Memories are Made of This

For years I’ve kept a “Dinner Party Diary” where I write about special parties ~ for the memories ~ it’s part diary, part scrapbook.  And this  MUSICA is for you, also for the memories . . . we can only imagine how many kisses there’ve been with this music playing in the background! (Just click on it and come right back, it will play while you read.)

♥     ♥     ♥

I started keeping track of parties in this book in 1993, but not every party I’ve ever given is here . . . it’s a tiny book and probably has only twenty parties. I only do them when I remember, or I’m in the mood, or the party is so good that I have to do it!  Our Sunday Breakfast Party went right into the book: I remembered, I was in the mood, and it was good!

♥                ♥

Our 9th Anniversary is in this book too . . . that one was an afternoon tea party and we hired a piano player to play The Glory of Love, and all the other old songs we love.  I always write down the names of guests, the menu, the dishes, and the weather. (And sometimes what we wore, and sometimes poems people say at the table.)

And here we are, getting ready for our 25th Anniversary Party.  Starting with putting a clean tablecloth on the dining table; Girl Kitty had grown fond of the old one and wasn’t letting go of it so easily.

And then the flowers . . . it was supposed to be a combination Valentine’s & Anniversary party, but with the gorgeous weather, it turned out to be an impromptu celebration of Spring!  We even had the door open!  Birds were singing.  It was gorgeous.

You can’t celebrate spring around here without daffodils!  They are the cheeriest things!

A little pink for the coffee table.

Happy singing bird vases, a heart teapot, a matelassé bedspread for the tablecloth ~ and what breakfast party is complete without chocolate kisses?

Love?  Romance?  Hearts and flowers?  Old music, best dearest friends . . . and delicious food.  And everything pretty in pink!

I made the place cards; luckily Joe has a cork fetish and never throws them away, so I thought, what says celebration and happy memories more than a popped champagne cork . . . ?

I tucked the cards into the wires on the back.

We needed a centerpiece.  Joe and I took the QEII on what we called “our test run,” to see if we liked it, in 1997 from New York to Bermuda.  Sailing on the QEII was something we talked about the first time we met — not necessarily doing it together (it was too soon for that at the time) but something we both wanted individually!  So, of course we saved this little bottle of port we found waiting, when we finally did go, in our stateroom, and now it’s part of the glory of, the story of, love. 

Almost there, need napkins!  Need food!

Jack helps by bouncing off the walls and aerating the chair backs with claw holes.  Thank you Jack!

Yes, actual food will be served.  I do adore setting the table, but I know that our guests are going to expect food, not just dishes and flowers!  Here, Joe’s making crepes the day before, for the Cheese Blintzes we’re serving.

There they are, the blintzes; the lemon, basil, and ricotta-cheese filling is all rolled inside…. we covered the pan and put it in the fridge; the next morning we browned them in the frying pan before serving with delicious jams, applesauce and sour cream.  The recipes for all of this will be in my new Breakfast Book!

Did the MUSICA go away?  Noooo.  Say it ain’t so.  Can’t have that. 

Is there anything better than plain, old-fashioned, ice-cold, juicy-pink grapefruit on a spring morning?  No, and I do what my mom taught me; I cut around each segment for easy eating.

Mmmmm, crisp-edged, crunchy Blueberry Corn Cakes and hot maple syrup!  Gotta have it!

Homemade Applesauce made with Granny Smith’s, so fresh and appley!  Yummy with Corn Cakes, delicious with pork sausages, perfect with Cheese Blintzes.

My Applesauce is full of apple bits with a little tooth to them, not the smoothed out stuff you get in the market . . . we served it cold.  I put some roasted cranberries (left over from the cranberry marmalade I made for the blintzes) in the middle as decoration.

We had bacon, sausage, sliced steak and buttermilk biscuits too . . . the platters warmed on top of the stove.  The southern style breakfast at Tara, with Scarlet O’Hara’s family, I read about in Gone with the Wind, was my inspiration for this . . . believe it or not we didn’t touch the decadence they managed to come up with!  But we tried!

Margot and Tom weren’t able to make it :-( , they’re on their way to New Orleans :-) , but before they left, they stopped by with Margot’s gorgeous bouquet of Valentine roses ~ which were still beautiful; she thought we might like to have them at the party.

