Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TRENDING WHITE DISHES

Welcome to Wednesday!

Today's all about change in the dining room. Just like our seasons change.....I felt like it was time to change-up the contents of my china cabinet.

I've been paying particular attention to new trends. They appear to be moving away from the traditional china cabinets filled with china and crystal to those filled with more casual collections reflecting much more personal style. I really love this idea!

You only get one first chance to wow your guests. Keeping that in mind I've got both the dining and living rooms that are open to the 2-story foyer. Because of all of these rooms melding together I was careful not to make things too busy in the cabinet.

First I removed everything and replaced it with some of my white Mikassa French Countryside pieces. Just by doing this the cabinet is taking on a much more casual feel.









Then I scoured my house for other white pieces that I've collected over the years from Homegoods and other stores. I added in a few fallish items, keeping it pretty simple.












I always like a bit of shine! The silver candy dish above was a thrift store find and the silver trivet that it's sitting on was one of my birthday gifts from my sister and brother-in-law.






While back in WNY a trip to j Ellen Goods resulted in this purchase. I LOVE this little sugar bowl beauty! At first I thought I would polish it, but I much prefer to think that the tarnished look gives it character. I wonder where this little guy originated from? Whose table did he grace all those years ago?



Because my china cabinet has grill decorated doors, placement of the interior items has to be strategically displayed so that they may be seen when the doors are closed. By adding crystal candlestick holders topped with cute little silver pumpkins.....a little glamour was introduced.



A touch of mercury glass adds a bit more shine too!



With the doors open you have full view of another way to display items without the grills blocking the view.


By rotating a few things around....everything is now in full view even with the doors closed. When the cabinet is lit everything is more visible in the evening too.



The wedding china is put away for a while and the casual, crisp, clean Mikassa has taken it's place.

I'm happy........I think change is good! What do you think?
Now go make some fun changes in your house and tell us all about what you've done.

Have a wonderful day!

Kathleen

***See you on Foodie Friday for a delightful seasonal dish!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

FALL HAS ARRIVED AT OUR HOUSE!

 Good Morning Friends!

I hope your weekend was a good one. We had a nice relaxing couple of days.

A few weeks ago hubby and I made the trek to the garden centers and picked up some mums, pumpkins and gourds. Today I'm sharing the front of our house that's now  Fall ready!


Every year I try to change the decor up a bit. I'm still a fan of using the typical Fall colors. But this year I added a simple copper lantern filled with Stargazer lights to the mix.



To give you an idea of how beautiful the lantern glows in the evening.....I snapped this pic.



The light from the copper lantern projects over the porch and sidewalk. The lights inside the lantern are called Stargazer lights. I purchased the light strings and Copper lantern on our recent trip to Terrain in Glen Mills, PA. 
(http://www.shopterrain.com/glen-mills/)




Using purple fountain grasses at the back side of my pots adds a nice height to them. I love the airy feel of the grasses as they sway in the breeze. The colorful mums add just the right amount of color to the mix.



The monogram pumpkin shown here I made last year. It's quite simple. I used a stencil to trace the letter and then used a fine paint brush dipped in black paint to fill in the outline.

The wrought iron hanger that the pumpkin is hanging from is actually a rod that goes through the pumpkin with special washers at the end. We purchased this at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY from 1st Creations

Here is the direct link where you may order them -----they are called flower pot hangers. (http://fuerstcreations.com/store/garden.html)



I like to use 3 colors when I decorate for Fall. This year my cushion mums are yellow, rust and a ruby pink color. Similiar to some of the Fall foliage we will shortly begin seeing.

Well, that's it for outside Fall decor at our house. How are you coming along on your decorating? What color is your favorite mum?

I hope you've enjoyed the photos of the Arrival of Fall at our house. 

Don't forget to stop back on Foodie Friday!

Kathleen

****Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

YUMMY CARAMEL APPLE BARS

Welcome to Foodie Friday my friends!

Our area apple orchards are abuzz with apple picking right now. The harvest festivals with "everything apple" are all around us. I love this season.......and can I tell you how much I love apples? How about you, are you excited about fresh delicious apples? 

I'm afraid my enthusiasm for apples has me blogging about another apple recipe. There's something about apple and caramel that appears to be on my radar this season. 

I found a recipe for Caramel Apple Bars. What I love about these bar cookies is that the topping reminds me of the center of an apple pie...soft and moist with a touch of cinnamon.

The recipe starts out with a bottom crust made with oats, flour, cinnamon and other goodies which is baked.



