Private Party: A singular celebration for my sweetheart


My husband has never been one for personal fanfare.  He loves being with friends, he loves parties and festivities, but he would much prefer that they not be about him. I, on the other hand, would be very upset if the day passed without at least a LITTLE bit of flourish and a reminder of just how much he is loved.

So instead of an elegant soiree, I look to the quiet and simple ways to tell him that he's loved.

Birthday Blueberry Muffins (*Recipe compliments of the
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper muffin liners. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar and mix. Add the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt and mix. In a shallow bowl, mash 3/4 cup of the blueberries with the back of a fork. Add to the batter and mix.

With the mixer running at low speed, add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the milk, and mix. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Fold in the remaining 1 3/4 cups whole blueberries by hand until well mixed. In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon. Use an ice-cream scoop or large spoon to fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the muffins and bake until golden brown and risen, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before turning out.

 Presents Aplenty... 

This year, our 1st trip to San Francisco calls for a gilded trolley car for the tree!

 Wrapping Tips:

- Choose 3-4 colors and then mix and match patterns to create a festive feel 

- Fabric ribbons immediately increase the class factor

 - Layer several ribbons of different widths, colors and textures for a full multi-dimensional look 

- Don't forget to embellish! A pretty tag, sticker, picture or ornament immediately turn your present into a special work of art! 

Scott and I have a tradition of getting a new Christmas ornament each year that represents a new experience we shared.  Often, they make a perfect Tie-On for gifts!

"The more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate." 
-Oprah Winfrey 

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