She was so right!  I recut them and put them in a shorter vase and here they are, a little more Valentine love DNA, gracing the granola-yogurt-and fresh-fruit buffet we set up on the sideboard.  Thank you Margot! (BTW, that sideboard was here when we bought the house; Mrs Bowditch (a previous owner) told me it was here when she bought the house in 1949; maybe it’s been here since the beginning, 1859, when the house was built and the Smith family moved in!  I would like it to talk!)

Man Food.

And there it is in all its glory; we turned on the music and toasted to love and each other with icy tangerine juice and bloody Mary’s; we had tea, coffee, and everything you see on these plates!  We talked about local island news while the birds sang outside the window; what’s been in our papers, what the ferry boat is up to these days, the weather (of course), how far up the daffodils have come, the blooming snowdrops, our gardens, Facebook, Twitter, movies, spring vacations; and we ate, and ate.  I didn’t do a dessert (although I was tempted to make baked stuffed apples in a cream bath!) — but did we actually need anything more?  No.  We did not.  Then everyone kissed good bye and went home; we washed the dishes, read the paper, and took a nap, then we went to the movies and saw the new silent movie called The Artist.  And THAT was Sunday, pretty good huh?  Love morning parties!

And for your patience for reading through this, not to mention WILLARD, who has spring fever just like me, and is going out to play all day today and tomorrow; you have a reward . . . I have something I’m really excited about . . . a giveaway I think you will love.  Ready?  OK, it’s these ~

Two Johnson Brothers, Rose Chintz Teacups!  Yes!  With saucers!  ”Sing Ho for the Life of a Bear!” My own set actually has twenty cups-and-saucers, many more than I will ever need!  So I am giving away two of them!  They come with invisible magic as they were right there on Sunday, at the party of love.  (But, of course, just like the sideboard, they won’t talk!)  All you have to do to be entered is to leave a comment; “Vanna” will draw a name in about three days . . . want to make sure you all get a chance to enter to get a little springtime pink in your life. 

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY GIRLFRIENDS! Sing HO!

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2,026 Responses to Memories are Made of This

  1. sharon says:

    I love looking at your garden pictures. Makes it feel like summer is just ouside the door! Actually, here in N.C. it has been very warm for February. I need a rose chintz teacup to sip tea from while sitting on the porch and listening to the birds sing. Love it!

  2. Linda Schaich says:

    Sure wish I was your neighbor! You and Joe seem like so much fun and I love cats. Thank you always for your musica and for sharing a piece of your day.

  3. Nancy Clark says:

    OH MY GOSH!!! I love tea cups, and these are beautiful! I will be happy for the winner, but I am secretly crossing my fingers so I can win! You are so generous to share these. I am going to speak for all of your fans by sending out a big THANK YOU.

    Nancy

  4. Judy says:

    A cup of tea shared with a friend would taste even better in these teacups♥ they are beautiful…thanks for sharing!

  5. Diann says:

    Your Valentines Day/Anniversary Brunch is just beautiful. So glad you chose the pink dishes they are so pretty. I love to read about your parties and all the details that go into them. You give me so many great ideas!

  6. Amanda McClain says:

    I love Johnson Brothers, (I have the blue castle set), and I love your pink rose set. I have never seen that set before. I have a thing for roses, I love that you used your tea pot to hold the roses on your table. I have roses from my college graduation last summer, roses from when my husband proposed, from whne my youngest daughter was born, and from the first date with my husband over 13 years ago. I hope whoever whens your tea cups loves roses as much as we do! keep doing what you are doing. Your sight is always a place of sunshine when my world gets gloomy!

  7. Would love to add these beautiful teacups to my collection.

  8. Linda Mussey says:

    The brunch was lovely. Love the Pink Chintz!!!

    Linda~

  9. barbara wilson says:

    so pretty! this makes me so ready for spring!!!

  10. Emily Hertler says:

    Such a treat, your blog! Love these rose teacups. Cheers!

  11. Rebecca Clark says:

    Susan,

    Thank you for sharing your Anniversary party, it made me feel like I was one of your guests. I can just imagine having a cup of PJ Tips in those Beautiful Rose Chintz cups.

