Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Tablescape

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful holiday. My husband and I spent it over in Cajun Country this year. It was so relaxing and we enjoyed catching up with our Cajun friends. Our friends have a cottage just outside of Lafayette that we love to stay in.

Isn't this the most adorable cottage? Let me tell you, it's the best way to enjoy a relaxing time on the Bayou.

My husband and I spent Thanksgiving day just the two of us. I hit Hobby Lobby prior to our trip and purchased some fabric as a tablecloth. I put together a little romantic dinner for us to celebrate the festivities.

I came across these amber wine glasses at Pier 1 this season. They just screamed Thanksgiving so I felt I had to incorporate them into my tablescape this year. The candlesticks were purchased at a thrift store over the summer for only a $1.oo.

A few months ago I noticed that Hobby Lobby had a 50% sale on all of their faux fruit. I quickly gathered all the grapes and plums I could find. They were the closest to the harvest decor I had envisioned. Next year I'll add acorns and perhaps some wheat to the theme. However, this year my table was so small it wasn't worth packing as I was limited to room due to traveling during the holiday.

I couldn't stop at the fruit as I wanted to add a little twist to my plates. It's the little details that really make the table pop and I wanted to make our Thanksgiving special even though it was just going to be us. So I made this accent by twisting a few silk flowers and ribbon together and adding them on top of the plates. I was pleased with the results.

Here are my Johnson Brothers Heritage Hall plates. I thought the colors would be perfect for my Thanksgiving tablescape. I've always been a fan of Spode's Woodland collection and noticed the similarities with the color and scroll patterns with the Heritage Hall plates. I'm so happy I decided to purchase these and they really fit my personality more.

This is my favorite plate. It is the salad plate but look closely at the scene. It's an old picture of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I truly couldn't have passed up buying these plates once I saw New Orleans.

And y'all know how much I adore plantations. Plantations and New Orleans....could it get any better? I think not.

It was a gorgeous day on Thanksgiving day. It was 85 degrees!!! However, that night we had a huge thunderstorm roll in and the temperature dropped to 43 degrees. That's a big drop, y'all. Thankfully I brought a jacket and sweater. The storm was so powerful that it knocked the power out in half of Lafayette. Thankfully when we returned out little cottage had power and was quite warm and cozy.

I love the view from the side porch. I cracked open the side kitchen door as I was cooking up our holiday meal. I had Zydeco music playing in the back ground and the birds were all singing in a bush near the porch. It was picture perfect and will always warm my heart as a fond memory. Reminds me of being at my grandparents house when I was a little girl.

You can see in the distance the small lake. In the morning you see the steam come off the water. It makes for a beautiful picture but unfortunately I didn't remember to take one. Next trip I'll be sure to do that.

Beautiful cottage, beautiful day, beautiful view, beautiful table, beautiful meal, and of beautiful husband. This was a great Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to wish y'all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday before I leave town. My husband and I are heading over to Bayou Country to celebrate the festivities. We will be staying in our friend's little cozy cottage. I always look forward to visiting our Cajun friends and enjoying all that wonderful Cajun/Creole cuisine. This year I found a new recipe for pumpkin pie. I'm going to attempt to make it on Thanksgiving. I'm a bit nervous to try a new recipe on the big day so please wish me luck. If it's good I'll be sure to share with y'all.

5 Things I'm Thankful for during this Thanksgiving Holiday

1.) My husband- I have an amazing husband and I feel very blessed to have a good marriage.

2.) My health- I need to drop a few pounds but I've been hitting the gym. Other than that I'm in good health. I know a lot of people who have health problems so I count this as a big blessing.

3.) My freedom- As annoyed as I get with our nation's politics I'm still proud to be an American and very grateful for my freedom. Many women in parts of this world do not have the freedom that we have here in the United States. I'm thankful to all the men and women in uniform who've made this possible for me.

4.) Peace- Sounds a bit silly but it's true. I've grown in the past two years and become more secure in my own skin, dropped toxic people from my life, tapped into the desires and goals in my heart, and learned to manage the chaos life's challenges brings me. I'm happy where I am, who I've become, and where I'm heading in life.

5.) Faith-I can't imagine not having a relationship with God. My faith grows as I watch my prayers answered daily. He is the reason I can press on during difficult times and the reason the impossible becomes possible giving me hope. Trusting the Lord is a difficult thing to do but it's also exciting and brings me joy in any situation that comes my way. This Thanksgiving I will make it a point to praise and thank Him for all that He does for me and my family.

I would love to hear your "Thankful List" this Holiday Season

We Give Thanks

Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.

--Harry Jewell

Be safe and eat a piece of pumpkin pie for me :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

King Edward Hotel

I've been on the road this past week. My husband has decided to take the big plunge and go after a law degree. He has been working more and more in health care politics and development. He sees a entirely new venue to broaden his expertise in his field. In October he took the LSAT and scored very well and has been receiving scholarship offers from several schools out of state. We decided to take each opportunity into consideration by touring the school and programs. I enjoy a good road trip from time to time. This trip lead us through three southern states and y'all know how much I enjoy all that southern history.

While we were in Jackson, Mississippi I managed to slip away and walk through the historic downtown area. They have a lot of new construction and renovating going on down there. Mississippi truly knows what southern hospitality is all about. These were some of the nicest people I've met. Everyone treats you like an old friend or family. And the restaurants are full of fantastic cuisine. As I was enjoying lunch I asked a gent about the historic district. I found a lot of fascinating landmarks that I just couldn't wait to share with y'all.

