crafts, Holidays, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #376

Good evening, everyone! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #376. It’s officially February and all things Valentines is on repeat!! Since we have a third day off from school tomorrow, I may actually get a Valentine’s Day post out for you. 🙂

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

My mother-in-law made it safely home from a month in California. She has been for home for about 10 days now and we got together over the weekend. We even went to our favorite thrift shop on Saturday, but didn’t find anything. That same day, I made a crockpot full of turkey meatballs in organic tomato sauce paired with cheese raviolis, plenty of leftovers.. Turned into a wonderful dinner. Yum!!!

We did better at Lowe’s as we scored some wonderful plant starts. I’ll share a post on the the things I found soon, but for now… It is too cold to be out in the shed working on potting up plants! At least for me. 😉

Well, let’s check out this week’s features, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Our Laundry Room Paint Refresh ~ a new look for the new year!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland brings us her yearly Valentine’s Day table rendition ~
Start With Flowers Tablescape. Lovely!
white dinner plates
Karin at Karin’s Kottage shared a sweet post ~ Pink & Red Valentine’s Day Table for Kids. Perfect for sharing with her grands!
Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared a beautiful post to inspire us ~ Easy Vintage Valentine’s Day Cloche Display. Love all the sewing goodies!!
Sandra from Dinner at Eight shared her lovely tablescape here in this post ~ Valentine’s Day — A Table Set for Tea. Gorgeous!!!
Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy shared her post ~ And January Goes On! ~ all about what’s been going on up in her neck of the woods in Michigan. Check out the poor deer and what happened to him… A wonderful ending! 💜
house hunting tips
Pam from An Artful Mom brings us this post for anyone looking to buy a home this year ~ Our House and Some House Hunting Tips. Great ideas!!!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures rounds out this week’s featured posts with this adorable “pocket pillow” in her post ~ Valentine Dining Room Decor, Pocket Pillow and Snow.
Love this decorating craft idea!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking, friends!

Barb 💜

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DIY Projects

Our Laundry Room Paint Refresh

Good morning, dear friends! We have had two back-to-back snow days with an Arctic freeze welcoming in the month of February 2023!! The second for us this winter. Since I had the time and some paint left, I finished the baseboard moulding around the floor of the laundry area, so now that room is completely done!

But let’s take a look at where we started…

As some of y’all may know, when we bought this house here in North Texas in 2019, the whole thing was painted this taupe color. Even the ceilings were painted this color! I was happy to not have to paint upon moving in, but it’s too contemporary for me. Slowly, I have been going room by room and painting all of the rooms into a softer grey color, more of what I like.

The last home I lived in with my parents (1976-1987) was built with pecky cedar stacked logs. These logs were squared off, 8″ thick, and all of the walls inside that house were a dark rich reddish brown and when it was freshly oiled it was lovely!

I was okay with brown then because most of our rooms as my bedroom had big windows which let in a lot of light. I also didn’t know that I was affected by seasonal affective disorder (winter depression from lack of sunlight, for anyone who isn’t familiar with this term). I was always an outdoorsy kid, so it wasn’t a problem growing up. We were either at the beach on weekends (the four years in Hawaii during the 1970’s), I was cycling everywhere on weekends, plus I raised goats for milk so I was out milking them and soaking up sunshine daily. California is blessed with over 300 days of sunny skies each year, too. Great for keeping away the blues!

Just a little white paint (Valspar Ultra White 773957) straight off the shelf brightens the ceilings and the whole room!

Here in our Texas home

We are surrounded by four oak trees and a fruitless pear, so it is fairly dark indoors most of the year. In winter, we have a lot of light because the leaves are down, but come spring, the leaves will magically appear and it’ll become a cave indoors.

Okay, and also my eyes and hair are brown (well… now silver and brown, lol!). And, I used to wear a lot of brown, but I am SO OVER brown. I wear a lot of color to combat the brown look. 😉

Repainting all of these walls to something lighter was a necessity for me. I have been painting with Valspar “Comet Dust,” which is a color I last used when we renovated the kids’ bathroom upstairs at our last home. We opened up the area between the vanity and the rest of the bathroom. You can find those two posts here and here.

“Comet Dust” is a pretty silvery grey with blue undertones, depending upon the light. It sparkles in the sunlight! I painted these walls in eggshell (Valspar 773956 eggshell here in Texas rooms; satin in California).

