Life in Rehab is BACK! Get ready for a slew of new projects for the new year! We just can't promise we know what we're doing!

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So deck out, do some early holiday gift shopping,
strut your stuff and make a statement!

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Owl Always Love You

On a trip to Z Gallerie a few month ago, I spied THIS:
They had created a wonderful little microcosm or ice, snow, pristinely frosty perfection. and....
I wanted it.
You know that covetous feeling that overtakes you?
Something is destined to live with you in your world.
You need it.
I circled it, studying, trying to see what it was I was so attracted to.
I realized it was the ambiance, the glimpse of coziness in the cold.
Good thing too, because when I costed out the elements...
 100 bucks for the vase...
 $23 for a box of the gems..times how many?
 Forty Five clams for the frosty branches.
And a pair of owls?
15 pictures of George.
 Let's just assume this peaceful snowy scene is happening in the neighborhood
of two hundred dollars.
I wonder what the association fees are like in that neighborhood?
I started looking around and plotting in my usual manner.
$20 is my usual ceiling for any fluff item.
Any owls I stumbled upon in the following months ate the lion's share of that budget.
 And then, in West Elm this weekend, I found...
The Grumpy Owls!
Crank little spotted wise guys with a $6 price tag...
 ...and a 70% discount!
$1.80 avians!
I already had one very tall cylinder vase, about 18",
and a smaller one from the Dollar Tree. 
 I found bags of ice crystals for a palatable $3 at Blood Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond.
I can do that.
 You know how to do this.
Little vase in the big one.
 Carefully add the "ice" to the space between the vases.

Then add some branches.
 These faux birch beauties covered in ice droplets are from Z Gallerie.
$15.95 was the original tag, but Christmas was 70% off, so we walked out 
hand in branch for just $4.80.

 Worth it.
Fill the center vase with river rock for contrast and stability.
 Bend the branches and perch your little owls, using a scrap of wire to elevate
them above cat toy status.
 So...what's our bottom line?
I had the vases and the river rock.
The ice crystals ran me $9.
Remember, use as much of what you have as possible.
 The branches were another $9.60 since I bought two.

And the owls?
$1.80 for each morsel of feathered grumpulence.
I of course needed 5, one for each family member
so yes, I shelled out nine smackers.
And I'm not even sorry.
$27.60 for my centerpiece.
 Sure it's a little over my usual budget, but the way Savannah
squeals out, "They're so GRUMPY!!!"
makes it worth every penny.

Not to mention it's about 14% of the original inspiration.
THAT makes my wallet feel all better.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's Blooming? The Rehab Christmas Roundup

 Christmas in South Florida is only going to be white if
someone drops the powdered sugar.
But we have our own brand of tropical magic here, and to me,
you can't beat it with a sugar cane.
 We have tons of things in bloom, like the Christmas Cactus that lives on my patio.
Or orchids preparing to burst into bloom.
 Pentas doing a starry show.
 Greenery spilling blossoms in showers.
But the big show started in the kitchen with my brunch quiches.
 Both are a mix of caramelized onions, portobella mushrooms simmered in Madeira,
Mexican cheese mix for a sharper flavor, and broccoli florets.
One has spicy pork sausage lining the pie crust to satisfy the carnivores
 Both reheat nicely the next day when you're exhausted.
 Served with this was Spumonti (a sweet Italian sparkling wine)
or sparkling non-alcoholic apple juice, both with pink grapefruit juice.
It's an unexpected take on a mimosa, and will be served New Year's Eve as well.
Christmas Eve Dinner, The Feast of the Seven Fishes, started with stuffed clams.
 Cioppino was ladled over linguine for a pescetarian delight.
 Snow crab, swai, large shrimp, sea scallops and mussels in a tomato and chardonnay sauce
 is a light choice, and it keeps well on a buffet.
 Fried oysters rounded out the seven in traditional Southern way
with a cornmeal crunch.
 My husband's homemade rustic bread is a must.
"The sponge" is started the night before for an extra crisp crust and a chewy
texture that's impossible to purchase.
 Dessert that night was a family favorite, a twist on the traditional trifle.
 Layers of chocolate cake and cheesecake mousse added up to decadence.
 A slather of vanilla whipped cream was criss-crossed with
caramel ice cream topping, then dotted with a galaxy of white chocolate stars.
 There were second helpings.
 Christmas night was our usual lobster bisque, prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, roasted root vegetables, and Salmon Wellington.
 Creme Brulee finished the meal off with a light note, filled with
 vanilla beans and then torched to crispy perfection.
 I barely got these shots before they disappeared.
Hungry yet?
Now, onto the melee!

 Momma got a new toy from the Minions!
 I get the tools...
 ...while Dad gets the cast iron griddle...
...and the copper and stainless cookware that got me Wife of the Year.
Homegoods RULES.

My theme this year for the children was tabletop games,
and they went full on old school arcade with foozeball, air hockey,
bowling, basketball, ping pong and ladder bolo. 
 I think they'd all forgotten how much fun toys without batteries were!
BUT, I also came up with Android Tablets, so no one went into Technology Shock.
These charge and synch up with the laptops.
 Ninjabread Cookies!
 I was actually seen in something other than black
...another Christmas miracle...
to show off my white topaz necklace and earrings from my loving hubs.
The Redhead loves her sparklies.
 Eventually everyone settled down for movies and a snuggle.
We hope your holidays were as perfect as ours.
Happy Sunday.