This depiction of Paris on a north-south axis was initially completed by traveler and cartographer Albert Jouvin de Rochefort, one he first created in intricately hand-colored detail in the 17th century. You can even see the Luxembourg Palace (Palais d’Orleans) and the Louvre.
His original was later discovered amongst a collection once owned by the Duke of Choiseul, Foreign Minister of France under Louis XV. This one is a reprint of the procured original.
This, an original sheet of music, has been procured from an antique collection of hymns. In its entirety, the volume is called Proprium Sanctorum, which contains all the lessons, response chants (antiphons), and hymns traditionally used during the saints’ holidays. In combination with three other liturgical texts, the collection forms the Breviary, or the guide containing the complete articles of faith for the Romish priest.
These are originals, so limited quantities are available.
Pumpkins have gained quite a reputation with Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (they’re so delicious!). I thought it would be a fun idea to commemorate this bright orange gourd by doing a good ole fashioned pumpkin carving. I brought a friend, Gregory, with me to share the experience (and help with the lifting and cutting), which made for a warm, fun shared holiday experience. It had been several years since the last time I’d done it, so the kid inside of me started getting really excited when the plans were set and we were on our way to the patch!
We chose to go to a local pumpkin patch in Frisco, Texas called Pumpkins on the Prairie–the name won us both over. We didn’t get there until twilight, soon before they were shutting down, but it added a hit of spookiness with the purples and oranges in the sky. The crew there was very friendly, there were pumpkins everywhere, and they were very reasonably pricing. We got a giant pumpkin for only $18!
I have a large bar-height dining table, so we decided to do the carving at my house. While he cleaned out the insides of the pumpkin, which was really gross and I was thankful for, I started a pot of apple cider on the stove and prepped a pan for roasted pumpkin seeds. I pulled the spiced cider recipe from allrecipes.com, the only difference is I didn’t add the brown sugar; the cider I bought already had enough sugar in it. With the seeds, I just oiled a pan and sprinkled some salt over them and left them in the oven for about 15 minutes.
I have to admit, because I was fumbling around in the kitchen and playing with Klaus (we bought him a mini-pumpkin and, though confused, he enjoyed chewing on it), Gregory did most of the carving. I think he did a fantastic job.
He had the brilliant idea of putting a string of white lights in the bottom instead of a candle, which worked perfectly and made it very incandescent. When the pumpkin was finally finished, we sat back with our ciders, snacked on pumpkin seeds, and admired our (his) glowing creation. It was a fun accomplishment and such a fun evening!
The key to this mini-cemetery: tombstones fashioned from Pepperidge Farm’s Milano and Bordeaux cookies.
To decorate the tombstones, fill a resealable plastic bag with chocolate frosting, seal the bag, and snip off a tiny corner.
Pipe RIP or X on the upper half of each cookie.
Push the cookies into the cake (as shown) and pile crushed chocolate wafers in front of a few to conjure dirt mounds.
Trim the perimeter of the cake with a fence of Rademaker chocolate sticks ($9.47 for six boxes of 12 sticks; amazon.com), cut to various heights.
Finally, separate and insert pieces of small plastic skeletons ($2.70 for garland of four; amazon.com) into the cookie-crumb dirt.
It is officially entertaining season. Let the parties begin! It can be difficult to decided what kind of hors d’oeuvres to server at your event. I think one of the easiest things to server is a great cheese and fruit plate. Here are some ideas for putting together a well-balanced cheese plate.
1. It is a good rule of thumb to stick to 5 to 6 variety of cheeses and have 1 ounce of each cheese per guest.
2. Serve a variety of cheese from mild cheese, to different milk cheese like goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese, or cheeses from different parts of the world.
3. Pull the cheese out of the refrigerator at least an hour before serving so that it can be served room temperature.
4. Make sure to serve different types of fruit and crackers or bread with the cheeses.
It is hard to resist the cute, innocent faces of the puppies and dogs that you see either at a shelter or my favorite, as you are purchasing dog food at your local Pets Mart with kids in tow now begging you to bring them all home! Well here is your chance…October is national adopt-a-shelter-dog month, so this month if you happen to come eye to eye with that puppy and asking yourself should I? or Shouldn’t I? Read on and I think the answer will be yes!
When I sent out the email to our Wisteria offices asking if anyone had adopted a dog, I was happily surprised by the response that I received. It was hard to choose who we would feature but, once you see this cute Jack Russell terrier, you will understand why!
Introducing Coco…mom is Jennifer Niehaus, our Associate Director of Merchandising and Planning.
I have the best dog in the world. I know a lot of dog owners would say that, but I promise it’s actually true for me! I have been lucky to have Coco in my life for the past 7 years. When I first decided to get a dog, I knew it was important for me to adopt from a shelter. So for about a month, my roommate and I would go to the local animal shelter every Saturday to look for the right one. I remember walking the rows of kennels and seeing all the dogs- I swear they knew why I was there, and they would look up at me with such hopeful eyes. It broke my heart to leave empty handed every time, but I just hadn’t yet found the dog for me. Then one weekend, my friend Mark was in town visiting and we went to lunch. We had to wait for a table, and so we decided to take a walk around the outdoor shopping area where there just happened to be a dog adoption happening. I saw a scruffy little brown dog, and asked if they could take her out of the cage. As soon as they did, the dog walked right up to me, looked me in the eye and started wagging her tail. Well, how could I resist that?
