Bachelor Season 20

I started watching the Bachelor the very first season with that mealy mouth Alex Michel.  I remember what Trista Rehn wore to get turned down. The shock she wasn’t chosen.  The last date the night before.  I remember every single detail of that season.  I was hooked.  It was the oddest idea I’d ever seen for dating.  And this is from a girl that would watch every episode of Blind Date!

But, by the time we got to Charlie O’Connells season…I had started to lose interest.  It was the same hot tubs.  Same tired story lines.  And by then not a single Bachelor had gotten married. Unlike our first Bachlorette (Trista) who went on to marry Ryan Sutter!  I still wonder where all her pink china is from her wedding.  And can I get a few salad plates?  Just for an accent piece with existing china of course.  I had to make myself not walk the two blocks down to Swoozies when she did a book signing!  She’s cute as a button!  But, I really am obsessed with what she did with all the china from her wedding!  I think ABC let her keep it from her reception.

Trista and Ryan

Trista and Ryan…..

Next came the dad…..as a Bachelor.  I tripped through a few episodes here and there.  I ended up only watching the last few episodes of Jason Mesnick’s year.  He had picked Melissa.  Who I never thought was his match.  Fast forward to an After the Rose episode…..keep in mind I am on a two hour delay from  my East coast friends.  I just remember picking up the phone and my friend Dot saying “You b$st$rd”  So I of course tuned in quick.  Didn’t know what was going on…..but it sounded good if the b word was being tossed around.  We tuned in just as Jason says to Chris “Is the Caller there” Harrison (don’t y’all just see him being the next Phil Donahue?) that he thinks he made a mistake.  My hubby who really only tolerates my reality t.v. shows said “Get the beer.  This just got good.”  I of course was drinking wine……beer?  As if.  But, we watched every single second.  Hubby couldn’t help but yell at the t.v. with me.  It was a really great moment in our marriage!  He had just figured out how to deal with my Gone With the Wind obsession.  Now…..we had this to share.

Took a lot of time off again after that season.  But, I was back to being addicted when Brad Womack came back for his 2nd show appearance.  I never understood why people made him out to be a bad guy.  He didn’t lead anyone on!!!!  Let’s just say I am still upset that Ben and Emily didn’t work out, even though she is all happy and married with a new little baby.   There were a lot of RIcky Bobby jokes that I threw around that season.  I mean…..Ricky Bobby left her set up in one of the prettiest houses yet.  I mean her house should have been the mansion that all the girls live in.  It was gorgeous!!!!  Once again I took time off after Brad and Emily.  I wanted them to work out so badly!

Some how some way I ended up committing to the season again last year when Farmer Chris was announced.  I had not a clue who he was.  I knew he had been on the Bachlorette.  But, didn’t  have any preconceived notions about him.

YET I decided I’d host a fantasy league for his season.  It was my first experience with a fantasy league (I only have heard about them in football.)

I saw this photo…..and was hooked.
'The Bachelor': Chris Soules Blogs About Britt's 'Outburst' and Hometown Dates

How I even brought together my first fantasy league group…..I can’t remember.

I was of course beside myself that Chris and Whitney didn’t work out.  I just thought for certain they would.  But, silly me!  I’m a big donkey girl scout like that though.  I always believe everyone is in love and will ride off into the sunset.

I barely kept up with season 11 of the Bachlorette.  I just never find it as interesting.  You know because there isn’t as many crazy men out there as there are women apparently!  I kept hearing buzz from friends about this guy named Ben that is from Denver.  I didn’t pay much attention until my friend sat in a box at the Pepsi center for a show and was seated right next to Ben.  Her daughter who is like 13….and herself grilled him.  It was a week before he left for filming for his show.  They fell in love…..think he’s the bees knees.

So here I am again.  Fantasy League and all.

But, this time we have 30 people.  30!!!!!  I had to make it for only those that are local.  Time changes and such are difficult.  Some people get a time advantage……with that whole East coast air time.

We have 15 wives, 3 couples, and 3 hubbies that decided to pick their own teams.  The pot is pretty hefty.

One hubby did suggest already that we use some of the money to adopt Pickles.  We also think that in honor of Tiara we may adopt orphan chickens.  Loser gets to name them for the winner (who will adopt them since they will win the bulk of the cash prize.)  The weekly group emails are probably the best part of the Fantasy League.  Like for instance when one husband claimed that his wife had the show on and he just happened to see some of the crazy going on…..and then all the other husbands call him out suggesting he’s drinking wine and really the one tuned in.  Or when another husband this week sent what I can only imagine to be a dating website for tiny horses.  It was a whole little bio on the tiny horse!  Weird and fascinating at the same time.

I’m in planning mode for our party for the finale.  But, so far my menu is coming up dull.  I mean what the heck do they eat in Indiana (please no Velveeta recipes forwarded.)

Five Reasons Why Denver Resident Ben Higgins Should Be the Next Bachelor

Ben Higgins

Obviously I will have roses everywhere…..and candles…….

I noticed that ABC set designers have finally started using the battery operated candles.  For years it drove me crazy when I’d see the metal tea lights.

