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.



“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





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?


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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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



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.) 🙂


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


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


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


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.

“ESTEEM In BLoom,” A ladies Edification Tea!

 “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ~ John Holmes


Ah the impact of uplifting words! What would you do if you were offered one million dollars with the stipulation being,  that in receiving it, you would never hear an uplifting word spoken to you the rest of your life, nor could you speak one? In weighing out the benefits, it hardly seems their would  be a choice to make. (IMHO) 🙂

When you think about the word “edification” what comes to your mind? I was surprised to read that one of the translations of this word is “TO BUILD A HOUSE.” That makes sense as when someone speaks edifying words to another person, it truly does build us up in our self esteem, value and worth as human beings. It also promotes helping one-another in our growth and development of our talents as well as significance and importance in this world. Who does not want to feel that kind of support in their lives?

love tank2Its so easy in this worlds “energetic confusion” and the ‘hurried bustle’ of our daily lives to become so busy that we don’t take the time to be demonstrative with our words, telling others what a wonderful person they are or how much they mean to us in our lives. We innocently just believe they ‘already know’ that they are beautiful, kind, handsome, smart, a spectacular mentor to us, a person of great integrity or someone we look up to. And if we are honest, we at times miss hearing something good about ourselves as well.

Many of us are blessed with a mate or close friends and family, that  tell us quite often that “they love us” and they show their love through uplifting words, telling us daily what our value is to them. Others do not, all the more reason that we as ‘the human race’ need to speak words that edify and uplift others, whether to our families,  friends, siblings, parents, children, co-workers, neighbors, even a stranger in the grocery store.  (And we can’t forget our precious cargo.) 🙂cargo



I  have come to learn that if I wait to speak something complimentary to someone only when “they look like they need a lift”, I have held on to my ‘words of enrichment’ far to long, as so many of us never show we are in need of just one ‘good bout of encouragement and a kind word.’

lovetank1Everyone wants to feel significant, of value and loved. Like the saying goes, “we all have a love tank that needs to be filled every now and then to ‘keep us going.’ ” Where do we go to get it filled? There is no one answer, as we all receive value, love and significance in a medley of diverse ways. Perhaps  we receive it through praise for our talents and gifts, from our significant other, close friendships, a parent, a mentors smile, our faith in God, His love and what He says about us, or a combination of many things. For each person, the “Love station” they choose to ‘fill up’ at, is unique and personal.   I do know that we all share one thing in common…the power of WORDS effects us all.

If you have come from a background of hurtful words, verbal or physical abuse, traumatic events as well as destructive relationships, then you know what negative words can produce; beliefs about ourselves that are not true, loneliness, low self esteem, shyness and  shame. On the other hand, if your  home was filled with praise, words of encouragement and  unconditional love, then you know how much that bestowal  has nurtured you, and that the words we speak are so important, as you feel loved, nurtured, secure and confidant.

I love the quote by Mother Teresa, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” That truth alone is a prodigious  inspiration that we can, (no matter our age and season in life)  change our own negative beliefs about ourselves as well as help others to change theirs, by sharing heartfelt words of encouragement, edification and love.rose Gracious and good-hearted words spoken in love, can be  likened to a fresh spring rain falling upon a thirsty rose, whose brilliant beauty blossoms as the nourishment reaches its roots. Uplifting words ennoble encouragement, growth, confidence and for many, (without us even knowing it,) eradicates the wrong truths we have been told and believed.To edify is to illuminate, inspire, nurture, elevate, uplift, renew, and transform.


Of all times to feel an inspiration from up above, I was vigorously dancing away,( to the Motown tunes of Michael McDonald,) as the thought came to me “Why not have an Edification Tea for your girlfriends?” (It was hard to concentrate on my aerobic exercise any longer as my mind began excitedly thinking about how much fun it would be and how I would  do it.) 🙂 I changed the original theme I was thinking about (an autumn gathering,)  to a time of encouragement with the ‘benefits’ of the joys an afternoon Tea brings.  Thus, this blog is about more than just a resplendent afternoon for ladies to indulge in a few hours of repose and pampering, its that PLUS  a noteworthy , tangible  and  priceless gift to  take home and keep forever…gentle giants 6 the bestowal of edification and feeling loved.  In growing up with five brothers and being married to Kit for 24 years,  I know that not one of them would host an afternoon Tea for their buddies, but I have witnessed and still do,  an abundance of special ways that men can reach out to their friends and bring about edification. I see Kit do that with adventuring off  on a camping  trip with one of his friends,  calling a buddy when he is going through a rough time in life or helping his friend to renovate his home.  (Yes the help is needed, but it is the time shared between two men and the “guy talk” that happens ‘along the way’  that brings about a time for building up one another.) It doesn’t matter what the occasion is or what “stage” it occurs on…it only matters that it happens in all our lives.

