Archive for Special Events

Dec
22

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas!

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This year we travel to “Santa” Monica for our Christmas celebrations.  It is one of the few times the immediate Sherwood family is all together. 🙂  This year we will have the joy of Paul’s sister and husband joining us right after Christmas day.

Here is the family picture from last Christmas at the lake house.  I remember this fun time and insisting on the group shot despite objections of “Oh Mom!”

IMG_8766

We are driving to Santa Monica this year.  Close enough not need an airplane ticket. 🙂  I believe our son Jake has a Christmas photo in mind involving two JCW Mini-Coopers.  You’ll just have to wait to see that one.

On another note, my friend, Lori, and I took the hotel crawl to see holiday decorations, particularly two life-size gingerbread houses.  My favorite GB house was at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson to benefit juvenile Diabetes.

This life-size Gingerbread House at Hilton El Conquistador Tucson AZ is truly a labor of love and work of art!

This life-size Gingerbread House at Hilton El Conquistador Tucson AZ is truly a labor of love and work of art!

It is all in the details with the embellishments of this life-size gingerbread house!

It is all in the details with the embellishments of this life-size gingerbread house!

The walls were all made of gingerbread by the resort’s bakers.  It took them 3 weeks to do all the baking.  The decorative details are amazing.

Here is a “little” life-size gingerbread house trivia:

Gingerbread

  • 420 lbs. of flour
  • 420 eggs
  • 12 gallons of molasses & honey

Icing

  • 120 lbs. of egg whites
  • 550 lbs. of powdered sugar
  • 718 lbs. of sugar

Finishing Touches

  • 2.317 gum crops
  • 120 lollipops
  • 600 candy cane
  • 15 lbs. of sprinkles

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Be safe in your travels and enjoy all your family and friends!

Love to all!

Mary

Note: This is the last post until after the New Year! Look forward to a re-cap of our holiday on January 6th.

 

Nov
05

‘Tis the Season to be Tacky!

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'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-bottle-tagIt’s the week of our Christmas Open House here at MSLL! I have been blinded by Christmas lights, covered in glitter, and the bows just keep coming and coming. Whoops!? I’m sorry that was just my tacky sweater! HaHa!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-beer‘Tis the season to be Tacky!  & we are embracing this Tacky trend this holiday season at MSLL! We even have a whole tree dedicated to this Tacky Christmas trend! Why Tacky!? Well because it’s FUN! There are no rules, no guidelines and just about anything works! It brings out the kid in all of us!

The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and family. Special festivities take place and this year Tacky Christmas Sweater parties top the chart as the most popular party theme to host this holiday season.  However, this may require you to wear a tacky sweater that you may not own. NO FEAR! There is even a website now that sells ONLY Tacky Christmas Sweaters! Like I said, this trend is taking over the spotlight!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-koozie

Tacky Christmas Sweaters can be for your beverages too! Like the ones shown here!

Tacky Sweaters can be found at thrift stores, eBay, or if you’re feeling creative construct a one of a kind sweater of your own! I think homemade sweaters are the way to go. Just like homemade Halloween costumes, they always make a better lasting impression. 

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-mini-sweater

Check out these Mini Tacky Christmas Sweater Ornaments from our Tacky Christmas Tree in our Showroom!

Not sure how to create a Tacky Christmas Sweater? Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Start with a good sweater for the base. Bright bold cheerful colors in shades of green or red will work best! Any sweater with an over-the-top print or pattern are great as well.

2. Ornaments are second. These can be found at any dollar store or thrift store. The more unique the better! Stay away from breakable ornaments – this could get messy in the middle of your party, PARTY FOWL!

3. Add a little Flare to your sweater. Sequins, tinsel, shiny bows, garland, what ever your heart desires here!

4.Patches and other appliques can be a quick and easy fix! Hot glue them or even iron-on’s will do the trick! Wah LAH! Your Done!  You have a one of a kind Tacky Christmas Sweater that is sure to be the highlight of the party.

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-christmas-tree-sweaterHere are some of my favorite homemade Tacky Sweaters I’ve come Across Online: 

Christmas Sweater Tree– I have seen this several times, it’s so clever. When she puts her arms above her head her sweater becomes a beautiful Christmas tree.

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-sweater

 

The Abominable Snowman Tacky Sweater- I love this! Rudolph is a classic Christmas movie and this fuzzy guy will steal the show at your next Tacky appearance.

Tacky Couple of Sweaters– Get the Hubby involved! I think this is adorable and even tackier that they match!

'Tis-the-season-to-be-tacky-couple

Which Sweater is your favorite!? Or do you have a Tacky ensemble you would like to share?

We hope to see everyone this Saturday at our Christmas Open House! Seminar beings at 9 AM! Shopping 10 AM! 

Have a Tacky Holiday Season! 

-Dixie K 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Sep
24

Autumn’s Baby “BEE” Shower

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Autumn, her husband Ryan with their surprise guest , Autumn's mom and sister who came all the way from Indiana!

Autumn, her husband Ryan with their surprise guest , Autumn’s mom and sister who came all the way from Indiana!

Buzz! Buzz! This past Saturday we hosted a Baby “BEE” Shower for Autumn and her husband, Ryan who are expecting a little boy this December.  The shower was a BEEautiful sight. Everything came together better than I had imagined. Autumn and Ryan received wonderful gifts and had a surprise visit from Autumn’s mom and sister ALL THE WAY FROM INDIANA! It was a great day and I would like to thank everyone who helped and attended Autumn’s shower.

 Here are some of the highlights from this past Saturday! 

The guest of honor, She loves her sweets!

The guest of honor, She loves her sweets!

How did the “BEE” theme come about? 

Autumn was telling us at lunch that one of her and Ryan’s favorite TV show is Pushing Daisies, where the bumble bee theme derived from.  There are a few quotes the Parents-to-BEE had selected to be placed in the baby’s room which were selected from a few of their favorite episodes.  There is also a custom side table Autumn constructed inspired by a beehive with a tiny bee painted on the top. To see Autumn’s Complete Nursery Click Here!  

Preparing for the Baby "BEE" shower

Preparing for the Baby “BEE” shower

Now, we have the BEE theme… What’s next?

When planning a baby shower having a theme can BEE a great way to give the party a direction. This helps when searching for party favors, decor, your menu, etc. A theme can be anything, the sky is the limit here! All themes don’t have to be so defined, use your imagination here! Something more personal for the mom-to-BEE gives the party that special touch.

Mini Lemon Tarts with Lemon candies striped with chocolate icing to resemble bees!

Mini Lemon Tarts with Lemon candies striped with chocolate icing to resemble bees!

I spent A LOT of time on Pinterest. It’s my go-to place for inspiration and to really see what is out there. In my search, the “BEE” theme seemed to be quite popular. This was a plus because I had lots of inspiration to draw from. Creating a story board is a great way to collect ideas for your party, you can do this on Pinterest or simply collect pictures from magazines. This will also help share your vision with your team as well!

Autumn-baby-shower-scribble

If you haven’t tried Scribble Cloths, your missing out! We used the large chalk board runner for our tablescape. Using a stencil and chalk markers we were able to add bees to our table and cute honeycombs for an added detail.

It’s important to have a team who are there to help you every step of the way to execute the perfect party. Yvonne, Peggy, Lu, Mary and I all contributed to Autumn’s shower. It was great having such a wonderful team to work with. Everyone contributed and no one felt like they did very much, which means a great deal. You don’t want anyone feeling like they did all the work, it’s a team effort! Thank You ladies for all your help, You are one in a million!

Baby Bumble Bee. 

Guest were asked to sign a white matted picture frame which served as our guest book.

