Thursday, March 31, 2011

To buy or not to buy?


I keep seeing this pop up in various places and I was wondering if any of you have purchased Martha Stewart's latest cookbook, Pies & Tarts, or had a chance to flip through it. What did you think? I keep reading good things about it, but I haven't made it to the bookstore yet. Any thoughts on whether I should add it to my cookbook collection? I don't buy all of Martha's books ~ even a book lover like me can't keep up with all of them ~ but the ones I do have I quite like. And since I have a sweet tooth, well... this looks like a good candidate. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Furry First Fridays on hold...


I just wanted to let all of you know Furry First Fridays is on hold for now. I'm not sure if I will continue it or not at my new blog, The Pink Home. I may, I just haven't decided yet. Pop over there and let me know if you'd like me to restart it next month.
Just a reminder ~ I will be shutting this blog down completely at some point and you'll only be able to find me at The Pink Home, so please follow me there.
Wishing everyone a beautiful week...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pink lessons...

Photo by The Pink Home

Hop over to my new blog, The Pink Home, to check out my first Pink Saturday post there. You can read about what I've learned from the color pink.

Cheers,
Bella

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Art of Living Beautifully is moving...


Spring seems like a good time for a fresh start, so I decided to take the plunge and make one.
I am moving my blog home. You'll now find me at my new blog, The Pink Home. I will be shutting down this blog in the next couple of months as I complete the transition. I hope all of you will hop over there for a look and follow me there. Click here to visit.
I decided to move for several reasons. At some point, I'm planning on opening a little shop under the name The Pink Home, so it seemed to make sense to put everything under one name. I also thought it might be fun to branch out a little and my new blog will allow me to do that by expanding the focus of my writing and photography. The Pink Home will be similar to The Art of Living Beautifully in that it will contain home/gardening/cooking content, but I'm hoping it will be even better.
I hope you'll join me at The Pink Home and visit often.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome, spring...


"In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside 
of four and twenty hours."
~ Mark Twain 

Spring is here! For some reason my anticipation of spring has been even greater than usual this year. Of course, now that it is officially here, I'm afraid where I live we're going to be having one of those days like Mr. Twain was speaking of above. Actually, it looks like we may be in for a week of those kind of days. The sun is sort of shining right now through the clouds, but we're expecting rainshowers of varying strengths throughout the day, topped off by bad winds and apparently, a flash flood watch.
This past week, I ventured outside to cut some of the gorgeous indications of spring in my yard and fashioned this bouquet. I've enjoyed seeing a little spring beauty sitting on my dining room table for the week, even if the actual arrival of the new season leaves a little to be desired. Oh well...
How are things blooming where you live?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Calla lilies in clover... Happy St. Patrick's Day!


In honor of St. Patrick's Day, an Irish blessing...

May your blessings outnumber 
The shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


Wishing all of you lots of luck on this lovely green holiday. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The beauty of yellow...


Spring, which is just around the corner, always makes me think of yellow. It's such a sunny, cheerful color, bursting with the promise of something new and fresh ~ much like spring itself. I personally love yellow in the kitchen; for some reason, it seems to suit to me. I've had various shades in my kitchens over the years, from pale to creamy to golden.
But lately, I've been intrigued by the idea of using yellow in other ways, perhaps in a new room, like the beautiful dining room above. I just love how the lavender seat cushions set off the buttery walls. The room just looks like spring to me.
And then there's the great, simple idea I saw in Better Homes and Gardens of putting pretty yellow fabric or fancy paper under glass to cover the top of a nightstand (or a side table). So easy and so pretty ~ and you don't have to live with it forever.
Do you have a color that you associate with spring?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A little spring baking, anyone?


I saw this idea for a little spring baking in Paula Deen's newsletter and thought it was fantastic. Her Sour Cream Pound Cake is divine, and the little boxes for packaging (below) are adorable. It's a simple, inexpensive idea for a beautiful little gift, housewarming or otherwise.
Do you have a simple gift idea everyone loves that you turn to again and again?

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg 1 at a time. Add vanilla.
 
Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A lovely white Wednesday...


As I'm anxiously awaiting spring, I thought I'd share photos of this beautiful white rose in my yard. I love how the center is the palest of pinks. Isn't it lovely? Nothing like a little outdoor beauty to brighten the week.


I am linking to Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer and White Wednesday at Faded Charm. Stop by for more lovely posts.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A pretty new newsletter...


The other day, I discovered something in my e-mail called The Cottage Journal. It's a new newsletter from Hoffman Media (the company publishes Southern Lady, Tea Time, Victoria and other magazines). I was signed up for the Victoria newsletter, which is why I received it. The Cottage Journal combines features from a number of the company's magazines and I found the first issue to be lovely and interesting ~ not to mention delicious, since it included two delectable recipes. The newsletter is supposed to come out a couple times a month. I thought some of you might be interested, especially since it's free, so I thought I'd share. Click here to sign up.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Furry First Friday ~ Spring is in the air...


Welcome to Furry First Friday ~ the "spring is almost here" edition.
Today I'm sharing a couple of photos. The first is one of my favorite funny photos of Emily from a couple years ago (good thing she doesn't surf the Web or she'd be mad at me for showing her with her hair all messed up). She was scratching her head and managed to pull out quite a bit of hair from her pigtails. I caught her just sitting next to the hydrangea taking in the world and snapped this photo. She looks like she's had a wild night on the town, doesn't she?
And below, my sweet Russ, who will be 14 this summer, is lounging in one of his favorite spots, tucked under a bush in the back yard. I love how he's just peeking out, watching me take a photo of him.
Thanks to everyone who links up this month. For those new to this party, Furry First Fridays is hosted on the first Friday of the month by moi. To join, all you need to do is post photos of your pets and link up at the bottom of this post. The party is open throughout the weekend. Please do include a link back here in your blog post as well.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A little forgotten fun...


Please, tell me if this sounds familiar: You buy something you love, put it away, forget you have it somewhere along the line and suddenly rediscover it. (I'm not the only person who does this on a regular basis, am I?) While the forgetting isn't a good thing, I always think the rediscovery is great. 
Case in point: I bought this tray last summer, used it, then put it away, stacking other things inside it, etc. And then I basically forgot I had it. I was doing a little spring cleaning and rediscovered it. It's such a cute, fun tray, I thought I'd share it. Perfect for carrying some sweet tea and a few snacks to the back yard as the weather warms.
I apologize for being absent of late, but sometimes, well... you know how it is. I am, however, starting to feel better so I'll be around for visits to catch up, etc. And Furry First Fridays is still on for this week, so get your pet photos ready.
See you soon.