.happy and healthy

To all of my wonderful new pals. I cannot believe how much fun I have had meeting you all this year. Life is truly full of wonderful surprises. I wish for each of you a happy and healthy New Year full of joy and promise.
Be safe. xoxoxox g.



Visiting family in freezing Cincinnati where there is snow, ice and love, thankfully, as there would be no other way to keep warm. Good God, I really cannot believe how brave people are to live in cold, gray weather on a daily basis for like 120 days. Big fat hats off to ya. No joke.

Ok. Do you have special plans to ring in the New Year?


....and counting

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy day tomorrow and always.


.back to reality

Hi guys! We are back from a sunny week with family. As soon as I wipe the sand off my ass and eat my monthly meal, I am going to catch up on all of your blogs and share some info on our trip. I will then wrap 953 presents and go to bed.

(image via French Vogue)


.friday floataway

This is such a beautiful time of year. I love driving around after dark and looking at the lights and decorations all over town. I will be away from my computer all of next week and will miss you all. Hope your week is quite a sparkler.
(image via flickr)


.inside out

It stinks to have a fireplace that does not work. Unless you have like 12. But if you have only a few, and they do not work, I think it can be as festive to decorate inside of one as it is to do the mantle thing. What do you think?

Did you watch Top Chef? I am semi-obsessed. Bummed it is over(for those of you that missed, not going to ruin winner), but am excited to see next week as they all dish crap on each other at the reunion show. The show after, Launch My Line, is just so not doing it for me. Not happy. You?

(image via Sarah Hogan)


.come on over

Sweet. Crafty. Clever. If you have this kind of time on your hands and obviously lots of patience, can you please come over to my f@*#ing house ASAP?? There are lots of little projects you can do here and I will make you hot chocolate. Promise.
(image via decor detective)


.holiday house

Happy weekend guys! Doing a little holiday decorating here. Always makes me a little sentimental and irritable at the same time. Quite a combination. How about you? Getting into the spirit?
(image via Living Etc.)


.as visions of mustard danced in her head?

Have you ever noticed how a color can sometimes sneak up on you? You know, a color you knew was there, but did not seem to get involved in your life very often...and then one day, SLAM, and you realize, I think there is something going on here? Been there. No? Well. I am having that sort of relationship with mustard lately. No, not yellow, mustard, ocher, that sort of hue. Seems to be popping up in pictures, drawings, clothes, all sorts of things that enter my mind and home. Not that I have ever had a thing against mustard, we have just never had a spark, truly, until now.

Is there a color that has you doing a doubletake?
(images via house beautiful, flickr, Janie Best)


.why so fab? why?

Why do I like this room? Tell me. Delicious walls, loads of quirk, I am sure you designers would say there is some juxtaposition of something or another. I don't know. I just want to be there. If you like it, can you name why? Let's hear it. Chat it up.
(imagae via Abigail Ahern)

...floral feast

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know I did and feel more thankful than ever.

What is your favorite flower? Random, I know, but I am thankful for flowers. If I had to win like some lottery thing for luxe gifts(not food or stuff), I would love fresh flowers delivered weekly. I always say mine is the peony, and it is, but a tight, white tulip is always really high on my list. I love paper whites this time of year as well. You? If you were going to have a floral feast, what would it look like?

(image karaandray)



If I was decorating a table for Thanksgiving, this might be nice, minus the three. But, I am not. For the first time I can remember, I will not be eating a home cooked meal, but will be at the beach with all of the kiddies at a BUFFET! I know, ick, but it IS at our favorite restaurant, and it is in Charleston, our favorite city, and it is where my hubby and I met, and it is our tradition to be there as a family. I don't need to set the table or roast my own bird to know who I am thankful is sitting beside me. And boy am I ever thankful. Hope you have the best day ever. It is my favorite Holiday......beside's my birthday, but that is another topic entirely.

(image via design idea)



I love the simplicity and function of this little shelf. Unless you have a kindle, which I have to say, becomes more intriguing every time I talk to someone who does, your bedside table can look like mine, which is twenty books to every square inch!

