Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easy, Easy, Easy...Coconut Macaroons!

Easy, Easy, and quite yummy coconut Macaroons!  Hubby had to contribute to a bake sale this past Spring and called me the day before to asked what I thought he should take. Asking me is fine, but asking me the day before...who does he think he's married to!?  "How about chocolate chip cookies" I rattled off.  He was not even remotely interested (which I couldn't believe)!  After the chocolate chip cookies idea failed, then I remembered seeing the Coconut Macaroons recipe in Real Simple. 
The day after the bake sale, he called me at work to gloat...he was so proud.  If you are in need of  a very easy and delicious bake sale item this summer, I highly recommend this recipe here 
Funny thing is, Hubby likes likes coconut all of a sudden! See Craving Ina's Coconut Cupcakes!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


As close to a beach or swimming  pool that I will be  this Summer -  will be  Ellie's (she's my dog) kiddie pool.  I was reading an article this afternoon about the percentage of women with multiple swimsuits.  Ha...I don't even own one!  The last few times that I've been to the beach it has been fall and winter.  I finally got sick of my old Calvin Klein that I had for years and pitched it awhile ago.  Anyway,  I got this postcard in the mail from J.Crew this past winter and love it!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Help...I Have a House to Paint!

Just my luck, I have the ugliest brick house on my block.  I was very much aware of this when we bought the house almost two years ago but kept telling myself just a few easy changes.  When we first moved in I had the gutters painted in Benjamin Moore's Sail Cloth and the shutters painted in  Benjamin Moore's Silhouette. Painting those two things did indeed help...but still!
I bumped into my good friend Catherine on New Year's Eve at the Symphony and told her about my little dilemma.  Her response was  "I love painted brick." As I was drinking my champagne I was thinking the same thing. I just don't want to screw it up! 
By February, I  decided Ito move this to my priority list!  Time to paint the the ugly brick wrapped around my house.  The house is a  1970's  brick traditional and is brick on all four sides.  So once painted there is no going back, and I don't want it too yellow or too white...whewww!
Below is a house that I saw in Southern Living this past March and absolutely love it! Plus I already have the bronze sconces.

Hubby's in the Garden?

This past Saturday I made a mad dash to Home Depot for a few things that I needed for around the house.  I should have known better, especially on a beautiful holiday weekend.  Traffic was like going to Stone Mountain on the 4th of July (been there, done that).
I seem to hit the same section every time while at the Depot.  I went cruising through the lighting section; I then hit the bathroom section for my bathroom redo.  And as I was stampeding toward the garden section to pick up flowers for around my mailbox, I couldn’t help but notice all the couples.  Many very young and with their two- or three-year-old in tow.  How nice, I thought, couples taking their time, strolling through the garden section and choosing flowers for their home together!   My Hubby, on the other hand, was home, supposedly weeding or doing the Gardening To Do List that I gave to him before I left!
Afterwards, I headed home to drop off my pine straw, (and to move Hubby along in our gardening process). I headed to another nursery.  This time though, I saw a few women like me, I would say…on a mission and with Hubbies at home supposedly doing their gardening duties!  Trust me, I could just tell.  I could write a whole book on this subject!  Here’s a little of the back story
This time last year, Hubby demanded a high-powered weed-wacker.  Boy was he proud coming home with his new toy.  One early Saturday morning while testing his new weed-wacker, he quickly discovered we had yellow jackets.  Ellie and I were soundly asleep when all of a sudden Hubby comes running into the house screaming like a big baby. Ellie and I, if I recall, were highly annoyed that he woke us up.  When I came down for my coffee, I discovered he had the binoculars out spying on the yellow jackets.   As if the yellow jackets were scheming to attack the Hubby. We were leaving later that afternoon to go his parent’s mountain cabin and the entire rest of the weekend, he was plotting how he was going to eliminate the yellow jackets.    
Anyway, I was so miffed because I knew deep down he was never going back up that hill to do my yard.   He did manage to get rid of the yellow jackets but the high-end weed-wacker ended up in shop numerous times.
As the year progressed, he loaned out his ladder to his good buddy John, who had to paint his wife, Kristen’s house.  She is a friend of mine as well…What could I say?  They do live on the other side of town so naturally this was a good excuse for hubby not to get his ladder back to clean the gutters.  Yeah…I finally had guys come this past Saturday.
Moving on into the year, Hubby’s birthday is early September.  Just in time for us to be bombarded with leaves.  Remind me later, and I’ll give you the back history on our plot of land, it a little over an acre. So I’m sure you can imagine what I’m dealing with. 
 Hubby decided it’s time to asked mommy & daddy for a high-powered leaf blower.  Granted, this would be our fourth leaf blower.  One leaf blower he accidentally ran over, so it’s wrapped with duct tape.  But oh well, that’s the one I use.
Just our luck, Hubby pointed out that we ended up with another faulty dud just like our high-end weed-wacker.  By the way, the fancy leaf blower is heading into the shop first thing tomorrow.  FYI He keeps the repair men on his speed dial.
This morning while out on my morning jog (which really had me thinking on this subject), I noticed a few couples out primping their yards.  Both couples were indeed very much middle aged.  One lady was instructing her hubby on digging a hole so she could do some planting.  I could tell she was in charge.  Another lady was instructing her hubby on trimming their much-overgrown tree. I could tell she was charge too.
All in all, cooking, cleaning, and gardening…if you have a hubby that does one of the three consider yourself lucky.  If you have a hubby that does two of the three consider yourself insanely lucky.   This afternoon, (while winding down our long holiday weekend with a broken air conditioner) after asking hubby to take down some much needed bushes he told me he need a new chain saw.  What do you think?
To be continued…


