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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Velveteen Rabbit

With Christmas just around the corner and trying to jiggle all that comes with it, the gift wrapping, baking and tree decorating I found myself wishing I could find the time to sit down, prop up my feet and spend time remembering how exciting Christmas was for me as a child.  That was such a magical time.  I remember laying in my bed at night wondering if I had been a "good girl" and if I had, what Santa would bring.  Usually Christmas brought fresh oranges, nuts, ribbon candy and a few toys.  Coming from a large family of 9 children didn't bring a lot of gifts but still the excitement of Christmas and our school Christmas programs was exciting enough.

I never knew about the book The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams as a child but after I had my own children, I found it at a bookstore and found it so enchanting and charming that I purchased it and read it to my daughter. As the years past I found myself also reading it to my grandchildren.

The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless tale of friendship, love, acceptance and honesty. When the world seems uncertain, Margery Williams's classic story reminds all of us what really matters. The rabbit's journey through love and loneliness to become who he was really meant to be is a story that inspires us all on our own journey to Real." Amazon

I loved this book for what the "real message" was.  My favorite part of the book was when The Velveteen Rabbit becomes unsure of his worth and if he should even be considered a toy and the answer he receives from his friend, the Skin Horse.  "Real isn't how you are made...It's a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with but REALLY loves you, then you become real".  I found this video narrated by Meryl Streep reading my favorite part and wanted to share it with you.  If you haven't read or heard of the book, I hope that you will buy a copy and keep it with all your treasured books.  It sends a wonderful message to not only children but to adults as well.

We will be heading to the Dallas/Ft Worth Texas area to spend Christmas with daughter and grandkids, Gemma and Asher so I won't be posting until after Christmas.  I wanted to take this time to wish all of you who read my blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Your comments mean a great deal to me and I hope that the Christmas season brings you much joy, good will and happiness.

Enjoy the video!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Pier Photo

With all the bad weather heading across the United States, I have to admit that I am lucky to be here in Florida.  Here is a photo taken from my neighbor's pier overlooking St. Andrews Bay. This photo was taken on Friday, a gorgeous  balmy 77 degree day after hearing from daughter that the Dallas/Ft. Worth area was in the low 30's with freezing rain and snow.  Sigh...I sure don't miss that!!  We are headed there to spend Christmas with them...I sure hope the weather is better when we head out.

This photo is for all of you who are suffering through the winter storm, Dion.  I hope it brings a bit of sunshine to your day!

Image (mine)
Hoping everyone will have a great week.  :-)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Festive Christmas Tree Trimmings


I guess everybody is gearing up for Thanksgiving and that means preparing foods and decorating the table ahead for the Thanksgiving holidays.  We all know what follows Thanksgiving...Christmas and I thought it would be fun to start the festivities off by posting some really pretty decorations and tree trimmings which can be found here:
Maison-Deco ~ Campagne Decoration ~ Le Journal des Femmes ~ Arts and Decoration  Hopefully to inspire, relax and get us in the mood.  Enjoy

I love the bright jewel toned ornaments.

More muted tones.

I think the flocked tree highlighted with red makes this trimming quite festive.
My Favorite.
More jewel toned trimmings
Cheery and Happy.
Love the white trimmings on the dark green tree.
I think all of them are lovely but my favorite is Image #4.  How about you?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Orange Art

Sorry it's been a while since I've had a post up but I've been busy making lists and trying to stay ahead of the holidays.

 I am a HUGE fan of stationary...(a girl can't have enough of it or notepads, pens and cards.)  I found this wonderful website called  Orange Art.  It has loads of cards, note cards, memo pads and stationary I thought I'd share a few pics of my favorites:

The paper and envelopes are deckled along the edges  

They have many sizes and colors to choose from

I thought these were cute!
Something different
Memo pads
Love these
I bought this one!  
Note cards
I love this one and tried to order it but they were out!  :-(
Gorgeous pens
And pencils
I hope you will pop over and take a look at their website.  It says wholesale but in the upper right hand corner it has a place to click onto for retail. I saw some gorgeous stationary I'm going back for.  Sigh....I need more stationary like I need a hole in my head!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Bit of This and That

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their weekend.  This morning on our walk the air was very brisk and it was breezy making the temperature seem colder than it really was. A heavier hooded sweatshirt was needed and a pair of capri's instead of the usual shorts.