(Though I have to admit, if I had a choice of an afternoon tea with sweet indulgences, a delicious meal and girl talk, in the midst of a beautiful ambiance, compared to painting a house and breaking out a sweat, well, you know which one I’d choose.) 🙂


A  few selected quotes about ” the joys and gifts of Tea, friendships and edifying others.” (A great combination for an abundance of warm fuzzy’s.)   🙂



“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” ~James Norwood Pratt

“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.” ~P.G. Wodehouse

“The sounds of the tea being made invite the peach blossoms to peep in through the window. “~Uson, quoted in Sasaki Sanmi.

“Where there’s tea there’s hope.” ~Arthur Wing Pinero

“True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable. “~ David Tyson Gentry

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones,” or put in another way…”Kind words are like honey , sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” ~ Proverbs 16:24

apple100“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”~ Proverbs 25:11

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” ~ I Thessalonians 5:11

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ~ Plato

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ~Henry James

apple110“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage. “~Catherine Douzel


“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” ~ Nelson Mandela

apple111“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Laozi

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.” ~ William Makepeace Thackeray

apple103Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’ ~ C.S. Lewis

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. ~ William Shakespeare


“Lots of apple106people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”~ Marlene Dietrich

“Friends are the family you choose.” ~ Jess C. Scott


“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” ~Ray Bradbury

“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one many edify another.”   Bible Quotes



A ladies afternoon Tea , already within itself is a fabulously edifying fete to create and give to those special friends in your life. Its a rare gift of your signature style, love and creativity all wrapped into one.Your home becomes a resplendent stage for a memorable gathering your guests will treasure,  as you treat them to a time of feeling uplifted, pampered and loved.




OKAY, we already know the theme of this afternoon of bliss, but what about the time of year? There are so many fabulous motifs that each season has to offer. Are you someone who prefers entertaining outdoors, where the warm sunshine and lush landscape with a bounty of color gives you a head start with your backdrop? Maybe you love the winter and autumn months, where your beautiful fireplace can come into play along with a hot (comfort food) 🙂  entree, amidst the marvel that fall’s changing leaves and chilly brisk temperatures brings or the mirth and splendor of the magical Christmas season.   There is really no ideal  time of year to chose , its truly what you desire as the  hostess.

Winter offers the relishable  muses of Christmas and Valentines day…two sublime and glorious holidays to  inspire you with a bounty of wondrous decor ideas for your gathering.

This hostess has created a fabulously classy, festive and eminently inviting table-scape with her wintry greens, soft candle light and romantic reds. elegance500

With an ambiance of romance, the beauty of a Victorian Christmas, the warm glow of a fire kindling and candles burning, who would ever want to leave this inviting, cozy ambiance?


A Valentines theme is perfect for an Edification tea with “the celebration on Love” being in the air…(and IMHO, you can never go wrong with RED as your foundational  color palette.


If a bouquet of flowers creates a celebration on an ordinary day, just imagine what a garden overflowing with fresh blossoms and bedazzling color does for a festive day of splendor with your best girlfriends?


Whether you are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s day is a fun , colorful and jocose  muse to use for your gala, and because it falls in the wake of springs arrival, its ideal for an inside or outdoors setting.


(Being a collector and lover of bunnies, this is one of my all time favorite patina’s for an afternoon tea.) I love the pastel colors this hostess has chosen to celebrate Springs long awaited celebration of Easter.valentines110

Summer whites amidst a sylvan charm…This formal tablescape is elegant , inviting and pleasing to both the eyes and spirit.


I have never  been to a 4th of July afternoon Tea but just looking at this fetching table-scape, creates a desire to try one. Absolutely stunning with it’s array of vibrant, livening blues, fire engine reds and bright , crisp whites.  Eminently festive! valentines101

An autumn celebration has always been one of my favorites… I adore the abundance of rich golden hues, soft candlelight, the divine fragrance of an ambrosial dutch apple pie baking in the oven, the candescent glow of a fire burning in the hearth and the potpourri of pumpkins, (in all shapes and sizes,) gracing our homes with their charm.  elegance300

An entirely different tablescape for the cozy fall season, yet just as charming and warm! I love these lanterns, showcasing an inviting, gentle shimmering light.valentines103

Whether dining inside your home or alfresco, once you have decided what your motif is going to be for your table-scape,  allow that ambiance to spill over into the other rooms in your home, gracing every corner with your delightful, chosen theme.