Guest were asked to sign a white matted picture frame which served as our guest book.

As I mentioned, adding personal touches is a great way to make the day even more special than it already is! We knew Autumn’s favorite soup is clam chowder. Chef Yvonne created a fabulous clam chowder that was served in mini bread bowls. Absolutely delicious!  Autumn likes sweets too! Autumn would say, “If it’s a cookie it should taste like a cookie!” We added the candy bar and chocolate fountain to the menu for her love of sweets. A bumble bee diaper cake served as our table’s center piece with other delightful bites centered around the BEE theme, complete with mini cupcakes with small bees and sunflowers, chex mix made with honeycomb cereal, and mini lemon curd tarts with bee accents.

Our gorgeous tablescape

Our gorgeous tablescape

Autumn-baby-shower-honey-favors

Mini honey jars, our favors for the baby shower

Baby BEE diaper cake

Baby BEE diaper cake

To complete the “BEE” theme, our party guests received mini jars of honey. We added a custom sticker to the top, with a little bee saying, “It’s a boy!” The mini jars were purchased from one of our vendors, Cloister Honey, a North Carolina honey company.

Autumn and Ryan recently ventured home to Indiana where her friends and family hosted a baby shower as well. At that time, they did not know they were having a boy. So for this shower there were a few necessities for the baby boy that were needed. Also a shortage of diapers was also mentioned! Even though we wanted to have a shower that our clients and customers could also partake in, we did not want them to feel like they needed to bring a gift. A hug and well wishes would have suited just fine! But, we included in our invite that if they must bring a gift, diapers and story books were welcome. The diaper cake contributed to the collection of diapers as well! I love the idea of using books as cards and signing the inside of the book with a surprise message.

Autumn-baby-shower-book-2

Books! Books! Books for the parents-to-bee to read to their new little one.

This shower was certainly Buzz-worthy. It was one the best I have been a part of! It was also great to see the support of our customers, and we have the best of the best! The love and support from our community is fantastic. Thank You again to those who came and spent their Saturday afternoon with us! It was a great time with great friends. We can’t wait to meet the little fellow! Congrats Autumn & Ryan!

 

 

Do you have an experience hosting baby showers or attended one you would like to share? We would love to hear about it! Share with us in the comments below!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

-Dixie K

 

 Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Jul
23

Interior Designer or Party Planner?

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2014 has kept this girl busy. As Mary would say: “How do you even keep up with your social calendar, I would go crazy!”  You could say I’m a bit of a social butterfly. I love parties, entertaining and being around friends and family. My mom has six siblings. Four of them are my next door neighbors. Naturally we have lots of family events and my house is party central.

This year so far I have helped host four baby showers, a bridal shower,  served as maid-of-honor and attended several other weddings, birthday parties and cookouts. We are only at the halfway point of 2014! I am also a bridesmaid in another wedding in September. I am looking forward to helping host a baby shower for our very own, Autumn Wenger, due in December! However, I’m not complaining! It’s my next favorite thing to do besides designing.

I wanted to share some of the highlights and advice I could give from my experience with these parties. It’s nice to be behind the scenes, I always take mental notes of “what would I have done differently.”

1. Focal Points-something that catches the guest attention

It’s important to have a focal point at your event. This helps bring a “wow” factor to your party. You are certainly welcome to have more than one focal point depending on the size of your venue. Focal points come in all different shapes and sizes. A focal point could be the wedding cake,  a floral arrangement centerpiece or a rustic chandelier placed above the dance floor.

Interior-Designer-Or-Party-Planner-Focal-Points

My Aunt and I created the Wagon Wheel/Mason Jar Chandelier for my cousin’s rustic country wedding this past April. We also created the crystal silver tree centerpiece. It really brought the “Wow” factor and romantic atmosphere to the wedding.

2. Personal Touches-Additional touches that bring out the qualities of guests of honor

I would highly recommend this for your next party or event. Personal touches are a great way to add a special touch to make your event more memorable. Your guest will recognize and appreciate that you went that extra mile adding these into your planning and decorating.

The charming young man holding the sign is my little cousin Chance. He stole the show when he walked down the isle as ring bearer holding these signs.  I love the bottom/center sign. The hors d'oeuvre placed on this table were in memory of past loved ones who couldn't attend this wedding. so special! The fruit bassinet was created in honor of the future Dawson twins and lastly I created the shadow window frame for my cousin's wedding in April.

The charming young man holding the sign is my little cousin Chance. He stole the show when he walked down the aisle as ring bearer holding these signs. I love the bottom/center sign. The hors d’oeuvre placed on this table were in memory of past loved ones who couldn’t attend this wedding. So special! The fruit bassinet was created in honor of the future Dawson twins and lastly I created the shadow window frame for my cousin’s wedding in April.

3. Recruit A Team-Support system

No matter how small of a party you are planning, try to have a team. It’s okay to have a team of one or many, as long as you have someone by your side. I have been very fortunate to have been apart of some amazing teams this year already. It’s always nice to have a second opinion and a second set of eyes. Even if your teammate has possibly never planned a party, surely they have been to one. Their past experiences combined with your expertise makes a great team to help you create an amazing event. You will be glad you had these people to help you along the way.

Cheers to having an amazing team and group of friends to help create these memorable events with friends and family! Again, having a team is a plus when party planning, Nothing wrong with opening a bottle of wine and brainstorming ideas!

Cheers to having an amazing team and group of friends to help create these memorable events. Again, having a team is a plus when party planning, there’s nothing wrong with opening a bottle of wine and brainstorming ideas!

4. Don’t loose sight-Try and remember “Why” you are doing this.

Sometimes the stress of projects can get to us. It’s hard to find time to plan these events between our normal daily routines. It can become stressful and tiring. However, it’s okay to take a break! We need to sometimes take a step back. I have been told many times in design school to walk away from the drafting table, go do something fun for a few hours and then come back to it. It’s almost like getting a second look or putting on a new set of eyes. One more thing you should do is take a moment and think about the people you are having the event for and the purpose. I’m sure there is a special reason behind the madness.  This can usually help push you through.

Here are a few of my reasons "Why" I go the extra mile! When you think of all the hours, late nights, hot glue guns burns, and the million-and-one emails, these people make it all worth while.

Here are a few of my reasons “Why” I go the extra mile! When you think of all the hours, late nights, hot glue gun burns, and the million-and-one emails, these people make it all worth while.

 5. Last but no least-ENJOY!

Once the party planning has come to an end and it’s now the day of your event. However, your behind the scenes duties may not be completely just yet. Please, remember to take a moment and enjoy the event you helped create! This is where you take all of your hard work in. This is important! There’s nothing more satisfying than realizing your efforts are appreciated. Trust me, the smiles you have put on your loved ones faces are a priceless, picture perfect memory. The months and prep for these parties that only last a few hours always seem to go by way too fast! So take a moment and enjoy them!

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of some of the parties and events I have helped create! Party planning is my second love right behind design. However, my design degree sure comes in handy. I look forward to the other parties and events 2014 has in store! If you ever need advice or help creating your memorable evening, don’t hesitate to ask!

-Dixie K

 Mary Sherwood Lake Living-Working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!

May
21

Let’s Remember

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Let's Remember-Flag

Memorial Day weekend is approaching! I thought it would be nice to take a moment from design tips and reflect on how important this weekend really is. Our upcoming extra long weekend as we all know is a great time to visit the lake and enjoy outdoor activities with friends and family. It also marks the beginning of our lake season. We love welcoming back our lake lovers!

