Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coming up: Dr. Seuss Baby Shower!

This has seriously been FUN! I am throwing a baby shower for my awesome Sister-in-law who is having her first boy in December (yeah close cousins!!!) She suggested a Dr. Seuss theme and it just set my mind off! I have come up with all these cool ideas (some a little too crazy for the natural world).

Pictured above is the fish from the book Cat in the Hat. They are made out of cardboard and just painted with orange acrylic paint then outlined and detailed with a black marker. I have yet to paint the eyes white (no white paint right now...) so they aren't totally finished but you can see the cuteness!

I am also making the head of Horton the Elephant and two giant sized book covers as some fun decorations! I may do a few more things but I still have to convince Peter to help me cut them out... :)

Here is the invitation wording my mother-in-law and I came up with changing the words from The Sleep Book and Oh the Places You'll Go. -

The news
just came in
from the County of Glowing,
that on Kenna
a very small bump is a-growing.

It is getting so big,
that a party we're throwing!

October's the month,
the 4th is the day.
An Open House leaves,
plenty time to play.
From 6 until 8,
You can come by and say,
Congrats to Kenny, your baby's on the way!

So please bring a gift,
In order to cover
All the places he'll go
with his soon-to-be mother!

The place he will go that we need you to cover will be _______.

The blanks will then be filled in with words like:
Bed, meals, bath, park, church, changing table, etc...

This way it splits up the type of gifts people will bring.

Once we get further along I will be sure to take more pictures of the awesome decorations we will put together and help you with all the details you need to throw this shower yourself!

Inspiration came from the very talented - Amy over at
Stem Parties.

Here is a picture, from the twin shower she threw themed "Thing One and Thing Two." Aren't these just PERFECT! Thanks for the help and great ideas Amy!

My 1st Recipe

Mark your history books for yesterday because I created my very own recipe - AND wrote it down! Not that I haven't whipped up something from deep within the chasms of my brain before, actually I have started doing that quite often all the sudden, I just have never written it down. In fact, when I told Peter that I would be making up tonight's dinner he responded, "ooo, then I know it will be a good one!" He is so sweet to encourage my crazy desire for creation.

Speaking of creation; I finally felt normal when in the General Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday night for the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the second counselor in the First Presidency, President Uchtdorf gave a talk with the central idea of our inherent need to create as humans. This is so because we are children of the greatest Creator, our Heavenly Father. His words felt so true and so right to me.
The next day I found myself looking a this amazing girl's blog (I can't tell you which one just yet because her blog will be my Bloglight for October!) where she comes up with all these recipes and makes them AND photographs them - my two loves combined into one, the ultimate means of creation for me!
I felt so inspired by her and her incredible talents I came home and feeling empowered I decided to make up my own recipe and call it out to Peter as I went. This worked out perfectly! Although because this was my first time with this recipe there will be many more perfections to come! Here is the first version though!

Shallot and Herb Roasted Chicken with Bacon and Carrots

Serves 4-6

1 Whole Roasting Chicken (3-5 lbs.)

½ tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence

1 Lemon, cut into quarters

1 ½ tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil (divided)

4 slices of Bacon

2 medium sized Shallot, cut in half

1 clove of Garlic, cracked

2-3 large Carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into ½ – inch slices

3 Bay Leafs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rinse chicken. Remove giblets and neck and pat dry. Trim excess fat from skin and meat. Prepare chicken by gently separating the skin from the meat with your fingers so to make a pocket for the herbs.

Rub the skin with butter, salt, and pepper. Then, working in-between the skin and the meat in the pocket you created, rub the meat with the herbs de Provence being sure to evenly cover the front, back and the legs. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry for 2 minutes. Add shallots and garlic with bacon and continue to fry being careful not to burn the bacon or the shallots or garlic.

Once bacon has finished cooking, remove it and set aside for later. Add the carrots, sauté for about 5 minutes scraping the pan to loosen some of the bacon and adding the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil if needed.

Remove the carrots from the pan and place in your roasting dish. Also remove the shallots and garlic from the pan and reserve for later.

Place two quarters of the lemon inside the chicken cavity. Then place the reserved shallots and garlic along with two pieces of bacon and 1 bay leaf. Cover the cavity with the remaining lemon halves.

With the last two bay leafs, place them under the skin with the herbs de Provence to intensify the flavor. Tie legs together with twine.

Place the chicken in the roasting pan with the carrots and remaining bacon. Place in the oven, covered for 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 375 degrees and finish roasting uncovered for 25 minutes; basting once.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes then transfer to serving dish.

