MODA = New Pantone Colors & How To Use Color Trends (Cont'd.) & Bonus Recipe Sex In A Pan Dessert

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Pantone Home + Interiors has introduced a number of style, substance and color major trends and directions for 2014, this one is entitled MODA. 

Red dahlia interacts with Blackberry Cordial and Wood Violet all accented by Amber Green. Corsican Blue meets with Magenta Haze and an expressive Linden Green, while Rich Gold waits in the wings for the appropriate moment to add a glimmering finale to any of the combinations.

At left we see Blackberry Cordial and Rich Gold.

Below right, check out the visa versa doors both in
color and design detail, left one is Red Dahlia, right door is Blackberry Cordial.


Left, Rich Gold is as gold as it gets in this embellished, oversized, ornate mirror. Wall, Corsican Blue, upholstered furniture Blackberry Cordial. This is fun - the art deco lamp with a green base and shade in a blend of Red Cahlia and Blackberry Cordial.

How To Use Color Trends:

  • Enjoy the new colors and new color combinations - if they appeal to you. This is a splendid opportunity to create visual pleasures for the eye (and sometimes tactile pleasures for the feel)
  • Incorporate new color trends but avoid being 'trendy;' embrace what fits in with 'your' look, with your style; this becomes your classic look
  • Don't break the bank to stay up with trends and fashion in your home
Pick color trends that appeal to you. It's not practical nor economical nor true to your own sense of well being to become a slave of fashion. 

Don't buy large furniture pieces in trendy colors. Trends come and go but you can easily expect a piece of furniture such as a sofa to stay for years. Rather, use trendy colors in accents and decor such as trays, vases, mirrors, or even candles.

Maybe change out your wall art from time to time to keep your room looking fresh and to reflect your favorite colors.

Pillows and throws are also an excellent way to introduce a new color in your room and easier on the budget.

Again, incorporating new color trends is enjoyable, like tasting an exquisite, refreshing new cuisine. But avoid 'trendy.'  Adopt what fits in with 'your' look, with your style. In doing so you are creating your own classic and classy look.

 Sex in a Pan Dessert Bonus Recipe

Yield:  10 Servings


  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
Cream Cheese Layer
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (use 1/2 cup for less sweetness)
  • 1 cup whipped cream or cool whip
Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding (5.1 oz)
  • 3 cups milk (use 2 cups if you want a firmer pudding)
Chocolate Pudding
  • 1 package of instant chocolate pudding (5.1 oz)
  • 3 cups milk (use 2 cups if you want a firmer pudding)
Last Layer
  • 2 cups whipped cream or cool whip
  • shaved chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees
  2. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray
  3. In a mixer mix all the crust ingredients together and press the mixture into the prepared baking dish
  4. Bake it for about 20 minutes
  5. Prepare the vanilla pudding as per the instructions on the package
  6. Prepare the chocolate pudding as per the instructions on the package
  7. In a mixer add the cream cheese, powdered sugar and the cup of whipped cream. Mix until light and fluffy
  8. Let the crust cool. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust evenly. Spread the chocolate pudding over the cream cheese, then the vanilla pudding. Top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the shaved chocolate
  9. Refrigerate for a couple hours so that it sets

Recipe from JoCooks

Portions of this article are from SampleBoard.Com

Decorating A Dreamhouse - A Belgium Castle (Cont'd) With Cilantro Lime Penne With Chicken Salad

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Written By: Patricia Lynne
Editor: Sarahjoy Crain

In my current SB Journal entry I'm imagining I'm "Decorating A Dream House" in the Country Of Belgium. Actually it is a castle.

A castle - in its simplest terms - is a private, fortified residence.

My DreamHouse Castle has a moat - history tells us is a ditch with steep sides, and could be either dry or filled with water with its purpose being to keep the walls of the Castle from being undermined from invading armies.

My DreamHouse Castle has a great tower, sometimes called a "keep," and this is where a dungeon would be located. The great tower was the strongest part of a castle and most strongly defended, and the last place of refuge if the outer defences fell. You may be surprised to consider that the keep was not left empty in case of attack, but was used as a residence by the lord who owned the castle, or his guests or representatives.

