Archive for June, 2010
So many gardens around Charleston offer just glimpses as you stroll through the cobblestone streets. A peek here , a glimpse there. Not everyone wants the world gawking in at them as they enjoy the pleasures of their private space. I can’t complain too loudly, I wouldn’t want all of the tourists looking at me either!
Most gardens that have sympathy on the walkers-by or the tourist at least offer a peek through a garden date or bit of wrought iron. I will share a few images with you that inspired me and got me thinking about what touches I could add to my own garden to give it a bit of Charleston charm.
I love the ferns mixed with the delicate flowers in this moss covered planter.
Some of the flowers were so quietly pretty, just brightening up their little corner of the garden, waiting to be discovered. A few of the plantings were quite old, heirloom plants that were brought over to this “new world” they were settling in the 1700′s!
I just loved the statues covered with moss and time surprising me from their secret spots. This particular one was my favorite.
A beautiful place to show off some roses.
I hope you find some to inspire you as well! Enjoy….
Here is a delicious recipe shared with me by my wonderful friend Brooke. A great recipe to share at a party or gathering, or to simply enjoy on your own patio. A delightful twist on a traditional favorite. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips:
1 cup diced strawberries
1 or 2 diced kiwi
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup mandarin oranges, drained and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
1 diced jalapeno, seeded (or use 1/2 if you prefer less heat)
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
In a bowl, mix all chopped and diced ingredients, toss with lime juice. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Serve with fresh cinnamon chips, recipe below.
1 pkg of 10-6″ flour tortillas
2 T melted butter
1 T cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Brush tortillas with butter, then coat with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Bake on cookie sheet for 8 minutes, or until dry and crispy.
Original recipe from Better Homes & Gardens New CookBook (published in 1996)
I read a quote the other day and it really spoke to me. I think I have always felt this way about what I do, but reading someone else’s thoughts about it, really struck me. Here it is:
“The master in the art of living make little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him, he is always doing both.”
That quote was written by James Michener. I have always believed that God has created each one of us with distinct abilities that only we have. When we are in our “sweet spot” as Max Lucado says, we are where God has designed us to be. That spot is where we find this “mastery of living”, it is our ART. It is who we were meant to be and it doesn’t feel like work, it is who we are.
So my creative challenge to you today is to really think about who you are. Are you living the life you were designed to? Are you mastering your sweet spot?
IF you are… yea! I am so thrilled for you, you have found your calling. Rejoice in it and share it with us… please comment below. IF you aren’t, it is time to really reflect on this challenge and maybe make some changes to your life. Life after all, is far too short, and if we aren’t doing what we love and were designed for, then it’s probably about time we did.
Go ahead, what are you waiting for? The world is waiting for you…
Would you like to update your eating area and create a special dining space? Are you longing to bring that open-concept living area a bit more formality? Is entertaining something your dining area isn’t up to? If you envision a dining space that is simple enough for family dinners, yet special enough for entertaining or a romantic dinner, here are some tips to get your dining space moving in the right direction.
1. Lighting is Key: Make sure your lighting is on dimmers, harsh lighting feels like you’re eating in a cafeteria. Candlelight is even better!
2. Slipcovers: A great way to add some design to your space is to slipcover a few of the chairs. Don’t do all of them, chose a combo to make more of an impact.
3. Panels: Add some drapery panels. Fabric absorbs sound and creates a cocoon-like feel, making the space more intimate.
4. Centerpiece: Create a centerpiece that sets the tone for your space. It can be a large floral, a rustic tray with a seasonal arrangement, or a candle menagerie. Think simple with “wow” factor.
5. Color: Don’t forget the backdrop- color defines your space and your design. Whether it is a warm chocolate, a romantic coral, or a earthy green, let color shape your design.
A few simple changes and you could be on your way to a whole new space to enjoy your dining experience. Some of these spaces use color as their defining statement, others use texture, and others use a unique focal point, but all have a specifically defined style that isn’t boring.
I love how the slipcovers blend the styles of chairs, I love how color can make one piece pop, I love how vintage pieces can create that gathered over time feel. Adding a modern or clean-lined piece can make the space less formal and less expected as well.
Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing a dining set from the store and bringing home every piece in the collection. Your room will quickly look like an outdated store display and will not feel personal or unique. If you already have that situation, make some of the changes above to start defining your space. Consider breaking up the set, or even painting some of the pieces to make it your own.
Whatever you do, have fun with your dining area. Dining should be a lingering experience, a time to savor the food, the ambiance, the conversation, and the company. Enjoy it. Celebrate it.
I haven’t been able to share some photos of my trip down to Charleston, South Carolina with you yet. It was a very charming city- we ended up staying longer in Charleston than we planned. There was so much to do, great places to eat, history on every block and loads of charm.
I especially liked the quaint little “boroughs” in the Historic District. The street signs designated which area we were in- such as the French Quarter. I loved all of the wonderful wrought iron that the city is known for as well. (Maybe I can share some of those images with you on another day.)
Today I will let you enjoy a sneak peak at some of the restored old homes that have such historic significance to the area. I was dying to peek inside each one… but didn’t think it was proper to go press my nose against the windows….
The popular “Rainbow Row”, was a favorite area, with most houses dating back to the 1700′s, when that section of East Bay Street faced the bustling wharves of a colonial sea port. Most homes were built townhouse-style, and often with adjoining walls. The buildings were designed to host businesses and stores on the main street level, with the residences above them. The last business on Rainbow Row closed in 1970, and now the street remains residential, with homes worth millions.
The streets where very narrow, as in colonial times, that was all that was needed, some alleys only big enough for one car to barely get through.
Enjoy the homes on Rainbow Row, I will give you a glimpse of another part of Charleston next time…