Weekend musings…….

Hello! At long last a “catch up” post. I have a lot to share as this is way overdue, so take a seat and grab an extra cup of coffee!  I feel like one of those gerbils on a wheel this week , huffing and puffing to keep on truckin’! Its been one crazy hectic week and on top of that I ended up getting some kind of stomach bug and that coupled with the start of a nasty migraine made for a miserable 48 hours.

First things first! The winner of the fabulous Gretchen Scott “mini wardrobe”! The response was huge to this contest with good reason and one lucky lady is going to be adding some fabulous new frocks to her closet! Here is the winner as per randompicker.org. Congratulations goes to……

Result:

25
oooohhhhh mama! Gretchen’s silk jersey tunics have my name all over them. fabulous color!

michele
hello lovely

Couldn’t have gone to a nicer person! Please contact me with your shipping information. If you didn’t win….no worries, I will be having a giveaway every week from here until Christmas!! How exciting is that! Some seriously amazing ones, so stay tuned.

Thankfully the weekend though busy is all fun and games, so I am looking forward to that. I have a feeling its just going to intensify as Nov. kicks in and then comes frantic December. I have pretty much decided to make my holiday party a “post holiday affair”. Too much pressure on me and too many things going on to have a clear state of mind to plan it the way I like to do things. Doing it in January takes some of the pressure off….now I need to pray for not getting a giant snowstorm that day:)
My recent batch of goodies was pure mayhem…the responses was fabulous. I am always on the prowl for the next great thing, rest assured! And as luck would have it I scored a second batch of amazing finds, so if you missed out there is a second chance! I need to find the time and rest assured I will to organize the many many boxes, price and photograph them and they will be up in the next week. So stay tuned…..

I cannot believe we are in November. SCARY. To think that Dec. is next month! My days have been so full that I cannot imagine it getting any crazier and yet somehow Dec. does that to us…turns everything upside down, a good kind of crazy though! Anywho, here is whats new on my end….

Moving along, a lot of randomness today. So bear with me as I am all over the map:) Ready? Let’s go…


A MASQUERADE PARTY! We were invited to a gorgeous and I do mean gorgeous masquerade party, didn’t think those went on anymore! I wasn’t sure until an hour before if I had the energy to go after having been sick but I did and wore a “go to”  favorite gown with a mask. It was so beautiful, I of course felt compelled to capture a few pictures with my iPhone. (not the best quality but you get the idea).

 Upon entering the super grand foyer aka courtyard, the architecture was over the top amazing!

 Just look at that ceiling!

 I so loved the way this was set up! The crudites were all done in urns…I am copying that!

The room done by Safavieh Home was  a real showstopper.
And the all white dining room was something to behold….

 How gorgeous is this entrance!

 The windows were so fabulous I couldn’t resist taking a picture…even in the dark!

A MAJOR BLUE AND WHITE SCORE. Bought a HUGE collection of blue and white Spode, this is like the blue and white collection to end all collections. I have not even counted how many pieces but lets say its A LOT!!!!! Hey, you can never have too much blue and white:)

Upon walking into the shop, my blue and white radar was on high alert…it was beckoning to me:)

So many gorgeous pieces from plates and pitchers to cookie jars and casserole dishes…….

To pasta holders and pitchers to scalloped bowls and bread boxes…..
Half of it getting unpacked!
Love the bread boxes and casserole dishes

It included 3 pair of candlesticks

Love these scalloped serving bowls….so pretty

Driving back from Greenwich I spotted the biggest pumpkin I have ever seen,  this monster measured  about 4 feet across, I kid you not! I am sure it’s the winner of many a contest!


A VERY SUCCESSFUL E DESIGN PROJECT. A fellow reader and designer and I collaborated on an e-design project together (her family room)  and she also ordered these outrageously gorgeous custom tole sconces from my custom line, they are so stunning! She has superb taste and the way the room came out is so spectacular I just had to share it with you all. Feast your eyes on this…..

 This was the finished sconces that was custom made from my custom tole line.….so beautiful!
 How gorgeous is this room?

Ready for a magazine spread, don’t you think!

HOLIDAY TRAVEL. With the super busy holidays upon us, it is likely that travel is in many of your futures. If air travel is part of your plans, this is a super informative post worth reading, all kinds of tidbits of information and sources I didn’t know about. Leave it up to my buddy, Sandy, the world traveler of You May Be Wandering to enlighten us! Click here to read that excellent post.


HALLOWEEN IN NEW YORK CITY. I went on a Junior League house tour last weekend, and from the car snapped a few pictures of some gorgeous and festive entrances decked out in their Halloween finest! I am going to do a post on NYC entrances sometime in the future, maybe if I can swing it sometime in Dec. when NYC comes alive with holiday festivities.

 This one had all 7 stories done! You know this was as a serious labor of love!

 Always a sucker for beautiful old buildings and breathtaking architecture……..

 Loved this one too, the colors are so rich

A GREAT NEW BOOK YOU MUST OWN. My blogging friend, Tish from  A femme d’ Un Certain Age came out with her new book, Forever Chic.  I was beyond excited to get it. I have to say and I am so not “just saying this” this is one of the best books I have read  in a very long time. It is totally captivating and lures you right in to her world and authentic voice about an Americans take on French culture, women aging and all the wonderful behind the scenes secrets and tidbits. Everything you always wanted to know is explained with an honest and entertaining voice through Tish. I have to say….those French women know what they are doing and just having read this book is prompting me to make a few changes and readjust the way I look at a few things…..just love it!

 I love her honest account and let me tell you…..I am learning a lot! I am almost done and its absolutely one of those books that I just don’t want it to end! Tish you might need a second edition………..click here to purchase. You WILL thank me:)


A TRUE SINGING PRODIGY. Have you seen this nine year old sing on Hollands X Factor? That’s right I said nine years old. Talk about the voice of an angel! I was bowled by her voice at any age but to think she is nine is just hard to comprehend. She is self taught and no doubt destined for great things……this is guaranteed to give you chills (the good kind).

MY ONLINE SHOP. Going to soon be adding some new products to my shop. A lot of what I sell are staples and therefore remain but I do add new items here and there. I am really a “staples” kind of girl. I like what I like and those things never get old. I only sell what I love and use so you can be sure that anything on my online has been tested and tried by yours truly. A few new porcelains getting added…….

New accessories just arrived too……

Lots of people have requested this crystal obelisks, super decorative and works in any kind of decor, the highest quality….really gorgeous.

 LOVE this decanter set, includes the holder in silver or ant. brass and two lead crystal cut decanters.

The three top trays are all being added as I do get many requests for ant. brass trays…and these are beauties.

The success of my recent steals and deals was amazing and so validating to me personally that there is a huge demand still for beautiful, old world traditional accessories.. It so made me wish I had more. Incidentally I got in another smaller batch from the same vendor so will be offering those things up sometime possibly this weekend. Just need to get organized, take pictures and tag everything. Definitely worth a look if you missed out last time! Here is a sneak peek…..

As scary as it sounds, Christmas is next month….crazy!  So I will be posting on a few deadlines, mostly for my custom napkin rings and statuary. I plan on suspending my shop for about 8 days during the Christmas season, I know how crazy busy it gets so will close up my shop on or around Dec. 18th until after the holidays for a much needed hiatus. I will be very busy and fulfilling orders until then so its not too early to start thinking about gifts.

For anyone who is thinking of the custom napkin rings for the holidays, it is not too soon to start placing orders. The latest you can order for guaranteed Christmas delivery is Nov. 18th.  Some are in stock, as extra have been ordered in anticipation of the holidays, but most are custom and take about 3 weeks however by mid November it will be closer to a 4 week plus lead time. I plan on doing a post next week on these wonderful treasures for the table…..they are still one of my favorite things, so special! Click here to see more online.

