Friday, November 29, 2013


We're a non-traditional family and when it comes to Thanksgiving, we generally bypass it all together.  I actually think we have a Thanksgiving hex - numerous years we have spent our meals at hospital cafeterias, funeral homes, and the very last one I celebrated three years ago, I had just been diagnosed with cancer (and I had to cook a full meal).  This year we had a quiet dinner with Steak.  Yes, steak!  Literally, the prep and cooking was under 2 hours and then we tucked in for cold night and prepped for the Christmas season with our favorite movie - Elf!

I focus on being thankful every day, this year tho...I am especially thankful that C snagged us a couple tickets to the Downton Abbey Season Four premiere on December 9th!  I can't wait AND with a British Tea from my favorite tea shoppe, Vianne's!  I mean, I have to go, I am the Downton Cross Stitch Lady!

I'm also thankful for all of YOU!  This weekend thru Monday I am offering 15 % off my Etsy shop.  Use coupon code: CYBER15

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Triple the Fun

I never promote when it's time for scans at MD Anderson, but a week ago it was time for my six month review to see if my Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma had returned.  So good!  It's been a full three years since my diagnosis and I'm one of the luckiest people with it...but far from out of the woods as it is known for recurrence years out from treatment.

Every trip to Houston is a nail-biter but this season's trip was made a bit easier with three new faces to welcome us!  My BFF from grade school had triplets nearly 5 months ago!
Gosh, they were cute...all boys - two identical and one fraternal.  In addition, we stayed a bit longer to join in her 6 years old birthday party.  (We brought the entire furry family as you can tell by Pepe's furry mug - did I mention how gracious my BBF is!?)

I'm glad I was there, because it became a joint effort in the final hours to get this Harry Potter party on track, especially with three tiny guys demanding a lot of attention.  It came off beautifully and kudos to my BFF for even attempting to put on such a fun event, inviting a whole class of kindergartners to her house, and on top of it a house full of overnight guests, furry and not.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

And it Begins...

The Holiday Season that is. 
Merry Christmas Y'all Silk-Screened Towel
We've been absolutely working our tails off for nearly a month to Christmas-ify the shop.  And this weekend we've pulled out all the stops for our 5th Annual Open House - not a surface un-glittered, a nook un-decked...the place is pretty darn cheerful!  Until yesterday, I hear the dreaded "Are you getting anything else in for Christmas?" from a customer.  OH.MY.GAWD.  I nearly cried.  This happens every year, usually closer to the actual event of Christmas but never this soon (and when we have so much Christmas in stock).  And always I ask, "What are you looking for?"  followed every time by, "Oh I don't know."

Hand-painted Louisiana Oyster Shell Ornaments
So, of course, now I'm in a dead panic with our impending Open House.  What will people think, will they even attend.  Geez, I never thought (nor anyone else for that matter) that I liked to live on the edge...and then I opened a retail store.  While I've been chasing my tail, I've gotten a few things settled...we will have a number of door prizes to win throughout the day, a free gift on a $30 or more purchase, and we have an amazing cooking demo at 1pm with one of our long time vendors - Marie of the Comfort Farm.  She'll get us ready with tips and ideas for holiday meals. 

I hope it's enough to propel us into a great Holiday Season and a beginning to a momentum that will last through 2014.

And one last thing - if you can't visit the shop in person; many, many of our items are on our main website.  Now through Christmas I've green lighted free shipping on orders $65 and over - it's automatic at check out.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Juniper Breeze...

New!  I've added a few new scents to our soaps in the shop.  This, this one, Juniper Breeze is my favorite because of the memory it holds.  By itself it has a nice blend of evergreens and floral jasmine and rose; it actually was a Bath and Body Works scent, now discontinued from their retail locations and non-proprietary for soap makers like moi.

For me, the scent holds the memory of my first business trip.  Silly to say, but at the time I was in my early 20's, working for a Herman Miller dealership and was thrilled to be headed to Atlanta for training.  At the time the office was in Buckhead (it might still be) and I thought it was just the coolest place (little did I know years later I would be a retailer and headed off to market in Atlanta quite frequently - and I still love it!).  I was the only one sent from my remote office to join in with the team of what I thought were the most posh girls from the New Orleans office.  To me, at that moment it seemed they had real lives back home, workout routines, parties, dinner with balsamic vinaigrette (I had no idea what the hell that was.)   I was just a kid.  But back in my hotel room was a tiny sample of lotion and shower gel from Bath and Body Works in none other, Juniper Breeze.

