Tuesday, May 31, 2011


My husband, John Bryson, wrote this list several months ago.  This has been an encouragement to me and, I truly hope you enjoy it.  You can check out more of his amazing thoughts on his blog:  JOHN WILEY BRYSON.


1.  A loving-helper sees herself as the key teammate on her husband’s team.

2.  A loving-helper is a student of her husband.

3.  A loving-helper admires her husband.

4.  A loving-helper supports her husband in his work and calling.

5.  A loving-helper supports her husband behind his back, in public, and with her friends and family.

6.  A loving-helper supports her husband through the seasons of life.

7.  A loving-helper provides companionship to her husband by sharing his interests.

8.  A loving-helper dreams with her husband.

9.  A loving-helper adapts her expectations to her understanding of her husband.

10.  A loving-helper encourages her husband to take time to re-fuel.

11.  A loving-helper assumes the best of her husband’s efforts and intentions.

12.  A loving-helper expresses appreciation for her husband regularly.

13.  A loving-helper enjoys her husband.

14.  A loving-helper interacts with her husband as a wife, not as a mother or a daughter

15.  A loving-helper is responsive physically to her husband.

16.  A loving-helper pursues her husband sexually.

17.  A loving-helper keeps her primary focus on the home and works hard to manage her house and household.

18.  A loving-helper loves and disciplines her children in cooperation with her husband.

19.  A loving-helper works toward creating the atmosphere they desire for their home.

20.  A loving-helper manages her household to live within their means.

21.  A loving-helper recognizes her husband as the spiritual leader of their home and looks for how God wants to use him in her life.

22.  A loving-helper listens to her husband’s counsel.

23.  A loving-helper focuses on growing her own character rather than changing her husband’s character.

24.  A loving-helper depends on God for her value, worth, significance and identity.

25.  A loving-helper prays for her husband frequently.

Monday, May 30, 2011


I made an EASY and DELICIOUS Mexican Stack Up last night for dinner.  My husband and I both went back for second helpings and, the children loved it too!  For dessert?  What else announces summer like juicy watermelon slices?  


1 1/2 pounds  ground chuck
1 package taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 t. salt 
1 t. garlic powder 
1 large package corn chips 

Brown the ground chuck with taco seasoning.  Drain off grease.  Add tomatoes, black beans, cheese, salt and garlic powder.  Mix all together in the pan.  

To serve:  Place corn chips on plate.  Add 1 cup of the meat mixture on top of chips.  Add chips on top of meat mixture.  Garnish with salsa and grated cheese.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011


We had a TASTY ribeye for dinner last night!  You MUST try this SOON!  My sister originally gave me the idea for pan frying steaks, many years ago.   I adapted her recipe and, added merlot to the recipe.  We devoured the steak in no time!  ENJOY!

Step 1:  Purchase two ribeye steaks,  make sure they have a good marble to them, for maximum flavor

Step 2:  Rinse the steak and place in a large skillet

Step 3:  Add 1/2 stick butter, 3/4 cup olive oil,  3/4  t. Cavender's seasoning, 1 t. Italian seasoning and, 1/2 cup merlot.  Whisk mixture to blend. 

Step 4:  Turn on high heat and, allow the steaks to fry in the pan, approximately 5-7 minutes on each side, or, until desired wellness.   

Step 5:  Turn steak out on to plate and, drizzle the drippings from steak over top.

Serve with a green salad and, hot French garlic bread.  


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


My husband and I helped host a FUN graduation party this past weekend, in Harlan, Kentucky, for our niece's high school graduation, from HARLAN HIGH SCHOOL.  Chelsea Marie Clem is a really special young lady and, we were excited to honor her.

You CAN plan and host a party, long distance.  My sister-in-law, Tara Bryson, and I planned the party from a distance and, thanks to her super execution.....the party was SEAMLESS!  A big "thank you" to the other host couple, Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Morton. 
  • THE FIRST STEP:  We selected a theme.  Chelsea will attend The University of Kentucky in the fall of 2011.   We chose this school's colors for the party decor, Royal blue and white.
  • THE SECOND STEP:  Order invitations.  Since I live in Memphis, TN and would be driving in for the party, I offered to order the invitations.  Thank you to my friend Natalie Chang for designing the adorable invitation.
  • THE THIRD STEP:  Decide on a menu.  Chelsea requested a bar-b-q lunch for the occasion.  We were happy to oblige.  The food was DELICIOUS!  We served:  1) Shredded pork bar-b-q  2) Fresh cole-slaw 3) Baked Beans (prepared by my Mom.in.law, Pat Bryson) 4) Chicken Strips and 5) Rolls.  The food was a huge "hit".  My sister-in-law, Tara Bryson, did a GREAT job of coordinating all the food! 
  • THE FOURTH STEP:  Select a "show stopper" dessert.  We hired a local baker, Denise Abraham, to bake and decorate a DELICIOUS layer cake!  The cake had a UK (University of Kentucky) theme and, it tasted DIVINE!!!  In fact, after the party, the hosts stood around the cake with forks in hand and, ate "leftovers"~  YUM!!!  You can NOT beat a great tasting and moist cake! 
  • THE FIFTH STEP:  Select decorations.  White paper lanterns were hung in the trees.  Each table had a beautiful white hydrangea bloom set in a pretty cobalt blue goblet.  Simple and elegant. 
*FLAIR TIP:  Do not allow the miles between family members or close friends deter you from planning a celebration for a loved one. 

The invitations were ordered with the blue and white UK colors. 

I could not resist sharing this GORGEOUS picture of my in-law's home.  This house is next door to my sister and brother in-law on IVY HILL, in Harlan, KY.  BREATH TAKING!!! 

White paper lanterns were hung from the trees, creating a very festive look. 

