Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Grace Notes

I've been reading through the lovely book "Living A Beautiful Life".  Alexandra shares her thoughts about each room of the home and how to live a beautiful life in each room.  At the end of each section, she shares her grace notes about the room, and how to enhance it, in a nutshell.   I thought I would share a few of her "Grace Notes" from the kitchen with you today...


  • Hang a string of garlic on the wall, and use it.
  • Put eggs in an old wire basket.
  • Use an old Welsh dresser, English baker's cabinet, or French armoire in the kitchen to store dishes and silverware.
  • Marinate a chicken cut in quarters in freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh sliced ginger root, then bake slowly for two hours at 250 degrees. 
  • On a cold afternoon, bake chocolate chip cookies and leave them out on cookie racks.  Nothing says "home" faster than this smell.  or you can give some of the cookies away to an elderly neighbor, or your neighbor's children. 
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon and ground cloves to your ground coffee.  Brew, and drink out of your favorite mug. 
  • Keep a food inspiration notebook in the kitchen.  Cover with pretty paper and use for menu and recipe clippings, and to jot down ideas.  This way everything will be in one place, and you will have inspiration handy for new ideas when you plan your meals. 
  • Save perfume bottles to use as individual bud vases.  Select a variety of shapes and sizes for different blossoms and buds. 
  • Treat yourself to new colorful pot holders; make it a seasonal purchase - they get a lot of use and can look tired. 
  • Spread a pretty tablecloth over your coffee table and serve tea to a friend in front of the fire. 
  • Buy charming aprons and "dress up" chores that give you pleasure.  Wearing an apron that adds color and cheer puts a smile on your face.  
  • Retrieve a set of those pretty plates you have hidden away in a kitchen cabinet and hang them on the wall for all to see.  A good hardware store will have plate holders in several sizes, designed for hanging. 
  • Serve chicken salad in scooped out vegetables, such as acorn squash, bringing more of your garden to the luncheon table.  Use the pulp for delicious squash soup. 
There are many more wonderful ideas that she shares about the kitchen, too many to copy here, but I thought as I picked out my favorites, how joyful and timeless this lovely book is.  Just thinking about doing some of the lovely inspirational ideas she has to spruce up your home brings joy to my heart.  

Today the weather has turned rainy and drippy.  We do so need the rain, and the lovely weather for a duck just makes me want to feather and fluff our warm cozy little space inside.  I took a walk with Annie in the rain, and we enjoyed the walk immensely.  

Walking in the rain has its own special joy! Have you ever walked in the rain?  It was just a drippy rain, so enjoyable to slosh along.  {smiles} 

As we returned to the house, a lovely cup of steaming hot tea warmed my hands and there was joy in my heart at being home.  A cozy inside day with this lovely book... grace notes so beautiful indeed.  

Here are a few of mine that I would add: 

  • Put a loaf of homemade bread on for dinner.  There is nothing like the smell of fresh warm bread to welcome the family as they walk in the door.  


  • My family has been requesting no-bake chocolate cookies recently... they are so easy to make. Just melt 1 pkg of Ghirardelli chocolate, 1 cup of chocolate chips and 2 Tbsp coconut oil together, then add 1 cup oatmeal,  1 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries (or raisins).  Mix together well, drop onto parchment paper and pop in the refrigerator.  A tasty healthy treat! (You can also add trail mix instead of the nuts/cherries/raisins as well!) 

  • Arrange fresh fruit and vegetables in a pretty bowl and place the bowl where your family can see the beauty of the bowl, and enjoy a healthy treat. 

  • Our family loves beautiful music, and the piano or guitar are always encouraged to be played and we sit around as a family and enjoy the music, and each other's company.  


  • Fresh flowers!  If I don't have blooming flowers in my home, I will either buy a little bouquet if flowers aren't in season, or gather them from our yard if they are in season.  Lovely fresh color in the home always adds so much joy! 


  • Candles are a grace note in the home... especially a sweet candle as this one that was gifted to me by a precious friend.  Often I just light a candle or two to brighten up the home for no special reason.  Lighting candles just seems to radiate joy in the home. 



These are just a few "grace notes" I've found that add such joy to our home.  


Do you have grace notes of your own to add?  I'd love to hear them :)




57 comments:

  1. Your home is just beautiful Marilyn.
    Those no bake cookies are my favorite, I remember making them when I was about 10 years old....yum! Here in Virginia the folks call them Preacher Cookies..not sure why.
    I like the list you shared from your new book, I have been looking for that book myself.
    Have a lovely evening dear one....Hugs to you

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    1. No bake cookies are definitely a hit here, so easy to make. I wonder if they are called preacher cookies, because they are so easy to make up, just in case the "preacher" drops by? LOL... just a guess :) I do hope you find this lovely book. It is such a lovely inspiration to have! I've been keeping it close by so that when I have a few minutes, I can read a bit and be inspired :) Have a wonderful day my friend!

