Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn Auction

Tuesday evening I participated in a Charity Auction at the Port Saint Lucie United Methodist Church.  I  featured some of my Taste of Gourmet products for tasting as well as an autumn tablescape.

"HERE'S WHAT I WORE"  The apron is by April Cornell, and I wore an ivory silk blouse, black slacks, and Cochni pearl ballet flats...with a pearl necklace, pearl studs, and a black grosgrain ponytail bow. 

"Stock your Entertaining Pantry" and "Stock your Gift Closet!"

I featured a Thanksgiving setting...

and a Halloween setting.

This tray held the Taste of Gourmet 'Jezebel Sauce', 'Cranberry Chutney', and 'Peach Pecan Pepper Preserves', with mini Grahams, bagels, and pretzel sticks.  I offered a beverage for sipping... 'African Autumn Tea' from Harney Tea.

Vidalia Vinaigrette dip for the carrot sticks and a Toffee Crunch Cheesecake Ball with mini Grahams.

Always a crowd favorite, the Sweet Potato Muffins were delish!!!

One of my baskets for the auction...Taste of Gourmet products 'Creamy Delta Bisque', 'Chipotle Sauce', 'Creole File' Gumbo', and 'Peach Pecan Pepper Preserves'.

Another one of my auction baskets...Taste of Gourmet  products 'Apple Cake', ' Southern Praline Pie', and 'Toffee Crunch Cheesecake Ball'.

My door prize basket contained samples of my favorite "Autumn Friendship Gifts"...y'all are surely familiar with these.  Hand sanitizers, with Halloweeen candy, on shred in a cello bag and ribbon bow.  "Happy Fall  Y'all" tumbler full of candy corn, wrapped in cello, with a ribbon bow.  My autumn "Friendship Gifts" of party mix in a cello bag, with my monogrammed gift tag and a ribbon bow.  The front row was "Miss Janice's Pumpkin Butter", "Miss Janice's Turkey Spice Rub", and "Miss Janice's Apple Butter."

I can't wait to participate in the next auction.  Thank you for visiting with me today.  Stop by my Taste of Gourmet site and pick up some goodies for your "Entertaining Pantry" and your "Gift Closet!"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Celebrate National Thank-You Day!

The Ultimate Holiday Site...a spinoff from the Hallmark Channel, says today is National Thank-You Day!

I hope y'all will join me today in celebrating!  It's a great time to stop and recognize small acts of kindness.  There are many reasons to write a thank-you note.  This morning I will be catching up and writing a few thank-you notes.   Acknowledging a kind deed or gift are just a couple of reasons.  Writing a thank-you note shows that you are grateful for the act of kindness shown to you.  You are repaying kindness!

To be perfectly proper, thank-you notes should be written on 'monogrammed notes' or 'correspondence cards.'  Monogrammed notes are good-quality folded notepaper, white or ivory, and include a monogram {or name} on the front.  Correspondence cards, which have no fold, are made from three-ply stock, white or ivory, and measure 6 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches.  Your name is printed across the top.  Here are just a few of the pieces of my thank-you stationery wardrobe.

Monogrammed Notes...Begin writing on page 3 of the foldover card.

Monogrammed Notes...Begin writing on page 3 of the foldover card.

Correspondence Card...Begin writing on page 1

Please do not e-mail your thank-you note--that is an etiquette faux pas!  Begin your note by telling the person how thoughtful they are and how they always find the perfect gift for you.  Mention the gift and how you will use it.  Close by thanking them again.

Small children should be taught that presents are given to them as acts of kindness.  If you want your child to be thoughtful and courteous, you must train them to send thank-you notes.  

Failure to write a thank-you note is an etiquette faux pas and it will be remembered.  It is never wrong or too late to send that thank-you note!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
~William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Friendship Gifts

I've been busy in the kitchen...preparing my "Autumn Friendship Gifts."  I started giving out "Friendship Gifts" about 4 years ago.  I think it's a very gracious idea to give a little treat to those who visit my home.  I also give them as a 'happy treat' or just a little 'thank-you'.

