…. and these ideas might even put a Spring in your step!
Number 1: place fresh flowers around the house …
Number 2: Remove your area rugs for that bare summer-cottage feel (easier to clean every week too – wink)
Number 3: Replace some of your dark art prints with light ‘n fresh prints that scream Spring/Summer….
Number 4: Bring in something nautical, like a sailboat kite or photos of the kids playing on the beach ….
and last but not least, Number 5: Open windows and doors and let the sunshine in!
…. it’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it?
Gather these Ingredients:
- half can of Black Beans (rinsed & drained)
- half can of Garbanzo Beans (rinsed & drained)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup seasoned or plain bread crumbs
- sprinkle of basil, oregano, salt & pepper
In a medium bowl, smash your beans with the back of a large spoon. Add bread crumbs, eggs and seasoning. Mix thoroughly. Form the bean mixture into balls.
Top each meatball with some salt-less Tomato Sauce mixed with 1 1/2 tsp. of Tomato Paste. Place in baking dish and Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
You can freeze any leftover balls for a few weeks in a freezer bag and reheat in microwave. Great lunch!
Tomato Paste Hint: I prefer the tomato paste in the tube.
But if you only have the canned tomato paste (and you rarely use the entire can, correct?), simply freeze leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays! Once frozen, remove and place in freezer bag.
Decorating a cottage porch in Key West is fun and easy with Edesign (with an Edesign, there’s no need for Florida clients to fly me out to Key West, whomp whomp)
First things first though. Old cottages need new doors. Shutters help to dress up the windows. I recommended that the new doors get a coat of navy paint, the siding get a pretty ivory paint and the windows get some navy shutters.
After that, instead of choosing the main furnishings first as most people would, I actually sourced pillows to put me in the summer cottage mood …..
Then came the main furniture – a slipcovered sofa (for easy wash and wear), a swing for extra seating or afternoon naps and rattan side chairs and coffee table ….
Complete the design with new pendant lighting and “casablanca style” fans to keep everyone cool outside. Of course, some bar items were a must! Mojitos anyone?
How can you not have fun in the sun and make beautiful vacation memories on this newly designed Key West cottage porch!
Not a sponsored post, but if you want to get yourself any of the furnishings on today’s post, I got everything from Wayfair, including the doors and shutters too!
Last week I showed you beautiful tablescapes that were created by the designers in each of their showrooms at the Merchandise Mart Outdoor Conference. You’re invited to join me for more inspiration – they might just blow your mind (get it? haha) ….
Weren’t the buffets beautiful? This is the same designer’s tablescape …
On this table I love the use of grandma’s vintage plates on a very modern (almost Chicago Bears color-inspired) tablescape. Mix and match people, mix and match (and use what you have when setting the table – fresh oranges, mossy orbs)…
Lastly, this table is right up my alley.
Don’t forget to gussy up your ice bucket too. Which tablescape was your favorite?
I have not served my family canned soup in years. For me it’s just fresher and just as easy to take a few items from the fridge and put together a soup when we’re in the mood. I always have my homemade chicken stock frozen in individual mason jars in the freezer. Last weekend I made Broccoli Potato Spinach soup (because we had a head of broccoli, one baking potato and a bag of fresh spinach). If you’d like the recipe:
- In 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan, saute 1 small onion, chopped, with
- 1 head of fresh broccoli – cut up small
- 1 small baking potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
- Add 2 cups Water
- 1 1/2 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 3 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach (looks like a lot but will shrink quickly)
- Sprinkle of Salt, Pepper, Thyme and dry Basil
Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until broccoli and potato are soft but not mushy. Add a splash of cream to soup. Take your immersion (stick) blender and blend until smooth – I leave a few chunks here and there in the soup and do not blend completely smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it.
Top each bowl with a sprinkle of cheese (Gouda, Fontina, Gruyere – mine was Gouda because that was the least expensive this week at the grocery store). Enjoy!
