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Friday, September 30, 2016

A Lush Georgia Farm

Entertaining is always a wonderful thing. I love learning from interior designers about how they live and entertain family and friends. It was very rewarding to find this wonderful article in Veranda a couple of months ago.

Keith Robinson an interior designer shared his tips on entertaining. I love his home which is called Redwine Plantation located in the southwest part of Atlanta.

A feast for the eyes. | Photo: @loof39, Design: Keith Robinson:

Robinson host family and friends under his lush magnolia trees. Oh magnifique!

He uses gleaming glassware, antique china and vintage flatware. "Using fine things in the garden creates magic", he says. I couldn't agree more... 

Robinson grows every vegetable imaginable and uses them in his meals. When guests arrive he puts a drink in their hands walks them about the garden and takes them to the staging area where the meal is waiting. This table is set under blooming Lady Banks roses. Lovely isn't it?

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. It was just lovely....

( to read the original article see here.)

(photos and text via

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Feminine Pursuits

Last month I shared that I am reading a book called Thirty Chic Days~ Practical Inspiration for a Beautiful Life and I am still enjoying this book. Last week I was reading a section of the book called "enjoying feminine pursuits" and in this section the author Fiona talked about feminine pursuits or past-times that she loves to include in her life.

That got me thinking..... huummm do I have any feminine pursuits that I enjoy? Well of course I do! So I decided to share my list of my favorite feminine things to do.

* Goodwill shopping ~ I love looking for great skirts and shirts to add to my wardrobe. See my blog post here about my thrift store shopping.

My blouse and skirt are from the thrift store.

* Playing the piano ~ I take lessons every Monday! See my blog post here about my lessons

* Buying flowers and flower arranging ~ Shocker, I think not!

My weekend flower loot!

* Reading

* Watching old movies. See my favorites here.

* Manicures and pedicures

* Hearing influential women speak about life, failures and careers

* Having tea with friends. See my post here about that. 

I love high tea:

* Collecting silver and learning about it. See my blog post here about that. 

* Wearing perfume. See my blog post here about my favorites.

* Collecting blue and white plates. I have a serious problem... but I love the way they look.

The blue and white plates I found at T.J. Maxx last month along with some of my other goodies.

* Wearing pink and red finger nail polish. There is just something so chic about those colors. 

* Wearing big curls in my hair everyday! I love it! 

* Volunteer work. I recently volunteered as a fashion counselor for the Dress for Success program at my office! Yeah!

* Listening to my little girl every morning talk to me about life. 

* Before leaving my office making sure my daily to-do list for the next morning is complete. I hate coming in the office and not having my day planned. Drives me nuts!

And last but certainly not least, praying on a regular basis (sometimes hourly if I am truly disturbed) and working on my finance spread sheet every other Wednesday. You should know what your monthly finances are. 

I hope you enjoyed this list. Keeping your goals and dreams in the front of your mind is always helpful and will help you stay the course. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley and Pinterest)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Silk Scarves

Scarves, am I the only one who loves them? I hope not. I have been seeing a lot of silk scarves this season and I am happy. I am not sure what is going on but I hope it continues. Back in 2014, my first year of blogging I wrote about my first Hermes purchase see here. I have been hooked ever since.

I am hoping that my next Tradesy purchase will be a Hermes or Louis Vuitton scarf. But for now here are some lovely scarves that are a fraction of the price, beautiful and silk.

I actually purchased this a few weeks ago. It is called the Mojave Silk Scarf from Ann Taylor.

Magnolia Scarf.  I am not sure if it is silk but it is lovely. 

Image result for ralph lauren silk scarf

Another great designer for silk scarves is Ralph Lauren. I search Ebay all the time for vintage Ralph Lauren scarves, see here.

I just picked up this Ralph Lauren scarf at the Ralph Lauren Factory store.

So chic...

I hope this inspires you to take a second look at silk scarfs.

(photos via Ann Taylor and Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Butler Speaks ~ Starter Cleaning Calendar

Good Morning, and today is the last post from my "The Butler Speaks series". I hope you all have enjoyed reading them. I know I have enjoyed the comments.

