Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 Holiday Gift Guide for The Traveler on Your List

We know you've got lots of people to buy for this Christmas Season so we thought we'd throw a few ideas your, we'll share ideas for The Traveler! For the person on your list who is always on the go we suggest these fabulous "Off We Go" Totes! They just look like they were made for a weekend in the mountains or trip to the cottage! Handles are the perfect length for carrying and the waterproof fabric is just the right detail for fashion AND function! We also love the whimsical luggage tag designs offered at by Just Exquisite! They would make great stocking stuffers. So many colors and fun designs to choose from, you'll find one for every personality! We also love the new terry Cosmetic Bags with the cupcake graphic or initial design. The large is perfect for packing all the weekend essentials and the small size is just the right thing to throw in your purse for a day full of fun! You can find each of these items at and are still available to order in time for Christmas delivery! HO HO HO!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wishing you were here!

Since we last blogged...well, it's been a little overwhelming here! 2 computers crashed, 1 printer went out, 2 major main water lines broke, 3 floors damaged, 4 weeks of workmen, 2 completely new ceilings, countless new walls, brand new carpeting and tile. and paint, too! ..if you put this to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas, we have a new diddy to sing when we go caroling this year! Yes, construction at the holidays isn't pretty but we should have a new house by Christmas! Oh, I forgot that the kitchen is bubbled off so no cooking for this chick this week and my husband thinks he has has pink eye... I have to say my eyes were a little swollen shut this morning, too, I thought it was the dust or possibly the Sesame Chicken my daughter ordered last night (did you know I have a severe sesame allergy?) OOPS! The workmen just blew a fuse...gotta run! Thanks for listening (and not laughing at me like my mother did! just kidding, Mom)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Surviving the Tweens!

We love throwing parties: big parties, small parties, birthday parties, anniversary parties, christening parties, dinner parties, cocktail parties, you name it parties, but...Tween BOY Parties? What do you do with 10 to 12 tween boys for 3 hours? Ugh! We played out a double entendre with a SURVIVOR Party! Fun games for the boys and truly "survival" for the adults that were present! Tween boys are tough but this group enjoyed an afternoon of tough competitions and some slithery confections! We started with a tribal ritual of tattoos and body paint- while waiting for everyone to arrive the boys could "accessorize" for the afternoon! Once the guests had arrived the games began! We had several but you can never have too many, tween boys have the attention span of a flea! First up, Rifelry...yes, we let them play with guns, gun, under the strict supervision of the Tribal Leader (DAD!) Each boy got 3 shots at 3 targets. What is it about boys and guns? They LOVED it! Next up was a blind folded competition about teamwork. The boys were divided into 2 teams and each team selected a "seeker". The "seeker" was blindfolded and then had to depend on his teammates to verbally direct him to 5 hidden frisbees in the yard. (The frisbees don't have to be hidden well, this is all about communication, which they are not good at at this age!) We did one last game...and yes, it was food related! We made vats and vats of chocolate pudding and served it up with some plastic bugs! The object of the game was to collect all of the bugs out of the pudding using ...yes, only your face! NO HANDS ALLOWED! Tween boys love gross stuff and they LOVED this game! Be sure to have a camera ready because the pics from this will be the best! After some cleaning up we had tribal council (opening presents) and a super creepy, slithery cake. Seriously, we bought the cake at Walmart and accessorized with some plastic critters from the toy section! The Birthday Boy loved it! An easy and fun party for those hard to please tween boys!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sharing Sweet Treats!

There is a chill in the air and the leaves are beginning to change colors! Fall is here and that means the Holidays are just around the corner! During the Holiday Season many people share delicious goodies with family, friends and neighbors and we think that these personalized ink stamps are a creative way to create great packaging for those sweet treats! You can use the "From the Kitchen of..." stamper to make personalized labels, recipe and gift cards, even wrapping paper! They can be used year round, anytime you're delivering homemade goodies! (They even make store bought treats look festive and fun!)

Order yours at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's almost Fall Y'all!

Oh, yes...we did! We love monograms and we LOVE our monogrammed pumpkin idea! This way he can sit on your porch all Fall not just in October! We used a real pumpkin here but you can also buy one of those realistic looking ones at art supply stores and bring him out year after year!

The topiary spider, you ask? We made him! Plug a styrofoam ball with fake ivy branches and use black pipe cleaners for the legs!

