Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Surprise!


Some of you may remember the adorable Bethany Lowe Jester Chick that I bought on a shopping trip to Pine Mountain, Georgia.  I wrote about him in my Easter post HERE.  I was so excited to be able to use him for my Easter table this year, but alas (!), that did not happen. Two extra people were added to the guest list and I realized that I did not have enough plates to use, even if I mixed up the sizes of the plates. Well, I did have enough, but one of the plates only worked, as the middle plate. I was so frustrated that I ordered more from Replacements, but I knew that the order would not arrive, until after Easter.  I love Replacements, but the turn-around of orders is definitely not as fast as some other merchants.



What to do? I found these cute bunny plates that I had bought a couple of years ago at Tuesday Morning.  They were having a sale on Bordallo Pinheiro and I bought several things that day.  I had never used them in a post, but I had only six of them (what was I thinking, when I purchased only six??) - not enough for the group that I was having for Easter.  I, also, had seven Bordallo cabbage plates and decided that I might be able to mix all of these in with my Minton "Marlow" china. I have ten dinner and salad plates of those.



These are the two different stacks of plates that I used.  I had plenty of my Maryland China white chargers.  I, also, had enough placemats to use the same ones at every setting, but I decided to mix those up, too.  On one type of  setting, I used a solid purple place mat and on the other one, I used a lavender gingham one.

This is how the overall table looked. 


I used two different Fostoria glasses. The green tumbler is Fostoria "Mesa" and the lavender stem is a Fostoria "Fascination" water goblet.



The sterling is Gorham "Strasbourg" and the napkins are an Etsy find.




The centerpiece is a purple glass bowl that I found at Ross with an added bird's nest inside.  On one side of the bowl is a bunny that I found at Tuesday Morning and on the other side is the bunny teapot that I purchased, when I bought the bunny plates.




So now, are you ready for the promised Easter surprise??? After I had completely re-done my table, two large boxes arrived from Replacements.  All of the china that I needed for my Easter chick table was there - early!! It was wonderful, but I just did not have the energy or will to completely re-do everything, again.  This year, we will celebrate with green and purple.  As for the Jester Chick - there is always next year!  Happy Easter (again!).

Diane





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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Here's Johnny!!


I guess it is really tacky to write about another man on my husband's and my anniversary (a fairly big one!), but stick with me - this post is really all about my husband.  Back to my original thought - yep, that is Johnny Mathis in the picture taken by me!!! I had the pleasure of attending a concert on my anniversary week-end in Jacksonville, Florida. I was on the second row in the orchestra pit and the concert was close-up and personal! Oh, and to Alycia Nichols - yes, he sang your song and I said your name twice - lol!!


I will get back to the trip in a minute, but first I want to explain how important Johnny is to my anniversary. When my husband and I were high school sweethearts (see the above photo - cannot believe I am showing this!), our song was "Misty" sung by Johnny. When we were not listening to the Beatles or some other groups, we were courting on my living room sofa listening to my hi-fi (remember those!) and the vinyl record that we listened to the most was an album by Johnny Mathis.  We decided early in our dating years that "Misty" was going to be "the" song for us. How could we not fall in love listening to that music - what a voice and the songs he sang were just too romantic!



Fast forward a few years later and here we are at our wedding. Oh, we were so young and ready to begin our married life without any idea about what that really meant!! Five years later, our daughter was born and seven years, after that, our son was born. "Misty" remained our song and the funniest rendition we ever heard was at Disney World, when our daughter was three.  We were dining in a restaurant and there was  musician walking around the dining room playing an accordion.  He asked for requests and, of course, we requested "Misty".  That song on an accordion played like a polka kept us laughing the whole time. I only wish that I had a recording of it!


In 2007, my husband and I went to Atlanta to see Johnny at the fabulous Fox Theatre, but I had a different camera and this was the best photo that I shot.  Despite the lack of good photos, the evening was wonderful and we promised that when Johnny returned to Atlanta, we were attend another concert.  However, he never returned!

Now, this is the time, when I am ready to discuss my dear, sweet husband! When he realized that we had a big anniversary year coming up, he went on the Johnny Mathis website and found that a concert was planned in Jacksonville the very week-end of our anniversary.  Oh what a wonderful surprise for me!! 


We headed to Jacksonville on a very overcast day.  We had planned to have a vacation of several days, but the weather did not cooperate and we cancelled part of the trip, due to the bad weather that was predicted.   However, the weather held off for us, while we were there, but we made a very good decision to leave early the day following the concert.



Have you ever been to Jacksonville?  I had traveled through the city on several occasions, but had never stopped to enjoy it.  The city sits on the banks of the St. Johns River and is the largest city in the contiguous United States by area. In case you did not notice, I became obsessed fell in love with this beautiful blue bridge. All of the downtown area is quite modern and seems to be well kept.


 

The venue of the concert was the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.  It is a beautiful building that opened in 1997. It has three performance facilities, but our concert was held in the Moran Theater which has approximately 3000 seats.



Here is a shot of the balcony



and here is one of the stage, before the performance started.



The best part of the trip (other than seeing Johnny, of course!) was that our hotel was directly across the street from the Times-Union center!! My husband is a terrific planner.


A fun place to visit downtown is The Jacksonville Landing, which is a shopping and restaurant area on the river. It was very conveniently located only a block from our hotel. I am pretty sure that all of my University of Georgia fan friends have visited there many times.  The annual University of Georgia vs. University of Florida football game is held in Jacksonville every year.



