Monday, August 29, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Happy Monday!  Let's choose a winner, shall we?  {Turns to mister, asks him to choose a number between 1 and 12.  He chooses 4.}

{Count to 4.}  The winner is:  ginnysauresrex!  Congratulations!  I will be emailing you shortly for an address to send your winnings to.  And thank you so much to everyone who entered; I just love a good giveaway! 

And on another note, you may have noticed that I have been absent for a few days.  If you have been reading for a while, you might already know that I live near the Chesapeake Bay, just outside of Annapolis.  My little town was hit rather hard by Hurricane Irene, and here at my house we consider ourselves rather lucky to have had our power restored after less than two days without it.  Much of our county is still dark, and some are being told that their power may not be restored until early September.

 Between an earthquake and a hurricane, it's been a bit crazy here, to say the least!  But the cleanup is going well, and I will be back to blogging regularly in a day or so.  {And I have some exciting sewing news to share!}

Until then,
xoxo, Anita

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For The Love Of Orange

I'm linking up with the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop, and the prompt for today is Your Favorite Color.  If you're a regular reader, perhaps you've read this post, where I spoke a bit about my love of orange.

  So beautiful! And not only a color, it's also a food and a flower.

 It's a color that you can eat and drink ~

 and use to scent your bath!

I don't remember a time when orange wasn't my favorite color.  My favorite childhood dolls dressed in it ~

And my blogging space this morning is flanked by it ~

In a search of the interwebs, I found vintage pretties featuring orange ~

Such a lovely retro phone!  I wonder if it works?  I remember seeing metal coolers like that orange crush one at old fashioned country stores visited on long ago summers.  They were often used in the absence of vending machines to hold iced soda offered for sale.  You would pick one out wet and frosty and so very delicious!  And do you see the holes drilled in the corners of that sign?  They make me wonder how it was used.  At a produce stand?  To decorate a diner?

I hesitate to even share this 1959 Gretcsh Guitar for fear that the Mister will see it, and want it.  Thankfully, it is an unlinked image as I found it!

And what would a post about such a beautiful color be without showing ways that we can wear it?

Dresses from Diane von Furstenberg ~

Shoes from Jeffery Campbell ~

And a bag from Kate Spade ~

And to make my day perfect, I just found a beautiful fabric in orange on one of my favorite sites, so I am off to search for the perfect dress pattern to pair it with.  {And in other, sewing related news, the studio re-do is underway, and will be revealed soon!  Then many sewing posts will follow, including a dress in orange.}

Have a bright and beautiful day, friends! 

xo, Anita

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Picture Perfect {Giveaway}

It's that time again ~ time for a giveaway here in conjuction with my giveaway on Wild Olive.  And (just like last month!) you can win both of them!

Do you have a favorite way to display all of your photographs of friends and family?  I love to have them out, and have created a few mini gallerys in my home ~

These displays change as I get new frames and new photos that I want to display.  I also have framed photos in small groupings around the house that match with a current theme, and I move things around to make it work.  I even have frames that I put out to match the current holiday and/or season!

Mollie at Wild Olive is featuring a friend theme on her blog this month in conjuction with the story she choose; "The Wind In The Willows". { If you missed her story summary, click here.}  When you enter that giveaway, you could win the "Friends" picture frame pictured below, and the disposable camera as well ~

And when you enter here, you will have a chance to win the 'Family" frame (and disposable camera) pictured here ~

I don't know about you, but I LOVE to drop off a roll of film or a disposable camera and see what comes back!  Sometimes the unedited and the imperfect are the most beautiful shots of all.

To enter here, simply leave me a comment to say hello, and you're in.  It's not even necessary to be a follower!  For another chance to win, leave me a second comment telling me that you are now following {or that you were already following}, and you are entered again.  You can enter until midnight EST on Sunday, and a winner will be randomly chosen on Monday morning.

Good luck, and thanks so much for reading!

xoxo, Anita

Monday, August 22, 2011

{The Perfect Food}

If I had to pick my favorite single food item, it might very well be the apple.  Plentiful, versatile and downright delicious!  Just don't eat the seeds; they are {slightly} poisonous.

Beautiful also ~ don't you think?

I make a point to eat at least one every day.  I'm not sure there is scientific proof that they keep the doctor away, but it works for me. 

I like to find ways to prepare and serve them to my family; ways that they don't necessarily feel that I am forcing my favored diet of fruit and vegetables on them all the time.  The mister in particular craves all things sweet, so it can be a challenge to make them appeal to him in ways other than covering them in sugar and putting them in a pie crust. 

I succeeded this weekend, though!  I willingly make pancakes on demand now that I have discovered a mix, Krusteaz brand Buttermilk, that is heart healthy and cholesterol free.  Add diced apples and Voila!  A win-win.

Covered with warmed pure maple syrup for some natural sweetness, these will fast become a new family favorite.

What do you like to do with apples?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Words To Live By

All I really know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School.  These are the things I learned.

Share everything.  Play fair.  Don't hit people.  Put things back where you found them.  Clean up your own mess.  Don't take things that aren't yours.  Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.  Wash your hands before you eat.  Flush.  Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.  Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. 

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.  Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup:  The roots go down and the plant goes up, and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die.  So do we.

And then remember the Dick and Jane books, and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK. 

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.  The Golden Rule and love and Basic sanitation.  Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.  Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.  Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

~ Robert Fulghum

These words hang on a wall in my home, and I love to see them, walk by them, and occasionally pause to read them, though by now I know them by heart.  An earlier discussion on kindness prompted me to share them here.  I hope that you enjoy them as well!

 xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Stalked A Butterfly

This little beauty reminded me ~ 

of a bit of verse ~

by e.e. cummings ~

"I love you.

