Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I thought it would be appropriate to do a post on our nation's capital in honor of our Independence Day. The White House symbolizes more than just a capital building but a symbol of freedom around the world. Many people come to the United States in hopes to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. This country, even during the turmoil that we are currently living in, does provide opportunity for those who would never have a chance. It's not a given right for success but an opportunity to work hard at the possibility.

The White House has been home to many presidents and their families. Can you imagine calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home? That must be quite an experience to grow up at The White House. Or just imagine being a First Pet, LOL. Did you know that the first capital was located in Philadelphia and for a brief time, in New York? It's true. The nation's capital was in New York while the construction was completed.

President Washington signed an Act of Congress in order to declare a district (10 miles) that would be on the Potomac river to serve the United States Government. In 1790, Washington D.C. came into existence. The White House began construction the following decade, however, Washington died in 1799 and never had the opportunity to live there.

The White House has survived two fires. The first fire at the hands of the British in 1814 during the war of 1812. The second fire, 1929 during President Hoover's term (West Wing). If you ever have the opportunity to visit our nation's capital you can look very close and see the discoloration of some of the bricks due to the 1814 fire. Incredible!

President John Adams became the first President to take residence in The White House. It was November 1, 1800, and on his second day in the house, he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, containing a prayer for the house. He wrote:

"I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."

Theodore Roosevelt had Adam's blessing carved into the mantel in the State Dining Room.

It was 1814, two years into the War of 1812, when the British troops set fire to The White House. Sadly much of Washington D.C. was affected by these fires and many artifacts lost forever. The exterior walls were all that remained so much of the original capital had to be torn down.

Not only did the British set fire to our capital but the troops ransacked it. First Lady Dolley Madison managed to rescue a painting of George Washington and in 1939, a Canadian man returned a jewelry box to President Franklin Roosevelt. He claimed that his grandfather had taken it from Washington.

The White House has been surrounded by much of our nation's history. She is truly a grand place to visit. She is filled with 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 6 floors, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators. I've been told that there are secret passageways that lead under the White House as quick escape routes. Supposedly President John F. Kennedy used a few of them.

Here's a few fun pictures from the past.

President Woodrow Wilson on The White House lawn.

President Lyndon B. Johnson and his dog, Yuki. They found Yuki by a gas station in Texas.

President John F. Kennedy and his daughter Caroline.

President John F. Kennedy and John John in the Oval Office.

President Richard Nixon and "The King" Elvis Presley.

President Ronald Reagan on The White House veranda.

John Travolta dancing with Princess Diana. This is a very famous picture. I read that Princess Di desperately wanted to have a dance with Travolta (she was a big fan).
Hope everyone enjoyed this post. I surely had a fun writing it. Happy 4th of July!!!!


Saturday, June 26, 2010


What a better way to enjoy a Saturday afternoon than drooling over sconces. I truly want a pair of French antique sconces. I've been shopping the antique dealers websites through out Texas/Louisiana. I've come across a couple that I really like a lot. However, some are extremely expensive and a tad bit out of my price range. This afternoon I'm going to head downtown and see about exploring through the antique shops in through Houston's antique district. This is the style that I'm looking for. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Historical Home Wednesday- Five

For this Historical Home Wednesday I've decided to go to Savannah, Georgia. If y'all haven't ever been to Savannah, I highly recommend to jot it down on your top ten places to visit in the US. It's gorgeous and filled with so much history. Not to mention that Paula Dean lives there and runs her little restaurant, Lady & Sons (not too shabby). I have so many good memories of Savannah (shopping, dining, and touring the romantic city). There's a ton of B&B's and unique hotels. It's fantastic!

The house I've chosen to post about belonged to Andrew Low. Who is Andrew Low? Andrew Low was not only a Revolutionary War hero but also a wealthy cotton owner. He had relocated from Scotland at the young age of sixteen to help work at his uncle's cotton firm. He later became a partner.

During construction of the house, his uncle, his wife, and four year old son, all passed away. The house willed the house and entire estate to Andrew. Andrew and his two daughters took residency in 1849.

