Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer Porch Sitting

The month of August is already here!  Can you believe it? There is no need to be alarmed, there is plenty of summer left in the season to enjoy the warm days and cool evening breezes. August is the perfect month to spend some time on the porch.

The porch is not only a great place to retreat from the hot summer sun during the day's busy outdoor activities, but porch sitting is so much more.  The porch is also a place for some quiet refuge from every day overload and offers a place for personal tranquility and reflection.  It may even be the best surroundings to recite some heartfelt prayers.  Or it could be a cozy setting for catching up on a good book that is filled with intrigue and adventure. For me, it presents the ideal environment to reminisce through family photo albums too.

If you are someone who enjoys observing nature, the porch may afford the superb opportunity. Whether it is watching birds, bunnies, deer or turkeys or just listening to the rain or gazing up at some stars, the porch is an outside theater for this type of entertainment. During early summer evenings, the porch grants a prime opportunity to be mesmerized by the fireflies that dance and light up the front yard with their synchronized blinking.

If you happened to have planted fragrant purple petunias around the front of the house, I am sure you will agree that their aroma lingers in the air throughout the evening.  This sweet-smelling scent has an almost hypnotic effect that intensifies as night begins to fall.   As the evening progresses and the stars illuminate the blackened sky, your sensory experience multiples as you enjoy the sanctuary and peacefulness of the porch.

This summer season my front porch bench needed a little sprucing up so that it would be more inviting and comfortable.  So I spent a little time reviewing tutorials on how to sew bench cushions and gave my new knowledge of sewing a try using some reserved blue and white striped ticking fabric.  I love the look of ticking since it can be so casual and rustic and is suitable for any style of home, including a log home. The pop of red in the pillows and table cover adds some much needed bright color to the dark porch.

I love the contrast of the purple/blue petunias with the bright red petunias.  They definitely can be seen from a distance and their bright color makes a huge impression from the porch.

I got so carried away with porch sprucing so much so that I sewed a cute little retro pillow to change out from time to time with the red star pillow.

This little pillow was sewed using red-striped grain sack dish towels.  The towels come in blue striped and multi-color striped too, but red was going to be my favorite.

The extra blue and white striped ticking fabric and navy blue duck fabric that I had remaining was just enough for a small tablecloth for my round table.  Perfect for a small size snack table.

When the hot and humid temperatures in summer become unbearable, the porch provides an alternative to indoor cooking.   When appetites are on the lighter side and no one feels like eating a heavy meal,  a small indoor smokeless tabletop grill works like a charm.  This little grill is supreme for indoor or outdoor parties since it requires no charcoal, but uses gel fuel instead.   It is a superior grill for having close friends over for some light appetizers, snacks, mini desserts and beverages.

This leads me to also mention that the porch is a splendid place for gatherings with friends, family and neighbors.  The smaller space of the porch lends a chance to have friendly and engaged conversations.  Under the evening stars, the porch is lit with cozy patio lights and candlelight and welcomes everyone to relax and stay a little longer.

I hope you have come to appreciate and cherish the many good moments on the porch too.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ladies Spa Night Tablescape

Need a bit of pampering?  It is time to take a moment from a busy summer schedule to have some fun, laughter and rejuvenate the spirits.  Come share in our Ladies Spa Night get together and get ready to find some relaxation, great humor and an all-around good time.

So kick off your sandals or high heels, sit down at the ladies fashion-themed table and help yourself to some cotton candy champagne....the food, the big band music and party is about to begin.

We can't be without high heels and fashion handbags when there is a special gathering for the ladies.

Some red roses and feathers add a symbol of what women cherish dearly, that

Some glamorous high heels and handbags make these appetizer plates perfect for a party for classy ladies.

A little added bling to a classic handbag.

Some red lace napkins and red Chinese silk "monkey paw" knot napkin rings make a dramatic statement.  Women's fashion designers say that the color red is a color which is attractive and flattering to all women no matter her hair and skin color.  (So bring on the luscious red lipstick too.)

The color red and polka dots are found everywhere and even in the details.

As a party gift, each lady will take home a Spa Night fashion handbag made of a new red and a new grey folded washcloth, secured with a polka dot ribbon and weighted with a bar of exotic soap for her own indulgence at home.

Lets start the get together with an appetizer which is appropriate for the night.  A bold and spicy flavored cheese appetizer in the shape of a woman's face smothered with guacamole as a facial mask and topped with soothing, cool cucumber slices which, in reality, helps to eliminate puffiness of the eyes.

A Cheesy Tomato Garlic Pasta Casserole, a dish which suggests love and romance, is a favorite among friends who have a love affair with pasta.  This tomato pasta dish is loaded with flavorful Italian spices, cheeses, garlic, Italian sausage and roasted red pepper.   This hearty meal is joined with some mini garlic bread on a stick and is served in a quirky black and white striped/lime green floral vase (definitely, a vase that gets noticed) and accompanied with a tray of fresh vegetables and dressing.

A cool, fresh, fruit salad tossed with a bold and flavorful lemon poppyseed dressing makes for a perfect summer side dish.

And who can refuse a high heel shoe cupcake for dessert?  I can't resist the flashy polka-dots, can you?

Of course, to bring this party and post to a fabulous and memorable close, I thought you all might enjoy seeing this awesome video I came across on a social media page.  It is the making of three different chocolate high heel styles from the Norman Love Confectionary in Fort Myers, Florida.  I am in love with the black high heel with the red sole and with the little toe embellishment.  Such a classic. Having been inspired by his wife, Norman Love created these decadent high heels and has been making these smooth and rich chocolate high heels for well over ten years. You can visit their website at for more information and view their delicious products. (I am not paid for this endorsement, but I happen to absolutely love chocolate.)

Norman Love Confections, Fort Myers, Florida