Monday, January 24, 2011

A Rainy Day

I love to snuggle in my favorite blanket on the sofa and read a good book when it rains

A rainy day inspires me to watch old movies

Best time to listen to Harry Conick Jr. or Diana Krall while it's raining outside

Love to make homemade chocolate chip cookies when it's raining

I love to light my favorite Yankee Candles on a rainy day

I love to chat and visit with old friends on a rainy day

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Yesterday I followed a beautiful Rolls-Royce out of my neighborhood. Considering that I do not see very many of them on the roadways I was in absolute awe at the magnificent piece of machinery. The smooth and sleek lines were gorgeous.

I must say that Rolls-Royce has surely changed over the century. We must tip our hats to our British friends across the pond for this is truly an amazing automobile.

For those who do not know who Frederick Henry Royce is I must share his life with you. He went by Henry not Frederick and did not come from a privileged upbringing. He grew up in London where he had to sell newspapers as a young boy to help feed the family after his father died (mother/four siblings). He dropped out of school of the age of 9 and never received a proper education. With help from his aunt he started an apprenticeship with Great Northern Railway company but when the money ran out he was forced to take odd jobs. However, he eventually moved to Liverpool and became a chief engineer for a theatre.

With a fascination for anything mechanical it was no wonder why he became interested in tinkering with automobiles. He purchased his first car in 1901 (2 cylinder Decauville). Below I attached a photograph so you know what a Decauville looked like. That's not Henry Royce but just an average family enjoying their luxurious ride for their time.

Obviously Henry Royce was displeased with the mechanics of this vehicle and began going to work. He created the first Rolls-Royce and called it the "Royce" in which he sold it to his friend (investor) Henry Edmunds. Mr. Edmunds was quite pleased with the new development and arranged the historic meeting between Henry Royce and Charles Rolls. Charles Rolls had a showroom located in London and agreed to take all the cars he could make. This meeting took place at the Midland Hotel Manchester.

The first Rolls Royce was manufactured in December of 1904. Can you imagine commuting in this thing? I think of Houston traffic and shutter at the thought.

Royce's detail and perfectionism built him quite a reputation across England. During WWI he was consulted by the British Army to assist them in building engines for fighter planes. Royce's Eagle engine powered the first trans-Atlantic flight from England to Australia. Nearly 50% of fighter planes during the course of WWI were created by Rolls-Royce and by the late 1920s, aero engines made up most of their business.

Henry Royce greatly assisted in developing the Merlin aero engine that came out in 1935. However, Mr. Royce passed away in 1933. The Merlin engine powered many British fighter planes during WWII such as the British Hawker Hurricane, Submarine Spitfire, De Havilland Mosquito (twin-engined), Avro Lancaster (4-engine). By the end of the war Rolls-Royce had produced over 160,000 engines.

De Havilland Mosquito (twin-engined) used in WWII

Due to his hard work and lack of poor diet (friends say he never took time away from work to eat properly) his health began declining. He struggled with his health until he finally passed away in 1933. The RR badge on the front grill changed from red to black in 1934. The Phantom III was the first Rolls-Royce without input from Mr. Royce. If you glance up to the picture of the engine you'll notice that Rolls-Royce is in red and not black. This was a signature that Henry Royce was involved with the design. Anything after 1934 is in black indicating his death.

Now I can't have a Rolls Royce post without mentioning it's unique emblem, "Spirit of Ecstasy." As most of you know that Rolls Royce's infamous signature is of that of a silver woman leaning forward with her hands stretched behind her with wings. What does this stand for and who is this woman?

This woman is referred to as the "Spirit of Ecstasy." The story is quite scandalous for it's time. There was a love affair between John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu (editor of Car Magazine 1902) and, Eleanor Velasco Thornton. Eleanor was his secretary and came from a very impoverished social and economic background. Due to Lord Montagu's position in high society, they were forced to keep their affair a secret. Lord Montagu was pressured by his family to marry a woman by the name of Lady Cecil Victoria Constance, but his heart only belonged to Eleanor and he continued his affair long after his marriage.

