Yesterday ( while following my prescribed bed rest ) on a beautiful spring day, I watched the new Grey Gardens. Having seen the original which was interesting for sure, but also a bit disturbing, I did not really know what to expect. As someone who has always loved interesting people of style, the history of the 1930's and the Hampton's, this movie had all the ingredients for the perfect film. It did not disappoint. I so love how they mixed the back story with clips and the making of the original film, seeing the house as it was in hits previous state full of life and beauty and the relationship between mother and daughter so honestly portrayed. This is truly one not to miss. Fascinated as well by the story of Little Edie, and how she finally left the home shared with her mom, and made her way back to New York, and eventually Florida. Loving the fact that the home was sold for only $220,000 in 1979 to Sally Quinn and Benjamin Bradley with the understanding that they would restore it. Restore this beautiful home they did...the gardens are to die for, and the recent article in The New York times and the evolution of this fabulous property is exquisite.
Take a look at the beautiful images above.
For a great view of the Beale's and story of the home, this article from 1972, written by Gail Sheehy is worth the read
As everyone in California knows, we have been having a bit of a heat wave... The warm weather, time at home and April days at the pool have me think of summer and how much I adore this time of year. As we look for a new place to live, can't help but to daydream about an outdoor space where we can gather, hangout and eat as many meals as possible outdoors. To me, one of the best parts of this time of year is truly being outside as much as possible.
This lovely outdoor spot from Skona Hem was the perfect image to capture these daydreams.
Ok, since I have been thinking about summer and fond summer memories all week, I can't leave this out. The best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had...and the recipe tracked down to share with all of you. Kathleen's cookies as it was known for years ( now Tate's, is famous for its buttery, thin crispy chocolate chip cookies. As someone who much prefers a soft ( almost undercooked ) chocolate chip cookie and I admit, the raw dough itself, I must say these are to die for.
The only other improvement on the old toll house classic, is my husbands substitution of milk chocolate chips. So here you go, two options-The version below, and the old standby with milk chocolate instead of semi sweet. Oh, and if you are thinking this far ahead-either version is divine made into an ice cream sandwich...
Chocolate chip cookies are our signature item. They are thin and crisp and remain everyone’s favorite. Tate’s Bake Shop bakes and sells thousands a week and ships them all over the country. Yield: 4 1/2 dozen three-inch cookies. 2 cups all-purpose pour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup salted butter 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon water 1 teaspoon vanila 2 large eggs 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets or line them with Silpat. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the water and vanilla. Mix the ingredients until they are just combined. Add the eggs and mix them lightly. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the dough. Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop. Bake them for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Yesterday was a lovely day ( or so I hear :) ) and Summer is in the Air. After a little ( and I do mean little...outing on Saturday ) I had to make sure I stayed mostly horizontal yesterday. So while my adorable and loving husband made us all a gourmet breakfast and took our daughter ( he is such a trooper ) to an early showing of Hannah Montana I hung out with the boys and played Scrabble at home. A few hours later, a friend came by with her son ( a good friend of our oldest's ) and brought with her some favorite mags. Hours later, when the Mr. took the kids to the pool and enjoyed an afternoon of swimming and ice cream, I took a virtual trip to some wonderful pools, beaches and gardens through the pages of said magazines.
Here was one of the treasures I laid my eyes on...A few years ago, knows as J. Harper Poor Cottages, this charming inn, Baker House 1650 has now added a lovely pool. The wisteria and outdoor areas took my breath away, Enjoy, even if only as I did, virtually.
Yesterday, I found myself looking at some of my favorite interior blogs ( many of them from Australia..) and found myself on one that I quite adore. Pink Wallpaper written by a new mom and interior designer has a lovely design sense and pratical tips and ideas for the home.
I loved this image...would be a great cottage kitchen or playroom set up for the kids..I can imagine ( let a girl dream ) all the kids stuff and art supplies organized with a fun word spelled out in these fab metal letters.
Ok, I admit it, I have a few blog crushes...Joslyn from Simply Lovely, Chelsea from Frolic and Marta from Marta Writes to name a few. As I have followed and watched Marta on her journey into motherhood, I admire her love, honesty and ability to connect with her best self and those around her.. Her post today reminded me of her love for life and experiencing all that it brings.
