Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Pretty Spring Table


This is my kind of craft...
Use a glue gun to attach magnets
 to the back of fabric flowers and then attach to a table cloth.
This might be the easiest Martha craft ever!

It would be so pretty for an Easter table
or for a wedding shower
or for the party I am going to throw
when we are all healthy again!
Even though we had a few days of good health
we somehow managed to swap viruses
with one another and we are sick again.
There is an end, I know, but I wish it would hurry up and get here.

Anyway, back to the party...
On my pretty flowery table cloth I am going to serve
and fresh squeezed sparkling lemonade
that I'll serve in champagne flutes.


(pictures: martha stewart, southern living)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wanna be Neighbors?

Continuing my recent trend of MLS stalking (we aren't house hunting I promise!!),
I'm posting a beauty for sale a few streets over.
Charm, charm, charm!!! 

This picture was taken on the gloomiest of gloomy days, 
 it is even prettier when the trees are full and the sun is shining


The original family room, now used as a living room/music room. 
Love the sconces and the wood walls, fabulous windows and hardwood floors too.


The new family room/great room that was added by the current owners.
Big but still cozy.

A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E kitchen. My favorite part of the house.

The backsplash tile to the ceiling, the range hood, the sink, the cabinet color - perfect.


And a wonderful outside area for entertaining. 
We tend to have small backyards in our village,
especially homes with large additions, so this is as good as it gets.


Here's a link to the listing if you want to see more.
And no, I'm not thinking of going into real estate, but I do love peaking in "real" homes.
Hope you do too! What am I saying, of course you do!!! :)

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Catching Up

HEELLLOOOO!!!!!
I'm here... Barely.
Our house was hit with a stomach bug, the flu, AND pneumonia all at once.
I swear we are diligent hand washers!
High fevers, stripping and disinfecting beds at 2:00 AM, worry, Popsicles, dry toast, thermometers, logging hours and HOURS watching PBS Sprout and Nick Jr. and attending to masses of laundry --  that pretty much sums up our daily activities around here for the last week. 
We had a relatively healthy winter and seemed to dodge
every serious virus that spread like wildfire through the elementary school. 
We've certainly made up for it this week.
I'd like to say that life is back to normal, but my little loves are still on the mend. 

Sleep deprivation and confinement to the home for extended periods of time has got me thinking...

1. I have the most generous mother in the world.
This week could have been a very lonely and scary experience with Jimmy away on business,
but without being asked, my Mum was there for me and my children. 
Words aren't enough for all she's done. 
Thank you, Mum, for loving my boys as much as I do.
(These pictures were taken about 7 years ago with Andrew. Time flies.)

2. I have sketched out detailed decorating plans for things I didn't know needed decorating like our family room and master bedroom.   I made an inspiration board for the FR just for fun (and to help distract myself from the horror of shows like "Yo Gabba Gabba"), I found lamps for the living room (oh my, they are soo pretty, I can't wait to show you!!), developed fabric obsessions, and contemplated where to hang new art
(I won the paintings and the bird prints at auction!!) .

Inspiration & Ideas For A Few Family Room Changes


3.  I have been fantasizing about eating an entire 12 inch skillet of herbed baked fontina
(thank you, Ina), with a crusty baguette and a glass of good red wine.
I WILL make it happen this weekend.
And  if it's good, I'll share the recipe with you.

4. I discovered I can skip meals for several days and not lose a pound. (maybe this explains point #3)

5. This week has been plum miserable, but I still have tremendous gratitude.  Gratitude that I am able to care for my children at home, rather than the hospital (although the way Andrew's cough is going, that might be our next stop), that Jimmy was here for the worst night, that Charlie is happy to lay in my arms all day, and that my couch has washable covers.  

6. Peaking out my windows it appears spring has finally arrived in southern Ohio. We might still have the heat on but there are buds everywhere!  Maybe soon we'll be able to venture out and enjoy it.

Stay healthy!!  I look forward catching up on your posts soon!
Thanks for visiting!

xo,
Tessa 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lemon, Basil & White Bean Pasta

Ingredients
10 oz dried linguine or fettuccine
19 oz. can white beans (cannellini) rinsed and drained
1/2 of a lemon
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1. Cook pasta, add beans to last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
2. Zest peel from lemon. In small skillet warm 1 Tbsp olive oil, add lemon peel, cook 1 minute.
3. In food processor combine cooked lemon peel, basil and remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the juice from half a lemon.  Process till smooth.  Add reserved cooking liquid 1 Tbsp at a time , until desired consistency.
4. Toss warm pasta with lemon basil mixture.


