More Wedding Shower Fun!


Many of you know by now that my family is friends with four other families and have been for years and years.   We’ve traveled together, do holiday celebrations together and we support each other in all the family endeavors we are each involved with.  And, of course, with this being the year my son got married, well, he was the one who got the fun and support……from the entire group….which makes it so special and fun.


My friend, Kathy, volunteered to host the shower at her house and I have to share her cozy little cottage of a home with you.  First of all the entrance to her home is so welcoming and inviting you can’t wait to take a peak inside after seeing the charming front porch.


She’s co-owner of a store here in town called Celebrations and has access to all sorts of goodies and the works of local and semi-local artists.  Like this cool plaque.  (She actually had one made for each of us one year at Christmas in our own personal colors.)



Once inside you’re met with her cozy family room replete with these beautifully stained concrete floors.  How cool are these?



She has a wonderful collection of crystal votives that are always aglow with soft candlelight. 


Her back yard is equally as charming and inviting with her beautifully manicured gardens and touches of  black and white, red and yellow.



And, here’s the gang of mama’s in the group.  As I’ve said before we call our group the “Rita’s” short for “senorita’s who like margarita’s”.  We were at a Mexican restaurant drinking margarita’s when we came up with that. And we laughingly refer to ourselves with the acronym R-I-T-A’s as “Rocking, Intimidating T@#$! and A@#$% .  (Don’t ask….that’s just how we roll.)  Meant to be a total joke of course and that’s just between us……don’t tell the kids, they’d be mortified – our little secret.  And, yes, these are the same women from my last blog post on Cindy’s art show.  Scroll down and take a look at her drawing of us on yesterday’s post and see if you recognize us.  We are out of order here, but you can see she did an amazing job on the rendering.


It was a yummy, casual barbecue……just right for a relaxing, fun evening with family friends.



Time to chow….for most of us at least…Becky (in front) looks like she might be meditating….not exactly sure.   Smile




My daughter and granddaughter….


My son and grandson…..


Our kids have come to be lovingly referred to as the second generation “little Rita’s”.



You may recognize this gorgeous couple from my last blog post, too.


And, here’s our newest little Rita…..just weeks old for this picture and already partying with the gang.


My granddaughter loving on her grandfather she calls, Doogie.  A name his sons and their friends dubbed him as teenagers.


After dinner it was time for the soon to be bride and groom to don a veil and top hat for the “Wedding Pictionary Game”





All the Rita’s gathered around – big and little – or should I say old and young???



The premise was to pull a heart shaped card with the word or phrase on it referring to marriage or weddings they were to draw.  Girls against boys – each team had to guess what it was.





Somehow every drawing seemed to be a stick figure of sorts….


And, in the end Daniel and the boys won which inspired him to playfully gloat and celebrate with “the Tebow”. Too funny.

Another great time with the Rita’s celebrating the lives of our “little Rita’s”…..moments we all cherish.  Our group, with the addition of new second generation husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and even third generation grandbabies is now up to thirty-three I think. Fun, fun, fun.  And stay tuned, because of course we will be having a baby shower for our newest little Rita soon!

Happy Decorating!!!

Art From The Heart


One of the things that’s been fun for a group of my friends over the years is going to various art shows for our incredibly talented artist friend, Cindy.  She has an adorable art studio at her home where she develops and perfects her craft. 



How cute is this little Santa Clause?  She painted it at Christmas…..


And, how cute is this art studio?



This is a drawing she did of our group of friends.  (I’m the one in the middle) We each got a copy. Cool, huh!


We’ve been to many of her shows and exhibits over the years – all so much fun – and this particular art exhibit was held in Fort Worth with a great many other talented artists from the area.  Her theme for this series was butterflies….


Which is especially meaningful to me this year with the loss of my father and my (step) mother-in-law, both whom I loved dearly.  For me butterflies represent  blossoming from this life to the next….free and beautiful, their spirits cloaked in their new bodies….joyful and free to embrace their new world.  I love that thought…..that picture of their life continuing even more beautiful than it was before. 



This is Cindy, artiste extraordinaire.  Check out some of her fabulous artwork below:




The unfortunate white glare you see in some of these is from my camera flash.





Aren’t these great?!



(This is normally a g-rated blog, but I love these wonderful paintings!)



One of the advantages of having an artist for a friend is that we get to tag along to her art shows to see her art, hob nob, eat and drink for free and generally party in style. Aren’t connections fun?


