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Baby Shower Part II

13 Jan

Well, I talked about this previously, but the baby shower for my sister is really soon!  The last time I chatted about this, I was wavering between tricycles and elephants as the theme for the shower.  Most of you all chose the elephant route, and I agreed!  But, I am obsessed with bunting flags too so I knew I needed to figure out a way to incorporate them.  Well, my friend Morgana offered to design the invites for me.  I sent her some information and a few samples of what I was going for and she got to work.  I loved the way they turned out.  What do you think?

So, keeping with the theme, we’ll have an elephant cake from Dallas Affairs.  And then to throw in some of the bunting, I’m making signs for each of the different food items with these bunting flags:

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For those of you planning a wedding, it’s actually from a wedding invite, and there are a lot of other cute free downloadables too. 

Ok, so now that you know how I’ll label the food, what will we actually be eating?  Well, I’m still deciding, but I have some ideas.

Prosciutto and Fig-Spread Sandwiches (cut in cut bite-size pieces):

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Endive with crab and avocado:

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Artichoke-Parmesean Crostini:

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Veggies and dip:

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Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms:

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And for drinks, I’m thinking lemonade for the non-alcoholic drink and Prosecco Sangria for the ladies that want to have a good time:

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It’s not blue though, does that matter?  I tried to find a tasty blue drink and I came up empty-handed.  Pink ones are a lot easier to come by. 

And, for a parting favor for the guests, I’m thinking about elephant cookies:

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I think I want to package them in little bags sealed with a mini clothespins.  Sort of like this, but smaller and for a boy baby shower:

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And, I would love to put them out on display in one of these adorable little suitcases:

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So, what do you think?  Any suggestions?

Happy New Year

1 Jan

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I know I’m so behind on this post, but I wanted to wish you all a happy new year!  Thanks for reading along as I ramble about the random things in our life.  I didn’t really get on the new year’s resolution train, but the one thing I do want to be sure I do this year is take time off from work.  I’m at the point now that my vacation time is lost because I have so much of it that haven’t used.  So, time to fix that. 

Also, 2011 is going to be a very good year.  We have a lot of exciting things going on.  We will welcome a new baby nephew, attend a couple of family weddings, turn 30 (for me), take some vacations, continue to work on our house, and talk about starting a family.   And, if it were up to me we’d also talk about getting a new pet, but Sean vetoed that idea. 

What are you excited about for 2011?

Thanksgiving

28 Nov

Wow, this is the second longest blogging break I’ve ever taken, beaten only by my honeymoon. 🙂 I had big plans for sharing all my recipes with you guys, but then I had too many things going on simultaneously so I did a really shitty job of documenting the process.  This means that you’ll get to see the recipes  in various stages of completeness.  However, I figure that no one is really looking for Thanksgiving recipes after the actual day, so it’s probably not a big deal. 

I tried out a few new recipes and some of them worked out well, and others were just ok.  I made a Cranberry Pomegranate sauce.  This was good, but I think I needed to let it cook a little longer because it wasn’t thick enough. 

And, I made some broccoli rice and cheese casserole.  This is my favorite, and it’s so ghetto.  The recipe involves cheese wiz.  And, yes, I probably could have updated it with some real cheese, but I’ve liked it for years, so why change it now?

And the sweet potatoes.  Mmmmm…with marshmallows.  Even better.  It’s just sweet potatoes, maple syrup and butter.  So simple and so delicious. 

I also did some appetizers.  I tried out some spinach and gruyere pinwheels made with puff pastry and some french onion soup stuffed mushrooms

Oh, and the pies.  I did pumpkin, my sister made pecan and chocolate and her fiance made a chess pie.  OMG, I couldn’t pick just one, so I had a sampler plate. 

Also, my brother made fun of me for decorating the table and actually complained about the “dirty acorn” I put on his napkin.  But, I still think it was worth it.  What do you think? 

Overall the weekend was great, we played some games, ate a lot of food, and to round out the weekend, we also found a dog and returned it to its owner.  (Yes, we actually found this dog running in the street and found the owners!) 

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?

The Next Great American Blog Post

31 Oct

 Here is a guest post from my brother, the only person I know that is able to work Justin Bieber into a wedding toast.  Yes, it was ours. 

Hello, my name is Barrett and I’m Kelsey’s brother.  I’ve been briefly mentioned on here before.  To my knowledge, this is the first time Kelsey has invited anyone to do a guest post, although it’s unclear whether or not a gay middle-aged man occasionally ghostwrites for her

 She’s given me free reign to write what I please which to her credit, is harder than it looks.  After scrapping a couple of overly ambitious ideas, I just googled “writing topics” and started answering questions from the first topic that came up.  Today’s exercise was actually intended for 1st graders, but at least I didn’t go through with my original plan–just filling out a Mad Lib and dropping that on you guys.  Without further ado…

A Special Birthday… 

Just had one of those last month and this year’s was particularly exceptional because so many people wished me happy birthday.  That got me feeling like I had just tried heroin for the first time.  I was delighted to the point that I realized if I was a girl with low self-esteem, I would just fake a Facebook birthday every few weeks or so.  That way I could benefit from all the well wishers, and in turn feel good enough about myself that I could avoid becoming slutty.  I really hope I have a daughter so I can enrich her with life lessons such as this one. Well, here’s to another great year…or few weeks until I have a Facebook birthday all over again!  