Our master bedroom/bath paint refresh

Here is our bedroom in progress. I pulled out our 12′ ladder to paint the ceilings then switched to a long broom handle and painted from the floor for the last of three coats of paint. The ceiling was sooo dry that it needed three coats to really cover the taupe and to get rid of any streaks in my painting skills. 😉

Painting the Skylight Chimney

This next photograph will show you the ladder I used to get up into this chimney area. Thank goodness this ladder Mr. Ethereal picked up a year ago at a Black Friday sale is super sturdy as I sat on its top to paint this small area’s insides. It is designed so you can do that, too, btw.

This ladder was also great for standing on and turning around as needed to scrape the old paint off the skylight. Those paint marks drove me crazy whenever I’d look up! Sorry, I am a perfectionist that way. 🙂

A little scraping, Windex and some paper towels took care of that. I just needed to have the right ladder to get it done. 😉

Werner Multi-Position Pro 375 lb. Ladder

This ladder is one of those ladders where you can extend it, you can use it as an A-frame (pictured here) or as an extension ladder all one length. It can shorten. It can bend into a 3-sided “box,” if you will, so you can stand on it. Also, you can put two of them near each other and run a board across to use as a scaffold. It is really multi-functional! WORTH the money. (*not sponsored, just like the product a lot.)

Lowe’s isn’t carrying the exact model anymore but I found this one and it close. Ours is made of aluminum and this type linked is made with fiberglass. Maybe there were problems with our model (?), but so far Hubby has used it fully extended to fix a light on the upper roofline of his mom’s new home (while she was gone over Christmas; I held the bottom but didn’t really need to), and we had no problems. Once locked in, it’s solid. I felt perfectly safe sitting on top of it. It didn’t wiggle at all, like our six-foot A-frame ladder does.

Overall, it took three weekends to paint the whole area, minus the doors which I will hopefully remove this spring and paint all of them outdoors with a sprayer.

You’d think a smaller area would take less time to paint? You’d be wrong on that thought. It takes the same amount of time to paint this as a larger box room because of either having to move things around or just maneuvering in tight spaces.

We didn’t move the washer or dryer out because the gas and water lines were fully hooked up and it’s a pain to re-install them. Especially the gas line! Just didn’t want to cause an issue or get sick from low-lying propane not getting out of the house.

I was really careful stepping around that yellow gas line and obviously when moving the ladder legs around it. 🙂

Our surprise score!

When my mother-in-law and I went thrift shopping for items for the Odd Fellows Poker Tournament gift baskets towards the end of November or early December, I found this hanging rack! Coincidentally, I found the exact same one at Lowe’s this past weekend for $25.99. Great score!!

Originally I thought about using it in our bedroom closet so hubby could hang all up all of his baseball caps, but then I realized I loved it for the laundry room. It is larger (wider) than the cheap metal one the previous owners left up and ever prettier. The other was more like a broom hanging rack, like you’d put up in your garage. Gag…

This one is a little more modern and it really pops against the light grey walls. I love it!!!

And yes it is brown. 😉

We are really happy with how the laundry room turned out. Just after I had painted the ceiling, Hubby commented how much brighter the whole room looked even then.

It really looks nice now!

And here is our laundry room all put back together. I love its fresh new look and its ethereal French paint job!

Thanks for stopping by today! Leave me a comment about how you liked this post, if you would. SYS will be up later today in our Double-Header Wednesday.

Now it’s game-on to the dining room!

Barb 🙂

Holidays, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #375

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #375, dear friends! I’m excited to share all the cool features we have for you this week…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Can you believe we are coming to the end of January 2023 already? It was just New Year’s and now we are speeding towards Valentine’s Day! With that, I’ve chosen some wonderful Valentine ideas for you.

So let’s get to this week’s features!

***Quick update on Thursday morning: I fell fast asleep as I was writing this and putting together this week’s SYS features last evening, so… I’m finishing this morning and actually POSTING IT. Lol!

