Luxurious Retreat Tips

Relaxing Ritual~Iced Sleepytime Vanilla

Well…it’s 86 degrees outside! Time to make more iced tea! I love icing tisanes (herbal ‘tea’ infusions) for sipping in the evenings when the temperature gets above 80. One of my favorites…Iced Sleepytime Vanilla by Celestial Seasonings. mmmmmmm….. ice some and see for yourself. It’s all at once relaxing, refreshing and healthy. Enjoy! ~Melissa

Writing Under the Oaks~Artisan Cheese & Crackers for One

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~William Wordsworth The sun was shining bright through the canopy of oak trees when I took my notebook and a pile of magazines out to the deck yesterday afternoon. I also brought my sparkle pen which was a gift from my friend Tracy…it ‘bedazzles’ my hand…

Words To Live By

I ordered this vintage British poster for the wall above the desk in my studio. Love it! I’ve started a “quote wall.” I’m framing all of my favorite quotes so all I have to do is look up at the wall while I’m working to get inspired. This one is going in the center 😉…

Relaxing Ritual ~ Autumn Walks

Jeff and I take a walk together every morning after seeing Gracie off to school. The school bus drives away, and the next half hour or so is ours. Some mornings, like this morning, are beautiful. Often we bring mugs of tea with us and we talk about our plans for the day, or what…

Bouquet Garni

Using bouquet garnis in soups and stews is a genius way to add the wonderful, rich flavor of fresh herbs to the stock. Instead of using kitchen twine or cheesecloth to keep the fresh herb sprigs together, I use a giant tea ball from Williams Sonoma that came with a container of their mulling spices.…

Relaxing Ritual~Tea Time

“It’s always tea time.” ~Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland I’ve been taking pictures of tea scenes for the tea book and thought I’d share one of my favorite relaxing rituals with you. Tea time outside. Taking time for tea is a relaxing ritual I’ve been enjoying for years. Everything about tea relaxes me… Choosing a…

house warming ~ little luxuries for autumn

~Make cider floats! Pour real apple orchard cider over cinnamon ice cream ~Harvest grapevines and make homemade wreaths for Christmas gifts…here’s a new twist on this idea. homemade grapevine wreath ~Go to a grape stomp or participate in a grape harvest at a local vineyard. ~Host a harvest party: plan a hayride, have a campfire,…

Relaxing Ritual~Back Yard Campfire

“Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  ~George Eliot Last night we grilled steaks and hung out in the back yard around a little campfire. Enjoying the crisp fall air under a canopy of stars while watching…

Relaxing Ritual~Lavender

“Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed.” Shakespeare’s Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream There is nothing quite like the scent of lavender for relaxation. I have been making lavender linen spray for years, as well as using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day lavender scented laundry detergent and fabric softener. Recently Jeff and I have…

Apple Orchard Day

“My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree Toward heaven still. And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night, The scent of apples; I…