Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Beautifying with Color in Winter

These $1.50 primroses are an inexpensive, long-lasting way to add color to my front porch during dreary, rainy wintertime


  • I was really lazy this weekend and let my kitchen slip into messiness. Then I cooked up a big batch of spaetzle last night and didn't do a good job of washing and drying my pots and pans before I went to bed. How's your kitchen looking?
  • Look over your calendar for the few remaining days of this month. Any appointments coming up? Any bills coming due?
  • If you're a member of a book club, have you finished your assigned reading for this month?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Adding Color to Cheer Grey Wintertime

I've purchased several inexpensive potted primroses to adorn the steps leading up to my front house. For now I'm letting the moss grow, finding it pretty. Later I'll have to scrape it off to prevent people from slipping on my steps.

What can you do to add a pop of color to your home, inside and out, this winter? Your efforts might include adding plants outdoors if you live somewhere that isn't too cold; or you might choose a couple inexpensive new houseplants to keep indoors. You might swap out heavy red and green pillows and tablecloths from Christmas, for lighter pastel or fresh white pillows, curtains and decor.

Mirrors at Z Gallerie

You might add light to your home with silver and gold accents, silver trays on tabletops, or extra mirrors. Polish your chandelier to let more light shine into your dining room.

Colorful Ramekins from Now Designs, on Amazon

Warm up your kitchen with colorful utensils, teakettles, pots and pans, and baking accessories whenever possible. Try tossing a colorful scarf over the top of your coffee table or a bookcase to add color in sun-starved rooms.

Today I'll be dusting and wiping lamps and light shades, light fixtures and light bulbs to make sure as much clean, fresh, warm light is in my house as possible. What might you do to enliven and add color to your home?

LOVELY BLOGS: Butter and Brioche

Thalia blogs from Brisbane, Australia. She's a Francophile and self-taught baker. Recent recipes she's shared with her softened, muted, dreamily gorgeous photography include Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookie Layer Cake, an intriguing guest post recipe for Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary Madeleines, and Pink Pomelo and Rose Tarts with Honey Meringue.


LOVELY BOOKS: The Art of Stage Dancing

This charming book by Ned Wayburn was published in 1925. I am personally not at all interested in dancing or related topics, but found browsing through these illustrations and antique photographs immensely diverting.

The Art of Stage Dancing, at Project Gutenberg

LOVELY BOOKS: Rainbow Tarts

I am trying not to acquire too many cookbooks to take up space on my kitchen bookcase, but I think I need to prioritize room for this one! "Rainbow Tarts" features 50 tarts, each with its own gorgeous photograph. There are recipes for savory tarts as well as the sweet ones. The author runs the Griotte's blog. You can read an interview with her about the book here. The book comes out in the US on March 10. You can see a gorgeous preview of the book here.

Rainbow Tarts, on Amazon

LOVELY FOOD: 3 Minute Focaccia Mix

Yes, I am too lazy to actually measure and mix my own bread ingredients. I do rely on boxed mixes, or else nothing in my home would get baked. I've lately been bringing focaccia to parties, with great results. Everybody gobbles it up! You need a can of sparkling water or club soda to make each mix. When I use the rosemary mix, I try to pinch off fresh rosemary from one of the potted plants I keep in my kitchen herb garden. So far I've only tried the savory focaccia mixes, not yet the chocolate or raisin ones.

3-Minute Focaccia Mix, on Amazon

LOVELY SHOPS: Agnes World Rolling Pins

This store, based in Poland, sells the most incredible rolling pins! They're designed to emboss your cookies with particular shapes (especially holiday-themed ones). I'll have to get better at learning to prevent cookie spread before I invest the money and cupboard space for one of these, but I'm certainly tempted. My favorite rolling pin here so far is the one with folk patterns.

AgnesWorld on Etsy

LOVELY TV: Death Comes to Pemberley

I resisted seeing this when it first aired on PBS. I typically don't enjoy mysteries, especially not murder mysteries. This morning when I saw the show was available on Netflix, I went ahead and gave it a try. Oh my, have I been missing out! What a fun watch. It stars Matthew Rhys (who I've been enjoying watching in "The Americans") as Mr. Darcy. I put this on this morning in order to have some background noise while I worked, but found myself stopping what I was doing to watch the show more often than not! It's a three-episode miniseries, so it's easy to indulge in a brief binge watching session tonight!

Death Comes to Pemberley, BBC Official Site


Belle, Beast and Enchanted Rose Cake (Between the Pages)

Blood Orange Mojitos (Annie's Eats)

Butterbeer Hot Chocolate (Bakingdom)

Cheesy Skillet Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Baked Bread (I Am Baker)

Creamy Poblano Stovetop Mac and Cheese (Annie's Eats)

11 Pastas for Riding Out Winter Storm Juno (CHOW)

50 Bite-Sized Game Day Appetizers (This Gal Cooks)

January Cleanses and Detoexes (101 Cookbooks)

Lemon Ginger Crinkle Cookies (Lemons and Anchovies)

Mixed Berry Cheesecake Crumb Bars (Bakers Royale)

108 Super Bowl Recipes (Brown Eyed Baker)

Slow Cooker Gigante Beans with Tomatoes and Pancetta (Alexandra Cooks)

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