Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Festival Once Again

Every year, myself and a couple of friends get together with the kids (and now some grand kids) to carve pumpkins and do some baking to celebrate the kickoff of fall. It usually turns into a party later in the evening and this year we added some new folks to the mix. We let the girls invite some of their friends to participate and some of our other friends and their children came to join in on the fun.....

They were really concentrating on those pumpkins !

The little guy trying to get in on the fun too !

We made two recipes one for the younger girls was pretty simple. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars. I found both on Pinterest of course ! LOL

Prep work

For the older girls, I picked a recipe that was a little more involved and let me tell you, it was a great choice. Pumpkin Creme Cheese Muffins were well worth the extra steps.

* If you make this recipe, let me offer you a time saving & convenient tip: For the creme cheese filling, instead of using the plastic wrap & cutting into pieces, just mix the creme cheese and sugar and put it into a piping bag & pop it in the freezer while you mix up the batter, then just follow the same instructions except just squeeze the cheese out using piping bag. It is quick and much for convenient than the steps listed in the recipe.

Voila !

My friends daughter did a phenomenal job with this recipe, all I did was supervise and direct. She is quite the little baker and really enjoys it and it is fun for me too. Let me tell you, those muffins tasted so.dang. good ! Seriously I did not know pumpkin could taste so good.  You will really enjoy this recipe.

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown !

It was a fun Saturday afternoon/evening &I think we adults enjoyed it as much or more than the kids did.

Do you have any fall traditions ? 

Do you have any really good pumpkin recipes ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wedding Planning Fun

I have a couple of friends who are getting married next year as well and we all went to a Bridal Extravaganza at Hotel ZaZa a couple of weeks ago and it was reallllly nice ! I love this hotel and though I have never stayed here, I have been to several parties here, Happy Hours & the Sunday Brunch. It is quite a swanky little spot and we spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon there.

They had a lot of vendors and though I am only looking for a few that can help me here since I am having a destination wedding, it was totally worth my time.They had Butlers walking around passing out Hors d'ouevres and unlimited flutes of Champagne kept finding there way to us, now that's my kind of party !

They had tables set up like actual weddings

Models walking around in wedding dresses...

They have these "concept suites" on the top floor and they had one of them opened up and they were actually giving free chair massages there. I made a new friend named " Brandon" and I will be looking for him at their Spa the next time I am in the area, LOL.

This cocktail was called "The Flirt " and was quite tasty...

More reception decorating ideas

Me and my fellow future bride-to-be

After the event was over, me and my friends sat on the Patio for a while. We watched in horror as the workers began to tear down the tables they had set up for the event and toss thousands and thousands of fresh flower arrangements into garbage bags ! I know this is typically what happens after a wedding but it was just crazy to see it. We went into one of the ballrooms and asked if we could take some home & they gladly let us do so as they continued to toss the flowers in the trash !  I had some beautiful fresh flowers for about a week at home.

Pretty Tulips


 More free flowers...

It was a cool event & lots of fun.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Me....... Randomly

Wow. It has been almost a month since I dusted off this little blog.  It has been a whirlwind around here over the last several weeks. I am going to try to catch up this week with some posts,  but here is a bit of random stuff........

First up, Mr. Mixologist got hit with the dreaded Kidney Stones. I got a call at work  & he was rushed to the ER by ambulance, at the time when he collapsed in pain, we had no idea what was wrong. I don't ever want to feel that type of panic again. He is fine now, the stones passed, and other than the challenge of seeing him in the worst pain you can imagine we made it through.  I got to spend a few days taking care of him & showing him how much appreciate him.

I have been super busy at work, it has been almost unbearable. I have no idea when things will change & since we are all supposed to be so lucky to have not been relocated, we are just supposed to suck it up & deal with it. So I won't complain, other than to say I so wish I was independently wealthy. LOL

I totally love Fall weather, the nice cool but not too cold mornings, low humidity and crisp clear air to breath in.  I love the clothes, the nice comfort food, the cozy nights at home. We lit our fireplace for the first time this season just today.  I can't wait for the Holidays to get here.

We had a garage sale a few weeks ago & Mr. Mixologist will never participate in one again. LOL It was a comedy of errors that I won't bore you with. It was more work than we anticipated. The good news is that we did make a nice bit of money that went straight to the wedding fund. The bad news is that I twisted my ankle trying to help him move some furniture and had to go to urgent care, after trying to avoid it for several hours.  He keeps teasing me saying that we had to spend all the money we made on co-pays & prescriptions ! LOL  But the tables were turned and in less than 30 days after me waiting on him hand and foot, he had to then do the same for me. He took great care of me.