Our good friend, Becky, with Cindy.  Can you pick her out in the drawing above?


Cindy’s hubby, always there to support her and cheer her on, with my hubby.


Her son, a big fan as well, here with his girlfriend.

A great turn out, great art, great food and a fun evening with great friends.  If you’re interested in any of her artwork please contact her through her website.

Happy Decorating!

Every Girl’s Dream: A Fairytale Wedding Shower


Where do I even begin?  I recently attended an outdoor wedding shower on a gorgeous sunshiny day here in Texas where every single decorating detail was  so expressive and charming I didn’t know where to look first.  My friend Judy’s daughter is getting married in two weeks so her sister, Jan, teamed up with some of Judy’s friends to host one of the most beautiful wedding showers I’ve ever been to.  Or, maybe the word is adorable…….or  creative…..or maybe precious is the word that suits it best.  No, better yet, I think it’s all four of them:  Beautiful, adorable, creative and precious!


Jan (who’s also my good friend, by the way) was the lead hostess in charge of all the decorating and the attention to detail was just amazing.  Every table, nook and cranny had something sweet and creative tucked in.  Like this table above – notice this adorable picture?  Jan printed it off in sections on her computer and then mounted it to a board for a charming, unique look.  I mean…… cute is that?!  (And it doesn’t hurt to have such a beautiful couple in the picture!)


This cute little shelf displayed accessories as well as food. What a cute little creative touch and great unexpected use of this piece.


Jan made these charming little party prizes by decorating the lids to mason jars and filling them with small chocolate Easter eggs.  What a great little keepsake.


She made an adorable little niche where Cassie and her fiancé, Collin, could sit and open up presents.  Jan, who has a booth called Fabulous Finds at an antique mall (Witherspoon Antiques) in Granbury, Texas, reupholstered these chairs herself. If you’re local peeps you need to go check it out!  (She also has her own jewelry line called Jade Designs that she carries there as well as her furniture and accessories.)



Even the gifts people brought were amazingly creative!



Adorable hostess gifts.  These are wine bottles with picture labels of Cassie and Collin.  Jan decorated them by creating these fabulous flower and ribbon bows for the tops.  Just beautiful.


Lots of sweet pictures of Cassie and Collin sprinkled throughout.


This is a more distant view of the cozy little niche Jan fixed up for them to open presents.  Isn’t it charming?


There are special privileges in having your own booth at an antique store.  All the more reason to justify collecting antique dishes for the last six months so there would be enough beautiful table settings for an entire wedding shower.  These tables were beautiful.  And, now she’ll get to sell it all in her shop.


So girly….


So charming….


And I’ve always loved the look of white table and chairs on a green, grassy lawn.


Take a close look at this incredible piece.  It’s an old door she got for free….


She embellished it by stenciling on these appropriate words for a young couple in love and starting out their lives together.  And she did another picture by printing it off in sections again and enhancing the color on her computer.  She mounted it to a board in sections and then mounted it to this door. Absolutely incredible looking!


The beverage table was even charming!




We know where she got her creative gene.  This cake was made by her mama and my good friend, Juanita.   Just as delicious as it was beautiful.






She even made these simple chalk boards look charming and sweet.






She ordered this turquoise cotton candy online and bagged it up as party favors for each guest to take home.


This suitcase is where everyone put their notes to the bride for her to read later.





The bar was filled with pretty little drinks…..


Colorful, festive….


And, yummy.  These chocolate martinis were like having a dessert.


It was a great turn out.  Everyone had tons of fun.


This is Judy with her daughter Cassie.  If they look familiar it’s because Judy is the choreographer for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Cassie is a current cheerleader.


And, unbeknownst to me till I arrived, CMT was there filming the whole thing for the DCC series.  If you look closely here you can see the camera crew to the right of this picture.


They interviewed Jan during the shower which was a bit of a nerve wracking experience for her.  That’s more Judy’s “thing” than hers, but I’m sure she did great!


This suitcase is a piece that Jan made Cassie as a wedding gift at Judy’s request.  Judy had seen a friend do one so she asked Jan (the crafty sister!) to do it for her.  It’s a memory box for Cassie to keep all her special keepsakes for the upcoming wedding and other special memories.


Jan took an old suitcase and glued on the scrabble letters to spell out these words.  Then she glued on this belt for a little character and interest.  She created a little frame with scrap paper that she actually printed of the internet (yes, she did!) and mounted to scrabble pieces to frame this cross that Judy wanted on the front.


