Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Food, books and flowers ~

I have the most wonderful local library and sometimes when I see new books that sound interesting to me I go first to see if the library has them available. Often if they are not in their collection and they sound worthy they will buy them. Such is the case with these three books. 

The first is My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz. This is a beautiful book, it just feels good in the hands, and full of lovely antidotes and ideas for cooking in the Paris manner. It is just too good to pass up and I definitely want one of my own.

The other two, In a French Kitchen and The French Beauty Solution (do you see a theme here) are also great. In a French Kitchen has really made me think about a new way to look at food and the way I eat. It offers suggestions for honoring fresh ingredients and elevating the humblest meal into a treat. Her recipe for a blue cheese quiche sounds divine. The author, Susan Herrman Loomis has written several other well received books, most notably, On Rue Tatin.

The French  Beauty Solution is a detour from cooking. The author, Mathilde Thomas, is one of the founders of Caudalie skincare products, it is written in a practical manner and offers lots of suggestions and ideas for taking care of your skin. What I like is the emphasis on practical and low cost products that don't offer miracles but bring out the best in your appearance. She also has a nice section on do-it-yourself masks.

I think I am fated to buy these two books too.

About bringing out the camellias this year are amazing. I can't remember when they have been so lush, and the sizes are amazing. I have no idea what this one is called, it is very old and has become a small tree. I love the soft blush pink color. I just had to share it. This bouquet is really brightening up the office.

If you enjoy food, books and flowers I guess this is the post for you.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winter roses ~

The last of the roses. 
The rain and frost seem only to have increased their beauty.

The annual pruning of the garden is underway, When I came across these I hated to cut them, but it needed to be done. 

Hopefully next spring they will be in full bloom again and lovelier than ever. One of the glories of gardening is watching the waning and renewal. In our warmer climate it isn't as dramatic as those in colder areas. Even so, for the next few months my Southern California garden will look very bare with just a few winter annuals to fill in the emptiest spots. and then...


Spring will arrive!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hidden treasure ~

After the holidays when I was putting everything away. I realized how many lovely silver pieces I have. I usually take them out to use for special occasions such as holiday dinners. During the rest of the time, for the most part because silver tarnishes, I try to keep it in stored wrapped up with tarnish strips.

But what's the fun in that. 


I have always wanted a butler's pantry and that simply isn't going to happen so I decided that for the winter months I would turn one of the kitchen cabinets into my version of one. And into it just like a real butler's pantry in a wonderful English county house would go of most of my silver. It's my little version of Downton Abby. 

So instead of hidden away it is out for the next few months to enjoy.

I really don't know where it all came from, some were wedding gifts, the coffee and tea service were given to me for my twenty fifth wedding anniversary. Many of the trays my brother gave me. The two chafing dishes were year sale finds. The two bridal baskets are antiques, one from a family friend and the other from a thrift store.

The candelabras, tea caddy and tea strainer were my Mothers and the exquisite little bud vase I bought on a whim at a lovely florist shop as a gift to myself.

Later this Spring, when it all will get stored away again there probably will be lots of polishing to do but right now it gives me great pleasure every time I walk into the kitchen. It has been rather like a hidden treasure in my own house.

Thank you for visitng

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Miss Twiggley ~

I know, I know, cats should not be on the counter tops and I keep telling this to Miss Twiggley, but she refuses to listen.

 Naughty Cat, but she is still very, very cute.

If only she would mind!

Thank you for visiting. I hope your new year is off to a good start.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Succulent box ~

Getting everything put away after the holidays seems to have taken more time this year. It didn't help that my basement was flooded by our recent heavy rain storms not just once but twice. I appreciate the rain, it is so badly needed, and I expected to have some problems with my roof, but not the basement.  Life is never what you think it is going to be. For now the problem is fixed and I hope it doesn't happen again. 
After all of the decorations were finally put away safely, the house looked pretty bare, especially the kitchen. I decided that January would be the month of succulents and silver...more on silver in another post. I hadn't used the box I made for a while and what better to do then plant it with succulents, perfect for the sunny, west facing, shelve under my kitchen window.

It fits the space but still leaves room at each end for Miss Twiggley to sit and enjoy looking at the birds in the orange tree outside. This is one of the spots I plan on putting one of the new bird feeders I got for Christmas. I think it will provide her with lots of entertainment.

I really like succulents as house plants, like orchids they last for what seems like forever and then you can plant them outside. I always use cuttings from the garden and this is just another way to add more. And...they do look quite pretty!

I hope your new year is off to a good start.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I think I am ready for New Years Eve...let me see

noise makers, 
lots and lots of poppers, 
Yes, everything is here.
The champagne is chilling and the prime rib is in the oven.

Let the fun begin!

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy. and healthy


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mantle, garlands and Miss Twiggley ~

 The mantle was left to the last this year, I couldn't decide exactly what to do.

I even bought some new garlands at Michaels hoping that would inspire me, but I ended up taking them back and using what I already had: cuttings from the Home Depot Christmas tree lot, my very, very favorite crunchy garlands, that sparkle and glisten in the light...

 some of the frosted ornaments I made last year, lots of wired ribbon...

silk flowers, fairy lights, jeweled fruit...

and this is what I got.

Miss Twiggley loves it and so far although she has spent time inspecting she hasn't knocked anything down.

Her favorite Christmas spot this year is here...

I think she is waiting in the window for Santa's sleigh, little does she know that her gifts are already waiting for her under the tree!

Merry Christmas