 A popular ring, the animal conga line……talk about a conversation piece!

 The Santas come in two sizes…this is the large, how amazing are they for a Christmas table!

 How charming is the chinoiserie man?

 There is a collection of about 8-10 different horses, very impressive!

 Of course had to get this one for myself…reminds me of Teddy!
 LOVE the stag deer…..so elegant!

As always any questions about anything from my online shop, feel free to email me here.

Phew…still with me? I know I know this was a lot to read, as I said this was so overdue that there was a lot to share, and there is even more but I will do that next time:)

Brace yourselves for this weeks “Blue and white love” contest which starts tomorrow!  It is beyond description in terms of the sheer beauty and talent of my readers. You are in for a mega treat, that I promise you! I will also feature sometime during the week my most recent steals and deals and finally the end of the week, will announce the winner(s) of the blue and white love contest and announce a spectacular new giveaway so lots of good things happening. Thanks as always for stopping in….wishing you a wonderful day and relaxing end to your week.

Weekend musings…….

Hello! At long last a “catch up” post. I have a lot to share as this is way overdue, so take a seat and grab an extra cup of coffee!? I feel like one of those gerbils on a wheel this week , huffing and puffing to keep on truckin’! Its been one crazy hectic week and on top of that I ended up getting some kind of stomach bug and that coupled with the start of a nasty migraine made for a miserable 48 hours.

First things first! The winner of the fabulous Gretchen Scott “mini wardrobe”! The response was huge to this contest with good reason and one lucky lady is going to be adding some fabulous new frocks to her closet! Here is the winner as per randompicker.org. Congratulations goes to……

Result:

25
oooohhhhh mama! Gretchen’s silk jersey tunics have my name all over them. fabulous color!

michele
hello lovely

Couldn’t have gone to a nicer person! Please contact me with your shipping information. If you didn’t win….no worries, I will be having a giveaway every week from here until Christmas!! How exciting is that! Some seriously amazing ones, so stay tuned.

Thankfully the weekend though busy is all fun and games, so I am looking forward to that. I have a feeling its just going to intensify as Nov. kicks in and then comes frantic December. I have pretty much decided to make my holiday party a “post holiday affair”. Too much pressure on me and too many things going on to have a clear state of mind to plan it the way I like to do things. Doing it in January takes some of the pressure off….now I need to pray for not getting a giant snowstorm that day:)
My recent batch of goodies was pure mayhem…the responses was fabulous. I am always on the prowl for the next great thing, rest assured! And as luck would have it I scored a second batch of amazing finds, so if you missed out there is a second chance! I need to find the time and rest assured I will to organize the many many boxes, price and photograph them and they will be up in the next week. So stay tuned…..

I cannot believe we are in November. SCARY. To think that Dec. is next month! My days have been so full that I cannot imagine it getting any crazier and yet somehow Dec. does that to us…turns everything upside down, a good kind of crazy though! Anywho, here is whats new on my end….

Moving along, a lot of randomness today. So bear with me as I am all over the map:) Ready? Let’s go…


A MASQUERADE PARTY! We were invited to a gorgeous and I do mean gorgeous masquerade party, didn’t think those went on anymore! I wasn’t sure until an hour before if I had the energy to go after having been sick but I did and wore a “go to”? favorite gown with a mask. It was so beautiful, I of course felt compelled to capture a few pictures with my iPhone. (not the best quality but you get the idea).

?Upon entering the super grand foyer aka courtyard, the architecture was over the top amazing!

?Just look at that ceiling!

?I so loved the way this was set up! The crudites were all done in urns…I am copying that!

The room done by Safavieh Home was? a real showstopper.
And the all white dining room was something to behold….

?How gorgeous is this entrance!

?
?The windows were so fabulous I couldn’t resist taking a picture…even in the dark!

A MAJOR BLUE AND WHITE SCORE. Bought a HUGE collection of blue and white Spode, this is like the blue and white collection to end all collections. I have not even counted how many pieces but lets say its A LOT!!!!! Hey, you can never have too much blue and white:)

Upon walking into the shop, my blue and white radar was on high alert…it was beckoning to me:)

So many gorgeous pieces from plates and pitchers to cookie jars and casserole dishes…….

To pasta holders and pitchers to scalloped bowls and bread boxes…..
Half of it getting unpacked!
Love the bread boxes and casserole dishes

It included 3 pair of candlesticks

Love these scalloped serving bowls….so pretty

Driving back from Greenwich I spotted the biggest pumpkin I have ever seen,? this monster measured? about 4 feet across, I kid you not! I am sure it’s the winner of many a contest!


A VERY SUCCESSFUL E DESIGN PROJECT. A fellow reader and designer and I collaborated on an e-design project together (her family room)? and she also ordered these outrageously gorgeous custom tole sconces from my custom line, they are so stunning! She has superb taste and the way the room came out is so spectacular I just had to share it with you all. Feast your eyes on this…..

?This was the finished sconces that was custom made from my custom tole line.….so beautiful!
?How gorgeous is this room?

Ready for a magazine spread, don’t you think!

HOLIDAY TRAVEL. With the super busy holidays upon us, it is likely that travel is in many of your futures. If air travel is part of your plans, this is a super informative post worth reading, all kinds of tidbits of information and sources I didn’t know about. Leave it up to my buddy, Sandy, the world traveler of You May Be Wandering to enlighten us! Click here to read that excellent post.


HALLOWEEN IN NEW YORK CITY. I went on a Junior League house tour last weekend, and from the car snapped a few pictures of some gorgeous and festive entrances decked out in their Halloween finest! I am going to do a post on NYC entrances sometime in the future, maybe if I can swing it sometime in Dec. when NYC comes alive with holiday festivities.

?This one had all 7 stories done! You know this was as a serious labor of love!

?Always a sucker for beautiful old buildings and breathtaking architecture……..

?Loved this one too, the colors are so rich

A GREAT NEW BOOK YOU MUST OWN. My blogging friend, Tish from? A femme d’ Un Certain Age came out with her new book, Forever Chic.? I was beyond excited to get it. I have to say and I am so not “just saying this” this is one of the best books I have read? in a very long time. It is totally captivating and lures you right in to her world and authentic voice about an Americans take on French culture, women aging and all the wonderful behind the scenes secrets and tidbits. Everything you always wanted to know is explained with an honest and entertaining voice through Tish. I have to say….those French women know what they are doing and just having read this book is prompting me to make a few changes and readjust the way I look at a few things…..just love it!

?I love her honest account and let me tell you…..I am learning a lot! I am almost done and its absolutely one of those books that I just don’t want it to end! Tish you might need a second edition………..click here to purchase. You WILL thank me:)


A TRUE SINGING PRODIGY. Have you seen this nine year old sing on Hollands X Factor? That’s right I said nine years old. Talk about the voice of an angel! I was bowled by her voice at any age but to think she is nine is just hard to comprehend. She is self taught and no doubt destined for great things……this is guaranteed to give you chills (the good kind).

MY ONLINE SHOP. Going to soon be adding some new products to my shop. A lot of what I sell are staples and therefore remain but I do add new items here and there. I am really a “staples” kind of girl. I like what I like and those things never get old. I only sell what I love and use so you can be sure that anything on my online has been tested and tried by yours truly. A few new porcelains getting added…….

New accessories just arrived too……

Lots of people have requested this crystal obelisks, super decorative and works in any kind of decor, the highest quality….really gorgeous.

