Thursday Thoughts

I remember as a freshman at Texas A&M University – Commerce, my English professor told us that one day all that will be left to remember you will be your writings. Now, I don’t fully agree with this, but it definitely struck a chord with me. I don’t actually remember a time I haven’t written. I have journals back from when I was in the second grade. I actually have the entry I made from the very first day I laid eyes on Garrett. Who knew then that we’d marry and have a family.

Books have always held a special place in my heart. I’ve fallen in love with characters’ stories and places. Truly, I miss Mitford and get homesick for Harmony and Hogwarts. It will likely come as no surprise that my love extends to etiquette books. I find it completely fascinating to see what’s changed (as well as what hasn’t) with etiquette. The fact that Emily Post is still popular today gives me hope, even if some of the Emily Post Institute’s advice is a little casual for my taste.

In short, I am excited to have an upcoming series on different etiquette books! I think you’ll find it as interesting as I do, and I hope you’ll learn something you’ve never known before in the process.

As always, thank you for reading!

Classic Cocktails

Throwback Thursday!

In honor of it being Throwback Thursday, we’re talking about classic cocktails today! My all-time favorite drink is a sidecar. It’s reminiscent of Prohibition era days, which I’m particularly fond of. I think I was born in the wrong decade.

In fact, when my husband, parents and I bought an older building in our town, there were stories of it being a speakeasy during the Prohibition. And y’all know how much I love stories. J

So, to make my favorite classic cocktail, the Sidecar, you would use a martini glass. Then, mix together:

  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • ¾ oz. lemon (I sometimes do just ½ an ounce)
  • ¾ oz. triple sec.

Shake well with ice. Strain into martini glass. Super simple and clean.

My husband, on the other hand, is a whiskey guy. Apparently yesterday was National Bourbon Day (I had no idea). His classic cocktail is an Old Fashioned. To make you need:

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Water or Club Soda
  • Fruit garnish (usually a slice of orange and a cherry)

Muddle the sugar and bitters together with a sprinkling of water or club soda until the sugar is dissolved. Fill lowball glass with ice. Add the bourbon. Garnish with choice of fruit.

What I love is that we typically have these liquors on hand, and most don’t require anything super difficult.

Another classic cocktail is a simple mimosa. This is the perfect brunch drink, but it’s also just nice and refreshing in the summer. Simply add your desired amount of champagne or prosecco (the latter is not super classic….but it’s still delicious) to a champagne coupe or flute. Then, top with orange juice. For an added *extra*, add two drops of orange bitters.

I think it’s nice to have a signature drink for entertaining, and I hope these have given you a few ideas!

Want to get a start on the perfect glass? Check out these reduced-price glasses. Regularly $34.

 

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It’s a Family Tradition

Sorry. The title is actually just because my husband is a fan of country music. 😉 But today we are, in fact, talking about family traditions and how important they are. In my opinion, traditions are also basic standards your family expects and show your priorities. If you have monthly family get-togethers, you prioritize family time. If you have holiday traditions, you value holidays. And so on.

Growing up, my paternal grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Wilder, lived in Irving, fairly close to the DFW airport. Although they moved to their new house when I was around 11 (I’m about to be 31), I still consider this house their home. At night in particular, when everything was quiet, you could hear the airplanes soar over the city. It’s no coincidence that, as an employee for American Airlines, my grandpa loves airplanes. However, he liked them most in mini version – model planes, in fact. He had a shop that he would spend many hours in building airplanes, flying remote controlled planes, etc. It was a topic he was always excited (and still is) to speak on. He has, in fact, been quoted and showcased in several model airplane magazines.

While planes weren’t my forte, they most definitely were for my brother. Today, at the ripe ol’ age of 26, he’s a pilot. I truly believe the interest created by my grandfather cultivated his love for flying high.