However, this Memorial Day weekend we should take a moment from our busy schedule to remember those who have fought and lost their lives for our freedom.  Without these sacrifices this would not be possible. In honor of these fallen heroes, Mary Sherwood Lake Living has partnered with the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation to organize the donation and handout of 250 long stem roses on Saturday May, 24th.

Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Click the image to learn more about the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

This is our 1st year participating in this event! We are inviting anyone who would like to receive a long stem rose to honor a Lake Gaston/Roanoke Valley Veteran to come by our store this Saturday, May 24th  from 10 AM – 4 PM to pick them up.

In addition to our efforts this Memorial Day, Mary Sherwood Lake Living has arranged for 150 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery to receive roses in remembrance of our fallen troops. Donations are also accepted in support of the Roanoke Valley Veterans Museum.

Well, I couldn’t totally keep myself away from design. Have you ever considered how or who our war memorials were designed by? I recall a presentation  by a fellow classmate at Radford University about the Vietnam War Memorial designed by Maya Lin. Maya Lin was only twenty one and an architect student at Yale University when her design was chosen out of 1441 submissions in a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Maya Lin Design Presentation Board

Maya Lin’s Design Presentation Board and Steve Oles rendered perspectives

The v-shaped black granite wall she designed has the names of over 57,000 fallen soldiers carved in chronological order. One side of the wall points to the Lincoln Memorial and the other points to the Washington Monument.   The monument gradually descends into the earth to a depth of 10.1′ and reascends to a  height of about 8″ where the entrance to the memorial begins.  This concept was to create a wound in the earth  which symbolizes the loss of our soldiers.

Memorial Day, Vietnam War Memorial, 2014

Vietnam War Memorial

Her thought process and symbolism behind the design is truly remarkable. She even chose the granite stone for its reflective surface, so when you gaze at the wall you see your own reflection and the surroundings reminding you what these fallen soldiers sacrificed their life for. Lin’s design in 2007 was ranked # 10 on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. I have yet to see this monument in person but it’s on my bucket list.  I hope everyone enjoys this holiday weekend and remembers to take a moment to understand why this holiday it so important!

Happy Memorial Day!

 -Dixie K 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living- Lake Gaston

 

Lake Gaston First Annual Oscar’s Cocktail Party to Benefit 

Operation: Prom Princess

Oscar, party, awards, lake gaston, benefit

March 1, 2014

5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Admission: $10 to benefit Operation: Prom Princess

Please join us for a fun evening as we celebrate the glitz and glamour of

the annual Oscar’s Awards in Lake Gaston style!

Come “dressed to impress” for your red carpet entrance or dress like your

favorite movie celebrity or character.

Prize categories are:

Best Celebrity Look Alike

Best Red Carpet Attire

Funniest or Most Creative Movie Related Costume

Special Awards for:

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Also, all guests’ names will be entered into a drawing for “BEST” MSLL Product Awards.

Not interested in special attire, come casual and enjoy the food, fun

and humorous awards presentation.

In conjunction with the Lake Gaston Junior Women’s Club we will be collecting gently used prom attire and monetary contributions to donate to

Operation: Prom Princess.

The prom dress collection is underway.  Please have the gowns dry cleaned, if possible.

Deadline for donating the dresses is March 1!

Our goal is to raise $1000 dollars to donate to this Lake Gaston Junior Women’s Club project.

What is Operation: Prom Princess?

A pivotal point in any girl’s high school career:  their prom.  No girl should be deprived of this experience because of financial reasons.

The Lake Gaston Junior Women’s Club has formed Operation: Prom Princess.  We collect new and gently used prom gowns, then redistribute to area high school students who could not afford to otherwise attend their prom.

We are a nonprofit organization; the event is run by the LGJWC and volunteers.  For more information please visit the LKJWC website at http://lakegastonjuniors.org/

The Movie Themed Menu

 will include:

 A popcorn bar by Autumn

 Movie inspired appetizers by Chef Yvonne.

To buy tickets for this event or make a donations go to:

Event Registration Online for LKG Oscar’s Party to Benefit Operation: Prom Princess powered by Eventbrite
Categories : Special Events
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Nov
26

Happy Thanksgiving from MSLL – 2013

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From all of us here at Mary Sherwood Lake Living, we’d like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

PARTY  PARTY  PARTY!

We had great event week!  To get ready for two special gatherings, we had lots of party prep to do.  The team of Mary Sherwood Lake Living worked hard to make it all come together!  Yeah, team!

On Thursday evening, we hosted the Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours.  On a wet, rainy evening about 65 people came out to socialize and sample wonderful food by Chef Yvonne of Y Cook.

On Saturday evening, we threw a thank you bash for our loyal customers and friends.  We are very thankful for all our star customers that help us shine as one of Home Accents Today magazine’s Top 50 Retail Stars for 2013.  Once again the MSLL team and Chef Yvonne made it all happen.

Here is a video of the quick and so easy floral arrangements we made for the tables.

Thanks to everyone who supported us.  It was great fun having you all!

If you missed the parties here is a snapshot of the events!

FANTASTIC FOOD PREP UNDER THE DIRECTION OF CHEF YVONNE!

FANTASTIC FOOD PREP UNDER THE DIRECTION OF CHEF YVONNE!

QUICK AND EASY FLOWER ARRANGING!

QUICK AND EASY FLOWER ARRANGING!

PARTY FESTIVITIES!

PARTY FESTIVITIES!

If you were able to attend either of these events, what was your favorite part?

Thanks again!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle! 

 

 

May
14

Mom Memories

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It’s ironic how, as mothers, we strive so hard to make the big moments monumental, but it’s the smallest things that seem to make the biggest impressions.  This past Saturday at our Annual Mother’s Day Brunch Event, we asked our moms to share their favorite mom memory.  Below are some of our faves:

“Even though my mama died over 40 years ago, when I was a new bride, I still remember her telling me how to do something (clean the floor, make a cake, help a neighbor).  Her love lives on in my memory and in my life.”  ~ Melinda Harris

“Our mother-daughter weekends, plus just about any time we spend together.”  ~ Paula Greene

“My favorite memory of my mother is when she surprised me at school with balloons on my birthday.  Then she took me out to dinner when I was 7.  I love my mom!”  ~ Victoria Fahnestock

“When my son was small, we would take him out on the boat and he would go to sleep.  So Peaceful!”  ~ Sharon Lubbers

“My daughter told my husband’s boss that I always parked in handicapped and returned milk we drank.  The truth…I had foot surgery and parked in handicapped and the milk I had bought was sour.”  ~ Linda Webb

“I loved how my mom used to dirty every pot, pan and dish in the kitchen and my sister and I always had clean-up duty!” ~ Kathy Hayes

 

mom, mother's day

In addition to our customer’s favorite memories, we have memorable moments of our own.

“I will always remember waiting to the last minute to do a paper or a project in school, and my mom continuously supplying a list of “howabouts” to help get me motivated!”   ~ Michelle Saunders

“There are so many amazing moments with my mom and how inspirational she has been, but a big one that comes to mind is how she broke her leg while chaperoning a school roller skating party.  I begged her to get out and skate, not thinking about how she wasn’t wearing the appropriate socks.  Panty hose and skates are not a good combo!  Thanks mom for always being there, good times and bad!”  ~ Autumn Wenger

“My mom was such an inspiration to all.  My brother would say she never met a stranger.  Even into her nineties she still made friends (i.e. flirted) with the life guard at the pool or the check out guy at the grocery store.  Everyone was her friend!  I am so lucky to have had a loving, generous, happy woman as my role model and mom.  Miss you Mom!”  ~Mary Sherwood

 

God bless all the moms in our lives!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Design, Special Events
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Mar
14

Hope Filled Handbags for Fashion

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MSLL Spring Fashion Show and

Hope Filled Handbag Event

Thursday, March 28th, 6-8 PM

Hope filled handbags, women's benefit ideas, women's shelter donation

We had an amazing response to our last event to benefit Hannah’s Place!
Let’s see if we can get even more!

