Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gifts of Devotion (or Dedication)

A few years after my husband and I married he asked me to make a list of presents that I wanted. I jotted down several things, from not so expensive to expensive, a kind of "wish list" of sorts. Then over the years for Christmas or an Anniversary or even a just because he loved me - he would give me something off the list.

After he filled all the wishes on the first list, which was I guess about 10 years after we'd been married, he asked me to prepare another list. Well, we were blessed to be better off financially then so my "wish list" grew to a few more expensive items. The tea set below was one of the last things on this list.

This was given to me as an anniversary present this year for our 19th anniversary.

I was particularly impressed because I had simply listed "silver tea service". No details or number of pieces or anything.

You have to understand, Mr. B is a Marine, musclecar and motorcycle kind of man. Silver tea service is a pretty foreign concept to him.

But he did a great job and I was thrilled with his purchase.

I called this post gifts of devotion or dedication because I know that the they are given out of devotion for me, but really a marriage is dedication. I feel that the gifts are good example of that dedication. A marriage or any relationship doesn't grow without some dedication.

I would say we are as devoted to each other now as the day we were married, probably more so because I was a silly girl of 20 when I got married.

My tea service is one of my favorite things. I display it in our living room.

I love the detailed rope design

and the engraving and scroll work on the tray.

By the way Miss Madison was also a devotion gift, which maybe an understatement!

Today I'm joining the following:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pink Out for Oaks

For this week's tablescape I decided to honor the 2nd most popular race at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Oaks. Over 100,000 people attend last year's 135 Kentucky Oaks. For those not familiar with derby week, the Oaks Day is traditionally the "locals" day. Most Derby tourists and celebrities are not yet in town for the big race and many Louisvillians meet up with friends, co-workers and old school mates to enjoy the race.
From the website "The Kentucky Derby’s sister event is as old as the “Run for the Roses” but features fillies and lilies and lots of things women love. In fact, women are such an important part of the Oaks experience that we’ve officially named the day “Ladies First.” Of course guys are welcome, too!
In addition to a fantastic race card, highlighted by the 136th running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, we've got an afternoon of special activities planned for our female guests, from showing off your Oaks apparel to raising money for causes that matter to women."

The Survivors Parade was first hosted by Churchill Downs for Kentucky Oaks 135 and featured 135 survivors. It was a joyous occasion to see the parade of survivors round the track before the race.

The adopted color of the Kentucky Oaks is PINK in honor of the Oaks official flower, the stargazer lily, and the official color of breast cancer awareness is PINK. To connect the Oaks with its partner charities, Susan G. Komen for the Cure ® and Horses and Hope, Churchill Downs is asking you to THINK PINK when it comes to your attire for Kentucky Oaks 136!
Participate in our second Kentucky Oaks PINK OUT on Friday, April 30, by incorporating PINK into your attire for the day at the races. Churchill Downs staged its first Oaks PINK OUT in 2009 with impressive results. From hats to handkerchiefs, suits to sundresses, sunglasses to stilettos, our Oaks guests were “tickled pink” to show their support for the Oaks and the important cause it supports. (from

Please have a seat to join me for our own celebration of pink out.

The plates, place mats, goblets and napkin rings are all hot pink.

I used black and white dishes and napkins to complement the pink dishes.

Here is your place setting ready for you to enjoy a spring meal on the porch.
Thanks for stopping by to visit! Please join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more table settings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Porch Wall Ideas

In my continued quest to decorate the wall of our porch I've posted these inspiration pictures I've found so far. This is very beachy nautical (above) from Not so sure we're beachy people living in the heart of the bluegrass, but I like the vintage signs.
Believe it or not it was actually pretty hard to find images of porch walls as most photographs were from the porch out to the landscape. I like the one above from because it shows a planter below the light fixture. That's a possibility for my porch.

I love the floor on this porch, by I digress, I like the collage of pictures on the wall. (photo from

I like the mirror above the side table here - photo from

This maybe my favorite, but I'm not sure if it's the pictures or the black and white fabric (I'm easily distracted). This photo from is of both prints and mirrors.

