Saturday, August 11, 2018

My Life and Blogging

Hi friends! It's been awhile...

Today I just wanted to share my thoughts on blogging and what has been going on in my life.
Blogging is more difficult than I thought!  I've taken time off from blogging and social media to reflect and research.  I think that was a terrible mistake. In researching other successful blogs, I found myself almost paralyzed to move forward. I think in the beginning I was so naive a to the world of blogging that it was  a good thing I didn't know what I was getting into!!!

Once you realize what you're really getting into you start having second thoughts. The best analogy that I can think of is having kids. LOL! If you only knew what you were getting into! But you can't think about the hundreds of poopie diapers, or the hours of sleep you will loose, or all the grey hair you will get, you just have to jump in and do it! One step at a time. And just like with kids, sometimes you have to just fumble your way through it.

And like kids, even though you didn't do everything perfectly, they usually turn out okay in the end and they are totally worth it.

In addition to hitting a wall with my blog I've also had several health problems that have limited my ability to get things done. I've had a spinal fusion that makes bending and even walking a challenge. Well, thank goodness, it seems that I'm over the hump with my back. The last two weeks I've had virtually no back pain! I've struggled with back pain my whole life due to being diagnosed with scoliosis at age 15. My spine was fused from L1-L4 when I was 15. Well, after so many years of an active life, (trying not to give away my age;-)  I needed to fuse L-4 thru S-1. I don't want to jinks myself but I'm actually wondering if I should have had the surgery years.ago!  I guess only time with tell. Keep your fingers crossed!

So, this is where I am now, I think I just need to just blog! It's not going to be perfect and it might take a while to find out what people want to hear most. In the blogging world they say to blog on one subject and get it perfect. Interior design is my passion so I've tried to run with it.  But who in this world is perfect? And what in this world is perfect?

Perfection is a real struggle for me. I feel everything needs to be perfect most of the time.  From decorating my house or struggling with weight gain from surgery to obsessing over my photos for Instagram! In the real world of blogging, behind the scenes, there is a BIG mess. The only thing that is perfect is what is in that very small photo. And, as soon as the photo shoot is done, you have another project to work on and it's back to chaos. Most bloggers struggle with this and I take comfort in that. I mean after all we all love those beautiful photos of , well anything, homes, fashion flower arrangements. But, I found, when I was reading thru hundreds of perfect blogs that I really enjoyed when they would let their hair down and share there real struggles and the mess behind those perfect photo shoots!!!

 I've found that I want to share a lot of different things with my friends. So please be patient with me while I work through this maze. I've found that I want to share about many things from my favorite new blue jeans to my makeup tips. From now on I'm just going to share, share, share. Some might be short and sweet, because let's face it, you have more to do than just read this blog! And then others might be long and instructional. You tell me what you like and what you want to hear! Feedback is the only way I'm going to learn!

So what's my next project???
Well right now, I'm hosting a baby shower! So much fun!!! A close girlfriend of mine is having a  baby boy! Baby animals are the theme and we are going with a blue, green and brown color scheme. I can't wait to share my photos, tips and tricks with you for the best baby shower!

Talk to you soon! And thank you for following me on this blogging journey.

Happy Decorating!

Friday, April 27, 2018

My Simple Mediterranean Orange Salad with Tilapia

Mediterranean Orange Salad

So for those who are just getting know me, I have a secret to disclose..
I never cook!
(well almost never)

Which, I know, is pathetic. Especial since my running theme on my blog is, table settings and beautiful flowers for entertaining! Well, I bet there are many of you out there with your busy lives that, even if you like to cook, you just don't have time to juggle everything! Who has time to plan a meal, run to the grocery store, go home and plan a nice table setting and cook from scratch! Whew, I'm tired just typing it out. It's not the same today as it was in Grandma's time.

 I was thinking of Mother's Day lunch when I decided to share this recipe but  then I thought this would be great for spring weather and dinning Al Fresco too! I have had several occasions where I have attempted to cook and this is one thing that stuck because it is so yummy. And it looks beautiful. I found the recipe a very long time ago in a Mediterranean cook book. Super healthy!

 I was thinking that, I'm no Barefoot Contessa, but my passion runs in the same direction. My second confession is...I cheat on the rare occasion I cook. There, I said it! I don't think meals need to take hours to make. I try to make half from scratch and half from something that is pre-made. But, of course, that item has to taste great too! So today I'm sharing my recipe for my delicious orange salad. And giving you my cheat tip for yummy Crusted Tilapia. 

 Levi is very curious as to what this thing called cooking is all about!

Mediterranean Orange Salad

Shopping List For 2-3 Portions:

  • 3 Large Oranges
  • 1/4 Pint Black pitted olives from olive bar
  • sliced almonds, a hand full, give or take 
  • a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 3  medium avocados
  • 1/8 sliced red onion to taste 
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • half a lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper 
*This recipe is very forgiving. I don't measure anything I just make sure the main ingredient is oranges and the rest is balanced for color and appearance.

