I had such a nice day yesterday; I played house all day!  I had a girl-party wedding shower for my dear friend Jaime, to celebrate how happy we are that she’s found True Lve . . . which means, of course, I spent yesterday doing my favorite thing, setting the table for a party!    Song, my friends?

We had an old fashioned Lingerie Shower for Jaime; gave her a mini-trousseau of satin and lace (with not a Spanx in sight!) — because we are the lucky ones, we’re the GIRLS; we get to wear this stuff . . . . so,  I asked myself, back to the Main Question, here in Domesticity City . . . about setting the table; what can I do to make it sweet and romantic?

Deciding how to ‘scape the table is where all the “chickens,” of all my years of stalking flea markets, antique stores, and yard sales, come home to roost. I get to play mix and match . . . which glasses, which napkins, which dishes . . . setting the table, so much fun . . . what will go with what, how can it be A Little Different this time, what will make everyone faint with happiness.  I’m sure all my Dish Girlfriends understand my glass obsession!

It’s like trying on clothes in the dressing room, I put in this bowl, take it out, put in another, until I get it the way I like it.

Had to have these old-fashioned wedding bells for the centerpiece; Joe drove all the way to Oak Bluffs to get them for me (this is about a fifteen minute trip but islanders are famous for never leaving their own little territory, so, to us, this was a regular expedition!  Joe is our hunter gatherer, bell-bringer .)

I wanted light-hearted flowers, not big perfect florist flowers, but little loose yard flowers.

What else can I decorate with that will say LOVE?  Oh, I know, where’s that old card I did of the wedding people?  Found it!  Hang it in front of the mirror, let our Bon Voyage garland be their “swing.”

OK, I’ve got the table pretty well figured out . . . now, for the food;  I zest the limes . . .

And roast the sweet potatoes . . .

And make the cake . . .

Then put the last touches to the table; tell Jack to get down, for the 47th time, etc.  Time for the party now . . . and . . .

Cheers!  I put on some Frank Sinatra to set the tone . . . we have champagne and Pe-ah Ci-da . . .

Jaime brings the rose that’s going to be in her wedding bouquet!

Margot shows up and we all say, please, how can she be so cute, these are her shoes!!!  She is so adorable; I have no choice but to show you her skirt . . .

Yes, I know.  I’m perfectly aware.  Let’s not even talk about it. 

 Jack was there of course, being his sweet self.  Girl was safe and snug, in bed upstairs, where all these “strangers” can’t “look” at her or “touch.”

The candles are lit, the windows are open, the crickets are cricking, the wine is cold, it’s a beautiful night for a girl party.  I used the great big napkins, like little tablecloths; they call them “lapkins.”  Come sit down!

And Jaime is so happy, because she just got all new underwear and because she is surrounded with “her girls.”

We have cucumber/lemon-basil water; fresh steamed lobster (cold) on lime coleslaw with jicama, and pea shoots to garnish; we have spicy, citrus, ginger, cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes; hot crunchy French bread with a pat of English Stilton cheese and cold, sliced red pears; and there’s Polenta Cake with whipped cream for dessert.  Girl Food!

Now, the girls have gone, the music is done, the party is over, I’m about to blow out the candles, but had to take one more picture of the bells because I love them.  Silly bells.

Party not really over; lunch for me  . . . Lobster and coleslaw!

✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄ ✄

But I know what you really want to hear about . . . the cup, right?  The pretty little Royal Jubilee cup; what was it doing during the party? It was waiting, ever so patiently, to find out who its new owner is; which we will do right now!  Thank you for being so patient; I really had to do Jaime’s party first!

OH VANNA????  Could you please come in here for a moment?

Hello darling; would you please put your hand deep into this hat; swirl all those little slips of paper around really well and choose a name for us?????  Oui?  Did you say Oui?  Oh, Vanna, you are so cute . . . ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ K, she is handing me the paper . . . . yes, it’s got a name on it, and it is . . .


It’s a good possibility there is more than one Mary in Phoenix, but this is the one who just got an email filled with CONGRATULATIONS, from me and my blog, and all of us Girlfriends. ♥  Now she has to write me and send me her address, and home to Phoenix the cup will go.

 We wish we had a cup for everyone, you know we do, me and Jack, but we’re determined to keep giving things away until maybe someday, everyone will have little something from the Heart of the H♥me.  So, that’s all Girls . . . Jack and Me, we have to go write an English Diary!  No more of this fun and folderol, we have to work!  Beautiful summer day here on the island; butterflies flipping around the tall zinnias over my picket fence, a soft breeze though the hydrangeas, and lawnmowers are rumbling the neighborhood . . .  Love you, one last song to say byeeee . . . Later!   XOXO

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  1. Carol says:

    I love your party! AND Margot’s skirt!! OMG~ I’m envious, I admit, because I could not wear such a skirt my “back porch” is TOO big. Hats off to she that can. I’m happy for Jaime and Mary.

  2. Rachel says:

    What a fabulous table you set 🙂 Lovely!
    And I can’t believe how BIG Jack has gotten! He is HUGE now 🙂
    Congratulations to Mary for winning the cup!

  3. Kathy Thurman says:

    So beautiful! And I can’t even imagine having the windows open in August! I’m lucky if I can do that in November here in TX……

  4. Martha Ellen says:

    I love everything about the lovely shower you gave for your friend! The table is to die for! You are an artist through and through! Life is beautiful and needs to be celebrated! Thank you for letting us see all the possibilities! xoxo ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Not to be any kind of preacher, but isn’t all more or less about making the decision to let the little things count? And to celebrate them! xoxo

  5. Barbara (WA) says:

    “crickets are cricking” – lol !!! Just beautiful and special. . .

  6. Karen C says:


    What a wonderful Party. Everything looked delicious! Thanks again for sharing! A big Congrats to Mary

  7. Tamra says:

    Of course YOUR charming illustrations are my favourite, but if the well shod, fancy skirt wearing Margot is MARGOT DATZ, then please – pass along that one of the most charming and BELOVED books in my house is “Amy the Dancing Bear”. How many times I have bought it and passed it along to nieces and small friends and flower girls and tiny dancers in their own right…SO enchanting those illustrations. I have loved it for a very, VERY long time! (Nice to put a skirt to the drawings? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, that’s Margot! I forwarded your comment to her, to start her day off just right! xoxo

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        oH my goodness! Today is my youngest daughter, Larissa’s 17th Birthday and “Amy the Dancing Bear” was a favorite “carry-me-everywhere” book! It was one that I never tired of reading at bedtime (or all day long) because, the illustrations were absolutely dreamy! How wonderful to say, “Thank You!” to Margot Datz for her charming illustrations that perhaps helped in creating my little happy hearted dancer, Larissa, who is at dance right now! Boy
        oh Boy! Do I ever have some exciting news to share at the
        Cheesecake Factory for her Birthday lunch! 🙂
        I never put 2 and 2 together …. All that magic breezing around Martha’s Vineyard !!! Delightful!!!

  8. Cynthia says:

    Susan, this was so lovely! I love doing lingerie showers….a girl MUST have new undergarments as well as a few special nighties to start out her new life! No panties hitting the floor at the grocery store, thank you very much! Sometimes we are always doing for others we don’t do for ourselves….but the icing on the cake for me were the paper bells….I had them at my shower too, 35 years ago, and I was over the moon to have them! Wonderful party, and thank you so much for inviting me!


