Friday, August 12, 2011

Things I am loving Fridays...and house updates!!

Good morning! Back and ready for anything. Feel recharged after a few days at the beach and I am ready to take on the big job that lies ahead to meet our inspection date on Aug.22nd. I cannot say enough how completely restorative and therapeutic being by the ocean is. I stayed in a beautiful home which certainly helps but being right next to the ocean, having natures lullaby, the oceans waves putting me easily to sleep and waking up to the glistening Atlantic  is just incredible. It feels so natural to me too  (I did spend much of my childhood in California and Hawaii). It was very timely as  the stress level has been off the charts for me, so this was really what the doctor ordered!

On a side note, can you imagine my delight, and sheer excitement over signing into Feedburner and discovering that I have 1002 subscribers! HOLY did that happen? I remember jumping over the moon when I reached 10, then it was 100 and dare I wish for that great big triple digit number of 500? But 1000? Seriously? I am humbled beyond words and so delighted that there are 1000 people in this great vast world of ours that think highly enough of me and my blog to want to get my daily updates and posts. This I promise my friends, will keep my adrenaline going for some time now and I will work hard to keep delivering!! Many thanks!!

Now onto the lucky winners of Phyllis Hoffman's exquisite books Gracious Table and Gracious Spaces, congratulations to:

Winners (2)
1st: pretty pink tulips

2nd: cristin simplifiedbee

Please contact me via email so that I can get your mailing info and get these right out to you..enjoy!

Now onto what I am loving this week and house updates. First we start with the house and whats happened this week, I got there at dusk so had limited light but think most of the pictures are fairly clear. I will be sure to include some beach photos in the coming days, as some of them are just so pretty and worth sharing!

HOUSE UPDATES. Kitchen is starting to really shape up, its really looking like an official kitchen! The island came and was humorously referred to by some of the guys working in the house as the "continent" not the island, its really long 12 feet long...but is in proportion with the kitchen, and I love love love the black. The boxes have been in and slowly they have been working hard to add the many "layers" that make the kitchen beautiful, all the little moldings, tow kicks, dental moldings,etc...we should be done in about a week or so. Its a long process to install a kitchen. Gutters getting installed, I have finally included some pictures of both the front facade and the back, as many have requested because though not totally done, it is getting there, the main part we are still missing is the limestone front door surround and the front door but other than that's its pretty much complete, also we have a wrought iron balcony going on the top right window. Floors continue to get done, back stair is done,staining on all the woodworking has officially started so clearly much is happening. Think the pictures will do a better job at illustrating......

Starting to really look like a house! Courtyard is getting put in....
Side entrance from basement side finished!
Gutters started getting put in, they are lead coated copper
Powder room floor
Back hall railing done.....yippee!!
Love way it came out
Powder room, partially covered but you get the idea
It was getting dark, but the island is in! So excited to see it come together

Family room done except for fireplace which we are waiting for and staining of wood
Breakfast room, is in process of getting stained
First base coat of stain then they start adding the "lime" effect then the glaze and a final coat
Looking into kitchen from family room

My vanity came in (the base) it has to still be painted this is just a primer
Tub surround (first part getting installed)
Shower surround love the marble molding that frames the shower door
Husbands vanity came in, love it...still has to get stained this is just in it natural state

Living room floors are done but just waiting for stain

Gutters being put in all over the house

Those little details on each side of the dormer got done

Finally the back of the house is pretty much done except for the finials on the roof

Now we await the stone surround for the front and wrought iron above it but getting there!

FIGS. Something simple, cheap, accessible (now is the season) and oh soooo good!! I love figs and would love to eventually plant a fig tree, it would be like the gift that keeps on giving. I love them fresh from the farm stand and I also love a salad I discovered last year and make often, it is THAT good....then had this incredible brie with figs and almonds that was so amazingly delicious, so if either of these sound might want to give them a whirl!


  • 8 black mission or Capay candy-striped figs, quartered

  • 6 oz. organic arugula, stems removed

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Juice of 1 tangerine or mandarin orange

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

  • 7 oz. goat cheese or gorgonzola, crumbled (or you can use feta)


In bowl, mix together olive oil, citrus juice, salt, pepper and cayenne until well blended.

Arrange arugula on plate and spread quartered figs on top. Scatter cheese over the salad and  top with a drizzle of the dressing.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 6 fresh figs, stemmed and quartered

  • 1 (14 ounce) round 4 1/4-inch diameter round Brie cheese

  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 C).

  2. Heat brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Add figs and vanilla, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in almonds and vanilla. Place brie wheel in a baking dish, and pour fig mixture over the top.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened but not melted. 

  4. Serve with water crackers.

CALACUTTA GOLD MARBLE. I am so in love with this marble but have gone through serious sticker shock in the last few weeks. I have traipsed the tri state area, with a good friend also looking for great looking Calacutta gold slabs, when we finally found it, we were tickled pink! Then when I proceeded to open the email with the estimate, and the supplier starts with and I quote "hope you are sitting down so as not to hit your head when you faint'. Need I say more?
There is plenty out there but the really good stuff is at a crazy premium, its all about supply and demand and unfortunately there is not a lot of really great looking premium slabs. The ones that I found that I really love are below. Anyone want to give me my marble countertops for a housewarming gift? LOL.........

CHELSEA TEXTILES. Love this company's gorgeous traditional fabrics and some of their Gustavian furniture is over the top beautiful. I love the elegant old world feel of their fabrics, which are recreated from original English and French 17th, 18th and 20th century designs that are embroidered on natural linen fabric. and could easily find a spot in my home for these bench's, small chests, and tables. What do you think? Click here to visit their website.
Really love this bench!

Great chair for a sitting room in a master

I love this for the end of a bed

So thats what I am loving this about you? What is exciting you? Discover anything you want to share? Would love to know! Wishing you a fabulous Friday and a great start to the weekend!