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February 2011

January 2011

Things I Love


My Cozey Corner, my daughter Chloe has started a blog!!

Faux Gilded Votive

Natural Moisturizers for Winter

Guzaarish, I just watched the movie Guzaarish on instant watch Netflix and was memorized by this movie. It is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It does deal with the very controversial subject of euthanasia, but I think they handled it well. Plus it is a subject that needs to have dialog no matter what you feel. Even though this is a sad subject, this movie is still a joyful one, finding blessing among hardship. I highly recommend it!!

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls w/ Cherry Glaze

Catch & Release scarf

Shoe Sugar Month, fun ideas to decorate your shoes

Home Comforts, did you know you can read this book on-line?




image above

Make a Paper Heart Doily

Paper doily00 

Wishes are the mother of invention. I was looking at my coffee table wishing I had a doily  with hearts on it. Of course that got me thinking and I came up with my own. I used the brown roofing paper (see I love that suff!! any hardware store should have big rolls of it). My original plan was this would just be the pattern and I would make one from oil-cloth (white with red poke-a-dots) but life is too crazy and that is NOT going to happen (I am lucky to get this post written). Actually I love the paper one. Really the sky is the limit, wrapping paper would be sweet too. It isoo easy, anyone can make one. Enjoy!!!

Paper doily 1 

1 trace a circle


2 cut out a heart and mark on each side of the heart where you want it to sit on the circle

Paper doily 2 

3 trace around the part of the heart above the circle. Using a ruler to help you, now trace a heart on the other side of the circle. Do this until, you get the desired effect you want.

Paper doily4 

4 cut out. You can use this use or use it as a pattern for oil-cloth or other paper or whatever you can think of!!! Too cool ha!!


Come Win A Signed Copy of Wren Bay


Good day readers,

my dear friend Manuela is having a give-away on her blog for a signed copy of Wren Bay. I am sooo excited to have my first give-away on someone else's blog. Please join in (even if you have a copy, you can give one to a friend). The give-away ends Friday night and is open to both US and abroad.

I want to thank Manuela for taking the time and a blog post to post about Wren. My blog has brought me sooo many blessing, the biggest is dear friends. Thank you Manuela, you and I go wayyyyyy back and you are my blessing today xoxox

ps. the image above is Sophia's brownstone!!

Do You Not Know What to Cook For Dinner & Need a Plan?

Winter chill3 

It is four o'clock and you do not know what for cook, you do not feel like cooking! This is one of the biggest complaints I hear (and read) about cooking. I have to confess that my life is getting fuller and I have days where I feel overwhelmed and it is hard to think about cooking. I have one day in particular I am gone all day and get home 45 minutes before I have to have dinner ready. So I have developed a plan of sorts for myself. It will not fix all your cooking problems but maybe give you a start. I think in 7 days. I mean all I need is to have dinner for 7 days, then I can repeat those 7 days every week. I can bling up those 7 days so they do not all feel the same but I only need to think in 7 days.

So here is my list.

Day 1  whole chicken

Day 2  ground beef probably, meatloaf or baked meatballs

Day 3  pasta dish

Day  4  fish dish

Day  5  vegetarian dish

Day  6  hubby barbecues, usually steaks or pork chops

Day  7  soup or stew, in the summer main dish salad


Now I do not follow this list religiously, actually on Sunday I try to make a fun, unique dish for my family. It is our splurge day with something like seafood lasagna! I get a glass of wine, put on a cooking show and cook away (I wish I could cook like this every day and am hoping  my life will slow down a bit, so I can). We actually have vegetarian dishes more like 3 times a week, but none of this matters. What I mean is as long as I know I have this list and the food for it, I am set, I can set worries aside. For those crazy days I know I have food for my 7 day plan.

Below I will list some ideas of how to bling things up but all you have to have is a something for each category. Plus do NOT wait until dinner to think of dinner, at lest think the night before. I do so I can pull meat out of the freezer. Between this and a well stocked pantry, you should be able to pull out a dinner that looks like you are soo on top of things (even if you are not!!).


Whole chicken; 4 ideas lemon garlic rub, stuff under the skin w/ herb butter, smoked paprika+granulated garlic+salt+pepper rub or marinate in buttermilk and curry. Let each of those ideas inspire a side dish, something lemony, herbs, curry or Spanish?


Ground beef; Stuffed meatloaf with cheese or hard-boiled eggs, bake meatballs and sever with hummus and raw veggies, make joes special or Greek skewers.


Oh pasta, love the stuff; well first it is a great way to use leftovers, sever with roasted veggies, baked with cheese (add a big salad and you have dinner) or no-boil lasagna.


Fish; my oven roasted parmesan shrimp, pan friend salmon, lemon/caper scallops or fish stew. There are a zillion more ideas!!


Vegetarian; main course salad, soup, stuff w/ and baked (Wren bays has a wonderful recipe ;-) or veggi sushi.


