Archive of ‘My Home and Garden’ category

Pink and White Tulips in Watercolor

Pink and white tulips in watercolor

Happy spring, everybody. I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Easter weekend. The weather is finally warming up, the redbuds and cherry blossoms are in full bloom, my phlox are beginning their annual spring show, and the tulips will soon be on full display. After the long, cold winter I’m so excited to see these signs of spring.

Pink and white tulips in watercolor.

Holiday Porch Makeover–All That Glitters is Not Gold…

purple Christmas wreath close up

Sometimes it’s silver…

and purple.

Purple and silver holiday porch

It’s December and I’m still rocking my purple front door and porch furniture. This delicious shade of purple has transitioned easily from summer to fall to winter. And I’m having so much fun with it that I plan on featuring purple once again on my spring porch. Who knew that purple could be so dog-gone versatile?

purple and silver holiday porch decor

For my holiday porch, I kept the same rugs that I used on my fall porch makeover–the rich burgundy and purple colors are perfect for Christmas. I began my holiday makeover by hanging a sparkling purple and silver flower arrangement on my front door.

sparkly silver pillows for my front porch

Then I added lots of pillows in a variety of shapes and sizes in muted tones of silver and white. I couldn’t resist these pillows embellished with sequins, crystals, and beads. I used indoor pillows but they typically hold up well on my covered porch.

holiday pillows with sequins, beads, and crystals for my front porch

This crystal owl pillow was just too cute to pass up.

holiday pillow with big silver bow

This white velvet pillow with a big silver bow and crystal button was the inspiration for my holiday porch makeover. Once I found this pillow, I carried it around the store and chose a variety of pillows to coordinate with it.

mini Christmas trees with burlap wrapped pots

I added some mini Christmas trees in pots wrapped with burlap. I like the way the simple evergreen trees and rough burlap contrast with the elegant pillow fabrics. The green, brown, and beige tones add interest and warmth to this otherwise cool decorating scheme.

purple and silver winter porch makeover

On the coffee table, I arranged a silver bowl filled with sparkly silver accessories, a burgundy silk flower arrangement, and a rusty iron lantern on a simple wooden tray–another combination of glittery and rustic finishes. From start to finish, this winter porch makeover took me less than 30 minutes to pull together (minus the shopping, of course).

purple and silver winter porch makeover

The carpets are bath mats with rubber backing so they stay in place on windy days and I can simply throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty. And the color is holding up beautifully. These rugs have been on my porch for weeks with no signs of fading from the sun.

purple and silver holiday wreath

And once again I’d like to thank Tonya from TwoInspireYou for this gorgeous purple and silver holiday wreath that she custom made for my purple winter porch makeover. Love, love, love it!

Thanksgiving Candlelight Dinner for Two

Thanksgiving Candlelight Dinner for Two

Thank you for all the wonderful holiday wishes. My daughter and I enjoyed a cozy, peaceful candlelight dinner for two.

Thanksgiving candlelight dinner for two

We feasted on roast chicken, cornbread stuffing, green beans, corn pudding, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato casserole (my favorite). What a memorable day.

Thanksgiving Candlelight Dinner for Two

For dessert, my daughter requested homemade apple pie. She helped me prepare and serve the entire meal.

Homemade apple pie

How was your holiday?

Holiday Decorating Ideas–Create a Winter Woodland Holiday

Winter Owl Theme

Create a Winter Woodland Holiday

I posted these photos of Anthropologie’s gorgeous winter owl holiday theme last January just after the holidays–I know, brilliant, right?–so the photos didn’t spark much interest. I also posted them on Pinterest without much response. But this year my Pinterest followers are re-pinning my winter owl theme photos like crazy, so I thought I’d share them again this year–only this time I’d share them before Christmas.

Winter Owl Theme

Winter owls nestled in branches. This would be so easy to recreate at home.

