Monday, May 30, 2016

Time For Tea

There is something very captivating and striking about a well-set table.  It is about expressing gratitude and making your guests feel special.  For me, it is about creating a painting.  One that reflects my vision with color, texture, harmony and balance.  Setting a dreamy scene that is pure romance and honors the everyone gathered at my table.  Keeping in mind that my table has to be inviting and comfortable...  


And with warmer days making the outdoors a better choice for entertaining, I set this lovely table in my garden with all of you in mind.  Honoring all of you who week after week visit my blog and follow me.  To thank each and everyone of you who have welcomed me with open arms and hearts. You have embraced my work and my creations and allowed me to come into your homes to inspire you.    And for that I offer my gratitude and honor you with this romantic and delicate table.   








My table is begins with a pristine white table cloth.  Pretty cottage roses in a casual metal flower pitcher are the inspiration for the colors used on this lovely table.  Soft, feminine and graceful. Timeless Limoges salad plates adorned with delicate flowers add a bit of romance to the table. 







Martha Stewart teacups give a touch elegance while simple gold flatware add a bit of shimmer  to the table.



















Thank you again for your blog friendship and for the lovely comments you leave with each visit.

Wishing you a beautiful week.

Janet


Sunday, May 22, 2016

On Rainy Days

Another rainy weekend again...  grey dark skies set the tone.   The rain is soft rain with no sign of heavy winds or thunder. Truth is, I don't mind it at all.  There is something incredibly appealing and soothing about the rain.  

I am happy and secretly glad that I can stay indoors this day.  No goal in mind beyond the joy of having a quiet and relaxing day.  Besides, I am easy to please and don't require much more than my favorite room, a good book, some fresh flowers and a cup of warm tea.  And how blessed to have been able spent this sweet rainy day doing exactly what I love. Reading, writing, and listening to the sounds of the rain..  How about you, do you love rainy days too?



























I hope you had a lovely Sunday sweet friends.  Thank you for being here and spending a little time with me.  We will be spending the long holiday weekend in Newport, RI touring the spectacular mansions...

Hugs,

Janet


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Homemade Lemon And Lavender Scrub

Hello friends.  Today, I am sharing something a little different and fun with you all.  It is an easy to make homemade lemon and lavender hand/body scrub which I promise will work wonders on your rough and dehydrated skin.  I like using aromatic herbs and essentials oils for many things but these days, I especially love to use them for making my own beauty treatments 

Scrubs have many wonderful benefits.  They whisk away dead skin cells, resulting in brighter, more radiant skin.  They also improve the skin's absorption of other products such as moisturizers and oils. But more importantly, when combined with scented oils, they help to relax, soothe and calm.   And who doesn't need that these days right??

Homemade scrubs are inexpensive and very easy to make. Best of all, you can customize them. Whether you want to make them for yourself, or as gifts for friends or family, I hope you give this DIY project a try.



Here is what you need:



  • 1 Cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Lemon zest (half a lemon)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of lavender (chopped-really fine)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small grater
  • Knife 
  • Mason Jar for storing 

















INSTRUCTIONS



Place honey and olive oil in mixing bowl



Add fresh lemon juice and lemon zest



Add sugar and mix



Add fresh lavender and lavender oil and mix well.  If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can add more sugar.  Have fun with this.  You can use your favorite scented oil too if you do not care for lavender or you can simply make it with the lemon scent.  It is up to you.  



Place scrub in individual jars and enjoy.  Be sure to wet skin before applying to your hands or body.You will love how soft and hydrated your skin will feel.


Thank you for being here today.  I hope you enjoy this fun project.  I also want to thank Johanne LaMarche of https://frenchgardenerdishes.com/ for the inspiration.  Let me know if you enjoy these kind of posts so I can keep them coming.


