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Creative Ideas for Updating Your Place Settings

July 31, 2019, posted by Gina – My team members and I have been experimenting recently with different ways to create place settings with our china. Many of us registered for our china when we got married, others may have inherited a set from grandparents or you may not have china at all. Regardless, everyone has dinnerware and there will come a time when you would like to change up the look of your place settings.

In the shop, we’ve been having a China Challenge and it’s been a lot of fun. I asked team members to bring in their china or dinnerware and we came up with different looks using linens and accessories that we sell in the shop. It’s amazing just how different the same dishes can look simply by adding colorful linens, graphic napkins or a pretty charger. These transformations don’t have to cost a fortune and often just a small change can make a big difference. So, let’s have a look at what we’ve come up with and we hope these give you a few ideas for your place settings!

In the first photo above you see just the plate on its own. In the second photo we added one of our gold brushed chargers, a chartreuse green napkin and a set of golden figs. In the third photo we kept the gold brushed charger, added a burnt orange geometric napkin and a faux pear as an accent. In the fourth photo we went for a more casual look with the brown and white gingham charger, a two toned burlap placemat, a cream linen napkin, and a gold floral place card holder on top. 

In the first photo above is the Castle Garden pattern by Lenox brought in by a team member. In the second photo, we added an ornate gold charger, a heathered pink linen napkin and a wonderful French Majolica plate that coordinated perfectly. In the third photo we kept the same gold charger and pink linen napkin and simply added a green velvet pumpkin. 

The place settings above are a little different as they feature French blue & white plates that are for sale in the shop and not china belonging to a team member. We created two very different looks using linens and accessories that we have in the shop. Which is your favorite – the vibrant green and blue look or the more subtle look with fresh flowers? 

In the first photo above we have a wonderful Wedgewood blue pattern.  In the second photo we added a cream colored burlap table runner, a rattan charger a beautiful ceramic pumpkin with gold leaves and a striped napkin.  In the third photo we layered with a light purple placemat, a ruffle white napkin and a boxed LUX candle with a ribbon and flower to be used as a gift.

The cream colored plates pictured above are a blank canvas that can be changed up a million different ways. Here we used colorful placemats, napkins and chargers to create just a couple of different looks.

Check us out on Instagram or Facebook to see the rest of our China Challenge place settings and more of our table linens and tableware.


Salmon-Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

A perfect recipe for a brunch or cocktail party: Salmon-Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

June 6, 2019, posted by Gina – We served these wonderful Salmon-Cucumber tea sandwiches, along with a few other small bites, at our last floral design workshop. The recipe for these came from the My Recipes site. They are elegant and light and the fresh dill really makes them super delicious. Add these easy-to-make tea sandwiches to your next brunch or cocktail party menu. We also served the best chocolate chip cookies at the workshop and posted that recipe last week. You can check it out HERE.

My love for decorating and entertaining includes making delicious dishes. I pour over cookbooks (and have for years!) searching and testing out all kinds of recipes. Whether it’s a new recipe for a small luncheon or a full Thanksgiving Day menu for a large family, I put a lot of time and effort into creating the perfect menu. For me, attention to detail is so important and my creative juices start flowing from that focus. I’m passionate about all aspects of entertaining, from creating a beautiful tablescape complete with floral arrangements to whipping up a delicious meal!

If you like discovering new recipes and learning about floral design and home décor, hit the subscribe button in the sidebar to the right. Every time we post a new recipe or an article about general décor, it will be sent directly to your email inbox. Also, check out the list (further down in the sidebar) of all the recipes we’ve posted on the website. It’s divided into categories so you can quickly search for a specific type of recipe. Be sure also to head over to our Flower page which showcases our floral arrangements. You will also find our Floral Design Workshop schedule on the Workshops/Tutorials page.

Thank you so much for visiting our website and we hope to see you in our shop soon!

A bite-size flavor bomb: Salmon-Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Light and flavorful!
Printable recipe card


Cream of the Crop Chocolate Chip Cookies 2 comments

Finally, a chocolate chip cookie so good it’s the cream of the crop!

May 28, 2019, posted by Gina – Working in the shop keeps me very busy and for that, I am truly grateful! I love it but I was also happy to have a bit of spare time on my hands this Memorial Day. So, I took the opportunity to share this great chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. 

Cream of the crop chocolate chip cookies

Over the years I have tried a million chocolate chip cookie recipes that claim to be the BEST.  I must say I have liked them all and, believe me, not a crumb was wasted. However, I did not find one I felt was “the best”.  Then a few years ago I found a recipe somewhere online and if you are like me, you approach these with caution.  Most of them are good but occasionally you come across one that is not written correctly or the result just isn’t so grea.  For some reason, I decided to try this chocolate chip cookie recipe and I was so happy; I felt I had finally found a true winner.  I think the reason why this recipe is different than others is because of the pudding mix. These are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and for me, this is a perfect combination.  These fall into the “best” category or the “Cream of the Crop”, as I have coined them.

