Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ten Year Blog Anniversary and a Giveaway


In 2013, I published this post titled, "Have you ever picked cotton?" Recently, I remembered this post (because in the back of my mind I thought I had a quilt that worked for fall) and found it in the archives. I used it in my last post. 
Reading the comments not only warmed my heart but made me realize all the more how much I have enjoyed the relationships with other bloggers over the years. 
One of my friends from Ireland asked me in her comment, "Bonnie, did you really take everything out to a cotton field and photograph it? Yes, Linda@Flowersonmytable and on Instagram linda_okane_I did!!! I hope all of you will read the comments on this post and others I am going to mention and you may see your name or others you know
 Another outdoor tablescape done on location so to speak can be viewed here. Since I am reminiscing, I am going to mention the names of people that have influenced and encouraged me over the last ten years. Susan Herrin@BNOTP was one of my first encouragers.

Despite terrible humidity in July and temps in the 90's, I have fond memories of this post. I believe Chloe@ Celebrate and Decorate viewed this post on BNOTP and asked me to join her tablescape blog hop after that. I have enjoyed all I have learned from this group. Chloe Crabtree, you are an encourager!

Time to Nest

This post was easy and fun to do in my backyard on a beautiful spring day. I remember being flattered Marty@A Stroll Thru Life featured this post on her blog. Marty is another encourager!

Grateful Giveaway Recipient
Mary@Home is where the Boat is, started blogging around the same time as I did. In the above post, I won her lovely giveaway. Mary's encouragement began a lot earlier. I'm sure she doesn't remember but she suggested I link my July 4th table to a linky party her friend, Cuisine Kathleen sponsored. Many of you will remember Cuisine Kathleen's blog party was called Let's Dish Wednesday but sadly Kathleen has retired from blogging now.  Mary is still going strong blogging and still inspires and encourages me today. Mary is an encourager!

Butterflies in the Garden
Two of the most exciting and gratifying posts I have done were the two posts on the development of swallowtail butterflies. 
Finally, I'm a beautiful butterfly My excitement was hard to contain during this time and everyone that knows me knows I have a passion for butterflies. Even today, as I write this I thought I saw a monarch but it flew away quickly. It seemed smaller and I decided it might have been a Viceroy. I've been writing this on the porch hoping it would come back but no luck.
These two butterfly posts were linked to Pam @Everyday Living's linky party titled, Garden Party. Pam featured these posts and other gardening posts. Pam is a great encourager. 
Sunrises and Sunsets
Sunrises and sunsets are glorious to me and I am in awe of each one I view. I'm sharing a collection of sunrises and sunsets today that was a thrill to photograph from different places I've traveled. Shown here are sunset at Natchez, Mississippi, and sunrise in Montpazier, France. You can view the blog post to view others by clicking on the title above.
Montpazier, France sunrise.

Enchanted by the Moon post features several phases of the moon from some of our travels. Since I was a little girl I have always been enchanted by the moon. This picture,
Moon Rising over Paris is a favorite as is the moon rising over Sorrento, Italy.
Full Moon over Sorrento, Italy. 
Sunrises and Sunsets were featured by Foodie Friday and Coastal Charm.
Appetizers Galore
I was thrilled to be featured on Foodie Friday by Micheal Lee West for this post on appetizers and a number of other posts. I miss Rattlebridge Farm but enjoy Michael Lee's Instagram account now that she is not blogging.
Micheal Lee is an encourager.

This post, Gardens in France is one of my favorite travel posts. Thank you, Shelley@ Calypso in the Country for featuring a number of my travel posts. Shelley is an encourager.

Dessert in the Garden
This post was inspired by Rita@Panoply's purge where she gifted me with this lovely vintage tablecloth and the beautiful milk glass cake stand.
Rita is an encourager.

Spring and Summer Garden
I used the beautiful tablecloth again in this post. It was featured at Life and Linda, Pam @Everyday Living, and by Victoria Magazine on Instagram. Linda, Pam, and Victoria Magazine are encouragers.