Wishing you a wonderful week,

Janet  



Friday, May 13, 2016

My Secret Garden

When warmer days arrive, nothing makes me happier than to retreat to my my own private world. On sunny Saturday mornings, when I know that I can sleep in a bit and relax for the day, my garden takes center stage.   It is almost as if nature was speaking to me. Inviting me to take part in the glory of flowers, trees and sky. 


The sun rises and I step into my garden for a solitary moment.  And although we have neighbors' near by, I've created a couple of areas in our garden that offer solitude.  Almost like my own secret garden. No need to hurry.  This is exactly where I want to be.  My home and my garden are where my soul live. There is a sense of belonging and protection here.



And what better place to set-up a charming table to allow one oneself to enjoy the pleasures that afternoon tea have to offer. 



My inspiration for this table came from a lovely magenta lace scarf I purchased a few weeks ago.  It matched perfectly with linen napkins I found at Terrain last year.  I used a white tablecloth as my base and layered the scarf on top of to add color and texture to my table.  I used my blue and white Johnson Brothers Devon Cottage china which I found ideal for my color theme.  And how lucky to have found tulips in the same shade.






It is such a blessing to be able to enjoy such simple pleasures.  My life is feels full and my little heart is content and I wish you all the same blessing sweet friends.




Thank you for being here.  Wishing you a great weekend ahead.

Hugs,

Janet


Sunday, May 1, 2016

My Herb Garden

One of the things that I enjoy most about spring, is growing fresh herbs in my garden.  Besides the natural beauty and romance they add to ones garden, there are very practical reasons to add culinary herbs to your garden, especially if you love to cook.  As many homecooks know, nothing beats the flavor of fresh herbs in your recipes savory or sweet.  Can you imagine salsa without cilantro, a mojito without fresh mint or pesto without sweet basil?  Even more, I can't imagine making roast chicken without rosemary and thyme. More importantly, it is more economical to grow your own since they can cost a pretty penny at the supermarket.  Furthermore, certain herbs, such as rosemary, lavender, peppermint, catnip and lemon balm are natural bug repellents.  And if you have little doggies running around your garden, word is, rosemary and catnip repel fleas.  So it is probably a good idea to plant a few of these plants in different areas of your garden.

The first thing to consider is their location.  For a culinary herb garden, it should be close to your kitchen where you can quickly grab a sprig of your needed herbs when you are cooking.  The second thing to consider is a spot that gives your herbs at least 6 hours of direct sun daily.  While herbs like parsley, mint and chives may do fine with partial sun, they will be happier and perform much better with a few hours of sun.  In the hot summer months, you may want to relocate your herbs where it gets morning sun, so the intense heat of the afternoon doesn't kill your herbs.   I for one, prefer to plant my herbs in containers to make it easier to move them around when I need to.  I also like to keep a small containers with herbs in my kitchen for those days that I am in a rush.  Lastly, remember to plant your herbs in good soil.  Culinary herbs need a well drained, fertile soil to grow their best. And remember to trim them often.  Trimming off the flower heads will help the plants perform better.

If you decide to grow your own herb garden, grow the herbs that you like to use most.  For me, Rosemary & Thyme are in abundance in my garden since they are my favorite culinary herbs and the inspiration for my blog's name.  If you like to cook Italian dishes, then plant plenty of sweet basil, oregano, Italian parsley and rosemary.  if you prefer French recipes, you can plant herbs such as thyme, tarragon, chives, rosemary, marjoram and lavender to name a few.  And if you like Mexican food, cilantro is a must.  Now what about you, do you plant any herbs?

Here are a few photos of the herbs I planted this weekend for my own garden.  And above all, remember to have fun, start small and keep it simple.  I can assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised by the fantastic flavors that your fresh herbs will add to you recipes. 
































Thank you for stopping by today.  May you all have a great week ahead and happy planting sweet friends.


Hugs,

Janet



Here is a quick reference guide of some of the most common culinary herbs guide and their uses:  (Source:  cookinglight.com)


Basil