An Open Door is an Unwrapped Gift!

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Little Secret

ladyatcomputerwithcoffeeI’ve been keeping a secret from you…I have a new blog!!  When I started Entertain In Style, it was a motivation for me to do what I love, which is put together centerpieces and tablescapes.  In the process, I discovered that I really enjoy the communication aspect. I love talking about what is on my mind.  So, I decided to create a new blog that would include more aspects of me…which will include tablescapes and events, no doubt, but will also be more.  So please click on over and see what you think.  I have a few posts already and would love to hear feedback.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the feed, because you won’t want to miss all the great things I have planned for us!!
LivoCity - Moving with Life
Once you are finished there, checkout:
LivoCity's Facebook Page
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Thanks so much for supporting me!!

Niki

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vibrant Tulip Tablescape

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Sometimes in life, you just need an extra pop of color to liven things up.  That is just what this tablescape is!  I bought tulips from the local grocery store, paired them with the most colorful accessories I had on hand…and was so proud of the results.

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Colorful groupings of tulips placed in different sized clear vases give the floral centerpiece interest that causes your eye to bounce around the table.  I accented the vases with chocolate brown ribbon.

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I hope this Pop of Color Brightens Your Day!

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beach Getaway Birthday

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Well, my birthday is long gone, but the memories will linger much longer!
Before I get into my birthday tablescape, planned by my sister-in-law, Charlene (as promised long ago), I have to show you the “blogger” birthday card my mom gave me.  It is SO true…and I know all of my blogger readers will relate.
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Now, back to my “In Law” birthday celebration…We always celebrate our birthdays, with a FABULOUS meal prepared by my Mother-In-Law.  However, this year’s celebration was even more special for me.  Charlene, knowing how I love the special touches that turn a “get together” into an event, created a gorgeous beach getaway to set off the evening.
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The foundation of the centerpiece was a stone placemat she purchased at Coldwater Creek.  Starting on the left, she used a blue and white wooden lighthouse that she already had on hand.  For an additional splash of color, blue tinted jars were filled with sand and pink votive candles.  The clear cylinder in the center had brown sand and seashells.  To set it all off, she placed a gorgeous vase of blue hydrangeas (my favorite…my wedding bouquet was made of white hydrangeas).  The stain glass in the background is always decor in this room, but it really makes a beautiful backdrop for this work of art.  My daughter’s favorite was the Dora sunglasses placed right in front, which also doubled as a take home goodie for her.
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Each place setting was created with a piece of blue scrapbook paper, placed on an angle, a silver charger, and a white plate.  The blue, green, white and yellow striped napkins were placed in the center of the plate.  The place cards were small bottles, filled with sand and a message (our name).  Each one had a special surprise, a shark’s tooth and some small shells.  We were all excited to get to take them home.  It was a fun event filled with beauty, delicious food, and good times!!
I would like to thank all of my family and friends who made my birthday special by celebrating with me in so many ways!  I am truely blessed to have each of you in my life.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Where Bloggers Create Part II – My Contribution

Months ago, I decided to sign up for Where Bloggers Create Part II, hosted by Karen Valentine at My Desert Cottage.  My office/craft room is, like many things in my life, a work in progress.  I was so excited about this new found motivation to FINISH that ongoing project.  Yet, as it always does, life got in the way.  So, today in  true, air out my dirty laundry  transparent blogger form, I post my “still not finished” craftroom.  Maybe it will be complete by next year’s party. :)
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When you first enter the room, I have a craft table where I can spread out whatever I am working on, including my sewing machine, which I keep in it’s case between the shelving unit and craft table.  It is also great for wrapping.  As you can see, I have attached rolls of wrapping paper below the upper shelves of the unit.
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To the left of the craft table, I have my “office”.  A small breakfast table with drop leaves in front and back makes the perfect computer desk.  Behind the desk is a magnetic dry erase board with magnetic spice racks.  In front of the computer desk, I have a toy area set up to occupy baby while I work.
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I hope you enjoyed the tour!!  If your new to my blog, please check out the rest…don’t forget to follow and comment!!  I love hearing from YOU!!
*Still to come…the birthday tablescape I promised in my last post.*

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sugar Coma OTP...followed by crashing on the couch for the rest of the evening!

I have to share a few highlights from my amazing adventure at Sugar Coma OTP, hosted by The Broke Socialite, with special help from Events by Canvas.  For those of you who haven't heard, The Broke Socialite does...some Tantalyzing tours!  For this particular one, she was in Atlanta conducting a "bakery crawl", however she has additional events in other states...and she does more than just bakeries ("Freeze"-icecream and "Graze"-Tapas, just to name a few).  When I saw the details of this event in Points North Magazine, I knew I had to grab one of my best friends, Bridgette, with Adoption Discovery and make my reservation!!

