A Summer Time of Blithe.

SUMMER TIME AND THE LIVIN’ IS EASY… FISH ARE JUMPIN’ AND THE COTTON IS HIGH…  ~ George Gershwin, Porgy and Bess.

little_girl_briard3

THE DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER:Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

“Each fairy breathe of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires  the blushing rose. ” ~ Author Unknown

” In summer, the SONG SINGS ITSELF.” ~ William Carlos Williams

“The Summer night is like a perfection of thought.” ~ Wallace Stevens

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” ~  Sam Kean

“Oh the summer night, a smile of light and she sits on a sapphire throne.” ~ Barry Cornwall

Summer is one of the few seasons that actually begins calling out to you, before it’s glorious arrival. The very word, gives our hearts a friendly wave and gestures us  to come and enjoy all of our felicitious expectations, that we hope to fulfill within the next three months. It is our ‘last hurrah’ before the chilly breezes of autumn knock upon our doors.

S-180

Summer is a time where we eagerly leave the beauty and quietness of  the inside of our desired, charming havens and venture outside to the long awaited, sun filled, warm, breezy days…The garden is nodding, motioning us to; “Come and play, create, daydream and unwind in the fresh air.”  Our picnic baskets are taken out of the attic, dusted off and we are already looking on the internet for the perfect place to go fishing, hiking and enjoy an ambrosial meal beneath the inviting and serene, blue sky. It’s an occasion of celebration for our little ones as they are on vacation for what seems to them, an eternity, but when fall arrives, they will look back and think, “How quickly our summer zoomed by….where did the time go.” 🙂   It is also a season of travel, visiting dear friends and family, summer BBQ’s, an abundance of beach days, excursions to amusement parks, a retreat to a beach cottage, alfresco dining,  boating, crabbing, dressing our homes in a lighter attire, changing our own wardrobes to shorts, flip flops and short sleeved shirts… There is so much to do in only three months…read our favorite novels, clean out our storage sheds and garage’s, give our yards a makeover, go boutique shopping or garage – ‘sailing’ 🙂 for special summer finds and of course, celebrating our nations glorious birthday. Don’t you just love Summer and all of it’s magic? I hope this vignette inspires you to “get out in the fresh air,” be creative, adventuresome, (walk barefoot in the grass….)  but most of all, JUST HAVE FUN!S-400

 

“Our beautiful Porches.” Summer is the perfect time to bask amongst your magnificent and resplendent flowers, refreshing cool breezes and enjoy chatting the hours away with a dear friend over sweet tea with fresh mint sprigs on your verandah. To feel really pampered, maybe bring out your antique crystal glasses from your great grandmother with some fresh sliced lemon cake, sweet blueberries and in-season melon.

S-215

What is more appealing than white wicker furniture embellished with bright, cheerful pillows in the summer. Bringing some fresh cut flowers from your garden to enjoy as you relax upon your porch, along with animating hanging flower or fern baskets above the balustrades, is another cozy and alluring decorative touch for one of your favorite summer retreats.  Our front porches are such a gift, especially in the spring and summer months.

S-216

There is nothing like a summer sunset on your front porch!SL-419

Summer whites, bright flowers, warm sunshine and our beloved piazza swings speak clamorously that the wondrous season has arrived.

BOO

 

 

Summer time is beach time… Everyone loves the ocean, sea shells, the smell of fresh  blue, briny water, creating enchanting sand castles, ‘people watching’, sauntering along the  Boardwalk enjoying fresh salt water taffy or a delightfully cold ice cream cone. There are so many exciting andtk5 blissful things to do at the beach…It feels as if you have escaped to another world as you sit under your umbrella, cold drink and best selling novel in hand, listening to the soothing sounds of the gulls squawking, children laughing and the roaring of the waves. It is a very inexpensive reprieve from the hustle and bustle of life. If you do not live close to a beach, your summer vacation may be to travel to some of our countries most  renowned  seashores such as; Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, Newport Beach, California, The outer Banks in North Carolina or our very own, prestigious and renowned Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, (right next to Ocean City, Maryland.)   A week at the beach in a summer rental is a short novella, all in itself. 🙂 My husband and I feel exceedingly blessed as Delaware is probably the grandest maritime state we have ever lived in. Water surrounds us at every corner… We are a twenty-five minute drive from Rehoboth or Lewes beach and we have Slaughter Beach, (I never have liked that name,) 🙂   only ten minutes away.  (A remote, quiet strand with ample natural beauty surrounding its shore line, as well as home to many of the famous horseshoe crabs.) In the winter and autumn seasons, the lifeless shells cover the beaches, resembling helmet shaped, cobble stoned steps. It truly is a sight to see.  It is said that if you go to this remote beach on a  bright, moonlit night in the summer, you will see the beach full of horseshoe crabs mating and laying their eggs upon the sand. (We will have to do that one night. I’ll take some photos and post them so you can share in this magical phenomena.)  My family, while visiting from California said they had never seen anything quite like it!  A great eatery if you come our way is The Buttery in Lewes, Delaware. A quaint, historic restaurant where you will experience succulent seafood, gourmet cooking and an ambiance that is so alluring, you won’t want to leave.

S-179SL-422

S-178

S-38

The Buttery in Lewes Delaware…Our favorite pick for fine dining! S-51

The renowned, famous horseshoe crabs… The first photo is when the cute critters are alive and kicking…swimming the ocean blue and loving life. The second photo is taken during the winter season, many of them are no longer alive and their helmet shaped shells cover the  sandy shores of Slaughter Beach.

Horseshoe Crab Ritual - Slaughter Beach - Delaware

S-301

 

 

There is nothing quite like going clamming in the magnificent  ocean or hushed and peaceful bay. It is a blast! We took Graham, (our Brobdingnagian Briard dog ) with us in the boat at Bethany beach as we ventured into the clear, blue waters. He loved it!  The wondrous thing about clamming is that you get to enjoy a ‘quick reward for all your fun work,’ 🙂  Clams casino  made on the grill the very night you catch them…The clams accompanied by a fresh salad and hot loaf  of sourdough bead with melted butter is a wonderful, maritime meal.

S-112

S-113

 

 

Camping, whether inside your home, ( a children’s enchanting sleep over,) on the beach, in your backyard, or up in the mountains is another Summer favorite. I love camping out as it brings forth a great measure of  creativity in everyone…no TV’s, (OK, maybe a laptop with a DVD,) no phones, (OK, maybe a cell phone or two,) 🙂  but, their is no electric coffee pot, curling irons, hot water, or many of our presumed ‘necessities of life’…Instead we have conversations, an abundance of stories told around the camp fires, flash lights, fresh fish cooked over the open flames and a brilliant show of the night sky with its cream cheese moon and glistening stars every evening before we fall sleep.  We go hiking, (pray there are no bears,) enjoy fishing, crabbing, shrimping or reading our long abandoned novels that we finally have some  free time to read. 🙂 Our kids? They have all the magic and supplies they need…their best friends, great snack foods, flashlights, books and their abundant imaginations! :

Aren’t these homemade, enchanting and magical tents creative?

tenttent1

S-80

S-85

S-64

 

 

For the times where we are all vacationed-out or to sun burnt to go back to the beach, it is a great time to do a “summer-makeover ‘ within your home.  I adore using an abundance of whites during this warm season…somehow, it makes me feel cooler! 🙂  I enjoy creating and decorating with all shades of whites, soft pastels, fresh flowers and cheery, light, throw pillows. White slip covers for your couch or chairs are quite  refreshing and very striking. Invite a few friends over for a sure-to-please, light meal. Maybe  serve a potpourri of salads, fresh shrimp or French bread baguette with homemade crab dip, and an angel food cake with whipped cream and decadent, sweet strawberries for a tempting dessert. (Set your dining room table with a variety of textures and shades of whites and don’t forget the fresh flowers.)    Lighten up your bedroom for the season with a mixture of soft , creamy yellows, amidst soothing and serene blues and whites. (Duvets are a great and inexpensive way to makeover your bedrooms.)

S-218S215

S-219

S-210

 

 

Alfresco dining is a lovely gesture for the summer season…whether formal with fancy desserts and gourmet cuisine, ( I love these delicate, creative cakes adorned with fresh roses,) or a lay back BBQ with fresh fruits, ice cream and corn grilled to perfection with hot, melted butter…  Great food, wondrous company, laughter, fulfilling conversations and a convivial ambiance, makes for a wonderful  summer get-together with friends or family.

S-211

S-208

S-203

S-53S-54

S-56S-59

S-55S-58

 

Summer would not be summer without a trip or two to one of the countries renowned Amusement parks… Disneyland, Disney world, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Knots-berry Farm, Six Flags or Marine land…Children, (even the youngster inside of us,) 🙂  love the awe and wonder of animated characters, exhilarating rides, enchanting and mysterious sea life, and exploring old mines after a thrilling ride upon one of the scariest roller coasters in the world. (Somebody in the crowd always has to “dare you” to ride…  🙂   I accepted the dare years ago and thought I was going to be departing for heaven a little early…) never again! (Somehow, the kids have no fear whatsoever…oh to be a child again!) 🙂

S-14

S-16

S-12

S-10

S-8

S-13

(I want one of these!) 🙂 He is so cute and cuddly!

AAAAAA

 

 

Escaping to your Beach cottage for a few weeks is like a little taste of heaven… Pack up your car with some groceries, the kids, your dog, a variety of your favorite DVD’s, books and extra candles. Prepare  to have a wondrous time away from your normal, everyday life. (Yes, our dogs want to be a part of every family excursion as well!) 🙂

S-404

This  special time away will be a bonding as well as  intimate time with you and your family. Enjoy the breathtaking sunsets on the shore line, collecting seashells for a craft project with your kids, wading in the ocean waves, (watching your little ones run in as the water recedes …and then run out as the frisky waves chase after them.) 🙂 With all the superb eateries, there is a myriad of fresh seafood to choose from, (the kids can always get a cheeseburger or chicken tenders,) 🙂 and then there is always an afternoon spent at the neighborhood fun zone at the beach. (You always see the most interesting people there as you enjoy your popcorn, cotton candy and salted peanuts.) Relish each and every bonfire you share on the beach, sharing a potpourri of stories with your kids. (Childhood only happens once…) Take a few of their favorite movies for a movie night, some table games, a few extra candles and allow it to be a time of “treating yourselves and your family.” with all the things you love to do, eat and don’t allow any guilt to get in the way. 🙂  It’s your families special time… When the kids are asleep, maybe take a  romantic stroll along the beach with your husband… enjoy the quiet and soothing  sounds of the night birds singing and the soft, ocean waves crashing against the sandy shore, the fragrance of the fresh sea air and allow yourself to get back to that peaceful place you may have lost in the busyness of everyday life, back home. I adore trips to a beach cottage…there’ s nothing like it’s charm and magic.

S-214

S-220

S-221

S-213

S-230

 

 

Summer is also the season that hosts one of America’s biggest days of celebration! Independence day…other wise known as the 4th of July. This is a time for BBQ’s on the beach, watching resplendent displays of fireworks, (whether on the shore or in the big city,)  and sharing great and wondrous new memories with your friends and family. It’s America’s birthday and if ever there was a time for jubilee and gladsome hearts, it’s this beloved holiday! Summer would not be summer without it!

S-7S-5

S-6

 

 

I love the garden quote by Abram L. Urban; “In my garden, there is a large place of sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers and the dreams are as beautiful.”   Gardens are a “good thing” (like Martha Stewart always says…) for a multitude of reasons. They teach us, provide a place to nurture and be nurtured, create beauty and restore our souls. My favorite garden flower is the rose…but there has yet to be a flower that I do not enjoy…Vegetable gardens are also a lot of fun, (as long as you don’t have ground hogs and deer near by. 🙂 (They enjoyed our  romaine lettuce and eggplant way to much! ) Spring and Summer are the season that our gardens ‘explode’ with a bounty of color and bring so much majestic beauty to our lives, (outside of the home as well as within.)  A summer garden has been the muse for many a poet and novelist!  It is a wondrous gift of this beloved season.

