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We have a great farmers market that has grown into the best in the area. See what’s offered from New Jersey growers.

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Enjoy your day!

We live in a 108 yr old house that we bought 20 yrs ago. The first room we renovated was the only full size bathroom in the house. (we now have two) The tile wainscot was falling apart, the shower was small with sheets of vinyl on the shower walls, and there was a modern pedestal sink. I wish I could find the pictures of it before we made a few changes.

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Sorry for the dark picture, could’t get this view any lighter no matter how hard I tried. It’s an easy snap and shoot kind of camera. We used bead  board instead of tile for the wainscot and put in a new tile floor.

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We have a beautiful old porcelain tub, extra long that was perfect for the boys bath time. I found the mirror on the curb for free, it not having sold at the end of a yard sale day.

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The plumbing is very old and every plumber who did work in here always commented that they had never seen the plumbing outside of the tub.

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There is not a traditional faucet. Just the flat round piece you see in this picture. The water comes out from the bottom of the plate. Nice when you had two boys playing all over the tub, nothing to hurt them.

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We found an old porcelain pedestal sink under the basement stairs and used it for years until it was looking so bad we had to replace it. Friends of ours had this sink they weren’t using and gave it to us. I love it.

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I found these antique wall sconces in Philadelphia and had custom shades made. They were a little expensive so when I called Paul and mentioned the price, he was in a meeting and wasn’t really listening, he was fine with it. Ha!

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We enlarged the shower’s width by taking space from a closet in the room next door. Initially Paul wanted a one piece vinyl shower stall.  (ugh!) We even had it on the front porch ready to be installed and he called me on the installation day and said NO…let’s use tile. Yay! But then I had to find tile quickly.

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So I used standard 4″ x 4″ white tile and added a decorative band of tile. It wasn’t my first choice but it was in stock, though I had to get ONE final piece off a sample board from North Jersey. I was pleasantly surprised how nice it turned out.

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This chair was my grandmothers, with a cane seat, and a Martha Stewart pillow! This is one of the ferns I brought in for the winter. It was so beautiful. I just hate indoor plants and couldn’t get rid of it. I put four more down in the basement.

So this is the boys bathroom now. I didn’t change anything when it became just theirs, so that’s why you see the toile lamp shades and pictures with flowers and cottages. And believe it or not, this is how it looks most of the time, clean! NOT like their bedrooms. Oh, and they usually don’t have a vase of tulips on the sink.

…………I do have a stupid story that goes along with the antique cast iron radiator you see under the window. You can skip this if you want. I was taking it in our little Toyata truck to get sandblasted and painted. Remember Andrew Cunanan? He killed Gianni Versace.  Well he was on the loose in New Jersey, close by I think, and there was a big hunt for him. Well I’m driving along and there is a road stop ahead, cars being checked. I thought, I wonder if they are looking for Andrew Cunanan? How stupid of me. When it was my turn, I was asked to pull over to the side, my inspection sticker was out of date AND I hadn’t put the new registration OR insurance card in the truck. I knew exactly where they were in my kitchen. The officer was kind enough to just give me a ticket for the lack of insurance card. So I was lucky, I could produce it in court. ….and that’s my stupid little story.

When I was in high school, I started my very first collection. I would go antiquing with my mom at Sally Severe’s, an antique shop about 4 blocks from our house, and Memories, another antiques shop across town. On one of our trips to Memories, I noticed a pair of Fiesta salt and pepper shakers. I fell in love. One was turquoise and one was cobalt. (I think they are in my attic). Then I added a yellow pair a long the way.

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I didn’t want to collect just one color, but almost all colors.

Fiesta, by Homer Laughlin, was introduced in early 1936. The first five colors were Red, Cobalt, Yellow, Light Green, Ivory with Turquoise being added in 1937. Then in the 50′ they added Rose, Chartreuse, Grey, Forest Green, and Medium Green.  And two others…

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Fiesta had so many designs, shapes, and uses. There are dinner plates, lunch plates, salad plates, butter plates, berry bowls, cereal bowls, bowls with no rims, two sizes of serving bowls, gravy boats, compotes, cream and sugar, marmalade, mustard, syrup, tea pot, coffee pot, carafe, coffee cups, tea cups, egg cups, tumblers, pitchers, forks, spoons and so much more.

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It’s crazy…I have 28 lunch plates and 16 dinner plates in there…

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Some of my favorite and more sought after pieces are the nesting mixing bowls. There are seven and they are marked on the bottom with the numbers 1 to 7. The largest, #7 was the last one I needed for the complete set. I found it for $42 when I was in college.

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The juice set has a small juice pitcher with little cups. These came in a box of 50 pieces, along with a tea pot.

The ivory marmalade and light green mustard with lids are favorites too. They are sitting on a cobalt celery dish.

