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

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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.

 

 

 

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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

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“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!

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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

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 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

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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!

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 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!
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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.

 

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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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

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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
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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.) 🙂
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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.
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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.
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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.) 🙂

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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! 🙂

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Vibrant colors and new life changes everything!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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. ) 🙂

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Enchanted Kitchen

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if that is not ENCHANTMENT, then where is it to be found?” ~ J.B. Priestley” snow1

The professionals define enchantment as something that is  alluring, charming, magical, captivating, fascinating and charismatic. The spoken word  ‘enchantment’ itself,  evokes an abundance of emotions that are pleasing to our minds and souls…It reminds me of my childhood where many of the  fairytale books I read, romantic  movies I saw, (Cinderella, Sleeping beauty,)  or inspiring plays our family went to ,  always had magical, joyful and colorful characters along with a captivating story line. There are so many things in our life that are enchanting…the music we listen to, (like J.B quoted above,) the first fall of fresh white snow, the  night sky filled with a myriad of twinkling stars, the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, the prancing fireflies, the sound of thunder and rain, watching a garden grow from it’s very beginning, (eminently elated over each days growth,) r a new recipe that you create that  turns  out to be a Five star meal. 🙂   Another Enchanting part of our lives can be our homes…Perhaps just one room that you bring alive with magical, captivating decor, or your entire haven. The atmosphere around us, undoubtedly  carries a lot of influence on how we feel, think as well as our moods. I think  putting together an enchanting room would  not only  be fun but would challenge us in our “creativity department.” 🙂  Remember that’s the fun part! 🙂

“I don’t think of decorating as a science or discipline. People always say, ‘start with the rug,’ but it is often the last thing I end up selecting. I BEGIN with whatever makes my heart sing.” ~ Katie Ridder

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Yes, we are surrounded by a myriad of stirring, gallant and exquisite ‘ideas’ for beautiful home decor, but it is your innate tastes and “favorite things,” that will bring about your home’s warmth and unforgettable ambiance.  Ask yourself a few questions…What surroundings make you feel happy inside? Fulfilled? Winsome? What is your signature style? Favorite colors? What type of home decor is aesthetic and eye-catching to your soul? One of the decorating themes I love to use, actually comes from the ‘muse’ of my favorite childhood stories…Especially the tales of Peter Cottontail, Brer rabbit and Beatrix Potter’s, Peter rabbit. YOU’VE HEARD  of the “Enchanted Forest?”…the place where the trees have eyes and roam amongst the lush woodlands? The flowers sing delightful melodies and the fireflies sparkle, radiate and dance among the willow branches all year long… 🙂 In my ‘Maritime Home’ vignette, I illustrated how you could ‘steal away’ some of the natural beauty of the sea  and allow it to reside within your own home…In doing so, you bring forth a portion of the romance, mystique and legends of the ocean, right into your own berth with your bethnic, decorating style. The same is true of the enchantments of the timberland, the stories of our youth, the magic, wonder and  delight we experienced every night, as our moms, dads or grandparents read story after story to us and our soaring imaginations took us into each Folklore’s land, and into their lives until we fell asleep and dreamt we were really there. 🙂

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For this Blog, I would like ‘to introduce some ideas,’  using one of my favorite combinations of decor, which is bunny rabbits and the beauty of nature, to create “The Enchanted Kitchen.” This blog will be filled with ideas from the magical tales and legends we grew up with. A kitchen filled with bunnies, flowers, a rainbow of colors and charming accents such as dollhouses, decorative plates, recherche’ wreaths, dried flowers, ‘rabbit lamps,” bird houses and nature’s beauty at it’s best!

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Whether real life or animated, the rabbit and it’s baby bunnies are a gift to nature as well as our souls. It is known that the hinterland, (the great outdoors) and it’s bounty of rainbow colors, brings forth comfort, serenity, calmness and joy. It makes us happy…how can one not be fortuitous when driving through a French countryside where all  the diverse hues and shapes of bonny flowers cover the hills. It is a site to see…beauty, in its rare, natural form. (Like they say, “The Handiwork of God.” )

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In creating a kitchen with adorable rabbits in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures, along with the magic of nature and childhood nostalgia, you will find that this combination will bring forth charm, allurement and JOY! It’s a reminder of spring and the playful months. It represents new life and new beginnings, even when wintry weather is right outside our front doors. You can dress your kitchen bunnies up for the autumn season with the brilliant, fall colored leaves and garlands. At Christmas time, using top hats and red roses are alluringly festive as well as lush green garlands festooned around their chubby necks with bright, cherry red berries. (The same is true of your accent pieces that surround your bunnies.)  I have been using bunnies to decorate with for many years and never have ‘grown out of love’ with their sheer, charming magic. 🙂 Truly, they gladden my soul!  Sometimes, I give them a rest, but whenever they are taken down out of the attic, dusted off and placed out amongst our home, I feel like our little haven is filled with color, magic and a fairy-tale like ambiance. In this blog, we are going to be decorating one room and that is your kitchen. Whether you enjoy decorating your kitchen in blue and white, a maritime theme, French Country, Vintage or Italian decor, most kitchens are agreeable with these little guys, but we will look at a few  kitchens, especially ready for their arrival. 🙂

Here are a few facts about  REAL LIFE rabbits and nature that you may not know…

A male rabbit, like a male deer is called a Buck…Can you guess what a female rabbit is? A Doe. The babies?…they are named after someone very special to me…a Kit. 🙂

Rabbits and bunny’s actually purr just like a cat. (So, if you ever have a pet rabbit and do not have a kitty,) when you hear that ‘purr’ sound in the middle of the night, don’t think you are hearing unworldly things, it’s your bunny.  🙂 Pet rabbits can live to be 10-12 years old. They are so cute and cuddly, they just have a Brobdingnagian amount of  continuous droppings, and can be hard to keep up with. 🙂 (Yes my sister and I once adopted two very large rabbits as house pets…Our carpet was never the same… 🙂 But, they can, if you have the time, be potty trained. 🙂   They have exceptional senses. If you ever see a bunny with it’s ears up and eyes open, KNOW that they are not in danger...that is what they do when they are happy and at peace. When they are not tranquil and serene and are being pursued by one of their predators,  sly foxes, dogs, hawks, raccoons and eagles, (even if one of their enemies doesn’t lay a hand on them,) they can die instantaneously. Yes, rabbits can be literally, scared to death! That’s daunting!

