September 09, 2013

The Sabbatical

Did you miss me?  I know, I missed y'all :)!

Well, the diva is back along with the cast of dear hubs, baby B (who isn't a baby any longer), the besties and the rest of the gang.  I've upgraded quality of pics, changes some formatting and hopefully enhanced your reading experience.  All this and more - like {{FREE}} printables over at the new and much improved diva hangout.  Join me at for fun, crafting, recipes, design and all the other good stuff!

xo, b

December 05, 2012

Black Friday Brunch

I told y'all... the diva has been busy :).

On the day after Thanksgiving, a few of the neighborhood gals gathered together for a little quality time together full of gossip, comparing events from crazy family sagas on Thanksgiving, best holiday sales and what all the littles will be getting for Christmas ... now eventfully named the "Black Friday Brunch".  This may just be an annual event.

Bloody Mary's and Mimosas started us off.  Complete with all the fixins' of course ... I'm serious about my cocktails! 

Our brunch consisted of fresh fruit, cinnamon muffins and a loaded grits station complete with plenty of cheese, bacon, sauted mushrooms and asparagus.  To make the grits more savory I used chicken broth instead of just plain water.  Grits were served up in martini glasses and the gals hit the grits station to top them as they pleased.   
Our table setting was cute and simple, just as I like it.  I used burlap placemapts that were topped with a cute chevron inspired paper place setting.  Monogrammed black napkins rounded out the Black Friday theme.  My centerpiece flowers from Thanksgiving were still fresh and beautiful, so they were repurposed as well.  Since they were all white, the monochrome simple theme was supported. 

Sweet A brought these amazing desserts from Dutch Monkey Donuts, a local gourmet bake shop.  I must follow up to get additional details but they were fab and she was a doll to bring them.  Too bad the snap I took of them didn't exactly turn out!
All the girls left with a mini bottle of champagne as a little party favor decked out with fun leopard print ribbon.  The giant bottle in the back is a glittery craft gone right that I'll share details on separately.
The event was such a great morning and put me perfectly in the holiday spirit.  Holiday decor followed just hours after brunch and was put up in no time flat - who knew that was possible after a few bloody marys! 

December 04, 2012

The Elf To Be Named: Arrival

Last year, Santa brought baby B a wonderful scout elf and book for Christmas.  This year, I know the elf was anxious to make his December debute.  While he still doesn't have a name, he greeted us on December first in the very best of style for a big arrival breakfast. 

Our elf breakfast consisted of festive food and a fun (easy) tablescape that was whipped together when the sun came up.  Baby B awoke early and breakfast was served promptly prior to 8am.  This gives new meaning to up with the sun when there is a tablescape involved. 
The commemorative book, a red toy bin flipped upside down (Targer $1) and some polka dot fabric (from the babe's party this summer) served as the perfect centerpiece.  Red and white fabrics layered with snow (aka upholstry pad / filler) and a small chalkboard welcoming elfie rounded out the easy display.


Our breakfast foods consisted of cut fruit in festive green cupcake wrappers, yogurt berry parfaits decked out with a Christmas tree Peep garnish and cinnamon roll waffles.  To make the waffles, I simply pressed Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls into the old but trusty waffle maker.  In just a few minutes, voila ... cinnamon roll waffles.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Decked out in his elf p.j.'s we violated Elf Rule 101 by letting B hold elfie.  It felt necessary and I'm sure Santa would approve :).  Dear Hubs read the book (yes, when he thought there was a picture involved ... this is what I get).

It was a fun way to kick off December and our elf tradition as a family.  An early poll had the three names as front runners for elfie:  Clark Grizwold (suggested by moi), Jobs (as in Steve Jobs - compliments of Dear Hubs) and Dadden suggested by Baby B.  Thus far, every toy has been named Dadden, so why would this be different? 

Merry Elfmas, Y'all!

December 03, 2012

Finishing Up

To wrap up my last posting, I apparently had to find a new hobby ... resizing pictures from the blog to decrease my Picasa account size.  Thanks to a wonderful tutorial from Joy's Jots, I was able to "find space" and get back to what I love ... chatting with y'all.  Heavy sigh, I think I know what I'll be doing for the next few weeks - wash, rinse, repeat - of all of my pics to right size them.

