Thursday, September 24, 2020

IT'S TIME FOR FALL DECOR


Good Morning TLB friends,

Welcome back to TLB and our "fresh new look!" I couldn't have done 
this without the help of my savy daughter!

Today's blog has been a long time coming! The past year has been like a blur as I look back, and I've missed hearing from all of you! So here I am 
back in the "saddle again!" 



Yes, this is our finished home......well kind of finished! We are still contemplating adding a Nantucket stacked stone on the bottom of our porch posts, and black shutters.

We hired a landscaper to offer suggestions on how we could enhance the   
front landscaping package that the builder provided. I believe in using what is included with the build, and enhancing it by adding some of our own favorites. He suggested a Holley hedge in the back row, and Ixora's with bright orange flowers in the second row. The forefront plants are a perennial plant called "Blue My Mind." Ron and I both admired them in other yards we had seen and we just love the pop of blue against the dark mulch. (which we had the landscaper add)
 
The close-up below is the front left side of the driveway. Our landscaper planted three Gardenia bushes among the palms that were provided in the builder package. Ron and I are both fans of these gorgeous blooms with their beautiful scent, and they are more beautiful with the Blue My Mind ground cover in front of the white Gardenia blooms.


The photo below is the left side of the porch landscaping.The Beauclaire planters in front of the porch posts are from Ballard DesignsWe had a bare spot in front of the porch posts and these planters came to mind! I've always LOVED them! They're classic shield crest is timeless and they'll look great decorated for Christmas too!

Beauclaire Planter

I added some touches of Fall with my "go to pumpkin" that I painted 
for theTexas house, and decided it looked great at the Florida house too!

 


Below is just a snipet of my Fall porch decor. It's still a work in progress....
Last year I purchased this planter from https://www.studio-m.com/
I am not sure if it is still available this year or not.


Lots of hours of planning. Some of the building went well, some we are still contending with, but all in all "it's beginning to look like the "forever" home we had imagined!"




I hope I've inspired you a bit to start dusting off those Fall decorations and have some fun!

        Have a wonderful week!

                               Kathleen



  ***Sorry that my images appear a bit blurry, I'm working on fixing this.
 

Friday, September 4, 2020

 Good Morning Friends-

It has been nearly a year since I've had the time to sit and catch up with all of you. I hope that you are all well during these "crazy times." 

During this past year we have bid farewell to Montana, and built our "forever" home in Florida. The move went quite smoothly, but our build has been another story. Many of you are quite familiar with all of our "work related" relocations and subsequent build's that have accompanied all of them. We agreed since this was our "final" move that we should build exactly what we wanted, not worrying as we always have in the past) about RESALE! And so we began....

Our lot choice includes a water and tree view, complete with Florida Pines.

We felt it was only appropriate to end our "relocation journey's" on a cul-de-sac street. The meaning of a cul-de-sac is a street or passage closed at one end. This being quite appropriate for our stage of life.

I hope you'll follow along as I share the creation of our "HOME SWEET HOME!" I'm excited to hear from all of you. Please feel free to drop me a line so that we can catch up!!

Fondly,

Kathleen

Friday, November 1, 2019

NOTHING LIKE HOT SOUP IN THE WINTER

Welcome TLB friends!

It's that time of year when it's perfect for a nice bowl of warm soup. Here in the northwest
we've had several snow storms already and currently have a ground cover of snow around 8 inches. 

I was thumbing through my current Real Simple magazine on the airplane and I "tagged" one of the soup recipe pages that sounded delish! Last evening seemed the perfect time to have that soup for dinner.

The temp was 32 degrees and at the time our house was warm and cozy. I had no idea that our furnace would fail us in the middle of the night! Hubby and I woke up asking each other, if it felt cold in the house. Luckily we had a nice warm dinner, and our problem ended up being something simple, so we're back to "warm and cozy" this morning.

The recipe is for Carrot Soup with candied almonds. I've never made or eaten Carrot Soup and neither has my hubby. It was thick and very flavorful! I enjoyed the added Candied Almond crunch on top, but because they were a bit spicy hubby wasn't a fan!




If you get stuck like I do sometimes with "what to make for dinner," give this healthy soup a try.  Remember when Mama would say, "eat your carrots, they're good for your eyes?"
This recipe provides 9 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per serving also! 


Hope you enjoy it as much as hubby and I did!


                Kathleen



LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/carrot-soup-with-candied-almonds-recipe





P.S. It's great for leftovers too!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

NORTHWEST FALL

Hello Friends!

Welcome back to THE LAVENDER BOUQUET!

I'm not quite sure where this year has gone, but I am excited about our first "Fall in the Northwest." The evenings are becoming much cooler, the students have arrived back on campus and the town is bustling once again. Summer's are pretty quiet here.

I found that the typical mums I was used to from the East aren't as plentiful here, although
I did find some along with some Lantana to provide color on the front porch. The selections were limited so my tried and true Eastern big box stores came through for me for the Mums, and I was able to find the Cabbage, Lantana, Dusty Miller and Fountain Grass at our local nursery.