Connecting with nature, ( the bucolic countryside, baronial timberland or it’s galvanic critters,) not only brings your life  BEAUTY and WINSOMENESS but it can significantly boost your mood. Did you know that nature also lowers your blood pressure?  Flowers, especially in pastel colors, bring our souls serenity, calmness and well being. So, I figure that if you decorate with some of natures beauty and gifts as well as bunnies, you will  benefit in several ways…you will be fulfilled with a beautiful kitchen, feel more peaceful and joyful in your life as well as be nurtured by the special comforts and memories of your childhood. 🙂

Tell me you are not smiling after you see this next picture….:) bunny1

Here are our favorite childhood bunnies… All the fun-loving little critters we grew up with, either on the movie screen or in our bed time stories that were such a  comfort to our souls and helped us to enter into slumber-land sooner. 🙂 My grandmother must have told me  the renowned Uncle Remus tale of Brer Rabbit  over 100 times…Who can forget Peter Cottontail, Alice and Wonderland’s ‘White Rabbit,” The Velveteen Rabbit, (excellent lesson in that story,)  🙂 “Rabbit” in Winnie the Pooh, Thumper in the classic ‘Bambi,’ Peter Rabbit, Bugs Bunny and the prestigious “Harvey” with James Stewart.

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THE DISTINGUISHED QUOTE CORNER Adorable Baby Boy in Suit on Cellphone

I love these wonderful quotes about natures divine worth as well as the wisdom about  a few of our favorite creatures! 🙂

“Until one has loved an animal, apart of ones soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

” How strange that nature does not knock and yet does not intrude.” ~ Emily Dickinson

“Wait…I’m getting a signal.” ~ Bunny with ear up.bun3

“An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ~ Martin Buber

“If you chase two rabbits, you will loose them both.” ~ A Native American saying

“Oh Honey Bunny…” ~ Jessica Rabbit bun2

“It is a perversely human perception that animals in their native habitat are running wild.” ~Robert Brandt

 

This is one of my favorite quotes from The Velveteen Rabbit.vr

“I can enjoy society in a room, but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.” ~ William Hazlett

“The Poetry of the earth is never dead.” ~ John Keats

Are you ready to begin creating your Magical Kitchen?

I chose these kitchens for two of your backgrounds with your “Enchanted Kitchen” theme, as  they have ample space as well as some ‘nooks and crannies‘ to give your rabbits a snug home. These two kitchens have an abundance of different shades of white, (egg shell, off white, creamy whites and a pillowy beige – white,) in the marbleized counter tops, thus bringing about “the perfect color foundation” for the bunny decor below. Your elfin ‘mise-en-scene’ will only highlight and enhance the ambiance and patina of your kitchen. Both of these ‘cucino’s’ have excellent color palette’s.

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This is one of my favorite rabbits…he is very colorful, confident and a bit on the formal side. Perhaps placing a kaleidoscopic wreath, an antiquated doll house, a bunny lamp as well as an accent towel would bring forth a bit of allurement and wonder to these kitchens. To introduce the beauty of nature, maybe some topiary trees, flowers  and other ‘critters’ of the forest!  I hope these ideas inspire you with your current kitchen, or for your future kitchen …(The ‘cucino’ of your dreams.)  🙂

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This wreath, (also easy to make,) blends in perfectly with the colors of the rabbit, don’t you think?

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This “bunny lamp” is not only authentic and fabulously blithesome, it will add a lovely romantic lighting to your kitchen. They have soft amber, low wattage  light bulbs now that create such a warm ambiance in any room. (I just got two, one for my living room and the other for the kitchen.)  I love their soothing touch.

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This red plate would look riveting in the kitchen with the red accents…along with all the adorable and engaging  pewter squirrels. 

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I like this wreath with it’s natural, woodsy and subtle appeal.  It brings froth a a novel and august beauty.

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Adding greens in different shapes, textures and shades  will bring a wealth of  charm to your room. Don’t forget, green is  the color of LIFE… 🙂

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These are so adorable. I place my stuffed bunnies in a chair, (almost like I would a designer pillow.) What an adorable pair… These two characters would look great in the kitchen with the red accents.

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Here is another warm and hypnotic kitchen for your magical theme. This lovely and alluring kitchen is perfect for an ‘Enchanted Forest’ ambiance as it already embodies a multitude of  the soft and lulled colors of nature…It actually resembles a little cottage with it’s charming architecture, captivating whites and gorgeous wood flooring. I adore all the little shelves and spaces where your rabbit decor could be placed above the stove and  upon the center Island. This kitchen is stunning!kitchencottage

I  would choose the bright color of the  white wood, a soft yellow with hints of pastel rose as well as shades of green for this kitchen’s color palette. The choice and top-notch bunny for this Kitchen would be one that embodies this rooms brilliant and tasteful cottage look.  I also would add some cabbage style bowls and plates, (whether on plate stands upon a shelf or hanging on the wall with plate hangers,)  perhaps a few multicolored adventuresome bird houses, another rabbit themed lamp,accent towels and some hints of nature.

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Adding cabbage designed plates or bowls in pastel colors is very charming as well as alluring… I especially prefer the rose and  green tones mixed together for this theme.

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This kitchen decor is so clever, life like, BRIGHT, cheery and  very creative!

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This quaint and adorable Boyd’s bunny is a ‘must have’ in any room , especially on the kitchen counter or nestled in a kitchen chair. She is so romantic and whimsical… She makes me smile!

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This beautiful kitchen is a perfect ‘cucino’ for creating “magic.”  It’s lovely butter cream yellow, combined with the soft whites and hard wood flooring brings forth a nurturing and enveloping room. It’s light, airy, tasteful and embodies plenty of space to decorate.

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The ‘choice’ bunny for this kitchen would be one that has a hint of yellow, ( enhancing the light, sunny walls,)  as it would set your color scheme in motion. Adding an animated picture, a romantic, petite dollhouse, some flower baskets, topiary bunnies, a  quaint lamp, and few small  rabbits upon the window sill, would most certainly  give this kitchen that “enchanted ambiance.”

