Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm joining in on the Sunday Showcase over at "Under The Table And Dreaming."
I'll be highlighting my mom's Bridal Shower post. Check it out here:


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Mom's Bridal Shower -- Part 2

On March 24th, I hosted a bridal shower Tea Party for my mom.  It was held at the church were I grew up, where my mom is still a member and the organist.  My mom grew up in that church, married my dad in that church, I grew up in that church, was baptized in it (what the Methodists consider baby baptizing-head sprinkling -- I was baptized by immersion 16 years ago), I was confirmed in it, married in it, we laid my dad to rest in that church, and now my mom will marry again in that church.  It's my "home" church and always will be, regardless of where I live in the world.

There were 13 total in attendance. The majority of attendees played up the theme and arrived in hats and some were wearing gloves.  It was a wonderful, intimate, elegant time spent among family and some very close friends.  There was a lot of laughter and quite a few tears.  My Mom will be 65 in May and will be retiring.  To keep the budget reasonable, they opted for a very small wedding. 

 My mom chose teal (any variation of the color) for her wedding color.  I am the Matron-of-Honor and my daughter, along with my nieces will be part of the bridal party. My son and nephew, will stand up with Don, along with his best man. She decided against having us all wear the same thing, since it is a small wedding.  We just found dresses in varying shades of teal.  She will be wearing a dove grey ankle length dress, with a white lace jacket. 

I wanted to share some photos from the shower.  I chose the teal green as the accent color for the shower, but tried to keep everything else neutral, or white, actually.   I used the teal in the ribbons for the chairs, the runners and used the teal blue mason jars.

Since it was a small shower, I wanted to use all "real" china and glassware.  I don't have a closeup pic of a place setting, but I know that Don took some, so when I get copies of his pictures, I'll throw one in of a closeup. 

Each place setting consisted of a silver charger, a white plate, white salad plate, linen napkin with beaded napkin ring, glass water goblet, and a three-piece tea cup set (cup, saucer, dessert plate).  Each napkin had a teal lollipop tucked into it. Here is a little bit of a closer peek:

The centerpiece consisted of an teal vase that I found at Goodwill for $2.00.  We kept it simple with white carnations in all the mason jars and the centerpiece.  There were mercury glass votives scattered all around, also.

I also tucked a hummingbird pick into each mason jar, as hummingbirds hold a special meaning for my mom and myself.  My Dad LOVED hummingbirds, so it was a small reminder of him.  (He passed away from lung cancer 10 years ago.  You can read more about that here.)  You can see a little pink hummer in this picture:

My daughter, cousin and aunt all helped with the food, preparation and setting up.  Actually, my mom ended up helping us set up, too, as it's next to impossible for her to sit still and NOT help.  She knew about the shower ahead of time, so no surprises were ruined.

Just a few more pictures of the food...
We served: chicken salad on croissants, egg salad sandwiches, pbj (for the younger ones), a strawberry/romaine salad w/ almonds & poppy seed or raspberry vinaigrette dressings, fruit tray, cheese & crackers, mini ham and spinach quiches, homemade Nutella scones, homemade Golden Raisin scones, with Devonshire cream, jam and lemon curd, assorted hot teas, a yummy lime-lemonade punch, cream puffs in assorted flavors, Lemon Blueberry cupcakes w/ a lemon-cream cheese frosting (which my daughter made).  (We found the cupcake recipe on Pinterest and you can get it here from

We played games and all the prizes were tea related.  I had harp music playing in the background on my ipod and speaker system.

The favors were homemade brown sugar honey scrub that my daughter and I made and put into small mason jars.  We tied them with ribbon and added a small wooden scoop.  You can find that recipe here.  I tried stamping the name onto one of Martha Stewarts new Avery labels from Staples, but the ink ran so bad, that the words were indistinguishable. (Wow, that's a long word.) So I used the labels that came with the jars...very handy since it was last minute and I had no plan B. 

This is a picture of the favor table where I've isolated only the blue and made everything else black and white.  My new Canon Elph 300 does that. It's AWESOME!

Here is a picture of the main table using this technique:
I love how it picks up the blue in the stained-glass windows.

I shared my favorite picture in the sneak peek post here... but here is my second favorite:

My Mom, with her youngest and oldest grandchildren.  
My niece is the younger one, my daughter is the 17 year old.  

As far as supplies for the shower, the only things we had to buy were the tablecloths, which are washable and will be used for the sit down dinner following the wedding, the table runners and the chair ribbons.  I got all three at "Smarty Had A Party".  Very, very reasonable and great selections!

I already owned all the china, silverware, goblets, napkins, tiers, serveware...well, everything.  I started collecting tea cups and saucers years ago.  The goblets I bought at Marshalls (Libbey-12 to a box). The plates are 10 Strawberry Street "Havana Weave" pattern.

The flowers we ordered from Potomac Flowers. Again, very reasonable for 150 carnation stems.  I had to bring everything from Maryland to Pennsylvania, so having the flowers delivered the day before the shower to my mom's house was a HUGE bonus. We're doing the same thing again for the wedding. We'll be reusing the runners, chair ribbons and mason jars as decorations for the dinner.  It's being held at the church, too, and is again, very small.  The meal will be catered, but it's not a huge, traditional reception.

Thank you for spending the time with me, while I reminisced about the shower. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thanksgiving Tablescape...

Yes, you read that right.  I finally located the correct memory card to upload the  Thanksgiving pictures to my computer.  I thought I better get them connected to the correct post before next Thanksgiving.  

You'll have to forgive my photos...I realize after taking and uploading that I am my own worst shadow. I'll get better, I promise!

