France Nous Voici! (Here We Come!)

It is done, mes amies! Two tickets to fly to Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport are now reserved in mine and my daughter’s names…

*Above photo courtesy of

Now the fun begins!

I need your help. Where have you stayed which was beautiful but around $400 or less/night? I did see that we could get bunk beds in a hostel, but would our suitcases and belongings be safe all day while we are out shopping/dining/browsing/touring?

My niece’s wedding is on Saturday in Grenoble, so my thought was take the red-eye to CDG airport on Tuesday/land on Wednesday, check into our hotel, leave our bags and get out right away for sight-seeing in Paris! We land at 1:25pm so hopefully we can get a cab or shuttle to the hotel. We will probably look around a bit, grab an early dinner and head to bed (ha!). (You know me, I’ll be out photographing EVERYTHING!!!)

Versailles ~ Hall of Mirrors

Amy and I will spend two days ooohing and aaahing over Versailles and the gardens, and seeing whatever we can squish into our days there in Paris. We may have a couple of days on our way back from Grenoble, too. I would love to go and see the lavender fields but I just think there isn’t enough time in one week…

What are your experiences in France with security out on the streets or in the hotels? Can we walk around with our purses hanging around our necks or should we just take small wallets and keep in our front pockets??

Now the fun stuff!

We will arrive on Wednesday and stay in Paris for two days. What are your must see things to do?

Which arrondisement did you enjoy staying in the most? Left Bank or Right Bank?

I’ve looked at Courtney of French Country Cottage‘s post The Most Charming Apartment to Stay In as a start for hotel ideas.

On that Friday, we hop on a train to Grenoble. How do we do this y’all? Totally excited, but I am concerned about getting to the train station.

I finally got into the USPS last week and my paperwork is sent/uploaded with “expedite” for my new passport’s return. Amy will go right to the main location there in Austin this coming week and get hers done.

A Grenoble Wedding

five unique summer experiences in france part two

So, yes, we will have to travel to Grenoble sometime during the day. I think there is a dinner Friday night for guests and then the wedding on Saturday. I know there is hiking around Grenoble and it’ll be nice to go for a short hike and just ogle over the scenery! What mountains… Hope the roses and lavender will be in bloom!

Well, I am going to fire off this post and listen to all of your thoughts and comments! Please feel free to share with friends who you think might have some tips and advice for a good trip, thank you!!! 💜

Here are a couple of other pre-France posts I’ve shared in the past:

About France and a Little More Virtual Travel and French Inspiration ~ really this was my trip to Germany as a 19 year old college student on an exchange program.

Happy Saturday, y’all,

Barb 🙂


The Crown Jewel of Crown Heights

Hello again, dear friends! There are pockets of gorgeous homes all throughout the United States and throughout the world, but when my friend Torrance and I drove up to visit a couple of garden centers this week, we pushed on to visit Crown Heights in Oklahoma City…

Built during the 1930’s and into the 1940’s and 1950’s, Crown Heights and eventually its sister neighborhood, Edgemere Heights, were upscale neighborhoods where doctors and Oklahoma City leaders first lived. There is a nice history on the Crown Heights/Edgemere Heights web page where I learned about the neighborhood and would you believe lots were offered at $750 each back then?

But my main reason for a tour through the neighborhood was to see if I could drive by the home of a favorite YouTube gardener, Linda Vater.

Linda’s home is to me the crown jewel of these two neighborhoods

Constructed of stone and brick in Tudor style, her home has a historical plaque dated 1935 set into its doorway. Linda has been gardening here for over 30 years and is a self-taught gardener (but you’d never know it!). She has a book coming out for new and long-time gardeners alike, plus her home has been featured in many magazines over the years.

If you’ve ever watched Linda’s YouTube channel, then you’ve seen her garden transform from season to season. In spring her front yard is a mass of tulips and azaleas blooming in whites, pinks and other soft colors befitting the English style of her home.

I love all the topiary in small urns up on the patio brick wall and the little sitting areas.

Here in summertime, pink roses are blooming while other plants have quieted down to summer greens. This year is a recovery year for so many gardeners across the midwest due to the Arctic freeze in February which killed so many of our plants. This yard is rebuilding, too.

