Friday, 30 September 2011

A broke tree and a dead June bug

We had a thunder storm roll through the Dallas, Ft. Worth area last night that gave us some much needed rain here in drought stricken Texas. The strong winds rearranged most of the plants on the court yard, which is no big deal, it happens so often that we have the large pots of ficus trees bolted down, but I certainly wasn't expecting this!

This is one of the two little red oaks that my Man and I planted in 2009 to commemorate our 28th wedding anniversary and our first year in this house.

I don't know how strong the wind gusts were last night, but it just snapped this little baby in two! When I checked the rain gauge to see how much we got...

Empty! Not a drop! The strong winds must have been  blowing the rain sideways, because there was nothing in that gauge except a dead June bug!

 I guess my poor little broken tree will find it's way into my fall decor (the dead June bug will stay put)... SEE there really is a bright side to everything!

Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Have you heard about Barn Light Electric?

Barn Lights Online Contest

I heard from the grapevine... well not REALLY a grapevine, Decor And The Dog blog is where I actually heard  that the nice folks over at Barn Light Electric is giving YOU, the chance to win (1) $1,000.00 or (1) $500.00 Barn Light Electric Gift Certificate, so I'm passing the news on to you, so that you can go check out some light-fixture love too.

I seriously need a fixture over my breakfast bar and sink area, and this Cottonwood 2 light chandelier is only $199.00!

Cottonwood 2 Light Chandelier, 77-Rosewood, Chain Hung

And this 2 light ranch fixture, the Roper is only $219.00, I love the mixed metals, but if you don't, it comes in black... a little something for every taste.

7" The Roper Chandelier, Satin Steel/Satin Copper

And speaking of  suiting every taste... Barn Light Electric not only has barn lights, they also have vintage, rustic, and modern fixtures to choose from like this stunning Chayton Chandelier from the vintage collection.

Chayton Chandelier, Hickory

I found fixtures that were priced as low as $69.00 (I know, crazy right?), so go pay them a visit,  and check out for yourself some light fixture greatness at their ridiculous low prices (before their CFO finds out how cheep their selling them for) and be sure to enter the fabulous giveaway!

Here's how...

  1. Look around online at Barn Light Electric and pick lights you’d love to own
  2. Feature your lighting picks on your personal blog, and link to the lights if you can!
  3. Copy/Paste these rules at the bottom of your blog article so others can enter
  4. Once your personal article is up, you must email your blog link to: to be qualified to win. The contest ends Wednesday, October 12, 2011
  5. Don’t have a blog? Find out how you can enter by reading the Official Rules

Good luck y'all!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Grilled Salmon with Maple Ginger Glaze

I love grilling salmon, it holds up well on the grill and cooks fast, making it perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. I cook salmon year round, and this is one of my favorite 'fall' ways of preparing it, the maple and balsamic gives the fish a rich savory flavor that's perfect for this time of year.

serves 4


1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste 
1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lb side of salmon, skin on, boned and cut into fourths
vegetable oil for oiling grill grate

Heat grill to medium high heat
Generously coat grill grate with vegetable oil using a folded paper towel and long tongs.
In a small pan, mix together the first six ingredients and heat to a low simmer until glaze thickens, about 8 minutes.
Brush salmon with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
Grill salmon flesh side down for 3-4 minutes, carefully turn and grill flesh side down for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to over cook.
Drizzle glaze over fish and serve.

Make it a meal and serve over a bed of wild rice pilaf and steamed broccoli.


Knock, knock... who's there?

Fall y'all... that's who! I finally got around to hanging a fall wreath on the front door.

What took me so long you ask? Well, it's started out like this...

A big tangled mess of garland, odds and ends of fall decor from previous projects, and a very skinny oval twig wreath. I figured if I fooled around with it long enough it had possibilities...

 Tessa looks skeptical, but as long as sticks and twigs are involved, she up for it.

Somehow it all came together and the overly oval wreath works great with the tall and narrow center glass in the door.

After I finished with all the embellishments, it measures 3 1/2 feet long,  perfect for the 8 foot door.

Here's a little peak at what else will be going on at the front entry...

I know it's already been said, but I am from Texas after all, so.....


Renovated Mill in France

Good morning my friends! I will be taking a short holiday today and I'll be back on Wednesday next week. I might post once or twice but, you know, as I'll be in Rio de Janeiro I'll have to go to the beach (poor me!).

It took Noël et Rozenn Bernasconi four years to renovate this seventeenth century mill, located in the south of France. It was quite a challenge as it had been vacant for several years and was in a sorry state. Let's enjoy the tour together!







To preserve the history of the mill, Noël has retained and enhanced the original features, such as the grinding wheel, which is the starting point for the new staircase. A glass pane covers the mechanism, preserved below.





Photography by Christophe Rouffio.
All images from here.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fall Table for Two

It's fun setting a big dining room table for just 2 (think Mr. & Mrs. Smith), however, instead of being separated by the length of the table, try dining across the width of the table.

This creates intimacy, and still allows plenty of room for dramatic, large scale table decor to be placed on the ends of  the table.

I chose a neutral color scheme with lots of texture and plenty of organic elements. The animal print scarf that I used as a table runner, is the inspiration piece that the place settings are built around.

I used silver platters as chargers, lightly tarnished for added color, and topped them with heavily embossed plates and bowls in shades of cream and latte.  The small leaf shaped plates are from HomeGoods and work perfect for bread plates. The placemats have silver, copper and gold flecks in the weave, and helps tie the silver from the chargers with the gold flatware.

The champagne colored wine glasses have a light pearlescent glow that is beautiful by candlelight.

The napkins are loosely tied with twine and have a small spray of berries tucked in.

The seagrass chairs, (usually kept at the breakfast table), were brought in to add to the organic atmosphere and create more texture. I love the layers and patterns that this combination of fabrics provide.

I filled this over-sized bronzed urn with neutral colored faux fruits, pumpkins and acorns, along with some decorative spheres.

The china hutch topped with a simple arrangement of pumpkins in various shades of white, continue the  pumpkin theme, and the ornate pair of brass candelabras adds another layer of metallic color

A white pumpkin placed on the art deco style table base, adds a little unexpected whimsy and continues the
fall theme.

The pumpkin tureen and wooden salad bowl, are ready to serve up a comforting soup & salad dinner.

The vintage leopard print cloisonne and silver corkscrew awaits it's important job of opening the wine, and ties in with the animal print table runner and silver chargers.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crystallized Ginger
Apple, Dried Cherry & Walnut Salad with House Dressing
Crusty Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter
Roasted Pears and Ricotta with Raw Honey Drizzle

Roasted Pears and Ricotta with Raw Honey Drizzle

3 tablespoons sugar devided
2 large unpeeled pairs (such as Bosc or Bartlett) quartered and cored
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh whole milk ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Toss pears with lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium sized bowl.
Transfer pears cut side down to a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler.
Turn pears to other cut side and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Broil pears until sugar caramelizes, about 8 - 10 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning.
Divide pears into 2 bowls and top each with 1/4 cup of ricotta.
Drizzle with raw honey (regular honey can be substituted)


Monday, 26 September 2011

Summer House in Spain

Hello my dear friends. Welcome back! Today's house tour takes us to Spain. A combination of classic, elegant and rustic styles for a relaxed and welcoming home.

Hope you enjoyed today's tour. Let me know!
All images from here.