loving cup champagne holder in brass on bar cart
Using Loving Cups to Decorate Your Home

Not too long ago, Parker Kennedy Living hosted a live video on Instagram to share how to make floral arrangements using flowers, greenery, and citrus. I videoed the lesson and took photos while Lance and David worked on creating the arrangements. So many people fell in love with the loving cup that he used on his cocktail table shown below…

loving cup trophy cup with flowers

After receiving so many comments and messages asking to know more about the “trophy cup” and how to find one, I suggested to PKL that we host another video sharing more about vintage and antique loving cups. They have a wonderful history, and they can be used for gorgeous displays in your home.

loving cups filled with flowers top view

While Lance and David headed to Saudi Arabia to work on a design project, I headed to antique shops and scoured for loving cups. I found so many beautiful options, and really enjoyed the hunt. I also developed a new appreciation for those who find antique treasures for a living- it is fun but also tiring! Lol! I was surprised at how exhausted I felt after searching in several large antique shops- but, at the end of the day, you realize how you just spent your entire day walking!

loving cups on mantle with tulips

I was pretty excited about my haul after a week of hunting, and I couldn’t wait to show Lance. We had decided we would share how lovely they look grouped together and on their own. We had a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and ages of loving cups- and it was so much fun to put all of this together to share with all of you!

loving cup champagne holder in brass on bar cart

Originally, I was focused on finding loving cups that were the size of the one that Lance and David have on their cocktail table. I quickly realized that it was going to be harder to find that exact look. I am glad that I shifted my focus, because finding the smaller versions proved to be really fun. I loved reading the engraving on each one! My absolute favorite said, “Girl of the Year 1967”.

loving cups grouped with orchids and roses

I also really loved finding a silver ice bucket with two handles that offered the same look and feel of a loving cup. It looks beautiful paired with a bronzed loving cup filled with roses…

loving cup ice bucket with champagne

Loving cups have a long history of being used for special occasions, and they symbolize unity. With two handles typically placed on each side of the cup, the loving cups represent a union of marriage. The couple would each drink from the cup to signify the union of marriage. Throughout history, loving cups were held in high esteem as they were passed down from generation to generation in families.

loving cups used for decorating your home and valentines day

Because of the special meaning of loving cups, the shape also became a universally used shape for trophies. Finding antique trophies and awards was a treat- I could imagine the life each one had touched along the way and appreciated how special it was to the recipient at one time. It made me want to keep them all and give them a place of honor in my home. 🙂 The trophy cup below on the right became one of my favorites…

loving cups trophy cup filled with flowers

As you can see, Lance and I used cut tulips (I found the tulips at Trader Joe’s) for the loving cups- but we also potted mini plants inside of the loving cups. Lance brought moss to use to cover the soil and to give the floral arrangement a polished, finished look.

loving cups planted with orchids

In the live video that we did, we shared how to style a champagne bar cart. We added fruit, appetizers, and cookies to go along with the champagne. We discussed cheeses that pair well with champagne- along with smoked salmon.

loving cup with roses on bar cart

Below, you can see the small trophy that we used for the tulips- I think that would make such a unique bud vase for a desk, powder room, or other small space. It adds character and is a conversation starter, for sure!

loving cup trophy with tulips and press for champagne button

Lance added the tea towel to the cart, and I love how it finishes off the bar cart display. Such a simple detail can add so much- just like adding a bow to the top of a package.

loving cup styled on champagne bar cart

Originally, I had not intended to keep the large brass loving cup champagne bucket- but after using it, I couldn’t give it up! I have loved it ever since and I have used it over and over. I often add plants to it when I need it for something other than an ice bucket.

loving cup large champagne bucket brass

Below, you can see a closer view of the inscription from the champagne company. It is a beautiful piece, as they all are. I love having the large and small versions of loving cups placed around our home. I hope you have also found some interesting ways to use them in your home, too.

loving cups grouped on bar cart with raspberries and mint

For more photos and ideas on setting up a champagne brunch and tea serving cart, see the sister post to this one. I kept going with ideas after Lance and I finished this set-up. I would love to know what you think of loving cups/trophy cups!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

chocolate pecan candy three heart platter
Chocolate Pecan Candy- My Aunt’s Recipe

My aunt and uncle had a huge pecan tree in their yard- which was always nice for those of us who love pecans! Even better, my aunt would take those pecans and make a really simple but delicious pecan candy for us.

chocolate pecan candy my aunts recipe
chocolate pecan candy on heart platter

My kids and their cousins always loved climbing the tree, picking the pecans, and using the fancy rolling pecan picker that completely fascinated them. We all loved it that the kids would enjoy playing outside and picking what felt like a million pecans! The payment for their work was often chocolate pecan candy.

chocolate pecan candy three heart platter

This recipe is easy and makes a perfect candy for gifting or for serving. I hope you enjoy this simple treat that my aunt always made for us!

