Christmas Recap Week: Christmas Recipe Ideas!

Christmas Eve is so magical and fabulous but we managed to make it even more so!

We hosted Christmas eve dinner with this menu:


Assorted Olives
Macona Almonds drizzled with truffle oil
Cheese board


New Potatoes with fresh taragon

Pecan Pie (Made 2!)

Ice Cream ornaments (how cute are these!!)

 My sister in law served Christmas dinner which included French Onion Soup, Filet, Brussel Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes, I brought over Rachel Rays 5 minute Fudge wreath and it was amazing! So easy!

Try it! Recipe Here:

What did you serve?

Christmas Recap Week: Christmas Decorating! Setting Your Christmas Table!

I was in full decorating mode this year, I could not be stopped! LOL

Got this new Santa in a sleigh from Marshalls and the bear toy soldiers at Joannes Fabrics!

I hosted Christmas Eve Dinner so I got out all my holly china!

Added red ribbon to all the chairs to make it festive.

The mantle held all the Christmas cards and stockings...

And Elf on the Shelf made one final appearance before heading back to the North Pole!

 Of course these are my best gifts of all!

Standing in front of Daddy's "Snowy Tree".

Hope your Christmas was magical! Merry Merry!

Christmas Recap Week: Decorating Your Tree With Ribbon

I'm a little behind in my posting. I was just so excited to have Coco home (my best Christmas present) and had a lot of work to catch up on!

One of the things I was most excited about was decorating my tree with ribbon. I am obsessed with my tree every year, changing colors and themes. I wanted to take it to the next Christmas decorating level with some ribbon. I have tried it in the past but this year I knew I needed a professional. I searched youtube for a video tutorial and found this:

It really helped!

Okay ready for the finished product? I ran out of ribbon for the bow at the top but I love it!

Have you ever used ribbon? I think I will every year! Next year a big bow!

Tomorrow we will tour the rest of the house!

Out Of The Hospital- And Hearing About Sandy Hook

We got out of the hospital last Friday. I honestly could not believe it until we drove out of the garage! Felt like I was escaping from prison!

We never found out what was wrong with Coco, but every day she is better and better. I am so grateful she was able to heal and come home. As we were getting out I was hearing about the shooting in Newtown. I was so happy to have my baby home, I could not believe others were going home without theirs.

People asked me why I hardly left the hospital. The truth is, even if my hubby was watching Coco, I couldn't bear to be in my house without her. Looking at her pink empty car seat brought me to tears. Now I think about what those Sandy Hook Elementary school parents are feeling and I cannot even believe it. The pain they are going through is unimaginable. Unbearable. I pray that they find some comfort in their tight knit community of family and friends.

I came across the names and ages of the victims and I was shocked. I had no idea they were so young. Something has to be done to prevent things like this from happening. Gun control yes, but what about these kids who are "off", who's parents are trying to figure out what to do with them!

Pray for the parents of these kids. I am.

Charlotte Bacon, 6 – Uncle John Hagen told Newsday: “She was going to go some places in this world. This little girl could light up the room for anyone.”
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6 – Dan Merton, a longtime friend of the family, said of Engel:
“She loved attention. She had perfect manners, perfect table manners. She was the teacher’s pet, the line leader.” “Her only crime,” Merton said, “is being a wiggly, smiley 6-year-old.”
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6 – Ana’s father, Jimmy Greene, wrote on Facebook: “As much as she’s needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I love you sweetie girl.”
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47 – Officials say Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6 – Catherine’s parents said of the tragedy, “We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy. We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy.”
Chase Kowalski, 7 – Neighbor Kevin Grimes said of Charles, “You couldn’t think of a better child.”
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52 – Authorities told Murphy’s parents their daughter helped shield some of her students from the bullets and in doing so, lost her own life.
Emilie Parker, 6 – Parker’s father told reporters, “She was beautiful. She was blond. She was always smiling.”
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30 – Russeau’s mother told reporters she loved being a teacher, saying working at Sandy Hook “was the best year of her life.”
Mary Sherlach, 56 – Scherlach’s son-in-law Eric Schwartz said, “Mary felt like she was doing God’s work, working with the children.”
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

In the hospital with Coco

Now that is a title I was NOT expecting to write. Already have Landon who is a hospital veteran with two surgeries a year, never thought I would be doing this with Miss Coco!

Coco and I have been at the hospital since Monday night. She was having stomach pains so bad she was doubled over and wailing. I thought it was her appendics, so far no one knows what is going on! She's getting better and I am so grateful for friends and family who have stepped up to the plate!

