Monday, September 1, 2014

Will Scotland Secede from the UK?

I took this photo today with my iPhone. I was working on an ebay listing of an apron from Scotland for holding clothes pins or pegs as they say across the pond. I found a thistle in bloom to put in the tiny embroidered pocket.

Will Scotland go Independent? The vote is coming up on September 18th so we don't have long to wait and find out. I am obsessed with Scotland since I started watching Outlander on Starz. The costumes and sets are wonderful. I haven't read the book but I'm enjoying the series.
There is an article from NPR and a podcast too in case you want to know more about why Scotland would want to break away from the United Kingdom and become an independent country. I got the cupcakes photo there too. Click here to read and or listen.
I hope you had a nice Labor Day. xo

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Masterpiece Mystery

photo source
It's time for me to climb into my bed for Part 2 of Breathless on Masterpiece Mystery. Are you watching it too? xo

Potato Pancakes Cooked in Waffle Iron

Don't have a waffle iron? If you have one, use your panini press and that will work just as well. I know because I make dog treats for Webster in my press all the time.

Recipe Source
Yield: 6-8 Servings
4 cups cold mashed potatoes
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons diced red peppers
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preparation: Heat waffle iron and cover with oil. I will just spray mine with Pam. Place four tablespoons of flour onto a pie pan or a shallow plate. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Use an ice cream scooper to dump potato pancake onto plate with flour. Flatten scoop into a round disc. Place potato pancake into a waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
Don't they look and sound good? Yum.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sit and Say Goodbye to August

This looks like the perfect place to sit and discuss what happened to summer this year. Was it because there wasn't that much really hot weather or because we were too busy to notice it whizzing by? For me, it was a combination of the two. I had a real estate listing that went on the MLS on June 3rd and it closed on Thursday, 8/28. That's how I spent my summer vacation. It was a challenge, but it all worked out in the end and I'm so relieved. Enjoy the long Labor Day Weekend and be safe. xo via

Friday, August 29, 2014

Last Flowers of Summer

Enjoy the last flowers of the summer. Don't you love this lone hollyhock? I think we are going to have an early fall. I had a very busy day and it's time for me to tuck myself in bed and look for a movie to watch. xo via

Have A Happy Weekend

Isn't this the happiest dog face ever?

I wonder what Webster would do at this pool party? I named him because of his webbed feet and I thought he would be a water dog, but he isn't. Doesn't this look like a fun pool party for these water lovers? via

Enjoy the long weekend. xo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Noble War Hero Dog named Buster

Air Dog Buster, an English springer spaniel, recently retired from military duty with the RAF after serving in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Buster was a sniffer dog used to locate bombs, booby traps and other explosives planted for American and British troops. He now lives with his handler and is transitioning into civilian life. His biggest challenges? Learning to play with other dogs and sharing his toys. via

Dahlia Explosion

Isn't this a wonderful time-lapse video? I love dahlias, don't you? via

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Antiques Collection of Professor Sir Albert Richardson, P.R.A. with Video

The great eccentric architect Sir Albert Richardson filled his house with treasures. I have been fascinated by the story I posted a couple of days ago with a photo of a hallway full of antiques untouched since 1964.

Richardson’s passion for 18th-century artifacts became all-consuming. Now (September 2013) his grandson is reluctantly selling the collection (Christopher Simon Sykes/World of Interiors/Condé Nast) Be sure to read the article that goes with the above photo. You won't be able to see the other photos in the slideshow unless you subscribe to The London Sunday Times. You can read the article however HERE.

I also found the press release from Christie's in London with a video tour of Avenue House, Richardson's residence. It's amazing. The contents of Avenue House in Ampthill – the collection assembled by Sir Albert Richardson (1880–1964), architect, historian, writer, artist, teacher and sometime President of the Royal Academy – is now being sold by Christie’s in London.
“My house is my yardstick!” Richardson declared. “It is my measuring scale by which I contemplate the past and assess the future.”
Watch the VIDEO of the collections in his home HERE.

