Monday, October 12, 2009

champagne meltdown

Happy Monday, everybody. Or better yet - Happy less-than-two-weeks-til-your-wedding-day, me!

Here's a small snippet of the big time fun & frolics had by me & my bachelorette brunch ladies. I won't go into messy details but I missed the end of the night, when the champagne caught up with me & I probably won't go near the stuff at the wedding. Good thing we'll have margaritas!
Mmmm. Bagels, fruit & cheesecake chocolate chip brownies. This is just the beginning!

The spread station - cream cheese, jams, PB, honey.

Homemade apple honey challah bread.

Fresh from the baker jelly donuts, on top of my homemade berry oat bars. With a slice of challah hanging out on top.

Caroline, next to the less-pretty version of the buffet, as we all take a breather. We also had tomato, cucumber & lime salad, cheeses, eggs, a lovely cheese & olive & sundried salad from the Lilliputs, cream eclairs......drool.....

Ahh, the beginning of the end for me. Annette's lovely strawberries in one of many "little cups" of champagne. Oaty bars in the background.

Cute little ribbon Saucy refused to wear.

Pink, like my champagne.

And it's all downhill from here...


Thank you so much to good pals Lauren, Annette, Caroline, Kelley & Leyla for celebrating with me on a lovely Saturday afternoon. I got so many pretty flowers, lots of bubbles (*hiccup!*), tasty treats & a lotta love. The parts that I can remember, I'll never forget ;)
Oh, dear god...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

two weeks

It's official. I can say the words "Two weeks to go" today to the unending stream of coworkers that keep asking.

And I admit, for the last who-knows-how-long, I have fallen off the face of the earth. Friends haven't seen me. Co-workers haven't heard me speak much. Neighbors probably haven't even seen me walk my dog (though I have of course). A number of weeks ago I slipped into that final stages of wedding-planning void where I began to feel (minor) stress, (major) wedding apathy & a general tiredness. Tired of planning the wedding, tired of thinking about the wedding. And that's not nice. I never thought I'd end up approaching my big day with a feeling of, "Can't wait til this is over!"

And I'm happy to say I'm not! I feel great today. I've been catching up with design*sponge (see, I haven't even been doing my usual lazy inter-blog reading) & Grace Bonney's unbelievably pretty wedding photos actually got me excited again. And let me tell you, it's been a long time since I've read any wedding-related web content for pleasure. Sure, her wedding is true Martha Stewart material, with a budget & location & all those fine little details  - some done by Martha's team of all things! - that were never going to be a part of our reality. But it's fun seeing what other somewhat normal people come up with for their nuptials. (I say "somewhat" because she runs design*sponge, so c'mon! Like antique shops would ever LEND me their treasures!)

Pretty soon I'll be able to post my own little lovely photos for all the world (or my 5 followers, at least ;) to see. And maybe I should blog a little about some of my plans, too! Just for fun. I promise to do that shortly.

Because now I feel like I have the luxury of a lil' breathing room. Two weeks from right now I will be getting ready to board a big jet, juggling an egg mcmuffin with my garment bag & ridiculously stuffed carry on case & preparing myself for the coming sensory overload that is Las Vegas.  Two weeks from Sunday, at just about this time, I will be having my hair done & trying to hold down my brunch. And then stick one more week on to that & I'll be trying out my rudimentary Spanish on a friendly Mexican beach bartender, whilst gazing at the double ring combo on my left hand. Sweet!

So breathing room. Room to think about a little online US shopping that I can drag back to Dublin with me. Room to think about teensy details I hadn't thought about yet that maybe I still have time for (even more cameras? a garter? more appetizers?) And especially, room to get excited. Two weeks to go!

Photo from

Thursday, October 1, 2009

bachelorette bash part 1

I am so excited for Saturday. I am hosting a little girly shindig at my house, in combined honor of a) my imminent marriage, b) my love of baking, c) my love of champagne & all its lower priced Italian & Spanish cousins, and d) having the house to myself while the H2B is off drinking with the fellas in Brighton.


Part of the pre-party excitement includes giving the homestead a good scrub from top to bottom. I honestly look forward to that. (Honestly.) But the most exciting part is going to be the baking & cooking. So far I have gleaned the following tasty recipes from such drool-worthy blogs as SmittenKitchen & Two Blue Lemons -
Apple Honey Challah Bread (shout out to NYC!)
Raspberry Crumb Breakfast Bars
Cheesecake Marble Brownies
Israeli Salad
Some bagels & cream cheese & hummus for good measure & perhaps some nice fruit (more for decorating purposes than expecting anyone to eat it).
Oh & I nearly forgot - beverages! In addition to good old fashioned brewed coffee, I'll have espresso, cappuccino, tea & of course BUBBLES! I like the idea of good old fashioned mimosas - brings me back to all those dearly missed brunches with my New York friends, where we'd meet at some respectable afternoon hour, leirsurely sampling yummy eggy dishes or challah french toast, sipping cocktails & dishing about the weekend's colorful goings on. *sigh* I hope to recreate some of that magic, though I doubt my own abilities to successfully replicate the food of those East Village cafes or even the debauched rowdiness of "unlimited cocktails" at that place on Ludlow. I don't think it even exists anymore, but I'm sure TK may or may not remember that place.

Or how about this little tipple?

Champagne Julep

Place one sugar cube and two sprigs of fresh mint into a chilled highball glass. Add two cubes of clear ice and slowly pour in well-chilled champagne or sparkling wine, stirring constantly. A splash of bourbon is optional. Garnish with slices of fresh fruit, if desired.

If I had no need for a job, a rose garden & bottomless pockets, I'd do this -

Ritzy Raspberry Revelry

(Hemingway Bar, Hotel Ritz, Paris)
Pour into a champagne flute 2/3 ounce vodka in which raspberries have macerated for at least 10 days. Finish with champagne.
Garnish with a red rose.


catching up

Since I'm counting down & catching up today (with work, weddings & social contact), I should do some catching up on this blog thing too.

Even though I've been silent, there's been much ado about my teensy garden, believe it or not. Either Irish weather has gone really weird or I don't know my ass from my trowel (probably a bit of both). I sowed way too many seeds and am afraid that after thinning them properly, I may end up with just a handful of corn salad leaves & three mini carrots. But hey, that's the lot of the tiny gardener. There just simply isn't enough space to grow tons of vegetables without adding even more pots to the already un-navigable potted landscape that my little patch has become. Poor Sausage doesn't even have space to chase her tail anymore!

So I've got many future pretty bulbs in the dirt, some cauliflower & broccoli that I'm crossing my fingers for (they're not meant to grown right now apparently) both inside & on the kitchen window sill, some sweetpeas upstairs on a sill in a home-fashioned propagator (aka: plastic bag), the herbs still going, flowers grown from ancient seeds that I found in a packet. So much potential glory that I must be patient for!

And already, there's visible green growth - how exciting is this!
That's the beginning of some fabulous ranunculus. Can you believe it?

And my hydrangea plant, which I thought was supposed to be dying back, seems to be keepin' on keepin' on!

I'm also gearing up for my very fabulous ladies champagne brunch, but more on that in another post.

In Sausage news, she had a bath yesterday. And she is still the best girl in the world.

Actually, it's worth noting that my genius pup has recently added yet ANOTHER trick to her repertoire: she now does the Downward Dog yoga pose ON COMMAND. She is so gifted.

almost time

Three weeks from now I will be excitedly eating an egg mcmuffin (no ham) at Dublin Airport, awaiting my private jet (that I'm generously allowing a few hundred people to share) that will take me to MY WEDDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!