I took half a Benedryl yesterday around 11am because I guess I’m now allergic to Prednisone. Anyway, it knocks me out and so somewhere around 7:30p.m., I was out for the night. I did make it through the school day and the hives never fully erupted, but I still feel itchy…

Anyway, happy to get this Valentine’s-y post out for you! Plus a touch of football, too. <3

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

A Rosy Valentine’s Cake to Bake ~ part of this month’s Valentine’s recipes in our Pinterest Challenge.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

MaryJo of Master”Pieces” of My Life shared a bunch of beautiful tablescapes for inspiration at your own home in this post ~
Setting the Mood for a Valentine’s Day Tablescape. I loved this alfresco setting!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures shares this pretty in pink post ~ Vintage Valentines are the Stars of My Pink Valentine’s Tree. Love ’em!!! (I’m a sucker for pink!)
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland shares winter whites in her winter cupboard ~ Winter Display in the Hutch. Love all the creamware!!!
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland also brings us a couple of easy and fun crafts to make for Valentine’s Day. I can see this being so fun with kids!!! Our double feature for this week ~ Two Quick Valentine’s Crafts.
Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats are turned into Football Rice Krispie Treats for game day! They’re a chocolate treat base cut into football shapes then dipped in chocolate with white laces piped onto resemble footballs. This easy, no-bake dessert is perfect for tailgating, football parties, playoff games, and Superbowl parties. Game day desserts are the best part about game day foods so these are a must make dessert recipe! #gamedayfood #footballfood #ricekrispietreats #glutenfree #nobakedessert
Newcomer Shay from What the Fork shares this easy peasy recipe for
Football Rice Krispie Treats! Perfect for this weekend’s big Super Bowl Game!!!
20-valentines-day-ideas-table-crafts-decor
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shares her fun post (love all her tablescapes!) featuring
20 Sweet Valentine’s Day Ideas. Love it!!!
Hawaiian style pork spare ribs with pineapple served on a plate with fresh berries and yellow rice
Newcomer Arlene from Flour on My Face brings us her yummy recipe for
Sweet & Tangy Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Ribs. Seriously delicious!!!
Last up for this week we have Meagan from Decorative Inspirations with her sweet post ~ How to Make a Salt Dough Garland. Love it!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking!

Barb 🙂

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Holidays, Pinterest Challenge, Recipes

A Rosy Valentine’s Cake to Bake

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day, dear friends! If you are coming over for the first time from Carol’s place ~ Bluesky at Home, welcome to my blog, French Ethereal! Our host Cindy from County Road 407 has graciously allowed me to jump in last minute. I had Covid over the past couple of weeks and so happily I feel great now (those vaccines DO work!). I was excited when Cindy gave us our assignment this month to create a simple Valentine’s Day recipe.

Here is mine…

Yes, I used one box cake recipe and it turned out moist, chocolatey and delicious!!

I do make a lot of scratch cakes but this time it was all about making it easy! When we get so busy with life, a simple box cake is the easy way out, my friends.

Just like the box cakes my mother used to bake during my childhood, and I’d sometimes make for my own family, these are basically NO FAIL Betty Crocker and others are tried and true.

Easy peasy, as Cindy herself likes to say!

This baking center is inside our kitchen island. Ever since our first house, I’ve loved putting all of our baking things in one area! So convenient. How about you? Where do you store your baking goodies? What do you put in your kitchen island?

Which cake pan to use?

I have 8″ heart-shaped pans, which I have used in the past, and I have smaller heart-shaped tart tins, too. However, I thought it would be beautiful and fun to our rose bundt pan.

All of the years I was in the Victorian Tea Society in Riverside County, California, I had a couple of friends who had rose pans and their cakes looked so chic when dessert was served.

I was soooo excited when I found one a couple of years ago! It really turns out a stunning cake.

Just spray baking spray all over the inside, add some flour inside and tap it all around and into the grooves of the pan. Dump the excess flour out, bake at the prescribed temperature, and after 42 minutes baking in the oven, this cake was done!

And that’s all there is to this Rosy Valentine’s Cake! If you are starting here with me, we circle back up to Cindy at County Road 407. I know you will love Cindy’s Valentine’s Day extremely cute cherry pastry envelopes recipe idea! Adorable!!! <3

Don’t forget to follow the trail of posts below to see all the great recipes from today’s participants. Lots of fun ideas to create!!

More fun Valentine’s posts to enjoy…

If you’d like to check out some of my past Valentine’s ideas, here are a few to enjoy…

Happy touring, dear friends!

Barb 🙂

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crafts, Holidays, Home Decor

Share Your Style #374

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #374, dear friends! As we come to the middle of January, we have lots of great features to share, including some Valentine’s ideas!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

It’s always amazing to me how quickly Valentine’s sneaks up on us on what feels like just a few short weeks after Christmas and New Year’s Days. I personally am still putting away Christmas decorations but only because Mr. Ethereal hung a new I-beam style system of 4x4s from over our garage door.