Lots to tell, so I think I'll just dive right in!

We started out meeting and greeting over lunch at Relish.  My personal favorite was the Pimento Cheese Fritters with Hot Pepper Jelly!!  However, the Spinach Salad, Chicken Salad Sandwich, Fried Blackeyed Peas, and Crab Sandwich were all very tasty! Oh, I almost forgot, the desserts begin with Krispy Kreme bread pudding topped with Espresso whipped cream...now that is going to be hard to beat.  Keep in mind, we are all trying to pace ourselves for the sweets to come!


First stop after lunch was All Y'alls Wine and Gourmet, Relish's sister store located in the same building.  Here we were told all about their gourmet foods and spirits.  Then, we were offered samples of a dessert wine and non-alcoholic Cucumber Lemondade.  Whoever thought of adding cucumber to lemonade discovered a fresh, refreshing delight!

Next Stop, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Shop, where enjoying life and doing good for others walk hand in hand.  This coffee company was started in order to allow the coffee growers of Rwanda to receive above fair trade prices for their hard earned coffee crops.  To know that you can come, do what you already do... that is, sit back, relax and enjoy your coffee...and support others who are across the world is truly amazing!  Not to mention, the coffee was DELICIOUS...and this coming from an avid, Bold Coffee Connoisseur!!  If your not a coffee drinker, don't fret, you can still "do good" and support them, by ordering some of their non-coffee beverages.






Now that we have rinsed our palette, our next stop is Lulu's Bakery!  Upon entering, we saw two beautiful show rooms that showcased elegantly designed cakes, cupcakes and cookies.  At first glance, you can't help but think there is no way they can taste as good as they look...WRONG!!  Everything was even better than it's gorgeous appearance!  My personal favorite at this location was the Strawberry Cupcake, but many would argue that you can't beat those chocolate chip cookies!  No fighting here though, we were enjoying ourselves so much on this tour, that we continued to devour the espresso brownies, shortbread cookies, and melt in your mouth chocolate peanut butter balls...and discuss the lingering perfection as we headed to our next location.





On to Cuzi Fresh Cafe!  This place has more to offer than just dessert.  They offer a variety of fresh, healthy options, such as soups, salads and sandwiches...all with a great relaxing atmosphere, which also includes Wi-Fi.  We sampled a collection of desserts, including bread pudding, cannellonis, chocolate stuffed pastries, and more!!  This place has so much to offer, you won't know where to start!  We are starting to fill full now, but we have MUCH more to go, we are barely half way finished.


My most highly anticipated stop, Kozmo's Gastropub, is next...and does not disappoint!  If you visit their website, you will see why I am so excited to try this place for the first time.  This place looks like it will be right up my self-proclaimed "foodie" allie!  When we arrive, the bar is set up with glasses that we later discover will become white chocolate raspberry martinis.  The dessert table is already beautiful, and the Picturesque desserts are just arriving.  I can't even name all the desserts, I was to taken aback by their beauty, but I will do my best to at least give you a general idea.  We had Jack Daniels Mouse (in shot glasses, of course), Pineapple Dessert Spoons, what I like to call (but I know they called it something else) Egg Custard with Toasted Meringue on top (probably my favorite), Creme Brulee, Flourless Chocolate cake with Ice Cream, Chocolate Chip Cookies...I know there was probably more because they just kept bringing it out!!  We felt like treasured guests...who left dragging ourselves to the bus discussing how we did not want to SEE a bathing suit for a VERY long time!!  (and we sure wouldn't mind a savory treat right about now.)


Our next stop, Douceur de France, was a little ways away, which gave us a quick breather for all the goodies to settle...not too mention we are really laughing it up on the bus, as we have gotten to know and made fast friends with each other.  Once we arrive, our beautifully accented host, Chef Luc Beaudet, gives us another break by demonstrating how to make a Strawberry Shortcake.  I never knew you could make Whipped Cream into such a beautiful frosting...then again, I doubt I COULD get it to look this good.


At the end of the demo, a tray of goodies is passed around, as the Chef goes to the back to cut the Shortcake.  I chose a Cappuccino Eclair...FANTASTIC!!  I hear they only serve them on Saturday.  It was a delight!!  I was so glad I chose it.