What is a must on your bedside table? Do tell.......



Off to the Big Apple for a few days where I shall mix business and pleasure. I am taking my baby girl(13, not so baby, anymore). She used to beg for a view of F.A.O. Schwartz on these trips. Now the view she craves is Top Shop. Things change WAY too quickly. Those of you with little ones, when you fall into bed exhausted at night, try and remember these are moments. Before you know it they will be taller than you and negotiating for the window seat, only one of which you can control.


.the big reveal

Sort of. So, I have been really flattered to receive numerous blog awards from really great people. The bummer is I imagine all of those great people are now thinking why did we give those to her, she has not even done her duty, followed the instructions, etc. I am going to. I just get flustered, start, stop, get anxious about leaving people out when passing them on...blah, blah....excuses, excuses, right? So here we go. One award specifies that I tell you seven things about myself, and I am going to do that just now.

1. I was born a red head. Clairol #376 medium is going to keep me that way.
2. I am unable to understand my kids math homework once they get to about sixth grade, but I am a great speller.
3. My fantasy football team is in first place. Enough said.
4. My son's is not. Now, enough said.
5. Even though I design things for a living, I cannot cut a straight line. No, not even with a ruler.
6. My husband finishes my sentences. They always sound better, too.
7. I never have any idea where I left my keys and it surprises me every time.

For those of you who have taken the time to do this correctly and have awarded me, it truly made my day to know you enjoy coming here. And I thank you.


.style or vile?

Lovely Liza from Postcards from Colorado is taking "a little break" from blogging which makes me more than a little sad, BUT, before she started to rest her creative, precious mind she forwarded this image to me and we screeched through cyberspace. Did you her us? She thought it might be perfect for style or vile and I agreed. So let's play!

Amazing space, gorgeous light, stylish room....what's with the testicles hanging from the ceiling?

Style or vile?

.serious swank

I am constantly mesmerized by the styling in certain catalogs. Anthropologie is right up there and these images are a testament as to why.

Do any of you watch Man Shops Globe on Sundance? It follows Keith, the head buyer at Anthro, on his travels around the globe searching for eccentric items for the 166 stores and customers. If not, try and catch it, if for no other reason than to see the amazing finds and talent that circle the globe.
(images via Anthropologie)


.Fall Friday

Some images to warm you up this brisk Autumn weekend. Thanks for visiting all week. Makes me smile....
(images sensitive self and flickr)

.this would work

I would like to cook Nelya's meal in here. You? Slow to the party? See below.

(image via Decorno)


yum numero two

Ok, so I grabbed you with dessert first. Tricky....

From the wonderful Nelya of the inspiring(every post) Head Over Heels blog, we receive the second installment of our recipe gig. This is so good. So good.

Chili-Rubbed Skirt Steak and Romaine-Heart Salad
Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food Cookbook, November, 2006

We ate this all summer long. Seriously. All.Summer.Long. And by we, I don't mean myself and the dear man while the boys ate the usual standbys, pasta, hotdogs, and such. Nope, all four men ate this delicious, easy peasy steak and when I say eat, I really mean devoured. Yep, it's that good. Coupled with a nice green salad dressed in that creamy, yummy dressing and our favorite Nan bread (hello Publix Deli) brushed with olive oil and grilled to crisp perfection, you have a lovely, delicious meal.