?LOVE this decanter set, includes the holder in silver or ant. brass and two lead crystal cut decanters.

The three top trays are all being added as I do get many requests for ant. brass trays…and these are beauties.

The success of my recent steals and deals was amazing and so validating to me personally that there is a huge demand still for beautiful, old world traditional accessories.. It so made me wish I had more. Incidentally I got in another smaller batch from the same vendor so will be offering those things up sometime possibly this weekend. Just need to get organized, take pictures and tag everything. Definitely worth a look if you missed out last time! Here is a sneak peek…..

As scary as it sounds, Christmas is next month….crazy!? So I will be posting on a few deadlines, mostly for my custom napkin rings and statuary. I plan on suspending my shop for about 8 days during the Christmas season, I know how crazy busy it gets so will close up my shop on or around Dec. 18th until after the holidays for a much needed hiatus. I will be very busy and fulfilling orders until then so its not too early to start thinking about gifts.

For anyone who is thinking of the custom napkin rings for the holidays, it is not too soon to start placing orders. The latest you can order for guaranteed Christmas delivery is Nov. 18th.? Some are in stock, as extra have been ordered in anticipation of the holidays, but most are custom and take about 3 weeks however by mid November it will be closer to a 4 week plus lead time. I plan on doing a post next week on these wonderful treasures for the table…..they are still one of my favorite things, so special! Click here to see more online.

?A popular ring, the animal conga line……talk about a conversation piece!

?The Santas come in two sizes…this is the large, how amazing are they for a Christmas table!

?How charming is the chinoiserie man?

?There is a collection of about 8-10 different horses, very impressive!

?Of course had to get this one for myself…reminds me of Teddy!
?LOVE the stag deer…..so elegant!

As always any questions about anything from my online shop, feel free to email me here.

Phew…still with me? I know I know this was a lot to read, as I said this was so overdue that there was a lot to share, and there is even more but I will do that next time:)

Brace yourselves for this weeks “Blue and white love” contest which starts tomorrow!? It is beyond description in terms of the sheer beauty and talent of my readers. You are in for a mega treat, that I promise you! I will also feature sometime during the week my most recent steals and deals and finally the end of the week, will announce the winner(s) of the blue and white love contest and announce a spectacular new giveaway so lots of good things happening. Thanks as always for stopping in….wishing you a wonderful day and relaxing end to your week.

Party central part 2!

Hi there! I so missed being here and chatting with all my friends (that would be you)! Back from a wonderful little getaway to the Richmond/Charlottesville area…so beautiful. Just loved it and could happily buy a beautiful horse farm, grow my garden and own my little interior design studio/shop and be one happy lady! A gorgeous part of the country.  Will be posting on it and sharing some of my beautiful pictures in the next week or so.

As promised here is part 2 of the party central post. If you  missed part 1 please click here. Two parties in one week is a lot and I am not sure I could pull it off again and though the day of this party I wasn’t feeling 100% it was amazing how I got a new pep in my step and renewed vigor  as all the beautiful details started coming together. I captured as much as  I could on film….(wish I had an in house photographer lol) and concentrated mostly on my table because I was so excited with how pretty it came out! Yes, I know some pictures might feel repetitious but what the heck!

Anyway, enjoy…..I made half of the food (all appetizers excepe one) and wish I had photographed them all….as they were sooooo good! Here is what was on the menu…

A huge beautiful shrimp cocktail 
A large Italian antipasta platter
A pretty crudite with spinach dip
A large Mediterranean platter with hummus, pita chips and salsa
Thinly sliced flank with arugula on a baguette
Brushetta and parmigiano crostini
For dinner aka the BBQ
Flank steak
Grilled veges
Grilled corn
Kobe beef sliders
Barbecued chicken on the bone
Baby spinach Greek salad
Corn/tomato/cucumber salad
Grilled corn
Wild Rice

And I cannot believe I didn’t get my dessert table…there were so many scrumptious desserts! By that time of the night however, I think I might have been deliriously tired and anything that involved any extra work or an iota of effort was out of the question:) Many of you asked for my recipes from my luncheon so I have included them at the bottom of this post. Hope you enjoy this recap……

Setting up…which involved more than one argument between my husband and myself was ready to strangle someone, lets face it women just know “these things” more than men, well at least most women! . I envisioned one super long table for all 40 people until…..the weather forecastsers predicted rain right at the very time we invited everyone over (5:00)! So…..we had the big long table concept moved to the loggia  and all that furniture onto the patio. We had a plan B aka backup plan in case and got very very lucky, as the weather ended up being gorgeous with only one dark cloud that floated away with not a drop! But there are no mistakes in life and having the long dining table under the loggia worked out perfectly no matter what the weather as we got the most wonderful breeze, so here we go……

In process of setting things up……

 You are getting a sneak peek at round 2 of the pillows  which I LOVE, (separate post to come later next week on pillows)!

Starting to put the table aka my vision togehter……

 I kept adding “layers” more blue and whites with flowers and candles and hurricanes…..

 Love the blue and white its so crisp and happy I went with navy seat cushions vs. the white……

 At this point I am totally loving it……

Meanwhile back in the kitchen, the prep continues…..

And outside, it is done and I am absolutely thrilled……

 Peonies on any table are always a thing of beauty

 Meanwhile outside on the patio…..

Before seat cushions and pillows……

And what a difference beautiful pillows make! Here is that second set of pillows (a post on these pillows to come)…..

Some of the food starting to come out (really regret I did not get all of it)…….

 Sons taste testing to be sure they are “edible” 🙂

 This was one fifth of the appetizers…..thankfully everyone came hungry!

Bar being set up……
Candles being lit…….

Love the lighting of the late day sun……


The sun was just starting to set and this is my most favorite time of day……

And just before we announced dinner was served took a few quick photos…..

And the next morning the remnants remained, a cigar box (empty) flowers just wilting a bit from the heat  and candles down to their wicks….

Hope you enjoyed! It was a total labor of love and my feet paid the price but it was so worth it. Everyone had a great time, they came at 5 and the last guest left at 11!  I had a lot of fun planing it out and seeing it all come together, afterall that’s the real satisfaction at giving a party, is seeing all your ideas come to fruition..its like an experiment every time. Getting it right with just the right foods, drinks and creating the right ambiance. Flowers, blue and white and candles always seem to work for me!  Now here are the recipes from the other day that so many of you asked about!

Baby spinach Greek Salad

Ingredients
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil

1 pound mini penne, or your choice of pasta salad shape (Bear in mind that baby spinach takes up some space, so you want a shape that isn?t too small that will get overwhelmed)
6 oz bag, baby spinach (I used a little more than it called for)
1 7-ounce package feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz jar (drained about 7 to 8 ounces) roasted red pepper (Trader Joes has a very lovely one)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (or pine nuts if you prefer)

Method
Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Bring water to boil in pot.  Salt water and cook pasta according to package directions.  Wash and drain pasta.

Mix together spinach, feta, red onion, basil, roasted red peppers, pasta.  . Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Add almonds; toss. Serve at room temperature. 

Peach Sangria (sooooo good)

Peach Schnapps
Ginger ale
Fresh peaches or frozen peaches
one orange
1 bottle dry white wine
Crushed Ice
Sugar
Fresh min   


Take a big pitcher, fill with one bottle of dry white wine, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Peach Schnapps, add 5 fresh sliced peaches ( or one bag of frozen peaches) and 1 sliced orange to mix. Add about 2 tablespoons sugar and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour ideally for a few. Upon serving add about 1/2 liter of ginger ale and mix. Can serve with crushed ice, and I add several sprigs of mint if I happen to have it. This is a sure hit!  I normally do this x 3 to make a large amount..nearly everyone wants at least a second if not third glass!!

