...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Monday, September 14, 2015

A sad note in Santa Fe

We just returned from another glorious weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love this town. I'm sure it's because of the age and history of the city. Surely has nothing to do with exquisite food and shopping opportunities in every nook and cranny and at all fingertips! ;-)

a link to a previous post on Cielo: 

One of my favorite places to shop was Cielo.  Past tense is intentional. I was shocked, saddened, distraught, sent into a fit of despair. It's empty and their are location available signs on both Cielo shops. They didn't check with me!!! How could they??? Why? Why? Why? 

Their stock of Le Jacquard table linens was amazing. 

I could always go check out the Sferra napkin colors. They had the best gifts for the hard to shop for.

photo courtesy Le Jacquard Francais

Where am I going to get my Le Jacquard fix? They sent me down this road...  Any ideas? Jsut because they thought it was time to retire......

Do you remember this cute, cute Cafe Paris which had indoor dining in the winter and outdoor dining in the warmer months? It was our Saturday morning breakfast spot. They closed this portion down and then it went was primarily front and center on the corner of Burro Alley and West San Fransisco streets. 

Ah, imagine our disappointment when this place was also boarded up and for rent/available to buy!
I think we found a couple of places to try the next trip. We will see. But they did have the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.
 All because of something to do with their liquor license....

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ringing in the New Year 2015


 Ringing in the New Year - 2015

New Year's Day. There is a saying that says that what you do on the first day of the new year is an indicator to the rest of the year. I hope so!!! I did just what I loved, cooked for family, saw dear friends and had the best day of the year!!!

Faux florals in a Hutschenreuter tureen. This also gave me a spot to hide the battery packs for the fairy lights. I purchased all of mine on Amazon. The link is HERE. I have them in 30 foot lengths, 20 foot lengths and shorter. I fell in love with them when I saw the Christmas vignette on Restoration Hardware and then I went looking for a less expensive version. I filled the tureen with cotton balls, regular *stuffing* from the craft store would have been better, but it was icy around here. 

Black napkins were tethered in glimmering beaded napkin rings from Pier One.

Silver trays used as chargers. I had been picking these up at estate sales, but came across a large lot on ebay to round out settings for the multitudes. I used clear glass plates from World Market. These have the cute nobbies around the edge. I haven't seen this version there in a while. Ah, the clocks... I downloaded pictures of clock faces. Many different ones. Printed them, cut them out and placed them under the plates. The placemat on the black tablecloth is vintage. Flatware is from Horchows.

As I eluded in the last post about planning a year ahead, I was able to pick up the lighted trees at Dillards last year on sale. I've really enjoyed them this year. Added a few silver baubles to the centerpiece and I was done. Mikasa Parklane water/iced tea goblets rounded out the placesetting. Champagne glasses were dispensed to those who wanted at the drink station.

It's become second nature to decorate the chandelier.

I added super glittery snowflakes and icicles to the spokes of the chandelier. 

I've always wanted to be a fly on the wall, but I think a fly in the chandelier might be better!!

Yes, we lit the candles at lunch. they really added to the shimmer and shine on the table. We kept the drapes closed behind the table because of the bitter cold. It is a large, expansive window and sitting there can be cool. 

From our clan to yours, we wish you a year filled with health, joy and enough.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
(The copyright for this poem belongs to the author: Bob Perkins)


Friday, December 26, 2014

Dinner with Friends 2014, a Christmas dinner party

Dinner with Friends

Is there anything better (well other than anything that involves children and grandchildren)? 
This years menu:

Spinach Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Cardamom Spiced Pork Loin
Burgundy Cardamom sauce
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Green Beans and Shitake Mushrooms
Mocha Ice Cream pie

 The place setting: Zrike
red charger, Lenox Holiday Tartan dinner plate, a vintage pressed glass salad plate in a glorious shade of red, gold flatware, red napkin from Pier One that is edged in gold ruffles, the usual crystal and a showy napkin ring.

I had seen this on the Frongate site. Loved it. Tried to capture the feeling of this. I am truly a Kim Seybert fan and although her designs are pricey, I figured I could recreate her gorgeous napkin rings. I think I succeeded.

Mikasa Parklane water and a yet unknown wine. Loved the gold rim, an ebay find.

