Month: September 2013

Birthday Memories

Beignet Mamas 1st Birthday

Yes, that’s me celebrating my very first birthday.  Please don’t tell my mom I posted a picture of her with that huge afro.  🙂  Actually, my most favorite birthday memories actually are of my daughter’s birthdays.  She just recently turned two, and had a fabulous Strawberry Shortcake themed party.  I love watching her get excited over having a house filled with her little friends.

Now, let me give you some background.  My daughter LOVES company!  I mean really love it.  When folks come over she actually cries when it’s time for them to leave – adults or children, it doesn’t matter.

On the afternoon of her party, she was napping on the living room sofa when the first guests arrived.  When she opened her eyes and saw two of her friends from daycare, she leaped off the sofa and gave them both big hugs.  From there the screaming, squeeling and giggling commensed.  I escorted the three little ladies out into the backyard only to be greeted by a gigantic Strawberry Shortcake bounce house.  Their little eyes became big as saucers – followed by more screaming and squeeling.  They jumped until they could jump no more.  In all we had a total of 6 kids ranging in ages from 2 to 4 – which was perfect.
One of my aunts baked her the prettiest and tastiest strawberry themed cake – which was a big hit!

I have another aunt with whom my Petunia shares the same birthdate.  She lives in Las Vegas, and flew all the way out to the East coast just to share her special day with her great niece – making the  occasion even more special. 

Clockwise from top: Petunia & Vegas Auntie, bounce house, strawberry-theme cake, Petunia in bounce house

I know I have had plenty of cool birthdays, but watching the excitement on my little one’s face makes me happy.

 
September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt: Share some of your favorite memories.


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Where Were YOU on 9.11.01

On September 11, 2001 I was in Washington, DC.  At the time I was in an office building that sat right on the Potomac river.  When we first learned of a plane hitting the first tower, myself and a few others rushed to the only television in the office to hear more about this horrific “accident”.  We then watched in horror as a second plane hit.  The realization then sank in that this was no accident. 

When we received word that the Pentagon had just been hit, we all rushed to the windows – knowing the Pentagon was just on the other side of that river, a view obstructed by trees.  From our location we could see the smoke billowing up into the air.  From there, everything just seemed surreal.  Everyone was scared.  Everyone was in panic mode – what should we do?  We all did the only thing we knew how, get out of the city the best way we could.

Forever changed, our daily lives can easily be described as before 9/11 and after 9/11.   From airport security screenings to all of the “See Something, Say Something” messages encountered on a daily basis, the way we do things are forever altered.  Minor inconveniences so that a tragedy like this can never happen again. 


Forever changed are the lives of the families who lost their loved ones.  Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters left for work that morning, boarded flights, only to never return.  Just as the events of that day are seared into our minds, the men, women and children who lost their lives on that fateful day never be forgotten.


September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt: Where were you on September 11, 2001? 


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The Bougie Chronicles

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A blog the I read that always forces a belly laugh is Black ‘n Bougie.  The author, Michele, is a no-nonsense candid writer who is quite gifted when it comes to the English language.  She has four published novels under her belt, and one that’s soon to be released.  She’s also Southern and bougie.

Have you ever met someone who could “read” a person, make them feel about 2 inches tall all while speaking calmly in the most lady-like tone and without ever uttering a single curse word?  That’s Michele.  The only other person I’ve ever known who could do all of that (and do it well) is my mother. 

On her blog Michele retells various incidents in her life, as well as posts emails she receives from readers sharing their relationship issues and asking for advice.   Her posts have ranged from the down right hilarious (like the Usher-themed wedding she attended), to the jaw dropping (like the reader who’s date pulled a styrofoam container of barbecue ribs and briskit out of her bag at his company’s dinner at the Sr. VP’s house) – umm, yeah.  She’s even got themes for some of the craziness, like ITOFTS (I’m Too Old For This Shiggity) and WDDDA (Where Dey Do Dat At). 

Now she’s not always about fun and games.  When it comes to the serious subject matter, Michele is on point.  She will tackle and discuss current affairs and does not shy away from the controversial topics.  She’s one of those people who goes ahead and says what most folks are thinking. 

What about you?  What are your favorite blogs?

September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt:Talk about 2 blogs you read that always force a belly laugh out of you? Why?

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Croissant Bread Pudding

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This is a recipe I found a few years ago over at Food.com.  I first had Croissant Breadpudding at a little lunch eatery at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  I was in heaven!  About a month later their pastry chef left, and aparently took her recipe with her because they have not served it since!  Believe me, I was not a happy camper.  So, I took to the internet and found this…
  
Croissant Bread Pudding
Ingredient List:
  • 8 plain croissants, broken into pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups raisins 
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar mixture

Brandy Cream Sauce:

  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed to paste with a little water
  • 2-3 tablespoons brandy
Preheat oven to 350F 
Grease a 9 X 11″ casserole dish.
Place half the croissants in the dish; sprinkle with raisins if you like, and then top with remaining croissants. 
* Personally I do not like raisins in my food, so I omitted them.  You can also use other fruits or nuts – chopped pecans might be nice.
Beat the eggs till light, gradually adding the sugar until thick.
Whisk in milk, cream, brandy, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.
Pour mixture over the croissants, cover, and leave to absorb in the refrigerator for an hour or so (up to a day in advance).
Before baking, bring to room temperature. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar. 
*Because croissants are buttery to begin with, you can omit the butter in this step and just sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake 40 minutes.
Serve immediately with cream sauce if you like.
Brandy Cream Sauce:
In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and water and stir until boiling and sugar has dissolved.
Add cream, vanilla, and cornstarch paste and stir until thickened.
Lastly, add brandy.
Sauce can be made in advance and reheated just before serving.

Are you a bread pudding fan?  What’s your favorite dessert?


September Sapphire Blog Challenge Prompt: Share 1 or 2 of your favorite recipes, DIY projects, or beauty/fashion tips.


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The Lure of Eve’s Bayou

Eve’s Bayou.  Oh how I LOVE this movie!  Let’s see, Eve’s Bayou is a movie that, for me, provides an escape.  An escape to a world filled with lazy summer days, Louisiana bayous, vintage party dresses, conversations sprinkled with creole, spanish moss-draped trees, voodoo and beautiful lush scenery.  It just pulls you in.  Now let’s be clear, this is not some life-altering, I must now go out and save the world type movie.  For me, each time I watch it, it’s like a journey to another time, another realm.

Eve’s Bayou is a coming of age story of a 10 year old girl in 1962 Louisiana.  The movie tells the story of the Batiste family – a wealthy, educated Louisiana family who are the descendants of the slave woman for whom the town in which they live was named.  Louis Batiste, the family patriarch, is the town’s doctor who has a loving and gorgeous wife, beautiful children and a weakness for women.  Louis’s undoing is told as seen through the eyes of his 10 year old daughter Eve.

Aside from a powerhouse cast of Samuel L. Jackson, Lynn Whitfield, Debbi Morgan, Diahann Carroll, and a young Jurnee Smollett to name a few, the women in this film are just awesome!  Proud, beautiful, elegant and regal, even in the most vulnerable of times.  The women are just so… lady-like.  The period costumes make me want to run out to the thrift store to look for vintage dresses – seriously.  And then there’s that spiritual, mystical underlying element that’s always there.
Although release in 1997, this one is a must see classic.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie – and can sit engrossed as if I’ve never seen it before.

For your viewing pleasure, the following is the trailer for Eve’s Bayou.

What about you?  Have you ever seen Eve’s Bayou?  What’s your favorite movie?

September Sapphire Blog Challenge PromptWhich book and/or movie has affected you like no other? How? Why?


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