With a majority of our worldy goods stored in Texas I don't have the decorative
seasonal items that I am used to grabbing from my boxes. I round a TJ MAXX 
where I found the corn husk wreath (bare) on the front door. I added the ribbon and leaves for some color.

I found the decorative pot online at:
Pumpkins and Gourds 15" Art Planter, Outside/Indoor Planter, Gardening, Pot, Fall, Autumn, Thanksgivingand the pumpkins at our local Costco. The sweet bird pillow I couldn't resist because our grandaughter LOVES birds. I found it at our local Wal-Mart. I brought the large gray planter with me from the Texas house.

Chain stores make shopping so much easier when you move from State to State! I'm always looking for something familiar, something that I am used to. You would be surprised how many are not located in our new little town.







DIY Cornhusk wreath......









Please feel free to leave a comment and share with me how you are 

decorating for Fall this year.


I'd LOVE to hear from you!




                           Kathleen





Tuesday, September 10, 2019

UNIQUE PUMPKIN DECOUPAGE

Hello TLB friends!

I was recently browsing other bloggers to see what they were up to in regards to FALL creative ideas! Low and behold I found a blog that is using the same idea that I used and published on my 9/10/14 blog!! It was such a fun project I thought I'd share it with you once again. 

HAVE A FABULOUS DAY!
Kathleen
**************************************************
9/10/14

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today after completing this DIY. My girlfriends and I used to get together one night a month and make all kinds of craft projects. It always was such a great time and ended up being a great outlet for all of us Moms to enjoy some adult time.

One of the things we worked on was a decoupage project. Truth be told, at his moment, I couldn't tell you what I made, but as I worked on this project I remembered there were a lot of "sticky" fingers that night!

I decided to decoupage a faux pumpkin this year.Now what would I use to make this pumpkin beautiful?? I always have a good supply of napkins leftover from whenever we entertain. In searching through my fall stash I came across a stack of beautiful Caspari napkins with Bittersweet branches in gold, crimson and orange. They were just perfect!



I started by gathering the following supplies:

1.  Faux pumpkin (size is personal preference)
2.  1-container of Mod Podge (I used Matte finish)
3.  Sponge applicator or paintbrush
4.  Scissors
5.  Cut strips of napkins, paper, fabric in approx. 4 inch wide 
pieces.
6.  Cut squares in whatever width you like to act as a patchwork where needed. It kind of gives the final project a 3D appearance.


INSTRUCTIONS: 

1.  Clean the pumpkin making sure it is clear of  any raised imperfections.

**If you use Caspari napkins remove the white bottom layer of the napkin before gluing....you can see what happens in this photo with the white backing---the result is more wrinkles.

2.  Apply Mod Podge with sponge applicator working in lines from top to bottom of the pumpkin. (I applied glue to a 3-4 inch strip of pumpkin and it worked well.) 
3.  Cut out strips or squares of napkin/decorative paper/fabric. Size is personal choice. I liked using some strips in the beginning because the crevices of the pumpkin were easier to manage. Then to finish up I used a patchwork like look and applied squares.
4.  Smooth out wrinkles as best you can by lightly tapping with a dry sponge applicator. This helps especially in the crevices of the pumpkin. You will get some wrinkles.
5. When the entire pumpkin is covered apply one more coat over the entire surface area to seal the project and let dry thoroughly.



In the photo above the pumpkin is still very wet. The wrinkles and patches are much more prevalent. The final photo below is after hours of drying.



In next Monday's blog you'll see where I incorporated my pumpkin into the fall decorating at my house.

I hope you enjoyed today's blog. Have you ever decoupaged anything before? Do you think you'll give it a try?

Just remember, the final product doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful........beauty cannot be judged objectively, for what one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another.

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Kathleen

***Thanks so much for stopping by. We love visitors! Feel free to pass our blog along to all of your friends.  http://thelavenderbouquet.blogspot.com  THANK YOU!!


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

OUR FOREVER HOME BUILD

Welcome back TLB friends!

I hope this week finds you well! 

Things in my world are busy, but a good busy. I've adjusted to our new lifestyle here in the  Northwestern U.S., and am beginning to feel ready to conquer what lies ahead. What lies ahead you ask?  Lots of airline miles!!

We have begun building our "forever" home in the Florida. Much travel, and of course all of the subsequent holiday celebrations that go along with this time of year will complete our 2019!

The biggest challenge I've completed are the selections for the new house. I just have some lighting yet to order. Those of you that have built semi-custom homes know the drill. You have a design center that houses most or all of your selections, many are in vignettes so that you may get a good visual, however, there are some that are in a catalog
that you must choose from. Not a task that should be taken lightly!!!! Go in with your photo album of ideas....it helps immensely! 

We were able to make the hardcore selections, flooring, cabinets, countertops, etc. from the showroom. We decided to take the lighting fixtures that were included in our base price and have them installed. We cannot close if there are not fixtures installed, so after closing we will hire an electrician to install the fixtures and fans that we purchased to replace them for us. We are planning on donating the other lighting to "Habitat for Humanity" which is always in need of donations in Florida. 

