Monday, August 27, 2012

The "Perfect" authentic French Bench for my office ~ Doubling as a coffee table...

Sometimes, just like a fine beautiful French Lady, words just aren't necessary...  

 View A
View B 
 View C
 View D
 View E
View F for "FRENCH Dream achieved"!  :)

Hugs to all my blogging friends that I've missed terribly over this VERY hectic summer!  
~CC Catherine

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chandies, B&B's, Yummy food, and sunshine, what can be better?

May 2012
St. Augustine, FL
My Beloved and I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary early by traveling to a city we never had the pleasure of visiting before.

Highlights were the following:
Eating at the Scarlet O'Hara Restaurant

Staying at "The Peace & Plenty B&B"
Dining every morning with the most delicious breakfasts.  
This is Cheesecake filled Crepes with home made blueberry syrup, fruit, and sausage.
One of the 3 rooms we enjoyed while visiting there...this was my favorite room with a Parisian influence called, "Prosperity"
Me in the outside courtyard at the B&B...the Guest house is behind me, and we stayed in one of the rooms there also that had an Asian & Zen theme

This was just breathtaking - the cross you see behind is 200+feet tall and is made from Stainless Steel. This cross was erected to commemorate the first Catholic Mass ever held in the United States.  The statue of the man in front of is in honor of the Priest who conducted that mass.
Cool drinks in the hot weather.  
These were served at the O.C. White restaurant where we enjoyed Lobster tails...and they were delicious! 
 The carousel we were told was a must!  
Thanks Claudie - it was - and I rode it too!  ;)
 Multiple chandies to gaze our eyes on.  
This one is in Flagler College - a must tour for everyone who visits this historic town.  
  A carriage ride that my Beloved had already arranged prior to our arrival - our first ever!
 Another view of the cross with a fountain in front of it at the Catholic church nearby. 
 Our final night there was spent on a 2 hr Sail boat ride - another first for us.  
We loved it too!
 We met a lovely couple from NC where we used to live.  
We took turns taking pics of each other so we'd have COUPLE shots!  ;)
 I took this pic - and I love it...
 And this is the view of the 200+ feet high cross from the waters on the sail boat on our final evening there.  A great way to end our lovely Anniversary trip.

St. Augustine is a must for anyone who loves shopping, great food, lovely historic views, and so much history.  We'll definitely return - and the weather was PERFECT every day we were there.

Hugs to all my blogging buds!
~CC Catherine

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tea for 4 for Irean and her friends, Yes - "THE" Ireane ;)

  In my last post, I shared a "True" story about myself and a lady named Irean.  
To read more about how I met Ireane and the story behind how this tea party I catered for her came about, please click here.

On 4/19, I took a half day off from work so I could enjoy catering this tea party!  I prepared the majority of the food in advance, loaded it into my car...and off I went.  It was a rainy day, but a "perfect" day to be shut in with these ladies, and Dick, Irean's husband that I got to meet too.

Without further adieu, please meet Irean & Dick in the first photo~
It was a bad hair day for me, so I grabbed the cute little red hat I'm wearing before leaving the house and it worked perfectly for the rainy day. 
The only thing I needed to finish preparing once I arrived was putting the tea sandwiches together & slice the stuffed cucumbers...  It all came together lovely~
I created Menu Cards using my Chandelier Photo Blank Note Cards - I typed up the Menu and secured it inside the card with a glue stick so the ladies could take along as a keepsake after the party.
Turkey & Radish Tea Sandwiches with Chives
Stuffed Cucumbers with Dill and Pimento
Italian Sausage Quiche Squares
Sliced Yellow Peppers
Buttermilk Scones with Currants with home made Lemon Curd & Mock Devonshire Cream
Fresh Strawberries
French Iced Tea
Varied Hot Teas 
Desserts were scrumptious:
Natural Almonds
Dark Chocolate covered Ginger
Caramel Log Bites
Madeleine's - a lovely sponge type cookie in the shape of a shell

Typically when I give a tea like this I bring everything from the food to the silver and place settings.  But in this case, Ireane created her own tablescape and did a LOVELY job.  It was truly a labor of love.  She had a special teacup wrapped so sweetly and gave one to each of the three friends she shared her tea party with.  
 Her server became the perfect place to arrange everything for the tea.  As I finished getting everything placed in just the right location, Irean and her friends were gathered in her family room enjoying each other's company.  It was delightful to hear their laughter beginning already as I heard them chatting.  The table was now ready, so I invited them to come into the dining room so the tea could begin.

Please meet Irean and her friends!  Ireane is to the left, Gail is behind the yellow daisy centerpiece, Susan is to the right, and Louise has her back to us in this photo.  I wanted to get a photo of them enjoying one another in conversation ~ below is a photo where they posed for the camera.  ;) 
Here they are... Aren't they just the sweetest ladies?  
During the afternoon, I spoke about Irean's sweet gesture of loaning me her reading glasses at the nearby Spa & Winery...and explained that's how I came about offering to cater the special tea party for her.  As the ladies enjoyed the refreshments, I read a couple writings that talk about random acts of kindness like Ireane showed me in March at the Spa. 
It only seemed fitting that at the end of the Tea Party that I would present these Jimmy Crystal eyeglasses to Ireane.  This way, she'd always have them as a reminder of her gesture to me.  I'll never forget her, and I'll never forget her kindness to me either.
Please meet Irean's husband, Dick.  He is a retired military man...and he kept me company while I worked in the kitchen preparing the sandwiches.  They are a precious couple.
 This is a special photo that ended our afternoon together...
Irean & Dick's hands clasped together.  

