Friday, July 31, 2009

Stark White Repaint - Diane Keaton's House

I am getting ready to finish repainting our 1947 adobe style home in the southwest. I love the starkness of a true white, so when I was experimenting with the color in the front living room, I ran across an old issue of Architectural Digest and these great pictures of Diane Keaton's house. She did a true white and it looks fabulous. I have read that this home is on the market for $11.9 million -- give or take a price reduction or an MLS removal, and what a great house, alas, well out of my price range.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alyssum in Pots - Easy Garden Secret

I always forget to water my outdoor flowers in pots. So this year I got smart and planted nothing but Alyssum in my pots. If I forget to water them, they easily survive until I remember. I have about 4 pots done this way and I love them. What is your easy garden secret?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Front Door Fountain Bubbler

This is my outdoor fountain bubbler. It is by my walkway as you walk to my front door. I love sitting on my front porch in the evening and listening to the relaxing sound of the bubbling water. Also, it does cut a bit of traffic noise.
Made simply with a metal pail stuck in the ground, a small pump and some rocks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tori and Dean - Home Sweet Hollywood

I am not a reality show junkie. In fact I don't really watch any of them. Give me a good old Soap type style like Gossip Girl, Sex and The City, The new Melrose Place, hey I love Weeds too. However, being an old 90210 fan I do watch Tori and Dean - Home Sweet Hollywood. I too have watched the previous seasons, Inn Love, and whatever the name of the other season was -- Back to Hollywood? Either way, I thought you might enjoy some pics of their new house in Encino, California. 6700 square feet - 6 bedrooms - 6.5 baths. Wow it is big. Too big for me to be able to clean. Alas, I know they have a maid. Home Sweet Hollywood on Oxygen.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Halloween Decorations

So I opened my email the other day and got an email from Grandin Road advertising their Halloween Decorations. Very reasonably priced. You can see the whole collection here: Now normally I don't think of Halloween in July. However, it did get me to thinkin about it, and anything I might want to make to add to my decorations could easily start now. Then, I might actually have them done in time. So is it the Dancing Ghosts? The Wanted Posters? Or just the Garland? Hmmmm.

All photos from Grandin Road Halloween Collection.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Frozen Swirl Margaritas

Both Swirl pictures found on flickr. Great Swirl Pics.

Having lived all over the southwest, and loving a good margarita, I thought one last margarita post was in order. When living in Austin we used to go to a fun restaurant called Chuy's. Tex-mex with the most fun Swirl frozen Margaritas.

So for this Saturday try some of your own. With or without alcohol they are a fun summer drink.

Two ways to do this.

1 - make both traditional and strawberry in blender then pour half in to glass and top with other half. This takes a little practice so they don't mix.

2 - make both traditional and strawberry regularly - not in blender, then put the liquid in a shallow 3" square or rectangle plastic container and freeze like ice cream. This works with alcohol only, as alcohol won't freeze all the way. When ready to serve, just scoop out with an ice cream scoop and drop into glasses, one of each flavor.

As always, please drink responsibly. Never Drink and Drive.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seven Layer Dip - Margaritas

On Fridays the hubs and I usually sit on the back porch and swim and have Nachos and Margaritas. Watching a rerun of Swingtown they mentioned Seven Layer Dip. I thought, I must have. So this Friday it is Seven Layer Dip and Margaritas.

For my Margaritas I either use Baja Bobs Margarita Mix, or Jose Cuervo's Mix. Then I use good old Patron Tequila, and a squeeze of orange.

For my Seven Layer Dip, smashed and refried black beans, hamburger meat, sour cream, guacamole, scallions, cheese, and pico de gallo.

What are you doing this friday?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cooking Eggs for Breakfast - New Joe's Special

This is a dish from my husband's family. His dad called it the New Joe's Special. It was originally made with scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, or chopped potatoes, hamburger meat, cooked spinach, and a dash of vinegar.

The versions above, are made with eggs, hashbrowns, cooked spinach, and green chile. I call it the Vegetarian New Joe's Special.

This is a great dish for morning, noon, or night. Use sausage, chicken, your imagination.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Luminarias as a Summer Decoration

Luminarias are not just for Christmas. They can be used to light the way all year. Maybe as a table scape, or to highlight a patio. How about to guide your guests to the back yard. Anyway you use them, they are great.
Simple to make luminarias.

Luminarias at Christmas in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Old Town.

Lunch size paper bags, also known as the good old fashioned #4. Brown or White.
Sand. For stability and to hold the candle. About 2 - 3" of sand.
Luminaria Candles or Tea Lights.
Here in the southwest we double fold the top, however, I have seen them simply cut with a cute pinking shear across the top of the bag.
Again, anyway you use them they are great.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Decorating a Back Porch - Portal - Lani

HGTV Napa Dream Home Patio 2008.