Barbecue; well my hubby does not cook but he does barbecue, so I take advantage of that. He grills year around, rain, snow, sleet, he grills. I keep my freezer full of cheap, tough steaks already in marinade (to tenderize them) in freezer baggies all ready to go. Some weekends I have him grill extra stuff for the week to come. So I say grill away, it helps me!!!


Soups and stews; another great way to use leftover or bits of meat chili, pumpkin soup, beef stewAsian wedding meat ball soup, I could go on and on!!

Wren Bay Stuff!!


Well it is the new year and like, 120 something days since I published Wren Bay, the story of making a home, the response has been overwhelming to me. Wren is selling well, readers are banding around the word sequel (I am playing, we will see. I will say I have been doing a lot of research about Provence), a shop back East will start selling Wren (I will let you know when) and everyone is just plain supportive. So thank you,  thank you.

BUT I have a favor to ask you readers. If you have read Wren, would you consider writing a review in my Lulu shop. Scroll down to the bottom of the page (click on the link) and you can leave a review. I really need reviews!This is the part of Wren I do not like. Trying to get the word out about the book, uggggg. Also if you have/do write a review about Wren on your blog, let me know, I will post a link.Thank you.

If you are having any problems ordering my book, e-mail me I will help in any way (I do have a few copies on-hand right now). I still have bookplate I can sign and send if you want one (info at the top of the blog). By the way if you have ordered Wren, I would not know. I cannot see who buys my books, only what has sold. So do not assume I know you have purchesed Wren and would love to hear who has bought my book. Well I think that is it for now. I am hoping to do a few give a-ways on other blogs soon. Lastly let me leave you with Wren and Devlin's song while he was away at war, Winter Song by Sarah Bareilles.

PS the image above is how I picture Madam Mimi and Benard ( pronounced Ben-yard) on thier honeymoon!!!


Maire Claire Paper Runner

MC cloth3 

Happy New Year!! I have one last idea to share from this years Marie Clarie Christmas theme. I was perusing past issues and saw this beautiful linen tablecloth tied with gold ribbons. I loved the idea but I was NOT about to sew a cloth. I had no time for that. So this is my take on the cloth.

MC cloth 2 

I used roofing paper (which I LOVE, I mean this stuff is rocken!!!)  and spent an hour while the girls read to me cutting out triangles with rounded corners. I used the runner for Thanksgiving with bronze ribbon to go with the bronze pine-cones I made. But for Christmas I used bright, satin ribbons, hot pink, red and peacock blue. I loved how this paper runner turned out. Plus I was sick (as you know) and it was soo nice to have this done and just roll it out.

MC Table 

Also as you know I like to have some kind of ornament or gift for each guest to take home. As soon as I had decided on my theme I knew I had to do something with Bonne Mamman jars. To me they are veryyyyy Marie Claire. I decided snow globes would be fun. BUT I will be honest with you, these were a disaster. As I keep mentioning I was very sick, I had all the stuff out for a week to make the snow globes but they would not come together. Finally I had the girls design their own and I made the rest. They were not what I had in mind. BUT by Christmas dinner the water had turned brown on some of them. Things starting floating around. LOL, my mother noticed her reindeer's head floating around. Really we had a very good laugh, so they served their purpose I guess. But I will NOT make snow globes again! I loved this years theme but wish I had, had lots more time and money. I had a much bigger vision then I was able to create. But that is life xoxo

MC globe 3MC globe 2 

Happy New Year

Winter chill 

I was not going to write a happy New Year post but I send this note out to all my FB Wren Bay readers and decided to post it here. I hope it encourges you to seek your bliss xoxox   


    I wanted to wish each of you readers and fans of Wren Bay, a Happy New Year! I know for some of you this last year was a challenging year and for some of you going into this New Year, it has its challenges too but like Wren, I hope you can see your blessings among your losses.

    I hope each of you find something this year to ignite your creativity and give you a fire about life. At this time a year ago I never knew I could write. Heck I did not even know I wanted to write. I had very preconceived ideas about what writing is. Then when I read books about writing it only cemented those preconceived ideas. To be honest, those books made me feel I could NEVER write a book. And you know what I could not write the kind of book they think I should!! BUT I can write a book I would love and for some of you, a book you would love.

    I guess what I am saying is follow what is in your heart. Do not think about shoulds, about what others will say, about looking stupid (although I confess I worry about that every day, as I sell a book), do not worry about doing something “the right way”. Worry about making yourself happy, worry about creating something that makes your heart sing, worry about focusing on your vision, no matter how wacky it may seem. You will do much better listening to your heart, then to others.

    Not everyone will support you and you will find people who you never thought would support you, do. It will be an adventure. Adventures are scary but they also give you a sense of peace because you are fulfilling YOUR destiny. So here is to the New Year and all the adventures that await all of us. Thank you sooooooo much for your support of Wren and me, I do not have words to express my thankfulness.

                                                           Love Clarice