life inspiration can also make you swoon.  I have been making small flower arrangements combining roses and fresh herbs for years, yet I still get surprised looks when I present the combination in person.  An actual light bulb moment when they look at me as if to say, "Where have I been?"

So many people have big bushy basil plants in a pot outside, yet overlook their potential as a bit of green in a flower arrangement.  I have this arrangement of David Austin "Heritage" roses in a antique teacup (stems inserted into damp floral foam) with 2 sprigs of fresh basil.  It is compact, but powerful - in scent and scope.  

When you walk into the room, this sweet bouquet will get your attention.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Louisville: Wild Eggs

I probably should have some sort of omelet, since we were having Sunday breakfast at a popular place in Louisville called Wild Eggs, but I couldn't do it!  The moment I read lemon curd on the menu, I was a goner.  

I simply had to order "Raspberries and Lemons Oh My!" pancakes. The menu describes them as "Buttermilk cakes, raspberries, lemon curd, raspberry sauce, whipped cream and powdered sugar," while I describe them as heavenly.  What a treat!

If you are ever lucky enough to stay overnight in Louisville, this is the breakfast spot for you!  But plan on going early and putting your name in for a wait, the rest of this charming town agrees with me!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and I am having a great day.  It is 78 degrees and sunny, my best friend took me out for lunch and a cupcake and I had this bouquet from the garden on my kitchen counter all week.  Yes, things are just great.

Over the years I have trumpeted celebrating my birthday over the entire month of August (and believe me I still am!) because I think it is important to recognize yourself and celebrate the fact that you are alive.  

If I'm overdoing it, it is so that I might somehow give you (my readers) permission to indulge and spoil yourself too.  A bit like, "If Anne is celebrating all month, I can at least do this (fill in blank) for myself."

Is it working?  I hope so.  Life is a gift, full of trials and tribulations, triumphs and treasures.  When your birthday rolls around, you certainly need some cake and ice cream.  It's my way of being thankful.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Coffee and Croissants by 9 Bean Rows

Nope, it's not an egg's an apricot!  It was Fourth of July weekend and we wanted to get out of the house and spend the morning at the farmer's market, but not before some coffee!

The luck was that there were still "9 Bean Rows" apricot pinwheels left at The Pedaling Beans coffeehouse in Lake Leelanau.  Yum yum yum yum yum.  I recently watched a baking show on making croissants from scratch and I can honestly say that it's never gonna happen.  Baking these kind of pastries from scratch is just too labor-intensive for me, so I will leave it to the experts!

All summer long, the 9 Bean Rows bakery drops off fresh croissants on certain days of the week (Weds, Fri, Sat?).  If you want to make sure that you get one, you can call and place your order ahead of time.  When the shipment comes in, they dole out the pastries into the pre-order bags.  That's why I felt lucky that there were some left when we came in on this particular Saturday!  

On other days I have placed an order, and there is something wonderful about walking up to the counter and seeing a bag that says, "Anne Reeves" on it.  It just makes me feel smart...and still pretty lucky.

A hot latte and a fresh apricot pinwheel...this is a moment of delight.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


For me, this photo represents generosity.  When I was in Louisville, Kentucky staying with friends, we were buzzing down the road a little late for our dinner reservation when I "saw" this quintessential Kentucky moment.  I raised my camera to take a quick shot through the window and my friend's husband said, "Do you want to get a picture of that?"  When my body language said yes, he stopped the car, through it in reverse and backed up to the area where I had first noticed the horses.

I wish I had saved my first shot, the one through the car window, to post here because it was awful and it would show you just how much it meant to me to get a beautiful photo of horses grazing in the Kentucky sunlight, complete with the shadows from a fence.  

Generosity is letting someone have the time they need to do what they do.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cincinnati's Newport Aquarium...Tom & Chee

I am pretty sure that this is a Moon Jellyfish, which I can understand from the eerie coloring, but I would have named them something like "Dreamscape" or "Illusion."

The jelly fish exhibit at the Newport Aquarium has soft benches in it so that visitors can sit and ponder these transparent wonders.  Classical music piped into the area and Beth and I really didn't want to leave.  It was very relaxing and completely unexpected to be in this lovely space after the hustle bustle of the other areas.  The jelly fish looked positively dreamy.  I wonder if they can hear the music?

