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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holiday Decorating-Dancing with the Butterflies Theme


Dancing with the Butterflies Holiday Decorating Theme...


This Holiday Season I wanted to add a little more flair to my traditional theme to give it a little bit of a fresh look. When making my way through various stores I came across a basket full of  glittery silk butterflies in array of festive colors. As I began to search through the basket I found myself starting the amazing creative journey sketching in my head a Holiday Theme inspired by the magical movements of  the butterflies dancing through the winds of life...





With our schedules so filled with day-to-day commitments and more so during the holidays I wanted my Butterfly inspired theme to be easy and simple. So, I  pulled out my trusted bag of ribbons to create a source of wind for these delicate silk Butterflies could dance from the chandelier about dinning room centerpiece...





As I added the Butterflies to my traditional Holiday decorations it felt as though there was an essence of peaceful magic floating through the room with the gracious shimmering of the wings...




May your Holiday Season be filled with a Joyous Dance Welcoming the New Season....






Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coming Home~Welcoming the Autumn Season

Coming Home~Welcoming the Autumn Season 

The Autumn Season invites one's soul to go inward and discover a road to peace...The gentleness of the changes in the  air with the orchestrated dancing of leaves at they gracefully  fall to the grown to create a  scared blanket of peace to prepare one's soul  for the coolness of the winter season that is quickly upon us...



I like to spend my creative time during the Autumn months to capture the brilliant colors that the the cooling weather and trees produce with their last burst of energy to create an amazing painting like images...washes of magnificent gemstones colors dancing across the soft velvety sky....








I find as I capture these Autumn moments I am able to welcome the Winter Season with grace and peace to relax in the quiet moments to refill for new beginnings of another year of life...






I truly think this is why  God gave us these scared moments of the seasons to rest and refill to have the inner strength to begin a new season filled with peace and hope as we enter through the narrow gate of eternal life...
















Sunday, September 15, 2013

Falling Leaves....






As the air is beginning to become a little cooler with the soft shift in the wind to help the trees release their leaves in magical dance to the ground, I found myself recently inspired to create an Autumn theme for my dinning table~entitled "Falling Leaves...










To keep the table looking fresh for a few months, I often replenish the centerpiece with real or silk flower arrangements...





An Autumn theme for a table can carry you through the Thanksgiving season...creating a warm and inviting table with the wash of the soft colors season --brown, gold, red and yellow bringing one's soul an inward inner peace....












Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Abundance of the Summer Garden Inspired a Recent Gathering...


Graceful Moments

At the end of summer is approaching the garden's last burst of flowers and treasured gifts recently influenced lunch-time gathering...

Treasured Surprises




























Layers and layers of fabrics, plates and table accessories were used to give more depth to table inviting one to truly experience the richness of a summer garden...









Bouquets of silk flowers wrapped in a ray of ribbons were presented as gifts to the guests, while adding accents of colors to enhance the over-all garden theme...

Enjoy the Moments....




Saturday, August 3, 2013

Create a Secret Garden Theme for a Special Dining Occasion...


As I recently began to prepare for a gathering I was having for a group of friends, I started to dance through some cookbooks and magazines for menu ideas and began to think about the type of theme I would like create for this special occasion.

I enjoy creating menus with themes that inspire table settings to spawn conversations to enhance the overall dinning the experience.




I often find that ideas for entertaining themes may come from many resources such as: cookbooks, magazines, conversations with friends,  on a walk or while running daily errands.

On a recent shopping excursion at one of my favorite arts and crafts store I discovered a set of unique antique-looking keys with inspirational words engravings.











As I held up the keys to look at them more closely my creative door sprang open painting in my mind a full picture of a Secret Garden theme for the upcoming gathering...Adding colorful ribbons to the keys, using them as centerpiece of the theme design, creating a picnic style lunch menu dressing the table with layers of miniature floral bouquets complimented with layers and layers of garden style place settings, glassware and napkins to enhance the Secret Garden experience for my guests--in hope to lift the souls and spirits of my guests they shared in conversations about the key planted upon our place setting that unlocked the doors to our secret gardens of friendships and treasured moments....

I also  add a little soft music to your recipe to add to the ambience for the gathering--and  for evening gatherings the soft touch of candlelight accents always creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere.





Saturday, June 29, 2013

Creative Summer Tips....



Take time to enjoy the gifts of the summer season...Some of things I enjoy to do to ease into to the summer season is to create gifted moments that refills one's soul...