    Rebecca

  12. eve broadley says:

    i love, love, love the cups and saucers that you’re giving away. i went through an awful divorce in 2008. one of the many awful things my ex-husband did to me was that he how very much i cherished my set of dishes that were made in england (rose chintz) and got rid of them without my knowledge. the pattern on your set that you’re giving away reminds me a bit of my old set. i have since re-married…to a wonderful, amazing man and guess what…he’s from england! i have now relocated to the city of leeds, west yorkshire. : ) i’m currently here in the US visiting and will be here until april and am just hoping i’m lucky once again and win these beautiful cups and saucers. <3

  13. Sharon says:

    Lobe the teacups & saucers! I have a couple of pieces in the same pattern & would love to have more!

  14. Sheryl Pyle says:

    I would have loved to have been at your special tea party. We do tea parties with our group of friends and have such a great time making special memories. My granddaughter loves tea parties and they are so fun to calm you down and make you relax. Thanks for sharing…

  15. I feel as though I’ve loved Susan Branch and everything you do for a hundred years. You bring such joy to the lives of so many. Having been blessed to live in my precious England for 22 years, nothing could be better than to sit down for tea with your beautiful teacups…..just dreams of days gone by, a cup of tea, Susan and me!

  16. Kristina s says:

    This makes me ache for spring and for my grandmother who was always putting on tea parties.0

  17. sandy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your world. It puts a smile on so many faces. I would love your little teacups for my tea parties.

  18. Denise says:

    Such lovely cups and saucers! Feminine, friendly, and perfect for sharing with a good friend or family member.

  19. Charlene Teeters says:

    What a tribute to you and your husband’s love! Your way of celebrating with all the pink hearts, spring flowers, incredible food, beautiful table, and friends sharing your joy with you is certainly an extravagance of the heart. Thanks so much for sharing with us! You inspire me, make me smile, and help me know that someone else enjoys to live the way of the heart like I do. May your years together grow sweeter every day!
    Affectionately,
    Charlene

  20. Rachel Lundy says:

    What lovely teacups! Thank you for the chance to win!

    I have recently decided to start collecting a few teacups and teapots. I love to have tea, and a simple tea party is an easy way to show hospitality in my home.

  21. Hi Susan and friends out there from Carlsbad (San Diego),California. I really enjoyed reading yout blog and your enjoyable way of sharing your days with us. Your basement blog reminded of my recent trip across the country from Carlsbad, California to visit my long time best friend. She has a dark basement just like that. I was kind of scared of that dark hole, but your little sweet ivy growing into the light made me think happy thoughts about about that dank dark basement, now. I really loved your party breakfast set-up, my husband Mark just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day. I love pink and set the dinner table with my Desert Rose pattern dishes, the Chintz teacups and saucers would be perfect for next time we celebrate ! Have a perfect day!

  22. PS Happy Anniversary and thank you so much for sharing your celebration with all of us readers!

  23. Those teacups are lovely!!! I think I will make some napkins to go with them…LOL!!!

    Susan

  24. Lady Dorothy says:

    What a magnificent party! And such lovely tea cups. How wonderful it would be to win them!

  25. Andrea Scott says:

    Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your lovely blog with us! It always makes me happy to read it. The teacups are beautiful and it would be such fun to win them!

  26. Sylvia says:

    Thank you for sharing your special moments with us. I feel like I’m right there. Those cups would make tea time so special.

  27. Luanne says:

    Happy Anniversary, a nice love story. Beautiful party and table setting. Thank you for the chance to win gorgeous Rose Chintz Teacups. I love that pattern! Is the little bird vase vintage or new?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s old … found it on the top shelf of an old kitchen in a house that was being totally emptied . . . it’s a pair.

  28. Noralee says:

    A party diary – great idea. Plan to try it sometime. Happy Anniversary. Loved reading about your breakfast party thanks for sharing.

  29. Nancy* says:

    I enjoy your blog, and Willards so much! All of the watercolour artwork is just icing on the cake!!

  30. Lynne Mehler says:

    I love your sideboard! It is beautiful! (And I love your teacups too! lol)

  31. Toni says:

    Your party looked wonderful. Wish I had been invited. I bet all of your guests can’t wait to be invited to something at your house. I would LOVE the tea cups.

  32. Paula LaMont says:

    My anniversary is march 3 and now I have many excellent menu plans thanks to you lovely table. PS I could sure use those cups to go with my pink plates.

