Monday, March 27, 2017

Easter Basket Ideas

I just can't help myself ~ I love decorating Easter baskets and I am sharing
some of my easy creations with you.  I decided that I wanted a woodland 
theme to accent this cute little bunny.  I took a fairly large basket (I collect
baskets because, well just because) and filled it with excelsior and eggs,
carrots for the bunny and a couple of cute chicks.  

I think these are the sweetest little faces!  I just love looking at them.  
As I was walking through the house yesterday, carrying this little chick 
with me, David laughed because he knew I was playing again.  

Now this next basket is one of my vintage wooden tool boxes.  Y'all
know how much I love them.  For this look I used a cute painted wood
chick and some vintage plates because this little chick looks like an
antique lover.  I can just imagine her roosting in her little nest outside
a sweet little Victorian cottage.  

This cute bunny has lived with me for several years now and I have
used him in so many Easter settings.  This year he is standing at attention
in a basket on the window seat in my office.  

I set a baby bunny in a galvanized pail for a Texas theme.

So there you are, four easy and cheerful baskets that are bringing
some fun and frivolity to our cottage.  Thanks for stopping by to take
a peek!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring On My Porch and Patio

Spring comes early here in South Texas and the season is a short one of
beautiful warm days before the heat and humidity comes and lasts for
months and months.  It's the time of year that we really enjoy our back
porch and patio.  It's also the time when I can play around with decor
that I love.  

My back porch is blessed with a potting sink and I make good use
of it all year.  

It changes from season to season, but it really comes to life in the 

Because our house is shaped in a widened "U", the family room,
breakfast room, guest bedroom and our master bedroom, all look
out at the porch and the patio.  The outdoors are a big decorating
feature in all these rooms so I like to keep things looking pretty.

The colors are mainly green with touches of pink and yellow.  My
home is very traditional and the wicker furniture on the porch,
the wrought iron furniture on the patio and the brick flooring give
the whole area a sense of old Southern charm.

We have wicker rocking chairs and a porch swing.

A step down takes you to the patio where there is yet more seating
and a table and chairs for outdoor dining.

The huge old live oaks, the everblooming azaleas, and the park like
setting is the perfect spot for dinner on a spring evening.  I will warn
you though, you'll need some insect repellant because the mosquitos
are already out in force!  Thank goodness the Mosquito Squad comes
to spray today before the weekend.

Thank you Katie for including me on including me on this
fun Hello, Spring Blog Tour.  Be sure to visit the other bloggers
for more fun spring decorating ideas.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Skip and Go Naked

Hi and welcome to my porch.  Y'all are invited back here after you
take a tour of all the pretty homes all decorated for spring.  Take your
time and enjoy the tour and then head back over to my house because
I have a yummy cocktail to share with you ...  I teased y'all with that
blog title, but I'll explain after the tour.

Here are the links for today's tour ~

Welcome back!  Did y'all have a good time visiting all the talented
bloggers?  I had to rush back and get the blender going because I have
a surprise for you ~ we are all going to ~ Skip and Go Naked!

Not really, there is no nudity on this blog :-)  This is a summery cocktail
courtesy of Susan Branch and it comes from The Summer Book.

It's super easy and it is a pink and yummy drink for a warm South Texas
afternoon.  This recipe will make 2 big drinks.  Don't worry, I have 
enough for everyone.

2/3 cup cold beer
2/3 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup vodka

Fill your blender 1/2 way with ice.  Add the beer, lemonade and vodka.
Turn on the blender and mix well.  Serve in some cute little glasses
and add straws or umbrellas to make it even more festive.  Thank you,
Susan Branch for this delicious recipe!

Okay ~ the first batch is ready.  Have a seat and let's enjoy the warm
Spring afternoon together.  I am so happy you are here!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bunnies and Baskets Welcome Spring

I cannot imagine anyone who does not like spring.  Everything is sweet,
tender, and pastel.  The deep rich colors and chilly breezes of fall have
past.  The stark and hibernating days of winter are behind us.  It's the
season of hope and renewal.  No matter what our age, we all feel
like kids again. 

