Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goin' to the chapel...

The Loretto Chapel that is, for Hubby's brother's wedding in snowy Santa Fe.

Family celebrations flanked by delicious meals make up a large majority of the itinerary and we just couldn't be more delighted! It's our maiden voyage to Santa Fe and we've got visions of green chiles dancing in our heads. Here's how we plan to make the rounds (well, of food, anyway!) this weekend...

Ringing in the New Year here...

Rehearsal-ing here...

Groomsmen Luncheoning (ahem... and spouses!) here...

...and, of course, after the lovely Loretto wedding, we'll be heading here...

Which is thankfully where we'll be staying!

We've got a lot of eating to do! Any other restaurant recs? We hear The Shed is splendid, too and plan to eat there during some down time. What a way to say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010 :) Congrats to the (almost) newlyweds!

Monday, December 28, 2009

White (Dallas?!) Christmas and Breakfast Strudel

After a stormy Christmas Eve, we awoke to this fresh winter wonderland! We hardly knew what to do with the white stuff, and I even had a good old fashioned seat-drop fall while taking little Dixie on her first snow-walk (yikes!).

Back inside, we were nice and cozy, and the Christmas morning traditions resumed. Hubby and I joined my parents for the morning, and his folks later that night. For the a.m. portion, Dad and I got to work on the annual breakfast strudel (we open presents after we eat, of course):

First, scramble the eggy yumminess on the stove (eggs, hash browns, diced ham, onions, bell pepper) until almost fully cooked. Let cool in pan while you roll out puff pasty sheets and prepare them for special wrapping:

Add eggy yumminess to center of pastry dough:

Wrap it up nice and tight:

Use extra dough to make cute decorations! Sometimes we spell "NOEL," or "JOY" too:

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese:

Bake at 350 for 20ish minutes until golden. The slice on the bias:

Serve and enjoy! Here's mom's beautimus Christmas brunch tablescape:

I was also really digging the cranberry-filled decanters. Cheerful and elegant at the same time:

Who doesn't love a Stein's Bakery treat? (Our favorite delivery of the year - thanks, Baker fam!)

And Pitman & Davis grapefruits? Heavenly!

Mom broils ours with brown sugar and coconut on top.

Such is the bliss of our traditional Christmas morning!

I hope you and yours had a blessed one as well. Here's to another fun year in 2010!

How late is too late?

So sue me. It's three days after Christmas and I'm just now getting these little Snapfish quickies in the mail for my family!

Prompt Christmas card senders: I commend you.

Late Christmas card senders: There's still time!

At least I added a "Happy 2010" line... right?! Thank you, Walgreens 1-hour printing :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dallas Flea

This sure beats driving to the next small town!

On Saturday, the flea market comes to us (well, if you're in Dallas!) in a more glorified form. A boutique form. A local form. A selective form. And this one's about to make its debut in DFW.

The brainchild of Brittany Edwards, DailyCandy Dallas' editor, Dallas Flea will showcase 50 local artists selling fun handiwork from home decor to food to stationery and kids furniture -- this is really the perfect one-stop holiday shop! Toss in a $5 admission fee, and call yourself set. Will I see you there? I am definitely carving out a couple hours to check it all out!

Read more about vendors and other info on or visit

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trying to take nice pictures of china = not possible!

The Christmas china is officially unpacked! Now, our wedding registry pattern is the Spode Christmas Rose (excuse the horrid photos... china is so glossy and iPhone cameras are less-than-forgiving!):

I chose this pattern because it goes really nicely with one of our formal china patterns (Herend Golden Edge) and can be mixed in well during the holidays. I also love it because it is more winter-y than specifically Christmas-y. We've started our collection with salad plates because I figured we would most likely be using them for dessert and coffee (as the golden edge makes them slightly high maintenance and non dishwasher safe).

All that to say, we've also begun little collections of the original Christmas Tree pattern by Cuthbertson. Here are our basic dinner plates:

And our embossed octagonal salad plates:

Here's a closer look at the embossing detail:

I dressed our mantle...

...and china hutch with standing Christmas plates  for a little extra cheer:

More decor is underway... I am trying not to overwhelm our small space!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Night!

I hope you've all enjoyed a lovely day full of family, friends and delicious food. Thanks mostly to this:

...we're putting up our feet to watch the big game -- we're pooped from a big day of running, eating and napping (!).

Now that Thanksgiving is officially (ok, almost) over, Christmas decorations will finally be going up this weekend... can't wait to share! Anyone braving the day-after-Thanksgiving sales? Yikes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wifey Wednesday

I went a little overboard during my most recent trip to the grocery and got inspired to cook a dish including every veggie color I could see... thankfully, I ended up with this nice little side dish. If you're looking to include something healthy, but not boring to your holiday spread, here's an easy and festive veggie side dish recipe for you.

brussel sprouts
bell pepper
cherry tomatoes
red onion

*the beauty of this recipe is that it's really more of a method... you can choose any veggies you like! Good alternatives/additions could be butternut squash, asparagus, or even sweet potatoes...

mixing bowls
chop mat/chop knife
rectangular baker (well, whichever baker is the right size for your quantity! I used a 9 x 13 below)

Cooking Instructions:
preheat oven to 400
rinse and chop all veggies, making sure to keep sizes uniform (you'll get a more evenly cooked dish... not to mention, it looks prettier!)
place all prepped veggies in large prep bowl
coat with EVOO, coarse salt and pepper
coat baking dish with PAM, or other non-stick spray
pour veggies into baking dish
bake for 30 minutes, or just before veggies are fork tender (check on your hardest veggies first - carrots, brussel sprouts, potatoes, red onion - they'll take the longest to soften up)
remove from oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese
pop back in oven until cheese is melted
serve immediately and enjoy!

