Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Texas Tea

This year is off to a busy start for us. This month has been absolutely exhausting but a good exhaustion. I've had a very good 2010 so far. And thus I have 11 months more to endure I'm planning on spending them as equally as full of events. We only have a few days left of our blissful January and I must say that February's agenda is jam packed of interesting and exciting things as well. We'll be heading off to Austin in a few days for business. My husband has some political business and I'll be spending the afternoon on my own. I'm planning on taking in a couple of new exhibits at the museum of art and hitting up one of my favorite central Texas tea house, TEA EMBASSY. Here's a little clip for y'all. Once you watch it you'll truly understand why it's on my "must to do" list while in Austin.

It has been a fantastic find. The funky boutiques, unique restaurants, and little shops is what I miss most about living in Austin. However, thankfully we still do business in the capital city so I'm able to still visit my favorites (just not as often as I wish).

This year I'm dedicating my antique explorations to hunting down vintage tea caddy's. I have a couple that I use religiously but I think it would be such a treasure to have more than one. I just purchased a beautiful tea cabinet this week. Wow, you should see my tea set now. I had to put the cabinet on display in the living room so I could sit and gaze at it. It's silly I know but I love tea, china, and the works. The whole experience really. I just found a woman in my neighborhood that just moved down from Chicago. She loves tea, tea houses, and antiques as much as I do. I can see that this is going to be a beautiful friendship, LOL. We are suppose to have high tea at the country club in a couple of weeks. She is a bit older than I am and her daughter just had a baby. Yes, quite a bit older than I am but our love for tea and antiques fills the gap. Isn't that a lovely way to have an birth announcement with a tea party? I love it! So many women are not into the traditional things anymore. I suppose I'm just an old fashion traditional girl.

I found an article that I found really interesting about a wonderful man named Jackson Hicks. He owns a catering company called, Jackson & Company, based in Houston, Texas. Mr. Hicks throws the most elaborate tea parties in his historic Greek style home. He fancies himself on exquisite details down to the cloth pressed napkins, silver pieces, china, and hundreds of flowers. Oh what I wouldn't do to be invited to one of his tea parties.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vancouver 2010

I'm really excited about the winter Olympics in Vancouver this year. Figure Ice Skating is my absolute favorite sport in the winter Olympics. This year I'm totally rooting for Shasha Cohen. Her skating is so elegant and she's so beautiful. I love her outfits too. Go Shasha!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Princess Diana

I've always admired Princess Diana. I felt that she was a physically/spiritually beautiful woman. She had such a big heart that was full of life. She truly loved the poor, handicap, and orphans. When watching her interact with others you could see that it was absolutely 100% genuine. Not only was a she a loving soul but she had style and class. No matter how bad things got she approached them head on with strength and grace.

A couple of years ago I was able to see the Princess Diana exhibit. It was fabulous. They had her infamous wedding dress on display. It was memorizing to know that I was standing less than a foot away from the dress of the century. Not only did I see her dress but her LV luggage and tea set. Yes, I drooled over the royal tea cups. I sat imagining which one she sipped her Earl Grey from.

Such a tragedy to lose such a beautiful soul. My heart breaks every time I see Prince William or Prince Henry. They loved their mum so much and to lose her at such a young age must have been difficult for them. They were lucky to have had her for the short time they did, as we all did. I don't think there will ever be another Princess Diana in this lifetime.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Thrifty Finds

I decided to venture out and see what I could find at the local thrifts/antique shops around town. Well, my trip wasn't a total bust. I normally come across several fantastic finds but today one of my favorite thrift shops was in the process of being renovated. I suppose that's a good thing considering that it's not a very pretty store. I decided to peek inside and came across a few more decorations for Easter.

I'll tell you the truth. I've had so much fun finding such cute and inexpensive holiday decorations this year. I use to not put much thought or effort into decorating for the holidays when I was single. I would just go home and magically everything was purely festive. However, now that I live 3,000 miles from home and have a household of my own I find that I yearn for a festive holiday. I want our house to be remembered as something special and so I've been going out of my way to prepare for holidays. Little to my surprise I found that purchasing holiday decorations can add up to a small fortune. And since our great nation is in a bit of a economic slump it's prudent to shop for deals (or steals as I like to call them). I've been thrilled to show y'all my wonderful display of treasures I find on my journey across Houston. I'm not sure what thrills me nick knacks or the deal I get. All and all I'm so overwhelmed with excitement that I had to post tonight.