    • sbranch says:

      Another perfect example of the little things in life! Honeycomb bells. I have a honeycomb Christmas tree too! Let’s bring back honeycombs!

      • Cynthia says:

        Since I am going to town today, I think that I should just look for honeycomb things….they are old-fashioned, but I believe they “hold up to the occasion” still!


      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Long live the honeycombs!!!! Every holiday had its own 🙂 !!!

        • Gail from Hingham, Mass. says:

          I couldn’t agree more – I have a honeycomb turkey that I put out every year and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at our home without it:) My children who are now in their 20’s remember it and actually still look for it. Hopefully, my grandchildren (not yet born) will be able to enjoy that big brown and orange turkey one day too. It just goes to show you that when you focus on the little things, sometimes they become big things!

          • sbranch says:

            Exactly! The favorite things from our “growing up” house, weren’t the “expensive” things (because really, there probably weren’t any), they were the kid things; the things that had a memory hooked to them.

        • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

          Yea! As a first grade teacher, I LOVE honeycomb decorations for school and home. I have honeycomb pumpkins and a bear/heart and a snowman. But it is hard to find them anymore. (sigh)

    • Re: “No panties hitting the floor at the grocery store, thank you very much!” So THAT’S why I see so many little old ladies wearing slacks now–to keep their underwear off the floor at the grocery store! hee, hee. Speaking of grocery stores–mine called this morning to say they found my reusable bags I lost there yesterday. So, I can’t claim they were stolen, Susan :-&….unless the thief, upon realizing there wasn’t anything in the big bag other than MORE bags tossed them aside. 🙂

  9. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Lovely table setting!!!!! You could write an entire picture book just of your beautiful tablescapes of your past dinner celebrations! Oooooooh… have so many good ideas!!!! (Also, congratulations to Mary in Phoenix!!!!!)

  10. Jeannette Wynne says:

    All I can say is MY KIND OF PARTY:) I loved everything and loved being a “guest” via cyberspace! The gorgeous rose that is going to be in the wedding reminds me of those beautiful ruffled English roses. Thank you for sharing your charmed life with us:)

  11. That was a really fabulous table. Who ever thinks of putting little vases with petunias in them? What a great idea. Very charming.

    I am interested in those ceramic or china tumblers you have on the table, I haven’t seen those before. Any information about them?

    Take care,


  12. M J Smith says:

    Wow! What an amazing shower!! I hope if I ever get remarried that my friends throw me a shower like this one!! Congratulations to Jaime!!!

  13. Annie says:

    Thank you for squeezing the rest of us in at the table. It was such a lovely girlie party. My motto…Never stop wearing pretty lingerie, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been married. Blessings to Jaime and her Prince Charming.
    By the way….I found a $10.00 treasure today at an antique store. It is a Wedgwood Peter Rabbit cup and saucer with an extra saucer. Can you see me smiling?

  14. viv says:

    All I can say is, “Wow what a party.” Best Wishes to Jaime and her true love and congratulations to Mary.

  15. Paulie says:

    Oh Susan, what a beautiful table you do set. How it brings back so many memories for me.

    Like yourself, I was always drawn to antique glass of all kinds and sorts in dishes and glassware and would set my tables with them. Depression glass in the greens and pinks, libby glass, etched glass, hobnail glassware, clear glassware, and on and on. I still enjoy looking at it, but the tables and settings are all a thing of the past for me now. I so enjoyed recalling them all through your postings. What a wonderful friend and neighbor you must be.

    One of the questions my children always ask me is ” What have you been up to lately mom”? My standard answer is ‘oh I am still searching for a chef to make me some awesome plated dinners”. It is a standard joke here because I am quite tired of fixing the same menu’s over and over again because it is the simplest way to live now. But oh your menu has my mouth watering….how delightful it is.

    Thank you once again for the wonderful and inspiring posts Susan. And that skirt and those shoes of Margot’s are absolutley delightful – Way to go………

    • sbranch says:

      I know what you mean about sort of eating the same thing because it’s easy. Sometimes we make gazpacho or a tabbouli salad, something we can eat on all week. So when we’re busy, we still get a change of pace.

  16. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Congratulations to Jaime! Thank you for inviting us to the party. It was beautiful! Susan you inspire me with awesome ideas! Jack is just TOO cute, love how mischievious he was BEFORE the party and a perfect gentleman DURING the party. Love ya Girl!

  17. Kirsten Wichert from So. California says:

    Oh my goodness! You’ve really outdone yourself. The photos of the shower are gorgeous! I especially love the table in the candlelight! The food is just as pretty as everything else…….oh, the flowers too! Wish you had a photo of yourself included. I would have loved to see what you were wearing. Maybe next time?

    Jack has grown into quite a handsome young cat (I almost said man.). I would love to pet him and possibly hear his purrrrrrrrrr.
    Thanks for the beautiful blog…… feels like a letter from you to me!

  18. KJ says:

    Best wishes and congratulations to Jaine and her fiance….What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon….Great friends, lovely surroundings, delectable food and of course new lingerie !! Beautiful tablescape Susan… are an inspiration to all of us !!!

  19. Beth in SC says:

    What a lovely party! It’s like being a child and playing tea party but we are sgml grown up and this is real! Thank you for sharing and congrats to Mary!

  20. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Delightful! Jamie’s rose is just Delightful! Did I say Delightful…LOLThe third one is for your tablescape, may as well say it again Delightful!! WOW!!
    Congrats ! to Mary in Phoenix…. Give Jack an extra “huggie”, from me. He is soooo cute!! Just love seeing him grow….^.^

  21. Joan Lesmeister says:

    What a fun blog, love it all! Congratulations Mary, in Phoenix & Congratulations to pretty, happy Jaime, in Love! New underwear & a beautiful gathering of BFFs, what more could a girl want? And, the mismatched silver, just charmin’!! Pretty, pretty table & great music……thank you, NOW I can start my day! xo Joanie PS Saw the shoes & skirt & guessed Margot!

  22. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Congratulations to Mary in Phoenix! And thank you for another post that celebrates special friends and the delightful details of life.

  23. Betsy says:

    Where did she get that skirt???? I adore it!! Thank you Susan for having us over to your girl get together to celebrate two people finding love. Congrats to Mary on winning the mug……your tea will taste extra special now!!!

  24. Crystal says:

    What a lovely party! You are so lucky to have such a great group of actual girlfriends in addition to your legion of cyber-girlfriends! And I love, love, love those green candlesticks with the star bobeches! So cute and sparkly!

  25. Holly says:

    Congrats Mary in Phoenix!! Beautiful table, lovely old fashioned Lingerie Shower! How much fun that must have been. Jaime is lucky to have such good friends!

  26. Linda Petersen says:

    Hi Susan~~~~All I can say is~~~~~”You’re the top, you’re the Tower of Pisa. You’re the top, you’re the Mona Lisa!” ( Or however the song goes :0) ) Wonderful memories for Jaimie. Thanks for sharing~~~I had a fabulous time! Oh, btw, the shoes & skirt are to die for!! Have a lovely day.
    XO, Linda PS Happy for you Mary in Phoenix!!

  27. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    P E R F E C T I O N ! ! ! That’s the word that comes to mind with regard to your beautiful table setting and menu for the bridal shower. You can feel the love you put into all the details. So cozy and romantic! Of course those white wedding bells were the crowning touch! Setting the table for family and friends is one of my favorite parts of entertaining. It’s so much fun making everything just right. Thank you Susan for all the inspiration! ♥ I’m so glad everything turned out so wonderfully!