We could have been fast friends. He was definitely a kindred spirit. Enjoy reading about this wonderful man. Read one more article HERE and the sadness that was felt when his treasures left Avenue House. Sorry about so many links but I can't get enough. Enjoy. xo

Apple Varieties and Their History

I love this ink and watercolor apple chart from Etsy with the place and date of origin. Gail's favorite Gravenstein and Red Gravenstein originated in Denmark in the 1600s. Who knew?

Monday, August 25, 2014

English Manor Decor

I love this photo and the caption that came with it.
Upstairs hall, untouched since 1964 in leading British architect Sir Albert Richardson’s (1880-1964) perfect country home in Bedfordshire, England. Via Christies - London, September 2013, image by Simon Upton.
"If you don’t think this is wonderful, then you need to go to your room and think about ways to become a better person." via
This is so true. When you feel that ache, it's the true pain of nostalgia.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

An Amazing Balcony

"In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.” ― William Blake via

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Southern Gothic 19th Century Southern Cottage - Furlow Gatewood

Save this post to read on Sunday Morning. That's what I'm going to do, indepth. I'm rushing to watch the new season of Doctor Who that's recording right now.

-- article from Veranda
While it doesn't look it now, this splendid mid-nineteenth-century gothic house was sawn in half and trucked sixty-five miles through Georgia.

"Anywhere I travel, I'm always looking at houses," says Furlow Gatewood. "This one was going to be torn down."

When the structure arrived at his property in Americus, a passerby was heard to say: "There goes the neighborhood." Well, talk about premature judgments!

Sounds good, doesn't it?
View the 12-photo slide show here.
Enjoy. xo

Friday, August 22, 2014

DIY Watercolor Set in Altoids Mint Tin

This is such a cool idea. I read about it on Cool Tools. Random people submit ideas and recommendations for their favorite tools. A lady who was traveling wrote this review.

Watercolor Tin DIY (prices vary) 
(Use Fimo air-dry clay [$5] for paint reservoirs)

“People have started taking old Altoids mint tins and squirting tubes of watercolor in them and they sell these little paintbrushes at the art store. I was in London a few weeks ago and I was staying in a nice hotel with nice stationery. I pulled out my little tin and I painted a picture of The Ritz hotel while sitting having a coffee and popped a flower I had pressed in there and mailed it to my daughter who was back home.”

Isn't this a darling idea? If you are artistic, wouldn't it be nice to have a tiny watercolor set in your purse to pop out when you see something you want to capture. It's pretty easy to find the water. It would be fun making the paint reservoirs too. What a unique gift! I don't know about you, but I always save my tins. xo

Inspector Lewis is back on PBS

I am absolutely heartbroken that I just discovered these two are back investigating murders in Oxford and I didn't know about it until last night. I missed the first two episodes of Masterpiece Mystery - boo hoo. I watched episode 3 last night and enjoyed it so much. I have searched and searched and cannot find full episodes online for what they are calling Season 3. Last night's episode 3 was entitled "Dark Matter" . It's very confusing because the old series was very long running and there might be an old season 3. Let me know if you find a place I can watch the first two episodes of this brand new season for 2014. I'll let you know if I find them too. The episode I watched last night is being repeated Saturday night in case you missed it. I subscribe to emails from PBS but they failed to alert me about this favorite series of mine. Anyway, I'm glad I'm glad Lewis and Hathaway are back! xo

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Amazing House with An Amazing Tree

This tree is perfectly places. What foresight the person that planted had! It is magnificent and not too close to the beautiful home. What a place. via
I accomplished everything on my list today. I was very busy and my three appointments, closely spaced, all worked perfectly. Success! I can hear thunder rumbling in the distance so I'd better close most of the windows. See you tomorrow. xo

Wonderful Kitchen Island w/ Big Farm Sink

I really like the double farm sink, the island, and the cabinetry. Everything except the window treatment and perhaps the floor.
I would put a colorful runner in front of this busy work area and that would help the coldness of the floor. The whole room needs to be accessorized to make it warmer. I have a really busy day ahead of me and I'm trying to keep my head on straight to get everything done in an orderly fashion. See you later. xo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cotswold Cottage with Thatched Roof

There are no words, are there? It's just wonderful. via

Life's Little Instruction Book | Volume II | Page 81

A few more suggestions, observations, and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life.

