Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Dinner for a Blog Friend

I’ve read about it plenty—bloggers who become virtual friends and eventually meet—and I thought that such meetings must be so fun! Well, Maria, of Dreams and Epiphanies, met in person last weekend! She and her husband, Lee, had a standing invitation for anytime they came to Ohio to visit their son in college, and she emailed me to say they would be in Ohio and would October 18 work? Of course! We’d make it work! We invited them to our home for lunch if they were up to it, because yes, we’re in Ohio, but not en route to Miami University, and the answer was “yes, we’ll come visit!” Yea, Lee, for being a good sport!!

My husband Terry and I decided a traditional Cuban meal was in order, and he chose the menu, based on his favorite meal: Roast pork chunks with Cuban seasonings, rice and black beans, and guacamole—Cuban guacamole…you’ll see that treat in a minute! We also had corn soufflé (recipe here), rolls and butter, and a good pinot noir selected by our son, the chef.

There was no lapse in conversation from the minute they arrived! I’d asked that they arrive hungry, and they said they had heeded my request, so first we had some appetizers ~

DSCN4652 I love to serve palitroques—bread sticks—especially with appetizers, because they were somewhat of a staple with my family, so I always think of them as a Cuban item, though I don’t know if other Cuban families enjoy them as much as we do. I forgot to ask Maria—we’ll need to get together again to talk some more. :)

DSCN4662 Our table (as well as the meal, really) was simple and fall-ish: Burlap runner, woven “straw” placemats and twig chargers, with simple white dishes and aubergine napkins held by twig napkin rings.

DSCN4663 The pork and the rice…and back to the tablescape~ funny how a table decor unfolds. All I had in mind was the burlap and twig things, and simple white dishes. As I was looking for these items I ran across this purchase from last year:

DSCN4640 Metallic gold leaves that I bought for a whopping $.97 on clearance last December. I actually thought they were golds and bronzes, but no, all gold. So there went the table—gold leaves on the burlap runner for contrast, and gold accents, including my “gold” flatware that my dear, sweet grandmother, who obliged me in every way she could, bought for me just because I wanted them, to go with the Lenox Holiday dishes she had also given me. She was such a sweet, dear, giving person, never, ever expecting anything in return.

DSCN4643 Originally I intended to use this Tea Leaf tureen—it was perfect—until I took the lid off and saw the crazing and damage to the porcelain. Not safe. I’d gotten it at an auction, and at the time I wasn’t concerned about the damage, since my intention was to use it for display purposes, but I’d forgotten about it. So off the table and back to just looking lovely, as she always does.

DSCN4665  And about that Cuban guacamole…ours consists of chunks of avocado and of fresh pineapple, with a bit of salt (some like to add extra virgin olive oil and a splash of vinegar and thin onion slices, but mine was sans, as I prefer it). As soon as Maria saw it she referred to it as guacamole. That was fun. And since pineapple is not exactly a fall dish, I compensated with the corn soufflé, served in a hollowed pumpkin.

And now for the BEST part~

DSCN4666 Two new friends—in person! Well, actually FOUR new friends…our husbands did join us at the table, but I have to admit, they were super nice, and super patient with these two ladies, talking incessantly about tables, and bloggers, and dishes, and….  It was a fun, fun day!

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know you were here—I’m thrilled to know you stopped by, and I’ll always visit back and comment too. If you like what you see, I invite you to follow me (I promise to follow back), and please—Pin away and follow me on Pinterest too! Thank you!!

NOTE: Some of the items I use in my posts are in my Etsy shop, but many are not, simply because I haven’t updated my shop. If you see something you like and wonder if it’s available for sale, email me at coral5252@gmail.com and let’s talk!