Donation Admission:

“Nearly New” Handbags  and/or Toiletry Items

See the latest styles of casual fashion, shoes and accessories.  Help us support this great cause.  “Nearly New” Handbags will be filled with personal toiletry items and donated to Hannah’s Place, Inc., a non-profit women’s shelter in Roanoke Rapids.  Look below for lists of needed toiletries.

If you cannot attend the event, donations may be dropped off before April 11th, 2013.

Toiletry  needs for Hannah’s Place:

Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Mouthwash
Shampoo
Soap
Sanitary napkins
Lotion
Comb
Brush
Shower Cap
Deodorant

Cash Donations Also Accepted

Thank you for all your help – there’s no donation too small.

We’d love to hear your comments and questions about this wonderful cause, so leave a message below.

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!

Categories : Showroom, Special Events
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Feb
13

Love is in the Air!

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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. http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

Here are a few of my favorite tidbits taken from this article.

Valentine's Day, love, birds

It was believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Here are a few easy ways to show your loved ones how much you love them on Valentine’s Day.

Start Valentine’s Day with a special breakfast.  Serve heart shaped pancakes topped with thin slices of roasted pork tenderloin and Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Wine Jelly.  Embellish the plate with fresh strawberries.  It’s pretty and oh so tasty.

pancake, heart shaped pancake, Cherry Shiraz Jelly, strawberries

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

 

If chocolate is the way to your lover’s heart here is a simple recipe for truffles.  Make ahead, refrigerate and impress your loved ones and friends!

chocolate, truffles, recipe

Chocolate Truffles

For you die-hard chocolate lovers, here’s a treat: the recipe for to-die-for truffles. Go ahead… enjoy!

1 (8-oz.) package fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Cocoa powder (optional)

Combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and extract in a bowl; freeze mixture 30-60 minutes. Remove from freezer and form into 1″ balls; roll in cocoa powder, if desired. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Makes 40 truffles. Nutritional values per truffle: 60 calories and 1 gram fat.

Heart disease, Go Red, Heart, donation American Heart AssociationA wonderful way to recognize a friend or spouse on Valentine’s Day is by making a contribution to the American Heart Association.  This is the 10th year the AHA has celebrated “Wear Red Day”.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. It kills more women than all cancers combined.  Donations support medical research, awareness, education and community programs to help women live longer, heart-healthy lives.

What ever way you celebrate Valentine’s Day put a little romance in your life.  Finish off this special day with a Chocolate Kiss Martini!

Roses, chocolate, chocolate kiss cocktail

Flowers, chocolate and romance!

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

Ice

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 mix

Garnish with a kiss or a strawberry on a pick

Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Dec
20

Family and My Christmas

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I am getting ready to travel to one of my favorite places, “Santa” Monica, because that is where I will share Christmas with both our sons and two daughters-in-love.  It should be a great week!  Our times together involve a lot of relaxing, eating and sharing stories with the newer members of our family.  It doesn’t matter where we are, we always find these times together so special.

Last night reminded me of what an incredible acquired family I have right here at Lake Gaston.  We had a Christmas dinner at our house for all the MSLL family.  The wonderful, talented people who surrounded me are truly amazing.  It makes it such a pleasure to come to work each and every day.

Paul, Autumn, Lu, Michelle, Peggy and Yvonne thanks so much!

The rest of my acquired family is every one of you who has supported us, shopped in our showroom, cooked in our new kitchen and asked us to help make your home a comfortable, family place.  We have gotten to know you and your family and friends.  The circle just keeps getting bigger. Thank you for enlarging our family!

Make this a holiday to remember with your family whether acquired or by nature.

Here are a few pictures of our MSLL Christmas party.

Christmas, table setting, centerpiece, place settings, napkins, greenery

The Table is Ready!

Christmas,place setting, napkins, twelve days of Christmas, napkin holiday decoration

Each place with a Twelve Days of Christmas glass so all can sing!

Christmas, place settings, napkins, snowflake ornament

Napkins embellished with snowflake ornaments for guests to take home!

Party, acquired family, cocktails

Gathering together!

Holiday dinner, candlelight, friends, family

Enjoying a fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne of Y Cook!

Food, Y Cook, scallops, cured beef tenderloin

The incredible food prepared by Chef Yvonne.

Menu, Y Cook

Our menu by Chef Yvonne and topped off by Steve Hoffman’s “melt in your mouth” Cheesecake with Cherry Zabaglione Sauce. WOW!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Mary

 

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

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Nov
15

Soup’s On….

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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, Shrimp and Crab Imperial Stew, and Potato and Leek Soup.   In honor of the unofficial taste test tally, we’re including the recipe below for the taste winner!

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless chicken (bite size pieces)
  • 1 c. finely chopped onions
  • 1 c. finely chopped green peppers
  • ¾ c. finely chopped celery
  • 1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground red peppers
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 7 c. chicken stock
  • 1 lb. Andouille smoked sausage or smoked kielbasa (bite size pieces)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic

Rub a generous amount of garlic powder, red pepper, and salt on chicken and let stand for 30 minutes.

Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a plastic bag. Add chicken and coat. Reserve remaining flour. In a large skillet, heat 1 ½ inches of oil until very hot. Fry chicken until browned and meat is done. Drain on paper towels. Remove all but ½ c. of oil, leaving the scraps in bottom.

Place pan over high heat. Using a metal whisk, stir in reserved flour (½ cup). Cook, whisking constantly until roux is a dark red brown to black, but be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and add vegetables, stirring until roux stops getting darker. Return pan to low heat and cook until vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, place stock in 5 ½ quart pot and brink to a boil. Add roux by spoonfuls to boiling stock, stirring until dissolved. Reduce heat, add sausage and minced garlic. Simmer 45 minutes uncovered. Add the chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 We, at Mary Sherwood Lake Living, hope you enjoy the fall and winter months savoring a big pot of warm soup.  As quoted by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Only the true in heart can make a good soup.”  Give it a try!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Categories : Cooking, Special Events
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Sep
22

Company C Launch Party!

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Mary Sherwood Lake Living is excited about our upcoming Company C Furniture Launch Party on Saturday, September 29th from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Started in a garage by Chris and Walter Chapin in 1994, Company C is now a premier design studio and leading producer of exceptional home furnishings.  Company C has established itself as a top manufacturer of distinctive rugs, bedding, furniture, decorative accessories and fabrics.

Company C, sofa, launch, party, furniture

Company C products are well-recognized by their bold color palettes and lyrical patterns and we are pleased to introduce their great new furniture line that coordinates with the colorful Company C rugs.  The line includes custom headboards, bedding, chairs, sofas, and ottomans.

Company C, bedding, headboard, comforter

The launch party will include a visit from our area Company C sales representative, a raffle for a Company C 2’6″ x 8″ runner, and light refreshments.  In addition, we are offering a 15% discount on products from the furniture line through Oct 6.

Please come join the fun and experience the bright, colorful, and unique style of furnishings that Company C and Mary Sherwood Lake Living have to offer!

 Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Sep
18

The Results Are In…

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The results are in for the Mary Sherwood Lake Living Photo Contest!

Contestants shared photos of those special items they found at Mary Sherwood Lake Living that changed their lives, made them smile when they looked at it, or completed their home, look, or menu.  Then readers voted for their favorite photo beginning September 3rd and ending September 17th.

