Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Antique Rose Love

I have discovered a wonderful place that sells antique roses.  My Mom and I have
been discussing where to add some rose bushes in the garden.  I don't have a lot of
sun, but I have a few spots where I think roses will do well.  Mom pulled out an
article about roses form the last year's March 2013 issue of Southern Living and
they mentioned the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas.


I am sure that many of you are already familiar with this place, but for
those of you who are not, you will be delighted by their site.  Isn't this
stone cottage surrounded by kitchen gardens a delight!  Brenham is only
a couple of hours from us.  I have been to Brenham a couple of times
years ago and found it to be a wonderful hill country town.  Now I can
hardly wait to return to visit the emporium.


I have a list of roses we want to purchase.  I am quite partial to shades
of pink and I love bushes, climbers, knockouts, you name it.


I read that we can start planting roses in our area in February which is
just around the corner now.


I am especially fond of this climbing variety called the Peggy Martin Rose.
You can read the wonderful story of this rugged Hurricane Katrina survivor

Let me know which ones you like.  I already have my favorites.

Home and Garden Thursday
Open House Thursday
Vintage Thingie Thursday
Home Sweet Home
Show and Tell
Be Inspired
Pink Saturday

There are several roses that have minimal thorns.  Good for little
dogs like Bentley that go dashing about through the garden in
search of critters.  Want to keep him safe!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A New Mini Hutch

A new piece of furniture arrived for the dollhouse yesterday.  I was so
excited when our postman brought the package to our door.  Isn't it cute?
I am in love with it.  

Much to my hubby's delight ~ I have discovered that shopping for mini
furniture is more fun than full size!  Wait until you see what stove I 
decided to get.  I hope you will love it as much as I do.  Now I just need
to keep filling up the shelves of this hutch ~ right Bentley?

I am planning a big roaring fire in the fireplace tonight.
It's cold here in Texas!  Hope y'all are staying warm.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, January 27, 2014

Muffins and Tea

I was in a cooking, baking and dessert making frenzy this weekend.  Do you
ever have one of those weekends when all you just want to stay home and cook?
Well I did.  

On Saturday I went to HEB to do my weekly shopping.  I really don't like to
shop for groceries so I make a big list and go once a week only.  I grab the list
and do my best to power shop and get back home asap.  I was watching the
Pioneer Woman on the Food Network one day and heard her say that she
does not like to shop for groceries.  Ah ... I felt vindicated :-)  Getting back
to my story, after I rushed home and unpacked all of the groceries, I started
cooking.  I made a big pot of turkey and white bean chili.  When I served
it later that evening I garnished each bowl with a  few squirts of fresh lime 
juice, some chopped scallions, a dab of sour cream, chopped avocado and
some cilantro.   

I woke up quite early on Sunday morning and made a batch of mixed berry
and lemon muffins.  The addition of some lemon peel gives the muffins 
that little something special.  I am sharing the recipe below.

After I baked the muffins I threw together an easy banana pudding for dessert
for Sunday dinner.  I usually do not make dessert, but I had three ripe bananas
and I was just in the mood.  

After all that food this weekend, this morning I only had raisin bran with 
skim milk and a cup of green tea.  It sure was fun indulging this weekend though!

Mixed Berry Lemon Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl add:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon

In smaller bowl add:
1/3 cup butter ~ melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) mixed berries

Line or grease muffin tins.  Add egg yoghurt and vanilla to 
cooled butter and whisk til combined.  Add the wet ingredients
to the dry flour mixture and then gently fold in the berries.
Bake 20-25 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick
comes out cleanly.  Let cool a bit before serving.

I adapted this recipe from The Baker Upstairs

And I am joining these parties ~

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Downton Abbey Dreaming on North De Leon

I came to viewing Downton Abbey late in the game, but now I am a self-
professed addict.  In order to catch up, I purchased the first three seasons
and we have been relishing each episode each evening while we eat
our dinner off of TV trays in front of the telly.

While our home is no Downton Abbey by a  long shot, it is easy to see
that we are traditionalists.  I  have spent a fair amount of time in England 
and I am a full fledged Anglophile.  I love the tradition of an afternoon tea.

Love sitting in a library chair with a good book.

I enjoy dinner off the good china in a formal setting.

Both David and I love the sporting life.

And a cocktail before dinner.

But most of all, I love being in the kitchen and wish that I could
channel my favorite Downtown resident ~ Mrs Patmore!

I think she is adorable with just the right amount of cheeky sass!

We just finished season 3 and I have been recording season 4.  
Y'all now know what we will be doing tonight!

Bentley should be enjoying Downton Abbey ~ after all he is 
a Yorkshire Terrier.  But, he prefers to try to distract up with his
toys while we watch the show.  I wonder if Julian Fellows would be
amused by Bentley's nightly performance?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Love Lucy Dollhouse Furniture

Y'all know how much I love dollhouse miniatures.  Well, I spend lots of time
going through online catalogs and looking at etsy and ebay for cute furniture and
accessories.  I went to visit one of my favorite mini shops
and I found these new pieces from Bespaq.  They are all copies of the 
furniture Lucy and Ricky Ricardo had in their NYC apartment. 

I saw the episode where Lucy bought this sectional and new coffee table
just recently on the Hallmark Channel.  How cool is this???

And here is a copy of the piano that Ricky and Ethel used to play while
Lucy "tried" to sing.  Always off key of course.

And here is the desk where Ricky used to go over Lucy's household
accounts which were always a few months late.


Of course if some miniaturist would create a kit to build Mary's
apartment and the furniture to fit inside my sister Robin and I
would be very happy campers :-)
Hint, hint, hint!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Wicker Table for the Dollhouse

The new wicker side table is my latest mini addition.  I keep finding these wicker
mini pieces and I am smitten.  The little hooked rug is something I have owned for
many years.  I purchased it back in Idaho at a charming little antique shop in
the North End.  The shop owner had two mini rugs and the other one I bought
is a larger rectangular one in the same pattern.

