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The Great Pumpkin Tablescape 2 comments

October 9, 2017, posted by Gina – We absolutely LOVE Fall! From the rich colors to the cooler temperatures to the comfort foods. We try to celebrate this beautiful season every chance we get and we did just that last week. Gina hosted a luncheon and we are here to share all the details. We’ll begin with this tablescape that is an explosion of all things Fall. In the coming days we’ll also share some recipes from this luncheon.

Here we see an overhead view of the centerpiece. Filled with roses, tulips, hydrangeas and safflower it brings that Fall feeling to the table with intense color.

Below is a view of the centerpiece as the guests were able to enjoy it. It is low and long allowing for an unobstructed vis-à-vis.

Our place settings were composed of navy placemats, napkins by Kim Duease Designs,  wooden Rootworks chargers, Spode brown and white china, Wedgwood Majolica cabbage plates, Annieglass bowls, silver-plate, green crystal and Lenox crystal.

What says ‘Fall’ more than anything? Pumpkins, for sure! Beyond our mini pumpkins at each place setting, we placed a few odd shaped pumpkins and squash on either side of the floral arrangement.

We hope this table inspires you to create your own Fall tablescape for your guests.

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Fun Stuff on Friday 2 comments

October 6, 2017, posted by Gina – Happy Friday! We hope your week has been as nice as ours. We are here to share a few of the fun, memorable items from the past few days. We are in the process of getting things together for a tailgate this weekend. Our tailgates are a lot of fun but we always return home exhausted. Make sure to check back with us next week as we have some nice things to share including tablescapes, recipes and flowers. Until then, Happy Weekend!

|  ANNIE GLASS  |

This past week we noticed that Annieglass Inc. reposted our Fall tablescape on their Instagram profile. We were so thrilled that they shared our tablescape. We used the Annieglass ruffle bowls that added the bling our table needed. Annie Morhauser is the founder of Annie Glass and is a true artisan. She had a passion for working with glass and showed her first piece in 1983 and she was seemingly an instant success. As you can see from our table, the pieces are truly works of art that add class and sparkle. Click HERE find out more about Annie Glass.

 

|  WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE  |

I am just giddy about the nicer weather. My walks have gone from oppressive heat filled events to pleasurable walks in nature. This past week Emma, my black lab, we out for a walk. We came upon a beautiful fountain and suddenly found ourselves about 2 feet from a family of ducks. We both froze, although I am sure for different reasons. Emma was trained as a hunting dog and, sadly, her owner died and that’s how we ended up welcoming her into our family. She has not seen ducks in many years but judging from her body language she certainly remembered them. To her credit she stayed by my side as I instructed her. The ducks floated farther into the water and we all went about our day. Take time to enjoy the Fall weather and soak up every bit of the sun’s rays we have remaining because the dark dreary days will be here before we know it.

 

|  DINING ON THE LAKE  |

This past week Mr. GDFC and I attended a fundraiser dinner. We were among hundreds of people and enjoyed socializing. Upon taking our seats at our 20-foot-long table that was dressed beautifully, we found ourselves literally 1 foot from the water’s edge. It was a very beautiful setting and the meal was outstanding. We found this particularly impressive considering the large crowd. The home where the meal was staged was breathtaking. It was a very enjoyable evening.

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Fun Stuff for Friday

September 29, 2017, posted by Gina – This week has been a busy one and next week is going to move at high speed as my calendar is full. Before things get crazy, I am sharing a few fun things to take you through the weekend and I’m sure you can relate to some of them. We should have lots to share after next week so make sure to check back. Have a great weekend!

|    PUMPKINS    |
This week I went to the farmer’s market close to my house and found more pumpkins and gourds than I could imagine. There is nothing like a robust pumpkin to usher in Fall. I purchased some mini pumpkins and can’t wait to share a recipe with you. I hope to prepare them this weekend, so make sure to check in often next week because you won’t want to miss it.

 

|   WORKOUT CLOTHES   |  

I guess I did not wash as frequently as I normally do this week. I have a strange habit of using our bed for a clothes line and this assortment of workout clothes that includes 5 pants and 5 tops gave me such a sense of accomplishment. Not on washing them but actually working out every day this week.

 

|   HIGH STAKES HORSEPLAY   |
Son 1 is getting married!!! He stumbled on a dilemma when trying to decide whether his Dad or brother should be the Best Man. He finally decided they could both be the Best Man but that in the end one had to be a Co-Best Man. So, the only Diamond Family way to solve the debate was to play a game of HORSE to determine the Co-Best Man. I know, sports are a sickness at my house but they sure had fun playing this game and I had fun filming them. By the way, Dad won! A tough pill to swallow for Son 2 but he took it like a champ.

