Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

We got some really fun gifts for Christmas this year and I thought I would share a few of my personal favorites. Excuse the photo quality--I quickly snapped these with my phone.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I LOVE getting cookbooks. I think I have gotten all of these as Christmas gifts. This year Davis surprised me with the Bottega Favorita

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Oxo Salad Spinner
I know you are thinking that I am totally lame for wanting one of these but they are GREAT!!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Adorable elephant dish. I can't decide if this is for soap or butter, but it is super cute!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I know these guys are for salt and pepper!!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I LOVE this pic of Sonny that Davis framed for us! So sweet and special!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
This may be my absolute favorite, just because it is so unique. It is a "notebook" with all sorts of neat scraps  of paper inside. I love the cover--it is an old French Grammar book! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Partying

We are very lucky to have sweet friends that always have amazing Christmas parties! They keep us busy during the holiday season and are a great way to break up the "work" of the holidays and make time for "play".


Photobucket
Service Guild Party
Photobucket
Girls at Alie and Michael's Christmas Party
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
McCord and Martin Christmas lunch!
Photobucket
Santa Claus Society

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Laura's Annual Christmas Party

Merry Merry!

Wow! What a Christmas! Christmas always makes me tired, in a good way! I figure if you are worn out by the end, you did it up right! Christmas for us started on the Friday before with the Santa Claus Society Dance. I LOVE this party!! Before the dance we were invited to a little pre-party at Jonathan and Denise's new house. It is LOVELY and I was so glad that we had the opportunity to see it and take the tour! We brought our friends the Yeungs with us as our guests. It was their first "dance club" and I think they had a blast. It was the 25th Anniversary of the Society so they went all out with the band, food, and even party favors! The band was definitely the highlight. They played everything from Michael Jackson to disco to Gangnam Style! It was a great way to spend times with friends and let off a little steam before the holidays kicked into full gear!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Santa and Mrs. Claus
Photobucket
Celebrating Christmas with the Yeungs
Photobucket
Merry Christmas from the Baileys!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Sweet friends Farrah, Julie, and Claire
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Me and Miss Alabama, aka my sister
On Saturday we had to drag ourselves out of bed, but we made it to Aunt Jan's for her annual Christmas lunch. She usually has it on Christmas Eve but decided to try a little something new this year, and I for one thought it went off without a hitch!!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Super healthy lunch at Aunt Jan's

After Mass that evening, we went with the Hayes to the Lester's Christmas Party. It was so sweet for them to ask us to be our guests--they know we love a party!
Afterwards, they came with us to Laura's annual Christmas Party. Laura is so sweet to host this and I really have to give her TONS of credit this year because she had a house fire in her new home just a few weeks ago! Luckily it didn't damage too much, and we are all glad she is safe and sound. The fire didn't dampen the party spirit in any way!!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Margaret, Lauren, Allison, Kendall, Kate, Laura, Rachel, Becky, Me, Julie
All crouching for whatever reason.
On Sunday we needed a little Christmas break so Forrest decided we would take a "vacation". When we are on vacation, we like to watch TV in bed because we don't have a TV in our bedroom at home. He brought our tv up from our work out area and set it up on the dresser so we could have a vacation right in our own house. He knew how much I needed a day to veg out! We had a perfectly relaxing day watching movies and TV. My favorite was Out of Africa, a 1895 movie with Meryl Strep and Robert Redford. What a fantastic film!! We did manage to go to my parents' house for chili, and my brother came back home with us to hang out with Forrest while I watched more movies from bed. I am totally spoiled now!!
 I extended our vacation over into Christmas Eve, since we didn't have to be anywhere until 4pm. Well, when I say 4, I mean 3:30, because we were going to Christmas Eve Mass and it is always packed. I really don't feel any Christmas magic until I get to Mass on Christmas Eve. I remember even feeling this way as a little girl--kind of like Mass was the kick off to Christmas. I think it was probably because it really was the first "Christmasy" thing we did on Christmas Eve growing up, but it really nice to start Christmas off in the way it was meant to be started! Mom hosted Christmas Eve this year so once we got back to her house we were busy putting the finishing touches on the dinner before Aunt Sue and Sara and John Rollins arrived. Uncle John has pneumonia so he had to miss! Dinner was DELICIOUS and before you knew it, it was present time! Hooray!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
The Fam
After we opened gifts we went to Duck Springs to Aunt Susan and Uncle Bruce's to open more gifts, and then to the Bailey's for more!! Forrest and I totally racked up. Everyone is so sweet to get us presents, even though we are "grown"! I think my favorite present of the night was a picture of Sonny that Davis took and had framed for me. It captured his sweet personality perfectly and it really touched me that Davis went to so much trouble to make me something so special.
On Christmas morning, we got up and opened our gifts to one another. I really like that we do our own private little Christmas together before the day gets crazy. Afterwards we went to my parents for breakfast and more presents! We were thrilled to be able to give my dad the big TV we got him on black Friday. He was SO surprised!! Next, we loaded up and headed to my grandparents' home in Birmingham. There was a threat of bad weather so we decided we would have to eat, open, and run, and that is kind of what we did. It was a wild afternoon but honestly, it always is! The best part of the day was giving my grandmother her gift. Forrest came up with the idea to give her photos from our wedding and Stevie and Melissa's wedding for her hallway. She already has pictures of each of her children on their wedding days and we wanted to replicate it for her grandchildren. Stevie gave a little speech and Aunt Fran cried--I'd say it was a hit! We didn't really get much time to visit because we had to hurry home to avoid the weather. Lucky for us, it stayed south, but Mobile experienced a really bad tornado. I was glad to be safe and warm in my house with Forrest and our critters. We were blessed with a fantastic holiday filled with family and friends. Who could ask for more???
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Annual Cousin Stair Step picture. This is by age.
Stevie, Me, Roy, Ashley, Andrew, MMM, Greg, Elizabeth, Juliana, Joseph
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Actual stair steps.
Andrew, Greg, Stevie, Roy, Joseph, MMM, Ashley, Juliana, Elizabeth, Me
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
With Mimi and Granddaddy

