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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wonderful Reminders for Elegance

In 2004 the very talented Kate Spade wrote wonderful books. They were called Manners, Style and Occasions. In each book Kate gave wonderful notes, ideas and suggestions on how to accomplish each of this items.

I purchased her book called "Style" a couple of years ago. It talked about everything from travel, to colors, posture and wardrobe classics. It has been a great addition to my library.

Recently, I remembered her other book called "Manners". I decided to jump on Amazon and take a peek at it and ended up purchasing it right away. I am excited to read it and will share some tips from it once I receive it.

I did however ended up seeing this list in her book and wanted to share it....

10 Gentle Reminders

~ Making others feel at ease is the essence of etiquette, yesterday and today

~ There are few words more elementary or more welcomed than please and thank you

~ Good moods are contagious. Hopefully, yours will be pleasantly catching

~ Be aware and considerate of personal space- physical, visual and aural

~ Showing respect is a gift, one that costs nothing and is endlessly appreciated

~ Think of your tone of voice as a telegraph. To the listener, it speaks volumes

~ A short fuse does nothing but burn. Should you find yourself with one, steer clear of others

~ Never underestimate the message that's sent by your poise and your posture

~ Clothes count. Appropriate attire is not only respectful , it's refreshing 

~ Let common sense by your guide and graciousness your goal

~ The Daily Life of Manners, Kate Spade

(photo via Instagram)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Inspiration from High Society

High Society is one of my favorite classic films. Every time I watch it I draw inspiration from it. I especially love the scene with Celeste Holm and Frank Sinatra. They play reporters at the "wedding of the season."

The room full of "elegant junk" is just something to swoon about if you love antiques. Above is a look book from Veranda magazine. Carisha Swanson pulled together some current d├ęcor items that would come pretty close to that elegant room that Celeste was talking about.

I love item number 4. The Tyntesfield wallpaper. Oh goodness so beautiful! If you have not seen the movie High Society then you should definitely add it to your list to watch. It is sure to inspire you. But I have included the scene with Fred and Celeste below. Enjoy!

(photo via

Friday, November 25, 2016

Date Night ~ Autumn in Italy Cooking Class

My husband and I are trying to incorporate different activities into our lives. The children are growing up and we are now in a time where we really don't need a sitter anymore.

So we recently decided to take a cooking class at Sur La Table. We have one location here in our city and we booked a date night called "Autumn in Italy". It was wonderful I tell you!

We had such a good time!!!

We showed up for our class at 6:30 and they had the room ready to go. There were stations for each couple and you shared a station with another couple.

Both couples share the tasks. So we put on our aprons, washed our hands and started having fun!

Our station

The first thing that we made was prosciutto wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola. It was delish and very simple. We opened the dates down the middle and stuffed them with gorgonzola cheese crumbs. After that we wrapped them in strips of proscuitto. Put them on cocktail toothpicks and placed them in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees. The dates were sweet and the proscuitto gave that perfect amount of salt taste. Wonderful....

The next thing that we made was the Tuscan herb rub for our chicken breast.

First we salted our chicken and put finely chopped rosemary leaves, parsley, olive oil and toasted fennel seeds. 

The sauce was 3 tbls of unsalted butter, 1 large shallot, 1 large garlic clove minced, 1/2 of Chianti or red wine and 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth. We mixed that all in a bowl and poured it into a skillet. We browned the chicken then put it in the oven a 425 degrees. 

Very tasty!!!

My husband cutting up the squash for the next dish which was winter squash risotto with walnut gremolato. 

This was my favorite!!!

The ingredients for this was:

So wonderful! I could not stop eating it!

The last item was dessert and it was called maple budino.

It was so creamy and delicious! Budino is an Italian word for custard or pudding. 

-Recipe for Budino-
-3 cups heavy cream
-1 1/2 cups milk
-1 large egg
-3 egg yolk
-5 tablespoons cornstarch
-1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/1/8 cups brown sugar
-3/4 cup of maple syrup

After all the hard work it was time to enjoy our meal....

I had a wonderful time and we will be doing this again soon!!!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Challenges in the Office

I was inspired to write this post recently. Have you ever worked with a "nasty woman"? I mean you can just tell that they are "mean spirited"? I am working with one now.

