Thursday, April 11, 2019

Recovering From a Serious Illness

It's been a while since I logged in.  Unfortunately, I have been quite
ill and just had enough strength to get through a minimum of 
social media.  While I won't go into any of the details now, I will
tell you that my breathing became more difficult and I started to have
some heart involvement.  To be honest, I was scared.  There are things
I still want to accomplish in this lifetime and I am not ready to give
them up.  We are getting this situation under control, but I will be
taking things easy for a while.   Consequently, I will be taking a few
more days off to heal and restore.  Frankly, my whole life will be 
changing.  I will be back and I will be checking in with Facebook
and Instagram.  Sometimes life can throw you a curve and you can 
either give into it, or you can fight back.  I choose to fight back.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I Love Vintage Cookbooks

A few weeks ago I was researching on the internet about a restaurant
in Winnetka, Illinois, where my parents and I used to enjoy dinner out.
It was a well loved restaurant called the Indian Trail.  If you ever saw the
movie Ferris Bueller's Day off, you saw the principal standing in front
of this restaurant, looking for Ferris. 

Here is the scene from that film:

Sadly, the restaurant is now gone, but the memories live on for
me and for others.  I did manage to find a recipe for their delicious 
salad dressing.

While hunting for this particular restaurant, I also started to look
for others.  That is when I discovered The Ford Treasury of Famous
Eating Places.  There are two volumes printed back in the early 1950's.
The Ford Motor Company produced these books and naturally also 
showed off their vehicles in the process.  The books are divided into
regions of the US, and are beautifully illustrated.

Of course, all the old inns of the northeast are prominently displayed.
So fun to see and to read the recipes too.

I was thrilled to see Pocono Manor listed.  This is where my beloved
parents spent their honeymoon.  I have the brochures they saved too.
The Pocono Manor is still in business today.

I always loved the Pump Room in Chicago.  It has always been in the
Ambassador East Hotel, just a couple of blocks away from my Aunt's
house.  So many famous people have dined here.  David and I flew to
Chicago for a visit back in 1995 and celebrated our anniversary here.

This is another of my favorite Chicago area restaurants, Fanny's in
Evanston.  I was born in Evanston hospital, so it's a town dear to my
heart, and is also the home of Northwestern University.  

Fanny's was a beloved restaurant too.  Like the Pump Room, it was
visited by many, many famous people.  Unlike the Pump Room, it had
a more homey atmosphere.  The spaghetti and meat sauce was very
memorable.  Kraft foods tried to buy Fanny's recipe for her sauce, but she 
would never sell it.  Here is a link about Fanny's I hope you will enjoy.
It tells the story of Fanny's humble beginnings and her great success.

Some of the recipes in old cookbooks may seem boring by today's 
standards, but we can make new discoveries of recipes long
forgotten.  I have only been able to find two of these treasuries and
I am not certain if there are more, but these two have been fun to
read and to enjoy the colorful vintage graphics.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Celebrate April!

I love April!  It's always been one of my favorite months.
I am so happy to see the sun shining today, knowing there are some
flowers waiting for me to plant.  I stopped at my favorite garden
center on Saturday and picked up some Vinca for pots on the patio,
a new rose bush, and a large rosemary bush too.  Don't you just
love the aroma of fresh rosemary?  I sure do.

Although some of the venues up at Round Top, and Warrenton, and in
between have been up for over a week now, this is the opening week of
Marburger Farm and the Big Red Barn.  I will be there with camera in
hand so you can follow along and see what I find.

I am hoping that we are now all out from under the clouds and the cold
weather, and that the sunshine treats us to many happy days ahead.  It's
a whole new month, a blank canvas, so let's make it a great one!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, March 29, 2019

What I Have Been Doing Lately

I have been decoupaging eggs recently.  It's just so much fun and I have
been having a great time.  I think it's been good for me too because I have
been able to stop worrying about the asthma attacks.  The last couple of
days have been so much better for me, and I am so relieved.

I have been cutting out designs from these pretty Caspari cocktail
napkins and decoupaging them onto wooden eggs.  It's a bit time
consuming, but fun too.

I am planning a Spring tablescape with these eggs.  I will probably
show you the results next week.

 I also used Caspari napkins for these blue and white toile eggs.  I have
so many blue and white pieces in my dining room, and I think that all
the eggs grouped together in a big crystal bowl filled with magnolia
leaves will make a nice centerpiece for the table.

I still have several more eggs to complete.  My next project is a grouping
of hand painted eggs.  I have to sharpen my skills again.  Years ago I 
hand decorated furniture and sold it at various shops.  It was so labor intensive
that I gave it up.  Painting Easter eggs seems like a lesser undertaking, so
I am up for it.  

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  It is 80 degrees here today, but it 
looks like we will be having rain and thunderstorms over the weekend.
More indoor projects in the future.

Sparkle and Shine and Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, March 25, 2019

Blast From the Past Easter Decor

Every seasonal holiday I dip into my archive to see what decorations I have
used.  After a couple of years, I forget.  Let's take a look and see what I have
created for past Easters.

Bunny on the mantel.  Mantels are alway convenient spots to decorate.
We all seem to gravitate to them as a back drop.

Of course there must be bunnies somewhere!

And Easter chicks too.

Bunnies found in my studio ....

and bunnies on trays.

Popping out of my cereal bowl.

But this one is my favorite one of all!  Thanks for taking
a tour down memory lane with me.  This will help me 
decide what to do for this Easter.

Sparkle and Shine and Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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