A Blank Canvas

This is a very small section of our backyard.  Our home is situated on an acre of beautiful grounds that literally make one feel as though they are in a park.  The azalea bushes are mature and laden with blooms right now.  Closer to the house it is very shady.  The previous owner tried and tried to get grass to grow.  I decided not to fight it and plan to put a series of gardens in made up of local plants that thrive in the shade.  If you’re a reader and you live nearby, feel free to add anything you think might add to what I’m already planning.  And, yes, there will be photographs as this all gets going!  I’m ready to get my hands in the dirt!

Here’s what I’m planning:  Hosta, Maiden Hair Fern (It grows like crazy here!), Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile), Begonia, Impatiens, Caladium and my favorite, Black Magic Elephant Ears.

Stay tuned as this project gets going!  There will be many pictures and stories to tell.  You’ll also get to follow as we place a “Zen” garden in the back part of our property for quiet times of meditation.

Loving life in Louisiana!  My laptop is still a bit slow and not doing what it used to do….any suggestions on the best deal on a new one are very welcome!  Happy Tuesday and thanks for following!

Floriography

 

Rebecca Louise Law

Rebecca Louise Law

It’s Valentine’s Day.  I often wonder about traditions.  Today I’m researching flowers and why we give them to our loved ones on this special day.  I found the term “floriography” on Martha Stewart’s beautiful website.  It’s a tradition started in Victorian England when flowers were delivered to express a love interest to a lady fair.  I found the photo I’m featuring above on a site that talks about the flower artistry of Rebecca Louise Law.  Ms. Law adorns the most unusual places with flowers!  Can you imagine the glorious fragrance?

Pinterest

Pinterest

I love this bouquet in a heart shape!  Colorful and capable of being dried and preserved to be enjoyed for years to come.  Somehow the flowers don’t seem to wasted in this form.  I hate watching cut flowers wither and fade away.  It’s always so sad when it is time to dispose of them.  This bouquet can live on!

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I also love unusual containers!  Isn’t this a lovely arrangement?  The more unique the combination and presentation the better!  I hope you’ll enjoy and celebrate love today and everyday!  We don’t have to wait for February 14th to send a message with flowers!

 

The Dining Room

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This is the place we now call home.  It is a place I have long dreamed of finding.  It’s called Acadian style, but I think it isn’t….not quite.  But it does fit into the “French” feeling of our area in many ways.  I’m going to show you different aspects of the house, before and after, as we pull things together and make this wonderful place our forever home.  I wake up each day and say a simple “thank you” to God and to our wonderful realtor, Jeri Creson.  This house is living proof that miracles can occur, if you work hard enough and stay on course.  So….here is a before picture of the dining room.

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Boxes are everywhere!  We finally have moved everything out of storage and are working on three projects.  Save and place….store in attic….put aside for HUGE yard sale.  When we moved to Louisiana we also moved my parents.  We are combining two whole houses….full of STUFF!  I’m throwing out and simplifying.  But I love this room!  I fell in love with it the first day I walked through the door.  You need to know that this is a home that began as a two bedroom, cinder block, ranch style home built in the 1960’s.  It’s a bit quirky, which I like.  It is not a cookie cutter house in any way.

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Here is why I refer to it as a bit “quirky”.  This wall of windows was the original front of the house.  The decision to leave them is one I applaud.  I also love the mural that wraps around the room.  The former owner used a mural as well as her own hand painting to achieve the pastoral scene.  She also painted the oval inset in the ceiling like a sky with clouds.  I love it.  I love the chandelier….did I say I love this room?

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I’m showing you the before so you can be “wowed” by the after in a week or so.  We’re busy unpacking, hanging artwork, which this room needs little of, but a bit here and there.  It is a delight to go through boxes that have been stored for over a year.  It’s almost like Christmas.  And I found a wonderful product, thanks to Mr. T.  “Restor-a-Finish”.  The movers in Georgia did a number on our antique dining room table.  I purchased a bottle of this product at our local Home Depot and highly recommend it to improve the surface of any wood furniture that has knicks and scratches.  The table is now an oval since adding a leaf and we celebrated our first family dinner around it last night.  I am loving life in Louisiana!

Home Sweet Home


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This is our new home!  Over the next few weeks I’ll share projects we’re working on both inside and out.  Curb appeal….enhancing that with new flower beds and planting a willow tree in the middle of the circle of grass.  Thus we have named our home Willow Haven.  I can’t wait to take you inside!

Sensational Southern Style!

I’m hosting a guest blog from Luxe Decor featuring the amazing style of New Orleans!  I hope you’ll enjoy this post as much as I have!

Classic New Orleans style is romantic and elegant while being infused witha gothic sensibility. For those seeking a Southern style refresh with a Big Easy twist, there are many elements to consider. Classic and refined decorative elements will work for any home seeking to capture New Orleans spirit.

