"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Friday, November 26, 2010

aaaaand NOW it's the Christmas season!

I'm a firm believer in letting Thanksgiving have its day. In fact, I might actually prefer it to Christmas. It's food, it's family, it should be cold weather, and it's way less stressful than December 25. Don't read me wrong here, I love Christmas, and now that it's finally time to get my house ready, I'm thinking about making this wreath (yes, another wreath DIY)...

I love it! I think it would be gorgeous in a deep red, too! Thanks, Claire and design*sponge!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

let us give thanks

So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart.

~Arthur Guiterman, The First Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

wish list wednesday

So what am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* The happiest of birthdays to my puppies! Olive and Charlie are four today!

* A Cuisinart Griddler. Have you seen this thing? It's like a George Foreman, but way awesomer.

* The perfect baked macaroni and cheese recipe. I'm extremely picky.

* That I got paid thousands of dollars to tweet about my favorite products like Kimmy does. I like lots of things...who wants to mail me a check?

* Some of these red velvet brownies - STAT!

What's your wish?

Monday, November 22, 2010

dogs love thanksgiving, too!

Look what I found at Target today! Have you ever seen a cuter dog toy? I mean, seriously...
This is what the twins are getting for their birthday on Wednesday. Don't tell them!
Yappy Monday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

it's not goodbye...just see you later!

Today was Kristen's last day in my office (and yes, she really is that much taller than me). I can't believe that after four years of me working with her day in and day out, she won't be there to help me, encourage me, give me advice or make me giggle! I know we'll always be friends, but there's something special about a work buddy that transcends to personal buddy.

Kristen, I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me in and out of the office. I'll miss traveling with you, lunching with you and gossiping with you, and this place just won't be the same without you here. Oh, and this would be the perfect time to re-dedicate your life to your blog!

I wish you all the best in God's Country! I love you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That some (any) of my friends (or acquaintances...or strangers that I might run into on the street...) watched In Treatment. I'm dying to talk to someone about how amazing the show is and that dreamboat Gabriel Byrne.

* An excuse to make these Burnt Sugar Almonds. Don't they sound/look divine?

* A t-shirt blanket with all of my old college shirts. If I could get over my fear of threading the bobbin on my sewing machine, I might attempt it myself...

* Some warm and wooly mittens. I've heard they keep your hands warmer than gloves because all your fingers are wrapped up together like a burrito. Anywho, I kind of love these yellow ones!

* That Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be as wonderful as I hope!

What's your wish?

Monday, November 15, 2010

land of cotton

I wear my years spent living in the Mississippi Delta as a badge of honor. I never thought I’d like it. I spent my first few weeks there bored, lonely and homesick, but after getting to know some great people, my entire outlook changed. There’s no place like it in all the world – the music, the food, the people and the parties make it truly “the most Southern place on Earth.” And I love to get my hands on any and every reminder of it I can find.

Enter my most recent craft project! I’ve been wanting to make a wreath from cotton for a long time, and thanks to my sweet MIL (again!), I got the most important of supplies – real, genuine cotton from a Delta field! I finally sat down on Saturday and completed my newest piece of Delta nostalgia. Here’s how it all went down:

What I used:
Foam wreath (I got mine from Michaels, but Wal-Mart has them, too)
Dark brown spray paint
Hot glue gun + glue sticks
A big nail
Plenty of cotton – still in the bolls
Floral wire
Wired ribbon

How I did it:
I spray painted the foam wreath with the dark brown spray paint so that any open spots wouldn’t be noticeable. I had to do several coats to make sure it was well-covered. Next, I went through the cotton I had on hand and cut the stems short and hot glued any loose or wayward cotton back onto the star-shaped part that holds the cotton itself (I guess a farmer or an expert could tell me exactly what it’s called, but a quick Google search didn’t). I used the nail to poke holes in the foam so the stem would go in easily. Squirt a little hot glue into the nail hole, and insert the stem. Hold it in for just a few seconds until the glue cools a bit and repeat until the whole wreath is covered. (I didn’t put the bolls as close together as I could have because I wanted to be able to see a little of the brown leaves peeking out). Make you a little bow from the ribbon and wire it to the wreath. Voila!

What do you think of the finished product? Do you love the Delta, too?

Friday, November 12, 2010



Is it just me, or is November already proving to be a long month? And I was off work yesterday (thank you to all the Veterans out there!), so my days are all messed up. Not to mention, I totally hate my outfit today. I’m just a mess all around.

