Archive for July, 2009

Day 31 of the Things I Love:Finishing what I started

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I love the feeling of accomplishment when you finish something you started! This 31 days of things I love has been quite an undertaking and today we are at the finish line!

I hope you have enjoyed my favorite things! There are many, many more things I love and I will definitely make this an annual feature so I can share more of them with you! But for now, a break is in order. I am going to have a relaxing weekend and I will see you all again really soon!

Thanks for taking this journey with me. I certainly learned some things about myself and I hope you stopped at least a moment to think about all the things you love in life too! xoxo Tobi

Day 31 of the Things I Love…Finishing what I started!

Day 30 of the Things I Love: Girl Friend Time

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Every woman needs a little girl friend time now and again.  A time for relaxing, seeing a chic flic, staying in your PJ’s all day, manis and pedis with a bottle of wine…all the things you just can’t do with a guy! 

That is the reason I am so excited that I will have a visit this weekend from my good friend Ronda Carman of the fabulous blog All the Best.  We met via phone several months ago and had an instant connection. It was as if we had known each other for years!

We had the pleasure of meeting in New York in March and had a ball. So I know this weekend will be filled with girl talk, blog talk and introducing Ronda to my favorite things Arkansas has to offer, and yes maybe even a pedi if time allows!

Day 30 of the Things I Love…Girl Friend Time!

Day 29 of Things I Love:The Country

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When I am not loving the City (Day 24), I am loving the country. The serene setting, the low-key lifestyle, I crave this sort of calm as a departure from the busy life I usually lead. There is nothing like the country sound of crickets chirping to calm my nerves.


I have spent plenty of time in the country in the American South in both Arkansas and North Carolina among other states. I love relaxing in the Wine Country in California. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. I have also spent time in the English, French, and Italian Countrysides in Europe and these are locales that will always have special a place in my heart!


But a new experience I am embarking on in just a few weeks is the quaint country setting of Kinderhook, New York.  I will be the guest for a weekend in August of the fabulous Michael Devine and his charming partner Thomas Burak.

I can’t wait to relax and enjoy the simple life in this gorgeous country setting just a trains ride from Manhattan. I hope the weekend will include dinner in this adorable garden house!

So I am sure that I will be writing a future post on this “Devine” Weekend to the Country.

On Day 29 of the Things I Love…It is the country in all its beauty and serenity! Ahhh…I wish I was there tonight!

Day 28 of Things I Love: Cooking

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I LOVE to cook! I have been cooking on my own since about age 10 and started as my mom’s apprentice probably at age 4-5. Just like my daughter does now, I loved pouring in all the ingredients, cracking the eggs, and licking the left-over batters from the bowl.

Many of my specialities are very Southern-inspired including Chicken and Dumplins, Chicken Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and Black-eyed peas.

But I am also a fan of Italian Dishes like Homemade Lasagna and Spagetti Carbonara.

I have several signature Salads that I am known for like my Mandarin Orange Salad with Pinenuts and Poppyseed Dressing.

I’ve been known to do my fair share of baking too. Some of my signature baked goods include Sweet Potato Cake with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Icing, 4-Layer Coconut Cake, and my old-fashioned Iced Sugar Cookies.


When I began blogging and shortly after learned of twitter, I quickly realized these were excellent venues to share recipes and cooking tips. My blogger friends ABC Dragoo and Ronda Carman share my love of cooking and we began tweeting recipe ideas several weeks back.

It was these cooking tweets that got the attention of a blog called Camille Maurice and resulted in a fabulous feature on me today in her series called “Creatives Cook”. Be sure to also check out her previous post on my lovely friend ABC Dragoo from the blog ABCD Designs. In today’s post Camille Maurice shares my love of the Sweet Potato Cake I make each Thanksgiving. I began this new tradition with my family about 10 years ago and I hope it is one that will be passed down for generations. I hope you love it too!

But so as not to disappoint ABC Drago who has been begging for my Carbonara Recipe since this whole thing began, I decided to share it here on my post today. Be ready to run a few miles to work off these calories if you take on my Carbonara. Those Italians are not much into low fat!

Tobi’s Spaghetti Carbonara:

1 pound Fresh or Dried Spaghetti (I love to make mine fresh with my TAKKA Pasta Machine)

1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled

2 cups fresh mushrooms

1/2 medium onion finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 stick of butter

6 eggs

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Fresh Basil, Oregano or Parsley for Garnish.

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. While this is heating, cook bacon, crumble, and set aside. Saute Mushrooms and onion in butter in a medium skillet. Once water boils, cook pasta in salted boiling water 8 minutes until al dente, drain and put back in pot but remove from heat. Crack eggs in a small mixing bowl, add heavy cream and whisk together. Add back bacon, mushrooms, and onion to spaghetti and return to medium heat. Pour egg and cream mixture over pasta and cook over medium heat until pasta is coated well (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Pour into large pasta bowl, garnish with herbs and remainder of cheese and serve.

Being a cook and Interior Designer is a fun combination. It make sense that some of my favorite rooms to design are kitchens.

There is definitely a different approach to kitchens and butler’s pantries when you are a cook and an entertainer as opposed to when these spaces are just for looks and rarely get used.

I Love light and open kitchens with great appliances and lots of counterspace. Here are a few of my favorites that would be GREAT for cooking…

And be sure and check out this fabulous post on one of my favorite blogs Cote de Texas. It is a gorgeous collection of some of the world’s most beautiful kitchens.

Day # 30 of Things I LOVE…Cooking. And cooking in a gorgeous kitchen makes it all the more fun. Stay tuned for a New Series coming this fall that involves my Love of cooking!! It’s gonna be Fabulous!!

Day 27 of Things I Love:Shoes

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If you’ve spent any time at all on my blog, you know about my love of shoes. Namely high-heeled, brightly colored, couture designer shoes! I love buying them, wearing them, collecting them and looking at them. I even love finding great shoe pics on the web like the one above by Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline and the one below from the Amy Squires site.

I typically buy these fabulous shoes when I travel and with the schedule I have been keeping of late, 2009 has been a good year for my shoe wardrobe. I can’t wait to see what Vancouver holds in the way of shoes this week. I feel certain I can sniff out the best shoe boutique the moment my feet hit Canadian soil!

My favorite brands you ask? Valentino, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Jimmy Choo are at the top of the list. And YSL, Manolo and Gucci aren’t far behind. Wearing some Prada’s, Tory Burch, or Burberry isn’t going to hurt my feelings either!

My all time favorite  3 pair from my collection…

Green Jimmy Choos

Turquoise Valentinos

Pink Louboutins


Day 27 of the Things I Love…Shoes, Shoes, and more Shoes!!!!