Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Day of Love and Other Fun

February 15th, 2017

I was so excited to have been able to surprise Marcel with a lunch out for Valentine’s Day that I actually won from a ‘give away’ on Instagram.  How cool is that?     I decided to participate on a whim, but I was glad that I did, because the restaurant, somewhere I’d never been turned out to be a huge WIN!   The food was delicious and the service also great.      I had a wonderful spinach and warm goat cheese salad with sun dried tomatoes and Marcel went for the club sandwich and french fries.    We were both happy- and because it was a late lunch- dinner ended up being very light last night.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that last week we were covered in a blanket of snow & I spent part of the weekend enjoying the bitter cold temps and snow play.    Yesterday and today-  it’s more like Spring, with blue skies and plenty of sunshine.   The snow has practically all melted, but I love the contrast and find joy in both, much to the surprise of many.

Even though I suggested he ‘not’ do anything for me for Valentine’s Day-  as I believe every day is a day to show love, he still surprised me with some gorgeous deep red roses, that I admittedly love.

Our evening was far from exciting, but we did things our style- which meant lounging and watching our favorite TV shows.     Tonight will be more of the same, while tomorrow…. well, lets just say it’s that time of the year.   More on that tomorrow.  As for now, it’s time to catch up on the latest episode of Bull.

Treats and Weekends

February 3rd, 2017

TGIF!!  I am so excited it’s weekend and I’m kicking it off by being ‘home alone’ tonight.   My favorite guy is working, but that means I can curl up on the sofa with my favorite TV shows from earlier in the week that I’ve missed.   Grey’s, Nashville, How to Get Away with Murder & Scandal.   I love the time alone, plus we have a busy weekend on the horizon with friends.   Tomorrow night we’ll spend the evening at friends, and Sunday we’ll go out to dinner with some other friends.    Great times in the making!

Yesterday was our ‘lucky 13’ anniversary and I was greeted not only with coffee in bed, but also some gorgeous roses, plus a beautiful card.  I’ll admit that I didn’t think he would remember, but he did, which made this girl smile big.   Since we both had work to get done yesterday and he was working last night- we decided to skip going out for dinner, and instead grabbed a few things of our own personal interest and had that.    Mine, was my occasional ‘once a month’ sushi treat.      I had a friend ask why I didn’t make it myself, but I make pretty much everything and from scratch, so I think I’ll continue to enjoy this freshly made once in a while treat.    Funny enough- I don’t care for rice.  I don’t buy it-  and while I’ll eat it if I’m somewhere and someone has rice as part of the meal-   I never cook it, but I do love this sushi, including the rice.      It isn’t my Gulf Coast favorites, but it will do.

How are you spending your weekend?   I know it’s Super Bowl weekend, but I’m not a football fan, so no parties here.   I do like a good get together though, so maybe it’s something to consider for next year.

In the meantime-  I’m ready to kick back, relax- and get a dose of some of my favorite actors and actresses.

 

Whatever you find yourself doing this weekend, ENJOY!

London Calling

January 17th, 2017

IMG_3074Approximately five years ago, I made a suggestion to my best friend, S. that we go to London for my 50th birthday.   At the time- 5 years out seemed like such a long time to be thinking about a girls trip, but we half-halfheartedly talked about it and every once in a while we’d make a comment about it as a possibility.

Fast forward to current day- when the year of Lori version 5.0 has arrived and the plan is in FULL MOTION!

  • Dates Chosen.
  • Flights Booked
  • Hotel Booked
  • Birthday dinner location chosen and waiting for reservations to drop so we can make one.
  • Fun being planned!

To say that I’m excited may be the understatement of the year.  S and I have never taken an overnight girls trip together, just us, so it’s going to be a blast!

Do you have any ‘must see or eat’ places in London?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.      Since we didn’t really want to spend our time traveling back and forth from the outside of the city to the hub of everything daily-  we are staying in the middle of the action in Westminster.    My birthday dinner?  If we can get reservations-  will be at Dinner by Heston-   as in Heston Blumenthal.      I really wanted to try to get into the Fat Duck, but since it’s a little too far to travel for this trip, we’re going with the closer option at Dinner by Heston.   We are also hoping to get a few bites in at Nori.