  33. Kathleen says:

    Tea for two…and I have the perfect lovie to share it with! Now all I need are those beautiful cups. They remind me of my Mom…the most beautiful “Rose” in heaven. :)

  34. Millie Ray says:

    I love the Rose Chintz pattern from Johnson Bros, but haven’t had the opportunity to start a collection. I have quite a few “Old Country Roses” pieces, and love all good china. I don’t have a party Diary, but have kept a Guest Book since the early 70′s, and really enjoy that. It’s like a Diary, and everyone can’t wait to read the entries in it. They always make comments about the occasion they visited for and complimentary entries about what they were served, or another comment about the others that were there, and something funny that may have happened. I have three books that are completed, and I am ready to start on a fourth, they are treasures. Thanks for all the Willard’s and blogging, they are very inspirational.

  35. Christine Dougal says:

    What a beautiful party – the flowers are wonderful and the food – yummy!
    Happy Celebrations!!

  36. Lorrie Brown says:

    Tea is my favorite “meal” of the day. The beautiful cups would make it even more special!

  37. Mieke says:

    These teacups are so lovely! I’ll be 55 next month and planning to do a hight tea for my friends. I’m collecting english teacups and planning to use them, also just find a gorgeous old english teapot at a thrift store…..I’m sure your teacups would love it here in the Netherlands (-;

  38. Maire Dhu Lemley says:

    Even past midnight on a Friday night/Saturday morning when I get a moment to catch up on you dear Susan, I am smiling and am delighted with all the loveliness you just shared! Once again, you have proven why I put you as my number one person who inspires me on my “About Me” on Facebook. I always want to do more and be better and feel so encouraged by your joy of living. Thank you Susan. <3 Maire Dhu ;-)

  39. Desley says:

    Oh Susan your table just looks divine and the teacups are so beautiful…love all that you do.

  40. kathy says:

    Your party looks fabulous,Susan.

  41. Carol says:

    Beautiful Tea cups and love your Party Diary, I have kept similar . . . seems with 3 teens there is less time for Entertaining right now though. I do hope this will change. Thanks- Fingerlakes area of NYS

  42. Karen says:

    Hope I’m not too late for the give-away! I love those tea cups! Your table setting always look so beautiful!

  43. Karen says:

    Hope I’m not too late for the give-away! I love those tea cups! Your table settings always look so beautiful!

  44. Beautiful to bless someone with these tea cups…”sharing makes the heart glad!”
    (-:

  45. jean shaffer says:

    loved reading about your anniversary/valentines brunch. looks yummy and i LOVE your dishes. thanks for sharing.

  46. JoAnn Petersen says:

    Love Tea Parties and am having one tomorrow and hope to have as much fun as you have at yours. I will use my red transfer ware dishes and all things pink and enjoy the lovely spring like weather while it lasts in texas. I love all things Susan. Love ya’JoAnn

  47. kathy says:

    Thank you, Susan, from Greenfield, Mass. I had fun reading this today.

  48. Kristina says:

    The best part about your Gone with the Wind inspired breakfast is that you were able to eat it without Mammy cinching you into a corset! Happy Anniversary!!

  49. judy weisiger says:

    I am loving learning how to work a computer(finally) just because I love being able to read what you write, see your pictures and hear your music. Right when I think I have seen it all , I click on something and find more !! It’s wonderful!!

    I am so excited, my best friend and I share a booth at an antique shop. She had some pretty old dishes in there and I tried hard not to buy them. They sold. :( When she got sick less than a year ago, I stared REALLY wishing I had bought them. When I lost her on Feb. 6 th, one thing I keep thinking is if only I had a teacup of hers to think of her when I had tea. I had no idea what the name of those pretty old dishes were. Today I read on your website and there is a picture of them !!!!! They are called Johnson Brothers rose chintz !!!! Thank you so much now I will hunt for them. THANK YOU ! from Madison CT

  50. Laura says:

    Hi Susan, first of all I have to thank you for your inspiring website, books, calendars, etc…they make me smile! The teacups are lovely too, I don’t have any in that pattern and pink is my favorite color! Thanks for offering them :) Crossing my fingers here on the eastern shore of Maryland…

  51. Sharon (Ashland, OR) says:

    I hope I’m not too late for the drawing! I have a bowl and salad plate to match these cups. I have mismatched dishes that coordinate…so much fun with a variety. I enjoy all of your blogging and Willard.Thank you for bringing smiles to us. I can picture all of your CA musings too as I grew up there. Your brownie picture reminds me it is cookie time. I think they were 50 Cents a box when we sold them. My mom had them piled a mile high in our livingroom. lol ♥
    ps Did Sharon ever response to her winning? I am a Sharon with yahoo and my eyes got big for a moment when I read it. lol