 

|    KRAFT PAPER BLOOMS    |
I am not sure why flowers wrapped up nicely in Kraft paper gives me such joy. They are so fresh and the possibilities are so fun to think about. For me, it is like opening up a present. Inspiration and beauty all in one!

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Cathead Distillery Tour

September 26, 2017, posted by Gina – A few weekends ago we had the opportunity to visit the Cathead Distillery in Jackson, Mississippi. Cathead started out making vodka but have branched out to making bourbon and other spirits. The tour was followed up with a tasting and one of the most interesting things I tasted was Pecan Vodka. Initially, I thought I would not like it but boy was I wrong. It turned out to be my favorite as it has a wonderful pecan taste and is very smooth. If you think you may like something a little different but delicious, you should give this a try. They also have a wonderful honeysuckle vodka which has been a favorite of mine for a while. If you have a chance to visit Cathead Distillery, it makes for a fun afternoon. You can schedule a tour online.

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Floral Workshop 2 comments

September 25, 2017, posted by Gina – Last week I had the opportunity to attend a very informative and inspiring floral design workshop at the wholesale florist in my city.  Florists from all around the area attended and I was the newest florist there. I even received a prize for that honor. It was a very humbling experience as florists with 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of experience were there to learn right along with me. I was very impressed that after all of these years of creating floral designs they were still ready to learn. They were very welcoming and it made me feel really good.

A representative of Teleflora was the host of the presentation. We also discovered that he owns Surroundings Events & Floral in Wisconsin. He was very talented and I was amazed at how quickly he created the floral designs. I can only hope to be that fast one day. He presented Fall and Christmas creations and I am going to share them with you. Please know that the quality of these photos is not great. We were under fluorescent lighting and I was far away from the presenter.

This is a classic urn design with fall elements seems to flow so nicely.

Who says you can only use flowers? What a beautiful arrangement made with apples, cinnamon and pumpkin.

The presenter put this wonderful Fall door swag together so quickly it made my head spin. You could tell that he makes these in his sleep. I think this would be such a wonderful Fall welcome on a front door.


This is anice arrangement but what puts it over the top are the cob webs. He taught us how to create this look using glue. It’s quick, effective and perfect for goulish Halloween parties.


The rose you see in this arrangement was actually made from ribbon. I watched intently but am still not sure I can master this just yet. Practice makes perfect, right?

The presenter took a tinted cube vase and turned it into this! I’m not sure anything could say Fall better.
This is called a transitional design because the metallic pieces give you a hint of the coming holidays. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

And speaking of the holidays, we quickly moved from Fall to Christmas.


The cardinals in this arrangement give it a fun bit of interest.

Succulents are still BIG and I love this dark red one smack dab in the middle of this arrangement. Simple but high impact!

I LOVE this arrangement. These are fresh greens that have been sprayed gold and I love them. They are perfect for the shimmer of the holidays.

Here is another swag that he put together at warp speed. This is a monochromatic design that looks fabulous.

Hydrangeas and Roses. This would certainly brighten any spot and I love the combination of materials. The colors and textures give it that holiday feel.

74907 – These table toppers are new and so very pretty. They would take any event up a notch and I have the source. I am ready to order these but I really need an event before I go crazy!

This arrangement somehow makes me think of Dr. Seuss. Memorable and dramatic. I’m not sure he was thinking Dr. Seuss when he put this together.

Shiny, silver and simple. I love this design for high drama! This would be a fabulous welcome on an entry table.

This was one of my favorite designs. I love the antlers, cotton, berries, wood and greenery. It makes you feel like you are in the mountains.

This topiary would be a great companion to the mountain design. He lit it with a light box which truly made it shine.

This gold and green with a bit of frost invites winter in. This is a simple design with big impact.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the latest in floral designs. Our presenter put together far more pieces than I have shown you. I hope one day to be able to work as fast. In the meantime, if anything has inspired you here or you would like something similar to these designs, I am your woman!

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How to Layer a Table to Create a Beautiful Tablescape

September 23, 2017, posted by Gina – We thought it would be fun to deconstruct one of our tablescapes and let you see how we put everything together. The table we’re using here was set for a Fall luncheon.

Keeping the color of the dishes you would like to use in mind, choose a table runner or tablecloth as your starting piece. We chose this neutral, rustic table runner to coordinate with our Fall tablescape. This runner was from Homegoods.

Select a charger that will coordinate nicely with your dishes as well as set the mood. These wood chargers from Rootworks reminded us of Fall.

