Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tablescapes ~ Garden Table With Lilacs

Hello everyone.  I hope you all had a lovely mother's day weekend.  Ours was very relaxed and quiet which gave me the chance to spend the day in my garden.  And what a joy to be in the garden these days.  It is amazing to see the transformation.  It is just glorious to watch the explosion of colors through out the garden.  Nature in all it's glory.

Spring is also the season for lilacs and with four lilac bushes in my garden, there are plenty cut and enjoy in our home.  I have long loved their beauty and pretty scent and now that I have them in my own garden, I can celebrate them and admire them all day long.  Or at least for the next two or three weeks since they don't last very long.  Did you know that Victorians who doted on the language of flowers, lilacs meant "the emotions of first love".  

I also put together this sweet and delicate garden table to share the joys of my garden and to give you some inspiration... 


























I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Fondly,

Janet

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spring's Blessings

Hello dear friends.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was busy as usual but spent working on a few fun projects and with loving family.  I have missed blogging and visiting you all a bit.  Work has been very demanding these days, mom is still recovering from her surgery, and we are also caring for my mother-in-law who will be with us until June.  So to say that life has been very busy for us in the last few months is an understatement.  So I stealing a few free quite moments to catch up with you all and to bring a bit of peace to my soul in the best way that I know how, sharing beauty and inspiration.

I have been anxiously waiting for our lilac bushes to bloom this year and this weekend, we were finally blessed with plenty.  I don't know what it is about this gorgeous flower but the mention of it brings visions of romantic garden scenes and loving memories of home.  When we purchased our home nine years ago, I did not realize that our garden had three of these magnificent lilac bushes.  It was only during our first spring in our home that I discovered the lovely bushes in our garden.  Once I saw laid eyes on their first blooms and smelled their heavenly scent, I was totally enamored for life. We had added a few since then and they are a priced treasure in our garden. 

Today, they take center stage in our garden and proudly display them through out our home where I can admire their beauty and smell their scent in every room.  Sadly, this flower is very short lived so the next two or three weeks will be all about lilacs.  Here are a few photographs of our white lilacs for you to enjoy.



























May the blessings of spring offer you happiness and inspiration this season.

Hugs,

Janet


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mini Cheesecakes Baked In Mason Jars

I love to entertain and I am always in the search for fun and easy recipes with lots of visual impact. Thank goodness for Pinterest.  I am totally addicted to this site.  I have so many boards already that I have lost count.  But it is without question a great place to find recipes.

Today, I am sharing a recipe for individual cheesecakes baked in Mason Jars which originally came from "The Italian Dish" blog.  These are just too cute and very easy to make.  Besides, I love the idea of having individual desserts.





 








Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Prep of the Jars:
You will need 12 4-ounce mason jars
Spray the mason jars with non-stick cooking spray, making sure to spray the bottoms and sides so the crust doesn't stick.
Blend the cookies, 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a mini chopper or food processor.  Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the crumbs into the mason jars and tamp down to make the crust.  ( I used the top of a wooden honey dipper).












Cheesecake (Filling)Recipe:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 sm. spoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 sm. spoon of corn starch
  • 2 cups of Vanilla Wafers (12 cookies ground)

Instructions:


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped strawberries and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the glass jars and bake for 30 minutes.
Be sure to set the jars in a large roasting pan.  Fill the pan with hot water halfway up the jelly jars and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove jars with tongs and place on a wire rack to cool.  Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours or over night.


Raspberry and Strawberry Sauce (Optional):

  • 1 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh raspberries 
  • 1 Tbsp seedless strawberry jam
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on 
cheesecake.

Toppings: 

I used raspberries and blueberries as my toppings but you can use your favorite fruits here. 




Have fun and enjoy.

I wish you all a great rest of the week.

Janet

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Loveliness

Hello friends.  Happy Monday to you all.  We had another gorgeous weekend here.  Almost summer like on Saturday.  The signs of spring are everywhere.  Brightly colored trees and daffodils fill the streets and gardens.  So much beauty and warmth that I cannot help having a big smile on my face.

And after the longer than normal winter, this felt pretty perfect for me.  And so hubby and I spend Saturday visiting our favorite nurseries looking for ideas and inspiration.  I was also looking for a white lilac shrub and a hot pink peony plant which are on my wish list for this year.  Most likely, I will find them within the next two weeks since it is still a bit early to plant.

On our way home. we stopped at our local supermarket where I spotted these gorgeous lavender tulips.  And you know that I have a soft spot when it comes to pretty flowers.  But honestly, who can pass up these beauties??  Certainly not me.  

What is your favorite spring flower???  Will you be adding any plants to your garden this year?  

































Here is a little spring loveliness for you.   I hope you all have a great week.

Hugs,

Janet

Friday, April 17, 2015

Garden Table Setting

Hello sweet friends.  Sun was finally shining here in the Northeast.  The day was just perfect.  Bright, sunny and warm.  The kind of day that lifts your spirits and make you smile.

I opened all the windows to let the fresh air in.  Turned the music on and did a little house work.  I just love days like this.  Of course with gorgeous weather, I had to set a table outside.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are.  Here's a beautiful garden table inspiration for you today....
















 















What are your plans for the weekend??  Anything special??


Hugs,

Janet

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Creating A Romantic Spa Bathroom On a Budget

Having a limited budget, I am always thinking of creative ways for revamping and refreshing the rooms in our home without having to have a total overhaul.  Often times, I turn to paint, new window treatments, accessories, and storage pieces to add style and character at an affordable price.  This usually requires a few trips to my local fabric store, Home Goods, antiques shops and thrift stores looking for bargains and unique pieces. 

One of the rooms I recently worked on was our master bathroom.  Wanting to create a little refuge for relaxing, pampering and romance I turned to my favorite style which is classic French for inspiration. Tired of the outdated dark vanity in our bathroom and limited storage space, I knew that storage and lighter cabinets were priority for me.  So our big purchase was a new vanity from Lowes.  Staying with my French theme and looking, I selected a creamy white vanity and tall cabinet from Ikea which gave me the extra storage that I needed in my bathroom.

Lighting was also key for creating a soft and romantic atmosphere.  Thank goodness that my husband is an electrician so this saved us a ton.   We decided to use several types of lighting that we could control with a dimmer.  In addition to a gorgeous chandelier which became the focal point of the room.  It could not be a French room without a grand chandelier right???




For an accent piece, I chose a mirrored chest found on clearance at Home Goods which gave me added storage and a touch of glam to the room.  Lastly and very important for the look, were the accessories. As they say, it is all in the details.  A large glass mirror with silver and bronze detail was placed above the new vanity.  








  Mercury accessories, faux flowers and vintage pieces give the room romance and a feminine appeal.















For a little spa experience, I added scented candles, my favorite shower products and creams as well as apothecary jars that store essential items such as cotton balls, face wipes etc.  






 























I hope you enjoyed the tour of my bathroom makeover on a budget.  I am so happy with the way it turned out.  It is functional and beautiful.  But most of all, it is now the perfect place for me to unwind and relax.  It inspired me every morning.

Remember, updating doesn't have to always mean a complete renovation.  The only major purchase for us was the vanity.  Everything else is still the same.

It seems like things are finally getting back to normal for me.  Mom is getting much better and I am now starting to catch up with my posts, emails and comments.  I do appreciate all of you that visit me and I thank you for your constant support and inspiring words.

I wish you all a great week.

Hugs,

Janet




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