Happy Monday! If you’re anything like me (this is Kevin), you already feel exhausted when you wake up. One more reason to drink that extra cup of coffee when you’re heading to the office.
Today, I wanted to talk a little about one of our hobbies: Homebrewing. We make our own beer and it’s quite easy. Let’s save that for another time though. This weekend, we ordered our 2014 customized bottle caps. Here’s where you can use these:
Have you ever had one of those perfect weekends where weather, friends, and good times all came together just right? One where halfway through Tuesday morning you’re still thinking about what a great time you had?
Yeah. This was one of those weekends.
It started out with Kevin and I running our first 5K ever (The St. Patrick’s Day Dash Down Greenville) with my parents (who drove down from Indiana for the occasion).
Not only did we run it, but we both finished! Kevin and my dad finished in around 35 minutes. My mom and I were a bit slower, coming in at just under 45 minutes (my goal). It was a (very) slow jog, but I managed to run the entire three miles without stopping!
After the 5K, we met up with a couple of friends and watched the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We even dressed up the pooches!
After the parade we wandered back to the Little House just as people were starting to arrive. We had about twenty people come to the boil and still ended up with tons of leftovers! Besides the crawfish, potatoes and corn, we had Kevin’s jambalaya, my mom’s lamb stew and bread pudding, Guinness and Bailey’s cupcakes, and fondue!
We finished the night up with a fire in our new fire pit and a couple rounds of Kings, a favorite card game from college.
Our boil was a huge success! We’re so happy to have such a great backyard entertaining space that we can share with our friends and family! Thanks so much for your encouragement as we were getting everything ready!
How was your holiday weekend? Did you do anything special on St. Pat’s?
It’s Tuesday. Our first annual Beals’ St. Patrick’s Day Crawfish Boil is on Saturday and… we still have a few things to do. I mean, only like 27 things. Ish.
Let’s just say that the therapeutic list making has begun in earnest. If I have a list it’ll all get done… or at least that’s what I tell myself.
One thing I need to cross off my list is food. Yes, we’re having traditional boil fare -crawfish, corn, red potatoes, and andoulle sausage boiled in a delicious melange of spices- but some people don’t fancy crawfish, as crazy as that might sound. For them, we’re planning on making Kevin’s homemade Jambalaya recipe (PS. If you haven’t tried this one, you need to).
I’ve also been thinking I’ll make some Guinness and Bailey’s cupcakes like these from From Away. Their recipe is really similar to mine.
I’m stuck on what else to have though. I’d like to have some traditional-ish Irish food (maybe for an appetizer), but I’m not sure what to do. I thought about maybe some small boxty with toppings or a cheese plate with some Dubliner, Cashel Blue, and other Irish cheeses, but that might get expensive.
What else would you serve? Anything? We know of sixteen people that are definitely coming, but may have more than that show up.
This post could also be titled “Oh, Crud. I Forgot the Vacay Photos Again. Guess I’ll Post About My Birthday.”
June 8. It’s a big day. HUGE. Why? Because it’s my birthday. Also, some other cool stuff happened then, too.
June 8, 68: Emperor Galba takes power in Rome. He refuses to pay a bunch of people, levies a bunch of taxes, executes people without trials, and refuses to grant citizenship. Needless to day, voters don’t take too kindly to his policies and impeach have him assassinated seven months later.
June 8, 793: Vikings raid the abbey at Northumberland, beginning the Scandinavian invasion of England. Ikeas and smoked salmon began arriving shortly thereafter.
June 8, 1789: James Madion proposes twelve amendments to the US Constitution. Ten of them are later adopted and become the Bill of Rights. The two that were left of were: The right to have your birthday off work and the right to a be late for work if your reason was donuts. Maybe.
June 8, 1887: The first patent for a calculator is filed with the US Patent office. Nerds everywhere rejoice, myself included. I wouldn’t have made it through engineering school with out the games on my trusty TI-89.
June 8, 1949: George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is published. Big Brothers everywhere get a bad rep. Personally, I really liked this book. There’s something about reading about societies even more messed up than ours. And it reminded me of V for Vendetta, which is an awesome movie.
June 8, 1987: Only two weeks late, my parents welcome me into the world. People everywhere cheer. Or at least the ones in the hospital waiting room. I don’t have any of my baby pics handy, so you’ll have to do with the next oldest one I could find: my little sister and me in our wagon.
June 8, 1992: Declared World Ocean Day. Nemo cheers. Flipper cheers. (Free) Willy cheers. I turn 5.
June 8, 2012: TBD, but you better believe it’s going to be legen-waitforit-dary.
Did any significant world events take place on your birthday?
