Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Entertaining

I've been looking for outdoor entertaining pieces for our patio. The other day I had stopped in at Smith & Hawkins and found the most stunning plates, bowls, and platters. They have an old world vintage feel to them and they are shatter proof. Perfect for any outdoor dinner party. They also had the most adorable linens that would spruce up the patio table. Right now Smith & Hawkins is having a huge sale on gardening accessories. I bought a cute little cast iron bunny and a bird staked lantern for my front yard. I didn't buy the patio dinnerware yet because I wanted my husband to give me his two cents. He loved them so I'll be back to purchase them this week.
























Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lilly P Desk Accessories

To all my Lilly P friends, I found some really cute Lilly desk accessories at Room Service Home. They are really affordable and would make the perfect gift to brighten up any desk.








Thursday, June 25, 2009

What a sad sad day.....


I thought today was going to be just an average day. Nothing special but I've been stunned with recent passing of two American icons. This morning I was shocked when I logged onto my computer and saw that Farrah Fawcett had passed away. I'd read in the tabloids at the supermarket that she was fighting cancer. However, I was not prepared to hear that she passed away.

I loved Charlie's Angels when I was a little girl. I also grew up in California and that show represents a lot of my childhood memories during that era. My mom actually sported the Farrah hair and looked a lot like her. Farrah was 62 and my mom is 64. I remember my friends and I would gather around and argue what angel we were going to be. I was always Jacklyn Smith. Wow, it's weird. You think about how much time has passed and how short life truly is.


1947 ~2009


And then to get the news that Michael Jackson died only hours after Farrah!!! I was cooking dinner and I heard it come over the news. I actually stood looking at the television in absolute shock. Michael Jackson is American music icon. I remember going to the mall with my big sis to buy the cassette tape, "Thriller." I remember my best friend and I wearing the one glove and parachute pants. I remember countless hours trying to get the moves down to the "Thriller" video for the school dance. Wow, it's just sad. I feel like a part of my childhood died with them today. Do you remember this picture of Michael Jackson? This is before he got all weird looking. My sister had the poster on her bedroom wall. What a strange feeling that these two icons are gone.

1958 ~ 2009

They will always be a part of my childhood memories.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Suggestions for a Baby Shower Gift

I went to the mail box and found an invitation to a Baby Shower for a gal I use to play tennis with back in Austin. She AND her sister are both prego at the same time. Her mom is combining showers and having a BIG party in San Antonio. The invitation is absolutely adorable (pea in the pod) it has a cute green ribbon as the pod.


Baby Bjorn Carrier




This got me thinking about gifts. What on earth should I get her as a gift? I believe newborn clothes are cliche. The baby lives in onesies for the first few months and outgrows everything so fast. Maybe I should get her a stylish diaper bag or baby Bjorn carrier. I loved the Bjorn when I as a nanny. Yes, I use to be a nanny back in college. It was a fun job. I looked after two twin girls and an infant baby boy. I got to travel all over and meet interesting people. Some were celebrities like Jimmy Buffet, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, NFL players, Vera Wang....Ah yes, Vera Wang. Y'all, this reminds me of a hilarious story that I don't really share with many people.

I was staying at a 5 star luxury resort (as a nanny) and got the night off. Being 3,000 miles from home, not knowing a soul, and 20 miles away from the city (without a car), I decided to go down to the hotel restaurant bar and grab a quick bite. It's a tropical paradise that would have been a dream vacation if I'd been there with someone. So, here I am sitting at the bar when a very nice lady and her friend begin chatting with me. During this conversation she compliments me on my dress and asked me, "Who's is it?" Perplexed by her question I replied, "It's mine." Her friend laughed so hard that she spit wine across the bar. I instantly could feel the heat rising to my cheeks as my face turned tomato red. I knew I had said something very foolish. However, the woman again smiles and politely asked, "I was asking who's the designer?" I modestly shrugged and replied, "I got it at TJ Maxx." I believe she and her friend got a bigger kick out of my second response than the first.