Five years after the passing of his wife, Low remarried. His new bride, "bright, gay, and beautiful" Mary Cowper Stiles. She was the daughter of William Henry Stiles, United States Minister to Austria. She gave Low three beautiful daughters and son, William Mackay Low, brought much joy to the house.

The Low's love to entertain and hosted many famous house guests during that era. Such as William Makepeace Thackeray and Gerneral Robert E. Lee. Lee was the godfather to Mary and Andrew Low's daughter, Jessie. Can you imagine having Robert E. Lee as your godfather!

In the Parlor you'll find an antique needlepoint screen of two dogs. If you look in the corner of the room you'll see this screen. Although it's not a good picture you can get the idea. The Low's were huge animal lovers and had many dogs. The screen resembled two of their dogs. This screen was saved after

In 1864, Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman led the Union Army in the Civil War. He led his troops destroying and capturing towns through out Georgia, such as Atlanta, stopping at the port of Savannah. The troops not only torched and seized Confederate military property but destroyed businesses and civilian property as well. Just imagine the Republicans and Democratic parties going to war. One party comes through your hometown destroying everything you love, including your house. What they do not destroy they steal. If you were lucky you and your family got out alive with the clothes on your back. Shameful that Americans would attack Americans in this manner. I hope history never repeats itself on our soil.

Mary and Andrew's son, William Mackey Low, inherited the house. William Mackey Low married Juliette Gordon Low in 1886. The two spent much time in England due to William's education. The couple had many English friends such as the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria. How many of us can say we are friends with royalty?

After William passed away, Juliette befriended General Sir Robert Baden-Powell. He was the founder of the Boy Scouts in England. It was through her friendship with him that she ended up forming the Girl Scouts of America after she returned home to Georgia. She left the Carriage House to the Girl Scouts of America in her will upon her death in 1927.

Was anyone a Girl Scout? I was a Girl Scout for two years.

Monday, June 21, 2010


This afternoon, while housecleaning, I managed to squeeze in a few matches. I'm a tennis lover and the best thing besides playing is watching Wimbledon. Wimbledon is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. It's held at the All England Club in Wimbledon (a suburb on the outskirts of London).

The tournament starts late June and plays through early July. It's the only grass court tournament that is still active today since 1877. The All England Lawn Tennis is a private club founded in 1868. The Championship was first televised in 1937.

The Americans did a fantastic job. My favorite tennis pro is Andy Roddick. He lives in Austin, Texas. Roddick won his match against Rajeev Ram. Go Andy!!!

I managed to catch the match between Venus and Rossana De Los Rois. It was a close match. De Los Rois is 34 years old. That's getting up there for pro tennis. She did a great job. I was sort of torn between the two in this match. I really like Rossanna De Los Rois but Venus is American. Venus is also from my home state, California. Venus won!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Orleans

Sorry I've been MIA but I've been down in the Big Easy visiting family & friends, shopping, and eating enough shrimp for the entire year. I refuse to step onto a scale for the next 3 weeks. I had so much fun. My hubby had a conference so we stayed at the hotel that it was being held at. We normally stay at the Le Pavillion but this trip we stayed at the Ritz Carlton. I must say, the location was great, the food was excellent, and the staff is beyond friendly. We are definitely staying at the Ritz our next trip to NOLA.

One of the best features of our room....a vanity! I loved it! My husband and I are usually fighting for the bathroom sink and mirror. He's trying to shave and I'm trying to apply make-up at the same time. It's amazing how much peace a little simple table could bring to our marriage during our stay, LOL.

Also, the Ritz Carlton was filled with antiques. I was drooling over the china that adorned the walls. I snuck through one of the lobby's late at night to snap this picture. I was too embarrassed to take pictures during high traffic hours. I didn't want anyone to think I was some crazy woman. However, all of you know how much I love china patterns and antiques. I just had to get a few snap shots for my blog.

Look at this amazing outfit. It screams New Orleans. I love the hat. Anyone else a hat lover? I have several in my closet. It makes me want to meet the ladies for afternoon tea.

Of course we walked through the Quarter and even shopped a bit at the French Market.

But mostly we pigged out at our favorite restaurants and enjoyed some old fashion New Orleans music.