joy of nesting

joy of nesting
Shiree Hanson Segerstrom Design and Wellness for Women with Arthritis and Other Chronic Pain.

AND SO TO BED...Redesigning the Most Important Room in the House

I am loving my bedroom these days but it hasn't always been this way.

It took a little time and imagination to get it like this.

For years I lived with grayish greenish dingy walls. Then last fall, my son Christian and I painted the walls and doors with Pratt and Lambert's Half and Half and it really came to life.


This project started with four pair of vintage draperies from another part of the house. We put them on windows, end tables, and even draped one of them over the vanity chair.

The antique dresser was a family piece and was painted a hideous green. We painted it a soft black and now it looks amazing. Tres thoroughbred.

The light fixtures are original to the house and coordinate nicely with the vintage draperies and antique brass bed passed down from family.

The feather cushioned slip covered armchair and ottoman came from my store S.S. HOME and I was able to find the exact fabric for a bed skirt.

The scalloped edge wood valances came from my laundry room. My handyman put them together to make two long valances, sanded them and painted them. The look great on top of the vintage draperies and white sheers.

The framed horse prints came from my good friend Mary Anne who has a store in downtown Sonora, California called Tar Flat Antiques.

The vanity table came with the house and is now a favorite piece.


Pindler and Pindler
Two's Company
Crate and Barrel
Lee Jofa
Sullivan's Gifts and Floral
Aldik Floral

Shopping Around...Some Cool Zebra Pillows

I was out shopping for a commercial installation the other day and spied these great, feather filled zebra print pillows at TJ Maxx.

For the uninitiated TJ's is a great source of brand name, quality home decor and clothing for a fraction of the retail price.

These pillows would look great on a red leather chair or a sofa in a taupe textured fabric. They would probably cost $120 to $150 if custom fabricated through a designer. I purchased my patio pillows from TJ's and custom ordered all of my interior pillows, naturally!

The napkins and candle I purchased at the Mountain Book Store in Sonora where I have a home. I purchased them with a gift certificate from a recent bridal shower. The jasmine scented candle is so yummy.

Mountain Book Store 209-532-6117.

Vegetarian own recipe for Ratatouille

This dish is super easy. My sister in law Sarah recently gave me a jar of her own Ratatouille, from vegetables from her and her husband's garden. Sarah is such a fabulous cook and has always inspired me to entertain and try new things in the kitchen.

After tasting her Ratatouille I decided to give it a go myself. I didn't ask for a recipe. I know enough about cooking by now that I can create my own. The results were not bad at all.


1/4 to 1/2 C. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg. yellow onions, chopped
2 medium eggplant
1-2 red bell pepper
small can chopped tomatoes, with juice
2 small zucchini
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 small straight neck yellow squash
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks with juice and seeds
2 bay leaves

In a heavy iron skillet saute onions and garlic in olive oil till onions are soft. Add mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, yellow squash, and eggplant and saute adding more oil as needed to keep vegetables from sticking.

Add bay leaf and simmer covered for 30 minutes stirring frequently to keep from sticking. If Ratatouille gets watery you can remove the lid.

Add tomatoes and simmer another 20 minutes. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Let cool for twenty minutes for serving.  Ratatouille tastes even better the next day.

Keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator. This recipe made two big canning jars full of Ratatouille. It's quite delicious.


DELIGHTFUL,DELICIOUS, DELOVELY...a few pictures from our special day

Weddings come in all sizes and styles but I think David's and mine was close to perfect.

It was an intimate affair with no more than thirty five people and in this house and garden, it felt just right.

We had cupcakes and Acacia Chadonnay... the bride's favorite.

And figs topped with blue cheese and pancetta, bruschetta topped with vine ripened tomatoes, and grilled salmon.

Guests stayed till late in the evening, listening to music, drinking the last of the Champagne and white wine.

It was a joyful event and meant so much to us that our closest loved ones were there to join us. David and I will never forget our special day.

Photography Rich Miller; Catering Kathleen Lorimer; Cupcakes Cupcake Karma; Flower Mt. Laurel Florist; interior design and decorations Shiree Hanson Segerstrom.

Pumpkin Chili


I have been craving butternut squash chili all week since I saw the recipe somewhere. I googled it and was able to find this recipe via Saveur who picked up it from Crumb Blog.
I am definitely going to make this chili next week once I've had a chance to get to the grocery store. I may substitute the pumpkin with butternut squash. I'll keep you posted on my results.
Pumpkin Chili
1 small pumpkin
1 T. olive oil
Medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can plum tomatoes, chopped
2 19 oz. cans black beans
1 can (300 ml) stout such as Guinness
2 T. brown sugar or maple syrup
1 T. cumin
1 t. each cinnamon and oregano
2 chipotle peppers, finely minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 C. frozen corn kernels
To make pumpkin easier to cut, pierce with fork and microwave on high for one minute. Set aside. Once pumpkin is cool enough to handle, cut in half. Scoop out seeds and cut into six wedges. Using a sharp paring knife cut peel off and chop into 1/2 inch cubes.
Put olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute till soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and pumpkin, cook another five minutes and add tomatoes, beer, beans, brown sugar, spices, and chili's. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 minutes till pumpkin is tender. Stir in red bell pepper and corn and simmer ten more minutes.