To order the monogram decal and see more ideas for Fall, please visit

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh, the places you'll go!

Oh, the places you'll go...and look great doing it with these fabulous luggage tags! We just adore them! So many whimsical and colorful designs to choose from! The perfect accessory for luggage, back packs, beach totes, sports bags, lunch boxes, diaper bags...on and on and on.

Check out all of the Just Exquisite designs by Exquisite Papers at !

Monday, August 23, 2010

We love the art of a handwritten letter!

We love the art of the handwritten letter and love the helpful hints in "How to Write a Charming Thank-You Note" in the September 2010 issue of Southern Living Magazine. We thought we'd share them with you.

1. Start with the date and salutation: Send your note, written in black in within a week of receiving a gift.

2. Say thanks right off the bat: Be specific about why you are writing the note. If you are thanking someone for a monetary gift, refer to their generosity, instead of mentioning the amount.

3. Compliment the kind gesture: Do not be afraid to go over the top - everyone loves an effusive compliment, as long as it is heartfelt.

4. Allude to the future: Anticipate another get together, or if you are writing about a gift, be sure to tell them how you plan to use it.

5. Finish with sincere regards: Reiterate your gratitude, then close the letter on an intimate note, signing your first and last name. Don't forget to proofread before you postmark!

From the September 2010 Southern Living Magazine

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Okay, so I know the temperatures don't feel like football season is around the corner, but it is! Let's start planning now for a fantastic Fall full of football and friends!

Parking on Campus, sorority girls and pearls, fraternity houses, tents after tents, school colors, pom poms, cheerleaders, chips and dips, the smokey smell of yumminess on the grill, the Quad, marching bands, the school store, fold out chairs, party tubs filled with ice cold beverages (served in monogrammed cups, of course!), mascots, burgers and dogs, deviled eggs, good friends, arch rivals, SMACK talking, feels cooler already! Get ready to cheer, football season is nearly here!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

5 Things I've Learned Since My Kids Went Back to School

1. 6:00 a.m is for the birds!

2. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! (the Nacho's the school serves actually counts as a nutritionally balanced meal?)

3. Grocery shopping was meant to be a job for one person. My grocery bill has gone down dramatically without dragging two kids saying "Mom, can we get_____?" every 3 seconds.

4. School clothes require ironing!

5. Last but not least, I miss my kids! Can't wait for the weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Closets don't get Cancer

One afternoon last May I received a phone call from my Mom that literally brought me to my knees-my younger sister had been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer! You know, the kind that doesn't get diagnosed until it has found it's way into everything and it's too late to do anything about it...that kind of Kidney Cancer! By the grace of God, and some very persistant doctors, hers had been caught early. A total fluke, her symptons had nothing to do with the golf ball sized tumor in her kidney but while looking at an ultrasound they saw the little bugger. Thank you, GOD! After a very long and invasive surgery a week later she was CANCER FREE! She is a Cancer survivor and I couldn't be prouder of her!

Needless to say, our family has spent the summer celebrating life and realizing that each and every day is a gift. It's been an amazing summer! So many laughs and good times shared. After returning home from our Annual Fourth of July trip to The Farm, I was readjusting to reality and getting ready for the Back to School craziness. My parents had taken the kids for the weekend and I was using the opportunity to clean out some closets and get organized. My sisters called and suggested I come for the weekend and continue the summer of fun. I told them I couldn't that I HAD to get the closets cleaned before the kids came back...that's when she said it..."Kate, closets don't get Cancer, they can wait." Yep, closets don't get Cancer, what a reminder to live each day. We constantly need this is to be lived, so get out there and live it to the fullest! (the messy closets will still be there when you get back!)


Monday, July 26, 2010

Every year for as long as I can remember we have spent summer time fun on "The Farm". "The Farm" is a well earned, dream come true for two of my favorite people, Pop and Gigi (my grandparents). Eighty acres of the most beautiful part of the country, the Bluegrass! Yeah, I'm an Alabama girl when it comes to football, but my heart lives in Kentucky! The kids, my sisters, my Mom and I go for as long as life (and our husbands) let us go, usually about a month. It's like a time capsule-we don't hook up the cable (yes, on purpose), no tv, no video games, just old fashioned fun! Lots of board games, cards, reading, crafts, some of the best fishing around, lots of laughs, tons of SCRABBLE and best of all, fun in the kitchen!