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  2. Whoops...sorry Marilyn, the above comment is from Shirley at Teach The Younger Women....I accidentally used my daughter Ashleigh's email when I wrote the comment. Silly me....

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    1. Oh, no problem Shirley... appreciate your visit so much :)

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  3. What a lovely, cozy post...from the book's suggestions to the idea of your family making music together in your lovely living room. Might need to pick up that book!!

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    1. It is a pretty awesome book! I've been keeping it handy on my desk where I can read a few "grace notes" as I go about my daily business, and it is so inspirational. :) Appreciate your kind visits, as always! :)

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  4. These are all such lovely homey ideas you've shared today. The chocolate drops sound delicious. I never think of making them for some reason. I hope you have a delightfully cozy day.

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    1. They are great little cookies to have on hand, and pretty healthy too! I often enjoy them with a couple of strawberries, my healthy sweet snack :) Hope you are having a wonderful day!

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  5. I enjoyed your grace notes, so many nice ideas! I love 'cozy up' days at home too. Have a great day. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you Mary, and I so appreciate your visit! Cozy days at home are wonderful, aren't they! Have a blessed day :)

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  6. I enjoyed this post so much Marilyn! I love all of the "Grace Notes" here! I am going to try that slow cooked chicken--sounds yummy! I too have candles burning, love the smell of homemade bread or cookies baking....flowers and music of course, have not touched my piano in.....years. You may have just motivated me to go play a tune or two! It's raining here too but as you mentioned, with a candle burning, it's a bit brighter! Have a nice day!
    xoxo
    Linda

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    1. That slow cooker chicken caught my eye as well! I do want to try it, it sounds delicious and wonderful. Playing the piano in our home adds such beauty to our lives, and I'm so thankful for it. Do go play the piano, it is such a lovely thing to do :) Yes, all this rainy spring weather is more enjoyable with a gentle smelling candle or two, and a good book! Have a blessed day! :)

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  7. Good Afternoon Marilyn! I love these little Grace Notes from her book and for yours added as well. Yes, homemade bread baking should be at the top of that list. Now that says cozy to me! I have these things called wallflowers (kind of like a Glade plug in) and I have a scent downstairs and one upstairs. I love the freshness of the scents in the room.
    I bought a bag of lemons and have them in a pretty bowl in the kitchen to use. I love Christian music playing softly in the background (of course after the boys school work is done)
    Hmm... I might have to think of a few more things to add to my list today.

    It's very windy here today and we noticed over the plains (several miles from our house) there is a huge fire. So, we are keeping a close eye on that. Don't these farmers know not to burn when it's windy. Silly farmers... This is the only thing I don't like about Spring time, is these darn winds. And being that we live out on the plains, fires can spread rather quickly.

    Enjoy your day!
    Hugs, Amy

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    1. Oh dear Amy, I do so hope that the farmers have used caution when lighting the fires, and that they won't cause you any damage! Please keep me posted! I worry about fire here as well, but moreso in the summer, than in the spring. I will pray that all is well, but it sure can make you uneasy!

      I loved your ideas that you shared with me. Lovely scents in the home always seem to greet you at the door, and so anything with a lovely smell - homemade cookies, bread, or just dinner in the oven, always brings such a smile to the faces of those we love :) I enjoy candles too, their gentle wavering flames add a depth of warmth to the home. And of course the music is always a given, we love hearing our kids play so much. I hope all is well with you today, and that the fires are not a problem! Much love to you, and as always, I appreciate your visits here! :)

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  8. I simply love this. That sounds like beautiful grace notes. Yummm...NO Bake cookies...my favorite.

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    1. No bake cookies taste so awesome, and so quick to make too! Glad you enjoyed the grace notes, I know you enjoy doing likewise in your home too :) Have a great day!

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  9. What practical, pleasant suggestions! I really am planning to try the slow-roasted chicken recipe since I love slow-roasted turkey.

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    1. Yes, I thought so too! Oranges and chicken - yum! Thank you for your visit today, and hope you get to feeling better soon! Hugs sent your way! :)

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  10. I love the term "grace note"! I too display my fruit - which usually doesn't last long because my husband will eat it! :-) Candles are my favorite too!

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    1. Fruit doesn't last long here either, which is why I usually try to add in some tomatoes or lemons, something that won't just disappear in one sitting, lol! I do love candles as well, something about them makes everything feel special. Have a blessed day Gina :)

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  11. Your home sounds so warm and wonderful, so many great ideas. It's so nice that your family enjoysf music together, that's very special. One winter I used to light candles all the time, I should get back to that. It just makes your home so much cozier.

