Our New Fireplace Mantel ~ Thank You Mr. Rosemary Lane

Well the day has finally come to reveal my (almost) finished fireplace mantel. It's basically completed, the only thing left for Mr. RL to do is to put trim on the inside of the surround. But I am going to share with you anyway because I have waited 10 years for this day!
(I'm soooo excited that I just can't hide it...I about to loose control and I think I LOVE IT!!!)  
Let me provide for you a little history about the evolution of our fireplace wall.
In the beginning there was this...the year 2002.
As you can see we just had a boring blank fireplace wall and the mantel was nothing more than a thin piece of stained wood. Not very attractive is it? How about that lovely glass door trimmed in gold...not working for me either.
Then a few years later I convinced Mr. Rosemary Lane to build bookshelves flanking the fireplace, so I painted that little hopeless mantel white to match. 
Last month my hubby went to work on adding a new fireplace mantel and surround. We had found prefab fireplace mantel and surround sets at Lowes and bought the 3 kits needed to complete the look; the surround, the pilasters and the mantel. Only there was one problem, the mantel did not fit because of the flanking bookshelves, so Mr. RL had to get creative and custom build his own mantel. It took a wee bit longer to put the mantel and surround together than we thought, but we are still thrilled with the end result.
Here is the finished project.
I now have an 11 inch deep mantel to decorate as opposed to the measly 7 inches I had before.
Here's the original room again...
Compared to the 2013 version...
How do you like my ReStore chair and roadside find coffee table? 
I have a few more ideas for this space like having Mr. RL put white wood paneling behind the bookshelves and above the mantel and finish the top with another piece of crown molding. And then new carpet, new window treatments...ah you know the list can go on and on.
But for now it's just perfect!

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Rush Placemats for Spring

Yesterday I had an appointment to meet with a realtor at a house he is listing and wants me to stage. The property was located in an area unfamiliar to me, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got off the main highway to find myself driving past several darling gift boutiques, markets and flower shops. I made a mental note to check out one of these little stores before getting back on the highway to go home.

 I stopped at one shop and milled around it just oooing and ahhhhing over all the candles, serving dishes, scarfs, baby clothes and so on, and then I came across these pretty Rush placemats.

Just perfect for spring! I have similar mats in a darker color and always loved them, so I was thrilled to find something like them in a lighter color.

The cost...well wasn't my normal Bargain Basement Barb finds but still I thought the price was pretty reasonable...$38 for 6 placemats. Compared to the placemats I fell in love with at Pottery Barn which sold for $14.99 each, I thought these were a steal.
The name of the gift shop..."The Depot"...and it is located on Mt. Kemble Ave. in Morristown NJ.


Shrimp and Penne in a Creamy Vodka Sauce

 Last evening we had my sister Kim and my Aunt Ann up for a combined birthday celebration dinner. I know my aunt loves shrimp and it actually worked out perfect for me since I gave up meat for Lent. This recipe has been one of my favorites for 20 years now, and its never failed me.

Relatively simple, all you need for this scrumptious meal is...

3 cloves of garlic minces
3 T. olive oil for sauteing
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup vodka
Large (31-40 count) shrimp peeled and deveined (It's OK to leave the tails on)
1/4 cup fresh basil coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
About 20 -22 ounces of cooked pasta
Tomato paste is optional if you prefer a thicker sauce.

Saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Add the tomatoes, whipping cream and cheese...blend and heat through, about 10 minutes. (If you want to thicken your sauce, add the paste in at this point) Add the vodka, shrimp and basil then season with salt and pepper, heat through, about 2 minutes. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.

This should yield enough to serve 8 healthy sized portions.

I paired this past dish with a light Pinot Grigio and after dinner I served a citrusy carrot cake with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting...needless to say the birthday girls were very happy!

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week as we will be saying hello to March by Friday.

Spring is almost here!!!

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A Day at the Franklin Institute

Last weekend Mr. Rosemary Lane and myself took the kiddies down to visit the Franklin Institute in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia.

Just off the main entrance we were greeted by the national Benjamin Franklin Memorial in the institute's amazing rotunda. This 20 foot tall statue sits on a pedestal of white Seravezza marble.

From the top of the rotunda...

...to the bottom of pendulum staircase, a world of discovery for kids and adults alike lies in between.

There were so many things for the kids to do at the Franklin institute like riding the SkyBike. This two wheel bike is on a high wire which is 28 feet above the floor of the atrium. The bike is weighted with a 250 lb weight to prevent it from tipping over. This is a really cool to learn about the law of "center of gravity".

On the second floor of the institute there is a 5,000 square foot exhibit which surrounds a 2 story high walk through heart. This attraction is called The Giant Heart: A Healthy Interactive Experience.

You can also see the actual size of a whale heart all the way down to that of a field mouse.

