Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Set Your Table With Flair--Van Gogh Sunflowers in Reprise

Hello, friends!  Thank you for visiting my blog!  

Most art lovers think of this image when they hear the words, Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

That iconic painting, as well as Flowers In A Blue Vase

and The Starry Night

are among my favorites.  However, when I think of Van Gogh's Sunflowers, I really much more appreciate his painting, Four Cut Sunflowers, with its highs and lows, rustic oranges and yellows, all set against beautiful blues and green.  

The weather here in California has decided to stay lovely, at long last....I hope Spring has finally arrived for you as well wherever you are.  In California, the weather is sometimes unrelentingly HOT, which means I begin thinking about Summer décor well before it is officially summer!  The warm weather and Van Gogh's Four Cut Sunflowers serve as an inspiration for my first Summer table of the season.  I hope you enjoy the post.  

I began on my rustic outdoor table, all sanded, painted with one coat of stain, and free of linen.  I didn't continue the stain, because for this setting, I kind of liked the weathered, rustic way it looked.  


In the middle, to create a centerpiece, I set a woven charger,


upon it, a lovely navy pitcher with rattan detail to serve as a vase,


and filled it with what else?  SUNFLOWERS!!  :)


To bring in some initial "sun" to the setting, I placed yellow placemats.


On top of the placemats, rustic chargers.


Closeup...love the intricate detail of these!


Next, I set navy chargers. 


On the navy chargers, I set a tan napkin folded length-wise. 


Simple white plates


were followed by lovely yellow petals, bringing in more sun. :)

Closeup 


On top of the petal plates, I placed a battenburg napkin adorned with fruit napkin rings.  There's nothing quite like lemon and fresh blueberries in the summertime!


Finally, to complete the setting, I placed one of my pre-painted sunflower flutes, and adorned each with a little raffia.  Raffia is a great way to bring rustic charm to the table!


All set!







A few closeups of the setting:






If you'd like to view the tutorial to create these simple flutes (and the paint is removable!), visit the post on my blog The Crafting Table here.

From my collection:

Yellow petal saucers, Neiman Marcus/Horchow
White plates, Ralph Lauren Club Collection
Blue Chargers, Neiman Marcus/Horchow
Blue Pitcher, Ralph Lauren Somerset Island Collection
Rattan chargers, Target
Centerpiece rattan charger, HomeGoods (liked these better, but there was only one...boo)
Tan napkins, HomeGoods
White napkins, local vintage shoppe
Yellow placemats, generic
Fruit napkin holders, Bed, Bath, and Beyond


If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

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Thank you for stopping by! ❤

 
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Into Summer Décor

Hello, friends!!  Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog!  As the Easter celebration season comes to an end, I begin thinking about decorating the house with a theme more directed toward Summer.  However, not wanting to jump the gun too quickly....Summer doesn't officially begin for quite some time, so, while I do think it is time to bid farewell to bunnies and eggs, I like the idea of seasonal décor that incorporates both Spring and Summer elements.

First, I decorated my front doors with these simple lavender door bunches.  To view the tutorial how to make these, you may visit the post on my other blog The Crafting Table by clicking here.    


I placed a cute picnic basket filled with flowers (faux!!) on the pedestal outside my door.

Inside the house, I created a couple of vignettes.  My house is a Mediterranean, and I have quite a few wrought iron pieces throughout. These freestanding candleholders are among my favorites.  




Although my home is a Mediterranean, I am a romantic, so I also have incorporated French and English nuances into my décor.  To bring Spring in, I placed lovely Azaleas (store-bought) and English roses (from my garden) rather than candles into the candleholders. 


So pretty!  As you see in the pic above, I didn't have the heart to clip too many, as they are just beginning to blossom...so most of the arrangement consists of the grocer's azaleas.

I placed one next to my mirror in the living area,

and the other by the front door in the foyer.

In the kitchen, a simple tuscan-esque birdhouse and a potted azalea. 


How do you decorate for the Spring/Summer season change?



If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cinco de Mayo in the Parsimonious House

Hello friends!!  Thank you so much for stopping in to visit me!

Do you and your family celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  What are your traditions?  We love to celebrate as a family, and I enjoy cooking for everyone.  In one of my previous posts, I mentioned how when I initially started blogging, I began several.  I intend to continue writing them, but from time to time, I will share a post from my other blogs here. Today, I am sharing two recipes from my other blog Parsimonious Pabulum in honor of Cinco de Mayo, which is just a few days away. I hope you enjoy these posts.



Two-Minute Guacamole



Being born in California and a current California native as well as living a short time in New Mexico has made me an ardent fan of not only authentic Mexican food, but of Tex-Mex as well. Much respect for moms who toil in the kitchen from dawn until dusk; but with Boy Scouts, piano, drums, ballet, sports....who has time!?

The following is a recipe I came up with. I've used it for years and years; although not auténtico, we still enjoy it when having the best isn't an option. 


You will need:

Ripe (I like mine firm, but able to indent upon touching) Avocado

Pace Chunky Salsa (or salsa of your preference)

Lemon juice

Salt

Begin by dividing the avocado in half. I use a spoon to remove the fruit. 



Once all the fruit is removed, I save the pit by placing it in the hull. 





I add approximately two tablespoons salsa per avocado. 



Add about one tablespoon lemon juice per one avocado. I use bottled; sometimes fresh lemon zests can be bitter causing the juice to also be bitter. 



Sprinkle with a small amount of salt. About 1/4 teaspoon. 



Combine ingredients together using an electric mixer. 



