Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Thinking ahead to Christmas! life has been all things "wedding" for quite some time. I must say it was a simply glorious day when our middle daughter was married, and now we have a new "son-in law" that we adore. But we won't be a family of "6," very long! Soon after the New Year we will be a family of "7!" Our oldest daughter is pregnant with our first grandchild.....2018 is going to be a busy busy year for us! We are blessed with a new son-in-law AND we are going to be grandparents for the first time! How exciting is that?

Since we've been in celebration mode, I decided that hubby and I should host a Holiday
Cocktail party at our new home. I must be crazy, but I decided to keep the good vibes rolling!

We built our home on a cul-de-sac street of 16 homes last year. Currently there are 15 homes now occupied. I was thinking what better way to meet the neighbors than to host a party....and what better time of year to do so! So we set the date for December 9th. 

I've nearly completed the inside decorating for Christmas except for the "live" tree that we will grab early next week. It's a bit early for a fresh tree here in Texas. I do want some needles left by Christmas!  I'm waiting for hubby who has been away on business to assist with the outdoor decor, so in the meantime I've been decorating inside and  planning food and drinks for the party. I'll be sharing all of my ideas with you in an upcoming blog.

Until then....take a peek at some of the Christmas decorations I've completed!

Have a wonderful weekend.......see you next week!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Happy Wednesday TLB friends,

I hope you all had a great weekend! Hubby and I just got back from a whirlwind few days filled with all kinds of wedding bliss! Our daughter's wedding was last Saturday in Charleston, SC. It was a sunny day filled with so much love and happiness, we're still floating on "cloud nine!"

There were so many personal touches on the wedding I thought I would share some of them with you today and in upcoming blogs. Today's feature is their "Welcome Box." Each guest was greeted by a special gable box either when they checked in to the hotel lobby or when they visited the wedding Hospitality suite.

Since this was a destination wedding, everyone was from out of town. The grooms parents graciously hosted the Hospitality suite in the hotel which gave our guests a place to stop and say hello, grab a quick lunch and an adult beverage, and be on their way.

The Welcome boxes........

Attached to the handle of the Gable Welcome box was a Palmetto Rose and a Welcome label that read:

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina

We are so excited you're joining us this weekend! While you are in town, we hope you
get to experience all that Charleston has to offer. Please see the reverse side for more 
details. In the Welcome Box, you'll see we chose to include a few things that represent
our lives, and a couple things to help you through the weekend.

A "B" family tradition from the state the "B's" lived in the longest.
From "N's" home state.
From the place we met and live.
These wafers are local to Charleston and are
thought to bring good luck!
Another Charleston tradition; the roses are made from
Palmetto leaves and symbolize eternal love.
This is your meal ticket for Sunday brunch.

"H" & "N"

(contents of box)

On the reverse side of the Welcome tag was the Weekend Itinerary for the guests to follow.

The following are some of the vendors that we used and would highly recommend:

6. Virginia Peanuts-gift of the grooms family.

7.  North Carolina State Cookie-private NC baker.

8.  Palmetto Rose-

9. Official Charleston Visitors Guide-ordered FREE of charge from the Chamber of Commerce.

I hope you've enjoyed today's blog and it gives you ideas on what to put in your "Welcome boxes" at your weddings. I'll be posting more wedding ideas in the coming weeks!

Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, November 2, 2017


Things sure have been busy at my house! I didn't have much time to decorate for Fall or Halloween, but did manage to get a bit of color in! Stop on over for a peek..... 

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Hello TLB friends,

I'm a New York girl and my heart will always hold a special fondness for the state I was born and grew up in. So when I got married and we started relocating around the US for my husband's jobs, I had some weather acclimating to do. As a northern girl my favorite season was Fall. For me, there is nothing like those crisp Fall days. Taking a trip to the apple orchards and coming home with fresh apples, cider, gourds and such a fond memory expecially now because our current state we call home is Texas where it seems much to warm to be Fall.

But.....yesterday hubby and I recevied a box from our youngest daughter who lives in Chicago. She made her annual trip to the apple orchards in Indiana and sent us a box full of "LOVE from the Heartland," apples, cider donuts, and homemade raisin bread! All reminders from my NY childhood.

We sampled one donut yesterday and had delicious raisin bread this morning for breakfast. Of course the Honey Crisp apples, which are hubby's favorites, are going to make a delighful afternoon snack today!

Do you have days where you long for foods from your childhood? Please share with us!

                            Wishing you a wonderful day filled with fond  FALL memories!


Friday, September 15, 2017



Our weather has been so fantastic lately I find myself wanting to spend more and more time outside. Temps in the mornings in the mid 60's and by afternoon low 80's. These temps are such a sweet spot for me. I love them!

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. 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!

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.

