Monday, February 22, 2010

St. Lucia Tropical Bedding

This fantastic new St. Lucia bedding set is absolutely gorgeous! It is a wonderful patchwork style with seashell designs. Very "coastal" with the aqua and coral colors contrasted with tan and white. Starfish, sea coral, nautilus shells, conch shells and scallop shells adorn the quilt and pillows.  This set won't be available for shipping until April 2010, but pre-orders are welcome and encouraged because the first wave of them are likely to sell out. Check out this new quilt and all of its great accessories at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fantastic New Bedding Sets - Bridgewater Bedding

Over at Ocean Styles, we are debuting this years newest bedding designs and they are wonderful!  Here is the first - the Bridgewater bedding collection from C&F. It is a beautiful blue, yellow, green and white patchwork design with clean lines, bright colors and a very coastal feel. It's one of my new favorites. Keep an eye out for even more new designs, which will be added to Ocean Styles and will be featured here as well in the coming days!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Handmade Sea Glass and Sea Shell Home Decor

Shari Curtiss, owner and artist of Beach Grass Cottage.Com is a self-proclaimed beach girl with a really cool site for beach and shore lovers! Beach Grass Cottage.Com is an online specialty retailer featuring artisan designed seashell mirrors, shell frames, coastal wreaths, and beachy home decor items. Shari is the sole artist, beach girl, and entrepreneur extraordinaire!

Shari grew up near the shores living on a lake near the shores of Lake Michigan. As a tween, her parents bought a condo on Anna Maria Island in Florida and there Shari fully realized her passion for the sea. She began yearning to visit to the sunny shores of Anna maria Island, and became an avid beachcomber. Crossing those bridges was like coming home to her; still is today.

Shari and her mom fell into the crazy habit of getting up in the early am, before the sunrise, and getting to the beach to "get the big ones" before the other beachcombers arose. Her family just shook their heads. Often, their diligence was rewarded, and they brought home a bounty of gorgeous shells, sea glass, and prizes washed in to the shore. Every day was fueled by the thrill of the hunt! Shari was hooked on seashells and the sea forever! She now creates gorgeous one-of-a-kind seashell and beach glass creations that you can use to add coastal flair to your home.

Shari's passion has always been the water--lakes, seas, whatever--and considers it to be such a blessing to be able to use her gifts creating beautiful things from the bounty of the ocean! Her sea glass frames are her signature product, outselling all others on her website. They are painstakingly made by hand from individual pieces of sea glass, sometimes taking hours to complete. The finished product is available in many beach glass colors, highlighted with white seashells, and tiny elegant pearl accents.

While the sea glass frames are Shari's bread-and-butter, her fabulous and distinctive seashell mirrors are her signature. Her Naples Starfish Mirror is layered with dozens of pristine white finger starfish, and the elegant Longboat Key Mirror is totally covered in hundreds of all white seashells, starfish, sand dollars, and pretty pearl accents. New additions to her Etsy.Com shop include a very cool barnacle mirror and sea glass mirrors in all kinds of watercolor shades. Recently Shari has added lines of sea glass vases, beach wedding hair accessories, seashell wreaths, and some very unique home decor items too.

Beach Grass Cottage is located in Michigan, near the pristine beaches and resort communities of Lake Michigan, home of devoted beach dwellers, killer sand dunes, casual lakeshore living and the most gorgeous sunsets on the planet! Shari's creations are available on her own website at , her Etsy shop at, and drop shipped from several large online retailers. She also welcomes wholesale orders and inquires.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Banish Winter Blues By Using Tropical Bedding To Brighten Your Room

There are many different types of bedding that can make you feel as if you are vacationing in the islands in the middle of February. Tropical bedding can picture lighthouses, boats, beautiful beach sunsets or just a simple seashell motif. The colors and prints of this style of decor can do a lot to heal your winter blues, at least when it comes to your bedroom furnishing and linens. These are some tips that you may not have considered to get the feel of the tropics.

When you want to bring hot, tropical colors into your home, think bright orange for the sunsets, green for the palm trees and deep blue for the ocean. Mix them all together for a great island feel.

If you want to really look for a bedroom with that island feel, consider bold prints in bright colors with patterns such as tropical fish, birds or flowers. Some examples include images of parrots, flamingos or palm trees. Floral designs such as bird of paradise, hibiscus or plumeria with lifelike colors also provide a great way to make your bedding shout tropical vacation.

If going tropical in your bedding reminds you of a school of fish you saw in the waters when you last went snorkeling on the reefs, you can get the same effect with bright yellows, blues and reds of tropical fish or in fish images on the bedding and accessories. When some people see the vibrant  colors of reef fish, they remember instead the tranquil blue of the waters. You can get either effect in the bedding you choose.

A theme that isn't necessarily tropical, but ties in well with a marine idea is lighthouses. Ocean waters and lighthouses can be found in the tropics, but they may also be reflective of a northern coastline. Bedding with lighthouses and warm sands can be a beautiful addition to a bedroom searching for a coastal theme.

