A memorial, Memorial day with a Blue Velvet cake

On Memorial day every year we have a little get together with my husband’s daughter and grandkids. It’s not fancy at all, just burgers, dogs, macaroni salad and baked beans. The menu is usually the same from year to year and we hangout outside, not doing much except chatting and eating. And eating.


Dominic, my husband’s grandson has been making the beans for the last few years. He really likes to cook and I’m glad that his parents don’t try to keep him out of the kitchen. Cooking is a great thing for a guy to know. Bill, my husband can barely boil water and I’m serious about that!

 Catherine 2012 

They always bring their Nan, Bill’s mom along too. She really enjoys her hotdogs and ate two. That’s a big meal for her. Can you believe that she will be 96 this year! She looks fantastic! She always wears jewelry, has her hair done and nails polished and she even had a cute little gold purse.


samantha and dominic

Dominic and Samantha are are just about to get into it. Those two can’t be in the same space for long. You know how kids are…”Mom…..he’s touching me….she’s looking at me” or this one, “she’s breathing on me!”


nichole dominic samamtha 2012

So mom has to get in the middle and give Dominic the look. Their dad is a fire fighter in Philadelphia and had to work, so he missed the cookout this year. More food for us!


blue velvet cake 2

I usually make a homemade dessert and this year was no exception. My cake looks very patriotic and I was anxious to cut into it to check out the color.


blue velvet cake3

It’s patriotic even on the inside. GASP, it’s really blue!

Source: sprinklebakes.com via Bungalow on Pinterest






I never heard of Blue Velvet Cake until I came across this and pinnned it to my red, white and blue board on Pinterest. I think my version had a little too much gel food coloring, but it tasted like classic red velvet, that is if you could get past the color.  Smile I used the recipe from the pin if you want to try it. If you need an invitation to Pinterest just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you one.



I’m getting ready to go to the shore next week and really looking forward to sitting on the beach. My family will be there with me. It’s the first time we rented a big house for all of us to stay. It’s got 2 Jacuzzis, a hot tub, fireplace and even a cute little paddle boat for us to use on the lake and it’s only 200 yards to the beach. I’m planning on taking lots of pictures to share. The beach is such a beautiful place.


The winner of the giveaway from Royal Design Stencils for a $50. gift certificate

is Sally P.


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Garden party #5, The vegetable garden

Welcome to the 5th week of the garden party!  I would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your plants!  This week I’m talking about the vegetable garden.garden-party3

We always plant plenty of tomatoes, peppers, (especially hot ones for Bill), lettuce, zucchini, and onions. This year we have sweet peas that are almost ready to be picked and we will probably put in some green beans too. Sometimes I plant squash or pumpkins or sunflowers. I tried eggplant and red beets last year but they didn’t do well. Here’s a look at the garden this year.

vegetable garden 2012 4

An old and rusty arbor stands at the entrance, flanked by urns that are filled with pansies. I’ll  replace those after they wilt in the hot temperatures.


vegetable garden 2012 3

The lettuce is growing nicely and I’ll probably be giving a lot of that away. You can see the sugar peas and Spring onions.


vegetable garden 2012 2 

We have 2 large beds surrounded by wire to keep rabbits out! Last year they figured out how to get in so we added smaller wire and now have the garden surrounded by 2 types of wire!

  vegetable garden 2012

Sometimes I can see rabbits standing on their hind legs by the fence trying to figure out how to get in there. Well not this year you rotten rabbits!


Here’s a look at the zucchini and tomatoes in home made tomato cages. You can see some of our garden last year HERE and HERE.

Now let’s get on to the Garden Party, here are 2 from last week.

planted pants

Hometalk Community Blog shared these planted pants. This is a very cute idea! A pair of jeans for every member of the family!  Daddy jeans, mommy jeans and kid jeans in a row.  What a way to greet your guests.


Lavender Cottage shared her lovely peonies, one of my favorite flowers. We had 2 long rows of peonies at our house when I was a kid and I loved them.

