Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Romance

Sitting here in a rental house can be quite boring for a gal that loves domestic chores  around the house.  Our move to North Carolina has been delayed a couple of weeks due to my husband's job and I am missing my old  craft room.  Gray Chicago winter skies can be depressing, so I am desperate for a creative project and decided to create some gifts for Valentine's Day.  Scouring stores for cute Valentine inspired merchandise was a real challenge this year.  However, I must say that Target had the best selection of things to choose from in my area.  I found these adorable Frog Prince candy tins and Chocolate Frogs that were adorable.

  After searching every party store and paper store in  the county, I could not find  a sheet of red crepe paper anywhere.  So I turned to Amazon and there it was- delivered in 2 days to my door.  Amazon also had many rose inspired products, including a rosewater face spray, rose hand lotion and a Strawberry Face mask that were perfect for filling the cones.

Gold lace ribbon and rhinestone embellishments were found at Hobby Lobby.
The glittery red tulle ribbon was also at Hobby Lobby.

Red beaded hearts were at Pier One and the rhinestone  embellishments were at Michaels.

Isn't this little frog adorable for your favorite Valentine Frog Prince?

The fabulous mirrored ice bucket was on the markdown rack at Pier One for $7.44!!!.
A real find!

Target had Peeps in Cherry and Strawberry flavors for Valentines.  I made the little nests
from Chinese Chow Mein noodles and melted Hershey's chocolate chips.  Remember that old recipe from high school days?  
These little birdies got placed in cello and mailed to my grandchildren.

A heavy French copper tin lined pot- found at Home Goods on the sale shelves for $18!- filled with
red and white napkins, red silicone spoon and a red bench scraper! 
The perfect Valentine gift for a
friend who loves to cook!
Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays! Gifts are not expected, so it's fun to surprise loved ones with treats.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Baby Shower for a Baby Girl

My friend, Mariterese, lives in Apalachicola, Florida.   It is a romantic waterside town with quaint docks, shops and restaurants.  And some of the best biscuits are girl can eat are made in that little town!

Sunsets are spectacular, fishing is great, and her old Victorian home is gorgeous.  But when it comes to having stores to purchase party goods, the selection in Apalachicola  is pretty limited!  However, that big brown delivery truck goes everywhere and the internet is a shopper's paradise!

Last weekend, she hosted a baby shower in her beautiful old turn of the century home. And as usual, everything was stunning.

Entering the foyer, a fairy statue was graced with pink ribbon, fairy lights and pink roses.

This home's original woodwork has been meticulously maintained over the past 125 years and is a show stopper!  So elegant.  The foyer is long and can accommodate dining tables for additional seating at parties.

Mariterese purchased the wide pink ribbon on Etsy!

The Tobacco leaf china pattern tied all the colors together in the home.
The pink pin tuck tablecloth is from  Table Cloth factory- an online shop with wonderful affordable table linens.

A local florist ordered the pink  roses for Mariterese, who arranged them herself.

She mixed in sweet vintage plates with the Tobacco Leaf pattern- love it!

Dining room table was graced with pink roses, shells and silver rhinestone coral from Romancing the Home's last Christmas!

Beautifully wrapped favors of OPI Pink nail polish and spirit rattles in the shape of a heart.

Everyone was seated in the grand foyer for a lunch of Chicken Marbella and  Salad.

The sugar cookies and cakes were purchased and decorated with sugared and fresh roses.
You can purchase sugared edible roses on line in a variety of choices.  I order them from FancyFlours.
The cakes was a key lime pound cake from a store in Tallahassee- Food Glorious Food.  It was
served with Graeters Ice Cream-the famous artisan ice cream from Ohio-  now available at many grocery stores.

Sugared roses sit on top of iced sugar cookies- so pretty.
What a beautiful and inspiring party. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Birthday Celebrations at Maple and Ash in Chicago

Last night, we dined at a fabulous restaurant in Chicago to celebrate the birthdays of my son and daughter.  What a delightful place to celebrate with family and friends. 
First of all, the d├ęcor was amazing.  Venetian plaster walls, gray and chartreuse color scheme, reclaimed oak floors, and opulent lighting created a sumptuous atmosphere.

 Dramatic lighting fixture in the center of the dining room.
When first seated at the table,  French radishes with butter and black sea salt, olives, and cubes of cheese await your tasting.  Then a small martini- compliment of the chef is poured for each adult at the table.

There are many artisanal cocktails on the menu.

Their specialty entrees are steaks and this incredible seafood tower .

Mia enjoyed a starter plate of meatballs and sauce.
The rest of us enjoyed rib eyes, lamb and fish entrees.  The sides- mac and cheese- loaded mashed potatoes -  were decadent and large enough to share. 

My daughter ordered a wedge salad  with fried onion rings, big chunks of bacon and tomatoes.
But the finale was my favorite- an ice cream service to finish the meal.
A two tiered tray arrives filled with fancy toppings to create your own individual sundae.
Home made ice cream is served in crystal compotes for each guest.
The birthday guest get candles-----


Caramel and chocolate sauce, pineapple, bananas, cherries, salted caramel chips, coconut , nuts are filled in small crystal glasses.

Kayleigh enjoying her ice cream.
I love this ice cream service concept for an easy to prepare dessert at home.  With the huge choice of artisanal ice creams in the grocery store today, the combinations are endless.  I can already envision Purple Doors Salted Caramel ice cream with bananas, smoked chocolate chips, whipped cream and hot fudge sauce, along with toasted pecans.  Yummy! Put all those items in vintage glasses on a tiered silver tray and you have a glorious dessert!