For instance, if you choose a spring theme, place a few bright, sunny and blithesome   decorative items in your living room, ladies room  and upon your porch.



To personalize this fete for each lady,  I place a “party favor” gift at each table setting as well as a  place card. We all love surprises and gifts… its just another way to bless your guests for the festive event.


I like to  create a seating arrangement, as I know my guests the best and try to sit each person next to ‘just the right person.’ If you decide to do this, there are an abundance of creative ways to display your guests names, depending on your chosen theme.


The gifts you choose for your party favors don’t need to be elaborate, just something to remind your friends of the special day.  A homemade gift is just as endearing as something you handpick from the florist, a boutique or order on line.

How about giving them a head start for their garden with a fresh herb plant, or if you love to do crafts, get your glue gun out and create a few petite, dried rose-flower arrangements.

thyme herb plants in pots with beautiful paper decorelegance833

I love these lace covered mason jars, (perfect for a tea-light candle,) and who wouldn’t love an adorable jar filled with Hershey kisses? Both ideas are wonderful and creative party favor ideas.


If your Tea will be held in the autumn, a pint-size pumpkin decorated with sparkling puff paint would be ideal, (and its a gift you can personalize.) 🙂 For your mason jars, you can also fill them with your friends specific favorite candies… another thoughtful way to let them know you were thinking especially about them.


For a Christmas Tea, how about a blue Mason jar filled with (as my mom always called them,) “Silver Bells?”


Party Favors can be as creative as you desire them to be…Jelly belly’s and candy corns for a Fall gala, (spiders optional,) ornate and delicate tea spoons, beautifully wrapped with a tea bag, homemade book markers or an elegant tea cup… (all great ideas to bless your friends with,) as a memorable token of this special day.


Its always fun to have a formal tea…I think all of us ladies enjoy getting dressed up (in that new dress we bought and have not had a chance to wear,) put on our special jewelry and feel especially graceful and classy for a day.


Yet,  casual is just as much fun , especially if you decide that your tea is going to be more on the winsome, quirky and bizarro side.




Tea hats or no hats? And if tea hats, elaborate or simple? Its all up to you. 🙂




For “just the right” fragrance wafting through your home, Yankee candles amaze me with their wide-ranging selection of candles for every mood you could possibly dream up, as well as for every season. Be sure to have a potpourri of tea light candles glowing at your party as well,  to create a magical, charming patina.



For your background music,  your preference may be the soft, melodic piano tunes of Jim Brickman or the  enchanting instrumentals form George Winston’s collection. Perhaps the galvanizing Victoria Secret’s London’s Symphony Orchestra ballads of love or their fabulous Christmas carols collection,  if your entertaining during the holidays. Choose music that you love and enjoy, then most likely, all your guests will too. 🙂

IFonly 19Gin11if only 51if only 69


As each guest arrives, and are busily saying their hellos, giving warm hugs to everyone, and getting  caught up on one another’s lives, invite them to get their “beverage of choice.” 🙂 (Believe it or not, even though it is a TEA, some ladies still prefer a delicious robust cup of coffee… I serve both.  I always have  a medley of herbal and decaffeinated teas, (Celestial seasonings make a yummy apple cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice Tea,) along with the renowned Earl Grey and Chamomile.  With the Fresh roasted coffee, I always put out fresh cream and sugar and select a few luscious flavored creamers. ( Heath , Peppermint- Chocolate and French Vanilla have proven to be the most popular. 🙂




Its so much fun to mix and match your tea cups…not only do they create a beautiful and resplendent display , but each lady can choose her favorite cup for the day.



For each Tea I have hosted, I personally chose to have an  icebreaker game…something fun to get my guests to feel more at ease and bring a little laughter to the gathering.