Chocolate Pecan Candy Recipe

1 lb. (16 oz.) coarsely chopped pecans

2 cups of Ghirardelli chocolate chips (I use half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate chips)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

2 teaspoons vegetable oil (optional)

Coarse Sea Salt

Instructions:

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Spread pecan pieces evenly across baking sheet.

Slice butter and add pats of butter scattered around the pecans.

Heat oven to 250 degrees (F).

Place pecans and butter in oven and toast for 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, turn pecans and the melted butter, being sure to coat the pecans.

Bake for 5 minutes and then carefully stir pecans, turning them so that they are evenly toasted.

Repeat this step until pecans are toasted- this takes about 20 minutes total. Watch pecans carefully, as ovens vary, and remember to turn the pecans every 5 minutes.

After pecans are toasted, remove from oven and let cool.

After pecans have cooled enough to handle, melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. I typically melt chocolate chips for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

(Optional step) If you prefer, add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the melted chocolate and stir until well mixed. The oil helps the chocolate have a smoother finish, but I usually leave out this step.

Stir toasted pecans and melted chocolate together in bowl and mix until pecans are well-coated.

Using a tablespoon, spoon out individual servings of the pecan mixture onto waxed paper.

Sprinkle salt onto the candy. I usually leave some unsalted for those who prefer no salt (such as my children).

Let set.

Transfer to a serving dish or box/bag for gifting.

So simple and so tasty!

I hope you enoy!

chocolate pecan candy being picked up from plate

ENJOY!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

courtney khail watercolor and ink botanical original art
Lydia Loves~ Gifts Ideas for Hostesses, Birthdays & Yourself

Having a great list of gift ideas is always helpful, and Lydia Loves is meant to be an ongoing list of ideas that are great for a variety of occasions. Some are small gifts and some are splurges, but most fall somewhere in between. I am always interested in what you find helpful, and so please let me know when you find something you love, too! Here are my 6 Picks for this week…

  1. Watercolor and Ink Original Art by Courtney Khail- Courtney is such a talented artist, and I love her incredible way with botanicals. You will often find Courtney mixing watercolor and ink- or sometimes she just creates with ink! I am a fan and would love to be a collector, too! There are so many gorgeous pieces of art to see- and the selection updates frequently.
courtney khail watercolor and ink botanical original art
original watercolor and ink painting courtney khail
courtney khail watercolor ink botanical original art

2. The ladies at Willow Park Boutique will help you have a “well-collected closet”, and I love their constantly changing selections of carefully-curated pieces. This Lavender Balloon Sleeve Top is tops in my book! What a great piece and price-point! I enjoy following along on Instagram to see what is new each day or week!

lavender balloon sleeve top from willow park boutique

3. Clearly Handbags Scrunchie in Blue Stripe– being able to pull my hair back and into a ponytail is always a good idea to me- and I especially love the scrunchie that doubles as a mini scarf or Twilly. Clearly Handbags offers these in a variety of patterns and colors and they always top off an outfit perfectly. What a great gift for a friend!

clearly handbags scrunchie stripe in blue

4. Macarons from Mac Lab in Atlanta (they ship!)- these macs are addictive! With so many flavors to choose from, you can find a selection to match your tastes. These make such a perfect gift or special treat for yourself. My daughter and I try to go any time we are remotely close to Mac Lab. I also love ordering for parties.

mac lab macarons variety

5. Sallie Holder’s Book- HITTING ROCK MIDDLE – if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the posts about Sallie and her new book. I listen to Sallie’s podcasts when I am driving, and I have taken classes taught by Sallie. She has such a way of developing a person and the realization of just what your capabilities are! A great read for women in business (men too, of course!).

sallie holder hitting rock middle photo with her best selling book

6. Stackable Colored Rings from Just a Little Surcee– my friend Sheila runs this adorable online shop and always has bright, colorful, happy accessories! These rings would be so pretty and fun to wear in stacks of 2 or 3. They make a perfect gift for a Galentine’s Day or girl’s birthday. I love the variety of colors and how uniquely you can wear them each time.

colored stacked rings

There you have my quick 6 picks! Click here for even more ideas from Lydia Loves. Have a great week, Friends!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

sallie holder author hitting rock middle podcast pink
Sallie Holder~ Inspiring Women and Inspiring Growth

Sallie Holder is one of those inspiring women who energizes me daily through her podcasts and blogs. I appreciate positive attitudes with straight-forward suggestions, and Sallie combines both to help us grow! I want to share Sallie and the positive influence she has on me…with hopes that you will benefit from Sallie’s teachings, too!

