Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Midnight Snack for the Bride and Groom

I saw this done a few years ago but in a little different way and I thought it was really cute.  So I took the basic idea and adapted it for us and came up with an even better presentation.

We started with a gable-end box from the Paper Source.  These were the perfect size for what we planned.

First order of business after assembling the box was to add a goodly amount of excelsior to the bottom.  This gave some cushion to the items we would add and it was visually attractive.

We started with two mini bottles of Freixenet Cordon Negro.  One for the bride; one for the groom.

Some Almond Cashew bars, which were really delicious.  I bought an extra to sample and they are really, really good.

 We slipped the two bars between the Freixenet to help keep them stable in the box.

Then we started layering lots of yummy, delicious but healthy treats for their enjoyment later on. Next was a bag of Nature's Joy California Pistachios.

A bag of Cashew Crunch.  I recently read some information online about the health benefits of consuming cashews.  Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 82% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 66% of this unsaturated fatty acid content are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil. Studies of diabetic patients show that monounsaturated fat, when added to a low-fat diet, can help to reduce high triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a form in which fats are carried in the blood, and high triglyceride levels are associated with an increased risk for heart disease, so ensuring you have some monounsaturated fats in your diet by enjoying cashews is a good idea, especially for persons with diabetes.

Lastly, we added two more Almond Cashew bars on top.  At this point we had filled our snack box to the brim.  So we closed it up and we were ready to present it to the bride and groom on their wedding day.

Here it is, ready to be presented.

A close-up view of the label.  Such a great idea and it can be done very reasonably.  It will be most appreciated.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Old School Out of the Office Notification

When I have plans that take me out of the office, I let those in my immediate group know.  But there are others who may need to interact with me from other groups who are not necessarily privy to my day-to-day comings and goings.  So to make things easier for all involved, I created a Word document and called it "Out of Office Insert."  I have had this document saved in my directory for quite some time.  Each time I am scheduled to be out, I open this document and change the dates to reflect when I will be out and when I will return.  Take a look.

I created a very simple text box in Word which is 5" wide by 7" in height.  The wording is simple and straightforward.  I usually insert a clip art image at the bottom which reflects the reason for my absence. Since I will be attending the wedding of my friends Bob and Bette this time, I included  clip art of a wedding band.

After printing, I cut out along the text box lines and insert the notice into a lucite holder which can be purchased at any Staple's or Office Depot office supply.

Then I place this in a location which will be easily seen by all who may stop by my desk during my absence. Usually next to my mailbox.  While we all rely heavily on our electronic devices these days to stay in touch and to alert everyone to our whereabouts, I find this type of notice is still very helpful.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Detachable Lens for Smart Phones

I found the neatest thing recently and I have to share it with you.  We are talking about lens for your smart phone which give you more functionality.  They come packaged together.  One is s Wide-Macro Lens and the other is a Fish Eye Lens.  I ordered these from a place called MobStub Daily Deals (  #MobStubDailyDeals.

So I did a little experimenting this morning.  Here is a picture of my desk using the wide angled lens.

And here is a picture using the fish eye lens.  These were taken very hastily, so they are not the very best. But I LOVE them.  With a little time and practice and patience I'm certain these are going to become a very useful tool at Welcome to Crest Avenue.  I have given you a link to their site above, so check them out. They have very many wonderful items for sale at up to 90% off retail price.  You can't beat that.  And who doesn't love getting something for a great price?!?!!

These are so wonderful and I know I am going to have great fun playing with them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wedding Favor Boxes Assembled

Sunday will be here before you know it.  So we have been busy preparing the favor boxes.  We finished assembling them yesterday.  Actually, we needed to fill the organza bags with white almonds first.

Fortunately, this is going to be an intimate wedding.  Guest list is currently at 26.  We made 30 favor boxes just in case. And we will be taking the bag of white Jordan Almonds and some additional unassembled, flat boxes and bags with us, just in case.

As we began our assembling.  Two boxes, ready to go.

And here are thirty boxes filled with little organza bags of white Jordan Almonds.  Five almonds per bag. One bag per box.  These will be so cute on the table at each place setting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Lamps for the Bedroom?

As many of you know, we have begun cleaning out Crest Avenue and we are setting about with some upgrades to Dewey Street.  Steven was out and about this afternoon and found some lamps which we think will work in the master bedroom.

This, I love.

This, I do not.  Or rather, the first one I think will work better than this.  There is nothing wrong with this candlestick lamp.  It would be beautiful on a side table or buffet.  But the nightstands in the master bedroom are Hollywood Regency style.  They need a substantial lamp like the one in the first picture.

