Monday, May 30, 2011

Stars and Stripes

Celebrating Memorial Day!
It is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who serve, and have served, who have left their loved ones behind, and who have lost their lives!
Previously called "Decoration Day!" One origin coming from the south... Decoration Day was a day to decorate the grave-sites of the men who fought for freedom and lost their lives. Although the actual origin is unknown, there are many stories about the original Memorial Day, but all having the same common theme...

Today we decorate our homes in honor of Memorial Day...

I chose to make a pretty banner of red, white, and blue! Here are a few inspirational pictures I found on! I incorporated elements of each to make it my own...

Here is my version...

I used craft paper, string, and glue to make this simple banner of stars and stripes!

Happy Memorial Day!


Friday, May 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Gowns

My daughter, Ella, will be christened this weekend and we are fortunate enough to have close family and friends that we'll be celebrating with. Little Miss Ella is also fortunate enough to be wearing two special gowns on her sacred day.

The first dress is an antique- a ninety year old family heirloom. Deriving from France in 1921, my great, great grandmother, Madeleine Tailliez, sent this gown to the USA for her first grandson, Gabriel, to be baptized in in the Bronx, NYC. Gabriel ended up having six younger siblings (my grandmother, Helen being one of them), who were all baptized in this gown. After doing some family research on their own, my grandmother and her sister realized that 33 babies have been christened in this gown (including my mother, sisters and myself). Ella will be the 34th child to wear it.
Me in gown 1983

Everything about this dress is exquisite; the stitch work, the details, the lightweight fabric...the list goes on.

With all of the babies who've worn this gown recently, no one has thought to inquire about the slip underneath. We all simply assumed this piece was part of the dress, a two piece garment. During her research, my Nanny learned that the slip is actually the real antique. My great, great grandmother, Madeleine wore this piece to her own Christening in Paris, France. That means this slip is well over 100 years old! Ahh! I love it even more!!

What I love most about this gown? The simplicity of it and most of all, the history that comes along with it. This is a tradition that my own great grandchildren will hopefully appreciate someday, just as much as I do.
Every girl needs a party dress, right? Starting a tradition of my own, Ella will be wearing a second gown on her Christening day. As if no gown could be any more daintier than the first, this dress exceeds all expectations. Given to us by my husband's grandmother, Mary, before Ella was even born, was so hard to even imagine her fitting into it. It is the definition of elegant-- a piece of clothing that will be handed down to generations to come.

Made out of 100% silk, this Christening gown greatly resembles a bridal gown. The extra long length, like a bride's train; the sweet empire waist and beautifully sewn cap sleeves are just some of the extravagant details that make this dress, well...perfect.

Oh, gets better. The accessories..ohmygoodness..the ACCESSORIES! Perfect little silk shoes that are decorated with simple little silk flowers. And for anyone who loved Little House on the Prairie as much as I did back in the day, a matching silk bonnet to top the outfit off!

The purity and innocence of it, I love. The style and texture of it, I love. The fact that this was a gift to Ella from her great grandmother, I love.

I can't wait to dress Ella in these gowns, hold her tight and help her to celebrate her first holy sacrement. I know angels will be surrounding her tomorrow-- both the kind you can see and the ones you can't. We'll take a bunch of pictures, frame our favorites, and someday, in a day I know will come far too quickly, we'll look back on them and wonder where time went.
Until then, she's still my little angel and that's all that matters.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Slaw Burgers and Smoky Corn-on-the-Cob

As soon as the weather starts getting warmer, I immediately want to uncover the grill....the nice, new, big, shiny silver grill we bought last summer and are sooooo excited to use whenever possible. THAT grill!! However, my family quickly grows tired of the good ol' American cookout of burgers and dogs and corn on the cob with I like to try to make it interesting and spice it up it bit from time to time.

I created this burger recipe to take the dull, boring burger out of our lives for good....or at least for the time being.

To Make Burgers You'll Need:

~a mix of 1 lb ground pork or beef and 1 lb ground turkey (I like to use the leanest to reduce the fat content)
~a big splash (or two) of worcestershire sauce
~1 egg
~a palm-full of garlic powder
~black pepper
~approx. 1/3 cup of shredded cheese (whatever kind you prefer)

Mix all ingredients together with's fun, try it! *Note: if too wet, add a little breadcrumbs to hold burgers together better*

I use my hands to "draw" lines through the raw meat mixture in order to make burgers of similar size.
When molding into burger rounds, push centers in so that the burgers cook more evenly on the grill or in a pan. I decided, since it was raining heavily outside today, to cook the burgers in a saute pan.

