{Garden, Home and Party} I need a detective

I debated even posting this, or anything for that matter.  But decided I owed it to my 10 loyal readers to fess up…I’ve lost my creativity.  I can’t find it.  I’ve contacted Holmes and Watson but he’s busy and really feels this is a case that is simply too boring for his skill set.  Great minds must be stimulated!

Garden, Home and Party, I need a detective

 

I mentioned the idea of quitting the blog business to one of my loyal readers (my sweet daughter in law, Sarah) and she reminded me that I said the exact same thing last year around this time.

The truth is, I’ve tried to alter my attitude towards summer and I’ve certainly had a fun one this year.  [Babysitting our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter for 8 days was a highlight]

Garden, Home and Party: I need a detective

Still, in my heart I really hate do not care for the heat of summer (I know its me, its not the season, its me).  I play a waiting game of tolerance until late October, early November, when signs of autumn arrive here in sunny, Southern California.

So without further whining…I’m taking a break.  Tack it on to the already 2 week break I’ve enjoyed and I’ll do my best to return sometime in September. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll return to read whatever I come up with.  I am still always fascinated by anything to do with home enhancement, and take great pleasure in reading so many of the great posts that appear in my mailbox almost daily.  In addition, I have grown quite fond of all of you…my virtual BFF’s.  :-)

xoxo,

Karen

{Party} Recent entertaining and recipes

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Hello sweet readers!  How is your summer going?  Has it been filled with fun and relaxation?

Garden, Home and Party: Easy entertaining, recipe

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I’ve been negligent where the “party” part of my blog is concerned so I thought I’d share a recent menu for a very simple summer barbecue we hosted earlier this month.  When I say simple well,  that might be an understatement.

Menu

Appetizer – we prepared a simple cheese board with crackers, almonds and a couple of cheeses we enjoy

Main Course – Grilled Santa Maria Tri Tip

Orzo Salad

Dessert – Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Cookies with Vanilla Ice Cream

Super simple.  Below is the recipe for the orzo salad.  The Tri Tip we used came from Costco:  Bailey’s Pre-Marinated Tri Tip.  I adapted the orzo recipe from Ina Garten’s recipe for Roasted Shrimp & Orzo.  I knew I wanted to prepare the Santa Maria Tri Tip so I didn’t need the shrimp.  If you would like to see her original recipe it can be found HERE.  The chocolate chip cookie recipe is Nestle’s Toll House recipe with 2 changes.  I used Ghiradelli Bitter Sweet Chocolate Chips and before baking I sprinkled the tiniest pinch of flaked fleur de sel.  The cookies were a hit and our friends thought it was some fancy new recipe.

Garden, Home and Party

Orzo Salad Recipe

 {source for image below}Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipe

Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipe

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We enjoyed appetizers under the trees and when it began to cool down we moved to the dining room for the dinner and dessert.

 Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipe

Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipe

Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipe

Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipe

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*Readers that don’t have a Costco or a Trader Joe’s nearby here’s a recipe for Santa Maria Tri Tip:  http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/santa_maria_style_tri_tip/

Garden, Home and Party: entertaining, easy recipeI wish you a Happy Week during this summer season.  If you have questions concerning the recipe, please email me or leave a comment, I promise to try to answer any and all questions.  I will be taking a bit of time off from blogging as Olivia, our granddaughter, is coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks (oh, and her mommy and daddy will be joining us for one of the two weeks).  

 

{Garden} Inspiration for the garden – Chelsea Flower Show

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RERUN ALERT:  I shared this post at the end of April but I couldn’t resist re-posting so that I could join Anita over at her beautiful blog site Castles Crowns and Cottages, where she’s inviting all of us to share our favorite destination.  England captured my heart years ago and I will share a bit about the Chelsea Flower Show.  I’ve never been but it’s a dream!  Because this post coincided with an eye to spring in the garden I am sharing additional inspiration for creating a pretty garden.  I hope you enjoy and will stop by for a visit sometime. ♥

Garden, Home and Party:  Castles & Crowns linky party

Here we find ourselves on the last day of the month of April (where’s the time going?).  There’s been weeks of activity in the garden if you are an enthusiast and if you happen to live in a climate like my neck of the woods, Southern California.  Gardening is pretty much a year-round hobby here.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

Still, there’s always interest for me to see what others are doing to their own yards and as usual, I gain the inspiration I’m seeking to create a new corner or change out a fledgling flower bed, from fellow blogging friends and international gardens posted on the internet.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{Charlotte Moss}