Sunday Showcase at http://www.bystephanielynn.com/

Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/

Sunday Creative Home and Garden Hop at http://creativehomeexpressions.blogspot.com/

Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/

Mop it Up Monday at http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Metamorphosis Monday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Masterpiece Monday at http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Tuesdays at Our Home at http://mariaelenasdecor.blogspot.com/

Tuesdays at The Scoop at http://www.stonegableblog.com

Tuesday’s Treasures http://www.myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/

Inspire Me Tuesday at http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/

Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/

Wow Us Wednesdays at http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/

Wednesday DIY by Design Party at http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/

Wednesday Share Your Cup with Mrs. Olson at http://jannolson.blogspot.com/

Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/

Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

Friday at Redoux Interiors at http://www.redouxinteriors.com/

Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

Vintage Inspiration Friday at http://commonground-debrasvintagedesigns.blogspot.com/

Throwback Thursdays at http://www.glitterglueandpaint.com/throwback-thursday-2/

Transformation Thursdays at http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/

Be Inspired Friday at http://www.Commonground-do.com/

Fridays at Feathered Nest: http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/

Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/

Fridays at Home Sweet Home: http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/

Fresh-Cut Fridays at http://rosevignettes.blogspot.com

Fridays at The Thrifty Groove at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/

Show and Tell Friday at http://romantichome.blogspot.com/

Saturdays at http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com/

Spotlight Saturdays at http://www.classyclutter.net/

Saturdays at Be Different, Act Normal at http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/

From my nest to yours~

Zuni

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall Decor Around the House

Well, fall DID finally arrive at Chickadee Home Nest, although not with the same oomph as in years past. It started with…hydrangeas, of course. Are you surprised?

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It was a beautiful early-fall day, and I found myself puttering in the garden. The hydrangeas were starting to turn their beautiful pink and green-ish speckled look, and I just had to bring some in. I wanted lots of them—I mean LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of them, and the sterling punch bowl, a {lovely} gift from my MIL, was perfect. Large enough, and shiny enough, but not too shiny. The bit of tarnish on it added to the charm.

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Once the hydrangeas were arranged I went back outside, and when I came back inside I was awestruck by the sunlight streaming through and highlighting our new centerpiece. No words needed; I’ll share some of the beauty streaming through our sliding glass doors~

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DSCN4271 You remember this favorite spoon, right? It’s from Table Art, I think, and it always makes me think of a tiny, coppery hosta leaf.

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DSCN4301 I’ve had this plant with the purple flowers for six or seven years—still in the same pot. Every spring I put it out in the screened porch, then take it to our office over the winter, where it’s not real happy, but it does manage to produce a few blooms once or twice. (Does anyone know what it is, besides beautiful?) This year, she has been especially happy, and has bloomed forever, with lots and lots of gorgeous blooms. I couldn’t resist mixing the purple and the white hydrangeas, even if just for a quick photo shoot.

DSCN4517 Even in our bedroom, hydrangeas prevail, in a silver “vase,” aka a salt shaker.

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And yes, I said I kept it simple, but not quite this simple. I did manage to add a few more touches.

Fall in the China Cabinet

I wanted to do something different than what I usually do, so I started by 1) Keeping things simpler, and 2) By using purples and oranges. In the china cabinet I used touches of white/milk glass for contrast.

DSCN4480 No sooner had I settled on the purple-and-orange theme than I walked into Kroger and the purple African violets—in purple pots, no less—were on clearance for $2.99 each. Needless to say, all but two came home with me. Here you can get a peak of the orange touches.

DSCN4486  Three of the African violets came with purple pots, and the others…in a terra cotta/orange shade. Could it be more perfect?! The Rouen antique dessert plates, made by Villeroy & Boch Mettlach between 1850 & 1899, add a bit of background color.

image My sweet friend, Shirley, sent me this picture, because she said it had reminded her of me. She knows me well—I’d seen it (I think in Southern Living?) and had already saved it!

DSCN4498 So this little silver cup, a takeoff on the tiny Revere bowl in the inspiration picture, is in honor of my sweet friend.

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Fall at the Writing Desk and Buffet

DSCN4466 Keeping with the simple theme has suited me well this year…it’s a calming touch, a nod to the now-not-so-new season.

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DSCN4514 The buffet got a simple touch of twigs and “berries” wrapped around the rusty wrought-iron candlesticks our youngest son, Todd, gave me years ago. It seems like fall doesn’t happen until these candlesticks that I love so much are out.

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Fall In the Kitchen

And finally, in the kitchen, the nod to fall was p-r-e-t-t-y simple:

DSCN4508 Blue and white and sunflowers in my Southern Living Ballard Designs tiered basket, with a further touch of fall in the Villeroy & Boch Mettlach dessert plates.