  52. Denise says:

    Would love to win these beautiful teacups if you don’t mind posting them overseas. If you can’t ship to the UK, no worries – If you draw my name, just re-draw. xxx

  53. Shelly Watson says:

    Thanx for the perk-me-up!Oh…these cups would be a nice eclectic addition to my Nicholas Nickelby set from Staffordshire.I use these dishes for fall/winter and the blue and white Finlandia for spring/summer.After having my dishes packed away all spring/summerit’s like reuniting with a dear old friend.In learning to be content I have to remind myself to enjoy these last days of Winter come what may.

  54. Suzi says:

    Love the valentine table setting! Would love to be in on the teacup drawing. I have a thing for tea cups and teapots. “I’m a little teapot, short and stout!”
    Suzi

  55. Jeanine says:

    Oooh, I love teacups! They are so pretty! You have such good taste…

  56. Jennifer Borchardt says:

    The teacups are beautiful. I have a collection of teacups from my grandmother and godmother, friends, and my own purchases. I dear friend just gave me one from her late mother’s estate sale. I would love to have the teacups you are offering. Please pick me!!! I am going through chemo and save your Willards and posts for those days I am home. It is like reading alittle book and I get much inspiration. Thank you!

  57. Sherri Luttrell says:

    They certainly are! The children practice planning and preparing for the tea. One child sets the table, another makes the tea sandwiches (chocolate sandwiches-nutella, are one of our current favorites!), & another frosts and adds sprinkles to the mini brownie cupcakes. The birthday child frosts their own small brownie cake. They are able to practice their nicest manners at the tea party. The parents usually smile and giggle through the whole party. It is quite an occasion. We had a celebration yesterday. Towards the end of our tea, one child called from the bathroom they had wet their pants :) Of course the party that lives on in infamy is the one that included the birthday child attempting to blow out the candles 3 or 4 times before being successful, the whole table of children letting out a loud cheer when she was successful, she breaking into tears, crawling under the table sobbing. After everyone was calmed and served, WW III broke out between 2 little boys- one who was not following the rule that they could serve themselves 1 or 2 brownie cupcakes, the other who was physically attempting to enforce this rule. That squabble was calmed and I went to sit down when the little girl next to me told me she didn’t feel very good. I stood up with her as she turned and threw up into my cupped hands. Whew! Thank goodness they are not all that eventful!

  58. Cinda says:

    I love the idea of having a “Dinner Party Diary”…I wish I started one about 30 years ago! We have had some fun parties and I don’t remember all the creative decorating and food details. I guess it’s never too late to start one.
    My husband and I are tea drinkers and a breakfast tea party sounds like it’s right up our alley.
    I enjoy your blog and Willard.
    Happy Anniversary to you and Joe!
    xo

  59. Joanie Ferenbach says:

    Oh, now I’m inspired to have an indoor brunch party! I’ve done it outside, but for some reason, never thought of a cozy indoor brunch instead of a gentle June brunch. It’s a blustery day in Connecticut, which encourages dreaming of cozy-ness inside. I have my grandmother’s rose chintz dishes (she was happy to give them to me several years ago instead of waiting till she was “gone” because that way she could see me enjoy them and then she had a good excuse to go get a set of dishes she’d had her eye on!) and what a treat it would be to add to the somewhat haphazard set of dishes that I have :)

  60. Linda says:

    I love love love your blog. I work all week and save my blog reading for weekends when I can sit and savor every word. Thank you for a glimpse into your magical island life. It is truly a pleasure to read of all the simple things you enjoy.

  61. Sharon Sammarco says:

    Fabulous! Oh my! I put on tea parties all the time and I am so inspired by your beautiful display of dishes, the way you presented them on such a beautiful “tablecloth” (just like my Grandma used to have on her bed) flowers in adorable vases/teapots. I am drooling just looking at the food! I can’t wait for your new breakfast book so I can try some of the recipes you made. I have every one of your books! By the way, I love playing the music as I read!
    I collect tea cups and saucers so I can only dream of actually being the proud owner of part of your set that you love so much. I would cherish them and think of how lucky they were to have been a part of your tea parties! If only they could talk…..sigh!

