Entries Tagged as 'Living'

Friday Link Love + Butternut Squash Soup

Friday, September 23, 2016

It’s that time of year.  The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting (slightly) cooler and soon I’ll be making Butternut Squash Soup at least once a week.  I make a big batch and on busy weeknights all I have to do is make croutons, a salad and dinner is on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Friday Link Love + Butternut Squash Soup

Here’s some things I love right now:

Casetify – I broke my phone three times this summer.  What’s wrong with me?  I’m sure you’ve seen the instagram and the commercial where two pretty girls are attempting to take a photo of their ice cream cones and they drop their phone. It’s all good because their phone is protected by their case.  Casetify looks pretty with lots of options and keeps your phone safe, even when you drop it!  And yes, they have cases for the new iphone 7!

Marine Layer – We love them for their absurdly soft t-shirts and now they have a cool Big Sur graphic tee that gives $10 back to help Big Sur after the devastating wild fires this summer.

Hudson | Grace Pop Up is  at Serena & Lily in Westport now through the holidays.  This dish soap will be coming to a sink near me!

Madewell has the cutest leather bag tags and at $10 they are the perfect thing to send with a {home-made} card.  The palm tree  is perfect for Madeline for her backpack.  The cactus is perfect for my niece for her diaper bag.

Friday Link Love + Butternut Squash Soup

Have a great weekend! xo

 

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Vintage Photographs + Framebridge

Monday, September 12, 2016

Vintage Photographs + Framebridge

Custom framing can be complicated and expensive.  I’ve been wanting to frame some vintage photographs for years and Framebridge made it easy! Framebridge is the simple way to frame everything you love!  They combine technology and craftsmanship and get rid of the hassles.  Frames are $39 – $159 and shipping is free!

First – Upload your file or mail your original artwork.  They’ll even send you a pre-paid mailer, how easy is that?

Second – Select your frame.  Preview what your piece would look like in different frames.  Still not sure?  Work with one of their designers who will create some options.

Third – They start to work on your frame and send you updates along the way.  Like this one I received–  “Hooray!  Your art has arrived in our studio and our Design Experts are excited to get to work custom framing your piece.”

Fourth- Receive your piece ready to hang on the wall. It arrives in a beautiful box all nestled in snug and even comes with a bag that includes hanging supplies.

For our project, I chose to send in our photographs rather than sending them digitally.  When we were first married I found a box of 35mm slides of my husbands from the 1970’s and 80’s.  We were thrilled to have these photos of my husband skiing powder at Sundance where he grew up and later taught skiing during his college years.  Had it not been for Framebridge, I’m not sure when I would have found the time to actually get this done.  I will continue to use Framebridge. It’s the perfect gift for almost anyone.

Vintage Photographs + Framebridge

Vintage Photographs + Framebridge

Framebridge is offering MLT readers a 15% discount on their first order.  Use the code MOSTLOVELYTHINGS15.

*This post made possible in product trade with Framebridge.  Of course all words and opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help give fresh content to Most Lovely Things!

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Getting Organized + Tinyprints

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Getting Organized + Tinyprints

Tinyprints helps us get organized for back to school.  When your kids are 17 and 22 that means something a little different than filling backpacks with binders, glue sticks and a box of tissues.  Madeline and Patrick are seniors and that means thank you notes.  My senior in high school is writing thank you notes to college admissions counselors.  Madeline is writing thank you notes for job interviews.  Tinyprints stationery helps them make a good impression.

Getting Organized + Tinyprints

We chose a simple Letterpress card with her initials at the top and her full name at the bottom.  There’s not a lot of room for a note, but she’s most likely sent an email before the note.  This is the perfect amount of space.  The thick card is luxurious, but the font and style says all business.

Getting Organized + Tinyprints

We chose Brilliant Statement for Patrick’s notes!  Letterpress has that old world feel, this combination is crisp and modern.

Getting Organized + Tinyprints

Of course I could not be left out on new stationery.  I chose the Twiggy Greeting foldover note and these return address labels.  Tinyprints calls them Chic Engagement, but since my last name is Diamond…

Getting Organized + Tinyprints

Getting Organized + Tinyprints

We also ordered business cards for a little project Madeline and I are working on.  I love the black and white stripes and we could personalize the card on both the back and front with all the information we needed.  I worked with a tinyprints designer to make sure everything would fit on each line.  The front of the card has our names.  You can follow us on instagram at coffeeshopsofnewyork to see where we love to have coffee in our favorite city.

