The Queen Witch…my mom

So many people ask me why I love Halloween. Well, my mom’s birthday is Oct 30th and every year when I was young, my mom would make a grand celebration on Halloween, complete with a beautiful decorated table and extravagant foods and deserts. My mom is a wonderful cook. I still to this day call her to ask her for  some of her wonderful recipes.  I think maybe that’s why I became a kitchen designer.   I only wish I had half her talent.  Well this weekend we are off to the queen witches birthday party in Arizona. And she will be 70, and she doesn’t look a day over 35, well I guess all her  tonics and elixirs really work. My mother was always very fair and beautiful the white witch of the family (Tanya looks a lot like her ). But don’t let her beauty fool you, she always turned poor men into toads…but we always loved her food.

(Photo from pinerest )

My french coffee press post is next,  and I am happy to say my blog  stats has reached  20,000 ! Also bring out your white candles and send love to our earth .

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend !

Feels like a fall day…

It was a long weekend and I am still recuperating from our Mystery dinner. When I woke up  it was the perfect fall day , just a little rainy with white puffy clouds in a gray blue sky.  I went to my favorite cafe to have an ice tea  and a  croissant sandwich … to just  relax and enjoy the cool crisp October day…

I picked up this book on Coffee….decovering exploring  and enjoying. I was thinking I would create some coffee gift baskets this year , complete with fresh ground coffee a french press and some baked goods . Who wouldn’t love that ? I have been on a French press buying spree lately and found a few at the local thrift stores. Seem a lot of people don’t know how to use them so they throw them out. I am one such person guilty of such a crime, as I was given one as a present and I thought what is this for and  I gave it away. Oh well live and learn.

I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful photographs of cups of coffee and reading about the fact that a French  press  is the prefered method of rich robust coffee . And of course I knew that ! After all  I have about four of them now,  as I like to use one for decaf and one for regular and one for espresso, and my guests are always so impressed !

With all theses beautiful photos of coffee, I had to run into the cafe and have a  warm cup of coffee for  myself…

   Whats your favorite season ? Do you own a French press ? I think my next post will be on how to make a great cup of coffee from a  french press.

Hope your  enjoying  this beautiful fall season..

xoxo Cheryl

A Creepy Chic Mystery Dinner …

The table is set and our 4th annual Mystery Dinner begins…

The  French maid Melissa and the Flapper Alyssa  help me with ice and water for the fourteen  guests.

Thank goodness they arrived early as I gave our house maid Tanya the night off.

and these wonderful eyeballs , white intestines and seasonal grapes brought by Barbara .

Here is our deserts,  chocolate cupcakes and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

The guest arrive looking spooktatular in their Black and White creepy chic attire.

and dinner is served (menu on previous post )

The guests break up into groups of three and began their quest to find all the answers and the final  mystery words. Here the girls are in the Theater room and they looked completely baffled…

while this group of handsome men were fast at work in the Parlor.

This very creepy chic group were in the Study finding their clues.

while this gruesome group of  three were in the Graveyard taking their time and having wine.

 Everyone gathered in the Palor to go over their notes. And the winner of the clues and mystery words were the gruesome 3 in the graveyard !

The creepy chic three won best costume, and received beautiful silver necklaces.

Most Simply Chic  was Justin and Alyssa

Most Creepy goes to Barbara and Paul , they were dead pirates.

and the Mystery Words were

A Witches Brew…

2 oz Viper Venom

 1 oz Frog’s Blood.

Shake well.

 Add 1 eye of Newt Serve Chilled

Darrill and I would like to say Thank-you for all who came and made this such a whimsical, creepy and exciting  mystery dinner. We hope to see everyone next year at our fifth.

Mystery Dinner at the Manor house…

It’s a cool and overcast morning at The Manor house….and the Creepy Chic Mystery Dinner is tonight…


I have set the table the night before so I have plenty of time to prepare the food  today..I use all my old silver that my grandma has given me and some extra pieces I have picked up at antique stores and thrift stores.

Here are three pieces I have just bought for tonight’s dinner and I always like to use silver, pewter , clear glass, and white dishes. I think I have spent about five dollars each piece.

I have  mixed  my thrift store finds with my good silver and they look great together !

 I throw the white cloth napkins in the washer and dryer so they have that crinkled look.

I decided to use a white pumpkin with a black crow to keep with the black and white theme.

I used a large white tag with a black and white ribbon for place cards. And I wrote the names in ink and very messy so they looked creepy.

