I think we are all tired of talking about and hearing about the weather. I am simply trying to learn how to dress for it at this point. We were supposed to warm up as the week went on, yet yesterday was still just 2 degrees. Winter coat, scarf, gloves, snow boots. Today it reached 40 degrees almost magically. Out I went to Emily's for coffee in a hoodie. My only mistake was wearing the snow boots. Although they are water proof, wellies would have been more in order because the snow is quickly turning to slush and it was now pouring rain adding to the massive puddles. I guess that's why we like to talk about the weather, it's always interesting and we can complain in unison.
I love taking snaps of the dogs in the winter. They are always doing what I want to be doing. I can be wide awake in the morning while lying in bed, but the thought of hitting that cold floor and waiting for that first cup of hot coffee makes me linger a lot longer than I should! Milo, too. My dogs love to burrow under the blankets. They only peek out when they know I'm ready to get up and then they loyally follow.
Layla usually heads straight for the sofa and right back under a blanket or throw. I love seeing their snouts peeking out.
I have a decorating dilemma. I showed you this picture of my living room in my last post, sans all decor and Christmas cheer. The tree is now gone, yet everything else remains the same. I am feeling the blahs. I talked about adding a little color, maybe a few pops of color by way of some subtle accessories. That's the first clue that I have a serious problem with making commitments, subtle pops...how lame! It's surprising that I am even married. Look at all this beige...or neutral as we now call it. It sounds better than the beige that our parents seemed to have an abundance of, at least it was my mother's favorite choice.
I think my fear of color came well before the trend of simplifying and toning everything down. How and why, I don't know. Years and years ago I remember walking down the aisles of furniture showrooms when The Husband and I were selecting furniture for our living room, den and family room. And then the lakehouse. That's a lot of furniture shopping...not all at once mind you. I chose what I liked. Pretty green florals, red and blue plaid, checks, stripes! I loved it all and I created beautiful rooms (if I can say so myself) around my furniture choices. Where did that open minded, adventurous, intuitive sense of style go? Did I succumb to the masses? Did I just crawl under a rock waiting for inspiration to strike?
I mentioned we have some new furniture pieces coming and for that I'm grateful and excited. I love this corner cabinet; the detail, that it will fit perfectly in a smallish room, and it's kind of neat, a triangular piece of furniture!
This is a side table. Every chair should have a place to set your beverage or book. Again, this is narrow, not an end table, so it fits perfectly once again. I'm also happy that it gives me the cottage feel I have here, with a touch of elegance in the legs.
The coffee table. Isn't it great to have the that space underneath? What a waste with the coffee tables of yore. And you can see better now, that all of these pieces have a darker tonal top for contrast, so I'm not getting totally wrapped up in the neutral with these new choices. And I don't like a matchy~matchy look...I have the end table that I painted last fall on the other side of the room, as well as a natural stained wood cabinet that is an old antique I fell in love with years ago. I do like to mix it up. But...you know, and I know, that I need some color!!! What's a girl to do?
I was reading a blog today, I wish I could give her credit but it slips my mind. She wrote that she got brave in her family room and bought black and white plaid curtains for her mostly neutral family room. It was a big leap and of course she was nervous, it's not something you can afford to make a mistake with, literally, with the cost of curtains. But she made the right move and they make such a great impact, they really "make" the room. So maybe I'm not the only one that's leery about jumping in without testing the waters.
So how do you weigh in on this? What is your decorating mantra when making choices? Do you have a vision? Do you go with your favorite colors or patterns, or do you choose what strikes your fancy? Do you have any suggestions for what I should do with this Plain Jane room? (!!!!). Please, please, let's talk.
So as to not feel like I left you with nothing except my woes and worries, I'm sharing a simple, fast and healthy dinner I made the other night. If you've had and loved Shrimp Scampi in restaurants, don't let making it at home sound complicated. It's very simple. If the amount of butter doesn't sound too healthy, remember, it's divided among four servings. You can also substitute some of it with olive oil but you will sacrifice some flavor.
In a nutshell (or large skillet):
Melt 3 T of butter and saute 3 finely chopped garlic cloves over low heat approximately 3 minutes until golden. Add 1 pound of cleaned, peeled shrimp, tails on if you prefer, and toss around until coated with butter and cook on medium until opaque, about three minutes. Do not overcook or they will be tough. Squeeze the juice of a half of a lemon over shrimp. Add 1/2 cup of fine bread crumbs and toss gently until coated. Add a pinch of salt, remove from heat and keep warm.
I made a simple pasta to go with the shrimp and you can be boiling the water and cooking the pasta, which was fettuccine, while you are making the shrimp. Once the pasta was drained, I returned it to the hot pot and added 1 chopped tomato, a sprinkle of dried basil and salt and pepper to taste, and then added enough olive oil to make it nice and slippery. Easy. Delicious. And maybe 20 minutes from start to finish. Go for it!
I think I ended on a happy note after all of my complaining about my self doubt when it comes to decorating. But that's why we are here for each other, right? I've always prided myself on having my own style, but sometimes we get a little lost, maybe a little scared of commitments because it does involve an investment of time and money that we have to live with. Are we all so sure of ourselves?
Let me have your thoughts. And have a great weekend. I'm getting those wellies out!!