Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saturday/Sunday Sistertime

On Saturday Noelle and I went on a serious shopping trip to Arundel Mills. Even though we went shopping for a serious 5-ish hours we came back with only a few items to our names but that's probably for the best. That night we went out to dinner with some friends to L.P. Steamers and treated ourselves to some delicious Maryland crabs and of course Natty Boh!
Sunday we took it easy before Noelle had to leave around 2 or 3. After that it was time to scrub my place back down to normal. I have to say it was well deserved extra hour of sleep that night. So off putting to wake up in the light. Until next time friends!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Aftermath...

Just kidding! It was easy clean-up since Noelle and I sat with some of the girls and chatted while Chris took care of the heavy lifting in the kitchen. {How lucky am I!?} We finished the rest later and called it a night! The next day all the girls wore the goods they had bought. Noelle had to come into the office toting what she had left since everyone who couldn't make it the night before wanted to join in the fun! She came and we immediately went out to lunch at the Gypsy Queen food truck. Unfortch they ran out of crab when we got there so we had to go for our second choices. I went with a falafel cone and Noelle had the fish taco. SO GOOD!
When we got back to the office we let the shopping begin, well Noelle did, I had to work. She found a few more customers and a couple return customers before heading out to the shops at Harbor East. We spent the night relaxing, watching Dexter, {our new obsession!} and eating leftovers. Perfect beginning to an awesome weekend with the sister.


NMJ Trunk Show!

So after all that everything ended up being okay. {read: it was awesome, I just still hadn't come down from my stress from before} It was a little slow at first, thankfully we didn't have anyone show up until 6:30 and then people started pouring in! I didn't know my little house could hold that many people! If we were to do it again we could probably jam 5 more people in and if were warm probably 20 more with the backyard and the rooftop deck. {ramble much about nothing!?} Noelle was so great, she had her stuff pretty much all set up when I got home. She brought some trays and bowls to display her jewels in. And some black sand which really made the silver really pop and sparkle. She also brought some of her turquoise covered books which I think make her look so legit...

Altogether it was a huge success! Everyone loved her jewelry and her, of course. I was so happy that everyone had fun and liked everything {food included!}. It was so nice, Noelle just socialized and people asked her questions about her jewelry, about her, and how she makes it. Many of the ladies knew exactly what they wanted already and seemed pretty giddy to see it all in person and snatch it up! It was all very relaxed, we didn't have people sit down and force them to buy or even look at her stuff, it was more of a cocktail party with jewelry there for your perusal. We didn't want it to be a Tupperware-like party where you feel like you have to leave with something in your hands. I hate those parties where the endorser says if you buy this much whatever they're selling your hostess will get an expensive whatever they are shilling out. I'm like why should I buy something so this person gets something? So it was awesome and I would do it again because it was fun, and relaxed and lovely to spend time with friends from all aspects of my life and meet some new people too!

We still have girls asking for stuff for Holiday presents and (still!) gushing over Noelle's hair. It was so nice to spend that time with my sister, I'm so proud of all her work! I pretty much am always wearing at least 2 or 3 of her pieces on any given day. And I hope you will check out her site and if you see something you love then you should definitely put it on your holiday list! I hope you like her stuff as much as I do!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Pre Party

