Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthday Weekend in San Antonio

This weekend we met our favorite couple over in San Antonio. My friend's hubby and my hubby share the same B-day weekend. Her husband's birthday is on the 27th and my husband's is the 28th. We decided to celebrate together. My husband and I arrived a day early so we could go on the Mission tour. San Antonio has several wonderful Missions located in the heart of the city. We've always wanted to tour them for the past few years so this weekend we finally did.

I must admit the weather couldn't have been more perfect. I loved being outdoors this weekend so it worked well with the tour. The San Jose Mission was my favorite. I can't even to begin to describe how lovely it is. You'll just have to look over my pictures to see why.

This is the San Juan Mission. This is another favorite. I love the San Juan Mission bells. And of course I had to take a picture of the hankie. You know how much I adore lace and monogrammed hankies. During our trip to the Mission my husband found a new best friend. This stray little dog kept following my husband where ever he would go. He never left his side. I was thinking, "How on earth are we going to explain to the hotel that we found this dog?" My husband loves dogs and I knew they had formed some type of special bond that afternoon. Thankfully the dog found a new love once it ran towards a woman and her children. They began feeding him cookies so my husband got the brush off, LOL. It was seriously a close call. We almost became proud owners of that little stray dog. I could have kissed that woman for arriving when she did. If you happen to be that woman and you are reading my blog, THANK YOU! My husband has a big heart for animals (especially dogs).

We met up with our friend's at Mi Terra. Everyone loves Mi Terra. How could you not? It's insanely festive. They have a huge display case of desserts and pastries. The display case takes up an entire room. YUM! I also like the live music.

This is baby Reid. I love him sooo much. I couldn't help but kiss those adorable cheeks. And of course Aunt Gigi brought him a bag of goodies. It's my full time job to spoil him.

The next morning we had a lovely birthday brunch on the River Walk. Again, the weather was amazing. We had a fantastic time just relaxing on the restaurant's patio. It was such a fantastic weekend.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Houmas House Plantation

The Houmas House Plantation is one of my favorite plantations in southern Louisiana. All of you know how much I adore plantations and truly love the history they behold. Each plantation home has it's own characteristics that make it unique from the other. Nothing is more fabulous than to visit these Southern jewels. The craftmenship and the antiques! Why, my heart literally leaps from enthusiasm as I admire every small little detail. And if you can't seem to appreciate the history, antiques, or craftsmenship...well, perhaps a good haunting will strike your fancy. Of course being in Louisiana you couldn't have an old house without a good ghost story. Am I right?

So, before I begin the tour of this amazing historical home I want to share a little history. The property where this beautiful plantation sits was purchased in 1810 by General Wade Hampton. The name comes from the Houmas Indians that use to live on that land. General Hampton was a war hero during the Revoluntionary War. He began construction of the house but records show that the house wasn't completed until 1828. Sometime between 1810-1825 Hampton's daughter, Caroline, and her husband, Colonal John Preston, had taken ownership of the house.

The Houmas House sat on 300,000 acres. What does one do with so much property? You plant sugar cane. Did you know that Louisiana is one of the largest states in production of sugar cane? The state has over 7 sugar refineries plus nearly two dozen other sugar-related facilities. That's why Louisiana people are so sweet, ha, ha...

Right before the Houmas House was completed, an Irish man, John Burnside, purchased the home for $1 million dollars. Now we are talking about 1827. That's a lot of money for that time. He built up the sugar production until it was the largest sugar producer in the country (20 million pounds a day). During the Civil War the Union troops were going to burn it down. Remember, sugar was used to preserve foods (such as fruits). Mr. Burnside saved his sugar plantation by declaring immunity as a subject under the British Crown. If he hadn't, well, we would not be able to enjoy the history of the Houmas House today.

During the Great Depression, the Houmas Plantation nearly withered away. The sugar plantation closed, as most businesses crumbled in our country at that time. But Houmas still stood her ground waiting for a revival. And in 1940, Houmas was purchased by Dr. George Crozart. He bought it as a summer home away from the hustle and bustle of New Orleans. He spent a small fortune renovating it with Greek Revival style upgrades. Crown molding and ceiling medallions were place all through the house. I love Dr. Croszart's interior style. The house turned out to be gorgeous. So beautiful that many famous movie's and TV shows that were filmed there, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, starring Bette Davis. Longstreet TV series, Moon to the Wolf, Mandingo, A Closer Walk, Big Bob Johnson and his Fantastic Speed Circus, A Woman Called Moses, All My Children, Fletch Lives, Snow Wonder, K'ville, and Top Chef.