Ooh and did I mention that S will also be celebrating a birthday while she is here?   She arrives here and the following day is her 48th.      July is going to be a month of celebrations and this girl can’t wait.

 

 

 

Christmas- Southern Living Style

December 15th, 2016

It has been a hustle and bustle kind of week.    I’d love to say that I’ve got everything together- have the tree up and it’s looking festive in here, but I’d be lying.    We have the tree, but it’s yet to be brought in and decorated.    We DO have the lights and decorations out-    so that’s a step in the right direction, but I’ve been swamped with work this week.   I’m grateful- oh so grateful, but I’ve been baking my  heart out-  with more in the works.

img_2300Thankfully, I’m a little ahead of schedule after running behind schedule earlier in the week, so that is a huge plus!  Tonight I took some time and finally cracked open my Christmas with Southern Living book that I’d ordered but not taken the time to look at yet.

I’ve also been itching for the Bake from Scratch holiday issue, so was able to browse it a little as well.  Both are favorites, but I’m one of those people who will leave a cookbook sitting for months if I can’t stop and fully savor each and every page.

I know it may sound silly, but it’s true.  There’s something almost ritualistic about it.   Pure enjoyment and focused on the season at hand.

I’ve seen several recipes that I want to make for our own holiday table, including my grandmas praline recipe that I improved a couple of years ago, plus divinity.    My dearest great aunt sent me a gallon of pecans that she’s picked up from her orchard and shelled.     It was an amazing gift, and something that makes me want to create something special with the fresh pecans that I know were sent with much love.

I want whatever I make with some of them to be made with love and deliberation, but also something that the flavor of the pecans will shine through.

What would you suggest?   I’ll be sure to share what I decide to make, but as for now- I’ve got some relaxing to do as tomorrow a villiage of gingerbread men await my services.

Christmas Baking

December 10th, 2016

Have you started your Christmas baking yet? Since baking is my business and I’ve been blessed with an abundance of holiday orders; I officially started today. I spent most of the day working on 6 batches of my famous Fleur de Sel caramels, and from there went on to make two batches of gingerbread dough. *When wanting to double a recipe- measure it out and mix separately as with baking doubling doesn’t always work effectively.* From there- I mixed the dry ingredients for some cupcakes I’ll be baking up tomorrow for an order on Monday- Chocolate orange. You can’t go wrong with that flavor now can you?

Later this week I’ll be making dog treats for some very lucky canines, plus more cookies, more caramels and a few cakes. Then I’ll try to squeeze in a little personal baking to share with people I love, which I hope (fingers crossed) to include divinity and pralines- something we always had at Christmas when I was growing up.

What is your ‘must have’ on your holiday table.

The Stockings Were Hung

November 29th, 2016

Santa is coming!    How many of you had your Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving?   As much as I would have liked to, we still haven’t decided what type of tree we will have.    The fact that it will be a real Christmas tree is a no-brainer for us, but will we go for the larger one, or a smaller one Santa that will fit on a table top?  That remains to be seen.    If I had to choose today, it would definitely be a smaller version, simply because it is easier, not to mention it doesn’t take up too much space, plus I don’t have to be concerned with JJ and Mister M. having a ‘cat fight’ under the tree.   Decisions, decisions!

Much more important than the tree is the people we will be spending our Christmas with.     That is also still in the works, with plans unfolding, but I’m looking forward to having a time of fun and festivities with friends, whom I’ve adopted as my family here.

What about your favorite holiday traditions? Do you have any?    I’d love to hear about them.    When I was growing up we would always go look at Christmas lights.  My brother and I would be in our pj’s early and off we would go as a family- in the car to drive through areas and look at the Christmas lights on display.  To this day- it’s still one of my favorite traditions.    I actually think that this year we’ll also be doing it with friends here.   Something else exciting to look forward to.

What do you look forward to during the holiday season?

 

Happy Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!    I hope that you are all enjoying time with those you love and cherish, taking time to soak up the memories in the making,  plus to put some focus on the reason behind this day-   being grateful, coming together and choosing peace.

This year is a bit bittersweet for me as I’m not home with my family and friends for the holiday.   It’s the blessing and also the downside of having two places to call home, but I miss being there today.    My parents are having dinner at my brothers new home for the first time.   It’s one of those first that I am missing out on, but it isn’t possible or even realistic to be everywhere I ‘want’ to be.    Marcel is working tonight, which means I’ll be curling up with some of my favorite television shows on Hulu.

