Saturday, August 27, 2011

San Francisco Here We Come

I may burst out in song any minute-- because that's what you do on a long drive!
I'm ready for the fog-
I'm ready for the pumpkins-
Long walks on the beach are scheduled for each morning.
and San Francisco will be on our tour docket for at least 2 days.
I can hear the cable cars now...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

stress - WHO me StReSsEd?? ! ? ! ? !

yea, I'll admit it I have reached the FRANTIC state.
I am totally stressed, and over the top worked up about this wedding and leaving and packing and making sure I have everything, and everything done right!!!
I'm going to have to take a little blogging break, not a big one, I'll try and post stuff along the way.
and of course LOTS of pictures of the wedding, if I can remmeber to take the camera.

Thanks for checking in on me and here's a funny little story for your troubles... and MAN I've got troubles!

I THOUGHT I had finally found a way to convince Susan, my continually harried friend, that she needed to find ways to relax. I invited her to dinner and, while I was busy cooking, she agreed to watch my videotape on stress management and relaxation techniques. Fifteen minutes later, she came into the kitchen and handed me the tape. "It was good," she said, "but I don't need it." "But it's a 70-minute video," I replied. "You couldn't have watched the whole thing." "Yes, I did," Susan assured me. "I put it on fast-forward."
by Jean Kelly

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Never think your contribution isn't good enough, big enough, far-reaching enough, because you never know how far your ripples may reach. -
 Amanda Fall

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Help with ideas... I KNOW you guys have ideas...

I have been working FOREVER on this project for the wedding.
These are the place cards... I talked about them here:  here
I had an idea in my mind...I found a LARGE frame and painted it black and the back ground black and strung ribbon to hold the place cards. 
A different print for every table (and I STILL don't have enough for all the tables yet.. so I'll just keep looking, I have a week ya know! no wait only 4 days..) 
Here's my problem: the meals consist of beef, chicken and pasta.
QUESTION:  how should the servers be notified of what each person has ordered? 
a 'jewel' on the place card?
a feather?
a sticker?
an actual letter B or C or P  at their place setting (the guest would have to gather this at the front table and put it on their plate and you just know there are those who have forgotten what they ordered...

???  I just don't know know what would look the best and be the most elegant and easiest way to solve the problem...
so I come to my bloggy friends and ask for HELP!
maybe you've even been to a wedding where there was an easy way for this dilemma to be solved..
thanks in advance...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Busy Weekend

We had a super busy weekend. Twin #1 and his girlfriend came from AZ for a visit and it was great fun cooking for the gang and showing them around... just look at the fun we had!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Food Frun Friday- Black Bean Brownies

my earth friendly friend bought these to work to share with me.. promising me a yummy brownie... who knew there were HEALTHY things in them..
They are yummy, (but don't try it with the caramel drizzled over the top.. that is just TOO decadent!)
Black Bean Brownies
1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed very well

3 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8-x 8-inch baking pan; set aside.

Process the black beans in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the chocolate chips and process again until smooth. Mix in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and pulse a few times just until the chips are incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides and it passes the toothpick test. Cool completely in the pan, then slice into squares.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

have I been living under a rock?

I've shown these boxes I'm making for the favors for the wedding, right? 
...and I've spent many a night cutting out all 120 of them right?
The plan is that when we arrive in CA and are sitting around chatting and relaxing (hahahahahaha that's a good one!) we will fold all the 120 boxes and get them ready for stuffing..
WELL low and behold there is AN EASIER WAY !
Thanks to my 'designer friend Donna (see Tuesday's shower invitation)  There is this tool called Scor pal that you can... yes you guessed it... score the folds that will make it 10 times easier and cleaner/neater .
Scor-Pal® creates accurate and precise scores giving you professional looking folds, no more crooked cards. Multiple scores are done in seconds without moving the paper. Perfect for accordion folds, boxes, fancy fold cards and other interesting projects!

Why have I never heard of this before... have I been living under a rock??????  It only took a couple of hours to score all the boxes and now they will totally zip together with ease!  LOVE IT.  

I LOVE scor-pal!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

- Carl Bard

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let me tell you about the shower

With all my talking about the wedding details... I need to tell you about the shower details.
Russell and Kieri love the Renaissance fair and subsequent Pirate fair...
The bridesmaids are throwing them a Pirate Shower... for everyone who's in town.  Since this is a destination wedding for almost everyone in the wedding party... everyone is, women and children.
yo ho yo ho the married life for me
My FABULOUSLY talented girlfriend designed the invitation:
and envelope:

the colors are Pink and Black...
I've made a few decorations:   
this is a sneak peak at a bouquet I've made.. not for this wedding but... hopefully for my future business.  I'm still gathering the supplies but really what a great place to test these things out.. more to come later. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The count down is on...

