Wedding Planner

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I love parties, I love seeing people gather to C E L E B R A T E!

I love lots of things…as you might gather from reading and visiting here. I love entertaining, planning parties with awesome themes and I love-♥LOVE♥!  Maybe cause I am truly a romantic at heart!

So here I am.

I am the “wedding planner” for a beautiful couples wedding next month and I am beyond excited!!!

When one of my girlfriends asked for help with her daughters wedding—-I jumped up with excitement.  I remember how much fun I had helping my daughter with her beautiful wedding.  It was easily one of the best moments in my life. It was just magical and breathtaking.

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I love that I remember so many details.  From the minute we got there, seeing everyone that had traveled to be with the couple, to the beautiful rehearsal dinner.  My sweet girl sleeping in the lodge with us the night before her big day and running and jumping in bed with her daddy and I the next morning- to see that excitement in her—unforgettable!  I will treasure that moment forever!  And that is what it should be like.

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So for now, it’s my job to make sure that this “bride to be” and everyone else gets to relax and enjoy the day, so that they will have beautiful memories like my daughter and I do.

I love that I get to remind everyone involved, to not get too overwhelmed with the excitement that they forget to enjoy and live in the moment.  I get to reassure the bride, the groom and even the MOB, that the day will be perfect.

Alyssa & Scott will have a beautiful day at this gorgeous venue.

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I’m honored to be helping and I am making darn sure they have a day full of magic and moments that take their breath away!

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LUSH, looking & smelling great

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I tend to moan a little when my Sweet girl asks me to make a “lush run” for her, but in all honesty, it’s a welcomed request.  It gives me an excuse…if you know what I mean!

I’d be lying if I said that we moved to the Austin area based on the fact that there is a LUSH store within a 15 mile radius from me.  But was I excited when I learned a few months ago that there is one in A-town!

I’ve posted about my daughter and I’s love affair with LUSH since discovering it back about 10 years ago in Houston.  If you’ve never heard or tried it, then you must start by reading what they’re all about in their story section.


Wearing my “too cute” maxi that I found during a rare in-store purchase.  It’s a t-shirt fabric dress with a white bodice and gray striped skirt and I paired it up with a coral cami and silver accessories and sandals.  (Since this Latina is a little on the short side, I did have to take up the shoulders for a better fit.  Other than that—comfy & great look!)

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It became Tuesday “LUSH” run… so I headed out into this beautiful day!

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So EXCITED (Austin parking is the worst), and feeling like I just won the lottery when I found a spot right in front of the store!  The store was pretty sparse and so the attendant was super attentive and helpful.  (Well, I’ve actually never been in a store when they haven’t been!)  But she helped (or hindered) when she told me that my fave product now comes in perfume & lotion form!  YIKES!!!
Karma is a terrific combo of patchouli (I ♥), lemongrass, and awesomeness and up until today I have just used it in my hair.  This little shampoo nugget!

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It makes my hair smell terrific.  Now with the perfume…well, I just wanted to lick myself.  Seriously!  Is it wrong to keep wanting to smell oneself?  Cause that’s what I kept doing.  It’s like crack!  I can’t stop.

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The bath bombs are seriously–SERIOUS!  Almost everyone of them are indescribably-wonderfully smelling!

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and this…

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and this…

But this is what I came home with along with S’s order.

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Serious LUSH customer?  Ugh YEAH!!!  But on an upfront recommendation…this is one of my favorite stores because of what they stand for, believe in and the products that they sell.

Go lick look for yourself!

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Kitchen staples & a free checklist

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Today’s post is dedicated to the “new to cooking/baking chicks or dudes” or the wanna be “domestic gods & goddesses” out there!  If you want to rock in the kitchen at all times, the following post and the free printable will be your bff’s!


I was asked by a newlywed sometime ago what were some things that I just had to have on hand at all times in my kitchen and how did I know what to have.  Since she was new to cooking she just seemed to constantly be running to the store to get one thing or another each time she opened up her cookbook to try a new recipe.  She didn’t know what cornstarch was and especially not what it was used for.  She recently sent me a message on Facebook and told me how far she’d come in getting around in a kitchen and in knowing what she always “needed” to have on hand.  “Lots fewer trips to the store” she commented.

