Monday, August 29, 2016

What I am Pinning These Days ~ Autumn Inspiration

Hello friends.  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

As we all know, this weekend marks the end of another wonderful summer and with temperatures still in the high 90's, I find it difficult to get into fall decorating mode.  I know, I know!!! There are so many bloggers way ahead of me on this.  But summer is still in full swing around here and I am not ready to jump into orange leaves just yet.

Truth is, I am talking myself into embracing the fact that fall is just right around the corner and have started browsing the many images on our beloved Pinterest looking for inspiration and ideas.  Now I must admit, browsing through the incredible photos on Pinterest would make anyone wish for those woody accents, cozy blankets and darling pumpkins.

Below are a few of the images that I thought captured the essence of autumn.  I hope you feel as inspired as I do.  Let the fun begin....    

Thank you for visiting me.  Wishing you a great week.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Setting the Scene ~ Relaxed Tea For Two

Home baked cupcakes taste even more delicious when served on pretty china don't you agree??.  From delicate vintage-styled pieces to elegant classic white.    Your collected treasures or thrift store finds are what sets your table apart.  And for me, taking the time to create a pretty scene, is what makes the tea ritual even more special.    

I begin by selecting my main characters.  The tablecloth playing one of the main roles and I love to dress up my table with a floor-length tablecloth for added drama.  I often use a topper to give it a bit of texture and added color but for this table, I decided to keep it simple because I wanted the cheery pastel yellow to be the main focus.  Then I bring in the supporting characters such as china, flatware and napkins.

Since I wanted to keep things simple and relaxed, I used this timeless pattern by Lenox called Classic White on top of a powdery blue charger.  I accessorized the table with gold flatware from Target and napkins in a shade of pale yellow with handmade napkin rings from our own design.  (Which are available for purchase if anyone is interested.)  But the pièce de ré·sis·tance are these incredibly delicious cupcakes that I baked for our low key tea.  They are filled with lemon curd and topped with whip cream.  Oh my sweet friends..  So sinful but so so good.  "I promise to share the recipe on my next post."

 I hope you enjoyed the little photo tour.  Wishing you a wonderful week.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Refreshments In The Garden

I love to end my day in the garden.  One of my most frequently used areas is this shady spot that is close the fence.  It has a few large trees that offer enough shade to make it an ideal place to enjoy a few refreshments or afternoon tea.

It is a tranquil area with plenty of natural beauty and serenity.  This is my garden.  With lovely flowers, purity and even a little magic at times.  I am happy here.  It is home and there is no other place I rather be in.  And having such busy schedules, my appreciation for these moments only increases even more.

 May you have a relaxing and fun weekend.




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summer Travel Series ~ The Barns & Cottages At Brampton Inn

Hello everyone.  I hope you are keeping cool.  The heat has been intolerable for the past few weeks and this weekend was one of the hottest that I can remember.  I hate to say it, but I am really looking forward to fall. The extreme temperatures and humidity are just too much to handle.  More importantly to me, is that the heat keeps me from enjoying my beloved garden.

That said, this summer a busy one for us.  Gatherings and commitments have been plenty and a few unforgettable escapes were enjoyed by my husband and I.  I have plenty of photos to share but I just haven't had the time to get to it all.  Summer is just to short.  I promise to catch up sweet friends but in the meantime, I want to share a few photos of the charming cottages and rustic barns located on the grounds of the lovely Brampton Inn in Chestertown, Maryland.  My husband and I discovered this little gem while doing a search on the Internet looking for a quick weekend getaway and The Brampton Inn offered everything we were looking for.  A relaxing and romantic escape offering a bit of Southern hospitality.  Bonus for all dog lovers, it also offers a few pet-friendly cottages.  What a find and only two and half hours away from us.

I knew that the Brampton Inn was going to be the perfect escape, but I was not expecting to find all the hidden natural beauty and old structures to explore located on the property.  It is like stepping into a little wooded paradise with plenty of hidden walkways, shaded areas and structures to explore.  It is so charming and picturesque that I could not help snapping a few photos of this beautiful place.  I would love to go back just to have a little picnic by the barns.  

Please enjoy the photos.....

Isn't this cottage dreamy??  

I will share photos of the Brampton Inn on my next post but if you are already interested, below is the link to the bed and breakfast.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Wishing you a wonderful week.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Moments of Solitude

What are your best moments of solitude?  As many of you know, my best moments of solitude are when I can steal a few precious minutes to spend time in my garden.  Time just seems to move a little slower there.  It allowes me to step away from the demands of everyday life and relax.  

It is easy to be inspired in this lovely garden that we have created.  I love all the lush trees in my garden.  Not too perfect but with a purpose.   There are many beautiful birds chirping and singing, What can be sweeter??  And plenty colorful summer flowers through out the garden.  You can't help but feel relaxed and recharged after a few minutes spent with nature..

And I always surround myself with a pretties to add to the experience.  Flowers and a few favorite pieces are always a must.

Here a few photos of my afternoon in the garden.  Wishing you a lovely week.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer Entertaining ~ Lunch Alfresco

As much as I love my vintage china, I cannot help being drawn to classic designs that I can use when I want a clean look and that I know will work great with other patterns.   A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a Lenox outlet not far from our home and let me tell you, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I have never seen so many aisles full of gorgeous china under one roof.   What a rush!!

It should not be a surprise to anyone that knows me that a piece of two came home with me. Including this gorgeous pattern called Biltmore “Lila” which I used to style the table featured on this post.  It is such a timeless pattern.  I just love the embossing on the plates and its pure white color.

I also love that it is perfect to mix with other patterns that I already own such as the one used to style this table.  It is by Wedgwood and designed by Martha Stewart.  The pattern is called “Garland Moss”.  The green on the salad plate was the inspiration for this table.  It is such a happy and bright color.  Who wouldn’t be happy with such sweet colors?

Most times, it is just my husband and I for dinner or lunch unless we have family and friends over. So last Saturday, we enjoyed another lovely meal alfresco.  Truth is, with winter being so long in these parts, we make the most out of our warm and sunny days.  So the majority of our meals are usually outdoors.  And during summer, we switch the menu up a bit.  It is more about light and easy meals.

For this lunch alfresco, I made an easy salad using arugula, kumato tomatoes, burrata cheese and asparagus topped with grilled shrimp.  For dessert, I made a lime-curd with swirls of whipped cream using a recipe found in Victoria magazine.  (See recipe below)


Lime-Curd Parfait


3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
Garnish:  fresh raspberries, mint leaves and grated lime rind

1.  In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, lime rind, and eggs over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color, about 3 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

2.  Transfer lime curd to a medium glass bowl.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  To serve, divide whipped cream among 4 serving dishes, and spoon curd evenly over cream.  Swirl curd into cream. Garnish with raspberries, mint leaves, and lime rind, if desired.

Thank you so much for visiting me.  I hope you all have a great week.