Linda’s and her neighbor’s yards throughout Oklahoma City were double-hit with the freeze and a freak ice storm late in the fall. Her 100 year old oak tree. seen to the left in the first photograph above, lost many of its limbs because of this first blast, then the plantings underneath were hit again during the winter deep freeze. You’d never know it here as she has replanted many of the azaleas along the front patio wall (some a gift from Southern Living Plants, whom she is a spokesperson). She has also been nursing the surviving boxwood balls back to health, too. That’s why some look “wooly.”

Just gorgeous!!!

It’s not just Linda Vater’s home which is lovely, but the whole area is just beautiful with many neighbors having lovely gardens!

Torrance and I were ogling the whole area, deciding which houses we’d like to live in. 😉 It had just rained (was still dripping a little drizzle) as we drove through and this lent a nice quiet overcast with no shadows, good for photographing each home!

I loved all the gables, porticos, side porches, brick pathways, mullioned windows, and of course the gardens!

We turned a corner onto an adjoining street and found this home having its slate roof redone. Isn’t this Colonial Revival home pretty? (Or could it be a little Federal??) I love the adjoining room(s) above the garage.

I was actually surprised at really how small some of the homes actually are. Cameras and especially certain lenses really add depth and scale to homes, so I thought Linda’s home was bigger and further apart from her neighbors’ homes, but really it isn’t. She is always saying that her backyard is really pretty small, though it looks quite large on camera.

Torrance thought that these homes must be deeper than wider and sit into their respective backyards, which is quite likely. Most were just average size homes (to today’s standards). They would have been quite grand during the 1930’s ~ probably why those doctors and city leaders lived here!

Coming along another street, we found this backyard garden with its incredible brick and wrought iron fencing… I loved the fencing! Torrance loved the tall orange-striped tiger which was inside the back iron gate (she took a photo; I didn’t).

I would LOVE to do something like this at our home, but…

Yeah… ($$$)

I might be able to add some “windows” into our wooden fencing with a few wrought aluminum pieces, though. 🙂

Love the bay windows!

Just a really pretty neighborhood set into an older part of Oklahoma City…

Then we found the Crown Heights obelisk marker… A perfect addition to our home dream-shopping trip!!!

And some pretty garden areas along the city streets as we made our way to the freeway headed towards home… and a nice double-decker pizza restaurant we will have to try out another time. ;)’

Thought you’d enjoy a tour of Crown Heights and a drive-by… 😉

Happy dreaming!

Barb 🙂


Share Your Style #308

Welcome friends, to this week’s Share Your Style #308! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!

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!
 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 inlaws drove home safely ~ it was really nice to visit with my mother-in-law Gini, SIL Jodi and nephew Corey over the past two weeks! I know they were happy to get home last Saturday afternoon, as we all are after a long trip away. 🙂

I am finally feeling better after coming down with an “unspecified virus” which the doctor at the local urgent care thinks might be Post-Covid Syndrome. I am just happy I tested negative for a number of things and the results just came back from the mammogram. Nothing out of the ordinary; just the usual-for-me fibrous tissue. 💜 

We took down the old shed and are waiting for the new one’s arrival! It looks like it might come on Friday so I sent off to the City to request a final permit. There should be no issues now since all their issues were with location and the rest had previously been finalized. I’ll be happy when it is fully installed and I no longer have to talk to the City…

And can you believe it is 4th of July this weekend, already??… Where has time flown?? Lots of fun ideas here this week for celebrating!

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

Prepping for a New Shed ~ the saga continues and I am ready to be DONE!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

