Another Great Gift Idea!

Last year this time we were preparing for our much-anticipated family holiday in Japan.  It was difficult to decide on an easy gift idea to give here and in Japan.  Here is last year’s gift idea blog, Easy Gift Idea in case you missed it. This year our holiday travel takes on an entirely different focus. […]

Posted in Christmas, Cooking, Decorating, Design, Family, Grandparents, Mary Sherwood Art Glass | 2 Comments


Just wanted to wish all my friends Happy Valentine’s Day!  Sending hugs and kisses your way!  This a Prickly Pear cactus paddle in the shape of a heart.  You can find love in all kinds of places including the desert! If you still need something sweet (and somewhat healthy) for Valentine’s, try this recipe from […]

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Win a Jar of Prickly Pear Jelly

Let’s do something different this week!  Do you want to win a jar of prickly pear jelly?  Here is your chance. Share this post with a friend and have them sign up to receive our weekly blog post and both of your names will be entered to win an 8 oz. jar of my (freshly […]

Posted in Cooking, Design, Design Wisdom Wednesday, DIY, Mary Sherwood Lifestyles | 4 Comments

Gadgets that Help You Make Beautiful Summer Salads

How do beautiful salads and Paul’s new iphone relate? Here’s the answer. Recently Paul became an iphone convert.   His droid was due to be replaced so he made the switch.  So far no regrets (thank goodness).  So, because both of our phone contacts had expired, I also got a new iphone 5e. Well, what […]

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Recipe for Summer Squash and Carrot Spiralizer Salad

Summer Squash & Carrot Spiralizer Salad Veggies 2 Large Carrots 2 Med. Yellow Squash 1/2 Onion 1 medium to large chopped Tomato Salt and pepper to taste Dressing 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  (can substitute regular balsamic but it colors the noodles) 1T Olive Oil infused with Garlic (regular olive can be substituted) 1T Dijon […]

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Ah, Birthdays!

This week has been a whirlwind starting with the arrival of our son, Jake and his wife, Elif last Thursday to help celebrate both Paul and my birthdays.  We were so pleased to have them visit our new home in Tucson.  So much to do and so little time.  We packed a week’s worth of […]

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Wedding Cake Cheesecake in the Park

Last week you heard about the time we spent with Aaron and Kiori in Scottsdale for their Canal Convergence exhibit.  In just a short five years of marriage they have developed a strong personal and business relationship with their company, Purring Tiger.  They collaborate on their interactive art installations in a remarkable way.  They are […]

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Party Food Etiquette

As you were growing up your parents taught you to be polite and courteous.  Those same rules today can be applied to planning a party menu for those with food allergies or food preferences. Last weekend we hosted our first party in our new home.  It was great to share our new place with neighbors and […]

Posted in Christmas, Cooking, Decorating, Design, Design Wisdom Wednesday, Gardening, Mary's Raves, Party Planning | 7 Comments

Oversized Mirror Headboard-Is this “off the wall”?

About six weeks ago I ask for help with selecting the paint color for our Master Bedroom.  The final decision was Benjamin Moore #647.   Read more about the color selections here:  Help me with my MBR design. So now we are finally pulling it all together.  The wall is painted and the fabrics are […]

Posted in Cooking, Decorating, Design, Design Wisdom Wednesday, DIY, Mary's Raves | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Hippity, Hoppity, Easter’s on Its Way

There may still be a chill in the air, but springtime IS on its way….along with one of my favorite holidays…EASTER! Easter is a time to rejoice, celebrate, and decorate!  Bright combinations of pink, green, blue, and yellow are used to banish the winter blues and brighten our homes both inside and out.  Decorations can […]

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Don’t be a Fruitcake this Christmas!

As a special holiday treat, Chef Yvonne, Y Cook?,  is our Design Wisdom Wednesday guest contributor today for Mary Sherwood Lake Living.  Her tasty recipes are demonstrated and enjoyed frequently at MSLL during her Cooking Classes! Her classes cover a huge range and brings variety to the table! Tis the season to be jolly….and fruity! During the […]

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Dining Alfresco – August is National Picnic Month

August is just a few days away, so make the most of it and take it outside! Here on beautiful Lake Gaston, we have the perfect back-drop for a picnic.  So enjoy National Picnic Month in style! Earlier this year, we discovered a fun website that lists holidays for everyday. It’s been nice to stop […]

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Last Minute Gift Idea – Cranberry Winter Cookie Mix

It’s here, the crunch time before Christmas when you’re checking your list for the 2nd time (or the 20th!), only to find a few people that have been overlooked.  Your shopping budget has already been exceeded and you are out of ideas.  Don’t panic!  Here is an easy, delicious and beautiful gift idea that is […]

Posted in Cooking, Design Wisdom Wednesday, DIY, Ramblings | 3 Comments

Delicious New Cloister Honey

These new honeys are just soooo good I have to share them.  The whipped cinnamon honey is my favorite, but the ghost pepper is a close second for me (starts our sweet and then has an unexpected peppery kick at the end).  For Dixie, she’s all about the Bourbon Honey (great as a glaze on […]

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Celebrate Easter with Style…

At Mary Sherwood Lake Living, we believe that design is not merely your surroundings, but also your lifestyle! In honor of Easter, we’d like to present a medley of tips…. Gingerbread houses are usually thought of as a painstaking process…stir up the gingerbread batter, roll it out, cut out the shapes, bake the individual parts, […]

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An Appetizer to Impress

Throughout the year, we host many special events and serve mouth-watering gourmet appetizers. Here’s one of our favorite recipes by Chef Yvonne to tantalize your taste buds.  Impress your guests.  It’s easy, beautiful and oh so good!   Wasabi Tuna Stack Recipe Ingredients: Wonton Wrappers, one package 1 bag Slaw Mix ½ cup Mayo And Wasabi Mayo […]

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Love is in the Air!

