Easter Table and Front Porch Décor

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Treating you to lots of eye candy today to inspire your spring or Easter décor and entertaining!  From the welcome of spring blooms on our front porch to Easter around the house and at the table, there are ideas galore  to take away.  Enjoy!

An ice cream parlor chair repurposed into a planter greets visitors with a chalkboard welcome sign. Tutorial here.

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Charlotte aux fraises

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“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” –Ellis Peters

Looking for a make-ahead, no-bake, showstopping spring dessert?  Look no further.  This strawberry charlotte is it!  The lovely pink color comes from puréed strawberries which are passed through a sieve to give the filling a luscious, velvety texture.  The lady finger cookies are dipped in a lemon simple syrup giving the cake a fresh burst of flavor.  Easy to make, the cake looks sensational and tastes, well, like a slice of heaven!

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Hisbiscus Flowers

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My friend Anca is the finest of hostesses.  When she received our Italian conversation group, one of the appetizers she served elicited a lot of intrigue and delight.  It was a small little amuse-gueule, with a star-like shape which held a tiny ball of goat cheese.   Anca revealed it was a hibiscus flower imported from Australia, (available on Amazon),  sold in a simple syrup.  I promptly ordered a jar and served them on a cheese platter at a dinner I hosted. No one could guess what they were but we had fun trying!image Continue reading

6 Wine Crate Centerpieces

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“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Wine crates are one of my favorite containers for displaying flowers.  They are available for free from most wine stores and come in many different sizes.  They can be painted or stained if desired to coordinate with a décor theme.  Because of their generous size, they make an imposing centerpiece once filled with flowers.

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This wine crate was filled with pots of annual flowers.  I ran a string of whimsical dragonfly lights through the flowers to light up the centerpiece for an evening party.  Magical!  For detailed instructions on how-to, please click here. Continue reading

Get Your Chill On: 8 No-Bake Summer Desserts

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It’s 90 sweltering degrees out.  You’ve got company coming and need an impressive dessert.  Walk away from that oven!  Instead turn to one of these totally chillin’, easy to make desserts and be one totally cool host.

Click on the highlighted title to access the recipe.

1-  Chocolate Mocha Icebox Cake

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Beach-Themed Table Setting

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“Gather a shell…And listen at its lips:  they sigh…The echo of the whole sea’s speech.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The sea for me is rejuvenating and its majesty always awe-inspiring. This table setting recalls the breathtaking beauty of the beach and conjures up favorite seashore vacations.  I started designing this tablescape with a piece of driftwood recently found on a windswept beach and our family collection of shells. I kept the table setting casual and carefree.   An irridescent scarf in many shades of ocean blues shimmers across the table.

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Spring Luncheon: Niçoise Salad with Planked Salmon Fillet

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Spring has finally sprung!   The garden is in full glorious bloom, the birds are singing their little hearts out and the kitchen is switching gears to produce lighter meals with spring flavors.  To celebrate spring’s arrival,  I made a gorgeous niçoise salad dressed with a citrusy Meyer lemon vinaigrette and served it with spice-rubbed salmon, grilled on a cedar plank.  A Meyer lemon ricotta cake I featured last week made for a light springtime dessert.  A simple fresh menu, all gluten free, complete with a centerpiece from my garden.

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Colorful spring arrangement from my garden: red tulips, daffodils, leucojum, Virginia bluebells, pink hellebores, viburnum branches still in bud. Do you recognize the trellis bread basket standing in as a vase?

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