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 head of cabbage, 3 nice sized chicken breast, soy sauce, sugar, 2 bunches scallions, about 1/2-3/4 cup slivered almonds, 2 packs chicken Ramen noodles, one can lo mein or  rice noodles ( I use lo mein), 3 tablespoons or more sesame seeds, rice vinegar.

Shred cabbage very thin with a good sharp serenaded knife or a mandolin, which makes it easy. Boil chicken in salted water. When cool, shred to small pieces. Chop up 2 bunches of scallions. Bake almonds until golden brown. Add cabbage, chicken, scallions and almonds and set aside covered. In small mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, the sesame seeds, 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil (not olive any vegetable or corn is fine),the chicken seasoning packets from ramen noodles and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, toss over salad up to 30 min. before you want to serve, add rice noodles at end. The original recipe calls for the ramen noodles (crushed first) to also be added but I personally prefer it without. Yum yum.

Thanks as always for stopping in to see whats new in my little corner of the world. I am happy these are behind me, and have a long long list of “to do’s” that somewhat fell by the wayside! So plenty  to do in the coming weeks to keep me busy. Very busy. Many house projects that somehow got pushed to the back burner…I am ready to take them on again!! Hope whatever you have in store for the coming weekend is fabulous and relaxing. We have a party (thankfully I get to be a guest…woo hoo)  to go to so back to wardrobe woes……gotta get busy! Wishing you a wonderful Thursday afternoon and fabulous weekend. Talk to you soon…….

PS If you haven’t already you must go visit my friend Melinda of Georgica Pond’s  new blog by clicking here. . It is so spectacular and worth a visit..if you like what you see, leave her a comment telling her so! She worked hard on it and it shows:) Great job Mel!

Party central part 2!

Hi there! I so missed being here and chatting with all my friends (that would be you)! Back from a wonderful little getaway to the Richmond/Charlottesville area…so beautiful. Just loved it and could happily buy a beautiful horse farm, grow my garden and own my little interior design studio/shop and be one happy lady! A gorgeous part of the country.? Will be posting on it and sharing some of my beautiful pictures in the next week or so.

As promised here is part 2 of the party central post. If you? missed part 1 please click here. Two parties in one week is a lot and I am not sure I could pull it off again and though the day of this party I wasn’t feeling 100% it was amazing how I got a new pep in my step and renewed vigor? as all the beautiful details started coming together. I captured as much as? I could on film….(wish I had an in house photographer lol) and concentrated mostly on my table because I was so excited with how pretty it came out! Yes, I know some pictures might feel repetitious but what the heck!

Anyway, enjoy…..I made half of the food (all appetizers excepe one) and wish I had photographed them all….as they were sooooo good! Here is what was on the menu…

A huge beautiful shrimp cocktail?
A large Italian antipasta platter
A pretty crudite with spinach dip
A large Mediterranean platter with hummus, pita chips and salsa
Thinly sliced flank with arugula on a baguette
Brushetta and parmigiano crostini
For dinner aka the BBQ
Flank steak
Grilled veges
Grilled corn
Kobe beef sliders
Barbecued chicken on the bone
Baby spinach Greek salad
Corn/tomato/cucumber salad
Grilled corn
Wild Rice

And I cannot believe I didn’t get my dessert table…there were so many scrumptious desserts! By that time of the night however, I think I might have been deliriously tired and anything that involved any extra work or an iota of effort was out of the question:) Many of you asked for my recipes from my luncheon so I have included them at the bottom of this post. Hope you enjoy this recap……

Setting up…which involved more than one argument between my husband and myself was ready to strangle someone, lets face it women just know “these things” more than men, well at least most women! . I envisioned one super long table for all 40 people until…..the weather forecastsers predicted rain right at the very time we invited everyone over (5:00)! So…..we had the big long table concept moved to the loggia? and all that furniture onto the patio. We had a plan B aka backup plan in case and got very very lucky, as the weather ended up being gorgeous with only one dark cloud that floated away with not a drop! But there are no mistakes in life and having the long dining table under the loggia worked out perfectly no matter what the weather as we got the most wonderful breeze, so here we go……

In process of setting things up……

?You are getting a sneak peek at round 2 of the pillows? which I LOVE, (separate post to come later next week on pillows)!

Starting to put the table aka my vision togehter……

?I kept adding “layers” more blue and whites with flowers and candles and hurricanes…..

?Love the blue and white its so crisp and happy I went with navy seat cushions vs. the white……

?At this point I am totally loving it……

Meanwhile back in the kitchen, the prep continues…..

And outside, it is done and I am absolutely thrilled……

?Peonies on any table are always a thing of beauty

?Meanwhile outside on the patio…..

Before seat cushions and pillows……

And what a difference beautiful pillows make! Here is that second set of pillows (a post on these pillows to come)…..

Some of the food starting to come out (really regret I did not get all of it)…….

?Sons taste testing to be sure they are “edible” 🙂

?This was one fifth of the appetizers…..thankfully everyone came hungry!

Bar being set up……
Candles being lit…….

Love the lighting of the late day sun……


The sun was just starting to set and this is my most favorite time of day……

And just before we announced dinner was served took a few quick photos…..

And the next morning the remnants remained, a cigar box (empty) flowers just wilting a bit from the heat? and candles down to their wicks….

Hope you enjoyed! It was a total labor of love and my feet paid the price but it was so worth it. Everyone had a great time, they came at 5 and the last guest left at 11!? I had a lot of fun planing it out and seeing it all come together, afterall that’s the real satisfaction at giving a party, is seeing all your ideas come to fruition..its like an experiment every time. Getting it right with just the right foods, drinks and creating the right ambiance. Flowers, blue and white and candles always seem to work for me!? Now here are the recipes from the other day that so many of you asked about!

Baby spinach Greek Salad

Ingredients
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil

1 pound mini penne, or your choice of pasta salad shape (Bear in mind that baby spinach takes up some space, so you want a shape that isn?t too small that will get overwhelmed)
6 oz bag, baby spinach (I used a little more than it called for)
1 7-ounce package feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz jar (drained about 7 to 8 ounces) roasted red pepper (Trader Joes has a very lovely one)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (or pine nuts if you prefer)

Method
Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Bring water to boil in pot.? Salt water and cook pasta according to package directions.? Wash and drain pasta.

Mix together spinach, feta, red onion, basil, roasted red peppers, pasta.? . Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Add almonds; toss. Serve at room temperature.?

Peach Sangria (sooooo good)

Peach Schnapps
Ginger ale
Fresh peaches or frozen peaches
one orange
1 bottle dry white wine
Crushed Ice
Sugar
Fresh min? ?


Take a big pitcher, fill with one bottle of dry white wine, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Peach Schnapps, add 5 fresh sliced peaches ( or one bag of frozen peaches) and 1 sliced orange to mix. Add about 2 tablespoons sugar and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour ideally for a few. Upon serving add about 1/2 liter of ginger ale and mix. Can serve with crushed ice, and I add several sprigs of mint if I happen to have it. This is a sure hit!? I normally do this x 3 to make a large amount..nearly everyone wants at least a second if not third glass!!

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 head of cabbage, 3 nice sized chicken breast, soy sauce, sugar, 2 bunches scallions, about 1/2-3/4 cup slivered almonds, 2 packs chicken Ramen noodles, one can lo mein or? rice noodles ( I use lo mein), 3 tablespoons or more sesame seeds, rice vinegar.

