Friday, March 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote # 18

Rabbit, Rabbit!
It's March 1st and time for another edition of 
Tales of the Traveling Totes.

Yes, it's getting to be a habit!
It's the Chef's idea, really it is!  We try to go 
each first Sunday of the month for 
Milkshakes, Burgers, and Bubbles 
at the Peached Tortilla.  

Oh, my!  December's mega shake was amazing!
Abuelita chocolate with churros and roasted marshmallows.
Miz Checkers is always ready for a mega shake!

If Miz Checkers is always ready for a mega shake,
it's Miss Merri Mac that's always ready 
to tag along on a fun get away.

Yes, first week in December, Miss Merri Mac and I 
headed north to cold country.
Burr!

You might recall that Miss Merri Mac and Miz Checkers
joined me on a visit to Kansas City a few years ago.
You can see more of this fine city in our post here.
This trip was to visit QCI friends, 
the Napoleon exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum
the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
the Kappa Holiday Homes Tour
and of course a little shopping.
My friends' lovely home was all decorated for the holidays.
You might notice that in addition to collecting Quimper
my friends also share my love for MacKenzie-Childs.

It was cold and snowy most of the time,
but that didn't stop us from getting out and about.
The Kappa Holiday Homes Tour happened to coinside with
our visit.  We spread the tour of four homes over two days.
Photos weren't allowed, but suffice it to say we walked away
with lots of inspirition for decorating for the holidays.

Top on my list was to visit the Nelson-Adkins Museum, host to this exhibit created by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Focused on the "Imperial Household", the exhibit reflected the ambiance and splendor during Napoleon's years in power as it explored how these majestic and artistic works were used to fashion a "monarchic idenity for the new emperor, 
his family, and loyal entourage." 

This short video will give you a 
quick overview of this excellent exhibit.

 The opulence and grandeur of the items was
part of Napoleon's propaganda as he played the role of Emperor.

 It was enlightening to learn more about
the behind the scenes of his "imperial household."

Six high-ranking men were given titles as grand officers to direct the pagentry of Napoleon's Court.  Napoleon used portraits and sculputre of those within the household to project an image of his power and authority.  All the splendor to reflect an emperor! 

Fashion was a significant aspect of Napoleon's reign, and both Josephine and Marie Louise set the standard for the fashion of the day.  Napoleon also used fashion as a useful propaganda tool.

Napoleon in His Study Wearing the Uniform of a Grenadier of the Guard
Of the many portriats and works of art comissioned to reflect Napoleon's power, this mosaic of cubes of colored glass and inlays of stones was among my favorites.  
Zoom in on the details.

Also high on my list was a visit to the 
National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Begun as a small museum featuring the collections of 
Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall, this museum now houses the world's largest fine-scale miniature collection and one of the nation's largest toy collections on public view.
 Featuring over 72.000 objects, one can indulge 
their inner child with a look at toys through the ages.
Soft Toys ~ Mechanical Toys ~ Marbles ~ Games ~ Dolls and Doll Houses ~ Miniatures ~ Just to name a few.

Two complete floors house this incredible collection of
vingettes of miniatures, doll houses completely furnished, toy and games through time, and on-going special events and exhibits.
Another attraction is the "toy tisserie" that is viewed from the lobby up through the stairwell to the second floor.  Created for the reopening of NMTM after extensive renovations, it was the project of my friend and talented artist, Sarah Lugg Regan 
and her assistant, sculptor Ben Breslow.
You can read more about this project here.
Of course shopping was on the agenda too.
Kansas City has beautiful antique shops!
Need I say more?
 J'Adore Home and Gardens was a favorite for some holiday shopping.  This delightfu shop is filled with beautiful things for the home and garden along with rooms dedicated to themed Christmas decorations.
 I found this Putz village scene atop one of 
the mantels to be totally enchanting.

 Another Kansas City must see for me was Nell Hill's.  
I've long followed Mary Carol's blog and have all of her beautiful
 home decor books.  A  visit to shop this incredible home furnishing store was the perfect way to round out my Kansas City visit.
Nell Hill's, just north of downtown KC, is located in the beautiful
Briarcliff Shopping Center.  With 16,000 square feet spread over two levels, it features sixteen fully furnished living spaces to give the shopper the feeling one is within a beautiful home.  Indeed, Nell Hill's is the perfect inspirational design destination. 

I must also say our KC visit included fabulous meals both in the home of our hosts and at several venues around town.
Kansas City is home to some wonderful French restaurants.
Cafe Provence ~ French Market ~ Café Europa

After our action packed KC trip, the holiday festivities kept us busy up through the beginning of the New Year, and as expected we
indulged in our monthly Peached Tortilla First Sunday treat.
A collaboration with Holy Roller, the mega shake was a
Chameleon Gold Brew Horchata Milkshake 
topped with Horchita Cake, Cinnamon Miso Caramel, 
Whipped Cream, and Toasted Coconut.
Yes, we share!  Double Straws!

As always, many thanks for joining me.  I hope you will leave a comment before heading off to visit the other 
Traveling Tote Adventures at the links below.

A special request for thoughts and prayers for our 
fellow toter, RJ @ Sketchy Reader, as she is 
away caring for a family member.


Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to
our winner, Julie @ Julie's Creative Lifestyle.


Also Joining

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Star Quality For a Valentine Table

It's the week of Valentine's.

I'm glad you've stopped by for a touch of February inspiration.
This post is about an amazing winter star for your garden along
with inspiration for an easy meal and a simple 
table for your special valentine.

~ White By The Gate ~
I planted this camellia japonica years ago, 
and I selected it specifically for its double white blooms.
Camellias are considered the rose of winter
in southern gardens.  The dark green glossy foliage 
is a beautiful contrast to the pure white.

This winter stalworth produces continuous displays 
of perfectly formed pure white flowers.

 This has to be one of the most perfectly
formed pure white flowers I've ever seen.

~ White By The Gate ~
I've added several to our garden and plan to include
more in a new garden area we have planned for the future.

Our bushes are full of buds and blooms, so
I've been cutting them to bring into the house.

  The stems are short, and a shallow container works best.
Our Courtly Check gravy boat is a perfect choice.

This pretty pink camellia is 
from a friend's garden.

Pink Camellias

This time of year, my friend's camellia trees 
offer up a cheerful pink treat for cold winter days.

These lush pink petals were the
stars of a tablescape some years ago,
 and I share as inspiration for a Valentine's meal.

Pink paired with 
my favorite Courtly Check
is perfect for a Valentine's table.

More fresh flowers filled a small 
Courtly Check flower pot.

The arrangement complimented the 
pink stars of the evening.

Crisp White Linen

Layers of Shiny Black, 
Courtly Check, and a Ruffled Woven Mat

Antique Ivory Salt and Pepper

Tasty Daube a la Provençal Made with Lamb
You'll find the recipe here at Dean and Deluca.

Fresh Spinach with Citrus, 
Beets, Red Onions, and Olives

Tri-colored Roasted New Potatoes

Pink, Purple, and Cream

A Tower of Corn Muffins

This all made a delicious winter meal and
likely one your valentine would appreciate.

The simple black and white isn't too girly for the man in your life,
and the touch of pink adds a a delightful feminine touch.

Hope you have camellias 

blooming in your garden this winter.
Definitely Star Quality