Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Keeping Some of My Family Traditions!

I was blessed to have come from a family of wonderful cooks and bakers.  My grandmother, my mother and my aunts were the best! If any of you have seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding then you have an idea how I grew up.  If you change it to Armenian instead of Greek that was my family.  We have a lot of the same traditions and everyone always wants to feed you!  You don't dare say you aren't hungry!  LOL  I remember when we visited my grandmother in Fresno she would get up at 4am and start making dough. Everything was always made from scratch.   She used to make Armenian pastries for some local restaurants.  Anytime you went to a Armenian family function certain traditional foods were always served.  One of the most popular desserts was Baklava.  In Armenian it is spelled Paklava.  It is exactly the same dessert despite the difference in the spelling.  I refer to it as Baklava since that is what most people are familiar with.  As I'm sure some of you can relate when you get older some of the family traditions you grew up with start to fade.  I would like to share with my grandkids the wonderful things I had when I was growing up so a couple of years ago I decided to try making Baklava.  Of course I didn't make my own phyllo dough like my grandmother did.  After working with it for the first time I just don't know how she could roll out dough so thin.  My Aunty Alyce told me she used to separate it for her.  Even that is a BIG job!  The first thing I discovered about phyllo dough is it is NOT forgiving at all!  Boy if it starts to dry it crumbles like you wouldn't believe.  When you start making it you don't want any distractions like the phone or kids or anything like that.  Once you start you have to work fast.  Yesterday I taught a friend how to make it.  Since I have only made it for a couple of years I am not an expert by all means.  The more you make it though you learn certain tricks that really help.  I was glad I could pass those on to Amber yesterday.  We had a great time and our finished Baklava looked and tasted pretty yummy!  
Just beginning to butter the layers.
Just going into the oven.
30 minutes later!
Yummy Baklava with a cup of champagne raspberry tea.

Thanks for letting me share one of my family traditions with you today.  I wish you all a wonderful day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Jewelry Of A Room!

I once read in a magazine that a chandelier is the jewelry of the room. Who doesn't love jewelry?  I had never thought of it that way but it's so true.  Today I thought I would share with you some of my chandeliers and lamps in my home.  Last year when I did my bathrooms over I decided to eliminate the traditional light fixture above the mirror and use something a bit more dramatic!  I have not regretted it one bit!  
Master Bath
The chandelier is called Bagatelle by Schonbeck.  I used the matching sconces on each side of the vanity.  It's so hard to capture the beauty and sparkle of crystals in photographs.

Matching sconces

Guest Bathroom
The chandelier is by American Brass & Crystal and I used the matching sconce on the wall.  In the morning when the sun comes in the Strass crystals are amazing! 

I purchased this redone vintage chandelier at a local store.  I added the shades.
I was so lucky to find this on Ebay in the exact Waverly fabric I used in my family room.

I bought this Capodimonte chandelier right after I read the article about chandeliers being the jewelry of the room.  I found an ad in Romantic Homes for this and it was only $99.00.  I think my ceiling medallion cost more! :)  Someday I might move it to my guest room and get something a little bit bigger with crystals.  

I found this gorgeous floor lamp online at Shabby FuFu.
I bought this many years ago from Lamps Plus.  I love the way the roses are painted on the inside.
One of my favorites is this retired lamp by Fenton.  The pattern is called trellis
This beautiful lamp shade(the lamp is from Lamps Plus) that sits on my tea table in my living room was done by the very sweet and talented Rebecca from A Gathering Place.  
This hand painted vintage cutie I purchased from Ebay quite a few years ago.
Last but not least this one is my all time favorite and if anything ever happened to it I would CRY!  I don't know the manufacturer.  I bought it at a local store called Call Me Old Fashioned.  I LOVED that store!  Unfortunately they decided to retire (what nerve). :(  My son Darrell went in there with me one day and said to the ladies "oh my gosh this is our house without the beds". LOL He even bought me a birthday present from there once.  My mother, my sister and I were regulars there and were broken hearted when they closed.   I hope you enjoyed your visit here today.  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Little Friday Pillow Talk!

It's no secret to anyone who knows me I LOVE pillows!  I know if my husband is reading this he is laughing about now!  I know sometimes they can get in the way if you actually have to SIT on your furniture! :)  But can you imagine how boring it would be without them?  That would be like cake without frosting, a baked potato without butter!  Well, you get the idea!  Now these aren't the kind of pillows you rest your head on for a nap!  These are pillows you treasure!  Over the years I have collected some of the loveliest pillows from some very talented ladies!  I thought I would share some of them with you today.
Dining Room Chair
Bedroom Chair
Dining Room Settee
Living Room Couch
Living Room Chair
Guest Room Love Seat
Bathroom Vanity Chair
Living Room Chair
Living Room Couch

Bathroom Chair

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Trip to Atlantic City...Part Two!

I'm back with the rest of the highlights from my trip.  We really were so lucky the weather was great!  I really prepared myself for rain and a lot of humidity.  It couldn't have been more perfect.  No rain and no humidity!  There was always a nice ocean breeze which made it so pleasant.  Our tour guide for our trip was my friend Marty via the cell phone! LOL  It was really helpful believe me!  
From our room on the 16th floor.  On the left are the pier shops for Caesars.  I'm so glad we asked to be moved to a new room.
I could even see the Steel Pier!
Now that looks like fun!
Of course I had the perfect view of the ever changing billboard!
The Wild Wild West Casino

Some pretty flowers along the Boardwalk.  I'm assuming they replant these every year since they couldn't possibly survive the winter.
Couldn't go to Atlantic City and not see the Taj Mahal!  We had a great dinner there.  
The Steel Pier
Marty's favorite casino.  Guess you have to be a winner to say that! :)
Our tour guide (aka Marty) told me to play spin poker...I didn't win the $21,877.43 or anything for that matter!
The Borgata is the newest Hotel/Casino in Atlantic City built in 2004.  
I tried to take pictures of as many of the Monopoly streets as I could but it's not easy from a car when Mario Andretti (aka hubby) is behind the wheel!
A lot of people cruise the Boardwalk in these rolling chairs! Marty called them strollers...I like that name better!
Now for the real reason for the trip! I have to tell you the quality of the pictures are never good.  Between the bright light on him and the fog on the stage it is very hard to get good photos.
It wouldn't be a Barry Manilow show without the glow sticks!
There was a little bit of clean up after the show!  
I brought a bit of it home with me!  

The show was wonderful as it always is.  

What can you say about a man 67 yrs. old that can fill an arena?  TALENTED!  
Just a few things I brought home with me. 

I hope you enjoyed taking this little trip with me.  I just want to thank my husband Mike for putting up with my OBSESSIONADDICTION, LOVE for Barry Manilow's music!  He is a really good sport about it and I am truly grateful!  I would never go on these trips alone so I thank him from the bottom of my heart!  Also a BIG thank you to our tour guide via cell phone Marty for helping us around the city.  At least you could have sent me to the winning slot machine!  :)