The Menu

spice nuts

fruit platter

veggie platter

raisin carrot salad

pumpkin bread

rosemary pork loin roast

herb mashed potatoes

french green beans

assorted wines

chocolate cupcakes

red velvet cake


Have a simply creepy evening….

I am sharing this post with .abeachcottage

A witches brew….

Some simple tricks, I saved all my wine bottles from last years party and all year-long, so I have plenty of wine bottles all shapes and sizes. I removed the labels with soap and water. If you let the bottle soak for about 15 mins. most of them will  peel right off.

I picked up some creepy labels, I bought some at Micheals but I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t have a sticky back.  I found theses at the 99 cent store and they were the right colors and they had a peel and stick back.

 I bought some long taper white candles to create a dramatic setting. I am using these for my witches brew table….post so to follow.

Should be fun   !

Count down to our Mystery Dinner…

Count down to our Creepy Chic mystery dinner and I am going to post all my  tricks and treats this week as our dinner is this weekend.  The dinning room is decorated with just the right lighting…and some mice and black crows have decided to join us.

 I have bought lots and lots of white candles to keep the evil spirits away.

The clues have been written and sealed with red wax…

and I have found that perfect creepy chic dress….and a very large pointy hat.

Darrill even built a graveyard in the front yard….

should be spooky …join me if your dare !

(all photos from pinerest)


Beauty at Lakeshore dr….

It’s cooler now and the sky seems so crisp and clear. I dropped leo off at preschool today and stopped to take this photo of this pretty mailbox by the lake. The old tree and the lake was the  perfect backdrop for this pretty mail box…

….funny I drive by this street every week and never noticed these  mailboxes. All these pretty black, white  and grey mailboxes all in a row.  It was noon and the sun  was at the perfect location as it shinned through the old California pepper trees.

 Sometimes where we least expect it we can find beauty in our everyday lives…I challenge you to take a moment and  find some beauty in your everyday lives …take a moment walk by a lake, a stream or the beach….or maybe even a park….or just to stop and and smell a flower. You’ll be amazed.

that’s my good life Wednesday for...abeachcottage !

Have a simply enchanting week…

xoxo Cheryl

October is when my inner witch comes out…

The invitations are out for this years Creepy Chic Mystery dinner and now for the month of October is when my inner witch comes out. I transform our home into a creepy place where we ” dine with the spirits’ and we go from room to room to discover the  ancient witch and Wizard ways.  As masters of the witches secrets I began my alchemy and create potions and elixirs for all my guests to taste and enjoy. And I make a dinner fit for a King (after all I have cooked for King Arthur himself) . I only hope no-one  falls into a deep sleep….

Beware…join me if you dare !

Simply earthy Rolling greens Nursery

As far as nursery go this one is very earthy and so beautiful. This place use to be the town tire , and the sign is still there and before that it was an open air market in the 1930’s. This Hollywood location caters to the woman with the home decor building  and the cooking building which makes this a place Kim and I had to see.

 So  very rustic yet elegant …

The selection of pottery is perfect for any earth plant lover.

 I was thinking this old rusty bird-cage would look great for my mystery dinner this month. Well I have to wait and see what else there was here. Kim and I headed into the home decor building…and I really enjoyed the very beautiful  display of textiles, old books and old antique silver trays. Yes I must have a silver tray.

This place was so very  enchanting, complete with brick walls and beautiful chandelier …….

and bedding for any bedroom (at a plant nursery wow ?)…

and more urns and textiles…

This place had different sections for everything. The kitchen area had everything a cook would love…from all kinds of cooking essentials.

to candles and salt boxes.

The perfect wonderful circular cutting board. (I’ll take one of these too ! )

Cook books on earthy cuisine from Italy to Sweden’s sweets.

european towels…why yes I ‘ll take a few!

Never trust a skinny cook sign(cute ) . I would have liked to take just a few more things home but I ended up with  an antique silver tray for my Mystery dinner. As your insider guide to great places in L.A. this is a  must see with the girls !

 You can enter their site here

Have a great week !

A fine paper Shoppe …

 I love fine paper shoppe and this one was fine indeed. The store front window is fun and very creative “communicate with Jonathan Wright and company ” I wish I had a paper shoppe and a photo studio in back and a window just like this !

What I loved about this little paper shoppe is the classic paper Halloween goods , and the very nice paper stationary and the  beautiful pens and candle stamps. You will also discover gifts and favors for every season and occasion, premium writing instruments, luxury gift wrap and ribbon, as well as specialty books and paper goods. You can visit the shoppe  here at  7404 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California  90036

Have a simply fun weekend !

Next post … still more wonderful  shoppes on Beverly Boulevard .