To amp up the Creole charm, here are a few design trends to explore.

New Orleans Image 1

Image Via Historical Concepts

Revel in the spirit of the French Quarter with vintage furnishings in colorful prints. Add framed clown pictures for the jovial atmosphere of Mardi Gras all year round.

Image Via Laurens Thoughts

Image Via Laurens Thoughts

Take a cue from the historic and gothic elements of New Orleans and design a living space dedicated to luxury. A plush velvet chaise takes center stage in a room with gray tile flooring as well as traditional parlor accents like chandeliers and a large fireplace.

Image Via Bid This House

Image Via Bid This House

Create a cozy family room while adding timeless New Orleans style by incorporating old-world décor. A large candelabrum takes center stage while bookcases with attached sconces provide unexpected regal flair.

New Orleans Image 4

Image Via Houzz

For creating a real nod to bayou country, adding a large mural or intricate wallpaper will make a dining room feel like a mysterious museum. A classic dining table set makes for a trip back in time to the days when New Orleans was a cotton port and home to many French aristocrats.

New Orleans Image 5

Image Via Paddle 8

For truly reinventing the style of NOLA, there’s no better decorating strategy than to forget less is more. Filling a space with eccentric art, colorful vases and funky furnishings will truly replicate the wild and wacky world of this eclectic and unforgettable city.

Many thanks to Amy Spagnola at LuxeDecor

Finally Friday!

It’s Finally Friday and I’m back with a great recipe that is quick to make and oh so delicious!  When a family is moving it is easy to grab something from a fast food establishment or food market than to cook.  Add to that the fact that just after we moved here I underwent a full left knee replacement and that explains why I have not been posting about food very much.  I was concerned about gaining weight while off my feet but the opposite has happened.  I’m feeling better and more fit than I have in a very long time.  So I’m back in the kitchen, getting creative and coming up with recipes I think you’ll love!  Today’s recipe works as an easy weekend meal that even guests will love!  Pair it with a cold Corona and you’ve got it going!

black bean enchiladas 1

 

Black Bean Enchiladas

Makes 10 enchiladas

1 package of white corn tortillas

1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 fresh, red bell pepper chopped

1 sweet onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon good quality chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 cans “Hatches” Green Chili enchilada sauce

3 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Heat the enchilada sauce in a pot until just simmering.  Heat the olive oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat and add the onion, cooking until it is just transparent.  Add the chopped bell pepper, rinsed black beans and garlic and heat through.  Grease an oblong pyrex or other pan and pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom and spread to cover.  Take one tortilla and dip it into the remaining sauce to soften it.  Place it in the baking dish and spoon the black bean mixture  down the middle and sprinkle with a bit of cheese.  Gently fold one side of the tortilla over the other and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat this method until you have made 10 enchiladas.  Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese over the top.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and back for ten more minutes, the cheese will be melted and the sauce should be bubbly around the sides.

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Guacamole Salsa

2 large, ripe avocados

1 bunch of scallions finely chopped, including the green ends

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro washed and chopped

juice of one fresh lime

salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

Shredded Iceberg Lettuce

Sour cream

 

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To serve the enchiladas:

Place two enchiladas on each plate.  Top with shredded lettuce then guacamole salsa and sour cream.  Serve with tortilla chips if desired and don’t forget that icy cold beer!  Enjoy!

Boxes….Boxes…and MORE Boxes

Not our boxes…but this does some justice to what we’re dealing with!

I’m a bit late getting this post out to my readers.  Apologies to all!  If you saw what I am dealing with here in our new home you would completely understand!  I’ve decided to approach it all with a sense of humor, leaving the overall feeling of “will this ever be finished” behind!

I have no pictures to share that would do our situation justice.  Sufficeth to say we are blending two complete households into one.  Included in that are about six sets of fine china…..a huge art collection….and glasses.  I have never seen so many glasses in my life.

Looking on the bright side I have to say that when Skylar decides to spread her wings and find her own “first” apartment she is all set.  I have now begun to make boxes for that event with label “Skylar’s First Home”.  I have mixed feelings about that statement but know it is an inevitable event that will help her on her way as she begins working and enjoying life in the Big Easy.

Skylar is loving it here as are we all.  A couple of minor glitches that always seem to occur during a long distance move are being dealt with in a positive manor.  We are a family, connected in every way and moving forward each day with baby steps.  We love our new home and neighborhood.  We miss so many things about the island, but being only forty minutes away from our family here is so wonderful!

I’ll keep you posted as things progress!  Soon, I’ll be back in the swing of cooking, creating and writing about it all.  Life is a process and the attitude with which we approach it defines what we experience!  Here’s to a fabulous Monday filled with happiness for all!