A Quick & Easy Summer Peach Cobbler in Tupperware’s Vintage Stack Cooker

Bonjour, mes amies! Je tΓ©cris de Paris… Welcome to this month’s scrumptious Pinterest Challenge where we are making our favorite peach recipes for you!

How do we say “peach” in French?

Les pΓͺches…

If you are just coming over from Lynne at My Family Time for the first time, welcome! Lynne’s recipe looks totally delicious, doesn’t it?!! These challenges are so much fun and we have a great line up of goodies for your gastronomic pleasure.

The summer dessert I’ve chosen to make is super easy, takes just a few ingredients, and my version is mostly sugar free ~ perfect for anyone watching their sugars. It is a Peach Cobbler, similar to Lynne’s, but of course, mine is made in the microwave. Every recipe, even if similar, is always a different treat!

Health benefits of peach fruit include relief from hypokalemia, cancer, obesity, cholesterol, blood stasis and neurodegenerative diseases. It helps in maintaining healthy vision, skin care, nervous system, healthy bones, and teeth. It has anti-aging properties and also helps in detoxification, as well as improving digestion and cellular health. It has a wealth of essential nutrients and antioxidants which are valuable during pregnancy and it helps in strengthening the immune system.

Cindy from County Road 407 has found the perfect photo for us to use as our inspiration. It comes from Organic Facts.net where Author Meenakshi Nagdeve in her article Health Benefits and Nutrition of Peach touts a ton of facts about why peaches are so good for us.

I won’t bore you with all those facts but a couple of important ones are that peaches provide us with anti-oxidants and beta-carotene for good eye health. As soon as I saw our inspiration photo, I knew right away that I would make this super easy Peach Cobbler Recipe using my now-vintage Tupperware Stack Cooker.

For this recipe I used only the top cover and middle sections of the stacker. It’s nice as this Tupperware set can be used in several different ways plus you can bake microwave cakes in it, too!

It is a simple summertime favorite ~ Peach Cobbler baked in the microwave! What could be easier AND not heat up the house?

As I begin writing this post, it was 107 degrees outside yesterday (7/18/22 and it is supposed to 100 F today (7/19/22). Way too hot to be turning on an oven indoors!

***North Texas has been up over 100 degrees since mid-June. Even here in Paris, France (where I currently am), this past week they had sweltering days of 106 F/41.1 C degrees on the day I was flying out from DFW. Europe is experiencing some of the worst heat they have ever had, and in countries where only a very few homes have air conditioning, but I digress… πŸ˜‰

Here are the ingredients (my notes)

3 peaches cut up, the hard inside pith area cut off, and then cut into chunks

Substitute Monks Fruit sugar for the brown sugar; it is non-glycemic.

Add the rest like it says.

I added a little more oats and it helped absorb some of the water from the cooked peaches.

Btw, the scent from the peaches was heavenly!

And here is the recipe

  1. Super easy to just cut up the peaches (I left my skins on as they were soft)
  2. toss on the honey and water mixture, blend to coat.
  3. dot with small pats of butter
  4. cook 5 – 7 min. on High in microwave. I cooked mine for only 5 minutes and it was perfect (using two soft and one hard peach).
  1. In a separate bowl, add oats, Monks Fruit sugar substitute (1:1 ratio), and All-spice
  2. Soften remaining butter in microwave (if hard like mine was from frig.; can’t leave on counter in summer… ants!) and add to dry ingredients. Smoosh in with the back of a fork (yep, smoosh! It’s a Southern thing. ;))
  3. Stir in chopped nuts (pecans!!!)
  4. Spoon over 2/3 of the oat mixture on top of the peaches

Dish the peach mixture into pretty serving bowls and top with the rest of the oat and nut crumble ~ dig in!!!

I totally wish I had grabbed more peaches as I took the leftovers to our Rebekah’s meeting later that evening after I made the cobbler. There was really only enough for everyone to just have a taste ~ 1/4 to 1/2 cup each. This included a friend who is in his 70’s with Type 1 diabetes.

Well, friends, that’s it! I hope you will pin my photos and/or this Pinterest pin to your boards, thank you!! And thank you to Cindy, as always, for hosting!!

Next up is Laura from Everyday Edits whose recipe I am sure is going to add to your subliminal desire to just run right out to the store for these delicious fruits!

