Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Southern Cooking Adventures With Susan

I have always been very adventurous when it comes to different 
cuisines.  I have eaten and enjoyed my share of pad Thai and a 
variety of curries.  I like Middle Eastern food and Mexican too.
Beef Wellington is a favorite, and so is Welsh rarebit.  

When it comes to real down home comfort, I always gravitate
to Southern cooking.  It's almost impossible for me to pass up
a hot buttermilk biscuit and I love green beans and bacon.

So I am going through lots of old issues of Southern Living
magazine and reading all the Southern recipes I can find.

Starting next week, I am going to start sharing some of these recipes
with y'all so that we can learn together.  Oh, and by the way ~
Southern cookin' makes you good lookin' ;-)  Or so they say!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, February 23, 2018

Spring Fashion 2018 Ideas

A very "in" color for Spring of 2018, is a pale, petal shade of pink that
is referred to as Blush.  I found a top on the J Crew website that I could
not resist.  The fact that it was on sale also sweetened the deal for me.
It's a sleeveless top with a stand up neckline that drapes so beautifully.
It is soft, pretty, and feminine and can be dressed up or down.

The back of the top ties in a soft bow.

When I saw it online, I knew that I could wear it with my off white
slacks, some pink kitten heels from my closet, and my Mom's vintage
pink clutch.  I added a triple strand pearl bracelet because I am 
a girly girl.  

Here is the link to the top ~ J Crew.  This top is currently 40% off.
This is NOT a sponsored post.  I just love to share cute things I
find that I think you might like too.

Now if Spring would only hurry up so that I can wear this :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blue and White ~ Collecting and Loving It

Blue and white china is timeless and versatile.  It can be humble or
grand. It's been favored by generations.  My Mama both collected and
loved it, and passed down her collection to add to my own.  

In my breakfast room, my blue and white collection of this and that,
looks fresh and welcoming.  I can set a table that suddenly looks
crisp and clean and as fresh as a daisy.

It has a quaint and simple look that I just adore.

Ireland has their green, but Holland and Scandinavia have their 
blue and white.  

Yet the beauty of blue and white is that it can rise above it's humble
nature and hold it's own in a more elegant setting too.  Surrounded by
deep red walls, touches of black, and crystal, it is suddenly sophisticated.

It's oh so collectable too.  We can find it in tureens and ginger jars.  It
comes in lamps and endless plates and bowls too.  The other thing I
love about it is that different patterns of blue and white all work 
together somehow.  It's magic!

Unique pieces with slightly different patterns, yet all
are holding their own in this niche.  

This basket is full of my very first collection of blue and white
transferware.  These are the child size dishes that started me on
my path to further collections.  Thank you Mama for giving me such
a good start.  I am missing you today on the fourth year of your
passing, but you left me with so many happy memories and I 
honor the life we shared.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cozy in My Country Cottage Kitchen

We have been having days and days of gray days.  Dark clouds rolling in and
out.  Some days have been quite cool and some have been warming up and
leading us to believe we are flirting with spring.   I don't mind the clouds, but
it's nice to see the sun once in a while too.  I know it's still out there because
every once and a while it peeks through just to tease us into a false state of
sunny security, and then poof ... it vanishes.

Even my cozy country cottage kitchen gets bathed in gray light.
That's okay, because I turn on lots of lights.  The under cabinet lights
are on, and all the little lamps are lit too.  This weather makes it so 
easy to imagine that I am living in a little cottage in the English
countryside.  That's not a problem for me ~ I live in that little cottage in
my mind quite often :-)

This weather has been just what I needed though.  I have some projects
that I have been putting off and putting off forever.  The biggest project
that I have begun to tackle is closet cleaning.  It is my least favorite thing
to do.  Here is how I have been tackling it ~ reluctantly, lol.  I started with
my bedroom closet because it was in fairly good shape and I wanted to
start on a good note.  I won't even think about tackling David's closet
right now, so I moved on to my studio/office closet.  That is the worst
mess ever, except for the linen closet in our master suite.  Both the 
craft closet and linen closet became catch alls for things I didn't know
what to do with when we moved into this house.  

Well ~ we have lived in this house for over four years now and I have
run out of excuses as to why these great storage places are such a mess.

Before I progress any further with this tale of shame, I must inform
you that I am what is classified as a better save that, because I don't 
know when I will need it type of girl.  This is a polite way of stating
that I am a pack rat.  However, I gathered all of my strength, 
forced myself to be ruthless, and started two piles ~ toss and give

Was this process painful?  Yes!   Did I have regrets?  Yes!  Were the sentimental
strings of my heart tattered?  Yes!  But, so far I have soldiered through.  
There have been fun moments when I discovered something great I had
completely forgotten.  Then there were the what was I thinking moments ;-)

Last weekend, a pile of things went to a local consignment shop.
Yesterday another couple of bags went to Goodwill.  We treated
ourselves to fruit smoothies afterwards.  