Shortly after the woman introduced herself. Again, I was completely clueless. I had the notion that I should have known her name by the way she paused for my reaction. But I continued talking as if I were speaking to anyone. Midway through the conversation she asked me if I would be interested in flying to NYC to watch a friends daughter during a trip they were planning. I took her card and told her I would think about it. The entire trip when I would run into her she would call out my name and wave to me. It wasn't until a year later I was flipping through a magazine when I saw the familiar face. It was Vera Wang! I could have kicked myself for not calling her back. She and her friend must have had a pretty good laugh. However, she seemed to enjoy that I was 100% clueless of who she was. I just treated her like a normal gal named, Vera.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hospitality Queen


Jill over at http://peeptoepumpsandpearls.blogspot.com/ found a cute Hospitality quiz. I decided to take it and see where I stand as a Hospitality Queen. Let me know if you decide to take it too!


Give yourself one point for every question you answer “yes”.

1. Cooked supper last night. No, hubby had a stressed day at work & wanted to eat out. He wanted Princes Hamburgers. A Houston original (0 points).

2. Have at least one apron. I have 6 aprons (1 point)

3. Make weekly menus to grocery shop from I do! Trade back & forth on weekly menus so we don't get tired of eating the same thing. Tuesday is "Spicy Meatloaf" night (1 point)

4. Consider the color of food when you prepare a meal. I often use orange & red bell peppers or fresh fruit as sides to jazz up the color (1 point)
5. Light candles in your home daily Yes, I use Mulberry or Sugar Cookie (1 point)

6. Have at least 10 cookbooks. BONUS Add 5 points if you cook from at least 5 of them! I have about a 60 cookbooks (no joke). And I read cooking magazines too. (1 + 5=6 points)

7. Do you havesomething in your refrigerator/pantry right now that you could prepare a whole meal. Yes, I keep a menu schedule on my pantry door. I also keep a inventory of what's in my pantry and fridge that's written on a chart. Does this make me OCD? (1 point)

8. Know how to make a cheese sauce.(not melted velveeta). Yes, I have a recipe for a white cheese sauce that's out of this world and of course, Chili Con Quaso. (1 point)

9. Have at least 3 different sets of matching napkins/placemats. Have a closet full of linens. It's something that I've been collecting since my first apartment. Love to entertain! (1 point)

10. Have more than 2 sets of dishes Yes, have sets for each holiday & season (1 point)

11. Enjoy reading cookbooks like others enjoy reading magazines/novels Yes!!! (1 point)
12. Entertained in your home within the last month. Last Thursday & hosting a dinner party next week (1 point)

13. Worked in your yard/garden this last week. This morning; it's so hot! (1 point)

14. Know what you are serving for breakfast in the morning. Yes, weekly menu (1 point)

15. Know how to make a curtain - mistreatments count! This is so weird. I made my first valance yesterday afternoon for my home office. I can now proudly answer yes! (1 point)
16. Ever copied a d├ęcor idea from someone else. BONUS Add 5 points if someone has copied an idea from you. Yes and yes (1 + 5=6 points)
17. Do you play background music when entertaining Yes, usually New Orleans style jazz (1 point)
18. Ever crafted your own flower arrangement. BONUS Add 5 points if you used fresh cut
flowers from your own garden/yard. Yes, my favorite are pink roses (1 +5= 6 points)
19. Baked something from scratch within the last month. Chocolate Chip Cookies (1 point)
20. Updated your home for summer. Yes (1 point)




Remember to let me know if you decide to take the quiz!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monogram Pillows

Does anyone else love monogram pillows? I'm starting to get addicted to them. I bought my first pillow a couple months ago and loved it so much that now I can't stop buying them. They are too cute and make excellent gifts.







Saturday, June 20, 2009

My New Lust



My new lust for the house. I saw this online and I told hubby he needs to get it for me. It's a must have! It totally screams our taste in furniture. We are going to run downtown next week and see if we can find it or something similar. I'm sure we can. Houston is the fourth largest city in America so they have quite a bit of shopping. Wish us luck!



