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  1. Make It a Great Super Bowl Party!

    January 29, 2015 by Beth

    Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

    The Super Bowl is this Sunday and I’m here to lend you a hand.

    I’ve gathered some pretty cool ideas to help you throw the best Super Bowl party east of the Mississippi!

     

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    No matter who you’ll be cheering for, your guests will definitely appreciate a great party.

    Check out these fun ideas…

    First things first – an awesome table setting. Brown kraft paper is inexpensive and easy to decorate with using white tape and stick-on numbers.

     

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    Move those chains, move those chains, whoop, whoop, whoop!!!

    These chains could be used around your front door, over a mirror, down the center of the table, etc.

    The possibilities are endless! You could even get the kids involved making these.

     

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    Can’t have a great party without great food! Who can resist dipping a football?

     

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    Love these!

     

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    Delicious bread is a MUST in this recipe.

     

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    You know some penalty flags will be thrown on Sunday!

     

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    And for those that are all about the Super Bowl Commercials, here’s a fun BINGO game!

     

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    Can’t do without some fun printables to wrap water bottles and top cupcakes!

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    No party is complete without dessert! And these are “super” cute!! (No pun intended!)

     

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    These I might have to make regardless of it being Super Bowl Sunday!!

     

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    Be prepared for lots of drinks with your own handmade football coasters!

     

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    Set up a chalkboard for some easy decor.

     

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    Now you’re all set!

    Bring on the food, fun and football for a fabulous Sunday!

    Enjoy!!!

     

    Beth

     

     

     


  2. Courtyards and Cobblestones – A Wedding Walk

    January 18, 2015 by Beth

     

    Please join me for a stroll through downtown Wilmington for a very special event this past weekend!

    I was very excited to attend this year’s Courtyards & Cobblestones on a beautiful Saturday evening.

    Weddings have sure come a long way since my big day several years ago!

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    Courtyards & Cobblestones is an event designed to showcase historic wedding venues and wedding professionals to provide an inspirational and transitional atmosphere for brides.

     

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    The self-guided tour began at Bakery 105 in downtown Wilmington and featured seven themed reception and ceremony sites, plus top wedding professionals showcasing their products and services.

    The Bakery 105 building featured exposed brick walls and a wood ceiling dating back to the late 1930’s to early 1940’s and was a former bread loading dock.

     

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    The event also included music from local artists, and light bites and tasty treats.

    Our first treat was The Midatlantic Band from the Cape Fear coast of North Carolina!

     

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    Venues Included: The Atrium, City Club at de Rosset, The Balcony on Dock, 128 South, Bakery 105 , Brooklyn Arts Center, and The Loft on Front.

     

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    The girls from One Belle Bakery…their Amaretto iced cakes were divine!

     

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    We also tried Chicken & Waffles as well as some Deep Fried Mac & Cheese. Yum!

    The best thing I had all night was a Fried Oyster bite-size sandwich from Pine Valley Market Caterers! OMG good!!

     

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    The table decor was out of this world gorgeous! Take a look…

    This one was from Salt Harbor Designs!

     

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    And other venues…

     

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    Signature Drinks are trending these days too…

     

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    You could even go with a Bourbon Bar since Front Street Brewery has North Carolina’s largest bourbon selection! Who knew?

     

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    Of course, there’s a sign for everything!

     

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    Brooke Helton with Southern Bee Designs does a fabulous job with addressing those very special invitations!

    Wish I could write like that!!

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    It always pays to look UP, check out these fabulous designs!

     

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    And if you’re brave enough to have your wedding outside, there are beautiful venues for that as well.

    The City Club of Wilmington

     

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    But who can top gorgeous fresh flowers?

     

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    A very talented photographer is a MUST HAVE! And we are fortunate to have many of them in Wilmington.

    Theo Milo Photography did an excellent job with this wedding!

     

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    I’ve tried to share some of the favorites in this post. You can view the entire list of vendors at Courtyards & Cobblestones Facebook page or through Eventbrite.com. Thanks to my friends Perri and Taylor Miley for letting me hang out with this sweet bride-to-be and her very special mom.

