Boho · Crafts · Decorating · Family · Glass · Surprise · Vintage · Wedding

Made With Love

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What a beautiful rehearsal! Before I share more on the wedding day, I want to share with you a few of the things that were made for the wedding. I know I had talked about them and didn’t share much about them with you. You already got an update on the dream catchers. But did I tell you about her bouquet?!

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When Ashley asked me to make her bouquet, I felt so honored. She had this idea in mind for years and I had been saving brooches for her bouquet. So, it was so exciting when the day came that we were to make her dreams come true. But there was one catch! Yes, it was no longer a colorful brooch bouquet. She wanted white, off-white, silver and gold. So back to the drawing board and we collect more in the colors she wanted, and I made her bouquet. I hated it! I tore it apart and started over!! It just didn’t say ‘Ashley’ to me. I felt that it would just wash out and she trusted me to do it the way I thought represented her best. Here it is y’all!

They had planned a sand ceremony for the wedding, so Ashley asked me to etch her a container with an ‘S’ and the year for them.

 
Her bouquet was also going to need a good strong holder for the reception to display it. This is what I came up with for them.

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Ashley decided that she was going to wear turquoise for her jewelry and Marie had found some great antique pieces. We just weren’t sure how they would look with the dress, so Marie had to pass on them. I had picked up a Victorian turquoise brooch when we were in Salem and I gave Ashley the option of borrowing for the wedding. In the end I had made her earrings, two turquoise necklaces and a turquoise hairpiece to wear.

The flower girls head pieces were another creation for the wedding.

I can tell you that each piece was made with love.

 

Marie and I had an amazing and exhausting time working on the wedding for Ashley and Joshua. And in the end, it was worth every moment to see the love and happiness on their faces.

 

Boho · country life · Crafts · Decorating · Family · flowers · Party · Surprise · Vintage · Wedding

Dream Catcher Finally!

So, have you been trying to figure out how the dream catchers were going to come out for the wedding? Let’s look at where we started here.

 

We added more and more dream catchers as ideas came and the arch grew. We also had to have some for the trees at the wedding!

 

 

Beth and Jimmy helped me get them arranged and hung for the big day.

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Hanging and ready for the move. Man I am stressing right now!

I stressed watching them move the arch and get it situated but so far so good.

 

And the flowers were the final touch needed to make this the center piece to be remembered!

 


Special thank you to Josh Plumlee for making the incredible arch!!

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So beautiful!!
country life · Crafts · Family · Gardening · Glass · Party · Surprise · Vintage · Wedding

Stained Again!

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Almost Finished Greenhouse

Ok, I am working on wedding projects. I also have a husband out of town hunting. There is a great deal going on here when I get that message from my sister. While Marie is having her back yard worked on before the wedding, she has a little project idea she needs me to add to the list.

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You see, Marie has had a greenhouse built from old windows and doors. It really is beautiful, and she needed one. However, there are a few areas that are a little odd and there aren’t any windows to fit. George, the amazing and talented George has had a great idea that maybe I could do some stained-glass pieces for those areas. Yes folks, we are now a month out from the wedding and Marie has requested not 1, not 2, but 5 stained-glass pieces for the greenhouse.

 


Now I am in glass mode folks! I drop what I am doing and try to get some ideas. I had already worked up their cattle brand for a present for Jeff. And of course, we must have something Texas. George suggests the Texas star perhaps. I am nervous at this point. I think about my sister and what she loves as well as where these pieces are going. Just to add a little more pressure, we are now having the rehearsal dinner served from the greenhouse.

 


I pour my heart and soul into these new pieces. Two are my own original designs. With raw bleeding fingers I am pushed right up to the time we leave getting these done. I did not send Marie any pictures of what I was doing or what they would look like. But I must say, I believe she loved them!

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Family · Surprise · Theatre

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia
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She was in Mamma Mia!!! Yes folks, my step-daughter Jamie made her debut at North Shore Music Theatre in the ensemble of Mamma Mia. We could not be more excited for her. The pride on my husband’s face said it all as we watched her perform.

Jamie has wonderful parents who have supported her since she started dancing at the age of 4. Her mother has always been by her side as she learned and worked hard to master her art. We wished her brother Nick and step-sister Lacey had been able to join us and see her perform. Unfortunately, their schedules made it impossible. They sent their support and wished her the best. Love those kids! Look at a nice piece that was written about her from Dance Wear Corner.

For someone who isn’t a huge fan of musicals and having never seen Mamma Mia or even read the book, I was mesmerized by the show. What an incredible performance! Now I will have to see the movies. North Shore Music Theatre has such character. A beautiful round stage so the performers were coming down the aisles beside you, drawing you further into the performance. It felt like you were right there on the island with them watching as the story unfolds before you. I must say, I was impressed! And reviews agree. Broadway World Boston had a lot to say about it.

