Thursday, March 31, 2011



I am a 28yr old stay-at-home mom to three amazing children, Christopher, Bryce, and Chloe. I am a wife to Bill, an electrician, but craftsman at heart, and very loving father. I am an artist without any formal training. It’s something I was born with, like my black hair; I was born with an artistic ability. So there will always be in me a desire to create. I love all things simple, and pretty.  The first rose to bloom in spring. The morning sunshine.  The waves crashing on the shore. The giggle of a little baby. My morning cup of Jo.

 The things I heart...

 *the beach with the kids *cedar shakes * imported linen *trips to the Cape *aqua blue *mixed media art *roses *milk glass *watercolor paints *plum *glass knobs *family movie night *mocha  *Le Crueset Dutch oven *lavender oil *running *collecting seashells *goodnight kisses *peonies *lace *Nauset beach onion rings *flip flops *ochre yellow *chocolate chip cookies *my husband-crafted farmhouse table *sandalwood oil*hockey practice *fresh coat of paint *sewing *Jcrew tissue tees *petal pink *doll houses *chimichangas *stained-glass windows *burlap *ghost hunters *coral red *farm-fresh eggs *hydrangeas *vintage wire baskets *coffee ice cream *

My Family...

My Treasures...



Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Some of my loves include...

Scrapbooking* decorating* baking* bargin hunting* photography* restoring old furniture* Memorial Day weekend* snow storms* sleepovers with my sisters...still* backyard weddings* Manchester, VT shopping* small beach cottages* black cherry seltzer* pink* white kitchens* hydrangeas* Tiffany's boxes* restaurants that offer outdoor seating* December* reality T.V.* BBQ'ing on the beach* fireworks* Sunday night family dinners* Quaint, historic villages* candles in windows* white Christmas lights* fountain soda* traveling to see my family* the smell of Johnson's baby lotion (the pink bottle)* a good book on the nightstand* playing on sandbars* working on my Master's Degree (only one course left!!)* shopping for the perfect purse* finding the perfect purse* wearing the perfect purse* my loves, Christopher and Ella* my anchor and best friend, Chris*

Thanks for visiting...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We thought, since we've been blogging about some aspects of our lives for a few months now, we probably owed it to our devote "followers" to give you a little background information about each of us....and maybe add a little random facts just for fun. Things you may be interested in knowing....and things that maybe you wish you didn't (just kidding).

I'll go first. It's only appropriate, since I'm the eldest of the 3 of I like to constantly remind myself and them. Hi, I'm Kirsten!!! Nice to meet you!

A Little Background Info:
~ Born and raised in Connecticut...and raising our family here as well
~ Been with my husband for almost 13 years....Married for almost 9 years
~ We have 3 daughters....Lily Taylor 10 yrs old, Mia Beth almost 7 yrs old, and Marli Grey (the 'Mar' in Marchlela) almost 1 yrs old.
*Note that there are ALOT of  "almost"s...spring & summer are busy times for us*

Our Menagerie.... includes a Boston Terrier, 2 lizards, 2 aquatic frogs, a flying squirrel....and the occasional praying mantis egg case (which can hatch up to 400 baby praying mantis') or swallowtail chrysalis' (My oldest daughter is an Entomologist & Herpetologist in the making)

Things I Love and Randomness:
~Red Wine~Attempting to Garden~Reading trashy mags~closet country rock lover~Cala Lillies in all colors & sizes~Concerts with my sister (all time fav thing to do)~ Pedicures year round~ Jeans and T-shirts~Family Movie Night....and Horror movies with the Hubs~Fav colors are Dark Purple & Olive Green~Maijong Tile Game (addicted)~Horses (my grandmother had a horsefarm when I was growing up)~Tomboy at playing soccer and softball (and now watching my daughters play) ~City flats & flip flops~Red Sox fan~COFFEE-oholic~York Peppermint Patties, black licorice,&hot cinnamon candy~eat natural peanut butter by the spoonful~Can't bring myself to clean the baby handprint off the livingroom mirror~aspire to be a prenatal ultra-sound technician one day~Dreams of designing & building A Home....with more than ONE bathroom.

I hope by sharing some things about me that you'd other wise not know by reading our blog, will bring you that much closer to relating to me as a woman, a mother, and a wife. You all know I love to cook and create (and drink wine) ....but now you know that I am a well-rounded, multi-fasceted woman!

Thank you for following our journey thus far......and, in advance, I thank you for continuing to follow us in the future.

Lots of Love....from my family to yours


Monday, March 28, 2011

Easter Mantle

One of my favorite things to decorate for Easter, is the fireplace mantle. Every year I like to change it up and use fresh ideas to make it oh-so-pretty for Mr. Peter Rabbit.

Here were my inspiration pictures for this year...
I knew I wanted to use a big, beautiful mirror for the backdrop...

With a single wreath hanging down the middle...

With pretty flowers in pretty vases...

Possibly even a topiary...

And a display of danty dishes.

Here's my Easter mantle this year...
Simple do-it-yourself branch wreath, spray painted white
Always have to include a starfish

I love simple Easter these glass rabbits
I wanted to somehow include Christoper and Elle in my design so I painted their initials onto Easter eggs and placed them in this pretty dish.

