The Many Responses From: “Watcha Reading” & Recipes for the Weekend !

“All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is in magic preservation, in the pages of books.”  – Thomas Carlyle



Many thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my last post, “Watcha Reading?”  I enjoyed reading the wide variety of book titles which were submitted and thought you may enjoy them, too. Therefore, I have listed them below. If you missed the earlier post and would like to comment, or add a favorite book to the list, please do so at the end of this post. 

1984, George Orwell

A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman

A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki

Alas, Babylon, Pat Frank

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

Bright Flows the River, Taylor Caldwell

Cry, The Beloved Country, Alan Paton

Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Great Small Things, Jodi Picoult

I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb, Patricia McCormick

Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly

Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, Mitch Albom

Miss Julia Books, Ann B. Ross

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton

Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

Orpahn Train, Christina Baker Kline

Poldark Novel Series, Winston Graham

Ruth’s Journey, Donald McCaig

Secrets of the Cross Trilogy, Elizabeth Musser

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson

The Alice Network, Kate Quinn

The All Girls Filling Station’s Last Reunion, Fannie Flagg

The Bright Hour, Nina Riggs

The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd

The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan

The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

The School of Essential Ingredients, Erica Bauermeister

The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson

The Shack, William P. Young

The Swan House, Elizabeth Musser

Through The Brown Mountain Lights, C. C. Tillery, Christy French, Cynthia Tillery Hodges

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee



And, just in time for the weekend, I am sending you two easy recipes.  These recipes will bring you rave reviews, and look quite impressive at the table.  I serve the soufflé with a garden salad, and a crusty bread.  Bon Appetit !

Gruyere Cheese Souffle

3 Tbls. butter, plus more for greasing dish

2 Tbls. freshly grataed Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

3 1/2 Tbls. all purpose flour

1 cup cold whole milk

5 large eggs, separated

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

3 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded (1 cup)

2 Tbls. chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 400.  Grease a 1-quart gratin dish with butter and dust with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; refrigerate.  In a large saucepan, melt 3 Tbls. butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat, then whisk in 4 egg yolks along with the salt and pepper.  Discard remaining yolk or use for another purpose.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form.  Whisk 1/3 of the whites into the sauce, then fold in the remaining beaten whites.  Fold in the Gruyère cheese, scrape into prepared dish.  Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and golden.  Serve.  Note:  It is important to use a large saucepan.  If you don’t, you will not have room to incorporate the egg whites into the sauce.

Vanilla Bean Custard with Chambord and Berries

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

1 vanilla bean

3 cups whole milk

3 large egg yolks

1 Tbls. butter

3 Tbls. Chambord raspberry liqueur, divided

1/1/2 cups fresh strawberries or raspberries

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan, whisking to blend.  Scrape vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to the pan.  Add milk, bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened.  Remove vanilla bean.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks until light in color.  To temper egg yolks, slowly add 1/3 milk mixture from saucepan to yolks, whisking constantly.  Add yolk mixture back to milk mixture in saucepan.  Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in butter and 2 Tbls. Chambord.

Pour mixture in to serving cups.  Chill for 4 hours or overnight.  Combine remaining 1 Tbls. Chambord to your choice of berries.  Toss well – top custard with berries just before serving.  Note:  Taste the berries before adding liqueur.  If they are too tart for your taste, add 1-2 Tbls. sugar, then add the liqueur.

Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy these fleeting days of summer !

Au Revoir,



Photo:  Pinterest



Watcha Reading?

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read.” –  Mark Twain

I love to read.  And I long for snowy winters, lasting November through March, the sound of our tea kettle whistling, and my comfy chair. Truly, heaven on earth. However, this isn’t reality for most of us.  So, what do we do? We read when we find free moments and we keep a list of what we would like to read.  Ah, the LIST. Perhaps, my list is a blog post for another day. 


I enjoy books which make me think, make me grateful for the life I have enjoyed and expand my way of thinking.  I love to learn about people who have struggled, and ultimately achieved great success.  Books like this touch my heart and I don’t forget them.  They encourage me to strive to accomplish better things and be a better person. One such book is: “The Apprentice, My Life in The Kitchen.”  It is about the life of Jacques Pépin.  Pépin came to this country, at age 18, speaking two words of English, with just a few dollars in his pocket and knew not a single soul.  Makes you grateful, doesn’t it?


