Friday, April 30, 2010


Tomorrow is May Day & The Kentucky Derby...a huge day in the South! However, there will be no pretty 'May Day Baskets' or mint juleps in my day! Beginning at 6:00 tonight and ending tomorrow at noon, I will be participating in the Cancer Society's Relay for Life to honor and support my friend Jan Taylor, who is battling liver cancer. You can read more about this story here. This time tomorrow, I will hopefully be resting my poor ole feet and snoozing!

I thought I would show y'all a previous blog post I did about 'May Day Baskets' and the Derby...

~May Day Basket~
I think it's such a sweet tradition (bringing in May) to create a May Day Basket and leave it on someone's door handle--just ring the bell and scoot! You can give them to friends, family, or elderly neighbors. The basket can be of any shape or style and contain flowers, cookies, candy, or maybe even tea and scones. For my basket, I used a green toile container, added some fresh spring flowers, and a green gingham ribbon to tie the basket to the door handle...very simple, very Southern.
~ Run for the Roses~
And they're off! Tomorrow, at 6:24 p.m. E.S.T. it's post time for the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than the one when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up "My Old Kentucky Home." Those ladies decked out in their spring outfits and gorgeous hats, what a fashion parade!

On Derby Day it's time for mint juleps*. It's not surprising that mint juleps are popular in the South, mint is a symbol of hospitality and this drink brings forth the ideal image of genteel gatherings sprinkled with that sweet Southern drawl...

It is considered proper to drink mint juleps with a sterling mint julep straw/spoon. Simply use the spoon to stir the julep and sip your beverage through the tiny hole at the end. This is one of the very few times a lady should use a straw to drink a beverage. It's also acceptable to use a straw when you are drinking a coke out of a can or when you've "taken ill and are in the bed."

A sterling mint julep straw/spoon...stir with one end and sip from the other...Could you possibly get more Southern?

*Recipe for Miss Janice's Mint Julep
1 tblsp. granulated sugar
8 mint leaves
1 tblsp. water
4 oz. Kentucky bourban
Crushed ice
Sprig of fresh mint

Place sugar and mint leaves in a small bowl. Bruise mint well and muddle with sugar until they form paste. Add water and stir well. Add bourban; pour into julep cups (which have been frosted in the freezer) and fill with crushed ice. Insert sprig of fresh mint and silver straw. Each julep should be made separately.

~Derby Party Hostess Gift~
Y'all know Miss Janice always likes to take a gift to the hostess. I found this Mint Julep mix at TJ Maxx. I kind of like the package, but that thing attached...and that tacky ribbon. No ma'am, it's cute, but not cute enough for moi...
I took the julep mix out of the package, placed it inside a silver mint julep cup, made a gift card with several recipes printed on the back of the card, and attached a silver mint julep straw/spoon with a green dotted ribbon. I wanted it to be Southern...and Memorable.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I'm off to get ready for the Relay for Life event. If you are my friend on Facebook {Janice Sessums Gibson} or Twitter {}, please chat with me tonight...I'll be UP ALL NIGHT, y'all!

Remember, it's the little things that you do for others that makes the day special and memorable.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


For those of you who might think that Miss Janice slaves away at the stove all the time...think again! I am the Queen of take-out and delivery y'all! So, I love this cute 'Take-Out Menu Organizer,' by C. R. Gibson. I purchased mine at It's In the Kitchen, in Weston, Florida. They do not have a large inventory of items available on their website, but if you would like to purchase one of these useful books, call them at 954.389.7220. Otherwise, these are available online at Distinctive-Decor .

Great for storing all those menus I collect, and it's tres cute...

There are separate compartments for different food specialities and labels are provided to mark each section...

A notepad is provided to jot down your order and the total price due. How many times have I asked husband what he wants to order and he starts shouting out stuff like I'm some short-order cook??? Now I just say, "Write it down!"

There is even a 'Tip Calculator' provided! Hmmmmmm, how much to tip for delivery service or when picking up a take-out order?

~For delivery service, I tip 20%; however, 15% is acceptable. If there is inclement weather, or you are ordering delivery service during a major televised sporting event, I would definitely tip 20%. Just remember that your tips are important to the delivery person...they are usually driving their own vehicle, paying for gas & upkeep, et cetera.