Enjoy visiting everyone on this month’s peach recipe tour!!

Bon appΓ©tit,

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Having Fun Decorating with Patriotic Colors

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge, friends! Cindy of Country Road 407 has gathered us all together once again to celebrate the arrival of summer with a challenge using Patriotic Colors! (Don’t you just love our national flag’s red, white and blue?!!) If you are just coming over from My Family Thyme with Lynne, welcome!

OMGosh, I can’t wait to get to know Lynne!! Her style is wonderfully warm and welcoming, plus she paints gorgeous watercolors… Lynne hails from Connecticut (Go UConn!), where my parents last lived, and my youngest brother and his family still live right next door to my mother and father’s former home in Woodbury.

Jumping into our post, our Cindy found this month’s inspiration from another blogging friend Cindy from Edith & Evelyn Vintage

Cindy of Edith & Evelyn Vintage found this on the internet and used in her post Patriotic Decor Ideas.

There were a ton of great photographs to choose from with lots of inspiration in Cindy’s post and I just loved this faded Old Glory she shared; it really spoke to me…

Cindy also had this incredible chair in the same inspiring post:

Patriotic Decor | Edith & Evelyn | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

I loooove this chair and it is really a stunner with the Americana theme boldly proclaimed in its fabric choices! Plus it’s a French chair! (What’s not to love?) So I guess I could have gone soft or bold in my color choices this time. πŸ˜‰

But my personal penchant is to use the softer versions of these colors this year.

Like what’s-blooming-in-my-garden-right-now-colors…

I haven’t been writing much lately because I have been working hard in the garden. I do have an upcoming post with what’s happened since the last time I shared the garden. I’ve been planting and digging a lot on the weekends, plus visiting with my mother-in-law at her new home. She is really enjoying her new garden. We will take a trip over there this summer so you can see it, too!

My hydrangeas have come into their own this year! A glorious year for hydrangeas… Actually, I learned the secret here in Texas is consistent watering, just about every day. πŸ˜‰

Back to our patriotic basket

The past couple of years I went with our country’s bold colors in my Pinterest Challenge posts, like this outdoor patio patriotic decor post.

And this one where I created fun placemats using old jeans as the base for the placemats and pretty pockets became holders for silverware..

I do tend to hop back and forth between soft patriotic colors then bold, then right back! Here in this post, I gathered a number of patriotic ideas together, if you’d like to check them out:

Which leads me back to today’s project ~ making a softly colored Patriotic Basket to hang on your front door, set on a table as part of a tabletop display, or to hang on your garden shed like I’ve done here. πŸ™‚

For this mont’s Pinterest Challenge, we have the freedom to create anything patriotic we want, so I thought about bringing out my French style basket and filling it with faux flowers!

Making this basket is simple:

  • Add spagnum sheet moss to the bottom and sides of the wire basket.
  • Place a piece of floral foam inside (or bunched up chicken wire) to support floral stems.
  • Poke in soft pink faux hydrangea blossoms, along with daisy stems and lavender and cornflower-blue larkspur wands.
  • Tuck in more moss, like this spring green reindeer moss, to fill up the empty spaces after you’ve added your flowers and foam.

Hang up and enjoy!

And that’s all there is to creating this basket. πŸ™‚

I spent $0.00 on this project… right up until I needed more moss… The reindeer moss I found at our local Calloway’s Garden Center this past weekend and it cost $16.99 for a large box, which is still quite full. I will get a lot of use out of it for the price!

To make this basket more patriotic, just tuck in some little American flags! When the holiday is over, just pull the flags back out for a casual summertime door basket display.

Thanks for stopping by on the tour today! Next we swing back up to Cindy from County Road 407 and I know you will love all of her patriotic decorating ideas!! Do stop by and check out all the wonderful decor pieces our friends have put together for you.

Happy almost summertime!

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Tablescapes

An Ethereal Springtime Basket in Whites and Silver

Hello, dear friends! Springtime baskets are on the menu for you in this month’s Pinterest Challenge. Thank you to Cindy from County Road 407 for hosting this hop and for giving us this basket challenge!

If you are stopping by from Michelle of Thistle Key Lane for the first time, welcome! Didn’t you just love what Michelle has created with her basket? Sooooo pretty!!

