Strawberries and a Spring Garden

One of our children must spend every penny given to him.  So when he walked with a friend to the Grower’s Market, I was curious to know how he would spend every one of those pennies in his pocket.  He did so successfully on strawberries.  Pounds of strawberries, in fact.

I met Deb of Smitten Kitchen at my high school reunion a couple of years ago (was a bit starstruck!) and as much as I loved her blog, I hadn’t try many of her recipes.  Really I just enjoyed her beautiful pictures and clever commentary.  Lately though I have been dipping into more and more of her recipes and clearly she knows what she’s doing.  This Strawberry Summer Cake  will be your go-to for picnics, summer barbecues and neighbor gifts – trust me.  And, Wendy, had I made it to the Devon Horse Show this would have come along . . .

This cake provides the perfect segue into my next and latest find – Dishfunctional.  It’s a bit difficult to tell but the pie plate above is sitting on a silver (plate) platter that is one of many purchases from Alfred at Dishfunctional.  He runs an Ebay business out of a 17,000 sq ft warehouse space in my town and occasionally opens up to the public. It is a gold mine.

This is the only picture I took but trust me the place is enormous and filled to the brim with hidden treasures.  I decided to concentrate my efforts on silver plate.  I wanted serving pieces that weren’t too precious.  Here is a bit of my loot before the big soak.

I line my sink with tin foil and dump in a box of baking soda with boiling water to great effect.  This works far better with sterling silver but the silver plate did well, too.

Much better!

I also took home some Waterford crystal wine glasses and double old-fashioned glasses.  These were new in a very dusty box but in mint condition and for a fraction of what I would have paid new.

And, I leave you with some garden pictures. A short-lived but pretty burst of candytuft (Iberis) in my spring garden.  This is a quick spreader and doesn’t need much love but the flowers don’t last for long which is unfortunate as they are so pretty.

Some hibiscus for the pots – freshly planted.

The window boxes are filled with Hostas, Begonias and Caladium.

The Nepeta (Walkers Low) and Geum (Mango Lassi) has started to spill over the edging which is fine with me.

A pot just planted waiting to fill in with petunias, a blue passionflower vine and some helichrysum (licorice plant).

We finally had glass cut for our urn table.  Much better!

I would love to do something like the below but probably not enough air flow.

via www.feelitcool.com 

Miscellaneous

This is a laundry room.  Laundry room!!  The friend with whom I drove to the middle of the Earth for that very special faucet is nearing the finish line.  The cabinet doors are yet to be hung but the room is coming together and beautifully.  The counters are soapstone as is that pretty farmhouse sink.  Best part is this is the back of a 3rd car garage bay.  The front half still left with plenty of room to store bikes and scooters.  So smart.

Photos of my laundry room would break the Internet so I will spare you all but suffice it to say I am green with envy.  This is the perfect landing spot for everything that collects throughout the house and drives one batty.

I finally bit the bullet and bought the myrtle topiaries I have been eyeing at Terrain for the past couple of months.   I am hoping this is not one of those sad topiary stories.  I moved them outside for some sun and watering yesterday.   It’s been two weeks  . . . longer than I thought to keep them alive so pretty darn proud.

I recently requested a catalog from Forbes and Lomax and these light switches will put all your others to shame.  Designer light switches – does it get any better than that?

The air is warming a bit and it’s time to start thinking about outside, namely patio trees.  I have some ideas for quick shade.  More to come  soon . . .

Finalizing Paint Colors

I’ve been threatening to paint this brick since before closing on the house and it seems it may possibly happen this spring. It’s time to cover up the paint splatters, mismatched grout and put some color on this bad boy.

Problem is I am torn on color and finish.  Do I paint in earnest or have the brick white-washed?  There is a strong case for both sides.

I continue to come back to this combination.  Creamy base with a grayish-green shutter.  But what  to do about windows and paneling?  Hmmmm.

And then there’s this house that keeps pulling me back into the whitewash camp.  Green shutters, the white trim, it all would work on our house, too.

www.beckiowens.com

Here’s another beautiful house with the same color scheme.

www.segretofinishes.com

www.brickrestoration.com

 

Instagram Pretty

Maura Endres m.o.endres has one of the prettiest Instagram feeds around.  You will quickly learn that every nook and cranny of her Princeton home is beautifully composed.

The mural in the dining room, not sure if it is paint or wallpaper, is a beautiful backdrop for all the natural elements Maura likes to weave into her rooms.  And, you’ll see that she often changes her tabletop and floral arrangements which makes her followers very happy!

 

Maura clearly has an artistic eye as even her farmer’s market bounty is picture perfect.

Her small moments photos are my favorite.

 

It seems her open and closed cabinetry is arranged just so.

A gorgeous still-life.

 

Give yourself some time to start at the very beginning of her feed.  You will not be disappointed.