Monday, December 29, 2008

Beverage Monday. New Year's Eve Edition.

Al three champagne's are available from
Here are a few festive and sparkling cocktails to get the party started as we welcome in 2009.

2 oz peach puree
4 oz champagne

In a flute add the peach puree, then add the champagne.

Midori Mimosa
1 oz Midori
4 oz Champagne

In a flute pour in the champagne, then the Midori.

Night & Day
1 oz. Cognac
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. Campari

Fill chilled red wine glass about 1/2 way with ice. Add in Cognac, Cointreau & Campari. Fill with champagne and stir.

1 oz vodka
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz Champagne

Add pineapple juice and vodka to high ball glass filled with ice, then top off with champagne.

Cheers & Happy New Year,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I hope everybody has a safe, Joyeux and Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Beverage Monday.

Egg Nog
Photo is of Rosario's Rumpope featured below.

Today on Beverage Monday I am featuring different Egg Nog recipe's. Try one or all! Have a Very, Merry Christmas!

Emerils Old Fashioned Egg Nog from
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 cup superfine or confectioners' sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 12 large eggs*, separated
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 1 cup brandy
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, beat the yolks until pale yellow and thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk, whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the hot milk, whisking. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. In a large bowl with clean beaters, beat the cream until thick and frothy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat to soft peaks. In a large punch bowl, combine the chilled egg yolk mixture and the bourbon and brandy. Fold in the sweetened whipped cream, then the egg whites. Refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes to 1 hour. To serve, sprinkle nutmeg over the top and garnish with chocolate shavings. Serve chilled.

Chocolate Egg Nog from

  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups chocolate milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup Kahlua liqueur (or delicious, freshly brewed strong coffee)
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • grated chocolate, garnish
In a large saucepan over a medium heat, pour the milk and chocolate milk. Heat the milks, but DO NOT BOIL. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and brown sugar until they are well combined and of a reasonably thick consistency. When the milk mixture is hot (but not boiling!), add approximately half of it to the bowl containing the beaten eggs and brown sugar. Whisk well.Pour all of the egg, sugar & milk mixture back into the large saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Slowly and gently, add in the Kahlua liqueur/ coffee, and then the cream. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened enough to be able to coat the back of a spoon. Remember not to ever allow the mixture to boil. Remove the eggnog from the low heat. Stir in the dark rum, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (at least 3 hours). To serve, ladle the eggnog into individual glasses, and garnish with a little grated chocolate or ground cinnamon.

Rosario's Rumpope (Ecuadorian Holiday Eggnog) from Fine Living
Pronounced "rom-poe-pay"
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 3 to 4 canned peach halves or 8 to 10 canned peach slivers
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Two 8-oz. cups of rum (optional)
  • Ground Cinnamon or Cinnamon Stick, for garnish

Whip eggs in blender for 3 to 4 minutes. Add condensed milk, canned peach halves, vanilla extract and blend thoroughly. Slowly add rum as the ingredients are blending (you can increase or decrease quantity as per your taste). Sprinkle Cinnamon around the top or add a cinnamon stick for garnish.

Mexican Rompope From Mexican Vacation Travels

  • 1 quart milk (preferably whole)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean sliced and scraped (2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract can be substituted)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 2 cups rum or brandy

Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan and heat over medium. Bring to a gently boil stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes continuing to stir. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Beat the egg yolks until thickened. From the above mixture, remove the cinnamon stick and gradually whisk the egg yolks in. Return to low heat and continue stirring and cooking until mixture can coat the spoon. Remove from heat and cool. Add the rum or brandy to taste and stir well. Rompope is best enjoyed after it rests for a few days in the fridge.



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Will you be my...

What a great idea! Instead of asking your attendants if they would be your maid of honor, best man, etc., why not send them a cookie. You can completely customize it in your wedding colors. You put their name on it and yours and your fiance's and wala it is then sent to your nearest and dearest! How could anyone say no after receiving a white chocolate covered sugar cookie?

These are from the Wedding Stand. Thank You Rashana from The Bridal Party for sharing these with the bloggger world.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Proposal

Kevin surprised me with a spontaneous weekend trip to Santa Barbara. We spent the day riding bikes across town, walking on the beach and wine tasting. At sunset, Kevin took me to a secluded bluff overlooking the ocean. We could see the entire Santa Barbara coastline, lit beautiful shades of orange from the setting sun. We were surrounded by flowers and completely alone in our perfect spot. Kevin turned to me, took my hands and got down on one knee to propose. He asked me if I would spend the rest of my life having fun with him. I said "yes" a million times, through tears, of course. Kevin put a gorgeous diamond on my finger and we both went to dinner with riduculous smiles on our faces. We ate at Bucatini restaurant, where everyone congratulated us and asked how we met and how he proposed, etc..(we were grinning like idiots and taking pictures of the ring, so people figured out pretty quickly what was going on.) At dinner we exchanged stories about the events leading up to our engagement day. He told me how sneaky he was, and I told him how much I knew.
Kevin planned an incredible day and a perfect engagement. I couldn't have written it better myself.

Kevin and Kristen's Story

We met our freshman year of college at UC Irvine. What started out as "dorm love" quickly became true love and we've been inseparable ever since. We spent our college years having fun with friends, taking trips (to Santa Barbara and other fun spots- like Europe!) and sometimes we even studied! We discovered we have a million things in common, but the passion we both share for traveling became our focus after we graduated from college.

We decided to explore a new country and continent together. We moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to become English teachers and travel throughout South America. We had an amazing year together exploring a different corner of the world and learning more about each other.

