Summer, Thursday Favorite Things

    Delicious Summer Salads at Thursday Favorite Things

    Happy  May and welcome to TFT! This is now my sixth year co-hosting this fabulous weekly link party for bloggers and blog readers with Katherine of Katherine’s Corner and a fantastic group of bloggers!
    NOTE: The party time has changed to 9:00 a.m. MDT (11:00 EST).


    If you are looking for inspiration, want to share new ideas or make new friends, you’ve come to the right place!


    What in the world have I been doing????

    It may seem as if I have been MIA in the blog world, and indeed it has been a struggle the past couple of months. There has been so much going on at work with my choir students doing so well and qualifying for state events, as well as moving our son to Rhode Island for the summer and just trying to get this house finished up and in order, I just haven’t had to to post new content. I am actually STILL working until Monday, but after that I plan to write a BIG blog post to catch up on everything that has been going on around the house, some health updates and plans for the summer.

    For now, here’s a look at the how the planters around the front porch are looking!


    I just planted these up yesterday so they will fill out and look even more lush as summer progresses, with creeping jenny and sedum spilling over the sides. I am just so happy to FINALLY get something done around here! I have a few more photos to share in a garden post that will go live on Saturday! Please do plan to stop back by and catch up. I have missed all of you!


    Now here are some lovely features from last week’s party!



    right side of white bowl with old fashioned pea salad.

    Allergy Friendly Old Fashioned Pea Salad ~ Strength and Sunshine



    A bowl of kale and chicken salad served in a blue ceramic bowl on a grey textured surface.

    30 Quick and Simple Summer Meal Ideas (Kale and Chicken Survival Salad) ~ Filling the Jars



    Greek chicken pasta salad - bowl with pasta, tomatoes, olives, diced onion, cucumber, chicken, feta cheese and topped with tzatziki sauce.

    Greek Chicken Pasta Salad~ Our Tiny Nest



    May MS Awareness Month and Edamame Salads ~ Honey Bears and Sydney Beans


    Thanks for visiting! Enjoy the party!

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    Click here to enter

    Garden Thyme, Spring

    Beautiful Container Garden Ideas for Any Space

    Now that spring is here and Easter is just around the corner, all of us garden and flower lovers are ready to get outside and get busy! Planting up some spring containers is the perfect way to get your garden on even if the winter temperatures linger.


     No large yard? No problem! Today I am sharing how you can take any small space and transform it into a lush garden area using containers, and just about anything can be used as a container with a little creativity! 






    I am excited to once again be joining several blogging friends for another fun Pinterest challenge!  This month’s theme is container gardens which is something I love!  If you are coming over from South House Designs or if you are just dropping by today, then welcome!!!! 


    yard of flowers and antiques

    Our gorgeous inspiration photo  for this month’s challenge comes from  Organized Clutter. A special thanks goes out to Cindy of County Road 407 for hosting this challenge. You will find links to all of the beautiful container garden ideas posts at the end of this post.



    Transform Any Space Into A Beautiful Garden Area Using Containers and Garden Accessories

    If you don’t have a large yard or if you have health issues or lack of time that prevent you from large scale gardening, you can still create a garden area that is easy to maintain and looks lush and full using a variety of traditional pots and planters as well as unique containers for interest.


    Let’s start by taking a look at this blank wall by the side door entry at the yellow brick home.  Here it looked rather boring and sad, but by adding some beautiful urns, containers, and planters filled with a mix of evergreen and seasonal plants, the eyesore of an entry easily transformed into something special.


    For several years I kept a vintage plant etagere by the back door and kept it styled with pretty pots, containers and garden elements. 


    I like using a mix of traditional garden pots as well as fun, unexpected thrifted items as containers, such a a vintage, tarnished silverplate creamer as a succulent planter.





    spring flowers and herbs dollar tree metal fleurs and jardin makeover

    The plant stand was always evolving through the various seasons.




    I later moved the plant stand to my backyard cottage garden area and just used an old garden trellis and beautiful containers for interest in this area.  



    One year for Mother’s Day my husband surprised me with hundreds of tulip bulbs. He then planted them all for me in November as part of the gift. That was THE YEAR of the most beautiful spring container garden!






