Behind the scenes at HSN reveals chandeliers, great deal on china

When I had the opportunity to visit HSN to hear a panel discussion about  entrepreneurship with the The Centre for Women,  I jumped on it.

It was fun seeing the studio behind the scenes and some of their props – which included MANY chandeliers! As many of you know, QVC recently acquired HSN, and they will join forces soon. I can’t tell you how many purchases my mom and I made from QVC – many things from Fenton, Waterford, Boyd’s Bears, Peterboro Baskets. (Not to mention my mom’s love of Joan Rivers jewelry!)





Afterward the very special panel, we had the chance to shop in their special store, with 50% off.

Can you guess what I found? There was ONE  16-piece set of Johnson Brothers “His Majesty.” I have been looking for more of these dishes for the past two years, after finding a couple locally.

It was $48 but 50% off so only $24 for the set.  I was a happy camper!!

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Mix and match vintage china easy to put together

I attended the On Point Book Fair with 100 authors, writers and publishers at  WestShore Plaza in Tampa to talk about my blog,

I set up a display of mismatched vintage china  – because it’s ok not to match all the time! I have many sets of china, but I started buying random smaller sets of dishes, thinking I might use them for my daughters’ weddings one day.

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China Finders in St. Pete a great find for china addicts and searchers

If you’re a china-holic like me, you know Replacements, the warehouse in North Carolina known for its 425,000 china patterns.

In Tampa Bay, we’re lucky to have China Finders. It’s not as big as Replacements, but for the china afficianado, or just someone looking to restock a retired china pattern, China Finders is a great find.

Located in Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, it’s just across the bridge from Tampa. If you’re a dish fanatic, it’s a must see.

I love the new mural painted on the side of the building, a tribute to Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter tea party.

Inside, aisles and aisles are chock filled with china, separated by company and pattern.

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Purple vintage glass plates pair perfectly with antique glass collection

Most collectors can remember their first collection. Perhaps it was stamps from your grandfather, paperweights, trains, or even something more quirky like rocks or bugs.

I’ve found it’s a distinct personality type – those that like to collect and those who don’t.

Sometimes the same circumstance that makes a collector, makes another person a non-collector. Both my parents and my husband’s parents lived through The Great Depression….

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Yellow and blue florals set off summer green tablescape

I’ve been searching Pinterest for blue and yellow floral arrangements to find some pretty versions for an upcoming luncheon I am making 15 floral centerpieces for.

I visited Trader Joe’s in St. Petersburg because they usually have a good assortment of hydrangeas, as well as tulips, roses and sunflowers.

I made two versions – one simple with tulips and eucalyptus, the other with hydrangeas and tulips. I’m pretty sure I know which one everyone likes best. 🙂

They were so pretty, I decided to set my table with them. I used a new lemon tablecloth from HomeGoods along with my green cabbage Bordallo Pinheiro plates,  which are made in Portugal.

The cabbage plates are surprisingly easy to use and go with summer, spring and Christmas settings.

I think it turned out very cheery!


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Winning Wish Farms berries from #hashed Food and Wine Conference contest

Two weeks ago, I attended the Food and Wine Sunday Supper Movement Conference. On the third day we had classes at the Rosen School of Hospitality and part of the day included a #Hashed contest which involved using CK Mondavi Wines, Wish Farm Berries and Cabot Cheese.

Our groups and we were challenged to make a cocktail with the ingredients  and also taking photos of it.

We were thrilled to win the contest with our Summer wine spritzer.

In addition to getting a ticket to next year’s conference, we also received a Wish Farms Berries Prize package. Wish Farms is based in Plant City, Florida, and has been growing berries since 1922.

Wish Farms blackberries on a lilac Spode plate.

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My Butterfly Meadow Carved floats in the summer season

I was a lucky girl this past April when I randomly won an Instagram contest sponsored by Lenox, for four place settings of their newly-introduced Butterfly Meadow Carved to their everyday dinnerware line.  This is solid color pattern they’ve come out with after the popularity of their Butterfly Meadow pattern (here’s a photo of the tea set), which is white and richly decorated in pastel flowers and butterflies.

This latest Lenox pattern is available in aqua, white and grey. I thought it would be very “springy,” but here I have simply paired it with a paisley blue, grey and beige runner from Pottery Barn, and I think it has a very summer feel.

No telling what other combinations I will be able to create throughout the summer! Stay tuned!