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Friday, August 31, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor Lemonade ~ FFP#6

As you may know over the summer we moved into a new neighborhood. I think many of us long for a place where children frolic in sprinklers while neighbors sit and visit one another on their porches. In this busy day and age that can be hard to come by. But it is worth the effort. Over the years some of our previous neighbors have become our dearest friends.


Now that I am finally unpacked, I am ready to to try and build relationships with those I can borrow a cup of sugar from in the future. There are many ways a good relationship can be formed.

I found these darling printables by Eat Drink Chic on Pinterest.

I really wanted to make my own lemonade and fill it in glass bottles I found at the thrift store or these cute gems at Ikea.
SLOM Bottle with stopper IKEA Tight-fitting stopper prevents leakage.
The lemonade would also be so cute presented in mason jars.

Lemonade in Mason Jars

But I get that if a lady you don’t know shows up on your doorstep with homemade lemonade you probably aren’t going to drink it. So I purchased some bottled (and sealed!) lemonade at Trader Joe’s. Tags were signed and attached with bakers twine and we plan on passing them out on Labor Day.

Do you have a great neighbor? 


What pin made your heart leap this week? Do you have a board collection you love? Please share, I’d love to see it.
You can link to a post you created or a pinterest URL.
Yes, it can be your own creation that you have pinned. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Farm To Table Feast for Forty

I spent my birthday weekend in Laguna Beach. The weather was sublime.

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I arrived at Andrea’s home late Friday afternoon to help set up and decorate for a Farm to Table Feast for Forty held on Saturday. My children, who had accompanied me, were corralled into helping out. We quickly became familiar with these lovely brick steps as the space was transformed.  

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A single long table was placed under the loggia. It was first covered in antique French linen and topped with a lovely washed burlap runner. Next came the plates, silverware and crystal for 24.

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Four glass hurricanes were placed in the center and intermittently surrounded by small votives.  A vine was plucked from the garden and was just the right touch of greenery. You can create a garland of greenery with potato vine, ivy, and even pumpkin, but you may want to avoid jasmine as the heady scent may conflict with food.

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Antique French linen napkins were rolled and tied with a bit of soft velvet. A single stem of rosemary or lavender was tucked in for color. A bonus from gathering a basketful of herbs was that every now and again, throughout the evening, I would catch a bit of the lovely scent as it lingered on my hands.

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At the end of the long table a desert station was set up. We moved Andrea’s great pine desk down from her bedroom and topped it with a collection of lovely antique crates.

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Lovely vignettes of nests and silver nestled inside the crates and created a décor of rustic elegance at it’s finest.

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It was a concoction of everything but the kitchen sink that worked beautifully.

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Her best serving pieces were set out as the sun slipped into the ocean.

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As nightfall approached the flickering candlelight made the copper pots gleam.

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Smaller round tables were set up on the upper patio and dressed in a similar fashion. To get the vine to bend in a circular shape I just gently snapped it in the place where I wanted a curve.

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Guests were smitten with the large copper tubs filled with ice, water, wine and rosemary. The herbs scent and color is a lovely addition and it also acts as a cushion for the glass bottles.

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As the platters began to be filled I quickly found my children in the upper tiers of the garden, snapped a photo and reminded them to be on their best behavior.

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They were absolute angels.

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I just adore the stonework that is dotted throughout the property.

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I just wish I had had more time to take a few more shots of the guests.

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Now for the food. Andrea prepared the entire menu. I was just lucky enough to serve it and grab a taste here and there.

My favorite? A simple slice of red tomato and peach topped with burrata, which in Italian means “buttered”. It is an apt description of this luscious cheese. While I have purchased burrata at Trader Joe’s before, there is nothing like fresh. It was topped with mint, a bit of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Delissimo!

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A garden salad with yummy haricots verts, dill and delicious beets.

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Fresh pappardelle pasta with seasonal mushrooms, butter and grated parmesan.

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Then came dessert which was nothing short of bliss~ fresh berries, chocolate mousse, whipped cream, lemon tart….sigh. But the coconut cake...well, I am still dreaming of just a single slice.

