Travel Across America ~ Arizona and Paint Chips

Mini Joshua trees, saguaro cacti and gorgeous mountains ~ Mojave Desert

What do paint chips and Arizona have in common?
A lot of fascinating colorful things!
Check out these colors that I’m seeing SO much of in today’s modern

RV market…

Coyote Wash about an hour outside of Phoenix
is painted in the light greens and dark bark of
Manzanita bushes,
the brilliant bark~green of Palo Verde trees 
dotting the desert countryside,
and the sandy light tans of crushed stone and ancient sand 
from the ice age.

At the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta in March
greens and browns were definitely the 
“in colors” this season ~ from glass backsplash tiles
to sparkling granite and solid top counters
and of course to
many of the soft furnishings including
pillows covers and furniture fabrics.

Today’s Rv manufacturers trying to capture
the hearts and purses of would~be buyers
look to nature’s hues when designing practicality and style 
into their products and what better colors to capture
our attention than these!

Love the faux stone fireplace surround! Today’s RV’s have many storage compartments
compared with older models from decades ago.  This Keystone Montana model has magnetic
“slam doors” in some of its underneath storage compartments.

Just little old Me checking out the storage in this bathroom.  Notice the controls to the left ~
these control the ceiling fan and its cover and the light switch is there, too.

Grand Design and Jayco’s Eagle series
are capturing our attention
as well as 
Highland Ridge Open Range series,
the above~mentioned
Keystone Montana, and Grand Design Solitude 

I am a fan of white
walls and white cabinets
I do understand that not everyone
wants to be washing their white household goods
as frequently as I do
in their motorhomes, travel trailers
and fifth~wheels!
Last post I wrote about our looking for a used fifth~wheel
to move into hopefully within a year.
This next trailer I will be
“making our own”
and will probably paint the kitchen and bathroom cabinets
antique white and distress ~ kinda.
That is…If Hubby will let me!
We’ve begun our journey heading east
across roads once travelled by millions of pioneering men and 
women leaving the familiar and journeying on hardtack and 
a prayer to their final destinations over roads now paved 
which the modern driver takes only days to do 
what took our forefathers anywhere from 
three to six months to travel.

I have exciting photos coming in the next week 
 sharing everywhere we have driven:
 California through Arizona, then New Mexico and Texas.
After a few days layover in Texas, we are now driving up through
Oklahoma, Kansas, then into Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

This is one of their engagement photographs taken this winter by a photographer friend in Sioux Falls, SD.

We have a wedding to attend 
this next weekend ~ 
Our son Peter and his bride~to~be Justine
will be united in marriage in a lovely city named
I am sooo looking forward to this blessed wedding 
and later sharing a few photos from
their special day with you.  I know it will be a lovely time!

Sneak peak of that place… Nope! I’m not giving Any Other Clues! 

Yesterday I visited somewhere
really really big
I have a TON of photos of this place and shop!
{I MAY have shopped there a bit myself!}

Until next time ~ may you be blessed
in all that you do, and as always please sign up
to receive emails and postings as they come out!   And, let me know
how I’m doing, if you like what you read.
Feedback always helps! Thank you!


Sharing with ~
Feathered Nest Fridays ~ French Country Cottage

WOW Us Wednesdays ~ Savvy Southern Style 


Elements of Style ~ Setting a Beautiful Table

Our little drum table set for tea a year ago at Easter…
For some reason,
I’ve always thought that everybody 
could decorate,
kinda like 
doesn’t EVERYONE collect 
home/shelter magazines?

Does this happen to you?

A January “Snowman Tea” I held at our house a few years ago.

Well, over the years I’ve learned that NO not
everyone can style a beautiful table

perhaps that’s why we have
those aforementioned
 shelter magazines!!!

Magazines like
Romantic Country Style, Romantic Homes,
French Country Style, Country Living and
[British] Country Living,

my old favorite introduced to me by my mother
when I was newly married,
help us “see” elements of good design.