Serve with shredded cabbage, fresh tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.

Simple Autumn Touches


As seasonal decorating goes, I must admit Halloween isn't my favorite. I started decorating for Halloween when my son Christian was young and once he moved out I mostly kept it up as a tradition, something to remind me of our happy home life when he was little.

Since I don't love orange I only do a few little decorations here and there. I usually do one vignette in the entry and two in the kitchen, leaving the family room and dining room undecorated. One autumn themed accessory I do adore is this cotton ball garland I fashioned into a wreath. Each year it requires a little fluffing up but it's so subtle and beautiful with the exterior of my home.

Faux pomegranate stems are perfect for fall. This vignette is really simple. All I did was swap out a turquoise vase with a black iron urn, and add a few pumpkins and candles here and there.

My sister in law Ann gave me these wonderful pumpkin salt and pepper shakers I use every fall. I've started an S and P collection.

The hanging witch above has glow in the dark eyes and plays the Alfred Hitchcock Presents theme. She hangs inside the front door.


My birthday is this weekend and in celebration I'm making myself (and David of course) a homemade apple pie and my own vanilla ice cream recipe. Yum.

Planning My Reception

I had six months to plan David's and my wedding reception. We had about 30 guests. It took place in my 1930's Spanish style home and terraced garden. Small though it was, it was not without it's challenges: seating issues, table decorations, floral arrangements, timing of the appetizers and champagne, designing the favors, collaborating on the food with my caterer, the invitations, and of course, finding the perfect dress, jewelry, and shoes.

I have professional images that I'll share with my Joy of Nesting readers at another time.
One of my favorite details were the flowers. My florist magically produced several dozen garden roses. They were the spectacular, heavily petaled varieties with considerable scent in pale pink, white, yellow, and red. I had them dotted around the house and on the main tables in a variety of beautiful vases, urns, and jardiniere's. The house smelled amazing. 
I found a perfect strapless Monique Lullihier brocade dress. It has a pale yellow Chinoiserie design along the hem. As a spirited touch, I wore red patent leather heels with it and David's wedding gifts to me, a lovely red Swarovski crystal heart necklace and a multi-strand fresh water pearl bracelet with vintage inspired medallion and clasp.
In lieu of wedding cake David and I opted for cupcakes and ordered several extra dozen to be put in Oriental take out containers decorated with green "vine" ribbon, tiny pink silk roses, and vintage inspired stickers. They were given away as favors along with organdy bags of lavender, and hard milled soaps. The fresh strawberry cupcakes with strawberry butter cream frosting were completely divine.
One of my own little touches were the adorable pink lanterns I hung from the ceiling in the entry hung by green vine ribbon and pink organdy ribbon. I also made white tissue pom poms and hung them by vine ribbon over the dining room table.
There were boxwood garlands indoors and manzanita garlands outside. Fresh myrtle was placed in cream colored urns and finished with moss around the mouth of the vase providing more great smells. I love the earthy scent of myrtle.
My caterer prepared delicious roasted salmon with pistachio-orange-maple glaze; French potato salad with chives; figs with pancetta; bruschetta with vine tomatoes; and a bitter greens salad with blackberries, almonds, and Point Reyes blue cheese. There were Diestel smoked turkey sliders on homemade rolls with cranberry aioli and chicken and mango wraps on endive. The food was as delicious as it was visually appealing.

As a very special surprise for our guests, we led everyone out to the front lawn for a reenactment of our marital vows, courtesy of my be-robed brother-in-law Judge Donald Segerstrom.
Among the other highlights were the wonderful music, the Chandon pink champagne, and seeing our closest family and friends.
We were not without help. David and I wish to send many, many thanks to Mt. Laurel Florist, mom Shirrel, friends Charlene and Kathleen, my wonderful photographer Rich Miller, and friend, professional caterer Kathleen Lorimer and server Brenn, house details Kim Ellis, garden details Chuck Roth, cupcake maker extraordinaire Julia of Cupcake Kharma, and Ruth Howard for accomodating my unique wedding invitation design.
Small means meaningful when the people who attend are your closest friends and family. David and I are extremely content with the day we shared with our loved ones. So appreciative to those who traveled from near and far to share in our joy. Looking forward to sharing some of our favorite images with you, dear readers, in a week or two.
Hugs, Shiree Segerstrom-Zian


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