I hope you enjoyed the update on Irean and the Tea Party I gave to her and her friends....
I dedicate this post to Ireane, she is ONE in a million! 

The next time you see someone straining to read a magazine, offer them your reading glasses and expect nothing in return.  

You never know, you might just be offered a Free Catered Tea Party as gratitude.  :)

Hugs ~CC Catherine

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It only takes a moment to reach out to be a Friend...

 It Only Takes A Moment...yes Ireane, it certainly did~

I recently spent my birthday enjoying a day of beauty at a local spa for my Birthday celebration.  While I was getting into my comfy robe at the locker, a lady was getting into her locker to prepare to return home.  I jokingly told her that I brought a new book to read, but was bummed that I forgot my new Jimmy Crystal reading glasses I had just bought.  I made a joke, we laughed...and I left to scuffle off into the waiting room without any specs.

As the mystery lady was leaving, she jokingly made a cute comment from the distance as she noticed me extending my arm two feet out so I could read the spa menu.  :)  Again, we chuckled.

She then scampered over to me in my comfy chair and said something to the tune of this, "Here...take my reading glasses and use them today...when you're ready to leave, just leave them at the front desk and tell them they're for Ireane to pick up on Wednesday - I come here several times a week to work out".  Stunned at her kind gesture, I said, "Are you sure?  How kind of you to offer your glasses to me".  She said, "Definitely, please use them today and enjoy your day here, I'll get them on Wednesday".

So...gladly I accepted her kind gesture.  As she walked away, I sat there thinking...
1.  This lady doesn't know me...
2.  She has no idea if I'll remember to leave these glasses for her or not - so she's going out on a limb for someone she doesn't even know.
3.  What's in it for her?  Honestly, she was just "reaching out to be a friend to someone that she didn't even know - Moi~
4.  After more thinking (ouch it hurts when I do much of that) ..I began to put her glasses to good use.

Oh, she also said during her offer to leave them..."my glasses are just a little cheap pair" - and I remember thinking, "Who cares, my eyes aren't picky; they're just needy"~  At that moment, it didn't matter what the value of her glasses were to me, it was her "gesture" that was standing out as PRICELESS & WORTHY of catching my "Eye's Attention".  Her act of kindness is nearly unheard of in today's society.

So, in return, I wrote a thank you note and took back to the spa so that it could be given with the return of the glasses to "Ireane".  In the note I told her just how much her kind gesture meant to me...and that I'd like to repay her if she'd allow me to host her a Tea Party for 4 in her home.  She excitedly phoned me within days after getting the card and accepted my offer.  I got approval for an adjusted schedule with work for that day (April 18th) ..and I'm out to meet "4" new friends that I believe I'm "destined" to meet.

One week after meeting Irene, I found this lovely short poem and it really summed up her offer to share her glasses with me that day.  Please enjoy it, and PAY IT a friend today to someone YOU don't know...You just may find yourself having the time of your life finding out where it may take you - or not. Lovely Irene's intentions that day were just BEING KIND!

It Only Takes A Moment

©Tom Krause

It only takes a moment to reach out to be a friend
But to the one who needs you the memory never ends.

A simple act of kindness to a person you don't know
May plant a seed of friendship that for them will always grow.

We sometimes lose perspective of the difference we can make
When we care more about giving and care less of what we take.

So remember that your actions may help change a life someday.
Always think about the person that you meet along your way.

For it only takes a moment to reach out to be a friend
But to the one who needs you the memory never ends.

I'm planning the menu for Ireane's party - and I can't wait to see how it all turns out!  I'll try to tell you all about it later.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Blessings Overflowing...

 Happy Birthday to Moi~ 
A lovely surprise Sunday dinner my Beloved prepared for me with surprise guests! My husband made his homemade Italian sauce, meatballs, sausage and pasta!  And a DQ IceCream cake... :)

 Here's my Beloved with our precious Jonny, youngest grandson from NC.  He drove in with my son and his mommy late Saturday evening - I had no idea they were coming.  
My best package to arrive!  :)

I also received some lovely gifts that arrived early...from my best blogging buds~
This lovely little box filled with the most precious was a combo Happy V'day & birthday combined.  My "Claudie" sent this all the way from Plantagenet, Canada to brighten my day...and then sent another package a few weeks later.  Strict rules were applied to the second package - I couldn't open till this morning... :) since today is my actual 56 b'day!