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This is also an actual ‘rabbit lamp.’ It has a subtle, soft light, glowing  from within and adds an eminently enchanting and cordial ambiance. He is adorable! (He would also make a great ‘night light.’)  🙂

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This animated picture would be absolutely striking, framed in a light wooden frame with a white, pale green or light rose colored matting. It alone, embodies a ‘magical’ and playful ambiance.

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Our years  spent in Arizona became my “introduction season” to ‘learn’ how to bring forth a winsome home, create beauty through crafts, stretch my wings at decorative painting and to be honest with you, it was one of the happiest times of my life.  This was my first kaleidoscopic flower basket I had ever made and I was “Oh so proud.” It would look great in the center island of this enchanted kitchen.  (Leave the over sized bunny for a ‘much larger’ room. 🙂 (Though she would look really cute sitting up in a bay window with motley , fluffy pillows.) 🙂

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Topiary trees add the beautiful green of nature and these bunny’s are so darn cute!

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Another type of flower basket to add would be one with ample buttercup yellow flowers mixed with another of natures bounties, ‘baby chicks.’ I love this basket, (the green moss is an ‘upbeat’ addition,) very animated and life like. Like the kitchen, its wispy, light and delicate.

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Dreamy, beckoning and fairytale-like. ! I love it!

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These bunnies would look splendid upon the window sill…giving you added charm at every turn.

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This is a great idea for a center piece for the center island in this kitchen. The idea of the topiary bunnies within a flowering pot is a great foundation…You could add some tall flowers, a miniature birdhouse or little bunnies on a stick and use green moss instead of the shredded paper. The finished product would bring forth a brilliantly, sanguine addition for your animated ambiance.

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This next “cuisine” as the French would say for  the word ‘kitchen,’ is distinctive, companionable, rich and warm in color and the lavished, polished woods are alluring to say the least.  I adore the overhead lighting, the eat in bar around the center island and it’s spaciousness is ingenious for your magical look.

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The color palette I would choose for this kitchen would be gold or amiable yellows, mixed with a very subtle, pastel grey, light hue of rose and different shades of green. (And of course, use the highlights of black and white to tie in the appeal of this quaint kitchen.) The bunny, (or bunnies ) would need to be colorful yet resplendent and heartwarming as well.

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There is nothing like a fetching birds nest amongst an array of majestic flowers to bring the glorious theme of ‘nature’ into your room.bl27Bl41Bl38

A few of these rabbit  throw pillows would be wonderful for the black, artful bar stools in this ‘cuisine.’

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I adore this bunny lamp…It is not only classy but the colors are so vibrant and charming!

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A great dish for assorted potpourri’s or candies…even filling this bowl with small sea shells would be a soothing and refreshing added touch.

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Here are some great artful concepts for table settings…I love all the creative napkin ideas. These are great colors for this kitchen.

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How about a kitchen with warm layers of shades of green already incorporated in the kitchens foundation. If you currently have a green and white kitchen, you are already ‘half way there’ in your preparation for a magical enchanting ambiance.  This particular kitchen is a French country ‘cuisine,’ (as they call it,)  but its’ decor of roosters, ( the French’s national symbol,) can easily be exchanged with your relished displays of natures colorful bounty as well as your kitchens new guest of honor, the “whimsical  bunny.”) 🙂  I will be illustrating  some “Bunny” Back-splashes for your stove tops later on in this blog…a new way to add the ‘decor of your choice,’ to your kitchen.

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Lets begin our decor with the eye-catching , “center of attention.” Your rabbit! For this ‘cucino,’ I think going with a color palette of diverse greens, antique reds and a splash of blue amongst the whites would be a great choice. This guy is way to cute! 🙂

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These would be great accents, adding more hues of green and soft creamy whites. (Both very whimsical and dreamy.)

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Another bright, clever and felicitous decorative item.

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Charming and warm… Very easy to create and yet it looks like it took hours! 🙂

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In this case, less is more. 🙂 He’s so adorable! (Okay, maybe add a bright yellow bow around his chubby neck…)

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Whether you choose fresh or dried flowers, both are notably enhancing to any room in your home as they add texture and color and are a beautiful, whimsical  decorative item.

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A throw pillow,  cozily nestled in a chair, always adds texture, layers and warmth…These pillows are  especially amiable and welcoming…I enjoy all the lovely, vibrant  colors and their faces are so life like, playful and cute. (The kind of ‘cute’ where you want to ‘pinch their cheeks.’ ) 🙂

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Don’t underestimate some wondrous and delectable baked good around your kitchen to bring your theme even further home… These are so cute and I bet they  taste out of this world!

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You can never go wrong with a Beatrix Potter plate. What an talented artist. 🙂

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This next kitchen is so warm, rustically inviting and filled with hospitality. It creates a very welcoming home for  your ‘whimsical and enchanted bunny.’

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The main color scheme of this room is definitely the charming mixture of vintage and French Country woods with some accent colors of green, reds and butter cream yellows. This center piece is breathtaking, winning and top-notch, I absolutely want one! FR46

A few more ideas to add color and warmth to your ‘place of creation,’ your kitchen,

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These additional flower pots are bright, chic and motley… “Colors are the smile of nature.” ~ Leigh Hunt…

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This would be a great throw pillow for the kitchen chairs… It’s creative, artful and original.

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This delightful kitchen is bright, cheery and overflowing with warmth.  The color scheme I would go with would be  a myriad of shades of blue, green and white, with accent colors in tones of buttery yellows and romantic- vibrant reds, with a touch of ‘pewter’ to add some classiness.  The blue tile in this kitchen is refreshing and alluring, warmed by the soft, golden wood cabinetry.  Beautifully winning!

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Let’s choose the right Rabbit! I am thinking a shiny and animated bunny upon a red ‘hatbox.’ What do you think?

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Decorating with  pewter rabbits is another refined and baronial addition to your “Enchanted Kitchen.”

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This elfin, enchanting miniature house would look captivating on the counter top, enhancing your fairytale ambiance.

