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March 29, 2016

Easter Celebrating with Family

Last Friday I loaded up a couple of boxes full of some of my Easter decorations and foodie items and we headed downstate to my Mom's for Easter.

The day before was my birthday and my friend Linda from "Life and Linda" had sent me this centerpiece arrangement so I held it up for a picture.  Thank you again Linda!

 A visit to my Mom's has to include going to my favorite garden center on Saturday.  The temps were comfortable with plenty of sunshine too!  This was a display near the entrance with pansies and forsythia shrubs ready to burst with color!  That's a weeping pussy willow on the right.

I picked up two Easter Lilies for my Mom.   I made that Bunny arrangement on the stereo cabinet for Mom several years ago.  She keeps it out year round.

Flowers for Mom "post"

That evening Dan and I had dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant and topped it off with a cream cheese cake that they caramelized and it reminded me of Creme Brûlée.

We went outside and were greeted to a beautiful evening- just a tad crisp but the air felt clear and refreshing.  The evening sky was gorgeous and I got a chance to visit Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn.  

Easter morning I was up and at it early.  I made the potato salad and had it in the fridge before 9 a.m.  This year our plan was for baked beans, potato salad, mandarin salad, a fresh vege plate, dinner rolls, punch and dessert.  

 I set up the dining table with an arrangement of things I brought from home.  Some of you who follow me may remember the little baskets I put together as shown "here".  They ended up working quite well for the arrangement.

I had this combo of yellow and deep pink colors in mind for my color scheme.  On a return trip to Pier 1 I spotted these paper plates and napkins and decided to use them since they had the right colors too.

A while back I spotted this egg platter at T.J. Maxx.  My niece always makes deviled eggs so we loaded it with them when she arrived.

I also discovered these cute little carrots at Pier 1.  I placed them around on each layer with the bunnies.

 I also picked up these decorated eggs and ended up hanging them on the different tiers of the display stand.

The candle votives came from Pier 1 a couple of years ago and Mr. Bunny with the cart was also from a few years back.

After I took these pictures I added more place settings but I had to add green placemats and different white plates.  We had 10 at the table and 4 more sitting elsewhere with tv trays.

My niece Katie and her daughter Audra.  She's the only little one in the family right now and she's a little darling!  

I use the kitchen table for buffet serving.  This was a bit before all the rest of the food arrived and was placed.  I brought 2 dozen frosted butter cookies that were gobbled up quickly.  Everyone was hungry and one of my sister's is notoriously late so we were hungry!  She recently had knee surgery so we couldn't complain.

There was a misunderstanding and two of us made potato salad.  My niece (who's our jokester) quickly tossed together this "Make Potato Salad Great Again - You decide A or B" voting ballot.  LOL… Let's just say there was a lot of leftover potato salad!

Sister Jen made this cake up.  I believe she saw the image on Pinterest and used the inspiration for hers. It was a homemade double chocolate cake and delicious!

Can you see the little yellow easter bunnies on the left and right.  They're made of butter!  I saw them at the store and brought them along too.  

A candid shot at the table later on.  John, Jen and Donna

A few minutes after I finished eating I went to help in the kitchen and the front panel of the silverware drawer fell off and landed on my big toe.  It was a bizarre moment and made for a strange end to the day.  Sorry my feet aren't delicate and groomed!  I am very lucky it didn't break the toe.  It landed at the edge of the nail and left a gash but it's going to be ok.

Monday morning I put the table back together like it normally is.  I left the baskets down with Mom.  It's good to be back home but now I have to package up the Easter decorations.  Time to pay homage to spring!


March 24, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me and Happy Easter to You!

Everyone has been complaining because Easter seems too early this year but I've always enjoyed it when it's in March because it's close to my birthday.  I think it's because I associate Easter with Spring and that gives me the sense of renewal which reignites my optimism!  Of course as a child I think it just felt more festive with Easter bunnies and birthday cake!

1964 with two of my sisters
An after church pose at home. This picture cracks me up because of the look on my face.  I remember that bright green alligator with pink trim which was one of my birthday gifts.  I figured out that my birthday has been close to Easter 15 times in my lifetime (using the month of March as my marker) and that particular year it was within 5 days.  The last time it was actually on March 24th was in 1940 and the next time isn't going to be until 2391 which I know I won't be around for!

Fast forward a whole bunch of years to the present!
Dan and I were up in Petoskey and discovered a new "favorite" place for me to go called 
Monarch Garden and Floral Design  

They are a florist shop extraordinaire. There are loads of faux plants like ferns, moss, ivy, florals, as well as pottery, accessories and natural plants and flowers.  They are the kind of florist that puts together unique one of a kind arrangements.

We both spotted this lantern/conservatory at the same time.  It was empty but my mind started running with ideas of how to decorate it.  I didn't want to leave there without finding some accents since they had so many to choose from.  The owner said they change things out color schemes 5 times a year so that's pretty exciting!

I started out with the tall finial type piece that I spotted and when the owner and I started chatting he found the ferns that I was looking for and the pot to put them in.  I found the bird and asked about moss and he brought out three different kinds and I went with the reindeer moss.  I had some small stones at home (but I need more) that I added once I assembled it.

There are two ways to open this. The top is hinged and opens up so you could reach right inside as well as a door on the front panel.  

My first instincts were to create this kind of look but you could also set it up with a large candle.

We both loved the detail it has and agreed we hadn't seen one like it before. We stuffed a toothpick into the side where the handle goes into the little ball to keep the handle upright.

The sun popped through so I took another shot.

I moved Mr. Easter bunny over here too!

I switched from a wax tea light to a flameless tea light to enjoy in the evenings.

So that's my birthday gift from Dan and I love it!

We're going to have an Easter gathering at my Mom's.  I'm working on ideas for setting up the dining table.  I've got some thoughts brewing but I haven't settled on anything yet. 
 This is a link to our 2014 gathering "here".  My niece made the cake for Easter and stuck a little Happy Birthday tag in there for me!

Happy Birthday to me and Happy Easter to you!

March 22, 2016

Spring Fever - Living Room Shuffle

Well I just had to do something! 
It's only 42 deg. outside although the sun is out and it makes it appear like it's much warmer it's a bit chilly to do much.

The biggest thing was moving the sofa and the striped chest over here making an angle facing the tv.

I put the game table here where the striped chest was.  

The Étagère pretty well stays in place here all the time.  I put a little bed down inside the basket and one of my kitties loves it!

In front of the sofa I have a new cloche on the tray.  I got an offer from Balsam Hill with a good markdown on these antique brass accented cloches along with free shipping.  I got the 11" one but there are two larger sizes- the tallest one is 24.5" tall!  These are really made well.  The whole bottom of the base is covered with a nice quality velvet and they have a good weight to them.

I moved the bunny rabbit that was here over by the fireplace.  I put my little clock underneath for now- haven't gotten any other ideas for it yet but you know how that goes.  I had the little ceramic leaf with bird for some time but never brought it out in this room.  

 The two leather recliners were given opposing positions across the room from each other.

Dan can sit over here with less in the way now.  He's an audiophile and loves to listen to music.  In the evenings he uses headphones so I can watch tv.  The way I had it before he had to navigate around a much larger area with his cord the included two chairs and an end table so I decided to give him his own little unobstructed spot.  In fact that was the real inspiration for the change in the layout.

You can see here how the chairs and the sofa were before when I did this arrangement back in February.

He's got it all to himself now.  I hope he likes it when he gets home!

So that's my Spring Fever-Living Room Shuffle!

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