The Winner is…

“Lay me down in sheets of linen, you had a busy day today.” – Elton John

For those of you who entered the Giveaway, the time has arrived to announced the winner of the beautiful Saphyr French  Linen Pillowslips.

And, the winner is… LINDA !!

Linda, if you would send me your mailing address under the contact section of this blog, your pillowslips will be in the post by Friday, November 10, 2017.


Selecting a winner was not easy and I am happy it was not my decision.  Just to give you an idea of why Linda was chosen – listed below are two of the reasons she desired to win.

“I imagine sleeping and dreaming on luxurious linens would be more like sunlight and clouds rather than just regular pillowcases and sheets.”

“In these sometimes difficult times, my eyes have been opened to the world of kindness, love and grace. I realize how precious life is everyday and I’m passionate about creating the best time ever for myself, my family and friends.”

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter.  And, for those of you who didn’t win – don’t loose heart.  There will be several small Giveaways (French things) during the month of December – so stay tuned and follow along.  Additionally, be sure to check the Events section of this blog, which has recently been updated.  There are some lovely things happening across the country and some may be in your corner of the world.

Thanks for visiting.  Have a wonderful day !

Au Revoir,



Photos: Saphyr Pure Linen and Pinterest



The Beauty of Simplicity

“There is a certain majesty in simplicity.” – Alexander Pope

With the holidays fast approaching, certainly we are all beginning to give thought to our celebrations. If you are hosting  one or more of these special celebrations, you are most likely thinking of: the table, food and other decorations for your home.

While we all want our food, tables and decorations to be spectacular, what is really important are those family members and dear friends who will be seated at our tables, celebrating the holiday with us.  It especially matters that we take care of ourselves, so as not to be so exhausted from preparations that we are unable to enjoy this special time or create those Norman Rockwell memories.  So let’s keep it simple. Understand, this is the voice of experience speaking.

I have heard the words, ‘there is beauty in simplicity,’ most of my life. My dear mom preached these words and she was correct. When we keep our tables, decorations and food simple, then we are not exhausted. Therefore, we can enjoy the celebration of the day, and being with the people we love.  And the good news is:  Simple can be quite elegant.


Things such as satin or velvet ribbon used as a napkin ring, tied with sprigs of rosemary, boxwood, or a shaft of wheat – adds instant beauty and charm to the table. And for the centerpiece, nothing can compare with the glory of nature.  Add a few candles and you have created magic, setting the stage for a memorable time.

As an extra touch, I have always enjoyed placing a simple gift at each place setting.  Something small, but something for your guests to take home and enjoy, along with their treasured memories of the day. One such small gift is a pomander ball.  They are quite old fashioned, but so lovely.  Plus, they are easy to make and smell divine.  You can be as creative as you wish in your design or just scatter them with a few cloves.  The pretty orange is a blank canvas for your creativity, tie with narrow satin ribbon and voila – magic. Also, this special hand-made gift adds an extra splash of love.

I especially enjoy seeing them hung in a window – they are quite festive, and are a wonderful project to do with the ‘little one’s’ in your life.  Children feel most special when they see their projects hanging about.

One additional small touch I enjoy doing at Thanksgiving is serving dessert on our Christmas china.  This has come to be our custom of ringing in the Christmas season.  If you do not have Christmas china, you could serve dessert with some lovely Christmas napkins, play some Christmas music or sing Christmas carols. 

                                                  The pattern is Merry Christmas, by Johnson Brothers.

Additionally, my husband and I always light our tree on Thanksgiving evening for a while before we go to bed. It is a small indulgence we have come to enjoy. Just like velvet and satin ribbon. And, in the words of Clinton Smith, “It’s the rare quiet moments in our lives that are the most indulgent.”

 Everyone has their own special and unique way of ringing in the season.  What are some of yours?

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

Au Revoir,



Special Notes:  

  • Clinton Smith is the Editor in Chief of Veranda.
  • The Events Section of this blog has been updated.  Be sure to give it a read.  There are some lovely events happening across the country, some may be near you.
  • I will be posting some great holiday recipes soon – be sure to follow along.  Also, you can easily find previously posted recipes by going to the Recipe Archive on the bottom right of the home page. 