Happy Spring!

Photos Courtesty: Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Martha Stewart


Friday, March 25, 2011

Who is the Modern Housewife?

When the three of us created this blog, we all had one common thing in mind: we wanted to appeal to all mother's out there. This includes working mothers, stay-at-home moms and maybe even some grandmothers. Our intention has been (and will continue to be) to celebrate the life of a mother and invite you on our journey of parenting and everything that comes along with it!
We realize how tough it is today for a mother to complete all of her daily tasks and at the same time raise children in a happy healthy family. With all of the pollution that our children absorb from T.V, the Internet, video games, friends, and teeny bopper celebrities, it's difficult to instill good morals.
Although modern technology has enabled us to accomplish things around the house more easily and efficiantly, it has also created households that lack tradition. Think about it, how many of you know how to make a chocolate cake from scratch? Or use something other than a processed-commercial brand household cleaner to clean your countertops? Our answer to this is the Modern Housewife does.
 By sharing our ideas and creations, we hope to encourage other mothers out there to see the Modern Housewife in themselves.
Here are our top three favorite traits about the Modern Housewife:

She loves to make each and every dinner time special.
One of my fondest memories I have of my childhood is how we always ate dinner together. No matter how many sports practices, play rehearsals, or school projects (not to mention my parents work priorities) we had, the six of us always sat down for dinner every night to some delicious meal. Nowadays, it seems so normal, too normal, for families to eat-on-the-go without enjoying the quality time "dinner time" once offered.

The Modern Housewife understands and appreciates the traditional dinner time. Although we still juggle the practices, playdates and rehearsals, we aso respect the idea of the family sitting around the table together. Easier said than done, I know; but the Modern Housewife finds ways to make this work.
Leftovers become lifesavers. Re-heating big Sunday meals and presenting them in nice dinnerware, makes any mother's job easy.
Swap simple recipes with friends. Sharing recipes with others opens the door for new and easy meals in your home.
Be resourceful. How many times do you look in your pantry and say, "But I don't have the ingredients"? Take the time (when you have it) to research ingredient substitutions. Have fun in the kitchen and omit certain ingredients and add new ones!
Plant your own garden. Save time and gas by planting your own herbs, fruits and veggies. A simple spice can change a whole meal.
Plan ahead. Instead of waiting til 5pm on a weeknight to think about dinner, think about it over the weekend. Involve the whole family by making a dinner schedule, so everyone has input and better yet, enjoys the meal.

She loves to create a beautiful home by learning how to make things herself.
To create a house a home, the Modern Housewife researches new and old ways to fix things around the house, and creates beautiful works of art that bring life to the dull and boring. Not every family can afford to spend the money on making a home beautiful, but with a little guidance and imagination, the pretty things that make a house a home are attainable!

The Modern Housewife is thrifty. She sews her own buttons, and makes her own non-toxic cleaning solutions. She sews pillow cases out of older recycled linens from around the house, and refinishes or builds her own furniture. She is fun. She comes up with exciting craft ideas that the whole family can enjoy together. She decorates the playroom with her children's framed work of art, and she makes the children, toys out of everyday household items.

Not every mom can afford to stay home, but not every mom can work a full time job because she doesn't have help with the kids, and daycare is not a cheap option. These days finances impact a lot of the decision making for every family. If she is a stay-at-home Modern Housewife, it may mean her family is living on one income. The finer things in life may seem out of reach. That does not have to be the case though. If she puts her mind to it, the Modern Housewife can have the finer things, all it takes is a bit of creativity!

She loves the importance of carrying on tradition...and creating new traditions.
I've always loved the idea of tradition. We've had many in my family.....from as far back as I can remember! My Grammy cooked the most amazing Italian meals....the most amazing everything. She'd cook and clean all day for the pure enjoyment of watching us eat....and then eat some more. The Modern Housewife also likes the pleasure her family gets from these same recipes or the new recipes shes created or found on the internet. The difference is, her husband is there to wash the dishes or chop the onions (because he can do it faster since he may have had culinary experience) or play with the kids so that she can get it on the table quicker. And in this Modern Housewive's home, the husband also enjoys cooking, and she is very willing to do the dishes. There's give and take.

I also pride myself on making meals, that would otherwise be unhealthy, healthier. And I'm all about balance. The Modern Housewife loves lots and lots of color in her meals....the brighter the dish, the healthier the meal. This means being creative in order to find healthier options and also introducing new and fresh fruits and veggies with every meal. Also, she makes meals fun and interactive and, in turn, her children will be willing to eat what they've helped create.

Presentation is everything....well, not everything! Honestly, some of my best meals haven't been very pretty.The Modern Housewife would serve such meals on a beautiful platter or in a gorgeous handmade bowl and then garnish them with some fresh herbs from her organic garden. This simple gesture can bring life to any meal.

