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January 28, 2011

A View To My Room

I live a lot of my life in this room. 

Welcome to my home, I thought I would share where I spend a lot of time both physically in it and decorating it.  I've moved toward French with a hint of Tuscan decorating, but overall it is Traditional.
Our room is a Great Room, Living Room and Multi-Media Room
Our dining room on the left is a pass through area that leads to the living room...a view left...
A view right....

My desk for my computer and nearby our game table... 

in the corner our Grandfather clock which we've owned for 10 years...
The large speakers and tv are kept off to the far right so they are not the first thing you see when you view the room...my husband is an audiophile, and we love to watch movies on the big screen...
 A little closer view of the room...the fireplace arch has been an ongoing challenge to decorate for me. We've changed the inset color 3 times over the past 5 years. The green in it now pulls from the green in the sofa and game chairs.
I finally landed on this arched shaped framed mirror and found the pedestal style vases that I put the topiary balls on.
 The cocktail table...I went with all glass because I have so much wood in the home already
Some favorite books on French and Italian Decorating and my favorite magazine Traditional Home
 Standing in the corner near the clock looking back at the room. The ceiling line you see in the other area is the original house, that's where the front of the house used to be.  We added this room on in 1996.  We chose to have some built in storage and cabinet area for the stereo equipment.  All the wiring is hidden under the floor for the stereo/tv for home theater listening.
 You can see all the way to the kitchen dining area...to the right of that is the galley kitchen.  This home was only around 1100 sq. ft. before the addition and now it's approx. 1650 sq. ft.  
Adding this room on made all the difference in living at this home. It has 6 inch walls and it is so quiet. 
My cluster of candle holders...the fat candle in the top of the tallest candle holder is from Pier 1 Imports, from Christmas.  I thought is was so attractive that I am keeping it around.  They still have some on mark down at our store.
And finally a closer view of the fireplace mantel. 
Thanks for stopping by and sharing a piece of my 

January 23, 2011


This is Riley, our 3 year old Tonkinese...my Mr. McDreamy

This is Riley as a kitten...too darn cute! He has a nick-name of Jackie Chan because he flies through the room and bounces off furniture like Jackie Chan bounces off walls!
He couldn't play enough!  Always on the go and wanting more and more attention! 
Of course like all of us he slowed down as he grew...he was like a big baby and was more than happy to lay back in your arms and fall asleep...now that's what I call relaxed!
He joins my husband in the morning when he is doing stretches for his back!  He's a funny cat!

I've never known a cat to be so willing to lay on his back...he loves doing this..look at those paws all curled up!

He loves to sit on this chair (he has expensive taste)! Maybe it's because he knows he looks so good on it!
Tonkinese are a blend of Siamese and Burmese...they are not quite as talkative as Siamese, and the Burmese in them makes them a little more athletic.  
I've had Siamese all my life, but I have to admit I'm a convert to Tonkinese now!

I'm linking up with    Debbiedoos Blogging and Blabbing
Thank-you Debbie for hosting this Pet Partay!

January 22, 2011

Tweaking and updating

I am linking up with  Between Naps on the Porch  for Metamorphosis Monday 

I have this oak corner curio cabinet with a half rounded glass front on it.  I've kept it in this tight little corner near the kitchen table for a long time. 
It's been decorated many many ways.  Recently I got a bug up my behind to update it again...you know you get tired of the same ole' thing every so often!

 I'm putting these pictures in reverse order...this first picture is my final update...I started with new handles on the doors, removing the white porcelain ones it came with and putting on a pair of pewter finished ones. 
I think it updated the look just nice!

I already owned the black and white plates by Rosanna, the yellow ones are new from Pier 1 Imports as well as the large bottle in the bottom.  The large metal platter is new from Christmas and I wanted it up high enough so I could see it easily and enjoy it. Mr. Rooster as I call him was looking for a place to call home for a couple of months since I bought him...the metal bowl is also a new addition from Pier 1.
I tried Mr. Rooster on the top shelf but he's just tall enough that I had trouble with the light fixture and placing him. He's just an inexpensive resin piece you can get on the internet.
 Below is a new bottle from Pier 1 Imports, the pedestal was something I had and I thought it would be a nice addition to the look.  It carries the white color from above down to this area and the bottle gives that metalized look which carries the look from the platter and bowl above it.
This is how the cabinet was used at Christmas, I decorate it with some of my Dickens Village pieces. 
This was how it looked before Christmas..roosters roosters roosters! I think it was a little too country looking for my tastes now! You can see the old white knobs here too..don't worry I kept them!
Ths dishes are by Sakura called Chanticleer and may still be available on the internet.

