Archive for April 2014

Mom’s Birthday

Saturday, 04.19.14

I thought I’d share some of the decorations from Mom’s birthday lunch.  It was a yellow affaire.  Every party needs some kind of theme to make it cohesive and festive.  Yellow seemed appropriate, it being Spring and one of Mom’s favorite colors.

Manorette yellow party flowers

We started off by munching on Bruschetta and sipping Arnold Palmers from yellow striped straws.  I made simple arrangements of daffodils and mums in large and small mason jars.  I don’t know what the wonderful lime green bits are but they added a great amount of whimsy. For more greenery I added parsley.  Pretty and useful, right?

I have a thing for cocktail napkins.  I have built up quite a collection.  I bought these for some French themed something or other, I think.  

Manorette bruschetta

For lunch I spread a piece of fabric I brought back from Thailand and added woven chargers.  I wrapped a yellow polka dot napkin around the knife and fork tied with a ribbon and accented with a bloom.

Manorette yellow table setting


Yellow cupcake papers for the richly chocolate cupcakes topped with yellow polka dot sprinkles.  Yes, I picked out the yellow sprinkles from the mixed jar.  Worth it!  I like the drama of the tall candles. You know what else I like? Chocolate Cupcakes!!!

Manorette yellow party cupcakes

A Walk in the Garden

Friday, 04.18.14

I teased you with a “spring explosion” last time and here it is.


After Mom’s lunch we went for an outing to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  I’ve been there before but I don’t think I’ve ever been there at this time of year.  It was shocking!  The amount of yellow gorgeousness happening in the meadow was seriously shocking.  This was actually upsetting for my five-and-a-half year old nephew who had had enough of yellow after the yellow themed birthday lunch.  I didn’t take offense because I know at least Mom and I liked the yellow.  (I’ll share that yellow soon.)

He didn’t even want to “taaaaaaalk about yellow”.





He was consoled by being put in charge of the map.  He is a detective-explorer after all.  He expertly lead us along the paths.



There were beautiful blooms everywhere but my favorite part was definitely the meadow.


I wanted to run across it with a long skirt billowing and a wide brimmed straw hat on the verge of flying off my head.


I did not do this, having no such costume and not wanting to be kicked out. So instead I took a gazillion photos.




When we had had our fill of yellow we headed home with a quick stop at the Mission Rose Garden.  


Another excellent representation of spring as well.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from the stroll among the fragrant blooms.






One last bit of yellow



Tuesday, 04.15.14

We celebrated my mom’s birthday over the weekend.  I had the family over for lunch and then we took a stroll in the most gorgeous, Spring explosion ever (photos soon).

So if I’m going to have everyone over for lunch I will need to think about some food.  My sister-in-law announced that she wanted to try a recipe for Caprese Pasta Salad she found on Pinterest.  No one would say no to that!  So I followed along with an Italian-ish theme.  I made Antipasto Salad with homemade Italian Dressing and Bruschetta.  The salad was fine but the Bruschetta is something to talk about.


I don’t have an exact recipe for this but I’ll give you the basics:


Grape or cherry tomatoes (I used half heirloom)


Goat Cheese

Olive Oil

Balsalmic Vinegar


Fresh Basil

Salt and Pepper

Slice baguette into about 1/4” thick discs.  Place discs on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toast in oven.  Keep an eye on them, you don’t want them to be too crunchy.  

Cut tomatoes in half or quarters depending on size, chop up garlic, and place all in a bowl.  Add a glut of oil and a splash of vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Chop up some basil and toss that in too.  Stir.  (I did this part the night before and I think it made it a little extra amazing.)

When bread looks delicious, remove from oven and immediately spread on goat cheese.  Spoon over tomato mixture and enjoy.

TIP: I used the tomato mixture as the “T” in a BLT and it was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.

One more shot because…yum!



About Manorette
I'm Margaret and I like to make things: in the kitchen, on my knitting needles, with the sewing machine, and for the home. Manorette is a delightful home to share my inspiration and maybe some goof ups. It is never a grand manor.