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Friday, December 31, 2010

What I use

I just read this post by Creature Comforts and then read the original post by Apartment Therapy about stuff we actually use vs. stuff we have. It's something I have been thinking about for a while now, sorting through all the things and stuff and forgotten objects. Digging in the recesses of the closet and in the boxes taped up since the move, and seeing what really there and what's worth keeping. For a while I felt like I if I did it, I'd have to go crazy getting rid of stuff and then I'd regret losing what I got rid of. But I've realized that I don't want minimalist decor and a completely clutter-free home. I can lose the pot with the broken handle, the stained dishtowels, and the skirts from college and never miss them. But the mismatched silver from my Grandma, the vintage tablecloths I love to use for everyday, and the stack of magazines I still flip through, these will stay. For me, a little clutter is okay if it's meaningful and happy. Somewhere in the purging, I think I'll find the balance between that which I use and love and that which is just taking up space.

Anybody else ready to purge? What's on your list to keep?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lucite Cake Platter

My sweet husband gave me this gorgeous vintage lucite cake platter, and I love it. This will be a piece that I treasure for always. I'm already envisioning the many cakes that will sit on it proudly!

P.S. The one pictured above is actually still available, and offered by High Street Market. I'm just too lazy to take my own photo, and it is identical. I haven't found any other ones like this online, so somebody better snatch it up!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Party Decor

I love this holiday party that was featured on The Hostess with the Mostess! I think it would be perfect for New Years Eve.

 Those succulent trees are fabulous, not to mention the jaw-dropping chandelier. Check out the original post for more gorgeous photos!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Antipasto Skewers

These skewers are a snap to make, and look so pretty! Not to mention oh-so-tasty!

Antipasto Skewers

1 pint cherry tomatoes
12. oz. fresh mozzarella
12 oz. jar of artichoke hearts
1/2 lb. of salami, sliced very thin
1/2 c. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. rosemary

Wash tomatoes, cut in half. Cut mozzarella into bite-size cubes, no larger than 1 inch.  Fold salami into fourths. Drain artichokes, cut into bite-size pieces. Assemble skewers on long party toothpicks (I remove the plastic frills): tomato, mozzarella, salami, artichoke, tomato. In a small bowl, combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Whisk together until completely combined. Place one layer of skewers in a deep container, drizzle with the dressing. Repeat with remaining skewers and dressing. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve (best if they can marinate for several hours).Yield: approximately 30 skewers.

*inspired by PW's Rosemary Skewers

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Glimpse

We had a fabulous Christmas, I hope you did too!

The amazing Totoro was made by Three Bad Seeds, of course. I'll post more photos of our favorite gifts in the next few days.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from our little family to yours!

The old photo with the semi-creepy cat children is our tradition, see the past few years here and here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


These homemade marshmallows are such a treat for hot chocolate or just by themselves! Wrap them up in a pretty package for an extra-special gift.


2 c. sugar

3/4 c. hot water
1 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. water
2 T. unflavored gelatin 
2 tsp. vanilla
confectioners sugar

In a saucepan, combine sugar, hot water, and corn syrup. Cover and bring to a rolling boil. Remove lid, cook to 240 degrees F (use a candy thermometer), stirring occasionally. Soak gelatin in 1/2 c. water in a stand-alone mixer bowl, let sit for 1-2 minutes.Slowly pour cooked mixture over gelatin, beating constantly. Once the mixture begins to thicken, add in vanilla. Beat on high speed for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture is sticking in the beaters. Pour into a buttered 8" square pan. Let cool uncovered for several hours or overnight. Turn out onto a cutting board that has been dusted with confectioners sugar. Cut into squares with a wet pizza cutter or kitchen shears. Dust all sides in confectioner's sugar, sprinkles, or dip in chocolate.

Tip: The cooked mixture will hang around 225 degrees for a while before moving up, the last few degrees will go quickly. Once the temperature gets to around 237, soak the gelatin in the water so that it is ready when the mixture reaches 240.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DIY Winter Miniatures

Here's a couple miniature winter scenes I created a couple years ago. I still enjoy them, so I thought I'd share the simple ideas with you.