Winter owl theme

Perched high on a wall made of wood, on a wooden fireplace mantel, or nestled on top of a stack of firewood.

Winter owl theme

Perched on a swing made from a birch tree branch and suspended from the ceiling with fishing line–or simply perched on a wooden shelf. Don’t forget to paint some snowflakes on nearby window panes to play up the rustic, wintery feel.

Mason jar chandalier

Add a mason jar chandelier flecked with snow and filled with candles and bits of nature like pine cones, pine needles, or acorns.

Mason jar chandalier

Tie the mason jars with simple twine and hang them from the ceiling. How lovely. Play it safe and use flameless tealight candles.

Old books with snow and cranberries

Add some old books covered with snow and cranberries. Stack them on a table near a fireplace to get this warm, glowing light and encourage your guests to curl up with a good book. How simple and lovely is this?

Where to Find Winter Owls

You can find winter owls everywhere this holiday season. I saw them this weekend at Target and Pier 1 Imports while I was out shopping with my sister. I’ve also seen them in Pottery Barn’s holiday catalog. Pick some up winter owls and enjoy a winter woodland holiday.

Fall Porch Makeover

Fall Porch Makeover

How does a summer porch featuring purple wicker chairs, hot pink and white outdoor carpets, and pillows in shades of orange, lime, and grape transition into a lush retreat for fall? Fantastically!

Am I right?

Fall porch makeover

I’m still having a love affair with my purple porch furniture, so I’m keeping it purple through fall and winter. So how do you transition a summer porch featuring purple wicker chairs, hot pink and white chevron rugs, and pillows in shades of orange, lime, and magenta into a lush fall retreat?

Fall Porch Makeover

I began by switching out the bright summer pillows with these fun plaid pillows in shades of cranberry, eggplant, gold, and taupe.

Fall porch makeover

Then I layered on the texture with lumbar pillows covered in cranberry corduroy for extra comfort and warmth.

Fall porch makeover

I switched out the hot pink and white chevron rugs for these rich gem tone rugs. I couldn’t find outdoor rugs in the colors I desired so I settled on these bathroom rugs.

Yep, bathroom rugs!

Just because they’re called bathroom rugs doesn’t mean they have to be used in a bathroom. I’ve used bathroom rugs on my winter porch over the years. They wear like troopers, can be thrown in the washer and dryer, and the rubber backing keeps them in place on windy days.

Fall porch makeover

I couldn’t let go of my purple front door, either. Nope, not yet. So I switched out the brightly colored summer wreath with this fall arrangement in shades of rust, orange, and gold (another creation by my friend Tonya at TwoInspireYou).

Fall porch makeover

It looks amazing on a purple door, doesn’t it?

Fall porch makeover

And the burgundy welcome mat? You guessed it. It’s a bath mat.

Fall porch makeover

For extra color I added these fun flower arrangements in pumpkin containers that I picked up on sale at Michael’s Craft Store. The resin pumpkins (also from Michael’s) look real from the street and withstand the cold temperatures all season long. There will be no rotten pumpkins on my porch to clean up!

Fall porch makeover

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed my front porch makeover. Weather permitting, I’ll be sipping pumpkin lattes here and planning my Christmas porch makeover which will feature this custom designed holiday wreath (also by my friend Tonya at TwoInspireYou).

Purple Christmas wreath for my front door

I can’t wait to bling out my porch for Christmas. Have a great day, everyone.

A Purple Christmas Wreath for My Front Door

Purple Christmas wreath for my front door

You’ve all seen my purple front door, right? The one I painted for my purple summer front porch makeover? Well, what do you do with  a purple front door when Christmas rolls around and all the holiday finery is typically red and green? Paint it? Nah. Embrace it!

This is what I’ll be hanging on my purple front door over the Christmas holiday–it was a special order from TwoInspireYou’s shop at etsy.com. Isn’t it gorgeous and totally unique? Now all I need to do is find some silver sequined pillows to adorn my purple chairs and add some gem tone rugs on the porch and I’ll be sporting a totally unique holiday look. What do you think about this look? Fabulous or too unconventional?