For our last stop, we were headed to one of my personal favorite restaurants, the only one I was familiar with ahead of time, Sugo!!  I tried to tell everyone before we arrived how delicious it was, but it was only after they tried it for themselves that they started making plans to come back.  When we arrived, the bar was set up with Chocolate Martinis, but Sugo being Sugo...they had more in store!!!  This restaurant is family owned...and when I say family owned, I mean FAMILY!!  The whole family is involved, and when you are there, they treat YOU like FAMILY!!  Just the kind of place I love to frequent!  Anyway, back to our surprise...they, knowing they were the last stop of the day, wanted to give us a little something they knew we had been longing for...a SAVORY dish!!  We were presented with a, shall I say, DEC-A-DENT BACON wrapped date!!  It was Fabulous...the perfect end to a perfect tour.





From there, we waddled to our Atlantic Limousine Tour Bus where our fabulous driver, Craig, was waiting patiently...and we headed back to Relish where we could get in our cars, head home, and crash on the couch for the rest of the evening, with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.

To see some awesome pictures from Mary Rebecca, our very own paparazzi who made us feel like celebrities, and captured some great memories.  Check out the afternoon tour (mine) or the morning tour!

**Coming up on Entertain In Style...my beautiful, birthday tablescape created by my Sister In Law, Charlene**.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gifts – It’s All Wrapped Up!

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I love to give gifts, especially when I can come up with something that I feel is Distinctive, Personalized, and Memorable.  It’s a trait that my mother passed down to me.  She has always done such a good job of searching (sometimes for way too long) for the perfect gift.

I firmly believe that the gift packaging is like icing on the cake, another opportunity to “Dress to Impress”.

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   So, when I asked my friend which type of shower gift she wanted, and she said, “diapers and basics”…I knew I had to figure out a way to make it more exciting than just “essentials”.  I decided on a diaper cake.  I had never made one before, so I used Jax’s Towel Cake Tutorial at Ashly & Ash as my guide.  I am so thankful that I had somewhere to turn.

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I created the frame, making sure I had enough room for the Powder and Baby Wash to sit inside, then wrapped the diapers and ribbon around it.  With washcloths, pacifiers, and teething ring in place, the bottom layer was complete. 

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The cake was topped with diapers, washcloths, booties, card, and a monkey. 

When it comes to gifts, I try to add a little pizzazz by thinking outside the gift box.

 

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Sunday Showcase, Making the World Cuter Monday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, WooHoo Wednesday

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tea Party Birthday Celebration

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Sunday, I had the pleasure of hosting a birthday celebration for my Mother In Law.  No, she is not "one of THOSE" Mothers in Law.  She is so kind, loving, thoughtful, giving and wonderful!!  She knows just how to use her unique gifts in the lives of those around her.  She has always taken joy in having tea parties with her three grand-daughters, so I thought it was only fitting that the celebration have a Tea Party theme.

The favors consisted of 2 individual tea bags wrapped in scrapbook paper envelopes, tied off with chocolate satin ribbon, plus a little chocolate lamb.  Place cards were made with coordinating scrapbook paper.

In the upper left hand corner of each place setting, I used my antique punch glasses to house my tea bag shaped cookies dipped in chocolate and set off with string and tag, reading "Happy Birthday Liz".  I got this brilliant idea from the lovely Kim at Frost Me Blog.


As for the food, I have my wonderful husband to thank for that.  He started the meal with a cheese tray consisting of Hoop Cheese (the guest of honor's favorite), Gruyere, and Parrano, with fig paste, candied walnuts, and balsamic syrup.  Then he prepared an amazing and colorful meal that we served buffet style.

We started with a Spinach Salad filled with delicious Strawberries, Candied Pecans, Feta, Bacon, and a Balsamic Vinegar Dressing.
 
Chicken Fingers and a Veggie Tray of Carrots, Celery and Ranch was especially designed for the younger guests, but the adults were allowed to partake too.
The main course was his very own creation, a Curried Stir Fry with Yellow Peppers, Pineapple, and Butter-Cilantro Basmati Rice.  It is a perfect Gastrique!!


The Birthday Cake was Specially Ordered with a unique surprise for the Birthday girl.  When she was growing up, her mom used to make a Caramel Cake with Coconut mixed into the icing.  So to remind her of her decadent days gone by, I had them sprinkle coconut over a portion of the cake.  It was Tasty and Beautiful!!
So the Sweet Tea, Water, and Salt & Pepper would be readily available, I set up a Beverage Station on top of the Microwave beside my place at the table.

I had seen so many of my blogger friends making the adorable Martha Stewart Pom-Poms.  I couldn't believe how easy they were...and they made such a great accent hanging over the table!!

To welcome the Guest of Honor, I made a sign with Scrapbook Paper, Ribbon, and a Photo Mat.





Overall, it seemed everyone had a great time.  We all enjoyed the time with family, celebrating the joy that Liz brings to all of our lives, and that is what matters the most!

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