S-200

S-207

S-206

S-205

 

Lastly, as I wind up this vignette on having a blithesome summer, two of my ‘all time  favorite’ summer joys is beholding the illuminating and captivating fireflies, as well asS-2  watching and partaking in an awesomely majestic thunder storm. The dancing, twinkling  fireflies flutter from one tree to another … for some reason, they make me smile.  I love it when they create a frame around our window panes, bringing forth the nostalgic feelings of being on my favorite ride at Disneyland. ( My beloved  Pirates of the Caribbean…)  They are a beautiful creation and bring  forth an exceeding amount of mystery and enchantment as well as excitement to our souls.  There is nothing like catching lightning bugs in a jar as a child…With tiny holes placed on the top, they preform their magic just  for you and they put on a  phenomenal one man show.  🙂

There is an abundance of mystique and wonder in a summer rain storm accompanied by the rumbling thunder as the heavens light up with each bolt of lightning. I feel like a child again, ready for a suspense, (not to scary) movie, a big bowl of buttered popcorn with all my siblings huddled together with me, biting our nails as we wait  for the next jolting moment to happen. At this time in my life, I am happy to be with Grantham and my husband, in the midst of the storm…(still watching the suspense movie and sharing popcorn, but now it’s without salt, less butter and we don’t bite our nails!) 🙂 Have you ever just sat on your porch and actually allowed yourself to become a part of the storm? Feeling the tepid breezes, smelling the fresh, damp air as the rain falls hard upon the roof top…watching the sky get darker and darker. It’s not quite a light shade of black or a dark tint of grey, it’s baronial, grandiose and a little frightening.  As you hear the thunder in the distance,  you know that soon, the storm will be right at your front door. Its an experience for sure…and one of my greatest and  most looked forward to, summer joys!

200236712-001

S-77

S-60

S-61

S-1

Fireflies, Cootes Store, Virginia

S-401

May your summer time be a season of lightheartedness, gladsome get-a-ways, new adventures , great pleasure and ridiculously filled with FUN! 🙂

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any photo or graphic, it will display where the picture originated from.

 

 

 

 

“All Aboard” the maritime home.

BA-8

“The sea  is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” ~ Christopher Paolini

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic…” ~ Van Morrison

“Waves are the voices of the tides. Tides are life. They bring new food for shore creatures and take ships out to sea. They are the oceans pulse and your own heartbeat.”  ~ Tamora Pierce

What is it about  “life on the sea” that captivates and thrills our hearts? Is it the sound of the waves crashing upon the rocky shores? The nostalgic fragrance of the damp, briny air? Hearing the halcyon and untroubled seagulls, coasting above the crystal blue waters, cooing, squawking, creating serene, melodic melodies for our ears and souls? Perhaps, the romance of the sea is made up of all the seafaring tales that  have been passed down by sailors, fishermen and sea captions.  The legends of the mermaids, stories of “old ghost ships,” abandoned by their crew and fables of the dangerous  pirates, rum runners, frighting Leviathans of the deep and buried treasures? Perchance it is the myths and tales of the ominous, colossal storms they weathered at sea and lived to tell about. How about the legends like old Alias, a sailor lost at sea, who comes back to haunt  his maritime home on the water. It is  a Folklore told in the renowned  movie Mystic Pizza…

..BA-3

(The imagined ghost of  Alias visits his home on stormy nights, causing the floorboards to creak as he paces back and forth upon the back balcony, overlooking the sea.)  There are so many mystifying fables that allure our hearts and create within us an abounding love and desire for the arcane sea , filled with all of it’s Brobdingnagian and countless enigma.

BA-6

BA-1

  Two irrefutable stories that are uncanny and a bit haunting, are the two schooner ships that truly were abandoned by their crews mysteriously. One ship, The Carroll A. Deering was found run aground in 1921 off of Cape Haterus, North Carolina. Investigators propose that the cause was possibly rum runners or ship pirates. In 1969, The Teignmouth Electron was also  found adrift, deserted and forgotten in the Atlantic Ocean.  These two stories are not folklore and they are not of old. 🙂 (Spooky!)  The sea embodies an abundance of  intrigue,  mystery and impeccable  beauty…  It is fabulously romantic, inspirational and is popular as ‘the perfect muse’ for many prestigious novels such as, The Old man and The Sea, The Phantom Island and The Mermaid. It is also the galvanizing influence of  countless, famous paintings such as, Monet’s La Terrace de’ Sainte Adresse and Niebenkorn’s Ocean Harbor, as well as  the classic and memorable films, The Titanic, Life of Pi and Lifeboat. (And, for many, a MUSE to inspire the decorating and creating of their lovely homes.)

 

It has always been one of my husband’s and my lifelong dreams to one day live by the sea and host a Bed and Breakfast for people who are in need of a retreat away from their everyday lives… a  convivial respite. 🙂 We adore the foggy mists that come in over the water in the early mornings… the diverse sea birds gliding above the glistening water as the sunshine breaks through mid-morning,  the breathtaking sunsets that gloriously arrive at dusk, (the enchanting ‘gloaming hour,’) and listening to the waves, softly flowing into shore as the day ends and the stars have announced their  brilliant presence.  SL-60SL-64corbiere  pic david ferguson

 

 

In creating your maritime home, remember, you may not live on a rocky cliff, over looking the ocean or upon a sandy marsh where you watch the tides roll in and out, BUT, You can create the inside of your berth to look as if you do! 🙂 Capture a part of the romance of the sea, it’s legends and fables, it’s mystery and beauty by bringing forth the decor of a seafaring  home.S-183

Most of the maritime homes that I have visited are dressed in soothing blues and whites and embellished with an abundance of maritime ornamental decor. It is not surprising as the colors of blue and white represent serenity, peace, clarity of mind, fresh beginnings and relaxation. All these qualities make for an exceedingly inviting and cozy homestead.

 

Our first stop will be the main room of your home, which is the Living room…It is the room that sets the mood and theme for the rest of your resplendent abode. As with any decor that you choose, there is always the ‘formal rendition’ as well as the relaxing, laid back. I have chosen both of these looks for inspiration to begin creating the  Nautical home of your dreams. Lets start off with the living rooms that are a tad bit more “dressy.”I-15

I-13

I-14

H-91

H-78

H-86

H-57

The living rooms in the next few photographs, are still a beauteous and striking maritime  look, but are a bit more on the masculine side. I think all of these living rooms are inviting, galvanic and cozy…It truly depends on your taste and the colors you choose to create with. These rooms are less formal and more on the “comfy” side. 🙂  H-85

H-84

H-80

BA-22

I simply adore this antique fireplace festooned in a maritime theme… It is breathtaking and exceedingly CREATIVE! It would certainly be the “conversation piece” in any home. 🙂

wd9

One of my favorite nautical decor displays thus far! The whimsical  grapevine wreath amidst the two enchanting topiary trees is prizewinning. I adore this decorators bethnic extravaganza of the life-like and animated ‘sea bird’ amongst all the starfish, sand dollar and weathered beach wood. Her tableaux upon the green wooden chest, creates not only a magical ambiance but exudes charm and  class. I love it! 🙂

wd8

 

Our next stopover will be another renowned and important room in your home …The Dining room. The room where you gather with friends and family over ambrosial cuisine, fine wines, laughter, sharing and story telling in a convivial and warm ambiance.   I think it is fun to mix up your rooms a little bit, still carrying the nautical theme throughout the house, but perhaps in different styles.

BA-25

BA-27

BW-9

BW-3

BW-4

BW-6

BW-1BW-2

BW-7

BW-8

The advantage you have with a seagoing look, is that you can create any room in your home, using a variety of shades of white…(eggshell, opalescent pearl, butter cream, off white, even tones of light greys or brown for your keystone.) Once your furniture and color pallet is established, you can begin adding the blue decor along with  alluring benthic ornaments such as lighthouses, old ship compasses, sublime fresco’s or photographs of  sea captains, nautically shaped stars, seagulls, pelicans, sea shells or whatever treasured collectables you desire to display.  You can do the same thing with establishing your primary color pallet in a shade of blue that you love… Then highlight your room with a variety of hues and textures of white. ENJOY the creativity within you and remember, don’t hesitate to bring forth the dream inside your heart and make it reality! 🙂

 

Here are some decorative ideas to ‘add to your rooms’ for that nautical, cozy look, along with some beautiful blues…I absolutely dote on the color combination of blue and white… Whether in a bedroom, my wardrobe, a fresh flower arrangement, decorative throws or the paint colors on our walls. There is nothing quite as soothing, eye catching and picturesque! (Adding creamy, soft yellows to this famous color combination is an enlivening warm touch as well.)

KK-15

KK-21

KK-11

KK-19

E-68

J-96

A ‘nautically themed tree’ is a welcomed sight all year round. It adds a rustic seafaring ambiance to any room… It’s twinkling white lights create charm and appeal as well as ‘romance’ within your room and brings forth added texture and dimension to your colorful haven.

E-85

I love this painting… It would go perfectly in a living room filled with blues and accented with a hint of the grandeur color of red…This little girl looks identical to my brother’s daughter when she was about 3 years old, with her bright, gorgeous auburn hair, running into the waves  of the ocean. Now she is a  beautiful young woman, (still loving the sea,) but gosh, does this bring back happy memories of my younger days as she brought so much joy, laughter and smiles to our lives…(And still does.) 🙂

E-2

Bring the natural things of the sea, to the inside your home…sea shells, star fish, sea horses, anchors, old ship compasses, and a diversity of mason jars filled with fresh sand from the shore,  topped with a tea light candle. Tie a blue and white  decorative ribbon around  the jar and display it upon your hutch.  (If you make a half dozen of these homemade candles, and light them all in the evening, it will add charm and pizzazz to your room.) 🙂

Z-359

cnd4

 

 

The next ‘layover’  is the most certain and sure place for rest and relaxation that  I know of...Our bedrooms. There are so many beautiful blue and white linens, duvets, Eiderdown  comforters, decorative pillows and blue and white collectables, that this room should be an easy room to make over or to newly create. Your bedroom is your sanctuary, place of retreat, hide-a-way and wondrous place of slumber.  Embellish this room with  serene, blissful and soothing decor…soft candle light and subtle, yet enlivening  scented fragrances. When I wash our linens and  make up our bed,  I love to spray our sheets  with an ambrosial, redolent scent. (For some reason, I think it helps us to sleep better.) 🙂 They even have ocean scented sprays, decorative candles and scented oils with reed diffusers available in the stores now a days… What a perfect idea to enhance your oceangoing decor style. (Wow, with the nostalgic fragrances of the beach filling your room, all you would need is a sound machine that has the inviting calls of the sea birds, along with the roaring waves…you could close your eyes and be right on oceans shore.) 🙂  SL-408

cnd2cnd1cnd6

SL-406

SL-401

S-219

KK-5

This bedroom is a little different with its shades of pale, light green amidst the soft, pristine whites, yet It still brings forth a feeling that ‘the soothing ocean breeze and sound of the crashing waves could come through the window at anytime.’ 🙂  A few ideas of some winsome additives are  a lighthouse tapestry for the wall, an engaging Thomas Kincaid nautical throw, a seahorse pillow and a sea shell frame, displaying one of your most cherished ‘beach memories.’

Z-2032

AS-8KT-19KT-16AS-10

Z-361Z-31

This is my dear friend Ellie’s guest bedroom in her lovely nautical home in Delaware. She just finished painting her contrast wall in a fetching, wispy, gossamer, pastel blue. It adds an exceedingly stunning  and visual ambiance amongst her white walls. She made her  own creative and bethnic lampshade.  Isn’t it adorable?  Yes, Ellie, you have “quite the creative touch.” 🙂 This room is not only soothing, but filled with warmth and charm. Eleanor1

With the warm and inviting, navy blue stripes upon the comforters, the ocean blue carpet and the freshly painted pastel blue wall,  she highlighted this maritime room with a  mixture of vintage and country-cottage, captivating white wooden dressers, adorned with a potpourri of her sail boats and merchant ship collection. Great job Ellie! 🙂 This room beckons our hearts to go and  spend a day amongst the ocean shores. 🙂   Eleanor-Dressers

 

Now, we enter the room that is the most popular…You have heard the saying, “No  matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best.” 🙂  Kitchens are the place we “CREATE.” Whether it’s a fanciful confection for a loved ones birthday, a savory and spicy pasta dish with sweet Italian sausage and fresh herbs from our gardens, or we are baking Christmas cookies with our kids…there are so many wonderful conversations that take place within our kitchens…(Along with delicious cuisine and some great aromas that fill our home…) This truly is one of my most cherished rooms of all!

These first few kitchens are all bedecked in blissful blues and whites… all they would need to awaken the pelagic feeling  throughout the room would be a few pieces of nautical decor; a framed photograph of a famous lighthouse, an ornate helm from a schooner ship,  decorative anchors as well as accent towels evoking the emotions of life by the water.

KK-9

KK-8KK-6

KK-2

KK-1

KK-10

In these next photos, I got a little inventive and imaginative. 🙂 These kitchens are not the standard, maritime colors of blue and white, but with dressing these rooms up, adding the  right decor, they would bring forth the nautical look  in a charming, elfin kind of way.   Below each photo are some ideas that I hope will inspire you and get your ‘creative juices flowing.’

