Monday, July 30, 2012

You're so sweet!


Just saw this clip about a new no calorie sweetener on Hungry Girl's facebook page. It's called Nectresse and is from the makers of Splenda. It comes from the Monk Fruit. Thought I'd let you know about it. The clip below is from Hungry Girl's facebook page.

Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener - Move over, stevia... There's a new calorie-free natural sweetener in town! It's from the makers of Splenda, but it does NOT contain Splenda or any other artificial sweetener. Nectresse is made with MONK FRUIT (which sounds like prayerful produce but is really just a small vine fruit). Each packet has 0 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 2g carbs, <1g sugars, and 0g protein (PointsPlus® value 0*). (Note: These carbs, from a natural sugar alcohol, have a lower caloric value than standard carbs.) We've tried it, and IT'S REALLY GOOD! On shelves and


Also, I recently purchased some Swerve, after reading about it on Maria's blog. She uses it in all her recipes. It's expensive, but so is diabetes, so I bought some. I've yet to try it, but I'll let you know.
Here's what she wrote.

Swerve uses a Non-GMO erythritol manufacturer who employs technology that relies on the inherent ability of certain natural yeasts to convert sugar into erythritol. The resulting erythritol is then purified, dried and sieved. This process does not require any solvents, other than water. No synthetic chemical processes are required and the resulting Erythritol is identical to that which is found in nature. It measures cup for cup like sugar and it also does not have the same "mouth-cooling" sensation compared to other brands of erythritol on the market.


Back to reality!

Good morning friends! I am still at the beach, but headed home this morning. A week at the shore was the perfect way to recover from all the wedding festivities. I have a lot of your blog posts to catch up on and I will get to work on that this week. Thanks for all the wonderful comments you posted. It was a wonderful wedding and the newleyweds are still on their honeymoon in French Polynesia. If you are facebook friends with me, I apologize for all the photos I have been posting. So many good ones and I had to share.

I have been sliding down a slippery slope this week. I've been eating some things I shouldn't, drinking too much wine, sitting on my butt reading all day. But it's Monday, and I'm motivated to get back to my routine.

I started my day with a poached egg breakfast. Always a favorite and it starts my day out right.

I saw this post on facebook today from the Beck Diet Solution, and it seemed appropriate for the start of a new week. Sending hugs and love. Make it a great week!!

Monday Motivation: In dieting, like everything else in life, you WILL make mistakes. If you were learning to play the piano and hit a wrong key, you wouldn’t think, “This is so terrible! I should just give up right now.” Of course not! You’d know that with practice you’ll get better. Dieting is no different - mistakes are just mistakes and not an indication that you should give up.

Thought for the day:

Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more. ~ Louis L'Amour

Monday, July 23, 2012

White lace and promises......

Hello Everyone! Wow what a whirlwind weekend it has been. Starting with the bridal party hanging out here all day Friday by the pool.

The wonderful rehearsal dinner hosted by my husband and me was Friday night. I was awestruck when I walked into the room. It was decorated so beautifully and the flowers were gorgous. There were wonderful speeches, great food and wine, and even some dancing before the evening ended.

Dancing with her soon to be father-in-law

Last night as singles.

No time for late night fun though. We had to get home to be at the hair salon by 8:45 the next morning for hair and makeup.

From there we headed to the Elkins Estate to get ready. This is where we would spend the night and where the reception would be held. All I can say about this venue is 'wow'! I don't have alot of photos of the exterior and interior rooms, but if you get a minute check out their website to see how beautiful it is.

 To think that this was actually  a home to someone is almost beyond belief. I was actually getting lost wondering around. It was huge. From the moment you drove through the huge iron gates and up the long drive, you knew that this was a special place.

The bridesmaids waiting for the bride to finish dressing.
The beautiful bride.
The lovely ladies in waiting.
After dressing and sipping some champagne, we headed to the church. The bride in a Rolls Royce. We had a similar one on our wedding day almost 31 years ago.