The inside was lined with maps of meaningful, special places for Cassie and Collin – Texas where they live, Florida where they met, New York where she went shopping for her wedding dress, etc. And, she strung up a decorative area for her keepsakes to hang from with clothespins.  Have you ever seen anything more girly and cute?


And, that hanky in front with the kitty-cats on it……that’s the invitation!  We each got our own unique hanky where she ironed on the oval invitation info and stitched around it to make it look like it was stitched on.  Just adorable!



I won this cute prize in the Bridal Bingo game!



Cassie, who can dance and sing in front of thousands and thousands of people. is a little shy when it comes to speaking to a crowd, but wanted to say thank you to everyone…


So she rose to the occasion and gave a mini speech. So cute….


Here she is with her mom, aunt Jan, Grammy and Granddaddy, cousins and fiancé.  Such a sweet, little family.  Love them!


This is Cassie with her beautiful cousin, Amelia, who got married last year.  I did a blog post on her shower a year and a half ago.  You can see her creative, beautiful event here.


Aunt Jan with Cassie….


Me with my two high school besties.


Jan didn’t even have to wait to get back to her shop to start selling items.  This young girl bought the vintage table cloth right off the table as she was leaving!


Cassie with all the hostesses who worked together and did a fabulous job to make the shower special, beautiful and yummy.

I don’t know how you can step away from this without tons of creative ideas for your next shower or party. I know I did!

Happy Decorating!

Texas Hill Country Themed Shower


I’ve mentioned in previous posts the numerous showers my friends and I end up involved with for our children and now grandchildren.  We’ve rotated over the years having and/or helping with countless wedding showers, the weddings themselves, the baby showers, etc.


Our most recent couple’s shower was last weekend for my sweet friend Connie’s son, Ryley and his fiancé, Ashley.  As sweet as they are beautiful  – we were so excited to throw them their big bash.  After a pow-wow between the hostesses we decided on a Texas Hill Country theme.  I found these invitations with the Texas bluebonnets online – perfect for our theme – but, when they came in I thought the simple white card looked a bit lackluster.  So I decided to add the check craft paper and attach it with this red raffia ribbon through holes punched at the top.  It cost pennies per card to add and gave them a little more ooomph and personality.


Originally we were going to have it at my house in June so we could utilize our back yard to accommodate guests, but when the wedding suddenly got moved up to May because of the venue’s remodeling issues we had to scramble a bit and move the shower up to March for their college spring break. With a March shower and unpredictable weather we I decided it best to make a change to my friend Susan’s house where we could accommodate as many guests as needed regardless of whether or not the weather cooperated.   This is the circular drive to her front walkway and front door.


And since the weather clearly chose NOT to cooperate it’s a good thing we did. It poured down rain most of the day and most of the evening.


Since I was the one who originally wanted to have it at my house I decided it was only right for me to go ahead and do not only the invitations, but the decorating as well. I wasn’t about to dump all that on Susan after asking to switch it to her house. Besides – it was something I really wanted to do for my sweet friend and her sweet kiddo’s. 


To start with I brought my own metal garden cross from home for the front porch planter and draped it with a sign that says “Faith Family Friends” I got from Hobby Lobby – half price of course. And I made these fun letter signs (above) with their initials and some other things from Hobby Lobby.


The initial signs came like this and they were on sale, too, of course.  But, they weren’t quite big enough to make the impact I wanted so I purchased two picture frames they had on their 80% clearance for $2.00 each – pink and white girlie frames – and covered them with this cowhide fabric I also got at Hobby Lobby (using my online 40% coupon).


I wrapped each frame with the fabric and stapled it onto the back.


(The tag says $9.99, but they were really $1.99!)


I added picture hangers to the back so I could tie them on the wreath holders with twine. 


I screwed in a couple of screws to the front so I could hang the letters right onto the plaque from the picture hangers attached to the back of the metal signs.   This way they can keep them on the plaques and hang them like I did…..


Or prop them up on a table or dresser with the easel like this.or remove them from the tin plaques and hang them on their wall.


But, for the shower I hung them with the twine bows from some wreath holders I had.  Cute, don’t you think?

Next it was the main dessert table.


I started with more cow hide fabric.


Then I started layering with more fabric – faux leather I had on hand – and all the Hill Country accessories I could muster up.


This leather luggage was from my client, Amy.