I used to sit across from her when I first started my job as a legal assistant and I heard her just "trash" people all the time. I never engaged in those conversations with her just listened. I use to share things about my life with her and talk with her but 2 years ago I just got tired of being "friends" with her.

There were several moments when I would say good morning to her and she would not say it back. I remember one of our fellow co-worker's being promoted and she came to my cubicle to ask why that individual was promoted and I told her it was because she was suppose to be at that level. She then proceeded to say that "she could run circles around her". Basically, she was saying that she was a better candidate.

What baffled me was that she went to lunch with the person that she was trashing! It was unbelievable!

I was just tired of it. So I started to just ignore her. I stopped saying good morning, I stopped speaking to her period. I just stayed away from her. Well, she didn't like it. She tried several times to get me in trouble at the office. I always have fresh flowers in my office. I even had them in my cubicle when I sat across from her for 2 years. Well last year after we all got promoted, I was placed in an office next to her. I knew it was going to be awful. 

It was the month of my birthday and I was awarded our first employee award! I was so excited and surprised. Well two weeks later I had a bouquet of white lilies in my office. Now we all know that lilies can be very strong. Well at 4 in the afternoon on a Friday she comes to my office and asked if I could shut my door because my flowers were too strong. Excuse me? "You have a door why can't you shut yours"? People had been coming by my office for the whole week telling me that they loved the flowers and the smell. The interesting thing about that situation was she was leaving at 4:30 and it was FRIDAY!!! I had them for the whole week! Why are you complaining now when you leave in 30 minutes? 

I knew then that she was being petty. I had her shut my door and I took the flowers home which I was going to anyway because it was the end of the week. Well, I came back Monday morning and I told my supervisor first thing that morning what happened on Friday and told her that I taken the flowers home. She assured me that all is well but it was not. 

As soon as I came to my office one of the attorney's that I worked with came by and said that my NEW flowers were beautiful. The "nasty" co-worker then rushes out of her office and tells our chief that my flowers are making her swell and giving her allergies. Only she didn't know that the new flowers were unscented and were not the same. 

She didn't know that the lilies were gone so she looked like a fool. Not to mention I reminded the chief that I sat across from her for 2 years and she did not complain then (when I was talking to her). Also, she had gotten roses from her husband (inspired by me of course) a few months prior and last time I checked those are pretty scented themselves. I was truly disgusted by her. Maya Angelou said, "when someone shows you who they really are the first time, believe them". I believe her. She is truly nasty. 

My supervisor told me to 'stay in my lane" and to not worry about her. She assured me that the leaders in our office knew about the situation and that there was no need to worry. I did not start it she did. I knew that she had a reputation for not getting along with people. So I NEVER addressed her just moved right along. The chief also told me that, "you can't control what she does, all you can control is you". She is right.  

Some of my fellow co-workers said that they would have "told her off". But my husband and supervisor kept telling me to just continue to ignore her. She wanted my attention and needed it. She needed something "bad" to say about me because honestly she has no dirt on me. I have a good reputation at the office. I don't have any "home drama". I dress well, drive well, vacation well and work well. She has NO dirt and she needs it bad. She ended up moving herself to another office. I continue to ignore her and continue with my work. 

I have noticed that I am progressing in my life. I want to be a paralegal supervisor some day and I know I will. 

What I have learned about that situation is to "rise above it". Rise above people who want to cause trouble because they are jealous of you. Continue to dress your best, speak your best, work your best and live your best. Enjoy and do things that are in line with your beauty. Don't start to do the "my horse is bigger than your horse race with people like that. 

You would have to lower your standards to be where they are. I would have to lower my standards to dress like her, live like her, and act like her. I refuse. I refuse to be a class-less, back stabbing woman. That population is already high. I read in a daily devotional that said, "Comparison only leads to over-looking and wastefulness". She is one of those people. Very insecure. 

I heard a story about Michelangelo. One of his rival sculptors wanted to ruin his reputation. So he went to the Pope and convinced him to require Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Well Michelangelo was not a painter but a sculptor. His rival sculptor knew that and thought that he would fail. So Michelangelo agreed and for 4 long years he painted it and became the most famous artist of all time. But did I mention the name of his rival? No, because I don't know his name and most people don't know his name. And Michelangelo did not sink down to his level. He simply stayed the course and stayed focused on his work and succeeded. 

