There are many stories told and memories made on our PORCHES!

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“I’m an old fashioned guy…I want to be an old man with a beer belly, sitting on a porch looking at a lake or something.” ~ Johnny Depp.(I can just imagine him saying this too!)

“When I was about three, my grandfather used to give me and my sister a nickel to sit on the front porch with him and sing songs.” ~ Tommy Shaw

“I live in New York and it’s the greatest city but sometimes I want to move to the place with the porch and the lemonade and the farm.” ~Leelee Sobieski

“Our Porches! They invite cozy conversations, mirthful celebrations with friends and family and hours of  blithesome repose.”

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Whether you call it your front porch, the verandah, your back porch or the piazza , this special place that we absolutely love to spend as much time as possible, truly is a gift, a lagniappe that is greater than the structure of it’s four walls.  I have often thought to myself,  “If this porch could hear, I can only imagine the secrets it could tell as well as the books it could write on all that it’s ears have taken in.

Our porches, just like our homes, reflect our personalities. Some porches are ‘for looks only,’ while others carry the demeanor of being broken in and lived upon daily. They are as much fun to decorate as the rooms in your home as you fill them with all the things you love, your favorite colors and  your very own signature STYLE.

I absolutely adore this home, or should I say this waterfront , par-excellence mansion,  classy estate or  bite-size castle?  It is alluring to the senses, showstopping with it’s divine structure, period look, and is so stunning as well as  junoesque. It encourages one to dream of many happy years within (and outside of) it’s borders.  A porch this large is the perfect place for an evening of delectable appetizersand fine wine,  a ladies Tea or telling ghost stories in the summer months with the thunderstorms in the background,(the most excellent and ideal milieu.)   (We can always dream, can’t we?) 🙂

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This porch is dressed to the hilt for the Christmas season... It’s not only inviting but beautifully creative. I love the red check pillows amidst the black cushion, cuddly brown pillow and fresh, crisp white embroidered linen. What a classy combination. The grey wicker furniture is a perfect match for the colors chosen as it only enhances this porches cozy  and warm appeal. This sweet and winning verandah beckons you to grab a warm sweater, a soft throw to snuggle up with, a hot cup of coffee and to come, sit and stay awhile!I

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How about a lovely, romantic dinner for two on your porch? With the ideal weather,  ethereal temperatures, captivating table setting  and  shimmering candle light, this porch is an excellent stage for an intimate dinner with the one you love, (or are falling in love with 🙂 ) Very impressive!

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This porch is large enough for a potpourri of tables to be set up for a small gathering or   a glamorous and enchanting night of formal entertaining.  The view from this verandah is so exhilarating and soothing to the soul with all the lush shades of green…it exudes LIFE!  I could see myself out here every morning with my coffee, magazine, beloved novel or my journal. (And a space heater if the winter season has arrived.) 🙂

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I loved the quote above, by Leelee Sobieski about living in the prominent city …There are so many blessings in living “the big city life.” Especially in such fascinating and timeless metropolis’  such as Washington DC, New York, Chicago or the midtown and port of Philadelphia. Penthouses, apartments and condominiums are wonderful abodes, but often times, they do not offer the luxury of a piazza. If you are in a home that does not have a porch, but you are blessed with a back yard, I love the idea of creating a resplendent and graceful sitting area out doors that friends can gather, or a place that you can saunter off to, that brings you gladness and many hours of pure reverie.  This outdoor creation will not only enhance your life, give you an additional room to your home but will bring you an outflow of joy , happiness and beauty.