 This divine teacup below I rec'd will now be called WENDY, in honor of my "DD" friend that sent her to me all the way from Canada.  I have the bestest friends in the whole world!  xoxo  She'll look so sweet in my curio cabinet joining the rest of the girls~  ;)
Arriving yesterday for my Birthday dinner, my daughter Kim and her family, my son Jon and his family, my sister Becky and her daughter...  And more presents...yippee!  xoxo  R.S. choco covered cherries & a Nicholas Sparks book, "The Lucky One".
My favorite gift was having all my grandchildren (Tyler 5, Cate 3, and Jonny almost 2) together with us...and having this snapshot taken with all three just made my day.  They are all like speeding lightening these days and most of the pics don't show their faces as a result of that.  ;)  This one at least you can see all of our eyes!  Happy B'day to MOI! ;) My oldest son Jon is in the pic too.
More gifts to open??? Yup, and they were more of my favorites...
A Signature Facial and Swedish Massage from my Beloved with a nice green 100$ bill to spend on whatever I want.  sighhhhhhh.... :)
Cards just make my heart sing...these were from both my sons...and I hung on each word that were written in them.  My youngest son, Peter, sent the blue one.  He's in TX awaiting back surgery and couldn't be with us.  He wrote so many lovely things in his card...and that just warmed my heart as if it were a million $'s. 

 So this morning...I got to open this...  :)  finally...
And here it looked so pretty inside when I opened it...a teency cupcake cute!  How Claudie...  ;)

Then this lovely little card inside...with lovely words to match from Claudie's heart to mine.
 And then this inside that lovely wrapped package... I took several photos trying my best to capture her beauty... A hand made bracelet Claudie sent me from artist, LuLu Kellogg.  It's made with London Blue Glass, white copper, Swarovski Crystals, and a sterling silver artists tag.  It's an original LuLu bracelet

Isn't she just so lovely?  I'm wearing it today on my outing to my day of Beauty at the near by Winery/Spa.
 My sister Becky gave me this lovely Spa Sampler package at the Chateau Elan nearby.  So today I'm getting a real nice treat, facial, massage, hot stone pedicure, hand dipped in wax, and lunch with my sister.  

 And then in just four weeks, my daughter is taking me to see Les Miserables at the theater in Atlanta.  Thanks Kim!  :)  My daughter is just the sweetest & thoughtful one...I love spending time alone with her.  This will be great to look forward to~
Have to run now and get ready for my day of beauty, so...just wanted to say Merci to all my lovely friends and family for their thoughtful gifts, cards, and well wishes that have made my Birthday already spectacular before it's even begun! 

Merci, Merci, and Merci...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vintage, Family & Friends, and Audrey Hepburn...who could ask for anything more?

My New Dress Form fits great in my Tiffany Blue office...
Adorning her is my grandmother's vintage black negligee with her tapestry shoes at the bottom of the dress form stand. Grandmother would have been 100 years old this May 7th.  She lived to the age of 92, and I miss her so much... This is one of the ways I keep her with me...

The red necklace she is wearing belonged to her too.

The belt is one of mine ~ pairing the old with the new...

The French Clock above the dress form is a new find in a quaint little town called Marietta, GA.  I found it in a shop called Vintage-ology.  In that same town is a museum called, "Gone With The Wind".  I toured it the same day I found the clock and was transported back to a sweeter time in history.  This clock will be a dear reminder of Scarlett and Rhett.

On the opposite side of my office wall you'll find this beautiful framed canvas painting.  It has muted colors and matches perfectly with everything in my office.  I located it in a nearby Consignment shop and I waited till it dropped to half price before bringing her home.  It's at least 26x32 large...and I just love it.  A great find for under $40.

On my book shelves that line the one wall are trinkets from blogger friends that remind me of Audrey, Paris, and Angels..   My blogger friends are the best!  ~Merci  to Violet Skiles from Creating Beauty for the Audrey Sparkle hanger...and Anita Rivera from Castles Crowns and Cottages for the custom embellished hand sketched portrait of Audrey Hepburn.   Both Violet and Anita have Etsy shops that you must must visit.  I love their creativity!  The cute little Angel derrier card on the left corner of the photo that is peeking out is the front of a card from Claudie Frid from French, Pink, Poodles and Pearls , my bud and pal that makes me giggle all the time.  :)

A few books to take me to Paris... and an Eiffel Tower to remind me of the time I  had the privilege of laying under neath of the original ET for hours just gazing up at her statuesque amazement!  Oh to go back and visit her again...

I love the caption on this framed art ~ a gift to myself!  The adorable Tiffany Bird candle was a gift at Christmas from my niece...the black Fleur de lis ornament was from my friend Claudie. She's all over my office...  :)

Another view I'm reminded of daily takes me back to my trip to Canada, when I visited Claudie in 2011 for her SUMMER BREEZE Blogger week long fun fest.  The trip of a lifetime...and the new friends I met were the best!  As well as reconnecting with others I hadn't seen for awhile... the memories brought back are as sweet as they all are! 
Thanks for the Memories all!  I adorn my office with things that remind me of 
the "Strong and Beautiful" women that God has brought into my life through this wonderful world of family and friends...  HE is so good to me! xoxo