Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Angostura Friday ! Drinks with one of the best mixers in the world!

Angostura Bitters is made from a secret blend of herbs and spices. It is a concentrated flavoring. It is one of my favorite all time additions to any drink. I even add it to lemonade for an extra kick, there is something about Angostura....  and it has so many uses It can be added to plain water to help with settling a stomach. I love it!
The theory is that Angostura is not bitter when added toa drink, but it brings out the flavor of the other ingredients in a drink. It was invented in the 19th century by an army doctor in Venezula, who used it to improve the appetite of his soldiers. It is now made in Trinidad West Indies. It has an ABV of 44 percent but rarely needs more than a couple of splashes to mixed drinks. Angostura has a big distinctive label that is too big for the bottle. It was apparently an error that was never resolved and so today it is a part of the lore and legend of this great mixer. There are a few more flavors such as Orange Bitters, but the original is the best. And always the Angostura brand, nothing else!

Angostura Aromatic Bitters, 16oz

Pink Gin

 1 oz Gin
splash of Angostura bitters


cracked ice
3 ozs white tequila
1/2 oz dry vermouth
dash of Angostura bitters
twist of lemon
Pour the white tequila and dry vermouth over the ice in a mixing glass. Add the dash of Angostura bitters and stir well. Strain into a chilled martini or cocktail glass and dress with the lemon.

Angostura Aromatic Bitters, 16oz

Brandy Cocktail

Dash of Angostura Bitters
2 ozs of Brandy
1/2 teaspoon sugar syrup
lemon peel
Shake the dash of Angostura bitters, brandy and sugar syrup vigorously over ice cubes until well frosted. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and decorate with a twist of lemon peel.

Gin Sling Cocktail

Large chunk of ice
juice of 3/4 lemon
1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar(confectioner's sugar)
1 oz gin
still water
slice of lemon
Dash of Angostura Bitters
Put the large chunk of ice, lemon juice, powered sugar and gin into a lowball glass. Fill with water. Float the slice of lemon on top and add a dash of Angostura bitters

Angostura Aromatic Bitters, 16oz


2 oz Ballantine's Scotch Whisky
1 oz sweet vermouth
dash of creme de cassis
dash of Angostura bitters
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and shake. Strain into a martini glass and serve.


2 oz Scotch whisky
11/2 oz sweet vermouth
11/2 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
lemon twist as garnish
Stir the Scotch and vermouths together, then strain into a martini glass and serve with the lemon twist.

Colonel Collins

2 oz bourbon
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp superfine suage
dash of Angostura bitters
soda water to fill
Place the first three ingredients in a tall glass half filled with ice and stir to the mix. Top up with soda, stirring gently. Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Stir again and serve.

Prince of Wales

3/4 oz brandy
1/4 oz Benedictine(liqueur)
dash of Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
orange slice as garnish
maraschino cherry as garnish
Place the sugar cube in a highball glass and soak it with the Angostura. Add ice and brandy, then stir. Add the champagne, then the Benedictine, and serve with the slice of orange and manaschino cherry garnish.

Horse's Neck

Dash of Angostura Bitters
ice cubes
2 oz Brandy
5 oz ginger ale
1 lemon
Add a good dash of Angostura bitters to a tall glass and swirl to lightly coat the inside. Half -fill the glass with ice, add the brandy, and top off with the ginger ale. Cut around a lemon with a potato peeler or sharp knife to remove the zest in a long thin spiral. Hang the zest over the side of the glass, it will stretch to the base of the glass!


2 oz whisky
1 oz sweet red Vermouth
1 dash of Angostura bitters
Ice cubes
Maraschino cherry to decorate
Pour the whiskey, vermouth and Angostura bitters in a mixing glass;add 4 to 5 ice cubes; and stir well. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass and serve with a maraschino cherry.

Non- alcoholic

Citrus Fizz

2 ozs fresh orange juice chilled
superfine sugar
a sqeeze of lime juice
a few drops of Angostura bitters
2 to 3 ozs of sparkling, chilled.
Dip the rim of the flute into the orange juice and then into a superfine sugar. Stir together the rest of the orange juice, lime juice, and the Angostura bitters and then pour the liquid into the glass. Fill the water to taste.

Remember to always drink responsibly!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Room Service Home (RSH) - Great finds for the Home Office and more.