Two of these back yard works of art, are very fancy and formal, while the third back yard is beautiful with nature doing all the hard work! 🙂  Your backyard creation can be whatever you would like it to be, a picnic table or wicker furniture, adorned with bright pillows, and striking throws. Fresh flowers, dried roses or incandescent painted chairs create color and are eminently inviting. We have a homemade bonfire pit in our back yard and some of my most treasured memories are those we have made sitting on a plastic chair, wrapped in a warm jacket, glass of wine in hand, enjoying hot appetizers with great company!   I guarantee you, it will be the conversations, laughs, smiles and friendships your amongst  that will create your fond and precious memories .A-10Z-1049C-16

As a little girl, I will never forget visiting my father’s family in North Carolina. (Having lived In South Carolina,) I will tell you that besides their adoration for delectable “home-cooking,”  the residents of the Carolina’s are lovers of front porches, back porches, side porches, you name it!    My father’s aunt sat with me on her front porch, (she had a beautiful cottage style home,) teaching me how to prepare fresh, green beans in the sweltering southern heat. ( Southerner’s  know this…the humidity in the summer is so thick that you can cut it with a knife.) 🙂  As the perspiration was dripping down my face,cottages I learned how to pick the best green beans, how to snap them correctly and get them ready for cooking. I felt so grown up! (I also got to hear lots of talk about how beautiful and exquisite  my mom was in her twenties, and how her nephew was the one that caught my moms heart, out of all the beaus she could have had.) I already KNEW the story, I just wanted to hear it again, and again!) 🙂 I can’t leave out all the times my husband, Graham and I sat on the porch of my cousins antebellum  countryside home, watching his kids set off fireworks over their many acres of land, and eating scrumptious boiled peanuts! Those were the days! There is nothing like  the mighty Oak tree in the south, (and I am still looking for the scrumptious boiled peanuts in Delaware.) 🙂

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Our dear friends and neighbors have a beautiful screened in back porch. All of the mornings, afternoons and evenings my husband, Grantham and I have spent on their endearing porch remind me of the quote by John Masefield.  “Happiness flutters in the air while we rest among the breaths of nature.” Talk about an atmosphere filled with Sylvan charm, their garden amidst the lush grass, the undomesticated woods that line the back of their lot is like encountering a spring time pageantry. The hours spent on this piazza were hours of pure joy, felicity and blissfulness as we told stories, shared our lives, laughed, cried, prayed, reminisced together, tasted delicious snacks and appetizers as well as shared many a cup of Starbucks coffee, fine wine or an ice cold beer.  Right outside the screens of this porch is a view that took my breath away… often times, we’d see baby deer eating fresh corn on the lawn and chubby groundhogs waddling in circles, (they love to ruin your gardens you know? ) 🙂 (But they are so darn cute!) We also beheld an abundance of squirrels scurrying , picking up whatever they could find to eat, wild turkeys yelping as they trotted across the lawn, bunny rabbits with their adorable babies and of course the magical twinkling fireflies charming us all as they gathered by the porch but also presented their show afar in the  wild ivy and trees of the woods.

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Then of course there is ‘the porch swing’ stories….that is another blog at another time! 🙂A-15

Whether you have a grandeur verandah,  a cozy, inviting screened in backyard porch, a  piazza in your front yard where you sit and chat with friendly neighbors or an outside area that you’ve created yourself, take time to make it your own, and  spend as many hours as possible within it’s glorious presence, creating many a heartwarming memory to bring you an abundance of smiles now and  in your future.A-16

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Romantic Bedroom…where refinement comes to call!

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“You know your in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

“My whole heart for my whole life.” ~ A French saying used on Poesy rings .

“We loved with a love that was more than love.” ~Edgar Allan Poe

AH! Romance and love!

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The word Romantic is marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, remote, mysterious or idealized. Lets face it, romance is glamorous, marvelous, picture book and enchanting…So why not create a bedroom that evokes all that romance is defined by. Allow Z-55your heart and soul to be captivated with it’s emboldened and impetuous beauty. Of all the styles one can choose for their bedroom, my very favorite is the Romantic Bedroom. It’s very charisma and magnetism draws me  into another world.  A world of alluring color, fairy tales, comfort and pure undisturbed contentment.  Its my place to dream with my eyes wide open. The romantic room is luxurious and ensures ‘a cozy winters night’ under a snug, ethereal down comforter, accompanied by pleasant and gracious dreams.