This is a great page. I agree with all three points. The last one might be hard to do for a while. Here's what I'm picturing in my mind. Parent: "Okay?" Child: "No problem!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Adorable Cottage

Don't you love the brick exterior and wood shingle roof? It's tiny but it appears to have a fireplace. Let's peek in the window. via

Such a Smart Cat.

Are you impressed? I certainly am. Never underestimate the intelligence of a cat. Mine never ceases to amaze me but she would rather sit outside my window and meow her head off until I open the front door for her. The hole in this fence was put there so the owner could reach through and unlock the fence. I wonder how long it took this kitty to figure it out as well? via
We are still having cool weather and my fleece feels good this morning. See you later.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Simple, Understated, Gorgeous House

This house is an exercise in Puritan simplicity. I wish I could see the rest. via Big pumpkins on either side of the front door would look nice here in the fall. Right now, it's a blank canvas.

Lovely House - Late Summer and Early Fall

The window boxes say summer but the trees say fall. This photo shows the best of both. I love the brick and cobblestone walk.  Absolutely stunning! via
We are having the coolest August I can ever remember. It feels more like late September. I'm not complaining but it makes me realize summer's almost over. Slow down August, I'm not ready to say goodbye to you quite yet. xo

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Apple Cake Recipe Revised - So Good

I wasn't ready to give up on that low sugar German Apple Cake I posted several days ago. My first one was too dry but this one was perfect. I mixed it in my Cuisinart with the metal blade and it was less messy than bowl and beater method for such scant ingredients. I decided to make oat flour first by whizzing one cup of old fashioned oats in my food processor first and reserving them in a bowl. Then I followed the old recipe...Cream 3 Tablespoons Butter (last time I used coconut oil) with 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. I used salted butter. Add one egg and continue mixing. Combine one cup flour with one teaspoon baking powder (my oats did not make quite one cup so I was forced to add some white flour -- darn). Next time I will grind more oats. Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture with enough milk to make a stiff batter. I just dumped some soy milk from the carton and made a thinner mixture than last time that was pourable into a 9" round cake pan that was pre-buttered. Top with apples. This time I had to use 1-3/4 apples. I had a tiny bit of cinnamon sugar left over from the last time and I sprinkled it on top. I forgot to add the pats of butter on top but that was a good mistake because added butter was not needed. Bake at 350° for one hour. It was perfect and delicious. Will make this again and again. Not too sweet and very healthy. It had a cake texture instead of a shortbread texture like my first attempt. Try it, you will like it too. 

If you eat 1/2 of this cake, it will contain the same amount of sugar as one container of blueberry greek yogurt which has 20 grams of sugar or 5 teaspoons. I measured the number of teaspoons in 1/4 cup of sugar and it's 10. I think it's super healthy made with the oat flour and I'm very excited that I can eat this and not feel too much guilt. It would have been gluten free if I hadn't added the small amount of white flour. I used Pink Lady apples that are one of my favorite varieties. Don't have any apples on hand? Try peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, or even bananas. I hope I have the will will power to save a big wedge for tomorrow's breakfast. I'm posting this early in case you want to bake one for your Sunday supper dessert. xo
I just found a great article about oat flour and how to use it in baking written by the Self-Reliant Sisters. It's very informative and timely -- read it here.

Aiken SC Home - So Lovely !

Hitchcock Woods Residence. 
This red sandy dirt road brings back memories of my previous life in South Carolina.