And if you have to ask what the count down is for... you haven't read this blog before.  I tried to finish up EVERYTHING this weekend.  *sigh*
just when I thought I was nearing completion, I got another assignment.
I made 22 chair sashes, 2 little girl dress sashes, 3 extra long table runners.
I made 4 hair clips out of one kind of flower... but made 4 more hair clips the way the BRIDE requested:
 she wants the rose looking ones, not the layered/burned effect ones.
Oh, and by the way... let me show you where I sew....
Remember in February when we cleaned, and re-carpeted and MOVED all unnecessary items to storage.. well my craft room went to storage.  so I use this little kid table and chair which is partially hidden behind the door to the bonus room.  OH YEAH, and I have to clean up my mess every night before I go to bed (the hardest part.. because I am working on so many things).  sigh...
My new assignment is to make flower wreaths for the flower girls to wear on their heads.  sigh...  back to the little table I go.
hey there's an awful lot of sighing going on at this house.

linking up here:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

This is so true.. that t-shirts should be made!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Food Fun Friday- more veggies to roast!

Well this is another veggie rich meal BUT.. easy as pie, well not pie, as far as I'm concerned pie is not an easy meal!
With zucchini and squash season here  there's lots to make with these two veggies that are simple and easy:
Cut up the zucchini's. I used 2 zucchinis and 1 squash  and I could have used more.
drizzle with olive oil, shake on sea salt, mix with Parmesan cheese (don't really know how much I just put what I felt was enough).
put it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes to roast them.  As you can see by the pan below I could have used a lot more.  THEY SHRINK... or I should have used a smaller pan!!!
For dinner I added a little chopped and quick pan cooked apple/chicken sausage.
 easy as pie

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

stressed? depressed? blue? irritated?

What do you do when you're stressed? and irritated and a little mad.  Yesterday reached a fever pitch...
what to do, what to do... sleep?  eat?  shop?  talk? write it all out? or count your blessings..(now There's an idea).

So here we are at the dawn of another day. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other.  Sometimes I'm not happy about it.  Sometimes it's not what I planned.   
---so what should I do?
eat chocolate?
I vote to go shopping.   
I still have a list of things to make for the wedding!! AND shower...have I told you about the Pirate shower?????  oh just wait.

Time to suck it up and get going... there's lots to do even if I don't feel like doing it. After all that's what living is all about! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Becareful what you ask for, or I won!

For Christmas, I asked for this REALLY COOL camera bag from Jo Totes. 
Mr. Produce thought I was crazy, I already had a perfectly good green $9.00 UNLINED bag.  Besides I was usually so busy running around and entertaining that I forgot to take pictures anyway. forward to me entering a blog contest (I don't have as much time as I used to and I really don't enter too many, ESPECIALLY ones that make you enter for commenting and enter for following and enter for 'like' ing them on FB and enter for posting...) 
But I did enter one on:

Sew Craft Create
by Heidi
AND she just had a baby boy last month!! phew!

It even comes IN a dust bag!!! 
There are numerous padded compartments....  that you can set up anyway you want: 
"Inside of each Jo Tote are removable pads which are completely customizable—you can use as many or as few pads as you wish, arranged in the way that best suits your camera, lenses, and other items."

this really means two things.
1.  I have to now make (finally, only been saving all sorts of tutorials for 2 yrs) THE perfect camera strap.
2.  I have to learn how to do something other than push the button on my camera in auto!  That means take lessons.  I may have to barter with Carmen for some expert help! 
oh yeah, and 3.  I think my luck has been used up this year so I needn't bother entering any more contests!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

cat funny

You Don't Have To Own A Cat To Appreciate This One! You don't even have to like 'em!
We were dressed, and ready to go out for the New Years Eve Party. We turned on a night light, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet, and put the cat in the backyard.

We phoned the local cab company and requested a taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house.

As we walked out the door, the cat we had put out in the yard, scoots back into the house. We didn't want the cat shut in the house. Because she always tries to eat the bird.

My wife goes on out to the taxi, while I went back inside to get the cat. The cat runs upstairs, with me in hot pursuit. Waiting in the cab, my wife doesn't want the driver to know that the house will be empty for the night. So, she explains to the taxi driver that I will be out soon, 'He's just going upstairs to say Goodbye to my mother.'

A few minutes later, I get into the cab. 'Sorry I took so long,' I said, as we drove away. 'That stupid thing was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her butt with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her downstairs and threw her out into the back yard!'

The cab driver hit a parked car.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Food Fun Friday- English Matrimonials

This is a family recipe  ( I think my mom made up the fancy name!)  Her Aunt Jess in Los Altos had an apricot orchard and every year we would pick apricots and eat them till we were sick!  We always had apricot jam around the house so my mother thinks these can only be made with apricot jam (NOT SO).