  62. Kimberlee Wallace says:

    Cups of tea and coffee are the “Bridge to Friendship”!!! Unfortunately this simple opportunity is often missed in the hustle and bustle of lives these days. Thanks for keeping these jewels of life excavated and **Sparkling**!!!

  63. Marye says:

    I love your blog and I especially love those teacups! You inspire me!

  64. soy2please says:

    A cup of tea for me and thee!
    Lovely!

  65. Quiltin Kat says:

    Thank you for your lovely site, we all need beauty and inspiration in our world!

  66. So warm and romantic. Everything tastes better and looks better with a bit of rosy pink, don’t you think?

  67. Diane Bennett says:

    From the southwest corner of Washington state….love the colonial feel to your blog, such a difference from the this part of the country…my daffodils are up, but not quite ready to open up. Can’t wait for spring, going to California to get a little early sunshine.

  68. Janelle says:

    Shhhh…..please don’t tell anyone else Susan, but I admired your snippets of these dishes so much I started collecting them too. We can keep that just between us right? ;) I have several plates now, but only two cups and three saucers. You are so sweet to offer these to us! Thank you so much and if I am the lucky winner, rest assured they will have “friends” waiting for them at Sweet Bee Cottage.

    Thanks again Susan!

  69. G. Vaile says:

    Beautiful teacups!

  70. Deb Johnson. Phoenix, AZ says:

    Hi Susan,

    I love your stories and all the wonderful pictures. No matter what kind of mood I wake up in in the morning, I can’t wait to read your blog because it ALWAYS puts me in a good, happy and peaceful mood. Thank you so much for that gift everyday. The teacups are beautiful as is everything in your home, especially your black and white kids! I’ll keep my fingers crossed I get picked.

    Deb. Phoenix, AZ

  71. Those lovely chintz cups and saucers would make any meal a special occasion for my sweetie and me. Hope I win so we can enjoy them! Love your blog, Susan, and your wonderful zest for life.

  72. Shelly W. says:

    i would be tickled pick to win the gorgeous teacups and saucers! they are so dainty and lady-like…something i’m trying to pass on to my 14 yr. old athletic daughter. it’s so good of you to offer them up for a give-away! i’m sure they will make someone very, very happy. :)

  73. Your table is beautiful and full of such yummy looking food! I may be here awhile. You’ve piqued my curiosity about your lovely home and that sideboard.

  74. Debbie Hermanns says:

    Love those teacups and I’ll bet the tea that I put into them will taste extra special!!! :)

  75. Belinda says:

    Beautiful teacups! I am secretly hoping to win them. :)

  76. Lori Hemmis says:

    I was hungry when I started reading now I am starving.Wish I could put my hands through the computer and fix me a plate>3 Girl Kitty & Jack you both make me laugh. Have a nice Sunday:) Thanks for sharing:)

  77. maryb says:

    It’s a blustery chilly day here in northern Illinois! Some nice Earl Grey in a beautiful pink tea cup would go nicely!! Thanks for sharing.

  78. Gail says:

    Susan, you are SUCH an inspiration! I have a collection of teacups and saucers inherited from my mom. These would be a beautiful addition. Thank you for all you do!

    Gail, from Chicopee MA — the other end of the state from you.

    P.S. LOVE the kitties — thanks for sharing them with us. My own girl looks very much like Girl Kitty. :)

  79. Mary says:

    I love the fact that your cats helped you prepare for your party! We have two cats that are brothers and they always help us with things around the house! The tea cups remind me of all the different tea cups my mom collected in her china cabinet. My sister and I would choose a different one to drink out of when we would come home for a visit. I hope you enjoyed your romantic day with your friends. <3

  80. Carolyn Sweetman says:

    So… enjoyed watching Jack fetch the ball. I have a boy kitty named Onyx. He loves to play with the balls that make noise. Cats are pure joy!

  81. Robin Hixon says:

    Susan,
    I love reading Willard, your blog…just looking at your site. I know for you it is a very busy, probably sometimes over whelming venture. But… for me… It is the opposite. Life seems to move so fast, so much information is thrown at us.
    I go to your site, and life steps back for a little while. The simple things come into focus again. Thank you, Robin Hixon

  82. Colleen Carpenter says:

    Susan, is there a release date for your new Breakfast book? I look forward to it. I enjoy all you do and have for many years.

  83. Mary Beebe says:

    How on earth do you manage to do all this? Do you have any help besides your hubby? It’s just beautiful! I’m salivating as we speak. This is better than the Bed & Breakfasts I’ve been to. BTW, have you ever thought about opening a B & B? I would be there in an instant. :) Have a blessed one!

