Friday, August 24, 2012

A Day at Home


How did we get to late August this fast? I’ve been so busy I just noticed the crape myrtle trees in our courtyard garden are almost finished blooming. And, now the Japanese anemones are about to bloom---something I look forward to each year. Can’t wait to post about them!

I finally had a day free, and decided to stay home. No errands, appointments, or work. Just some reading, enjoying a bit of food, tidying up the garden, and catching up on laundry (last on the list).

I hope you are enjoying the remaining days of August. Have I told you how much I appreciate you reading my blog? Many thanks! :-)
 When I am home and have time, I like to start the day with a pot of black tea. I picked up a yummy blueberry muffin from our local bakery.
 The living room gets morning sun so I decided to have breakfast and read the paper there.
 I didn't plan it, but the West Elm white-washed tray matches our bleached floors. Kinda neat, right?
 Here is our little courtyard garden. We built the fountain and painted it black so it would appear deeper. There are 6 white blooming Natchez crape myrtle trees underplanted with Monroe White liriopes.
 The last remaining blooms of Natchez crape myrtle.
 Monroe White liriopes seem to glow in the shade of the crape myrtles' canopy
 I had a friend over for lunch, and we made Danish Smorrebrod "open sandwiches."
 These elegant but humble sandwiches are always properly eaten with a knife and fork.
 We chose "smoked salmon with dill and lemon" and "prawns with egg and cucumber." The recipes are from "Danish Food & Cooking" by Judith H. Dern with John Nielsen and William Lingwood.
 A dense, artisan whole-wheat loaf is healthy and tasty. I set the table with pale blue plates from C&B and the following vintage pieces: French bistro glasses, French creamware platter, Swedish hotel silverware, Swedish stone salt cellar, English bread board and knife. The linens are also from C&B. 
 Have a great weekend! Farvel!!

80 comments:

  1. My anemones are already in full bloom. I was just thinking they are spreading too much. I love liriopes with white...I have the purple bloomers. You really set a lovely table. This give me hope for living a more beautiful life...everyday!

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  2. What a beautiful day enjoying your garden, house and that elegant food. Sometimes we concentrate so much on a single area of our lives that we neglect the 'tout ensemble'.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  3. I saw the Japanese anemones in bloom near my office two weeks ago and thought, that's really crazy. What will be left in September? I've always wanted to get some. I love how the flowers just seem to dance in mid-air above the plants. The white lariope is a really elegant alternative to the purple ones. Are yours in bloom like that right now? They look beautiful.

    Have a great weekend!

    Steve

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    1. Thanks, Steve. The photos were just taken a couple days ago....they are in "full" bloom right now.

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  4. A beautiful day! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Your presentations are so tempting, and the flavors came right through to us! I'm tasting that blueberry muffin over and over.

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  5. Loi, this is fabulous! I wish I was that friend that came over for lunch! How fun! Your table is lovely, your yard is spectacular and your taste is beyond wonderful! I love everything you've put into this post..especially your heart! You can tell from the beginning that this is a heart felt and well loved part of your life! Thanks for sharing it with us! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  6. It sounds like a perfect day in a perfect setting Loi, and the weekend hasn't started yet.

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  7. Erhm...did my lunch invitation get lost in the mail? Helloooo?!! You had me at newspaper and muffin! When I ran my cafe for a million years, each day our menu changed, but we always had an open faced sandwich. So beautiful to look at and better to eat...with a knife and fork!!! Great post Loi, I must hurry (off to pin)...like to be first inline;)xob

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  8. It looks like the perfect way to spend your day off Loi! I love white crepe myrtles, they are so elegant and cool looking. And that antique bread board and knife are lovely! Enjoy your weekend.

    Kat

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  9. What a wonderful way to spend a day.
    Good food, good friends, and in such beautiful surroundings.
    We never tire of seeing snippets of your fabulous garden Loi.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Lizx
    Ps . I agree, this year is speeding up and disappearing fast!

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  10. What a lovely environment in which to begin your day Loi. The courtyard garden is looking beautiful with the simple and elegant Monroe White liriopes under the Crape Myrtle. Gorgeous!