On the flip side, my grandma, though very classy and classic, would always let me push the limits a little. I remember one time in particular, she made me peanut butter toast (I remember it being the first time I had tried it) and let me stay up late (it was past 9pm when we started the movie) to watch 101 Dalmatians. It was absolutely wonderful, and it’s a memory I always think back to when I let my own daughter stay up past bedtime for one-on-one time. Although I was one of 17 (?? Not really sure how many at that time) grandchildren, I felt so special that she had made the night all about me.

This bond I made with my paternal grandparents has lasted through the years. At my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, my grandma passed down various items she had at her wedding to the granddaughters. I inherited a handkerchief she carried. It was carried by me at my wedding. When Garrett and I got engaged, she passed down her original wedding ring set, as my grandpa had gotten her a new one for their 50th. For years she had gotten small rashes on her ring finger that she thought was from soap. In addition to her beautiful ring, I also inherited her allergy to white gold. Go figure. 🙂 Regardless, I will absolutely cherish this ring for as long as I live and will one day pass it down to Katherine.Family is a value that has been passed down from both sides. As such, family time is something I truly treasure. I hope you are able to make time for your loved ones and make memories you’ll have forever.

Sweet Summertime

There are very few things like summertime in the South. Somehow things slow to a snail’s pace and speed up all at once. The air is thick and wet, making even breathing a laborous task. One of my favorite things about it? The random showers. The rain pours in buckets, and the sun still shines brightly through. Most of the time, it lasts for five minutes, max. Each rain drop has the ability of making a splash the size of a grapefruit it seems. The showers usually happen when you least expect it – you may be leaving the grocery store with paper bags that break when wet or you could just as easily be in your swimsuit playing in the pool with your kids.

We just keep umbrellas on us at all times. They’re handy to have to keep away both rain and sun in the Texas heat. A couple of my favorite movies always come to mind when this time of year comes ’round. Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood and To Kill A Mockingbird. To be honest, most Southern movies make me feel at home and are simply good for my soul.

Tomatoes grow best when the air waters them, too, I’ve noticed. The more humid the weather, the more my plant gives. It reminds me of my frist trip to California. We went to a winery, and the lady truly was surprised I was the age I was (yes, I was over 21). She said the humidity keeps skin younger. I have no actual scientific evidence to prove this, but then again, I don’t have any evidence it isn’t true, either. 😉 What are your favorite things about summer? Thank you for reading!

Keep cool with my kids’ favorite sprinkler!

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Entertaining On The Cheap

In response to a reader’s question, today’s post is over entertaining inexpensively. This is an area I’m very passionate about. I never want someone to think they can’t “afford” etiquette. Etiquette isn’t for the elite – it’s for everyone. Entertaining doesn’t need to be a big show. We can get together with friends and family for birthdays, holidays or just because without it costing an arm and a leg. Let me show you some of my favorite inexpensive ways to be the perfect host.

1. Don’t Forget About Pinterest!

I nearly went the other way on this one simply because for a while, I got very caught up in Pinterest and how I wanted things to look. I would go ALL OUT for birthdays because it looked like that was the new norm. No more. Instead, I use pinterest for inexpensive homemade ways to have fun while stretching my dollar a little further.

2. Host a Game Night.

You could have a snack supper (my absolute favorite) or you could keep it small to reduce costs. Never feel obligated to host more people than you can afford. A big pot of chili or soup can help feed many for just a little, as well. My favorite games are simple ones, such as cribbage or 42.

3.  Have a Potluck!

I’ve actually had several people ask if having a potluck goes against etiquette. It doesn’t, unless you’re using it as a way to essentially get out of entertaining your guests. It really isn’t appropriate for a wedding, regardless of what the current trend is. However, for a casual evening, it is 100% appropriate. It also allows for people to try new foods and showcase their top recipe. 🙂

4.  Don’t Worry About the Joneses.

If you’re having a birthday party, don’t worry about having a thousand things to do to keep the kids entertained. They’ll have more fun playing with each other anyhow. You also don’t need to worry about having a 5-course meal. Truly, just cake is perfectly fine.

What are some ways you save on entertaining? Thank you for reading!