Saturday, July 27, 2013

Coffee with Cafe Chatelaine

My morning routine is the same weekday or weekend. Wake up, feed the kitties, then breakfast at my coffee table in the living room.  When you live alone you can be a little unorthodox with where you eat, what time you eat and what you eat.

Yesterday's breakfast was lemon pound cake and a cup of black coffee. Every morning is different depending on plans for the day.

This is my latest obsession, the Starbucks Verismo. Bright, shiny and cinnamon in color. My sister calls it my new toy. I love having so many choices for coffee in the morning. It's fun to make lattes at home.

And I bought some syrups and mocha powder so I can get creative with my homebrewing.

Oh, another part of my morning routine is to take a photo of my coffee and post it on Instagram and Facebook. It has become my signature.

Of course, Percy photobombed this shot. He's such an attention hogger.

Different mugs and roasts of coffee are photographed and sent to my friends list. This mug has a lid that doubles as a coaster. It was a gift from my friend Jan, a former coworker.

And this extra large cup was a purchase at an after Christmas sale at Pottery Barn. It doubles as a soup bowl in wintertime.

Sometimes I look through magazines during breakfast or I watch the morning shows. This cool cup is from Pier One. And the scratches are courtesy of the kitties. They have done quite a number on the table. Luckily, it had a rustic, distressed look to begin with.

Flowers from the farmers market pretty up the table. The cup is another after Christmas purchase. This time from Starbucks. I do love my after Christmas shopping.

This morning's latte was made with Guatemalan Espresso. Delish!


Molly thinks she might like to try a sip. Sadly, she was not successful in any of her attempts.

Today's shot was a little more involved. Kashi blueberry cereal, milk in a cat pitcher and my favorite birdie mug. It is obvious I like lidded mugs.

Oscar wanted to get in on the black and white theme I had going. Do you like the bowl? It's from French Garden House. The birdie mug is from QVC.

Earlier in the week Molly was unsuccessful in getting a sip of coffee but today she took the aggressive approach.  She dove head first into the milk pitcher.

Percy also wanted at the milk but he settled for posing behind it. After all, the kitty on the pitcher is the spitting image of him.

If you want to be sure to see my coffee images each morning, you can follow me on Instagram or friend me on Facebook.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yellow Chair Market

Last year my sister bought this table off Craigslist. The seller did not have a store so my sister picked the table up at the woman's home in Melrose. Since I went to the house with my sister I got to see all the cool stuff in the home.

The seller, Amy, has a business called Yellow Chair Market and she describes herself as a picker. She is an architect by day.  She repurposes and refinishes items and turns them into beautiful pieces of furniture and home d├ęcor.

I bought a coffee table from her that I absolutely love. It's a trunk that Amy painted in a harlequin pattern and she added small industrial wheels on the bottom. It is a great addition to my living room.

  We recently learned that Amy and her family are leaving New England and moving to North Carolina. This is sad news. I could always look at her website and just pick up the items in the next town from me.

Recently, my sister called Amy to put aside this cool crate turned table for her. A vintage crate atop sewing machine table legs. It is really unique.

Amy's husband and little daughter delivered it to my home since they were dropping off some benches to me. Percy appreciated Amy's talent.

Amy had a yard sale last weekend. Of course, I went to it but I was very late. So I missed most of the good stuff. She had more in the house so she let me see it. I spied two bench/bookcases on her porch and asked if she was selling them. They looked a bit like some benches I was eyeing in the Pottery Barn catalog. She agreed to sell them to me for $20. a bench.

They make a perfect windowseat in the dining room. Oscar took to it immediately.  I love the storage underneath.

 Amy included other things with the benches. Three wicker baskets, three boxes, a wire basket, and a pillow. These benches are so much nicer than Pottery Barn's and Pottery Barn benches are $349 a bench.

Percy had to try it out too. I put his blanket on the bench because he tends to scratch anything that is wood.

