Friday, July 31, 2015

A Tiny Office Space

I have a friend back in Idaho who works at a university there.
She just found out that her department is moving to another 
building and she will have now have a very tiny office.  I am
gathering up some ideas for her new space and I thought I
would share them with you.

I think this is a fun space.  All white and pops of red.
Very cheerful


This is a very pleasant space, especially for those who like earth tones.
Lots of warm and cozy elements here.

Charming office in a closet.  Looks like two file cabinets
with a board on top and shelves above.  The toile
background is great too.  Can't tell if it is fabric or
wallpaper.  I personally would use fabric and attach it
to the walls with that poster tape I showed you recently.

This is a pretty little space.

I like the desk and the pattern on the wall.  I am really
loving blue and gold right now.  That better not be a
real zebra skin.  Y'all know how I feel about that!

Love the use of a farmhouse table for a desk and the 
architectural elements.  

I am going to hunt for more ideas to show my friend.  I think
that when decorating an office, there are many ways to blend
functionality and beauty even if the space is tiny.  
Just, think outside the box.  

Have a great Friday y'all!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Some Mystical, Cosmic Way It Was Fated

I was looking for a cachepot for the orchid in our guest bath.  I looked
and looked and found one on eBay.  The minute I saw it ~ I knew!

Remember that line from Sleepless in Seattle when Annie talks about
listening to Sam on a call in radio show?  

That in some kind of mystical, cosmic way it was fated?

Well, I felt like there was a mystical, cosmic
connection when I saw this cachepot!

If you look closely, there is gold rope trim on the edges and a representation of
gold rope painted on the corners.

It matches perfectly with the gold rope trim on all the vintage bath accessories.

See what I mean?

Now my husband David thought I should get rid of the lions head drawer pulls,
but I like them so I kept them.  Besides, now they remind me of beloved Cecil and
also one of my favorite books, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

But look at the cachepot again ….

Lion's heads on each side!  Wow, talk about fate!!!

But wait ~ there is more ….

The woman I purchased this from lives just a few blocks from
where I lived in New York!  Spooky don't you think???

Talk about mystical and cosmic ~ I hope my Mom likes what I
am doing in this guest bath because I am using all her old bath
accessories and complimenting them with other vintage finds.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Memory of Cecil

I am so saddened by the brutal and senseless killing of the 
magnificent Cecil the lion by a shallow minded dentist from
Minnesota.  There is nothing we can do to bring back this
majestic animal, but there is something I can do to help
spread the word of this shameful "sport" and to make
others aware of the true tragedy of this loss.


How anyone could shoot this beautiful giant is beyond me.  I don't
know about you, but when I think of the African continent I always
think of lions and elephants roaming the wild.  I would hate to think
that future generations would never be able to see these regal
creatures in the wild again, yet that is where we are headed if we
don't do something to stop the poaching.  Education is also
necessary to teach African farmers how to prevent livestock loss
so that they don't shoot every big cat who threatens their herd.

Until I started to read about trophy hunting, I was foolish enough to
believe that this was a sport of the past.  I actually believed that we
had evolved past the stage where shooting lions and tigers and
mounting their heads in dens was acceptable in our enlightened
society.  I thought that people only went on photographic
safaris now.  Boy was I misinformed!  It's big business and most
of these trophy hunters are from the US.


I would hate to think that the only way these animals can
survive is in captivity.  I want as many as possible to run wild
and free as Cecil once did.  Let's cause an uproar!

If you want to learn more about how you can help to save these
beautiful big cats, read more Here.

And watch and listen here.

Y'all know what a big dog lover I am, and now you
know that I am a Big Cat lover too.  And I will
warn you ~ I am also a tree hugger :-)

Rest in peace Cecil.  You will be missed by

Big Texas Roars,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

After Being Thrown Under the Bus

Since the passing of my Mom last year and my Aunt recently,
I have been giving a lot of thought to the nature of my soul.
The days and nights of this life pass by so quickly.  The 
quality of this life is not so much dependent on what we have,
but rather what we do and how treat one another.

Soon it will be close to a year since someone tried to "throw us
under the bus".  I won't go into the details now because those
details are not pertinent to this discussion.  Let's just say that
someone made up a fantastical lie designed to damage our
lives financially and professionally for their own gain.

It was a terrible time.  I was mourning my Mom's loss and
then was stunned, saddened and hurt by this action of
another.   I struggled for months to control my outrage,
anger and hurt.  

It took hours and hours of prayer and reflection.  I had help 
from my dearest and closest friends who encouraged me and
helped me to remember that there are good folks in this world.

Eventually I started to grow a scab over the wound and the
healing process began.    At this point I had to put all my faith
and trust in Him.  I had to harden my mind to the rumors that
the one who tried to hurt us was in fact profiting and thriving
from these lies.

I waited patiently.  Not always easy but I kept hanging onto my
faith.  One day, the tide turned and the house of cards created by
this other person came tumbling down.  It was the perfect
example of karma.  

Did I feel vindicated?  Yes, I did.  Am I pleased that this person
brought sorrow into their own home?  No, I am not.  I feel sad
that this person felt the need to use deceitful and cruel methods
to get ahead.  All actions have consequences and some folks
don't always realize that harmful actions towards others will
eventually come back to bite.

When you witness a family member take their last breath
right before your eyes as I did with my Mom, it helps you
to understand the precious gift of life.  Life is all too
brief, never quite long enough.  Each day we are gifted with this
life is another chance for us to be kind, to give joy and not
sorrow.  Life is not about how one can step on and over
someone else to get ahead.  When we endeavor to hurt
someone else, we not only risk the consequences of karma,
but we also risk bruising our souls.