As I was filling out the adoption paperwork, it occurred to me to ask what the shelter knew about this dog. It turned out, they didn’t know much- someone had found her living in the shed in their backyard and brought her in to the shelter about a week before, where they had immediately spayed her. Since then she had been recovering from surgery, so they weren’t sure if she was trained or what kind of temperment she had. These things should have worried me, but they didn’t at all- I was already in love, and there was no turning back!
We took Coco home that day, and Mark and I gave her a bath. As soon as we got her in the tub, the brown started to come off- it turned out this dog was actually mostly WHITE! The shelter had named her Ally McDog, I guess after the TV show, Ally McBeal. It didn’t take long for us to decide the name was awful, and Mark suggested Coco. It was perfect, and somehow she seemed to know her name right away. Over the next few months, Coco and I got to know each other. From the beginning she was the perfect dog. In fact, I think she trained me during this time, not the other way around.
Now here’s where I have to stop and explain that I may just be a teeny-tiny bit crazy about my dog. Some people talk to their dog and buy them clothes, but I have proudly taken these things to the next level! In fact my poor husband, Zach is probably reading this right now, and shaking his head because he knows where this story is going. Coco is truly a part of our family- she has many nicknames, including Coconut, Coco-Bean, Coco Monster, and Cokes. I know, so creative right? By now our friends and family know that if they invite us somewhere and it is even remotely socially acceptable for a dog to be there, Coco is with a doubt coming along! In the past, Coco has modeled in a fashion show, seen a dog psychic, earned 2nd place in a dog duathlon, and guest starred on The Office. OK fine, that last one isn’t true, but a dog that looked EXACTLY like Coco was on The Office. I’m sure you can imagine how much my husband and I flipped out when this came on TV. AND now we can add “blog star” to Coco’s list of accomplishments!
I truly believe that Coco has been such a great dog because she knows that I am the one who helped her (plus the dog psychic confirmed this, but THAT is a whole other story!) To anyone considering getting a new pet, I can’t say enough about my experience adopting from a shelter. These animals just want someone to love them, and they deserve only the best. So before you support that breeder or pet store, at least go and take a look at the local shelter. You may just get lucky and meet a new best friend.
Stephanie, our Senior Manger of Product Design and Development, went on a 3 week long scuba diving adventure to Roatan, Honduras. The water and scenery looks breathtaking, I felt like I was on a beach after seeing all of her photos. See what Stephanie did on her vacation to Honduras!
“My husband & I recently visited Roatan, one of the 3 Bay Islands of Honduras. We heard about the island when we became certified scuba divers and fell in love with the sport. Roatan is an easy island to access and lies on the southern edge of the 2nd largest coral reef in the world (the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef). The island is surrounded by a coral reef with hundreds of dive sites. A lot of the dive sites were so close to the shore that it took just a short boat ride out to the edge of the reef. We saw some amazing species of fish. Huge grouper that were about 4 feet long, eels, sea turtles and a 7-8 foot nurse shark. ”
“This is a photo of the southwestern end of the island, a town named West Bay. West Bay is home to a lot of the resorts and restaurants on the island, and is the most popular destination for the cruise ships that dock on the island. The beach and water in West Bay was by far the most beautiful on the island. ”
“The island has a beautiful topography covered with lush forests, mangroves, and a mountain ridge that runs down the center of the 37 mile-long island. Our last day on the island was one of the best. Two of our new friends, from the island, gave us the grand tour. They drove us on a scenic tour of the entire island telling us about the history of the island along the way. We visited some beautiful areas, picked fresh mango, ate fruit off of trees and had a lot of laughs. We saw a small fishing towns as we passed through. The rest of the island is all mangroves and can only be reached by boat. This was the best way to end our trip!”
The first day of fall is approaching soon and now is a great time to start your fall planting. The plants that work the best in fall weather are perennials, bulbs, trees, and shrubs. Here are some tips for your fall garden/yard.
1. Fall is a great time to give you soil some much needed TLC from the harsh summer. Clean out your beds and remove any rotten vegetables that went unpicked, remove any dead plants, and add some compost to your soil.
2. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, radishes, and spinach are all vegetables that can tolerate frost and cooler weather. This makes them ideal vegetables to begin planting now.
3. Asters, chrysanthemums, and pansies are flowers that can give your yard some fall color and will be able handle cooler temperatures.
Image from Better Homes and Gardens.
It’s that time of year again as summer winds down, there’s a chill in the air and the days get shorter. To help brighten your home we are introducing a new line of lamps. They are handmade and crafted using wood, rustic metals, and painted finishes. Some of them are sitting atop a glass base for that special touch. Add these to a traditional inspired scheme as the finishing touch.
My countdown to fall has begun. Only 10 days until the first day of fall. The weather in Dallas this past weekend made it feel like fall was already here and it inspired me to begin getting my house ready for the season. I decided to pull out my wreath from last year only to be disappointed in the new shape it morphed in to over the past year. After some internet searching, I decided to make a similar wreath to the one above made by Decor Chick. It was very easy to make and I was able to make 2 wreaths in just a few hours. I am not posting any pictures of mine now because I have not added any embellishments yet. But I also found some other great DIY wreath ideas from Apartment Therapy.