Saturday, January 28, 2023

Toast the Year Ahead with a Fruity Citrus Champagne Cocktail ~ Easy Recipe to Celebrate New Beginnings


January is the month of new beginnings. It’s a time of celebrating transitions and change.

What better way to kick off the start of a new year than with a champagne cocktail?!

Here’s your sure to be, go-to bubbly recipe for happy hours and special, sparkly salutes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Uncovered ~ The Story Behind The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Grand Floral Urns


Even before I was a Member, I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art  frequently.  Some might say with abandon…

If I was looking for inspiration while writing or if a new show premiered, or I just had to see the rooftop exhibits with their extraordinary installations and that heart-stopping vista of Central Park and beyond, why, I could hop on a subway near our home at Union Square and be at the Museum in about 10 minutes; transported to other worlds…

And I always, always was enticed by the magnificent, grand urns in the museum’s lobby and their breathtaking floral displays.  

I took their photos every single visit. It was a mystery to me that their beguiling looks were always changing, too.  

But it wasn’t until just the other day that I learned of their origin story. 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Top Reads For Your Consideration: 2022 Year in Books That You'll Love


Sure, it’s been a minute since my first book was featured at the top spot for a year-end, best-of-books list. Yet I can’t help but recall those thrills as I started this post about my year in books for 2022 as part of the Goodreads challenge. Lists matter!

It was an exciting year of reads ~ my "bookbag" was brimming/my bookshelves were sagging ~ with a great variety of books from classic authors I’d overlooked to new memoirs to great fiction. 

Check out the 31 books on my list ~ you’ll find some stimulating suggestions.

Friday, January 13, 2023

The Mystery of January's Carnation Birth Month Flower Folklore Explained & Celebrated

Today is my birthday! What better way to celebrate than with January’s “official” flower: the Carnation.

I must admit, I didn’t always cotton to the carnation (or for that matter, to our birthday gem: the garnet). 

I rudely thought it was too common… Too banal. 

But boy, was I wrong.  

Carnations are sooo captivating. 

Why, you ask?   See here:

I read that the “Capricorn is just like their birth flower, the carnation: they can be bold on the outside. But Capricorns also have a softer personality under their bright exterior.”

Very, very true.  

The carnation flower, Dianthus Caryophyllus or clove pink is a species of Dianthus that symbolizes Love, Captivation and Distinction. 

Does that sound in any way banal?? 

Carnations are uplifting and sweet. 

It also makes a lovely addition to any floral design because of its long-lasting freshness and fragrance that is a bit like, well, sweet cloves… ahhh. 

Image Result



I’m a sucker for flower legends and folklore and so can’t resist sharing this one about my January birthday flower.  

The carnation means Fascination, Distinction, and Love. 

According to a Christian legend, carnations grew from the Virgin Mary's tears as she watched Jesus carry the cross. This is how they became associated with a pure, eternal, motherly love.

Carnations are said to bring a mother good luck. 

Or, how about this legendary flower lore:

The flower of god is Dianthus caryophyllus or Carnation . The name is a fusion of the Greek words "dios" and "anthos." 

The Greek god Zeus is depicted by "dios," and "anthos" means flower.

That's why the Carnation is recognized as “God's Flower.”

Recently, I used peppermint carnations on my Christmas/Holiday tablescape to great effect.

And I use them in mini vases in our guest rooms, as well as on the tablescapes or cocktail tables. 

I “fluff” them up after cutting the stems and before placing them into their vases.  

There are more than 300 different types of carnations and hybrids so using them in your floral designs, in any season, is smart and well, sweet.

You can readily purchase carnations from your local florist, grocery store or grow them. (Write to me if you want to learn more about growing these easy-care beauties).

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also share, one of my most favorite of the Dianthus: Sweet William ~ Dianthus barbatus.

My husband, Bill, is a (mostly) sweet William (wink).

How irresistible are these beauties?

Embrace your birthday month flowers and their legends/folklore.  

It’s fun and interesting. 

Cheers to happy birthdays and our plant parents... So glamorous!

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Meant to Inspire: Perspective on "What's In ~ What's Out" for Home & Garden

What's In ~ What's Out. 
Please enjoy ~ and hopefully heed :) my perspective on the state of things in the world of entertaining at home, garden to glass cocktails, the art of the garnish, gardens, and books/reading as viewed through my prism... Cheers to looking ahead.