Tea lights……

I know you are thinking…..who cares.  Well, I care.  Tea lights are so tacky to me when you can see them.  It’s like having a beautiful dinner party and then you leave the butter in the little metal wrapper on the bread plate.  Yet, you have baccarat crystal with expensive wine!

There will be the obligatory roses in food form of course.

#cupcakes #viewingparty #thebachelor:

Will you accept this cupcake?

So far all I know is that Indiana loves cheese.  Loves it fried.  I think they are big into beer.
We’ll see how this plays out.

Meanwhile…….Lace from Denver……..She brought anyone that her on their team last week a whopping 95 points!  I can’t wait to see what she does tomorrow night.  Are you watching?  If not….you should.  You will go to bed happy to be you.  It’s a complete ego booster!

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Happy New Year!

Only 7 days into a new year and I have a list of things to get done that is only a little over the top.  Projects projects projects.

We had a lovely Christmas. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I spent a ton of time at church decorating this year.  Yesterday I went by to check on the zillion poinsettias that require lots of watering…..and I am saying a tiny prayer that they just make it to this weekend.  Then I am told we give them away.  Which will be one of my favorite moments after these last few weeks.

We are back to a schedule!  Over our break we saw so many friends.  I don’t think we were in bed most nights before 10:30….which is late for my kids since they go to bed by 7:30 on a school night.  It was so fun catching up with so many friends.  In Denver ski season is here so it always seems like we don’t see anyone for a few months.  Before you know it soccer season is back, spring break happens and the winter that I dreaded is nothing but a blur by March!

I didn’t make the resolutions that most people do.  Clearly everyone made the promise to eat healthier if Sunday morning at Whole Foods was any indication.  The fish counter was knee deep with people.  Everyone was in the produce aisle.  The freezer section I noticed was like a ghost town.  It felt like church on Christmas eve.  Everyone is there that doesn’t usually go.  WF is the place where everyone is shopping for the next month or so apparently.  Since I shop there every day I felt like I should have had my own lane!

We always eat healthy, but there is always room for improvement, right?  I never thought this day would come…..but I think I am kind of over wine.  I am not a white wine drinker.  I had a rose recently that was just too sweet.  I also only like a rose for the summer.  My favorite red wine….and I only have had one because it’s the only red wine I’ve been able to drink without waking up in the middle of the night has had something happen with its bottling.  We’ve had bottle after bottle with sediment in it.  It’s been so bad!  So my partial resolution has become….don’t drink wine.  I think I’m giving it up.  Along with sugar.  I usually have a sweet tooth.  But, lately sugar is not that great to me at all.

I have been trying to meditate more.  Plus, I am praying even more.  Which are not the same.  Everyone says meditation is the key to healthy life.  I’m not great at it because my mind starts to wander.  Praying I’m way better with!  Either way I am liking the peace and calm I’m making an effort to have more of in 2016.

In this New Year I have brought back the Bachelor fantasy league.  I did this last year for the season with Farmer Chris.  This go around we have 30 people competing and a nice big pot of money to win.  I was at the book store yesterday and ran into one of my friends that is competing.  I think we probably made everyone in Barnes and Noble either wish they were watching the Bachelor or they ran from us.  In five minutes we had dissected almost the whole first show.  This may not be something peaceful, prayerful to do each Monday.  But, so far there have been a lot of laughs!!!

This Sunday is the 73rd Golden Globes!!!!  I can’t wait to watch!!!!
I am still really upset that Sam Heughan was not nominated for a Golden Globe.  As you all may know by now I have sipped the kool aid called Outlander Books by Diana Gabaldon.  For years I had a friend telling me to read them.  I was all like…..uhhhh no.  They are sci fi?  Time travel?  What?

Then I gave in due to another friend.  On a Sunday over a year ago I found myself at Barnes and Noble at opening buying the first book.  I couldn’t put it down (except I did have to gloss over the graphic scene in prison.)  Low and behold while I was reading the second book Starz was debuting their t.v show Outlander.  I some how got my hubby to watch with me.  And I found myself many episodes blushing and apologizing and saying things like “no really you learn a lot about history in the books.”  Let’s just say watch with caution…no child should ever be in the room.

I think Sam Heughan is one of the best actors of our time.  He is amazing.  I know I sound like a big old donkey girl scout.  But, when a person can convey a thousand emotions with the lift an eyebrow…..I swear sometimes I forget that he isn’t Jamie.  I had to force myself to watch another movie of his just to see if I was just caught up in the Jamie movement.  I’m not!   He’s really amazing.  If you are not familiar……find time to watch an episode of Outlander.  If you don’t get hooked, well I’m sorry.  And we probably shouldn’t be friends.  Because at any given moment I like to be able to rave about the books, show, actors and I like feedback.  By feedback I like when others are also swooning with me.

There are a million photos and sites out there that literally only cover…..the many expressions of Sam Heughan.  So enjoy.

Happy New Year everyone!  I am in that mode of so much to do.  But, in denial it’s a new year….and feeling panic that it’s the 7th and I haven’t gotten everything done.

Cheers!

Carte de vœux - Lucille Michieli

Happy NEW YEAR 2016!!!!

 

 

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No Lego left behind Christmas…..