Shred cabbage very thin with a good sharp serenaded knife or a mandolin, which makes it easy. Boil chicken in salted water. When cool, shred to small pieces. Chop up 2 bunches of scallions. Bake almonds until golden brown. Add cabbage, chicken, scallions and almonds and set aside covered. In small mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, the sesame seeds, 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil (not olive any vegetable or corn is fine),the chicken seasoning packets from ramen noodles and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix well, toss over salad up to 30 min. before you want to serve, add rice noodles at end. The original recipe calls for the ramen noodles (crushed first) to also be added but I personally prefer it without. Yum yum.

Thanks as always for stopping in to see whats new in my little corner of the world. I am happy these are behind me, and have a long long list of “to do’s” that somewhat fell by the wayside! So plenty? to do in the coming weeks to keep me busy. Very busy. Many house projects that somehow got pushed to the back burner…I am ready to take them on again!! Hope whatever you have in store for the coming weekend is fabulous and relaxing. We have a party (thankfully I get to be a guest…woo hoo)? to go to so back to wardrobe woes……gotta get busy! Wishing you a wonderful Thursday afternoon and fabulous weekend. Talk to you soon…….

PS If you haven’t already you must go visit my friend Melinda of Georgica Pond’s? new blog by clicking here. . It is so spectacular and worth a visit..if you like what you see, leave her a comment telling her so! She worked hard on it and it shows:) Great job Mel!

Party central part I

Hi there…well as I had spoken about I had two parties here this week and phew am I wiped! I have decided to break this into two parts because I took a lot of pictures and frankly it would be too much for one post (even by my standards)!  Before we get busy..I want to announce the lucky winner of Soiree, Danielle Rollins new book aka bible on entertaining, congratulations goes to……

Result: 57 

Every picture had me oohing and aahing! I just love gazing at all of these settings. They really sent my imagination into overdrive. I have immensely enjoyed your posts and this one was like the cherry on top of the whipped cream, on top so much yumminess! Goodness Gracious…
And thanks for another chance to win a book on my favorite subject! Entertaining!
Please email me with your shipping information so this can get on it’s way to you!

By the time you read this I will be off on a little trip for just 3 days but a much needed break:) I enjoyed all the prep (as I always do) getting ready for these little shindigs but as I put a lot of effort into the details….I must say two in one week is a lot. The first get together was a luncheon for one of my best friends for 14 girls. The weather was not cooperative so we had drinks and appetizers on the loggia which I must say was so cozy and fun…then we moved indoors for lunch.

Every time I entertain I always try to add a new dish, I love experimenting and you never know unless you try, right? I kept the menu light which is appropriate for summer. A few light appetizers,  three different salads and Mediterranean pitas…..light, guilt free but no skimping no taste!  Then it was topped off with a sinfully good Weight Watchers Carrot cake, no you are not reading this wrong…it’s Weight Watchers!! So a guilt free meal that tastes good? My kind of menu! Hope you enjoy this recap.

Here is a recap from before, during and after…………

My pretty glasses in their wicker holders awaiting the peach sangria….love these for summer!
Prepping for the Greek baby spinach salad…yum!
Dip for tex mex salad and peach sangria marinating…

The birthday girls’ gift….all wrapped and ready to wow her!

We gave this beautiful orchid as part of her gift…she loves orchids and this planter from my online shop

The yummy peach sangria..heavenly good, light and perfect for a summer luncheon (or dinner) I make a double portion in a big plastic bowl and then transfer to either a punch bowl or pretty pitchers

My Chinese chicken salad is a staple in my house……
This really really good spinach/basil Greek salad…..excellent!

Of course, flowers and blue and whites are always part of the deal for anything I do!

 One set of the pillows!! Love them, will be doing a separate post on my two sets of pillows……added the hurricanes and the garden seat and I just love the way it came out……

 Even though it was raining it was so cozy to sit here while we heard the rain falling……

 Dining room table ready to serve as a buffet table…buffets are so much easier!
Meanwhile…more prep going on inside the kitchen:)
 More salads at the ready…..
My Tex Mex salad getting all the fixings……..

 Yum! Crostinis with brushetta and shredded fresh parmigiano…my fave! Served on my Vagabond gorgeous cheese/carving board

 The table getting set up..I even wrote out what each item was and put them in small silver frames.

 Beautiful flowers always make a table…..well that and good food:)

 The mini Mediterranean pitas…filled with olive tapenade, hummus and feta cheese

 I had a big bowl filled with wine and Pellegrino…………..

 And of course carried over my blue and white theme to the napkins and plates…….

 My friend always make this delicious Weight Watchers carrot cake for dessert, heavenly and sinfully good is understating it, it is so hard to believe its Weight Watchers!!Thankfully there was a bit left for leftovers..ice cold carrot cake and a big glass of milk the next morning is awfully hard to beat:)

So that’s my recap of the birthday lunch. When its a labor of love for someone you  care about…it doesn’t feel like work at all. I always get a lot of requests for recipes (totally flattered) if you click on keywords recipes, you will see all posts that featured them, only recipe not on there is the Greek salad which is new to my repertoire but I will be sure to include it in my next random musings post…promise! I enjoyed putting it together and tapping into my inner Martha Stewart and Carolyne Roehm! 
Hope you enjoyed the recap…thanks as always for stopping in, stay tuned for party central part 2- I think you are going to loooove it, it’s one party I really have to say where my vision came alive and even surpassed my own expectations and that was a total thrill! Here is a sneak peek-

Until Thursday, hope you have a wonderful next few days…..will be back soon! Thanks for stopping in, am always happy that you do:)

Party central part I

Hi there…well as I had spoken about I had two parties here this week and phew am I wiped! I have decided to break this into two parts because I took a lot of pictures and frankly it would be too much for one post (even by my standards)!? Before we get busy..I want to announce the lucky winner of Soiree, Danielle Rollins new book aka bible on entertaining, congratulations goes to……

Result: 57?

Every picture had me oohing and aahing! I just love gazing at all of these settings. They really sent my imagination into overdrive. I have immensely enjoyed your posts and this one was like the cherry on top of the whipped cream, on top so much yumminess! Goodness Gracious…
And thanks for another chance to win a book on my favorite subject! Entertaining!
Please email me with your shipping information so this can get on it’s way to you!

By the time you read this I will be off on a little trip for just 3 days but a much needed break:) I enjoyed all the prep (as I always do) getting ready for these little shindigs but as I put a lot of effort into the details….I must say two in one week is a lot. The first get together was a luncheon for one of my best friends for 14 girls. The weather was not cooperative so we had drinks and appetizers on the loggia which I must say was so cozy and fun…then we moved indoors for lunch.

Every time I entertain I always try to add a new dish, I love experimenting and you never know unless you try, right? I kept the menu light which is appropriate for summer. A few light appetizers,? three different salads and Mediterranean pitas…..light, guilt free but no skimping no taste!? Then it was topped off with a sinfully good Weight Watchers Carrot cake, no you are not reading this wrong…it’s Weight Watchers!! So a guilt free meal that tastes good? My kind of menu! Hope you enjoy this recap.

Here is a recap from before, during and after…………

My pretty glasses in their wicker holders awaiting the peach sangria….love these for summer!
Prepping for the Greek baby spinach salad…yum!
Dip for tex mex salad and peach sangria marinating…

The birthday girls’ gift….all wrapped and ready to wow her!

We gave this beautiful orchid as part of her gift…she loves orchids and this planter from my online shop

The yummy peach sangria..heavenly good, light and perfect for a summer luncheon (or dinner) I make a double portion in a big plastic bowl and then transfer to either a punch bowl or pretty pitchers

My Chinese chicken salad is a staple in my house……
This really really good spinach/basil Greek salad…..excellent!

