Archive for February, 2012

Just wanted to share some pictures and quotes about “HOME” I love my home for many reasons, my home is where my soul resides. It is where I feel surrounded by wealth, not monetary wealth but spiritual wealth. Our family is here, our memories are here, our friends gather here…

“A house is much more than mere shelter, It should lift us emotionally and spiritually” a quote by John Saladino

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This year after the busy holiday season passed, winter never seemed to really take root here in the Great Northeast. By now we usually are blanketed under a vast amount of snow and the frigid weather has set in and made us hunker down for the remainder of the winter season (which normally could last till May here). But this year is so different! The temperatures haven’t dipped below the freezing mark, much less the single digits we are so accustom to. And SNOW WHAT SNOW? We have not had one storm!!! (Better watch what I’m saying there’s still time.)  It seems that as our girls have gotten older, and we are on the run so much more.

Always on the go, not only do I have my schedule to manage but theirs also. There’s always school and activities, but now they have a social calendar also. And we can’t forget shopping!!! Teenage girls have a list of monthly products they need (hair products, makeup, assorted school supplies and other necessities) seasonal clothing and upcoming events (dances, prom, confirmation, birthdays… to name a few). With Giovanna attending driving school two nights a week till June, we just have no down time. As winter break came near I was concerned with planning something to do… But the girls just wouldn’t commit.

I started to think… when summer comes, we just slow down, especially toward the end. When you want to savor the moments of carefree days, no schedules, late mornings and longer nights.

I watch our girls in the summer, riding their horses a much as they can. Doing cartwheels in the sand and staying up late, laughing and enjoying the outdoors. I watched them engaging with nature, riding bareback in shorts and with no shoes, walking on a trail near a stream watching their fascination with the cool water as it ran over their feet, and their ability to completely live in the moment with no thoughts of the past or worries about the future.

I finally got it…that’s what they wanted, no schedules ….. These are the times that we live in the moment.  When we embrace the seasons, the days, and the minutes wholeheartedly with no concern for anything other than the pursuit of adventure and play.  There are lessons to be learned there.

Finding a form of play and the time to relax is really the key to achieving balance and finding renewed inspiration in life, not only for the children but for my husband and I.  This week the girls are off for winter break, we didn’t plan much, they wanted to spend time at the barn, with their friends and stay up late watching movies with us. As for me I’m spending less time concerned with daily chores and work in order that I may spend more time with my family, thanks to that reminder from my children to live in the moment.

Seasons change quickly, too quickly sometimes.  Spring break is coming and  we are planning a trip, but this the only thing we’re planning is to relax and savor things that are important like our family, (Mother Theresa included)  and simply enjoying the fire in our fireplace, marshmallows and being together……



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London Shade

This simple treatment is such a great way to dress your windows. Every style of Roman Shade,  Flat Roman, Relaxed Roman or London Shade,  they are so versitle and  in every design magazine. With different Fabrics they and can dress up a room or create a simple statement. Here are just a few!!

Relaxed Roman Shade

Flat Roman

As always stay inspired!!! and stay tuned!



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Yesterday was Sunday, our day with Mother Theresa. As Mother Theresa would say “the age is there” because on Saturday we had a little visit to the emergency room, she is having some difficulty with her hip and is not able to move her leg. We will have to wait till Monday to talk with the Orthopedic doctor before we know what is going on, but as always it was my sister Carol her husband Louie and myself who rush to her side whenever there is an issue. Louie’s sister Sonia who has been with us since the beginning of time also came yesterday, we as usual kept Mom laughing the whole time, discussing such topics as Louie’s visit for testing to the hospital (Barium Enema story) and other family favorites that kept us in stitches. Mother Theresa was totally coherent  through the whole day, (even on morphine at 87 years young) she kept her sense of humor and told us that we missed our weekly visits this week so she had to do something dramatic to get us all together on a Saturday, ( we knew she was just looking for handsome doctors). She did return to her home on Saturday afternoon, so on Sunday not to take her out we just went up to the home and brought Penne Alla Vodka and octopus salad (Mother Theresa’s favorite) with a great loaf of italian bread. Here is our recipe and a picture for you!!!~


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans crushed whole tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 11/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • Crusty bread, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add the sausages and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just soft, about 4 minutes. Add the basil and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the vodka and tomatoes; reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Add the Essence and heavy cream, stir to mix, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To cook the pasta, combine 4 quarts water, the 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well. Combine half of the ricotta cheese and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano with the remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Add the sausage mixture and mix well. Add the remaining ricotta cheese and the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix well.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve warm with crusty bread.

This is Emeril’s Seasoning recipe, makes a lot but you will use it in many other dishes. Save the rest in a baggie and label it.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.