The total menu for the night was:

Roasted Chicken and Carrots

Roasted Yam Fries

Steamed Broccoli

The Yam fries were delicious and looked marvelous served in a small tea cup! These are so easy, you simply peel and slice a yam into small sticks drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, brown sugar and then topped off with freshly squeezed orange juice. Roast them for 20 minutes (during the last 20 minutes of roasting your chicken) and then broil them at the very end for like 2 minutes. Just make sure not to burn them, just help them crisp up a little.

For the steamed broccoli I cheated. It is a little trick I learned from my mom, you just throw some frozen broccoli florets in a bowl with some oil (mom uses butter) and a little salt and lemon pepper. The lemon pepper is key - makes them perfectly delicious. Throw a paper towel over them and microwave for 2-3 minutes.

As a tasting note: I must say that the carrots were my most favorite part! Oh, having them fried in bacon grease for a few minutes makes all the difference and then allowing them to slowly soak up the delicious juices of the chicken as it cooks - pure goodness.

So you know, all photographs were taken by me in my attempt at a food photography studio - I need some practice and fine tuning but I will get it!

Hopefully you enjoyed my journey through creating my first recipe - hopefully there are loads more to come. Oh and I will try and post 1 new recipe a week, it may not be my own but it will be something scrumptious! And I will try to make it and photograph it first. Oh with fall upon us I can only dream of the delicious soups and breads and spiced treats.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pirate Party Pictures

My Mom has been bugging me for the entire week to get the pictures from the pirate party so... here they are.

We tried to keep things pretty simple as far as the food went and instead of going all out with a center piece we just used part of the dinner (the fruit) as the centerpiece and it worked great!

The whole room was lit with a ton of candles and the dinner was served on large silver platters. We had roasted chicken legs doused in BBQ sauce. Whole carrots steamed and topped with parsley and chunked bread.

Everyone had to eat their food without utensils which was so much fun! I love not having to have manners every once in a while.

Keep your eyes out, there is more to come on this sweet party!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Ahoy mateys!
September 19th was International Talk like a pirate day and in celebration of that holiday Peter and I held a Murder Mystery Pirate Party! It was a blast and a bit of work! Here is the invitation we sent out. I will post more pictures along with all the details including the script, menu, and everything you need to know to throw your own Murder Mystery Pirate Party!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bloglight: Amy Butler

I can't believe it is already September!!! An update on the pregnancy - I am feeling better slowly but surely. I am now 15 weeks along and have my next appointment coming up on the 11th. We won't find out the gender until our October appointment - which I am okay with but the rest of the family is kind of freaking out with anticipation. 
Well since I have fallen to nearly monthly posting (it will pick up again soon... I promise!!!) here is my post for this month. It is of course my BLOGLIGHT!!! I have been thinking of a site to Bloglight all day long and remembered showing this lovely lady off to my Relief Society President a few weeks ago and she just loved her! I must admit, I love her too and when the e-mail from Amazon popped into my mail box today at work and I saw that she has a NEW BOOK!!! I just about flipped! Especially because it is all about BABIES! And what else do I have on my mind lately?? 
So with out further adieu, let me present to you, the marvelous and most talented, Amy Butler of Amy Butler Design. This woman is skilled when it comes to creating delicious looking fabrics! I don't know if you remember the contest I entered a while back with the mood board I created for Decor8's mood board contest... well it was centered around Amy Butler's newest collection, Midwest Modern. I must admit that I am still very partial to her older line but I do very much enjoy seeing new types of fabric for my buying pleasure (I have yet to purchase my very own Amy Butler Fabric, mostly because supply is limited around here and slightly on the expensive side... although the World Wide Web comes to the rescue and offers all of Amy's fabrics at very reasonable prices! {try here and here!}) 
I am totally in love with her fresh new vibe to things most of us younger generation consider for the grandmas, like quilting! Have a look at her beyond amazing quilts and she even provides some of the patterns FREE of charge!!!! Ok you can go and splurge on her fabric now because you got the pattern FREE!!!! 
This is my next project, the Hourglass pillows. I have the pillows and the fabric cut out I just have to find the time to sew them together. Although I am attempting to make a few adjustments to the pattern as I want to be able to remove the pillow case and wash it or change it out with the seasons. (The fabric I have currently cut out are Christmas). I will let you know how the alteration turns out... 
I pretty much just love everything about her and to give you a little sneak peek at what the baby book has to offer because I want it really bad... 
Don't forget to take a look at all her books and you can purchase them on Amazon, the links are just right over there, yup over on the left side of the page, just click and all your crafting/sewing dreams will come true! 
Honestly her patterns are really comprehensive! She goes through in great detail exactly what you need to do for each one and she has you finish all your projects so they look the very best possible, no scraggy unfinished edges with Amy! 

Ps. She also has paper crafts, card kits, stationary, and gift wrap/tablewares for sale on her website!