    Cheers!!

    Beth

     

     


  3. Something Tells Me I Need to Organize My Linen Closet!

    January 11, 2015 by Beth

    Have you ever found yourself tugging at a towel from the linen closet only to have the whole stack fall on your head?

    Is it a struggle to find a matching set of sheets because the whole closet is jammed with so many linens you hardly use that you can’t find the ones you need?

    Welcome to my world. A world after three children are grown and gone and have left behind an accumulation of stuff.

    The universe (and my own well being) is telling me it’s time to get organized!

    So, I’ve done my research and found some great tips along the way that I thought I’d share.

    This is my dream linen closet…(not to be confused with my existing closet).

     

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    Isn’t it beautiful? A free standing glass front cabinet so all your pretties can be easily viewed!

    (This of course would almost make you keep organized if everyone that walks by can see your stuff!)

    So where do we start?

    First PURGE!

    Make finding your linens an easy task by paring your linens down to the essentials.

    Take inventory and toss those mismatched sets, place your worn-out towels in the rag bin, and donate these sets you no longer use.

    A good rule of thumb is to have two sets of sheets per bed – one for the bed and one for the laundry.

    Unless you change towels daily (which never happens at our house), three sets of bath towels per person and a couple of sets for guests is ideal.

    Next, SORT.

     

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    Sort your linens according to what is used by each bath and bedroom. (My sorting stack isn’t near this pretty!)

    Set aside extra pillows, out-of-season bedding and such since you won’t need them on a regular basis.

    DESIGNATE STORAGE SPACE

    Where you store your everyday linens depends on the closet space in your home.

    If you don’t have a central linen closet, then you may want to store your linens right where you use them.

    For example, in my daughter’s apartment below there is no linen closet so we have her towels stored in baskets on the wall.

     

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    Other storage options might be an armoire, a storage bench, an etagere, or even a cute laundry basket.

    Store your seasonal and bulky items in storage bags to keep them from getting dusty and place them on the very top shelf or under the bed, so they’re out of the way.

    ORGANIZE

    Your everyday items need to be stored front and center in your closet.

    Now, how you fold them is up to you.

    You can:

    1) fit a set of bed linens in one of the matching pillowcases

    2) tuck and fold the fitted sheet and pillow case inside the fold of the top sheet

    3) bundle the sheet set together with a pretty ribbon.

    (This looks beautiful, but really???? This bow tying probably won’t be happening at our house!)

     

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    Although, I do love the label on the front of the shelf indicating which sheet set is placed where.

    If you like you can even fold your towel sets together  – if they match of course. ;)

    Regardless of how you organize your towels, remember to fold them in thirds lengthwise and place them on the shelves with the folded sides facing out for a neat appearance. If you’re short on space, you can always roll your towels too.

    This makes me want all new matching towels, how about you?

     

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    Now, you’re almost finished!

    All that’s left is to create a system that helps you STAY organized.

    Here are some great tips I learned along the way:

    1. Use baskets to group like items together.

    2. Use labels to make it easy to guests to find a spare towel or to teach the kids where to put something back in the proper spot.

    And last but not least…remember to regularly rotate your linens, so they become equally worn.

     

    So, are you ready to tackle this organization project?

    What better time than a cold winters’ day? Then you’ll be ready for those beach guests this summer!

     

    Best of luck purging and cleaning!

    Beth


  4. Calling All Soup Lovers!

    January 4, 2015 by Beth

    Confession time…I am a “Pinterest Addict”.

    No bones about it, I’m constantly pinning and planning my next project, entertaining idea or in this case – recipe!

    I discovered a delicious new soup recipe recently and decided to try it out.

    This past weekend’s cold and damp weather was just screaming for soup.

    And not having to spend every minute in the kitchen was a plus for me since this recipe is made in the slow cooker!

    Creamy Tortellini, Spinach and Chicken Soup is the BOMB! You’ve just got to try it!!

     

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    Everyone in my family (and I have some picky eaters, y’all) absolutely loved it!

