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Monday, February 28, 2011

Pretty Pictures

Yay! I got a new camera! I finally upgraded from a 5mp to a 14mp. What a huge difference in picture quality! So, you know, like a little kid I went around taking pictures of everything ;P. Hope you have as much fun seeing them as I did taking them :)


The is a corner of the dining room

 View from the front door

Living room side table

 Jazz - those are her real lips, too :P
Chef 1 in dining room

 view into dining room

 Chef 2 in dining room

Apothecary jars <3

 Tip: For making a smaller room appear larger - use larger furniture. Yes, larger furniture, like you can see I've done.  Sometimes, lots of smaller furniture can make the room seem cluttered with no real flow. But, try not to cover your windows with the large furniture. Light is also, a factor in making a room feel more open and spacious.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thank You for Today

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa
Life is not guaranteed for tomorrow...Love everyone and live everyday as if it were your last  and be sure to surround yourself with beauty<3

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine, Valentine.

Happy Valentine's day! Hope today is a special day for you all! Not only is it Valentine's Day,  but it's my wedding anniversary, too. Woot Woot! So, I'm sure hubby will have a surprise for me and a yummy dinner in store. (I'm crossing my fingers for steak - he makes them so good)
In honor of the holiday, I decorated with this simple centerpiece made with a candy filled hurricane.  ( hawthorne hurricane can be found here) The possibilities are endless.




Tip: For making your small dining room appear larger, use a glass top table. I have a small dining room myself and I believe that if you use a glass top table, it opens up the space and makes it appear larger.If your vision is allowed to go through, it has an allusion that the space goes further than it would with a wood top table.

Happy Valentine's Day!
ps.  Tell me your most memorable Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Italian Cheesecake

I have to first tell you the story of what possesed me to make this at 7:00 this morning...So, we just bought our new house in August. We have some really great neighbors. Karen, one of our neighbors, brought us over some super yummy brownies for Halloween. I had been over at their house and mentioned Jon being such a great cook and that he makes killer pumpkin pie. So, I figured for Thanksgiving, we'd be making them anyway, that we would make them one, too. Well, four burnt pies later, it didn't work out for Thanksgiving. We tried again for Christmas...No luck. I will blame it on Jon, though. He asked me to watch them. No way! I tend to multitask and if its not my project its liable to get ruined. (wait, what am I talking about. It'd probably happen if it was my project) I just need to get out of the habit of trying to do too many things at once. But, hey! In my defense, there are not enough hours in a day. So,here it is Valentine's Day on Monday and my cheesecakes turned out perfect!! Smooth and no cracks!
Here's the recipe for ya if you want to try it out. Let me know how it comes out!

1 lb. ricotta cheese,( room temperature)
2 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz. each) (room temp)
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 tsp. lemon juice & a couple shreds of lemon zest ( 3-4)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. flour
1 pt. sour cream


 
Blend ricotta and cream cheese well. Blend in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, lemon juice, cornstarch, flour and butter. Fold in sour cream and blend well.
Pour into a 10 inch buttered springform pan. (For the ones pictures – I just purchased 2 large premade graham cracker crusts from the grocery store) Pre heat to 325 degrees. Bake 1 hour. Do not open oven door. Turn off oven and leave in for another 2 hours without opening oven (no peeking). Take out and cool in refrigerator. You can leave it plain or add your favorite cheesecake toppings.
(click on the images to bring up the larger image - see how smooth? ok, I don't do this very often, that's why I'm so excited it turned out)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome To My New Home

Thank you for joining me at my new blog home. I've been blogging for years and most frequently post @ Stitchin' Heaven, where my full time amazing job is. Although, I love what I do, so not sure I can call it work :). I've been a guest blogger along with a blog swapper!  I am so excited to now be a part of the willowhouse sisterhood. Thank you to my amazing sponsor, Carmen Hamilton @ Front Porch Welcome!
You know what else is so exciting for me & this blog and being a part of Willow House?  My husband and I just purchased our very firt home, in August. So, "Welcome To My New Home" has an even deeper meaning for me. 
I will use this place for design inspired by everything @ home, for the family, tips for your home and your life, giveaways (of course!) and insight...And to learn from you!
 So welcome! Stay while. Let me know what you think!


My intrigue with apothecary used in design has turned into an obsession! These jars are the best for bringing  hints of nature indoors and adding texture to any space.
xo ~niki