LOOK at this ADORABLE cake!  Thank you Denise Abraham! 

White hydrangeas in a simple cobalt blue goblet.  PRETTY!  

More flowers!  By Henson's Florist in Harlan, Kentucky. 

Plastic forks and knives were wrapped ahead of time.  These are easily grabbed by the guests, for maximum dining. 

The graduate, Chelsea Clem, and, her Mom (my sis in-law) Emily Bryson Clem 

The host husbands: Left to Right:  Stephen Bryson, C.D. Morton and John Bryson 

Here I am, printing a last minute place card for the food table. 
Buns for the bar-b-q 

DELISH!  Chicken strips that we ordered locally, EASY and, a big crowd pleaser! 

Shredded pork

A great idea by my sister and brother in-law, Tara and Stephen Bryson.  Drinks iced down and ready to grab, in a wheel barrel.   We had PLENTY of drinks on a hot summer day.  A GREAT idea! 

The food VANISHED in a hurry!  Look at this 'spread'! 

Pretty flower arrangements! 

The guests signed in on this white picture matte with Chelsea's picture in the center.
A great keep sake for the guest of honor! 

My dear sister in-law and co-host, Tara Bryson.

The honoree, Miss Chelsea Marie Clem. 

We welcomed over 75 guests this past Saturday on IVY HILL in Harlan, Kentucky and, I do believe our dear niece felt very honored.  This was our ENTIRE goal!  


Monday, May 23, 2011


Whew!  We came in last night from being out-of-town for four days and, I had a PILE of laundry 'staring' me in the face this morning.  I don't know about you, but, a large pile of laundry can be overwhelming.  I decided to "fight back" today with a few of my "tried and true" FLAIR tricks for getting me in the mood for getting the laundry pile GONE!

STEP 1:  Make sure you LOVE the smell of your detergent!  Gain is my ABSOLUTE favorite brand.  Once you turn on the washing machine the wonderful scent of detergent will make you feel like singing! 

STEP 2:  Here is the PILE I was telling you about!  Do not stare at your laundry too long and get overwhelmed, instead, GET GOING and make it disappear! 

STEP 3:  Turn on a favorite television show to watch while you are folding clothes.  For instance, I really enjoy and gain inspiration from watching FOOD TV.  While you fold clothes, you are likely to get inspired about cooking dinner this week.  * Multi-tasking.....very important! 

STEP 4:  This is a MUST!  Don a fun pair of flip flops or shoes to complete your laundry and other daily 'chores' in.  Every time you look at your feet, you will smile!  Fun shoes really do help make your mood better as you 'whistle around' your house!  I found this pair for $9.00 last week at Holliday's.

STEP 5:  Great music!  Play a favorite CD or use your iPod.  Turn up the volume as loud as you can tolerate and, work, work, work!  I LOVE listening to music while I am completing house work! 

STEP 6:  Brew a pot of coffee or, make a cup of tea.  You can sip the coffee as you are folding and putting away the laundry.  

STEP 7:  Light a favorite candle and, enjoy the scent while you work.  
I promise, you WILL feel more motivated to get the laundry all finished if you follow my easy "tricks".  Do not let a large pile of dirty laundry dampen your day.  Use my easy 7 steps and, get going!  You will feel GREAT once all the clothes are put neatly away.  Now, this is what I call doing laundry with "FLAIR"!  Try this system out and, I would love to know how it works for you! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This recipe is a MUST for your files!  Easy to prepare and, an INSTANT crowd pleaser.  I truly hope you will make this SOON and, serve it to people you love.

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup


Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each.  Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.
Plan a summer brunch and invite a few of your dearest friends to come over for this AWESOME French Toast dish and, some hot coffee.  The best part?  Great conversation and laughs to get your summer going in the right direction. 
*Recipe and Photo Credit:  Food TV.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I have followed the design work of Charlotte Moss for many years.  Her designs for the home are exceptional.  I want to share the following pictures of a MANHATTAN apartment that she designed.  Nothing short of...AMAZING!  The credit for the pictures goes to:  VERANDA.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011


OH MY!  The BLESSING of dear friends!  I have the DEAREST girlfriends and, they threw a wonderful "BASH"... a Sip-N-See (this is a SOUTHERN term for come on over and sip some punch and SEE the baby!) last night.  We had a BALL and, I am still reeling from the terrific evening!!  

Amazing friends and, sweet hostesses!!!!  
The home of Karen Saenz.  A GORGEOUS display of matching lamps and flower arrangements! 
YUM!  Strawberry cupcakes....who could resist??  DELICIOUS!!!                                                                                                                            
My dear friend Melinda Hoehn grew these FABULOUS hydrangeas in her yard!  They were even
MORE beautiful in 'person'.....YUMMY!!!! 
SWEET friends!    
LOOK at this AMAZING cake!  My sweet friend Ashleigh Carroll  created it..... 
PRECIOUS friends of mine!  Love you both!!!                                                                                                                                      

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Summer is HERE, and, I cannot get our back yard, outdoor dining and summer entertaining off of my mind!  I am also LOVING the flowers and shrubs of this season....do you need to enhance your yard?  I hope you enjoy these ideas and pictures.  *Plan a summer gathering right away and, enjoy the process! 
Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Photo Credit:  TRADITIONAL HOME:  Gorgeous antique roses! 
Photo Credit:  VERANDA
Photo Credit:  VERANDA.  BEAUTIFUL!  Simple white table linens with mint julep cup greenery....clear glass candle holders and, celery green napkins.....simple and STUNNING!!!! 

PLAN YOUR OUTDOOR SUMMER DINNER PARTY TODAY!  ADD flowers and shrubs to your landscaping and, set a pretty outdoor table.  Plan an easy menu and invite a few friends over.....an INSTANT celebration! The FLAIR for summer!