Thursday, September 30, 2010

Northern Sky on my Virtual Victrola

Okay, dusting off a record and placing the needle down on my Virtual Victrola and this is what's playing, Northern Sky by Nick Drake. It's one of my all time favorite songs and I am dedicating it to you, of course! This is one of those songs I can listen to over and over and over. It is sooo soothing and perfect on a day like this when it has done nothing but rain all day. Oh, would you like a glass of wine? Northern Sky is also a perfect song for unwinding before bedtime; a melancholy lullaby.  I also think it is very cool that it's played for one of the last scenes of one of my all time favorite movies, Serendipity ,starring John Cusack . The storm that passed through put this song into my mind. Plus, just knowing that Autumn is tip-toeing it's way South from the North makes me wanna play Nick Drake's Northern Sky on my Virtual Victrola and celebrate the change of seasons. Enjoy this song from me to you.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still Life Art-Pumpkin Style

Southern Living

While my cat snoozes away on a pile of laundry, I have been browsing through some of my favorite mags and their websites on this rainy early autumn afterrnoon and thought I'd share this lovely pumpkin yard display with you. I found the idea at I am starting to prefer the elegant look of  fog gray and sand white colored pumpkins. Well, I love the traditional orange ones too. But, something about these just seem so east coast-ish in my opinion. They remind me of the colors of the atlantic beach on a winter morning. Happy Autumn.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

It's Okay To Be Square...Or Even Rectangular

It's okay to be a bit square...or even rectangular for that matter. While looking for some Autumn how-to decor ideas, I came across this Rectangular Wreath on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Isn't it pretty and a nice change from the typical round door wreath? I am gonna have to make one for myself. Happy Autumn.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tiny Bubbles

"Mom, How do they make bubbles?"

"I am not sure. That would be a neat thing to learn about though." (b/c I am one of those annoying moms who tries to make everything into a science experiment or learning project)

"I think I know."


"I think each little bubble has helium in it like party balloons or like the kind you get free from a clown and they put the helium into the bottle of bath bubbles and when it mixes with water each bubble fills up with helium."

"Hmm, you think that is what happens? I think it is neat that you remembered the name, helium, and that it's used for balloons."

"Of course, I remembered, Mom."

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles served up at Metro Diner-----Or what we have nick-named Heaven and Southern on a plate.

So here is the twist to Chicken and Waffles---- You are suppose to add a little bit of Louisiana Hot Sauce to the pancake syrup and dip both the chicken and the waffle into it. At first, I thought it would be an odd combo, but after my husband gave me a bite, I declared, "I will never eat waffles again without a little Louisiana Hot Sauce!" Oh my goodness! It was sooooo good! Plus, the chicken dipped in the syrup-hot sauce combo was awesome! It sorta reminded me of maple bacon and how that combo works well.

The Specials of the Day chalkboard proudly displays a chalk drawing of Guy Fieri and an autograph. Hope no one accidentally gets carried away with the chalkboard erasure.

My favorite booth at my favorite swanky retro diner, my husband, and my daughter. What more could this girl ask for?

Now here is the story behind the story....

Chicken and Waffles. Whodathunkit? This is my husband's favorite dish at our favorite place---Metro Diner .
We are here almost every weekend. I will never forget the first time we tried Metro Diner. It was 4 years ago and the first month we had moved to Florida and like most summer days, it was pouring rain here. Suffering from cabin fever, my husband mentioned a diner he had driven past which featured Belgium waffles on their window. (Husband Fact #347--He can eat waffles 24/7) So we grabbed our umbrellas and off we went. From the first moment we pulled up to the place, we knew we were hooked. The building alone makes one wanna go inside and grab a table or booth and try something yummy.  Metro Diner was established in the late 1930s. The atmosphere is a wonderfully fussed mesh of 1930's art deco with urban eclectic swankyness. Is swankyness a word? Maybe I should try it with an i instead of a y. Let's see: Swankiness. Yes, I like it more with an i. It is located in the charming historic area of Jacksonville, Florida known as San Marco. Sometimes over a cup of coffee served in one of their cozy mugs, I like to think about all that has occurred in this diner over the years; People sitting over their meals and discussing the start and end of World War 2, Pearl Harbour, Normandy, Television, Elvis, Kennedy, Woodstock, Who Shot Jr. and on and on. It is truly a place of history. The Davoli family owns and runs it today and they are fantabulous! Absolutely everything about this place, the food, the service, the atmosphere, the location, keeps us going back weekend after weekend. I like how Metro Diner truly is a place "Where the Locals Eat"  They were voted Best of Jax and have award winning yummy breakfast and lunch dishes. My favorite is the Breakfast Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict. My daughter loves the Charleston Shrimp and Grits and my husband loves, what else?, the Chicken and Waffles. And, they have the best tabouli I have ever tasted EVER!
Our weekend cravings for Metro Diner has paid off too b/c we witnessed some of the filming for a popular Food Network show. The diner was recently featured on Food Network's popular show hosted by Guy Fieri, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It was so cool to walk in and sit at our favorite booth---the one by the corner window---and watch some of the film crew work their magic. Metro Diner has that certain je ne sais quoi which is worth discovering for yourselves.....except don't take the booth by the corner window. Like I said, that one is my favorite. And like all good things, this one doesn't last forever; they close at 2:30 daily. Tell them I sent you. Hehe.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Autumn

Happy Autumn!!! Okay, so what if here on the northeast coast of Florida, we are in that seasonal limbo where it feels a little like Summer and a little like Autumn in the course of one day. In my mind, it is Autumn and before I know it, the cool weather will be here. Yes, I know I have admitted that I am a Summer Girl at heart. But, even this Summer Girl can appreciate a change now and then. While driving home after picking up my daughter from school, she reminded me that today is the first day of Autumn. Don't you just love how kids can halt us in the mix of a busy day and remind us of a little detail that might have gone overlooked like TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN!

