April 22, 2012

Accessorizing the Porch! Banana Bread Anyone?

"The only thing that separates us from the
animals is our ability to accessorize."
 ~Clairee Belcher

Front porches and back patios are our favorite spot to relax in the warmer months. Who could possibly live life without a porch...a front porch, a back porch, screened-in or perhaps covered with a jasmine laden pergola, an outdoor space to call our own is one of the neccessities of life! Maybe it's even a small space under a beautiful tree, with a soft breeze blowing the branches, it's your "serene green" time to relax your mind and calm your anxiety.

I love this Maine cottage's porch with an iron-and-brass daybed, sporting a vintage seersucker coverlet and a Moroccan rug. I adore everything about this look, from the different style end tables, to the opulent lilac arrangement, to the lavender throw pillows....oh yes, love the adorable pooches!

Cushions covered in an outdoor gingham fabric brighten up the vintage wrought-iron seating on the patio of this Rhode Island retreat. This is picture perfect for a cool spring morning.

Porches were added to the first and second stories of this Pennsylvania home. This one off the living room has chairs for reading and enjoying the view. I adore these accessories that marry so beautifully with wicker....the ornamental grass in the tin bucket, a vase of baby's breath in a creamy white pitcher and a soft blanket to warm your lap....a perfect spot to read a good book.

 Wicker chairs on this beach house's porch — nabbed at a rummage sale for $10 each — got a quick update from Kmart cushions. Just look at the difference colorful cushions can make!

This summer cabin, off Georgia's Lake Burton, boasts an enclosed porch with a large stone fireplace, perfect for gathering around on chilly early summer evenings. Oh yes, this is my favorite of all. Reminds me of our Smoky Mountain Camping days....with Mother and Daddy!

See this planter? I have this! It is my favorite outdoor accessory. Darling bought this for me in Texas when our neighbors built that monstrous above ground storm shelter! Remember, I mentioned this in a previous blog post? We positioned it on the fence we were required to build in order to block the view out the kitchen window of that horrible "thing!" It looked just like this filled with ivy and cottage mini roses!

At The Maine House, it looked like this!

There is a small little stone patio directly off the study of the new Texas house. Note to self.... This is going to be the perfect space to hang this beautiful planter and once again, fill it with beautiful florals. I simply cannot wait!

What could be  more perfect than a cup of morning coffee and a warm slice of banana bread slathered with orange cream cheese spread as you are sitting on your porch? Ya'll come join us....Good Morning America, How Are Ya'?

Estelle's Best Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup very ripe banana (3)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup roughly chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x3 inch loaf pan or 4 small ones. Cream the butter sugar until light and fluffy. add eggs, beat well. Stir in dry ingredients. Blend well. Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Stir well. Fold in pecans. Pour into pans, bake 1 hr or until toothpick comes out clean.

Orange Cream Cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon orange juice

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, orange peel and orange juice in medium bowl until well blended.

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