Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

This type of decoration is created by scratching the surface of the pumpkin with a sharp object while it is still growing on the vine.  The pumpkin heals itself and creates a raised scar that looks like natural puffy paint.  I saw this pumpkin at a cider mill and saved this image to post for you today.  May you eat as many fun size candy bars as you want. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Tulip Time, One Way or Another

It's tulip time, the oh-so-important time frame in the Fall when you need to plant your tulip bulbs so that you are able enjoy them next Spring. 

I must be honest and admit that in my backyard, the squirrels have won.  Until there is some bulb-breakthrough, I can't plant tulips again only to find that they were eaten by my pesky neighbors.  I've sprinkled them with hot sauce, planted them under wire barriers, you name it and they are always gone by Spring. 

My message here is two-fold.  If you have luck with tulips, it's time to get out there and plant.  If you have my situation, it's time to promise yourself a trip to Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan.  There are 6 million tulip bulbs planted and ready for us to ooh and ahhh over the first week or so in May.  Next year the Holland Tulip Festival is May 3-10th, 2014 and I am going.  
My last visit was in 2007 and I miss it!  When the tulip fields are blooming, my heart swells.  
These "Angelique" tulips (above) look like peonies, don't they?
When something this lovely happens only once a year, it is worth it to get out your calendar and commit.  Before school picnics and soccer matches dictate your weekends, write "Tulip Time" on your calendar the first weekend in May (I just did!).  

That way, when you are scheduling your entire Spring, you can glance at your calendar and say, "Oh gosh, I'd love to, but I'll be at Tulip Time enjoying 6 million tulips that day.  Maybe the next weekend?"

Ha! But you know I'm serious.  If you don't put it on the calendar now, it gets very hard to find the time later.  Post some pictures from your trip on my Moments of Delight Facebook Page, ok?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Leelanau County: 9 Bean Rows

Even the natural lighting makes the new 9 Bean Rows cafe in Suttons Bay feel French.  You see it too, right?
We were some of the first to eat at the new cafe.  I have been tracking down the 9 Bean Rows croissants for 2 summers now (remember this?) and when I heard that they were opening a lunch spot in a nearby town, I could hardly wait. 

My first lunch at 9 Bean Rows was a hot croque monsieur and an order of french fries with garlic aioli, that I shared with my friends. We savored our lunch and enjoyed a chance to linger.  This would be the perfect place to duck in some afternoon and have some wine, bread and cheese before a movie.  
I am really happy that another great restaurant has opened on the Leelanau Peninsula. Beautiful fresh bread, tender pastries and fresh-from-the-farm (their farm!) ingredients.  Simple and delicious.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stitch in Time: A Cross Stitch Bookmark Tells A Lot About Me

Sometimes when I'm giving a presentation to a group, I make the statement, "I have been me for a long time."

By saying this, I am trying to encourage people to look back across their lives for signs of themselves.  A collection you had as a child.  A tradition that means a lot to you. A dream you once had.

I take pride in the fact that sometimes I overdo it when I am crafting.  What is reasonable to me (because it made it so much cuter) can sometimes seem ridiculous or even not worth the effort in someone else's eyes.  

That's okay.  How people choose to spend their time varies greatly and that's what makes the world interesting.  Back in the day, I thought it would be very cool to enter a contest by designing a bookmark in cross stitch.

What amuses me is that when I look this cross stitch bookmark that I designed when I was seventeen, I see myself plain as day.  I've been overdoing it for a long time.
Look at the number of stitches...and half stitches!  Look at the icon-studded "pattern" that I drew by hand and supplied so that others could make my bookmark too, if I won. Clearly I was out of my mind.  But I was also very happy.  I remember toting this bookmark around with me and stitching every spare chance I had.  As the deadline approached (yes, I've been working right up to the deadline my whole life too), my Chemistry teacher let me cross stitch in class, while my dear friend Dana took notes.  

I didn't win, but the experience was just as positive and just as "me" as if I had won.  Thankfully the cross stitch magazine returned my bookmark and it's ridiculous pattern with a thanks for participating note, so that I can show it to you now.

I've kept it tucked away in the closet with my old cross stitch books.  Now that I have it out, I am going to attach some adhesive felt across the back (to give it more stability and keep any threads from unravelling) and then I'm going to use it!  

Twenty seven years later, my bookmark is going in a book!  Have you been you for a very long time?  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gold Sugar Makes the Cake

You've heard the expression that something "takes the cake?" Well today I'm talking about things that MAKE the cake!

