Thursday, July 28, 2011

Junk-o-tique Finds

Don't you love when you go junk-o-tiquing and you don't find what you are looking for...but you do find things you are not looking for.  That's what happened to me yesterday.  

 Totally not in the market for a hand stitched tablecloth but I LOVED this one!!!  What do y'all think?  It would be fun to use at a party....I can hear the maracas now:)

And these-a pair of....placemats. OOOOPS!  Totally thought these were hand towels/napkins of some sort.  Oh well, their not.  But I'm going to pretend they are because I loved the scalloped edges so much.  Jane, Lauren...Liza-good for our Novel. par-tay coming up??!!!

What about you?  Any good Junk-o-tique finds lately???

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Food Day

Let me start by saying I am a vegetarian and Bobby Flay makes me want to eat a grilled pork chop with a side order of flank steak.  He is the grill master.  Big R received this cookbook for Christmas a few years ago and we really have only tried one or two recipes from it so far.  SO this weekend I decided it was time to break it out again and try something new.  I came across his recipe for Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Crema and Three Relishes.  Big R honestly was not too enthused at first but I reminded him we had fresh shrimp to throw on the grill that could go on top.  
(I should clarify that I am not a true vegetarian-I'm apparently a pescatarian-a fish/shellfish eating vegetarian:)

This soup was ABSOLUTELY delicious with the perfect amount of heat and seasoned to perfection!  I altered it slightly due to the fact that I didn't have or couldn't find a few of the ingredients but overall I followed it pretty closely.  Big R said it was the best soup he has ever had.  Must have been the cup of red wine added to the black beans:)

*This picture below is not of the actual soup I made because I forgot to photograph and lets be honest, this cute little orange pot was much better looking than the beat up rice steamer I cooked in:)  

Created by Chef Bobby Flay Mesa Grill, New York
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup red wine
3 cups Black beans, soaked, rinsed, drained (I used Goya canned BB)
3 jalapeños roasted, peeled and seeded
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
4 cups water (chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sweat the carrots, onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced.
2. Add the beans and reduce heat to medium. Add the jalapeños, poblano, and water and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the beans are cooked through. Remove from heat and add the lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove half the mixture and puree in a food processor, then return it to the pot and stir well.
Tomato-Serrano Relish 
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Combine in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grilled Onion Relish
1 red onion, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Brush onion slices with olive oil and grill on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly charred and cooked through. Remove and chop finely.
Avocado-Tomatillo Relish 
2 Haas avocados, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 Tomatillo, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Red onions, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Gently combine in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toasted Cumin Crema
1 tablespoon cumin 
8 ounces Crema or sour cream 
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice 
Salt and freshly ground pepper (I did not have cumin seeds so I heated ground cumin in a small saucepan for 1 minute)
1. Place a small sauté pan over medium high heat and heat until almost smoking. Add the cumin seeds and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Place the seeds in a coffee grinder and grind to a powder.
2. Place the crema in a small bowl, add the ground cumin and lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. To serve: Ladle soup into individual bowls. Drizzle with the toasted cumin cream and top with a tablespoon of each of the relishes. Serve immediately.
YIELD: 8 servings

This soup took a bit of time to prepare but well worth it and on a Saturday night we weren't in a rush.  I would highly recommend you trying it but do beware of the heat factor-it packs a punch!!!!  

Monday, July 25, 2011


Ok, so it's no secret that I love a stripe.  I have them all over my house.  My mom and dad have them all over their house too.  Must run in the family.  
Mr. Big has horizontal stripes on his walls. 

Little R's duvet covers are mattress ticking and a few pieces from blue chickadee are known to have a stripe or two as well:)

 I thought about doing stripes on Little R's ceiling before he was born but I talked myself out of it  and to this day, I kick myself after seeing pics like this...

 His were going to be blue and white.  
So, I have decided that I AM going to paint one wall of the "playroom" with diagonal stripes. 

 This color...
This design....

Ultimately looking something like this....