So let's paint our Sistine Chapels. Let's move forward in our dreams and goals and let trash take out trash. People who are evil, will reap what they sow, more than they sow and later than they sow but their crops WILL COME! And in most cases for me I am always a spectator to their downfall. I will continue to fight to be an elegant woman every day of my life. 

(photos via Pinterest)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Renewing Vows

I hardly share personal notes about myself here on the blog but I thought this post would be okay. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. I am 34 and I have been with him since I was 20. We met at church and I have been "growing up" with him ever since.

When we first got married we hardly did anything. I borrowed my wedding dress from a friend, bought some pearls from the thrift store, rolled my hair and wore house slippers that look like ballet flats.

He wore a suit that he would normally wear to church. I had no flowers anywhere, not even a bouquet. No grooms men, brides maids, no reception, just a small group of family and friends. Less than 20 people.

We said our vows and his parents took us to Fridays for dinner. After that we went home. No honeymoon either.  We didn't have much yet I would not change a thing about that day. I loved it!

My husband and I worked with what we had. We were not trying to impress anyone. We didn't care! I knew in my heart that in the future the Lord would work it out where I could get a "do- over". Now here we are. We are in our second home that the Lord allowed us to build, we have very nice vehicles, I graduated from college (with no debt), my husband's business is doing very well, I am a paralegal with the United States government, we have an 11 year old daughter and I have two step-sons who are very good men.

Life is good! I have no complaints. But when I see anything about a wedding my heart kind of mourns. I am a girly, girly and would enjoy having a nicer wedding ceremony in the future. So I prayed and talked with my husband and he agreed that we can renew our vows during our 20 year wedding anniversary. I am so happy! So of course and took to Pinterest and I wanted to share some of my ideas for our 20 year wedding ceremony.

What a wonderful wedding invitation!!!

I hope to find something like this in the near future!

Love the blue and gold

As you can see I want flowers on the cake....

I am a huge fan of lace and will most likely have it on my dress.

My dream shoes and bouquet.

I thought this would look lovely on my daughter.

I really love this for my daughter. I will not have bride maids nor groom mens.
We just want our children up front with us.

Maid of honor, my daughter 

I love all of these different dress. So great!

Love her hair!

So grand....

Nice element of surprise....

Inspiring board

An evening wedding.... I like....

Oh my this would be a dream.... 

Well, it was nice sharing all of my ideas with you. I am waiting patiently for the day and I look forward to creating all of the details of our renewal ceremony and spending time with family and friends. If you wish to follow my wedding board on Pinterest see here.

(all photos via Pinterest)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Renewing My Cookware

I shared earlier this week that my husband and I have been invited to a few weddings this year and it has given me a chance to look at wonderful household items. As I said I feel like a need a "do-over". Not only have I been finding great flatware but the cookware has been fabulous also.

My husband wanted to cook something on the stove and he pulled out one of our pots and said, "Okay, I think we need a new set". So of course I grin from ear to ear. I hope he reads this and gets an idea of what my heart is desiring.....

Love this set. It is designed in Italy.

I love the mix in this set!

This would be fantastic to receive in the mail!

I hope to be getting a new set in the near future (hint, hint to my husband). But I have enjoyed shopping for my friends and being there celebrating their new journeys with one another. 

(photos via Google)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Simple Flatware

I have been on this place setting kick for months now. Every time I go to the store I am heading to the dinnerware section. I have also been this way with towels and washcloths too!

I guess it is time to replace everything. My husband and I have been to about 3 weddings this year and there is still one more to attend in December. That could be the reason why I have been inspired to buy new household items.

Looking at everyone's registry has convinced me that I need a "do over". I mean honestly and truly stores did not have all these fancy and affordable items when we married 13 years ago! So while I have been shopping for friends, I have also been secretly shopping for me. Here are some place settings that I have had my eye on for sometime now.....

Adore these...

Oh my goodness, do I like this set!
I actually purchased some of the spoons. I love them!

Isn't this great? Wonderful for parties!

(photos via Google)