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February, 2013 |

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Bohemian Kitchen

Bohemian Kitchen

By | February 28th, 2013 at 1:44 pm


When I am not blogging, I am a prop stylist. Last spring I styled up this Portland kitchen for a feature over on HGTV. The owners have traveled extensively through Mexico and operate a Mexican restaurant here in Portland. They had so many one-of-a-kind pieces from their travels that made their home a super inspiring place. We mixed up their souvenirs and vintage finds with a few new kitchen accessories from West Elm, some fresh plants, and some interesting planters. I really like how this came out and it inspires me to add more personal touches to my own kitchen. See the full story over at HGTV!


Photos: Lisa Warninger for HGTV.


Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off Introduces a Tip Sheet to Choosing a New Kitchen Range

The kitchen range is one of the most versatile and oft-used appliances in the kitchen, but with trends moving toward big, professional quality kitchen appliances it can be hard to know what features are important for every-day home cooking. suggests a few tips to make the decision a little easier.

(PRWEB) February 27, 2013 – the Home Improvement Super Store offers a wide variety of kitchen appliances, and makes it their goal to pair consumers with conventional and luxury kitchen ranges that fit their price range and lifestyle.

The kitchen range is one of the most versatile and oft-used appliances in the kitchen. But with trends moving toward big, professional quality kitchen appliances it can be hard to know what features are important for every-day home cooking. suggests a few tips to make the decision a little easier.

1. High Powered Gas Ranges.

Serious cooks and chefs of all skill levels agree that gas ranges offer superior power, responsiveness, and heating time compared with electric burners. Gas burners are the first feature to look for, both in conventional and luxury or professional quality kitchen ranges. For more advanced cooks, gas burners with two rings of flame offer a wider range of possible temperatures and are more energy efficient, while sealed burners are easier to clean than conventional models.

2. Cookware.

If it’s at all possible, comparing the size of the burners on a prospective kitchen range against the size of the most-used cookware can definitely improve the purchasing process. Both skillets and burners are theoretically standard sized, but how well certain pans sit on certain cooktops can vary quite a bit. To get the best results, it is important to ensure that each pan sits flat on the burner and covers it completely.

3. Accessories.

More than ever, these days kitchen ranges are being designed to be multi-taskers. With grills, griddle plates, wok rings and more that can be added to the cooktop, as well as rotisseries and multi-function ovens, many modern luxury kitchen ranges can do a whole lot more than just heat and bake. To help eliminate extraneous appliances and maximize the utility of the kitchen range, it is important to make a point to see which features, if any, each specific range includes.

4. Oven Capacity Isn’t Everything.

The size of a kitchen range and the internal capacity of its oven are important for serious cooks, as they impose a hard upper limit on the amount of food (especially large things like turkeys) that can be cooked at once. But more important for every day cooking is looking at how many racks the oven has, and how many adjustable positions there are. Flexible interior design will allow more dishes to be cooked simultaneously, and grants greater control over how close food can be placed to the heating element.

5. A Convection Oven.

European convection ovens are definitely a hot trend in professional quality kitchen ranges. These have more heating elements than traditional ovens, and use special fans to circulate heat throughout the oven, allowing for faster cooking at lower temperatures. But while convection ovens offer more even, consistent cooking (especially with multiple dishes), they can raise the price of the kitchen range. Plus, for an occasional cook they might be more trouble than they’re worth, as they can significantly alter cooking times.

6. Matching The Range To The Kitchen (And The Cook).

Professional quality cooking ranges offer bigger, faster, hotter, more efficient cooking, with some models including multiple ovens or upwards of eight burners. But it’s important to match the abilities of the oven to the needs of the cook and size constraints of the kitchen. Cooks who make many multiple dishes at once will benefit from a double oven or a double-wide range. But more casual cooks will likely benefit more from a range with more accessories that focuses on versatility rather than pure power. is more than just a Home Improvement Superstore. They’re constantly seeking to provide homeowners and designers with the right products at competitive prices. With a wide selection of products, expert design tips, and comprehensive shopping guides, Homethangs is a company that’s there at all stages of the design process, from idea to execution. It’s their goal is to make dream remodels doable.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Around Severna Park: Partners In Care features its ‘Designing Women’

Dubbed the “Designing Women” because of their flair for fashion and decor, Phyllis Stagi and Cindy Maisel were “in their element” Tuesday morning creating a spring clothing display at the Partners In Care Boutique, 6 Ritchie Highway.

