Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's New Year's Eve Y'all!

Well, it's the end of another year in our lives! I'm looking forward to 2010...hoping that the economy in our Country will improve and that people who are without jobs will find a good place to work and make a living. I'm also hoping that all y'all will be able to achieve the resolutions and goals that you have made.

What are you doing for New Year's Eve?

Will you be staying home and watching the ball drop in Time's Square? Continuing a a Christmas gift, my Mother-in-Law gave me another New Year's Eve Ball Snow Globe, by collection of these is growing! It's the Times Square Ball and plays "Auld Lang Syne." Waaaaay cute!

Will you be hosting or attending a festive event? Remember that you should never arrive at someone's home empty-handed...and y'all know by now that Miss Janice always gives her guests party favors! I still love this idea for party favors...or to take as a hostess gift...Give them a cute little gift of champagne. This is a four-pack box, filled with a split of champagne, two inexpensive champagne goblets, some party horns, black shred, and of course--black gingham ribbon!

My all-time favorite New Year's gift for the hostess or party guests...a Southern favorite New Year's Day food--Black Eyed Peas. Wrap the can in cello and attach a party blower and {gingham} ribbon...voila, you are set!

Whatever you do this safe and have a Happy New Year y'all!

Chin Chin!

Miss Janice

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Don't Forget to Say Thank You for Christmas Gifts!

I hope that y'all enjoyed the holiday season and were able to spend time with your family and friends! Now that all of the gifts have been unwrapped, proper etiquette dictates that you send a thank-you note for gifts you received. This is the perfect time to teach children that presents given to them by friends and family are given to them as acts of kindness and thank-you notes are appropriate. You might also teach your child to send Santa a thank-you note! Before I show you the styles of thank-you notes I'll be sending, take a peek at a few of my Christmas goodies...

My friend Joy gave me this Lilly canvas print in the center. Isn't it the cutest? I framed some Lilly shift notecards and added them to create a cute Lilly grouping in my Lilly-fied office...{Maybe I'll add a topper later!}

Y'all, these Lilly canvas prints are just too cute!

My friend Teresa Jane gave me this Lilly "Chin Chin" pillow this! I'll probably start closing my post with..."Chin Chin, Miss Janice!"

The rooster obsession continues...I can't stop! Teresa Jane gave me these darling oven mitts in the La Petite Ferme Toile Spice pattern, by Waverly. I am seriously in love with this pattern! Y'all are going to see a little more of this fabric print showing up in my breakfast room. Obsessed.

Toile and roosters...Love.

Look at this little tassel Teresa Jane gave's a sage color harlequin design.
These are little paper plate holders that I got from Teresa Jane. I got this small one and a larger one. Love the little Eiffel Tower plates and of course I had to gingham it up! These will be great to use throughout the year...'cuz y'all know Miss Janice uses paper plates!

Just my style!

Thank-You Note Etiquette
To be perfectly proper, thank-you notes should be written on 'monogrammed notes' or 'correspondence cards.' Please do not e-mail your thank-you note--that is an etiquette faux pas. Failure to write a thank-you note is one of the biggest etiquette faux pas you can commit and it will be remembered!

A very proper thank-you note--my 'Monogrammed Note'...
My 'Correspondence Cards' are also appropriate for a thank-you note...

In the business world especially, writing a thank-you note sets you apart from the crowd. This is my Etiquette with Miss Janice thank-you note...{with the Southern magnolia theme, which carries out my brand}

Now, I normally do not use a thank-you note that says "Thank You" on the front. But, a few years ago, I found these darling red toile cards at Hobby Lobby. I use these to send to family members...Mama, J.D., etc.

Remember, you will never go wrong sending a thank-you note!

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward
Ooops! I almost forgot...
Chin Chin!
Miss Janice

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Tree and Tablescape in the Dining Room

My dining table is set for Christmas Dinner...take a peek!
Love the sweet cherub centerpiece...embellished with Southern magnolias!

Here's a closeup of the placesetting...

The china is the "Eternal" pattern, by Lenox. I used a gold damask tablecloth and napkins and cute little gold tone teapot-motif napkin rings...

The crystal is the "Alaina" pattern by Waterford...