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######

So are you done decorating for fall? In October I usually add some Halloween decorations for the little chickadees, but now that the two older ones go to school every day, we don’t have them here as much (can you hear the pout in my voice?). I probably won’t do much along those lines. I think we’ll probably go straight into Thanksgiving with the current decor, then move right into you know what!!! That HAPPIEST time of the year!! Now, THAT’S a season I look forward to!  

How do you do your fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorating? Do you do it in stages as the season progresses, or all at once? I’d love to hear how you do it, and why you do it that way. You never know…you might inspire me to start fall decorating in August/early September (but I kinda doubt it!). :)

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know you were here—I’m thrilled to know you stopped by, and I’ll always visit back and comment too. If you like what you see, I invite you to follow me (I promise to follow back), and please—Pin away and follow me on Pinterest too! Thank you!!

NOTE: Some of the items I use in my posts are in my Etsy shop, but many are not, simply because I haven’t updated my shop. If you see something you like and wonder if it’s available for sale, email me at coral5252@gmail.com and let’s talk!

Sunday Showcase at http://www.bystephanielynn.com/

Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/

Sunday Creative Home and Garden Hop at http://creativehomeexpressions.blogspot.com/

Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/

Mop it Up Monday at http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Metamorphosis Monday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Masterpiece Monday at http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Tuesdays at Our Home at http://mariaelenasdecor.blogspot.com/

Tuesdays at The Scoop at http://www.stonegableblog.com

Tuesday’s Treasures http://www.myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/

Inspire Me Tuesday at http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/

Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/

Wow Us Wednesdays at http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/

Wednesday DIY by Design Party at http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/

Wednesday Share Your Cup with Mrs. Olson at http://jannolson.blogspot.com/

Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/

Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

Friday at Redoux Interiors at http://www.redouxinteriors.com/

Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

Vintage Inspiration Friday at http://commonground-debrasvintagedesigns.blogspot.com/

Throwback Thursdays at http://www.glitterglueandpaint.com/throwback-thursday-2/

Transformation Thursdays at http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/

Be Inspired Friday at http://www.Commonground-do.com/

Fridays at Feathered Nest: http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/

Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/

Fridays at Home Sweet Home: http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/

Fresh-Cut Fridays at http://rosevignettes.blogspot.com

Fridays at The Thrifty Groove at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/

Show and Tell Friday at http://romantichome.blogspot.com/

Saturdays at http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com/

Spotlight Saturdays at http://www.classyclutter.net/

Saturdays at Be Different, Act Normal at http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/

From my nest to yours~

Zuni

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Last Hurrah…A Beach Table

I’m not too late with a beach tablescape, am I? I’m seeing a big shift to fall—blogs, magazines, catalogs—but at the end of August, as our family got together to celebrate July birthdays we hadn’t been able to celebrate, and yours truly’s in August, I just had to have a beach table. I hope those of you who love the beach and its colors will enjoy one more glance at summer…

Beach table at Chickadee Home Nest It wasn’t a fancy table…it was a REAL table, for family brunch. See the empty spaces on either side? Those are reserved for two of the grandchickadees (#3 is still in his highchair in the corner), but since their dishes were going to be white, well…those place settings just had to wait till I was done taking pictures. The serving pieces were chosen for their colors, but also for their “wavy” edges.

DSCN4129 Psssst…the teal plates and “glasses” are (gasp!) plastic! They’re Zac Design, and yes, they refer to them as being plastic on their website (http://www.zak.com/) I got 5 of each at an auction—I so wish I could find at least 3 or 4 more of each, but the Zac website doesn’t show this color any longer.! (If you happen to know of some, please let me know!) I was able to use them for this gathering because one of our DILs was out of town. And the gorgeous goblets we used for blueberry shortcake?? A fabulous find (.50 each) at GW!! They look like they’re a very nice quality (glass); I bet they were pretty pricey when they were bought. I often wonder about the person who gives something like that to GW, and why they wouldn’t want them. Do you wonder, or are you just happy that they do?

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DSCN4139 The centerpiece was sweet because of the Gerbera Daisy our DIL sent over with the babies with an even sweeter note:

DSCN4130 You can bet that precious note is staying with the plant!! I’m babying it and hoping and praying I can keep it alive. I haven’t had much luck with Gerberas. Do you have the secret to keeping them happy in a flower pot?