We are all very proud of Jamie. Family and friends from all over have come to see her in Mamma Mia. Now that the run in Beverly is over, she is back in New York on her next adventure. We can’t wait to see what she will be doing next. I will keep you updated!

Crafts · Family · Party · Surprise · Wedding

So What’s New?

There is a great deal going on right now. We are down to the wire on the wedding shower for Ashley. That means I have a lot to get done before I head back to Texas. I had her brooch bouquet just about finished and torn the whole thing apart yesterday! It just wasn’t what I thought it should be. I scrapped the whole thing, ordered what I wanted for it and now I am waiting for my deliveries. Crazy I know, but it just didn’t speak ‘Ashley’ to me like it needed to do. I think my sister and niece were a little surprised at the news, but they know if I don’t like, ain’t nobody gonna see it.
I will be finishing up the rest of my to do list for the wedding next week. Bouquet, hair pieces, corsages, jars, flags, dream catchers…the list goes on and on. But I will be done and everything ready to head to Texas with me in a few weeks. I will be taking a few days after the shower to visit my daughter Lacey in Houston. She just returned from vacation with Abby and Maya, so I can’t wait to catch up on what is going on with her. I am hoping to see Amber and Chris while I am there. It will be great to see them. Their wedding is just after the new year! You will see what I am doing for Amber later this year.
We now have our official Facebook Page up and running as of yesterday. Look and ‘like’ our page so that you can see the latest of our adventures in your newsfeed. We are also on Instagram and will be posting little pictures and videos of our adventures between our blog posts. Our Pinterest boards are growing, and we are sharing the great people we have been following with you. We are also on Twitter.
It is all so exciting for us. Marie introduced me recently to an app called Marco Polo. On this app you send little videos for free back and forth instead of having to type out a text message. You can find it in the app store so check it out. We have had so much fun with it and when we shop it is easier to communicate when you need someone’s opinion. No longer must we take pictures and try to get them to send. We just make a little video and share.
In September we will be adding a series of blogs/posts called ‘Tips, Hacks and Cowboy Hats’. It will be where we share helpful hints and open it up for you to share your helpful ideas with us or questions. I always find it interesting when Marie and I cook or work together at the different ways we do things. And I am always learning about new tools, programs or apps from Ashley and Marie. They seem to know what is the latest and greatest that will make my life easier.
So, have a great weekend, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I can’t wait to hear from y’all and please share with us your ideas or questions. What are you working on? Is there something fabulous you would like to share? Hope to hear from you soon!

Baking · Cooking · Food · Surprise

Is That Brioche?

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So creamy and delicious

My husband and I are huge fans of bread pudding. During one of our dinners at Kres is Orlando, the chef had sent out bread pudding for us to try after the incredible dinner he had prepared. What a surprise and enjoyment to taste this amazing creation. It was made with Brioche!

Brioche is amazing bread. So light and a little sweetness that you just can’t resist, or at least it is hard for me. When I was shopping at The Fresh Market in Kissimmee I picked up a package of their cinnamon swirl brioche tray. It is like a cinnamon roll without the icing and extra sugar. Such a nice balance of the brioche with the cinnamon. Tasted so good warmed up with a little butter on it. The next day I had a piece toasted with fresh fruit.

Tonight, after the brioche had been in the refrigerator for a couple of days I decided to fix my husband a little surprise of bread pudding from the cinnamon swirl brioche. Now there are a million recipes for bread pudding out there. But this recipe is mine. So, you’re getting my little secrets I don’t normally share.

1 loaf of cinnamon swirl brioche
4 eggs beaten
4 cups of heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon and a little more to dust the top
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried strawberries diced
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut brioche into 1-inch cubes and place in large bowl. In another bowl combine the sugar, beaten eggs, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon making sure it is mixed well. Pour mixture over brioche cubes and let soak for 30 minutes. (Brioche is not toasted or dry, so you don’t need to soak any longer than that. If you do have dried brioche, then soak at least an hr.) Fold in the cranberries and strawberries. Spray casserole or baking dish with Pam or you can use butter. Pour mixture into dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Allow the bread pudding to cool. You can top with whatever whiskey sauce, chocolate sauce, vanilla sauce, fresh fruit or ice cream of your choice.

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Out of the oven and cooled

As I mentioned, I used dried strawberries in this one. You can use whatever dried fruits you would like and nuts as well. Here in Central Florida we are huge on the strawberries and if you haven’t tried dried strawberries, you should. It is like a little fruit leather (fruit roll-up) still in the fruit. There are recipes on Pinterest with directions for drying strawberries. You don’t need extra sugar with them as the drying process brings that out. But once you have one, it is hard to stop eating them.

