Monday, March 31, 2014


Well I am back in the North. What a flight. Thank goodness my sweet husband made sure I was in First Class on my return flight. Let's just say there was allot of motion going on. It was so bumpy that seat belts were always required, and the rear cabin received no snack or beverage service during the whole 3 hour flight. I was never so happy to hear the squeal of tires on the runway........we made it! YAY!

It's  MY STYLE blog day today and I wanted to have some fun.  I was up early and put together an Easter Tablescape for you that I hope you enjoy. While shopping a week ago in Williams Sonoma, I came across this beautiful tablecloth which was the inspiration for the tablescape today. 

The entire perimeter has a beautiful design. There are Easter bunnies, Lilies, and Dragonflies. I loved the subtle greens and golden yellows on the cream background. It's not always easy to work with any type of print on a tablecloth and a bit more challenging to display it in photos for your viewing. However, I tried as much as possible to capture glimpses here and there so you are able to see where my inspiration came from.

By keeping the center of the table very simple the beauty in the detail of the tablecloth becomes the a large part of the focal point. Simple Pussy Willows and bright yellow Daffodils compliment the woodsy feel that generates from the tablecloth design. I used rattan chargers that bring another more relaxed feel to the table by resembling wood.

I used a simple Spring brooch as a decorative feature on the yellow polka dot napkins instead of a napkin ring. This one happens to be one that belonged to my Grandmother.

The egg cups holding the beautiful brown eggs, a gift from my husband's tailor, Frank, who raises those fresh eggs! 

I hope you were inspired by today's Easter Table decor. Easter will be here before we know it!

Wishing you a wonderful day!


***Feel free to leave  a comment. I would love to hear from you!
 See you on Wednesday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Greetings from Florida!

Good Morning from Florida!

I have been enjoying a wonderful week here. A bit rainy at times, but I haven't let it dampen my spirits.
Girlfriend time has been fun, and I even managed to get to my favorite Boca Bargoons Fabric store, which was having a SALE! I will share some of my delightful finds in upcoming blogs.

I also spent a great deal of time this week on my computer. I had been noticing a decline in the subscriber
numbers and found that I had a compatibility issue that I believe has been taken care of. Please keep me
informed if you are not receiving your Monday, Wednesday and Friday blogs.

Well, it's time to head North.......I wish you all a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014



I couldn't resist these lamps at IKEA. Are you always searching for good lighting so that you can just finish the last few pages of that great book before hitting the pillow? We are. When I found these lamps I put them on the Master Bedroom list---of maybe someday!

Have a great day!



I'm at the Florida house and we are having a gorgeous day today. I know back home we are predicted to get snow and really cold temps, so I am enjoying every minute I am here.

When I arrived here, and hung up my clothes, there was a sweet little Easter project sitting on a shelf in my closet. I had completely forgotten about a DIY Easter Wreath I had made about 3 years ago. (my sister made one for her door too!) I just love the way this wreath turned out. The pretty pastel display of eggs looks great anywhere. How festive Easter is this? When I saw it I immediately thought...I've got to get this on the blog for all of my Lavender Bouquet friends.

1- 20 inch straw wreath
130--(approx.) plastic eggs
Ribbon of your choice to hang

I started in the center and secured a fairly even ring of eggs with glue around the complete center. I then worked outward, placing the eggs in places that look pleasing to the eye, trying to keep them uniform in a line....and not to hodpodgey. Use your judgement here.

It's simple and easy, but allow yourself some time to do it. It is time consuming.

I hope you have enjoyed this DIY segment. Please share your photos with us when you complete your wreath. Sending warm thoughts your way---see you Foodie Friday!


***Thank you all so much for visiting The Lavender Bouquet. I can't tell you how exciting it is to see the growth and comments coming in from many of you. Keep 'em coming!