DSCN4138 The baby Chickadees love, love, love blueberries, so when I found a huge container of them at Kroger I couldn’t resist.

DSCN4147 Add them to yummy Bisquick shortcakes (our absolute favorite recipe, though I add about 2 tablespoons of sugar to the mix), some half and half, a scoop of ice cream and a beautiful dollop of whipped cream and welll….it WAS a birthday celebration, after all! And we didn’t have cake afterwards (that doesn’t sound defensive or anything, does it? :)  ) Oh…and I forgot…the adults all agreed we wanted the blueberry shortcake FIRST! We’ve never done dessert first! The baby Chickadees were pretty excited about that!

DSCN4159 Shells, of course, for the salt from the sea (and the pepper). I started out looking for some beach-themed s&p shakers, and realized I had none (now that’s hard to believe!) then I remembered my clam shells, and was glad to use those, for something more authentic.

DSCN4135     No beach table is complete without a palm tree, right? (I know there are beaches where palm trees don’t grow, but beaches and palm trees go together in my book!) So my Nora Fleming dish (a sweet and relevant gift from one of our sons and DIL) and my Mud Pie fish plates completed the table. The fish plates were a must-have when I found them during a Hilton Head vacation several years ago—a set of 4, along with the shell spreader. During the summer months I keep one on the stove as my spoon rest.

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Maybe now I can make peace with fall.

Are you ready for fall? If you are, please bear with me. I actually love fall once the colors start to change and its beauty is once again revealed to us, but getting there is not easy for me.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know you were here—I read every single one of them! And if you like what you see a lot, maybe you’d like to +1 this post or pin it on Pinterest too! Thank you!

I invite you to follow me here and on Pinterest. If you’ll let me know that you’re following, I’ll be sure to follow you back.

Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/

Sunday Showcase at http://www.bystephanielynn.com

Mop it Up Monday at http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Metamorphosis Monday at  http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Tuesdays at http://www.astrollthrulife.net/

Tuesdays at http://hickorytrailblog.blogspot.com

Wednesdays at Let’s Dish: http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/

Wednesdays at http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/

Wednesdays at Wow Us: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/

Wednesdays at Ivy and Elephants: http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

Thursdays at Tabletop Thursday: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Thursdays at No Minimalist Here: http://nominimalisthere.blogspot.com/

Throwback Thursdays at http://www.glitterglueandpaint.com/throwback-thursday-2/

Transformation Thursdays at http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/

Be Inspired Friday at http://www.Commonground-do.com/

Fridays at Feathered Nest: http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/

Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/

Fridays at Home Sweet Home: http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/

Fresh-Cut Fridays at http://rosevignettes.blogspot.com

Fridays at The Thrifty Groove at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/

Show and Tell Friday at http://romantichome.blogspot.com/

From my nest to yours, ~Zuni

Friday, July 18, 2014

April Showers Brought Summer Flowers

I hope you’ve had a grand spring and summer this year! I think our summer here in central Ohio has been GREAT! It seems like we usually go from a few beautiful spring days right into the dog days of summer with temps in the 80s and 90s and humidity in the same range—that means a lot of inside time, though the sunshine (which is limited in Ohio during the winter months) makes a huge difference in our spirits!

Our summer flowers are so happy right now that they’re perfect for photographing. I’ve always had a keen interest in photography, and this year I’ve spent quite a bit of time building a portfolio, with an eye toward sharing them with you, and for creating a line of greeting cards to sell online and at shops. (And BTW, if any of you can share information with me on cost-effective printing sources, papers you like for cards, shops I might approach (and how to approach them/possible arrangements) I would truly appreciate it! Thanks in advance!)

So this post will be picture-heavy…a sharing post of some of the materials for my cards. I hope you enjoy it!

DSCN3667 This is the red, white, and blue basket in my favorite (and very rustic) twig chair.

DSCN3653-001 One consistent theme that you’ll see is contrasts: jagged and smooth; soft and edgy; fragile and strong—Mother Nature at her truest.

DSCN3670 The rusty nail adds such harsh and lovely texture to the split wood and soft blooms.

DSCN3683 More rusty nails and soft blossoms.

DSCN3704 If you’ve been visiting me for a while you know I’m nuts about hydrangeas, and last year’s purchase of Endless Summer is bringing me such joy. A mere $7 at the end of the season for such returning beauty!

