Thursday, October 22, 2020

Haunted Miniature House

Decorating my house this year
for Halloween
 wasn't enough;
I had to decorate a miniature house too!

There is something so magical about miniatures, 
and I have been bitten by the bug.

Miss Beulah has not been very happy with me 
that I haven't featured her yet on my blog, 
but I had flown off on my own broomstick!

The house has been decorated since the last week 
of September, but with parties and travel and 
everything Halloweenish, I haven't blogged about 
any of it!

I really wanted to find a dollhouse and paint 
it in spooky colors, but even used doll houses 
are going for a fortune and I didn't have time 
to build one (and I am not sure I would ever 
finish it), so when I went into Michaels and 
found this top piece all painted and with a 
sparkly, purple, shingled roof, I bought it.  

I thought I would bring it home and have just a tiny, 
tiny haunted house, but this adorable cupboard, 
which I had purchased at Hobby Lobby was too 
tall to fit into any of the space.  

So I went back to Michaels and purchased two 
unfinished wood boxes, circled above.  The bottom 
one created the base, and the top one created the 
living space.  A quick spray with black paint and 
a little glue, and now I had a house.  

I had ordered a few things off of Etsy, like these adorable 
pillows.  I frayed the edges of a piece of orange and black 
chevron fabric and glued the edges under for a rug.

The dresser on the right came from the dollar store.  My 
daughter found that and bought it for me.  

The Halloween plates, cake and cookies were also 
from Etsy.  I had made the bottle brush trees a few 
years ago for Halloween. 

The spooky apothecary jars were from Etsy, 
along with the manuscript tied in string, but 
the packages, letters, books, table, pots and plates 
all came from Michaels and Hobby Lobby.  

This spooky toadstool rests in moss in one 
of the valleys of the roof.  I purchased him 
from a local holiday boutique - The Holy Cow. 


I added windows and fireplaces inside and out. 

The cool candlestick stump was also from Holy Cow.

You can find things in the fairy garden section, 
the dollar store, craft stores, and online.  There 
are also wonderful youtube videos on how to make 
miniatures.  Hunting for things has been half 
of the fun!

Of course, now I want to make a Christmas one.  
I had picked up a lot of beautiful miniatures 
a few years ago when we went to the 
Christmas Markets 
in Germany, and this would be a fun way 
to display them.  
Young and old were fascinated with it. 

Glad you stopped to visit!  Beaulah 

has made me promise we will post more! 

I will be posting this with
Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Shopping List for a Wedding Charcuterie Board

I am finally getting around to posting the massive
Charcuterie Board I did for my son's wedding this August.
I searched for ideas online about how much to purchase, 
but no one really gave exact amounts to guide me, 
so I am going to give you my actual grocery list 
and tell you what I had too much of and what worked. 

You may remember the massive table my son built 
me for my Witches in the Hollow dinner last year.  
Well, we didn't get it covered and the weather got to it, 
but the week before the wedding I had the inspiration 
to use it rather than folding tables, or renting a table.  
I sheepishly asked my son about resurfacing it.  I knew 
he would be busy the week before his wedding, but he 
said one of his employees would have the time!!!  
So he asked how I wanted it done, and I said I wanted 
it whitewashed.  Then he asked if I wanted the legs 
repainted gold.  Well, of course I did!  Now it 
would match the eight foot board he had made me that 
I planned to place down the center of the table to be 
the base for the layout.  

You can see the board at the front of this picture.  It is 
whitewashed with a gold base.  It sits on my kitchen counter 
all of the time and serves as a nice base for my counter displays. 

Since we were in the middle of Covid, I pushed for a 
small intimate gathering, but the mother of the bride 
went ahead and wanted a big event, so I had no idea 
how many to plan for. I planned for around 150, and 
that seemed to be how many we had.  It was held in the 
nice big backyard of a friend so distancing was possible. 

For drama, I knew I wanted height and size, so I gathered 
some of my whitewashed serving pieces like this 
cake platter. 

My splurges for the board were the large 
cheeses, which ranged from $20 to $60.  I got six of those.  
Each one had its own knife for slicing off some cheese. 
I love these knives I had purchased from Home Goods 
years ago.  

I purchased some inexpensive wooden boxes off of 
Amazon and painted those white and gold too.  They 
held nuts and breads and flatware.  
Rather than take the time to make my own macarons, 
I purchased ones from Costco and sprayed them with 
Wilton's Lustre Spray to dress them up.  
I also purchased fun Biscotti and filled cookies that 
we like from Trader Joe's. 


A little cut fruit and other fruits adorn the table to give 
it color.  Surprisingly people took the cut kiwis and 
ate all of them.  
Bread sticks, naan, pretzel rolls and sliced crusty breads 
plus crackers filled out the board.  

