Toasting the Happy Couple with Waterford Champagne Flutes

Whether toasting the happy couple with a Champagne Coupe, Flute or stemless glass, when she says yes, it’s time to sip and salute. There is no shortage of glass styles in which to pour your bubbly; you have choices from plastic to Waterford. On our baby girl’s proposal night, we opted for Waterford. Join me as I share a very important night from the rim of a crystal flute.

 

 

toast the happy couple

 

Toasting the Happy Couple

Our small family gathered around to celebrate the beginning of another adventure. Josh got down on one knee earlier in the day. Amy said yes.

With the goal of making this night one to embrace and remember,  a traditional proposal in a favorite Italian restaurant got things off to a sweet start. The world’s finest crystal, Waterford  offered a smooth transition from girlfriend to fiancé. The cocktail menu was simple. We toasted the couple with a favorite sparkling wine; Le Marca Prosecco from Italy. Perfect finalé to a perfect night.

 

One Knee

They rushed home to share the news with us, as well as a few family members who were waiting to hear how he did it.

 

 

The Happy Couple

 

We all gushed over her very beautiful and unique “salt and pepper” diamond. It is so Amy. Not like any engagement rings you’ll see on any other fingers. Great job, Josh!

 

Salt and Pepper Diamond

 

The whole room was bubbling with excitement, so the two fathers prepared to salute their children. A toast to their future happiness.

 

Waterford, a Celestial Part of the Future

 

Gift wrap

 

They opened their first gift.

 

opening gift

 

Unwrapping Flutes

 

By the look on their faces, I think they were pleased with the flutes. These very special glasses are to be used on every wedding occasion from here until January 11, 2020. After opening, my niece took them to rinse out before the toast, and chanted, “I will guard these with my life. Guard these with me life. Guard these with my life!” all the way to the kitchen. Precious gems for a special couple. A gift that will be part of many celebrations to come.

Raise your glass along with us, as we celebrate Josh and Amy.

 

Waterford Champagne Flutes

“To the happy couple. May your ups be more than your downs and may your love for each other grow daily. To the moon and back!!!”

 

To The Moon

Hear. Hear!

 

 

 

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click through them to make a purchase, CoziNest will earn a commission. Keep in mind that these companies and their products are chosen because of their quality or my personal experience and not because of the commission received from purchases. Thank you so much for reading. My goal is to provide you with the best recommendations possible.

Please forgive photo quality. Taken with an older phone.

 

Walk With Me in the Footsteps of an Olympic Athlete

They used to call me Flash Nash. Yep, in 4th grade I participated in Field Day. By the end of all the events that day in May of 1971, I had a new nickname. I was a premature baby and was always a little on the tiny side. (Until I grew up!) Athleticism was never one of my strengths. I came in dead last on a relay where my dad and a few of his police officers were watching.  Exhausted and embarrassed I ran to my daddy after the event, to find I had a new name. I laughed with them at the time, but couldn’t help but wish I could’ve placed somewhere, anywhere but last in that race. So, lovelies, when I invite you to walk with me in the footsteps of an Olympic athlete, I mean walk!

Walk with Me

On our recent Mediterranean cruise, 007 and I enjoyed visiting Olympia, Greece where the race started for all of time.

Greece Olympic Park

The park is filled with ruins from the early days of olympic competition. Archeological finds open the pages of history to an area originally dedicated to Zeus. However, Paul the apostle, talked about the race as an example of how we should run the race of life, as Christians.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2

Olympia Greece

An Olympic Athlete

A stadium filled with witnesses for a race dedicated to a mythological god doesn’t compare to the true race of life. Our cloud of witnesses have won the race and received their prize. Not a wreath made of olive leaves, but the very presence of the ONE who ran in our place!

Rows of Columns

Life Tour Guides

Our tour guide, Julia, did an excellent job explaining the area around the Olympic Stadium. It occurred to me that Paul is one of our tour guides for running an excellent race.

Tour Guide, Julia

We kept our eyes on Julia as we walked through the ruins. If she was lost in a crowd, we searched for the Brown #1 flag and there she was, steady and sure. Just like Paul instructed us to keep our eyes on the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, Julia helped us navigate through the ruins.

