Thursday, 28 January 2010

One Ocean Hotel

When I was at High School in Jacksonville we would always park in the car park of the Sea Turtle Inn and walk down to the beach. It was our landmark that we always knew to head for. Well the Sea Turtle Inn has had a MAJOR make over since last I was there and is now called One Ocean. It has been revamped and under Heidi's insistance we went for a nose around. I am glad I did I loved all the little touches and when the guys heard my accent he let us look in the Ballroom and all the way to the restaurant. The pool area looked lovely too. 
 The hallway to the restaurant.
 I liked this sculpture at the enterance of the restaurant.

 They also had a giant gingerbread igloo made out of actual gingerbread. They were putting it up for the start of the Christmas celebration. It smelt amazing! I could have easily broken off a piece!
 The pastry chef was icing it whilst we were there! Imagine how long this took to make! That is one big baking project! (Maybe one day!)
I really liked these trees in their foyer. They had gorgeous decorations on them that were made up of different glass. Very pretty.

Jacksonville Beach

 Steve and Vicki Stansbury
 Heidi and Matt Russell
 Vicki, Heidi holding Kloe, Me, Holly holding Paige
 Vicki with two of her Grandchildren- Austin and Paige
 Holly holding Austin

Matt and Nathan
Everyone played tag football again. Much to the delight of Lincoln. We stayed on the beach till the sun went down. It was such fun with all the little kids playing in teams with the adults. We felt like part of the family.
The sand dunes looked fantastic as the sun went down. What a great day! And brilliant pictures to cherish always.

Engagement Photos

 After dinner we all went for a walk on Jacksonville beach as the sun was setting. It was a great way to work off our Thanksgiving dinner. Whilst we were there Vicki took some photos of Nathan and I. We completely ,by chance, matched- I promise it was not planned at all. We also look very matchy with the scenery. Some things you just can't plan that well! I love these pictures and we have them up in our flat already.

It is a pity about the moustache. Nathan was still doing 'Movember' and growing a moustache to raise money for prostate cancer. As my friend Lauren said to me 'he proposed with a moustache and you said yes' -so I guess it is only fitting he has a moustache in these pictures!

 I love this picture as I spend my life looking up at Nathan. He is just under 6' 8'' and I am 5' 5'' so there is a fair bit of height between us! I also like that you can see my ring- I love love love my engagement ring!
 Smooches! I look like I am about to be smoothered!
 Snogger Pike!
Looking out to the Atlantic Ocean towards home. I loved this beach when I lived in Jax and it was wonderful to bring Nathan down here to see the peaceful, tranquil sands. 

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

 The beautifully laid table for Thanksgiving. I loved all Vicki's china plates. The colour cranberry featured on the table and in the food. Steve made his Mum's cranberry salad which was delicious.
Everyone sat around the table. 3 generations of the Stansbury family. 
This isn't a very flattering photo but it means a lot. Heidi started a new tradition in their household this year and everyone at the table passed around the 'Everlasting Candle of Thanks' (I think that was it's title but Heidi you can correct me if not!) Each person had to say what they were thankful for. Nathan said some very lovely things, it was a really nice thing to take time to do.

Thanksgiving Household Decor

Have you ever wondered where my inspiration comes from decorating each and every corner of my house? Well the Stansbury girls and mainly Vicki have had a huge influence on my style in this respect. I LOVE the way her home is filled with so many interesting and fabulous trinkets, sentimental items and beautiful crafts!
The front of the Stansburys house. It was fun to see them settled in a new home which was not the house I lived in when I stayed with them 12 years ago.
I loved all the pumkins that Vicki had around the house. 
 The beautiful front door enterance. I would LOVE a mirror like the one hanging here. I would love to get 3-5 mirrors like it and hang them in our hall. I must go charity shop hunting for these mirrors.
 The dining room where we had Thanksgiving dinner.
 A small book case brimming with inspiration.
A dresser with a collection of milk and cream jugs. Steve and Vicki's Grandchildren are a huge part of their life. 
Pumpkins and leaves on top of the fireplace. The house sure looked different without the twilight decorations hung up! It was so lovely to have a chance to look round whilst dinner was cooking.

Thanksgiving Afternoon!

Nathan and I relaxing after he finally showered after the Turkey Bowl. He is so sunkist from being outdoors playing turkey bowl, teaching Lincoln to play Rugby and then helping with the deep fried turkey- more about that later!
We brought a few gifts from Scotland for our Thanksgiving hosts. Heidi, a fellow blogger was snapping away as I handed them out- it was a little like Christmas!
Nathan brought the guys Edinburgh Academy Rugby club ties, which celebrated the clubs 150th Anniversary. I brought the ladies recipe books that I had put together from my favourites and I had also illustrated.
Lincoln loved his Accies shirt and had it on straight away!
Nathan and I with Lincoln and Paige, who liked her colouring book and crayons... she was so neat at colouring in. I was quite amazed and she was so happy to sit and colour quietly. Such a lovely little girl.
Heidi also treated me with a Bithday gift.
Heidi always wraps things so beautifully!
I loved my pinny! (apron) and I wear it all the time in our home. I even used it on Thanksgiving day to help Vicki cook some vegetables. It is great for swishing from side to side- I love dancing in the kitchen! ;-)
Heidi captured this shot of Nathan reading a story from the book we brought the Russell children. Heidi thought this was extra special as Paige is quite shy around strangers and doesn't trust everyone and here she was allowing Nathan to read to her. I think he quite enjoyed the story too!
Cooking in the kitchen.
Steve, Lincoln and Nathan watching out for the deep fried Turkey. This is a very southern tradition. As well as having roast turkey from the oven the Stansburys also deep fried a turkey in this large metal container filled with oil. The deep fried turkey was delicious! So tasty and crispy on the outside. I am suprised the Scots haven't tried this Turkey version yet as we will deep fry anything!
Steve, Matt and Hillary in the kitchen as Steve carves up the Turkey.
Steve and Vicki with their tasty Turkey

Monday, 18 January 2010

Turkey Bowl

For Thanksgiving we spent the day with the Stansbury Family, who were my host family when I lived in Florida. They were so welcoming and included us in all their celebrations.

One of their family traditions is to play Turkey Bowl (tag American Football) the morning of Thanksgiving. Nathan got involved and played with the guys. Steve Stansbury was playing with his Grandson Lincoln, Heidi's son. Hillary's husband, Chris, Heidi's husband, Matt and Holly all took part to with Heidi, Hillary and myself watching from the sideline with all the little kids.

The children and Granparents team.

Nathan getting to grips with the different rules and ball play involved in American football. Namely the fact the ball doesn't always get played backwards. Nathan played centre and had to hike the ball back to the quaterback. (I think I have that right! I don't even know the rules to rugby and I have been watching on the side lines for years- so there is no hope for me remembering the rules/ moves of American Football!)

It was so lovely and sunny watching and we had great fun getting outdoors and meeting loads of new people.
 Holly looking cute with her tags.
 Austin, Hillary's son who loved playing with the football.
 All the little kids running around on the playing fields.

I love this photo below of the Stansbury girls! Holly, Heidi holding her youngest Kloe and Hillary.

Heidi and I had to laugh when Steve and Nathan were talking Kloe was busy looking up at Nathan and checking out how tall he is! Too funny! He must look like a giant to her! Then she was amazed by his feet! So so cute!

Nathan and I in the red bettle we rented whilst in Florida. It was a very cute car to drive and reminded me of my Red Bull days!