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This adorable glass tableaux would be a beautifully added touch to this kitchen’s center island with it’s hushed, pastel colors of nature and animated characters.

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Filling up the recherche’ and quaint blithesome cabinets with a soft and artful collection of rabbit  plates is a wonderful addition for your kitchen.

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This plate would look great on a plate stand on the counter top…theses plates are all so beckoning, yet so diverse. . . Both would look gregarious and sublime in  this statuesque kitchen.

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An enlivening , colorful and ‘eye-catching’ wreath would add ample warmth and texture to this charming kitchen.

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What an original, docile and creative decor piece. Very lovely and creative. 🙂

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Some accent towels with an abundance of reds would be a delightful addition.

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I love the rustic, soft feel of this charming kitchen. There is not a lot of space, but the chopping block has an area below that is perfect for an enchanted display or perhaps a few bunnies on the counter tops. This room already looks magical and cozy…I would stick with the color palette of diverse  shades of blue grey, light brown and add a little bit of mirthful yellow and daring red for the accent colors.

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This little guy still has his price tag on him. 🙂 If I were shopping, I’d take them both! They are so cozy, warm and snug…ideal for this kitchen.

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The soft pewter plate and tan linen accent towel  are novel and yet admirably  hospitable.

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These little casual guys would look marvelous atop the shelf…they are euphorically playful as well as diaphanous.

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Your enchanted look would not be the same without some of natures  exuberant beauty…whether delicate birds nests or the vibrant greens in this charming rabbit and sylvan  floral basket …be sure to include them in your over all decor.

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This kitchen is absolutely one of my favorites. It looks like a Kitchen in a popular TV sitcom show  like “Happy Days” or  a  heartwarming, Doris Day movie, where all you feel is a cordial invitation to stay, chat, have some coffee, a glass of wine and you have this instinctive feeling that any minute now, you are going to hear;  “Oh, you just have to stay for dinner.” This kitchen embodies an abundance of ‘built in’ charm… It’s just crying out for all  those rabbits to come and set up their residency there ! 🙂

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In pondering over what  the color theme for this kitchen should be, I came up with a cheerful yellow,  a potpourri of brown tones, lively greens and an accent of  serene blues.   There is  plenty of space for your decor amongst the center – Island, a plate rack, a quaint shelf and an abundance of counter top space. These colors will add warmth and yet not be overwhelming.These brown tone bunnies would be ideal…I especially like the two bunnies with the umbrella…they would look very ‘dapper’ atop the center- Island with some fragrant as well as  vibrant yellow roses.

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This mirror is perfect for the shelf over the stove. Mirrors not only create a sense of space, but they gorgeously reflect colors and light, bringing forth depth and richness into your room. I like what the decorator has done with the bunnies, soft ribbons and outdoorsy ambiance with this mirror’s display!

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I adore having throw pillows in my rooms… Not only do they add charm, personality and color but  they beautifully reinforce your rooms theme as well.

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These decorative bunny plates would look blissfully  regal in the mirthful and stunning white glass cabinets.

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This is a magical, enthralling centerpiece for your enchanted theme. It would look entrancing as well as  sublime upon the polished and august center – island.

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Magical! This would be a beautiful piece of artwork to frame for this kitchens wall…I would choose a white frame with a pale, blue or light tan matting. Don’t you just adore his face? (Now, if he were our pet, (like Grantham,) he would just have to look at me one time with those huge  brown eyes, (like Grantham’s,) and I would give him as many carrots as he wanted. 🙂

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For those of you who love the more natural look, these bunnies are a delightful pare.

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A gleeful, stuffed bunny looks so welcoming in a chair or atop a shelf. She would be perfect for this Marion Cunningham kitchen. 🙂Bun

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I adore this galvanic, winsome and top-notch kitchen. It’s style is catching and  fabulously inviting. There is not as much space in this ‘cucino’ as in some of the others, however, the eat in table is a perfect place to  display a brilliant center piece to enhance your rooms enchanting ambiance.

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Adding felicitous accent towels, a homemade bunny wreath with an abundance of green and white, along with the noble and quaint pair of magical rabbits would undoubtedly brighten this kitchen for your Picture-book patina.

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This animated and stellar tableaux would  make for a choice and riveting center piece.

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More colorful and alluring throw pillows.! You know my motto… More is more…You can never have too many  pillows…:)

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These plates are so motley and chromatic…They would be a lovely addition to this kitchen…either  hanging on the wall or sitting upon plate stands.

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These  adorable bunnies are so diverse in their colorings…I have never seen anything like them. I would place these on both sides of my kitchen sink!  🙂 (They even match the rabbit plates above beautifully!) Bl10

 

Lastly, for a fresh, crisp and pristine backdrop, an entirely white kitchen is galvanizing. It can be likened to a blank canvas…you get to choose the exact colors you want to bring forth for your rooms decor and style. This ‘cucino,’ festooned in our ‘enchanted theme’  will look absolutely marvelous, welcoming and winning. What would your color palette be?

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You have plenty of ‘nooks and crannies,’ to display your elfin charm, a partial wall and amiable counter tops. Lets see what colors  would liven this quaint and ornate room up…

I have in mind a more ‘formal and regal look’…Adding soft shades of green along with the poppy red towels, would bring warmth as well as spirit  to this all white kitchen. I really like this inspiring, magical  bunny wreath. 🙂

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These two rabbits with the table display of birds and flowers is eminently luxurious. I think it is an ideal centerpiece for the center – island table.

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This multicolored, gorgeous bunny would be a graceful and charming centerpiece as well . It could also be placed on the counter top or in one of the nooks and crannies in the Center Island table. She looks regal, refined and royal!

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Another exquisite tableaux for this explosively beautiful kitchen. I adore these tall white candle holders with the creamy yellow pillar candles on top.  It is so hard to decide… I love all three of them!

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This little guy is a ‘must,’ with his top hat and cane. He is so full of personality and character.

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It I was an animated , tiny, petite character, I’d take this house any day! 🙂

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This piece of artwork would look divine, framed in a wooden frame with a pale, pastel rose color for the matting! How beautiful and opalescent.