In the NY my resolution is going to be to stop saying how busy we are. Lately I’ve realized how obnoxious it is to hear.  Everyone is busy.  No more important or less important than the next person.

With that said its been hectic leading up to Christmas.

Last weekend we had a lovely little brunch  with a few of the neighbors and a visit from Santa himself.  This Santa is not new to a few of us.  He is always the type that reminds you just how blessed you are to have a sweet child in your child.

The last child to sit on his lap was the youngest in attendance.  Baby Peter.  Who is the baby of our old neighbors at our old house.  They were looking for a Santa to visit and I told them to come on over!  It was so exciting to see them and their sweet little bundle of joy.

Could you just die over this photo?

Baby Peter meets Santa

Baby Peter meeting Santa

The ooohs and aahhhhs from the crowd said it all.  It was the scene stealer of the day.Side note so glad I found that chair just in time for St. Nick.  It was perfect for his visit.

Today we got up (late because I am taking cold medicine to get me thru) and dashed off to church to water a zillion poinsettias.  Hubby is so sweet to pitch in when I am barely making it.

It was a really peaceful time for all of us.  I turned the tree lights on and left the rest of the church dark.  It was so quiet.  My kids take praying kind of serious these days.  They were on kneeling by Mary statue and in quiet reflection over who knows what.  But, in Bubba’s case I am certain he was begging for Santa to bring him a gift.  Not coal.  He is scared to death!

At one point I started to feel my heart beat out of my chest because of all the chairs that had been set up for the early mass.  If you hate crowds, never go to our children’s mass!

While at church we saw our religious director.  Some how we got on the topic of midnight mass.  I can’t wait until our kids can handle midnight mass.  As a child that was the mass we typically attended and I loved it!  It was so calm.  A time to see friends and really take time to reflect what the season meant.  Driving home with the moon above and the stars.  You could see Christmas lights doting the country back roads.  It was really special.

Hubby shared how he remembered going to midnight mass with his Uncle Joe.  Now I have heard this particular story for yearssssssssssssssssssss.  Years.  Sometimes I wonder if he attended mass with Uncle Joe once or ten times.  It’s hard to know!  My husband for what ever reason always talks about going to midnight mass with his Uncle Joe (and his cousins A, T, brother)  He thought it was so special.  Obviously it meant a lot to him, because I have been listening to the same stories for like 15 years!  His uncle is a really nice man who is so kind….and when he talks his words are gentle.  Does that make sense?  He just listens and is in the moment when you talk to him.  He’s one of those people that you can’t say enough nice things about.

Later in conversation something came up that Hubby is not Catholic.  Which is always the shock of all shocks to everyone.  Especially after he just went on about how he remembers midnight mass and such.  People in our church, school, friends, think Hubby is Catholic. I was born and raised Catholic.  He’s not even a convert.  But, Lord does he know Catholic guilt.  He is the first to feel bad if we do not attend mass.  He gets on the kids if they don’t cross themselves correctly.  Or if they rush thru a prayer.

Nana and Pop Pop sent their gifts a few days ago and I can say without a doubt there are more Legos under our tree than we need (or that I want.)  Tonight at bed time we asked the kids what they were hoping to find under the tree tomorrow.  I about died when Priss named one gift (that she has not mentioned at all) and it is in fact the one gift that my mother insisted on.  Tonight I realized how well my mother may know my daughter without me being involved at all.

Today we baked cookies.  Super late to the game.  But, it was a family affair.  With movies on on in the background.  Me crying every single movie.  What has happened to me?

White Christmas: I cry over how sweet they are over the General.  Enough said.
Home Alone: End of the movie when the dad makes up with the son…..I can’t take the thought of an elderly person being alone.  So that one tugs on my heart.
Wonderful Life.

My hubby is George Bailey.

We’ve sprinkled reindeer food.  Put out cookies and milk (in a shot glass) for Santa.  Casseroles are ready.  Tables set.  Except for a massive amount of laundry that should have been put away by now…..we are ready!

I can’t believe that when we wake up in the morning we will be celebrating Christmas.  I swear the years go faster and faster the older I get.  We will be in our pjs all day.  Eat, drink, open gifts, cook, pray for a tad bit of snow….. because we we really want a white Christmas.

In this moment we feel so blessed for what we have.
Merry Christmas to you.  Enjoy your day whether you are with family, friends or maybe traveling (like so many people I know are doing this year!)

Cheers!

 

 

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Christmas is here!

I am in the total frenzy zone.  Decorating.  Getting cards hung up as they come in.  Which everytime we get a card in t he mail (we already had received 6 before Monday which was the 30th!) I freak out a little because I haven’t even ordered a card.

Last weekend was one of the best for our family.  We were all so sad to see it come to an end after anticipating it for months!  Years for me.

Priss was a Sugarplum for the Colorado Ballet this year.  I have planned for this long before she was born.

In fact…..when the doctor said “it’s a girl” the first words out of my mouth were “we get to plan a wedding one day.”  Then “She’s going to be a Sugarplum!!!!”

You only get to be a Sugarplum in 2nd grade.  Next year if she takes part she will be considered an alum and wear something different and the presentation is different.

She beat her father to her side of the stage.

Daddy:

Priss waiting to curtsy and get her rose.