 P.S. Pick up some flowers while you are at the store. My choice was daffodils and a few Ranunculus.(Trader Joes)

First thing. Slice your oranges. I actually don't peel my orange so I don't damage it. Instead I first cut the two ends off. 

Then I make a slight cut thru the rind. It peels off easily this way and it doesn't destroy the orange. Then I slice the orange in whole slices about a 1/4 -1/2 inch thick. 

You can save 3 slices to "plate the salad on" this is just for presentation and is optional. Then proceed to make chunks with the remaining orange slices. I always think of the Dole's Chunky Pineapple, in a can. That's about the right size. 

Then continue to chop the rest of your ingredients. Slice tomato & olives in half. Sprinkle in almond slices. I buy mine already cut at HEB. Slice red onion. Cut avocado in chunks.

Professional Tip: Store your nuts in the refrigerator and they will last practically forever. I save rubber bands from the grocery store and wrap them around my bag and throw them in the crisper drawer.

Professional Tip: Make sure not to over handle the avocado otherwise it will turn the whole salad green. I add them in last and I toss the salad with my hands very carefully. Never use a spoon. I even use my hands to put it on the plate.

For the salad dressing I can't think of any thing simpler. I eyeball this too! A big splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and a dash of black pepper. Everything to taste of course!

Spoon the dressing lightly into salad. Toss once or twice with your hands. Then, once the salad is on the plate
 you can spoon a little extra over the top.
 Just make sure you don't drench it in salad dressing. 
You don't need a lot.
 Let the flavor of the ingredients be the star.  

I love these little bowls I picked up at Sur La Table years ago. They are just right for getting my ingredients together ahead of time. And the salad dressing fits perfectly.  

Now for the cheat. My favorite Tilapia is from Costco! 

It takes about 13 minutes in the oven. Easy and yummy. I think any white fish would go perfectly with this salad. 
Just add a squeeze of lemon.

Please forgive my photos. It was getting dark by the time I took my photos on my Iphone. It looks better in real life.
The key is to using pre-made food is learning the art of presentation. It makes all the difference! Notice here I just added a few slices of lemon and a daffodil or two. And if you haven't spent all of your time cooking then you have a little time to make it look good with garnishes and lovely table settings. 

I'm starting a new board on Pinterest called Beautiful Foods. It's all about the presentation. Follow me and we can learn together!

And we can not forget the flowers. Daffodils and white Ranunculus tie in together with the citrus theme we have going on our plate. 

Tonight is dining for one' but come Mothers Day' this Table will be full of Happy Mothers and grateful kiddos! 
And hopefully continent bellies.

Happy cooking,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blue & White

                                             Photo by Wm Ohs Inc. - Search kitchen pictures  Link Click Here

Blue and white is an all time classic color pallet and I thought I would share some of my favorite inspirational photos! Scroll to the end for my favorite blue and white shopping list! Also, don't forget to follow me on Pinterest! I collect the most beautiful pictures for inspiration! I Especially collect color inspiration for your rooms. Enjoy!

Dan Carithers October 1999- Source
Traditional Home

1st Dibs

Picture via Pinterest, source unknown

                                                                   Ballard Designs


Picture via Pinterest, Source unknown


My Shopping List!
The best finds on the internet!

Happy Decorating,

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Grown Up Easter Table

Hi guys! So, I've been recovering from spinal surgery for awhile and I feel like it's been forever since I've posted. I'm still having good and bad days so it slow going! However, I think I could be dying and still be decorating. At least in my mind I would still be decorating:-)  So with lots of help, I've finally got my next tablescape together!

We don't have little kiddos running around so I decided to post a grown-up table for this Easter.  No pinks here. Color scheme- green, gold,white and a pop of yellow. Anyhow, lets get to the fun stuff. 

A little here about my thought process. I wanted to do a tablescape that was for adults. Something for a ladies brunch. I wanted to do any color scheme except pink. Not that I don't like pink, It's actually my favorite color, but this time I wanted a little more sophisticated. Something a little different. So the first place I always start is with what I already have. Viola, my green cabbage plates!  These plates are perfect for Easter. I will have a shopping list at the end of this blog but I have a secret. I have seen lots of these plates at Tuesday Morning! They can be quite expensive but if you keep your eye out you can find them discounted! 

 Yellow Daisy's, green Bells of Ireland and white Hydrangea are perfect, inexpensive and super easy. Need I say more? You can't see from the photo but my vase is really tall and cheap. Since it was tall you could see too much of the stems so I found a ribbon and problem solved!

About the table: My first thought was to use my white tablecloth for this tablescape but as soon as I started laying out my dishes on the table, I liked the grey wood. I personally love yellow and grey so here was a perfect opportunity.  (Note to self: need to do a post just on when to use a tablecloth and what type of tablecloth.)I'm so glad I didn't use a tablecloth.  I think it gives it a more modern look and I liked the depth the grey added. Grey is neutral and looks great with any color.