For this particular section of the book, Mr. MacPherson talked about a simple "starter" calendar. This calendar ensures that you will deep clean one area of your home per month, instead of doing it all at once a couple of times a year.

You'll notice that there are no tasks scheduled in December. This is a month for us to entertain and enjoy time with our families.

* Deep clean kitchen (post-holiday entertaining)

* Flip mattresses

* Clean out all closets

* Deep clean master bedroom

*Dust bookshelves

* Deep clean all other bedrooms

* Flip mattresses

* Check all outdoor lights burned-out bulbs

* Deep clean hallways, front hall closet, linen closet

* Wash windows

*Clean garage (post-winter mess)

*Deep clean laundry room and basement area

*Clean all outdoor barbecue items

* Deep clean outdoor entertaining areas

* Deep clean the kitchen

Laundry Room with White Iridescent Tile Backsplash, Transitional, Laundry Room:

*Flip mattresses

*Deep clean bathrooms

*Clean garage (post-summer mess)

Deep clean kids' rooms; prepare wardrobes for school (this would be done in July for us!)

*Deep clean family room

*Check furnace for winter season

White marble with a hammered silver sink:

*Wash windows

*Flip mattresses

*Clean silver (preparing for holiday entertaining)

* Install holiday lights before first snowfall

*Enjoy your family and friends!


(photos via Pinterest, list via Charles MacPherson) 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Butler Speaks ~ 10 Golden Rules of Housekeeping

I hope everyone is enjoying my posts about The Butler Speaks. I am telling you I have learned a lot these past few days.

Today I want to list the Ten Golden Rules of Housekeeping. Now, I know most of us know these things but it it is still quite wonderful hearing it come from a butler.

Here are the rules:

1. Before you being cleaning, get your caddy ready. ( I have been using one for about 8 years. It make carrying supplies easier to carry up and down the stairs).

2. Clean from the least contaminated item in the room to the most contaminated.

3. Clean a room from top to bottom.

4. A good housekeeper moves his or her eye within a room from top to bottom, and from left to right. This helps you notice details that aren't at eye level.

5. Look at a room from the user's perspective. What will someone in the room see while sitting down at the table or lying in their bed?

6. Always clean under objects, moving them as necessary.

interior design: 5 things you should know:

7. Use cleaning methods that are the least invasive or harmful to surfaces.

8. Dust regularly.

I love this wallpaper in the bathroom

9. Tackle seasonal deep cleans to help reduce the time required for daily and weekly housekeeping.

10. Don't bother with artificial air fresheners. A clean home does not require them. ( I don't agree with this one. I have 2 boxers so I need a wallflower or 2 maybe 4! My dogs can smell bad and I love walking in my home and smelling "fresh cut tulips". That is the name of the scented bulb I have been using).

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this list. I know I have and Friday will be my last post (for now) about the Butler Speaks. Enjoy!!

Six things that every room, both big or small should have! - The Enchanted Home:

(photos via Pinterest, list via Charles MacPherson)

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Butler Speaks ~ Deep Cleaning

I am learning a lot from these snippets from Mr. Charles MacPherson about home-keeping. What I do know is that I love it! I don't mind doing chores. In fact, I enjoy it!

Having a beautiful home is like giving your family a gift. And I have learned that they do appreciate it! Well, let's continue with our understanding of cleaning.

Today I want to share Mr. MacPherson's thoughts on deep cleaning....

Deep cleaning is what many households think of as "spring cleaning"; however, for me deep cleaning includes special projects as well as scheduled cleaning tasks that may or may not correspond with the seasons.

Deep cleaning special projects include polishing silver, vacuuming drapery, cleaning chandeliers, dusting and washing air vents, washing baseboards and so on. 


Butler's pantry storage:

Scheduled cleaning events can be coordinated around a season. For example, the seasonal transfer of a wardrobe is the perfect opportunity to wash and clean drawers, closets and shelves. 