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Have you ever hosted a large party like this?


Don’t forget to link up your favorite “pinable” images on Friday!

Yes, it can be a direct link to your Pinterest account.


Linking to:

StoneGable , A Stroll Thru Life, BNOTP, Designs By Gollum

Monday, August 27, 2012

Does Your House Tell Your Story?

This is our small entry at the new Décor To Adore manor. It might be a bit too much going on for some. But for our family it feels authentically like home.

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The space is tiny. It measures just 6’ x 9”.

When we first saw the home it was staged in a contemporary style. Anyone could have lived there. Anyone.


But what if you want a home that tells a story of those that live there? What if you want to make the most of a space? What if you have an incredibly small budget?

Think about what speaks to you. What you cherish.

I began by bringing in a small antique washstand that Mr. Décor had purchased years ago at a flea market while stationed in England. It’s small scale fit the small space. 

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I topped it with a few of our favorite books, added a small sculpture my mother Karen made in high school, scattered a few found shells and finished the look with an arrangement of hydrangeas.


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Artwork had me stumped for awhile. The builder placed the light switches smack dab in the middle of the wall. Grrrrr. As I continued to unpack 18 million pictures I realized that I actually had very little open wall space. Most of the walls in our new home feature windows. So I took a risk and put all of our favorites up on one wall. I had nowhere to go but up.

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Every piece tells a story. This bell once hung around the neck of someone very special to us. I thank Albert C. Barnes for giving the green light to hang hardware on the wall.

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Seeing the bell reminds us of our Nanny who was tied to the olive tree in our front yard everyday that we lived on Crete.

Family photos and watercolors of favorite places mingle together. Who says a light switch can’t be art?

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You may remember that the vintage scrolled metal frames were found for mere pennies at a thrift store when I was visiting my Grandma Jingles last spring. A quick coat of spray paint made them modern.

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The light in the entry and attached living area encourages morning sun salutations. Yes, by all means the dogs are allowed on the white slipcovered couches. Rudi waits to be lifted. You can see a small footrest behind him that is put into place so that the fur boys can get down when they want to.

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Across from the couch is a large entertainment center and Franz’s favorite napping spot.

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The center is decorated very simply with a confit pot I hand carried home from France, wooden shoe molds found at a flea market in Germany and two books, one of which was written by my dear friend Brooke who greatly inspires me. The other major influence in decorating this space was my lovely friend Joni.

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Nestled next to the slipcovered chair is a small rattan table. This little gem was found at Ross for $15.00. The lid lifts off for extra storage. In small spaces multi functional furniture is key. I love the texture the rattan brings to the room.

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On top of the table a few starfish nestle on a vintage metal vanity tray along with a lantern that was carried by Mr. Décor’s grandfather, Landen, aka POP Gunn, as he walked the banks while working construction on what is now the Panama Canal.

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The coffee table deserves a post all it’s own. It too has a special story and the carving is amazing.

See the slipcovered chairs that were once in my office?

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They are topped with down cushions so lovely to lay on. They used to be yellow but got a recent dip in a dye bath.

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You can see that the small dining area is separated by a low pony wall and an archway provides a glimpse of the kitchen.

Using the same curtains, hung high, helps to unify the two spaces.

Next to the slipcovered sofa is a skirted table.

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It is topped by a lamp, an antique frame once belonging to my great grandmother Emma and a collection of shells. Mr. Décor was once an avid scuba diver. The large shell was found by him in the Red Sea.

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The other table in the opposite corner is covered by yet another favorite book, the same antique frame in a smaller size and an hour glass where time has stopped.

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Yes, what began as this….


…and this…


…has been transformed. It is no longer a generic space. The house now tells the story of the family that lives here.

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I am still working on changing out the overhead lighting and plan to swap out the summer aqua for a bit of orange and burlap in the fall. That is the beauty of a neutral palette.



Between Naps On The Porch, Today’s Creative Blog, Someday Crafts, SSS, StoneGable, The Shabby Nest, Tatertots and Jello, Positively Splendid, The 36th Avenue, SNS, A Stroll Thru Life