Monday, March 24, 2014


It is always interesting when the Pantone Fashion Colors of the year are released. The 2014 chart
is full of so many beautiful colors this year. The Radiant Orchid color reminds me of the beautiful orchids that seem to be more plentiful now. They may be found everywhere from Home Depot to your local Farmer's Markets. I love using the deeper almost purple form of this and pairing it with something in the lime family. As displayed in countless photos from gorgeous weddings, to home decor, to clothing. It can be quite breath taking.


I put together a Spring vignette with these colors, adding the yellow and white as contrasts in the floral bouquet. It brings a nice springlike punch of color to the table, and nice WOW as you enter a room.

What are your favorite Pantone Colors in the 2014 chart? Which ones will you be using or
wearing this Spring?

Thanks for visiting The Lavender Bouquet.
Have a wonderful day!


*** Feel free to leave your comments in our comment section.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Now that Spring has officially arrived, sports aficionados everywhere are turning their thoughts to MARCH MADNESS!  The NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament has begun with its field of 128 college teams, all coveting the championship trophy awarded on April 7th, in Arlington, Texas.

With a plethora of games in our household's future, my thoughts turn to game day foods. I find it alot easier if I gather my thoughts prior to having a house full of men wondering what there is to eat, while they cheer for their favorite team.

Hailing from the Buffalo area means, chicken is always on the list. We have a tried and true, family tested, and approved, way that we serve chicken for games.  The recipe is for Crispy Chicken Fingers.  No not the typical Buffalo wings, a slight variation making the chicken, shhhhhh, a little healthier. We don't serve the traditional Blue Cheese Dip either, but we do have a "healthified dip", called Blue Cheese Hot Wing Dip. Of course if our youngest daughter is home, a big side of Frank and Teresa's is a must also!

Take a look at these crunchy chicken fingers and nuggets. They are crispy and not greasy because they are cooked on a baking rack. The air is allowed to circulate around the chicken creating a nice crunch without any of the typical oil from frying.

The Blue Cheese Hot Wing Dip is made with fresh garlic, green onions, fresh parsley, hot sauce, lemon zest, and crumbled blue cheese. Add in, reduced fat sour cream, cream cheese, mayo and some spices, and you have a dip that's quite delish! It is best marinated 24 hours in advance so that all of the flavors meld together forming a really unique flavor great for chicken and veggies.

The recipe for the Crispy Chicken Fingers is from Ellie Krieger and may be found at:

The recipe for the Blue Cheese "Hot Wing" Dip is from My Recipes and may be found at:

If your household is going to be as busy as mine in the next few weeks, you may want to
log away these two recipes to keep your family happy during March Madness.

Good Luck to all!

**Sending a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister tomorrow!

****Thanks for visiting The Lavender Bouquet today. Feel free to leave us a comment. We would love to hear how we are doing. See you on My Style Monday!!



Thursday, March 20, 2014



I always love sharing good news! Many of you that are receiving my blog via email may have never  gotten to visit my Facebook page OR you may be just to busy. Life is crazy like that!

Here is a quick link that will enable you to read THE LAVENDER BOUQUET on Facebook. Just hoover your mouse over the link and click it, a highlighted box will appear, click the box, and it will take you directly to my page.   I post lots of articles on fashion, color, food, health, and gardening that may be of interest to you and also share other bloggers sites that I think you may like.  Scroll on over to check it out!


The Lavender Bouquet has been asked to take part in a BLOG HOP at--- At The Picket Fence. Blog Hops are usually hosted by established bloggers. They give newbies like me a chance to display some of our projects which in turn, gets new traffic to our website. It is a great way to grow. 

If you would like to see my entry, and others, hover your mouse over the link below and click it. The link will take you directly to their blog arriving at their site, scroll down to Read More.... and click it. On this page, scroll to the bottom and you will see a bunch of small photos showcasing bloggers talented crafts, and other projects. As you scroll, when you get to #53 Spring Mantle, that's me!  It is actually a photo of my Spring Foyer not mantle, but hey it works. Next time I will get better with my labeling! Please take notice of all of the beautiful and interesting ideas along the way from some very talented ladies!

