Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One year ago...

Looking back at these photos makes me very emotional...for so many, many reasons.

Just to name a few...

We listed our previous home on 7.23.10, and little did we know, 12 days later, it would be sold!  A blessing....yes.  Difficult...yes (after all, this was the home we brought our babies home to...the only home they knew!)
The biggest downside...the girls & I moved to our Beach House for the 8 long months it took to build Grayce Lane.  This was hard...missing Hubby/Daddy...missing the transformation from dirt to house...but mainly just ‘missing’.

Reconnecting with friends I grew up with (Ms. K, I cannot thank you enough for keeping me sane, grounded & focused...and for being such a dahl-ing...I luv ya!)

My girls...they are absolutely magnificent.  I am so lucky to be their Mama...and since we embarked on this journey for them, this house is named for them.  Miss M’s middle name is Grace...Miss L’s middle name is Layne...we changed the spellings, but it’s pronounced the same. 

My hubby...is the most amazing & talented person I know.  He worked so hard to make this dream a reality...(Babe, if you’re reading this...THANK YOU for building this house for our children to grow up in...and do not get any ideas...we are NOT doing this again!)

 * * * * *

It still amazes me, looking at those first photos, that we did this.  Even now, walking into our home, it's very overwhelming, remembering that we looked at it on paper for 18-months, and now it's a live, physical home...that we are filling with love & memories each & every day.  We have so much to be thankful for...

So...here’s to you, Grayce Lane...and the endless years of wonderful memories we have ahead of us.
(and PS:  don’t get any ideas and start with the leaking pipes, broken A/C or other crazy notions that would make me want to sell you!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Morning Room project

Today has been a relatively productive day, considering I had 2 hours of sleep last night, have been dealing with an ache-y back (again) and the girls are suffering from a serious case of the Mondays.

With the Home Office finished, I started on Miss M's curtains and decorative pillows this morning.  Took a break for lunch, got Miss L down for a nap (which means I'm working on borrowed time at this point), and took a few minutes to have another cup of coffee while finishing my fabric selections for the Morning Room.

With this house being much more modern/neutral than our last house, I wanted a fun, but neutral print for the window treatments in the kitchen & living room.  I searched every site I know of, and finally found this (and promptly ordered yardage so that I couldn't change my mind!):

Windsor Smith:  Pelagos (Haze)

So, with that fabric chosen, I needed to find something to re-cover the cushions on the furniture in our Morning Room.  We purchased the furniture several years ago, when we moved into our last house, and the red/gold plaid suited that house...not so much for this one though.  My ultimate goal for this room would be to have a fabulous round table with 4, cushy, wing-back chairs to enjoy breakfast, mid-day coffee, etc.  But, until then, this is what I've got, so I'm doing some simple updating.

Here's the room & furniture as it is:

And here are the new cushion fabrics:

seat cushions

back pillows (Kravet Design:  Bansuri - Slate)  

I also found some fabulous fabric to re-cover a bench in my closet...which I will post as a DIY when the fabric arrives.

We have a nice afternoon thunderstorm here at Grayce Lane, so I'm off to do more sewing!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Home Office...DONE!

So, the new home office was supposed to be a 1-week project.  Turns out, it took about 1-month to complete.  Still need a few accessories here & there, but the big stuff is DONE!

Wall color:  Benjamin Moore - Warmed Cognac
Fabric for curtains:  Premier Prints - Zippy (Charcoal Slub)
Desk:  ZGallerie "Jett" Desk (found at Home Goods!)
Filing units:  IKEA Effectiv

Next room to finish...Miss M's bedroom!
Guess I'll be doing a bit of sewing this weekend...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lazy days of summer...and they're just beginning!

Today was a lazy day here at Grayce Lane.  Lots of little projects to finish this weekend and I decided it was best to stay indoors and get started. 
Reason #1: it was 109 degrees outside = YUCK! 
Reason #2: our driveway project started this week and we have to park about 1/4 mile down the street...or UP the street rather, since it’s uphill (no fun with with 2 kids in the 109 degree weather) = YUCK YUCK!
Reason #3: we have a week to get some of these ‘projects’ finished because we have some fabulous friends coming into town next weekend = SUPER FUN!!!!