This is my first blog post titled," Our Thanksgiving Table"( view here) published on November 26, 2009! There were five little pictures and no commentary. 
I had no idea what I was doing but I was very excited to begin this journey.  My first comments were from my daughter's friends.
The first blog I discovered was Susan Herrin's blog, "Between Naps on the Porch."  I was as excited as when I first discovered the new HGTV channel back in its beginning. At last, I had access to reading and viewing things I was interested in. 
It took me forever to learn how to link up to blog parties but thanks to Susan's tutorials about how to do this I finally got it. Then the fun began and I have made so many nice friends over the years.   

Over the years I have been encouraged by each comment I have received. I could not possibly list every person over the last ten years but I must name a few that have been so faithful in no certain order: Emily@The French Hutch, Jenna@The Painted Apron, Linda@Lulu's Musings, Kitty@ Kitty's Cozy Kitchen, Cindy@Creations by Cindy, Laura@Decor to Adore, Sandra@ Maison De Jarden, Dianne@Inspired by Joy, Sarah@Hyacinth for the Soul, Mona@Hidden Art of Homemaking, Denise @Forest Major, At Home with Amalia, Louca por porcelana, Heritage Hall, Art and Sand, Jeanie@Marmelade Gypsy, Ricki@ The Sketchy Reader, Jacqueline@Purple Chocolat Home, Shannon@ Belle Bleu Interiors, Laura@White Spray Paint, Shelley@ Calypso in the Country, Stephanie@The Enchanting Rose, Debbie@She Graces her Home in God's Beauty, Liz@Home and Gardening with Liz, Stacy@Poofing the Pillows, Jemma@At Home with Jemma, Judith@Botanic Bleu, Linda@More Fun Less Laundry, Shirley@Hospitality Designs, Kari@Me and My Captain, Lidy@ French Garden House, Ann@Corner of Plaid and Paisley, Debee@ Debbees Buzz, Carole@ From My Carolina Home, Tanna@Brick Street Bungalow, Patti@Pandora's Box, Cherry Kay @ Entertaining Women, Jann@Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, Judy@Life in Kentucky, Karen@Back Road Journal, Sandra@Sweet Sensations, Carol@Blue Sky Home, Cecilia@My Thrift Store Addiction, Amber@Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Marsha@ The Little Yellow Country Store, Lea@ Cici's Corner, Maureen@Red Cottage Chronicles, Katherine@Katherine's Corner and Michelle@My Crafty Mom ,Kim@Savvy Southern Style along with the others that had linky parties I mentioned earlier. I must mention Alma@ The Tablescaper, Honey @2805 and Kelly@The Essence of Home although they are no longer blogging they were encouragers to me also.
 I would also like to thank those friends and family that do not blog but faithfully read my blog and support my efforts.  I especially thank my daughter for starting my blog so long ago. It has been an adventure. You are encouragers!

Now, for the giveaway, I am excited to share the new book by Ronda Carman," Entertaining At Home."
Entertaining at Home presents gatherings in the homes of leading tastemakers from the worlds of interior design, architecture, culinary arts, and society-including Lynn Wyatt, Suzanne Kasler, Julia Reed, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Carla McDonald, and Danielle Rollins, among others-who show readers how best to entertain with flair and finesse.

 To enter this giveaway leave a comment telling why you started blogging and when you started blogging for one entry. 
For the second entry follow me on Instagram and leave me an additional comment that you did.
For a third entry pin photos from this post. For a fourth entry become a follower through email and leave a comment that you did.
This giveaway is open to those living in the continental U.S. through midnight, November 20. I will notify the winner by email.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Fall Snacks with Granddaughter


Our Alabama granddaughter spent five days with us recently during her fall break. Since she was a little girl she and I have cooked something, decorated a table, and had a nice visit eating the fruit of our labors. We call these times " having a tea party". Our menus do not meet the standards of Tea Time magazine but we have a great time.

This is a flashback to our first tea party in 2013. It really warms my heart.

You can read the entire post here.
Leftover pumpkin roll from my Garden Club and candy corn came in handy. 
A copper pitcher holds orange Alstromeria surrounded by several snacks. My granddaughter made the festive franks and puppy chow mix from recipes from her Home Economics class.
 My grandmother's quilt that I had forgotten I had provided the perfect tablecloth for us.

The weather cooperated and we enjoyed hot apple cider and all the snacks on the patio. 
We also baked peanut butter cookies but they didn't last long!
This tea party is from October 2017. Click here to view the entire post. 