Love this closet - space, natural lighting, simple yet functionable! #DJPDreamCloset Isn't this master closet a dream? Crown molding, baskets, bench, chandelier, island, glass door inserts, marble countertop, raised panel, shelving, hanging:

I hope you enjoyed this tips just as much as I did. Once I receive my book I am sure I will share more. Until then, be elegant everyday....

Wait, I do want to share this video about polishing silver from my fav homekeeper P. Allen Smith. He has a great channel on Youtube.

(photos via Pinterst, text via Charles MacPherson)

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Butler Speaks ~ Housekeeping

In our continuation of the Butler Speaks, today I will be sharing his snippet about housekeeping. On Wednesday I shared his snippet on house-cleaning. I never knew there was a difference but in his world there is.

Mr. MacPherson says:

Housekeeping is the day-to-day work that goes into tidying, reorganizing and detailing rooms in a home after it has been properly cleaned. Housekeeping is that extra touch that goes into good presentation.

This includes fluffing pillows, positioning furniture correctly, organizing magazines and books, properly making a bed and so on. 

love the table:

Without good housekeeping, a clean room is only a clean room, not necessarily an inviting one. I'm not saying clean is bad- it's simply NOT ENOUGH. A good housekeeper has a FINE TOUCH and a KEEN EYE for detail (I love this)! A clean room can only reach its full potential with good housekeeping.

Julie Leah on Tumblr:

I hope you enjoyed these tips from Mr. MacPherson. In my next post I will be sharing his thoughts on deep-cleaning! Until then I hope you enjoy this video from Sir John Richardson. I have watched this a million times. I can't get enough of it!

(photos via Pinterest, text Charles MacPherson)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Butler Speaks ~ House-Cleaning

As I shared on Monday I ordered this book called The Butler Speaks: A Return to Proper Etiquette, Stylish Entertaining, and the Art of Good Housekeeping and I will be sharing some information from this book.

Today I want to talk about Mr. MacPherson's thoughts on house-cleaning. He stated the following:

House-cleaning is the foundational work that goes into keeping a home clean. This includes washing floors, vacuuming carpets, dusting furniture, cleaning shower stalls and toilets, washing bed linens and so on. Remember that a home can be tidy without actually being clean.

In many homes, the emphasis is on the surface details that define housekeeping and not on cleanliness. Conversely, a home can also be clean without being tidy. The cleanliness of any living space can be undermined by a lack of organization and attention to the visual presentation. The standard should be a room that's both clean and tidy.


ZsaZsa Bellagio – Like No Other:

When cleaning a home, take the opportunity to perform preventative maintenance checks. Look for things like leaky faucets, improperly flushing toilets, wobbly door handles and so on. It's always best to address these issues before they become major ones and more costly to repair.


I really do look forward to reading this book. I think it will be a joy to read. If you wish to read about how I take care of my home see here. I will be updating this post with a new one. And lastly, if you want tips on being the perfect house-guest see my post here.

(photos via Pinterest text via Chares MacPherson)

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Butler Speaks ~ The Art of Housekeeping

I have a lot of wonderful friends in the social media world. One of my friends Mrs. Shery tagged me in a photo of a book called The Butler Speaks: A Return to Proper Etiquette, Stylish Entertaining, and the Art of Good Housekeeping. I was truly intrigued by this. So I jumped on Amazon to find it and was really happy to see that it had the "look inside" feature.

So I was able to take a quick peek inside the book and may I say it caught my attention. I have the first Kindle so I tried to download a "sample" to it but I could not find it. I always try to download samples to my Kindle before I commit to buying a book. So I took a risk and went ahead and order it.

I don't think I will regret this purchase. I read a few pages on Amazon and I was truly pleased.

Here is what author Charles MacPherson had to say about housekeeping:

In the Victorian and Edwardian eras, cleaning was a matter of pride and decency. Harsh techniques and chemicals were used to clean practically everything in the home. What we have learned today is that cleanliness is possible, even preferable, without use of toxic chemicals. In fact, harsh techniques and chemicals actually damage the surfaces they touch. 