Rendering

We marveled at how stones, columns and buildings were built by manpower only. No cranes, no machinery.

olympic landscape

As we walked through the ruins, I compared them to my past. I imagined that this is what my life before Christ looked like. I’m so thankful that there are no archaeologists at work digging up my past. Christ buried it all.

Lighting the Torch

torch lighting

It doesn’t look like much in this picture, but this is where the olympic torch was lit.

Olympic park

Julia, was emphatic that this is NOT the place where the torch was lit. Many tourists take lots of photos of this spot and claim it is the “firepit”. She told us not to do that. So, I’m purposefully sharing with you that this is NOT where the torch started. This is a false light. Do not follow it.

Lighting the Torch

I decided as I read over this history marker, that this is what I would have been a part of during the Olympic Games. I could have danced, held a match or a torch. (See *picture* below!) I would have loved the matching dresses and ceremonial routines.

Entering the Olympic Stadium

Olympic Game Entrance

This is the entrance where both spectators and participants entered the stadium. The arch remains in tact.

the start and finish line

This is where it all started and where it finished.


standing on the starting line

Proof we’ve started and finished an olympic “walk.”

stadium rendering

Stadium rendering.

archway exit

The archway view as you exit the stadium. In that day, you either exited as a winner or a loser. No medals.

Carrying the Torch

olympic torch replica

And here is the *picture* I referenced above. I held a replica of the last olympic torch. As I looked up at where the fire would have blazed, once again I thought of Paul and his guidance for running a good race. I pray that we all let our light shine like the light of an olympic torch. Let’s pass it on from country to country, from runner to runner, from generation to generation.

And to all those participants who come in last… Those who get “loser” nicknames, be comforted!

“And indeed, some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.” ~ Luke 13:30

God bless,

Flash Nash

 

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Life of Faith

Vernazza and Monterosso, Italy – Travel Guide by CoziNest

I fell in love with Cinque Terre and the villages of Vernazza and Monterosso. “Cinque Terre” is Italian for “5 Lands”. 007 and I were fortunate enough to see 3 of the 5 villages on our recent trip. The villages are located on the Ligurian coast in north western Italy which is often referred to as the Italian Riviera. Join me as I reminisce about two of these beautiful pastel towns.

Vernazza and Monterosso

Vernazza and MonterossoIn addition, the capital of the region is Genoa. You may recall that the little kingdom of Genovia in The Princess Diaries was complete fantasy in the movie. However, this delightfully charming region, could easily serve as home to a princess. Many times, I had to pinch myself to make sure I was really there.


Map of Cinque Terre

From Manorola to Vernazza

After our visit to Manorola, we enjoyed our train trip from Manorola to Vernazza. It was a very cool way to travel.Trenitalia

The off season in Vernazza was very busy! I can only imagine what it is like in high season. It is such a charming little village. It was smaller than other villages we visited, but people were friendly, the food delicious and sites breathtaking. In fact, Vernazza made us both feel like we were extras in a European movie.


Vernazza in Off Season

There was no mistaking that this began as a sleepy little fishing village. There were boats everywhere, on sidewalks, on shore, and offshore. We loved that there were no cars. Local travel was by foot, bicycle or boat.Boats

I’ve always thought of sidewalk cafés as French, but they were everywhere along the coast of Italy. Sidewalk Cafe in Vernazza

The piazza (town square) was a lovely meeting place. I wonder what it was like to live in a town where people gathered regularly to enjoy each other’s company. Do you have a piazza where you live?

Vernazza church tower

We had a lovely snack in Vernazza overlooking the piazza. We had delightful conversations with other tourists as well as our waiter at the small sidewalk cafe near the natural pier.Wine fruit and peanuts

This old town walkway led to the natural pier and our water taxi.Walkway to Natural Pier Vernazza

We had our own cozy corner at a local cafe in Vernazza.A cozy corner

From Vernazza to Monterosso

Then we took a water taxi from Vernazza to Monterosso. It was a short ride, only 10 minutes or less, but the coastline was gorgeous.Water taxi

View from the Water Taxi

View of the castle in Monterosso from the water taxi. Fortress

Serena, our local tour guide in Cinque Terre. We both loved hearing her describe the area.  She seemed to sing her words as she spoke. Tour Guide Serena