For this particular Tea, I would choose the “Famous People game” (in my site  under ‘Fabulous party games for every entertaining event category,’) but instead of  famous people, I would make it “Famously admired women.” Here are a few ideas of well known ladies who are all acclaimed for their positions in politics, singing talent, faith, philanthropy work, acting , and  bestselling books they have written; Jackqueline Kennedy, Celine Dion, Cece Winan, Danielle Steele,Condaleesa Rice, Meryl Streep, Mother Teresa, Ashley Judd, Nancy Regan, Julia Roberts, Ruth in the bible, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. (I am sure you have your favorites as well that would be fun!) 🙂 Don’t forget to tell the ladies that the winner of this game will get a prize! 🙂 (It gets the competitive  juices flowing!)




“Ladies, your Luncheon awaits you!!! ”

Your menu will most likely be influenced by the season you have chosen to give your Edification TEA.

For summer and spring Teas, (especially if you are entertaining outside,) it is lovely to use  a few elegant three tiered plates, lined with lace doilies to display your tempting confections, petite  sandwiches and array of fresh breads, entertaining  your guests with a buffet style.


If your first choice is to serve your guest a hot meal, you can still use your resplendent tiered plates for your dessert or homemade biscuits, assorted jams and fresh fruits. elegance150elegance121

Your menu can be as creative as you’d like…If you are one who adores cooking and baking, then prepare your favorite recipes with abandon. 🙂 If you don’t want to do an abundance of cooking, there are plenty of things at your grocer you can order or pick up…petite quiches, assorted Tea cookies, fresh fruit, a medley of breads, or a cake from the your neighborhood bakery. Some ladies choose to  have their tea catered. Its all up to you, the hostess for the day. 🙂

Here are a few menus that I have chosen if you would like some ideas.

Menu #1 Grilled chicken cilantro salad served on fresh Romaine, sour cream biscuits with assorted jams, and for dessert, chocolate covered strawberries along with a sour cream coffee cake. (Perfect for a summer or spring gala.)

Menu #2 Ham and Swiss cheese quiche, Spinach pecan and raspberry salad,  buttery croissants and a Chocolate ice box cake.

These recipes will be at the end of  this vignette if you need some ideas. 🙂

As each lady sits down at the dining table, its a great time for you to freshen up their teas and coffee as well as encourage them to open their party favor. As they are expressing their ‘oohs an awes,’ begin serving their plates with your hot entree and allow them to help themselves with the breads and salad already placed upon your striking table. This is a great time for you to relax as well...enjoy this special time with your girlfriends and some of your delicious cuisine.  I love this quote by Julia Child; “Dining with ones friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal.”

You’ll know ‘just the precise moment’ when to clear the plates and serve your scrumptious dessert. If you already have  your ambrosial  confections  displayed on your summoning and delightful tiered plate(s), invite your guests to help themselves to their choice of sweet indulgences.

When you are all so full you can’t eat another bite, adjourn to the living room or if your already outside, to a new setting of comfortable chairs. This is where the real fun begins. 🙂

You are now entering into the “Edification” part of your luxurious afternoon tea…Make sure you have plenty of beautiful stationary as well as a set of oblong envelopes and a ‘long lasting’ writing pen.) 🙂


As you are  gathered together with your friends, seated comfortably,  introduce this next and most important part of the joyous and dulcet afternoon.

Probably by now, the ladies are wondering from your invitation,  why you called it an Edification Tea… (Yet I am pretty sure they are already feeling edified, pampered and having a lovely afternoon.)

In opening up this part of the afternoon Tea, you may want to read a few of the quotes about kind words, share whats on your heart and why you are hosting an ‘Edification Tea.’ Explain how this time of uplifting will go… (creating comfort in your guests hearts as this may be new to them.) 🙂 Encourage each of your friends to ‘share their heart felt sentiments’ with each lady, about how they have touched their life, how they see them, what their special qualities and talents are and their appreciation of that person within thier lives.

allabaster500As the hostess, you become the “designated writer” for each ladies page of beautiful words spoken to her. (Choose one of your friends to write for you when you are sharing your heart felt sentiments to each guest as well.)  As you are all sitting together, start with the lady to your right and work clockwise around the group. She will be the “focus” for everyone to be able to share their “words of edification,” and after her ‘page’ is written, (your sentiments included,) you will seal up her envelope, (make sure you write her name on the front,) 🙂  and move on to the next lady and continue until every guest has her “gift of kind words” completed for her to take home.   At the top of each friends paper, write her name, the date and days event. The first line will be the first woman’s (as your go around the circle) name and then in Italics, the kind words that she feels towards this special lady. Some people may make their tribute of warmhearted sentiments, quick and simple, while others, more lengthy with several sentences. (Some of us are more wordy than others.) 🙂  Examples of things that may be said being; ” I don’t know you well, but your always smiling, you are so very kind, you’ve got a great sense of humor, your very pretty, creative, etc…” Or for those in your group who are long time friends,  “I’ve known you all my life and your the best friend I have ever had, your closer than a sister, your friendship means the world to me, etc…”  (You will find that most ladies will openly share their hearts and don’t need any coaching.) There is nothing quite like hearing from our best friends, words of love, edification and  encouragement, to inspire, buildup and fortify us, strengthening our self esteem and worth.