Next, we chose a napkin to coordinate with all the other elements. This fun leopard print from Split P really helped pull all the colors of our table together.

It’s always fun to add a place card. This magnetic acrylic place card is like magic. We printed names from our computer and cut them to size.

Next we added the plates and glasses. We used Spode brown and white as the base and layered it with a pheasant salad plate. The tortoise glasses complimented the brown and white plates and certainly says “Fall”. The pheasant salad plates are from Southern Living. Tortoise glasses are from Pier 1.

Add flowers, silverware and any other serve ware you will need for you meal. We added Annie Glass bowls for a soup course. Make sure your flowers are not obtrusive. You don’t want them so tall that people must look over them to enjoy a conversation.

And here is the finished table, fun, vibrant and Fall-like. We certainly hope this created a memory for those invited to our luncheon. We believe that making the extra effort to create a pretty table lets our guests know how much we enjoy their company and friendship.

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Fun Stuff on Friday 3 comments

September 22, 2017, posted by Gina – Hello Friends! I have missed posting but life sometimes keeps me so busy I can’t seem to find the time to share everything I would like to with you. When I looked back on the past couple of weeks, it is clear that I have all things Fall on my mind. Let’s take a look at some of the fun stuff I have found.

 

|   CANDY CORN   |

Candy corn is seriously a problem for me. I LOVE it. I know, I know, it is nothing but sugar and SO bad for you. Why does something so bad taste so good? Though it’s very tempting for me, I have resisted so far and hope I can continue to be strong and keep walking pasththese kinds of displays. Stay tuned and pray for me!

 

|   FALL DECOR: MUMS: PUMPKINS AND WREATHS   |

I have been busy decorating my house for Fall and want to show you a few things that I have done. To me, beyond pumpkins, nothing ushers in fall better than a pretty mum. I put together a few pumpkins with some cotton balls and love how it came together. The brick on my house has pink tones and so cool tones look better with my house. I put these wreaths together and I love the neutral, natural look of them.

 

 

Across the Pond in France, Michelle has been decorating for Fall as well, though she tells me it’s just not really done there. So, it’s not as easy for her to find Fall-ish decor. She did find a few Jack-Be-Little’s and some cotton and put together a simple table decoration. Chestnut trees are very common there and you’re more likely to find chestnuts on the ground than acorns. She scattered a few on a tray around some pumpkins and put them on her entrance table. Et Voilà!

PS – About that table runner – It’s from Pier I and I sent it to her right after she moved to France. She puts it out every Fall.

 

|   SUGAR COOKIES   |

Just look at these adorable sugar cookies from The Painted Cookie. You can order these online or just about ANY design you would like. Angie, is the owner and is super nice to work with and she is very talented. The best part? The cookies taste amazing. Go ahead and order a dozen yourself.

 

|   PUNCHY   |

This berry punch was the perfect addition to champagne at a recent luncheon at my house. Not only was it very pretty, but the taste is fabulous. Give this a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

 

|  SHAKE IT UP  |

Do you ever find yourself STARVING at 3 or 4 in the afternoon? That is what happened to me the other day. I knew I had to do something to avoid snacking, so I headed to Super Shakes and bought one of their famous Peanut Butter Cup shakes. It knocked my hunger out and kept me from eating something I should not. If you have not visited Super Shakes, give it a try. The shakes are delicious, full of protein and low calorie.

What about you? Have you been decorating for Fall? Are you as passionate about these kinds of seasonal decorations as we are? Let us know!

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Fun Stuff on Friday 1 comment

September 8, 2017, posted by Gina –  Well, it’s been quite a while since our last post! We’re picking up where we left off with some Fall inspiration. I have been out on some shopping sprees lately and a few things have caught my eye, such as…

|   WHEAT & WREATHS  |

 

|   FOLIAGE & FORESTS   | 

 

|   COPPER & CUTE   |

I also had the pleasure of attending a cookbook club luncheon this week. Take a look at the fruit platters and floral arrangements on this gorgeous table. A feast for the eyes!

 

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My Exciting First Trip To Laurel, Mississippi


August 15, 2017, posted by Gina – After months of trying to schedule a day trip to Laurel, Mississippi, home of Erin and Ben Napier of the HGTV Series Hometown, we were finally able to take to the road this past weekend.

The Mississippi landscape looked very familiar on our short trip until we arrived about 25 miles outside of Laurel. Suddenly, the land began to slightly roll, the trees somehow had a different look and there was more Kudzu than I think I have seen in a while. We drove right to downtown Laurel and at first sight you could see the rebirth of what was undoubtedly a wonderful, booming town. In many small Mississippi towns, the downtown area consists of one main strip that is cherished. Laurel is host to several brick laid streets and the famous criss-cross string lighting strung across the downtown buildings.

