Blooming-hills

Over a week has passed since our 2nd Annual Road Party and while the bubbly and food have all but disappeared, the memories and flowers linger still. 

This year we opted for a brunch event where we served our newly famous Belgian waffles with fresh whipped cream and fruit along with home made biscotti and thirst quenching Mimosas.

 

Our very own chef: Irwin   

We decided to utilize the porch and front lawn, which are both shady and cool during the early part of the afternoon and had an immeasurable amount of help from our neighbor Jeanne, who co-hosted the gathering as well as our good friends Marty and Robyn, who came for the weekend.                                              

 

 Jeanne, our neighbor and resident bartender

Our neighbors brought an array of epicurean edibles including scrumptious spinach and mushroom strata, spinach and feta individual spanakopita, a homemade peach cobbler, herb biscuits, parmesan rolls, a fresh blueberry pie from the local blueberry festival and bottles and bottles of Prosecco.

                                 

Lots and lots of Prosecco

 

Unlike an evening event, which allows for more time to capture the set-up pictorially, a brunch with a warm main course does not permit such a luxury, so we hope you will use your imagination.

What I was able to capture were the simple,colorful floral arrangements Irwin made from an assortment of flowers Jeanne ordered from a local farm.  The total cost for the flowers was a mere thirty dollars and we are still enjoying the blooms more than a week later.  Irwin employed an assortment of vintage pieces including a silver plated pitcher, a pewter pitcher, assorted glass vases and our personal favorite, a ceramic swan that Irwin purchased in Virginia last year.

                                                   

  

a pewter pitcher filled with farm favorites

 

 

A silver plate pitcher filled with a breathtaking assortment

 

the same pitcher over a week later 

 

a simple table set with a petite bouquet

 

the petite bouquet the following week

 

 

a beautiful swan

 

beautiful still

 Needless to say, a good time was had by all.                                                                 
 

                                      enjoying the afternoon

        

In our last post we suggested using found objects to hold candles for a little Midsummer Lights Dream. Found objects can also make interesting containers for flower arrangements, making every day a special occasion.  And this time of year the burgeoning plethora of wildflowers are wonderful additions to seasonal blooms.                                                                                                                          

  

Wildflowers, including Goldenrod

So, this weekend, purchase or pick some of this season’s best and fill your favorite containers.  Whether you are enjoying your time indoors or out,   surround yourself with the sweet bouquet of flowers and enjoy your very own Blooming-hills.

 

 

 

 

 


I love June!  While I don’t necessarily enjoy the frenetic race to reach the finish line at the end of the month, it is usually a month filled with happy occasions like the end of the school year and graduation (our youngest graduated from high school this month), weddings, birthdays (Irwin’s was on the 18th) and Father’s Day. The last couple of weeks are often chaotic and exhausting, but the days are some of the longest and the weather is finally truly warm. AND…summer finally arrives.

 

Graduation

 

Summer Arrives

These are the days I cherish, the days I long for all year. The days I hold firmly in my heart as I wade through mountains of snow in the absolute darkness of late afternoons in December.  I cling to these early days of summer as I begin the count from the shortest day of the year to the longest and am always astounded to have made it back again, another year under my belt.  It is cause for celebration: A time to truly be grateful for all that we have. And what better place to do it than in the country; where we can focus on the basics of a quality, slow home lifestyle.

 

Slow Home

 

Busy Bees

 We arrived in the country on Friday and were greeted by our neighbor Jeanne, and our four-week old garden.  Jeanne had baked a strawberry/rhubarb birthday pie for Irwin from scratch with fruit she had gotten at the local farmer’s market.  The smell of the sweet fruit wafted through the air and the plate was still warm to the touch when she handed it to me.  The garden offered up rose-colored radishes along with growth by leaps and bounds.

   

Home Made Birthday Pie

 

Rosie Radishes

Although Irwin is not big on birthday celebrations, we have grown to understand how really special each one is so we began his birthday with the gift of a waffle maker and my preparation of a delicious Belgian waffle batter from scratch along with fresh whipped cream.  The result was so delicious, that I have vowed never to use a mix for either waffles or pancakes again.