Make sure as each of your girlfriends leave the party, they have their cherished letter of edification to take home with them… If they are like my friends and I, they will keep it forever.

When I hosted  my Edification tea, I can’t tell you how much this meant to every lady...there was plenty of laughter, tears of joy and to be honest with you, most women found it hard to just say a “few words”, thus the tea went on until after 5:00 PM and truly, no one wanted to go home.

When all the ladies were done sharing and receiving, one of my friends asked if she could write down what everyone wanted to say about me. I was so deeply  touched by all the kind words. I still keep my relished letter of edification in a drawer and when I am having one of those days where I need a little assurance, or feel down and need a dose of uplifting,  I go back and read  what people had to say. formal2I was not only surprised, but wonderfully blessed  by their heart felt words to me. I think that we can all be hard on ourselves and often times ‘the worst critic’ of our gifts, talents and overall ‘feelings about who we are.’ HEARING how others see us or feel about us, is a beautiful gift that enables us to take another ‘look’ at all the good things about us, filling our hearts with warm fuzzy’s and our “love tank” begins to fill up. 🙂

A funny story...one of the ladies lost her envelope and months later, when we were all gathered together for a birthday Tea, she asked if all the ladies could tell her again what they had said so she could write it down, as she felt lost without her precious “words of love and edification.”

selfWe never know what just one word will do for a person, but when there are many words spoken, (and often times, things we would never think about our self,) it gives our “self esteem” a face lift.


The afternoon, (which turned into an early evening) proved to be a spectacular day had by all! Not only did each guest leave with memories of a wondrous ladies day out, filled with delicious cuisine, ample girl talk, felicity and laughter, a party favor gift, but a tangible bestowal of words. Out of all the Teas I have given, attended, (or have written about in Living Winsomely, ) this by far, was the one I remember most of all. I hope this vignette  sparks  your creativity and imagination as well as brings you inspiration.

I wish for you, ( if you choose to host an edification luncheon or Tea,) that it will be a day of blessing and uplifting for your girlfriends as well as for yourself.  Let me know how it goes and ENJOY browsing through the recipes.



1 head of romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, (or more per your taste,) 1 TBSP. Ranch dressing, 4-6 skinless, boneless breast of chicken, grilled and cut into bite size pieces, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 green onions chopped, (using the chives as well,) fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste. (I do put a dash or two of Tabasco sauce in mine.) 🙂

After your chicken is grilled and cut up, mix together with the mayo, Ranch dressing and seasoning…chill at least 2 hours before serving.  This salad is delicious served over romaine lettuce with freshly cut  Granny Smith or Fuji apple wedges.




2 cups  self rising flour, 2 sticks of butter, (softened to room temperature,) 1 cup of sour cream and a miniature muffin pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease your muffin pan.

Mix together the butter and flour ’til blended, then add your sour cream. Spoon into muffin pan and bake 8-10 minutes. This recipe yields 3 dozen, scrumptious biscuits. (Recipe by Paula Dean.)




1-2  PKG. fresh strawberries, (depending on how many strawberries you want to serve.)

1/2 bag Dove dark chocolates, 1/2 stick butter, 2 TBSP. of half and half .

Over low heat, melt your chocolate, add the butter and half and half, stirring constantly. Allow sauce to cool.  Wash your strawberries and let dry on paper towel. When dried , dip strawberry’s in the sauce and set upon a non stick cookie sheet to cool. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator to chill before serving. (If you have extra sauce left over, it is yummy served hot over French vanilla ice cream. 🙂




Ingredients for cake streusel filling;

3/4 cup  brown sugar, 1/2-3/4 cups of chopped pecans, 2 TBSP. cinnamon, 1-2 Tbsp. butter. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together until moist for a delicious, cake filling.