I think I will live through this ~ I really do.  The weather is
cooperating because it's too crummy to want to do yard work,
so I may as well take advantage of the mood to purge!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

An Unrequited Love Story

Last September, I flew back to the Chicago suburbs to catch up with 
some very dear childhood friends and to also spend some time with
my cousins and my college roommate.  It was several days and
evenings full of fun and lots of talking and reminiscing about old times.

I ran into so many people from my past.  Some I knew instantly,
despite the passing years, and others I did not recognize at first.
One of my friends, a former neighbor of mine, remembered how I
wanted to be a child movie star just like Shirley Temple.  I truly had
forgotten that at the tender age of nine, I wanted to be an actress, lol.

I was mingling and talking and met up with a group who I
remembered from junior high.  One of the men told me that when
we were both twelve, he had the biggest crush on me and that he
always thought I was so pretty.  I felt a bit sad when he told me this 
because I had no idea that he felt that way about me.  I'm not 
even sure that I knew who he was back then.  This is not in any
way a reflection of him.  This is a reflection of who I was
when I was twelve.

At age twelve, I was a very, very, shy and introverted young girl.
My Mom had been very ill for a couple of years, and I spent time
living with relatives and friends of my parents while she was in the
hospital.  The only constant for me was my love of horses.
I rode most days after school, and when I wasn't riding, I was 
mucking out stalls or cleaning tack.  I liked boys, but I could not
imagine how any boy would like me.  I was so tiny and quiet and
did not dream of flirting or trying to act older like the other girls.
Most of the time I wanted to fade into the background and prayed
that no one noticed me, except my beloved horse.  The whole time
I was and would forever be, totally unaware that some boy thought
I was pretty and had a crush on me.  If I had known, I probably
would not have done anything about it because I would have 
blushed and blushed and blushed.  Yet if I had known, it would
certainly put a little smile on my face and made me feel a lot
better about myself.

Young love, and sadly unrequited.  Thanks, Patrick, for
thinking so highly of me once upon a time.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine Party in the Miniature Dollhouse

Hi everyone!  I am back after being gone for a while.   I have been working
very hard out in the yard.  My gardener and his wife were here to help
me last week.  We had to cut down all of the ginger that froze last month,
and it was a huge job.  After everything was cut down and bagged, I
started going through all the beds, cleaning and weeding.  I worked
several hours a day for days and days.  

Today, I am indoors staying warm.  Another cold front came through
and it doesn't feel at all like South Texas!  So, I am in my studio
playing with miniatures once again.  I have the little sitting room all
decorated for Valentine's Day.  

There are cupcakes and cookies on the coffee table ....

And a cake and more cookies in the kitchen ....


Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I Bought Myself a Valentine's Day Present

I ordered this gift for myself a few weeks ago.  Actually, it's not really
my Valentine's Day gift, it's just that I am calling it my gift to myself.

This darling package is from Tiny Dwelling Miniatures.  Let's open it up!

The excitement builds .... 

It's a lovely vintage looking farmhouse sink that I purchased for the 
English Country Cottage style dollhouse kitchen I am constructing.

This is so charming, and I would love a life size one too!

I purchased the little drainboard with dishes drying on it.  So sweet!
The shop where I purchased this ensemble is

Now I am off to go play ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, February 2, 2018

Adding a Little Love to My Kitchen

I found this cute LOVE sign at the Dollar Store, added a gingham bow,
and hung it next of the spice cabinet in my kitchen.  I'm loving it!

February 2nd is my Grandmama Marie's Birthday in heaven.  
She died from a heart attack when I was quite young, but I know
that if she were still here with me, she would be right along side
me decorating in the kitchen.  She loved to cook and bake and knit
and crochet and do all those wonderful things that Grandmamas do.

Just want her to know that I am thinking of her today.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Welcome February 2018!

February is a feminine and pretty month full of hearts and flowers.
All of us girly girls are thrilled that it has finally arrived!

Don't you agree?  Between now and Valentine's Day I can show all
the hearts and flowers I want, and of course, pink and red are the colors
of the month, so prepare to be seeing lots of it here.

How about some love stories too?  It would not be a good Valentine's Day
without a good love story, or two or three.

In the meantime, I will be out cutting down more of the frozen
ginger.  The good news is that I am burning up lots and lots of
calories with all this garden clean up.  I always want to look at the 
bright side :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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