We had a few nice days this past week and what did I do? I ended up in the hammock one last time! I took 20 minutes to enjoy some warm sunshine while I dried out the hammock and cushions from our patio chairs. Everything is now put away or covered for the winter ahead. It looks like I was just in time. Now I just have a few days to get the Halloween decorations up!

Terra Casa Bedroom

The bedroom is a place of respite for most people; a place where you can go and shut out the rest of the world. Creating a beautiful place doesn't have to be difficult. Sometimes all you need is a little help. We found that one of the best places for designing and decorating is Terra Casa (503-577-8242). Diana talked about little things to make it special. Push out all the kids stuff, all the old exercise equipment, all the clutter, take the TV out, and make room for things that help you escape! Diana recommends placing a chair and a small table in a space in the room where you can read. To help create the atmosphere you can add a large mirror (it makes the room look larger) to a small heater disguised as a fireplace.

If you are looking to make over the whole room; start with a statement piece like the bed and then work out from that. Look for your large pieces to be functional too. Everything in the room should add to the overall ambience or it shouldn't be there. If you are looking to make over your bedroom, stop by and talk to the design experts at Terra Casa.

Fall Table Dressing

The fall is here and it is time to dress things up for the season. We made our way back to visit with Kim Foren at Geranium Lake (503-228-1920) to check out her latest design for the fall table. Kim decided to harvest some of the bounty from her garden to help make a splash on her fall table. She cut some of the veggies from her garden and some stuff she picked up from the local farmers market and then worked them into her design. She made a centerpiece which included kale, red peppers, sunflowers, basil, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes and colorful cabbage. She had made the arrangement in a clear glass vase and lined the inside with asparagus spears. It looked fantastic! She also placed sunflowers around her table, with out the petals! They still look great and they will last longer. On each of the plates she had made place card holders with bell peppers that had been carved out and filled with flowers. Since most of the peppers have a round shape they had been shaved off at the base so they could sit up-right on the plate. Kim also used a lot of different textures on the table to make it visually interesting. A burlap table runner was paired with log slab chargers to make an interesting statement. She also brought up to the entertainment area a lot of plants from her garden that were showing off their fall colors. Add a bunch of small candles for ambience and it looks ready for company! For more decorating ideas you can check out her blog at her website, http://geraniumlake.com. She also has new classes happening all the time, check out her website for a list of current topics.

Oilerie Lids

The Oilerie Lake Oswego (503-675-6457), working in conjunction with Oilerie, USA, is participating in The Oilerie's "Caps for Cause" program, which will run during October at the store's downtown Lake Oswego location. For this effort, The Oilerie has partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness programs. Last year the campaign raised $5,000 collectively and this year The Oilerie has pledged $10,000.

During October every customer who purchases a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, specialty oil or aged balsamic vinegar will be offered the option to have the bottle sealed with a pink cap for a donation of 25 cents. The Oilerie Lake Oswego will match the 25-cent donation and a total of 50 cents per bottle poured will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The foundation has an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

St. Honoré Pastry

This fall St. Honoré Boulangerie (503-445-4342) has been featuring two new fall pastries, the Grillé Aux Pomme and Tarte aux Pommes, both of which showcase the season's quintessential fruit- apples. We stopped by and met with owner and master baker Dominique Geulin to learn how to make one of these tasty pastries! Dominique set out to take advantage of Oregon's bountiful produce by collaborating with Hood River's Kiyokawa Orchards on the pastries. After tasting through their apple crop he decided to use Akane and Tokyo Rose apples since heat allows the sugar in the apples to caramelize and concentrate while their natural firmness keeps them from becoming mushy. The pasty that we tackled today was the Grillé Aux Pomme. This new creation was inspired by a recipe for apple butter called "Le Pommé," found in an ancient cookbook dating back to 1750, (Suite des Dons de Comus ou l'Art de la cuisine, réduit en pratique) say that 5 times real fast! He reinterpreted the recipe to create a filling by slow-roasting the apples for five hours in the brick oven, simply with hard apple cider imported from Normandy. No sugar is added; instead, the natural sugar from the apples slowly caramelizes in the oven, giving it a unique flavor and deep amber and rose or pink color. The top puff pastry is cut in a lattice pattern, "Grillé" in French, which creates a beautiful, unique look as well as its delicate and crisp texture.

While we were working on the pastry, Dominique told us about growing up, working in his family's bakery. He devoted his life to the art of baking and was recognized as the best baker in France in 1990. He moved here and started St. Honore and it continues to be one of the best bakeries on the west coast. If you are looking for the closest thing to a real French bakery, stop by and see them.

Amy Troute Bathroom Tile

'Porcelain or stone', 'colorful or neutral'? These are just a couple of questions that Amy Troute of Amy Troute Inspired Interior Design (503-805-0811) hears when she is helping redo a bathroom. 'Where do I start' is another question. Her recommendation, start with the countertop. It is the focal point of the room and even if you decide to go neutral with the countertop you can still liven it up with colorful tiles in your backsplash or with your choice of paint, or even with your choice of flooring. If you have a granite countertop with lots of color in it, then you can work with those colors and pick complimentary colors for the rest of your décor. Don't forget you also have area rugs and artwork to help create a splash of color too. Don't forget the grout. If you are doing tile or stone, the color of the grout can add to the color scheme or it can destroy it. If this all seems too much to handle, you can stop by your local tile store and get some help, or you can give Amy a call.

Standard TV PureWash

How would you like to get your clothes cleaner and use less detergent without replacing your washer? Recently we were at Standard TV and Appliance (503-619-0500) and were introduced to the PureWash system. This system adds enhanced oxygen and catalytic oxidizers to your cold water. This aids in cleaning your laundry and kills bacteria without leaving a residue. Some people can cut down on their detergent usage when using the unit and others who are allergic to detergent can quit using it altogether. Since you are using less detergent, it is better for the environment too. Plus, it is easy to install and maintain! If you are interested in seeing the PureWash system at work, you can stop by your local Standard TV and Appliance location!


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This page last modified
October 26, 2012.