Need a quick taste of summer?

I love to cook and I love to eat so it's kinda fun that we live in an area with 4 very different seasons.   I categorize foods and recipes into the seasons which means right now I am in the thick of warm, cozy meals that offer comfort and a full belly!

Chili, soup and meatballs seem to be topping the list right now.  As a Mom and full-time worker I try to get myself organized on Sunday (ok, sometimes it does fall to Monday) and think ahead to the week.  Dinners planned out, shopping done and lately I have been cooking larger amounts on Sunday and Monday so we can all pull from the left over pool for lunches.  

I find I eat healthier and smarter when I bring my lunch.  Who can argue with a tupperware of white bean chicken chowder heated up on a cold winter's day?  YUM!

My high schooler has been taking burrito bowls to school for lunch.  So on Sundays I cook a big pot of brown rice and grill some chicken breasts for him.  I open (and put into a tupperware) a can of black beans and refried beans.  Mornings become a snap when I simply open a bunch of tupperware and compile his bowl.  A sprinkle of shredded cheese and a spoonful or two of salsa and its done!

Yesterday I went to cook the chicken breasts and I got to thinking of one of my favorite summer marinades and wondered would it taste as good if I cooked it indoors on my grill pan?  So, it wasn't as good but it was pretty darn good and gave me a sneak peek of summer which was fun and tasty!  

And maybe you are one of the lucky ones whose grill is still within reach of your back door and useable in the winter.  Me, not so lucky.  

So here it is....

In case you can't read my chicken (ha!) scratch.

In a ziplock bag mix 4 chicken breasts with...

1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 TBL. honey
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp. dried Thyme (not ground)
1 tsp. dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

3 hours in the fridge to marinate and then onto the grill.  Cook chicken until done.


I believe we have turned a corner.

Happy to report that things are on an upswing with the living room redo.

Removing everything that was bugging me was the secret.  I sweet talked hubby into helping me last Saturday night and we took out the coffee table and played musical chairs w/ the furniture.  

Lamps are still on order but here is what I believe will be the new layout.  The buffalo check chairs went back to flanking the fireplace and the new wood coffee table was brought in and is SO much better at complementing the navy sofa.  It looks minuscule in this pic and it is smaller than the large square I had before but it still works.

I tucked the 2 woven cubes under the table and they fit perfectly.  I love the way they play against the rug. 

Texture is KEY!

I moved the loveseat back against the wall between the 2 windows and I like it there.  I picked up this slightly dressier tufted bench and I plan to have it recovered with the stripe vintage tapestry.  I think the tufting will be super cool.  It's just the right size in front of the loveseat.  I am a fan of mixing metals.  This base is a distressed, almost gold-leafed looking finish. And while the new coffee table has much more modern and industrial looking metal legs the room is big enough to have more than one metal shining.  

 I found a tropical plant and plunked it in the corner (inside a textured basket) and I am much happier with the "fill" it provides for the bare corner.

I brought the leather club chair into the mix.  It's a solid Lillian August purchase and 10 years later I still love it's lines.  It's way too cozy of a chair to have ended up in a bedroom.  I like that it helps to break up the blue and add more texture.

I have kept a handful of my favorite table toppers.
I love the color and softness these vintage glass buoys bring to the picture.

Years ago it took me forever to find this chest due to the size restraints of the TV wires, cables and components we hide in there.  I suspect I may have to paint this soon.  I removed a handful of framed family photos and added the gold base lamp and it feels way better for me.  I group my orchids together so when the blooms die they still look ok....power in numbers! 

I had to re-work the coffee table toppers since I went from a large square with a huge wood tray on top to a smaller rectangle.  I added the vintage Italian tray for clickers and still had enough room for a few magazines, a candle, the cocktail napkin holder and fern.  But that will change 20 times before the week is up.  

The creative side of my brain is resting now and letting it all soak in but surely there will be more tweaks in the near future.  Like tomorrow  ;)


What sofas and snowballs have in common

The sofa I had so patiently been waiting for arrived last Saturday.  

Yeah, right??!!

Well it kinda went from a "yeah" to a "sigh" pretty quickly.

Turns out the new sofa that I had been dreaming about is a total departure for me and therefore created an ginormous snowball effect.  New sofa meet large snowball!

The more modern lines, styling and legs along with the dark blue color left my living room full of more traditional pieces looking like the ugly step sister.  I have to admit it has really 

thrown me for a loop! 

I have brought 6 lamps home and only 1 is working in the space.  I can't bear to look at my old coffee table, it is silently sabotaging
the new sofa.  My fascination with pillows is backfiring too!  The square shapes are fighting the modern lines of the sofa.  Even my accessories that I have over the years so carefully curated are feeling sad.  I won't get into the fact that now its causing me to re-think big picture and how it effects the dining room. 

I have kinda ignored it for a few days because I really do love the new sofa I just need to get my head around the vision for the space.  And I find its best to leave something for a bit when you hit a road block.

I often tell my clients that design takes time and that by layering over time creates a space that you will probably be happier with in the long run.  I am not very good at listening to my own advice!

So today I ordered 4 more lamps, I started researching a new rustic wood coffee table and I removed ALL the old pillows.  Below is a new lumbar pillow that I do like.  

I will empty out most and then slowly bring back in only what works for the vision.  I need to subscribe to the "less is more" philosophy and there lies the challenge.  

But I secretly love that this room is challenging me to re-think, remove and recycle.  

INHALE, EXHALE.....I got this!