Country Living...Island Dreaming

August 31, 2011

Finally!

We have electricity!

It actually came on yesterday
but I didn't get a chance to sign on
 since I was frantically running around
washing dishes, flushing toilets, vacuuming etc,
just in case it went out again.  Whew...

What a crazy few days!
Roads were blocked everywhere.

Trees were pulled out of the ground.
(Looks like they already started cutting this one up too!)

Wires were down all over the place.
We were lucky to have electricity back so soon.
So many areas are still out!

But we had some extra help...
Thanks to some dear friends,
we were able to hook this baby up Sunday evening.
We connected it to both refrigerators, a couple lights
 and my husband's computer so he could actually work this week!
That's how I was able to sign on and give you a quick update!

Of course this helped too...
This is one of those "mobile hotspots'
 which allows internet connection from anywhere.
  A couple of weeks ago while at the beach,
 my husband needed to get online so he bought this. 
Good timing, huh?

Of course it was still inconvenient having to shower at our parents' houses.  Luckily they both had electricity and live only about 15 minutes away.  And luckily I have 2 boys because I sent them outside to pee!  The bathrooms were reserved for "emergency" situations and me of course, since we could only flush a few times thanks to the way our system is set up.  So it really wasn't that bad for us.

And the house just got a little messy and cluttered... 
But now that the power is back on,
my kitchen no longer looks like this!

We are getting things back to normal around here.
I hope everyone else is doing ok.
I have to start reading through the blog posts I missed!
Oh, and thank you for your comments and emails!
I will try to get back to everyone today.
I felt so cut off from the world!

And speaking of being cut off from the world,
I think that is what the state of Vermont is going through now!
My heart breaks for them and the lovely town of Killington where
we have gone on ski vacations for the past 20 years!

Apparently one of the base lodges collapsed
 and there is massive flooding everywhere.

I hope everyone is safe.

Did the hurricane hit your area?






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August 29, 2011

The Aftermath

I just wanted to send a quick post to let you know I won't be able to get back to anyone right away.  I don't know when I will be able to post this week since our power has been out since yesterday afternoon and we don't expect to get it back until the end of the week.  There are trees and power lines down all over the place but luckily we are all ok and are fortunate enough to have family close by so we can shower and eat.  I hope you are all safe and enjoying all the simple things in life...like electricity and water!  LOL!


Take care everyone!
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August 27, 2011

Soaking Up the Sun Saturday #13


As the skies turn gray and rainy,
And as we brace for Hurricane Irene to travel up the east coast,
I thought it would be nice to dream of a calmer, sunnier place:

7 Mile Beach in Grand Cayman
Look, there are even some chairs waiting for us!

How is the weather where you live this weekend?


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August 25, 2011

Choosing Colors

I am in the early stages of changing my 7 year old's room - ah, better make that 7 1/2 year old's room (he would correct me if he saw that!) from a baby blue baby-ish room to a cool big kid room.  He still likes blue - just not the "baby" kind of blue.

Right now, he has the top color on this color sample.
(Bright and Early - Benjamin Moore)

The sample is sitting on top of his Thomas Desk
 from Pottery Barn which will stay in the room.

It has the Rustic Honey finish which kind of has a orangish tint to it.
His new full size bed will have the same finish.

Here are some things that will stay in the room:
He still loves this poster of old trains.
I thought I might add a few vintage pieces of art to the room.

I am thinking of changing from baby blue to a grayish blue color.
He likes Blue Heather and Little Falls.
I think they will work with the wood.
What do you think?

To compare:
The top right is the current color.
The left 3rd and 4th are what we are thinking.
(Actually they kind of all look the same on here...)
But like I said,
I am in the early stages
and I still haven't decided on bedding.

He wants a lot of navy in the room.
As you may remember, I painted this chair...
The red curtains will change to something lighter.

For bedding,
I am thinking a little Ralph Lauren-ish.
Maybe go for a Rustic/Vintage/Americana Look?
So this room would look a little bit country.
My younger son has a nautical room.
So one would be country and the other calypso...
What a coincidence!
(And what do you you know - I didn't even plan that!)

Anyway,

I could change my mind tomorrow...

But I am trying to start somewhere...

What do you think of the colors with the wood?

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August 23, 2011

Tips for Preserving the School Year

Our kids grow up so fast
and each school year seems to fly by.

I am one of those moms who saves everything my kids bring home.  I have plastic bins in my basement full of all their artwork, projects and most of their schoolwork and homework.  Each year of school has a separate bin.  Could you imagine what my basement will look like by the end of high school?!!

I have started working on another way to preserve their mementos.
I think I saw  this idea on some kind of organizing show awhile back...
Photobooks.

I am making a separate one for each year of school!

(I haven't gotten very far with my first school one yet!)

But as you can see, I already make them for every vacation, season, etc.
Although, I am getting a bit behind with all the pictures I have been taking...
Anyway,
I use Shutterfly.com
(No, I am not being compensated in any way - I wish I was, LOL!)

You can upload any photos to their site and
choose the photo book size that works for you.
I usually use the custom path to create my books
but they offer an automatic one too.

Since you can add photos and captions,
why not add photos
that capture their year from
the first day of school until the last!

And in addition to photos...

I have started taking pictures of some of their sweet assignments...

and special projects.

This way, I can add pictures of their projects
to the photobooks along with the rest of their memories!