 In the South, when someone gives you a gift of food, it is considered proper Southern etiquette to reciprocate with a treat when you return the empty dish.  So this morning, I returned an empty plate to my friend's daughter Miss Leslie.   As one of her birthday day gifts, she chose to buy some Paula Deen books and began to learn to bake desserts.  We were the recipients of her first treats...delicious carrot cake and pecan pie.  So I returned her plate this morning...complete with a thank-you note and a "Friendship Gift Treat."

This the party mix I's so delish at this time of year...very easy and also inexpensive.  My husband loves it...'cuz it's his Mama's recipe!

My "Friendship Gifts" are ready to!

This year I added a cute little monogrammed gift tag.  You can get your own digital monogram on Etsy at Love Monograms.  She has a lot of cute fonts, designs, and colors.  They are the perfect adornment to any gift.  My Monogram Mania continues y'all!

~Pursue and practice hospitality.
               Romans 12 : 13

Recipe for Mary Gibson's Party Mix:
2 cups corn chex
2 cups wheat chex
2 cups rice chex
1 1/2 cup nuts
2 cups pretzels
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tblsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Garlic salt to taste

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients.  Blend melted butter and Worcestershire Sauce and pour over mixture.  Stir all in 13 x 9 x 2 pan.  Add garlic salt and mix well.  Bake 1 hour and stir every 15 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Step Inside My Closet

In response to requests from y'all...I'm inviting you to take a look inside my closet.  Although it's not large, nor is it "Pinterest Worthy," it works for me.

This little pink and green sign greets me every single day.  "Wear it well!"  I try!

I am a neat freak and even though I tend to "clutter up" everything, all my clutter is in order!  There's a white wicker table and a cute pink and green lamp inside the closet.  Sometimes I pull up a chair and sit down with a glass of Merlot and work on my "Wardrobe Inventory."

This is my "Wardrobe Inventory" binder.  Every single item of clothing I own is included in this inventory.  The outfits are broken down for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter and Transitional.  I outline every outfit I wear...from the ponytail bow down to the ballet flats.  I am extremely OCD about this;  i.e., when I buy a new bracelet, all the outfits that I will wear with that bracelet must be updated.  Recently, I went through and had to delete Mlle Coco Chanel's wardrobe...all her little outfits that matched mine.  Boo hoo.

Believe me, there is constant updating going on...all the time!

I have been doing this for over 20 years...

I keep a calendar inside the binder to remind me of special dates.

You've probably seen this mannequin before...I move it all over the house.  If I'm rushed, I use the mannequin to photograph my outfit...of course, I plan my outfits the day before!

Pink chevron clothes tag...printed with the day of the week.

Of course, I love Lilly, but I don't have a closet full of only Lilly!  I also love J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and cute clothes from Target!

Tees and Turtlenecks...

Crewnecks...There's room for more!

Monogram totes...

Ferragamo pocketbooks.  Church Lady stuff!

Chanel for growth here also!

Bermuda Bags, clutches, and wristlets...

A couple of my Guccis!

Summer baskets...

I love totes and can never get enough.  I'm looking for a nice navy blue tote right now...maybe a Longchamp or Ralph Lauren.

I used shower hooks to hang the totes...they have a large loop at the bottom, perfect to hold the bags.

A monogrammed bucket full of flip flops...

Ballet flats and cardis...The cardi section has room for growth!

MORE ballet flats!

Misc shoes...clogs, loafers, and 'Church Lady' Ferragamos!  I've stored my long-handled umbrellas underneath.

Short-handled umbrellas...

The hair adornment area and lingerie chest...No, y'all are not going to have to look at my lingerie!

Monogrammed drawer knobs, of course.

A place for monogrammed sashes, scarf belts, and pony caps.


A scarf hanger for a few of my favorite silk scarves...some of them I've had for 30 years and I still love them!  It pays to buy the classics y'all!  Left to right:  Dior, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Ralph Lauren, Givenchy, Gucci, Hermes, Dior, and Lilly Pulitzer.  