Tinyprints is offering 20% off Premium Thank You and Stationery on all orders.   Use code:  20TYSEP | Ends 9/13

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Friday Link Love + Watermelon Salad

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Link Love and this watermelon salad is my fave!  I may have given up on my geraniums for mums, but we are still eating like it’s midsummer.  Ever since my friend introduced me to Steve’s Greek Market I’ve been making this salad at least once a week.  They have seven kinds of feta cheese. In my opinion…this salad goes with everything summery.  Is that even a word?

Friday Link Love + Watermelon Salad

This Black denim shirt from The Gap is super soft, relaxed and comfortable.  And it comes in tall, which I love.  I received mine on Saturday and have washed and worn it three times already!

About 10 days before leaving for Italy we decided we needed sunglasses.  Prescription sunglasses.  We stopped into the Warby Parker on Lexington Avenue and within about 15 minutes my husband and I ordered sunglasses and Madeline found a new pair of regular glasses.  At the price of only $95 for every pair purchased, a pair is given to someone in need.  I chose the Laurel and they arrived in our mailbox right before we left on our trip.  When we got home we received a cute package from Warby Parker with three beautifully designed lens cloths.  That was happy mail day!

We love these extra large (2.5 gallon) Montana Jars from Anchor Hocking.  Perfect for storing snacks along side our glass door refrigerator for our teenage son and his friends in the attic/family room.

Friday Link Love + Watermelon Salad

This Farmtable Plank from Hudson Grace has me dreaming of an Autumn dinner party in the garden with cheese, figs, pears, bread, meats, olives…

For my girl who was born in california….I kinda love this from JCrew

Terrain in Westport is a place where I always find inspiration.  I found this bandana on my last visit and at $14 I bought it, tied it to my bag and went back to work at Serena & Lily…which is also a huge source of inspiration!  Where do you find your daily dose of inspiration?

 

 

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DIY Dorm Decor

Friday, August 19, 2016

Every year Madeline and I come up with some pretty cool ideas for the walls of her dorm room, but this year….I have to say, it might be our best work.  On Wednesday we were in the city doing our coffee shop thing* and ended up at one of our favorite spots for lunch.  While we had coffee and avocado toast we started looking around at the cool art at Two Hands on Mott Street.  It was basically photographs of water with text added to the photos.  I snapped a few pics and the rest of the afternoon I searched apps and photos on my phones getting ideas.  Turns out I have over 41,000 photos on my phone.  probably not a good idea, but I scrolled way back to when we were still living in Southern California and found several photos of water and waves.  I cropped out the beach and the horizon so I had just the water.  I also used a photo that I took as we walked over the Seine last fall when I visited her in France during her semester abroad.  So now that I had meaningful photos of water, I used apps to create the “art.”  I used the Phonto app to add the text like California and 2017 which represents her graduation year.  Then I used the A Beautiful Mess app and selected a diamond shape from their Doodles and spaced them out over water.  Why the diamond shape and California?  Diamond is our last name and Madeline was born in California and we lived there during most of her high school years.  For the last one we used the ABM app to create a repeating pattern of x’s and o’s just for fun.

DIY Dorm Decor

DIY Dorm Decor

DIY Dorm Decor

I’m hoping to update this post with a photo of how Madeline uses them in her dorm room.  In the future we may play around with these a bit and actually frame them in something like the Marin frame from Framebridge.  For now she will use 3m poster strips to hang the 16 X 20 photos from Costco.  Total cost for four $28.  We picked ours up at our local Costco store, but you could have them sent directly to your college student.  (Below is a photo of the art at Two Hands that inspired the whole project).

DIY Dorm Decor

*Are you following us on instagram at CoffeeShopsofNewYork ?

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Last winter Charlotte of Ciburbanity got a group of bloggers together to help design the interior spaces of a Habitat for Humanity House in a small Connecticut town.  I worked with my neighbor Kris of Driven by Decor on the kitchen and dining room.  Kris and I were able to meet with the homeowner in the space while it was still under construction.   With the help of Pinterest we were able to share ideas for inspiration.  After our first meeting, it was apparent that she liked farmhouse with a bit of industrial feel.  The fist thing I thought of were the crates that Kris has in her own kitchen.   The homeowner wanted a farmhouse table.   The Ikea table fits in the space beautifully and the color is actually the same as the wooden beam just above the dining area.  It has the ability to open into a larger table to seat 6 or 8.  The counter tops are mostly black and so we went with black chairs donated by Wayfair and accessories from Ikea really pulled the look together.  For a complete list of sources see below and click on the blog names to see the rest of the house.

