Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Have a Winner!!!

              We Have A Winner!!!!


To celebrate my 100th post, I offered this beautiful book , "Flair", by Joe Nye as a giveaway.  I loved the fact that the dish on the front was a pink toile and it seemed to be an homage to "A Toile Tale".

My Photo

I'm so happy to announce that Susan from My Place to Yours is the winner!  It's so nice that someone whose blog I follow and enjoy is getting this great book.  Susan gives me plenty of inspiration, so it's fitting that I can send some to her.

Enjoy, Susan!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peach Melba Pie

Last Sunday night we had a wonderful group of friends over for dinner.  I did a post about the party here.  The dessert was a particular hit!  It was Peach Melba Ice Cream Pie.  It was perfect for the season, especially on such a hot evening.  It's such a good fix-ahead dish.  The pie can be fixed weeks earlier and frozen, and the raspberry coulis can be made several days in advance.  Every single person here asked for the recipe.

This is the only piece out of two pies that was left.  Mr. Pressed Pants is about to take care of it!

Peach Melba Ice Cream Pie

Crust:
1 1/2 c. coconut
3 T. melted butter
Mix and press into the pie pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until light brown

Filling:
Softened peach ice cream and softened vanilla ice cream, layered

Raspberry Coulis:
2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
Mix and simmer for 15 minutes.  It will thicken when it cools.

Slice slightly softened pie and top with sweetened, sliced fresh peaches.  Then spoon coulis over the whole thing. 

Enjoy!

I'm sharing with Designs by Gollum's Foodie Friday at



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black and Yellow with Sunflowers

We had a very special group of people here for dinner on Sunday.  I wanted a cheerful, but not fancy table for us to gather around.  I decided on black and white with sunflowers.  Good for mid-summer, don't you think?


The sunflower theme started at the gates.  Actually, I'll probably keep these baskets up until fall.

Wouldn't you feel welcome?

Since our driveway is long and has a Y, we put this directional sign up to get our guests to our front door.
Although we know these folks well, none of them had ever been here before.

Here's the front door with a sunflower wreath.

It looks so pretty in the sunshine.

This is a bit blurry, but we put a sign on the door when the weather is nice and we are apt to be outdoors.  I'd hate to have someone ringing the doorbell and nobody answering!

At 97 degrees, it was too hot to be outdoors for dinner, so starting with a bare dining room table, I used these placemats from Homegoods.

I toyed with using these black wire chargers, but

as you see, it was too busy.

Much better!  I combined two sets of black and white dishes from Target.

One plain bordered, and one with a damask pattern.

Here is the opposite combination.

Here's the placesetting.

I tucked a sunflower-like daisy into the napkin pocket.


These water glasses have a sort of harlequin pattern in black on the crystal, and I paired them with Waterford Lismore wine glasses.


The flatware is my favorite mismatched silverplate.

This black wire obelisk is one of my favorite go-to pieces for a centerpiece.  I used it inside an oasis ring with lots of yellow and white flowers and a candle.

These don't whisper, they scream "Summer"!

Lush, but not at all overwhelming.

No placecards here, as everyone knows each other well.

What else but sunflower plates for dessert?

I decided to set the food up buffet style in the bar.  I used this drop-leaf tavern table.

I added a bit more color to the flowers here.

You know I'll do a faux bois look anytime, anywhere!  This held the orzo salad.

This wonderful pottery basket held the rolls.  I won this at a silent auction before Christmas.  I was NOT going to be outbid for this!

This twig handled set of servers worked well for the shiskabobs, which we took off of the skewers to serve. 


Here's the handle of the serving spoon for the salad.

I actually have a sunflower candy mold which I used for the butter.

Also in the bar, I set up sweet tea and unsweetened tea, and I labeled each.

And I put the "fixins" on another faux bois plate.

The appetizer was made to resemble a sunflower.  It is just a boursin-like spread topped with olive tapenade and surrounded with endive.

I used lots of other places to make our guests feel welcome. 

One powder room held a small, Japanese style vase with a tiny handful of flowers and berries.

The other guest powder room had a small white pitcher of daisies and some paper sunflower guest towels.

This is the one that gets used the most.




This arrangement ended up in the living room, but I forgot to take a photo of it there.


And outside, I only set up one table with a cloth and flowers, but, I did have enough sunflowers left for three little vases.

Menu

Endive with Boursin Sunflower Spread

Chicken Shiskabobs
Orzo and Corn Vegetable Salad
Dinner Rolls with Sunflower Shaped Butter

Peach Melba Ice Cream Pie
(I'll try and remember to post this great recipe for Gollum's Foodie Friday!)


Look for this post at Wow Us Wednesdays

look at Tabletop Thursday

Monday, July 25, 2011

This Is Not What I Planned!!!!


I always thought that there would be American Girl dolls, smocked dresses, Tinkerbell, and lots of pink in my life as a grandmother.  Well.....there are Rescue Heros, rubber snakes, muddy shoes, and Spider Man instead.  

No sweet little girl babies appeared in the delivery room.  Neither one of our daughters provided us with one of those pigtailed little children.

No pink.  No ballerinas.  No princess tiaras.