Going up and down from the attic to retrieve boxes was getting to be a chore, and also a little unsafe. Both of us are over 60 years of age and falling out of the attic space is always a real possibility. Critters ate through a few things, too, which ticked my husband off so he brought EVERYTHING down from above to clean, repair, throw away, and to find new homes in the shed, in this new hanging rail system, or to be given away.

So, I am reboxing ALL of our spring, summer, fall and winter decorations into tidy, black and yellow Big Box store boxes. Ugly colors (to me) but they do hang well and are very sturdy. The used boxes will store something new, go to my mother-in-law’s garage to rebox things she wishes to store, or be given away.

But in all of this, I am finding beautiful things to put in our hutch and onto our mantel to share hopefully soon. 🙂

While doing this, let’s check out our features, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Arctic Blast & Indoor Plant Overwintering, Production & Shed Insulating ~ prepping the garden to survive single digits (our thermometer registered -1 F. as the lowest temperature we had in our backyard). Also, this is a look at my first attempt at seed production. Hope you will take a look!
Sick at Home ~ Turns out I’ve had a third round of Covid, dear friends! I am thankfully feeling better and on an anti-viral, an antibiotic and a steroid. This particular strain of Covid tends towards bronchitis and not pneumonia, which is yucky but better for all. 🙂

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Our first feature this week is from Debra of Common Ground. She shares winter whites in her post ~ Neutral Winter Dining Room with Paperwhites. Lovely!!!
Debra‘s post ~ Winter Whites Tabletop Vignette ~ is our double header this week.
Pom~Pom and Heart Valentine Garland
Carol from Bluesky at Home brings us this crafty post ~ Make a DIY Pom-Pom & Heart Valentine Garland. Sweet!!!
Linda Kilsdonk from Paperseedlings shares her 1 year self-challenge to paint 365 birds. Come check out the beautiful birds she has drawn and painted! ~ #365birds November 2022.
CoCo from The Crowned Goat shares 52 Weeks to a Simplified & Organized Home Challenge. Good thoughts to get us all going! 🙂
Penny from Penny’s Treasures brings us her family’s Winter Family Room 2023. Love all of the pink with white!
Red Cashmere Sweater with Printed Skirt
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer shares her winter fashion post ~
Red Cashmere Sweater with Printed Skirt. Perfect for upcoming
Valentine’s wearing!
big red chicken under the banner of how to take care of chickens
Charlene from The Secret Life of Homesteaders shares good advice on How to Take Care of Chickens. Love this!! I have always wanted to keep chickens, if only I could get Mr. Ethereal to agree. 🙂
Emily from Hunny I’m Home DIY shares what to do with those waiting-to-be-used jar lids in her post ~ Rustic Farmhouse Mason Jar Lid Wreath. Easy and pretty!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday week!

Barb 🙂

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Gardening

Arctic Blast & Indoor Plant Overwintering, Production & Shed Insulating

Here’s an update on how our shed/greenhouse is coming along, a year-and-a-half into the project…

Installing ceiling insulation

Early during Christmas week, Mr. Ethereal finally was ready to work some more on finishing the roof insulation project which he had begun during the summer. I had picked up big purple foam core insulation from Lowe’s or Home Depot (I forget which) and had the employee there cut them in half lengthwise for me.

After watching several YouTube videos on how to install this type of insulation, a couple of those contractors shared that we would need to add a baffle layer underneath to allow for air circulation and moving moisture up to the roof crest where it could escape. (lead photo)

So we began the project in early summer. Hubby was about a third of the way done when his work got really busy and he spent a lot of his weekends cleaning up our yards and his mother’s front and back yards.

When the cooler weather came along in fall, the purple insulation began falling down.

This wasn’t good… 🙁

What to do about falling insulation?

Hubby figured out a simple way to get the insulation to stay in place with the expansion/contraction of fluctuating temperatures: just install small pieces of wood shims, cut to length, and held in place with a wood screw.

Easy peasy fix! 🙂

Bringing in plants from outdoors came next for me! For those six days of extreme low temps, these guys were grateful to be indoors. Happily, the weather has warmed up again and they are back outside the shed enjoying sunshine and warmth!

As I finish this post, the roses are already pushing leaves! We had an 80 degree day on Wednesday then temps plummeted to 32 overnight. Yesterday was in the very high 50’s/low 60’s. I forget since my brain is a big foggy with another round of Covid… (Can you believe it?!)

