Blue and white dishes

Do you ever find yourself shopping, and here and there you pick something up for a song, only to discover down the road that everything you bought goes together?

I love the color blue, but live in an area where blue isn’t nearly as popular as other colors, such as brown and black and darker jewel tones.  But for me, it’s all about the gorgeous shades of blue.  This, of course, means that I don’t see nearly as much of blue as I’d like to, but it also means that the colors I like often get marked down to ridiculously low prices.

I also happen to really, really love dishes.  I mean that I love them a lot.  Give me a store that houses both women’s fashions and housewares, and I’m all over the housewares department without a backward glance at the fashions.  I love the simple beauty of dishes, and their inherent usefulness.  They seem to hold such potential, like they’re just waiting to be filled or covered with goodness to nourish someone.  I guess, in many ways, dishes are artful symbols of abundance to me.

So, I just discovered that I’ve managed to collect 3 platters, a bowl, a baking dish, and 12 plates that all look really cool together.  And the most expensive item was $3.50.  I like that a lot.

Don’t you think this dish is just baking for something wonderful to bake in it?
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The bowl and platters have been used multiple times already.  The platters are the perfect size for bringing in meat from the barbecue or covering with sandwiches or wedges of watermelon.
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The plates were a happy accident.  I love their white rims.
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and the fact that they’re so simple.
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And blue.
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I love that life is so full of simple gifts.  Simple pleasures to enjoy.

Cupcakes and Friends

My girls had some friends over earlier this week, and I let them loose in my kitchen for an adventure in baking cupcakes.

Part of me wishes that I’d taken pictures of them while they were making the cupcakes.  They had a great time.  But I think it was best that I didn’t get the camera out until the end of the project because I think they would have been a little intimidated by the camera.  They would have felt more like they had to do it “right” and less like they could have fun.  So it all worked out well, I believe.  I just sat in the other room and listened as they mixed batter, poured it into muffin tins, baked, checked for doneness, mixed up frosting, decided how much sugar they should add to the frosting to make it thick enough, and on and on.  It was great.

And in the end, the cupcakes they produced were great, too.
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The icing set well, and they were very cheerfully decorated.  The cupcakes themselves even tasted good.
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Best of all, we had five happy girls who were very proud of their creations.
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We also had an amazing kitchen counter when it was all said and done:
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Have you ever seen a batter bowl like this?
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Yep.  We had a pretty decent mess.
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And some scrubbing to do.
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We even had a few cupcakes that had been forgotten.
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But more importantly, we had happy faces.
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And a fun memory, not to mention sweet treats.
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I also think they learned.  This was a building block in their baking skills experience.
It will help them get better at it.  (In fact, my girls baked some miniature cakes the next day for their dolls, and they did it in less time and with much less mess.)

Sometimes I forget that learning makes some messes.  But we get better at it, if we keep trying.

It gets easier to clean up, and we make fewer messes as we learn and grow.   But isn’t it wonderful that we can try?
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I know that I make a lot of messes, both in my kitchen and in many other aspects of life.
I’m grateful I can keep trying and make fewer messes as I improve.
And hopefully, in the end, I’ll have some yummy cupcakes to show for it.

Shades of White

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Someday I will have a clean house, all the time.  Right now I have a clean house, some of the time, and it lasts about 20 seconds or less.  Less, usually, because my little ones just go play in the clean rooms while I work in the dirty ones.

So when I’m craving the feeling that things are tidy and relaxing, sometimes I have to take myself on a little tour and just pause to enjoy the spots and corners that are inviting.
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I realized that one of the things I appreciate the most is the color white.  I love the way white lets you appreciate texture so much.   I love how calming it is.  And I love the way it looks with blue.   So I decided to snap a few photos of different shades of white in some of my favorite little spots.
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Mirrors, linens, frames… I love the simple beauty of white.
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I think that patterns, texture, lines and so forth all show up better on white, where there’s no color to interfere with my appreciation of it all.  This is a vintage runner that I bought for around $5.  It’s not a fine linen, but I really like it.
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This star hangs over my front door, which happens to be where my boys most love to throw balls (go figure).  So….. every so often, the wonderful vintage star comes crashing to the floor, gouging walls and floor, losing countless pieces of paint, and getting all bent up on the points.  At this point there is always much apology, much discussion over the fact that we have bedrooms, basement, toyroom, and, heaven forbid! the outdoors in which to throw balls instead of in the entryway, and I always walk away shaking my head a little at the workings of a boy’s brain.  So we’ll just say that I really appreciate what white is left on this star and I sincerely hope we’ve learned our lesson.  I suppose I could give in and move it, but it’s really quite perfect where it is, and I’m really quite certain that we can learn to throw balls in more appropriate locations.
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For Mother’s Day, my sweet parents bought us an old, used piano.  It is wonderful.  Somebody painted it white.
In any other room, in most any other house, it would look out of place.  But in this room in this house, it is perfect.
I love it.  I love the legs on it.  And my kids love to play it.
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I love little spots that are serene and attract light.
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If you were going to wander your house in search of happy glimpses, what color would you pause most often to gaze at?
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For me, today, it was definitely white against a blue backdrop.  They’re both lovely colors!

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