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My brother Robert gave me the cobalt syrup for my birthday and Paul gave me the light green fork along with a red spoon, which broke in half, just broke in half, odd.

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I used Fiesta for ten years, ten years when I didn’t have a dishwasher. When I was living in Philadelphia, my sink was porcelain and a few tumblers fell over and chipped. So sickening when it happens. You’d think after it happened once I’d be more careful!! This cobalt demitasse creamer was from my friend Claude.

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I also have what they call chop plates, which is a serving platter. There are two sizes, I think 12″ and 15″ dia. You can also see two fab compotes sitting on top of the chop plates. I love the water pitchers, colors cobalt, chartreuse and yellow. There is also a light green ice pitcher and a cobalt gravy boat in this picture.

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I pulled all these dishes out of the cabinets because I am going to part ways with them. I haven’t used them in years and I am determined to purge! They will be going to my sister. I can say that when I see them all out on my table it gives me pause. Am I doing the right thing? I know Amy will get joy out of using them. She does many charity events, small and large, as well as having friends over for her wonderful cooking. Still, I will be sad to see them go.

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So another post about a dinner…sorry. NOT much going on here.

Every summer there are about ten families that travel to Cape Cod for a week in Provincetown. We stay right on the beach in the harbor. Every family makes one dinner so the burden isn’t on just a few.

We’ve missed a few summers and for the past two summers I haven’t made a main meal. So I had a dinner at my house to say thank you to all my Cape Cod friends for their delicious dinners.

This past Sunday was the evening and there were fourteen of us. At first I was going to have a large table for ten then a smaller table for four. Well, that didn’t feel right so I went for three tables. It looked like a little restaurant. We have a large dining room with an alcove with windows where we keep a daybed…for the dogs to lay on all day so they can view the world go by and bark, bark, bark!

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I brought two tables inside that are usually under the pergola. One I trash picked, an iron table that still had the glass top and four chairs. (what a find) I had to scrape off all the flaking paint and clean it up.

Then I brought in seating I bought in France last April that is soooo way cool and I LOVE! They are all cane, backs and seats. I had to vacuum the pieces, spray with alcohol and clean with Murphy’s oil. Much work. So now we’re into day two, 5:30pm. Sigh…I still had to make the food.

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You can see the cane settee, arm and side chairs…Fab aren’t they? I bought them to sell but I’m not sure I am or can!!

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All the tables are covered with French linen sheets and I use French monogrammed napkins I found at flea markets in France. Some have white embroidery and others have red. They all have a beautiful red border.

After dinner a few of us were in the kitchen when the smoke detector went off. I thought it was from all the candles…it was a napkin on FIRE!! Karen had put it down on the table right over a tea light. Yikes!!

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Luckily someone noticed! When I got in there my friend Joan had covered it with another napkin and then I grabbed them and threw them in the sink… This is what was left of that napkin. I only had five of this style, so now I have an even four!

I have more up close pictures I’ll post later.

Enjoy your weekend.

Recently we celebrated my husband Paul’s birthday and had a great dinner. I love to set the table with some of my favorite things.

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The past 10 yrs or so I have been collecting blue and white transfer ware, I collect the 10″ plates with many different patterns. I don’t usually cover the whole table with a table cloth. This time I used two French linen sheets that I found in Brimfield. I laid two crosswise with a smaller colorful one on top. As you can see by the napkins I don’t iron unless I absolutely have to! This was Paul’s seat at the head of the table of course.

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Years ago I found this April Cornell tablecloth from a store at the beach. There were two of them left and I stupidly bought just ONE! It’s a square and has a fab fish pattern. (Paul’s a big time fisherman)

I am fortunate that I have many things from my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. The candlesticks (which I LOVE!) and stemware were my grandmothers. The silverware was my mothers. She had twelve place settings but gave three to one of my sisters to complete HER set of twelve (she had the same pattern obviously). So I have nine. Which I am very lucky to have!

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My newest obsession is these white confit pots from France. I LOVE them. So when I’m flea marketing over there I snatch them up.

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I found this glass and pewter carafe at the Porte de Vanves flea market this past August. It looks beautiful filled with red wine. I didn’t take any pictures of the food.  I served short beef ribs with mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and salad. Very simple.

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I wanted to include this photo of the nook we have at one end of the dining room. We have a daybed in front of the windows where two of the dogs (German Shepards)  spend most of the day. You can see them laying there. They love looking out the windows.

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We ended the evening with a few cigars……That’s a Cupid and Venus pitcher.

In August I was in France with my sister and one of my best friends. After staying in Paris for a few days we headed south. We pick up our car in Avignon and off we go.

We love finding small cemeteries along the way. The iron doors are always open so we go in and take a peek. A few photos for you to see why we love them.

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They are old and worn and beautiful.

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