Monday, May 27, 2013

Gotta Have 'em... Glass Storage Containers

Monday - Getting Organized 
Ok, how many of you have switched all your food storage over to glass?  It has taken me a little while but I am slowly getting there.  My friend Colleen ( I call her Martha if that tells you anything) first introduced me to them.  She brought me and Janice, a co-worker friend, lunch in one. Ahhh! I started with a couple from The Container Store.  Below.You know me--love the green silicone seal lid!!
Then, a few months ago, I bought these from Bed Bath & Beyond.  I used  my coupon! Such a great price!!! Just a clear seal.   
I am looking to add a few more  to my collection.  Their compact, stack able and attractive!  Plus, I know it's strange but just like with my shoes (see Spring Organizing )  use see them you wear them.  Here you see it and you will eat it. Because it's all neatly stacked!   
Below,  just the other day while reading Martha's June issue I  noticed she has a  set for
Macy.  Here I love the Blue green tint seal!!  Decisions...Decisions!  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Just A Few Things For Some Easy Summer Entertaining!

I wish I has some really exciting new adventures to report to you for this summer...but I don't.  Though it appears that I will be knocking off a few things from my home list - see "Cleaning the Ritz Way".  I do think we'll  manage to hit a few summer outdoor concerts.  Pat Benatar is playing at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens...gotta see Pat! Then their is  Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan (my favorite) and the Allmen Brothers to name a few.  Perhaps we'll take in a movie or two...who knows.  And finally, we'll manage to do a wee bit of entertaining.  You know Father's Day is fast approaching!  
I have been eyeing these Williams Sonoma bamboo servers for some time.  I almost bought them last year when I  gave Hubby a  Birthday party.  Perfect to toss a salad!  

Oh, then there are my cute cast iron skillets, which I talked about here.  I forgot to mention earlier to you that you can buy then in different size.  Perfect for your 4th of July blackberry cobbler!

I have been eyeing these canning jars from Crate & Barrel since Jan.  I was trying to figure out how to organize my disastrous spices...more on that later!  I don't do canning but I love them.  I'm going to grab  a few for picnics and I can always use them as drinking glasses. they come in different size & you can stack them.
We have been invited to a Memorial day party this weekend and I'm  taking  Ina's Sun-dried tomato dip from my all time favorite The Barefoot Contessa.  Which is full of easy summer time recipes.! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Bathroom Reno!

It's Tuesday and time for some  "Serious Decorating".  Where am I these may ask?  I'm in another house thats needs a reno!!!  And I have another bathroom to gut...errr!  Earlier this past year while hanging out at the bookstore and catching up on my magazines I came across this beautiful vintage bathroom in House & Home March 2013 issue.