This recipe makes 72 cookies!  That’s a lot of cookies.  I love this because you can enjoy a few as soon as you bake them and you can freeze some too.  

I wish I could remember where I found this recipe.  I hand wrote the recipe which is odd as I usually just print it out.  While I can’t take credit for it, I am happy to share it with you.  It is a straightforward recipe and I made them as directed.  I added the part about the #40 food scoop.  If you don’t have one of these, I encourage you to get one.  It is great for so many things and for this recipe it allows you to uniformly bake the cookies.  

Please give me a shout if you try these and let me know where you rate them.  Or at least enjoy every bite!  Until next time.

Cream of the crop chocolate chip cookies in the making!


Patio Project: Lighting, Seating & Plants 2 comments

May 21, 2019, posted by Gina – What do I do when I’m not working at GDFC?  I work in the yard.  I just can’t live without flowers and greenery.  We built this patio and fireplace right after we moved into our home.  At that time we loved it and dreamed of putting pretty lights up.  Well, it’s about 7 years later and our son decided it was time to get it done.  

He is really good at figuring things out, mainly because he’s patient.  I must give him all the credit for this project.  I merely held the string of lights and handed him things while he did all the work.  We are so happy with the pleasing lighting that now washes over the patio. 

At the same time, I began the first part of re-working our screened-in porch.  I found a fabulous old pine table that I thought would work great.  At first, I planned on getting metal stools to go with it but my son spotted some folding acacia wood ones that are perfect with it.  While we have the table and chairs in place there are many other things that will need to find another home.  I’ll share that once we are finished.

As soon as the lights went up, I couldn’t wait to plant some of the plants I’ve been collecting.  First, herbs went into pots beside my back door for easy gathering when cooking.  Rosemary, lemon thyme, Greek oregano, sage and basil were my herbs of choice.  A friend shared some bay leaf with me and I repotted it.  I look forward to seeing these multiply and using them in all kinds of summer recipes.  

James Farmer recently planted some foxtail ferns in pots at his home.  Since that time, I’ve been obsessed with finding some for my yard.  I put them in pots today and I absolutely love the texture and vivid green color.  I also planted some zinnias.  There is no prettier summer arrangement than a vase of zinnias.  I ran out of time but still have some beautiful red caladiums to plant as well as a variegated ginger plant.  I’ll post about those as soon as I get another free moment.  Until then, Happy Gardening!


Spring Luncheon

Photo Above: For this luncheon, I used my mother’s china that I “borrowed” about 5 years ago.  The blue- green pastel color perfectly complimented the spring colors of the table linens and accessories.

April 11, 2019, posted by Gina – Our blog posts have been few and far between lately but we finally had a moment to share something with you.  I hosted my Cookbook Club this week at my home and we enjoyed a delicious meal. We have been cooking out of The Silver Palate Cookbook which was originally published in the 70’s.  We have links to various recipes at the end of this post if you are interested in trying any of these dishes yourself. We hope this inspires you to host your own Spring gathering!

Taking full advantage of the beautiful Spring weather, we started off with crudités and champagne in my garden.

Baked ham was the main dish and it was very good. A Dijon mustard – brown sugar mixture was spread on it for baking. It is served with wine and apricot sauce on the side. I also offered coarse ground mustard and a chutney.

All the side dishes were delicious; we had Oil Roasted Summer Vegetables, Orange & Onion Salad and Leek Tart. The vegetables were roasted with olive oil and salt. That’s all! Simple but super flavorful and it makes such a pretty dish. The Orange and Onion Salad was very refreshing and paired wonderfully with our ham. The Leek Tart was similar to a quiche but with a more silky interior. Delicious! 

Orange & Onion Salad

And what better way to end this meal than with a Carrot Cake…

Carrot Cake

With Easter around the corner, I was inspired to work with bright colors and Easter decor that complimented the Easter themed menu.

This cute couple has been part of our Easter decor for years.
I always wanted personalized eggs for my family.  Time always got away from me and I just never ordered them, that is until a few years ago.  We even have one for Emma, our black lab.
Owning the flower shop has given me access to some of the most gorgeous flowers.  These pale pink roses opened up with the most luscious petals. 
These little guys have been around so long we should probably set a place at the table for them!  The bunny on the right was actually painted by my Aunt…for my sister.  I have no recollection of how I acquired him but he does put a smile on my face.  Years ago I took ceramics classes and tried my hand at creating a mate. 

We hope you were inspired by the flavors of this meal and the Spring colors of the table setting, the flowers and the decorations! Below are links to some of the recipes…

Glazed Baked Ham

Leek Tart

Oil Roasted Summer Vegetables

Carrot Cake


Spring Open House February 28 – March 2

Join us for our 2019 Spring Open House Feb. 28th – March 2. Discounts on Spring and Easter décor, flowers and plants. Local artist Lisa Rotolo will be in the shop on Thursday, Feb. 28th from 11 – 4. She’ll be offering a 20% discount on her artwork for one day only.