One big blessing was the arrival of Minnie and Mickey. That perked her right up!!!

And then of course this guy came by and I had no clue who he was!! LOL

 One thing I am reflecting on while being here is having my total focus on Coco. I realize that with work, social life, school, family, it's almost impossible to focus solely on one thing. The blessing is that I get to to that. I get to have total focus on Coco thanks to my loving husband and super compassionate business partners. Coco and I sleep together in her hospital bed and have our good and bad moments, but overall we are doing very well. Boy do I love this little lady.

Prayers please that we get to go home soon!

Christmas Tea Party! Setting the perfect tea table!

I look forward to this every year. Such a fabulous holiday event and I love that I have been hosting a table for going on 5 years! I come up with a different theme every year with my co-hostess. This year we did birds. I used my Royal Crown Derby, Olde Avesbury pattern.

Don't you love the birdcage centerpiece? Notice the birds nest place card holders and little presents we wrapped. A silver ornament with a gold dove on top.

And look at this gorgeous table of women!

My co host was so creative and fun to work with! Love her.

We were serenaded by our butlers!

Such fun to be with my Mommy friends, drinking tea, eating tea sandwiches and scones and laughing!! Can't wait for next year! In my next post I will show you some other tables from the tea!

Thanksgiving and Why I'm Still Blogging

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Palm Beach, my kids had the best time being with Auntie Nina,

Auntie Shannon, Auntie Robby, Uncle Matt, Uncle Drew and Uncle Boober. You can just imagine them screaming "Boooober!!!"

Can't you?

The kids were thrilled and we got a ton of compliments about how sweet and good they are. Makes a Mama proud!

While out shopping at my favorite stores in Hobe Sound I heard:

"I know you". Oh my God.

I racked my brain! Where did I know this fabulous preppy woman from? College? New York? LA?

" You have a blog! You're One Fabulous Mom!"

Well, of course. I am famous!

We just had to laugh, cry and promise to stay connected. Ignore how I look but isn't she the cutest?

It really touched me that C.F. (as I will call her) reads and follows my blog. Made me realize why I blog. I want people to know they are not alone. The ups and downs of parenthood and family life are tough. We all go through things. So nice to know that my blog friends care so much about me! Warms my heart!

Love you CF!!

What Are YOU Grateful For?

Why is it so hard to be grateful?

I'll tell you why. We are some busy, crazy, people who are just trying to make it. It's really in the quiet still moments (what are those?) that you are grateful. That's why you REALLY have to make it a priority.

So here's my list.

I am grateful for a husband who is beside me, provides for me, and resides with me. In my home and heart.

I am grateful for my daughter who lights up a room and tests my patience.

I am grateful for a son who's sweetness is palpable, wonderful and heart wrenching.

I am grateful for my blond dog who keeps me safe and likes to snuggle.

I am grateful for my two cats who ask nothing and give everything.

I am grateful for a family who cares about me.

I am grateful for friends who know what's important in life and in love.

I am grateful to be working at a job I love, with people I love, and a business I love. That is passion.

And I am grateful for every single person who has read, commented, enjoyed, cried and been a fan of this blog.


What are you grateful for?

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas From Ina Garten

Even though we are technically guests this Thanksgiving, we are planning on pitching in and making something fabulous! 

I always have to have my Broccoli Casserole every year. I look forward to it all year long!

Husband got this book by Ina Garten...Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. I like the recipes in it. Simple and delicious!

I think this recipe would me amazing to try for Thanksgiving!

Mushroom & Leek Bread Pudding (Serves 8 to 10)

Copyright 2012, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

Photo: Quentin Bacon
6 cups (½-inch-diced) bread cubes from a rustic country loaf, crusts removed
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, small-diced
4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts (4 leeks)
1½ pounds cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and ¼-inch-sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
¼ cup medium or dry sherry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 extra-large eggs
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1½ cups grated Gruyère cheese (6 ounces), divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Stir in the leeks and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are tender. Stir in the mushrooms, tarragon, sherry, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1- teaspoons pepper and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 cup of the Gruyère. Add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Stir well and pour into a 2 1/2- to 3-quart gratin dish (13 x 9 x 2 inches). Sprinkle with the remaining cup of Gruyère and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.

I also think her roast turkey with truffle butter sounds amazing!!

What's on your Thanksgiving menu?

Getting Kids Excited About Thanksgiving

I love a holiday. Any reason to decorate and I am IN. Thanksgiving, while fun, is one of the more boring holidays for kids. There are no gifts and not a ton of decorations, the things they love the most!

