Category Archives: Holiday’s

Vintage Christmas…

For the past several years we have hosted my husbands family Christmas party at our home. We always try to make it festive and memorable for everyone.

We have a recipe for a memorable party…Begin with a theme that everyone can get into. Add a menu filled with crowd favorites. Offer a variety of drinks that appeal to all ages. Toss in a theme inspired photo booth with props for capturing the moments. Finally, gifts, gifts and gifts.

This year our theme is a vintage Christmas. Because of the range of ages in our family we have encouraged everyone to interpret vintage for themselves…they can wear something vintage, bring a vintage inspired dish or gift.

To start things off right, I went in search of a vintage aluminum Christmas tree with a color wheel just like the one I remember from my Grandmothers house when I was growing up. 

Its important to make sure the tree reflects the theme of the party. It’s the first thing people see when they come in to the house. It’s where they drop off their presents. And its where we gather for the family gift exchange. It will be shining star in the background of many family pictures. 

As it is with all of my Christmas decorating the tree is still a work in progress. Maybe tomorrow I will find the perfect vintage topper. 

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Filed under Holiday's, Life, Vintage Americana

Christmas in July…

With the temperatures in the 90’s I couldn’t help but think about Christmas…Sounds crazy, right?   What better way to escape the repressing heat than to daydream about crystal icicles, frosted snowflakes, shiny orbs, sparkling beads and glittery pine cones.

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Filed under Holiday's

Let Freedom Ring…

Happy 4th of July…

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My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!
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My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.
3
Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
4
Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

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Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, Holiday's, Made in America, Travel

Party Planning…

My husband and I love entertaining our friends…Every time we decide to have a party I begin searching the web for party planning tips.  Always in hopes of finding one or two *new tips to help me organize my time better or make the party more memorable.  Most party planning websites start 4 weeks out…I am usually working on a 4 day time frame.  Of course the bigger the party or more important the event you will need more time to plan.  A casual get together doesn’t take as much planning.  Either way you can plan a successful party…

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Day 4

Make a guest list…email, Facebook, text or call your guests. A great party is not determined by the number of people that attend but by the interaction of the guests who do attend.
Plan the menu...seated dinner, buffet or h’ordeuvres.  The perfect dinner party is 6-10 people.  If you have more than 10 people you will need to decide which way to go…all out and set up a buffet or scale back and serve h’ordeuvres.

Day 3
Make a playlist that is upbeat and will be sufficient to last throughout the party.
Clean the house…dust flat surfaces, scrub bathrooms, clean out the refrigerator, take out the trash.
Take inventory of serving dishes, make sure you have a platter or bowl for each item on the menu. Don’t forget the serving spoons. Use disposable dishes and utensils wherever possible. No one wants to be stuck doing dishes at the end of the night or even worse wake up to the mess in the morning.

Day 2
Stock the bar! Purchase an assortment of fruit juices, sodas and waters for mixers.  Also, keep the coffee bar in mind when stocking up…you will need creamers, and flavored liquors such as amaretto and Baileys Irish cream.
*Check the medicine cabinet, remove personal items you wouldn’t want guests to see.
Decorate your table, dessert bar and drink station. I like to keep the decorations to a minimum; fresh flowers, candles and a pretty table covering and some reflective surfaces.  I like to spread the food and drinks out through out the entertaining area.  It helps to keep your guests from congregating in one area…

*Set up a clean up station…Place a box of salt, Wine Away (red wine stain remover), club soda, and a couple of rags in a wicker basket, and store a few in strategic places in case a nasty spill occurs.

Day 1
Buy flowers
Cook as much of the food in advance as possible…dips and desserts are best made ahead so that the flavors have a chance to meld.

Day of Party
Finish last-minute cooking, this should be minimal. You don’t want to be tied to the kitchen when your guests are arriving.
Display food…place desserts on dessert bar, a cheese boards should be put out at least 1 hour in advance of guests arriving.  prep the coffee pot and put the first couple of hot appetizers in the oven so that when your first guests arrive the party can get started.
Get dressed…at least 1 hour before your party starts you should take a few minutes to sit down, relax and then put on your party dress.  You have worked really hard for last few days and you deserve to enjoy yourself and your guests.
Now go and Greet your guests

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Filed under Entertaining, Holiday's

The World’s Top 10 Most Unconventional Christmas Trees

Every day this month I am going to reblog one post that screams Christmas…And this one form The Worlds top 10 of Anything and Everything! does just that. This post has captured some of the most unusual Christmas Trees I have ever seen. Each one is more amazing than the one before it…I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Merry Christmas!

 

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Filed under Blog Re-Posts, Christmas Traditions, Creative Ideas, Holiday's

Trick or Treat…

Our neighborhood organizes a Halloween Hayride for all of the kids…If you want to join the festivities you wait at the end of your driveway for the tractors and trailers to come by…60 kids in less than 5 minutes.  No random people ringing the doorbell wearing creepy masks scaring the crap out of the dogs.  I mean really who in their right mind would open the door up for Jason, Freddy or Hannibal?!  photo 1

Treat bags….

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For 60 kids…

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Fun and Done!!!

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Fall Time, Holiday's

February Facts…

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What do we know about February?