DSCN3711 This is the plant of hopes—a dwarf weigela that I hope will attract hummingbirds, new to our garden this year.

DSCN3716 I bought these darling pansies in early spring for our Easter table, and when they started to look a little sad in the egg shells where I’d had them, I planted them in this stone pot. They are so happy there!

DSCN3717 Blue salvia

DSCN3721 Oh, I can’t wait! The purple coneflowers are about to BURST…

DSCN3723 …as are the PeeGee hydrangeas! I especially love these, because they bloomed just in time for our Chickadee Baby Love’s baptism reception we held at our home five years ago. Now, every year when they bloom they remind me of that happy occasion! You can see a re-do of that day HERE.

DSCN3729 The pots in the backyard are also happy with the cooler days we’ve had, nestled in the shade of the big white birch.

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DSCN3744 The blue salvia in the pot by the birch is also quite happy!

DSCN3745 This is last year’s Calliope—remember when I rooted them in the Ball jars, fearful that I wouldn’t find them again this year? (You can read about rooting them HERE.) It worked like a charm, but this year I’m going to just bring them all inside and carry them over until next year, because I’m crazy about their color and texture.

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DSCN3763 The wrought-iron wall basket adorns an otherwise bare wall above our vintage wood picnic table (that’s another story/another post!). In years past the flowers haven’t been as happy as they are this year, now that I figured out that by poking holes in the [limited amount of] dirt allows the plants to get the water they need! Success!

DSCN3765 The begonias try to steal the show, but the blue/purple miniature petunias (I think that’s what they are!) and ivy bring a great contrast to vie for center stage.

DSCN3779 Remember Brushstrokes? Another of last year’s faves that I was able to find once again this spring at the firemen’s Mother’s Day flower sale. (You might recall that I propagated these too, but the plant met its demise when we set it outside in early spring and forgot it overnight. :(  )  Look at all the buds!! It’s going to be bursting with blooms soon!

DSCN3783 The berry cart in the front yard, offset by Brushstrokes, is overflowing. Do you think this will make a pretty greeting card?

DSCN3812 Pansies, also survivors from spring, are still gracing the front porch.

DSCN3814 Cement bunnies seem pretty happy among the lamb’s ear…I think it could be called bunny ears!

Well, that’s a sampling of my photography for what I hope will be a new line of blank greeting cards. What do you think? I’d love to hear!! Either comment below or email me directly! I can’t wait to hear from you!

How’s your garden coming this year? Has it blossomed beyond your expectations, or is it requiring strong determination on your part? Sometimes they do that, I know! I’ll wish for many blooms all around you! Thanks for visiting! ~Zuni

If you like what you see, I invite you to follow me (I promise to follow back), and please—Pin away and follow me on Pinterest too! Thank you!!

Here’s where I’ll be having fun and joining others in their creativity this week; I hope you’ll visit these great parties!

Fabulously Creative Fridays at http://www.jenniferrizzo.com/

Design it Friday at http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/

Friday Party Junk at http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Friday at Redoux Interiors at http://www.redouxinteriors.com/

Feathered Nest Friday at http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/

Home Sweet Home Fridays at http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/

Thrifty Things Friday at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/

Simply Sweet Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/

Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

Vintage Inspiration Friday at http://commonground-debrasvintagedesigns.blogspot.com/

Show and Tell Friday at http://romantichome.blogspot.com/

Saturdays at http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com/

Spotlight Saturdays at http://www.classyclutter.net/

Saturdays at Be Different, Act Normal at http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/

Sunday Showcase at http://www.bystephanielynn.com/

Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/

Sunday Creative Home and Garden Hop at http://creativehomeexpressions.blogspot.com/

Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/

Mop it Up Monday at http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Metamorphosis Monday at  http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Masterpiece Monday at http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com

Tuesdays at Our Home at http://mariaelenasdecor.blogspot.com/

Tuesdays at The Scoop at http://www.stonegableblog.com

Tuesday’s Treasures http://www.myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/

Inspire Me Tuesday at http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/

Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/

Wow Us Wednesdays at http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/

Wednesday DIY by Design Party at http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/

Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/

Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/

From my nest to yours~

Zuni

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