Spring On The Beauty

Spring on the beauty time is here, and my heart is full of expectation for the best of the season to show up and beautifully show out.


It’s time for spring.


Southern Living Magazine – Photography by Hector Manuel Sanchez



Grapevine Interiors

Yellow may be color blocking the best of spring at the moment, but without a little pollen the vibrant and pastel colors accenting spring’s palette wouldn’t be.

And without bees…


Treillage Serene Sky Fabric

New spring blooms provide a pretty in pink landscape throughout the neighborhood.

in full bloom azaleas

Fresh flowers, delightful fragrances, visually stunning table settings, and the scent and sight of spring’s calling card in the late afternoon or evening gorgeously set the scene, mood, and table for spring entertaining.


Country Living Magazine

Recently I rewatched the episode of “Sex and the City” I Love a Charade – my idea of a spring on the beauty garden party and the essentials for success.

Butterfly on Lilac

Butterfly on Lilac


Good friends.

Seasonal dishes.

Smooth tunes.

Beautifully accessorized tables.




Comer Wheelbarrow Salad Bowl

Spring influences salads, sides, and sweets.


Colorful Vegetables

What’s in a garden salad?


Benjamin Moore Tomato Red
Benjamin Moore Mayonnaise
Behr Asparagus
Benjamin Moore Cucumber

Spring Crudités Board with White Bean-and-Pea Dip

Spring Crudités Board with White Bean-and-Pea Dip Recipe

Tory Burch Home lettuce ware dishes

Tory Burch Home

Many evenings we’ll dine al fresco on the patio or front porch for the spring of it all.

Cabbage Oval Platter

Cabbage Oval Platter

This is the sweet spot time before mosquitoes and humidity become unwelcome guests at the dinner table.

pea salad recipe

English Pea Salad Recipe

We design and decorate spaces and places in the home for the season with great anticipation.

Why not carry the theme through to spring cuisine?


Frosted Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe from Butternut Bakery

Color, texture, pattern, and taste repeats throughout chosen spring favorites.


Butterfly Meadow Gazebo Cookie Jar

Wares and decorative pieces inspired by spring set the loveliest of tables and trays.


Eden Pitcher

Our senses alert us to spring’s arrival, and color-rich gardens treat the eye and heart to the beauty of spring.

How I love a season that shows out!



Fall Home Decor and Recipes Gotta Have It List

Blog posts, like the spaces and places in the home, benefit from seasonal updating.  If you’re like me, all things fall home decor and recipes counts as a conversation worth having and a blog post worth reading.

fall home decor and recipes

Fall home decor and recipes suited for cozy days into evenings and scrumptious snacks and meals scripts a feels good to be home narrative.

As the dog days grow shorter and first signs of changing colors make their presence known,  thoughts of fall naturally come to mind.

Oh, what fall fun we decoristas have when we are:


Southern Living Magazine – Photography by Helen Norman

Setting seasonal tablescapes.


Autumn Harvest Rice Recipe

Developing, delighting in, and discovering recipes big on the flavors of the season.

wreath-for-fall-2020 (1)

Decorating the interiors and exteriors of house, heart, home, and hearth.


Better Homes & Gardens

Great serving pieces, serving trays, compotes, set of table linens, throw pillows, lamps, wall accents, rugs- it doesn’t take a complete space overhaul or remodel to introduce texture, color, or pattern of the season to your interior or exterior home decor.


Don’t forget the menu.


Talk about one of the most delicious ways to welcome fall home decor and recipes to a new season!

Let’s take a look at this season’s Gotta Have It list.



Brooks Brothers Glazed Ceramic Table Lamp

French Bulldog Teapot– just for fall fun!

Autumn Spice Toile Salad Plates

J&G Meakin “Romantic England” Gravy Boat

Better Homes & Gardens Sweater Knit Decorative Square Throw Pillow

Fall Acorn Shaped Pillow

Figural Pine Cone Wax Candle

White Leaf Table Decor

12.5in Wood Give Thanks Lazy Susan

Cozy is a delightful guest- one who never wears out its welcome. Designing a cozy setting is not an exercise in difficulty.


fireplace-winter-antique-chair-Stacy-Goldberg (1)

Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Stacy Goldberg

Warm colors mingled among textured accents, collected finds, and antique pieces set against the backdrop of layers of soft and comfy candlelight or a crackling fire in the fireplace invite cozy to settle in and stay awhile.

Glass Figural Pumpkin Acorn Trails - Threshold™

Glass Figural Pumpkin Acorn Trails – Threshold™

Bring a little pumpkin of your favorite spice and scent to your fall soiree.

4pk Glass Votive Set Vanilla Pumpkin

4pk Glass Votive Set Vanilla Pumpkin

Getting into the fall of it all is fun, keeps things decoratively interesting, and doesn’t have to break the bank.

Fall Cream Berry & Wheat Wreath by Bloom Room

Fall Cream Berry & Wheat Wreath by Bloom Room

Hops Arrangement in Ceramic Pot

Hops Arrangement in Ceramic Pot

Mini Maple Leaf Wreath Red

Mini Maple Leaf Wreath Red

4pk Figural Votives Apples Candle Red

4pk Figural Votives Apples Candle Red

fall autumn kitchen soups

Southern Lady Magazine

Time spent in the kitchen at fall is time spent in the presence of the comfort of home.