For the breakfast burrito recipe please click here

(I modified based on what I had because the second I saw this I had to have one...I added crumbled goat cheese to the scrambled eggs just before they were finished cooking and I used arugula b/c I didn't have any spinach. Delicious!)

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!! 

 Here is a picture of how I spent my afternoon yesterday.  Any guesses??? 

(picture taken with my non-iphone phone)

Setting traps for leprechauns, what else?!
Andrew came home from school with a master plan.
After homework was finished we grabbed our bikes,
a journal to record details of the trap locations and materials,
bottles of water for hydration, a copper penny (in lieu of gold)
& handfuls of clovers to use as bait and we set to work.
Complete with rocks suspended from trees, stick walls,
and twisty vines to catch his feet. ELABORATE, I tell you.
It was sunny and I loved every minute of watching his innocent little imagination at work.
We have plans to check the traps after school.
Maybe, just maybe, there is a little boot stuck in one of them as a leprechaun tried to escape!
LOVE. THIS. BOY.

xo,
Tessa

(Pasta recipe and picture from Better Homes and Gardens)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dear March

.
Dear March,

I have a bone to pick with you. You are, without a doubt, my least favorite month of the year. With your tummy bugs and head colds, with your barren trees and in between weather. You perplex me. You are no longer winter, but you are not yet spring. I can't figure out how to dress for you, and standing in front of my closet each morning adds precious time to my 20 minutes, at best, shower to door routine. My boys are quite fond of your puddles and mud, so at least you have that going for you.  But all in all,  I've had quite enough, so would you please be on your merry way and send April and healthier chidlren my way.  PLEEEAASSEE!

To deal with my March melancholy, I've developed a few successful coping mechanisms:

1. Make an appointment for long over due highlights.  It's looking SCARY folks! 

2.  Buy something pretty to wear.  I just ordered this necklace. From here.

and these shoes... (seen here)
Ha, Ha, Ha...Really?  Did I fool anyone???  No, I didn't think so.
Instead, me and my practical self are looking for something a bit more along the lines of this.

(j. crew)

3, Plan anniversary trip with hubby for April. Even though it's technically me tagging along on a business trip and our anniversary is in May, it will be a few days away in a pretty and warm place, and that's good enough for me!  

4. Read a funny book.  Even better when read with a gorgeous son so we can laugh hysterically together. This one fits the bill. The most we have laughed at a book since "The Fudge" series from Judy Blume.  Good stuff.

4. Smell good. Can't get enough of the new Champagne inspired Fresh line.
5. Cook happy things in the kitchen.  This month it's been yogurt lemon pound cake, sugar cookies dipped in dark chocolate, fettuccine with lemon, basil, and white beans, breakfast burritos with eggs, fresh herbs, roasted tomatoes, avocado and goat cheese.
(thank you, Melissa for the burrito inspiration and picture!)

6. Have your Destination Imagination Team (I coached Andrew's team along with my friend Heather) totally rock at their regional tournament.  Watching 7 & 8 year olds filled with such a sense of achievement and pride makes a Mama feel gooooood!


 Happy St. Patrick's Day!
  
 xo,
Tessa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Potential Acquisitions


Don't they all look so perfectly pretty together?!
I will be back to better blogging soon, promise.
Last week was busy, C and I were under the weather,
but I kept trudging along,
cause that is what us Mamas gotta do. 
Now things have slowed down,
and I'm on the mend. 
Be back soon with a recap of Andrew's big weekend...
But right now, a nice cup of tea, a book and a bed with clean, fresh from the dryer sheets awaits!
Nite!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daydreaming

It's raining here. LOTS and LOTS of rain. Spring still feels very far away. On the drive back from C's gym class today, while he happily munched on animal crackers in the back seat and pointed out the occasional garbage truck, school bus, or construction vehicle, I watched the rain trickle down and I started to daydream....


My mind always wanders.  It is in such conflict with my type A tendencies, and often stifles my productivity, makes me forgetful, absentminded, all of that...

Today it was a familiar daydream, the one of my ideal job...the one I will have when my boys are grown and out of school. When I'm quite certain we will have moved back to the east coast, live in a small New England town. Where I can take long walks on the beach and ride my bike to the little shop I will own.


I imagine it being filled with charming English antiques, the sort of furnishings and art you'd find in a country home, just like the illustrations of Wind in the Willows or the original Beatrix Potter books.  I will also have a small collection of beautiful fabrics, pretty wall paper, and shelves lined with big glass jars filled with wooden spools of gorgeous ribbon.