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Treats

Honestly, it was yesterday that I finally got in the Christmas spirit! I have been running around CRAZY trying to find gifts, wrap them, grocery shop, go to parties, not to mention work! Something finally clicked yesterday and I found myself full of Christmas cheer! (I'm pretty sure it was because I found the last gift and thus ended the need for more shopping--that makes anyone happy, right?) It was a good thing because I had my holiday baking scheduled for last night. I use the term "baking" loosely, as only 1 thing was actually baked, but still. Anyway, after wrapping the last gifts I started on this year's array of confections. Last year I went OVER the top and was crying after the 2 day baking event. I may have threatened to never make another cookie as long as I lived. This year, I only made ONE type of cookie and focused on other yummies that would make good "tin" snacks for me to distribute. Thanks to pinterest, that wasn't hard to do. I hope you get to make some of these treats and if you do, please let me know what you think! Of course, they are not original ideas and credit is given below! Also, what are some of your favorite holiday treats to make? Leave me a comment so I can start a list for next year!


Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I did NOT add food coloring. I am not a big fan of stains so I am really no fan of food coloring. 
1
pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2
cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4
to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6
to 8 drops green food color
1
egg
1
cup creme de menthe baking chips (Andes makes these)
1
cup semisweet chocolate chunks


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks. I had to use my hands to mix. The dough is really thick!
2. Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Bugle Bites/Elf Hats
These were a new addition this year. I saw them on Pinterest and thought they were super cute but also easy! You will need:
Bugles--in the chip aisle!
Christmas colored M&M's
Almond Bark (although the chocolate kind would be pretty good if you ask me)

1. Melt the almond bark on the stove over low heat. You can use a microwave but I thought it worked easier on the stove. 
2. Take a Bugle and scoop a little of the almond bark into the large opening. You want to make sure you choose one with a nice wide mouth--wide enough for an M&M.
3. Stick an M&M into the mouth of the Bugle and you are done!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
One bag of M&M's makes like a million hats. Have plenty of chocolate handy!
I stood in front of the stove with my almond bark melted and my Bugles to the left and M&M's to my right and a big piece of wax paper covering the counter. Don't try this at home, because it is probably the least safe way to do this, but I left the eye of the stove on so when my chocolate seems a little thick, I could slide it right onto the eye and stir and never have to stop my personal assembly line. Bugle, scoop, and top. Easy enough.  


White Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Forrest did the drizzling and was really good at it!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Things that make you go MMMM!!
Another great Pinterest find! These were ridiculously easy to make. If you have kids this seems like a good one to let them "help" with.  

Ingredients:
1 bag of pretzels (16-18 oz) (I doubled this--2lbs is a LOT of pretzels. You have been warned)
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
1 cup white chocolate chips (or almond bark, which is what I used)

Directions:
1.     Whisk together oil, sugar, and cinnamon.
2.    Pour pretzels into a microwave safe bowl and pour oil mixture in.  Stir until coated.
3.    Microwave for 1 minute, remove and stir.  Microwave 45 seconds more.
4.    Spread pretzels evenly onto two cookie sheets covered in parchment paper. I just covered my dining room table with parchment paper. It is covered with glass, but these aren't really hot anyway.
5.    While still warm, sprinkle cinnamon sugar generously.
6.   Melt white chocolate (on low heat, be careful not to burn) and drizzle over cooled pretzels.
7.    Store in an airtight container.

Snuggles
My favorite holiday treat!! 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Click the link to take you to my recipe!

Christmas Card

I LOVE doing a Christmas card! It it typically a time consuming task but I have gotten it down to a science. This may make me seem crazy but I think about our Christmas card picture all year. When we are posing for random pictures I always think "Hey--this would be a good card picture!". Then when I load them onto my computer I re-save the potential ones into a Christmas card file and then when it is December, it takes just a few minutes to choose the photo! I also have been purchasing a Groupon each year for the printing. I typically get about 150 cards for $30!! Hooray! I also have all of my addresses on labels so I just have to click print, although I hand write some if they print funky. Finally, I use a return address stamp and the postage meter at work and voila! I'm done!!! This is the ONLY thing that takes me no time to do during Christmas so I have to brag on myself a little! The only thing I never remember to do is take a screen shot of the card so I can show it on my blog. Each year, you get a sad picture of a picture, and this year is no different. However, I need to brag on my new photo storage site, Photobucket.com. I am able to upload all of my pictures to this site for free and they give each one an html code that I plug into my blog where I want the pictures. Also, and maybe the absolute best part, they have an app!!! Since many of my pics are from my phone, all I have to do is upload my pictures to the app and they have them ready for me on the site to put into my blog! This is fantastic because I always leave my phone cord at home so I was having to wait DAYS before I could get my posts up. They also let you edit the pics, which I'm slowly learning how to do. Thank you Leslie for recommending this wonderful site!! My only hiccup has been putting the photos into albums on the site after I already posted them on my blog. This changes the html code and  you have to re-enter them on the blog, but now that I know that I won't do it again! All of this being said, let's get to the real reason of my post--the card!


981A8DDC-E485-4E50-85C8-5981EEC134EE-16273-0000082B9B6D15EF, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App This is one of our favorite photos from our cruise. We are high atop the tiny French town of Eze in a cactus garden. I usually like to put lots of pictures on our cards but this year, I loved this one by itself! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Wonderland?

I use a question mark in the title because it has been anything but winter around here, and I can't say that I am sorry about it. It has been in the 70's lately and that makes me smile! It has been raining lately and that is no fun, but at least it isn't freezing cold and rainy! It doesn't feel like December, but the Christmas decorations would suggest that it is! We are gearing up for the holidays, even if the weather isn't, and that is fine by me. One of my favorite things about the holidays are all of the Christmas parties, and they are officially in full swing! Last week I had my book club Christmas party. It is one of my favorites because we do a book swap! Everyone brings a book they have at home that they enjoyed reading and we play dirty santa, which is always a blast! My book is The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards, and I can't wait to start it! Then on Thursday we went to the Etowah County Bar Association Christmas Party at John Jennings' house . It is one of my favorite parties of the year because we get to chill out with other lawyers instead of working against them.
On Friday, we had our Young Marrieds' Christmas Party at the Fords' home. They did a selection of soups and everyone else brought an appetizer. I made a brie/cranberry spread and I have to admit, despite the fact that it was super easy, it was one of the best things I've eaten in a while! I'll post the recipe below! I really love our Young Marrieds group and am so glad that it has continued to grow over the past year. It is nice to have church friends, and especially nice to be able to celebrate with them!
On Saturday Forrest went mountain biking while I was busy "Christmas-ing". I shopped til I just about literally dropped, and wrapped all afternoon! That night we went with our supper club to Highlands Bar and Grille for our Christmas get together. We decided that there is just too much going on during the holidays for us to try to host something at someone's house, so we all elected to get dressed up and go eat together. It was SUCH a fun night! We ordered nearly all of the appetizers and passed them around so everyone could get a little bit of everything. Then, out came the entrees. Again, everyone got a little bite of each dish on the table. Now, I am typically a germaphobe and don't like to share, but this evening called for an exception! My wahoo was amazing, as was Forrest's venison, as was everything else! Even though I was pretty full, we couldn't pass up dessert, right? I ordered the ice cream: chocolate Jack Daniels, egg nog, and caramel. I think my dessert was the best, or maybe tied for the best with Forrest's sweet and salty cake. My mouth is watering just thinking about everything all over again! We truly are lucky to have such a sweet group of friends that makes such an effort to get together each month. Our evening out was the perfect way to celebrate each other!