All photos,Pinterest

Something Delicious For You !

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces ~ just good food from fresh ingredients.”  ~ Julia Child

I don’t know about you, but when the weather turns rainy and cold, it is soup time in our home. So, since I made this delicious soup this week, I thought you may enjoy it also.  It is  super easy, and is wonderful served with a salad and crusty bread.


Butternut Squash Soup


One – 2 to 3 pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded

4 Tbls. butter

1 medium to large onion, chopped

6 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup half and half, or heavy cream

1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped


salt and pepper

sour cream and croutons for serving, optional

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks.  In a large pot melt butter, add onion and cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.  Add squash, chicken stock and apple.  Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Next, you can do 1 of 2 things:  1) with a hand potato masher, mash squash and apple until the chunks are smaller.  Then with a stick blender, blend until completely smooth. Start blender on low, slowly moving up and down, to avoid a mess.  Or:  2)  With a slotted spoon, remove squash and apple chunks, process until smooth in a blender and then return to the chicken stock.    Add, cream or half and half, about 1 tsp. of nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stir well and taste.  Return to a simmer, just until steamy hot.

Ladle into bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream and a few croutons (optional).  If you enjoy nutmeg, you can sprinkle a little extra on the top. Bon Appetit !


Best Wishes For A Wonderful Weekend !


Au Revoir,


Note If you have not registered for the most special Giveaway, you may do so by visiting here ~ the deadline to register is:  Tuesday, November 7, 2017.  The winner will be announced  on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.    


All photos:  Pinterest

Romance of the Ordinary

“Only by paying careful attention to the simple details of daily tasks and to our immediate surroundings can we live vitally and beautifully all the days of our lives.” –  Alexandra Stoddard

While most of us do not live in the South of France, and have in our view magnificent vistas, or live in gorgeous aged stone homes. We can, however, add a bit of romance to ordinary days in our castles. And, who doesn’t like a bit of romance? Romance and beauty can be added to our lives in many ways, but especially through our everyday rituals. It is this bit of romance we add to our lives, which over time, develops into the art of living well. When we make the simple things we do everyday more meaningful and attractive, this enhances all other areas of our lives, which in turn enhances the lives of those we love.

Much of life is spent living in the details.  Therefore, when we pay attention to our daily routines and rituals, we can turn them into something pleasant and lovely. We all have these rituals and details we need to address everyday.  Many of us spend time daily, tidying areas of our homes. I enjoy a giving myself a reward at the end of my work, and for me – that reward is always flowers. Slipping away to the garden to clip something lovely brings me great joy, and enhances the quality of my day. If you do not have a garden, or if it is not bloom season,  most all grocery stores have bouquets available for purchase. Treat yourself to something you deem lovely. You will be happy you did.  Flowers nourish our spirits and our homes.  They add romance in a way nothing else can. Truly, a few blooms have magical powers. 

  Sunny Girl Peony, from our garden – Spring, 2017

In thinking of the little, but significant, details in our daily lives:  I think of one which technology has made easy to overlook – handwritten notes. We all have people we need and want to thank, or let know we are thinking of them. This detail can be easily addressed by sending a quick email or a Facebook message, but neither replaces a handwritten note. Aren’t you almost giddy when you see a handwritten envelope in your mail among all the junk ?  Sure you are, and so is everyone.  So, purchase some pretty note cards or create your own, and write to thank someone or let them know you are thinking of them. You will add romance to your day, by knowing your thoughtful note will enhance the quality of their day. It is rather like the old saying, “the scent of the rose remains on the hands of the giver.” 

                                                         “Letters Mingle Souls” – John Donne

Next, one easy and definite way to add a little romance to the day,  is through the preparation of a lovely meal. You do not have to be a fabulous cook to create something beautiful, as well as marvelous tasting. Such as roasted chicken with baby potatoes, and a salad of mixed garden greens. Set a pretty table, uncork the wine, and light the candles. Instant romance!

