Friday, May 20, 2011

F is for Fun Friday...Fake Tans, Friends and Funny Stuff...

Fun Friday...
I remember when my girls were at school, they had Fun Friday.
they still had to do school work but there was just a
TINY bit more fun in their day.
so i suggest we have a FUN Friday too, starting with fake tans:)
okay, I am officially THE fake tan QUEEN!
(i knew  was the queen of something:)
don't get me wrong...I've fried my skin in the past...
and while it's still pretty much okay,
I am well aware my day will come!
so now, other than a light tan...
(vitamin D, you know:)
i FAKE it!

FAKE TANS...
my first fake tan was Sudden Tan.
remember that stuff?
i have to laugh when i think of all the times I went around
with streaks and smudges from a BAD fake tan
and smelled really bad!
but NO MORE!!!
because I have discovered an at home airbrush tan by L'Oreal...
that I LOVE!!!!!
airbrush tans can be expensive...
and can smell too...but not this stuff.
it sprays on in any direction, 
doesn't smell bad,
dries VERY quick.
it's WAY cheaper than getting it done at a salon ($10)
and the can lasts about 5 or 6 tans.
last night I gave Jordan a spray tan and today...my turn!
check it out if you need a HEALTHY glow:)
 
FRIENDS...
so, my buddy "AL" keeps dropping by for a visit.
ever have a friend that just wouldn't go away?
it's not like we have a lot in common or anything...
and he's starting to be a pest!
he did let me snap his picture the other day,
although I told him he could have SMILED or something...
but instead he looks grumpy.
what do you think?

i really wish he would just go away
but he says he was here first.
yeah, right.
guess that's why they say WE live in the SWAMP...
because we do:)
 
FUNNY STUFF
i think I'm pretty good at texting...
FOR MY AGE!
there, I said it.
my girls may not agree...
but at least I've never done something like this...


OMG (see...I know some of it)
this poor lady! heeheehee
FUNNY STUFF!
 
I think I'll pass on this restaurant...
seriously?????
haha!

that's it for now...
happy FUN Friday:)

XOXOXO
Suzanne

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

little white bench...

hey...
guess what i did yesterday?
i tackled my very own re-do project instead of lurking around
BLOGLAND, peeking at everyone else's.

my favorite little store in Naples,
VINTAGE CHARM
(love that name)
carries Taylor's Tutus and a few other goodies we make,
like glittered shells, teacup candles, sweater pumpkins...
her shop is little so when i kept eyeing this sweet little bench,
the owner finally took pity on me and said
"take it...it's just getting in the way".  
hmmm...tutu's for a bench,
not bud, huh?
so, i got it home and the color of the fabric cushion was NOT right for me.
it was a gold color that would have probably worked
but i'm big into the cream and whites so...
 i ripped it up, recovered it and
VOILA...
 a perfect little sitting area with my new shabby white bench,
paris pillows, cute signs, my most FAVORITE vintage find...
a gumball machine...
and my AWESOME...GORGEOUS
vintage luggage.  
two of the pieces were done but I had to paint one more to complete the look.
got old luggage around the house?
grab some spray paint and be prepared to go CRAZY:)
and don't ever pass them by at the fleas.
they make great storage...
ours hold Miss T's MANY  worn and tattered
POINTE SHOES.
this little nook cost me about $20 because I had everything
except the fabric, spray paint and one pillow for $7 at Joann's.
use what you have, right?
even worn out shoes:)
and last but not least, my "subway art".
i am IN LOVE with subway art!!!!!
 maybe one day i'll make my own...
there are some great tutorials out there...
but for now, i cheated and found a few at Home Goods
 and because they were at Home Goods...you KNOW the price was right!!!
love that store:)

next project...MERMAIDS!
yep...found these cuties at Tj Maxx.
i'm just deciding whether i want to embellish them with pearly vintage BUTTONS
or vintage jewels.
i'm thinking tiny JEWELS...
you know, mermaids...treasures...
we'll see!

oh gosh...one more thing i LOVE today...
this COOL frame i found in Sarasota, Fl
while shopping at St. Armand's Circle with my Mum, Sis and
my two SHABBY CHICKS.
that's it...short and SWEET today!
(well, short for me anyway:)
linking up with a few blog parties...

XOXOXOXO
Suzanne


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gooey Sticky Toffee Pudding and Raspberry Scones...

...sounds YUMMY, right?
BUT...
this blog post is so much more than just yummy recipes...
it's my ROYAL WEDDING wrap up...
with giveaway winners, and my
 "BEST OF" blog post...the royal version:)
sooooo...here goes (and I'm making you read on for the recipes:)

BEST OF THE ROYAL WEDDING:

1.  I already talked about the DRESS in yesterdays post.
click here if you missed it.
not too much left to say about that except I LOVED the way she had her little
bridesmaids and sister in the same color family but with very different dresses.

