Mad for Plaid

I love that plaid is making a strong showing this season, from pillows to wool stadium blankets to dinner plates plaid is everywhere.  It’s fabulous to see the age old tartans move away from kilts and sashes and into more decorative applications.  After all,  a good tartan plaid is too beautiful to grace the inside of a closet most of the time.

Wouldn’t these plates by Ralph Lauren Home be festive for Christmas morning brunch? They have that dressed up lodge look that any rustic holiday would appreciate.

I love the pop of black these pillows provide.  Wouldn’t it be great if the ribbon were made of velvet?

These throws would be excellent to tote with you to the next chilly football game.  Or use them to add a pop of color to a neutral monochromatic room.

I once had a friend tell me that it’s more luxurious to put in a carpet meant for a hotel room, rather than the run of the mill short pile carpet most homes have.   I have to agree, the plaid here is more luxurious and really packs a punch.  The wow factor is great!

Which use of plaid are you drawn too?

Fall In Love With The Quatrefoil

There is just something to love about this depiction of a  four petaled flower. Could it be that it symbolizes good luck, or is closely tied to the Church, or is that it’s just a really awe inspiring architectural detail? For me, it’s all of the above and my appreciation of  the Gothic Revival and Renaissance periods.  Today this simplistic floral pattern and it’s various adaptations can  be everywhere.





Our Four Legged Friend

Last week we had a rather big and unexpected guest take up residence in the field behind our house.  It appears someone abandoned a beautiful Great Dane.  She’s skiddish and not too crazy about humans, but those that feed her seem to be OK in her book.

It was Wednesday of last week when I decided that we needed to feed her.  As I carried her food to the field she must have seen me in the dark.  Out of the pitch blackness I heard a stern but friendly “woof”.  So every morning at 5 sharp I put out a plate of food for her and in a few short minutes she’s lumbering through the field toward our house and her morning meal.  The evenings are the same and we watch for her just as it gets dark.

Last night she scared the day lights out of me. I walked out to put her food down for her, and there she was just looking at me.  Her big face and those sad eyes just looking at me. It broke my heart. I wish we had a house big enough for a Great Dane, but our little house would be too cramped for her. Not to mention once that tail starts wagging nothing on the coffee table will survive.

This morning I put out her food and she did not show. I’m stressed just thinking about her and hoping she’s alright.  I am trying to get a rescue to come help with her, but they are not responsive.  Our county animal control peeps were out today looking for her.  They really are her worst option as they may deem her unfit for adoption and decide to put her down.  I couldn’t bare the thought of that.

We want a happy ending for this incredible creature, because  she deserves it.  I love how she sits in the tall grass behind the house and watches me as I cook on the grill or fiddle with her water bucket.  She’s a smart girl, that’s for sure.

How people can just dump a pet is beyond me. We haven’t adopted her, but she feels like our dog.  That, my friends, makes her a part of the family if just for a short while.

Note: It turns out her name is Haven and she escaped from her home about 10-15 miles from the north of us. She wandered to the neighborhood down the road, where a neighbor checked for a clue about her. Her owner was contacted and she’s home now. Hopefully her owner will be more responsible.

10 Darling Dresses….

I once had someone tell me to let my inner child pick out my clothes.  All I can say is it’s a good thing my inner child has great taste and style.  Although, just like a child I will go through several outfits before deciding on one and when I’m done, my closet has been strewn all over.  So I have discovered the ease of dresses.  They are the best for simplifying the chore of getting dressed, especially when running late.  The only question left to ask, is which accessories?

These 10 dresses are my favorites.  I’m partial to shifts, sheaths, and anything that has a bit of a nostalgia feel to it.  If I were to pick just one that must be in my closet, it would have to be the Finsbury wool dress by Boden.  Which one do you love?


image via polyvore

Homemade ricotta cheese

Homemade ricotta is easier than you might think.

I collect cookbooks and during  a random trip to Marshall’s I found the Gourmet cookbook.  It’s a compilation of their recipes that appeared in the magazine, it’s all inclusive and has incredible recipes.  As I was flipping through it I found a recipe for  homemade ricotta.  I thought how hard could it be?  Honestly, it was pretty easy.

You will need 1/2 gallon of milk,  1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice ( about 1 1/2 squeezed lemons).  You will also need a large sieve, a bowl, 6 qt heavy pan, and cheese cloth.   It will yield 2 cups.

Start by lining the sieve with the cheese cloth, and placing it inside the bowl.

Heat the milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil over a moderate heat. It will take awhile, so just stand by and stir occasionally to keep it from scorching the pan. Let it boil for a minute or two.  Turn it down to low, add the lemon juice simmer and stir constantly until it curdles. Pour it into the cheese cloth and let it drain for an hour.  Pour it into a storage bowl and it’ ll keep for two days.

You can serve it for breakfast with a little honey and cinnamon or enjoy it for dessert.  You can also use it in any recipe that you would use ricotta in.

It is amazingly good, you may just want to eat it with a spoon.