Saturday, August 30, 2008


I'M STILL HERE...just taking a little break from blogging to take care of ill BF. It was raining this morning and I was in the mood for some FALL crafting. Ever-so talented and generous Heather at Present Past Collection has inspired me to make my own fall "tussie mussie". Hopefully you'll be inspired, too. I'm pretty sure you have most of the things you need lying in the garage or basement. Just be creative! I only spent a few bucks for the feather and bird picks from Joann's and Michael's.

The tools of the trade that you're going to need...

A few vintage finds collected through the years are now coming handy...

Odd items from old potpourris are great for this project. Sky's the limit!

For my base, I started with a feather pick and a dowel wrapped in old cotton ribbon. Now that I'm looking at the finished project...I should have ditched the dowel and opted for a cute nest. What was I thinking?

Now that the birdie is in position... just add whatever embellishments you have on hands.

And voila! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Stop and take the time to smell the roses,
Stop and take the time to fill your noses,
Stop as you stroll through life, ("pitter patter, pitter patter")

-Stop And Take The Time To Smell The Roses, Ringo Starr

JOE WAS DISCHARGED from the hospital early this morning, although still very sore but he's so relieved to be home. The cats were making extra little noises to let him know that they're so happy to see him. Or it could be that they just missed their daily treats from daddy.

And here I am...although a little bit tired from driving back and forth to the hospital just couldn't let this beautiful Sunday go by without taking the time to smell the flowers...literally.

- moss rose 'portulaca', annual

- weed from the yard

With the hustle and bustle of everyday activities, it's easy to become overwhelmed, stressed out and anxious. My friends, take time to relax, and learn how to stop and smell the roses. Only then can you recharge your batteries and appreciate what life has to offer.

Hugs from Joe and me for all your support and sweet comments. We couldn't thank you enough...

Saturday, August 23, 2008


- Van Halen Concert in NY City, NY (May 2008)

WE ARE NOW on our third day of excitement at Fatima Hospital. Joe's appendix is GONE! The surgery went well and he's able to get a solid rest for 5 hours while he was at the recovery room. The surgeon came out to see me after the surgery but we missed each other. At this time, we don't know when he's going to be discharged.

Thanks a million to all your wonderful and warm well wishes and prayers for Joe's surgery. It really amazes me how nice all of you to us even though we haven't met in person!

Friday, August 22, 2008


- early spring, Tiogue Pond, Coventry, RI

I'M GOING BACK to the hospital today. Joe was admitted to the E.R. yesterday and is going to have a surgery today to drain whatever is causing him this agonizing abdominal pain that is also radiating all the way to his back. The good news is that this isn't cancer-related. It's either he has Crohn's disease or appendicitis. I'd prefer to hear the latter. The poor guy has been through a lot lately but he's a trooper...always has been!

All of your warm and wonderful comments and prayers from previous posts were greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderful weekend, my sweet bloggy friends! It's another gorgeous day here in southern New England... quite chilly this morning but it should warm up later today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


FALL OFFICIALLY STARTS September 22nd, but this tree at my job's property decided to get an early start!

The nights temps are dropping and the quality of light is already changing. Joe was wondering if it was just him or that it was that chilly last night! Fall is definitely coming on strong especially at TJMaxx and ACMoore. I'm not ready to retire my flip flops for the season yet but on the other hand, I am looking forward to another New England's brilliant fall display.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I FINALLY BROKE down and bought a brand new couch and ottoman. I had waited for 12 years to get rid of the old one! You can see it HERE. One of the main reasons why I started blogging is to record my decorating progress. My goal is to make the living room more attractive and looks finished by Christmas. Doable, right?

Welcome to my living room! Yes, you're seeing RED. Not my first choice. I've always wanted a white one from Ethan Allen or Pottery Barn but my budget just won't allow it. I don't own a single credit card anymore... been there...done that.

Anyway, the next thing on the agenda is to sew 6 panels of white linen curtains to accommodate three sets of windows. On the left, you can see the opening that connects to the dining room. Two white french doors will be hanged there pretty soon and the living room is going to be off limits to the cats... FOR A WHILE. How can you resist? They're just too cute. I wish I were a stricter mom!

I will never get tired of this coffee table. I bought this 10 years ago from the very same place where I got the couch. Has anyone painted a steam radiator before? That's another project right there!

I can live without the ottoman but in order for me to qualify for a discount I had to make a certain amount of purchase. I am going to sew a white slipcover for this piece that way I can get two looks in one...

A few accessories picked up from my favorite places such as Savers, TJMaxx and ACMoore.

The couch is very comfortable and we love it. I'll let you have a complete tour of the living room once everything is pulled together. It's going to be a slow progress as we're pretty much DIY and Joe is not really in good shape to do any physical work.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


WELCOME TO ANOTHER Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound. Please visit our lovely hostess for a complete list of all participants.

Isn't this the cutest shabby pink watering can you've ever seen? This was one of those purchases that you don't really need but you can't resist because it's just too darn cute. It's approximately 4 1/2" tall and 5" wide and it's gilded. I'm a sucker for anything gilded! I found this at a recent trip to SAVER'S. There are no markings whatsoever on the bottom so I couldn't really tell if it's worth anything or not.