    It has loads of flavor and comfort…no need to make a roux on the stove top at the end of cooking time, the flour is added at the beginning to give the soup a creamy, thick consistency without dirtying extra pans. :)

    Hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

     

    Creamy Tortellini, Spinach and Chicken Soup
    Makes 8 servings
    Cooking time: 4-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high
    Ideal slow cooker size: 5-6 quart

    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1 Tbsp dried basil
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 Tbsp ketchup
    3 Tbsp olive oil
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 28-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
    1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    4 cups frozen cheese tortellini (or you can use fresh)
    3 cups packed fresh spinach (you can definitely add more than this if you want)
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
    1 cup heavy cream

     

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    1. In a microwave-safe bowl add the onions, flour, basil, garlic, ketchup and drizzle with olive oil. Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds or so. (The mixture will be pasty and look weird but don’t worry it will all be okay in the end). Add the mixture to the slow cooker.

     

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    2. Add broth, tomatoes, chicken, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours (or until chicken is very tender).

     

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    3. Remove the lid and add in tortellini and spinach, Parmesan cheese and warmed cream (cream should be warmed because it may cause curdling if added in cold).

     

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    4. Use a fork to carefully remove the chicken out of the slow cooker. On a cutting board, shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken back into the slow cooker. Put the lid back on and cook on HIGH for about 10 more minutes, or until the tortellini are cooked through. Ladle into serving bowls and top with Parmesan cheese. Recipe inspired by Closet Cooking.

     

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    Beth


  5. Jumping Into 2015

    December 30, 2014 by Beth

     

     

     

     

    What are you looking forward to in the new year?

    More time for family fun?

    A skinnier YOU when you look in the mirror?

    Crossing something off your bucket list?

    Whatever your goals may be for 2015, be sure to include the basics.

    Here’s a list of something we all should do this year…(although, I’m not sure I will follow through on #6) YIKES!

    Just keeping it real!!

     

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    May you be the best you can be in 2015!!

    Happy New Year from my house to yours!

     

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    Beth


  6. ‘Tis the Season for Holiday Decor

    December 20, 2014 by Beth

    Don’t you just love a House Tour?

    Well, you’re in luck because you get to see some great holiday decor in this sweet house.

    My girlfriend did an outstanding job of decorating her home for Christmas and I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

    Enjoy all her holiday ideas and walk through a winter wonderland as you enjoy your morning coffee.

    Bring on the bells and holly as we visit the kitchen first…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    She has the cutest vignettes!

    Now on into the den and sun room…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The dining room is beautiful as well.

     

     

     

     

    There’s even a touch of Christmas on the back porch…

     

     

     

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

     


  7. A Christmas Tea

    December 9, 2014 by Beth

    The house was the perfect setting for a Christmas Tea with its’ traditional southern architecture, lovely grounds and two dogs to welcome you to the home.

    And with a little help from the Cape Fear Garden Club, this beautiful home was transformed into Christmas in just two days.

    The lady of the house requested roses, so you will see them featured throughout the home.

    Nothing is artificial, all the plants and flowers are real and living, most of all gorgeous.

    So join me as we stroll through and enjoy Christmas in this stately home.

    Keep your mind open to new floral ideas you might be able to use in your own home this holiday season.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  8. Can’t Get Enough of that Pumpkin Crisp!

    November 25, 2014 by Beth

    My very first “real”  job out of college was with Duke Power Company as a Consumer Education Representative in their Marketing Department.

    I worked with the public teaching about conserving energy and how to operate and cook with a microwave among lots of other things.

    The best time of the year were the holidays when we would have presentations featuring items in our annual calendar filled with energy tips, craft ideas and great recipes.

     

     

    One of the chosen recipes we all loved was our famous Pumpkin Crisp!

    I recently made this delicious dessert for supper club and promised to share the recipe, so here you go!

     

     

     

    PUMPKIN CRISP

    16 oz. can pumpkin

    15 oz. sweetened condensed milk

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/2 tsp. cinnamon

    3 eggs

    1 box yellow cake mix

    1 cup chopped nuts

    1 cup butter, softened

    Frosting:

    8 oz. cream cheese

    3/4 cup Cool Whip

    1/2 cup confectioners sugar

     

    Line bottom and sides of a 9 x 11 inch pan with waxed paper. Mix pumpkin, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and eggs and pour into pan. Pour dry cake mix over the above mixture. Put nuts evenly into dry mixture. Spoon melted and cooled butter evenly over nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes; invert on tray. Remove waxed paper.

