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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

How sweet it was

Schedules and plans. Commitments and calendars. Deadlines. The Mister will tell you that I tend to follow the rules, micromanage, and occasionally overbook. I sync the phone calendar with the computer calendar at home and at work. I color code by family member the white board calendar in the back hall.  Every now and then, though, it’s kind of nice to enjoy a little spontaneity. The Mister and I had already been out once this past week for an event, and we had the usual lacrosse practice, confirmation class, piano lesson, Scout meeting kind of week, but when a friend called “the day of” with two extra tickets to the local Children’s Museum fundraiser, I impulsively said, “yes!”  The Mister and I could use a date.IMG_0520After all, the event was nearby. The dinner jacket and the little black dress stood at the ready in the closet. And, there would be chocolate. Local restaurants would be serving tempting and decadent chocolate appetizers and dessertsIMG_0505So, I ran the afternoon carpool, and the Mister picked up a pizza for Middle and Little. We threw on our rigs, Little snapped a picture, and off we went.
If you’ve given up sugar or chocolate for Lent, then this is a good stopping point for you. Really.IMG_0512We started off with chocolate espresso encrusted filet mignon served with a beet mousse. Fabulous.IMG_0524Next, we sampled Queen’s cake, a flourless torte with a bitter orange infused something or other. Not bad.IMG_0515Then, our favorite, a chocolate bread pudding with Guinness caramel sauce.  IMG_0513 The renowned Carolina band, The Mighty Kicks, electrified the Poinsett Club ballroom.IMG_0521IMG_0517 Chocolate with raspberries, and chocolate with strawberries tempted us, too.IMG_0522
Now, truly the Mister and I had a fine time, but we were home in our bed by ten because our weekend plans were even sweeter. You see Little has just turned 13, and we were hosting a slumber party!IMG_4685I thought a candy buffet would be a fun surprise for Little and her friends. So, I found some fun, colorful treats at the Dollar Store and Target and carefully hid them from my children, who can sniff out candy with alarming accuracy.IMG_4686  Then, I pulled out some footed glass dishes and vases that were stashed away.IMG_4687 - Copy I loaded the vases with mini Moon Pies, Sixlets, Sour Patch Kids, Pixie Stix, Smarties, Marshmallow Twists, and Cry Babies and arranged them on the dining room table.IMG_4689 - CopyLittle was so surprised when she came home from school and saw the display, and the girls seemed to love it!IMG_4693 While they waited on a few late arrivals to have supper, the girls decided to take the Cry Baby challenge. Cry Babies are apparently a super sour jaw breaker-type gum, and the challenge is something along the lines of “If you can hold it in your mouth for two minutes, then you have conquered the Cry Baby!”IMG_4706After supper (a taco bar), the Mister and I loaded up two vehicles’ worth of girls and headed downtown where the partiers enjoyed a round of indoor mini golf, picked out matching friendship bracelets at our little shop, Go Fish, and then walked over to the park to generally squeal and giggle and revel in their cuteness, I guess. It’s been so long since I was 13, I honestly don’t remember!IMG_4703Did I mention that most of these girls are friends from drama class? In fact, if you are going to see The Hunger Games this weekend, then you may just spot one of them in several scenes!IMG_4697It’s funny, isn’t it, that even though technology has come so far, black light is still seen as soooo cool by middle schoolers?IMG_4708On the bridge before heading home for cupcakes, ice cream, more candy, a movie marathon, and very little sleep.
Saturday morning, we fed them doughnuts and wished them a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. By nine o’clock, they were all collected and on their way home.
And that, my friends, was pretty sweet, too!


  1. Looks like a GREAT weekend! So nice to see 13 yo girls being silly 13yo girls!

  2. What a sweet time for all! Our daughter will be 13 in August and I am saving this idea for her party....sweet for any age - really just as long as one's dentist does not know!

  3. You and your hubby look fabulous! And that event would be heaven for this chocolate fanatic - LOVE bread pudding. Looks like your daughter and her friends had a ball. Happy belated birthday to her! (BTW, liked your comments about the cost of LAX and the even more expensive sport of baseball. Here's hoping my son doesn't take interest in baseball!)

  4. what a gorgeous photo of you and your husband!
    it sounds like you had a pretty sweet weekend.

  5. That all sounds completely and totally perfect.

  6. Nicely written - Great information. Thanks for sharing it with us. Please also visit my Dentist Texas page and let me know what you think.


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