Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wedding Day Wares

Last weekend, my husband and I had the absolute pleasure of attending a wedding for a dear friend and sorority sister of mine. The ceremony was held in her childhood church, a stunningly ornate Greek Orthodox Church in the heart of Savannah. We partied into the wee hours of the night at the lively reception in the Hyatt Hotel, overlooking the majestic Savannah River. The bride glowed and the groom grinned; it was truly a night to remember! As I sat in the hotel lobby and reflected on the evening with the bride's mother, she shared with me a meaningful gift idea for any couple getting ready to tie the knot. Ms. Becky explained to me that a close friend of hers brought brunch to the bride and bridesmaids as they were excitedly getting ready for the big event. She told me how very thoughtful and touching this gesture was and how it was certainly a gift that both she and the bride will always remember. Whether you are a bride, know a bride or have just attended a wedding, you know the moments leading up to the ceremony can be quite hectic with emotions and tensions running high. Sometimes things are so bananas, the bride, groom and all players involved forget to stop and smell the roses- they forget to pause and relish in this oh-so happy day. More important than the memories that may be missed, meals are generally missed as well. The stress runs high, the time ticks by and food is a forgotten facet of the day. Crankiness, weakness and lordy forbid, tipsiness may ensue if our bride, groom and wedding party do not eat! For a gift that will be appreciated and hopefully, ingested by all, consider packing a blushing bridal brunch basket or a tray of gourmet grub for the groom! In order to make this venture a total success, find out the times and locations where bride and/or groom are getting ready. The earlier you can drop off your delicacies the better. For ladies in waiting, they may choose to eat earlier than later as not to disturb their make-up. The fellas on the other hand require less primping and do not start getting dressed until later on in the day. Be sure to consider these aspects before making your deliveries.

Think about the following for possible contents in your "Blushing Bridal Brunch" Basket or "Gourmet Groom Grub" Tray:

Champagne (For the Ladies)

Beer (For the Gentleman)

Orange Juice

Bottled Water


Bagels with Accoutrement (I love that word! Gourmet spreads, cream cheeses and butter would be great but be cautious with jellies and jams!)

Mini Muffins or Pastries

Granola Bars

Trail Mix

Bananas, Grapes, Apple slices and any other easy to eat, non-staining fruits

Cheese Cubes or String Cheese

Finger Sandwiches

Chicken Strip or Lunch Meat Tray (Protein is a must, especially when alcohol is involved!)

Pre-cut Veggies and Dips

Pretzels and Crackers (Non-greasy munchies keep clothes clean)

Disposable Plates, Cups and Cutlery

Mints (An unexpected but very much appreciated post-meal addition)

Trash bag

Napkins or even Wet-Naps if you have access to them

Sentimental card with well-wishes for the happy couple!

To go that extra mile, you may consider packing all these wedding day wares into a hand-crafted picnic basket or insulated cooler for the Mr. & Mrs. to use during their lives of wedded bliss. Yes, this glorious gift is more time consuming than the now traditional Target Gift Card, but the gratitude expressed by the recipients will be invaluable. Feel free to share any of your ideas for wedding day wares or meaningful wedding gift suggestions, the domestic diva is all ears!

Be sure to stay tuned, dahlin's!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oil me up!

Hey Rachel Ray, your precious EVOO is just for cooking anymore! Olive oil, whether it be virgin, extra-virgin, or pure olive oil has been a staple in Mediterranean households for centuries and not just in la cucina. Although it may be a prominent ingredient in everyday cuisine, this pantry treasure can perform miracles around the house and around the body. See what this little bottle of "liquid gold" can do for you!

Tame Those Locks- For a quick fix to fly aways, drizzle a dot of olive oil in your hand and sparingly run it over your coif. Also, be sure to take some time out of your weekend for this home-made hot oil hair treatment. Warm up your EVOO in the palm of your hand and generously lather it into your locks, paying special attention to the ends. Wrap your hair in a towel or oh-so-fashionable shower cap and chillax for 30 minutes or so. Wash and style hair as normal and watch those locks shine!

Snore No More- Granny never lies! Taking a sip of olive oil before heading to bed can help lubricate your throat muscles, cutting down on snoring. Give it a try- your bed mate will thank you!

Here Kitty, Kitty- According to my pet vet sister, add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, as well as promote a shiny, healthy coat. Olive oil is likely to be more gentle on a cat's system than petroleum-based anti-hairball lubricants. Meow!

Better Than Butter- I know, I could a Southern gal speak such words?! Butter most certainly has that undeniable flavor which we all love and crave but how about slathering your bread with a little EVOO every now and then. The health benefits linked to olive oil are overwhelming. This "liquid gold" is rich in monounsaturated fats and contains several different types of anti-oxidants known for their ability to promote our "good" cholesterol (HDL) and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. I promise I will send this link to Paula Deen! ;o)

Wax On, Wax Off- To polish up your weary wood, use two parts olive oil combined with one part lemon juice. Pour just a few drops on a soft cloth, wipe away the dust, scuffs, and fingerprints, and your wood will gleam. This technique works well for a range of wooden furniture and objects. You can also condition and revitalize leather goods, such as car seats and baseball mitts by rubbing in a bit of EVOO.

Luscious Lips- Pucker up that pretty pout and swab on that olive oil! A Q-tip is a great applicator for this budget friendly balm.

Creepy Creaks- Do the doors in your house sound like they belong in the Addams Family Mansion? If so, try olive oil out on squeaky doors, hinges or anywhere else you might consider using WD-40 or a mechanical lubricant. Once again, olive oil is totally natural and edible of course so no worries about Fido or little Joey Jr. getting their paws into it!

For Spaghetti and Skin- Olive oil is a great skin moisturizer because it contains linoleic acid, a compound not made by the body, which prevents water from evaporating. After showering, rub the oil on your skin just as you would any lotion or moisturizer. Don't forget those knees and elbows. For a diva decadent body scrub, sprinkle in a spoonful of sugar to your olive oil and go to town. The sugar crystals help slough off any dead skin cells while the oil hydrates. All natural and all good!

So the next time you are in the grocery store or raiding your little Italian granny's kitchen, don't forget to pick up a bottle of this stove-top staple. From hair to hinges and cats to carseats, there's no stopping this earthy elixir.

Be sure to stay tuned, dahlins'!