The crust layer is then topped with a caramel and heavy cream mixture. Last but not least a delicious fresh apple layer sprinkled with 1/2 cup of the reserved crust ingredients. 



And then it is re-baked till golden brown.


Don't they look delish? And the combination of the soft chunky apple mixture with the crunchy caramel crust...YUM! What a great Fall combination.

You may find the recipe here:
http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2012/09/caramel-apple-bars/

I hope you enjoyed today's blog. What are some of your favorite apple recipes.....please feel free to share with us we'd love to hear from you. 

Our blog and FACEBOOK page THE LAVENDER BOUQUET have so many new friends......we'd like to say WELCOME

Please stop by for a visit anytime and tell your friends!  If you'd like to receive our blog via email, simply go to:  http://thelavenderbouquet.blogspot.com and add your name in the email box located on the right hand side. You will be prompted to verify your request by word verification. Then the blog will be delivered directly to your email account every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

May your weekend be filled with the warmth and sunshine of a beautiful Fall day!


Kathleen

*****JOIN US MONDAY AS WE SHARE OUR OUTDOOR FALL DECOR!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FALL IN THE DINING ROOM


Welcome to Wednesday!

Pull up a chair and please join me in the dining room as I share our Fall Dining Room Decor........


The sun was shining brightly today adding to the shiny effect on my DIY pumpkin. A simple faux white pumpkin sprayed a beautiful shade of gold is transformed into this gem. An additional small and easy touch, the initial of our last name, was added using shiny silver thumb tacks on the pumpkin. 


The natural fall touches of garland, leaves and pheasant feathers added just the right amount of fall color and texture.





If you haven't been to our Facebook page recently you may not be aware of one of my new obesssions....the app Waterlogue!  With this app you are able to turn any photo into a beautiful watercolor masterpiece like above. Give it a try...it's so fun!

The shimmer of candlelight and the glow of the chandelier bring a warm inviting ambiance to the room. A nice touch as guests enter our foyer located just off the dining room.



The addition of the rich dark wood candlesticks from Pottery Barn were just what the table needed to anchor the setting. They provide the richness that only a beautiful wood can provide. The table runner is also from Pottery Barn a couple years ago. I found the candles at Homegoods last year and have been waiting for the perfect time to use them. They have a burlap woven look, antiqued with black and gold.

For me it's all about the simple elegance......a bit of shine, a deep rich wood and natural elements that ground the space with very little effort. The centerpiece could easily be incorporated into a fall tablescape.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit to our home. 

Have a great day!

Kathleen

***Thanks so much for stopping by!





Sunday, September 21, 2014

AMAZING TRIP TO TERRAIN HOME/GARDEN

Welcome to Monday!

I hope your weekend was relaxing. We had great weather here in the northeast. Hubby and I have each started a list of things we would like to see within driving distance of our home. This weekend was my choice.

Fellow blogger Janet, from Rosemary & Thyme ( http://rosemary-thyme.blogspot.com/) had mentioned how lovely the garden center/home store at TERRAIN was. I was hooked as soon as I saw Janet's photos so we drove to Glens Mills, PA to check it out.

I honestly, don't know where to start. Because words cannot describe the jaw dropping beauty and creativity.... grab your coffee and browse the photos from our day at Terrain!




This room  above with the long tables accommodates weddings and parties!


Did you ever see a peanut pumpkin----top left.


And the House and Home center.........to die for! I bought the lantern in the center with the Stargazer lights.....you'll see where I put it in a future blog!





There is a full restaurant (right side photo) in a beautiful greenhouse like setting. You need a reservation for lunch it's so busy. We grabbed a sandwich and salad at the Garden cafe from the sweet barista above. 



Tablescapes were abundant and gorgeous---incorporating natural elements of burlap and rusty urns with gorgeous plates and napkins.


One of the hottest things on the market right now. Some of the slices of wood were petrified and actually looked and felt like granite.



Of course I had to photograph the blue and white tablescape. So hot on my list!



I'm in love with the llse Jacobsen rain boots from Denmark. I love the orange!!

Well, I hope I haven't bored you with my enthusiasm for TERRAIN! 
()http://www.shopterrain.com/)

As you can imagine I highly recommend making the trek........the eye candy is amazing and the shopping outstanding! Many thanks to Janet!!

Have a wonderful day!

Kathleen

****Don't forget to stop back on Wednesday for FALL IN THE DINING ROOM!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TASTES AND SCENTS OF AUTUMN

Welcome to Foodie Friday!

