Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 24th

Thursday was my birthday.

It was a really really nice birthday and it completely made up for the earlier part of the week during which I deleted all my blog photos. Almost. 

On my birthday I was off work which was a treat and I could sleep in with the cats by my side after Witt left bright and early for work. But before he left Witt woke me up to come downstairs and open a birthday present that I knew he was wrapping because I could hear him going through my craft supplies and separating excessive layers of tissue paper.

I put on my glasses and came down, tripping over the cats trying to come down before me, to unwrap a pair of beautiful turquoise earrings and read the thoughtful card he wrote me. Witt is so good at picking out gifts that I really like. I appreciate that about him because he notices.
After Witt left I decided to just stay up and I drank coffee out of the Happy Birthday mug. 




Gypsy Slow Down



I got my hair cut which I enjoy because I love my hairstylist, Kathy, and we always have a lot to talk about. Witt came home with flowers and another birthday gift which was Chanel perfume.

 For our very first birthday together four years ago he gave me Chanel Chance perfume and I still have a little bit left in the bottom of the bottle shaped like a circle with the gold edges. This is a different Chance scent with a green tint that smells like oranges and musky wood and I love that it's different but also the same.

Then I opened a wonderful birthday present sent from my sister in Puerto Rico and which arrived smack dab on my birthday and how she managed that I don't know. She crocheted me a beautiful green scarf and sent a little owl shaped soap and vanilla candle. It was really thoughtful.

Witt and I drank a glass of wine and listened to Diana Krall and talked on the sofa for a few minutes before we headed out to our reservations at La Residence in Chapel Hill. I didn't take any photos at the restaurant because I wanted to live in the moment and which, of course, I kind of regret afterwards. Especially since we both looked nice, me in my navy wrap dress and Witt with his wool blazer and khakis.

 I had scallops with butternut squash puree and Witt had a delicious steak with a smokey bean mash and it was. so. delicious. We started off with a crab cake and the restaurant was quiet except for a jazz band playing on the patio to Chapel Hill alumni and the lighting was low.

For dessert I had an espresso martini which was vodka, espresso and cream and it was a treat. Because I am a Gordon/Wilder I made Witt do "Birthday Warm Fuzzies" at dinner and he said all kinds of nice things about me and of course I said some nice things about him and we reflected on the past year.




Gypsy Slow Down



Saturday was Witt's birthday and I had a fall party planned for our families.
 I had been gathering things here and there for months because one of my favorite parts of having a party is decorating. And my favorite time of year is fall. 

I think after every party in the Little Brick House I say to Witt, not again, not in this house, it's too much. But then I go right ahead and do it again. This time I used plates from Smarty Had a Party so we could throw them away since we don't have a dishwasher and that made things a lot easier. Plus, aren't they cute?

 I did a lot of things that may not be as prissy as I would have liked, like little plastic chinet cups for water and paper napkins but let me tell you, clean up was a whole lot easier. And Sunday we even had time to walk around downtown and eat a snack outside of the Company Shops after church and cleaning the office, before our friends came over to go out to dinner.
Which I needed after the party preparation the day before. 

Our families came and my sister, Lauren, which was a treat and our friend's, Kristin and Jonathan, really sweetly babysat my niece, Ela and Ela loved them and I think Lauren got to relax a little bit with my younger niece, Piper.

My sister, Cate, snapped some pictures of the evening because I was busy and I'm so glad she did.




Gypsy Slow Down




Gypsy Slow Down




Gypsy Slow Down




Gypsy Slow Down



Witt wanted a fun-fetti cake so I made some butter cream icing to go along with it and I also made a stevia sweetened chocolate pie. We had roasted cauliflower with a lemon garlic sauce and bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with spinach and mushrooms. And I opened the most thoughtful gifts
from everyone.




Gypsy Slow Down



Gypsy Slow Down



For appetizer's Witt's mom brought pimento cheese, my mom made a goat cheese and pesto dip
both in mason jars and of course we had bacon wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates.
Of course. 




Gypsy Slow Down




Gypsy Slow Down


My family relaxes after the party before heading off.

I wanted to share my recipe for the bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken but honestly, I don't even know what I did because I was throwing everything together and I didn't take any photos.
I know I used mushrooms and butter and spinach and garlic and onions and white wine and parmasan cheese. I didn't follow a recipe because the ones I found sounded kind of bland and following recipes sometimes stresses me out.

They turned out really good but it won't be my go-to party dish because the stuffing wanted to spill out and pounding the chicken was time consuming and as Witt said, I will never make a good contestant on Master Chef because if I don't think it's going well I'll just sit down in the middle of the kitchen and cry. But I always pick myself back up!

This really is the last party in the Little Brick House. 
I know I've said it before but we are so close to saving our house down payment and I want a house where people can be in the kitchen and talk to me while we toss the salad and there's space to mingle and refill glasses and sit comfortably.   
I so look forward to when we find our House of Dreams.

I did make a yummy apple sangria that I want to share with you! I got the idea from here and went with it from there.
A perfect drink for your next fall party.


Sparkling Autumn Apple Sangria (serves 8-12)

3 cups apple cider
dashes of cinnamon, 
whole cloves, 
pumpkin pie spice 
and whole all spice

1 bottle chardonnay
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 apples sliced width wise
1/2 bottle of dry champagne or sparkling wine

Combine first apple cider and spices and simmer over stove on low for an hour until fragrant. Cool down and strain into a pitcher. Add next four ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, add champagne. 




12 comments:

  1. Happy birthday (five days late)!

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  2. And a great party it was! The food was all delicious and the company fun! I am glad I got to celebrate with you and Witt!

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  3. Happy Birthday! Glad you had such a lovely time!

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  4. Happy belated birthday my friend. Sounds like it was a beautiful one :)

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  5. Happy Belated Birthday! Wonderful pictures. Blessings

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  6. Happy belated birthday!!! Those earrings are gorgeous. And you're my party-planning hero. I wish I had half as much talent (and desire)!

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  7. Happy Belated Birthday! It's nice that both of your birthdays are so close. Maybe that's why the two of you sound like such kindred spirits. It's good to be a girl who will live in the moment the party and family pictures were really nice. Thanks for sharing them. Be Blessed.

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  8. Very Happy Birthday to you Claire! What a beautiful pair of earrings you got! I am so sorry about the pics but don't let this spoil your mood. These things happen!

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  9. Hooray for birthdays!!! It sounds like it was a great one :) Happy birthday!!!

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  10. It sounds like you had a wonderful week. Happy birthday to you! What a wonderful way to celebrate, surrounded by people who love you.

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  11. Hello, Claire, visiting from Stephanie's - you have a lovely blog, I enjoyed your birthday celebrations and the recipe. I laughed when you said you sometimes sit on the floor in the kitchen and cry when things don't turn out. Still laughing... beautiful family and thoughts. New follower :) xo Karen

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  12. I often have the experience of being surprised at how delicious a particular dish turned out, but then I can't really record the recipe or anything because I just made it up as I went along. So sometimes we never manage to have the same dish twice. But I'm like you, it's far more relaxed to cook with no recipes than to try to follow one exactly.

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