A furniture conservator and friend of mine, Mr. Greg Kelly, once described our role in caring for household items as "custodians of fine furniture for future generations." Before he said this, I'd never though of my butlering role this way. Instead of concentrating on the drudgery and stress of maintaining the cleanliness of every object in a household, I was heartened to think of my role-and indeed the role of all the household staff-as that of a preserver of a kind of legacy. 

After reading that I thought wow...... my have things changed. We have no care for what I homes look like. In fact, people care less about how the look and live now than ever before! We have so many things to help us yet we are so lazy! I absolutely refuse this! My home is always clean and always will be. I agree with what he said, cleaning was a matter of pride and decency. Let us bring that back. 

I will be sharing more from this book. I believe we will enjoy it!

(text Charles MacPherson, photos via Pinterest) 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Principles of a Gracious Life ~ Geniality

Whenever we have a warm, cheerful, positive disposition, we're not only contributing to, but sympathizing with the enjoyment of life. People who inspire joy or happiness, who affirm and confirm others, are marked with genius, belonging to a higher nature. When we have a pleasant, friendly personality, we glow with a gracious, giving spirit, spreading the energy of light all around us.

~The Principles of a Gracious Life
by Alexandra Stoddard

(photo via Pinterest)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Eating with Fresh Herbs

Last summer my mother in law went to the grocery store and picked up some fresh herbs. She was so excited about her mint and parsley plants.

I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to try it this summer so I went to my local grocery and picked up some mint and parsley. It is so nice having them on my window ledge.

You can smell the mint and it is just heavenly. I used the parsley in our weekly pasta meal and it was delish!

The plants themselves were not too expensive. If you can pick up some small ones from your local grocery. Having them around will put a smile on your face.

My herbs

I chopped up the parsley and put it in the sauce. Ohhh so good!

A simple yet delicious dinner. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, September 5, 2016

My Dinner Rotation Meals

Keeping a home schedule is very important to me. Earlier this year I talked about having An Elegant Routine and in that entry I talked about my dinner rotation list.

Every week I head to the grocery store. I am not one to stock up on food. I don't know why but I like going every week. I like talking with the florist and I like talking with the cashiers.

It's nice to have some "people time". I always write out a grocery list on Friday nights. I keep the same meals through out the week and we shift days but the meals stay the same.

Right now the meals that we rotate are: roasted chicken with olive oil and salt, red potatoes with olive oil and salt, steamed broccoli, french bread, rigatoni with herbs and meat sauce, chicken fingers with steamed rice and veggies, taco salad, chicken fettuccine, turkey sausage and steamed rice, fried chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies and bundt pan pizza (see recipe here).  

During the fall and winter I will pull out some of these dishes and replace them with chili, pot roast, potatoes and carrots, crock pot chicken with Campbell's cream of chicken soup and baked spaghetti.

Below are some photos of some of our meals and video from my fav author Jennifer L. Scott and she talks about her meals with her family which are simple and easy. Enjoy!

Fried chicken meal

Panko crusted chicken meal (see recipe here)

Meat sauce with fresh herbs and rigatoni
(My daughter's favorite)

Lemon crusted chicken

Bundt pan pizza

I love french bread! To learn about the dipping oil see here.

Another fried chicken meal. My family and I love chicken!

Another meal that I make is baked salmon. I have that once a week and I usually make it for myself. My husband and daughter do not like seafood. 

I hope you enjoy the video!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Principles of a Gracious Life ~ Ease

Whenever we experience freedom from constraint, pain, agitation or worry, we sense the pleasant satisfactions of naturalness. When we're not making an effort, when we have relief from labor and are able to be carefree, we can feel rested, be quiet and tranquil, secure in the ease and comfort of our mind and heart. We need relaxation and a moment's peace in order to live graciously, and when we do find this sense of calm, we experience greater dexterity in our performance. By backing away we move forward with grace.

~The Principles of a Gracious Life
by Alexandra Stoddard

(photo via Pinterest)