Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tablescape Thursday - Summertime Blues

I suppose most of us think of Memorial Day as the beginning of Summer. Here in the Mid-Atlantic it feels more like the middle of summer. We've had record breaking temperatures. So what's the cure for "Summertime Blues"?....Tablescaping of course!

I thought I would cool things down with a soft blue and white table this week.

I think I feel a bit cooler already....how about you?

I started out with a centerpiece of blue and white hydrangeas. A little nest among the flowers.

Arranged in this white soup tureen. Love the grape design.

Two fat white birds stand watch on the backside of the tureen.

Haviland Blue Garland pattern can easily be found when thrifting and on eBay. It was a grocery store giveaway back in the day. But I love the dainty design and I think it holds it's own with my best heirloom silverware.

The tiny blue buds of these napkin rings seem to go well with the tiny flowers in the china pattern. I softened my blue damask napkins with the sheer white napkins layered over them.

A closer look at the design on the dinner plates.

Soft tissue linen placemats embriodered with flowers.

Overview of the table.

Overview of the centerpiece.

The blue stems came from the Dollar Tree a couple of years ago. I love mixing unexpected combinations of vintage and new while shopping my house and not spending a penny!

Be sure to check out all the tables this week at Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan of "Between Naps on the Porch". She always has a lovely display of tables sure to inspire you and chase away your "summertime blues".

See ya!

Quick and easy Fruit Salad.

It seems that whenever there is a gathering of our family and I ask, "What would you like for me to bring?" ....the answer is almost always...."Your fruit salad!" Never a big task because it's quick and easy...and always welcome.

I'll let you in on a little secret....it MIGHT take 10 minutes to put together. Here's the recipe. A jar of Sunkist Citrus Salad drained. Ok you could peel your own grapefruit and oranges....but then you have to spend quite a bit of time with seeds and the white strings --- I just let someone else do the work. Add white seedless grapes, strawberries, chunked pineapple (canned in it's own juice is fine, drain the juice), bananas and whatever fruit is in season -- for this one I added kiwi and blueberries. And voila! A refreshing salad to go! Make it once and you'll be asked to bring your "amazing" fruit salad to gatherings again and again. Shhhhh -- just our little secret about how quick and easy it is...ok?

We had a pre-Memorial Day cookout at my brother's home with his "solider boy" Alex. Here he is with his girlfriend Kelsey.

Alex with his Mom and Dad and Grandfather (my Dad).

And one more pose with Mr. Mid-Atlantic and me.

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend.
See ya!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Apron Love

Do you have "Apron Love"? Aprons are quite popular right now and there are so many cute ones. I have a small collection hanging in my kitchen. A few are the "work horses" that I grab when I'm doing my messy cooking, they're filled with stains that won't come out. Then I have a few that are my good aprons, for decoration and company. Did your mother and grandmother wear aprons? Both of my grandmothers did....my mother, not so much. How about you? Here are a few of my favorites.

This is one that's very special to me because my mother sewed it up for me. Love the materials.

This is one of my vintage aprons. Love this fruited material that reminds me of the 40's.

Red and white checks -- always a classic.

Love this pink one for the color and the cross stitch design on it.

I found this little poem in the pocket of one of my vintage aprons I found a couple of years ago at one of my favorite antique/vintage stores.

Grandma's Apron by Tina Trivett

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
It was the things she used it for that made it look worn out.

She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face, when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.

She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.

She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that wil replace
that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.

I have many happy apron memories of special times and the special women in my life who wore them. How about you?

See ya!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foodie Friday - Cherry Cheese Trifle

It's been awhile since I've cooked something up for Foodie Friday, but I thought I would share an easy dessert that's perfect for potlucks and gatherings.

I believe I posted about our Sunday School gatherings of several of us for dinners and devotions held in each other's homes. Last weekend we met at one of the homes and it was my turn to bring dessert. There were six of us gathered around the table for delightful food and conversation. The hostess had prepared a wonderful meal of Greek Chicken, rolls, and green beans. We started out with the salad course....and ended with.....

....Cherry Cheese Trifle. The recipe came from a Cooking with Paula Dean magazine several years ago. I've made it a number of times and it's easy and always delicious.

Since there were only six of us, there was enough left over to take to the office for a Monday treat. Believe me, I brought my bowl back home all but licked clean.


1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extact (I used vanilla this time and it was an excellent substitute)
1 (13 oz.) prepared angel food cake
2 (21 oz.) cans cherry pie filling
Additional cherry pie filling (I used a brand that had "extra" cherries and just put a bit aside)
sliced almonds

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese & sweetened condinsed milk. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in 1/2 of whipped topping and almond extract, set aside. Tear angel food cake into 1 inch pieces. Place 1/3 of cake pieces into bottom of a trifle bowl. Spoon 1/3 of cream cheese filling over cake, and top with 1/3 of pie filling. Repeat layers twice more. Spread remaining whipped topping over top of trifle, sealing to edges. Garnish with additional pie filling and sliced almonds if desired.