Well, our inspiration photograph this month comes from Emily at Le Cultivateur. I love her style and this centerpiece is just up my alley!

Love all the greenery with the whites and silver ~ which is what I picked up on!

When I first went over to view Emily’s post, I saw her Easter centerpiece version of this basket with it’s large white rabbit and it is still perfect (to me, anyway) for an after-Easter springtime table topper!

Here is the photograph I decided to copy:

This tableau just says, “Spring has sprung!”

What I loved about this basket

  • Whites everywhere! ~ a large white basket to hold spring plants, a large white rabbit with his adorable lace bow, the painted white raised board. A rumpled, white dresser scarf with lace around its edges added its softness.
  • Silver ~ I love silver candlesticks and they add just that touch of elegance!
  • Greenery ~ inside the large basket, live plants are nestled together with a grapevine hoop added as a “basket handle.”

What I put in my ethereal springtime basket

  • Whites ~ I looked at my handled baskets but they were too small, so I went with this whitewashed flat tobacco basket as my “board” and basket. I tried it with a white wood cake plate but it didn’t look right, so I just added my newer Lowe’s stone rabbit, a white paper mΓ’chΓ© rabbit, a small white plant pot, white inside a clear tealight holder, plus a white birdhouse.
  • Silver ~ copying our inspiration, I chose two silver mercury glass candlesticks plus one white metal one to hold softly pink tapers. Depending upon the lighting, each of the rabbits and the basket take on a silvery glow.
  • Greenery ~ This lavender-pink amaryllis stalk is the first to bloom in our northern sideyard and was my inspiration for this laying out the table in month’s challenge! It’s simple beauty paired with a faux paperwhite in a white plant pot bring in some of the greenery from our inspiration piece.
  • Table runner lace ~ I have dresser scarves but would have had to wash the one from our bedroom, so I looked in my linen closet and found this sweet, tatted window curtain to use on my table instead! I love its French Country farmhouse look and the rumpling on either end adds just the right look to this tableau.

Not having any Spanish moss to add to my basket, I added a garden saucer with moss balls I made last year paired with a couple of woven grass balls. This helped bring in more greenery to my table’s look.

I love the simplicity of this basket centerpiece and for me it is simple, ethereal elegance! If you are looking for something to decorate your table for Mother’s Day, just replace the rabbits with a bowl of garden roses or other flowers. That will give you more greenery and less of an Easter look.

Now let’s see what Carol of Bluesky at Home has created for you…

And please do stop by my other friends on today’s Pinterest Challenge tour!

Happy springtime,

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Home Decor, Tablescapes

A Bunny-full Centerpiece for Spring

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge, dear friends, where a group of us gals gets together to put our own spin on an inspiration piece. I want to start today’s post with a big shout out to Cindy from County Road 409 for pulling us all together again ~ thank you, Cindy!!

If you are coming over from Kim at Shiplap and Shells and are here for the first time, welcome. I’m so glad y’all are here!! Wasn’t Kim’s table fun with her bunnies and I just love her flower-shaped woven placemats… Adorable!

tiered tray decorated for spring with greenery, a birdhouse, candles and a bunny beside stacked plates and a bunny topiary

Our inspiration this month is this adorable bunny centerpiece from Suzy at Worthing Court and boy is it packed full of cuteness and style!

Using a wooden tiered stand and a stack of plates as risers, Suzy brings in:

  • spring greens in the forms of plants, a bunny topiary in a pot, four salad plates and a sweet green water jug
  • earth tones in small pots, a small birdhouse, plus little candleholders, the tiered stand and the grass table runner and woven round placemats
  • bright whites in dinner plates, small candles, a ceramic bunny and bird eggs
  • textures both rough and smooth

There’s a lot going on here and a lot to recreate, so let’s get started!

Not having a tall wooden tiered tray, I improvised with my wood charcuterie board, a candlestick I made over topped with a wooden heart-shaped cutting board.

How I put together my centerpiece

In Suzy’s post, she talked about “raiding your own stash” so I’ve looked through my spring decorations box and at what I could tier and what tiered trays I do have first…

I have a lot of wooden pieces luckily and candles here and there…

I made a tiered tray since my other two are tiered cake plates and just didn’t have the right look. Then I rounded up various ceramic, paper mΓ’chΓ© and coconut fiber bunnies from my stash to decorate my “trays.”


