Country Living...Island Dreaming

January 29, 2011

Beach Cottage Living Room

Be sure to check out HGTV's Color Splash tonight for a new episode where David designs a
beach cottage living room!

It looks like HGTV has a pretty good lineup for tonight's shows!

Enjoy your weekend!

January 27, 2011

No Chips Please!

Several of my dishes are getting chips in them and I was wondering what everyone else does with their chipped up dishes...

I haven't thrown any of mine out yet.  I usually just use them when everything else is in the dishwasher and try to ignore the chips.  I try not to be wasteful.

Of course, I am careful not to bring those dishes out for guests!

Since I am in the presence of thousands of diy-ers out there, (not that thousands are reading my blog!), I am sure some of you have all kinds of crafy ideas.

Or I could donate them...

Or do I just throw them out?

I would love to know what everyone else does with chipped dishes.  What do you do?

January 26, 2011

Fabrics At My Feet

I came across these great Calico Corners fabrics the other day...

I am loving all the bright cheerful and kind of beachy!

They reminded me a lot of the colorful blankets some Caribbean hotels put at the foot of the beds...
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Jumby Bay, Antigua

Royal Palms, Turks and Caicos

Jumby Bay, Antigua again (yes, I have posted this picture before!)

Now, how great would it be to brighten up my bedroom with one of those fabrics?!!
Look at that wimpy little blanket I have on my bed! 
No wonder I sleep so well in my's so boring!
(On a side note, I was also thinking of wallpapering the wall behind the headboard...)

Maybe if I changed the duvet cover to something lighter, I could put a splash of color at the foot of my bed!   Of course I may end up having to move the area rug out too..we'll see!

What do you think?  Leave it calm and subtle, or shake it up a little in here?


January 22, 2011

Did You Go?

Ok, who attended the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbardos Sailboat Race yesterday?
Anyone... anyone?  Uhh, me neither...
But...if I was lucky enough to go, and if I had $7000-10,000 a night, I might be staying in this amazing villa...
Cove Spring Villa (
I love all the natural tones in this living area, the lantern, the touches of animal prints... so much light too.  I think I would miss the sailboat race because I would just want to hang out in the villa!
Amazing view from one of the many bedrooms!

You could probably just sit on this balcony and watch the race from here!

Or if I wanted to tone it down just a little, I might stay in this hotel...
Sandy Lane (from
So peaceful and elegant.  This is where Tiger Woods had his wedding...(not like that comment is supposed to make the hotel more appealing!)

Or if I was a little more realistic, I might stay here...
Royal Pavilion (from

Actually, I did stay there on my second trip to Barbados about 15 years ago and absolutely loved it!  This is how the hotel looked then:
This was the view of our balcony.

All the rooms overlook the beach!

Here is a pretty little courtyard area.

Beachfront dining.

Not only did I love the hotel, but I learned to waterski on that trip...
Look at that form!

I ate in some incredible restaurants like The Cliff .  Yes, this place is still one of the hottest restaurants.  It was amazing!

Check out this beach on the west side.

Bottom's Bay was one of the most picturesque beaches on the island!
Even with my old "film" camera, I was able to capture the beauty of it!  Since it was a little rough for swimming, we were just about the only people there.  Great place to just relax, read, have a picnic...

Barbados is awesome.  I have been there twice and after looking into again, I definitely want to go back.  You can read about my first vacation in Barbados HERE.

So anyway... back to the Sailing Race...I wonder who won?
Check out the race website at

Have you been to Barbados or any island during any of their sailing races?


January 20, 2011

A Problem?

Look what came in the mail today, yes all today!  I don't know whether to jump up and down with excitement or join a magazine obsession support group!
Now at least I will have something to read during the upcoming snowstorm tomorrow!
(Who am I kidding, I can't wait till tomorrow to dig in!)

Does anyone else have a magazine "problem" like I have?

January 18, 2011

Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe

Since I just LOVE mangoes,
I thought I would share my favorite mango-avocado salsa with you!

How to Make A Mango Avocado Salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa


1 ripe mango (or chopped frozen mango)
1 avocado
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
Dash of salt
Tortilla Chips "Scoops"

Chop up all the ingredients.

Cutting up mangoes for salsa recipe
Make sure the mango is pretty ripe, otherwise the salsa won't be sweet enough.  That's why in the off-season, I tend to use the frozen mango.  (Wegman's Organic frozen mango is the best I have found anywhere!)

Limes for mango salsa
Try it with about 2 Tablespoons of lime first but I usually add more to make it more tart.

Mango Salsa Ingredients
Mix all the ingredients together.

Recipe for Mango Avocado Salsa
And there you have it!  Use tortilla chips ("scoops" if you can find them) and you are good to go!

It is so easy to make and everyone always seems to love it.  Even my kids eat it and they don't even realize it is healthy...well maybe except all the chips!  

I have also mixed this salsa with some lettuce and chicken to make wraps!

Have you tried any variation of this salsa?

I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!

Easy Mango Avocado Salsa Recipe


January 16, 2011

Thank You!

Are you kidding me?!!!

Thank you to Kinga from Blueloom for awarding the Stylish Blogger Award to Calypso In The Country!  Please go check out Kinga's blog.  She has some wonderful ideas and beautiful photos! 

I must say that I am honored and will do my best to keep my posts interesting!  (The pressure is on!)

The rules of the award are:

1.  Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Award 10 great bloggers.
4.  Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 Things About Myself:

1.  I love Keith Urban!  For most of my life I hated country music and then about 6 or 7 years ago I discovered Keith Urban and my music tastes really turned a corner!  I have seen him in concert 2 times so far and I must say those were a couple of the best concerts I have ever seen!  Not only do I love his music but he has such a sensitive, charming personality that you just can't help but love the guy!  (Did you happen to catch him on Oprah?!!!)  Now I have become a fan of other country artists such as Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band...