The flowers in the woven basket are new too.  

They add a hint of spring don't you agree?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Love Y'All

I got this idea from one of my Pinterest pins.  I thought it was cute 
but ...

I just sort of ran with it!

But wait ~ Vanna I need an "N" because I misspelled

Bentley wants a kiss and he will give you one back!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, January 20, 2014

Baby Bananas and Tiny Kitchen Tweaks

I went to HEB yesterday and while in the produce department I grabbed
a bunch of bananas as I always do, when I noticed these 
"Baby Bananas".  Have you seen these before?  I have not.  Of course
they came home with me.  Doesn't it always seem that a baby anything
is cute?  Can't wait to try them.  A perfect little low cal and nutritious snack!

A few weeks ago I found this two tier wire basket on sale at Hobby Lobby.
I can think of dozens of ways to use it.  I never shopped at Hobby Lobby very
often when I lived in Idaho because it was way across town and I hated
the traffic out that way.  Here in Victoria there is a Hobby Lobby just down
the road from my HEB Plus.  This is dangerous for me :-)

The locals call HEB Plus "Gucci HEB" because it is more upscale than
the other one we have.  The longer I live here the more I am feeling like
a local.  I have started wearing my new cowgirl boots everywhere.  If I
tell you I have started listening country western music all the time then
you will know that I have made a total conversion!

Remember when I came home with the West Highland Terrier I purchased from
Hobby Lobby this past Christmas?  As you may recall I named him Angus and
he is now tucked away with the demijohns and the vintage scale.  Oh and that
bucket is a Hobby Lobby purchase too.  I told you this is getting dangerous.
I am thinking about putting some dried hydrangeas in the bucket.  

So there you have it ~ my tiny tweaks for the week.  Enjoy more
tweaking at Brenda's for

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Which Dollhouse Miniature Stove Should I Choose?


I am collecting more elements for my dollhouse.  I plan on a cottage style
decor throughout.  The first floor of the dollhouse there will be a kitchen
and a sitting area.  I will be decorating with a color palette of pinks and greens.
I am trying to decide which style of stove I want for the kitchen and would
love your input.  I have narrowed it down to two styles ~ the 1920's style
Roper stove, or the Aga.  Look at this one all decorated in a country style.

Both have charm.

With the Aga, I can envision the cottage being tucked away in the Costwolds.
This is Cynthia's Aga in of of her many charming dollhouse designs.

And here it is again.

Here is Claudia's Aga.  I love it in her sweet cottage mini kitchen.
Love that wallpaper too!   Stop by and visit her today because she has
another wonderful feature from her dollhouse.

So which one do you think will be the right one for me?  I have two
different dollhouses to construct, and maybe I should get one of each
eventually.  But for now my budget only can afford one, so I do
need to choose.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beach Cottage Dreams

Just last Sunday David and I (and Bentley too) drove down to Rockport, TX
to look around.  We had been there just once before and were enchanted by
it's charm once again.  I have been dreaming of a beach cottage for the
last three days.


Nothing big and grand (not that we could afford it) but just something sweet and dear.
A place where you keep your flip flops and maybe a sundress for dinner out.
Some brightly colored beach chairs and flowers.  A spot for a fishing pole or two.
Sweet tea on the porch and starlit night walks along the beach.


A tiny garden where the sea gulls will stop by and maybe perch on
the roof top too.


A sweet place filled with flowers by the sea like this one painted by
my friend Erin.  She has a Bentley too and here he is in the picture.
If you have never visited Erin then make your way over to her cottage
right now!  Her paintings and her cottage and garden will enchant you.


I believe in big dreams.  You never know ~ they could very well come true!

Big Texas Gulf Coast Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


Monday, January 13, 2014

It's New To Me

If you are in between my kitchen and my breakfast room, you can see
the doorway that leads to the back hall that leads to the breezeway
that leads to the garage.  Did you follow all that???  Well anyway,
there are a couple of new features in this area.  There is a new
rooster chalkboard hanging up next to the spice cabinet. And ...
See the big Bon Appetit plaque hanging on the wall right around the
corner?  It is hanging opposite the jelly cabinet with the vintage
hat rack above.

It just increases the hen count in the kitchen.  It's the only way I get to 
have chickens.  Oh how I long for the real ones, but y'all know how
my hubby and Bentley feel about that idea!

The hen plaque is directly across from the vintage hat rack as I stated.
I did move the French market basket back alongside the Eastlake table.
I found that table at a yard sale in New Hampshire.  I have a friend who
thought it was disgraceful that I painted the table white, but quite frankly
the table was not heirloom quality so I did anyway.

It would be great if I could get better pics of this back hall but there are no windows and
even if I open the door the cover from the breezeway keeps the light down to a

That's it for today.  I have the electrician coming over tomorrow and I have a
big list.  I will try not to overwhelm him.  My beloved electrician Andy is in
Idaho.  David and I were thinking about trying to coax him down here with a
fishing trip, but I don't think he will take us up on it.  So now I have to get
used to a new electrician.  I want him to install some antique sconces in our
dining room.  I'll let you know what happens.  Till next time ...

Tweak It Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Show and Tell Friday

Bentley went with us down to Rockport yesterday and had a great time
hanging his head out the truck window catching the sea breeze.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Where Would You Rather Live?

If you could live in either of these two places, which one would you choose

... a ranch???


Or a beach cottage?


Wearing boots like these?  (I have a pair just like these)
or ...


a beach caftan?  I don't have one like this, but I sure do like it!

I can see the upside of both.  What about you?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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