Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cookie Bake

I have become addicted to the Food Gawker website. Every picture is a beautiful image of what YOU possibly could make. I am always motivated in the culinary category by photos. Give me a cook book without images and I will probably only open it upon referral.  Give me a cook book with some bang-up photography and you may actually get me in the kitchen!

Both cookie photos via here.

Let's talk Holiday Cookies.  What an assortment of possibilities!  All the options may make me break the mold on the annually typical thumb print and sugar cookies. For my office cookie bake on Monday night I found the recipe for "Magic Middle Cookies" which lead me to this most amazing foodie blog, Gonna Want Seconds. These cookies are unreal. UNREAL.  They are like a brownie cookie with peanut butter centers. Warm them up in the microwave and they are irresistable.  I made about 3 batches and I can tell you each batch (due to my inexperience in the kitchen) was a different concoction.  It didn't matter, as they were all scrumptious.  I definitely think this recipe will become a new holiday tradition!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holy Holidays

I look at this blog and just cannot believe I haven't posted since Thanksgiving.  It is going to seem like all I do is celebrate holidays. But, in all seriousness, I feel like I have been on festive mode overdrive for the last 3 weeks.  And it is fabulous.  As I write this I am sitting cozy in front of a fire in my fireplace, listening to some Christmas jams (thanks, Pandora), watching a wet, strong snowfall outside and eating chocolate covered oreos (thanks, Julie).  Oh, and I have this scented candle lit. It is so amazing.  The scent is almost exactly like the Slatkin & Co. Holiday candle. I think the scent combined with the $13 dollar price tag & mercury glass looking container has contributed to it being sold out in every Target I have visited.  I guess we all can sniff out a good deal!

Here is the photo montage of what mega holiday spirit looks like. From the lights in Birmingham  to trimming our tree to the Advent by candle light dinner in the St. Dunstan's chapel at Christ Church Cranbrook to wrapping parties, sweater parties, dinner parties and anniversary parties.  This is the most wonderful time of the year!  Hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am.

The most gorgous and festive Gracious Living on it's 2nd year anniversary!

And for today's gorgeous snow fall as seen from the back patio of Oakland Hills...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thanksgiving has undoubtly become my favorite holiday.  Spirits are high, friends abundant and food plentiful.  For me, the "weeekend" kicked off on Tuesday evening as some of my nearest and dearest stopped by for wine, cheese and chatter fireside. The rest of the week made time for more kibitzing, the Thanksgiving meal and the fabulously festive Gobble Wobble Charity event (if I do say so myself!) held at the Reserve.

Here are a few photos of my Tukey Day...
(please note the new corner cabinets that just got installed in our dining room!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

And George

When I mentioned in my previous post that we hit up some awesome antique stores in Charlottesville, it was because I did some major blog research before our departure. Much to Scott's dismay I showed up with a map and store hit list in hand.  Usually during our travels, Scott is at his happy place (the golf course) and I am perusing my happy places (museums, antique stores, garden and home tours, etc...). Not this trip. I loved having Scott accompany me on all my adventures, but I'm quite sure that feeling was not mutual :).

The biggest wealth of information came from the Scout Charlottesville blog.  Whooo-wieeee. This was a little gem of a blog.  I found so many wonderful places to pop into, but I have to say my favorite was And George. Check out their website here. This store was so beautifully laid out with treasures old and new. I loved the style, vibe and.... GEORGE!!

Scott, always the animal lover, and George!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One Kings Lane....

has great sales today!! I. Want. This. Dog.

But, something tells me Hogie may not like that. I bought this book at the King Family Vineyard in Charlottesville. It is amazingly cute. wine + dogs. It doesn't get much better!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Two weeks ago, Scott and I joined a group of some of our favorite people to celebrate Steve's 30th birthday.  This was one of the most fabulous weekends I have had in a while. Though, I must say, most weekends are pretty wonderful.  From the abundant antiquing, to walking around the UVA campus, to wine tasting (there are 24 vineyards in a 10 mile radius!) , to tailgating on the lawn and visiting Monticello, the whole weekend was an A+.  Sometimes I think we (I for the most part) forget how many wonderful places there are to visit on American soil.  A short plane ride paired with a long weekend and all of a sudden one will feel refreshed and rarin' to go.  Maybe it is because it's election time, or maybe I'm just feeling very patriotic, but I am going to go on a limb and say I'm on a major domestic kick. I am ready to explore America and all our great country has to offer. 

First stop, Charlottesville.