Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Country Cottage

I simply adore this little cottage.
From Canadian House & Home
It's cozy but well edited.
The dark floors, the slips, the striped cushions, the well placed antiques.

Source: google.com via Tessa on Pinterest


The glass front built-ins were added by the home owners.
Of course she is a designer. Of course!
I love when something new looks original.

Source: google.com via Tessa on Pinterest

And the kitchen! The kitchen!!
The cabinets! Let me just tell you where they are from, are you ready?
WAITFORIT....

IKEA!!  Yes, IKEA folks!!

Charming, perfect, cozy
Just had to share!
Nite.

If you want to see more, click here for a video tour

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ridiculously Good

My picture is not...



But this recipe is.....

Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Corn on the Cob
8 ears fresh corn, husks removed
Cooking Spray
Sal + Pepper
1/2 c butter, softened
1 jalapeno, seeded + minced
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 T lime zest
1 T fresh lime juice
2 t fresh cilantro, chopped

Spray corn lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt + pepper.
Grill, covered with grill lid for 15 min, turn occasionally.

Mix together butter + next 5 ingredients.

Remove corn from grill, cut in half or thirds, top with butter.
Devour.
8 servings - ha! Try maybe 3, it's that good!

(Source: Southern Living)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems....








A perfect summer night...

Grilling + Eating Outside + Water Guns + Frozen Peach Yogurt
Lightening Bugs + Bare Feet + Giggling + Running + Happy Children


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Curb Appeal



The time has come to say goodbye to our slightly drab exterior.
Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic because I do like it the way it is, 
but I don't love it and you really should LOVE your exterior. No?
So, come the end of summer we are slapping a whole lotta paint up on our house --
the brick, the siding, the windows, trim, gutters, shutters. ALL. OF. IT.
Surprisingly, I kinda/sorta (that sounds very convincing, I know!)
already know what I want. Shocker!
To be honest, I found a home in our neighborhood that I liked,
knocked on the door and asked if I could borrow their paint colors.
Oh yes I did!
They happen to be friends and I knew they were about to make a color change
so I didn't feel too bad about being a copycat.
Gathering inspiration and pondering color schemes was fun.
Here are some favorites from Pinterest and my files.
(yes, I'm officially completely addicted to that website!  SOS!!)

White Paint + White Washed Brick + Black Shutters
So classic and would work beautifully on our home if our roof was back or dark gray.
It is not.


Source: None via Tessa on Pinterest



Blue Gray + White + Black Shutters
I have always loved this combination, but it's not right for our home.
I like it better on a Cape too.


Source: google.com via Tessa on Pinterest


Yellow + White
If I had chosen colors 2 years ago, these would have been the ones.
I. ADORE. YELLOW. HOUSES
But a crisp white trim isn't right for us either.
It doesn't flow with the interior which is all bone white walls
and gray trim and a yellow house NEEDS crisp white trim!





Or we could skip paint all together and just grow ivy and vines up our home.
(cue my parents cringing and shaking their heads no.  
we had it growing up and while beautiful, it's a big headache.)




In the end we chose a rather neutral palette.
Dark Taupey Gray + Ivory


Source: houzz.com via Tessa on Pinterest


;





Summer in Snapshots: Week 1



I'm not much of a linky party girl, but when I read about Starfish's Summer in Snapshots,
I loved it and wanted to play too.   Despite well intended efforts and plenty of
schlepping around town with my 1000 pound camera,
I did not manage to get very good shots this week, must have been all the gray weather!!
Oh well,  better luck next time! :)

Here is a glimpse of last week...

{FRIDAY}  
Raft Day at the pool + Walk in to town for ice cream


{SATURDAY}
Mr. Popper's Penguins + Out to lunch + Rain + Rain + Rain


{SUNDAY}
Father's Day + Bike trail for Daddy and Andrew + Cinnamon Rolls + Baseball in the driveway + 
Salmon with Avocado, Lime and Chive Salsa 


{MONDAY}
Donuts for breakfast + Trip to the Aquarium (a BLAST) + Thunder + Lightening + More RAIN


{TUESDAY}
Charlie removed his clothing and diaper during Andrew's swim practice and watered the bushes next to the baby pool  + Trip to the park on our bikes + Afternoon thunderstorms + Canceled swim meet 


Thanks so much for looking!
xo, 
Tessa

On the docket for next week...
Splash Park + Make Ice Cream + Swim Meets + Gym Class + Catch Fireflies + Pool Time

Monday, June 20, 2011

21 Memos From Your Child

I read this on another blog a couple weeks ago and knew I had to repost it on mine.  If only as a reminder to myself..... 


21 Memos From Your Child

1. Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not have all I ask for. I am only testing you. 
2. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it, it makes me feel secure. 
3. Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages. 
4. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly “big”. 
5. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private. 
6. Don’t make me feel all of my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values. 
7. Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way, sometimes. 
8. Don’t be upset when I say “I hate you”. It isn’t you I hate, but your power to thwart me. 
9. Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need. 
10. Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf. 
11. Don’t forget that I can’t explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I’m not always very accurate.
12. Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken. 
13. Don’t tax my honesty too much. I am easily frightened into telling lies. 
14. Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you. 
15. Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real to me and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand. 
16. Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere. 
17. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither. 
18. Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm toward you. 
19. Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult to keep pace with me, but please try. 
20. Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t do without it, so please be patient with it.
21. Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of understanding and unconditional love, but I don’t need to tell you that, do I?! 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day


Dear Dad,
You are a great Dad because you are nice, fun, and thoughtful.
My favorite things to do with you are going on bike rides,
watching TV together (like Star Wars and Looney Tunes), and talking to each other
about stuff.  The best memories from the last year are going on vacation 
to California, canoeing, water gun fights, and bike rides. 
When I grow up I hope I can have a wife and be a Dad who is nice and fun like you.
I really hope we can always be good friends. Actually , we'll always be good friends, of course.

Love, 
Andrew (age 8)

PS. Charlie loves when you play lawn workers with him and teach him how to hit a ball.
(Foley & Sons Lawn Care Co.)

Happy Father's Day, my love!  I hope you enjoyed your special day.
The picture above is a perfect depiction of you as a father.  When I peaked out and saw the three of you tending to our neighbor's yard yesterday (you with Charlie's "backpack blower", Andrew on the "mower", and C "edging") I couldn't help but smile and count my blessings.
(even if you did get C all sweaty and kept him out waaay past his bedtime)
xoxoxoxo
And to my own Dad, who is repeatedly saving me from one computer calamity after another, 
I thank you for always being there when I need you and for still watching out for me.
And to my brother, who is a super-duper Dad to my sweet little nephews!

All my love, 
Tess

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pretty Green Pins

Some of my favorites from my "Green" Pinterest Board
(my FAVORITE color)















Source: vivaamore.tumblr.com via Tessa on Pinterest

I recently added a green lamp shade to one of my 
fabulous, chunky, old (but new to me) lamps from the Rustic Rooster
(Their arrival caused THIS styrofoam peanut party a while back.)



Her sister sits behind our living room sofa in a burlap shade 
(sorry iphone pic here. and I know I need a clear light bulb in the lamp too! :)) 
along with some GREEN flowers which have since passed 
but I'm just trying to tie this post together some how, I can see I'm off 
on a tangent here.  Didn't plan on posting pics of my lamps...

That's all for now.
Happy Thursday to you!!


ps. as for my playlist...well, playlist.com decided to remove the autoplay feature!!  here i was blaming it on some glitch with my new computer.  i still don't love my Mac, but at least we like each other, which is a big improvement from our former non-speaking terms.  baby steps! anyway, i cannot add auto play back, so if you want to listen to the music it's still on shuffle and you can hear it by pressing the play button on the sidebar.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monogrammed Pillows


Loving these monogrammed pillows I just came across from Luxury Monograms.
While not cheapy, cheap they are reasonable for 
the variety of styles and thread colors they offer.
One can never have too many monograms, right?! :)

PS. why has my playlist stopped playing??  anyone?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This 'n That + Recipe

Hi, friends!
I'm not sure what it is with me lately, but I'm struggling to find time to blog.  
Both posting & reading.  No really good excuses either, just life.  
I do know that I don't have time right now, I should be pulling weeds and helping Jimmy in the yard, but I'm going to try be quick and give myself 30 minutes to write and then get back to business...

(See, occasionally my kids are in non- cartoon character Ts! )

 Tuesday was Andrew's last day of second grade. What?!?!?!
Each year seems to go by faster than the last.
It was a sweltering 100+ degrees at the class picnic and Andrew had dressed himself in a
thick black T-shirt (lego characters, I'm afraid. Not quite cartoons, but close enough) 
No complaints from him, but I was dressed in a sleeveless sundress and had sweat rolling off of me.
Andrew with friends, Jackson and Marah

(it is hard for non-camera people to figure out mine, but at least I have something!
maybe it's a good thing it's out of focus, it doesn't quite capture me in all my glistening glory!)

I brought Popsicles for Andrew's class and let me say, the are THE BEST ever.
Trader Joe's Frozen Fruit Floes...you gotta try em!!

Since then, summer has been in full swing.
Swim practice began. We've had a bare bottomed toddler running through our sprinkler.
The bikes are out daily. I feel like I'm making breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks around the clock.
I've skipped regular baths for the boys in lieu of 6:00 PM visits to the pool. 
Not everyday, don't worry!


On Thursday, we celebrated Jimmy's bday!
He was late getting home, so his poor cake was already partway eaten.  
I couldn't keep C up any longer and all day he'd been eyeing the cake and
singing "happy birth to you" so he got a little slice before bed.
(iced lemon cake, if you are curious.)