And, while the chicken is roasting, what could be more lovely than a luxurious bath or a long steamy shower? Sprinkled with some marvelous smelling lotions and potions, of course.  

Oh, but I am not finished. Do you remember, back in May I wrote a post about beautiful linen, specifically French linen? visit here  A bed dressed with beautiful French linen, is a marvelous bit of romance we can choose to enjoy everyday. And, Saphyr Pure Linen is gorgeous French linen.  visit here

All this being said, I had promised another ‘Giveaway’ of this beautiful linen at some point during the fall.  Well, fall is here, and actually it is slipping away rather quickly. So let’s get the ‘Giveaway’ started.   To enter simply list 3 reasons you would like to win a Standard/Queen set of Saphyr Linen Fresh White Pillowslips. You can do this under the comment section at the bottom of this post or under the contact section  and it will come directly to my email.  All entries must be received by the end of the day on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.


I hope you have received a bit of romantic inspiration today.  It is, after all, the little things which make such a difference in our lives. And, by being mindful, we can add such romance to our ordinary days.  Therefore,  “living vitally and beautifully all the days of our lives.”

Wishing you and yours a beautiful week !


Au Revoir,




Photos: Pinterest, Saphyr Pure Linen, M.S. Lambiotte

Notes:  This post was not sponsored by Saphyr Pure Linen.  Although, I greatly appreciate their assistance with use of photos and information regarding Saphyr.  All photos used in this post are with permission of Saphyr Pure Linen.
























Oh My, What A Lovely Skirt !

” The details of decorating give a home its soul.” – Charles Faudree

Do you love gorgeous fabric?  I certainly do.  You might say, I am a fabric junkie. To be lost for hours in a fabric warehouse is simply splendid.  It is marvelous to touch, feel and drool over beautiful fabrics and envision them created into something magnificent. I particularly enjoy seeing an exquisite piece of fabric transformed into a lovely table skirt. 

Skirted tables are classic.  They can add color, charm and texture to a room. Creating beauty and providing service. A table wearing such gorgeousness, creates attention and begs to be admired.    

Skirted table coverings can be made for any table.  They are stunning either pleated, slightly gathered or simply made to drape. And, when they are embellished with some fabulous trim or ribbon, well, they advance to a new level.

Additionally, an overlay or topper in a contrasting or different type of fabric, can add to the charm of a skirt. Along the edge of the overlay is a wonderful place to add trim.  Often, I like to take a contrasting fabric and create a small pleated edge.  This can take time, but is far less expensive than purchasing ready-made trim.  

While skirted tables are lovely, and can often be a showpiece, they are also quite functional.  They create warmth in a large entryway, and are so welcoming in this space which can often seem cold.  When placed next to a sofa, chair or bedside, they provide a perfect space for a fabulous lamp and treasured mementos. 


But, one of the finest assets of a skirted table is: The table itself need not be perfect or to your liking. If you come across a great find and it is the size you need, that simply translates to ~ spend your money on gorgeous fabric. Underneath a skirted table is also a great storage area, for items seldom used.  Under one of mine, I store a collection of pitchers and vases used to hold peonies. Understand, when you have over 60 peonies, it is necessary to have many containers during bloom season.

And, I can’t fail to mention lovely skirted vanity tables.  A skirted vanity is so romantic and adds such softness to a bedroom.  It serves to remind us to slow down for a moment, dress lovely, mist ourselves with a marvelous intoxicating potion and put our best foot forward.  Which always lifts our spirits, and impacts our day.



While I love all the beautiful skirts I have shown, I would have to say one of my most favorite coverings is one designed for a dining room or kitchen table.  Not just an ordinary skirt or table covering, but a covering for a dining table simply designed and dressed by the masters of charm ~ the French.  The French can serve you a simple meal of an omelet, gorgeous wine, salad and cheese.  Yet, when you are seated to a beautifully dressed table, clearly you are moved to be in the moment with family and/or friends.  You are seduced by the charm and captivated by the beauty of simplicity.  A marvelously dressed French table is most often coverings to the floor, full and flowing, often with layers. Magnifique !