 Outside I will have a few galvanized buckets with fresh flowers for sale -- sweet peas and peonies in the spring, fresh ever greens and branches of berries in the winter.  There will be green and white checked curtains hanging in the windows.  I imagine my golden retriever happily lounging on the front stoop, greeting occasional customers.  I also imagine having a kitchen in the back with a very long farmhouse table and once a week teaching a cooking class for a few women using the fresh veggies and herbs I will grow in the small courtyard out back.

 I imagine making annual trips to England to buy new pieces for the shop, and traveling to Provence to be inspired with new recipe ideas.

I imagine keeping odd hours and taking many vacations to visit my boys and their families.  No, wait, scratch that, my boys will live IN town not far away!  But I'll still keep odd hours.  I have the perfect name picked out too.  I can completely picture the inside, the way the store will look, smell, how people will feel when they visit, how I will wrap their packages.  (Sorry, I'm keeping the name a secret).


I don't imagine making much money in this venture.  Just sharing all the things I love with others.  It will give me something to do while Jimmy spends long hours at the golf course.

Ahh, to dream.  Rainy days, they do it to me every time.  Thanks for coming along with me today.
So, what about you?  What do you daydream about? 

xo,
Tessa

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And the Winner Is....


Linsey of LLH Designs!

Yay!
I hope you enjoy your new book!
And while we are on the topic of Linsey, let me tell you a bit about this girl...

There are some bloggers that you know almost the moment you discover their blogs, that you will become friends. Yes, virtual friends that don't grab dinner together or chat on the phone for hours on end, but still genuine friends  It's a crazy connection and anyone whose been blogging for a while will know what I mean.  Linsey is one of those to me.

She writes a beautiful blog about her family, her faith, her stationary business, her life, and occasionally she let's us peek into her gorgeous home.

And while we connect on trivial things like our loves for dark chocolate, red wine and blond highlights, it's the bigger things like our feelings on motherhood, parenting, having a grateful heart,
and striving to live in the moment that have made us friends.

 If you haven't checked out her blog.
Stop on by.
You will leave inspired.

Congrats, Linsey!

Monday, March 7, 2011

House Hunting in Charlotte

No, not me, but if you know someone who is, I have the most perfect & charming cottage for you.
One of my nearest and dearest college friends, Sarah, is selling her home.

Here we are, in what would no doubt be called vintage Benetton and  J. Crew, our freshman year at Indiana (Go Hoosiers!).  Harking back to the days when gold chains, corduroy walking shorts with tights, and hair bows were fashionable (or at least we thought they were).  I finally retired the hair bows by my Sophomore year, thank you very much! :)

And just to ensure we'll remain friends after I post this,
here is Sarah with her beautiful children today...


Sarah moved to Charlotte after she married another fellow IU alum. (Hi, Arnold!)  They just put their home on the market and it's so adorable, preppy & classic, just like Sarah, I had to share it with all of you.  And since I've got a few Southern gals who read this blog, you just never know....

I love the exterior with the red brick peeking through the faded white paint.
I can assure you the landscaping is impeccable too.
 Yummy thick baseboard moldings, pretty windows, beautiful light.
It probably always looks this tidy too.
 Apple green paint with white painted built-ins
and the antique chandelier -- cottage perfection!
They refinished the cabinets, added marble counters and updated appliances when they moved in.
Can you spot the sweet silhouettes above?
We have very similar taste.  Always have!
You should have seen us planning our weddings.
We got married exactly two weeks apart, and discussed EVERY detail together.
(Back in the days before children when we could talk for hours whenever the need arose.)
Our first children (both boys) were born just 48 hours apart.
Ok, I digress.  Back to the house...
See?  All put together just right. And a gorgeous backyard to boot!
Now go call your Southern friends!
Here is a link to the listing and virtual tour if you are interested...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Good Stuff

LIFE IS GOOD....
when you spend the morning at the Firetruck Museum with your buddies
(even if your Mama circled the city 6 times in order to find it
and called your Daddy in a panic b/c she ended up in the sketchy part of town)....

even better when you get to control the sirens and flashing lights.

LIFE IS GOOD...
 when you get to go to the greatest bakery (BonBonerie) for an after school snack,
AND your Mama lets you wear your PJ bottoms from naptime,
AND you get to hang out with the coolest brother in the entire universe!

LIFE IS GOOD...
 when you swing from rings, jump on trampolines,
climb through tunnels, and run under parachutes.


AND LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD...
when you get a stamp on your belly!

Here's hoping you get plenty of belly stamps or whatever it is that makes you happy this weekend!
xo,
Tessa