Habitat for Humanity + Bloggers + Design

Habitat for Humanity + Bloggers + Design

Habitat for Humanity + Bloggers + Design

Bloggers Heart Humanity was the idea of Charlotte’s and we could not have done it without these generous sponsors and the bloggers who put their time and creative energy into turning a house into a home for a very sweet family.

Hometalk – They gave us a cash donation.  In our case, we were able to take that money and spend it at Ikea on a table that’s perfect for the family and space and things like the black dishes, silverware and a few other accessories.

Wayfair – They gave us generous gift cards that we could use for anything on their site…which as we all know, Wayfair has everything you need!  We used the gift cards to purchase the black dining chairs and the three piece deck set which is right off the kitchen.  The black hanging pendant above the dining table is also from Wayfair!

Connecticut Lighting Center

Anchor Hocking – We used glass canisters, coffee mugs, glassware, salt and pepper, sugar and creamer, and a coffee canister all from Anchor Hocking. We used pantry labels from The Creativity Exchange that you can download for free.

I think the crates donated by Farmhouse Wares sets the look for the entire space.

Now head over to these bloggers and see the rest of the house!

Master Bedroom – Charlotte Ciburbanity, Bee Windgate Lane, Jillian I am a Homemaker

Entry, mudroom and bathrooms – Sarah and Nick The Nesters

Living Room – Laura Finding Home Farms, Jaime That’s My Letter

Kitchen and dining room – Kris Driven by Decor

Teen Room – Michelle Weekend Craft  Stephanie Sandpaper and Glue

Guest Room – Evey Evey’s Creations  Lynn On Fern Avenue

Kids Room – Kristin A Thrifter in Disguise

Thanks Charlotte for being the organizer, cheerleader and person that gets it done!  I am beyond thrilled that I had the opportunity to participate and also the chance to work with Kris!  Thanks everyone!

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DIY Terrariums

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Making DIY terrariums is one of those things that kids and people of all ages enjoy making.  I often pop in to Terrain in Westport, Connecticut and see the terrarium making workshops.  They are quite popular!  Earlier this week I had the chance to make terrariums with Brooke of  Nesting With Grace and her little girls.  The girls are reading the Serafina and the Black Cloak and Serafina and the Twisted Staff.  The terrarium project was a culminating activity.

DIY Terrariums

DIY Terrariums

DIY Terraiums

DIY Terrariums

DIY Terrariums

Here’s what you need to make terrariums:

A glass jar with a lid (I think the Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill Jars are perfect and they come in several sizes).  The lids are all glass and not air tight so your plants will be very happy.

soil

rocks and small stones

moss (I collected moss from our stone walls)

tiny plants

Woodland animals and mushrooms

A plant mister to mist your terrarium

Tiny  (battery operated) strand of lights for a touch of magic

DIY Terrariums

We had perfect weather for making terrariums in the backyard.  There was a little cloud cover.   As the terrarium making progressed it got darker and darker.   Once we brought the terrariums indoors and cleaned up, it began to pour rain.  Ella carefully turned out the lights in the terrariums and we moved inside for lemonade and Madeleines.

Thank you Brooke, Ella, Lola and Finn!  Come back soon!

DIY Terrariums

 

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Choosing Houseplants

Friday, July 8, 2016

I’ve always had house plants, but ever since Pinterest came on the scene, I have more plants than ever before.  Seeing a room without plants now seems like there’s something missing.  Not only does it add something living (obviously) to a room, but it also adds something not too perfect.  Which brings me to fake plants.  I just can’t do it.  I know, I know they are practical and they make them so good they even have less than perfect leaves to make them look real, but still, I like real ones.  Here’s a look at my favorite houseplants at the moment.

Choosing Houseplants

Am I missing any good ones?  Do you talk to your plants? I don’t talk to them, but there may be some name calling.  See if you agree with the names I give my plants:  The Work Horse, The Popular One, The Don’t Bother Me, I’m Fine, The Prim & Proper Topiary, The Messy, but Reliable Fern and The High Maintenance Maidenhair Fern.

Choosing Houseplants

The Work Horse – More commonly known as the Pothos.  It is impossible to kill these plants.  You can forget to water them, never replant to a larger container and still they thrive.

Choosing Houseplants

The Messy, but Reliable Fern, more commonly known as the Boston Fern.  I have ferns outside in my planters on the porch and one inside doing a pretty swell job of hiding my gas logs for the summer.  They tend to drop leaves, but pretty easy to clean up and they are inexpensive for such a large plant.

