Country Living...Island Dreaming

August 31, 2017

Take Me Away Link Party - September 2017

Well, hello September!  Wow - that summer flew by didn't it?  As always, on the first Friday of each month, I welcome you to link up your travel posts.  We always start a little early so the party is open now!  We are looking forward to seeing where you have been lately...

But before we begin, I want to send my prayers and positive thoughts to the people of Texas.  What they are going through is truly devastating.  Let's all try to donate at least something to help those who were impacted by the storm.  Every little bit helps!  Please also keep Tanya (and her family) from The Other Side of the Road blog in your prayers.  Tanya frequently joins us at the Take Me Away Party with her inspiring travel adventures.  She and her family live in the Houston area and had to evacuate their home due to the flooding.  I can't even imagine what they are going through right now.  If you have a chance, stop by her blog and send her some virtual hugs.  We are praying for you, Tanya!

Take Me Away Travel Link Party

Let's get started with the September party!
  • Please link up to 3 travel posts you have written (new or old - as long as you haven't shared them at the Take Me Away Party before).
  • Please include a link back to my blog.
  • Please don't link ads or giveaways (affiliate links are fine, though!)
  • By joining the party, you give me permission to feature your photo/post on any of my social media networks and this blog.
  • Please Pin from the original source of the photo.
  • Please visit and comment on as many links as you can..after all, it's a party!
Once again, we are off!  Take Me Away!


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August 26, 2017

Take Me Away Recap - August 2017

Well, I must admit, I am a little heartbroken over the end of summer approaching.  As much as I love the few crisp and cool evenings we've had, I am not quite ready for fall to arrive.  Don't get me wrong, I love fall.  In fact, I love all the seasons but there is just something about summer ending that makes me a little sad.

Enough about me and my seasonal adjustment issues...let's take a look back at some travel inspiration from the August Take Me Away Party!

If inspiration is what you want, you can't go wrong in Venice!...



Get lost with Pam from Everyday Living as she takes us on a magical tour of Venice, Italy!

Then trot over to From My Carolina Home to visit Lexington, Kentucky...

Come explore Lexington with Carole as she makes her way through fun stores and restaurants in the "horse capital of the world"!

Then we are off to beautiful Vichy, France with Our French Oasis...

Be prepared to be "wowed" by Susan's tour of this gorgeous town!  Looks like another one to add to the "must see" list!

Don't you love to reminisce over all the vacations you have taken?  Our Unschooling Journey did just that and shared it all with us!...


Such a fun idea and a great way to remember all the wonderful memories!

Our Unschooling Journey spent some time this summer in the elegant seaside town of Newport, Rhode Island...

Join her and her boys as they take an educational tour through this exquisite "summer cottage".  What an interesting tour with plenty of fun facts!

And then follow her one more time to Charleston, South Carolina on a trip without the kids!

What a relaxing getaway to the beachy outskirts of the city.  Wait to you see the gorgeous pool.  I would have a hard time leaving the hotel!

And here is an exciting new place I don't think we've covered at the Take Me Away party before...Cartagena de Indias!...

Join Cristina from Remodelando la Casa for a tour of this enchanting Columbian city.  She says it's one of the most beautiful places she has ever been.  The architecture is amazing and you have got to see all her photos of the magnificent doors!

Cristina continues her travels in Columbia to a town called, Nobsa, Boyaca...

Take a tour with Cristina and her sisters to this picturesque town north of Bogota!  

Thank you to everyone who stops by each month!  Whether you are here to link up your own posts or to read others, we always enjoy having you!

Please remember to stop by 
next Friday, September 1st
for the next Take Me Away Link Party!
The party has started!

Take Me Away Travel Link Party

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


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August 17, 2017

The Dessert That Will Make You an Instant Hit With Party Guests!

Are you tired of just bringing a bottle of wine to every party?

If you are looking for something different to bring to the next party or even serve at your own party, look no further!  I recently discovered a fabulous dessert that is sure to be a huge hit!  I almost hesitate to share this because I feel like my secret is out now, but here we go...

All you need to do is take a trip to the pastry section at the grocery store to pick up my newest find...
Cannoli Chips and Dip

Cannoli Chips and Dip!