Kitchen Towel 'Multi-Plaid'

Kitchen Towel ‘Multi-Plaid’

vintage-pewter-sugar-bowl-oak-acorn-motif (1)

Vintage Pewter Sugar Bowl with Oak Acorn Motif


Late summer into early fall sunsets casts shadows full of nuance ready to shadow dance with rich colors, patterns and textures that highlight the very best of the season.


If I didn’t know better, I would think wooden dough bowls strictly exist for housing a natural bounty of fall’s most gorgeous finds.


Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Edmund Barr

Rich warm colors perfectly accentuate indoor and outdoor spaces prime for feathering in seasonal splendor.


Cinderella-pumpkins-local (1)

Fads & Frames

Rework a display you’ve enjoyed during the previous season with a simple addition to and subtraction of.


When creating a fall -autumn inspired arrangement, I like to let the flora fall where they may.

Frankly, it plays up the natural aspect of the season which advances the uncomplicated yet beautiful effect you’re going for.

Red and yellow tropical Proteas as a stand alone or complementing accent add seasonal color, and look absolutely smashing with a bouquet of foliage.


Fall treasuring hunting has commenced focusing on new and vintage items for fall decorating.


Staying close to home and heart with home decor accessories selections in a vintage and antique theme comes naturally to my tastes.

hobnail-cake-plate (1)

Fall feasts reminds me of a neighbor friend who is known for a strict and steadfast entertaining rule she swears by.

Jadeite Footed Loop Design Cake Stand

Jadeite Footed Loop Design Cake Stand

She is of the belief it is in poor taste and the epitome of bad entertaining manners to have an empty cake stand or cake plate set out on the buffet or sideboard when having guests over.


Far be it from me to argue with that particular entertaining principle, so allow me to play the fall baking fairy furnishing y’all with my apple nut cake recipe complete with sprinkles of cinnadust.

This classic recipe is a c’est si bon fall favorite, and is cake stand or plate worthy.

recipe apple nut cake 1

Apple Nut Cake


1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

½  cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½  teaspoon nutmeg

½  teaspoon cinnamon

½  teaspoon ground cloves

½  teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½  cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

½  cup applesauce

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced


½  cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¼  cup butter or margarine

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

½  cup chopped pecans


Peel and slice apples.  Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves and lemon juice to apples coating well; set aside.  Mix together sugar and oil.  Add the eggs and beat until creamy.  Add vanilla.  Combine salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour together.

Introduce dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.  Next, add apples, applesauce and chopped pecans and mix by hand.

Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For the icing:

In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly.  Boil for one minute continuing to stir or whisk constantly.

Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth and continue until it begins to thicken slightly.  Immediately drizzle over cooled cake.  Top with walnuts or pecans.

As a tasty bonus, I’m adding my recipe for Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup as a culinary accompaniment to the antique white pumpkin soup tureen on my Gotta Have It list.


Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup


2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon minced garlic

2 cans Great Northern beans

1½ cups cooked chicken, shredded

1 32 ounce box chicken broth

1 chicken bouillon cube

2 cups water


Melt the butter in Dutch oven (or just toss the butter in with the veggies like I do).  Add the sliced carrots, chopped celery and chopped onion.  Sauté until onions become translucent.

Add shredded chicken, beans, bay leaf, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate all the flavor goodness together.  Add water, bouillon cube and chicken broth bringing to a boil.

Once a good bubbling boil is reached, reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 45-60 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and serve with crackers or cheesy cornbread.


Spicy sea salt and black pepper crackers add a touch of the all important c’est si bon.

While we’re on the subject of crackers, fall, cozy, snacks, and seasonal goodness, let’s pumpkin cheese ball this fall recipes thing up.

pumpkin cheese ball

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Jacob Fox

Pumpkin Cheese Ball


2  8 ounces pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded

¾ cup canned pumpkin

¼ cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Assorted crackers


Combine cream cheese, 1¼ cups cheddar cheese, the pumpkin, butter, sage, paprika, garlic powder, and ¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper.  Beat with a mixer on medium until fluffy.

Chill, covered, 4 to 24 hours.

Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a ball.  Unwrap; roll ball in remaining  ¾ cup cheddar.  Serve with crackers.

Serves 24.

To shape into a pumpkin:

After rolling the cheese ball in the remaining cheddar cheese, rewrap the ball in plastic wrap.  Place a few rubber bands vertically around the cheese ball to form ridges.  Chill 30 minutes.

-Better Homes & Gardens

Is there a hint of fall in your part of the world?

Embrace the beauty and the taste of fall and give it a welcome home, old friend shout out from me.







Welcome To Tailgating Season

Football and tailgating season is here, and we’re a nation of football enthusiasts who live for this time of year when fans gather together with the common interests of good times, great eats, and victorious scores.


Photo by Dave Adamson 

Saturday, September 2, 2023 is National Tailgating Day.

Tailgating is the pass a good time prelude to the game where tablescape ideas and tasty recipes run the field of creativity.


Classy Girls Wear Pearls

Can’t make it to the stadium?