They had a ball pairing an apple green sweater with shoes, handbags and accessories in deeper shades of green and adding a pair of whimsical leprechauns.

Stagi and Maisel are responsible for the layout and display of hundreds of items donated weekly to the resale boutique that generates funding for Partners In Care — a 501©3 community nonprofit that provides countywide services to help older adults remain independent in their own homes.

Once two of four designing women, Stagi and Maisel now handle the job alone. However, helpers pave the way.

Donated items are first processed by volunteers, then handed on to “organizer” Elaine Ruth for categorizing. Finally, “pricing guru” Sue Freeman determines the items’ values, occasionally researching prices via Internet resources like eBay.

“People are incredibly generous in donating things to us,” Maisel said. “We receive a lot of designer label clothing, shoes and handbags — sometimes with price tags still attached. And we receive furniture made by high-end manufacturers. Consequently, we consider ourselves an upscale boutique.”

Stagi said high-quality merchandise moves fast, and clothing from displays like the one they’d just created often sells in less than an hour. The shop’s diverse clientele comes from a wide geographic area encompassing Millersville, Pasadena, Severna Park and Arnold and runs the gamut of careers and ages. There are young moms and retirees like Pasadena resident Judy Hobson, who also volunteers.

A tour of the PIC facility began at one end of the main floor where men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories were displayed much like those in any department store. Off to one side was a room dedicated to children’s books and toys, and another containing linens, pillows, draperies and cushions.

The remaining floor space was taken up by household items, electronics, cookware and dinnerware appealingly arranged on tables and chests of drawers. There were decorative items, mirrors, paintings, vintage cameras and china cabinets showcasing complete sets of dishes.

At the back of the building was one of designers’ favorite places — a nook containing dolls and doll furniture. The labels of several indicated they were crafted by well-known doll makers.

One of the oddest donations the boutique has received — a ventriloquist’s “dummy” patterned after 1930s comedian Edgar Bergen’s famous wooden mouthpiece Charlie McCarthy — frankly has Maisel and Stagi stumped. Neither doll nor toy, they can’t figure out where to display him, so the dummy’s currently hanging out by the china collection.

PIC manager Gladney McKay pointed out that between 70 and 80 people volunteer weekly, banking points for hours served to be traded for PIC’s other services. With the constant volume of items moving in and out of the store, it takes that many volunteers to keep up.

  • Partners In Care is holding its annual Jewelry Extravaganza at the boutique on March 23, selling special pieces collected over the past year.

“We have some really fine silver and gold pieces and antique jewelry that we’ve never had out on the floor,” McKay said.

For information regarding the shop or extravaganza visit

Final concert

For the 19th and final year, the Inspirational Choir of Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church headlined the Katie Fritz Memorial Gospel Concert at St. Martin’s in-the-Field Episcopal School on Saturday.

Conceived by Carol Fritz 20 years ago to raise funds for a memorial scholarship in her daughter’s memory, the concert has brought joy to audiences year after year and benefited many St. Martin’s students.

After opening remarks by the Rev. Doris Buchanan Johnson, the concert kicked off with a performance by the St. Martin’s Episcopal School Singers, followed by the moment everyone was waiting for: the appearance of the 12-member gospel group directed by Fritz’s longtime friend, Marilyn Lewis.

Wearing their signature red, the group assembled behind co-director Erick Sellman and began their performance with a sweet and soulful spiritual. Switching next to an uptempo gospel favorite, choir member Ronnette Cook created a memorable moment when she scooped Fritz’s 1-year-old granddaughter, Violet Kamae Fritz, into her arms making the delighted child “part of the act.”

The choir’s joyful performance kept audience members tapping their toes until they concluded with Lewis’ presentation of a photograph of the choir to Fritz. A performance by the school’s youngest students and presentation of a gift to Fritz ended the concert and a reception followed.

Conceding the final performance was a bittersweet moment, Fritz explained that a phrase from Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season,” kept occurring to her over the past year.

“Twenty years is a long time and, though I’m grateful for the church and community’s support for the concert and scholarship fund, I felt it was time to move on,” she said.