Today, I'm putting the spotlight on gold sugar.  I know, such a simple thing, but what a difference it made to my humble box mix coffee cake.  I really like Pillsbury Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread & Muffin Mix and I make delicious coffee cakes all the time using 2 boxes of the mix (follow the directions on the box, adding oil, water and eggs) and a bake in a standard Bundt cake pan.

I like using Baking Spray with Flour and the cake will unmold easily if you allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding it onto a platter.

To make my glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and maple syrup, then drizzle generously over cake.  The crowning touch is tons of gold sugar. Doesn't it look beautiful? Presentation is everything. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Anne Reeves' bobbin necklace on Etsy

One of my favorite designs, a necklace made of bobbins that I wound in the colors I love: light plum, cement and gray.  This is where my love of sewing and jewelry making intersect - I call it when "World's Collide".
My jewelry making philosophy has always been "One for me; one for my mom, a few for Etsy." Most every piece of jewelry in my Etsy store is limited edition. Etsy is an online marketplace for artists.  It is a wonderful website that allows individuals to have their own little shop of items they have made.  I spent the last week loading my Etsy store ( with my favorite necklace designs to sell for the holidays.
What spurred all of this?  I wore my "World's Collide" bobbin necklace to a book signing of my friends, Josh and Brent, and Brent urged me to sell it on my store.  He loved the shine of the thread and the unusual materials. He's right, it is fabulous and it is time to offer it to the world.

When you are shopping around the store, some of the necklaces are one-of-a-kind and some I can "make to order" and ship within 1-3 weeks.  I'm excited! Are you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bake Like A Beekman: Heirloom Dessert Baking Blog

I am "Baking Like A Beekman" and joining 80 other bakers around the country as we bake our way through the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert cookbook. Doesn't that sound like fun?  We each take a photo of our masterpiece and email it into the blog, where it will be displayed along with our comments.

This is my first masterpiece - the Beekman Boys' "Walnut" Cake, that I actually made from pistachios because I'm allergic to walnuts.  While I thought it was a nice cake with good flavor, Dan couldn't get enough of it.  He's eaten 5 slices in 3 days.  It's his new favorite cake, for sure.
We will bake one recipe every week. On Sunday, our leader, Kenn, announces which recipe we're making - this week is "Roasted Caramel Pears"- and we have 7 days to make it and submit our photos.  Last weekend, I was loading our shopping cart with sugar, flour and eggs (oh my!).  I love this kind of activity and am happy to share the experience with like-minded people all over the country. 

I won't be posting the photos here, because I think you will enjoy it more if you experience it on the official "Bake Like A Beekman" blog.  My pictures are marked "Anne from Michigan."  Enjoy!  You might just find yourself baking like a Beekman too!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Accents in the Dining Room: Ribbon Wrapped Votives

Garden-staple turned home accent.  Yes, they're real! Those are hydrangea blooms clipped from my "Nikko Blue" hydrangeas in the backyard (they were starting to dry on the bush) and set them waterless in an antique sugar canister.  They will continue to dry while on display.  

Nikko Blue hydrangeas are really only blue if you have the right acidity in your soil.  I have tried to amend my soil for years with MirAcid, but they always seem to stay shades of pink-to-celery green.  In the Fall, however, they are turn a reddish-gray.  Do you have any long-forgotten hydrangea bushes?  

The wood tones in my cherry dining room set, my beloved wallpaper ("Oriental Spring Blossoms (GG4721)" by York) and some ribbon-wrapped votives make a beautiful autumn tablescape.  

You can make these votives yourself with 3 items: wax-filled glass candle votives (sold in a set of 12 at Michael's crafts), a half-yard of beautiful dimensional ribbon (I found this one in several colorways at Joann Fabric) and some double-sided tape.  

How To Make Ribbon-Wrapped Votives:

Choose a ribbon that is just a bit narrower than the height of the votive. Wrap the ribbon around the votive, cut to allow a slight overlap and use a piece of double-sided tape (at that overlap) to secure the ribbon cuff around the votive. Voila!  Tell them it took you hours...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Birch Bark Pretzels

Oh so good, Birch Bark Pretzels!  Crunchy, salty, sweet and beautiful. Voila! 
I think natural birch bark is so beautiful - look at this gorgeous bark peeling away from the trunk at our cottage in northern Michigan.  I like to replicate birch bark in chocolate and serve these pretzel rods at parties, football tailgates or anytime in the Fall when a sweet portable snack enhances the fun. 