Eleanor died after perishing with the SS Persia (also a very interesting story I must post about in the near future). It was torpedoed by the Germans. She was on her way to accompany Lord Montagu on a trip to India. Remember, India was under British rule at the time. Montagu had asked a friend, Charles Sykes, to create an emblem of Eleanor for his Rolls Royce in honor of their love. That way she would be with him where ever he went. This was before she died and you can see her standing beside his Rolls Royce and the emblem of herself. At first, Sykes sculpted her with a robe (her nightie) and a finger to her lips to illustrate their secret love affair. The figurine was called, "The Whisper." During this time emblems had become fashionable and Claude Johnson, who was the manager of Rolls Royce, asked Sykes to create an emblem for the Rolls Royce series. With permission from Montagu he showed Claude Johnson "The Whisper." However, Mr. Johnson asked for a few changes but otherwise loved it. They decided to call it "Spirit of Ecstasy."

If I were to own a Rolls Royce this would be me top choice, a Rolls Royce Roadster. I hope you enjoyed my little post.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I'm on the hunt for an antique trunk. I was flipping through one of my books on antiques and saw the most wonderful idea where they had used an old trunk in a guest room. I thought it looked fabulous and I could only imagine all the items I could store inside of it. I've seen several trunks in antique shops but had no use for one....until now. Did you know that most people use to travel with trunks? It's true. This was well before airline travel as we know it today was considered the norm. Most people traveled by train and used trunks as their personal luggage. The thought of dragging a large trunk through the airport today would be horrific. Since 9/11 it makes traveling with a regular size suitcase on wheels difficult enough let alone a heavy trunk. However, I could only wish for the amount of traveling space a trunk would provide vs. my samsonite.

Here are a few of my favorite trunks that I would love to get my hands on. The Louis Vuitton trunk would have to be my most desired of them all.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Very Humbled....

First I'd like to say that I've been overwhelmed at how many wonderful and terrific people I've met in the blog world. I've truly enjoyed getting to know y'all. I started this little blog of mine one evening just for fun. I had know idea how it would cross my paths with some amazing people. Y'all I feel so humbled that not one but two of my favorite bloggers awarded me with this awesome award.

I want to thank Ruth over at This G.R.I.T.S Tale and Bella Michelle at Southern Somedays

Y'all, these are two fabulous southern gals. I just love reading their blogs and getting to know them. Ruth has a fabulous blog. Bella Michelle and I consider ourselves blogging soul sisters. I think if we were to do some sort of family tree research we'd find we were related somehow (I just know it).

So the rules for getting the Stylish Blogger award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about me:
1. My office is full of books on plantations and antiques.
2. I love stationary.
3. I pay my hair stylist in cash because I don't want my husband to know what I REALLY spend on my hair (he'd freak out).
4. I started collecting antique brooches last year.
5. I love to play tennis and look forward to joining a league after we move.
6. I L-O-V-E historical houses and would one day like to join the Historical Preservation Society.
7. I adore anything from the 1930s. The clothing, music, movies, politics.

I'm leaving for an out of town trip so I've got to rush off and pack my bags. However, I'll list five of my favorite blogs I've come across recently:

1.) Jo @ Bees and Fluer de lis (Jo has amazing recipes)
2.)Gamecock @ My Chihuahua Wears Sunglasses (Gamecock is truly a Southern Beauty Queen)
3.)Kay @ Sweet Preppy in Pink (Kay and I could be two peas in a pod. I love her taste in clothing and decorating).
4.)Jacqueline @ Purple Chocolat Home (This is one of my favorite blogs. She has an amazing kitchen and never disappoints me with a post)
5.)Trish @ Pink Preppy Lilly Lover (I found Trish last year. She's a fabulous gal from New Orleans. Welcome home Trish!!!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Royal Babies!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Hubby and I decided to spend ours relaxing and lounging indoors as the cold front came roaring through the southern states. I'm amazed to see our friends located in the northern region get so much snow. Those way up north would consider it just a normal winter storm but to us down south it's like the end of the world every time we get cold weather that brings snow. It actually snowed in Houston last year (it was really slush not snow) but you would have thought it was the second ice age. Massive big deal. Snow and ice....we panic.

