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Friday, January 30, 2015

My Blueberry Cake

I recently tried a new recipe. It's called Blueberry cake and I found it in my At Home with Madame Chic book. I just had to try it and it was delicious! If you missed my entry for Apple Cinnamon Tea Cake see here. The ingredients are below. Enjoy!

Blueberry Cake

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2 egg whites

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch baking pan. Cream the butter and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add vanilla and salt. Separate the eggs and reserve the whites. Add yolks to the sugar mixture and beat until creamy. Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour and baking powder and add it alternately with the milk to the egg-yolk mixture. Coat the berries with 1 tablespoon of flour (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the cake) and add them to the batter. Mix with a spoon to avoid breaking up the berries. In a different bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar and keep beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the main batter. Pour into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the last tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until the cake is set.

My blueberry cake

I added white whipped frosting to mine.

So good....

(all photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Host a Simple Pretty Party

Hosting lovely parties is a favorite activity of mine. I love having friends over (whenever I can find the time) just to talk and have some sweets. I found some beautiful ideas recently from party host extraordinaire Danielle Rollins. I wrote about her in May (see here)

I know for me I love wearing a beautiful simple dress, a necklace and sparkly earrings. Having candles lit all over my home. Placing fresh towels in the guest bathroom, arranging a beautiful bouquet of flowers and preparing my fruit salad, drinks, and other simple dishes.

I keep telling myself, I need to plan at least one small party with some friends and that does not include my daughter's birthday party! So I believe this year I will do it and try to make it a habit. Until then enjoy the inspiration.....

I love what she is wearing. So chic....

Beautiful table setting from Danielle Rollins

Oh my, these look delicious!

Pull out the pretty glasses!

Make your flower arrangement for your table

Present tea & treats to your girlfriends and have a little chat!

(all images via Google)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Be Someone of Quality

I follow quite a few blogs and one of them is called The Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables. Shannon is such an excellent writer and has a new book out called Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life

I can't wait to get a copy! In November, Shannon published an article about "Why Not...Be Unforgettable". I just loved this article. I actually printed it out and kept it in my bag for a few weeks. The entire article is great but I will have to say number 4 stuck with me the most......

4. Be Someone of Quality
Refuse to be a follower playing it safe because you are afraid of being singled out or because you haven’t figured out your own path. Establish what you need in your life to function at your best. Whether it is the food you eat, how much sleep you need or the ethical standards you refuse to break.
Most importantly, come to understand why you do what you do. Have a purpose, a reason, for the direction you are taking in your life.

People don’t all have to approve of your own standards, but know why your live the way you do. Because no matter how hard you defend your decisions to someone who doesn't accept them based on their own belief system, you’ll never get them to see eye to eye. But so long as you know why, and you are at peace with your reasons, you will leave many with an unforgettable impression that you are someone with thoughtful principles and resolute courage.

(photo via One Kings Lane)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Laura Mercier

I am not a make~up kind of person but lately I have been really "open" to trying some things. I was in Sephora this past summer and I was asking questions about how to use bronzer and highlighter powders. I love to have a little shimmer on my face so I thought this would be the way to go.

I have to say I love my new Laura Mercier Matte Highlighter. I am wearing "Highlight -01".  I put it in the creases of my eyes and below my eyebrow. I love the shimmer. It's so pretty. I am still not wearing foundations yet but we will see.

(photo via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blue and White at Pier 1 Imports

I recently made a trip to our local Pier 1 store. I must admit I have not been in years!!! It was a wonderful surprise when I walked in. All the beautiful dishes and decor. I loved the faux flowers. It was just stunning. They have now been added to my list of stores to visit for home decor.

What captured my eye were the beautiful blue and white ginger jars. They were on sale that day and I was able to purchase this one for about $23!! I was so excited!! I would encourage anyone to visit their local store. It will inspire you to create beauty....

My desk at work. If you wish to purchase this ginger jar click here. 
The vase is from T.J. Maxx and the faux flowers are from Pier I. 

(photo via Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, January 19, 2015

At Home with Madame Chic ~ An Interview with Jennifer L. Scott

I know for the last few weeks I have been raving about my favorite author Jennifer L. Scott and her book At Home with Madame Chic. I just love both of her books! I found an interview on Youtube of Jennifer and it is a perfect introduction to her and her books. Enjoy the interview!!!

(To watch this video on your mobile, click here).

Friday, January 16, 2015

Simple Brunch Ideas

I love having friends and family over whenever we can all find the time. Everyone is just so busy these days. I like to have a stress~free way to entertain friends. While reading At Home with Madame Chic the author Jennifer L. Scott gave ways to create a simple brunch that can appear to be bountiful. Here are some ideas:

*  A bowl full of enticing bagels (lay a cloth in the bowl before adding the bagels and allow the edges of the cloth to hang over the side of the bowl). 

*  A pretty platter with artfully arranged sliced tomatoes, capers, sliced red onions, and lox.

*  A little dish with cream cheese and a unique serving knife.