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This bunny is regal and courtly…proper and welcoming…He would make  a great  kitchen door stopper! 🙂 Did you ever think there would be so many bunny rabbits to choose from? I am sure you could find some of the Folklore bunnies, ( Peter Cotton Tail, Brer Rabbit, The velveteen rabbit etc…)  in either ceramic decor, glass or even stuffed rabbits…I prefer the diversity of all different types of bunny rabbits. Remember, as you are creating this “Enchanted Kitchen,” you get to choose whatever colors, bunnies, flowers, trees, whimsical houses and forest critters that you want!  

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For those of you who have a stove top area that one of these Back-splash tile murals could be installed to enhance the beauty and theme of your room, here are some ideas for the “Enchanted Bunny kitchen.”

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The repeated bunnies in the light sage green are resplendent. I adore the brown and light green one as well. Both of these Back- splash tiles are earthy, rustic and bring the outdoors glorious wonder into your kitchen.

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This Back – splash tile looks like something out of Alice and Wonderland. It within itself is magical and enchanting!

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If your little ones want to get in on all the excitement in creating this “Enchanted kitchen,” with you,  here are a few craft ideas for them… (All you need is paper plates, cotton balls, glue, pipe cleaners, yarn and construction paper. (A Michaels or Holly Lobby close by would be great too.) 🙂

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Before I leave you with my  “Coconut carrot cake recipe,”  to bring this blog to a ” bunny-luscious finale,”)  🙂 I have to share with you something I found out as I researched for this particular writing on the “Enchanted Kitchen,” (with bunnies as the “star of the  show.”) 🙂

You have to meet Darius. (True Story.) I did a double-take when I first saw him, thinking it was a stuffed rabbit, but oh no…he is real. Darius is three years old and is the worlds largest bunny…he resides in the UK , is three years old, 4 feet, 3” long, weighs in at 50 pounds and is insured for 1.6 million dollars. He does not live in the wild…(He would never survive….) He has a beautiful home with an owner who dotes upon him and loves him very much. (I can certainly understand why.) 🙂

Darius, meet my readers, and readers, meet Darius! 🙂

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Darius enjoying his afternoon snack. 🙂

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The Continental Giant  and his friend over for a play date. 🙂 (Don’t roll over on her Darius… You are bigger than you think.) 🙂

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Can you even believe this? Perhaps some of you already knew about this Gentle Giant….Boy would Graham love one of these as his play mate… 🙂 (Well, maybe?)

OK, I would not be honest if I did not say that as I researched  Darius, there was “breaking news” on another blog…” They now, have a new “winner.” With a diet costing his owner $90.00 a week. Another Bunnie from the UK, weighing in at 55 pounds and  one year older than Darius is Ralph. All I can say is “Wonders never cease to amaze me.” Here is Ralph and believe me, not even one of these rabbits stuffed would fit in any of these kitchens we have looked at together! 🙂

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If either one of these bunnies were  put on a diet of this carrot cake recipe  I am giving  you,  they would both be the ‘heavyweight championship bunnies of the universe.’ 🙂  It’s a very rich, moist, dense, delicious and ( mostly) a healthy cake. 🙂 Enjoy!!!

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The Best Carrot Cake in the World! It’s bunny-luscious 🙂

You will need; 2 cups  all purpose (unsifted) flour, 2 ½ tsp. Baking soda, 2 tsp. Cinnamon ,  1 tsp. Salt, 1 cup oil, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, 2 cups grated carrots, 1  cup shredded coconut,  and ½ cup chopped pecans.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl, set aside.

In another bowl beat oil and eggs and sugar until well blended.  Add flour mixture, beat until smooth. Blend in remaining ingredients and pour into greased 10 inch tube pan or 13×9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan then remove and frost.

Frosting, (This is the good part.) 🙂 You will need:

1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup shredded coconut,¼ cup butter + another ¼ cup of butter, 1 tsp vanilla and milk or half and half.

Saute coconut in butter until golden brown. Spread out on an absorbent paper, towel, allow to cool. Cream ¼ cup butter with cream cheese. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar alternatively with the milk  and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add half of your browned coconut and stir into frosting. After your cake is frosted, top with the remaining browned coconut! (I use  Coffee Mates liquid vanilla creamer and half and half cream instead of milk.I also use a tad bit more butter, creme cheese and coconut as well…(than is called for in the recipe.) 🙂

I just had to show you my “Mrs. Rabbit” from  the above writing,  sitting in her natural habitat when we lived in Arizona. She looked much more at home in our Living room, don;t you think?)  🙂

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Enjoy!

If you have any questions, give me a holler on my Contact page. 🙂

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Set Your Lilliputian Watches, and “Don’t be late.”

You are invited to a ‘day of fun, a tea pot full of laughter, a cup full of craziness, ambrosial cuisine and an abundance of childlike joy.’

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There are so many delightful occasion’s to host a Tea for your friends or family! For instance, baby showers, weddings, birthdays, a celebration of the seasons, a farewell gathering, a promotion at work, a graduation and Valentines day. You really don’t have to have an occasion…perhaps it’s  your hearts  desire to  create a blessed day of pampering for those you love most in life.  There are also a myriad of Tea-themes…Your creative motif for your gathering could be fairytale stories, enchanted Tea’s, classic movies, your favorite TV show or famous novellas. The list goes on and on… Giving a Tea for your loved ones is actually a duel gift…it is a bestowal to them, as it gives  each guest an entire afternoon of beauty, blissfulness, delicious cuisine, savory teas, sweet treats, serene music, an abundance of fun, reverie and wondrous fellowship. For you, the hostess, you are blessed to heaven and back by doing this “fun, labor of love,” for the people you care most about! 🙂

You have heard it said that, “A picture paints a thousand words.” Here are a few beautifully photographed types of  Tea’s and their ‘themes’ to put away in your ” Ideas for giving a Tea” notebook. 🙂

This High Tea is a wondrous festivity that guests at the Ritz Carlton Hotel are blessed with.  If you do not feel up to “doing all the ‘fun work,’ ” as I call it, then going to a stellar and Five Star hotel Tea is an ideal way to still enjoy the charms  and utterly show-stopping ambiance of an afternoon filled with delightful indulgence.    ritz1

There are an abundance of Tea houses, (just like Coffee houses,) that will pamper and treat you like a princess…They even supply the winsome  ‘tea hats‘ for you. 🙂 This Tea is for little girls…it is so precious! (I love all the bright colors, animated hats and the layers, textures and brightly printed fabrics on the engaging tables. ) 🙂

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This is what you would call a Royal and Formal tea in the 18th century… Both men and women attended, dressed in their “Sunday Best” as they enjoyed finger sandwiches, a delicious array of teas from the orient and sweet confections.