I've been very fortunate to be able to work with my lighting sales lady from Texas who helped me so much with our lighting in that house. We worked together thru phone and emails and she shipped everything to Florida for us.

I started selection choices with the flooring.I did allot of research first!! We knew it would be the most costly selection (outside of the pool) for the house. The flooring will be in at least 3/4 of the house. I chose a Mohawk oak engineered flooring that withstands heat and humidity. (Metropolitan Lights, color City Loft Oak)     https://www.mohawkflooring.com/engineered-wood/detail/14842-182986/Metropolitan-Lights-City-Loft-Oak Once that selection was made I knew how much I had left in hubby's budget for me to spend on everything else AND the color family that would coordinate
with the flooring.

We both loved the kitchen in Texas and though I cannot recreate it exactly, I chose to
use the black and white theme once again. Island and butlers pantry black cabinets, perimeter of kitchen and top and bottom cabinets are white with all countertops gray marbled quartz. I kept my simple white subway tile with white grout in a staggered pattern in the kitchen, and herringbone pattern in the butlers pantry. All cabinets will have black matte hardware this time. I'm still "in love" with this color combo. I'm currently working with my
lighting lady on the island pendants. They will be black also.

Below is a photo of the kitchen/dinette area from the model. We chose a bit different
perimeter layout and appliances.




Hubby wanted a pool so we re-created many of the features from the Texas 
house with the Florida designer; shape of the pool, most of the same materials and color, but changed the waterfall stone to a Ledge stone slate veneer.




We also enlarged the outdoor patio for entertaining, and added decorative pavers. (instead of swirled concrete like Texas) The pool and entertaining area will be entirely encased
within a screened lanai.

Well, as things progress I will continue to share. But this gives you a taste of what's
to come.



Have a wonderful week!

 Kathleen













Tuesday, July 30, 2019

SUMMER PICNIC DISHES AND DESSERTS

Warm weather is on its way for many of us. In Texas our grills are cooking up some super special goodness already!  I'm always searching for tasty side dishes to pair with our protein. Whether we are having red meat, turkey, chicken or fish, a side dish is a must. Of course no picnic is complete with dessert, so I've included a couple of those in today's blog too.

I found a recipe, that cuts the fat used in a typical potato salad and tastes delish. It couldn't have been any easier to prepare. And it was hubby approved!


It's called Loaded Baked Potato Salad, but it's not baked! I think you get the idea...it tastes like a baked potato, and there's some nice surprises inside; like a packet of dry ranch dressing stirred into the cooked potatoes. 


Click on this link for the recipe:  http://www.countrycleaver.com/2011/07/loaded-baked-potato-salad.html

No picnic is complete without deviled eggs. Let's face it, deviled eggs have come a long way. Even cocktail parties aren't complete without them. The ingredients in this recipe will truly surprise you. 

I was given this recipe from Beth a fellow blogger that I chatted with online last year when I first started blogging. She was so gracious and so helpful with all of my questions. At the time, I was getting ready to host a cocktail party, and she gave me some recipes and some very helpful hints. One of the recipes was what I call-- Beth's Deviled Eggs.



I ended up serving them at our cocktail party and friends loved them! And now they are great for picnic season.They are a bit sweet, but still savory. Who would have thought applesauce and currants along with some other goodies would be in deviled eggs. My girls love them. It's the only way they will eat deviled eggs now.

Here is the recipe:

BETH'S DEVILED EGGS

  • one dozen eggs
Scoop out cooked yolks and place in a small bowl. 

Add to mashed yolks:
  • 2 tbsp. mayo
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. curry powder ( I use a bit less)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 3-4 tbsp. dried sweet currants 
  • 3 tbsp. chunky applesauce
You may add more mayo or applesauce to taste if the yolks are not wet enough. Pipe into
each egg. 

***I have never done this, but Beth also recommended adding a dollop of apple, garlic or ginger chutney on top. She used Stonewall Kitchen. 

Finally, dust the entire plate with shaved almonds and more chives or fresh lemon thyme.

Every picnic has to have the essential dessert. Something a little sweet. I have two very different ideas for you. The first an easy Sorbet dessert. 



Raspberry Sorbet in Lemon Cups


  • Lemons
  • Raspberry sorbet (or your favorite flavor)
Hollow out the lemon using a melon baller. Scoop your favorite Sorbet
into each half, freeze and serve. So easy and so pretty!


I have one more different sweet treat for you. They are just like Rice Krispie Bars, but  with a twist......you use Ruffles potato chips instead of the cereal! They have a nice sweet/salty taste that I think will surprise your taste buds.

Ruffles Marshmallow Krispie Treats

You may find the recipe here:  http://www.laurenslatest.com/ruffles-marshmallow-krispie-treats/

I hope you enjoy this group of recipes, and you're able to use them at your picnics or summer dinners.

Have a wonderful weekend.
         
Kathleen
                                                                     
                                                                                                      
                                                   
***Don't forget to tell your friends about The Lavender Bouquet blog follow us on Facebook too!