The winners of the contest, along with their entries, are listed below:

First PlaceWinner – Joanne Yarwood – Uttermost Cows – “My favorite treasures from Mary Sherwood Lake Living – a set of 3 cows by Uttermost, here seen grazing on our favorite area rug, also from Mary!”

photo, contest, cow, winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runner-Up 1 – Heidi Blodgett – Fire Extinguisher Wind Chime – “I found this really cool wind chime made out of a fire extinguisher at Mary’s.”

photo, contest, fire, extinguisher, runner-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runner-Up 2 – Sandra Shearin – Sandra’s Barstools – “Every morning for at least 10 to 12 years, (and many times through-out the day) I am reminded of Mary Sherwood as I enter my kitchen. Saw them in her shop and knew right away they were exactly what I wanted. These barstools have survived 2 kitchen remodels – countertops, cabinets and backsplashes changed but the stools are still remained. They just seemed like old friends and always seemed to fit with the new. Dinners with friends, conversations while I cook, real estate transactions, – and oh yes, so many great experiences with 3 wonderful grandchildren who always did and still do think they are the “coolest stools to spin around in”! My stools have made my kitchen the central gathering place in my house from daily meals to entertaining – from work projects to fun get togethers. If these stools could talk what a story they could tell! They have served us well and plans are that they probably will become an heirloom right where they are!!”

photo, contest, bar, stool, barstool, runner-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runner-Up 3 – Kathy Hayes – “This is my grandaughter’s first visit to the lake. We love the Lake Gaston pillow we bought from Mary 2 years ago!!!!”

photo, contest, cuties, lake gaston, runner-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to all of our winners and a big thank you to all of our contestants!  Please keep watching Mary Sherwood Lake Living posts in the future….more contests are on the way!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!

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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” for the 140-year old Picholine trees that graced the property, Bruce Cohn began pressing the unique olives, inspiring a California olive oil Renaissance. As if managing The Doobie Brothers for over 30 years and starting the B.R. Cohn Estate Winery in 1984 didn’t keep Bruce busy enough, a new family business was inadvertently born.  In agreement with our own “professional” taste test, www.consumerreports.org named B. R. Cohn as one of six highly rated oils with a “Very Good” status.

Yvonne showcased the B.R. Cohn gourmet wine vinegars in several of her recipes including a Flatbread Salad, an Asian Salad, a traditional Caesar Salad, and a refreshing Watermelon Salad.

watermelon, salad, gourmet, vinegar

Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups watermelon cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 4 ounces feta or goat cheese (Yvonne recommends an herbed goat cheese)
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto cut into thin strips
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar (manufactured by B.R. Cohn)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil or other unflavored oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salad greens
  • 1/4 cup roasted nuts (Yvonne recommends pistachios)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. In shaker bottle, mix Champagne vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper. Shake well and put aside.
  2. In salad bowl, put greens, prosciutto, salt and pepper, toss with a small amount of dressing, enough to coat, but not drip.
  3. Plate with greens first, then cheese, and then watermelon, top with the rest of dressing.
  4. Add other salad items as you like.

Recipe by Yvonne of Y Cook

Check our calendar for upcoming  cooking and community events.  Registration is required to reserve your seat!

Hope to cook with you soon!

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle!


Categories : Cooking, Special Events
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Aug
03

What’s Red and Walks Over Water?

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The Walking Red

What’s red and can walk over water?  The MSLL Walking Red Team at the annual O’Sail CrossingGo team!

The annual O’Sail event, The Crossing, is quickly approaching.  August 11 is this year’s date.  It is a great family event.  You can swim, paddle, float or walk across the lake. Pick your pleasure!

Several years ago I wanted to be more a part of the Crossing. I chose to stay high and dry and walk the bridge. Collecting a few friends we created the Walking Red Team.  So now is the time to join us to walk over the water of Lake Gaston.  Wear something red to be part of our team.  We will meet at 8:30 at The Point side of Eaton’s Ferry Bridge.

You will need to pre-register on line, www.osail.org  Entries are $20 pre-register, and $25 day of event. All entries include a T-shirt and refreshments at the finish line provided by the Food Lion.

Join the fun and support the community services supported by O’Sail!!!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living, Lake Gaston, The Crossing, Walking Red Team

MSLL Walking Red Team, 2012

The Crossing, Lake Gaston, Drugco,

Team DrugCo with their water vehicle, 2011

Paddle boat, Miss Daisy, Lake Gaston, The Crossing

Drivin' Miss Daisy across the lake-by her son, 2011

Hope you will join us for the fun!

Thanks!

Mary

Call if you need more info:  252-586-2437

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Comments (1)
Mar
22

A 3 Pepper Blast Party

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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 dying to recreate the party appetizers for an upcoming event.  Here is the simple, throw together, easy party menu.

It all begins with one key ingredient…3 Pepper Blast Dip

dip, pepper dip, party, food, fun, easy recipes

Menu

Toasted Flatbread Wrap Chips with Magic Unicorn Salt

3 Pepper Blast Cheese Dip

Chicken and Cheese Roll-up Wraps

Puff Pastry Peach Cobbler Tarts with Vanilla Ice Cream  (recipe not included)

 

Recipes:

Toasted Flatbread Wrap Chips with Magic Unicorn Salt

Use the flatbread wrap of your choice (available in the deli section of our local FL).

Lightly coat one side of the wrap with seasoned vegetable spray or a light brushing of olive oil

Add a light sprinkle of the flavored Magic Unicorn salt (remember it’s magic!)

If you are out of “magic”,  any salt or seasoning of your choice will work

Cut into squares with a serrated knife or pizza cutter.  The squares do not have to be perfect.

Place on parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Bake 10 – 15 min at 350 degrees.  Ovens will vary so at 10 minutes check for crispness and light browning.  Do not let them get too brown. Let cool on baking sheet.

One flatbread wrap makes approx. 36 chips.

Serve with 3 Pepper Cheese Dip.

 

3 Pepper Cheese Dip

8 oz  Cream Cheese or Reduced Fat Cream Cheese

8 oz  White Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1  12 oz jar of 3 Pepper Blast Dip

Let cream cheese soften.

Grate white cheddar cheese.

Combine the cheeses and the 3 Pepper Blast Dip.

Serve with Toasted Flatbread Wrap Chips with Magic Unicorn Salt.

Ingredients can be cut in half to reduce quantity of dip.

Full recipe serves a crowd.

 

Chicken and Cheese Mini Roll-up Wraps

Flat bread wraps

3 Pepper Blast Cheese Dip (from recipe above)

4 Chicken tenders lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed and finely chopped

½ cup grated white cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese

Optional extras:  chopped cilantro, green onions, sliced avocados

Spread one side of a flat bread wrap with 3 Pepper Blast Cheese Dip, keeping dip within about 1” of the edge of the wrap.  Layer on top of dip about 2 tablespoons of chopped chicken, sprinkle with grated cheese.  Roll the wrap and secure with 4 mini skewers or bamboo knot picks.  Trim unfilled ends, if necessary.  Carefully cut remainder into four equal pieces.

Place on parchment covered baking sheet.  Drizzle each mini roll up with 1 teaspoon salsa and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 -15 minutes.

Garnish with more salsa, if desired.

Each wrap makes 4 mini roll-ups.  Repeat as needed.

 

Have a blast at your 3 Pepper Blast Party!

 

 

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Mar
14

Does Pot Man need clothes???

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pots, garden, pot man, party, kit

Mini Pot Man

As we collect all our parts for the “build your own” mini pot man party I have been contemplating  whether  to “dress” my pot man with some type of attire.  Perhaps he needs some color with painted stripes or a collage of glued on fabric scraps.