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The bed and linens you choose for your room will be your ‘center of attention.’   I love to celebrate the style and charm of each room I create. In my bizarro bedroom, I resound the elegance and augustness of the Victorian Era, in which women lived very lavishly.

Whether your bed is a King Louie style,king shiny brass, a sleigh bed, rice bed or a bed accompanied by a towering painted headboard, stenciled with epic and glorious roses, the final touches you add to enhance your ‘doss,’ to beget your atmosphere of “Romance,” is entirely up to you.The romantic look is all about taking exemplary and quintessential pieces in your home, (bedroom) and reinterpreting them in your own new and pristine way.

White bedding is a ‘given’ for the look of romance.   It’s gentleness and simplicity is therapeutic and romantic, even more so when layers and textures are added. You can add layers of laced or embroidered pillows, a fluffy and feathery comforter, a tailored, pleated dust ruffle and a shimmering pearl white throw draped across the end of your bed. My motto? You can never have to many layers or pillows. 🙂 I adore the story my mom always told about how when she was a little girl, she and her cousins, (on a sleep-over night,) could hardly wait to go to bed…king1they would dive into a river of feathers upon a momentous antique bed with it’s down comforter assuring warmth and giggles for the night.  Literally, (they’d sink) within it’s comfort and gladness. (I bet that was a sight to see.)  As they snuggled up, they loved to tell story after story…mostly  tales of the south, (especially a ghost myth or two,) and fall asleep in pure reverie.

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Mixing dark, rich colors is another way to create a romantic look.  Especially burgundy-reds, hunter or sage greens, golds and purple. In our bedroom for our window treatment, I have tapestry curtains, its fabric abounding with an assortment of greens, burgundy, hues of rose and gold . Along with it, I have used a textured, gold taffeta textile. (Very romantic.)  I have always favored tapestry as it  is so colorful and opulent. This fabric was legendary and prominent in the Victorian era.You can add this brilliant, kaleidoscopic designed material  through pillows, foot stools, drapes, swags, table runners, bed spreads and wall hangings. (Even teddy bears.)  (I actually have the cutest tapestry bear that often finds his home on our bed, amidst all the pillows.

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Some other ideas to bring your romantic bedroom alive are faux painted walls in warm tones, elaborate crown molding, cherub angels, Victorian picture frames,  an antique vase filled with dried or fresh roses, candles, alluring wreaths, winsome tea sets, decorative hat boxes, a display table with vintage lamps, cameos and pearls and antique hutches where you can show off your bath soaps, body sprays and monogrammed towels. Heavy, elegant toiled curtains enhanced by wispy, soft white lace sheers, ethereal, whimsical white canopies atop your bed or perhaps displaying  a romantic nightgown and bath robe hanging upon the door of your armoire.

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Victoria roomtea time

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Lastly, I wanted to share a few sensational romance novella’s as well as some beautiful, soothing music. (What I call ‘romantic music.’) Whether you are enjoying your romantic bedroom, country cottage atmosphere, Shabby Chic or Nautical themed bedroom, music is a wonderful addition to your secret hideaway.  My husband loves our bedroom but I always tell him that if something were to ever happen to me, I know he would make HIS BEDROOM a Ralph Lauren, manly kind of room. 🙂

Music to listen to.

Andrea Bocelli “Sacred Arias” with Myung-Whum Chung.

James Galloway, “The Enchanted Forest.”

IL DIVO, LIVE at the Greek Theater

Kimberly and Alberto Rivera, “Deeper Still.”

“Classics by Request,” Victoria’s Secret. (Series of five with the London Symphony Orchestra.)