Homegating works too!


Country Living Magazine – Photography by Brian Woodcock

There’s no way to eloquently put it- the Deep South is one hot bowl of summer heat and humidity until it decides it’s not.

The 12 seasons of Louisiana:

Fool’s Spring
Second winter
Spring of deception
Third winter
The pollening
Actual spring
Hell’s front porch
False fall
Second summer
Actual fall

Currently we’re between hell’s front porch and false fall, but we don’t let it discourage we the football faithful; we simply dress cool, decorate even cooler, and forge on.


Bringing a festive tailgating-homegating event together requires thought and time to plan, and everyone has a method to their tailgating madness.

Successful tailgating times is defined in may ways, but festive camaraderie in late summer, cozy days of fall, and chill of early winter is the common ground game goal of all.


Better Homes & Gardens Wood-Burning Copper Chiminea Fire Pit 1

Better Homes & Gardens Wood-Burning Copper Chiminea Fire Pit

Magellan Outdoors Cool Comfort Mesh Chair

Magellan Outdoors Cool Comfort Mesh Chair

Great get together tools come in pairs- a fire pit and a pit of fire to get things good and toasty and good and tasty.


Wood Pellet Smoker Grill BBQ with Auto Temperature Controls

Magellan Outdoors Pro Explore Icebox 45 qt Hard Cooler

Magellan Outdoors Pro Explore Icebox 45 qt Hard Cooler

Igloo Trailmate Journey 70 Qt. Wheeled Cooler, Gray

Igloo Trailmate Journey 70 Qt. Wheeled Cooler, Gray


Mainstays 23 oz. Clear Football Cooler Drinkware, Set of 6

Pack and cart wagons and trash plastic college buckets come in handy.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Folding Sports Wagon with Removable Bed

Academy Sports + Outdoors Folding Sports Wagon with Removable Bed


Carved Wooden Cookie Mold

Carved Wooden Cookie Mold


Touchdown! Serving Tray


Fall holidays and celebrations can be the inspiration to guide your tailgating-homegating theme of the week.


Repeat after me: affordable and reusable.


Go Dawgs! Sitting Bulldog Figurine

Initial costs ding the wallet at first, but grant bang for your party buck satisfaction for tailgating seasons to come.

Natural Burlap by The Yard

Burlap fabric remains a great option of neutral and inexpensive for table covering needs. It comes in a good selection of colors allowing you to go with team colors game to game.


In season local fruits and vegetables make excellent table and centerpiece decorations.


Stack on risers and in crates.

Crates turned upside down or stacked on top of each other make great display options while adding height to your tablescape presentation.


Place in baskets.


Mainstays Round Maize Decorative Storage Basket, Dark Brown

Stems and branches denoting regional and seasonal beauty in varying heights and colors gathered together in vases or free form vignettes achieve the look of effortless style and casual elegance.

festive-fall-woven-vase (1)

Handwoven Seagrass Vase

Vintage or in the style of vintage football items such as a letter sweater, trademark fashions, programs, books, and figurines become super cute centerpieces.

Simply embellish in team colors to tie it all together.

1950s Retro Long Sleeve Letterman Cardigan Sweater

1950s Retro Long Sleeve Letterman Cardigan Sweater


Houndstooth Design Throw Blanket Black

Pick up inexpensive throws in team colors, patterns, and textures to use as spot accents.

October 29, 1938 the Union Gridron Official Football Program Williams vs Union Football GameOctober 29, 1938 the Union Gridiron Official Football Program Williams vs Union

Vintage Tennessee Tech Football Program

Vintage Tennessee Tech Football Program



Bronze Quarterback

Crown Sporting Goods Vintage Leather Football Helmet

Vintage Football Cleats

Aluminum-Handcrafted-Champagne-Cooler-by-Christopher-Knight-Home (1)

Homecoming turns into a true tailgating extravaganza in true seize the moment to gussy up fashion.

Buff Concrete Planter-1

Urns make the trip from patio to tabletop becoming an elegant beverage bucket, a holder packed with LED pillar candles and/or a stunning silverware caddy.

Tailgating treasures tip:

End of season clearance sales result in some mighty fine finds with price points to match. Don’t overlook the aisles and the shelves of big box and resale-vintage-thrift stores.

Home improvement stores hit the nail on the head as sources of complementing pieces such as ceiling medallions, decorative ceiling and floor tiles, and floor model fixtures.

Antique shops come in as hubs of history where unique and eclectic pieces come to live another life as tailgating decor must haves.  Flea markets, estate, and garage sales source vintage dinnerware perfect for mix and match presentation, cast iron cookware, copper kitchen wares, cake stands, Tupperware, table linens, cutlery, holiday decorations and the like.


Fall Olive Leaf Garland by Bloom Room

Introduce real or faux garlands, stems, branches, etc… to the tailgating table as fabulous fillers and display accents.


Martha Stewart

Centerpiece ideas center around grocery store floral departments and my forever go-to, nature’s floral department. It’s always open, and the prices can’t be beat.



Regional and seasonal come together to make a scenes from home tailgating centerpiece statement.





Tailgaters bring their A-game ready to impress.

