Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn Decorations Part I

I told everyone a few days ago I would post some Autumn decorating around the house that I did. Well after work today was the day I could take some pictures. Sorry some of them aren't really clear of bright but it is raining here and my camera wasn't focusing very well. I will be posting more pictures on Friday night, this is just Part I. Enjoy!!


I have had this little wooden Pumpkin with Ghost decoration since the girls were little. That is probably over 20 years!



Here is the display I made on the dining room table. I used a grapevine wreath, which was decorated with all the pumpkins, etc. already. I added the two little aged clay pots with the faux ferns in them and candlesticks.



Closeup of the dining room table decorations:



Our Front Hall table has a really pretty bluish/greenish pottery square bowl on it, so I filled it up with this autumn potpourri! Not only does it look pretty it smells pretty good too!


I bought these pumpkin, plaid placements (say that 5 times fast-LOL) when I lived in NJ and I love them!!


I placed this candle with an autumn candle ring on the little table in the kitchen eating area.





This is little urn I spray painted black. I filled it with some zinnias and a brownish, yellowish sunflower. I love the contract in the colors!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolffe


Last night was our bookclub meeting at the Barnes and Noble store in the Carolina Place Mall in Charlotte, NC. We were reviewing the book The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer. Overall we really liked the book. The author was suppose to be there but we found out the author's husband was in an accident and she couldn't make it to the meeting. He is going to be all right, but she needed to stay near her home in Durham, NC, which is most understandable! I had bought a book on sock knitting and I bought the wrong one so I returned it while I was at B&N. I couldn't find another knitting book I wanted to I chose A Vintage Affair. I was drawn in right away by the vintage gowns on the cover! Vintage clothing has always peaked my interest so I think this book will be right up my alley! I will let you know what I think of it after I read it, but for now here is an amazon review.

Review from amazon.com:

When vintage clothing expert Phoebe Swift decides to abandon her career as a Sotheby’s auctioneer, she opens London’s Village Vintage, selling only the best recycled designer duds. However, it isn’t long before we discover that the cupcake dresses and alligator clutches that populate her quaint neighborhood shop aren’t Phoebe’s only baggage. Reeling from the death of a close friend and the subsequent collapse of her wedding engagement, Phoebe is in need of a change. She certainly loves the clothing she sells for its history, but it takes a new and profound friendship with the elderly client Mrs. Bell to show Phoebe to care for herself in the same way. Although the novel is sometimes predictable, UK best-seller Wolff keeps us entertained by sending a few courtiers Phoebe’s way and threading intriguing wartime historical fiction into Mrs. Bell’s backstory. Readers with a passion for couture fashion will appreciate (and feel vindicated by!) Wolff’s well-researched and intricate descriptions of beautiful, significant vintage pieces. While the dialogue is occasionally a bit bloated, this book is a smooth read with enough flair and fun for the beach or the pool. --Annie Bostrom

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain, Rain Glorious Rain!!

We are finally getting the much needed rain! It started raining yesterday and has continued off and on through today. You can almost here the lawns, trees and flowers giving a sigh of relief-LOL! The lawns already look like they are turning a little greener. I hope the lakes get a large amount of rain too so our water supply isn't rationed like last year.

Everyone have a great day!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Here are some Halloween Cozies you might want to read.

It is getting closer to Halloween and I always like to read a few holiday cozy mysteries. I started looking into what books were available and there were a few so I thought I would share them with you! Enjoy!

1. The Pumpkin Muffin Murder by Livia J. Washburn


2. Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier


3. Trick of Treat Murder by Leslie Meier


4. A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford


5. Ghastly Glass by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The difference between Pumpkins

I decided I would repeat one of my blog posts from October 13, 2009. I felt it would be appropriate for this time of year with everyone cooking up wonderful pumpkin recipes! Enjoy!!



