Robin Flies South...

A blog about decorating and tablescaping with an emphasis on creativity and smart shopping over cash!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lemon Tree Very Pretty

Lemon Tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat...

Not that I'm old enough to remember Peter, Paul and Mary but my husband (who is old enough!) kept singing that song when we bought our lemon tree last year.  I love lemons.  The look, the feel, the taste, the smell, pretty much all the senses get in on it.  I really swung the pendulum from last week on this table.  Different room, four place settings instead of six and dramatic colors.  And LOTS of lemons!

I started with placemats and matching napkins from Tuesday Morning (they are on clearance there now).

I told you there was some color!  The black background really makes the green and yellow pop.

My dish stack isn't exactly fine china.  The dinner plate is from Dollar Tree, salad plate from Ross and the black bowl is from Walmart.  No expense was spared in this tablescape!

The glass fruit dish and the lemon sticks are both from Ross.  I thought it was just too easy to put a lemon in the dishes so I went with candy.

I layered the napkin with a bright green one (you can't see it here) and the lemon napkin ring is from Bed, Bath and Beyond (clearance of course).

I used my clear acrylic flatware (it matches everything!) and if you're a Dollar Tree regular, you must recognize this glass!

I usually like to say how I don't go overboard with a theme but in this case, find me guilty and throw the book at me!

Final touch to the placesetting is a lemon candle (and the lemons keep on coming) sitting on a leaf plate.

I took my own advice from a few weeks back and used a tray under my centerpiece.  The tray is the smaller of two I bought at the Villeroy and Boch Outlet.  One of those impulse purchases that you don't know how you could live without. 

I found this candleholder on clearance at Ross.  It had a few chips in it that I fixed with a sharpie. 

The topiary is from Marshall's and the pitcher is from Ross.  If finding the lemons on this table were a drinking game we would all be in trouble!

This is our little lemon tree and yes it does resemble Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree after he puts an ornament on it!  We are expecting a bumper crop this year!

Thanks for stopping by and letting me indulge in my lemons, lemons and more lemons tablescape.  Here's a few more shots just in case you didn't get enough!  Hey, that reminds me of what this is missing, a shot of Lemon cello! 

Please be sure to stop by my sister's blog, Creating Wonderful Spaces.  I promise there will be no lemons in sight next week! 

I will be joining the following parties...

Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
Show and Share at Southern Lovely
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order
Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty Decorating
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Thursday's Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner
Wow us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Build it and they will come!

I'm borrowing a quote from one of my favorite baseball movies to describe our latest landscaping project.  Butterfly gardens are very popular here in Florida and I have recently visited them at Epcot in Disney, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota and last weekend at the MOSI Museum in Tampa.   Insect life in general is pretty intense here so why not attract the ones you want to have hang around?  We already have quite a few butterflies in our yard, along with a hummingbird once in a while.  This didn't start out as a butterfly garden on purpose but seems to have turned out that way.

When we first moved here, our backyard looked like this.  That glaring white vinyl fence isn't exactly an eyesore but it could use some softening up and some color! And what's with that random tree?

After having a pool installed (you can read about that HERE), we had some palms planted and added  lemon and lime trees.  Things were definitely looking up but that fence was still glaring back at us!  Our first attempt was a total failure.  We bought some oleander's last summer (really too late in the season) since they were half price.  They must have been diseased or something because they didn't grow, didn't bloom and eventually showed signs of impending death.  We still wanted oleanders back there because they grow quickly and bloom all year long.  Tip-not a good plant if you have pets as they are poisonous!

Before I go any further I have to make a confession.  I do some gardening in the front flower beds and all the containers, but this part of the yard is solely my husbands deal.  He did all the work and I just get to enjoy it. He ripped out all the diseased plants and decided to start from scratch. This time he prepped the soil and planted more oleanders in the early spring.  He filled in with a few philodendron.  Fine, but it needed more.  First, he added 2 Chinese Fan Palms.  Still not quite there.  He added more palms and 2 more philodendrons.  My advice is to buy plants a few at a time and whatever you do, don't add up how much you've spent! 