When I asked my husband his ideas about music for a romantic room, he sang the song,  “I am to sexy for my shirt…to sexy for my.”…(just kidding!) (OK, he really did.) 🙂 He explained to me that men think differently about romantic bedrooms than a woman would.  He was so sweet to say he would pick music that he felt I would like…(He enjoys it as well, but knows how much I enjoy listening to it.)  His picks are Barry White’s greatest hits, IL DIVO LIVE, Robin Thicke and Usher, (some of their music,)  🙂  and any CD’s by Kimberly and  Alberto Rivera.

 

The novels I recommend for relaxing as your all nestled upon your ‘dreamy bed,’ are ,

Nicholas Sparks, The Guardian

Danielle Steels, The Ghost

Jane Austins, Pride and Prejudice

Sherryl Woods, “About that man.”

Any novels by Dorothea Benton Frank, writing about relationships, family and love…Usually taking place at the beach or the low country of the south.

Enjoy your ‘Secret Hide-away” as you create the room that is within your heart!

 

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when a woman loves a man.

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Has there ever been such a profound, boundless, passionate and enduring love in the movies like Babara Streisand and Robert Redford’s relationship in the film, “The Way we were?”  I remember seeing that movie at the theater when I was in High school and it really moved me…(exhausted me,) but it is certainly a classic. (Talk about a crush, yearning, adoration and fervor?) They had it all…:)

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“My lifetime listens to your yours.” ~ Muriel Ruckeyser

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ~ Mother Teresa.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Mother Teresa

“All I am saying is kindness don’t have any boundaries,” ~  Kathryn Stockeret from “The help.”

“There is no surprise more magical  than the surprise of being loved, it is God’s finger on man’s shoulder.” ~ Charles Morgan

 

When I wrote the blog, ‘When a man loves a woman,’ sharing ideas with the men , some creative ways, they could demonstrate their love for you, (their special lady,)  with acts of kindness, I promised I would write a blog for all of you ladies out there as well…So here are some ideas for you ladies of how to show that “Man of yours” how much you love him.

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Everyone shows there ‘love,’ just  in diverse ways…we all have our own love language. The longer I have been married to my husband,  I know all the things that will bring him assurance of how very much I love him. We all need those reminders everyday in this crazy, hectic world, and don’t forget that every act of kindness we do, can’t help but boomerang right back to us .

Here are some ideas of “acts of kindness” to show your man just how much you adore him.

Surprise him and mow the lawn one afternoon when he thinks he has to do it that upcoming weekend. He will sigh with relief and be so happy!

Take the trashes out…especially when it is snowing. 🙂

Prepare one of his favorite, delectable snacks for when he arrives home after work. If he works at home, take his appetizer into him in the 5’clock hour, giving him a short reprieve and delightful visit with you. My husband loves Brie cheese and crackers. Hickory farms has a winning array of snacks, great cheeses, sausages, crackers, etc…  B-7

Ask how his day was? If he is a bit tense, give him a shoulder and neck rub.

Surprise him! While he is gone, clean his study and light one of his favorite scented candles. (Yankee Candles now offers “man scent” candles. 🙂

Buy him a gift card to his favorite outlet shop, men’s clothing or electronics store. (If you give him the gift card, he’ll use it…if you surprise him with the cash, he will probably end up buying something for you.) 🙂

Bake his favorite dessert and place it on a fancy cake plate. (My husband adores homemade coconut carrot cake.)

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Go to the gym with him every once in awhile. (Better yet, if you have the time, join the gym and go with him to work out as often as possible together.)

Tell him you love him in a ‘post it’ note where he will see it,  a card on his bed stand, a love note on your dining roombs506 chalkboard or leave a message on his phone at work.

Go shopping with him at his favorite stores, then treat him to a nice lunch out!

Really listen when he is sharing about a book he is interestedB-12 in reading. Ask him questions about it. Then, order the book for him, letting the gift of it’s arrival surprise him as he goes to the mailbox one day.

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Give the dog a bath so he can put his feet up and take an hour or two, serene repose, listening to his favorite music on his ipod, or snoozing in his new hammock that you surprise him with. 🙂

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Yes, he is the ‘grill-master,’ but take an evening and surprise him by grilling him his favorite steak or fresh tuna.

