Monday, March 9, 2015


International Blog Party

as most of our loyal readers already know,
"By Invitation Only"
is a monthly international blog party.

we give you our take on the topic-of-the-month,
& believe it or not,
usually they are ALL quite different.

the wonderful news this month is this:

Beth Woodson & Kristy Woodson Harvey
a mother/daughter team of interior designers
from North Carolina
have joined the ranks & they are posting with us today.
please scroll down to see all the members who have posted today,
they are linked in with me, as is Design Chic.

sadly, we have lost the beautiful Sharon Santoni of
My French Country Home.
Sharon's work & raising of a family is taking so much of her time,
she is taking a time-out from B.I.O.
we will miss her !!


How Flowers Inspire Us
Our Personal Go-To SPRING outfit.

Either One or Both

Because it is easier for me to show you what I will wear,
the GO-TO OUTFIT must be heat tolerant, easy to wear & washable.
the shoes & bag needed to be fashionable BUT user-friendly.

the most awful thing is if you have a handbag which is beautiful,
but NOT user-friendly.
believe me, it will end up in your closet and not on your arm.

Go-To Spring 2015 Outfit by splenderosa on Polyvore featuring Dolce&Gabbana, Go Silk, Robert Clergerie and Loeffler Randall

the clothes are 100% silk,
the shoes & bag are raffia with leather

& THE TOP HAS FLOWERS in keeping with our theme,
(created on Polyvore, pinned to Pinterest & Facebook)

& you know what?
I could wear this anywhere in Houston!
grocery shopping, hair appointment, shopping, running errands,
and cocktails.

& believe me, for an older girl this has taken some getting used to, you know?
I mean, I was brought up changing clothes 3 times a day.

and flowers as inspiration?

can you even imagine an important event without flowers?

Isa Menin

the photo below comes to us from Susan @ Our French Oasis
which you may find here.
their's is an amazing story which I will tell you more about in a later post,
but in the meantime, please go over for a visit to this very unique family.

this has to be one of my favorite topiary forms EVER.

Flower Dress, Why Not?

these very unique forms encompass everything we are talking about today, don't they?

Fashion & Flowers
a girl's favorite subject.

white flower love
I simply cannot live without fresh flowers in my home.
cannot do it.
my flower budget is blown every single month !!

gardening is one of the most creative & personally fulfilling hobbies one can have.
nature gives back to us every single day.  even grass.
and best of all, we can share, compare, council, advise all the other gardeners out there,
and we share that.

uh-la-la-land:Pretty pink

I'm putting this wreath on my door for Easter, maybe I'll add a little bunny.
it makes coming home, even to my small apartment in a high-rise, wonderful & special.

highfashionporn:Alberta Ferretti Fall 2015

& what is embroidered?

from one of my favorite designers, Alberta Ferretti of Italy.
everything she makes is delicate & feminine & I hope she never changes this.

naimabarcelona:Olivia Palermo Nyfw 2015

not knowing how many of my reader's actually lived the 70's fashion,
it seems you will now have the chance as everything is about the 70's.
hip-huggers, bell bottoms, platforms, floppy hats and, God help us, maybe even Spandex.

Valentino Haute Couture S '15

highqualityfashion:Valentino HC SS 15

I absolutely love entertaining in my home.
I love setting the table even more than planning the menu.
spending hours deciding how to do the table, what flowers I will use with the china,
the placemats and the crystal,  is a labor or love.  and I know there are many of you who feel the same way.

Yvonne Pratt @ StoneGable
who is one of our original members,,
creates the most beautiful tabletops, all warm & welcoming,
not stiff, not formal at all, 
and I am so happy to tell you she is going to have a book published !!!

I must give a shout-our to THE CONTESSA, Elizabeth,
who help me so much last year when I wanted to plant climbing roses for the 1st time.
she led me through it step-by-step, and she was so good at it that those new roses actually bloomed
for me a few months after planting.

My kind of flowers, always have fresh, living orchids around me.

do you think it is possible for flowers to make us happy?


please scroll down to see the other bloggers who have joined us today,
this is a huge commitment of their time and team spirit to contribute each month.
no one can possibly know how much it means to me.
thank you so much.



  1. Oh, Marsha...I so agree with you..I can't live without fresh flowers in my house too :) I love the topiary, beautiful...and yes, flowers make me happy!
    Have a wonderful week xx

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  2. Hi Marsha.... Thank you so much for visiting! This is so beautiful! I will most certainly join in BIO again from next month. Please put me back on the mailing list. Will however do a post on this months theme in the next week.
    Lots of Love V xx

  3. Love your picks, Marsha! Thanks so much for inviting us to be a part of this wonderful group. We're heading over to look at everyone else's posts now. We hope you have a fabulous day! xo Kristy and Beth

  4. Beautiful as always! And yes, flowers do make us happy... From dandelions clutched in eager little hands to long stem roses... All good!


    D. A.

    1. I loved your comment at La Contessa's place.
      And, mine too. Dandelions must be here for a reason, just part of Mother Nature's genius.

  5. THAT VALENTINO DRESS and those purple Hydrangea's speak to me!SPRING is on the way...............that wreath you picked out should adorn your HEAD for AWHILE!!!!

    1. I'm going to make myself one of the headpieces like yours. I used to decorate hats, so I think I can do this !!

  6. I do absolutely believe flowers can make us happy!!! They are a big part of my life and I swear endorphins are released when I walk into a nursery or them. That Valentino gown is heavenly. Enjoy your day!

