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Downton Abbey and a Bit of British Design

union jac in bridgewater potterysource

In our last post, we said good-bye to winter, but today I want to bid farewell to Downton Abbey Season 4 and celebrate it with a look at a few British designers. Season 5 is already in the works with several new actresses and actors added to the cast.  If you want to be ahead and plan your celebration party for the premiere of that season, you might want to purchase and use some of the precious things I found on an Etsy site. Besides the fabulous banner (below), they also have cupcake wrappers and toppers…all VERY cute!

Papergravy printable etsyetsy.com

I don’t know about you, but I was not really thrilled with Season 4.  In fact, I had planned to do a series of posts on British designers over several Sunday nights during the season, but I changed my mind after the violent episode with Anna.  I almost stopped watching it because of that, but decided to continue to see if it would get any better.  I do like how the season ended, and it left me feeling optimistic (much more so than the season finale of Season 3!)

It was good to see Mr. Bates and Anna happy.Mr Bates and Anna Downton Abbeypbs.org

I thought the end with Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson was sooooo sweet.

Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carsonpbs.org

I LOVED Paul Giamatti as Cora’s brother.  (I also loved him as the very kind chauffeur in Saving Mr. Banks.)

Harold Levinson Downton Abbeypbs.org

But my favorite scene of the entire episode was when Daisy was talking with Mrs. Patmore about turning down the American valet’s offer to be a cook in America. Daisy’s excitement over someone courting her was just too darn cute!

Daisy Downton Abbeypbs.org

When this season started, I shared a post with you about British designer Emma Sims Hilditch.  What I didn’t tell you was her husband is an owner in a tremendous furniture company…Neptune Home.  The company began with the plan to design and sell hammocks.  It morphed into garden furniture construction, and now they build cabinetry and sell gorgeous furniture and home accessories – kind of like Pottery Barn with a branch in home construction.  Here is a small sampling of their work.

Neptune kitchenneptune.com

Neptune design storagecontent.neptune.com

Neptune kitchen designed by Distinctly Living  photo by Colin Cadlehouzz.com

Another British company that does amazing work with kitchen cabinetry is Plain English.  Take a look at these kitchens.

Plain English Suffolk showroom kitchen

plainenglishdesign.co.ukPlain English design Merchants kitchenplainenglishdesign.co.uk

Plain English kitchenplainenglishdesign.co.uk

Martin Moore and Company is also a British design firm that has been in the cabinetry business for almost 40 years.  I think you will like some of their creations as well.

Martin Moore kitchenmartinmoore.com

Martin Mooremartinmoore.com

Martin Moore cabinetmartinmoore.com

And don’t think they only create kitchens.  Here is an example of their gorgeous bathroom woodwork.Martin Moore and Company bathroommartinmoore.com

When I was a teenager, I was smitten with anything that had the name of English designer Laura Ashley on it, and it was always such a highlight of any trip to Atlanta to shop in the Laura Ashley shop at Lenox Square.  (I know she and her husband lived in Wales, but they started their fabric designs in London.)  I can remember drooling over the dresses. My very first maternity dress was a periwinkle blue striped dropped waist dress with a sailor collar from that very store. Have you noticed that many of the dresses from this season’s Downton Abbey look as though they could have come from Laura Ashley? Vintage Laura Ashley dresses on Ebay and Etsy are now advertised as having the Downton Abbey look.  Just look at the white dress worn by the actress,Poppy Drayton when she is at the picnic with Paul Giamatti.  Doesn’t it look like a Laura Ashley dress?

Poppy Drayton in Downton Abbeydraytonhall.tumblr.com

And Laura Ashley clothing was not all that I liked from the company.  There were all the fabrics and the wallpapers and the dishes! I dreamed of a cottage decorated in Laura Ashley style.  Anyone else do that? Today, the company still makes home goods with charming English cottage style.

Laura Ashley kitchen

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Laura Ashley living roomsource

Laura Ashley coastal living roomlaura-ashley.com.au

Laura Ashley spring summer catalog 2014source

 The Laura Ashley company has a blog, and they even did a post last winter on how to get the Downton Abbey look with Laura Ashley products.  You can see it here.

And there is another British company that makes charming fabrics.  Are you familiar with Emily Bond?  They design a number of animal prints.  No, I’m not talking leopard or anything like that!  Think farm animals in the English countryside.  The dog print fabrics are wonderful.:)

Emily Bond fabric UKemilybond.co.uk

Emily Bond products

 emilybond.co.uk

And now for the final British designer I want to share with you today.  The very first time I saw a piece of Emma Bridgewater pottery I loooooved it.  It was her Black Toast pattern of pottery, and I thought it was just the smartest design I had ever seen for dishes!

toast and marmalade emma bridgewateremmabridgewater.co.uk

Bridgewater potterychurchmouseyarns,com

If you want a kitchen that is full of English cottage charm, all you have to do is fill your cupboard with Bridgewater Pottery.

cupboard and potteryhousetohome.co.uk

And that brings us to the end of our look at some British designers and back to where we started with Downton Abbey.  There is a quiz on Downton trivia at pbs.org.  You can see it here.  (I did not do very well!)  What did you think of Season 4?  Do you think Lady Mary will end up with either of her suitors in Season 5?  (I personally think that somewhere down the road she is going to end up with….Branson.)  Will something develop between Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson (or are they already secretly married?:)) Will Michael Gregson ever show up again?  If you are not a follower of the series, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the British designs in today’s post.  Do any of you own any of the Emma Bridgewater pottery?

Lots to talk about!  Leave a comment to jump in the conversation.:)

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Katrina - February 26, 2014 - 11:23 pm

So that’s where I had seen him…..thanks for helping me connect Cora’s brother with the chauffeur from Saving Mr. Banks. Yes, so good to see Anna and Mr. Bates happy! I also had a fleeting thought that Mary may someday end up with Mr.Branson. I love, love, love this show but I did think the prince and the stolen letter situation was a little far fetched but oh, all the coming out pagentry was fun. And Edith, well poor Edith…..
I am going to check out the Laura Ashley blog. I never tire of her style!
As Mr. Carson would say, “Good night, My Lady.”

Garden, Home and Party - February 26, 2014 - 11:51 pm

Kelly,
As an anglophile, of course I loved Laura Ashley and we own several Emma Bridgewater pieces. Such a fun post. I was ready to write a letter of complaint to Julian Fellows, his unspeakable scene was totally unnecessary and I was irritated. I read that many British viewers felt the same. I was happy with the ending and my only concern was that sweet Tom doesn’t end up regretting is association with the school teacher who seems a little pushy to me at this point. I’ll have to go back and visit all of the links in this post. You always provide such fun information. Thanks for the information.
xo,
Karen

Barbara Hinske - February 27, 2014 - 12:00 am

Loved Season 4 — especially the scenes from the Palace at the end. I’m so crazy about it I started a Facebook Community page — Downton Abbey Fans — for anyone who needs a “fix.” And Laura Ashley — oh my — I had that very same maternity dress. Too funny — and my head was full of her fabrics and designs for years! Her stuff was out of my budget at the time. Such a nice post — I thoroughly enjoyed it and will revisit it! Thank you!!