These birch bark pretzels have been particularly popular when I bring them to euchre night.  They are perfect for a card party, because your hands don't get sticky.  Make a batch and then tell me if they were a hit...
To make my famous Birch Bark Pretzels:

Pour the contents of 1 bag of white chocolate morsels into a glass bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat in 10 second intervals, as necessary. Stir after each microwave session. Be careful not to burn chocolate by over microwaving  Stir until smooth. Dip 2/3 of each rod into melted chocolate, turn to coat and then allow to harden, resting on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. 

Once you have dipped 10-12 rods, melt 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chips for 30 sec in another container. Then dip a fork into the melted semi-sweet chocolate and make drizzles back and forth across the white. 

The result looks a lot like birch bark and tastes delicious. Allow to harden for a few minutes in the fridge and then serve in a stack like logs. Yum!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shiny Brite Christmas Ornament Box...For A Dollhouse

What do I love? When some of my favorite things intersect! This time it is:
  • Vintage items
  • Christmas
  • Dollhouses
Are you familiar with Shiny Brite ornaments? I have been collecting vintage ornaments for years (Remember this nostalgic tree of mine?)  and many of those ornaments are Shiny Brite.  As a fan, I thought it was too cute that someone had made a dollhouse-size replica of the iconic box!

I found this print-your-own "Shiny Brite" ornament box for a dollhouse free online and couldn't resist making one for my friend, Beth's daughter.  She is in elementary school and already understands what it means to "finding delight." 

When I visited the family last summer in Kentucky, I got a tour of her dollhouse, met the little doll family and admired the work she had done arranging things inside.

I think this ornament box will look perfect, displayed just so under her dollhouse Christmas tree, don't you?  The printable box and instructions are online here.  I put a few tiny ornaments that I found at Michael's Craft store inside.  I love it!

If you are interested in reproduction ornaments in the vintage Shiny Brite-style, look no further than Christopher Radko.  He does a beautiful job making new heirlooms that live up to the Shiny Brite name.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Todd & Holland Tea Merchants: Forest Park, Illinois

If you love tea, you only have to visit Todd & Holland once to know that you'll be back.  It is a tea-lovers paradise. 

In my adult life, I have sought out tea moments. I've visited tea farms, been to tea tastings, had high tea in England and sipped blends in the tea salons of Paris.  If you think of life as college, I sometimes I feel like I've minored in Tea.  Not a bad way to live, I say.  I'm probably the only one of my friends that longs for a temperature-specific tea kettle that lets you select the perfect temperature for brewing "Green Tea", "Black Tea" etc. 


Anyhoo, I say all of this because I know about or have tried just about everything in this shop and I approve!  What a selection.  The variety of tea they offer is mind-boggling.  Pretty teapots and mugs are everywhere - displayed in a way that gives them the attention they deserve.
The photo (above) is of their tea station.  You are to help yourself to one of several different hot or iced teas (in pretty glass mugs) that you can enjoy while you shop.  Love it!

You can also see in the background that they have a gorgeous selection of dish towels too.  Their dishtowel choices were lively, interesting and fun - a far cry from the dismal choices I have seen lately in other home stores.  I liked everything about Todd & Holland. Bravo, Aberdeen, for insisting we stop and shop.  

When you click the link to visit their website, I encourage you to watch the video tour of the store.  It is informative and can give you a true sense of their tea selection. I particularly enjoyed trying the "sniffing jars" in person.  They have a small jar of each tea displayed with the packaged tea for sale.  You can shake the jar and then open it and take in the aroma of that particular blend. It is a great idea and gives customers a better sense of what each tea is like.

I found what I was looking for: Japanese Matcha (powdered tea leaves) that I like to add to smoothies.  The powder is loaded with antioxidants. And I bought a mesh tea strainer with a bamboo handle (there were at least five sizes to choose from!).  I brought it home and it fits perfectly inside my glass teapot.  Score.

If you are ever in the Forest Park area of Chicago, you must treat yourself to a cup of tea and a wander through Todd & Holland.  I guarantee that you'll find something you need.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park, Illinois

When Kim and I were visiting our friend Aberdeen in Riverside, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), we had just enough time to visit the "Frank Lloyd Wright walking tour" area in Oak Park.  The building above is the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, where Wright lived and worked during the first twenty years of his career (1889-1909).
It is a really interesting building, though I didn't get to tour it and really explore.  My request was to stop in the Frank Lloyd Wright gift shop (you know my weakness for paper buildings and museum gift shop fare), but the crowd was so thick it was difficult to really shop and in the end I gave up trying to buy a paper FLW Home and Studio 3D pop-up card, due to the long check out line. I have added the link to shop the store and feel better now that I know that I can buy it online.