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I am just guessing here, but this afternoon Tea theme looks like a celebration of the battle for ‘suffrage’ after  the women’s struggle for 72 years to vote was WON…known as the Flapper days, it was a time in our country, (like the Cindy Lauper song says,)  where girls really did  ‘just want to have fun.’  🙂

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In my opinion, there is nothing more convivial than the theme of  a “CHRISTMAS Tea.” There is already so much beauty, lush color and merriment of the season itself, that creating a Tea during this time is pure magic.  A Very Romantic time of the year…

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Springtime is one of the loveliest motifs for an afternoon tea as the weather is so beautiful outside and your home will look stunning and divine with all the lush green grass, chromatic flowers blooming and the aroma of the air is always so refreshing and invigorating! (The color pallet of bright red, pastel green,  rose- pink and creamy whites is beautifully esthetic to the eyes and soul. )

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An autumn Tea is still at the top of my list… 🙂 The air is brisk, your fireplace is calling out to be filled with fresh chopped wood to burn, enveloping candles with their dancing, petite flames warm up your every room and the kaleidoscopic colors have taken up residency within your beautiful,cozy haven. Your Tea’s menu can be a little bit heavier, thus you can cook up some great “comfort foods.” 🙂

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Summer time Teas… Again, nature is your best friend in your presentation with it’s vivacious colors and the charm that only summer brings… Bright flowers, topiary trees, light menus of  a chicken curry salad, fresh fruit in season, an ethereal lemon cake… you have a bounty of ingredients at your disposal to create an eminently memorable and splendid party for your friends. fall7

A wintry motif for your Tea is also quite engaging and enticing! There is nothing lovelier than ‘winter whites’ festooning your dining table as well as home! Another advantage during this season is that you can  employ your beautiful fireplace and a myriad of lit candles to charm your guests.

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A Saint Patty’s Day motif is exceedingly popular… If green is your favorite color, it would be a celebration of pure reverie as you prepare for an afternoon Tea for this happy and joyful occasion.

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I just had to show you this St. Patrick’s day cake that I found…. Now is this a  Five Star confection, or what? It’s amazing what the creative mind and God given talent can do. 🙂

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An exquisite and delicious work of art!

Lastly, (though the possibilities of imaginative  motifs, are endless…) is a Valentines day Tea.  It’s the most romantic day of the year …The month of February is an exuberantly bright month of color and alluring ambiance as you bedeck your home with Valentine cheer… Red is the perfect hue for your color pallet, mixed with shades of  pinks, roses,  highlighted with adoring, creamy whites.

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Your invitation today is to glean some ideas for an afternoon Tea with a “Mad Hatter” theme… mh1This Tea’s sole purpose is to bring forth an abundance of  laughter, fun and craziness with all of your guests, and yes, that means you too! 🙂  It will be a day of bliss, childlike whimsy, appetizing cuisine, imagination and an abundance of bright color!

This is ‘my rendition’ of a “Mad Hatters” afternoon Tea…I know there are many diverse and wonderful versions out there to choose from… I hope that this blog gives you some thoughts to ponder, starts your “creative juices flowing,” and is a foundation to plan your very own “Mad Hatters  Afternoon Tea.”

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We are  all familiar with the story about the ‘original Mad Hatter, right out of the Disney produced movie, Alice in Wonderland. This bizarre and quirky character, originated in the brilliant mind of English author  Lewis Carol,when he wrote his novel,” Alice in Wonderland,” in 1865…Later, in the year 1910, it was made into a  British silent film, and of course, since then, become a very popular story that has been made into several American movies.  It’s a tale about a little girl who falls down a rabbit hole and meets a potpourri of eccentric characters…(one of which is the Mad Hatter.) The Mad Hatter is ” forever and unremittingly,” having tea with the March Hare, thus you get the popular motif of a ‘Mad Hatter tea party.’ (I wonder if Mr. Carol knew how influential he would be in the 21st century.) 🙂 This Mad Hatter  ladies Tea  will be a ‘touch of ‘  the magic of  the story of Alice and Wonderland, mixed with enchantment, games, delicious cuisine, and a wealth of laughter, mirth and  FUN!

First things first…

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

( These quotes are all about laughter and fun…it’s medicine for the soul! ) I can assure you, these are the real gifts you will be giving your guests today! 🙂

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” ~ Woody Allen

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~ Jean Houston

Laughter is an instant vacation.” ~Milton Berle

Mirth is God’s medicine …Everybody ought to bathe in it.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

“Watching a child’s laughter teach a candlesmh60 flame how to dance.”  ~ Dr. Sun Wolf.

“I’ve always thought that a big laugh, is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth!” ~ Quincy Jones

“You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants to.” ~ Stephen King

 

For this imaginative Mad Hatter afternoon Tea, ask  every lady to arrive in her favorite, creative and colorful hat. (If she does not own a hat, it is all the better as she can create the hat of her dreams.) When you write out your invitations  for your Tea, make sure they know that there will be  a prize for the most creative and eye-catching ‘HAT.’ (Believe me, people are motivated when you have door prizes. 🙂  To get your “creative hat juices” flowing, here are a few ideas.

A beautiful array of stylish, Victorian hats…wd10

lovely, soft and feminine hats….

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WOW! These  spectacular hats  are more on the “wild and crazy side.” Very creative!