I purchased all three bunnies for .50 cents each. And I got the little fellow with the basket for $1.00. I'm thinking of putting him into my bathroom and putting a bar of decorative soup in the basket. Just for a little uniqueness.

And I couldn't possibly pass up this adorable bunny. She's going on my mantel for Easter. I loved her little dress. She's so girly I had to have her.

And I found these lovely egg ornaments for my pink Easter tree. I'm so looking forward to decorating my Easter tree this year.

I picked up another bunny for .50 cents and this beautiful Hurricane lamp. I collect Hurricane lamps and when I see one as cheap as this one I can't pass it up. I've seen Hurricane lamps as this one in the store for $25.00 each. I'm thinking of buying some etching paint and painting some vines around it

I needed to replace a lamp in the living room and found this one. It's so stunning and will definitely bring the green color out in our rugs/drapes.

And finally I found this bird wire pot holder. I placed it on our front porch and put our fern in it. Depending how big my fern grows this Spring/Summer if it will remain in the wire holder. I was thinking of putting something else in it so you can actually see the details. However, I'll have to wait for Spring when I can go to the nursery.

I just happened to pick up some Anna Griffin office supplies for my Shabby Chic office. Don't you love having pretty desk accessories? I know it makes my bookkeeping more enjoyable, lol. Hope y'all have a wonderful week.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bayou Teche

The following day we drove down to New Iberia to tour Shadows on the Teche. Shadows on the Teche is a beautiful plantation that was built before the Civil War. The original owners, David and Mary Weeks, owned sugar plantations. Louisiana is well known for it's sugar cane. The house is also referred to as "Bayou Teche" because it sits literally on the bayou.

Mary Weeks was something else (strong character). She endured many hardships but saw them through. Her husband, David Weeks, died on a trip to New Haven, Connecticut. This left poor Mary a young widow of 7 children. Not only was she a full time stay at home mom but she was overseeing their estate as well as running the daily operations of the sugar plantation. She had over 150 slaves working the fields/house. If you've ever been in management you'll realize how much work that must have been. Mary also had a small school house built on her property and hired tutors to teach her children. Making sure her children were given the proper education was extremely important to her.

In 1841, she married John Moore. John Moore represented St. Martin parish in the House of Representatives. Judge Moore was re-elected to Congress in 1851 and lived most of his time in Georgetown. Mary kept in contact with her husband through letters. At one point during the Civil War John Moore and the servants evacuated to Texas as they learned that the Union troops were invading Louisiana. If the Yankees were to have caught Moore and her sons they would have killed them. Mary Weeks stayed behind with only her 2 young daughters and 2 servants.

When the Union troops invaded the plantation they told her to sign a allegiance to the Union Army or they would burn down the plantation. She told them that she would not sign an allegiance nor would she allow them to burn down her house. They didn't burn it down and allowed her to remain on the second floor of the house as they took occupancy of the first floor.

Can you imagine some army coming into your home and threatening to burn it down? The same army that would kill your husband and children. And then they are stealing your food and taking whatever they want. I don't know how she did it. That must have been difficult.

Mary Weeks passed away on the morning of December 29, 1863 while the Union troops invaded her plantation. Her daughter, Hannah, wrote to John Moore, "as the graveyards were all open the fencing having been torn down by the Yankees." The Yankees were so disrespectful during the Civil War. They burned down homes of the innocent, shot and killed men & boys (civilians, not soldiers), and ransacked homes/businesses that belonged to regular people like you and me. My great relatives had a tobacco plantation in Georgia the Yankees burned to the ground. My relatives had nothing to do with the war but lost everything. Mrs. Weeks was buried in the garden cemetery. John Moore was buried next to his wife after dying on June 17, 1867at the age of 78.

We had lunch at a cute little bistro in New Iberia. This Cajun man owned the bistro and visited with us while we dined. He was so cute and the paintings behind him are his. He's a fantastic artist. The painting he is standing next to is one he did of his daughter-in-law and grandchildren. The one behind him are of all three of his children. He was absolutely tickled that I wanted his picture.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Bayou Cottage

We just returned home from our mini "get away" to Louisiana. We had such a marvelous time in Cajun country. It was so relaxing and we enjoyed sight seeing. We also enjoyed eating ourselves silly with fantastic Cajun cuisine and pralines. I'm going to do myself a favor by not stepping onto the scale for an entire week. At the moment I've already started to diet, lol.

