I was in such a funky mood yesterday that The Robinator gave me my gifts and card early. LOL! This was AFTER he'd told me that the weather had messed up his plans. It's like he doesn't know me at all. Dude would have been cut. LOL!
What are YOU doing?
By the way...I love you. Yes...warm and fuzzy kinda love all huggy and ish!
Have you taken down Christmas yet?
Yall know I LURVE doing my table! It makes me HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!
The meal is going to be a one plater. LOL! Yes...I made that up. I didn't go overboard with the menu for once.
Prime rib with red wine mushroom sauce
Garlic mashed potatoes
Brussels sprout saute
See...one plater. Everything you want can fit on one plate. No salad. Informal setting. Red wine, wine white, sparkling wine. Simple.
Centerpiece filled with hydrangea, hybrid lilies, garden roses, berries, ranuculus, magnolia leaves and inhibition roses. (I wish I could let yall smell it cuz BAAAAAAABY...those hybrid lilies are TO.DIE.FOR.FABULOUS!
Check out this garden heart rose:
IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! GO ME!
Dinner around these parts will be around 2pm. What about in your neck of the woods? What time do you guys generally eat Christmas dinner? Yall having a one plater or a two plater? Are bowls needed?
Well, I ordered our Christmas cards from Tiny Prints again this year even though they messed up the shipping last year. The quality of their cards is just so good, I keep ordering them. I thought that maybe having them delivered to me and not letting them ship them to our recipients for us would alleviate last year's problems but alas...that simply isn't so.
I ordered them on December 10th. It's December 22nd and I still haven't received them. There were some printing issues which delayed shipping. They didn't tell me this mind you...I had to find out by calling them when I hadn't received my cards by the date I was supposed to receive them by.
The customer service rep I spoke to offered me some sort of discount but I was too frustrated to deal with that. I told her I'd call back to deal with that once I've received my VERY.EXPENSIVE.CARDS.
I haven't received them yet.
I'm quite upset but honestly...I'm totally going to move past this. I'm CHOOSING HAPPY. I'm not going to let anything put me in a foul mood for Christmas. I bought some cute cards and I've been sending those out. No pictures. Handwritten notes. It makes me think about each individual person as I'm writing them a note and it makes me smile.
Christmas is going to be PERFECT this year! PERFECT! PERFECT! PERFECT!!!!!!!!!
I received an email from the significant other of someone who reads this blog. He asked me to ask what would you like to receive for Christmas. I told him that it would be REAL RANDOM if I just asked someone from the blog out the blue...so yeah...I'm just going to ask everyone.
What would YOU like Santa to bring you for Christmas and maybe...just MAYBE...your Santa is reading. :)
LOL! Too funny! SIP: She could be single because she didn't let the butter reach room temperature and then cream the butter and sugar together. That makes a world of difference with your cookies.
When I was in high school...I wanted a Polo flag sweater. I mean...I wanted it so badly I knew it would be life changing. I begged and begged and begged for that dang sweater but my mother wasn't having it. In her opinion...the sweater cost too damn much for someone without a job to own in hot azz Louisiana.
One day I came home from school and there it was. Sitting on my bed. Looking FABULOUSLY AWESOME AND FLY! I was the absolute happiest girl I knew. With a sweater...in hot azz Louisiana walking around pretending I'm not hot as hell and all shiny 'bout the forehead with sweat.
Knowing what I know now of my parent's life and of my mother, specifically...I know she probably watched that damn sweater until it was as cheap as possible. I know she probably didn't have it hidden anywhere to surprise me with later. She probably put it on my bed the SECOND she came home with it, excited that she was able to get her baby girl what she wanted.
Knowing what I know now...and not looking at my parents through the eyes of a child...I know she probably sacrificed a lot to get me that damn sweater. She probably always had it in the back of her mind how much I wanted it and promised herself she'd make sure I got it.
Knowing what I know now...it should come as no surprise that when I walked into the mall recently and saw a Ralph Lauren flag sweater...I burst into tears amid all the holiday shoppers.
Knowing what you know of me...I'm sure you're not surprised that I bought one and consider it a Christmas gift from my mommy.
Anything you loved in the 80s coming back that you want?
What's the worst holiday gift you could receive?
Every year I start my search here: http://www.officeplayground.com/Top-Sellers-C4.aspx
I might have to get this dude:
I am SO not ready. Are you?
