Sunday, December 4, 2011

Family Cookbook

My grandmother learned to cook from my grandfather's mother.

We all had our jobs at our family dinners: setting the table, filling the water glasses, making the veggie platter, washing the dishes, drying the dishes, but not usually cooking, and never potluck.

All year, I've been working on collecting those recipes, decifering them, scanning them and making a family cookbook of the memories. It is finally finished. I've so enjoyed this process and can't wait to get started on another photobook project full of fascinating memories.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snail Mail

I love Christmas Cards. One of my favorite holiday memory is my mother paying me to address our christmas cards. I have always loved handwriting, but it seemed like there were over a hundred cards to send out!

Everyday, as my father returned from work, he brought the mail in from the mailbox at the end of the driveway. My sister and I took turns opening the influx of holiday cards and announcing the sender at dinner.

My mother had handmade a felt card holder with pockets for all the cards.

In 2010, I may have recieved 5? Christmas cards, but I refuse to give up. This year, I'm broke, and have been telling myself all Thanksgiving weekend: No! No! No! Don't even go to Well, Ho! Ho! Ho! I went, I loved, and I ordered. What's really cool, is that tinyprints assigns a url to the card, and recipients can go to see a slide show and your yearly letter:
Tiny Prints Snapshot
Studio Shots:Charcoal Ornament Cards
Check out our collection of Christmas cards and holiday cards.

Happy Holidays! Please send a card this year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where does December go?

It's the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I babysit at 3pm. Tomorrow, I go to the office to put together a presentation that I will be giving everyday until Dec 6th. Then I'm exhausted. Then I fly to my parents home to celebrate Christmas before Christmas. Then I fly home and work at the office during the day and babysit at night until after New Years. Then my sister visits. Should I decorate my apartment for Christmas? or just enjoy the little Snowglobe I live in?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ho Hum

This is the best I could do for the table setting of my Breaking Dawn I viewing party without purchasing anything new. It's my mother's mother's china and my father's mother's silver and stemware. Simple but classicly beautiful.

Sugar Cookie of the Week

OK. This is my second attempt at decorated sugar cookies. Yeah, I like doing this, and am proud of how they are turning out. Plus they are delicious! It does make me a bit sad that these little works of art just disappear, but at least my storage unit is still organized (as I havn't created and stored, created and stored, created and stored).

Why am I covered in feathers?

You know the line from Breaking Dawn: why am I covered in feathers? Of course I crafted the favors for my recent Breaking Dawn I viewing party: feathers and glitter encased in a glass ornament. Hung on some branches, they also served as an amazing centerpiece.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hershey's Nuggets Barbie Books

As a child, I played with Barbies. My mother did not play with Barbies, but she made me an incredible mansion for my Barbies. In the kitchen was a stove with little burners made from washers. She cut the pictures out of coupons and pasted them onto blocks to make Barbie size cereal boxes. I was reminded of this fond memory while creating this free printable to turn Hershey's Nuggets into a little Twilight Saga book series.

I'm filling my office candy bowl with these little books. They will also be part of the pre-Breaking Dawn viewing snack fest. Plus they are just fun and cute.

this is how i style.....

This is part of my real job: styling for our company print. I love it. What is more fun than making outfits and skiing with models and kids? Nothing. And then comes the day, once or twice in a career, where your work hits a major magazine. There is nothing like that feeling. Well, Sawyer's mom is pretty darn psyched too.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twilight Saga Book Page Wreath

Today, while watching Twilight for the one thousandth time, I made this Twilight Saga wreath from the books' pages to greet guests of my upcoming Breaking Dawn Part 1 viewing party. I quickly and easily followed instructions on the happy home's blog. The most difficult part was ripping the pages from the books! It broke my heart.

The Best Thing I Ever Made

I was once married. We had a wonderful wedding, almost all handmade by me. I love tablesettings anyway, but for my wedding, I wanted the best. When the caterer told me I would be paying $6 per napkin rental, I knew exactly what to do with that roll of natural linen in my fabric stash: hand sew 126 dinner napkins with mitered hems. It was the most relaxing sewing project of my life. They looked wonderful at my wedding. They have survived countless parties and picnics. They match every scheme. I couldn't live without them now. They are the best thing I ever made.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Perfect Winter Party

My Perfect Winter Party has been on my mind for mmmmm about 3 years. I live in Aspen, Colorado: 6 short blocks to the Gondola (and Starbucks), and I need to take this location up on its offer of spectacular snowboarding. My plan to develop the kind of friendships to keep me on the mountain and out of my craft room is to throw the Perfect Winter Party to get us excited for the upcoming season. All potential posse members will be invited. Who's in?

The vintage photo of the accordian player and plaid guests on my inspiration board says it all. I hope to knit up some cable invites and throw pillows to set the cozy mood in my apartment. I'll steal one of those scenic Aspen posters from work for the 'photo booth' background (as if we need a background), and I'm fanasizing about a 'bling out your goggles' activity. Fondue (both cheese and chocolate) and hot drinks are on the menu.

This blog is part of the Win Your Perfect Party contest sponsored by GigMasters. To find out how to enter visit Life of the Party. If I win, its an accordian player and fondue fountain for us!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trader Joe's Olive Tapenade Recipe: Puttanesca

Ok, this is totally cheating, and so not as good as simmering a true puttanesca all Sunday afternoon, but in a pinch: heat some chopped garlic in olive oil, add tomato sauce in a jar, throw in a heaping spoonful of Trader Joe's Olive Tapenade, some TJ capers and anchovies from the pantry, salt & pepper, and ala: puttanesca in a pinch.