But back to our shed story… 🙂

I took cuttings in early October of the tradescancha (purple trailing vine) and they rooted well, as did the angel wing begonia (rounded leaves in back). They are producing new babies and will be ready to put outside in pots in early spring.

I didn’t have good luck with the pentas or lantana. Rats! I put the blue lobelia in the ground and we shall see if it comes back after the freeze. Originally I had tossed it into the compost pile but I just didn’t have the heart to kill it outright. I hope the roots stayed alive and it’s worth the experiment to see if this root stock produces some blue lobelia for me! I would LOVE IT if I could get it to self-seed and propogate itself in the flower beds! It is soooo pretty…

The mondo grass is loving its life, as you can see (above). I will wait until mid-March and get them outdoors permanently. They do overwinter well here in North Texas.

Here are what our temperatures were doing on the 21st or 22nd of December as the cold front was coming in. The app almost never says “high” then “low.” It’s usually the reverse.

We dropped 23 degrees in like an hour-and-a-half. Did you experience the same where you live? It was the craziest thing! I was glad for layers of jackets, a windbreaker, and gloves!

Putting the garden to bed

I worked on stripping leaves off the roses and finished 10 rose bushes in one day, but less than a month later, they are already pushing new growth. Some have new leaves!

They’ve never really gone dormant this year, except for the Arctic storm.

February might bring in another Artic storm and that would kill of all of this new growth, so I will really have to wrap things well if another big storm rolls in again.

That’s what happened all of my panicle hydrangea blooms last year. I had to buy new hydrangea plants to have anything blooming.

The day the Christmas Arctic storm began, when temperatures dropped so rapidly in just a couple of hours, I raked tons of leaves over all of the plants after spreading the three bags of black mulch underneath most of the plants.

Some plants I also covered with plastic plant pots, and that really helped insulate them! I will be doing that again if need be in February.

And here’s how the yard looked with everything bedded down for Christmas Week Arctic Storm. Until we can afford to have an electrician come and run a heavy duty line to the back of the shed (it’s plumbed for it already), we run a heavy duty extension cord inside the window and swap out whatever we have plugged in.

Lately, I plug in the new heater for night, then plug in the new set of UV lights in the morning before the day begins. I am growing on the bibb lettuce, tomatoes and something else from seeds.

Here is the new little folding shelf unit I found during the Black Friday sales at Lowe’s. It’s lightweight for easy moving around, and perfect for starting seedlings (it’s intended purpose). It is a little Better Homes & Garden plant shelf. (None of this is sponsored,; just like the product.)

I started these seedlings right after Christmas and… You can see the light tube standing above these little seedlings.

Next I need to pot up the tomatoes.

I am giving everything here a very light liquid feed mixed in water every week and that is making them happy.

I repotted some of the baby Bibb lettuce here on MLK Jr.’s birthday Monday here in 2023! I still have three 3″ containers to pot up, but think I might just let them grow on and eat them as micro greens in a salad soon.

I learned on Garden Answer (YouTube) that you can sheer them back and they will grow again. At least I think that is correct. 😉

New heater & lighting

All of the plants are doing well. About mid to late February, I’ll begin giving the orange and lemon trees citrus fertilizer to get them producing flowers. I’ll hand-pollenate, like I did last year, to ensure good fruit production.

I just repotted the orange tree ~ it’s shocking a bit but should recover. One of the lemon trees could use a bigger pot, but otherwise, all are doing well.

Waiting for a good rain! The bougainvillea in the terracotta pot in front is pushing new leaves. 🙂

Rain is forecast for Wednesday this week and we could use it! California is inundated with rain this year (biggest in two decades). Now Texas is in drought conditions… Go figure. (Seems to follow us…)

Three baby begonias ~ will be ready for spring!

Well, friends, that’s about all that’s going on out in the garden and with the shed. I am really happy with how the plants are doing and I hope to report back on the little lettuce and tomatoes as they grown.

I may have lost the parent angel wing begonia, which was in the long Italian ceramic trough in the outdoor photograph above, but three of the four cuttings made it and rooted. One has quite a few new baby leaves! This is the first time in years that I’ve started cuttings.

My mom and I used to start spider plants and trailing ivy and other things when I lived at home, but I don’t think I have really rooted anything since. I did try with my mother-in-law’s plants last year, but almost all of those tries died…. If we’d have had this dry winter last year, we would have had a lot of success! Rats…

“Scumpy” in the winter leaves!

