A Summer Chinoiserie Tablescape

Before school was out I had a few friends over for lunch.  This was a tradition we started when our kids were in elementary school and knew how busy our summers would be with them underfoot!  Back then we would typically each bring a dish to share at our neighborhood pool but as we've gotten older we opted for a more "refined" lunch.  Ya'll know how I adore a pretty set table so as soon as I scheduled the lunch I went to work on a tablescape!

I wanted a fresh arrangement so I opted for simple...Just a bunch of Baby's Breath.  The vase  holding the Baby's Breath was my 15th wedding anniversary gift!  That Honey is a keeper for sure!

This stack of dishes  makes my happy.  The moment I saw those chargers I knew they were coming home with me!  My love of chinoiserie is evident throughout our home...lamps, plates and jars.  The moment I saw these salad plates I knew I had to add them to my collection!

The beaded mint placemat matching the chinoiserie salad plate was such a happy coincidence!

I seldom use a white napkin but it lends to such a clean and fresh look it is perfect!




All of my friends that came over had seniors so it was almost an emotional time.  We recalled all the PTA things we've done and became friends through, the band trips, the football games, the field trips and spring flings.  We've vowed that even though our kids are now heading in such different directions with college that we will always have our "school's out "lunch!

The Spring Deck Refresh

Seems almost a little late to call this a "spring" refresh but officially it is still spring. Just before this tropical whatever it is were have been having for the past week+ I decided I'd fluff the stuff on the deck.     

I bought the bar cart last summer and never managed to get it styled or photographed.  It was way past time so I brought out some of my fav things to try it out.  I  have a few friends coming over soon so it was good practice to see what worked and how it would look.

Years ya'll..years I've wanted a cone shaped boxwood finally found one!  Then just after finding this one I found another...even larger.  I need to find a large pot for it!
See my wooden potting bench?  Honey picked that up for me!  I've actually used it and not just for entertaining purposes!


Back to this beauty.  I tried to bring out things that were not breakable...much.  I started with the trays.  The acrylic tray on the top bears my monogram and I have to say I use it all the time!  Bestie P had one and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have one. 

You knew there would have to be Blue Willow right?  The color was a great contrast with the green in the glasses.  The hand towel along with the flowers soften all the hard edges and surfaces.

Sure wish I could leave these pretties out.  The raccoons that come every night would drag it all out to the woods....seriously they would!
Weeks ago I painted the furniture(something I have to do every other year)and then a a bit later I painted the actual deck(something I have to do every.single.year).  The morning after I painted the deck I awoke to lots of discomfort in my lower back...from of course painting.  Maybe one of the kids can paint the deck next year!


This is the first year I haven't been able to find a red geranium....first it was too cold and then/now it is so wet none of the plants look very good.  Maybe soon I can find at least one!

PB&J Engagement Party


Recently, one of my dearest friends called to invite us to a party.  As she started out with the conversation she choked up a bit.  As she began to speak I immediately thought she was inving us to a graduation party since they too had a senior.  

Turns out she was inviting us to her daughter's engagement party.  At this point, Julie didn't know her boyfriend was about to pop the question!  Both families were in on it and had planned everything to sheer perfection!  What a precious sign that greeted the guests.  I adore that she used the couples initials to create such a darling hashtag! #PB&J
 

Everyone arrived early and waited for the PB&J to arrive!  I am still so touched to have been included!  When Bestie P said I could photograph I thought I'd just melt right there!  Her house is beyond gorgeous!  I'll never EVER forget my first time inside her home.  There wasn't a thing I didn't adore.  She has amazing style and taste, the perfect mix of new with antiques!

Through her home there were precious touches celebrating PB&J.  The cupcakes, cookies and cake were divine!




Silver trays held bags of gourmet popcorn with the a sweet tag attached.



The celebration was catered by Taco Mama and the food was met with quite the favorable reception!  Party guests dined on tacos and all the fixings!




The happy couple arrived amid excitement, cheers and lots of hugs. Even though classes were already out at Auburn several of Julie's sorority sisters were in attendance.  She may not have known prior to driving up their street that there was going to be a party but, surely with all the cars in the area she knew something was up! 

 I couldn't adore the hash tag more!  #PB&J


Since we were outside waiting for them to arrive I snapped a few photos around her porch.  Gorgeous ya'll!!!

Lots of guests gathered here for photos!



 The bride to be's paternal grandparents were in attendance, sitting in the swing.


Even though Julie has dated Paxton for a couple of years I'd not met him until that night.  I'm a hard woman to impress, this young man moved me to tears as he told a brief tale about he knew he wanted to marry Julie early in their relationship.  His obvious love and devotion to Julie and the Lord was a blessing to all in attendance!

After Paxton spoke, Julie's grandparents stepped up, her Grandfather spoke about their 60+ year and God's blessing on their marriage, he offered up a prayer for them and truly it was a highlight of the night!

As it was pretty warm that evening I left a little early, again feeling glad to have been apart of such an incredible evening!  I've been told wedding plans are well underway and I can hardly wait till next spring when they walk down the aisle!   Now if ya'll RAVE enough maybe Bestie P will read those comments and let me photograph her house and share with all of ya'll...that would be such a treat!!!

The Before and the After Home Tour:The Exterior

The home tour on our blog is one of the most viewed pages I've had.  I'm starting a series of the before and afters of each room in this our 5th house.  Today, we are taking a look at the exterior.  I'd like to mention that several of these photos were taken over 11 years ago and were from a film camera, their quality and clarity are lacking. 

Curb appeal....this house had absolutely none!  I recall when we drove down the driveway thinking this was nothing special.  The house had no shutters on any of the windows.  Ya'll what an inexpensive fix. I believe the shutters were $400, the difference they made was worth much more!


The landscaping was minimal at best.  There wasn't one shrub left untouched....most were ripped out and some were relocated.  The bulk of the shrubs were builder grade so out they went!  The landscape architect that design our yard told me that we needed movement in the yard....so our actual lawn is circular, with curvy sides.  Mostly my husband was thankful there wasn't a huge yard to be mowed! HA!

When I look at  before photos it always drives home how much the landscaping changed the exterior of our house.

Here is a reminder of the house we were leaving in Savannah....I still miss this house!

This photo shows what the house looked like shortly after the landscaping was completed.  Big improvement right?!

An autumn blaze maple was installed in front of the living room windows and ya'll what a great change that single tree made in the scale of the house!  I would highly recommend this tree as it has grown very quickly and is gorgeous in the fall of the year.  Can you believe how much it has grown from the photo above to the photo below!

This tree is called a vyanse.  It is suppose to attract butterflies, it does attract bumble bees.  In the winter there are seed pods that the birds seem to love.  It is a great buffer type tree and definitely softens the edges of the house.  My only problem with this tree is it is a bit on the sloppy side.  

The front door was blue when we bought the house.  I painted it red upon the suggestion of the first interior designer I had.  For those that don't know, I'm not much of a red person.  I found that with my red brick house the red door just faded away and was just lost.  For now the door matches the shutters, a grey.  

I hope you've enjoyed this look back at the exterior of our house.  I look forward to sharing more of the before and afters!