There were 22 girls in this class.  Priss didn’t know a single girl.  We were really proud of her because she really made her own way.  From the first get together in June up until last weekend she has attended every single event with bells on.

Friday night we had the ball.  The Bubba was beyond thrilled to dress up.  He had a little tuxedo on.  Instead of dress shoes he wore new converse.  I made the best call on making him hold off on wearing them until that night.  By half way thru the cocktail hour they were scuffed.  We had already taken photos so by then I didn’t care!

To make the weekend even better we stayed at the Brown Palace (again next year would be different so I doubt we would do that again.)  None of us had ever stayed there.  I was surprised this included my hubby since he grew up here!

Sugar Plum Class of 2015 with Sugarplum Fairy Regan Kucera Photo by Stefan Krusze

Sugarn Plums 2015

Saturday night was her presentation.  I can’t describe how special it was to be sitting in the audience when the curtain went up and 22 little girls stood on a stage lined up perfectly and sweetly.  We could see Priss but she could not see us.  It was a joy to watch her and she was so poised.  She smiled the entire time.  Not only when she had the spotlight on her but when any of her friends had the spotlight.  You could see how excited she was for everyone.

This was the 25th anniversary of the Sugarplums at the ballet.  It meant a lot to me after spending so many years volunteering for the ballet and supporting the auxiliary.

I’ve had so many people ask if I would do it again.  I left it up to my husband to decide if we would do this or not.  I didn’t want it to be all about what I wanted.  I knew it would be a time commitment and it does cost money for the program.  I thought it was sweet when I got the call earlier this year when the deadline was upon us and my husband said he had sent in the last application because we only have one daughter and she wouldn’t get to do this again.  He’s a sweet daddy.

So yes, I would do it again.  In a heartbeat.  It was not only a great social experience for Priss,  but we all made new friends that we’ve been able to attend a few events with.  It was supporting the arts.  She also saw that in life there is a reason to work hard.  Not everyone gets to take part of events like these.  We are a very close family of four.  We have fun together on a Sunday afternoon over Uno tournaments.  So, when it came to the ball and the presentation we had…..a ball.  No pun intended.  My husband and I will attend black tie functions, but it’s rare our kids get that chance. They felt very special and grown up.  Bubba is asking for  his own set of cuff links now!

Someone asked me already if I would keep the red dress for their daughter…..Plums get a dress custom made for them.  But, I don’t think we will part with this dress ever.  When Priss came  home the day I picked it up, to find it hanging, she swooned.  That dress will always hold memories for us that we will never forget.

When the weekend ended Priss went to bed and as she asked for her fifth hug she started to get teary.  She said she was sad it was over and she wanted to do it all over again.  For a girl that sometimes will claim she’s nervous……I thought it said a lot about how she has grown up this last year.  The Sugar Plum program gave her a sense of more independence.  Walking in on our first tea and meeting 21 other girls and probably 15 alums was intimidating.  By last weekend we couldn’t keep count to how many girls would come over to say hi to her, ask her to join them for scrapbooking a page of their keepsake book, or dancing on stage the night of the ball singing Taylor Swift songs.   She would run off holding hands with her friends and that alone makes your heart swell.  2nd grade is a rough time I feel like.  They are not babies and they are not teens. They are trying to find their way.  Too old for baby dolls but too young for phones.  Priss  and her confidence has been a blessing.

Next year this will be a whole different program.  They dance on stage.  BUT the thing is you can’t take photos of them on stage dancing.  That will be a bummer.  Also, I don’t know if I will be able to pick her out.  We knew two of the alums dancing on presentation night and I couldn’t find them at all.  Even one of the mom’s said she couldn’t figure out her daughter due to the costumes.  They all dance different nights, weekends, times of the day.  I know Priss will be excited though.

She’s already dreaming of next year’s dress which is green!  I can’t wait either.  And funny enough neither can one daddy-o little Bubba.

Cheers!

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Are you ready for some turkeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Turkey Talk Printable. Questions to ask at the Thanksgiving table.:

Thanksgiving questions for dinner

My day went something like this……..

Kids out the door (lunches packed.  I mixed up for the first time ever the lunches I found out later.)  Shoes, backpacks, projects, hurry hurry hurry!!!!!!

Sat down for coffee (that was yummy, but I didn’t have the cup under the Nespresso correctly so it poured into the catchy thingy.  First time I’ve ever done that.  So not as much coffee as I may have liked.)

Got a list of vendors to a bride.

Sent a floorplan out.

Sent a marketing thingy majingy to  the agency that was past due.

Laundry started.

Rushed out the door by nine…..and proceeded to shop four stores for Thanksgiving.

I shopped and shopped for Thanksgiving.  I bought everything except a turkey (because I bought that weeks ago frozen.)  Turns out I was the ONLY person in Whole Foods that didn’t preorder a fresh turkey for pick up today.  I am not a big turkey fan.  I like the sides.  So I don’t make the biggest turkey any longer.  Plus, y’all know I hate leftovers!

