Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Protocol School of Washington






This post has been a long time coming. At the end of September, I had the honor, and I mean honor, to attend The Protocol School of Washington. Many of you that know me KNOW for certain that I love etiquette and image. I will talk to one or one-hundred people about anything that has to do with style. I will help them organize their closet, or put together thirty outfits for their month ahead. I will host a bridal shower, dinner party, or holiday get-together and love every minute of it. Absolutely nothing about these things stresses me out because, I L.O.V.E. doing them. Well, after working with friends and clients privately through college, I wondered how I might take this interest to the next level. In comes Dr. K suggesting this school that she has heard many great things about. We know she is a diva and knows the answer to everything! I was automatically interested. What could be better than taking my loves to the next level? I applied, got accepted, and packed my bags to head off to Washington, D.C.
I have to admit that on my first day, I was somewhat intimidated. I sat down next to a woman who was a major in the Air Force, and had quite the accomplished military career. Their were people from Mexico, Africa, and all over the United States. We had everyone from a legit supermodel to a pastry chef to a navy seal! And, better yet, I was the youngest one there (by just a few months, sweet Jennifer)!! Well, I immediately knew I was in the right place as funny as that sounds. These people were so intriguing to me, and I could not wait to talk to them. Then, in walks one of the most elegant women I have ever seen in my life, Mrs. Pamela Eyring, owner of our school and director of our class. We made introductions and I was pleased to find out that three other precious, precious people were from my own great state of Alabama! Roll Tide!
Over the next five days, we covered SO MANY AWESOME THINGS!!! Dining like a diplomat for a six course meal, the proper business image, captivating speaking techniques and international protocol, name a few. Literally, I could not get enough. Most people might not think that sitting in a room from 7:30 to 4:30 everyday could be entertaining. Well, let me tell you, I was having the time of my life. My classmates were hilarious and so fun to get to know! I would even eat dinner with some of them at night. Oh man, let me go on some more!
At the end of the school, we had a graduation ceremony. I have to admit that I got a little emotional about it. I did because I knew I was doing the right thing with my life. It felt so so unbelievably good to have accomplished something that I am thoroughly in love with! This was thoroughly one of the greatest blessings of my life thus far. From the people I met, to everything that I learned, it was all quite unforgettable. I've got great friends on other continents, as well as in my own great state. I think it is safe to say I'm obsessed with The Protocol School of Washington and all the sweeties of the Class of 2011!
So, if you are wondering, what exactly do I do now? The answer is that I have my own etiquette, image, and protocol consulting business. I am certified to instruct people in the private industry or in the corporate world in these topics. Weddings, banquets, and children's etiquette also interest me. I can help organize those as well. I simply took my previous interest in style and dining and added education to it! Now, as I say to my family, "You better do what I say because I am certified!" Haha! I am trying my very hardest to establish myself in the Shoals area so that I can serve them here! Once that is accomplished, I plan to expand to larger cities. I'm loving this because I can do it for a lifetime! I just have to continue to renew my education as it comes time. So, help me spread the word! I'd love consult with your church, children, clubs, or business! Thanks for hanging in there while I talk about my career! :)

P.S. I got to see my dear friend Cade Ann Smith while I was in D.C.!!! She is in the first picture!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Life in Text: It Happened Again!



I am SO THRILLED! As of today, ANOTHER article has been published about my blog in the
TIMES DAILY. Is this my life? I am obsessed with blogging and with all of you sweet readers! People have been so kind to compliment me on my Christmas wrapping paper series. I did this class back in September at the Florence Lauderdale Public Library. Thanks to them for getting me on board once again! Some of the pictures of the gifts I wrapped are featured on the website posted below. If you have questions, comment away! I can't believe this is happening! Thanks again for all of the encouragement. Happy Holidays and love to all!

10 Minute Taco Soup

Long time, no see! I don't know where my life is going these days! Despite my woes of time flying by, I am here to share a wonderful soup recipe with you. In the fall and winter, I practically live on soup and will take any recipes you have to share. Here is a time tested concoction that Dr. K and I enjoy. It's so fast, you won't even remember you cooked it!
Ingredients:
-8-10 oz. Lean Ground Beef
-1 can kernel corn
-2 cans kidney beans
-1 can pinto beans
-1 large onion chopped fine
-2 cans diced tomatoes ( 1 or 2 large cans depending on how soupy you like it)
-1 package mild taco seasoning (2 if you want it spicy)

Directions:
-brown beef in large pot
-sautee beef and onion together for a few minutes
-drain all veggies except tomatoes and add to pot
- add seasoning and simmer

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who said, "Times Daily?"


Oh my word, literally. One of my goals in life has been met this very Wednesday. When I started this blog a year ago, I dreamed of one day having my words reach the media somehow. After a year of waiting, it has finally happened. An article on my recipes ran today in the Times Daily. Nothing feels better than the satisfaction of having a goal or dream come true. I look at the article and I cannot believe my recipes are there! WOW! For that, I have all of you readers to thank. You have helped me spread the word about my blog. You have stopped me in Target, texted me, and emailed me to ask all kinds of questions. I have left our brief conversations over countertop suggestions or what's for dinner wondering if you know how much it means to me that you even stop and ask. I want to hear more, learn more, and connect more with you! I wish I could thank every one of you in person for the confidence and inspiration you've given me. You are the reason I keep on blogging. I do have to give a shout out to my cousin-in-law Abby and her co-worker Jennifer for getting me on board for a cooking demonstration at the library. It was such a fun event and I gave out all my samples! No pressure to perform when a journalist shows up. Haha! I love talking to people about anything and telling them of my culinary passions made it quite memorable. So, thank you again, readers, you've taken little Home of Owl and given it big wings. For that, I am forever grateful.
Check out my article here: http://www.timesdaily.com/stories/Food-scores,183109
Photo courtesy: Times Daily

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am on al.com!