Here we are, hanging out together...
Yes, I wish this cardboard figure of him was the real deal!

How cute is he?!!!

2.  I hate mayonnaise!  I even gag when I am making my son a sandwich with mayo.  (No picture here...I might throw up!)

3.  When I was young, I wanted to be an architect.  I used to draw house floor plans in pages and pages of notebooks.  Then somewhere along in life I realized that a lot of math was involved in that profession and I got scared away....Ironically, I ended up getting a business degree and a job in finance! 

4.  I am terrified of food poisoning.  I always overcook chicken (on purpose) and if I happen to open a can of something, I lean down to hear the little pop so I know it was sealed properly.  If I don't hear it, I will throw it out.  My sister knew someone growing up who got botulism from canned spinach and since then I have had this fear. 

5.  I love The Bachelor and Bachelorette shows.  Yes, I am quite embarrassed to admit this rediculous fact but I have never missed an episode.  I don't know what it is about them but I just find them so entertaining!  Oh and by the way, Brad (the current Bachelor) will be going to Anguilla in the upcoming episodes!  Watch it and see why I just LOVE that island!

6.  I am a great judge of character.  For some reason I can read people really well and I am rarely wrong with my first impressions.  (Well unless you count some of the idiots I dated when I was younger!)

7.  We don't have any pets...oh except a hermet crab!  I grew up with cats and a dog and would love another pet.  My kids really want a dog so we are looking into Wheaten Terriers and Polish Lowland Sheepdogs.  I like that whole shaggy dog look and those two are not known to shed much.  I will let you know if and when we finally get one. 
(Photo courtesy of

8.  I am actually pretty funny but I can't tell a joke to save my life!  I end up saying, "Oh wait..I mean...first this happened"...etc...I end up laughing at myself and totally messing it up!  I am funnier when I just make comments or know like Seinfeld!  Ha Ha - I wish!  I am a HUGE fan of his!

Ok, so I just realized I was supposed to list 7 and I listed 8, oh well.  I guess I was on a roll...

And now I would like to award 10 great bloggers (in no particular order)

1.  Decorating the Ville
2.  Coastalpines
3.  New England Style
4.  Oceania Island Living
5.  Shorely Chic
6.  The Inside Story
7.  The Yellow Cape Cod
8.  Seaside Style
9.  High Street Cottage
10. Cozy Cottage Cute

I have chosen these blogs to give you a mixture of Jersey girls, Coastal/Beach blogs and Country Cottage - which I guess is the combination that I am shooting for in my blog.  Please check them out - Enjoy!

And thank you once again to Blueloom!  You are awesome!

January 14, 2011

Inspired by Nate and the Bee

Recently, after watching an episode of the Nate Berkus Show, I started to feel guilty about all the de-cluttering projects I have in the house.  So I decided to tackle one at a time.  I started with my spice cabinet.
I know it's just one small step, but I threw out all the old spices and lined up the rest on little risers.  And thanks to Nate's show, I didn't feel the need to make it perfect.  I didn't bother putting the spices in alphabetical order like I attempted in the past.  I just made everything neat, clean and easy to reach.

Unfortunately, I have more de-cluttering to do in my house...

Welcome to my most used junk drawer.  Unfortunately, all I have done so far is open the drawer, take a picture, close the drawer and walk away.  Just too much to deal with right now. 
But then today I came across Cristin's post at  Simplified Bee and I got motivated again to tackle this drawer (and many others like it).  She has some great ideas for organizing as well as making it look pretty.  Go check out her great blog!


January 11, 2011

10 Ways to Bring the Islands into Your Life

Because we all need to escape every now and then...
Here are 10 Ways to Bring the Islands into Your Life:

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, I will receive a small commission with no change in price for you.

1.  Beadboard!   To me there is almost nothing that says the beach like a beadboard ceiling...or bead board walls...

2.  Plantation Shutters - Now what else could possibly say island more than plantation shutters?  They work in a traditional house, a cottage, a beach house, a southern house...

3.  An afternoon nap...Outside.  I always find time when I am on vacation to take a nap but when I am at home - never.  I really need to work on this one more!

4.  Paint your toes If you are going to wear sandals, celebrate the warm weather with a little color on those piggies!
See, now if I had painted my toes, this would be a much nicer picture!

5.  Dark woods with light walls. 
Bedroom at Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos.

Chair also at Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos.

Bedroom at Jumby Bay, Antigua.
(I guess I could add four poster bed to the list too!)

6.  Mangoes!  There is nothing like a nice Mango Avocado Salsa, or a mango martini, or even just a fresh mango cut up to remind you of the islands.

7. A good travel book... and speaking of mangoes...
(affiliate link)

I would read any book with mangoes in the title but I can honestly tell you I LOVE this book!  And if you didn't love the Caribbean before, you will after reading this book!  Follow along with a husband and wife's sailing journey through the islands.  I swear, you will feel like you are right there with them.  It will also inspire you to travel and get to really know the Caribbean and the people who live there. 

8.  Tropical plants and flowers in your house.

9.  Natural textures like seagrass, sisal, wicker...
And adding some white sheer panels doesn't hurt either!
(Bedroom in Point Grace, Turks and Caicos)

10.  Shells, shells and more shells...(even my name is Shell!)
You can always find ways to display shells.

My list could go on and on but I thought I would narrow it down to 10. 

What ways have you brought the islands into your life?
10 Ways to Bring the Islands into Your Life - Tips to make your home feel like a vacation!

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