The Milk Pumpkin
I had a few people ask me at work why did my Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Pie taste different than what they usually have. So I thought maybe everyone didn't know the different pumpkins. Here is some information I thought I would share with everyone. Well for one thing I don't and refuse to use pumpkin out of a can and I use a Milk Pumpkin. Some people use regular Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins but not me! The Milk Pumpkin is denser, sweeter and a brighter orange flesh, which is great for pies, breads, etc. . This whole thing just reminded me I need to look for my Pumpkin Cookie recipe-love them! When I went back home recently my Dad gave me a Milk Pumpkin he grew in his garden and this week I need to cook it up and freeze it for later use. I think how the milk pumpkin got it's name is because it is a lighter color than the regular pumpkin (it looks like milk has been added to the color making it lighter). I also read sometimes this pumpkin is called a cheese pumpkin because it looks like a wheel of cheese. All I know is these pumpkins make the best pies, cakes, cookies and breads! Below are 2 pictures of pumpkins so you can see the difference.

Here is a regular Jack-o-Lantern type pumpkin:



This is a milk (some people call it a pie or cheese pumpkin):




Here is a Milk Pumpkin-you can definitely see the difference. The Milk Pumpkin is more squat too.

What ever pumpkin you use to make your pies, breads, cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc. I'm sure they are good!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Friday Everyone!

TGIF!! This has been a really long week for me. Even though the days seemed to fly by I have to admit I am really tired. All the things from the accident have just been overwhelming me. Even though I see slight improvements and we are hopefully going to get some satisfaction with the insurance company it has been stressful and busy. I am thankful for the small steps to recovery from the Bell's Palsy though and I hope to continue to make larger strides with that. Work had said they would be understanding about not stressing me out well that lasted one day! I knew this would happen. Last night I was at the office until 5:45 and I won't be doing that again. (Mind you I had arrived at the office at 7:30) I have learned that I just need to say no and stick to it! That is my hang up though and I need to work on that. I will be spending a really nice weekend with John and my friends though and I'm excited about that! Saturday, John and I will be picking up my car (if not late this afternoon) from the repair shop, then we'll head on over to have breakfast at a little place near the shop. Then we will putter around the house for a little bit. Then I'm meeting some of my knitting friends for a UFO (Unfinished Objects) get together. I have a poncho I have been working on for Jenny for what seems years now! Later in the afternoon I'm meeting my friend Alison for a much needed tea and chat!! Alison is the head of our bookclub (which is meeting this Monday night). I so love our chats and teatime at the cafe in Borders across the street from where I live! Sunday will be church and relaxing with John again! Sounds like the perfect weekend to me!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Whether you will be....

Shopping...


Going to the Beach...


Gardening...


Maybe taking a trip to the mountains or somewhere special...


Or just plain relaxing with the one you love and/or family...


HAVE AN ABSOLUTELY LOVELY WEEKEND EVERYONE!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What a big and beautiful Harvest Moon last night!!



Last night there was a big old beautiful Harvest Moon in the sky! It was absolutely gorgeous and ever changing! When I was a little girl I would conjure up witches flying on their brooms across this Halloween-like moon. I would stare into the night sky for what seemed like hours when I'm sure it was only minutes (because we all know little children usually don't sit still for hours-LOL). Nature has such a wonderful way to make you stop and take time to look at spectacular things like this. We are all so busy and in such a hurry but it is nice to know that something as simple as this can make us all slow down and look! Everyone enjoy your day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am determined to conquer the art of knitting socks!

I have never been a quitter and I'm not going to start now! Well I do have to say I think something has finally slowed me way down and that is knitting socks!! I was doing ok in the first class I took (that was the day of my accident 9/11/10) but the second class on Saturday just has me plain confused and discouraged! I can't say I have ever been discouraged about learning a new craft. I am not giving up though, I will push onward and conquer this battle! Tomorrow night my knitting groups meets and I am begging one of the girls to help me figure out what the heck I am doing wrong! Please say a little (or big prayer if you are so inclined) prayer for me that I will finally understand the world of sock knitting.