What do you think?  Do you love stripes too?
(only on one wall in navy blue/ pale blue stripes)

Friday, July 22, 2011


I just returned from a quick trip to Pawleys Island with the kiddos to visit my folks.....and to have my boys photographed by my great friend Emily.  (you must go to her website/blog and check out her portfolio..NOW)
I must say 15 months is a difficult age to get photographed.  Mr. Big would not sit still, always running straight to the water and Little R of course going in the opposite direction.  I wish I had taken pictures of the complete chaos but I was too busy running around catching Mr. Big.  Once Emily posts the pics, I will most definitely share.
  Back to our trip, we had a blast but it went by too quickly.   I may have mentioned before, but Pawleys is truly my favorite place on earth.  I can't get enough of the place.   This is where I came every summer growing up, so my best memories are here.  Time stands still.  
This was my last trip of the summer so I thought I would share a few of my favorite shots from around the house...

driftwood found under the house after hurricane hugo

zig zag painted pillow blue chickadee

heron painting by your truly

shells collected by the crew

navy heron pillow also by blue chickadee

the crew

*you may understand now where I get my love of stripes:)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Parsons Table Redo

Remember these?  I was supposed to blog about these last week showing you my finished product.  Well, of course I didn't get a chance to finish but at least I am almost there...  

I have one question for you?  I was thinking about continuing the green stripe down the middle of each of the 4 sides.  What do you think?  I feel like it needs a little more interest...

I still need to touch up with the Talipot Palm paint and give it a good coat of Water Based Polyurethane. Next up, where to put these guys????  Sell them or keep them?

Any and all feedback would be much appreciated.  
I spy Graham dog, do you?

On another note, I just could not wait another day to post about my foodie loves, so here I go.  Do you have a Whole Foods nearby?  If so, go immediately and get these three things and you can thank me later.  I am not one who often tries new things at the grocery.  When I know I like something, I will get it 100 times over.  But this past weekend I was stopped by the cheese guy who gave me a sample of the below trio....ummm, now words here for how good this stuff is.   You have to get all three in my opinion!  The perfect hors d'oeuvres-(seriously can never spell this word!!!)


(this is a pic of what's inside the yarra feta container)


An explosion of goodness in your mouth!!!!
The cows milk feta is creamy and smooth marinated in the most delicious herbs and olive oil.  And the Divina Red Roasted Tomatoes at Whole Foods are out of this world!!!!  All brought together with the most delicious wafer style cracker.  I'm telling you what, I have found my go to app here!  

*all images via google

Friday, July 15, 2011

Circle of Trust

I have decided to start posting, once a week (hopefully) on what's happening at Novel.  I've gotta thing for yellow these days...why yellow?  Well, I suppose it has something to do with the fact that it makes me think of
Do any of you suffer from that seasonal depression thing?  You know what I'm talking about?  Well, I have it.  I'm convinced.  I LOVE the summertime.  My happiest time of the year!  The long days, beach, boating, tans, etc.... 

 I am not a fan of cold, dreary, wintry weather.  You?  

So, I'm getting to my point. YELLOW.  I thought I would feature some of my YELLOW finds around Novel. to tie this post all together.  Right....

This idea may have all started with my to go lunch from Caviar and Bananas?!?!?!

Out of this world yellow tomato, feta and watermelon stacked salad garnished with mint.  I could eat it everyday.  I so should have taken a picture of it because it was truly beautiful but guess what, I didn't.  My camera was even sitting in the off position right beside me.  Next time.  On with this post...

Jane Pope Collection
Vertical Monera Ring

Library: Archives of Fashion
The Forever Scarf

Blue Chickadee
Yellow Circles
4 part painting

Can you guess where I got my inspiration?  Love this above photo.  Two of my favorite combos.  Circles and Chevron, all in yellow to boot!!!

PS.  I have to share my plans for tomorrow night because I am so excited!!!  Any of you seen Horrible Bosses?  I'm going with Big R tomorrow night and I honestly cannot wait!  I want to laugh out loud til my cheeks hurt!!!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Blogger

Yes, we can all agree that it could not be any hotter outside, right?  What better reason to stay inside, hop on your laptop and check out some good reads, like With a Little Style and Ease!  Liz was kind enough to invite me over as a guest blogger today.  If you haven't checked out her blog yet, definitely check it out!  Liz is a stay at home momma too who loves to blog about cooking and interiors.  We "met" a few months back when she ordered an alligator tote from me and we struck up a little online convo about starting up a business as a new mother.  Well, since that last email, Liz has decided to start her own blog!!!  Congrats to you Liz and thanks for having me over!!!!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Clownin' Around

 Is this little guy not the cutest clown around?  

