Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Bunco

It's time once again for my Halloween Bunco.
I have written my annual invitation poem,
but this
year I have added something new....

It’s that time once again, but look for a Twist
And if you dare to not come, the Powers at be will be Pissed
Rumor has it that a Masquerade Party has been planned
With Murder and Mystery, it’s bound to be Grand

An invitation will arrive with your part, which is Key
To give you the tools you will need to administer the Third Degree

You will play an important part,
so bring your Wits and your Cunning
And a Masquerade Mask that is both Glitzy and Stunning

You may Dress as you wish, but in Character I would Choose
Rewards will be given for those that step it up and Amuse.

October 28 is the date I think would be best
Let me know if this works to eliminate my stress
A delicious Mexican dish is the price of Admission
not to mention a lovely Bunco Tradition

Please come ready to play and help solve this Masquerade Mystery
And I apologize ahead…….you do know my History.

We shall be playing a murder mystery...
Something I have been wanting to
try for a long time.
Mystery at the Masquerade Ball,

I will let you know how it goes.
I'm hoping it will become our new tradition
and will be a party to die for.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Not too catchy of title...
all the hype is for the pumpkin bread .....


Kristi stopped by with some pumpkin bread
the other morning,
I supplied the chai tea,
we had the makings of a little party. 

it was so moist and yummy.
She posted the recipe and it's definitely
a keeper.  (butter is optional of course)

Go HERE to go to Kristi's blog
for the recipe.

It was good till the last drop...
and I'm not talking about the tea.

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FOT time again

After deciding not to design a Festival of the Trees,
tree this year,
I found myself...
you guessed it,
with a TREE

I took delivery and now with a design
in mind will again be decorating a tree for the festival.  
As always it is a 
terrific cause, and I look forward to it. 

Once a tree designer, always
a tree designer I guess....

If you live in Southern California and
would like to see the trees,
It's at the Riverside convention
center, right across from the great little shops

You can make a day of it,
and be sure to go to Simple Simon's for lunch.

Here's a tease of this years design. 
I will even give you a hint
with my title...

"Home for Christmas"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome October

I feel like Fall is really here.....
this morning while
having our coffee on the patio
it actually started drizzling. 
Felt like Fall! 
What do you do in October
when it feels like Fall? 
Get out the goulies of course.

Plan a dinner of course!

Light the candles of course!

Put out the appetizers of course!

The only question remains....

What shall we
have for dinner?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Princess Diaries

Dear Diary,

In August, my mom and dad took me to California
to see the rest of my family.  I was very excited to
get on the airplane, because I knew when I got there
I would be able to put my Belle princess dress on,
see my California grandma and she was going to
to take me to Disneyland. 
I could hardly wait. 

My mommy told my grandma
that we would be landing at 9:00 am. 
So my grandma
(after being up very late the night before with bunco)
jumped out of bed, got ready for Disneyland and headed to LAX. 

Boy was she surprised when
she got there and found out our plane didn't arrive until 10:15.

  No problem for her though...she found
a Carl's Jr, right outside the airport and had her 
missed morning coffee.
At 10:15 in excited anticipation she began her circle of the airport and soon got the call from my mommy that we had landed. 
By this time I had put on my Belle dress
and was waiting to see my grandma. 
Grandma couldn't see us, and got very confused....
why were we outside Southwest terminal when we flew American. 
That's when mommy said....
you know we're in Ontario right?
Uhhh NO...
grandma was at the wrong airport. 
How silly is that?

So mommy, daddy and I sat on the floor
to eat a chocolate bar and waited
quite patiently for
grandma to drive from LAX to Ontario.
Boy that candy bar was good though.

When she got there, she was so happy
to see me.  She sure hugs a lot and
was very excited to head to Disneyland.
So was I.

We did lots of fun things, and one
of my favorites things was the new Ariel ride.
I think daddy was pretty tired
from our trip, but he
loved it too.

I think my mommy likes Disneyland almost as much
as I do.  She didn't wear a princess dress though,
I wonder why.

During the parade,
I got to see every single princess.
Even Rapunzel. 
Grandma said when we come
back to Disneyland with the rest of the family
she will buy me a Rapunzel dress. 
I can't wait.

I also went to Minnie's house. 
Did you know Minnie's house is my favorite color


She was sad when I had to go and gave me a

By this time I was kind of tired
and I knew
I would come back with my cousins
in a day or so.

So mommy, daddy, grandma and I headed back
to my grandma's house to see Pop Pop

I think I may have fallen asleep on the way home.

So Dear first day
in California was great and I think I get to see
my cousins tomorrow.   I can't wait.
I sure do love California and getting
to be a Princess.
See you tomorrow.

