Thursday, July 29, 2010

A 'Tea Party' Bridal Shower

Today I am linking my post up to Joyce's I Love Pretty Little Things,' "Friday Pretties."  Pop on over and you'll find plenty of other pretty little things to lay your eyes on...

The other weekend, I attended the most beautiful bridal shower EVER, for one of my favorite people.
My close friend, Shannon, who authors the blog Bell Jars and Butterflies, and who I have known since the first grade.  We go way back to stirrup pants and huarache sandals.  In fact, we know each other so well that my daughter is attending her mother's preschool which is located up the road from where I grew up.  Talk about friends forever and driving down memory lane--literally!

 Class and crafting ability go hand-in-hand with this family.  When I received my eloquently chic invitation in the mail, I knew the shower was going to be beautiful.  My mother, a prior interior decorator and wedding coordinator knows a thing or two about presentation.  One thing that I've heard her say that wont be forgotten, is that the invitation sets the tone for the event.  Shannon's invite did just so.

For the shower, Shannon chose a "Marie Antoinette tea-party" theme. 

Here are a couple of the photos that she says inspired her~

 Upon arrival, one couldn't help but look over the decorated dining room filled with the most decadent treats and tea party foods.

Let's begin with the treats, shall we?

Petite Fours

Choxie {for Target} Truffles

A delightful variety of mouthwatering goodness


Lemon Bars

Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Cream Filling

Along with scones, tea sandwiches, deviled eggs, fruit and veggies.
I shouldn't forget tea, mimosas, wine and juice.

There were gorgeous flowers indoors and outdoors.

And the makings to help create a home.

Outside the tables were delicately dressed. 

Each table setting was a unique set of china.  Even the goblets were unique in their style.  Shannon began gathering the table settings and vases from Goodwill with her theme in mind.  I'd say it pays to be creative!  Now she has many unique place settings of china to use to her heart's desire.
 It was beautiful to see the flowers on the dishes, flowers on the table runners, and the fresh cut flowers meld together and look so lovely.  It was all so perfect under the June summer sun.

Shannon's sister used the same fabrics from the table runners to create this celebrate banner.  Isn't it so cute?  And it can be used again and again.

Meet Shannon, the soon-to-be-bride. 
She's beautiful and smart.  So smart that she'll receive her Naturopathic Doctorate next year!
After the baby of course.  That little bundle of love is due in the fall.

I mentioned she's crafty, right?  Check out these oh-so-creative bridal shower games that she came up with:

He Said, She Said.
(please take notice of the silhouettes.  They are indeed direct replicas of this fine couple.  Even his ponytail is an authentic outline!)

Who Knows the Couple Best? a Crossword Puzzle


Why Do We Do That? a matching game about the many wedding customs which are based upon superstitions and folk tales.  Who knew tieing cans to the wedding car was meant to frighten away evil spirits, or that the reason there is a a ring bearer is to ensure that the ring doesn't get dropped, or the wedding is doomed!  See, I'd never heard of these things.  You?

Prizes?  They were the best. 

An entire book on how to make Macarons

An assortment of cupcake liners in the cutest designs

And a Let Them Eat Cake candle and Let Them Eat Cake lip balm.

Finally, there were the favors.

The cutest decorated tins filled with various flavors of tea, attached with a sweet, heart strainer.

Yes, Love is seriously Brewing.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again~
I'd let Shannon plan and decorate my anything.

Wasn't it lovely?!

relief in the x-rays.

I've been dealing with lower back issues since I ran my last half-marathon in April.  I don't believe I ever told you guys much about it because I was waiting on some pictures from the race and then suddenly, well, now it is late July!  Oh well.

I'll say Race for the Roses was a good race, but only with some hesitancy.  There were three contributing factors to this: 

1) My Army-man-brother-in-law stepped up to help me conquer the run and finish with a great PR--which he did and he did great!  However, I had never had a running partner until that morning.  We had never trained together.  I felt a little bit out of sorts, like I was meeting a new friend for the first time--but on race day!

 2) Brother-in-law didn't bring headphones.  Do you know what this means for a girl who knows the line-up of songs on her Ipod play list by heart, and never works out without music?  13.1 miles just wouldn't be right spent in conversation.  How do people do this anyway?  So around the fourth mile, I explained to him that my head wasn't quite in the game yet, and I had to plug in, or else...I'd never find my mojo.  Still love ya brother.

3) Husband was out of town.  I was so bummed to be running this big new run without him there.  In fact, I was feeling so out-of-sorts with the new course, the above mentioned, and missing Husband, that I really, really struggled up till the seventh mile.  I recall almost crying around this time because of it all.  I also remember this pivotal and frustrating mile because it was then that I FINALLY saw my first mile marker.  Let me be the first to tell ya, if you don't already know, that running seven miles without mile markers whilst knowing that in total you are to run 13.1 is SCARY.  Mile markers people!  Big, HUGE mile markers wanted.  Always.