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If you’re a kitchen newbie, there are some things that you must ALWAYS have on hand in your pantry, fridge or freezer, cause they WILL make your life a whole lot easier and you will be prepared for any kind of dish or dessert @ the drop of a hat.  (Aside from meats, pastas, fruits and veges, etc., of course!)

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef (well, if you are, you certainly have your own list), you might just be a weekend cook, or whatever kind of cook you are, they are the must have’s based on MY experience.


The items on this FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST are items I always have on hand in my PANTRY, FRIDGE & FREEZER!

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After 34 years of being a wife, mother, entertainer, host, and HUGE foodie, I’ve got this!.  There’s rarely been a time when someone drops in unexpected and that I can’t whip something up using what I have on hand.  (Unless they’re totally picky) ;) lol!

I hope you’ll find my list helpful!

Please share some of your stories of when you first started cooking and any tips you might have on what you keep on hand in your kitchen at all times.  What are some of your “must have’s”?  I would love to hear ‘em~
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weekend haps

What a wonderful weekend!  After having had a “manual” weekend last week (finishing up the cabinets), I had a great relaxing and fun time!

One of the things I am loving about being in this area is not only being able to see my son more often, but my girlfriend Becky as well.  She and I go back a long way and it’s awesome being 15 minutes away!  She and some of her girls dropped by this week and it’s always fun.

I worked on some projects as well as trying out some awesome products to review, (will post on that later).  Had date night with the hubs as well as floating the Blanco.  Take a look!


Friday~

  • sewing projects were done and completed! (had dueling sewing machines out to complete the task)
  • dinner and movie night (always love spending time together)

Saturday~

  • Boo had a function with BACA in Bandera and I was home completing a project
  • a Lowe’s run to figure what type of new jigsaw I need to buy (really-really need one)! Love my powertools!!!
  • Boo and I had dinner in San Marcos at the Railyard Grill.  Great burgers and ambiance!

Sunday~

    • Slept in
    • River Rats!  We spent part of our lazy day tubing the Blanco and enjoying a picnic
    • Quiet wind-down time afterwards!  Gearing up for our very busy week!

Pics~

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Boo’s brothers n sisters (B.A.C.A.) that showed up for Saturday’s function in Bandera

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The windblown stach when Boo walked in the door!!! Ha

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Hope y’all had a beautiful weekend.  It will be a busy week here at GCC so I’ll do my best at keeping current~

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Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Being a Valley girl and growing up down south I grew up eating lots of fresh citrus…it was just so abundant (those beautiful citrus orchards everywhere), plus I ♥ grapefruits, oranges, lemons & limes!!!
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But for most of my life, I always – always had headaches and migraines.  Several years later while being a stay at home momma, I was fed up, especially since it affected my day to day activities as a young mom.  I decided to go to my doctor and tell him of my headache history.  His advice… keep a record of everything you put in your mouth. So for about 3 weeks, I did.  One common factor…oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes.

More like citric acid.  I soon realized that anything that I indulged in that contained any amount of citric acid, was a factor in an onset for a headache or migraine.  I had to lay off of anything citrus-y.  Sad day :(  Sprites and limes were the worst.  I haven’t had a Sprite in over 25 years.

So I adjusted my diet after knowing which things really were the worst triggers and the last 2 years I have slowly started to introduce some things back into my life in moderation.  I was especially happy when I was able to have a 1/2 of a grapefruit again after many-many years and just deal with a minor headache.  HAPPY DANCE!

Now if there’s anything that I can incorporate citrus into while cooking or baking (in moderation), I’m game! Then the other day I had cinnamon rolls on the brain and when I walked in the kitchen and there sat this beautiful, large grapefruit…well…this is what I came up with. Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls!

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HOLY MOLY goodness!!!  These were amazing(.)  I can’t take all the credit as I used the Pioneer Woman cinnamon roll recipe, adjusted it and then made my own glaze.  You must try.
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Besides your house will smell amazing, the taste magnificent and it will outweigh the “several hour” dough rising process.  (This will be about a 3-4 hour job but you can split it if you want to let it rise in fridge overnight.)


Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

2 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
1 packages active dry yeast
4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t (heaping) baking powder
1/2 t (scant) baking soda
1/2 T salt
1 1/2 stick of butter
1 c sugar
1/8 c cinnamon
1 c pecan pieces


Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point).
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Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 3 1/2 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
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After rising for at least an hour, add the other cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle some of the sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.  Now you can sprinkle a handful of pecans.
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Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.  Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan.
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Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
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(At this point you can cover them and put them in the freezer. When you’re ready to make them, just pull them out and stick them on the counter for a few hours until they thaw and rise, which happened quicker than I though.)
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Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
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GRAPEFRUIT GLAZE

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3-4 T. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 t. grapefruit zest

Slowly stir in the juice into the powdered sugar in a small bowl.  With whisk, gently stir to a pour-able consistency and then add the zest.
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When rolls are still warm (not hot) pour the glaze on top and sprinkle with additional pecans.
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This recipe makes about 25 rolls. I baked one pan to devour and I froze two others.  Since we will be going to see our kids next week, I’ll just take them with us for a quick breakfast one morning and they can keep the other for later.  This are the best cinnamon rolls ever!
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Happy weekend y’all~
keytoad1

rotisserie chicken amor

photo credit- bbqsuccess

Oh the many uses of rotisserie chicken!

I love that they are so readily available at most grocery stores nowadays. Unless you’re a rock star and have your very own rotisserie at home–then I bow down to ya!

But little ‘ol me just high tails it to the local grocer when I’m in a bind or too lazy to cook an entire meal from scratch. There are so many options on what you can do with this stinkin’ little bird!!!  No joke!

I’ve done my favorite chicken tortilla soup, pasta dishes, salads, the list goes on and on.  The best thing is to just get creative and use the ingredients you and your family like.  But my recommendation…kick it into high gear and think out of the box when cooking.  You’ll be surprised what you can come up with and what you’ve been missing out on.

You just go pick you out the best lookin’ chick and then start cooking!

One of my favorite recent creations and my christened name for ‘em… “chalupas tropicanas“!

Why???  Well they’re loaded with all the wonderful summer fruits out there and aside from being pleasin’ to the eye as well as the tummy, they’re pretty darn fab, refreshing and dang easy!  Now why wouldn’t you want to try that?

Pardon me for makin’ your life a little easier and helping you “wow” your peeps! ;)

Check out these rotisserie tips and the steps for this fantabulous, refreshing easy summer meal.


Tips~

  • you can buy your bird, shred it, bag it, label it and freeze it for quick future meals (especially great if they’re on sale)
  • if you find your bird’s a little dried out, place it in a covered dish and douse it with a little chicken broth, heat slightly and the juices are absorbed into the little birdie meat
  • you can also add your favorite spices and additional broth before chillin’ the chick

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CHALUPAS TROPICANAS with Salsa Verano

  • 2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken
  • corn tortillas (fried or baked crisp) or store bought (yuck) if you’re really desperate

Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango
  • 5-7 fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 c. cilantro
  • 1-2 T. hemp (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
cilantrox0x (my little Alaska chopper was a gift from a sweet friend- I think of her whenever I use it.)

Dice up all the goodies and toss with oil and chili powder. Chill until ready to use.

When your tortillas are ready—just sprinkle some of the chicken on top and load up with the fresh salsa.  A nice addition to this would be a side of cilantro lime basmati!

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Another quick use– any awesome salad creation like this…

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No excuses cuz you didn’t even have to turn the oven on!

Enjoy the abundance of summer (verano) fruits and those glorious little slow cooked birds, they’ll definitely make your summer meal planning a whole lot easier~

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random things I ♥

sometimes in the busyness of life I stop to think of little random things that I love…just sharin’

collections of cool things

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gifting homemade goodies

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sippin’ on an italian soda

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things that make our lives easier like this deli “cheat sheet” for cutting your meat and cheese the thickness that you like….brilliance!

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how happy this girl is after she was adopted

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other loves~

  • when people help one another out for no reason
  • when children learn “good” by example
  • helping someone in need
  • surprising someone just for the heck of it
  • telling someone “I love you”
  • dancing for no reason
  • not hiding my crazy!

Hope you stop and think of those little things YOU love.

♥ life & make it fun for others…happy Wednesday~

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