sliced patriotic cake on white plate decorated with red, white and blue.
Lois of Walking on Sunshine Recipes brings us this yummy patriotic recipe for celebrating with our families and friends on our nation’s
Independence Day ~ 4th of July Cookie Cake. Yum!!!
Totally loving this fun wreath by Cindy of Cloches and Lavender! You’ll love these miniature pots… adorable! ~ How to Make This Grapevine Wreath.
Penny from Penny’s Treasures always has the neatest vintage-style decor posts and this update on her bedroom is just in keeping! Summer Bedroom ~ check out the new sheets and what she did with a second set…
Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shared her pretty gardens in this post ~ A Bit of Yellow in the Gardens, June 2021 Garden Update. Wait until you see who came to visit??! She’s a cutie!!!
Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy shares her sweet paintings in this colorful post ~ From Palette to Paper. Isn’t this guy adorable and soooo realistic??!!
For our daughters and any of us still in shape to wear fun tops like this, Maya over at The Little Treasures shared this fun pattern to crochet! ~ Madison Top Pattern Release. When I was a teen, I had some really cute strappy tops like this but nowadays, it’d be a “backyard-only” on me! My daughter however… 😉 Love the retro 70’s vibe!!!
8 Spray Paint Projects To Do
Rachelle from My Hubbard Home shares this fun post for updating our home decor on a budget ~ 8 Spray Paint Projects to do This Weekend. Love ’em all!!!
An important thought as we come into Post-Covid times: 3 Tips for Improving Your Mental Health from Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge.
woman in striped sweater and jeans against white background getting ready to declutter extra pillows
Julie from Filling the Jars shared this wonderful post for also mentally (and physically!) clearing and cleaning the cobwebs ~ Do These 3 Things When You Are Overwhelmed by Clutter.
Renae over at Peacock Ridge Farm shared this lovely post on Our French Country Front Porch Makeover. Love it and those urns!!!…
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared this neat travel-related post ~ Steamboat Springs Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival. Don’t y’all just love seeing a balloon liftoff?!! I had to work the front gate on the night they did the “glow” for the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival (when we lived on Lake Skinner, our year + as RV camp hosts), BUT we could see a little from the main entry kiosk! 🙂 And of course lots of balloons flying over the next morning!
Free RV checklist printable packing list. Don't forget anything on your next camping trip in your travel trailer. This free printable camping list has everything covered!
For long-term RV living and just for summer camping, here’s a nice list from Sarah from Must Have Mom ~ Free RV Checklist Printable Packing List. She isn’t kidding, friends! It’s bigger (and pared-down) for long-term living. 🙂

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, everyone!

Barb 🙂

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Share Your Style #307

Welcome friends, to this week’s Share Your Style #307! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!

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!
 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

This past week I’ve been over to McKinney with my mother- and sister-in-law visiting a friend of Jodi’s who moved there back about 20 years ago. Gini and I went over to the City of McKinney’s Vital Statistics building and happily found a microfiche of her grandfather and grandmother’s marriage license from 1897!

On Friday evening, we went to a Texas Rangers’ game down in Arlington. They ended up losing but we enjoyed getting out and trying some ballpark foods and listening to the crowds and announcer, and enjoying the ballgame live.

Saturday was a workday and Gini, Jodi and Corey (my nephew, who flew in on Friday morning) drove over to Farmersville to watch an IOOF and a group of local re-enactors honoring of an 1812 soldier from the area. Because of the busy week, I didn’t go but I would have enjoyed the ceremony. I slept all Saturday afternoon.

My mother-in-law Gini, sister-in-law Jodi and hubby Charles
Corey showing off his perfect pizza!

Sunday we enjoyed baking homemade pizzas out in the Ooni and then we worked on a satin banner project Gini is making for a future IOOF ceremony.

This banner will have a purple backing and other images placed around it and wording at the top and bottom. Should be neat when it is all done!

Since Monday, I’ve been down with a cold or Covid-type feeling illness… If it is Covid related, two days on, the vaccine is beating it down and I am feeling better today. 🙂

And thank you, friends! We had 84 links up last week, and there were so many good posts to look through to feature. Keep ’em coming!…

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

This month’s Pinterest Challenge was all about setting a Summer Table and here is my entry ~ Setting a Beautiful Summer Table with Castleton’s Dolly Madison China.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shares her home decorated for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations in this pretty RWB post ~
A Little Bit More RWB in the Living Room. Love love love this wreath!!!
Juliet from French Country Cottage shared her beautiful find in this DIY post ~ French Country Cottage Sideboard. Beautiful!!!
DIY Sock Gnome
Kippi of Kippi at Home shared her really in-depth instructions to make these
Easy DIY Gnomes [Tutorial]. Totally cute and perfect for us to create this summer for all the seasons coming up!
Awwwww! Puppy Challenges in the Garden was shared by Sandra from Come to Dinner at Eight. Puppies are a challenge but with time and good correction, all puppies can turn into the best dogs! Come check out this sweet post {and isn’t Finnegan just cute??!}…
Perfect as a follow-up, this post from Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog looks like a fun recipe to make for your favorite furry friends! ~
Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Puppy Chow.
Vintage Botanical Print in the Early Summer Entry is this week’s share from Debra over at Common Ground. I love Debra’s wonderful mélange of goodies she puts together each season here in here entry, and I bet you do, too.
Lori over at Dinner for Eight shared her stunning table set for summer in this post ~ Blueberry Bliss Summer Tablescape. Love the soft blues!
purple floral kimono, olive green midi dress, caged sandals, wicker bag, Style Imitating Art, fashion over 40, Shelbee on the Edge
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge shared this lovely lavender-filled post
Style Imitating Art: Heather, Sweet Peas and Butterflies. Love Shelbee’s outfit for this garden tour!!
Tara from Stilettos and Shiplap brings us this DIY post ~ Thrift Store Challenge: Coffee Table Makeover. Love how it turned out!
Newcomer Lena from Way 2 Good Life brings us this fun travel post ~
Balloon Festivals in the United States. I can tell you they are so beautiful to
watch lift off! Welcome, Lena!!! She has also shared this post ~ With love from Medora, North Dakota’s Treasure.
Last up for this week is Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home sharing her finished kitchen remodel in this post ~ Cheerful Summer Kitchen Refresh. Love the bright pops of color for the season!