Yes, please.
Have a great Sunday. Mine is off to a good start. I woke up early and finished a movie I started last night. Then it started raining. Then it stopped. Now the sun is out and I have blue skies and white clouds and glistening raindrops on the trees. Sounds perfect, doesn't it? xo

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Perfect House

I adore this house with the wrap-around porch and the most delightful recessed balcony on the second floor. It's perfection, isn't it? via
Have a wonderful weekend. xo

Friday, August 15, 2014

Apple Cake - Baked Today

Here it is before baking. I used a corning ware baking dish that was the size called for in the recipe. An 8" round or square would have been better. There wasn't much batter. I used raw sugar and coconut oil in the batter and raw sugar/cinnamon and real butter for the topping. Granulated sugar might have been better. Not sure.

It was more like shortbread than cake. I used only one pink lady apple. It was rather dry but I liked it. My baking powder was probably too old because it didn't rise much. Ice cream on top would have been good but I didn't have any. Anyway, I baked it and ate it. Yum.

Indoor Geranium

My indoor salmon-pink geranium continues to make me happy. I've been watering it with "blue water" and it is loaded with blossoms. I wish people potions worked this well. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Every Morning

I usually have a hard time going back to sleep once I wake up. I'm trying something new to see if it helps me sleep later instead of getting up at the crack of dawn. For the past two evenings, I have done a short workout with my hula hoop and it worked. I slept better and later. I did 10 minutes the first night, 12 minutes last night and tonight I did 15 minutes. Fingers crossed!!!

Cool Photo

I wonder if this was planned? Isn't it clever? via

1965 German Apple Cake Recipe

I picked up a vintage spiral cookbook from 1965 today and this recipe was marked with a paper clip. I was impressed by the tiny amount of sugar called for and will definitely make this German Apple Cake. When in the world have you seen a recipe that calls for only 1/4 cup of sugar? Of course there is a little more, because you have to sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top.

I will use coconut oil as the shortening and real butter to dot on top. This recipe will probably take at least 4 apples. I have Pink Lady on hand now and they are nice and sweet. I will probably cut my apples into 16ths -- not sure about that part yet. I will add the apples one at a time in case it takes fewer than my guesstimate. I will grease the pan with butter too. Yum!
I made this. See photos and my revised recipe here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall 1924-2014 RIP

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD--the first paragraph of the Vanity Fair Article March 2011
To Have and Have Not
She’s one of the last of Hollywood’s golden-age stars, the girl who stole Humphrey Bogart’s heart at age 19 and has been grappling with their dual legend ever since. Now 86, Lauren Bacall looks back on a lucky, if often difficult, life as she gives it straight to Matt Tyrnauer, talking about the effect of Bogie’s fame on her and their kids; her very brief engagement to Frank Sinatra; her stormy second union, to Jason Robards; and why she hates the Oscar she received, in 2009.

Lauren Bacall with Sophie, her papillon, in her apartment at the Dakota, in New York City. She was 86 in this photo and doesn't she look great? She died yesterday, about a month shy of her 90th birthday. Vanity Fair Magazine did a feature about her in March 2011 - read it here. The article is six pages long and it's delicious -- enjoy.


Thanks so much for all of your positive comments and support regarding my recent problem. I have the best followers!!! xo

Great Country House

Image from The Fuller View on Pinterest
This gorgeous white on white colonial home is already all decked out for the Memorial Day Weekend that's just around the corner. The summer's almost over and it has really been a great one. I haven't had my AC on for ages! We had howling wind and a really rain last night. It was predicted so I had already closed all but my bedroom windows. The curtains were blowing at a 45° angle when I bounded out of bed to close them before the rain started. I'm enjoying an overcast morning and the sun has promised to come out this afternoon. xo

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Classic Colonial

I love every inch of this white clapboard house. via

Painterly Shade Garden with Allium and Hosta

I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful garden. The Art of Flower and Garden Photography de Clive Nichols via

Monday, August 11, 2014


I love this river of succulents. via

Too many hateful comments

I can't take it any more. I deleted the post that was causing all the controversy along with each of the comments, both good and bad. Such a sad day for my blog.