February 21, 2012

Aged to Perfection

It began
with this invitation


and this vacation home

with this view

from this porch

with a party

for this girl...

I found the home on VRBO,  a wonderful site that has given me homes to stay in Kauai, Tahoe, Aptos, and now Occidental. And what a beautiful home it was!  A charming country home with a huge kitchen and wonderful entertaining space.  The home was furnished with beautiful antiques in every room.  Our bedrooms had fluffy down pillows and comforters, we had gorgeous oak floors and large windows, and a fireplace for warmth.

I love creating good times with good food and fun for family and friends. A passion of mine!
 Labeling party favors

Lavender wine jelly, made from lavender grown in my greenhouse at home in Alaska...


You can't go wrong with a home that has good bones.  What an awesome dining room!  It was huge.  I needed the space, as we'd invited 25 for dinner.

What a beautiful antique piano in the dining room!

I had some help with the "vintage wine" theme from my granddaughter Karli!


This lovely hutch became the candy bar....

with vintage candies and personalized wrapped chocolate caramel bars.

The chocolate wrapper was a dilly to figure out! 


Joan and I enjoying some harvest punch.

Mums and white roses - 
one of the lovely flower arrangements on the table

place settings

all set for the guests


A special moment before our meal...

 Guests are seated and reading the dinner menu.

   Joan’s 50th Birthday Celebration
crudités platter and herb dip
artisan cheeses  and marinated olives
kenai river sockeye spread and multigrain crackers
seasonal greens, baby carrots, chickpeas,
 dried cherries with dill and balsamic dressing
Parmesan straws
 spice rubbed pork tenderloin
with lavender wine jelly
lemon caper smashed Yukon Gold potatoes
creamy  shallot  green beans
vintage candy bar
black & white mousse cake wrapped in ganache

I think she was a bit overwhelmed.


The patriarch of the family presents a toast to his youngest.

Queen for an evening

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

January 26, 2012


Before declarations and decisions, ask,
"Is it kind? Is it true?
Is it necessary?"
 Listen to the silence.
Breath, and notice beauty. Then,
speak from the heart.