Tiger Set of 4 Napkins

Tiger Set of 4 Napkins

Traditions impress, menus rival five star restaurants, and the drinks flow like the Mississippi River.


Tennessee Vols Go Big Orange Styrofoam Cups

Stylish Styros

Take the look to next level style with wreaths.


Mixed Leaves Wreath

Uses include flanking table ends, candle rings, stunning base for a beverage dispenser(s), and placed on tabletops to complement nickel plated iron serving trays from Dollar Tree.

Homestead Textured Glass Jug Beverage Dispenser with Spigot

Nearly Natural 26" Fall Sorghum Harvest Autumn Artificial Wreath

Nearly Natural 26″ Fall Sorghum Harvest Autumn Artificial Wreath

Preserved Magnolia Wreath - Threshold™

Preserved Magnolia Wreath – Threshold™



Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch Recipe

bloody-mary-garnishes (1)

Who wants a Bloody Mary?


Game Time Bloody Mary


6 ounces of chilled Clamato

1 ounce vodka

generous sprinkle celery salt

Pickapeppa sauce

ice cubes

fresh lemon juice

Louisiana spicy beans



Pour Clamato and vodka into glass.

Shake several splashes of Pickapeppa sauce, celery salt, and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice into mixture.  Stir well. Garnish with a spicy bean garnish and it’s game time!

Speaking of sauces…

Louisiana hot sauces kick up the fun and the flavors- two things necessary at a Louisiana tailgating get together.

Pour up hot sauce (or any other type sauce or dressing) into clear  disposable plastic cups with lids for individual servings. The deals are better on large containers, and individual servings sizes ?


Pickled Dilly Beans for the tailgating condiment win!

Spicy Pickled Dilly Beans

Spicy Pickled Dilly Beans Recipe

Easy tops the tailgating menu when you pickup items at your local grocery store that put simple and delicious on the table.

Mix it up, spoon it out, and spread it on thick in real-time before game time.


Simple and delicious crowd pleasing appetizer solutions begin with several bricks of cream cheese placed on a lovely plate or platter.


Next, top each brick with a favorite jelly, jam, preserves or spread.

Garnish with fruit, nuts, or fresh herbs.


How deliciously easy is that?


Fit reminders of the season into the game plan.

Linden Street Harvest Wood Cheese Board

Harvest Wood Cheese Board

Linden Street Harvest Figural Pumpkin Wood Serving Board

Harvest Figural Pumpkin Wood Serving Board

Charcuterie boards score big points with the tailgating and/or homegating crowd.

tailgate-food-onion-dip (1)

Country Living – Photography by Brian Woodcock

Caramelized Onion Dip with Crispy Shallots


¼ cup olive oil, divided

3 large sweet onions, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 shallots, sliced into thin rings

1 (16-ounce) container sour cream

1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

Pretzels and potato, beet, and sweet potato chips for serving


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are a deep golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon; cool completely.

Combine sour cream and onions in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Top with crispy shallots and chives. Serve with pretzels and chips.

-Country Living

Jalapeño Popper Football Cheese Ball

Jalapeño Popper Football Cheese Ball Recipe


Sloppy Cola Joe Dogs Recipe

Gourmet Beef Sliders Recipe

Gourmet Beef Sliders Recipe

chicken and biscuit sliders

Chicken ‘n Biscuit Sliders Recipe



Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 


8 cups water

traditional roux; see recipe below (or 8 ounces of instant roux from jar)

3 chicken bouillon cubes

4 boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded
**Substitution: deli rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 lb. package smoked sausage, sliced

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped onions

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped bell peppers

½ cup celery, chopped

1 Tablespoon celery seed

3 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fine black pepper, or to taste*
**Substitution: 1 teaspoon Créole seasoning for salt and pepper

½ cup white wine or to taste

4 green onions, chopped



1 cup flour

1 cup vegetable oil


Heat oil in a black skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add flour in gradually, stirring well. Reduce heat to low.  Stir/whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches a rich brown color, approximately 30-40 minutes. You must stir/whisk constantly to prevent the roux from burning.

Gumbo Directions

Slice sausage into ½ inch pieces. Using a seasoned skillet for optimum taste results, cook the sliced sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Transfer cooked sausage to plate lined with paper towels, allowing excess grease to drain.  Set aside.

Place chicken breasts in Dutch oven or stock pot, add water, and bring to a boil.  Add celery seed, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper.

Stir and reduce heat to medium low, cooking chicken breasts until done, about 1 hour.  Transfer chicken breasts from pot to large mixing bowl.  Shred chicken breasts and return to broth.

Turn heat back to high and bring to boil.  Add roux to broth and chicken mixture, whisking until roux dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium and add minced garlic, chopped onions, bell pepper and celery, bay leaves, chicken bouillon cubes, remaining salt and black pepper (or Créole seasoning).

Carefully pour in white wine. Stir to blend and incorporate.

Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours, allowing all flavors to marry. Remove bay leaves and skim any grease that has formed off top of gumbo.

Add chopped green onions and continue to simmer for additional 5 minutes.

Serve gumbo over cooked rice.  Top with a sprinkle of filé, more green onions, and hot sauce to taste, if desired.

