Friday, July 25, 2014

The Pleasures of Summer

The simple pleasures of summer....With warm weather here, most of my entertaining takes place outdoors. Our yard just turns into another extension of our home.  Comfortable and easy.

Here, I share a casual summer table inspired by charming cottage style.  Cheerful, fun and a little romantic too.  Great for breakfast in the garden or lovely lunch with a friend.


I love this pale blue floral fabric.  So striking and fresh.  It has a bit the vintage look that I love.  


Isn't this fabric beautiful?  So dainty and sweet.

This lovely jam dish was a recent gift received from a friend.  A stunning vintage find from a thrift shop.


I hope you are all enjoying your summer.   Have a beautiful and fun weekend.  Thank you for visiting me.  I do love to read all your sweet comments.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pretty Hydrangeas and Roses

Hello sweet friends.  Today I am sharing a few photos featuring this lovely flower arrangement which I made over the weekend using white hydrangeas and pink roses. Such a perfect combination.   Light, bright and very pretty.  It is hard to believe that these sweet flowers came from the supermarket.  

They now sit on top on my dining room table.

The container was purchased at the Christmas Tree Shop.  

I couldn't resist setting a lovely table in the garden with these flowers.  I love the pale blues and pinks that I used for this table setting.  Isn't this table perfect for a ladies luncheon or brunch.. 

Mismatched vintage china is the perfect choice for this delicate and feminine table.

Here is my little Niki waiting for his treat.  He is such a good helper.

Wishing you all a happy and wonderful week.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Seafood Risotto

I cannot resist a delicious risotto.  So delightful and perfect for entertaining.  It is one of my favorite dishes to cook for family and friends.  My two favorite risotto combinations are chicken with mushrooms and mixed seafood.  So creamy and decadent.

The other day I realized that I had not made one in a while.  Since my husband and I always enjoy a creamy and tasty risotto dish, I figured why not prepare a seafood combination to enjoy for our Saturday night date at home.

Do not be intimidated by the process.  It is fairly simple.  And the he reward of this creamy risotto is well worth it.

If you are a fan of seafood and cheese, then you will love this recipe.  It is packed with shrimp, scallops, squid, and lobster.  It is heaven on a plate.  

Boun Appetito!!.

As you can see from my photo, I used a combination of our favorite seafood.  Squid, scallops, shrimp and lobster but you can certainly make this dish with your own favorite seafood. 

I like to add sweet peas at the end to add a bit of color and texture.

Keep in mind that risotto must be served immediately so you can savor its rich creaminess. This recipe containing seafood is enough for two healthy portions.  Complete the meal with your favorite white wine.  

I like to prepare my own stock with the shrimp and lobster tails but you can certainly use low sodium chicken stock to prepare this dish.   Just make sure that the stock is always warm.  


  • 5 cups of low sodium simmering chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of chopped leeks
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1/2 of freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano

  • 1 1/2 pound of mixed seafood (shrimp, scallops, squid, lobster) Cleaned 
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted

  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.  Clean and trim seafood and season with salt and pepper.

2.  Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

3.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add rice, wine and saffron to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add in 1/2 cup hot broth; cook  for  2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1 cup at a  time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 18 minutes total).  Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

4.  On s separate pan, add olive oil and leeks.  Cook until tender.  Add  seafood and cook for 4 minutes or until seafood is done, stirring occasionally.   Remove from heat; stir in cream and finish with sweet peas. Sprinkle with parsley and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 



Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Restful Afternoon In The Garden

Happy Sunday friends.  It has been a very busy weekend for me.  I hosted my Goddaughter's baby shower this weekend.  It was a total success.  Everything came out beautiful.  Better than expected.  And most importantly,she was truly happy.   The huge smile on her face was definitely worth all the hard work.  She looked gorgeous and radiant in her white lace dress.  A picture of loveliness.

But today, it is a day to take it easy.  To sleep a bit and relax for the remainder of this pleasant Sunday and to do what I love most, enjoy my home and my garden.  And so I set a pretty table in my favorite corner of the garden to delight in the pleasures of afternoon tea and to enjoy a tasty lunch with my hubby.

Here are a few shots I took to share with you all.


China used for this post is one of my very favorite patterns by Mikasa, Touch of Spring.   It is a discontinued pattern but pieces are still found through Ebay and Replacements.

Wishing you all a great week.  Thank you for visiting me.  I truly enjoy reading all your lovely comments.


I am sharing this post at the following lovely blog parties:


The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays


The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays

Dwellings for Amaze Me Monday

One More Time Events for Share It One More Time Monday


A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday

A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness Tuesday

Bernidee's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea Tuesday

Cedar Hill Farnhouse for The Scoop Tuesday

Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday

Antiques and Teacups for Cuppa of Tea Tuesday


Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday

Rose Chintz Cottage for Home Wednesdays

Savy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday


From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday

Faith, Grace and Crafts for Pearls and Lace Thursday

Katherines Corner for Thursday Favorite Things

No Minimalist Here for Open House Party Thursdays

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday

The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday


French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday

My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday

Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday

Rooted In Thyme for Sweet and Simple Fridays

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

DIY Vintage Chic for Friday's Five Features

Rose Vignettes for Fresh Cut Friday


Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Party

The Rosegarden in Malevik for Saturday Show Off


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Touring Philadelphia

What a great fourth of July weekend it was.  The weather has been lovely and perfect for walking.  Taking a a much needed break from the party planning, gatherings and work responsibilities, my husband and I decided to spend the day touring Philadelphia's great neighborhoods and eateries. 

We began our day walking around Rittenhouse Square.  A lovely neighborhood with great parks, fabulous restaurants, outdoors markets and fashionable stores.  After a few hours of walking, we decided to grab a quick bite at Parc Brasserie, a French bistro with outside seating offering entrees such as Quiche Lorraine, Croque Madame, Tuna Carpacchio, Moules Frites and many other bistro selections.  

My husband and I decided to order the Quiche Lorraine and Macaroni Au Gratin.  Both very savory and enough to share.  Our waiter was very attentive and friendly.  Prices were very reasonable.  

Anthropologie store in Rittenhouse Square.  One of the prettiest stores around selling clothing, accessories and housewares.  The townhouse was actually The Fell-Van Rensselaer House built in 1897 by Sarah Drexel Fell, widow of a Philadelphia coal old mansion that was converted into a store.

Rittenhouse Hotel

In the afternoon, we headed to The Four Seasons Hotel for afternoon tea.

Tea at the Four Seasons is served in their lounge which is very noisy for tea in my opinion.  But over all, the experience was good.  Service was excellent and the tea treats were scrumptious and of very good quality. Prices for tea were average for being The Four Seasons hotel.

We chose to have social tea because we did not want an alcoholic beverage with our tea.

My choice of tea was the Brazilian fruit blend.  Very aromatic and tasty.  I was very pleased.  My husband selected the chamomile and vanilla blend.  And he was also very happy with his choice.

Loved the small sandwiches and scones.  The lemon curd and fresh jams were delicious.

I hope you all enjoyed this beautiful and fun fourth of July weekend.  It was certainly a very relaxing and much needed break for me.  If ever your travels bring you to the Philadelphia area, I hope you give these great places a try.

Have a wonderful week.