Saturday, March 30, 2013

Springtime Tablescape

Finally, a few warm days in Chicagoland!!!!  It's time to set the table for weekend guests that are visiting from out of town and coming to dinner tonight!  The warm weather inspires me to use eggs and pastel flowers in my centerpiece. 

I  had kept the gnarly flowering tulip branch from flowers (above) that were in my kitchen a couple of weeks ago. They were so gnarly and cool that I couldn't bear to throw them away
 when the flowers died.
It was perfect for the base of my centerpiece.  I started by placed them in the center of the table.

Using pink and white roses, I created little bouquets in silver champagne goblets.

Then placed these little arrangements throughout the flowering tulip branch.
It kind of looked like a nest!

I then gilded and embellished eggs and placed in a gold nest lined with moss.

 Placed several nests in the branches.

 Turquoise tea glasses were used as votives throughout the floral centerpiece.
I used powder blue chargers with antique white and gold china and then popped it with gold and white zebra print napkins. 

The rhinestones on the eggs glittered in the candlelight during dinner.

 Next, it was on to the kitchen to add a little touch of springtime!  Home Depot just received their first shipment of spring flowers- yea! So I purchased a pot of violas - I love their faces!
 In the kitchen on the patisserie stand, I placed a vintage egg cup server and filled it with some of the  violas! 
 Added a couple of vintage ceramic lamb boxes to sit among the flowers on the stand.

Maybe we can't go outside yet and dig in the dirt- but this reminds me that it's not too far away!!
Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Our "Parisian Hideaway" Takes Shape

Wow- it's been 10 days since I last posted!  Since closing the store three weeks ago, I have felt like a kid in a candy store- never quite sure what to tackle next!  I have so many  projects planned and can't wait to start them.  I just returned from the Atlanta Gift Show- a smaller show where I was able to purchase Christmas for our November event!  I also purchased some great last minute items for our upcoming show- "Parisian Hideaways". The new space is beginning to take shape. Today, the girls and I almost finished painting a huge cabinet - one more coat and then another day to wax and gild and it should be gorgeous.  But I thought I would share a few glimpses into our new "Parisian Hideaway" with you today. 
While I was in Atlanta last week, Laurell surprised me and painted the foyer with a dark grey and gold metallic stripe and it looks awesome.

I love this combination of colors.  We are making  fuchsia taffeta drapes for  the foyer to pop the colors!
All of  the new merchandise is labeled and priced with a pretty tag.
A fabulous new console and mirror that Laurell just touched up! 
 So pretty in an entry or as a sink in a powder room!

 Detail of the top of the mirror----

Pretty vintage chandelier with crystal lattice detail on sides.

Fabulous set of books with white marble bookends.

Love these over sized art books with the cool graphics.
 Iron and marble clock with beautiful face.
Pair of candlelabra

One of my favorite finds- iron putti with bow holding a candlestick and standing by a mirror.
We have a pair of these - perfect for a mantle or even on a dining table.  I can visualize the reflection of votives in the mirrors on a dining table, while the candlestick is fitted with a glass tulip insert to hold flowers and weeping amaranthus.

My favorite shade of pink- set of 10 vintage glasses

Fun little whimsical treats await you-

Mother of Pearl dinner knives

 Over sized Old Paris Porcelain tureens-
Pair of gilded wall sconces. Love them on the grey walls

Laurell, Katha and Julie using Annie Sloan chalk paint on the huge cabinet in the French dining room.

Laurell painted the walls to look like old aged cement.

Starting to unpack and price the new accessories and jewelry too!!

While we still have a ton of painting and decorating to do, our new space is starting to develop a personality.  Our first shopping event is going to be May 10th and 11th and will feature a Paris apartment, a Parisian courtyard and a countryside bistro!  We are so excited that  Joy from Savvy City Farmer will be joining us and bringing her unique style and treasures.
Save the dates- May 10th and May 11th. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Honey Lime Shrimp

Another winning recipe found on Pinterest- Honey Lime Shrimp! 
 I always like to have a bag of Costco's frozen peeled
 and deveined raw shrimp in the freezer
 and it is perfect for this recipe.

 I grilled them indoors on a cast iron grill pan.
I served it  over brown rice with roasted asparagus on top! 

Pretty and Healthy
This is an easy recipe for a weekday dinner, but tasty and pretty enough to serve company.
Find the original recipe here
 It was deelish!!!!!!

Honey Lime Shrimp

 serves 2


1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

 1/4 cup olive oil

2 T honey

 juice of one small lime, or half a large lime (2-3 T)

 zest of one small lime, or half a large lime

 2 cloves garlic, smashed

 1/2 tsp kosher salt

 1/4 tsp black pepper

 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


1.) In a large ziploc bag, combine all the marinade ingredients. When everything is well-combined, add the shrimp, squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag, and close it up. Place it in the fridge.

 2.) Let the shrimp marinate for 30-60 minutes, flipping the bag around once or twice during that time, so that all the shrimp stay evenly covered in the marinade.

 3.) When you’re ready to cook, take the shrimp out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; there is no need to add any oil or butter to the pan, as the marinade has enough oil in it to keep the shrimp from sticking to the pan. (If you would prefer to use the grill for these, you can thread them onto skewers and toss them on the grill at this point.)

 4.) Add your shrimp to the pan in a single layer, making sure they are not too crowded; you can always cook them in more than one batch. Let them cook on one side for about a minute, until they curl up and start to turn pink. Flip them over, and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until the shrimp are opaque. Remove from the pan, and serve immediately!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Snow Dusted Cake Using Granny's Lace

I found this idea on pinterest and could not wait to try it. 

Inspirational image from pinterest
 On a cooled sheet of baked brownies, I placed a piece of lace and sprinkled powdered sugar over it.

Section of vintage lace that was used

Carefully remove the lace once you have sprinkled the sugar on top.


Garnished with rose petals and strawberries, it makes a pretty dessert.
This gives me thoughts about a use for all those old doilies that my grandmother made! I have tried this technique using plastic stencils, but the lace worked better. 
I can see using smaller pieces of lace on individual brownies- kind of jazzes them up a bit.