 

 Waffle Maker

 

Breakfast Remains

Then the boys gave Irwin a very special gift and card and it was then time to pass the Kleenex. 

 

A Kleenex Moment

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and taking some family photos and ended with an easy barbeque and consumption of Smores cupcakes I made thanks to a recipe shared by @RidgelyBrode

 

Four Out of Five (Middle Son Had to Work)

Smores Cupcakes

Simple and sweet, we ended the day driving our youngest to camp. 

 

The events of last weekend may not seem out of the ordinary in any way and that is exactly my point.  It was a simple relaxed birthday weekend that we were privileged to share as a family: A privilege that we would like many others to have the opportunity to share for years and years.

 

And so, we are welcoming summer with another kind of celebration.  A celebration that we would like to share with all of you.  Through the power of social media, we have collaborated with Sunbrella to introduce our latest Pretty in Pink for Life piece to benefit Susan Komen for the Cure CT.

 

Our Latest Pretty in Pink 4 Life to Benefit Komen

This fabulous fuchsia powder coated Mid Century iron ottoman covered in Sunbrella’s Canvas- Hot Pink 5462 and Steeplechase-Malibu 56064 fabrics is phenomenal and is perfect for summer fun either indoors or out!

 

So please help spread the word and help us find this wonderful ottoman a home so that Komen CT can benefit from ALL the proceeds of the sale.  It is our way of sharing the simple pleasure of birthdays with others.

 

For Details on this piece:

www.irwinfelddesign.com/index.cfm/product/1182_13/pretty-in-pink-4-life-mid-century-fuchsia-sculptural-ottoman.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Garden of Dreams

It is late March and despite the subfreezing temperatures and the promise of snow later in the week, we just met with our gardener to discuss the vegetable garden we want to plant this spring.  The snow has finally melted, for now at least, and it appears as if some “early birds” are already nest hunting around the house, confirming that spring will arrive…eventually and our Garden of Dreams will become a reality.  The excitement is palpable.  Well OK, maybe it is not as exhilarating as winning the Mega Millions, which I tried unsuccessfully to do this weekend or even as stirring as the status of March Madness, but for Irwin and I and our slow home lifestyle, it is absolutely thrilling.

 

Irwin & our gardener measuring for the garden

 

An "Early Bird" Nest Hunting

 

We have been discussing the possibility of planting a vegetable garden for eleven years, ever since taking title of our home in the country. The thought of growing food along with caring for farm animals has been a dream of ours from the outset. It is almost impossible NOT to consider a slow home, farming life when surrounded by lush farmland, rolling hills and babbling creeks, but the reality of our weekender status never allowed us to move forward with either. 

 

lush Farmland, rolling hills

 

 

 

babbling creeks

 

 

However, that never stopped us from dreaming about as well as continuing to discuss it.  Early on, immediately following our first visit to the local county fair, I was convinced that raising animals was our destiny.  After looking at all of the beautiful farm animals brought to show at the fair, I knew that would be a part of our future in the country.  And while my dream of an Alpaca farm is still on the back burner, our dream of building a garden and growing our own vegetables is coming to fruition. Now that is progress, country style.

 

A Fair to Remember:

Howdy Cowdy

 

 

 

A couple of kids

 

 

This big piggy

 

 

Seriously, she's got Milk

 

 

Alpacas...on hold

 

 After sharing the fresh salad our neighbor Gloria, a master gardener, brought to our Road Party last summer, we revisited the possibility of planting a garden this year.  Gloria had offered to mentor us, which was just the impetus we needed to get the ball rolling.  While we had what we were hoping was the ideal location, there was still the issue of maintaining the garden during the week, when we are in the city.  That glitch was remedied when our wonderful neighbor Jeanne suggested that we collaborate on the vegetable garden.

 

Gloria's fresh garden salad- helped make our dream a reality

 

The plan was simple.  We would house the garden on our property (Jeanne does not have an appropriate spot) and she would help maintain and water it as best she could, when we could not be here.  After initial costs were calculated, we would determine appropriate shares of cost and harvest and go forward from there.  All we needed to do was wait for spring.