Things I have done in the past week or so:
* Travel to ATL for work to hang out with Japanese
* Got a dress for the NYE wedding (Huge accomplishment. Surely I’ll still love it when the actual wedding rolls around, right?)
* Helped to give a party for B-I-L Peyton and Margaret
* Went to see Ray LaMontagne in Birmingham (swoon) *on that note, The Secret Sisters opened for my man Ray, and if you’ve never heard them before, check them out. Amazing.
* Bought tickets to the 12:02 a.m. showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (the book version of which I’m re-reading right now)

Hmmm… Now that I look at that list, it doesn’t seem all that busy. But trust me, for some reason it was. And now my left eye is twitching, which I found on WebMD to be a physical manifestation of stress and fatigue (it’s totally annoying and makes the page wiggle a little when I’m reading my HP). What? You thought I wasn’t allowed on WebMD anymore? I’ve grown, people.

But I digress…

I’ve got recipes for you! Here’s what I made for Peyton and Margaret’s party, along with Pumpkin Tarts and Autumn Salad

“Hot Dog” Cupcakes

Circus Peanuts (gag) – 1 per cupcake
Caramel squares – 1 per cupcake
Yellow frosting (for “mustard”; and red for ketchup if you’d like!)
Green gumdrops or Sour Patch Kids

For the bun, cut a wedge in the circus peanut. If the caramel is soft, roll it into a hot dog shape. If it's hard, first soften it in your hand or in a microwave for a few seconds (I had to microwave mine to soften. Just heat it for about 10 seconds at a time until work-able) Caution: the caramel can get hot!
Place the "hot dog" in the bun and squirt on a squiggly line of yellow icing.
Garnish with green gumdrop "relish," if you wish. Frost the cupcake with white icing, place the hot dog on top, and sprinkle on nonpareils.

**The biggest pain of this project was making the “relish.” It was nearly impossible to cut with a knife, and I ended up just using scissors to snip little bits, wiping the blades clean as needed. Also, you may notice I piped the frosting on the cupcakes instead of spreading. I somehow got it in my head that I was going to do it this way; it turned out great, but it uses WAAAAY more frosting that if you were spreading. Still, if you want to try this technique, I think it looks really nice. I actually looked all over the metro Jackson area for a pastry tip the perfect size, but I never found one. Enter the ghetto-fabulous piping method: I just emptied cans of frosting (ended up 1 can did about 10 cupcakes, and I went through 8 cans…yikes) into a gallon Ziploc bag and snipped the end off about ½ inch from the corner. Pipe the frosting in a swirl shape, and you’re in business! Looks just like Gigi’s! Well, maybe not JUST like Gigi’s, but still good. Lots of people asked if they were catered, so they really look good in person! Promise! And check out how cute the burger ones are, too!

Mini “Treasure” Brownies

1 box brownie mix (The actual recipe calls for made-from-scratch mix. Yeah, right. They don’t know me.)
Hershey Kisses Or Mini Peanut Butter Cups, 1 for each brownie (I made some of each)
Semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted, for drizzling
White chocolate morsels, melted, for drizzling

Put mini muffin liners in a mini muffin tin. Drop brownie batter in 2/3 or so full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. It is easy to overbake these and the edges get crispy and they tend to be a little dry; slightly underbaking is better. After removing from the oven, set to cool for 5 minutes then have your Hershey’s Kisses (any variety you like) or you can use mini peanut butter cups (my favorite!) and press into the center of each brownie. Let cool a little longer and then take out of the pan. Cool completely and melt chocolate chips and white chocolate in separate Ziploc baggies. Cut a small bit off one corner of bag and squeeze in a zig-zag design over each brownie. Let dry and put in containers to keep fresh.

**I wish I’d kept count of how many 1 box of mix made, but I didn’t. My bad. Seems like it was about 40 per box or so. Also, I didn’t melt the chocolate in the Ziploc bags – I melted them in a bowl in the microwave and then put the melted chocolate in a bag. Snip off a tiny corner first and if you need to go bigger, you can. I drizzled the white chocolate first and then the semi-sweet.

I have a crafty project planned for this weekend, so if it turns out ok, I’ll share later. If it looks like a Bible School project, I’ll just pretend I never mentioned it to you.

Have a sweet weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* For it to actually feel like November outside. Is that too much to ask? I think not.

* An update for my mantle. I'm not feeling it anymore.

* This dress from Madewell. I tried it on in the ATL last week, but I just couldn't justify it. I think I'll stalk it and wait for it to go on sale.

* A Ray LaMontagne Christmas album.

* Some Ugg slippers. How warm and wonderful do these look? (I'm absolutely, positively in love with the red)

What's your wish?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A fabulous dress to wear to a New Year's Eve wedding. So much pressure!

* This sweet little Queen Anne's Lace print. It's a special little flower to me!

* Some more Archipelago Brown Sugar and Vanilla products. Haley introduced them to me years ago, and I love the fragrance.

* That those waterless shampoo things worked for curly hair.

* Some new perfume. Something clean and not too flowery... Suggestions?

What's your wish?
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