Boats in the harbor of Monterosso.Two Boats of Cinque Terre

The coast and landscape were breathtaking.Harbor

In Monterosso we found a couple of souvenirs to add to our collection.  Souvenir

OLD TOWN Monterosso coastline is the largest of the 5 lands.Rocky Shore

Certainly, there are many church towers throughout Europe. The history in each one is something I love learning. Italy has many ancient churches and cathedrals. This is the ancient tower of the Genoa guards. The tower is part of the San Giovanni Battista church.Rock Clock Tower

Just like Vernazza, traffic was either by foot, bicycle or boat. This blue bike was leaning near the Pizzeria del Ely.

blue bicycle

007 and I had a delicious lunch at the Pizzeria da Ely Ristorante. Our meal included ravioli with pesto, not traditional red sauce, bread and olive oil dip and the house wine. Not only was the meal wonderful, but the bread and olive oil were the best of the trip. One word of caution though. There are smokers everywhere in Europe and Monterosso was no exception. There are not “smoking sections”, but people smoke anywhere they like. We were lucky enough to sit in a corner by ourselves without smokers.Pizzeria da Ely

The cafe sign right outside our little “tent.”pizzeria da ely ristorante

And lastly, we visited the public beach in the NEW part of Monterosso. Old Town Monerosso

Coupled with the scenery, it was fun seeing locals enjoying the beach in the new section of Monterosso. Beach of Monerosso

Our local guide to Monterosso was Enrico. He was hilarious, friendly and very knowledgeable. He told us to tell our friends that it’s best to visit Cinque Terre in off seasons. “During ah high seasons, it’s a nightamara to get around.” However, don’t let that hinder your visit to Vernazza and Monterosso. It’s a must see!

A Private Peek into France and Italy

A Private Peek

As many of you know, 007 and I recently went globe-trotting across the Atlantic to join a Mediterranean cruise of France, Italy and Greece. I’ve shared a bit about Aix en Provenće and thought I would continue a series on our trip. This is what I call my “global whisper of history”. There is so much to our ancestry, our cultural development and yes, even a glimpse into the craftsmanship of our forefathers. Architecture, furnishings, and lifestyles of the past fascinate me. I hope they do you, as well. If so, here is a private peek into our ramblings of France and Italy.

France and Italy

Marseille, France

If you recall, I shared a tiny bit about our first day in the post mentioned above. We visited the Aix Cathedral that day and the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseille, France. Here is a glimpse of that breathtaking site.

Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde

It is the most visited site in Marseille and sits atop the highest point on that coast. The views are very much worth the journey. The Virgin and Child atop the tower are visible for miles out to sea. Our “Lady of the Guard” looks over the Mediterranean to protect and welcome the sailors and travelers of the day. One word of caution, there are a lot of steps that lead to the pinnacle.


Mediterranean Sea

The view is panoramic. You can see the city, the sea and the islands on a clear day.

Ramblings through France

Marseille

tower

According to our guide, it took 5 years to build and marble and other materials were shipped from Italy. It reminds me of a nave we saw in Italy.

France and Italy - Ceiling at Medici Palace

If I’m not mistaken, this is an inner courtyard of the Medici Palace in Florence, Italy. It’s been 4 years since that trip. 😉 The “beams” of this nave are similar to the corners of the Basilique.

Le Christ et sainte veronique

Le Christ et St. Veronique

Woman Wiping Face of Jesus

Some believe this is Mary and her son, but according to the site information, it is not. Jesus is wearing the crown of thorns, but there are no wounds to his hands or feet. This statue is the suffering Christ, possibly after He was flogged, being comforted by a woman, on the way to the cross. It was a reminder to me that His suffering started long before He was nailed to the cross. And that as women, we are natural nurturers. He no longer needs comforting at the right hand of God, but oh that we would all appreciate His sacrifice like this woman.

Crucifix

View from Basilique

 

Me and 007

And…… here is the proof we were there!

Our souvenir from this stop was a small replica of the Le Christe et Sainte Veroniqué. It sits beside my prayer chair. It reminds me that the victory has been won. Now, onto my promise of France and Italy.