Let me tell you, whoever thought up this sweet treat is an absolute genius!  Now, I'm not sure if cannolis are really popular in your area, but here in the northeast, you can't go to an Italian restaurant or bakery without seeing them.  

Cannoli Chips and Dip - Easiest Dessert Ever!

I absolutely love cannolis but the problem with regular cannolis is that they can get soggy.  If they are pre-filled and sit in the refrigerator, the cream cheese filling soaks into the shell.  Not ideal.

You don't have that problem with these since the chips stay separate from the filling.  And the chips are delicious even on their own if you aren't a cream-cheese-filling-type-of-person.

Cannoli Chips and Dip for Parties

I tried these at a party for the first time a couple of months ago.  I am assuming they are a "new thing" because all the party guests were asking where they came from.  Since then, I have brought them to a few parties myself and got the same reaction from all the guests.  They are that good!

Great Idea to Bring to Your Next Party

They are also the perfect thing to serve at a party because they are easy to eat in front of people.  If you try to eat your typical cannoli at a party, you take one bite and cream cheese could come shooting out the end.  I can safely say, no one likes to be hit by flying cream cheese filling.

Cannoli Chips and Dip from Supermarket

This is how they come in the store.  This is a small size but I have bought the party sized trays for larger crowd.  These are for our family, and as you can see, I had already starting digging in when I got the idea to share them with you.  Needless to say, I had to pretty-them-up on a plate so you could see how I would serve them.

No Reason to Make Homemade! - Cannoli Chips and Dip

Well, I guess my secret is out now!

I hope you can find these delectable treats in your area so you can share them with friends (or hog them yourself!)  I bought mine at Wegman's but I have heard that Shop Rite carries them too.  You will have to check with your local store to see if they sell them.  And no, I wasn't compensated in any way to mention these chips or stores, etc.  I just wanted to share a great find with you!

Have you tried Cannoli Chips and Dip yet?
I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!
My Life Abundant - Wonderful Wednesday
A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday
The Essence of Home - Share Your Style
Imparting Grace - Grace at Home
Jodie Fitz - Reader Tip Tuesday
From Gardners to Bergers - Handmade Hangout
Tatertots and Jello - Best Friday Features
Starfish Cottage - Sundays at Home
Inspiration for Moms - Inspiration Monday
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
Cedar Hill - The Scoop
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Inspire Me Monday
Homestories A to Z - Tutorials and Tips

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August 15, 2017

Working on the Family Room - The Latest Purchases

Back in my earlier blogging days, I wouldn't have hesitated to show a room in process.  Now I feel like it's a crime if I don't show a finished "before and after" to inspire everyone!  Why is that?  Maybe it's just me...

This is more of an "in progress" post than a "before and after".  With the kids home all summer, I am lucky I have gotten anywhere with this space!  Anyway, my family room is slowly evolving.  Recently we bought a new sectional to replace the old one.
New Sectional Sofa - Room in Progress

This is the Pearce Sectional from Pottery Barn.  I wanted something lighter in here so I chose the Oatmeal colored velvet.  The velvet keeps my family happy because it's soft and comfy.  The color keeps me happy because now I feel like I have more pillow options!  And we all know, it's all about the pillows!
Blue and White Pillows and a new sectional
These are actually pillows I had around the house.  I brought them in here to play around with some options when the sectional was delivered.  I got the blue and white print covers at Pottery Barn last year for like $7.00 each on the clearance table.  I planned to use them in my bedroom but they just sat in the closet until I decided to try them in here.  I am sure they will move again.

This is the sectional we had before...
Family Room Before

It's funny, I really couldn't find many pictures of the sofa!  I guess I was planning on getting rid of it for awhile...Anyway, it held up really well for the 12 or so years we've had it.  In fact, it's in really great condition but I just wanted a new look for the room.  Ever since we remodeled our kitchen, I have felt like the sofa color was too dark.  I would have loved a nice light colored linen or even white but I had to be realistic with my family.  I know everyone raves about how great it is to just whip off a slipcover and throw it in the wash, I just don't see that happening around here!

And now that the new sectional is in place, I need to address two more important issues...
Family Room with New Sectional
My darling dog, Rosie will be devastated if I take away her chair.  It's the only furniture she is allowed on (except my kids' beds) and she lays on that chair all day!  I am either going to find another chair in a different fabric or have a slipcover made for that one.  The things we do for our pets...