I helped decorate her house a dozen or so years ago in the “Old Worldish” style so prevalent back then and now she is going Asian contemporary and has no need for them anymore.  So when I was at her house accessorizing for the new look I asked if I could borrow her old look for my shower.  Thankfully she was happy to oblige.


I got these baskets at CCA for .50 cents a piece…


And, these cool “Hill Country” accessories like the frame and the longhorn from good old Hobby Lobby half price as always….


Brought stuff of mine from my own house…


Added the amazing Texas cake that Susan baked and decorated herself. (I know….can you believe it?!)


We used the leather wine carrier for our “Message In A Bottle”.  With the pens and small note cards (shown below) guests were asked to write the young couple a note – could be advice, a scripture, a poem, a joke….anything they wanted to say to them.  At the end of the shower it was corked up and the couple is to save it till they return from their honeymoon to read them.



We bought these potted flowers at Callaway’s Nursery for color – and to look sort of like hill country wild flowers.


We added twigs, river rock, twine to look like rope, a cross and candlesticks I had in my own stash.


And these vases filled with tree branches.  (They’re actually fake branches I got at – where else – Hobby Lobby.)


And ended up with a fun Hill Country themed dessert table.


Next was the beverage section.


I found a great website for labels called where you can customize your own labels for wine….


Susan actually found this particular design which we decided looked the most Hill Country-esque.


Perfect for our wine bottles….


And these monogram caps for the beer bottles..


And these labels for the water bottles…


On the back of the water bottle labels I was able to write their “story” for a little personal touch.  (Unfortunately none of the “old people” could even read it without their glasses!  And, most didn’t have their glasses with them.  Too funny!) Diane and Susan got together and put all these labels and monogram tops on everything.


We brought out these big metal tubs and I added the twine and twigs for the rustic touch.  Even the hubbies pitched in to help.  Susan made some to die for Sangria we kept on ice in pitchers in one of the metal tubs.  It was so good hardly anyone drank the bottled wine so now we have a ton of Ryley and Ashley wine bottles left over!


I put a hill country accessory and name card by each dish so everyone would know exactly what they were eating.  These hill country accessories are actually drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby.


They fit perfectly here on the island where the buffet was.




And of course we had our “chips, dips and other stuff” section that Diane set up.


It was a great turn out in spite of the ridiculous weather.


Lots of mingling, food and fun.


And a fun, little game.

If any of you have ever played the left-right game you know it’s one of those games that even game-haters can enjoy.   I discovered the left-right game theme at Christmastime and thought it would be fun to incorporate it here.  So I wrote a lighthearted, fun, little love story called “The Hill Country Honey’s” about Ryley and Ashley with lots of the words left and right sprinkled throughout the story. We had everyone stand in a circle then we passed out several gift bags to various guests in the crowd.  As I read the story the gift bags were passed left or right each time the word was said throughout the story until it’s finished.  The guests holding the gift bags at the end of the story got to give them to the wedding couple and each one received a prize – a bag with wine to take home, themselves.


Ryley and Ashley (yeah, that cute young couple in the middle) seemed very pleased with the outcome.  How cute are they?


My hubby, Doug, and I relaxing and having a great time.


This is our little group of old, very special friends (our group nickname is the “goddesses” – you may have seen them on previous blog posts). Connie, the mother of the groom is standing to my left – the rest of us were the hostesses.   The four of us have teamed up many, many times for each other’s kids various showers.  This time it was her turn.   She was a grateful, happy mother-of-the groom.

Thanks goes out to Susan, far right, for letting me switch it to her place!  Thankfully she’s always happy to open up her amazing home and it worked out beautifully for the large crowd and the un-cooperating weather . (I recently did a post on her home. You can check it out here. ) I’ve decided that’s why God gives you friends with big houses… you have a place for all the big parties!


And little did we know that this cute bride-to-be was getter sick throughout the evening and had to go straight to the hospital immediately afterwards with 104 degree fever!  She was quite the trooper and appeared to be having a great time for someone who ended up with the flu!

Fortunately she is all better, back to planning her big day and no one else at the shower got sick!

Happy Decorating!

My Little Cozy Christmas


After dealing with the flood in my house and having to move out for a month and then back in again right before Thanksgiving I was so exhausted and sick of boxes and unpacking, etc…..I didn’t think I’d have it in me to do any Christmas decorating at all.  And with the passing of my beloved father – there’s definitely a lacking in the air this year.