Winter Scene Favor / Placecard

This DIY miniature winter scene is sure to delight! It serves as a placecard, and doubles as a favor when you tuck a sweet Christmas treat inside.

Materials: Miniature trees and deer, artificial snow (these three items came from local five and dime), favor box (party supply store), ribbon style paper tag (Martha Stewart, or cut out yourself).

Instructions: Attach trees to box top with hot glue. Attach snow to surrounding box top with spray fixative. Attach deer with hot glue. Fold tag in half, attach to sides of box top with white glue or hot glue. Place Christmas candy inside box. Let the guests enjoy!

This project was featured on design*sponge, and won me some cool prizes in a holdiay entertaining contest!

Winter Wonderland
This adorable winter scene serves as a delightful centerpiece or a pleasing accent to any holiday display.

Materials: cardboard cake round, miniature artificial trees, artificial snow, small woodland animal toy, printed phrase and birds (cut out of a magazine our print out online), hot glue.

Instructions: Attach trees to cardboard with hot glue, attach artificial snow to surround cardboard, nestle animal(s) into snow, attach with hot glue. Cut out printed birds and phrase, attach with hot glue.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Cheese

Here's a little appetizer I threw together for the Christmas party. It's really simple, looks festive, and is soooo good.

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Cheese

1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
3/4 c. roasted red peppers (diced, drained and gently squeezed dry)
1 green onion, thinly sliced (green portion only)

In a bowl, beat softened cream cheese with garlic salt. Chill for 20 minutes or until firm enough to handle. Meanwhile, prepare the peppers by dicing and making sure all the liquid has been removed. Squeeze gently with a paper towel, set aside. Thinly slice the green portion of a green onion. Once the cream cheese is chilled and firm, scoop it onto a piece of plastic wrap into a tube formation. Wrap the plastic wrap around it, then roll and mold into an 8 inch log. On another piece of plastic wrap, sprinkle the diced pepper and green onion in a rectangular shape, about 8" x 4". Gently unmold the cream cheese log onto the peppers and onion, and roll back and forth, coating all the sides. (If the cream cheese is too soft to handle, it can be chilled once more before rolling in the peppers and onion.) Wrap the plastic wrap around the coated log, and roll back and forth again to make sure the cream cheese log is uniformly shaped. Store refridgerated in an airtight conatiner until ready to serve. Serve with crackers.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekend Glimpse

What a full and wonderful weekend! The days were packed, but enjoyable. The following photos are only from Saturday....

Started the day off right, with birthday cake! This confection was for Knack's little B. Dark Chocolate Cake with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream and Chocolate Chunk Mousse filling. Can I get a Mmmmmmmm?

Here it is boxed up for delivery, accompanied by the cake garland.

I also got to help Annie with wedding flowers, bright and early. I love the textures and colors for this winter wedding... soft whites and brushy greens and wildflower blues.

Packaged up more food gifts, about half shown here.

Filled shop orders. Is it wrong that gift wrapping them is my favorite part?

Ended the day by celebrating sweet Granny's 94th birthday. Love her so much!

Not pictured:
- office Christmas party
- wrapping the last of the presents
- listening The Sing Off music (kinda addicted)
- cooked a real Southern breakfast
- cleaned out the car
- long lines at the post office

Friday, December 17, 2010

Food Gifts + Giveaway Winner

First off, the winner of the Two Over Zero recipe card giveaway is commenter #3, Barbara! Congratulations, Barbara! I'll be emailing you shortly to get your mailing address. (The winner was chosen using You guys were totally making me drool with those scrumptious-sounding recipes you listed!

Here's how I'm using my Two Over Zero recipe cards...

I'm including them as a little extra with these boxes of treats I've packaged up. I didn't get it done in time for the photo, but I'll be using one of the cards to copy the recipe for one of the goodies. That way, the recipients get a box full of yummy sweets, and can recreate them too! I think they'll be a hit.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Giveaway: Recipe Cards

I've got a special surprise for you, a set of 10 4x6 recipe cards from Two Over Zero! I love these cards and use them all the time, the size and attractive simplicity makes them perfect for jotting down a recipe or passing one along to a friend.