Discount includes fresh flowers but excludes fresh flower arrangements and some artwork.

Some examples of Lisa Rotolo’s artwork….


Venison Bourguignon

December 16, 2018, posted by Michelle – It’s been a long while since we posted a recipe. In fact, the last recipe we posted was of the Butterscotch Brownies that were served at our Grand Opening! This time we have a hearty wintertime dish to share with you: Venison Bourguignon. On a recent farmers market trip here in Lyon, Le Monsieur and I came across some nice looking cubed venison that the butcher was selling. I asked for a recipe, not having ever cooked venison before, and this is the one I was given. I have asked this particular butcher many times how to cook this or that and I have never been disappointed. Each time I’ve done exactly as he has instructed and each time it comes out great. This delicious dish was no exception. Lesson: always listen to a French butcher! It was very rich and tender and even better the next day. Much better the next day, I would say. I served it with creamy rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes. As for the amount of salt and pepper to use, I always wing it. So use both sparingly and then add more to taste at the end of cooking. I also used a mixture of button and porcini mushrooms. Bon Appétit!


Christmas Cheer, Gift Ideas & Holiday Arrangements

December 7, 2018, posted by Gina – The holiday season is in full swing and we hope you are enjoying it! We’ve been busy in the shop but having fun too, as you can see. With only two and half weeks to go until Christmas Day we wanted to share a few gift ideas with you. 

We have so many items in the shop that make great gifts and we also offer complimentary gift wrapping so you can take that task off your to-do list!

Below, Left to right…Insulated bag, Dana Gibson Chinoiserie pillow, silver crackle vases with moss spheres and pink burlap tote.

Pictured below: Bell ornaments, Ho Ho HO wine bags,  James T Farmer’s book, “A Place to Call Home, Hart Quinn artwork (you can see more of her work on Instagram @thedrunkenartist), paper cocktail napkins and cloth napkins, twig wreath

Pictured below: pine plant, coffee mugs, ornament place card holders
We’ve also been creating many fresh and faux arrangements for centerpieces and as gift arrangements and would love to design a special holiday arrangement for you.
Below… Faux centerpiece pictured with the customer’s own placesetting and April Cornell napkins from our shop.
Below.. fresh arrangement of roses, bells of Ireland, tulips, cedar and a vintage style ornament.
Stop in or give us a call, we’d love to help you with all your holiday gift-giving and decorating! 120 Depot Drive, Madison, MS. /. 601.707.7806

Holiday Open House

November 26, 2018, posted by Gina

This week we’ll be having our HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE and we hope you’ll be able to join us!

Friday, Nov. 30, 10am – 5pm & Saturday, Dec. 1, 10am -2pm.

20% – 50% storewide (excluding art). Draw a ticket in-store to reveal your discount!

Drawings every other hour for prizes (tea towels, candles, plants, ornaments)! Visit the shop and submit your name for your chance to win. No purchase necessary, do not need to be present to win.

We have it from a reliable source that Santa will be at the shop on Saturday, Dec. 1st! Bring your little ones and your camera so you’ll be able to capture this magical moment!

Complimentary gift wrapping and refreshments!


Decorating for Fall

October 15, 2018, posted by Gina – We are looking forward to hosting this month’s Floral Design Workshop this Tuesday evening in the shop. The theme is Inside Out Pumpkins and we’ll demonstrate how to design two very different floral arrangements using pumpkins.

We love this time of year and we especially love decorating with pumpkins, mums, sunflowers, gourds, Indian corn, etc. Decorating during the Fall can be as easy as setting out some potted mums and a pumpkin or two or putting a few stalks of Indian corn on a front door. What makes Fall decorating so appealing is that it’s casual, natural and makes a space warm and cozy.

If you’re looking to do a little easy Fall decorating, we have some ideas to share with you:

Urns: If you have a pretty urn or two, fill each with corn husks, arranging the husks like a wreath on the top edges of the urn, then place a pumpkin on top to hold them in place.

Dough Bowl: Place pinecones, leaves and acorns in a wooden dough bowl and place a large orange candle in a glass candleholder in the center. Or use three smaller candles; we like using orange, white and yellow candles, it’s reminiscent of Candy Corn. For an elegant take on this, use small white pumpkins, dried or faux hydrangea and white candles.

Round Bushel Basket: Stand several ears of Indian corn up in a small bushel basket, be sure that the basket is low enough so that some of the pretty kernels are visible. Add a few stems of faux red berries in among the stalks. Finish off by tying a burlap ribbon around the basket.

Cake Stand: Place jack-be-little pumpkins, pattypan squash or other gourds on a three-tiered cake stand. Fill in with dried hydrangea and pinecones.

Simple Glass Vase: Fill a large glass vase with little pumpkins (orange or white or both!) and add a few branches of curly willow for height, interest and a little spookiness!

We have many more seasonal decorating ideas and items in the shop to help you create your own special decorating projects. Stop in and see us!

Also, we’d love to hear about some of your decorating ideas, so please tell us about them in the comment section.