Of course, flowers and blue and whites are always part of the deal for anything I do!

?One set of the pillows!! Love them, will be doing a separate post on my two sets of pillows……added the hurricanes and the garden seat and I just love the way it came out……

?Even though it was raining it was so cozy to sit here while we heard the rain falling……

?Dining room table ready to serve as a buffet table…buffets are so much easier!
Meanwhile…more prep going on inside the kitchen:)
?More salads at the ready…..
My Tex Mex salad getting all the fixings……..

?Yum! Crostinis with brushetta and shredded fresh parmigiano…my fave! Served on my Vagabond gorgeous cheese/carving board

?The table getting set up..I even wrote out what each item was and put them in small silver frames.

?Beautiful flowers always make a table…..well that and good food:)

?The mini Mediterranean pitas…filled with olive tapenade, hummus and feta cheese

?I had a big bowl filled with wine and Pellegrino…………..

?And of course carried over my blue and white theme to the napkins and plates…….

?My friend always make this delicious Weight Watchers carrot cake for dessert, heavenly and sinfully good is understating it, it is so hard to believe its Weight Watchers!!Thankfully there was a bit left for leftovers..ice cold carrot cake and a big glass of milk the next morning is awfully hard to beat:)

So that’s my recap of the birthday lunch. When its a labor of love for someone you? care about…it doesn’t feel like work at all. I always get a lot of requests for recipes (totally flattered) if you click on keywords recipes, you will see all posts that featured them, only recipe not on there is the Greek salad which is new to my repertoire but I will be sure to include it in my next random musings post…promise! I enjoyed putting it together and tapping into my inner Martha Stewart and Carolyne Roehm!?
Hope you enjoyed the recap…thanks as always for stopping in, stay tuned for party central part 2- I think you are going to loooove it, it’s one party I really have to say where my vision came alive and even surpassed my own expectations and that was a total thrill! Here is a sneak peek-

Until Thursday, hope you have a wonderful next few days…..will be back soon! Thanks for stopping in, am always happy that you do:)

Luncheon accomplished!, today’s my birthday and the recipes!

I added onto my post….including the recipes from yesterday that so many of you asked for. They have been added to the bottom!

Hi everyone….its been a busy busy week. This is a short post (for me). Had a luncheon for 26 friends to celebrate one of my dearest friends birthdays in the world. It was loads of fun and so worth any effort, stress and extra calories that went into making it happen. It felt more daunting to plan because of the Christmas chaos that is full swing but it ended up being loads of fun.  Did my best to capture some of it, but was not able to get as many pictures as I would have liked. I was busy up until the last second before someone arrived and then got busy  greeting everyone (think I need an in house photographer) lol! So here are a few highlights………..really wish I had been able to take more “in progress”. A friend of mine  snapped some of the highlights….

ALSO FOR ANYONE WHO IS PLANNING ON ORDERING MY MONOGRAMMED LINENS, TOMORROW, DEC. 14TH IS THE LAST DAY YOU CAN ORDER THEM BEFORE CHRISTMAS (THE FACTORY CLOSES FROM THE 17TH UNTIL JAN. 3RD), CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE LINK.

 

Come on in……

This brie is soooooo good. I swear one day I am going to make it just for ME!

Made this centerpiece arrangement, it came out really pretty (more on that next week)

Yummy…..the brie is ready to come out of the oven!

Big round tray for fish and large fruit platter going into the fridge, Teddy “standing guard” for any remnants that might hit the floor…

The spread……a tricolor with shaved Parmesan and yellow tomatoes, a tricolor pasta with fresh basil, mozzarella and tomatoes, an herbed salmon and a lemon dill salmon, a mushroom and spinach quiche and finally my “in house staple” the Chinese chicken salad

 How pretty are these poinsettia topiaries that I found? I love them, they are so festive and elegant!

 The pretty flower cake…….white ganache and heavenly! (bummed that there weren’t leftovers)!

 A big fruit platter……this can be eaten without any guilt and when you had a piece of cake next to it, it cancels out the calories 🙂

 
 
I am going to do a post on my completed Christmas decorations including my tree on Monday. Some of it you have seen but there are a few new additions and of course my Christmas tree!
 
 
Speaking of holiday decorations…I have SO enjoyed getting all your pictures. All I can say is that I must have the most talented readers out there! Its not too late to send me yours, I will post this next Tues, Dec. 18th so I only ask that you submit your photos by Monday Dec.  17th. Email your picture(s) to theenchantedhome@gmail.com. This is going to be one fabulous post!

You know I am always bragging about my readers and their exceptional taste level…check out these two beauties. One used my silver planter for a holiday party centerpiece and the other has my pretty ginger jar pillow on display! LOVE these!

 

 
 
Wrapped my first two Christmas gifts, here they are. I always pick up all kinds of litlte doo dads to add to gifts to make them feel special. Granted, I have a looooong way to go and many gifts yet to even purchase but this is one step in the right direction.

 I like adding small adornments to packages, nothing super overdone but even a touch of greenery and a pine cone can make a gift feel special
 
 
Tomorrow is my birthday so I am taking the day off. I really need a “decompressor” and I have chosen that day to be my day of relaxation. A very good friend of mine is hosting a small lunch for me ( I said no but she was adamant so it’s just me and five of my closest friends) small and intimate just the way I like it. I will be sure to share highlights next week.
 
 
Wishing you a wonderful day, a sane and peaceful state of mind as we all find our way through the crazy maze of Christmas and holiday journeys. Fun, oh yes but the stress level can run high too. Of course I think (I speak for myself ) that I also set the bar high and sometimes set unrealistic expectations of what can be done!  SO remember deep breaths, lots of little breaks, coffee and/or wine and lots of laughter will all help you get through it! Ho ho ho……… 
 
______________________
 
Hi its Dec. 14th and I am adding onto my post by popular demand! Here are the two recipes for the brie and the fish………so easy but they look and taste like you slaved in the kitchen all night long:)

And here’s a little gift from me to you….the recipes from yesterday that so many of you asked for!

Best brie ever!

One large brie
Dough ( I use Pepperidge farm because I like the easy way out) but you can also make homemade dough if you are really that ambitious……not me
About 1/2 cup of slivered almonds or pecans
Fresh cranberries
Maple syrup
Sugar
1/2 stick of butter
Egg whites
Brown sugar

Put cranberries in a ziploc and add maple syrup, shake bag so all are covered, ideally they marinate over night. Next morning roll them or shake them in a ziploc with sugar…..Cut the rind off of the cheese, let dough sit at room temp, roll it out with ample flour until you have plenty to wrap around the cheese. Add cranberries, cut butter, nuts and then top with brown sugar on top of cheese, then “wrap” the dough around and twist on top. Brush on the egg whites to seal the dough. Bake into a pre heated oven at 350- 375  for approx. 25-30 minutes. As soon as it is golden brown take it out, you can cover with aluminum foil and serve about 15 minutes later. If keeping in oven, turn oven off and tightly wrap with aluminum. I garnish with fresh cranberries. I serve with Carrs water crackers,

Only advice I have is watch over the brie carefully and as soon as you  see it about to be demolished announce lunch or dinner is served, swiftly remove tray- this way you insure you have leftovers for yourself:)


My easy peasy salmon-

If you can overnight, squeeze the juice of 2 lemons over fish and sprinkle liberally with sea salt  and drizzle with olive oil, then cover with aluminum. The next morning, drench (as in the entire bottle) the fish in a lemon dill sauce/marinate. Squeeze a fresh lemon over it. Cut up about 4 cloves of fresh garlic in thin slivers I make little slits in the fish and insert garlic. Add red pepper, fresh dill and lemon slices. Add sea salt if needed. Bake covered at around 350 then  last 10 minute remove aluminum so it gets a little crusty on top. I then remove the garlic that has done its job by giving it a wonderful flavor. Great thing is this can easily be served room temperature, Iooks pretty to add some fresh lemon slices and fresh dill on top.  I also take the “sauce and juices” from the pan and drizzle over the fish.  This is so easy and quite delicious…the fresh dill and lemon are what make this so yummy.