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Fanciful and  dramatically regal…I love the red and purple combination! Very flashy! 🙂

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Have fun and create one for yourself as well! 🙂 (Your door prize will be the felicity and laughter that wearing a colorful and blithesome hat will bring you and your guests.) 🙂

You will be a busy lady the day of the party as well as the day before, but it is all a gratifying and blithesome ‘busy.’ 🙂

You already have a theme… Now you want to concentrate on your home and it’s alluring appeal! I personally, would go with a formal table, linen napkins, fine china and a wealth of color… Tall pillar candles in  hurricane glass lamps are stunning, but the important thing to remember is to ‘just have an abundance  of candle light on the table and throughout your home.’ 🙂

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It is always fabulously popular and luxurious using a white linen table cloth…make sure you  bring your color onto the table through your flowers, napkins, centerpiece or flowers. (The candles can be bright as well…) I love the rose colored linen napkins with the white, but you can choose your own color pallet, and stay within those colors.  This Tea party can be a little on the “wild and extreme” side. This would make a cute centerpiece with the March Hare motif… Displaying topiary trees is always a novel and lively idea… Don’t be afraid to add some bright color to your trees…cut out some bright colored polka dots for your topiary’s, bedeck them with dried roses or entrancing, motley floral  garlands.

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Whatever China or dinnerware  you choose to use for your Tea, will be perfect…This particular pattern is beautiful with a bright color motif. It’s stunning and  generously adds prestige to a regal and formal presentation…

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Here are some more decorative table ideas… The rose heart wreath is so romantic and colorful…. it is stirring and poignant with the green and rose china this hostess  has chosen to display.   White upon white is always noble and august. Your party favors atop the napkins and bright flowers will assuredly bring an abundance of color to your blissful table

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You can never go wrong with a breathtaking floral arrangement as your centerpiece…These two arrangements are absolutely statuesque.

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On a separate table, either in your dining room, (if it is large enough,) or set out in your living room, create your theme all over again with different decor items…(You can keep it simple.) 🙂

If you are a connoisseur of tea pots like I am, you will have a few to chose from. Perhaps you have a particular tea pot that you love, use that one. Place the tea pot along side your three tiered  cake plates filled with sweet confections…  Here are a few ideas of some easy  and simple things to create for your Tea. Fresh in-season fruits are not only healthy and delicious, but they are very colorful and create a beautiful presentation.  (Especially strawberries, raspberries, red cherries and  fresh pineapple.) Bake some of your favorite cookies, or place some elegant Pepperidge Farm decorative cookies out. Baked scones are delicious, a diversity of flavored  Biscotti or Dove dark chocolates wrapped in the royal,splendid red paper is very esthetic to the eyes… (and a sweet treat for the tummy.) 🙂

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Now a days, the “in craze” is mixing and matching your tea cups…You can give each guest a different cup if you like…It’s fun and creative. (If you do not have a set of tea cups for 8-10 ladies, don’t forget, there are plenty of “great finds” at your local thrift stores.

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More ideas of the wondrous idea and freedoms of mix and match!  🙂 Don’t you love it?

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There are an abundance of ideas for your tiered plate displays…If you don’t have a tiered confections plate, a few trays on the table will look just as nice. If you would like to serve a cake for dessert, you can always display an array of crackers and cheese, healthy fresh vegetables with a delightful dip and some petite, sour cream biscuits with  homemade jam. It’s all up to you!

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Another beautiful tea pot…I personally love the chintz china. It’s divine charm is captivating!  Mary Engelbreit has a collection of clever and charmingly  cute tea pots as well…(In fact they fit the Mad Hatter theme perfectly.) Be inspired to dauntlessly place out any special touches you want to add throughout your living room, dining room and the Ladies Room,  (the three rooms your guests will ‘frequent,’) 🙂

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This tree is so cute… In this photograph, It is in the front yard  to greet the ladies as they arrive to your wondrous Tea…It would look adorable to fix up a topiary tree in your home that resembles this tree…with your creative touches! I thought these cookies were so cute and befitting for this Tea as well.

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Two more ‘March Hare’ rabbits…Both  very chipper and celebratory,  along with another beautiful side tablescape with pastries and decadent strawberries! (I adore all of the spring colors. )

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OK…You’ve done your table, your house is looking spectacular at this time… your sweet confections are all baked, ordered from the bakery or have been bought… You need to decide if you want to do individual tea bags for your guests, (just having hot water in your tea pot,) or whether you are going to make one large pot of  Earl Grey, cinnamon apple or whatever delicious tea you would like to serve. Be sure to put sugar and cream out as well.

Your luncheon menu can be made first thing in the morning. My Tea’s always begin at 12:00 noon, leaving me at least half a day to do last minute preparations! My suggestion , (and I will give you the recipe) is a dish that everyone has adored…A Bacon spinach quiche… I bake two for up to 10 guests. Along side of the quiche, I make a large tossed spinach salad with raspberries and pecans. I will give you the recipe for that as well… Those two items along with some hard rolls from the bakery , accompanied by creamy  butter, is plenty for your guests… (You will most likely have some ladies that have seconds, and I always have some quiche leftover for my husband’s dinner that night!) (There is no-way, I am cooking two times the day of my Tea.) 🙂

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Heat up your rolls right before serving and toss your salad about 10 minutes before your ladies are seated.

I usually make a homemade cake for my Teas… Knowing the ladies will enjoy that slice of cake on a less “full tummy,”, I fill my three tiered cake stand with fresh fruit, a few chocolates and maybe a few decorative cookies…Nothing to heavy as the guests look forward to  a slice , (or sliver) 🙂  of cake and tea before they have to leave their day of reverie and fun. 🙂

For your Mad Hatter Tea... there are a few cakes that would fit your wild and fun motif… I always make the same cake as it is a winner…It is my Coconut carrot cake with  pecans, topped off with a delicious creme cheese frosting. It has always been “everyone’s favorite.” 🙂

A delicious coconut carrot cake “all dressed up for a Tea.”

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A whimsical Mad Hatter’s cake…This looks very daring but delicious! (You could choose your favorite flavors for each of the layers! 🙂

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My coconut carrot cake, not dressed up, instead, its serene and simple. 🙂  It looks pretty either way!

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Music? It is up to you…for my Teas, I put melodic, easy listening CD’son or make up a playlist on my computer and keep the sound low, just as back ground music.  I would suggest, Josh Grobin, Andrea Bocelli, Piano music by Jim Brickman or the renowned Pavarotti! Don’t forget, You can always check out your favorite CD’s at your local Library.