Also, I enjoy a fabulous story, one that can set the stage of many characters and how they are possibly entwined in each others lives. Then there are the books which touch you so deeply you will read again and again. For me, at the top of this list is, “The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah.  In my opinion, it truly is a great piece of literature. Ms. Hannah passionately explains: “In love we find out who we want to be.  In war we find out who we are.”  The book is simply unforgettable.

Last winter while reading the lovely blog, It’s A Beautiful Lifewritten by my talented, Canadian friend, Brenda Leyland. I was introduced to the book, “Experiment in Criticism,” by C. S. Lewis. Mr. Lewis proposes, the quality of books should be measured not by how they are written, but by how they are read.  He describes two types of readers:  1)  A Non Literary Person   2) A Literary Person.  I found his thoughts interesting, you may too.  Therefore, I am sharing a few characteristics from each of his descriptions.

Non Literary Person

1) Never thinks or talks about what they have read.

2) Indifferent, not only to literature, but to other art forms and natural beauty.

3) Never reads anything twice.

Literary Person

1) Reads great works over and over

2) The reading can be a great experience.  The reader changes and sees things differently.

3) They are aware of literature and other art forms and the natural beauty around them.


So let’s talk about books.  What are you reading?  Is there a particular author that you admire?  When you find an author you enjoy, do you want to read everything they have ever written?  Also, what books are on your “To Read” LIST?  Listed below are a few on mine:

Great Small Things, by Jodi Picoult

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, by Liz Curtis Higgs

A Force for Good, by Daniel Goleman

Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue

Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly

Do write and tell what you are reading, maybe including a book or two you would recommend. We learn so much from others.

I hope you find a cool, comfy place to curl up and read the afternoon away.  And just in case you are at a loss for something cool and refreshing to drink.  I am sending you a recipe for Peach Tea.  A lovely book and a delightful drink = perfection.  Enjoy !

Peach Tea

3 – 11.5 oz. cans peach nectar

2 quarts brewed tea

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and stir well.  Chill until ready to serve.  Serve over ice with a sprig of mint

Thanks for visiting.  Have a Great Weekend !

Au Revoir,



Photo: Pinterest

Open Your Eyes !

“Beauty…is the blossom of goodness:  as it grows out of goodness, so it leads those who love it to the good.”   – Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499)

When I began writing this blog, my intention was and continues to be, to inspire others to see the beauty in our world. Yes, amid all the hate and ugly, beauty remains. But, to see beauty in our daily rounds, we must consciously  open our eyes. Short and simple, we must be aware to notice moments of Grace. Such moments can alter our thinking, and change the course of our days. Ultimately this practice can, therefore, be life changing.

For example:  Noticing exquisite sights in nature such as this magnificent Golden Rain Tree (photo above), a glorious sunset, new fallen snow or a beautiful moon. All are God’s handiwork – ours to enjoy.  We simply have to open our eyes to truly see such splelndid moments. 

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) tells us, “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.”  Perhaps, that day has come.  Our daily lives can be so chaotic.  Especially when our “daily to do list” should be the “weekly to do list.” Additionally, we constantly hear and see all which is sad and unkind.  We are fed this information daily via newspapers, television and social media. Combine all such craziness and it is easy to become numb, but we must not let that happen. Because,when we are numb – we do not see. You may or may not agree, but I believe people crave beauty. It is vital to our well being.

Beauty has a way of making us pause and take a breath. It makes us smile, gives us pleasant thoughts, makes us want to share our good news with others and immensely enriches our days. It makes us kinder and more gentle. This is why what we create in our homes is so important, for ourselves and those we love. 

Truly, I am not suggesting we purchase rose colored glasses. Quite the opposite. I believe it is of the utmost importance for each and everyone to know what is happening in and around our world.  However, at some point, we must turn off and tune in. Tune in to the beauty of what we see and hear. Our tastes are cultivated by what we see. Therefore, we must learn to see well.  When we master the art of seeing well, we enlarge our capacity to become emotionally and intellectually involved in all that surrounds us. Thus, our lives are forever changed. Changed for the good.

