WELCOME to CAROLINA PANACHE! I believe our homes should be a haven, a place of beauty and peace that reflect who we are and what's important to us. I'm on a journey to add personality and panache to every corner of my house. For me, good design evolves, grows and changes with the needs of one's lifestyle. I want my home to be creative, to be stylish, to be entertaining, to be real. I hope you will join me on my journey. It's always more fun to travel together.
This blog is all about bringing style and elegance to the home. The art of dressing your home goes beyond hanging a few items on the wall and arranging furniture. Much like a fabulous set of earrings or a new stylish handbag may take your little black dress from fine to fabulous, home accesories and key furnishings can take your rooms from ho-hum to singing the Halleluiah Chorus! Join with me as we discover new ways to add panache to every room of the house.

The History of Flag Day

Today we celebrate the Stars and Stripes! Old Glory! Red, White and Blue! I am so proud and thankful to live in America. God has truly blessed the history of our nation. I want to do my part to make sure His blessings rest on our nation for my children and my children's children. Last week my youngest son asked me if Flag Day and Independence Day were the same celebration. Of course not, I replied. One is in June, the other is in July. Well why do we celebrate both, he asked. Good question, I replied. Off to Googleland I go to research Flag Day and to learn so I can teach. I found out some interesting facts I never knew and learned the reason why we honor National Flag Day. Scroll down and read the story for yourself. And enjoy some of my Flags displayed outside our home in honor
of the American Flag. I like to keep a flag hanging by my front entry. I have an entire collection of colorful, seasonal flags and usually change them out each month. However, when May 1st rolls around Old Glory is proudly displayed and we usually keep the American Flag on display through July 4th. We display the Flag again for Labor Day and Veteran's Day. My husband, Mr. Panache was in the ARMY so he has taught us all the proper etiquette about the flag. Did you know that you are NOT suppose to leave the flag hanging overnight or in the rain unless you have a light shining on it? Or that you are suppose to display the flag with the blue union field up - never display the flag upside down. Mr. Panache installed a spotlight to shine on our flag. I love coming home after dark and seeing our flag proudly displayed in the spotlight.
Did you know that the U.S. Flag was adopted on June 14, 1777 and it is the fourth oldest national flag in the world? I thought that Britian's flag was the oldest by actually Denmark's national flag was adopted in 1219 making it the oldest national flag.

I use small parade flags in my wreath and container plants for added color and an air of patriotism. Red, White and Blue is one of my favorite summertime color combos. I try to find ways to use these colors in my decor (inside and out) throughout the summer months.
Here, I've tucked a small parade flag inside an urn of Hostas. You can usually buy 3 parade flags for $1 at the Dollar Tree or Target in the $1 Bins by the front doors. In a couple of weeks I will be doing a special JULY 4th countdown and will be showing you more ways I use the Flag, Stars and Stripes and Red, White and Blue in my summertime decor. The countdown will begin on July 1st.
More Flags displays in a bed of hot pink Petunias.
Here's the story behind the History of Flag Day:
The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.
Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.
In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself."
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
On another note, I will be away from blogland for the next 2 1/2 weeks. My Parents are retiring and moving to NC! Yeah! I will be traveling north to help finalize the packing and moving, then driving with my Parents back to NC. I will miss you while I'm away but hope to have some great pictures and stories to share when I return. Be sure to drop by on July 1st for my special Independence Day countdown and a FABULOUS, INCREDIBLE, UNBELIEVABLE GIVE-A-WAY! Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!