You might also find images of sailboats appealing. The tranquility that these boats represent is hard to beat. The deep blue of the ocean, the yellow of the sun, and red and white sails make you feel like you're floating away. You can have these color effects in your bedroom without the chance of seasickness.

Many bedding sets have images of seashells. Some sets feature embroidered edging that looks like scallop or nautilus shells. Even muted colors finished off with shell decorations can be a wonderful reminder of the tropics.

Tropical bedding is a great choice when you want to get over the depression that sometimes occurs when the weather is cold and there isn't as much daylight. Bright colors lift your spirits. The whimsical nature of tropical decorating can be fun to enjoy as well. The bedding sets often include  comforters, sheets and pillow cases all in one bag. You will need to add pillows and window treatments to the bedding for a more finished look.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Paula Deen's Shore Is Good Seafood Dip

I absolutely love Paula Deen. Here is her fantastic seafood dip recipe. You can find the original here


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 of a 10 3/4-ounce can cream of shrimp soup (discard top half and use bottom part of soup)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 pound freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 (6-ounce) can crabmeat, picked free of any broken shells, drained
  • 6 ounces shrimp, fresh or canned, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, and celery and saute for 2 minutes. In a bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, Parmesan, crabmeat, shrimp, and pepper. Stir the sauteed vegetables into the seafood mixture and spoon this mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 11-inch casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with toast points or crackers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Creating A Coastal Atmosphere In Your Home With Tropical Rugs

Using tropical area rugs can dramatically alter the mood of a room. It may seem like a small thing to switch a rug, but it can be responsible for adding a sense of the tropics. While it is not the same as totally redecorating a space, the rug can have a serious impact. One needs to think about the message one sends when using such a rug.

Warmth is an obvious connection with all things tropical. A place furnished with a beach area rug may feel just a bit warmer. In a frigid place, the extra warmth may be particularly appreciated. The feel of a warmer temperature would ideally translate into a more comfortable home.

Tropical area rugs often portray visions of beaches. Adding a beach motif to a space decreases the formality and increases the comfort level. Most people enjoy the beach because they can lay around and soak up the beautiful atmosphere. If the feeling one wants for their room is a more relaxed space, the beach theme rug would be a good fit.

The tropics bring up memories of beloved vacations. If a rug conjures up memories of a favorite vacation, it will definitely make an impact on the mood of a space. The rug can make one feel ready to take a break and enjoy life. It might help create a space where one would like to lay back and remember fond moments. This would not work well for a work space created for completing tasks efficiently, but it could be just the right decor for a relaxing spot at home.

Tropical climates are home to the rain forests. The rugs often portray thick plant growth and green trees. A few live or silk plants carefully placed in the space with the rug can strengthen this theme. It can give a mood of earthiness and power to a room. A room can feel bursting with lushness and life.

Beyond just the rain forests, the tropics are often connected with water. One finds beautiful beaches and immense oceans throughout this area. A beach area rug could be especially appropriate to counteract an environment that receives little rain by bringing thoughts of a wetter climate.

A connotation of the exotic often comes with a coastal rug. One can make their home a little more adventurous and exciting with an image from a far away place. It might not fit well in a very traditional space, but in a space that can embrace something new and a little different it could be a good fit. It can add interest to a dull area.

Because of the size and patterns, tropical rugs can quickly grab attention and become a main theme for a space. Going with a tropical choice can alter the atmosphere and formality of any space. The ambiance created by the rug can be a jumping off point for even more items, such as paint, chairs, house plants, etc. to continue the beach house decor feel of a room.

Ceiling Fans - An Overlooked Accessory

When most people redecorate a room, they buy new furniture, paint the walls or get a great new rug. Something often overlooked is the ceiling fan. It can change an entire room, especially when you use something fun like a surfboard or beach theme ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans are a great way to bring the fun from the floor all the way above your head. People will notice a new ceiling fan a compliment on what fun it brings to your room. A beach themed ceiling fan is a great accessory to a beach house or condo. It can be classy with a few nautical stripes or lifesavers. Nautical colors such as red, white and blue can bring a nice dose of color without over doing it.

A fun ceiling fan is subtle yet noticeable. A nice palm tree motif can certainly bring some of the outdoors inside without tracking in a lot of sand while surfboard themed ceiling fans are perfect for a child's room. Whether a girl or a boy, anyone can appreciate the fun that is surfing. For that avid surfer in your life or someone that has just moved to the beach, a surfboard ceiling fan is the perfect gift. It's even good if you live nowhere near a beach. It can bring the feeling of warm sunshine and sand between your toes to your house.

Redecorating a room can be a huge task but it can be a lot of fun and getting a new beach themed ceiling fan can do wonders for a bland room.

Visit for more tropical decorating ideas.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Perk Up Your Beach Decor With Easy And Affordable Wall Murals And Cutouts

It’s the middle of winter and you are yearning for sand and sun. Well, if you can’t get away to the beach, bring the beach to your home! Why not add a fun beach theme wall mural or cutouts to one of your rooms?