Thank you to everyone who linked up!

I hope you have some gardening posts this week and will join in and link up! I love seeing what flowers and vegetables other people are planting. If you would like me to continue the garden party just say so in a comment, I was going to have it only in May but I have lots more flowers and plants to show off and I bet you do too!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

For memorial day, red, white and blue PiNspirations

There’s no Friday Feature today, instead, to honor those who serve and have served, I’ve put together a collection of red, white and blue patriotic PINspirations for Memorial day.

Aa flags cl

Let’s kick off Summer by spending time with family and enjoying all that freedom has to offer.

Source: bhg.com via Bungalow on Pinterest


One of my favorite flowers, classic red geraniums are the stars of this patriotic display.

Proper Flag Display-1

Source: veranda.com via Bungalow on Pinterest


In the cottage style entry, a vintage flag is displayed with blue hydrangea. If only I had a beach cottage that looked like this!


This is certainly a kitchen with a big WOW factor. The cabinets are beautiful. I like it but it’s not what I would want in my home. You?


I love the mix of fabrics in this beautiful red, white and blue living room. This country-ish color combination created a classic room.

Now lets get to the food! Check out these drool worthy memorial day treats!


Everyone will think you’re a genius when they see this! I’m going to do this layered drink for our annual Memorial day cookout.


Impress your family and friends with this pretty patriotic cake. I’m a sucker for cake. Any cake.


Here’s one you might like better. Chocolate. I’m a sucker for chocolate too.


This berry dessert is so simple and so pretty. What a great idea. I’m a sucker for luscious berries and great ideas.


Blue velvet! Just put a strawberry on top. I’m a sucker for this too.

We’re having a little cookout on Monday and we always have the same foods. Burgers and dogs with baked beans, macaroni salad and some yummy dessert. I don’t know what dessert I’ll make but it will certainly be red white and blue.

I’ve created a Pinterest board with plenty of red, white and blue inspiration that you can see here.

Please take time to remember those men and women in service to our country. I think when one family member is serving, the whole family serves, so think of them and all those who have lost their lives in service. My dad served in the navy in WW2 and talks about his time served often.

Enjoy your holiday!

Don’t miss the giveaway from Royal Design stencils. There’s still time to enter HERE.

The winner of the Pink Giraffe giveaway is Kimberly. A big thank you to everyone who entered!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

A stenciled chalk painted table and Royal designs Studio Giveaway

Decorating my family room is still ongoing but it’s almost finished. I’m waiting for my slipcovered chairs to be finished and the coffee table is being built. It’s getting there! I decided the room needed a few more touches of color and remembered I had a set of these small tables in the basement.


stencil page 0

They were ideal for painting in one of my favorite colors, Annie Sloan Provence,the perfect mix of green and blue.

stencil page1

For a bit of punch, I stenciled a pretty design form Royal Design Studio on the tops. Then I waxed them with clear wax and sanded for a little distressing.

family room stenciled table2

The stenciled top makes them more interesting and I love the look!

 family room

It’s so pretty! I’m not quite finished with the other one but the pair of these little tables will work well in this room.

Thank you to Royal Design Studio for the great stencil I received for review. The stencil was the perfect size for this small table and so easy to line up with the registration marks. Their site offers a huge selection of stencils for all uses in damask patterns, paisleys and even peacock feathers


  Royal Design Studio is generously offering a reader of this blog  any one stencil $50 or less with free shipping included, within the continental US.

Head on over to Royal Design Studios and take a look around at all the beautiful stencils.  Come back here and let me know in your comment which one is YOUR favorite and how you would use it.

You can gain one extra entry for each of the following:

Come back here and comment separately for each.  That’s a total of 4 comments! You will love your stencil from Royal Designs!


Debbie (((xx)))

Garden Party #4, Black flowers

Welcome to the 4th week of the garden party! I’ll be hosting the party here every Tuesday in May and would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your plants!  This week I’m talking about black flowers.