Garden Home and Party: Garden inspiration

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{Restoring our 1890 Victorian, Victoria Elizabeth Barnes}

Above, I’ve added Helebores to my wish list when they’re available.  Below, don’t you love this clever use of grass and concrete squares.  Not to mention, it would be so great to have an outdoor fireplace.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{5th and State}

Tone on Tone just published a great post on his blue garden, published in Southern Living magazine.  I’ve made a list of blue flowers for my own garden.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{Tone on Tone – Loi’s beautiful blue garden}

Garden, Home and Party: Garden show

This year my friend, Carla, happens to be going to the Chelsea Flower Show (May 20 – 24th). With the show’s 100 year anniversary behind them (2013), I’d guess this year may be an impressive show of innovative and unique gardens.  Maybe it’s that way every year, but I like to think there’s always a wave of extra talent after a big anniversary of something as wonderful as the Chelsea Flower Show.

The first year (1913) Chelsea Flower Show was introduced there were 244 exhibitors, last year there were over 500.  The show attracts over 150,000 visitors each year.  It’s on my bucket list.  I know I’d love it

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{via}

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

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…and for those of you who would like to have their very own follyhere is a company that will build it for you.  They entered the Chelsea Garden Show with this little gem.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration{via}

Since we’re speaking of gardens in England, this past fall the Los Angeles Times travel section featured a list of gardens you can visit more than once per year in England.  The Stone House Garden in Cheltenham, Goucestershire was appealing to me for the home as much as the grounds.  Started by a garden hobbyist, Katie Lukas, she developed her garden on the 2 1/2 acres surrounding her Cotswold home.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{photo by Nan Sterman}

No surprise, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire offers a learning experience in addition to the wonderful gardens presented.  There’s a garden where plants are grouped by the era in which they were introduced to the British Isles.  I selected this image since I was surprised the garden features our own California Poppy!

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

{photo by Nan Sterman}

What would a garden tour be without a garden by a castle?  Broughton Castle, Banbury, Oxfordshire is a 700-year old castle.  There are sheep on the grounds (wouldn’t it be great to look out your window to green rolling hills, dotted with sheep?  {Maybe I’ve seen one too many period piece movies and PBS presentations?} Climbing roses, “lushly planted garden borders” and more, this one is on my list. To read more and to get ideas for your garden visit HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

Garden, Home and Party: Garden inspiration

My own garden can always use a little tweaking.  I hope to work on the area under the bottle brush tree (the red blossoming tree in this picture).  The roots are so prohibitive to digging and such.  I am currently doing some homework on finding plants that need next to nothing but will grow and thrive in spite of adverse conditions.  Any suggestions?

Have you started planning / planting  your garden?  Any new projects on the table?

{Garden, Home and Party} A designer to love…Melissa Ervin

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The internet facilitates a lot of happy connections for fans of any particular activity or subject.  As a design enthusiast, I’m always excited to be introduced to a new [to me] designer.  Sometimes the way I stumble upon them is surprising, although by now it shouldn’t surprise me what can be found online.

That is exactly what happened the other day.  I started my morning with my “must read blog favorites”.   Talk of the House is one that always entertains.  Kelly does a fantastic job sharing wonderful places to visit, things to do, and in this particular post, shared 21 beautiful window boxes.  One of the homes she featured caught my attention and I left my comment with Kelly and went to visit the source for this charming home.

Garden, Home and Party: Designer Missi Erwin

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That link took me to another blog site.  Holly Mathis Interiors.  There I learned that this particular home was on the cover of Southern Living Magazine this past March and Holly provided the link to see the article.  It turns out Holly has been helping the owners with the interior of this home.  If you’d like to see the inside of this charmer, visit HERE.

While viewing the slideshow at Southern Living of this home (above), I found another cottage that looked interesting… {still with me?} I followed that link and met (figuratively speaking) Melissa “Missi” Ervin of Charleston, South Carolina {thank you, Southern Living and all involved on this magical tour of great cottages and a wonderful designer}.

Melissa a native of South Carolina, earned a degree in design from Clemson University.  After graduation, she earned her architectural license while working in the field.  Her passion for interior design deepened while working for several significant interior design firms for a decade before starting her firm, Melissa Ervin Interior Design in 2008.

With her architectural background and her years of design experience, she has a talent for creating timeless beauty in the homes she works on.