HGTV Napa Dream Home Patio 2008.

Pottery Barn Patio.

Pottery Barn Patio.

I love sitting on our back porch. We have an acre it is always relaxing to sit out back and enjoy the summer air. However, I think it needs a little bit of a redo. It has a great beam portal, cafe lighting, and curtains, but maybe I need some lounging furniture? One question I wonder, because I am here in the southwest, how do you keep the bugs out of the furniture, you know spiders? Anyway, above are a few of my favorite porches. No matter what you call them, they are great... Porch, Portal, Lani.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fried Pickles -- Fried Jalapenos

We were BBQ'ing just recently and we have a side burner and an old fashoned dutch oven, so we decided to deep fry some pickles and jalapenos. They were wonderful. Since my jalapenos are coming in well in my garden, I think I will have to do some more. Yum.

1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Beer -- any kind will do
2 Eggs
Seasoning -- I used 1 tablespoon Emeril's seasoning -- or use season salt, paprika, pepper.
If you want to make some spicy ones at some chile pequins.

Heat about 4" oil in your dutch oven.

Slice jalapenos, and open pickles spears or chips, and pat dry.
Then dredge in above mixture and fry until well done.
Serve with some ranch, or finely diced jalapenos in your ranch for jalapeno ranch.
Enjoy with a beverage and friends.

Fried Jalapenos

Fried pickle spears.

Fried pickle chips.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Red! Chairs, bedrooms, entertaining - Red!

The second great Red Tomato from the garden!! Yeah!! Definitely for applewood bacon BLT's. The tomato got me thinking about my great red chairs in my family room, and how much fun red is to decorate with. Do you have a pop of red in your room?
This is a Pottery Barn Red Chair, this is the one I have in my family room with brown leather furniture, and I love it. When ever I need a pick me up, I love to browse my local Pottery Barn for inspiration, and here in the southwest, good old super cold air conditioning.

This armless chair from Pottery Barn would be great in an office or bedroom, it wouldn't take up too much room.

Entertaining, red is great for entertaining, it is bright, colorful, and can be used all year. The below buckets are also available at Pottery Barn.

Red cups, plates, saucers. What fun. Available at Pottery Barn.

You can also check your favorite discount Dollar Stores, Tar-Jay, Wally World, and many others for great red items from entertaining to dining.
Couldn't end without a red bedroom. Again, Pottery Barn, but don't be embarassed to check your local discounters... I am sure they have some red. Come on, a soda, bag of popcorn, airconditioning, and cruising aroud Tar-Jay....too fun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mad Men - Interiors - Fashion - Fun

In keeping with a little bit of retro after the Gimlet post, let's do Mad Men. Mad Men season 3 is set to start again in August. Can't Wait!! Season 1 can currently be seen On Demand AMC on Comcast. I assume, they will follow with season 2 right up until the start of Season 3. If you have never caught Mad Men before, give it a whirl. Great sets, great decorating, great clothing. Lots of fun.

The picture below is a Season 3 spoiler.........
Love this light kind of Tiffany blue/green color, on the sofa. I am currently using it in my bedroom.

Love the green walls with the strong white trim. Everything old is new again. Current for today's trends.

Love all the beige, love the good old fashioned venitian blinds. There is a company that makes mini blinds similar to the old fashioned ones. Fun. Also, navy and brown as seen on his clothing has made a huge interior comeback.

Okay, can't leave the post without mentioning the IBM selectric. What can I say?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Gimlet - Gin Cocktails - Summer Retro Cocktail

The Gimlet Cocktail is everywhere!! I was watching an episode of Mad Men and January Jones's character ordered a Gimlet. I was watching Swingtown and they ordered a Gimlet. Then I started reading Julie & Julie and Julie ordered a Gimlet. Gimlets are everywhere. A Gimlet can be made with Vodka or Gin, and appears to be developed by Rose's Lime Juice. So as a humpday quest, I think I will be learning to make a Gimlet.

1 1/2 oz Gin or Vodka
1/2 oz Rose's Lime Juice
Garnish with Lime

Put in a shaker 1/2 filled with ice, shake well and serve in a Martini Glass or serve over ice in a Highball Glass

Sounds yummy. Don't know if I will try Gin or Vodka. Hmmm.
Please Drink Responsibly. Do Not Drink And Drive!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gardening - Tomatoes - Watermelons

Gardening is a great summer past time. I tasted my first tomato the other day. Made a wonderful BLT. Can't wait for the rest to come in for salsa and salads. What would summer be without a great garden? What did you grow in your garden? Never too late for tomatoes.