For this kitchen, I  thought the perfect accent colors would be red, white and blue… all the eye-catching, maritime  decor items would fill up the mantle above this fabulous, eccentric stove, except the accent towels. 🙂  (The rooster is adorable, but for now, he has to find a new home! ) 🙂

KK-58

BB-1

AS-9BB-12

NT-2NT-1

This Kitchen already has an ideal foundation with it’s rustic, warm Faux painted walls accompanied by the rich navy blue…By adding a maritime picture on the far wall, some Lighthouse plates, blue and white dish towels and a lighthouse canister set, your kitchen would come alive with the romance and mystique of the ocean..

KT-7

KT-20Beach painting 3

KK-3KK-71

These two kitchens would look great with a few starfish, a lighthouse spice rack, blue and white accent towels as well as a diverse collection of seashells. I would leave the warm hues of the yellow…It’s very cozy and inviting.

KT-6KT-4

AS-!KK-4KK-70AS-4

This has got to be one of my all time favorite Cucinos, (as the Italians would say!) 🙂 It’s soft white structure and delicate woods, accompanied by a combination of blue and white china, maritime plates and homemade, sand filled mason jars with a potpourri of taper and tea light candles along with intricate, motley  seashells, would make for a beautiful, enchanting and notable kitchen. (Maybe add a blue and white runner on the stunning wood floor to tie in the mixture of blues and whites. )

KT-3

KT-13cnd5

KT=11KT-21

This white kitchen would  look wonderful with a highlight of green and soft hues of tan to bring forth your nautical theme. A lovely ship for your counter top, tan linen accent towels with the nautical star, a topiary star and once again, the beautiful soft light of candles burning in your mason-jar, sand filled candle creations.

KT-1

KT-8AS-15

BB-5BB-2

Lastly, one more ‘White kitchen” to bring into our theme… How about some blue flowers on the counter top, blue and white china as well as light house plates to fill the ‘show stopping’ window-paned cabinets, an enchanting lighthouse and nautical pillows to top your bar stools? A bright, beach themed painting would be a spectacular addition to bring out your vibrant colors that you’ve chosen.  Add a few blue and white accent towels and your set to go!

KT-2

AS-31S-179

KT-12Bouquet from Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)

Here is a back splash tile mural with a maritime theme for the back of your kitchen stove. I love these new ideas…. What will they think of next? 🙂

BS5

 

We will take a short stop at our next room…the bathroom, Ladies room, powder and Mens  room as we call it!  Because it is the smallest room in your home, ( and no, I do not plan on illustrating a nautical walk in closet, ) 🙂  this room is very simple and  easy to create… I love our bathroom as it is the place that houses one of my favorite things in all the world… OK, two of my most cherished….A bath tub and luxurious bubble-bath… 🙂

Here are a few ideas to inspire you with the ‘soul’  colors  of your room, blue and white.

BW-18

BW-16

BW-15

BW-11

These decorative ideas are all fabulously soothing and festive highlights for ‘this very important’ room! 🙂 I especially like the greyish-blue tinted walls amidst all the creamy white sea shells and shelves, (The 4th photo.) This unique color is definitely a stunning and impressive maritime color…

BW-13BW-10

KT-36KT-35

Here are a few SEAFARING “powder rooms” already finished! 🙂

KT-37

Bathroom1

bathroom2

bathroom3

 

 

 

We can’t forget the passages that take us to our beloved rooms…our foyer and hallways… Here are a few inspirations for you..Some of these are quite formal, others very cozy and inviting…again, add some of your own touches amongst the blues and whites to bring forth your personal, signature touch and  theme within your own home.

There are not many foyers like this one… It’s extremely formal and regal, but it presents the  idea of how wondrous and appealing mixing different shades of blue amongst the white can look.

BW-29

I adore this color of blue mixed with this butter cream white, not to mention the breathtaking structure of this foyer. I can just imagine how majestic it would look with seafaring decorations.

BW-23

This foyer is simple, yet elegant…again, the soft tans amidst the white is resplendent.

BW-19

This hallway is immense…it’s charm reminds me of the South… I love the soft blues amongst pearly white.

BW-20

This passageway to the porch speaks it’s own fabulous introduction. 🙂

H-88

Lastly, the mixture of the blues, pastel green and sunny yellow is so charming in this foyer. It is not only refreshing, but sure to make everyone who enters this home feel ‘very welcomed.’

DD-1

 

 

Our second to last stop is the land that surrounds our homes. If you are blessed to live on the ocean, (and don’t have to dream that you are, 🙂 your views alone will be captivating. If you do not live by or on the ocean, these are still some great ideas to enhance the natural loveliness of your yard and bring forth an abundance of beauty, peace and serene days to your lives. Alfresco dining , creating a floral arbor in your garden, sitting on your porch watching the sunset, and adding seafaring decor to your outside piazza with decorative sea shells and fresh, crisp, white lace table runners.

SL-427

SL-426

I love the wildflowers, straw basket, (great for gathering your sea shells,) summer hat and maritime throw amidst the weathered wooden fence. It goes to show you that almost every place on our property can use a little touch of love and ‘fixing up’ to bring forth charm and warmth.

SL-422

SL-419

SL-425

DD-3

 

OKAY….our seafaring journey has just about come to an end…I feel like I have been to the beach and back! 🙂 I wanted to leave you with a few ideas for a magical, dreamy, Maritime and “Merry -Time” 🙂  Christmas! 🙂  (I just got that as I was writing.) 🙂    I am amazed at how many ideas there are for a nautical Christmas theme… Not only is it a beautiful decor style for everyday life, but it is eminently eye catching at the most wonderful time of the year. ENJOY even though Christmas is a ways away…( But…have you heard of “Christmas in July?”) (“Just saying”…) 🙂

Welcome your guests with a beautiful, fetching alfresco Christmas tree, adorned with starfish, sand dollars, as well as ocean blue, silver and white decorative balls. (Don’t forget the enchanting, twinkling white lights! ) 🙂

lBB-10BB-15

This certainly would  change the memories of the traditional festivity of “Bringing Home The Tree,” (the day after Thanksgiving,) wouldn’t it?   Yes, Christmas by the sea is very romantic, magical and sublime.

SL-415

I love these very ‘unique and informal’ Christmas stockings hanging from the mantle, all homemade in alluring red, white and blue. SL-410

This mantle is much more formal, yet very refreshing, taking a turn from the norm. These photos and ideas make me want to rent a cottage at the beach for Christmas… (Or change my whole house for the holidays to create this enchanting seafaring ambiance.) 🙂

SL-409

A beautiful nautical Christmas tree…I love the mixture of the light blues and whites…and the tree topper is gorgeous!

BB-8

This table top tree is adorable and accents the color of the walls to a “T.” (And it would be an easy decorative addition to create.)

BB-6

I love the traditional Christmas tree, but this one gives you a little magic and awe of both styles…the decorative shells yet ample decorations of the glorious reds and greens… A very festive and picturesque tree, evoking the joy inside of us as we think of Christmas’ past. (As children, we always wondered how Santa could get down that fireplace chimney…) 🙂

K-2

This nautical tree is  not only striking but magically kaleidoscopic. It’s  abundance of sea shells amongst the colorful ornaments, (I love the purple added in,) is very alluring. (The mermaid tree topper is so unique and definitely brings this tree to life.)

H-93

Rustic and enchanting garlands with miniature white lights to bedeck the outdoor porch for the holidays…How about adding a string of sea shells, intertwining them within the greens and berries? What a great idea for the enchanting season.

D-1

WOW, a white Christmas dream come true, right on the ocean! I still find it miraculous to see a fresh snowfall on the sandy shore of the beaches. This charming tree, the warm fire burning, and the inviting alfresco dining, is a wondrous Idea for a cozy Holiday evening.   (Bundle up and make some homemade beef stew with a loaf of hot bread …That would be the perfect, wintry dinner.) 🙂C-71

For the front porch, decorating the balustrades with this picture-book, festive cheer is breathtaking.  The decor is traditional, yet against the soft yellows and whites of this regal home, it looks incredibly stunning. For a more nautical look, you could add some starfish and lighthouse ornaments amongst the  lush greens. What a great way to welcome home your loved ones for the holidays!

A-65

Celebrating the season in a rustic, yet a bit formal wintry wonderland style, with the feel of the sea being close by would be heavenly.  Winter whites are hard to beat in setting a festive, holiday table and the tree, adorned with shells and sand dollars combined with  the pearl like strands, is very Victorian, lovely and elegant.

romantic white

A cozy summer, beach house, embellished with Christmas cheer! (Though it doesn’t look like snow is in store for this Balboa Island, CA. cottage home. ) The blue and white home bedecked with the festive and cheery red is so lovely…

CC-1

A very simple and  beautiful Christmas wreath for your front door! (I think I will make one of these  for this upcoming Christmas…) Very soothing and calming. This wreath reminds me of  my childhood years … You know the days  when you’d  lay in the freshly mowed grass and look up at the sky, mesmerized by the wonder of the stars and bright lit moon, on the clear, balmy summer nights?

C-A

This home went all out with it’s maritime decor… I love how all the colors chosen in this festive garland go PERFECTLY with the sandy brown paint color of the home, accented by the bold whites and the rich, dark wood of the front doors . (The decor even draws in the color of the shudders! ) Very Classy!

C-2

Lastly, a tranquil, serene and festive holiday table … Again, there is nothing like the combination of  the color and textures of blue and white, sea shells, accompanied by natures beloved hue of green. (I would have never thought up the idea of a bench painted blue and white….it’s so pretty!)

DD-2

OK, I am  now ready for a hot, freshly brewed, cup of coffee and something to eat after this home tour! 🙂 Happy house creating….Enjoy bringing forth your individual and magical nautical  home as you add some new ideas to your abode. Whether you  decide to just change one room or change them all, treat yourself to the house decor that fulfills YOU and surround yourself with all the things YOU LOVE!

( And no, I do not think that mermaids are real! 🙂   Well maybe in the dreams and imaginations of  our children… 🙂

boy and mermaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

FELICITY on wings…

Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art.” – Izaak Walton angola300

I was sitting out on our front porch Sunday morning…( enjoying  wearing my angola50lightweight jacket instead of three winter coats,) while completely enjoying the  bright , warm sunshine and blue skies. ( Nature was surely teasing us, as today it is snowing…) 🙂  I was captivated by two red breasted robins that were joyously unrestrained in their boisterous merriment as they hopped from one branch to another…at first together, then their play became a game of  “Tag” your it. I had not seen this pair of beautiful and alluring birds before in our yard and was surprised when I read that they are the first sign of Spring

Sitting there, my hot  cup of coffee in hand, flavored with Heath Bar creamer, (If you have never tried that one, it is a must,) 🙂angola778  I felt as if “the great outdoors”  was putting on an impressive and grandiose  performance for me. A flock of snow geese gallantly cruised over our quieted neighborhood. (I think they are getting a little confused, as I, as to what season it truly is, 🙂 wondering WHEN it will be time for them to migrate for the spring… A brilliant and august  blue jay perched upon  the top of the  telephone pole across the street, and when I closed my eyes, I heard a melodic chorus of all types of  chirps, cooing songs, a few cries and whistles along with the lovely ‘honk song’ of the galvanic geese. Truly, it was beautiful music to my ears.  I began to think about what a gift birds are to our lives… Not only do they put a song in our heart, bless us with their kaleidoscopic colors, and intriguing antics,  but their music is more calming and enchanting to the soul, than any Orchestra’s symphony I have ever listened to…and its all free of admission! Every season, we are treated to an entirely new cast of superb actors and exquisite singers, entertaining us as well as inspiring our minds and hearts…

In my life, I have come to learn that EVERYTHING goes better with gratitude, 🙂 thus, at times, (I do a test,) and try to imagine something that I may (even without knowing it,) take for granted, to no longer exist in my life.  Its then I feel its magnitude and worth, and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness for its resplendent bestowal.  What if suddenly, our worlds were no longer graced with all the beautiful birds we see and hear in our everyday regimes?   Life would seem so quiet, less cheerful and it certainly would not be as colorful. We would miss  the birds in the early dawn, singing their familiarangola999 minstrelsy that help us get up and out of  our warm, snugly beds. What would our camping trips up in the mountains be like without the enchanting ballads of the night birds, the mysterious “hooo hooo hooo” of the owl, the whimsical song of the  whip-poor-will  and the regal, black winged bats, (swooping down out of the trees,) that always make a campfire story a lot more suspenseful. 🙂

In this vignette, I hope to share just a handful  of reasons why birds are such a captivating species, the gifts they so freely give to us and  what I learned as I researched  this glorious creature… I know there are thousands of books published that many of you already have read, so this is just a quick peek to stir up  “your already inbred  interest,” and spark the interest of those of you who have never really thought much about birds…Hopefully, in reading this blog, you will be as taken aback as I am, with these little (and big) guys! ENJOY!

