Monday, November 14, 2011

Pop the Bubbly!

This past weekend my extended family celebrated Thanksgiving.  In the past, we always celebrated Thanksgiving on the actual day.  However, due to weird working schedules and  in-laws that everyone needs to celebrate with on the other side of our families, it was time to make some changes.  So, for the last two years, we have had Thanksgiving early to make things easier on everyone involved.  It really is a nice day because we have access to stores if we are missing any ingredients and football is on the TV.  With all the delicious food, you have the making of an EXCELLENT Thanksgiving celebration.

I wanted to share with you a Sangria recipe that we made for the first time this year during "Early Thanksgiving."   If you are a regular reader of my blog, I had an earlier post this Fall where I went to St. Augustine, Florida for my new sister-in-law's bridal shower.  While there, we ate at a restaurant called The Columbia.  It was a delicious restaurant, but what really stood out for me was the Sangria de Cava.  Let me just say this... I do not like wine.  It is too bitter for me.  Let me state it again...  I DO NOT like wine.  But this has champagne with a simple sugar and all that fruit and it was so, so good!  So, I googled the restaurant and found the website where I found the recipe.  I had to make it for Thanksgiving because there are now more adults than there are children.

I knew that I needed a container for the Sangria, so while at Target, I found this little gem.  The nozzle is a little tricky.  It will drip if you do not tighten it correctly.  But once tightened, it's a perfect container.  

Next, I found the bubbly!  I found my bottles also at Target and I bought 3.   
We changed up the fruit from what was called for in the recipe.  We added oranges...

 Kiwi fruit...


 And strawberries....

Do not make the same mistake that we did... this is too much fruit.  Go a little less.

 It was so delicious.... check below for the recipe and enjoy!

1 375ml bottle of Cava (or any sparkling wine)
¼ ounce Torres 5 Brandy (or any Spanish brandy)
¼ ounce Gran Torres Liqueur (or any orange liqueur)Splash of lemon-lime soda
1 Orange 
1 Lime
Cherries for garnish
Simple Syrup*


Cut orange and lime in half. Fill large pitcher with ice and combine the wine, brandy, liqueur, lemon-lime soda, the juice of half of an orange and the juice of half of a lime. Stir. Add simple syrup to obtain desired sweetness. Slice remaining orange and lime into thin slices. Garnish glasses with orange, lime and cherry.

* To make simple syrup, combine one part water to one part sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Chill before use. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My very first tablescape!

Well, that title is a little off.  It's not like I've never decorated my table in all these years.  What I haven't done is participate in Susan's, at Between Naps on the Porch, Tablescape Thursday!  I'm so excited because I've been thinking about what to use for weeks.  When I had to downsize my house, I gave a lot of my stuff to Goodwill simply because I didn't have the room.  Really, this house is bigger than the other house when you include the basement, but I was in a funk, not wanting to move and hating my new kitchen.  You know us women make irrational decisions when we are in that place!

One thing that I refused to give up were my turkey plates!  Welcome to my very first participation in Tablescape Thursday.


The turkey plates were purchased from Pottery Barn.  Unfortunately, I've looked online and I no longer see them.  I've had them about 8 - 10 years now.  I just love them!  Pottery Barn does have a new turkey plate.  It's cute, so check it out online!  

The yellow and red plates were purchased at Kohl's.   The gold chargers are everywhere.  I've had mine for awhile, but you can find them easily.

The napkins I just purchased at Kohl's.  The napkin rings were loaned to me by my friend Heidi.  I think any time we can share or barter, we should do so.  So many times we think we need to purchase everything, but that's not necessary.  As long as you take care of someone else's stuff, you should feel comfortable with borrowing.  Helping each other out is what we all need to do during these difficult times.  

I was lucky to find these wine glasses at Ross.  They were 8.99 for a set of 6!  I love the stems on them. 

My mom made me the turkey in her ceramics class.  He gets to come out every year and grace my table.

I got my pilgrims from Publix many years ago.

This butter dish matches my turkey plates, which I also got from Pottery Barn.

Take a look at these table runners.  They are short, so I have two of them running perpendicular to the table.  I love them!  I got them at Kohl's recently, so if you like them, you should still be able to get them. 

I hope you liked my first contribution to Tablescape Thursday.  Set your table.  It's amazing how it cheers you up when you walk in the room.  Utilize what you have and make it special to you!  It's fun!  

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Basement Bedroom Remodel Completed

I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.  If you know me in blogland, you know that I love Susan's blog at BNOTP.

We finished it.   Well... let's just say we finished it enough for our daughter to finally move in.  Remember, this room has a "Paris" theme....  I don't have to remind you of that.  You will be able to see it plainly.

The bedspread was purchased from Kohl's...

This picture was purchased at IKEA.  I thought it was so beautiful! 