sallie holder author hitting rock middle podcast pink

I met Sallie through The Southern C when we attended the Summit last year in Sea Island. Sallie is the business coach I never knew I needed until I spent time with her! I love listening to her podcast, “Hitting Rock Middle”– it is a great dose of advice, encouragement, and toughness all mixed in to one!

sallie holder hitting rock middle author quote divine trust

Sallie has also written a book that was recently released- also titled Hitting Rock Middle. It immediately became a best-seller because of Sallie’s winning combination of guidance and fortitude. Her advice and suggestions resonate with me, and I thought you may be encouraged and inspired by them too. I am sharing some of my favorite quotes and words to remember from Sallie…

sallie holder hitting rock middle author follow dream

The quote below is one that I have tried to express to others for years- I am so happy to see Sallie reminding the world that our uniqueness is what makes us be able to thrive together in businesses and life. I am often asked my thoughts on having my ideas copied by other creative businesses. I truly believe that we can all be given the same task and that we will reach different final products based on our creativity. That’s what creativity is, essentially! Our unique set of skills makes makes us produce outcomes unlike any other.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author unique skills favorite quote

I also praise Sallie’s ability to help others believe in themselves- she has a magical way of helping women find their self-worth and intention. I attended one of Sallie’s classes hosted by The Southern C, and I was astounded at the progress that was made in the room in such a short amount of time.

sallie holder author hitting rock middle believe in yourself

Sallie Holder believes in you and her goal is to help you believe in yourself, too. Through physical acts of understanding your paths and progress, she hones in on the direction you will find most appropriate for your goals and happiness.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author quote believe in self

The business world feels so much bigger now with the advancements in technology- Sallie encourages us to not be afraid of something that may be new or new-to-us.

sallie-holder-author-podcast-hitting-rock-middle-quote

The quote from Sallie below is such a great reminder. It isn’t either/or throughout life. We are capable of building a lifestyle that incorporates a variety of choices at the right time.

sallie holder author hitting rock middle business coach quotes

Impatience often gets the best of so many ideas, hopes, wishes, dreams… if we stop trying to force everything and take a minute to look at the pathway (in both directions), we are more likely to succeed. Respect for your dreams and the time and effort they take can be a game-changer.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author podcast quotes

Courage…Sallie builds courage in each of her clients, students, and peers. Just being around Sallie is enlightening!

sallie holder author hitting rock middle quote on courage

Bottom line, we have to show up and be ready to work…

sallie holder author hitting rock middle photo in pink

Focusing on what we can control rather than what we cannot is pivotal to achieving your goals. Sallie inspires us all to keep our attention where it should be and continue forward.

sallie-holder-hitting-rock-middle-quotes

The never-ending pull of wanting to always say yes can be summed up in Sallie’s quote below…

What are we missing when we say an obligatory yes rather than choosing what truly helps you bloom and grow?

sallie holder author hitting rock middle quote saying no

I really love this truth from Sallie…we do have threads that run through our entire lives. When we start paying attention to them, our purposes and intentions become clearer.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author career dreams
sallie holder author hitting rock middle book in hallway

After listening to Sallie’s Hitting Rock Middle Podcast, I couldn’t be more excited that she has put so much of her wisdom into a book for us all to read and reference. Sallie drives us all to be a better person who focuses on a grateful heart and recognizing our value. She and her book are a valuable part of my inspiration! I love being a part of Sallie’s circle of wisdom and hope you find her helpful for yourself, too!!

sallie holder hitting rock middle photo with her best selling book

You can find Sallie Holder and Hitting Rock Middle here.

sallie holder logo

Go, Sallie! I am so proud of you- and so thankful to know you!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

handmade jewlery by mae wearable art
Handmade Jewelry by Mae Wearable Art

Handmade jewelry is always so interesting to me. Knowing the person behind the hard work and each beautiful piece makes it even more meaningful! Margaret (Mae) Mewborn is one of those hard-working ladies that creates earrings and bracelets that have become my go-to pieces for everyday wear.

handmade jewlery by mae wearable art
Mae Wearable Art Earrings displayed on Ashley Longshore Painting

Mae Wearable Art is exactly as the name states- art that you can enjoy wearing each day. Handmade jewelry pieces that are carefully created to be stylish and unique. Perfect for a casual look or for a dressy look- just pick your pair and instantly amp up your wardrobe!

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art the lydia earrings
Mae Wearable Art “Lydia” earrings displayed on painting by Ashley Longshore

I met Margaret at The Southern C Summit and we instantly bonded over tacos. I was drawn to her charisma and enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to see what she created. Margaret kindly sent me a box full of gorgeous earrings- some for casual wear and others for a dressier look. I loved each one and started wearing them right away. Now, I literally reach for one of the pairs of earrings each day as I head out for the day. The earrings that Mae sent are highlighted in these photos that I took. I tried to photograph the jewelry as I wore it, but realized they would show up a little better in photos on a still painting! Below you can see why… 🙂

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art lydia menzies the party wagon

What is so sweet and special is that Mae saw that I enjoyed wearing these earrings so much and she named this particular design after me. I must say that has never happened before! I am really honored to say that these are the “Lydia Earrings“.

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art lydia menzies the party wagon

I love how pulled together they make an outfit feel while also being casual enough to wear everyday. The Lydia Earrings are ivory and champagne with a tiny bit of metallic. They feel like a combination of pearls and champagne.

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art lydia earring

The idea for creating Mae Wearable Art came to Mae when she wanted to have the look and feel of vintage costume jewelry without the pain of a clip-on earring. I think she nailed that as you look through all of her designs. Hollywood has taken notice, too! Mae Wearable Art has graced the actors of Dynasty with a bit of old-world glamour and on-trend style! You can find this exact pair of earrings here (and the price point is on point!).

handmade jewelry mae wearable art as seen on dynasty

One of my favorite collections of Mae Wearable Art is the Anna Collection. Anna is the name of Mae’s dear friend who passed away from kidney cancer. Mae was inspired to create this line in an array of colors to honor the memory of her friend. 100% of the proceeds from this line is donated to cancer research. Mae not only has an artistic talent, but she also has a giving heart. I am fortunate to have a pair of these earrings in green, and I love the symbol of the cross and the lives represented. With three different shapes and sizes, there is a wide range from which to choose- and they make the best gifts for friends and family.

handmade jewelry mae wearable art anna collection
handmade jewelry mae wearable art anna collection on ashley longshore
Mae Wearable Art “Anna” earrings displayed on art by Ashley Longshore
handmade jewelry by mae wearable art ashley longshore painting
Mae Wearable Handmade Jewelry Earrings displayed on artwork by Ashley Longshore

I think each pair is stunning, and Mae’s selection suits a wide variety of tastes and styles. I love the price point, the creativity, the beauty, and the generous and giving spirit behind each piece. I hope you will check out Mae Wearable Art and let me know what you think! I hope you love the jewelry as much as I do!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

P.S. And, if the earrings weren’t enough, Mae has expanded into creating bangles and bracelets, too! Be sure to see her latest endeavor!

david burtka life is a party cookbook
Lydia Loves-Gift Ideas for Birthdays, Hostesses, Pets & You
  1. Life is a Party by David Burtka – I am a sucker for a beautiful book that doubles as a party guide! With so many ideas, you are bound to find some that will add a sparkle to your soirees. A fun and usable gift idea!
david burtka life is a party cookbook

2. LifeJacket by Cara Brown Designs- Talk about a one-of-a-kind, very special piece of clothing… this LifeJacket by Cara Brown is sentimental and and classic! Cara works with you closely to choose a design that reflects your life and the milestones along the way. What an amazing gift for yourself or to mark a special occasion! You may also remember Cara from these necklaces that I adore!

cara-brown-life-jacket-tweed-with-patches

3. Stationery by Loralee Lewis– Loralee designs elegant stationery along with her fabulous party suites. You will see Loralee’s designs throughout my site. Loralee has an eye for beauty and a fabulous sense of humor to go along with it! Here is only one example- you can find many more of her designs at the link above. You can see a similar design in this Easter Supper Club.

loralee lewis paper stationery with monogram and quatrafoil design in blue

4. Tweezers with a Light I don’t know what took me so long to get these tweezers with a light. I will do you a favor and encourage you to grab a pair, too! Ha! They really do make a difference for me because I struggle in the vision department. I hope they help you, too!

lighted-tweezers

5. The Tiny Tassel Earrings (and more)– The adorable Mimi at The Tiny Tassel makes accessorizing more fun with her selection of jewelry adorned with handmade tassels. There are many different styles of earrings and you can choose the color tassels that you would like! Here, I am sharing the scalloped tortoise shell earrings- but be sure to check out all of the varieties!

the tiny tassel tortoise shell scalloped earrings

6. Doggie Tail Dog Toy by Hyper Pet – Lots of you asked about the dog toy that I shared on my Instagram Stories. This toy has been a huge hit with our 2 dogs. I recommend going ahead and buying some extra batteries! 🙂 Tuck literally can’t get enough of it. I take it away if they start to chew on it- but mostly they run around chasing and tossing it. It has been a fun one!

doggie tail dog toy hyper pet

Please let me know what your favorites are! I love sharing ideas for gifts and always welcome feedback. I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program, and so I share the items that I purchase from Amazon with you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Would you like more ideas? Go here for so many other Lydia Loves!

Thank you for being here!

Cheers xo,

Lydia