Beet Soup and Ballet Shoes

I know, I know.  A very unlikely combination.  But trust me, in my case, they have gone hand in hand.

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First, the beet soup.  It is a favorite of mine.  My fathers side of the family is Polish.  And this is a classic Polish dish.  Many know it as beet borscht.  Except I don’t serve mine with sour cream.  It’s mashed potatoes and bacon all the way.  Here’s the recipe:

Beet Soup

1 bunch sweet beets, greens cut and discarded

4 C. beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

3 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Wearing kitchen gloves and an apron, peel the beets and cut into long, thin, julienne style strips.  (Trust me, you want the gloves and apron.  Beet juice will ruin clothing and stain skin for days.)

Put cut beets and beef broth together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil them until tender and mash adding salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble the bacon and mix into the mashed potatoes.

Now, serve up the soup.  Add red wine vinegar to each bowl to taste.  Everyone won’t like the same amount of tartness. Then add a scoop of the bacon mashed potatoes and enjoy!


** Now if you weren’t smart enough to wear an apron or use gloves, you now know that beet juice stains.  So this is where the ballet shoes come in!

I have had 2 pairs of pointe shoes in a closet for months.  I found them on clearance.  I wanted to dye them and decorate my daughter’s room with them.  I just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Until I made beet soup.

And saw the gorgeous color of the soup. 

And ruined a white shirt.


I knew right then and there that I could use the left over soup to stain the ballet shoes.


They came out the most gorgeous deep pink color.  And they are totally non-toxic.  Vegetable dye at its best!  It’s not smelly or hazardous.  It’s fantastic!


I sewed on the ribbon (it really brought back some memories) and hung them over the side of my daughter’s headboard.  Voila!



Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

How do you decorate for Thanksgiving?  Sometimes I feel like it is that in between holiday that gets lost.  All of the stores have Christmas decorations out now and Halloween has just passed.  It’s almost easier to jump from one right to the next.  But Thanksgiving is so important.  It’s a time to reflect on all that we are thankful for. 

Here are some inspiring ideas to spruce up your home for Thanksgiving.

I like this simple mantle from Urban Romance.

Or these I found on Shelterness.

And some amazing table settings and dining room décor!

found via Google search

found via Google search

found via Google search

found via Google search

This is Beautiful....BUT,where do the platters of turkey, dressing, and MASHED POTATOES go...I guess it's buffet style..haha

There are some very fantastic and easy decorations out there.  Candles always warm up a space.  And I am in love with home made bunting.

found on


from My Fabuless Life.

Thankful Bunting, Thanksgiving Bunting, Bunting Banner, Thanksgiving Garland, Pennant

available on Etsy

I am feeling inspired, how about you!  Follow me on Instagram to see how my fall decorating comes out!

Feature Wall in My Daughter’s Room

The little princess has a favorite color.  That color is purple.  (and sometimes pink and turquoise)  When we moved, we let her decide what color to paint her room.  Guess what she chose!

Yep.  Purple!  Not a subtle lavender or anything, but knock you out purple.  The actual color is Kismet by Sherwin Williams. 

Pottery Barn Kids had a duvet in the exact purple of the paint with white paisley on it.  I ordered it right away and couldn’t wait to surprise the princess with a new bed in her new room!  When I put it all together I realized something – that’s a lot of purple!

I had to do something to break up all that purple.  I had the thought of mimicking the paisley on the duvet up onto the wall.  And leave it to Martha Stewart to have the exact paisley I wanted!

image I purchased this silk screen kit at Michaels.

I had some left over paint samples from when I was testing whites for my trim.  I decided to use Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams because it had a hint of pink in it.  I also mixed in some Valspar paint crystals to add some sparkle.  And I picked up some adhesive rhinestones. 

finley's stencil 1finley's stencil 2

As you can see, the “self adhesive” part of the silk screen quickly wore off so some painters tape was needed. 

finley's stencil 4finley's stencil 3

When the paint dried I placed one rhinestone in the center of each stencil.

finley's wall

The wall was complete.

finley's wall 2

And the princess was happy!

An Unanticipated Package


The other evening the doorbell rang.  I knew it was UPS because the dog was going nuts!  (They always leave a bone with the package.)

I wasn’t expecting anything.  I have been a good girl and haven’t done (much) online shopping. 

