Friday, August 19, 2016

Afternoon Refreshments In The Garden

I love to end my day in the garden.  One of my most frequently used areas is this shady spot that is close the fence.  It has a few large trees that offer enough shade to make it an ideal place to enjoy a few refreshments or afternoon tea.

It is a tranquil area with plenty of natural beauty and serenity.  This is my garden.  With lovely flowers, purity and even a little magic at times.  I am happy here.  It is home and there is no other place I rather be in.  And having such busy schedules, my appreciation for these moments only increases even more.

 May you have a relaxing and fun weekend.




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summer Travel Series ~ The Barns & Cottages At Brampton Inn

Hello everyone.  I hope you are keeping cool.  The heat has been intolerable for the past few weeks and this weekend was one of the hottest that I can remember.  I hate to say it, but I am really looking forward to fall. The extreme temperatures and humidity are just too much to handle.  More importantly to me, is that the heat keeps me from enjoying my beloved garden.

That said, this summer a busy one for us.  Gatherings and commitments have been plenty and a few unforgettable escapes were enjoyed by my husband and I.  I have plenty of photos to share but I just haven't had the time to get to it all.  Summer is just to short.  I promise to catch up sweet friends but in the meantime, I want to share a few photos of the charming cottages and rustic barns located on the grounds of the lovely Brampton Inn in Chestertown, Maryland.  My husband and I discovered this little gem while doing a search on the Internet looking for a quick weekend getaway and The Brampton Inn offered everything we were looking for.  A relaxing and romantic escape offering a bit of Southern hospitality.  Bonus for all dog lovers, it also offers a few pet-friendly cottages.  What a find and only two and half hours away from us.

I knew that the Brampton Inn was going to be the perfect escape, but I was not expecting to find all the hidden natural beauty and old structures to explore located on the property.  It is like stepping into a little wooded paradise with plenty of hidden walkways, shaded areas and structures to explore.  It is so charming and picturesque that I could not help snapping a few photos of this beautiful place.  I would love to go back just to have a little picnic by the barns.  

Please enjoy the photos.....

Isn't this cottage dreamy??  

I will share photos of the Brampton Inn on my next post but if you are already interested, below is the link to the bed and breakfast.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Wishing you a wonderful week.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Moments of Solitude

What are your best moments of solitude?  As many of you know, my best moments of solitude are when I can steal a few precious minutes to spend time in my garden.  Time just seems to move a little slower there.  It allowes me to step away from the demands of everyday life and relax.  

It is easy to be inspired in this lovely garden that we have created.  I love all the lush trees in my garden.  Not too perfect but with a purpose.   There are many beautiful birds chirping and singing, What can be sweeter??  And plenty colorful summer flowers through out the garden.  You can't help but feel relaxed and recharged after a few minutes spent with nature..

And I always surround myself with a pretties to add to the experience.  Flowers and a few favorite pieces are always a must.

Here a few photos of my afternoon in the garden.  Wishing you a lovely week.


I am sharing this post at the following lovely blog parties:


Dishing It & Digging It Link Party


The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays

Dwellings for Amaze Me Monday

One More Time Events for Share It One More Time Monday

Rose Chintz Cottage for No Place Like Home

Julie's Lifestyle for Cooking and Crafting with J & J Link Up

Strangers & Pilgrims On Earth for The Art Of  Home-Making Mondays


A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Bernidee's Tea Time Blog for Friends Sharing Tea Tuesday

Cedar Hill Farnhouse for The Scoop Tuesday

Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday


Savy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday


From My Front Porch To Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday

Katherines Corner for Thursday Favorite Things

No Minimalist Here for Open House Party Thursdays

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for Share Your Cup Thursday


French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday

My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday

Jennifer Rizzo for Fabulously Creative Friday

Rooted In Thyme for Sweet and Simple Fridays

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday


Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Party

The Rosegarden in Malevik for Saturday Show Off

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer Entertaining ~ Lunch Alfresco

As much as I love my vintage china, I cannot help being drawn to classic designs that I can use when I want a clean look and that I know will work great with other patterns.   A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a Lenox outlet not far from our home and let me tell you, I felt like a kid in a candy store.  I have never seen so many aisles full of gorgeous china under one roof.   What a rush!!

It should not be a surprise to anyone that knows me that a piece of two came home with me. Including this gorgeous pattern called Biltmore “Lila” which I used to style the table featured on this post.  It is such a timeless pattern.  I just love the embossing on the plates and its pure white color.