What was the one item in the gift shop that surprised me? Lego.  Did you know that you can buy Lego sets of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings? I thought that was really interesting.
I completely understood the crowds.  It was a gorgeous Fall day in Chicago and the home and self-guided walking tours were just where I would want to be if I had more time.
As we walked down the street from the FLW Home and Studio, we saw the Arthur Heurtley House (1902) - look that the giant planters built into the facade of the house.  The lush and colorful plantings are a great natural compliment.  
This gray and black home is the Hills-DeCaro House (1906/1977).
This is the Nathan-Moore House (1895/1923) - imagine how heavy that enormous A-line roof is.  It feels like a Swiss gingerbread house to me.  

When you are in an area with this many architectural treasures, you have to go exploring on foot.  What a day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Inspiration Board

Lately my inspiration board is much more about what I want to look at, than what I want to do.  It is unlikely that I will perform in a ballet with like-minded girls in sunset colored tutus, but I love this image from House Beautiful magazine so much (it was a page showing how to choose paint colors based on images you love - see the matching paint color dots below?) that I put it on my magnetic board, front and center.

I have pretty magnets (more magnets than images right now!), cards from friends, landscape drawings and floral bouquets.  This is what I love to look at and it inspires me all day long.  Want one of your own?  My white metal board is from Ikea and I found a similar magnetic panel at Ikea here.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Delight Celebrates the Beauty of Everyday Life

This is the beauty of every day life.  This morning it was still quite dark outside and the light over the kitchen sink made one Abraham Darby rose stuck in an Evian bottle look like an opera star.  I just had to show you.

I am a firm believer in having pretty things by the kitchen sink.  That area of the kitchen is a magnet for friends/neighbors/family that stop by and having pretty dishwashing liquid and if possible, a flower from the garden in a vase makes me feel good.  It is a "Visual Vitamin" that I take every time I walk by.

I have collected some limited edition Evian bottles when they had a designer series, and I use them as vases, candle holders and I'm about to use some to house oils for cooking.  Why not? They are beautiful and would otherwise be recycled. This is my way of upcycling them and I feel good every time I see them.

The dishwashing liquid?  That is part of a new series by Palmolive called "Fresh Infusions" and I bought one of each strictly because the bottle is pretty. Market research, take note.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Staying at a Frank Lloyd Wright House in Riverside, Illinois

Usually I do research when I travel.  Usually I know where I am going and what I want to see.  But this trip was different.  I was going on a roadtrip with Kim, my best friend from high school to stay with our friend Aberdeen.  Our plan was to eat out, watch a movie and catch up.  No advance planning necessary. If I had used my head, I would have read up on Frank Lloyd Wright.

I knew that Aberdeen lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house, which sounded really neat, but I had no idea how fascinating it would be to go inside and actually live there.  To respect her privacy, I won't identify the house.  It isn't open to tours and it is up to her to share it as she wishes.

I will simply show you the window I got to look out each morning.  A row of these beautiful "light screens" lined the room and were placed almost at the height you would hang a piece of art. The effect is stunning.  Another plus is that the windows hinge open and on Sunday morning, hymns from a church service waft into the bedroom.  

I have been to many famous residences-turned-museums over the years (Monticello, Mount Vernon, Olana) and in all of them, it is the possessions (paintings, furniture, china, wallpaper) that made the impression on me. I enjoyed thinking of the lives of these famous men and how they lived at the height of their careers.

In this case, I was in a museum of sorts and had the chance to admire the work of a famous architect from within his creation.  Can you relate to what I am saying?  I have not thought about architecture that much and was fascinated with the idea of being inside something that a design icon created.  

You look at Monet's water lilies.  You look at Andy Warhol's Polaroids. You are never inside a piece of art.  That is until I was walking around inside a famous home by Frank Lloyd Wright.  I was able to see the flow of the rooms, the width of the staircase, the natural light from the windows, as well as the illuminated skylights with exactly the effect that Frank Lloyd Wright had wanted.  

Some of the furniture was original too, designed by the architect to work in the space. I loved it all.  It felt silly to gush about it all after the initial look around. I wanted to pretend it was no big deal to eat pizza in a grand dining room or sit outside and talk on a porch with a cantilevered roof.  I can't gush to Frank, so I'm gushing to you. 