But, when it came right down to it I just couldn’t not decorate.  We didn’t do it the weekend after Thanksgiving like we normally do – we gave ourselves a break.  But the next weekend we hauled more boxes out of the attic and began unpacking and decorating……starting with the front porch.


I always love a cozy entrance and to me garland and a wreath always does the trick.


I put artificial poinsettias in my pots and embellished them with these metal Christmas picks my friend, Barbie, gave me last year for Christmas.  (Thanks, Barbie!)



I added my age old sleigh…..


and filled my basket with Christmas greenery and berries.


In the entry good old Santa and a Christmas tree greets guests as they walk in the door.



And, of course, I embellished the stairway with greenery and gold.


Just inside the front door I added two more trees where I normally have my ferns and embellished the candleholders with Christmas greenery and a bow.


The landing – with my antique stroller than stays there year round – is the perfect place to use these cream poinsettias and Christmas birdcages. 


Here’s a view of the entry from upstairs.


Normally I have two trees in the dining room, one in each corner, but this year I just didn’t have it in me to add those.  So I put extra detail into the table and other places in the dining room…..








And it still looked Christmas-y and festive even without the trees. 


In the den we always have a tree in the corner of the room along with my Christmas Teddy…..




And extra Christmas touches here and there….



Of course, we had to have a tree in the family room, too — it’s our main hang-out area after all.  (I should have turned off the TV in the background for this picture….oops!)


This year I opted for a slim line tree instead of my bigger, fatter one that I’ve used for years.  We had to do a little rearranging with the tree this year and the new spot wouldn’t warrant a larger tree.


I was worried about it being too wimpy to be our main tree, but I actually like it…it’s much less cluttery.


Gotta have the stockings and greenery on the mantel.



I love this Santa book box I got in New Braunfels.  Adds a nice cozy Christmas touch.


On the breakfast nook table I added all different sized Christmas trees like last year.  Kind of looks like a little Christmas tree forest.  (The only reason this is feasible is because we hardly ever eat there!)



Greenery and pine cones on the chandelier for fun…..


And greenery and berries on the pot rack.


Just adding a small touch of Christmas décor to your existing decor is easy and cost effective and it sure adds that festive vibe.





And that festive vibe is a good thing.  It’s been a challenging six months, but I still have so much to be grateful for….. especially the reason for this wonderful season.   Decorating the house just brought the spirit of Christmas to our home and it’s just what we need right now.

I want to always count my blessings in the midst of life’s challenges….what better time than Christmastime.

Happy Decorating!!!

Tis The Season: Christmas Decor, Santa Clause, Parties and More!


I’ve decorated countless homes at Christmastime over the years including a great many model homes, but none more beautiful or more fun than the house I recently had the pleasure of doing.  When Kurt and Darla Buehler, two very successful realtors here in the Flower Mound area (check them out here), asked me if I would be available to do their home for Christmas this year I was more than happy to oblige.

After a tour through their home for a look at some of the Christmas items she had on hand I new I would need some more “stuff” - as well as some more help – to get it done in time for their annual Client Appreciation/Christmas party so I recruited my friend and faux artist, Julia Roberts to help me.  Yes, Julia Roberts – no, not that one.


After a quick shopping spree we got to work to create a cozy Christmas atmosphere for Kurt and Darla to enjoy and give the house a festive holiday facelift for the upcoming party.  First off we combined some of their Christmas décor with our new Christmas décor and created a welcoming holiday display on her entry chest to greet the guests as they arrived. 



Since Julia and I are both sort of “blingy” girls with a tendency to believe in the old adage that “more is more”  we decided to make the entrance into the dining room just off the entry hall a bit of a holiday “experience” I guess you could say.  So we dressed it up with some holiday glitz and glam…..


But, when we stood back for a look we decided it needed even more oomph! so we added this copper mesh ribbon to top it off.   It was just what it needed.


We dressed up her dining table by sprucing up the chandelier with greenery and ribbon; and created a lavish centerpiece on the table simply by adding large scale ornaments and greenery.  Sometimes the simplest touches have the most impact even for the girls who like the “more is more” approach.




Of course the office across the hall got it’s Christmas touches, too.



It’s always fun to decorate a staircase for Christmas and Darla’s was no exception.   This copper ribbon compliments the ribbon over the doorway that you see peeking down on the upper right leading into the dining room .  The combination of the copper with the burgundy creates a very “rich” look, don’t you think?.