I’d Like to See… 

One of my farts go unnoticed by my girlfriend (I’m sure she hopes for the same).  The other day, we were watching Seinfeld and I thought surely I could sneak one in during the interlude music.  “Bum bum bah duh dum dum da da duh LPHHH bumm.”  Her eyes immediately darted over at me and I tried to do the whole “What?  It was the music thing!” to no avail.  This happens at least once a week day. 

The Biggest Thing I Ever Saw…

 The collapse of the Dallas Cowboys 2010 season 😦

(A good team-prophesying joke I heard a few weeks ago…What’s the difference between Tony Romo and Lindsay Lohan?  Only Lindsay Lohan has a decent line in front of her right now.  ZING!  Get well Antonio.) 

I like to make…

Sure that I watch all sequels and prequels to a movie before seeing the one that’s currently in theatres, regardless of how much buzz or popularity it has.  That’s why I haven’t gone to see Jackass 3-D yet, I never saw Jackass 2 so I don’t want to be confused about anything in the plot.  Luckily my mother is an English professor so maybe I’ll ask her if this is ever a good idea, like maybe she saw Hamlet 3 before Hamlet 2 or something. (There was sequels to Hamlet right?)  

What if toys could talk?

How do we know they can’t already?!?!  As far as I know Mythbusters on the Discovery channel hasn’t disproved this yet.  Until Savage and Hyneman tell me otherwise, I’ll continue to believe pretty much anything. 

I’m happy when … 

The holidays come of course.  The only thing that’s kind of a boner killer is that my current boss is…wait for it…wait for it…JEWISH!  OMG, RIGHT?!?!  And look, I’m no Mel Gibson, Jewish people are totally fine by me, I bet I would even love Gefilte Fish.  My only issue is that when late afternoon rolls around on Christmas Eve, guess who is still at the office?  THIS GUY!  The way I see it, Jesus was without a doubt the crunkest Jew ever, I don’t know why we all can’t celebrate his birthday.  (I have Jesus as my #1 Jew, followed by Julio Iglesias at #2.  International singer AND former Real Madrid Goalkeeper?  Now that is a true Hebrew Hammer!) 

Friendly places

I find that most places that smell nice, I’ll automatically assume are friendly.  That’s why I want to change my NAME to a scent.  You know how Prince changed his name to a Symbol?  What if I just had a bottle of spray and some little cards and every time somebody asked my name, I’d just spray the card and hand it to them?  Would this work?  AND DID I JUST BLOW YOUR EFFING MIND?!?! 

 I know a lot about . . .

R. Kelly.  I’m sorry, but I do.  If you haven’t seen all 83 minutes and 57 seconds of Trapped in the Closet you really need to.  That film changed the way I look at the world, and frankly, closets. 

Who’s at the zoo?

Mostly just mouth breathers.  I hate the zoo.  It’s so sad to see the animals doing hard time and the amount of heat and people drive me crazy.  Every time I go to the zoo I feel like grabbing a can of whipped cream and doing whip-its until I pass out. 

What will I share?

 I don’t know, but hopefully it’s not another “social disease”.  That reminds me, not only was last month my birthday but it also featured Chlamydia Monday and I came away very disappointed that not ONE person remembered to wish me a “Happy Chlamydia Monday.” 

 I rode on a . . .

Rhyme train into this world.  I have a rap group, and we’re called The Rhymelich Maneuver. © Do whatever you want with that information. 

 The parade

No!  I have not once helicoptered my weiner for beads at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, okay?!?!

 I wonder why . . .

New York Time’s Best Seller and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, Malcolm Gladwell, had such a disturbed look on his face when I met him at a conference earlier this summer.  I tried to break the ice by saying that “I heard it was between you and Lindsay Lohan to be the keynote speaker at this conference but she had another commitment.” 

 Goodbye…

 I think that’s going to do it for me.  Please leave Kels some positive feedback if you care to hear from me again.  Enjoy your week!

Holiday Time

25 Oct

Guess who put on her big girl pants?  Um…me!  Why you ask?  Well, I’m going to host Thanksgiving at our house for the first time ever.   I’d mentioned this to my mom a couple of weeks ago, and I wasn’t sure if anyone was really going to take me up on this.  See, I live in Austin while my mom, brother, sister and nieces all live in Dallas.  Typically Sean and I make our way up there for each holiday event.  But, we are newlyweds with a semi-new house and I would love to be able to put some of my registry gifts to use by hosting things here.  Looks like I’m going to get my chance. 

My mom always does the turkey (and, I don’t eat it because I’m a vegetarian), but my favorite part has always been the sides.  One of my most favorite sides ever is Truffle Mac and Cheese.