So it is nice to have new digs, I think I will have stories and adventures for years to come as we figure out how to settle in and live on a budget without shopping like crazy!
My home office is in the basement and I love working at my desk. I would like to perk the room up though,  it would be very nice  to have some really great accessories to bring it alive.  I know that the Container Store is a good bet but I prefer to shop from home, there is less temptation for me. Container Store is dangerous for my wallet.

We have the usual places like West Elm and Pottery Barn but I love what they offer at Room Service Home , a catalog boutique and  online retailer.

The company is based in Dallas Texas and it sells home office items, bath products and personalized gifts for you and your family and friends.
The company encourages their customers to have a say in their choices so many of the items can be personalized, monograms, colors and textiles too.
The prices are very reasonable and I have listed a few of my favorite things below.

 Anna Griffin Totes

A gift to me is in order!  Anna Griffin Totes

Isabelle File Folder Set

File folders- Love these!!  Anna Griffin File Folders

Stylish Clipboard - Blue

Monogrammed Clip Boards.

Reference Volumes - Personalized

Classics- Reference Volumes

Colorful Crest Files

 Crest File Folders

Damask Mouse Pad

Damask Mouse Pad

Parsons Chair

Parsons Chair and Cabrole Table

Mom Agendas

Mom Agendas- Love this!  I know what my friends will be getting for Christmas this year!

Everyday Pad

Life Organizers

A company bestseller- Life Organizers, this is what we need to keep all of those loose papers, excuse me, documents together!

Stylish Sticky Notes

Of course you must have sticky note pads!

Lilla Lamp

plus a few of my other favorite things....

Tumblers To Go - Set of 6

Tumblers to go - great for the summer!

Tea Trolley

Tea Trolley set for children

Moo Mixer

Moo Mixer for little ones, fun to watch the mixing happen!

Personalized Photo Organizers - Envelope

Personalized Photo organizer

Pay a visit to this site today, I hope that you like it as much as we do!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, March 28, 2011

FashionMom: Things I Treasure- Betsy Helgager Hughes

FashionMom: Things I Treasure- Betsy Halgager Hughes: "This is the fourth of our 'Things I Treasure' series. We wanted to feature women who are inspirations to us, their&nb..."

Things I Treasure- Betsy Helgager Hughes

This is the fourth of our "Things I Treasure"  series.  We wanted to feature women who are inspirations to us, their families and friends. These are women who work hard every day to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere. They agreed to share with us the things they treasure in their everyday lives,  including their favourite fashion pieces and their must-have beauty product.

These women are our treasures.

Thank you!  Enjoy!

At the end of this piece please find Betsy's famous Corn Dip, it is fantastic!  I had to include it, it the best corn dip in the world!

Betsy Helgager Hughes
Mom – Wife – Friend – Daughter – Entrepreneur

  1. Life – Life is what you make it. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad and everything in-between make life interesting. Keeping life’s miracle and purpose in perspective helps me get through anything. As an entrepreneur, mother, wife, friend, and daughter, I keep this in mind as I encounter each day on Earth. I know I’m not in total control, but I can choose to have an interesting and fulfilling life if I want to…and that’s a powerful way to exist.

  1. Family – Being adopted, family is everything as well as undefined for me. It’s far reaching to me, beyond the definition many use – blood. If it was all about blood, my entire family would exist of me and my daughter Sophia. I was adopted into a family, I married into a family, I created a family of friends, and in 2007 was fortunate enough to be a part of extending a family of two (me and my hubby George) to a family of three with the addition of our daughter. When all is said and done, family is who will be there for you, not who has your blood.

      1. Friends – There’s nothing like extraordinary friends to share your life with - trials as well as celebrations. As I get older, I often wonder if I have room in my circle of friends to have any more join it, but then I meet someone who just fits right in as if they’ve known me my entire life, and then I open the door and let them in.  Inevitably, some friends have fallen out of season for one reason or another, but that’s okay. The ebb and flow of friendship is normal, but there are some tried and true who won’t go anywhere, ever, and that’s comforting to know.

  1. Entertaining/Decorating – If I didn’t have to get paid for a living, this is probably what I would do full time. I treasure creating an experience, whether it’s you walking into one of my parties or coming over for dinner in my home. I do it for me and my happiness, but it’s rewarding when others find joy in my creativity too. I call my Punch of Creativity business my Right Brain business because it allows me to do all things creative on my terms where I am also inspiring others to see their potential in their own creative genius, just with a little help from me. 