*  A bowl of fruit salad

*  A savory breakfast casserole

*  Croissants or pain au chocolat

*  Quiche (caramelized onion, spinach, broccoli or whatever your favorite is)

*  Assorted salads

*  Sparkling water

*  Juice

*  A signature brunch cocktail like mango mimosas (sparkling wine with a splash of mango juice)

*  Assortment of teas & coffee

Set a pretty tablescape

Make sure your recipes are simple & delicious

(all photos via Pinterest)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Motivational Tips to Help you Clean your Home

Cleaning our homes is something that has to be done. There is no other way unless you can hire someone to do it for you. I don't have that luxury and I do enjoy cleaning so it doesn't really bother me. But for those of you who hate cleaning there are tips you can try to help you get it done. Of course, these tips are from the glorious book At Home with Madame Chic. I have just devoured this book over the last several weeks. It is just fantastic!!! Below are some tips from Jennifer about things you can do to motivate yourself into cleaning.

*  Play music while you clean and organize. Music injects energy into the whole process.

*  Listen to an audio-book. Audio-books run for hours. Think about how much you can accomplish while listening to a riveting story.

*  Time yourself while you clean. Figure out how much time you want to devote to caring for your home, set the timer, and get going. Don't forget the music!

*  Assess and celebrate your progress. When you see visual evidence that your home is getting in order, you will feel the push to preserve. Don't stop now!

(photo via Google)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sample Cleaning Schedule

I love cleaning my home! I know that may sound weird but I do enjoy it. I posted a blog entry about Home-keeping with a Pet in April (see here) if you missed it. I have my own cleaning schedule and it helps me keep my home in order. While reading At Home with Madame Chic, author Jennifer L. Scott gave a sample cleaning schedule. I love cleaning schedules! Now you don't have to create the same schedule but this list just gives you an idea of what a cleaning schedule for your home could be. Below is the list and also a video from Ms. Nikki. Enjoy!!!

Monday: Laundry (darks, and dedicates), dust, vacuum, mop floors, empty all trash

Tuesday: Laundry (whites and towels), ironing, bathrooms

Wednesday: Dust, vacuum, wash windows, change children's sheets

Thursday: Kitchen detail cleaning, empty all trash

Friday: Change master bedroom sheets, dust, vacuum

To watch this video on your mobile click here.

(photo via Google)

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Fold a Towel

I recently watched this video below from the Daily Connoisseur about how to fold a towel. I thought it was great!!! Check it out!

To watch it on your mobile click here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Chic Tips for Working Women

I have been continuing my reading in At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. Today I want to give a list from Jennifer on tips for working women. We are all working women whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you have a career. Most women today are working. I just loved these tips from Jennifer and I thought they were very helpful.

Getting Ready: 

1: Pack you briefcase and tote the night before. While you're there, make sure to clear out any clutter, such as old receipts, tissues, loose change.

2: In the evening, lay out your clothes you will wear the following day (I do this every night), right down the corresponding accessories, so you are not pulling out the contents of your lingerie drawer to search for the right shade of tights in the morning rush. I know a chic working woman who keeps her stockings in separate bags according to color so she's not trying to figure out which is blue and which is black in the dim morning light. This would come in handy if you forgot to lay your clothes out the night before.

3: Plan what you are going to have for breakfast the night before and set out any necessary ingredients (keep the refrigerated food together, set dry ingredients on the counter-top). Blend your morning smoothie drink and keep it in the fridge ready for the next morning. Set the timer on your coffee machine so you awaken to the fresh aroma of your favorite brew.

4: I still advocate sitting down to eat breakfast, but on those mornings which you are running late for the train, you can always put that smoothie in a to-go cup or thermos.

5: If you are taking the kids to day care on the way to work, make sure everything is packed. Lay out their clothes for the day, keep the sunscreen accessible, and pack any snacks and water bottles that might be needed, Keep this all by the front door so you don't forget anything.

(photo via Google)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Top Posts for 2014

Well 2014 has been an interesting year for me. This has been my first year as a blogger. It is still new to me and I am still learning about what to share and what not to share. But I have enjoyed it very much. A few of my friends have told me that they really love reading my entries every week and the support has been just wonderful.

Thank you all for reading my blog! I am not as fancy as the others but I want my blog to be "my own". I want to be faithful to who I am and not try to be something else. So with that being said here are my most popular posts from 2014!

1. 100 Ways to be Elegant

2. Looking Presentable at Home

3. Afternoon Tea Etiquette

4. The Peony Garden

5. Blue and White Dinnerware

6. Small Details Around the Home

7. Naming Your Home

8. Chic Affirmations

(photo via Pinterest)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Mental Chicness

I love this "Chic Tip" from author Jennifer L. Scott 

It is a great thing to be on top of current events and know what is going on in the world, but be careful that you don't obsess and internalize all of the negative news of the day. Practice processing it without allowing yourself to be manipulated. Be informed, but be aware of how the media often use fear tactics to grip readers. While you are reading, try to filter out the spin and see the information for what it is. If a situation is upsetting you and causing you to live your life in fear, take a few deep breaths and bring yourself to the present moment. Right in this very moment, you are okay. If you can do something today to help the situation, do it. If not, try to send the situation love and move on with your day. ~At Home with Madame Chic

(photo via Pinterest)