So there you have it, so many of you asked, I had to share. Happy cooking!

Photobucket

Luncheon accomplished!, today’s my birthday and the recipes!

I added onto my post….including the recipes from yesterday that so many of you asked for. They have been added to the bottom!

Hi everyone….its been a busy busy week. This is a short post (for me). Had a luncheon for 26 friends to celebrate one of my dearest friends birthdays in the world. It was loads of fun and so worth any effort, stress and extra calories that went into making it happen. It felt more daunting to plan because of the Christmas chaos that is full swing but it ended up being loads of fun.? Did my best to capture some of it, but was not able to get as many pictures as I would have liked. I was busy up until the last second before someone arrived and then got busy? greeting everyone (think I need an in house photographer) lol! So here are a few highlights………..really wish I had been able to take more “in progress”. A friend of mine? snapped some of the highlights….

ALSO FOR ANYONE WHO IS PLANNING ON ORDERING MY MONOGRAMMED LINENS, TOMORROW, DEC. 14TH IS THE LAST DAY YOU CAN ORDER THEM BEFORE CHRISTMAS (THE FACTORY CLOSES FROM THE 17TH UNTIL JAN. 3RD), CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE LINK.

?

Come on in……

This brie is soooooo good. I swear one day I am going to make it just for ME!

Made this centerpiece arrangement, it came out really pretty (more on that next week)

Yummy…..the brie is ready to come out of the oven!

Big round tray for fish and large fruit platter going into the fridge, Teddy “standing guard” for any remnants that might hit the floor…

The spread……a tricolor with shaved Parmesan and yellow tomatoes, a tricolor pasta with fresh basil, mozzarella and tomatoes, an herbed salmon and a lemon dill salmon, a mushroom and spinach quiche and finally my “in house staple” the Chinese chicken salad

?How pretty are these poinsettia topiaries that I found? I love them, they are so festive and elegant!

?The pretty flower cake…….white ganache and heavenly! (bummed that there weren’t leftovers)!

?A big fruit platter……this can be eaten without any guilt and when you had a piece of cake next to it, it cancels out the calories 🙂

?

?


I am going to do a post on my completed Christmas decorations including my tree on Monday. Some of it you have seen but there are a few new additions and of course my Christmas tree!

?

?


Speaking of holiday decorations…I have SO enjoyed getting all your pictures. All I can say is that I must have the most talented readers out there! Its not too late to send me yours, I will post this next Tues, Dec. 18th so I only ask that you submit your photos by Monday Dec.? 17th. Email your picture(s) to theenchantedhome@gmail.com. This is going to be one fabulous post!



You know I am always bragging about my readers and their exceptional taste level…check out these two beauties. One used my silver planter for a holiday party centerpiece and the other has my pretty ginger jar pillow on display! LOVE these!

?


?

?



Wrapped my first two Christmas gifts, here they are. I always pick up all kinds of litlte doo dads to add to gifts to make them feel special. Granted, I have a looooong way to go and many gifts yet to even purchase but this is one step in the right direction.

?I like adding small adornments to packages, nothing super overdone but even a touch of greenery and a pine cone can make a gift feel special

?

?



Tomorrow is my birthday so I am taking the day off. I really need a “decompressor” and I have chosen that day to be my day of relaxation. A very good friend of mine is hosting a small lunch for me ( I said no but she was adamant so it’s just me and five of my closest friends) small and intimate just the way I like it. I will be sure to share highlights next week.

?

?

Wishing you a wonderful day, a sane and peaceful state of mind as we all find our way through the crazy maze of Christmas and holiday journeys. Fun, oh yes but the stress level can run high too. Of course I think (I speak for myself ) that I also set the bar high and sometimes set unrealistic expectations of what can be done!? SO remember deep breaths, lots of little breaks, coffee and/or wine and lots of laughter will all help you get through it! Ho ho ho………?

?

______________________

?

Hi its Dec. 14th and I am adding onto my post by popular demand! Here are the two recipes for the brie and the fish………so easy but they look and taste like you slaved in the kitchen all night long:)

And here’s a little gift from me to you….the recipes from yesterday that so many of you asked for!

Best brie ever!

One large brie
Dough ( I use Pepperidge farm because I like the easy way out) but you can also make homemade dough if you are really that ambitious……not me
About 1/2 cup of slivered almonds or pecans
Fresh cranberries
Maple syrup
Sugar
1/2 stick of butter
Egg whites
Brown sugar

Put cranberries in a ziploc and add maple syrup, shake bag so all are covered, ideally they marinate over night. Next morning roll them or shake them in a ziploc with sugar…..Cut the rind off of the cheese, let dough sit at room temp, roll it out with ample flour until you have plenty to wrap around the cheese. Add cranberries, cut butter, nuts and then top with brown sugar on top of cheese, then “wrap” the dough around and twist on top. Brush on the egg whites to seal the dough. Bake into a pre heated oven at 350- 375? for approx. 25-30 minutes. As soon as it is golden brown take it out, you can cover with aluminum foil and serve about 15 minutes later. If keeping in oven, turn oven off and tightly wrap with aluminum. I garnish with fresh cranberries. I serve with Carrs water crackers,

Only advice I have is watch over the brie carefully and as soon as you? see it about to be demolished announce lunch or dinner is served, swiftly remove tray- this way you insure you have leftovers for yourself:)


My easy peasy salmon-

If you can overnight, squeeze the juice of 2 lemons over fish and sprinkle liberally with sea salt? and drizzle with olive oil, then cover with aluminum. The next morning, drench (as in the entire bottle) the fish in a lemon dill sauce/marinate. Squeeze a fresh lemon over it. Cut up about 4 cloves of fresh garlic in thin slivers I make little slits in the fish and insert garlic. Add red pepper, fresh dill and lemon slices. Add sea salt if needed. Bake covered at around 350 then? last 10 minute remove aluminum so it gets a little crusty on top. I then remove the garlic that has done its job by giving it a wonderful flavor. Great thing is this can easily be served room temperature, Iooks pretty to add some fresh lemon slices and fresh dill on top.? I also take the “sauce and juices” from the pan and drizzle over the fish.? This is so easy and quite delicious…the fresh dill and lemon are what make this so yummy.

So there you have it, so many of you asked, I had to share. Happy cooking!






Photobucket

Party planning and mission accomplished!

One thing to my fellow bloggers…nearly had a heart attack when I signed on this morning to feedburner to change my delivery time to my subscribers and saw my thousands of subscribers GONE! Apparently this is a known problem that they are working on…so don’t be alarmed if you sign on and see the same thing.

Wow what a weekend! We had to go to the city Friday night for a function, but it was far from relaxing as the entire time my head was spinning with all had to do for my family party on Saturday….the drinks I still needed to buy, a market list a mile long, ?figuring out if I had the right amount of plates, do I have silverware for 50? Yep……panic mood ensued. Getting home never felt so?good as I sprang into action to do damage control. Things were better than I expected and I went to bed thinking I could pull it off.?