~If you are picking up food at a restaurant, a $1-$2 tip is acceptable or up to 10% of the bill. {If the restaurant accepts tips, then you should tip when you pick up a take-out order.}

Tips are for "service" provided, but I always try to be nice and generous with the person who has my food in his/her hands!

About a month ago, I was invited to a housewarming party and decided one of these cute binders might be something the couple would like. Wrapped in cello, with a yellow ribbon...I think it's a great gift!

Of course, I had to attach one of my 'Miss Janice' correspondence cards...

I always try to think of something useful and unique when giving gifts! I love it--surely they did...Miss Monica said they did in her thoughtful and timely thank-you note to me:)

Hope y'all aren't slaving away too much in your kitchen. Get it delivered!!!!

Thank you for visiting with me today!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


This wall in my kitchen is the perfect spot for a Bakers Rack-ish thingy I purchased at Pier One several years ago.

I'm not ALL about roosters y'all! Here's a cute little bunny bookend from HomeGoods.

Some faux veges...

Entertaining and Tablescape books...
More entertaining books and a stash of vino!

Cookbooks and a MacKenzie-Childs recipe box...

I love magazines and keep all my favs so I can refer back to them from time to time. I found these cute magazine folders at Ikea. They are the perfect cranberry color to match the red I use in my kitchen.

I printed out these labels, rounded off the corners, ran the edges slightly dipped in a cranberry inkpad, punched a hole for the ribbon, and tied a cranberry small gingham check ribbon onto the label. Finally, I hot-glued the ribbon on the upper inside of the magazine file.

A tag for all my miscellaneous Phyllis Hoffman Media Publications...

Tea Time magazines...

Southern Lady magazines...

Paula Deen magazines...
These magazine files are available at Ikea and now hold my collection of all the de rigueur mags for a Southern lady!

Now all my magazines are easy to find and within easy reach!

I'm joining Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday. Stop in and visit her site to check out the photos of her beautiful kitchen--all prissed up by her friend! There are a lot more tabletop vignettes from other bloggers to see as well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"You Might be a Southern Lady" have an apron for every occasion!

Since I am a servant-less cook, I like to make sure that I prepare and serve meals and beverages to my family and guests with grace and style. Why stand in front of the stove getting splattered with grease when you can wear a cute apron that compliments your kitchen decor or your outfit?

Aprons were a staple in the wardrobe of the 1950's housewife. However, today's aprons are not your mama's apron...they are very stylish and are definitely making a fashion comeback. My apron collection is hanging on the wall in my breakfast area...
This cute little apron is my 'Kitchen Apron', which I wear when I'm preparing real messy foods! It's my workhorse apron with a darling rooster motif, by Martha Stewart and available at Macys. {I found mine in-store}.

All of my other aprons are used as 'Hostess Aprons,' and are worn when serving family and guests, 'cuz they are so cute!

Up first...I'm modeling this precious and preppy Lilly-fied apron, hand made by Lynn Whelan and available on her Etsy site here. She has taken a cute Lilly fabric and embellished it with complimentary fabric and trim. I just LOVE this darling 'Hostess Apron.' Y'all don't forget to wear your pearls with your aprons! {Please excuse the tacky way I'm holding my monogrammed wine goblet--I still have tendonitus in my left wrist and I was afraid of dropping the goblet!}
How cute would this apron be to wear while serving lunch on my porch...with preppy themes?!!

Everyone needs one of these 'Hostess Aprons' in a solid color and monogrammed! I purchased this apron online at The Palm Gifts. Love this apron and actually wore it last night to prepare and serve an easy weeknight casserole of Chicken & Rice. How cute are the 'Gloveables' with the apron?!! The stylish gloves {available in-store at Sur La Table} are a must-have for those of us who entertain frequently. Again, don't forget to wear the pearls:)! {I'm serving the Chicken & Rice casserole from the cute burgundy stoneware casserole dish--from the Paula Deen collection.}

Now, I don't want to bore all y'all with photos of moi modeling the aprons, so here's the remainder of my apron parade displyed on a mannequin.

This sweet battenburg 'Hostess Apron' is one that I use for my 'Tea Presentations' and of course, I have one monogrammed in several colors. I purchased these years ago on Ebay and this one is monogrammed in pink...

