Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Shabby Chic Affair Part II

Hello everyone! I know it's been a very long while since my last post. But thought I'd share just a few pictures from the Rachel Ashwell Book Signing last October 10th in Santa Monica.

The last time I went to one of her events was exactly 2 years ago when her book, "Shabby Chic Inspirations" was published. This time around, I was here for her latest inspiration, "Rachel Ashwell Couture Prairie & Flea Market Treasures!" And let me tell you, there is so much eye candy! :)


Before I begin, I just want to note that I lost my camera months ago - so all of these photos were taken on my iPhone. So please excuse me if the quality isn't that great.

It was starting to get dark as well, so not a lot of natural lighting wasn't helping either. So I apologize in advance if these photos are not as crisp & clear.


So now where were we?

Ah yes, well when you first walk in, you are greeted by a lovely barrel of floral pretties {yes, just like in her prairie book!}. As I began to walk further in, my heart began to beat faster as I came across each yummy item in her store!

By the way, this happens to me each and every time I enter this lovely place!


I saw her from afar and quickly got in line to have my book signed. But not before I snapped a photo of this lovely table setting.

Don't you just love this table and all of the shabby chic linen goodies?!?!


As I approached Rachel, the first thing I did was ask if I could give her a hug {she was so kind enough to let me!}. She is just so amazing and absolutely down to earth!


We chatted for a bit and the subject of "Instagram" came up! We were discussing how much easier it was to just snap a photo on your phone and then posting it, vs. a blog post or keeping up with Facebook.

And when she asked me what my Instagram username was, I was very humbled and excited to hear that she knew of my account! Really? Well, that was extremely flattering! My photos are just so & so compared to all of the talented bloggers and Instagram users out there, so it really did mean a lot to me that she would recognize "A Cozy Cottage in the City!"


She then kindly signed my copy of her latest publication!

I also was able to meet the very lovely "Janis Faye" - a very sweet RA staff member who I came across on Instagram and had the pleasure of meeting in person.

Here is a photo of Rachel and I. Doesn't she look fabulous? I swear, she never ages!


By the way, I went with my wonderful sister - but she won't let me post a public photo of her on here. But I thank her for coming with me to the signing! :)


After everyone had their books signed, we had the opportunity to have a personal Q & A session with Rachel. I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVED hearing her funny and inspirational stories; I just adore her even more. :)

I also want to add that Rachel's dear father was also there at the signing and she introduced him to all of us. Towards the end of the night, Rachel's daughter - Lily Ashwell also came by as well. It was really all surreal to see so much inspiration in one place. :)


Throughout the evening we enjoyed the most cutest, prairie cupcakes and tasty refreshments, served up in these fabulous glass jars.


I honestly felt "at home" sitting on those soft cozy sofas, listening to the queen of Shabby Chic chat with her loyal fans. :)


I could literally be in her store all day just soaking in all of the loveliness.

And with all those pretty, mushy linens, who could blame me?!?! ;)


I wish I could have taken more pics, but that just about concludes my experience at a "Shabby Chic Affair Part II." If you want to read more about my "first Shabby Chic Affair" then click here.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, I know I haven't been keeping up with it much. But I promise to try and post more often than not!

Until next time, enjoy the rest of your week.


XOXO's,
Jessie
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter Weekend!

Just wishing everyone a Happy Easter & a lovely weekend! Lots happening over here and haven't had much time to blog.

But you can see what I've been up to via my Facebook Fan Page or Instagram account! Would love for you to follow along over there!



Until next time, enjoy this season of bloom!


Warmly,
Jessie

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hello March!



Hello everyone! Although I know it is still really cold in many parts of the U.S., signs of spring have been in the air over here in Southern Cali since March came along! :)



I went to the Garden Center the other day, and saw so many pretty flowers in bloom including these fluffy hydrangeas in hues of pinks, blues & purples!



Some sunny tulips & cheerful calendulas even greeted me throughout my walk in the nursery.



The pretty pansies in rich shades of violet bid their "hellos" as I perused around looking for what to plant in my garden this spring.



You see, I am starting a new landscaping project from scratch and have spent the last few days studying the lighting in my front, back, and side yards throughout the day to see which flowers would bloom best in certain locations.