Black Velvet petunias are new to me this year and I’m loving them! They aren’t really black, but a very deep inky blue that appears almost black. They pair wonderfully with just about any other color and make quite a statement in your garden.

black velvet black and blue2

I’ve paired Black Velvet petunia with Euphorbia and another plant that’s new to me, Black and Blue Salvia.

lantana black and blue

The buds appear black and open to blue. It’s so pretty.



8761657_PANSY_ACCORD_BLACKEAUTYhollyhock from amazon

Source                                                                        Source

A couple more black flowers are Black Beauty Pansies and Nigra Hollyhocks. Flowers considered black are dark purple, dark red or have dark foliage instead of pure black and are oh so lovely!

Now let’s get on to the Garden Party, here are 2 from last week.


Simple Holdings Farm shared her lovely lilacs and some great garden tips.



Kathe with an E shared her thoughts on the benefits of gardening and lovely pictures of her garden.


Thank you for coming by linking up!

We had our first fresh veggies from our garden. Lettuce and sweet Spring onions made a tasty salad. I can’t wait for more!

If you don’t have anything about gardening or plants to link up this week, come back next Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails or green knees.  It’s fun digging in the dirt!

Please link back here in your post. Thank You!


Happy Gardening, Debbie (((xx)))

A few thrifty finds

Stuffstuffstuff and more stuff! Saturday was our annual neighborhood yardsale. My plan was to stay home because our basement holds my large stash of great stuff, (some from yardsales) and I can shop at home whenever I need something. But, how can a gal who loves yardsaling stay in when temptation surrounds?  She can’t, so just when I thought my yardsale career was over, I scored!

batting fiberfill 

All this batting was only 6 bucks! And I need this! I was planning on using a coupon at Joanne’s to buy some, because I want to wrap my slipcovered couch cushions in batting to plump them up a little.   This is a great example of how yardsaling saves you money! Love it!

ceramic horse head

Also found this horse head for 14$ at a new thrift shop and the old bridle was just 50¢.

For the last 2 years I have really cut back on yardsaling because there comes a point when enough is enough and I have definitely reached that point. Smile  But I still love it!


Added to Thrifty Finds at Southern Hospitality

Meet Me Monday at You’re Talking too Much

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm


Tomorrow is another Garden party link up, come on over!  Later this week another is awesome giveaway! Please stop by!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Friday Feature, french country cottage


Take an old neglected vacation house, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, a determined woman with her own tools and you end up with a beautiful French Country Cottage. Courtney’s blog is  today’s Friday Feature. 

In her words, “It was dilapidated, vandalized and neglected for over 50 years. It would have been easier to tear down and rebuild. But there was something about it. I fell in love with the original details that were there.”

Let’s take a peek into her vision.

Click on pictures to be taken to the original source.

1 kitchen

Take a minute to drool over this gorgeous kitchen! You won’t believe the before pictures of this space on her blog. I didn’t think that French country was my favorite style, but I can’t stop looking at pictures of her amazing kitchen.


office 2

She created drop cloth ruffled curtains for her office space. Charming and chippy old cupboard doors flank the window.


For a touch of whimsy, she mounted an antique screen door on the door frame. I love this idea and have a few places in my home where I could add an old door.


Her bedroom was an addition to the original house.  Corner windows, an original feature of the home, beadboard walls, ceiling, rustic shabby beams and hardwood floors were added to give it the same vintage feel as the rest of the home. Notice the shabby headboard behind the bed, I love the look!


A French armoire in soft gray, adds romantic charm to the master bath. What a beautiful room for relaxing and washing away the cares of the day.

cottage bath

This beautiful bathroom is in a little cottage on their property.


A vintage china cabinet that was her grandmothers now hold books and treasures. She painted it with chalk paint and let it unwaxed. Notice how all the books are turned backwards to allow the gilded edges to show.