And what a wait it has been.  Despite several glorious spring days, we in the Northeast, are still experiencing winter weather daily but are hoping that eventually, (and by that I mean before July) spring will indeed arrive.

So here are the basics of our plan:

A ten by ten or smaller sized garden with raised beds. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew, at least initially.  A fence eight to ten feet high surrounding the garden to keep out the deer that use that area as a thoroughfare as they head up and down the mountain and chicken wire under the beds to deter woodchucks.

That is it: Simple and sweet, at least for now.   Much like our life in the country.

We'll see how this plan pans out.  I am sure like most other things, it will be a process with many lessons learned along the way.  But have no fear, I will be sharing updates as they occur and spring’s renewal as it transpires.

Just wanted to leave you with these beautiful faces of Charlie’s friends in the country. They stopped by to say hello while we were out making plans for our vegetable garden.

Finnegan

 

collie

 

 

And share this beautiful pair of bouquets, which are always in full bloom.  All the proceeds from the sale of these spectacular chairs will go directly to Komen CT.

 

 

 the entire proceeds from the sale of these beautiful chairs will go directly to Komen CT

 

The event may be long over, but the memories remain. 

Please join the celebration as we share:

The Life of the Party: A Fall Celebration

The New England Home Connecticut Magazine Fall Networking Event with photos courtesy of Landino Photo

  

Pink Tulips Always Life Affirming

 

Our very own: Steve & Irwin

 

 

Robin Horton of  Urban Gardens & Caitlin McVarish of Apadana Fine Rugs

 

 

Beth Dempsey of Images & Details & Liz Orgera of Shorely Chic

 

 

Sandra Ferguson of Connie Beale & Liz Hynes of Juliska

 

Kyle Hoepner of New England Home & Carolyn McDonough of Diane James

 

 

Stacy Kunstel of New England Home, Jane speroff of Jane Speroff Interiors & Cynthia Mason of Cynthia Mason Interiors

 

 

 

Our Host with the most

 

 

Ann Morris of Komen CT with Irwin

 

 

Should I be Jealous?

 Betsy Abeles-Kravitz Of New England Home with Irwin

 

 

 True Blue: Ruth Warner, Susan Blumenfeld, Charles Warner & yours Truly

 

 

what a team! Glenn Sadin,  Betsy Abeles-Kravitz,  Kate Koch

of New England home


 

 

Beverly Rivkind of Beverly Rivkind Interior Design and Stacy Kunstel

 

Me with Tamara Stephenson of NestNestNest & Susan Young

 

 A view of the room

Carlos Solano & Steve Cassler

 

Irwin & Amanda Martocchio of Amanda Martocchio Architecture & Design

 

 

Mark Klapper

 

A pink moment: A perfect Nest

 

The best neighbors anyone could ask for:

Erica DiMartino, Victoria Keating and Liz Hynes of Juliska with Kyle Hoepner

 

 

A Special Bench, A Special Price, An important Cause

 

 

Pretty in Pink 4 Life Bench $1800 with all proceeds to benefit Komen CT

Available  for purchase

A Mid Century Masterpiece: A Gift 4 Life

 

Last weekend as I watched the change of seasons unfold in the country, I was astonished by the fact, that despite many early undressed trees and piles of crunchy leaves amassing on the ground, there was still an astounding amount of summer blooms flourishing.   What I found most striking and quite telling, was the abundance of pink roses burgeoning amidst the deconstruction of flora that is synonymous with the arrival of fall; a testament to both their resilience as well as their sheer will to survive.  For me the irony was overwhelming and this unexpected sign of hope, like a beacon on a moonless night represents what organizations like Komen for the Cure offer.

Colors of the season

  

Trees undressed surrounded by a blanket of leaves

  

 

 

The remains of summer blooms

 

Pink power endures


A will to survive

 

When we were first approached by New England Home Connecticut Magazine to host their first Connecticut Fall Networking Event in our Gallery, we were both excited and delighted.  We were thrilled to welcome so many of our CT neighbors and share an evening with others.