Next, I ran out to the garden shed in search of little terracotta pots to bring in their colors and textures to match those in our inspiration piece. The bulbous pot I found at that cute garden center I wrote about last year ~ The Greenhouse ~ in Oklahoma last year. The other banded pot I found at Ace Hardware (I think) in Carrolton, Texas.

No green tableware

Rats! if I didn’t just see some really cute lettuce-patterned majolica plates at Tuesday morning recently and I didn’t pick them up. Well, if you don’t have green salad plates to pick up the greens in your greenery, bring in the greens with what you do have!

I stacked my favorite white dinner plates (from Marshalls years ago) with my first set of tableware, Villeroy & Boch Botanica dessert/salad plates (adding my green), then added a Wedgwood Sarah’s Garden* teacup to bring in more whites and smooth textures.

*I highlighted Sarah’s Garden in case you might like to read about my meeting Sarah, Duchess of York back in the early 2000’s when she was a spokesperson for Wedgwood.

I loved the spring greenery Suzy used in her centerpiece so I pulled in several moss balls I made and a couple of dried hydrangea heads I had. The hydrangea blossoms added the wooly plant texture I was looking for.

Lots of bunny love here!

And lastly, I also had the round, gilded and woven placemats like those in the inspiration photograph in my stash; they look perfect as “nests” for any place setting!

I didn’t find my bird’s eggs (they have been lost for several years since I found some…) and I forgot about the bird house, but I do have one! So I’ll share it here. πŸ˜‰

Another Pinterest Challenge share from a year or two ago!!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you will visit all of our friends on today’s centerpiece tour. Please think about subscribing to my blog if you haven’t done so already. I appreciate you!!!

Next up is my friend Niky from The House on Silverado. Her tablescape is just lovely with all her rabbits, and I know you’ll love it!!!

Spring blessings to you,

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Christmas, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Uncategorized

Using Garland Throughout Your Home

Welcome friends to this month’s Garland Pinterest Challenge hosted by our friend Cindy of County Road 407! I am excited to share how I have used garland in every home I have lived in, as well as this sneak peek of our Christmas mantel…

This month we don’t have an inspiration photograph or blogger to share, which is very freeing. Just a message: “to share garland” was the text Cindy sent all of us on this month’s PC tour. If you are coming over from Laura of Everyday Edits for the first time, welcome!

Oh, and don’t you like the new Pinterest Challenge graphic??! I am going red and white this year, with mostly white for decorating my home for Christmas, so this new graphic fits my theme to a tee.

Garlands of Christmas Past

I love decorating our chandeliers every year for Christmas and decorating the very first year we were in our Texas home was a real thrill! Gleefully I glammed up this former dining room chandy with mercury glass ornaments set underneath a soft, very realistic pine garland.

I have been on a Nordic look for several years and this year might be similar, though our son, daughter-in-law and 18 month-old grandson will be down. So… we might add in a little more cute animals for Milo! (Which I have added on the mantel so far.)

When we were still living in our Prairie Home, our Heartland Charleston Landmark 365 RV, we hung a light-weigh acrylic chandelier and yes it had garland entwined in its clear branches!

Outside that same year, garland was swagged down the length of our outdoor dining table. It looked quite ethereal indeed and is a favorite beautiful way to use garlands out of doors.

Garlands for everyday

Now garlands don’t have to always be floral or greenery. In this instance, I used an old coat hanger bent into a circle and draped the “wire ring” with pretty white ribbon to hang crystal decorations in our first trailer home.

Quite a different kind of garland, really.

Pearl garlands from the bridal section of Michael’s and Joann Fabrics look lovely draped on the arms of chandeliers, too! Here in this post ~ How to Glam Up Your Chandelier.

This year we have installed a new Shabby Chic style chandelier, which I found on sale at Lamps Plus (not sponsored). Of course, it has to be decked out for the holidays!

And this is just a few of the ways I use garlands. I love decorating with garlands, how about you?

Up next, we begin at the top with Cindy of County Road 407 who has a fun garland project for you to create! Do stop by and take a tour of all of the garland inspired ideas everyone has for you.

Thank you for pinning!

