Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You don't have to fly to Paris...

to satisfy your craving for delicious macarons.

 You only need to drive to your local Trader Joe's where you'll find their version of Laduree's, Macaron au Chocolat!

The package contains six delicate almond meringue discs filled with rich, chocolate ganache.

Trust me on this!

And while I'm on the subject of Trader Joe's... I wanted to share a few other items that I'm loving right now.  They stock the best stuff during the holiday season!

This Cookie Butter spread is a game changer.

Like the jar says...

you have to taste it to understand!

 I also love the look and mouthwatering flavors in this package of nostalgic classic holiday candy mix.  It reminds me of dipping into Grandma's candy dish.

Trader Joe's even has Christmas cards this year.

I think the selection of 5 cards are quite charming!

Trader Joe's is always my first choice for seasonal plants and flowers.

 ( I stenciled this vintage black metal bucket with our address over the weekend)

So far I've purchased this trio of small living trees with a touch of glitter on them and placed them in a set of vintage bamboo cachepots.

The St. Joseph statue can be found in my etsy shop later today.

I also bought 2 bouquets of spray roses in this gorgeous shade of red and placed them in a pair of vintage black glass urns on the altar table behind the sofa in our living room. 

Next up was the family room where I arranged 3 cut amaryllis stalks with a bunch of Christmas greens and eucalyptus. 

Then I moved on to the small kidney shaped chinoiserie desk in the corner where I arranged a bouquet of white hydrangea in a wicker urn. 

The buyers at Trader Joe's are simply the best and their prices can't be beat!

 New items are arriving every day...

Did I mention how much I love Trader Joe's?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Simple No Fuss Decorating

 Now that Thanksgiving is but a memory I'm sure that many of you have either already finished decorating your homes for Christmas or are in the throes of it as I write this post.

 Normally, we love to start decking the halls the day after Thanksgiving and go all weekend long until it's completed. But this year, with our college son's homecoming, we lazed around the house for 3 days eating lots of home cooked meals, taking leisurely walks along the bay, sleeping in late and watching LOTS of football and movies.

There was a lot of family bonding going on!
It was wonderfully relaxing.

Now it's time to move into Christmas and although I am full of the Christmas Spirit I don't feel like going overboard with the Christmas decorations, which is why this spread from the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens resonated with me.

  I love the light touch seen throughout this charming home with the emphasis on natural greenery.

I've already picked up a bouquet of cut amaryllis, several small potted living Christmas trees with a touch of glitter on their tips from Trader Joe's, and am on the hunt for paper whites, either potted or in a kit.

I'm putting up one tree this year and foregoing lights on the house in favor of lighting up the boxwood balls in our entry.

Of course there will be pine cones too.

So tell me... did you get your tree over the weekend?  One of my favorite sights of the Christmas Season is seeing cars with trees strapped on top!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My "Updated" Cabinet of Curiosities

I've had this arrangement in what I like to call,  
"My Cabinet of Curiosities",  for several years now and felt like it was time for a change.

 Inspired  by this set of 20 vintage shell specimens I purchased from my friend Janet at French Blue, who found them on one of her trips to France, I set about changing it.

The first thing I did was swap out the botanical prints for the collection of delicate boxed shell specimens identified in French.

I must admit that it was hard to decide what to feature in my "new" cabinet as I've amassed quite a collection of God's treasures and wanted to showcase them all!

But in the end I defaulted to sticking to the same configuration as my old "Cabinet of Curiosities", introducing similar but new treasures.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

Some things just can't be improved upon...

Believe me... I tried!

I even went so far as to leaving just the boxed shell specimens by themselves and closed the doors for a clean, crisp, edited look.

Neither my mom nor my husband liked it much.

In fact my mom exclaimed, "it looks like someone robbed your "Cabinet of Curiosities" upon seeing it for the first time.

You know how your mom's opinion when it comes right down to it holds the most weight...

so, after a sleepless night, knowing she was right, I got up the next morning and started putting it back together following the original building blocks.

And you know what?

It came together effortlessly!

I really love it now!

So, thank you mom,

I can always count on your honesty.

I'm thinking that now that I don't have to reinvent the wheel, 

I can easily change out the shells, coral, sponges, and sea fans every so often for a subtle but different look.

Most of all I'm thrilled that I finally found a way to showcase and enjoy the amazing collection of shell specimens I fell in love with and purchased from Janet over a year ago!

Too often than I'd like to admit, I fall in love with something and buy it without knowing how I'm going to use it. I just know I can't live without it!

 Now I don't have to...
I get to enjoy it every day!

So thank you dear Janet, I adore all the wondrous treasures I've bought from you over the past few years!  They bring me such joy!