Here’s another pic:

Purple Christmas wreath

Fireplace Makeovers–One Fireplace Three Ways

Navy blue fireplace makeover

Aqua fireplace makeover

Fireplace makeover in light blue

I’ve been hard at work overhauling my blog this week to make it more user friendly and give it a fresh new look. What do think of my new design? I’m really liking the touches of fresh lime.

While going through old posts I found these photos of my fireplace featuring several different shades of blue and thought I would share them today. I frequently repaint my rooms. Repainting a room is one of the most economical decorating tricks up a decorator’s sleeve. The change is always dramatic and all it takes is one afternoon of work and about $150.00 per room.

Which color is your favorite, the navy, the aqua, or the light blue?

Poppies in Watercolor

poppies in watercolor

Keeping things simple today. No shading, no fancy watercolor tricks, just plain, solid color on a white background. The keep-it-simple (KISS) rule always works. This painting–which was inspired by a pillow case that caught my sister’s eye–is for my sister’s new home. She wants to add a touch of orange in every room, and I’m happy to oblige. I can’t wait to pull up a chair and have a cup of coffee with my sissy in her new kitchen.

Copycat Roy Rogers Double-R-Bar Burger

Copycat Roy Rogers DoubleRBar Burgers

Dinner Brought to You by Roy Rogers, Martha Stewart, Julia Childs, the Bealeton Farmer’s Market, My Sister, and Me!

My sister and I spent a week together relaxing and doing what we like to do best–chatting for hours; touring Main Street in Warrenton, Virginia;  browsing through antique shops; shopping at the Bealeton farmer’s market; and cooking the fresh fruits and vegetables we purchased there. I took the opportunity to introduce my sister to my copycat version of Roy Rogers Double-R-Bar burgers. I haven’t seen a Roy Rogers restaurant in years, and I really had a craving for a good, ole’ Double-R.

My sister whipped up a batch of green beans almondine ala Julia Childs and I whipped up a batch of Mexican corn on the cob ala Martha Stewart. The burgers were fabulous–we topped them with shaved ham, cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, mild horseradish sauce, and coleslaw–and the green beans and corn on the cob were out of this world. We rounded out the meal with the best cantaloupe we’d had all season. It was such a fabulous late summer meal that I just had to share it with all of you.

There’s still one more week before summer is over and the kids have go back to school. If you’re looking for a fabulous Labor Day meal to share with your family or friends, this combination is a must try. Recipes are provided below.

Copycat Double-R-Bar Burger Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef
  • Shaved ham
  • Sliced cheddar cheese
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Mild horseradish sauce
  • Coleslaw (optional)
  • Hamburger buns (I used Martin’s potato buns–my fave)

In a large skillet, cook the burgers over medium heat until they cooked medium well (no pink in the center). Top the burgers with two slices of shaved ham and a slice of cheddar cheese. Cover and allow the cheese to melt. Place on buns and top with BBQ sauce, horseradish sauce, and coleslaw.

Green Bean Almondine Ingredients

  • Fresh, whole green beans
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Clean and snap the ends off of the green beans. Cook in a skillet with a small amount of water until the beans are crisp tender (about five minutes). Drain, remove from the pan, and set aside. Add the butter and slivered almonds to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the almonds are golden brown (about three minutes). Add the green beans back to the skillet; stir to coat. Cook until heated through.

Mexican Corn on the Cob Ingredients

  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Corn on the cob, husks removed
  • Butter
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chili powder
  • Lime wedges

Rub the corn with butter then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each ear in plastic wrap. Microwave until crisp tender (about 1-2 minutes for two ears). Remove plastic wrap. Brush corn with mayonnaise and roll in Parmesan cheese to coat. Sprinkle with chili powder. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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