To Enter:

Leave a comment mentioning your favorite Christmas recipe, 
please include the email address you can be contacted at.
This giveaway will close on Friday, December 17 at 5:00 pm EST.

I'll ship these out right away, so you should get them in time for Christmas. They'd make a great gift, or you can keep them all for your self (I won't tell!). Check back tomorrow to see how I'm sharing them!

 A big thanks to Two Over Zero for sponsoring this giveaway! They're having a great 30% off sale, so if you don't win you can still pick up some goodies for yourself and get a sweet deal!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Neutral Wreath Roundup

I'm loving the look of neutral wreaths this season. Here are my top picks, I'd be happy to hang any one of these on my door!

1. Photo Wreath (DIY from Country Living)
2. Felted Wreath (West Elm, but no longer for sale)
3. Door Sweater (Cranny, $34.50)
4. Twinkling Doily Wreath (DIY from Martha Stewart)
5. Wings of Butterfly Wreath (Royal Buffet)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Party + Weekend Glimpse

It was a marvelous weekend for our 3rd annual Christmas Soiree!

There were good friends...

And there was good food...

Unfortunately, I neglected to appoint a designated photographer, and the few snaps I took didn't turn out so well, so this are probably the only photos you'll see of the actual party. But it was a rockin' good time, you'll just have to trust me.

Here's the menu (I'll update this with links as I post the recipes):

- Jalapeno Popper Dip (huge hit!)
- Baby BLT's (my new favorite go-to party food, just bacon, roma tomatoes, baby romaine, and baguette with this marvelous sun-dried tomato mayo)
- Antipasto Skewers (so pretty and delicious)
- Mini Crab Cakes (I cheated and bought these frozen, it kept me sane. I did make a yummy dipping sauce for them.)
- Sweet Garlic Meatballs (always a crowd favorite, I get complaints if they don't make an appearance)
- Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Log (something that I threw together, I totally love it)


- Sugar Cookie Doves (gotta have the cutout cookies!)
- Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Holiday Spice Frosting (oh so yummy)
- Homeade Marshmallows (people go crazy for these!)
- English Toffee (I could eat this year-round)
- Sponge Candy (my favorite family traditional candy, it's very unique)
- Coffee Truffles (cheated, bought these tasty delights)
- Salted Vanilla Caramels (I cannot stop eating these!)
- Stuffed Strawberries (so good, I got them perfected for the recipe post)


- Cran-Raspberry Punch (equal parts cran-raspberry juice and cranberry sierra mist, with floating sliced limes. So simple and delicious, the perfect balance to party foods.)
- Ice Water (with limes)

So there you have it... the food certainly disappeared so I think it was a hit. Check back over the next couple weeks for the recipes!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tee Shirt Sale!

I had a very busy weekend and haven't had a chance to edit my photos yet, so look for my weekend post on Tuesday. In the meantime, I wanted to pass along the news about an awesome tee shirt sale!

My friends at Dapper Ink have recently launched their own clothing line, Parachute, with designs by the oh-so-cool Andrew Ramos. To celebrate the launch, they're offering a crazy awesome sale. If you're in Greenville, stop by their retail location (next to Community Tap on Wade Hampton Blvd.) or drop in the virtual store at

This is my favorite design so far, I'll be definitely be scooping one up.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Free Gift Tags

Check it out! Going Home to Roost is giving away free downloadable gift tags just for you. Bonnie has created 4 great designs, my favorite being the sweet stag pictured above. Get them here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Salted Caramel

I'm on round two of these salted caramels. I think I let the first batch get too close to the hard ball stage, because they ended up like hard candy and not like chewy caramels. Here's hoping the second batch is perfect!

photo via the kitchn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New in the Shop!

I am very late in doing this, but I have finally got my Etsy shop completely updated!

Order by December 15 for Christmas delivery (US orders guaranteed only)... Covo me if you need rush shipping. FREE bobby pin with your order, let me know your preferred color at checkout!

Want to see what's new?

And that's just a peek... I've got over 60 items listed, so take a look! If you don't see exactly what you want, select the "design your own" listing and I'll make your bobby pins, earrings, necklace, pin, or ring just how you want it.

Don't forget to get your free bobby pin!