Now about that ghost. Story has it that a ghost of a young girl (age 7 to 10 years old) runs through the house. She has dark eyes, dark hair, and dark blue dress on. She has been seen more than once by employees & men working on the house. Nobody knows who the little girl is but they suspect she might be the daughter of Col. John Preston. His daughter died shortly after the family left for South Carolina. But around 1900, Col. William Porcher Miles, lost a daughter about 7 years of age from illness. She died at the Houmas House. Nobody knows for sure because the Great Flood of 1927 wiped out the levee's and washed away the graveyard. It remains a mystery.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Houston Rodeo

Y'all, the Houston Rodeo is officially over. It was so much fun. I suggest that if you are ever in the city around March you must attend the rodeo. Houston has the largest rodeo in the country. Over a million people attended this year. That's a lot of people.

One of my favorite things to eat at the rodeo is BBQ. Texas has the BBQ in the world. They also have bull riding, concerts, live stock shows, carnival rides, shopping, etc....

This is my favorite part of the Rodeo. It's called the "Mutton Bustin."

Here's a little clip so you know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If Women Ruled the World

A friend of mine sent this to me and I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Newest Finds....

Today was a fantastic Saturday afternoon. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. It's suppose to be in the mid 70's for the entire weekend. I'm itching to get into my garden and begin planting some flowers. However, I know better to do that. We ALWAYS have one cold snap right before Easter. And so I'm waiting for that ugly cold spell to blow through before I invest time/money into my flower garden.

I decided to use my Saturday to do the next best thing....SHOPPING! I found some really lovely things today. A friend in Alabama recently had a baby girl. I needed to send a gift. I love purchasing baby cardigans. I have no idea why but I just think they are so adorable and classic. I picked this Laura Ashley cardigan. Look at the tiny knitted bunny in the pocket. I think Miss Annabelle will look fabulous in it. Isn't that a cute Southern baby name? I love that name, Annabelle.

I also picked up this fantastic binder for work. I love it! The pattern is by Waverly. I really love Waverly patterns so this was perfect for me. They have fantastic fabrics.

My husband and I decided to run into one of our favorite book stores. We love to lounge and read books for hours. We are in desperate need of our own home library. While browsing through the books and music selection I came across this AWESOME CD. It's Nat King Cole. My Papa use to listen to Nat King Cole when I was a little girl. His music always reminds me of some fun found memories of my grandparents.

I also wanted to share my new hankie. I adore monogram hankies. I like to keep one in my make-up case in my purse. It has little blue G's for Gigi. And look at my new compact!!! It's an antique that I found during one of my antique trips. It over 80 years old. I haven't decided if it's something I want to keep in my bag or not. I'm afraid I'll misplace it. It's in fantastic shape for it's age.

Tonight I'm making a shrimp pasta dish, bread with oil & vinegar, salad, and a bottle of white wine. We are listening to my new Nat King Cole CD. How are you spending your weekend?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My new table setting

I just purchased a really fantastic setting. I feel that this setting truly expresses my love for plantations. The set is from a company called, Johnson Brothers. The British tableware company was founded by four brothers, Alfred, Frederick, Henry, and Robert. In 1883 Alfred and Frederick purchased their first factory. They were very successful and quickly expanded their tableware business. Henry joined the company thereafter and within a short 10 years brother Robert also joined the company.

By 1898, they had opened five additional factories in Britain. The historic and British scenic patterns became extremely popular and in demand. Robert Johnson relocated to New York City where he opened and managed the factory overseeing the American market. The Johnson Brothers tableware business expanded in growth during the first half of the 20th century. The Johnson Brothers eventually joined the Wedgewood Group in the mid 1990's. In 2003, the Wedgewood Group ceased all operations in Britain and relocated the manufacturing to China.

The plates I have are vintage and were made in London. I'm very happy to find a set for 8.

One reason I'm thrilled about this set is that the salad plate is a scene from our beloved home of NEW ORLEANS!!! As soon as I laid my eyes on them I had to buy the set.

My absolutely favorite plate....NEW ORLEANS!!!

Serving Platter...