While the concert is ending, the Katie Fritz Memorial Scholarship will live on, according to the school’s headmaster, the Rev. Dr. Frank Sawyer.

“We’ll find new ways to raise funds for the scholarship that is so important in helping students attend our school,” he said. “We’re very pleased that Carol will remain involved with St. Martin’s in other ways.”

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Beautifully described by its current owner as “the coziest big home you’ll ever live in,” 50 Boulder View in Irvine’s renowned community of Shady Canyon is truly an entertainer’s dream. Boasting approximately 9,782 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, the 3-story Santa Barbara farmhouse-inspired estate offers grand proportions with an intimate ambiance. It’s just been listed for $6,300,000.


The formal living and dining room is flanked by two handsome fireplaces and features a wall of French doors that open to a covered patio. The great room and kitchen area is ideal for large, casual parties or simple nights at home with the family. Highlights include a large breakfast room, fireplace, built-in surround-sound speakers, expansive island, wood-beamed ceilings, custom wood cabinetry, Shaws farmhouse-style sinks, walk-in pantry, butler’s pantry, and Wolf and KitchenAid appliances. Luxurious and inviting, an upstairs master suite displays a private view balcony, coffee bar and retreat.


Take the stairs or elevator down to the basement level and get ready for a world of fun in an authentic English Pub and game room, complete with a carved-wood walk-behind bar with ice-cold beer on tap, or step across the hall a home theater like you have never seen. Offering plush Fortress base shaking theater seating for 15, the theater showcases classic motorized red velvet curtains, a 150-inch commercial-grade theater screen, an amazing surround-sound system, a convenient bar and a cozy lounge area. A large wine cellar is also featured downstairs and is sequestered behind dual glass doors with custom wrought-iron detailing. 


Enhanced by a shimmering pool and spa, the rear yard hosts a separate guest casita, outdoor BBQ pavilion with refrigerator and sink, covered dining area, and formal rose garden. Majestic hills create a private and permanent backdrop, and the estate’s location protects it from canyon winds and welcomes deer as well as inspiring sun and moon-rises. Easy-to-access garage parking for 4 is secured at the end of an elegant gated drive. 


Situated on a single-loaded street and with no one behind, the homesite is one of the larger ones in the community and boasts 29,868 square feet of lushly landscaped grounds designed by Peter Brandow. Acute attention to Santa Barbara farmhouse architectural style was executed by the renown Ceil Carney.


The guard-gated enclave of Shady Canyon embraces and enhances Southern California’s desirable lifestyle. Bordered by nearly 16,000 acres of natural sanctuaries and reserves, the exclusive community presents a prestigious environment complete with a 53,000 square-foot clubhouse with pool and spa, patios with gas grills, a tot lot and tennis courts. The private, 300-acre 18-hole Shady Canyon Golf Course features a challenging design from world-renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio. Irvine’s award-winning schools, abundant and varied recreational destinations, business centers, and shopping, dining and cultural attractions are close to home, as are the sun-drenched sands of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Corona del Mar. Children attend award-winning schools, including University High School, which is ranked the eighth best public high school in the country. 50 Boulder View behind the gates of Shady Canyon…this estate truly has it all.


Teles Properties’ Pegi DiRienzo is a full-time real estate agent with a unique level of professionalism, a stunning track record of achievement and a broad knowledge of the residential real estate business. Combining a lifelong passion for exquisite homes, she is consistently ranked in the top 1% in production nationwide and has been the a top realtor in the area since 2003. Pegi specializes in Shady Canyon, Turtle Rock, Turtle Ridge, Newport Coast, Newport Beach and corporate relocation with buyers all over South Orange County. Pegi DiRienzo’s honesty and integrity are matched by her passion for the real estate business and her dedicated commitment to her clients. She can be reached at 949.525.1125 or via email at

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Eat This Tonight: Iconic Charleston Dishes

The BBT Charleston Wine + Food Festival is finally here, and we couldn’t be more excited. Since this weekend is all about the food, we put together a list of the top 10 iconic Charleston dishes that you must try while in town.

Shrimp and Grits. Even if you’re not from the South, shrimp and grits should be an obvious choice. The best shrimp and grits in town, hands down, can be found at Hominy Grill off of Rutledge Ave. Chef Robert Stehling’s version features sautéed shrimp with mushrooms, chopped bacon, and scallions served over house-made cheese grits ($18). It’s simple, pure, and good.