How can we not talk about Valentine’s Day for this week’s Design Wisdom Wednesday? Where did the Valentine’s Day customs come from? Find the answer in this interesting article about the origin of Valentine’s Day. Here are a few of my favorite tidbits taken from this article. It was believed in France and England […]

Posted in Cooking, Design Wisdom Wednesday, Mary's Raves, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Creative Holiday Cooking

With the holidays quickly upon us, everyone is eager to make a meal plan that will provide their family and friends tasty dishes with minimal prep and stress.  This Saturday, December 8th, our favorite local chef Yvonne Hoffman will be having a Home for the Holidays Cooking Class at Mary Sherwood Lake Living at 10 a.m. She will […]

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Soup’s On….

There’s nothing better on a chilly, rainy day in fall than to enjoy a rich, hearty soup or stew, let alone enjoying three different varieties.  Tuesday turned out to be the perfect day for our Warm Up with Soups and Stews Class with Chef Yvonne.   Everyone enjoyed  taste-testing Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo with Baked Rice, […]

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Salad Sensations Class Highlights Gourmet Olive Oil and Vinegars

Mary Sherwood Lake Living raised salads to another level on Monday, September 10th, with the help of chef Yvonne Hoffman and Tisa Lynn, a sales representative for B.R. Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Company. As an alternative to replacing the olive-stained carpets in his home on the Sonoma Valley estate vineyard known as “Olive Hill” […]

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A 3 Pepper Blast Party

WOW-another fun event at MSLL. The food was fabulous, the CAbi fashion was great and fun was had by all.  Thanks Peggy Howard for the fashion and Autumn for the kitchen assistance. I have been (willfully) coerced into publishing the recipes from tonight’s Fun, Food and Fashion event  ASAP. 🙂  One of the girls is […]

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Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce Recipe

In the process of using this recipe for the wedding cake I calculated how many cups of cheesecake batter there are in one recipe. Each recipe make 2 1/2 cups.  In a 9″ springform pan this makes a 2″ high cake including crust. To adjust height of cake add more batter and increase cooking time. […]

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From NC to NYC – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Cheesecake

Just returned from the NYC wedding of my son, Aaron and Kiori.  It was such a beautiful day, beautiful setting and very beautiful wedding!  I have a lot to share about the wedding but Autumn wants a quick article to attach to our newsletter so here is the scoop about the “infamous” wedding cheesecake. The […]

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Hey good looking what ya been cooking?

Cooking classes may seem like an unusal offering for an interior design business. Think again!  What do interior designers do?  They create spaces in which to cook, to entertain, to play, to sleep and to be with family and friends.  To do all of this we have to eat.  (I think you can see where […]

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Chocolate Kiss Cocktail

Chocolate Kiss Cocktail Ingredients: 3 T Godiva Chocolate Liqueur 3 T Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur 1 1/2 T Heavy Cream Chocolate Syrup Pink Sugar Crystals Martini Shaker Directions: Fill shaker 1/2 full with ice cubes Add first three ingredients Shake to Chill Rim chilled glass with chocolate followed by sugar crystals Pour in chocolate liqueur […]

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Sparkle, excitement, shopping, food and friends all in one place at Lake Gaston!

Yesterday we had a crowd of people in and out of our store to take in the “sparkle, excitement, shopping, food and friends” at our annual Christmas Open House.  The “buzz” that circulated the showroom was amazing!  People came for all sorts of reasons. Some came for the chance to learn some quick holiday decorating […]

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Zucchini Bread Gone Awry!!!

This is a red letter event!  You are not going to believe the picture.  Mary (our beloved) decided she was making zucchini bread – after she was too tired to try. Now, do any of you know about zucchini bread?  The list of ingredients is a mile long! So Mary decides, after having dinner with […]

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Women in Need of Sanity-W.I.N.O.S. at Lake Gaston

Women in Need of Sanity-W.I.N.O.S. at Lake Gaston Right now, as I write this blog, I feel like “a women in need of sanity”.  It is very early in the morning and I am up before the sun.  I can hear the birds just waking up.  “No”, I am not going to tell you what […]

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Irish Cooking With Tony

What a fabulous cooking class last Saturday at Mary Sherwood Lake Living! Tony Hall, a noted Lake Gaston cooking enthusiast, presented an information packed 2 hours of Irish Fare with a Southern Flare. Before the program began I asked Tony:  “Who would you like to be today?” His reply:  “I think today I would like to […]

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