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 weekend!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Sending thoughts and prayers.........

to ALL that have been affected by the storms that have ravaged our country and elsewhere. My family is safe and our home's are in tact, but many others are not as fortunate.

Let's stay STRONG together as we wade through the path of destruction putting the pieces back together.

The power of FAITH will guide us through!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Hello TLB's blog started with over ripe bananas and special memories! Come on over......

Monday, July 10, 2017


What a busy weekend! Hubby and I hopped on a plane and headed East to our daughter and son-in-law to be's Bridal shower and Engagement party. The weather was beautiful during the day for the shower, but decided to rain a bit during the Engagement party. Spirits were not dampened by the rain. We were so excited to celebrate this very special time in our daughter and son-in-law to be's life!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Hello TLB friends,

I hope life has been well with all of you, and I'm so glad you are back for a visit today! Things have been pretty busy around our house. As many of you know hubby and I have three daughters. Recently our middle daughter became engaged to a wonderful man. They set their date in November, and it will be in Charleston, SC. Of course I had to include a photo of the happy couple.........

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Life sure has a way of passing by when you are busy! The past 3 weeks I have been on 8 airplanes! There's been no time for brainstorming what my next blog will be, when we have a wedding to plan!

I've been with my daughter in Charleston making selections so that she and her fiance could sign all of their contracts for their Fall wedding, and of course at the Florida house for the Spring cleanup. Busy times!

After coming home from beautiful warm states that are prolific with colorful flowers......our house an Texas seemed a bit drab inside. It only took one quick trip to the grocery store floral department and for less than $20.00 things began looking much more springlike

Variegated cream and red Hyrdrangeas, red Mini Carnations and  green Solidago bunches
added just the right amount of "Happy Spring" to the house.

If you need a quick pick me up for your home......head on over to your local grocery
store and pick up a bright beautiful bouquet that is sure to add a bit of "Happy Spring" 
to your home too!

Have a colorful day!

Don't forget to follow The Lavender Bouquet on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK!

Friday, April 28, 2017


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 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:

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:


  • 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 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:

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Welcome to Tuesday TLB friends,

In today's blog I'd like to share what happened in the case of the "foggy" island lantern lights!  As I mentioned in a previous blog I was struggling with the foggy look that plagued the new island lights within a week of cleaning them. I tried everything that was recommended to me. Initially, they would sparkle, but in less than a week they would look like the light  below. 

So I decided to contact our lighting company who contacted the manufacturer, they offered
their advice which I had already tried. In the end the store called me and asked me to make another selection because nothing was working for us and they were out of ideas.

This time I was a little shy when it came to selecting anything with glass in it. So the new lantern light you see below is my new choice. We replaced both of the lights with the new lantern (open) style lights.  Now all I have to do is dust them!

The look is quite different, but we really have grown to like it just as much as our original choice.

Lesson learned......don't give up! These type of home selections are costly and we should
always be happy in the end with what we have chosen!

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, April 21, 2017


Welcome to Foodie Friday TLB friends!

In today's blog I am sharing a very special moment with my youngest daughter who knows
how crazy I am about Ina Garten! She hosted one of my favorite Food Network cooking shows, and I have every cookbook she has ever written!

My daughter surprised me with tickets to "An Evening with Ina Garten-The Barefoot Contessa," at the Rosemont Theatre in Illinois. It was a very special mother/daughter evening that I will never forget! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Hello TLB friends!

I hope you have all been well and are ready to enjoy the beautiful Springtime weather!
I was able to spend some time at our Florida home for a while, but now I'm back in Texas 
with SPRING landscaping on the brain!

The builder's landscaping package is usually less than stellar, and ours was no different. 
The photo below reflects some of the plants that were spread throughout our front landscape beds. In the foreground is Indian Hawthorne, which is heat tolerant, requires little maintenance, and will have pink flowers on it. The shrubs closest to the house foundation are called Nellie Stevens Holley, and they will make a beautiful hedge under the garage windows and are great for privacy in areas as well. They also have Nellie Stevens Holley trees that are quite beautiful and hardy.

After determining what shrubs to keep, I dug up the Holly and the Hawthorne and strategically spaced them so that similar items were next to each other in a pattern giving them the space that would allow the growth they required as they matured.

(Front right side)

Below, in the back row starting at the left, is my husband's choice, a Teddy Bear Magnolia Tree. We have "3" that will anchor each side of the front beds, and one that will be planted in the center. These trees will grow approximately 20 feet high and 12 feet wide and will flower from May-November. There is nothing like the fragrance of a Magnolia!

Along the foundation are Needlepoint Holly's. We will eventually trim these into a hedge
under the study window.

In the center of the bed is a shrub that our landscaper recommended as being quite hardy,
Cherry Blast Loropetalum. It is a compact burgundy shrub that will have bright red fringe like flowers in the Spring and stands up against the heat of the Texas summers. 