Happy hopping and here’s to a wonderful holiday season,

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Add a Little Fall Color to Your Bedroom

Welcome to our first fall Pinterest Challenge focusing on adding in fall color to our bedrooms. If you are just coming over from the main group of bloggers, or are here for the first time, welcome! As always, I’d like to thank Cindy from County Road 407 for setting us up with our inspiration photograph and our friend Paula from Virginia Sweet Pea for taking the reins as our host…

***Cindy had a family emergency and I would like to ask you to keep them in your prayers, thank you. πŸ’œ

Love all the patterns and textures!!!

Our inspiration comes from Courtney over at The Golden Boys and Me

Courtney has the cutest bed linens and is blessed to have a sweet architectural shelf over her bed and black iron headboard to be able to put fun pieces on.

With all the fun pumpkins, black wire and iron in the basket below the seat and above in the chandelier {too cute!}, wood textures in the pumpkin on the bench and the basket on the bed, I love this updated farmhouse look.

My bedroom’s look

I have a really old shelving unit but not a shelf anymore. We had sweet early-1990’s wooden shelves with heart cutouts and pegs to hang things on, but we sold those when we were getting ready to move everything to storage when we sold our last house.

So, I hung up this wicker basket I found a year or so ago and kept the roses {my signature} in it while adding in some faux fall berries and leaves.

I changed out the lightweight Shabby Chic white and pink roses quilt that we had on for summer to this deeper lavender and darker roses quilt. I like this one on our California king bed as it is still lightweight but we can easily add the other quilt on top as the weather get colder here in early fall.

To bring in some of the oranges used in our inspiration bedroom, I’ve added a favorite fall pillow with Autumn Blessings scripted across it. I also brought in this super lightweight throw we use for afternoon naps when the days are still so warm, plus a small white metal tray with a little scarecrow we have had since our now-grown kids were little.

This is coupled with two pumpkins, one orange and the other a white one I sparkled about six years ago or so.

We bought this bench online about two years ago now, our first fall here in this home, and I love its Old World look! I guess I should have stuck some goodies underneath but I usually decorate more simply so this is how it normally looks, a perfect place to hide our slippers and shoes underneath… πŸ˜‰

Time for tea

My little addition to this fall bedroom challenge is to include a little tea party! Bringing in a tray I painted white {which adds more of our inspiration’s white look} layered with fall dishes including this sweet Cracker Barrel brown transferware plate and a Royal Winton teacup and saucer.

Two persimmon cookies are stacked atop our little plate with a small fall napkin I sewed from leftover fabric years ago ~ perfect for a little afternoon reading in bed!

And that’s it for me, dear friends!

I hope you enjoy touring others who are on the main tour. You can find those links over at Paula’s of Virginia Sweet Pea. Due to the event being “cancelled,” then finding out it was still going on, many of us didn’t see the update until too late. My post was ready so I’m happy to have it to share with you… Next time!

Blessings to you all,

Barb πŸ™‚


Setting a Beautiful Summer Table with Dolly Madison China…

Happy Tuesday, friends! It’s time for another Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407, thank you Cindy!! If you are just coming over from Laura at Everyday Edits and/or are new to French Ethereal, welcome! I am so glad you all came today as this month our theme is Summer Tablescapes, something dear to my heart…

Our inspiration photo from Sanctuary Home Decor

My takeaway

I love Karen’s table set out on her back patio for a summertime meal! It is so pretty with all the whitewashed wood of her table and chairs, and the pretty soft cream and soft pink peonies.

The flowers look like they are floating above the table set in their clear glass bottles ~ really ethereal!

Her table looks like it is set for a light meal featuring soup and sourdough bread ~ perfect when it it hot outside and we often don’t feel much like eating a big meal.

Blue mophead hydrangeas from my garden

My table

I began my table with spreading out this small summertime quilt given to me by my mother a long time ago, if I remember correctly. She found it at a local church bazaar in Connecticut.

I love all the yellows, greens and pops of red and pink and roses and it is a perfect complement to all of the rose-covered china.

All of the tableware with the exception of the Crown Dorset teapot (right, covered in dark and lighter pink roses, green leaves and smaller yellow roses), was a new gift from my mother-in-law Gini, who is out here visiting with my sister-in-law Jodi and nephew Corey from California.

My husband and mother-in-law at our wedding in 1987.

