Friday, January 18, 2013

We survived! Let's Celebrate 2013 with a Giveaway.

Finally a new giveaway for the new year! I have three sets of advance reader copies, all being published this year. Sets from left to right include:
  1.  Altered by Jennifer Rush (Published Jan. 1st) and The dead and buried by Kim Harrington (Published Jan. 1st)
  2. Courage has no color, the true story of the Triple Nickles: America's first Black paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone (Published Jan. 22nd) and Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz (Published March 2013)
  3. Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass by Meg Medina (Published March 26th) and Plague in the mirror by Deborah Noyes (Published July 9th)
Entering is easy with the Rafflecopter form. All that is mandatory is the first question, after that, whatever optional tasks you take on, you gain extra entries. And, you can enter every day! The giveaway will run through January 27th and the three winners will be announced right here on this entry on February 1st. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 11, 2013

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 17

Photo from
Something Blue is a continuation of Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed in which we are introduced to best friends Rachel and Darcy.  Rachel is intelligent, maybe kind of mousy, and not obviously pretty. She's also a huge pushover when it comes to Darcy. Darcy is tall and leggy, very obviously beautiful, and usually the life of the party. The two form an unlikely friendship, but it is a real friendship nonetheless. Both know each other in ways that might baffle others, but to them, it makes sense.  When Rachel meets Dex in law school, they definitely connect, but nothing physical or romantic takes place, even though Rachel is definitely into him. But she is too shy or demure, and probably thinks that he is out of her league. Before she knows it Darcy and Dex are a couple and then they are engaged.  You can sort of figure out where the story is headed based on the title, and there is lots and lots of drama over Rachel's "borrowing" of Dex from Darcy.  Needless to say by the end of Something Borrowed, Darcy and Rachel are no longer besties and in Something Blue we pick up after the bitter end of their friendship. 

So now Darcy is pregnant (not by Dex) and in London. She flies there to be with childhood friend Ethan, but Darcy and Ethan were never close. Ethan was much closer to Rachel, and Darcy resents this as well at first. You see, Darcy always thought of herself as more deserving of all the good things in life, so of course, when Rachel ends up with her fiancé and Darcy ends up pregnant and abandoned, it's a long way down from where Darcy once stood.  But now she is determined to re-create her charmed life even if it is in Ethan's tiny flat with a quickly growing belly.  I won't reveal what happens to these characters, and hopefully they make this book into a movie like they did with Something Borrowed, but I will say that the cocktail pairing was basically inspired by the whole wedding idea, including the titles of the books, which harken to the traditional "Something old, something new...." rhyme

This cocktail is traditionally called a "Wedding Cake Cocktail" (not to be confused with a chocolate cake shot, which is completely different but mighty tasty nonetheless).  There is a version that includes rum or gin, amaretto, pineapple juice, and cream (and I've seen it also with orange juice added as well).  I did the version with amaretto, white crème de cacao, pineapple juice and milk.  The drink is blended with ice and then topped with bits of chocolate or almond pieces (I used walnuts).  It's basically a daquiri, and very refreshing, sweet, but not too sweet, and I think it's probably the kind of drink that sneaks up on you, perhaps just as sneaky as good 'ole Darcy.

Something Old, Something New Wedding Cake
2 oz. Amaretto
1 oz. White crème de cacao
3 oz. Pineapple juice
3 oz. Milk
Chocolate bits, almond or walnut pieces for garnish

How to: Blend all of the ingredients in a blender with ice. Serve in a hurricane glass and top with your garnish of choice.

Blending everything together. I used 6 to 8 ice cubes.

The walnuts gave the drink a nice crunch.

Cheers to Rachel and Dex!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Went to the chapel, got married

Photo by a doublin
Custom bridal sash and necklace (necklace not pictured) by Couture Love

5 tips:

■ make sure you have the proper undergarments and wear your dress around the house for a few hours just to make sure.

■ don't skimp on your venue, dress or photographer (something I'm so glad we didn't do).

■ check in with all of your vendors 6 months and 1 month prior to your day.

■ expect for something to go wrong. it will.

■ enjoy the moments. don't rush and take it all in.

So the big day came and went. Now that it's been a few months I can take a look back with some perspective. 2012 was definitely was not felt by me. Spring and Summer came - I didn't really notice. All I had on my mind, was wedding, wedding, wedding! I finally got back in to the groove of things come December when I was able to once again "feel" the seasons, and I'm so happy because Christmas and New Year's were a blast - and I wasn't pre-occupied with little details all floating in my head.  I wanted to take a moment to thank some of my fantastic vendors (list is at the very bottom) and of course share some of my details (and Etsy buys, which I had a lot of!). I did infuse some vintage in there of course, from the hubby's vintage black velvet bow tie, to my brooch bouquet which I made myself with many vintage and new brooches I collected.  I'll definitely always look back and cherish all that was wonderful about the day - which was pretty  much everything. And now I can finally get back to books, cocktails and giveaways!! So stay tuned, as a new giveaway is coming up very shortly! Happy 2013!!

Photo by a doublin
Vintage bow tie from Lollipops and Pistols
Handmade ring bowl by Say Your Piece
Custom hanger by Custom Wedding Hangers
Handmade garter by Ellarye Boutique
Enjoyed some wonderful Dom Perignon, Vintage 2003 which was perfect because that was the year we met.
I made our table numbers and our mason jar centerpiece vases, which were the result of eating about 30 jars of tomato basil soup!
Photo by a doublin
Vintage cake topper by Chocolate Letters and Custom Bird Toppers by Gift Worldz
Photo by a doublin
Bridesmaid dresses from Alfred Angelo
My Jim Hjelm Blush gown came from Mon Amie Bridal Salon

Etsy shops not mentioned or pictured, but a million thanks are in order nonetheless:

My veils came from Simply Wedding Design and Bridal Veils 66
Our handmade rosary came from SG Signature
Our vintage Las Vegas ashtrays for our cigar station came from Betty's Kitschen 
I made little silver pennant flags for our cocktail straws with Japanese Washi tape from Washi Wishes
I had a sixpence in my shoe of course! It came from Kim Kat Designs (Why a sixpence? Answer here)
My vintage wedding band came from Bella Jewelry Shop
The husband's wedding band came from Spexton

"When we met I felt my life begin. So open up your heart and let this fool rush in"

Fools Rush In, Frank Sinatra 1960