Saturday, Jimmy and I went out to dinner to a new Latin restaurant and celebrated again.
No cake this time though.
And today my parents came over for brunch, not for birthday festivities, just because. 
I made a ham and cheese strata + sticky buns.
(Jen, does this look familiar? :))
A little bite of heaven right there on that fork, I tell ya!

I'll post the recipe at the end of this post. 
(ok, I am so over 30 minutes of blogging right now...
granted I had to kiss a bumped head, negotiate why a brownie 
before dinner wasn't a good choice, break-up an out of control indoor game of tag 
and start dinner...multi tasking at its finest)

I was going to post a few little around the house updates too, 
but I can see I need to wrap this up and feed my fam.  
Real quick though...
We've been doing some house stalking as we try to decide exterior paint colors - 
time to paint my orangey-red brick!!  
I laughed as I looked at some of the pictures I've been taking, like this one...
Stone house....hmmmm....maybe this was intended for my dream house file 
rather than the house paint file!! ha! :)
Hope you had a fabulous & sunny weekend too!!

Recipe for Sticky Buns
(from my dear friend Jen)

Note: these are CRAZY good.  And a family favorite.
I had to promptly give our leftovers to neighbors 
because I didn't trust myself when left alone.

1/2 c chopped pecans
18 frozen dough balls cut in half 
(I microwave for about 20-30 secs before cutting)
1 pkg. butterscotch pudding mix (NOT instant)
3/4 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar

Butter bundt pan.
Sprinkle in nuts.
Put in dough balls, sprinkle dry pudding mix over top.
Bring butter + sugar to a boil. Remove immediately.
Pour over pudding + dough balls. 
Cover and let sit overnight.
Bake next morning for 25-30 min at 350.
(Put bundt pan on baking sheet to catch drippings)
Invert immediately onto serving plate.




Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Favorites



Today you'll find me over at Megan's blog, Little Blue Prints,
posting about favorite summertime activities, recipes & clothes. 
Someone asked ME to guest post!!!  :) A first! 
Megan writes a pretty design blog and this looks 
like it going to be a fun series so head on over and check it out!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happiness

 Yesterday the weather was gorgeous, warm with blue skies, and together we walked to school.  Charlie in his stroller, Andrew with his gorgeous tan face discussing the plans for dinner (always a hot topic for him).  As we walked past the village square, he spotted a nickel next to the fountain.  He wanted to toss it in and make a wish.  He looked so serious and I desperately wanted to know what important wish this 8 year old boy of mine was making because it took several minutes before he was ready to move on.  We walked pass the Inn, the barber shop, the pizza parlor and village gift shop where Charlie always peers in to see the stuffed Tiger sitting high on the shelf that he says is "sleeping" because the store is still closed at that time each day.  After kissing Andrew goodbye we began to make our way back home.  But Charlie said he wanted to "get coffee", so we stopped in at Starbucks, a latte for me and a slice of coffee cake for him.  Together we sat at our usual table outside and watched the people walk by with their dogs.  Occasionally, Charlie would spot a lawn truck filled with mowers and edgers on the back and remark in delight.  



Afterwards we made our way to the library with a friend for music and story time and C laughed and smiled because he saw familiar faces and heard familiar songs and is so comfortable in his little corner of the world.  These are the moments I want to remember.  These are the moments I want them to remember.  I know it is routine for them now, but I hope one day they look back on this time with a new appreciation.   I don't care how much the world advances, how much technology shapes our lives, it will always be the simple things that bring the greatest joy.  These moments are enough for me.



In the evening as we finished up dinner, Jimmy headed into the kitchen, turned on the music, began singing and doing the dishes while I sat at the table finishing a glass of wine.   Andrew and Charlie decided to put together an impromptu parade.  Round and round through the kitchen, dining, and living rooms.  Andrew pushed a large firetruck that was rigged with light-up yo-yo balls from their Easter baskets and stuffed animals and called it a float, while Charlie played the drums and marched behind him.   Charlie had on a wet shirt (Scooby Doo) and wet hair from the game of barber shop the two had just finished playing.   This whole scene, all of us together, in our home, with a touch of commotion, this is happiness to me.  A snap shot of what life is like right now.  Sure we ate at 5:15 and the meal with all four of us at the table lasted for less than 10 minutes (at best) before C wandered off to his toys and began asking all of us if we wanted haircuts.  


Occasionally, people ask me what it is like having children spaced so far apart in age.  Or they ask why we have 6 years between them.  I usually respond that this was God's design, not mine.  Because my time table was a bit different.  But now I can't imagine anything more wonderful or perfect for us.  With all the moments that brought me happiness this week, it's catching the two of them together that brings me the most.




Andrew teaching Charlie how the world works.  Charlie teaching Andrew the big responsibility and patience that's required for being a big brother.  It's a beautiful thing.  And I'm smiling!