Darla wanted to get this bust in her niche into the holiday spirit so we added more greenery, more Christmas berry picks and more copper ribbon.  I think he looks quite festive!


We gave these amazing pendants in the kitchen a holiday facelift with some fun, festive, over the top holiday bling….



As well as her gorgeous chandelier….



To the pot rack we added greenery and berries….


Just the right touch for her incredibly cozy kitchen.


Not a great picture of the tree, but it really was beautiful.


Here’s a closer look.


We sprinkled little touches of Christmas here, there….everywhere…








In the niches we added holiday picks and large scale pine cones. 

So fun!  And all in time for the special event! 

2011 Christmas Pics 008

Of course the Buehler’s invited jolly old St. Nick to the shindig to liven things up for the kiddo’s (well, and the adults).  Here’s Kurt and Darla partying it up with the big guy….And, to top it off they had a professional photographer there to take pictures of the guests posing with him.  Each guest received a flash drive with their Santa pictures on it to take home with them for Christmas cards, etc. I mean….how cool is that?

Basic CMYK

Ummmmmm…..did I mention Santa was there for the adults, too?  As evident in this picture – we never really outgrow him do we???   Here he is hangin’ with the Buehler’s staff.  Do you think they’re having just a little bit of fun?

Since Santa was making an appearance at the big party I invited my daughter-in-law and grandkids to come take advantage of the occasion.


My grandson, Eli, was fine with Santa, but my 2 year old granddaughter, Kaisley – well, not so much…..she was overwhelmed, petrified and refused to go near him!


As you can see Eli was quite comfy and content….


And, Julia and I had no problem snuggling up to Santa for a picture. 

DSC_2842 I finally got Kaisley over near Santa for a quick shot.  (I just sort of inched my way over and leaned in – that’s his noggin in the corner – not sure why he wasn’t in the picture, but I just love this shot of her.)  Is she precious or what?!!


Julia, myself and my good friend, Susan, who lives next door to the Buehler’s – all having a great time at the party.

And, it wasn’t just any party.  It was also a wonderful benefit to raise toys for the Toys For Tots program chaired by the US Marines. Each guest was asked to bring a toy to be donated to the charity.  What a wonderful idea!  They were able to collect enough toys to fill three huge Toys For Tots boxes and are still collecting more.  (If you are interested in donating please contact them here.)

  Great food, great fun, and a great cause……all the makings of a very Merry Christmas I’d say!

Happy Decorating!!!!

“Grand” Baby Shower: Long Distance With Love


What do you when you are in a group of friends who has always taken turns having wedding showers, anniversary parties, and baby showers for each other and their kids when one of the kids has moved away? …… Well, you just do it anyway…….long distance style.  That’s what one group of friends (we call ourselves “The Goddessess”) decided to do when it happened to us.  Our friend Diane’s son and daughter-in-law moved away to Colorado and couldn’t get back for a baby shower before the baby is born so we just decided to do it anyway and just box everything up and send it to her. Why not?  It worked like a charm.


Normally I’m instrumental and very involved with the planning and decorating, but with my struggle with the recent death of my father I just didn’t have it in me quite yet to participate……

So Connie decorated her dining room table all by her little ole lonesome.  Isn’t it cute?


And Susan pitched in with the food.  She purchased these cupcakes at Wal-mart and decorated them with these cute balloon stems that Connie made. ( The “L” is for Luke.) 


Connie used these blocks and books from her own “Mimi” stash to create a charming, fun table.


She borrowed the monkey from her one of her grandchildren.  Adorable.  I contributed the greenery – the least I could do.


We had these beautiful mimosas. Total yum!  And. of course, munchies:



Diane really likes these wontons so I brought a batch.  Easy and yummy.  They look fried, but they are baked and relatively low calorie so you don’t have to feel guilty indulging!


Package of wonton sheets (usually found in the produce section)

Ground sausage (hot or mild)

Grated Cheese of Choice (or Velveeta)

Chopped Onion

Spinach Leaves (or chopped veggie of choice)

Brown sausage; Drain.  Add veggies and cook till softened.  Add cheese till melted.

Place wonton shells in mini muffin tins sprayed with Pam.

Fill with teaspoon sausage mixture.

Pinch ends together with a dab of water.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.



Susan’s delicious pasta salad. (Wish I had the recipe with me!  Darn!)


And more.




It was a small gathering of Diane’s best buds – just the way she wanted it – so we sat outside in Connie’s breathtakingly beautiful back yard for awhile and had our munchies.