I also love that it is perfect to mix with other patterns that I already own such as the one used to style this table.  It is by Wedgwood and designed by Martha Stewart.  The pattern is called “Garland Moss”.  The green on the salad plate was the inspiration for this table.  It is such a happy and bright color.  Who wouldn’t be happy with such sweet colors?

Most times, it is just my husband and I for dinner or lunch unless we have family and friends over. So last Saturday, we enjoyed another lovely meal alfresco.  Truth is, with winter being so long in these parts, we make the most out of our warm and sunny days.  So the majority of our meals are usually outdoors.  And during summer, we switch the menu up a bit.  It is more about light and easy meals.

For this lunch alfresco, I made an easy salad using arugula, kumato tomatoes, burrata cheese and asparagus topped with grilled shrimp.  For dessert, I made a lime-curd with swirls of whipped cream using a recipe found in Victoria magazine.  (See recipe below)


Lime-Curd Parfait


3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
Garnish:  fresh raspberries, mint leaves and grated lime rind

1.  In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, lime rind, and eggs over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color, about 3 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and butter; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

2.  Transfer lime curd to a medium glass bowl.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  To serve, divide whipped cream among 4 serving dishes, and spoon curd evenly over cream.  Swirl curd into cream. Garnish with raspberries, mint leaves, and lime rind, if desired.

Thank you so much for visiting me.  I hope you all have a great week.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Entertaining ~ Blue & White Tablescape

Hello everyone.  I can't believe how fast this summer is going.  There is so much to do and so little time my friends.  I must apologize for being a bit MIA but life has been incredibly busy this summer. We have been traveling a bit, spending time with family and friends and working on updating our living and dining room.

In all honesty, I find fun filled afternoons in the garden much better than seating in front of my computer.  Summer is just too short not to enjoy.  Besides, I love summer weather for entertaining and spending time outdoors.

I find summer entertaining to be more relaxed and easy-going.  And setting a beautiful table alfresco seems to make meals extra special.  This summer has been no exception.  Much of our entertaining has been outdoors

Salad plates are from William Sonoma in the pattern French Blue Bouquet.

A delicious fresh salad using white peaches cooked in olive oil and maple syrup, cucumbers, tomatoes and blackberries.  My salad dressing was made by using mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinaigrette and peach juice.

A refreshing Rose wine and peach sangria.

A simple trifle layering angel food cake, homemade peach jam, white peaches, blackberries and homemade whip cream with Amaretto.

We have been blessed with many out of town family and friends in our home this year.  It has been a busy summer so far but a very wonderful one.  Many great conversations and plenty of laughter have taken place around our table.  So many new memories and wonderful meals shared.   I can't ask for more than that.

I hope you are enjoying your summer too.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer Travel Series ~ Newport Cottages II ~ The Breakers

Hello to you all.  I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday.  Mother nature continues to bless us with beautiful weather here in the East Coast.  And as promised, I am sharing a few more photos of our trip to Newport, Rhode Island.  This time, it is the incredible and very opulent Breakers Estate.-. 

As I mentioned on my previous post, Newport is one of our favorite destinations.  You really get the best of everything here.  This is such a great summertime and autumn escape.  Great restaurants, wonderful beaches, gilded age mansions and amazing ocean views.  It is also the place where Jacqueline Bouvier and John Kennedy were married.

During the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century, Newport, Rhode Island, was the exclusive playground for America's wealthy such as the Vanderbilt family, Berwinds' and Astors' who built grand "summer cottages" there.  It was also a summer getaway for the Kennedy's.

The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer cottages and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial influence in turn of the century America.

Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York central Railroad.

In 1893, Corneluis Vanderbilt II, commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire.  Hunt put together an international team of crafstmen and artisans to build the 70 room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.  This family cottage is truly over the top. Every inch of this home is decorated.  So much grandeur and opulence.  I can only imagine the grand parties and gatherings that took place in this incredible home.  Even the kitchen was a masterpiece with a two-story pantry to die for with oceans views that take your breath away.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  If you have not been to this pretty coastal town, I highly encourage you to.  And if you love history, you will definitely fall in love with this little gem of a town.

Next, road trip to share is Chestertown, Maryland.  Thank you for visiting.  Wishing you a wonderful week.