I’m so very thankful that I am able to get errands out of the way and always enjoy my holidays.  I feel for the mom’s and dad’s  that work full time and can’t get things done ahead of time without added stress.  It stinks when you have to take time away from family to run an errand.  Tomorrow I will be baking, prepping and just all in all enjoying a quiet day until the kids are out of school (why do they do early release?  They could go full day!!!!)  I am so use to running errands during the day that I remembered I needed a few things from Nordstrom today and for a few minutes I pushed them off and thought I’d just run by and pick up on Friday.  Then I remembered Friday is Black Friday….and I DO  NOT shop on Black Fridays.  I hope if you are reading this you resist the urge to jump in line on Thursday to shop.  Remember the people that get forced to work on Thanksgiving day so you can get your $10 savings on a set of flatware.  Or a t.v. at a supposed discount price.  Stores can sell those same items for the same price on Friday.  Help to encourage companies to give their employees a day with their friends and families before they spend the next 25 or so days catering to shoppers.

It’s going to be a snowy Thanksgiving for us!  I’m kind of happy for that.  I am breaking one rule.  We are going to decorate a few trees on Thanksgiving.  I KNOW.  I can’t believe I am doing this.  I NEVER ever put a tree up this early.  But, as I type do you realize it’s only 30 days…..until Christmas.

I am so obsessed with decorating right now that I can’t even make a clear plan of attack.  I have too many ideas.  Which will probably never all come to fruition.

With that I am off to run one more errand.  Champagne.  We are out.  It’s a problem.  The struggle is real!

If for some reason you have a guest that brings a bottle of the sparkly that is less than your fave…..like Barefoot.  Which to quote a friend “just hit me over the head with a bottle of it, it’s better than the headache it gives me from drinking it.”  AMEN.  Have a few items on hand to make either a hummingbird or something more fall!

Hummingbird
St. Germain
Lemon
Club Soda
Champagne

Or mix with cranberry juice, a touch of lime and club soda.  Top off with champagne.  It’s refreshing.

This year we will once again be breaking out our bowl of questions.  The premise of the questions are that the ones you are closest to you sometimes don’t know at all.  I’ve learned over the years that my husband doesn’t really like tonic water.  His favorite book (that I never would have guessed to save my life.)  His regrets, what makes him the saddest.  One year with company I learned about a new author that I now adore!  I have learned that our sitters who are our family….their life changing event…..the days and months after Hurricane Katrina where they changed schools (one her senior year.) They packed up what they could take in just a few hours and drove and drove following their parents.  Can you imagine?  I’ve learned who makes people laugh the most.  Or what Priss considers her most pride possession…..her family.

It’s one of my favorite traditions and I love how it gets more interesting each year as the kids get older.  Bubba loves to chime in on the questions now and let me tell you he has some doozy of answers.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  I’m so thankful for so much.  We are blessed and try to remember it every day.  You can always wish for more than you have.  But, I’ve learned to be happy with what you have in every moment of the day.
Cheers!

 

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It’s not too late…..you can still organize

I can’t believe how many of y’all are in the same boat with me……feeling over whelmed and already behind for the holidays.

I thought I’d share a few tips while there is still time.

I just went through all our Christmas paper, ribbons, bows (I despise the ready made ones.  They are not allowed in my house.  It was a rule from Nanny when I was growing up and I follow it to this day.)  Tape, scissors, cards.  I am pleased as punch that I ordered pre printed gift labels from our family.

None the less I have taken inventory and know that I need to stock up on boxes, packing tape and I am stock piling boxes from deliveries.

On a whim I cleaned out the spice cabinet.  I hate the smell  of an old spice cabinet.  I thought i had done pretty well keeping mine cleaned out.  Low and behold I had a few spices that were from 2013!!!!  I now know why a dish I had made recently wasn’t very tasty because the three dry spices were not all up to date.  So I cleaned out and took a photo so when I am in the grocery store I can restock!

I took inventory in the pantry.  Now this is where I am super sad.  So much was out dated.  I’ve decided that perhaps a pantry is not the best idea.  I use to want one that was huge.  Now I realize it’s a waste of money in my house.  But, I did find that I need to restock nuts, stocks for cooking and pastas.  That’s all we really need in reserves.

I sat down and looked ahead and wrote dates that I have to get things done by.  That helped me so much.  I wrote out menus not only for Thanksgiving but for Christmas, Christmas morning.  I like to keep items on hand for last minute cocktails with friends.  And one thing I’m really trying to get better at…..is if there is nothing in the house you can always order out.  It’s not the end of the world.  That one is harder for me because I think I grew up where women always were cooking and making everything so perfect.  But, it can be perfect even when you order pizza……and a salad from a restaurant down the street.

I have filled up our calendar with all that we have to do.  But, I’ve always written deadlines.  So I have it marked showing when packages have to ship by.  When Amazon Prime will cut me off.  I need those back ups.

At the end of each Christmas season I always make notes on the calendar for things I will need.  For instance you know when that thing that sits on the shelf arrives?  I know where he has been all year long due to my short hand notes.  I also have started marking the calendar to when to plant paperwhites and such if I plan to do them for the school luncheon, or for home.  It’s those little notes that really save stress this time of year.

I am a list person.  So I have lists of lists.  I have to or I go crazy.  I know these are not huge tips on organizing.  But, for me it’s worked and helped alleviate my stress level just a tad.  I’m still crazy with things to do.  But, when I clean things out and organize I always feel so much better.