But we finished and we prevailed.  Brother-in-law did so because he had never ran a half-marathon before, and he'd only spent five weeks or so training.  Crazy guy.  But he also prevailed because he pushed me to finish that baby in 1:58 minutes with a personal record (PR) time of exactly 9:00 min./mi. for 13.1 miles! It couldn't have done better and I couldn't have been happier with the time...well a little...because I did drop off around mile ten.  We were running an 8:40 min./mi. until then, but the pushing became ridiculous.  I was training just under 9:00 min./mi. so I was pretty pleased that I could keep up with him!  I told you Brother-in-law pushed me!

Unfortunately, ever since this run I have been dealing with on/off-again back spasm/strain issues.  It has  sidelined me so much that I cancelled all my summer runs and training for the 10/10/10 Portland Marathon.  Hence the reason you haven't heard me mention a thing about running since.  It has been a huge bummer.  But today, after three long months of back issues,
there was relief in the x-rays! 
My brother, who is my chiropractor, found that my aggravated back issues are due to the fact that there is a 10mm difference in my hip placement.  Otherwise, my hips are out of balance.  He believes we can fix it with specific adjustments.  I am so grateful to be in the clear for any more serious injuries.

So, today I will take it easy and be kind to my back for all the cycles of workouts that I wanted it to endure without proper alignment.  I'll rest easier and be more patient for a full recovery, and look forward to the next time I can run 3, 5, or 7 miles without inflammation.  Running has saved me--my mind, my body.  I can't wait to come back and feel the triumph, the energy, and I'm not going to lie--feel the pounds fall off.

Running.  It does a body good.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I am feeling a bit better today.  Waking up before the children always helps me ease into the day.

Today I am looking forward to breaking away from the last five worrisome days, and settling into the woods.  We are off to camp through another weekend with another set of friends.  They have two sweet-ones, so ours will have double-fun.

I'm also looking forward to sitting in the sun and reading my new book, "Lit," a memoir by Mary Karr.  Have you read her work? I'm hoping that this read will get me back in the saddle for my own writing work, and I'll gleam some inspiration  from the woman who says, that the book, in portion, is about "learning to write by learning to live." 

Enjoy the sunshine!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I had high hopes...

for this week's post line-up, but life continues to swirl about me even as I sit here to write this quick note.  I've officially said yes to too many things and have far too many obligations at this point in time.  So, with much regret, I am leaving you early this week, to tie up some loose ends. 

I'll head to the office and cut a few paychecks.

Send some certified mail and breathe a tad bit easier.

I'll congratulate Husband on his giant remodel which wrapped today, and whose owners will finally get to re-enter their {new} home after 2 1/2 weeks of vacation

I'll pick up my sitter and drop her off with my children
so I can get a massage for my on/off-again back spasm issues.
While lying there, I'll do my best to quit thinking about our office computer-crash, and the fact that our tech guy has still not called me back, and that our accountant failed to backup the last three weeks of bookkeeping.  This weekends camping trip may also cross my mind, and or the very issue that I still need to grocery shop and pack.  But who really knows...I may just fall asleep.

Then, I'll head out with Husband to Portland International Raceway to watch a friend motocross race,
while shooing off the mosquitoes who have been at large for the past few weeks, due to the late change in weather. 

At the close of the evening on our way home, I'll wish that my sitter could drive so I didn't have to return her to her home, because the tiredness will have set in, and my brain will be close to an automatic shut-off.
When I finally hit the hay, I will hit it hard.  And I mean hard--
like three minutes.

Since the fun has been squeezed out of my life and my sanity has escaped me
on this overcast Thursday, I'll return to you next week, when times have settled and I've taken part in weekend-rejuvenation. 

Now please excuse me as my son has locked himself in the pantry,
and I haven't seen the key in over a year.

Just a little shot to reitify how I'm feeling...while my brother-in-law comes to my son's rescue.


Monday, July 19, 2010

A Birthday Adventure

This last weekend, we celebrated Husband's 29th birthday!!

Because his birthday falls during the glorious heat of the summer, there is no other way that Husband would rather celebrate his turning one year older than with camping, fishing and family. In fact, these things are the essence of his manhood; the things that make him the wonderful man he is.  Not to mention, what a great time everyone has doing these things--with him. 

He's a true outdoorsman, and I just love this about him.
He's the life of the party, and the most generous person I know.
If anyone isn't having fun, he isn't having it.
He exudes happiness, fearlessness and adventure.
He is adventure.

And even though he married himself a newbie-outdoors-woman,
he still loves me. 
Even though this last weekend was my first encounter with a worm,
he still loves me,
and smiles at me a lot.
He laughs a little, too.
But he tells me I'm tough, and that I am the very best,
and that he loves me,
and it is all that matters.