It is my personal choice to be a Stay-at-home mommy /Modern Housewife at this time in my life. Although it is not the right choice for every modern woman, I pride myself in creating my version of the best life for my family. Cooking healthy meals, being a personal car service and vacuuming everyday (just so the baby doesn't pick up every crumb off the floor), are tasks I take pride in because they are what is best of my family. We hope that every mommy out there, stay-at-home or not, can take away something from each and everyone of us....and relate on some level. If so, then we've done is what we've set out to do.

A big THANK YOU to Jennifer Bacchiocchi,of Jennifer Bach photography,  for doing such an amazing job at capturing the true essence of  "Marchlela!" Not only did she do a beautiful job, but she was so much fun to work with! She is easy going and as sweet as, well... Pie! A truly positive experience, and we will forever cherish the memories of our first "business" photoshoot!!! Also, a big THANK YOU to her husband, John, the calm and composed, holder of the big flash, for being able to help out with the shoot, with mostly a straight face... a difficult task considering the fact that us ladies can be very silly when put in the same room together!
Thanks, Jen and John!!!
Be sure to visit for all your photography needs, whether it be for a wedding, a newborn or family session, or
"business" photoshoot....and to follow her personal blog and/or Twitter account.

Ashley, Sarah,& Kirsten

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New England Spring!!!

The first day of Spring has finally arrived....and so has another blanket of snow. Trying to stay positive and find the beauty in it all...

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
               ~Anne Bradstreet


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's almost that time of year... For weddings!

If I were planning one this season, here are a few things I'd choose...


I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.
-Author unknown

Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart Living


Monday, March 21, 2011

Milk glass

An inexpensive alternative to porcelain is milk glass, which is one of my all time favorite "vintage" objects to decorate with. Fenton and Westmoreland are two of the more popular brands. There are so many styles and colors to choose from: lattice, quilted, and scalloped edges, to name a few. The most common color is white, but there are a variety of colors as well... blue, yellow, pink and jadite green are only some. The uses also vary; so far, I've collected vases, lamps, and serverware, but there is everything from salt and pepper shakers to figurines. I prefer a beautiful vase with some pretty cut flowers...

Or moss...

Or aligned with a few other pieces... 

This lovely piece in blue is perfect to sit alone or to store fruit in...

A lamp next to an arm chair in my living room...

As you can see the ideas are endless... not only with milk glass, but many things from yesteryear! That is what makes what we do so much fun! So please enjoy, and remember, to be chic does not have to be costly, all that is required is some creativity.

Some of the photos courtesy of Southern Living Magazine, The following etsy shops: Vinca Vintage, Barkin Sands Vintage, The Vintage Parlor, and Flores Del Sol! The following blogs: Ruffled, and Steven Bruce Designs


Happy Spring!

A picture says a thousand words...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Daily Quote...

"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself..."
                                                ~Zen proverb

the Crocus is the 1st sign of spring in New England

      Happy 1st Day of Spring!!!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

A New Door Opens...

If you know me, then you know how much I love Grace- a little boutique downtown (walking distance from my house) that sells the cutest things any shabby chic girl would love. As if this store couldn't get any better, they have decided to re-model and expand!
Life is good.
A new door opens at Grace...


Friday, March 18, 2011

A twist on Apple crisp

One of my favorite recipes, is my grandmother's apple crisp! It is to die for....especially in the fall when we've just come back from our annual apple picking venture where all of my daughters have picked every single apple off of every single tree. I also love how it has an oatmeal topping....especially because I can rationalize why it's okay to eat it for breakfast. Although I love this version, it's nice to try variety. My mother-in-law came up with her own version when her original recipe called for fresh cranberries and they were not in season at the time. She substituted cranberries with blueberries and came up with Blueberry-Pear was delicious!!! I just had to make it again myself....and share it with the world.

~3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries or blueberries
~3 lrg pears, peeled, cored & sliced into 3/4" pieces
~1/4 cup sugar
~1 tsp cinnamon
~7 tbsp flour
~ 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
~1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp rolled oats
~1/2 tsp kosher salt
~3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
~6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Grease shallow 9" baking dish.
2. In large bowl, combine fruit, granulated sugar, cinnamon & 1 tbsp flour. Transfer to baking dish.
3. In medium bowl combine 6 tbsp flour, brown sugar, oats (I used Irish steel oats), salt & walnuts. Stir in melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle over fruit.
4. Bake for 40 min until lightly browned & crisp!

How yummy does that look??!!! Serve warm with some vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream....or, if you're anything like me, a nice cup of hot coffee. I made a "pot" of cinnamon mocha coffee to go along with it. Perfect for an after dinner treat or a nice brunch.
Coffe Recipe: Combine 1/2 cup gr. dark roast coffee, 1 tbsp cinnamon, &1/4 tsp nutmeg. pour into coffee filter. brew pot. In lrg saucepan, combine 5 cups milk, 1/3 cup chocolate syrup, and 1/4 cup brown sugar o/ low heat until sugar is dissolved. stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract and brewed coffee. Ladle into mugs. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon if desired. Makes 6 cups. *Coffee recipe courtesy of*

Respect the traditions passed on to you by your most loved ones.....yet don't be afraid to start new traditions using the recipes passed along to you by your new family as well. Enjoy!!