Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 Halloween Costume Party And Sleep Over!!

Another fun new Halloween tradition.    Like last year, Daniel invited several friends from school for a costume and sleepover party.  

 If you've ever hosted a kid's sleepover than I'm sure you're aware of the energy needed to endure such an event.  Especially, when it's around a holiday that involves lots of sugar.  

The dining room was decor was inspired by the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller " The Birds".

Daniel in the backyard setting up the movie projector the night before.   Love that he still loves being a kid yet is mature enough to help with set up.

Backyard is set up and ready for Saturday night's movie and activities. 

The special guests such as Link,Harry Potter and the Grim Reaper started to arrive after 3:30pm ready to cast spells and do battle!


 Before the first movie, the kids decorated cookie dough for the oven.


This year's movies were Hotel Transylvania and Monster House.  It was a great idea not to offer them any sugar until after the movies.

Intermission for Pizza!!!!!

After pizza came a few sweet treats which got them on their feet dancing to the movie.

After the movies, the kids headed up to Daniel's room for a few board and electronic games before ending the evening with the boy's sleepover(knocked out at 2:30am and woke up at 4am according to them).  It was a great evening.  Always love seeing Daniel so happy.  Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Travel Arrangements" and a brief Home Tour

I loved last week's dinner party flowers  so much that I could not wait to bring them home to enjoy them while they lasted.   Who wouldn't love fresh flowers in every room ALL of the time?


   Since that kind of extravagance is not realistic for us, I did the next best thing....took photos of the two beauties in a few spaces around our home.  I loved the pictures and thought this would be a good excuse to give you a brief tour! 

 Cockscombs have become one of my new favorite fall blooms.  The rich red color complimented almost every space in our house. 

Bar in living room

Too bad fresh flowers cost so much.   If my friends had not convinced me that artificial flowers are bad "Feng-shui" I would have faux arrangements everywhere!   In truth, I do have quite a few that I k put away when I'm expecting those "critical" guests.

Corner round table vignette in living room

I also buy planted flowers, mostly orchids, because their beauty and their longevity work well for our family budget.

Master Bedroom

We redecorated the master bedroom last year.  We painted the walls the same color as the living room, Cream Wave by Dunn Edwards.

We added picture frame molding on the walls as well as vintage torchiere sconces from Carlson Galleries Antiques.

I had slipcovers made in a chocolate brown velvet fabric with greek key border trim for the 2 upholstered chairs in the room.

The Secretary desk and chair were purchased at an estate sale.

All of the window drapes,bed canopy and skirt were made by Linda of Lindas Window Dressing.  Great workmanship, prices and fast delivery.



The seating was purchased from World Market in 2013.   Original cushions were just the solid white. I added black squares using 1 1/2" grosgrain ribbon trim to give them an updated look.

Instead of purchasing new chaise lounges, I repainted them black and highlighted the carved decorative details with an outdoor metallic gold paint.  I did the same with the black garden stools.  Installed sconces over the chaises for candlelight in the evenings. Finally, covered the wood fence with black and white striped outdoor drapery panels.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I'm joining the "Share Your Style" blog party at The Vintage Nest.  Please visit The Visit Nest for great style inspiration!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fete de la Bastille

The past weekend Dan and I co-hosted a fundraiser auction dinner with our neighbor Robin benefitting our neighborhood association. Ten Francophile winning bidders were entitled to a feast.

Robin graciously offered her French revival architecture home and she and Dan prepared the menu. Of course, I was responsible for the tablescape.  They didn't have to ask me twice.

 Our dinner was originally set for July to coincide with Bastille Day which was our event theme.   However, due to extensive water damage in Robin's home, the dinner had to be postponed.  Unfortunately, two of our generous donors were unable to attend the rescheduled dinner so we were set for 8.

   As soon as I received the menu it was clear that a formal ambiance would be the only fitting setting for these l'eau a la bouche dishes. The " French Empire" era immediately came to mind.

 I went online to Zazzle to create personal menus for our guests.  I found a very beautiful shade of blue for the cards which also became an inspiration for a 3rd theme color with the already decided burgundy/red and gold.  I used a combination of the most baroque fonts available on the site which are Flemish Script,English Adagio/Presto/Vivace and Garamond Bold/Italic.  

I chose Haviland china for the first 2 entrees.  Host Robin's beautiful deep red silk drapes in her dining room was the inspiration for the colors burgundy-red and gold.  I immediately knew this set would compliment the table and room perfectly. 

Flowers were purchased from my favorite local wholesaler, Flora Fresh Inc.  Floral design is probably my most favorite part of creating tablescapes.  

I used Valhalla china by Noritake  for the 3rd and 4th entrees.

Mocked table setting

A couple days prior to the dinner I created a couple of mocked table settings that included the Noritake set which I shared with my Facebook friends/family to help me decide between the Noritake and Haviland.

Noritake Navy/Gold border china on deck in the butler's pantry
The Haviland received a few more votes but since the Noritake was such a close contender I decided to use both.  The Haviland for the first and main course.  The Noritake for the 3rd and 4th course.  Finally the glass gold rim plate for dessert.  It worked out perfectly.

First up on the  menu was the "moules en crème et Pernod" (Mussels with cream and pernod).

Next was the "Boeuf en croute" (beef wellington) with creamy green peppercorn sauce!

Beef tenderloin brushed with dijon mustard sauce wrapped in duxelle and prosciutto in a puff pastry served with steamed asparagus and fingerling potatoes,fresh herbs and garlic.

The  third entree was pan fried goat cheese salad with hazelnut vinaigrette.

The fromage cart was rolled out for the 4th entree with delicious cheeses from various regions of France with cranberry raisins,dried apricots, quince and sweet liqueur.


Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the photos.  I will be linking this post to Naps Between The Porch's Tablescape Thursdays so be sure and visit the website for other great table setting ideas. Until next time, au revoir.