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    1. I agree that candles do add such a special touch and atmosphere. I need to do it more too! Of course, our house is filled with the sound of music since our kids play, and I'm so thankful for that! Music, soft candles, and yummy smells are just about the best, I think :) Have a blessed day, dear Kelly! :)

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  12. It's funny but a lot of those suggestions are to me just a normal part of life. One that I didn't see is light a fire - cedar kindling is so aromatic and firelight soft and it will warm up any room- perfect on a rainy day.

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    1. Haha, yes, I imagine candles are not that special to you, you live by them, bless your heart! And making your own bread, I'm sure you do that too. I would love to light a fire! Sadly, we don't have a woodstove in this home, and I miss my woodstove so very much! Cedar kindling is truly lovely, a wonderful thing to burn, much better than pine, lol! Hope all is well with you my friend, appreciate your friendship! :)

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  13. Great kitchen ideas! I like the rain (and the snow and the cold!) For grace notes, I'm partial to plants, tablecloths, love dim lamps and diffusers for essential oil.

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    1. I like all forms of weather too, except the "wicked" kind like tornadoes and hurricanes :) I loved your ideas of tablecloths. I need to use mine more. My kids don't really like them, so I don't use them much. I like essential oils as well, they add a gentle fragrance to the home too. Appreciate you sharing your "grace notes" here. Have a blessed day :)

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  14. This was such a wonderful post, full of great ideas to make a house a home. I loved every word :)

    I think you covered just about every grace note, but I would add... sitting to eat with your family. Hardly anyone does this anymore and I think it's so important. It's how you know what's going on with your loved ones.

    xo,
    rue

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    1. You are so right! Sitting down as a family at the table, relaxing, and just enjoying each other's company is such a special blessing! We do it as often as we can. I make dinner every night, but sometimes not everyone is able to be there. What joy it is when we can all gather round and share our day together as we eat. Thanks for that lovely "grace note" Rue! I appreciate your visit, and your friendship ever so much :)

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  15. Marilyn, Hello I came by for a visit. Thank you for coming by my little place today. It was nice of you. What a lovely post. Your home sounds lovely. What beautiful pictures of the mountains and farm. Looking forward to getting to know, may God truly bless your home.

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    1. Oh Teresa, I am thrilled to have met you, I can see that we share a love for the beauty of the Lord's creation! I do look forward to getting to know you better. Your home is so beautiful, and your little blog space the happiest place to visit. Blogging has brought so many precious ladies into my life, for which I am so grateful! You're the newest one :) Much love and hugs to you today!

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    2. Aw same to you Marilyn, thank you for the sweet words. Hugs to you to!

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  16. What a lovely post with so many great ideas! I'm definitely going to check out the book!

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    1. It is a wonderful book, one you will often want to pick up and enjoy :) Have a wonderful day, and thank you for coming by for a visit!

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  17. Hi, walking in the rain I did as a young woman. Lovely cozy ideas. My home is so precious because of all the sweet memories. Looking forward to making many more. I am looking forward to spring cleaning and decorating. Hugs, Roxy

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    1. I'm learning to embrace and love all kinds of weather, except the dangerous kind of course like tornadoes and hurricanes, which we really don't get here. Walking in the rain is a lovely thing to do! I'm opening wide my heart to things that may not be the most pleasant thing to do, and finding such joy. God is so good and faithful! And yes, our homes are cozy and special because of all the wonderful memories we have there! Thank you Roxy for your visit, always appreciated!

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  18. Hi MM! I am a candle-girl myself. I love the instant ambiance, the peace of the glow. My husband worked for Partylite a while ago, so we had quite a few around the house!
    It's spitting sleet today, but it seems peaceful to me. I do have to drive to Indiana today, so I'm hoping the weather will not impact the highways too much. I'll be babysitting my daughter's three children (all 4 and under...Lord have mercy!) tomorrow so she can get to work.

    I recently got a few new kitchen towels, and you know, they really do 'pick up' the kitchen!
    Have a wonderful day my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. Candles have a special way of just making the everyday special! I quit using candles for a while, using essential oils instead, but I have missed the gentle light that they offer, and I am now using them again. There is something wonderful about a clean room with a gentle candle burning in it, and a plate of something hot and fresh from the oven. Lovely!

      Have a safe drive to be with your daughter, sleet is not fun at all! I will pray you have a safe trip, and that you enjoy the precious moments with your grands... but it sounds like you will be very busy indeed!!!

      New kitchen towels really do add something special to the kitchen too. Joys can be found in the simple small things :) Have a blessed day my friend!