The gold Lindt rabbits were perfect for my green and gold theme. Got them on sale at HEB!
And individual champagne with a white ribbon ... Yes Ma'am, sign me up!

I love these Kate Spade napkins with this! I picked these up at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I had originally entertained the idea of yellow gingham napkins but ultimately I was afraid that it would read too casual and I wanted sophisticated. I'm so glad I decided to go with this sleek and modern napkin. It ties in with the grey table and white plates. I was freaking out that I didn't have napkin rings but I'm so glad I didn't. I think adding the Daisy that I pinched of the flowers is great. It got me out of my box!

Picture Plates Spode

I found a set of these beautiful Spode cabbage plates at The Guild Shop in Houston.The Guild is a resale shop with a great mission: To enrich the community as a Christian ministry and resale shop dedicated to awarding financial support to organizations that serves the elderly in need. This was defiantly a win win! I found a set of 8 in perfect shape! And they were 10 dollars a piece. I couldn't believe my luck! This particular pattern was produced from 1961-1975. I've been searching and searching for the perfect white plates. I'm so glad I held out. These plates are even more beautiful in person. And, because I had to wait and hunt for them its more rewarding than if I would have bought something brand new.  My advice...the hunt is half the fun. Keep your eyes open. Antique stores, Ebay and Etsy are great sources.  

                                                   Cabbage Plates by Bordallo Pineiro

I started collecting these plates 10 years ago. I have 8 now and I absolutely did not pay full price for these. About the artist : Bordallo Pineheiro was established in Porturgal in 1884 by Raphael Bordallo Pineheiro. I think I found my first few plates at Homegoods! And since then I found a few on Etsy and now I've seen in healthy quantities at Tuesday Morning! The possibilities for spring and summer place settings are endless. I defiantly, think you will get your moneys worth with these workhorses!

Anne Weatherly Charger

Anne Weatherly is on of my very favorite modern artists. In the early 1990's she established a studio in Budapest, Hungary where she trained a group of highly talented painters to create her collection of hand-painted porcelain.You won't find any bargain basement prices here. These are an investment but I think they are so worth it! I have no problem asking for a plate of charger, etc. for birthdays, Valentine's day, etc. 

I hope you found some ideas that you can incorporate into your Easter!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Marriage of Trends and Classics

At the beginning of the year everyone is talking about the trends for the new year. So I thought we would talk about some of the new trends and how we can combine them with classics.

So what are trends and classics? Well here is my two cents...

Trends are something that eventually go out of style. Why do they go out of style? One, because people get bored easily. Secondly, maybe it wasn't that great of an idea in the first place? Gasp! I know. How dare I say that!!!

Classics are the thoughts and ideas that are the very best of the best. They never go out of style. They stand the test of time and are always considered in good taste!

Now, I know what your thinking... well I like the trends and I don't want a old fashion home. I want something hip and trendy or at least up to date!

Just keep this in mind...

So what am I saying? Am I saying don't follow the trends?  Well, yes and no. 

My advice is keep it 80% classics and 20% trends. More or less.

You want trendy items to be the jewelry to your outfit. Fashion is very much like home design. You want to have that classic little black dress and add the trendy shoes or trendy earrings to make it modern and bring it into the 21st century!

My Icon! The very name Audrey Hepburn 
is synonymous with Classic! 
Classic black dress with a touch of modern accessories.
Classics are our foundation! 
The rest is just icing on the cake.

Now lets look at some example of home interiors that 
do a wonderful job of blending the latest trends of 2018 
with classic architecture. 

Accessories are the way to go with trends.

Velvet Pillows are a great way to work the velvet trend into your home without breaking the bank! Just a touch of vibrant blue and modern art keep this room from looking too old fashion. The traditional architectural features along with clean lines keep it fresh.   

If you're suffering from a design conundrum, then you're going to want to visit this new San Francisco design studio asap!

today at Luxxu Blog we decided to share with you the 2018 color trends that Pantone got to tell the world at the International + Housewares show last week.

Pantone has declared violet the color of the year! Paint is a relativity cheap way to embrace a trend. Their is nothing old fashioned about this room. If your looking for wow factor this is it. Notice the architecture is very traditional but the violet paint changes everything!

today at Luxxu Blog we decided to share with you the 2018 color trends that Pantone got to tell the world at the International + Housewares show last week.

 Velvet is everywhere from sofas to clothing this year. This is a trend I can get behind. I happen to love velvet. This velvet settee and bench juxtaposed with the classic mill work really create this modern aesthetic.

The punch of color gives a fresh and vivid take on a traditional living room.

A beautiful blend of classics with contemporary trends. This is more of my style. French, velvet, hot pink and animal print...this has my name written all over it!

 but the rug, curtains and ceiling keep it from being anything but old fashioned. I love this ceiling!

So I hope this gives you some ideas! There are many trends that I love. But I love them more when they are mixed with classics!

Happy Decorating!