Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote - Custom Bags From MacKenzie-Childs

Welcome to a special edition of
Tales of the Traveling Tote
where we are celebrating five years of travels 
around the United States,
 and the world, with our 
MacKenzie Child's totes. 
 As you can see from the collage above, 
my MC bags have been from Hawaii, 
to the Caribbean, to 
London, Rome and Paris, 
and all the way to South Africa,
having lots of fun in the 
United States and Mexico.

  If you have been following for a while, you know 
Patti from Pandora's Box started this fun group
five years ago, featuring the large checkered tote from 
MacKenzie Child's.  Click here to see how it all got 

I was invited along three Christmas's ago
 by Sarah and Linda, 
and have had so much fun taking my checkered tote 
around the country and around the world. 
 This was a highlight as I visited the flagship
 MacKenzie-Childs store in New York in 2018!

As self-appointed ambassadors for the 
MacKenzie-Childs brand, 
at the end of October Patti let us know
 that MC was creating 
a surprise gift for all of us in the group -
 a custom made 
bag, individually designed for each of us, 
based on our blogs. 
In addition, they created a gorgeous bag 
to give away to 
one of our loyal readers - 
this is quite the grand giveaway!!! 
Keep reading to the end to see how to win
 one of their 
lovely custom made totes!

It was so fun as the totes created by Julie and Joan 
at the Sewing Department of MacKenzie-Childs 
started arriving to our group across the country.  

Here in Utah 
mine was one of the last to arrive, as 
they were coming from New York. 
 We went out of town 
by the time it arrived.  My daughter 
told me a huge box had been delivered. 
 It was so exciting to come home from our trip and
open it and finally see my custom tote.

I held my breath as I drew her out of the bag.  
It is just as big as Miss Madi K, so it is 
wonderful to take around with me.
I decided to name her Miss Pansy, 
because all of her colors remind me of 
the colors of pansies in the spring.

We were told that some of the details would be 
similar to have continuity in the purses, 
and I think all of us fell in love
 with those details. 

Look at the button and tassel closure,
 and the metal name plate!  Just wow!!! 
The name plate is my absolute favorite detail.

I also adore the MacKenzie-Childs ribbon that 
becomes the handle, and the checkered trim
on the top and bottom.

Miss Pansy arrived just in time at 
Purple Chocolat Home 
to celebrate Christmas.

Once everyone had received their totes,
we each had a chance to guess whose bag was whose.  
I only guessed a few right, and that was with some 
help.  Of course, mine was easy, as it had purple on it!

We also wanted take our photo on a 
carousel horse.  It was a cold Thanksgiving morning, 
but I found a cute carousel in St. George, Utah, 
and went for a ride with a couple of my
 granddaughters.  We had the carousel 
all to ourselves.  

There was a sign that said no bags 
were allowed, but I explained the bag 
was the reason we were there!!!  

She was very kind 
and let us get some pictures.  She told us the music 
wasn't working, but we said that was ok, we would 
sing songs ourselves.  So we sang and made up 
Christmas songs as we rode around, and around, 
then did it again.

 Miss Pansy enjoyed the holidays, 
just spilling over with lovely Courtly Check items. 

 We wanted to do this post up in a "grand way", 
so what better place for Miss Pansy's debut 
than at The Grand America 
in Salt Lake City, for our traditional over-night
 right before Christmas with all of our
 children and grandchildren. 

It's our little reward for working so hard to get 
Christmas ready, and The Grand knows how
to do it up in style!

Miss Pansy was happy to be invited along, 
and she felt every so elegant there. 

She felt right at home with the lovely decor, and 
especially these gorgeous Mark Roberts nutcrackers.  
I really would have loved to purchase these, but 
they were way past my budget.  

We both went to the French patisserie in the Grand 
and ordered croissants and macarons.

Then we were off to The 
Grand America Gingerbread House
which was a replica of The Grand America 
this year with little vignettes of Maileg Mice
in each window.

I feel so honored to have received 
this amazing gift. 

Thank you so much to the 
lovely people at MacKenzie-Childs 
who made these beautiful 
custom totes for us, 
and to Patti who got all of the fun started.

Miss Pansy just sparkled with the holidays.

Here is our carousel of travelers with their 
matching totes.  Look closely to see 
if you can see their personal style 
in their custom-made totes.
Thanks to Linda for our 
collage and Cherry Kay for our poem.

Now for the fun for you -

  This gorgeous bag has been 
custom made by MacKenzie-Childs 
for one lucky winner!  
We will be submitting names to Patti of those who 
are loyal followers and commenters on our blogs, 
Instagram and Facebook pages.  She will then 
randomly pick the winner.

This is definitely the grand prize of all of our 
MC giveaways, to celebrate five years of 
Tales of the Traveling Tote fun!  

Good luck to the winner.  
Be sure to comment below and visit and comment 
on all of the posts of our fellow TTT ladies. 