Photobucket
Julie with our favorite app, beef carpaccio
Photobucket
"Wahoo" for the wahooo!
Photobucket
Delicious ice creams
Photobucket
Our wonderful group!
On Sunday I was literally wiped out. After a much needed grocery run, I basically slept all afternoon. I guess I had done a little too much Christmas-ing after all!


There was no rest for the over-Christmas-ed, however, as we were set to decorate my parents' tree that night. Dad made cornish hens for dinner while Mom, MMM, and I decorated the tree. It was a really sweet night with family and it was great to see MMM home again after the big win!
I hope all of your Christmas preparations are going well and that you are gearing up for a great time with your family! Only 1 week to go!

Cranberry Brie Appetizer

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup cranberry sauce (about 1/2 a can of whole cranberry sauce)
  • 1 16-ounce brie round
  • Zest of one orange (I didn't use this--too much trouble!)
  • 2/3 cup walnut pieces (I used pecans)
  • Crackers for serving (you want a plain-ish cracker)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove the top of the rind from the cheese using a serrated knife, and discard the rind. Place the cheese, cut side up on an oven safe plate or bowl. Just make sure to use a larger plate or a bowl so your cheese doesn’t start oozing off the plate. I used an 8x8 baking pan that came with my every day china so it is "cute" but functional--you can serve it and eat it right out of the dish!) Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and top with the cranberry sauce. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and warm. Sprinkle the top with orange zest and walnuts.
  4. Serve immediately with crackers.
Honestly, we gobbled this up. Forrest REALLY enjoyed it and wants me to make it again, so I'm probably bringing it to a party on Saturday! Of course you have to bring this to the party and make there. 
   


Friday, December 14, 2012

MISS ALABAMA USA!!!

I am sure by now EVERYONE has heard that my sister won the title of Miss Alabama USA this Saturday night! She has competed in the pageant 3 times now and apparently for her, the 3rd time really is the charm! Less than a year ago, she was selected as the 1st runner up. As exciting as that is, she really wanted to try again and leave the pageant world with no regrets. So, to that end, we packed up and headed to Montgomery this weekend to watch her compete. It had been a totally crazy week for the Bailies. We hosted Forrest's birthday party on Saturday, then on Tuesday I hosted the Service Guild Christmas party. After the party, in the middle of the night, Forrest came down with a terrible virus!! I had to work the next day so the poor thing had to fend for himself all day long. We were also worried about me catching the virus and carrying it to the pageant, so I was basically quarantined once I got home. I carried a bottle of Lysol around everywhere! Thankfully Forrest was all better on Thursday and was able to work, but I ended up canceling my plans to go with Mom and MMM to the pageant on Thursday night just in case I was carrying the virus. I rode down by myself on Friday, thankfully, with no virus! Mom and MMM had to register and go to the informational meeting, and I got there just in time to check mom and I into our room and meet her for lunch. For the rest of the afternoon Mom and I moved MMM's luggage (TONS OF IT) into her room, prepared ourselves for the pageant, and ate dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant called SAZA. We also got to see the "parade" of contestants as they walked from practice in the theater to the elevators to get ready. When MMM came out, her game face was totally on.

