Monday, July 29, 2013

Store Mood Board

My friend is interested in applying for a business management course.  As part of her portfolio she has to present an idea for her store inspiration and she asked me to help.

She plans to have a gift store that is incorporated with a boutique hotel.  She wanted the store to be fairly upscale but welcoming and not intimidating.  She will sell gifts and stationary, soaps, candles, etc.  I decided to keep most of the colors neutral and then to accent with colors in the things she sells - like pillows.  In order to make the space seem welcoming and warm, I used wood tones and also used furniture pieces instead of traditional store shelving, etc.  .

Here's what I came up with:
It feels homey to me and like somewhere I'd want to stay a while and shop

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mixed Greens with Feta Cheese Balls and Cherries


This salad was a nice treat of new flavors.  I've been doing a lot of balsamic vinegar dressing and this recipe uses champagne vinegar.  Also, not only have I not made a salad with fresh cherries before, this was my first taste of fresh cherries this summer.  And, believe it or not, this was the first time my husband had ever tasted a fresh cherry and he loved it!  This couldn't be simpler.

What You Need:
lettuce (bib or spring greens)
12 or so fresh cherries, pitted
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 block cream cheese
1 small container of crumbled feta cheese
1 cup of almonds, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

First, I made the little cheese balls.  I actually made these a couple of days ahead and left them in the fridge to set and chill.  

To make the cheese balls, set the cream cheese and feta in a bowl and allow them to come to room temperature.  


Mix thoroughly with a spoon.  


Put crushed almonds in a little bowl.  Form small balls from the cheese mixture, roll in the almonds to coat and refrigerate until use.


Make the dressing by mixing champagne vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in bowl.  Whisk together. (See, I told you it was simple!)


Put the lettuce in a bowl and top with cherries and cheese balls and pour on dressing.


  
Recipe from BHG.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Timeline Wood

How amazing are these wood treatments by Timeline Wood?  I seriously want to do a wall in my house covered in this.  My biggest problem would be deciding what color...














Entire product line available on the Timeline Wood Website.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shop the Show - OKL

Today on One King's Lane they are featuring a "Shop the Show" look from HGTV Star.  I saw so many adorable things that I wanted!  Great accessories, art, rugs, furniture...if you haven't already, check out the sale.  Here's a little round up of my favorites:



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tony Kitz Pillows

I originally was drawn to Tony Kitz because of the beautiful rugs but left the site in LOVE with the beautiful pillows.  I am sorry but I still cannot get enough of ikat, suzani or just a general tribal feel.  And these pillows definitely deliver.

Tony Kitz located in San Francisco but they have a robust website to show off their goods.  And if the website isn't enough, a trip to San Fran can always be justified...love that city!

I also love the story about how Tony got started at the young age of 16 as an antiques collector and that passion has evolved into his business today.  Read his whole story here.

Here are a few of my favorite pillows - some vintage, some new, all unique:











Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Turkey Sausage and Mediterranean Grilled Veggies and Cous Cous


My friend Lane had a beautiful little baby girl.  We signed up to take she and her family dinner one night and I wanted to take something other than a casserole.  One person in the household doesn't like cheese (hard for me to imagine since I love it so much!) so I was also cognizant of that.

I decided some grillled veggies and couscous might be a fresh change.  I was going to grill up some chicken but at the last minute decided to do some low fat turkey sausage.  I doubled everything so that we had dinner one night as well and I really enjoyed the combo.

I put it in an aluminum tray so they could just pop it in the oven and heat up when they were ready to eat.

Grilled Turkey Sausage:

Preheat grill and cook on high for about 3-4 minutes or until browned.

Roasted Veggies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop squash, zucchini, onions and yellow, orange and red peppers.  Drizzle generously with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place on cooking sheet in a single layer and roast for about 30 minutes or until browned.

Roasted Asparagus:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Season asparagus with salt pepper and olive oil.  Roast on baking sheet in a single layer for about 15 minutes or until browned.

Cous Cous:

Prepare cous cous according to package directions.  Once you add the water, add cherry tomatoes and chopped up baby spinach and allow tomatoes to heat and wilt as the cous cous finishes cooking.  Add toasted almonds and an extra drizzle of olive oil.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Perfectly Cooked (and moist!) Grilled Chicken


About once a week now we've been having a yummy salad for dinner.  We are trying to not only be healthier but it makes for a really simple supper.  And it is super easy to change up different ingredients so you don't get tired of the same thing.

The thing that really sets a dinner salad off to me is to have a nice fresh grilled piece of warm chicken breast over the cold of the other salad ingredients.

The easiest thing to do to get super moist grilled chicken is to marinade it in Italian dressing.  I use fat free and just season the chicken with a little bit of salt and pepper.  If you have a couple of hours, that'll do the trick but if you can marinate it for at least a day in the fridge, you'll notice the difference.

I like to marinate mine in a big ziplock freezer bag.  I think it helps all of the dressing coat the chicken but it also makes for really easy clean up.



I cook mine on a gas grill 'cause I cannot be bothered with all that charcoal nonsense - and, we are trying to be speedy about this, right?

I preheat the grill on high (all four burners) and make sure that the chicken has sat out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes to take the chill off.  Plop that chicken on the grill and resist the urge to turn it for at least 5 minutes (especially if you've got thicker cut breasts).  It'll make sure that you get a nice good char on the outside.  Turn the chicken over and repeat on the other side.


Remove from the grill and let sit for about 3-4 minutes so that the juices redistribute.




I actually made this batch for my book club and accidentally bought thinner chicken breasts than I normally prefer but you get the point.

I can't take all the credit for this yummy chicken...George Washington helped.


Monday, July 15, 2013

New Etsy Shop Additions

I added a couple of new items to My Etsy Shop today. Check them out! A cute green peace bib and a sweet little multi-colored hat for a newborn. Great baby gift ideas!






Down that Little Lane Shop

A few months ago on Instagram, I came across a shop that I follow called Down the Little Lane. It's based in Australia but I knew they had a robust website from all of the pictures I saw on Instagram.  Now that I've finally gotten around to browsing their site, robust seems a tad understated.  This is seriously the largest shopping site for a non chain store I've ever seen.  If you click on a category they'll have upwards of 170 pages worth of things to choose from!  Gifts galore, home and garden, baby, you name it, it is on there. 

Here are a few things I'm loving...

Pillows.


Art.

Rattan chairs.


Shuttlecocks.

More art.  Great for a kid's room.



Hand painted bowl.
 Cloud art - cute for a nursery shelf.

Coasters.

Numbered glassware.


 Teething rings.

Floor cushions.

 Tie dyed pillows.
 Map of Berlin pillow.

Milk glass.  Always a favorite of mine.




All items found on the shop's website here.
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