Eyeglasses and iPhone covers.

So that's Miss Janice's Main Closet.  Husband just said, "Why don't you show them the closet you use for the overflow loot?"   {That's where I store formal wear, suits, blazers, coats, more pocketbooks, and more shoes}.  Well, I can''s organized, but still a bit crowded and messy!  I hope y'all have enjoyed the tour!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday...23 Bottles of Wine

I attended a wine tasting yesterday at the Bedford Park Clubhouse in Tradition.  "HERE'S WHAT I WORE"  The denim skirt, 'Floaters' umbrella, and green crew neck sweater are all by Lilly.  The white OCBD and the pink pony rain boots {great for rainy day in Florida} are by Ralph Lauren.

My iPhone cover is 'Floaters' by Lilly, monogrammed earrings, Cartier 'Eternity' wedding band, and 'Oyster Perpetual' Rolex.  I committed a "Wine Tasting Faux Pas" and wore cologne..."Wink" by Lilly.  Lord have mercy, what was I thinking?

My tote...'LePliage' by Longchamp.

Here's my contribution to the hors d'oeuvres table...Garlic Chicken Puffs.  You can make 32 puffs with 2 cans crescent rolls, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 cup shredded chicken, and 4 oz. cream cheese.  I baked them on 2 baking sheets for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  *I found this recipe last year on Pinterest or somewhere...can't remember!  If it is your recipe, thanks!

If I'm being honest, I must say that these puffs are very good fresh from the oven--not so much 2 hours later.

  I chose not to take my favorite house wine 'Oak Leaf' merlot...from Walmart.  I thought people would think it was tacky!!!  I ended up buying this South African Shiraz at The Fresh Market.  The label states "it goes well with snacks at sundown."

My friend Stacey Gilfillan was the organizer of this event and she did a fine job!  Thankfully, we ended up with a wide variety of hors d'oeurves...'cuz wine tasting on an empty stomach is not a good idea.

These are the silver trays for each guest...complete with a tasting goblet, cocktail napkin, pencil, and score sheet.  Stacey found the cute magnets...great idea to keep the wind from blowing away the score sheets!

We graded each wine {white and red} either Excellent, Good, Fair, or Yuck!  I must confess in the beginning a lot of wines received 'Yuck'.  Getting tipsy does seem to impact your towards the end, they were all good!

Each table's host poured a sample of all the wines {covered with a brown paper bag and labeled with a number}, beginning with 8 bottles of white and ending with 15 bottles of red!

Each guest was served a plate of fruit, crackers, chocolate, nuts, and cheese to cleanse the palate.

In the center of each table there were water bottles...y'all know you should drink as much water as you do wine.  The little buckets were used as dump buckets.  If you do not like the wine, you pour it into the is perfectly acceptable!  There was also a pitcher of water to rinse your goblet after each tasting.

Being that I am not a wine connoisseur, I was happy to see there were not a lot of wine snobs at this event!  Inexpensive white wines took 1st and 2nd place, with cash prizes and "bragging rights" going to the people who brought them.

The winners of the Shiraz was "Yuck"!!!!

Then it was home to prepare a quick dinner for husband and watch some football!  What to fix?  I decided on Barbecue Baskets.  This is a recipe from Publix Simple Meals.  I enjoy tasting the sample meals when I shop at Publix and this is one of their recipes...very simple:  1 {12 oz} container cooked shredded chicken, 1 {10 count} can buttermilk biscuits, 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.  Coat 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with spray.  Place each biscuit in one muffin cup.  Press the biscuit down and also press it up the side of the cup to form a crust.  Mix the shredded chicken and barbecue sauce and pour into cup. Top with cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes on 400 degrees.

A little messy, but it's quick and good y'all!

Gameday Meal...Yay!  Florida State beat Clemson 49-37!!!!!

Fall is here y'all!  Hope you are enjoying the first weekend of the season.