Does the blossom study her day of life?

Is the butterfly vexed with an hour of soul?

I had rather a rose than live forever."

Wishing you a day filled with beauty.

XO, Anita

Monday, August 15, 2011

Indie Love ~ Given and Received

If you spend any time in the do-it-yourself, indie fashion, vintage and/or life style blog world, you are probably familiar with the Red Velvet Shop and the two super talented creatives behind it, Elsie and Emma.  {If not, click on the links immediately and take some time to get to know them.  Go ahead, I'll wait!}

I see that you're still here, or back.  Yay!  Because I want to show you the pretties that arrived in my mail box the other day. 

That print is absolutely perfect for my sewing studio!  {Still a work in progress, and slated to be complete mid to end September.  Stay tuned for updates!}

And what did I have to do to get these, you ask?  It was very simple, really.  As a committed supporter of indie fashion, I was super excited for the first dress line from Red Velvet this past spring, and purchased this pretty dress the day of the launch ~

It is stunning, and I love it.  {One of these days I will do an outfit post in it.}  As a sewist myself, I was particularly impressed by the workmanship, and even more so when I learned that the entire line was sewn on a machine designed for home sewing!

Fast forward to this summer, when I spotted a tweet about a Kickstarter to raise money for an industrial machine to take the line to the next level.  I made my pledge, and received these goodies as a thank you. 

Now I am looking forward to the launch of the fall line on September 1.  Be sure to check it out!  {But maybe not all at once; I'd hate to see it sell out before I get something for myself!}

Do you have an indie favorite?  Please share; I love to learn about new designers!

xo, Anita

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Seeds Of Change ~ In The Garden ~ And In Life

The decision to start my blog came about as part of a conscious decision to change everything about my life that wasn't working.

 Rewind to October of 2010.  I left a job I had been working at for five years, which started out as my dream job, but turned into a nightmare.  For the remainder of that year, I focused on spending time with family and all of the activity that surrounds the holidays, while avoiding the huge hole that was now in the center of my life.

The arrival of the new year brought with it the realization that it was time to start a new chapter.  I decided that I wanted to find a way to make my home the center of my life, rather than the place that I visited to change my clothes and get some sleep.

That meant some major changes around here!  Staying home meant that I could no longer justify the expense of the support people I retained to do all of the things that needed to be done while I was working.  Committing to a do-it-yourself lifestyle meant that I actually had to do these things myself!

Thanks to the Gussy Sews blogging prompt for the week, I'll focus for a bit on one of the big projects I undertook this year, the landscaping.  Instead of calling a gardener at the beginning of the summer, I called a ground cover supply company, and had 10 yards of mulch dropped on the driveway ~

It's been about six weeks, and it's still very much a work in progress. 

Here is a shot of one area that we finished ~

and a shot of some of the areas that needs major attention ~

It's a lot of hard work, but I have discovered that I really enjoy the process. 

Are you planting any new seeds?  I would love to hear about it!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In And Out Of The Hoop

One project finished ~

And another started ~

What are you working on?

xoxo, Anita

Monday, August 8, 2011

When Life Gives You Bananas...

We like bananas around here, but always seem to end up with a few that look like this ~

Sometimes, I think that the mister makes sure that this happens, because he loves it when I turn them into my {famous} Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Fun fact about me: I hate to throw food away; it violates the very core of my{reduce ~ reuse ~ repurpose} green living lifestyle commitment.  So turning past it's prime produce into yummy baked goods is my idea of fun!

This is the easiest recipe for Banana Bread ever, and it is seriously the best I have ever had.  If you make it, it will be the best you have ever had, too.  Promise!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a loaf pan square cake pan with cooking spray or butter.

Mash 3 to 4 ripe to overripe bananas in a bowl.
Add:  1/4 cup melted butter (or applesauce for a lower fat option)
          1 cup sugar
          1 1/2 cups flour
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          1 egg, beaten
          1 teaspoon baking soda
          chocolate chips ~ as many as you want!

Mix it all together with a wooden spoon.

Pour it into the loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

If you make this, I would love to hear what you think!

xoxo, Anita

{After several experiences with the bread not setting in the center, I tried it in a cake pan instead of a loaf pan, with much better results.  If it makes you crazy to bake "bread" in a cake pan, let it cool for a few minutes after removing it from the oven, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, and call it a cake!  xoxo}

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Orange + Anthro

I don't know if it's because orange is my favorite color, or because it seems to be experiencing some popularity lately, but as I peruse the newest Anthropologie catalog and their website, so much of what they are showing seems to be in shades of this lovely color!

Here are a few of my favorite {orange} finds.  I think that one or two of these need me make their way to my fall closet!

This coral coat from the Lauren Moffat collection is vintage inspired loveliness to die for!  and the peach bag compliments it perfectly, don't you think?

Here it is the bag in detail ~


Tangerine by Tracy Reese that looks good enough to eat ~

I'm not sure that I would have thought to pair the dress with those flats, but I love it!

I must confess that I have a weakness for all things lace, and when the lace is orange, too, I'm not sure that I can restrain myself ~

This confection in cotton lace is by Moulinette Soeurs.

I adore the embroidery on this bag ~

and how it picks up the little bit of orange in the skirt.


Here's another piece with just a bit of orange, and some vintage detailing, too ~

This is Leifsdottir, now available exclusively at Anthro.  I love the cutout detailing!


A lovely orange silk by Anupamma ~


A hat to top it all off ~

and a scarf to tie it with a bow ~

All of this loveliness is in the stores and online right now.  And if you shop either of my favorite stores {Annapolis and Georgetown} look for me ~ I'll be the one with the armloads of orange!

Happy shopping ~

xoxo, Anita