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    Welcome to my blog! Many Thanks to my parents who love simple living by the sea! Because of them our family has great memories of Florida and Maine. Their "Traditional with a Twist" lifestyle continues to inspire me and I'll be sharing that with you here.
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Rosette Tutorial

    Rosette Tutorial

For your Face and Soul!


My wonderful husband Marty took me to St. Bart’s again for my birthday! While he was on a conference call, I finally treated myself to a facial at the Sisley Spa at Hotel Christopher where we stay. Justine began creating a special treatment based on my skin’s condition.


Right outside the spa this is your view so I didn’t mind waiting a bit..


The surf is so relaxing and puts you in the right frame of mind.




Each treatment room has a private terrace overlooking the surf with an outdoor shower and a tropical vanity stand!


Justine used all these products and her gentle massage to give me the best feeling facial I’ve ever had! She asked about the products I was using and advised using two of their products in particular because I have such sensitive skin. I also received a free sample of one of them. The Sisley facial was such a great birthday treat and my skin still feels amazing from it!


Here’s Marty on the beach of the Guatahani Hotel on the Grand Cul de Sac where we headed for lunch.


The Swordfish with eggplant, tomato, basil, and baby arugula was excellent!


Marty ordered the grilled salmon and rice pilaf. All were too good not to share!


I had amazing views in all directions..


Thanks again Marty for another heavenly birthday in paradise! OX

Magical Woodland Tea Party for Elle!


Here’s my lovely niece Hayley with her adorable daughter Elise – better known as Elle! She is the first girl in her generation of our family so we decided to celebrate her this last summer at our cottage on Hancock Point.


My sister Brooke made this charming doilly garlard and Hayley made big, colorful, paper pom pom flowers! Hi Gareth!


My sister Heather made her fabulous devil’s food cakes topped with whipped cream and rasberries and I made fanciful butterfly and bee shaped sugar cookies!


Brooke also made these sweet ginger mini cakes and Amanda created the elegant banana and cream cheese confection above!


Gareth (on the right) helped us create unique floral headbands for each guest! She and my niece Laurel looked lovely with these on!


My pretty niece Amanda decided to create her own headband and one for Hayley! I think it suits her perfectly!


Here’s our delightful Barbie (who opted for the flapper floral headband) with Laurel and Brian’s son Logan!


Gareth’s Mom Carol Crosby created two magical fairy houses for our event! My “Blossomtime” floral fabric print made a festive tablecloth!


Carol’s other fairy house made a lively centerpiece for our living room table! We all want to learn how to make these – thanks again Carol!!


Amanda had the fun idea of bringing lots of  bubbles to blow all over the front lawn!


Mike, Barbie, and Henry got into the act here..


It even inspired some flapper dancing by Barbie!!


and they kept coming…


it was the perfect light hearted capper to our magical woodland affair! P.S. Gareth’s dog Peregrin agreed ;-) !

Gluten Free Almond Easter Egg Cake


I adapted this Recipe from Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain.

Ingredients  (in first section makes one egg half – I made 2 halves and put them together with Apricot jam)

1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour           6 large eggs separated        1 1/4 cups superfine sugar        grated zests of 1 orange & 1 lemon     4 drops almond extract   Non stick cooking spray

Apricot Jam    Confectioner’s sugar for dusting      Jelly Belly Jewel Beans

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

1) With an electric mixer beat egg yolks and superfine sugar into a pale cream in a large bowl. Beat in zests, extract, and almond flour.

2) Clean the beaters and whip the egg whites separately until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into yolk/almond mixture with a large spoon.

3) Spray egg shaped pan with Non Stick Spray and pour in cake batter. Bake for approx 30 minutes or until firm. Let cool before turning out.

Repeat Steps 1-3 to make a second egg half

4) Flip over bottom half and spread a thin layer of Apricot Jam. Flip top egg half over and attach to layer of jam.

5) Before serving dust with confectioner’s sugar and decorate with jelly beans – Enjoy!

See More of St. Barts with us!


Greetings from paradise – better known as Pointe Milou, the beautiful setting for Hotel Christopher! It’s currently Marty’s and my favorite place to stay on the island.


Here’s Marty out in front of our room. The Christopher’s gardeners take great pride and joy with the lush tropical plants – like this bouganvilla tree!


The third beach we visited was Guatahani on the Grand Cul de Sac. These are sea grape vines extending into the sand and in the distance volcanic rock ledges!


The Guatahani has unique things like this grand Thai carved bench which we hung out on for awhile.


Here’s Marty lounging on it..


Had a little lunch around the corner at Le Sereno – right on the beach!


Even their Detox cocktails were beautiful – orange ginger and cucumber mint here!


Another favorite beach of ours is the wild Saline – near the Salt Marsh on the other side of the island.


On that day we headed to St. Jean for some shopping and to walk beside water like this!


Here’s the original Eden Rock building from the 1960’s – very James Bond!


We walked closer to Eden Rock and took this shot from the side. I’m happy to report that Jean George has a beachside cafe here and it’s heavenly!


The last night of our visit we got to view this sunset from the pool deck at the Christopher!


Another fabulous end to a wonderful trip – thank you Marty! Everytime we go there we love it more!! OX

Greetings from Utah!


