Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

One day into official summer, and already I’m melting…melting. While I’m poised to sit on top of the cooling vents in the house for the next 3 months, there are still those of you brave enough to venture outdoors to entertain. Hats off to you!!! This short 4-minute “Better Kansas City” segment I did in recent months features tips on outdoor entertaining. The clip is followed by an actual breakfast/brunch tablescape out on the deck that I hope you enjoy.

Got that? Don’t try to burn the house down like me! Now…on to breakfast!

 

The guest table at this bucolic breakfast setting for four is dominated by the ultimate foundation piece: a full-length black & white checkered tablecloth! If all you have is an ugly folding table like I do, a full-length linen works magic!

 

 

 

I found the most beautiful kitchen dishes this past Christmas season at Home Goods! Our kitchen motif is a mix of black & white checks and toile, so these Ciroa “Buffalo Check” dishes are my new favorite.  They made an easy transition out to the deck! The napkins, purchased at Tuesday Morning, are actually kitchen towels that I like to use as napkins. The barnyard motif of a steer, lamb, pig, and rooster make them perfect for this country-/farm-inspired tablescape.

 

 

 

DSCN4698I love these miniature milk bottles with the embossed word “dairy” and a cow (most visible in the photo of the empty bottle) for serving milk! I picked these up at Hobby Lobby a few years ago, and they’ve served me (and guests!) well.

 

If your breakfast guests are a little bit special – like a bridal or baby shower – consider a small favor like this little green woven box simply tied up in a black and white checkered ribbon. The contrasting color of the box makes it really stand out!

 

 

 

 

It’s important that food is beautifully presented and that guest tables are enjoyable.  A mix of everyday and “fancy” pieces round out this table. While the croissants are served in a silver bowl, a loosely gathered mix of flowers and greenery in a whitewashed aluminum pitcher serves as the off-center centerpiece. A bovine menu chalkboard adds a little more of the theme to the table’s centerpiece.

 

 

Off to the side is a miniature buffet table has a plain white tablecloth as its foundation.

 

A generously-proportioned white vase from Home Goods holds a mix of yellow tulips and bright, feathery greenery. A simple off-center centerpiece like this adds something to the buffet table without getting in the way of food service. Notice how the yellow tulips, a significant and pretty contrast to the black & white, complement the yellow flowers on the guest table.

 

 

One of my fun kitchen pigs is another piece of the barnyard buffet theme. I helped him to blend into the works with a bowtie fashioned from black & white checkered ribbon.

 

The black and white buffalo check dishes make another appearance on the buffet table . Hungry yet?

Crazy for buffalo check and/or gingham? “Check” out additional posts on this site using them!:
Black, White, and Red All Over Christmas
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Checkered Christmas

Looking for more brunch/breakfast ideas? Take a peek at these:
Building a Better Brunch Buffet
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
September Harvest Breakfast Tablescape
Peachy Keen Breakfast Tablescape
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
Easter Brunch
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Purple for Spring 
Carousel Colors
The Bluebird Special
Bellini Birthday Brunch
Mother’s Day Brunch

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Little Bit Country: Garth Brooks & Paper Plates

“Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair.” So goes the start of the anthem made famous by country music legend Garth Brooks. My sister made an early birthday present of a ticket to see him once again here in Kansas City this past Sunday night. My sister, niece, cousin and I donned our country western gear and “yeehawed” the night away. Just as magical as the first time I saw Garth in concert 10 years ago. His music inspired me, in part, to create a fun country/western themed tablescape using disposable paper goods for a September 2016 segment of the “Better Kansas City” show. The 4-minute video clip is followed by still photos of the tablescape from the set. Stick around for a few pics from concert night at the very end of the post!

 

For the demonstration I used one of my trusty stretchy Spandex fitted tablecloths in white from LinenTablecloth.com as the base to serve as better contrast to the black plates and cups. The table runner is a piece of burlap folded to size.

 

 

 

The theme of the segment was all about using disposable goods (something I don’t necessarily advocate in my quest to help save Mother Earth, but sometimes I suppose it’s just more practical!), so I stopped by a dollar store to pick up plates and cups. The country/western-themed paper napkins are from Tuesday Morning, the raffia-tied flatware from Costco, and the iron spurs that made their debut on my post Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs are from the men’s decor area at Hobby Lobby.

 

The rustic miniature tree bark fencing was also first introduced back in 2014 on that Pretty in Pink, Wicked In Spurs Breast Cancer Awareness Month tablescape. I used them then as a sort of charger beneath each place setting. This time around I simply balanced them like fences down the center of the table. Got these from the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, but you could probably find something similar at a craft store or make your own!