Your bathroom is a good option for a beach makeover. Adding cutouts of sailboats, shells or even nautical flags will add lots of color and whimsy to the beginning of your day. You can dream of your next vacation while you get ready in the morning.

Another option is to transform your bedroom into a summery oasis using a wall mural to set the scene. Add a warm color on the walls, some filmy drapes and neutral bedding for that toes-in-the-sand feeling. Add a tropical-inspired ceiling fan, set it on low, and you just might think you are somewhere in the islands!

If you are more adventuresome, adding a large wall mural or groups of wall cutouts to the focal point wall in your family room can show your laid-back island style. By adding dark wood furniture, natural fiber rugs and billowy draperies you will evoke a tropical atmosphere that will make your family and guests forget the winter weather outside.

Even just adding a few small wall cutouts or a wall mural of a window looking out on a beach can add that special touch to any room. Get your family involved in the process and you will all enjoy your time together at the beach!

Visit us at for more beach house decor ideas.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Surfboard Rugs - A Hot New Style In Tropical Decor

Is your house full of beachy things? If you're a big lover of surf and sand, you'll love surfboard rugs. They're cute and cool and if you enjoy the beach at all, you've just got to get one or a few for your home. No matter where you live, they'll look great on your floors. We love the sun, we love the sand and now there's a way that you can keep your interests going even when you're at home. These rugs will keep a constant reminder for you that the ocean awaits.

With a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, you'll be able to find the perfect one for your home. If you're wondering where one of these beauties could go in your home, the answer is everywhere! No matter what room you use one in, it's sure to become a conversation piece. Of course, we all want to have an interior decor that matches and many people prefer having very formal rooms in their homes.

Remember when you were a kid and you could design your room any way you wanted? Hopefully your parents were cool enough to let you decide what the theme was for the room you slept and played in. As you get older, you don't always get to pick fun and funny decor for your home, people take themselves too seriously. Remember what it's like to be a kid and take one room of your house and dress it up in beach attire, starting with a surfboard rug!

The bathroom is another obvious given when it comes to where these awesome rugs will look good. Make your powder room a place everyone will want to visit, just for the fun of it! Go with a beach theme and use sea shells and unique items that you would only find at the shore. For an added touch, have coconut scents throughout the room.

Another place they look great is on your patio. Give people a reminder of the summer with a rug so they can wipe their feet off as they come into the house. Create some fun for anyone who comes to visit when you decorate one or more rooms of your house in a casual, ocean way. Guaranteed your friends are going to want to know where you got your rug!

Your boys-whether young or older, will enjoy these colorful but simple pieces of customizable room decorations. If you've got a pool, why not get one for each side of the sliding glass door so people are sure to enter your home with clean, dry feet instead of running water all over the place? There's really no shortage on ideas where these rugs can be used.

If you've got a tiki hut or recreation room that is dressed up just for summer, surfboard rugs are the perfect complement to your current theme. If you're sitting inside because there's snow on the ground or it's pouring down rain-maybe it's just too cold to enjoy the outdoors, decorating your interior in bright, warm colors will help you bridge the time until you can bask in the glory of the sun again.

Decorate your spaces with surfboard rug that will cheer up anyone who literally stumbles across them. You never know when reminding someone of the lazy days of summer may be just what they need to pick them up. Get one or more to accent your tropical decor and start living in your own tropical paradise.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Clambake Recipes and Tips


Have a clambake on the beach, in the backyard or in the kitchen
Courtesy of the Food Network
    The traditional clambake is an all-day affair, although most guests arrive in the evening.

    They're just in time to enjoy a few drinks before the tarpaulin is peeled off the steaming heap of corn, potatoes and soft-shell, cherrystone or littleneck clams. Some clambakes also include lobsters, chickens, sausages and eggs.

    Whatever ingredients you choose, this fun and festive event culminates in a meal that is well worth the wait. And while you're waiting for the main event, have a bowl of creamy clam chowder or some clam cakes to get you in the mood.

    10 Steps for a Traditional Clambake
    1. Dig a pit on the beach, about two feet deep, two feet wide and three feet long.
    2. Line the bottom with large stones.
    3. Build a wood fire over the stones and keep it burning for about two hours, feeding it when necessary, to heat the rocks. Let the fire burn down to embers, about another two hours.
    4. While the fire is winding down, wrap potatoes, littleneck clams, corn on the cob (in husk), onion quarters, mussels and spicy sausages, by group, in cheesecloth or foil.
    5. Cover the coals with a thick layer of seaweed, preferably rockweed which has little pockets of sea water, but other seaweeds will work. This provides both protection from direct heat and the required steam.
    6. Layer the packets of potatoes, clams, corn, onion, mussels and sausage, and then live lobsters, if desired.
    7. Top with another couple inches of seaweed, and if you're not using rockweed, a couple of quarts of seawater for steaming.
    8. Cover the entire pit with a seawater-soaked canvas weighted down with either rocks or sand.
    9. Continue your party for another hour or two until all the foods are cooked through.
    10. Savor this fabulous feast, served hot with plenty of melted butter and washed down with icy cold beer.