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  11. Gorgeous relaxing day Loi - love to pop over and share a Danish Smorrebrod with you in such lovely surroundings. My Japanese anemones are already in flower, the pink ones, I bet that you have the white ones!!!

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    1. Rosemary - Mine indeed are the white ones: Anemone Honorine Jobert. Thanks! Loi

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  12. That fountain is just lovely and I love the liriopes under the Crepe Myrtle. Neither of those grow very well in my neck of the woods so I enjoy seeing them in your yard. Those sandwiches look divine.

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  13. Hi Loi,
    A lovely day indeed, with your customary elegance and flair. I really love the simplicity of the fountain design in the inner courtyard, which I know adds coolness to your humid summer days. We can not grow crepe myrtles or liriope and love both so it is nice to see yours thriving.

    Your table... all the things I love! A simple and lovely setting, fresh healthy, beautiful sandwiches. We use an old bread board and knife that are very similar to yours.

    Also your sofa and pillows look crisp and cool on a warm summer day. We take our black tea every morning too but Arvind makes it into chai. Thank you for sharing your perfect day with us,
    Cindy

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  14. Well I have to say that my lunch was a little less civilized.......your pictures are so calm a peaceful that i imagine everyone whispers in your home like they do in a spa. Or like Marilyn Monroe talked.....:)

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  15. What a sublime day off, except for the laundry! And, how can we not read your beautiful blog, you make it so inviting and easy on the eye. The little fountain under the myrtles look like a nice shady place for a chair and a good book. Next on my list is Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford, spurred on by the start of a new period drama on the BBC. No doubt it will make its way to the US. I always think the period dramas are great for us antique lovers. Half the things I have in my shop I see on screen :-)
    Have a happy weekend Loi.
    Much love
    Di
    xxxxx

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  16. Hi Loi
    I simply LOVE your taste and look forward to the next posting:-) Sounds and looks like the perfect day from the relaxed breakfast in elegant surroundings to your delicious lunch with a friend...a little laundry at the end of the day is fine, it's the contrast in activity that makes the good stuff that bit sweeter...
    Enjoy your week to the max!
    Fiona x

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  17. Hi Loi, There is nothing better than an unstructured day. Thanks for sharing the photos of yours. They are very inspirational. Is your flatware vintage/antique sterling? Hope you have a lovely weekend! xo, Phyllis

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  18. What a lucky friend! Your Swedish lunch looks so beautiful. I glad to hear that you had a relaxing day off.

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  19. Hi Loi, yes the days do fly by don't they! I love a relaxing day at home. Love your photos and those sandwiches look delicious!

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  20. Isn't it great to spend a day off like that...Your Swedish lunch looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love your courtyard garden, but the crepe myrtle must make a mess there with all the petals it drops when its heavily in bloom? The liriope is a great companion, they indeed seem to glow in the shade of the crepe myrtles. Lovely post!

    Have a great weekend!

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  21. White crepe myrtle so beautiful + love the bark of the tree. A day off what a treat! your blog is wonderful.
    xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  22. I love your special day Loi, it is so civilized, if you know what I mean :)
    xo
    Terri

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  23. What a lovely post, Loi!
    I love your white garden - and the options to the usual purple plantings. (though I also love purple flowers)
    Your black painted fountain does appear deeper, and it looks dramatic, too.
    Your Danish fare reminds me of food I used to eat with a Swedish friend, so now I'm hungry for it! Caviar sandwiches with egg. :)
    Have a blessed day,
    -Revi

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  24. Loi, what a beautiful way to start your day. I so enjoyed my little tour and your lunch looked so delicious. I can only imagine how peaceful it is to be in your lovely home, Happy weekend,
    Kathysue

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  25. Hold on a sec while I go retrieve my jaw and eyeballs which just fell to the floor. hang on (its a bit difficult to find them without being able to actually see where they are);]... okay, I think they're back in place. (like it matters);] This is all beyond my comprehension. "I mean I can comprehend it," she said out loud, chomping on granola out of ramekin and slurping down brown tea [with splenda] drunk out of a cracked mug. Your home and garden are an exquisite paradise, like none other. I want everything you have including the muffin and those (sandwiches doesn't quite work here) pieces d'art--lol that are much too pretty to eat. (but that wouldn't stop me, of course!) I pity those who do NOT read your blog. Your weekly posts have become something I look forward to with much anticipation, each and every week! xo ~ Laurel

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  26. oops. I was so mesmerized, I forgot to change it to the correct blog. (I have so many.) hahaha!

