prep in style

I picked up these little Martha Stewart Stainless Steel Prep Bowls at Macy’s, they just make me want to cook! I am also on the lookout for any stylish pantry alternative to my Tupperware, since the whole BPA business has left me feeling leery about foods coming into contact with anything remotely unhealthy. I really feel like I need to delve into more research on the matter I don’t want to act hastily.

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animal erasers

How cute are these Endangered Species Erasers? They struck a cord with me because once had an orange rhino eraser–a long time ago. A cut functional design (if you could ever bring yourself to use them!), or a neat toy (older kid). Check them out at West Elm.

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appetizers galore

In my quest to round out my kitchen and dining supplies I embarked into the world of Pampered Chef. The gadgets are pretty awesome- once you’ve tried it your hooked. I hosted a catalog party this past month, and after many deliberations on what I should order, I finally decided on the Pampered Chef entertaining pieces. I chose the 3 tier stand, rectangle stand and the small bowl caddy! Can’t wait for the items to arrive–and can’t wait to make some creative appetizers to go on them. I recently had the most delicious Beer Cheese Dip at my friend’s get together and I really want to try out. I’m also looking forward to designing and printing creative cards to tuck into the top of these bad boys. Being a designer comes in handy at times. I also look forward to stashing some nifty new utensils in my drawers!

Beer Cheese Dip
8 ozs Cream Cheese (Neufatchel is lower fat choice)
8 ozs Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 minced garlic clove
1 or 2 tbsp. of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 of a bottle or can of beer

Mix and refrigerate…enjoy!

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dreamy china

I can’t explain my fixation on china. All I can think of is that it somehow epitomizes my values: family, tradition and the excitement of holiday gathering / meals, exquisite design and craftsmanship. I don’t want this comment to come off materialistic so much as I wish to express my desire for family intimacy. I love family dinners at the dining room table, always have! None of this eating in front of the TV stuff. Few objects we own are meant to last as long as china. China is something to be passed on to future generations. Seeing antique and ancient dinnerware in museums just gives me chills. China seems to be fast becoming a relic, as I’ve discussed before it seems many brides I’ve know have chosen not to register for china. This may be in part to changing lifestyles and, well, the prohibitive cost. I must say that is the one downer of the subject. Why must a set of fine bone china cost so darn much? The set I own cost around $500 for 12 place settings (porcelain certainly makes for a more cost effective solution). But I can’t help but covet this dreamy set, Waterford’s Baron’s Court China. The picture does it no justice by the way. You have to see it in person and run your fingers over the raised floral pattern and elegant platinum lining.

For those looking for an alternative to spending so much or have a more streamlined taste, I also recommend Mikasa’s Gothic Platinum for the ultimate in simple, classic elegance. This china is just white with a platinum band. Sometimes, less is more. Coming in at $69.99 a place setting it is a little more stomach-able then the Baron’s Court style at $125 a place setting.

Lastly, I’ll make a little plug for my set, Mikasa’s Parchment, coming in at $39.99 a place setting (but watch for the 8 setting set for $199!) It’s pretty elegant, too. 🙂

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glass display pillar holders

As an older sibling I’m used to learning things the hard way. I even sort of like it that way. I like paving my way and learning things as I go for myself. Mostly I probably just not like being told what to do or given unsolicited advice. One thing is for sure though as I go I have learned that things get easier with experience and exposure. When I started out getting into the world of home decorating I was quite overwhelmed and sort of clueless. But it turns out that the web designer in me translates to other areas of design, eg. interior design. Having a design eye in one design field can certainly help when it comes to tasks in another design arena. (Well that and a Pottery Barn catalog /obsession). I am also seriously all about getting things just right, more than right, perfect. This obsessive trait is one that I’m sure aids me in my design work, can sometimes become tiring if I let it get out of hand in my personal life. I can really mull over decisions regarding home decor choices. Usually its a long process, as I go between several options. Then it seems as of late, I’ll finally take the plunge on one only to shortly thereafter change my mind and come up with a 3rd, perfect solution that somehow wasn’t even on the plate when I debated between choices one and two. My mind works in funny ways. One of my gifts is having an imagination that runs wild. I’m still learning to harness it in for my sanity. Sometimes. Anyhow, progress has been made on the mantel as I ordered a couple candle holders. If you read my blog by now you’ll know that I’m all about bring nature in, which these perfectly do with the addition of a little sprig. I could of course also do pine cones or river stones or a myriad of other items (that’s the fun of it, it’s totally versatile for the changing seasons). Oh, and for all the frugalistas out there, know that I most certainly advocate replicating pricey looks with local steals from Marshall’s or Tuesday Morning. Believe me, I went everywhere looking to replicate this look on the cheap but nothing compared up. Thus my little splurge (which I think is fine in moderation). Cheers!

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party time

So recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my kitchen. Probably because it is my favorite part of the house! I’m super thrilled with the kitchen because it is so spacious and open. It’s big enough to fit a 6-8 person dining table. And, rather then get stressed about the search and purchase of said table, it is easier to think about the things in the cupboards. The former owners had an island which I thought was super cool, but I have since have come to consider a table instead, and forgo a dining table in the front room. I recently purchased a 3 tier server for my friend’s bridal shower and it got me thinking how cool those things are! One day I’ll have to throw a fete and make a tablescape just like this Crate and Barrel scape.

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natural objects on display

The first thing I decorated my house with was a hurricane filled with pine cones I collected from outside my parents house. I even got the hurricane from my mom who doesn’t really use it at all it was just in storage. This was great because it was a way to test the waters so to speak as I started to get a feel for what I liked decor wise. Well, it is safe to say the idea of displaying ‘natural’ objects has really grown on me. It makes being indoors feel more like being outside, which I like since I’m big into nature hikes and camping. I found these Pottery Barn set-ups quite inspiring and I hope they get you in the fall mood!

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