My Dreamhouse Castle is located in the very small Country of Belgium, approximately the size of Massachusetts. Belgium's total area, including surface water area, is about 19 square miles. It shares borders with four Countries:  France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

My Belgium castle is one of the Country's approximately 3,000 castles, farm-castles, citadels, manors or palaces. While mine is perhaps not Belgium's most exquisite castle (Belgium is thought to have the highest density of castles per square km, worldwide), it is beautiful, with views that are picture-postcard perfect. I particularly love the arrival of spring: my lambs give me beautiful babies (lambs usually give birth to at least two ewes at a time) and my Castle is enveloped with the magnificence of trees and plants in bloom. (My little lambs are kept separate from the gardens or all my flowers would be gone!)

My Dreamhouse City of Brussels is significant!  It's the capital of Belgium and it also serves as the Administrative Centre of the European Union, earning it the title, the 'Capital of Europe'. (It also serves as the headquarters for several other major international organizations such as NATO.)

Brussels (thank goodness for me) is very multi-lingual ~ you can expect to hear almost any language while strolling about the Grand-Place. The Eurostar train links London and Brussels in just under two hours. Bicycles are a free form to get your all around the parts of Europe via trains (you can travel with them on the regular trains).

Belgium is a genuine paradise for gourmet lovers. If you have ever had a chance to read "Asterix and the Belgians," you would already know a unique truth about this Country: Belgian cuisine is as good as the French one, and as generous as the German one. Another fun food fact ~ you do not need to go to a 3 star restaurant to really enjoy a delicious and original meal. Belgium food is simply amazing.

Craving for gourmet chocolate? Unlike wine, beers and other fluids, airlines have not yet regulated the amount of chocolate you wish to bring back to Chicago. Belgian chocolate has been the food of champions, a lure for lovers, the indulgence of the rich and later, the favorite of the masses - at left is photo of Le Chocolatier Manon.

Then there is the Belgium fashion and nightlife. Belgium is fast becoming THE destination in Europe for the 20-30 somethings. It seems they are flocking to cities like Brussels for stylish, inexpensive hotels, great food, and a pulsating nightlife. Brussels also offers fab fashion, even the opportunity to go from rags to riches via the flea market in the common Marolles, where authentic ‘Brusseleirs’ mingle with trendy import youngsters . . . . to walking a few hundred meters further for the extreme contrast flavour with the golden glitters of the very upscale Grand Sablon.

When you go outside, crossing the moat, as is typical with castles, you encounter grand gardens with paths, arbors, fountains and waterfalls. (Photo at left, bench and chairs are antique, "Serena," oval table is from Axel Verdoordt.)

Typical Belgium interior design style routinely includes a "Frenchness" (traditional French decorating - excepting Belgium still being more casual). Things are very simple, with only a complicated piece or two (like perhaps a single "curvy" chair). Rustic, worn elements are welcome and cherished. The  Belgian 'typical home' style has a practical sensibility, and it is usually un-cluttered!

But we're decorating my Castle - castles host armor, tapestries, silver, lace, china, paintings and sculptures - a sharp contrast to simple, typical Belgian home style.

So, we're going inside now. Please join me in my SB Journal on Decorating A Dreamhouse - A Castle In The Country Of Belgium.

My Belgian Dreamhouse Castle Formal Entryway:

Its rough - its old - but I think it is the most uniquely-beautiful entryway I've ever seen.

My classic, highly-detailed, carved-wood staircase is uncommonly marvelous. It's in outstanding condition, especially for how old it is.

Opening the doors of the Castle, the stature of the entryway unveils itself to you and it'll literally take your breath away.

I've chosen to hang only one painting in my entry. It's a very old oil painting of an older man praying in a gilded scrolling frame (available from Antique Trading Company.)

My Belgian Dreamhouse Castle Living Room (And More . . . )

I'm lucky to have been able to fill my My Dreamhouse Castle with a bunch of furniture vintage to its heritage (the casegoods have survived over time better than the upholstered pieces). Albeit much of the furniture and accessories are reproduction Belgium and/or European antique pieces.

