Monday, May 25, 2015

Grace of Monaco - The Movie

Tonight Grace of Monaco will air on the Lifetime network. This is a biopic of one of France's most iconic movie stars and her rise from actress to royalty.  Princess Grace is my all-time favorite royal...her palace was the first stop I made on my very first visit to Europe many years ago.  Even though the film opened with negative reviews at the Cannes Film Festival and received thumbs down from the royal family of Monaco, I'll still be watching...just to see for myself--and of course, to see Nicole Kidman wearing fabulous gowns!

The film focuses on Kelly's life after she wed Monaco's Prince Rainier in 1956...struggling between her new life as a royal and a temptation to return to acting in Hollywood after an offer from Alfred Hitchcock.

Nicole Kidman as Grace and Tim Roth as Prince Ranier

"She (Princess Grace) fascinated me and still does and obviously she fascinates the world."
~Nicole Kidman

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sandra Lee

 I've been a long-time fan of Sandra Lee...I love her cookbooks, her television shows, magazines, and of course I'm a big fan of her cute, matchy-matchy tablescapes that coordinate with her kitchen.  I'm also not ashamed to say that I've been a fan of her semi-homemade (70% pre-packaged products and 30% fresh items) recipes for many years.

Recently, I've been following her announcement on her Facebook that she received a breast cancer diagnosis after a routine mammogram--which was followed by a lumpectomy, and then a double mastectomy during this past week.  My heart goes out to her and to anyone battling breast cancer...or any kind of cancer.  Many people battling this disease will be helped by her Sandra's openness and her sharing with the public of her personal experience and journey to recovery.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I am preparing some of her recipes.  The Cheeseburger Bites* are so good.  These are little tasty sliders, with a meatloaf-flavor twist. Mama likes small portions, so these were perfect for her with a little bit of cole slaw.

My Cheeseburger Bites
In Sandra's words, "It's Cocktail Time!"  She now has her own Margaritas in the bottle...Key Lime or Strawberry.  We'll be sippin' the Key Lime Margaritas this weekend too!

*Recipe for Cheeseburger Bites:
1 1/4 lbs extra-lean ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tblsp meat loaf seasoning
1 package (7 oz) sunburst-shape cheese snacks (I used sliced American cheese)
8 hamburger buns, split iceberg lettuce leaves, cut into 2-inch-wide pieces
6 tblsp Thousand Island salad dressing
16 cherry tomatoes
16 pickle chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with foil.  In a large bowl, mix ground beef, ketchup, and meat loaf seasoning with wet hands until well combined.  Form into 16 patties slightly larger than 2 inches wide.  Place patties on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Top each patty with cheese, return to oven, and back about 2 minutes more or until burgers are cooked through and cheese has melted.  While burgers cook, arrange halves of hamburger buns on a cutting board, cut sides up.  Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut mini buns from the large hamburger buns.  To assemble mini cheeseburgers, cover bottoms of mini buns with lettuce, a patty, and about 1 teaspoon salad dressing.  Add bun tops.  Skewer 1 cherry tomato and 1 pickle chip on each of 16 long cocktail toothpicks; push through the centers of assembled burgers.

Makes:  16 mini burgers

Keep it Simple, Keep it Smart, Keep it Semi-Homemade!
I'm sure even Sandra's harshest critics join me in sending gentle hugs and prayers to her for a complete and speedy recovery!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cute Totes

I love to carry a tote bag when I'm traveling, out running errands, or shopping.  Barrington Gifts has the cutest totes and you can choose the background print (loving the gingham), stripe style, color combination, and add your monogram!  These are the Savannah Zippered Totes and they are available in 18 patterns and and 10 stripe colors.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer at Garnet Hill

I love having Lilly Pulitzer linens throughout my home.  I already have the 'Hotty Pink First Impression' in one room and the 'Checking In' print in another.  Now I'm thinking of adding a third print.  Garnet Hill has the added the adorable 'Lulu' print to their "Sister Floral Duvet Cover Collection."  I absolutely love it.

These are the green buffalo check panels I would like to have in the room, and I would love to know which one of the Lilly Pulitzer patterns y'all would choose for a duvet cover.

This image is the same color as my walls...Sanctuary, by Behr.

So this is the 'Lulu' Pattern.  Too much lime green?

This is the 'Chin Chin' pattern.   An option.

This is the 'Checking In' pattern, which I already have--so it's out.
Lilly Pulitzer® Sister Florals Duvet Cover Collection

This is the 'Sippin' and Trippin'' pattern, which won't work for me.

This is the 'Hotty Pink First Impression' which I already no more of this one.

This is the 'Luscious Daiquiri Pink' which is very cute.

This is the 'Cha Cha' pattern, which won't work for me.

This is the 'Tiger Lilly' pattern.  There wasn't a photo on the site of the duvet cover, but it's available.  This is an option, don't y'all think?