After a big morning playing "school field trip," I was ready for a nice lunch.  I found a neat little spot in the outdoor shopping area (just outside the aquarium) called Tom and Chee, which is a temple for tomato soup and grilled cheese lovers.
I had a cup of homemade gazpacho and a half of a tomato/cheddar grilled cheese sandwich.  It was exactly what I was looking for on a hot Summer day.  Fresh, satisfying and fast.  If you are in the Newport on the Levee area of Cincinnati/Newport, this is a great spot to have a casual lunch. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eye Contact

Okay, I admit that reptiles rarely make the list of delight...but how could I not photograph this little guy (he's a little bigger than my hand) when he was giving me such great eye contact?
Ha! I knew you would think it was funny when you could see what I saw.  I think the cover of algae (correction: duckweed - thanks, Margaret!) makes him feel protected.  

I was visiting the Newport Aquarium (just over the bridge from Cincinnati, in Kentucky) with my friends and their kids last Friday and it was fun to look through at things through the eyes of a child for a while.

While the kids seemed to love the Shark Walk and Frog Bog the best, I was taken with this little guy.  More to aquatic delights tomorrow and a lunch recommendation just around the corner.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cookies for 2012 London Olympics

Yet another reason to love the Olympics - theme cookies!  And I am happy to report that they taste as good as they look...I just ate the pink pig (the bakery is located in Cincinnati, which has long been associated with pigs) and I'm about to inhale the British flag.  That's the beauty of cookies; I have to eat them while they are fresh.

Dan and I just spent a glorious weekend with friends at their home in Louisville and when we first arrived, this adorable tray of cookies was in our room to welcome us. So thoughtful!  

With all of the exciting Olympic coverage lately, I wouldn't have been able to resist these beauties either.  Hats off to The BonBonerie for their enthusiastic collection of sweet treats honoring the Summer Olympics, which brings a little delight to the world every 4 years.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nothing but Nasturtiums

If I were a florist, I would name this bouquet "Sunshine". The bright orange and yellow nasturtium blooms are simply radiant. However, they are so fragile they would never make it as a shipped bouquet. When you cut a handful of nasturtiums you need to be ready to enjoy them then and there. The blooms are like tissue paper so they don't travel well. But we grow them from seed! I love that nasturtiums bloom all Summer too. I can make this bouquet as often as I want.

Sunlight and a Marimekko place mat made it even prettier. I love this time of year.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Luscious Knit Scarf

I thought that I had already knit all the scarves I could possibly need.  And then I saw the new "Really Big" yarn (colorway: Rainbow) by Bernat when I was shopping at Michael's Craft.  I found myself redefining need and ultimately gave in and bought myself a few skeins to start a new project.

I finished a short chunky scarf (really more of a neck wrap) in 2 sittings while watching the Olympics and it really felt good.  A comfortable spot on the couch, my plastic "walrus teeth" needles (Size 50!) clicking and clacking and an unlimited stream uplifting stories about pride, determination, teamwork and skill. 

One of my favorite Olympic moments was when the family of one of the swimmers was in the stands with their relation to her written on their foreheads in eyeliner: Dad, Mom, Sis.  It was adorable and their love for her was literally written all over their faces.

I am loving Summer and I'm not at all ready for Fall...but look how cute I will look this Winter!  I have a puffy raspberry Winter parka and now I'm all set.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cake Carrier

"Everything is better with Cake and Frosting."

Amen!  I have been using my tin cake carrier by Glittervillle a lot lately and I realized that I have never shown it to you.

I am not actually carrying my cakes anywhere, but using the cake carrier on my kitchen counter as a device for a big reveal.  Ha!  You'd be surprised how excited people become when they hear that there is a homemade cake inside.  It literally creates anticipation, and who doesn't love that?

My mom and I bought this together a few years ago at a really great party/paper/pink shop in Palm Beach Gardens called Swoozies .  I wanted it so that I could display cakes and she wanted it so that I would make cakes.  Win-win.  I'm really happy that it is still available on the Glitterville website - what a great gift for a girly-girl near you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Have you taken a close look at a sunlit leaf lately?  I have been enjoying some quiet mornings in the garden and I came to my senses and stopped focusing on just the roses.  Look at the fine lines in this rose leaf!  Photosynthesis is happening; I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stroopwafel Savior

It is too good to be true.  I have been gifted a box of boxes of Stroopwafels!  That's right, a box of boxes and I am over the moon.
Last Summer I was introduced to this magical caramel waffle cookie when my husband's friend, Greg came to visit and bought us a tin as he passed through Amsterdam.  You can re-read my post about his visit here.