 French Country Cottage, once dilapidated, has been transformed into a beautiful romantic home that’s been featured in Creating Vintage Charm and Romantic Home magazine! Be sure to stop by and say hello!


With so many great blogs all over the blog-o-sphere, Friday Feature is a way to showcase other bloggers while gaining lots of decorating inspiration. If you have a project or makeover that you think is feature worthy, please email me or leave a comment.



There are 2 more weeks left in the Tuesday Garden Party Link up, come on over and show off your green thumbs or plants.





I sure would appreciate your follow or subscribing in a reader! ;)

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Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Today a Giveaway from Pink Giraffe


The Pink Giraffe is your one stop shop for monogrammed and personalized items.

                                               the pink giraffe new icon navy and hot pink

Click on over to my giveaway page for all the details on how you could win this,




the ultimate Carry All Bag – Great for taking along whatever you need, monogramed just for you!



The winner of the giveaway from PrintRunner  is Bonnie and Trish from Uncommon. 


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Garden party#3, Beautiful planters at the garden center

Welcome to the 3rd week of the garden party! I’ll be hosting the party here every Tuesday in May and would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your planties!


Combining flower shapes and colors is one of my favorite things about gardening. Contrasting flower colors can complement each other for an even more beautiful display and there are endless possibilities. 

Frey’s greenhouse is my go to place for inspiration.  I took these pictures while shopping there and I can shop there for hours!  Visiting your local garden center will give you lots of inspiration, that’s for sure.

black petunia

A Black Velvet petunia is paired with yellow nasturtium and a bright orange Gerber Daisy.

petunia pink and green

This is Pretty Much Picasso Supertunia. It’s bright pink with a purple center and lime green around the edges of the flower.

plant combinations 2

This planter really WOWED me. I saw it as soon as I walked in the door and loved it! It’s got the perfect example of thrillers, fillers and spillers!

plant combinations 3

Some pots contain annuals and perennials. I think the light colored leaves in the right side of this pot are perennial Coral Bells.

plant combinations

You can check them out on Facebook to see more examples of their amazing combinations.

Now let’s get on to the Garden Party, here are 2 from last week.

plant on pots

The Handmade Housewife shared her repurposed book rack. I love the idea of using unusual things as planters.

Color Transformed Family showed off her lovely Purslane. This is a plant I have never tried, but I might now.

Thank you for linking up!

Our vegetable garden is planted now and the lettuce, sugar peas and Spring onions are doing well…..can’t wait for those juicy tomatoes!

If you don’t have anything about gardening or plants to link up this week, come back next Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails or green knees.  It’s fun digging in the dirt!

Please link back here in your post. Thank You!


Happy gardening, Debbie (((xx)))


This week let’s visit Holly’s blog,  Down to Earth Style. She created her blog for home decor inspiration, using natural and reclaimed elements in fun and interesting ways. And that she does extremely well!

Spring Porch 13

Click on the pictures to be taken to the original post.

There’s lots of attention to detail, starting right here at the entry. It makes you very curious as to what you’ll see inside. I love the chicken wire on the door.



In the foyer you’re greeted with a painted wood floor. Holly painted the wood floors in the foyer kitchen and family room. They look amazing! sigh

Ladder in Kitchen 2012 025-1

There are vintage touches throughout her home, like the pallet planter above this door and the interesting old door leading to the basement.

painted rug on wood floor

Here’s the rug painted on the floor in her kitchen. She took out the island and replaced it with a new-old island that she made!  Now I’m thinking about doing this at my house….but I really need the storage space the island provides…..but I could use baskets….wire baskets…..hmmmm.  I can see it in my mind, but I doubt my husband would be able to!  Confused smile


Penant Post 1

The wire shades on the pendant lights were once planters. That Holly is one clever gal!

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In her master bedroom she’s created a romantic and restful space.


In one of her twin’s rooms, she made this headboard from barn doors. Every little boy would love this room. I think my grandson Jake would love it too!