On instagram I saw one of my favorite bloggers Melissa of Love, Marriage and a Baby Carriage posted this:

This is a really sweet story about all the traditions of Thanksgiving told in a very funny and rhyming way. I really enjoyed reading it!!!

I also got:

This book focuses on what's really important about this holiday. Being thankful and grateful for what you have.

How do you share Thanksgiving with your kids?

Best Tortilla Soup Recipe!

When I find something fabulous I have to share! This was so easy and delicious! Perfect meal!

Tortilla Soup (from Stop and Smell the Rosemary)

6 tbs vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 medium onion, chopped (I do this in the food processor)
1  28oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs chili powder
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock (I buy low salt organic)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I leave this out if the kids are eating it and Dave, Harry and I add Tabasco at the table)
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cubed ( I bake them, let them cool and shred/pull them with clean hands.)

Optional garnishes:
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
cubed avocado
Sour Cream
2 corn tortillas, sliced and fried crisp (or a few tortilla chips) 

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add tortilla, garlic, cilantro and onion. Saute 2-3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves and chicken stock.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Add salt and cayenne.  Simmer 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the chicken. Reheat for a few minutes.  Spoon into bowls and garnish with cheese, avacado, sour cream and/or tortilla chips.

Halloween Ginger Bread House!

Under the category of Fabulous Find....

The Wilton Pre Baked Halloween Gingerbread House Kit!!!!

Foolproof fun for your kids. Here's how it comes:

You mix the frosting and it's ready to go!

The Finished Product!

The proud Artistes!

And of course Mommy added her own special touch on the back!

Halloween Decorations For Your Mantle. Its Halloween Around Here?

Well it's still 90 degrees but that doesn't stop me from getting in the Halloween spirit!

I have my mantle all done up as usual:

Love my purple spidey hanging in my Joanne's Fabrics spider web fabric I used to swag the mantle.

The pumpkins, flowers and garland are also from Joannes that were spray painted black and silver by an old girlfriend. The gift that keeps on giving!

Love purple and black for Halloween!

You can find these and more on my Pinterest! Follow me there! Would love to see your decorations too!

The Hungry Girl's Tricks For Avoiding Halloween Treats!

I am totally obsessed with the Hungry Girl. Lisa Lillien is so funny and real I just love to watch her. Have you seen her show?

I met Lisa and asked her to give me some tips for not blowing Halloween by eating every last bit of candy I have!! She knows How To Avoid Temptation With Those Halloween Treats. Lisa’s new cookbook HUNGRY GIRL TO THE MAX! The Ultimate Guilt-Free Cookbook (St. Martin's Griffin- October 16, 2012)  is a must-have for all of us who crave delicious food without the high-calorie price tag -- this is truly the Hungry Girl bible which just hit store shelves and is now the number one selling cookbook on Amazon and it's by far the LARGEST and BEST HG cookbook ever. There are 650 recipes (not a typo -- 650!!!). You'll find all the classics, along with HUNDREDS of brand-new recipes!  The book is available on Amazon and at their book site.

Here are some tips from Lisa!

Hungry Girl’s Tricks For Tempting Halloween Treats:

1. Don't buy your favorite candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Choose something you can more easily resist. If you have a weakness for chocolate, go with gummy candies. Can't stay away from chewy items? Choose something crunchy!

2. Out of sight, out of mind. Once the holiday passes, don't keep the candy sitting out. If you do, you're likely to grab a piece here and there whether or not you're truly craving sweets. If you're still tempted by the lure of an in-house candy stash, take them somewhere other people can enjoy 'em.

3. Keep count. If there were ever a day to keep a food journal, Halloween is that day! It's easy to keep going back for just one more fun-sized candy bar, but those calories add up fast. Don't lose sight of how much you're actually consuming.

4. Don't drastically cut calories earlier in the day, in attempt to counteract any excessive candy eating later on. That'll just set you up for a candy binge. Eat filling meals, and stay hydrated.


Halloween Party Menu Ideas From My Pinterest Boards!

Every year we host a Halloween Trick Or Treating party for our friends. Our neighborhood is so cute on Halloween, a lot of friends want to come here!

Working on our menu, I have to feed adults and kids quick so we can get out there and trick or treat!

I think this guy will be perfect way to get the kids to eat their veggies:

And these Hot Dog Mummies of course!

They can also sip on this Ghostly punch!

And for the adults, I might do some of these if I'm feeling fancy...

Or I might do personalized seven layer dip (cause who doesn't want one of those?)

 And then these: (spinach and feta yum!)

Either way I am carving this guy!!!