Updated: The "watering can" is breakable!

Friday, August 15, 2008


GREAT FOOD IS definitely one of the simple pleasures that we get to enjoy often here at Casa Maria. Joe is a quite a good cook himself. We used to eat out a lot but due to his disability he's learned a great deal to cook great meals. He also loves to do the grocery shopping and that really frees me up to do other things. He is a keeper...wink..wink...

This New England feast is a one-pot meal that can feed four or more. Click HERE if you want to try this clam boil recipe.

Have a great weekend my bloggy friends.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This is Country Home's April 2008 issue and I bought this magazine just for this article alone... pathetic...I know!

I always dream of owning my own lavender farm...rows and rows and rows of them. Perhaps it is also your dream and this young man is definitely living in his.

I do own a little slice of that dream. I planted a couple of little ones near my kitchen a few years ago. And for the life of me, I couldn't find the label that came with it.
Note to self: keep a catalogue of every single plant that you bring home.

A couple of big lavender plants that I started 2 years after we bought this little charming house back in 2000. I'm guessing that they're lavendin x intermedia because of its size and wonderful fragrance. I had a full intention to plant a loooong row but laziness (and other reasons) kicked in and I've never gotten to finish that row.

I also would like to set up a small stand next to my house and provide customers with baskets and scissors for clipping and they can cut their own bunches of lavender...

This year's harvest...great for small sachets.

Have a great day everyone...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


If you're reading this post, please consider yourself TAGGED. I have seen these all over the blogosphere and I couldn't think of anyone else who has not been given of these awards. I'm so sorry for breaking the rules, ladies. Thank you both for considering me worthy of these awards. I am so honored.

Brenda @ The Brenda Blog recently awarded me with The Brilliant Blog Award. I had a problem downloading the logo so will do without one. And there's a tag that goes with the award as well:


1) finish decorating the LIVING ROOM and that means I have to sew 6 panels of white linen curtain and 4-5 mismatch pillows and throw away move Joe's music gadgets and X-BOX games to the basement that's been dominating this place for quiet some time now.

2) finished painting 2 french doors and hang them before Christmas...

3) plant more lavender

4) frame a few of my cross stitch projects

5) embrace joyful simplicities...when you are worried about the health of loved one, you really realized that life is so beautiful and precious. Everyday is a gift.

Alex at Quill and Pen also awarded me this cool award Blogging Friends Forever:

Friday, August 08, 2008


My copper kettle
whistles merrily
and signals that
it is time for tea.

The fine china cups
are filled with the brew.
There's lemon and sugar
and sweet cream, too.

But, best of all
there's friendship, between you and me.
As we lovingly share
our afternoon tea.
- Marianna Arolin

Thanks to Jan @ Jan & Tom's Place for hosting this tea party. Please visit out lovely hostess for a complete list of all participants.

*Images via TeaTime Magazine

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


THAT SONG HAS been stuck in my head since Debbie showed a video of her funny daughter Rachel talking about nothing but bananas and which also reminds me to watch (again) Audrey Hepburn's movie SABRINA this weekend.

Yesterday while at work, I was craving so bad for some crunchy deep fried TURON with coconut-pineapple ice cream. Yeah, don't be silly, I'm not pregnant!

This Filipino dessert is FOR YOU EYES ONLY cause I'm not expecting you to make this with me. Not for the faint of heart...too much work but it's really worth it! Armed with two plantains, spring roll wrappers and a can of jackfruit and I was frying! I just learned that jackfruit is the largest fruit in the whole world! Click HERE to see it for yourself!

"Sweet, delicious tropical treat"... Joey's words.
And my words..."life is good"!

Well, a little bit off topic here... does anybody know if strikeouts (words with line across) work for BLOGGER? Please let me know. Happy Wednesday everyone!

UPDATED: Thanks for the code, Meg! You're so brilliant!

Monday, August 04, 2008


HELLO AND HOW is everybody? I promised The Big Guy that I would STAY HOME over the weekend to have some things get done. I could've chosen to be HERE with Jodie for another summer escapade but I declined the invite. No regrets!

I couldn't believed what I've accomplished just on Saturday alone!

a) pulled weeds in circular herbal garden b) planted 'silver slipper' hydrangea c) did a two-week worth of laundry and d) read a juicy murder case

I also went shopping in my garage and finally made SOME decorating progress in the living room. Joe scored this yellow wicker (or rattan) dresser for FREE from Craiglist. And the two chairs are recent finds from the trash by moi. I just couldn't believed the variety of stuff that people throw away. And mind you, if we really go out there looking for these stuff? I could really make treasure hunting into a living if I wanted to, you know.

Eventually, I will paint this dresser white and might keep the chairs the way they are...

Friday, August 01, 2008


To market, to market, to buy a fat pig...

NOTHING BEATS A summer good eat than fresh-from-the-farm produce found at a local market!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig...

Grilled chicken kabobs marinated in soy sauce (that's how I like it) and lots of lemon juice...

Have a great weekend everyone and ENJOY the summer!