I promised you more of the Outdoor Conference from this month so here I am. One of the perks of the day was that a designer from each store set up a beautiful springtime tablescape in their showroom.
My favorite takeaway from this tablescape was the ghost chair – in wingback style!
Easter inspiration ….. very cute!
or simply set a table with lots of candles, lanterns stuffed with greens and bird knick-knacks nestled on craft moss hanging over the table. Leave your dinner guests a simple takeaway gift of a bulb to plant in their garden …..
Big shout out to Telescope Casual Furniture – they’ve been producing furniture in the U.S.A. since 1903. Bright and beautiful, so fun! Love these chairs …..
I’ll show you more tablescapes next week. In the meantime, it’s actually quite nice outside. Head out and hang some flowers from your outdoor umbrella if you’re so inspired!
The 50s and 60s were the years for Tupperware Parties, the 70s and 80s were the years for Pampered Chef Parties. This year is the year for Makers. The weather was brutal all over the country and in Chicago too. I thought what better way to
kiss kick winter goodbye than to have a pillow makers art party.
I set up a drinks station on my homemade sawhorse table ….
and at the dining table I had Small Bites to nibble as we were all meeting each other (I should have photographed before we started digging in …)
I managed to cram (hopefully comfortably) 10 artists plus the instructor in our little kitchen nook and adjoining family room. I wanted all of us to be in as close proximity as possible so that we could all listen to the instructor at the same time.
The artist Michelle, of MJ & Crew, did a wonderful job teaching us. She actually sews the pillow covers, draws the designs that everyone desires and everyone just paints her art, similar to paint by number. Michelle brings all the supplies and the stuffing too!
For me, it was a peaceful afternoon with great people. We all met someone new, we came together to be makers and we told our stories without any pressure for social media “Likes” – we were just a bunch of humans hanging out and creating.
I hope everyone had a good time. ♥
I have not posted in awhile, busy busy – so I’ll just give you a little bit of this and a little bit of that … Did you know that our town has some of the cutest cottages around? I call this one above the “Angel Cottage” because there’s a trumpeting wooden angel hanging from the eaves.
It’s such a cute property, Harry-Beast loves it too …
Speaking of the Beast, he’s down in the dumps today. Very calm and a sad-sack, not like him at all! I’ll have to keep an eye on him ….
I made some homemade fries for breakfast this morning on honor of the St. Pat’s weekend. They are soooo easy and soooo good and the secret is when you’re making baked potatoes for dinner, you make a few extra baked potatoes. Let the extra cool on the counter, then put them in the fridge to use the next day or a few days later. When ready to use, peel the potatoes. If there’s a bit of skin left on, that’s OK ….
Then you cut the potatoes up in small pieces and pan fry them. This is not deep frying, it’s pan frying and, since the potatoes are already cooked, it takes minutes to pan fry the potatoes.
The potatoes turn out beautifully crisp on the outside and they are tender on the inside.
Yesterday Dear Husband and I saw “The Producers” at The Paramount in Aurora. The Paramount never fails in putting on great performances. The play was Hilarious!
And that’s that! Hopefully I’ll be back later in the week with a more riveting post, thanks for stopping by.
We all hate shopping for that new bathing suit but there’s some beachwear we looooove – the beachwear for our homes. Yesterday was the Mart’s Outdoor Conference and, although none of today’s furnishings are for the outdoors, Made Goods served us a yummy lunch. It’s my absolute favorite showroom in the Mart so let’s start here for a recap of the conference and to start off the weekend a little Beachy …..
Their resin inlay dressers, mirrors and stools are to-die-for ….
Their mirrors are amazing – I’m a sucker for ruffles …..
And be still my heart, their lighting is gorgeous ….
The last chandy above is my favorite, I love the soft natural tiers and just a touch of metal. Did you notice that every item has an interesting shape and texture? I’ll bring you more of the conference next week so we can really get inspired for the spring/summer season (whenever that may happen!) Which accessory would you love in your beach home? ♥