One afternoon after devouring the newest edition of a cooking magazine, I took a challenge that the magazine offered and turned it into our afternoon activity (and snack!) Bacon! The challenge: to create a recipe using BACON as a secret ingredient! And the afternoon activity sister and I sat on the porch and threw out ideas using some of our favorite dessert, yes, dessert recipes using bacon in them. Needless to say there may have been some wine involved in this process that brought up lots of child-like laughter. I threw out "S'mores", which is a staple on The Farm, and our eyes got big and bright. It wasn't minutes before the bacon was in the oven and all 5 kids were gathering the graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows (that were the size of my head, by the way. We had to cut those in half.) Any way, we cooked the bacon half way through and then wrapped the graham crackers with it and finished baking it in the oven. When the timer went off we topped it with a chocolate square and marshmallow and popped it back in the oven to brown the top! Minutes later we were enjoying what was quite possibly the best "S'more" ever! Bacon S'more's...I know it won't replace the traditonal and most of you think I'm crazy was so indulgent and yummy! Bacon really does make everything better! Those of you who know me, know that I live by this belief! So I never entered the recipe contest sure was a fun (and delicious) afternoon on The Farm!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Make it Personal

We all love to share our home-made goodies with friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. so why not make it personal with some labels that say where they came from? We love these personalized labels "From the Kitchen of...", they come in oodles of fun designs from whimsical to classic. You can not only use them for your baked goods but why not use them for books ("From the Library of...") or wine ("From the wine cellar of..."). Great gift idea for some one who is always giving out goodies!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Time to Get Organized!

Shhh...don't tell the kids, but school is just a few short weeks away! I hate to see summer go so quickly but I quess that means we're having fun! I love these few weeks before a new school year's a time of reinventing myself. Summer time inspires me to get organized and implement new routines, dig through and organize closets and cabinets and try to bring a little bit of summer attitude into the whole year! One of my favorite things to help us stay organized year round is a personalized calendar by Robin lives on my refrigerator and everyone in the family knows to check it before making plans. It gives each one of us our schedules for the week, what's for dinner and I have put a section on it for "prayer requests" so we know who needs our prayers each week. I love it!

If you're interested in one of these great calendars you can find them at!

Happy Summer Organizing!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Three Cheers for Summer!

Okay, so this passed weekend officially kicked off Summer! We broke out with the first "cul de sac" cookout of the year, complete with S'more's...S'more's Martini's that is! Yum! Time flies when you're having drinks with friends! This Summer promises to be a fun one spent with good friends and family. So cheers y'all!

S'more's Martini Recipe:

32 oz. vodka

16 oz. Chocolate liquer (we used Godiva)

Pour vodka and liquer in 64 oz. pitcher and chill for several hours. Prepare martini glass by spreading marshmellow creme around the edge of the glass and dipping in graham cracker crumbs. Add a hot roasted marshmellow as a garnish and enjoy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Half-Marathon...What was I thinking?

First of all, let me remind those of you who know me..I am not a runner! I can run, I can chase down a tennis ball or out run a child teetering towards the street but I am not a "runner". So what was I thinking last December when my husband and I decided to run a half-marathon this year? Not only did we decide to do it but then we made it sound like so much fun that we enticed friends to do it, too! So here we are, 6 weeks into our 10 week training program and I'm hearing things like "Oh, we just have to run 5 miles today" or "yeah, I ran 10 miles last Saturday" coming out of MY mouth. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think such things could be uttered... but they are! The training program we chose has really helped, I don't think we could have had the discipline to do it on our own, my advice to anyone who wants to run a half-marathon for the first time...follow a training schedule. We are using one from and it has really worked! I still don't consider myself a runner but now I know I could be if I wanted to be. It's been fun to train along side my husband and friends and everyone who has run a half-marathon tells me that it is alot of fun the day of the race! We'll see, I'll let you know in a few weeks if I have been tricked or not.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monogrammed Flowers? You know us!

Here's a simple idea to dress up an old flower pot! Monogram know us, we'll monogram anything. When our new neighbors moved in, (full blooded Irish...Notre Dame fans and all!) I filled one of these with potted shamrocks and delivered it as a "Welcome to the neighborhood!" gift. Small ones would also make terrific teacher or birthday gifts! So simply Southern...we love it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole!