In the front row is another shrub I salvaged from the builders selections. It is called
Dwarf Yaupon Holly. It is a dwarf compact holly with tiny shiny leaves. We will keep these trimmed into small mounds at the front of the beds. 

(Left side front of house) 

In the photo below right, is a Crepe Myrtle tree that I salvaged from the builder collection. Just a little trimming keeps the shape compact. It will blossom with white flowers in May.

Below is a drip line that is buried in all of our landscaping beds controlled at our Irrigation box.  I call it my God send." Who knew a perforated copper pipe could make life so much easier? My Mom and sister would LOVE this!

We chose black mulch to compliment the black wrought iron accents on the house, columns, fence and front door design.

The two red rose bushes in the background below are Knock Out roses that bloom profusely through the heat. They will grow into about a 4 foot diameter of color. In the background, are "2" urns on each side of the single car garage. In each urn is a red Hibiscus topiary adding a pop of color to the otherwise dull concrete driveway.

The columns were a vision I had....have you ever had one of those? One Sunday after mass I had hubby driving around subdivisions looking for ideas......he was such a good sport about it.  What we found was that the columns we saw had stone that matched the front of the homes. So we added the wrought iron pattern to tie in the Juliet balcony's on our second level and a very traditional wrought iron lantern light. 

It dressed up the front of our home, creating an elegant inviting appearance.  Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.....and it is so rewarding! You don't have to have a large double door entry or porch to create a beautiful entrance....just get creative!

I chose simple white petunias to line the walk way to the front door and added a touches of Lobelia (Riviera) as a low ground cover of accent color. The petunias will grow together and present a sea of white color as the season progresses and the added touch of the deep purple Lobelia will be stunning.

The porch urn has a tiny red Petunia vine and a white lacey plant that is new to me, called Diamond Delight. It resembles the softness of Alyssum, but in a mound form that spills over the urn edge. Also a new plant to me is the center plant in the urn. I usually plant a green spike plant of some kind, but the gentlemen at the Flower Barn recommended this new red and green.....that will grow taller and give the urn the height I need in the corner. I'm excited to see it unfold. Trying something new can be so fun!

I found myself using black and white throughout the whole front of the house scheme this year quite by accident,  I even brought out the black and white stripe pillows from the New Jersey house to add a little warmth to the bench on the porch.

  The bench is from Grandin Road and the lantern from Pottery Barn.

This project was a labor of love and so rewarding! I actually need to replace my planting kneeling pad!  I hope you enjoyed following along today. 

Don't forget TLB will be back every Tuesday and Friday. This week I've got an awesome salad recipe that you won't want to miss!

Thanks for joining me today..........

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DIY--Dollar Tree Valentine Wreath & FREE Bookmark!

Last week I decided to take a trip to my favorite Dollar Tree to see what seasonal items they had on their shelves. I browsed every aisle looking for items I could use to make an inexpensive Valentine wreath. I spent $5.00, and came home with the following items......I even have extra hearts and clothes line leftover!

My idea was to wrap the clothesline around the wreath giving it a nice red and white color.

Oh sooooo easy, and not a bad little splash of red for Valentines Day! After I wound the clothesline around the styrofoam, I glued the hearts on, made the bow out of some extra straw ribbon I had from a previous project, and glued the back of the wreath to a paper heart. Hanging it is painless with a 3M hook. Total time to make this.......20 minutes!

I happened to be browsing some ideas on the internet a few weeks ago and found another idea. I am forever turning the pages down on my books to mark a page. This FREE idea is so easy. I went to WalMart and grabbed some paint chips in the pink family. I purchased a set of craft punches with different images on them. (I know I will use these again.)  I punched each color on the chip strip with the heart punch, and then tied a ribbon to the end. The ribbon was left over from another project. Easy, FREE and now I won't ruin the pages in my books.

It doesn't have to break the bank to add a bit of festive to your home on these special days. I hope you have enjoyed my projects today and have inspired you to head to Dollar Tree for your own creation.

Wishing you a crafty day,


Thanks for stopping by The Lavender Bouquet. Feel free to share your comments with us in the Comments box.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


It's that time of year when everywhere we look there are commercials, magazine articles and morning TV segments all focusing on getting in shape with weight loss, healthy food, and exercise. 

In today's blog I'm featuring two light recipes. One is a slightly sweet cookie recipe Chocolate Chip Kale Cookies, and the other is a light Tomato-Tortilla soup recipe that will take the chill off when those cold wintry days hit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Warm Greetings TLB friends!

Thanks for joining me today, it's going to be a great year! Since building the house I've found decorating magazines to be my best friend.

Stop over to see what I've been up to......