Yoda enjoyed being outside the past several days as we even had highs up to 80 degrees (Wednesday last week, 1/11/23, the day I came down with Covid). Highs in the upper 60’s and low 70’s since and he so enjoys the warmth!

Crossing my fingers and saying a little prayer that I can get the veggies planted out in March in new raised beds (yet to be built) for a real crop this year! <3

Happy January, y’all!

Barb 🙂

Uncategorized

Sick at Home…

Sorry, gang! I am going to bow out of Share Your Style this evening as I am not feeling well. I have been cold at work all week, even with sweaters on. Bad head colds, Covid and flu are going around at school and in our community, so it is no surprise that finally something got me…

I hope you are all well and feeling peppy! I should be back to my usual self next week but will keep you posted.

Heading to bed…

Big hugs,

Barb 🙂

Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor, Recipes

Share Your Style #373

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #373, dear friends!! Sorry this is going up a day late, but I HAD to get a big project done for our Odd Fellows lodge. It’s mostly done, my writing hand is very tired, but it’s just about ready to turn over (the project, that is). So, let’s hop into our features!!!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Mantel – and why I chose this title. 🙂

Have you taken down your Christmas displays yet? I always find it a little sad but it is nice to have a clean slate for doing some winter whites in our living room. I’ll share how it looks now with you soon.

I know many of you are still celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with the Festival of Kings, until January 6th, when traditionally the Wise Men showed up to greet the baby Jesus, so there might be a few Christmas posts featured here again. 🙂

Let’s dig in!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week, we have Debra from Common Ground‘s beautiful hutch filled with Christmas pretties ~ Gathered for Christmas in the Holiday Cupboard.
So pretty!!!
Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shares her holiday cupboard and living room in Christmas finery ~ A Thomas Kincade Tree, Village and the China Cupboard in the Den. You might enjoy her Christmas at Nelson Crest post, too!
new-years-eve-tablesetting-ideas
Our third friend, also named Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz, shared a lovely New Year’s Eve Tablesetting Ideas ~ Isn’t this penguin just the cutest?!!
Chili Mac and cheese recipe
We need something to put on all of our dinner tables this winter! Newcomer
Michelle from The Wooden Spoon Effect brings us a yummy recipe called
Simple Chili Mac Recipe. Perfect for our chilly winter weather! Welcome Michelle!! We are glad you are here. <3
penguin craft image collage with the words penguin name craft
Our second newcomer Sam from Simple Everyday Mom shared this really cute idea to make with your kids and grands!!! Welcome to you as well, Sam!!
So happy you found us here at French Ethereal!
New Year’s Eve In the Smoky Mountains
Vera from Veravise brings us a little New Year’s Eve in the Smoky Mountains ~ great place to visit, if you’ve never been there! This is where I went for my nephew’s wedding a year-and-a-half ago Memorial Day weekend.

And that’s it for this week, friends! A great bunch of holiday and supper recipe ideas, if you haven’t checked out last week’s SYS entries. I love looking back at your ideas and picking something to cook or bake, thank you. <3

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy January, y’all!

Barb 🙂

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Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Woodland Mantel

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow… Just a lovely nursery rhyme… Today I’m sharing our Christmas mantel and the crazy mishmash of putting it together. Definitely a layering! ~ it took several weeks to put together into what it is now.

Of course I know it is after Christmas now, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing our mantel anyway.

Have you ever had the realization that this sweet nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, could be allegorical? It occurred to me here at Christmastime, that this rhyme could be saying much more…

[His] fleece was white as snow. From a Biblical perspective, Jesus was sinless; he was pure as new-fallen snow.


knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-Christ,-Sinlessness

1 Peter 1:18-19

Everywhere the child went, the lamb was sure to go… Okay, maybe this part, isn’t so allegorical, but… Then again, everywhere we (humanity) go, the Lamb, is sure to follow. Meaning that Jesus follows us, that He is interested in us. He is concerned about our welfare!

There is more to this nursery rhyme and I don’t feel those lines are very allegorical, but for me this first stanza is.

I just thought I’d share that here on our first Sunday in the new year…

And I am sorry I haven’t written more about my faith this past year.

Confession time:

I visited several churches when we first moved to Texas and I was enjoying a church up in Sanger a lot. Living in our Prairie Home, our big RV, I went with several friends to this church on Monday evenings for a community dinner. Then I went to a couple of Sunday services and I was enjoying going.

