February 28, 2011

Porch Inspiration ....

Hey Porchers! ... I've put together a flicker collage for some Spring porch inspiration ... how about you? Did you find any inspiration this past week? ... I hope so! If you did, link up at the bottom and share with us all what you found ...Spring is right around the corner .... 

1. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay, Except Different, 2. come on in, 3. Victorian Cottage, 4. Planter on Porch of shop, 5. Washington Irving's Sunnyside : Porch, 6. Romantic table for two, 7. Inside-Outside House - Porch Detail, 8. Gardens, 9. Pretty decorated porch swing., 10. Tea Party on the Porch, 11. rms_Tea-Party-on-the-Porch_01_s4x3_lg, 12. Summer Dream Porch Swing, 13. january 28, 14. A touch of summer, 15. The Porch / Hosta, 16. Mount Washington Hotel Porch - New Hampshire

Next Monday's  topic is ANYTHING porches ... this one's on you ... can't wait to see what YOU come up with ... and ... tomorrow I'll be revealing March's 'Porch of the Month' ... make sure you come back to see this beauty ... it's loaded with inspiration !!

See you back on the porch ; )

NOT AGAIN! Linky is having MORE issues today ... 3 weeks in a row ... do you think I should ask for a refund?! ... sorry girls.


February 21, 2011

In the Neighborhood ....

Okay, I'll be the first to admit ... maybe this was not the best week to show off the porches in our neighborhoods ... unless you live in a warmer part of the country where porches are maintained year round. Not the case here {NJ}, our snow recently melted and most porches still have the remains of shovels, ice melt, and muddy footprints ... I was a little disappointed driving around town yesterday looking for inspiration ... since it didn't immediately slap me in the face I had to dig deeper ... Once my eyes stopped looking for the 'pretty' ... I began to see the wide abundance of uniqueness in my town ... we have every type of porch imaginable in one borough. Pretty cool !!
 Lovely wrap around with gingerbread ...
Traditional  American foursquare ... complete with white wicker.
 Many porches lined up in neat neighborly rows ....
 Sweet little Victorians with a touch of gingerbread ...
all done up in pink ...

 and this street below is extra special to me ... this is the street where my Grandparents lived.  There is a whole block of these side-by-side style homes ~ we called them "twins", all with attached front porches and shared driveways.
 This is where my love for porches was fostered .. every summer Mom and I would spend time at my Grandparent's and every evening we would spend time on the porch with neighbors.
I'm going to have 'neighborhood porches' become a regular monthly topic at Porch Club ... I think we all have a lot to share on this topic, plus it's going to give the gals without porches of their own a chance to participate more!

I think it's safe to say we are all looking forward to Spring ... so how about next week we share some porch inspiration and dig up some 'pretty' pictures to pass around of dreamy porches all done up in their finest ... then we can start planning our own porch projects!!

I'm off to take a look at what you've posted today ... see ya next week back on the porch ; )

Hey Porchers ... again, I'm getting some notes that the 'Linky' is not behaving again ... darn him! Please drop me a comment if you want to link up but are having trouble.



February 18, 2011

Bake-off Winner ...

Hey all ... a day or two late ... blame it on the kids I've been nursing with stomach bugs, yuck! ... Anyway ... picking a winner for the Valentine's bake-off was TOUGH!! Thank you ALL for entering, I enjoyed reading all of your posts and have added some new recipes to my file ... THANKS.

The winner is .... Sherry from The Charm of Home ... you can see her winning submission here.
Sherry stole my heart for four reasons:
1.} Her little guy's feet in the photo ... on the kitchen counter baking
2.} Her collection of recipes she has saved from her older son
3.} Her Grandmother's pastry cutter
4.} ... and of course two yummy creations ... a cake and pie!!

Sherry, please send me your mailing address so that I can send this heart charm bracelet I made off to you.

This Monday at Porch Club we'll be sharing photos of porches in our neighborhoods ... or ... pick a neighborhood you'd like to explore and show us some pictures!