I'm big on everything matching and looking great in photos so to me, 
that was fabulous. and I felt like an excited little girl when we got our first glimpse
 as she rode in the car with her dad.  
I would have given anything to know what she was truly thinking!

2.  The 2 handsome brothers, dressed in uniform, riding to the church together.
LOVED the uniforms...and I LOVE how close they are.
Diana would be so pleased by that, don't you think?



3.  PRECIOUS how he whispered to her at the altar "You look Beautiful"...
and possibly just as sweet was in the carriage ride to the palace when she said "I'm so happy" to him.
AWWWWW!

4.  Absolutely LOVED the cake!  Nothing beats creamy colors, simple, elegant designs on a yummy cake.
(actually, I HOPE it was yummy but I'm wondering...)

5.  I got a total kick out of Harry turning around at the altar as Kate walked down the aisle. 
 ...still as mischievous as ever:)
then to find out he whispered to William "wait till you see her"...so cute!

6.  I thought her mother looked SO elegant...and the thoughts running through HER head must have been pretty wild!


7.  I thought the ceremony was classic and tasteful...rare today.
I do believe she has classic tastes so hopefully this will be a new trend as people copy her and her wedding day.

8.  LOVE all the Union Jack flags and banners flying EVERYWHERE!
(actually, this beautiful city has them all over the place even without a wedding and it's so cool)

9. I thought it was so nice that all of Diana's family was welcomed 
and that they even spoke to them in the church.  Had to be a tough moment for them.

10.  Possible one of my favorite moments was seeing this couple who want to be as normal as possible...
under the circumstances,
drive away from the palace in a decorated car.


AWWWWW...how cute was that!

Did I mention that my girls and I stayed up all night?  yes, we had a ROYAL sleepover:)
we decorated with all of my crowns, our London souvenirs, flags, everything royal!
we had a tea party at 3 a.m...the beginning of the broadcast, 
complete with raspberry scones and TEA:)
before that we watched the Kings Speech and other royal themed shows and I gave the girls PJ's...pink teacup jammies:)
yes, even though I paid the price for no sleep, it was a night we will ALWAYS remember!
p.s. for Mother's Day, in addition to all the other wonderful gifts, they got me a copy of the
engagement ring:)
 so lovely:)
I wear it on a chain with my favorite charm.
memories...

okay...moving on to my 
"BEST of ENGLAND"
(not that I am an expert by any means but we did visit last Fall and loved every second of it.
we also have a number of close British friends down here so that helps:)

1.  who DOESN"T love the accent?????
I mean, if we broke off from them, why did we have to lose the accent?
BUMMER! and some of the words are so fun!

2.  London is a BEAUTIFUL city, the people know and love their history and they are so FRIENDLY...contrary to what we were told to expect. and one more thing...it was so clean for a big city!

3,  The CABBIES!  
This is a well respected profession in London, driving those cute black cabs:)

4.  SHOPPING!  (enough said:)
5.  TEA TIME!!! yep, they really do love their tea.  we did go to Starbucks for coffee once but frankly, the Brits  make better tea:)

6.  despite what we hear sometimes, they seem to still love their royal family.  guess you saw that recently:)
yes...it is definitely a case of "long live the Queen"...her initials and/or crowns are on EVERYTHING.

7.  Cute things, like the red phone booths, red double decker buses...

8.  they have the cutest exported car...and we have one! (actually, Taylor has one...but we all love to drive it!)
 The MINI COOPER...and they are everywhere over there.

9.  my FAVORITE export is a person and her style...
RACHEL ASHWELL and her Shabby Chic lifestyle...because it IS a lifestyle.
SHE should have decorated for the royal reception 
 but that's for another blog post, when I decorate as Rachel would have...
at least I think it's how she would have:)

10.  last but NOT least...our two favorite foods from across the pond...
Gooey Sticky Toffee Pudding...
and Scones...with clotted cream, devonshire cream or vanilla mascarpone.
OH MY GOSH!!!

First the sticky pudding...
this dessert (which contains chopped dates, somethingI thought I would hate but LOVE)
is best served warm...almost hot...and VERY gooey.
It is soooo good.  You'll be hooked!
This is Martha Stewarts recipe so you can trust it:)

GOOEY STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING:
 * 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
    * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
    * 8 ounces pitted dates, finely chopped
    * 2 teaspoons baking powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1 cup sugar
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; set aside.
   2. In a small bowl, combine dates and 1/2 cup boiling water; set aside to soften, at least 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt to combine; set aside.
   3. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add date mixture, flour mixture, and vanilla; mix just until moistened.
   4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare toffee sauce.
   5. Remove cake from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. To ensure it will come out easily later, carefully invert hot cake then return it, right side up, to pan. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over cake. Pour about 1 cup warm sauce over cake; let absorb at least 20 minutes.
Toffee Sauce
* 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks)
    * 1 cup heavy cream
    * 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
 1. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, heavy cream, light-brown sugar, and salt. Heat over low, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Simmer mixture over medium heat until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, 8 to 12 minutes. If desired, reheat sauce over low before serving.
******Serve with ice cream, vanilla sauce, vanilla mascarpone...all good choices!

