"Entertaining en Provence" with Martha Stewart

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Although I don't usually decorate my house in this style, I LOVE the Southern France "Provencal Style" - not formal or matchy-matchy, but comfortable and collected, where everything works effortlessly together. It reminds me of how I want to live my life.  These are some of my favorite Provencal rooms (although they are not done by Martha Stewart - I'll get to her in a minute):


So, on to the big news - Martha Stewart has teamed up with One King's Lane for an "Entertaining en Provence" sale, and I had the great honor of being asked to help OKL promote the sale.  The sale will last longer than the typical 3 days flash sale -- this one goes for two weeks so you have time to look at the tons of amazing items and make your decisions (but don't let something sell out on you that you really want - I get heartbroken when that happens and will feel you pain).

From the Editor in Chief of Martha Stewart Living:
 "I love the idea of creating a very casual dining experience as a beautiful,
relaxed end to the summer. The produce and ingredients are so incredible
at this time they really do the work for you."

That is the theme behind this sale, which I think is one of the best curated ones I've seen.  I've said that once before, and I think it's because OKL keeps getting better and better, so it's not really a surprise.  Here are some of the items available now:

 You can click this collage to go to my very favorite items in the whole sale:


Finally, I wanted to share with you my favorite Provencal recipe that I make all the time - it's SO good (it's the cream cheese that makes it I think):

Provençal omelette cake



For the filling:

  • 300g soft cheese , such as light Philadelphia
  • 5-6 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp snipped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • rocket leaves and shaved Parmesan, to serve 


  1. Break the eggs into two bowls, five in each. Whisk lightly and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a pan, add the courgettes and spring onions, then fry gently for about 10 mins until softened. Cool, then stir into one bowl of eggs with a little salt and pepper. Add the roasted peppers to the other bowl of eggs with the garlic, chilli, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a little oil in a 20-23cm frying pan, preferably non-stick. Pour the eggs with courgette into a measuring jug, then pourabout one-third of the mixture into the pan, swirling it to cover the base of the pan. Cook until the egg is set and lightly browned underneath, then cover the pan with a plate and invert the omelette onto it. Slide it back into the pan to cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining mix to make two more omelettes, adding a little oil to the pan each time. Stack the omelettes onto a plate. Make three omelettes in the same way with the red pepper mixture, then stack them on a separate plate.
  3. Now make the filling. Beat the cheese to soften it, then beat in the milk to make a spreadable consistency. Stir in the herbs, salt and pepper. Line a deep, 20-23cm round cake tin with cling film (use a tin the same size as the frying pan). Select the best red pepper omelette and place in the tin, prettiest side down. Spread with a thin layer of cheese filling, then cover with a courgette omelette. Repeat, alternating the layers, until all the omelettes and filling are in the tin, finishing with an omelette. Flip the cling film over the omelette, then chill for up to 24 hrs.
  4. To serve, invert the omelette cake onto a serving plate and peel off the cling film. Pile rocket on the top and scatter over the cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and a little freshly ground black pepper. Serve cut into wedges.

Per serving

231 calories, protein 15g, carb 4g, fat 17 g, saturated fat 6g, fiber 1g, sugar 3g, salt 1g

Thank you One King's Lane for sponsoring this post and this incredible sale!


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Why a bed makes a bedroom (A Post From a New Sponsor)

Monday, August 13, 2012

As an interior designer, working on someone's bedroom can be one of the most challenging but also rewarding things to do. The boudoir is that individual's personal space and as such, perhaps more than anywhere else in the home it needs to be somewhere they feel at ease. For this to happen, you need to tune into and reflect their personality.

The function of the room also needs to be kept in mind when designing the layout and ambiance of the room. Some people use their bedroom purely for sleeping and dressing, while others like to indulge hobbies such as creating a home cinema within this private space. With this in mind, I like to work very closely with homeowners when working on bedrooms and spend a lot of time chatting about their vision and goals. Time and time again a point that is immediately identified as a central focus is that of the bed.

There's no getting round how important a bed is within the bedroom and the type of bed furniture chosen by an individual gives a great insight into the individual as well as their sense of style. There are those who like to position a large, imposing and luxurious bed as the main feature of the room and by doing so prioritize the precious hours they spend in sleep. Equally there are individuals who opt for a very functional and space savvy option that serves its purpose and leaves room free for other points of interest or storage.

 Some of the most enjoyable rooms to work on are those that are centered around a traditional wooden bed, whether it be a full-on four poster, or one with an ornate headboard. These are beds that tend to grow with the individual and can be redressed when and if the room's inhabitant decides to restyle the room in the future. So, you get a real buzz helping to pick out what's likely to be a permanent feature in the room and of course, in dressing it with linen to match your own vision for the room.

Thank you to my newest sponsor for this guest post!

How I Fixed Up My Living Room for a Photoshoot

Saturday, August 11, 2012

So I told you all a few weeks ago that Houzz was sending a photographer to shoot my house for an article....but it got postponed at the last minute because it was pouring out.  I'm kind of glad, because it gave me time to do some things I had been putting off. Namely, my living room. Here is how my living room looked up until yesterday (minus the gray fabric draped over the chair):

So I started with plain boring white, but I wanted stripes and nail heads. Sounds easy, but it was actually really hard to get everything lined up.  But here is how I did it:

Cut and iron the fabric into the desired width and length. LIGHTLY spray the middle section of the chairs with spray glue, making sure not to go outside the line of where the stripe is going to be.  Lay the fabric on and smooth the wrinkles (the hard part).

This is the fabric being attached to the underside of the chair:

Then the fun part - the nail heads.  First, the proper tools:

I spaced them just by using the width of my finger, but I read some where that a dime or penny is a good way, too (and probably more precise):

The finished chair, from the back:

The others, in progress:

Finished, from the front:

But I am very pleased with the result, and it looks MUCH better in person :)


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