A very BIG thank you to At The Picket Fence & Craftberry Bush
for giving me the opportunity to be part of such an awesome event!  And of course a very BIG thank you to all of you that receive my blog by email or read it already on Facebook. Whether you are a new subscriber or have supported me since June of 2013, you are ALL the ones that keep me seeking new and creative ideas that, hopefully, brighten your day as much as you do mine!

Wishing you a very HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!
 May your day be filled with sunshine!!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I drove to Michaels last week for some inspiration. I was especially thinking about something Easter related. There hanging up in one of the aisles was a very unique looking feather wreath with eggs on
it. I personally thought it was a bit over I started dissecting how it was made and what I would need to buy to make it myself.

I decided to buy a round foam ring, a package of eggs, a boa, and a can of adhesive spray.

Step One
Spray the foam ring with adhesive spray on the top of the ring, and wrap with the boa. Press
down to secure it. Let dry. (your fingers get a bit sticky)

Step Two
Strategically place eggs around the perimeter of the wreath, spraying first with adhesive. Press
to secure egg onto wreath. Let dry.

Step Three
Make a bow from any size ribbon or color that makes you happy....and again spray with adhesive.
Let dry.

Step Four
Make a loop with florist wire and stick into the back of the foam wreath for hanging. You can add a bit of adhesive spray to this also to keep it secure. Let dry.

That's it folks! You are done....and here is what my final wreath looks like!

                         I hope you have enjoyed this DIY segment! It's not to early to get going
                                     on your Easter decorating  See you on Foodie Friday!

                                                        Wishing you a wonderful day!


****Thanks for sharing your day with me at THE LAVENDER BOUQUET. Please 
come again and pass our link along to your friends!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I got a little Spring fever today. I know it was cold outside, at least in NJ, but the sun was great! Overall, it was quite a productive day.  I revamped THE LAVENDER BOUQUET Facebook cover page, adding some photos, and giving it a new look. I also, took some time to add some Spring decor to my foyer.

Here is the final foyer Spring project---

If you have a chance, please check out  THE LAVENDER BOUQUET Facebook page and let me know your thoughts on the changes.

      See you tomorrow for a great DIY I think you will all enjoy!


****I am so excited to see so many new faces!! Feel free to leave comments in our comment section.

Monday, March 17, 2014






Don't forget to LIKE our Facebook page to help us grow, while you are visiting!




For years I have heard about IKEA stores, but have never actually visited one. We now live within an hour of one of the stores, so we thought we would check it out on a Sunday afternoon.

We weren't really prepared for the crowds of cars jammed into the parking lots surrounding the warehouse like building, nor all of the people inside. Most everyone was seriously shopping and then there were some like us, that were just browsing........taking in the whole experience.

We did a little research ahead of time and found their store slogan is---Affordable solutions for better living. The IKEA CONCEPT started in the woods of southern Sweden over 70 years ago. It has evolved and improved through the years now offering franchises as well.

My husband and I walked every square inch of the huge building. It certainly is an interesting concept and a very good price point. We went in hopes of me being able to gather ideas for my blog, and I was successful.  I wasn't shopping for anything in particular, however, I did come home with a couple well priced trays---the creamy white one below is one of them.


I primarily focused on kitchens.......taking photos to share with all of you. The photos below 
include most of the kitchens that were set up in the vignettes.

I loved the contrast of the charcoal gray walls and tile against the white cabinetry.

As you can see there is a kitchen for everyone's taste.

There were two other vignettes in addition to this being dedicated to appliances 
and the other to countertops. Gotta LOVE that ONE STOP SHOPPING!

We saw this wall wine rack and thought it was interesting and compact for small quarters.
We left feeling satisfied. We had finally visited an IKEA store. Now when people speak of this awesome warehouse atmosphere, with tons of home selections, we will picture vignette after vignette of everything you could possibly need in your home, apartment or even your college dorm room.