For Charleston, South Carolina, Designer Missi Ervin and homeowner Sam Cato, renovating a former horse stable and carriage house in Aiken meant returning the historic cottage to its equestrian roots. – Southern Living

A Horse Stable Turned Cottage from her portfolio and the Southern Living feature is my favorite.  I invite you to visit her site for more wonderful design inspiration.  Enjoy the tour…

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Ervin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Ervin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Ervin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party:  Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party:  Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

Garden, Home and Party: Melissa Erwin

I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Melissa Erwin.  Be sure to visit her site for more of her work.

Karen 

Happy Independence Day ~ 4th of July

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I hope you have plans for a wonderful, restful,  long holiday weekend.  I always consider the 4th of July to be the official start to summer.

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day 2014

Here in Southern California we often endure “June gloom” which means most mornings we wake up to low clouds and fog with the sun breaking through sometime after noon.  July starts the warmer, sun-filled days and temperatures to encourage more outdoor time than indoors.

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Dining outside is routine now through mid-September.  Grilled meats, cobblers and salads fill us until October, when we’re ready for fall /winter meals.

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Tyler Florence :: Ultimate Barbecued Chicken

Garden, Home and Party:  Independence Day

Bobby Flay :: Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Trisha Yearwood :: Easy Peach Cobbler

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

Summer fruit is readily available and the grill becomes the cooking tool of choice.

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

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I love the celebration of Independence Day.  Fireworks, a sense of patriotism and a holiday!

Garden, Home and Party: Independence Day

I hope this Independence Day provides you and yours a relaxing day filled with good food, fun with friends and family and fireworks!

Happy 4th of July

{Home} Essentials…a mailbox

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Sometimes it’s the little things, the essentials of life, that can surprise us with a punch of unexpected design beauty.  Such is the case with the utilitarian mailbox. Here in Southern California, in the newer housing areas, mailboxes are built to house several boxes within one structure, usually situated street-side, in the middle of a row of 4-6 houses.  If you’re lucky enough to live where your mailbox is on your property, sometimes you are required to situate the box curbside to afford the mail man/woman) ease of delivery without leaving his/her vehicle.  We live in an older housing tract where you still have the option of having a mailbox near, or even installed in your front door.

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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As reported of late, the U.S. Postal Service seems to be struggling.  A detailed feature on this topic can be found HERE.

Their [USPS] model has changed with 1st Class mail volumes down over recent years as we simply mail fewer letters and pay more bills via the internet.  The cash cow was dying, and farmer Donahoe came up with plans to ‘trim the herd’ and reduce services, post offices and days of service to reflect living within their revenue stream as required by Congress. -Analog Sherpa

Certain this will date me, I’ll be sad to see mailboxes go away.  Maybe they never will, but if they do, the enjoyment of the written invitation, thank you note, and birthday card will be one step closer to their demise as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the ease of email.  Even texting has served me well.  My longtime friend, Linda, lives on Bainbridge Island, WA while I live in Irvine, CA.  We used to write letters to each other to stay in touch, now hardly a day goes by when we don’t catch up with each other via email.  A great comfort to me as I enjoy her friendship and would be sad if I couldn’t talk to her as frequently.

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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Rather than give any attention to the gloomy prospect of mail actually going the way of the Pony Express, I decided to embrace the beauty of the mailbox.  I’m here to share with you some of the prettiest, and one or two most interesting, if not comical, mailboxes found online.

I have to start with this one…if only there had been one of these in our neighborhood when our sons were wee lads.  They might have written more letters to their grandma in Arizona!

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes{source} 

This is my all-time favorite, in part because it’s red, and because it’s found in my favorite travel destination, England.  The classic British mailbox.  What’s not to love?  You can buy similar mailboxes on line HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, home

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Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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I digress, back to the mailboxes here in the U.S.  I like the dual purpose of this mailbox, it handles mail, newspaper and bonus, a pretty box of flowers. I’ve planted vines around posts that hold mailboxes for clients before, it always dresses up the mailbox a bit.  Maybe even the postman/woman  appreciate a pretty mailbox.

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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The mailbox below is not what first drew me to this image.  Don’t you love the arched door and transom, stone pediment, stone facade, urn, wooden bench and boot scraper…not to mention the little door-side mailbox?!

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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This door, painted a pale Tiffany blue, and the mailbox within the door are great.  One little personal note on mailboxes that go into your house…I’ve always had a just a tiny fear phobia that someone would put something in the slot, like a snake or something.  Maybe I had a dream  nightmare about that once, but I’ve always been timid about putting the slot for mail into my house.