Here’s a peek into her other son’s room. In this room she painted the brass headboard flat black and added pieces made from cast off fencing, pallet room, and tree stumps.

Burlap Love 1

Be sure to read her Tricks of the Trade posts where shares some of her best kept decorating secrets. sshhhhh, don’t tell

In Holly’s own words, “I have an eye for reusable items that might add character (basically…JUNK).  Sometimes while we are driving in the car we’ll see things on the side of the road with a free sign on them …. my husband always speeds up at that point hoping I won’t notice….
I ALWAYS notice!”

Some people are just gifted like that! Thanks for inspiring us with your Down to Earth Style! 

With so many great blogs all over the blog-o-sphere, Friday Feature is a way to showcase other bloggers while gaining lots of decorating inspiration. If you have a project or makeover that you think is feature worthy, please email me or leave a comment.

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

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lemon roll with pansies


Lemon roll with pansies is a beautiful dessert for Mother’s day. It reminds me of a pretty dessert from a tea house and is perfect with hot tea.

The pansies are baked into the cake. If you want to impress your Mom, try this recipe! It makes such a pretty presentation that she’s sure to be impressed and so proud of you!  pat yourself on the back now

lemon roll with pansies 3

If you’ve never made a rolled dessert before, here’s my complete tutorial. It only looks difficult, actually it’s pretty easy.

Prepare a jelly roll pan which is about 16” x 10”. I used floured wax paper to line the pan but I think parchment paper is better, so use that if you have any.

Beat 5 egg yolks at high speed on an electric mixer 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating well.  Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon lemon extract.

Beat 5 egg whites in a large bowl at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved.   Gently fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture.

Combine 3/4 cup sifted cake flour, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder and a little salt and fold it into the egg mixture.    

lemon roll with pansies

Place pansies flowers face down on the waxed paper lined pan.

lemon roll with pansies 2

Spoon batter carefully over the pansies. I cover each pansy first and then fill in the spaces in between. Bake 350 for 12-15 minutes.

When cake is done, turn out onto paper towels sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Peel off the wax paper or parchment paper and turn cake pansy side down. Starting at the narrow end, roll up cake and paper towels together. Let cool.

For the filling, beat 8 ounces cream cheese and 4 tablespoons butter until creamy and then stir in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon curd.

Unroll the cake, spread on the filling and roll up again.


lemon roll with pansies 4

     Happy Mother’s Day!


It’s been about 14 months since my Mom has passed and I sure do miss her. No matter your circumstances or differences, cherish your time with your Mom and give her a hug from me! Red heart


Added to: Inspired by Charm random Link up Party

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Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

garden Party#2, Solomon’s Seal and Sweet Woodruff

Welcome to the 2nd week of the garden party! I’ll be hosting the party here every Tuesday in May and would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your planties!


Last week I featured a tried and true favorite, Coral Bells. Combining a chartreuse Hosta with Purple Palace Coral Bells creates a lovely display.  I love grouping plants to create beautiful combinations. The possibilities are endless!

 Laura from Top This Top That shared her GORGEOUS wisteria. Have you ever caught the scent of  wisteria  in full bloom? It’s a sweet scent you won’t soon forget! I can imagine myself sitting here on a hot day enjoying a tall iced tea.


Back to reality……..This week I’m featuring the combination of a variegated Solomon’s seal and Sweet Woodruff.

solomons seal, sweet woodruff

Both plants love shade and are in bloom now. The Solomon’s Seal towers over Sweet Woodruff and makes a pretty combination. I got both of these plants from a neighbor and they grew in and filled the area in only a few years. Now I’ve got plenty to share. Gardeners always have plants they’re eager to get rid of share!

sweet woodruff

Underneath this Viburnum is an example of how Sweet Woodruff is used as a ground cover. It filled in this area nicely and I need to rescue the little angel statues before they are completely devoured!

So let’s get started!

