Thursday, October 18, 2012

Career Satisfaction

It has been my honor and pleasure to assist many clients over the years to make their homes a place they like to come home to.

I start the process by asking some key questions and then listening very carefully to what they do and do not say.

I always try to make my first visit to their home during the day to review the site lines, inside and outdoors, see the natural lighting, and see the items that will remain a part of our overall plan.  I also try to give them a complete plan that can be implemented over time in different phases to work within their budget, however giving a complete and polished look when completed.

It was gratifying to me to go through some folders and find the following thank you notes and comments.

  • "Thank you again for all your guidance with our home.  It looks so warm and charming! We'll be sure to let  our friends and business associates know who helped us make our home so special..."

"We still think of you often when we marvel how beautifully our home turned out."

  • "Thank you so much for all you wonderful advice, patience and creativity."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Soup Season

Cauliflower Soup
I have to admit that soup is a comfort food for me.  It is always quick and easy, and I usually make a batch every week with whatever is in season and freeze it in individual containers.  Fast, easy and so yummy!

This is a recipe for Cauliflower Soup from Tyler Florence, and you will love it!

3 tbl olive oil
6 brussel sprouts, separated into petals
3 tbl unsaled butter
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
5 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
3 c milk
1 tbl lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly gound black pepper

  • In large saucpan coat and warm olive oil
  • Saute Brussel sprout leaves for 2-3 minutes until crispu around edges.  Set aside and drain on paper towel
  • Add butter and lightly saute cauliflower florets with onion slices
  • Cook over medium heat, letting them sweat for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • In a sachet add thyme and bay leaves and add to saucepan, along with milk.
  • Bring to simmer, and then reduce heat to low
  • Cook until cauliflower if soft.
  • Remove sachet and transfer mixture to blender, puree. (I usually just mash, because I like it to have a bit of texture)
  • Add lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed.
I like to garnish with a few of the brussel sprout leaves.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Country drives
Fall is such a wonderful season!  The air is crisp, the humidity is gone, and my energy returns. 

I love to go for long drives along the Blueridge Parkway, enjoying the sun shining through the multi-colored leaves, and seeing them drift down across the country lanes.  It is time to wear a chunky knit sweater and drink hot apple cider.

Foraging in my garden and the farmers market, I find the making for table arrangements that will last until Thanksgiving.

Some are casual and will be out on the veranda, as a welcome home in the evening.

Some  will be placed inside to add seasonal appeal to the decor.  I love to change my accessories with the seasons.  It makes everything seem new and fresh to me. 

This is when I bring out throws and more textured pillows, put away the seashells and lighter colored accessories.  I display my painting from my great-grandmother of the sheep on the hillside that she painted as a young girl in Ireland.

Rotating your accessories with the seasons gives you a new appreciation for the things you love and enjoy.    And those are the things that make the house your home.

A bit of glamour
Natural Arrangement