Mom and I were the only 2 that came for preliminaries so we had our work cut out for us in the cheering department. MMM requested glow sticks so we came armed with them, signs with her picture, and buttons with her picture. That night, she did the opening number and competed in swimsuit and evening gown. She seriously was GORGEOUS and at the risk of sounding terribly "toddlers and tiaras" that girl ROCKED the stage! We knew that she should place high, but all judges are different, so you just never know. We did get to see her afterwards though and she said she felt great and like she left it all out on the stage--what more could she ask for???
Photobucket
Fuzzy, but after prelims!
On Saturday morning while she had her interview Mom and I had to move her stuff out of her room and into our room. Then we ate lunch with my friend Sarah Wills who lives in Montgomery. I LOVE getting to see Sarah because our paths never seem to cross. We went to Girls State together back in the DAY and then were law school section mates. She has a precious little baby girl named Betsy, and last time I saw her she was pregnant, so we had a lot to catch up on! After lunch Mom and I tried to busy ourselves to keep our minds off of the pageant---hahahaha---easier said than done!! We were nervous wrecks by the time we went to Mass, but being in church really gave us both a sense of peace. We prayed that the Lord's will would be done and that he would bless MMM's effort and give her calm while she performed. We also asked for calmness for us, so we could deal with the outcome, no matter what it was. After church, we met the rest of her entourage. Mimi, Aunt Fran, Aunt Sue, Sara, her friend Lauren, MMM's high school friend Meredith and her mom, and MMM"s sorority sisters Allyson and Margaret all came to watch our girl. We had great seats and were definitely a LOUD cheering section!!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Fuzzy again. My mom needs practice with iphone pics, clearly.
After opening number, they announced the top 15. Honestly, I felt like she would make at least that so I wasn't nervous. Since she got it, she got to perform her swimsuit routine. Seriously, she looked great!! She has been working on her fitness for a year and it totally showed! Next, they brought out the top 15 in their gowns and when their name was called for the top 10, they had to model their gown on the spot. They called her first!!! Oh we were screaming and waving our glow sticks like nobody's business! Her gown was custom made by a fantastic designer and it dazzled on stage. She was so poised and confident!!!
Next, it was time for top 5 and I was really nervous at this point, but again, they called her name first, which helped preserve my sanity!! She got to do her onstage question next, and she totally rocked the answer. They asked her what could she bring to the table as Miss AL USA and as soon as they finished asking, Mom and I grabbed each other's arms because she had JUST practiced that answer on the phone with us that morning!!! We knew she had a great response and she articulated it so well! GO GIRL!!!
Time seemed to craaaaaaaawl until time for the awards. First, they gave out specialty awards, and MMM got the swimsuit award! Hooray!! This made me feel like she had to have won, because she had the highest swim score. Then, they call the winners for the teens. AGONY!! When the time came, I was squeezing mom's hand on the right and Sara's on the left. 4th runner up, Stormie. 3rd Runner up, Kiara, 2nd runner up, Jessica, OMG!! Here we were again, in the final two. It was either going to end in disappointment or total joy! When they called out the 1st runner up--we all went crazy! SHE WON!!!! We were standing and screaming while she was crying! I was trying to text everyone and take pictures and cheer at the same time. My sissy had WON!!! I was fantastic to get to see her crowned!! We rushed to the stage (I may have climbed over the judges table instead of taking the stairs) to hug OUR newly crowned Miss Alabama USA!!! After a flurry of hugs and photos, Mom and I were allowed to go with her back stage while our entourage was rushed to the Presidential Suite for her after party! Her phone had nearly 100 texts!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App She talked to Roy, who watched it online, and Dad, who was too nervous to watch at all, and then her police escort came to take her to the party, while we took her stuff to her room. Her first appearance was at the party--so much fun!
Photobucket
Me with celebrity dentist Dr. Dorfman, one of the judges. 
Photobucket
Despite the fact that we look pasty, this is me and AJ McCarron, Alabama's quarterback. I made sure to tell him to practice hard. I'm sure that helped. 
Photobucket
With Miss Teen Alabama USA
Photobucket
Partying on the balcony of the Presidential Suite
We stayed til after 1am and it was wonderful to see her so excited! We got to meet all of her new "pageant team" and learn about what her year will be like! Back in the room, she let me try on the crown (yipee!!) and kept saying "I WON! I WON!!" It was so sweet to see her that excited!!!
Photobucket
She let me try it on! Yay!
The next day, we were up bright and EARLY for her contract signing. It was super exciting to hear what all she gets to do this year AND to see all of the awesome swag she won, which included a diamond necklace, cashmere coat, crystal trophy, and crown ring! I wasn't the least bit jealous until the swag came out!! :)
Photobucket
Nice!!
Next she was ushered into a suite to try on red dresses for the RPM Christmas card. RPM is the production company that puts on the pageants in NC, SC, LA ,and AL. All of the other pageants had been earlier in the fall so each of the winners came to be on the Christmas card. They were all SO lovely and looked fierce in their gowns! It was fun to be a fly on the wall! Next, Mom and I had to pack up and check out of our room while she did an interview for thepageantguy.com. Finally, about 2:15, we got to leave and our first stop was the Olive Garden--I was starving and that was my choice, for some reason! MMM went in with her sash on and several people spoke to her and one even asked for her autograph! Afterwards we drove to Mimi's in Birmingham to pick up mom's car and spend time with our Birmingham family who all really wanted to see Miss Alabama! Exhausted, I drove home, got Forrest, and went to my parents' to eat. My sweet Daddy had made chili for us all. It was the perfect way to end a wild weekend!
Since we made it home, mom and I have fielded calls, text, emails, and facebook messages from people congratulating MMM and wanting her to appear and even some that want to sponsor her! It has been so exciting! She has already been on the news and in several papers and already made at appearance at the Grad School and the Homewood Christmas parade. I am SO proud of my sister and was really impressed with how she managed everything so well. She acted so professional and gracious and I know she will have a great year. It will be an honor just to travel around on her coat tails this upcoming year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Party Drinks