First, a few splendid and notable quotes in appreciation of this eminently significant species..

DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNERangola205

Happier of happy though I be, like them I cannot take possession of the sky, mount with a thoughtless impulse, and wheel there, one of a mighty multitude whose way and motion is a harmony and dance magnificent.” ~ William Wordsworth

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.” ~ Robert Lynd

“Have you ever observed a hummingbird moving about in an aerial dance among the flowers — a living prismatic gem … it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description.” ~ W.H. Hudson

“The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life …ahhh The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds — how many human aspirations are realized in their free, holiday-lives — and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!” ~ John Burroughs

“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.” ~ Victor Hugo

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”~ James Allen

Faith is theangola200 bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

Why do birds sing in the morning? It’s the triumphant shout: “We got through another night!”~  Enid Bagnold

“Even when a bird walks, one feels it has wings.” ~ Antoine-Marin Lemierre

“What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open-wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of apple-wood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and angola47blue-birds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring. In Summer whole flocks of them come fluttering about the fruit-trees under the window: so I have singing birds all the year round.”  ~Thomas Bailey Aldrich

“The bird dares to break the shell, then the shell breaks open and the bird can fly openly. This is the simplest principle of success. You dream, you dare and and you fly.” ~ Israelmore Ayivor


A flock of geese leave their lake and take wing, turning to poems in the sky.”  ~Dr. Sun Wolf

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.”  ~Chinese Proverb

Bald Eagle in mid-air flight over Homer Spit Kenai Peninsula Alaska Winter“When thou seeist an eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius; lift they head!” ~ William Blake (King James version of language.)

 

 

After seeing the birds of the  hinterlands in Angola, it inspired me to ask Kit ‘if we could make visiting this exotic area of the world, one of the things we do on our Bucket list.’ 🙂 Truly, these little winged miracles are remarkably stunning!

The charming, yet subtle  Brown Finch.

angola

Brown Hooded King Fisher…A brawny, dapper little guy…Very colorful!

angola900

The vivacious, fanciful Southern Masked Weaver.

angola4

The greater Flamingos…How romantic!

angola8

The rugged and zealous Greater Adjutant.

angola5

The cavalier and pensive Short Toed Snake Eagle.

angola10

Suave and gracious Greater striped swallows.

angola1

An inspiration for our beloved movie, ” Happy Feet.”  The Winsome and austere ,  Gentoo Penguin

angola2

The Gouldian Finch found in the Northern Australia woodlands. Amazing in color as well as  symbolic of the awesome and majestic rainbow.

angola60

The virile and strong Tawny eagle.

angola 988

The aristocratic and phenomenal  Whooping Crane…

crane1

 

Here are a variety of baronial birds you don’t have to travel across the world to see… What a blessing, each of their unique beauty is.

The great white owl, also known as the Snowy Owl. ‘A face everyone can’t help but fall in love with!’  🙂

angola201

The Turkey with it’s  gobbling call…Benjamen Franklln’s choice for the national bird of the United states, as to the Bald Eagle. . angola121

 

The delicate, stirring yellow finch.

angola61

The sweet, magical and romantic  hummingbird.

angola107

The gallant and intense, rousing Rooster… The French have claimed him as their (Unofficial) national bird.

crane2

One of my favorites, the redbird or cardinal.

angola45

The innocent, symbolic and  breathtaking white dove.

angola 101 dove

Everyone’s well know friend, the unpretentious, subtle and wise sparrow.

angola 97 sparrow

Another East Coast favorite of mine, the exemplary and gracious Blue Jay!

angola888

Our neighbors, the humorous , patient and suave snow geese. Delaware would not be the same without them! 🙂

angola777

Flocks of these gorgeous birds in action… The first  time I saw a field of snow geese take off in the country side of Delaware, I was in awe…it looked like a grandiose white snow flurry!

angola778

 

Whether they made us laugh, amused us while we had the mumps and measles, taught us wondrous lessons of life, helped us fall asleep at night, were a great “babysitter ” for our moms so they could have a few moments to themselves, or inspired us to believe that fairy-tale’s, dreams and happy endings really can come true... The birds we grew up with were a blessing to us all in ample ways/

Daisy and Donald Duck filled our homes with many an antic and an abundance of color.

angola667angola25

Daffy Duck and Baby Huey energized us and made us laugh.

angola 633angola419

Tweetie Bird and The ugly Duckling! (What wonderful lessons they taught us.) 🙂

angola668angola643

OWL in Winnie the Pooh…Wisdom comes in all types of packages!

angola27

Louis the trumpeter in the Trumpet of the Swan and the ever popular Little Red Hen brought a dance to our step and a warm, cozy feeling deep within.

angola29angola 31

Brothers Grimm’s,  The Golden Bird and the French fairytale, the Bluebird challenged our imaginations and shaped our dreams as we nodded off to slumber-land.

angola654angola644

Chicken Little, “The sky is falling,”  and Woody Woodpecker… smiles and laughs galore!

angola401angola408

The Road Runner and Big Bird from Sesame Street….again many a life lesson and an abundances of humor.

angola400angola404

“BOO BOO” in the renowned Mickey Mouse Club  and the prestigious Mother Goose… Two familiar faces with stories to take us off into other lands…  giving us the gift of “daydreaming” as we entertained the thoughts of all magical characters in their stories.

angola409angola402

 

CAN YOU GIVE A BABY SHOWER FOR A BIRD? 🙂

angola111

angola119

angola522

angola523

 

One of the most cherished gifts these feathered marvels bestow upon us is sharing their “nesting and hatching stage.” … I can’t tell you how many times we have discovered a birds nest in some “hideaway” place in our yard, (the eves of the roof, our large maple tree, or the roof  gutter, (when the rainy season is over.)  Our first clue that newborns will be arriving soon, is when we see a wild bird frequenting one of these cozy places, at least 7-8 times a day… sure enough, when we peak into their gathered branches, twigs and leaves, we see perfectly formed eggs. We get so excited as we wait daily, asking one another; “Have they hatched yet?” Before we know it, we hear the babies crying as their mom leaves for her venture in “grocery shopping” to get them some food. (We know better than to go close to the nest… but we wait to begin seeing the little tikes begin to fly, or  should I say ‘attempt to fly’.  The entire process is miraculous to witness. We almost feel like we are ‘proud parents; with the mama bird as we have watched her new family come into this world and leave home in a very short time. (And tell me, what is cuter than a nest full of adorable baby birds?)

 

 

LEGENDS, MYTHS AND BIBLICAL ACCOUNTS OF THIS WINGED SENSATION…

Myth: It is believed that if your hen takes to crowing,  it is a herald of a death in the owners family.

Myth:  If a wild bird fly’s into your home, it is a warning,  presaging a death.

Myth:. If a bird enters your home and begins to fly around in circles and goes back outside,  or if a bird hits your glass window, this also is a presage to a death.

Birds and what they symbolize to certain cultures:

crane7The beautiful white dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit to the Christian faith.

In the Western world, white doves are released at wedding ceremonies as a symbol of a couples endearing love…

In South East Asia, Cranes are believed to carry off the souls of the dead to heaven.

crane8 white storkIn the European culture, White storks are known to bring Spring…(Kind of like America’s groundhog ,”Punxsutawnay Phil.”)  We look to his  “announcement of springs arrival”  all depending upon if he sees his shadow or not. 🙂

 

crane4 swallowEvery March 19th, (Known as St. Josephs day,) the faithful swallows return to the Mission  San Juan Capistrano in Southern Californian. Festivity and gladness fills the air with visitors arriving  from all over the country,  as these little guys return and rebuild their  mud nests that are adjoined to the ruins of this grey stone church. Its amazing and symbolizes a “Miracle” at this mission that St. Francis loved so much.

Legendary Fable : By Jewel Diamond Taylor.

A long time ago God had a great many burdens that He wished to have carried from one place to another on Earth.  He asked the animals to lend a hand, but all of them had excuses for not helping: the elephant was too dignified; the lion, too proud; and so on… Finally the birds came to God and said, “If you will tie the burdens into small bundles, we’ll be glad to carry them for you.  We are small, but we would like to help.”

So God fastened upon the back of each bird a small bundle, and they all set out walking across the plain to their destination. They sang as they went, not minding the weight of their burdens at all.  Every day the burdens seemed lighter and lighter, until the loads seemed to be lifting the birds, instead of the birds carrying the burdens.

When they arrived at their destination, they discovered that when they removed their loads, there were beautiful wings in their place.  Wings that enabled them to fly to the tree tops and soar through the sky, closer and closer to God.The burdens we carry for others, as well as ourselves, become wings of the spirit, lifting us to new places and bringing us closer and closer to God.

May you always Soar in spite of your Burdens!

IN THE BIBLE

angola100 raven1st Kings, 17: 4-6 Ravens were used to bring food to Elijah.

Genesis, 8~  The raven and the angola 101 dovedove were sent out by Noah to determine whether the land had dried sufficiently after the great flood.

 

Luke 3:21-22

“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

angola91 turtle dove The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove, is heard in our land.  Song of Solomon 2:12

 

FAMOUS “REAL LIFE” BIRDS THAT HAVE MADE HISTORY

angola71The African grey parrot ALEX  who was studied by Dr. Irene Pepperberg, demonstrated that he had the ability to count, could reason on a basic level and use words creatively. His intelligence has been likened to that of the Ape and dolphin, as well as a 5 year old human being. Amazing! He is such a handsome , dapper bird…

 

angola72Cheri Ami , (don’t you love that name?)  was a British bread homing pigeon that in the autumn of 1918 delivered 12 messages for the United States Army during World War 1 and miraculously  helped save the lost Battalion.

 

angola78Bubi, an Eurasian Eagle-owl that lives in Helsinki, near the Olympic Stadium is known as a “good omen,” for Finland with their national football team. Whenever he appears at the game, they win… Beautiful bird!

.

 

How about  the birds we all know that have made it to Hollywood? (Either by inspiring a movie to be made, playing a supporting actor/actress role or THE LEADING CHARACTER?)

MUMBLE in Happy Feet… His first movie was such a hit, they gave him a sequel ! I love him as little baby penguin…

Happy Feet Two

An abundance of applause and cheer  “for all the many diverse birds” that played in Home Alone 2 and The great outdoors…(I can only imagine how much fun those movies were to make! 🙂

angola41angola37

We were in awe at the two great eagles in  the great films, Narnia and The Lord of  the Rings… ( I am thankful that eagles are not REALLY that immense.) 🙂

angola39angola40

My heart fell in love with Soren in the great classic Guardians of Ga ‘Hoole. The animation in this film alone, was breathtaking…

LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA'HOOLE

The adorable Nigel the Pelican, in Finding Nemo with the bellicose  seagulls in this colorful, entertaining film. (It truly is amazing how far animation has come…)

angola399angola390

The very humorous chicken Pollito in the hilarious and posh movie, ‘In-despicable Me’ as well as the fetching, great owl, a trustworthy companion to Harry Potter in all of his fete’s.

angola389angola388

The somewhat, snobbish seabird from the south of France, Silas, from Ice Age and the endearing, spirited Roberto in Rio 2.

angola377angola369

How about the jovial, laid back crows in the classic movie Dumbo and the much “fawned after”  Rocky in chicken run?

angola362angola351

The mighty Sven in Happy feet two was exceedingly alluring as was the debonair, classy seagull, in the film Jonathon Livingston seagull.

angola350angola347

Kaharr in the remarkable classic, Water ship down  made us smile and the diverse and entertaining  ‘pigeons’ in the movie Valiant were a hoot! 🙂

angola345angola321

Zazu in the beloved Lion King and Scuttle in The Little Mermaid, brought us so much color, diversion and recreation…adding plenty of “winsomeness” to our lives.

angola319skuttle

The amazing “Paulie” and  Polynesia in Dr. Doolittle. (Two very intelligent and striking parrots.)

angola302angola301

Fifi, Rumpelstiltskin’s magical goose in Shrek Forever After and the gallant great eagle in The rescuers down under…Both beautifully animated, classy films.

angola 366angola 317

 

What about the 24 hour consort tunes these beautiful creatures sing to us throughout our mornings, afternoons and into the late evenings under the stars? Each bird has its own unique song that brings our souls a joy and graces us with winsomeness, great bliss and exhilaration, truly enriching our lives daily.