Mimi - February 27, 2014 - 12:25 am

Kelly,
I have you to thank for introducing me to the drama of Downton Abbey. I had never watched it before (I actually thought it was DownTOWN Abbey) and had no idea what I was missing out on until I read your post last year. I mentioned to my kids that I might want to watch that series, so they gave me the first three seasons for my birthday last March. Oh, how I would race home from school to watch a few episodes each night. It seemed like an eternity for Season 4 to start.

I agree with Karen–that teacher is going to probably be bad news for poor Tom. I would have to say that Granny (Violet) is probably my favorite character because of her fabulous one- liners! She can make me laugh so hard I snort.

Thanks for another great post! Enjoy your week.

Sally - February 27, 2014 - 6:37 am

Great post Kelly!

re: Carson and Mrs Hughes… are they SECRETLY MARRIED????? I just fell out of my chair. Never even entered my mind.

re: Mary and her suiters… I thought she might eventually marry Branson too, but after last weeks finale, I wondered about Branson and EDITH…. What do you think?

I agree that the episode about Anna was hard to watch — but I’m glad I hung in there, as I really liked the last episode!

Arlene@Nanaland - February 27, 2014 - 7:52 am

I like anything English and I am really going to miss Downton on Sunday nights. This season was different and I too hated to see Anna attacked as she was!! But as you said, the ending was perfect and we will see where season 5 heads. I love those big Aga stoves in English kitchens!! And Emma Bridgewater…love her pottery. I could go on and on. Thanks for sharing all the gorgeous pictures!

Kay - February 27, 2014 - 8:17 am

Yes, I have Emma Bridgewater pottery, + she sends me her catalog, too! I love it, but it’s a tad spendy!
I designed part of my kitchen based on the downstairs kitchen in Downton — yay!
Oh, if you’re in Barnes + Noble, look at the British home magazines — the interiors are wonderful + so are the ADS! I want to order 1 of everything!
I think Aunt Ros-something is actually Edith’s biological mother!
Stay tuned to see if I’m correct!

Kaye Ann - February 27, 2014 - 8:53 am

I loved Laura Ashley…. I still have a couple of her catalogs and books that I still look at from time to time. I have a pretty comforter set that I still use from time to time. Downton Abbey is my favorite, favorite show. Thank you for the post. It sparked some thoughts of redecorating my home with fabrics, like the Laura Ashley fabrics in the couple pictures of rooms. Thank you so much.

Scribbler - February 27, 2014 - 9:08 am

This season was a little off — lots of complaining. But even a sub-par DA is better than no DA at all, right?

I have had an on-going love affair with all things British (except maybe the food) most of my life — as well as all things French. Maybe I have a split personality? Laura Ashley was the reigning queen in my decor for years.

Another favorite cabinet maker was Smallbone of Devizes. I don’t know if they are still in business, but I think I ripped every ad I saw in the British magazines for their work. The mags from the UK have always been superior (in my opinion).

Cathy Norrie - February 27, 2014 - 9:38 am

Hi Kelly,

Lovely, interesting posting, as usual. Since we do not watch TV I have been waiting for Season 4 to come out in iTunes (or Netflix) so I have no idea what is going on. I think I will need to refresh my memory before I watch it and do a Downton Abbey blitz day watching the first 3 seasons before I tackle the 4th. Looking forward to it!

I have always loved Laura Ashley… I once had a lovely dress like the one worn by Poppy Drayton on the picnic (mine was cream with tiny dusty pink polka dots). I loved that dress and kept it hanging in my closet long after regularly I wore it… just to enjoy it’s loveliness!! :)

Thanks again, Kelly.
Hugs
Cath

Debra - February 27, 2014 - 9:42 am

Oh sigh! Downton withdrawal has commenced once again. I loved season four. Mrs. Hughes was my hero. So many twists and turns once again with quite a few of the characters. I loved the beautiful costumes, debutante coming out, elegant lawn picnic and simple day at the seashore, my favorite scenes. Mrs. Hughes taking Mr. Carson’s hand was priceless. I can’t wait for season 5. Even before Downton, I was always enjoying our WTTW line up of Doc Marten, Keeping up Appearances, and especially LOVE Judy Dench in As Time goes By. Love the English shows. As spectacular as Downton is, I am a small cottage lover at heart. I love the cottage style picture you posted with all the red. I’ve seen that before. Oh how I would love to live in a stone cottage with timbered ceiling, large walk in fireplace, Aga stove, and eat off of fun Emma Bridgewater pottery. I need a few pieces I think. (Uh oh….thanks Kelly) I’m not familiar with Emily Bond, how cute. Will have to check out the sites you have highlighted and of course the quiz. Great post Kelly!

Debra

Donnamae - February 27, 2014 - 10:09 am

Kelly, great post! I had a hard time this season concerning Anna’s rape. But, I did appreciate the way it was resolved. Justice! I have to admit I am totally enthralled with Downton….and I don’t understand why. I think it would be so cool to get Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes hitched…hehe! As far as Lady Mary goes…I’m rooting for Blake. I do like the rooms you showed in this post…I could
live in any of those. I, too, was once smitten with Laura Ashley…maybe I still am? Happy day to you! ;)

Terri - February 27, 2014 - 10:16 am

What a wonderful post…… I have always had a special love for English Cottage…. Laura Ashley style…. etc. etc. and Downton Abbey does tend to lean in that direction “Fashion wise” without a doubt… gorgeous ladies ……….. I am leaning toward Branson for Lady Mary!!! :) … so glad the final episode this season ended on a high note!!! ( oh, and the picture labeled “County Show”….well I could move in TODAY!!!!) :) ..have a great day!!

Barb - February 27, 2014 - 10:19 am

I loved every single part of this post! The cottages, the kitchens, Laura Ashley….I’m going to be very busy this weekend visiting all these sites!! I thought, this Season of Downton was a little disjointed. I think it was introducing us to storylines that are going to be expanded on next year. Personally, I think Bates has a very very dark side. I certainly wouldn’t want to cross him. Thanks for another great post. I’m off to make some tea!!