I look after my soul by endeavoring to be kind, to be
generous and forgiving.  The love and tenderness we
spread comes back to us in waves of happiness and
a feeling of content that no amount of money can buy.

Spread joy, not sorrow.
Spread truth, not lies.
Spread compassion, not hatred.
Spread wealth, not greed.
Spread laughter, not tears.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, July 27, 2015

Creative Layering

I have been stripping wallpaper and just have one tiny section left to finish.
Once the walls are washed and sanded the painting will begin.  I picked
up the paint for the walls of the bath on Saturday.  

But I have also been having fun collecting and creating decorative
elements for the room.  Y'all know how I love to layer!  So, in keeping
with the canine theme in the guest bath, I am repeating that theme in 
various ways around the room.  In this case, I took a scene from the 
fabric I used for the stool and window valance, and framed it in a
vintage gilded frame.  I love the whimsical feel this is going to
give the room.

I love, love, love, little lamps but could not find one I was crazy about,
so I created my own.  I just took one of the little candle lights you
find everywhere, put on a black silk shade and glued it onto a
thrift shop jewelry box I painted years ago and gave to my Mom.

I was inspired to do this after seeing a Chinese tea chest made into a
lamp.  I think it will be fun to store a few extra votive candles in the
top and some matches in the drawer.  I love candles in the bath.

I found a cute frame on sale and added another image from the fabric.  
Cute little Pug looking so regal on his cushion :-)

I am having so much fun putting this room together and am 
loving that all the decorating elements will be unique and
creatively my own.  More elements to layer are on their way!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, July 24, 2015

Choosing to be Happy and Wallpaper Update

It's been a tough couple of weeks around here.  I have been missing my Aunt
Susan who passed away two weeks ago today.  I will always miss her, but 
I have said my goodbyes and life must go on.  

I inherited the happy gene from my Grandmother.  Here I am with her back
when I was a young girl.  I remember this picture being taken at the end of
summer vacation just before going back to school.  Look how bleached out
my hair was from so much time out by the pool. That's my dog Charlie.  He
was a rascal and I loved him to pieces.  The photo is really faded now, but
my memories have not.

My grammy's name was Nena Mae.  She had such a good sense of humor
and the two of us giggled together all the time.  My granddaddy and Nena's
husband was a Mason.  He was very active in that organization and my
grammy was in the Order of the Eastern Star.  Her official role in the
organization was "Mistress of Good Cheer".  Her job was a simple
yet vital one ~ to spread happiness and laughter wherever she went.
And she was so good at it!  She instilled into me the love of all
animals, especially dogs, and the love of laughter despite the
difficulties we all face at one time or another.  

So, in loving memory of Nena Mae, I choose to carry on the
tradition and be happy.

And now on to the wallpaper update.  I missed several days, but I am back at it now.
Some sections have been coming off very easily, and others have tested my
patience.  See that soffit?  I don't know what kind of glue they used on the edge
but it sure wasn't wallpaper glue.  It was really thick and had yellowed.  I was
getting very frustrated and about to throw in the towel.  Okay ~ that's a bit of
a pun.  We are talking about the bathroom after all ;-)  But then I had an
idea and I grabbed my laptop and tuned into the Burns and Allen Show tapes
on YouTube.  Gracie's funny stories had me laughing and helped make the
whole wallpaper stripping project really fun.  I was up on the ladder just
laughing my head off!  

So now I will get back to work this morning and start removing the rest of the paper
while listening to George and Gracie.  If you have never watched those shows, 
just do a search on YouTube and lots of the full episodes will pop up.  They are
guaranteed to turn a frown upside down and give you giggles that will
last all day!

Have a great day y'all.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Flashback Garden Tea Party

There's little Bentley checking everything out and no doubt wondering,

Is one of those petit fours for me ???

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Kitchens, Foodies and Ramblings

I am always in the kitchen.  Some think of cooking as drudgery, I think
of it as pleasure.  I like to put on some music, pour myself a glass of
wine and just get creative.  Honestly, it's like a party in my kitchen most
of the time.  

I like to pair my music to the type of food I cook.  For example, I could be
whipping up a simple omelet with wild mushrooms,  freshly grated
fromage and sprinkled with chopped parsley.  This happens especially
after I have watched Julie and Julia for the hundredth time and I am
once again inspired and charmed by Julia Child.  I will put on some Edith 
Piaf or the sound track from the movie Something's Gotta Give with
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.  While I am dancing around the kitchen
with my glass of wine I am also thinking ~ Why didn't I major in French
like my college French professor was hoping?  C'est dommage :-(

Of course, I love to get into the Cajun cooking mood just before
Mardi Gras begins each year.  I have blues and cajun music that will
be blaring away as I slowly simmer a roux and chop up the trinity of
celery, onions and green peppers.  If you peek in on me, I will
probably be wearing my Mardi Gras beads that I have collected over
the years.  

Being down in Texas I have all the right spices ready for rubbing
ribs or brisket.  I give up my chef's duties and pass the hat to my
hubby who mans the smoker out on the patio.

See it out there?  David drove a hundred plus miles to pick it up.
He is very particular his smoker.  He even bought a huge pile
of mesquite that is stacked up near the back of the house.  When
David is the chef, I am his sous chef.  I prepare the beans and slaw
and slice the onions, get out the pickles and the Texas toast.

What are we listening to?  Why country music of course!  And no
wine for me, I'll have a Lone Star.

Since moving back to Texas, Southern Cooking is my new
favorite.  Biscuits and honey, Fried Chicken or Chicken Fried Steak,
country style green beans, macaroni and cheese.  Pure comfort!
No wine or beer with this meal ~ oh no ~ only sweet tea!

Hmmm ~ I wonder what's on the menu for tonight?

By the way ~ Bentley likes everything his mama cooks.  That's 
what his daddy always says :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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