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.

Have a great week, dear friends!

Barb 🙂

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Click here to enter

Let’s Take a Roadtrip to “The Greenhouse…”

My friend Torrance and I took a trip recently back up to Norman*, Oklahoma, since her daughter and son-in-law graduated from the University of Oklahoma and she knew the area pretty well. While touring around, I looked for garden centers we could possibly visit and I found a good one!!!

A lovely koi pond in the main side garden towards the entrance. Styled very naturalistically with local rocks and plants tucked in crevices surrounding the pond, this will be a wonderfully shady spot beneath the trees surrounding it!

Torrance loves garden centers as much as I do and we have a lot in common: she worked and retired from the same school district as I am currently working for here in North Texas, she loves to garden, and we belong to the IOOF, which is where we met.

But I digress! We actually drove up just to tour around Norman, Oklahoma, to see the university, have lunch and maybe do some shopping. I hadn’t been to a mall since Covid broke out over a year ago. We did do that later in the day, but while the weather was nice and cool and so sunny that day, we just had to stop by a few garden centers…

And by searching my phone for garden centers, that is how we found The Greenhouse…

The Greenhouse ~ 1708 24th Avenue SW, Norman, Oklahoma 73072

The archway in the lead photograph is one of the ways into seven or more actual cold frames and greenhouses on the property. This is a massive garden center where they actually pot-on clippings and root up seedlings for sale.

You can tour around most of the areas and piles of plastic trays are situated here and there for toting your garden finds around as you go about the yard. Customers can pick up a tray and plunk plants into them to carry around. Of course, then you find too many pretties to easily carry around, so you transfer them to a sweet Red Flyer wagon. There are “stands” of these wagons in the green houses and inside the main building. ;)’

Inside the main building are vignettes with indoor plants, planters, cute decorative pots for indoor plants as well as specialty items. I found a pretty “hose guide” to keep your hose from destroying blooms as you pull it out around the garden.

We had the best time enjoying running water fountains and watching the koi splashing about and waiting for food to drop into their pond in the main garden area! Each area is set up for either house plants or starts and bigger containers to plant outdoors.

Lots of small pots perfect for succulents and indoor plants, plus pretty spring pillows for entertaining outdoors…

We found areas with gorgeous ferns, banana trees and lush palms, other areas with tables full of roses… No English roses but many of the Knockout pinks and reds ~ which do well here in the southern midwest and plains of Oklahoma and Texas. I was just enjoying looking around and took no photographs of these… Sorry! I did however take a few videos and here is a link to my YouTube to see one.

I did take one of this sweet Fairy Garden planted inside an old hanging basket now set on a stand!

Here you can see a little more of how each covered area is laid out. Tiered stands hold plantings and tucked here and there are statues and water fountains for sale. I found a lovely maiden for $400 which would have tucked nicely into our garden, but she or another Girl will have to wait for another time. (no photo) 🙂

The Greenhouse is shaded by many oak trees and the greenhouses are built around them, which I thought was wonderful planning on the part of the garden designers.

I love this giant metal artichoke statue!! Doesn’t it make a fun statement here in the garden?

I love playful gardens!

Just a couple of last looks at a large pond and waterfall which inside one of the main greenhouses surrounded by gorgeous tropical plants…

Really a wonderfully curated garden center ~ if you ever come this way to Oklahoma City, do stop by Norman (about 30 minutes south on I-35) and visit The Greenhouse…

Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tour!