So, let’s think for just a moment.  Maybe a revolution isn’t out of the question. Imagine our world if joy and beauty were scattered about like fairy dust. Wouldn’t this make a remarkable difference in the attitudes and behavior of people who inhabit our world? Sure it would, and it is possible. It begins within each of us. Each of us has the ability and the means to do something. Share your good news, call an elderly neighbor, gaze upon a perfect blue sky, fix a lovely dinner for your family, write a “real” letter, help someone load groceries in their car, tell a friend you love them, take food to the local animal shelter, or share those irises a neighbor has long admired.  Inspired? I do hope so.  Because with open eyes, you will enrich your life and the lives of others.   

Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you and yours beautiful summer days!


Au Revoir,




Photos:  Roadtrippers/Pinterest

Come Walk With Me

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space – a place not just set apart but reverberant – and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.” – Michael Pollan 

For those of you who may wonder what I do when I am not writing a blog post, I will tell you. Most often I can be found in the garden. Truly, I am completely over the moon about gorgeous flowers. The reason for my madness is simple – gardening is in my bones.

We all have things we love, obsess over, collect or perhaps hoard.  I prefer to think we have inherited “genes of gorgeousness.”  Clearly, no one obsesses over something they do not deem beautiful.  So, today I thought I would share a wee bit of my story – a love affair and obsession with blooms.

My flower gene came to me via my grandmother and mother.  Both lovers of the garden and flower worlds, but each were different.  My grandmother’s love was roses, and she did grow some beauties.  But my mother loved magnificent trees and flowering shrubs.  Trees, such as Hemlock, Ginkgo and Golden Rain. And flowering shrubs, such as rhododendron, azaleas and spiraea.  Mom also had a marvelous artistic talent, which came shinning through in her floral designs.  Her designs won her many flower show awards and led her to become a National Flower Show Judge.

Because of these two extraordinary women, I melt when I see old garden roses, rhododendrons in bloom or a stunning floral arrangement.  And, a June never passes that I don’t think of  mom’s Golden Rain tree.  However, like my grandmother and mother who each loved different things, I do also. I am what you might say a “crazy about what ever blooms,” kind of girl. Especially peonies.  Oh my goodness, how I love peonies.  Actually, I collect them and left over 200 different varieties in a former garden.  Although, in addition to peonies, I have quite a list of other gorgeous blooming plants I can stand for hours and gaze upon. And, I must also confess, I am a little mad about Boxwood too.         


But the point here today is, how I came by my passion. Quite simply, I inherited the “genes of gorgeousness” from my grandmother and mother.  Truly, I wish I could tell you the joy it has given me my entire life.  They passed to me a seed which has grown and bloomed profusely.  To both of them, I am forever grateful.  

Today, perhaps give some thought as to why your heart melts when you see a certain color, photos of a specific place on this earth, or glorious flowers in bloom. Then, think of a family member who was fond of the same things or places.  Ah, yes we do inherit “genes of gorgeousness.”  So, the next time you receive a gentle nudge as you gaze upon something you deem gorgeous – pay attention. You too, may have been passed a seed which is just waiting to grow.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you have enjoyed your “walk with me.”  

Au Revoir,


Note:  Before you leave today, be sure to check the Events section of the blog.  It has been updated and there are lots of great things happening.



Photos:  All photos are of my garden or from my garden. Photos taken by: M.S.Lambiotte

The Winners Are…

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


This morning I am happy to announce the winners of my recent Giveaway.  The winners will receive a start of the award winning iris, “Stairway to Heaven.”

Types of gardeners among the winners are:   1 Leaver, 1 Reluctant Cutter and 2 Hiders.  Note:  There were 4 winners, due to a tie.




Anne, Linda P., Pam and Pinky 


Ladies:  Please click on CONTACT at the top of this page.  Leave your full name and mailing address at this section of the blog.  Your information will be sent to me directly by email and will not appear on the blog.  Your irises will be shipped via US Mail by Monday, July 17, 2017.  

So many thanks to everyone who participated in this Giveaway.  There were many great entries, making judging difficult.  However, take heart.  There are plans for 2 additional Iris Giveaways before fall.  Be sure to follow along so you won’t miss the opportunity to win a beauty.


Thanks for visiting.  Happy Summer Days to You and yours !

Au Revoir,


Cutter, Leaver, or Hider ?

“Anything which grows is always more beautiful to look at than anything which is built.”  – Lin Yu Tang


So, which type of gardener are you?  Yes, there are different types, three exactly. In case you are not familiar with the different types of gardeners, I will explain.  They are:  Cutters, Leavers, and Hiders.