Here Grace is demonstrating two ways of how the brain works. The challenge is not to read the word but the color it is written in. See how you do...Grace did pretty well.!

We had to go check out the Franklin flight and air show.

Here's Michael in the cockpit of a 1948 T-33 jet trainer...he looks like a natural.

Grace and Michael are learning that air does take up space. They are inflating the balloons by pumping air into them.

The main reason why we made the trip down to the Franklin Institute was so tour the Titanic Artifact Exhibit. I wish I could show you pictures of the exhibit but unfortunately there was no photography allowed.  They had exact replicas of the grand stairway, first class accommodations and a reproductions of the ship's hallways and crew member accommodations. There was also a real iceberg for you to touch along with many personal effects of Titanic's passengers.

All in all we roamed the Franklin Institute for a good four plus hours, but we could have easily spent more time there.

If you are in Philadelphia anytime before April 7, this would be an awesome place for you to check out.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


Today's Surprise Thrifty Finds

Today I was running a few quick errands and while I was in the neighborhood of this little thrift shop which is part of our local food pantry, I decided to pop in to see if anything there caught my eye!

The first thing I found was this darling metal watering can. As you might be able to tell it needs a little TLC, but the rope like trim is what drew me to it. I will probably paint and then distress this sweet little can. The price...two dollars!

Next I came across this picture in one of the shop's picture bins. It was kind of hiding down in the bottom of the bin, so I really had to dig to get it out!

I flipped over the painting while in the store and this is what is on the back.

 So of course I had to google the artist when I got home. Issac Israels was a Dutch painter who lived at the turn of the last century. He was one of the leading painters of the Amsterdam Impressionists.  The name of the piece is "Donkey Riding on the Shore" and is believed to have been painted sometime between 1898 to 1900.

Although this is probably a low cost reproduction of the artist's painting, I am still thrilled to have only spent $5.00 on it. I have been looking for smaller pieces of framed art to use as accents on end tables, book shelves and dressers. This thrifty piece of artwork fit the bill perfectly!
Have you had any thrifty finds lately?
Wishing you a wonderful Thursday!!!
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Black Bean Hummus with Roasted Corn and Red Pepper

I loooooooove love love hummus...I eat it just about every day as either a dip or a spread on my favorite cucumber sandwich.
This hummus pairs the garbanzo beans of traditional hummus with delicious black beans plus little red pepper for a spicy kick.

1 15 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
3 cloves of garlic
1 - 1 1/2 T. Cumin
about 1/4 cup olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 T cider vinegar
2 T. low sodium soy sauce
salt to taste
cayenne pepper to your taste
corn kernels (I use frozen and let thaw in some warm water)
chopped red pepper

Place first 9 ingredients in food processor or blender. You may need to add some water if the mixture proves too thick for your blender.
Place corn kernels and red pepper in an oven proof dish. Pour a little olive oil over and season with sea salt. Roast in oven until golden. Remove let cool and spread on to the top of the hummus.
Serve with taco chips or veggies like carrots and cucumber.



A Quick Note of Apology...

I just want to take a moment to extend my apology to all of you who have left comments for me here at 21 Rosemary Lane over the past few days, and have not received a return response. My email box is not accepting emails at this time and we have not been able to resolve the problem as of yet, although we are working on it!
I so appreciate and love reading every comment made on any of my posts. Honestly they are what keep my wheels a turning and creativity flowing.
I hope that soon I will be back responding to all of your lovely notes. Until then please know how much I enjoy staying connected to you via email correspondance and that your friendship in our little corner of the blogosphere is something I truly treasure.
Thank you for your understanding.


Singing the Home Improvement Blues...

  ( kinda to the tune of Thorogood's Bad to the Bone)
I'm sittin' in my room,
 with color swatches all about...
Wish good old Ben Moore,
 would come help me out.
There are so many choices,
I ain't got a clue
 Ma thoughts are a fly'n...
It's the home improvement blues.
 Mr. RL is still work'n
 on his mantel so new.
How long this project gonna take? 
He ain't gotta clue.
He'd get it right
and then a snafu,
what will poor Mr. Rosemary Lane,
 finally do?
I'm sitting here singing,
the home improvement blues...

I've got inspiration
from magazines and the net...
Just hope my creativity
 won't drop me flet.
Swatches spread out
from here to there,
Fingers clasped on my head,
OMG is that my hair?

Oh...I've so got the home improvement blues.

I'm at my laptop singing,
 the home improvement blues.
You don't know how much
 I just want it to click,
to get it all done
without making ma self sick...

Pull yourself together girl,
cause you ain't alone...
you've got Mr. Rosemary Lane
and together you're
 Bad to the Bone!!!

B-B-B-B Bad

B-B-B-B Bad

B-B-B-B Bad

Bad to the Bone!!!!
(I feel better now)

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Savvy Southern Style


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