One end of the table was anchored by two lanterns, 
and the other was anchored by a tiered tray full of 
cubed cheeses.

I cubed four two-pound bricks of cheese, and 
of course, these were all gone by the end of the night. 
I also purchased 20 tongs off Amazon for serving. 

Nuts and olives are a nice addition to a board.  

I included olives, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pesto, 
mustards, and hummus for topping the breads 
and crackers.  

A variety of meats were also served. 
Now for my shopping list!  I spent about $750 
for the entire board, but could have done it for about 
two-thirds, as we had a lot left over.  

4 - 2 lb. bricks cheese - Colby Jack, Hot Pepper, 
Sharp Cheddar and White Cheddar (I bought Tillamook)
6 quarter and half round wheels of cheese - Blue Cheese, 
Blueberry Cheese, Manchego Cheese, Smoked Gouda,
Parmesano Reggiano (the last 3 were from Costco)
4 pkg sliced salami and Prosciutto (Costco)
2 rounds Brie (Costco
2 large containers Hummus (Costco)
2 large containers Artichoke Dip ( Costco)
6 pkg Macarons (Costco)
1 jar Pesto (Costco)
4 pkg Pretzel Balls (Costco)
4 pkg mini Naan (grocery store)
3 pkg heart shaped crackers (grocery store)
3 pkg Parmesan flatbread (Trader Joes)
2 boxes Social Snacker Crackers (Trader Joes)
3 pkg. thin Breadsticks (Trader Joes)
2 pkg flatbread crackers (Trader Joes)
2 boxes Mango and Ginger Crackers (Trader Joes)
3 pkg Chocolate Biscotti (Trader Joes)
2 pkg chocolate meringues (Trader Joes)
2 pkg vanilla meringues (Trader Joes
3 pkg Lemon Biscotti (Trader Joes)
3 boxes Biscoff Cookies (Trader Joes)
2 pkg Nutella filled cookies (Trader Joes)
3 boxes Lemon Wafers (Trader Joes)
2 Lemon Curd (Trader Joes)
4 pkg green and red olives (Trader Joes)
2 Nut and Olive Mix (Trader Joes)
2 pkg sugared pecans (Trader Joes)
2 pkg coconut cashews (Trader Joes)
1 pkg. shelled Pistachios (Grocery Store)
2 specialty mustards (Trader Joes)
1 red pepper spread (Trader Joes)
Olive Oil with pouring spout (Trader Joes)
6 baguettes - 4 sliced, and 2 left whole (Grocery Store)
6 assorted crusty bread loaves, sliced (Grocery Store)
3 large pkg each - strawberries, raspberries and 
blueberries (Costco)
2 pkg red grapes (Costco)
3 grapefruits, cut in half
6 yellow kiwis, cut in half
4 green kiwis, cut in half

Of course, most of this could be purchased at any store.

My daughter and two daughters in law helped me put 
the whole board together in 30 minutes.  They have all 
done boards, so everything went together quickly.  We 
had such a large volume of food on the table that we didn't 
have to do much refilling.  

The other food offered was DippinDots - which you can 
order from their website - just be sure and order them 
in advance so they don't charge exorbitant shipping fees. 
They say they can't be stored in the freezer, but we found 
that we could put them in the freezer and then put them 
back in the cooler with fresh dry ice 
 and it gave them the characteristic hard, stick to your tongue texture. 

Do that an hour or two before the event.

 They also served Chik-fil-A's nuggets. 

 The bride and groom chose their favorite foods to serve.

How could I have economized?

I had twice as many cookies and crackers and 
bread as they consumed.  Admittedly, those are 
inexpensive and we could use them later.  
I could have cut back on the large cheeses, and maybe 
only done three.  I only needed one Brie, one 
Hummus and one Artichoke Heart dip, but we 
used them later.  We also had half of 
the fruit left.  All of the cubed cheese was consumed and 
all of the sliced baguettes.  The macarons were 
completely gone and we could have probably had 
more of those.

We didn't pay for the traditional dinner the night 
before, as her family was traveling in from out of state 
and they wanted to have a shower that night.  So 
in the end, even though I could have easily have 
done this spread for 1/3 less, I felt it was very reasonable.  

Hope this helps if you are planning a 
Charcuterie Board for a large group.
It was beautiful and delicious and impressive. 

And yes, we encouraged masks and distancing and 

had hand sanitizer on the tables! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Totes #24 Our Cabo Home

Welcome to our September 2020 edition 
of Tales of the Traveling Totes, where 
blogging friends take their MacKenzie-Childs totes 
on adventures near and far.
Miss Madi K and I were able to venture far, quite 
a few times for this post as we were finishing up 
the rebuilding of our home in Cabo.  Those of you 
who have been with me for years know that we 
purchased a home there 15 years ago and tore it 
down 4 years ago this month.  It took a year to tear 
down and get the building permits, and three years 
to rebuild (much, much longer than we had anticipated),
so in July and August, once tourism opened back 
up in Mexico we went to hold hands with the builders,
and make sure things were done right.