After Argentina, we decided to get started with a new life back in California. Kevin started working in finance at Schools First Federal Credit Union, while I became a high school English teacher at Northview High School. This new life worked well for about two years, but soon Kevin and I were hungry for new adventures. Instead of jetting off to another country again, we've decided to brave graduate school! Kevin will be going to law school and I will be working on an MFA in Creative Writing. Kevin hopes to practice law in the Orange County area and I am planning to someday combine my love of writing with my passion for teaching. Kevin and I are working together to acheive our individual dreams.

We feel incredibly lucky to have spent the past 7 years together and we're thrilled to be committing the rest of our lives to each other. We know there will be many more years of love and adventure to come.

We are starting a new feature today. A Joyeux Bride. Our first Bride is Kristen. Here is her story..

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beverage Monday.

Christmas Cocktails
Here are some warm Christmas drinks to share with friends and one just for yourself. Just the thing to warm you up after a night of caroling, parade watching or shopping.

Clarence's Hot Cranberry Toddy
This is named after the Clarence in "It's A Wonderful Life".

Serves 3-4

  • 6 oz. cranberry vodka
  • 1 pint cranberry juice
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tsp. honey
  • 6 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sticks (garnish)
In a medium sauce pan heat all the ingredients {except the vodka} to just about the boiling point. Let stand for 1 minute. Add cranberry vodka and stir. Pour into heat-resistant cocktail glass or Irish coffee mug. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Mistletoe and Holly Cocktail

Serves 4
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (100 percent juice)
  • 1/4 cup white creme de cacao
  • 1/4 cup 100-proof peppermint schnapps
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream lightly whipped with 1 tsp. sugar for garnish
  • 12 fresh cranberries {garnish}
  • pinch of Matcha powder for garnish

Pour cranberry juice into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, add creme de cacao and peppermint schnapps and stir to blend and release some of the alcohol. Continue to cook over low heat for exactly 1 minute. Pour the hot beverage into Irish coffee mugs {footed glass mugs} and place a small dollop of whipped cream in each. Garnish with cranberry skewers. {3 cranberries on a bamboo skewer or heat proof swizzle stick} Use a fine-mesh sieve to gently tap a light dusting of Matcha over the whipped cream. Serve hot.

Cocoa Raspberry Heaven

Serves 1

  • 1 oz. plus 1 tsp. Chambord
  • 1 oz. white crème de cacao
  • 8 oz. hot chocolate
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 fresh raspberry (optional)

Pour raspberry liqueur and white crème de cacao in a cappuccino mug.
Add hot chocolate and stir. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Drizzle teaspoon of Chambord on top of the whipped cream. Top with a fresh raspberry.


All photos and recipes are courtesy of Fine Living.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Icy Cold Inspiration Board

For December, how about an ice blue, white snowflake with touches of silver inspitation board? When I started this I was thinking cold and icy. An Elegant, Winter Wonderland! Not at all what we get here in Southern California~unless it's man-made.

Silver Snowflake Invitation{Invitation Consultants}
Winter Table Setting{
Canada~Vancouver Courier}
White Bouquet{
The Knot}
Snowflake Cookies{
FraziCake Blog}
Snowflake Earrings{
Ice Cuff Links{
Ice Blue Bridesmaid Dress{
Eden Bridals}
Snowflake Wine Stopper{
Candy Display~
The Knot
Sugar Dusted White Cake{
InStyle Magazine}
Crystal Shoes{
Bellissima Bridal Shoes}
Snowflake Ice Sculpture{Ice Impressions}


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

High Heel Shoe Protectors

I have been seeing these around and I think they are perfect addition to my emergency kit. We have so many outdoor weddings here and the last thing you want on your wedding day is to sink into the grass or sand. You also don't want to feel that you need to be prancing around on your tip-toes. You don't want to turn away from that fabulous pair of heels because you are afraid of walking in them and ruining them by having to jerk them out of the grass with every step!

These are from Clean Heels, in the UK. They have quite a few different styles with a little bling!

These are from Solemates High Heelers they are little different and more function over fashion but they are patent pending. and located in the US.

The Smart Heel is not really used for grass or soft surfaces but it does help protect your stilettos from everyday damage

Happy Reading,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Beverage Monday.

I don't usually feature wines here on Beverage Monday but when I saw these at Bristol Farms, I thought they were perfect for the season. They are available through Rutherford Wine Company. Won't they make a fun addition to your holiday table or party?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Venues of the Southland~Gondola Getaway

Naples from Belmont Shore

The Gondolas

I didn't realize that you could be married on a gondola till I received an email from the owner. The capacity is 52 and you do have to have more than one gondola, but how romantic and intimate. Plus, you get to cruise around Naples in Long Beach. It is also a great idea for a proposal or just a romantic night. Hint, hint Mr Joyeux!

Happy Reading~

The photos above were taken by me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Custom Bridal Party T-Shirts

These are all from Wedding Things.

Aren't these cute? You can customize them for your whole bridal party and yourself, too. Wedding Things is based in Vancover, BC and they ship to several countries. Check out their site they have a whole lotta cute things.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fun Buttons!

Check these out from Button Empire on Etsy~

Aren't they just adorable? They have lots of other styles, too. I collect buttons and pins so I just love seeing two things I love collide! I was doing my Blog Love and found them first on Something Old, Something New.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Beverage Monday.

Dirty Blonde Cocktails are a fun ready to drink champagne type beverage. It comes in four yummy flavors, Raspberry Flirtini, Grapefruit Mimosa, Lime Mintini, Peach Passion Bellini. They would be great for a girls night out or a bachelorette party. They're single serve {they come in four packs} so you will always have bubbles! They can only ship them to a few states. Luckily, California is in on this one! So grab a few and enjoy.