    Pansies and violas in an urn spring container ideas spring urns




    spring container garden with tulips in popts

    Another blank wall along the sidewalk to the side entry became a lush garden with a raised cedar bed filled with all kinds of herbs, flowers and vegetables and surrounded on the bottom and sides by container plantings.


    I really became entrhalled with the idea of concentrating on container gardens after discovering Claus Dalby on instagram. His beautiful book, Containers in The Garden (affiliate link) really inspired the design of my own container gardens.


    Containers in the Garden

    Container gardens are perfect for those of us with chronic health issues, back pain or lack of time and space. Really they are perfect for anyone!





    The last couple of years at the yellow brick home I wanted something in this spot that would look great year found, so I used a large urn with an evergreen arborvite as the focal point. Notice the bird bath in the foreground is also a “container” for succulents.



    Additional Favorite Container Planting Ideas

    I purchased this French wooden box with forced spring daffodils at Home Depot a few years ago and it has always been one of my favorite spring containers to plant up ever since! Once the daffodils were spent, I planted them in the yard and they bloomed beautifully the following spring.

    *Home Depot once again has these in stock this year! Some are filled with hyacinths and tulips!


    The next year I created a mixed spring container planting using tulips, tete e tete daffodils and pansies. 




    Another plant etagere on the front porch at the yellow brick home was a favorite spot for small container plantings and seasonal accents.



    A simple hanging basket from the dollar store looks beautiful and elegant filled with simple pansies.




    I always keep my eyes open for rustic, european style pots and containers when I am thrifting. Just about any combination of plants looks beautiful in them, as long as the water and light requirements are similar.



    Of course fall is a wonderful time to create beautiful containers!



    Vintage fall pheasant vintage bucket with yellow pansies outdoor fall decorating ideas




    Thrifted vintage buckets or old coffee cans make fun and interesting containers in a junk-lover’s garden!




    Using Containers to Fill Negative Space in the Garden


    cottage garden in August birdbath with perennials

    Another tried and true trick for the impatient gardener (like me!) is to use pots and containers to fill negative space and gaps in the garden, either while waiting for plants to grow or to place on top of difficult to garden areas such as those with lots of roots or poor soil.



    My dad’s tricycle from the 1950’s made a fun garden accent “container” with a basket filled with succulents on the front and a big galvanized bucket of fountain grass in the back. As a bonus the tricyle filled a lot of blank space.



    Don’t be afraid to mix rustic country or vintage containers such as an old galvanized bucket with new pots or more elegant planters and urns. They can all work together to create interest in a container garden.




    I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my container garden ideas and that it has inspired you! This summer I plan to transform our small backyard and deck using mostly containers, and I will be sharing lots of posts on this subject in the weeks and months ahead so please do plan to stop back by often. 

     Next up on today’s challenge is Barb at French Ethereal. She always has lovely gardening ideas! Don’t forget to check out all of the other beautiful and interesting container posts via the links below.

    Happy planting!






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    Early Spring Coffee Table Styling Ideas (March Coffee Table Talk!)

    Early Spring Coffee Table Easter Coffee Table

    Style an early spring coffee table with garden-inspired decorative accessories and gardening books that hint to the promise of spring’s imminent arrival, despite lingering chilly temperatures.

    Happy Spring  and almost Easter my friends! There’s just something about the sunshine and all the possibilities of the spring garden that reignites my nesting instincts, how about you? After suffering from the winter doldrums and just being overwhelmed from the stress of moving and renovations, I am finally getting into some kind of groove as far as decorating our new spaces and blogging more. With that in mind, I am starting a new “Coffee Table Talk” monthly series about what’s on my early living room coffee table! *This post contains affiliate links. Read more

    Home Tours, Spring

    Touches of Spring Decor in Our New Home

    Touches of Spring Decor brighten can brighten our homes and spirits while waiting on spring’s arrival.


    Welcome friends and welcome spring!!!! I am thrilled to invite you into our new home for the season! 

    If you’re new here or if you haven’t visited in while, you may not realize we sold the yellow brick home this past year and moved into another charming 1920’s red brick home in early fall! We actually purchased this home in fall of 2022 and spent the past year and a half working on renovations. While we STILL aren’t finished, and some rooms are far from fully decorated, I managed to pull together some of the living spaces in time for the holidays, and they are continuing to evolve as we move into spring. Even though we aren’t quite ready for that big full home tour before and after reveal post, I am happy to invite you in to see some spring peeks. 