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  19. I have several of A. Stoddard's books, and find them very inspiring. I love all the things you mentioned -- bread in the oven, flowers, candles . . . I would just add a nice cozy fire. We have one every day six months out of the year, so cozy and cheerful. Your cookies look delicious!

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    1. Oh I do agree, a nice cozy fire is just the perfect setting for coziness! We unfortunately do not have room in our tiny home for a stove, although I would dearly love one! My husband and I are still talking about the possibility of one though! Appreciate your visit so very much, and hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend!

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  20. Thank you for the smiles...what lovely ideas...and those cookies look good... ---Have a beautiful day friend.

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    1. Always love sharing smiles :) The cookies are wonderful, easy to make, and a perfect healthy snack :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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  21. These are all very lovely ways to grace our homes and thank you for adding your own as well! The no bakes cookies are favorites of mine...they remind me of my sweet mom as she made them frequently. This was such a inspiring post! Have a blessed weekend :)

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    1. Thanks Debby! I am always blessed by a visit from you, and no-bake cookies are an easy treat to make. My mother made them a lot as well :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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  22. I so enjoyed "Grace Notes" that you have shared. One other that I thought of are to have the little cordless single window candles. We have one in each of our windows and they are so warm and welcoming from inside or outside. Have a blessed weekend. Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. That is a wonderful idea Teri! I love the idea that the single window candle is something special that you can see from the outside, coming in! I think I may have some in storage and it would be a nice thing to bring a special ambiance in the home! Appreciate your visit so much, and hope you are having a lovely weekend!

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  23. Hi,
    I loved this post!
    I like to have a nice soap in the bathroom to wash our hands. My boys will comment how they like the smell of the soap. :-)
    I love everything you included in the list and I agree, cookies, candles and hot drinks. Lovely!
    Carla

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    1. I love that idea too! Lovely soap really does make a difference in how you feel each time you wash your hands. Thanks Carla for this lovely "grace note". Have a great day!

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  24. What a beautiful post! You made me want to be all homemakery! Alas, I'm going to a women's conference tomorrow at church and won't be able to be home.

    I liked the idea about saving the perfume bottles. I don't use many, but it's a great idea to keep an eye out at yard sales.

    You're right about bread, too.

    Enjoy your weekend,
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. How wonderful to have a ladies conference to attend, those are such a blessing to our hearts! Praying that you are blessed and greatly encouraged at the conference! Appreciate your visit as always, and praying that your weekend has been blessed!

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  25. Just found the book at Paperback Swap! Yay! If you want to know how to get books for a tiny price, take a look at this post on my blog.

    http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/2015/07/9-simple-tips-for-saving-money-with.html

    Thanks for telling about the book. I look forward to reading it. I crave ritual in my life, but I've never made any rituals. Traditions around holidays yes. Rituals for day-to-day no.

    Hugs!
    Laura

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    1. Thank you for sharing your post, and the wonderful tips! I'm so glad that you were able to find this wonderfully inspiring book! May you be blessed and encouraged this weekend dear friend! :)

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  26. "Grace Notes," what a lovely and refreshing idea, my friend! It's such a joy and blessing to be able to make our home a place of beauty and peace and the ideas you shared do just that.

    Forgive me for being so late to visit you, but 'tis better to be late than not come by at all, right? :) I greatly appreciate you sharing your wonderful posts with Roses of Inspiration. Have a lovely week! Hugs and much love!

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    1. I appreciate your visit at any time Stephanie, always such a pleasure to have your comments grace my posts! It is a joy to find little things to do to bring joy into our homes, isn't it! I am really enjoying this wonderful book. Trust that you are having a great week, and look forward to finding out who my mug exchange partner is :) Have a blessed day dear friend!

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  27. What wonderful, lovely ideas! This sounds like a wonderful book! I love the ideas you shared, too...so sweet to see the candleholder and candles. Sending you lots of love and hugs, sweet friend!

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    1. It really is a marvelous book, and I'm so blessed to be enjoying it! I thought you would enjoy seeing the candle holder :) It has been such a blessing and beauty to have in my home! Appreciate you so much dear friend, and we are keeping you in our prayers, as I know this is a difficult time for you! Much love and hugs!!!!

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  28. I read this awhile ago and thought I had commented. But since I don't see a word from me here I'll just say that I love the welsh cupboard idea. I can't afford a welsh cupboard, but I've got a hutch that I'll be using in our kitchen as soon as I get it painted. It's something I've always wanted. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. I want one of those too! I've settled that I will not be able to afford one either, and I have an idea about "creating" my own from old shelves and a dresser. It will be fun to do, if I can get my act together, lol! Hugs to you too Nancy! Appreciate your visits so much!

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Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!