I will confess, I am a Cutter.  One of the main reasons cutters garden is to bring magnificent beauty inside their homes.  You see, we fill everything imaginable with gorgeousness and place such gorgeousness throughout the house. Filling every spot large enough to hold a vessel. And by the way, cutters also haunt garage sales and thrift stores in search of containers for their fabulous garden cuttings – but that is really another post.

Next, are the Leavers.  Leavers never cut a bloom from anything in their beloved garden.  Truly, it pains them to do so.  My dear friend, and former neighbor Cathy, was a leaver.  I would cut blooms and take them to her.  She would invite me to see anything and everything blooming in her garden, but she couldn’t bear the thoughts of cutting.  However, I knew I was her special friend. From time-to-time, she would cut a single bloom of something she knew I admired, and present it to me.  True friendship and love.

Last, are the Hiders.  The hiders may possibly have some issues.  They secretly want to be cutters but can’t quite manage to constantly carry snips in their pockets – the trait of a cutter. They adore blooms inside their homes, but don’t want their lovely garden to look as though a cutter has been there.  So what do they do? They cut from deep inside, or to the back of a stand of blooms.  Thus, the foliage from the other blooms cover the trail of their work.  No one will ever know what they have done. Shameful, isn’t it?


Now that you have the ‘dirt’ on the different types of gardeners.  Let’s do something fun.  

The lovely iris above is named, “Stairway to Heaven.”  She is the child of Edith Wolford x Breakers, is 39″ in height, and a vigorous grower. Below are her credentials.

1995 – Honorable Mention Winner

1997 Award of Merit Winner

1999 – John C. Wister Award Winner

2000 – Recipient of the Dykes Medal Award Winner

Her awards were bestowed upon her by the American Iris Society. The Dykes Medal is the highest award of the American Iris Society and is awarded to no more than one iris per year. An iris is eligible for this award for three years,  following winning of a classification medal.  

I have enjoyed this beauty in our garden for many years.  Yesterday, was time for her thinning and due to her height, she needed a spot where she would be more visible.  All this brings me to: it is time for a GIVEAWAY .  There will be three winners.  To enter and win a healthy start of this beautiful award winner, you must respond via the contact button on the blog. Tell me what type of gardener you are and  explain why you feel you are a cutter, leaver or hider.  Entries must be received by Monday night, July 10, 2017.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday morning, July 11, 2017.  Note:  An objective 3rd party will select the winners.

Get busy, find a nice sunny spot in your garden for this pretty girl and enter the GIVEWAY– you just may be a winner !

Thanks for visiting.  Hugs and Love to you !

Au Revoir,



photo:  Pinterest

Food for the 4th !

“Bold stripes, bright stars, brave hearts.”  – Unknown

Our big summer holiday is almost here.  The Fourth of July is a day of wonderful celebration all across our great land.  Fireworks, family, fun and food.  Ah, the smell of the charcoal grill, loaded with sizzling hamburgers and hot dogs.

Here in West Virginia hot dogs are a serious matter.  While they are most always served, with chili, yellow mustard and onions, the chili will make them as different as night and day.  Chili is what creates the magic and there are many great recipes for this goodness.  Most, highly guarded. So today, I am sharing one of those guarded recipes. The recipe belonged to my mother-in-law, no doubt she was sworn to never divulge the ingredients.  However, during her time as president of the Football Mothers Club, she was in charge of making the chili for the hot dogs. During those 4 years she made a gazillion gallons of this marvelous concoction for the famous hot dogs which were sold every week at Friday night football.  Also, coming your way today are recipes from, my treasured Mississippi cookbook. Mustard Dill Potato Salad, and the absolute best Three-Bean Salad you will ever taste.  All are perfect for a Fourth of July gathering. Bon Appetit!

Betty’s Hot Dog Chili

1 lb. ground chuck

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients, place in large saucepan and cover well with water.  Keep adding water 2 or 3 times and cook all day.  Do this until it is reduced to a reasonably thick chili.  Cook uncovered on an extremely low setting. Cool to lukewarm. Place a grilled hot dog on a warm bun, top with yellow mustard, a generous amount of magical chili, and finely chopped onions.  You have created, Perfection!

