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Friday, July 17, 2015

feeling blessed...

I am truly grateful to live a creative life.
I haven't known a 9 to 5 career since my college internship
many moons ago.
With a long career as a interior designer,
I have owned Surroundings for more than 20 years now, worked on many fascinating design projects, been a contributing lifestyle expert on 5 different television network shows...
but I have to say that I have found tremendous joy
and fulfillment styling, photographing and writing.
I am so very honored to be a contributor
to so many wonderfully creative magazines!
Here's a peek at just a few of my articles that have appeared on newsstands over the past few months...

Romantic Homes

"Designed around a Red Rose..."
American Farmhouse Style

"Reflections of the Past..."

Victorian Homes

"Celebrating Mother's Day..."
Cottage Gardener

"Cultivating Romance..."

Flea Market D├ęcor
 "Built to Last..."
Cottages and Bungalows

"Coastal Cottage Makeover..."
American Farmhouse Style
"Serving Up Style..."

Vintage Gardens
"Gardens for little Folks..."

"Time Worn Treasures..."

"A Cut Above the Rest..."

"A Little Bit Country..."

You can always find me in Romantic Homes with my monthly  feature "Simply"

"Be My Guest..."

Between running my retail business and online shop, making dresses and time spent contributing to magazines...
my schedule stays pretty full.
I feel so blessed to have opportunities
to share creativity every day.
The lines between my everyday life and work are almost invisible.
I wouldn't have it any other way!
Thank you to all the other creative souls out there for being tremendous sources of inspiration...
 as well as offering your friendship, support and encouragement!

Friday, July 10, 2015

summertime yum

We are officially in full swing of the summertime picnic season.
One of my all-time favorite summer treats is my Mom's recipe
for Napa cabbage salad.
I thought I would share it with you in case you are looking for a refreshing summer-inspired dinner.

Napa Cabbage Salad

Medium Napa cabbage
2 to 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 to 3 drops sesame oil
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup slivered almonds
1 package Ramen noodles broken
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 tablespoon soy sauce


1. Up to 6 hours ahead of time mix ingredients for the dressing over low heat to dissolve. Stir to incorporate. Place in a closed container in the refrigerator to cool.
2. Clean and chop the Napa cabbage and place in a large bowl. (Optional: refrigerate the bottom 2 inches of the cabbage for a  garnish later.)
3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, toss, cover and refrigerate.
4. Cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into strips.
5. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet. Brown chicken then drain and set aside.
6. Heat 2 to 3 drops of sesame oil in a small skillet.
7. Brown the sesame seeds, almonds and noodles then drain on a paper towel. You can make toppings in quantity and freeze in a sealed container.
8. Add the chicken and the toppings to the salad, toss and serve.
Options: add peapods, pineapple, oranges or strawberries.

Keep the bottom portion of the cabbage as a garnish.
Rub a lemon over the cut surface to keep from turning brown.
Then slice a strawberry vertically being careful not to pierce
the top. Spread the segments of the strawberry
for a lovely finishing touch...

Tip: The salad is best when it has time to marinate in the dressing.
Up to 30 minutes is optimal. Plan ahead when preparing this dish!

I hope you are inspired to make a beautifully yummy summer salad.
I am the last person to say I follow a healthy diet...but with recipes like these I am willing to give it a chance!!!
A very special "thank-you" to my mom for teaching me how to cook.
We have shared a lot of laughs and love
in the kitchen over the years!

Happy Summer to you and yours...