Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recipes ~ Mini Cheesecakes In Mason Jars

I love to entertain and I am always in the search for fun and easy recipes with lots of visual impact. Thank goodness for Pinterest.  I am totally addicted to this site.  I have so many boards already that I have lost count.  But it is without question a great place to find recipes.

Today, I am sharing a recipe for individual cheesecakes baked in Mason Jars which originally came from "The Italian Dish" blog.  These are just too cute and very easy to make.  Besides, I love the idea of having individual desserts.



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Prep of the Jars:
You will need 12 4-ounce mason jars
Spray the mason jars with non-stick cooking spray, making sure to spray the bottoms and sides so the crust doesn't stick.
Blend the cookies, 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a mini chopper or food processor.  Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the crumbs into the mason jars and tamp down to make the crust.  ( I used the top of a wooden honey dipper).

Cheesecake (Filling)Recipe:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 sm. spoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 sm. spoon of corn starch
  • 2 cups of Vanilla Wafers (12 cookies ground)


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped strawberries and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the glass jars and bake for 30 minutes.
Be sure to set the jars in a large roasting pan.  Fill the pan with hot water halfway up the jelly jars and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove jars with tongs and place on a wire rack to cool.  Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours or over night.

Raspberry and Strawberry Sauce (Optional):

  • 1 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries 
  • 1 Tbsp seedless strawberry jam
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on 


I used raspberries and blueberries as my toppings but you can use your favorite fruits here. 

Have fun and enjoy.

I wish you all a great rest of the week.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Tulips And Vintage China

Hello friends.  Happy Monday to you all.  We had another gorgeous weekend here.  Almost summer like on Saturday.  The signs of spring are everywhere.  Brightly colored trees and daffodils fill the streets and gardens.  So much beauty and warmth that I cannot help having a big smile on my face.

And after the longer than normal winter, this felt pretty perfect for me.  And so hubby and I spend Saturday visiting our favorite nurseries looking for ideas and inspiration.  I was also looking for a white lilac shrub and a hot pink peony plant which are on my wish list for this year.  Most likely, I will find them within the next two weeks since it is still a bit early to plant.

On our way home. we stopped at our local supermarket where I spotted these gorgeous lavender tulips.  And you know that I have a soft spot when it comes to pretty flowers.  But honestly, who can pass up these beauties??  Certainly not me.  

What is your favorite spring flower???  Will you be adding any plants to your garden this year?  

Here is a little spring loveliness for you.   I hope you all have a great week.



Friday, April 17, 2015

Garden Tablescape

Hello sweet friends.  Sun was finally shining here in the Northeast.  The day was just perfect.  Bright, sunny and warm.  The kind of day that lifts your spirits and make you smile.

I opened all the windows to let the fresh air in.  Turned the music on and did a little house work.  I just love days like this.  Of course with gorgeous weather, I had to set a table outside.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are.  Here's a beautiful garden table inspiration for you today....

What are your plans for the weekend??  Anything special??



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Creating A Romantic Spa Bathroom On a Budget

Having a limited budget, I am always thinking of creative ways for revamping and refreshing the rooms in our home without having to have a total overhaul.  Often times, I turn to paint, new window treatments, accessories, and storage pieces to add style and character at an affordable price.  This usually requires a few trips to my local fabric store, Home Goods, antiques shops and thrift stores looking for bargains and unique pieces. 

One of the rooms I recently worked on was our master bathroom.  Wanting to create a little refuge for relaxing, pampering and romance I turned to my favorite style which is classic French for inspiration. Tired of the outdated dark vanity in our bathroom and limited storage space, I knew that storage and lighter cabinets were priority for me.  So our big purchase was a new vanity from Lowes.  Staying with my French theme and looking, I selected a creamy white vanity and tall cabinet from Ikea which gave me the extra storage that I needed in my bathroom.

Lighting was also key for creating a soft and romantic atmosphere.  Thank goodness that my husband is an electrician so this saved us a ton.   We decided to use several types of lighting that we could control with a dimmer.  In addition to a gorgeous chandelier which became the focal point of the room.  It could not be a French room without a grand chandelier right???

For an accent piece, I chose a mirrored chest found on clearance at Home Goods which gave me added storage and a touch of glam to the room.  Lastly and very important for the look, were the accessories. As they say, it is all in the details.  A large glass mirror with silver and bronze detail was placed above the new vanity.  

  Mercury accessories, faux flowers and vintage pieces give the room romance and a feminine appeal.

For a little spa experience, I added scented candles, my favorite shower products and creams as well as apothecary jars that store essential items such as cotton balls, face wipes etc.  


I hope you enjoyed the tour of my bathroom makeover on a budget.  I am so happy with the way it turned out.  It is functional and beautiful.  But most of all, it is now the perfect place for me to unwind and relax.  It inspired me every morning.

Remember, updating doesn't have to always mean a complete renovation.  The only major purchase for us was the vanity.  Everything else is still the same.

It seems like things are finally getting back to normal for me.  Mom is getting much better and I am now starting to catch up with my posts, emails and comments.  I do appreciate all of you that visit me and I thank you for your constant support and inspiring words.

I wish you all a great week.



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I have Been Featured In Romantic Homes Cottage Gardener Spring 2015 Issue

Hello friends.   I wanted to share a bit of happy news with you all.  I have had the honor of being published in one of my preferred publications, Romantic Homes.  It is the magazines special Spring 2015 issue "Cottage Gardener" where I share a few of my favorites.    The issue is full of images of spectacular gardens, tips for entertaining in the garden and ways to create a romantic garden.

I am so overjoyed ladies.  There is something truly special about seen your work published in an actual national magazine.  It feels pretty amazing.

Thank you "Romantic Homes" for such an honor.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Tea For One

Hello everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Ours, for the first time in years, was very low key.

Taking advantage of the low key holiday weekend, I decided to set aside a little me time.  A few hours of solitude to re-charge and gather my thoughts.  To enjoy some tea and browse through the pages of my favorite magazines.  To imagine myself walking through a perfectly manicured garden full of gorgeous spring blooms and splendid green meadows.

And so I set up a little corner in my reading room with a few pretty blooms, delicate floral china and enjoyed the flavors of a warm cup of Twinings English Breakfast tea.  What a perfect morning.  

Crisp white vintage linens add a touch of elegance to this sweet tea setting.

Lovely floral Theodore Haviland vintage china.

Such quiet moments are often too hard to come by however, they are not impossible.  So do take a few minutes of your day to re-connect and pamper yourself a little.  We are worth it aren't we?

Wishing you all a lovely  week.