Sat woke up to beautiful skies and a fair dose of anxiety. Several hours later, after lots of little last minute errands and prepping, the party started coming together. I always allow myself to run around and stress up to a certain point, but I always (and this really works for me) set a time where I must be done with any errands and a time where I get my rest time. My ‘cut off” was 1 pm….and sure enough by that time I had no need to get back in my car. Everything I needed was done and at home…..woo hoo.




My other cutoff time was 4 and like clockwork I went up to my room and took a power nap (yes Mom I can admit that after all these years of you drilling that into me, they really do work)! So at about 5 I started prepping, getting all my appetizers under way, placing all the flowers where they needed to be, and basically getting the house all “prettied up”. I always get in the party mood when I get to this stage…….




I do not have any pictures to show you of the actual party……everything I must say looked so pretty. But I was so busy playing hostess that there wasn’t a second to reach for my camera and sneak a picture besides think it would have been awkward to be running around on a photo shoot….lol. Next time I need a photographer:) But here’s a recap of everything leading up to it………..






WARNING EXTREMELY PICTURE HEAVY, SIT BACK, GRAB ANOTHER CUP OF COFFEE!!



Any time I want to entertain it always has to start with the flowers. Always. Any excuse to buy flowers, especially my beloved white orchids! I do have a local florist who carries beautiful ones but I have taken to doing them myself lately……I get a lot of pleasure out of it. This time I actually did them in the trunk of my car…….yep it became a makeshift florist:)

Batch one of my flowers ready for their makeover…….

Containers galore and here we go!

A big bag of moss to the rescue….

And we are done…..time to bring them inside
Finding their new “homes”

All the silver getting wrapped up in pretty napkins…
Guess whats getting hung!!!! My new chandelier………….

Using the sideboard as a buffet for the dinner plates
And my new sconces got put up in the living room….well two of them, rest this week!
Got a mirror hung behind buffet
Moving to the front of the house……..
Of course I decorated the front of the house too….simple but I think very pretty

Loving the new softer colors of pumpkins…white, celadon and a pale melon….such neat colors!

And moving back ?inside………

?Even my two new dog paintings got hung………..

Love “dressing up” a vanity with all kinds of pretties……..

Don’t you love my new little cherub soap dish! Just added it to my online store…..

Peek into the pantry which was being used as a bar

One of my guests sent me this magnificent floral arrangement, its about 3 feet tall!

Surprise! Got my new chandelier up in the dining room and its perfect!!!!! I really love it…..brought down a pair of lamps from guest room just to use for the night

Another surprise…got my new sconces up in the living room….LOVE them!

Stunning aren’t they?

The room is far from done, you have to imagine it with the right chairs, getting a mantle finally and the gorgeous chinoiserie paper that will grace the walls

Used this small English console as a table to hold the appetizer plates
First tray getting put out….sushi always one of the first things to go

I had a small round table for a few stationary appetizers and we had passed hor?deuvres?too (thankfully some left over for a serious eating session later today)
Icing on the cake…waking up to some goodies waiting to be opened, flowers enough to open up my own little florist and a box of chocolates from one of my favorite shops……….

Look at the mini bananas in this arrangement!
So that’s a wrap for how things were on Saturday leading up to my family party. It was a lot of fun, all except for my poor sore feet that are paying the price of standing on them for too many hours so I will prop them up and take it easy today (of course while I am picking at all the leftovers lol). Hope you enjoy your day…gorgeous fall weather over here, loving it! Now excuse me while I go take inventory of the leftovers…………(absolute best part of a party)!


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Party planning and mission accomplished!

One thing to my fellow bloggers…nearly had a heart attack when I signed on this morning to feedburner to change my delivery time to my subscribers and saw my thousands of subscribers GONE! Apparently this is a known problem that they are working on…so don’t be alarmed if you sign on and see the same thing.

Wow what a weekend! We had to go to the city Friday night for a function, but it was far from relaxing as the entire time my head was spinning with all had to do for my family party on Saturday….the drinks I still needed to buy, a market list a mile long,  figuring out if I had the right amount of plates, do I have silverware for 50? Yep……panic mood ensued. Getting home never felt so good as I sprang into action to do damage control. Things were better than I expected and I went to bed thinking I could pull it off. 
Sat woke up to beautiful skies and a fair dose of anxiety. Several hours later, after lots of little last minute errands and prepping, the party started coming together. I always allow myself to run around and stress up to a certain point, but I always (and this really works for me) set a time where I must be done with any errands and a time where I get my rest time. My ‘cut off” was 1 pm….and sure enough by that time I had no need to get back in my car. Everything I needed was done and at home…..woo hoo.
My other cutoff time was 4 and like clockwork I went up to my room and took a power nap (yes Mom I can admit that after all these years of you drilling that into me, they really do work)! So at about 5 I started prepping, getting all my appetizers under way, placing all the flowers where they needed to be, and basically getting the house all “prettied up”. I always get in the party mood when I get to this stage…….
I do not have any pictures to show you of the actual party……everything I must say looked so pretty. But I was so busy playing hostess that there wasn’t a second to reach for my camera and sneak a picture besides think it would have been awkward to be running around on a photo shoot….lol. Next time I need a photographer:) But here’s a recap of everything leading up to it………..
WARNING EXTREMELY PICTURE HEAVY, SIT BACK, GRAB ANOTHER CUP OF COFFEE!!

Any time I want to entertain it always has to start with the flowers. Always. Any excuse to buy flowers, especially my beloved white orchids! I do have a local florist who carries beautiful ones but I have taken to doing them myself lately……I get a lot of pleasure out of it. This time I actually did them in the trunk of my car…….yep it became a makeshift florist:)

Batch one of my flowers ready for their makeover…….

Containers galore and here we go!

A big bag of moss to the rescue….

And we are done…..time to bring them inside
Finding their new “homes”

All the silver getting wrapped up in pretty napkins…
Guess whats getting hung!!!! My new chandelier………….

Using the sideboard as a buffet for the dinner plates
And my new sconces got put up in the living room….well two of them, rest this week!
Got a mirror hung behind buffet
Moving to the front of the house……..
Of course I decorated the front of the house too….simple but I think very pretty

Loving the new softer colors of pumpkins…white, celadon and a pale melon….such neat colors!

And moving back  inside………

 Even my two new dog paintings got hung………..

Love “dressing up” a vanity with all kinds of pretties……..

Don’t you love my new little cherub soap dish! Just added it to my online store…..

Peek into the pantry which was being used as a bar

One of my guests sent me this magnificent floral arrangement, its about 3 feet tall!

Surprise! Got my new chandelier up in the dining room and its perfect!!!!! I really love it…..brought down a pair of lamps from guest room just to use for the night

Another surprise…got my new sconces up in the living room….LOVE them!

Stunning aren’t they?

The room is far from done, you have to imagine it with the right chairs, getting a mantle finally and the gorgeous chinoiserie paper that will grace the walls

Used this small English console as a table to hold the appetizer plates
First tray getting put out….sushi always one of the first things to go

I had a small round table for a few stationary appetizers and we had passed hor deuvres too (thankfully some left over for a serious eating session later today)
Icing on the cake…waking up to some goodies waiting to be opened, flowers enough to open up my own little florist and a box of chocolates from one of my favorite shops……….

Look at the mini bananas in this arrangement!
So that’s a wrap for how things were on Saturday leading up to my family party. It was a lot of fun, all except for my poor sore feet that are paying the price of standing on them for too many hours so I will prop them up and take it easy today (of course while I am picking at all the leftovers lol). Hope you enjoy your day…gorgeous fall weather over here, loving it! Now excuse me while I go take inventory of the leftovers…………(absolute best part of a party)!

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