annie blog

September 30, 2015
by annie

Pretty, Pretty Home Tours

I don’t know about you, but I love a good home tour.

Not a show home, mind, but a real house, where real people live.

I’ve found some great gems lately, and in an effort to get them all in one place and to share the prettiness, I’ve linked them below.

It’s funny, most people are really clear about what their style is. I don’t really know about mine, but I can see many similarities in these houses and in my own choices in my home, now.

So, without further ado:

Lisa and Piero’s English Inspired Los Feliz Home as featured on Apartment Therapy Love, love, love this home! From the deft mix of furnishings, to the gorgeous flowering quince wallpaper in the entry, to the bench made out of horseshoes — this is a truly inspiring space. Also, the tapestries that she made are funny but something I could never have on my walls. This home has inspired me to try some wallpaper and to make sure I have at least one cozy reading corner.

Tonia and Gregory’s Warm Coastal Home as featured on Apartment Therapy. This is another really unique,beautiful space, located in Australia. I love the use of sandstone for the walls, it’s so warm. Also, the use of blues and teals throughout is really nice. The floors pretty much glow — such lovely wood! The curved copper wall in the upstairs is perfect in the space, and the owners do a fantastic job with the open layout. The outdoor area is really beautiful, too. This is a personal space that features several pieces of artwork from family members. Just lovely.

This home tour, a fun and funky family abode is a Portland house done by a designer and featured on MyDomaine. I’ve been looking at it once a week since I first saw it in January. I really love the color palette. By the designer’s admission, they used about 8 different shades of teal. I didn’t count, but I agree that the use of varied textiles does include a lot of teal — and it’s awesome. I particularly like the way that the living room and dining room work together. The large artwork in the dining room is stunning both visually and price-wise. I tracked it down and, let me just say, I will be admiring it from afar. The lighting choices are nice, from the lamps to ceiling light in the dining room.

This next tour, a Neat and Tidy Home by the Bay is from Design*sponge. It is quite minimalistic and considered. I like the mid-century credenza and the other mid-century pieces. I like how spare and tranquil the design seems. Also, I absolutely adore the study. The color is so deep and rich. I want that color for my house!

In this tour, A Designer’s 370 Renovated Square Feet, shows how a restrained color palette can be really helpful in a small space. I really love the kitchen here. The walnut counters are so warm and I also think the use of the vintage stove was a great choice. I like the open shelving and the use of plants in every room. So personal and warm. So many good ideas here.

This is a really good home makeover. It’s also from Design*sponge, and is called the Little NoPo Farmhouse. It’s a tiny little farmhouse that the owners redid in just a few months. What a transformation! I think the restrained color palette here was also a winning choice. Lots of white, a little black, and the use of gorgeous rugs in shades of red is a real winner with me. I just love the back porch-turned-office and I love what they did with the kitchen. The floors are also great. I don’t know if I could keep white painted floors, but, as hard as we are on floors, I think it would be nice to have something we could repaint if we needed/wanted to.

And, finally, I really like Victoria’s new house, as was featured on Refinery29. Victoria recently got a house in L.A. I like so many things about it. All of the white, of course, and the Saarinen tables, the Nelson light fixture, the vintage rattan daybed, and the wall of books. Her style is light, bright, personal and pared down. It looks like a relaxed and interesting space.

Ok, those are some of the ones I’ve been enjoying lately.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

September 15, 2015
by annie

Well, Howdy.

I’ve been so absent here. There are lots of reasons. Lack of computer, being busy, rehabbing a house (see pic at the end of the post), homeschooling a boy, other changes. Everything good. Except for the computer…which, I have one now. My dad’s. Every day I log on I see that it’s Joseph’s iMac. I’m sure that Jon could have taken that off when he set it up here, but I’m so glad he didn’t. Seeing “Joseph’s iMac” always makes me smile. I miss Papa Joe. He was a great one.

Anyway, here’s a rambling catch-up sort of post. I was going to post about my favorite house tours. And, I’ll probably do that soon. After all, I like sharing pretty stuff, and I like having things in one place, to remember.

So, how are we? Well, really well. Jon is doing great in his job. The folks at our church are really nice. People here in Starkville are uncommonly kind. It’s great.

The boys, well, we are in for it this year. Why? Because, come the end of May, I’ll have two, that’s right, TWO graduating seniors. What either of them will be going on to is still in the works. Nathan is university bound. We don’t know which one to, yet. James, well, we’re looking for part-time jobs and looking for training and looking for someone, somewhere, to realize that he’s a great guy who is worth employing. So, we’ll see where that goes. Charlie is a sophomore and having an okay year. I don’t know how my boys got to be so old. I don’t know how it is possible that I have an almost nineteen-year-old, a seventeen-year-old, and a fifteen-year-old. What???? Oh, and yes, let us not forget Eli. That precious buster is eleven years old. I’m homeschooling him and I basically spend my days vacillating between being bowled over by his creativity, laughing at his hilarious remarks, marveling at the brain of the boy, and wondering what word count he is at for the day. He talks a lot. A LOT.

Anyway, that’s about it. Summed up.

I’ve got to go grab a pumpkin cake out of the oven. Yes. The season of pumpkin is upon us, y’all. (Though, to be honest, it’s always pumpkin season with me.)

Ok, this happened a while ago. But, I love a good before and after. This falls into the rehabbing category that I mentioned above. This is our tv room.

Here it is, in its former glory.


This is the room that I tried to unite with paint. We had five(!) different wall coverings, and so I thought paint was worth a shot. I looked forever for paint and tried a fair few until I decided to go with Benjamin Moore Red Parrot that I had colormatched at Lowe’s. I was hoping, actually, to hit close to Blazer by Farrow and Ball, and I think that I came really close. I love, love the color of the room. It makes me happy.

