Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas day was quiet and wonderful. Our morning was spent at home where we opened presents, had breakfast, and just enjoyed each other. John had asked for only money, iTunes gift cards and salmon. Yes, I said SALMON! He loves baked salmon and wanted one all to himself. So, he got one! Along with some Ramen with iTunes gift cards attached.

~ John... Santa's Helper ~
In the afternoon we went to Richard's sisters house.  Kelly & Jay made a wonderful meal of Prime Rib for all of us to enjoy!  The whole family was there - almost.  We were missing Holly, D.J. and Canon.  I didn't take a lot of pictures - but here is what I did take!

~ Sweet Rowan coloring ~
 ~ Our nephew David and his beautiful wife Sara.  Rowan and Finley are their children. ~
 ~ Richard with Rowan hiding in the background.~
 ~ John - taking it all in ~
 ~ Our little princess, Finley.  She was so adorable and wanted me to take pictures of ALL of her princess accessories ~
It was a wonderful day full of family, laughter, love and excellent food.  Merry Christmas to all - and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve - 2011

What a lovely Christmas Eve! We usually go to a friends home but this year we decided to stay home and have a dinner party.  Here are some photos of my tablescape.

 Richard and me before we left for Church.

We enjoyed a lovely service at church and then headed home for our guest to arrive.  I love the tradition of "Christmas Crackers", so I made sure everyone had one.  Inside are little trinkets and paper crowns.  Here are Alyssa, Dodi, Richard and John reading the riddles contained in the crackers.  We had a lot of laughs trying to guess the answers to the riddles.
 Here are Rob, Kerry and Scott being silly with their paper crowns on their heads.
Truly, it was a really wonderful evening filled with love, laughter and good food.  We feasted on delicious salad, rolls, twice baked potatoes, barbecued tri-tip, salmon, broccoli and Bearnaise sauce.  Dodi made a super yummy oatmeal & applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was very dense and full of flavor.  I went to bed with a full tummy, sore cheeks from all laughter, and a very happy heart.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brazil Grill

As our Christmas weekend began, we decided to have a small family celebration at "Brazil Grill" in Portland.  Brazil Grill is a Churrasco (shoo-rah-sko) which is a centuries old Brazilian traditional cooking method.  Their website says, "This unique way of roasting the meat on a special grill from Brazil conserves the natural flavor of each portion and leaves each cut full of its natural juices."
We feasted on all types of meat... to quote a friend - "the entire barnyard ended up on our table!"  There was chicken, and bacon wrapped chicken, shrimp, lamb, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, beef sirloin, sausage, tri-tip, and mustard beef sirloin.  There was also the MOST amazing grilled pineapple.  I had read about the pineapple in reviews from previous diners - and couldn't believe it could possibly be THAT good!  But, they were right... oh, so right!

In addition to all of the various grilled meats, there is also a wonderful salad bar - which contains much more than your typical salad bar items - and they also brought us a plate of amazing Beef Empanadas.  Oh My!  I really loved them.  John, however, referred to them as Brazilian Egg Rolls.  He's a funny boy!
We also had a Caipirinha cocktail which is Cachaca (Brazilian rum), sugar, and muddled lime.  It was extremely tasty!  We will definitely return to Brazil Grill in the future.  Our very carnivorous son was in 7th heaven... but then again - so were we all!  Click HERE to visit the restaurant website. 
Happy Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Brunch

Our Christmas Brunch with Friends is becoming a tradition.  Full of wonderful food - Good Times - and aching sides from all of the laughter.  Today we celebrated with a recipe exchange.  Hmm.. I forgot to take photos of the food.  It was ALL so delicious!

My dining room and tablescape for the occasion.

Our dear friend Scott, with Richard.

Dearest friends and neighbors - Dodi, Alyssa & Kerry.  They gave us the "Mulligan Family" Christmas decoration last year.  You can see it HERE.

Kerry with our other great friend Rob - who ALWAYS keeps us in stitches.  We all laughed so hard this morning that we had tears running down our cheeks for much of the time.

Scott insisted on taking a photo of me. 

But, my child bailed long before the photo taking began.  However, I was able to snap this one in his room after everyone left.  There might have been some threats in order to get him to smile.  At least there is now proof that he DOES live and that he CAN smile!  LOL

We feasted on Chili Relleno Casserole, Bacon, Sausage, Fresh Mango's - Kiwi - and Grapes, Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and delicious Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls.  Everything was DELICIOUS.  I love when everyone brings such yummy food.  We washed it all down with Bloody Mary's, Mimosa's and Coffee.  I think I'm going to need to walk on the treadmill for about 4 hours today!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Stockings Were Hung

Decorating my home at Christmas time brings me great joy.  Gently unwrapping ornaments and decorations from my childhood - memories each and every one.  And, we make new memories too.  Every year new ornaments and decorations are added!
 The "Mulligan Family" decoration was a present from our dear friends and neighbors last Christmas.  Each year we exchange ornaments or decorations.  Love this new addition to my collection.  I guess I can't get anymore kitties - because the entire family is represented here!
In the early 1960's my Mother made this Angel and Madonna for my Aunt Mary.  They are made of material and Styrofoam forms.  I had forgotten all about them - but last year when my Aunt was moving she asked if I wanted them.  That was so kind of her.  I cried when I opened the package.  Such a treasure. I cherish them, AND my Aunt for wanting me to have them.