I was on crutches for 5 days until I could put weight on my foot & let me tell you, mobility is one of those things, that you just don't appreciate enough.  They gave me some good drugs & for the first couple of days, I was quite melancholy but by day 5 I had cabin fever like a mug & was going stir crazy. Even though I didn't break any bones, it has been a slow heal. I still have residual pain in my right foot, a few weeks later. I don't think I am going to be able to run the Turkey Trot this year but I want to at least walk it & not break tradition on the participation.  I am starting to really feel this over 40 thing for real !

We early voted yesterday morning, we got up at 7AM & headed to the polls and still had to wait 45 minutes. It was our first time voting together, in the same precinct & it was quite fun to people watch and exercise our civic duty. We had a nice breakfast afterwards. Speaking of civic duty, I have Jury duty in a couple of weeks & as much as I would love to sit on a jury, I just don't think I could be away from my cases for too long, without things just getting out of control and I don't think I could be focused on the trial for worrying about work & the mess I have to return to. I wonder if I will get picked ?

What's going on random with you ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dog Lovers

I have a good friend who is getting married next year a few months before me. We had this discussion last week and I told her that I would try to help her figure this out. She has a dog that is like a family member that  she and her Fiance really want to incorporate into their wedding. They love this dog and this truly makes sense. When people get married they want to include those closest to them right ?  The most obvious idea is having the dog be the ring bearer. He could walk down the aisle most likely with an escort.  Not that this matters, but I am not really a dog person, so to speak. I readily admit, this is due to an incident in which I was chased by a dog as a young child, and just never really got over the fear that I experienced in that situation. My cousins were there and witnessed the whole scenario and still to this day, tease me about it, but either way, being around dogs causes me anxiety, even if they are somewhat well behaved.

However, I have several good friends who are dog lovers, that have dogs that are almost like their children, so I get the  attachment and affection that people can have for their pets. My future MIL lost her dog earlier this year and I swear it was like a family member had died. Real true emotion. It was very hard for her.  I had a co-worker several years ago,  that I saw have to put her dog to sleep and watched the pain and depression that it caused her, so I understand how people are about their beloved pets. When I visit my friends who have dogs in their homes, I try my best to remain calm, not act like I am afraid or nervous when the dog is jumping around your legs or wants to touch you, or get to know you, but it is not always easy. But I make an attempt, because I am in their home. I try to respect how this person feels about their 4 legged family member.

I really like it when people incorporate their personality or unique interests into their weddings. Even if it's not something that appeals to me or not something that I would do, I really appreciate creativity and people who want to represent themselves. I mean we all get to be who WE are.  I think it would be a cute idea to incorporate their dog into the wedding somehow, I am just trying to find the best way. Of course I went to my trusty resource, the Knot. Those chicks over there go HAM and don't hesitate to tell you what they really think ! LOL   This was an interesting discussion on the topic right here.    Go ahead and read the link and the comments and come back here..... I'll wait.

Now, I like it when people feel passionate about something,  but you have to be careful to not be closed minded.  The other thing is that at the end of the day, it is your wedding.  Very often the bride and groom are footing the bill, so it probably should be what they want, right ? So if they have their dog in their wedding, it would not really bother me at all. It would be nice to see, and it's not something you see everyday, but I would not be among those trying to get to close to the dog, LOL. Anyway bloggers, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this issue & give my friend some feedback for her big day.

Have you ever been to a wedding that somehow incorporated a pet ? If so, how did it go down ? Was it a cute idea, or did it just not make sense to you ?   Do you think guests would be offended by this ? Do you think it would be a problem ?  Would you do it ? What is the best way to incorporate  a pet into a wedding in your opinion ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Musical Monday " Dwele"

I have been a true fan of Dwele for a long time now. I have seen him live at Essence, and look forward to catching him again.  This is his 5th studio Album and his growth is evident. The new CD is called, "Greater than One"  and it is, in my opinion greater than most. If you are a  Dwele fan, this will not disappoint, if you are new to him or his music, then this will be a nice surprise. He tackles love and commitment on this album...what else ? Of course love makes for the most interesting and universal type of music right ? There is awesome instrumentation, his melodies are sick and his lyrics are complex. The vibe is mellow, sexy, artistic, soulful, jazzy, among other things. I have been wearing this CD out recently. You can preview all the tracks right here.

Some of my favorite tracks are: "Going,Leaving" a warning to all the guys who can lose true love by being commitment phobic."What You Gotta Do", the bass line breakdown in this song is so sick & Raheem DeVaughn is a nice surprise guest on this song. "What Profit"  is the albums first single and "Special", a nice party anthem for the true lovers !

Take a listen of the links I dropped below.....

 And this is the Remix of the first Single,

Are you a Dwele fan ?   What do you think of the new CD ?

What interesting new music are you listening to currently  ?

Beautifully Complex