Valentines in Bloom

Don’t you just adore the vibe of Valentines’ Day? Yesterday, the sun was shining, so the streets were filled with lively traffic, as were all of the retail stores in town. People were smiling more, seemingly happier, and had a generally better attitude. Perhaps is was the sunshine, since we have not seen that much in several weeks, or perhaps it was just because they were allowed to have a lighter spirit on the day celebrating love for others.

My favorite things are flowers and sweets, so any day that’s filled with both is delightful, as far as I’m concerned. I adore having an excuse to create with both flowers and flours. Here are some things I shared with others to express my love for them on the day designated for it.

A Kate Spade inspired arrangement for my college aged daughter

I found this adorable black and white striped vase at Wal Mart and filled it with roses, snapdragons and a variety of filler. I thought it was a sweet and whimsical way to celebrate her.

My mom, whose birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day, gets a double – duty arrangement. A lover of roses and English country garden style, she gets a lush arrangement filled with hydrangeas, snapdragons, ranunculus and beautiful peach colored roses.

For the birthday girl

Always on the lookout for unusual containers, most especially anything blue and white, I discovered this vase in a small antique shop in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

For my son’s Valentine

My son’s girlfriend‘s favorite flowers happen to be hydrangeas, so back to the store we went to get some fresh, vibrant blue blooms for his Valentine. He really loved the vase I did for his sister, so we created a little different look using soft pink spray roses, hydrangeas, and snapdragons.

It was a sweet experience, teaching him how to cut and arrange the flowers. I simply guided him and he did the rest. We were both very proud of his work and it made the gift even more special to her.

The extras for mom

I had enough left over to create this arrangement and then was surprised with a beautiful bouquet from my precious daughter that I added to the mix to create a bedside table arrangement. She is always so thoughtful.

But the sweetest surprise was turning around in the grocery store line to see my son in the next lane purchasing something for his mom. The look on his face when I turned around and caught him in the act was priceless….

An orchid from my sweet son
Pink azalea from my first valentine.. my mom

I even received an adorable pink potted azalea from my sweet mother as the cherry on top for a wonderful day of fond memories.

I hope your day was filled with joy, happiness, laughter, and love. It comes from a variety of people in a multitude of expressions.

Thanksgiving Is In the Review Mirror

With Thanksgiving behind us and the focus on moving forward To Christmas, I realized that I was in such a hurried pace to get the Christmas decorations up, I’ve been remiss in getting my Thanksgiving tablescape pictures posted. We were away from home for the feasting, but I couldn’t let the holiday pass without pulling out all my favorite things. 

Sportsman’s Paradise

Living in Louisiana provides me with a huge variety of wildlife and natural greenery opportunities for bringing the outdoors in. With family and friends that are avid duck hunters, I’m never lacking in mounted creatures to display. For the greenery, I brought in the last remnants of my okra pods from the garden and clippings from an enormous magnolia on a friend’s property.

Living the Wildlife

Nothing says fall like a Pumpkin Poundcake. Especially one that is a recipe passed along from your best friend’s mom, who is no longer here on earth.

Pumpkin Poundcake

I adore painted and decorated sugar cookies for every occasion. I love teaching myself new ways to create them. This year, I ordered an adorable cookie cutter and stencil from Lulukuku creations. Aren’t they cute?!

On to Christmas!!

Mammy’s Cupboard

Mammy’s Cupboard In Natchez

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to stop and check out this unique, quirky, Southern landmark just south of Natchez, Mississippi

Built in 1940 by Henry Gaude’, she is one of the few commercial buildings of this architectural style still standing. According to the current owners, the Martin family, she has housed a gas station, craft center, and restaurant.

Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch from 11 to 2, they offer home-cooked lunch specials, sandwiches on freshly baked sourdough bread, soups and the ever-coveted homemade desserts.

Yes, Lawd, Yes!

I was greeted and seated by Mr. Terry, one of the owners, who is about as friendly a person as you could imagine. When I sat down and spotted the fresh baked pies on the sideboard, he was so thrilled at my reaction that he took me back in the kitchen to show me the large array of fresh- baked goodness. Heaven, I tell you.

You know you’re in for a treat when the meringue is as high as a Southern Pageant Girl’s hair!

Can’t Decide….

I don’t have much time, so I opt to go for the homemade chicken salad rather than the plate lunch special. I have a long drive ahead and a full workday, so I’m guessing I would need a nap after a big, hot meal

Mammy’s Chicken Salad Plate

They bake all of their bread in-house, so I’m really disappointed in myself for not going for it. I’ve tried really hard to avoid flour and sugar, so it took a lot of willpower to turn down that beautiful, fluffy bread. The chicken salad has a hint of curry, with sliced almonds and a side of pineapple. It was cold, fresh and delicious.

I had my eye on the pie, and knew I couldn’t resist, so decided I had to use some restraint somewhere. Mr. Terry was kind enough to waltz past my table and let me admire each and every dish before he served it to my neighboring tables. Y’all, that bread though… I’m really not sure I’ll have any restraint on my next visit.

So now for the best part. PIE!  There were so many to choose from, but I was feeling the banana caramel with whipped cream topping. Look how beautiful…..

Lawd. Have. Mercy.

Well, needless to say, several slices of the meringue pie went back home with me, and had I had an ice chest with me, probably some of the whipped cream would have made the journey also.

So if you find yourself along Highway 61 south of Natchez, pop in and give it a try. I highly recommend it. Get the bread..and the Pie.