Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Dab of Scrapbooking

In the past, I've mentioned how I'm a member of Junior Hospitality Club.  I've met some great women through this club and couldn't be happier that my friend, Natalie, finally twisted my arm enough to get me to join.  This is my second year serving the community through this club and I'm looking forward to next year serving on the board as treasurer! 

Before I get too ahead of myself I need to worry about finishing this year, which will come to an end with a bang at our May Giveaway/75th Anniversary next Thursday.  At this event we will be presenting our grant recipient with their...get this...grant monies.  And to top it off, this year is our 75th Anniversary and we will have an extra, super duper, big celebration for that!!  Exciting stuff!! 

I have a big project to complete prior to this fun-filled evening...this year I have served as historian.  Basically, what this means is that I need to make sure to photograph most, if not all, events and compile a scrapbook to present to the club at this event, May Giveaway.  This scrapbook chronicles the club's activities for that year. 

My goal at the beginning of this year was to attend every event and photograph each...however, life got in the way and I wasn't able to do that.  Luckily, the chaplain of our club is also responsible for making a scrapbook to present to the president at the end of her term as well.  Naturally, the historian and chaplain work closely regarding both scrapbooks.  Between the two of us, we've been able to photograph 83% of what we needed to...what we weren't able to Nicole did, as she is in charge of the blog and does a fantabulous job! 

Today, I was able to finish cutely cutting all the photographs I will be assembling in the scrapbook.  Kelsie, my friend and the JH chaplain, and I spent a good part of an evening earlier this week working on page backgrounds with cute stickers and other additions.  Hopefully, this weekend I will be able to finish arranging all the photos and just worry about adding cuties here and there throughout.  I'm really excited to see how this project turns out! 

Then...when I'm done...I'm on to making a quilt scrapbook for my mom!  She's made so many to date that she's asked me to help her account for them all through a scrapbook.  I can't wait!  That might have to wait until after the wedding though...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update Update Update!

Have you looked at my wedding countdown ticker lately???  It now shows less than 100 days! ::squeal::  Obviously, this post is going to be an update regarding the status of the wedding... 

As I type, my beautiful invitations are sitting next me.  My friend who is preparing them will be giving me the last section of the invitations tomorrow, the sealing stickers to be specific.  She does this on the side, is very affordable and does a fabulous job!  If you would be interested in contacting her for an estimate, just shoot me an email and I'll give you her email address.

As for what I have purchased since my last update?  Two of my flower girl baskets plus my "well wish" vases.  There will be a total of four flower girl baskets and I've decided for each of the baskets to all have a different look.  Therefore, the two I have already purchased are different brands and styles.  All of my bridesmaids are wearing a different style of dress (though, same fabric), why not continue the theme with these darling little baskets?

As for the vases...if you haven't heard of these, they're vases that guests put cards containing their advice, wishes, hopes, etc. for the newlyweds.  I will have a total of three.  The first one's contents we will read on the way to our honeymoon.  The other two will contain "wishes" that we will read on our 1st and 5th anniversaries.  These vases will be denoted as such at the reception, so if perhaps someone wants to wish for us have twins, they'll probably put them in the later dated vases.  Or at least I would hope so!  Haha!  I laugh about this...but, David's mother is a twin.

I'm currently patiently waiting for my monogrammed unity sand holders and engraved guest frame (in lieu of a guest book) to come in the mail.  I decided to go with the unity sand instead of a unity candle because I'm leaning towards the ceremony being outside...barring 115 degree weather.  And's Oklahoma.  There's a reason our state song refers to the wind sweeping down the plains.  As for the frame...David really liked the idea over a guest book that we probably won't ever look at again.  So friends and family will be using an engraving pen to sign the frame and we'll hang it up in our house after the wedding.

Wish me luck for the rest of this process to go smoothly and stress-free!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

Doesn't this look like some creamy, coconut-y pudding goodness enveloped in flaky pastry heaven?  Well...that's exactly what it is!

In case you haven't guessed...coconut cream pie was the other birthday celebration creation I brought to work yesterday.  This is David's absolute favorite dessert.  So, of course, I had to make two!  And yes, that man can destroy an entire pie all on his own!  I think the only other pie he might get this excited about is his mother's apple.

I actually used the pie filling recipe David kept onhand to make himself.  It's not his mother's recipe, but still goooood.  Oh, and yes, you did read the first sentence of this paragraph correctly.  David loves pie so much that when he moved out on his own he learned how to make pastry crust and fillings all by himself.  Apparently before he met me, David was known to roll out crusts with cans in lieu of a rolling pin...either his mom or sister eventually took pity on him and bought him a rolling pin.  So, when I get frustrated with my crusts (luckily, this has only happened once!), guess who I turn to for a quick fix?  Yep, you guessed it-my man! 

Back to issue at hand though.  David said he got this recipe from "the internet" and from his print out (with the pudding stain and all) I can get that it was printed from an recipe.  I have no clue who to credit that being said.  We do alter the egg section of the recipe just a bit and the recipe is printed below with that change.  So...essentially this is altered from the one.

Coconut Cream Pie

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
4 eggs
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt over a medium heat; gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly.  Reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes more.  Remove the pan from heat.

Beat the eggs slightly.  Gradually stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into eggs (**important step: this is to prevent eggs from scrambling).  Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and bring the entire mixture to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes before removing the pan from heat.