If you are a praying person, pray for him when he is frustrated, feeling down or overwhelmed.

Surprise him with a baronial and handsome coffee mug or thermal cup, along with some robust  delicious coffee beans…(Great for fresh coffee or a cappuccino.)

Write him a ‘hand written’ letter on some classy stationary and share with him how much you adore, love and appreciate him.

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Make a scrapbook ‘just for him.’ Perhaps a book on your courtship, wedding and all the years following… (Photos of friends, family, babies, children and pets.) Keep the book on going with add-on pages. As you continue to grow older together, add photos of your grand kids and all the  wondrous, new memories you two will make long the way. To make the book extra special, create them with scrap booking accessories. (It makes the album more personal.) 🙂

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Do not forget to tell him how exceedingly handsome he is and that he is STILL your first pick, love of your life and ‘Numero Uno.’

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Impress him with some new sportswear…my husband loves getting new athletic socks, gym shorts and he can never have enough T-shirts. 🙂

Pick up an ambrosial pastry for him for his Sunday breakfast.B-20

Put on your gardening gloves and do the weeding in the yard and garden for him… (You know  he is going to do it if you don’t.) 🙂

Stop off on your way home and surprise him with his favorite new movie. Watch it with him and “be there,” really partaking in this special time with him. ENJOY!!!

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Lastly, cuddle up and hold each other when you are heading off to ‘slumber -land.’ 🙂

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Exhilarating and Blissful Springtime .

 The front door to springtime is a photographer’s best friend. ~Terri GuillemetsZ-3026

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Spring time is the land awakening. The march winds are the morning yawn.” ~ Lewis Grizzard

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

“And Spring arose in the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt every where; And each flower and herb in earths dark breast, Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelly

“April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks GO.” ~ Christopher Morely

“Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.” ~ W. Earl Hall

“I love spring anywhere but if i could choose, I would always greet it in a garden.”~ Ruth Stout

 

The word that comes to my mind when I think about springtime is “WELCOME!” It is the time of the year where everything is brand new…fresh aromas, pristine colors blooming, and an abundance of new growth and sunshine. It is a time of life and rebirth…Living in Delaware, Z-5000(our back yard conjoined to the woods,)  we see a sundry of nature’s bounty everyday…wild flowers and untamed, lush green ivy climbing up the massive trees along with fresh green grass, where only weeks ago, it was a wintry grey and  exceedingly barren.  The meadow, with it’s array of trees and multihued foliage is purely undomesticated and we absolutely love it. (Graham adores it as well!) Even though he is close to 12 years old, he still acts like a puppy, running after all the wild life, even the Brobdingnagian deer.  (And a wild cat in our neighborhood! ) 🙂

We see everything from bunnies with their babies, squirrels, ground hogs and herds of deer with their young ones close by. I have never heard so many birds singing at once and am always so blessed and graced by the beautiful robins, blue Jays, cardinals and woodpeckers. Just this morning, I stopped what I was doing to listen to the epic sound of the snow geese flying over our home as they are just now beginning their spring practice for the time they will migrate south. Their melodic sound is like music to my heart as I have grown so fond of them over the last eight years living in this maritime state.

Being a connoisseur of decorating, spring gives me an entirely new escapade to take on with bringing this exquisite time of the year to life within our walls as well as the porch, garden and outside yard. There are a multitude of ideas I want to share with you in this blog and I hope it fills your mind, as well as heart, with many creative thoughts as well as an excitement to bring forth a ‘touch of springtime’ in and around your haven.

Whether you live in the city, a Villa, the countryside, a high rise apartment or in suburbia, planting flowers, (flower boxes if needed,) brings a plenitude of warmth as well as a charming luster to the outside of your berth.