    Mix frosting ingredients. Frost and refrigerate.

     

     

    Enjoy your Pumpkin Crisp and may it fill you with yumminess all this Thanksgiving.

     

     

    Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday!

    Feeling…

     

     


  9. Gourd Thanksgiving Times!

    November 15, 2014 by Beth

     

    I know you all think it’s Christmas already with all the decorations in the stores and holiday music playing on the radio.

    But wait … it’s still November, football is still in play, there’s a nip in the air and we first have to pause and be thankful for our blessings.

    So in honor of the almighty heirloom pumpkin and gourd, we stop to give a salute.

     

     

    I couldn’t decorate for fall without these lovely beauties.

    Their unique shapes and colors are beautiful examples of the earth’s bounty this time of the year.

    Gourds are from the cucurbit family which is also known for squashes, pumpkins, melons and cucumbers.

     

     

    Some enjoy drying gourds to the point where the seeds can be heard rattling inside.

    Once their moldy skins are removed you can even rub them with a bit of wax shoe polish and group them in a big wooden bowl or shallow basket to show off their natural beauty.

     

     

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I’d share a beautiful fall arrangement you might want to try.

    And of course it uses a gorgeous gourd!

    To craft your arrangement, simply choose a gourd that will be stable when sitting on a tabletop.

    First, cut an opening in the top (or in the side of a “reclining” gourd).

    Size the opening to accommodate a small jar, which may be necessary to make the gourd waterproof.

     

    Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, remove the seeds and fibers from the cavity.

     

     

    Arrange flowers in the gourd. Place a loose ball of chicken wire or a needle frog inside the gourd, if desired, to hold flower stems in place.

     

     

    To include tiny gourds among the flowers, push the pointed end of a wooden grilling skewer into a gourd, then cut the skewer to an appropriate length.

     

     

    Add the skewered gourds to the bouquet.

     

     

    And voila – a beautiful gourd vase with gorgeous flowers just perfect for a Thanksgiving banquet!

    Enjoy your arrangement, but be prepared, it make just steel the spotlight from that pumpkin pie.

     

     

    Feeling

     


  10. Let’s Go To The Country Living Fair!

    November 7, 2014 by Beth

    I know, I know…it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me. I gave myself the summer off to recharge my batteries, move my oldest to New York, my youngest into a college apartment and return to the Empty Nest way of life.

    So, here we are and it’s November! One of my latest excursions was to Atlanta for a Girl’s Weekend AND to attend the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain!

    We had a the best time and the fair was awesome, a little chilly, but awesome!

    Here are some fun pics so you can visit too. Enjoy!!

     

     

    There’s one thing for sure, burlap is still HOT!

     

     

     

     

    These long boxes were popular and would look fabulous filled with all kinds of things down a long dining room table!

    Maybe I’ll try and make one…

     

     

    Check out this bra bunting!!! Hilarious!!

    It certainly was a clever way for customers to remember this booth!

     

     

    We read lots of hysterical signs that kept us laughing all along the way!

     

     

     

     

    Someone really loved owls to make this chair!

     

     

     

     

    This is on my list to make too and would be perfect for next year’s Witch’s Brew Party, don’t you think?!

     

     

    I’m falling in love with feathers!

     

     

    How cute is this guy?!

     

     

    These were the cutest witches!

     

     

    Lunch on the lawn … a warm place in the sun!

     

     

    Aren’t these the greatest painted pumpkins?!

     

     

     

     

    There were a bunch of these little campers that had been “pimped” up!

     

     

    Ok, this made me swoon….love this architectural piece but it definitely wouldn’t fit on the plane home. :(

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Bring on Christmas!

     

     

    I’m on the lookout for an old ice cream churn. Let me know if you find one and NEED to give it to me!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Until next time!

     

    Julie & Perri