Tiger-Bait-Cookbook (2)


To the trusty Tiger Bait Recipes we go for Cajun Red Beans and Rice-



Pecan-Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Pecan-Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze Recipe

Coffee Shortbread

Coffee Shortbread Recipe

Make mine Louisiana strong.


Visit the local grocery store bakery department for fresh treats ready for the tailgating dessert table.

Remember, easy is always the star of the tailgating menu.


Brulée  Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Tiger fans making the trek down to Death Valley cross over the Mighty Mississippi River making Mississippi Mud Cake an appropriate sweet treat for tailgating times.

Giving a glance to the recipe below it, I must admit I am intrigued by this recipe for Sausage Cake.  It reads like a c’est si bon classic and new fall favorite to include in the recipe box.


Themed tailgating tablescapes along with the perfect decor accessories ensures entertaining success from parking to parting.

Here’s wishing the football faithful a winning and happy tailgating season!


Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

The first weekend in May means it is Kentucky Derby time, and that my friends means Kentucky Derby party ideas.


Racing at Churchill Downs

Horse racing enthusiasts, socialites and celebrities will flock to Churchill Downs this Saturday to view the Run for the Roses.

riding boot sketch (2)

Known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby as well as Churchill Downs is grand in history where tradition and excitement run first place.


Kentucky Derby on Facebook

For those of us not making the jaunt, an excellent opportunity to get down and get derby is just a jaunt to the dollar and hobby store away.


Churchill Downs

In other words, you can create your own Kentucky Derby extravaganza with a little imagination and one or more of these Kentucky Derby party ideas.


Begin with the basics- decorating ideas revolving around traditions, red roses, mint juleps and fascinating fashions.

Mint Julep Cup

Working with a theme makes coming up with ideas an easy exercise in Derby decorating.


Moss Mat

Horse races are run on dirt courses and turf races.

Dirt is not something I recommend dressing out a lovely party food table in. I mean come on, who wants to decorate a party food table with dirt?



Emulate the look of a turf race with a faux grass table runner.  Spanish and/or reindeer moss pairs well or as stand alone centerpiece additions.


Gallop on down to the local fabric store or shopping site of choice and pick up a yard or two of horse-racing-equestrian-jockey-rose themed fabric and proceed to create tablecloth, runner, and cocktail napkins keepers.

Rose Fabric, By the yard, CABBAGE ROSES

Rose Fabric, By the yard

I can’t sew to save my life, but I am a whiz with a roll of hem tape. Mark your hemlines, heat up the iron, roll out the desired amount of tape, and voilà, table linen magic is made.


Sullivans Horse Vase 16"H Bronze

Sullivans Horse Vase 16″H Bronze

Red roses rule the Run for the Roses and make a strong show the next day as an introduction to Mother’s Day week.

See where this getting a lot of bang for your buck decorating logic is going?

Good things come in pairs and give good decor accent beauty past party day.

Horse Portrait

Horse Portraits

Polystone Horse Head Sculpture

Horse Head Sculpture

Centerpiece equation solved with one horse head sculpture/statue sitting in the middle of a red rose floral wreath is Kentucky Derby divine.


Several faux stems of roses will work to fill in bare areas.

Simply dismantle the centerpiece after your Derby party and use the wreath for your Mother’s Day brunch-lunch-dinner centerpiece.


Look at you, you decorating smarty designing and decorating a smashing Derby party.


Over on the Kentucky Derby website is this tutorial for making a DIY Garland of Roses Table Runner.

Horse Racing Roses Kentucky Derby Table Runner

Horse Racing Roses Kentucky Derby Table Runner

Over on Amazon is this horse racing/Kentucky Derby themed table runner.

Churchill Downs Race Coming down the homestretch

Coming Down the Homestretch 

For extra Run for the Roses Derby flair, I clip several roses from my flower bed, clip the stems short, and float blooms in clear bowls.

knockout rose bush

Clip stems at an angle to promote optimum water absorption.

Decorative Clear Glass Bowls

Warm water works best, and I drop a low dose aspirin into the water to prolong the life of the roses.

No real roses?

Artificial Flowers Silk Rose Flowers

No real problem.


Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Michael Partenio

Faux rose bouquets placed in inexpensive vases, champagne buckets, on trays, or in trophy cups works beautifully as well.



Gather stems together tight and wrap with decorative ribbon.

Basics Hammered Champagne Bucket

Nickel Etched Trophy

Incorporating the traditional aspects of horse racing into my Kentucky Derby party ideas such as riding boots, horseshoes, and a riding helmet or two is not as difficult as one would think.

Riding Boots Stacked Heel

Women’s Riding Boots

Quilted Buckled Riding Boots

Quilted Buckled Riding Boots

Spring is a great time of the year in retail sales to locate a pair of riding boots on sale or clearance. Riding boots will work perfect in my Kentucky Derby party ideas scheme.

Saturday’s centerpiece will become fall’s fashion boots.

Now that’s getting your money’s worth.


Charlotte Moss – Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Several small arrangements of cut roses set on tabletops continues the Run for the Roses theme.


House & Garden

A combination arrangement of red and white roses perfectly fits in with the Run for the Roses motif.