Setting a beautiful table begins with 
bringing out your most beautiful china.
For someone who has just moved into their first apartment
that might mean using your parents’ hand-me-downs
and a few new pieces that you found at
while browsing with your mother.
For someone just married,
maybe you received a few place settings towards
your eventual goal of twelve.

Bring these out and try mixing and matching
with your usual kitchen china to start!
Begin slowly (like most things in life) and when you go out
with the girls to shop at thrift stores or flea markets,
see what interests you and buy a few pieces.
One never knows 
where our hearts will take us when it comes
to the pitter patter palpitations that finding 
a lovely
 old Haviland plate with tiny rose garlands
encircling the edges
or a Bavarian pre-WWII creamer & sugar bowl set
with the tiniest of lavender pansy bouquets on each side.
I don’t know about you
these lovelies make my heart swoon!

I know my china has evolved from my first set of
Villeroy & Boch 
called Botanic.
I still use this set as my everyday china
I tend to use my white china more often now.

See the white china here?  I found these at TJ Maxx several years ago. You can find
similar pieces at HomeGoods and other retail centers.
The next element of
setting a beautiful table
involves having a lovely tablecloth (or two or three!)
layered on your table.
It’s up to you if you like your tablecloth ironed or not.
like mine ironed, in truth, but I’m usually running around
trying to get the food finished on tea mornings,
Mine are usually not ironed and per Ms. Shabby Chic herself,
Rachel Ashwell,
rumpled is just as beautiful!
(Thank goodness!)

Spend some time at after-Christmas sales
gathering a small but mighty collection of linens.
When you go antique browsing, tag sailing (my pun on “sale-ing”, sorry!),
and to everyone’s favorite
look at the linen aisle and check out
potential diamonds in the rough!
Many stains can be washed out with a lemon juice soak
or with today’s oxygen removal detergents.
I love my OxyClean!
Most old linens can’t hold up to soaking in bleach.
Bleach tends to break down the already weakened fibers
that are just weakened with age and use.

I have had to soak some tablecloths up to a week
in a bucket or in
our former laundry room’s  laundry sink tub,
but that’s an amazing way to save a ton of money on table linens
o you don’t have to always buy new.

Lastly, set your table with the prettiest
in-season flowers from your yard or flower market.
Grocery stores and big box grocery places do carry good
flower bouquets,
and I know I will go to my local
and pick out what I want and just pay per stem.
I’ve done this for years and then I get exactly what I want
in my bouquets.

Please DO share your table-settings with me! I’d love to see them, your china
patterns, your bouquets! French Ethereal is on Instagram and Twitter
as well as my Facebook page:
@BFrenchethereal, #Frenchethereal, and just French Ethereal on FB.
Share your lovelies!!!
And, as always, feel free to share my posts with your friends.

Have a lovely day today 
and have fun dressing your table!
I’ll be creating a new Easter table-setting for you
later this week,
Blessings to you always,
Barb 🙂

p.s. I will be working on getting InLinks back up and running for you so 
we can share posts here! 

Will be sharing with ~
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
*Roses of Inspiration ~ The Enchanting Rose

*Just wanted to let you know, this will be Stephanie’s last linky party as she
needs to step down for a while. Do please visit her site and if she has been
an inspiration for God for you, let her know.  Thank you. 🙂


White Christmas & White Furniture

The little trees I created with mini clay pots & small glass jars ~ hot glued in and some with candle wax melted in to hold in the little trees.  And, of course, the monster Christmas tree with its cut-down base to fit inside the antique ceiling fixture now held inside with epoxy and cement.
 One last look at our Christmas…

I normally have a lot of white around the house: 

The French-style dining chairs painted white in the dining room (because I got tired of them being brown and because my friend Kathy hasthe most gorgeous home all white and shabby! and I want to capture that here!), the 1980’s/1990’s coffee table that I finally decided to turn white, and the slipcovers just made for the living room and the matelasse slipcover on the easy chair 
bought off the former homeowner of this house that is now upstairs in our bedroom.
To me, there isn’t enough white ~ 
I like white!