Cinderella's carriage

Arriving at the Church.

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The day was beautiful, and the heat and humidy went away for us. The skies were blue, with puffy white clouds, and a temp of 80. Perfect. It made up for the rain the previous day, and I was willing to give up my rehearsal dinner cocktails on the terrace the day before, in exchange for this glorious day.
My two younger boys escorting me down the aisle.

Here comes the bride!

Everything went off without a hitch, and the ceremony was gorgeous.

Showers of lavender rice.

Champagne in luxury transportation.

The bride and groom arriving.
Then back to the Elkins Estate for an unbelievable event. The bride and her family planned a flawless evening, accompanied by delicious wines to enjoy with the amazing food. I have been to a few weddings in my day, but never had food as wonderful as this in a banquet setting.

Here is the menu as printed on the lovely card inserted in our napkin:

First Course
 A Trio
Watermelon gazpacho, chevre chaud salad, duck breast, polenta croustade, vanilla plumed cherries

Bleu cheese encrusted filet
Blasamic Reduction, mushroom roasted potato ragout
Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, summer peach salsa, cucumber salad
Vegetarian filo purse over vegetable coulis, mushroom-roasted potato ragout

Classic vanilla pound cake with butter cream frosting
Crepe Station and Liquor Bar
Traditional French dessert with toppings of cherries jubilee, butter & sugar, nutella or vanilla and chocolate ice cream

 Being the mother of the groom, I wasn't walking around with a camera all night, and I'm sure more photos will start to trickle in. But I wish I had photos of each  hors d'oeuvre as they made their way around on butlered trays. Spoons filled with little scallops in a white wine sauce, little pieces of lobster, trays of tuna sushi, beef carpacio on tiny toasts, and tiny triangles of cucumber topped with smoked salmon. There was a raw bar filled with colossal shrimp, tiny crab claws and raw oysters.

The room was decorated beautifully. These photos don't show how magical it really looked and the flowers were exquisite.

It was a great moment as we were all announced and walked into the beautiful ballroom.
All the couples "danced" their way in to a special song of their choice. This is my baby, one of the best men, and the maid of honor.
We danced in too!! We picked Tom Jones, "It's not unusual!!"

Mr. and Mrs!!

Cinderella and Prince Charming.

 Later there would be a crepe bar, but I couldn't leave the dance floor all night.  Those baskets of flip flops I made up sure came in handy!

It was a wonderful, magical evening of love, laughter and happily ever after. The newlyweds went to bed late into the night, and the bridal suite at the estate was beautifully decorated by their wedding planner.

The honeymoon suite at the Estate
The brides monogrammed robe and a little something from Tiffany's. A gift from the groom!

Yesterday everyone gathered at my house for pizza and champagne, and this morning my house is quiet again. Everyone is back to work, we're leaving soon for a week of some rest and relaxation at the shore, and Meghan and Ryan just left for the airport and their honeymoon in French Polynesia. Moorea, Tahiti and Bora Bora.

 A kiss for luck and their on their way.

Give me some time and I'll catch up with all of  you this week. Just wanted to check in and tell you that it was a wonderful day.

Thought for the day:  "Love does not consist in gazing at each other but looking in the same direction together."
Antonne de Saint-Exupery

Here are few more highlights....

Mother/Son dance

Dancing with my uncle.
My nosegay!
The proud mothers.
My special nephew!
My family
Parents of the groom
The dress I finally picked!
It was comfortable, and flattering. At least that's what I was told!!
Back to the room to pack after a quick morning after breakfast.
The lady and the gents.
The flowers smelled lovely!
Our bedroom suite
We burst into the honeymoon suite. Time to get up!!!
My husband on the other side of our large suite!
The groomsmen waiting outside the Estate for the bride and groom.
My baby is all grown up now! So handsome!
Maids in waiting.
Parents and grandparents
Champagne and candles
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The brides bouquet with a cameo pin borrowed from here mother.