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


Summer in the City - Part One

It was a little after 8 in New York City.  The light at this time of day is magic.  We walked through the city and started to think about dinner when we arrived at Danny Meyer's Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.  The line was long...as usual, but there is nothing better than a Shake Shack burger and an ice cold beer.  The fries are pretty great too and the caramel shake...to die for.

Madison Square Park (Madison Ave. at East 23rd St.) is lush and beautiful and makes you think twice about needing to get out of the city in the summer.  We even saw fire flies at the day turned to night.

Somehow as you make your way through the line, place your order and receive your beeper, a perfect table has opened up by the time your food is ready.

Add this to your list the next time you are in NYC.


Can we talk lighting?

I'm going to admit it right off....I am obsessed with lighting.  I think it's so important.   When I walk into my house with just the right lights on I get an immediate feeling of calm.  Isn't this the way we are supposed to feel in our own homes?  A few weeks ago the Thursday Home section of the NY Times had a great article about it.  Apparently Bunny Williams is stocking up on light bulbs and not the twisty kind we are supposed to be buying.  I am one of those people that take a 4-pack of 25 watt light bulbs when I travel.  I can't relax under the the cool blue of an LED.  When building a house there a lot of decisions.  I actually like the process, but one mistake I made was actually agreeing to overhead lighting.  I despise overhead lighting.  You know the movie "The Devil Wears Prada?"  The part where Meryl Streep's character says "If I see one Freesia?....Well that's how I feel about recessed overhead lighting.  

I can't help but notice on every page of my favorite shelter magazines that the only hard wired  lighting used even in kitchens and baths are pendants, chandeliers and wall sconces.

This is how I used lighting throughout my house and I try to ignore all the recessed lighting.   I would love to know. . . What are your lighting tricks?  How do you feel about recessed lighting?  On a scale of one to 10, how important is the lighting in your home?  For me, it's an 11.

Our outdoor lights are from Bevelo.  We used smaller ones on the side and back of house, same look and style.

I love sconces.  These are from Circa Lighting.
Adore candle light.  Mys sister gave me this years ago.  It's by  Jan Barboglio  and holds a single religious candle that you can buy at just about any grocery store for about $1.50.  I always travel with one.  I wrap a sweater around it and can use it in my hotel and then leave it behind on my return.

I have a lot of Jamie Young lamps and love the soft glow with the raffia shades.  All were purchased at Dovecoat in Westport, CT and Juxtaposition in Newport Beach, CA.

I light candles at dusk every night of the week.
This is the first light I see as I enter...I knew I had to find a spot for it in our new home.  I had this little 1/4 round shelf built just for this lamp.  I love the little black plate with a gold key.  I found it at Old Navy years ago...for 50 cents.
I know I'm not very green, but even during the day I like to have my wall sconces on.  We have a lot of June gloom and it makes the house so much more cozy and cheerful on a gray day.  All the sconces are on dimmers and are very low.
I love this soft light in the powder room.
Even in the kitchen...I like soft lighting.
A little light in my daughter's room.
and another little light in the cubby beside her bed.
A tiny sconce in her room.
Upstairs hallway.
These are from Circa Lighting and match the bathroom sconces, but the bathroom has glass shades.
My son got this right before we moved after attending Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium, so I was sure we added an outlet.  The sconces are from Pottery Barn.


Problem solved!

Thanks for all your help in solving the mysterious problem I was having on my blog.  The Blogger Help Forum detected that the problem was with the "Are you Preppy?" post.  I tried to fix it, but it wasn't working so I deleted the post and everything seems back to normal.  I was hoping to post beautiful photos from a walk on the beach tonight, but my daughter looked at me like I was crazy for even thinking of bringing my camera.
This was pretty much what we saw as we headed down to walk the beach.  It was a little later in this shot....I love when the sun is just starting to set.  The glow on the sand and the waves is amazing.  My nephew Ryan took this one last summer.  You can check his blog out here.  He just finished his freshman year at Fordham.


Blog Troubles

My blog seems to be having a mind if its own and it's giving me a head ache.  Has anyone experienced this?  My post titles, followers and labels are switching to purple and blue and sometimes underlined.  I tried Blogger Help Forum and did as they suggested, but still the problem persists.  If anyone has any ideas on how to fix this, I would be so grateful if you could pass along the information.


Small But Charming . . . flowers in the house

Today over at The Gardener's Cottage, Janet had a link to Small But Charming.  Jane is having a "Flowers in the House" link party and you must go and check out all the beautiful spring flowers in everyone's lovely homes.
This is what I have today.  Not a lot, but I've been making these little herb arrangements and I just planted zinnia and dahlia seeds. I think I'm about 60 days out from having lots more to choose from.
Nothing makes me happier than fresh flowers and candlelight.


A summer salad

Yesterday it was brought to my attention that I misspelled focaccia on my post.  I had checked dictionary.com and apparently there are several spellings.  I decided to trust that Giada would know how to spell it and made the change.  While looking through one of her cookbooks for focaccia, I came across this salad.  I don't know why I never noticed it before.  It has all the ingredients I love and it was probably the best salad of its kind that I've had in a very long time. 
Green beans, red bell pepper, black olives, chives, Parmesan cheese...all the ingredients for a perfect Mediterranean salad.

The ingredients are so colorful and I love Farro...it's healthy and packed with protein.
I had to share some with a friend who lives just up the street and brought her an herb bouquet as well.


focaccia bread

We made home made focaccia bread from things we had in the pantry and in the garden.  We basically used the same pizza dough recipe, but the difference comes in pounding out the dough.  We made two rectangles that were thicker than two pizza rounds.

Making bread is easy and inexpensive...the few ingredients include a package of yeast, flour, salt, olive oil,  warm water and a couple of hours to let the dough rise...that's it.

Fresh herbs from our garden and thinly sliced red onion for the topping.

We sauteed the fresh herbs and red onion in a little olive oil.

We baked them on two pizza stones, not knowing how much they would rise.  Next time we could bake them on one stone.  Just as they were about finished baking, we added a small amount of Parmesan cheese.  (It seems our oven is always in need of cleaning ...it takes forever to clean the oven and we are constantly using them).