Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Disney Whimsy

During the past month we have been up and down the east coast, in Maine, clapping politely at Will's math thesis presentation (pretending we had some idea of what he was talking about ~~ Topological Methods in Combinatorics, in case you were wondering), cheering as he conducted a live orchestra in the premiere presentation of his music thesis ("For Film"), 
and then getting a little teary as he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Musical Composition.

All this accomplishment called for a celebration, and our favorite place to celebrate is just a quick hop down to the other end of the coast!

Luckily our local airport has a JetBlue flight direct to Orlando!

Please remember:
1.  It's a selfie
2.  On a plane
3.  At 6 am
4.  Trying to pretend I'm alone
Anyway, we can be in Connecticut at 6 am and in our Disney hotel by noon!

view from our balcony

This time we stayed at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.  
We once stayed in a lodge in Park City, UT, which was one of the inspirations for the interior of the Wilderness.

The rest of our squadron flew down from Boston, and because we were celebrating an engagement and a college graduation we received much attention from the Disney cast members.

My "real" camera usually was in the hotel room 
but I was quite pleased with my iPhone shots!

I just love Minnie, and as she waved to me from her perch at the end of the new parade in the Magic Kingdom, I decided to invite her home with me 
so she could help host my upcoming luncheon for
Summer Whimsy with Cuisine Kathleen!

We have been fortunate to travel to Disney World many times, and we now know where to find the best food and dining spots.  
But today, Minnie and I have prepared a simple summery lunch with some of Mickey's and Mr. Fun's favorites.

Beach towels make the best summer table coverings.  Spills blend in and the towel comes out of the dryer ready for the next use! 

Red and white and polka dots are not the only color schemes in Minnie's current wardrobe.  This bright collection came home with me from 
The Happiest Place on Earth.  
Doesn't it make you smile?

Minnie invites you to choose a straw in your favorite color.

You'll also need a coaster for your glass.

Add some Mickey ice cubes, made from 
orange juice, pomegranate juice or refreshing water. 


It's broiling out here on my deck today.  Minnie doesn't mind as she is used to the Florida sunshine, but I'm wilting.  Only in my dreams can I ever be a southern belle.  But we can quench our thirst with one of these delicious citrus sparklers ~~ your choice of orange, lemon or apple.

By the way, which straw did you choose?  I'll take pink.  
While we are back here let's get a napkin with a lime green Mickey.

I have tried to pinpoint the event in my life which has created a subconscious connection between the scent of lime and pure happiness.  I only know that I would fill my house with lime aroma and eat and drink lime anything.  Luckily Minnie put some lime slices out.  Or you may prefer to use a Mickey to pluck a lemon slice for your glass.


If you have ever been to Disney World, you know that Mickeys and "Hidden Mickeys" are everywhere, cleverly placed by the Imagineers or accidentally created and found by guests.  

All you Disney fans may notice a few hidden Mickeys 
that Minnie has tucked into the peanut butter sandwiches.  
(We are serving these especially for Mr. Fun.)

These colorful Mickeys are really corn holders, but they are perfect and fun ways to pluck berries, and of course Minnie would never forget to put out cheese!  
It seems, however, that this is the only photo I have of the bowl of cheese with a combination of swiss and chipotle gouda chunks.  
Yum.  Mickey is one happy mouse!

He brought along these dainty flowers for Minnie, 
but I'm pretty sure they were plucked from my yard.

The flowers match the bright, cheerful color scheme, so they can stay, and in fact it is hard to imagine a color that won't look wonderful with these dishes.  Red, pink, yellow, green, blue and orange. 
I just love it!
And I hope you have enjoyed Minnie's lunch.

Are you a Disney fan?  Do you have a favorite Disney character, or hotel?  Our favorite places to stay are The Wilderness Lodge and The Yacht Club, and we debate the pros and cons of each every single time we go.

I hope some Disney magic fills your days, as it has often filled ours!  