And obviously, the rug has to be replaced.  The rug is an indoor outdoor one that used to sit under my kitchen table before the renovation.  We stuck it in here one day so the room wouldn't feel so bare (and so Rosie wouldn't slip when she jumped off her chair!).  As much as I love the look of a natural fiber rug, I want something softer in here.  This is where we hang out as a family and I want everyone to be comfortable.  I have already wrecked it for them by putting in a sofa that they can't eat on!

If you want to see where this room started, stop over to my last Latest Update to the Family Room.  At least that post might satisfy any need for more "before and after" photos!

What room are you working on these days?
I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!
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Joining these parties:
A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday
A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday
The Essence of Home - Share Your Style
Jodie Fitz - Reader Tip Tuesday
Imparting Grace - Grace at Home
Marilyn's Treats - Thursday Favorite Things
Creative Circle Link Party
Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Craftberry Bush - Inspiration Gallery
Two Chicks and a Mom - Funtastic Friday
Her Tool Belt - Creativity Unleashed
Chic on a Shoestring - Flaunt it Friday
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks
Sweet Pea - Best of the Weekend
The SITS Girls - Saturday Sharefest
From Gardners to Bergers - The Handmade Hangout
Inspiration for Moms - Inspiration Monday
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
Cedar Hill - The Scoop
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Inspire Me Monday



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August 3, 2017

Take Me Away Link Party - August 2017

Welcome to the August - Take Me Away Travel Link Party!  It's so exciting to read all the inspiring trip reports...lots of places to add to the bucket list.  We can't wait to see what you link up this month!

Take Me Away Travel Link Party

Let's get started with the August party!
  • Please link up to 3 travel posts you have written (new or old - as long as you haven't shared them at the Take Me Away Party before)
  • Please include a link back to my blog.
  • Please don't link ads or giveaways (affiliate links are fine, though!)
  • By joining the party, you give me permission to feature your photo/post on any of my social media networks and this blog.
  • Please Pin from the original source of the photo.
  • Please visit and comment on as many links as you can...after all, it's a party!
Once again, we are off!  Take Me Away!
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August 2, 2017

Take Me Away Recap - July 2017

And here we are in August already!  I always feel kind of sad when July ends.  To me, July is the middle of the summer, when there is still time to enjoy all the warm weather activities and no one is really thinking ahead to fall yet.  Then boom - August arrives and something just shifts.  Luckily, in New Jersey the kids don't go back to school until after Labor Day so we are going to try to make the most of what's left of summer!

And since we have flipped the calendar to August, it's almost time to share your latest travel posts!  The next Take Me Away Link Party starts tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. EST.  In the meantime, let's enjoy the fabulous trips you linked up last month!

Pam from Everyday Living took us on a tour of Oregon's scenic coast...

As you can tell by the title, she then continued on to Washington's Cascade Mountains!  What a beautiful area of the country!

Tanya from The Other Side of the Road did some traveling to New England this summer...

Join her on her first stop in the historic city of Boston!  She and her family covered all the important sights on this educational yet lighthearted family vacation.  Don't miss Boston Parts 2 and 3 as well!

But Boston wasn't the only place this jet-setting family visited on their New England vacation...

Follow along on their family trip to the coastal town of Kennebunkport and you will see why everyone raves about Maine.  So pretty!

They wrapped up their New England trip with a visit to Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park...
New England - Bar Harbor

Such a gorgeous area!  Tanya said that was their favorite part of the trip...and you can tell by their smiling faces in all the pictures!  #familyvacationgoals!

Next we go farther south where Carole from the blog, From My Carolina Home takes us outside her home to reflect on the morning...

Grab a cup of coffee and imagine sitting on that porch taking in the morning views. I think if I had a porch like that, I would be out there all day!

But when you live in that beautiful of an area it's also nice to get out and explore!...
French Broad River Canoe Trip

Join Carole on her scenic canoe trip....a peaceful ride where she caught glimpses of wildlife and views of the Biltmore house in the distance.  What a nice day to remember!

Thank you to everyone who stops by each month!  Whether you are here to link up your own posts or to read others, we always enjoy having you!

Please remember to stop by 
on this Friday, August 4th
for the next Take Me Away Link Party!


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


Joining these parties:


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