For Burger Topper/Side Dish You'll Need:

~1 bag coleslaw mix
~3/4 cup of coleslaw dressing
~1/2 chopped small onion if desired
~salt and pepper to taste

To Make Smoky Corn-on-the-Cob You'll Need:

~enough ears of corn to feed your family ;)
~light mayonaise (instead of butter)
~chili powder
~fresh lime....1 or 2
~freshly grated parmasan cheese (not shaker parmasan)

I like to grill the corn on the grill when I'm cooking out to get that crisp, browned look. But this process can be time consuming because you have to tie the husks back and slow cook them because they burn quickly.
If you boil them as usual, and then follow the rest of the directions, they are JUST as yummy and are done in no time.
I chose to boil them since the weather wasn't allowing me to cookout like originally planned.
To pull the corn recipe together, you first spread a thin layer of mayonaise over cob, until melted. Next squeeze lime juice evenly over cob and sprinkle with chili powder. Lastly, spread shredded parmasen cheese on a plate and roll cob over cheese until coated evenly. It's an awesome flavor combination.

Top burger with cole slaw and some extra black pepper.....and add a pickle or two on the side. Add some personality to your's delish....ENJOY!!!


Friday, May 20, 2011


Can I take a minute...  
and introduce you...
to my favorite color...

The sight of it...

makes everything alright...

Want a homemade oatmeal srub recipe?
You've come to the right place...
  • Put some oatmeal in a bowl and add enough warm water to make a paste
  • Gently rub into skin and exfoliate in a circular motion
  • Let it stay on for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and a splash of cold water
  • Pat skin dry with a face cloth
**You can also try this with whole milk. The milk will soothe and clean your exfoliated skin even more**

Some pictures from TOMS and Atlantic-Pacific Blog


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My sink console find!!!

I just wanted to share this because I was pretty proud of myself!!! I was looking in Pottery Barn(I have no right to be with the money we are spending now!), and my mouth was watering over their beautiful sink consoles... I really had my eye on what actually was one of the cheaper ones in the bunch(rare for me, I usually pick out the most expensive!), probably because what I was looking for  had to fit in our one and only bathroom of our new home! Well despite the fact that the one I liked is the cheapest in Pottery Barn, it still is too expensive for us! BUMMER...

...Until I was searching the internet, and what do ya know! I found one almost identical for about $200 less!!! That deserves a pat on the back!!! :)

Here is the one from Pottery Barn...

Here is the cheaper sink from

Amazing what marketing can do!!!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simple felt accessories!

I love felt, it's so easy to work with and it can be made into so many adorable things! My five year old loves pretend play, each day he is a different character! He also loves to be just like dad, I made him this cute little wallet so that he can feel like a grown up but also have a place to store all his cash... ;) If you ask him, its about a few thousand that he keeps on him at all times! I also made a cute little purse, although my daughter is only a baby, it's still cute for them to carry around a purse. even if it's for a photograph, and one day she will be able to play with it as well! I will have to come up with something a little more grown-up for my ten year old...

To begin you will need:
~Felt of any color of your choice
~Needle and thread

Simple right?

For the wallet...
~Cut out three rectangles
~Sew on an applique (cut out felt truck, ball, monster face, etc...)
~Sew the three pieces of felt together
~Sew the rectangles together(the third is so that there is a divider inside)

For the purse...
~Cut out two squares or rounded off squares
~Cut out a longer strip of felt for handle
~Sew on an applique of your choice
~Sew the two pieces of fabrice together
~Sew on the handle
~Flip inside out

I'm sure your cuties will love their wallet and purse, and don't worry if they get ruined they are so easy to make, and inexpensive too! So fill with there most needed items, like a pacifier, or their license issued at Walt Disney World!

Hope They Enjoy!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Vineyards and Picnics!!

I'm a pretty simple person. Although I like the luxeries that life has to offer, I'd rather spend a beautiful day, with beautiful people, just enjoying each other's company. Well, that sums up my Mother's Day are a few highlights of the time I spent with those I love the most.

The weekend started out by pullin' up a wine barrel and tasting some wine at Saltwater Farm Vineyard.....

...and briefly touching on my sister's dreams of getting married at this particular vineyard all while watching them set up for a wedding taking place there shortly.

Posing for the camera with my sister, mom, and step-mother. We all have rosey wine cheeks.  Note the vineyard behind us! Breathtaking!

On to the next....Stonington Vineyard

Wine barrels.....make for a smoother tasting wine.

The tasting room....the YUMMY room!! LOL!!

After finally finding a wine that my mother loved, I bought a bottle, and we headed out to their crisp, green lawn for a picnic ("pickanick" in my Yogi Bear voice) lunch. It was a glorious day!

Sunday Mother's Day.....what to do?? husband suggested packing up our crazy family, along with a few sandwiches, and heading to Devil's Hopyard. It was a brilliant idea considering my daughters are all about being outside and being emersed in nature. Our adventure....

started off a little rocky, with the discovery of an injured butterfly and a few tears shed by my Nature Girl, Lily. She quickly recovered after I took a few memorial shots and we continued on with our day....

Let the "emersion" begin!!

Showin' the love...

ok, maybe a little less love in this case. lol.

And after a little sunbathing and relaxing....

...and a late day sunshower, it was time to head home.
I had the best Mother's Day....two days, filled with gorgeous weather, beautiful scenery, delicious wine and, most importantly, AMAZING people!! Thank you to those who made my weekend an unforgetable one. You are truely loved.

What made your weekend special??