I took some photos of various things that have been keeping me busy over the last few days and thought I'd share them with you and a bit of history in between.

Painted clay pots.

Here are three clay pots that I painted, one for me, one for husband and one for my neighbor.  I wanted to do something different so I painted them in pretty bright colors.

As you know, this time of year the flowers are "slim pickin's" but they did have some violets which smelled divine.  So, I potted two of the three pots with them (keeping in mind that one was going to my neighbor).

Husband has not decided what he wants in his pot yet...waiting for spring I guess.  I think he would like some type of cactus but I guess I'll just have to wait to see what he decides.  :-)
Somebody hid a pecan!
As I was checking my plants out back, I noticed this pecan hidden under one of the leaves.  No doubt a squirrel hid it there for later.  I left it so that he could come back to find it when he was ready.  I check everyday to see if it is still there.

My fern garden
Some of you may remember when I planted this in June with leafy fronds given to me by my neighbor.  The Asparagus ferns and Gardenia's we purchased. This morning while having our coffee out on the back patio, I noticed the sun filtering through onto my ferns and it was so pretty I had to snap a pic.

Decorated Pine cones
Last Sunday husband and I spent a couple of hours painting and preparing pine cones.  I painted and used German glass glitter on some, some were sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled with the silver glitter to give them a sugary effect.  FYI: most of my pinecones were fully opened and dry but some I prepared for decorating by placing in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes to dry out the sap and get rid of any pests that could be inside them.  I used my essence of Lavender oil and a dropper to scent them and placed them in a zip lock bag for 30 days.  I'll then tie them in pairs of twos, add a sprig of holly and some ivory twine for hanging.  It is a tedious job painting them but I enjoyed it.

It seems to me that this time of year nature gives us a bountiful of wonderful gifts.  Pinecones, moss from the trees, acorns and it is when we (husband and I) take our morning and afternoon walks that I take the time to notice everything that nature has to offer.

 For the past three weeks when husband and I take our walks, we walk down a street that has a cul-de-sac.  Just as we round the corner, coming to the end of it we start to smell the sweet scent of Jasmine and as we get closer to this house the scent keeps getting stronger until we are standing in front of it.  The smell is overpowering at this point and I have started to just stand there for a minute or so to try to figure out where it is coming from. There are no plants or flowers anywhere around and the rear of the house overlooks St. Andrews Bay.  It is on this same street that I have twice found a dove feather right in my path...I even picked one of them up. Yesterday,  also on this street, I found a small leaf with three smaller perfectly rounded seeds sitting inside the leaf that was shaped like a very tiny boat.  I am quite puzzled by all of this.  Some days we only smell it in the morning and not in the afternoon and other times we have smelled it in the afternoon but not in the morning. And then there are days when we smell it both in the a.m. and p.m. This house is empty and the lady who owned it passed away about two years ago and it has been up for sale all this time. The lady had a son and a daughter who are at odds about selling it...the son wants to and the daughter doesn't.  So, every time someone makes an offer on it, it isn't accepted by the daughter.  I am trying to figure out what God and nature is trying to tell me.  I have at other times in my life smelled fragrances i.e. roses, gardenias,  frankincense and myrrh when there was nothing floral anywhere around me at home but never outside in front of the same house for three weeks.  It has given me pause... I've been praying to God for an answer to why this is happening.  But, until I get an answer, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with knowing that I will continue to smell this heavenly scent and be grateful for it.  :-)

Monday, November 4, 2013


Hi everyone,

Last night I decided to make some bruschetta.  I have tried this recipe several times and each time I've added something extra to enhance the taste of these.  I thought I'd share it with you.  It is deLish!

