Saturday, July 10, 2010

For Breakfast~What 's Better Than Yummy French Toast?? NOTHIN'!!

I love watching Bethenny Frankel's new show on Bravo. 
 I find her to be hilarious & heartbreaking at the same time.
She's smart, brutally honest and a breath of fresh air.
I root for her to keep this happiness & success she has finally found.
Why not!
She's so entertaining & she's a gal I think we'd all love to get to know.

Here's her recipe for Whole Grain French Toast!
I found the recipe on her website at:

Whole-Grain French Toast

A healthier version of the breakfast fave.
4 egg whites

1 tsp. real vanilla extract

1 tsp. maple syrup

4 slices whole grain bread (preferably stale)

Topping: real maple syrup and fresh fruit
In a shallow pan, combine egg whites, vanilla extract and syrup. Beat lightly with a wire whisk.

Put the slices of bread into the pan, flip over to coat both sides.

Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the slices on preheated skillet for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Serve immediately. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with fruit.

Enjoy your Sunday morning!

Thanks For Lending A Helping Hand

I wanted to give a shout out to the blogs that were such a huge help to me while I was renovating.  I can't tell you how many hours I poured over decorating blogs at 2am,  reading posts on everything from paint colors, fabrics, upholstered headboards, custom iron bed frames, cabinet hardware, & on & on & on...
I'm not a decorator but knew that if I didn't have a firm hold on exactly what I wanted & could make up my mind on what to do for each & every detail along the way, then someone else would make it up for me and well, that's just NOT how I roll~~
So here are just a few of my favorite decor blogs from whom I've learned so much!

Joni @  What can I say other than Joni is amazing!  We actually figured out that we've met quite a few years back! Joni's blog is fabulous in that she leaves no stone unturned.  She gives out all kinds of valuable resources and I love her for that!!  Thank you, Joni!  You're a gem!  This blog, La Dolce Vita, is so yummy on so many levels!  It's so varied and fun that I look forward to each post!  I especially love her guests blogs on 10 Things I Can’t Live Without!
Check out her recent post on Houston Decorator, Sally Wheat!  Sally has been featured all over the blogosphere & can be seen on Cote De Texas often.  A friend introduced us & we got together and I now consider her a friend!  Which leads me to my next shout out to:

The fabulous Sally Wheat!  Now sadly, Sally doesn't have a blog, but all you need to do to enjoy  her work is google her name and numerous blogs with links to her photos will pop up!  Sally came over one day during my painting panic and helped calm me down so I could choose colors.  She's a big fan of the lovely Linen Weave and rightly so!  Sally is amazing!  Desiree Ashworth was a big inspiration for the style of decor I decided on for my new home.  I had always loved French Country but now I'm turning more towards a Swedish decor thanks to Desiree's absolutely stunning photos of her home!  The green hues throughout her home are so soothing and soft yet thoroughly up to date.  I love her blog!  Julia is a Twitter friend with a blog that has wonderful links and information about all the set designs for our favorite movie homes!  Remember the great house in "Something's Gotta Give" with Diane Keaton? I LOVE that house! I used Julia's blog to look up details in homes like this and printed out photos to show my builder. From "SGG" I used the idea to make the wood brackets under our bar areas and cabinets.
I love the way they turned out.  The Lettered Cottage has so much useful information and photography about renovating that I'd be crazy to not mention it here.  Take a peek and scroll'll love it!

And last but not least, I want to mention Erin at
My eldest daughter wanted a turquoise bedroom, which was quite a challenge.  I took to the Internet to research colors that wouldn't be too bright or too hospital-ly.  I emailed Erin and asked her for her favorite colors and she responded! She was so sweet to email me back! That's exactly what I love about blogging!  Connecting with old friends and making new ones!  :)


As Usher would say....Oh My Gaaa-aawsh~~~
It's HOT here!  I'm so down-on-my-hands-and-knees, full on, thankful for our new yard!! The pool isn't a luxury in's a necessity!  We've been in it every day.  The kids and Todd & I have so enjoyed diving in, hanging out, reading, playing with Kyla the super Sheltie, and having friends over to just relax in our pretty back yard. 
I thought I'd share the photos of the backyard renovation with you!
And like all else, it wasn't easy.  Is putting in a pool ever a smooth process?  Just wondering...

Staking out the pool. At this point there was absolutely no
landscaping whatsoever~it was a huge blank canvas!
Watching the hole being dug was surprisingly exciting!

