Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Country Christmas Tree Memories

Monday, November 28, 2016

Country Christmas Tree Memories 

What one thing symbolizes Christmas in your house? Something that is always part of your Christmas celebration? Beginning with your earliest memories in childhood, what one thing has always been part of every Christmas in every house you have ever lived in? What is that one item that must be included before your house is truly ready to celebrate Christmas?   

For me, the answer is.... 

a Christmas tree. 

This fall, Carole of Garden Up Green asked some of us who live in the country to share something from our homes that reflects a country Christmas. Perhaps a recipe, a decorative display, something passed onto to us, or even what life in the country means to us. Whatever we selected should reflect a memory with sincere heart because country living is like no other, and at Christmas, country living is even better. 

Favorite Christmas Shop

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What is your favorite place to shop for Christmas?

My favorite kind of Christmas shop is a small store that has distinctive gifts not found in large department stores. As I approach the store, beautiful Christmas decorations greet me even before I open the door. Inside, the whole store is filled with Christmas, arranged in small vignettes with unusual ribbons, gift tags, ornaments, and things made from wood, glass, and fabric. There may be a handful of plastic things, but they are so well made I do not realize they are plastic/resin until close inspection. 

If there are blue Christmas things, or 
French-inspired items, 
I leave the store with bags and bags. 

What To Do With Paris Flea Market Forks

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hunting for French vintage pieces in a Paris flea market is a great experience even if no treasures are found. If you have ever seen Paris After Midnight, you understand why. Strolling through small, winding streets filled with odd collections transports you to another era and to another lifestyle. Joie de vivre fills the air as you talk with French dealers offering inherited linens, odd pieces of flatware, figurines, bottles, anything and everything. 

Finding French vintage objects is more than the objects; finding French vintage items includes the entire joie de vivre experience of the Paris flea market. 

What do you do with vintage French flea market finds is a question that often comes to our minds when we find a special treasure. Here are five ways I have enjoyed using vintage French silver plate forks in my home. Number five is my favorite way for using a mismatched silver plate fork. 

Maybe one or more of the ways will also be just the idea that sparks how you can use a flea market find in your home. 

Puces d'Aligre, Paris, France 

Holiday Recipe Caramelized Pears

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Holiday Recipe for Caramelized Pears

Food is always the center of any holiday celebration at our house and probably at your house, too. One of our favorite desserts for Thanksgiving and Christmas is caramelized pears served with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. I discovered a recipe for caramelized pears from Williams and Sonoma about eight years ago, made a couple of changes to it, and now caramelized pears are part of our holiday traditions.

Winter Holidays Are Coming and a Winner

Monday, November 7, 2016

Winter Holidays Are Coming 

and a Winner... 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and now is the time to begin preparations for your holiday celebrations with family and friends. Seeing a great recipe or a fun DIY two days before a holiday is not enough time for you to use those great ideas in YOUR home. Just like your favorite magazines have articles and ideas to help inspire you with plenty of time to implement recipes, decorations, and preparations, so do your favorite blogs. 

Botanic Bleu is joining several blogs around the country to share holiday recipes, home decorations, and DIY ideas. Mark your calendars for scores of holiday ideas for your home this season. 

Here is a peek at what is coming your way during the next few weeks. 

#1 Holiday Recipe Blog Hop

Food is always the center of any holiday celebration at my house. Carol of Bluesky Kitchen is hosting a blog hop November 14-18, 2016, featuring holiday recipes. You just may find a holiday recipe that becomes a new tradition for your family holiday gatherings. Botanic Bleu is sharing a recipe for caramelized pears, a recipe that became part of our holiday traditions about eight years ago. 

#2 A Country Christmas Memory 

Holidays are a time for being with families and friends. And for sharing beloved stories...  laughing, talking, remembering... all the good times and bad, with those special people in our lives. Carole of Garden Up Green is hosting a blog hop November 28, December 2, and December 5, 2016, that shares heartfelt Christmas memories of living in the country. Botanic Bleu's memory of country Christmas trees will give you some ideas for decorating on a shoestring budget. 

#3 A Cozy Christmas Blog Tour 

Seeing houses decorated for the holidays is one of my favorite things to do each year. Katie of Let's Add Sprinkles is hosting a blog tour December 5-7, 2016, in which bloggers share their homes decorated for Christmas. Botanic Bleu's home will be decorated with  lots white and French inspiration.  

#4 Winner of Elliott-Heath Designs Pillow Cover 

Thank you to everyone who entered to win an Elliott-Heath Designs pillow cover of your choice. 

The winning comment number is #25 written by GrammaGrits.

GrammaGrits has a "no-reply" email. GrammaGrits, please contact me by clicking on CONTACT listed under my header picture. Send me your contact information that includes your full name and email address.

If I do not hear from GrammaGrits by November 14, 2016, 6:00 p.m. (CST), I will run the True Random Number Generator again to determine the winner of the pillow cover. 

Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living. 

Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined



Quick, EASY Caramel Apple Gift Bag

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quick, EASY Caramel Apple Gift Bag 

With November comes celebrating holidays with friends and families. Are you having guests for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Many of us are, and one thing that always is a nice surprise for a guest is a welcome-to-our-home gift.