The metal Eiffel Tower on the dresser was purchased at Hobby Lobby. The Paris balloon was purchased from the "Paris Hotel" in Las Vegas.

These pictures were purchased from Hobby Lobby. I LOVE Hobby Lobby!

The flat screen... my pic is a little blurry...  Closet doors are to the left of the flatscreen.  They are pocket doors. (I'll take pictures of the closet for another post.)

Remember the chandelier that I was hoping to put in our bathroom?  It found a home.  It's my favorite part of the room.  It was meant to sit over a desk, but it looks like there is no need for a desk now.

Do you see Harley Dent's tail?  She thinks this is her room...

There are a few additions that I'm looking for, such as a mirrored nightstand and a rug.  I'll put the nightstand right there to the left of the bed.  I think this room turned out really pretty.  I'm very happy with it. 

Our daughter moved in and then about three weeks later, told us that she was moving out.  She's already gone.  All that work...  

Anyone wanna come visit?  I've got the room!

I'm just sayin...

Friday, November 4, 2011

TAG, I'm it!

Every once in awhile, it's fun to do something different than a "regular" post on your blog.  So, it is time for some bloggy fun.  I have been tagged!  Tagged by my very good friend Heidi at Sugah Beez.  Thank you Heidi for letting me join in...

The instructions are:

         1. Post the button. 

         2. Tell 10 things about yourself. 

         3. Tag 5 bloggity women you'd like to know some fun facts about. 

10 things about myself:

1.  I'm a control freak.  (I'm working on it!)

2.  I love, love, love cats.  I love their independence.  Dogs are too needy.

3.  I have three, really great kids!

4.  I'm in the process of finally finishing my college degree.  Almost 30 years later.

5.  I got married after knowing my husband 10 months, and only seeing each other 12 different times.  (He lived in Oklahoma and I lived in Georgia...)  

6.  I got married really young.

7.  I've beat the odds and have now been married for 28 years.

8.  I feel my happiest when my house is clean and organized.

9.  I'm always seeking friendship and acceptance.  I don't know why.

10.  I don't like chocolate.  I've gotten used to milk chocolate, but I don't go out of my way to eat it.

5 bloggity women I'd really like to know more about...

1.  Sherry Williams at Sherry's Rose Cottage

2.  Nancy Reffle at Coeur D' Alene

3.  Shelley Rodgers Burgess at My Frilly Life

4.  Karla Nathan at Karla's Cottage

5.  Laura Parente at Laura Parente Photography (Her picture won First Place over at!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Once Upon a Dream... Day Two

 If you read my earlier post HERE, you know that I promised you a look at Day Two of my magical adventure to Jenn Hayslip's Once Upon a Dream Prairie Fairytale Event.   This post is me fulfilling that promise.  And while Day One was beautiful, nothing compared to the beauty of Day Two.   There are a LOT of pictures here because I cannot do it justice with just words.... 

Jenn scheduled our event to take place at Claxton Farms in Asheville, NC.  If I remember correctly, Claxton Farms is the second largest privately owned piece of property in the Asheville area.  Of course, the first is Biltmore.  (More about Biltmore on Day Three!)   Because the event took place in the middle of October, the views were breathtaking.  The leaves were turning so beautifully.  I could have spent the entire day outside and would have been happy.  It's the perfect backdrop to a beautiful wedding or event.

This is the building where we spent the day.

This picture is looking from the side of the building.

There is even a Bridal Boughery.  Can you imagine the bride getting dressed with her "ladies in waiting" in here?

No detail was left out... Jenn thought of everything.  Even giving us a beautiful entryway. (Jenn is in the brown dress.)

We were greeted by a beautiful sign...

The inside decorations were as beautiful as Mother Nature's...

A "Dream" banner...

And below that... A sign welcoming all Fairies....

Our seat assignments were identified by each table's name... I was at the "Tinkerbells" table...

This lovely "lady" greeted us...

Behind the "lady" hung a beautiful canvas painted by Natasha Burns herself!  It was huge!

Our tables were exquisite!  Look at those place settings!

And the trees as a centerpiece!

A tiny shoe hanging off of the tree...

Karla Nathan made mushrooms that I coveted.

There was a beautifully made bag for our sweets!

A white chocolate fairy on a stick...

And even pixie dust!

Even our chairs were decorated beautifully!  And contained SWAG!

Look at this bag!

And the decorations...

Our first class was with Andrea Singarella.  I was so excited to take her class.  It was the first time that I have ever made jewelry.

My new friend Sylvia.  She is so lovely! 

Jenn was so good with the details, that she even created us a "photo booth"!

Me and Heidi!

Cute Heidi!

Dee Foust's project for us... an amazing clouche...

Day Two did not disappoint...  I was blown away at the stunning beauty of the event.  It truly felt as if the day was magical.  Stay tuned for future pictures of Biltmore!  Thanks for reading!