About a million bags of mulch later, it looked pretty good.  Remember, we are here in Florida where things grow like crazy!  There is no need to go to the expense of larger plants because these will grow very quickly (especially if we can avoid a hard frost this winter).  Now we needed color!  We took a quick trip to Lowe's this morning and picked out a variety of perennials.  Even though it's in the 90's today, my husband was up to the task and started planting as soon as we got home. In the bright mid-day sun!  He recovered quickly enough to play a round of golf this afternoon.

We hadn't intended on being so butterfly friendly but it seemed as if every plant we picked out was going to be attractive to our winged friends.  Sounds good to me!  Lowe's had a special section dedicated to Florida friendly plants that can tolerate the full sun we get here. All of them just happened to attract butterflies.

This is just a few of the flowers we have planted in our yard.  Hibiscus, penta (not a true perennial but will keep going if there's no frost), Mexican petunia and I'm not sure what the other purple one is.  We spent under $45 and they should last for years (fingers crossed).

If all goes well, I will do a before and after next spring and you non-Floridians will be shocked to see how much everything has grown.  Thanks to my husband's hard work in less than ideal conditions, we have a more pleasing view and a nice setting to observe the butterflies!

By the way, that random tree just didn't make the cut in our landscaping design (it did, however, get cut!).

I will be joining the following parties...
Overflowing with Creativity at It's Overflowing
Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper
Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter
Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different, Act Normal
Saturday 7 at Positively Splendid
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Nifty Thrift Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Your Cozy Home Party at Cozy Home Scenes
You're Gonna Love it Tuesday at Kathe with an E
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired

If Pottery Barn were a girl in high school (I have a strange imagination) she would be the coolest girl at school.  She would come up with all the great ideas that everyone would copy all the time.  I'm sure I would try hard to sit at her lunch table so I wouldn't miss anything this amazing, yet down to earth, girl might say or do.  And of course I would copy her every chance I get!  That's what I did this week for my tablescape.  It has that coastal vibe I love and gives me a chance to show off my new dishes.  It's my third set of white dishes.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, right?  I think if there was such a thing as White Dishes Anonymous, the meetings would be pretty crowded!  My table is inspired by this table from Pottery Barn a few years back. 

As you view my table see if you can find the things I copied. and I will give you the answers at the end of the post.  C'mon in and take a look.

My first goal was to use nothing but neutrals. 

Tans, creams, silvers and just a touch of brown aren't boring when you have such a variety of textures.

These are my new dishes from Beall's.  The manufacturer is Thomson Pottery.  I bought two sets so that I have a service for eight.  Not only were they on sale but I used a coupon too.  As irritating as it may be at times to get emails from your favorite stores, I have saved a ton of money with coupons or sale notices delivered to my in box. 

The shell design on the border is on the modern side and the dishes work well with my GW spray painted chargers.

You will be seeing a lot of these straw placemats (IKEA or Walmart) this summer.  I placed my teak handled flatware in the bowl (now where did I get that idea?)

I tried a few different napkins but decided on these brown plaid.  I've never used them before because I kept thinking I only had 4 (I really need to inventory my things!)  The napkin rings are one of two things on the table that came from my inspiring place (PB). 

The other PB part is the champagne glasses (they look just fine sitting next to my Dollar Tree water goblets). 

The centerpiece is a dough bowl (Kohl's) filled with sand, shells and candles.  Here's a tip for you...did you know you can use grits instead of real sand?  That's what I did here.  Are you surprised that a Jersey (originally) girl has grits in her pantry?  They were left over from the Shrimp and Grits I made.  I make fried green tomatoes too.  I love the recipes from Southern Living.  My mother would be shocked!

The table runner is a recent purchase from Home Goods.

I placed candleholders (Marshall's) on either side of the bowl and added a few votives too.

Sorry, my candlelight pictures are so bad.  I almost didn't include this one but I wanted to show how inviting the table looks with the soft light of candles. 

So did you pick out which things I copied (blatantly stole!)?  Here's my list...
-Neutral colors (although PB went for more white)
-Simple linen table runner
-Matching white dishes
-Placing the silverware in the bowl
-Natural chargers(or placemats in my case)
-Lots of candles, sand, starfish and sea shells
-Clear glassware

Pottery Barn went with more glass as a centerpiece but I liked the way the wooden bowl looked with the plaid napkins.  I think I made it my own.  So, if Pottery Barn were a girl in high school do you think she would mind that I copied her?  I like to think she would be flattered.