Table set for 6 1/2
Side buffet/hutch
At the top of stairs

My "Pocket Dragon" Collection

My brother-in-law and niece came to celebrate the day with us, as well as my cousin.  That's my son, bro-in-law, niece (on lap), my daughter in back, me (on floor) and my cousin. Mr. BBB doesn't like to get his picture taken, so he and the dog decided to take it easy on the sofa.  I always enjoy when my family comes to visit. We are a definitely a crazy bunch, but that just makes our together time that much more fun.   (FYI - my arms are crossed because I noticed after taking the first timer picture, that I had spots from cooking. It's not any kind of on purpose posing -- well, it is, but there's no special meaning or message.)

Pottery:  Longaberger (all of the colors/patterns you see are still available here.) The solids  are a mix of paprika, sage, butternut and chocolate.  The patterned stoneware is Nature's Tradition.
Chargers: Walmart (although I saw them at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, too.)
Pumpkin/Turkey plates & Acorn Salt/Pepper: HomeGoods (2011)
Crystal water glasses: a wedding gift 21 years ago...I do not remember the  name of manufacturer or pattern
Amber wine glasses: HomeGoods (2011)
Candles down center of table:  Partylite
Tablecloth: HomeGoods (2011)
Placemats: Longaberger (2010)
Napkins: Longaberger (2000-2011)
And, of course, any baskets you see are Longaberger, including the white pumpkin & vase on top of my Pocket Dragon collection. 

I'm including this picture, although it is almost too blurry, because it's the only one of my mantel that I took. When we first bought this house (2004), we painted over the brick, tore out the hearth and replaced it with granite tiles. I would LOVE to paint the fireplace white, but Mr. BBB is not in agreement (yet).  I had purchased a black-framed rectangular mirror for above the fireplace, but it didn't make it up in time for the day.  It was hung sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The mantel holds some of my mercury glass (pumpkin-HomeGoods/Candlesticks-Partylite), as well as two more Longaberger pumpkins, which are made out of wood splints. I ran a string of orange lights through the fall leaves garland, but next year plan to "pump" it up some more.  The candles are either orange or black glitter; and the apothecary jar on the mantel, as well as the vase on the floor are filled with cinnamon scented pinecones & potpourri. 

Thanks for stopping by! 


Friday, March 30, 2012

Sneak Peek ... My Mom's Bridal Shower

Last weekend, I had the pleasure and honor of hosting my Mom's bridal shower.   She will be married on Saturday, April 14th.  And as her Matron-Of-Honor (I've never been one before) I decided to throw her a Tea Party. Now, I LOVE to throw tea parties and don't have enough occasions to do it.  Her wedding is going to be very small, so I was anticipating between 13-16 ladies. Between myself and Don (my soon to be step-father), we took over 200 pictures.  He took some before and handed his camera over to my daughter to snap away during the party/shower. I plan on posting some pics (not all 200), but right now I'm posting my favorite one...
My Mom and me...

This was taken near the end, right after she had finished opening her presents. I would like to say our eyes are naturally sparkly, but no...we both had tears. (The invites said "Hat and gloves are encouraged, but not required."  Of course, I had to wear one of my thrifty finds.)

I love my Mom, really, really love her.  She is such a remarkable woman. I could do an entire post about her strength and faith. 

Some background... my Dad was an alcoholic for the first 17 years of my life. My senior year in high school he had an accident and my Mom gave him an ultimatum..."stop drinking or I start divorce proceedings tomorrow."  This was said to him in the emergency room. Thank God (seriously -- Thank you GOD!) no one else was involved in the accident...and thank God (again, seriously) that someone saw my Dad's headlights in the woods on another road, or he would not have made it out of that accident alive. Long story short...he quit drinking that night and never .... EVER .... touched another drop of alcohol for the rest of his life. I loved my Dad, in spite of his drinking.... but afterwards... he became a totally new person - in part due to not drinking, but mostly after he gave his life to Jesus within that next year. Sadly, he was a smoker.  And we just didn't harp on the smoking after his accident. We were too thrilled to have him stone-cold-sober. Unfortunately, the smoking caught up to him and in August of 2002 we lost him to lung cancer.  SMOKING KILLS PEOPLE!!! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. (Eleven days after we buried my Father, we buried my Mom's father...he died from emphysema ... yes, from smoking!)

Now, ten years later, my Mom has found someone else to share her life with.  I couldn't be happier. My Dad told her, just before his passing, that he didn't want her to be alone for the rest of her life. He gave her his blessing to go on and live and love. It chokes me up every time I think about this. They were only 55 when he died.  I know my Dad is beyond happy for her (I keep passing him messages through God, just to keep him in the loop -- not that he isn't keeping an eye on things for himself).  I'm beyond happy for her. She will also retire in May and she will have someone who loves her, right there beside her, to enjoy this next chapter of her life. Don is a wonderful man, a man of God... exactly the right kind of man I was praying for to come along and sweep her up. And I just know that he and my Dad would have gotten along famously. 

God bless Susan and Don, on their soon-to-be married life together! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Photo of the Day Challenge (Days 1-5)

I decided to jump into a "photo of the day" challenge over at  I am just a tad bit behind in posting my photos. These are the challenges:

Day 1:  "Up" (The steeple of the church where I  work.)

Day 2: "Fruit" (My definition.)

Day 3: "Your Neighborhood" (Looking up into my cul de sac from the stop sign.)

Day 4: "Bedside" (My bedroom is almost impossible to arrange bedroom furniture in because 3 walls have doors. I recently rearranged, but that means I had to come up with a smaller version of a bedside table, because it sits partially in front of the door to our sunroom -- which you can only get to through the Master Bedroom. I've got all I need within reach, tissues, alarm clock, various lotions, my Bible, plus some storage with my LB baskets.)

Day  5: "A Smile" (My American Bulldog, Kai.)