The picture below is a porch from my birth city, Charleston, SC ... I just love the magnificent porches of the old South ... I can think of many cities I'm enamored with ... their porches and architecture.

Another obsession ... Pinterest ... have you checked this out yet? I just started messing around with it ... it's quite fun and a wonderful way to {insert sarcasm} pass endless hours ... seriously it is FUN! If you want, you can take a peek at my newest pin board here: Charleston Porches and the rest of my boards here.
 Have a fun weekend, hope you get some great porch shots to share on Monday!

February 14, 2011

A Porch Club Bake-Off ....

Good morning peeps! Sorry this post wasn't up last night ... but, I fell asleep with the Gypsy Prince as I was putting him to bed ... next thing I knew the roosters were crowing and it was morning! Maybe it had something to do with eating one of these comma inducing chicken pot pies at 8pm for dinner ??
 This was my first attempt at making a homemade potpie {crust and all!} ... lots of work but soooooo well worth it ... totally yummy! I used Ina Garten's recipe that you can find here. I altered it a bit so that I could use some extra veggies I had on hand. I encourage you to try it. 
Then it was on to dessert ... I waaaay over baked ... we only got around to doing the cupcakes, I still have two cakes and a huge lump of sugar cookie dough ready to go! I guess that will be on today's list ... I could think of worse things to do ... I LOVE to decorate baked goods!
 The result ... a sweet simple vanilla cupcake with pink cream cheese frosting.
I can eat these by the dozen!
{hmmm... maybe that has something to do with why there's only one left to photograph?}
I'm hoping some of you girls had the chance to bake and decorate for your Sweeties this weekend, if so... link it on up below to the Valentine's bake-off .... I will announce the winner and the prize on this Wednesday,the 16th ... I gave a hint yesterday about the prize on SILVER Sunday {wink-wink}.
You can enter up until midnight {est} Tuesday.

Next weeks Porch Club meeting will be all about porches in your neighborhood ... get your camera out shoot some pics and give us all a tour of some of your favorite porches in your neck of the woods!

Happy Valentine's Day .. I heart all of you! 

ps. not only was I creating in the kitchen this weekend ... I've been creating in the studio preparing for this!! I'll be sharing more details with you this week. 

**sorry girls ... looks like Mr. Linky is NOT feeling the LOVE today ... they are working out some kinks and should have links 
back up soon ; (


February 13, 2011

Silver Sunday and some Etsy LOVE ...

I HEART Etsy ... it's the perfect package ... wonderful vintage items ... original artwork ... amazing sellers .... and stunning photography ... all rolled into one shopping venue!

I was searching for some Valentine Silver Sunday LoVe to share and here are a few of my finds.
Enjoy !!
You can click on any of the photos to view that particular listing.
I'm anxious to see if any of you gals got out your silver baking pans this past week for the Valentine's bake-off challenge ... there's going to be a sweet silver surprise for the winner !!

xoxo

February 11, 2011

Vintage Inspired Baking ... and a CHALLENGE !!

My most highly valued vintage possessions are items from my Great Grandmother's kitchen ... her name was Elizabeth Rowland ... to me, she was Nana. Below are my some of my favorites ... I have numerous recipes written in her own hand ... and a simple scoop made for her by her husband, my Great Grandfather.
Included in my vintage collection are her rolling pin and various tart/biscuit cutters. The rolling pin only has the faintest touch of red paint left on it's handles ... she used this pin and also my grandmother, mom, myself and now my daughter ... I think that's pretty special to know that five generations of hands have baked with this one rolling pin.

The other items I have are on display every day in my kitchen are... her old tin measuring cups ... I use them as scoops for my sugar and flour ... vintage Fire King measuring cup ... various plates and bowls.
Today I started baking ... for Saint Valentine's Day
sweet treats for my Sweets ...
I made cupcakes, a layer cake, sugar cookies and a few different types of icings. This weekend I will spend time decorating with the kids...we'll have a bevy of goods done for Monday.
Here's my challenge for you ...
A Valentine's bake-off !!
What is your inspiration?
Bake it up, take a picture, post about it and link up to 
"The Porch Club" HERE on Monday, February 14th.
There will be a prize for the winner!!
ready, set, bake!