After some “catching up” with each other we moved inside to Connie’s wonderful “French Parlor” for gift time. 


So French, so feminine, so cozy…..


And so full of charm.





(These two pictures above and below are in another room, but I just love the way her family photos are displayed so I wanted to throw them in.  Above she has all black and whites – ancestors and recent family members alike.  Isn’t it a great wall?  Below is her current family – kids and grandkids.  Precious.)


But, back to the business at hand:


Diane opened lots of fun gifts to ship up to Colorado.


But, one gift was for Diane’s own house for when baby John Luke comes to visit.  (We dubbed her grandma name “Gigi” – and I think it’s going to stick!)


And, this basket below is a “Celebration Mommy” basket for her daughter-in-law to use after the baby is born.


A fun, little wine glass (when she can have her wine again), some bath salts, body butter, and a soothing candle to soak in the tub by.  Those private moments become all the more special when the little ones are here and time alone becomes a precious commodity.  Hopefully she’ll find some time for a wee bit of R&R.




I wrote this little poem when my own kids were wee munchkins and thought I’d slip a copy of it in her basket.


And last, but not least…..we put it all in photo albums for Mommy and Gigi to keep.  (I got both these albums on sale at CVS for $10.00 total!)



The hostesses – aka – “The Goddesses”……

Three of us – Diane sitting, and Connie and I on the left – are all expecting grandsons in the next few months!  Susan, I’m sure, is not far behind! 

Another successful baby shower celebration under our belts and another exciting event to look forward to.  What a joy filled, beautiful time for us all. 

Life goes on……

Happy Decorating!

High Tea With The CCA Charity League


Some of you are aware of my involvement with our local charity here in town called Christian Community Action.  A little over a year ago a group of women got together to form the Charity League with the sole purpose and mission of filling in where needed and helping spread the word about CCA and it’s efforts to help the poor and needy in the area.  Our group has grown exponentially in such a short time and has found ways to plug in and help with fund raising and filling a great many needs in various areas.  We’ve been able to be a part of the Back To School Store, The Christmas Store, The Prom Dress Drive, The Food Pantry, the Resale Stores, etc.   Our latest venture was our very first Annual CCACL High Tea. Lots of planning and preparation went into the event and, if I do say so myself, it was a huge success.


One of the main needs for the event were beautiful tables for the guests to enjoy so a group of us volunteered to take on the challenge.  I scrounged up “tea themed” décor from around my house like these teapots above to create my table.


I bought an inexpensive soft green sheet to act as my table topper.  (Notice my teapots here?)


Fortunately I used to collect English china and dishware so I had quite a bit on hand.  I decided to mix and match my china and chargers just for fun.


Since I had friends from different groups coming to the event I used place cards to seat them for easier conversation.


Me at my table just before the crowd arrived.

Everyone did such a fabulous job decorating the tables.  Here are some of the beautiful table displays:








We decided we needed one extra table so we all pooled our leftover decor and efforts and managed to create this table in a pinch.  Not bad for last minute and leftovers, huh?
















My friends, Margaret and Leslie, who had never met before, became fast friends that afternoon.  (I do believe there was even a little conniving going on between them for the auction items!)


My sweet friend, Cindy, was one of the first to arrive.


My husband, Doug, volunteered to be a server.  A much needed asset for the High Tea to function smoothly.  Thanks hubby, you’re the best!



We had a wonderful turn out.  Susan, our president, informed the ladies of the agenda for the day and CCACL’s function and goals.


Our “High Tea Expert”, Michelle, explained the protocol for the High Tea and the flavors we would be sampling.




Friends Julia, Diane and Susan were also in attendance.  Thanks, girlfriends, for coming!





Thanks to Terry, we auctioned off lots of wonderful prizes.


My sweet friend, Leslie, and I.

All in all considering it was our first High Tea, and considering we served 185 ladies or more, it went – surprisingly – very smoothly.  A great time was had by all, a substantial amount of money was raised, great gifts were auctioned off and the message of CCACL was spread to more and more women.  We expect to grow by leaps in bounds this year as a group and in our efforts to help those in need.  

 We’ve already had several comments from guests who are looking forward to next years High Tea!  How cool is that!

Happy Decorating!

Wedding Shower Wonderland!


