Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dandy Travel Accessories

Dandy Travel Accessories
When heading off on vacation, I always take along my travel journal. It's not only fun to record our current  adventures, but it is also entertaining to read about past adventures and the many foibles that happen along the way as you travel to your new destination.    

I found that my favorite journal is the "Moleskin" brand. It is easy to throw in your travel bag and contains a pocket for tickets to special events or other keepsakes collected on your vacation.  

As you pack your bags for your summer vacation, throw in a journal and write down the adventures that you have. Don't forget to add personal stories and touches that meant something on your travels. And don't forget to add photos! My favorite part of my journal is the imagery that accompanies the text. 

To add photos, I simply import them into a photo program and reduce the size so that they can be easily added to the page with a glue stick. 

Find your journal here!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blogging from the Bay!

Blogging from the Bay
Whenever the Dandy is on vacation, I make sure I bring lots of reading material. Now that I have my kindle it’s much easier to carry all those books in one little package. However, what does one do when they are on or near the water? One certainly doesn’t want to expose one’s Kindle to the elements. But what’s a Dandy to do?

The “Octo” Neoprene Kindle cover is the perfect solution! Not only is it water resistant, but it fits snugly on your kindle so you have a smooth and sleek look for the summer.

Happy Reading!

Find your Kindle and cover here!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hello from the Chesapeake Bay!

The Domestic Dandy is enjoying a well deserved vacation on the Chesapeake Bay.

Enjoy your week and check back on Thursday for another special "vacation" post!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Always One to Accessorize!

Always One to Accessorize!
At a party, when one is having a...um....really good time, the opportunity to leave one's glass unattended may occur. What's a dandy to do?!

These adorable wine charms allow one to "mark" their glass, so that anyone who finds it knows who the rightful owner of those last few drops of ambrosia belong to! 

Even more fun is the fact that these charms come in a kit, along with enough extra pieces of paper to rewrite your name, if you've "marked" it after having a few glasses ;). 

You can find your set here!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There's a Bag for That!

There's a Bag for That!
Heading to an outdoor picnic or venue?! Here is the perfect bag!

This picnic backpack contains all you need for a fun al fresco dining experience! 

The backpack I purchased contains a place setting for 4. 
It has plates, wine glasses, napkins, utensils, salt and pepper shakers, a cheese board and knife and a wine bottle opener. It even has a detachable blanket and insulated bag for your wine to keep it chilled.

And to make it more personalized, I like to mix and match melamine plates and cloth napkins that I purchased at Crate-n-Barrel

I also love my wine glass stakes that I purchased from Amazon to hold my wine glasses in the ground.

I take my picnic backpack everywhere! Whether it be a concert at Wolf Trap in Virginia or an outdoor movie at "Diva's Outdoors" at Hillwood Museum and Gardens or Met-Flix at Metropolitan Memorial UMC it is a wonderful way to picnic!

Get yours here! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flower Power

Flower Power
I love this new book, "Flowers, Chic & Cheap" by Carlos Mota.

Inside you'll find many fun and inspiring ideas for flower arrangements in your home including beautiful color photos to help you on your way!

Two of my favorite arrangements are below:

I love the idea of using fun and beautiful shopping bags to display your flowers!

These arrangements are as creative as they are gorgeous! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Easy Summer Dessert

Easy Summer Dessert
In the summer time, you want a dessert that is light and fluffy and easy on the chef to make! I love making blueberry fool for these exact reasons. It's delicious and light and is always a hit! The recipe is below:

Ingredients - Serves 4
1/2 pint fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. In a small, nonreactive saucepan, combine blueberries, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until blueberries begin to break down and juices boil and thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a larger bowl of ice water, and stir mixture occasionally until cold.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form; fold in 1/3 cup of the blueberry sauce. Divide among four dessert dishes, and spoon remaining sauce over tops.
To serve, I like to garnish mine with an edible flower and a couple of fresh blueberries on top! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life's A Party!

Life's A Party!
Today's post was a collaborative project with my sister-n-law, Maureen.

Maureen read my post on "signature product packaging" for your visiting guests and came up with a wonderful idea for centerpieces for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  

Maureen purchased flower vases and asked me to create signature centerpiece placards congratulating the couple.

After some reflection, I decided to use a picture from their wedding day, the date of their wedding and the table number where guests would find their individual place cards, I created using the same font and colors as the centerpiece placards. 
Maureen then attached each placard to a vase, and filled it with beautiful peonies, hydrangea buds and hosta. 

The centerpieces were beautiful and everyone enjoyed seeing the happy couple from their wedding day 50 years ago. 

Thanks Maureen for this wonderful and creative idea!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Uses for Old Things

New Uses for Old Things
When the weather finally started to get warm here in DC, my partner and I began our annual tour of the garden to see what survived the winter and what didn't. To our disappointment, our much beloved water fountain did not make it. After cleaning it up and filling it with water, we were sad to see that it no longer held water because of a crack in the bottom tier. 

I felt like it would be a waste to just throw it out and replace it, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. The answer presented itself when we visited Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville, MD. We found an old fountain that they had turned into a beautiful planter. So with the image fresh in our minds, we scoured the garden center for plants that would work in our space and provide variation and texture to our planter. 

For our planter, I wanted a sense of flowing water. So we chose creeping jenny, vinca vines from our garden, purple and white verbena, and for some interesting texture we added a small fern and some moss and lichen we found from the forest near our friend's place in West Virginia.

Once we added the potting soil, and placed the various plant material, we had an instant focal point to enjoy in our garden. 

I love seeing the plants fill in each day and as the various flowers open up
they add beautiful color to our arrangement.
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