Tuesday, November 13, 2018

My weekend

My weekend can be summed up mostly in one word-crafts!!  

Friday night Rachael and I held our monthly craft night for our craft business Branch and Bloom.  This month we made two crafts.  We made leaf garlands and give thanks signs.  We used chalkboard vinyl for the signs which we have never used before but it worked great  I am going to do a full post on our craft night tomorrow but here is a sneak peak. 

Next weekend is my annual Holiday Market where  Rachael and I invite all of our crafty friends to bring what they make to our friends Stephanie's kitchen design store and we have a one day sale.  We have champagne and cookies and it's such a fun event!  I just love it.  I have been working on a ton of things for this year's Holiday Market.  Here are some of the things I've been working on.

I made a few of these signs to sell.  I've been seeing this sign a lot and actually one of my friends is also selling this sign at our Holiday Market. I actually just bought one of her signs with the saying :)  This is going to be my mantra for 2019.  I just love being cozy and comfortable at home and I want to stay home more in the upcoming year.    

I'm the President of the Garden Club in our town and our biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up the week after Thankgiving.  We have an annual Greens Sale and luncheon  to raise money for events and programs. Garden Club members spend the week after Thanksgiving putting together holiday arrangements, wreaths and swags to sell at our annual sale.  We also have a luncheon and a bake sale to bring in additional money on that day.  It's always a fun day but a ton of work!  We had a bow making workshop on Saturday to make bows for our arrangements and wreaths.  We were able to make 100 bows in about 2 hours.  Here I am with my friends Wendy (the Vice President) and Jenn.  It was a fun and productive morning!

Sunday morning my friends Julia, Sabrina, Vicki and I took our kids and went to Ommegang for brunch and bingo.   Ommegang is a Belgian brewery and they recently remodeled it.  I went to a couple of concerts last summer there but haven't been in their newly renovated space.  It was beautiful! 

Brunch and Bingo were fun.  I had a beermosa (beer with orange juice) which was surprisingly good!

Four people in our group won bingo including me! I won a t-shirt.   We took a picture on our way out.

Here is our big group all together.  It was a fun morning!  

Monday evening was our monthly garden club meeting.  It was my month to help with refreshments and my co-hostesses were the three sisters that we bought our summer house from. I just love these ladies.   We had a ton of Thanksgiving themed snacks. I made my stuffing balls and they were a big hit!

 Our speaker was a florist from Albany and she taught us tips and tricks for making the perfect arrangements.  She suggested that we use containers from around our house and I just love that idea! She also taught us about floral spray paint that you can put on succulents.  I am going to be looking into that.  She made so many beautiful arrangements and when she was done we raffled them off.  It was a a fun night and I learned so much.  

Spray painted succulent in gold.  I really want to use this!  Amazon did not have gold but they do have other colors including pink.  

 I hope you had a fabulous weekend!!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Friends!  I am so happy it's Friday.  It's been a looonnnggggggg week.  I've had something every night this week after work and I'm pooped. Tonight I am doing my monthly craft night with Branch and Bloom and then Saturday and Sunday I don't have any plans except to work on crafts for the Holiday Market.  I just love relaxing weekends at home.\

1.  One of my favorites this week was going out for dinner and celebrating my friend Heidi (in the red/black striped shirt next to me) who is going to run the Richmond Marathon on Saturday!  She is the fittest girl I know and she has been training for months for this race.  I am SO SO proud of her and I'm happy that we got to go out and celebrate her this week.  I will be cheering for her tomorrow!!

2.  Another favorite was the Order of Omega induction ceremony.  I advise this fabulous group of fraternity and sorority leaders and I am always happy when we do the induction ceremony every semester.  

  3.  My BFF Rachael and her family own a health food store Wednesday they started "we cook Wednesday's" and this past Wednesday was the first one.  I stopped on our way home and got dinner for our family.  Ava was so hungry after basketball practice she starting eating hers while we were walking to the car.  I think this is a great idea and I hope it's super successful!  We will be getting dinner there every Wednesday night.  

 4.  They cut the Rockerfeller tree yesterday and I got this pic from instagram.  It's hard to believe it's been two years since our tree was "the tree!"  You can read all about our tree here.    It was such a fun experience and I hope this years family has a great experience like we did. 