I own a desk just like this one but it's been waiting for me back in California. It's an excuse to go visit and stop by the wine country this fall. Hubby has a seminar in October in San Francisco and we're going to have my desk shipped back to Texas while we are out there. I'm thrilled to finally get my desk back. It's been nearly 7 years since I had it in my possession. Some of my relatives have had their eye on it and I better get it before it magically disappears into one of their houses for good, LOL! It's going to look fantastic in the study.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

UNCLE SAM



I just met another new friend who just moved to the community. We are working on a volunteer project together and she's a hoot. I just love her to death. I'm so happy that she moved into the neighborhood. We had a fantastic Italian lunch and then decided to run over to Hobby Lobby today. They were having a big sale and I was able to pick up a few decorative items. I'm going to be assisting her in decorating her new home too. We're working on the downstairs bathroom first. When we were there I came across this adorable Uncle Sam. Isn't he cute! I also put some festive garland around my plastic stars. For some reason the wind keeps snagging my red star and blowing it into the yard. Now it's securely tied down. What do y'all think of Uncle Sam?


Monday, June 15, 2009

My 4th of July Decorations



Drum roll please.....here's my festive 4th of July porch, y'all. I hope ya like it. I'm really proud of myself because I bought everything at discount stores/thrift shops. I think I paid a whopping $30 on holiday decorations (not bad). I just wish I had a bigger porch. My porch back in Austin was double the size of this dinky one but at least it can hold my two rockers (which I adore).



Look at all those pine needles (yuck). Our house is smack in the middle of a forest with a ton of pine trees. At first I thought they were gorgeous until I started picking the needles out of my flower beds. It's a never ending chore around here. And those dang pesty squirrels. Once you've lived in the community long enough all you have to do is mention squirrels and everyone rolls their eyes and shakes their heads. Those darn tree rats get into everything. And they use the trees as launching pads to leap from house to house. I've got two that like to hang around our back yard. One's a fatter squirrel that eats all my bird seed. We named him "Boudreaux" and his skinny partner in crime "Shay."

"Boudreaux"


I heard they have a old town style parade on the 4th. Families in the community can enter their own floats and the children dress up their bikes. We also have the local churches and businesses that get in on the fun. They use the main street as the parade route and end at the lake (we live by a HUGE lake). At the town center they have live music and BBQ. At night they have a firework show. I'm really anxious to celebrate this year. We live in Mayberry USA so it should be a lot of fun. How does your family celebrate the 4th of July?

Small town USA 4th of July Parade's

Friday, June 12, 2009

To Decorate or Not Decorate


Y'all know that I've been hitting the thrift shops, garage sales, and boutiques for holiday decorations. I love to decorate for the holidays but I don't like to spend a lot of money on holiday trinkets. Lately I've found a ton of thrifty things for the holidays at discounted prices. That way if something gets weathered I'm not too upset because I got so cheap. Here's my question: My neighbors on my street put up their American flags but don't have any other holiday decorations up. I'm guessing a lot of people don't decorate for 4th of July. I found all sorts of great Americana things that I want to dress my porch with. Do y'all think it's too soon to put my 4th of July things out? The holiday is 3 weeks away. However, I leave up decorations for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter for weeks at a time. Should I decorate this weekend or next?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Table Settings

After receiving so many wonderful cook books I'm itching to throw a dinner party. I was looking for some new ideas for table settings and I came across these gorgeous photos. It just screams summer. I love the fresh colors; pink and green. I'm thinking of hosting a wine party with grilled rosemary lamb, couscous, and a goat cheese salad. Where do y'all like to shop for your table linens and serving pieces? What ideas do you have for hosting a party? What theme, decorations, and food would you prepare? I love to chat about entertaining hosting parties.




Sunday, June 7, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

Today's my Birthday and my husband has made it an entire weekend affair. He truly went out of his way to make it special. Yesterday morning I woke up to an entire table of gifts. He bought me all sorts of great things and I could see that he truly put thought into each gift. Y'all I got so much that I can't even put that many pictures up on the posting. Then he took me to brunch at a tea house (really girly) and we had blackberry tea, chicken & blueberry salad on croissants, and fruit. We went for a lovely drive and stopped in at Pie in the Sky (great desserts) and had pie & ice cream. I had Key lime...yum! This afternoon he took me to a Cajun restaurant for Crawfish Etouffee. And we went antiquing. All and all it was the perfect Birthday. I feel so spoiled.