~~ congratulations Will ~~
~~ you are also a wonderful source of our happiness ~~

please join me for more

and see our trip to Disney's Yacht Club HERE

Linda :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lenox Rutledge: Something Old, Something New

How many hours of my childhood were spent drying dishes?  
In our house it was the chore from which we were never excused ~~ the dishwasher served only as a storage place for assorted containers.
I usually detested that chore, which had to be done after the three meals each day, and then twice a year when all the already spotless and dustless dishes came out of the cupboards to be washed for spring and fall cleaning.  


But twice a year and during assorted holidays my dishtowel (it had to be fresh and dry) lovingly and patiently caressed ~~ yes, that is accurate ~~ the dishes I thought must be the most beautiful ever created.  

my mother's wedding china
~ Lenox Rutledge ~
january 14, 1956

Lenox calls this a springtime pattern because of the floral design, but when I hold it I hear my dad calling from the den, "Franny, come and see this." Marching band music from the television plays in the background as the Thanksgiving Day parade floats by.

The china is the trademark Lenox ivory, almost white but softer, the color of my wedding dress.  (Do you remember when the fashion world flirted with this bridal look for a short time in 1980?)  The fluted edges of all the pieces are hand painted with tiny flowers in a process Lenox calls "jewelling," and these highly polished petals are the result.

I know my mom stored these beautiful dishes in a hope chest, and purchased them by working hard after school and then full time, in factories and at those old-fashioned department store counters selling makeup and candy, where her mad men era bosses chased the girls around trying for kisses or a pinch.  Yes!  True stories and my kids are amazed.

By the time I found Mr. Fun and chose my wedding china, I of course wanted something different.  Lenox was no longer giving these lovely tiny swans to brides, and I chose a pattern from Minton.

 (you can see it here).

Now my daughter is getting married and my mom mentioned that she was planning to give this exquisite china to her!!  I must admit that I was more than a tad envious.  Of course, Charlotte is looking at her own totally different patterns, as every bride has, and should have, her own style, reflective of her own experiences and generation.

I do, however, think that true beauty is timeless, and these dishes are perfect examples of that.  I have set a table with these classic dishes and modern touches that I think will please both a grandmother and her modern, young bride granddaughter.


post wedding brunch 
 just the bride and groom 
 newly Mr. and Mrs. 

Somewhere far from the madding guest reception crowd ~~ none of this new thing where everyone stays in the same inn and a huge brunch starts the first day of the marriage.  No, no ~~ just quiet, just two, who cares what food is served, and who even knows.  The minister has said "I now pronounce you," the toasts have been raised.  God is in his heaven.  All is right with the world.

This Lenox pattern, created in 1920, easily mixes with mason jar vases ~~

which are filled with flowers from my yard.


The modern rusted metal urn gives a nod to classical style in its shape and holds delicate flowers on the table under my pink tree.

Ribbons in the color of the jewel-like flower petals on the dishes flow from the urn and can tie together the flatware,

or lend a more casual and modern look to the delicate vintage sherry glasses, perfect for a morning toast.  

Did you know that flowing ribbons are making a return to bridal bouquets?  A welcome (imo) change from the rigid tightly bound inflexible look popular now.

Speaking of weddings and flowers, I know it's not all about me (I chant this to myself before bed), but I think every bridal bouquet needs a sprig of lily of the valley to add a delicate and sweet scent.  I have so much growing in my yard in May and June, but where can I find it in January??

Romance is already in the air with this pretty wedding china in daylight,

but a touch of candlelight adds another romantic touch.


Instead of the silver candlesticks my mother used I've added more jars with beeswax candles, casting a soft glow over an evening table for the bride and groom.


Of course by evening the new couple will be winging their way 
to a wonderful honeymoon.

(the blue hour came on just as I snapped these shots!)

Mr. Fun and I will be here, exhausted, jubilant. 

I think a table set for my daughter's wedding breakfast with my mother's wedding china will be the perfect place for us to sit and recover!

something old, something new
~~ perfection ~~



p.s.  The dishes are dishwasher safe.  They say so right on the backstamp.  But I'm sure I'll be hand drying them the next day, with help from my own groom.
Linda :)

please join me at