Nell Hill inspiration.

crazy chaos.
whirlwind trip.
back home.

A girlfriend and I ran up to Kansas City the other day, for a quick but much needed shopping trip. Destination: Mary Carol Garrity's Nell Hill. Beautiful store, even more beautiful owner. We've met her many times and she is literally the sweetest person on the planet.
As you walk through decorating stores your brain is completely on overload. There are too many ideas running around your brain and I suggest taking pictures of anything inspiring.
Like this:
What an incredible idea! It's perfect for real or fake fireplaces! and she didn't have any candles in the votives (there's no way to monitor that in a store that large anyway) but having a few lit candles in there with the books would be so intriguing! If only I had a fireplace!
Also check out her ideas for lanterns right here. (I feel another shopping trip coming on.)

So my book project is this.
My sad bookshelf is getting a MAKEOVER! someday.
I got a sample jar of Mary Carol's Amelia Blue paint for the back panel and the rest of the bookshelf is getting a fresh coat of white paint. If it were wood I would have a hard time touching it but it's not- so Makeover here we come!
My books will get reorganized and repurposed in other parts of the house. maybe. My motivation is sadly lacking, but trust me it will happen!

Now off to remember where I saw some cute (and inexpensive) lanterns recently.


Rustic Spinach Salad

I put off trying this recipe because it's salad, and salad sometimes gets old. But this was a fun, quick recipe full of flavor and a little crunch.
I also don't usually make salads with spinach going solo, but this was so good this way!

8 cups of spinach leaves
2 small apples, thinly sliced
2 cups of shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup of mozzarella
1/4 cup of walnut or pecan pieces
1/2 cup of Italian dressing (or any vinaigrette dressing)

Toss together just before serving. For best results, use chilled ingredients.


life lived simple...

Who would have thought that the end of August would bring an end to 100+ degree days and 80 degree nights? We took a weekend away -using Labor Day's 3 and a half days of free time and ran for the hills! - actually the mountains in Colorado. 
Temperatures in Western Colorado boasted 50 degree nights. (What a contrast to 80+ in kansas!) 
To me, it was almost perfect. 
See Western Colorado holds a very dear place in my heart. My family would die of shock if they knew how much I loved it. 
Several years ago I spent 2 weeks with my grandma there. I couldn't wait to retire. I was a teen, at the time!! But she lived the life. Early to bed, early to rise. The day started with a cup of coffee and a Bible. Then outside to the garden and the fruit trees. A walk, visiting people, going to the market. Life was simple and was lived as such. 
My late teen years led to what my family refers to as rebellion. I got my ears pierced, got a cell phone, got a boyfriend. Oh yeah. Every mother's worst nightmare. 
My life got full. Running here and there doing this and that. Can you believe that over the next 6 six years -what I longed for most- was to go back to that time of life lived simple? 
I got a taste of that in Spain. Several times a week I would walk over a mile to get fresh meat at the butcher and fresh fruit from the market. A couple times a week I would walk down to the little store at the bottom of the hill for fresh bread. Days started with a morning run followed by some quietness on my patio with a cup of coffee. 
I had forgotten how much I craved that until last weekend in Western Colorado. For one brief morning, I realized as I was sitting there drinking coffee and reading my Bible, watching the sunrise- This is what it's about. Living life simply. Not cluttering life with meaningless things. Surround it with things or people you care about. Focus on life and living it.
And drink plenty of coffee.