This is a view of the Landing from the river side.  We a very late lunch at the American Grill and the food was outstanding.




While we were at the Landing, I spied the perfect anniversary gift, but it did not make it home with us - lol! How would you to own a boat like that one??

Finally, it was time to return to the hotel and get ready for the big evening.  This is the first thing that greeted us in the lobby of the concert hall:


I can tell you that I was getting pretty excited by then and I still had no idea where we were sitting.  I forgot to take of photo of our seats, but only three people were between Johnny and us.  I felt like he was singing directly to us for at least half of the show!!  It is incredible how he has managed to protect and keep his  voice all of these years. He has to make some concessions to an older voice, but he still sounds like he did, when I was a teen-ager.  What a gift he has. Needless to say, when he sang "Misty", I was quite emotional!!

Well, I had better get busy and tell my  husband how much I love him and appreciate all of the thoughtful and generous things that he does for me.  It has been a wild ride all of the years that we have been together and I can truly say that I have never been bored.  Happy Anniversary, Darling - I am looking forward to the next 45 years!!

I love you,

Diane





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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Which came First - the Chicken or the Egg?


Drum roll, please!  A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about my latest obsession, Chanticleer, in Pine Mountain, Georgia. You can read all about it HERE.  I did not show you what I bought that day, because I wanted to unveil it (sounds a bit grand, doesn't it!) on this blog.  Well, it is time to meet my Bethany Lowe Jester Chick!



He was the "one" thing that I could not leave behind, when I left that shop! He called out to me (I know you have had the same experience in a store!!). I just could not imagine my Easter table without him this year.  Fortunately, I had already purchased a pastel tablecloth from Boscov's, which I had plan to use and my Jester worked perfectly with it.



Since pastels would rule the day, I pulled out various pastel china - Fitz and Floyd "Carissa Paisley" blue dinner plates, JC Penney "Coventry" large pink salad plates, and JC Penney "Pearl" yellow salad plates.



I love all of the designs on the rims of the plates - they add so much texture to the place setting.



For even more texture, I added napkin rings that look like they are made from tiny Easter eggs and Watson "Bridal Flower" sterling silver.



Just look at the gorgeous flowers on this pattern! Bridal Flower was made by Watson around 1910.  It is one of my very favorites.



The glassware that I chose consisted of a tumbler in the "Hazel Dot" pattern in the capri color by Hazel-Atlas and an unknown pattern with a twisted stem.  This pattern is listed on Replacements, as Unknown Pattern #7091, although, I purchased them on eBay. I bought the stemware to use on a particular table that I was planning at the time (two years ago!), but I have never done the table and have never used the glasses.   Do you ever do that?  I still "plan" on doing the other table - maybe, it will get done this year????



On top of the plates, I placed a Mikasa ruffled dessert bowl and built a nest inside from brown basket filler.  Pink, yellow, and blue glitter eggs sit on top, until we actually dye real eggs for Easter.



For the centerpiece, of course, I used Mr. Jester Chick and surrounded him with two "egg" garlands that I bought on sale at TJ Maxx, I think, after Easter last year. I, also, added two pink votives.



At night, Mr. Chick watches over the candle very carefully - he is, after all, made from papier mache!! 

I think that this fantastic chick may be my new best friend. I just adore him and hope that my grandchildren do, too, since they have not met him, yet.  After all, Easter parties are really for the children, aren't they?

Diane

P.S.  We all want to wish you a very



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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mimosas for Brunch!


Brunch is always my favorite meal to serve to friends. Eating and visiting mid-morning still leaves much of the day to do other things.  It seems that we all have so many commitments that it is nice to finish early and the added bonus is that you do not have to stop for lunch!

I love to serve mimosas at brunch, but since my favorite recipe for mimosas involves pineapple juice, as well as orange juice, I decided to use the two colors of the juices as starting points for this table. You will find the recipe for the mimosas at the end of the post.



I found the yellow and orange placemats at Old Time Pottery last year and thought they might work with my pineapple and orange color scheme.



Pier I had these napkin rings on sale recently and they were perfect for this table! Don't you love a bargain?



The Laurie Gates "Hailey" plates, mugs and pitcher were pieces that I have owned for a while.  You might remember them from the post I did on neon colors.  You can see that Here.



The green champagne flute is "Pebble" by Artland and the yellow sherbet is Fostoria "Moonstone".



I am sure that you all recognize the green flatware.  I think most of us in blogland have these pieces.  They came from World Market.  The orange and yellow flower votives were purchased at Steinmart, but I have seen them at Michael's, too.

Do you like to entertain for brunch or do you have another favorite meal?  I would love to hear about the special way you treat your friends!

Diane



Now, for the promised recipe for my favorite Mimosas! It originally came from Skinny Kitchen with Nancy Fox. I hope that you like them as much as I do!

Sunrise Pineapple-Orange Mimosas

2 cups fresh orange juice, chilled (confession - I do not always use fresh squeezed!)
1 cup pineapple juice, chilled
1 (750 ml) bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, chilled (obsession - I always use champagne!)

1. In a pitcher, stir together the orange and pineapple juices.
2. To make one cocktail, pour equal parts orange juice mixture and champagne into a champagne flute.   Garnish with one orange slice, if desired. I often make up a pitcher full and let guests serve themselves, as I did on this table - it makes a great centerpiece!
3. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, and so on. For children or non-drinkers, substitute 7-up or Sprite for the champagne.

Makes six servings - enjoy!


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