I think I'll put the second bench downstairs in my office. I can use some storage for my work supplies. Decorating my home office has been a project on the back burner for a year. It's time to stop procrastinating.
If you want to check out Yellow Chair Market click the link here

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Money well spent

My friend Jeanne was having a garage/yard sale this weekend.  I was trying to gather some items to sell as well but I never got my act together. I set up a table at her sale but quickly realized I had just a few small items to sell and I would rather be shopping the sale then standing behind my table. I made $1.25.

This garage is on her investment property. It has a tin roof.  Jeanne's husband thinks it is a fire trap but Jeanne and I love it.

You have to admit, it is really cool. Jeanne and I have the same decorating style so I knew I would end up buying a lot at her sale.
When I spied this beauty in the garage I knew I wanted her. I wasn't thrilled with the hot pink velvet cushions or the black trim. It is dramatic but not my colors. The more I looked at her the more I began to talk myself out of it. I walked away. Then I came back and I sat on her. Very comfortable by the way. She also was the perfect size for my small rooms.
I looked at her from every angle. She was in good condition. I liked her contrasting fabric too.
Well, she was kind of lonely sitting at the front of the driveway and then Jeanne said she would give me the friend's discount. She said, "$30.00". I said, "Sold!".

Her son loaded her into the truck, drove her to my house and brought her in for me. Such service!

Now I'm thinking she may go in the office. Originally I was thinking the living room but now I think she would be better in the office. The office is a work in progress. It needs to be cleared out as it is currently a storage space in my basement. A heated, air conditioned storage space. What a waste of a room! I have procrastinated cleaning out the office for an entire year, shame on me!

I think the prospect of decorating the office has given me a reason to clean up the space. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wimbledon Breakfast- An annual affair

Every year I host a Wimbledon breakfast for my friends and family. We start at 10 AM and we have coffee and tea, crackers, cheese, and fruit, scones, frittata, and dessert. Occasionally, the menu varies.

I always have my favorite trophy filled with purple and green flowers. This serves as the centerpiece on the dining room table.  Pondview Florist did a great job with the flowers. I picked up the flowers the day before and placed it on the mantel so the kitties couldn't get at it. Percy of course, was able to jump up and take a nibble so I moved it to atop of the china cabinet. He gave up.

Here is a closer look at the centerpiece. I love it. It looks so elegant and I love the little tendrils of ivy.

We started with a fruit plate and lemonade with mint. When I went to the cheese shop in Winchester, a woman offered me a taste of stilton cheese with mango and ginger. It was so delicious I bought some for the party. We also had Wensleydale cranberry cheese and brie plus crackers and red grapes.

For tea, I went with a Lady Grey followed by Harney's Earl Grey Supreme loose tea. It was very nice. The Harrod's teapot always makes an appearance at the Wimbledon breakfast.

Here's an aerial view of the table. I took all of the photos with my phone. It's so much easier than lugging out the big camera.

My sister made a cold cucumber and dill soup. It was nice and refreshing for a hot and humid day. I got to use my pretty soup tureen.

Mary made plain scones. They were still warm from the oven, heavenly! I prefer plain scones so I can.... this to them. My sister made the mock Devonshire cream. I had the cream and strawberry preserves on one half and cream and lemon curd on the other half.  So good!

Mary also made a frittata of bacon and baked potatoes. It was surprisingly light. Mary bakes the potatoes first then shreds them before adding them to the frittata. Did you know my friend Mary is a TV star? She debuted on local cable in Wilmington around Easter time. She made her famous Easter bread on the big screen.

Now for the desserts, Debbi brought a cinnamon coffeecake from Kane's Donuts in Saugus.  It was too die for. I got the leftovers and believe me, it is decadent.

The cupcakes pictured above were from Cupcake City in Reading. They make the best cupcakes bar none and I am a connoisseur. I am partial to the signature chocolate but I also served the lemon curd and strawberry flavors. They are all spectacular.

Mini fruit tarts were also on the menu. They came from Roche Brothers because I like them the best.

I was prepared to make some tea sandwiches as well but we had so much food it wasn't necessary.

So there you have it, another Wimbledon breakfast put to rest. The tennis was great and the food and company was even better!


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