An excellent example is here in the living room. According to Architectural Digest Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt is "One of the world’s most respected antiques dealers, collectors and interior designers." It is Axel Vervoordt's Brian Sofa, here in a perfect blue padded upholstery that forms the focal point of this room.

Don't even think the room's detailed built-in library bookcases are reproductions however ~ they are as old as my Castle ~ and they hold some secrets.

Looking at the photo, notice the ladder in the corner of the room. This ladder accesses you to an unexpected second story walk-around, library bookcase area, which surrounds the entire living room.

Additionally, once you've climbed the ladder to the second level, one can see it has a walk around area. It is here you can find that there is one certain bookcase that has a secret - a built in trigger that opens up a hidden room.

My Belgian Dreamhouse Castle Hidden Apartment 

The hidden room which I'll call 'the apartment area' is diminutive at just 300sf, it manages to include a kitchenette, bathroom and small living area. Like the tower and moat, this hidden room would have been built originally as another form of defense. (Don't you think "private, fortified residences," aka, castles, are fascinatingly unique as homes?)

I chose to use the 'more typical Belgian home design' style in the apartment - consequently, its layout is more casual, especially compared with the rest of the Castle. Here, things are very simple, and rustic. Worn elements, such as the table, are very cherished. I chose to adorn it a bit with the Treviso 12 Light Murano Glass Amber Color Chandelier.  It's just enough.  This Belgian style has a practical sensibility which is ideal here because the apartment is small, requiring careful use of space.

The one valuable and precious object that is on display in the "apartment" is a European tapestry.

In general, castles were typically cold and tapestries were more than just forms of art. They were hung everywhere on walls of the castles as forms of insulation. In this room, rather than using framed art, a wall tapestry completes the traditional, but more casual mood.

To be exact, this (17th/18th century) tapestry of Mytos and Apews Kissing with 8 figures looking on is actually for sale from Newell Antiques. The 117" wide x 92" high tapestry has been featured on The Stepford Wives, The Pink Panther, and Great Expectations. It can be so much fun designing a Dreamhouse, especially when you have 'props' like these!

My Belgian Dreamhouse Castle Kitchen

Almost everything in my kitchen is vintage - do you not LOVE the curved arch ceiling?

When I touch the stones I imagine the history of my Castle, knowing that the Country is actually fairly new, established in the mid 1800's. This area we now call Belgium has been trampled over and over by warring parties. The great thing is that in good times, parties and entertaining occurred here and it is fun to fantasize about those events and that they were probably brilliantly magnificent.

A few of the appliances are reproductions - such as the Elmira 48" Dual Fuel Wood burning Stove - with Gas Burners from Elmira Stove Works .

Gotta' love beautiful reproductions.

My Belgian Dreamhouse Castle Bathroom

Again, the woodwork is vintage to my Dreamhouse Castle, with reproduction bathtub and hardware. There is some great reproduction bathtub products out there, such as the Marie Louise Cast Iron Claw Foot Bath Tub With No Faucet Drillings , from Vintage Tub And Bath.

The artwork (in the bathroom!) is an antique painting from The Antique Trading Company.

When decorating a bathroom - castle or a modern townhouse, be sure to make it practical as well as attractive.

These blue cabinets open up for storage. Not just castles should hold extra guest towels and soaps. Incorporate this practice in your own homes - it is a gracious touch. The chair may look randomly placed, but it is actually hugely practical. It can hold a book and reading glasses, your towel as seen here and when you are finished, you can then use the chair to sit on it while you finish dressing.

My Belgian Dreamhouse Castle Master Bedroom

As was often the case the tower or keep held the master bedroom, during times of peace. Nowadays a circular stairway is the main entrance, but there is another secret access that would have been for purposes of defense during times of war. It has no evil feeling remaining; this tower is beautiful and the windows are level with the seawater.