When I think of February I immediately think of my anniversary and my youngest sisters birthday. They both happen to fall on Valentines Day.

February is the second month of the year…

It is also the shortest month of the year, having less than 30 days…

February has as many holidays as it has days…

  • Black History Month
  • American Heart Month
  • Parent Leadership Month
  • National Bird Feeding Month
  • Groundhog Day
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday
  • Valentines Day
  • Flag Day of Canada
  • Presidents Day
  • George Washington’s Birthday
  • Flag Day of Mexico
  • National Wear Red Day

February’s Birthstone is Amethyst

February’s flower is the violet and the common primrose…

This year Mardi Gras Day is February 12th, followed by Ash Wednesday, February 13th…

It is commonly referred to as the month of love…

And February 14th is one of the most popular days for weddings…

Sadly it is also known to be one of the two most popular months for divorce filings…

What fun fact do you know about February?

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Filed under Holiday's

January Photo A Day 2013: Surprise

Day 12. Surprise: I love when I stumble across coins when I’m walking. It’s a lovely surprise. That would be a lucky photo for me. Can you think of a way to capture surprise?

Surprise!!!  There’s a baby in my cake!!!

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In the southern United States, the tradition was brought to the area by colonists from France and Spain and is associated with Carnival (also known as Mardi Gras). Celebrated across the Gulf Coast region from the Florida Panhandle to East Texas, it originated in French Louisiana and King cake parties in New Orleans are documented back to the eighteenth century.

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The king cake of the New Orleans tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple and the most traditional, is a ring of twisted bread similar to that used in brioche topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. In 1972, a small bakery in Picayune, Mississippi, Paul’s Pastry, started adding fillings

DSC00396 Also, some bakers have now taken the liberty to offer king cakes for other holidays that immediately surround Mardi Gras season, such as green and red-icing king cakes for Christmas, red and pink-icing cakes for Valentine’s Day, and green and white-icing cakes for St. Patrick’s Day. Others have gone a step further and produce specialty king cakes from the beginning of football season for Louisiana State University and New Orleans Saints tailgate parties, then for Halloween, then Thanksgiving – and do not cease until after Mardi Gras season with an Easter holiday king cake.  It has become customary in the Southern culture that whoever finds the trinket must provide the next king cake or host the next Mardi Gras party.

Surprise...a history lesson wrapped in a pastry!  Some information gathered from Wikepedia and of course personal first hand knowledge.

What do the prompts mean?

There are no rules when playing along with photo a day, you can be creative as you like! Interpret the prompt as you please. For those that need a little help, some more suggested details about each prompt are below.

13. Circle: Look as you go about today for things shaped in circles. Is it the tyres on a bus? A big sign? Or something else?
14. Something yellow: Find something yellow in your travels today and take a photo.

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges, Holiday's, NOLA, Photo a Day Challenge

Santa Humor….

Smile…and be thankful this isn’t a x-ray of your spine….Hoping your days are merry and bright!!!

Santas' exray

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Filed under Christmas 2012, Holiday's

Stress Free Holiday Entertaining Tips…

Stress Stinks and it has no place in holiday entertaining...

As I flipped though the pages of the December issue of Better Homes and Garden I found several tips that would help avoid the potential for stress…

Here are the tips I found helpful

Plan ahead…start planning your menu and create detailed shopping list as soon as possible.

Utilize shortcuts…If you don’t have time to bake you can pick up some cupcakes or cookies from the bakery.

Ask for help…Ask your guest to bring a side dish or a dessert.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper public radio host of the Splendid Table shares how to roll out the welcome mat with a minimum of stress and trepidation.

  • Focus your efforts! People the first and last thing they engage with.  So focus on a warm welcome and memorable final bite.
  • Rein in the menu!  Plan on making only 4 dishes yourself.  If at all possible make most of them ahead.
  • Turn the light down!  Bright lights never feel festive. Use candlelight at eye level or below to draw your guests in and make your room feel intimate.
  • Encourage mingling!  Cluster chairs around the table…never push the chairs against the wall.
  • Clean where it counts!  Focus on the guest bathroom, lay out fresh towels.
  • Don’t forget the fun!  Having a good time at your own party is the most important thing.  It’s also the best way to make sure your guests are enjoying themselves.

Jorj Morgan, cooking, lifestyle and entertaining author offers this tip for making your holiday entertaining stress free…”A week before your party, lay out vases, dishes and serving platters. If you don’t have everything you need, you still have time to visit thrift stores for fill-in.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match china and glassware.  It’s about patterns that flow not dishes that match.”

Eddie Ross, lifestyle expert, blogger and former caterer has a few tips of his own.  His foolproof plan for a holiday party is long on festive details and short on stress.  Here are a couple of ideas I really loved; put coconut flakes on a cake plate and your store-bought cookies will look festive and inviting.  He also suggests taking store-bought shortbread cookies and sandwich them together with jam or dip store-bought meringues into melted chocolate. Another tip I love and use often is the cheese board. I love Eddie’s combination; A Gruyère, a camembert and a blue cheese served alongside fruit such as pears and grapes and to finish it off add a preserve or chutney and crackers or bread.  Delicious!

Thank you Better Homes and Gardens…for the great advice for stress free holiday entertaining!

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Filed under Christmas 2012, Holiday's