Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year, A New Softer Look!

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You must be really tired of looking at pictures of my dining room but I changed out everything on the hutch after I took down all my Christmas decorations so I had to share it with you!

The blue and white transferware will be back but for now I wanted a softer, more shabby chic look for this dreary time of year. Have I mentioned that I thrive on change? Haha!   I used things I already had new purchases were made!  Ahhh...the benefits of being a hoarder!

I took the crocheted vintage lace (a gift from my mom) from the shelf in my bedroom and added it to the hutch. I also took the "Cottage" sign from my bedroom.  I love this sign!  It was such a splurge, I think I paid $55 for it!  I love it so much so it was worth every penny!  Sometimes you just have to buy something you love even if it's not a great deal!  It has a cute little pink bicycle with flowers in the baskets.  I bought it from Denise at Couture de Papier a couple years ago.  She painted it on a board that washed up on the shore of Cape Cod...which makes it even more special to me!  

I'm loving the new look! I wonder how long before I change it again? 

Happy New Year Everyone!  This is going to be a great year! I can just feel it!!!!  My parents got a computer for Christmas and soon they will have the internet! I'm so happy that my mom will be able to finally see my blog regularly and visit all the wonderful blogs out there!  I told her it would be life-changing for her!  She's going to love it!

Update:  I just put this on HGTV's Rate my Space.  Please click here if you would like to rate it!

Beautiful Gifts and Giveaways from Bloggers

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I cannot believe how often the postman is dropping packages off at my door!  See the White Christmas banner above?  That was a gift from Tales from an O.C. Cottage!  It's so beautiful, it's small tags tied on to white tulle.  I took down my Christmas decorations yesterday so this is now packed away until next year!  
I also won a chintz giveaway awhile back from Tales from an OC Cottage!  Look at all the beautiful things I won!  I added this chintz to my chintz (below) and I think it doubled my collection!   I love chintz!!!

click on photo to enlarge
I also received a package from Doris from Pennsylvania (she doesn't have a blog.)  She sent me this beautiful Christmas ornament with cupcakes on a tiered stand.  It reminds me of my favorite tiered dish.  So adorable!!!
She also sent me this refrigerator magnet made from a vintage earring.  What a great idea!  
Next I won a giveaway on Gollum's blog.... a Charles Faudree Interiors book! What a gorgeous book!  
I also won a giveaway on Fairiebees.  She made this tatted lace snowflake!  Everyone who entered her giveaway won one!
That is just some of the things the mailman has brought.  I still need to take photos of some of the others!  Thank you all so much for these wonderful gifts!!!!

And thanks so much to all of you that participated in my "Year in Review" party!  What a huge success!  I found so many beautiful blogs by clicking on all those links!  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Year in Review 2008

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The time has come for the Year in Review Party!

If you would like to join in on the fun please sign in with Mr. Linky below once you have your photos posted on your blog. Please use the url that goes directly to your 2008 Year in Review post (not just the url for your blog)! click here if you want to learn more about this party. Note: You do not have to do a photo mosaic, you can also just post regular photos if that's easier for you!

Please visit on the blogs below to see their "Year in Review"

Friday, December 26, 2008

After Christmas Shopping!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I planned to post yesterday to wish everyone a Merry Christmas but I was so exhausted so I took it really easy and even took an afternoon nap which is something I never do!  This morning I felt so much better and hit the road early to shop!  First I drove over the hill to the Santa Cruz Flea Market and then on my way back I stopped by Vintage & Vogue to buy some 1/2 price Christmas things.  I bought the 3 ornaments and the glittered deer above, all for $20 .

And....(drumroll) this is what I bought at the flea market! A gorgeous old hand-carved mirror for $30! It's missing some of the mirrors and I'm hoping it's not going to be too expensive to replace those.  I'm going to paint it antique-white (of course) and hang it above my sofa, maybe with some plates hanging above it. (I have it sitting on top of the sofa in the photo)  I'm also considering painting it and putting fabric where the mirror should be and using it for a headboard in Lauren's room.  The vendor had another one which was larger than this for $35 and she said I could have both for $50 but that large one would never have fit in my car! I barely got this one in!
Here's a close up of the top...
Update:  I put it on top of Lauren's full-size bed and it's too long for a headboard so then I put it on my Queen-size bed and it's too long for that also. It would probably fit a King-size bed which we don't have!  I guess it will be going over the sofa!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Beautiful Gift!

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Awhile back I mentioned a beautiful gift I was given by the gals at Vintage and Vogue....well here it is!!!

A gorgeous lined basket filled with so many blue and white beautiful things.
My favorite was this little teapot!  

I'm off to do the last of my Christmas shopping this morning!  I actually like being out on Christmas Eve because there is just so much Christmas spirit everywhere!  

In case you don't have time to stop by tomorrow, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas (or a  Happy Holiday Season for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas)!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Take one $3 Silver Dish...

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I stopped into my neighborhood thrift store last weekend and I found this silver dish for $2.99 and when I got to the register I found out everything was 30% off so it was a steal!  I knew it would be such a versatile piece to decorate with.  In the summer it will look stunning holding shells.
My camilla's are blooming so I floated them in water and added some small floating candles.  I think that's a very romantic look and would be wonderful as as centerpiece on my dining room table for Valentine's Day!  Hmmm...I need to find a Mr. Romantic first!!!
Then I added a mercury glass candle that I bought at Home Goods in the center and surrounded it with Christmas balls and a glittery starfish.  Very festive!

So, which is your favorite?

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Romantic Home @ Christmas ~The Movie

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I made a little movie with my Christmas decorating photos using iMovie on my mac.  The quality of the photos is not so good was fine on my mac and then when I uploaded it to YouTube it lost resolution.  

I need to go out and finish up some last minute Christmas shopping today!  Every year I tell myself I'm not going to wait until the last minute but I always seem to be out there with all the other last minute shoppers!  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rate my Space

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I put my Christmas table setting on HGTV's Rate my Space so if you would like to rate my space, click here!  Thank you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Vince!!!

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Happy 22nd Birthday to my son Vince! I couldn't be any prouder of my handsome and SUPER smart son! He just finished up his last college finals and will graduate later this year with a double major in Political Science and Economics and a minor in Statistics. I really would love to brag about all the honors he's graduating with but he gets really embarrassed when I brag about him so trust me when I say he's made me a very proud mom! He's taking a short break and then on to Graduate School to get a Ph.D. and plans to be a College Professor!

I can't believe he's 22, where has the time gone?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let's do a "Year in Review" Party!

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(click on photo to enlarge)

I put this mosaic together of some of my old photos and I realized that this should be titled "My Romantic Home ~ A Year in Review" because these photos were all taken over the last year for my blog. That made me think that it would be great to see other blogger's favorite photos for 2008 so I decided to host a  "Year in Review" party. Do you want to join in? How about Monday, December 29th? You can either do a mosaic like mine or just share some of your favorite photos you've posted on your blog in 2008. I used Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker for mine. Click here if you want to make one.   I made the little graphic below...feel free to grab it and put it on your blog if you want.  I'm going to try to get the Mr. Linky set up on my blog for this so look for more info coming soon if you want to join in!
Maybe I'll even make this an annual event!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

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Today is the day for Tracey's (A Cottage Industry) Virtual Cookie Exchange! I made BIG blue and white snowflake cookies. These iced sugar cookies are my go-to recipe for any special occasion. If you've been reading my blog through the years you may remember that I made these with heart shaped cookie cutters for Valentine's Day almost two years ago! I like to use almond extract instead of vanilla in both the cookie and the icing because I think it tastes so much better. I also think everything looks tastier when it's served on a silver platter!

I went on a hunt for French Dragees like the ones below for these cookies but I couldn't find them anywhere! I finally found out why I couldn't find them...they are ILLEGAL in California. Yep, we are not allowed to eat this little candy with trace amounts of silver in them because this is California and we only eat whole wheat, alfalfa sprouts, avocados of course cheese from California cows! LOL We can't even order these online because they won't ship them to California!!! On my next trip to Nevada, which hopefully will be in March to visit Tracey's next Tumbleweed Cotillion I will be stocking up on French Dragees and smuggling them back into California for next year's Christmas cookies! The recipe for the cookies can be found here and the royal icing recipe can be found here (I used the 3rd recipe (Lesley's) but I only used 3 T of meringue powder. I also used almond extract in both recipes in place of the vanilla.
Please ignore the broken cookie...I'm not perfect! I was afraid if I pulled it out I would break the other cookies so I just left it there!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vintage & Vogue at Christmas!

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This beautiful shop is exactly 1.5 miles from my apartment. It's amazing that I'm not there every day! Look how beautiful it is when you walk up to the front door! (you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them)

Once inside, there is only one word to describe it~BREATHTAKING! I'll just let the photos speak for themselves...

If you ever find yourself in Silicon Valley (or anywhere in Northern California) this is a shop you should visit! They are located in quaint little downtown Campbell at 241 E. Campbell Avenue.