Jill - February 27, 2014 - 10:52 am

I didn’t realize it was the last episode of the season until I turned it on Sunday night. What’s with these Brits thinking that 6 episodes constitutes a “season?” I must say that as much as I love DA, I was a little disappointed with season 4….the whole Anna storyline, plus I feel like they are really dragging this whole thing out with Mary and her men. I thought for sure at the beginning of the season that she was going to wind up with Tom. But wouldn’t it be fun to have Mary and Edith fight over Tom? I love the relationship between the Dowager Countess and Mrs. Crawley. They will be “besties” yet. And I loved the final scene with Mrs. Hughes and Carson. I only fear that if they wind up happily together, something tragic will happen to one of them. (case in point: Matthew) I like the way things ended though with a lot of promise for the next season though.

Does anyone know how long we have to wait for season 5?

Jayne - February 27, 2014 - 11:14 am

One day my house will look like one of those pictured above. One day…one day!!! Just not today! haha. I have always liked the cottage look. English, country cottage. I have to admit I have not seen the show, but I have heard some good things. Need to find season one and start watching.

martha - February 27, 2014 - 1:46 pm

Oh Kelly,I agree with everyone, great post! I love DA and wish this season had lasted longer. I was relieved no one died, but agree that some of the story lines were not up to par. Hated the Anna rape episode, but realize that maybe this is how we will begin to see the dark side of Bates. Maybe he killed his wife after all……..I loved the scene with Daisy too, it has been fun watching her character grow and she is a favorite of mine. I also agree with Kay and suspect that Aunt Roslyn may be Edith’s mother.
The kitchens you show are to die for…..I am ready to gut mine and get those British designers to give it a fabulous makeover!!!! I was 14 when the Beatles invaded the USA (actually saw them perform in DC that year) so I have loved everything English for a looong time!! I took the DA quiz and I didn’t do well either. I thought some of the questions were strange.

Polly in KS - February 27, 2014 - 2:39 pm

My twin and I always adored Laura Ashley. Her clothes, colors, mix of patterns, home decorating items, how everything was feminine, but not overpoweringly so, etc. I hadn’t heard of the other British designers. Can’t wait to explore their websites, books, whatever I can find, especially Emma Bridgewater. Oooh, her pottery looks like something I would love to own.
Almost like Polish Pottery. Blue/white, yummy!

Ellie - February 27, 2014 - 2:54 pm

I soooo love this post and every single image in it. Love Downton Abby. I’ll be dealing with withdrawal until next season. I can’t wait to get acquainted with the Laura Ashley site in particular and the other sites from the UK.

Louvina - February 27, 2014 - 3:45 pm

Still haven’t gotten hooked on DA so was a bit lost but still enjoyed seeing pictures and reading the comments. Love English country side and the fashions from that time. Of course, enjoyed the English decorators and looking at the different sources–need more time to go back and look and learn. Are your number plates from that designer? Laura Ashley was and still is so lovely but during that “era”, I was raising children, going back to school and felt I couldn’t afford to buy but did surely did enjoy looking and dreaming.

Rebecca - February 27, 2014 - 7:00 pm

I have to say I had the same reaction to Downton Abbey that you had. I almost stopped watching my most favorite show. I so hoped that Anna and Bates would become close again but I knew he would figure out a way to get revenge for Anna. Bates is a shrewed but a very loveable character. The dowager is a hoot but she needs to ease up on Matthew’s mother. Isabell is the most stylish of people in the Downton Abbey world. I love, love her hats. I also thought the season was wayyyyyy too short. Keep up the good work you do….Rebecca

Lynne - February 27, 2014 - 7:41 pm

I thought season 4 was so short! Didn’t it just start in January? I hated the storyline with Anna. I’m sure crap like that has happened since the beginning of time, but I don’t want it brought in to this wonderful show. It made me really mad! I love the same scenes you did! The one thing I don’t like is how from one episode to the next 8 months had passed! I want them to slow down and stay in this time period! They will be in the 1950′s in season 5 at this rate!

Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA - February 27, 2014 - 7:43 pm

Girl…..!!!!!! I felt the same exact way about Downton Abbey! I have friends that are done because of that scene! Love the material you have on here, I always wonder where in the world do you find all these beautiful pictures!

Anita - February 28, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Kelly, I couldn’t wait to read your post when I saw the headlines. I knew I would need the time to take it all in :). I am almost caught up with all of the Seasons of Downton Abbey! I am waiting for Season 3 from the library. I found that Season 4 was a little short. I too was disappointed with what happened to Anna. The ending was sweet though. Perhaps Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson will find courtship as well. I never had made the connection of the actor in Saving Mr. Banks to his role in Downton. Not sure, if Lady Mary will decide on a suitor.

I love Poppy Drayton’s dress. It certainly reminds me of Laura Ashley. I used to shop at the Laura Ashley store way back when my daughters were wee little. I recall applying a wallpaper border in my mother’s kitchen when I was 7 months pregnant (how silly is that)? I purchased mother and child matching garments. This is a trip down memory lane for sure! I loved the picture of the Laura Ashley kitchen so much (probably due to the red accents) that I have made it my screensaver! I agree with Arlene about the Aga stoves. So charming. I think my style for decorating is English cottage. It’s so relaxed and seems effortless, not the look of a put together staged home feel. Have you heard of the website called ModCloth, a clothing company featuring vintage fashions to purchase online?
No, unfortunately, I do not own Emma Bridgewater. Thank you for this fabulous post Kelly. I enjoyed reading it and I shall peruse the websites.

Nikki Lehnhardt - February 28, 2014 - 5:59 pm

I still have a hard time with the idea of our beloved Gillwilly from the series Monarch of the Glen creating Downton. He was so perfect in that role. If you haven’t seen the series it’s on Netflix. He’s an excellent writer too.

I loved Laura Ashley. I’ve always wanted to find a reason to stay at Lord Ashley’s restort in Virginia. I don’t think he still owns it but I remember seeing photos of it decorated with Laura Ashley fabrics.

Catherine - February 28, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Oh, thank you for reminding me of the Laura Ashley catalogs! I used to pick them up from the store in my hometown of Brisbane in Australia. Love, love, love their stuff! I am enjoying all the Emma Bridgewater stuff too. Sigh.

Paula B. - March 1, 2014 - 10:12 am

Still so depressed that there will be no Downton this Sunday night, drat. What will I do ’til next January???? I think I was meant to live in an English country home, sighing at all the beautiful décor. Love the cottage look, the white and blue, the Emma Bridgewater, and all the rest….. Yep, this season was somewhat disappointing, but the finale was such a redemption. Spectacular. Loved that they were in London and that so many happy moments occurred. And, there were some new threads begun for next season, yay! (How convenient that Mary’s suitor turned out to be a blueblood, phew.)I’ve had it up to here with Daisy, she needs to move to the farm and get on with her life, how old would she be now, she started there before WWI began!!! Oh, and Edith’s daughter comes home and that intrigue with the lover set upon by German Brown Shirts. But, that final scene at the beach – took my breath away. (Expecting another storm tomorrow, sheesh, will it ever stop snowing!)