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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I like the idea of the mailbox being painted the same color as the door.  Even though you cannot see the full mailbox, this box looks homemade, appealing for what looks like a stone cottage. {*sigh}

Garden, Home and Party:  essentials, mailboxes

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No words, aside from “yes, please”…

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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The take away is, there are some gorgeous mailboxes out there.  You may have one.  If not, you can buy one.  This one is available on Amazon.

Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

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Garden, Home and Party: essentials, mailboxes

 

What does your mailbox look like?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy

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Saturday, June 21, 6:51 AM officially marks the beginning of summer solstice.  If you visit my blog regularly, it comes as no surprise that as I’ve matured I find summer doesn’t hold as much joy for me as it did when I was in school.  This is attributable to one main fact…I hate really don’t like the heat.   But, a few years back I made up my mind to make the best of every season, to live in the now and be grateful for whatever the hour, day, month, season has to offer.  As opposed to wishing for Autumn sometime around July 15th.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

{Hatfield House}

So, I thought it would be helpful to reinforce my positive attitude towards summer; an exercise to remind me of the joys of each season.  Try to show myself, and you, that I mean what I say.  I am embracing the season of summer!

This will be a little personal, since not everyone feels the same about summer’s features/benefits, but hopefully there will be a few images that make you happy for this upcoming season.  In fact, I hope you’ll share with me what you love most about summer, maybe some of your summer-joy will rub off on me.

 

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Summer vegetables, especially if you’re able to grow them in your own backyard.  If life were perfect I’d have a vegetable plot like the above, but in reality I don’t have enough sun to grow more than herbs.  If I had more sun, this planter below would be my speed.  I like the simplicity of it.  Function over form?!

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Outdoor living.  After most of us have been trapped indoors for several months due to weather, we all long to be outdoors, right?  It’s the juxtaposition of the seasons that make us appreciate the change in weather.  Whether you’re enjoying the shade of a tree with a cool beverage, or sitting on a porch swing watching the world [or neighbors] go by, summer creates the ideal climate (most of the time) to slow down and smell the barbecue.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

Garden, Home and Party: Summer assets

{design chic}

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Outdoor Dining.  Ahhh, one of the best things about summer for me is dining al fresco.  We are fortunate to have a minimal number of bugs, i.e. mosquitoes, so we can enjoy the cooler evenings outside on the patio.  What is it about eating outdoors that feels so special?  I don’t know, but I love it.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Pools and Picnics.  I don’t get the opportunity to do either of these activities often enough, but they are a strong symbol of summer’s potential for me.  We’ll be hitting the pool in our community when our granddaughter visits in August, and we may pack a picnic or two during that same time.  Even if it’s in the backyard, that’s the beauty of a 3 1/2 year old…they aren’t fussy about the particulars.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

Summer indoors.  I’ve read many a blog post that confirms this:  Most of us like to lighten things up a bit during the warmer months.  I confess, there’s a part of me that wishes I had a second home by a lake or bay.  I would consider using a few wicker pieces and a blue and white color palate.  Stripes would play a roll and I’d probably set some of natures summer bounty around, as accessories.  

Garden, Home and Party: Summer assets

{source}

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Summer plants. One of my favorite things about summer are the plants in gardens, parks and neighborhoods.  Even without blossoms, trees and shrubs usually look happy and healthy.  Who doesn’t love hydrangea?

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets{My good friend, Cayley, her courtyard garden}

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's bounty

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Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

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Indoor plants. I tend to buy more indoor plants during the warmer months.  It seems easier to rotate them around as needed and I can give them some outdoor time on a nice day.  They add so much to a room.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

{source}

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

{source unknown}

Something to sip.  Whether you’re sipping sweet tea, or at day’s end, something stronger, a bar set-up seems summery to me.  I guess I could find a good reason to admire a well laid bar during any season, but these examples are especially summer-like.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

{source}

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets{source}

Read a book, or two! Summer has always seemed an ideal time to put my feet up and read.  I listen to Audible books while working around the house, but I still love a book in my hands, that tactile experience takes me back, and I’m sentimental about that experience.

Garden, Home and Party: Summer's assets

So tell me, what are  your favorite things about Summer?  I wish you a summer filled with all you wish for.