Little r has been going to circus camp with his little friends this week and has been having a ball...learning all kinds of tricks to come home and try out on both momma and mr. big.  
My mom has nicknamed baby g mr. big and i think it's only appropriate:)

I thought I would share a few things I have been up to this week thus far...

I am in the midst of changing these bad boys from black to white with a little geometric design on top....perhaps a little talipot palm...hmmmm...

My goal for the week is to get these finished, so I am hoping planning to get you some after pics in a few days.

Here are some great geometric prints I'm loving at the moment.  I actually have this green geometric fabric in my house:)

3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup V8
2 cups Zing Zang
2 chopped and seeded cucumbers
1/2 onion chopped-Vidalia preferably
few dashes schricha or tabasco
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon squeezed
1-3 smashed garlic cloves
ground pepper

*add boiled and shelled shrimp if you like

And last but not least, I finally made it over to Southern Accent to check out the two booths featuring a few blue chickadee pieces.

The first is Charleston Revisions

The next booth is Sidney's with Eclectic Interior Design

I WANT this mirror!!!!!!

These guys hung somewhere in Eclectic Interior Design's booth but not anymore....They SOLD!!!!!  Yay!!!!!

Get yourself over there to check out these fabulous booths for yourself!!!!

* ps-just when i am feeling so productive cleaned (sort of), checked off to do list (for the most part), 1 1/2 children bathed...THEN
Mr. Big walks around the corner with an EMPTY wine glass. (he was the 1 of the 1 1/2 bathed-Obv)
OH S&^%!!!!!
Folks, I am not  a white wine drinker.  I know, it does not make sense to me either, but I have never liked white wine.  I am a red wine drinker 12 months of the year and yes, my wine glass WAS half full of good ole Crane Lake Pinot Noir and now
This little big guy found my glass on the side table by this canvas colored sofa you see above and lets just say I have spent the better part of my night washng, oxy cleaning, scrubbing, drying our sofa.  Whahhhhh!!!!
Thank the lawd for Oxy Clean is all I have to say:)

*all geometric prints from pinterest

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Phone + Camera Dump = Random Post

Happy belated Fourth to all of you!!!  I am running way behind (as usual) and am just now sending out this post from the end of JUNE!!!!  I can't get it together-EVER!!!!  I try but I still am finding it hard to juggle being a momma, working/painting at Novel. and keeping up with day to day life!!!!

Here are some recent happenings in my life..  
My friend Sidney, bought these chinese framed prints for her booth at Southern Accents here in Mount Pleasant, and sprayed them white.

I then painted them this gorgeous golden yellow.  
Added painted white seahorses.  
And voila.  
If you are interested in buying these, go check out her booth-it's worth the trip to see all of her "eclectic finds!!!!" Or you may contact me and I can put you in touch.

We have also been suffering from a case of "mischief" at the homestead with a side order of "Whaaaaa!!!!"

But then we have nap/rest time and all is good:)

On to more painting news...

I also had the opportunity to paint a few paintings for some girls who also opened a booth at Southern Accents, called Charleston Revisions.  This series three lighthouses will hang above a twin bed in their booth.

This poppy painting below is another painting that is in the Charleston Revisions booth.  It coordinates with this Hable Construction Clover Poppy fabric (see below).

This is a snap shot of a few totes hanging in Novel.  A great gift for both young and mature for only $14!!!!!

I'll end on this sweet note.  Our dear friend, Miss Perri had the boys over to man a lemonade stand a few weeks ago.  They had a ball and of course reached for "the money box" each time a friendly neighbor approached:)  W need to work on manners and apparently putting a smile on our face (below far right is little r scoffing at something!!!)

Happy Friday to all!!!