Hugs, Barb 🙂


Places to Visit ~ Marcum’s Nursery, Oklahoma

Happy springtime, dear friends! It is wonderful to see early budding trees here in North Texas blossoming after the super cold of this winter ~ the fruitless pears are just putting on their magnificent canopies of white, the redbuds are beginning their blooms, too…

And today I’m sharing a nursery visit to a place I KNOW I will go back to… As I went up for my first Covid-19 vaccination, I chose the Chickasaw Nation’s healthcare site in Ardmore, Oklahoma as much for the vaccine but also for a little road trip (because I need to get out!) and to see if I could find some interesting garden centers. 🙂

Mr. Ethereal went with me taking the day off and after an hour+ getting the vaccine and waiting to see if I had any reaction (I didn’t then but did end up with all the usual things the emails said you will get: headaches, body aches, tired and sleeping a lot, sore arm, some swelling there, and after three days I feel pretty well back to normal. Well after a lunch at the local Carl’s Jr. (to get a burger which feels like “home” in California), we went on “an adventure!”

Marcum’s Nursery, 25 N. Rockford Road, Ardmore, OK 73401

We found Marcum’s Nursery in Ardmore, Oklahoma…

Their website is cute and even has a fun jingle at the bottom of the home page, if you head over to check it out. I highly recommend the Ardmore location! It reminds me of California even with the dry grasses, pine trees and just wide open prairie spaces (more in Northern California in the foothills of my teenage years).

There hasn’t been as much rain this winter so the grasses aren’t as green as I’d seen last year in late spring, but the plants at the garden center more than made up for the lack of green along the freeway! I liked that the plants available at Marcum’s are different than what I have found at our local garden centers here in Denton County, Texas. 🙂

And that’s exactly what I was looking for!

“You got gum-gum?”

As you come up to park, this Easter Island character was the first thing I spied and he made me laugh! Ever seen Night at the Museum? Watch it if you haven’t.

I won’t spoil the fun!

Just as you turn left from the main roadway into the property, there is a stand of set-in fruit and other trees. They are “set in,” if you’ve never seen this before (which I haven’t but it makes sense) to protect the tree roots from freezing to death during the negative temperatures Oklahoma prairies can experience ~ like this crazy year with the Arctic winds we had brought Oklahoma’s temps down to -16 or so.

So nurseries obviously want to protect their investments and then they are easy to dig up when it’s time to sell the trees to customers. Works for summer watering, too, as I think I spy irrigation drip hoses. 🙂

I loved seeing all the crocks and pots right out front! There were soooo many to look at and I could have spent a fortune… I did bring one home which had two prices on it: $20 and $39.95. It was only $20!

I forgot to ask the price of the long rectangular terracotta trough with the swags on the sides, but no matter. I go back in less than 21 days for Round 2 of the vaccine! Maybe I can stop back by… 😉

Seriously, though, Marcum’s has a nice selection which is different than what is available here in Texas. I am missing what we had available in California and my thought was to look somewhere different for better pottery. Nice place and good finds! I’d think you’d enjoy stopping by on a roadtrip up HW 35 North (eventually HW 29 further north) on your way to or from the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, or up from Texas.

Marcum’s had a few cement tables and benches with separate feet for the garden. They also had iron trellises and plant stands…

I stayed within my $200 budget (the plant stand was $55, I think, and the Otsuma orange tree was $65), and have a good selection of plants to put out to replace some that didn’t make it with the extreme snows, the cold and ice storms.

Can you guess the two tall plants? They are wonderfully scented when brushed up against! I think the squirrels will be lovingly sporting a new scent this spring… citronella. These are cintronella and should self-seed.

I also brought home another sweet heuchera, that can just be seen at the very back behind the plant stand. I picked up a couple of other bulb plants and I’ll share them later.

Little oranges are just beginning to form where flowers have been pollinated…

Well that’s it for today’s visit! I hope you’ve enjoyed this delightful garden center tour at the Ardmore location of Marcum’s Nursery. They have four locations including one up in Oklahoma City (another 1 1/2 hours north).

I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures inside the store or the greenhouse (it was HOT inside!) but that’s where all these plants were found. I was too busy looking around. 😉 You can see inside the greenhouse on their website here.

Happy gardening, friends!