In July we traveled with friends.  Since the house 
wasn't complete, we stayed at the resort we have 
enjoyed through the whole building process - 
Villa La Estancia.

We had a blast - and not just from the waves - and 
everyone enjoyed driving up to the house and 
seeing it in progress.  We had planned a trip with 
these friends and two others for the end of April, 
hoping the house would be done then, but then 
Covid hit and the house wasn't ready, so that 
was postponed. 

Of course, we enjoyed delicious food while 
there, with a few of our favorite restaurants open 
for take out.  These pictures are from The Office, on the beach,
and it opened for sit down by the August trip.

If you remember, we had the opportunity a year and a half 
ago to go to Highpoint, NC for the furniture market, 
so hubby and I handpicked all of the furniture for the home 
from there.  The builder imports over a million dollars a year of furniture to Mexico, so he was able to get us into the very exclusive suppliers that a regular designer wouldn't be able to access.  It was such a fun experience, and the results were spectacular.

The home is ocean front and the most breathtaking view
is down the beach for sunset.

The master bath is huge and we wondered if it would 
be awkward, but the way the furnishings filled it up, 
 turned into a spa retreat.  Miss Madi K loved hanging 
out here. 

The master bedroom is also spacious.  Everything here is much 
nicer and more spacious than my home I live in.  When 
we went to rebuild, the builder said we "couldn't" 
keep any of our old furniture.  We can now see his vision, 
as it was more Hacienda Style in the dark woods. 


We did the kitchen all in white with gold accents. 

This is the groin-vaulted colonnade that leads from 
the kitchen to the living on the left and entryway 
on the right.  

The entryway dome is a work of art, as are all of his ceilings.  Fantastic ceilings are this builder's specialty.  We sent him 
a picture of an idea, and they created this masterpiece with plaster.  The craftsmanship is amazing.  The light fixtures are like pieces 
of jewelry.

Our home is in Pedregal, a subdivision that is built 
on seaside cliffs, so there are height restrictions, so 
that you don't impinge on your neighbors' views. 
That made the front of the house one story plus the dome. 

The door is another specialty of this builder and it

 is curved and has 
curved glass and opens with a floor to ceiling pin 
so that it pivots rather than swings.  That was all 
the his idea.  Sometimes we would come to visit 
and get great surprises like this.

This is not a place for people who can't do stairs! 
Bedrooms are on two lower levels and it is 32 
stairs from the lower level up. 

The outside is the party place. Miss Madi K was ready to take a ride down the slide, but the three-way power hadn't been hooked up yet. 

The three-way runs the air-conditioning and the 
massive pump needed to put enough water down the 
slide for a two level ride, dumping you into the lower pool.  

The slide actually coils around and goes under the 
upper deck to exit into the lower pool.

The pool gets the beautiful sunset views too.
We are water people, so we spend most of our 
time here in the pool.  You can see the swim up 
bar to the right. 

We were sure by our trip in August they would have 
the power in, but they didn't.  We brought our youngest 
son and his wife and baby, but we decided we were 
staying in the house no matter what.  It was hot and humid 
at night, but pleasant in the pools and with the ocean 
breeze during the days.  We laughed and said we were 

Since January, we surmised that with our luck the house 
would get finished right at hurricane season.  Wednesday, 
August 19th, we were scheduled to have the three-way power 
connected for the AC, and that very day Hurricane Genevieve 
hit.  The rains were torrential and the winds were severe 
enough out on the point of our property to take down 
our two newly planted palms.  This is to be our "sandy beach" 
with a hammock strung between the palms. 

Cabo has already been hurt so badly by the coronavirus 
and even when tourism has opened up, there are few 
tourists here.  Now they were hit with a hurricane 

and there are two more storms forming off the coast.  

Our hearts and prayers go out to 
the beautiful people of Cabo.  They are so careful with 
protecting everyone from the virus.  You step into a tray 
of disinfectant before you enter a store or restaurant.  They 
even had that tray on our job site.  They squirt your hands 
with disinfectant before you enter and they were wearing 
masks long before we were.  They are sooooo grateful for 
visitors, and make you feel so welcome.  
We hope they can turn things around. 


Now for the fun giveaway.  These adorable coasters 
in Parchment Check are the giveaway for this time.
Leave a comment with Rita and Miss Luna to 
have a chance at winning.

Visit all of our ladies and see where their totes 
have traveled to this summer of 2020.

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box  
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

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