Knowing that I was going to use the Frontgate picture as a theme, I added gold trees and candleholders to the Christmas warehouse (aka garage).

The floral centerpiece was a gift from one of the dinner guests.

Tulips and stock (the white stuff). It was perfect for the table.

Found the small red votives this year. Having candlelight on many levels adds to the ambiance of the evening. Do you see the beautiful pattern?

Simple decorations in the chandelier were just what the table needed. Bows, greenery and red glass ornaments.

Found these mercury glass trees at Dillard's last year. They are battery powered and light up, adding one more layer of light to the table.

I'm already planning next year's event. Collecting new pieces has begun and a theme has been set. This makes getting ready for the event so much easier!

I'm hoping that you had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones and that the year ahead is filled with many blessings, good health and much cheer.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A 2014 update

It's been a long, long time since I last posted. It hasn't even been that busy a year. Time just got away from me and I lost my blog voice. I'm back and I'll certainly post more frequently. Although, I won't  be joining blog parties. Working full time, being a discussion group leader for our evening Bible Study Fellowship class, family, friends and our yard just don't allow for that much time on a computer. Besides, I spend my days computing, so it's nice to keep the nights "off-line".

In February we took a trip to Ruidoso, NM. Mr. CJ won an all expense paid trip to stay at the Inn of the Mountain Gods from his employer way back when. So we decided a quick weekend away was in order. Perfect for our 40th Valentine's Day together. We are such saps!! LOL. 

Although not the most elaborately put together table I've ever done, the guest of honor was beside herself with glee. Our precious middle granddaughter Zoë has always loved the color purple. Shamefully this grandmother had no purple dishes, glasses, linens. Nary one stitch of purple was to be found in this house. So what was she to do? Ebay! Sweet Cherry Kay from Entertaining Women blog pointed me in the right direction. Copeland Spode Mayflower came home in droves. I only had 2 weeks to pull this off. You would be surprised how many dishes you can buy and have them all arrive in time. Dinner plates, salad/dessert plates, bread and butter plates. Now to find some bowls and serving pieces. Zoë has her first set of dishes! She's also be getting the Old Company Plate Signature silverplate. It goes so perfectly with the dishes.  When I told Zoe that these were hers, she was really overjoyed. Surprised even me. However, since she's entering first grade next year, I still have many years to enjoy these.

For the centerpiece, I pulled out a white Hutschenreuter tureen, filled it with purple petunias still in their plastic pots, stuffed a bit of purple crinkle filler grass around the edges and had a centerpiece done in minutes. Later Zoë got to take the plants home and plant them in her yard.

April. I never tire of Wisteria. It's always a big joy to find the first glint of purple showing from the vines. 

By the end of the month, the vines are covered in green and the planting, mulching, pruning, has begun in the yard. I had an abundance of tulips that bloomed this year. Not so many last year. Wonder what made the difference.

May usually brings on the first summer event. It's still cool enough to enjoy being outdoors. By June we are usually roasting! Even in the evenings. I set a simple table for our annual wine and cheese party. White runner, jars for vases, black flatware, black napkins encased in a wine cork napkin ring. Two wine bottles were filled with citronella oil and a bottle wick. I found the bottle wicks on amazon.

After filling your empty bottle with citronella oil, drop the topper with attached wick into the bottle and allow the oil to saturate the wick. The large "sleeves" came from Pottery Barn a couple of years ago.

The napkin rings were a breeze to make. I got into our "stash" of corks and pulled about 30 of them. I had seen them done somehere where they had drilled a hole right through the cork. Telling Mr. CJ I needed a drill press for a dinner party got a. very. strange. look. So I found some tiny eyelets and screwed one into each cork end. Then I looped a length of twine through the eyelet and tied the corks onto the napkins. Seriously, 5 dollars for eyelets, had the twine and corks, and about 90 minutes.

 We are still enjoying the candle holders on the fence. They are magical at night. Like fairy lights twinkling.

Of course we count it a blessing when our friends enjoy themselves at our home. 
We've got another dinner party planned for next weekend. We are getting some very much needed rain in Lubbock right now (day two of the sky falling) so all last minute stuff will really be last minute! 

I'll leave you with what looks like a January sun rise. A beautiful sky.


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