Just a quick note, my blog has now been added to www.al.com under the Florence blogs. I love love love this!! Go here to check me out along with other bloggers in our great state!
http://www.al.com/blogs/index.ssf?bamabloggers.html
image: al.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

Please Buy TJ MAXX Tights




What woman does not love TJ Maxx? I'm telling you that if you aren't obsessed already, you will be very soon. You MUST be a TJ Maxx tight buyer. They have excellent brands such as HUE, Betsy Johnson, and Calvin Klein. They've got all the neat colors and print that are hot for fall. The best thing about them is how cheap they are! Retail on some of those brands is close to $20 for one pair! Last week, I needed a new pair of black tights and I needed them fast. I cannot survive the work week without them. While in a hurry at WM, I decided to grab a plain black pair along with my cereal and milk. Later that week, I was in TJ Maxx to get a gift basket. While looking around, I noticed that they had a three pack of Betsy Johnson tights for $9.99! Hello? Why would I not return the $5.00 for the one pair I got at WM? I'd much prefer designer brand over the everyday, especially when it is cheaper. The pack had a solid pair, and two printed pairs. Perfecto! It's just too bad they're not made in America! Do yourself a favor, save time, gas, and take my advice. Happy Monday and have a wonderful week!




Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Z0gchp8jsp8/TMgsNDM7pkI/AAAAAAAABWA/FnxvjnpigpA/s1600/betseyjohnson.jpg

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Three Favorite Etsy Shops




When I get really passionate about something, I want to tell everyone. I love quality. I love Made in America. I love coziness. Ozetta, Creatiate, and Spreadthelove are three absolutely beautiful Etsy stores that meet those standards. I've ordered from them all and I can speak to that. What can I say? Wedding ring pillow money from my Etsy shop has to go somewhere!
For those of you that don't know Etsy, it is a artisan website. It allows craftsmen all over the world to sell their handmade goods. Well, it is good for so many reasons. It avoids slave labor, supports small business, and is eco-friendly. I usually stir over Etsy purchases for awhile before I commit. I read feedback, talk with fellow "Etsy-ians," and consider the person receiving my gift. With these three stores, I have received excellent service, transaction, and product. That's why I keep them on my MUST list for gifts. This year, I have decided to do Christmas a little differently. I will only give out gifts that are from Etsy, or made by my own two hands with sewing or cooking, of course! No offense, but I grow very tired very quickly of everything I own being made of fake fabric in some place I cannot pronounce. I want to get back to the good in goods. I shop natural fabrics and made from scratch things. I want my loved ones to know that I took time to choose an extra special something for them that has a simple purpose. As hippy as I sound, I really care about this. Christmas, to name an occasion isn't all about the gift, but wouldn't it be even better if that gift were something wholesome? Working for a Made in America line at Carter and Co. has made me think and re-think my "retail footprint." We need to get back to supporting the artisans that are available to us in the good ole' U.S.A. and I say that with no political undertones. Focus on how you treat others and be thoughtful of the wonderful world outside your door. The next time it's gift time for you or someone else, consider a different approach. I will.


Images courtesy of:
Ozetta.etsy.com
spreadthelove.etsy.com
creatiate.etsy.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oyster Cracker Snack

Well, I'm allergic to oysters amongst all fish so, I have to settle for the next best thing. Introducing, the ultimate, the outrageous, the next best thing to seafood, The Oyster Cracker Snack. If you want to snack until your sick, make this as soon as possible. Once you eat one, you'll have to keep eating them. I did warn you, remember that. This takes about five seconds to put together and less than that to gobble it up. Just make sure you let the crackers cool on the baking sheet before putting them into jars or burning your mouth. Wouldn't this be great for yor next football party or movie date? Happy Tuesday!!

Oyster Cracker Snack:
Ingredients:
12 oz. Ritz Crackers (1 plus ½ bag of Premium brand works best)
1 package Hidden Valley Dry Ranch
¼ heaping tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
¾ c. Wesson vegetable oil
Directions:
Combine all ingredients into one mixture and pour onto crackers. Mix well. Bake on 250 for 15 minutes. Stir every five minutes until crackers are crispy and golden brown.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Halloween Candy Bark

Man, oh man! What am I doing to my thighs?!? I made this candy bark yesterday and it is amazing. The link to the original recipe is below. I changed mine up a bit with candy from the dollar store. People were hogging all the Halloween M&M's. And...there was no white chocolate to be found. Alas, I am addicted yet again to another new recipe. Feel free to mix this up however you wish. Thanks again to my best friend Pinterest for enticing me to make this! Happy fall to all of you. I can't think of a better way to start off October!
Ingredients:
1 block chocolate almond bark
2 Symphony candy bars
3 Butterfinger candy bars
3 packs of pretzel M&M's
1 bag of pretzel sticks (won't all be used)
8 Reece's cup
1 cup Target brand roasted salted almonds chopped
Optional-extra chocolate to drizzle on top (white or dark)
Directions:
-Chop all items except almond bark in small bites/your desired size
-Melt almond bark in microwave
-Line baking sheet with foil all around-corners, too!
-Spread chocolate out evenly on baking sheet
-Sprinkle all items on top and press into chocolate sheet
-Refridgerate for 30 mins.
-Drizzle extra chocolate on top if desired
-Refridgerate for another 30 mins.
-Keep in fridge until ready to serve

http://annies-eats.net/2010/10/27/halloween-candy-bark/