(this dish can be prepared up to 1 day in advance... I would recommend doing the parmesan cheese addition immediately before serving, while you're reheating, and not 1 day ahead)



And voila! You'll have a colorful medley of veggies, sure to add color and nutrition to any holiday meal.  I made this dish for a friends/family potluck dinner and it might re-appear on Thursday...! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Am I the last to know?

That Amy Butler has a line at Bed Bath & Beyond?!

To my happy surprise, I rounded the corner of the bath/towel section of BBB to see a lovey tower of color and delight:

For those of you already familiar with Amy, you either A) cannot believe I didn't know this! or B) are ecstatic to know that you can snatch up Amy Butler bath towels for 12 bucks. There's also bedding, which I did not get to see in person, but I imagine it is just as delightful.

For those of you not-so-familiar, let's admire some of her great patterns:

So, visit Amy Butler's website if you're at all into fabric/design. You're guaranteed to want to re-upholster every surface in your home.

As long as we're talking about cute towels, another towel obsession of mine is this beauty from Anthropologie:

I received the yellow/white as a wedding gift and they make me happy every time I put them out! They make excellent guest towels to leave folded on the foot of a guest bed for friends passing through town. What a great (easy!) way to spoil your friends and fam!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Love...

Has been stealing my attention lately... for much longer than I had realized! Meet Dixie, the newest member of our little fam here at Life as a Wife:

Hubby and I are having a fantastic time transitioning into life as puppy parents, which we really couldn't be more thrilled about!

My obsession with Dixie didn't take long to grow...

Okay... OUR obsession with Dixie:

When my iPhone started to run slowly due to obscene amounts of photos of this little white fluff... I had to admit my puppy obsession problem.

But can you really blame me?! At least I am not in denial.

Well, to get to the point, we're back and we're redesigned (a small step in the right direction!). Join Dixie, Hubby and me because we've got a whole new slew of posts to share!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Searching for Pretty Pumpkins

I was of course ecstatic to see a huge display of pumpkins at our grocery store over the weekend. I started to imagine all the places I could meticulously pile squash, corn, pumpkins and other harvest-y decor, when, to my dismay, I walked closer and saw this:

A bunch of wart-covered pumpkins was not exactly what I had in mind for my cozy and warm fall vignette....

Thankfully, there were more options than the wart pumpkins. I'm loving the faded orange pumpkins and the cool looking green squash.

Now that, I can handle.

Has anyone purchased said wart pumpkins before? Am I being too critical? Perhaps they are prettier amidst a garden, or interspersed among other, more smooth pumpkin and squash varieties. Please share :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

KAKI designs

My lovely and talented friend, Kaki, of KAKI designs has submitted a necklace design to the 2010 People's Choice Awards show competition and is now one of three nationwide finalists.

Yahoo, Kaki!

However, the fun doesn't end there.

You can help her win by voting for this necklace:

at this website once daily through Oct. 4. 

The necklace with the most votes from the people wins and is manufactured to become part of designer Kendra Scott's collection. The necklace will also be worn at the People's Choice Awards red carpet event in LA this January.

So don't forget your homework... vote for the gorgeous turqouise and orange necklace once daily through Oct. 4 at this website, and keep your eyes peeled on the red carpet!

Good luck, Kaki!

PS-- The girl has tons of amazing jewelry, so visit her website to shop around. If you live in Austin, you're in luck! Swing over to the adorable C.Jane boutique to see Kaki's designs in person.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just Because

Some weekend floral arrangements:

Hubby's mother hosted a lovey joint birthday party (the two of us share mid-September dates) over the weekend. Since graciously sent us away with the flowers from the occasion which I promptly divided amongst my favorite vases (well, and pitchers/sugars/creamers/decanters/candelabras too!) around the house. I found that the cohesive floral theme/color allowed me to use several styles of vases, even though they weren't all part of the same set or made in the same style:

Some special birthday treats du jour were some gorgeous Fenton glass pieces. The stunning blue vase below is one of the four,

and I also received two small Fenton hobnail dishes and a  hobnail bell that match our everyday glassware perfectly.

The glassware we already had is a nice interpretation of the fancy stuff by Villeroy and Boch. The V&B set is completely dishwasher and microwave safe, making it only look like fragile antique glassware--it's really very durable and perfect for daily use. It also comes in blue, green, red and clear... just in case you need to know!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wifey Wednesday

 I like to have a little snack ready for Hubby when he comes home from work... especially if dinner is not quite ready. Whip up this simple salty-but-sweet treat to curb after-work or after-school stomach growls.

"2-minute Savory Spread"

  • chopped basil
  • cream cheese (I like it to be whipped)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • a little dash of pepper for color/balance
Most ingredients will be in your pantry already (note the Saltine crackers!), so this recipe is easy and quick! And it gives you a little more time to round up your main dish in the kitchen :)


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