    • sbranch says:

      We don’t have help here on the island, or for the blog, but Kellee and Judy run the studio in California, they take care of the store and all the shipping. Kellee is a computer wizard and helps prepare my designs for calendars, fabric, etc. So happy you like it Mary!

  84. Sandi Zier says:

    I am just not sure how you find the time, you are amazing, do you have help come in to help with all you do? Do you get the luxury of having a house keeper or a cleaning lady? Who cleans up after all of your beautiful parties and where do you store all of your dishes?

    • sbranch says:

      We do the dishes after parties; I have lots of shelves and hutches, I definitely have a cleaning lady once a week, joy of joys, and other than that, it’s just Joe and me here. Kellee and Judy take care of the store for me.

  85. Debra Valdes says:

    Speaking of The Store…I was delighted with my recent purchase of your lovely Keepsake Book “Love From the Heart of the Home”. I ordered it and then received it in less than one week. Such a beautiful inspirational book. So delighted with it. I was amazed that in these crazy days I could order a book and receive it within the same week. Awesome! Talk about good Customer Service, it even came wrapped in heart print tissue… I felt the love before I even opened it! Thanks.

  86. doris minear says:

    Dear Susan
    I hope to see your beautiful house in the snow tomorrow morning when I check your blog. As the East Coast is finally getting some snow,
    Just so you know we are freezing here is Westlake Village Ca, not too far south from your home in Ca. MyBFF and I just ordered two heart pans for you chocolate and orange scones from your store.
    Love your Blog
    Doris

    • sbranch says:

      I woke up and it’s raining! No more snow. Spring is really on its way. Daffodils are getting a drenching, deep rain for flowering trees, but no snow.

  87. Cynthia Krynock says:

    Spring…you make me want it to come in doing handsprings! I long for the flowers to peep through the earth…loved the party…thank you for including us! The food looked yummy, Joe is a gem for making the crepes, loved the cat activity and Jack’s ability and gift in being able to aerate wooden chairs….the meal smelled ( I could really do that…almost!) yummy, the table so pretty, the flowers were so springy and romantic and I was there in spirit wishing you and Joe the most joyous anniversary! Thanks for the memories!

    Cynthia

  88. Diana Pratt says:

    Oh these cups & saucers are lovely! Would love to have them in my new home when I move to Hyde Park to placing them in the white cabinet that has glass doors.

  89. Anna Marie Penix says:

    What a lovely party! And the cups and saucers are such a nice giveaway! I am so glad to “find” you once again….used to love to get your letters in the mail. You always have a way of making my day better!

  90. Georgeann from Texas says:

    I am wishing I knew where to find one of the scarves for my sideboard
    similar to the one you show on yours. Is it very old or can they be found
    new? It is lovely!!

  91. Shelia says:

    Such a beautiful Sunday Breakfast and Anniversary! Congrats! Isn’t it wonderful to have such a special person to spend your life with. A true kindred spirit! Love your blog and your kindness of sharing your life with us all. I especially live the snow pictures. We don’t always have as much as I wished we could here in Northern Virginia. That sideboard is a real treasure.

  92. Elaine Koenig says:

    What a blessing it is to be married to your best friend and to share that anniversary with other best friends! You are so lucky! (I was too!)
    Those tea cups are perfectly beautiful!

  93. Jackie Lee says:

    You are such a joy to follow, from your books to your blog, they bring me home ! I’m originally from Long Island living in southern California, & still don’t like it, but I read your blog & I’m there again:) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the tea cups & the photo’s you put up . HAPPY ANNIVERSARY & can’t wait for your new book!!

    • sbranch says:

      Today is a good day to be in California. We are waiting for a monster blizzard. Very exciting, but you know, they can be trouble too!

  94. sue says:

    Happy, happy anniversary to you and Joe!!!!! A perfect couple.
    You have inspired me to have a neighborhood brunch with your gorgeous table.
    I don’t know what was prettier, the food or the decorations. Love the chintz dishes, so perfect! Also your German pancake and lemon chicken are staples in my home. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm! Just so you know…
    Hope you stay cozy in the blizzard!

  95. Esther says:

    I have alot of grandchildren and a collection of teacups so I look forward to seeing all your ideas as the children look forward to our tea parties.

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