Happy 2012

Wow.  It’s been almost four years since I last wrote anything on my blog.  Four years!  I have fallen out of the habit of writing, posting, taking photographs of my tables and writing down my recipes.  I resolve to do better this year and hope to post something, anything, several times a week.  Starting today!

Besides keeping my blog updated and interesting, I am also starting out on a new plan to get fit this year. I finally figured out that the pounds were not coming off without adding in some exercise.  After much research on what would best work for me (ADD) and keep me interested and committed, I signed up for Curves for Women.  I’ve been twice and hate to admit it, but I like it! There is a circuit of equipment and you change every thirty seconds thanks to a recording of a woman who says, change now.  I actually got my heartrate up yesterday enough to break a sweat.  I am somewhat disappointed that I haven’t lost any weight (actually gained two pounds!,) but research shows that is common as you begin to build muscle because muscle weighs more than fat.

My goal is to lose 20 pounds by June - six months - and lots of inches. I want to go foward in mid-life stronger and leaner and healthier.  I think that’s a reasonable goal that I can achieve so long as I commit to my exercise program at Curves by going every other day.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress!


Furoshiki-Wrapped Bento Box Tablescape

My first experience with a bento box was at a pool-side lunch at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla.  I fell in love with the idea, so after we returned from our trip I got on-line to find out more about these Japanese lunch boxes.  I found a listing on E-bay for some lidded boxes that are black on the outside with a red-lacquer, removable, divided tray on the inside and bought eight boxes to have at home to use for dinner parties.


During my research I discovered that the Japanese would use the bento box as a lunch box and would carry it to work wrapped in a furoshiki.  A furoshiki is typically a square piece of cloth that is wrapped around the bento box with a knot tied on the top to use as a handle. 

I used four of my bento boxes and wrapped them in a square piece of black sheer fabric.  I pushed chopsticks into the knot on the top, and added accessories to create a “Furoshiki-Wrapped Bento Box Tablescape” for a Japanese-style dinner on our sunporch. 



Meeting the Aynex Mercado "Make Something, Anything" Challenge!

Mary Thorsby challenged me, Kari & KijsaNot-A-Cog Blog, Faith 2 Lift U and First Impressions Maternity & Baby to create something, anything because of a challenge she received from Aynex Mercado.  Here are Aynex’s rules:

1. Make something, anything. It doesn’t have to be complicated or artsy. Make a list, take an interesting picture, make someone’s day, make dinner, make a doodle, make fun of yourself, make a poem , make your bed (okay that last one is lame). 

2. Write a blog about it. With pictures for extra brownie points.

3. Link to her blog and challenge six other bloggers to do the same.

Well, Aynex(who doesn’t know me) had already challenged Mary, Bizzy and Patience “to make something, anything!”

Mary responded first with by taking a photo of her treadmill after she made herself stay on for eight, long miles.  I “borrowed” Mary’s photo (and she knows me).


Bizzy then responded with a dozzie of a creative idea, her “Bizzy Fizzy.”  After reading her blog and  seeing her amazing photo of her beautifully wrapped “Fizzy” I was ready to accept defeat.  LIke Patience, I “borrowed” a copy of her photo, which is worse for me because Bizzy doesn’t even know me!


Then I saw that Patience had responded to Aynex’s challenge and made dog cookies for her Whippets in the shape of bunnies.  Staring at her blog photo, I was sure I should just concede and pass the challenge on to someone more worthy.  So I “borrowed” a copy of her photo too just to make things even with Bizzy, and Patience probably doesn’t remember meeting me but we did, once. 


So I went back to Bizzy’s blog and read all the comments she received about her darling “Bizzy Fizzy.”  And then I saw it — a suggestion to make an adult beverage “Bizzy Fizzy” with a receipe! 

So, drumroll please, here’s Bizzy’s “Bizzy Fizzy ‘Tini” to enjoy while soaking in the tub filled with the soothing aroma of a “Bizzy Fizzy.” 



I figured that since Bizzy followed a recipe, and Patience followed a recipe, I’m not cheating by using a recipe posted on Bizzy’s comments….. (Or at least I hope not!) You’ll have to visit Bizzy’s website to find the recipe in her comments. 

Wow, the pressure’s over.  Now I just have to pass the challenge on to six other unsuspecting bloggers!  Watch for an update.


Margarita Throw-Down

margarita.jpgBill and I are hosting a margarita throw-down Sunday evening where B. and M. are supposed to compete as to who makes the best margarita. 