Remember way back when when I said I was going to make a gutter garden? Well, we finally finished it! The gutters are finally hung (with care) in hopes that baby spinaches will soon be there (too much? I didn’t think so either). Anyway, I was planning on showing you our gutter garden how-to today, but alas, my SD card reader got the best of me. No gutter garden pictures today. Apparently I accidentally used the SD-HC card instead of the plain old SD one and my reader doesn’t like the SD-HC kind. Go figure. I’ll have the hubs fix it tonight and hopefully be able to show the garden tomorrow!
The good news? I finally get to share my friend Danni’s bridal shower with you! It was February 25 at Danni’s parents house in Keller, Texas. I had the honor of throwing the shower (a wine tasting) for her and about thirty of her closest lady friends.
Like my sister’s shower before, I made the invitations on Powerpoint and had them printed via Vistaprint. I have to admit… I love their postcards (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that… if only). They turned out awesomely. I got the idea for them from Etsy seller Pinch of Spice. She has some gorgeous stationary and invites in her Esty store. You should definitely check her out!
I also made wine tasting cards and a “How To Taste Wine” tip card. Like everything else I make, these were made with Powerpoint.
Even if you know how to taste it, you can’t drink wine without wine glasses. I found thischalkboard wine glass tutorial on Pinterest (where else?) and made them using Ikea wine glasses ($4.99/ 6 glasses). We tied chalk to each stem with raffia and set them out as the favors for the shower.
Once you have glasses, you need wine! We had six different varieties, all provided by Danni’s mom, Robbi. For each variety, I made a card listing the name and what the variety pairs well with. These were placed on DIY cork holders made by none other than Kevin! Unfortunately, the pictures of the holder making is also on the SD card I can’t get into, so I’ll have to share that with you some other time.
Once I had the wine out of the way, it was time to focus on food. Danni’s mom had requested chicken salad, dolmas, cheeses, salami, and some yummy deserts. I was happy to oblige. I used Ree’s Chicken Salad recipe (it was the best I’ve ever had). I sliced several types of salami and made a goat cheese stuffed baguette (also found on Pinterest, go figure). We also had several types of cheeses that I set out on cheese boards. As I was up cooking until 2am the night before the party, I had Danni’s mom purchase the dolmas from the local Fancy Pants grocery (they were still yummy).
For dessert, I made a port wine chocolate cake with a port wine ganache. IT. WAS. AWESOME… to put it lightly. I also whipped up a raspberry cheesecake with homemade raspberry coulee (to make it, use this recipe, substituting graham crackers for Oreos and swirling thinned raspberry jelly instead of adding chocolate chips). I also made my mom’s signature (at her restaurant) berry trifle with macerated berries, angel food cake (store bought to save time), and vanilla whipped cream. Danni’s college friend Kate also brought homemade bread and jam (and I brought some of our homemade marmalade). We had promised to save the boys some dessert for when they came to pick us up, but alas, it was all gone.
For entertainment, we played two shower games. The first was Bridal Bingo (I don’t know why it looks so squished below). On the card were several characteristics of people. As everyone was arriving, the guests talked to each other to find people with the characteristics on the bingo card. The first to get a cover-all won a bottle of wine. The second game was called “In the Bride’s Purse.” Guests were asked to write down ten things they thought were in Danni’s purse (she was warned before hand). When they finished, Danni emptied her purse (it was huuuge). The guest with the most won another bottle of wine (we actually had two tie with nine items, so we had a rock-paper-scissors off for the wine!).
The party was a huge success (one lady told me it was the best bridal shower she’d been to, and that she was 57 and had been to a few), but I couldn’t have done it without my super-hubs, Kevin, and Danni’s friend Kate.
Kate, Danni, and Me
PS. Please don’t judge me by how I look in that photo… I was sleep deprived and stressed. I also just realized that this post sounds like a six-year-old wrote it, so don’t judge me by that either. Please?
If you missed Oh Baby, Baby! Parts I-III on the DIY baby shower I threw for my sister, you can find them here, here, and here.
Here we go. Episode four. To recap: my sister, Stephanie, and her husband, Nate, are expecting their first child, a little girl named Emma. I was honored to throw their shower. They decided not to go too girly for baby Emma’s nursery, opting for an animal theme in minty greens, pale oranges, and buttery yellows. Taking their theme and running (wild) with it, I planned a vintage carnival themed shower that took place in our parent’s greenhouse/restaurant.
The party was at 3 p.m., so we opted not to serve a full meal. Instead, we served my sister’s favorite nibbles: homemade ChexMix, cheeseball, olives, chips and salsa, and tortellini salad. Small palms, the homemade bunting, and stuffed circus animals added to the vintage carnival atmosphere.