Nutcrackers - Nutcrackers - Everywhere!

Even the kitchen table got into the act this year.

Before - During - After

The small icicles belonged to my Father when he was a little boy.  They are probably even older than that.  Another of the treasures that I hold dear.  These haven't been on our tree since J.J. was born.   He had never seen them before.  It's time to take them out and enjoy them again. 

As I create this blog post I am listening to the Bing Crosby Christmas Record with the Andrews Sisters.  Another great memory of Christmas times gone by and loved ones who I miss tremendously.

Hope your halls are decked and that you're enjoying the season with those you hold dear.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Orleans - Part 1

We celebrated Cindy's birthday in her favorite city, New Orleans.  Our trip began August 26th and returned home on September 4th.  It included lots of fun excursions - tons of good food and drink - familiar heartwarming locations - an emotional trip to the Lower Ninth Ward - and Tropical Storm Lee.  We can truly say we have fully experienced New Orleans now that I went through a Tropical Storm.  I think we can live without experiencing a hurricane there!

When we flew in, we immediately visited with our friend Christine.  She took us to a wonderful restaurant, Gott Gourmet, where John at a 1 pound hamburger... and was still hungry!  Growing boy?  You be the judge.  She also drove us around some neighborhoods that we hadn't been to before and we enjoyed our first beignets of the trip.  (Those are John's favorite)  Can't believe we forgot to take photos together - AGAIN!  We forgot the last time we visited with she and Michael.  Next time, for sure!

Our first day we ate brunch at one of our favorite restaurants - Court of Two Sisters!

The food goes on.... and on.... and on....
That night we enjoyed a trip to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, and a stroll around St. Louis Cathedral.  It's gorgeous during the day and almost more beautiful at night.

The next day Richard and I walked around the French Quarter and ended up people watching at the French Market.  We enjoyed some Cajun Ice Tea's that were quite tasty and shared an Alligator Sausage Po'Boy.

Later that day John wanted to walk around and find someplace to eat.  We ate at another one of our favorites, The Crescent City Brewhouse.  They are celebrating their 20th Anniversary.  We realized we have been going there practically since they opened.
 And after dinner we strolled along the Moonwalk to enjoy the beautiful Mississippi River.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bill & Cathie

We had a great time visiting with our friends from Colorado yesterday.  Bill is one of Richards' Fraternity Brothers.  They reconnected through Facebook and LinkedIn, after MANY (many...many...) years.
Bill and Cathie live in Golden Colorado, which is home to Colorado School of Mines - Bill & Richards' Alma Mater.  They enjoyed visiting Oregon and are headed a bit further north to the Orcas Islands.  They love Indian food - so I made a feast for their enjoyment.

One of our local sites that they enjoyed was Silver Falls State Park. Unfortunately I was still at work when Richard drove them up there.  The three of them had a lovely afternoon, including a short hike around the falls.

We hope to visit them in Colorado sometime next year.  It's always fun to visit with friends - and even more sweet when the years apart simply melt away - and it feels like yesterday when you visited last.

Friday, August 12, 2011


One of my blogging friends in cyber-space, Jason, just posted a great story about his recent "glamping" trip.  Those of you that really know me, know that I have NO desire to EVER go camping.  The words camping, and roughing it, just aren't this Princess' vocabulary.  But after reading about Jason's adventure - I just might be considering this new alternative.... "Glamping".

Read his adventure HERE.  He had me at electricity, wood floor, beds and fine wine!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Garden Party

Our good friend, Robin, turned the BIG FOUR-OH this year.  We wanted to do something special for him, so a birthday party seemed like a GREAT idea.

It was a perfect day for a garden party!  Absolutely gorgeous weather and our yard looked great with all the tables and chairs set up.

The birthday boy surrounded by some of his family members - Mom, Sister and Brother

Lots of yummy food and drink for everyone to enjoy!

Richard and Pat

Some of our friends, Nancy, Jean-Paul, Frankie and Neecie

No birthday party would be complete without delicious cake and singing off-key!

Blow out the candles and make a wish!

Three of Robin's four kids helped with the celebration!
It was really a perfect day - filled with love and celebration for a special friend.  Happy Birthday, Robin!  Hope this year is the best year yet!
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