My plan for the menu was this: potato rings, artichoke dip, bread sticks, ham and asparagus roll ups, chocolate covered strawberries, and I had planned on having caprese toothpicks, calamari, raspberries, and s'mores but they never made it out. For drinks we had sparkling amaretto sours, Hornsby, and wine, red and white. I wish I had taken pictures of all of this but there was just no time! I was scrambling at the end, even while the guests were there. Here is the rundown of what I did and how I tweaked or messed up these recipes!
Potato Rings:
It took me three days to make these since you need to refrigerate and freeze these for an extended period of time. {I just whipped up the ranch from a Hidden Valley packet instead of doing the homemade version} Everything went smoothly on the first day (Directions 1-7). Where things literally and figuratively fell apart was steps 8-11. I kept my pan in the fridge for probably 24 hours and when I went to cut my rings out they totally fell apart. :( I tried to reconstruct them but they still fell apart especially when I dipped them in the dry and wet mixtures. Since that was already a very messy task I got super frustrated and ended up making them into little mounds about the size of a smushed golf ball. I froze those for another 24-ish hours.
Honestly, I probably should have made the mixture on a smaller pan for a thicker outcome and Jenny (one of the site's genius editors) suggested I put less cream in for a more solid mixture. {You can see our interaction in the comments below, she was very sweet and helpful! :)}
The day of the party I decided to make these first since I didn't want 'fried smell' in the house when the guests came. I tried my first one {after it cooled, duh} and wasn't super impressed, which at that point I was like "just throw them away!" {I turned into a bit of stress ball at this point} But I decided I put that much work into them I'll just put them out and if no one likes them well, there goes that.
Artichoke Dip:
This was super easy; I roasted the garlic while I was frying the potato balls. And everything else was super easy! I used cream cheese instead of marscapone since I live in a food desert. It was so good we made it the next night for a snacky dinner with the leftovers from the party. And we already had some Stacey's Pita Chips so we used those. (Even though I forgot to put them out until half way through the party so people used the bread sticks instead! :))
Bread sticks:
These guys turned out not how I planned not as cheesy since the Gruyere I got was seriously mild. But good for when your host forgets to put out pita chips!
Ham and Asparagus Roll-ups:
These are of course really easy as well. I wanted to use rosemary ham that you can get at the Costco's in Charlotte but not Baltimore! :( So I used regular ham from Costco and sliced it to fit in the roll up. We put cheese in them the next day for dinner but I don't think you really need it, they already taste like they have cheese in them.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
There are a million ways to do chocolate covered fruit but I did 2 cups semi-sweet morsels and 1 cup of heated heavy whipping cream. I heated the cream in the microwave for a minute or 2 and poured it on the chips and stirred. That's it! I dipped my cleaned and dried strawberries in the mixture and them dipped them in bright blue sprinkles or pearly sprinkles at the tips. Then placed them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put them in the fridge overnight. That's it!
I didn't have time to make or put out the rest, I wish I had just gone ahead and made the caperese sticks beforehand but I didn't think other things would take so long. But of course we had to make our classic Sparkling Amaretto Sours!
We make these by the bottle, our recipe is a little different:
1 bottle Prosecco or Asti (we use Martini & Rossi)
4 tablespoons of simple syrup (made beforehand, lasts forever!)
1/2 cup of Amaretto (we used Disaronno)
2 squeezed lemons
And of course you have to make the sugar rims before but are sooo good! Just a colorful mix of lemon and lime zest and sugar. So easy and delicious!
What are your go-to's for dinner parties? Would you try any of these recipes? Did you come to my party and like or dislike any of these things? Let me know! I love feedback and new ideas!


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Sorry I was MIA for so long I was prepping for my first party at our house! The whole week before the party I was prepping food, drinks, cleaning and reorganizing our house. Literally, I have nothing written in my agenda that week because I was so busy.
I was also prepping for our office party in Baltimore. Whew! I don't know how bloggers do this! Aside from Noelle coming to stay with us we had a last minute guest the night before she came! Our friend Anup was moving from Cincinnati back to Charlotte and we were one of his stops. It was a little crazy so we went back to Chap's Pit Beef since he wanted to go somewhere that was on The Wire. It was delish! But I couldn't enjoy for too long since I only had a day before Noelle came and the party! More on that later...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

That's why it's called Marisa's Law

Sorry for lack of posts life has been a little cray cray in our little house! Marathon posting will be happening tonight! Love love love!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sorry Sorry Sorry!

I've been insanely busy for the past couple weeks with work and after work activities, guests and parties to plan for! Whew! BUT I am super excited because Noelle is coming up to Baltimore today! And we're having a party at my house tomorrow that will be kind of like a trunk show but more of a cocktail. I'm so excited! And hopefully I'll be back to normal next week!

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