Tomorrow, I’ll roast a pumpkin and get things in order for Sunday’s festivites.   I’ll mix up the butter rolls so they can sit in the fridge overnight and I can roll them the morning of the festivities.    There will only be a few of us, but I have no doubt in my mind that this Friendsgiving will be a great one.

 

Enjoy your family or friend time.

Happy “Almost” Weekend

July 14th, 2016

Birthday month continues to bring new days and new adventures. I had an amazing birthday with my favorite guy and the company of a few friends. Granted, the month isn’t over yet, and things continue to blossom.

I feel a good energized buzz from things happening around me, and today came up with a business idea that I can not wait to continue planning and see where it leads. I am excited!

Tomorrow night I’ll be kicking off the weekend at the beach with dinner and a great friend. In my book it doesn’t get better than dinner, beach, and good company. Celebration month rolls on! Saturday will bring a day out and about with my favorite guy- and hopefully some planning on some home projects we have going on.

What about you- How is your weekend shaping up?

I also created a list for 49 things I plan to do in my 49th year- If you are interested- check it out on Bliss to the Nth Degree.

Happy ‘almost’ weekend!

Creating Joy in the Little Things

December 5th, 2015

AmstelveenYou ever have one of those days where it seems like in all things that you do- that you’re cultivating joy?

Yesterday was one of those days for me.    I spent the day in the company of some amazing friends.   We didn’t have ‘big’ plans-  our focus was spending some quality time together and to go on a few foodie quests to look for some specific products we’d had our eyes on.

A couple of those items was at a specialty market which had a stall of beautiful foodie products from France.   Mustards, sausages, jams, oils, vinegars, and butter-  oh the butter (that’s a post of a different flavor- and worth of a post all it’s own).       So we walked amongst the fresh fish, breads, cheeses, fruits and vegetables until we happened upon the treasure we were searching for.   Little did we know at the time just how MUCH of a treasure it would turn out to be.

We found the things we wanted-  talked to the wonderful French woman.  When we were done shopping- she pointed towards a lone wooden table sitting 30 feet away.     “Go, sit.”, she says.   “I want to make you a French pancake.”

We were all a bit perplexed, as it seemed to come from no where-  and I think she sensed our apprehension and being unsure what to do, because before we could do anything but look at each other in uncertainty she began talking again,  “Go, sit!   I’ll come to you and bring you a fresh pancake to enjoy. I’ll make them and bring them to you-   They are on me.    Please.”

So we did as we were asked, and sat!   She came to the table offering us toppings of sugar-   cinnamon-sugar-  caramel or cheese, which isn’t very French, and we could all see from the expression on her fact that she was hoping we wouldn’t desecrate her beloved French crepe with cheese.     Thankfully we all choose either sugar or cinnamon sugar.    Off she went with a huge smile on her face.

Less than ten minutes later, she returned with freshly made crepes.  One for each of us.    As you can see they look divine.   I assure you they tasted better than they look.

Combine that with our holiday drinks from Starbucks and it was the perfect light lunch.

We thanked her profusely and her smile was beautiful and genuine-    We were so grateful and filled with joy from such a  small gesture.

From there the day continued to get better- and ended over a lot of girl-talk and homemade soup.   Pure comfort and joy.

Yesterday reminded me that we can find joy in our daily lives, all we have to do is keep our eyes open and embrace the moments.    You never know — you could find yourself right in the middle of one of your favorite moments of the year-  so pay attention.

Tis the Season

December 5th, 2015

Things have been moving along at a rabbits pace here, but I really do have SO much to tell you all. Life, in spite of the few hiccups here and there is amazing. The Christmas season is upon us- I’m almost done with my shopping, and I’ve been listening to some of my favorite local bands play. Seeing them hit the stage and hearing one especially using the new hybrid audio and the pride they have in their equipment and the sound it brings them, brings me so much joy to see.

Isn’t that what the season is all about- Joy? Happiness? Love? Peace on Earth….

Join together with people you love- on a cold night around a fire- and sing. Enjoy every moment. It’s what we have..

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