Saturday, November 27, 2010

{Winner!} Pier 1 Gift Card Giveaway

I am so excited about my first giveaway...and am even more excited about announcing the fabulous winner and mailing off that $25 Pier 1 Gift Card! Sorry I am a little late...I am on a crazy huge time difference here in Hawaii!
So without further ado...

According to my random number generator...

The winner is...the author of comment #3...

Yay! Congrats Erin! I will contact you via email to find out where you would like me to ship your Pier 1 gift card. Many thanks to all who left comments and entered in this little giveaway. Your comments always make me smile. :o)


Monday, November 22, 2010

thanksgiving tables: inspirations from martha

As I sit here on my lanai in gorgeous Maui, Hawaii {yes I realize how how evil I sound right now} I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness that I will not be celebrating a traditional midwest Thanksgiving feast surrounded by friends and family. I won't get to eat turkey, or my personal favorite: mashed potatoes and gravy. I won't get to dress up a dinner table with the "good" dishes and make everything warm and festive for any guests.

What I can do is go to the beach, relax in the sun with my hubby, and feel extremely thankful for this vacation and the beautiful things that are going on in my life right now. Thank you, God!

Oh and thank you Martha Stewart, for posting such lurvely photographs on your website of Thanksgiving table settings. Gives me some ideas for next year...and makes me feel a little bit more like it is actually Thanksgiving over here in tropical, 80 degree, Maui.

I love the blue and shiny gold color scheme used here:

Okay, this blue feather tucked into that slate gray ribbon (which Martha suggests using as a headdress later - fun!) is so absolutely cute. I think the green glasses add an interesting pop against the gray:

The rustic simplicity of this scene makes my heart flutter...which happens really anytime grapes are used. Don't they look luscious?

Some more to be thankful for, even if you are not in Hawaii...a short work week, time with your family, and a good excuse to get creative and decorate a fabulous holiday table!

Much love!

PS: Want to enter a fun Thanksgiving giveaway? Click the link below:

Friday, November 19, 2010

{warm, happy welcome!}

If you are reading this right now -- welcome to Modern Garden!

Maybe you've stopped by before. I link most of my posts to my personal Facebook page, so if you regularly check me out there I would LOVE if you decided to become a "follower."

Let me tell you a little about my blog. It is meant to be a blissful, positive place. My desire is to feature beautiful images and words to inspire you about food, decorating, nature, and life in general. I can't say I will teach you anything about cooking or crafting (I'm a mere dabbler in these lovely things) but I may have a cute idea/recipe here and there! Mostly my passions are writing, home decor, and nature photography. So that is what you will mostly see here!

First time at Modern Garden? Hope it makes you smile...
...and click {HERE} to enter my $25 Pier 1 Gift Card giveaway!

Warm wishes to you!
PS: Right now I am coming to you from beautiful Hawaii -- I will try to post about some of our adventures throughout the week!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

giveaway: pier 1 gift card!

Okay, so I've never done a giveaway on Modern Garden before.
I'm a giveaway virgin!

I would love for YOU to be a part of my very first giveaway: a $25 Gift Card to Pier 1 Imports!

I often mention places I love to shop. One of my favorites is Pier 1...especially during the holidays! I could wander for hours. They have gorgeous ornaments, fabulous stockings and so much other beautiful decor that makes my heart flutter!

Does anyone else luuurve Pier 1?

If so...enter my giveaway and perhaps you'll find some Pier 1 lovelies like these red glass candleholders:

...or these cozy sweater stockings...

...or these fun, glittery ornaments!
{all photos courtesy of pier1}

To enter the $25 Pier 1 Gift Card Giveaway:

1) Be a follower of Modern Garden ( Just click on the "FOLLOW" link to the right and "follow" me using your Gmail or Yahoo acct. Don't have one? Takes a couple minutes to create. Easy!)

2) One Entry: Leave a comment telling me you are a follower of Modern Garden --if you follow anonymously make sure you leave an email address I can contact you to get your mailing address if you are the lucky winner.

3) Second Entry: Leave a comment about why you love Pier 1!

4) Third Entry: Leave a comment telling me about another store you love shopping at for holiday decor! :D

Contest will end at 11:59pm on Sunday, November 21st, so all entries must be in by then. Winner will be chosen randomly by a random number generator and will be announced Friday, November 26th.

Again, to win I must be able to contact you to get mailing info, so make sure when you comment your profile is linked to an email address (check your settings) or you leave your email address in at least one of your comments.

Good luck!!!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

breakfast love: {pancakes...from scratch!}

Anytime I hear/read "from scratch" I get a little nervous. Hives, really.
Those words sound so complicated. So involved!

This morning when my hubby requested pancakes, I had to announce we had, sadly, run out of pancake mix. Upon seeing the look of disappointment on his face, I quickly said, trying to appear brave -- "No fear...I'll just make them...from scratch!" Oi.