As we drove the streets looking for Lee’s Coffee and Tea, a few businesses caught our eye.  They looked so fresh, new and welcoming. We also loved the brick laid streets and lights as they seemed to bring so much life and charm to the area. 

Pretty soon we reached Lee’s Coffee and Tea where we were able to park right in front. The inset entrance seemed to bring you back years with the colorful tile right outside the door.


Inside Lee’s we initially thought the restaurant had been there for years but later found out they were the first to take a chance and locate in downtown which is said to have created a domino effect on the revitalization. I could not pass up the pimento cheese sandwich and in my mind white bread is the only choice for such. Mr. GDFC enjoyed a grilled chicken panini. We enjoyed every bite.

Turns out that Laurel Mercantile is right down the street from Lee’s, so we made our way there. We first saw the iconic building sign and the bright blue truck that we sometimes see Ben driving in the show. Mr. GDFC insisted I get in the photo with the truck. We turned the corner and were face to face with the store. Inside, we were given a proper Southern welcome and began perusing the goods.


Tew Pottery is located in Laurel and it seems to fit right in at the Mercantile. You know how I love anything blue and white!


I am sure it is not surprising that this section of table linens caught my eye.


This selection of quilts was so colorful and perfect. I have a love for anything that is hand made and wanted to take each one home with me.

This display of blue and white plates on the black background was so striking and creative. It goes to show that art comes in many forms. And speaking of paintings, this print from none other than Erin Napier made the trip back home with us. It as if it was done especially for my house that happens to be filled with blue and white.

Mr. GDFC spied this collection of family recipes from Laurel Mercantile. Many of the recipes have a short blurb about their origin or interesting facts. While some of these recipes are familiar, they have a bit of a different twist and sometimes that is all it takes to bring a recipe from so-so to fabulous!


Okra Magazine published its second edition and none other than Erin and Ben Napier were featured on the cover. The article that followed was very nice. I love Okra Magazine and will share more on it in another post.

The ladies working in the Mercantile quickly ascertained we were not locals which happens in small towns quite frequently. They were so nice to us and made sure to tell us all of the places we should visit. They gave us this cute list of things to see in Laurel.


We took to the streets, list in hand. This sign is evidence of the collaboration on the downtown area. It is a beacon of hope and progess.


We had seen Southern Antiques on the show and knew it was a must to see. It was filled with all types of treasures from home goods to artwork to clothing. It was a great store and we recommend you stop in if you find yourself in Laurel. Across the street from Southern Antiques was Patina and we could not stop to visit as time was working against us but it will be one of the first on our list on our return visit.


We wanted to see the neighborhoods that brought HGTV to the area or was it the Napiers? I can’t imagine anything prettier or more inviting than a tree lined street and they have their fair share of them. The streets were filled with large homes, cottage size homes and everything in between. They all seemed to blend beautifully. I suddenly could see why HGTV loved this town.
Even the local junior high school was beautiful.

Our time was short but we packed in as much as possible and loved every minute of it. Upon returning to our home we spoke with several friends who want to take the trip with us again and I am ready.

If you find yourself wanting to experience Laurel but don’t want to be rushed as we were, you might want to check out Wisteria Bed & Breakfast. I mean just based on the purple exterior, I want to stay there.

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Manners on Monday: Cell Phone Etiquette

August 14, 2017, posted by Gina – When my oldest son left for college I was a nervous wreck. I stood vigil by my cell phone because I was a worried Mom. I clearly remember one day going to lunch with a friend and placing my cell phone purposely on the table in case he should call. At the time, I saw nothing wrong with this. I was not talking on it and did not intend to take a call unless it was my son.

Fast forward to a few months ago and I read about how my act of placing the cell phone on the table was a rude behavior. It turns out that this truly irritates some people and in fact proper etiquette requires you to put your phone away and keep it on silent or vibrate mode.
To this day, I want to keep my cell phone where I can see it in case one of my children calls me in need. I am better than I was when our oldest went to college but I still have this need to be ever vigilant.

Now that I have learned my behavior was rude, I have changed my ways and keep my phone in my purse. On the other side of this situation, I truly don’t mind if someone places their phone on the table in the event of a call they need to accept. The only time I would get irritated would be if the person carried on a conversation.

As wonderful as cell phones are, they have certainly created some unwanted behavior. How about you? Do you keep your cell phone with you at all times? Would you place it on the table in a restaurant? Would this drive you insane? Are there other cell phone practices that make your hair stand on end?

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