Surprisingly enough, after admiring much inspiration from various blogger friends - I actually have a plan as to how it is all going to unfold, and I'm quite excited about it!



Of course this long awaited gardening project is now happening after about a year and a half of moving into our fixer upper home!

But that's ok, because the house did come with some eye candy around the property - even if only a few citrus trees.



For example, there will never be a shortage of organic lemons that seem to bear fruit nearly all year long.



Even the orange & grapefruit trees are starting to ripen, which is a perfect addition to any weekend breakfast or brunch!



And while I was walking through my side yard, I was excited to see that the calla lilies were in bloom! Which is kind of funny, because I really don't even pay much attention to that area and it looks like some roses and some "berry bushes" are starting to sprout up.



There is still a lot of cleaning, pruning and trimming to do in that part of our yard, so hopefully I'll be able to take photos when it's a bit more tidy! :)



On another note, I visited my family in Central California over the weekend and was pleased to see that spring was in the air over there too! These maple cherry tree blossoms greeted us with it's lovely shade and sweet scent!



And although it started off sunny on Saturday, there were some gray clouds and slight rain come Sunday. But I thought the pink blooms looked quite lovely against the muted background. :)

But here in Southern California, the weather has been quite warm for the most part. Though it can be moody at times with chilly mornings and warmer than usual afternoons!

But I'm a bit excited about fluffing up my porch this time of year!



And with that I leave you with a last image of my double primrose flower that I purchased at Trader Joe's. It comes with a vintage Italian pot that was found on a California Ranch dating back to 1908! I forgot to take a picture of the french shaped pot and slight patina that is has ~ perhaps next time then! :)

Well I hope you are all looking forward to a season in bloom! Thank you all once again for still hanging around, as I know I haven't been blogging regularly for over a year now {sigh}!

But until next time, enjoy the rest of your week!


Warmly,
Jessie

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Hearts, Sweets & Blooms.

Hello everyone! I know I'm a little late, but I would like to wish everyone a Happy Belated Valentine's Day! I truly hope you all had a wonderful day with your loved ones.

I worked on a few fun crafts for the month of February, so thought I'd share what I have been up to.

So what do you do with 2 bags of conversation hearts, a green floral foam painted with white acrylic, a glue gun, and some blooms?

Well, you make a "conversation heart" cake!



Last Christmas, I bought a green floral foam at the dollar tree and painted it white with some acrylic craft paint that I had lying around {but I don't really recommend going that route as it took forever to dry since the foam is so porous...but I'm so cheap, I didn't want to spend more than a dollar to purchase a real styrofoam ring!}.

I had the intention of making a peppermint wreath per Maria's inspiration at Dreamy Whites, but I could NOT find my glue gun for the life of me, so that project kind of went on a standstill.

But lo and behold, I finally found my glue gun!



So I decided to make a "cake" instead of a wreath for Valentine's! I glued the top, bottom and insides of the wreath with hearts, which took a few hours but it was super easy and fun!



Placed the "cake" on a white cake platter...



Then added some blooms, and voila ~ we now have a decorated "Conversation Heart" cake that is both festive and fun!



My little one and I also had some fun making cute little designs with some ice cream flavored conversation hearts, such as this:



"Chocolate" for the cone, scoops of "strawberry & vanilla," with a "cherry" on top! lol

I then put the rest of the unused hearts in this glass container on my mantel for some fun pops of color! :)



Next up is baking! Yes, I do have a sweet tooth ~ so I decided to make some yummy vegan treats for myself and my boys who love sweets just as much as I do!



It's hard to believe that these recipes do not have any butter or eggs in them, yet are as decadent as can be! With some unsweetened cocoa powder, dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips, and a bag of frozen raspberries {plus other easy ingredients}...



One can easily make a luscious chocolate cake filled with "molten" chocolate, and topped with powdered sugar and delicious raspberry sauce! My boys who are meat and dairy lovers had no clue this was vegan until I told them after they had devoured it all in one sitting!



I also made some "cuppy cakes!" Yes, I always have to bake pink cupcakes every year for Valentine's, and this year was no exception!



