We have been very busy over the past few weeks with a variety of things but part of the activity has included hosting overnight guests from Russia (actually for two weeks).   Along with making sure our everyday guest room was ready, we also set up the office as a temporary guest room.   That meant upgrading a futon mattress from thin to thick along with new sheets.

I am a big fan of white bedding (and use them on our master bed) because it’s simple, fresh, and easy to clean.  But I recently picked up two sets of sheets from Marshall’s for our guest spaces and I went with patterned linens – specifically polka dots!  I chose red polka dots for the temporary guest space in the office but blue polka dots for the guest room.  They are so fun and I love the change!

I’m also always on the lookout for good gift ideas whether they are DIY, like this gift basket or jar,  or just useful or fun finds, like this vase,  so I wanted to share that I love these Land’s End totes to give as gifts!   I ordered two  for our house guests and they are really great quality.   The canvas is really thick and they are sturdy enough so that they stand up on their own.  I am also loving the combo of navy trim with green embroidered letters.

Almost everyone can use a extra bag around, and being able to embroider it with a monogram, word, or graphic makes it a great gift for a wedding, anniversary, graduation – pretty much any occasion!


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Here’s something to try for an easy, tasty dinner this weekend! I finally figured out a great combination for cooking mussels.    They are so easy to make at home and are ready very quickly!

Here’s what to do:

In a deep pot, saute diced onions and garlic in butter.   Add salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.  Once the onions are soft and translucent,  add 1 cup of white wine.   Just choose one where you like the taste making sure it’s not too sweet.  I have used pinot grigio, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc.  Add in 3/4 cup of water and then add 2 lbs of fresh, live mussels to the pot and cover.  Note: Before I add in the mussels I rinse them off and discard any that have already opened.   Allow to steam for 10-15 minutes.

That’s it!  I love them with crispy french fries (as they are served in Belgium) – yum!






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