For the Service Guild party I made 2 different drinks, Sparkling Cider and Apple Cider Sangria. I was so excited because they seemed to be a big hit!! Please enjoy these at your next holiday party!Of course, I didn't take pictures, which is terrible of me especially because they were in such cute dispensers!

Sparkling Cider

Homemade Sparkling Apple Juice
  • 2 cans apple juice concentrate (thawed) (I let the cans sit out on the counter for a while and then poured them into the dispenser still sort of frozen. I crunched them up with a spoon and just let it sit. This way, it stayed cold on its own. Just keep stirring and crunching as you set up.
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle club soda 
  • Mix. TADA!!!!

ingredients:

1 bottle (standard size) of pinot grigio
2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup ginger brandy
3 honey crisp apples, chopped
3 pears, chopped

directions:

Combine all ingredients together and stir, stir, stir. Refrigerate for an hour or so (or longer!) before serving.
I ended up using 5 bottles of wine and after a while, I was just pouring and guessing because this drink was going FAST!!! 

Gadsden Service Guild Christmas Party

As the Vice President of the Gadsden Service Guild, one of my "duties" is to host our annual Christmas Party for the members as well as the past presidents. I was of course thrilled because I LOVE to host parties and use all of my Christmas stuff! I was a little nervous so my mom agreed to help me decorate. Honestly, I don't think I would have been able to pull the party off with out my mom! She came on November 18 with all of her Christmas decorations and basically decorated my house with a mixture of her Christmas and mine. She let me borrow serving pieces, extension cords, just about everything I needed! She even came the night before to help me set up. She is a past president of Service Guild so she was invited to the party as well! The best thing about hosting the party was that I had a committee to do the food, so all I had to do was have my house ready and mix up the beverages---people even brought me all of the ingredients!
The party itself was a huge success, if I do say so myself! We had about 10 past presidents and 30 members attend. I loved seeing my house so full of people enjoying themselves! The girls did a great job on the food and the drinks I had chosen turned out really well. All in all it was a wonderful time celebrating our hard work at the rummage sale and our past members too!!


Photobucket
Mixing the drinks
Photobucket
Farrah and I with Kelly, a past president
Photobucket
Yummy spread!
Photobucket
Me and my BFF! 
Photobucket
Dessert table
Photobucket
Butler's pantry
Photobucket
Kitchen counter
Photobucket
Table before the food. Thanks Benny for the arrangement
Photobucket
Coffee table
Photobucket
Cookies by Alison Hathcock
Photobucket
Adorable towels--Sonny and Ruffles!
Photobucket
Entry table
Photobucket
Coffee table in living room
 
Blogging tips