Ellen B. - March 2, 2014 - 9:29 am

I just found your blog via pinterest and I LOVE everything in this post! As an Anglophile, I’ve always been a huge fan of Laura Ashley and Emma Bridgewater…and I think you may have inspired me to purchase my first piece of Bridgewater pottery today!

Evelyn McIntosh - March 14, 2014 - 1:13 pm

Hi, really enjoying your site. I have a little robin who visit’s the bird feeder outside my kitchen window, so my husband treated me to a Emma Bridgewater robin mug, my daughter Elona has the puffins one, as we stay beside the sea on the east coast of Scotland. On a walk on Doon hill above Dunbar we saw four goldfinch’s so I have sent off for that one for my husband. More of a Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens fan myself. Although, probably biased the BBC does British period drama best.
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I would have to agree that the BBC does British period drama the best (and I LOVE British comedies as well!) I am jealous of your Bridgewater mugs. One day I will have some pieces of her pottery. Enjoy yours!
Kelly

Frozen and a Little Blue

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I know many of you are very tired of snow and ice and winter and cold, and you are more than ready for spring.  I had absolutely no plans for showing you more snow today.  In fact, I had plans to share with you some rooms that say springtime…But our daughter is home from college for the weekend, and she showed me a couple of youtube videos this morning that were soooo funny!  I was laughing so hard I cried. Seriously. What in the world has this got to do with snow? you might be wondering. The videos are related to the Disney movie Frozen. So…I’m sorry… but no springtime for you today…just Frozen stuff.

You may remember that our daughter is a member of a charity organization that makes appearances as Disney characters at hospitals, parades, fundraisers, etc. to raise money for various children’s charities. To say that she loves Disney would be an understatement.  She is one of those people who are addicted to all-things-Disney.  In this year’s Christmas parade she appeared as Elsa, the ice queen from Frozen.

Elsa in the Christmas parade

She has seen the movie several times, but the rest of us here had not see it until tonight. (It was a sweet story!) And even though I had not seen it before I watched these videos, I still enjoyed them, and I think you will too.  Check out this hilarious weatherman.

Frozen weather man videoyoutube.com

And Christina Bianco can sing as well as anyone out there.

Christina Bianco video Frozenyoutube.com

And while we are on the subject of Frozen, did you know that there is an ice hotel in Canada that has a Frozen suite in which you can stay?  Hotel de Glace is open for touring this year until March 23. (There is no way a sleeping bag would keep me warm enough in there.)

Hotel de Glace Frozen Suitefacebook.com

While I was perusing all things Frozen, I saw that there must be hundreds of Frozen-inspired parties out there.

Frozen party cupcakesspoonful.com

Frozen party from Karas party ideaskaraspartyideas.com

Throw a Frozen theme partybrowniebites.net

The title of today’s post is Frozen and a Little Blue. Since so much of the movie seems to be covered in blue, I thought I would include a few rooms for you to enjoy that have some of that icy blue in their decor.  Enjoy!

bhg desk in bluebhg.com

House Beautiful living roomhousebeautiful.com

bhg blue cabinets in kitchenbhg.com

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle kitchenatlantahomesmag.com

and finally, a blue house in the frozen snow.

blue housevillakoenig.blogspot.com

I hope I have not left you too frozen today. This is probably my farewell to winter post for the year (unless we get a crazy very late winter snow out of the blue!:))  Spring is just around the corner, and I will be back with some spring rooms for you to see very soon. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Until next time…

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Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA - February 23, 2014 - 8:43 am

Kelly , we have had our FAIR SHARE of snow here in VA this winter. To say I am ready for spring would be a serious UNDERSTATEMENT!! As a teacher I love a snow day every now and then (because we close, PRAISE GOD!!) But after a while staying cooped up gets to you and definitely fifteen 4 and 5 year olds!!!!
So I for one can’t WAIT for your spring posts!!!! Our family has eaten your potato soup recipe many, many times this winter! I plan on making the shrimp creole.

PS. I love, love, love your blog!!!!! I may not always comment, but I always read every post!
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Jennifer, yes it is not fun being cooped up in the winter! (especially with 15 little ones!) Spring IS coming. :) I am glad that you have made good use of the potato soup recipe. Thank you for your always encouraging comments!
Kelly

Louvina - February 23, 2014 - 8:58 am

Brr— I woke up to this post this morning– now I am freezing !! You could not have pleased me more— 2 of my favorite things– SNOW & BLUE!! I got the chills reading and viewing the pictures! Had to go get a sweater!!:)my daughter and I went to see Frozen and loved it! Just kids at heart, I guess!! Nice ideas for a winter theme party. We have started a box of decorations since we had a bridal shower theme “Snow is Winter’s Butterflies”. Found the best recipe for hot white chocolate drink in crock pot, whipped cream on top with blue snow sprinkles on top. My friend made it later for her K-class while doing a snowman unit– she put it in teacher’s lounge and they loved it! I especially LOVED the falling snow video at the beginning of your post! I could watch that all day! I think if I could invent an all seasons window to put over my living room picture window that looked liked snow falling, or leaves coming down, rain and even sunshine with butterflies — I could sell it!! I so would buy it!! I just don’t know how to do it??? Tell your husband and maybe he could invent it? :)
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Louvina, your white hot chocolate sounds delicious! (But I am ready for sweet tea and lemonade now that we are in the seventies here. :) ) I don’t believe my husband could invent your creation, but it is a great idea. He always wanted to invent something similar so that it would show a redecorated room, and I would have it “done” without having to buy anything.
Kelly

Mimi - February 23, 2014 - 9:51 am

Kelly,
The falling snow video looks like it could have been filmed from my window this morning. It started snowing last night and doesn’t show any signs of letting up soon. I am tired of snow, but I truly wouldn’t mind it if we get a day off from school tomorrow!