Oh I almost forgot, there is a restaurant on site and it was jammed full of people having lunch.....
not a table to be found. There was also a Market area featuring food items from Sweden and a cafeteria style line selling hot dogs, cinnamon buns, etc. after the check out area.

If you haven't already experienced IKEA you owe it to yourself to take a trip to one-----you will be amazed!

If you have been to an IKEA store, please share your experience with us. We would love to hear
about it.

                                                 HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY FOLKS!!!


***Thank you so much for visiting The Lavender Bouquet. See you on DIY Wednesday with a special project.

Friday, March 14, 2014


I believe that most of us at some point or other have sampled a Texas Sheet Cake. As I recall we were living in the mid-west when we tried it for the first time. I remember this huge sheet pan filled with a delicious chocolate cake, and a gooey chocolate frosting with nuts in it. The texture was light, and a bit airy, and the frosting was yummy!

I have always wondered if the name Texas Sheet Cake came from the state of Texas. We all know that everything is "bigger" in Texas. As I started browsing for a bit of history, I found all kinds of stories but nothing concrete. gives credit to Lady Bird Johnson........but who knows if this is true. All I can say is, that is one fine cake! 

Can you imagine a Texas Sheet Cake cookie?  Little bite size delectable delights. When I found the recipe, I just had to try it. I can tell you they are worth every calorie. The recipe only makes about 15 tablespoon sized cookies, but believe me, that will be enough.......unless you are feeding a bunch of ranch hands.

The recipe states it makes 24 cookies. I used an actual tablespoon measuring spoon and my recipe made 15.  The recipe did not call for nuts.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. milk
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Line baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat
2. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until light, scraping sides frequently.
3. Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Mix in baking powder and salt.
4. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour. Dough will be thick.
5. In a microwave safe bowl heat chocolate chips on high in 30 second increments until melted,
stirring after  every 30 seconds.
6. Mix melted chocolate directly into cookie dough until evenly mixed.
7. Drop dough by a measured tablespoon sized mounds onto baking sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes
until cookies just appear set.(Time depends on your oven.) They will still be very soft on the inside. DO NOT over bake!
8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

1. In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa powder, and milk over medium heat whisking
until melted together. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar.
2. Pour icing over cookies and allow to set before serving.

Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. I personally think they would be great in the frig also!

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family did. Thanks for sharing Foodie Friday with me today!

                                                  Wishing you a warm and wonderful weekend!



***We would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave your comments. See you Monday!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


The winds picked up in late afternoon yesterday and continued to get stronger through the entire night. We are so grateful that we don't have any large trees close to our house anymore, but in the area surrounding us, there are trees everywhere.

Temps have dropped, winds are still stirring, and I've already been to the gym. I grabbed my cup of coffee, and I sat down and pondered what I was doing 30 years ago......

It was a snowy, cold day, my husband was traveling for work, and our youngest daughter decided to grace our world. After many weeks of angst, hospitalization and bed rest for me, this sweet little darling arrived 7 weeks early. Her tiny little head full of blonde hair.....truly a gift from God!

I don't know if it was my DIY Monogram Wreath project from Wednesday that spurred the Spring decorator in me OR the fact that Scott's Lawn applied our pre-emergent yesterday........but I felt like it was time to get  some "Spring" inside the house!

So I started here........

So easy and not complicated but a nice touch!

                                            Wishing for the day that Spring finally arrives----

***Thank you so much for visiting The Lavender Bouquet. Please stop by again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I am in love with monograms. There are so many fonts available today that choosing one can be a daunting experience, especially if you have never done it before. Each monogram looks entirely different based on the font that is chosen. Ultimately, the choice is yours, whatever your taste dictates.....there is a font for you.

Monograms have been around for years. Today the single letter and initial monogram can be found on just about anything. In many cases decorators use letters in a variety of ways incorporating them into vignettes, on bookshelves, hung on walls, framed art, stitched on linens, and so on.