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Every Tea should have some party favors… Nothing extravagant, just  a little something that you, as the hostess, creates and places at their individual table setting. It makes each guest feel very special and coddled. 🙂

With some fancy, sheer decorative fabric, glass votive candle holders, tea light candles, ribbon and fresh coffee beans you can easily create 8-10 of these for your guests. (It is not only attractive to the eyes, but charmingly creative as well.)  A petite tea infuser for two is another lovely gift!

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With your sheer material, and small candle holder, you can place a colorful votive candle within each glass and wrap them with the fabric and ribbon… they are adorable and will undoubtedly add a wealth of color to your table.   Another clever idea, and  cunningly creative is a tea bag wrapped in sheer fabric with a tiny  gold teaspoon tied to it with dainty ribbon or gold twine.    All of these are wondrous party favors as well as inexpensive.

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You will also need a gift for each lady… These too are not to be expensive or lavish. You will be playing two games during the tea…One is a great party for the time your gathered at the table, and the other game, (The Famous Person ‘Hat’ game,) is a great ice breaker for the first hour of your Tea…(after your guests have arrived, and have their cup of tea and a cookie in hand.) 🙂 There will be one winner for each game and then the rest of your ladies will be delighted that they too will receive a beautifully wrapped gift ‘just for being there.’  🙂

Here are some gift ideas as well as creative ways to wrap them to match your colorful and kaleidoscopic Mad Hatters motif.

Votive candles in pretty packaging is always a welcomed gift as well as  the Victorian style festooned, lovely soaps.

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Assorted hand and body lotions as well as a Mad Hatter charm bracelet, (or any motif of a charm bracelet) is an ideal bestowal .

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You can never go wrong with soy candles in bright, beautiful colors… Finding creative jars or bottles and filling them with sweet, colorful candies… (M&M’s or  fiery red, cinnamon bears,) is a cordial as well as delicious gift. 🙂

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These lovely tokens with the popular Skittle candies or renowned Jelly Belly’s are also another great door prize and gift!

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Adorable and inviting mugs for coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the brisk autumn and wintry months, are a lovely gift  as well as a cheerful and perky tea pot!

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Creative and motley picture frames are always a blessing and a ‘sure to be used’ gift.   This one is especially alluring with it’s unique design and antiquated look with the  romantic jewelry!

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Here are some creative wrapping ideas. (Gift bags are also a wondrous way to wrap your door prizes! )

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Your first gift will go to the winner of the most creative hat.… (You can hand out voting cards if you like so that all of your guests “have the honor”  of choosing the winner, 🙂  or you can do it yourself.) The second door prize will go to the winner of the “Famous Person Hat Game,) and the third will go to the ” Mystery Word game winner.” If you have invited 8 ladies, then the other five will receive the last gifts, (just because! ) 🙂 Knowing what is underneath the  beautiful and decorative wrapping, you can choose  the gift for each winner and guest, or creatively display theme out on a table and let them choose their own.

The first game, (The famous Hat game,) is actually in the blog called ‘The Famous People game.’ The only thing that changes is that you will put the name tags of famous people who are known to wear hats. Check that game out and apply every rule to this  game. (It is very simple, easy and FUN.) Here are some examples of some renowned “hat”  people. This is such a chimerical game. 🙂

Jackie Kennedy, Fred Astaire, Queen Elizabeth, the famous Santa Claus,  Tim McGraw, Barbara Streisand, Abe Lincoln, Michael Jackson, Clive Owen, Audry Hepburn,  Johnny Depp and Aretha Franklin.

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I am sure you can think of many more, these are just some ideas. Have fun!

Your second game is best introduced and played when you are all sitting down at the table. It too is in the Game category, called the “Mystery Word game.” It is enormously fun and competitive…You can make the “secret word” part of your theme… Words like “rabbit hole,” “fairytale,”   “blissful,” or the name of the author of Alice in Wonderland, “Lewis.” All the things you need to know are in the blog , again this game is very simple and a lot of fun. It can also can get exceedingly competitive as the ladies begin ‘guessing’ and ‘saying’ all different kinds of words in their sentences, (that they think the ‘mystery word is,’)  so they can WIN the game. 🙂

After you have all eaten until you can’t possibly take another bight, suggest that everyone goes to a more comfortable seat, the living room. 🙂 Have everyone take their tea or coffee and just relax! If it is a wintry day, enjoy the fireplace… Most of the ladies at my Teas stay until they have to journey home to cook dinner for their own gang! 🙂  (5:30 or 6:00 PM.) You? Go and run a hot bubble bath, give your husband quiche for dinner and ask him to clean up the Kitchen. 🙂 (Or if he is to tired from his long day at work, leave the dishes until the morning! )

The most important part of this entire day is that you and your guests have FUN… The games bring  an abundance of mirth and are great ice breakers… Each guest will be going home with a delightful gift,  party favor and a  resplendent memory of a day of being  treated like royalty…They will feel as if they have been pampered at the spa. 🙂 Their soul will be lighter because of how much they laughed…they will think about how (in the beginning,) they were a little shy to wear a ‘big, bright colorful hat,’ but now, they don’t want to take it off! 🙂   You will miss their presence, all the felicity that filled your home and will already be looking for another theme, or occasion to give another Tea. 🙂

In writing this blog, I enjoy sharing with you, my reader, the ideas I have and what has been successful for me in the Tea’s I have given. Remember, this is your Tea...so create it exactly how you would like it to be… I know it will be lovely. 🙂

For your Coconut  carrot cake recipe as well as Raspberry salad and Bacon spinach quiche, go to the “unforgettable recipes” category…The carrot cake is called “Bunny -luscious carrot cake.”

For your two games, go to the”Fabulous party games for every entertaining event,”   category and  you will find “The Famous People game” for your hat  game…it’s the exact game, only your subject is a little different with the hats. The second game is the “Mystery Word game.” Have an absolutely wonderful day and relish this time with your loved ones! 🙂

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Additional Links:
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine

 

 

 

 

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

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

“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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LINKS: If you would like to learn more about the purpose of the newly added ‘links’ within Living Winsomely, read the blog; “WE NOW HAVE LINKS.” 🙂

Additional Links:
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine