Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rainy Day Random

Hello!  It has been gloomy and rainy here for days, so I am very behind on a few photography projects that I need to get for today's post I thought I would gather up a number of things that I have wanted to show you but never seem to have the time to squeeze in...

I'll apologize in advance for the super long, random post!

In keeping with my love of outdoor photography, this past Summer I photographed everything I could, including a few picnics.  I did not snap a lot of pictures on this particular day, but I will share the few that I have.  Dappled light does not make for the best photographs, but we picked this spot because it was close to the creek and mostly shaded.  One of the things I really love about blogging is that it has given me such an appreciation for taking the time to make things pretty.  Taking that extra effort to make things special and pretty might, at times, go unnoticed by my family, but that's okay because I enjoy doing it...and having all of you to share it with makes it that much better :)) 

One of the many things I reuse the French lemonade bottles {from Whole Foods} for, is to hold new drinks that I make.  My kids happen to love what we call "blueberry fizz," which is just the organic blueberry juice from Trader Joe mixed half and half with San Pellegrino sparkling water.

Perfect for a brunch picnic, as well, is herb butter.  It is super easy to make your own butter if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer.  All you need is about 9 minutes and some heavy whipping cream and you are good to go!  If you would like detailed step-by-step instructions, CLICK HERE.  I love to fold in fresh herbs at the very end for an flavorful twist on plain butter.  Here I made thyme butter...chive butter is also a big favorite.

If you leave your honey out in the sun a bit and let it warm up, it is divine over sliced pears...crumbled goat cheese is a wonderful addition as well.  Just make sure the jar you have has a tight fitting lid so that you don't attract ants :)

And speaking of honey, I have been wanting to share with you my love for infused honey.  One of our favorites is lavender honey and it is super easy to make...

All you need is a clean canning jar with a tight fitting lid, raw honey, and dried lavender buds {make sure they are not treated with anything and are specific for cooking with, I get mine HERE}.  Then just fill your jar about 1/3 full with the lavender buds and fill the rest of the jar with your honey.  Place in a sunny window for one to two weeks turning the jar once per day.  After two weeks, strain the honey into a clean jar and discard the lavender buds.  Voila, lavender honey!  Easy!!  Infused honey makes a great gift!

Okay, moving on...I told you this was random :))  Autumn is my favorite time of year to photograph outdoors, and here in the Midwest I think God made Fall especially beautiful to make up for the long, cold winters ahead that we have to endure!  I would like to include some changing landscape photos in my posts over the next month or so as the beauty of Fall takes over...

I took these two photos at a farm that my sister and I take are kids to for weekly walks.  They have a 2.5 mile path that goes all around the prairie fields and it is one of my favorite places.

I would also love to share pictures that I take of my niece/goddaughter from time to time.  I have been practicing my portrait photography on Sophie since she was born in May.  Isn't she a cutie?!  I don't get enough practice at portrait photography because my own kids do not like to cooperate with me when I pull my camera out and ask them to stand still...let's just say that there is usually a lot of arguing going on :)  At any rate, here are just a few pics of precious Sophie...

And lastly {phew!}, here is a little peek at the new Jeanne d' Arc Living book, Amazing Retreats, that will be available in two weeks...

This book is full of outdoor styling inspiration and will feature many gorgeous Summer homes from Denmark, all in the lovely Nordic-French style!

As a bonus, the book will also include a chapter on Christmas decorating!  Yay!  I can't wait to see it!!

{last 7 images courtesy of Jeanne d' Arc Living}

You can pre-order a copy of Amazing Retreats in the SHOP

I think that was one of my longest posts ever!  Sorry to throw so much at you at once, but I have a very busy week ahead and I'm not sure how soon I will get to post again.

Enjoy your day!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Early Autumn

Happy Thursday!  Today I am sharing a corner of my dining room that I like to change up on a regular basis :)  This room is the first room people see when they enter my home, so it is a fun room to update and change seasonally.  I changed out the table that I usually have in this corner for my vintage French dry sink and then just gathered some bits of nature and elements from around the house that I already had...