Share Your Style #277

Happy fall, y’all! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #277This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share 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! As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜 This fall post is a bit of a mish-mash as there are soooo many interesting posts!!! I’ve picked some autumn post for you, some DIY, and more. Hope you enjoy visiting all of this week’s featured friends! 

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! 💜

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

A Fall Roses and Pumpkin Tablescape Redux… You know how for our monthly Pinterest Challenge we take inspiration from a photograph and recreate a scene in our own style? Well, this time I am taking insp. from one of my own…

And here are this week’s
featured posts…

Rita from Panopoly shares a really fun colorful fall tablescape with a view out at their cityline… October Skyline Table for TwoThere is a part of me that wants to live in a city for a bit! How about you? Sooo beautiful…

Fabulous Fall DecoratingInterior Decor and Styling

Fall Plaids Plaid Fall Decor

Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home is back with a wooly warm tablescape in this fun post ~ Happy Plaidurday! Plaid Fall Decor Inspiration. Love the plaid!!!

Smith Mountain Lake, VA home with shoreline in need of new riprap

Paula of Sweet Pea discusses how to add rocks to your home on the water with this post ~ Smith Mountain Lake Riprap for Shoreline Protection. Good to know!

Newcomer LG Bernhard of Der Amateur Photograph (The Amateur Photographer; his byline says his blog is all about optics and photography ~ Water Lily Pond in WilhelmaMy kinda place and I’m sure yours, too! Since we all need good photography tips! LG shares his amazing garden photos from Stuttgart, Germany… Eine hertzlich Willkommen auf Herr Bernhard!!!

Looking for a cute fall craft idea and a great recipe? Look now further than Lisa of Fresh Vintage by Lisa’s post Easy Pumpkin Apple Butter and Pumpkin Spoon. Adorable and totally worth making!!!

Apple Pie Scones from
Our second newcomer to SYS, Mary of Pots and Planes: A Collection of Recipes and Adventures brings us this delicious recipe for Apples Pie Scones… Welcome Mary and serious YUM!!!

Miss Havisham Regrets Tablescape

Rachelle of My Hubbard Home brings us a little bit of spooky in this fun Who Dun It? post ~ Miss Habersham Regrets… Do stop by to see what happens next!!!

If you have been featured here at Share Your Style… 
Here is a button to copy to your site and to share.

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.

***Please excuse where my name ended up… Has something to do where I entered the party and I don’t want to mess that up. 😉  Will work on fixing next time! Thx!!!

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Enjoy the party!


Share Your Style #262

Welcome to Share Your Style #262!  This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post and join my small but loyal band of followers. I appreciate you! As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

Happy 4th of July to you all this week!!! 

Almost forgot to say… 💥🎉

I am Barbara Chapman your host 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! 

I don’t know if you’ve been wandering around the internet or have YouTube on your t.v., but I’ve found some wonderful programs to watch… 

1. Garden Answer with a young woman, Laura, (whose parents must own an awesome nursery) has all kinds of gardening tips and gives tours of her garden and her parents immense 30+ year old garden… sigh! 

2. Potager Blog with Linda Vater who also has a 30+ year old garden in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, shares her topiaries (her specialty) and incredible gardens.

Just some fun things for you to check out since I didn’t get much written this past week. Computer is having issues again or I’d have shared my mantel restyling with you. Brought back a cool clockface from my inlaws and it’s up there now! Looks awesome!! Hope to share with you later this week… 

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

The title pretty much says it all… 10 Ideas for Organizing the GarageHope you’ll check out my inlaws now-very-clean garage and all that went on to get it that way!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Ann of Apple Street Cottage shared this wonderful Gossip Bench Makeover she found online… Rather, it found her!  
Picassiette Mosaic Bowling Ball
You simply must go over and visit Jeanne at Selep Imaging and find out how she made this gazing ball for her garden! I’m not going to give it away… 😆

Debra at Common Ground shared her Patriotic Holiday Cupboard and this is just a little teaser! Love little hearts and this is a cutie!!!


Debbee over at Debbee’s Buzz shared her totally patriotic tablescape in this post (with apologies to Patrick Henry…) ~ Give Me Liberty Blue Tablescape Celebrates July 4th. Beautiful!!!

Patriotic Vignete with vintage Mason jars, vintage clear glass jug holding flags, and white milk glass compote with a faux plant and an American flag pillow in the background

Paula of Virginia Sweet Pea brings us her Americana in this fun Pinterest Challenge post (same one I join with each month!) ~ Patriotic Centerpiece with Vintage.