  28. Becky says:

    I do not know how you do it, but you make us feel most welcome in your home and your heart of friendship. I think I sigh each time I read your post. Have a happy day. Becky in Oklahoma

  29. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    Susan, oh how fun! It looks like a table set and full of “happily-ever-afters” !!!!! Can I just say (I am happily married) but I have a serious crush on your
    china! Susan… crack me up!!! …..”And Jaimie is so happy, because she just got all new underwear…” Girls and Underwear… guys so miss out on all the fun!
    And then I start thinking about the history of my own underwear….LOL!!!
    Remember the Days of the week underwear? I thought (at age 8) I was being
    a little bit naughty wearing my Saturday’s on Tuesdays or my Friday’s on Monday’s! And then skip to my late 20’s….married and 8 months pregnant. My Bret calls, “hey Dawn, can you come here for a minute? I need some help!”
    I find him and see that he is folding laundry….how sweet of him! And then, as he is folding something asks, “Could you help me out and grab the other end
    of this?” ……..It was my maternity underwear!!! You would have thought we were
    folding up a tent!! I LOL to this day!!!!

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      hmmm….I think my “8” ….just got censored by a smile in sunglasses!!!

      • sbranch says:

        Not so sure what this means, but I hope it’s OK!

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          Now I am really embarrassed! I thought I had typed the number 8 and after it was sent I saw the smiley face with sunglasses….I hope it doesn’t mean anything! Maybe, we could just delete Everything…I am so sorry! : /

    • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

      Censored or not, Dawn, I loved your story!!!! I think I really missed out on something by not having the Days Of The Week Underwear!!! Would have been a lot of fun at Camp Youghiogheny when I was about age eight—Waah!!!

  30. Gini Gould says:

    Hi Susan, – another splendid chapter of the fruits of your creativity. Wait! Let me get a kleenex- I’m drooling!! -an absolutely beautiful post!!

    Your table was fit for a queen (Queen of England, no less!) Want to celebrate your beautiful tablecloth- not to be confused with the darling sarong skirt. You have given me a great idea, in that I have an “Heirloom” (it’s called) bedspread. I regret not having mended/patched it as my kitties damaged it with their claws years ago. My feeble excuse? I didn’t know how to tackle the challenge. It’s a kingsize, white, and looks very similar to your tablecloth. I think I can cut the bedspread; it’s otherwise in excellent condition, and there should be enough material to use as a tablecloth, to compliment my 1880 dining room oak table that seats 10. Assuming your tablecloth is same cotton material as my bedspread, how would you advise to rid stains if need be?
    Thank you for thoughts, Susan. Hugs on their way 2,000 miles from where you are!
    PS Very excited for Phoenix Mary. I can only imagine how delighted she is to be our winner. Mary, only fill the mug half way with tea, to leave room for all the memories, the thoughts of Susan and her amazing trip to England, that will flood your cup!!

    • sbranch says:

      If it’s very thick old cotton, you can actually use real bleach on it, but sparingly, mixed with lots of water first. And I have seen tidy little mends in tablecloths that actually make the piece look better with it than without it . . . tiny little stitches, in case you feel you need to leave a mend showing. Just put a bowl on it: my motto.

  31. Cindy in South Carolina says:

    Jack is so precious on the couch – he just looks EXHAUSTED from all the “work” he did getting ready for the party. I have two tuxedos – an older girl and a busy youngster – and I love them to pieces. I never get tired of Jack and Girl pics.

  32. laurie says:

    what a party of perfection! I gosh I love that skirt and the shoes, that lady has style!

  33. Wendy Louise says:

    How beautiful everything is and you do it with such ease and grace! I have to say that Margot’s skirt is just awesome and I have to tell you a little story that goes with that skirt. When I was a little girl of 6 years, my sisters and all the neighborhood friends would play dress up. Well, I had a crush on one of the boys and we were going to get married and have a wedding. Everyone got dressed up, we even had a minister. I wore a first holy communion veil, a pretty white blouse and for the long skirt, an old white sheer curtain wrapped around and tied just like Margot’s skirt, it was soooo beautiful, I felt like a princess. Margot you look like a princess, so beautiful! I have an old black and white picture of it somewhere, I definitely have to look for it. Children’s play is so wonderful and creative!

  34. Carol Maurer says:

    Such a pretty table scape!! I have a friend that absolutely loves dishes as well. It’s always so much fun to go to tea at her house and be surprised with her choice of dishes. I have loads of ‘tea’ dishes ie. plates, cups and saucers and teapots, but regular sets of old dishes I don’t have any longer. I sold a couple huge sets at yard sales as we were planning on moving and would have no space for them. I’m NOT giving up any of my ‘tea’ dishes though!!

    Thank you for inviting us to the wedding shower. I just know that Jamie had a great time with all the girfriends and now feels soooo lovely in all her ‘pretty’ underwear! You are a dear friend for doing this for her.

    Woke up to the sun shining this morning!!! I’m going to work in my garden when I get off work and plant the snapdragons that I bought yesterday.

    Have a great weekend and look forward to reading some more from you next week!
    Carol M

  35. I love that your dining table can seat two at each end. It makes it feel like a round table without taking up the room of one. So much cozier for conversation.

    I love your “little loose yard flowers”. 🙂 I can see you chasing them around the yard!

    And please don’t mention “flea” markets within my hearing. My dog has fleas–and now my indoor cat–I think from that bunny he was trying to catch in my garden. He kept going back in that flower bed looking for it and I’m thinking the little bunny nest was probably full of fleas. I had to resort to the monthly “poison” application I’ve tried to avoid, but I’m desperate now that my cat has them, too–you can’t bathe cats! So far they haven’t had any adverse reactions to the medication–although, you should never use the over the counter kind which contains pyrethins and can cause seizures. It has been known to kill some pets.

    • sbranch says:

      What kind are you using?

      • Frontline Plus. You have to have a prescription from the Vet to get it.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh, I do think I had that in the past . . . will remember, when and if it’s needed again, it worked!

          • Julie says:

            This is all very interesting, Cathy & Susan-
            but I’m startin’ to itch ! 🙂

            Maybe, you should give the little guy
            a bowl of water with a tablespoon of
            “Bragg’s’ apple cider vinegar.

            They say it works for humans-
            puts enough acidity in your system
            to turn off mosquitoes or anything that
            wants to bite you.

            I use it & I haven’t had fleas…in years ! 🙂
            Been bitten by a few vampires
            but no mosquitoes, no fleas.

            Hope your critters find respite .

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      For the first time ever I have a tick problem. Think it has something to do with the drought and when the rains came earlier this spring….anyway, our Golden Retriever has had at least “6” ticks pulled off her. Yikes, this has never happened before and I resorted to Frontline Plus from the vets office. I HATE pesticides, but I don’t know what else to do. Does anyone out there have any natural remedies tried and true?

      • sbranch says:

        You really have to do it because ticks will get YOU and that’s even worse. Usually with my cats, one or two doses, and the whole infestation thing goes away.