A walk through a local park, meet a family member or friend at a 
museum for a cup of coffee and conversation.



 Extend your weekend by taking a half day off on a Friday or Monday...
the extended hours are a wonderful way to change the day-to-day routines. 

 Avoid the lines at the airports and plan a trip to a neighboring town or state 
that is an easy drive from your home.  The ease of the drive and change of scenery will be another great way to refresh to your spirit...



And one can always sit back read a good book, paint, draw or try a new recipe to allow the creative heart to be refilled... Take the moments to enjoy the simple gifts and treasures that are around you...


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Fashion Tips


Summer Fashion Tips...



Though summer fashions are not always at the top of my favorite wardrobe choices.  I do find I have fun with the seasonal choices by adding easy flowing fabrics in vibrant colors to my fashion menu...

With longer and warmer days I like to create outfits that carry me from work to evening or on a little weekend get-away....

This year the center of my summer wardrobe is a red silk/cotton dress that I love to accent with a blazer or cute jacket for daytime to stay warm in those air cooled rooms and for evening, I can throw on a wrap with pearls or a beaded necklace, heals and a cute purse to dash off to a concert in the park, dinner with friends or to slow down and watch the sunset...





                        


Summer Fashion Essentials:

Vibrant Dresses and Tops- to be used as the center pieces of your wardrobe.


Bright Scarves and Wraps will change the whole look of your outfit. 


Colorful Beaded Necklaces, Bangle Bracelets-can inspire the look of your outfit from day to evening.


Handbags and Purses in Various Shapes, Sizes and Colors-will take you any where.


Shoes colors and comfort-go a long way.


Have Fun this Season and Enjoy the Colors of the Seasons and Be Inspired....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Decorating Themes-Ladies Tea


I find that decorating tables for gatherings with a theme is a nice way to entice
 one's soul to enjoy the essence of the meal...
Decorating a table often lifts the imagination of your guests to explore the story being shared in the theme~while also creating conversational themes for the gathering...
At a recent Art Salon Luncheon for a group a women, I had fun creating a "Ladies Spring Inspired" theme with costume jewelry, pearl necklaces and beaded bracelets, spring hats placed on chairs with individual  miniature bouquets of scented flowers at each place setting, complimented by seasonal plants for the centerpiece...
The lightly and fresh Spring theme was a joyful inspiration 
for the Ladies throughout the day....



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Morning Glory

Morning Glory...Gifted Scents from Morning Garden...

 The essence of the morning garden scents gives one's soul a peace to begin the day renewed and refresh....

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The First Blush of a Spring Garden


Garden Notes:

After sending a bouquet of photos to my friend Marian, from my garden with captions such as the Spring's Surprise and Glory, Spring Secret Treasures, The Abundance of Spring... Spring's First Blush... Marian with curiosity asked me what is the First Blush of a Spring Garden... For a moment, I just melted in the glory of the garden's gifted surprises that I, like many other gardeners, welcome with almost childlike joy the rebirth or the new birth of the Spring Season... The easiest way I can describe the First Blush of the Spring Garden, is from a recent conversation I had with my  friend Carolyn, who I consider to be a Master Gardener and a purist  by maintaining an organic environment for her plants.  She and I spent our full conversation talking about  the joyous stories of the first blush of our Spring gardens...We talked about the joy of rediscovering our roses with their explosive blossoms, heightening the colorful essence of the new life sprouting from our other plants and trees... The First Blush of a Spring Garden is like receiving a big present wrapped up with a joyous surprise of beauty, color and life beyond one's imagination.


Though the First Blush of my Spring Garden is coming to a close, I find the wonderful beautiful memories will carry me into the summer season of warmer weather with longer hours of daylight bringing another level of mother nature's surprises of insects and other heat and water challenges. Yet like life, a garden goes through many seasons, always reminding me to enjoy the moments--
like the old cliché to stop and take time to smell the roses....



Monday, May 20, 2013

[The Everyday Gardener]


I often share stories about the joys the garden brings to me throughout the seasons of many years. Our garden was and still is created in a storybook fashion -- as  each plant, tree and bush has a story to why they are in our garden.  You see, I have always loved to garden… I started gardening as a young girl, nothing fancy. I really loved learning about the mysterious nature of the garden and how to appreciate the beauty of the flowers and trees.... like one would learn to appreciate the various periods of art....

I have found that there are three types of gardeners….