The Master Bedroom is very much French traditional interior design style. This bed has tie-back drapery bed panels which is a leftover look. Four-poster beds with heavy curtains served as insulation, were pulled around for warmth at nighttime.  As time passed it was "away with dusty bed curtains and in with the healthy fresh air!" So, down they came except for decorative -not so heavy - drapery tieback panels which stirred with the day's new "decorative breezes".

I mentioned that I particularly liked the changing screen in my Castle's master bedroom.
I can't give you the specifics of that folding screen's origins.

But, check this one out at right: it is a changing screen that I would love to do the 'changing the clothes behind' thing!

It is from Newell Antiques and is an European, three-fold screen with six Chinoiserie designed, painted oil panels with figures and monkeys is 67-1/2" wide x 67-1/2" tall. This single three-fold screen is for sale for approximately $45,000.

Final note for my master bedroom/dungeon, it has a secret passage way from the secret apartment!

I could so live here, in a Belgian Castle. Couldn't you?

Cilantro Lime Penne Salad With Chicken

Hit the farmer's market for some late-summer produce and whip up one of these babies tonight — do not forget the glass of rosé. This recipe is nutrient-rich, low-effort, and ideal for making leftovers. Prepare a big batch and you'll find the flavors develop even further when you pull them out of the fridge the next day. And the next. 


1 box whole wheat penne
1 avocado
Juice of 2 fresh limes
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes
1 yellow pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Optional: 1 grilled chicken breast


  • While penne cooks, prepare the avocado, pepper, tomatoes and mango. Chop everything into large, bite-sized pieces (including chicken breast, if using), and put in a large serving bowl.
  • Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, spices, and cilantro. Pour into the serving bowl and gently toss the ingredients.
  • Once pasta is cooked al dente, rinse with cold water and add to the serving bowl. Toss all ingredients togehter, adding additional salt and seasoning as you see fit. Feel free to serve immediately, or just pop it in the frige for whenever you're ready. If storing for more than a couple hours, squeeze a little extra lime over the top and press plastic wrap directly onto the pasta - that way the avocado won't brown.

Want More?  Click Here To Read: Other "Decorate A Dreamhouse" Articles

If decorating isn't easy for you or if you are in need of some particular interior design assistance, our designers at the Something Beautiful Shoppe will be happy to work with you - working with professional helps assure you get the look you deserve while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

Color Trends For 2015 - They're Hot Hot Hot! & Funfetti Biscotti Recipe (Cont'd)

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House Beautiful invited eleven top designers to share what they're seeing as the 'next big thing,' and, baby, they delivered!

Ranging from olive greens to bright patterns, enjoy the ride as we visit these entertaining color combo's.

Greek Blue is fabulous when paired with grey and pink.

Greek Blue is fabulous when paired with grey and pink. It otherwise may be overwhelming, but its stunningness is perfect in this new and fun color scheme. 

Don't let the strong, strong blue distract from the use here of olive and orange.

In the 1960's the colors olive green and orange were 'groovy,' 'outta sight,' and even 'far out, man!' 
Vogue Cover, 60's Model Twiggy
At right, look beyond an overwhelming and unyielding blue and you will see a fresh presentation of a 60's colors palette: 
  • olive green
  • orange
  • aqua blue
  • sea foam green
  • lime green

This exquisite Monet-esque living room by designer Fawn Galli is as simple as painting your surroundings with a pastel and then adding some NEON sparks!

Now we're touching on the 80's - Madonna, the Go-Go's and your closest mall for neon colored clothing and accessories. However it's toned down with a big pastel, such as this soft green, as shown at left.

Shake it up baby with 80's neons (but contrast it with your Gramma's old living room paint color, a 'decrease the volume,' muted background).

Malcolm James Kutner called his 2015 color trend offering, "Dynamic Pairings."

He wrote, "For 2015, pair the classics with unexpected accents to make the scheme dynamic and vibrant - I love black, grey and white with splashes of red . . ."

To read the entire House Beautiful article and see more color combinations on 2015 color trends, click here.

A 'New Color Scheme Warning:' 

Colors can sometimes be hard for the eye to absorb - and fully appreciate. I'd suggest that you peruse them, then maybe come back and take a look at them again; then, and then only decide if one of these new color trends find a spot in your heart.