What do you think?

Join us Saturday March 24 at 10 AM to create your own pot man, clothed or naked!!!

E-mail or call to register:

autumn@marysherwood.com

252-586-2437

 

 

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Nov
21

Be Thankful Food Drive

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As we are preparing for a wonderful Christmas holiday with family and friends we should take a minute to remember that not everyone will be able to have a bountiful feast.  Our “Be Thankful” FOOD DRIVE is one way we can help.  We have selected the Bethlehem Food Pantry of the First United Methodist Church of Roanoke Rapids as our benefactor.  We will be collecting food items through Dec 21.  We challenge you to help us reach our goal of at least 25 bags of the twelve food items listed below.

Here are a few facts about this ministry and the items they particularly need.

The Bethlehem Food Pantry

food drive, thankful, holiday,

Did you know that from April 7, 2009 to December 22, 2010:

We have helped a total of 805 families in the Roanoke valley?

These families consist of 2024 individuals, including 647 children under the age of 18?

These families also include 239 seniors over the age of 62. In 2009 we served 240 families averaging 58 per month.

In 2010, we gave 2403 bags of food to 719 hungry families in great need, averaging 200 per month.

This past year, The Panty has distributed $27,109 worth of canned/dry food, plus hundreds of donated items to our clients
The present cost per family is approximately $11.  Each family receives 1 bag of food consisting of:

1 box of cereal

1 can of spaghetti sauce

1 box of spaghetti

3 cans of vegetables

1 can baked beans

1 box of saltine crackers

1 can of fruit

1 jar of peanut butter

1 box of Mac & cheese

1 6-pack Ramen Noodles

Other non-perishable will also be accepted.

Thank you for your contributions!

Wishing you a very joyous holiday!

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Oct
05

Pink Pumpkin Party at Lake Gaston

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What is a Pink Pumpkin Party? It is a party to honor and remember all the women in our lives who have fought the fight of breast cancer.  Saturday, October 15th, we’ll paint pumpkins pink, fix some pink wine-a-ritas, eat some pink food and help to raise money for breast cancer research. What could be a better way to help a cause that has touched us all.  This event is dedicated to my mom, Frances Peed, who was a 20 year breast cancer survivor!pumpkins, pink, breast cancer ribbon,benefit, lake gaston, mary sherwood lake living

Traci, Autumn and Mary will be busy painting pink pumpkins. Ribbon, paint, and markers will be available for you to decorate your own pumpkin if you like. The small pre-painted pink pumpkins or the pumpkins you decorate will be sold for a $10 donation to Susan G Komen for the Cure.  We will even have a special pink pumpkin filled with lots of MSLL goodies to be raffled off to raise more contributions.

One other item we’ll have available is Say I Won’t Beat Cancer t-shirts. This company is owned by Brett Walker, Joyce Walker’s son. (Yes, our Lake Gaston Weight Watchers lady) His company routinely supports good causes like this. We will have a very limited supply on hand. If you would like to pre-order a t-shirts or tank for $15.00 in your size please contact us.t-shirt, say I won't, cancer, benefit, lake gaston, mary sherwood lake living

Don’t miss the fun!

Saturday, October 15, 11 am – 3 pm.

You might take home the special pink pumpkin!

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Sep
05

Help Us Fill “Hope Filled” Handbags!

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Good day to all our Mary Sherwood Lake Living family!

What a beautiful Labor day weekend!  We hope everyone is begining to recover from the power outages, downed trees, structural damage and spoiled food.  With this in mind we want to do something to help a local agency.  This may not relate to the Hurricane Irene disaster but it does help with an often silent domestic crisis.  Everyday women and children are searching for a way to escape domestic abuse and violence.  Hannah’s Place, a non-profit shelter in Roanoke Rapids, is there to help.

Our event “Hope Filled Handbag Exchange” will benefit Hannah’s Place.  When a woman arrives at the shelter they receive a handbag filled with personal toiletries.  Our goal is to collect and fill 30 or more handbags to donate to Hannah’s Place.

To kick off our efforts please join us for wine and appetizers from 5 to 7 PM, Thursday, September 22.  A representative from Hannah’s House will be present to tell us more about this worthy cause.

To thank you for your “nearly new” handbag donation to Hannah’s Place you will receive a $10 MSLL gift card to use towards a new fall handbag or fashion accessory of your choice.  We will also collect toiletries to stock the handbags.  A list of the needed toiletries is below

Needed Toiletry Items:
Toothbrush                   Toothpaste               Mouthwash
Shampoo                          Soap                Sanitary napkins
Lotion                             Comb                         Brush
Shower Cap                  Deodorant

We hope you will join us on September 22 for some fun and socializing to support a worthy cause.

Mary

Click here to check out our video:     MSLL Girls-Out with the Old…In with the New!

handbags, hope, women's shelter, lake gaston, mary sherwood, event, appetizers, wine

Hope and Handbags!

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Aug
10

Fishy Things are Happening at Lake Gaston

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What is so fishy?  There are a number of strange “albino fish” in our warehouse crying to be embellished!  When will these fish be ready to start making appearances all around the Roanoke Valley?  Read on to learn more.

albino rockfish

Albino rockfish desperately needing some color!

On Saturday, August 13, at 11 AM watch these fish be transformed by two very talented artists, Traci Watson (yes, our staff member) and visiting artist, Madison Latimer, after the 7th Annual O’Sail Crossing event.   Join us for fun, food, art and more!!!!

Traci Watson is a talented artist exploring many aspects of the decorative arts.  She is skilled in decorative painting, murals, faux finishing, furniture painting and custom art work.  Her love is shabby chic and re-purposing of materials.  By day she is our showroom sales and merchandising coordinator.   By night she is an artist mom, interior design student and home restoration handy woman.  With her busy schedule it is hard to image she has time to paint but painting is her passion. Here are a few examples of her work.

Lake Gaston’s Frequent Visitor-The Great Blue Heron

Colorful rainbow fish!

Madison Latimer, Patsy and I crossed paths many years ago at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show.  We were so excited about the color and energy in her art.  We both had to have some pieces for our showroom and our homes.  Patsy designed her kitchen renovation around the guinea hen art.  I have two of Madison’s bar art in my home.  We recently reconnected because of Facebook. J  She is still painting, loving her garden and farm and driving her “chicken” truck to art shows all over the country.  We are so pleased to have her join us for the The Roanoke Valley Rocks Rockfish Painting Demonstration.  Look for her huge chicken truck and funky art.

The chicken truck and her cargo!

Cocktails, anyone?

Saturday, August 13th is going to be an exciting day of non-stop events for Lake Gaston.

8:15        Join the “Waking Red” MSLL team at our shop to walk across Eaton Ferry bridge in the O’Sail Crossing.  The Crossing registration  is required. http://bit.ly/pWNTz5.

The Crossing 2010 “Walking Red” MSLL Team

Team members are asked to wear something red. There will be a  special gift for  joining the MSLL team

9:00        7th Annual Lake Gaston Crossing fundraiser presented by non-profit organization, O’Sail.  Swim, paddle or walk across Lake Gaston.  Beginning at Morning Star Marina and finishing at Watersview Restaurant

11:00      “Roanoke Valley Rocks” fish painting demo at Mary Sherwood Lake Living. Meet the artists, purchase their art and have lots of fun, food and drink.  LIKE US on our Facebook Page:  http://on.fb.me/n92KR6 and you will see all the latest at MSLL.

1:30        SUNNY, the O’Sail’s rockfish will be released at the O’Sail Lake Gaston kiosk in the Food Lion shopping center, 2455 Eaton Ferry Road, Littleton.

