Friday Favorites {things that are black} + our backyard potting area {Behind our black garage}. A detached garage was added to our property years after our home was originally built in 1900.  It basically sits in the back of our property and is quite visible. This is why we painted it black.  If you’re going to have a garage in your backyard, you kind of have to make it look cool. Behind the garage is an area that was long forgotten for many years.  At some point there were some plantings that just needed a little attention. We edged and weeded the beds and made a half circle at the back of the garage and added pea gravel.  I found an old table that I use for a potting bench.  For the shelves we used inexpensive brackets and wood for shelves that we found after Hurricane Sandy.  It had washed up in Red Hook Brooklyn and we used some for a coat rack in our entry and this was the left over.  It keeps stacks of pots and tools organized.   The galvanized trash can holds bags of potting soil.

Backyard Potting Area behind Black Garage

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Mother’s Day + Minted Letterpress

Mother's Day Breakfast for Friends

Mother's Day + Minted Letterpress

I’m working with one of my favorite brands, Minted, for a Mother’s Day breakfast for my girlfriends.  I love letterpress and when I saw these beautiful letterpress note cards with initials–I knew this was perfect for a little take away gift.

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It’s Cinco de Mayo! I’m sharing my easy chicken enchiladas recipe and my Friday Favorites which includes a really good homemade enchilada sauce.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with homemade sauce & seasoning

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Summer Living Room Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old White

When asked if I wanted to do a post for  Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan–my first thought was of course!  And then I remembered how much I don’t like painting furniture.  But then again—a little paint would be a nice start to a summer living room.  In the early 90’s during the Shabby Chic days my husband and I would shop flea markets in LA every weekend.  We also found ideas among the shops along Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.  We would come home with a Jeep full of stuff and bring it back to life with paint.  You know the chippy kind of paint with layers and layers.  From the shops in Santa Monica we would sketch furniture and then Brent would plan out and actually build pieces of furniture.  I would attempt to paint it.  We still have a few things from those days, but if we had Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan  it would have been so much more fun!  Not to mention that each piece would have been properly painted with a nice finish. Back then we mixed whatever paint we had on hand.  It’s no wonder it was difficult to get the right look and color.

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DIY May Day Baskets

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bougainvillea at Terrain Westport

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Outdoor entertaining is my favorite!  I’m joining a group of bloggers hosted by Melaine of My Sweet Savannah to share our ideas for outdoor tables.

We have lived in California and Arizona and I loved that the outdoor entertaining season was a bit longer. Living in Connecticut makes you appreciate the outdoor days even more because the season starts around Memorial Day and ends around Labor Day.  I’m always managing to squeeze in way more than that, but the one thing you need is a Plan B.  Because rain happens.  A lot.

Outdoor-Entertaining-Spring-Peonies

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Cinnamon Baked Mini Donuts are super easy to make and you can prep the night before and have them ready to go on Easter morning.  I’ll make them for my kids who will both be home for Easter.  Mostly because I love the house to smell yummy just as everyone is waking up.  I use Ina Garten’s recipe that you can find right here.  I accidentally ordered a mini doughnut pan so I cut the recipe in half and the baking time down to about 6 minutes.  Do not over fill like I did the first time.  They come out looking like mini bundt cakes which is fine, but not if you’re telling your kids that you’re making them home-made doughnuts!

Cinnamon Baked Mini Doughtnuts

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Arizona Bridal Brunch

Monday, April 10, 2017

I had the opportunity to help my sister with a few details for a bridal brunch for the last of three daughters in a family of all girls.  It was in Paradise Valley, Arizona and many of the guests were from New York City and Toronto.   The bride wanted to play up the Arizona Desert theme.  After all, they had Mariachi Pasion, an all female mariachi band at their wedding reception.  How cool is that? For the bridal brunch invitations, we turned to Wedding Paper Divas and of course they had the perfect look with their Succulent Cluster Invitations.

Arizona Bridal Brunch + Wedding Paper Divas Invitations

We both loved all the details like the back of the invitations and the lined envelopes.  We went with the luxurious Premium Double Thick Paper.

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Green Bean Salad with Walnuts

Our weather has been rainy and cold, but that has not stopped me from thinking of dinner on the patio and picnics on the beach.  This simple recipe is one that I go to over and over again.  What I love about this dish is that it’s best at room temperature.  I can make it ahead and serve hours later.  For picnics, I’ll pack it into a large Weck jar and give a shake before serving and then add the walnuts.

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Modern Easter Baskets 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I’m taking a different approach to the traditional basket with a Modern Easter Basket or bowl.  I miss those years when my kids looked forward to decorating and dying Easter eggs.  Sometimes they had so much fun, we would repeat it the next day after buying more eggs.  Now they are 17 and 22 so no more egg dying after school, but I still like to have a basket of eggs on the table for a little springtime decor.  I loved this Købenler bowl from Terrain(and not just because of the Danish design) but I like that I could use it for Easter/Spring now and then re-purpose it all year long both inside the house and out on the porch or patio.

Springtime Modern Easter Basket Read More >

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