Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blueberry "Delish"

Hello, friends! I'm still catching up after being in Texas visiting family and friends.  We had a great time and I'll share a few things from our trip soon, but in the meantime I'm reposting this blueberry salsa recipe from last summer, so I hope you don't mind.  Try it out and leave me a comment letting me know what you think.  It's a favorite of ours and the blueberries look awesome right now!

If you are an avid Southern Living reader, you have probably seen this Blueberry Salsa recipe before (it's been around a long time!), but I decided to share it today, as it's a tried and true favorite in my household and at my parties.  Plus, with blueberries at the height of their season, this is an economical crowd pleaser to whip up for your next gathering. Try it with chips or as a garnish for fresh fish off the grill.  Your guests will envy your gourmet taste and prowess!

Enjoy this sweet summertime taste!

Blueberry Salsa

2 cups fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup whole fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 8 hours.**

**I prefer this chilled, when all the flavors have had time to mingle!

Recipe from Southern Living, July 2010 (most recently).  Click here to view other fabulous blueberry recipes!

Photo by Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beautiful Hamptons Tablescape

These gorgeous images came to me via One Kings Lane's Facebook page, but I had to share!  A beautiful tablescape sets the tone for your party and makes your guests feel special.  These tables were for a luncheon hosted by One Kings Lane at the 2010 Hamptons Designer Showhouse.  Created by Geoffrey Ross (of Dransfield and Ross) and Hillary Thomas (Hillary Thomas Designs) these gems are the perfect illustration of attention to detail and inspired accessories.  Don't you just want to pull up a chair? 

Love the layered place settings with the fans! "Classic Hamptons Meets Malibu Chic" is the theme.

A centerpiece with coral accents? Who'd have thought!! Genius by Jennifer Houser.
The blue stemware is an inspired contrast.

The big picture...8 seats at square tables are perfect for more intimate and inclusive conversations.

My favorite touch: One Kings Lane striped totes as party favors!

If you haven't already visited One Kings Lane for designer decor at bargain prices, click here to be enlightened!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hydrangea Heaven

This summer is the first in several years that my hydrangeas actually bloomed.  I suppose years of the South's drought kept them in hiding, even though I managed to keep the foliage alive.  But the right amount of water and dappled sunlight revived them-- blooms and all-- late this spring.  I had almost forgotten how much I adore their delicate colorful showpieces!  I clipped several along the way to brighten my kitchen island or powder room sink.  I sadly clipped the last seasonal bloom last week.  Our heat wave has taken it's toll and no matter how hard my soaker hoses are working, even their leaves are wilted by the day's end.  I'm wishing I had photographed them while they were blooming, but I naively thought it would go on and on.  So for my homage to hydrangeas post today, Southern Living comes through with these beautiful images.  Click here to see more images and instructions on how to root and share your treasures.

What's your favorite summertime flower?

Nikko blue...I love the sculpture nestled among the blooms.

Tokyo Delight... the contrasting petal shapes, sizes, and colors, all in one bloom fascinate me!

Photos by Joseph De Sciose

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fresh Looks for Fall Coming from Willow House

Ok, again, a shameless plug for my home-based business, formerly Southern Living at HOME, but I was taught to share and to keep this to myself would be selfish. :D

My new Willow House catalogs arrived a few days ago and I am thrilled to say they are AWESOME.  Lots of old favorites but some fresh new looks, too-- a great mix of the two, I think.  Couple of things I'm happy about:  lower price points on many of our old favorites, lower shipping rates, and some really clean looks.  I'm especially excited about some of the new holiday products and it's something to be excited about the holidays when we're in the middle of summer!

My company website will be changing on August 4th and once it goes live you can view the entire new catalog there.  In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the cover.  Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happiness Is... my Elle Decor newsletter in my inbox

Elle Decor has one of the best e-newsletters around... and lord knows, I get plenty in my inbox.  They just seem to pick the most lucious, enticing photographs and stories highlighting chic decor around the world, design and redesign tips, favorite new decorative accessories, even home and garden ideas.  For the creative spirit, it is pure happiness to open it up each week.

This week's bliss? Dennis Basso's Hamptons escape.  Can't you just see yourself entertaining in this fabulous outdoor living space?  I would not only entertain endlessly, but waste away many hours poolside as well.  How about you?

Photographs by Eric Piasecki

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

C'est Magnifique!!