So things are very fishy around Lake Gaston this weekend.

“The Rock the Roanoke Valley”  Rockfish campaign go to:  http://on.fb.me/ovTwaz.

Can’t wait to see you on Saturday!

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In the process of using this recipe for the wedding cake I calculated how many cups of cheesecake batter there are in one recipe.

cheesecake, wedding cake, perfect cheesecake, strawberry sauce

Strawberry Wedding Cheesecake

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.

You can calculate the different amount of batter needed for various size pans by using a ratio.

9″ pan -2 1/2 cups

8″ pan-2 1/4 cups

6″pan-1 3/4 cups

These amounts are rounded up to make it easy to measure.

There are three key elements to making a perfect cheesecake:

1.  Spray the springform pan very well with Baker’s Joy so cake slides easily off of bottom of pan

2.  Use low heat, 300 degrees, to prevent the top from browning.

3.  Cool gradually as suggested in recipe

 

Good luck with this!

 

 

Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light, May, 2006

Approximately 16 serving with sauce

 

CRUST:

1/4 cup sugar

8 graham cracker rectangles

Dash of salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons of butter or canola oil

Cooking spray w/flour (such as Baker’s Joy)

 

CHEESECAKE:

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (4 ounces) regular cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon jest

4 large eggs

2 egg whites

 

SAUCE:

4 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup strawberries, cut in half

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

 

Preheat oven to 350°.

 

To prepare cheesecake crust, place 1/4 cup sugar, graham crackers, cinnamon and dash salt in a food

processor; process until mixture resembles sand.  With the processor on, add 2

tablespoons melted butter through food chute, processing until blended. Generously coat pan with cooking spray with flour.   Firmly press mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes until just golden brown; cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Reduce oven to 300°.

 

To prepare cheesecake, combine 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and a dash of

salt in a large bowl. Add softened cheeses; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed

until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add vanilla, 1 teaspoon juice and lemon zest;

beat just until combined. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating after each addition

just until incorporated.

 

Bake at 300° for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until center of cheesecake barely moves when pan is touched. (Oven temperatures vary.  Cooking time may need to be adjusted).  Turn oven off. Cool cheesecake in closed oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Gradual cooling is important to prevent cracks in the cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate.  Can be frozen up to 3 months in tightly sealed aluminum foil and a zip lock bag.

 

To prepare strawberry sauce, reserve 1 cup strawberries, cut in half.  Combine 4 cups sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing lightly with a spatula; discard solids. Return mixture to pan. Combine 1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to a bowl; cool to room temperature. Stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice.  Embellish top of cheesecake with strawberries, cut in half.  Spoon 1/2 of strawberry sauce on top.  When serving, drizzle each slice with a little of reserved sauce.

 

 

Comments (9)

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 most popular desserts in the Sherwood household are brownies and strawberry cheesecake.  Many years ago, when traveling from Lake Gaston to NYC to meet our other son’s (Jake) in-laws, I carried a frozen cheesecake by Amtrak train only to have it totally thawed and strawberry sauce dipping all over as I presented it to our host.  It’s hard to make a good first impression when your perfect cheesecake is soooo less than perfect!  When Aaron and Kiori requested a cheesecake wedding cake I began to research how to construct this cake, store until needed, transport from NC to NYC and assemble in Central Park.  It was quit a challenge.  I won’t bore you with all the details but I would like to share these pictures.

 

Cheesecake crust, graham cracker crust, spring form pan, cheesecake

Graham cracker crust made for the all the layers at one time in spring form pans

 

Cheesecake batter, cream cheese, electric mixer, Red KitchenAid Mixer

Cheesecake batter blended until very creamy

 

Cheesecake without cracks, baking, cake, wedding cheesecake

Baked cheesecakes on cooling rack. Yay...no cracks!!!

wedding wedding signs, cooler, wedding supplies

Blue rolling cooler packed with cheesecakes and dry ice waiting with other supplies to enter Central Park

 

cheesecake wedding cake assembly, cheesecake, spring form pans,

Removing spring form pans and assembling the frozen cheesecake layers

layered cheesecake, wedding cake, strawberries

Layered cheesecake starting to be embellished.

 

Cheesecake, wedding cake, strawberry sauce, strawberry sauce drizzle, pink hydrangea

Strawberries with drizzles of strawberry sauce and a perfect pink hydrangea flower on top

cheesecake, strawberry sauce, baby breath, hydrangea

The finished wedding cake complete with baby's breath!

 

Wedding cake, cake cutting

Aaron and his Japanese bride, Kiori cutting the wedding cake

wedding cake, first bite

First Bite!!!

The "after" with only the "less than perfect" bottom layer left over. Whew!

This was quite a challenge but mission accomplished!

Like us on our Facebook fan page to see the recipe

Mary Sherwood Lake Living,  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Sherwood-Lake-Living/106936857237

Please tell me your best and worst cheesecake adventures!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

 

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Mar
17

Hey good looking what ya been cooking?

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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 this is going.)  So, cooking classes seem to enhance all the other parts of interior design. 🙂 Thanks to many loyal supporters our classes have become a hit.  Here are a few of the things we had cooking at our 50’s cooking class presented by Lake Gaston’s cooking diva, Kathy Dikeman!!!

If you are as old as I am you may remember a lemon flavored, sponge cake cookie made in shell shaped molded pans called madeleines. These cookies are easy to prepare and perfect for a light luncheon dessert or an accompaniment to a raspberry sorbet. Sometimes these cookies are partially dipped in chocolate ganache for extra flare of flavor.  In the 50’s they were frequently served at department store tea rooms and at  “ladies’ luncheons”.

Cookies, sponge cake, luncheon dessert, molded pan

Madeleine's made in molded pans

Shrimp Cocktail Aspic is an updated version of the traditional tomato aspic of the 1950’s.  With V 8 juice and the right amount of spice this recipe made a tasty cold soup (similar to a gazpacho).  With the addition of more gelatin you can create a variation of this recipe which can be poured into a mold or loaf pan and congealed before serving.

Savory Shrimp Cocktail Aspic

The favorite recipe of the class was Smoked Gouda Cheese Fondue. Reflecting back to the days of the fondue pot this recipe adds a new twist. The fondue is prepared on the stove top and served in individual small boules created from whole wheat, crusty dinner rolls from the grocery bakery. Topping the fondue with bacon bits and toasted, sliced almonds made this recipe the winner.

fondue, gouda cheese, bacon, almonds, boule,

Warm and Savory Smoked Gouda Fondue Boule

Smoked Gouda Fondue

Ingredients:

8 ounces Gruyère, shredded

1/2 pound, about 6 ounces, smoked Gouda, shredded

1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 large clove garlic, smashed away from skin

2 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 cup dry white wine

6 slices thick cut bacon

1/4 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped

Individual hard rolls, the top third cup off to form a cone shape in the inside

Directions: Make the fondue: combine cheeses in a bowl with flour and set aside. Rub the inside of a small pot with smashed garlic then discard. Add wine and lemon juice to pot and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. Transfer the fondue to the rolls and top with chopped bacon and smoked nuts.

50’s cooking trivia was a big hit with the class.  The Betty Crocker Cookbook was the bible of the 1950’s kitchen and the “in” way to find recipes. Do you know the first Jello flavor?  What was the most frequently prepared food?  What popular snack food was developed from a crop by Fred Mennen in 1959?  What brand of doughnuts were introduced in 1950?

Send us your answers.  Add your own 50’s trivia.

Upcoming Cooking Classes…  Mark Your Calendar!