Here's some of my favorite gifts:

Two New Orleans Cook Books I've had my eye on...




Williams&Sonoma Dessert Cook Book. I've been trying to master a great dessert recipe for my dinner parties.


Wow, my favorite magazines. He got Southern Lady's Gardening and Summer Entertaining magazines for me (special editions). He also got me a subscription for Louisiana Cooking and New Orleans Homes (two more fabulous magazines). He did good!


Look at this adorable pendant. It says, "Love ya LA." It's totally cute and I love it. Even though we live in Texas our heart will always belong to New Orleans.

And I got two books I've been really wanting by Southern Lady.


Those are just a few things I got. I also got a ton of make up from my favorite line, beautiful Ann Taylor skirt, 3 Ann Taylor purses, CD of 70's love hits, my favorite brand of journals (use them to write down products, shops, and boutiques I come across). Thanks Pookie for making my Birthday special. I love you!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Creole Thrift


Over the weekend I decided to explore Houston. I cruised up and down the streets from the Galleria area up around Montrose. Oh my goodness! I found sooo many cute boutiques and little shops. And I found a decent Half Price Books. When my hubby and I lived in Austin we would make it our Saturday ritual to stop by Half Price Books off Lamar and then head over to Phil's for the best burgers & sweet potato fries in town.
Well, I haven't found a good Half Price Books yet. Until this past weekend in Houston. I bought a book while I was there but didn't have a chance to read it until last night. It's called, Creole Thrift. It's awesome! I love Angele Parlange's decorating style. And she loves to thrift shop like me. She grew up on the Parlange plantation in Louisiana and she has a cute writing style. Not only is it a decorating book but a biography. Pralange Plantation is one of the oldest in the state of Louisiana. WOW, could you imagine growing up on a plantation? She's one lucky gal! Not only did I find a decent Half Price Books but I also found a cute clothing shop with all sorts of cute funky but fun clothing. I love this jacket.



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Flea Market Finds

My friend, Tracie, and I went to some of our local flea markets today. Some were good, some were bad. However, I found all sorts of goodies. You wouldn't believe what you find in some of those scary look'n stores but if you are willing to get pass the nasty grungy appearance and the funky smell....you can get some good deals. I have friends that think I'm insane and would NEVER step foot into a flea market. They are the same friends when they come over to my house want to know where I find everything. That's why you treasure a good buddy who loves hunting down good deals as much as you do. Part of the excitement is finding something you really like cheap. Tracie found some cool stuff too. She has a beautiful home and almost everything comes from antique shops, flea markets, or garage sales. That's why she's the perfect flea market, garage sale'n, antique shopp'n buddy.

These are my deals of the day ~

Two buckets for $12.00 that I'm going to use for house plants against my fireplace.




6 Antique Christmas Angels for $6.00. We decorate for Christmas in a retro 1940's theme. They will look perfect this upcoming Holiday Season.

A small Christmas bucket .50 cents that I'm going to use to hold utensils for Christmas brunch. Christmas Eve dinner is a our traditional china and the works. Christmas brunch is more relaxed and cutesy decor. I have the perfect Christmas plates that will match perfectly with this bucket. And a cute pillow I'll use on my front porch rocking chair during the holiday.

Christmas muffin holder for $1.25 that will look cute in my kitchen during Christmas time.

Cute little scarecrow for fall for $1.00.
Check out my frog candle holder that I paid $1.00 for.



I've been wanting two hurricane lamps to place over my antique candle holders. It's very traditional and looks awesome when I'm jazzing up my table. I paid $2.00 for both.
My favorite find today.... (drum roll).....my fourth of July pillow!!! I was looking for a uncle Sam doll to put on my front porch rocking chair but came across this cute patriotic pillow. I picked it up for only $6.00. It'll look perfect on my rocker.

GRAND TOTAL: $29.75 Woohoo!!!