5.  Last night I did my last official duty as Race Director for the Pit Run.  I presented a $55,000 check from proceeds from the race to the Parisian Foundation.  This isn't a great pic of me-ha ha!  But I am so happy and proud of this!  The money will be used by the foundation for youth programs and scholarships.

6. I just love Joanna Gains and I'm so exicted that I am going to visit all things Gains when I go visit my sister and her family for Thanksgiving in Waco!!  I am so excited to see them and my Dad will be there too so that will be fun.  I got Joanna Gains' new book yesterday.  It is filled to the brim with beautiful pictures and I can't wait to sit down and read through it.  

7.  My favorite part of this week was going to the annual Gala.  It was so fun to get dressed up with my friends (Graig hates dressing up so he stayed home) and go have a fun night out!  I was on the committee this year and we spent a lot of time planning and preparing for this event.  It was a fun night!

I hope you had a great week!!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cocktail Time

I just love making seasonal cocktails and I've got two cocktails for you today.  It's been a loooonnnngggggg time since I've  posted cocktail recipes.  The first recipe is one I made alll summer long and didn’t get around to posting and the second recipe is my winning recipe for the Halloween Bartender contest that I won two weekends ago!  I’m posting them both because they are simple and easy to make and they are both delicious!!!

I lost count how many times I made this yummy cocktail this summer.  It is so delicious!!!

{Watermelon Margarita Coooler}

Cube watermelon and puree in blender.  

Mix the following in a shaker,
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 cup watermelon puree
1.5 oz. tequila
shake well and top with lime seltzer, pour in a salted glass and garnish with a lime

I really like this recipe because there is no added sugar and it's a great mix of sweet, salty and it just tastes like summer!  I loved it this summer!

This second drink I made as a contestant in a bartending contest at Halloween.  I was one of four guest bartenders at everyone's favorite bar/supper club in our town.  It was so much fun!!  I called it the "jackass" because it was my fall take on the popular Moscow Mule. 

Here I am with the other bartenders and the two bar owners in the middle.  

Here I am with my friends at the party.  It was a fun night and I was so happy people loved my drink!

 My friends and I were bridesmaids.  People kept asking me all night when I was bartending.  Our costumes made sense if we were together.  Unfortunately a lot of the night we weren't all together so people kept asking me.  

Juice from 1/2 a lime
1.5 oz vodka
1/2 cup of apple cider
1 squirt of brown sugar simple syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice  in a shaker and serve with an apple garnish
Honestly I love this drink because you can add more or less of an ingredient and it still tastes great!  I didn't have time to measure when I was bartending and they turned out great!

Happy Thursday!

October Book Review

It is getting darker earlier and I've been loving being at home and reading some in the evenings.  In October I read two non-fiction books books and both were fantastic.  Literally I couldn't put these books down they were so good.  I love reading non-fiction and these stories were very different but had the same themes of two  young women who had incredible life circumstances and hardships trying to figure out who they were.  Both women were determined to overcome very different obstacles to become  the best version of themselves that they could.  

The first book I read was a book about JFK.  I love reading books about JFK and his time as President.  This book was written by Mimi Alford called Once Upon a Secret .  In this book Mimi writes about her time as a  a college student.  During her college years she works in the White House during the summer and has an affair with the President that lasts until his death. She only told her soon to be husband about the affair and he forbid her from talking about so she kept the secret for many years.  This book talks about what keeping that secret meant for her life as a wife and mother and how it consumed her thoughts and feelings for all those years.  She reveled her secret to her  grown children after she learned  it was going to be reported in a national newspaper.  JFK used his power and position to seduce and manipulate her.  She never talked about that part instead she remembers him and their time together in a very positive way.

The next book I read was Educatedby Tara Westover.  Tara grew up in rural Idaho with parents who didn't believe in school or the government.  Tara didn't have a birth certificate, access to medical care, or set foot in a classroom until she was 17 and enrolled (against her father's wishes) at BYU.  She grew up Mormon and her parents were survivalists always prepping for some big catastrophe.  She grew up the youngest child of seven kids working in her father's scrap yard.    Her mother was a midwife who helped other survivalist families bring babies into the world.   Tara was mentally abused by her father who had an undiagnosed mental illness and physically and mentally abused by her brother. She also suffered many injuries and illnesses throughout her life that were not treated by a doctor. One of her brothers went to College and he encouraged Tara to take the ACT test and go to College. Remarkably, Tara studied and did well enough on the ACT to get into BYU.  After BYU she got her doctorate at Cambridge. It is amazing to me that Tara did all of this without the help or support of her parents and without any formal education.  I read this book for my book club this month and we had a great discussion about this book.  It's one that I still think about.  I highly recommend this book.