If you don’t have anything about gardening or plants to link up this week, come back next Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails or green knees.  It’s fun digging in the dirt!

Please link back here in your post. Thank You!  Smile


Happy Gardening, Debbie (((xx)))

Yard sale chair makeover

Did you ever have a thrifty find that you made over and then made over again? That’s exactly what I did with this black chair. When I bought it, it was beat up but really sturdy and at just a couple bucks, a great find. I sprayed it black, added new fabric on the seat and it was like that for several years.


Here’s how it looked in the old family room. Back then I was a big fan of fake plants…..

In the process of redecorating that room, I decided to lighten up the chair with my concocted homemade chalk paint and CeCe Caldwell chalk paint.

paint drying2

First I painted the chair with my cream colored, homemade chalk paint. After it dried I added CeCe Caldwell paint on top. The darker grey spots are the wet CCC paint and the real chalky looking areas are the CCC paint that’s dried. Basically, I just slapped on the paint. Please just ignore the drips, I sanded them off. That’s how I do projects….go back and fix up mistakes later. I’m not fussy, cuz  that’s how I roll!

 paint drying1

You can actually see the paint change as it dries.

wax dry

Next I waxed the chair. The darker areas are wax.

wax drying

You can see how the wax brings out the brush marks and adds texture.


After the wax dried, I buffed it up and sanded for lots of distressing.

chair makeover 2

Here’s how the yardsale chair looks now. I might add even more distressing.

chair makeover

Cross one more project off the list!  We’re working on making a coffee table now. Smile  Yeah, we’re getting there!      Sharing at;

Show and tell @ Delectable Home, Meet Me Monday @ You are talking too much,


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Don’t forget tomorrow is another Garden Party! 

I hope you will come on over with any post about plants flowers, gardens etc.!




Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Friday feature, The thrifty gypsy

Meet Kristi, The Thrifty Gypsy, a wife, mom to 11 year old twin boys, a cute 3 1/2 year old girl, a serious thrifter and a horse lover. After a 13 year hiatus, she’s back in the saddle riding her horse, Noah.

horse 1

Even though I have only ridden one time, I’ve developed a love of horses. In competition, Kristi looks stunning on her horse! There’s something about a woman on a horse……so beautiful.

horse 2

Now, let’s tour her home.  Click on the picture to be taken to the original post.

Pinterest users; Please be kind and click on the picture to be taken to the post at the original site and pin from there.


Her husband was the general contractor and built their home.


Step into the foyer.


This narrow piece from overstock.com is the perfect piece for the entry. A thrifted bamboo piece holds a collection of canes.

dining room

In the dining room, she’s displayed a collection of tole trays from thrift stores. I really like the different colors of the trays, especially the yellow one on top of the hutch. Kristi has unique pieces from thrift shops throughout her home.


The classic white kitchen and keeping room are the heart of her home and an area for family activity and entertaining.


The combination of classic white cabinets and a black island, paired with pops of red create a beautiful space for family to gather. I imagine lots of memories will be created in this space.


Are you loving this farm house sink? Love that red coffee pot too!

keeping room

Here’s a shot into the keeping room, which she calls an extension of the kitchen.


The keeping room features a gorgeous stone fireplace.

keeping room 3

Kristi shares details on her blog of when and how she acquired her beautiful pieces of furniture. The red checked chair is Henredon and she paid only 8$ for it!


This small library, which is the home office, does double duty as a place for reading, computer work, playing piano and one of their favorite activities, listening to records.boots

Riding boots and more thrifted treasures are displayed on top of the bookcase.

family room1

Kristi knows how to shop for a bargain! Thank you Thrifty Gypsy for allowing this tour of your lovely home.

With so many great blogs all over the blog-o-sphere, Friday Feature is a way to showcase other bloggers while gaining lots of decorating inspiration. If you have a project or makeover that you think is feature worthy, please email me or leave a comment.


Come on over on Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails! It’s fun digging in the dirt!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))