Thank you, Aberdeen, for letting me look at architecture and art in a completely different way. 

Rummage Sale Score and Follow Me on Facebook

Hi! This is not really today's post.  I'll be writing about Frank Lloyd Wright later I promise.  This is just a reminder to follow me on Facebook so I can keep you in the loop as the holidays approach.  

I'll show you when hard-to-find items are on the shelf.  What I'm baking or planning in the kitchen and occasionally I'll show you my rare finds that will have you running to the next rummage sale or flea market.

This week's score featured on Facebook was a never-used French silicone baking pan for $2 at my church's rummage sale.  I will use it to make personal Bourbon Orange loaves for holiday entertaining.  You can bake them when you have time and defrost when it's time to party.  Recipe coming soon...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ernest Hemingway and Lunch at Hemmingway's Bistro in Oak Park, Illinois

When Kim and I were in Oak Park, Illinois visiting our friend Aberdeen, we found ourselves surrounded by Hemingway.  First, Aberdeen took us to Hemmingway's Bistro for a French-inspired lunch.  Everything on the menu sounded delicious and my Crepes Gratinée filled with ham and Gruyére was as rich and delicious as it looks.  This bistro is the perfect place to sit and catch up with your friends over a long lunch.  Naturally, since we were eating at Hemmingway's Bistro (an extra "m" was added avoid any copyright issues), Ernest Hemingway himself came up in conversation. Kim said that Hemingway "the man-the myth-the legend" turns up everywhere she goes on vacation!

When she was in Spain, she felt that every place she visited, Hemingway had been there first.  In honor of unwittingly visiting his birth place (and the "Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park"), we climbed the steps of this grand museum...and headed straight for the gift shop. Kim wanted a souvenir.  
The woman running the shop told us a funny story about a customer asking if they carried "3XL" size t-shirts. When she found one in stock and handed over the giant shirt to her, she commented that she must have a very big man in her life.  "Oh no, she said, it's going to be a nightshirt for me.  I've always wanted to sleep with Hemingway."

So here we were in Oak Park, Illinois, three friends laughing and paling around like we were in high school all over again.  Priceless.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Have a Gourd: Easy Fall Arrangements

You don't necessarily need a grand plan to have a successful fall arrangement on your front porch or in the middle of your kitchen table.  A grouping of like objects (in this case, pumpkins and gourds) is visually interesting and can satisfy your eye all on their own.

I use the photo above as an example, which was photographed by me at the Country Living Fair on Columbus, Ohio.  A jumble of pumpkins, gourds and squash looks perfect just as it is.  Yes, they spaced the light green and deep orange gourds evenly throughout the pile, but it still looks natural.

If the display looked like they were placed by type or color, or if a sprig of maple leaves were tucked in every open space, the arrangement would look if the pumpkins weren't pretty enough just as they are.  I show you this to instill confidence that you can put together your own fall display without a lot of angst.  
On the other hand, you can plan to buy only one color of squash and gourds and make a big impact that way as well.  These gourds and squash in varying shades of gray-green are gorgeous and do all of the design work for you.  Set them together and they speak volumes.  

I thought you might like to refer to this Pumpkin and Squash Identification Chart so that you can drop the name of the unusual pumpkin everyone is admiring.  I happen to have a "Great White" on my front table this year.  Love it!

If you are in Southeastern Michigan, Maple View Farm is open on Saturdays and has a beautiful variety of designer pumpkins.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beekman Boys Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

If you are new to my blog, "Welcome!" I have been blogging 5 days a week for 6 years about the beauty of everyday life. I write about how visual images, tasty treats and simple storytelling can enhance the human experience. 
The impact of flowers; the joy of friendship; the satisfaction of 
collecting – these ideas are the foundation of my first book, "Moments of Delight" and my blog.  Explore the sidebar to see posts by month and my City Series.

This is to catch you up on my recent Beekman adventures. Remember my visit to Sharon Springs and their Beekman 1802 mercantile? And my tour of the farm? It was a wonderful trip and I am so happy that we had a chance to visit again so soon.

As for this last weekend with The Beekman Boys...I've been recruited!  I will be participating in the "Bake Like A Beekman" blog where we will bake our way through the new Beekman 1802 Heirloom cookbook.  Doesn't that sound wonderful?  I'm a baker at heart and I have the apron collection to prove it.

Dan and I drove to Lansing on Sunday to and support Josh and Brent on their cookbook tour.  I finally have a copy of their long-anticipated desserts cookbook and I got to spend some quality time with my friends. I was so happy that Tracy was able to make it to the book signing from Grand Rapids. If only Kerry could have come up from Tennessee! Next time! The four of us haven't been in the same place in 20 years. 