One Sunday, there was a thing which happened which kinda freaked me out since I was feeling really insecure and vulnerable living in an RV and still feeling very homeless, plus being new to Texas… One of the people who used to live in the RV park shouted out my name before the service began, in the middle of the sanctuary, and I felt all eyes on me. She has little tact, and I hate saying this, but it is true.

It wasn’t good and I was mortified! I never went back because I felt called out.

I don’t know if you are secretly very quiet and private, but I often am. And though I blog, I don’t always share everything, and I think that’s how most bloggers are. Maybe I am wrong on this, do let me know!

More Type B than Type A, really.

Our new nativity found at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago, before the other crash-landed.

Anyway, all that is to say that I haven’t been too keen on visiting more churches. It’s an excuse, I know.

I visit my old church, Calvary Chapel of Murrieta, from California online, still read Christian literature and donate to charities and read my Bible. I pray all the time for our students and for the safety of our school, our community, our home, my family.

My mother-in-law introduced me to her old church in Sacramento, which also has an on-line presence. Covid was good for getting churches and worksites to get online!

She flew out to California for Christmas and with Southwest Airline’s computer system crash, and her flight back to Texas cancelled… She decided to extend her stay. She needed a good visit home… <3

She didn’t get the extra year to adjust to moving out of her house of 57 years like we did when we lived at Lake Skinner.

Anyway, I just feel hypocritical, so… That’s why I haven’t written many Sunday Sentiments in a long time. Maybe you are experiencing something similar? Let me know. <3

But I plan on writing more of them as part of my New Year’s resolution, as it were. 🙂


Our old Kirkland nativity (post from which this photograph was pulled) which was unbroken until a year ago. I am going to try to use car bonding to see if I can put back each figure. This very much mirrors what happened to a Nativity figure in Jan Karon’s book, Shepherds Abiding.
This older nativity’s statues were more than 12″.

I love Christmas, and nativities!!!

My mother-in-law loves them, too, and has quite a nativity collection! My own mother had a lovely old wooden creche and nativity she put out each year. One of my brothers has it now, I’m sure.

Sadly, when Mr. Ethereal was putting ours away last year, the 34-year-old box just disintegrated while he was holding it, and the foam inside fell out. The Wise Men and Joseph shattered.

We swept up all of the pieces, even tiny parts, all that we could see, and they were lovingly put into a clean shoebox.

I just haven’t had the heart to sort through the pieces and begin trying to glue them together.

So we needed a new nativity! I found a nice one, a bit smaller, at Hobby Lobby so this is what I featured on our mantel this season. This one is about 3/4 of the size of the old Kirkland one.

Choosing a nativity is such a personal thing, isn’t it?

I saw some really pretty ones at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, when my daughter and I were there for my niece’s wedding.

Putting our Woodland Mantel together

So, getting back to how this mantel came together, it really began with the two outlying grapevine trees. I found them on sale at Hobby Lobby in early October when I went in search of a couple of papier mâché pumpkins to craft (a project for 2023!).

Hubby brought down a few Christmas boxes for me when I was prepping for November’s Pinterest Challenge putting together the Christmas tree and when I was making the little Salt & Pepper Snowman.

In those few boxes, I found the vintage style Santa tins and I added the Norman Rockwell tin I found around Thanksgiving time at a thrift shop here in Denton. Gini and I were creating gift baskets for the IOOF poker tournament fundraiser and there it was, waiting!

The little fuzzy reindeer I found at JC Penney on Black Friday with Hubby. They were so cute! I had to bring them home. 😉

It really was a mishmash put together over several months and somehow it all works…

Really not a surprise when you think of Whom watches over us… 🙂

On another note…

Have you seen The Chosen? It is a crowd-funded show about the life of Jesus from the Apostles’ perspective. I really enjoy the series and to me, it’s a really cool show!

It is Biblically based with ideas of what things the characters as real people would have talked about, in addition to portraying real events which happened during the lifetime of Jesus (and beyond, with the apostles) some 2000 years ago.

Much of what is said is straight out of scripture, and the actors who portray Jesus, Mother Mary, and the others, give their best performances. You can really feel God’s presence behind their portrayals!

Plus, I like that the actors are from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds! They make the show and Jesus so much more real.

My mother-in-law introduced us to the series last winter while she was staying with us.