My favorite tunes? The gentle, soothing cooing of the turtle dove, the classic call of the whip-poor-will, the magical tweets of the Kingfisher, the engaging whistle of the hummingbird, the familiar everyday chirp of the sparrow and the Bob White Quail who continuously, (but very creatively ) calls out  his own name, ( bestowing upon me many a nostalgic memory of my years  in South Carolina.)  I love to hear (the sometimes annoying yet comforting at the same time,) squawk of the parrot, or honk of the geese, the “ah, ah , ah of the woodpecker, the crow of a raven…(a little on the scary side,) but he has such a history of  being ‘the bad guy,’ we have to give him a break. 🙂 Lastly, the chorus of the dawn…I am not sure exactly who is singing what, I just know that it helps get me out of bed to start my day more than any alarm clock I’ve owned. 🙂

Bird stories that will make you smile…

In reading an article by Mark Cocker in the Guardian, there were two stories he shared on his travels that took me aback as I hear stories all the time about birds helping people to get through difficult times….Do you ever wonder how they know we are troubled? What moves them to bring us comfort, amazement and wonder?

kingfisherOne of his stories  was about a  mother who had  lost her  daughter in a car accident. Weeks after the funeral, “something” told her to go to the french windows at the other side of the house and there, sitting on the patio, was a beautiful, blue kingfisher. She picked the winged miracle up and was able to pet the bird for a short while before it flew off.  That moment of kinship and revelry with this amazing beautiful blue bird was, its author confessed, “a mystifying solace to me over the years”.”

kingfisher1Another story shared was  about a  recently bereaved widow, who in her grief, began taking walks on the sandy beaches along the shore of the soothing, quieted ocean. She was taken aback with the sight of the intense, pensive shorebirds known as  oystercatchers,  standing at the crest of the oceans tides… She recounted how, “one day as I approached they started to hop away; I’d never seen them hopping before! Well over a hundred oystercatchers hopping towards the sea; it was hilarious.” ( The stout legged Oystercatchers stand on one leg to keep their bodies warmer in the colder temperatures. . ) The birds became a source of comfort, and a motif of the reassertion of joy in her life.”

 

A FEW REAL LIFE BIRD STORIES from people I know…

Margo’s blessing!

angola 206

One of my best friends of 37 years, Margo, came to visit Kit and I from Sunny California. I had so much fun introducing her to my new friends in Delaware at a ladies afternoon Tea….she fit right in, (as I knew she would.) 🙂   We all enjoyed a lovely array of savory, ambrosial, home cooked cuisine, sweet indulgences, delicious teas, a warm fire in the hearth and made wonderful new memories on this pampering ladies day out together.  As we were getting ready to leave, a red cardinal lit upon a branch on the tree in front of our hostess’ home. Margo’s  eyes welled up as she had prayed and said to the Lord that the one thing she wanted to see on her ‘east coast visit’  was a cardinal…her favorite bird… Her heart was  so touched… she could not  take her eyes off the bird…(You see, I was so use to seeing these magnificently gorgeous birds in all my years here, I forgot it was a rare sight for someone who lived across the country. ) I never took  this  gracious, austere bird for granted again and was so happy my dear lifelong friend had her wish come true…

 

 

BEAMER!

angola 103

I don’t really know how to share about my little guy that I had for many years…except to say…there are two kinds of budgie parakeets in this world. The one that sits in the cage, sings an occasional tweet, enjoys biting you, every time you try to get him to perch on your finger,  and eventually becomes a pain, as you never feel a  love-connection…its almost as if they have become a decorative item, (with a lot of clean up and maintenance,) than a cherished pet. 🙂 That ones name was Romeo. Now the second kind of parakeet was Beamer… (Why did we name him Beamer?) Short story…when Kit and I were dating , my brother had given me his BMW…the most beautiful car I had ever had. (WE called it The Beamer.)  I ended up totaling the car 3 months before Kit and I got married….it broke my heart as I knew I’d never have that car again.  Thus, when we bought our new bird,  we decided to name it Beamer, to let the legend live on. Anyhow…this parakeet was one in a trillion… He fell in love with us immediately. The beautiful cage we bought him was his second home as he preferred to be with us whenever he could…he’d perch on the curtain rod, and every time we’d call to him, he’d fly to our shoulder…jaunt down our arm and back up again, give us a ton of kisses…and my favorite …when I’d do the dishes in the kitchen sink, he’d be on my shoulder, walk down to my hand, put his head under the water and then shake his whole body as if he were taking a shower. He’d bob his head up and down, sing, run back up to give me lots of kisses on my face and then get all comfy on my shoulder again…(where he’d stay for hours.) He brought so much joy to our life for years…He was a huge comfort to my heart as I left my family behind in California and moved to Arizona.  His love was such a diversion and solace to the emotional pain I felt with missing my family and friends so much. His songs were amazingly beautiful and his spirit so pure… When he died , (and I was crying out to Kit,) he  came running down the stairs frantically asking me “Honey, did someone in the family die?” Though very saddened it was Beamer, he was glad it was not one of our siblings or a parent.  It was a great loss for me  as well as our household. ..( You know women get more emotional than guys over these things…) The next parakeet I bought, was Romeo’s evil twin…so I gave up and switched to dogs! 🙂

An unexpected joy during a difficult time.

angola 234angola 233

A dear friend of mine was going through a rough season in his life and discovered such joy and comfort in the new feathered guest that were frequenting his beautiful garden with its enchanting trellis, outside his kitchen doors…Not only did the array of such diverse birds bring life, an abundance of bright color, but as he watched them and studied how intricately they were all made, their sundry movements and  alluring antics, he began to have more fun learning about all of his new guests. Each winged marvel brought a unique song and it was fascinating to watch the interactions of all the winsome birds as they flew in and out of the garden, morning, noon and night.   They quickly became daily house-callers, with their  familiar faces as they dropped by his magical and beckoning ‘outside amphitheater’ of nature.  He had found a  great joy in the midst of his new company, so much so, that he decided he too would collect birds this year for his home…bring a little bit of that mirth inside.  Birds will do that you know.? 🙂

An unforeseen and surprising consolation.

SONY DSC

My dear friend Lisa’s  parents, who often visited her from their home in Maine, had a stunning Macaw Parrot for a pet…His name was Rocky. (Very Befitting.) When they came for a short stay,  I’d go over to her house to say hello and there he was, demanding to be the  center of attention (almost as big as his cage, as he was quite a galactic bird.)  Rocky’s vocabulary of words and phrases were so immense that he was like a walking poetry book!  He loved to eat peanuts, seeds and fruit, as well as just “hang out”  with everyone..interrupting our every conversation, (but no one  minded, as he was eminently lovable. ) 🙂 I could definitely  see how one could get use to this big guy always being around.  Lisa’s parents passed away within a short time of one another and Rocky came to live with her. Little did she  know that this bird, (having learned such an abundance of  words and ‘ endearing phrases’  from her parents)  kept their spirits and memory alive by repeatedly saying the  things they had taught him. He brought her so many smiles, laughter and brought back many a cherished memory of her mom and dad.  Who would have thought that Rocky would end up being a hand delivered,  winged comfort to Lisa’s heart as she missed her parents so deeply?

YES, God truly cares for every bird of the air…

bird1

While in my early twenties, I was living in California and was on my way into a Ralph’s Supermarket to get a few groceries. As I was walking under the eve of the markets roof, a beautiful, small in stature sparrow fell to the ground and landed right at my feet…he couldn’t move and was laying on his side…I couldn’t be sure, but he looked like he was a baby bird. My heart was very moved for this little guy…I felt in my spirit to pray for this little guy… I didn’t want him to suffer so I prayed for God to touch and  heal him or to just take him home.  A few people stopped as I was standing there, all  feeling a sadness, yet not really knowing what to do. As people came and went, I still stood there and then, to  my amazement, this little guy got up and flew away.  I felt a soothing peace inside, not only that he lived and was healed but that God truly does care for every bird he has created, no matter their size or worth in  our eyes. Whether it is a grand, stoic Bald Eagle, or a tiny sparrow, they are all the same to Him.  After that day, I began observing birds a lot more and God has used them many a time in my life to teach me about the simplest truths.

In closing,  I have to add at least one more thing that these winged miracles bring to our lives…this time, on the inside of our homes. Their rainbow colors and  buoyant personalities are quite the muse for embellishing our homes with warmth, cheer and an ambrosial ambiance.

Whether through a beautiful panting or lifelike prints, their resplendent character blesses our homes with vibrant color and a quiet calm.

angola 128IMG_0723

Our couches and over sized chairs would not be the same without their adoring  faces bedecking our favorite rooms.

angola128angola130

This year, my new collection for our home is birds. 🙂 My husband bought me the most beautiful bluebirds for Christmas.. (One of my favorite gifts!)  Birds also inspires many types of decor through decorative birdcages… (Whether you own a bird or not.)

IMG_0491Bl40

They are a great “wonder” to get our creative juices flowing, as we try  to capture  their beauty and bring a little bit of its glory to the inside of our births.

mens stuff 26Bl36

They’re an inspiration for us to bedeck our windows,verandahs and porches, turning them into flourishing gardens. (Hoping they will grace us with a  daily visit or two.) 🙂

SC45Bl34

They inspire us to bring more color into our homes… a gorgeous medley of the hues found in the bucolic countryside

Bl35bl27

What would our kitchens be like without the French’s national bird, The grandeur and stellar Rooster?

arooster1Rooster1

Roosters are such a classy and regal bird!

F-13aaahhh

Birds inspire us to create our bedrooms with joy, simplicity, and the rich alluring, tones of nature.

angola500angola501

Two of my favorite things in my home…my new (not quite “your typical looking Rooster’) cookie jar and my red bird dinner pates…

IMG_0702IMG_0704

Whether  a French linen table cloth or lovely dinner ware,  birds are a blithesome  motif for our dining rooms!

angola555angola533

The beautiful colors of nature, highlighted  with captivating, engaging and  elfin little guys…

angola566angola544

Not only do these coffee table books bring an abundance of color and striking decor to your home, but these are books that your guests really will pick up and browse through…how can they not, they are so beautiful?

angola588angola577

Whether a quick note to a dear friend or a new Christmas Ornament for your tree… the bird motif is exceedingly charming, enchanting and blesses our hearts with an abundance of mirth.

angola589angola 125

I am looking forward to learning more about these winged miracles. I hope that perhaps this vignette has sparked a little interest for you, or if you are already a bird-lover, touched a place in your heart that was already there.

redbird1***I wanted to add that after another bountiful snowfall, since the time I began this writing, (yes, spring is still stalling,) I saw for the first time, four gorgeous red cardinals light upon the snow in our front yard…I have to tell you, there is nothing quite as breathtaking as the sight of the stellar, vibrant red bird against a backdrop of a crisp, white, freshly fallen snow… I feel very blessed! 🙂

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.

 

BURGERS with class!

“The Burger!  It’s a complete balanced meal, all in one. You’ve got your protein, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and COMFORT! ” ~ Author unknown

burger1

Why is it, that the foods we connect with felicitous memories always taste so much better?  It’s not surprising to learn that when asked the question; “What would you choose for your very last meal on earth,?” many people, hands down, responded with, ” A Cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate milkshake.” Perhaps it goes back to our childhood and the comfort we felt when our parents took us to  McDonald’s for a  Big Mac, Jack in the Box’s for their triple cheeseburger, or to  A&W ‘s with their signature Root beer floats.float   As a child, those were the days, weren’t they?      Who doesn’t love a savory and scrumptious burger from the grill?  (Especially now that so many TV chefs, ( who are cooking healthy now,) have come up with a huge array of diverse ingredients they use in their burgers, creating masterpieces we would never think up.

Summer  has arrived  along with its beckoning call to enjoy the great outdoors. It is the most popular season for grilling… It begins with Memorial day parties where we gather with friends, light up the grill and enjoy the flavors of bratwurst, black Angus steaks, turkey or chicken burgers, the all American hot dog and of course the legendary all beef patties, as they simmer upon the smoking coals, filling our souls with a medley of nostalgic memories. ( There is nothing to compare to the delicious aromas in the air when Kit puts on his “grill master apron” and lights up our BBQ.) 🙂 Even when it is in the 90’s with the humidity being 100 %, you will find Grantham , sitting at the foot of the grill, (30 pounds of his weight being his black fur,)  just waiting for the first bite of the evenings meal…  🙂 IMG_1263 In this blog, I want to share some outstanding burger recipes with you…a recipe of Kits and mine, (yes, low sodium and healthy,) but I have also researched some of the most famous and highly rated burgers from renowned chefs, each with a diverse heritage, bringing spices and flavors that add a little pizzazz to the classic American Burger. I hope you find one you love for your next BBQ, a movie night with your family or for your summer galas.

