Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Entertaining ~ Blue & White Tablescape

Hello everyone.  I can't believe how fast this summer is going.  There is so much to do and so little time my friends.  I must apologize for being a bit MIA but life has been incredibly busy this summer. We have been traveling a bit, spending time with family and friends and working on updating our living and dining room.

In all honesty, I find fun filled afternoons in the garden much better than seating in front of my computer.  Summer is just too short not to enjoy.  Besides, I love summer weather for entertaining and spending time outdoors.

I find summer entertaining to be more relaxed and easy-going.  And setting a beautiful table alfresco seems to make meals extra special.  This summer has been no exception.  Much of our entertaining has been outdoors

Salad plates are from William Sonoma in the pattern French Blue Bouquet.

A delicious fresh salad using white peaches cooked in olive oil and maple syrup, cucumbers, tomatoes and blackberries.  My salad dressing was made by using mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinaigrette and peach juice.

A refreshing Rose wine and peach sangria.

A simple trifle layering angel food cake, homemade peach jam, white peaches, blackberries and homemade whip cream with Amaretto.

We have been blessed with many out of town family and friends in our home this year.  It has been a busy summer so far but a very wonderful one.  Many great conversations and plenty of laughter have taken place around our table.  So many new memories and wonderful meals shared.   I can't ask for more than that.

I hope you are enjoying your summer too.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer Travel Series ~ Newport Cottages II ~ The Breakers

Hello to you all.  I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday.  Mother nature continues to bless us with beautiful weather here in the East Coast.  And as promised, I am sharing a few more photos of our trip to Newport, Rhode Island.  This time, it is the incredible and very opulent Breakers Estate.-. 

As I mentioned on my previous post, Newport is one of our favorite destinations.  You really get the best of everything here.  This is such a great summertime and autumn escape.  Great restaurants, wonderful beaches, gilded age mansions and amazing ocean views.  It is also the place where Jacqueline Bouvier and John Kennedy were married.

During the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, Newport, Rhode Island, was the exclusive playground for America's wealthy such as the Vanderbilt family, Berwinds' and Astors' who built grand "summer cottages" there.  It was also a summer getaway for the Kennedy's.

The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer cottages and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial influence in turn of the century America.

Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York central Railroad.

In 1893, Corneluis Vanderbilt II, commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire.  Hunt put together an international team of crafstmen and artisans to build the 70 room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.  This family cottage is truly over the top. Every inch of this home is decorated.  So much grandeur and opulence.  I can only imagine the grand parties and gatherings that took place in this incredible home.  Even the kitchen was a masterpiece with a two-story pantry to die for with oceans views that take your breath away.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  If you have not been to this pretty coastal town, I highly encourage you to.  And if you love history, you will definitely fall in love with this little gem of a town.

Next, road trip to share is Chestertown, Maryland.  Thank you for visiting.  Wishing you a wonderful week.



Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Entertaining ~ Refreshments In The Garden

Hello everyone and happy fourth of July to you all.  We are back from a mini vacation in Chestertown, Maryland where we enjoyed a few relaxed and quiet days at a lovely bed and breakfast called the Brampton Inn.  (I will share those photos with you later.)  The seafood in Chestertown and Rock Hall was incredible but I am done with crab cakes and shrimp for a while now.  A steak and potatoes Au Gratin sound pretty good to me right now so that is exactly what we are having for dinner today with some sweet Jersey corn.

As much as I look forward to going, coming home from a trip is even more exciting if that makes any sense.  I am such a homebody.  I jut can't help it.  I am one of those souls that is truly happy and content in their home.  I am enamored with our home and completely captured by its charmed.  It is not a palace by any means, but it is where I feel the happiest.

So today, I am sharing a few photos that I took last Sunday in our garden.  I always love to tell a story with my photographs.  Perhaps of a relaxed afternoon in the garden, a day enjoying my favorite items or a story of fairy tales.  I hope they bring some joy to your day.  

The gorgeous flowers featured in this post came from my sister-in-law's garden at the Jersey Shore. Aren't they incredible?  Thank you for sharing Lilly.....

Thank you for visiting me today sweet friends.  Wishing you a beautiful week.