Easy Apple Cobbler Recipe @
Trick’n’Treat brings us this delicious Easy Apple Cobbler Recipe! Gotta have something yummy to bake for the 4th, yes? Yes!!! 😋

Lori over at Dining Delight reminded me that today, July 1st, is Canada Day!!! (their day of Independence!) so please help us celebrate our countries’ days of Independence with a visit to Lori’s blog! 💕

If you have been featured here at Share Your Style… 

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If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d sure appreciate it, thank you! I do post the featured posts from each week there.

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Travels Out West ~ A Photo Essay from Last Year’s Cali Trip

Before spring gets away… I have held these photographs for over a year now just waiting to share them with you. By the time I was ready to share them last year, it was summertime. So,  they waited for this year to share that 3800 mile round-trip out west as we moved all our household good to Texas from California. 

Let’s enjoy some glorious wildflowers and garden beauties!…

By the time I was ready to share them last year, it was summertime and the timing was gone. This year however it is the perfect time to share these wildflower beauties! With staying home we all need our armchair travels so please do! download these photos to your heart’s content and put them on your computer’s slideshow and as save screens. I want you to enjoy them…

Texas’ state flower is the blue lupine or bluebonnet but these lupine are in the high desert of Arizona.

The lead photo is of some fiery orange and yellow lantana in flowerbed at Costco or at the hotel I stayed at last March, if memory serves. Always pretty, lantana blooms from early spring through summer and on into fall. It’s a lovely perennial and comes in white, this orange and also some lovely purple hues. It is perfect tucked into a pot (or a flowerbed) where it can drape itself over the side and cascade downward. Here is a variety seen standing tall.

This photograph and the second one above share these yellow daisies (Coreopsis) growing alongside a freeway exit ramp to a rest area in New Mexico or Arizona. The wildflowers along Highway 10 were just perfect as I was traveling to California over the March 2nd-4th, 2019 weekend into Monday.

On that Saturday I made it to El Paso about 12 hours from our home. That Sunday it was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I was on Highway 20 heading down out of New Mexico into Arizona and I gasped at the drifts of bluebonnets and yellow Coreopsis…


They were dotted here and there on these low hillsides ~ very pretty! I remember wishing I had a really long lens for my Canon so I could shoot differently but get close-ups along the hills.

Pullouts dot the one lane roadsides so it is easy to just pull off the highway into these wide areas to safely get out and snap photos galore!

These are a bit jumbled and jump back and forth from the pullout and the one rest stop exit, but they are always beautiful!!! 💛

These saguaro and other tall cacti are part of a cactus garden right off the highway (probably HW 10 heading to Arizona when I was driving back from California). 

Western deserts are garden zones 11 and 12 (really hot and dry). Because there was a lot of rain last winter and very early spring (late January and February), this  made for spectacular greenery out in the desert in March. 

Another rest area found me following a group of cyclists out on a spring ride. Some had panniers on their bicycles (front and/or rear bags carrying gear for camping, usually) so they may have been riding cross-country over spring break.

Definitely New Mexico!

This large sculpture of a roadrunner sits up on a rock at a rest stop looking down on Las Cruces, New Mexico. I just looked this up and did you know this sculpture is made of trash??! Yes! Here is a cool little ditty from Trip Advisor about the Roadrunner of Las Cruces.

I didn’t get that close and personal with Mr. Roadrunner as I wanted to get on the road and be home by dark that Saturday evening a week after I had started. It was 5 or 6am when I shot these photographs. The little hare was startled by my presence but soon went back to nibbling when he found out I just wanted to visit with him, not harm him. 

Untouched photo and the light as it was…
Here I was on my way into the restrooms to wash up before driving onward. 

Here is when I came out looking out over the city of Las Cruces. The Organ mountain range is here in the Las Cruces area of NM and these may be the West Potrillo Mountains. I googled this… 😉

Heading home… 

One quick shot of the car in the early morning sunlight, full to the brim with portraits, paintings, engine oil, paints, cleaning fluids and the like. Oh, and my suitcase, blanket and a couple of coats. It was 30 degrees F. that morning and I was sooo glad I brought those coats and blanket to wrap around me! I also had a beanie and wool socks, longtime winter Boy Scout camper that I am!!!

