Archive of ‘My Home and Garden’ category

Pretty Flowers for My Front Door

Pretty flowers for my front porch

I just ordered this custom-made flower arrangement by TwoInspireYou at Etsy.com to hang on my front door. But instead of pink tulips, I chose the colors in the second photo. I can picture this colorful arrangement hanging on my freshly painted purple door. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I still have to power wash and paint the front porch and I’m STILL waiting for the rugs to arrive. I need to find some fun/colorful accessories, plant more flowers, set out the pillows, and sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor with a magazine and cold glass of iced tea.

Making an Entrance Part II–Front Door Makeover

Front door makeover

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day. I spent the day with my mother, daughter, brothers, sister, and their families. The entire family went out to dinner to celebrate. It was quite a challenge to seat all 20 of us together, but we managed to pull it off.

Afterwards, my daughter bought me flowers at a local nursery and helped me plant them in the garden. I finished off the day by painting my front door Deep Amethyst by Glidden. It was a bold color choice and I was a bit nervous to make the change but I’m thrilled with the end result. If you could throw caution to the wind and paint your door any color you want, what color would you choose?

Braised Short Ribs

Recipe for braised short ribs

It’s been cold and rainy this week, so cold that I’ve been craving a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs type of meal. So I turned to this recipe for braised short ribs that my mom made frequently when I was growing up. It’s simple to make, smells amazing while it’s baking, and tastes even better. This recipe is comfort food at its best. I like to serve braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and spoon the vegetables and sauce on top of the potatoes. Look for boneless short ribs at your supermarket if you can find them because it makes eating this dish a bit easier. I grab boneless short ribs as I find them and freeze them for later use. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make braised short ribs:

Braised Short Ribs Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. beef short ribs (preferably  boneless)
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour  (enough to coat the ribs)
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to brown the ribs on all sides)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery tops, chopped (the celery leaves really make this dish)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons additional flour (to thicken the broth)

Instructions

  1. Dredge the short ribs in flour and brown them on all sides in a frying pan coated with hot oil.
  2. Place ribs in a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
  3. Drain off excess oil from the frying pan, keeping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat. Add water and bring to a boil, scraping the browned parts off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except flour). Bring to a boil. Combine flour with enough water to make a thin paste. Add slowly to the boiling mixture, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Pour the vegetable mixture over the short ribs in the baking pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. Serve with hot mashed potatoes or hot cooked rice.

Ladle into a bowl, spoon the vegetables and sauce over the mashed potatoes, and enjoy!

Pantone Chip Inspired Porch Makeover

Pantone-Inspired-Porch-Makeover

My Pantone chip inspired front porch makeover is underway. I’m still waiting for the Dash and Albert rugs to be delivered. I need to power wash and paint the front porch pillars and railings–and paint the front door PURPLE. I know, right? I can’t wait to see everything pulled together. Next up on my spring cleaning list–a back deck makeover.

Making an Entrance

Blue Front Door Small

Last year I painted my foyer light grey. The look was fresh and clean, and the color worked well with my green living room walls, but it was a bit too boring for my taste. After mulling over the idea of repainting the foyer and stairwell to punch up the color, I took the easy way out and painted the front door instead. It was way less time consuming than painting the walls–it took about an hour from start to finish–and much cheaper, too.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this solution sooner, I’m just glad that I did. I love end result. The light blue paint adds interest to the foyer and picks up the color of my living room chairs. Here’s a picture of the front door before my mini makeover. Which color do you prefer, the white or the blue?

Spring Living Room Makeover Small

Sneak Peek: Spring Family Room Makeover

Spring Family Room Makeover

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. Here’s a sneak peek at my upcoming spring family room makeover. I can’t wait for the furniture to be delivered. I’m still looking for a new coffee table and end tables. I’ve already picked out a new area rug, but couldn’t find a picture of it online. This update is long overdue. My family room has been looking a bit shabby lately–and not in a shabby chic sort of way.

Canine Gardening Assistants

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Yard work is always more pleasant when you have canine garden helpers. Marty (aka “Piggy” because of his curly pig tail) likes to dig holes, graze on the grass, sit in the phlox, and identify shady spots in the yard. He also likes to inspect my work. Mary, who is a more refined and dignified dog, prefers to oversee the yard work from the comfort of the deck.

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Piggy Close Up Small

Colorful Spring Garden

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I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I spent my weekend doing yard work–mowing, edging, weeding, mulching, trimming shrubs, and removing plants that didn’t survive the winter. It was a lot of work clearing away winter’s neglect and readying my garden for the arrival of spring blooms like this creeping phlox, but it was well worth the effort. Just look at this spectacular show. What’s growing in your garden this spring?

Work in Progress–Pink Miltonia Orchids

Pink Miltonia Orchids in Watercolor by afternoonartist.wordpress.com

Here’s a peek at my latest painting. I hope to finish it this evening. I’ve been so busy with spring cleaning and home improvement projects that I’ve had little time to paint. I have several interior decorating projects underway, porch and deck makeovers in progress, a massive yard cleanup, custom curtains to sew, and a few painting tasks to complete–some involving plenty of spray paint (you know how much I love spray paint). Oh, and lots of fun shopping with my mom. I can’t wait to finish all these projects and share the results with you.

I hope you’re enjoying the warm spring weather as much as I am.

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