How To Use New Color Trends:
  • Enjoy the new colors and new color combinations - if they appeal to you. This is a splendid opportunity to create visual pleasures for the eye (and sometimes tactile pleasures for the feel)
  • Incorporate new color trends but avoid being 'trendy;' embrace what fits in with 'your' look, with your style; this becomes your classic look
  • Don't break the bank to stay up with trends and fashion in your home

Pick color trends that appeal to you. It's not practical nor economical nor true to your own sense of well being to become a slave of fashion. 

Don't buy large furniture pieces in trendy colors. Trends come and go but you can easily expect a piece of furniture such as a sofa to stay for years. Rather, use trendy colors in accents and decor such as trays, vases, mirrors, or even candles.

Maybe change out your wall art from time to time to keep your room looking fresh and to reflect your favorite colors.

Pillows and throws are also an excellent way to introduce a new color in your room and easier on the budget.

Again, incorporating new color trends is enjoyable, like tasting an exquisite, refreshing new cuisine. But avoid 'trendy.'  Adopt what fits in with 'your' look, with your style. In doing so you are creating your own classic and classy look.

The Something Beautiful Shoppe offers design services in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. We sometimes receive requests from outside of this area and have tried to provide assistance. Click here for more information about design assistance.

Funfetti Biscotti

Makes 18 large pieces

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla (Yeh uses McCormick)
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • a few pinches sea salt and pearl sugar or sanding sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then fold in the sprinkles.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment, divide dough into two equal parts, and then form long rectangles, about 4" wide. Leave a few good inches in between the rectangles because they will spread in the oven. Sprinkle the tops with a few pinches of sea salt and pearl sugar or sanding sugar and then bake for 25 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 250. Use a serrated knife to cut the rectangles into 1 inch pieces and place them on their sides.
  6. Bake at 250 for 20 more minutes, or until desired crispiness
Check out other fabulous recipes from "My Name Is Yeh" .

Paul Vincent Wiseman of The Wiseman Group

Paul Vincent Wiseman is highlighted as one of Architectural Digest's top 100 interior designers. “Trying to apply M.B.A.-style business plans to the decorating process is the biggest mistake a client can make,” Paul Vincent Wiseman is quoted in Architectural Digest . “It’s not linear, and it’s very emotional; it doesn’t fit a model!” The native Californian, who cites David Adler, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, John Saladino and Frank Lloyd Wright as muses, has run his own San Francisco-based, 32-person firm for 27 years. Wiseman“s approach is grounded in his belief in the importance of achieving harmony between objects in an interior, regardless of the style.
He recently finished a four-year collaboration with architect Ricardo Legorreta on a residence in Hawaii, and in the past year his projects have taken him from Santa Fe to New York to London. What he’s currently most excited about, however, is a Chinese pagoda-style party space he is working on stateside, which he describes as “a wonderful chinoiserie fantasy.”
To see more recent design projects by The Wiseman Group since this article was originally published, click here.

Decorating My Dreamhouse - In Basel, Switzerland

Written By: Patricia Lynne

In my current SB Journal entry "Decorating A Dreamhouse" - - I'm imagining that I'm living in a three-story cottage house like the one at left, in the charmingly, colorful City Of Basel, Switzerland

The City of Basel Switzerland is beyond a doubt absolutely like no other!

Basel has a beautiful medieval old town center housing its historic City Hall and here daily markets are held, making for a lively inner city and romantic old town. These street cafés, patisseries, sweet shops and traditional neighbourhood restaurants all provide unique opportunities to really become acquainted with the Swiss lifestyle.

Basel is a German speaking area, and being an American ex-Pat, non-German speaking,  I was pleased to learn that both English and French are spoken enough so that many people are able to communicate 'comfortably' in everyday interactions . . . and will gladly work to understand you.  Ahhhh!  My sincere gratitude!

