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February 2013

Cut Off Its Legs!!

    Cut table1

    I bet I had you at the tile ;-) Do you remember my new (to me) vintage couch? Which I love more and more but still have not painted the trim, I will one day. Well it is much long than the couch than I had before. And as whenever you add new furniture, it does not always work with everything you have. My coffee table was just too small and looked silly.

Cut table4

    But I am on a beer budget! A coors light, walmart kind of budget! So I was watching craiglist for a new table and checking out DIY's. I saw people who took dinning tables and cut them down. I realized my pretty pink table, which I use to use as a kitchen island before I got my French marble table would be perfect.

Cut table Collage

Cut table2

    We just cut it down. I left the table on the high side, 23 1/2",  because we work at lot at this table. I love it because I can put both sides up or down as needed. I have never had a large coffee table before but I find we use it so often I cannot imagine going back to small one. So do you have a table you can cut down?

Cut table3

This, That and a Thank You!

Coke braclet

    Hello everyone, I hope you are well. I have been busy cleaning and installing new hardwear in my kitchen. Amazing how something so simple as new handles can make a big difference. Oh and I am making new lighting for the kitchen too. I will share soon! Oscar's is this Sunday, the girls and I always watch the red carpet and have appetizers. I am thinking maybe making some roasted red pepper bacon goat cheese truffles and pomegranate margaritas!!

    Hey I wanted to give a shout out to Kelli for this pretty, vintage coke bracelet. It will be a fun accessory this summer. Thank you!!

    Lastly I wanted to let you know I have made a project page. If you look under my banner to the right, you will see projects, just click on it. It is NOT everything I have made. I have been blogging a long time, there is a lot. But this is a list of some of my favorites. It is nice to see someones projects all in one place. Enjoy and let me know what you like to eat when watching the red carpet xox

Books, I have been enjoying lately

  A fine romace

    Even though I am not a big reader (as a dyslxic, I find so hard to read. It takes a huge amount of focus and effort for me to read more than a pargraph at a time) I have been enjoying some great books this winter. Now, this first book is not even printed (so I have not read it yet :-) BUT I am soo excited I had to share in case someone did not know. Susan Branch has a new book,  A Fine Romance. Heck any new book from Susan I will buy but a book by Susan about England? Heck yeah, I am pre-ordering a copy!!!!


    Two books I especailly love are When Wanderers Cease to Roam and Le Road Trip By Vivian Swift. I love her snipits of life, things like watercolors of different types of dirt or fashion advice if you are in France (which is, do not worry about it. Be yourself). I have always wanted to do a journal like Vivian's and she inspires me. I actully bought a copy of When Wanderers Cease to encourge me in my own journaling. Check out her blog by the way!


   Another book I am curently reading is A Family in Paris by Jane Paech. It is a wonderful scrapbook about a families time in Paris, which is a subject I never get sick of reading about.My mother just wrote a review of this book on her blog.


    I also love Jamie Oliver's Great Britan cookbook. Well I love all of Jamies books but espically this book. Jamie know how to hit that perfect balence of creating true british food but giving it just a small twist to make it new but not too new. Lots of fun info about Britain. A good and yummy read!!


    As I have posted about I am big fan of homemade ice cream. It is soo much cheaper and tastes better. So I took a chance and bought Jenis Splendid Ice Cream and I am so glad I did. She has a unique take on homemade ice cream involving cream cheese. But the biggest reason I enjoyed this book is she gave me lots of ideas on how to bling up my own recipes. For example herb infusing cream before making the ice cream.

Some free on-line books, check out The 1800's Pioneer Handbook's. Very cool look at history.


Lastly, is a movie The Well Diugger's daughter. I watch this sweet movie on netflix instant watch.

"A well-digger Pascale, a widower living with his six daughters in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I. His eldest, Patricia, has returned home from Paris to help raise her sisters, and Pascale dreams of marrying her off to his loyal assistant Felipe. But when she's impregnated by a wealthy young pilot who promptly abandons her for the frontlines, Pascale is left to contend with the consequences."

