Monday, November 5, 2018


Welcome TLB friends--

As Christmas is approaching, I decided to share some of  my old archived photos from Christmases past to get your creative juices flowing! ENJOY!

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Greetings TLB friends!


I know I may seem a little presumptuous thinking ahead to Christmas but........since we're in such a warm climate I thought I should get a bit of a head start so that the plants will be in full bloom for Christmas.

Ron and I took a trip to Lowe's and when I saw these beautiful Cranberry Pentas they became my tall focal point in the pot. These plants are loved by butterflies and their blooms are from 2-3 inches in width. I thought this would be a perfect explosion of holiday color. Isn't it funny how a color scheme starts with one plant?

Vining petunias grow well here with just a little pruning so I added white for a nice contrast with the Cranberry. Since Dusty Miller is one of my absolute favorites for a zip of contrast, and they finally arrived here in Florida, I added those for that silvery/white contrast. It reminds me of when we were children and we added those silver tinsel that glistened on the Christmas tree. My mother LOVED these, so we always had a ton of them covering our live Christmas trees! Did you have tinsel on your Christmas trees? Link to tinsel:

Of course this photo reflects just the beginning of my vision, but in a few weeks the color will all come alive and with some good pruning and a little "magic Miracle Grow." along the way, maybe, just maybe by Christmas----my planter will be overflowing with Christmas color!!

Whether you live in the North or the South, in my world, it's NEVER too early to start thinking of Christmas or the holidays in general!!

Happy Planting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Happy Fall TLB friends!

Once I flip the calendar to October I dream of comfy sweaters, warm cider, fresh apples and my WNY childhood! Fast forward to today.....hubby and I live in FLORIDA! Hmmmm....with temps in the 90's this northern girl needed some inspiration to jump on the Fall bandwagon.

Fast forward....when the mail arrives is a catalog I love called Ballard Design. I've ordered from Ballard in the past so I leafed quickly through the pages. I stumbled upon the cutest pumpkin ever. It was a plaid pattern in black and white. Of course, it reminded me of the MacKenzie Childs patterns in black and white also. 

I grabbed a white pumpkin from Big Lots, opened my box of stencil paints, found the perfect black, and got busy. Half way into the project as I worked with my hand, that's not as steady as it used to be, I decided to make stripes instead of a plaid look.

Below you'll see my final results...........I even added some of hubby's pheasant feathers from one of his hunts.

I do "LOVE" the way colors have evolved for our seasons. Decorating with black and white pumpkins was unheard of back in the day---unless you were MacKenzie and Childs.

What colors have worked themselves into your Fall color palette? Feel free to share with us, it's always fun to discover new ways to decorate!

In closing I am including a beautiful Fall photo from our NJ home. Our yard was full of color every Fall. 

   Hope you enjoyed today's post!


Monday, July 2, 2018


Today I'm getting ready for the 4th of July!!  

Of course we have to start with the flowers! There's something so beautiful about a bouquet
with red roses, white baby's breath, and white hydrangeas with blue tips. I also stuck a little Dollar Store star flag in for a little pizazz!

There are a million tablecapes to be found for this patriotic holiday, so I'm using my red, white and blue salad plates with a cute little lobster on them this year. I love
red and white check tablecloths because they scream traditional picnic....which is traditional for us on the 4th. I had these blue stripped kitchen towels that seemed
perfect to use as napkins.

Here's another tablescape I've done with the addition of some Dollar Store decor. (tumblers, grapevine stars, placemats, and flags) I changed up the centerpiece and used golden Black Eyed Susan's in Mason jars that I spray painted a frosted look. I finished with a blue polka dot ribbon loosely tied. The runner is red stripe ticking that I just hem stitched.

It's always fun to add a bit of Red, White and Blue inside too! You can find died daisies in grocery stores! These little vases are something I've had for years from a mail order catalog.

We have to have a little dessert on this special day.....why not serve a RED cookie? Red Velvet Cheescake yummies with a cheesecake filling and white chocolate drizzle?

It's the beginning of cold salad season. Veggies are fresh and bountiful and make such a beautiful presentation! One of my favorites is Ina Garten's Corn and Avocado Salad below.

If you're like me I wait for Summer! It's grill time and all the mess is out of the kitchen!

However, you spend your 4th of July holiday, I hope that you take time to reflect on just how fortunate we are to live in a nation where our forefathers fought for the Independence we now enjoy!



Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Welcome to Wednesday TLB friends,

Are you tired of struggling with what to make for dinner every night? Sometimes I feel like I want something easy, because I frankly don't want to be in the kitchen in Florida for long periods of time!

Some might say that soup is out of the question, but I don't feel that way. Soup prep is easy and in air conditioning a pot simmering on the stove is not an issue. Besides it's a great way to have a nutritious meal without alot of fuss.

So today's blog is just that.....Cauliflower Chowder is a favorite in my house. Simple ingredients make this a "go to favorite" of mine and it's low-carb!

The recipe may be found at: 

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my hubby does!

Have a fantastic week!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Busy, busy, busy,

Our Florida house has been a haven for our family for 14 years. We are very thankful, and hold many family memories from our days spent here together. It's provided a haven of solitude and enjoyment for not only our family, but our extended family as well. But "she" needed a little a "TLC." Since God has given us this time to spend here, we decided to take advantage it. 

Our first quotes were for the exterior including the roof and patios, to be pressure washed. Then we solicited quotes for the exterior to be painted to include the patios as well. We hit
the jackpot with our chosen painting company, Ryan Hammond Painters, from Fort Myers who did it all for us! Now we had to choose our color palette.

We drove to Naples and spent a complete day touring Model homes. We not only were looking for our future home ideas, we were also scoping out exterior colors. We found the colors we loved, however, they wouldn't give us their names. So hubby said, "why don't we grab the Sherwin Williams paint deck, and match up the colors ourselves! They also used SW paint, so it was such a great idea. Brilliant!! 

After our selected color palette was approved by our HOA, we waited nearly 2.5 months
because of the lengthy schedule our painting company had ahead of us. I guess that alone was a clue as to their integrity!

Our painter uses Sherwin Williams paint so we chose:

*SW 7065-Argos for the walls
*SW 7571-Casa Blanca for the trim, and eaves
*SW 9178-Old Navy- for the front door


I'm still working on the patios. One patio had to be ground down a bit, and then both were painted. They turned out beautifully, but now it's time to decorate them. That's for another blog!!

Stay tuned.........