My youngest daughter, Jenny (who is 27) said to me the other day, "Mom do you know you can buy a whole bag of socks for about $2". Thanks for those wonderful words of wisdom Jenny-LOL!!! She is right but I have always wanted to learn how to knit them and I will!!

Here are some beautiful knitted socks I found online-they are really beautiful!

I would love to be able to knit a sock like this one some day!


This sock is called a mock cable and I think they are just gorgeous!


I don't know of anyone who wouldn't want to go around the house in these cute little slipper socks!


When I see yarn like this I just see beautiful things, like shawls, sweaters, scarves, hats and yes SOCKS! Wish me well everyone!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Wonderful World of Books

I have loved books for as long as I can remember. I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie series, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the classics and just about anything I could get my hands on when I was younger! My Nana started taking me to the library at a very early age. She would read 3-4 books a week along with doing numerous knitting and gardening projects! I still always try to end my day reading a paragraph or chapter or two before bedtime. Books are just a wonderful way to relax, learn about something new, escape to another world or life, etc.! I have about 4 bookcases of books in my house right at the moment. If I had more room, I would have more! I also like to display books on tables, chairs, dressers, nightstands, etc. That started me thinking about different ways to display new, vintage or not so new books. I searched the web and here are some ideas-maybe you can use them in your home.

The traditional bookcase is a great way for storing books, but there are so many others ways we can display our favorite books.


This is one of my favorite ways I found on the web to display books! Put them on a tea/kitchen cart! You can also put other accessories on there to complete the display.


Dried flowers tied together with some French ribbon draped over these vintage books would look beautiful in your bedroom, living room, den, sitting room or just about anywhere in your home.


I have always loved ribbons ever since I was a little girl. Rich, luxuriant velvet ribbon would be my choice in a lovely blue color! This is a great idea if you have some vintage books that are not in such great shape. The ribbon will hold the books together and still make them look lovely.


Architectural pieces are a great compliment to books. Place an architectural element with a stack of vintage books and you've got a wonderful decorating group.


You can never have too many books or too many candles as far as I'm concerned! Fresh flowers fit in that category too!


Here is a great way to display some books in your bathroom-on a chair by the tub! I can just picture this bathroom with an old clawfoot tub, this lovely chair painted white and a stack of my favorite books for when I'm soaking in the tub!
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Well that's it for my book decorating ideas. I hope you decide to display some of your old favorite books or maybe some new books in your home. I think it makes a home look and feel lived in and cozy. Enjoy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Flowers work gave me!

While I was home mending after my accident earlier this week my work sent me these gorgeous flowers! I usually order the flowers for the office when someone is ill or has had other things happen in their life, so it was really nice to be on the receiving end! Not that I am glad I had my accident! Flowers are wonderful at any time, but they especially meant alot to me.



Secretariat by William Nack



I haven't read this book yet but the movie is coming out soon about Secretariat's life. I remember when I was a Freshman in high school Secretariat had his debut at the Kentucky Derby. What a gorgeous animal he was!! I have always loved horses since I was a really little girl and when Secretariat burst on to my TV screen I knew he was going to be something special. Below is a review from amazon.com about this book.

Product Description
"Secretariat is an elegantly crafted, exhilarating tale of speed and power, grace and greatness, told with such immediacy that the reader is lost in the rush of horses and the clatter and ring of the grandstand."
--Laura Hillenbrand, bestselling author of Seabiscuit
Updated with a new preface by the author

In 1973, Secretariat, the greatest champion in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever grace the covers of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated in the same week, he also still holds the record for the fastest times in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. He was also the only non-human chosen as one of ESPN's "50 Greatest Athletes of the Century." The tale of "Big Red" is an enduring and inspiring classic, more than thirty years after its initial publication.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer.