My daughter had fun crawling down in there with her friend.    
This is the Pebble Sheen crew~What a production!
Now this was a huge decision for us...whether to go with Pebble Sheen or Plaster.
I had really wanted plaster for it's smooth texture but the longevity of Pebble Sheen won.
We chose the color Prism Blue.  It has little flakes of Mother Of Pearl and sparkles in the water!
It's gorgeous.
For more info about Pebble Sheen check out their website:
So far the surface isn't bothering anyone, except me just a little~
I really prefer super smooth surfaces.
My husband chose the tile.  It was a toss up between a very natural, monochromatic glass tile
or a green/blue glass tile.  I liked the green/blue but was concerned about how it would look next to the
yellow toned travertine.  So we went with the beigey tile and it turned out lovely!
Viola!  So pretty!
This is my morning hang spot~I bring my devotional books & coffee out here,
turn on the overhead fans, read my books, & watch the trees.  The sound of the water fountain in the pool is
super relaxing.  Now I just need a few wind chimes hung in the trees & I'll be all set!
We wanted the entrance to the backyard to be pretty so we planted
hydrangeas and placed travertine pads as a's very soothing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Home Is Where The Heart Is!

Oh my I've been neglecting you! OK So I'm putting up the photos of the house with completions as of today. I still have a bare sitting room at the front of the house and need to rally enough to order drapes but to be honest~I've just plain OD'd on decorating. I need a little break and really don't mind waiting until inspiration strikes me again. I've found that anything that I'm not just thrilled with in the house was a product of rushing and settling because I just wanted "it done already"!

So here are a few photos for those of you who've been emailing me to get some up!


This was pretty far down the road of the renovations.  We had
already replaced the old fireplace with a new mantel, ripped out the old bookcases
and built these new ones, placed beams in the ceiling, and painted the room.
It's practically done here.
The paint colors on the bookshelves is Sherwin Williams Nantucket Dune 75%.
It's GORGEOUS.  It has a bit of an iridescence to it.
I wish my photos could do it justice but I'm not a professional
photographer.  Trust me...this color is gorge!!!
Here's the finished product.  The wall color is Martin Senour's Linen Weave. 
The trim is 75% Linen Weave and the ceilling is 50% Linen Weave!!
Can't get enough of that Linen Weave!
We went round and round with the bookshelves but I'm so pleased
with how they turned out.  I put feet on them and I love the effect.
I added beautiful pewter Bouvet hardware which I'm in love with.
I'd have Bouvet all over my house if I could!
I'll get you a closer photo of the hardware but it really makes an impact in person!

I found this mantle in an old Veranda and fell in love!

And the mirror was from Wisteria.  It's amazing.  We built the mantle and the beams just
so this mirror would fit perfectly from the top of the mantle to the ceiling.
It's a bit more green in color than was described in Wisteria...they called it "Khaki"
It's NOT Khaki...but thankfully it works.

My painter could not get the antiquing on this corner cabinet right.
We repainted it so it is now just a soft French blue/green. 
I plan to add feet and the Bouvet hardware soon.
That's on my list of To-Do's.

Our antique Baker's Rack was seemingly made for this space and
it conveniently covers the air return!! 
There's Bella the cat in the bottom
left corner of the photo!
So there you have it!  That's the Great Room.
I'll add more soon!
Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hurricanes and Heath Bars

It's a really rainy day here in Houston and I have to say that I love it.  I just made a wonderful cinnamon crumble cake and sat on our back porch with my little one and a cold glass of milk.  We ate our hot out-of- the-oven cake and listened to the sound of the rain as we watched Chip & Dale (our resident squirrel friends) chase each other through the trees.  It was magical.  It made me nostalgic for my childhood days growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi when my mother would make rain an excuse for grabbing the frozen Heath bars that she stashed in our freezer & would grab me to go sit in the car to listen to the sound of the rain as it hit the top of the car.  Good times.  As an adult I wonder if those Heath bar/car sessions were more an excuse to eat heath bars in the middle of one of her burger patty/cottage cheese diets, than time to listen to the rain, but really, who cares?  I was a kid and I thought it was cool!
Mississippi was a short and sweet time in my childhood.  We only lived there a few years but I have fond memories of those heath bars and hurricanes.  Hurricanes are fun for kids who don't know the real dangers and just think it's fun to have a no school day topped off by Mom and Dad getting out all the flash lights followed by tucking us into the central, long window-less hallway in our home.  The day would include ghost stories, jumping on mattresses that were placed in the hallway for padded protection in the event our roof was blown away, playing dodge the tennis ball in the dark hallway, and lots of junk food!  I mean really...does it get any better than that when you're 7?!
So, I know a lot of folks don't care for rainy days but I use it as an excuse to slow down, reflect on days gone by and connect with my kids by making new memories with them!  I hope someday they'll make a new rainy day tradition with their children and harken back to the days when they'd sit on the back porch of the house with Mom and eat cinnamon crumble cake, drink cold milk, and watch the squirrels dance in the trees through the rain...yes, that would be nice!

Which reminds me of a favorite quote, "Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain!"
I hope you dance!

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