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Song in My Heart

It's Friday!!! Nothing more, nothing less, just feeling the simple comfort and happiness in a Friday---that Birthday feeling or when your favorite song is on the radio or like a tank full of gas and the weekend ahead or like a good cleansing deep breath and a nice stretch....that feeling which only a Friday can bring. I woke up this Friday morning with this song playing on my mental Victrola--Calling All Angels by Train . I love this band and this song. Here is my Song for you. Scooch the coffee table over, roll up the rug, and let's dance and celebrate Friday!

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Honey Honey

Local honey sold by the old farmer at Blackberry Hill Farm. Every year, when we go pick muscadine grapes, I buy a jar of honey from the ol' farmer. He sits  in his rocking chair in the shade just a bit away from the rows of grapevines and next to him is his grape weighing scale. On an old table next to him he has all his honey jars showcased. They shine like amber jewels in the sun. Seeing him there, summer after summer, I can't help but think of Norman Rockwell paintings. A while back, I read that a small spoonful of local honey a day will help build your resistance to local pollutants and pollens and improve allergies. Basically, the honey is suppose to contain the same pollens and allergens that make us sneezy. Make sense to me. But, I don't bother with all that. I just love it for all it's yummy goodness. Plus, in my household, we love honey, plain and simple. And I have to admit, I am a sucker for the classic canning jar, the way the sun shines through the glass, the simple nature of honey, and the fact that a bunch of cute fuzzy bumbling honey bees with pollen on their noses and feetzies made this from diving themselves into flowers and carrying the flower pollen back to their hive. <<<< (Wow, perhaps my longest run-on sentence ever) 

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

9 Good Things Right Now

9 Good Things Right Now:

1. Leftovers for dinner. (Why did I list food first? Ugh, I should kick myself.)

2. Wearing my totally comfy fuzzy orange socks with the polka dots.

3. My daughter's best friend across the street still manages to smile as sweetly as she ever did even though she has officially lost all her hair due to chemo. A strong 9 year old girl.

4. Positive friends near and far.

5. My husband's eye is healing well after surgery. I love his honey-colored eyes.

6. The excitement and comfort in knowing that it is one day closer to November 1st--I get to see Sarah and my two nephews. I can't wait!!!

7. Cranberry Juice.

8. NPR

9. Eye Cream.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

{ The Help }

I cannot put this book down!  The Help by Kathryn Stockett is about a group of high society white women and the black women who work as their housekeepers and Nannies. The backdrop is deep south Mississippi during 1960 when racial tensions are boiling and change is in the wind. One white woman, Skeeter, pursues her writing ambitions by secretly interviewing the black women who work day in and day out as the housekeepers of some of the town's socialites. If she or the housekeepers get caught, it could be dire consequences. Stockett's, The Help, evolves beautifully and many times heartbreakingly. It takes the reader back to a time when women wore white gloves to church, enjoyed casseroles after a game of Bridge, and where last names of families either opened or closed doors. But, under the crisp clean exterior of the families, the housekeepers see what really goes on behind closed doors and share this with Skeeter along with their opinions and emotions on segregation and racial tensions. I find myself thinking about this book throughout the day and thinking about the characters. Each time I sit to pick up on the story where I last left off, I get lost in the world of 1960 Mississippi.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Monday, September 13, 2010

Candy Wii

In my opinion, drugstores still reign supreme when it comes to fun novelty candies. They may no longer carry some of the novelty candies I grew up with like Sugar Daddy caramel pops. But, they certainly carry fun candies that satisfy my daughter's generation. My sweetie pie saw this Wii candy dispenser on a quick trip to the drugstore and thought it was the coolest candy gadget ever. Then again, it doesn't take much to impress her when it comes to candy. She is just like her Daddy that way.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Fairy Resting Spot

While walking I saw this small fallen piece of log laying in the path. I noticed how super pretty it was. I was going to pick it up. But, instead, I left it there as it was. I pointed it out to my daughter and we both agreed it was a perfect spot for a fairy to take a rest.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Muscadine Grape Season

You'll find us on any given weekend at the end of the summer amongst the muscadine grape vines of Blackberry Hill in Middleburg, Florida. We have been coming here for the past four summers when Muscadines are in season. I absolutely love their sweet scent and the way their skins have an iridescent shine to them. The kindest old man runs the small farm/vineyard and he sits by his jars of honey and his scale waiting to weigh the muscadines we have picked. The first time we ever came here, my daughter said the sweetest thing which I will never forget, "Mommy, do you think this is what Heaven is like b/c it feels like we are in Heaven together?"

Anatomy of Eating a Grape
First, you pop the flesh out of the muscadine skin

Then you eat it.

And then you spit out the seeds.

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pretty Little Thingamagigs

My grandfather once bought me the teeniest tiniest little cast iron stove I had ever seen---and that is what started my obsession for extra-small prettiness. Little itty bitty thingamagigs always catch my fancy. Aren't these pretty?

Sealed with a Kiss, Kirsten