Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. Thanks to some the amazingly creative fellow bloggers I frequent, I have been coveting a cloche, so I can try my hand at creating some fun little "domed masterpieces." I finally found one and I just love it. How about this baby pineapple? Who knew fruit could be so fun.
2. I got the coolest xmas gift from my brother Jeff this year. It is a digital frame that is wireless - it has its own email address, so you just email your photos over and, as if by magic, they appear! I finally got it all set up and now I am trying to fill it full of pictures I love! Thanks Jeff!!!
3. I decorated for easter today. I bought a cute egg wreath for my front door (love it) and a really cool basket centerpiece for my table. I will post my easter pics in the next few days. It's beginning to look a lot like spring here at Dove Canyon Cottage.
4. I'm having nephew withdrawls. I have been sick and then he has been sick and well...I miss the little guy. He is finally feeling better and I'm counting the days to a playdate with him in the near future. Rumor has it that he has two new teeth - can you imagine how cute that looks?
5. Tim bought me two sparkly new things from Brighton today - a necklace and the matching bracelet. I am so spoiled!
6. We also happened into the pet store and checked out some four legged friends. I really want a small dog and he really wants a boxer - very different ideas of the perfect first dog. We may have found a breed that we can both agree on - The Cavalier King Charles - who I would probably have to name Charles just because how could you not! :) I mean seriously...
7. I am itching to go antiquing again.
8. I was thrilled to see SNL come back this past Saturday. That writer's strike went on WAY too long. There was a silly skit called "I drink your milkshake" and the theme song is stuck in my head. Don't ask...
9. My March and April are looking like they are going to be some very busy months. We have Easter, a wedding (Tim is the best man so there will be a rehearsal in there too), Nick's first Birthday, and our trip to Chicago the first week in April! Talk about a lot to look forward to.

10. I found a new catalog that I love - for a company called "Ballard Designs." They have so many great things - they have a cool website too, but for some reason, it is more fun to flip through and dog ear the pages. If you haven't seen it before, you should check them out.

Hope you are having a great week so far, my friends.

All Things French...

Out of all the art at the canvas art store, this just screamed my name.
I think the gold tones really compliment my new sofa and pull the look together.
Makes me want to step right into it and go have a fancy drink at the bar.
C'est Bon!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Home Grown

And isn't it just so pretty and pink!
Here are six for this fine Saturday evening:
1. Tim and I are going canvas art shopping tomorrow. I am super excited. I am coveting a French themed canvas piece that has some gold tones to tie together my formal living room. I have a blank wall just crying for some canvas.
2. My nephew Nick's Big First Birthday is coming up at the end of March. I can hardly believe it has been a year since he became part of my life. This time of year makes me look back fondly on his birth and first day home from the hospital - so close to Easter time. What a joy he was then and what a joy he is. What can I say, I love the boy.
3. Speaking of Birthdays, my big 3-0 is coming up in a few months. I would like to accomplish the following before the big day...*Get Engaged (again/finally), Shed a few pounds (again/finally :), work on being a little more peaceful, rush around less, and enjoy life a little more. As Jen would say, become a "better me."
4. I have needed to clean out my purse for a week. Have I done it yet? No. I can just hear my brother saying it...SIMPLIFY! I have no concept of this word. Let's add that to the list.
5. Okay, I have a new TV addiction and it is Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker starring the completely awesome Patti Stanger.
If you haven't seen it yet, you don't know what you are missing. Check it out...Seriously...Do it.
Have a great weekend, friends.

Such A Treat

Check out the beautiful dinner that was waiting at home for me after a long day at work! After coming to the conclusion that we eat out WAY more than two people should, Tim and I made a resolution to find some great new recipes (hopefully healthy ones too!) and start enjoying our new home by dining in more often. So, he decided to surprise me by making this wonderful dinner tonight - lightly breaded lemon chicken cutlets with an olive salad. I think he did a fabulous job on the presentation too! I couldn't help myself, I had to snap a shot of it in all of its lemony glory. I can't wait to share more recipe success stories!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who Doesn't Love...

Who doesn't love a relaxing bath?
I have to say it is one of my favorite indulgences!

One of my favorite parts of my new house
is my huge master bathroom and my amazing bathtub.
I always wanted a bath tub that you step up into and finally got my wish.
And being the spoiled girl that I am, I got so many Origins Goodies
for Valentine's Day from
Tim including this...

I tell you, there is no better place to drown your sorrows.
Hope you are all having a great Thursday.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chicken Soup Girl

I am back - after four days nursing a very bad flu/cold. I still can barely walk up and down the stairs without getting winded. Thanks to a lot of Tylenol Cold Nightime, I have managed to sleep away most of the time in between small doses of apple sauce, string cheese and a few other weird things I've been craving the last few days. I've never been much of a chicken soup girl...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A day to celebrate...