Mama gave me this gold tone flatware years ago...

Sweet little cherub place card holders and gold edge ivory place cards...

This is my Christmas tree in the dining room...{this room is another work in progress!}

This tree is decorated with cherubs, crosses, and toile--from top to bottom...

Green toile fabric around the base of the tree...

Green toile ornaments...

Gold tone trumpets...

Pretty little cherubs...


Gifts wrapped in bags to coordinate with the theme...

Thank you so much for stopping by today. Merry Christmas y'all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flamingo Ladies Book Club...Being Dead is No Excuse!

Last night I hosted the monthly "Flamingo Ladies Book Club" at my house. Being the hostess, I was given the opportunity to choose the book. Hmmmmmm, what to choose? Well, one of my favorite books is "Being Dead is No Excuse," by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays.

We Southerners take funerals and graveyards seriously. This is the official Southern ladies guide to throwing the perfect funeral--it's just hilarious y'all! But first, "Here's What I Wore." These cute little slacks were given to me by my friend Joy...they are lime green with pink flamingos--just too cute for my "Flamingo Book Club." The white cotton turtleneck is by Ralph Lauren and the pink cable knit sweater is also by Ralph Lauren.
I just love the pattern...this is the Sandra Lee in me!
I wore my pink Lilly mules {after I realized I still had on my night slippers when the first guest had arrived}, my Ralph Lauren pearl stud earrings, my Cartier roll ring wedding band, a pink grosgrain ribbon adorned my usual ponytail, and Lilly *Wink* was my fragrance of choice!

Nobody in the world eats better than a bereaved Southerner. Many Delta cooks keep their pantry stocked with staples to prepare funeral-appropriate dishes, when needed. This book reminds us of all the appropriate dishes for a funeral reception, some of which I prepared for the book club ladies. It also lets us know which foods would be totally inappropriate and tacky to take to the bereaved; foods such as: A leafy green salad--no comfort in this dish! A cobb salad--way too high falutin! Ribs--Good Lord, don't even think about taking this dish to a bereaved tacky!

Need to know which hymns are appropriate funeral hymns?--{Oh God our Help in Ages Past} and which are inappropriate (Battle Hymn of the Republic}.

Not sure about "the right funeral flower to send?" Choose Casablanca lillies or delicate pink roses over carnations or gladiolus!

All Southern ladies have a summer and winter funeral frock hanging in the closet at all times. I can tell you that my mama, Miss Pauline, has always carried a funeral frock with her when she travels out of town...always!

When I lived in California, I was a member of a book club there and we always served food mentioned in the book we read. So, I prepared food that is mentioned in the book--perfectly proper food for a Southern funeral reception!

{Y'all simply have to excuse the rumpled tablecloth and that ghastly cord in the right-hand corner! Y'all just have to!}
All the appropriate funeral reception foods are here...the centerpiece--pale pink roses, oh-so proper!


Cheese Straws,
the cocktail snack of the South...

Salted Pecans, a favorite at all Southern receptions...

Artichoke Spread, another popular cocktail accompaniment in the South.

Pimiento Cheese is known as the "Southern Pate." It's a funeral staple...the paste that holds the South together!

Stuffed Eggs are associated so closely with death that anytime you see the lady of the house getting down the egg plate, you might well ask, 'Who died?'

There's always a Ham Platter at a Southern funeral reception.

Southern Fried Chicken "is traditionally served when the preacher comes to Sunday lunch," however, it's very at-home at funeral receptions.

"Grits is a comfort food that has helped to heal many a Southern soul."

"Nothing whispers sympathy quite like a Frozen Pea Casserole with canned bean sprouts and mushroom soup."

Liketa Died Potatoes are the last thing a snoot would take to somebody's house, but the first thing to be eaten!"

Cheese Biscuits...comfort food at its' best!

Coconut Cake...just sooooo Southern y'all! Italic Another pink Christmas tree y'all. This one is decorated with little pink flamingos--party favors for my guests!
Each guest took home a flamingo ornament...attached to their "leftover" container!