My bookclub is going to discuss The Wet Nurse's Tale for our 9/27 meeting. The author, Erica Eisdorfer will be joining my bookclub. I can't wait to meet her! I love historical fiction and this fell into that category. I have never really read anything about wet nurses of the Victorian time period. What a pretty dismal life wet nurses had.

Here is a review from amazon.com:

In her first novel, Eisdorfer offers as a guide to Victorian England her entertaining and surprising protagonist, Susan Rose. A bawdy young woman who could easily have walked off the pages of The Canterbury Tales, Susan ends up wet-nursing after getting unexpectedly and illicitly pregnant, and her alcoholic and abusive father forces her to leave her child and take up the occupation. Her journey into the intimate lives of England's upper crust proves an illuminating and dangerous one as Susan jumps from family to family—until her father sells her son. As Susan attempts to balance other peoples' babies with her quest to regain her own, she is faced with difficult choices between duty and love, and between her life and her child's. Whether she is carousing in the Jewish quarter or planning how to reclaim her son, Susan navigates the stratified social world with humorous vigor. A promiscuous, randy and hefty lady, Susan's a vibrant character, at once sweet and scheming, and given to such a crass frankness that even readers wary of historicals may want to give this a look.

My review:

Susan Rose certainly had a very hard life. I think even if she wasn't a wet nurse her life would be hard. Her father was a horrible man, but as much as her father was hard her mother was a saint! I love historical fiction so I have to say I really liked this book even though there were some sad parts. Sometimes you have to read about how someone's life in another time is to understand how far we have come. If you like historical fiction and an interesting read I would recommend this book.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coastal Living's Seawatch Idea House

I was surfing the net and came upon the Coastal Living Idea House at Sunset Harbor, North Carolina. It is gorgeous and who wouldn't want to live here!! Here are some pictures to drool over!


I have always loved a house with cedar shingles on it! This is such a gorgeous house!


At first I thought the black cabinets were too dark, but with all the white I think it looks great! I'd love to cook in this kitchen!


What a nice terrace! I can picture myself having my morning tea on here.


The triple windows really let alot of light into this Dining Room. I love all the colors they chose!


Any guest would love to sleep in here.


Now this outdoor area is just what I would love to have! It is wonderful!

I hope you've enjoyed a preview of this house. If you would like to see more check out www.coastalliving.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A stroll through my garden this morning!

The weather in the mornings is much cooler here now. I am not usually home but due to my accident I am recouping at home for a few days. I decided to take my mug of tea (and the ever present straw) outside to the courtyard for some fresh air and sun! As I said I'm not usually outside at this time of the morning and shadows and sunshine fall diffently. I decided to take some pictures to show you. Come along with me...

Here is my little garden fairy I brought with me from NJ when I moved to Charlotte 6 years ago. I gave her I nice new coat of paint this summer.



Here is my red hanging geranium. I think this is it's last blast of color! It is so bright and beautiful!


I happened to look at the fence and my neighbor's wistera drapes over the fence into our courtyard. I so an unexpected surprise! There was one wisteria blossom blooming and in the next picture is the bumblebee that thought it was a nice unexpected surprise too!




I have a double red camellia, which is starting to form buds! I love this camellia.


The herbs are just beautiful this time of year. My mint and rosemary loves this weather as you can see!





This hosta plant was new this year and it just love the cool mornings I guess because it is getting all new leaves. A little piece of my ivy is trailing down from the main plant.


The Lamb's Ears are coming back in full force too now that the hotter temps are cooling off too.


This ivy plant has doubled in size this year!


My palm tree has to come in the house in a month or so. I thought this frond looked so graceful this morning so I thought I would share it with y'all!


On Saturday John bought this beautiful African Violet for me at Pike's Nursery. It is a beautiful shade of purple. I guess it likes its new surroundings!






I hope you liked my garden stroll this morning! Enjoy your day!!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!