More to follow on this.

Cleaning Supplies in the Office

Just because you are at work doesn't mean that you won't have a spill or two during your day.  It could be a drop or two of coffee on your tie.  A little catsup on your shirt.  And, of course, even if we don't have a spill, we want to keep our work area clean.  That is why I keep a stock of cleaning supplies very close at hand.

The Shout Advanced is great for spills on clothing.  I have had remarkable success with this product if you catch the stain right away.  It says on the bottle that it works well for set-in stains also.  I try not to let the stain set-in, so I cannot speak to how it works there.

Total Home line of products are also very good and less expensive than the brand name.  CVS had branded their private label as Total Home.

The antibacterial wipes in the red container are, as the label says, gentle on the skin.  They also do not leave a sticky residue like some of the personal wipes.

The multi-purpose wipes in the blue containers do an excellent job of cleaning my desktop and telephone and other office equipment.

I also keep a little spray bottle of rubbing alcohol in case of a paper cut or other mishap.  I know, you are thinking that is going to burn.  And burn it does.  But we have to put on our big boy or big girl pants.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Saturday Evening Soiree

We are all in wedding mode and have been for the past few weeks.  Everyone rushing around to get outfits and a small gift for the bride and groom and making hotel reservations and trips to the salon, etc.  It's all great fun.  I had not seen our dear friend Lea for months.  So one day last week I sent her an email and invited her over for some quality time this past Saturday.  We had a lovely time catching up.  I put out just a few things for us to enjoy and I thought you might like to see what I chose.

Let me start by saying that everything here can be easily obtained at your local Giant Food Store.  If you do not have Giant in your area, I am certain that the large chain market in your neighborhood will have these items.  As I have said before, at Welcome to Crest Avenue, we do not set out to make our projects or entertaining ideas difficult to achieve. There is no need to go to specialty markets with enormous price mark-ups just to set a delicious and inviting table. Everything here was fresh and delicious and it all presented wonderfully.

So, I picked up what I thought would be appropriate as I made my way through the market.  I have done this so many times I rarely need to make a list anymore.  But if you are just starting to entertain, a list is helpful.  Generally speaking, the items you see here are perfect for any small gathering.  This would easily have served a group of 4 to 6 people.

I started with this wonderful pork pate with cognac.  I simply cannot describe to you how delicious this was. Not all pate is the same.  I've had really good pate and I've had really bad pate.  This was extraordinary.

Next I stopped at the fresh olive bar and filled a small container with these Rustica Green Olives.  They were not stuffed with pimiento or anything.  Just in this wonderful pepper sauce which was very robust.  The heat of the pepper sauce and the saltiness of the olives was a wonderful combination.  There were several flavors from which to choose and I would suggest trying several different ones until you find the ones that you like best.

We love the boursin brand cheeses.  This Red Chili Pepper was especially good and a nice compliment to the olives with the pepper sauce.

The Garlic & Fine Herbs was another hit.  Really delicious.  They are so smooth and delicious.  They are not too pungent.  Sometimes the spreadable cheeses are too pungent for my palate.  Not so with boursin.  A little more expensive, but well worth it.

Most times when I am putting together a table for hors d'oeuvres, I stage the items I am serving in the serving pieces which I believe will work best for the occasion.  Saturday night was no exception.  A few extra things you see in the photo above are, on the left, a sourdough olive loaf which was exceptional.  In the center on the square white plate is a wedge of Brie.  This was a double-cream brie and it was divine.  And then on the right you see in the bag a sourdough baguette which was sliced and placed inside the plastic bag to keep it fresh until Lea arrived.

So here is how things came together.  Brie and pate on a cutting board (I could only find the 4th of July spreaders, so I went with those), sliced olive loaf and baguette, a large bunch of green grapes, the two boursin cheeses and the olives in a cute little tray I've had for years from Pottery Barn.  And, of course, my glass of red wine to get the party started.  I served two different wines.

The first, a Cupcake Red Velvet.

The second, a Menage a Trois.  The Menage I have served many times and it is consistently good.  The Cupcake Red Velvet was a first.  I have served other Cupcake's, but never the Red Velvet.  It was extraordinary.

It was a wonderful evening.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A New Haircut for the Wedding

You know, it's not just the bride and groom who are busy getting all spiffed up when there is a wedding.  As a guest, you want to look your very best too.

In that vein, I have selected this hair style for myself in the picture above.  I think this will be a good look for the wedding, . . . and afterward!  I don't think I have time for the plastic surgery to get that face before the wedding, so I'll work with what I've got in that department.