The Master Gardener -Is generally a specialist.  Who has studied horticulture. Who has strived to be a learned expert in keeping well-manicured gardens.

The Weekend Gardener -Is generally a person who enjoys dabbling in the garden, but does not have time to do so during the week, so they design a garden that is self maintained and they can work and enjoy during the weekend hours.

The Everyday Gardener – Are gardeners like myself, who enjoys dabbling in the garden throughout the week and seasons. The everyday gardener is also a type of person who enjoys learning first hand about the journey of the trials and joys of garden life.

Yes, I have found that gardening is a committed journey…. as the seasons and weather are never predictable, just as one’s life is always changing and growing, we must be willing to be dedicated to nurturing the garden as it does fill one’s heart and soul… Life is like a garden, filled with many seasons that grows the character of one's spirit...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

[Spring Blush - part 1]

The Abundance of his Glory

The Glory of a Spring Garden

Sunburst

Bouquet of Spring Joy

As I walk through the garden enjoying  - the soft cool breeze, the richness of the early morning sunlight dancing through the trees, the birds are eagerly racing through the narrow passages between the trees to find their morning delights -  I find my soul being filled with the aromas of the garden.

At this time of the year, the first blush of the spring garden with  the air fragrant from the organic richness of the early morning dew on the ground is complimented by the sweet perfume scents of the roses. The first blush of  roses are especially full of sweetness and some spice, often reminding of scent of a Channel perfume…

Sunday, May 12, 2013

[Spring Wardrobe]

Spring is here. I love to mix and match my Spring wardrobe with interesting vintage or contemporary silk jackets or blazers, a jersey dress or slacks, a cute handbag to take you from day to evening,  and of course, a splash of pearls and fun bracelets accented with a scarf of colorful wrap.




Tuesday, May 7, 2013

[Peaceful Moments of the Garden]

One of the many things I love about the Spring garden is the freshness and rebirth of the new season.  After a morning of puttering in the garden, I love to spend a restful afternoon listening to the peaceful movement of wind chiming through the trees accompanied by the sweet harmony of the birds singing.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

[Easy & Simple Lasagna]

Easy and Simple Dinners can go a long way. One of my favorites is my easy Lasagna Dish...



INGREDIENTS:
I usually get most of my supplies for this recipe from Trader Joes.
• 1 to 2 packages of Four Cheese Ravioli
Found in the cold food section at your local Trader Joes. You may try other type of ravioli, but the four cheese is good for Lasagna
• 1-2 jars of Three Cheese Tomato Sauce
• Vegetables ~ I choose depending on the inspiration.
- Spinach; fresh or frozen
If frozen, thawed per instruction.
- Zucchini; fresh
If using fresh, Slice thinly to layer with other veggies.
- Artichoke hearts; canned or frozen.
 If frozen, pre-cook in oven till browned with a little splash of olive oil, dash of salt.
-Eggplant; fresh or frozen
If using fresh, Slice thinly to layer with other veggies.
Trader Joes has a nice frozen roasted eggplant that you can thaw out or pre-cook till brown....
• 1 cup of ricotta cheese
• 1 package Mozzarella cheese (Shredded or Sliced)
• 1 package of Grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1. Pre-heat Oven to 350F
2. Cook ravioli per direction. Then drain and rise with cold water
3. Prep Veggies; If you are cooking with fresh eggplants or zucchini, thinly slice them. If you are cooking with frozen, thaw or pre-cook per instruction.
Use a casserole dish or glass baking dish to cook in :
4. Make your first Layer of ravioli, place one next to each other to cover the bottom of the dish
5. Add your veggies; layer them like the ravioli.
6. Add a layer of Three Cheese Tomato sauce, evenly spread over veggies.  
7. Add your cheeses; spread the ricotta cheese followed by a layer of mozzarella with some parmesan cheese
8. Repeat steps 4~7
9. Your top layer should finish with tomato sauce sprinkled with mozzarella and parmesan cheese
10. Cover with aluminum wrap and bake in oven for 45 minutes to 50 minutes.
11. Take off the cover for last 15 minutes to get a little crusty, adjust to your tastes.



ADJUSTMENTS:
My Friend Nicole had requested the veggie version of the recipe, but if you like a little more spice, I recommend adding a pound of cooked ground beef and a few links of spicy Italian sausage.

To complete your easy Italian dinner I would add a fresh green salad with black olives, feta cheese, splashed with Italian Style Dressing, serve with warm olive bread, or your rustic style bread of choice.
Enjoy!