There is something about vintage French posters that just speaks to me.  Maybe because they're one of the earliest forms of advertisement, but one in which the artists could showcase their individual talents.  These artworks are usually highly sought-after at art auctions, but you can get your hands on a budget-friendly reproduction at One Kings Lane.  I'm picturing one in a child's room or in your creative work-space...or on the walls in my friend's Upper East Side apartment. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Emily Giffin at Home

Imagine my delight to find my FAVORITE author Emily Giffin showcased in her home by the fabulous Atlanta Homes and LifestylesI have adored EG from the beginning with her first novel, Something Borrowed (now being filmed for release next summer!!) and to hear her thoughts about life in the ATL and see glimpses into her home is beyond bliss for this book/decorating junkie.

Her "reading nook"... I love the simple lines of the white chair with the graphic pillow and throw.

Simply elegant... dinnerware by Match, the "Convivio" collection.

My bliss :)

"I view my home as a sanctuary filled with memories-- and decorating as the ultimate form of self-expression."  ~ Emily Giffin to Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

How true!  Make sure you pick up her latest book, Heart of the Matter.

Photos by Erica George Dines for Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Emotional Value of Redecorating

Have you ever, at a crossroads in your life, found yourself redecorating, repainting, rearranging furniture? Something beyond the usual boredom with our decor and desire for something fresh to look at that we all experience from time to time.  I'm talking about anything to change your surroundings, to demarcate today from yesterday, present from past.  Following my divorce, I painted woodwork, turned my dining room into an office and a formal living room into my dining room, changed out kitchen cabinet doors-- something visual to make today's space different from yesterday's space.  How could I leave my surroundings the same when, in fact, everything had changed?

I came across an article yesterday in The Times Magazine that touched me and reminded me of that painful time during which I needed to rearrange.  Joan Parker, widow of the acclaimed mystery novelist Robert Parker, still resides in the home they shared-- albeit unconventionally-- in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The couple maintained separate living quarters within their Victorian 14-room house but were married for 53 years.  Although they attempted a divorce back in the '80s, it was a dismal failure as they could not bear to be apart from one another. So they bought a house that could accomodate their separate routines but still give them spaces to share when they so desired.  Following his death last January, Joan felt pain at every turn in her husband's first floor abode.  Mr. Parker's leather arm chair at his kitchen table was particularly painful for her to see...she often found him sitting in it, clearly not feeling well, but drinking her in visually as she fed the dogs or tended to other things in "his" kitchen. 

Her dear friend and architect, Adam Schoenhardt, visiting one day, whisked the "Sad Chair" as Joan called it out of sight and repositioned it an out-of-the-way sitting area.  In that one change-- simply moving a piece of furniture-- Joan found some relief and an escape from the reminder of Robert sitting sadly at his kitchen table in ill health.  Over the next few days, Schoenhardt rearranged several rooms in Robert's apartment and in this redesign was able to uplift his friend.

This is Joan, in the "Sad Chair" in its new space.  I especially loved her quote at the end of this article.  "My epiphany was, it was all about CONTROL.  I was powerless to prevail over the turmoil, fear, grief, and uncertainty following Bob's sudden death.  Still am, to a lesser extent, but I can control, with the help of my gifted friend, Adam Schoenhardt, the inanimate objects in my house.  So I move, lift, re-use, recycle, drag, discover things and in doing so actively transform my physical living space.  And hope to Christ it empowers me to transform my emotional living space -- at least I can control this part of my new life."

Photos by Trent Bell for the New York Times

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My New Motto

If you haven't already visited the adorable site Cottage- A Coastal Store, today may be your day.  I am in love with these plaques... if I didn't run the danger of being redundant, I would put one in the kids' bathroom, one in my office, one in the playroom... you get the drift.  Choose your color... and breathe. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bubbling Over

I love a good glass of champange.  There's something so festive about popping the cork, the shape of the glass, the bubbles, it just screams "CELEBRATE!"  While I love drinking it by itself, I also enjoy a good champagne cocktail.  Check out this inspired champagne infusion bar from Jenna over at EAT DRINK PRETTY... I love the idea of the party guests mixing their own cocktail-- bellinis, mimosas, etc.

A few tidbits to keep in mind about champagne:

  • One bottle will yield about 5 average size servings.

  • The best champagne for mixing would be a Simple Brut, which is dry with little to no sweetness (the sweet will come from your mixer).