Tablescape Thursday - Sweet Southern Magnolia

Welcome to another TABLESCAPE THURSDAY! A big thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting this lovely party each week. Be sure to visit for more tablescape inspiration. This week my table is SWEET SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA inspired by my front yard magnolia tree which is in full bloom! The air around the front of the house smells so sweet and delicious. I just had to bring that indoors. Playing off of the creamy white blossoms, I am using a soft white and creamy yellow color scheme. Let's take a closer look:I started with the centerpiece - Mr. Panache clipped several magnolia blooms and leaves from our tree. I used two matching Milk Glass vases from my Grandmother's collection to hold the blooms then I tucked stems of leaves around the base. I completed the look with crystal and golden candleholders in a baroque pattern and elegan ivory soy candles from my Celebrating HOME decor line.
Since I sat the breakfast table, I have few table cloths that will fit this square (seats 8) table, so I bunched up a smaller round cloth and layered a hand crocheted table runner on top. The table runner was a gift from my dear Mother-in-Law who makes me the most wonderful items! For a soft accent color I chose creamy yellow in the linen placemats. The china is Bernadotte Ivory edged in gold by Formalities, Irish cut crystal rimmed in 24k gold, flatware is gold plate.

To add a little more panache to the centerpiece I used three gold orbs and tucked them among the magnolia leaves. I adore white, cream, off-white and soft yellow as a summer-time color palette. It seems so refreshing yet warm and inviting.
I use Soy Candles from Celebrating HOME exclusively. These ivory candles are scented like Creme Brulee! Yummy! The perfect, soft scent for the dinning room or kitchen. For more varieties and colors click here.
Isn't this bloom perfect? So white and perfectly formed. There's just something so elegant about the creamy blossoms of a Southern Magnolia with its shiny, green leaves that this Southern Girl can't resist! I hope you've enjoyed the tour. Don't forget to visit Susan and all the gals featuring lovely tables this week. Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!

Summer and Simple Pleasures

Happy Monday! Can you believe it's JUNE already? School is out and the kids are so ready to start their summer fun. Our summer is jammed packed full already and I'm beginning to wonder if there will be any time to just relax. When I was a kid it seems that the summer days were endless. Now - time just passes so fast I'm afraid to blink. Last week, however, I took some time to just enjoy my home and garden. I have a flower bed on the east side of my house that is in full bloom with Calla Lillies. At least I think that's what these are. When I bought the house, the previous owner was an avid gardener and he planted these bulbs. Imagine my delight when they started peeping through the soil the first Spring I lived in the house. I'm really excited this year because the blooms are so abundant. I clipped a dozen for a cut flower arrangement and added some greenery from a holly bush to fill it out. The berries from the holly bush are green but I love the look of the pink and green together.
I had some pink plaid ribbon on hand and tied a simple bow around the opening of the vase.

These blooms are still healthy and vibrant and it's been a week since I clipped them. I love the color and shape of these flowers. So elegant.

I placed them on a table in my entry hall. There they wait to welcome me home from my busy and hectic schedule. Mr. Panache clipped another dozen for me yesterday and I probably have 2 or 3 dozen more in full bloom.
The best part is these lovely flowers were FREE! Sometimes it's nice to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasure of your own yard and the beauty God has so freely created in our world. Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!


I have to tell you that this week's table has been fun! The inspiration started when I was at my local grocery store - Harris Teeter - and saw that Le Bleu water was on sale! I just loved the bright, rich blue of the bottles and the scroll-like script used for the brand. After drinking the water I saved three of the bottles planning to use them outside on the deck to hold fresh cut flowers the next time we dined out. The bottles are shatterproof so they make a great alternative to glass vases. After looking through the cabinets for dishes and crystal, I spied the Le Bleu bottles sitting on my counter! BINGO! This week's table would take its queue from the bottles - a classic pairing of yellow, white and blue was the natural thing to do! I set the breakfast room table using a yellow, hem-stitched linen placemat and layered a round, straw placemat in Aegean blue on top. I just love to layer placemats. I didn't use any chargers but laid down my Blue Churchill plates and topped them off with my favorite IVORY salad plates. I sat a small white hobnail vase holding bright yellow daisies in the center of the salad plate for added punch. I only have one of these little vases but would LOVE to have 8 or 10! They are the perfect size for holding individual sized bouquets.
To form the centerpiece I used an oriental wooden tray and filled it with three Le Bleu bottles filled with white hydrangea and three white milk glass vases filled with "sunshine-y" yellow daisies. I filled in around the vases with the infamous birdie salt and pepper shakers and the votive candle holders.
Remember these? I think it's time for Susan to host another "Target Birdies go on holiday!" party. We'll have to let her know!
These fluffy white hydrandeas came from my local market. They were the manager's special this week - only $1.99!

