Jan 13, 2018

Charitable Wedding Registries

Charitable wedding registries are a very generous way for those with good enough incomes to cover housing, car payments, gym memberships and a two week stay at the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach - to celebrate their love with those less fortunate. The New York Times reported one such lucky couple, Christopher and Deirdre, who put just one item on their registry, a charity that teaches disabled children and adults to sail. The chief executive of Sail To Prevail, Paul Callahan, said the donations made it possible to build an endowment for this worthy charity that also sponsors pediatric cancer patients and veterans wounded in combat.

Source: "For Those Who Have It All, Charitable Wedding Registries" by Paul Sullivan

Dec 27, 2017

New Year's Eve Cocktails - Raspberry Champagne Floats

What I love most about these raspberry pink champagne floats courtesy of The Cookie Rookie is that this incredibly attractive New Year's Eve cocktail has only three ingredients and that includes the garnish! This recipe calls for creamy raspberry sorbet and pink champagne (like Barefoot Pink Moscato) but you could easily substitute other fruit sorbets such as blueberry, mango, orange and strawberry with sparkling white wine instead. Most sorbets are naturally fat free and have fewer calories than ice cream or gelato, but have higher amounts of sugar.

Raspberry Champagne Floats

  • Place 2 to 3 scoops of raspberry sorbet into a large wine glass (I love to chill my glasses first).
  • Pour your favorite champagne or wine over sorbet.
  • Top with fresh raspberries or fruit of your choice.
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Dec 19, 2017

Unforgettable Rustic Bible Verse Sign

This unforgettably lovely rustic Bible verse sign "No longer two but one" was created by a husband and wife on Etsy and is available for $29.99 plus $11.25 shipping (at least to me here in Virginia). This one and many more are all hand stenciled calligraphy, no stencils or vinyl lettering. A short video - click on "learn about their shop and process" and see how beautifully and easily Kaylie creates these breathtaking rustic signs. Their products (welcome, ceremony and directional signs) are in big demand, place your order at least five weeks in advance. Other bible verse inspired signs, many from the Song of Solomon available at Mulberry Market Design:
  • I have found the one my soul loves.
  • We love because He first loved us.
  • Love is patient, love is kind.

Each hand painted sign is unique.  See the differences between the one above and below.

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Dec 6, 2017

Silver Beach Themed Christmas Centerpiece

This beach themed Christmas centerpiece appears enormously expensive but a closer look reveals white and silver ornaments, starfish, a string of faux white pearls, random pieces of rhinestone jewelry, tin foil snowflakes and sprays of freshly picked evergreen. I so wish I could tell you where to find an exquisite white cupcake stand like this. It would be mine as soon as possible - no matter what the cost. Here in Southeastern Virginia, we celebrate our tourist friendly beach in small ways and big (International Sandsculpting Contest at the Neptune Festival each year) but you don't have to live ten or twenty minutes from the oceanfront to appreciate how breathtakingly beautiful this beach themed centerpiece is.

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Dec 2, 2017

Simple Holiday Sugar Scrubs

Today I found these simple DIY holiday sugar scrubs at one of my favorite blogs at Evermine. The peppermint sugar scrub is made with just three ingredients - white sugar, coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Vanilla latte sugar scrub requires an additional one quarter cup of coffee grinds. White sugar acts as a natural exfoliator that increases blood circulation. The results are healthy and glowing skin. These labels and hang tags are available at Evermine - Bonjour Fancy Diamond for the peppermint and Iconic Christmas Fancy Diamond for the vanilla latte. The custom holiday hang tags are $1.00 each and two inch self-sticking circle labels are forty for $17.98. Photo button magnets are 99 cents each.

Peppermint Sugar Scrub
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • a few drops of peppermint essential oil
Vanilla Latte Sugar Scrub
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coffee grinds
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
1.  Put all dry ingredients into a bowl.
2.  Heat up a few scoops of coconut oil (solid in cool weather) in microwave at 15 second intervals until it turns into a liquid form - about 30 to 45 seconds.
3.  Add the liquid coconut oil to the dry ingredients and stir well.
4.  Stir in vanilla extract or peppermint essential oil.
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Nov 26, 2017

Pine Cone Christmas Trees

For anyone who isn't able to make these incredibly lovely pine cone Christmas trees for next to nothing, I wish I could give you the treasure trove that was waiting on the deck for me this very afternoon. The pine cones I love - the pesky needles wedge themselves in the cracks between the wood, making the ten minute chore more like an hour and a half. Amazing evergreen pine trees, some as tall as 150 feet (a fifteen story building) and living up to 1,000 years. These hand dipped pine cones perched in tiny silver terra cotta pots (about 79 cents each) would make affordable winter wedding favors or Christmas mantle holiday décor.

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Nov 16, 2017

Breathtaking Thanksgiving Day Tablescapes

Because we're traveling up to Richmond to be with the girls, I still want a breathtakingly beautiful Thanksgiving Day tablescape that will be easy to put together away from the large stash of fall themed tablecloths and décor I keep here at home. Since I'm already making the mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, lemon meringue pie and caramel apple cider cocktails, I don't want to spend a lot of money to decorate the table for just one - although very wonderful - cold November day.

Any type of greenery placed down the center of the table from end to end
makes a beautiful backdrop for white and orange mini pumpkins,
small votive candles and randomly placed nuts.
I love the idea of painting mini pumpkins with a variety of the quick drying acrylic paints
I pick up at Walmart for only fifty cents each. But since we're on our way today (hopefully
with no traffic through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel), I won't be able
to recreate the unconventional but very inviting tablescape shown above.
White and orange candles placed at various heights makes this Thanksgiving table look
elegant and expensive. Notice how this table has a plain tablecloth with plaid
napkins - just the opposite of the table at top. Small woodland animals
create a rustic and whimsical atmosphere.