Friday, May 14, 2010

I've Found Heaven!

This morning as I drove to work on auto pilot, a sign caught my immediate attention and brought me out of my trance. It wasn't the design of the sign that snapped me back to life, but the wording...Nicola's Donuts. Oh my...doughnuts! If there is one thing I can't resist, no matter what time of the day, it's a fresh, chocolate frosted, vanilla cream filled donut.  I grew up on Dunkin Doughnuts in my home state of NJ. When my parents  moved us to Florida, I was immediately introduced to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. If the "Hot Now" sign was lit, you know I was there.

The route I navigated to the office didn't include a doughnut shop...until now. How could I squelch the temptation of enjoying a homemade donut, when someone up above had heard my morning cries for something sweet? I made a quick U-turn, pulled into the parking lot and sprinted into Nicola's. As I swung the door open, the smell of sugary delight made my mouth water, as my eyes gazed upon a wall and large glass case of colorful circles. These doughnuts were huge and truly homemade. Nicola's only had one other location in the entire United States and that one was also in Tampa.

The time had come for me to decide whether this place would forever change my morning commute, from drab to fab! I ordered a vanilla chocolate iced cream filled donut. The chocolate frosting oozed over the sides of this perfectly round confection. It immediately set it a part from other places, where the icing is barely visable or is so hard,  it crumbles in the bag. As I bit into this gigantic round doughball, I was overcome by the incredible taste of chocolate and vanilla. This doughnut was packed and I mean packed with vanilla cream. Not just a squirt...packed! The chocolate icing...luscious.

Today, I didn't just find a new place for breakfast on my way to work....I found heaven!   However, don't just take my word. Check it out for yourself.

Nicola's Donuts is located at 14390 N. Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa, Florida.


Nicola's Donut Shop on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fabulous Parties At Home

Creating a festive atmosphere with attention to detail, is a gift you give to your party's guests everytime you invite people into your home. I love entertaining friends and family at my home. It gives me great joy to create a warm inviting atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Even when not planning a party, I'm always on the lookout for decorative platters, servers, plates, candle holders, etc. Home Goods is a store I frequent at least once a week. It's an event planner's paradise! My creative juices begin to flow the moment I step through the glass doors. Home Goods however, might not be located in your city.  Therefore, as promised when I started this are a few of my hot picks from websites I frequent, to help you enhance any social gathering at home. - This site sells the most adorable lanterns in a plethora of shapes, colors and sizes. Lanterns are an inexpensive way to add ambiance to your outdoor summer gatherings. Check out the peonies lanterns...just beautiful! - Expensive, but worth saving for...these GG Collection Beverage Servers ($350 for the small and $390 for the large) can be used at any celebration to showcase deliciously flavored teas, lemonades or homemade sangria. The Clear Glass Beverage Servers ($100 - $135) are a little more affordable and just as lovely. - Apothecary jars, curly branches, ribbons, candles, vases...this site has it all at prices that won't burn a hole in your wallet. Go ahead...indulge your inner crafter. - I Embossed Double-Wall Beverage Tub ($129)! Double insulation means your wines, beers, bottled waters, etc. stay cool in the iced tub and your counter top stays free of condensation. Beverage tubs that aren't insulated can leave puddles on your counter top that eventually drip down to the floor after an hour or so of use. Grandin Road has insulated tubs in various styles to suit your taste. Worth the investment, these tubs last for years.

So there you have it! Some of my favorite websites offering hundreds of items to tempt your wallet and enhance your home for your next celebration.

Enjoy shopping!!!