When I looked at the package I saw that it was from my mom.  Hmmmm.  What would she be sending.  Then it hit me!  She finally send that antique sifter I found at an antique mall in Maine over the summer.  Yippee!  I could complete my dining room wall décor!

We always had an antique grain sifter hanging on the wall in the kitchen when I was growing up.  Occasionally it was embellished with silk flowers or some other ornament, but when I got a home of my own my parents gave it to me.  They weren’t hanging it up anymore.


At my old house it made its home among some antique replica wine barrels from Ballard Designs that hung above my TV.  I only had 2 of the barrels.  There was a third one that was very large and very expensive.


Then, while on my design inspiration trip to Atlanta, I found the largest barrel on sale at the Ballard Designs outlet and just had to complete the trio!

So, when I moved, I decided that the dining room would be the perfect place to decorate with these circular objects.  But something was missing.  I just couldn’t get them to look right.  It was just off.  So these circles of decoration sat on my dining room floor – for 4 months!!!

Off we went on our yearly trip to Maine.  When we are up there one of my favorite things to do I to go antiquing with my mom.  We take the coastal route and hit some beautiful shops along the ocean.  My favorite is the Searsport Antique Mall.  I always find more than one good thing there!  And just as we got to the last booth, I saw it.  A smaller sifter that would complete my dining room wall!!!


Oh, it was perfect!  But it wouldn’t fit in my luggage and it was too fragile to shove in the overhead compartment on the plane.  So I had to wait for it to arrive.  And now it’s here!


I hung it up immediately!



Have you ever wondered “Am I any good at this?”

I wonder that exact thing every day. 

Lately, I feel like the universe is telling me “Hey!  Have some confidence!  You ARE good at this!”

For example, Tuesday I FINALLY stenciled my daughters room.  Just a focal wall to offset all that purple.  I had the idea in my head to try to mimic the pattern of her bedding.  It seemed like a good idea.  Then I added more to it – it had sparkle like glitter, and maybe have jewels….

Perhaps I went too far…..  But then I did it and it came out better than I imagined!


(full “how-to” in the future)

Or dinner the other night…. I was following a recipe but decided to cut a little of this, add a little of that…… And I ended up with this….


It was soooo good!



Or just hoping that someone out there likes your decorating…. and your blog…

Then you get featured on Wow Us Wednesdays with Savvy Southern Style and you feel validated.

And it feels amazing!!!!

Home Office Progress

I am still working on Prince Charming’s office for his birthday, but we are making progress!  Who can ask for more than that?!  I bought a great chair off of Craigslist and I am hoping not to have to reupholster it.  Keep your fingers crossed.  The cabinetry has been installed.


And today was painting day for the cabinetry.


Won’t it look fabulous with this desk?…..


The walls are getting painted next week.  Then the beauty begins – furniture, window treatments, pillows… I can’t wait!

Keeping Room–Before & After


I feel as though I just moved in to my house yesterday!  I’ve been working so hard on just trying to get unpacked, purging unwanted items and organizing this house for the way we live that I’ve forgotten to share with you all of the work that has been done.

This house has a keeping room (or hearth room or family room) which is a smaller family room right off the kitchen.  I love it!!!  It is the main gathering area for the family.  I can be in the kitchen cooking and still see everything and everyone.

Here are the before pictures.  As you can see, the built-ins were the same color as the kitchen cabinets and there was carpet.  Oh, and the walls were green.



We were going to keep the carpet and just let the kids and dog destroy it, but upon further inspection we found that it was already destroyed.  You can kind of see that it was much lighter under where the previous owners couch used to be.  And it smelled of their dogs.  Prince Charming and I agreed that no amount of carpet cleaning could undo that.  So, we decided to put in hardwood floors to match the rest of the house.


I had the bookcases painted in Creamy and Urbane Bronze on the inside, both by Sherwin Williams.  I love the way they turned out.  And check out the floors, pre-stain.  They added such a great flow to the kitchen and keeping room.  I didn’t realize what an impact they would have until they were in.  Awesome!!


These little wing chairs got a make-over for the keeping room as well.  I grew up with these chairs in my home and my parents gave them to me last year.  They sat in my garage last year while I figured out what to do with them.  When we moved, it was time for their big Ta-Da!  I had them reupholstered in a wonderful greige fabric I found at the Metrolina Expo.


Didn’t they turn out great!?