I have so many pictures that I will break them up into separate posts. This first post will be about our cottage. Our friend, Lyn, owns this adorable cottage tucked away on the outskirts of Lafayette. She is so cute. She's Cajun and I could listen to her talk for hours. She's not what you would think a Cajun gal would look like. She has trendy funky hair and dresses so cute. She carries her dog (Shih Tzu) Daisy with her. Daisy wears a red and white polka dot ribbon in her hair. She's such a cutie. Every morning Lyn brings us a basket with our breakfast. Oh my goodness, she's a great cook. It's such a fantastic way to start off our morning to a fabulous Cajun breakfast. Here's a few pictures for y'all....

Our cute little living room

Our kitchen/breakfast area

Our bedroom

Our Bayou Country view

Our fabulous breakfast

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Leaving for a mini vacay....

I'm heading out of town for a small trip with my husband. We are traveling over to Louisiana to visit some old friends, dine ourselves sick on Cajun, and enjoy the Bayou atmosphere. I'm planning on getting some antiquing in while there. I have a huge list of antique and thrift shops I want to stop in at. Wish my luck that I come across a jewel or two. Will post pictures when I return. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pie in the Sky

The surgery center had cancelled some of their cases today so my hubby decided to take the entire day off. We needed to work around the house and I had given him a huge "honey-do list" which I was excited to see things finally getting accomplished. We really want our 2010 to start off on the right foot and are willing to put the extra work and efforts into reaching our goals this year.

By late afternoon my husband desperately wanted to get out. He gets cabin fever really easy. Perhaps he wanted to get away from the "honey-do chores." He suggested we go for a little drive and treat ourselves to a piece of pie over at Pie in the Sky. I'm currently dieting and working hard to lose the extra fluff I managed to gain this season. I wasn't thrilled with the idea but I could see that he really wanted to go and since he has agreed to eat more healthy meals and stay away from fried foods (only once a week treat) I agreed. Besides, the pie is good!

This is the pie place I wrote about in my previous post. It's so cute and relaxing here. My favorite pie is the apple and my husband loves Southern pecan. I managed to get a few snap shots without looking like a crazy woman. This way y'all see what I'm talking about....

I love the idea of using the cookie sheet as the frame for the ladies room sign. Clever idea!

The funky decor is really fun

They have unique signs like this all over the place

And old antique school house chairs in the bathrooms

My favorite is the door light fixtures hanging over the tables. Too cool!

And of course....Hubby, waiting on his Southern Pecan pie.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Fantastic Finds for 2010

What a wonderful way to start off this year. As most of you know, I truly enjoy shopping for antiques. This previous year I found myself visiting more thrift shops and found a ton of cute things. I found that the differences between antique shops vs. thrift stores are that most antique shops know what the value of the item (mostly coming from an estate sale). Where as a thrift shop receives many donations and often doesn't have a clue what they have or the value. If you are educated with sliver, china patterns, and brands, you'll find all sorts of great deals.

My husband was kind enough to take me to a few thrift shops around the city. These are my first finds for 2010.

Bunnies- I picked up all four bunnies for $2/each. They will be perfect for this Easter. I also picked up the little Victorian Easter bucket for .50 cents. I'm sure I'll find good use of it this Spring.

Candle sticks- I picked up the antique brass candle sticks for $1/each. They will look great on an old dresser, bookcase, or table.

Floral Pitcher- I purchased the floral pitcher for $4. I thought it would look pretty sitting on my dresser or bathroom with fresh cut flowers this Spring/Summer.

Rooster Plates- I purchased these fantastic rooster plates for $8. I'm using them in the kitchen for breakfast plates. They will really dress up our morning breakfast or brunch.

China Set- Look at these beautiful plates and mugs I found. I purchased the entire set for $13!!! I'm planning on using them as dessert plates and mugs for coffee. Great for entertaining.

Next week we will be traveling over to Baton Rouge/Lafayette for a few days. We'll be staying at our friend's cottage. I love thrift shopping over in Louisiana. They have all sorts of fantastic shops and I always come home with something unique for the house. I can't wait!!! I'm already off to a great 2010....