What have you been reading lately?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Our weekend {gala edition}

My weekend can be summed up in one word-GALA.  I’m on the committee that plans the annual gala for our local hospital.  It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the hospital and it’s always a fun night out and it raises money for a good cause.  I am always happy to support this event.

Friday night we did set up for the gala. This year our theme was Copacabana  It took all night and I was so tired when I got home but it was a lot of fun.  We spent about 6 hours setting up.  I had 20 of my college students help out and they were a huge help.  The students set up all the tables, chairs and tablecloths.  Here is a picture of the tables and chairs when they were done.  I just love all of the bright colors that we used. 

While they were working on that I worked on creating a water station. I loved the beautiful bright colors and the greens that we used along with the bright colors.  

When people walked in they walked past our beautiful Havana backdrops and three old fashioned cars that we had set up.

Here is our committee after set up on Friday night.  We were tired but so happy with the way everything turned out.

Saturday I got some stuff done around the house and then it was gala time!  My friend Jaclyn did my make up and Rachael helped me with my hair.  I got my dress on Amazon.  Jaclyn is so talented at doing makeup!  She did my makeup along with Sabrina's and Stephanies.  It was fun getting ready together.  Here we all are at the gala (Sabrina in maroon, me blue, Jaclyn yellow and Stephanie black)

It was such a fun night.  There was good food and a great band and I spent the night chatting, eating and dancing-three of my favorite things!

I always take a picture with all of my friends every year from the gala.  This is the one from this year.  I love this picture of us.  You can see pics from last years gala here.  

Sunday I helped with gala clean up and then I ran errands and got ready for the week ahead.

I hope you had a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Our weekend {Halloween Edition}

We celebrated Halloween big time around here this weekend.   I love Halloween and all the festivities that go along with it.   You can read about all of our Halloween fun from last year in this post
Saturday evening my friend Sabrina had her annual Halloween Party. It's always a lot of fun!  This year I did a group costume with some friends.  We were the Bridesmaids from the movie Bridesmaids.  

Here was our take on the costumes.   My BFF Rachael lent me the most unflattering hot pink dress (amazon sent her one in the wrong size) but it was free so I wore that.  We got together one day last week to make our flower arrangements.  We got our flowers at the Dollar Tree.  We all wore hidious white shoes (I got mine on amazon) and did our hair and makeup ourselves.  

Sabrina had amazing food and drinks and it was a fun party!  Here is all of us.  I love the creativity that everyone had when picking our their costumes.  It was a fun night.  

I left Sabrina's and headed to my favorite bar/supper club to their Halloween party.  I was one of the guest bartenders for their Halloween party on Saturday night.    Here I am with the other guest bartenders and the owners are in the middle.  I called my drink the "jack ass" because it was a fall take on one  of my favorite drinks-the Moscow mule.  

The four of us each made a different drink.  We started serving them at 8pm and didn't stop until 10 when they announced the winner.  I tasted all of the drinks and it was fun to see what everyone came up with.  I didn't count my drinks but I probably made about 200 little drinks during the night so people could taste them.  

Here was my view from the stage the place was packed!  It was so fun.

My friends came to try my drink.  My dear friend Stephanie (our bride) was the winner last year.  I was so happy that I won this year's contest!  I wanted to create a drink that everyone liked so I was thrilled to win.  It was a fun night.  

Sunday evening we had our neighbors over for a weenie roast and pumpkin carving.   The kids decorated pumpkins and I got to chat with two of my neighbors and friends Heidi and Kelly.  They both live so close to me but it's crazy that I don't see them that often.  It was nice to catch up with them.  We all had a great time and I think it will become an annual tradition for us.     It was fun watching Grace carve her first ever pumpkin!

We had a great weekend full of Halloween fun!