I hope y'all stopped by for the first stops on the Hello, Spring Blog Tour.
If you missed it, you can return to visit our hostess Katie and she will 
link you to three bloggers' homes.  

And there are three additional homes to tour today:

Bentley and I are putting on the finishing touches at our cottage
to prepare for our tour on Thursday, but we will be back tomorrow
with more links to more spring homes.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hello, Spring Blog Tour Starts Today!

If you are in need of any great ideas to decorate your home for spring,
I have the answer you are looking for.  It's the Hello, Spring Blog Tour.
15 plus blogs over four days.  You will find so many wonderful ideas
and inspiration and have fun too!

Who doesn't like spring?  Who doesn't want lots of great
decorating ideas?  

It's free (no nosebleed magazine prices here) and all you have to
do is click on the following links.  How easy is that???

On today's tour are the homes of these talented bloggers:

I'm off to make another pitcher of Sweet Tea and start hopping
through the blogs!  Happy first day of Spring everyone.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, March 17, 2017

Oh For A Wee Irish Cottage

Oh for a wee Irish cottage way out on the moors.  Something snug and
cozy where we could celebrate this St Patty's Day.  A place that is safe
and warm, protected from the winds of the sea, but with windows that
we can open to hear the ocean waves.  A fire aglow and a cute pup 
with its wagging tail as we sit in comfy, overstuffed, down filled chairs
while we raise our glasses of Irish coffee and toast to St. Patrick and to our
friendship too.

A wee Irish cottage with a roof covered in moss and shamrocks for 
shutters.  Gold coins leading up to the door and to the pot of yet more
gold.  It's a magical place and only select friends who want to share 
good times and happy stories can enter.  Friends just like you!

It's a day for the wearing of the green and for jokes and good cheer.
Thanks for stopping by our magical wee Irish cottage and Bentley and
I wish you all a ~

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

With Loads of Love,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It Is Cruel to Wish Suffering For Someone Else

I read a very disturbing post on the Facebook newsfeed this
morning.  This person, who shall remain nameless, is obviously
very upset with our current president and went on to say that
she hoped he would suffer a massive stroke or a heart attack.

I do not generally discuss politics on this blog, nor do I intend
to start now.  I want this blog to be a cozy space and a safe haven
from the woes of the world.  While I realize that at one time or 
another we all have become discouraged or angered by the things
our leaders have said or done, I certainly have, must we sink to
cruelty to express our opinions or desires?  I sincerely hope not.
And if so, where does it end?  

My Christian faith teaches to forgive and turn the other cheek.
Karma teaches that what you put out comes back to you. 

Have you ever seen someone you love suffer from a massive stroke?
I have.  My Mom had one three years ago.  There was no chance of
saving her.  She spent the remaining nine days of her life confined to
a bed, unable to speak, unable to swallow.  She did not respond to 
anyone.  At times she would grimace and her hand would grab onto
the bedrail and shake in extreme pain.  The only thing that could be
done was to give her morphine via an IV and essentially wait for her
to die.  It was shear agony for me as I spent virtually every hour of 
those nine days sitting by her bedside knowing there was nothing
I could do to save her.   I would not wish this fate on anyone.

Or what about a massive heart attack?  My Daddy had one.  He was on
a business trip in Asia and passed out in the airport in Seoul, Korea.
The doctors had very little hope.  My Mom had to rush to the doctor
to have required vaccinations for an unexpected trip across the Pacific
to get to the hospital where he had been taken.  Can you imagine her
terror being alone and flying for hours across the ocean and not
knowing whether her husband would still be alive when she arrived?
When she did arrive, the prognosis was grim.  The kind staff at the
hospital arranged for her to stay in an adjoining room.  She spent six
weeks in that room while Daddy struggled to regain strength and stamina
to be able to return to the states.  It was truly a miracle that Daddy
did survive the attack and I am forever grateful to the wonderful
doctors and staff who looked after him and my Mom too.  Such lovely
people they were.

Not long after they returned to the states, my Grandfather, my Daddy's
father, died from a heart attack.  Daddy's doctor would not permit him
to make the trip hundreds of miles away to his father's funeral.  Daddy
lived with the regret of not being there to support my Grandmother 
when she needed her only son the most.  