 

 

 

ClassicB1

DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER

To eat well, I always disagree with critics who say that all restaurants should be fine dining. You can get a Michelin star if you serve the best hamburger in the world.” ~ David Chang

“I always admired Ray Kroc, the man who invented McDonald’s. Ray had a vision of the most commonplace thing-a hamburger and fries to go-but to him it was just the greatest thing ever, and he was going to make it the greatest thing ever for everybody else, and he did.”   David lee Roth

 

buns“It requires a certain kind of mind to see the beauty in a hamburger bun.” ~ Ray Kroc, creator of the McDonald’s franchise.

“Everyone has the right to a University degree in America, even if its in Hamburger Technology.” ~  Clives James

MC

“Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.” ~ Mathew McConaughey

The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger.” ~ Chris O’Brien

“Anybody who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.” ~ Calvin Trillin

“You can fnorthind your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigation uses stars….We have munched Bridge burgers in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and Cable burgers hard by the Golden Gate, Dixie burgers in the sunny South and Yankee Doodle burgers in the North….We had a Capitol Burger — guess where. And so help us, in the inner courtyard of the Pentagon, a Penta burger.”
Charles Kuralt, journalist.

A Taste of Italy!

mexico2

Do you ever question how the people of Italy stay so healthy and fit, eating the abundance of delicious, decadent foods that they do?    Well, I have heard it said, they eat smaller portions,  always use fresh ingredients and do a lot of walking! 🙂  They certainly do know how to live! The Italian people love to celebrate everything with food. (I love that about this country.) 🙂  If they run out of an occasion to emblazon, they will gather around their dining table or their favorite Italian eatery and just  ‘revel in jubilation’ for  ‘the great food and wine itself.’   🙂 They adore cappuccino, espresso coffee, pasta, fresh seafood, vino, freshly made conolies and walking down to the piazza, where they meet with their friends and family, to catch up on all the latest news and happenings.They proudly own a passion for cooking and are renowned for their superb, spicy sauces and variety of cheeses they use in all of their pasta dishes. I am sure the burger with an Italian flare will not disappoint!

 

Italy’s Giada De Laurentiis’ Caprese Burgers

mexico10

 

 Ingredients for Burgers:
2 1/2 pounds ground sirloin beef
1 cup fresh or store-bought pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 7 to 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into eight 1/4-inch-thick slices, patted dry with paper towels
Pesto Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh or store-bought pesto

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Eight 3-inch-square pieces of tomato or plain focaccia bread, halved, or 8 hamburger buns, halved
4 medium tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (16 slices)Directions

Cook’s Note: Freeze the mozzarella for 20 minutes to make slicing easier.For the burgers: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Combine the beef, pesto, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form the mixture into eight 4-inch-diameter patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Grill for 5 minutes. Turn the burgers over and place a slice of mozzarella on top. Cook for about 5 minutes longer until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is slightly melted. Allow the burgers to rest for 5 minutes.

For the pesto mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and pesto until smooth.To assemble the burgers: Drizzle the cut side of the bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the pesto mayonnaise over the bottom halves of the grilled bread. Place the burgers on top and add 2 tomato slices. Add the top halves of the bread and serve.

 

Italian Mini Pub Burgers

mexico 13
INGREDIENTS!

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
9 small ciabatta rolls, sliced in 1/2
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
9 slices (4 1/2 ounces) Taleggio cheese
9 large basil leaves

Directions

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the ground chuck, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Pulse until ingredients are combined. Form the mixture into 9 patties. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes each side.

Brush the cut side of each roll with the olive oil and toast on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly golden.

To serve, place 1 mini burger on the bottom half of each of the rolls. Place 1 slice of Taleggio cheese on top of the burgers. Place the basil leaf on top of the cheese and cover with the top half. Serve.

The Beloved SOUTH!

mexico3

 What can compare to a genuine , home cooked Southern meal? (I still have not found an answer to that yet.) 🙂 Cheese grits with grilled shrimp, fried okra, butter beans, hush puppies, boiled peanuts, Pecan pie, oyster stew, biscuits and gravy, collard greens, red velvet cake, buttermilk pie and my favorite, fresh crab from the Inlet water ways. There is an undeniable charm and haunting beauty that captivates each visitor , (as well as  resident) in the Carolinas… One of my favorite  Southern places is the prestigious and galvanic city of Charleston,  with it’s cobble stones streets, chiseled wrought iron fences, summoning Antebellum architecture and grandiose live oaks with their long beard swaying in the soft breezes. Each one, if you listen carefully, telling a magical story, hearkening back to all the many years they have graced this historical, entrancing land.  Every once in awhile, I’ll take out one of  my southern cookbooks, (inherited from my mom,)  and make Kit a special meal.   I know to get an extra stick of butter out, (yes, we will splurge for the occasion,)  as an authentic Southern meal simply can not be prepared ANY OTHER WAY! 🙂

For the vegetarian lover, Southern Cook , Paula Deens’   Portobello Mushroom burger!
portobello1
Ingredients
4 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared pesto
2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard
4 hamburger buns, split, buttered, and toasted
1 cup baby arugula
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
Directions
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.Brush mushrooms caps with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms, smooth side down, covered with grill lid, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, pesto, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread mixture evenly over cut sides of buns. Divide arugula evenly over bottom halves of buns. Top each evenly with peppers. Place mushrooms caps over peppers. Cover with tops of buns.

 

The South’s, Bobby Flay’s, Stuffed Cheeseburgers.
       (Just imagine on a freshly baked bun with all the trimmings! ) 🙂
                                           ***** 5 star’s for the cheese in every bite.

 

portobello3
Ingredients

1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 pound ground chuck
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large hamburger buns, split
Ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, for serving
Lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and avocado, for serving

Directions

Combine the jack cheese and chopped bacon in a bowl. Put the beef in another bowl and season with salt and pepper; use a rubber spatula to mix it in. Flatten 1/4 of the meat mixture in the palm of your hand. Squeeze together about a tablespoon of the cheese and bacon mixture to make a little nugget; put it in the center of the ground beef. Bring up the sides of the patty over the filling, making sure the cheese is completely covered by the meat. Flatten slightly for a nice patty shape. Set them side by side on a platter in the refrigerator while preparing the grill.

Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Brush the grates with oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Grill the burgers for 8 minutes per side for medium. (The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it is no longer pink and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.) Remove the burgers to a clean side plate while you toast the buns.

Rub the grill rack with more oil and place the buns cut-side down, toast for 1 minute. Serve the burgers with your favorite condiment and any garnish you like, such as lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and/or avocado.

 
THE SPICE OF AUTHENTIC MEXICO
mexico1
A beautiful land filled with a wealth of history, gorgeous sunsets,  heart stopping beaches,  resplendent waterfalls and taverns,  joyful and inspirational dancing, romantic music and some of the very best food in the world! Who doesn’t love  freshly cooked fish tacos, hot tortillas,  homemade Pico de Gallo, guacamole and bunuelos? Mexico is known for their fiery hot spices, that we all dare ourselves, (every now now then,) to indulge in.  🙂 They certainly know how to add a little “spice to life.” 🙂
  
The Blond Cook’s Spicy Mexican Cheeseburger.
portobello5

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef (15-20% fat)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • (1) 1.1 ounce package guacamole seasoning
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices cheddar jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Optional condiments: mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, etc.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine hamburger meat, salsa and guacamole seasoning. Dividing into equal portions, form 4 patties.
  2. Place on a preheated grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until desired amount of doneness is reached. During the last minute of grilling, place cheese slices on top of patties to melt.
  3. Place on toasted buns and top with avocado, lettuce, tomato and desired condiments
 “Cooking Light’s,” Savory, Cheese Burger, Mexican Style
mexico 14
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 pound ground round,
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (3/4-ounce) slices reduced-fat Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns
  • 4 iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
  • Grilled onions (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping into 1/2-inch-thick patties.
  2. Prepare grill. Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 cheese slice on top of each patty; cover and grill an additional minute or until cheese melts.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon of sour cream over top half of each bun, and set aside. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each with lettuce, tomato, onions (if desired), and top half of bun.

 

SOUTH WEST TEX MEX, INTRIGUING AND SPICY
mexico11
There is nothing quite like the genuine flavor of Tex Mex cooking. Its been described as a flavor that is ‘smoked kissed,’ with its star ingredient being the matchless CHILE. While dining in the southwest, their is only one choice to make. Do you prefer GREEN OR RED!  This region of the United States is known for their bouncing and vivacious  way of life, music festivals, breathtaking landscapes, beautiful mountains, intriguing ruins, rich history as well as world famous cuisine.  Their specialties? Mouthwatering sopaipillas, fry bread, posole and a mixture of spices in all their dishes that will keep you guessing what their hidden ingredient is, long after you’ve finished eating. 🙂 Their secret? A mixture of Native American food with an abundance  of choice spices, brought exclusively by the Spanish Settlers,  arriving to the southwest from Europe and Mexico.

 

Rachael Rays Tex Mex Burgers

mexico 20

Burger Ingredients

  • 12 slices  good-quality smoky bacon, 4 slices finely chopped and 8 left whole
  • 1 1/4 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil or EVOO, for drizzling

Queso Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 14 ounce can  diced tomatoes with green chiles, well drained

Rolls & Toppings

  • 4 soft burger rolls, split
  • Crisp yellow corn chips
  • Chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro and pickled jalapeno

Directions

Burgers:

Arrange the 8 whole bacon slices on a broiler pan and bake at 375 degrees until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Combine the beef, chopped bacon, grated onion, garlic, chipotle puree and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties (thinner at the center); drizzle with oil. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes on each side for medium.

Queso Sauce:

Make the queso sauce; in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Stir in the cheese to melt. Stir in the tomatoes.

Buns & Toppings:

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top with the queso sauce, crisscrossed bacon strips, corn chips, remaining toppings and bun tops. Serve extra sauce on the side.

Josh Bousel’s Green Chile Cheeseburger

Green Chile Burger

Ingredients

  • 3 medium poblano chiles
  • 1 half-inch thick slice of a large onion, skewered through the middle horizontally
  • 1 lb ground chuck, at least 20 percent fat
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 slices Pepper Jack cheese
  • 3 hamburger buns

DIRECTIONS

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place the poblanos and onion on the grill and cook until charred on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Place the poblanos in a Ziploc bag and seal, set the onion to the side. When chiles are cool enough to handle, about 5-10 minutes, remove from the back, peel of the charred skin, and seed. Coarsely chop the chiles and onion together and set aside.

Mix the ground beef with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form into 3 1/3-lb patties and use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of each one. Place the patties on the grill and cook until desired doneness. About 2 minutes before the burgers are done, top each with a slice of pepper jack cheese and allow to melt.

Quickly grill hamburger buns, cut side down, until nicely browned, about 30 seconds. To serve, place the burger on the bun and top with the chili and onion mixture.

 

DELAWARES SURF AND TURF
mexico4
Nestled upon the Eastern Shore of the United states, Delaware is a state that “has it all.” Tax free shopping, the infamous Rehoboth beach and its historic boardwalk, romantic and quaint Lewes beach, (the first town ever established in the United states,) alluring inlet waterways, enchanting lighthouses and junoesque rivers. This state is known for its renowned seafood,  fresh from the Atlantic ocean. One of our favorite eateries, grills up a “Crab daddy” burger that is heavenly…(they won’t give us the recipe, so we made up our own!)  🙂

 

Crab Daddy Burger! (our version.) 🙂
mexico18
Ingredients for burger;
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup of oatmeal.
Salt an pepper to taste
Whole wheat hamburger buns
Mayo,
Two large fresh garden tomatoes
Large red onion
Romaine lettuce
DIRECTIONS
Mix ground beef, egg, oatmeal  and spices until well blended. Make four hamburger patties, set aside for grilling. (Grill 5-7 minutes per side, for your desired burger. )
Slice onions, tomatoes and lettuce for burgers
Ingredients for crab topping
1 pkg. (8 oz.) creme cheese, (softened to room temperature.)
1 cup mayo
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco
1 pound lump crab meat
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
Mix together creme cheese, mayo, 1/4 cup of cheese and seasonings until blended, fold in lump crab meat( stirring gently.) Top with the remainder of cheese and a few more dashes of Old bay. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
While your crab topping is baking, grill burgers on the BBQ or inside grill. For your burgers finale, top them off with a generous amount of crab mixture.  Especially scrumptious with  Cole slaw and steak fries.
Susan and Kits Mushroom and Swiss Cheese Turkey Burger.
Grace119
INGREDIENTS
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup oatmeal
dash of Tabasco
salt and peeper to taste
1 box sliced, fresh mushrooms, cleaned
1 red onion
1 large , fresh garden tomato
romaine lettuce
Swiss cheese, or Mozzarella
1 TBSP butter
Mayo, Ketchup
Onion Hamburger rolls
DIRECTIONS:
Mix together in bowl, turkey, egg and oatmeal until fully blended. Add Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Make 4 hamburger patties . Heat up your BBQ and grill for about 5-6  minutes on each side, for medium rare. (Each grill cooks differently, so make sure you test a burger to see if it’s at the right consistency for you, before removing from heat. )
The last minute of your grill time, add your cheese and allow to melt.
While burgers are grilling, or this can be done before hand,
In small saute pan, melt butter at low-medium heat. Add your mushrooms and seasonings, cook until tender.
Slice your onion, tomatoes and lettuce.
Serve with condiments of choice, putting the warmed, sauteed mushrooms on at the last minute. A great side for this flavorful burger is sweet potato fries, hot from your oven.
                                         ***** Delicious and low in sodium!
Lastly, Two great sauces for your summer sandwiches and burgers from Rachel Ray.
allspiceallspice1
Tangy and sweet;
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • Mix the first five ingredients, and season with salt and pepper

 California-style sauce from Rach’s Cobb Club Burger sliders.