      • Chris, my Vet says our mild winter in the mid-atlantic allowed the fleas to overwinter (the ticks probably, too, but I only found one tick on him this year). My dog is white and because I comb him every day it is easy for me to find ticks and grab them with this wonderful little spoon that has a V cut in it. You can get find it at a Pet supply store. If you get them off before 24 hours the tick won’t have had time to infect them with Lyme’s disease. So I thought I was safe to not use a monthly thing like Frontline. The fleas through me for a loop because I thought he was scratching because I’d just changed his diet. I’d not been giving him the Brewer’s Yeast with garlic tablets regularly, which is suppose to make the fleas flea. That’s the only natural deterrent I know about. Julie’s suggestion of apple cider vinegar might work, but I’m wondering how much water he’d have to drink to get enough in him. There are natural sprays you can put on them like a repellent, but again, how much do you have to saturate them and you’d have to be sure to get total coverage. If we have another mild winter I’m going to have to buy nematodes for my garden. They’re suppose to take care of the fleas outside. For now, my dog isn’t allowed where that bunny was that started all this.

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          Julie’s suggestion is NOT GOOD as it can affect the acidity of their urine and cause bladder stones!!! This is from a canine urologist! Same thing with kitties!!!

          • Julie says:

            Anyone that knows me or is familiar with my
            words & way knows that was a tongue-in cheek
            Lighten Up !

          • sbranch says:

            Love you both, you both have nothing but best intentions, to each other and to this subject. xo

  36. Francine Werlinger says:

    Yippee!!! Another lovely tablescape for me to savor!~ Love em!!!!! And yet another party! What fun!!!! I enjoyed today’s blog so much. As usual, thanks for sharing.

  37. pat addison says:

    what a beautiful table, such a lovely party and boy oh boy is jack ever getting to be a big boy, he has grown. well my las t weekend of peace, next weekend is the Labor day weekend and here its the last yahoo for the summer. the Lions club throws it annual Labor day festival, complete with a carnival, tuff truck competition and capping it off with a town parade on Labor day. the carnival will start next friday and go through the Labor day weekend, ending monday night. the tuff truck competition will be on saturday and sunday, just guys and gals driving old junkers and clunkers around a track with jumps and whoop-de-doos, best times on saturday will compete sunday for the time score and bragging rights for a year. plus this year they have added a lawnmower race around the track. loads of end of summer fun next weekend, and yes i am entered in the lawnmower race, my hubby is in the tuff truck competition so we will be cheering each other on. come on around and give us a cheer. have a great day and a fun weekend!! hugs….. 😉

    • Julie says:

      Step back, maintain your distance
      & watch out for those “junkers, clunkers & whoop-de-doos”….
      a girlfriend could get…seriously hurt.

      Do you have a town paper, Pat ?
      I swear they need to hire you to write their
      “What’s Happening” column-
      you’ve got it all together & you don’t miss a beat.

      I’m truly impressed, you’re style is like no other.
      Are you sure your not related
      to that lady from the movie “Fargo” ?

      You, yourself could be a GREAT character actress !
      You are kinda’ the countrified version of Angela Lansbury,
      in that show, where she road her bicycle around town,
      solving crimes.

      I was trying to relate to a friend,
      your funny post on your local man who sells
      the Blackberry Jam.
      You clarify his position, so well, so crystal clear-
      excuse me, if I paraphrase, but ever so slightly.

      Your description sort of went like this:

      “The Blackberry Jam man
      grows Blackberries that
      look like Blackberries & taste like Blackberries
      & when you buy a jar of Blackberry Jam
      from the man who grows the Blackberries
      with the bees buzzin’ ’round-
      you can bet your britches,
      it’s EVEN going to smell like the Blackberries he grows-
      and taste just like Blackberry jam.”

      The person I was telling this to, then said-
      “Well…after all that,
      I sure HOPE it smells like Blackberry Jam
      ’cause I wouldn’t wanna’ cough up good money
      for a jar of Blackberry Jam,
      only to open it up
      to find
      it smells like liver & onions” ! 🙂

      I had a good laugh
      but I promised him, YOU, of all people
      were good for your word.

      If Pat says it’s the BEST Blackberry Jam around
      & it actually smells like Blackberry Jam-
      I, for one, believe her ! 🙂

      • pat addison says:

        julie it was blackberry honey, the honey as flavored and smelled like blackberries from the that guys bees were buzzing around, all the wild blackberry bushes around the area, he sells honey out on the highway. he also sells clover blossom honey and wildflower honey. he’s got a thriving business with his busy lil bees. hugs….. 🙂

      • pat addison says:

        its blackberry honey not jam!!! the guys sells honey that is blackbery flavored by his bees buzzing around in the wild blackberry bushes around here in the area!!!

        • Julie says:

          Oh, sorry Pat,
          I had the “Blackberry Jam” thing filed away in my busy brain.
          As a matter of fact, the Blackberry Honey sounds just as good.

          Maybe, the Honey Master should hire a
          pretty, smiling girl, like the one in the video below.
          Gathering around, are sweet young boys, grown men & Grandpas-
          they are buying up ALL her honey & coming back for more…real cute video !

  38. pat addison says:

    oops, almost forgot…congrats to mary on winning that beautiful mug…congrats girl.

    • pat addison says:

      hmmm there goes the lawnmower brigade, riding up to the gas station again, last round for the summer.

  39. Barb....Ludlow...MA says:

    Goodafternoon Susan,

    Congratulations to Mary in Phoenix…yeah so happy for you!:) Congratulations to Jamie……the Bride to Be…….yeah so happy for you too!:) Oh my goodness Susan, what a beautiful shower you gave. I love all your details in your place settings, glasses, lapkins, candles. I also have a glass collection and many dishes and some depression glass to. I also adore the old fashion decorations such as the bells and the bridal couple…..special touches. Ahhhhhhh… make us all smile:) Your food you prepared…….delicous and love your detailed photographs…..always!:) I also like your touches of the flowers you always put on your tables. Plus Jack Kitty…..king of the Vineyard!:) I am also sending prayers to Angie Tink and Judi that the Hurricane Blows out to Sea. Now I must get back to canning my roasted peppers and homemade Pickles. Have a great happy weekend Sue and all the Girlfriends too!:):) Hugs & Smiles

  40. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    What a lovely party. I get so excited when I see that you have had a party!! So much fun. The purple and lime green; what a perfect combination. And petunias, I never would have thought to cut petunias to bring inside. Like you say, it is the little things in life that we should celebrate. Weddings, birthdays, new babies, so much in life to celebrate.
    Also congratulations Mary!!

  41. Fran Bianchi~Palmdale Ca says:

    Hi Susan,

    What a special party for a special friend…nicely done, like everything you do!
    Congratulations to Jaime and to Mary in Phoenix.

    I know how much you like tea and England….go to harney& They are selling a special blend of tea to honor the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth and I think you will just love the tin that the tea comes in.

    Thanks for the invite to the party, it was delightful.

  42. Jenny says:

    Susan!!! What a lovely table you set! I could never pull off a gathering so beautiful and fun ~ your friends are lucky gals.

  43. Mary in Phoenix says:

    Hello everyone. Yes the is THE Mary in Phoenix! I feel so blessed to have won the mug and so humbled by all your kind congratulatory comments. When I saw my name at the end of yesterday’s post my heart jumped for JOY! Here I was reading along … getting caught up in all the details of the girlfriend’s shower … the food, the table setting, the shoes, the skirt, the flowers … it was all amazing. I almost felt like I was there … and then my name pops up on the screen! OMG … I had to pinch myself. Couldn’t believe that Vanna chose me! I felt like the luckiest girl in the world!