Having Thanksgiving the last week of November threw me off, big.time. Usually I decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving. Well...I didn't get to do that this year so I was a full week behind decorating. I still haven't decorated outside, other than putting the wreath on the door, and I only have 12 days before Christmas.
I started getting stocking stuffers and I've picked up a few gifts but I don't have my menu planned yet and I only JUST ordered my cards day before yesterday.
I just feel like I'm so unprepared this year.
What about you? Are you there yet? Is the timing off for you too?
I'm in the process of decorating for Christmas on a perfectly snowy day! Instead of Christmas tunes in the background, however...I have a yelling husband and a Ravens' football game to listen to. LOL!
My inspiration for the topper came from a floral arrangement I saw at Michael's in Asheville, NC.
I couldn't find a burlap tree skirt that I liked so my mommy-in-law made me the perfect one because she's so awesome and rocks so solidly! LOL!
I dressed the mirror up by adding a berry spray and a double swag ribbon made out of red wired burlap ribbon.
I found these ornaments years ago for $1 each at the Dollar store. I tied some fishing twine to them and used Command hooks to hang them. That's an old spruce garland with ribbon woven through it. Easy and cheap.
That's Day 1 of decorating so far. I'm still working on the tablescape for the coffee table in that room. I think with so much color throughout, I need to use white only to kinda ground it. I don't want it to be too "busy."
After that...I'll do the family room.
I LURVE CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!
What colors are YOU using this year? Are you finished decorating yet?
Our road trip to the Smokey Mountains was a success! Robby and his father got to golf and his mommy and I did a bit of crafting and a wee wee tiny bit of shopping. Most of all, however, was relaxing and spending good quality time with people you love. That is IMPORTANT. That is necessary for all of us to do in order to reconnect and stay connected with the very heart of who you are.
It's no secret that my mommy-in-law is one of my favorite people on earth. She is so sweet and funny and awesome. Just WAIT until you see what she and I have cooked up for Christmas decorating. It's going to be sweeeeeet!
So...that up there is our haul back from their farm. String beans, pears, pickles, preserve, pecans, etc. We even got an entire bowl of satsumas. SOOOOOOOO DELICIOUS! If you've never had fresh canned veggies and fruits, you're missing out BIG.TIME. My mommy-in-law shelled those pecans for us herself and I plan on freezing them in quart size bags today because baaaaaaaaaby...pecans ain't cheap these days. She said to let yall know that they will probably be pricey this coming year because pecan trees throughout didn't produce much. I can't WAIT to make some sweet potato pecan candy!
I'm not going to say that I'm already looking forward to our next road trip. Because I'm not. It's hard on the body. LOL! I don't want to do more than one per year and if it has to be for Thanksgiving...so be it. It was nice. VERY nice. And The Robinator was in seventh heaven and honestly...if he's happy...that makes it all great. Jaru REALLY loved the mountain air, if you can believe that! Our pampered pooch LOVED it outside!
How was your holiday? If you road tripped...when did you head back? How long did it take you? We got caught up in traffic in Tennessee so our 8.5 hour trip took us 10 hours and all three of us are SO.TIRED!
We survived the road trip.
I kirked out at hour 8 and wanted to jump out the window and roll around on the ground like a 3 year old in full on tantrum mode. Yall...I was DROVE! I'm talking Oprah DROVE.
So was Jaru. I looked back at one time and almost died laughing at my poor puppy cuz he looked like he'd just given up on life.
That's funny because he was SO SAD looking when he saw our suitcase since he's used to us leaving him so when he saw me pick up one of his beds to take out too...BAAAAAAAAAAAAAABY! DUDE STARTED TWIRLING LIKE A CIRCUS DOG! TuTu and all!
But lawd jeevus...he soon realized that a road trip is not all it's cracked up to be. How folks do this on a regular I vow to never, ever know. I have a friend who does a road trip every month or so. I now think she must be a serial killer looking out for new places to hide bodies cuz yeah...no.
So we got here and when I saw the view...seriously...it was SO worth it!
I plan on sitting out on this deck as soon as someone gets rid of that snow because I'm kuntry and when a kuntry girls sees a rocking chair...rocking must be done.
My food traveled super well. We dang near needed a blowtorch to unwrap my turkey. I'd wrapped it three times in foil and then three times in Saran Wrap. I was so nervous but when we took it out...it was nice and cold to the touch. Instead of reheating the entire bird...we sliced a platter of meat and reheated that with fresh sprigs of rosemary and damp paper towels covering it. Everything was delicious and my tablescape was simple and lovely. The centerpiece traveled well too and it was super quick to lay out.