Serves 6-8

  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pound beef skirt steak, cut into 8 even pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Heat grill to high. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, coriander, sugar, oregano, 1 tablespoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat steaks evenly on both sides with oil, then spice mixture, patting to adhere.
  2. Place the steaks directly on grill, and grill 3-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Or to your preferred state of doneness. Transfer to a large platter, and cover with aluminum foil; let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Remove foil and divide steaks among four serving plates. Drizzle with any accumulated juices, and serve with Romaine-Heart Salad.
And if you still have room, may I suggest these gorgeous, gooey, close to sinful macaroons. You can never go wrong with an Ina recipe, but just to up the sinful factor, once cooled, I dip these glistening beauties in some melted chocolate...just half of the cookie mind you. I know you're not supposed to melt chocolate in the microwave, but I put my semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, nuke them at 10 second intervals, stir each time...continue until melted. Works like a charm every single time. Just dip and repeat. Then, pile them up on a simple white plate and watch how quickly they disappear! Recipe can be found here:

Thanks, Nelya. How delicious is this? Coming soon....be inspired by the creative mind of Mise over at Pretty Far West.
(steak image via Martha Stewart macaroons unknown)


simple and lovely

Really loving the paint color Peacock Blue. You?

Also, for some reason, well, actually I KNOW the reason, I was not paying attention and pressed reject instead of publish, I rejected about 15 comments. So sorry! I have no idea how to undo it either(surprise, surprise), so if I have not answered you, that is why. You are out in cyberspace, somewhere....I think.

Goofy, I know.


.super flea

Twice a year, our average monthly flea becomes the super flea, the place where zillions of wonderful vendors(as well as some scary ones) migrate to the fairgrounds and let us find that special something that screams"Yes, I am here. I have been waiting for you." Often those things are too large in price and size to make it into the car, but others, even some close to a dollar, find a treasured spot in a collection often only understood by you, the treasurer. Right?
I covet these weekends each Spring and Fall.

Wanna come with?
(image Jen Gotch)


.style or vile?


Is the conversation with the light fixture or the person behind it on the couch? This room has great bones, and I am sure these pieces are really costly, well known and interesting(I would take a few), but does this function make sense? When does cool become odd?

Do tell.....


.what's your pleasure?

This simple bar makes me want a drink. Well, this bar and teenagers, but that is another story. It makes me feel relaxed and is nice eye candy. Do you have a bar in your house? Or do you find most people drink beer and wine?

Just curious?



Not sure what I am doing this weekend, but I want to go to the party these people are going to, and I want to get dressed in their closet. They look so effortlessly fabulous, don't they? I just know I would have a great time listening to all of the things they did this week, and feel they might enjoy my hearing about my bean taco recipe(see below). We will become fast friends, and if I ever paint the inside of my friggin house,(the 76 samples on the wall do NOT count)I may have them over next Friday for a cold PBR where we will discuss things effortless people discuss.

Sound good? You can come, too.
(image via The Selby)


.yum, week one.

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw
Adapted from
Bon Appetit, February 2009

Ok, adventurous ones, let's get started! For the rest of you who are on the fence, jump over and join in. We have about 18-20 people so far for our easy, but secretly sweet, recipes club/swap/whatever.Email me and join.

The thing I adore about this recipe is it is SO simple, yet the flavor makes it seem like you did something special. If you felt like adding some ground beef or turkey, it would only take a couple additional minutes to saute and stir it into the beans. The possibilities are endless.

Serves 4

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 white or yellow corn tortillas
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese(I use a bit more)
Hot sauce

Place beans and cumin in small bowl; partially mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add coleslaw, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer. Spoon 1/4 of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. It is also great in warmed taco shells, just scoop the mixture in and serve. That is how I make it. So good. So easy. Swear.

Okay! Get crackin! Our next wonderful recipe will be provided by the always inspiring N. at Head Over Heels blog and will show up sometime soon. Might be a knish. Might not.



See, I am nuts. Craving dark walls YET swooning over this image. See anything dark here? Me, either. Aaaaaahhhhhh.......can only do one thing.


(image Abigail Ahern)


.dark and dreamy

Having an unexpected obsession with dark walls. I have always been a white wall girl, let your objects be the draw, not the room color, but now....oy, I am overwhelmed by my love of certain spaces. I recently moved and painted most of the downstairs a light color, except one room painted silver fox, BM. I am so drawn to it and am dreaming of down pipe walls(F&B) everywhere else. What a change!!! Huge. Is this a phase? Not sure, but it is really pulling me for some reason. But, hey, it is just paint. So if I feel like the walls are closing in on me, I can change it pretty easily......right?