    Susan asked me to tell the story of my plan for the mug so here is what I wrote in my original post:

    I absolutely LOVE this Emma mug and am hoping to make a connection with Vanna’s hand so I can give it to my lovely mother who is turning 94 and a half this week! (She counts halves, quarters, months and days now). She is the Queen Mum in our family and absolutely LOVES the real queen. Growing up we channeled Queen Elizabeth, stayed up all night to watch Charles and Diana’s wedding, and always celebrated her birthday which was the same day as mine. Suffice it to say mom was “royally enchanted” and still is. I host an annual tea party (the most recent on June 2nd) and mom had glitter crowns for all my girlfriends to wear as we made delicious scones and sandwiches and celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee. We were all queens for the day! Since then mom has been on a gradual decline with walking, reading and thinking. But she still makes sure to have her “cuppa” tea every afternoon. Mom is Irish (and Dad was English) so tea in my book is spelled “MOM”. I always heard mom say she was going to win the Irish Sweepstakes and I believed her. Maybe her Irish luck will shine through now … here’s hoping it will. And here’s an Old English Blessing for your Sunday afternoon to thank you from the bottom of my ♥ for all you do … “May your joys be as sweet as spring flowers that grow, as bright as the hearth fire when winter winds blow, as quiet leaves that float down in the fall, as serene as the Love that keeps watch over all.”

    Thank you ALL again for the lovely comments. I can’t wait to give this mug to my mom and see the smile on her face. She watched every minute of the Queen’s Jubilee … and the flotilla on the Thames … so it should bring happy memories!

    I am truely grateful to Susan and the thousands of girlfriends she inspires…

    ♥ Mary

    • sbranch says:

      It’s Mary! Thank you for posting Mary . . . I just loved your story about your mom, so happy you shared it again with the Girlfriends! Congratulations . . . Loved your little quote, “May your joys be as sweet . . .”♥

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      Mary, what a lovely story! It’s fun to know that the Emma mug will be
      living happily ever after! Blessings to you and may God Always Bless your Queen Mum!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I just loved the story about your Mum! Tell her I wish her a happy half birthday!!! I just love half birthdays. My mom and my sisters have there’s on Christmas! Summer and Winter.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Embarrassing~I meant to write theirs’.

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        Don’t worry, Margot! Whenever any of the girlfriends make a spelling mistake, I always think the best–the computer leprechaun messed it up!! I know what you meant!!

    • I can’t think of a better story deserving of that mug! Your Mom sounds precious. Congratulations!

    • Julie says:

      Can’t imagine a more perfect ending !
      Congratulations Mary,
      it was meant to be….your mother’s mug.
      I remember reading your comment the first time
      and how poignant it was-
      even better now!

      Hopefully, you can take a photo with your Mom sipping tea
      from her special mug & send it to Susan to post.
      That would be so very sweet !

    • Holly says:

      Mary, How perfect that you should have the cup!! Amazing that it found a place where it will be loved most. Your mom sounds charming.

      • Tawni urrutia says:

        Oh Mary! I can’t imagine a more perfect home for the Jubilee mug! We could really feel the love and gratitude you have for your Queen Mum…how lovely for you both!!!

      • erica says:

        Congratulations Mary!

        Such a lovely story of your Mom. I believe in things that are meant to BE, and this little story of how the EB Jubilee mug made the long-loving journey into your Mama’s hands made my heart smile. Beautiful.

        Love it. XO


    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Dear Mary,

      Isn’t it wonderful how Vanna always chooses just the right person. And that person this time was definately you! Bless your mother, I know she will enjoy her mug. So happy for you!


    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Mary, Your story brought tears to my eyes! What a sweet mom! I love the picture in my mind of all of you in glitter crowns. Please make sure you tell us about your mom’s reaction when she gets that fabulous mug. She is very lucky to have such a generous and loving daughter!

    • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

      What an enchanting story, Mary, and what lovely memories your family has made over the years!!! How perfect that you won the the mug!!!

    • Oh Mary such a sweet story. I was so disappointed when I scrolled down and read that Mary in Phoenix had won my mug…..but after reading the story about your mom I realized that it was meant to be hers all along. How Vanna knew is beyond me!

  44. Heidi says:

    What a delightful shower – from the bells to the hand picked flowers – for your friend. Your friends must feel very blessed to know you. Thanks for posting so we could share in the fun.

    Have a nice weekend to all.

  45. Michele says:

    Susan, everything looked so beautiful!
    I did a little thriftin’, today, and saw those adorable paper bells. I wanted to buy them, but just couldn’t bring myself…couldn’t think of any way to use them (and NOW I think I could have used them to decorate for our anniversary! DUH! maybe I’ll go back and see if anyone snagged them, yet!)

    AND THAT SKIRT! Seriously, where did she get it! I LOVE it!!! :0)

    And I’d love to send Jack little kisses!

    • sbranch says:

      She just tied a sarong around herself! It’s probably more Margot herself than it’s the fabric.

  46. Debra says:

    Longing for friends such as you!
    How fun and beautiful and sweet and fulfilling! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  47. peggy sweeney says:

    your party went beautifully! love wedding showers…
    My dinner party with the US paralympic team went great! I made three trays of enchiladas, I also made tacos and chips and salsa, I would love to send you pictures. Tonight we went out to a big base farewell dinner and they are leaving for london on Sunday, sad to see them go, but will be watching the games on BBC 4.
    thanks for the suggestion the dinner was a hit!

    • sbranch says:

      How great, sounds wonderful … I didn’t realize you had a whole team coming!

      • Peggy says:

        Well I shouldn’t say team, although they are relay partners , four of the eight showed, the others had other obligations. All in all it was fantastic.

  48. Suzanne says:

    I have this habit of sending your special blogs on to six “Secret Sisters.” One of them just wrote back and wanted to know, “where’s the cake?” and “did it have sprinkles?”
    Congratulations to Jaime, whose face radiates with the joy of a soon to be bride. Also congrats to Mary, the mug winner.

  49. Such a beautiful shower, with all the fabulous Susanesque details! Your friend is blessed!
    I have to comment on how “adult” Jack is looking these days. The kitten face is alllllmost gone! So handsome, he is! *meow* <3

  50. Andi M says:

    Congratulations to Mary! I made the cheesecake, delicious! I love your girl parties. Love Margot’s skirt and shoes. I hope we will see wedding photos too!

  51. Joan S. says:

    Another wonderful post full of loving friendship and inspiring ideas for food and decor. Thank you!

  52. Karen Saunders says:

    You need this like a hole in the head, but you could SO do a book on table decorations, and not even illustrated but with all the neat dishes, etc. for any season or event. You, my friend, are one talented lady when it comes to, oh, EVERYthing!!!

  53. Debbie '51 says:

    Greetings, Susan!!
    I must say – I forgot all about the giveaway the instant I started reading and looking at your beautiful pictures of the girl party wedding shower. I just love the glassware and the dishes and the vases and the flowers and I’m drooling over the pictures and descriptions of the food and the bells, oh, the bells! They are so old fashioned and I do love old fashioned. And, the shoes are cute, but the SKIRT!!! I agree, let’s not talk about how adorable she looks in it.
    See? You have a way of distracting me from everything!! Sometimes that’s really good, sometimes – not so much. I forget what I’m supposed to be doing and just dream on and on…
    (‘course, another of my “old person” birthday’s is coming next week *sigh* I’m expected to get distracted, right???)

    Congratulations to Mary of Phoenix! If it couldn’t be me, I’m sure glad it’s you!

    One more thing: Thanks for the new word!
    Folderol: nonsense; silly nonsense
    I love it and it’s my new word to use. My life is full of folderol, so it’s the perfect word for me!!

    Have a wonderful late summer butterfly day 🙂
    Loving the distraction. Now back to work.

  54. Denni from MN says:

    Congratulations, Mary, hope your Queen Mum loves the surprise of the Mug!!!
    Susan, your table looks beautiful for the shower! Love your ideas and that you share with all of us! Have a great weekend!

  55. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Susan, what was the name (brand) of the Pear Cider–seem to remember it started with an “M” but can’t remember the rest…Thanks!

  56. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Such a lovely party! Yes I am one of the “dish girlfriends”. I added some to my collection a few weeks ago. Cobalt glass and pottery to match.
    Today I went to a little sea glass/sea shell/ other junk that washed a shore over 60 years museum. I felt so lucky to be there. It is the best kept secret in Nags Head, NC!!! For the girlfriends who live in VA or close by, there will be a sea glass exhibition Sept. 15&16 from 10-5 at the conference center/pavilion in Virginia Beach.

  57. Julie says:

    Just walked into your beautiful shower-
    Lobster, lingerie & lovely ladies…
    what’s not to love ?

    Everyone & everything GLOWS !
    Gorgeous photos-
    they look like pages from Laura Ashley decorating books.

    The Hydrangea bush, outside my window
    is just beginning to “blush”,
    the photo of bride-to-be Jaime,
    looks like you shot it through a “blushing” pink gauze-
    the blushing wine, the blushing lobster, blushing cabbage rose wallpaper
    combined with the candlelight…, so soft, pretty & romantic.

    Besides blushing-
    everything is fluffy, light & fairy-airy,
    fluffy lobster salad, fluffy pea shoots, fluffy water pitcher.
    fluffy rose, fluffy floral sprigs, fluffy skirt…….
    which brings us to-
    Ohhh, that Margot…she IS an ocean child-
    I’m sure, in her past life,
    her mother was a Mermaid & her father…a Whaler.
    If Mermaids had feet, they would choose those EXACT shoes.

    Can you just imagine her……walking the Aquinnah shoreline,
    in that outfit…….at SUNSET ?
    Whoa !
    Lord have MERCY !
    Talk about a MIRAGE-
    talk about Sirens-of-the Sea,
    every sailor would hit the deck,
    ships & submarines would crash & sink.

    Frankly, I’m surprised,
    sweet, innocent Sailor Boy “Petey” didn’t follow her home ? 🙂

    That is her romantic “Somewhere in Time” skirt,
    and boy, does she ever wear it well-
    move over, Maggie May !

    You & Margot sure do make memories-
    this is STILL my favorite:

    Maybe, someday-
    it will make it into your “Girlfriends” Sequel Book.
    Heaven knows, you still have tons of girlfriend stories to tell !

    Last but not least-
    Sweet Jack was behaving like a perfect, little gentleman.
    Hope you’re not all partied out, Susan
    because there’s one more August party to plan
    for you-know-whoodle…kitcat kaboodle !

    I agree with the other girlfriends,
    how he has grown-
    slow down, young man……no need to hurry.
    Looks like your little Leo has put on his Big-Boy Tuxedo ! 🙂
    So bittersweet…..seems like you just brought him home, yesterday.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Julie for searching back to find that post on Margot! And although, yes, our Jackie boy has grown, he’s still not even near as big as Girl, and she’s a pretty small cat! So we are safe! He is still a baby!

  58. Deb Wisker says:

    Susan, it looks like it was a wonderful party! I’ve been here all week staying in a beautiful home on Daggett and hoped to meet you. But alas, we were busy playing on the beach and entertaining friends who sailed into Edgartown for a couple of days. Maybe next summer, ok?? 😉

    • sbranch says:

      You can see what I’ve been doing this week! August is so busy . . . my dear California girlfriend Elizabeth just called about 5 minutes ago, their plane just landed in Boston, they’re on their way down to the island! Hope you had a wonderful time Deb!

  59. Sarah Powell says:

    Looks like a great party. Margo’s shoes & skirt, Jamie’s smile, flowers & candles, and your table….with my mother’s Buttercup ( my sister snagged that!) So lovely, so MV, so YOU! When are you coming HOME! oxox S

    • sbranch says:

      Not soon I’m afraid, busy here, when are you coming HERE?? XOXO

      • Julie says:

        Uh-oh !
        That sounds like one of your “little” sisters.
        If so…we, Girlfriends got your subliminal message, Sarah.
        Sounds like Your “Big” sister
        made off with your Mama’s Spode “Buttercup” China……Ha !

        Look at the bright side of things-
        it does look bee-u-tee-ful on Susan’s table
        and YOU’LL always be able to eat off it….when visiting. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Sarah’s a BFF — dear dear girlfriend, but I don’t have her mom’s Buttercup! 🙂 She and I have always dished about dishes!

          • Julie says:

            Oh, that is funny-
            sounded like it was an “Inside-Family” joke,
            especially, the part where Sarah asks,
            “When are you coming home” ?

            With family all around & overseas,
            that’s the one phrase we constantly use-
            “When are you coming home” ?

            Very sweet,
            shows that BFFs are true kindred spirits
            when the two of you,
            even lock onto the very same China pattern.

            Love the name “Sarah” !
            I don’t know of one “Sarah” who isn’t a darling
            and being the darling, YOU are Susan-
            I’m sure you going to leave THAT set of “Buttercup” china
            to your BFF Sarah,
            in your last Will & Testament. 🙂

            …and being the BFF, that Sarah is,
            I’m sure she’d be the first to tell you-
            that she’s in no REAL hurry for it !

          • sbranch says:

            “Home,” to Sarah, means California! And she BETTER not be in a hurry for it! 🙂

  60. Julie Cavrich says:

    Beautiful table setting! Felt like I was right there. Jack is so big!!! Not a baby anymore. Although, they are always our babies! Kisses to the Kitties!

  61. A.M. says:

    I can’t say what I like best, the lovely decorations, beautiful table and settings, wonderful food, Margot’s gorgeous skirt and shoes…and then I saw Jack and those gorgeous eyes…meow Jack…:) What a blessing to have such good friends to celebrate and share the important events in your lives.

    Congratulations Mary, for winning the Emma’s cup!

    A great weekend to you Susan!

  62. Tami says:

    You sure can set a table! What a perfectly lovely shower! I can’t decide which I love the best, the honeycomb bells or the glass pitcher you served the ice water in! So charming. 🙂 Thank you for letting us come to your party. I am curious about what kind of pe-ah ci-da you were having? is that what is in the glasses pictured? Whatever it is looked really good! You have such a gift in the way you see & describe things. What a blessing! Wishing the happy couple all the best, and wishing you a wonderful, relaxing rest of your weekend. :o)

  63. Sigh….it was all so lovely. Thanks for letting me in 😉

  64. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi Susan *

    Your Girl Party Wedding Shower was fabulous! You truly are an…oh so special party planner!

    From the romantic table setting, the sweet music, glowing candles, your lovely garden flowers, the white bells (thanks to Joe), the delicious menu with a dessert like no other…to the gathering of friends…you gave Jaime a beautiful “storybook-once-upon-a-time” wedding shower. It is truly a wonderful prelude to all the happiness she will have on her wedding day!