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My favorite truffle mac and cheese recipe is this one by Ina Garten.  Only, I can’t ever find truffle butter, so I substitute truffle oil. 

I also love broccoli, rice and cheese casserole.

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Um…clearly I’m going to need a little more than cheese and then more cheese.  Luckily, my Real Simple magazine and Martha Stewart Food magazine had a lot of great ideas this month including a killer mashed potato recipe and at least 8 different ways to do stuffing.  Yum.  What are your favorite recipes?  And, any tips for a first time Thanksgiving host?

Anniversaries

10 Oct

Today is the anniversary of the day my dad died.  October 10th.  I still remember exactly how I found out.  My mom was at the hospital, which wasn’t all that abnormal since my dad had been sick for a while.  We’d been pulled out of school several times because his doctor indicated to my mom that it was likely going to be his last day.  We’d go to the hospital, and he always made it through.  I started to think that the doctors were stupid and that regardless of what they said, my dad was going to make it.  This day; however, my mom didn’t have to go get us from our classrooms because it was a weekend.  She walked in the living room and called us all together.  She sat us down on the couch and said, “Daddy’s in heaven now.”  We immediately started to cry, but none of us really knew what to do with ourselves.  After a while we went to our bedrooms to process everything we’d just heard, and my brother chose to do it by writing.  He was only 10.  Here’s an adaptation of what he wrote:

My Favorite Man

I have a favorite man, that man is my daddy.   I have known him for ten years now.  He is my best friend.  We have done many things together, like going to Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, and Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, he got sick one day and had to go to the hospital.  After that, he had to go at least five more times.  But, this one time is a time I will never forget.  It all started on Tuesday.  That night he was moaning and groaning, but I figured it was nothing because he had done it for weeks now.  When I woke up that morning, my aunt and uncle had come in from out of town and decided to take him to the hospital. So I got ready and went to school.

After P.E. my mom came to pick me up, it was only 9:45, what was she doing here?  She told me that they were going to give my dad a medicine that would make him very sleepy.  My sister, Kelsey, had already been picked up from school.  We went to go pick up my other sister, Erika, then we headed for the hospital.  My dad was awake, but a few minutes later he fell asleep. 

About a day or two later my dad started getting confused, he would mix up everything.  It wasn’t very long after that he stopped talking altogether.  A couple of days later he went into a coma.  By this time, I was starting to get really worried.  A couple of days later I was at a friend’s house and my mom picked me up.  When we got home she wanted us in the living room.  We gathered around, and words I will never forget came out of her mouth, she said, “Daddy’s in heaven now.” We all cried for a long time.  I will never forget this, never.  This is the day my favorite man died.

 

Embarrassing Parents

21 Sep

Do you remember when you were little and you thought your parents were great, and then all of a sudden all of that changed and you were totally embarrassed of them?  For me, it wasn’t gradual at all, and there wasn’t anything specific that embarrassed me about them, it was EVERYTHING. 

For instance, growing up in Texas and having parents that were democrats.  I didn’t know the specifics about politics, but I knew that all of my friend’s parents had Bush/Dukakis signs, and my parents were proudly displaying Clinton/Gore signs.  I cringed every time anyone came over and I just wished that my parents didn’t feel the need to be so public about their voting decisions.  Now, I can’t believe there was ever a point in my life that I was embarrassed that I had progressive parents.

Still another thing was the fact that my parents chose to listen to records, instead of moving along with the times and getting a CD player.  I could not understand why everyone around us was moving on to the latest in music, and we were still stuck in the 70’s with vinyl records.  But, without fail, my parents would turn on their record player and I would secretly jam out to some Lionel Richie in the corner. 

And, several years after my parents got married, they decided to go into the Peace Corps together in Guatemala.  During this time they got pregnant with my sister, and started a little family over there before returning a couple of years later.  When they came back, they definitely brought the Guatemalan culture back with them.  We had so many dishes, baskets and other Guatemalan paraphernalia adorning our home.  Not only that, we went to Mexico nearly every week to stock up on Mexican sodas and sparkling water.  When my friends would come over, I was horrified that I had to give them a Mexican coke in a bottle, or worse, poured out into a Guatemalan cup.  All my friends had normal sodas in a can at their house. 

And, my dad was insistent on making every meal from scratch.  No McDonalds or Pizza Hut with him.  But, I would cringe when my friends came over and my dad was slaving away in the kitchen making a totally foreign meal, when my friends probably would rather just order a pizza. 

Thankfully, I now realize just how ridiculous I was being.  Ironically, I feel like a lot of the qualities that my parents had, I now possess as an adult.  And, I feel so lucky that I had cultured parents that introduced us to a lot more than just what was “normal.”  I’m happy that I was able to live such a diverse life when I grew up in a small, Texas town.   I imagine that when Sean and I have kids, they’ll think I’m a huge embarrassment too.  In fact, I think I’ve already started embarrassing one of my nieces, and I’m not even her mom! 

Anyone else feel this way?