Silver Mercury Glass Vase

Silver Mercury Glass Vases

Party decorating goes with a clever DIY project, and my list of Kentucky Derby party ideas includes one that is relatively simple to execute.

Fully sanded-ready to paint wood cutouts painted in your choice of color(s) carry out the horse racing theme.


Growing Tree Gallery on Etsy

Scatter about tabletops, prop and position around serving trays, centerpiece embellishments, cake toppers, monogram with party attendees initials as take home favors- you get the idea.

Tastes and Traditions


Garden & Gun- Photography by Margaret Houston 

Horse racing reigns supreme in Louisville, and the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep.


½ oz. superfine sugar

1 oz. hot water

8 mint leaves, plus one mint sprig

2 oz. bourbon


Dissolve the sugar in the water in an old-fashioned glass or Mint Julep cup.

Add mint leaves and gently press with a spoon.

Add the bourbon of your choice, fill the glass with crushed ice, and stir.

Place mint sprig in the ice alongside a short straw, and serve.

-Garden & Gun

lavender lemonade mint julep

Lavender-Lemonade Mint Julep

For 1 cocktail


2 ounces bourbon

1.5 ounces Lavender Simple Syrup (recipe follows)

1 ounce fresh lemon juice


Garnish: fresh lavender sprig, fresh mint sprig, lemon slice


In a glass, combine bourbon, Lavender Simple Syrup, and lemon juice. Add ice. Garnish with lavender, mint, and lemon, if desired.

Lavender Simple Syrup


1 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lavender buds

1 ounce fresh mint sprigs


In a small pot, combine 1 cup water and sugar, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add lavender and mint. Cool completely. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

-Southern Lady Magazine


Acopa Alchemy 16 oz. Stainless Steel Mint Julep Cup with Beaded Detailing

Mock Mint Julep (non-alcoholic julep)


2 cups cold water

2 cups granulated sugar

8 fresh mint sprigs (for syrup)

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

32 ounces Ginger Ale soda, chilled

8 cups crushed ice

8 fresh mint sprigs for garnish or more to desired taste


In a large saucepan, bring, water, sugar, lemon juice and mint leaves to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until sugar is completely dissolved.

Allow mixture to cool.

Strain cooled simple mint syrup and discard mint leaves.

Fill your mint julep cups with crushed ice, ½ cup Ginger Ale soda, and ½ cup mint syrup.  Stir to incorporate flavors.

Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Makes 8 servings.

Vintage Jim Beam Kentucky Derby Decanter

Vintage Jim Beam Kentucky Derby Decanter

Keep an eye out for vintage decanters and Derby glassware on resale sites and vintage shops.


The Novogratz Leather Ice Bucket with Lid

Thoroughbred Horse Themed bar glasses

Derby Day Horse Racing Game

Derby Day Horse Racing Game

Horse Drink Stirrers

Horse Drink Stirrers

Here’s a fun serving idea for other beverages requiring ice cubes- rose petal and fresh mint ice cubes.

Gently remove rose petals and fresh mints leaves from stems and lightly wash to remove any debris.


Place rose petals into each water filled compartment.

Enhance the flavor of mint ice cubes by also adding a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the water.

Better yet, use sweet iced tea infused with fresh lemon juice instead of water.

Freeze and enjoy.

fresh mint ice cubes

Pick up several nickel-plated serving trays from Dollar Tree in assorted shapes and sizes to use for servings mint juleps and appetizers.


Southern Living Roasted Brown-Butter Pecans  



Pimento cheese is a Derby delicacy.

Adding a dash of Creole seasoning or Louisiana hot sauce along with a handful or two of chopped walnuts to store bought pimento cheese brings the c’est si bon to the party.



Stirrup Hors d’oeuvre Forks

Derby Day at the Races Set of 4 Canape Plates

Derby Day at the Races Set of 4 Canape Plates

Faux Leather Decorative Charger

Faux Leather Decorative Charger


Spode Woodland Thoroughbred Horse Dinner Plate

benedictine-spreadBenedictine Spread

Large Vintage Rose Platter

Vintage Rose Platter

Encore presentation worthy for sure, I feel confident in suggesting the use of vintage beauties such as this one for Kentucky Derby party pieces.

Kentucky Hot Brown open-faced sandwich

The Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, a Kentucky original recipe created in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect Derby Day menu choice.

This recipe from SheKnows plates turkey, bacon, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes and a heavy-handed dollop of bechamel sauce together in all its delicious, rich and Kentucky tradition glory.

Click HERE for recipe.

Butter Pecan Praline Cake

Heather of Sprinkle Bakes recipe fame comes in first place in the winner’s circle with her recipe for Butter Pecan Praline Cake.



If baking does not fit into your party schedule or itinerary, consider picking up your favorite cake at a local or grocery store bakery and adding embellishments of choice.


Pecan Delight pie works, too.

Copycat-Piccadilly-Pecan-Delight-Pie (1)

Pecan Delight Pie

Add riding helmets and equestrian accents to your treasure hunting list when shopping antiques and resale shops.

Vintage Velvet Horse Show Riding Cap Helmet

Vintage Velvet Horse Show Riding Cap Helmet 

Perhaps a tip of the hat to a more formal affair prop.


