Sunday, March 30, 2014

The First Anniversary - A Year of Learning


It's hard to imagine that March 31st marks the first anniversary of my blogging experience!  I have enjoyed learning about this new adventure/hobby and I thank everyone who has stopped by to see what we've been up to!  I was really surprised to see that I've had over 10,000 views!  Wow!!!  I never would have imagined THAT when I started last year!  I had two original goals: to learn a new computer skill as I was retiring from teaching AND to keep track of my progress in another new hobby, photography.  I think I'm doing well working toward those two ...not all the way there yet, but that's part of the fun!

I'm keeping these goals for the next year plus adding a change of look to the blog (as soon as I find a new one I like).  I've added lots of other activities to my retirement plate and this will continue to be a place for sharing some of those with you.  I hope you'll stop by now and then and catch up.  Please leave me a note to let me know what you've been doing!  I love reading your comments!!

I'm going to highlight a few of the most popular posts from this past year.  It's been fun looking back, learning from them and thinking of new ideas!

Again, thanks for a great first year!!


My first Tablescape:  Dining on the Porch                                          (353 views)

The Second Table:  Mid Summer Setting                                    (269 views)


Shutter Screen Project                                                                (250 views)

Christmas Dollar Store Finds                                                       (282 views)
New Use for an Old Crate                                                           (256 views)
Rustic and Romantic                                                                  (459 views)

Linking to:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Changes for the Front Porch

Our Front Porch has been a little neglected since I put the Christmas decorations away in January so I decided to add a little color for spring. 

I bought this fabric at Wal-Mart at the end of last summer, thinking I'd have lots of time to make new chair cushion and pillow covers over the winter.  I finally got it out again this week.  Sewing is not exactly my forte but I can usually get the job done.

I decided to use both fabrics on each cover so I could change the look now and then.  I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.


These chairs came from my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Ed's home.  They lived just up the street from us when I was growing up.  I used to stop by sometimes on the way home from school.  Aunt Eleanor would always have grape juice and cookies.  (She's the only one I've ever know who served those together but I have such sweet memories!!)  When she was moving out of her home, her daughter asked if I wanted these chairs for my front porch.  I thought they would fit perfectly!  They've been on OUR porch for over 20 years! 

When we built our home in 1991, Wonderful Hubby built me this porch swing using the left over wood from our floors.  Isn't it beautiful?  Our porch faces East and this swing is the perfect place to sip my coffee and read in the morning.  I decided to make a cushion for it, too. 

I used some cushions I had from another project.  What a difference this little bit of color and comfort added!!  I can't wait until it stays warm so I can enjoy more mornings on our front porch!

What are you doing to get ready for Spring??
Linking to these great parties:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pansy Tea Party

Spring is in the air! 

I found this pretty snack tea set at a local resale shop last year.  I've wanted to create a post featuring it but since it didn't come with a tea pot, the post was put on hold. 

For the past year, I've kept an eye out for one. Last week a friend at another resale shop came across this one.  The pansies are a little different but I think it works. 

The original set came with four snack plates, four cups and a cookie plate.  The pretty purple pansies remind me of spring! 


Do you see my "Lady of the Manor" pillow?  It's the one Precious Daughter brought me from her trip to London several years ago and the inspiration for my blog name.  You can read about it here.

My mother had several sets of snack trays that were clear and in a grape vine pattern.  I haven't seen many sets that were painted china. 

I hope you enjoyed my Pansy Tea Party as much as I did!

Precious daughter brought me some pansies for my garden this weekend. I'll try to get them in the ground later this week.   :)
Linking to these great parties:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Pea and Mint Pesto

When I first read this recipe, I was intrigued by the combination of ingredients. They come together deliciously is this fresh tasting crostini spread!  I think I first made these for our Friday Night Specials later in the spring because I remember using my own mint.  It hasn't recovered from our long winter yet but wanted to share this recipe in March because of it's bright green color.  Enjoy!

For the Pesto

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

    For the Crostini:
  • Whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, diced, optional

  • Directions
    For the pea pesto: 
    Add the peas, Parmesan, garlic, fresh mint, and salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
    For the crostini:
    Preheat a stovetop griddle or grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and grill until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
    Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice. If you want, top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or tomato halves and transfer to a serving platter before serving.

    Enjoy with a nice glass of white wine!
    This recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

    Linking to:

    Foodie Friday
    Submarine Sunday

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

    Shamrock Breakfast

    I'm so tired of winter, aren't you?  We've had a lot of snow and it lasted a little too long for my taste.  I prefer "Mood Snow."  The kind that covers the grass but melts when it hits the roads. 
    We didn't have much Mood Snow this winter.

    Green is the color I'm into these days.  Green, as in grass, spring leaves and moss.  This week, I've been decorating for Spring.  I may have overdone it, though.  When Favorite Son came home from college last night, he asked, "What's up with all the GREEN?"
    It must be a tad too much if he noticed.
    My table this month is Wearing the Green, too. 

    I've had these green glass dishes for awhile now.  I picked them up at a local resale shop and they have the Anchor Hocking mark on them. 
    The white floral dishes are Cameo Rose that I found at a Goodwill Store on one of our adventures.  I've never heard of this maker.
    Anyone know about Mary Dunbar Jewel Homemakers Institute?
    The salt and pepper shakers are Depression Glass from my MIL. 
    I tried several different chargers before settling with these modern square platters.
    Aren't these stemmed glasses pretty!  They're so delicate!

    Here are a few extra pieces I tried when first setting this table. 
    My Dear Mother-in-Law had a lot of Depression Glass pieces that she has since shared with her daughter, grandchildren and me.  
    Here are peeks at a few of my pieces in green.


    I found these shamrocks at the store the other day and love using them
    on our breakfast table! 

    These shamrocks are a little sign spring isn't far away. 
    I know I'm ready.  How about you?
    Linking to these parties:
    Seasonal Sunday
    Metamorphosis Monday
    Tuesdays at Our Home
    Inspire Me Tuesday
    Let's Dish
    Tablescape Thursday
    Share Your Cup Thursday
    Feathered Nest Friday
    Home Sweet Home