I was sorting through photos tonight and came across these shots I took of my living room last spring. I’ve always been a fan of turquoise but when I added coral into the mix, this room really came to life.
I couldn’t resist these pretty pillow covers by Caitlin Wilson. You can purchase them at Caitlin Wilson Textiles.
The bookcases and end tables came from American Drew Furniture. The pretty aqua recliners and couch came from La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery. Who knew La-Z-Boy recliners could look this good? They’ve come a long way since the sloppy, unattractive (but comfortable) chairs of my youth. The coral Suraya Archive floor cloth came from RugsUSA. The black and white curtains came from Pottery Barn, my absolute favorite place to shop.
Little Stevie likes to help me accessorize the room during photo shoots.
Stevie can do things that my big dogs can’t do, like hang out on the coffee table. I keep shooing him off, but you can see how well that’s going….
Steve on high alert. Is that a squirrel? Must. Get. Him.
Dexter in front of the Christmas tree.
Steve on the couch.
Marty also known as “Piggy” because of his cute little curly tail.
My sweet girl, Mary.
And our lovely girl, Luna, who is 14 years old. The first photos taken with our new camera–a Christmas gift my daughter and I gave to each other. I can’t wait to learn how to use it.
This is Dexter watching us paint yesterday. Look at that face–so innocent, sweet, and cute.
But don’t let all this adorableness fool you, behind that face lies a little monster. Dexter and Steve, my Yorkie, apparently didn’t enjoy our family paint fest as much as we humans did because they quickly became bored and started to pester us for attention.
So I gave Dexter a little reading material to keep him occupied while we painted.
This is the aftermath of his little play session.
Here’s Steve, my Yorkie, perched on the back of the couch so he can watch us paint. Note the innocent look on his face as well.
But check out how his expression changed when I asked him about his involvement in making the mess. Think he’s guilty?
Even the dogs are getting into the holiday spirit. Pictured from the left, Luna the Labrador mix, Marty the Corgi mix, and Steve the Yorkshire Terrier–from big to small and good to bad (Steve is quite a little stinker, but oh-so-cute). There will be plenty of toys and treats for them under the tree tomorrow morning. Keeping Marty from finding the toys has been quite challenging. He kept trying to sneak into my closet to root through the bags.
There’s nothing my daughter loves more than spending time at the barn with her beloved horses. So I thought I’d share some photos of Thanksgiving at the farm. Simple pleasures are the best. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.
The drive to the barn:
View of the pastures:
Greta’s horse, Abbott:
Greta’s horse, Erin:
Greta riding Erin:
Katie, the mule:
Napoleon, the miniature horse:
Greta’s new horse trailer (just delivered this week):
Steve at the barn:
What a wonderful way to spend the day. It’s easy to see why my daughter spends so much time here.
Piggy sporting a turtleneck.
Dexter in a hoodie.
Steve in a baseball jersey.
Mary doesn’t like sweaters.
And neither does our old gal, Luna. Time to wash her bed covers. Yikes!
I worked on my morning glory painting last weekend but wasn’t happy with the results. I was beginning to get frustrated so I set my painting aside and whipped up this apple praline bread instead. The cake is moist and dense and the caramel praline topping is absolutely decadent. I’ve been making this recipe for years. I found the original recipe in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but made a few changes over the years to suit my taste. Specifically, I increased the amount of apples in the batter and doubled the pecans and caramel sauce on top. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this treat:
1 cup sugar
1 8-oz. container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples (I used Jonna Gold)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to the sour cream mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup of pecans. Turn into a greased 9 x 5 x 3″ pan. Sprinkle remaining cup of pecans on top; press lightly into batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan combine the brown sugar and butter. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 1 minute. Remove bread from pan. Drizzle top with brown sugar mixture.
Here’s a photo of my pal, Dexter, waiting for something yummy to drop off of the counter while I work:
He usually scores several treats this way. Afterwards, he’s more than willing to help me with dish duty.
What a good helper.
Little Stevie, who was named after rock star Steven Tyler, really rocked his Halloween costume this year. He wore his favorite grunge t-shirt, donned some cool shades (called “doggles”), and my daughter spiked his hair with a bit of mousse. He’s one cool little dude.
He won first place (a free week of doggie daycare) in the Halloween contest at Dogtopia. It’s a great place for active young dogs to run and play and socialize and expend their boundless energy.
The puppies’ palette–primary colors by Winsor Newton. I thought it was best to keep things simple–and to take this project outside–but it didn’t take long for these cheery colors to turn into a muddy mess.
Dexter tried to use a paintbrush but decided that paw painting was a better solution.
So he jumped in with all four feet and got down to work.
He’s a regular Vincent Van Go-Doggie, Go-Doggie!
Little Stevie waiting for his turn to paint.
The long hair on his feet created a canine mop brush and a big mess to clean up. Catching him to wipe his feet proved to be a bit challenging. Yorkies try their hardest to be uncooperative; it’s what they do best.
The completed painting. I actually like the end result and plan on framing this painting and hanging it above their dog beds. Family activities are always more fun when you include every member of the family.