I was drawn to the father and his love for his unwed, pregnant daughter. And his love for his family. There is a bit of language but nothing improper is shown. A sweet and touching story!

Storyton Abbey

Thom anna

Welcome to Storyton Abbey (Here we are waiting to meet our honored guest)!


Come this way please! (door hanger)

Mom downton

We are celebrating the birthday of Lady Linda. (Her b-day is tomarrow) Doesn't she look the part?

D town table

Grab a hat and come have a sit.


Thomas and Anna will be glad to serve you.

Ladies downton

While enjoying Downton Abbey music (a youtube play list), please take a look at the wall of quotes.


Downton quoteeee

Of course we have a tea with finger sandwiches, roasted veggie salad, brie baked in lavender honey, chocolates and Mrs. Patmore raspberry meringue pudding (mine is a cheaters version; pre-made meringues, homemade whipped cream and frozen raspberries layered).

Down food Collage

We had fun picking our aristocratic name game!

Table downton

Sweet memories were made, I think my mother loved her birthday tea. I wish I was not sick and could have done a more elaborate tea but the love is the most important thing. Thank you for letting me share our Downton Abbey birthday tea with you xox

Dowton girls

Vintage Storybook, Help w/ Food Budget


    I am sick again, so I am reposting one of my older posts. I did a series five years ago about how I save money on food. Something have changed, mostly where I buy food now that I am avoiding GMO but I think most of what I wrote is still pretty relevant. I know I still cook the same. So if you feel overwhemled, discourged and not a clue how to start saving money hopefully this post will help you!

     I have had several letters asking me if I could share how I save money on my groceries. I am going to talk about what I do over this next week but I want to share a bit of my background first. Mostly I want to share because if anyone is struggling to feed their family healthy, interesting food and feel discouraged, I am hoping I can encourage you. Because believe me if I can do it, anyone can!

    I was lucky to be raised in northern California, which I call the Disneyland of food. In my youth I was blessed with going out to eat at amazing restaurant (almost every weekend), hand-crafted food (before it was hip), wonderful wineries all around me, two trips to Europe and really no budget. Even when I was first married I would spend my mornings planning wonderful three course meals for my new hubby, go to the gourmet grocery store and spend the afternoon cooking for him (He is soo pampered !!!). Then Auberne` was born and the first 7 months of her life was a blur of doctors, surgery and hospitals. After her open-heart surgery we needed a fresh start. My mother sadly was newly divorced and also needed a fresh start, so we all moved to Washington. For six months we live in this amazing 100 years home on the waterfront of a small, charming island. Oh I wish you could see it. Then my mother bought an old farm-house with the idea we would all live together. David and I paid very little rent, so again I really did not have a strict budget until 7 years ago when we bought our Storybook Woods.

    We went from a small rent to a large morgage. It was scary and I guess you could say I had to grow up. I had $50.00 a week for four people and remember we homeschool, so we are home all the time. I live in a fairly food expensive area, so it was stretch for me. It took me a good year to make it work and I am still learning to make my money go farther.

    The first thing I did was start a book of prices. I realized I had no idea if something was a good price. As silly as I looked (and I had people staring at me) I took a notebook with me and wrote down the prices of everything and what store it was. It took me months to really get a good picture of what was a good price and what was not. First because I have a bad memory and could not remember what I saw last week! I found there is not one perfect store but over time I could see that store A has the best over-all deal on produce, store B best deal on meats, store C best bulk section and so on. So the first thing I did was to learn what was a good a price, where to go and I only used cash. For me, I do best when I actually have the cash in my hand and can see how much I have. I do not know why, but when I have cash I can make it go amazingly far.

    What I do will not work for everyone and some of it will be stuff your probably have already heard but I hope you will come away with a tip or two!

You can read the other 5 parts of this series here!

ps. the angel above is Auberne`