Ingredients for cake:

2 sticks of butter, (room temperature,)  2 cups of all purpose flour, 2 cups white sugar, 2  eggs, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup of sour cream and 1& 1/2  tsp. vanilla.

For your cake, In a large bowl, measure your flour, baking powder and salt together, mix and set aside.

In another bowl, (using electric mixer) beat your butter with the eggs until smooth, add vanilla and sour cream, mixing until blended. Gradually add in your dry mixture  until your  batter is smooth and ready to pour, (or scoop) into your baking pan.

Place 1/3rd of your batter into a greased and flour dusted tube pan…spread evenly in pan. Add 1/2 of your streusel filling, add another third of your batter, and the second half of your filling, then top with remaining batter.

Bake in a greased tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour…( all ovens vary,  so begin checking your cake after 50 minutes…)  To test when your cake is done, insert a sharp knife into center and when it comes out clean, it is finished. (Or you can use a toothpick.)   Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from baking pan to finish cooling, before icing.

Butter cream frosting for coffee cake.



2 sticks of butter, (room temperature,) 1 box of confectioners sugar, 3 TBSP. Half and Half cream or heavy whipping cream, 1 TBSP vanilla. (You can also substitute French Vanilla or Vanilla nut creamer for your cream.) If you prefer your frosting to be thicker, (when you have finished beating mixture,  you can always add more confectioners sugar. )

With electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, then gradually add your powdered sugar, vanilla and cream, alternating to create the consistency you desire. Frost Coffee cake when cooled.

MENU # 2



INGREDIENTS for one quiche:

1 boxed pie shell from refrigerated section at your grocer, 2 TBSP. butter, 2 spring onions, 1 & 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup Half and Half, 5 eggs, 1-1 & 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese, 1& 1/4 cup chopped ham, dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Dust your pie plate with 1 TBSP flour and fit your pie shell to plate. Set aside. Melt your butter over low heat, add chopped green onion, (including chives,) and saute over low heat until softened.(careful not to brown to much .)  Take off heat to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together half and half, heavy cream and seasonings. Add three whole eggs, and two egg yolks to mixture and whisk until blended together.

Pour your butter and  sauteed onions into pie shell. Place your diced ham and Swiss cheese on top of onions, making sure your ham and cheese are evenly proportioned in quiche.  Pour your egg and cream mixture in and place in a preheated 350 degree oven, baking for 35-40 minutes. (Again, because oven vary, begin checking your quiche at 35 minutes and every five minutes, if it is not fully cooked.) I always check mine with a clean, sharp knife inserted into center and when it comes out clean, the quiche is done.

Raspberry, Spinach and Pecan salad.

edify salad

1  large package of fresh and cleaned spinach, 1-2 containers of fresh, washed red raspberries, (you can also substitute with fresh sliced strawberries,)  1-2  small packages of pecan halves, (depending on how large your salad is,) ground black pepper and salt to taste, and your savory dressing.

There are some extraordinary  recipes for a Raspberry Walnut dressing…I personally adore the ‘Ken’s Steak House, Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette’ from the grocer. Prepare your salad ahead of time in a pretty salad bowl and refrigerate.  About 10 minutes before your lunch is served, take your salad out and toss with the Raspberry Vinaigrette.  (The amount of dressing you use is up to you.) Salt and Pepper to taste!

Buttery croissants


I recommend visiting your grocers bakery or if you have a special bakery downtown you frequent, order some fresh croissants a day before your afternoon Tea.





1-2 Boxes of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, 8 ounces fresh whipping cream, sugar and vanilla to taste, 1 bar of Hershey’s milk chocolate.

This cake tastes as if it took hours to create, yet it is so simple and takes no time at all to prepare. With electric beater, whip your cream until thick and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla to taste. Choose the plate you want to serve this cake on at your gala. Begin with one wafer, spreading  the whipped cream on one side, then add your next wafer to that one, and continue until you reach the length of cake you desire. When that row is completed, start with the next one, right next to your completed row. When done, cover the entire cake with whip cream. Place cake in your refrigerator and allow to sit over night. Before serving, with a potato peeler, shave the desired amount of your Hershey bar on top of cake. Not only decadent, but a beautiful confection to bring out and serve your guests.

(My siblings and I , grew up with this cake as it was one of my mom’s favorite cakes to make.) Its not only rich and decadent, but mouthwatering and delicious. Definitely a keeper. 🙂

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