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  27. Hi, Loi - Your courtyard garden and fountain appear very serene. I've probably used that word in my comments before because with every one of your postings, I'm struck by serenity. I hope that's always the case!

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  28. Hi Loi! What a peaceful scene your living room is with the morning light, and the muffin and tea sounds perfect :) Your courtyard is so pretty with the fountain. I must check out that cookbook! The lunch you prepared looks delicious and I am amazed (but not surprised) that you also appear to enjoy cooking?! Anything with salmon I will love.. oh, and the bread looks sooo good! Enjoy your time off Loi and it's always fun to get to see a personal side of you!

    leslie

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  29. Loi, I just found your blog and have enjoyed it very much...especially the garden entries. Your home and decor wisdom is beautiful as well as functional and unpretentious. I am going back through your older posts and have found some great advice for assisting me in our renovation, which is in progress....thank you, N.

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  30. Drooling of England here (not a pretty sight) I don't know what item I covet most, it all looks so sublime - right from the darling little Swedish salt cellar to the charming courtyard garden. I am sure even your laundry was arranged beautifully. A slice of a elegant life, utterly gorgeous.

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  31. so tranquil-esque and understated-licious, loi.

    the fountain is calling my name. the swedish chairs too. thank you for this glimpse into your world, created with such thoughtfulness and careful editing. i can imagine feeling inspired in such a place!

    have a wonderful weekend.

    michele

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  32. Hi Loi. Ok. Your images of your day totally made mine relaxing! Those sandwiches look amazing. I
    Need to find that book. Enjoy your summers end, too. Can't believe it's here.

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  33. What a lovely day at home!! And with a friend. That's the best! It couldn't be more beautiful. And delicious :) Your fountain is wonderful!! Really like the white liriope, we have Natchez with lavender liriope. Bringing in the last blooms, shedding, but still pretty. Have a great weekend Loi!
    Robin

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  34. That little glimpse into your life is so inviting and yet inspiring a day of special touches of my own. Thank you.

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  35. Your home is so elegant...yet comfortable and relaxing! Your lunch looked delicious...a far cry from the pb&j you get around here! :)
    Thanks for sharing your home and your beautiful and inspiring blog!
    Take care, Laura

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  36. What a LOVELY post and a lovely day! I can't wait to see the anemones!

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  37. I would stay home a lot more often if I were you :) And dine al fresco in the garden at every chance. Thank YOU once again for another inspiring post.

    p.s. Just added smoked salmon and dill to my shopping list.

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  38. Beautiful Loi. I love small breaks like this, when one can savour the day! What lovely fare you prepared. I like that you made the breakfast special for yourself with the lovely tray and coffee pot. It is nice to enjoy one's beautiful things every day!! The sandwiches look divine. I just love lunch dates - when one can make all sorts of lovely sandwiches and cold salads. I almost like them more than dinners (and they can be just as much work to prepare!!)

    xo Terri

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  39. Lovely to have a day to one's self, is it not? The morning sun looked very inviting along with your cup of tea.
    Lucky friend to be invited to lunch, those little open faced sadwiches looked tempting.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE courtyards. Your simple and elegant little fountain surrounded by Natchez Crapes is adorable. I'm partial to them (because I love white) and have one myself.
    Have a great weekend.
    Terri

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  40. Hello Loi!

    This lovely Home, the flowers are wonderful, space happy!

    greatings from Brasil!
    have a good weekend!

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  41. Hi Loi,
    Lunch looks delicious! Have a great weekend.