  • 1 cup sour cream,
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • handful of chopped herbs your choice – parsley, chives, dill, etc.
  • salt and pepper
PHOTOGRAPHS; In placing your computer mouse upon any of the  graphics or photos, it will display where the picture originated from.

Spring’s Sunkissed Transformation.

“The sun has come out… and the air is vivid with spring light.” ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephenssk1

Before I begin this blog, I’d like to comment on one thing about the spring of 2014 on the eastern coast… I can only liken its glorious arrival to an eager, new mom-to-be, giving birth to her baby. She feels the first pangs of  labor and immediately heads to the hospital to have her long awaited, “bundle of joy.”  Upon examination, the doctor tells her; “Its not time, your are experiencing false labor. Go home, put your feet up and rest.”  A week later, she has the same pains, travels back to the hospital and is told again “Its still not time, these are not real labor pains, go home, rest and try to relax.” With the next bout of pain, she really knows its time for her baby to enter into this world...and she is right, as this time, the doctor confirms its on its way.  With a great sigh of relief, she shouts out a loud;  “Hallelujah!”    10 hours go by…she is encouraged as the nurse assures her saying; “hold on, it will  just be a little while  longer.”  Another 10 hours slowly saunters by, she is told once again, “baby109 Its coming… just not quite yet.” Okay, to make a long story short, her labor has lasted so long that she is starting to believe that her baby may never come, until finally, the doctor says;  ” OK, its time. You can go ahead and push.”  Now of course, when that baby arrives and she is holding it tightly in her arms, she forgets HOW LONG SHE WAITED…she’s overflowing with joy, reveling in the fact her baby is here and all the waiting is over!

 

In all my 14 years living on the eastern coast, I have never experienced what the term ‘lingering snow’ meant, until recent. It seemed like overnight that the Vernal equinox had arrived…sitting on our front porch we were thoroughly enjoying all of its’ splendidpuppy100 bestowals. Dapper red headed woodpeckers and dulcet white doves  perched upon our budding trees, their unique songs in tune with springs resplendent balled. Our azalea  and rose bushes had all come alive,  transformed with their verdant green buds upon each tiny branch, ready to burst with bright color. As I looked at our cozy street, I was happily surprised at all the bright pink and frosty white blossoms amidst an abundance of enchanting hues of green, as our  quaint neighborhood was filled with Springs debut. The temperatures were in the 70’s and the rays of the warm sun felt like heaven upon our IMG_1271faces. We rejoicingly  turned our heaters off, brought out our spring clothes , fully enjoying wearing short sleeved T- shirts and blue jeans once again. Our only tasks at hand were to decide where to take our first engaging, spring day drive to the country , stock up on some fresh chicken, steaks, seafood and vegetables for nights of grilling and what day we’d go for our bike ride.   Needless to say, our spring gauges were on high, only to be interrupted in one quick moment.

“Honey did you hear that they are expecting a winter storm this evening?,” My husband asked, not knowing he was messing with  my psyche. snowfall101 Sure enough, the next morning, we awoke early  to a street blanketed in copious mounds of white fluff. Please do not get me wrong, I adore winter, but once you have had a taste of springs dawning, it just does something to your soul.Trying to come back to my place of peace, I thought, “OK, we can go through another week of snow … we will just enjoy this surprising last week of frozen fluffy ice,  before spring really settles in.” 🙂 The heat was IMG_1164back on, we dressed in our layers and heavy winter coats, scarves and gloves, and accepted natures fete. (After all, as Barbara Johnson so wittingly quotes “Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.”)

There was one member of our family who had no need for patience. Grantham would love it if winter lasted 12 months of the year. 🙂

A week later…all the snow had melted. Our grass, once stark and brown was coming alive with sprouts of shamrock green, opalescent, yellow daffodils were blooming everywhere as were all the annuals, joyfully planted in years gone by.  All our trees were budding and  the temps hit  80 degrees… Joining our doves and woodpeckers were dozens of cordial, hospitable robins,  delicate yellow finches, debonaire blue jays and my favorite, the charming and regal red bird. I even saw a rare, majestic eagle, blithely gliding over our home, without a care in the world… Yes, Spring was here.  In my pure enjoyment of this elated season, I gave our home a spring makeover. It was more fun to bring out our assortment of  bright floral pillows, soft, featherlight linens, buy some fresh flowers, take my bunny rabbits out and create our annual spring tree… Everything, looked and felt brand new.

groundhog2This time I plugged my ears when the newscaster on the weather channel  announced that yet another nor eastern  was coming to the east coast, expressing it would be a “big one” so be prepared. I am not exaggerating when I tell you, this dramatic Playlet continued  for over a month… (One week, spring would desperately try to make its grand entrance, only to be ousted and delayed the following week, by Winters refusal to leave.) About this time I was beginning to laugh , (instead of  deeply sighing,) totally identifying with my fellow east coast dwellers as I began hearing numerous jokes as well as receiving e-mail forwards about Winter overstaying its welcome.  🙂    No matter where I went, the grocery store, Post office, bank, downtown boutiques, it was as if we were all speaking a secret language to one another…first the shaking of the head, then the word REALLY? ( All of us knowing we were talking about the incredulous weather.)

dogwoodWith Easter arriving this weekend and seeing all the breathtaking dogwoods and cherry blossoms in our city in full bloom, I think its safe to proclaim that Spring has officially arrived and is here to stay. Our windows have been open for over a week, we don’t need our coats or heavy jackets, nature is peaceful, (no longer confused) and the sun is brightly shining. Another sure sign of the new season’s entrance is that the undomesticated meadow behind our home has awakened from its winter slumber. Its Brobdingnagian trees, once bare and stark , are now beginning to show signs of new life with their tiny buds of green. The ‘soon to be’ sprawling, picturesque wild ivy has taken its first baby steps, where in a short while,  it will be joined by springs breathtaking kaleidoscopic wildflowers, fluttering butterfliesdeer100 and families of deer that quietly promenade from the deep woods for their nightly and early morning  visits…   I guess you could say, we are now holding our newborn baby. 🙂  I can’t even imagine another storm hitting! (Except a fragrant, inviting spring storm with a beautiful rainbow at its end.)

There is just something about this blissful season that brings a smile to our faces as well as a new, childlike excitement, as we joyfully accept its welcomed  invitation to come out and PLAY! Our winter list of ‘fun things to do’ is off of our fridge and a new Springtime list is awaiting us, to take on it’s sublime and summoning suggestions. (I can only  imagine that all of you have already been enjoying an abundance of spring adventures, especially on the Western coast.) feet 2   Our novel list begins with taking Grantham to the beach, ( the sandy shores no longer filled with crowds and so beautifully deserted,)  walk barefoot in the grass,  take a bike trip, enjoy birdwatching, have friends over for a BBQ and bonfire, plant some flowers, visit Pepper’s Greenhouse and nursery, the Farmers market and enjoy the soon to bloom, (most gorgeous site ever)  mimosa tree outside our bedroom window. It is always a huge pleasure for everyone, when we begin to see our old familiar spring ‘friends’ in the yard, realizing just how much we’ve missed them these last 9 months. Who doesn’t fall in love with the wide eyed, smiling frogs, husky groundhogs, awe-inspiring flying squirrels, stunning pheasants, soaring sky larks, the faithful swallows as well as the adorable, fluffy, long eared bunnies with their little babies. And then of course there are a few ‘not so missed guests,’ but they are just as much a part of this epic season… The portly Carpenter bees, shady snakes, cunning red foxes and busy wasps building their spring nests.  This awe-inspiring season brings our spirits a new hope and joy, adding a bounce to our step…giving us an abundance of  inspiration to put all the decorative snowmen away, (without wistful sighs,) 🙂  bunny 100 and transmute our homes on the inside to mirror what nature is so graciously bestowing to us on the outside. We gladly pack up our dark wintry colors and bring out the bright hues of pomegranate reds,  hushed roses, sage greens, alabaster whites, sky blues,  and sunflower yellows. (And of course for some of us, our  treasured collection of bunny rabbits.) 🙂 Its a time to celebrate, sit back and ENJOY natures resplendent show.

 

In writing this vignette, it is my hope that  it brings you  a little inspiration with some innovative ideas for adding some sunshine and the beauty of spring to your already inviting and lovely havens. sunkissed 2After giving our home a spring makeover, I truly feel as if the sun has given our little abode a big kiss of splendid joy…each room is a little brighter, fresher and speaks LIFE to our souls.  Perhaps we are more appreciative of this new arrival, as it took so long to get here. 🙂   All I know is, I want to treasure everyday of Spring  that we have left.The picture perfect time of year, that is our rejuvenating interval between the arctic, polar winter and the (thank the Lord for air conditioning,) often times, sweltering summer. There is nothing like spring and all of its many gifts it graces our lives with…It truly is a consonance of all of nature joining together to bring about new beginnings, hope, life and a reminder to the soul that  God is in His heaven and ALL IS WELL.

 

THE DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNERtabletwo1

“Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn.”  ~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.”  ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”  ~Ruth Stout
spring life4“The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven –
All’s right with the world!”
~Robert Browning

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.” ~Ellis Peters

“Under the giving snow blossoms a daring spring.” ~Terri Guillemets

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  ~Pablo Neruda

spring life 10“Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”  ~Henry Van Dyke

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”  ~Nadine Stair
“Now every field is clothed with grass, and everyspring life 11 tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.” ~Virgil

“The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:  four perfect movements in harmony with each other.”  ~Arthur Rubenstein

“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.  ~Doug Larson

spring life 12“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball.  I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring.” .  ~Rogers Hornsby

 

 

 

BED AND BATH

How much fun is it to take a weekend off and go to your favorite bed and breakfast? Its not a luxury that most of us can afford to do all the time, but how about sprucing up your bedroom and bath, creating it to look like your favored Inn in the springtime…with a bouquet or two of colorful, fragrant flowers, soft, diaphanous linens, an array of pastel  colored bath towels accompanied by glistening candle light and lavender scented bubble bath?

sk5

My bedroom is the place I begin anew each day…“Again the sun, anew each day and new, and new, and new that comes into and STEADIES my soul.”sk8

The only thing needed in this aesthetic bathroom is the  glow of a flickering candle,   luxurious bubble bath and a neck pillow! 🙂B&B

Springtime  is full of sweet days and roses…cordial 91

And large windows with an abundance of  sunshine beaming through each pane.cordial 89

With everything sprouting in the spring, what better muse to inspire, than romantic ivy and roses?B&B 3

Your bedroom is the place that you CHASE YOUR DREAMS! A serene and soft ambiance to dream sweet dreams… by day or night.cordial 83

Simplicity wrapped in a captivating elegance.cordial 88

Its spring and Shabby Chic is blooming!cordial 81

Luxurious, pure and innocent white…its statement stands alone!B&B 4

Between Winter and summer lies a beautiful, peaceful and calming fluffy bed, bedecked in the charming duo of blue and white!

cordial 38cordial 39

In adding lulled, soft yellows  you have all the ingredients of a spring day with blue skies, a few fluffy clouds and the alluring sunshine.cordial 37

A  rejuvenating respite , kissed by the sun…cordial 31

Its amazing how  just one seasonal piece of decor, sets the mood for the entire room!B&B 2

This quilted , delicate headboard cover is ingenious. (A perfect invention to reinvent your place of repose with each new season.)cordial 35

A cozy, warm and romantic place to escape, touched with springs bounty.cordial 34

Set the stage of your bedroom with charm and bliss , speaking to the heart of the spring within your soul.cordial 33

An illustrious blend of colors… soft blues accompanied by beckoning rose, highlighted with a cool, refreshing yellow! I love this combination.

cordial 32cordial 30

Its the season for lavish baths with peach blossom bubbles and terrycloth towels adorned in fresh pastel hues.B&B 7

Not only authentic, but classy and resourceful… Perfect for adding your spring decor to your bathroom.

