(Black is still) The New Black

Black is such a lovely color to me.
If you've ever been in our home, you probably noticed that.
Black and white may just be my favorite colors, 
If they're even allowed to be in the color family.

I notice that black and white pop up when I take pictures,
like the one above.

Our master bedroom is black and white and I find it so soothing.  The only thing I'd really change, is to add in white linen curtains.  I adore linen also.  The curtains we have are actually from the fabric markets in Thailand, they are a sheer black with white ribbon roses stitched onto the sheer.

The handwriting on the wall (quite literally) was such a fun project.  I just went at my white wall with a yardstick and a sharpie.  I love it so much.

I've got black on my walls in our living space
and black on cabinets, countertops, and in decorations.

 I have such great admiration for those fun spaces you see in peoples homes.
All full of bright colors, in turquoise, yellows, and so much more.  I'm such a fan of happy spaces. 
But I'm ok with those colors just not being my thing.  
Black and white are calming to me, and I love the freshness
of a space, minus the chaos of color.  
Airy, but dramatic I guess.
All I can say though is, gracious, I hope colors don't identify
your personality that drastically.
Because if that is the case, I'm either dull and boring
or incredibly moody and dramatic, as well as airy.
Let's just not go there.
Even the outside of our house is white.
And if I didn't need to go through the Historic District Board
to do it, my front door would probably be painted,
you guessed it, Black.

 My pinterest board looks like someone took an eraser to it
and completely scrubbed out all the colors, 
except for black and white.

One of my favorite online magazines, delivered to my inbox
has so much monochromatic going on, I can hardly stand it.
Est Magazine 

I also love to follow this blog
Her pinterest board is amazing.

I'm in love.
And I think that Black is Still the New Black.

What about you?  Are you a bright happy color person?


(Chocolate) In A Box

 On Saturday, the Great Day of Hearts (properly celebrated by some, over-celebrated by others, and completely dreaded by the rest of the population), we completely sealed our 'valentines is about others' deal.  I wrote a minor report on what I've taught my kids to think of Valentines, and although I do mildly regret -at times- teaching them it's not just for lovers, I am now withholden to practice what I've been practicing and preaching up until this point.  So they come into Valentines, fully expecting that their father will lather on the goodies for them, and that we'll be treating someone else to some fun Valentines-related treats as well.  The thought never crosses their minds that Myron and I would go out together -sans kids- on Valentines.

This year did not disappoint.  We rose early, made some heart shaped bacon and eggs, and went full on into the day.  We had some fun desserts to prepare, flowers to arrange, new stranger-guests to be had for a delightful afternoon/eve and pizza, as well as some babysitting thrown in there.   Myron and I have some single, guy-friends who had it on their heart to serve some of their lady-friends, a 5 star dinner for the evening, and we got nominated to do dessert.  They put together a fabulous (from what I've heard) dinner, and we provided the dessert and the flowers.  It was so fun to make these chocolate boxes, filled with a light chocolate mousse, brownie bites, and raspberries.  Drizzled in white chocolate. 

While I know Valentines Day is over, at least for this year, I love the idea of these chocolate boxes so much.  They're just a perfect way to serve up something 'a little fancy' and make anyone feel special.  They would make a terrific Easter brunch extra: Made of white chocolate and filled with fruit.  Or bridal shower food.  Or just to show your handsome husband how much you love him. 

Here's the process:
1 chocolate bar of your choice
Extra chocolate for melting.

Cut the chocolate into 4 pieces.  Or you can get fancy and go for 5, using the 5th piece as a 'lid'.
Melt the additional chocolate and dip the 4 pieces into it, on the short ends.  'Glue' the four pieces together by holding them upright until the chocolate has cooled enough to stand on their own. 

Here's my mousse recipe:
Simple and easy version-
3 C. cold milk
1/2C. instant pudding mix 
1 16 oz. carton of heavy whipping cream
Chocolate syrup (if desired)

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat on high until peaks form.  You can add in as much, or as little, chocolate syrup as you like.

The complex (and very worth it) version involves making your own custard, instead of the instant pudding, melting in the real chocolate and then cooling.  After which you would whip in your heavy cream until peaks form.  I love this version with white chocolate, instead of milk or dark.  

I think mousse almost always screams "Add fruit to me!  I'm not complete or perfect without it!".  Mousse is like the dessert of my dreams...light, fluffy, only mildly sweet, and yet so smooth and easy on the taste buds.

laissez les bons temps rouler!


 Isaiah 40:6,7-"Everyone is as frail as grass, and their loveliness fades like flowers in the field....when the breathe of the Lord blows over it".
(loosely translated)

Last week we attended my grandmothers funeral.  She was an old soul, and we all desired greatly for her to be in the presence of Jesus for some time.  She lived life full and well and had turned 90 at the beginning of winter.  Death, after a life-cup brim to overflowing, feels so different than one that is abrupt, young and only partially lived.

In a sense, I feel like 'history' died with my grandma.  Like suddenly I realize just how close I am to growing old and being 'that generation'.  I also have this overwhelming sense that, along with her, died memories and stories of my dad.  Even in her last years of partial dementia, she would always say something about him when we would visit her in her elderly-care room.  She would fuss over how much my husband looked like him.  Remind me of how my dad would've loved his grandkids if he could've been here.  It's like a part of him lived with her, and I feel this great loss of him all over again, now that she isn't here to remind me.

We know we aren't made to be here forever.  And I feel great joy over the release of her old body into a new one, one she lived her life to be rewarded with.  She was fiery, motivated, and didn't mince words.  She spoke her mind but she prayed hard.  And in the last years, she struggled graciously as her body and mind gave out on her but there was a level of trust and sweetness that came out during these years that I had never seen before.

My grandparents were married for 71 years.  And my grandfather faithfully went to see her in the nursing home, almost every day, for the last 3 1/2 years.  My grandfather is 'fit as a fiddle' at 92 years old and he so tenderly cared for her.  It was like their relationship mellowed and sweetened during these years.  The loss of his Love was heartbreaking to watch.  He bent low over her casket and gave her the tenderest of kisses as he said goodbye with tears streaming down his face.  And I got this big old knot well up in my throat and my tears then were not for me, but for him.  Seeing the missing and the longing and all the memories of loving, desiring and cherishing come to a close as the lid of the casket thumped shut.

Myron asked me on the way home, what I think would be the most difficult: losing a Love like that at a young age or when you are so close to the end of life.  Here is the thing: when you are young, the tragedy of it can be overwhelming, I believe.  There's a life to be lived without that One person and it can take your heart and leave you broken.  Losing someone at the end of your life is losing, well, your life.  There aren't time for new memories. You awoke every morning to care for that one person and what is there to awaken for tomorrow?  

I don't know.  I only know, that at whatever age, loving someone will always create an opportunity to feel the pain of loss.  Like Isaiah said, "We all wither and fade like a flower", and death is expected at some point.  Carpe Diem.