A Little Village in Cinque Terre

Manorola, Italy

After the view of Marseille, we hopped over to a little village in Cinque Terre, called Manorola. This was one of my favorite stops of the whole trip. After a short bus ride to this roadside park, we meandered along a path to the center of the village.

Italian Creek

We followed this creek into town.

Waterfall

Bridge over Creek

 

Mosaic in center of village

This mosaic was in the center of the village with the park sign below not too far away.

Parco Nazionale Delle Cinque Terre

Manarola Seaside

View from the center of the village. I loved the view of the sea, the winding path and the terraced farming along the hillsides.

Bell Tower

The Church of San Lorenzo. No wonder the colors of Italy never go out of style! Even with a little aged patina, the buildings are beautiful.

Beautiful alter.

Winding Through the Streets of Manarola

Manarola Street

Heading down toward the sea.

Hanging clothes

I loved looking behind me as I walked. It was looking back that I caught this photo of another common site. Hanging laundry.

Sidewalk Boats

Boats, “docked” on sidewalks.

Gift Shop

And this little jewel of a gift shop is where we found demitasse cups, and a lemon magnet.

looking uphill

green door

Leave it to me to take a picture of a door. I love to imagine what it’s like to come and go as a local.

Selfie

And once again, a quick selfie to prove to ourselves that we really did visit France and Italy.

Link Parties

Partying with these lovelies: Make it Pretty Monday, Happiness is Homemade

Inspiration Monday

Celebrate Your Story

 A Pinch of Joy
Inspire Me Monday                                    Create With Joy
Mix It Up Monday                                     Flour Me With Love
Made By You Monday                               Skip To My Lou
What D You Do This Weekend                 Tumbleweed Contessa
Menu Plan Monday                                    Org Junkie
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Hearth and Soul Hop                                  April J Harris
Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party                    Lou Lou Girls
Cooking and Crafting With J and J Link      Plucky’s Second Thought

Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Crappy Souvenirs

Souvenir City

Years ago, when I was a Rush Limbaugh fan, I used to laugh right out loud at his “Spatula City” spoofs. He would play a little jingle that was first made popular by Weird Al Yankovich.

Spatula City

There’s just one place to go for all of your spatula needs
Spatula City
Spatula City

A giant warehouse of spatulas for every occasion.
Thousands to choose from in every shape, size, and color.
And because we eliminate the middle man, we can sell all our spatulas factory direct to you.
Where do you go if you want to buy name brand spatulas at a fraction of retail cost?
Spatula City
Spatula City

And this weekend only, take advantage of our special liquidation sale.
Buy nine spatulas, get the tenth one for just one penny.
Don’t forget, they make great Christmas presents.
And what better way to say “I love you.” than with the gift of a spatula?
Spatula City
Spatula City

Hello, this is Sy Greenblum, president of Spatula City.
I liked their spatulas so much, I bought the company.

Spatula City – seven locations; we’re in the yellow pages under “spatulas”.

[Neighbor:] My, where did you get that lovely spatula?
[Singers:] Spatula City: We sell spatulas, and that’s all.

There’s also a place located on Tourism Avenue all across the country. It’s called…

Souvenir City

You’ll find t-shirts, coffee mugs, beach towels and all sorts of little plastic souvenirs. Things like back scratchers with the name of the town your visiting baked right onto the handle. We still have most of the coffee mugs and Christmas ornaments that we’ve collected over the years.

During our recent cruise on the Mediterranean, we decided to buy fewer things and only things made locally in the region. The result was less trinkets that get donated in a few years, and lots of art that we truly love. There were also fruit stands, book stores and musicians; all things we’ll never forget. We have interesting conversation pieces. The pieces help us remember the city or village where we found them.

First Stop – Aix en Provence

Aix en Provence

Fountains are everywhere. Beautiful architecture.

Aix Cathedral

Aix Cathedral

Aix Cathedral

Cathedral Dome. Amazing detail. Sweet carvings dedicated to our LORD and His saints.

Cool interiors were planned with gorgeous naves. Worshipers sit in heavenly places.

Modern baptistry

 

Cathedral Portal

I fell in love with this bench or pew sitting outside the cathedral. I would love to find something similar for my booths. I think they make a beautiful addition to foyers, sunrooms, screened porches or a smaller piece in a master closet.