NOw if I can just find old urns for the teachers luncheon……all will be right in the world.

Garden Home Party has the most to die for Holiday flower and plant ideas!  I love their blog.

Garden Home Party has the most to die for Holiday flower and plant ideas! I love their blog.

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Do you say dressing or stuffing, and do you have a silver pattern?

Warning…..random thoughts for the day.

I spent five minutes debating that over coffee this morning that Thanksgiving is not actually two weeks away.  How can that be?

I grew up in a family where we talk about dinner at breakfast…..and sometimes dinner at breakfast for two days later.  So in our house it’s not unusual that we’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving menu for weeks now.  We were at dinner last night at Root Down (celebrating that conferences were over.)  Of course what would we all talk about over dinner?  Thanksgiving dinner of course.  Root Down just changed their fall menu and it is divine!  I love RD only in the winter when it’s cold.  The kids devoured their meals.  Then devoured the to die for banana dessert.  It’s nice that Root Down is still just as good as it was the day it opened.

While talking about the menu, one thing came up.  Dressing.  The basic premise of dressing verses stuffing is that one is made inside the bird. One outside.  But,  if you grew up in the South it’s dressing.  I say dressing because it sounds better.  Stuffing never sounds as appealing to me as dressing.  Plus, I don’t put anything inside the bird other than herbs.

This Thanksgiving is kind of busy.  So I’m trying to simplify.  Thanksgiving isn’t that stressful to cook in my opinion.  I’m use to cooking big meals for company.  But, I do wish it was not so over indulgent to have so many side dishes at one meal.  I was writing out the list and realized we have potatoes, sweet potatoes, a corn dish, dressing (two types!) brussel sprouts (gotta have a green) squash, and of course….bread.  Then there’s the proteins.  I seriously need a bigger refrigerator (in the garage!!!)

One of my favorite recipes…… oyster dressing.  I love it so.  Oyster dressing was not the side dish in my family among the twenty we always had.  But, oyster dressing was always on every special menu I can remember from dinner parties to even a potluck.  It’s a Southern staple.  There was a boy I dated for a bit with this very eccentric relative that I loved dearly.  I loved them the first time I met them because they offered me a ‘liquor drink’.  That’s a Southern saying.  They had an old antebellum home that had been redone and I loved everything about it.  The silver pattern was Repousse by Kirk.  Swoon!!!!  What I also remember from that first meeting was the oyster dressing we had at dinner and it was divine.  I even remember what I wore and the exact perfume I loved at that time.  Later it was said that this boy should marry me because I was proper, knew how to hold an interesting conversation and would make for the perfect wife.  It was the kiss of death for the relationship.  That boy went on to marry a girl that didn’t even have a silver pattern.  She didn’t mingle well in the family I heard.
In the South there is a zodiac of silver that goes with the personality.  Believe you me it’s never been lost on me that my silver pattern zodiac fits me perfectly.  My place setting is Francis I.
Southern Silver Zodiac Signs

12. Repousse, Kirk:  Repousse is one of the oldest silver patterns. Repousse girls often have mothers and grandmothers who also have Repousse. One Charleston woman explains every woman in her family for three generations chose Repousse. Then her son married a woman who didn’t even have a silver pattern.  The mother-in-law insisted she pick something out and had relatives fill in the place settings. When the new bride completely bypassed Repousse by calling it “too fussy,” the mother-in-law knew the marriage wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.

Uh huh.

My hubby picked out the wedding silver we received, which is Fairfax.  It’s not on the top 12 silver patterns of the South.  But, it is very stately on the table.  I like to mix it in with my Francis table settings.  Recently I’ve moved it so we use it for everyday.  Life is short.  I like to use my silver.  Although we did pay the price not too long ago.  A teaspoon met it’s demise in the disposal.  I have 24 teaspoons so it wasn’t the end of the world.  But, it hurt.  It was definitely a teaspoon that came from this estate sale I purchased a few teaspoons from years ago.  The hallmark on the back isn’t the same.  So I joke and like to say that is the teaspoon that someone used to dig a hole in the ground and bury the family silver during the war.  That’s an old Southern joke.  Since people pride themselves on having silver handed down generation after generation.  Which is very hard to find.  I have only known one family in all my life that had actual silver from their Charleston ancestors dating back to the Civil war.

While it may seem silly saying a person is who they are based on a silver pattern…..I have found the zodiac signs to be true.  In my early 20’s I was a Grand Baroque girl.  But, then I realized I could do Francis I with all the fruit and I changed sides!

Do you have a silver pattern?  It’s never too late, let me tell you.  This excerpt on silver is from one of my favorite little books ever called Southern Belle Primer.  My husband puts this book up there with the Gone With the Wind.  He says he completely go it …meaning ME after watching or reading them.  The Primer explains why you have a funeral dish, put on lipstick, why we call it a pocketbook vs purse, why you wouldn’t be caught dead walking down the street with cigarette in your hand, and why Junior League in the South is a cult.