Heart disease runs in my family on both sides.  My maternal
Grandmother died of a heart attack.  My Aunt had open heart surgery
in her 80's.  It was not an option despite her advanced age because
she had a heart valve prolapse and would have died a slow and
painful death had it not been repaired.  As it was, she was never
quite the same after the surgery.  Her valve was successfully repaired
but she had a sort of brain fog from the anesthesia that never left
her feeling whole ever again.

When one wishes ill health on someone they are also wishing the pain
and suffering for this person's family.  As one who has experienced the 
suffering of ill health of my loved ones, I would not want anyone to
experience the heartache I have known.

This being said, let us think carefully before we speak so harshly.
Our country gives us the chance to vote in or to vote out a president
every four years.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with the policies
and actions of a sitting president is their right.  To wish that
president to suffer a massive stroke or a devastating heart attack
is cruel and uncivilized.   That is my opinion and I stand behind it.
Treat others as you wish to be treated.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blue and White Tea Party For One

Years ago, when I was living and working in Houston and before I
married David, my office was very close to the Galleria.  If I did not
have a business luncheon I would often spend my lunch hour shopping.
At that time Marshall Field's was still in existence and both Field's and
Lord & Taylor had large stores in the Galleria.  Both stores were old
favorites of mine.  I loved Marshall Field's from my youth while 
growing up in a Chicago suburb, and Lord & Taylor from my time 
spent in NY.  

This particular shopping trip I was looking for a gift for my Mom and
found this adorable blue and white teapot and cup for one and a
matching salad plate.  It was the perfect gift for my Mom since she
collected blue and white pieces and knew she did not have anything
quite like this.

The cup sits on top of the teapot for storage.

It also has its own lid for steeping the tea.  

Such a sweet design and a bit of a departure from her usual Asian
style porcelains.  

I found napkins from Williams Sonoma recently that I think work very well
with this ensemble.  I just never get tired of blue and white.  It's so fresh and
crisp and clean looking.  Timeless.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sorry, But I Just Couldn't Help Myself

For quite a while now I have been showing a plain white background on
this blog because that has been the "new wave" for some time.  I looked
at my blog today and thought ....


I longed for the calico background I have used in the past.  It's cozy, it's
so me,  I need it to stay happy.

That's probably a bit extreme, I mean, I could live without it, but I 
don't want to.  

I realize I am completely out of touch with 2017, but that's okay 
with me.  I am this blog's author, stylist, photographer and all things
blog like.  No one is holding my feet to the fire to be current and trendy.

I am such a rebel aren't I???

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, March 13, 2017

Make Way For Bunnies and Chicks

I have been collecting Easter things to decorate the dollhouse.

Lots of bunnies and cookies and flowers and a cake.

There's Mrs. Rabbit and her bunnies.

I have the Easter decorations all stored in this little weathered hutch.

This cute little chick is keeping watch.  I love her sweet little bonnet.

There is a tiny bit of sun peeking through the clouds today.  It has rained
and rained and rained here.  At one point I thought I would have to order
a rubber raft.  It looked like our back yard was surrounded by a moat.
Bentley does not like rain, so I went out with him several times a day
covering him with my umbrella.  Poor little guy did not have much 
privacy.  The rain finally stopped last evening and we were able to
go for a nice long walk after dinner while it was still light.

I am working on several spring time projects right now and
getting ready for Katie's Spring Home Tour.

This tour will be so much fun!  I will keep you updated.  In the 
meantime, have a wonderful Monday!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Romantic Breakfast Tray

It has begun to feel like spring in South Texas.  This past winter was a
bit colder than last and we did have one freeze that nipped many of our
tropicals.   Now everything seems to be coming back to life.  The signs of
new life in my garden has prompted me to think of all things spring,
shoes and clothing, porch cushions and table settings too.

I was in Hobby Lobby last Saturday and found these sweet little plates.
There were only two of them at $1.99 each and then 40% off making 
them $1.19 each.  They are so adorable with their striped bands and I
could not pass them up.

It's gray and cloudy out today and the air is saturated with moisture.
I will be staying inside and poofing the pillows.  I hope you have a 
lovely day too.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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