And now without any more delay, here's my snap :).  Celebrating my new international gig meant a toast with Locations wine, a new label from a fave wine producer Orin Swift.   

For each "big" event; we try to save any little momento of the festive occassion.  For us, it's typically wine corks :).  And, I've kept a little silver oyster tray full of them in my butler's pantry.  It makes me smile each and every time I walk past.

Even though it's Monday am, cheers, y'all!

December 01, 2012

Busy B

Did you miss me?  :)

Each and every day, I start with good intentions that I will indeed catch y'all up with all the crafting, decorating, room re-designs, festive holiday affairs, family fun, friends, football, projects, sewing (yes, sewing), shopping, crafting, cooking and general good times going on around these parts.  But, each and every day ... I literally fall asleep the moment my head gets to a pillow because I've been running wide open from sun up until far past sun down! 

While I don't chat y'all up about my oh so less domestic diva life at work often, I'm thrilled that all the hard work and passion I have for my "day job" continues to pay off with a big announcement made to our teams last night about additional responsibilities.  I'll be focusing on building business outside the USA and there is a ton of opportunity on the horizon.  Prepping for the transition and announcement has been a large focus of my time and attention each day these past few weeks; and I'm ready to now get going! 

So ... with all that behind us, including a celebratory and appropriately named bottle of "Locations" wine last night enjoyed by me and Dear Hubs; it's on to the weekend and catching you up on all the fun around here!

And yep, the announcement is indeed noteworthy enough to have th cork make our memory dish!

(and as soon as I clear up some weird picture hosting thing, I'll be back in blogging business!)


November 12, 2012

Whoopie Pies: The Recipe

Y'all ...

I feel like "whoopie pie" is my middle name this season.  I have made these sweets a few times now and even shared some cute ways to package them up over here, but neglected to recently share the recipe.  I'd be remiss if I left you out in the cold without sharing that!  These are the perfect treat for this time of the year, full of flavor and super moist!

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies


1 (18-ounce) box carrot cake mix
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1 pound cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl beat the carrot cake mix, butter, and eggs until incorporated. Stir in the grated carrot, and raisins. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Using a small ice-cream scoop drop the batter by 2 tablespoon mounds onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove and cool 5 minutes on the pan before moving to a wire rack and cooling completely.
In a mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until well combined and light and fluffy.

To assemble the whoopie pies, put the filling into a resealable bag and snip the corner to make a 1/2-inch opening. Put the chopped walnuts into a shallow dish or pie plate. Flip over 1 carrot cake cookie and pipe a dollop of frosting into the center. Top with another cookie and press gently to spread the frosting to the edges. Roll the edges of the whoopie pie into the chopped walnuts and set aside. Repeat with the remaining cookies and frosting. Arrange the pies on a serving platter and serve.

I've boxed these for gifts, bagged them for sweet treats and kept a healthy pile of them in my kitchen (until they are gobbled up!) for weeks now! 


November 10, 2012

Slow Saturdays

Slow is a relative term around here.  We run at the speed of chaos most days, but Saturday mornings afford us a few moments to slow down, catch up on the stack of 500 magazines, watch cartoons and drink PLENTY of coffee. 

After our trip to Napa last month, Dear Hubs and I are hooked on French Press coffee.  There's something more fancy glamorous about making coffee with this method than the traditional pot.  Not  to mention, it does indeed taste fab!  I bought my press on Amazon - easy to find and not expensive actually. 

My new mug is a gift to moi from moi, compliments of a little gift shop around here called elle b gifts.  I just adore the set!  That with a new copy of Food & Wine (a fave) magazine as well as many, many more are set for the reading. 

Once I conquer this leisure style for a few minutes, perhaps I'll set out on something more active today!  Hmmm... there are those oyster topiaries I need to make, that run I need to go on, those drapes I was considering starting, that work I needed to catch up on, the Charmed Life Kids that needs shipping and many more ideas on how to spend the morning.  Yep ... better get crackin!

Happy Saturday, y'all!