Bastide du Cours

Bastide du Cours

At a bookstore on this street, we purchased a small coffee table book with beautiful photos of Aix en Provence. We also found a spoon rest here with the popular Le Chat Noir.

Wine Carafe

Our lunch included locally made wine. A little closer to home, New Orleans offers a land cruise of great cuisine.

Local Sites to Buy a Souvenir

Fruit Stand

 

We felt like locals when we had opportunities to purchase from fruit stands on the street.

Clock Tower

Bell towers from centuries ago.

Side Street Aix en Provence

Side streets give a glimpse into local life.

Sidewalk Cafe

Sidewalk cafe.

courtyard fountain

Courtyard fountains from the 5th century. Still working!

lavender

We purchased fresh lavender sachets that add a lovely fragrance to the shelves in our master closet.

window sill

Window sills were filled with flowers.

french flag

Flying colors of the French flag.

fountain topiary

City fountain with lovely topiary.

Shop Window

Shop windows give a glimpse into the fashion world.

Fashion

Local fashion

accordion player

The beautiful music of French songs played by a local accordion player. I’m not sure how locals feel about them. It was an honor for us to donate to these street players. I hear the songs in my mind when I think about this day.

Selfie on Crown Princess

Back on the ship, we reminisced about our day and congratulated ourselves. We missed Spatula City and Souvenir City.

 

sunset drink

But, sharing a cocktail on the deck of the ship is a memory that needs no souvenir.

 

CoziNest Photo Caption Contest and Giveaway

Contest to Win….

I bought you something in Greece! As I walked among the ruins of Olympia, I kept thinking about contests. Races. Wreaths. Olive leaves and togas. I imagined the bath houses of the day, filled with contestants after the event, either exhausted and jubilant, or exhausted and downtrodden. I was surprised when I learned that there was originally only one race. One event that included one race! And that means, one winner. When you think of the games today, that’s a little hard to imagine.

Photo #1 Ruins of Olympia

Olympia Greece

 

Photo #2 Life blooms among ruins.

Blooming Tree among Ruins

 

Photo #3 Training Area

Olympic Training Grounds

 

Photo #4 Artist rendering of what it would have looked like in the period.

Artist Rendering

 

Photo #5 Ionic Columns

Ionic Columns

 

Photo #6 007 in Olympia

007 in Olympia

 

Photo #7 Two “trainers” peak around a column.

Greek Columns

 

Photo #8 Olympic Fire Pit

Olympic Fire Pit

 

Photo #9 Entrance to Arena

Entrance to Olympic Games

 

Photo # 10 Starting Line

CoziNest Contest and Giveaway

 

Photo #11 Archway as You Exit Arena

Olympic Archway

 

Photo #12 Crown Princess Awaits

Crown Princess

 

CoziNest Contest and Giveaway

This is where the fun begins…

 

Greek Centerpiece

Here’s a peek at my dining room table set in a Greek theme. This is a table… runner. Get it? It’s a runner like in a race.

 

leaf placemat

Leaf Placemats are added to the table to remind us of the prize during those races. The prize was a wreath made of olive tree leaves. No medals. No contracts with sporting good companies.

TableRunner

Olives were and are a major export of the Greek Islands. Cats are too!

CoziNest Contest & Giveaway

So, here is the prize. Valued at $32 USD, a Greek Table-Runner in honor of all those who’ve run the race. Whatever race…

Here are the Rules for the Contest:

  • All Entrants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Enter contest by entering all the information requested in the form provided on this website.
  • Write a caption for any of the photos above #1-12. No profanity.
  • Entry period is June 26 through July 7, 2018, ending at 12:00 midnight Central Daylight Time.
  • Give credit where it is due. If your caption is a quote, add the name or source where it originated.
  • Entries may be submitted for multiple photos.
  • Upload your photo(s) of choice with caption to Facebook with link to this post. For Instagram, include Hashtag: #CoziRunner.
  • The entry with the highest number of likes and comments on their caption will win the runner.
  • Winner will be announced on July 9, 2018

Have fun! I can’t wait to see your creative captions!

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