April 16 Bruschetta is not just an Appetizer presented by Yvonne Hoffman (just back from an Italian Cooking School)

June 4 Cranking Up the Heat with Grilling Flare presented by Gene St.Clair

Mary Sherwood Lake Living working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!

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Feb
12

Chocolate Kiss Cocktail

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Chocolate, Valentine's, Truffles, Chocolate 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 mix

Garnish with kiss or strawberry on a pick

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe compliments of Mary Sherwood Lake Living  Cooking Class, February 12, 2011

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Oct
04

We Showed You Ours…

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We showed you ours…Pumpkin Event!

What a great event at Mary Sherwood Lake Living!  Here are some of the creative ideas we showed for pumpkin decorating.  The ideas ranged in difficulty from Autumn’s intricately carved spider web pumpkin to my very quick and easy wired pumpkin.  Since time seems to be at a premium we tried to show several quick and easy ways to decorate a pumpkin without carving (consequently keeping it fresher longer).

pumpkin decorating, Halloween, skull, flameless candle, spooky

Fabulous pumpkins and more

Carved gourd, chicken with mustard dip, fall colors, fall foods, easy appetizers

Colorful fall appetizers Our guests pondering over the pumpkin ideas!

Our guests pondering over the pumpkin ideas!

pumpkin, pumpkin decorating, vegetables, garden pumpkin

"Mixed Salad Satan"

Carved pumpkin, halloween, the fly, help me, pumpkin decorating

"Help Me" says the fly

pumpkin decorating, painted pumpkin, silver, metallica

"Metallica"

White pumpkins, pumpkin decorating, painted pumpkins, pearls, wires

Left to right: "Caught Up in the Web", "Pearl Jam" and "All Wired Up and Nowhere to Connect"

So we showed you our stuff…pumpkin decorating ideas.  Now you have a chance to show us your’s!  Enter our 1st Pumpkin Decorating Contest between now and October 23. Decorate your pumpkin, give it a funny name and bring it by the store to be photographed or submit a photo online.  Online entries must include a small sign in the photo, “MSLL Pumpkin Decorating Contest 2010” to verify authenticity.  NO, you can’t just pull a picture from the internet and claim it as yours!  Bring on the pictures!  Our loyal MSLL fans will vote on their favorite pumpkin design.

At the end of the entry period, we will send out the voting information.  Voting will be blind, so no names or personal information will be shared.

The ballot will contain pictures numbered in the order they were received.

The award categories are as follows:

1st Prize as voted by our customers

will win a $50 MSLL Gift Card

The winners of following categories

will each win a $20 MSLL Gift Card

*Most Creative Use of Materials*

*Spookiest*

*Friendliest*

So the challenge has been launched!  Show us your creative stuff!!!

Looking forward to your entries!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lake Living

Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!”

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Aug
09

Will You Accept the Crossing Challenge???

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On Sunday I invited a few girlfriends to share our pier, the party float, food and spirits.  It was such a great afternoon, enjoying all of the above, especially the friendship.

As most of you know Paul and I are very involved in the not-for-profit organization, O’Sail.  This Saturday is O’Sail’s sixth annual event, The Crossing.  You can swim, float, or paddle across the lake OR for the first time you can walk the one mile bridge across the lake.  There is a $25 registration fee ($30 the day of event) payable to O’Sail.  You will receive a limited edition Crossing 2010 t-shirt.

While floating with the girls we decided it would be fun to walk across the bridge. No physical training for months to swim across.  No silly rafts to float on.   No canoe or kayak to manage.  All you need is good walking shoes and sunscreen.  You won’t even have to get your hair wet (except for a little sweat, maybe).  Sounds like something we could easily do…right!

So let’s all do it together!  I challenge you to join us this Sat. Aug. 14 as a member of our first ever MSLL Crossing Team.  Here is the link to O’Sail’s registration information.   http://bit.ly/cl9sAs The event begins at 9 AM.   As a team, we will meet at Mary Sherwood Lake Living and go together to the designated parking lot.  We will leave the MSLL parking lot at 8:15 AM sharp and return as soon as we have completed the walk.

As a special incentive, the first fifteen MSLL friends to sign up to join our team will win your choice of a “Getting a Little Woozie on Lake Gaston” wine glass  koozie (no you can’t get woozie before the event ) 🙂 OR a $10 gift card to use in our store.

Koozie, wine, lake gaston, The Crossing, walking, fun, friends

Lake Gaston Woozies

The first fifteen MSLL team members to sign up can redeem their choice of prize at the store after completing the event.  To sign up as a member of our team, respond to our blog, Facebook post or our email news-zine.  The posted date and time of the response will determine the “first fifteen” winners.  Team members must also register and pay for the event at the Lake Gaston Chamber Office.  http://bit.ly/b98zdU All checks need to be made out to O’Sail.  If you need any help with the registration process, please let us know.

Should we wear something funny to designate our team?  This is not Project Runway! Our team uniform must be simple!  Please send your ideas ASAP!

Can’t wait to have fun walking together while we are supporting a good cause!

O'Sail, The Crossing, Lake Gaston, Eaton Ferry Bridge,

The Crossing 08-14-2010

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Mar
12

Irish Cooking With Tony

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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 be Bobby Flay, especially if I could have his bank account”.  That became his introduction and we were all carried away by his humor and cooking expertise.  The class moved along quickly with lots of recipes to cover.

A few minutes were taken to discuss two of Tony’s community volunteer efforts.  He is very involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Halifax County and the Warren County New Tech High School.   To thank Tony for being our guest cook we made a donation to the Boys and Girls Club.  Books for the WC Tech High were contributed by class participants.  Thanks to all who made a donation!

Tony Cooking, Cooking Leprechaun, Irish Cuisine

Tony mixing his "Green" Midori cocktails

Volunteers sampling Midori Cocktails in cute "Frog" martini glasses

The Irish Fare Menu

Appetizers:

Southern Sweet Tea

Sour Cream Biscuits with Tangerine Honey

Main Course:

Slow Cooker Corn Beef Brisket

Red Potatoes prepared with White Wine

Skillet Cabbage with Sweet Corn Relish Condiment

Irish Soda Bread with Irish Butter

Dessert:

Irish Cream Pound Cake with Irish Cream Glaze

Beverages:

Midori Cocktails (a beautiful green color)

Murphy’s Irish Stout

Leprechaun, Irish food

Special Guest Leprechaun distributed Gift Bags

We had a special guest join us for this event,  the Leprechaun, himself!

I have  been a fan of corn beef brisket but I am now a convert.

Here is Tony’s super easy recipe.

RECIPE FOR SLOW COOKER CORN BEEF BRISKET

3-5 lbs    Corn Beef Brisket w/Pickling Spices

3 -4        Apples, assorted firm varieties

2             Large Onions

1             ½ Gallon Apple Cider or Apple Juice

Place corn beef in bottom of slow cooker.  Sprinkle pickling spices (included in brisket package) over the corn beef. Cut apples in half and remove core.  Do not peel.  Peel and slice onions into thick slices.  Place onions and apples on top of corn beef.  Pour all of the apple juice or cider over the other ingredients.

Cook on High for 6 hours.  Reduce to Low and continue to simmer until corn beef easily pulls apart.

To serve:  Remove corn beef and pull apart and plate on a large platter.   Surround with potatoes and cabbage embellished with sweet corn relish. Enjoy!

TIP: Apples and onions prepared with the meat in slow cooker can be strained and serve as an additional side dish.

Slow Cooker Corn Beef Brisket

Don’t miss our next Cooking Experience!

A Spring Brunch Menu

April 3rd at 10 AM

Reservations required.  Seating limited to 25!

$10 fee

Sign Up Today!

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