Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Night In Paris ~ Joyeux Noel

A Night in Paris ~ Joyeux Noel

 A friend and I hosted a holiday

dinner party for our Mah Jongg group.

Some of you may remember

that I spent two weeks in France last fall.

One of my friends joined me when I arrived in Paris.

While there, we began planning a 

special dinner party for

A Night in Paris.

The table featured our own

La Tour Eiffel

complete with sparkling lights   .   .   .

Atop a Champ de Mars

of fresh greens and fragrant rose petals.

Une Magnifique Soirée!

There were twelve of us,

so we set another small table to the side.

While in Paris last September,

we dined at Auberge Bressane,

one of my favorite restaurants which offers

an authentic traditional French cuisine.

In anticipation of our dinner party,

our waiter let us buy some of the restaurant's napkins

to take home as souvenirs of our trip.

Dinner plates 

~ Spode Christmas Tree ~

We brought back these

adorable trays for each of our guests.

They served as perfect 

bread plates for croissants and butter.

Wrapped packages for 

each guest were sparkly Eiffel Tower

ornaments to hang on their own tree

and a copy of 


Brie En Croute and champagne to toast

the evening while lively French music filled the room.

We had a local restaurant make our main course,

authentic savory French crepes ~ The Eiffel and The Bruni.

You can see a complete menu for Café Crepé here.

Haricot Vert and fresh tomatoes

topped with a special vegetable mixture.

Dessert ~ Créme Bruleé, bien sur!

Sadly, no food photos ~ too busy!

Bonne Année 2015, Mes Amis!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Herding Reindeer

I found them!

Last week I shared a green version 

of these charming guys used

for a casual tablescape with tartan plates.

You can view it here.  

French Country Cottage ~ Image Used With Permission

had shared her idea of using

these handsome reindeer ornaments here.

I was on a mission to

 find sets of the white ones.

Several phone calls later and a crosstown trip,

I managed to wrangle a herd of my own.

I added wreaths of fresh 

rosemary for a festive touch.

White linen napkins and

white china rimmed in brown and gold,

used with a woven charger

 kept the place settings

simple, but elegant.

I wanted the focus of the table

to be the winter wonderland village,

a gift from my friend who passed away in October.

Jane created the village for a luncheon to celebrate

my 65th birthday two years ago, then sent it home

with me as a birthday present.

I cherish it!

In the center is the largest structure,

a beautiful church with bell tower and spire.

Smaller, individual structures surround

the church to create a unique and charming

little village of two story abodes and cozy cottages.

Love the barn shaped roofline 

and the French poodle in the front yard.

This one, with its eyebrow dormer

looks to have multiple floors.

A winter fox frolics about

this home with its steeply pitched roof.

Who wouldn't want to cozy up

in this little charmer?

I'll take the room in

the attic here.  I suspect it offers

an incredible view of the snowy village.

This home is a bit plain, but looks as

if it has plenty of room for a large family.

What a welcomed sight this 

cottage is on a snowy evening. 

Love the red tiled roof 

and the glow in the windows.

We enjoyed a one dish meal ~

a green salad with roasted chicken,

wild rice, cranberries, and nuts.

Tiny Pies ~ Austin, Texas ~ Facebook Photo

And a one jar dessert!

I failed to get a photo of my own,

but just look at this delicious dessert.

 Chocolate cream pie with peppermint

whipped cream, a delightful treat in a jar.

Each guest now has a

white reindeer hanging on their tree!

Happy Holidays to all!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Crushing on White Reindeer

exhibits exquisite style

in all that she does.

French Country Cottage ~ Photo Used With Permission

When I spotted this idea on Courtney's blog,

I immediately drove to the nearest

Lowe's to buy these ornaments.

I wanted to copy this idea

for an upcoming dinner party.  

Sadly the store only had 

three white reindeer in stock.

They did however have plenty

in this evergreen shade.

Not the table setting I originally had in mind,

but the evergreen version offered 

a delightful compliment to 

a casual table set for a girlfriend's lunch.

Traditional red and green 

with a touch of tartan

instead of the winter white 

of Courtney's beautiful tablescape.

An antique dough bowl filled with

Christmas greens, pinecones, berries,

tartan balls, and a wooden heart

 served as centerpiece.

Quilted mats, woven textiles, pewter, and tartan

gave the table a cozy warmth for  

our cool December days.

Suitable for a tasty lunch of corned beef

and cabbage with a tri-color salad,

all prepared by my personal "chef".

Cherry pie tartlets

for a sweet finish.

Tiny Pies Bakery ~ Austin, TX

The "chef" has been baking bread

for the holidays ~ a loaf for each guest to take home

along with their reindeer ornament.

Spending time with special friends

is the gift of the season for me.

French Country Cottage ~ Photo Used With Permission

Click here to read all the details on 

Courtney's original post @ French Country Cottage.

I'm still crushing on Courtney's version, so stay tuned.

I called around and found some sets of

the white reindeer at another store.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Grateful Heart

Gratitude ~ the quality of being thankful; 
the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Welcome Friends!

It's quiet at our home
this Thanksgiving holiday.

Typically we host a Thanksgiving meal here in our home with
friends who may not have family with whom to celebrate.

This year we will join friends in their
home for a small Thanksgiving celebration.

The weather in recent weeks has given me
cause to be grateful for a perfect Autumn with 
sunny skies and crisp cool days.

Just enough chill in the air to cozy
up by a fire with hot tea
in the late afternoon.

~ Autumn ~
A time to savor and appreciate the 
rich spectrum of seasonal colors    .   .   .

To relish morning walks along a creekside 
as water flows from recent rains   .   .   .

To bask in the beauty of Mother Nature's
change in the seasons   .   .   .

To huddle in the warmth of a favorite sweater
and snuggle up with out sweet Sadie girl   .   .   .

To reflect on the gratitude one feels for   
the many blessings of our lives.

For our blessings  
are plentiful!

We've abundant  
food on our table   .   .   .

A warm home to
shelter us day and night   .   .   .

And beauty can be found
all around us.

I'm especially grateful for the good health and love
of my wonderful family and friends,
and for each of you who visit and comment here at
Hyacinths for the Soul.

2014 has been a year of final
good-byes to several women close to my heart.

At times sadness rushes over me, but even with death, we can
choose to be grateful. I want to cherish each special memory,
to honor these amazing women and feel grateful for the beautiful
 life each led, the incredible legacy each left behind, and
especially so for the love and friendship we shared.

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it 
is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
                                              William Arthur Ward

Research shows it is helpful and important to make 
an ongoing list of the things for which one is grateful.

On this Day of Thanksgiving, I thank you 
for allowing me to share a grateful heart.

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."
                                                              Native American Saying