Breaking Dawn B-Budget

November is normally my boo budget month, primarily caused by October's Halloween Bash. This November is the Breaking Dawn I premier and I must host a girls night in it's honor. I'm creating everything with supplies I already own: scrapbook paper, a computer, flour, and sugar.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Breaking Dawn Breaking Budget

I have to have a breaking dawn party to celebrate Bella & Edward's upcoming wedding. If I had it my way, it would break my own wedding budget! I want crystal, imported moss and ferns, a white silk dress and invites in a box.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Trader Joe's Olive Tapenade Recipe: Mahi Mahi

I picked up Rachel Ray's October magazine for some Halloween ideas. She had a recipe that I adapted for a really quick weeknight dinner. Olive crusted Mahi Mahi. I keep a bag of individually packaged Mahi Mahi filets in my freezer, and a jar of Trader Joe's Olive Tapenade Spread in the pantry.

1. Spread the olive tapenade onto a thawed Mahi Mahi filet.

2. While grilling the filet for 8 minutes, preheat the oven to broil and cook spaghetti and sauce from a jar. (Trader Joe's sells all of this)

3. Remove filet from grill, and broil filet for 2-3 minutes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trader Joe's

The first time I visited Trader Joe's was about ten years ago. I had just moved to Aspen (from a city with lots and lots of grocery stores) and started working for a skiwear (not snowboard) company. Things were different at the industry's annual trade show in Las Vegas. Straight off the plane, we all piled in rental cars and drove to Trader Joe's. Everyone bought boxes and boxes of cheap pantry food and alcohol, and cheap salads for lunch. It was amazing...this company had a truck that took these boxes home to Aspen!

I still stock my pantry whenever I travel near a Traders, packing everything into my suitcase and paying the extra $20 to check it. The industry's trade show is now in Denver, so often my co-workers have a TJ list for me to bring back. I bet the office goes through two dozen of Olive Tapenade Spread in a month! Stay tuned for some of my favorite uses for this little jar.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Crafty Craft

I've always dreamed of a craft wrap presents and scrapbook and store all the pretties that I buy. This is the laundry room of my Aspen mansion! I chose a pink and brown color scheme and all my Juicy Couture shopping bags and shoe boxes make perfect storage spots.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Taos: the art of nature

"Not all things are art, but all things are art supplies" -Kim Henkel

Saturday, October 29, 2011

LBD and NOTHING to wear

I have already missed my first opportunity to wear my New LBD. I had NOTHING to wear with it! Seriously. So I spent a relaxing Saturday on, virtual shopping and outfit making. Now, I definitely have a list for my next paycheck/trip to Denver. Which one is your fav?

Orchids on Ice

I've recieved an orchid as a hostess gift. Now comes the fun part: keeping it alive! A tip from guests: an ice cube a day. It has definitely worked for the first week!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I have NEVER......

I love serving lasagna for a party. I have my favorite recipies because they always get ooohhss and ahhhas, but the best part: Check out this picture of my kitchen taken 1 hour before the arrival of 25 hungry halloweeners. In the oven, I have a portobello proscuitto lasagna, a butternut squash, and a classic bolognese. When everyone arrives, I take them out and place them on the bar for a buffet of yum. Yes, some guests did acknowledge my shopping habit: three matching lasagna pans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sugar Cookies

A few years ago, I bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I wanted to make cookies to take to my meetings.....special, decorated, sugar cookies. I don't know what I was thinking as I usually have less than an hour between work and a meeting, which obviously isn't enough time to bake and decorate cookies.

However, for a party, I've figured it out. Tuesday after work, I make the dough, roll it between two sheets of parchment, encase in saran wrap, and pop it in the fridge. Wednesday after work, remove it from the fridge and cut and bake the cookies. Thursday after work, make one recipe of Royal Icing with meringue powder, divide into fourths, color and drip into squeeze bottles. Decorate and dry overnight. It was fun!

I used recipies and they turned out perfect and stayed fresh for at least 7 days. Really. I served them vertically (I know vertical presentation is out, but....) stacked in a glass vase.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Super sweet popcorn recipes

I'm inspired to have a quiet movie night with Super sweet popcorn recipes and a few good friends.....maybe even as a night before thanksgiving party.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Decor

I love to decorate for halloween. This year, I finally finished one painting and my black fruit bowls.

The Secret Closet

I live in an Aspen Mansion: 702 sq ft. To make this space work for the lifestyle of entertaining for dinner, parties, out of town guests, and myself (me time IS entertaining myself), I had to be creative. The coats go in the bedroom closet, and the office goes in the coat closet. The top shelf holds my scrapbooks and a select section of my fashion library. A desk from Target's Avington Collection fit inside perfectly. I still need to wallpaper or paint and add another upper shelf. For parties, the office turns into the perfect surprise dessert tablescape.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Carving

I love my friend's annual old-fashioned pumpkin party. It's so cute the way he prepares the garage for the event. Pizza. Pumpkins. Oreos. Perfection. Guess which jack-o-lantern is mine.

Monster Zucchini

An officemate grew this giant zucchini. It boasted a 15 1/2" circumference and 23" length. I shredded it to share with other co-workers, keeping 6 cups for myself. That zucchinin turned into my fall favorites: zucchini olive enchiladas and chocolate zucchini cake.


I see this BOO!ing stuff on the craft and party styling blogs I follow. You print the BOO! sign, attach it to a treat, secretly give it to your neighbors, then the neighbors are supposed to post the sign in thier window and pay it forward to two other neighbors. Let's see how far this goes in Aspen????? I probably just gave some coyotes a sweet tooth.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sugar Skull

Today, I'm making Sugar Skulls. Later in the week, I will attempt to have fun decorating them. About's Gallery is so inspirational: