Monday, December 20, 2010

Save me from the SWEETS....and the Winter Blowout 2!

I heart the holidays. One of my favorite things to do is BAKE and the holidays offer the perfect excuse!!! I have plenty of opportunities to make sweet somethings, unfortunately I have plenty of opportunity to EAT them too! I can't get rid of them quick enough, but I am pretty proud of this years round-up. I made cupcakes, a chocolate cheesecake, peanut butter blossoms, gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies and chocolate suckers Here is a tiny sampling of this years treats:

Homemade sugar cookies-with SPRINKLES!!!

My homemade milk chocolate and dried pomegranate suckers. I tried this after watching Ina Garten do it on TV. She made it look really easy-and it WAS!! They are yummy-even though I only had one because I can't bring myself to unwrap another. Maybe I should put the cookies in cellophane bags with ties?

The little suckers all wrapped up-would you be impressed to receive these in a cookie tin?
Scott and I hosted the second annual Winter Blowout party at the garagement this past weekend. We had a great turn out and as always too much fun was had;) We upped the ante on decor this year adding a giant wrapped box as a backdrop for kicks.

The main attractions-a large wrapped box and our second annual Charlie Brown Christmas tree-jazzed up this year with the addition of the mop bucket and fake snow;)

Scott and I before the mayhem begins....

The party had many hijinks to I will devote a full post to it later this week. Suffice to say-adults can have more fun than children with a giant empty box. Who knew?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Trimmings and a Tipsy Holiday Party

It's one of my favorite times of year!! Every year the weekend before Thanksgiving Scott and his cronies go to Arkansas to hunt. They have a weekend that basically consists of this. Men in camo, beer, dead birds and general hilarity.

He loves it and I actually do too. While he is away I bust out the holidays, in full force, in the Pandora's Box. It is best if I do most of this while he is away for many reasons. He doesn't understand the level of effort, he doesn't enjoy when I leave the bins all over the house while it is in progress and most importantly if he were here I would try to recruit him to help. His being away is a win win for our relationship;)

My living room mantle and and the star of the show...the tree!! Note that fire...yeah I made that;)

I added garland going into my kitchen this year and I think it adds a great festive touch. I try to add only one thing or feature a year. This year I added two-but this is the only one I paid for, which I think is OK.

I realized I had planted holly bushes in my back yard this year even though i planted them like 4 years ago:) Better late then never to harvest my goodies. I cut holly and put it everywhere-nothing better than free decor! I love how it looks in my mercury glass.
When Scott got back to town i had a "small" list of projects I needed his help on. I am working to finish my office, more pics to come. I bought a great cork board and put it up with my existing memo board. This is totally what I wanted and I am so excited with how it turned out.

Scott, the super boyfriend, helped me hang my new cork board and re-position my memo board.

Scott was also called in to re-hang my crown molding shelves (have had them for years and needed a new home for them.) I added a mirror over the buffet in my office and I think its a great bar/buffet area. Notice the champagne chilling-that was for my first holiday dinner party.

I hosted my first, but definitely not my last, dinner party. I had always hesitated to do this because of the sheer size of the house. I worried I would be constrained on space so I have mostly stuck to afternoon, casual shindigs. I invited 10 girls, most of whom were able to come, and it was cozy and perfect. We huddled around the coffee table in the living room and had a ball! With the fire in the hearth and the yummy cocktails I think everyone left happy!!

Here is the crowd of ladies, minus Ali who had to pick up her son.

I love this picture for some reason. First I didn't mean to take it-its the background of another shot. Second it perfectly captures a girls party-cocktails, sparkly high heels and a mr happy back massager. It's random but a nice haul under the tree;)

My chocolate cheesecake. SO YUMMY!!! The ladies were impressed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harris Poll 2010

I read allot of blogs. I love them. The pictures, the stories and the IDEAS!! I love idea overload. One blog posted a tradition they do in their family on Thanksgiving day. Every year that family fills out this poll. I love it. I am going to do it for you all. Maybe you will read this and think to do it for yourself or family?

1. Something unexpected I accomplished in 2010. I convinced my body to run 2 miles, uninterrupted at a time and have been doing it fairly regular like.
2. Something challenging I hope to accomplish in 2011. I would like to get married;)
3. It doesn’t cost much (Mom’s $30 rule), but I wish I had it. I really like fresh flowers and wish I spent the money on them, just for me, more often.
4. It’s worn out and I need to replace it. My favorite grey v-neck sweater. I can't find another just like it so I keep sewing up the holes. Tragic.
5. A good book I read in 2010. A book I would like to own. I read the Twilight series at long last. It was entertaining. I would like to own the complete works of Jane Austin.
6. My favorite place to shop online? In the store? I heart Amazon online and JCrew in person.
7. I worry health...
8. Please don’t make me eat... OLIVES
9. But always have.... chocolate or ice cream to eat.
10. I hope my children will remember be for my... my sense of humor.
11. My favorite season is...SUMMER
12. It’s a little costly, but I would like to have... a closet the size of my current bedroom...
13. I will always remember... my third date with Scott;)
14. When I cook, I like to make... anything Italian. Wish I knew how to make...pies. I am going to try!
15. A movie I saw this year that I consider a “keeper.” I like the proposal. Was that this year?
16. I have a lot of stuff, so I’m going to get rid of... 10% of everything. I have been on a huge purge kick.
17. Shoes or clothes person? Shoes. I never feel fat in my shoes. EVER
18. My idea of a good party? A dinner for 10 adults at Copper Cellar, let the cocktails flow.
19. It’s time to do more... EXERCISE. I only get one shot with this body.
20. To help others during 2011, I will be more open to others opinions.
21. Something I will do for the environment during 2011. I would like to compost. Does that count?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Food Network shows-anytime, anywhere, Bailey gets shorn, HHI, and Windrock is AWESOME!!!

Its been a bit busy around these parts. Because I care-and worked HARD on this I want to share that Food Network long form is now available on iTunes. Check it out. We have some great content available-and will soon be launching a Thanksgiving and Holiday special. You don't want to miss it!

Senor Bailey got his autumnal hair do-but first he had to get a bath. I do that at home to keep the trauma to a minimum. After the bath he does on a bit of a frenzy-I think to try to get back at me. I took these pics as he calmed down.


I can't even LOOK at you!

What? You control my hair cut schedule-not ME?

Seriously-put the camera DOWN. This is not funny. I am tired of looking cute!

You are DEAD to me!

Then it was off to Hilton Head for family vacation. Our first whole family vacation in 17 years. Yes you read that right- since I was a sophomore in HS. We have taken family vacation but not with the WHOLE family. Scott got to join the first part of the week. The dogs got to go and are just now recovered from their adventures. Scott and I took a morning in Savannah too. It was his first trip and he was impressed. Fun times had by all;)

At dinner in HHI....
The iconic HHI lighthouse.

Scott and I at Harbourtown.

One of the gorgeous home in Savannah.

Statue along the riverfront in Savannah.

Last-Scott and I have been talking about taking the ranger up to Windrock mountain, near Oliver Springs, since we started dating. I had never done it and thought I would not enjoy it-but I was WAY WRONG. It is beautiful. We had perfect weather. I cant wait to try it again.

This was the view almost everywhere. It was so peaceful and pretty.

East Tennessee fall colors.

The windmills up close. You can actually see these from pellissippi, so its really amazing to think how far away they are and how BIG they are up close.

Scott and I in the ranger, on the edge of the bluff

View of the mountain below.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

the cobalt, molly is a boater, bailey does it shih tzu style, and a wedding in ATL

It is officially fall. The summer is over, even though temps are hovering in the
80's. Scott and I have spend ALLOT of time on the boat. Weekend dinner cruises. Afternoon lunch trips and a variety of fun in between. Here are some pics of my newest toy.
The cobalt.
Another profile shot.

I wanted to make sure both Molly and Bailey could get out and see how they liked the boating experience. Scott and I waited for some cooler days and took them out one at a time.
Molly on her first boat ride. She actually loved it. She doesn't like the sound of the vacuum cleaner but the unstable boat rocking and sound of the engines were totally no issue. She was at ease, like she had spent her whole life on the water. Maybe its because she likes being in the water so much?

Loving life. She ended up falling asleep she was so relaxed.

Enjoying the ride. Shih tzu Style!

Bailey enjoyed hanging out right near Scott's feet. I don't think he is going to be the master boater that Molly could become.

It's fall which means its football time in Tennessee. If you have been watching you know the season has not been super optimistic so far.
Scott and I after the first football game. Notice we are in orange, but we have yet to get near the stadium. Hopefully October will be our month for actually attending a tailgate in person;) I really like this picture but my hair is kinda messed up. Does anyone know how to photoshop out my hair?

Scott and I went to Atlanta for his cousins wedding. It was one of the most enjoyable receptions I have ever been too for people I don't know too well. The bride was lovely. The wedding ceremony was lovely. The bm dresses-well you can decide on your own about those;)

Scott's cousin in her bridesmaid dress. I will reserve comment on the bm dress fashion selected by this bride. She is with two of the groomsmen, obviously twin brothers. I have comments about them too-but will also hold my tongue;)

Scott and I are the wedding. He would have been rocking out his bow tie if he could have gotten it tied. He gave it a valiant 30 minute effort. Thankfully there was a normal tie back up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

All these Clothes and not a THING TO quest for an updated look.

I think I am fairly common in the fact that I have so many clothes and often have nothing to wear. While its not a literal designation it often feels like the truth.

I am a fairly conservative dresser. Anyone who knows me and has seen me would likely agree. My style, if you can call it that, leans toward preppy. I am self- aware and have tried both to embrace and change my look over the years. As I move toward my mid-thirties I think I am going to embrace what I like and what I gravitate toward. At the same time I am actively working to evolve my sense of style so I don't look like I am trapped in a 1998 JCrew catalog.

I have a plan to evolve into this fall and winter. First I have placed myself on a retail moratorium. I have not bought a stitch of clothing in a month as I access the situation of my closet(s) and figure out what I have, what I need and more so what I need to purge. Second I have gathered some looks that I admire. These looks have layering, texture, mixed materials and color all of which I like. Also these are "representative" of the direction I would like to go. I don't plan to rush out and buy these looks. I don't tend to dress so brown and grey...I do like color thrown in. Take a look. Send me some feedback-I think many of you are very fashionable;)