I just returned from a weekend trip away with friends -- three days of scrapbooking, laughing and drinking way too many mimosas and sangrias. If you're needing a weekend away, gather up your girlfriends and read below:
1. Girls Night Inn in Nokesville, VA - I've scrapbooked in a number of cabins, fire halls, expo centers and hotel ballrooms. Hands-down, this is the best place I've found for a getaway scrapbook retreat. The home sleeps ten and is just under $1,000 for the weekend. We like to reserve it for long weekends and take advantage of the extra weekend day. This weekend, our group checked in before noon on Friday and left around noon on Monday. All this, for $100/person. Seriously.
The home is spacious and tastefully decorated. Our group takes full advantage of the kitchen, taking turns making meals. Some of the best laughs are shared over meals at the dining room table. There is a fantasic hot tub in the backyard, overlooking a beautiful pond. In the past, we have taken advantage of the outdoor dining room, having a wonderful Italian dinner by candlelight (we passed on dining al fresco this weekend -- a little too cold this go 'round!). Upstairs, the bedrooms are perfect for the ultimate sleepover.
The craft room is unbelievable. Each cropper gets her own six foot table with a trash can, cup holder, cutting mat AND OTT LIGHT!!!!! Other craft room amenities include: a shared Cricut and cartridges (feel free to bring your own cartridges as well), shared ink pads, hundres of Close To My Heart stamp sets, circle cutters, idea books, computer & printer and a DVD/TV with a large collection of chick flicks.
Most weekend crops cost well over $100, without the accomodations. This is an amazing deal -- gather up your girlfriends and book a weekend now!
2. My Mom's Sangria. We spent the weekend enjoying my mom's sangria (ahem, some of us may enjoyed a bit too much...) and I promised everyone the recipe. I thought I might share it with you as well (sorry Mom!):
2 large bottles red wine (it can be cheap wine…burgundy or cabernet works best)
1 bottle triple sec
1 bottle brandy
1 frozen can of orange juice concentrate ( I think it is 12 oz)
Juice of 2 lemons
About 2 cups of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water - once sugar is dissolved, boil 5 minutes and then cool before you add)
Mix everything together. Add chopped granny smith apples or citrus fruits if you like fruit in your sangria.
I like to freeze mine and then scrape it out so it is a slushy. You can always serve it over ice too!