Thankfully, pancakes are super easy to make from scratch. All I had to do was whip out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook, pages stuck together and scribbled on, and turn to "Pancakes - Easy." (Would I really want the "Pancakes - Hard" recipe???)

So I gathered the ingredients (all stuff I and most people already have)...

1 lg egg
1 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat if you want to go healthy!)
3/4 cup milk (or use 1 cup buttermilk!)
1 TB granulated white or brown sugar
2 tb vegetable oil
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

I beat it all together in a medium-sized mixing bowl:

Poured my batter onto my pre-heated pan, already sprayed with cooking spray, of course. :)

Then I cooked until bubbly on top. Recipe yields 8 4" cakes, or 4 larger -- we make 'em big in our house!

We devoured ours with fresh fruit and cinnamon applesauce...and of course butter and plenty of syrup!

What did you have for your Sunday morning feast?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

no headboard needed!

I typically follow the established rules of bedroom furniture placement.

Rule #1: Always place the bed on the wall opposite of the door. Logic is that you walk into the bedroom and your focal point is your lovely bed.

Rule #2: Don't place your bed in front of a window. (I think this may be more of a mystical rule. Like bad ju-ju may come in your window at night and give you strange dreams...)

Rule #3: You must have a headboard, whether it be part of your bed or some sort of artistic piece that acts as a headboard.

Don't ask me who made up these rules. What I've found in decorating my home is that some rules are meant to be broken!

For example: We have no headboard and our platform bed is placed directly in front of the main window in our bedroom. Which happens to be a gorgeous tri-window with an amazing view of the vibrant red and orange fall leaves on the old trees on our street.

So it is not a headboard. Or a piece of art. But it is rather artistic.

Oh, and I do have strange dreams at times...but I don't blame the window.
{Probably is the glass of wine and plate of pasta I ate before going to bed!}

What is outside your bedroom window?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

sepia-toned november

Yes, mamas and papas,
all the leaves are brown, now, and the sky is gray.
I did go for a walk on a winter's day.
{Yeah, I know, it is not technically winter yet. Just play along.}
So I bathed these shots taken at my parents farm in sepia.
Winter beauty in brown - enjoy!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

kitchen bliss: french country-style

I grew up in an old farmhouse at the dead-end of a gravel road in southeast Minnesota.

I loved living in the country, spending my days in the fresh air (well, sometimes you got a whiff of manure from the neighboring pig farm) and our home was always a place of comfort and fond memories.

This weekend I travelled home to visit my parents, brothers, and our other family that still live in my hometown. I got to experience a pleasant surprise -- seeing the final result of my mother's long-awaited "new" kitchen! They completely gutted their kitchen, entryway, and guest bath and the result is a transformation worthy of a kitchen design magazine.

This little blog will have to do. :)

I unfortunately have no "before" pics, but let me paint a picture: dark, old cabinetry, light blue laminate floors, laminate counters, dark mauve wallpaper...a green plastic toilet seat!!!!!

Enough said.

My mother is a saint and deserved this kitchen. She also has very good taste and did a fabulous design job!

These white pumpkins were a gift from yours truly several years ago...don't they look perfect in the new kitchen?

Here is the entryway. Luuuuuuurve that gorgeous storage bench!

She used bronze light fixtures and hardware, which is a stunning contrast to the white french country cabinetry and creamy tile backsplash.

My mama has a pot-filler! I am so proud! :o)

They have the largest island I have ever seen in a kitchen -- and the granite is stunning, with a river of blue running through it.

Here is my mom...thankfully she has no idea how to use the internet, so there is no way she can get mad at me for putting her picture on my blog...just kidding! I warned her...sort of. :) Isn't she sweet?

I love my mom!

And my dad, of course. It is his kitchen, too. In theory. :)


Friday, November 5, 2010

Thirty before 30 #9: Paint my Ikea dresser

Recently I told you the tale of my Ikea dresser. The full version is here, but the short version is that I bought an Ikea Hemnes faux-oak dresser back in my college days {assembled with love} but for the past few years it has sat in my bedroom looking completely out-of-place. The color just didn't match the rest of our modern brown-black furniture that we purchased when we bought our current home.

A re-do was in order!

Because this has been a project that has been nagging at me for what feels like an eternity I decided this was something I had to put on my "Thirty Before 30" list...just to give myself a little, um, pressure to do the dang thing.

So I did!

I bought a quart of black paint (Cracked Pepper, Valspar) and scoured the internet for advice on painting Ikea furniture. In the end, I kind of just, well, painted it! All in one fell swoop, with the help of several cans of Redbull {elixer of the gods.}

Two coats of paint that made the dresser match my platform bed perfectly!

So here is my dresser {before} the transformation:

And here is the dresser {after} - at long last!

I absolutely love the result, and am glad to have one thing checked off my Thirty Before 30 list -- hurrah!

Hope everyone is having a beautiful Friday. I'll be checking in from my trip back home to my parent's farm in Minnesota later today -- to share Mom's kitchen re-design. It is beyond gorgeous, I promise.

Much love from MN!