Mid week musings.....and a seriously fabulous giveaway!

Forewarning...as these posts tend to be, this is another long one. Somehow they grow from being average sized posts to mega marathons....... My advice? Dont' read standing up, take an extra five minutes and relax, grab a cup of coffee and hope you enjoy!

Good Wednesday morning to you. I am so enjoying the nippier air that has finally taken over,  have had a lot of rain which does not make for great hair days but I am loving this cooler weather.... the leaves in this part of town are just now starting to turn ever so subtly. I figure in a few weeks it will be in its prime. How about in your neck of the woods? A lot of different areas to cover today, so lets begin shall we! Do not forget to read all the way to the bottom where I provide all the details for one heck of an exciting giveaway!!

Thought this little Hermes tidbit was sooo interesting! You just never know what your local postman is up to in his spare time...lol!


Hermes Scarves' Artist is Texas Postal Worker
Turns out the one behind the famous French fashion label's limited edition scarves is not a trained Parisian artist, but a postal worker from Waco, Texas, named Kermit Oliver.

Oliver sifts mail during the day, and paints at night. According to the Texas Monthly, who recently did a revealing profile on the artist, noted that Oliver was discovered in the 1980s by then Hermes CEO Jean-Louis Dumas. He has since kept his job at the Post Office, preferring a simple and quieter life to one of fame and notoriety. His artwork, most well-known for its intricacy of design and depictions of flora, fauna, and exotic animals, is produced in limited edition. Over the past 30 years, he has designed 16 exquisite scarves for Hermes, each of which take anywhere from six to nine months to create. His exceptional designs are so sought after, that his scarves usually sell out immediately in stores, and if they do end up on eBay, sell for at least $800, according to the Texas Monthly. Hermes scarves usually sell for anywhere between $200-$500.
We're off the to closest Michael's crafts store to start getting creative ourselves!

I am sooooo excited and sooooo flattered to have gotten an email from Homegoods, yes as in that "mega  growing by leaps and bounds billion dollar company", that Homegoods!! They emailed me to tell me I am one of their favorite blogs!! Imagine my delight, just drives home the point that you truly never know who is reading your blog! 
 Furthermore.....they also said that they were just launching their "stylescope"' in which one can find out what their style is and for the classic choice, yours truly's blog was the first choice for that category so The Enchanted Home will be a permanent fixture on their site!! It will be up any day now.
 I am  so excited and flattered...then to boot, we are going to be working on different things together. And to launch this new cozy friendship, they have so generously offered up my readers the chance to win a $500 gift card to any Homegoods in the U.S.! And you know that 500 big ones goes a long long way in their stores chock full of beautiful bargains! All details on bottom...thanks to my new bff I mean Homegoods!

Super excited to finally be getting our loggia flooring done! We were waiting for the ceiling to be completed and there were a few stone elements that weren't done but alas they are done and the bluestone floor is in progress, VERY excited over this and I am ordering the furniture this week so hopefully we can enjoy a late fall/early winter cozied up next to the fireplace!! We chose Pennsylvania bluestone which is more even toned, less varied in the shading since we were going with a pattern, this made the most sense. Here's a sneak peek of it in progress, hopefully by next week I can show you the big reveal!

In progress.......

A before.......

Always like to include recipes that I have  tried and loved  since I am believer in their magical powers...so have to share. Well friends, this is one such recipe. I promise you this is worth every chop, slice and hour that you put into it. Heavenly and the ultimate comfort food. I just made it and was hailed a hero.  Your family will deem you Julia Child worthy! Be sure to include crusty fresh bread......

  • About 3-4 tablespoons light virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped (1/2 a package)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, large chopped pieces (not too fine)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 bottle of good full bodied  red wine (ideally like Beaujolais, Cabernet or Burgundy)
  •  2 cups beef broth (I used Emerils box of beef stock which is a 32 oz box)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-2 1/2 pounds  beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, cut to 1 inch (don't use baby carrots, they are too soft)
  • 2 med.onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) I used a bit more than the recipe called for
  • 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature, melted
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (cut off stems and discard)
If you have a nice heavy dutch oven, that is preferable otherwise a good stock pot is fine. I used my Le Cruset "weighs a ton" pot but it was perfect for this dish plus its French!  Heat the olive oil and add the bacon, cook on medium until fairly crispy. Remove and drain bacon. Add cubed beef (after they have been rinsed, patted dry and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper)  one layer at a time and sear the meat, this will take about 4-5 minutes, make sure its seared on all sides. Set aside with the bacon. 