  1. Traveling – Having lived overseas for three years (W. Germany), I gained a tremendous amount of respect for learning and respecting other cultures outside the United States. Although I appreciate and explore all that the U.S.also has to offer, I enjoy being pushed outside of my comfort zone to venture into unknown countries and cities and explore what  they have to offer.

Learning – If your mind is open, you will learn. I believe in being curious. I try to keep an open mind to not only what I watch, listen to and read, but who I talk to, what I ask and more importantly, I work hard at listening. That’s when I learn the most. My travels to 13 countries in Europe proved to me that learning happens everywhere, at any time, with anyone…even a random person on a train.

Building Businesses – After 9/11, I decided to live and happen to work, not the other way around which is what I had been doing for 10 years at a global PR firm. I believed in my ability at that point to start my own PR firm, BLH Consulting, Inc.  Although it was to be just a little freelance outlet, it became a full-blown PR firm serving major clients throughout the United States. It’s been amazing to be free. My emancipation day was December 17, 2001. It’s the moment I  took off my golden handcuffs to a 6-figure salary and decided I was going to accept my destiny, and not ask another grown person again if I could take a vacation. Since then, I’ve helped my husband build Simple Set Up, a home and commercial audio/video company that focuses on all the technical and equipment requirements for home theaters and conference rooms. It’s been rewarding to be able to work together - both of us working in our passions. Then, during the downturn of the economy, I created A Punch of Creativity so I could diversify my income flow. It’s been enjoyable to exercise my creative side more regularly. I’m working in the  self- designed world of my passions I want to work in, not in the world I have to work in, and that brings me JOY!

  1. Health – There’s nothing like it. Although I treasure it, I know I need to focus on it more. I don’t take it for granted at all, that’s for sure, but I do need to lead a good example for my daughter who most closely watches her mother’s exercise and eating habits.

  1. Treasured Beauty Product – I spent way too much time in the Florida sun as a child. I’ve been introduced to a new product by Clinique to lighten sun damage…we’ll see!

  1. Treasured Destinations – I have two, and they both have to do with relaxing. One is a little closer to home than the other.  The first is Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, GA, just 50 minutes from  downtown Atlanta. One of the most unreal, relaxing, peaceful, hospitable, beautiful places I’ve ever been. Whether it’s for a day or a weekend, when you’re at Barnsley, you forget about all that you left behind in the city.  The second is the Buccaneer Resort and Spa in St Croix, U.S.V.I. It was the place I went to reward myself after one year in business for myself. It will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the place I stood still and said to myself, you did it, you can do it, and there’s no looking back. You, Betsy, are living your life to your own beat, and you are finally at peace. Amen!

Barnsley Gardens Resort
St. Croix – The Buccaneer Resort

All Images Courtesy of Betsy Helgager Hughes. Thank you!

Our Family Businesses

Punch of Creativity

BLH Consulting

Simple Set Up

Betsy Helgager Hughes
BLH Consulting, Inc.

404/688-0415, ext. 701
404/688-0410 (fax)
404/771-9793 (cell)

"Where Our Insights Build Relationships Between People & Brands"

502 Pryor Street, Suite 301
Atlanta, GA  30312

Betsy's Corn Dip

4 cans of Shoe Peg corn(drained)

1-2 cans of chopped green chilies( drained)
3/4 stick of butter
1 package cream cheese.
Put all in a crock pot and let it cook for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally, Fix it and Forget it and or can be microwave, but I say Crock pot is the way to do. 
Serve with "scoopable" tortilla chips. 

Watch your family go crazy!  Thank you Betsy for sharing this great recipe with us!

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Friday! Short and Sweet! Shots!

This is the fast buzz Friday.
 Shooters are cocktails served in small, straight glasses which have a capacity of little more than a mouthful. Line em up and toss em back!!

Here we go!

Lime Shooter

1 oz white rum
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp light cream
Ice cubes
Lime wedge to serve
Put the rum, lime juice, orange juice and cream in a cocktail shaker; add half a dozen ice cubes;shake vigorously. Strain into a shot glass and decorate with a lime wedge on top. Before tossing down the drink, remove the lime wedge and squeeze into the glass.

After Five

1/2 oz peppermint schnapps, chilled
1 measure Kahlua, chilled
1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream, chilled
Pour the schnapps into a shot glass. Carefully pour the Kahlua over the back of a teaspoon so that it forms a separate layer. Float the Baileys Irish Cream on top.


1/2 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 Grand Marnier
Pour the Kahlua into a small well chilled shot glass. Gently drizzle the Bailey's on top of the Kahlua over the back of the spoon, followed by the Grand Marnier, again pouring it gently over the spoon. Leave for a short while to give the layers time to settle. Serve with a stirrer.


1 cup mexican beer
2 ozs White Tequiila
Pour the Mexican beer inot a chilled beer glass or tankard. The pour the white tequila inot a chilled shot glass and gently submerge the shot glass in the beer.

Peppermint Patty

1 oz white creme de cacao
1 oz white creme de menthe
Vigorously shake the creme de cacao and creme de menthe over ice cubes for 10 to 20 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker has misted. Strain into a shot glass.


1 oz Bailey's Irish creme, chilled
1 oz dark creme de cacao, chilled
1 oz Kahlua, chilled
Pour the chilled Baileys Irish creme into a shot glass. With a steady hand gently pour in the chilled dark creme de cacao to make a second layer and then gently pour in the chilled Kahlua to make a third layer.
Do not stir.

Irish Stinger

1 oz Baileys Irish creme
1 oz white creme de menthe
Shake the Baileys Irish creme and white creme de Menthe vogorously over the ice cubes until well frosted and strain into a chilled shot glass.

Stars and Swirls
1 oz Malibu
large ice cube
1/2 oz strawberry and raspberry liqueur
1 teaspoon blue curacao
Chill a small shot glass really well. Pour in the Malibu and add the large ice cube. Carefully pour in the other two liquers, the red strawberry or raspberry and the blue Curacao from the opposite sides of the glass. Do this very slowly, so that they slip down the sides and the glass and swirl around.

Cordless Screwdriver

2 ozs vodka, chilled
orange wedge
superfine sugar
Pour the chilled vodka into a shot glass. Dip a wedge of orange into the superfine sugar. Down the vodka in one gulp and suck on the orange.

Please remember to drink responsibly!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Drug Store Beauty Finds

Whenever I head into a Walgreens, CVS, Target or Walmart, I must stop by the beauty department to see what is new. I hope not to pick anything up but I always do.

Here is a list of finds that will not break your budget and they do great things for you! Here a few of  the latest and greatest.

L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Day and Night Cream- being heavily promoted at Target this cream helps to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, it also has Vitamin C. I love anything from L'Oreal Paris.

L'oreal Youth Code Day/night .5oz

Physicians Formula Mineral Loose Powder- this gives a really nice glow, not fake.
Organic Wear Loose Powder Makeup .03 oz

Burt's Bees Muscle Mend- just for the small sore spots, you know the ones that just pop up from nowhere!

Burt's Bees Muscle Mend, .45-Ounce Jars (Pack of 3)

Jergens Overnight Repair Nightly Moisturizer- Evening primrose seems to hep with healing and the other ingredients calm and soothe any irriation.

Jergens Overnight Repair Lotion 16.8 oz.

Ponds Dry Skin Cream - I decided to test this day or night, just to mix things up, super moisturizer and not a single dry spot, wonderful! May be too heavy for some but now that I have shifted to normal to dry my skin soaks this up!

Pond's Dry Skin Cream The Caring Classic Rich Hydrating Skin Cream 10.1 oz

Iman Second to None- Creme to Powder Foundation- Love the compact and the coverage is super, blends right in! ( select Target and Walmart, Ulta)
IMAN Second to None Cream To Powder Foundation .35 oz (10 g)

Cover Girl Lash Blast Lengths- Full coverage, not fake and no clumping, really!

CoverGirl LashBlast Length Mascara

Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM- great nighttime moisturizer with patented MVE helps to nourish and repair skin overnight. Great results after a few days.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM 3 fl oz (89 ml)

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser - One of the three I alternate each night, I know junkie right? It is similar to Cetaphil my other favorite, soft, gentle and removes makeup and keeps skin moirsturized.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 12 fl oz (355 ml)

Napoleon Perdis pre foundation primer- Helps smooth foundation application and it is super moisturizing.

NP Set Pre-foundation Primer, 1.76-Ounce

Roberts Vitamin C Gel - Gives a beautiful glow, thanks to the antioxidant vitamin C. You can see a visible difference in a few days.

All products are available at your local Target, Walgreens,Walmart or online at Amazon or

Happy Shopping!

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