I think you’ll like it! (That’s my plug). 🙂

New Year 2023

Work for me is going really well. I am enjoying working in a middle school library full time getting to share favorite books with our students, giving advice and counsel as needed. I got approval for a scholarship to teach needlework to students after school; I just need to put together a purchase order for supplies. Our librarian and I are already staying late on every other Tuesday working with these girls and boys. I love seeing how eager they are to learn!

Mr. Ethereal has his own changes with work coming, so that will be a big change for us in this new year. Not my favorite thing, as you probably know… But, Life is always changing so it is nice to find solace here with you.

I appreciate you for this!!! And I thank you for your friendship. <3

Happy New Year, dear friends,

Barb 🙂

Uncategorized

Share Your Style #372

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #372, dear friends! Here we are coming up on New Year’s Eve… Boy, this year has flown by!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

I sure have enjoyed visiting with you this year, and now here in my eighth year as a blogger, I think about what changes I should make for the upcoming year.

Do you do that?? I’d like to do more vlogging on my YouTube channel if I could learn how to string videos together and get myself in front of the camera. Talking to a camera doesn’t bother me, it’s all the technical stuff, lol! I used to sing for the kids at church a number of years ago and that got me over the fear of talking into a microphone. 😉

Well, let’s get to our party, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Our Christmas Table, Our Christmas Hutch and a Little Weather ~ I so enjoy having time off to really enjoy decorating for you! We sat down to a nice Christmas Eve dinner with our daughter.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Chicken Sheet Pan Nachos
We start off this week with something yummy for your New Year’s Eve parties… Estelle from Homemade on a Weeknight shared these wonderful Chicken Sheet Pan Nachos. Yes!!!
3 Tips When Renovating Your Bathroom
Next we have Kathryn over at The Dedicated House sharing Creative Ideas for Bathroom Decor. Perfect for anyone looking to update theirs in 2023!!
Meagan from Decorative Inspirations shares this fun post ~ A Classy New Year’s Eve Table ~ inspiration for all of us who wish to “do it up” but can’t come up with anything fancy! (Me!)
Harking back to Christmas which was only just a few days ago now…
MaryJo from Master”Pieces” of My Life brings us sweet traditions in this post ~
A Christmas Tree Tradition Continues and Why It Is So Important. Love this!!!
Twas-night-before-Christmas-Eve-table-Johnson-Brothers-dinner-plate
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz is back with a fun post we can store away for next season ~
Twas the Night Before Christmas Eve Table. I love all of Debbee’s table settings and this one is just adorable with the merry placemats!!!

I literally started some bibb lettuce, tomatoes and spinach in the shed/greenhouse today! It’s more of an experiment but the heating mat is underneath my domed seed tray, so… We shall see! I am getting my Monty Don on and hope to have tomatoes going year-round. ;)’

picture of seeds being started in black pods answering the question of when to start seeds
For us gardeners who really go nuts when we can’t play outside (yes, this is me!), newcomer Charlene of The Secret Life of Homesteaders shares this gardening post full of great information for indoor gardening ~ When to Start Seeds. Welcome, Charlene! Glad to have you as part of the French Ethereal community. <3
Arun from Jaipur Gardening brings us beautiful blooms from across the world in this post ~ Mild Winter in December. You’ll definitely want to check out this gorgeous post!
french toast croissant bake
Our second newcomer is Karla from The Happy Mustard Seed and she is sharing this scrumptious recipe for a Croissant French Toast Bake with Blueberries and Strawberries. Perfect for New Year’s morning!!!
30+ US Winter Hiking Ideas
Dave and Jamie from Photojeepers are back with something to help us get back in shape after snacking our way through the holidays ~ Best Winter Hiking in the US by Region. I love it!!! I have been itching to go camping, have you?
floral kimono, teal velvet boots, kimono style, thrifted fashion, Shelbee on the Edge
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge has THE CUTEST OUTFIT (and I love the teal boots!!!) in her post ~ It’s the End of the World as We Know It and I Teal Fine (+ Link Party #325). I love Shelbee’s fashion posts as they relate on so many levels!!! If you haven’t stopped by to check out Shelbee’s monthly “fashion follows art” posts, you should. A lot of fun and I always learn something new about an artist, a piece of artwork and about the hosts as well! Enjoy!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

And that’s it for our last SYS of the year, ladies and gents!! I hope that your family is safe, healthy and doing well. We are truly blessed here in our North Texas home and have enjoyed a good year. Many blessings to you, my friends!!!

Happy New Year 2023 to y’all!

Barb 🙂

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