I could do plates and a mirror. I have plenty of plates! This photo is from Better Homes and Gardens. I love this floor too - focus people!

Finally I thought this porch looked most like mine with the white wicker and the white walls. The have used a round and square mirror treatment. This is from I love the footstool!
Well, I hope you've enjoyed looking at porch pictures. I could look at porches all day :) Stay tuned to see what I put on my porch.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Porch Sitting Area

Madison says it's time to get back out on the porch and add some more details!Here's the sitting area in winter time.
See nosy rosy peeking out into the yard?
This area was pretty plain and boring!

A few weeks ago I added the wreath and blue birds.

But I wasn't totally happy with it, so I added a cake plate to the wreath and candle to increase the height.

I placed a plant on the wicker table and some green pillows I found 1/2 off at Target on each chair.

Then I added this pillow from the tv room. My Dad bought this for me at the State Fair a few years back.

It's a Yellow Lab and a Westie!

I still want to add some things around the plant on the wicker table, but I haven't found the right accents yet.

On the wall behind the sitting area are two signs I got at Hobby Lobby last year. This needs something added to it but I'm torn between a mirror or pictures.

What do you think would look good?

Thanks for joining me today. Please leave a comment before you go over to visit our hostess Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Foodie Friday Spring Vegies and Grilled Chicken

The other night for dinner I decided to celebrate Spring with some spring time vegetables and grilled chicken. This was the first time using the grill for the season so we were excited!

I am not a good cook. I do not use recipes for my cooking, never have since I started cooking everyday for a family when I was 18. I just think of what things will go good together and sort of shoot from the hip and hope it all turns out. For this night I decided to marinate the chicken before we grilled it. I mixed some orange juice, soy sauce and worchestershire sauce (about 1/2 cup each of OJ and soy and 1/4 cup of worchestershire) together and added the chicken.

Here I prepared two vegies that say Spring to me - asparagus and new potatoes. I love these baby potatoes - Yukon golds I think - because they are so tender. I boiled both in the same pot starting with the potatoes first because their cook time is longer than the asparagus.

Here's the final product. I try to eat three vegetables and only a small portion of protein (in this case the chicken) at dinner time. The side dish of beans was made from grape tomatoes, canned cannellini beans, Gorgonzola cheese and dressed with lite Italian salad dressing.

I hope you enjoyed this posting and will visit Designs by Gollum for more Foodie Friday ideas. Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Country Cluckers

It's time for another Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Where does the week go! Today I'm featuring a few things from my booth and a few things from my house that I thought would pull together well for a country theme tablescape.
Here's a long shot with our ol' yellow lab Thunder observing the setup. He matches well with the red and yellow theme of the table!

I used yellow dinner plates with a cotton red and yellow paisley place mat underneath.

I love these rooster napkin rings. They are wood with hand painted touches.

I like the way the red checked napkin pops against the yellow plate.

Here is my rooster salt and peppers that match the cookie jar I set in the center of the table.

This vintage rooster is filled with gerber daisies I saw at Whole Foods yesterday. I had already planned to use the red geraniums, but I couldn't resist the daisies too.

Here's my cookie jar. I like that he's a color combination and not just one or two colors like most roosters.

A birds eye view of the table.

So apparently we do not get to have a beverage with this meal because I forgot the glasses! I was going to use a set of chunky glass tumblers that were my grandma's, but I guess I got too busy snapping pictures and forgot - sorry!

Here we are a dusk.

A long shot from the doorway to the patio.

Remember these petunias from last week? I teased you Monday with a promise that they held a surprise. Well, last Wednesday night I sat out on my porch for an hour after dark waiting for the "surprise" which never happened.

Ta Da! After some technical difficulty I now have the photos to show you the surprise - they light up at dusk. I think they look so pretty.

I hope you enjoyed my country tablescape. Please join Susan to see more great ideas. Thanks for stopping by!