Hold on...let me side eye my mother-in-law right quick. She's talking about going forage for pine cones in the woods with the bears and the other wood stuff that lives on side of a mountain with a winding dirt road surrounded by trees. I need to remind her that we can get a bag for like $1.50 from Michael's with a 40% off coupon.
Side eye sequence complete.
How's Jaru you ask? Dude took to the cabin like water to a duck. (Why did I first type like butter to a duck cuz seriously...that was just odd. LOL!)
THAT FACE! I love my puppy.
Well...the menfolk are about to get ready to go golfing. We're going to run to town and forage for pine cones IN A STORE and fire starters IN A STORE cuz ain't nobody going out there foraging in the woods. LOL! My mommy-in-law brings me JOY! She's simply the cutest EVER!
How was your Thanksgiving? All well?
You should DEFINITELY add this to your grazing station for Thanksgiving this year. A friend made some recently and I embarrassed myself with how much of it I scarfed down. I'm talking...DEEEEEEEEELICIOUS!
About 18 ounces of Brie
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup Kahlua
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped pecans
Slice rind off top of brie but don't remove. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
While brie is baking, melt butter, add Kaluah and brown sugar and bring to boil, stirring constantly, for 10 - 15 minutes (carmelize). Add pecans for about 2 minutes or so to warm the pecans.
Remove brie from oven and pour sauce over top. Serve with crackers and apple slices.
You'll want to try one at home first before you share with others. Not because there is a science to it that you have to perfect but because it's sooooooooooooo good...you won't get enough to satiate you with your friends around.
I couldn't find the thing I needed to pull my tablescape together. It just seemed to be a bit "blah." I kept searching high and low but nothing.
The tablecloth section everywhere was ugh.
So I went to J-Ann's fabric store today with the table measurements and found something that would bring color to the table. Then...I called Erica B. to find out what kind of edge binding stuff to use on the edges to make it nice and straight. When I got home, I pulled out the ironing board, my ruler and iron and ironed down the edges.
First I made the straight line using the iron and then I put the tape in the fold and followed the instructions to bind it all together. Basically you just hold the iron down for a count of ten all along the edge and then turn it over and do the same.
It was sooooooo easy!
That binding stuff is here: 5/8-Inch by 20-Yard Stitch Witchery
The fabric was $3.98 per yard. Erica B. made me download the Jo-Ann app so I could get a coupon and my purchase was only about $10. GO.ME!
The only thing I know about the fabric is that it's cotton and I liked the color and pattern. LOL!
So I'm finally ready! Here are the linen elements of my tablescape for Thanksgiving 2013!
What colors are you using this year? I totally think I'm going to make my tablecloths/toppers all the time now. It was super easy and I had lots of options to choose from by way of fabric.
This is my challenge for outdoor Christmas decorating this year. I want to do this type of filler inside of my urns. I do NOT want to pay $179 each for it. I imagine the people who came up with that price are still giggling at how funny they are because seriously...THEY FUNNY.
I tried these lights last year and they were okay. I think if I used more than one string per urn I'll get the look I'm shooting for. White 30 LED String Lights Battery Operated
These plus the burlap Christmas wreath should make the front pop quite nicely. What say you? Do you have planters out front? What do you do with them for Christmas?
So...the cabin has white dishes so I can use their plates. I'm considering silver and gold chargers. I'll take my own runner(s), placemats and tablecloth. Oh...and I want to use these awesome burlap silverware holders.
I want all of the tablescape items to fit in a small box so I'm not going all out. I'm having a floral centerpiece made, low (bubble vase) and in Fall colors. The table will be SUPER informal since we're at the mercy of using whatever we bring with us and I don't want to have to bring a lot to pack, unpack and pack again.
I'm running into a challenge of finding an oval tablecloth as the table at the cabin is oval. I'm trying to figure out if I can simply fold and tuck an oblong one in such a way it doesn't look crazy.
Here are my first decisions in putting the tablescape together so maybe you can help me out. Which do you prefer?
A) Round placemat, gold charger. No salad plate.
I think I'm going to use two runners placed across the middle of the table. IF I can find another runner to match this one or two new ones that match.
What say you so far? A or B?