There are really 4 options

'Chin Chin'
'Luscious Daiquiri Pink'
'Tiger Lilly'

I would love to hear from y'all!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

These are some of my ideas for Mother's Day gifting...for the elderly Mothers.  When our Mamas reach a certain age, their wants and needs change.  My Mama stays at home most of the time now, except to go to the beauty shop, out for lunch, visit with the neighbor ladies, or visit with us.   Her closet is stuffed with beautiful classic clothes, so she really doesn't need more dresses, blouses, or anything to wear outside of the home.

She LOVES all the Target pajamas and these two pair are adorable and just her style.  These are the Nick and Nora Zebra cute!

These are also by Nick and Nora and have a Sock Monkey pattern!

So if you are looking for a gift for your elderly Mother or Grandmother, here are a few of the items I recommend:
  • A fuzzy robe and a pretty throw blanket...since the elderly get chilled easily.
  • Hand cream, face cream, and body lotion...dry skin is usually an issue with the elderly.  My Mama still uses Pond's Cream on her face and she has beautiful skin!
  • Perfume/Cologne...Ladies always love a sweet smelling fragrance, at any age.
  • Face powder, blush, and lipstick...I remember a friend told me her Mama insisted on applying her own lipstick while in the nursing home--and even on the day of her death.
  • Wet wipes...perfect for cleaning hands after eating and for other personal reasons.
  • Manicure/Pedicure Set.  Mama has her pedicures done at the beauty shop, but I try to keep her fingernails neat and trimmed.
  • Nail Polish...a light colored varnish keeps the fingernails looking pretty.
  • Satin hairnet...Mama has worn a hairnet ever since I can remember.  She won't go to bed without her hairnet.
  • Hairspray...Big hair requires a teasing comb and lots of hairspray--especially for the Southern elderly lady!
  • Night Light...for the bathroom and bedroom.
  • Beauty Shop Gift Certificate...for their standing appointments.
  • Chick fil A/Cracker Barrel Gift Certificate...well, these are Mama's favorites!

Don't forget the corsage y'all!  A sweet Southern tradition on Mother's Day in the South...ladies are given a red corsage if their mama is still alive or a white corsage if their mama has passed away.  You can read a post I wrote about corsage etiquette here.

Happy Mother's Day y'all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tuckernuck's Palm Beach Vintage

Tuckernuck just released The Palm Beach Revival Vintage Collection.  There are old school tunics, ties, dresses, skirts, and maxis in the collection.  This Lilly Pulitzer floral maxi skirt is my absolute favorite and perfect to wear to a summer soiree!

These are the Lilly Pulitzer pieces in the collection.  A lot of the items have already sold out!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Covered Dish at the Church

Today we enjoyed a "Covered Dish" meal after church. A "Potluck Party" is also referred to as a "Covered Dish" in the South

What's the difference between a "Potluck Party" and a "Covered Dish?" Notsomuch...At a "Potluck Party" each guest brings a dish.  The old-school term "Covered Dish" meals are the same and a staple of church life in the South...I can still hear mama asking friends who would call to invite her for a meal..."Is it covered dish?"

Covered Dish Etiquette:
  • Take a dish to share with the congregation.  This is a good time to get to know your fellow parishioners on a more personal level.  Bringing a dish is not optional--it's a requirement.
  • Prepare a dish that doesn't need to be cooked at the church...just reheated in the kitchen. Choose a main dish, salad, vegetable, or dessert (pre-cut your dessert into serving pieces).
  • Bring a food ID card to identify the dish.
  • Allow the elderly to go through the line first.
  • Use the serving utensils placed beside the dish to take the food.
  • Don't take too much of one dish--sample each item.  Remember, this is not an all-you-can-eat buffet!
  • Never make a nasty face or utter a rude comment about a dish. 
  • Make sure your dish is clearly marked with your name to avoid confusion after the meal.
  • Offer to help with the clean up.
Casseroles (main dish/vegetable) are a staple of the church "Covered Dish" and I decided to take a Chicken Tetrazzini casserole, the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks--The Blue Willow Inn Cookbook.  I love the Blue Willow Restaurant and it is a must-visit if you are traveling through the state of Georgia on Interstate 20.

"Covered Dish"...not posh, but good home-cooked food!

Recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini:
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 tblsp garlic powder
1-1/2 cups cooked and deboned chicken
1 small package (8 oz) vermicelli noodles
1/2 cup milk
1 10-3/4 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese (I used parmesan and Swiss cheese)

Cook vermicelli noodles in chicken broth.
Saute onions and mushrooms in butter
Add all ingredients except 1/4 cup grated cheese to noodles.  Mix well.
Pour into a 10 x 13-inch casserole dish.
Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly.
Top with remaining grated cheese.
Serves:  6-8

HERE'S WHAT I WORE" today...
This is a "White Tag" Lilly Pulitzer shift that I bought many years ago and still love it.  I wore a lavender cardigan, carried a Kate Spade wicker tote, and wore my white Revas.