You can check out the  full tour video for yourself here.  I love it!!!  

P.S.  I finally got my subscription to House & Home How fantastic is that?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Loving Aerin Lauder's New Lipsticks!

This past March after spotting Aerin Lauder’s new lipsticks, I had to grab one.  Admittedly, I was first drawn to the sleek gold compact case.  So naturally I called my best friend Susan, whom I’ve known since I was five and she was four.  Basically she is my sister, I’ve written about her several times here and there.  She lives for this kind of stuff and she knows me all too well!   
I remember when I first discovered Lush (which seems like a million years ago) way before they were here in the States.  I thought Whoo I have a tip for her but it was way too late. She, of course, was already on top of Lush. 
Anyway, I knew she would know what color I needed.   And she did indeed… She recommended the Camellia. 

Susan had a birthday coming up so Camellia for me and Tulip for her!  Trust me, I don’t always go around buying friends lipstick but this is my Sis after all!  I especially love the little hint of rose scent!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Who Wants a Pretty Linen Closet?

I do!!  OK we’ve been in our house longer then I’m going to admit to you.  It’s embarrassing that my sheets pillowcases—twins, queens, and kings—are piled high in two stacks in my guest room (which is finally getting painted this weekend).   I did manage to take all my old Ralph Lauren sheets to Good Will last year…Yeah!  The one pair of sheets that I donated was his homage to the Victorian era.  Funny, I just spotted those sheets while on a home tour a few weeks ago.   Anyway, you can’t keep them all, especially when you used to be a sheet-oholic!

I won’t get into the long story but my linen closet is in a bathroom that needs gutting.  Short story is I’m at least going to get the sheets sorted by using these linen containers from the Container Store.  I actually spotted them while shopping for something to sort all my handbags and read a review how a  lady suggested using them for sheets…Perfect!

On a quick side note a few years ago I wrote this:
This past fall, I wrote how I wanted to organize my blog a little (see Best Tomato Pie Ever). It looked a little something quite like this:
 Monday “Kicking the Week off Right & Getting Organized”
Tuesday –
How about
“Down with Some Serious Decorating”
-Hump day...time for something fun such as,“Girl Stuff
Thursday of course was going to be getting ready for the weekend. You know "Happenings Around the South". A few places that I’ve been (still have yet to talk about the Hermitage home with all its original wallpaper). Where does the time go?

With leaving Friday as you guessed it, the weekend and time for “Recipes & Entertaining” So here you go. 
I may give Thursday a quick tweak!

Gotta Have 'em...Mini Cast Iron Skillets!

I can’t believe Memorial Day is just around the corner!  And then Father’s Day will be here before you know it!  I still don’t know what we’re doing this year but last year for father’s day I bought these adorable cast iron skillets that I had spied in Southern Living.   Even did the berry cobbler recipe shown below with it.  Hubby actually whipped it up but I gave him the recipe and bought the skillets for him! 


I love these mini cast iron skillets…sky is the limit with them.  While on vacation in Santa Fe we went to a restaurant called Graham’s (actually it was in Taos) and they served anything in the cast iron skillets: from my Mac & cheese with green chilies to my blue corn enchiladas with green chilies.  Though I did not have the dessert with green chilies, I did spot the waitress carrying out a few desserts in my cast iron skillets.
Just this past Sat, on my way out for my jog (always have the Food Network on),  Ina was doing a delicious slooking brownie in yet again my adorable cast iron skillets.  Love them!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's Not Too Late for some Spring Cleaning!

I haven’t even been home a week yet and the reality of my home projects have kicked in:  

·         Gutting a bathroom (perhaps adding that coffee bar in there for our new Santa Fe Starbucks coffee mug)

·         Painting my home office (perhaps finally getting a desk in there…could be helpful)

·         Painting the guest room (perhaps putting some sheets on the bed…could be nice especially if we have a guest!)

·         Painting Hubby’s home office (perhaps putting away his high school yearbooks)

·         Having Frank (the new man in my life) build bookcases in Ellie’s chipmunk-stalking room

·          Installing French doors in my dining room

·         Getting the toilet changed in my powder room

·         Painting the incredibly ugly brick wrapped around my house

·         I will spare you my jungle that awaits me outside! 