To make this event a truly collaborative effort, I immediately reached out to my neighbors and many of them responded so generously, that it almost took my breath away.  Our newest neighbor, Fairway Market agreed to come on board and supply food for the event and Juliska, Colorblends and Godiva Chocolates were more than happy to supply lovely additions for our gift bags.

Fairway's sumptuous buffet

 

Juliska's lovely gift bag contribution

 

Pink Tulip bubs courtesy of Colorblends

 

Dreamy chocolate from Godiva

 

"In the Pink" Gift Bags

 

But it seemed that a gathering of some of Fairfield County ‘s (and beyond) “Best & Brightest” during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, needed to be more than just a networking event and we decided to use this wonderful evening to raise awareness as well as funds for Komen for the Cure, CT.

Anne Morris, Executive Director of Komen CT was on hand to share valuable information with the crowd as we previewed our “Pretty in Pink 4 Life” customized Mid Century bench which we are now selling with ALL proceeds from its sale going directly to Komen CT.

 

 

The "pretty in Pink 4 Life" Bench

  

With a close personal connection, we are deeply committed to supporting Komen for the Cure.  It is one of the reasons we decided to participate in Holiday House last year doing a tabletop and returning again this year, doing a complete room. 

 

Holiday House 2009 "The 4th of July"

  

We hope that through our efforts, we can motivate other small businesses to see that with a little imagination and a lot of perseverance, they can help raise both awareness as well as funds for lifesaving causes.

 

Our new Gallery section featuring the works of Vincent Longo & our Pink Ribbon Chair

 

 

Just before the guests arrive: Pink Abounds!

 

Irwin & Roberta Thomas Mancuso of New England Home CT Magazine

 

 

Let the cocktails begin!

 

The evening was an amazing success.  A melding of designers, architects, suppliers, bloggers and more converged in the Gallery despite less than perfect weather.  Twitter and Facebook friends emerged from the virtual world and joined with old as well as many new friends for a delightful evening of food and fun.

A Happy group including Robert Dean, Beth-Eaton Koch, Evelyn Oschler, Elizabeth Chrystal, Betsy Abeles-Kravit, Anne Morris, Irwin &...Me

(photo courtesy of  Landino Photo)

 

 

Stacy Kuntsel, Tamara Stephenson, Roberta Thomas Mancuso, Yours Truly, Susan Young,

Robin Horton,  Gloria Battista-Collins & Liz Orgera

(photo courtesy of Tamara)

  

With many thanks to our good friends at New England Home Connecticut, including Betsy Abeles-Kravitz, Publisher, Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in Chief, Roberta Thomas Mancuso, Kate Koch, Glenn Sadin & of course our very own @StacyStyle Stacy Kuntsel, Homes Editor for helping make this evening so special.  And where would we be without the brilliant photography of Neil Landino, Jr. of Landino Photo who was on hand to capture the evening.

 

 StacyKuntsel, Roberta Thomas Mancuso, Me being held in place, Kyle Hoepner, Irwin, Steve cassler

& Betsy Abeles-Kravitz

(photo courtesy of  Landino Photo)

 

Though the evening is over, the memories remain, new friendships have been forged and collaborations continue.

So many of you including Kyle Hoepner and our good friends at Juliska, have offered to continue to promote the sale of our “Pretty in Pink for Life” bench and we truly appreciate all of your help.

Together, there is nothing we cannot do.  As the pink roses remain in bloom despite the arrival of cooler temperatures and less than perfect conditions, so too, must we continue to support organizations like Komen 4 the Cure, who allow those roses to continue to survive and flourish.

 And please don’t forget: We are looking for a wonderful home for our “Pretty in Pink 4 Life “ bench.  Anything you can do to help make that happen would be appreciated.

 

The "Pretty in Pink 4 Life" Bench Specially priced at $1800 to celebrate "Life"

 

 

More photos of the festivities to follow soon!

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