Loved her resolutions when she posted them, and to be honest about hopes and dreams..motivated to bring them to life and real enough to laugh along the way.
PS-her diaries ( and her handwriting ) are treasures as well! Check them out-a fantastic gift for mothers day!
One of the sites I love most for home inspiration is Skona Hem. A fab magazine from Sweeden that I would LOVE to track down here. For now, a simple visit to their site every now and then, keeps me dreaming. I came across what would be the perfect kitchen. Seriously, how could you not love a space where everyone can gather with ease, there is ample room to prep and cook, an office space for organization and a wonderful eating area. To me, the kitchen often feels like the heart of the home and this one says Love.
As you might know, spending a bit more time working from home. Have always loved a place in the home, away from everything else for writing notes, doing some creative work, and housing inspirational books and tear sheets. I have learned over time to keep the space clean and organized and stocked with favorite pencils, a giant note pad fantastic note cards. With some simple tools for keeping things organized, the space provides a tranquil spot to recharge. Even for a few minutes each day.
Ok, after months of thinking and really sitting back and understanding what I love and what was important to us when we started our little concept I am taking the plunge. I so love connecting with people, sharing and learning more about people, resources, adventures and stuff that makes our life as parents and people easier, richer and more rewarding. A place where ideas, people, and a community can be created. When my husband first started talking about what he wanted and hoped we could do, I did not really and truly understand. Now I do. And while bringing that dream to life is likely a bigger project and focus for us in 2010, for now I know at least that the desire for me is strong to start capturing the topics, connecting with the people and learning from others. There are so many people we meet, information that is sent, stories that are told and stuff that people send to us. My hope is that this will be a place to share those all. So here we go, I am planning to work on some of the content this weekend, and go live on Monday.
Happy to be home, albeit it on bedrest for ??? weeks or days the last 12 hours have been another lesson in change and taking life as it comes. Yesterday afternoon, was a bit hard to think about following the Dr's orders and imagining what the next days and weeks would look like. With the couch bed set up downstairs, fresh flowers and a pitcher of water it was quite a lovely little refuge on any other day. Coming home though, and thinking about what I would normally be doing in the late afternoon with the kids, working later in the evening on the computer and just hanging out with the Mr. took a bit of reflection. This morning, some how it started to connect.
There is a reason for all of this I can't help but think, another reason to sit and recognize that life is evolving again. Having an opportunity to slow down, and connect with the changes in our life, surrender a bit and not be in control, realize how to connect with the people in our lives and not just be doing all the time is actually a welcome gift. Of course I have come up with some thoughts for the next few weeks...how can I let go at work, but be of help in some way; taking the time to really connect with the Mr. and the kids when we are together, reading a stack of books that I have had for awhile ( and of course ordering a few new ones ) getting in touch with some friends I have not kept up with, posting tons of stuff on this blog that I have been carrying around for ages, queing up a list of movies on blockbuster that I have always wanted to see and waiting hopefully for 4-6 weeks for these amazing girls to arrive. Imagining life with them...
What a crazy few days it has been...All good now, and just in the waiting mode for more news but a little scare with the twins has put me in the Hospital for a few days with some likely bedrest to follow. Seriously, I feel incredibly thankful and am filled with love for my husband, our family, close friends and all of the people who are just here to help. Another moment to just pause and reflect on priorities.
With an amazing team of partners at work ( and an old dear friend who is one of the most intelligent, honest and motivating people I have known ) now at the helm of our much loved company in the last few weeks, I am reminded again at how important it is to know what you want, speak from the heart, understand the life journey you have committed to with your partner, trust and rely on others and know what you are truly best suited to do at different points in life. My husband ( and first true partner ) Our friends Tina and Greg ( business partners ) Everyone on the team who believed in our vision and made changes to join the team, and now most recently Chris.
Amy Williams is a 41 year old Daughter, Wife and Mother. She has three amazing stepchildren and newborn twin girls. She and her husband created and co-founded Peek Aren't You Curious , a store for children and parents to experience the joys of childhood and parenting.
Discourse & Design is where she gets to share her finds in style, photography, cooking, life and travel.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org