You know how much I love historical homes and normally when I find time I try to post on one. I do not know why or where this passion came from. My home is full of old architectural and plantation books. I get giddy as I enter an old building, I run my hands across the walls, study the lines of the building, and inhale the old musky fragrance. I begin to fantasize of who might have walked the same halls and what the structure might have looked like during that era. Yes, I'm obsessed for historical homes and architecture. And I just found my next post.

This is the King Edward Hotel located in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. The original site was known as the Confederate House but was destroyed during the Civil War. Jackson sits on the Pearl River and during the Civil War the Union Army captured the city after they defeated the Confederacy in the Battle of Vicksburg. The troops were force to flee to Jackson but the Yankee's under General William Tecumseh Sherman's command tore through the city. They looted and burned most of the structures at that time. The Confederate House was one of them.

Battle of Vicksburg
Yankee General William Tecumseh Sherman

The Confederate House was reopened in 1867 as the Edwards House, after "Major" R.O. Edwards who built it. Then in 1923, the structure was redesigned by an architect, William Nolan, from New Orleans. It became a 12 story posh hotel where all of Jackson's high society and politics came to mingle during the rolling twenties and for the following forty years. I would have given anything to have been able to have seen this with my own eyes. Can you imagine the fantastic parties?

In 1955, a wealthy automobile dealer and investor, R.E. "Dumas" Milner, purchased the property. Again, the hotel was renovated to more of a modernist style. However, many of the original details were kept in the design (thank goodness). The local economy fell on hard times and the hotel was forced to close in 1967. Although the Edwards House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site became inhabitable. The once magnificent hotel had become overwhelmed with the city's homeless and was completely run down. So sad when you think of how much history surrounded it.

What she looks like now & below is in her sad state

Numerous attempts to restore the southern gem to her beauty failed and the citizens began discussing a potential demolition of the building. However, the Jackson city leaders began successfully planning to revitalize the downtown area. And in December of 2006, Watkins Partners, former New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister and Historic Restoration Inc. of New Orleans worked together to restore the old hotel.

Today, I'm pleased to report that the King Edward hotel is open for business. She's a signature Hilton Garden Inn with 186 rooms, 64 luxury apartments, a fabulous restaurant and bar, coffee shop, retail shops, and a fitness center. The renovation cost nearly $90 million dollars and was completed in December of 2009. If y'all are ever traveling through Jackson, Mississippi stop by and take a look. The staff is very friendly and the hotel is an impressive piece of history.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Faberge Eggs

I've always been fascinated with Russian Faberge eggs (House of Faberge). My favorite Feberge's are those dated back in the late 1800's (1885-1917). I would have loved to have seen Russia during the 1800's. Moscow and St. Petersburg must have been a sight to see under the Romanov's rule. The assassination of Nicholas II and his family has always intrigued me. Ever since I was a little girl I've always been fascinated with Russian history. The palaces and cities were once truly magnificent and now they are in such a sad state. However, Russia still has great musicians, artists, novelists, and athletes. It's a very interesting country.

Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until his assassination in 1918. During his reign Russia was one of the greatest and powerful nations in the world but it's economy and military collapsed. Nicholas II approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, that entered them into the fatal step into World War I. Less than four years later the Romanov's dynasty was assassinated during the Revolution of 1917. His wife, his son, four daughters, doctor, Tsar's valet, Empress' lady-in-waiting, and the family cook were all executed in the same room by the Bolsheviks one July night in 1918.

This is truly one of the most exciting historical stories in World History. I'm sure everyone remembers the Disney movie, Anastasia. Well, this was written after the Romanov family. Here is photograph of the real Anastasia and Rasputin.

Notice the Faberge Egg her grandmother gave her in the movie

Some of the most famous Faberge eggs were created for Nicholas II of Russia. Out of 50 eggs, only 42 survived. 8 eggs have been reported lost never to be seen again. There were two eggs that were never delivered because the Romanov family was assassinated that year in 1918.

The luxury eggs are made out of precious metals and stones. The Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs are regarded as the greatest series of Faberge Eggs in the world.

I found a rare picture of the Necessaire Egg. The Necessaire was one of the Tsar Imperial Faberge eggs. It is one of the fifty-two jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Faberge. The Necessaire was given to Alexander III who presented it to his wife, Maria Feodorovana in 1889. After the 1917 revolution that killed Nicholas II and his family, the egg was seized as the rest of the imperial eggs and has never been seen again. Some say that the eggs were sent to the Armory Palace in Kremlin. However, the whereabouts of the egg is unknown.

In March 2008, the British magazine Country Life identified the Necessaire egg in a photograph dated in 1949. A picture of the Necessaire didn't exist so this was big news. The photograph was taken at the Wartski's with Countess of Suffolk and Sacheverell Sitwell looking at a display. However, in the corner you will see the Necessaire Egg in a glass case. I doubt they had known they were only inches away from one of the most famous Faberge eggs in the world.

Inside is believed to hold a 13 diamond-encrusted woman's manicure set. Similar to this one but the egg has never been photographed so they used this egg as an example of what they think is inside. However, the 13 diamond-encrusted set must be out of this world in person.