Sunday, October 28, 2012

The story of a CHEAPO re-do…

Enter Kid #4’s room
and a funky gold loveseat that opens up to a twin bed. 60’s no doubt.
Sorry for not giving you a better picture…but you are not missing much!
Didn’t want to reupholster or use so much fabric to slipcover
What to do?….Paint!
Yep…kidlet even did it. And we just used exterior paint
cause we had it. And added some fabric medium...
One coat later. Scary.
We did spray the fabric down with water…and use some fine sandpaper between dry coats
Three coats later…decided to make the pillow seat out of some cotton duck that I had laying around  This is it waiting for the pillow cover…
Ta da….Cost: Nutin.
Had the paint…had the fabric
It is not crunchy….feels more like a heavy canvas.
Perfectly do-able.
if you don’t want to pay a penny.
Mr. Stag is ok with it.
And THAT is all that matters in this casa.
well, and kid # 4

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Howloween weekend…


Monday, October 22, 2012

Caramel apples…

Remember these?
  • 16 wooden sticks
  • 16 small apples, chilled $ Click to see savings
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. 1. Push wooden sticks into the top of chilled apples. Return apples to the refrigerator until caramel is ready for dipping.
  2. 2. Place sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan; boil, stirring until dissolved. Boil, without stirring, 9 minutes or until light golden.
  3. 3. Combine half-and-half, vanilla, and salt; slowly stir into pan. Boil until candy thermometer reaches 235° (45 minutes), stirring frequently.
  4. 4. Pour caramel into a bowl sitting in a hot water bath. Swirl apples in caramel, and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper.


recipe from cooking light magazine

Sunday, October 21, 2012



Each moment of the year has its own beauty,
a picture which was never before and shall never be seen again.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall cooking…Join me…

Yep…That time of year. And while we don’t grow pumpkin and apples down here
I have enough northern roots left to want to cook with Fall.
which means I pretend 
Quintessential fall.
…Enter these two guilty characters
These two ought to be outlawed They are that dayum good together.
Regular Bonnie and Clyde of the salad set.
These two, and the fact that a very good friend who runs a 100 year old apple orchard in NY…who every year at this time…sends us a BIG box of straight off the tree apples. LOVE her and her apples!
Heirloom and tart, crisp and sweet
THAT is the fall I remember. Bring it ON!
My cooking juices get going….on windy, salty ocean swept days.
Today we are making a Quinoa salad with apples and cranberries, toasted walnuts and gouda.
I am adding the crunch of crisp fennel….that goes SO well with apples. And peppery arugula
and red onions cooked in balsamic vinegar….Red Apple. Which I so happen to have. See Bonnie above.
I like to toast the quinoa in a dry hot pan after I have rinsed it….helps retain the crunch.
Bought some cider and a whole organic chicken…so am adding them to the party.
Hellooo  smoky warm Gouda.
I make a stuffing with dried whole grain  bread, onions, celery, diced apple …some cider…and lots of fresh sage.
Stuff the hen.
Baste with extra cider….A good friend in NYC taught me this way to cook a bird in the fall….and it is oh so perfect! And smells like fall and covered bridges and picking apples and…..
The salad is truly wonderful and would make  great vegetarian fare at your thanksgiving table…It tastes so much like thanksgiving…..I think Bonnie and Clyde add the perfect touch. You can add some of the roasted chicken to the salad for the next day. It’s THAT good!
It just doesn’t like to take pics as well as it should…
Or…is that me?
Quinoa Salad adapted from this fine recipe.
Chicken….ya gotta wing it.
Bonnie and Clyde found here
I LOVE fall….even though I have to borrow some of it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Small herd…OR look what is on my wall...

very small herd
Papered in Frenchdessiner des figures bizarres
Aren’t he purty??
Temporarily housed…looking for a proper home in this casa

I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.’

~Ellen DeGeneres

Friday, October 5, 2012

YOU deserve to stay here….you really do.

   I don’t know about you….well, actually…I think I DO know a bit. Love that.

But me?  I LOVE old    I love ancient    I love vintage….I love cobblestone streets   I love sandy lanes.

I love meandering.


I love beautiful landscape. I love being connected through history in my houses and my towns….even

maybe especially…in my people. 

I live in Florida.

cue:: screeeech :: coming to a halt::


Ok…I love Disney as well as the next. No, wait, NO I don’t.

Indeed…there ARE gorgeous corners that aren’t Disney~fied in this state.

I LOVE finding them…and  love when they find me.

And when I do….I sigh a little sigh….and breathe a little deeper.  I just do. Sorry Goofy. I do.

When I can….I love finding a local hotel…Not the chain which  CAN be  wonderful and consistent.

But I love different, unique…some history…often boutique.

Boutique is maybe a misnomer…doesn’t have to be fancy, posh…I don’t need wine coming out of the walls

 but HAVE stayed in one such place… here. Oh My. Go if you can.

  Gaudy, wacky and Small works well for me.

And I search for it. Spooky is even ok…Like this place…My kids SWEAR it was haunted.


Enter: Winter Park, Florida. At the fringes of all that is Disney, in Orlando.

But oh so much more.

This past weekend we had the lovely experience of spending time in this cobblestone clad town.

We chose to stay at the vintage Park Plaza Hotel….



smack in the middle of the town…surrounded by, and above many  great unique stores and restaurants…

Speaking of stores…I Loved this place…you get to taste a bounty of different oils and vinegars….

Me? I brought home Red apple white balsamic vinegar to pair with sage mushroom olive oil.

Fall. sigh.



The streets are old cobblestone. There are also regular stores…cloaked in vintage architecture…




IMG_3783 Restaurants galore….and small parks


and train stations…





And art. lots and lots of art…and relaxation.


The hotel was everything I love….ancient  for Florida standards



creaky wood floors…brass key fobs…valet parking




and breakfast in the morning on your balcony overlooking the main street

IMG_3739 IMG_3743

The room was a touch mysterious…small doors leading…   where?  But perfect for us.



Other rooms  there are only 28  have original brick walls.

and…maybe we invited a FEW too many friends to join us

…as we enjoyed our breakfast





The more the merrier.



If you are near….Find Winter Park. Stay at Park Plaza.



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