Mustard Dill Potato Salad

3 lbs. red potatoes, quartered (don’t peel)

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 tsp. grated onion

1 1/2 cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise

1/4 cup yellow mustard

6 hard-boiled eggs, grated

4 tsp. dill pickle relish

4 tsp. sweet pickle relish

1 – 4 oz. jar chopped pimientos, drained

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbls. chopped fresh dill

2 Tbls. sugar

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.  Drain well and transfer to large mixing bowl.  Let cool for about 15-20 minutes.  While the potatoes are still warm, add the celery, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, egg, dill, relishes, pimientos, vinegar, dill, sugar, paprika, salt/pepper.  Toss with your hands, breaking up some of the potatoes as you go, mix well.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.  

Three-Bean Salad

2  – 14.5 oz. cans cut green beans, drained

1 –  14.5 oz can yellow wax beans, drained

1 – 12 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.

As you celebrate please remember the men, women, and families of those who have served, along with those currently serving, in our armed forces.  Dedication toward making our country and world a better, safer place.  And, let us never forget those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, as well as their families whose lives are forever changed.

Enjoy the recipes, have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July – Thanks for visiting !

Au Revoir,




Photo:  onecharmingparty/Pinterest

Color Your World !

“Take a flight of fancy and let your imagination soar as you become more and more aware of your personal connections to C R.  Leatrice Eiseman

The anguish over the use of color has, and probably always will, be a major decorating decision for home owners and decorators. Today, we are fortunate to have available many decorating resources. We have wonderful design books, written by celebrity decorators showing us in detail, the color choices made for grand homes we all would enjoy. Often, we may, envision ourselves in these magnificent homes and we become inspired to bring such colorful beauty into our own homes. 

However, let’s be honest.  While our eyes may be drawn to bold and bright colors of photographs in design magazines and books , we must decide if we would be happy living with these colors on a daily basis.  Color has power and can affect not only our moods, but the moods of others as well. Our homes are where real living takes place, where we enjoy our family and friends and nourish our souls.  Truly, our castle.

So, here is where color comes to play.  We must select colors which will enhance our lives. You may or may not be aware, but there is no place where color has more influence and is more powerfully felt than in the place we call home. Because, color affects our moods: Remember, we carry these moods out into the world, therefore, effecting our interaction with others. Colors and color combinations can be stimulating as well as relaxing.  The key is: Choose the color palate for the atmosphere you wish to create, for a specific room or your entire home. Or as the French say – the “ambiance.”

Perhaps it is the many years I worked outside our home, but to me, home means peace and refuge.  A place of calm and a shelter from the craziness of our world. Because color is key to establishing a mood, I chose a Sherwin Williams color – Paper Lantern.  This color is very similar to the color in the photo below and creates  a peaceful, calm mood.  This color runs through our entire home with the exception of the bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.  It is peaceful and creates a seamless flow in the home.     

While I enjoy light and airy rooms, possibly you are happy in rooms with vibrant or deep colors, such as in the photos below.

Whatever your taste may be, always consider the room size, other furnishings, and the type/color of flooring in the room.  Also, a most important consideration, the amount of natural light in the room. For example: Here in North Central West Virginia we have many cloudy days, dark can become dreary and dreary affects our feelings. Therefore, a deep, dark wall color, is probably not a wise choice for a room without a good amount of natural light.

As you can see from this post, or maybe you already knew, there is a tremendous amount of information to consider with regard to color. Way too much for one blog post. So, for fear of boring you to death with color specifics, I will close for now. But before I do, I want to share some interesting information. It may offer an explanation as to why you are drawn to a certain color or colors.

Lovers of Red:  If you are drawn to red , you are very self-confident.   You are unafraid to take risks.  You are passionate, dramatic and dynamic.

Lovers of Pink:  If you are drawn to pink, you are soft, romantic and refined.  You are upset by violence of any kind.  You are talented but not overambitious.

Lovers of  Yellow:  A preference for yellow is a preference for sunshine.  Yellow people are original, imaginative, idealistic, creative, artistic, highly intuitive,  and often spiritual.

Lovers of Orange:  If you are drawn to orange, you work and play hard, are adventurous and enthusiastic.  You have strong determination.

Lovers of Blue:  If you are drawn to blue, you are calm, trusting, confident and are sensitive to the needs of others.

Lovers of Green:  If you are drawn to green, you are intelligent and understand new concepts.  You are a caring companion, loyal friend, partner, with a high moral sense.