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  42. Oh my, what a splendid garden and courtyard you have, and that table setting and perfectly arranged luncheon - what can I say? It's gorgeous. Lucky friend to be invited for such a beautifully presented meal.
    Claudia

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  43. Loi,

    Your day off looks like it was magical! I also love starting the day with a nice strong cup of tea, nothing is more aromatic and soothing to the soul for me :)

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Liz

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  44. Loi reading your post truly calmed my end of day. You have everything so lovely, so refined yet a mix of luxurious and casual!

    I am so happy to know you as a blog friend!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

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  45. You are the Prince of Understatement! Which is a very great compliment in my book! Have a lovely Sunday. Sharon

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  46. Loi, those meals look so tasty! I have to admit, I have to start my day with tea as well. I switched to decaf recently so I think it is just the taste first thing. What a beautiful, subtle fountain. Hope you guys are well!

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  47. Loi, your garden looks a lot better then mine at the end of the season everything here just look so spent. Your courtyard is wonderful and I'm going to have to check out your garden selections to see if they'll work up north. Your lunch looks so delicious and healthy what a great way to treat yourself and your friend. I hope you're doing well.

    XX
    Debra~

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  48. Loi,

    All is well again as we feel fall peeking around the corner. I have leaves changing and falling from my Liquid Amber trees currently. Love this time of year end of August and you notice the days getting a little shorter too. Love the inventory of garden activity you provided here as it keeps us in touch with the outdoor ecosystem that our busy lives have a tendency to squeeze out. A wonderful way to spend the day off...everyone should schedule one at least once a month...good for you and lucky for your friend too.

    Food looks delicious and a great way to enjoy your home, friends, and family. There has been lots of entertaining this month this year at my house and projects are all getting done too so that's a bonus. Your garden looks lovely, of course, and the water feature is perfect! It is the end of August and I can believe it is here as fall is my favorite time of year.

    Cheers!

    Bette

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  49. Your home is a real haven, Loi. And those sandwiches look delicious. Hugs and best wishes.

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  50. My kiddos just got back from two weeks in Sweden/Denmark...helped Uncle Bengt with the harvest. Lots of good food and fresh veggies from the garden. franki

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    1. Franki - Summer is the best time to visit Sweden and Denmark. With the long, long days it is beautiful up in Scandinavia.
      Loi

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  51. Gosh - I've been away, and missed so much! Now enjoying my first downtime day in ages, just being 'at home' feels SO good. Being at home 'Chez Loi" looks pretty delightful too - please pop by and make me lunch!
    Best wishes,
    Paula xx

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  52. Loi, you have been such an inspiration to me ever since I "met" you. I begin my blue garden today..in your honor!

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  53. I cannot begin to tell you how completely smitten I am with your home...I hang on every picture just wanting to see more. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it all - inside and out!!!

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  54. Hi Loi - What a luxury to stay home a relax on a Sunday! Your breakfast and lunch looks delicious. The garden looks beautiful and the fountain is wonderful too! I hope you have a great week.

    Deborah

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  55. You have a beautiful home a great blog and of course a business to die for :) (I can spend all day at an antique store). I am so ashamed I did not know about your blog, but now I am following it and have put a link on my blog too.

    Best wishes

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  56. Your day at home sounded idyllic! Sorry I didn't make it for lunch! It looked perfect. I slipped away to the shore for one last weekend, and stare at the ocean one last time this year. Now back to work! HOpe you have a great week.
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  57. Loi,
    What a lovely home you have. I love the courtyard and your crepe myrtles in white, combined with the liriopes, so fabulous. Have you ever seen the white crepe myrtles when in bloom at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles?
    Such a pretty table setting and the open faced sandwiches look delicious.
    Great post.
    Karen

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    1. Hi Karen - Thanks for your visit. I have not been to the Getty in LA. Would love to visit. Thanks for mentioning :)
      Loi

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  58. Wow! I am so inspired by this post. Great food, a beautiful home, a fabulous garden. The photographs are wonderful. The images look better than any magazine I have looked through recently. But for some reason, now I am hungry =)

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

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  59. I'm in awe right now!!!! Everything is so stunningly beautiful!!! Nothing is better than wonderful food in the perfect setting!
    Thanks for the eye candy!