SCONES...
Scones, done right, are not these dry rolls...they are warm, soft and delicious!
My favorites are raspberry or strawberry.
Rather than print the whole recipe (one of Martha's again)
click HERE.
DELICIOUS!!!
or...you can pick up a mix like this one...
White Chocolate Raspberry Scones...
very good also!

Well, guess that's about it.
OH...WAIT...my giveaways!
I had two for sure...
my PRINCESS for a DAY giveaway and the
KEEP CALM and CARRY ON giveaway.
I said I had two for sure because I have a few other 
odds and ends to throw someones way:)


now,are you thinking I forgot the giveaways?
not a chance!!!
TRISHA from Glass Slippers and All That Stuff is my
Princess For a Day winner.
 perfect..."Glass Slippers"...
and Sweet Trisha is a princess...you'll see when you visit her blog:)


winning the Keep Calm and Carry On package is
LINDA from A LA CARTE!
 Linda is well known around blog land because she is a beautiful lady
who is a friend to everyone she "meets" and lifts me up
more times than I can count.
Congratulations ladies!!!!!


so there you have it mates...
i guess we're done with the royal wedding and all things British.
well...I do still have a shabby chic post complete with shabby flags but maybe another time.
i hope you've enjoyed this.
thank you for humoring me.
i wanted this memory to be included in my next blog book for my girls.


REMEMBER...
sometimes FAIRYTALES DO COME TRUE!


 XOXOXO
Suzanne

Saturday, May 14, 2011

a ROYAL win for the Shabby Chicks...

...not that I'm bragging or anything!
I would NEVER do that...
BUT...
did you see the royal wedding?
more importantly,
did you see THE dress???
you know, Kate's wedding dress?
oh yeah...
I NAILED IT...
totally!
yep...I totally remember telling Kate to take her cue from Princess Grace:)

anyway, I know we got it right because when SWEET, KIND, THOUGHTFUL
Jennifer Christopher
wrote me to see if I was okay since
I had gone underground after the wedding
(not feeling well last week)
she TOLD me so...and encouraged me
to write my royal wrap up after all, which I'm working on,
promise, promise, promise!!!!!
by Monday!
Thank you Jennifer!

but for now...check this out...
since obviously I'm still caught up in the FAIRYTALE,
let's run with it.
(wonder why? check out the first few lines in my 
welcome message:)
having recently discovered how much fun it is picking out
the PERFECT wedding dress,
...i do believe maybe
I might like my own little fairytale bridal boutique.
or AT LEAST honor my girls by being their very own
dress consultant someday.
oh yes...definitely that one.
which probably means they will both elope someday!
poor girls.
hahahahaha...
nah, they won't elope...
not MY shabby chicks.
but maybe they'll get married in a place like this...
or this...
 or maybe in a barn:)
(hey...they don't call me stalker mom for nothing you know:) 
but more on my picks for them later.

first, let's have some fun.
let's daydream...
and get lost in the fairytale.

so, this would be my new shop logo...
pretty cool, huh?

i'm thinking this might be a nice lobby area...

a lovely little dressing room for the bride-to-be...

and we can't leave out a beautiful waiting room for her family and friends..
DREAMY!!!

just the right accessories...



to get her ready for her big day as one become TWO...


true love...

okay, back to my shabby chicks...
i have their dresses all picked out...
and they approve!
WHEW:)
for HRH Taylor, this is her dress...
and for HRH Jordan, this one is for you...
of course, they are welcome to wear my FAVORITE dress,
which you've seen before but i love it so much...
 sigh...
so pretty:)
and after this,
they can ride off into the sunset!
but back to the fairytale...
 dreams still come true.
just ask Kate...

now, I know this has taken me FOREVER to write...
but I have drawn the winners from my royal giveaways and will be posting
my royal wrap up on Monday...
no kidding!!!

you know, when i think about it,
one of the best things about having a blog is you can write about anything
YOU want...even if it's mindless rambling or
DAYDREAMING...something I am very good at.

i have also discovered a love of photography...
both taking pictures and searching for beautiful photos online.
 
i seem to especially love wedding photos...
maybe because I did not have a big wedding.
i'm very happy with my small wedding...
but to my sweet girls,
i DO look forward to helping plan yours!

now, it should come as no surprise that as i write this,
i am curled up on the couch with Taylor, eating a bowl of homemade caramel corn and
watching the Phantom of the Opera...
and wondering how on earth she picked Raoul instead of the Phantom!
talk about a dreamer:)
thanks so much for stopping by.
as always, i love your comments even if I don't get back
right away.
but i also welcome anyone who pops by, whether you comment or not.
i know what it's like to browse blogs...
and I'm grateful you spent some time here!
XOXOXOXOXO
Suzanne

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