I am looking forward to your spring posts. Warmer weather will surely find its way to your neck of the woods before it reaches us here in Nebraska, so I will enjoy it vicariously!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
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Mimi, you all have certainly had enough snow this year! Warmer weather has already made it here – at least for a little while. March has been known to have an ice storm or two before, but we will take our February with highs in the seventies (and green grass showing up in the yard!)
Kelly

Polly in KS - February 23, 2014 - 9:59 am

Kelly – love the blue rooms/house/desks/stuff. I think that soft, icy blue is a beautiful color of blue, but then I like all things blue. It’s such a tranquil color and has a very calming effect (better than Ativan or Xanax! Hee, hee.) Thanks for sharing.
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You are too funny, Polly! Blue does have a calming effect. Makes me think of the beach – the ultimate in calm!
Kelly

Debra - February 23, 2014 - 10:25 am

Wait, gulp! I had to have more of my steaming hot Sunday morning coffee after reading through your post. How cute. Why is it always the wacky weathermen who is so willing to involve themselves in a parody? Oh, Christina is too talented. Beautiful voice. Well Kelly, we have plenty of blue here today in the Midwest, sky wise, but temps continued to give us a wake up of 13 degrees. I am getting tired of the word cozy, I think? I saw temps in the south of around 70′s? Really, you guys? Ok, I grumble, but I could watch that snow fall video for quite awhile too, like Louvina. I would so love viewing it through those gorgeous windows of the blue house you posted. I won’t hold it against you for this very “COLD” post/ Kind of glad this month is only 28 days. Ha. Have a happy week ahead Kelly.

Debra
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Aren’t you the clever one, Debra! Love your play on words. 13 degrees…whoa that is cold! Yes, we are enjoying early spring weather here. Spring rooms are coming for you all very soon here on the blog!
Kelly

Dawn - February 23, 2014 - 10:26 am

Kelly,

I love the snow falling video at the top of this post even though I am completely finished with snow for this year! I also took my daughter to see Frozen twice, bought the soundtrack for our ipods and even made Olaf Valentine’s for my homeroom students (all the other students got Smarties…I teach 121 students total) and my nieces! To say we love the Frozen movie is an understatement! The DVD comes out this Tuesday and I have already pre-ordered the Blueray on Amazon which doesn’t come out until next month. The parodys are awesome! You have to look up two little girls singing Let it Go on Youtube…Maddie and Sophie I think are their names. Thanks for yet another wonderful post that made me laugh with tears in my eyes!
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Dawn, it sounds like you and your family are Frozenaholics! My daughter should come live with you since she would fit right in. I looked at your Pinterest board with your Olaf valentines. Those were precious! I know your students loved them! I also saw the Maddie and Sophia youtube videos when I was putting this post together. They were so cute! I am so glad you enjoyed the post.
Kelly

Cheri - February 23, 2014 - 10:40 am

I just saw that newsman’s video before coming to your blog…so funny. That Christina can really sing and change into whoever at the drop of a name…very talented. Loved how you incorporated other “frozen” items in your blog.
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Thank you Cheri! Wasn’t that weather man hilarious?! I can see our local weather guy doing that too. He would be perfect. There must be something about weathermen that just naturally makes them hams!
Kelly

anita - February 23, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Kelly, we have our own version of frozen and blue this morning. It’s -22 F and well we have beautiful blue skies. But that’s o.k. because Canada won gold in men’s hockey today! The newsman’s video was hilarious…and I enjoyed the blue rooms. Next to red, I like all things blue. Must see one day the movie Frozen. And yes, please bring Spring on, as I am certainly ready for it!
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Anita, congratulations on the Olympic win! I know your entire country must be proud. Your weather sounds much too cold for me. I cannot even imagine how -22 feels! Stay warm!
Kelly

Megan - February 23, 2014 - 2:26 pm

Hi Kelly,
2 days in the 40′s here in MA have me just itching for spring. We had so much snow and cold this winter! I loved the blue decorating pics – that pale blue reminded me of the icy color on the frozen cliffs along a highway in NY. It was so beautiful. I need to use that shade somewhere in my house!
Think Spring!!
Megan
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I know what you mean about itching for spring, Megan. Our warm temperatures here with lots of sunshine make one think it is already spring. Icy blue is exactly what I think of that blue in the rooms too. I don’t have any of that in our home here, but it is daughter’s favorite color.
Kelly

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - February 23, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Your daughter is so beautiful as Elsa!…and I am so into those beautiful blues lately!!…
and yes, onward to Spring!!
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Shirley, thank you for the very sweet comments about our daughter. She was so excited to get to play that part on the float! I agree with you…onward to spring!
Kelly

martha - February 23, 2014 - 6:32 pm

I have 4 granddaughters, ages 3,5,6 & 8 so you imagine how much we love Frozen and all things Disney. The 6 year old had a Frozen themed birthday party in Jan and we had real snow!!! That doesn’t happen much in North Carolina. Your daughter was lovely on the float and I know she brings lots of joy to children through her charity. The ice blue rooms are pretty, but I think they look cold……I like warmer colors. Can’t wait for your Spring posts!
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Boy Martha! Four granddaughters so young would be such fun with all things Disney – especially the Disney princesses. And a Frozen b-day party with snow would be perfect!! Your comment about our daughter was so sweet and very appreciated. I agree that the blue rooms do look cold. I suppose that is why people who have rooms in warm climates like to use that color. Like you, I tend toward the warm shades myself.
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - February 24, 2014 - 4:35 pm

Kelly,
That was so much fun. That first image made me cold just looking at the snow falling in droves. The traffic guy has a really great voice and I thought his clip was darling. The other girl is amazing too, she sounded like each name the guy called out.

Love the blue rooms.

Your daughter is so pretty and how fun that she gets to participate in these engagements as one of the characters.

I told you that Mr. B and I worked at Disneyland in our youth and that is where we met and we celebrate 41 years today…Disney magic is real.
xo,
Karen
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Happy Anniversary to the both of you!! That is the perfect way to put it, “Disney magic is real.” I LOVE that!:) (Must share that with my daughter.) I thought the traffic guy did great. He has done a number of crazy things recorded there on youtube, but I think the Frozen parody is his best. Thank you for your kind comments about our daughter. She has a major big event with that organization this weekend, but they want her to walk around playing her flute for it…so no ordinary princess for this one. (At least she doesn’t have to be the Little Mermaid and sit out in the pool in February!)

Kelly

Jayne - February 24, 2014 - 7:24 pm

I am enjoying this warmer weather today. Too bad it’s going to feel frozen again later this week. I am so ready for warmer weather. I’ve been working on springtime posts too! I have to admit, I haven’t seen the movie yet. But, I love the rooms. I love blue and white! Those are the colors I’m going to use in the guest bathroom. Just waiting for some warmer weather, so I can open the windows and enjoy listening to the birds as I paint!
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I did not even know it was supposed to get cold again this week. Thanks for the update! That blue will be pretty in a bathroom, and painting with birds singing outside would be so nice. Great idea! Looks like you are going to have to wait another week or so to have the nice sunny weather, though.
Kelly

rebecca@midcenturymodernremodel - February 25, 2014 - 11:39 pm

You people in the Midwest and East have suffered so much! Thanks for poking a little fun. I am not sure which video I enjoyed more. Here’s to springtime and tulips!

A Birthday Dinner: Shrimp Creole and Banana Pudding

shrimp creole and banana pudding birthday dinner

And now for the rest of the story.