With the help of some cute paper baking cups {purchased for $1.99 a pack at Home Goods}, the cupcakes have an all the more cuter presentation! Plus there is no need for a cupcake pan! :)

This dessert is also vegan {frosting and all!}: Rosewater Pistachio Cupcakes with pale pink buttercream frosting, and topped with chopped pistachios and pink crystal sprinkles!





And the sweets don't really end there! lol For Valentine's Day, my sweet hubby and I enjoyed lunch together at a local cafe where afterwards I took home some lovely heart-shaped macarons.



These flavors are Strawberry & Espresso Creme!

My hubby was so sweet enough to also surprise me with the new JDL Easter Book that he purchased from Tracey at French Larkspur, for an early Vday gift! I thought it was so thoughtful of him to notice the things I have my eye on {thanks honey!!!}. :)



He also surprised me with a box of truffles and these lovely ivory & pale pink blooms when I woke up on Valentine's Day morning.



I just can't tell you enough at how blooms such as these make me extremely giddy & happy! :)



Well that just about concludes my little update on the month of February in a nutshell! I hope this post doesn't seem too rushed. I'll try to post closer together with more details next time!



In the meanwhile, THANK YOU all for still "hanging around" and for continuing to visit my page, and leaving me such kind and thoughtful comments. I truly appreciate and treasure each and every one!!! Until next time, enjoy your upcoming weekend!


XO's,
Jessie

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Creative Morning

Hello everyone! The other morning I felt the need to get creative again. If you have been following my Instagram, you will know that I have been going through a lot in regards to my father being ill.

Without having to get into too much detail, I've just been feeling really depressed at times, then happy the next. It's just a yo-yo kind of a feeling with tons of ups and downs.




With that said, I went to Michael's the other day because I wanted try to find some crafty inspiration to get me out of this "funk" that I've been in.

Then I came across some really lovely wreaths that I thought would look perfect for a little Valentine's Day decor.

But I was shocked at some of the $60.00-$90.00 price tags!



That's when I decided to go to our local Dollar Tree because I already had wonderful idea in mind!


I bought a willow wreath.


Purchased a few clusters of florals.


Then went to work trimming and cutting, using craft and/or wire scissors {which they also have at the Dollar Tree if you don't already have them on hand}.


I then removed the leaves {they just slide right off}. Then weaved the florals through the wreaths.


In no particular order, I just haphazardly put the flower heads together. I pushed the stems through the branches of the willow wreath and trimmed and tucked in the excess.


And it doesn't have to be perfect or neat, as you can see from the above image. Sorry for the blurry images, by the way {as I am now using my iPhone 4S to take photos since my camera went "kaput" on me! }. :(

Conversely, I'm sure you can use a glue gun and just trim the stems and glue the flower heads next to each other ~ but I have unfortunately not been able to find my glue gun since we moved into our house.


You also don't have to make a "tight" cluster of florals. I loosely put them through and filled the gaps in later, as they are very easy to move around. Though if you use a glue gun, you won't be able to move them around so freely.


Halfway there...


Almost there.


Then I took some leftover Christmas ribbon...

And hung it "longways" on a distressed empty frame {that I made some time ago out of extra molding that was laying around}.


And voila, we have a Valentine's Day inspired floral wreath!


I then put my creation as the centerpiece on my mantle.


So I hoped you've enjoyed my little craft project.


This was simple and thrifty. One dollar for the willow wreath. Also a dollar for each floral cluster, and I purchased four of them. So this cost me a total of $5.00!


If you want, you can even glue in the leaves {that were initially removed} for more greenery.

There are a plethora of colors to choose from and you could even weave in some ivy for variety. All items are available at the Dollar Tree.


Well that just about concludes my post for today. I hope you've enjoyed this little craft project!


Thank you by the way, for all of your kind comments on my last post, I truly appreciate you taking the time to still visit this blog and leave me such thoughtful little notes. :)

I may not always be able to respond and/or reply right away, but please know that your visits and comments are always greatly appreciated and truly brighten my sometimes dark & gloomy days!


Until next time, enjoy the rest of your week & upcoming weekend!



Warmly,
Jessie





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