Enjoy your springtime,

About France, A Little More Virtual Travel, and French Inspiration

Welcome to  a post I’ve longed to write… Today is the day to share a little of my travels when I was younger and a few posts from some blogging friends who write about their travels to France and decorating in our favorite French style…

The North Sea ~ Left to right: My German sister through the Bayer-AGFA exchange program, summer of 1981, Katja, myself and her brother Jan.

Missed opportunity

I long to visit France and when I was 19 years old I had the opportunity as an exchange student to go to France one weekend.  I had studied one year of French in high school and had fallen in-love with everything French! Partly because my German exchange sister didn’t want to go, I stayed home. She had been before and it just wasn’t her thing. At the time I thought I should stay back with Katja, in Leverkusen… I thought it was the right thing to do, not abandon her.

I should have gone for the weekend with her sister Dagmar and friends to Paris… But that missed opportunity will make getting to France all the sweeter when I do get there!

The lead photo is of myself and the family up along the Rhein River (Rhine) visiting several castles with my German mother Ute and her daughter, Katja. Sometimes Ute and I would tour cities along the Rhein during the day while Katja was finishing her junior year of high school.

My host mother Ute.

Ute and I went to Koblenz, Köln (Cologne) and other medieval towns up and down the Rhein.  Along the way Ute took me to a seconds shop so I could buy a few pieces of a beautiful set of china. 

Dinner with my inlaws last summer and Mr. Yoda hoping for
a nibble or two (or three!). These plates have pretty yellow daisies
on them. Each type of plate, platter or dish has a different flower.

French tableware

The Gerlach family had a breakfast set of china which I fell in-love with ~ so beautiful with pinks and yellows, Wedgwood blue forget-me-nots, and bright white daisies with cheery yellow centers!!! 
To me then, this tableware embodied everything European, everything which was tasteful and French style.

My first pieces of Villeroy & Boch’s tableware Botanica came from that store ~ a cream and sugar as well as a pair of candlesticks. Before coming back to the States, Ute gifted me with a mustard jar and a trivet. 

The rest of the china pieces I found shortly after Mr. Ethereal and I moved to Southern California at an Ethan Allen store. Later my mother sent us a pound butter dish with snapdragons on it that she ordered through a catalog as well as the heavy Botanica tray (below). 
Part of the Botanica china is used here to hold jam, Devonshire cream, and milk for tea sitting on a Botanica serving tray in the middle of the table. This was a tea I had for a friend from my first tea group, her granddaughter and our son.

We also visited Amsterdam and Alkmaar, Holland when the Gerlach family went on holiday in late June or early July 1981. We had the best time touring by glass boat on the waterways in Amsterdam and swimming in the Nord See (North Sea) during our trip. 

A Visit to France

So with my trip from long ago as inspiration, let’s finish our vicarious visit to France today with  a visit with others. Their travels bring a little French style home to our abodes and to our lives…

Top 10 Things to See & Do Your First Time in Paris/Eiffel tower - So Much Better With Age

Jamie of  So Much Better With Age shared a huge list of Places to visit when you go to Paris, France in this post. I know I appreciate everyone’s travel trips because we all know when we go somewhere new we want to see it all, but often we need to pick and choose since time is usually short. Great post!

Courtney of French Country Cottage went on a mini Grand Tour to Paris last summer and then onto London with her husband. A little work and a little holiday filled with incredible buildings, balconies, flower gardens and the Eiffel Tower she shared with all of her readers! She also hopped over to Italy and you can find more on her blog.  😉

French lavender, wood carved cane-backed chairs, and ruffled linen pillows create a French Country home of your dreams

Closer to home, Judith of Botanic Bleu shared a lovely post with her new French market basket filled with French lavender. She  often shares tips on French styling and early last year she shared a trip to see her sister and the French garden and all her lavender plants at her California home. And then in winter her Spanish lavender decided to bloom!

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables

Garden thoughts and ideas

Judith also shared a list of French vegetables she found available for sale for wintertime planting ~ a little long term thinking for sure with summer just getting here but good to plan for!

And our final French-European style visit today is to Lidy Baars who owns the wonderful business FrenchGardenHouse and is originally from the Netherlands. I met her at Vintage Bliss several years ago in San Diego. She has become a friend and this past summer she traveled to France on a buying trip. This post about making French Country Herb Butter is absolutely heavenly!

I do hope you have enjoyed this little virtual trip to The Continent and to France! Here’s to wonderful memories and future ones…

Bisous, mes amis!