B&B 14B&B 13

This seasons color palette: bright blues, lulled greens, crisp whites  with splashes of strawberry red.topten 180

Bring forth gentle and dreamy notes of this new seasons brilliant  colors of new life and hope.Z-2023

Some of our rooms just need a few touches of prolific green to bring forth a cheery ambiance for the seasons celebration.B&B 1

I could not resist this “chimera” bathroom… An “AH” moment , 24 hours a day. 🙂 I can only imagine.

B&B 6

KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM

A recent poll revealed that the majority of us spend an hour to 2 hours a day in our kitchens…and depending on WHERE you dine with your family, probably a little less time in the dining room. Multiply that by 30 and that is a lot of hours within one month…All the more reason to include these significant rooms in your decorating adventure.

Spring has definitely sprung, (very courageously) within this kitchen. 🙂cordial 55

With its blushing pinks, antiquated china, fresh flowers from the garden and charming architecture, I could stay in this eat-in kitchen, all day long!cordial 54

This inviting kitchen is ready for its afternoon visitors, with tempting fresh fruit, home baked bread and the warmth of the beaming sun…cordial 53

A celebration of springs elegant whites combined with natures bounty. Refreshingly beautiful. cordial 51

I adore the never ending dance of the hues of sunflower yellow and  lively shades of blue… A color combo that evokes the epic bestowal  of a gorgeous spring day…timeless and playful!cordial 49

Just as the season of spring,  this kitchen looks like a fresh, new beginning everyday! I love all the spaciousness just beckoning one to conjure up and create. 🙂 spring kitchens

A medley of warmth and animated, stirring color. I can almost hear the birds chirping in the trees outside the beautiful paned windows. 🙂spring kitchen 12

These next two junoesque kitchens, keep the beauty of a sunny spring day even when the sun has set… I love the added touch of the rich greens accenting this rooms creative and sightly, overhead ceiling lighting .spring kitchen 9

Everyone loves  a fresh bouquet of roses or flowers from the Florist…Whenever Kit blesses me with this gift, I  thoroughly enjoy their brilliant presence in our home for a week or so, but I can hardly wait to dry them and display them with babies breath and fresh greens. They bring the ‘essence of spring’ into our homes all year long! 🙂 spring kicthens 10

This kitchen mirrors this season of joy, happiness and laughter. I can only imagine all the delicious recipes that have been created within this room with loved ones, over a tall glass of ice tea. 🙂  WC610

I love this shabby Chic decor with it’s buoyant spring apparel… eminently fresh and inviting.cordial 99

Our Dining Rooms… A perfect  place to thoroughly enjoy this grandeur season with friends and family, scrumptious cuisine , laughter and and overflow of delightful camaraderie.cordial 100

White never goes out of style and is a fabulous foundational color for all our homes patina. A beautiful table setting amidst a brilliant window view creating an ambiance of sheer elegance.cordial 86

Now this is a dining room truly kissed by the sun….bringing cheer morning, noon and night! I love it!cordial 80

A delightful and dulcet ambiance shining with tranquil beauty, rainbowed by the sun. (Creating an atmosphere that makes you feel like your in the center of a blooming rose garden.) cordial 73

I never really thought of a rich, fire engine red being a spring color, but mixed with the colors and textures of nature, it is fabulously awe-inspiring!cordial 70

If you are “a little bit county,” these two kitchen are for you…all bedecked in the essence of a beautiful spring day.

cordial 74cordial 75

Two “formal” dining rooms, embraced by the sun… Not being one who can wear yellow well, I adore its magical and soft alluring hue throughout our home in the summer and spring seasons.cordial 79

cordial 78

A bit formal with a relaxed flavor…the bright, crisp white amidst the sunflower yellow and dark woods are a wondrous backdrop for the elegant, eye-catching spring floral arrangement. (Now, that centerpiece would definitely  have to come down during a meal…Its what my husband would call, ” For pure enjoyment and display only.”)  🙂cordial 59

A table set with wondrous “garden” ingredients. )spring kitchen 19

The beautiful gift that spring brings with its arrival is the pleasure of ample alfresco dining events. This table is sublime!spring kitchen 14

I never can get enough blue and white, along with the magic of  bright open windows, especially in the spring. Don’t you just love mixing stripes and floral patterns together?cordial 57

Only in this heavenly season, can your table look this yummy with freshly picked fruits from the garden… I see a fresh peach pie in the near future. 🙂cordial 58

Spring in its dressy attire… and looking “oh so Good!sk10

 

LIVING ROOM

The room inside our homes, that gives our guests their first impression of our decorating style as well as setting the mood for the rest of our cozy abode. It is also the room we favor and live in the most, thus I go all out with my decor when it comes to this special room’s seasonal flavor.

One of the most ingenious creations, (IMHO) is the invention of the slipcover…This gift allows us to change our seasonal ambiance very inexpensively. This spring time living room is strikingly arresting and welcoming with its striped, warm yellow and white over-sized couch, floral pillows and pastel  green walls, inspiring our moods to be ‘creative, happy, fun filled and cheerful’…the color yellow is also eminently uplifting and illuminating, offering hope.

cordial 27

This inviting living room, ( a potpourri of country, shabby chic and cottage style with hints of spring)  is the perfect ambiance to come home to after a long day at work…just kick off your shoes, grab a drink and enjoy a quick respite with the seasons extended daylight, before the dinner hour begins! 🙂  cordial 26

A classy display of the marvelous duo of the seasons blue and white…(I love the usage of the ottoman.as a coffee table.) This rooms foundational color of blue creates a sense of calmness, peace and tranquility… cordial 25

This room gets the award for the most inspirational … I feel like I have just walked into the beautiful bucolic countryside, adorned in natures majestic landscape. cordial 28

The  wonderful truth about decorating for spring is, its not eminently  important what style of home you already have. It only takes a few vases of fresh greens or garden flowers, a medley of new pillows arrayed in bright colors and a pastel throw draped upon  your favorite chair to bring forth the essence of bliss and renewal. cordial 23

The perfect, quiet cozy corner for the lady of the house… embellished with rejuvenating color and a blithesome style. cordial 22

Looks like a Mary Engelbreit room to me! 🙂 I love her work as she openly shares with her readers her passion of decorating with  bright COLOR and her mix and match style in each room of her exquisite, inviting home.cordial 21

These next two living rooms embody a romantic, spring flare…adorned with softness, a perfect sunlit ambiance with a regal, polished and artsy flavor. (It reminds me of what the sitting rooms in a cottage, nestled in the countryside of England would look like.) 🙂cordial 20

cordial 19

A perfect, picturesque idea for a window sill or dining room sideboard to celebrate natures new blooms!cordial 45

I know spring  is the season for our beloved bunnies, but there is no rule that you have to put your bears away…As long as they are dressed for the occasion, they are invited to the celebration.  🙂 IMG_0906

A potpourri of bedazzling floral and checkered pillows in the colors of Spring atop a  blue striped couch… So simple, yet fabulously festive and beautiful!cordial 18

If you only add one new decor item tor this season, a fetching vase filled with petite white roses , (or your favorite fresh flowers,) announce the seasons arrival like nothing else.cordial 17

FIRST IMPRESSIONS (Outside the home.)

Whether it  is our front porch, our wrap around verandahs or the land that our homes are built upon, it is the first thing we see as  we arrive home. Springtime is one of the most gorgeous times of the year to make our havens shine with sublime color and style. When I think about our lawn, front porch and backyard, I liken them to ‘one more room’ within my home to embellish with the seasons bounty. We all have a differently shaped canvas to work with…use your signature style and the colors you love to create your piece of art for all the world to see.

cordialcordial 71

What a creative deck with its abundance of radiant white, planked flooring and potted  spring blooms… and this overflowing archway trellis looks like something out of a romantic movie. A wonderful show of amazing  creativity and talent! (Of course with a little help from nature.) 🙂

cordial 98cordial 16

These traditional white wicker chairs and table, amidst  the classy fenced in verandah, is intoxicating, inviting and candy for the eyes.cordial 15

A front row seat to a spectacular show of nature and its splendor.cordial 14

“Spring is natures way of saying; “Lets party.” ” I totally agree with Robin Williams! 🙂

cordial 13cordial 12

Vibrant colors and new life changes everything!

cordial 9cordial 5

There is just something about white wood adorned with luxuriant greens and the soft blooms of floral vines that warms the soul… These beautiful and creative ideas bestow upon these ‘outside rooms’ splendor, grace, wonderment and magic.

cordial 7cordial 4

This beautiful cottage home reminds me of the great American dream when a couple gets  married…You know the one with the white picket fence, two kids and an obedient dog?  🙂 The lovely and flowing landscape transforms this berth into a magical and cozy dwelling.

cordial 6

There are so many ideas to express your hearts celebration of Spring…your favorite flowers, shrubs, trees and there is nothing that quite compares to a beautifully fresh mowed, lush green lawn.

cordial 3cordial 2

Two of my all time favorite spring gifts…already made potted flower pots and a birds nest filled with eggs. (whether man-made or the real thing. 🙂

IMG_1224cordial 11

Creative, ingenious as well as magical. Both of these decorative ideas embody a sylvan charm that inspires a hearty celebration of this festive, once a year wonder.

cordial 10B&B 12

FOR ALL OF YOU WHO LOVE DECORATING FOR EASTER AND ARE BUNNY-CONNOISSEURS… A few more  wondrous ideas for you as you bedeck your home in spring attire… (I keep my Bunny decor up through the summer:) Remember; Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you REALLY LIKE like is ever out of style.” Billy Baldwin

This homemade basket is earthy, polished and a splendid centerpiece for your Easter gathering. I adore these joyful colors mixed together, (and the baby chick is way to cute.) 🙂spring kitchens 21

This  riveting, creative and showy kitchen bedecked for Easter is one of my favorite kitchens of all times. Its large enough to display all of these bright colored, animated  characters and kaleidoscopic Easter eggs… fabulously stunning!spring kitchens 1

I love these bunnies amidst the innovative trees with the pastel colored petite eggs… what a great idea.spring kitchens 2

Winsome, enchanting and certainly a centerpiece that would be the talk of the gathering. One of my favorite.  spring kitchen 21

What a classy mantle decor to celebrate Easters arrival… I don’t know about you, but I am gleaning so many great ideas from all of this talent! 🙂spring kitchen 20

Delicate, bouncy, cheerful and sure to bring many a smile.spring kitchen 13

Two stellar bunnies wrapped up in a bouquet of Springtime…Original and classy! spring kitchen 7

I have to admit…in between the snow storms and hints of springs arrival to our coast, I got a little stir crazy and created four different  tablescapes for my spring-Easter dining room ambiance… It was fun. (My husband is happy that I have just settled for one. ) 🙂

IMG_1218IMG_1235

IMG_1208 IMG_1022

My spring wreath for our kitchen and our annual spring tree for the living room… (Only did each one, once.) 🙂

IMG_1028IMG_0989

My little chef’s wanted to get in on the springtime celebration too!

IMG_1035IMG_1066IMG_1069

Topiary trees and three tiered plates are so much fun to spruce up for springtime!

IMG_1015IMG_1058

A few added touches of this glorious season in our bedroom!

IMG_1112IMG_1037IMG_1042

I fell in love with these two spring trees when I saw them…each one totally unique, full of bright, joyful color and celebration of the season.

spring kitchens 5spring kitchens 4

OK, you know I had to smile when I found this photo of a beautiful , festive spring tree with a snowfall in the background… I do not think we will ever forget the spring of 2014 on the eastern coast. 🙂 The animated, earthy basket (don’t you love those creative homemade carrots) with the fetching bunny is a stunning addition for any homes spring celebration.

spring kitchens 6spring kitchen 17

Enjoy this splendorous season… Buy yourself a bouquet of lilies or daffodils, visit your farmers market for some freshly picked fruits and vegetables, get a little adventurous and endeavor is some strawberry picking or go to your favorite boutique and find the cutest bunny you have ever seen, to add to your collection! HAPPY SPRING and I wish for you all a blessed Easter.

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.