Here is a photo of what I used:

1/2 loaf French Baguette bread (small) sliced 1/2" (I was able to get about 22 slices)
(3) Roma Tomatoes sliced -  22 slices  1/2" or less
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese 22 1/2" slices or less
Fresh Basil sliced ribbon style
Salt & Pepper
Garlic (I used minced garlic in olive oil)

First you slice about 1/2 loaf of a small baguette.  I got about 22 1/2" slices from it.  It pretty much fills up the cookie sheet.

Baguette sliced
I brushed each slice with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled Fleur de Sel salt and cracked pepper on each slice.

In a preheated oven of 450 degrees F, I put the sliced bread into the oven for 5 minutes until nice and toasty brown.  After removing, I placed a thin layer of minced garlic, followed by a slice of tomato and again added a sprinkle of fleur de sel and cracked pepper to each slice.  Then I added a slice of mozzarella  on top of each toasted tomato sliced bread and again sprinkled salt and pepper.  I topped each slice with a garnish of ribboned basil and a quick brush of olive oil and back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Brushing the sliced baguette with olive oil, salt and pepper

Toasted baguette with olive oil, salt and pepper
Sliced baguette with tomato slices and salt and pepper.
Sliced baguette with added mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil, salt and pepper added to mozzarella, tomato, baguette slice

Voila!  Bruchetta
You can use fresh diced Roma tomatoes instead of whole slices and you can slice the mozzarella to have a thicker slice or you can slice it thinner.  Whatever your preference is.  I prefer a thicker slice of mozzarella.

Any way you cut it these are wonderful!  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saturday At The Beach

Hi Everyone,

Saturday we spent the afternoon at The Pier on the beach side.  We decided to take a walk along The Pier which is 17 feet wide and 1,500 feet long.  You can just stroll along or you can fish off The Pier.  It was a beautiful, breezy and sunny day with temps around 77 degrees F and great white caps on the water.  I took this opportunity to take a few photos (really a lot of photos LOL) to share with all of you.  Not bad for a November day!

Restaurants at the end of the shopping district before you head onto The Pier

A side view of The Pier

A straight view of The Pier.

Yes, they are playing volleyball!!

The start of The Pier

My favorite view of the Gulf

A view of the coastline from The Pier  (If you look real close you can see a dolphin in the center bottom portion of the picture).
Metal artwork for sale along The Pier
It's interesting to me the various artwork available for sale here.  I love the metal art and these are all handmade by local artisans.  Pretty cool.

We ended up having lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville's restaurant with a view from outside seating here:

The view from Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville's Restaurant

Husband's Lunch ( a Cuban sandwich with fried onion rings)

My Lunch ( a Cheesburger with Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Cheese)  Not very dietetic.  LOL
All in all it was a fun filled day.  I will leave you now with Jimmy Buffett's famous record that inspired the name of the restaurant.  Here he is performing at the Gulf Shore Jam.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Life Less Ordinary, Interiors and Inspirations


I've been reading a wonderful new book called A Life Less Ordinary, Interiors and Inspirations by Zoe Ellison and Alex Legendre.  This is the most delightful and inspiring book I've read in some time.  It is the journey of two women, Alex and Zoe, who, although from very different backgrounds, found a connection through the beauty of everyday objects, design an antiques.  Their story and friendship is inspiring enough but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book is also filled with gorgeous photos of items in their shop, (you can check it out here) i gigi General Store and Cafe.

In 1997 Zoe and her mother first opened igigi, a women's boutique in Brighton England on the South coast of England.  It has evolved since then to include home decor items, speciality items and it also has a cafe.  It was after she opened the shop that she met Alex, who came to work for her.

I am about 1/4 way through the book and find it to be so enchanting, charming and sweet I can barely put it down.  I have posted some photos off their website and I hope that you will check it out as well as purchase the book.  If you have a love of old and re-purposed items as well as antiques then you will love this book.  I hope you enjoy the photos.  I would be interested in hearing what you think of the shop.  :-)

Filled with lovely pottery

Sigh...I love this chair!

A photo taken inside of the shop





Charming pottery.  I love the creamer and sugar bowl...I might just have to add the creamer to my collection.

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