Next, you will add carrots, onions, and either potatoes or turnips if you are using them along with salt and pepper to the fat in the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft and onions are lightly browned. Then add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Next add Cognac...you then should take a match and light it right in the pot...STAND BACK while you do this and stare in awe at your budding creation! (This process burns off the alcohol) 

Next add the meat and bacon into the pot with the juices already in. Add the bottle of wine and beef broth, this mixture should pretty much cover the meat. Next add tomato paste and thyme. Simmer and then cover...at this point you can either cook it on the stove or transfer to a preheated oven (300 degrees) I cooked mine on the stove. 

After about an hour and a half, the meat will be fork tender. On the side, take 2 tbsp of butter and melt then mix with flour and add to stew. In a small sauté pan, melt additional 2 tbsp of butter and sauté mushrooms for about 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add to stew, bring to a brief boil and then simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. At the end, I add a few additional stalks of fresh thyme...get that baguette and wine ready and you are in for a divine treat!

Some store biz.....the napkin rings are the buzz word lately. Am up to my ears in these darling treasures, I just know they are going to become collectibles sooner than later. Very special pieces, click here to see them in my shop! Also met with a vendor who sells to names like Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, Ritz Carlton and many famous designers. I was able to buy  some of his gorgeous crystal and glass hurricanes, small vases,etc......they are really spectacular pieces and I am lucky enough to have a few already in my own home. They are very old looking which is why I love them but they are perfect because they are new! Mine are heavily discounted, and are available on a first come first serve basis. I have a limited quantity of a few crystal urns with tops, hurricanes and small crystal urns. Highly decorative and super elegant...take a look! Email me here if you are interested in any of these pieces. As I only have a few of each I am probably not going to be listing them on my online store.
This stands about 20" tall and about 8" wide

Gorgeous hand cut

The etching is all hand one....beautiful!

Very heavy and amazing quality.

And the darling napkin rings including a few newer ones.....

Also had been on the prowl for some chunky ginger jars that had a lot of white but had that antiqued look that is so desired well at last I found them...let me present the three newest family members to my growing blue and white family! How gorgeous are they? They are now up for sale in my online shop, click here to visit my blue and white porcelain shop.

And you might remember when I first opened my store, I had this  STUNNING very Herend like tureen, I sold out right away but am happy to say I just scored two more tureeens and some of the beautiful decorative plates and a few pair of lamps. LOVE this pattern, so rich and elegant!

As always feel free to email me with any questions regarding any of my products/online store or for anything you might be looking for but cannot find. Click here to email me.

Finally I know like me, you love to see who took top prize for my Which would you choose series....so here's the top three results for both the handbag edition and the recent front door post. What can I say you all have truly superb taste!!
                                        Top three for the handbags...each one soooo beautiful!

And the front door post...here's the top three! Several were neck in neck, but no losers here!

The first two tied for first place.....

This one was a close second...

And this one a close third..it was fierce!

So did your favorite make it?

Still with me? Then read on about this amazing giveaway I am offering.......Want to win a $500 gift card from Homegoods? Its simple to enter....all you need to do is visit their newly launched Stylescope by clicking here. Come back and tell me what style you are. That's it....you are automatically entered!  I will announce a lucky winner on Monday, Oct. 15th.

If you want a second chance, visit my online store, click here and come back to tell me an item that might find its way on your holiday list or you can let me know on Facebook.

 Remember all anonymous users, if you don't put your first name and last name initial you are not in the running!! Ditto for those who use only a first name, I must have your last name initial to include you. Best of luck...some lucky winner is going to have one fabulous shopping spree. Thanks Homegoods! And thank you for stopping in...wishing everyone an enchanted day!

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