Saturday, April 30, 2011

Plant your way to FIVE a day!

It’s the time of year to start planning for a kitchen vegetable garden! Now that spring has finally arrived and the warmer weather is affecting our minds and transforming our moods, it’s best to take advantage of this surge of motivation to put our time, energy and dollars to good use. A vegetable garden is the perfect way to combine health and saving priorities.
People often find vegetable gardening intimidating! Simply put...Gardening is fun. Gardening is educational. Gardening is neighborly. Gardening is meditative. Gardening should never be scary or dismaying. If there is any part of gardening that seems unachievable then we gardeners who enjoy it so much have not communicated our joy to you successfully. 

Soil Mates, by Sara Alway, is our favorite book for both novice and experienced gardeners.
Alway's book is a cleverly irresistible guide to vegetable companion gardening or horticultural matchmaking. It provides tips and tricks by highlighting each vegetable's "match" and "turn off" plants in order to establish garden harmony. Let's face it, everyone has a soft spot for special treatment, including plants. Did you know that broccoli and rosemary are "friends with benefits"? It is a fool proof way to simply learn the basics of vegetable gardening, grow better vegetables, and is an entertaining read by Alway’s lighthearted approach to a subject that could be mundane.
With the many health benefits of growing your own food and the simplicity of this book as a guide, there is no reason to be intimidated! Gardening is something you can do! 


Je Suis Margaux...

Background~ A mother of a cheeky three year old, Charlotte ("Charlie"), and wife to a great husband who supports me in my adventures... "Honey, why do you have an old rusty stool in your car and where did it come from?". Although I have a degree in animal science and worked in the science field, I was born with the love of decor, creativity, and treasure hunting. This of course, led me to Grace, where I met my match and am surrounded by great women who share my passion.
My Hearts~Vintage finds (if something looks like it has "a story to tell" then I love it), anything French (decor, names, food), chippy furniture, boxwoods & hydrangeas, Ashlawn Farm in Lyme, pergolas, coastal living, anything furry with four legs, gardening, burlap, boating, white linens, driftwood, teak and reclaimed wood, summers at Black Point, oreo cookie ice cream, farmers markets, a good workout, beauty products, saltines (topped with various items), my nightly bubble bath routine, bleached bed sheets and towels, decorating to personal style (not copying a spread in a catalogue), matching mommy/daughter clothes from Jcrew, chandeliers, children's birthday parties, Myer's cleaning products and Murphy's oil soap, believing that to feel good you must give back, volunteering, good friends, organization.

Grace Girls

Some of you might remember this post and my new years resolution.  Well, I started out okay, but when our remodel kicked into high gear, my bloggin kicked into, well, a dead stop.  So, I have enlisted some help in accomplishing my goal.  Going forward we will have two of our Grace Girls sharing the bloggin duties with me over here at It's All About Grace.

Andrea needs no introduction, she has been with us from way back in the cottage lane days, and has been an essential part of the Grace creative team.  Andrea is our resident artist and she is always up on the latest trends in fashion, so I look forward to her modern point of view.

You might remember Margaux from her own fabulous blog.  Margaux joined the Grace Girl's Team last year and is always ready with a warm smile and a funny story.  She has agreed to come offer her expertise about everything from organizing & gardening to interior inspirations.

Here are some great behind the scenes shots of the girls getting the shop all decked out in its holiday best.  Stay tuned for more info on gorgeous and fabulous grace girls!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Glee - Bubble Toes

We love us some Jack Johnson and combine that with a little Glee - had to share!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring has sprung...finally

It was beginning to feel like it was never going to warm up around here, that was until today.  We  had gorgeous Spring like weather in Niantic - we actually got to open the door at the shop, I opened up windows at home and I finally got to wear my cute new dress!  Speaking of cute dresses (how's that for a segway?) we have the best new clothes in at the shop...our line of great cotton tops and dresses - so comfy you could literally live in them.  The star of the show, Stripes, which I am  pretty psyched about since I have a little obsession, especially in the navy and white persuasion. 