I hope I have provided a wee bit of inspiration today. For it is true, the details we choose to add in our homes, truly gives them ‘soul’ and makes them ‘sing.’  

Exquisite details make interiors sing.” – Larry Laslo

Wishing you and yours a beautiful week !

Au Revoir,



All photos: pinterest and Atlanta Homes, House Beautiful, Traditional Home and Veranda

The Captivating Charm Of A Vignette

“Gathering beloved objects and collectibles together in artistic vignettes makes a house a home.”  Unknown 

The French word vignette, means “little vine.”  However, today it has come to mean a lovely intimate grouping of things.  A grouping which often tells a story.

While vignettes can become a focal point in a room, personally, I love to come upon them. A beautiful vignette never fails to captivate your heart.  It can hold photos of  family members you cherish or a special celebration, books you love, a treasure acquired on a trip, flowers you adore – many different things. A vignette can be in any room of your home, and grouped in various different ways.  However, it will hold things of meaning, only for you.  These special creations bring such life to your home and provide unmatched charm. 

A vignette is especially lovey in an entryway or foyer.

In the kitchen, a vignette can add interest to a large island or a specific area.



Vignettes can also be most helpful in the kitchen. They can serve as a means of keeping items, often used, grouped together and close at hand.  

Items on their own can appear scattered or untended.  However, when grouped together they create greater visual impact.  

Items grouped together can also create a softness which they may have standing alone.



The bathroom is also a lovely place for a vignette.  In this area they can be extremely useful,  as well as visually beautiful.


But, there is more – wall vignettes.  These storytellers,  are often carefully chosen pieces of lovely china, treasured heirlooms or collections.

The photo above is a design by, the late Charles Faudree


There is a bit of skill involved in arranging a lovely vignette.  Such skill, like any skill, improves with use.  So, gather the things you love, call forth your creativity, and begin to play.  Vignettes are a wonderful way to bring those things you have been hiding in the closet, out where you can enjoy them.  Find a pretty tray to use.  If you need to elevate some things, use a few marvelous old books or a garden planter.  There is no written rule that garden things must be used completely for gardening.  The garden world has some gorgeous containers.  Add a small candle or a vase of flowers – magic!   

In closing, I will tell you something I know to be true, and feel is significant in creating an enchanting home or garden:  “Homes, like gardens, should reveal themselves to you.  One does not need to see everything immediately. When you sit in a room or garden, I feel it is marvelous to be charmed and fall under its’ spell. Simply, taking the time to enjoy the contents of the room or garden as it slowly begins to say, Hello.”  The same holds true for a lovely vignette, it should slowly reveal itself to you. This is when the magic comes alive and you will clearly see the beauty and charm.  Thereby, using a beautiful decorating tool, and affectionately transforming a house into a home, or a yard into a garden.  

Thanks for visiting. Have a beautiful week !


Au Revoir, 



Photos: Pinterest and Facebook

October Thoughts

“But these are the days we dream about when the sunlight paints us gold.”  – Unknown

October is a most favorite month for me. It is the last month before the holiday season swings into full gear.  And, speaking of the holiday season, it seems to be approaching rather quickly this year.  Perhaps, I am simply getting older.  

Whatever the case may be, I wondered if October was moving along rather quickly for you, too.  So, before we loose this gorgeous month, I thought I would send you a few things you may like to place on your ‘to do list.’ Fun things.

Do you have pumpkins for your porch? If not, plan a visit to a local pumpkin patch or farmers’ market and select a few that make you smile.


And, be sure to pick up a few small pumpkins.  They make wonderful luminaries for driveways and porches. 

Plan a fall gathering for a few friends or family members.  Keep it simple.  A wonderful soup, salad, crusty bread, and nice wine is perfection.  With a cranberry, pear galette for dessert, of course (recipe included). No need to fuss over flowers for the table. Simply gather a pretty array of leaves, a couple of trailing vines, place in a pitcher or stone crock and you have created magic.  On the table, scatter some apples, pears, tiny pumpkins and add few candles – beautiful.