    Happy Days ahead for you Jaime, as you get ready for your big day.

    And I am so happy for you too, Mary…as the winner of Susan’s gift…the Royal Cup from England. Oh! Mary…”your cup runneth over”.

    Have a delightful weekend, Susan…
    Hugs to you and all our Girlfriends, both far and near, from:
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  65. Cindy Tuning says:

    Congratulations Mary on winning your new favorite cup for tea. I gasped when I saw that gorgeous rose! That is the highest setting on my “I love it!!!” meter. The guide by which all purchases are made. I have never seen one like that but will be on the lookout and hopefully it can grow in Zone 5. Tablescape was perfect……there seems to be a pattern here.

    • Cindy Tuning says:

      Sorry Mary, I just read your beautiful comment and saw what you are doing with the cup. Once again,the hands of fate..AKA Vanna…puts things exactly where they should be. So glad that you won.

      • sbranch says:

        Vanna always chooses the right person, because she chooses one of the girlfriends, I don’t think there’s a single person here we wouldn’t love to see get that cup! Still wishing I had more! Oh if I was Emma, I would probably put myself right out of business!

  66. Beverly Brewer says:

    Thank you for letting us see your lovely table with all the trimmings. Setting a pretty table is so much fun! When our daughter was growing up, we would frequently go camping on weekends, and she and I would always collect wildflowers for our picnic table bouquet. Thank you for reminding me of a sweet memory of days gone by!

  67. Anne says:

    Awwww… pretty everything is! The glasses/cups in the second frame are to die for = what did you serve in those? Margot’s skirt is also to die for and I love how it goes with the table setting! Thanks again Susan for sharing the beauty….love it ! 🙂

  68. Frances Fowler says:

    Everything looked cozy, comfy, beautiful, and ready for girlfriends!

  69. Kit says:

    Oh that was a fun blog! Love the table you set and your food? Wow! Have I ever told you that you take the most interesting pics? You do! Not the standard ones and yes we all loved seeing the skirt and shoes! And of course Jack! Congrats to Mary in Phoenix. Have a lovely weekend! Kit

  70. Jack says:

    On follow up , reading all these comments —gives that Mug a living pulsating life of it’s own — much like a puppy just saved by adoption from a shelter — now to have a caring
    cozy home oriented to the original location of it’s birth……an all English family home
    Appreciating as to the nth degree the representation of all that England is in showing the flotilla on Thames in honor of her Queen……an impacting memory that will last forever abiding in the hearts of Mary and her Mom ….

  71. Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

    Hi to you Susan and all the Girlfriends,

    I didn’t miss Jaime’s party but am late to the after-party and can’t wait to catch up with all of you! I made a promise to myself that I would clean up all the clutter around here this weekend but catching up with you all while Cleo’s head is resting on my forearm seems so much more attractive!

    What fun for you Susan in getting to be the hostess for the lovely affair and you have done your usual spectacular job! And Jaime’s face just says it all—what radiance and delight are captured in that moment caught by the camera!!!. Margot’s outfit adds the extra icing on the cake for a lingerie shower and I thank you and your wonderful BFFs once again for allowing us to share in your intimate and very girly and extremely precious party. Susan, please extend my Best Wishes to Jaime for a lifelong love affair—unless you are also one of our Blog Girlfriends, Jaime, in which case I extend them to you personally!

    I have just received what looks like a brand new copy of your “Heart of the Home” and am so delighted by it. I am so happy to have all the wonderful recipes at hand and plan to make the cheesecake and carrot cake very soon. But I am making plans for others as well!

    Have a lovely weekend everyone! xoxo to all,


  72. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    if I were wealthy I would pay you LOTS of $ (or donate to the charity of your choice) just to come to one of your parties


  73. erica says:

    Greetings Susan!

    The snips of petunias on the table remind me of my Mama who lives far away, but not too far to visit a few times a year. I saw that alot during the summer months on our table….*sigh*

    Of course, LOVE the bridal shower par-tay with ALL the decor and food. Oh, saucer champagne stemware….*clink* so perfect. I like saucer champagne stemware over champagne flutes as they much more practical. A rounded scoop of vanilla icecream with fresh berries takes it to a new level in a saucer champagne.

    Enjoy the day. I’m sure you’ll make it BEAUTIFUL.

    Erica XO

    PS So happy with who will receive the EB mug! Mary’s story touched my heart. Beautiful endings.

  74. Ann says:

    WOW, what a wonderful blog about a fabulous party, and I’m so glad for Mary, she sounds like a really worthy winner of your EB mug. And Susan, the truth is that everyone who reads your blog and your books already has ‘a little something’ from The Heart of The Home, it’s called food for the soul – thank you for feeding mine and inspiring and enthusing me in so many ways. BTW, big excitement today, the postman delivered my 2013 Susan Branch calender but I will be strong and resist the temptation to look at it until the end of this year.
    with love from Ann in Thame xx

  75. Jack says:

    Just a bit worried about all that glorious new under ware however –fetching as it is ! He may not want her to take it off… what ?

  76. Marcia in Brazil says:

    Looks like a great party to me! The table setting is gorgeous. When did you start collecting dishes, tea cups and glass? Congratulations Jamie on your upcoming wedding! True love always makes me sigh…

    • sbranch says:

      In my 20’s, when I learned to cook and found out about second hand stores! When so much of it was around $6.00!!

  77. Celtic Heart says:

    makes me wish I was getting married! Jamie is one lucky lady to have such a wonderful and good friend as yourself to make a special, life~long happy memory as this one is.
    Congratulations to Mary in Phoenix

  78. Kathy Thurman you’re so right about our Texas weather, but last nite in Austin it was breezy and cooler (80’s) so I invited my guests to eat our homemade pizza creations outside….”No thanks-we might get the Nile virus from a mosquito bite!” Can’t win. And Susan, it’s usually November or December before the windows are cranked open each morning. I head back to Princeton next week for a long overdue girlfriends visit and can’t wait to hear the cicadas sing and enjoy a crisp cool 60° evening dinner outside with a sweater on. We only wear sweaters here in September at the grocery store 🙂
    Anyway, those homemade pizzas were a last minute “let’s not eat out but cook what we have” decision. I had store bought cornmeal crusts in the freezer (so tasty!), leftover pesto and arrabiata sauce, homemade hot and sweet roasted peppers soaked with olive oil, basil and roasted garlic, and leftover shredded zucchini from the previous day’s lunch. So much better than eating out!
    Reading your shower post made me smile (I was already happy from your ocean video). How refreshing to see those honeycombed paper wedding bells on such an lovely table. Simple elegance always wins in my book. And sweet Jack….how did she get you to stay off that comfy tablecloth for a whole day? Nice kitty!

    • sbranch says:

      He’s actually starting to understand the words no and get down!!

      • Understanding and doing aren’t the same thing so good job 🙂 He is just too darn cute though. My 14-year old kitty Shadow’s favorite place to lounge is on my kitchen table too. Great place to swat puppy Newt as he walks by just to let him know who’s in charge.

  79. Karen L. says:

    Such a beautiful Girl Party. Love all the color and the table.And so sorry Jack is beginning to look so more “manly cat” than kitten. And all that swagger just adds the the manly look. Seems to happen over night sometimes.
    Best part of parties is the Leftovers and having the house all pretty and sparkly!