Marty had a law conference in Salt Lake City last weekend and I’m so glad I decided to go with him! We couldn’t resist renting a car and driving up to Park City. The fall colors here are so different than they are on the East Coast and that combined with the snowy mountain tops was truly stunning!




Our great concierge Klint at the Grand American showed us the scenic route which included heading over Guardsman’s Path where I got this shot!


Here we are on Historic Main Street in Park City and where I’m admiring those festive porch lanterns..


We were short on time but on the next visit we’ll definitely check out this museum.


Who could help but admire the gorgeous home furnishings store Rootd also on Main St.? Luxurious use of natural materials and an updated palette really enliven this dining vignette!


I love the use of repurposed metal in this lighting fixture also at Rootd.


Back in Salt Lake I also enjoyed having a look at the Sugar House neighborhood. I love the unique shingle style and palette on this facade – again so different from the east coast! It could inspire a quilt top!SHouse3

This house had great lines and a wonderful shady porch.


This house had the most elaborate and colorful shingling. I didn’t want to disturb anyone’s privacy so I didn’t get too close. Check it out if you are in the area.


From there I headed over to the Main Library. I met some wonderful artisans downstairs (details later) and headed to the roof to check out the view.. The view from the roof of the amazing new natural history museum is fantastic too!


On our way back to the hotel we passed the beautiful City Hall building.

I also had a great time visiting several home sewing shops in the area and sharing samples of my sewing patterns with them! Everyone at Sew Right, Nuttal’s, Elaine’s Quilt Block, and Quilts Etc. was so kind and inspiring – thank you! If you are in the SLC area October 23-26 don’t miss Bee Hive Shop Hop details at www.beehiveshophop.com

Making Baby Shower Fun for Laurel!


My sisters Brooke, Heather, and I invited family and friends to celebrate another upcoming family birth! Heather found the wicker baby cradle and filled it with one of her lovely plants, Marty and I scored a big smoked salmon in Hancock, and Brooke proceeded embarked on a new cake creation!


First she baked four layers of choclate icebox cake and we alternated filling layers of icing and strawberries and..


icing and rocky road which we made by chopping up a giant symphony candy bar!


Then Brooke frosted the entire cake tower!


Meanwhile my niece Amanda and my husband Marty were helping me make and hang big Martha Stewart rosettes!


Many Thanks to all for the colorful gifts which overflowed our tea cart!


The iced teas, and fruit water migrated into the living room with these candy filled baby bucket favors made by Paige, Brooke, and Eleanor!


In addition to a bib and burp cloth made with one of my sewing patterns and out of my Bon Vivant fabrics I gave Laurel these tiny booties with lobsters on them that I found in Bar Harbor. After all Laurel & Brian are moving back to Maine!

The Best Birthday Ever!


Last weekend my very sweet husband took me to lovely St. Barts to celebrate and rejuvenate! Here he is doing a bit of shopping beachside in St. Jean.


This is the view from Le Toiny out over their infinity pool – lunch was amazing too!


One of our favorite beaches is Saline – perfect for a sandy afternoon stroll!


Rocky cliffsides like these surround Saline.


We love the Hotel Christopher for its’ natural beauty and surfside setting!


There was a Swell while we were there so the surf was dramatic!


Surfers like this one were loving it!



Here is a look back from the other direction to the Christopher property.


A perfect end to a perfect day around the Christopher pool!

Baby Wall Art Project


My nephew Michael and his lovely wife Barbie are expecting a baby boy any minute! For the shower I created a mini version of my Bon Vivant car stuffie out of the red paris map fabric with a bell to make it into a rattle! I bought a sweet mushroom printed onesie and charcoal cords and packaged it all up in this this red suitcase that I embellished with one of my card images and some dotted ribbon. I’m thinking it could sit on a shelf in his room and be wall art as well as storage!

Greetings from The Del!


Last weekend we got away to San Diego where Marty had a conference at the Hotel Del Coronado!


We stayed in the newer section but here’s another shot of the sprawling Victorian building.


As soon as I could I got out to the water’s edge! The hotel sometimes offers yoga on the beach and it is not to be missed!!


Check out Sand Castle Man’s creation!


The dunes are shaped differently out here..

DelDune2Some Like it Hot was filmed here in 1958 and they pretended it was Miami Beach!


I also enjoyed their unique plantings! Though I didn’t get a photo succulent rosettes were growing on the beach..


I do love a great pool too and here’s their main one!


Here’s one of the chandeliers from the Crown Room. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor met here in 1920!

Tree Planting & Tea for JoJo


Last Sunday Marty, Heather, and I invited family and friends to our cottage at Hancock Point. We planted a peony bush and had tea in honor of my mother Joanne – better known as JoJo.


We’re always amazed at what my sister Heather has growing and it’s so nice to be able to ask her advice on what to get and where to plant it – we love that  she’s never shy about pitching in either!


So happy to see and reminisce with Alice, Eleanor, and Lee!


It was also a special treat to have Julie, Don, and Fran with us!


One of my mother’s many gifts was the way she brought people together.  For me it felt so good to carry on the tradition! A special thanks to Marty and Heather and to everyone with sweet memories of JoJo!