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My Girlies

My Girls

My husband travels during the week and it is usually impossible for him to travel with us on spring break trips and over school holidays. As the children get older and school vacation schedules become more difficult to coordinate, I thought about taking the girls on a mother daughter trip. I hope these trips will become a tradition and some of my daughters’ most treasured memories as they get older.  I think we will learn so much about each other and share wonderful times together.

I would think that advance planning is particularly important, this is something we are going to have to work on, planning is not easy with teenagers (Help Jill!! she is our oldest)and pretty good at planning outings, I’m sure she will have input and help plan our mother daughter trip.

Rosie, Jill, Giovanna

Here are a few ideas I’m thinking will work for planning a great mother/daughter bonding trip:

Something Short – for our first mother/daughter trip, I’m thinking we could start out by planning a weekend getaway or a relatively short day trip. Two of my girls are teenagers and just adore spending time with me! (of course that is an out-and-out lie!!) And we have an older daughter that has come home recently she is the bridge between the two younger ones and my husband and I. So…………where to start??

Choose The Right Place –  Pick something that is exciting for all of us. Selecting a destination where we can explore shared interests, create a schedule that will work for us, and possibly experience something new together. Making sure to involve my darling daughters in planning the trip and encouraging them to research ideas online. Spending time together in a new environment will hopefully bring out a shared spirit of adventure and discovery.

Budget In Advance – This can certainly be a factor when planning a trip with a teen especially my little princesses. We will have to have an honest discussion about money issues in advance rather than waiting until I have to say “no” to something my daughters want to do. Discussing things like accommodations, dining options, attractions, and shopping are a must!

Try to figure out a “Special Activity”– Including a special activity or event would make this mother/daughter trip particularly meaningful. This will have to be built around shared interests that will make memories or offer new perspectives on each other.  This might include seeing a live television show or Broadway play. My daughters love doing “girly” things,  so maybe mother/daughter spa treatments?? I will try to find out what would be an “amazing”  thing to do.

Don’t have any expectations– I would love to think that we will laugh and enjoy every moment together but honestly relationship issues will probably surface, and those heart-to-heart chats might never occur. That’s okay, I want to take it as comes and go with the flow. Despite the fact that I’m going with two hormonal teenagers this may be the best trip we have ever had.

Creating Memories – I would love to take a great camera with us, my daughter Giovanna is a great photographer and I think that we can create a great memory book to document our day or days. I know that Rosaria is not shy in front of a camera and  Jill is certainly photogenic.  I would treasure it forever.

Where to go what to do????

Choosing the right destination for our mother/daughter getaway is the most important part of the planning process. One of the interests we all share are horses the other is shopping and arts. So maybe NYC for a day or weekend of fun, shopping and a play???

NYC My Home – New York City has all the right stuff for a perfect mother/daughter getaway. I’m from Queens and we go home from time to time to visit family, but we always try to go into the city.  In Times Square, you can get half-price tickets for a Broadway play. I signed up for tickets to the Rachael Ray Show (not sure that will pan out) or we can take a movie location tour with On Location Tours, go shopping in SoHo, cruise by the Statue of Liberty with Circle Line or take a ride on “The Beast,” visit the Empire State Building and the Natural History Museum, go biking in Central Park, and so much more. If we plan on visiting a number of attractions, purchasing a New York City Citypass could save us a few dollars.

I think we have a plan, now to sell this to the girls…………….. Stay tuned, hopefully we will post some pictures!!!!



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Candice Olson - Love Her!!!

Ok so here we are February 2012 (Happy Valentine!!) and I am working on new colors and finishes. I am loving neutrals again, returning from the deep jewel tones to the lighter and brighter spaces that lift us up and make us feel as if we are new and crisp! I am still loving the Blues, such  a soothing color and wanting to use it paired with taupe and grey tones. Using color on trim to create a focal point or frame for the room. I just viewed a video for Certa Pro (who I have been working with) and loving the use of dark trim in this space http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB4aZMKWzi4

Here are other pictures from rooms that are giving me inspiration this year.  I loved working with textures and colors. Some of the finishes that I have enjoyed are grisaille murals (monochrome grey colors), chinoiserie,  layered damask finishes and stripping. Decorative Painting has been a passion for me for many years. Using decorative finishes can breathe life into plain spaces, almost making the walls come alive, giving them dimension and or texture!! Although you want to be sure that if you do a textured finish it is something your absolutely love, these types of finishes are usually for life and not for the faint of heart or person that changes their decor like we change our shoes. These finishes make a bold statement, but are somewhat permanent. Here we go…… tell me your favorite space! As always stay tuned…




chinoiserie Stencil

Candice Olson - Living Room

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