Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Polite House Guest

We all want to feel appreciated, don't we? Come on, let that vanity and pride hidden deep down inside of you rise up for a few moments while we have this discussion. I love love love to entertain people. Whenever I host a houseguest, dinner party, or bridal shower, I am in my element. Often, my sweet guests bring me small presents or write darling cards to show their gratitude. I can't lie that it does make me feel appreciated when they show a small gesture of gratitude. I've been to several lovely parties and when I go, I try to pay it forward. I know my mama' would be proud that I passed on one of her traditions. Most often, she was throwin' that tissue paper over those floral dishtowels, tying on some raffia and shoveling us out the door to just one of those many occasions. I guess I always like to think of that saying, "You never know what a change you can make in someone else's life." Sharing my passions with others while brightening their day can make a big difference! Hope all of you consider these tips the next time someone graciously invites you into their home. Don't forget to let them know they're loved! Have a perfect week!

1. Times to take a small gift: Spending the night at another's home, dinner party, bridal shower hosted for you, baby shower hosted for you

2. After any of the above occasions, you can and probably should write a small note to let the hostess know what you really enjoyed about the time you spent in their home. What was your favorite thing about the food? Their home? Memory?

3. Types of small tokens just to name a few: A baked good, candle, dishtowels, small book, or plant will all do just fine. Usually, it is something that is used specifically within the home.

4. If you are sleeping over, be neat! Make your bed, place towels in the laundry, don't throw your stuff about as if you're in a mad rage.

5. Return the favor by making sure that you invite that person into your home in the future. It might be awhile before you can do so, but you should remember that they've gone out of their way for you!

P.S. Pictured above are some napkins I've sewn. I recently gave these away as a gift!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hop Up and Get Ready for Easter!

I love Easter. It is the perfect time to celebrate so many wonderful things: bountiful blessings, family, friends, and spring. At my house, we do Easter up big. Its all about bright outfits, pink pearls, bunny cakes, casseroles, and pictures by the tulips. I have fond memories of the past Easter's with those I love most. I plan on carrying these traditions through the many Easter celebrations to come. I cannot wait to get home today to work on my tablescape, start cooking, and iron my dress for Sunday. You still have time to whip up something special for those you love. Here are some pictures from past Easter celebrations with my family. One is the tablescape that I decorated with last year. I kept things simple using Easter eggs with guest's names on them for place cards and chocolate bunnies for their Easter favor. Also consider using colored napkins at each place setting and pastel flowers for the centerpiece. Simple is usually best for this holiday. As for your outfit, pick something bright! Remember, these will be the pictures you laugh and smile about for years to come. Maybe these images will inspire you! I hope all of you take in this special weekend and celebrate the true blessings of this holiday. Have a wonderful time. Love to all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Steak Marinade

Hello, all! One night last summer, I was experimenting in the kitchen. I wanted to try to make a marinade that would work perfectly for all types of steaks. I threw this together, crossed my fingers, and prayed that it would work. At the time, I was cooking for my mom and boyfriend. They loved the way that our steaks turned out and they didn't even know I had created my own recipe. I love being adventurous in the kitchen! I think this recipe has a great balance of sweet and salty if I do say so myself. I hope that you can use this recipe and find it tasty for your next red meat dish. Maybe you will be inspired to try a marinade of your own. It's really hard to mess this one up!
Note: I used approximately this amount for three New York Strip steaks.
1. Kikkoman Soy Sauce-Place enough in a bowl to almost cover the meat you will place in the marinade. I'm usually using 1/4 plus cup but I LOVE me some soy sauce.
2. About 2 tbsp. of brown sugar-dark if possible
3. Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
4. 2 cloves freshly chopped garlic
5. Chopped green onions (if desired)
1. Mix all
2. Taste test to see if you want to add any more of the ingredients to your liking
3. Place meat in marinade and rub on top. Also, you can put this marinade in a plastic bag with the meat and place in the fridge for even more flavor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Lately, I've had several people ask me to take senior pictures for them. I am so in love with doing photography on the side and so honored that they've asked me! I know I am just a beginner but here are a few of my favorite images from the four sessions I did last week. One of them is of me because I have to take "self-portraits" for my photography class. I wanted to document this in my blog because I believe it might slowly be becoming just one part of my future career. It feels so great to do what you love. Thanks for stopping by to read my posts. I hope all of you have an excellent weekend!