{Party} Wedding bouquets

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As June is traditionally considered the wedding month, I thought I would share some images from our son and daughter-in-laws December 2012 wedding.  I have published posts on the build up HERE and HERE.  Unfortunately, the photographer had to be coerced into finally delivering on the photographs.  We received the full set of pictures in August of 2013.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding bouquets

Rather than share with you a host of pictures, like the overzealous traveler who shows you slides (did I just age myself?  I meant digital images) of their latest vacation, I will show you a few of the pictures and zero in on the topic of wedding bouquets.  Like most brides, my DIL is a talented designer and had a specific vision of how she wanted her wedding to be.  For the reception, the 100 guests were all at one long table, candlelight was used over traditional lighting.  [This is why getting the pictures from the photographer was essential, most photographs taken by friends were taken with a phone and were too dark]

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding bouquets

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding bouquets

DIL’s vision was extraordinary by it’s unique blend of ‘winter wedding meets English castle’  feel to the setting, and thereby all components of the evening. The wedding was staged at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art.  Dinosaurs were abundant.  The wedding ceremony took place in the African Mammal room and the reception took place across the hall in the American Mammal room.  Her attention to detail transported guests and the feel of the rooms was magical.

Sarah’s bouquet complimented the theme, as did her maid of honor and bridesmaid’s bouquets.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding bouquets

{Sarah’s bouquet, held by her mom, during the ceremony.  Note:  The bouquet probably weighed in at 10 lbs or so}

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

{Bridesmaid bouquet}

After seeing the first picture of the wedding (top of post) my bff blog friend, Victoria, suggested I do a post about wedding bouquets {thank you, Victoria}.  I’m always eager to have a suggestion for a post since I’ve been known to have dry spells, creatively speaking.  So here are some beautiful examples of wedding bouquets I found online.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

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In my day the trend in wedding bouquets was all white flowers.  I love the variety of unique plant material that is added to bouquets today,and the color variations of the flowers.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding bouquets

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Ranunculas and Roses, with petite daisies and the sage green leaves of a eucalyptus branch makes for a beautiful bouquet.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

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The beauty of planning a wedding in today’s world is that there are literally thousands, if not millions of ideas floating out there.  Between Pinterest and dozens of blogs dedicated to weddings, you can be inspired and possibly confused by the abundance of ideas.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets{source}

I can imagine using Sunflowers for a late summer / early fall wedding.  I love this bouquet.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

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This bouquet is right up my alley, peonies, roses and ranunculas, all in soft ballet slipper pinks and whites…sigh.  Aren’t they beautiful?!

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

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The lavish use of gardenias, such a delightful choice.  I once heard of a wedding where on all of the windows at the reception hall, there were fresh gardenia wreathes hung.  The fragrance would be fabulous.  Hopefully, none of your guests would have allergies.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

{enchanted forest wedding  photo by Emily Steffen // flowers by Johnny and Dottie via Pinterest}

The tree ferns in the bouquet above give it a magical fairy-like feel.

Garden, Home and Party: Wedding Bouquets

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 I really like the bright orange flowers with dusty miller and the purple thistle in this bouquet.  I also like the diminutive size of the bouquet.

 If you were planning your wedding today, what would your wedding bouquet look like?

 

 

{Garden, Home and Party} Front Doors, a curbside welcome

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Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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Is there anything as inviting as a great front door?  I use the word great because to my way of thinking it doesn’t have to be a grand door to be welcoming.  A simple door to a country home holds as much appeal for me as an European, hand carved beauty {almost}.  Still, I find that when I pass a home with a pretty front door, I begin to imagine a welcoming interior.  I realize this may be a complete fantasy, but it works for me.  {According to my husband (who I met while working at Disneyland) I live in Fantasyland all of the time, he’s right}

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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I love the idea of a screen door to let the cool breeze of summer in, but this screen door is one of the first I’ve seen that looks like it was custom made to enhance this beautiful entry.   In our home we installed a Dutch door to allow the westerly breezes in, fortunately we don’t get too many bugs!

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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A stone facade would be pretty terrific.  Unfortunately, here in Southern California, unless you build a custom home, most of the tract homes, even when semi-customized, don’t have stone surrounds.  The other feature I find noteworthy on this pair of doors is the centered door pulls.  The symmetry of the pulls and panels remind me of the doors you see in London.

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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I like the contrast of the pretty orange door with the white trim and side lights.  I also love the door knocker.  Notice the boot scraper to the right of the front door?  The side lights and dormer are leaded glass, pretty spectacular, don’t you think?

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I lean more towards a cottage over a mansion.  Not that I don’t appreciate a good ol’ historic mansion and would take the opportunity to live in one if offered, preferably in England, please .   The arched door and stone fireplace insist on a cozy interior…could this be Bilbo Baggins home?  I love the roof line.