Tea Party with Sophie 2017
This post started out only about fall snacks with our Alabama granddaughter but then I started reminiscing. Looking back at former tea parties is fun. Our hearts are full that God willing we will have all our grandchildren at our house this year for Christmas. The parties aren't elaborate but they enjoy them.

This party was the day after Thanksgiving 2017 and they wanted to decorate for Christmas. 
Frequently I hear, " Oh, I remember that." 

Texas tea party in November 2018. It can be viewed here.

And this tea party was held recently in Texas in early October. We started outside but it was 98 degrees so we moved inside. Her brother was playing golf with his granddaddy and Dad. We shopped for ingredients, baked, and decorated the cupcakes, and barely had time to eat them before everyone was home. 

I almost forgot Leesy Loo( her nickname from her granddaddy) picked and arranged the flowers all by herself. I posted this party on Instagram but haven't blogged about it.

I'm a child at heart that remembers making tea cakes with my grandmother and her serving Russian tea from a quaint inexpensive teapot. Memories are special!  
What memories have you been making lately?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Welcome Fall Tablescape


"I can smell the autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves." Ann Drake

I am looking forward to real fall weather because we are still in the high nineties. To jumpstart fall decorating join me and a myriad of tablescapers sponsored by our talented leader, Chloe Crabtree @ Celebrate and Decorate for a welcome fall tablescape blog hop. There are no real pumpkins anywhere in our area yet so, to begin the fall mood, velvet pumpkins are the best way to decorate.

To begin my tablescape, I placed a  ruffled burlap runner on top of a matelasse cloth. Deer antler sheds, silk fall leaves, and mercury glass votives are at each end of the table runner. Candlelight always adds a special ambience.
Fresh yellow roses in mercury glass votives and dried bittersweet are interspersed among the various colored pumpkins.
  The table runner is filled with velvet pumpkins of various shades of green velvet, a butternut squash shade and a darker russet shade along with burlap fabric pumpkin all in different sizes. 
The velvet and burlap pumpkins were sourced locally at " Initially Yours." Love our local shops!
Dried limelights add softness and another shade of lighter green for contrast.
"Autumn that year painted the countryside in vivid shades of scarlet, saffron, and russet, and the days were clear and crisp under the harvest skies." Sharon Kay Penman

I loved using the vintage floral napkins with mini grapevine wreath napkin rings and vintage nubby striped placemats. Is this a blast from the past or what? Orange, green, and gold were very popular in the seventies!

I was so happy how well my vintage game set china with its dressy gold border and shiny gold chargers worked with this table as did the amber Fostoria swirl glasses and gold flatware. I like rustic and glam elements together! 
It is hard to believe I have been participating in Chloe's tablescape blog hops since 2016! It is even harder to believe this is my 10th year of blogging. 

You could add pilgrims and this table would also work for Thanksgiving.

🍁It has been a great week of inspiration for fall tables and there is more to come. Please enjoy viewing the tablescapes listed below. I am always impressed with the variety of styles and creativity.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Paris is Always a Good Idea!


This is Part Two of my 2018 Paris posts.  Warning!! Picture overload! Read Part 1 about Notre Dame before the fire here. In late April 2018, my husband and I enjoyed a cruise on the Danube River then onto France for three days in the Loire Valley( Gardens in France blog post here) and another three days in Paris(Paris is Always a Good Idea).

We left Amboise in the Loire Valley early morning thinking we would have most of the day in Paris but little did we know that the train workers were on a slow down. We had to wait for several very stressful hours in the train station in Tours hoping that we would even get on a train to Paris that day. 

 Thankfully because of a House Beautiful magazine I was reading a lady who was an American spoke to me at the train station and we exchanged valuable information about the train situation. We finally arrived in Paris that afternoon and checked in our hotel in the Montparnasse area.
This is the lobby in Hotel Sainte-Beuve.

Our room had a picturesque and spacious balcony.

 After getting settled in our hotel we went exploring. We easily spotted Cafe La Rotonde's outside eating area as we began walking. We decided to stop and have an appetizer of Escargot that would be a quick and good late lunch. 

This lovely flower shop definitely called me inside.

As we kept on walking the familiar Les Deux Magots is a favorite place to people watch and enjoy an aperitif. 