Funeral Etiquette
Remember that death, like all other life-cycle events, has etiquette rules that should be observed. These etiquette rules simply must be followed...'cuz y'all know--people will talk!
~When learning of someone's death, you should contact the family immediately to offer your condolences.
~In the South, as soon as the word is out that someone has passed away, casseroles and other appropriate funeral foods are dispensed to the grieving family--that's just what we do.
~Obituaries in the South are a little different from those you might read in other parts of the Country--people "pass away", "enter into eternal rest,"are called to eternal glory," or they "slip away suddenly." Some Southerners feel the word "death" is just too tacky.
~Southern ladies have been known to be buried in an evening gown, prom dress, or a lace peignoir.
~Dark conservative clothing should be worn to the funeral home and to the funeral service.
~Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road when a funeral procession is passing by--this shows respect for the deceased person and for those who are grieving.

The Sympathy Note and the Thank-You Note:
Even if you send flowers and attend the funeral, you should still send a sympathy note. A proper sympathy note soothes. Notes are almost as important as food and Southern mothers work hard to ensure that their children grow up able to write a good one! They know they will be judged on this. It is fine to say how difficult it is to find the words to express your feelings. If you are sincere, offer your help in a sympathy note. Avoid phrases such as "Please let me know if there is anything I can do," instead, offer to supply a meal or run an errand for the family. Phrases such as "Please know that we are thinking about you and you have our deepest sympathies" are appropriate in a condolence note.

Thank-you notes are sent out as soon as possible to those who sent flowers, sent food, made donations, or participated in the funeral. Of course, it is acceptable to send a thank-you note to anyone who made a special trip to attend the funeral or sent a sympathy card. It is never considered wrong to send a thank-you note!

So, if you want to know what happens the minute a Southerner passes away, read this book! Thank you for stopping by today...I'll be back on Wednesday with photos of one last Christmas tablescape and Christmas tree.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Cottage Kitchen at Christmas!

Well, the big day is almost upon us! Are you ready? Did you somehow get behind like moi? I need another month, please! Y'all come on in and peek inside my little cottage kitchen at "The Roost." It has a bartop counter {I featured that tablescape and tree in a previous post}, a small island, and a small breakfast area. As "husband" says, "I've crammed it full of stuff!" Take a look...

First you have to stop and say Merry Christmas to Santa! He's all decked out and adorned with cheetah-print ribbon. I can't bear to part with him...he's left over from my cheetah-print days! The half-moon table and monogrammed mirror frame are from World's Away in Memphis, Tennessee.
Yes ma'am, when I lived in Palm Springs, California, my entire house was decked out in palm tree, cheetah print, and eiffel tower motif items--with a few monkeys thrown in! That was right before I renamed the house "The Magnolia & Ivy Cottage" and entered my tea house days...that's another phase and another story...

As you enter the kitchen, we want to make something perfectly clear..."We don't care how you do it up North!"

"Something from the oven" is ready to go in a cute little rooster theme gift bag...

No more palm trees and ma'am! It's roosters from here on in!

My only cloche...I couldn't very well link up to the latest Christmas cloche party all y'all took part in...with this little old thing!

Ginghamed-up plate...

THE cookie plate...on display until the big night...

A little "Ho Ho Ho" on top of the frig...

If you read my blog last Christmas, you may remember this cute little "Gingerbread Tablescape" I did. Well, I didn't set it up this year, but I did try to use a few of the items from that "Cookie Exchange" on my island.
This is my island setup this the Gingerbread stuff y'all!

Cookies are everywhere I go at Christmas!

I put up this medium size tree in the tiny breakfast the colors!

"Naughty" wrap on a package and a simple red gift bag...

"Nice" wrap, polka dot wrap, and another red gift bag...

The breakfast area...
This is a tablescape I did last year also, but I've added a few things and changed it up a bit...

I adore this wreath centerpiece...
The placesetting...very, very whimsical!
An ornament adorns the napkin, tied with moire ribbon...
Love the goblets, personalized, of course!

The sideboard...all festive in apple green and red. I adore the runner!

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my little kitchen! I'm constantly changing things y'all and who knows what it will look like after Christmas! I will be back in a couple of days to show y'all photos of my Book Club party. Until then...enjoy and please keep "Christ" in Christmas!