Sunday, July 31, 2011

E + S - Another wonderful wedding weekend

We headed to Blowing Rock this weekend for Ellen & Scott's wedding.  Such a perfect weekend with good friends celebrating an adorable couple. 

I am completely obsessed with Ellen's green dress -- Finkie, may I borrow some time??

G- I shamelessly stole some of your photos.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oreo Chocolate Truffles

(Yes, second time in a row I featured some Herend Queen Victoria on the blog!)

First of all -- for those of you that thought my last post was sad, that was not my intention.  It was merely a reflection I wanted to share.  I am feeling completely back to myself and just needed a little space to vent.  I truly do love life and will keep this post short and sweet (no pun intended).

I haven't enjoyed an easy recipe this much in a LONG time.  Bailey sent it to me after receiving from a friend of ours at work (thanks, Rebecca!) ~ and being the fabulous cook she is she tweaked a little (added sea salt).  These truffles require only 3 ingredients and not too much hands-on time --- and  the end result is quite impressive.

I was going to take to supper club / going away dinner that I missed Tuesday.  Instead I've just been stuffing my face.  I took about a dozen into work today and the general consensus was that they were deluxe.

1 16.6 oz. package of Oreos (I used reduced fat and thought they were perfect)
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (again, used reduced fat)
2 boxes (8 oz. each) of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate squares
Medium to coarsely ground sea salt

In a food processor, pulse 3/4 of the package of Oreos (I did all but 7) with the softened cream cheese until it becomes a thick dough-like consistency.
My food processor is tiny, so I crushed the oreos, transferred crumbs to bowl and then used hand mixer to cream oreos and cream cheese together.

Scoop out and roll into small evenly shaped balls with your hands, a little smaller than a ping pong ball.
Pardon the unflattering action shot.

Place on wax paper. Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm.
Melt chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave (I did a few squares at a time).

Roll chilled balls through melted chocolate. Use two forks to lift it out, shake off excess.

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt immediately (B's secret ingredient, but go easy...a few testers told me they were a little TOO salty). Let chill to set up.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator.  

The variations to this simple recipe are endless -- I was tempted to buy the mint Oreos and try mint chocolate Oreo truffles (adding some liquor for a bit more mint flavor), Oreo peanut butter  (substitute some real peanut butter in place of a little cream cheese)...
Packing for a big weekend in Blowing Rock celebrating Ellen and Scott.  Looking forward to seeing friends and family and escaping this disgusting heat!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pity Party... HUSH

How is it only Tuesday?

I've had a little bit of a dark cloud over me the past week.  Work and life in general have been very busy.  After a VERY long day, this happened...

I'm not going to lie -- seeing this bowl shatter on our kitchen floor opened the floodgates.  Stupid, I know, but this was such a generous and sweet gift from Bailey and I just love my wedding china.  (Bay- if you are reading this, I need your help finding a replacement).  AND, like I said, people, this was just the last straw to do me in after a long day.

Then I tried to think back to the last time I cried, I'm really not a crier.  Well, it was Sunday in church -- and maybe it was more tearing up than actually full on crying.  It was during the last sermon of a four part series about companionship.  It got me thinking of how incredibly blessed I am and have been during my life with many companions -- family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.  The lesson was called "Hush" and the minister eloquently described various stories about someone going through something so devastating in life (losing a child, living with a debilitating disease, divorce) that there are no words that will satisfy or be enough to lessen the heartache.  Her stories painted vivid and familiar pictures.  I thought about a few friends who are going through tough times and how I've struggled with finding the right words...knowing that nothing I can possibly say will lessen the pain they are feeling.  The minister reminded us that in times like these it's presence that matters, not words.  Presence + Prayer is the best gift you can offer your companion.  You don't need audible words.

Thinking back to the sermon...I picked up the pieces of the china and told myself to HUSH.  I'm not going through anything terrible, I'm just busy...and busy isn't bad, it's good.  Sure, I missed a going away party tonight because of work, but that's nothing in the scheme of things.  I'm so incredibly blessed and so incredibly happy. 

The first blog I started reading was about a woman, "NieNie," in her mid-twenties who was burned on 80% of her body when she and her husband were in a plane crash.  They were both in drug-induced comas as their bodies healed and their family and friends prayed, prayed, prayed.  She looked like a totally different person that her kids didn't recognize and was in excruciating pain.  My family and friends had to hear daily updates (that I got via her sisters updating her beloved blog, until she was strong enough to tell her own story again). She became a "friend" that I wanted to check on.  Little did she know, but I was her companion.  On days when work seems too stressful or I'm feeling "off" I wear a little NieNie t-shirt I bought to support her.  Sometimes I need a physical reminder that whatever stress I'll endure that day is nothing compared to what NieNie has gone through over the last 4 years.  I guess life really is all about keeping things in perspective.

I can't wear my adored NieNie t-shirt tomorrow since I head to Columbus for work, but I'm keeping these P words top-of-mind:


Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Random Necklace

In April I did a post on Brooch Love -- well this morning I whipped up a new creation.

1 great grandmother's necklace (pink)
1 necklace I made while working for a jewelry designer in high school (yellow)
one little owl brooch ordered on Amazon

I think I like it.

We are in town this weekend with no weddings (one engagement party) so I plan on doing a few fun projects around the house.  Hopefully I'll have something to share soon!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

20-something-year-old grandmother

My sweet co-worker brought me back a bag full of ripe figs from his beach house this week.  I told him one time about how I used to love my grandfather's fig preserves, so he brings me home a bag full each summer.

I called my grandparents up and they graciously relayed the "family recipe" to me one more time.  Originally I was thinking that it would be healthy and "organic"...that was until I saw the amount of sugar and the fact it has jello in it.  Nonetheless, my inner grandma got to work.

3 cups ripe figs
3 cups sugar
2 small boxes strawberry Jello (do not buy the "no sugar" variety)

Heat jars in 200 degree oven.  Place jars in dish with an inch or two of water. (Place lids aside)

Put figs in food processor to grind into small pieces.

Once all figs are ground, place in saucepan with 3 cups of sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

After it comes to boil, add 2 boxes of Jello.  Stir for another 3 minutes.

Remove jelly mixture from heat and jars from oven and set up assembly line.

Ladle jelly into jars.
(Notice my little helper!)

Wipe off rim of jars with wet paper towel prior to screwing lid on.  Let cool on rack -- lids will seal while cooling.

I then labeled with the date (saves 6 months) and tied some ribbons around the top.

In my "assembly" picture above you may have noticed some beautiful lilies -- those are courtesy of my sweet (and single!) brother-in-law, Jason! 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Barbara + Lake

This weekend we enjoyed festivities for Barbara and Lake's wedding!  I didn't take my camera to the Friday night party, but have some beautiful pictures from Saturday.  The reception was at the Umstead and it was so gorgeous with some of the most delicious food.

With Rach and Caroline at the reception

The hubs and I

Beautiful flowers by Kelly Odom

The cake was so yummy!

Newlyweds cutting the cake

Ottos with the stunning bride!!!

Girls outside

Barbs changed into her mom's wedding dress (that she had remade) -- I LOVED THIS IDEA!!!  How adorable is the dress?  I wish I'd thought of it with my mom's dress -- although my sisters might not have liked that!

KAs serenading Mrs. Newcomb

Myers & April

The couple leaving -- good views of the front and back of the darling dress!

Another fun weekend celebrating a happy couple.  Two more weeks until Ellen and Scott's in Blowing Rock!!  Cannot wait!!!