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In Springtime, your porch is waving to you, signaling you to spend time in it’s peaceful repose, to read your long forsaken novel, share a cup of coffee with your girlfriend,  lay in a hammock and take an after noon nap or call your sister in Oklahoma for a wondrous catch-up call. 🙂   Sitting on your beloved veranda, you have so many ‘ready made’ and contributory bestowals to make your time exhilarating  with the sunshine, the birds, the blooming flowers and the soft breezes.I love this batten burg lace tablecloth!

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Another heavenly spot in the  glorious season of springtime is the garden. Whatever your particular tradition is each year for the blue print of your garden, make sure it is picturesque, soothing and ageless, consisting of your favorite flowers, bushes and trees. I, personally believe roses are the prize and applause  of springtime. There is something so beguiling about it’s unique aroma as well as it’s  soft, velvety  pedals. I believe that our gardens sometimes utter more about our lives than our own words. They are not only lovely to behold, but working within them, hours at a time,  gives us such a gift of  tranquility, peace and insight into the simplicity of life. I love the quote by H. Fred Dale; “My Green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plants point of view!”  Yes, planting a garden teaches us a an abundance of lessons!

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During this beloved season, my favorite embellishing adventure is to bring spring and all of its glory INTO our home. In our abode, we put a touch of spring in every room, (some rooms more than others,) not missing a detail.  Whether changing your linens and comforter to greet the season of rejoicing, putting soft,  bright towels in the bathroom,  adding bedazzling throw pillows on your couch, decorating your dining room table with an Easter theme using a color palette of spring colors, adding greenery or bunnies to your kitchen or  placing decorative topiary trees, floral arrangements and dried wreaths around the hallways and family room, your home can reflect the new season and radiate with color and beauty just like  the outside of your home.

The  dining room table is definitely an  ‘eye catcher’ and  an essential part  of creating the mood you are wanting to establish for your seasonal celebration throughout your home..  Both of these table themes are so creative and picturesque in natural simplicity for this time of year.Z-1095

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I can’t wait each year to awaken our bedroom with brighter colors and an entirely new look…(still Romantic in style, but a little softer and feminine.)  (Sorry honey.) 🙂 (I love taking out all my spring decor items and trading them in for the wintry snowmen, silver and golds.)

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The bathroom, my quiet, serene spot in the late afternoons, (as I bask in my lavender bubbles and make the water as hot as it will go,) 🙂 needs a touch of spring as well. My towels change from hunter green and burgundy to pastels and fresh whites. I place new  elegant soaps out, body sprays, powders and lighter candles in the midst of this tiny haven.  (And perhaps hang some bright kaleidoscopic garland and sneak in a few bunnies.) 🙂

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The place my husband and I love so much, (as well as our guests, and Grantham),  🙂  is the kitchen. This room is open and welcome to all of our visitors and company, no matter the occasion.   Its  one of the  rooms that some of our most meaningful and intimate conversations have taken place as we cook and create with pure abandon! Its a very pleasurable and an easy room to festoon in a lively, spring attire. It  also sparks our creative juices to flow… occasionally cooking up new recipes, inspired by our garden and the pristine new season with fresh fish, (salmon, ma-hi, sea scollops and tuna,) accompanied with fresh lemons and  savory herbs from our bountiful harvest. I especially adore displaying my collection of animated  bunnies within this adored room…Another motto of mine; “You can never have to many bunnies!) 🙂

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The Living room, (remember, its the one room that sets the mood for the entire home and is ‘most lived in,’)  deserves an ample serving of the new season. I love adding bright, motley pillows, white, tone on tone slipcovers to my couch, fresh flowers, grapevine wreaths and I even put a themed decorative tree up each year, strictly to festoon and glitz up the room with each magical season and event. (Besides my topiary trees.)  My tree is a little different that this one. (It is a tall, beautifully shaped green tree that I change every season.) For spring this year, I chose to use tapestry fabric as a garland, twinkling amber lights, my ‘finest’ bunnies and bears in my never ending collection, (hoping not to offend my fair haired and feathered older ones that are placed in less ‘showcase’ places,) 🙂 amidst floral ribbons, colorful ornamental balls in spring colors and dried roses. It is beautifully fetching as well as inviting. It stays up in our living room until the welcomed autumn season arrives…. I usually only create winter, Valentines, spring, autumn and Christmas trees. 🙂  ( I never have tried a 4th of July or summer tree but I have seen some created and they are quite adorable!)

