Friday, June 26, 2015

Patriotic Tablescapes

I was perusing the internet for a little 4th of July tablescape inspiration.  Wow...are there some wonderful ideas for any Yankee Doodle Dandy table.  Let's take a look!

I love the blog Between Naps on the Porch.  She has a gift for setting a beautiful table.  This one is set with solids of red, white, and blue.  The tall lanterns also lend a patriotic flair and really make the setting cozy.
I love the entire setting in this photo from The Gathering of Friends.  The house and yard phtograph beautifully.  Those red chairs really pop! Looks like a great place to entertain and watch fireworks.
Tampa Homebody has incorporated some of my favorite glassware into her table setting.  American Fostoria and blue Cape Cod glass make this a festive display.
Doesn't this make you want to pull up a chair?  The centerpiece is simple, but quite lovely.  I am crazy about checkered prints.  Super cute from Stone Gable!
This is just precious.  Croquet anyone?
An Accomplished Woman has combined polka dots, solids, and plaids for an adorable patriotic tablescape.
Isn't this centerpiece adorable?  The Style Sisters have incorporated a red trike into their centerpiece.
Hands up...who thinks this is a winner?  What a great way to decorate a table! I can imagine guests lingering over the decorations before picking up a plate and hitting the buffet line.
Not everyone will have patriotic dinnerware, but Between Naps on the Porch has a terrific set.  I like her attention to detail.
Here is another sweet table setting.  I like her use of transferware along with an interesting white under plate.
Lastly is a patriotic table setting from Still Woods Farmhouse!  I decided to use my Reading Room table for my tablescape.  It's a cozier setting than the formal dining room and the dark navy walls add to the patriotic decor!  I have the table set for a scrumptious 4th of July breakfast with my guys.  Everything on the table I grabbed from around the house.
The table is set with red chargers, Pfaltzgraff Heritage white stoneware plates, Cape Cod blue glasses and plates and American Fostoria juice glasses (love those!).  We collect nutcrackers and Uncle Sam always shows up for the 4th of July.  Why don't you join me for breakfast and  then we can linger over coffee on the front porch?
I hope I have given you a little inspiration for your own patriotic table setting. If you look around your home, you probably have wonderful pieces that can be incorporated into a patriotic tablescape... without breaking the budget. The main thing is to enjoy family and friends and to thank God for His many blessings including our precious freedom.

Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

Celebrating the 4th with these terrific blogs!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sour Cream Coconut Cake

Don't you love cool, refrigerated cakes during the hot, summer days? How about one with moist layers of white cake iced with a delicious coconut-sour cream icing?  I adapted a few different recipes to make one that I adore.  We all have signature homemade birthday cakes in my family and this one is mine.  I turned 55 this past week and my sweet hubby made this cake for my birthday party.  Let's whip up this easy, scrumptious cake!
The Starting Line-Up:
1- box white cake mix (prepared as per box directions)
16 ounces of sour cream (regular or low fat)
1 large tub of Cool Whip
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
1- 14 ounce bag of coconut (save a little to sprinkle on the top)

Make cake in two round cake pans  according to the directions on the box.  Cool and split the layers.  In a large bowl, stir together the sour cream, sugar, and about 3/4th's of the bag of coconut.  Fold in Cool Whip. Taste the icing.  If you want more coconut, add a little more.  You can add more or less depending on your love of coconut!  Generously spread icing between the layers, sides and top of the cake.  If desired, sprinkle the top with the remaining coconut.  Cover tightly and refrigerate. Serve cold.  This cake can be made several days before serving.  It gets yummier the more it sits. If you like coconut, you are going to love this!
Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse
Cuisine Kathleen at
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Friday, June 12, 2015

The Dish Fairy Collects Margaux

My husband would say that I am a collector of "dishes".  I can't help it, "dishes" speak to me in the same manner as old aprons and milk glass. The Tooth Fairy collects teeth and this gal collects dishes!

When my husband and I got married, every bride had fine china and possibly a set of everyday china on their bridal registry.  I must say that I am so disappointed when I see a bridal registry without beautiful china. How about you?  My husband and I decided to select both a fine and an everyday pattern.  It was the thing to do! We had two sets of "dishes" when we began our married life almost 33 years ago.  Today, I have 6 different sets!  One of my favorites is Margaux by Mikasa. This was my choice as my everyday china.  Let me introduce you to this gorgeous pattern.

Margaux has a lovely ivory background with a basket weave rim complimented by soft flowers in purple, orange, yellow, and white with stems of green.  I love using Margaux in the spring and summer.  It looks beautiful atop a mossy green place mat.  I have a perky, green paisley tablecloth that looks especially nice with Margaux.  Sadly, Mikasa no longer makes this pattern; therefore, I scour antique stores and the internet for extra pieces.  If you ever see any, please send me a message!
(Photo from Replacements)
Luckily, I have a good number of cabinets in my kitchen.  When possible, I like to devote an entire cabinet to one set of china and the coordinating stemware  The green pitcher is a treasure.  It belonged to my great- grandmother from Germany  I found it wrapped in old newspaper buried in the bottom of  a wooden barrel in my grandparent's garage.  We use it all the time. I think there is something meaningful about incorporating pieces from the past into our daily lives.

Do you have a favorite china pattern?  Jot me a note and tell me about your favorite "dishes"!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tales From a Front Porch Swing

Oh...what tales our front porch swing could tell.  When we moved from our previous home near the bayou to the solitude of the country, this swing came with us.  The buyer of our home hoped to keep the swing, but I told her I couldn't part it.  For you see, this swing provides memories too rich to give it up.

This swing held a newlywed couple as they spent hours eagerly talking about the new journey which lay ahead of them.  It later became a place of solitude and prayer for a young wife and husband who desperately desired a child, but were met with years of infertility.  In God's timing, this swing softly rocked their first son to sleep while he was sheltered in his mother's arms, a prayer of thanksgiving on her lips. Even later, it held two giggling brothers as they tried to see how high they could swing before their mom or dad stopped them. It has stood steadfast in the sun, wind, and rain as it watched the two boys grow to adulthood.  It cherishes those two young men as they come home and sit on the swing while catching up on life. Later, after the boys go off into the big world again, it holds their mother as she smiles and rejoices at the time they have had together.

It has created irreplaceable memories as it has held those who have been loved deeply, but have gone to live with our Lord. Newlyweds as well as couples celebrating over 50 years of married life enjoy the gentle sway of the swing.  It is a favorite place for holding hands and quiet talks.  The swing knows that love is limitless and without boundaries.    

Many good books have been read on this swing and it is a perfect spot for daydreaming.  It works magic as it softly lulls a guest into a nice afternoon nap.  It has been covered in spilled sweet tea and sticky chunks of watermelon.  A cup or two of coffee has graced its wood and yet a splash of water from the hose has it ready for the next guest.

It has heard silly, but sweet knock knock jokes from the mouth of a young niece.  It watches the niece as she grows up and now hears her share stories of school and cute boys!  It is a wonderful place to observe lightning bugs as they appear in the sheltering woods and to "ooh and awe" over their fancy displays of light.

It is a place of animated discussion and a place of friendly surrender.  It is a place of solitude and a place of companionship.  It is a place of laughter and a place of tears.  It is a haven, a sanctuary, and a refuge...

It is a "Front Porch Swing".

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