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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This door has the “wow factor” in spades.  From the fresh apple green paint to the pillars flanking the door, highly polished brass essentials, and the arched frame set in a brick facade…yes, please!

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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If I had a beach house, this is what the door would look like.  It’s a Dutch door, but I love that it has a doggie door in it as well as great looking door hardware. No doorbell needed, just ring the string of bells tied to the right of the frame.

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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Isn’t this amazing?  I imagine this door, and the house mansion attached is located in some incredible, estate-strewn area.  I love the door surround and the subtly of green and white plants.  Curb appeal is taken to an entirely different level in this neighborhood.

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors{source}

To prove my point about cottage vs. mansion.  I could be content in this Southern Living Cottage of the Year.  I’d have to remove that palm, which doesn’t belong in this yard {in my humble landscape preferences opinion}.

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

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Pretty vibrant color but I like the details on the surround that ties it all together.  I don’t remember which tumblr I got this image from but I suspect the door is on a home in another country.  I like the address, painted into the stone crest above the beautifully carved doors.

Garden, Home and Party: Front Doors

This is the front door to our home, photographed in the winter.  I’m thinking there might be a dark blue or black door in our future.  Should I leave the side lights white or paint the doors and side panels, if and when we paint?

 

 

 

{Home} It’s time for favorites

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It seems there are at least a couple times a year when my creative juices dry up.  I have no original ideas for a blog post and the more I try, the harder it becomes.  These blocks have always been temporary, fortunately, but it can be frustrating.  I’m a creature of habit and my habit (and joy) is to post a new blog once a week.  {Compulsive much, Karen? No, why do you ask?}  That’s when I decide to do a “favorites” post.  In my files I am forever finding favorite rooms, favorite pieces of furniture, a kitchen or bathroom that makes me dream of one day having it, even ‘unbelievably cute pictures of animals‘ have their own file.

There’s always blue and white favorites.  As you probably know, there are entire posts dedicated to Blue and White, something I always enjoy. There are link-up parties  dedicated to blue and white beauty in all forms and fashion.  I’ll throw in a couple of my b+w favorites.

Food, don’t get me started, gardens, oh my!  If this kind of post seems like I’m calling it in, its because I am, sort of.  While I search for my creativity this will have to suffice.  If you’re bored by Garden, Home and Party’s idea of great images, I’ll understand.  Hopefully, by next week I’ll have an idea for a new post.  Thank you for your patience.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

So, join me and my dog as we walk through this grouping of favorites.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

For me, England could be home, I love the city and the country life in England.  If I lived in the country I would want my house to be split timber, covered with flowering vines and of course, a cottage garden.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

I’d like a fountain in the yard of my English split timber home, surrounded with ferns and flowering plants (but if these are oleanders {they look like oleanders} I’d have to replace them with hydrangea).

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

This garden might seem a little more French or Italian, than English, but I really like the stone path with the lavender and other plants bordering it.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Any file marked ‘favorites’ will usually include at least a few animal images.  My small dog, Madison, is a mix Border Terrier/Jack Russel Terrier, she has this same look of enthusiasm on her face, especially if she thinks we’re headed out on a walk.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

When there’s a picnic in a peaceful field with a dog nearby, that’s an image that makes the favorites list.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Who can resist this?!

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Mostly, my favorites files include rooms…with lovely furnishings and maybe some old world feel to them.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

 

Isn’t this a great bathroom.  I love the use of the furniture piece, I suspect the paint is new but the wall mounted faucets give the piece such an antique look of authenticity, along with the mirror and sconces.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Well done wall galleries always draw interest.  I realize you can’t really see the gallery on the right, but I can imagine it.  The bell jar lighting, the painting on the left with the art light, all things that make this space a favorite for me.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Buffalo check, a favorite in a room that has so many more formal features create a juxtaposition that I can’t resist.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

…and then there’s blue and white.  Anything done well and then the added attraction of blue and white, I’m sold.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Um, Carolyne Roehm, where can I pick up a couple of these blue and white planters?

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

That’s right, it doesn’t have to be fancy to make the cut.

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

Even these blue and white cupcakes not only look great but are undoubtedly scrumptious, who could resist?

Garden, Home and Party: Favorites

{all images, other than magazine marked pictures, are from tumblr}

Do you keep a favorites file?  What kinds of goodies might I find in it if you were to share?

 

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