Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bride-to-be Sip-and-See

Recently my mom and I threw a shower with another mother/daughter couple for one of our bride-to-be besties, Miss MM:

As you can see, MM's a real June Cleaver-to-be!  (Soon to be Mrs. MME!)

Blue was the theme color of the day, so as to accompany our bride's upcoming wedding day color scheme. We knew this day had to be extra special so we could show this sweet bride how lovely she is and how we anticipate with joy the day of her marriage to Mr. DE.

I'll share a few little ideas we implemented to pull off the special day. And, I must credit our mothers and their party-planning expertise for the bulk of these cute ideas (!).

First things first, we had to make sure everything was pretty. If there is ever an excuse to pull out and polish our favorite serving pieces, this was surely it. What fun we had mixing and matching china patterns, silver  trays, tea sets and more on this special and extra-ladylike day. Thanks to a combination of our mothers' splendid wedding-gift collections, we were able to make this lovely display in the formal dining room:

Using a silver tea set, our good friend Mrs. SM- an unofficial
 professional florist, by our good fortune- stocked silver tea and coffee pots with seasonal garden delights. The spread was enough to make all the girls giddy. You can do the same with any unused tea accessories you may have. Re-invent your cups and tea pots to be votives, vases, candy jars and more. I'm a big fan of using tabletop accessories for unconventional purposes.

The ladies sipped on sherbet lemonade punch in pretty silver and crystal cups while gabbing about the upcoming nuptials. 

A ladies tea it was, yes, but a food-less event was it not.
 A busy bride needs her nutrition, and what better way to fuel up than on tasty treats like these:

Pimento, tuna and chicken salads gave us sustenance, and then we wasted not a second before diving into mid-afternoon desserts and treats.

Mint brownies with thematic and minty blue icing,

Lemon bars,

Scones (with blue sugar crystals, of course),

And last but not least, these monogrammed cupcakes, as a little preview of this bride's soon-to-be-new initials:

And since a shower's ultimate purpose is to shower the bride-to-be with necessities for her married life. I'd say MM did pretty well:

We love you, MM! Here's to your new Life as a Wife!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wifey Wednesday

When I tell my friends that "I need to feed the yeast," I get some strange reactions.

Truth be told, I can't blame them.

However, thankfully, I am talking about bread. Sourdough bread to be precise. And these lovely loaves come from over 50 years of TLC and a special bread starter that was most graciously passed along to me last Fall, as part of a third-generation effort to keep this strand alive.

When people find out that I make my own sandwich bread, they probably associate me with the prairie people who refuse to shop at stores:

Call it what you will, this is simply not the case. I am most assuredly a fan of the common grocery store. In fact, I make the bread almost weekly out of pure love of its sweet, cake-like deliciousness. AND also because Hubby's not really crazy about sandwich lunches.

Making this bread is one small wifey effort I can make to woo him into eating a lunch from home, instead of being tempted into restaurants of despair on a daily basis. (Obviously we love restaurants, but sometimes enough is enough! And I'm lately feeling really obligated to keep an eye on our health...or something. Mom gene kicking in prematurely?). So we brainstormed and collaborated, and I have now created this as one of our many new sandwich varieties:

You'll notice a lack of dressing, but that is because you can't taste this bread with your eyes. It is very sweet, slightly salty, and just perfect by itself.

Let's get down to business. It all starts with this:

It gets better.

Weekly, I feed the "starter" (above) with a little mix of sugar, instant potato flakes and water. After that sits together for a day or so, I add some flour to make a dough. The starter is a yeast strand that must be kept alive. It would not be completely inaccurate to say that this is our first child.

Let that rise for a day or so, and ta-da:


Don't knock it 'till you've tried it! Making tasty lunches at home is a good way to make sure you and your loved ones eat nutritious and tasty meals. And, I do enjoy turning our home into a small bread factory every weekend :)

This is one small trick, but I know there are lots more out there. Anyone have another healthy and delicious lunch idea to share?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rethinking Fredericksburg

During our recent trip to Fredericksburg, one of my all-time favorite Texas towns, I was blown away by how much the little town has grown. While I expected (and was very pleased!) to find the usual antiques,


and shabby-chic/Hill Country furniture (so I can pretend I'm remodeling my house into a dreamy bed and breakfast),

I was especially excited to discover some new, fresh designs in Freddie like this super-fun couch (definitely not a repeat from years past!):

and these amazingly up-to-date accessories:

You must know that this was quite a breath of fresh air as I'm not so into the Brighton jewelry commonly found around town :)

My favorite find comes next. I immediately fell for these gorgeous Guanajuato platters:

I am a complete sucker for Mexican pottery and Talavera. This particular set also had service for 12 available with perfect 5-piece place settings. All plates had a unique design and coloration and I was going crazy with the saleslady on mixing, matching and dreaming up endless possibilities!

It was truly the perfect combination of Western-Cowboy-Mexican influence that I can't seem to get enough of. I was very tempted to purchase the entire set on the spot, but Hubby was keeping a tight eye on me (probably a good thing when it comes to me getting near china of any kind).

After our big day of shopping, we thankfully found this lovely little garden surprise! The weather was exceptionally good, so we took advantage of it as the perfect reading spot:

Are you in love with Fredericksburg yet?

Before you start feeling too sorry for Hubby because of my particularly (and perhaps grossly) girly excitement over these fun finds, please know that there were plenty of husband-friendly attractions in the 'Berg.' Hubby ended up dragging me into a few places! Did I mention that Fredericksburg is a historic German town famous for beer, food, more food and wine? Trust me, the husbands act like they don't want to go, but then they never want to leave. That's because they find this:

and this:

and this:

Everyone's happy! Now that's unbiased reporting, right?!


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