Tonight, I had some fresh strawberries I need to use up. I cut them up and add a little sweetener (I use Swerve instead of sugar 90% of the time) to them (about a tablespoon) and let them sit in the refrigerator while I made the bread pudding. Then I added an oz of both vodka and Chambord to the strawberries. Gave them a little mix and put them back in the refrigerator. When I gave the bread pudding to my husband, I topped it off with the drunk strawberries. Now here is a little secret, take the strawberries (4 cups worth), leave them whole but remove stems and place in a Ziploc bag. Add the sugar, ½ cup fresh orange juice, vodka, and an oz of Grand Marnier. Let the strawberries sit for about an hour turning every 1/5 minutes. Serve the strawberries in a nice stemmed glass with a little sprinkle of rock sugar on top and some whipped cream. Taste incredible with a scone or shortbread cookie on the side and a nice cup of coffee.

Enjoy!

 

Beach · summer · Surprise · Vacation

Weekend Getaway part 1

Jeff and I don’t really get away from the ranch very often.  Usually people come visit us, like Misha and Jimmy.  Plus we always have animals to see after, which makes trips a little hard.  But this summer we managed two long weekend trips.

This past weekend we ventured to Galveston.  My old stomping grounds.  Oh how I love the beach!  It is my happy place.  If you have ever seen the movie, City Of Angels with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, and then you know the scene when all the angels go to the beach and you can just feel the presence of God.  Well that is how I feel about the beach.  I think it is the most amazing wonder God created.

On our way to Galveston, we made a stop and visited my Mom and Dad.  I got to see my older sister Libby too.  It was a nice visit.  I haven’t seen them in forever.  After that we headed to the Galveston with a pit stop at the boardwalk in Kemah.  If you have never gone to Kemah you should.  It is a little town on the west coast of Galveston Bay.  They have a boardwalk with restaurants and carnival games and rides.  There is an aquarium and you can watch gorgeous sailboats on the bay.

We enjoyed some Bubba Gump seafood and couple of rides and games before heading back on the road to Galveston.

My favorite hotel to stay in Galveston is Hotel Galvez.  It is old historic hotel built in 1911,  and has survived so many hurricanes.  There is a documentray on the History Channel about Galveston.  If you like Texas History it is a must watch.

We did a little shopping and visited an art gallery on the strand, we walked the seawall and ate some delicious seafood, we had an afternoon of spa time,  and of course we went to the beach.  Each day Biv and I would take a walk on the beach and look for seashells.

The beach is so relaxing to me.  And Galveston brings back so many memories.  If you have never been to Galveston, you need to make a trip there.  Especially if you love history.  There is so much Texas History in Galveston.  It was a major port for the United States.  There is the Bishop Palace, which is a must tour.  There is a tour of wood carvings around Galveston.  You can walk or rent motorized bikes.  There is pier 21, Moody Gardens and Aquarium and Pleasure Pier.

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Just to list a few things to do.  Now I know the water is not gorgeous blue like Florida beaches but it is just so relaxing to sit under an umbrella and to feel the ocean breeze.

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Oh how I miss living on the beach and smelling that ocean air.

But you know what I miss the most?  The fresh seafood!!!  And did we eat seafood, even for breakfast.  The Hotel Galvez is famous for their Sunday Brunch.  You don’t have to stay at the hotel to have Sunday brunch there.  Many locals come to brunch after church on Sunday morning.  The food is amazing.  The best buffet I have ever eaten at.  They have waffle, omelet, pasta, prime rib stations with a chef to cook up whatever you want.  Jeff had an omelet with shrimp, not to mention all the other food he ate.  Like his second plate with prime rib and mashed potatoes…which he said reviled mine.

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I had gulf shrimp, raw oysters and  eggs Benedict. Yum! And of course some seafood gumbo!

Here are a few pictures of the Brunch buffet.  And these are just some of the buffet.  I love the pelican ice sculpture with the gulf shrimp. oyster and crab legs.

Then we hit the dessert bar.  OH MY!  All these wonderful desserts.  I didn’t stay on my diet here.   Bread Pudding, Creme Brûlée, Red Velvet Cupcakes, tarts, Chocolate Creme Cups ( which tasted so similar to my chocolate pudding ) ,  Cherry Cobbler and Cheesecake to name a few.  Here are some pics.

Brunch may have started our day with a bang but it was the fireworks out over the Gulf, that really gave us a great finale to our Sunday.  Jeff was so tired from our day of exploring he took a nap on the Adirondack chair on the lawn waiting for the fireworks.


So if you have a chance for a weekend getaway, don’t forget about Galveston, Texas.  So much to do and enjoy there or just sit back and relax on the beach.

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