  • Extra Dry is not dry-- it is the sweetest of the champagne family.

Doesn't this Sparkling Champagne Punch look refreshing? 

1 12-oz can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed.
4 cups white cranberry juice cocktail
1 750-ml bottle Brut champagne (try Extra Dry if you prefer a sweeter taste)
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Stir together lemonade concentrate and cranberry juice cocktail in a large pitcher.  Cover and chill at least one hour or up to 24 hours.  Stir in chilled champagne just before serving.  Garnish if desired.  Yields about 9 cups.  Note:  you can substitute club soda for a non-alcoholic version.

From Southern Living, June 2008.  Photo by Jennifer Davick.

For more champagne cocktail recipes, head over to


Friday, July 9, 2010

Grey Gardens

Yesterday I stumbled upon the 2009 HBO movie "Grey Gardens" starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.  I could not stop watching!  The fashion in the film is stunning.  The story of the crazy mother and daughter, who just happened to be the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, is riveting.  But it was the East Hampton mansion herself that absolutely captivated me.  And watching her demise before your eyes is compelling and heartbreaking, all at the same time, like watching a train wreck, unable to tear your eyes away.  Her scale is magnificent--10 bedrooms-- and yet, her exterior in its prime was a welcoming hulk of beautiful multipaned windows, exquisite millwork, airy front porch and grey shingles.  How did the architect capture that weathered grace--that of a dignified elderly woman-- in this summer home turned full time residence for Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Little Edie?

I had to do some digging to satisfy my own curiosity and came across a wonderful article in the New York Times from April 2009.  There I found a treasure trove of photographs of the house in her worst state of deterioration just after it was purchased by Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee.  But I was also treated to photos of the newly restored Grey Gardens, including her magical gardens. 

I invite you to watch the HBO movie to get the full story of this eccentric mother and daughter living a free spirited life as their home literally crumbles around them.  But you will also delight in visiting the NYT photo gallery and details of its restoration. 

exterior in the 70's

the famous grey walls-- how she got her name

gardens restored and enhanced

All photos via New York Times online

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Valli's Bella Pied-a-Terre

I can't resist all things Italian...the scenery, the architecture, the fashion, the art, the history.  Elle Decor showcases a fabulous Rome apartment belonging to the designer Giambattista Valli and I am in heaven.  Valli put his creative vision to work in reworking his new place, knocking out walls to open and simplify the space, but keeping the original wood beam ceilings.  The juxtaposition is gorgeous.  His eclectic collection of furnishings was assembled from years of travel-- to China, Indonesia, India and, of course, the US.  Here's some of my favorite views, but be sure to check out the entire collection over at

Love the Japanese touches paired with Italian marble.

Guest room really showcases the original wood beam ceilings... the bedspread is Turkish.

Love Andy Warhol contrasted with the African and Indonesion stools and drum collection.

And this minimalist fireplace with the Texas horn chair!

The master headboard is 19th century Indonesion doors!

All photos by Henry Bourne for Elle Decor.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hostessing 101

Are you challenged in the area of hosting?  Envious of your friends that have a gift for putting together incredible celebrations?  Here's your cheat sheet and it's a goody!  Click on over to Hostess With the Mostess and you will wish you had some confetti handy!  You will find everything from suggested themes, DIY instructions for centerpieces and party decorations, recipes, templates to download for invitations, and a fabulous blog.  Spend a few minutes browsing their site and then bookmark it... you'll be ready to go the next time you host a soiree!

Color Your Summer Party

Lavendar Lilac and Lime Mother's Day Brunch

Twilight Themed Tablescape (this one is so cool-- check it out!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July Sale at Southern Living at HOME!

Though I can't enter orders in until Tuesday the 6th, I thought y'all might want the long weekend to pour over this delicious sale flier. :)  I know, shameless plug, but these are some wonderful deals on products that are going away for good.

Click here for your copy of the flier.  Leave a comment for me with your email address if you want to place an order and I'll be in touch.  Happy Shopping... and Happy Fourth of July!

Heidi :)

Red, White, and Blue

To get you in the Independence Day spirit...

Beach Bags over at Cottage Coastal Store

Festive dessert-- layer sorbet and vanilla ice cream, garnish with blueberries

Patriotic porch-- photo by Laurey Glenn at Southern Living

Colorful centerpiece-- photo by Robbie Caponetto at My Home Ideas