I have a patio outback but we’ve been cooking outdoors and there is no beautiful grass out there, just dirt, so I chose to stay indoors with my tablescape this time. πŸ™‚

I set the table then realized I hadn’t brought out any clear glassware so I reshot some photos and they will be intermixed.

Collecting vintage china

This vintage china is called Dolly Madison by Castleton and there are enough placesettings for 9 guests. I love the simple centered dark pink rose set into each plate and on each side of the teacups. Next to their IOOF lodge in Sacramento, California, they open a thriftshop on the weekends once a month, I think, and she found these pretty pieces there.

The chocolate pot my mother-in-law also found at the same thriftshop and it is stunning! I have always wanted one and this one is unmarked except for KW 5634. It appears to be an antique French piece and is bone china with gilding around the teapots upper and lower scalloped edges.

Love all of these pieces!!!

Here is our table all set and with several of the remaining hydrangea blooms in small glass containers surrounding the main teapot vase…

We had a loaf of French bread so it is in here, too, helping recreate the look of our inspiration piece.

A sweet table set for sweet thoughtful family!…

I’ve used my older and almost vintage Simply Shabby Chic handkerchief napkins underneath my silverware. These are no longer available but you might find them online or at your local estate sales and thrift stores. πŸ™‚

New plants are settling in nicely outdoors. I’ll share a summer update on the garden soon.

And that’s my recreation of today’s lovely tablescape!

Thank you so much for visiting today! Continuing the tour, we head back up top to visit Cindy at County Road 407. And, here is the list with everyone participating today if you like to jump around, too… πŸ˜‰

Enjoy all these incredible tablescapes,

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


5 Minute Picnic Basket for Two

Welcome friends to this month’s Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407. This month we are putting together pretty baskets! If you are coming over from Laura from Everyday Edits, welcome!

Do you ever want to go on an impromptu picnic with your sweetheart but don’t want to drag out everything like we do for camping trips? Well, my picnic basket should give you a couple of new ideas to use for your next picnic. And they are things just laying around the kitchen and home…

Here is our inspiration piece from Anderson + Grant

Jamie of Anderson + Grant is new as a blogger online to me but actually I think I’ve met her at a Design Influencers Conference! We sat together and she was really nice. I don’t remember if it was in Beverly Hills or Atlanta as I went a couple of years in a row and I am soooo excited to write her and say hello!!

In this our inspirational post, Jamie made over a broken thrift shop basket she found with a nice grey wash. It’s always fun to see what you can find at local thrift shops to refresh. Thrifting is also one of my favorite things to do while out “on the road.”

If I can find a treasure to bring home, I am a happy girl! πŸ™‚

Well, my Longaberger basket is still in good shape and even though you can’t go to the company’s basket parties any longer, you can still find lone baskets occasionally at flea markets, and of course, thrift stores.

I chose to leave my basket natural and put together a quick 5 minute basket that you can whip up with one of your own baskets, too!

What to fill it with

I found these adorable bicycle paper plates in January at our local Costco in Lewisville, Texas, and they were $9.95 for a stack of like 250 or more. Great deal and the package comes with bicycles on one plate and a spring wildflower bouquet on the other!

Two bicycle plates went in first, then the turquoise Tupperware cups we bought the year we moved into our trailer from a friend’s party.

Then I added plastic ware leftover from local takeout and a couple of lemon napkins from a summer Pinterest Challenge last year. They are perfect with the fun paper plates and add more color to the picnic basket!

Lastly, I added a small bouquet of dried lavender from my garden and a small candle to add a little romance when spreading out the throw blanket (around the basket) for a picnic for two…

Since this basket is for a snack picnic, I’ve popped in a box of crackers and some chocolate toffee. When getting ready to leave, it’s simple to add in a small soft-sided cooler with cut up slices of Cheddar cheese, maybe some shredded chicken or turkey to top the crackers, and some red or green grapes, plus a couple of sodas and bottles of water to round out the menu…

Well thank you so much for stopping by today! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you’d put in your picnic basket… πŸ˜‰

Next up we swing back up to the top to visit Cindy at County Road 407 and I know you’ll love what she has done with her basket!


Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Bringing Out Pretties for Springtime in the Kitchen

Welcome, friends to another fun Pinterest Challenge hosted by our friend Cindy of County Road 407! This month’s posts will be sharing everyone’s beautiful kitchens decorated for springtime. Some of us may just focus on countertops and others may share what’s up above, too. Today, I have a little of both for you…

Let them eat cake!

If you are stopping by from Rachel of The Ponds Farmhouse, welcome! Her kitchen was a dream, wasn’t it? Rustic and modern at the same time ~ I really love it!! Our kitchen inspiration photo comes from the talented Marly of Marly Dice.com. Her kitchen is ethereal with its bright white cabinets and the sunshine pouring in from the window over the sink…

Bright and airy in Marly’s beautiful kitchen ~ Fresh and Cheerful Spring Kitchen Tour.
I painted the kitchen walls a pretty turquoise which matched the color of our freeform pool’s water.

It makes me wish I still had my last kitchen in California…

The Big House kichen had lovely solid oak cabinets which the previous owner had painted white and I loved them! Here I was giving them a refresh repainting in 2014 as we knew we would be selling the next year.

Our inspiration kitchen’s look

I love the soft marble backsplash and the pretty granite countertops contrasted by all the white! Marly has just a few things out on display which really complement the main colors of white, a pinkish look to the backsplash marble, and the tan brought out in the granite counters:

  • a few wooden cutting boards
  • two vases of flowers bringing springtime indoors
  • pretty creamware dishes stacked near the sink
  • a wooden display trolley with more creamware soup mugs and more on it
  • a butcher block of knives ready for mealtime prepwork

I really like Marly’s quiet style! I am really a minimalist at heart, though you wouldn’t know it to see the usual stuff laying around our house, lol! But when our home is cleaned up, I love the quiet and calm that comes with cleared off counters, everything in its place, and I bet you do, too. πŸ˜‰

My kitchen

Currently our kitchen has an Old World look to it with the darker cherry cabinets. I love the size of our kitchen, but they are just press-board. I wish the previous owner had left the 1990’s solid oak cabinets as they were better built.

For the immediate future, I am planning on painting the kitchen walls a soft grey this summer to lighten up the kitchen’s look, and I may tackle the upper cabinets painting them a creamy white, too. Depends on what I can realistically get done while off from school!

For this challenge, though, I thought about sharing more of my collection of baskets plus bringing out all of my glass cake plates and their covers. I like redoing the tops of my cabinets for the season, and the thought of bringing in some light colored items up above really sparked an idea for me! I began with:

  • Bringing in many of my baskets ~ most of my baskets are a natural wood color which brings in the soft tan color from the inspiration photo.
I moved the basket filled with pinecones here above the refrigerator and added a large bread basket and my bowed flower girl basket with this winter’s dried roses and lavender.
More thriftshop and Longaberger baskets ~ I have had the Longaberger baskets since the years 1989-1992. These were purchased during the 1980/1990’s heydey of home shopping parties. I bought these while we lived on base at Camp Pendleton.
  • One cutting board is out along with an Italian trivet I have near the stove. I set these out last fall and Mr. Ethereal likes having the salt and pepper shakers, olive oil and avocado oil out all the time next to the stove. We have a framed Italian restaurant print hanging on the wall to the left of the refrigerator from his trip to Italy in 1984.
  • Pretty potted plants instead of vases of flowers ~ I loved the inspiration photo’s pinks so I did bring that in with the faux flower arrangement up above under the glass cloche, as well as a potted plant from outside.
  • Bringing in the glass ~ adding in all the vintage and newer cake plates above and on the counters echoes the glass vase in our inspiration piece.
Loving the new spring look!
  • Display trolley ~ I found a two-tiered display piece at Target probably 10 years ago. Originally it was gilded and later I dry brushed white over top. I love that it has the two big sparrows on top! Today it shares my collection of vintage Haviland-Limoges and Austrian plates and small bowls with roses.
I made the “piece” of cake years ago (it is somewhere in a box, I’m sure) and displayed it on different plates and in three cute open display windows we had in our first home when I began having teas. It seemed fitting to finish the cake for this shoot!
  • Butcher block ~ our knife holder is always out on display, as is our toaster and one of two butter dishes. This time the Butter Lady is out; she is from Poland and matches a teapot and warmer I brought back from England about 15 years ago.