I started taking pictures and then realized that I hadn't added anything to my hanging nest :)  So I asked the kids to gather up some of the leaves that have started falling from the tree out front and added those to the nest...

dried scabiosa

I'm not sure what this says :))  But I love these old French poetry books, so I brought them down from my bedroom and added them...

Some burlap and limelight hydrangeas added new life to my old tool caddy...

Happy Autumn!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by...


p.s.  My friend Anne Marie's Fall Barn Sale is coming up on October 7th and is the information for anyone who is interested in coming...I'm definitely going!


My friends Jen and Jeanne are also teaching some amazing art classes that weekend!  If you hurry over to Anne Marie's blog, you can sign up to win a weekend getaway for two to the sale!!! 

{drawing ends September 23rd at midnight}

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Winner and a Touch of Fall

Hello!  Just a quick post to announce the Winner of the Post Road Vintage Giveaway that Heather was so generous to offer here on my blog...

The Winner is Connie from She Dreams Big!!!!!!!  Thank you so much to everyone who participated!

As much as I've had a hard time letting go of Summer, I have been slowly starting to do some Fall decorating and enjoying it.  I wanted to take more pictures to show you today, but it rained ALL day yesterday and was very gloomy {so far today is more of the same}, so I will hopefully be back soon with more touches of Fall...

I took this picture last Fall in the woods near our house...I really do love this time of year and am looking forward to the beauty of Fall!

Enjoy your day!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Vintage Trunk

Happy Thursday my friends!  Today I'd like to share some photos of the wonderful vintage trunk that my mother-in-law gave us a few weeks ago.  First of all, let me just say that I am in love with this trunk!  It is just so "me" and fits in perfectly with my decor.  It belonged to my husband's grandfather and is a very special addition to our home.  My husband and I are blessed to have many antiques in our home that are family heirlooms, especially from his side of the family...they truly bring happiness to my heart to have them in our home!

My MIL was not sure if this trunk was used by her father to hold his belongings when he came to this country from Poland, but she does remember it while growing up as the place where he kept all of his important papers.  Right now, I have the trunk in front of the couch in our family room, but I am not sure if it will stay there...for now at least, I am happy where it's at :))

The silver paint has worn off on all of the edges of the trunk, only adding to it's beauty...

...this little mini sap bucket is one I picked up at the flea market last month and forgot to show you...I seem to have a whole collection of these old galvanized buckets going these days...

I brought some of my limelight hydrangeas in the other day, as I love it when they turn this pretty shade of green.  I am trying to savor the last of the fresh cut flowers from the garden by bringing in new bunches every few days, because unfortunately, not too long form now we will get our first frost and it will be all over :(

There is still time to enter my Post Road Vintage Giveaway {contest ends Sunday at midnight}!

Have a great weekend!!!


p.s.  The Autumn issue of Jeanne d' Arc Living magazine will be here soon and is available in the SHOP for pre-order...this is always one of my favorite issues of the year!

Monday, September 12, 2011

$300 Giveaway!!!

I have a wonderful treat for you this morning...Heather from Post Road Vintage has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway on my blog for a $300 gift certificate to her lovely shop!!!  How exciting is that??!!!

She has recently added some new products to her line up of farmhouse inspired goodness and has even launched a beautiful new Autumn *HERE* to view

Here is a peek at what she offers...

Ok, so the rules for the giveaway are as follows:

 Open worldwide...all you have to do is pop on over to Heather's shop, Post Road Vintage, and take a look around and then come back here and leave a comment!  Easy, right?! 

 Just let me know what items you would want to buy if you won the $300 giveaway!

You can earn an extra entry by spreading the word about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter...just leave me a separate comment for each letting me know.

Contest is open until Sunday, September 18th at midnight...I will draw one winner via Random Number Generator and announce that winner on Monday, September 19th.

You can visit Heather's blog *HERE*

All photos courtesy of Post Road Vintage

Good luck to everyone!!!