Cornbread. This Southern staple is an essential side with most soul food, and we recommend heading to Husk for a not-so-classic version. Chef Sean Brock is nothing short of a hero for his take on cornbread, which is Southern through and through (in other words, there’s nothing sweet about it). His cornbread skillets ($7) are baked in the big wood-fired ceramic oven, giving the dish a smoky taste, and it hits the spot every time.

She Crab Soup. The only place to stop for this classic is 82 Queen, which has won the City Paper Reader’s Pick for Best She Crab Soup three years in a row. The soup recipe is available online, so you could try replicating yourself, but we recommend stopping in for dinner and slurping up a bowl ($7) Just don’t try counting calories with this one — there’s a whole lot of butter and a whole lot of heavy cream (which is why it’s such a whole lot of good).

Fried Chicken. The New York Times deemed Martha Lou’s Kitchen a must-visit spot when you’re in Charleston, and we couldn’t agree more. She really does have the best fried chicken in town — it’s got a salty crunch on the outside and sweet, juicy meat on the inside. She always makes the dish to order, and you can tell as soon as you take that first bite.

Okra Soup. Bertha’s Kitchen on upper Meeting St. has that classic Southern food that you wish your mama made, including her famous okra soup ($2.50). The soup contains stewed tomatoes thickened with fresh okra, seasoned with bacon, spotted with corn, and garnished with a little bit of love. Bertha’s version is truly authentic and makes for a remarkable dish.

Roasted Oysters. This time of year, you can pick any weekend and attend multiple oyster roasts, or even host your own. If you don’t want to deal with the cold weather, but still want steaming oysters, Bowens Island Restaurant is the only place to go. Not only will you received quality local oysters, but you’ll get to experience a real Lowcountry landmark — Bowens Island has been serving locals and tourists the freshest catches since the 1940s.

Coconut Cake. And you thought we were going to leave out dessert. It just wouldn’t be a proper visit to Charleston without trying a slice of Peninsula Grill’s Ultimate Coconut Cake ($10). The 12 layers of yumminess are infused with coconut and fresh vanilla, then topped with a deliciously addictive icing and coated in freshly toasted coconut. If you can’t make it to Peninsula Grill, for $100 you can have one shipped right to your front door anywhere in the U.S.

Coddled Egg. Once you try FIG’s iconic dish, you’ll be dreaming about coddling your own eggs. Lata takes a Sea Island Farm Egg and bakes it with celeriac cream and brown butter in a cocotte until the yolk is runny and the white is set. The dish can be presented in different ways, but one of our favorites is when it’s prepared with parmesan-topped stone crab, English peas, and morel mushrooms, then finally garnished with croutons and sea salt ($15).

Oyster Shot. Get your Charleston party going by downing an oyster shot or two at Pearlz ($3.50). Brace yourself for black pepper vodka, an oyster, and cocktail sauce, all together in one shot glass. This one is not for the faint of heart, but so worth the experience. During happy hour, you can get them for a dollar cheaper.

Benne Wafers. The sesame seed was brought to the South from Africa many generations ago, and is the vital ingredient in the oh-so-delicious Charleston Benne Wafers. Many Southern recipes call for sesame seed, but it’s never as beloved as it is in the benne wafer. These thin cookies are made with toasted sesame and vanilla,  and some recipes date back well over 100 years. Although this Southern sweet has been known to pop up on menus at McCrady’s or Husk, we recommend making a special trip to Olde Colony Bakery in Mt. Pleasant and picking up a tin for the trip home.

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Homespun: Accessories in order



February 28, 2013 7:30AM

Create a cute jewelry organizer from a plate, candlestick holder and a bowl. | Heather Leszczewicz~For Sun-Times Media

For more accessory organization ideas, check out our Pinterest board:

Article Extras

Updated: February 28, 2013 7:32AM

Imagine you’re getting ready to go out. You reach into your jewelry box and out comes a tangled mess of chains, beads and trinkets. It’s the worst, right?

Most of the time, I’ll skip the jewelry when I end up with a knotted ball of necklaces. Then I forget about the mess and end up with the same situation on another day.

I recently took the opportunity to get my accessories more organized, as well as purge things I know I’ll never wear again. I’m sharing a few of my cost-efficient tips.