Borrowed French words are fairly common in everyday conversation; for example, Baslers often bid each other farewell with the French "adieu". Basel is among the most important cultural centres of Switzerland with the City hosting a large number of theatres and many museums, including the Museum Of Fine Arts, the world's oldest art collection accessible to the public.

You will love Switzerland's international Basle Bahnhof Train Station and the City's extensive tram (light rail) and bus network - the bright green trams and buses are the greatest. Imagine this: they are absolutely prompt, relatively inexpensive, clean and very convenient. Deep sigh.

Other things that distinguish Switzerland from any other Country:

* The Swiss typically take longer to get to know you, the stranger to their Country; they also are comparable to the British in their being more reserved. You'll probably have to make the first step, inviting them to your home for coffee, for instance and by all means, punctuality is very important.

* The supermarkets (and many other businesses) close at noon or 2pm, so your schedule will have to evolve around this. Food is not inexpensive and restaurant prices reflect this fact. The Swiss government protects Swiss farmers greatly consequently the cost of food is high.

* The Swiss approach to education is very different than in the United States. Children are selected based upon their abilities and as many as 70 percent of Swiss kids are selected to train in vocational schools of various sorts, rather than choices of a university education
* Most of the Swiss rent rather than buy and the Country has well established tenant rights. The apartments have communal laundry rooms, with access on your designated days. In general tenants are most considerate of each other: no noise before or after certain hours of the day. Everyone in Switzerland recycles.

*  Basel is pronounced ˈbɑːzəl, with emphasis on the first syllable.

*  Finally, Basel is Switzerland's second largest city.  It is located in the utmost northwest part of Switzerland. Moreover, Basel is the heart of where three different Countries meet: SWITZERLAND, FRANCE and GERMANY.

It is said about the Swiss they have "Savoir-Vivre," a French expression, meaning knowing how to live life. I interpret this that the Swiss live life well, live life with intelligent enjoyment, meeting every situation with poise, good manners and elegance.

We're going inside now so please join me as I write in my SB Journal on decorating the interiors of my house in Basel, Switzerland. My dreamhome.

Decorating The Mudroom Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland:

The photo of my 'hard working' mudroom may not instantly reflect the
importance it serves in my house, that is function, function, function.

Despite this truth even my lil' mudroom is getting some top treatment. I'm referring to the draperies in this room - goin' high style - with the prestigious company Lee Jofa through use of its quality, durable fabric, Mulberry.

With gardening the inevitable dirt comes in with the dirty shoes, into my lil' mudroom. The room is terribly well used, but I've designed it so that it functions well.

The potted geranium on top of the green cabinet is purposeful, not just because it services my mudroom. Without the subtlety of fresh flowers or a live plant, the inside of our rooms can become stale.  The addition of something that is living can bring life to our spaces.

Decorating The Foyer Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland

The foyer is full of tactiles, styles, and moods:

Tactiles - Tactiles are fun - they help us rediscover our sense of touch. Here, the
creek rock wall, wood beams and architectural pieces, and the flagstone floor are superb mixes of textiles.

Styles - Mixing old and new. The antiques live here like they've lived here for a hundred years, but I combined them with the "extraordinary contemporary artwork of "Waiting," a black and white photograph and "Blue Door," a hand-colored photograph."  Both works are by Vicki Reed, and are also shown at right and below.

Moods - Always wanting to make my living spaces inviting - and yet not wanting to part with the
severe bench seating, old side table and the utilitarian wash bucket - I knew I'd need to mix it up again. The "animated objects d'arte of the "Crow And Pitcher" a wood sculpture and its coordinating "Raven On Picklewood," both by Mark Orr, are whimsical, earthy and perfect for my room.

The hand woven rug is actually another lovely, varying tactile. I thought this area rug deserved its own mention because it has 'such responsibility' as a transitional floral piece, it helps pull my whole room's look together. This one is "Savannah," in chocolate/frost" New Moon Rugs' Tibetan Hand woven Rug. This piece accomplishes its job in an ever so subtle way; I love that.

Decorating The Living Space Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland:

This room works for me. It invites me to come in, sit down and be comfortable.

