1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Copyright, 1952

2. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Benner by Arnold Bennett, Copyright not listed

3. The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby by Reverend Charles Kingsley, Copyright, 1885

4. Religious Denominations of the World by Vincent L. Milner, Copyright, 1872

5. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Copyright, 1952. Correct, two versions same year published. Books are completely different designs and sizes. Both are beautiful.

6. Der Alte Mann Und Das Meer Und Andere Meisterwerke, Copyright  not listed

7. Hunting Big Game in the Wilds of Africa Containing Thrilling Adventures of the Famous Roosevelt Expedition, Copyright not listed. This was a gift as most of them are and the thrilling adventures is what speaks to me here not the actual hunting.

8. The White House Cookbook by Mrs. F. L. Gillette, Copyright 1887. This is by far the favorite in my collection. Cooking is a special time for me and something I truly love to do. The pages in this beauty are stained from cooking centuries ago it makes me wonder who the chef was and who the special guests were and what the conversation might have been about. The paper the book was printed on is so different than what most books are printed on today. The details that begin and end each chapter are just timeless. A dear friend gifted this absolute treasure to me unexpectedly and included one of the most endearing cards that reads, “You are just as graceful and noble as the wives of our presidents…who have graced The White House. Enjoy!” Love, Laura






My First Visit to…the Palm Ball

My First Visit To

My First Visit To the Palm Ball

This year’s Palm Ball theme was Mangroves in the Moonlight. It was way more than that!

Seeing as this was my first time attending this event, I had properly prepared to get my hair, makeup and nails done. I love to keep things simple so if it’s done for me and all I have to do is slip into my gown, it makes the evening all the sweeter.

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast hosts guests at what I think is the most elegant gala of the season, the Palm Ball. My guest and I valeted our vehicle and proceeded into the swelling crowd for a libation. As we settled in, we strolled the grounds, took a walk out onto the dock and to the top of the grandfathered in boat dock for sunset views. The sun set and the main tent opened. As we walked into the entrance of the event, I stopped in absolute awe of the pure beauty of this event.  A plethora of unimaginably gorgeous chandeliers hung from above and the lighting was this really pretty purple. I might have lost my breath and said a special thank you before taking my seat next to my guest.

We sipped on cocktails, strolled under the moonlight and danced the night away after a scrumptious dinner of pan-seared jumbo diver scallops and craw-fish, green peas & butternut squash risotto, crispy artichoke, foie gras, nage & crispy salsify root as our first course. Our entree was thyme & garlic roasted chateau of beef, anise-scented sweet potato puree, heirloom baby carrots, toasted cauliflower, grilled trumpet king mushroom, cabernet & black truffle demi reduction. We didn’t even see the dessert because my guest took me by my hand for some dancing as the band Pocket Change played. It was one of those evenings you didn’t know you would hate to see come to an end.




My only regret on this shot is that I didn’t have my camera and had to use my cell phone. The lighting caught my attention so I asked him if he’d like to join me down on the dock for a few photographs. I love his overall James Bond tone wearing that Hugo Boss tux, ruffled vintage shirt and his painted shoes. We were quite the pair in our Black tie, sequins, satin, paint, and Converse All Stars. His artwork is something to truly see; Tim Raines, artist www.timothyraines.com