One of the best DIY projects I’ve done recently was a cake/dessert platter, made from supplies that cost less than $5. I took the idea and applied it to jewelry organizing.


— One plate, one bowl, one candlestick holder. All of these items can be found at your local dollar store.

— A permanent craft glue, like E-6000, which can be found at any craft store.

Wash your supplies throughly to remove any dust or grime. Apply glue to the rim of the bottom of your candlestick holder. Find the middle of the top of your plate and firmly press the candlestick holder into place. Let that dry for a couple of minutes and then apply glue to the rim of the top of the candlestick. Place your bottom of the bowl onto the top of the candlestick. Press firmly. To make sure the glue sticks, put some heavy books on top of the bowl and let dry for a couple of hours.

Your new jewelry organizer is ready. Put necklaces on the plate. Stud earrings and bracelets can be placed in the bowl. Earrings that have hooks can be hung from the bowl’s edge. Nice and decorative. Plus, your jewelry holder could be used as a chip and dip holder in an emergency.

A few other ideas: Other kitchen items can double as jewelry organizers. A paper towel roll holder can be used to display bracelets and a silverware drawer organizer can be used to lay out necklaces.


Hang up your scarves instead of keeping them in a drawer. You’ll be able to see all your scarves at once and avoid too much wrinkling. I use little reusable hooks lined up on a wall to hang up a selection of scarves. You could do this inside your closet too if you have the space.

You could also try using a wire hanger and shower curtain rings. Attach the rings to the wire hanger and then lace your scarves through the ring. It won’t work as nicely if you have chunky scarves.

Other organizing ideas

— Use vases or other glass containers (like an old fishbowl) to store things like nail polish or barrettes. You can hook headbands onto these larger containers as well. Try using a votive candle holder to keep bobby pins or ponytail holders from being strewn across your dresser.

— Every girl has at least a couple of purses and clutches. Try using shower hooks to hang purses in your closet. Clutches can be stored on a shelf in a magazine holder or a collapsable bin.

— One of the best online ideas I came across has to do with how you put away clothes. Everyone’s been doing it wrong. Don’t stack things in drawers on top of one another, instead turn the stacks on their side. Think of your drawers as filing cabinets and the clothes as the files. You’ll have more room, clothes don’t get stuck on drawer above and you’ll be able to see all your clothing options.

— When it comes to your socks, do you fold or roll them? I have a designated sock drawer and I leave all my socks loose. I’d rather not toss a pair of socks if one has a hole. Since I have a multitude of white socks, all the same kind, I’d rather just be able to grab another sock out of the drawer and toss the solitary sock.

However your organize your accessories and clothes, make sure you go through and condense at least once a year. Get rid of anything worn out or that you don’t wear. It allows you the chance to keep everything in its place and not outgrow your space.

For more accessory organization ideas, check out our Pinterest board:

For more crafting ideas from Heather, go to

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Perfect Tortilla pan bakes crispy whole-wheat tortillas in toaster oven – The Star-Ledger

The taco salad served in a shaped tortilla baked in a Perfect Tortilla pan.

I had two testing requirements for the Perfect Tortilla pan set.

The first was that if fit inside my toaster oven for a single serving. The second was that it turn my Trader Joe’s whole wheat tortillas into crispy bowls.

It did both. The flour tortilla browned in a little less than 10 minutes and remained in its perfectly crisp, swervey bowl shape after cooling and being removed from the pan. It offered just the right amount of crunch to the unusual combination of leftovers that I spooned into it: garlicy black rice cooked with bits of fresh chorizo, topped with a salad of lentils and diced bell peppers. The last bites, eaten with the crisp shell, were best.

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Perfect for whole-wheat tortillas

Usually, I am opposed to cookware that serves just one purpose, but I make an exception here, being one previously addicted to restaurant taco salads. I gave them up after learning the amount of fat and calories in those cheesy, meaty meals served in edible fried bowls. The baked version was just as crispy without the added fat of deep frying.

Perfect Tortilla pans are widely available online and in stores such as Target and Bed Bath Beyond, usually selling for $10.99 for a set of four.

Beyond taco salad, the maker suggests that a tortilla baked in the pan can be used as a chili bowl, a healthy salad bowl, a steak or chicken fajita bowl, a salsa dip bowl or an ice cream sundae bowl.

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