I'm linking up today : )


Wishing all of you a weekend full of sweet romance ... and BAKING!

February 9, 2011

Romantic Prairie Style ...

 IF I had a farm house out on the prairie ... I would decorate it in white ... I would keep it plain and simple ... maybe it would look something like this:




{photo source here}
I could shop Etsy for some finds:
  Are you still in the need of some Romantic Prairie style inspiration?

Here's your chance to win Fifi O'Neil's newest book
You need to hurry Over to: Na-Da Farm Life...with Anne Marie only 2 days left to enter!!

Good Luck!

February 6, 2011

Romancing the porch .... with both my men

 Hmmm.... romancing the porch. Tougher than I thought. Sure, I have the typical notions of what romance on the porch is, or should be. Swinging on a porch swing side-by-side or a late night candlelit dinner. 

These scenarios however are only images in my head, in my reality they don't occur all that much...if ever. That doesn't mean there isn't a total lack of romance happening on my porch ... just well, a different sort of desire.  
Here are some photos of my family and I romancing our porch last summer during a heavy rain fall outside ... it was a steamy day and we finally had a cool storm blow through ... we sat on the porch with both French doors open on either end, we relaxed and read ... enjoying the breeze.

 Hey, my reading material is 'Romantic' ... 
looking over to see the boys reading together does melt my Mother's heart ... is it unusual to find this picture romantic? ... something always 'catches' me when I see my husband unconditionally sharing his love with The Gypsy Prince ... what is that all about? .. I swear it moves me to my core.

Here's the view outside that day ... ahhhhh ... green ... even if it is raining .. it's peaceful....and romantic to look at.

 A little more reading ....This is the type of 'romance' that happens on our porch.
And I can't help but show you what the same view off the porch looks like today ....
 Could be cozy ... if there were a fireplace on the porch ...
After seeing what my porch looked like on the big screen computer screen last week, UGH! I decided to clean up my act, a little. 
Thank you for your kind comments and not being too harsh ... I appreciate your motivation.
Check what your neighbors are doing to romance their porches ... the links are below and if you missed the Porch of the Month last week, here's the link, now Debra knows how to romance a porch.

Since next week's Porch Club falls on Valentine's Day ... I'm going to challenge ALL of you to a Valentine bake-off !!
Bake a cake, make some cookies, mold some chocolate and most important ... have some fun!
Take a photo and bring your treat to share with all of us next week on the porch ... and just think how happy your family will be with the real thing at home.
There will be a prize for the winner !! 

Have a great week and I'll see ya back on the porch,



February 3, 2011

Shopping ... from home

We've been working on a kitchen facelift .. I call it a 'facelift' because ... the budget is more 'facelift' ... use what we have, just stretch it a little bit ... with a few nips and tucks here and there. We've been working on this project for .... hmmmm, somewhere around 2 years now. Sad, isn't it? Unfortunately this big old house has a lot of work going on and the inside projects usually have to wait until it's too darn cold to go outside and work.

This morning I've been shopping on line for some cool new things I would like to have for newly 'lifted' face kitchen.

My taste runs towards vintage and traditional, but I'm looking for some modern furniture and accessories to throw into the mix.
I can picture these bar stools adding some funk to the island.
Okay ... I LOVE this ... I wouldn't have anything else but my stainless steal appliances,but it's frustrating not to be able to put anything on them. This removable chalkboard decal would be the solution ... and it fits my vintage style! 
This rug would be perfect in the small sitting portion of the kitchen ... ties in nicely with the chalkboard decal.

These melamine dinner plates and tumblers have a classic style and are so much fun! Plus, they would be great for the Gypsy Prince as well ... no china or glass to break!!
 Tea towels
and the kitchen sink ...
Shopping from home, gotta love it.