So my daughter and I could not agree on a birthday party idea - she wanted to go roller skating, I wanted to throw a party! (She's 12, it may be my last oppportunity until she gets married.) So as the days on the calendar ticked past her birthday We came up with the perfect idea! We were "late late late for a very important date!", a Mad Hatter's Tea Party! And so timely with the new version of "Alice in Wonderland" coming out. She loved the idea and Mommy began the planning. (have I mentioned how much I LOVE to plan a party?) Immediately, I went way out of the box and decided we would hold the party in the clearing in the woods behind our house...the "Rabbit Hole". I know, I'm a little crazy when I get a theme going, but I had a picture in my head of the "Rabbit Hole" decorated and I had to try it! I started praying for a beautiful Spring day right then, mud meant the party had to be in the dining room and and what would we do for two hours in the dining room? Well, all the preparations came together: invitations, party favors, hats, etc. Thankfully we also got a beautiful Spring day and we were in business! We hung a chandalier in the tree and hung paper lanterns from the limbs, carried a big, high backed chair down to the clearing and set the table like the Queen herself was coming. It was so much fun to do and the kids loved it, they even came dressed up as their favorite characters! My daughter had a great time with her friends and told me later in the day "Mommy, thanks for turning the woods into a Rabbit Hole." What more could a mother ask for?

From the Kitchen of...

A few friends and I recently hosted a baby shower and made the cutest sugar cookies for party favors...tied up with personalized ribbon, of course! The sugar cookie recipe we used was so good I thought I would share it with you...they kept their shape better than any batch I've ever made. Enjoy!

Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking poder and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (preferably overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter (we did baby carriages). Keep dough as cool as you can before baking. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

It is suggested that when you make these cookies for someone that you make sure to bring along several copies of the recipe because you WILL be asked for it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Throw yourself a party!

Life deserves celebrating so celebrate! After the long, cold winter we're all ready to get out and doesn't have to be an elaborate affair you can simply throw some burgers on the grill and invite some friends over, or pop some popcorn and let the kids host a movie night or simply invite some neighbors to meet you for "Cocktails on the Curb"...BYOB, of course~!

With good weather in our futures it's time to get out and party! Call some friends and grab your "go" cups and let's get together for some good times, I hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gray Skies Go Away!

It's February and it's cold and Old Man Winter has brought LOTS of snow and the sky has been gray for way too long! We thought we'd warm you up with images of what's to come...SPRING! Believe it or not, it will come, it always does. Spring will move in with it's subtle warm breezes and blooming new flower buds, blue skies and the sounds of neighborhood children finally getting outside. Suddenly the trees will be full of green leaves again, porches will be dressed with brightly colored blossoms and we all will be smiling again. Spring will come, do not lose hope. In the meantime, enjoy cuddling by the fire and cheering on the USA Winter Olympians.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Jewelry Trend---Layers!

"Layers"...just the word sounds indulgent! The Trend Alert for 2010 is just that, indulgent. The old saying of "if I have one of those I have a thousand" is this season's mantra. You can't just wear one necklace, you have to have 10, or atleast one necklace that looks like 10. It's chunky and eclectic and wildly fun and playful. My favorite find from my recent trip to Market was a 72" pearl necklace, yes...I said 72 INCHES! It wraps around my neck 4 times and ties in a knot in the last layer. It can be short layers or not so many long layers. It can be anything I want it to be. I can wear it with jeans or a dress. I love it! It is definitely another season where you can't go wrong with pearls! Indulgent doesn't have to mean expensive either, layer what you already have. Mix and match metals, beads, ribbons etc. Have fun with it...this season's looks are meant to be played with!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolutions for 2010

Okay, so it's the new year, 2010...really? Everyone is talking resolutions, my running shoes come out of retirement tomorrow (reluctantly). What are my resolutions? A better question might be what are not my resolutions? Like everyone else I want to lose a few pounds, eat healthier, spend more time with family and friends, slow time down, be know the list. My question is how to get these from being resolutions to becoming my reality! Our pastor had a good idea..."resolve to just breathe." Breathing is good, I can breathe...okay, reality! Baby steps, take one closet at a time, replace one snack with a healthy one, run a little farther each day, ask a friend to have lunch once a month, make reservations for Saturday's date night instead of waiting on my husband to do it...I can do this! We'll see where we get with the diet and the running (did I really sign up for a half-marathon in April???) but atleast for right now...I am breathing!

Jesus said, "I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abudnace (to the full, till it overflows)" John 10:10

Yes, have AND enjoy! Happy New Year!