    1. Oh, I KNOW you do, Tina!!!
      & that Valentino gown is simply beautiful. It would look so good with you wearing it!!

  7. Oh definitely flowers make us happy Marsha - but for me they are growing in the garden or filling the cottage vases - I do not wear florals (see my comment on Jackie's post). Yes, I was over there in the '70's, visiting London as I'd already moved here - but 'flower power' I left to the petite, skinny gals who didn't look overbearingly floral as I would have, haha! I did wear plain bell-bottoms though!

    Beautiful images here - the topiary, wreath and true purple hydrangeas - which I'm still trying to grow - all just lovely as are the clothes!

    Hugs - Mary

    1. Well, you see my homage to flower print on the silk top above.
      I am tall, but I've been there/done that !!

  8. Such a beautiful post Marsha and I'm headed over to visit the other bloggers to read more. Like home décor, fresh flowers can really change the feel of your home. As for a spring wardrobe, it's a welcome change every year and I look forward to replacing the boots and sweaters with a sweet pump and pretty dress. Enjoy your day!

    1. Leslie, I think we are all looking forward to Spring dressing again.

  9. Marsha, I absolutely believe that flowers absolutely have the power to make us happy. Can't imagine my world without them. LOVE your go-to outfit. And I think that a bunny is in order for that pretty wreath on your door. Thanks for a lovely topic this month! XOXO

    1. Jeanne, everything you do is so feminine I know you are inspired by flowers too.

  10. Hi Marsha...
    I am with y'all, I'm a flower girl too! I have flowers everywhere in and around my Cali home. I have a antique urn in my entry and it's filled with flowers almost all the time, except at the holiday's I use alot of evergreens. Flowers are a simple little fragment of nature that I'm in awe of. To see all those little petals is a wonder to me!
    Thank you for sharing a lovely post with us!
    Happy Spring*

    1. Gail, I've been keeping up with your projects via your blog, and I know you love flowers !!!

  11. I too, love flowers and try to have them in my house as much as possible. I also love setting a beautiful and fun table. My friends and neighbors marvel that I set a table for just Joe and I but it is important to me. I can't wait for Yvonne's book! She and Bobby were HERE on Sat. night for drinks then we went out to dinner. She is a doll!!! Love that valentino gown...SIGH....

    1. Oh, how wonderful that you guys have become friends, Pinky!
      I spoke with her by phone for the 1st time last week. A treasure, truly a treasure.

  12. Beautiful images Marsha …….. there is nothing lovelier that a bunch of flowers …. I just don't like wearing them !!!
    …… they really do make me happy. XXXX

  13. As I said before: Been There/Done That !!!

  14. So glad that you chose flowers for this months posts. I believe we all need a dose of spring about now!
    As always, your posts are stunning. I can't imagine having some of these arrangements around.
    Happy Tuesday

    1. Oh, Teresa, thank you for visiting us.
      Flowers & Frocks, a girl knows what's important !!!

  15. FLOWERS: they are food for my soul.

  16. Your post is just beautiful, a treat to the are all of the emphatic responses here! It looks like we are all on the same page with this one...
    Gros Bisous,

  17. Ciao Marsha, eccoci qui tutte insieme anche questo mese a parlare di fiori e moda;
    adoro l'abito di Valentino che hai pubblicato! E le orchidee bianche...
    Baci da Roma

  18. Gorgeous Marsha... so beautiful... Flowers are just the happiest, aren't they?
    I am sorry I am MIA today.. :) One of those days and too many committments...

  19. THOSE HYDRANGEAS!! Oh yes - they would certainly make me happy! My favorite flower - I wish we could grow them like that!

  20. Hi Marsha, So sorry I'm a little late, but I made it!
    I adore your images, I think I have a couple in my favourites!
    Flowers are incredible!!!!!! What would our world be without them? I don't even want to think about it.
    Sending love, xxxxx Coty

    1. So happy to see you again, Coty !!
      We couldn't do this without you & Australia!!

  21. Everyone, you must visit Coty's blog post, which is linked in below. She was a bit late in posting but it was so worth waiting for. I do not think one can leave a comment for her, but you can email her.:)'s

  22. Oh hello hello Marsha - I am even later than Coty in linking up - things are CRAZY BUSY in my world - but this is too wonderful a place to share ideas - and I have missed out on a good few of these lovely discussions in the last few months, although I have been reading everybody's thoughts.

    I'm with you on the flower budget - and tell myself that I must not do it - but cannot resist when there are no flowers to pick in my own tiny garden. They really do brighten one's spirits and soul like nothing else.

  23. HI Marsha, what a pretty post you have here, that flower dress is just amazing. Thank you for your very kind mention, I know I am going to miss our monthly happenings, but I'll join in from the sidelines :)

    As for your question, do flowers make me happy?! They are simply essential.

    love to you


  24. Marsha, what a floral collection and beautiful photos! Yes, I am a child of the '70's. I am gong to Paris for the first time in June after a month in Europe. I've always had something floral about. Spring now in SW Arizona and roses are blooming now. Living in the desert you treasure green and flowers in the summer whether a photograph, a scarf or fresh flowers. As a nurse with navy scrub clothes, I have a great garden inspired shoes by Alegria to break up the solid look. Flowers make me happy and give me hope!

  25. You are going to have such a wonderful time in Europe. Going at exactly the right time of the year.!
    Thank you for visiting us today !!!

  26. Your post is so beautiful, Marsha! Thank you for hosting By Invitation Only!


  27. Self-confessed #Floweraholic :-)


  28. Absolutely!! So glad to see Elizabeth & Beth & Kristy have joined your group!!


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