You know that Valentine’s dinner that was in the last post?  Well you need to know that it wasn’t actually on Valentine’s Day.  Nope – that dinner was the night before Valentine’s Day.

And why was that, Kelly? you might ask.

Well you see,  my husband left. (collective gasp here) He left me and ran off to the mountains of North Carolina.

On Valentine’s Day??

Yes, on Valentine’s Day.  And do you know what was even worse than his leaving on Valentine’s Day?

What could be worse than that?

His birthday was the day after Valentine’s Day!

Oh my!  He better have a good explanation for doing such a thing!

Well he does.:)

My husband loves to ski, and he loves our church youth group.  So he ran away to the mountains of North Carolina (Boone to be precise) to be a chaperone for their ski trip, and they did indeed leave on Valentine’s Day. And yes, he was not at home for his birthday either.

So…

porch party

We had a birthday dinner last night when he returned home.

While I was running around like a chicken-with-my-head-cut-off getting all the Valentine’s Day things done, I was thinking about plans for his birthday in the back of my mind. (Major multi-tasking!)  Originally, I was going to have some of his friends over for a barbeque dinner, but his friend with the-crushed-ankle-that-has-had-surgery still could not make it, so I am postponing that idea. Instead we had a little family birthday dinner out on the back porch (since you know it is now spring here in crazy-weather Georgia.)  And you know I have to share the menu with you.

shrimp creole dinner menu

This menu is actually kind of important.  When we got married looong long ago, shrimp creole was prepared by my mother-in-law for our rehearsal dinner. It was one of our favorite dishes.  My husband still loves it (a lot!) but since I have developed a serious allergy to shellfish, I can no longer eat this divine dish. And boy did I loooove me some shrimp.  It was my all time favorite food.  I loved it even more than chocolate, even more than fresh summer tomatoes with salt and pepper, even more than…coffee!  Yes, that much! And I have not even prepared anything with shrimp since my first shellfish allergic reaction years ago.  So for me to make this dish, and to sit at the table with it right in front of my face, well… they should just go ahead and nominate me for sainthood or whatever it is that you do to become a saint (and I am not even Catholic.) Don’t you agree?!

It is not a difficult dish to prepare. In fact, it would make an easy Sunday supper main dish.  All you do is chop up the holy trinity of vegetables (bell pepper, onion, celery) and cook them in a little oil.chopped vegetables

Then you add canned tomatoes and spices.

tomatoes and spices

Simmer that for an hour, and finally you mix in the shrimp and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Viola!  You have yourself some delicious shrimp creole.

shrimp creoleDo you see that small bowl above?  I love the sauce with all the vegetables cooked in it, so we pan fried some chicken tenderloins sprinkled with garlic salt and pepper, cut them into bite size pieces, and mixed them in a couple of cups of sauce (before we added the shrimp)  so that I could have Chicken Creole. It was a great substitute for this non-shellfish eater. Here is the recipe for the real deal dish.

shrimp creole recipe

Since I was being so kindhearted to risk my life with the preparation of this dish, I thought I would just go ahead and go all out by  adding steamed shrimp to the dinner since my husband loves it so much.  See it there below on the right?  Oh my gosh did that ever smell good! (Further assuring me my nomination into sainthood.:))

dinner tableThat salad had to be one of my favorites that I have made around here…spinach leaves, strawberry slices, bacon pieces, chopped pecans, purple onion slices, and crumbled goat cheese.  I bought crostino slices and broke them up as croutons on the salad. For the dressing, we just used a grocery store bottled orange poppyseed dressing.

And that French bread was simply loaves from the deli that you bake.  It was very delicious dipped in melted butter.  I tried to find a recipe for a dish called Paradise Shrimp that we get at Bayou Bill’s in Destin, Florida. The shrimp are cooked in a lemon butter with a heavy dose of pepper, and it makes some great dipping for the French bread with which it is served. That butter sauce is what I wanted for dipping our bread, but I had no luck finding that recipe.  Anyone out there have it??

french bread and saladAnd now for the dessert. I thought about making a cake, but I knew my mother-in-law was going to be making one for my husband, and we didn’t need two cakes around here.  One of his favorite desserts is banana pudding, so I decided I would make it. As I started looking for recipes, I came across Paula Deen’s recipe for Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding. It looked a little fancier than your traditional one, and it sounded delicious, so I gave it a try.  In case you are not familiar with it, you begin by layering Pepperidge Farm chessmen cookies in the bottom of a casserole dish.

cookie layerThen top that with a layer of banana slices.

Talk of the House banana layerOn top of that you put a layer of a mixture of Cool whip, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, French vanilla instant pudding mix,  and milk.Talk of the House pudding layerThen you put one more layer of the chessmen cookies as the “icing” for the pudding, and refrigerate it for several hours. And if you add birthday candles to it, you have yourself a banana pudding birthday “cake.”:)

Talk of the House banana pudding birthday cake

You can find the recipe on Paula Deen’s site by clicking here. I loved the taste of it!  My husband says the traditional version tastes better to him when they are both freshly made (especially if the traditional one is warm,) but the Paula Deen version is far better than the traditional one after they have both been refrigerated. You will have to make it and decide for yourself I guess.

And here is the table all ready for serving. (Sorry for the blurry photo.  Everyone was ready to eat!)

buffet for birthday dinner
I totally forgot to take a photo of a plate during dinner, so I took one of the leftovers tonight.:)

Talk of the House plate of shrimp creoleAnd that was the birthday dinner for my husband who ran away on Valentine’s Day.

Talk of the House after dinnerAnd now you know the rest of the story.

Thanks for stopping by today!a signature

   
DeeDee - February 19, 2014 - 8:36 am

This shrimp creole recipe looks oh-so-yummy and oh-so-easy, not to mention, it’ll make a perfect Mardi Gras dinner!
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What a great idea, DeeDee! I had not even thought about it being for Mardi Gras!
Kelly

Retha - February 19, 2014 - 8:39 am

I am really liking the way you have draped your buffet area with the fabric in the front and on the sides. I can see that the sides don’t seem to be gathered, and the front is. I’m assuming the sides and the front are not connected, are they? Separate pieces? And the front – it appears to be gathered on a rod of some sort. But how is that rod attached to the table? If you have time, would you be willing to explain how you created this affect? Or direct me to the place you might have already done so? You have such an elegant style. It’s really beautiful. Your hubs’ b’day meal sounds scrumptious, too! :)
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For the skirt on the table, I sewed the cloth into curtain like panels. Then I put all of the pieces on a tension rod for each side – although it did not have to be a tension kind because it is obviously not wedged between two ends. They just happened to be the rods with the smallest diameter that I could find. I then screwed 2 screw eyes into the end of each overhang of the tabletop on each side. (2 on each end and 4 on the front, I think.) To attach the rods, I used a needle and thread and sewed the cloth (that was already on the rod) to the screweyes at each end – looping it into the fabric and through the circle of the screweye several times to be strong. This means that when I wash it, the thread has to be cut and then sewn on again each time…not real efficient but it works. My original plan had been to put the tension on the underside of the table, but it just didn’t look proportionate there.
Hope this makes sense!
Kelly