Be sure to visit my sister's blog Creating Wonderful Spaces to see her beautiful outdoor table!

I am joining the following parties...
Let's Dish at Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Thursday's Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner
Your Cozy Home Party at Cozy Home Scenes
Thrifty Things Friday at Thrifty Groove
Inspiration Friday at At The Picket Fence
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Sunday Blog Live at Cherished Treasures
Creative Blogger's Party at Homemaker on a Dime
Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll thru Life
Blog Lovin' Blog Hop at It's Overflowing

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kid's Guest Room

When I saw that Thrifty Decor Chick chose Kid's Room as this months selection I thought I was left out.  After I got thinking, I decided to feature my Guest Room since it would work great for visitors of all ages.  My son's friends stayed here recently but I don't think that's what Sarah (TDC) had in mind (they're in their mid-20's!).  So sorry if I'm bending the rules a bit and I promise I won't cheat when the subject is finished basements or nurseries!  I will definitely sit those out. 

We already had one twin bed when my sister-in-law gave us another one.  I've been  into the coastal look lately and decided that would be a fun theme.  If, and when, we have grandchildren of our own (no pressure kids!) this would be a nice room to make them feel like they were on vacation.  It's still a work in progress but this is what we've completed so far.

The room is just big enough for the two twin beds and I used a dresser instead of a nightstand (great tip for small spaces).  The dresser was my Aunt Ann's and I have no idea how old it is.  I am still on the lookout for headboards so I have held off  doing anything to the dresser.  I may go with white wood,  natural wicker, white iron or something else. 

I found the lightweight quilts at Steinmart.  I think they will look even better after they've been washed a few times and get that soft, vintage look to them. 

The design pretty much covers the whole beach look with sand dollars, starfish, scallops, coral and various other shells along with stars and stripes.  I would have considered them a good deal money wise too except for one thing.

The shams (not really made to match) were separate so that added to the bedding cost.  The shell pillows are from Beall's and are for use indoor or out.  I bought them for my lanai but liked the way they looked in here better.

For those rare cool nights here I wanted to add a blanket to the bottom of the beds.  These are Ralph Lauren from TJ Maxx and were only $17 each.  The are true white but can be washed.

I bought white sheet for the beds (love white sheets!) and bought 2 twin flat sheets to use as curtains for that casual look.

All I did was iron them and loosely clip them with curtain rings.  I kept the curtain rod brown but  I may wind up painting it white depending on the headboard decision.

These pictures are hanging above each bed and although they look alike each one is different. 

A nice little prayer for young ones staying with us.

I had so much fun decorating the dresser top.  You can read about that HERE.

Since I wrote that post I've added the little swimmer. 

On the other side of the room is a large closet.  I would like to get small trunks or luggage racks to place at the ends of the beds.  That's about all that will fit in this room.

Another sign I added above the light switch.  I didn't want to put too much in this room so there is plenty of room for guests and their belongings. 

I apologize for not showing you a puppet theatre, train track or great toy storage but at this point of my life (in between children and grandchildren) this is what we need from this room!

Here are some tips for doing a kid's room or guest room.

-This is a great chance to do a fun theme.  Children will change their minds often about how they want their rooms to look so spend your money in the right places(like good sturdy furniture ).
-Sheets make great curtains in these rooms.  They are inexpensive and very long so you can hang your rods up high.  You can often find them to match bedding too.
-Don't fill the room up with so much stuff that there is no place to play or spread out a homework project
-Buy washable bedding and if it's the kind that looks better a little softer or more faded the better!
-Nothing beats crisp white sheets and they are easy to keep clean,  Think white slipcovers.
-Don't forget lighting.  Just an over head light is not enough.  Think of reading bedtime stories or when they get older, wanting to reach over and turn out the light before falling asleep.
-I've had both hardwood and wall to wall carpet in bedrooms and as much as I love wood, I prefer carpeting in a bedroom-it's your personal choice.
-I have 6 underbed storage boxes under these 2 beds, the ones on wheels are even better.  They hold a lot of stuff!

I am joining the following parties...

Show Us Your House at Thrifty Decor Chick
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll thru Life
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Thrifty Thursday at Thrifty Decorating
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order
Vintage Inspiration at Common Ground