Aug 27, 2017

Moisturizing Brown Sugar Scrub

What I love about this brown sugar scrub recipe (from Stephanie at Somewhat Simple) compared to so many others is the addition of Vitamin E oil - an amazing nutrient that fights off wrinkles, neutralizes free radicals and boosts collagen production. What we all desire most - keeping our skin lovely that much longer. Vitamin E can be purchased in capsule form and punctured to release the incredible skin rejuvenating oil for topical application. (A pediatrician advised me this is also a very effective way to reduce scars.) Compare the price of one cup of this easy homemade sugar scrub (sugar is 40 cents per pound and coconut oil about fifty cents per ounce) to what you'll pay ($39.00) for a seven ounce jar of Brown Sugar Body Polish available at Sephora.

 

Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub Recipe

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Store in a small Mason jar or other airtight container.
 
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Aug 26, 2017

Irresistible Chocolate Wedding Dessert Idea

This breathtaking chocolate wedding dessert table will appeal to guests of all ages: mini chocolate cupcakes and whoopie pies for the kids, and chocolate cake and macarons for more sophisticated tastes. (I'm on the fence about caramel covered grapes - they seem a little out of place with these decadent chocolate themed desserts.) There's no mystery as to why this display works so well. Every mouthwatering piece of chocolate is presented on a variety of levels: buttercream cupcakes positioned on top of a vintage trunk, Rocky Road Squares on a weathered wooden box, and one and three-tiered cupcake stands in an eye catching variety of silver, metal and glass.

 
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Must See Bridal Shower Mimosa Bar

This amazing bridal shower Mimosa bar is begging me to fill my glass with ice cold champagne, freshly squeezed orange juice and a little dash of Grand Marnier or tasty Triple Sec. Let's do that before I have to wrap a total stranger in toilet paper - making a flattering sweetheart neckline, a fitted bodice and dramatic full skirt. The finished design of this ten minute wedding dress competition will only look better after a stiff cocktail or two. If you must, bring on the bridal shower Jeopardy, Bingo or "How well do you know the Bride?" But first, Mimosas served in tall champagne flutes with beautiful sliced berries on the rim of each glass.

 
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Aug 18, 2017

Unforgettable Apple Flavored Cocktail

My thanks to Dan whose blog ("fun food that's also crazy good") includes family dinner recipes, party food and cocktails - from a man's point of view, for sharing this easy apple flavored cocktail that is perfect for late summer or early fall. It's a cider based drink served cold, that will be more than welcome as these hot and humid days linger before and after the kids go back to school. His recipe is for one serving, so up the ingredients to suit your party needs. Smirnoff makes a Kissed Caramel vodka - visit their website for a collection of caramel vodka cocktail recipes. Dan's easy recipe calls for "apple liquor" but I think he means apple liqueur (a light fruit liqueur made with sun-ripened apples).

  • 1 1/2 oz. caramel vodka
  • 1/2 oz. apple liquor
  • 3 oz. cider
1. Put all three ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
2. Strain into a martini glass.
3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and thinly sliced apple.

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Aug 16, 2017

Bride Wears Late Grandma's Beautiful Beaded Gown

Just when I needed a bit of good news. Like Madison Kantzer, I never had a chance to meet my mother's parents or my father's, for that matter. But she had in her mother's possession, an exquisite hand beaded and embroidered dress that once belonged to the grandmother she never knew. She looked like a vision when she wore it to a bar mitzvah over fifty years ago. Amazingly, the three-quarter-sleeve gown needed no alterations at all, just repair to replace a few missing beads. Even the length appears picture perfect - only a slip was added to the mostly sheer ensemble. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story Madison, everyone who reads this will be touched by your tender devotion.

  
 

Aug 8, 2017

Must See Metallic Mason Jars

I must have these metallic Mason jars - especially in rose gold. A friend of mine spray paints everything from furniture to picture frames, tables to trash cans. Things I didn't know wanted or needed to be painted at all. I wish I shared her joy. It turns out there are two brands of metallic spray paint that even I can use to upgrade these beautiful glass jars - especially since I was lucky enough to score ten of these for $1.00 at a local church rummage sale. Rust-Oleum carries a lovely pearl metallic spray paint in Champagne Pink Mist and Sea Green Mist for about $7.00 on Amazon. Krylon carries copper, silver, gold, rose gold and dusty pink. At Walmart, both brands are about two dollars less.

 
 
Gold Metallic Mason Jar Centerpiece
 
 
  
 
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Aug 6, 2017

Enchanting Bohemian Table Setting

I want to eat at this bohemian style table, rub my hands over the soft, weathered wood and breathe in the fragrance of these freshly cut garden roses. It matters not if I dine on Tenderloin of Beef with a Rich Bordelaise Sauce or two beef patties and Big Mac sauce sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. Sitting across and sharing a meal with my loved ones under these tall elegant tapers makes sitting on the sofa watching yet another rerun of Little Women LA seem like a sin. You or I might expect to see such a breathtaking table setting at a bohemian style wedding. Why not try something this enchanting tonight - in the comfort of your own home?

 
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Aug 5, 2017

Unbelieveable Bundt Cake Pans from Williams Sonoma

I was actually looking for healthly cranberry dessert ideas on Pinterest when I found this breathtakingly beautiful cranberry orange bundt cake from Tutti Dolci. As I was taking in this stunning glazed cake with sugar dusted cranberries, I found Laura's source for these unbelieveable bundt cake pans - Williams Sonoma. There's just no telling how little I paid for the yellow aluminum bundt cake pan that has served me so well for birthdays, birthday showers and afternoon tea. Today I found this vintage pan on eBay for $5.99.  (Williams Sonoma bundt cake pans sell for slightly less than thirty dollars each.) Bigger and better parties call for something more grandiose - a stunning cake pan with perfect sweeping curves that makes a bundt cake even more beautiful with a clear glaze or light dusting of sifted confectioners' sugar.

 
 
Williams Sonoma Bundt Cake Pans
 
 
Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan 
 

Aug 3, 2017

DIY Kahlua Wedding Favors

Many thanks to Evermine Blog for instructions on making these Kahlua wedding favors with 4 oz. amber Boston round bottles purchased from Specialty Bottle. You may already have everything you need - white and brown sugar, pure vanilla extract, vodka and instant expresso powder. The instructions are simple - heat the water, sugar and expresso powder in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture has cooled, add the vodka and vanilla extract. Kahlua can also be used as a topping on ice cream, cupcakes and desserts. Here is their homemade Kahlua recipe - a coffee flavored liqueur originally from Mexico - that will be a warm and well-loved winter wedding gift.

 
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Aug 1, 2017

Exquisite Vintage Frame Centerpiece

This breathtaking gold vintage frame centerpiece with matching candle holder is deceptively expensive looking but is yours to recreate for less than you'd expect. Today at Wayfair I found a beautiful Baroque gold style metallic picture frame - that will easily hold a 4 x 6 photo or piece of white cardstock with a quote like this) for less than four dollars! A velvet easel backing makes it convenient to rest on a stack of books or stand alone. Search online for free fonts - www.dafont.com is where I always go - and download a half a dozen of your favorite calligraphy styles. Find cheap wooden candle holders at your local thrift store and spray with gold metallic paint to match your frames.

 
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