Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Touch of Reflection

Hello all! I seriously cannot wrap my head around the idea that 2009 is nearing its colossal end. What a year it has many wonderful (and not so wonderful) things have happened this year.

Ever since I was a wee one I have been infatuated with the idea of "Where were you when...?". I remember asking my momma this same question countless times while I was in school. Where were you when Kennedy was shot, when Dr King was marching, when Elvis made his '72 comeback, the Beatles were on The Ed Sullivan Show, when Woodstock happened...the list goes on and on. My mother always had the most amazing stories. She seemed so much larger than life and I couldn't wait to grow up so I could see the world too.

The other day this thought crossed my mind and I was feeling like maybe my life wasn't turning out the way I thought it would. I had always thought that I'd be, I don't know, bigger somehow. That my life would have some sort of impact...that I'd change the world. After a long convo with my Mom, I realized something. I'm still young, and yet, my life has been full of incredible moments. These moments give me my story to tell. They've shaped me along the way and given me my "Where were you when...?" So, after much thought I decided to take the things that impacted my life the most over the last decade and put them into a list (a list to which I am subjecting you)

10. High School Graduation in 2000. (Just a baby, but off to see the world.)
9. First Day of College. (Like the first day of high school, but somehow I felt bolder.)
8. The fall of The Towers on September 11, 2001. (What a day in America that was. This is the day I realized that the world isn't always a safe place.)
7. My first off-campus apartment. (My friend and I got a four bedroom house. I had the time of my life living there.)
6. The announcement of the invasion of Iraq. ( A war should never be easy to start.)
5. My first {out of high school} love. (He was my best friend and he broke my heart)
4. The musical my junior year of college. (I conquered my fear of singing in front of people during the run of Into the Woods.)
3. College graduation. (I got my diploma in the mail and I felt the world open up to me.)
2. The last man-friend I had before The Hubbs. (No one taught me more about toxic relationships than he did.)
1. Meeting, marrying and planning a future with the love of my life. (This one is self explanatory, I think.)

There you have it. My personal Top 10. Cheesy I know, but for me necessary. Have a deliciously wonderful New Year's Eve and lets make 2010 one for the books!

Photo Credit: Heroes of Capitalism

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Unique Hostess Gift Ideas

Well, the Holiday season is in full swing and what a season it is! This time of year is always full of love, laughter and an unmistakable air of frivolity. What, in my opinion, is the best way to celebrate this festive season? With a fabulous holiday party, of course! I will be attending several this year and hosting one of my own very soon. We will be traveling to la casa de MIL on Christmas Eve for a traditional family get together and returning on Christmas Day for a cocktail party. While telling my Mom about all of this, she said to me, "I hope you remember to bring a little something for The Hubbs' Mom." To which I replied, "Of course I did, I've purchased a darling set of wine charms."

This got me thinking about hostess gifts. I love the idea of them, but in execution it can be tricky to come up with. I try ever so diligently to bring each host/hostess something unique and in keeping with their unique personalities and tastes. But, I must admit, that even I sometimes fall into a bit of a gift giving rut. Especially after a long week at work. My point? Well, this morning during my daily blog crawl I came upon this great little post. Click here for Delish's take on unique hostess gift ideas. I'm warning you, some of these are a little pricey, but I'm sure with a little thought and ingenuity, a suitable, more budget friendly counterpart could be achieved.

Enjoy the article!

Photo Credit: Exotic Green Garden dot com

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Treats and the Trimming of Trees

Squee! I can't believe the Holiday season is already upon us. I love this time of year. The Christmas Classics start popping up on TV and carols are everywhere! I am a Christmas nut (no, I don't have 25 sweaters bejeweled and covered with snowmen or Christmas light bulb earrings). My favorite Christmas Carol album is by Mario Lanza (opera star and heartthrob of the early 20th century).

Tomorrow, my little 9 to 5 is kicking off the festivities with a Tree Trimming Party. Another engagement will keep me from attending, but not from contributing. I will be making something wonderful and I thought I'd share the recipe with you. Maybe I can help spice up your holiday party!

Asian-Inspired Salmon Lollipuffs

You'll need:
One pound either frozen or fresh salmon fillet, cut into even cubes (about 1")
Pinch lemon juice
3-4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
One package Puff Pastry sheets
1/3 c. Sweet Chili Sauce (Found at any speciality grocer or Asian market)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the salmon into a medium bowl. Add lemon juice (2-3 Tbsp) and half of the teriyaki sauce. Toss to coat evenly.

Unfold pastry onto lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into 1/2" wide strips (about 16 in all). Cut the strips in half crosswise to make 64 strips. Place two strips in an "X" patten in the baking sheet (feel free to line the baking sheet with wax paper, I do). Place salmon cube in the middle of each "X". Fold the ends of the pastry in to cover the filling and press to seal. Flip the pastries over so that the seam side is down.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Pour the sweet chili sauce into a small bowl. Serve the pastries on wooden food skewers and arrange on a platter.

For fun, try filling a decorative glass vessel with table salt and put the lollipuffs on long bamboo skewers. This will create a chic, edible centerpiece.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New {Blog} Love

Hello my lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am working on my holiday gift guides and it is taking me FOREVER! In the meantime I wanted to share with you a few new things I've found here in MKE.

I was doing my daily blog crawl and I happened upon a link. As usual, I followed it and this is what I found! I love that she has her own blog as well as the website. And what a cute blog it is, too. Lot's of great inspiration. Anyway, Sweetness By Alice is located in Milwaukee and her cakes are chic, whimsical and above all, beautiful!

Haute Apple Pie, a popular Milwaukee blog is on my radar in a big way! I love blogs that are a super special treasure trove of ideas and this one certainly fits the bill. The three wonderful ladies who write for the blog have a really wonderful way with words and are incredibly creative. I am so LOVING this blog right now! I encourage you to check it out, you won't be disappointed.