Put into your serving dish and enjoy! I know it's an old wives' tale that leaving the pit in prevents browning, but alas, old habits die hard (and I still like the presentation). 



You may even add or garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon or lime wedges.






 
 




Tex-Mex Chicken Soup
At the first iota of an inkling of colder weather, my kiddos (and admittedly the hubs and I) get our palates ready for one of our favorite cold-weather foods. We love soup!  Nothing warms the body nor the soul like a great bowl of hot soup.  Chicken soup, in particular, is one of my favorite things to cook for our family.  My recipe for this post, which incorporates the use of Hispanic seasonings, gives this chicken soup a decidedly Tex-Mex flavor.   

You will need: 

Chicken drumsticks, frozen or thawed
Cilantro (about 1/2 of a bunch)
One 8 ounce can of Rotelle tomatoes (I like lime cilantro or green chili flavor)
One whole garlic 
One small onion or half a large onion
Three large ears of corn
Two lemons
Four bell peppers of your choice. 
Approximately five medium-sized carrots 
Two stalks of celery
Caldo Pollo bullion
Celery Salt 
Begin by rinsing all of your vegetables.  Shuck corn, rinse.  Zest the lemons and discard skin (meaning peel, but minimally and not down to the flesh) .  IMPORTANT.  You must taste a small bit of your lemons to ensure they are sour, and NOT bitter.  Bitter lemon can wreak havoc and ruin your whole dish.  Slice onion and peppers into large pieces or slivers.  Think fajita sized.  You may opt to hull your peppers and discard the inner flesh and seeds; if you prefer a spicer version, leave as is.  Slice garlic into thin slivers.  Divide lemons into quarters or six pieces each.  Remove as much seeds as possible.  Set lemon aside. Chop celery and remove any leaves. Discard the leaves.  Cut corn into pieces approximately two inches wide.  Set aside with other vegetables. Peel carrots, and slice into 1 inch sized peices. Reserve carrots. 

Years ago, a friend of ours Eric made a soup using whole drumsticks.  I had never seen it done before, but the soup was terrific. Every time I make this particular soup, I utilize that technique.  Fill a large stock pot with water.  Place all of the prepared vegetables (except carrots) and lemon pieces into the pot along with the drumsticks.  Using kitchen scissors, chop cilantro and add to the pot.  Add the canned tomatoes. Cook on medium to high heat.  Once you put your soup on, peel and chop your carrots.   As your soup cooks, add the Caldo bullion to your liking.  Add approximately one to two tablespoons of celery salt.   

Starting to become lovely, no?  I love the aroma of these flavors as they meld!

Continue cooking until the vegetables are cooked through.  You can gauge that by looking to see if the onion is transparent.  I am not a fan of raw celery, so I tend to use the celery as a gauge.  If the celery is cooked through, the other vegetables will certainly be.   Finally, add the chopped carrots. Carrots cook fairly quickly, so always add them last or they will be overcooked.  When the carrots are firm but you are able to pierce them with a fork or knife easily, your soup is ready to enjoy!

I prefer to serve this wonderful soup with a nice dollop of white or Spanish rice along with warm tortillas, tortilla chips, or both. 




If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Set Your Table With Flair--An Elevated Mother's Day Brunch

Hello, friends!  Thank you for stopping by my blog!  Mother's Day is just around the corner in two and a half weeks, so today I thought I would set a table in honor of mom.  It is very atypical for us to dine at home on this very special day, but I am thinking it may be nice for a change....I hope this post serves as inspiration. 

I began with a linen-bare table. Right in the center, I stacked a few books.  First, our Western Garden book, because I inherited my green thumb and love of plants from my mom.


Next, I placed my Mom's Book, which includes stories I've read to my children.  


Finally, my Emily Post (updated by Peggy Post) Etiquette book, because my mother insisted on poise and good manners, and it is an attribute I attempt to instill in my children as well. 



Mother's Day for me is all about femininity, so, over my platform of books, I laid some fabric with a soft floral motif on it. 

On top of my fabric, I placed a pre-made arrangement of tulips. If you'd like to see the tutorial, visit it here in the archives. 


Pink chargers

were followed by simple white plates.

On each white plate, I set an antique doily. 

Closer view. Just love these!


On each doily, I placed a clear plate,

followed by crisp white napkins with scalloped detail held by rose napkin rings.  


Leaving the napkins wide allowed room for me to place a dainty teacup and saucer.

Closeup



I placed another battenburg napkin at the outside rim of each plate, folded length-wise,


added a tea sachet and glass,

and to complete the setting, pink flatware. 










If you'd like to make these tea sachets, you may visit the tutorial on my other blog The Crafting Table here.


I entitled this post my "elevated" setting because the raised centerpiece elevates the overall table.  Here are a couple snaps of the setting before....I liked it, but it seemed to be missing something.  It is a much more streamlined look.  








Which do you prefer?  In the second setting, I also added extra napkins and the glasses.







From my collection:

Chargers, generic
Plain white plates, Ralph Lauren Club Collection
Pink Depression Glass Flutes, Arcoroc Fance
Clear plates, generic
All other items, including linen, are no-name brands.


If you enjoy this post, please visit the archives!  You may also visit my full profile to view my other blogs. Connect with me on my Facebook Page, Parsimonious Décor Darling.   You might like to visit my other blog hubs,

The Marvelous Maison, a lifestyle blog hub and 
Frugal Fab Fashionista, my fashion blog hub. 

Follow me on Pinterest!!  Please be sure to kindly follow the board guidelines, as it takes time and effort to find fabulous pins across the Internet and Pinterest!  Thank you!  

Thank you for stopping by! ❤