To get a better shot of the Blue Churchill plates, I propped it up on a plateholder. I've had these plates for 20 years or better. I have cups and saucers to match but can not find where I've stored them. I still have boxes of dishes I haven't unpacked from 3 years ago! Yikes!

By now you are well acquainted with my IVORY dishes from Better Homes & Gardens. I use these dishes more than any others. They are so pretty. I love the embossing. They can be dressed up on an elegant, formal table or dressed down with a gingham checked tablecloth on the back deck!
The sparkle of crystal goblets will add panache to any table.
This is the third week I've used the Bamboo flatware. I am finding myself reaching for it over and over. I love the texture it adds to the table.
I found these napkins at HomeGoods a few months ago. I purchased a package of 4 for $2. You can't beat that! I looked for more packages but to no avail. They are hand blocked and painted. I can see myself using these in a new beach table - stay tuned for that! These little white wrought-iron birdie napkin rings are my favorites. I use them on my table almost continuously during the Spring and Summer months.
Yellow, White and Blue - next to Red, White and Blue it's the perfect summer time trio of colors - a true American tradition. I hope you've enjoyed looking around today. For tons more inspiration and FABULOUS tables of all types, sizes and styles, visit Susan at:
Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!

The Cook's Corner - Blueberry Chicken Salad

Welcome to the Cook's Corner!
It's been a while since I've shared a recipe with you so today I will share a brand new recipe from my cooking club. During the hot, lazy days of summer I like to eat cool, crisp salads. I can salad everyday! The key to not getting bored with "rabbit food" as my husband calls it, is to mix it up and try different variations. There's an old saying about eating a "rainbow" in your diet. The more colorful your fruits and veggies are the more nutrients, expecially antioxidents, that you are consuming. Of course with all the health awareness about antioxidents we all need to get more of this healthy, disease fighting nutrient.
Let's take a look: This recipe can punch up the creamy goodness of the ordinary chicken salad by adding a sweet-tart burst from fresh blueberries. Here's what you will need -
Blueberry Chicken Salad
1/2 cup light mayo - I use Hellman's.
3 tablespoons light sour cream - I use Breakstone's
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice - squeezed fresh
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (or you could use boneless, skinless chicken breasts grilled)
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts (love the crunchiness they add!)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups blueberries (rinsed and dried very well)
4 cups of torn tender salad greens (I like to use Bibb or Butter Leaf)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine the first six (6) ingredients in a large bowl. This forms your dressing.
Stir in chicken, water chestnuts, green onions and celery.
Gently fold in blueberries (make sure you have dried your berries very well, otherwise they will water-down your dressing mix and make it runny)
Serve over salad greens. Top with toasted almonds.
This salad is so yummy! Rich in protein, low in carbs! Cool and crisp - the perfect summer salad. I hope you enjoy it! Until I see you again,
Happy Cooking!

Monday Moments

Mondays have become crazy days for me lately! It just seems that the first day of the work week is just packed with "To Do's". Every now and then I have to remind myself to just slow down and breathe. It's nice when something unexpected happens like these lovely ORANGE Roses I found at the market for $4.00. ORANGE is one of my favorite colors. I am using it in my sunroom with soft green and yellow - a very citrus inspired room. I am using it in my family room with turquoise - inspired by my BFF, Bella~Mella.
Many studies have been done on the power of color. A study from the University of Georgia found an astounding 94% of people who viewed ORANGE felt happier in seconds! Warm colors like orange, yellow, mango, peach and coral convey friendliness and warmth, making everyone who sees them happier. Research has proven that the brain's "happiness centers" are actually activated by exposure to warm, bright colors.
So, if you need a moment of happiness in your Manic Monday, try a liberal dose of ORANGE.
Hope your day is filled with happiness and sunshine! Until I see you again,
Happy Decorating!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin