Egads - I’ve been working, crafting and awash in inspiration and ideas over at Pinterest; all the while neglecting my blog. I’ve a slew of pictures to post over the next few weeks, so let me begin.
A neighbor and I hit Girls Night Out at Ironstone Vineyards – a fundraising event for Santa’s Express. Santa’s Express in Calaveras County provides food, clothing and toys for the disadvantaged; their funding relies entirely on donations. Entry was a new unwrapped toy or $10 (they partner with Toys for Tots). Entry included tickets for six tastes of Ironstone wine or one glass plus hors d’ouvres of cheeses, vegetables and perfectly spiced hummus. In the past, Girls Night Out has benefited the local abused women services – it’s always a truly enjoyable low cost night that benefits a good cause.
We began our evening with an “always fantastic” meal at Grounds (I’ve mentioned before this is one of my favorite restaurants – I start to crave it if I haven’t been there often enough). Terry went for superb mussels with a huge side of sweet potato fries and I their “always to die for” pasta (this mushrooms, pesto and more). We skipped wine with dinner and opted for the glass at the fundraiser so we wouldn’t be tethered to the tasing bar. Sipping the Viogner while perusing the silent auction and vendor tables is the way to shop.
Wines from Newsome Harlow and Twisted Oak (their River of Skulls – 3 consecutive years) were some of the more popular items in the silent auction. In the top photo, you can see the beautiful Christmas quilt that was raffled off – the quilt effectively hiding the crowd at the tasting bar.
Home party consultants from the County comprised a good number the vendor tables – even the sex toy folks were nestled into a corner (“Slumber Party”). Although I’ve been dragged off duty-bound to many friends’ home parties (always purchasing the polite requisite of at least one item – I’m really not a home party kind gal) had not been to a chocolate tasting party.
Our local Dove Chocolate party consultant Kim hosted a fantastic table (locals- I saved her card, leave a comment if you need her phone number and I’ll e-mail it to you). I had to keep an eye on it to be able to get a shot when it wasn’t mobbed. The chocolate was truly luscious.
I’d also not heard of home tea parties – a fun idea where they sell flavored tea, scone mixes and such. Mary of Tealightful has both a web and a Facebook page. You could also indulge in a hand treatment, shoulder massage, mulled wine or sangria, more shopping from local jewelry creators, cosmetic lines, clothing vendors, a wonderful heat/cold pack vendor, custom hair accessories, cottage-y memo boards or a fine handcrafted soap, sugar scrub, lip balm vendor. There was so much creativity in that holiday space.
As Terry works at a winery, we had to check out the wine sayings on the T-shirts. She and another friend enjoy the shopping/shoe sayings (the last time I wore cute maryjane slip-ons for a walk about our town of dirt paths robust with full bumpy tree roots – gawking with the camera and not paying attention - I took a truly spectacular flying nosedive, never was a shoe person, now even less so). Given my locale and my penchant for machine embroidery, the phrases are something I collect. Know of the age/wine ones, skip the rude drunk ones, our Bodega Del Sur winery had Bears around a campfire along the lines of “Is it deer Hunter with red and fishermen with white?” If you have any, please share them in the comments. I just might have to stitch them up.
Ironstone has decorated for the holidays with spectacular outside lighting this year; sorry no shots – it was raining and we made a mad dash for cover. They have indoor woodland and wine themed ornaments and decorations for sale as well.
They reported that 195 ladies and 30 vendors attended and they collected 250 toys and just under $3,000 cash for Santa’s Express.
This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in my City. I’d thought I might pop in a few new sunset shots for the photographers in that crowd, but this post is long enough – so later. Hop on over to Unknown Mami if you want to see what other folks around the globe are doing in their neck of the woods.