The amount of natural light is such a part of making this room work. It's always important to bring as much natural light as possible into our living spaces. Here, the woodwork and walls painted shiny white, a lite window treatment, a mirror and even this "Trellis Chandelier" help to bring in and reflect that light. A secret in this room is that the fireplace mantle flower pots are Lavenders by NDI Floral. Sometimes the best designers have to substitute beautifully made silk flowers to get the look we want. Thanks to NDI Floral.

Decorating The Guestroom Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland

This tranquil guest room is by the interior design firm of Marshall Watson Interiors and it simply had to be in my lovely Swiss home.
There are some garnishments, the fancy prints of fancy chairs, the ornate embellished mirror and certainly the carved and painted dresser. The dresser is Chippendale style and manufactured by Smith & Watson. The armless chair in coordinating fabric is from Moderne Chairs By John Widdicomb. The tranquility is achieved here by the soothing colors, the lack of items that compete for your eye and I think by the strength of the horizontal bed. I find the soft stripe of the rug draws you to the bed and to respite from the world.

Decorating The Master Bedroom Of My Dreamhouse In Basel, Switzerland:

Jessica LaGrange Interiors, LLC designed this master bedroom for a special family that lives with savoir-vivre, a family that lives life well and with intelligent enjoyment. Every situation is met with manners and poise and elegance.

The Iron Barcelona Bed is by Perry. In the corner of the room is a desk that could serve to jot thank you notes, or enjoy coffee and a croissant. The distinct tall chair is a Jean Wing Chair by Century Furniture and finally, the breakfront cabinet that duplicates the fabric folds of the draperies is the Sofiero Breakfront-2 by Country Swedish.

Switzerland is beautiful with waterfalls, glacier-fed creeks, rivers, lakes, pastures, breathtaking mountain views, a plain wonderful place to raise your family. Living in this Country you are naturally more inclined to get out and hike, cycle, do water sports, skiing, etc. These are all common, easy to do things. Though the people may take more time to get to know you, allowing for a bit of caution and protection, at its core Switzerland promotes harmony and peace and, of course, the lovely savoir-vivre.

I could so live here in my Decorate A Dreamhouse in Basel, Switzerland. Couldn't you?

Creamy, Smooth, Lightly-Sweet, Touch-Of-Lemon Cheesecake aka Slice Of Heavenly Goodness

This is the single best cheesecake ever - I've almost renamed it, 'Slice Of Heavenly Goodness Cheesecake'.  This cheesecake has become the favorite of family and friends who’ve had the good fortune to be served this slice of heavenly goodness.  T'is true.

You may have noticed that this cheesecake does not have any kind of crust, neither bottom or sides.

You may also have noticed that there are no cracks in the top. That is because this cheesecake is baked in a bain-marie, a water bath. This is one of the secrets to a truly creamy cheesecake. Because of this, you'll need a bit of advance planning perhaps to prepare this recipe, but if you do, you will fall in love with this recipe.


5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan.  This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie.  Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300 deg Fahrenheit. 
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth. 

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes. 

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching.  Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.  Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan.  Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours.  Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled.  For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

  • I can't stress enough how important it is to let those first 4 ingredients in this recipe come to room temperature.  I've hurried the cream cheese and have had unsightly lumps of it in my batter. 
  • Have a platter or other large dish that will hold the hot and drippy springform pan after you remove it from the bain-marie.  When you remove the bain-marie from the oven, the water is very hot, so please exercise extreme caution.
  • Before removing the roasting pan, have a plan on where you are going to set it so you are not holding the pan, desperately searching for a clear space to set it down.  I find it impossible to remove the cheesecake from the bain-marie while it is in the oven, so I remove the entire set-up from the oven.  I make every effort not to burn my wrists or the back of my hands while removing the springform pan; I haven't been burned yet, but I have soaked the edges of the potholders in the hot water, and it's amazing how fast that steaming water is wicked up to my tender fingers!
  • When you first remove the cheesecake from the oven, it looks light and puffy, and there may be some hairline cracks in the top.  Do not despair.  As the cheesecake cools, it will gently deflate and the hairline cracks disappear  

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