Monday, July 25, 2011

Berry, Berry, Quite Contrary!

Divas, can you believe how incredibly fast this summer is flying by?! Despite it's prompt passing, I hope you have managed to squeeze in a few juicy snow cones and sand castles somewhere along the way! Whether it's today, tomorrow or this weekend, take a moment to really relish in the "easin' of the season" with our sweet "Berry Bubbler" cocktail. Bright and ripe berries are synonymous with the joys of summer time and are usually at their peak during the warm weather months. We added a "POP" of Champagne and a splash of vodka to this cocktail in hopes that it quenches your thirst! Enjoy this sip of summer before summer slips away!

Berry Bubbler


Bottle of Brut Champagne or Prosecco

Strawberry puree or strawberry daiquiri mix

Vanilla flavored vodka

Fresh berries to garnish- blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.

Assembling the Drink:

Fill a chilled Champagne flute 1/4 of the way full with the berry puree and a splash of vanilla vodka. (Unlike most situations in life, more vodka is not always better! :) Gently combine mixture at the bottom of the glass with a drink stirrer or straw. Top mixture with cold Champagne or Prosecco and garnish with fresh berries. Serve pool or picnic side, sip slowly...

"Here's to the bright sunny days and dips in the pool, here's to walking barefoot through green grass that is cool, here's to sleeping in late between the sheets, here's to baseball games and impromptu volleyball meets, here's to early morning fishing with a cane pole, here's to grilling and chilling; can't you smell that charcoal? Here's to watermelon, ice cream and road trips to the beach, here's to enjoying this sweet summer time before it is out of reach!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't Spill the Beans!

When a dear friend of mine recently asked for some ideas for an inexpensive centerpiece for a bridal shower, my mind began to race! I concurrently was gorging out on a half-eaten bag of Jelly Belly when I found my muse! From jelly beans to coffee beans to black beans, these petite pellets can sure make a statement! When making a floral centerpiece using any type of beans, be sure to double up! What I mean by this is start your design with (2) transparent vessels. You will need a large container and then a smaller container that can nestle inside the larger container. The large container will hold your lovely legumes while the smaller container will actually hold the flowers and the water. Once you have both containers in place, slowly pour your beans of choice into the space between both containers; keep the smaller vase centered as best as you possibly can. As soon as the beans are snugly set, let your imagination run wild! This versatile vignette can be used in conjunction with any party theme or holiday. For instance, vibrantly colored jelly beans and freshly cut daffodils would make an "egg-ceptional" display on your Easter table or at a spring shower. Consider Tulips or even blooming branches as an alternative too! Perhaps at a "wine-down" pairing & dinner, you can use a selection of smaller and larger vases filled with different types of beans- ranging from red kidney beans, to black beans to green peas. Instead of doling out the dollars for flowers, work a few votives and colored candlesticks into the beans for rustic, old-world charm ambiance. One of my favorite centerpieces I have ever contruscted was a selection of vintage coffee mugs (which I bravely bargained for at a local flea market), filled to the brim with whole coffee beans. We placed a square of floral foam underneath the beans so a trio of hot-colored Gerbera Daisies could "bloom" from each mug! Take it a step further and  before placing these buzzy beauties on the tables, add a tiny tag to each arrangement reading "Thanks A Latte!" Once the party ends, invite your most cherished guests to take these java-themed keepsakes home with them! Your couture coffee creations will now serve two purposes- how much more financially savvy can you be?!

Limited budgets are almost more fun to work with than unlimited ones as it forces you to use your creativity.
Next time instead of ending up in a soup pot or a candy dish, all of your favorite beans will be gracing your tables in a different way!