I also made about 300 mini cupcakes. I made three flavors: Key Lime Cupcakes, Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes, and my own Dark Chocolate Orange Cupcakes. They were all delicious, but the key lime hold a special little place in my heart. I probably had fifteen of the little green beauties during the course of the party.
I bought these adorable paper straws from Pink Lemonade Party Shop on Etsy. She has the cutest party supplies! I could seriously go nuts over the baker’s twine and paper straws.
For the tables, we used colored scrapbook paper as placemats. Each place also had a swirl pop (in green, yellow, or orange) and a carnival-y favor bag of either animal crackers or circus peanuts.
Steph and Emma got a ton of gifts!
The party was a wild success. There were about fifty ladies there, including some of the most important women in my life (like my aunt, Mamaw, cousin Erika, sister Stephanie, my mom, and my Great-Grandmother).
Hope you all enjoyed my sister’s baby shower as much as we did!
I just ordered Kevin’s gift! It’s half from Etsy and half a Grouponicus find. Thanks to everyone who gave their suggestions! They were really helpful! Now I just hope they get in before Christmas.
Since I’m in a gift-y mood, I thought I’d share the gift I got for my sister. I knew that there would be no shortage of onesies and bottles for Emma, so I loved the idea of doing a Hospital Survival Kit for Steph and her husband. Not having been-there-done-that myself (yet), I relied heavily on other blogger’s suggestions as to what was needed in the delivery room, getting much of my inspiration from this idea I found on Pinterest (where else?).
And here’s my version. I was running around like a mad woman (totally uncharacteristic, I assure you) and completely forgot to add the printable labels I’d made.
Inside, Steph found:
MadLibs – Growing up, this was one of Steph’s favorite games to pass time with.
ChexMix – This is Steph’s favorite snack (for post-baby midnight munchies)
M&Ms – Because anyone who just did that much work bringing a life into the world deserves chocolate
Crystal Light lemonade – this was a suggestion from a fellow blogger who disliked the lemonade her hospital offered
Rubber Bands – having hair in your face is a pain in the rear on good days, let alone in the middle of labor (or so I’m told)
Burt’s Bees Pomegranate – to keep those lips baby-kissing soft
Playing Cards – for Nate
Deodorant – to help freshen up before everyone comes in to see little Emma
Water Bottle – another blogger suggestion, the cups her hospital gave her were too small and she emptied them before her nurse was even out of the room
Dark Chocolate Cherry Kashi bars – more midnight post-baby munchies for Steph
Beef Jerky – Tied with ChexMix for Steph’s all time favorite snack. It’s pretty high on the list for Nate, too.
Toothbrush and toothpaste – just in case she forgets hers at home and to get rid that I-haven’t-been-allowed-to-have-water breath
Makeup removal wipes – To remove those mascara smears before everyone comes in to see Emma
Johnson’s body lotion – To freshen up and aid Nate in giving better hand massages
Ouchless Headbands – again, to keep that pesky hair tame and out of the way
Like I said, I had no idea what one would wish for in the delivery room, so if some of these things seem a little superfluous… just go with it.
The Golden Book (The Pokey Little Puppy) was what we did for Emma in lieu of cards. Every guest was asked to purchase a Golden Book and write Emma a little note to read someday. We thought this would be more meaningful and lasting than cards and would help to start a little library for Em (see, I’m already giving her nicknames).
I hope Steph enjoys the gift as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
Do you tend to give traditional gifts or go a little (or way) outside the box? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Can you believe I just started this morning?? I must be crazy. Oh yeah.
Last Friday I shared the homemade bunting I made for my sister’s baby shower. I’m running a little short on things to post, so today I thought I’d share some of the printables I made.
I made invites on Powerpoint (I’m sure there is much, much better software than Powerpoint, but I’m just way more familiar with it) and had them printed by Vistaprint. They were running one of their perpetual sales, so I actually got the first 100 postcards free. Good news: I was only buying 100.
I also made a couple of printable games to play at the shower. The first was Baby Shower Bingo. The guests filled out the blank bingo card before my sister opened her gifts, then passes the cards to their right. As my sister opened gifts, they marked off what she actually received.
The last printable I made was a game called “Match Mommy.” My sister completed a sheet of baby related phrases. Whomever matched the most phrases with her won the game.
The games went over really well. We had small prizes for the winners and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. The printables were really easy to make and I’d be happy to share the files with anyone who might want them.
I didn’t make my favorite printable of all. Instead of a traditional guest book, I had guests sign a family tree created especially for Emma by Christina Elizabeth Design on Etsy. Everyone put their fingerprint on the tree and signed it, creating a family tree of sorts that my sister can hang in her nursery.
Do you make your own printables for your parties? Have you played these baby shower games before? Isn’t Etsy wonderful?