Gail - February 19, 2014 - 9:02 am

Hi Kelly: What an angel of a wife you are. To sacrifice your life for the pleasure of your hubby’s heart! I just know he feels like the most blessed of all men. The dinner looks delicious! Thank you for such a cute blog!
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Ha, no angel here. I just felt like he deserved a nice meal. HE is the one with the servant’s spirit. One of the youth got sick with a stomach virus on the trip, and my husband gave up a day of skiing just to stay with the sick child until his parent could arrive from home and pick him up. (No fun!)
Kelly

Kathy - February 19, 2014 - 9:10 am

OMGoodness! That is the saddest story ever….not that your hubby left you at Valentine’s….you can celebrate that anytime…but that you developed a shellfish allergy. Sad, sad, sad! Shrimp is also my favorite food of all times. I guess it is its connection to the beach…along with their deliciousness! The birthday dinner looks fabulous, you saint! I want to try the shrimp creole as well as the banana pudding. I have made a similar banana pudding recipe using Pecan Sandies that was pretty awesome. One question: It appears that you have written on the chalkboards with a chalk marker. When you erase what you have written with the chalk marker, do you have a “ghost” of what you wrote left on the board? P.S. Hubs owes you!
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It is sad, isn’t it! I grew up in Mobile, Alabama where seafood was abundant. Pecan Sandies would be good to use in a banana pudding. To answer your question about the chalk marker, Kathy, it does leave ghost letters some. I just have to be sure to rub regular old chalk back over it every time to smear it and cover it. But yes, it does leave that…especially if you leave the writing on there for a long time.
Kelly

Debra - February 19, 2014 - 9:41 am

So thoughtful, so accommodating, so talented, so caring and giving. I will vote you for sainthood. (smiles) Kelly, that shrimp dish is making my mouth water. I love shrimp, so this will be a must try recipe. It does look so easy. That banana pudding dessert is putting an extra pound on my hips just looking at it. Oh Paul Deen! Well, at least she didn’t put any butter in that recipe. Looks yummy and I love any Pepperidge farm cookies. This is a DROOL post Kelly, as I LOVE your porch and how being in the south lets you utilize it so much. I can only dream of an all seasons room off our family room since we live in the Midwest. We too, have a room above our garage that is yet to be finished off. Oh the list… sigh!

Debra
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Oh yes, sainthood is coming…NOT. :) I hope you enjoy making and eating the shrimp creole, and you are right, there is no butter in the banana pudding. (But I am sure there are a zillion calories in it!)
I know all too well the unfinished to-do list. What would we do without one?
Kelly

Jayne - February 19, 2014 - 11:14 am

Oh how I hate that you can not eat shell fish anymore! Shrimp is one of my favorites too. My mom used to go to the docks, when we lived in Fernandina, at least once a week to get fresh shrimp straight off the boats. Then in later years when we went on vacation, she would always go right before we left to come home and buy some and put it in the cooler to bring home. Nothing better then shrimp right off the boats.
I’ll have to give your recipes a try. They look so good!!!!
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Oh Jayne, such wonderful memories! We used to always bring home fresh shrimp from our visits to Fernandina, too. Boy do I miss that! (And the fried shrimp from the Sandbar restaurant there.)
Kelly

Scribbler - February 19, 2014 - 11:24 am

I have made this pudding recipe, and it is very good, but very sweet. You are a trouper for preparing shrimp with your allergy. My mother was allergic too, and it is a serious thing. However — I sure wish I had some right no — it looks fabulous!
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Yes, it is very sweet. I am wondering how it would be without the cream cheese.Sh ellfish allergies ARE serious. I made sure to not touch the shrimp and had someone else drop them in the tomato sauce in the pot.
Kelly

Marianne in Mo. - February 19, 2014 - 11:53 am

You ARE a saint, not one, but two shrimp dishes! Making my mouth water for that Shrimp Creole! I know how you feel about your allergy – I’m allergic to eggs, sort of. I can have two or three mixed in a cake or something, but cannot eat them as a breakfast food, in salads, etc. I often make them for the Mr. or family, and have to resist eating them myself. Of course, I think I would die to have a fried, scrambled, poached or deviled egg! But have to recall how bad they make me feel to resist eating them. And it’s really fun to dine at a friends house, or restaurant, and have to ask the egg count. My friends are so sweet, they usually either accommodate my allergy, or call ahead to see if I can have what they are planning. But sometimes they forget, and I feel awful having to decline what they prepared – embarrassing for both of us!
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Gosh Marianne, I don’t know how you avoid eggs. They are in soooo many things! That would be a very hard allergy to deal with. At least shrimp are not in everything, and it is easy to know if they are in a dish.
Kelly

Polly in KS - February 19, 2014 - 1:14 pm

Looks absolutely yummy, real drool-worthy. Have you ever thought of writing a cookbook? I’d buy one, two, three or more if you ever decide to. Hint, hint.
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A cookbook is a ton of work from what I understand, but thank you for the suggestion Polly. I will add that to my list of projects for when I retire. :)
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - February 19, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Kelly,
This looks delicious. I love the way you’ve made the banana pudding. My grandma used to make it with vanilla wafers but these cookies are so cute.
I love shrimp, but Mr. B. doesn’t so I probably won’t fix this recipe, but it sure sounds yummy and pretty easy.
Happy Birthday to your hubby.
xo,
Karen
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We like the vanilla wafer version of banana pudding too – especially when it is served warm. That is a shame that your husband does not like shrimp. My oldest does not like them either! (I cannot imagine not liking them.)
Thanks for the birthday wishes for my husband.
Kelly

Louvina - February 19, 2014 - 8:32 pm

You are really treating us ALL with these Fabulous February posts! You put so much love and time into your blog — if your are not a Saint (yet) you most certainly are an angel to use your precious time off work to bless us with these eye candy ideas!! While at the Cheese Cake Factory, I tried their shrimp tacos— oh, my—so good with the summer rolls! When going out– I try to get something I haven’t had before— but it is hard when you know what is your favorite. I do think these winter posts are my favorite ones of all time– even though fall is my favorite season! You make every season/holiday a “Kodak Moment”!
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Okay. Stop. I was just kidding about the saint stuff! :) But I am glad you enjoyed the post. Shrimp tacos….that sounds very delicious! In fact, if I did not have this allergy I would order them and the Cheesecake factory tiramisu. I LOVE fish tacos, so I know that shrimp tacos would be heavenly!!
Kelly