He is a wonderful father and teacher.
His daughter finds safety in him,
and has no issue with worms.
His son wants to drive his truck,
and be just like him.
She has his energy, his kindness, and outgoing spirit.
He has his strength, sillyness, and loving affection.

All in all, our life is more than I could have hoped for.
I thank God every day for binding our family in love and faith.
I thank Husband for his unmeasurable love and support that
he gives to our family each day. 

Albert Philippi Park-John Day, Oregon
He is tireless.
He is ambitious.
He's an entrepreneur.
He's a force to be reckoned with.
He's a man of God.

I LOVE my outdoorsman.

Here's to another adventurous year!

To read more about my wonderful man, read last year's birthday tribute.
I could never say enough good things about him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

I am a sucker for all things lemon.
For example:

Lemon-Lavender Yankee candles.
 Lemon Drop cocktails.
Lemon yogurt.
Lemon Mambas.
Lemon Poppy seed muffins.
I also appreciate that my dishwasher detergent and my dusting spray come in the flavor of lemon.

 So the other day, I was overcome with the many blog posts that I had clicked upon which were sharing delicious baked goods.  I decided there wasn't two ways around it.  I had to join the madness, get in the kitchen and bake to my heart's content. 

As it now appears, I was feeling all sorts of yellow on Sunday. 
Possibly the reason I chose to wear my new yellow frock
and whip up this delicious 

Sour Cream Lemon Pie. 

Friends, it really doesn't get much better than this.  Well, it could if you aren't particularly fond of lemony treats, but today we aren't talking about the things we don't like. 


The evolution of the best tasting lemon pie you have ever laid your eyes on.
Now I'll hand over the details:

Sour Cream Lemon Pie
Credits are due to my wonderful SIL Jeannie Davis

1. Bake and cool 9 inch pie crust.

2. Prepare filling:

1 T. lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 C.)
3 T. lightly heaping corn starch
1 C. milk
1 C. sugar
3 egg yolks

Mix ingredients in saucepan and stir constantly until thick. 
Fold in 1 C. of sour cream.  Mix well and pour into a cooled baked pie crust.

3. Prepare topping:

1 C. whipping cream
2 T. powdered sugar
1 T. instant vanilla pudding mix

Beat until fluffy.  Top onto cooled pie. 
Chill for at least one hour; longer will ensure that your pie cuts and serves beautifully.

4. Enjoy!!

Photos courtesy of Josh Melin.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

oh tomato!

I am so glad that I have learned to love tomatoes over the years!
Because if I didn't, I couldn't make this every other week:

Margarita Pizza is way too delicious, and quite healthy, too.
I like to buy the wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe's, and I never buy store-brand mozzarella.  It just wouldn't be right.  You know?  I just wish the basil pictured was from my garden. 
But the truth is--all my herbs died. 

I hear they can be planted all throughout the year, so I may just give it another whirl.
The cook needs her herbs.

Another favorite recipe of mine that involves this dynamic duo is 

One word. 
And perfect for using your homegrown tomatoes and even more perfect for a summer afternoon.

Do you have any favorite recipes for using your tomatoes?

Second photo via all recipes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

summer sickness

The makings of today has included every anti-sickness remedy I could possibly think up.

an immunity-boosting chiropractic adjustment
double-shot of wheat grass
one pink grapefruit
water + 100% ascorbic acid
nasal spray
less work
some sun
a nap
and now a tall glass of Odwalla Pomagrand.

It is no fun being home sick while the sun pours over the scenery during this "real" first week of summer.

I can't wait to say good riddance and get back to enjoying the sunshine!

Hope you are enjoying yours!

p.s. This wonderful and dreamy collage reminded me that I could really use a vacation. You, too?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stars and Stripes Forever

Our Fourth of July was Grand!

We made a special stop at Blackjack Fireworks to load up on some spectacular fun.  They even had bouncy play lands set up for the kids while we waited in line.  Yes, there was about a twenty minute wait to even enter the building.  It was a zoo.  I learned that people take their fireworks serious. 

We spent the evening at our friends' house where we enjoyed shrimp and veggie shish-kabobs
and a neighborhood full of fireworks.  I nearly lost a foot while I was taking the firework pictures, when the neighbor boy launched a firework that was not meant to be thrown.  While I was gazing through my lens I heard, "Watch out!  Watch out!"  Frazzled and discombobulated I pulled the camera from my eye and jumped around barely dodging the missile.  I wondered if my foot was still attached as I ran, but noticed quickly that all my limbs were still intact.  It was a close call.  Nine year olds neighbors who are firework-happy DO NOT MIX.  If I were the parent, I'd know better than to let this one out of my sight. ;)

Besides the July gloom that followed us through the weekend, we had a great time kicking our feet up!  Both of them!

Cheers to the red, white and blue!

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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