I absolutely 100% can't WAIT to try my new Angled Dripless Turkey Baster out. I am so geeked it's crazy. It has a brush, a flat pour thingy and a nozzle and yall...I think it might be the best thing to ever happen to my turkey!
Do you baste with a baster, a brush or both?
Hostess gifts make me smile because they truly are usually the most USABLE of all the gifts you receive. Folks don't understand how hard it is to find gifts that people will actually use but hostess gifts pretty much keep you covered.
And they are normally VERY inexpensive!
Someone asked me recently if I considered a bottle of wine a hostess gift or a contribution to the dinner. Um...huh? You said wine. Wine is a GOOD gift at 13700 and thank you very much in advance of all advances.
I thought about that some and thought about how some of the Usual Suspects generally bring a bottle of wine and something extra a lot so I guess maybe some people agree that wine is lagniappe.
Plants make excellent hostess gifts. I think I did one around here somewhere...lemme check...hold on...I'll be back. Here it is. Used a grocery store plant and made it nice: Simple Hostess Gift
Spreaders make great hostess gifts: Classic Spreaders, Set of 4
The trick with spreaders is to keep it simple. Don't get the colorful, jeweled bead ones because the hostess will get more use out of ones they can use with many different tablescapes. And really...some of those jeweled ones are simply just...no. You can't wash them in the dishwasher. The beads can fall out. (Totally speaking from experience here okay!)
Bookends are always a hit. I mean...who doesn't have books right? And...certain styles of bookends can be used as decor on a end table, window sill, etc. Cast Iron Fleur de Lis Bookends
Bottle stoppers: Here are some cheap ones: Set of Bottle Stoppers
Pottery Barn has some super cute ones! Pottery Barn Bottle Stoppers
Plain white kitchen towels: All-Purpose Kitchen Towels, Set of 4
Kitchen hand soap/lotion combination: Caldrea 3 Piece Green Tea Verbena Kitchen Set
I have so many that I love giving to include bath products, cutting boards, cheese trays, etc. What are some of YOUR favorite hostess gifts to give?
My mother-in-law and I are going to make Christmas wreaths while we're at the cabin for Thanksgiving. I wanted to test one out so I can make sure I had all of the supplies we'd need for the ones we want to make. I think the test one came came out pretty nice if I do say so myself. I'm probably going to add some stuff to it before Christmas like some type of green sugared fruit and I think I'm going to pull the tails closer together. Making the bow was cool in that I used two different types of ribbon, one behind the other and made a basic bow with 5 loops on each side. Then...I pulled out both pieces of ribbon to arrange once I'd put the floral wire on the ribbon properly.
Michael's has all sorts of awesomeness you can decorate your wreath with. I wired all of the decorations on the burlap wreath form because I want to change it up whenever I want to so I didn't use my trusty glue gun.
To make one you'll need:
2 rolls of Burlap Garland, 5 Inches by 10 Yards
If you get your supplies from Michael's do NOT forget to use your phone to pull up their website to get the coupon of the week. You'll kick yourself if you don't. The wire form is about $4, the burlap is about $5 per roll. Your ribbons and whatnot is on you. LOL! This wreath cost me about $20 to make as I already had floral wire and whatnot. The initial 'M' was only like $1.19 and I had a coupon for 25% off my full purchase. GO ME AGAIN!
Once you finish putting the burlap on the wire frame, it should look like this:
See! It kinda looks nice like that by itself! Using this you can put whatever you want on it and make it as simple or as extravagant as you want to! It's completely up to you!
COTTON CANDY GOOD AS GOLD LET ME SEE YOU TOOTSIE ROLL! LOL!
What are you going to put on your door for Christmas? Do you make it or buy it?
Shelly puts hers in the bottom of the laundry basket and covers it with clean clothes she knows she's not about to fold.
I wait until day of to buy.
Darn shame huh? LOL!
Where do YOU hide your Halloween candy from yourself and your family? When you put your secret stash together...what do you grab? LOL!
I woke up this morning and sent Tsiporah a text message looking for E since he wasn't here. Normally, on days when he's off from school...she drops him off on her way to work.
Christopher Columbus Day.
Turns out E is at school as Montgomery County doesn't recognize CCD by giving the kids a day off from school.
GOOD! GO MOCO! WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!
My father HATED CCD saying it was a travesty because the Native Americans were already here so how in the hell did his azz hop in some boats and discover a land folks already inhabited?
This pretty much sums it all up for me: Columbus Day
Are you off? Your kids?