This is also the time to begin to think about spring. Yes, spring. Now is the time to plant crocus, daffodils and tulips.  When spring arrives and you see these lovely, cheerful things in bloom, you will be happy you made the effort to plant them.

And, most important, take some time to bathe in the beauty of the season.  Pack a picnic, a thermos of coffee or cider, drive to a glorious spot and simply enjoy. Because, the words of Mary Oliver are so true – “We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.”  


Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy these October days ! 

Au Revoir,


Rustic Cranberry-Pear Galette

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. sugar

1 Tbls. cornstarch

1 tsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. ground connamon

4 cups bartlett or bosc pears

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp. vanilla

1 refrigerated pie crust at room temperature

1 egg white

1 Tbls. water

Preheat oven to 450. Coat 10 inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray – set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon, blend well.  Add pears, cranberries and vanilla and toss to coat.  Remove crust from pouch, unfold it and place on the prepared pie plate.  Spoon pear mixture in center of crust to within 2 inches of the edge.  Fold edge of crust 2 inches over pear mixture and crimp slightly.  In a small bowl, combine egg white, water and whisk until well blended.  Brush egg wash onto outer edges of pie crust and sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar.  Bake 25 minutes or until pears are tender and crust is golden brown.

Note:  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


Photos: Pinterest, Facebook

The Thrill of The Hunt!

“To collect anything, no matter what, is the healthy human impulse of man and boy, and the longer and harder the search, the greater the joy of acquisition.” ~ Agnes Repplier

So, what do you collect?  Perhaps there are so many treasures which appeal to you, it is difficult to focus on one particular thing which sends you over the moon.  That is certainly the case with me.  Especially when I see something I know has a story. Such as an old quilt. 

I always wonder about the person who created it, what their life was like, and the hours of work and love it took to create such a thing of beauty. Quilts are great love stories and I have collected many of these beauties through the years.  To me, it is a privilege to be their caretaker.    

Isn’t it strange how one thing can lead us to another? The love of quilts, led me to appreciate and collect handwoven coverlets, which led me to become a weaver. Weaving deepened my appreciation of all handwork and household textiles.

However, my greatest joy in learning to weave was finding my treasured barn loom. My husband and I came upon this great treasure while traveling over the mountains of West Virginia into Virginia. My treasure was found disassembled in a chicken coop. Truly, it was a lovely roost for the chickens.  However, after hours of scrubbing and cleaning, its beauty came shining through and my goodness, it weaves wonderfully. It has a 54 inch weaving width (unusual, most are 36 inches), a dove tailed breast beam and the maker’s name carved at the top ~ John Roher.  Unfortunately, he did not carve the date. My treasured loom came from an old log homestead in Pendleton County West Virginia. So often, I have wished the loom could talk. I do know, it would be fascinating to hear her stories. 

Ah, but there is more.  I have come to think, “Surely, I must have a collecting gene.”  My mother had it.  I can remember going with her, at a young age, to estate sales and antique shops.  This is where I received my education about condition, quality and price. An education which has served me well, as I have enjoyed the ‘thrill of the hunt’ for many years.

So, you ask, what else do I hunt and collect?  Let’s see.  There are butter molds, crockery mixing bowls (especially blue), and beautiful china. Gorgeous vintage china is a wonderful world and it can surely lead you down the hunting path. There are fabulous patterns, shapes, colors and pieces.  And, not to mention stunning teacups, saucers, and teapots.

My interest in teacups and teapots led me to a most interesting course ~ “How to Prepare and Serve a Formal Tea.”  It was a great course and the amount of material covered in the class was amazing. Not only did I learn a great deal, I met many other ladies who also collected teacups, teapots, and various other things. Furthermore, my association with these women gave me the great pleasure of being part of forming a tea society. The society met at a local historic home and we served tea to guests when the home was open to the public. I would never have had this unique experience or met this lovely group of women, if it were not for teacups and teapots. 

These things we hunt and acquire are what can make our homes uniquely ours.  They also serve to remind us of wonderful times shared with family and friends  during our hunting adventures. I enjoy seeing a certain piece in our home and reflecting on who was with me when it was purchased. Such memories …they warm my heart.  

So, if you are not a collector, perhaps you have received a bit of inspiration today.  Grab a dear friend, and take off one Saturday morning. Coffee and newspaper in hand. Visit local estate sales, antique malls and shops. You just might be amazed at what you will find. And I promise, you will make the best memories. Also, you may discover what I know to be true ~ “Antiques offer us an enduring reminder of stability and permanence.” ~ Barbara Taylor Bradford

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy this glorious season and Happy Hunting!

Au Revoir,



Photos: All photos Pinterest, Vintage Blessings and Victoria Magazine.


As most of you know, I began writing this blog as a way to inspire others toward seeing beauty all around us. Where ever we may live beauty is there, and beauty does and can change our world.  I know this to be true, I try desperately hold on to this knowledge.

However, I will tell you, today I am shaken to my very core by the recent events in Las Vegas. I feel I have seen one too many horrific acts of violence. And my dear friends, I feel certain you feel that way, too.

Each and everyone of us are joined to all those who lost their lives and their families, to those who survived and their families, and all the first responders and their families.  We are joined to them all because we are humans and that connects us. We care their lives are forever changed.

So at these dreadful times, what do we do?  I look for words and strength from a higher power and from those who can articulate their feelings into words in a far more meaningful way than I am capable of doing. I feel the following words from Neil Gaiman provide hope. “A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels, and dreams, and a world in which there is hope.” 

This morning before you begin your day, please say a simple prayer for all those involved in this heart breaking event. Pray for guidance as we strive to make a better world.  Together, we must make it so – humanity depends on it.  

Love to all of you and those you love.  

Au Revoir, 



Photo: Pinterest

The Power of Beauty

“Perhaps I am too attached to beauty, I’ve no idea; I love it, I adore it, I think about it all the time, I strive to create it, and to re-create it.” – Yves Saint Laurent

I love the words of Yves Saint Laurent.  He perfectly states my very thoughts. I love, and have loved, beauty my entire life. It is my passion and is always somewhere in the mix of everything I do. 

My mother had an inherent love of beauty and she passed it on to me. She knew quality and loved beautiful well made furniture, gorgeous fabrics, art and magnificent gardens. She taught me to care about it all, and I do. But, on my own and through many years of living, I have come to know the power of beauty.  

Waking up in a beautiful room has power over our day.   


Walking into a lovely kitchen in the morning, with wonderful light streaming through the windows, is a glorious way to begin a day.  The sight of such beauty provides us with joy.  Puts us in a good mood.  And then, we take our moods out into the world.

As we return to our private world of retreat, beauty in our homes can lighten our hearts and instantly alleviate the stress and cares of the day.  Beauty can cheer and nurture us as we relax in our precious homes with those we love, surrounded by things which are meaningful to us.

While beautiful interiors can significantly impact our lives, the same holds true for the world of nature. For me, the world of nature is the garden.  I do understand not everyone is a gardener, nor does every home lend itself to a garden. However, everyone can visit lovely parks or gardens, and enjoy a long soak in beauty.  To stand in front of something magnificently in bloom can be life changing. Truly, it can.

When we enjoy and are aware of beauty in our interior spaces or nature, we are uplifted, we pause and admire. Our hearts are touched – we are forever changed.  And, that is the power of beauty.


In closing this post, I would like to share the poignant words from Beth Webb. Ms. Webb is an Atlanta-based home interior designer and author of the recently released book, “An Eye for Beauty.”

 “Beauty enhances life in ways well beyond words.  No day should pass without our experiencing a sense of beauty in one form or another, even for a moment. A glimpse of the possibility of perfection. Something wonderful against the skin. A snatch of melody. A whiff of perfume. A taste of happiness.”



Thanks for visiting. May all your days be enhanced by Beauty!  

Au Revoir, 



Photos:  Michael S. Lambiotte, Pinterest, House Beautiful

Peony photos are from Le Jardin @ Maison de Jardin, Clarksburg, WV