Daydreaming is my favorite past time. Since I was a little girl, Iâ€™ve always been a master daydreamer. Back then, they were mostly about being a professional trapeze artist or having the uncanny ability to talk to a narwhal, but now that Iâ€™m older the bulk of my daydreams are about outfitting my fabulous apartments located all over the world. My new favorite place to wish list browse for fantastic (and strangely appealing) home dÃ©cor is etsy shop blue bell bazaar . With a 7,400 square foot showroom located in Chicago, blue bell bazaar puts the best of the best of their gorgeous stock online for everyone to get a fair shot at. From a 1940s roulette wheel to vintage modern oil paintings to porcelain glove molds, thereâ€™s always something new to covet at blue bell bazaar. â€“Katie D.
As a child, one of my favorite activities included writing and illustrating the scenes to stories I made up and binding them into volumes that I crafted in my basement. Now as an adult with friends working in the book publishing industry, Iâ€™m constantly saddened by how hard it is to get a manuscript published by one of the traditional, big book publishers. Thatâ€™s probably why the author in me is intrigued and thrilled by the concept of TikaTok.com, a Barnes & Noble company that gives children and adults alike the opportunity to see the books they write published in a professional format. Creating a free account is the first step in the process to creating your very own hardcover, paperback or eBook. With prices starting at just $15 for a paperback with 7-8 interior pages and $0.18 for each additional page, a gift card to the site might be the perfect birthday gift for budding authors everywhere. What do you think, readers? Has anyone tried TikaTok? â€“ Sarah C.
I delight in Paola of mirrormirror’s unceasing horror over Kelly Wearstler‘s decorating style. It seems the shelter mags love her weird juxtapositions of mid-80s mauves (maybe you had to live during that the first time to truly loathe it now), mismatched patterns, and gold leafed everything. So it was with my own amusement that I noticed Wearstler has her own decor book out now, filled with her signature style. So what do you think: Do you like it? Honestly? Are there parts of it you like? Or are you throwing up your hands in confusion like Paola and me? — Mary T.
First, a little disclaimer: Maya Angelou is quite possibly the person I admire most in the world (at least, that I don’t know in real life), and definitely first on my fantasy dinner party list. In other words, I’m just the tiniest bit biased in her favor. When she released a cookbook a few years back (Hallelujah! The Welcome Table), I ran to the bookstore, devoured every single page, and have since come to rely on Dr. Angelou’s biscuit recipe as an old standby in my kitchen. So when I heard she’d written a second cookbook, naturally, I high-tailed it to the store once again. To my surprise, Great Food, All Day Long is a huge departure from Hallelujah! in nearly every regard. It’s built around Dr. Angelou’s recent weight loss, using a method that’s virtually unheard of these days: smaller portions and reasonable meals. Groundbreaking, I know. You won’t find much in the way of old-school Southern cooking in this book – which, I confess, I miss a bit. But it’s packed with recipes that I imagine are the dishes Dr. Angelou actually cooks and eats every night. Classic recipes like Mixed-Up Tamale Pie, Cabbage Rolls and Braised Lamb with White Beans had me reminiscing about my grandmother’s kitchen, and her talent for making delicious, simple meals that were more about enjoying than impressing. There’s not a complicated recipe in the bunch – this is everyday home cooking. After years of devouring one high-maintenance/high-reward cookbook after another, there’s some comfort in being reminded of the foods people actually eat every night.
As always, I love Dr. Angelou’s tone and way of writing, and her recipes have me longing for a simple plate of simple food. If you’re in the mood for a little nostalgia, some inspiration to “eat smart,” as she says, or just (like me) are happy to hear anything Maya Angelou has to say, Great Food is sure to be a perfect addition to your cookbook arsenal. –Becki S.
1) For the most part, we leave celebrating Valentineâ€™s Day to our home lives. Sarah C. shared her plans for tiny bouquets for her coworkers, but for most of us, the holiday passes without much fanfare at work. Joanne says: â€œEllie, I feel your painâ€¦. I am one of the few females in my department of 100+ technology folksâ€¦ and the only one that even reminds folks about important dates. I wore a red scarf today, but have yet to see anyone else wearing anything red. Bah Humbug! I had to gently remind a number of guys to go get a card or flowers or something for their wives. Sheesh!â€
2) We all have dirty house secrets. Rebecca F. shared hers in the tale of her beloved, but beaten up sheet pan and you have similar stories. Anita says: â€œRebecca â€” when did you come to my house and steal my sheet pan? Seriously, I have the twin to yours, and use it for the same types of things. Mine is only semi-hidden, as I live alone and donâ€™t need to hide it, but donâ€™t really want to see it, either. My sister spotted it one day, and gave me this look that said, â€œReally? You use this? And now youâ€™re going to serve me dinner?â€ An explanation was in order.â€
3) Weâ€™re ready for summer. Until then, this electronic butterfly in a jar will have to lift our spirits. Jess says, â€œI currently serve as a chaplain in a nursing home. One of our residents always kept a garden and became very down in these winter months, so we purchased a battery operated monarch butterfly for her room. Every morning we would move it from the window to the ledge, etc, and she has found such delight out of it! Iâ€™ve already asked for one for my own kitchenâ€¦ perhaps it will perk up the mundane task of washing dishes.â€
4) Following a few simple rules can maximize your benefit when planning for a cruise. Sarah C. asked, and once again, our readers came to the rescue. Pack less than you think you need, donâ€™t plan your own excursions and mind that hand sanitizer are just a few weâ€™re hearing often. What else should Sarah know about going on a cruise?
5) Army/Navy Surplus stores are great sources for fab home finds. Maryâ€™s recent trip spurred an epiphany, and weâ€™re signing on to an exploratory mission. Megan B. says: â€œIâ€™m making a trip down there stat! I NEED one of those gray blankets w/ the white stripes! So cute!â€