  80. Pom Pom says:

    Jack is growing! He’s super kitty!
    He’ll have a nice thick coat when winter comes.
    Yummy! The girl dinner looks delicious, Susan!

  81. Josie A (Valencia, PA) says:


    These words come to mind whenever I read your blog.
    I have read all the comments so far, but don’t think anyone has asked what the name of that beautiful rose is. I would love to know… I immediately fell in love with it.

    • sbranch says:

      We are all waiting for Jaime to tell us, because no one knows yet. Hopefully she will be able to find out!

  82. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Susan, this is the loveliest Bridal Shower! What a sweet dear friend you are to the Bride. Every little detail..just so very lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  83. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    How fun it is to go through all the girlfriends’ comments–it’s like the party after the party! Well, I never got around to my OWN comment! Besides the to-die-for table surrounded by friends so happy to be together celebrating a special moment, what I also loved was the pic of Jack. You know, he has such a contented, “I’m not unwanted, like I used to be. I have a family.” look about him. Very happy.

    And I will definitely try an old stationery store to find some honeycomb decorations! Or, I just thought of another good one–I need to keep my eyes open when I go to flea markets!

  84. Jacquie says:

    Second comment here! (I, like many readers I’m sure, enjoy revisiting the same post more than once!) The magpie in me is rather mesmerized by all the twinkly beauty. I’m particularly drawn to those sparkly champagne coupes. Would you mind sharing a little something about them? Old? New? Maker? Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      They are old. I found them here and there, as a hunter gatherer … flea markets and antique stores, sometimes I would find six, sometimes only one, but I just kept buying them (when the price was right). I don’t know who made them, no marks on them at all. One of my favorite parts about them, besides the fact that they are so old fashioned, is that in the movie “Bringing Up Baby,” Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are at a party and they are drinking from glasses that look exactly like these! I like to think they ARE them. That’s about all I know about these glasses!

      • Jacquie says:

        Thanks for sharing. I’ll keep my eyes open for them next time I’m puttering in a antique store. I’m sure I’ve walked by some before – funny, how you don’t “see” something until you are actively searching.

  85. Cathy McC. says:

    Hi Susan — it’s a rainy morning here in South Bend, IN — we’ve been blessed with about 15 hours of much-needed rain! Perfect morning to catch up on your blog, as I’ve been at our lake cottage for several days with my dear, dear buddy Joanie from grade school, junior high, high school — and forever, visiting from Minnesota. WHICH prompted me on this quiet morning to grab my “Girlfriends Forever” book (a special gift from Lucy!) and walk down memory lane — and laugh and cry and wish she were still here visiting! Must say that refer to recipes frequently but I hadn’t totally read the book entries for several years, so it was great reading your wisdom and humor and sensitive words again. I’m quite relaxed and melancholy as I sit and write this. (I crack up when I read about you guys sneaking around to meet the Beatles!) There’s a touch of autumn in the air (yes, I reread the last few pages of your summer book today, too) and this is the time I always go pick up Gladys Taber and start reading about the change of seasons. HOWEVER, I do need to start thinking about tonight’s supper and thus have an ulterior motive for this comment: After pouring over your recent blog and zooming in on your gorgeous tablescape to catch every detail, my mouth continues to water over the thought of lime cole slaw with jicama (yum jicama – one of my favorite snacks:) If you would share your makings of the slaw, I’d be sooooo delighted and grateful!
    Wonderful seeing Jack look so content and healthy — he must be so delighted to have you home and puttering about again. Wishing you well — Ethel

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I don’t have measurements . . . but it’s white cabbage (not the kind in the bag, although you can use it if you want), thinly sliced as you possibly can. Peel and thinly slice a jicama, and a couple of green apples too; mix it all together. After that, your options are golden raisins, minced parsley and/or cilantro (maybe even mint, or try basil), coarsely chopped pecans, salt and pepper. Dressing is mayo, lime juice and lime jest, to taste. Zest the limes first, then thin the mayo with the juice. Mix everything together, and there you go! Delicious with lobster on it, of course, but shrimp or chicken are also good; wholesome, healthy and yummy!

      • Cathy McC. says:

        Sounds wonderful — and I think i can add it to my existing slaw salad!!!!! Just read your new blog — best of luck with the kitchen — What an undertaking! Great job clearing everything out! (I noticed you didn’t send us pix of how your dining room looks right now! 🙂 When we redid our kitchen a few years ago, we used paper everything we could (cringe) and I did whatever dishes we HAD to use in dishpans in the bathtub. I’m sure the eateries on the island will love you two even more this week!!!! Your biggest challenge will probably be making sure there are no kitty footprints on your new floors! Well-wishes — we are all anxious to see the work in progress! Ethel

        • sbranch says:

          Our bathtubs are upstairs! But, whatever it takes, that’s what we’ll do. I suppose we will find out how it works as we go along, and just when we get it down to a science, the kitchen will be done! 🙂 Ethel! Happy day!

  86. Star Johnson says:

    I think you should keep the kitchen the same color as it is. If I had known about this sooner, I would suggest painting the kitchen white and doing the floor in black and white diagonal harlacon design. It would be so you, Jack and girl kitty.
    I like the light, brightness that the current color makes the room feel.

  87. Mary A. Brown says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate true love! That’s what we really need-lots of true love… Girl Kitty sounds like my Tiffany, a siamese of particular habits. They only permit “their people” certain privileges. We are so lucky! Jack seemed like the perfect host. Mary A

  88. Hi Susan, know you are busy with your remodeling project; but, I would love your idea on this question from my daughter…..she recently asked me if I thought it was odd to want her everyday dishes in different colors and I think she is thinking FiestaWare….she already has a place setting in her birthstone color “peridot” green I bought that for her years ago…my response was this: years ago it would have been considered eccentric to not have a full set of china/dishes in one pattern; but, I think in today’s world anything goes?? I think it would be charming to have a dinner and have every color of the fiesta dishes or even maybe 4 colors that coordinate with each other. I did tell her however; that I would keep the pitcher, napkin holder, sugar bowl/creamer, etc. in the same color but that would be up to her taste. Just would like your take and I already know that you like different textures, patterns, with your dishes so I think I may already know your answer. Thanks

    • sbranch says:

      Plus she’s young, she can be free to do it her way, there are no rules, and we do change and grow as we go along, I think it sounds fun!

  89. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    I’m a little late to the party, but it was gorgeous!!! I am a glass-a-holic as well and you have some really beautiful things!…. AND I WOULD NOT CHANGE THE COLOR OF YOUR KITCHEN!!! of course, I am a blue and white girl through and through!.. a little prejudice for that.. EVERYone seems to have gone beige/brown/mocha these days.. just my two cents!! LOL.. Back in the day, (almost 38 years ago now).. I had a “personal shower” just like this and I also had a kitchen shower….where they stocked my kitchen with all the necessities and then I was a lucky girl to have a shower at my church.. LOVELY!!! Thank you so much for the invite.. it is a feast for the eyes every time.. and CONGRATS to the VERY lucky girl with the new mug!…ahh, Vanna.. someday it will be me!!! 🙂

  90. Cynthia Pfledderer says:

    How appropriate. In searching your name on Etsy this morning, I found it brought up a Pink Moon pendant. What a coincidence! I’m sure it’s a sign – but what does it mean!?! LOL

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