 

I was excited to find these cute brown metal lanterns at Hobby Lobby, too. The quintessential accent for a cowboy (or cowgirl!) tablescape! I’ve never put oil in them, though. I opt for a safer LED candle.

 

 

The floral arrangements here are a mix of faux wild flowers and daisies, but could be easily replicated in fresh. As a vase I used a cute resin cowboy “belt” from Hobby Lobby. I’m not sure if they carry them anymore as they weren’t on their website, but you can check your local store.

 

Here I am with former Better Kansas City co-host Lisa Teachman, one of the nicest people on earth. Thanks for making it all so easy, Lisa!

For other rustic/western/country-themed tablescapes on this blog:
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs
American Royal Tablescape

And now, a few pics from the concert. If you’ve never seen Garth Brooks in concert, you’re really missing out on a treat for the senses!!!

Me at home before gettin’ on my horse hoppin’ in my ultra-suburban SUV to the concert. Hmmmm…wearing the same dress and hat as I did for the “Better Kansas City” segment. Coincidence? 😉

 

We pooled our culinary resources at my cousin’s house to put on a feast fit for a cowgirl before the concert!

 

 

 

Ready to head out to the concert of the year! L to R: My sister, Berishia in her new patriotic cowboy hat; my niece, Yvonne, fanning away the late Spring heat; me, and; my fancy cousin, Dee

 

Ready to boot scoot boogie!!! Whoa, wait…that’s Brooks and Dunn, isn’t it?!!

 

In our side view seats that were actually pretty good. L to R: Berishia, Yvonne, Dee, me

 

My niece, Yvonne, and me. We were SO ready to have a good time!!!

 

THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!! Garth sang his heart (and , eventually, his voice!) OUT!!! I took quite a few pics, but  I don’t want to spoil it for you if you’re going sometime soon!

 

 

A billion and one thanks to my sister and fellow Garth enthusiast, Berishia, for the early birthday present!!!

 

 

 

 

Informally Formal: Marrying modern and classic in your table setting

My 4-minute segment on yesterday’s “Better Kansas City” show on KCTV-5 was all about “informally formal” entertaining at home!

As mentioned in the video clip, our Easter dinner tablescape was, I think, a good example of informally formal design. We simultaneously celebrated my son’s 39th birthday, and I wanted both my son and the rest of the family to feel special – because they are! But this was a day I wanted to be able to relax a little, too, so instead of formal china and crystal, I pulled out some terrific Pier 1 plates to fill the bill. This tablescape, minus the obvious nods to Easter, would be perfect for any Springtime event including birthdays, Mother’s Day, ladies luncheons, bridal or baby showers, or even engagement parties.

 

 

 

 

I’ve not used these beautiful Pier 1 plates since 4 years ago when I posted a piece called “The Bluebird Special“. While certainly far from what might be construed as traditionally formal, they have a simultaneously staid/laid back look. The woven square chargers and faux bamboo flatware lend texture and an organic feel to the place setting.  The yellow undertones of the flatware complement the bird on the plate as well as the floral centerpieces. The lavender napkin is fashioned in a traditional pyramid fold, and the green goblets are from Dollar Tree.

 

I enjoy creating specialized menus on my computer for at-home events. This colorful one in shades of yellow, purple and white with a bright pink clip leans to the side of informality. The colors complement the florals.

 

 

 

 

 

I might have gone a little wild with all the florals this year, but they were all so pretty! Our generous across-the-street neighbors allowed me to snip from their lavishly blooming lilac bush to complete the springtime floral designs of pink & yellow tulips, Mardi gras Solidago, and alstroemeria in white vases. The florals extended down the length of a fresh moss runner dotted with moss bird nests from Home Finishings. (HINT: If the smell of moss wrinkles your nose, open it up and air it out for a couple of days before use.) For additional height, texture, a burst of color, and the pure drama of it all, I filled a white glass vase with forsythia branches and placed it at the very end of the table. Note that the full-length white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com is knotted at the end for safety as well as a cool contemporary look.

 

The alternating pink and lavender satin chair sashes almost didn’t make the cut. My husband thought the plain white stretch chair covers were sufficient. I, however, begged to differ. When he saw the chairs with the sashes, high fives and mea culpas were in order. (We agreed they made the chairs resemble Easter eggs!) Depending on the type of event you are hosting, chair sashes may or may not be appropriate. It’s up to you!

When planning your next Springtime event, keep in mind who your guests are, what feeling you’d like the space to evoke and, as always, just what level of formality is within your comfort zone! As alluded to in the video clip, formality may be circling the bowl, but it ain’t dead yet! 😉

For more photos of tablescapes seen in the video clip:
“Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
“My Sister’s Wedding China”

A few other Spring tablescapes on this blog you may enjoy include:
“Springtime In Paris”
“Patisserie de Paris”
“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“All A’Bloom For Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Tulips in the IHOP Hour”
“Float Like A Butterfly”
“Purple & Pastel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building a Better Brunch Buffet

Dropping back in to share with you this morning’s “Better Kansas City” show segment on Building a Better Brunch Buffet! (Try saying that 3 times fast!!!) This quickie 3:45 piece focuses more on structure and execution than the actual dishes, but it’s kinda fun!

And here are a few still photos!

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Join me for brunch!

 

Chatting on the set with “Better Kansas City” co-host Gina Bullard.

 

Linen-lined baskets are always a great way to display breads!

 

Be sure to go both high and low on your food display.

 

Lots of color comes to the table via the foods you choose. Have fun with it!

 

Place plates in two stacks on the end of a double-sided buffet table. Pictured here: gorgeous cobalt blue, yellow and white “Mirandela” plates from Pier 1 Imports.

 

 

Here I used a single large centerpiece – a mass of Spring daffodils in a large white base – that adds another dimension of height, texture, and color without interfering with food service.

Thank you so much for stopping in, and Happy Spring!

To see other Springtime brunch tablescapes on this site, click HERE (Springtime in Paris Buffet), HERE, (Easter Brunch), and HERE (Taste of Wine Buffet).

To see another tablescape using the Pier 1 “Mirandela” plates, click HERE.

Bringing the Zing to Chinese Takeout 

Once again earlier this year I was a guest on the “Better Kansas City” show. Getting up, dressed, and out the door that early is a real challenge for me, but I really enjoy it every time. This day was particularly fun with tips on creating a tablescape that presents Chinese takeout like a boss! CLICK on the video below to watch the 2-1/2-minute clip from the show, and after that are a few still photos I was able to snap with my iPad. (Time is very short on the set prior to going live, so I’m lucky to squeeze in a few pics!)

 


When I set up these demonstration tables on the set, remember…they are probably more narrow than your typical dining room table by about 12″ or so. The demo table is 6-ft. in length, but only 30″ wide compared to our 42″ wide dining table at home. That being said, you’d have more center space for food, additional decor, or just blank real estate than what’s shown here.

 


Each place setting has a black acrylic square charger (Walmart) topped with an Asian-themed 222 Fifth square plate (“Mia Blossom”) and small rice bowl from Pier 1 Imports. Pier 1 is a terrific place to buy globally themed dishes and decor! If you don’t have one near you, their website is pretty easy to navigate. (Too tall for this television demo, but a vase or two with a simple arrangement of cherry blossoms would be perfect for this tablescape!!)

 


Not everyone is adept at using chopsticks, so as a courtesy to your guests you may want to add flatware such as this faux bamboo stainless. Use the wooden chopsticks typically provided by the restaurant, or consider investing in a pair of permanent ones like these stainless steel beauties resting on a black onyx holder from a local specialty store. The white miso spoons here are from Pier 1. The “Capri” porcelain spice cellars by Gallery Tabletops are from T.J. Maxx and are great for spices or sauces at individual place settings.

 


Each place setting has a little something extra in the way the bamboo fan favors and black napkins, folded to resemble a Chinese sash, are presented in a red silk takeout box from Pier 1.

 


Teapot and cups from World Market.

 


White sake set from World Market. I picked up the Chinese robe wine bottle cover at Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.


As I pointed out on the show, sometimes food is just so beautiful you might consider using it as a centerpiece. While this sushi is just a pretty good fake for demonstration purposes, it represents the real thing which always abounds in color, form, and texture…perfect elements for a gorgeous centerpiece!

If you’d like to see more tablescapes with an Asian flair for Chinese New Year or anytime Chinese food presentation just needs a little gussying up, check out these posts:
Peaceful Peonies
Year of the Rabbit
Chinese Takeout
Mum’s the Word/Zen Garden
Mikasa Daylight (Design #2)
Float Like A Butterfly
Mandarin Bling
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Copper Zen

Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party

Winter Dessert Party

I’ve been away for quite awhile, but here’s my most recent appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show. For those of you missing the sparkle of the holiday months and battling the winter blahs like I am, this may be a fun way to put a little pep in your step and bring neighbors together to spite Old Man Winter! The 4-minute video is followed by still photos of the tablescape.

 

 

To those of you who have come on board while I’ve been away, WELCOME!!! To those who have hung in there for all these years and visit when you can, I love and appreciate you. Thank you for stopping by. Please note that I have disabled the Comments button. Not that I don’t appreciate your comments, but they aren’t necessary…I feel the love! (And my continuing health difficulties don’t let me sit for very long to be able to read and respond.)

Happy 2017! If you have questions regarding details of this post, please drop me an email at table21tablescapes@gmail.com.

P.S. I’m doing this from my iPad as I am no longer physically able to sit at my desktop for extended periods of time. If it publishes crazy, I apologize…I’m trying to get the hang of this new way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome back, and thank you so much for hanging in there with me! I hope to bring you lots of fun and creative tablescaping ideas in the months and years to come!

Coming Full Circle

Whether you’re just bored stiff with nothing better to do this weekend, you’re just curious, or you’ve been looking for a solid reason to have me committed…I now have an updated “About Me/Media” page that lets you in on how I came full circle to create Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One. Some of the pictures are good for a belly laugh. 🙂

HAVE A HAPPY DAY! :-)

HAVE A HAPPY DAY! 🙂

 

Thanks for your visits and support. It gives me something to look forward to each day!

Better Kansas City Morning Show

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I’m just back from making my third appearance on the “Better Kansas City” morning show here in Kansas City! Even though I have to get out of bed before dawn to make that long drive into the city, it’s totally worth it when everything comes together. Sheri and I were able to get this morning’s table up in less than 45 minutes, so I even had a few moments to actually study my script!

The look for today’s show is similar to the one I did back in mid-March, “Rolling Fields of Green“, which captures the versatility of a table that can transition from Easter to Spring and right on into summer.

I mentioned fellow blogger Vernice of We Three Dogs & Me during the segment. Vernice is a very special over-the-miles friend who is very dear to me and who recently celebrated her 82nd birthday. Listen for her name, and then drop by her blog if you have a moment. Vernice puts her heart and soul into her tablescapes, and she always appreciates a visit!

A few pics that Sheri snapped….see if you can figure out what I forgot!
Horrors!!!! Too late to turn around and go back home!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

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Starting the table set up…moving much faster than this photo depicts! 🙂

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Getting closer to completion…and running out of breath!

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Who’s letting me play with sharp objects??!?!?!?

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Place setting. Have you figured out what’s missing yet?

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All done! Off to powder my nose, slip into my high heels, and take a breath before air time!

The finished table is created with a full-length white linen from LinenTablecloth.com topped with a moss runner, gold glass chargers from Costco, white dishes with scrolled edging from TJ Maxx, Godinger “Dublin” crystal stemware, lots of moss balls, faux cabbages, evergreens and spring florals in rustic pots.

Reviewing the script with producer, Sherie (not to be confused with my best friend, Sheri, who was on set taking photos of me!), before the show.

Reviewing the script with producer, Sherie (not to be confused with my best friend, Sheri, who was on set taking photos of me!), before the show.

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Cameraman Chris is the best! He always gets my good side…even if he has to search for hours to find it! 🙂

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Lovely producer’s assistant, Lauren, gets me mic’d up.

 

On the set after the show with co-host Lisa Holbrook

On the set after the show with skinny (I’m so jealous!) “Better Kansas City” co-host Lisa Holbrook

Many thanks once again to producer Erin Cansler for inviting me back! I had a blast and a half!

Thank YOU for stopping by, and I’d like to invite you back for my regular weekly post tomorrow!

I’m linking up with Tablescape Thursday!

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine – Published!!!

Have you ever had one of those incredibly bad days that started out like this:

Water from master bathroom shower leaking through dining room ceiling!

Water from master bathroom shower leaking through dining room ceiling!

Drying process collage

Giant fans and dehumidifiers brought in to dry the bathroom wall, dining room ceiling and floor.

Yes, that’s right. I was setting up a tablescape when I suddenly noticed a single drip…followed by a rapid succession of LOTS of drips…followed by a downpour!!! Not only was I not going to get this very special table done (more on that next post), but I was going to be thrust into a world of insurance claims and deductibles and plumbers and all kinds of stuff I’d prefer to avoid. (The bathroom wall will have to be torn out tomorrow morning to identify the exact cause.) This was NOT good.

THIS, however – after Ramon checked the mailbox – WAS good!!!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, front cover

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, pg. 84

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, pg. 85

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, Resources pg. 97

A two-page spread in the April 2013 issue of “Cottages & Bungalows” magazine including 5 of my original photos and 2 pages of my design tips!!! Long story short, I didn’t think it was going to happen. This, therefore, came as a complete and utter shock on a day when a GOOD surprise was needed more than you will ever know!

Photos are from original posts “Tropicana”, “Pleasant Under Glass”, and “Oranges & Blossoms”.

I hope this mess in my dining room is all cleared away in a few days so that I can resume work on that very special tablescape in honor of one of my very special blogger friends who celebrated a birthday today. Better late than never, I suppose!

“Cottages & Bungalows” is printed 10 times a year by Beckett Media, LLC, and is available by subscription or on newsstands. Please pick up the April 2013 issue and scream excitedly to everyone around you, “I KNOW this woman!!!”

I’m linking up with Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”.

Moss & Manzanitas

We’re under a stupid winter storm watch here in the Midwest. Wednesday night into Thursday is supposed to get really ugly. Stock-up-on-supplies-and-pull-out-the-longjohns ugly. (Mine actually have a Dennis the Menace flap in the back! :-)) So as we brace ourselves for a less-than-pleasant end of the week, I’m getting more and more anxious for Spring to arrive.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN1448WMThe concept for this table for 8 started back in January when I made an appearance on a local morning show here in Kansas City. (Click HERE to see the post, “Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” with video clip and start-to-finish photos.) I set up a buffet table that would work well for this weird in-between stage when the bareness of Winter is still painfully evident, but Spring is just a stone’s throw away. On that buffet, I used a lot of bling along with the moss and manzanitas that would have been great for a bridal luncheon or a 60th wedding anniversary, traditionally dubbed in the U.S. as the “diamond anniversary.” The post with that television appearance does include photos so you can compare that buffet setting to this sit-down one.

DSCN1395WMWhile diamonds are absolutely a girl’s best friend (well…diamonds and Spanx! :-)), for this more casual table I wanted to use “rocks” of a different kind. Hence the abundance of smooth river rock nestled around the manzanita “tree” centerpiece.

DSCN1387WMNothing says Spring like color, and this citrusy green dinner plate really grabs your attention! (Dollar Tree, folks! Dollar Tree!!! If you don’t have one in your area, petition the company to build one there!!!)

Flatware, napkin, menu collageA plain white cotton napkin is wrapped around a tri-color menu and topped with a single stone. The natural look of bamboo in the flatware further complements the setting.

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DSCN1428WMUnadorned clear glass stemware gets an upgrade with the addition of individual bottles of chilled wine. I like using these mini bottles from World Market to dress a casual table, but always have plenty of the big boys on hand as well. Some guests take the minis home as a souvenir, others drink it on the spot.

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IFThe centerpiece is made up of these cool manzanita branches I bought last year at Gordmans. When I first used them last Halloween I gave them a much more ghastly graveyard look. Here they take on a totally new role, dotted with white orchid blooms as if Spring is making its first appearance. With all the moss (the famous Moss Bridge, not to mention the mossy hillsides) and the stone (stone walls, the Blarney Stone), this would make a great table for St. Patrick’s Day!!!

IFI just love the color and texture and smell of reindeer moss! It’s so…woodsy! I tucked little sprigs of it among the branches as well as loading up on it at the base of the branch structure.

IFI found these fun-shaped ceramic vases at Home Goods about a year ago. They help extend the bright, invigorating color of the lime green plates and reindeer moss from the dining table to the buffet behind it.

Buffet cake, flatware, lg. floral collage

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I want to extend a HUGE thank you to The Home Girl for naming my blog as one of her “Five Fabulous Finds” and to Jenna at The Painted Apron for listing me among her picks for “Very Inspiring Blogger”! It’s always uplifting to receive recognition from fellow bloggers, and I appreciate it very much! These ladies both have an enviable array of weekly posts on tablescaping, recipes, home organization & decor…their talents abound! If you’ve not seen their blogs, I most certainly recommend that you treat yourself!

This week I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party, “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday“. Join me, and you’ll be able to see the work of talented tablescapers from all around the world. It’s really cool to see decor from places like Sweden (Chubby ‘N Chieque), India (Crystal Grandeur), Australia (Desire Empire), and, of course, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.!

Other tablescapes on this site to help you prepare to entertain this Spring:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel!”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Carousel Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch”
“Peony Power”
“Daffodillyicious”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Mikasa Daylight Giveaway”
“Daisy Crazy”