I was perusing and found a wooden monogram in the exact font that I am most fond of. It  is called French Script. The letters have a beautiful scrolling effect. I had seen this type of monogram applied directly to front doors, walls, and even incorporated into wreaths, among other uses.

I loved the idea of incorporating the monogram into a wreath, hence I decided to make a new Spring wreath for our own front door this year! I purchased a personalized, unfinished wooden monogram, on The cost was $9.99 plus shipping. The vendor email address is:
 I decided to spray paint it an off white color to blend with the flowers I had purchased at Michaels.

A few years ago, when we lived in Houston, my favorite garden center was Cornelius on Dairy Ashford Rd. They had an absolutely beautiful gift shop with top notch designers decorating it by season. At that time the designers used the black and white stripe ribbon that I fell in love with. I found the same ribbon in our new Hobby Lobby here in NJ--which ironically I first frequented while living in Houston. (small world) I believe between the addition of the monogram and of this ribbon it kind of "kicks it up a notch" the project a bit of elegance.

It's time to start thinking about what you will make for your Spring front door this year. Don't forget to add that little bit of elegance to your project too!

                                                   Wishing you a day filled with sunshine!


To make this wreath you will need:
1-grapevine wreath --Hobby Lobby
Ribbon--Hobby Lobby
Spray paint--Hobby Lobby

***Thank you so much for stopping by The Lavender Bouquet. Hope to see you on Friday!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Spring is a gardeners dream come true! With it's arrival come longer days and warmer temperatures. I don't know about you but I am ready for those warmer temps.

Last Fall I planted 50 tulip bulbs that I am so excited to see poke their little heads through the ground. My sister and brother-in-law brought them back from their trip to Holland, I can't wait to see the colors. I chose to plant them very close to our front porch which will give a nice splash of Spring color walking up the sidewalk.

Until then.........thank you Whole Foods for having a tulips Sale on Friday......fresh from Virginia!

I added a bit of red to our Living room------love that color!

                                         And then a more demure white to the Dining Room.

Some of you don't have to wait for the snow to clear to check out your gardens after a long winter.
If you are lucky enough to live in a nice warm climate you are already witnessing the beautiful
blossoms of Spring. Wherever you call home, one thing is for sure, there is nothing like the glory
of the Springtime blooms!

                                                           Wishing you a colorful day!


***Thank you for visiting The Lavender Bouquet. Please feel free to pass our link along to your 
friends. This is how we grow!

Friday, March 7, 2014

An Easy Healthy Meal--Cut the Calories with this New England Clam Chowder Recipe

It's our first Friday of Lent.....oh dear what should I make for dinner?

I think most everyone enjoys a meatless meal from time to time. And if you are a seafood lover as my husband and I are, we like to change up how and what type of seafood we eat. Not only is it a great way to eliminate the fear that I used to have when preparing seafood, but it allows us to explore some of the great choices now available from the sea.

I have learned so much by chatting with the lady that works at our fish counter. For instance what is the difference between Farm Raised Fish and Wild Caught Fish?

Farm Raised- raising fish commercially in tanks, and controlled pens usually in lakes, ponds, rivers and oceans.  They live and feed in compact living situations. And they tend to have more diseases, toxins, artificial dyes, and antibiotics. They also may contain more fat then compared to wild caught.

Wild Caught - tend to be higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, and protein. They contain very low levels of disease and are free from antibiotics, pesticides & artificial dyes. They are free to roam the ocean and to find their own food ultimately helping them contain less fat than the farm raised. One issue with wild caught, is it can contain Mercury, however, this can be just as much of an issue with farm raised fish that are raised in the ocean environment. The cost is the down side with wild caught fish being significantly more than farm raised fish. 

I chose Clams to highlight today. One of husband's favorites is New England Clam Chowder. Clams are always available and are so easy to use in a recipe.