In my enthusiastic, sugar-loving way, I proclaimed in my blog that from now on, anyone passing through Amsterdam has to get me some Stroopwafels.  You have knocked me over with a feather when I received a box in the mail from Greg and found that it contained enough Gouda's Guile Stroopwafels to last me all year! 

I was eating one as I started to write this post and it has disappeared in a flash.  Yum yum yum.  You can see a cookie above warming over a cup of tea.  The heat from the tea makes the cinnamon caramel chewy and fabulous.

Bless you, Greg, for your extraordinary gesture of fun and kindness.  You certainly understand "delight."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Souvenirs from London

My brain and it's wish list is a little eccentric.  My husband and I have been watching the Olympics and cheering each event, but I pointed out to him that very little of the national coverage is about shopping or delightful things in London.  This makes me feel encouraged about the book I am working on, A Delightful Tour of England; it is loaded with shops, sweets and treats in London!
Yes, the tv coverage encourages the audience to eat at an English pub (I recommend The Grenadier) and ride the London Eye, but what about shopping?  What about souvenirs?  You might have guessed that for me, a delightful souvenir from England is made of tin.

I loved these tin replicas of famous china patterns used by the Royal Family, that I bought one of each!  And the beautiful tins of tea, of course, that you can find at Harrod's or Fortnum and Mason.  What a wonderful treasure to bring home from London.  But my still-longed-for souvenir is a Fortnum and Mason tin bicuit box full of cookies...that is also a music box!  Can you stand it?  I loved the tin, the selection of cookies, the fact that it was a music box - the whole this was perfect, but felt too rushed at the moment to actually buy it.  I guess I have to go back!

What would you want as a souvenir from London?  Is it tin?

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Beautiful Beach of Gulf Shores

The perfect image of Summer, don't you think?  We spent a week at steamy Gulf Shores, Alabama for a family reunion and this was my view from my rented beach "headquarters."
Can you see how they have written "Reeves" in chalk on my chaise?  Love that!  My dear friends, Melanie and Jon (remember when I visited them in Birmingham, AL?)  arranged their vacation to coincide with ours and we had a great time visiting with them at moments in between reunion festivities.

On this particular day they had found a section of the shoreline (near the Regatta Condos) with beach stations available for rent - wahoo!  It was hot, hot, hot and I needed this umbrella more than you know.  When Dan and I arrived to meet Melanie and Jon, they had already arranged for our station.  Imagine me here with a cold Diet Coke, because I never left this spot all afternoon.  It was perfect.

As for Gulf Shores in July, I cannot tell a lie.  In the summertime, it is TOO hot for this Michigan girl.  If you are determined to visit this area, be sure to book in the shoulder seasons.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I have a Pinterest Board that showcases my photos, thoughts and ideas.  Would you like to follow my board? Click

Edible Art: Sliced Grapes

In your wildest culinary moment, have you ever sliced a grape?  Me neither, but look at how beautiful it looks in this collage of edible items called lunch.  I was served this mini-masterpiece at the tiny Scandinavian shop called Punzel (near Interlochen, Michigan) last year and I took a good five minutes photographing each part.

Lunches are created one-by-one for a small number of guests each week.  They layer cheeses, edible flowers, Scandinavian breads and fresh fruit to create little vignettes of flavor around the plate.  When I noticed that they had constructed a flower from grape slices and a fresh berry, I had to show you. 

The next time you are making a fruit salad or a lunch plate, slice some grapes.  You too can add a touch of edible art.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

CB2 boasts Modern Flower Arranging

It may well be the best $2.95 I ever spent.  A simple glass beaker vase from CB2, a modern off shoot of the Crate and Barrel store, transforms my china cabinet into a magazine-worthy piece.

The thin glass vase comes complete with a hole in it for threading a bit of ribbon through.  I tied my bit of aqua ribbon into a loop and have it hanging here on the key to the china cabinet.  Who would guess that such a modern vase (it's a test tube!) could look so romantic and sweet?

This bouquet is two hydrangea blossoms from my yard paired with one of my Royal Amethyst roses.  When you have a garden, your best design touches can cost less than a latte.