Sometimes it's nice to just tweak up what we own rather than making big changes.  

January 20, 2011

Lemon Souffle Cake

Several years ago I acquired this recipe from a magazine called Traditional Home. I made this and it was delightful!  The recipe came from a grouping called Girlfriends Lunch Recipes...which included Caviar Sunflower and Shrimp & Scalops in Puff Pastry Shells!  Since I love things made with lemon I naturally had to try this recipe!
The woman who shared it called it:

Nonstick cooking spray
3       T butter, softened
1       C sugar
4       Egg yolks
2       t  finely shredded lemon peel
1/3   C lemon juice
2       T all purpose flour
1/4    t  salt
1       C milk
4       Egg whites

   Sweetened Whipped Cream
   Lemon slices, fresh mint springs

Preheat over to 325 F
Lightly coat six (10 ounce) custard cups or ramekins with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds;
Add sugar, beat until combined.  Beat in egg yolks until creamy.  Gradually beat in lemon peel, lemon juice, flour, salt and milk; beat for 3 minutes on medium speed.  
In large mixing bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Fold yolk mixture into beaten whites.
Divide evenly among prepared cups.
Place in roasting pan; add hot water to teach halfway up side of cups.
Bake  uncovered for 10 minutes. 
Reduce heat to 300F and bake 30 minutes more or until knife inserted near center of each comes out clean.
Cool.  Chill.
Loosen sides and invert onto plates.
Garnish with whipped cream, lemon slices and mint.
Serves 6

January 6, 2011

Enjoying nature indoors....

Well, I'm so glad I took the time to plant some bulbs. I'm enjoying some beautiful colors and fragrances as a result. As you can see, we have plenty of snow outside and more falling...

These amaryllis were planted Dec. 1st and they are finally blooming. The other two are close to opening their flowers- I just wish they had all opened at the same time!

I planted these Paperwhites in tall cylinder shaped glassware so it would support the plant..as you can see they've really gotten tall! I placed them in the kitchen window and they kind of found each other and made an interesting arch...

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow! The ski resorts around Traverse City are happy! This is actually what we've gotten in the past few days. Most of the snow we had before had melted...
A lot of this is due to Lake Effect snow, which we get a lot of.

January 2, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

I've made this recipe many times and it never disappoints.  It's thick and full of flavor.  I've had this recipe for at least 10 years,  I found it on the Martha Stewart web site but after I looked for it again I didn't find it.  If you've ever had Potato Soup at a restaurant and thought, I wish I could make mine like that, this one is it!
The longest part of this recipe is baking the potatoes beforehand and allowing them to cool.  



4 Lg. Baking Potatoes (must be baked, cooled, peeled and cubed) About 4 cups
1 Lb. Bacon  (cook ahead, cool and crumble)
2/3 C Butter
2/3 C Flour
7 C Milk
4 Green Onions, sliced into tiny size pieces
1 ¼ C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C Sour Cream
¾ t. Salt
½ t. Pepper

In large soup kettle or dutch oven, melt butter. Stir in flour, heat and stir until smooth. (Watch your heat isn't too high, it will brown the butter)
Gradually add in milk, stirring constantly until thickened. 
Add potatoes and onions.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. 
Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 10 min. 
Add cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper and bacon, stir until cheese is melted. 
Serve immediately.

A good crusted loaf of bread is a terrific accompaniment

Makes 2 ½ quarts
Serves 8 to 10

January 1, 2011

Face Lift

Well, I decided that I would start the new year with a Face lift on my Blog (not me)! 
So for the Face Lift I found a new background and changed the header.... 
I've had a good day and looking forward to a progressive week of putting things back to normal around the house.  
I'm slowly taking down the Christmas decorations and carefully storing them for next year.  I also plan to get rid of some more old decorations that I haven't used in a long time.  These items stacked on my dining table were part of this years decorations.  Now to get them packed away....
Funny how when you buy some of the Christmas decorations you are so sure it will be something you will use for a long long time!  Some of it is, but a lot of it isn't...For me it's mostly due to a change in my tastes, type of decorating that I like now vs. what I used to like.  
Then I am attacking my storage area to neaten it up again.
Those are my current goals!  I'm keeping my goals short term rather than focusing on long term!  That way I won't be too disappointed in myself!
Hope everybody has had a good start to the new year too!

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