Now each year can be consolidated in one place.
Of course, I still don't think I will be able to part with the originals in the bins!
But it is a great way to remember each year in a special way.



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August 20, 2011

Soaking Up the Sun Saturday #12

This week's photo is Grace Bay Beach
 at the Regent Palms in the Turks and Caicos. 
Couldn't you just see yourself on those lounge chairs?

I have posted many pictures of this beautiful resort in the past.
You just can't beat Grace Bay Beach!

Where are you lounging this weekend?
Have a great one!
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August 19, 2011

Easy Recipe the Kids Will Eat

This time of the year is so crazy
with the summer winding down
and school starting in a couple weeks.

  I have an old standby, one dish recipe
 that I make when I can't concentrate enough to be creative with recipes.
It's easy, you can make substitutions, AND my kids eat it!

Hot Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 mayo (I have substituted with plain greek yogurt since I HATE mayo)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 package frozen vegetables (I like the brocolli, cauliflower, carrot combo)
Sliced almonds (optional - I always forget to buy them!)

Pre-cook chicken, rice and vegetables.  Mix soup, mayo and lemon juice.  Add chicken, rice and cooked vegetables.  Sprinkle on almonds if you want and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it is hot all the way through.

I usually double the recipe.

Enjoy!

The kids don't seem to mind all the vegetables when they are all mixed in.

Do you have any "go-to" recipes when you can't think straight?

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August 17, 2011

Columns in the Caribbean

Long before I had a blog,
I would take pictures of the architecture I would see on vacation.
I have always loved columns and stone balustrades.

They really enhance the architecture.
I love the elegant look they give the entrance to the suites at
 Point Grace Resort in Turks and Caicos.

It's a style that seems to be everywhere in the islands.

Even plain columns make walkways so inviting.

These make you want to walk thru
 and find out what is at the end.
(In this case - a spectacular brunch at the Westin in Grand Cayman!)

 I love them on balconies overlooking the ocean.

And they provide a welcoming entrance to resorts
like the Regent Palms in Turks and Caicos.

And of course my favorite building at the
Jumby Bay Resort in Antigua!

It's a style I never get tired of seeing.
I wonder why my house doesn't have any!

Do you have any columns or balustrades in your home?






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August 16, 2011

Afternoon Tea Vignette

The day started out rainy. 
It was actually the 3rd rainy day in a row.
  Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for the rain since we needed it so badly.
  But the dreary morning made me feel the need for some color.
 For fun, I decided to set up a cheerful Afternoon Tea vignette
 (with a Caribbean vibe of course!)
I gathered beachy accents
 along with some pink and blue pieces.
I love the way my blue and white scarf
 picks up the colors in the teapot. 
 I found this cute teapot at Homegoods recently.

Orchids always bring out the island feel.
 I love them set against the white tablecloth.
You might remember this white lantern from my dining room.

 And what would afternoon tea be without a starfish!
It's nice to work with what you have to create new looks.

 Ironically, the sun started to come out while I was shooting my table.

I guess the cheerful colors helped to brighten up the afternoon!
And I didn't even have to spend any money!

Did the sun come out where you live today?
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August 15, 2011

Charming Beach Town

We just spent another wonderful week at the
Jersey Shore.

Ahhh summer...

The Jersey Shore has a variety of unique towns
 and I visited one of my favorites last week...
Bay Head.Bayhead, NJ - A charming beach town!
Not only does Bay Head have quiet streets and fabulous homes - (most of them in the dream home category),

Beach bikes
But it has a relaxed sophistication and captivating charm not found everywhere along the shore.  It is obvious why this town is considered part of New Jersey's "Gold Coast".

Rt. 35 Jersey Shore
Bay Head is situated just north of Mantoloking, where the collection of incredible homes could almost be mistaken for the Hamptons.  It's just south of the lively Point Pleasant Beach where there are many restaurants, bars and a kid-friendly boardwalk.

Theresa's South - Bayhead, NJ - One of my favorite restaurants!
Wednesday night we had dinner at Theresa's South - a restaurant I have been dying to check out!

I loved it as much as I thought I would!

Streets of Bayhead, NJ - Jersey ShoreWe ate our amazing meal on the patio out front, watching the the evening unfold on the tranquil streets.

Live music at Jersey Shore Restaurant - Theresa's South in Bayhead
The restaurant was filled to capacity inside and out.  Yet with the live cello music and the setting sun, we still felt like we were part of a secret little hideaway.  We enjoyed every bit of our delicious meal, right down to the flour-less chocolate cake!

Have you visited this gem on New Jersey's "Gold Coast"?

You can read more about Theresa's South here:


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August 13, 2011

Soaking Up the Sun Saturday #11

This week we are looking at a picture of the Antigua Sailing Regatta
which takes place at the end of April each year.
It is considered one of the top five regattas in the world.

A good portion of the race takes place off the southern coast of Antigua
and a few years ago we stayed at the Curtain Bluff Resort
which wound up being a perfect place to watch the race.
What fun it was to sit on the beach and watch the sailboats glide by.

Do you happen to be sailing somewhere this weekend?

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August 6, 2011

Soaking Up the Sun Saturday #10

"It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day"

                                -Beautiful Day - U2

This week's photo is the pool at the Four Seasons Resort in Maui, Hawaii.
A great place to relax and be pampered.
Stop by for a visit:
Four Seasons Maui

Are you pampering yourself this weekend?
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