To me, it’s very calming, very soothing
after a tough day at work.
It de-stresses me.
My kids aren’t overly fond of white furniture for some reason (I have no idea why!)
and we do have a lot of darker furniture pieces; I am a purist for some.
My late 40’s/early 1950’s Drexel desk
is one piece I am not intending to paint.
One never knows!
Every piece of furniture that is more of a natural pine or darker stained piece
has white glass rings on them due to some cold beverage being set on them without benefit of a coaster…
The painting may continue!

I haven’t gone a full
White Christmas yet…

two years ago my daughter
and I put up only the white
Christmas tree.
We filled it with only silver and white
ornaments and it was stunning!
A favorite ornament found a couple of years ago at Michael’s. Love, love, love birds and have hung many different bird ornaments from our chandelier, on the trees ~ sometimes all year! From the chandelier, I mean.

From our Christmas tea in early December ~ Love using the white plates found at Marshall’s a year ago or so with the thriftshop silver-plate tray used as a charger.  

The fork is part of a set given to me by my sister-in-law, Linnea, from when she and my brother were living in England.  They were a Christmas or birthday present one year.  She knew I loved silverware just as much as she did.  She found a box of silver place settings at their base thriftshop on RAF Molesworth. 

Here is a recent post where I made these bleached Christmas trees if you’d like to make some of your own.

White is ethereal…
it is everything that is
it calms,
it refreshes the soul,
it promotes healing…

I am finding as I get older I am looking for more white objects from china to curtains, 

“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” 
― Coco ChanelChanel

to candles and tables,
picture frames, baskets,
and of course,
all kinds of decorations!

a view of our mantel glowing in brilliant white lights and sparkles

White is right
for me.
Hope you have enjoyed this tour of 

(funny how a post starts off one way and morphs into something completely different!)

Thanks for sharing!

Blessings to you,

Pumpkin Chip Muffins

Autumn is the best time for baking!
 Since I woke up early today 
I thought I’d bake something yummy
for breakfast!

I love to cook when the weather turns cooler.
Those of you who know me
know that I am not really a cook
but a baker!

I like going out and searching the web for
delicious scones, breads and muffin recipes!
I have found good ones on many a site and 
quite a few from the
King Arthur Flour website. 
King Arthur has wonderful baking cookware 
as well as boxed goods to
bake-up at home.
I found King Arthur through their cake flour and
bread flours available in California’s grocery stores.

However, this recipe is adapted as muffins from
Dorothy Sue and Millie B’s too
recipe called:

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Here is the recipe as it is written:


3 cups canned pumpkin puree (must use Libby’s)
1.5 cups vegetable oil
4 cups sugar

6 eggs
4.75 cups all-purpose flour (I substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour for one)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp ground cloves
1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 bag Nestle semi-sweet mini chips (I used dark 
chocolate from Winco)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour three 9×5 inch loaf pans ( used muffin tins)
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, 
nutmeg, and ground cinnamon.
Stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended.
Stir in bag of mini chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.
(I used my cake tester, when it came out clean, they were done.)

Because my Libby’s can of pumpkin puree

was the large one, I had one more cup than was needed
for this recipe, so…
I decided to add another quarter to the measurements.
Brought some muffins into work today to share
and the other aides liked the muffins a lot, too!

I used tea cups and dessert plates from my set of

Wedgwood Sarah’s Garden ~ Queen’s Ware
which have a little fall color to them. 
These were bought on a fun meet-and-greet talk
and shopping trip to the Costa Mesa Mall Macy’s 
back in the late 90’s with a friend to visit
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York,
when she was spokesperson for Wedgwood.

In another post, I will share my whole tea set and momentos of the trip to
meet the Duchess.
It was quite lovely!!!


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Happy Fall cooking!
Blessings to you and yours,