Are you swooning over these rich and dreamy abode's, too? Question. Can you paint some rooms really dark and other much lighter if they open to eachother. Seems thoughts on this are mixed. What is yours?
(images Abigail Ahern and Paul Raeside)


.Fall Friday

I think this says Fall in the most beautiful way! You?

Have a great Fall weekend!

(photo via Sensitive Space)


.amethyst on my mind

Seems like every time I am swooning over an object lately, it has some pinkish, purplish tone, which I am going to call amethyst. Oh, it just is just right up my alley. And it sure does add a little depth and sparkle to a room.

What color is rocking your world?



...see yesterday's post and be brave. Let's go. Delish.


.gourmet is alive...just different!

The scene is familiar. It could be "anyplace" USA, but it is at my house.....again. Six people enter a car, two humans, four teenagers, in a quest for dinner out. I am thrilled. The rest, not so much. I drive, possibly gaining an extra ounce of control within the group. I look around, hardly able to contain the large, giddy smile on my face. Whetting my palate, and realizing no matter where we go there will not be 4,994 dishes when I finish, my smile expands. I suggest Chinese, something I don't cook often at home, something for everyone. I think. The whining is almost immediate. "I don't want to go there! It's so crowded. I hate it. We went there just last week." Deep breathe, I remind myself as I attempt to calm my husband after his outbreak. I hesitantly turn around and ask for suggestions from four people for whom debate and general disdain could be an Olympic sport. As the screaming and arguing ensue, I must have become dizzy, because I throw out my weakest and least effective threat-WE ARE GOING HOME AND YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN DINNER. They are thrilled. "Three cans of beefaroni and a coke is the dinner of champions" claims my 15 year old son. The girls will scarf down a bowl of cereal and have more time on facebook before computer curfew. Life is good.

That's part of the problem. When I was a kid, going out was something that happened when dad got a bonus...and it was to Long John Silver. I squealed in delight the day before and actually brushed my teeth to go. No complaints. The excitement of going out anywhere lasted long after, and mom glowed because, as I now know, the reward was truly all hers. Now going out to dinner is more commonplace and not such a luxury.

I cook and I really enjoy it. I prefer, most nights, to eat at home. And though we eat most meals as a family, feeding people with different schedules and taste buds can be a challenge. I KNOW it can be done, and believe me, I have used the line thisiswhatwearehaving a thousand times after seeing eyes roll because chicken was coming to the table. But I am bored, too. Don't want to go out, to expensive and a hassle, and bored with what I am making staying in, too. I need some new recipes, that are relatively fast, and send new life into my kitchen. Do you? Awesome. I knew it!

Gourmet is back ladies, it is just being published by us! What if we all sign up and offer a spiffy recipe that will thrill and excite those who have never seen it? Simple and tasty, but new, and most important, recipes tried and true by normal people. While I do love cooking mags, it is mostly the pictures as my heart often sinks by the fourth ingredient. I find my favorite recipes are from family and friends. And while I love the thought of mastering the art of french cooking, I would just as soon master the art of cooking itself. Also, with people literally around the globe in the blogsphere, how cool to share?

Are you in? Don't be shy. It is not like we will blame you if it stinks. But we will love you if it keeps people at the table with a smile. I think I will start next week with a 10 minute recipe I make that is shockingly easy and good. I am only giving it to you because you do not live in my zip code. Truly.

Does this idea whet your appetite? Questions? Email me to sign up and I will post the recipes weekly, monthly, whatever. We will play it by ear. It'll be fun. Stop whining.

(image via Sunday Suppers)


.wishing for a Fall Friday

I am waiting in the wings for the Fall day that many of you are describing. It is to be 88 degrees here today and my youngest left for school complaining in flip-flops as she is so ready for her uggs. These are big problems, people.

So if you happen to be reading Mother Nature, a cool breeze and some crisp Fall nights would be a pleasure. Just saying.

Have a good weekend!