The medallion pillows I had custom made out of remnant fabric I found and yellow, iridescent burlap.  Who could pass that up?  The coffee table was a find on Rue La La and the rug came from


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Trim and bookcases: Creamy        Walls: Kilim Beige             Back of bookcases:Urbane Bronze

All paint by Sherwin-Williams.

Also sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick.

Maine Home + Design

While on my trip back to Maine over the weekend, I stumbled upon a magazine: Maine Home + Design.  I had no idea that it existed, but I am glad that I grabbed a copy.

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It has the most beautiful coastal homes in it.  I fell in love with the rustic quality of the house on the cover.  I just had to share it with you. 

This home is in Kennebunkport, ME.  You may have heard of it.  The Bush Family lives there.  (Not the house, the town.)  It is a beautiful town and I am hoping to get back there this summer.  If I do, I promise to take pictures!!!

A Birthday Wish–Home Office Scheme

Today is Prince Charming’s birthday.  He’s 29 – AGAIN!  At our age, there’s not all that much we want unless it’s big.  So when I asked my husband what he would like for his birthday it was BIG!  HUGE, actually, but oh so exciting for me.  He asked for a home office.  This is not an outrageous request.  He’s been working in this since the move.


Can you blame the guy?!

The office in our previous home had lots of built in shelving and storage.  Here at Chateau Charmant, not so much.  So that’s first on the list.  We are having our fabulous carpenter, Yerif with YGM Xtrim Carpentry, come in and build him some built-ins.  They will look similar to this:


(photo from

Prince Charming has chosen this desk from Pottery Barn:


Now that all the function has been chosen, there is that tricky little bit about color.  Prince Charming’s favorite color is blue.  He loves dimly lit spaces.  He loves the ocean and sharks.  His most prized possession is this:


Back in his younger days, the prince went Great White Shark diving with Rodney Fox.  If you don’t know who Rodney Fox is, read about him here.  This is a framed picture signed by Mr. Fox himself.  It will display prominently in the office.  Soooo, it kind of dictates the color scheme of the office.  I know what you are thinking – “Turquoise.  Your best option is turquoise.”  Nope!  Not a chance!  I have chosen a darker, more moody blue found in the shadowy parts of the picture.  I think it is the color of cold ocean water.  And a lovely sandy white for the trim and built-ins. (white sand by Benjamin Moore)


(Refuge by Sherwin Williams)


This photo is my inspiration.  It is a beachy scheme without being literal.  And the colors from the shark picture would work perfectly.  I went on the hunt for fabric.  I needed something masculine but pretty.  And it had to have that blue in it.  My BFF and I headed out to the best fabric store around and found nothing.  Her comment was “I think you better find another blue”.  I refused to give up!!!!  Sooo, I went online.  Nothing.  I went to the local fabric store.  Nothing.  Then I went to the expensive custom order fabric store.  Ding! Ding!  We have a winner!  They had the fabric in stock so the price isn’t too bad.  If I had to custom order it, I’d be changing the blue. 


I want to do a chair in the plaid, an accent pillow and small ottoman in the medallion and the terracotta graphic is the bold pop to break up the blue and it will be curtains. Now I will be scouring yard sales, thrift stores and the side of the road for a chair and ottoman to reupholster. 

I can’t wait to get started.  When I showed Prince Charming the plan he looked at me and said “It’s so me!”  Isn’t that the best compliment any designer can get?!

So, Happy Birthday, Honey!  Your office is about 1 month away!

(stay tuned for before and after photos!)

Nantucket Style and Inspiration

I just love the coast, don’t you?  The sand, the sun, the breeze, the colors, the relaxed atmosphere… What’s not to live?!  Being a New Englander living in the South, I am torn.  The New England coast is gorgeous and relaxed.  It doesn’t get too hot (although it can), humidity is fairly low, and there is just an atmosphere that I can’t explain.  But I do think that Nantucket, off the coast of Massachusetts, really exemplifies that atmosphere. 

I just felt the need to lighten and brighten up my new house, perhaps it is the time of year, and I looked to this little island for some inspiration. 


(Above images all from Traditional Home)





Nantucket Historic House for Rent

You can even rent this one!

Are you feeling inspired?!  I am!  The light and bright rooms, but not totally white.  Little bursts of color here and there.  Antiques mixed with comfy, upholstered pieces.  Traditional yet comfortable.  That is the look I am going for.  Next stop, the fabric store, oh and the paint store to pick up some samples, and the…..  I better stop now!