    Best wishes Loi
    Des

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  60. Hi Loi,
    What a nice way to spend the morning! I haven't had many of those calm mornings recently, way too many irons in the fire at work and at home:) But France is calling and my trip is right around the corner, I'll get my "due" there!
    Have a great week!
    Sarah

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  61. I love all the beauty you have squeezed out of just one day, Loi. Those sandwiches look amazing.

    When I moved to my current home, dwarf crepe myrtles had already been planted. But they are hot pink. I was trimming them the other day and telling my husband how I would like to dig them up and replace them with white ones. Now that I have seen yours, my resolve has strengthened! Thanks for another beauty-filled post. Enjoy the rest of your week!

    Keri

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  62. What can I say, dear Loi, gorgeousness all around!!
    Isn't it delicious to have a day like this??
    And you live life so artfully, you are such an inspiration.
    Growing up with Russian food, these sandwiches bring back beautiful memories...yummy.
    Absolutely delightful!!
    Have a splendid week!
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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  63. Loi,
    Everything about this post makes me happy. The pace of your day, your outdoor fountain, your morning tea ritual....and that scrumptious Danish lunch. Above all, I love knowing that you really know what living well means. Wishing you many more days just like the one you shared with us!!!

    xoxo Elizabeth

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  64. Loi,

    What a wonderful way to start the day! It is truly as they sai, life is about the little things. A pot od tea, a muffin or a cookie, a good book and a few hours of time alone...heaven. Then top that off with lunch and a friend, a perfect day!

    I love crepe myrtles, we have 9 in our yard. I must be honest, I do not like the mess they create when they drop the flowers...I am forever dragging them in on my feet.

    Love the images from your house and garden! Beautiful.

    Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a beautiful week!

    ELizabeth

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  65. Loi, it looks like the perfect day. Love seeing your beautiful photographs of your home. Have a great day!

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  66. Hey Loi, your Liriopes really do glow under the canopy of trees - like little candles! Very neat that your tray matches your floor - (love it when that happens). Your post sounds so relaxed, so glad you had such a lovely day just 'being' at home, it all looks so welcoming and inviting. :)

    Sharon
    xxxx

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  67. Loi,

    Enjoy the waning days of Summer! And the Blue Moon! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Elizabeth

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  68. Just beautiful Loi. The gardens, the lovely breakfast spot and the inviting lunch table setting! Love the mix of the beautiful old pieces and C & B. The Swedish sandwiches look yummy! I think you have been downplaying your cooking skills!! Want to try them! So peaceful and relaxed. Please have a wonderful
    weekend. xxo Monica

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  69. Belle fotografie, bravo!! Buona serata e felice fine settimana a te...ciao

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  70. Loi-
    Your posts just take me away! Your fountain and gardens are gorgeous, and the food looks amazing!
    Thank you for your sweet comments.
    Have a great weekend.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  71. Loi, your day at home sounds like perfection-as a first generation Scot born in the US in my family, I KNOW the value of starting the day with a great cuppa-although I like milk/sugar added to mine.
    My fave tea is Prince of Wales( nice and dark) but I also like a good chai. What kind do you like best?

    Love your fountain and sweet courtyard-of course, all planted out in white :) Tranquil and serene, for sure.

    Have a great Labor Day weekend! Tell your doggies that Boomer says, "RooRooRoo!" from OR, too :)

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  72. What a perfect day. Hoe nice to have that fountain, flowing water always adds tranquility. The sandwiches look wonderful, Ii'm tempted to try them on a dark rye.

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  73. E' un piacere guardare queste bellissime immagini!:)
    Grazie!
    Ciao caro Loi e felice domenica!
    Luci@

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  74. oh MY, those sandwiches look divine. so does everything in your home. oddly enough, as pristine and perfect as it looks, i can imagine it being the kind of home you want to come to and enjoy a good chat, cozy classy. :)

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi