Getting in the Spirit of Shopping Local

Shopping List √

Wallet √

Keys √

Power Bar √

Hold on tight. The sprint until Christmas has just begun. While it’s great to be able to shop on-line after hours, shopping small and local makes us most happy.

Buy Local bag © The Gracious Posse

Now that the psychic has departed,

Welcome to Grove & Libbie, Sara Campbell © The Gracious Posse

we predict that shopping at the shops on and near

Grove & Libbie street signs © The Gracious PosseLibbie & Grove’s

fashion-filled blocks will be more fun than ever. Combine the stores dotting the Libbie and Grove area with the Shops at 5807 and River Road Shopping Centers I and II, and you’ve got a whole day of local and small business shopping that should put a dent in your list.

Merry and Bright wall at Old World Accents © The Gracious Posse

If you find yourself in need of some Christmas spirit to make your shopping merry, we’ve got a couple of suggestions.

giant nutcracker at Old World Accents entrance © The Gracious Posse

Have you visited Old World Accents‘ new store in Carytown?

ugly Christmas sweaters at Old World Accents © The Gracious Posse

It’s light and spacious and filled with Christmas treasures for the hard-to-shop-for folks on your list.

Shiny Brite ornaments from Old World Accents © The Gracious Posse

I was tickled to find these new vintage-looking Shiny Brite ornaments by Christopher Radko at a delightfully reasonable price.

Tinker's peacock tree © The Gracious Posse

Tinkers may be a bit out of the way, but you don’t want to miss this whimsical shop.

Tinker’s white owl tree © The Gracious Posse

Showcasing a variety of Christmas trees that we guarantee will put a smile on your face, the store is packed with possibilities for your posse.

Tinker’s pink under-the-sea tree © The Gracious Posse

As we did a bit of pre-shopping, we got the sense that our local merchants are feeling pretty optimistic about the holidays.

Tinker's Joy tree © The Gracious Posse

Let’s help them make that prediction come true. After all, with the plethora of small shops in RVA, 

Why Shop the Ordinary? © The Gracious Posse

why would you shop the ordinary?


November 28, 2014

Counting our Top Ten Posse Blessings

Right now I imagine you are deep in the midst of Thanksgiving preparations and likely steeling your nerves. Whether it’s for the last (hopefully) trip to the grocery store before you start roasting the bird (like Ellen) or the long trip over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house (like me), the day before Thanksgiving is most often rife with stress, especially if you are the mom. We don’t want to divert you from your appointed tasks, so we will be brief.

ombre Thanksgiving centerpiece by Fleur de Vie © The Gracious Posse

The Gracious Posse is our labor of love, and today is the perfect time to count down our Top Ten Posse Blessings of the last 12 months.

10. Getting to share with you the wonderful happenings in RVA like the upcoming development of the Low Line

railroad trestle abutting the Kanawha Canal © The Gracious Posse

and the elaborately designed fundraisers, Anything Goes Gala, Bal du BoisChildren’s Hospital Foundation Ball

2014 Children's Hospital Foundation Ball Peacock Paradise centerpiece © The Gracious Posse

and Splendor Under Glass, as well as the opening of Southern Season.

9. Learning from you and the greater blogging world. We do not profess to have all the answers. In fact, you rescue us more times than you know.

Thanksgiving 2012 watercolor © Frances Schultz

This darling watercolor rescued my boring Thanksgiving table last year. One of my favorite bloggers, former House Beautiful editor Frances Schultz, had featured this Pumpkin-headed Pilgrim and emailed a copy of the full painting to me. With the magic of, I cropped the picture, added the names of my dinner companions and printed them on deckled watercolor paper.

Thanksgiving pumpkin-head placecard © Frances Schultz

Frances graciously allowed us to share this with you in hopes that it may help you finish setting your own table.

Thanksgiving pumpkin-head placecard © The Gracious Posse

We celebrate inspired living with practical style, but our corollary should be . . .

We get by with a little help from our friends graphic © The Gracious Posse

After all, whether local or on-line, it takes a posse.

8. Securing gracious invitations arranged by our posse into the homes of this year’s talented Artists in Residence, Meredith Kittrell,

Meredith Kittrell in custom-designed hat © The Gracious Posse

Lindsay Cowles

Lindsay Cowles and pup describing her art © The Gracious Posse

and Annegret Massey.

Annegret Massey shaping clay © The Gracious Posse

7. Being welcomed into posse homes for features like A Gentleman’s Farm, Pops of Orange Complement This Blue and White Sunroom, Making a Garden Wish List from Garden Week Flower Arrangements, Accessibility with Style,  Dana Gibson’s “Twig” Design is Worthy of a Sneak Peak into a Recently Renovated River House, Designing Around an Aquarium, and, of course, our Mermaid in Residence.

Mermaid welcomes © The Gracious Posse

Thanks Jim, Denise, dNa, fMb, sFl and jBr.

6. Taking road trips for the blog, honey, like our trip to Longwood Gardens and Winterthur with jCb.

daisy tree at Longwood Gardens via The Gracious Posse

5. Going back to school with this year’s Educators in Residence, Carol Quillen at Davidson College

Carol Quillen in her sunroom at Davidson College’s President’s Home © The Gracious Posse

and Cathy McGehee at Foxcroft School.

Cathy McGehee at her dest at Foxcroft School © The Gracious Posse

4.  Raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation with your #ThinkPink Instagram and Facebook pictures. Here’s one that we missed in the shuffle from our dear college friend, kMt, who threw a #ThinkPink luncheon for her posse in Texas.

#ThinkPink Texas style

3. Being mentioned in the July issue of R·Home magazine.

R*Home mention © The Gracious Posse

2. Reading your comments, whether they endorse what we’ve said or gently correct our mistakes. They truly make our day!

1. Being stopped around town and told how much you love The Gracious Posse and that you look forward to reading the latest post every morning.

Thanksgiving place-setting 2013 © The Gracious Posse

Your words, whether written or spoken, are so much a part of the blessings we will be counting this Thanksgiving and inspire us in so many ways. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you the most gracious of Thanksgivings with family and friends. May it be filled with peace, joy and and second helpings of counted blessings.


November 26, 2014

2014’s Splendor Under Glass Recognizes Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Rise Like a Phoenix and Ushers In Dominion GardenFest of Lights

Splendor Under Glass

2014 Splendor Under Glass swag © The Gracious Posse

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (LGBG) celebrated its 30th anniversary in gorgeous color at its annual Splendor Under Glass gala Friday night.

Life-size phoenix at 2014 Splendor Under Glass © The Gracious Posse

Designated the The Year of the Phoenix, this fundraiser honored Frank Robinson, the current president and CEO of LGBG, and his wife, JoRoyce.

close-up of 2014 Splendor Under Glass’s phoenix © The Gracious Posse

In explanation of the theme, under Frank’s leadership

the Garden has risen — like the phoenix! — from relative obscurity 30 years ago to achieve national and international acclaim as one of the major horticultural and botanical facilities in the U.S.

~Peter J. Bernard, CEO, Bon Secours Virginia, Presenting Sponsor

2014 Splendor Under Glass program © The Gracious Posse

Spearheaded by Splendor Under Glass committee chairs, Jenny Simpson, Shannon Weisleder and Peyton Wells, the gala committee transformed the tent adjoining LGBG’s magnificent Conservatory

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden conservatory © The Gracious Posse

by combining gorgeous flowers and colors

2014 Splendor Under Glass tent © The Gracious Posse

to create a memorable evening with a twist.

2014 Splendor Under Glass table arrangement © The Gracious Posse

Rather than the traditional sit-down dinner of the past,

2014 Splendor Under Glass bird of paradise table arrangement © The Gracious Posse

the 2014 edition featured a cocktail buffet enjoyed by patrons in a modern cocktail lounge

2014 Splendor Under Glass cocktail lounge © The Gracious Posse

and amongst open cocktail tables dressed in gorgeous clothes.

2014 Splendor Under Glass amaryllis arrangement © The Gracious Posse

Without being tied down to a table,

2014 Splendor Under Glass bromeliad arrangement © The Gracious Posse

guests were free to enjoy all the beauty that the Conservatory has to offer.

2014 Splendor Under Glass pink and purple zen wall hanging © The Gracious Posse

In lieu of the traditional live and silent auctions that have previously accompanied this fundraising event,

2014 Splendor Under Glass tables © The Gracious Posse

the committee offered seven Key Packages for purchase.

2014 Splendor Under Glass gold bamboo wall hanging arrangement © The Gracious Posse

Included were an enchanting evening under the stars at the Garden with 100 friends and three different pieces of Marie Chamblin Dirom’s custom-designed jewelry incorporating rare South Sea Keshi Pearls that represented the phoenix’s legendary tears which turn to pearls before they can touch the ground.

2014 Splendor Under Glass bar arrangement © The Gracious Posse

Guests were also invited to purchase one of these fifty hand-crafted keys

hand-crafted keys for 2014 Splendor Under Glass drawing © The Gracious Posse

for a $100 chance to win this Surprise and Delight Package,

2014 Splendor Under Glass Tower of Treasures © The Gracious Posse

which includes unique garden experiences over the next four seasons for the winner and her family and friends.

Dominion GardenFest of Lights

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden orchid tree under Conservatory © The Gracious Posse

Splendor Under Glass is the traditional kick-off of the Garden’s annual Dominion GardenFest of Lights.

GardenFest bicycle wheel hanging from Conservatory entrance © The Gracious Posse

This year’s theme, A Legacy in Lights: 120 Years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden,

lighted giant bicycle wheel in Conservatory urn  © The Gracious Posse

looks back to Bloemendaal House’s earliest incarnation as the Lakeside Wheel Club founded in 1895

flower-filled bicycle in Conservatory © The Gracious Posse

and looks forward to RVA’s hosting

2014 GardenFest entrance gate with lighted bike © The Gracious Posse

the UCI World Championships next September.

lighted bike in Conservatory © The Gracious Posse

Bicycle parts

can you spot the bike bell and horn? © The Gracious Posse

play key roles in this walking tour of lights that runs November 28th through January 12th.

bike handle streamers grace arbor © The Gracious Posse

The Conservatory is also featuring replicas of many of the city’s most famous landmark buildings that were tied to Lewis Ginter during his life.

replicas of Richmond landmarks made with dried plant materials © The Gracious Posse

Displayed in the Conservatory, these miniatures, shown as they looked when Mr. Ginter was alive, are handcrafted from dried plant materials grown at LGBG.

Bloomendaal House as the Lakeside Wheel Club © The Gracious PosseBloomendaal House as the Lakeside Wheel Club

We can hardly wait to bundle up and take a walk with our families through the GardenFest of Lights. Thanks so much to all of the staff at LGBG, and especially Jonah Holland, for giving us this sneak peak of Splendor Under Glass and GardenFest of Lights. These remarkable events are just two of the many reasons that make LGBG’s comparison to a rising phoenix so very appropriate.


November 24, 2014