More progress photos…and please tell me I’m not the only one who paints in her pjs.


And, here is a shot of the room and Eli as he was eagerly awaiting some friends to come and swim. I’ll show more later. Because, I haven’t even talked about the floors, and the ceiling, and the light fixture, and Jon’s awesome job that he did on the set of steps leading to the kitchen and living room. Clearly, there is more to share.


We’re getting there.

Happy day, y’all!

September 2, 2015
by annie

Pan-Fried Pizza


This pizza, well, it’s sort of rocking my lunch routine in a very good way.

We eat lunch at home nearly every day. Which is good. But, ruts are easy to get into. You know? Like, the sandwich rut, for example.

That is why this pizza is so great. You make up a bunch of dough…I suggest this one. Then, you put the dough in the refrigerator for several days.

Then, use this recipe from Dinner: A Love Story to make your pizza.

The genius part is that you use a cast iron pan.

Any toppings work. You can do kale and mozzarella with an egg on top. You can do Hawaiian with pineapple and BBQ sauce. You can do a plain cheese one for any picky people that hang around. That’s the beauty of making individual pizzas. And, they cook so quickly. Truly, it probably takes less time than making a panini.

So, if you are bored with your lunch and want to try something that is new, economical, and really tasty, go ye therefore and make some of this dough and find your cast iron pan.

You will be glad you did!

May 2, 2015
by annie

Recipes to Remember

I’ve been cooking some new recipes lately, and these are some recipes that I’ll want to remember.

They’re good ones!

The first one is this breakfast casserole from The Homesick Texan.  I’d wager that everything on her site is great, actually.  This breakfast casserole has sausage, cheese, jalapeños, and other lovely things.  I made it last weekend and wish I still had some.

Then, Tuesday (I think), I made greek food all day.  First, there was the Greek lemon soup that I intend to blog ASAP.  I also made  these Greek potatoesthis tzatziki sauce, and the marinade and chicken from this recipe for chicken gyros.  Also, homemade pita bread from Smitten Kitchen where Deb, the author, will never, ever, steer you wrong.

Finally, on the popscicle front, I made some fabulous cucumber Popsicles containing ginger syrup, lime and gin. They were so very good and really refreshing.  If you decide to make them and need ginger syrup, there are a bunch of recipes around and every single one is as easy as falling off a log. So don’t let the lack of ginger syrup deter you.  I have to warn you, though, making homemade ginger syrup yields homemade stewed ginger that, after drying out overnight and tossing in a smidgen of sugar makes some delightful crystallized ginger.  

That’s all I’ve got for this Friday.  I hope you’re having a great one!

April 4, 2015
by annie

Happy Easter!!!

Seven Stanzas at Easter 

By John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all

It was as His body;

If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.


It was not as the flowers,

Each soft Spring recurrent;

It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled

eyes of the eleven apostles;

It was as His flesh; ours.


The same hinged thumbs and toes

The same valved heart

That-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then

Regathered out of enduring Might

New strength to enclose.


Let us not mock God with metaphor,

Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;

Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the

Faded credulity of earlier ages:

Let us walk through the door.


The stone is rolled back, not papier-maché,

Not a stone in a story,

But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

The wide light of day.


And if we have an angel at the tomb,

Make it a real angel,

Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,

Opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen

Spun on a definite loom.


Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are

Embarrassed by the miracle,

And crushed by remonstrance.

March 17, 2015
by annie

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

This is a must read today.

I really miss this song…we used to sing it at every baptism at the church we went to in St. Louis.

The Lorica — attributed to St. Patrick

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of ransomed souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

February 26, 2015
by annie

This Is What Happens

when one blogs about Daffodils.

The thing about snow in Mississippi, though, is that it’s so rare that it’s always welcomed.  

So, happy snow day to us! And, note to self, remember to stockpile butter before the next snowstorm. Wanting to bake and having no butter is not a very happy thing. 

Here are some good things: 

I think that Domaine Home might be my favorite home decor/interior decorating site.  And this  fun and funky housetour from today has me absolutely captivated.  I’m dissecting it, y’all, and I’ve already sourced the butterfly artwork in the dining room.  There is much to admire.  

Also, tartines. I want some.  Did you see the four that were featured on Cup of Jo?  I want them all and not just for breakfast.  Yum, yum, yum!

Speaking of yum, Shutterbean made an awesome baked chicken from the new cookbook,Sheet Pan Suppers, by Molly Gilbert.  It looked like a good one to try so I made it last week. Outcome:  we inhaled it.  I made some plain buttered pasta to go along with it and some creamed spinach, too.  This recipe gets the designation of instant keeper.  Try it and you’ll see why.

Happy Wednesday, y’all, and happy snow day, too.

Today was great, today was fun, tomorrow is another one!

February 13, 2015
by annie

Skillet Cookie!

Yes, that exclamation point above is needed.

This cookie is amazing and crazy easy. Yay for easy, right?


In fact, the only real problem with this cookie is that it will be rapidly consumed. See that thumbs up? It’s for real.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) semisweet-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. (Watch it — mine takes much less time but I think my oven is kind of an overachiever. I haven’t had this oven long so I’m still trying to figure it out. ) Don’t overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream and caramel sauce, if you want to be fancy.

It’s yummy, y’all! Happy Friday!

February 12, 2015
by annie

Birth of the Blues

Today, I was looking at a couple of Mardi Gras mix tapes that some folks had posted online, and this song popped up on one of them.

It’s Keely Smith and Louis Prima doing Birth of the Blues. Not a song that I would naturally identify as being related to Mardi Gras, but a great one to know about, anyway.

Her voice is spectacular.

I love his trumpet playing.

It’s a good one to remember!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!