Pat in Georgia - February 19, 2014 - 9:08 pm

Kelly, I love the fact that you make every occasion so special for your family. That does make you a Saint. I can’t wait to try your Shrimp Creole recipe, it sounds delicious. And, Paula Deen’s recipe for Banana Pudding is one of my favorites. I often make it for church and it is a huge hit every time. I want to try your favorite salad. Have you used other dressings? I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday and has a year filled with lots of blessings. Thank you for the inspiration you provide to all of us who enjoy your blog. I hope you enjoyed your Winter Break! By the way, what kind of cake did your Mother In Law make for the birthday?
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No Saint here…I just like “pretty things.” :) I hope you will try the recipe Pat. It is very good, and I can see why that banana pudding would go fast at a church dinner. I have not used other dressings with the salad when it has had goat cheese on it, but a raspberry vinaigrette was excellent with it when I did not have the goat cheese. I would think it would work great with it as well. You would ask about the cake. :) She was supposed to have baked it yesterday, but my father-in-law has been ill. She plans to make it this weekend, and it will be…wait for it…red velvet! (Your fabulous specialty!)
Kelly

katrina - February 19, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Saint Kelly, you did good! That dinner looked fabulous! I have a tried and true banana pudding recipe but I think I will try your version next time! From a woman who loves shrimp, I hate knowing you can no longer enjoy it!
If you are ever in Memphis, check out the restaurant Brennan Owen. We ate brunch there on Sunday after church with my sister and brother in law. Oh my goodness….while a jazz band played I feasted on shrimp,crepes,omelets and banana foster. There were more food stations but after 3 trips I was too embarrassed to explore more! Happy belated Valentine’s Day!
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So glad to see your comment here Katrina! You are just rubbing it in with the shrimp at the restaurant though. LOL BUT an omelet and bananas foster would be fine anytime. Because I was serving creole at the b-day dinner, I seriously looked for a bananas foster cake (just to add to the Louisiana vibe of the meal.) Nothing I found appealed to me, and that is when I decided to go with a banana pudding. I hope you will give ol’ Paula Deen’s recipe a try. I keep going back for more of it! If we are ever in Memphis (which is supposed to have tons of great places to eat!) I will give Brennan Owen a visit. (That is such an unusual name for a restaurant.)
Kelly

Colleen - February 20, 2014 - 12:26 am

Hi Kelly

I made your shrimp for dinner last night. It was delicious!!!!!

My presentation of the dish wasn`t anything like yours though :-) but it tasted deeevine.

I cant wait to make it for my son when he visits from West Africa next month. He LOVES chilli and this is just the right amount to handle in the middle of a heat wave as we are having at the moment LOL.

Xx
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I am so glad you were able to make it, AND that you enjoyed it. Our old recipe called for putting it over Reese’s Creole rice. Unfortunately it is not made anymore (or we just can’t find it anymore.) I miss it, because it really gave it more flavor. I hope your son enjoys it too when you make it for him.
Kelly

Dawn - February 20, 2014 - 10:38 am

Kelly,

I will totally nominate you for sainthood. You are a very sweet wife to prepare those dishes and super nice friend to share them with us! Everything looks wonderful! I love the fresh green plant and how inviting your porch looks!
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You are so sweet to say that. The weather here has been perfect for enjoying the porch. I love that it is warm enough to be able to leave those fern like plants outside! But I KNOW we have not had our last taste of winter. This is just fooling us. After all, it is just the middle of February!
Kelly

Lori - February 20, 2014 - 9:43 pm

Such a good wife! :)
My best friend ONLY makes Paula’s recipe for this and swears by it. I, sadly, have never tried it. I think it’s about time, right?!
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Yes, Lori it is about time for you to make it. It is VERY sweet, but my children really liked it. When I mentioned to them about perhaps leaving out the cream cheese the next time I make it, they said, “No way.” Definitely give it a try.
Kelly

Jane - February 21, 2014 - 7:46 pm

Hi Kelly! I just found your blog whole at Hooked On Houses and I’ve spent the last half hour exploring it!! I love your personality and your love for family and cooking and going that extra mile. My hubby’s birthday is right before the 4th of July, so I always try to squeeze something special in. The birthday dinner (and the Valentine’s Day dinner) shows how you love to spoil your family. We are a lot alike!

I’m thrilled to have found another great blog to follow! :)

XO,
Jane
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Jane, I am thrilled you found my blog! So glad Julia at Hooked on Houses has sent such kind readers my way. It would be fun to do a birthday dinner around the 4th of July…lots of possibilities there. Thank you for your sweet comments. I hope you will be back to visit again!
Kelly

Cathy N from Calgary - February 22, 2014 - 10:15 am

Dear St. Kelly,

I’ve thought of you as a saint as soon as I discovered you (and I am definitely not Catholic!).

I am going to make your shrimp dish for dinner tonight. Yes!! So easy and yet so delicious. Mmmmm. Hubby Bill is working today (poor him, lucky patients) so he will appreciate this on the table when he gets home.

We just got back from a few ski days at Skoki Lodge in our Rocky Mountains and shared the lodge with a whole group of teenagers and their parents (sounds very similar to what you hubby was doing!). I, unfortunately, was the one with the ailment. After skiing in 8 miles I developed a MONSTER of a blister on one foot… it was fine for the 3 days we stayed in the lodge but I was faced with the return trip with half my left heel skin ripped off. We covered it with Second Skin and moleskin and I survived the ski out but not without quite a bit of pain. Ouch!! Oh well, we are home safe and sound and my heel is healing ;)

Now I have Shrimp Creole to look forward to… thanks to you!

Hugs
Cath
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Ha ha..far from sainthood! I hope you made and enjoyed the shrimp creole. Your blister sounds terribly painful! I know that had to hurt, and I hope it heals quickly. Perhaps you can stay inside and be barefooted for a few days while it heals.
Kelly

Ginger @dwellinginthehouse - February 22, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Love me some shrimp creole…and some Paula Dean Banana pudding! Everything about this meal was lovely!
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Glad you liked the post on the meal, Ginger. It was yummy!
Kelly

Sheena - February 28, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Hi Kelly,
I love your blog. It’s so inspiring. The meal you prepared looks delicious. I was wondering if you could tell me about the bread basket you used to serve the French bread. What a lovely way to serve bread. Can you share where you got the basket? Thank you for the inspiration!
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I believe that basket came from Pottery Barn a couple of summers ago. It IS perfect for serving bread. (I looked for a long time to find one like that.) I bet PB still has a similar one available in their stores (or perhaps online.)
Have a great weekend Sheena!
Kelly

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