Author Archives: Brette

Family Room Transformation

I have been like  an expectant mother and it has taken almost exactly nine months, but at long last our family room remodel is complete! I’ve definitely got the decorating bug and even recently took an online interior decorating course. The family room journey started in January. We had used a large room connected to … Read more

Have You Tried Different Cider Varieties?

There has been a boom in fermented (hard) cider in the food world the past few years. A smaller trend, which I see as about to explode, is the emergence of apple cider varieties. When I was a child, we used to drive north to Niagara County to buy cider at real cider mills one … Read more

Hallway Help

Posted by Brette in General | Home and Decorating
Hallway Help

Do you have halls in your home that are empty and you don’t know what to do with them? I have two space like this in my house that I’ve been pondering. One of them is connected to a remodeling project we have been working on. We recently remodeled our family room and there is … Read more

Ghost Under Glass

This little ghost is one of my Halloween decorations. I got this pedestal cloche last year and I’ve been putting one little thing in it for each holiday. It’s a fun way to isolate an item and highlight it. I love the ghost in it because it just has a bit of a sense of humor … Read more

Hotel Review: Kyoto Ritz Carlton

On our recent trip to Asia we stayed exclusively at Ritz Carlton properties, which provided an excellent point of comparison between them. Kyoto was my favorite. One brief note about the Ritz hotels in general before I share details about the Kyoto property. We were traveling as a party of three (myself, my husband, and … Read more

One Thing Leads to Another

Posted by Brette in Life
One Thing Leads to Another

Sometimes it is astounding how one small oversight can simply snowball. When we had our above ground pool opened at the beginning of the summer, the pool guy first did all of his work THEN had me come outside to show me that the outer shell of the pool has rusted in one spot and … Read more

Worst Trips Ever

Posted by Brette in Travel
Worst Trips Ever

Do you have nightmare vacation stories? Places you’ve been where you would never return? Trips that went so bad you just wanted to get home as fast as possible? I have a few disasters in my past. 1. Aruba. This trip might have been our biggest disaster. We had a 5 day trip planned, which … Read more

11 Crazy Quirky Things About Japan

While there are magnificent and amazing things about Japan, I find that after our recent trip there, the things I keep thinking about are the small, little things that somehow add up to a huge cultural difference. 1. Plastic food. People in Japan are obsessed with plastic food. Many, many restaurants display plastic models of … Read more

Rice Pudding Bar

Posted by Brette in Food
Rice Pudding Bar

Looking for a fun new dessert option for your next party? Try a rice pudding bar. This is more interesting than a make your own sundae bar, but requires very little extra work. For the rice pudding (serves 8): 7 cups whole milk 1 cup arborio rice 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/3 cup sugar Add … Read more

Hotel Review: Villa Beach Cottages, St. Lucia

We’ve always stayed at big resorts when visiting the Caribbean. When planning our trip to St. Lucia, I wasn’t satisfied with the options. The nicer resorts are to the south, near the Pitons, but far away from a lot of the restaurants and attractions up north. Many of the resorts on this island do not … Read more