Perfectly proper little tea apron for serving Afternoon Tea at 'The Roost'...

Now y'all know I have to have Paula Deen's 'Hey Y'all!!!' 'Hostess Apron,' it's simply a must for Miss Janice! {You can purchase Paula's apron at her website.}
The 'Hey Y'all!!!' apron with a red turtleneck sweater is perfect for serving family and guests during the Christmas season at 'The Roost'...

Or, I can wear the 'Hey Y'all!!!' apron while serving one of my 'Signature Beverages.'

Even more appropriate, I definitely have to wear the 'Hey Y'all!!!' apron when serving Southern iced tea, on the porch at 'The Roost'!

Love, love, love this 'Hostess Apron'--with the fleur de lis and harlequin pattern, it's just my style! {It's available online at The French Quarter Market.}
You can find me wearing this cute apron during Mardi Gras or just serving up football food during the Saints games. Who Dat Y'all?!
Of course, my kitchen at 'The Roost' is totally decked out from top to bottom with rooster loot and this adorable rooster-motif 'Hostess apron,' available at Williams-Sonoma is perfect...'cuz it matches my decor!'s perfect to serve breakfast on the front porch at 'The Roost'.

Love this versatile yellow 'Hostess Apron,' also from Williams-Sonoma {in-store only, I believe}...

It's the perfect 'Hostess Apron' for serving my Masters guest...
Last but not least, here's a cute 'Witchey Hostess Apron' I purchased at HomeGoods and wore last Halloween when I entertained at my 'Witches Brew & Stew' party, on the porch, at 'The Roost'...

So, pretty-up yourselves in the kitchen and Bon Appetit Y'all! Thank you for stopping in to visit with me.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Don't ask me where they go...but I constantly misplace e-mails! I open them and plan on answering them at a later time--go back, POOF, they are gone. I'm totally technically challenged, so who knows what I'm doing wrong.

Anywho...I NEVER ignore my e-mails! I always reply, even though sometimes I wait a wee bit too long:)

Just this week I've lost four e-mails...

~From someone asking about serving champagne at an afternoon tea.

~From someone asking where to buy the Paula Deen red rooster measuring cups.

~From someone asking about vintage Lilly items.

~From someone asking about wedding etiquette.

So, if you are in the group above, please resend me your e-mail:) Also, if I don't answer your e-mail, it's because either I did not receive it or I lost it:)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I'm still remembering how much fun I had on my recent road trip to Mount Dora, Florida. What a cute little town! If you are ever in the Orlando area, you must drive the short distance over to Mount Dora to shop and dine! I shopped so much my wrist is still hurting. {I finally went to the Doctor and I have Tendonitus--ouch!} I'm telling y'all the truth! That's another reason I believe that every shopper needs a schlepper. I hauled heavy bags of loot from the downtown shops to the Bed & Breakfast...back and forth, many times!

Any-who...The Windsor Rose Tearoom was a must visit for Miss Janice. I called to make a reservation one week prior to my visit and was informed that "We don't take reservations, we are too busy!" Okay...hmmmmm. Well, I arrived to check out the place and was seated at a great little spot by a window. I LOVED this tearoom. The food was delish. The server was professional. The ambiance was lovely. The only thing missing was my friend Miss Kara. She is my tearoom buddy and being married to a Brit, she would have loved this place. It's definitely a British-style tearoom as apparent from the menu and decor. Memorabilla of the British Royal Family is gracefully displayed and they even sell HP Sauce, Tips Tea, and cookies. The menu is vast and offers all the proper tea foods along with lunch food.

The Windsor Rose Tearoom...
A lovely collection of memorabilla of the British Royal Family...

British foods and tea for sale, as well...

Congratulations for the Windsor Rose Tearoom! Because of your delicious food, professional waitstaff, and lovely tearoom decor, I am awarding you Miss Janice's "Five Silver Spoons" Award!

Thank you for visiting with me today. I'm enjoying watching the Masters Golf Tournament this weekend...with all the Tiiiiigah mania going on! Lord have mercy. To get you in the golf mood, visit this post I did last year...with a golf theme.

If you don't see many posts from me for awhile, it's because I'm trying to step away from the computer, due to my poe old hand:)! Plus, I've been hitting the pavement, trying to get ready for my 18-hour "Relay for Life!"