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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Birthday Supper for Family and Friends

We finally got around to celebrating Little's birthday with a supper for family and friends this past weekend. I made one of her favorite meals--barbecue ribs, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, mixed green salad, and for dessert, a chocolate-mint pie. Little doesn't care for cake!

white and green bouquets

Although I'd just spruced up the house with spring and Easter decorations, I wanted her birthday dinner to have a fresh, springtime look that would be different from what I'm planning for our Easter brunch.

white flowers

So, I decided to go with one of my favorite floral combinations of white and green. I think making flower arrangements and setting the table are the best part of hosting a party or celebration. And, it's easy to set a festive mood without spending a lot of money. I bought two bouquets of white hydrangea and one of white mums for $12 total at Publix. My splurge was a $7 bouquet of white tulips, so I still spent less than $20. I already had the birch bark containers, the burlap ribbon and the white linen table runner. And I thought the combination of woodsy and refined perfectly suited Little's tomboy chic style.

white hydrangea

I divided the flowers, trimmed the stems and got them in fresh water as soon as I got home from the grocery. Then I headed out into the yard to see what I could find to fill out the bouquets. Boxwood, of course. And I always add a couple of plain wooden twigs to arrangements for structure and height and movement. Happily, I found some white camellia blossoms that had survived the day's rainfall, so I clipped those along with some sort of blooming cherry tree branches. 

blue and white pitcher

When everything was combined, I had enough flowers left over to do a little arrangement for the family room coffee table.

table set

Then, I set the table, but in my haste to try to get a photo in the fading light, I forgot the glasses. Oh well, I remembered before the guests arrived!  

birthday supper

After dinner, the Mister cued up the 1958 classic tune "Sixteen Candles" by the Crests for our teenage queen.

Her brothers came through with a big Lilly surprise, and our dear friends treated her to sweets, jewelry, and--every teenager's favorite--cash!

with love printed ribbon

And, yep, time to get sappy--it was all wrapped up with love! Happy Birthday, Little! We are so thankful to God for you and the joy you bring to our lives. xoxo


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