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Come back to the garden of your youth… The glory of  your garden and your festooned ‘castle,’ are upon you …make your next gathering, whether an outside Tea, dinner party, or watching a classic movie in your living room with loved ones, pleasurable and picturesque. Springtime is also the perfect time of year to grab your loved one and go for a picnic, even if it is ‘just in your back yard.’ 🙂

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Happy Springtime.

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Table settings that will be the talk of your party!

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Famous “Kitchen and dining sayings.”

“Bon Appetit!”

“Eat well, Laugh often, Love much!”

“Eat, drink and be merry.”

“Love and cook with abandonment!”

“Many of our enamored  memories are made when gathered around the table.” ~ Author unknown

Your table setting is a gracious and hospitable labor of love to each guest, (and family member,) bringing them joy, comfort, a convivial ambiance and a feeling of being ‘colossally pampered.’  You can never have to many settings in mind for your festive occasions. Whether you have one set of china or ten, your creativity is what will catch your friends and families eye and hearts. Great ideas come from magazines as well as shopping in stores like William Sonoma and Pottery Barn. They help spark your imagination and get  your creative juices flowing.

This table setting is definitely one of the most creative and impressive tables I have ever seen. No detail is missed and the ambiance it creates is one of; “Come, rest awhile, take in a few hours of placidity and respite and ENJOY! ” (A definite welcome as well as distraction from the world and our hectic schedules.) 🙂

Whether you are serving an early summer dinner in the garden, backyard or having ladies over for a scrumptious luncheon on the veranda, pick a few colors for your color  palette, an idea for your centerpiece and begin creating. This setting is brought to life with a potpourri of textures, soft pastels of creamy whites, yellows, and highlights of light blues and greens. This table is imminently  creative with its wondrous ingredients, all of the accessories are eye catching and arresting.  I adore the blithesome white rabbits filled with flowers, ornate pewter bunnies and silvery napkin rings, achromatic charger plates under the bone white china and soft candles glowing amongst the topiary candle stand, (in which this hostess has put decorative Easter egg candles along with heartwarming photographs.) Her artwork is all complimented by the the gorgeous, rich, dark wood table.   White plates are prodigious as they fit with every occasion and all you, the decorator, has to do is embellish and bedeck them with your accent colors and decorations.

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 This autumn table setting gets my mouth watering for some superb, homemade chili and and cornbread. 🙂  What a cozy greeting this setting brings!  Mixing golds, greens and silver is rich, alluring and magical. This would be perfect for a chilly autumn night …surprise your family with a special dinner, (a comfort dinner as I call them,) and light your candles and celebrate the joy of all being together.

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This table in it’s array of beauty and glory is more on the formal side.

This setting exudes  ROMANCE! There is nothing  like a myriad of lit candles, glistening with their dancing flames, bringing warmth and cozy conversation, accompanied by white, silver and ravishing, stunning wood. Several vases filled with the white flowers adds grace and refinement to this table. Instead of plates, as your guests arrive, they will see a menu of the ‘evenings cuisine’ placed at each setting. As you serve each course,  your guests will feel as if they are dining at a five star restaurant! This  is one of my favorite table settings.

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                                          A touch of Christmas is in the air!