    After having to take a break last year in preparation for moving, I am so happy to once again be joining my friend Marty of a Stroll through life and 23 other bloggers from the annual Spring Home Tour! If you are coming over from Pasha is Home or just happen to be stopping by for a visit, I am truly thrilled that you are here! I have soo much to share and catch up on! You will find links to all the fabulous tours at the end of this post. *This post contains affiliate links.


    We’re going to skip my “messy-not-ready-for-spring-yet-porch” and hurry past the “not-quite-there-spring foyer” and head straight on into the cozy spring living room for today’s tour.  Grab your favorite cuppa and enjoy!


    Still Keeping Cozy in an Early Spring Living Room

    When most people move from winter to spring decor, it often means switching out heavier fabrics and warmer colors with light and airy fabrics, and pastels hues, or bright, cheery pinks and yellows. However, I have just been enjoying the visual warmth and coziness of the rich, rusty tones of my floral pillow covers and velvet curtains so much since moving here, that I decided to make them work for early spring, especially since we can still experience cold weather or even snow all the way through April. 


    Because I consider green a neutral and a year-round color in my home, as well as pops of blue and white, I think it keeps those warmer colors from feeling overtly “fallish.” Garden-inspired accents are also staples of my year-round decor, and of course those always speak to spring.



    A major decorating and life simplifying goal when we moved was to create a cozy, vintage-traditional aesthetic that would work year round with only minor seasonal changes. Rather than using a lot of mass produced seasonal decorations like I did years ago, I now prefer to use items I already have in new ways as the seasons change, then simply add in a few special holiday or seasonal pieces.




    While I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on any new seasonal decor, I knew I needed just a few simple accents to pull a spring look together if I wanted to keep the warm orange tones.



    I found some sweet little orange velvet carrots at Hobby Lobby which were a perfect accents since I am still using the rusty orange velvet curtains in the living room. I also found some beautiful and realistic, white real touch tulips or my spring styled tray. All of the other elements in the tray are favorite items I reuse over and over in different ways.



    When we moved here, I downsized a ton of seasonal, store-bought decor, but this mossy bunny with a carrot was a keeper. He also helped with “spring-i-fying” the living room, along with the velvet carrots, and favorite coffee table books with gorgeous seasonal images on the covers. Claus Dalby’s new book Containers In the Garden is a stunner!




    I will be sharing more about what’s on my March coffee table in a new monthly coffee table series starting this coming Monday. 




    Up until last week I was still on the fence about whether or not I should go ahead and switch out the burnt orange velvet curtains and the same pillow covers I had shared on my fall tour for different spring curtains and pillows. I was starting to stress about wanting to have a brand new look for this tour, but I just wasn’t ready to spend additional money or time on those items yet. Finding this adorable and inexpensive needlepoint tulip pillow was the final accent I needed to just follow my heart and keep enjoying the colors I already have and am loving right now.



    Follow my heart I did, and it led me to remembering this sweet picture of my baby boy in a patch of identical orange-red tulips on his first Easter! He is no longer a baby, in fact he is currently 12 hours away in  Hyde Park, New York at the world’s premiere culinary school, The Culinary Institue of America. Oh do I miss him more than words! I am so excited that we will be traveling to spend Easter there with him this year!


    The day I took these photos was in fact very spring-like, with sunshine, warm temperatures, birds chirping and daffodils starting to bloom. With the sunshine pouring in and a few simple touches of spring decor, it felt like spring time indoors and out!






    This is my favorite view from the loveseat, looking over to my beloved organ, a family heirloom that finally found a perfect spot in this home just a week or so before Christmas.



    The organ was a gift from my grandfather, who was my first piano teacher. He purchased it for me when I was just four years old (it was already over 100 year old at the time.) I have had it in my possession for about 10 years now, and I always enjoy decorating it with a couple of nods to the season, just like my grandmother would do when it was in their home as I was growing up.



    Even though I don’t have a dedicated music room in this house, it is an obvious a music teacher lives here! 