I've been decorating for Halloween and having a blast doing so. Many of my decorations you've seen before, of course, but I was lucky enough to find some really cool new things which brought me JOY! JOY! JOY!
DOLLAR TREE! GO ME!
I was with a friend on Saturday and she wanted to stop at the dollar store to see if they had something she was looking for. Well...they didn't but the Halloween section caught my eye and I was in SEVENTH HEAVEN! And yes...everything was only $1 each.
Are you traveling this year? Have you started looking into your travel plans yet? Are the prices what you thought they would be or are they more expensive than usual?
I saw this on Pinterest and I wanted it:
I have two wreaths for fall and one of them was kinda similar. Larger berries. I didn't have brown ribbon nor a random 'M' hanging around so I had to roll out to Michael's and make that happen. Not before going to their website and sending a 40% off coupon via text to my phone though. GO ME!
The 'M' was $2.99. The roll of ribbon was $8 something. I got 40% off the ribbon, came home, and got out my crafty box:
Now...yall don't know this about me...but ya girl is a sharp shooter when it comes to wielding a glue gun. YEAH I SAID IT! POP, POP!
So I tied some stuff and glued some stuff and twisted some stuff and yup...jazzed my old wreath up something ferocious for around $5 if you factor in how much ribbon I actually used.
I'm pretty pleased with it. Sure...I could have purchased another wreath EXACTLY like the one pictured but honestly...I was pretty proud of myself that I didn't and simply used what I already had. Check me out saving and ish. LOL!
Me makey wreath. Your turn! What kind of wreath do you have on YOUR front door? Have you changed it for the season yet? Do you? Where did you get it? Did you make it? Did you ENHANCE it?
So...my birthday party this year was an old school Field Day like when you were in elementary or middle school. I reserved a park for the whopping permit fee of $20, bought some balls and whatnot, served hotdogs and grilled veggies with cupcakes, sunchips, etc. and GOT.IT.IN!
Here is my template for the paper lollipops and you can personalize it your way for your use: Download MINGO FLAGS
The rest of the stuff I used was stuff I already had down in the basement. I've collected some nice things over the years by simply keeping an eye out for things. The best time to get good deals on stuff is when you don't need it. LOL! So yeah...I see something nice on a random Tuesday in March and buy it and store it down in the basement until I'm ready to use it. GO ME!
The best thing I've ever purchased has got to be the 54 x 108-Inch White Tablecloth $3.50 each. I use them so much and, at only $3.50...you don't worry if something is spilled on them like red wine. Oh...and my silverware I bought in bulk, Stainless Dinner Fork - 24 / BX - $4.68. I started out with about 48 each of them at those prices and bought forks, spoons and knives. You're totally not mad if someone accidentally tosses one in the trash at those prices. I keep them in ziploc bags between parties and put them in a buffet silverware caddy for parties. I've had it forever and forgot where I found it. Works perfectly.
Since we were at a park...I used paper plates because paper plates are for parks and barbecues. And that's all Imma say about that. Humph. LOL! Bought the paper plates at the dollar store too.
I did buy dodge balls and a flag football set but I can use them again. If you're in the area and want to throw a field day party...you're welcome to borrow them because they will simply be in the ball bag in the basement. LOL!
For the three legged races I used an old sheet cut up in strips. Worked perfectly and completely throw-way-able.
Food was easy. Gluten-free all beef hotdogs, grilled veggies and corn on the cob. I put the corn on wooden skewers so folks didn't have to use their hands while outside. I had a gallon of hand sanitizer on hand to disinfect before eating. LOL!
Water and gatorade were the drink choices (G-Baby brought some drink packs for the kiddies) as we couldn't bring alcohol to the park. I was going to make some awesome adult beverages to put into these Ball Jar Heritage Collection Pint Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 6 :
Yall know I'm anti-drinking-out-of-mason-jars because I always dribble on myself so I drilled a hole in the top of the lid and then put Nickel-Plated Brass Eyelets - 3/8" - 8 Ct. in the hole. I didn't put the back of the eyelet on because I did the hole exact and it was a really nice and snug fit. Then...a straw just pops in nicely! WHEEEEEEEEEEE! Well...I'd already made 6 when I found out I couldn't bring alcohol so I didn't make anymore. LOL!
We had fun. It's always cool to do something completely different and well...we get together all the time for drinks and or drinks and dinner so it's fun to switch it up to something we never get to do.
Before we left the park yesterday someone asked what we're doing next year.