Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yummy Summer Food

Like most, we have been grilling a lot this summer - a lot of burgers in particular.  I thought I would share a couple of great summer recipes in time for 4th of July menu planning.

I must confess that we haven't made this first one exactly like the recipe yet, but it sounded so good it inspired our first attempt at a Southwestern Burger.  This was in the June issue of Country Living courtesy of reader Ellisa Bryden of Mounds View, Minnesota.

We were inspired by this recipe to try chopped fresh jalapenos in our burgers, and it was sooo good!!  I don't even usually like spicy food, but 1 jalapeno for 2 pounds of beef was not too spicy.  We'll actually probably try more next time.  Find the full recipe here.

I've been making this next recipe for years.  It's super easy to make, and always gets great reviews.  It's Karin Calloway's Quick Cooking corn pudding.  

1 8.5-ounce box corn-muffin mix
1 16-ounce can corn, drained
1 16-ounce can cream-style corn
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until lightly browned.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Good Life

Hi friends!!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend (and Monday)!  We took a quick trip to visit family and had the best time!!  On Saturday we went out on a boat and docked at a small island.  It was so beautiful there!

We even found some fun sea life.

My daughter was soooo excited!  We put everything back in - even though it would have been fun to decorate with it all! ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Wishes

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  We are off for some fun in the sun (hopefully).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ideas for the Fourth

I just love this tablecloth from Terrain.  A subtle way to use some red, white and blue for the 4th.

Wouldn't it be fun with these nautical inspired melamine plates from Thomas Paul?  They are way cooler than paper plates.  I found this set at 2Modern

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random Product Recommendation

As I sit here enjoying my latte, I decided I should share with you the machine that changed our world.  Sounds dramatic, doesn't it?  Seriously, I bought this espresso machine for my husband as a Christmas gift several years ago and we couldn't love it more!  You see, my husband was going to Starbucks once, sometimes twice, a day and we all know how expensive that can get.  It was a bit of an investment up front, but it has certainly saved us money in the long term.

We have the Saeco Odea Giro.  The one above is the Saeco Odea Go II, which is evidently pretty similar. The beauty of this espresso machine is that it does a lot of the work for you.  You put the beans in the top, water in the reservoir, and select the volume and strength (only available on the Giro model) of your espresso shot and then push a button.  It grinds, tamps, and disposes the grinds in a container that has to be emptied every few days.

I've read some reviews that have said theirs broke, but we haven't had any problems.  We got ours from Costco, which has a good return policy.

Happy coffee drinking!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In Place of Chairs

I just love it when benches are used in place of chairs or bar stools.

via Lonny

Of course banquettes are a lovely choice too.

original source unknown. via Decorpad

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Fun Find

How was everyone's weekend?  Lots of fun, I hope!  It was hot here, but there was a nice breeze that kept it from being too bad.

I managed to hit a couple of estate sales this weekend and found this children's chair.

For $3 it was a much better buy than this one at Restoration Hardware that is $119, even if it is a little rough around the edges.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Toasting the Weekend

I just love this picture from Toast.  It makes me want to travel to exotic places this summer.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sarah's Summer House

Do you guys ever watch Sarah's House on HGTV?  It follows designer Sarah Richardson as she remodels and designs an entire house.  Each episode focuses on a room or series of similar rooms (like bathrooms, bedroom, etc), and the process she went through for each.  She's always budget conscious, and does a wonderful job of mixing old with new.

The latest series was called Sarah's Summer House.  In this one she tackles her husbands island getaway, which is entirely off the grid.  Here are a few of the after shots.  The rest can be seen here.

Check out those views!!

One of the reasons I enjoy the show so much is that I love Sarah's style.  Here are a few photos of her other work I found on her site.  She uses way more color than I would pick out for myself, but I like it!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Perfect Laundry Room

I've been staring at mounds of laundry lately and dreaming of a perfectly organized laundry room.  Here are some of the things I would love to put in it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On a Hot Day

There is nothing better than a chilled cocktail on a hot day.  One of my favorites is Sangria.  It would be perfect to serve it in this gorgeous beverage dispenser from Anthropologie.

These straws are also super fun and summery.

How perfect would those be for a 4th of July party?  They come from soandsuch on Etsy.

This is the Sangria recipe I use.  It's by Emeril Lagasse, and has been a hit every time I've served it.  I've only ever used regular lemons and limes, and it has been delicious!  My printed version of the recipe also allows lemon-lime soda instead of club soda if that is what you have on hand.


  • 2 bottles chilled dry red wine, like Rioja
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 Meyer lemons, cut into thin rounds
  • 3 Key limes, cut into thin rounds 
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups cold club soda


In a large pot or bowl, combine the wine, brandy, orange juice, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange, lemon, and lime slices, the apples and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator and add the soda. Serve in glasses over ice.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Lake Fun

Last Friday we were lucky enough to borrow a lake house and show our out-of-towners how pretty the lakes around here can be.  I tried to capture it in these shots, but I'm not sure they do it justice.

I played with some of the settings on my camera for these.

It was a lovely day, and the water was perfect!  The weekend also included a trip to Scott's Antique Market where I scored a super cool biergarten table set, and a trip to the water park.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Summer Fun!

What a fun summer picture!  I would like to spend my entire weekend relaxing in a space like this.  

We have family in town and a lot of swimming, grilling, and relaxing are on the only things on the agenda.  We may have to include this spicy corn on the cob:

How good does that look?  You can find the recipe from Country Living here.

What do you all have planned for the weekend?

both images via Country Living

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I am seriously in love with this print by BlueTrike on Etsy.  I go look at it about once a day and think about where I would put it in my house.  It's only $35 for an 11X14, so I'm not sure why I haven't just bought it already.

This is another of their prints that makes me smile and may have to go in my boy's room one day.

love Playmobil!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Retirement Dreams

It's probably not a healthy obsession, but I dream a LOT about retirement.  Why exactly it is I seem to be dreaming away my next couple of decades, I'm not sure.  Images of a life of leisure, I suppose.  Right now our retirement dream is to own a house on the beach and a house in the mountains.  We would live on the beach on the winter and then rent it out during summer high season.  Vice versa for the mountain house - live there in the summer and rent it out during the winter high season.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  Possibly unrealistic, but I'm hoping 20+ years (IF we meet our other goal of retiring early) of planning might get us there.

Because of this dream, we spend a lot of free time looking at beach real estate.  The Highway 30-A area of Florida is my favorite - the area including Rosemary, Alys, and Seaside beaches would be perfect!  This house featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine is along that stretch of beaches, and is just gorgeous.

One can dream, right?  Does anyone else dream of retirement like this?  

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