road trip




















My husband and I took a little road trip up to the Catskills. It is indeed a place near and dear to our heart. It’s not glamourous, nor is it pretentious, but it is indeed a spot to breathe in and feel incredibly blessed. We had a busy day yesterday, preparing to do some home renovations on the old side of our home which needs better insulation, and wooden floors and installing new runtal radiators. The old dingy carpet will soon be gone as life with three children and a dog has left it worn and tired. I am looking forward to creating bedrooms that are clean, tranquil and artful. I keep teasing my college sons that I am creating a B & B.

What are some things that create the perfect bedroom for you?

Fall in love





















Today, is my 27th wedding anniversary.






















My children tease me about this photo. But what they did not know is that it was totally candid and we went off behind these trees and the photographer snapped this. It’s my favorite photo from our wedding day.











Another “eww” photo from our Rehearsal Dinner at The Seelbach Hotel. I loved my Ralph Lauren Silk Cady Coatdress and my hair in a french twist. The centerpieces were orchids which my mother and I selected from an orchid nursery, placed in glass globes and set them on round mirrors. I love that they have an 80’s touch but are still totally modern and timeless. I am a bit shell shocked today to think that it was 27 years ago that we were married, surrounded by family and friends from near and far. Fall is a time to fall in love and celebrate life.

sharing the paleo way

PvE - Paleo slaw-photoDelighted to share with you the Paleo way. I do not want to use the word “diet” to scare anyone away. I much prefer to think of the Paleo way as a lifestyle. Earlier this month, twenty days ago to be exact, I was released from a five day hospital stay. I suffered from severe abdominal pain and at first I thought it was my appendix. It was a scary few days of tests and waiting for results. After coming home, I shared with a friend my interest in trying the Paleo way and the very next day she delivered a wonderful book, “Practical Paleo” which happened to be in the library where she works. I love the book and the Paleo way. The recipes are easy and tasty.Paleo-Diet-Overview-700x905
I printed out a Paleo matrix from Practical Paleo and an easy guide to the Paleo Diet. Some of you may think that eliminating these things is hard, but let me tell you the benefits are the amazing results.20110705-095106
I would be happy to answer any questions if you are interested in trying the Paleo Diet. I also have been adding a little animal print to my wardrobe which is also in keeping with the Paleo way. Any of you ever try Paleo? Love this recent article from The New York Times on the 10 step Paleo immersion , here.

shop talk

Another J.McLaughlin store is about to open in Tampa, Florida. I love this illustration so much and would love to be there on opening day to shop and talk to all the sales people and the clients. It’s always fun to do the artwork and then see it live.

There a few shops nearby that my dog Bentley and I love to pop in and shop and talk. Tell me, what is your favorite shop near you?

monday motivation – Autumn comfort

Although we are still having some warm days, the evenings bring a little chill and my kitchen and cooking are motivated by Autumn comforts. Soups, bone broths and the color orange all seem to be what I crave at this time. Last week, I had a call from a local charity to donate items that I no longer needed or wanted. So, this week, I am taking some time to gather items and then to find comfort in sharing with others who are in need. I found some sweet little jars to deliver soup in so I will be making a huge cauldron of soup to share as well.  A sweet neighbor delivered freshly picked apples from a farm, so I have been making applesauce and adding them to roasted veggies.
The above photo is from a dear friend who created and served soup to me a few Autumns ago but I will never forget how artfully prepared this was. What comforts and inspires you in Autumn?

question, darlings

illust7LHello Darling readers. Kiss, kiss. I have a question and I would love your honest answer. I had to put a few things on hold this Summer but am ready now to forge ahead on a few projects that were tabled. One question is, should I go by my name or keep to my “PvE” which everyone seems to know and I have built a reputation and body of work with “PvE”- Here is an illustration done years ago under my name before I had signed “PvE” – so what doth though think? Keep “PvE” or sign with my name?

keep going

During this time of grieving, I take great comfort in all the beauty around me. From the lovely cards, to all the flowers along with visits and hugs from friends and family it does remind me to focus on the beauty and find a way to keep going. I am slowly getting back in the game of life and there are moments when my mind and my heart find memories of times gone past. As much as I want to keep moving and going forward, I also want to take time to savor the endings. Like a really good book that you never want to end or a weekend of celebration that seems to fly by, it is important to stop, dial things back and then plan to find a new routine, a new normal to keep going. I am so thankful for your kindness during this time.

This beautiful orchid welcomed me home from some dear blogging buddies. Thank-you. The Enchanted Home, You may be wandering, Pretty Pink Tulips, I-dream-of, The Buzz – Diane James Home, Preppy Empty Nester, The Zhush and The Relished Roost. I will link up later as I need to get to work now. Love to each of you.

monday motivation – better together

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Some things are just meant to be together. Last week, my Mother passed on to join my Father. A mere 40 days apart, from my Father’s passing and now my parents are back together. I take comfort in knowing they are at rest. It was an honor to write and read The Eulogy at the Funeral Mass at Holy Spirit Church where I was married nearly 27 years ago. Many friends asked, “What happened, was your Mother ill?” The Doctor said, if she had to give it a diagnoses, it would be “brokenhearted.”

It was so great to hear stories from family and friends about the fun times they had with my Mother and Father. A dear elderly lady told me “Your parents were meant to be together, they are better together.” I take comfort in such endearing words. I thank each of my sisters and brothers for all the support provided to one another and for our parents safe voyage. My sister, Liz – read the Eulogy she wrote for our Mother at the Visitation and it was about the Voyage of our Mom’s life. I shall cherish the memories and hold tight to the love of my Mom and Dad being together. Thank-you to each of you for your kind and comforting words.

monday motivation – an apple a day

I have chosen to begin this monday motivation with the old “apple a day” quote. I plucked this charming apple which is an adorable bank from here.

Not to bore you with any details but to fill you in on my latest foray, I ended up in the hospital last week for 5 days with severe abdominal pain.  I was what they call “NPO” Latin for nil per os, nothing by mouth, only ice chips.  Laying there, on IV meds for an infection gave me time to rest up and to think about how our health is our greatest wealth.

I am back home now but still have several tests to complete before I can rest easy for a clean bill of health.  After so many questions asked of me during my hospital stay, I have been doing lots of work in order to stay motivated for the best of health.

“An apple a day” does seem like the perfect motivation for starting a new school year and as they say “keeping the doctor away.”  Honestly, after being poked and prodded to find diagnose my problem really was rather scary.

Has anyone tried  or follow the Paleo diet, from what I have read, it seems to be very good for curing many diseases and producing excellent results.

Summer lobster















A Summer Lobster dinner. I ask you, is there anything better than a steamed lobster with corn and butter other than – maybe this painting.

It sure is making me crave a Lobster dinner. Painting by Colin Page.