After inviting 16 people to attend this throw-down, it turns out tonight that B. has a birthday party to attend and M.’s going fishing to enjoy the predicted unseasonable 70 degree weather. 

But no problem here in Evansville — we’re having an impromptu Mexican-inspired dinner party with non-professional margarita makers.  Except that MK is all about making margaritas, and if I can find her some competition we may have a throw-down after all!

It’s not all about margaritas, and Bill and I are making carnitas, guacamole, nachos, chips & home-made salsa, and spanish rice.  It’ll be a fun Sunday early-evening gathering, even without our bartender throw-down…. but we’ll reschedule for next month, guys!  And we completely understand fishing when it hits 70 degrees in March and then we’re expecting three inches of snow two days later!

There already have been some serious discussions about making the best margarita…. I’ve heard mixing real lime and lemon juice together with a spash of real oranges, adding sprite as a citrus touch, using simple syrup instead of sugar, using high-end tequila versus the gold tequila, and more!  I guess we’ll figure it out tomorrow and I’ll publish the winning margarita recipe.  Margaritaville on Sunday in Evansville!  Later, SGE 


A formal St. Patrick's Day table setting

March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day, and I thought I would show a more formal table setting, tablescape idea for celebrating with friends and family.  My friend Vicki and I put this together last year at her home, and it showcases her collection of copper measures and her fabulous Majolica milkmaid figurine she found on a visit to England. We used fresh vegetables and purple wax flowers to add an Irish-country feeling.  It was beautiful.




A different wintery weather perspective

It’s been so icy and cold for all of February that I thought I’d change my website to reflect the wintery weather.  And then I received the following email today, which made the new website front even more perfect…..
“Susan, the ice storm sounds scary but beautiful….  I picture the Ice Princess (covered in sparkling ice crystals, of course) walking out of the dark woods when the storm has passed, sun shining on  her crown and birds flying about… NO? Can you tell I’ve never lived where it’s cold?! My husband (upstate NY boy) shakes his head at me because I love cold, stormy weather!
“Hope you and your family are safe… that’s the scary part of it all.”  Have a toasty evening! Cherri

Logo design

Here’s my new logo for my free lance public relations and marketing business….





Winter weather worries, again

I’m supposed to drive to Louisville this afternoon, spend the night, attend a meeting planners luncheon and then drive to Hopkinsville Thursday afternoon, spend the night and attend a chamber breakfast and small business seminar all day Friday.  The weather is messing with my plans.  We’ve got another ice storm headed our way, and it looks like I’ll be the the middle of snow and ice no matter how I try to figure my way out of it.  Yuck.  I don’t mind the snow, but ice is a different story especially when traveling along side the truckers in my Corvette. 

Hopefully this is the last round of winter weather.  I”m ready for spring!




Valentine's Day is tomorrow (Thursday!)

King%20of%20Hearts.jpgBill and I are celebrating Valentine’s Day on Friday (we’re delaying it by a day) by attending an eight-course wine tasting dinner at the Dalhousie Golf Course in Cape Girardeau (weather permitting). We’re spending the night at a cottage on the grounds, so we can walk from the restaurant back to our room without worrying about driving after drinking wine with every course.

I usually fix a romantic dinner at home for us and we eat at a table for two in front of the fireplace. Last year I made lobster Caesar salad and we drank Champagne.  Bill loves to play poker, so my table setting made him the “King of Hearts” and I was his “Queen.” 

If you’re looking for last minute Valentine’s Day tablescape ideas, feel free to borrow mine.  Bill liked it.  And for menu ideas, check out a great site called www.myrecipes.com for date-night dinners.


Cabin Fever


This is an ice-covered tree in my front yard.  Beautiful, but I’m ready for it to go away.  Now.  Not tomorrow, maybe.  But now. 

But it won’t and so I have to put on lots of layers and drive my car to Super Valu for groceries and Putter needs ear drops for an ear infection before she drives me nuts shaking her head and scratching at her ears.  Poor baby. 

I’ve been home for two days because of the ice.  I guess it’s about time I ventured out other than walking the dogs every few hours. 

The icy grass is stressing Dogs, and they’re really missing their daily exercise walks and chasing the squirrels on the golf course. 

And I haven’t seen a squirrel since Monday morning when the ice storm hit.  So Dogs are ready for the ice to go away now too.  Not tomorrow, but now.  It’s hard to explain to them that won’t happen.  It’s hard for me to understand it too.  At least I have heat and electricity, unlike others around town.  And poor Metropolis and Livingston County residents.  I think they all want it to go away now too.  Now.  Please!