My children will never be short on silver to split between them.  Or my Godchild who has a set of Francis I waiting for her.  I think everyone knows how traditional I am.  I of course wanted to register for silver because I knew that it would grace my tables for years.  I love that my silver has sat on our table for holiday dinners, family dinners, Sunday dinners, or just a night of salad and pizza with friends.  It’s all about making memories and making it special.  You don’t have to have silver to make it special.  But, one day when I look ahead at what my children will take from our home to their own homes to start their own traditions, I do hope they have spouses that set a pretty table and make memories for them.  Make it special.  Like Priss likes to say.

We are entering a time in our lives right now where every now and then we get the news friends have split.  It’s hard.  You think about all the times you’ve spent together as couples, or the weddings we all attended or were in.  I am the horrible friend that always asks “what went wrong.”  Sorry but I want to know.  What made it go so wrong.  One of my clients that is going through a divorce currently, says she blames it on never sitting down for meals as a family.  She was busy being super mom.  Her husband was left to figure it all out on his own.  Date nights were given up years ago.  She said cocktails over looking their lake stopped after kids.  She said she was pinning the life that she had a million pins on pinterest (she had time while watching gymnastics and ice skating lessons) but she never did any of those things.  My clients joke is social media killed the couple.  Maybe so.  Did video kill the radio star?

This year, I am going to polish that silver for the table.  Make our traditional dishes.  Make sure I am living in the present!  And even if it is a grilled cheese I serve up, do it with love!

Didn’t I tell you this was going to be random?

So enjoy that china you registered for when you got married, and pull that crystal out.  Serve a frozen dinner if you have to.  Just start making the memories people!  Don’t just pin it, live it.

Cheers

 

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Caviar Server….

We were in Las Vegas a couple of weekends ago (I wish I was still there.  It was the perfect weekend with friends, weather, relaxation, great meals, a show, and just enough time for me to win all my money back  and extra…..$60.00 dollars.  I’m a high roller!)

Our second night in Las Vegas we had dinner at our hotel.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I will not stay any place but the Wynn (or Encore.)  We went off the strip where I almost got black lung from the cigarette smoke.  Don’t get me wrong, the people watching and $5 craps tables are the best.  But, in the end I like a nice room, service and a casino that smells less smoky and more like a Bounty dryer sheet (have you ever noticed that?)  People always say they don’t care about the room.  But, I do.  Hotels in Vegas take a beating and age quickly.  The Wynn is not as perfect as it was when it first opened.  But, they’ve done pretty good with keeping it up.  Plus, the decor in itself is inspiring for me.

We went to SW Steakhouse and had the most delightful meal our second night.  I ordered the filet and ate maybe half of it at best.  My hubby had ordered another cut of steak.  My husband ended up taking my steak when I was finished and said it was probably one of the best he had ever had.  I’m just not a steak person in the least bit.  But, I was dying for protein by then.  A glass of red wine and a steak was perfect at that point.

One of the couples ordered caviar and it was fabulous.  My hubby and I are not likely to order caviar alone, so it was a treat to have someone that thought to order it.

I have not stopped thinking about it since!  It was delicious.  People think they don’t like caviar…..because usually they haven’t tried it.  But, if you like salt…..believe me you like caviar.

But the reason I really couldn’t stop thinking about it…..the server it came in.  I have never seen one like this when we’ve been out.

SW Steakhouse Caviar Service

It comes on the plate as you can see in this photo.  But, you can pick up this metal server and all the little dishes are attached.  Since it’s metal, the ice that is in the container under the caviar automatically keeps the toppings cold.  Genius.  Even in the nicest restaurants they usually come in beautiful bowls.  But, they do not stay cold for long.  And when you are dining on caviar and drinking champagne or vodka with it, you want it all cold.  Those Russians were onto something when this grew in popularity…..thanks to the French in the 1800s.  Although I swear I once read that Genghis Khan’s grandson originally discovered it?
So for two weeks I’ve been searching for one of these to buy. Only guess what?   It’s impossible!!!!  Steve Wynn (SW Steakhouse…..can you guess???) must have had his people have these made or bought them out.

I thought what a great hostess gift for the people that thought to order it.  Such sweet friends.  I also would like one of these for myself.  I know that my friend the foodie that loves a good lobster dinner for her birthday would also like caviar……I just know she would. Plus, champagne Sunday could really kick it up a notch!  Right?

Priss has rediscovered her love of oysters again too.  Can I tell you how excited we are?  She ate them when she was 2 years old.  Raw.  My mother grimaced and I gave her the death stare of “I dare you to dissuade her!”  But, as all 2 year olds do…..they like something one minute then hate it the next.  Not to mention it was a raw oyster she ate with just cocktail sauce.

At lunch a month or so ago we ordered 2 dozen oysters and she decided she wanted one.  I’ll admit after she was on her 4th one I realized…..we were in for trouble for years to come.  She loves them and that means we now either have to eat less ourselves as parents or add another half dozen.  First world problems!!!!

Friday night I was exhausted and ordered dinner for the kids.  Hubby was going out.  I was on the phone ordering when Priss said “can you order some oysters?”  Sure……
They came fried….b/c raw on ice on a Friday night delivery route is not my jam.  I only do that on Sundays……seriously.  It’s happened.