Tiz’ the season for weddings and that means lots of wedding showers and planning and happy tears for mom and her friends.  When you’re my age and in a circle of friends who’s kids are all graduating college and embarking on their new lives it tends to bring lots of engagements – which in turn brings lots of engagement parties and showers and excitement and celebrations. And, did I mention a great many happy tears?  Last weekend I attended one of the most elegant, beautiful showers I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to some doozies)  for my good friend, Barbie, and her precious daughter, Madison.  The hostesses spared no expense in their decorating and the festivities.  There’s tons of pictures to see (maybe I overdid it – but I couldn’t stop myself – it was all so magical and pretty)  Take a look and see what I mean….


This was the entrance into the home.  Lots of wedding white to welcome the guests and set the tone.


Our good friend, Becky, pretending this gorgeous home was hers. (We want to live there.)


(I couldn’t resist adding this picture of her sneaking her cute mug into my blog shot.)


Another view of the welcoming entrance.






Even this sweet courtyard had wedding white tucked in the mix.


(These have nothing to do with the shower……I just really like these doors!  Cool, huh?)


When you enter the home it has the unusual layout of the kitchen on the immediate left.  It’s a large “dream” kitchen…..cozy, warm, inviting and decorated for the occasion to the hilt.


By the way, how fab is this incredible vent-a-hood?


This is one of the beautiful tables – it’s displayed in the kitchen.  (Right outside the window is that adorable courtyard you see as walk into the home.)


Look what they did with the chandelier.




Just another view of this amazing, cozy kitchen.


A little blurry (sorry) but, isn’t this a wonderful sitting area?  Wouldn’t that be fun to have right in your kitchen?  Love that!  I want to move in.


The kitchen mantel was decorated with wedding touches for the event.


Here’s Barbie, the emotional mom, with her beautiful bride-to-be daughter,  Madison.  (She definitely has that happy wedding glow about her.)


Every nook and cranny was decorated for the occasion.


Even the office had touches of wedding white.




They even dressed up this urn outside the dining room French doors with white for the occasion. 


See it here at the other end of this gorgeous table?  Beautiful!


And, would you just look at this stunning ceiling?




Notice the chandelier in here is draped in white as well.


How girlie and wedding-esque is this for a table?


























Wedding details were everywhere:
















And,  though it had nothing to do with the shower, I just can’t pass up showing you this adorable backyard courtyard:






We’ve all been friends for years and watched our little Madison grow up into this beautiful bride-to-be.  We are so happy and excited for her!

For all of you blushing brides and mother’s of the brides – if this shower didn’t give you tons of fabulous ideas then I don’t know what will.

Wish you all a blissfully happy wedding season and of course….

Happy Decorating!!

A Little Book With Our Wine and Dinner: Chapter 2


I got some fun feed back and interest regarding my last post on the book club I’m in so I thought I’d continue to share them periodically with you..  This book was an older book called “Her Mother’s Daughters” by Marilyn French.  I’d read it a long, long time ago and remembered that I thought the writing was fabulous. And since it refers so much to the food they ate (generations of immigrant women – their lives largely revolved around providing meals for their families) I thought it would be perfect for our kind of book club.  We are all mothers and daughters and our club revolves around cooking from and about the food mentioned in the books we read.

So our hostess for the night had us all bring pictures of our mothers and grandmothers either by themselves or with us as little girls.  She set them up on a table for us all to see.  Very sweet and touching.

But, first we all poured ourselves a glass of wine….. 


We grabbed some appetizers…..


Then we talked about the pictures we brought and visited about our families. 


After sharing for awhile about our mothers and grandmothers it was time to hit the dinner buffet line for a great meal. 

(The hostess had each of us bring food from our mother’s or grandmother’s recipes and then labeled each item with our names, who the recipe was from and what the dish was.) Very clever.








Very fun to see where each dish came from.


And then we sat down at her fabulous table that she decorated with generations of old family photo’s.






A very creative group in the book club I must say.  It’s always fun to see what the décor will be to promote the theme of the book.  And, can I just say that everything was fabulous!

However, let me add a word of warning just in case you want to read the book.  While it’s a very poignant story and very, very well written it is, to say the least, a very dreary, depressing story.  (A little something I somehow forgot about when I suggested it.)  Not an upbeat sort of read at all.  Some of the women just couldn’t get through it, because of that.   So just be prepared for that and you’ll be okay.  It did, however, provoke one of our most interesting discussions ever, I will say that. 

And, of course, lots of incredible food!

Happy Reading……and, of course, Happy Decorating!

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