So I spent the weekend reading books, browsing the web, and catching up on my correspondence. I was pleased to come across news that Princess Mary of Denmark delivered twins over the weekend. On Saturday, January 8, she delivered twins. A healthy son and daughter. I'm over the moon excited and can't wait to hear what she and her husband, Prince Frederick, decide to name them.

I just adore Princess Mary and Prince Fredrick. She is so beautiful and they look like such a nice couple. Prince Frederick, future King of Denmark, met Princess Mary while visiting Australia during the 2000 Olympics. It was truly every gals fairytale.

Princess Mary was just the average gal living in Australia. She was working in advertising at the time. Her family had moved to Australia from Scotland when she was young. And at one time she lived here, in little ole Houston. Indeed she did. She lived in the suburb of Clear Lake. That's where NASA is located for those who don't know the Houston area. It's not unusual to have people living between Texas and Australia. We have a lot of friends who work in oil/gas (engineers) that go back and forth. I'm assuming considering that her father was mathematician he was either working in the oil industry or with NASA at the time they resided in the Houston area.

The royal couple married back in 2004. In 2005, she gave birth to their first son, Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John.

In 2007, Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, was born. I love this portrait of the royal family. I think Prince Christian looks absolutely adorable in this picture.

I can't wait to see the twins. I'm positive they will be just as beautiful as the rest of the family.

Congratulations Princess Mary & Prince Frederick

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Dog's Life

I was searching for something online and came across a dog house that blew my mind. I didn't even know dog houses like these exist. I've seen dog houses but nothing so luxurious as something like those posted below. My poor childhood pup often slept on the hardwood floor when I was growing up. My father would have laughed at the thought of building one none the less purchasing such a house for our pooch. And my grandfather would have thought I was insane to suggest such a thing. Yes, things have certainly changed these days from when I was kid. As I was looking over these impressive dog houses the theme song from The Jeffersons kept rolling through my mind.

This is just an adverage modest home with a nice pool in back.

I'm going to have to say that this reminds me of the Real Pups of the OC.

This dog house reminds of the White House. I wonder if all the First Dogs have something similar. However, the downside would be that "we the people" would be picking up his tab.

Very Victorian. I think the Cocker Spanial is the perfect breed to live in this adorable house.

This pup looks as if he should be living in Miami.

And finally in honor of my Swiss friend. I included a Swiss dog house. I have to admit I consider this to be the finest one of them all. Did you notice the Swiss flag in the background? Very clever indeed.

Puts a whole new meaning for "in the dog house" doesn't it? I hope y'all enjoyed the little tour of dog houses as much as I did. I would love to hear your thoughts and what house you liked the best.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My New Year's Resolution

Today is not only the second day of the New Year but also my first post of 2011. I thought I'd kick off my 2011 blog post with my New Year's Resolution. My resolution might seem to be a bit odd but to me it's very important. It's something I've missed in the past two years I've spent in Houston. My afternoon tea time. Yes, sounds a bit silly but oh how much I miss that tranquility. I use to treasure that time to sit down and savor a nice blend of Earl Grey.

When I lived back in Austin I use to host afternoon tea every Thursday afternoon. At times it seemed to be overwhelming as I juggled my schedule but it always paid off once everyone arrived. Catching up over a hot cup of tea made life that much more pleasurable. In Houston, things have been insanely busy and I have not hosted not one afternoon tea party. Not alone that it's hot and humid nearly 8 months out of the year. Who would want a hot cup of tea when the humidity level is at 90%?!!!

I'm looking forward to our relocation and enjoying those four seasons again. I'm positive that I'll be getting to know new friends over a nice cup of tea. What are your resolutions for the approaching year?

“A woman is like a tea bag, you can not tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water” ~ First Lady Nancy Reagan

“Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.” ~Henry Fielding

“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage" ~Catherine Douzel

"The spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort and refinement" ~ Arthur Gray

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”
~ C.S. Lewis