English Matrimonials 
otherwise known as Jam Bars.
1 1/2 C sifted flour
1C Brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 1/4 C Oatmeal (old fashioned)
3/4 C butter (softened NOT melted)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C jam
Put dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix with butter until mixture is like crumbs. Mix with pastry cutter.
Pack a firm layer of 1/2 of crumbs in a 8X8 pan.  Cover with jam or preserves.  Cover jam with the rest of the crumb mixture.  Press firm.
Bake 325degrees 40-45 minutes.  Cool then cut.
I made these for the family reunion and they were a big hit. 
I used raspberry jam my Aunt Kathryn makes, (it is so good we call it gold)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's all about the favor--

more wedding talk: (let's not even mention that the wedding is one month from today, oops I mentioned it.)
This question is always a hit or miss at every wedding, for men mostly!
I found a GREAT generous blog that has THE best box down loads: here
Don't Eat The Paste dot com
She so generously designs boxes and other items and lets you down load them...  Just LOOK at yesterday's box--- wow'za  (hmmm... it is red, darn too bad I cut out 120 of the other boxes, sigh)

yes - I cut out all the box favors.  Kieri and Russell are going to get these shell chocolates and put them inside. 
WHICH bow do you like (I put a little pill bottle next to it to show you how big it is):
medium red ribbon and bow:
wide red ribbon, knot 
wide black ribbon with knot
 small red ribbon with bow
Which do you prefer?? and tell me what ARE your feelings on a favor...  and aren't favors supposed to have a little thank you attached????? oh great something more for me to cut out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

first of all I have to say I LOVED all the answers/reasons/and comments from yesterday,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

remembering words- do you have this trouble????

Problem: A word, a movie or book title, or a long-lost friend’s name is on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t come up with it. "This is a universal problem, and it happens more as we age," (what has AGE got to do with it???) Dr. Edgerly says. It also becomes harder to recall basic information when you feel stressed or are holding too many thoughts in your head at once.

ok, so I read this and thought.... HEY are they looking at my life?  because yes, I have this problem. 

Solution: First, cut yourself some slack―it happens to everyone. Then take a deep breath to clear your head. “An enemy of memory is multitasking,” says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Center on Aging,(There's that word again.. AGE) who is also the author of The Memory Prescription. Then say aloud what you think the name of the book or movie might be: “It’s something like water” or “It begins with an S.” Naming the actors in the movie or the characters in the book may also help jog your memory. If you’re still stuck, then “substitute a word that will fit for the time being,” Edgerly says, “and chances are the actual word will surface later.

Well I don't know about you, but I don't actually feel better. although I will try to "clear my mind" 
not. that. hard.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

An Exhausting weekend

This weekend was a blur... a whirly gig blur.
We had Mallory all weekend. 
We baked cookies.
She teased the dog with string cheese
She ran around and around the house with the dog.
We took the dog to Nana's house to stay over night.
On the way over she rolled down the window and told the guy next to us that his car was awesome and had poop all over it.
I turned the window lock on for the rest of the weekend.
We went to McDonald's and got a happy meal for Mallory and a chocolate milkshake for Nana who is STILL nursing her 5 teeth that were taken out!
We washed the car... (WHAT you think I'm going to take my camera out where there is water and Mallory, believe me those two don't mix... I'm lucky my phone survived!!)
We then drove to the family reunion, about 3 hours away.  Lucky for all passengers Mallory fell asleep!  (I may have fallen asleep too)
We had a fun dinner at a little Mexican restaurant where Mallory told the waitress that the bathroom was disgusting and had bubble gum and poop on the walls.
There were many interesting faces at dinnertime, especially when the camera was pulled out...
There were even real threats of water being tossed at the friendly photographer:
We met up with Nancy and Eddy (Nancy and Mallory are Birthday Buddies-born the same day...60 years apart!)  We went to Wendy's for a little frosty.. and we all enjoyed Mallory's youthful exuberance. 
After a short uneventful evening in a motel with two beds (thank heaven) we were up early to fulfill Mallory's desire for pancakes AND waffles!
We then went and saw her great-grandmother. who is now 91.  Mallory was as sweet as can be to her and gave her hugs and even a kiss on the cheek.

Then it was off for the family reunion. Family we haven't seen for a while were there .... plenty of deserts and buckets of chicken:
LUCKILY, and it was an extreme gift from above, the only other family had a little girl Mallory's age, and like Mallory, Lilly was ready to get wild and crazy!!! 
After about 3 hours playing outside in the Cold, (because you know it IS Washington, (Centralia) where the weatherman said it would be 75... it was about 65 and windycold) we were ready to make the 3 hour drive back home.   
The hardest part of the two days.   
I pulled out all the ole car riding tricks:
*I spy with my little eye
*Singing every song from Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dream coat to the ABC's (7 times in a row)
*A game of  making up the second verse to Mallory's first line (which usually involved the word poop)
*Speaking in different languages
and Mallory pretending that she couldn't hear us by repeating the words: HUH???  and  WHAT???  over and over and over and over and over.
We all had a great exhausting time....
although she did steal my camera and judging by the look on my face and tears in my eyes... you KNOW I was enjoying it all!!!
She made me poise in that hand position... so I just had to show her how to make the hand jesters for: Here is the church, here is the steeple open the door and see all the people, close the door and hear them pray, open the door and see them all run away.
Funny how all the childhood rhymes come back you!