A lot of New England chowder recipes are laden with heavy cream driving up the unnecessary calories. This recipe is  from Ellie Krieger and contains 312 Calories per serving, not bad. She has lightened the amount of cream normally used and it tastes fantastic! By adding a colorful side salad of your choice, dinner is served!

Why give it a try tonight?

         Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


***Thank you for visiting The Lavender Bouquet. Please feel free to comment and don't forget to visit us on Monday!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


My husband and I are coming off a whirlwind "old friend" weekend! I think we probably all know that great energy we feel after reconnecting with friends we have not seen in a few years. 

I started the weekend out by meeting up with my friend Marcella. It had been over a year since we had seen each other. Marcella is a very talented Redken hair colorist/stylist, and has an interesting family background. Her family was part of the Washington, Capital Hill crowd for years. During that time her mother, who was a wonderful cook, became friends with many woman from other countries. She actually was a real "foodie" back in the day as they shared their recipes and dishes with one another. Marcella has the same love for ethnic foods as her mom. I encouraged her to start her own food blog which I know you would all love!

Marcella knows of my love for Lavender, so she contacted her Uncle, who is the Mayor of Marseille, France, and asked him to send a couple of gifts for me. I was so touched! Her uncle's neighbor painted the gorgeous print, and the beautiful Lavender Bouquet towel is so beautiful, and actually holds a bit of a story from Provence.

The towel is trimmed with an insect print. The insect is known as the Cigales in France and a Cicada in the US. They are very popular in Provence, because they symbolize summertime. The people of Provence are people of the sun. After their long windy winters they look forward to the vibrating melody of the Cigales.

  I truly am touched by this beautiful gesture of friendship.
Thank you so much Marcella!

As Saturday arrived so did our friends from had been too many years!

We walked the beautiful sunny beaches of Florida, sea shells and sand under our feet........our conversation never stopped. We listened intently as we each talked about children, our travels abroad, and the changes in the little town we all called/call home. We discovered that Margaritas can be made with white wine at a fantastic little restaurant on the beach........and the list goes on.

 Ahhhhh-------one of life's greatest blessings, Friendship! 

Thanks Donna & Frank for a great weekend!

Maybe it's time for you to reconnect with an old friend. There is no better way to brighten that smile, and lighten your heart, than to reminisce with an old friend.

 Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” ― John Lennon  

 Have a wonderful Wednesday!


***Thank you so much for visiting The Lavender Bouquet. See you on Foodie Friday as we will 
feature a meatless dish in honor of the Lenten Season.

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's Mod Podge Monday.......Check out our DIY Vases & Springtime Placesetting!

My husband and I traveled to our Florida house this weekend. A little change of scenery from the snowscapes to the beautiful palm trees and 80 degree weather has been wonderful.  Not only did we get to see our Florida friends, but we also got to spend a few days with old friends from our Perrysburg, Ohio days. I think it is safe to say, a good time was had by all!

Whenever I am in the warmth of the South during the winter months, I find myself longing for Spring flowers, and the bright colors of Springtime. With that in mind, I managed to find an interesting DIY project involving Mod Podge. I started with Dollar Store vases.........and one squeeze bottle of Mod Podge from Michaels.

Pour Mod Podge into the vase and swirl it around.  
Swirl to coat entire inside of vase and let dry.
The result is a beautiful sheer pink glossy finish. The actual pink is a bit lighter and more pastel than the photograph.  
I have plans to use these vases with all of my fresh cut flowers up North, but until then I created a Springlike table setting to showcase the vase.  I built this tablesetting using the white Mikasa plate as my foundation, then a Lenox aqua luncheon plate that I purchased in Home Goods in the center, and topped it off with my Noritake wedding china dessert plate. Look at all of that Springtime color!

Now run to Michaels and the Dollar Tree to create your very own easy and colorful vases for your home.

                        Happy Mod Podging.....and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my baby brother!


***Thank you for stopping by The Lavender Bouquet. Feel free to leave us a comment. Please come again!