So if I was a betting type of person (like back up my $10 bet on the craps table betting) I’d bet Priss is going to dig on caviar.  Dear future hubby of Priss.  I’m sorry.  But, I’m not.  I didn’t settle.  Neither will my daughter.  So hopefully you’re out there right now learning the finer things in life as well.

Meanwhile if y’all see one of these servers….let me know.  I want one!!! Or two.  Or three.

Cheers!

 

 

 

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This and That on a Monday

We survived the weekend.  Which last Wednesday I was wondering how it would all get done.  We had two school parties, a huge neighborhood party, soccer games, ballet, a costume party and in the middle of all that I had to get flowers to church for mass this weekend.

Friday the kids were out of school and went with me to the wholesale market to place the Christmas poinsettia order for church.  Lucky for me they were given candy so the whole experience was just joyful for me (I’m dripping with sarcasm.)

Yesterday was  All Saints Day in the Catholic church.  I think other religions observe the day, but off the top of my head I’d be throwing darts in the dark to tell you.  So, our priest was talking about saints yesterday and what would your story be if you had to tell it.  I found it really interesting.  At the end of mass the Bubba heard our priest again talking about saints and he said “I want to a be a saint.”  We had to stop from giggling because his innocence in his goal is so sweet.  He told the priest when we left mass and I think our  priest was flattered that the 4.95 year old was listening.

I know it’s crazy.  But, we have exactly 23 days until Thanksgiving.  Only 50++ days until Christmas.
I already feel behind.  Anyone else?  I bought the first few Christmas gifts this weekend and it has my heart racing of “get more done fast!!!”
The day after Thanksgiving kicks off crazy time for us.  I mean like be up at 8 a.m and out the door crazy.  Not in a black Friday shopping way (since I don’t do that insanity.) I know we will not get a tree up until perhaps if I am lucky that Sunday.  Yet, when I think about a tree up three days after Thanksgiving I start to feel my heart racing.

I still have Christmas cards to pick out and order.

I have gifts to get in the mail.

I have to pull it together fast!

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving!!!  My favorite of all holidays.  I just love it.
I may have bought the turkey already though.  How funny is that??????

My friends mom told me that she bought the best Lego gift for one of her grandson, and she thought of the Bubba.

Image result for lego advent calendar 2015

Advent Set Legos

Legos for Advent

I think we really have to get these!  Bubba loves Legos.  He sits for hours and does them.  I never thought he would love them this much.  The Advent calendar idea is so cute.  But, I guarantee he will do the whole thing at once.  Building one tiny figure will not feed the beast so to speak.

This morning before school the kids called my parents (time change is awesome!  I had so much done this morning by 8:15!)  My mom was asking the kids what they think they want for Christmas.  In true Priss form “I don’t really need anything.”  I have no clue what we are going to buy her.  She’s past dolls….not a Barbie girl.  Games are not needed.  What do you do?

Just buy…..don’t rent! Fight the power!

Did you know in wedding talk news…..it costs more to rent a tuxedo than to buy one for your son that you will make wear a 5T?  I was able to purchase a brand new tux with shirt, tie for less than a rental.  How crazy is that?   Meanwhile how is it that I have a kid that is excited to wear a tuxedo?  He talks about it daily.  Daily.

See the pix?  You know why this looks so sharp?  No button!  Or vest.  It disappears.

In really funny news Hubby also has a new tux.  It was time.  Long over due for an updated look (even though a tuxedo never really goes out of style.)  My hubby…..had a question about the tux and I could tell he was fighting himself to ask.  He knew the answer but didn’t want to risk not asking.  Let’s just say I think he started to say ‘cummerbund” and then stopped.  He’s a product of prom’s in the 90s.  It was so funny!

So while the Halloween weekend is over…..we will take these next few weeks to appreciate the quiet calm with just a little bit of background noise that is the warning of what is to come!

Happy November!

 

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Trick or treating and dinner….

Dating back to the days that I was a nanny, Halloween has always been one of my favorites in terms of entertaining people for dinner.

It’s a fun night where the kids go out and get candy, and you can do a predinner or post trick or treating dinner.

October 2010 128

Days before Bubba arrived…..2010

For many years in our old house our friends Mike and Shana would come over.  I would make something warm and cozy for dinner and the littles (and I do mean little because I think Priss and R were only 3…..) would hang out and entertain themselves.  Like when R was standing on the dresser jumping off in his best Superman.  Priss was swooning and watching.  Oh how I wish I could go back in time!

This year will be our third…..Halloween in our house and it just keeps getting better and better.  We have a huge day planned (soccer, party, trick or treating, friends and more friends)

I couldn’t tell you if we will trick or treat in a group of 50 or in a group of 5.  I have no idea.  But, I do know that I want to have dinner on hand. The best way to keep dinner ready for me is to make stew.

I like to make one that has meat and one that doesn’t.  Then of course the typical chicken tenders in the oven for the kids.  By the end of the night we are all in need of protein.  Kids especially!

One of my all time favorite Veggie Stew  I like to add a few types of mushrooms.  Plus, shiraz is the best to cook in I’ve found.  In a pinch a Bordeaux will do.

I love this time of year.  Halloween is the kick off to the holidays.  Our next two months are going to be insane.  This feels like the calm before the storm!

 

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