I'm headed over to see what everyone else is cooking up over at "Designs by Gollum" for Foodie Friday -- be sure to check out all this week's tasty temptations.

See ya!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sweet Pink Tablescape

As I was planning my "back from vacation" tablescape, I was thinking I would either do a very bright spring table or perhaps a blue and white table.....but somehow this week.....

....it turned into a soft sweet pink.

Please join me for "Sweet Pink".

It all started with these flowers I found at the grocery store Saturday. The pinks reminded me of the "sweet" pinks in life....baby feet....flower girls....puppy kisses.....kitten paws..... cotton candy....pink clouds at sunset.....white iced birthday cakes with soft pink roses made of icing so sweet it makes your teeth tingle!

So I set about my house searching for sweet pinks. These pink flowered butter pats were a last minute addition...so they aren't in every photo. I found these on several different thrifting explorations. They're all different.

This cut glass piece came from my in-laws estate and made a pretty vase.

I started out with this vintage tablecloth found a few years ago.

Soft pink napkins from Tuesday Morning earlier in the spring. Sheer napkins - e-bay store and vintage bow napkin rings.

Pink glasses from eBay last year.

A layering of dishes and Target flatware. Shall we "unpeel" the layers?

Salad plates were an eBay purchase a couple of years ago. I've still seen them there recently.

They're a Gibson pattern.

Soft pink glass plates were also found a couple of years ago on eBay - (I believe I was planning a ladies luncheon at the time)

A closer look at the rose design.

White Gibson dishes from Big Lots -- from the great Blogger dish rush a couple of years ago!

Soft green chargers found on a 75% sale at a Virginia Beach boutique a couple of years ago.

A few more table shots.

I hope your week is filled with the sweetness of soft pinks! Be sure to visit Susan at "Between Naps on the Porch" this week and enjoy the array of dishes and tablescape set just for you!

See ya!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A perfect Vacation.

We just got back from vacation. This was our third trip to Sanibel, FL and we've grown to enjoy it more and more each visit. This was truly the perfect vacation for us. We love the beach and it's still too cool here in the Mid-Atlantic so we left the cool Virginia spring weather......

...and flew to the beautiful sunny, warm Gulf coast of Florida.

Just give this gal a chair and an umbrella and let her stick her toes in the sand and she's a happy camper!

This sandcastle caught my eye when I was walking on the beach Mother's Day evening.

We ate lot's of fresh seafood!

Mr. Mid-Atlantic makes THE BEST crab cakes!

A bit of bird watching.

Love the graceful palm trees.

And the palmetto's too.

A tree lined street.

We went for a ride over to Captiva on our last evening and saw the most beautiful sunset. By the time we could find a place to park and take a picture, it was almost gone....but you can see the crowd gathered to enjoy the last fleeting moments of a spectacular sunset on the beach.

I found time to read three books over the week....

....I finished up a book I had been reading by David Baldacci. Love his books! He grew up one street over from Mr. Mid-Atlantic and went to our same high school.

This was a giveaway I won from Gollum of "Designs by Gollum" right before vacation. This was a perfect beach read.

And I had pre-ordered this book by Michael Lee West (Gollum) months ago and was saving it for vacation. I know many of you got your copies this past month and have been temping me with your posts and recipes. But I didn't even unwrap it until vacation and savored and enjoyed every page.....can't wait to read her next one....wonder if it will be out before my next Sanibel vacation.

Last year I found two note cards in, of all places, the grocery store! I framed them and they were a fun reminder of vacation, so this year I was delighted to find more to add to the gallery. It will be fun to look at these and be reminded of our week at Sanibel....but all good things come to an end....sigh.

It was fun to come home to a couple of packages.....
Right before we left there was a Spring clearance sale at "The Tassle House" --- now I've drooled over those for the past year or so. I couln't resist the sale and bought three. One was for Easter, so I'll be saving that for next year. One was for a Christmas present.....and this sweet little sheep is for me! (I'll try to get a better picture soon)

Then -- package #2 was another fun giveaway! I won this several weeks ago from Miss Janice!
Don't you love the anticipation of a package in the mail?

A sweet note from the artist.

Her business card and upcoming show....

....and finally a peek at what's inside.....

.....these wonderful hand painted starfish napkins! And in a lovely shade of raspberry pink!

Thank you for this wonderful giveaway prize Miss Janice.....The timing was perfect after our perfect beach vacation!

Hope you'll all be taking a vacation that makes your heart sing soon.....I'll be looking forward to reading all about it. So what's your perfect vacation?

See ya!