The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Desserts cookbook is just beautiful - perfect to display on the cookbook stand in your kitchen. I can't wait to make the Roasted Caramel Pears and the Lemon Lavender Squares.  Yum! The bonus of this great day was that I was able to meet some of Josh and Brent's other friends and realize how much we all have in common.  Like baking...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Make an Heirloom While Preserving the Vintage Photograph

Every once in a while I make a little piece of art - this is a fabric pillow displaying a photograph of my maternal grandmother as a child.  Love the hair bow!  

The best part about this project is that I can scan the original image and then print it on a special printer fabric sheet (8.5 x 11) by June Tailor.  This creates something "new" for me to work with and leaves the vintage photo completely unharmed.

For this project, I machine stitch the photograph to a piece of coordinating calico fabric, then place another piece of fabric (the same size) against it. The two "right sides" of the pillow face each other.  Machine stitch along all four sides, leaving a 2-inch space to allow for stuffing.  Turn the pillow right side out.  Lightly press the fabric and photo to smooth out any wrinkles that happened from turning the fabric.  Stuff the pillow.  Hand stitch the 2 inch gap closed.  Hand sew a short cord onto the top (or trap it into the seam as you stitch the 4 sides closed), to hang the pillow.  Use Fabri-Tac to glue a decorative trim along the photo to create a frame. 

I have this hanging in my dining room on my china cabinet.  I love this sentimental touch in an unexpected place.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Friends are the Foundation

Friends are the foundation.  Or should I say, Friends try some Foundation

Last weekend, Kim and I went on our first ever road trip to see or dear high school friend Aberdeen in the Chicago suburbs.  The 3 of us were inseparable 30 years ago and thought it was high time that we put family/jobs/kids on hold for 3 days and take the time to really catch person.

While I will show you some of the restaurants, shops and museums we visited in Riverside, Illinois in my next few posts, today is all about the foundation of friendship, which is talking-sharing-spending time together. And putting on make up.

Miracle Blur to be exact. Not that we really need it (ahem), but I tried this really neat new face primer by L'Oreal that subtly makes your skin look better. 

It somehow blurs skin imperfections and gives a look that is natural but a little...hazy?  When I told Kim about it we laughed, agreed that everyone could use a little blurring and I announced that I would bring it on our weekend so that we could all try it.  The consensus - we all need it! We each did half of an area on our face (one cheek, half our nose etc) to show contrast again the freshly washed skin.  We all agreed that the area with Miracle Blur looked better, but still completely natural.  How did they do that?  We were amazed...and relieved.

While experimenting, I looked down and loved how interesting the table looked.  I took this photo (above) and it has captured the best memory I have from our trip.  The time when we sat outside on Aberdeen's patio, drank herbal tea and put on make up.  It felt like no time had passed and we were 16 all over again.

We didn't need music or museum tours to be happy; we just needed time to relax and reconnect.  The fact that we were made up into our best blurry selves by the end was a bonus. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beekman Boys coming to Michigan in October

*Schuler's Books and Music 2820 Towne Center Blvd Lansing, Michigan (517)316-7495
Seated Tickets with purchase for first 100, standing room available without purchase...

A heads up for all of my Michiganders, the Fabulous Beekman Boys, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are on their book tour promoting Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert cookbook and will be at Schuler's Books & Music in Lansing, Michigan on Sunday, October 6 at 2pm.  Road Trip!

If you can't make it, stop back and read all about the event here.  But I hope you can sure to find me and say hi!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Flower Arranging: Vintage Canister is an Unexpected Vase

In the spring, summer, fall, I am flower driven. My interests collide when I can take a vintage oatmeal canister (my mom's find from an antique show) and fill it with flowers from the garden.  Could this arrangement be any prettier?

A melange of color and texture that gets your attention and holds it for a few beats.  When I see this arrangement, my brain ping-pongs around these thoughts:

  • How can the colors of that hydrangea be so delicate? Pale celery green and puff pink together is perfect. 
  • Why don't they make more pretty china canisters - clear plastic Oxo containers are just not beautiful.
  • This grouping would translate beautifully to fabric. Where is Laura Ashley when I need her?
  • I have to plant bellflower and more yarrow next year (then I write that in the Notes portion under May in my 2014 calendar.)
Looking at beautiful things is good for you.  Making a bouquet and seeing it every time you walk into the family room is even better.