Instead, we were blessed with three of the sweetest little thugs on earth!  They all amaze me with their unique personalities and loving ways.  I wouldn't trade a day at the go-cart track for a toddler's mani/pedi for anything on earth.  Every hug and every smile are perfection and I treasure each and every one of them that I am lucky enough to get.  I know that the day will soon come when I'll sit in the stands at the football games and try real hard not to embarrass anyone.  I won't be holding hands with them in public much longer.  They won't fight about sitting beside me at dinner forever.  I won't hear "play with me" or "you're the best".  Each one of them has such a hold on my heart. 


Five years ago, when I decorated this guest room, I was still expecting hoping for this elusive grandaughter, so I designed what we call the ya-ya room.  All in pink and green, it is sophisticated enough for an adult, but was ready for a tutu in every corner.  Across the hall, is a red and camel guest room that I envisioned as the boys' room.  However, the twin beds in the ya-ya room worked best for the two youngest (5 and 7) when they visited last week.  (A single queen size bed gives them opportunity to "bug each other", you know.)  Since they were only in the ya-ya room to sleep, they didn't mind at all that they were surrounded by a sea of pink and green.


My very favorite feature of this room is this pink and white beaded chandelier.  I think it absolutely makes the room.  Even the bulb is covered with a little beaded jacket.  Perfection!  So imagine when I discovered this............

  a pair of size six, madras plaid boy's shorts hanging off of this treasured light fixture!!!  I know exactly who kicked them off, up into the air, and saw them land on the chandelier.  This was soooooo not how I saw my life happening!  But funny????  You better believe it!!!!  Not what a little girl would do with her Lilly Pulitizer skirt, but exactly what this little charmer would do!  I couldn't be mad.  I could only laugh and laugh.


But this mess in the bathroom is another story!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ferns in the Garden - 100th post!!!!!!!

Welcome to my 100th post!!!!

I could never have known, almost a year ago, how much I would love this wonderful use of the internet.  As a celebration of your interest and friendship, there is a giveaway at the end of the post.

First, though, I invite you back into my garden for a dinner among the ferns.


 
This round tablecloth was the inspiration.  Homegoods!!!!  Again!!!!  It came with eight napkins.  I'm not sure who could use eight napkins with a 90" tablecloth, but better too many than not enough.  I'll be set to replace those lipstick-ruined, grease-stained, or just plain lost-in-the-laundry napkins that we all have.

 
As soon as I saw this fern design on the border, I had a great idea. 

I decided I wanted to set the table along this fern bank that we have in the woods.  Then, the thought of dragging the table, chairs, dishes, flowers, ice, and so on into the woods made me come to my senses.

I did take a few shots of some of the elements among the ferns.


So, I left the ferns to the wildlife and set off to the garden.

I brought out this unfinished table that I keep in the potting shed.  If you want to see the shed, take a peek here.


Also, on the border was this design of ferns with white flowers.  Ding, ding, ding!  The flowers were now planned out of the ones that were growing right there in the garden.

And here's the result.


Just two place settings tonight.

Here's how I brought lots of different shades of green together. 

Starting with a wicker charger, I added these simple dinner plates.  You might not believe this, but these plates came from Goodwill.  I was so sure as I picked them up, that they were old French plates, but when I turned them over, they said "microwave and dishwasher safe"!  Hummmm.  Guess they're not old!  They also have "mse" in tiny letters on them.  What do you think?  Martha Stewart Enterprise????

Then I layered the apple green salad plates from Target and the white lion's head soup tureens, also from Target, I think.

Years ago, I bought these little plates at the floral wholesaler.  I use them for tapas, appetizers, or as I have here.


These green glasses for water are made by Imperial Glass, and the little wicker covered ones are for wine.

The flatware is from World Market.  I got it a couple of months ago, and they still carry it.  It is available by the piece.

This green urn is a good size for this small table.

I added these two small baskets for interest and texture.  One is wicker and one is carved ivory.  I bought them from a sweet little antique store on Cape Cod.


There's one more thing on the table.

Our anniversary is coming up in a few days.  I'm giving Mr. Pressed Pants some golf lessons and he has to schedule them, so I'm giving them to him tonight.  Don't tell.  I love pretty papers almost as much as dishes, so I love to wrap pretty gifts and make cards.


These French burlap pillows make these generic chairs more interesting and more comfortable.

This wooden tray holds a brown glass bottle I like to use for water, a couple of bark covered votives, and some bark gathered in the woods for a project I'm working on.

And what have we here?

An ice cold bottle of white wine in this faux bois cachpot.

I put the pasta salad in this lidded tureen from Portmerion.

The ferns on the lid are perfect for this table. 
It was a nice night, and we sat for a long time until we were either going to have to use bug spray or go in.  It was getting dark, the dishes needed to be loaded, and Design Star was soon on.  In we went!


And NOW....may we have a drum roll, please?
I'd love to invite you to enter to win this beautiful book by Joe Nye.

Wouldn't you know that I would find something with toile?


Joe is a Los Angeles interior decorator and party planner.  This beautiful book is rich in photographs and inspiration.  He covers exquisite invitations, lush flowers, and gorgeous table settings. He also offers shopping resources and host/hostess etiquette.

To enter, please become a follower, or tell me if you already are.  If you are not a blogger, be sure that I can reach you by email.  Anyone in the continental US is welcome to enter.  Then leave me a comment and let me know what you like best about this blog.  I promise to have an independent party fairly choose the winner. 

I'll be linking up with Tablescape Thursday with Susan's Between Naps on the Porch at:


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