l o v e l y t h i n g s


I'm making the switch to WordPress...

With the help from Elizabeth, The Mustard Ceiling and Chris, The Blog Butler...I'm switching to WordPress.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a smooth transition.  You can find Lovely Things here.


Love the Place You Live: Dana Point, California

Dana Point, California...at least for the next 71 days. Yikes!  When I read that Design Mom was going to have a link up called "Love Where You Live" I knew I had to participate.  Right now and for the last almost three years, we have called Dana Point home.  I have so many pictures of our beautiful beaches on sunny days, but I wanted this post to be authentic.  So on Saturday afternoon after baseball we went to the Dana Point Harbor.  Even on a gray day like it was on Saturday, there is so much going on. 
The Ocean Institute offers classes and tours of the Tall Ship Pilgrim.  Docents are dressed in period costume as they greet and guide you back in time.  Children from all over Southern California take field trips to the Ocean Institute.
 Stand up paddle has become hugely popular the last few years.  They rent boards and paddles by the hour and "baby beach" (as the locals call it) was the perfect place to get the hang of it before heading out to the open water.
I can't even begin to tell you how many versions of license plates we have seen that incorporate surf.  I wish I had kept a log...  We will miss a lot about California when we move back east, but I think for me...it will be the sunsets.  Even on the gloomiest of days...somehow the sun seems to make an appearance just as it sets.


Domino. . . you make my heart sing!

Ashlyn wrote about Domino first thing this morning...and by 6 o'clock I had a copy in my hands.  And I have to say even with all the hype and publicity this issue has received...it did not disappoint.  "quick fixes"...this is absolutely perfect for my personal endeavor.  In case you haven't read in my previous posts, we bought a home built in 1900 in Connecticut and will relocate back to the NY area this summer.  The thing is...I haven't actually seen the house.  I think it will need a few "quick fixes' while we figure everything out...but I can't wait!  


little bouquets on a tiny budget

 For a charity event on Monday I needed to make 19 flower arrangements on a tiny...no miniscule budget.  The colors were already chosen so I stuck with all one color of five different kinds of flowers.  I was hoping the roses were a little more open...but I did not buy them a few days ahead as I normally would so they would have time to open a bit more.
For the vessel I looked at Micheal's and Walmart, but I knew all along what I needed was at Ikea.  I love these little drink glasses and they are only $2.  I have them in gold and white too.  I use them for their intended purpose, but also for votives and flowers.   I arranged the flowers and bound them with a rubber band and cut them very short so they fit nicely in the glass.
I thought I would leave them just with the green rubberband, but then decided for a more finished look in the glass and wrapped raffia around the rubber band.
                            Eiffel Tower scissors from Lynne at Dreams on 34th street....thank you!
While purchasing the roses at Costco I found these strawberry flat boxes.  Perfect to transport them and they were even the perfect color...love that.  All these flowers in the house and no party at Jane's! 
But as luck would have it, her post has the most beautiful flowers...go check it out here.


cafeteria style dining...meet Lemonade

Last week we spent a few days in LA to shop and eat and check out a new museum.  My daughter did a little research to find a lunch spot in Brentwood/Santa Monica.  We were more than delighted with her find.  Lemonade turned out to be the perfect place for a quick, inexpensive, but delicious lunch.  They serve cafeteria style, but don't let that scare you away.  They have so many healthy salads to choose from.  We went with a spicy kale and cucumber salad and one with red quinoa.  We also each had a small side of white truffle macaroni and cheese.  Yum!  We had guests this weekend and I overheard my daughter describing the food.  She said the macaroni and cheese was prepared stove top and not baked.  Gosh, hard to believe she's only 17!  We chose a blood orange lemonade and a watermelon rosemary.  Worth a stop just for the lemonade...oh and they have amazing desserts.


happy birthday patrick

 My son is 13 today...and since he has a one track mind...baseball-- every cake, every party is centered around baseball.  It's kind of perfect that his actual date of birth coincides with the start of the official baseball season.  Every year since about third grade he has been "sick" for opening day of the Yankees.  This year it fell on Good Friday and since he attends Catholic School...he stayed well and enjoyed the opening day without missing school.
 The cake he requested was a chocolate cake made with Hershey's cocoa.  He tells me that a friend in school brought cupcakes to school that "she" made and they were so good.  I would have loved to hear the conversation between two 13-year-old classmates.  Hopefully my cake meets his expectations.


Easter Sunday at Mission Basilica, San Juan Capistrano, California

                 It was a beautiful Sunday in San Juan Capistrano at the Mission Basilica.
                                                              Hope our day was lovely!


Denver + Vert Kitchen

I'm in Denver for a few days and even though I grew up here I always forget how many great little neighborhoods there are in Denver.  You can drive through block after block of houses and all of a sudden you come to a block or two of shops and restaurants.  On this particular occasion I was headed to Vert Kitchen on South Pearl Street.  As I drove through the streets, trees and tulips in bloom after yesterdays snow I marveled at the architecture.  Most of the homes in the area of Washington Park were built of brick around 1900 to 1940.
Vert Kitchen may be the perfect little neighborhood spot and lucky for those that live within a few blocks of this little gem, but if you find yourself in the Mile High City you'll be in for a treat if you make your way to 704 South Pearl Street in the Washington Park are of Denver.
It's very small, but I love the exposed brick and attention to every detail in the atmosphere and food.  We had the pureed carrot cashew soup and the Spring Onion soup.  A generous portion and it came with your own baguette.  The bread alone was so good that I would make a stop at Vert.  We also had the fleur del sel cookies that I'm not kidding when I say it was one of the best cookies I've ever tasted. 
                  Most of the tables were filled even though it was sort of between breakfast and lunch. 
 In addition to the tables out front which I would imagine perfect for those bringing their dogs, they had a wonderful patio out back.  The place is very small, but they used every bit of space and people in Denver are very outdoorsy...even when they are dining.
   They wrap up your take-out like a little gift, come around the counter and to present you with your   meal and leave you with a "Merci et Bon Appetit!"
        This was taken at an intersection along the way.  Snow capped mountains...takes me back.  


weekend lunch

One of our favorite pasta dishes is Nick & Toni's Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola from Ina Garten on Food Network.  It's super easy, but it does take time.  The onion, garlic, spices, vodka and tomatoes go into the oven for 90 minutes.  You can imagine how wonderful the kitchen smells.
I make a double batch and keep it around for a quick snack after school or dinner before sports when we are on the run mid week.

 Hope you are enjoying your weekend!