Everyone who knows me, would tell you that I am a connoisseur of topiary trees. I have used them for many years as my centerpiece, accented with seasonal decor, created in the color theme for the festive gala I am hosting at my home. You can dress them up or play them down, either way they are a stunning addition to the core and essence of your table.   I have one topiary that has an angel as the tree, made out of  natural, green moss. It is adorable and very unique. My favorite  topiary tree is one that I made many years ago. It has a  multifarious of eye catching hues and textures. It is done in roses and small tiny leafs festooned with a shimmering gold ribbon running through it.  (Very Victorian looking!) These diverse settings are all about the Christmas season. Again, using white as the base color and adding reds and greens! Simple, yet elegant and inviting! (I especially love all the candles…the reflection of their flames on the glass coverings will be absolutely mesmerizing, creating  a very intimate and cozy ambiance.)  I adore how this hostess has placed a lovely gift at each place setting. (I always emplace their creatively wrapped  gift next to their place card,) creating excitement and wonder for each friend or family member, as they try to guess what their token might be. (Maybe some ambrosial lotions, Josh Grobin CD, seasonal room sprays, a romantic comedy DVD, or perhaps a Yankee Candle in a savory Christmas scent.)

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                      Springtime has arrived at this intimate gathering.

This table creates the feeling of fresh air, a change of season, (spring time) and festivity, yet it is very simple. I have a few chargers to place under my plates for Christmas as they are red, green and gold. (I do however use the gold for a romantic setting and the red for Valentines day.)   I love how this table uses a very large plate underneath in a solid color,  (instead of a charger,) accenting the very quaint and charming china, adding even more eye-catching textures upon the table top.   This could be a special and intimate lunch with a few girlfriends or family, or again, because it is dressed for spring, an early supper.  If you weren’t in the mood for the season of new beginnings and rebirth, you would be after dining at this table. 🙂 It’s your gala so feel free to add “your creative juices” to some of these ideas…I love to use lace or linen table cloths as well as seasonal place mats when entertaining. They add a wealth of color and elegance.

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 What a gorgeous centerpiece. It shows you can go to any length to create the perfect quintessence of your core decoration. It’s so creative. I love how  the Terra cotta bowls are placed under the green cabbage plates highlighted with the hostess gift of a planted flower. The centerpiece is breathtaking with its creamy white candles amidst the pink and green flowers. (It almost resembles a miniature ‘greenhouse.’ ) This setting looks like an intimate ladies get-together. (I can taste  the sweet iced tea with a fresh sprig of mint right now. ) 🙂Z-1037

 Warm and cozy with a choice of such rich colors, this setting is definitely for the brisk and very welcomed Fall season. Using miniature pumpkins with tea light candles inside, amidst the golds and elegant purple with individual  place cards is very creative. The colors continue in the centerpiece amongst the flowers and fall foliage and create a table that is not only  inviting but creates a desire to decorate the rest of the house with pumpkins, scarecrows and autumn garlands with all the fall hues, (bright golds, orange, yellows and reds, and yes, purple!)

Z-1064

A Valentines celebration to the max! I can envision this table with several couples sharing a very intimate early dinner…(Of course I would have my little porch space- heaters set up to keep us all warm if the chill of February blew in that evening.) 🙂 I adore the reds amongst the oatmeal-white china with its dainty pattern, lace napkins, tall white pillar candles, with their enchanting flames reflecting upon the hurricane lamps  amongst the valentine decor. This porch is very romantic as well with its abundance of screened in windows along with the white sheers. Definitely one of my favorites!

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I hope these table settings have inspired you and  have given you some ideas for your parties, whether small and intimate or formal and affable.  When I married my husband, I inherited a gorgeous set of Noritake, white bone china with a gold rim gracing it’s edges from his beloved mom. I can’t tell you how many times I have used that china as a foundation to build upon for the table settings at my gatherings. You can find inexpensive, delight-some dinner plates at T.J. Max or Marshall’s. (I have collected a myriad of blue and white prints that I mix and match from these particular shops and have seen some very appealing white plates there as well.)

Enjoy your time of creating, planning, preparing  and revel in your finished work! (As well as the ambrosial cuisine and guests.) 🙂 If ever you feel you would like “a little extra help,” especially as you are beginning your journey in creating a more beautiful home and way of life, there are some wondrous Event Planners available. 🙂

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