Loving the subtle ruffles in each one of these tops as well.  Speaking of ruffles check out this one shoulder dress, one of the seasons hottest looks.

Chambry mixed with a touch of floral is the perfect definition of beach meets country...
Love, love & love!  Not only are these dresses and tops adorable, but they are affordable.  These pieces go quickly so make sure you stop in soon to scoop up your size.

Monday, February 28, 2011

You all must check out Margaux's blog - she is one of our beautiful, fabulous and creative Grace Girls and she has a blog about everything from her latest decorating projects to inspirational quotes and fashion trends. Definitely a must read!
 A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT....: Organize!: "It's all about the organization in my house! Any tools that aid in keeping lists, making sure tasks are completed, and keeping papers off my..."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Digging Out

So we have been busy digging out a major snow storm in the Northeast. 

Outside of Grace we had over a foot.  We even had to cut our New York buying trip short due to Winter Storm Benedict.  (Check back for info on our trip to NYC) Perfect weather to make some soup and snuggle up in some Sheepy Fleece with a fab movie or a wonderful book.  Tonight I made this great Roasted Vegetable Soup from The Fig's Table by Todd English and Sally Sampson.

This rich vegetable soup gets the intense flavor from the roasted vegetables. 

2 to 3 parsnips, peeled, if desired, quartered lengthwise, and chopped
4 carrots, peeled, if desired, quartered lengthwise, and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 head savoy cabbage, quarted and cut in eights
8 fresh plumb tomatoes (you can use canned if not available) 
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves minced
2 celery stalks finely chopped
2 cups cooked white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups Chicken Broth (low-sodium if canned)
1 bunch leaf spinach
Shaved Parmesan Cheese for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the parsnips, carrots, onion, cabbage, and tomatoes in separate piles on a large roasting pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil, Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally and removing any vegetables as they become brown.  Do not allow them to burn.
Place a large stock pot over medium heat and, when it is hot, add the remaining oil.  Add the garlic and celery and cook until they are golden, about 3 minutes.
Roughly chop the cabbage and tomatoes and add them to the stockpot.  Add the remaining vegetables, beans, and Chicken Broth.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 
Add the spinach.
Serve immediately, garnished with the shaved Parmesan cheese or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

I served with some great crusty whole grain bread...mmmm. 

Monday, January 3, 2011


According to Websters,
1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
Every year, I guess I privately resolve some things at the new year, a few of my faves over the years have been:
1. Eat healthier
2. Read more
3. Try new recipes

You get the idea, well usually I do not "formally" make my expression.  Perhaps this is where I have gone wrong.  Well either way, 
I am resolving to blog more.  
We have so much to tell you all about and what a perfect way to get the info out...if only I could master the ever elusive bandit...the big T...TIME!

How do you all find more TIME to do things you want to get done?  Cause isn't that what it is all about?  I just picked up a copy of this magazine and they have a feature titled, 4 Weeks To You Best Self.

I know sounds very Oprahish ( I just made that word up)...who on a side note just launched her new network and there seem to be some pretty great shows in the works...anyway back on topic.  So this mag, which is actually a Martha publication, has a four week plan to cleanse out the bad and reshape the new.   "If you have been eating, drinking, and making a little too merry, have we got the cure for you!", sounds about right.

So this weeks goal - Pare Down and Purify...some of it attainable, some of it a little more difficult.  In addition to cleansing your diet, they also talk about detoxing your mind.  Interesting thought.

Day 1 Begin a week-long media fast: No TV, and cut back on online time.

Hmmm..perhaps this could help in my finding more time.  I do not watch a ton of TV, but every little bit helps right?  Sorta blows that whole Oprah new network thing..well I guess that's what DVR's are for. Lets see what happens..sorry Matt Lauer, no Today Show to start my day today.  Check back tomorrow for an update on my progress and to see what my goal is for Day 2.  

So what are your resolutions and how do you stick to them?