The Details

After having the new windows installed last week, I can think about the details and cleaning up.  I have one kitchen wall that’s half plastered and half painted, a piece of blue painter’s tape on the ceiling, and a constant flood of light streaming into the kitchen thanks to the fact that I have yet to put the rod and curtain back up.  I am going to take advantage of that half-done wall and re-paint it myself…taking it a step further than the typical rental Swiss Coffee high gloss.  That’s right…there’s going to be colour in there!  Nothing crazy…just something pretty, pale, and blue.

I went to Lowe’s yesterday and came home with 30 or so paint chips.  In the morning light, I narrowed those choices down by half.  I taped them to the wall when I got home from work last night to see them in the light I love so much–the 5-7pm stream that floods the room.  I’ll live with them for a couple of days and see which one wins out.

In the meantime…here’s this week’s top five favourites.

1.  Shades of purple

Purple, violet, lilac, dusk, aubergine, eggplant.  It doesn’t really matter what shade it is, I love purple.  I especially love the violet from the inner leaves (petals?) of the artichoke I steamed last week.

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2.  A beautifully set table.

Girls’ Night was last Friday and Jill was kind enough to host again.  She’s a great hostess.  And she sets a fierce and beautiful table.  I think the last two or three times that I’ve gone over to her house and dinner was involved, I’ve pulled the camera out to document the table setting.  She bought a toile quilt from Giverny on her recent trip and that was what she used as the tablecloth.  Stunning.  We embellished.  We took photos.  And we had a delicious dinner.

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3.  Nostalgia

I never thought when I signed up for Instagram that I would find a huge outlet for vintage.  I have found a community of people who love vintage as much as I do and have set up vintage shops on the app to sell their found wares.  This occasionally brings on a wave of nostalgia when someone posts a photo of something I had (the Easy Bake Oven!) or we had in the house when I was growing up.  This happened a couple of weeks ago when someone posted a photo of four Fire King mugs for sale…the same ones my mom had (and probably still does!).  I’m using the daisy mug this morning for my coffee.  To this day, you will sometimes find me doodling a tulip or rose just the way they are on the cups.

fireking14.  Happy accidents.

Or when a recipe runs amok.  I set out to make cherry almond scones with a recipe I always use.  The ratios were definitely off this time around and instead of scones, I have large, cake-y cookies, or maybe flat muffin-y things.  But they taste great.

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5.  Justin Timberlake

I cannot get enough of this man.  Handsome, talented, and he can dance.  I love his new single and listen and/or watch it at least once a day.  Can’t wait for ‘The 20/20 Experience’ part 2 to come out next month.

Take Back the Night

An Exercise in Frequency

Okay…I’m going to give myself a little test.  Since I spend a lot more time on my other blog and I’m feeling guilty about the lack of time I spend here, I’m going to try a little experiment.  I have seen on quite a few blogs around the internet that once a week the bloggers post a Top Five or Top Ten list.  It varies from their favourite recipes of the week to things that inspire them or any top lists of favourites.  I like that idea.  If nothing else, you may learn a little more about me and you might find yourself tempted to comment (which is always welcome!).  And with a little nudge on my end…it should get me in gear to write more here.  Sound good?   Good!  Let’s go!

My Top Five 20 July 2013

1.  Summer tomatoes.

Are there really any other kind of tomatoes?  I went to the farmers market this morning and came home with half a dozen heirlooms and a handful of grape tomatoes.  I was popping those little ones into my mouth in no time.  I am trying my hand at growing tomatoes for the first time this year and I have three on my vines, one that is well on being ripe soon.  I cannot wait.

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2.  A touch of East Coast weather in Los Angeles.

The humidity has been a little higher here than usual, though not too bad.  But today, the cloud cover came in mid-afternoon, the breeze kicked up big time and at one point I looked outside and thought to myself, ‘This could be rain.’  Alas, it wasn’t…at least not here.  Redlands, San Bernadino…yep…they got a thunderstorm or two.  I’m a little jealous.

3.  White, twinkling Christmas lights.

Of course, strands of white Christmas lights aren’t just for the Christmas tree anymore.  I have a strand along the archway between the kitchen and the living room.  Some nights I don’t put on the lamp in the living room and just have the glow of those lights.  They may not twinkle, but I love their ambiance.

4.  Ladyfingers.

Not only are they vital for tiramisu, but they are delicious right out of the package.  I’m partial to the imported Italian ones.  They are fabulous used as a crust for little pies or for a crumb topping.  My favourite way to use them though is right out of the package, dipped in homemade jam, and put right into my mouth.

5.  Vintage flatware.

It’s not that new flatware doesn’t have great patterns, but there’s something about the look, the feel, the patina on older pieces.  Though why is it so difficult to find spoons?  Plenty of knives and forks to be found.

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