As I was just talking to my neighbor about vacations—she is getting ready to go on one, whereas I just came back from one—we got on the subject of house projects. Now this could have had something to do with me complaining just about everything that I mentioned above, but, like she said, “Where does one start”… ahhhh! 

 Of course, all these projects have been lurking around and have been neglected for some time, but as I told myself, once back from vacation they would have my full attention. But that’s not even true, because I have no $$$, and this is something that Frank does not want to hear.  Though, before leaving for vacation, anything having to do with spring cleaning had my deepest attention. 

Most people who know me know that I hand mop my floors every Sat.  It is indeed  the only type A personality that I have.   My mother- in-law even gave me a Swifter last year for my birthday,  to somewhat ease my burden.   But, there is nothing like my good old vinegar and water.  Most importantly, I got this confirmation from the Ritz!  Check this out!

Friday, May 3, 2013


I Need SHOOZ!!

OK…I’m off to Santa Fe this weekend and have absolutely no shooz to take with me!   Now, I realize this is not a hard packing task for most women.  There are women out there who have the perfect shoes for every scenario – jaunting through the airport, strolling the seaside villages, and, something I never been a fan of hiking through the rugged rainy mountains.  Once, while on vacation in Vancouver, after doing some heaving duty walking in the city and by not packing the right shoes -  I spent the entire afternoon trying to find a size six tennis shoes, only to learn that Vancouver  is heavily populated , and I do stress heavily, with size 6 women.  I’m the type of person who of course never packs the right stuff and ends up packing shoes I never wear, dresses that I never wear etc. etc.  Getting comments and looks from Hubby, Mother – in-law, friends, you name it “That’s what you’re wearing”  “Yes,” I say in response, “I’ll be fine”.  Only to make it down the road wishing I had some comfortable SHOOZ!  This time though, I told myself things would be different!

Three weeks ago, after I started changing out my wardrobe  to decide what I would need this spring and summer season, and to take on my approaching trip to Sana Fe, Shooz were a major thing on my list.  Here’s where I am:
Two weeks ago, I blew a whole day at work tracking down these incredibly cute Tory Burch Espadrilles.  The UPS guy delivered them just this past Thursday…Ahh so happy!   Now I knew in the back of my mind these would probably not be the most practical shoes for my trip to the Southwest.  But hey, once I tracked them down, I figured I’ll have them for when I get back.

I do realize that I need a pair of cute, comfortable Shooz to get through the airport, Shooz for strolling the streets and Shooz for a dinner night out or two.  And of course, I’ll have to pack my beat-up, ragged tennis shooz that I have to have to jog in.  Last Friday, I came home with these cute wedges. Not at all expensive—If something happens, who cares.  My thinking was I could break them in for my dinner night out with Hubby.  Oh no, I barely made it  down my stairs and realized that I could probably fall off these Shooz and break my ankle. If I’m scared to go to dinner in them…end of story.

The last time I saw my hairdresser, she made the comment that the last several times she has seen me, I’ve been in my willies.  They were the best investment I made last fall.  I have the flat green. 

It was calling for rain last weekend.  Guess who was scheduled to do the Inman Park home tour? I’ve been doing these home tours long enough and I know how they operate – you have to either take off your shoes or put on booties to go into each house.   After all, who wants complete strangers walking around their home with wet, dirty Shooz?  Not wanting to deal with my hunter boots, I left them at home…of course, it poured, wishing the whole time I had these flats that I had been eyeing. 

 I wanted the Tory in navy, which would go with everything this spring and summer, but she was  out.     I did find the Hunter flats, but the stores that had them did not have the colors I wanted.  Ewww… would have to order.  But really, this is something that can wait until I get back. After all, how much does it rain  in the desert?  By coincidence, just today, I had an early morning meeting over by Nordstrom’s, so I went to try them on for size.   I would never do neon color…but size 6 black…hmmm!  I picked up a few other things that I needed, and had visions of my new leather wedges getting drenched…after all, they’ll fit nicely in my tote.  One day left...Wish me luck!!!