Stir butter, vanilla and coconut into the hot mixture.  Pour the hot filling into the baked pie crust.  Cool.  Cover and chill to store the pie if not serving immediately.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Luscious Lemony Layered Bars

I made a couple of birthday desserts for a 70th birthday celebration in my office today.  Yes, you read 70th!  For Sandie's birthday, I decided to make two of her favorite desserts.  These lemon bars are the first dessert item I'm going to share with you and boy, are they delish.  I found the recipe from Sugarcrafter's website, who got it from How To: Simplify's site.  To view the recipe in it's entirety please click here

You should really try these...

Here's my crust going into the oven (I don't have a square glass pan...guess that needs to go on my wedding registry, huh?).

And here's the filling that will be poured on top once the crust has been in the oven for a little bit.

Yum yum, smells so good!  Very lemony.

And here's the final product.  I took a picture of them in the tub I brought them to work in.  Don't they look good?

Stay tuned tomorrow for the other tasty treat I brought for the birthday bash!  I'll give you a hint in the meantime though...while David wouldn't touch these babies with a ten-foot pole, I had to make a duplicate of the other dish so he would be satiated with his own version.  Hint: it's his FAVORITE dessert.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baked Asparamagus

To give my meal a healthy kick I decided to try an asparagus recipe my mother had suggested a while back.  It's super simple, but I have to was only OK.  And part of this is my fault...I'll try and do better next time around. 

All you do is preheat your oven to 300 degrees, sprinkle some olive oil and seasonings on top of your asparagus, then bake for 15 minutes.  Finally, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.

Looks good, right?  Meh.  I used Italian seasoning to "match" my main dish and used up the last of my parmesan cheese with that...sooooo, I used Swiss to top off my asparagus.  At the time, it sounded better than cheddar or colby-jack.  It was OK, but next time I'll try to use some actual veggie seasoning and parmesan cheese. 

I'll report back when I re-try this simple recipe...and just so you know, David likes to call asparagus "asparamagus."  Don't be surprised if I do that from time to time as well, as it's rubbing off on me...just in case you were wondering about my blog title. ::wink, wink:: 

Do you have a little nickname for some of your favorite dishes whether they be sides or main courses?

Pasta Carbonara

Last night I was finally able to get back in the groove in the kitchen.  Between all my moving and shifting of this, that and the other...yea, it's been a while.  Sorry.  Blame it on my house being for sale, moving stuff into David's, the wedding name it.  Finally, I was able to cook a real live meal.  And since I hadn't cooked in a while, I decided to spoil David a little. 

I remembered making this dish a while back and he L-O-V-E-D it.  It is sooooo not healthy though...but, it is sooooo good.  However, since we're both not trying to gain 50 pounds before the wedding I made a few changes.  First and foremost, since I'm not feeding 15 people I halved the recipe.  Then, I reduced the bacon, cheese and egg quantities while adding a red bell pepper.  This was still so very delish!  Here's the final product...

Yum yum yum!  Can't wait for leftovers!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hanger Snob

Everyone has something they're a "snob" about.  Whether you insist on buying all organic food or only buy Charmin toilet paper, everyone has something.  I'm just going to give you a sneak-peek into one of mine.  As I've admitted before, I'm obsessive compulsive about a few things...this is just one of them. 

Amongst other wedding plans, part of my time has been spent moving non-essential clothes and other items that aren't needed daily or at this time.  I've mentioned this before...Christmas stuff, winter clothes, etc.  I've also mentioned how reorganizing David's house has also taken up some of my time...that includes his closet.  Well, the master closet.  Soon to be "our" closet. 

As I was moving in wool blazers, slacks, hoodies, jeans and boots...I remembered my hatred.  My hatred for these.

David, like many other people, has a small collection of these wire hangers that reside in his closet.  I don't.  They're very flimsy, bend easily, cut into your clothing, clothes slide off them and and and and...I just don't like them.  I used to feel bad about not keeping wire hangers, but then I found a solution: my dry-cleaners "recycles" wire hangers.  So, every time I drop off some skirts, slacks or blazers I also drop off a handful of wire hangers courtesy of my last pick-up.  You might want to check with your local dry-cleaners to see if they do the same.

What do I use instead of wire hangers?  As you can probably guess I love using plastic hangers.  My closet is full of different variations and colors of these...though, they're mostly white.

I know this is weird, but I don't mind being considered a "hanger snob."  And it's not like it's an expensive indulgence...just this past weekend David and I bought some more from Target priced at $2.99 for a package of 20 hangers.

The weird things you do and talk about in preparation for marriage and moving in with someone...

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Kite Runner...Revisited

I actually read this book, The Kite Runner, a little while prior to starting this blog.  I want you to know this is a VERY GOOD book.  If you have a chance, read it.  It has some difficult parts in it, but the story is amazing.  And if you like The Kite Runner, continue on and read A Thousand Splendid Sons.  This book is the "male version" while A Thousand Splendid Sons is the "female version."  Both can be hard reads due to the content, but I believe they're important reads.

Why am I bringing this up?  As you might have noticed, I've been on a bit of kick where I'm trying to watch the movie versions of books I've read.  This particular movie came in the mail via Netflix on Friday and since David didn't want to see it, I had a chance this weekend to view it by myself.  Good, good, good, good movie!  This movie stays remarkably close to the book's storyline.  I originally thought it might be because it's been a while since I've read the book, but then I talked to my aunt (who had originally recommended and loaned the book to me) and she 100% agreed.  Now, the movie didn't get a lot of rave reviews even though it was nominated for some foreign language film awards back in 2007 (Golden Globes and Academy Awards).  I honestly think that's because over half the movie is in subtitles...but, if you've read the book then you know why.  This story primarily takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan and most of the dialogue is in Dari Persian.  Even if you haven't read the book, I highly recommend this movie...though, be prepared to read a lot!  The story is well worth it!


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