Autumn or Fall, as many say, is upon us....only 4 more days until it's officially here! Our local weather reports that by next week here in the northeast we will be experiencing that first real bite of Autumn.

I love to bake this time of year. I'm so glad that my hubby's office loves baked goods or I'd have to double up on the daily workouts!

Today's blog is all about tastes and scents of Fall starting with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread and ending with my favorite Williams Sonoma Mulling Spices.

My interest peaked when I saw the recipe for this unique bread. They had me at the cream cheese center, but then topped it with a cinnamon glaze.....this was too luscious to pass up.  It's a nice twist on an already delicious fall bread.

 Step #1
-Prepare the bread batter according to the recipe. Pour half of the batter into two prepared loaf pans.

Step #2
-Prepare cream cheese filling according to the recipe.

Step #3
-Drop three spoonfuls of cream cheese into each pan.

Step #4
-Swirl the cream cheese with a knife through the batter.


Step #5
-Bake and cool.


Recipe may be found here:

http://nancycreative.com/2010/10/08/pumpkin-cream-cheese-bread/

Step #6
-Drizzle with cinnamon glaze.



If you don't have time to bake there is another way that your home can smell just as wonderful. It's using mulling spices.


Williams Sonoma sells Classic Mulling Spices that may be added to cider or wine and brought to a simmer. The fragrance and taste is full of their signature blend of spices and citrus peel. It makes you want to curl up by the fireside with your favorite blanket and a good book!

Nothing says "WELCOME TO FALL" folks like a warm glass of mulled cider or wine. Wishing you a wonderful weekend filled with everything that makes you feel warm and cozy!

Kathleen

***Sharing on Monday our beautiful trip filled with gorgeous eye candy and lots of Fall decor ideas! You won't want to miss this FALL EXTRAVAGANZA!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

PRESERVING PUMPKINS & GOURDS


Welcome to Wednesday!

Our weather has been so fantastic lately I find myself wanting to spend more and more time outside. Temps in the 70's are such a sweet spot for me.

I'm afraid I've been bitten by the Fall bug a bit early this year. I'm ready for the beautiful displays of color that only Fall can provide, so..........

I ventured out last week to my two favorite garden/nursery centers and bought mums, gourds and pumpkins. I've always felt a little frivilous when purchasing a bunch of pumpkins and gourds only to have them rot or get eaten by wildlife before Thanksgiving. Let's face it, some of the prices can get a little bit crazy. Usually I would be hesitant to purchase them so early, but this year I came across a way to extend their life (I hope), to preserve them....until Thanksgiving!



This is the first year I'm trying this process, but it sure sounded like a winner and worth trying. 

What you will need:

-Bleach and water
-Dobie scrubber (or something similar)
-Clear lacquer sealant spray

Step #1:
Wash pumpkins and gourds in a solution of water and bleach. 
Scrub with a soft pad, like a Dobie pad so as not to scratch
the pumpkins or gourds.

Step#2:
Dry them off with a towel and lay in the sun for the remaining dry time.




Step #3:
Coat each pumpkin or gourd with 2 coats of lacquer. Let dry thoroughly and enjoy for the season!


Have you ever had an issue with rotten, moldy gourds or pumpkins like me? You may want to give this little trick a try!

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

Kathleen

***Please join us on Foodie Friday for a special Fall treat. Thanks for stopping by!

 






Sunday, September 14, 2014

GOLDEN FALL MANTEL

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Today's blog is all about how a simple decoupaged pumpkin can turn a mantel into a Golden Fall vision


The Caspari cocktail napkins actually set the color pallette for me.....gold, crimson and orange. I'm such a fan of those 
colors in the fall. 


The mantel is tall and a bit wide, sometimes making it difficult to photograph in it's entirety. This view is the center of the mantel. Of course the decoupaged pumpkin takes centerstage. Easy drapped fall garland, leaves, mercury glass vases filled with golden pinecones, and golden spray painted mini pumpkins complete the center. 

Note the golden pumpkin on the left. Isn't it pretty? I love all of the textureThat little guy came from my favorite Dollar Tree store and used to look like this.......








After a good coat of gold spray paint he looks like this.......I love how the texture is accentuated by just giving it a shiny coat of paint.


Here's a side peek with the candlestick. I took advantage of the Pottery Barn sale last week and bought a pair of Theroux candlesticks. I love the timeless style and the bands of silver shine to them.


  
It's hard to believe that the mantel inspiration actually began with a napkin. Even the simplest things can give us inspiration to create something beautiful! Never underestimate the power of a napkin!


Wishing you a beautiful day!


Kathleen

See you on Wednesday!