Lovers of Purple:  If you are drawn to purple, you are generous, charming, super sensitive, keenly observant and can be moody.

Lovers of Brown:  If you are drawn to brown, you love simplicity, comfort, quality, harmony, hearth, and home.  You have firm strong views.

Lovers of Gray:  If you are drawn to gray, you are practical and calm and do not like to attract attention.  You crave contentment.

Lovers of White:  If you are drawn to white, you are neat and immaculate in your clothing and in your home.  You are a cautious buyer, you are sincere and kind.


Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you and yours a beautiful week !

Au Revoir,



Note:  The color-personality reference is from an interior design course I completed in 2014.

Photos: Ethan Allen, Dunn-Edwards Paint,House&Garden-uk/ All photos/Pinterest

A Weekend Thought

“Wouldn’t it be an exhilarating tonic for the soul to take a moment to appreciate the simple, good things in life which are so bountiful?” – Author Unknown


Thanks for visiting.  Wishing you and yours, the “simple good things.”

Happy Weekend !

Au Revoir,




Photo:  Pinterest

Decorator or Designer?

“Talent is good, practice is better, passion is best.”  – Frank Lloyd Wright

Are you thinking about a room makeover?  Perhaps you are exhausted with the entire idea, but a change is something you desperately want to see. Often, due to a wide variety of reasons, we become stuck in our tracks.  And because we are stuck, creating beauty and making improvements may not be totally appealing. This often happens when we are way deep in our busy and demanding lives. We want, possibly need, to undertake a project but we just can’t seem to pull all the pieces together.  

At this point, be honest with yourself with regard to your schedule.  Absolutely no one knows it but you.  Do you honestly have time to shop, paint, sew, and transform the space into your beautiful vision?  Also, is tackling this type of venture something you enjoy?  If your answer is yes, then proceed.  Do a little each week until your vision becomes a reality.  If your answer is no, it may be time to call for help.

(Notice the repeating theme in the fabrics.  Small circles in bed skirt, circles in duvet cover and shams, drapes and shades.  Also, the porthole mirrors.   The bed linens, head board, and wall color are of the same color tone.  Great attention to detail.)

Help can come in the form of a marvelously talented friend who will sit down with you, and help make necessary choices required to carry on with your project.  This person, who knows you well, may also assist you in deciding if your project is too much for you to assume.

(Notice the header of the drapes,the bottom of the shade, and the tiny lip cording.  The fabric is cut on the diagonal and the lip cording provides separation.  Both of these elements offer an unexpected touch of interest.  Details make the design.)

However, if you don’t have such a friend, it may be time to enlist the help of a decorator or a designer.  But, which one? Perhaps, you are thinking, “They are the same.” Not true.

An Interior Designer should hold a degree in Interior Design from an accredited four year college or university.  He or she has been trained to well understand issues such as:  Structural integrity of buildings, local building codes and building laws.  Additionally, a designer is comfortable working with, and knows local architects,   personnel from government agencies and businesses.  A designer also knows and has access to: The best of skilled trades, general contractors and interior decorators. The designer has the responsibility for the entire project.  You can expect to pay $150-$500 per hour for the services of an Interior Designer, based on locality.

An Interior Decorator, often, but not required, holds a certificate in interior decoration from a community college or adult education program. Decorators are concerned with the appearance and functionality of indoor spaces. There are many fabulously talented decorators such as Charles Faudree, considered a master of French design, who had no formal training in design.  Most decorators possess an innate sense for creating beauty. Decorators are so often responsible for the magic of a stunning space.  They mix fabrics, trims, paint colors, textures and are obsessed with details. To say they can create beauty is an understatement.  A room placed in their hands, is a gem upon completion.  You can expect to pay $50-$200 per hour for the services of an Interior Decorator. Again, based on locality.

While the expense for a Designer or a Decorator may seem costly, it might not be in the end. Consider your project and decide the type of assistance you require. Once you have made your decision, remember it is your home.  Be sure you convey your taste, love of certain colors, and your total vision for the area. And, by all means, the utmost important  issue is:  Know deep down, without a doubt, the person you have chosen is full of passion for the work they do.  Their desire should be: Not only to fulfill, but to exceed your expectations by creating magnificent beauty in your home. When you know this, you will see magic.  

Thanks for visiting.  Have a beautiful week !

Au Revoir,  


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