Personal Reflections, DIY Limoncello, and Random

May 23, 2016

Wake up and smell the Swedish vodka!
It's Monday, and I love 'em.

Spring has been crazybusy as you will see in forthcoming
posts...and first, I must share gratitude for my
close blog friend Tina of The Enchanted Home,
who lovingly featured my post offering a glimpse
of my journey with the BRCA diagnosis.

You are likely well acquainted with The Enchanted Home's author whose passions include blue and white everything,
interior design, and engaging fully with the lovely
blessings her east coast life brings.

I love Tina's gorgeous style and her big heart.

She graciously treats us to elegant glimpses
around her home in which blue and white
live as best friends, bringing sky and sea
into the spaces she elevates with classic design. 

Objects from The Enchanted Home's shop appear in
some of the most riveting rooms, as seen here in
Paige Minear's One Room Challenge makeover
(bowl and foo dog from the shop)...

I will be sharing more of Tina's enchanted ways
soon, and one of my favorite things about her
approach to entertaining is how she streamlines it,
using her favorites (blue and white decor,
simple hydrangea arrangements, and tried and
true recipes she whips up herself).

The Enchanted Home

Thank you, friend, for all the lovely you share with us.

* * *
Here is a taste of what I have been up to
when not unpacking boxes and writing strange
one-off essays about spiritual awakenings...

My sons and husband joined me for a stroll
through the magical Japanese gardens near
our home, and just look at these fluffy babies:

pure sweetness.

me and my ducklings

my sons love Asian fashion in the gift shop

Inside, it is Limoncello making season.
Find my recipe here:

It is super simple, and the first step is
scrubbing the skin of those babies clean.

A Swedish vodka like Svedka works well.
Love blue and white dishtowels?

Blue Cupboard asked me to try out one of her handmade 'grainsacks of the 21st century'

My friend Joan Marie does too, and the launch
of her dry goods company Blue Cupboard
is on the horizon...keep an eye out for the nostalgic line.

And have you seen the new shade of blue paint
called Inchyra by Farrow and Ball?

The lemon peel hangs out with the vodka for a long vacation.

A recent adventure last week brought me
to a friend's house where with my sister,
we hosted a glam moving/yard sale.

The objects above, including the edgy art piece
by me (she collects my art, i collect hers)
were not for sale, but these were:

We had a blast clearing out the old
and making room for the new.

Spring is also bike season, and this is me Saturday
in my husband's prized helmet from Paris
(I have my own union jack one, but it's so tight,
pulling it on requires an emergency xanax,
and I wasn't having it.)

My husband has a pair of vintage motorcycles
he and my son drive, and I am strictly a rider. 

Our kitchen in the fixer upper is functioning well;
it just remains boring so I'll be getting to it soon.


It's graduation season, and last night
involved a fun fiesta with the best
food and service at Milwauky Taco.

Daily Herald

In less fun news, I have to pull together
a cocktail party at the fixer upper this week,
and to say that I am uneasy about welcoming
people into its unfinished glory is an understatement.

Hoping for a miracle and little elves
(or Chip Gaines) to appear.

Peace to you right where you are.

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  1. Hello Michele! WOW what a fun post - love the format and updates! A very special "thank you from the bottom of my heart" for the Blue Cupboard mention. I hope you get a chance to use the "daylights" out of it and enjoy for many years. Many hugs on their way to you Lady!

    1. thanks, friend. indeed i will use the daylights out of it! xox

  2. I had my first limoncello taste in Florence. Been making it at home ever since:)
    Hope all is well, my belle!

    1. and now that must go on my bucket list! peace, barbara.

  3. You will make it lovely and inviting, how can it not be, YOU will be there and you are always present for your loved ones and friends. Enjoy the process, love what you have done and be proud of it and be excited for what you plan on doing next, but most of all,ENJOY!! xoxo

    1. thanks, friend. i hope you are right. i'm excited about what i will do next too because...i have no idea what will be. xox

  4. Love all the changes on your site Michele! Everything looks great! That limoncello looks so refreshing and it's perfect for summer. Fun family pics and I'm glad you are enjoying your beautiful cottage :) We are working on landscaping and I'm anxious to make a few furniture pieces and trying to convince the hubs that just because something is standing doesn't mean it works for the space, ha. Enjoy your day!

    1. that's a high compliment coming from you, lovely one with the gorgeous site. i am tweaking things around here to hopefully invite others to linger and discover the gold hiding in the archives. peace to you as you make your outdoors a retreat!

  5. Wow everything is to perfection at your casa! I wish I could have made that sale! Best to you sweet gal!--Leslie Sinclair

    1. hahaha. we needed shoppers with taste! the craziest stuff sells.

  6. I am sure the party will be fabulous! I cannot wait to try your recipe!

  7. I really enjoyed this post Michele, so much variety that I don't know what to focus on...maybe the last topic which is your upcoming cocktail party. I do know what you mean about that trepidation showing off a house that doesn't really reflect who you are yet. I have that. I think I also got used to having a (former) house that was pretty much done to my taste, so this 'fixer' feeling is new to me. It's a struggle still. I know you'll have a wonderful time and your place will look utterly charming because that's how you do things. And the reality is that your new home does look great, gosh you guys have don't so much and hey. Your kitchen is done, --so classic and pretty--that's a big thing!
    Let us know how it goes. Have fun and enjoy those limoncellos!

    1. you definitely get it, leslie. it's one thing to renovate and improve upon a place, but quite another to have the courage to post the work you did on a strict budget. our previous home was easy to style and showcase with so many highend details and bones. this one is another story. it's a story of simplicity, almost zero purchases (all about subtraction here not shopping), and humble finishes to minimize costs. i am so happy to have you as my fixer upper sister! xox


Your comments add to the beauty...thanks in advance for your kindness.


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