I don't know why, but it made me feel special (and it really was a special time) even though I felt like everyone's baby sister.  Funny how I've come full circle and defined my adult life in new ways that have way surpassed my estimation of what a life well lived looked like so many years ago.  And I even own a bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day Trippin' - Avery Island

This weekend, for C's birthday, we and our 4 year old nephew, headed to Avery Island, home of the famed hot sauce, Tabasco!  Is it an island - yes and no.  Avery Island, located south of Lafayette, Louisiana is situated on one of the largest rock salt deposits in the State (maybe the country?) - surrounding this is lowlands and marsh, with waterways heading out to the Gulf of Mexico.  The unique subtropical nature of Avery Island made for a long growing season for the peppers and the salt deposit is still actively use in the recipe and aging process of Tabasco.
Tabasco gives a free tour continually throughout the day; I really enjoyed the vintage labels and advertisements.  Living in Louisiana all my life, Tabasco is one of those things I've taken for granted - it's just always been on every dinner table I've ever sat at through the years.  I never realized how old a product it was, nor it's global reach...when I went to France as an exchange student, I brought over a bottle of Tabasco to which the lady I stayed with promptly pulled out her own bottle purchased in France!  Quel surprise.
Adjacent to the factory is Jungle Gardens, this is the garden that the once McIlhenny Family home looked out upon and you can now tour the vast acreage.  The garden, though, mostly dormant this time of year was active with egrets, songbirds, and alligators - um range.
The Buddhist Temple really was the loveliest feature - this alligator was immediately outside of it and I was hoping he had embraced vegetarianism as I tipped-toed along.
A few camellias and sansanquas were in bloom and occasionally we would find ourselves in a large thicket of them with a carpet of petals beneath us.  I've always been told camellias don't have a scent, but there was a definite fragrance to these in full bloom - perhaps when enough are in bloom their pale scent is enough to take notice, rather than one stand alone blossom.
Lastly, within the gardens is Bird Island, a small preserve for water fowl.  Not a bird in sight; though I did see a frightened goose honk at me and then stick her beak back in the brush.  I took the hint and moved along.  We did see an inestimable about of turtles warming in the sun.
It was great to get away - even if it was only a mere 2 hours away.  We definitely feel renewed to get the holiday season rolling at the shop plus we brought back a little something to add some kick to our step:  Tabasco in new Raspberry Chipotle!  AiYee!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Edible Flowers...

I know it seems funny to be talking about flowers when Winter is on our doorstep; but that's just what we did last night at Red Stick Spice Company in Baton Rouge.  I had been eager to visit for a while now but with my own shop - it's just been near impossible to stop and visit.  This week, however, they had an after hours talk about adding flowers to food.  And since I'm moving in a more plant-based direction, I was on board!

everything is munchable on this wall

Not only did we get to sample flower infused tea and a salad with fresh pansies - we learned to sugar flowers -- with a finale of cupcakes topped with violas!

sugaring flowers

too pretty to eat - but I did.

Probably not the healthiest way to get your greens - but trust me, no one was complaining.  I also, learned that day lilies are edible - great news because we have so many in the yard come Summer.  Also, it encouraged me to give Nasturtiums another go - mine always seem to fizzle out - even though they say full sun, I think full-on Southern sun is just too much.  C and I each received a potted viola - my first time growing these guys - so we'll see how these typical Winter plants like our humid and warm Winters down here. - they do make the daintiest additions to every dish.

Of course, before we made the journey back home, we had to snap up a few goodies.  I picked this Sweet Pecan Rub...smells amazing!  I'm sure it's going to be fantastic on steak or pork, but I want to give it a try on sweet potatoes.   C and I both picked a holiday tea - because we just won't share...Gingerbread for me and Christmas for her.

It was definitely worth the trip to Baton Rouge and I hope to return more often - hopefully ready with some new recipes!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thimble Necklaces

Every once in a while I get insomnia and it's practically the only time I want to make jewelry.  The house is quiet, dark, except for the light of my lamp and the flicker coming from my iPad - this week I found the Paradise series on the PBS app (ahhh lovely!).  In fact, you may find these totally Paradise inspired:  Thimble necklaces!

Similar to the thimble scissor fobs I did months back - these are slightly different, accessorized on quite a long chain.   I think they are the perfect Fall and Winter accessory to complement chunky sweaters and over-sized scarves.

Currently there are only two offered with Free Shipping within the continental US; though I hope to make a few more before Christmas - but I am back to sleeping peacefully again and it may take some time to convince me to open my jewelry work case again.  Find these in my accessories section on Etsy.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time to Change

This weekend we fell back, gaining an extra hour with the seasonal time change (though, no one told the cat - so I actually think we may of lost 2 hours waking up so darn early).  Besides being utterly confused what time it now is, it also signals the time to start bringing Christmas out on to the floor of our brick and mortar, Nest Interiors.  It took the two of us, plus one of our vendors that likes to help out at the shop, all week to get the shop ready for a small Holiday Preview during the town's intimate Trade Days Festival.  There is still plenty to come in next few weeks (including on the website, too) but here is a sneak peak...

Clip-on glass birds with lovely feathered tails
Mushrooms are quite the thing this season - this is sold as a set of 2
We obviously had to have a Nest -
this is one of the prettiest one's I've seen
One of my favorite owl ornaments
(there are quite a few styles in store this season)
on the vintage blue tinsel tree
These vintage style glass Santa ornaments come in
three styles and include glitter and bits of ephemera

--Lisa LeBlanc

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