Top Hat

Throw Pillow Cover Painting Horse Race Competition

Avalon Solid Monogram Wool and Cashmere Throw Decor H Blanket

Beige Merino Wool Throw



Kentucky Derby Party Ideas Checklist:

Scrapbook paper in 12×12 sheets found at craft stores make perfect Derby party placemats



Fresh or faux roses.

red knockout roses


White & Multi Spiky Rose Trim

Rose Trim-Tulle

Mint julep cups – a Derby must.

mint julep cups set


Mint Julep Cups




Derby Cocktail Napkins 

Fresh mint clippings for mint juleps.

Simple and fragrant, float fresh mint sprigs in clear cut glass bowls slightly filled with warm water.


Dollar store trays with the look of silver and the ease of clean up deliver a big and beautiful return on your decorating investment.


Tractor Supply meets the Derby need with nickel plated horse bits to use as napkin rings and horseshoes in packs of 4.

mouth bit for horse

Diamond Plain Bronco Horseshoe, Size 0, Pack of 4

Here’s to traditions and celebrating the Run for the Roses with win, place and show-stopping Kentucky Derby party ideas.


Mardi Gras Scenes from Home

Mardi Gras scenes from home capture the purple, gold and green goodness of this mid-winter fête Louisiana turns out for in grand laissez bon temps rouler fashion.


Celebratory jollification comes to call and we answer “throw me something, mister” with the accent mark placed over family and furry friends small town revelry to match our larger counterparts.

Mardi Gras Mambo - An Original Silkscreen by George Rodrigue

Mardi Gras Mambo – An Original Silkscreen by George Rodrigue

Parades O’plenty line streets and sidewalks, balls and beads fascinate and decorate, a neighborhood block party fais do-do invites new traditional to the party, and coiffed and costumed furry friends proudly parade in mutt strut second line regality.


Homes adorned in colors of Carnival greet and treat revelers to a krewe of house floats exhibit.


Crawfish boils give plenty of reasoning and seasoning for passing a good time.


crawfish boil supplies


Mudbug in Blue by Dave the Builder garners Mardi Gras scenes from home attention.

crawfish on canvas print


Our version of a King Cake party looks something like a late afternoon tea party but with Community Coffee dark roast served black and strong.

King-Cake-2022 (1)

Considering how much we do love our King Cakes, I thought a spin on a classic a delicious deviation.


Fluff pies whip up super easy and delicious.

white-chocolate-Mardi- Gras-fluff-pie

Purple, gold and green sparkling sugars and a plastic King Cake plastic baby completes the decoration portion of this Mardi Gras dessert creation.


Giving thought to fluff flavor, the hands down choice was as obvious as the powdered sugar on your beignet.


White chocolate it is!


Mardi Gras White Chocolate Fluff Pie


1  9″ graham cracker crust

1  8 oz container whipped topping

1  3.5 oz box white chocolate instant pudding & pie filling

1-1½  cup cold milk

sparkling sugars in purple, gold and green

plastic King Cake baby


In a large mixing bowl, add white chocolate pudding mix and milk.  Whisk until pudding reaches thick consistency.  Gently fold in the whipped topping to incorporate.

Spread fluff mixture into the graham cracker crust; cover with plastic wrap.

Chill covered pie for at least 4 hours to set.

Before serving, decorate by dusting top of pie with purple, gold and green sparkling sugars.  Garnish with a plastic King Cake baby and enjoy!




Holiday Treasures and Tastes

My holiday treasures and tastes snapshot asks the question, if you love this time of year like so many of us do, why wait until after Thanksgiving to holiday it up?

Decorating one season at a time traditions, like rules, are made to be broken in favor of a richer experience.


Mix, mingle, layer, and jingle the best of the Thanksgiving into Christmas holiday season with treasures and tastes of the ho ho home for the holidays kind.



Well deck the halls- I just heard the Hershey’s Kisses commercial with the bells ringing ♫We Wish You A Merry Christmas.


It’s official- the holidays are here!

9 Inch Scalloped Pie Pan


Folks, this recipe for Pumpkin Coconut Fluff Pie is easy to make and impressive to serve.


Pumpkin Coconut Fluff Pie


1 9″ graham cracker crust

1  8 oz container whipped topping

1  3.5 oz box vanilla instant pudding & pie filling

1  15 oz can 100% pure pumpkin

½ cup sweetened coconut flakes

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. ground nutmeg


In a large mixing bowl, add pure pumpkin, vanilla pudding mix, coconut, ground cloves, ground nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice.  Using a wooden spoon, stir ingredients until combined.


Next, add vanilla and whipped topping. Fold until incorporated.

Spread the pumpkin fluff mixture into the graham cracker crust; cover with plastic wrap.


Chill covered pie for at least 4 hours to set.


Before serving dust the top of the pie with additional pumpkin pie spice.


Things are beginning to get busy as it does at the holidays.

Temperatures have dropped to baby, it’s cold outside numbers, family is on the holiday road heading home, and my kitchen cabinets and countertops runneth over with holiday dinner fixings to which I am most grateful.


Enjoy the process and the holiday treasures and tastes, dear friends.


Cozy Toasty Fall Happenings

October has arrived, and with it comes the excitement and joy of comfy cozy warm and toasty fall happenings.


Autumn Cozy

Creature comforts of the season go a long way in setting a cozy scene.


Nestling in with a hot cup of cinnamon spice tea, a hint of pumpkin wood in the air, and this month’s Country Living is the best of fall.


Two darling nephews and one picturesque pumpkin patch delights little ones and this Auntie to no end.


Cooking remains my diversion of choice.

Honing in on the flavors best known to the season and putting your stamp on a recipe to make it your own is a delicious way to create a house favorite.

Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

Photo by Vera De on Unsplash

Apples and spices, fresh lemon and rum extract, refrigerated pie crust (easy is the name of the game) and sprinkles of sugar mix and mingle in a flavor gala befitting a recipe you’ll label a must make.


Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

Apple Crostata


3 Gala apples; peeled, cored, sliced

1 Granny Smith apple; peeled, cored, sliced

1 refrigerated pie crust

1 lemon (for juice and zest)

½ cup sugar

coarse sugar

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. allspice

¼ tsp. nutmeg

1 egg


Preheat oven to 450°F.


Pie crust will roll out better if allowed to be at room temperature for ten minutes. Roll pastry out onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.


floured-pie-crust (2)

In a large bowl combine apple slices, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, allspice, nutmeg, almond extract, granulated sugar and salt.



Lightly dust center of pie crust with flour mixed with allspice and nutmeg.

Pour filling into the center of the crust.


Gently fold the border up over the edge of the apple filling.

Pleat crust with fingers to create a border design.


Brush border with egg.

Next, sprinkle border with coarse sugar.



Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


Tradition beckons the baking of the first Apple Nut Cake of the season.

recipe apple nut cake 1


Trying out a new recipe or whipping up one tried and true celebrates the taste of the season and dishes cozy toasty fall happenings.

On a personal note, I would like to ask my dear readers to please be patient with me as I slow the frequency of postings at this time due to devastating health news received over the last two weeks. Prayers for comfort and strength are most appreciated.

love signature

Welcome Fall Home

Today makes it official, friends. I am so excited to greet the season with accents and accessories, tastes and scents that welcome fall home.


One would not know today is the first day of fall by the current weather in the Deep South.


Hot and humid with temperatures rising lands us in full-on fallsummoween.


High heat and humidity zaps the feel of fall, but apples paired with pears, cloves, and cinnamon offers the taste of fall refreshment.

Fall Fruit Facts: 

Did you know there are 7500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world with 1oo varieties grown commercially here in the United States.

Cinnamon (also called quills) is the perfect spice compliment to sweet and salty drinks and dishes.

Pears are members of the rose family (no, not the Rose family of Schitt’s Creek fame). Origins of the pear date back to 1000 B.C.


Autumn Apple Pear Cinnamon Water


6 cups water

2 Gala apples cut into thin slices

1 Granny Smith apple cut into thin slices

1 pear (I used Bartlett) cut into thin slices

2 cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves


Fill pitcher with water.  Add apple and pear slices, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.  Give a quick stir to mix; cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.


Why stop there?

Crisp mornings, afternoons, and evenings go splendidly with a warm beverage or warming cocktail.

Simple syrup or spiced concentrate added to your favorite fall hot or cold beverages amplifies the spice which in turn brings out the flavors so closely associated with fall.


Vanilla Simple Syrup


1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In a small saucepan over medium heat bring all ingredients to a soft boil; cooking until sugar dissolves making sure to stir the entire time.

Remove from heat and allow to completely cool. Transfer syrup to a heat safe jar or container and store in refrigerator.

Autumn Spiced Concentrate


2 cups water

3 cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves


In a medium saucepan bring water, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves to a to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Your house will smell amazing during this part of the process!

Remove from heat and allow concentrate to cool before transferring to a heat safe jar or container.  Store in the refrigerator.


Seasonal touches here and neutrals there decorate the dining room.



Faux stems and bushes usually don’t tickle my fall decorating fancy, but this Japanese Maple bush from JOANN is absolutely lovely.


Never underestimate the visual impact of the simple yet elegant seasonal décor accessory.


DIY wreath project success means I like the way it turned out and find it too pretty to hang on the front door just yet, so it calls the foyer welcome fall home for now.


Several posts ago I shared with you all my purchase and impending delivery of this Negative Oranges Framed Art Print from Kirkland’s Home.


Don’t you love when an item you’re sure will work does just that.

negative-oranges-print-on-wall (1)

Our welcome fall home 2022 wishlist is almost complete.


Vintage or in the style of vintage prints never fail to catch my eye.

Tennessee has really been on my mind and heart of late.

I purchased my first Anton Pieck print from an antiques shop in East Tennessee thirteen years ago, and last week I purchased this vintage Anton Pieck 3D Paper Art print of “The Ship” to add to the collection.

Hunting dog prints hung throughout my grandparent’s house, and the vintage porcelain figurine immediately took me back so in the cart it went.


Pheasant Canvas Flat

Wishing my fellow fall fans a happy first day of fall is a Places In The Home tradition.

How do you welcome fall home?