Thankful for Good Neighbors

Since the Hubs and I moved into our house two years ago, we have become really great friends with some of our neighbors. They would all do just about anything to help out one another and it is such a peace of mind to live in such a tight knit community. So with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to be sure they knew how thankful we are, so I made them a little pumpkin bread as a little pre-Turkey thank you. If you have someone that could use a little past-due THANKS, check out the recipe below.


Sabrina’s Pumpkin Bread (makes two 9×5″ loaves or 3 smaller loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup salad oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Cream sugar and oil together.
  2. Add eggs and pumpkin. Mix well.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mixture alternating with the water.
  5. Pour into well-greased and floured loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour 30 minutes if using large loaf pans. If using smaller loaf pans start checking after one hour. Knife should come out clean when done.
  7. Cool completely before removing from pans.
  8. Wrap in your favorite paper, adorn with ribbon and spread the neighborly cheer.

Matrimonial Monday: Bridesmaids Asks

A couple of weeks ago I received this cuteness in the mail from my little sister asking me to be her MOH:

And these sparkling beauties are the ones Michelle sent:

I love, love, love formal bridesmaids asks. I didn’t do these for my wedding (because I got too excited and just blurted it out to everyone on the phone or in person) and I so regret it. It’s such a great opportunity to tell the special friends in your life why they are special and just how much they mean to you. There is some beautiful stationery out there for this particular purpose and I’m obsessed:

If you really want to go all out, these are great to pair with a little gift. Who doesn’t love wine, chocolate or a good koozie. Or if you really want to ensure happy bridesmaids – a monogrammed Longchamp. My friend Martha found vintage clutches that she put a note in to give to her bridesmaids. If that doesn’t make your friends feel special, I don’t know what will.

7.5-ounce Belgian chocolate postcards adorned with completely edible images.

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Monograms and Margaritas

We  threw a insanely fun couple’s shower at our house a few weeks ago for our great friends Juan and JoAnna. I loved the Margaritas and Monograms theme we chose! The possibilities with this theme are endless. One of the biggest hits of the evening was the Strawberry Basil Margarita that I pulled from Pinterest. This is definitely a recipe that will be made over and over. We had the cutest and most delicious cake balls made by Mo Cake’s in Austin and JoAnna’s BYO Lunch Bags stuffed with Anthropologie goods were a wonderfully creative (and well-received) hostess gift. Unfortunately, I did a horrible job at photographing this event so here is a mix of pictures of our party and some of the inspiration I collected while prepping.  Also, a big thank you to all my co-hostesses – it was a great group to throw a party with.

Some more M&M inspiration:

Matrimonial Monday

First Anniversary

The Husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary. Its hard to believe its already been a year, but it has been a great year. We had a fabulous dinner at Mercury Chophouse (look for it in a future Foodie Friday), followed by a beer at one of our favorite local English pubs, Ye Olde Bull and Bush (this is the only place I could get the Husband to sit down and work on wedding stuff). It was a great date night and we spent the evening reliving our favorite moments of the wedding and reminding ourselves how grateful we are to have such great families and friends.

I finally got to give this super cute card from Colette Paperie:

I also read through the journal I started on my wedding day last year (thanks, Michelle) – a neat way to remember all the day to day details and fun and a great gift for brides:

This is a first anniversary tradition that should die:

Not near as good the second time around.

We both made an effort to give the traditional first year gift of paper (or something related to paper), but it was no easy task (I settled on getting him Gardener & the Grill, a great little cookbook for summertime that I saw on Camille Styles). Here are some of the other contenders I had it narrowed down to as well as a few things I wouldn’t have minded receiving:

Field Notes – perfect for the gardener

monogrammed coasters (image from rewardStyle)

1001 Whiskies Book

Smock Wrapping Paper

Foodie Friday

Okay, I promise this is my last alliteration, but I have a whole list of restaurants I’ve been wanting to write about and Friday was open. Anyone that has met my family knows that food plays a central role in our get-togethers. My Dad especially has a passion for fine dining and living so close to him we often get to experience some awesome new places. Dinner and drinks is also our primary social outing. There is seriously nothing I love more than trying a great new restaurant and having a fabulous, long dinner with lots of good conversation. So to share those experiences, we now have “Foodie Friday.”

Ellerbe Fine Foods

This restaurant had been on our list of places to try for almost a year, but we finally got to visit it 2 weeks ago. Some of my friends raved about it and some of them hated it, so I was anxious to make my own opinion. We’ve tried to go a couple of times, but they book up quickly on most weekends so I highly recommend making reservations.

The Atmosphere: Ellerbe is in the newest up-and-coming area in Fort Worth, on Magnolia Avenue in the Hospital District, which I have really enjoyed exploring lately. That area is kind of working the hipster/Austin vibe which is cool and different for Fort Worth. The decor is really simple and elegant – mix and match vintage farm table chairs, flour sack napkins, burlap hand towels, etc. They also have a neat little market area where you can buy wine and specialty gifts – a great place for hostess gifts!

The Food: I’ve been to farm-to-table type restaurants before, but our group especially enjoyed this one because a lot of the farms were in  small towns my family has lived in. My aunt and uncle even knew one of the farmers the restaurant works with. We pretty much each got something different, and it was all amazing. My recommendations: Start with the assorted artisanal cheese and charcuterie or the creamy Scott Farm sorrel soup. The Copper River Salmon and the Porkchop were my favorite entrees. (Keep in mind their menu changes frequently depending on the season and availability of produce. The menu they have now has several other dishes than their one online). We always save room for dessert – I am not a fan of bread pudding, but I now crave Ellerbe’s version. Delicious.

Images: [1], [2,3], [4,5]

Dirty Thirty

So the husband turned 30 like a year and half ago, but I was pretty proud of the gift I got him – a truck load of dirt to put into the raised-bed garden he built at the new house. Dirty Thirty – pretty clever, eh? The sign says “You’re older than dirt!”

And I think his little garden turned out quite nicely. So far we have enjoyed our own garlic, lettuce, pumpkins, loofahs, herbs, okra and jalapenos (not to mention several glasses of wine on that little bench).

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