    Early Spring Living Room Mantel

    We have two nearly identical mantels, one in the foyer and this one in the living room. Each one is decorated a little differently, but I am using blue and white pottery and brass on both mantels for a bit of visual flow and continuity between the rooms. The two ginger jars (similar here), center chinoiserie planter  (similar here) and brass candle holders (similar here) are classic and elegant pieces I have chosen to be the foundational items on this mantel year round. I will simply change out flowers or add other seasonal touches.


    Here is a peek of the foyer mantel and round table. I had just started the colorful tulip bouquet and hadn’t even really spaced them out yet, but I decided to keep it real and let you peek into the spring foyer to see what I am working on even though I didn’t get it all styled and photographed for today’s tour.


    Here is a view from the foyer into the living room as the sun starts to set in the evening.  I am excited to share more of the spring foyer in an upcoming tour post.


    Back to the living room, I was loving this mantel but still felt like it needed either a wreath on the mirror or taller orchids to fill negative space and provide interest, so I went thrifting this past weekend to see what I could find.


    I ended up scoring a preserved boxwood wreath for just $3 at an antique mall!  I tied it on the arched mirror (similar here) with a daffodil-yellow velvet ribbon. It works for me! 




    A little green bottle filled with a trio of fresh daffodils picked from a patch I inherited here in my new garden adds an additional pop of spring cheer to the mantel.



    I will keep some vintage St. Patrick’s Day postcards on display through the holiday, then switch them out for antique Easter postcards. I will probably add some additional little Easter touches such as pretty decoupaged eggs.



    Battery operated candles are pretty much mandatory for me as far as creating a cozy, elegant ambiance no matter the season.





     A Little Spring Preview of The New Kitchen-(STILL)-In Progress!


    Here is a view looking into the kitchen from the living room. Again, I am still new working out the best time of day for lighting and angles when photographing all these new spaces, but I’ll figure it out eventually! What I am loving right now is seeing my new vintage thrifted mid-century barstools, just scored for just $15 each! 


    elegant white traditional spring kitchen unfitted kitchen range between windows

    Well there’s a pretty long checklist of details to “finish” this brand new kitchen install ( a still-a-mystery-to-me backsplash, larger crown moulding, ceiling treatment, cabinet hardware, more cabinet details, painting the island??? window treatments and the list goes on) BUT I am embracing the beauty of what IS finished so far.  I am going to do a couple of spring kitchen posts next week with more rooms shots and details about all the progress and seasonal decor.  


    Here’s what’s coming up soon:

    elegant white kitchen with faux copper range hood

    More about our kitchen reno and decor, like my husband’s amazing faux finished copper range hood and my seasonal faux florals and spring vignettes…



    More about my husband’s work including custom cabinetry and how I added sentimental beauty through his stunning oil paintings….




    Spring  and Easter styled trays and baskets, branches and blooms…



    Cabinet hardware and cabinet feet will be installed next week. I can’t wait to share some before and afters!



    Friends, theres a whole lot more yet to come in sharing how we are making this wonderful old house our home sweet home!  Please do subscribe by email to see more and stop by for a visit anytime!

    I hope you have enjoyed seeing our new home as it is so far with touches of spring decor! Now the tour continues over at The House on Silverado. If you missed any of the other fabulous homes on tour this week, you can check them out via the links below. 


    Thanks for visiting and happy spring!


    A Stroll Thru LifeWorthing CourtStoneGableDecor To AdorePeacock Ridge Farm


    Tuesday March 5th

    White Arrows HomeThistle Key LaneCalypso In The Country – Eleanor Rose HomeA Pretty Life In The Suburbs



    Wednesday March 6th

    Whispering Pines HomesteadOur Southern HomeThrifty and ChicBluesky At Home – County Road 407



    Thursday March 7th

    It All Started With PaintBungalow 47Lyndale DriveFrom Farmhouse to FloridaMy Thrift Store Addiction



    Friday March 8th

    Pasha is HomeFollow The Yellow Brick HomeThe House on SilveradoMy Family ThymeRae Elizabeth’s House

    Christmas, Home Tours

    A Christmas Welcome to Our New Home!

    Hello friends and welcome to our new home for the holidays!

    (STILL a work in progress!)

    In August we moved into our historic 1920’s red brick home that we purchased and began renovating over a year ago. The renovations took much longer than expected  (don’t they always?) so we didn’t end up getting all the rooms completely finished and decorated in time for this tour, but we are really loving how everything is looking for Christmas so far!


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