My friend Jonathan is one of the biggest blessings in my life and tomorrow, he will be celebrating his birthday. He is one of those people who just makes your day every time you see him - his humor, loyalty, and ability to put any situation into perspective makes him one of my very favorite people. So for him, this cake from Martha Stewart (his favorite!!) seems like a very fitting tribute. Thank you for your friendship, your support and for helping me always find the silver lining right when I need it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Heart Shaped Memories

Cupid's annual visit is right around the corner and it makes me think about the 28 Valentine's Days I have celebrated in my life. Some of my best memories are from my childhood, which is really no surprise because my mom worked so hard to make our holidays so special. I remember I was in 4th grade or so and we had to make creative boxes to bring to school to keep our Valentines in. My mom (as usual) went so far overboard with mine. We must have spent two hours at Michael's buying all of the fun trim to decorate my box with. I was so proud to take it to school and proudly display it on my desk. I think of all of the things I have learned from my mom and one of the most valuable lessons is to give 100% of yourself to everything you do.
Hope you all find a little time this week to make a Valentine memory or two.

Six on Sunday

1. This week was crazy and tiring. My cat's recovery was halted when she outsmarted the e-collar and nibbled at 2 of her 8 stitches from her spay surgery on Tuesday. One frantic ride to the vet, and she was fixed with 2 staples (ow-wee) and fitted with an even less attractive e-harness which made it nearly impossible for her to walk. I broke down and took it off because it seemed too cruel to even tolerate. We are experimenting with other solutions and counting the days until Friday the 15th when stitches come out for good and we have our happy, healthy, collar-free cat back!

2. I am torn about this upcoming election. After hearing Mitt Romney's concession speach, I almost thought I would have backed him all along had I known more about his take on the state of our country. None of the candidates really "speak to me" yet. As a woman, I would love to back Hilary but I am still not sure if I trust her 100%. I heard something that infuriated me which was that a lot of people felt like they could vote for Hilary and if she stumbled her husband would step in and help her run the country. That totally defeats the idea of nominating a woman in the first place, at least in this feminist's mind!

3. I am really looking forward to Valentine's Day this year. I have worked every Valentine's Day for the last 11 years and was always too exhausted to really and truly enjoy the evening's festivities. It will be nice to have the day off this year and not be in ground zero of Valentine's Day Retail (aka American Greetings).

4. We just found out that Tim's other sister Erin is pregnant with her third baby! Let's do a quick nephew count. On Tim's side we have Cody (16), Drew (2 almost 3), Zack (almost 5), Shane (2 almost 3), Ryan (due in March) and now this little one who will arrive in early fall 2008. For my side, I have my nephew Nicholas who will celebrate his very first birthday in late March. Our children will be so blessed to have so many cousins to have fun with and learn from!

5. I love gardening - I know next to nothing about it yet, but can hardly wait for the nice weather to master the art (and spend some quality time outside).

6. I am FINALLY going to Home Goods this afternoon. That store is like my home away from home and I haven't been in almost a month!! You would think my $200 in gift card money would have burned a hole in my pocket, but I've just been so busy. I can hardly wait to see what new treasures they have for me today!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Road to recovery...

Has begun for my baby Rio. I am thrilled to report that her surgery went very smoothly and she is back home at Dove Canyon Cottage resting comfortably tonight. The only hitch for her tonight (aside from some grogginess) is this sad little plastic "elizabethan" collar that she has to wear for two weeks to keep her from pulling at her stitches. I feel bad for her because it is hard for her to get comfy with it. I am just really relieved that my baby is okay.

You have to admit, the little bow makes it more stylish, right? At least that is what I keep telling her. Hope you are all enjoying your Tuesday evening.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Tim and I went engagement ring shopping today...for the second time. I think we are getting close to the big moment and it is really exciting. As you may or may not know, I have been engaged, married, and divorced (not necessarily in that order) once already. I learned so much from that experience and think I am definately going into this commitment a lot smarter, wiser (let's not say the word older, shall we?) , and perhaps a little less starry eyed. Six years after my first proposal, the ring is really the only thing I have left of that life - I just don't quite have the heart to get rid of it, even still.
The funny thing is, I am still leaning towards a very similar style - timeless platinum band (simple and classic) and a princess cut stone. I was looking at round cuts tonight but my eye always goes back to the princess - I guess even after so many years, my taste has not changed. I cannot wait to see what the final result will be and to see how Tim will pop the question. He has such a unique and classy style, I am sure he will come up with the perfect way to do it. This year just gets better and better!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Throw out the scale...

And whip yourself up a little batch of this amazing croissant bread pudding from my favorite Food Network celeb Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa). It is as rich and indulgent as it is beautiful. I am making this special treat on Sunday to bring to my staff on Monday during our annual inventory. Hope you enjoy it as much as we will...
Croissant Bread Pudding
3 extra-large whole eggs
8 extra-large egg yolks
5 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 croissants, preferably stale, sliced horizontally
1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Set the custard mixture aside. Slice the croissants in half horizontally. In a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently.
Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn't touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lil' Rio

This snazzy little princess is my cat Rio, who in lieu of children and dogs, gets all of the attention and focus in our household. She is really my shadow - anywhere I am, she is there. That is how we operate. I have been putting off having her spayed because I have been dreading the idea of having her go through surgery and god forbid having anything happen to her. Those fears have only worsened since I lost my other cat Roxy very suddenly in December (that is a blog for another day.) I know it is silly to be so frightened because it is a very common surgery and I know in my heart that she will be fine - but I still worry. Anyway, I finally broke down and made the appointment for Tuesday. I guess there is a new laser surgery that is more comfortable for cats, so needless to say, we will be springing for the extra money to get her the best care possible. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers on Tuesday - I will be so relieved to have her home safe.
Hope you all are having a nice Friday evening.