To go along with the soft pinks, and because I had so many cake plates up above, it seemed fitting that I finally create this faux 3/4 cake…

Not totally finished yet ~ I ran out of Queen Anne’s Lace faux flowerheads ~ I love the Flower Cake’s look! The moss is the “cake” and the flowers are the frostings, filling, and top.

These flower cakes were super popular to make about 30 years ago now. Maybe this will bring back a new trend??!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Here is a list of everyone on today’s Pinterest Challenge tour. If you are following along in order, or just going randomly, have fun clicking onward!

Up next is Niky from The House on Silverado who has such a pretty kitchen… How she decorated her kitchen for this challenge is perfect, too! I know you will be inspired by her springtime kitchen display…

Happy spring redecorating, friends!

Hugs, Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


A Birdhouse Vignette on the Spring Potting Bench

Happy spring, friends! Welcome to another Pinterest Challenge hosted by my good friend Cindy of County Road 407, who even though we haven’t seen each other in over a year (drat that Covid!), actually only lives about 15 minutes away (her city house, that is, not the country one!). Thank you, Cindy, for another wonderful blog hop!!! Our springtime theme this month is to create a pretty birdhouse vignette…

If you are just coming over from Kim from Shiplap and Shells and are here for the first time, welcome! I am so glad you’ve come!! Please consider subscribing if you enjoy your visit today, thank you!!

Love the sweet robin’s egg blue color scheme of Doreen’s vignette!

Our inspiration

Cindy found today’s Pinterest Challenge piece over at Doreen‘s blog, Hymn’s and Verses… I love the soft blue colors and all the natural elements of grasses, flowers and the bird theme! Doreen has a nice easy-going eclectic style which I like a lot! where she brilliantly puts together antiques, mid-century and even very modern furniture pieces in a fun farmhouse style. I think you will like her blog! πŸ™‚

My takeaways from Doreen’s birdhouse vignette

  • repeated colors
  • natural woven grasses and caning
  • bird theme
  • flowers
  • a fun birdhouse
  • small tin painted bucket
  • a small plate with a bird representation for her “bird”

I had just used forced branches in last month’s spring mantel and they are faded away, so I thought I’d use some pink flame geraniums in my spring birdhouse vignette for my blooms! To the right are some soft pink freesia (just out of the picture) behind the small birdhouse I made in 2007 for myself and the ladies in my last tea group.

To make this birdhouse:

  • a pre-made birdhouse
  • pieces of broken china
  • sanded grout mix
  • small wooden ormulu to glue on the front
  • a small knob for a perch
  • paint of your choice
  • small utensils/ wooden sticks for grouting
  • clear sealer in spray or liquid form (do outdoors as it can really stink!)

Begin by painting your birdhouse all over its outside and let dry. Smash up broken bits of china plates, teacups and so on by placing them into a heavy Ziplock-type bag with a hammer. Trial these pieces on the birdhouse roof beforehand to create a pleasing look.

Using an old butter knife or paint stick, “butter on” sanded grout mix along the roofline of the birdhouse. Put it on fairly thickly (as thick as your thickest pieces of china). Squish in the broken china pieces. Fill in any areas that need more grout as needed with small toothpicks, wooden skewers. Spray on clear sealer to seal the grout to give your roof a good look!

That’s it!!!

Aren’t these lavender freesias beautiful with their soft yellow throats?!

Going pink!

I don’t really have much vintage china in soft blues but I do have lots of pink, so I went with deeper pinks and greens in my vignette (plus a few other soft colors)!

I started with a natural woven basket and a small Longaberger basket as my “tin pail.” My smaller basket holds all the seed packets I have save these past few years. I love the handles on both the inspiration piece and on mine!

I added in a small blue and white vase plus a small cement capital as a lift for the little birdhouse. The addition of the plants and some gardening gloves and Corona clippers are just part and parcel around here in the garden!

And of course a sweet pink birdie came to the party!…

As you can see this potting bench is really getting used! The two covers which helped save a bunch of plants from the week-long arctic freeze and subsequent ice storms of last month are stuffed down below, waiting for me to lay them out and fold them properly.

Thank you for stopping by today as you visit all of my friends on today’s Pinterest Challenge tour! Next up is Niky from The House on Silverado and I know you will love her birdhouse vignette!!

Enjoy your spring gardens, friends,

Barb πŸ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter