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Friday, January 29, 2016

Notes of Soft Blue

Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about interior designer Dan Carithers (see here) and his beautiful 1937 cottage that he and his wife decorated. I just recently saw an article in House Beautiful magazine about him being recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. How unfortunate! But his protege Judy Bentley helped design a dream space for him.

Designer Judy Bentley chose a quiet off-white paint color for the living room walls, Benjamin Moore's Winds Breath, so that the blue and cream fabrics could play lead roles. 

An antique sideboard from Yale R. Burge Antiques holds more creamware pieces. 

Antique creamware, a signature of designer Dan Carither's, is the focal point in his Atlanta living room.

Carithers and Bentley on the terrace.

If you would like to read the original article see here.  

(photos House Beautiful)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

About Acne ~ The French Beauty Solution

I am continuing my reading of  the French Beauty Solution and I am now in Chapter 6 which discusses "Taking Care of your Face and Neck". I got right into this chapter because it was so informative about skin descriptions.

One section that stuck out to me was the sipet about acne. It blasted away all the myths I was told in high school. Here is what is said....

"Acne is not caused by eating chocolate or french fries. That's a relief. But for women who suddenly develop acne as adults, it can be devastating to have such visible skin problems. Acne is an inflammatory disease that is caused by genetics, your fluctuating hormone levels, and the P. acnes bacteria. These hormonal changes affect how often your skin cells turn over; if they don't turn over as they should- becoming stickier and oilier instead- pores get clogged and pimples and blackheads form. 

It's not a good idea to treat acne yourself, especially if it suddenly develops, as this may be an indication of a hormonal imbalance that warrants medical attention from a physician, either your dermatologist or endocrinologist. Over the counter acne products are usually targeted to teens that tend to have oilier and less fragile skin than adults, and they can cause irritation and make your skin look even worse. Your dermatologist can devise the right treatment plan and check your hormone levels too".  ~Mathilde Thomas 

I thought this information was so fantastic and right on time. I have noticed some changes in my skin too. I would encourage any one to pick up this book. It is wonderful....

(photo via Google)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Oil Cleansers ~ Are they Good?

For the last few weeks I have been reading the French Beauty Solution. It has been a wonderful book and I have learned a lot. I have been discussing certain chapters from the book see here and here.

In the newest chapter the author Mathilde is talking about natural oils and that they are great for your skin. I have always felt that using an oil cleanser would make my skin worse or cause it to break out. But Mathilde doesn't believe so. She said that one of the fallacies of skincare is that oily skin or skin prone to breakouts should never be touched with oil.

When you use the right kind of oil on your skin and keep it properly hydrated, oil production in your sebaceous glands actually decreases. When choosing an effective oil-based cleanser, moisturizer, or serum, realize that there are two kinds of oils to use: plant based oils that are therapeutic and the base of your products; and essential oils, which are distilled essences of plants (herbs, flowers, trees, roots, etc. ) that are also therapeutic as well as highly concentrated and so should be used sparingly.

I will now be thinking twice about oil based cleansers and will be paying a visit to Sephora very soon.

I want to try this it is called Tatcha. I saw it on QVC and have been wanting to try it ever since.

Another product I want to try is Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.

photos via Google

Friday, January 22, 2016


"Along with colors, textures, and fragrances you need music in your rooms to round out the sensory experience."

~ Charlotte Moss

(photo via House Beautiful)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Bouqs ~Monthly Flower Club

As most of you know I love flowers!!! I buy at least 3 bouquets a week. I have one at work and two at home. My daughter is now starting to enjoy having a fresh bouquet in her room. I love that! It makes my heart sing.

But there is nothing like getting a bouquet of flowers delivered to your office. If you enjoy fresh bouquets every week and love the thrill of having some delivered to you then the Bouqs can help fulfill that need.

I just learned about their monthly flower club. From $40 a month you can have an artful floral arrangement of your choice delivered to you every week! Just go online and sign up! Fantastic right?

(photos via The Bouqs)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Polish Your Posture

I have just been a reading queen recently. I am still reading the third installment of Jennifer L. Scott's book Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. I am in the chapter about posture.

We have all heard about the benefits of good posture but sitting up straight can be annoying sometimes. I must admit there are days where I just don't feel like it! But then I remember who I am and what life I am trying to live.

Jennifer talks about making a commitment and becoming aware of your posture. After sitting at the computer for awhile she suggest standing up and rolling your arms backwards to reverse the effect. Make an effort to sit up straight while you work. Bring this awareness to everything you do.

Jennifer also mentioned that she got to ask principle dancer Allyssa Bross about a ballerina's secret to great posture. Here is what was said:

Many times ballet dancers are known for their great posture, and automatically people assume it is because they stand with their shoulders back and spine straight, but posture is more than the way one stands. Posture is the way one carries oneself in any social setting. It starts from within, and then moves outward.

Controlling one's body and posture starts with the mind. Thoughts affect our actions, body and the way we take care of it. Here are five helpful tips to keep good posture:

1. Loving yourself
2. Confidence
3. Exercise (when you have strong, nimble muscles, posture is easier to maintain.)
4. Chin up and neck long
5. Eye contact

I hope you enjoyed these tips from Jennifer and purchase her latest book Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic.

photos via Google

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Ayres Tea Room Recipe ~ Chicken Pot Pie

One of the last recipe's that I wanted to share from the gorgeous and chic tea room is the "chicken pot pie" recipe. It has the same base ingredients as the chicken velvet soup so it is a delicious meal also. The pastry crust on top is divine!

Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup & 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
8 tablespoons of margarine, divided
2 tablespoons of ice water

1 tablespoon powered chicken base
1-1/2 cups of boiling water
2 cups cooked and boned chicken, cut in 1 inch chunks

Dough: Combine 1 cup flour, salt and sugar; cut in 4 tablespoons of chilled margarine and add just enough ice water to make dough come together. Wrap dough in waxed paper; refrigerate for at least a half-hour. Roll out half of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and the size of a casserole dish. Line dish and sides with dough; bringing dough up to edges. Roll out remaining dough to size to cover dish; reserve.

Filing: Melt remaining margarine in saucepan, add 4 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring for 2 or 3 minutes. Blend chicken base, add water all at once and mix well. Bring mixture to a simmer, add chicken and, when heated through, pour into dough-lined casserole. Top with reserved dough; press edges to seal. Prick top in several places to allow steam to escape. Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until dough is lightly browned.

photo via AHFE

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The L.S. Ayres Tea Room Recipe ~Chicken Velvet Soup

A few weeks ago my family and I had a wonderful lunch at the Ayres Tea Room. There is a beautiful and scrumptious soup there called the "chicken velvet soup" and boy is it delicious!

My husband purchased the recipe book for me while we were in the gift shop. I wanted to share the recipe for this beautiful dish. It has been a classic and favorite for 110 years!

Chicken Velvet Soup ~L.S. Ayres Tea Room

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup of flour
1 cup warm milk
1 pint hot chicken stock
1 cup warm cream
1 quart chicken stock
1 -1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/4 tablespoon salt
dash of pepper

Combine butter and flower, blending well. Add warm milk, pint of hot chicken stock and warm cream. After cooking well, and remaining ingredients.

Yield: 2 quarts

photo via AHFE

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lunch at the Ayres Tea Room

The L.S. Ayres store was the focal point of downtown Indianapolis. People would stand in line to have lunch at the Tea Room. It was the Tea Room that epitomized the Ayers experience. Now with our fast food saturated culture, the Tea Room was more than a quick bite to eat. It was about waitresses who knew regular customers by name and food preferences. It was about real china, clean tablecloths and fresh flowers. It was about a menu rich in elegant, yet comfortable, food- chicken velvet soup, apricot bread, chicken pot pie, club sandwiches and chicken salad. ~S.L. Berry 

My boss took me to lunch there for the first time after Christmas. I was in heaven. The atmosphere was elegant but not over the top. It was sensible, friendly and classy. I adore the room. It was not too noisy, and not crowded. It was shear perfection! I made reservations for my family after church service. They enjoyed it! Especially the chicken velvet soup. I will be returning again very soon.

The room, lovely isn't it?

The waiting area

I love the wallpaper.

The classic chicken velvet soup! The recipe is 110 years old. 

The chicken pot pie with pastry crust! Scrumptious! 

The tea experience, it was lovely. 

Dessert, very good!

(photos via AHFE)

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Top Posts for 2015

Well, another year has past in the blogging world. I still can not believe this is my second year. As I said earlier this year, my blog is not as fancy as the others but I want it to be true to who I am. I am on a quest to learn how to "love my own life". So many times we get caught in the "my horse is bigger than your horse race" with other people. 

Sometimes we don't stop to realize our own lives. I refuse to be one of those people. So, I will continue to blog according to the beauty that I believe in. Thank you to those of you who have read and who will continue this journey with me.

Now without further ado, the top posts for 2015 are.......

(photo via Pinterest)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Simple Rigatoni

I keep a dinner rotation list so that there is none of the "what's for dinner" questions  when I get home from work.

I shop for the same items every week and it makes preparing meals very easy. On the list is my simple rigatoni meal.

I just boil a box of rigatoni noodles, warm up some Ragu spaghetti sauce (meat flavored). Most nights my husband and I have meat in ours so I will brown some ground beef in a skillet and pour the sauce over it. Add some garlic salt and basil for seasoning. My daughter doesn't like much meat so with her's we just add the sauce and basil.

Once the noodles are done I pour the sauce over the noodles, sprinkle some cheese, bake some french bread and Voila. Dinner is served! I still use my dishes and cloth napkins. It keeps dinner nice and simple. Enjoy!

(photo via AHFE)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Our First Ballet ~ The Nutcracker

I have been inspired by the arts recently. I told my husband that I would like to get into the habit of learning new things and seeing new things. I few months ago I heard about the "Nutcracker" performed by the Indianapolis Ballet here in our city.

I purchased some tickets and my daughter and I went. We sat down and had a wonderful lunch at our favorite restaurant Panera then headed to the ballet. It was at the Scottish Rite Cathedral which was absolutely beautiful.

When my daughter walked in she was in awe! She started talking pictures with her tablet! I was so glad that she enjoyed the ballet and asked if she would bring a friend next time. I was very pleased with the performance and the prices.

It was just splendid....

My daughter and I

From our seats....

This is how close we were to the stage

One of the scenes from the ballet

(photos via Google and AHFE)

Friday, January 1, 2016

An Indianapolis Kitchen

It is always exciting to see your hometown in a decor book that you read on a monthly basis. It was a nice surprise seeing "Indianapolis" mentioned in House Beautiful magazine.

This kitchen designed by Angie Hranowsky is a fresh take on neutral hues.

To read the original article, see here.

photos via House Beautiful