So, the other day, I mentioned going to visit our local farmer for some tomatoes...well, we did...and I got some fresh yellow squash, too.  During our ‘day in’, we made these fabulous Yellow Squash Muffins.  It’s a recipe my mom handed down to me (upon request).  She made them frequently during our summers growing up...and they are super yummy!  (NOTE:  they can be frozen to enjoy later too!)

Next summer, we’ll plant our own garden and grow our own yellow squash...so if you’re fortunate enough to have a garden this year...or have a favorite local farmer...go grab some squash and ENJOY!

Yellow Squash Muffins

Get this:
2 pounds (about 8 medium) yellow squash
2 eggs
1 c margarine or butter, melted
1 c sugar
3 c flour
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Do this:
  • Wash squash thoroughly; trim off ends.  Cut into 1-inch slices.  Cook in a small amount of boiling water 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain well, and mash.
  • Measure enough of the squash to equal 2 cups.  Combine squash, eggs and butter; stir well and set aside.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
  • Add squash mixture to dry ingredients.  Stirring just until moistened.  Spoon into greased muffin pans (or lined muffin pan), filling 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Yields 2 dozen.  Recipe can be cut in half.
(waiting, waiting, waiting...)

Hope you have a fabulous (and COOL) weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

in the works...Grayce Lane Designs!

I have been doing custom stationary for a while now and after some encouragement from hubby and besties, I'm finally going to start selling it.

When my BFF moved back to Maryland from Texas, I knew she would need some personal stationary to send after interviews.  I wanted to do something that was modern & sophisticated, but unique & memorable.

Here's what she got:

(images my own)

It's a simple 5x7 flat card with rounded corners.  A nice, heavy, pure white linen textured cardstock.  My favorite chevron print.  That turquoise blue is a great color for her...it looks great on her, and personally, I think it's reflective of her personality...bright & fun.  Finished off the set with red envelopes.

I'm working on some new designs and will have them listed in my Etsy store soon.  If you're interested in something before then, just send me a note.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I love my mailman...

yes...you read that correctly.  Among the junk mail, advertisements, invitations (is it sad that my 5-yr old has a busier social life than I do?) and bills, I look forward to my monthly delivery of this...
                                                             (all images via marthastewart.com)

For those who know me, I am a 'Martha in-training'.  I think she's a genius.  I mean, come on?  Who else becomes a millionaire from being a crafty housewife?  Genius, right?
Another thing about me...I'm an Eastern Shore gal.  Eastern Shore of Maryland, that is....where life is easy, breezy...and slower (it wouldn't be called the Slower Lower for nothin'!).  Steamed crabs, freshly picked Corn on the Cob, cold beer, Orange Crushes (thank you, Harborside!) and amazing Bloody Mary's.

Anyway...back to the subject...this month's MS Living.  I love reading her recipes...especially during the summertime.  Just look at that dish on the front cover!  I wanted to walk to the grocery store from my mailbox! (ok, not really...only because the closest grocery store is 7 miles away).  BUT...I will be going tomorrow...to purchase tomatoes!  (Actually, one of the farmers down the street will be my go-to guy tomorrow...he had some veggies that looked delish).

I'm rambling...but there is a method to my madness here.  Common theme between my Eastern Shore gal comment and this month's MS Living...Bloody Mary's.  

I will post pics and reviews after we have actually tested them, but here ya go!

Slushy Mary


  • 12 oz vine-ripe tomatoes, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup chilled vodka
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups canned tomato juice


  1. Freeze tomatoes for at least 4 hours.
  2. Puree tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, celery seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth.  Stir in tomato juice and vodka.  Divide among 4 chilled glasses.  Garnish with celery stalks, okra or lemon wedges.

Sunny Mary


  • 2 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chilled vodka
  • 4 jarred peperoncini, plus 1/4 cup reserved pickling liquid
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ice cubes


  1. Puree tomatoes in a food processor until smooth.  Strain in a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve set over a bowl, then press on solids to extract juice.  (You'll need at least 2 cups).  Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  2. Stir together tomato juice, vodka, pickling liquid, and lemon juice.  Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses, and garnish each with a peperoncino.