 Patti with Miss Tizzy@ Pandora's Box
Debbie with Miss Tassie @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Lulu @ The French Hutch
Jenna with Miss  Hello Gorgeous @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Gigi @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Penny @ Panoply
Sarah with Miss  Poppy @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Pansy  @ Purple Chocolat Home  (you are here)
Ricki Jill with Miss Square Peggy @The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay with Miss Waverly  @ Entertaining Women

Then join us again in March for another adventure
with another giveaway.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Waffle Bar

I was looking for an easy but delicious brunch 
to feed a crowd for my youngest grandson's 
baby blessing.  We were expecting around 50, 
right after church.  My daughter suggested waffles, 
so we ended up with a fun waffle bar. 

You will notice I am using the gorgeous gold and 
whitewashed board my middle son made me.  It 
makes the spread more elegant.

I decided a white and greenery theme would be perfect, 
so I gathered silver, mercury glass, and crystal and filled 
everything with greenery, baby's breath and white roses, 
all from Trader Joe's, so it was very reasonable.  

Any container can make a pretty arrangement,
 even a gravy boat, 

or a sugar bowl, 
both set on pedestals to add height.

I made sure the serving board looked good from 
both sides.  This is the sink side.  

The candlesticks were a project done at our craft group.  

I happened to be gone that night and I was gifted these 
three at our Christmas party.  I was just thrilled.  They 
are made by stacking and gluing candle holders and 
salt and pepper shakers and such from thrift stores.  
I found this wonderful product to help tapers 
stay upright on Amazon.  Click here to find 
Stickum.  Just use a pea size ball on the bottom of 
the candle.  It is amazing.  When I think of all the 
ways and means I have tried - I am so happy to 
find this.  

We used four waffle makers that each make 4 squares, 
so we could have fresh waffles for everyone.  It also 
works well to make them ahead and pop them back in 
the waffle maker to reheat them.

The board was filled with berries, sugars, crushed Oreos, 
mini chocolate chips and crushed Heath bars. 

 I just loved this fun bottle of Maple Syrup from 
Trader Joe's.  We hadn't had this before. 

We had three kinds of syrups, including homemade 
Buttermilk Syrup, which is everyone's favorite.  The 
baking soda in it interacts with the acids in the 
fruits to give a fun little tingle on your tongue.

My son in law's mother made the mini quiches 
to go along with the brunch and we did sugared 
bacon and plain bacon in the oven, which works 
really well for a crowd.  

We also served Nutella, peanut butter, lemon curd 
and Biscoff Spread on chocolate and plain waffles. 

It was a lovely event, and everyone was served easily.  
I love finding something easy and filling, yet beautiful 
to serve a crowd.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Let me know if you try a waffle bar. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Winter Kitchen Mantel

As most of you know, 
Purple Chocolat Home 
has a Mugnaini Pizza Oven in 
the kitchen.  Besides being a fun way to cook 
and party, it is always great to decorate.

I like to transition from full out Christmas decor, 
so little snowy sparkling touches around 
the house, so that it doesn't go from glam to drab. 

Frosty white snowgirls flank the opening to the 
pizza oven, while white snow fairies look down 
from above.  

I found these adorable snow girls a few years 
ago at Home Goods, and knew they would be 
fun, both for Christmas and winter.

Trees and jewels sparkle as the winter sun starts to 
come through the windows. Sometimes I just go 
and sit in the sun in the kitchen during the winter.  
I just love those quiet moments basking in the winter sun. 

The top of the mantel is draped with two garlands - 
one with silvery crystals, and one pale pink and 
silver balls.  Two frosty and furry stars are also included.  

You know there are fairies for all seasons living 

They create a touch of winter magic.

Sometimes we light a fire just for ambiance during 
the cold winter months.  That way we can sit in 
the kitchen with a cup of hot chocolate and just relax.  

Do you transition to winter, or go right into Valentines? 

Thanks for stopping by to see our Winter Mantel.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Mickey and Minnie Cookies

Just a little hint at what theme the Christmas Eve table 
is going to be this year!

Grandma's little helpers came up to help decorate 
cookies!  I just had to grab a picture of them before 
we began and before they weren't quite as clean. 

I had the cookies baked and cooled and the frosting 
ready so their mom and I could get started.  

We wanted one for each place, so I did a double batch 
of cookies and frosting.  I got found with this delicious 
recipe from my friend Amy.

I discovered I can roll the dough out right 
after making it, between two pieces of parchment, cut,
place on parchment and freeze for 30 minutes and then bake 
for 8-9 minutes, and we are in business pretty quickly.  

I have two sizes and shapes of Mickey cookies, and a small 
bow mold.  

The bows added so much, so most of them turned out 
to be Minnie cookies.

My favorites ended up being the sparkly ones - 
no surprise huh?!!!

Well, come back later to see our table set for 
Christmas Eve, starring our favorite pals, 
Mickey and Minnie!  This table is for the kiddies!!

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