The hotel had a very nice breakfast the next morning.  The previous day had been warm and I wore a short-sleeved shirt but this next day was cooler and I wore a sweater and scarf. 

Our day started out with Laduree, an elegant pastry and tea room on the Champs Elysees. They are the premier source of macaroons in Paris and sell 15,000 a day. 

We were seated upstairs at the very same table where we had sat on a previous visit. The beautiful gilded furnishings and lavishly painted ceilings create an elegant atmosphere.
Why I didn't ask the waiter to make our picture I don't know because Mike is looking bored!

Our desserts and cappuccinos were very good. And look at the gorgeous pink roses on the mantel above our heads!

 It is hard to choose between so many beautiful desserts.  Laduree's packaging is so pretty and a gift from Laduree is something to be desired.

From here we walked on down to the Arc de Triomphe. I wish we had walked to the top on our first trip to Paris years ago. I can only imagine the spectacular scenery from the top. I missed the boat though because I know I could not walk that many steps now.

It was on this spot that my husband, the wannabe french speaker, had his proudest moment in Paris. A Frenchman seeing that he had a map asked him if the adjacent street was the way to the Eiffel Tower. He replied, "No monsieur, c'est lá ba,-No sir, its over there". And then counted the number of street crossings to get to the Avenue Kleber, "Un, Deux, Trois! 

As you walk on any street you hear different languages being spoken. The atmosphere is always exciting. The street flower markets are enthralling! 

Then we rode the batobus down to the Eiffel Tower which is a hop on and hop off boat on the Seine. There are so many beautiful bridges and I challenge myself to remember the names but with anything you have to use it to remember it.

 The Pont Alexander 111 is one of the most ornate and extravagant bridges in the city. It was built for the 1900 World Exhibition.
It connects the Champs Elysees with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
This is a typical cloudy day in Paris. This is the same day I made the pics from the Seine of Notre Dame in the Remembering Notre Dame Before the Fire post as well as some I made after we got off the batobus.
That night we had dinner at  Cafe La Rotonde which was close to our hotel. Its website defines it as a "brasserie" and a restaurant. It has been around since 1911. The food was exceptional and we highly recommend it. It is located at the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and Boulevard Raspail.
My husband had the Dover Sole which he went on and on about. I wish I had snapped a picture when they brought it out whole for him to view before they filleted it.

My steak was absolutely perfection. 
My steak frites, as they call them, were the best I have ever had! 

Strolling through the Tuilleries Gardens in May was a visual delight. Of course, I began dreaming of alliums in my garden looking like this. I planted bulbs right on time in my garden and they came up about 3 inches and died. It was an extremely dry time and even with extra watering, they did not make it. Maybe next year!

I adore the statuary, the fountains and the flowers in the Tuilleries Garden every season that I have been. 
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel Louvre entrance. I found it very interesting to read that the four horses that pull a chariot on top of the arch are a copy of the quadriga at St. Marks Cathedral, Venice. Originally, the real thing was used at this site but was afterward returned to Italy.

The Chinese-American architect that drew up this design is said to have thrown caution to the wind but the absurdity of his design fit perfectly. This pyramid of steel and glass was built in 1989 and is instantly recognizable around the world. 

It turned cold the following day as you can see jackets were needed.

One of the delights in Paris are the coffee breaks and a hot drink was welcome on a cool day. In France and Italy, locals don't drink cream in their coffee after 11:00. I think this was around11:30 a.m. according to my camera but they knew we were Americans.

You know a restaurant is good when you eat there two nights in a row. We had dinner again at Cafe La Rotonde and it was fabulous again the second night. I won't show you pics of all the dishes again but I had a veal chop with mashed potatoes and Mike had the duck. But the highlight of the evening was the "Mille Feuille." This is the dessert I had heard so much about from the book, "A Gentleman in Moscow." It did not disappoint.

Our three-day trip was very nice. Because we have seen most of the places that you must see in Paris we could relax and just "be there" and not have a schedule. 

Other Paris posts here and here.

Paris is Always a Good Idea! We love Paris. Thanks for joining me. Please tell me your favorite thing about Paris.

Please check back next week for the Welcome Fall Tablescape Blog Hop. There are many talented tablescapers you won't want to miss. My table is Thursday.