Choosing Houseplants

The High Maintenance, but thinks she’s low Maintenance Maidenhair Fern.  My most favorite plant, but not the easiest to keep looking fresh and beautiful like this one.  I can justify buying them because they last way longer than fresh flowers.  To keep them looking lovely for as long as possible, they prefer indirect light and a light mist almost every day.  Keep the soil moist, but not drenched.

Choosing Houseplants

The Don’t Bother me, I’m Fine –  Other names for this plant:  Snake plant and mother-in-laws tongue.  This plant can be in direct or indirect light, water it when you remember and it will be fine.  Basically, the opposite of the finicky Maidenhair Fern.

Choosing Houseplants

The Prim & Proper Topiary – I love my Myrtle Topiaries. They are precise, a little bit formal and always ready for a party.  I use them in place of flowers when setting the table and they look beautiful every time.  They are pretty low maintenance, but they do need to be watered almost daily when they are in small pots like these.

Choosing Houseplants

The Popular One –  I read people had trouble keeping fiddle leaf fig trees alive or how they brought theirs back from a single leaf.  My house is on the small side, so my plants need to be on their best behavior at all times.  I feed all of my plants about every other month with Miracle Gro and I use a Moisture Meter to make sure I’m not over watering.  My house gets about the average amount of light and everything thrives.  I think it’s a combination of feeding your plants and not over watering them. A common mistake, I suspect.  So….what are your tips on caring for houseplants and what’s your favorite?  Mine is the high maintenance, but thinks she’s low maintenance (the worst kind) Maidenhair Fern.  (Yes, that is a reference to When Harry Met Sally).

 

 

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Sorbet

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Have you ever made sorbet?  Well I hadn’t and it’s about the simplest thing to make. Ever.  I had a large bottle of POM juice that had been opened in the refrigerator for about a week and I wanted to use it before it went bad.  Then I remembered seeing a recipe for Pomegranate Sorbet on The View From Great Island.  Sue has the most amazing recipes, like this Colorful  Crostini.  But I digress, Sorbet is the simplest thing to make and it’s so refreshing.  Perfect for summer!

Sorbet

Sorbet

It’s so simple that it’s hardly even a recipe.  I used about two cups of POM juice and sweetened it with a little sugar, maybe 1/4 of a cup.  Mix it together and pour into a ziplock bag and then put it in something so that it will lay flat and freeze it for about three hours.  Then take the bag and cut it open and place the chunks into the bowl of a Cuisinart fitted with the steel blade.  Puree until it is perfectly smooth.  Take the puree and scoop it into a loaf pan and freeze overnight.

Sorbet

Sorbet in Glass Bowls with Monogram J

When you are ready to serve, freeze the bowls and if it’s really hot out, place the bowls on ice to keep them cold right until you are ready to serve.  Scoop the sorbet and add a sprig of mint and that’s it.  It’s sooooo good and refreshing.  I found these little glass bowls with a “J” while Madeline and I were out thrifting a while back.  They are the perfect size for a scoop of sorbet.  And since Janet from The Gardeners Cottage taught us all about thrifting, these are for you dear Janet! By the way…did you see Janet’s House featured in the March issue of Country Living? Her cottage is painted black–need I say more?

Summer Entertaining

Monday, June 20, 2016

One of the things I love most about summer is the ease and simplicity of entertaining.  We spent our summers in California and almost every night we would pack up an assortment of cheese, meat, crackers, dip, fruit, nuts…whatever we had in the pantry and the refrigerator and arrange it on a great big platter or cheeseboard.  We would throw on a tablecloth, light a few candles in lanterns and watch the sun dip into the Pacific.  Now that our kids are older we no longer leave for the summer, but we still enjoy a beautiful feast out on the patio around sunset.

I buy a few cheeses, almost always one that goes with a fig jam, peppers, Castelvetrano Olives, salami, cashews, tomatoes, crackers and bread and when I have time, I make Ina’s marinated artichoke hearts.

Antipast with Roasted Artichokes

Antipasto with Roasted Artichokes

ingredients for Roasted Artichoke Dressing

Antipasto with Roasted Artichoke Dressing

Ina Garten’s Roasted Artichokes, you can find the recipe right here.

Dana Point Sunset

Mary Ann in San Francisco just wrote a great post on the Best Party Platter complete with a shopping list and I can’t help but miss California a little lot when seeing Elizabeth’s recent post from Big Sur. I guess I’ll always be California dreaming…  Happy first day of summer.  It’s gonna be a good one!  xo annie

 

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