Princess Bella

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When the Moon Hits the Sky....

Oh my...August was such a busy month for me it melted into September.  And by melted I mean I came back to
triple digit temperatures and well....melted. 

The weather was glorious while it lasted though.  In August we celebrated my mom's August Bunco
"Under the Tuscan Moon" 
The evening didn't go exactly as planned
(does it ever?)
but it was glorious just the same. 
We spent the entire evening in the
and it couldn't have been any more perfect. 
Kevin had brought in a wheelbarrow full of wood that is still there, waiting to be called upon,
to warm our first cool fall evening. 
Ours was is.

Welcome to our dining experience...

Everything is ready in anticipation of Diana's guests...
 Our gorgeous April Cornell sunflower
tablecloth was our inspiration.

Yellow dishes...sunflowers....and

Dean, ready to lend a song

 Mom's yellow dishes
always make an appearance for August bunco.
We paired them with green and brown napkins adorned
with a raffia tied sunflower

Fun and festive

You can't have Italian without Red Pepper flakes
to spice things up.

and of course the Vino

I always love do get the Chianti in these
basket bottles.
It makes me feel Italian

All we need now are a few guests

My friend Tammy made our invitations and our
bunco score sheets. 

Everything was so cute.



Vegetables and Fiesta Dip
(with Jicama of course)

Kristi's fabulous Bruschetta

Main Course

Italian Chopped Salad
with Balsamic and Olive Oil dressing

Roasted Red Pepper Eggplant Parmesan

Sausage, Cheese and Basil Pizza

Pine Nut and Feta Angel Hair Pasta
(another one of Kristi's fabulous creations)


Italian Cheesecake
(do I dare say it??? another
delicious creation by Kristi,
and did I mention she is
the most fantastic partner to work with
when we are having any sort of party?)

Kristi....did we take pictures of that delicious food or did we just eat it, as soon as it came out of the oven?

Tammy and me

We ate, drank, talked, laughed and
maybe played a game or two of bunco.
What we didn't do was karaoke.

but that just gives us an excuse for another

Not that we need an excuse of course.

Bunco only started my August up
Stacy, James and Bella come for a visit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There's a Party a Brew'in

and NO it's not Halloween yet. 

Mom's bunco is tomorrow and her theme is always
"Under the Tuscan Moon"

We usually eat Italian in the Gazebo...

August nights are so warm and
gorgeous that no one wants to come in to play bunco.

This year we will have dinner and bunco in the
The house can be back up
if it gets too chilly...
but Kevin has already put in a load of wood for
a nice big fire.

Here's a little preview of mom's inspiration

Tammie made us these killer invitations....
but we do have a few surprises. 
Do you see whats peeking out from behind? 
Look closer. 

That's right Lisa....
get your song on ladies,
concert in the "Pork" and you're
the entertainment.

and we may even have a celebrity
join us

Creepy I know...
the only thing that would be better than only Dean
would be

The whole "Rat Pack"...
maybe next year but for now....

there's a party a brew'in.

Friday, August 19, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond

Since I always feel our annual trip to Hawaii 
is in celebration of our anniversary every year,
we usually just go out to dinner on our actual day. 
This year we decided
to do a light dinner at a fun restaurant
and then hit Disneyland afterward.
I didn't bring my camera so the pictures
are not too good but dinner was.

We chose an assortment of appetizers as well as an assortment of beverages.

and then headed off to the happiest place on earth.

Does anyone remember this old sign when it was at
the entrance to Disneyland?

I don't know if it's the
original one but it did bring back some memories.

The Fantasmic show was fantastic and the fireworks
were great.  
We saw Tinker Bell fly and had a
surprise appearance by Dumbo....
elephants really can fly.

and then home to start a
brand new year....


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary ....

Seems like yesterday....

Where did the time go???

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


All great chefs know that the best ingredients
create the best things...
as in a party...
and as in the celebration of a life....

Only using the best ingredients...

 we started with the pretties...

good colors, 

and a fun table,
just waiting for the festivities to begin.

Stir in a few flowers
and a gorgeous evening

a splash or two of liquid .....

Most importantly
we must add our vintage
great wine.... great family

lifelong friends

A dash of food for spice

and good conversation...

One serving of "Old Fart"

a little help from a local Sous Chef

or two

A pair of well worn but ever so useful hands.

and a pinch of laughter for good measure.

Don't forget the balance....
with salt you need a little sugar

and a whole lot of LOVE

we mixed up those ingredients and helped 
create a very special birthday party
for a very special


So many hats, so many years...
and Jim, the best is yet to come.

Happy "80th" Birthday!!!
(and many more)

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