Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry, Merry!

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

 "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth and under the earth." - Phil. 2:8-10

Christ is born today!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Season of Giving

Though it has become such a commercial byproduct of the true celebration of Christmas, I can't deny that the excitement of gifts and giving is such fun during the holidays. Sparkling stores and gleaming gifts - who wouldn't love this merriment?

Next best to choosing the perfect present is presenting that present quite nicely. A little personal touch can certainly make a lasting impression and add to the thoughtfulness of your selection. To help you achieve this goal, I'm sharing the first ever free printable from helen h. press - holiday gift tags!

They were a blast to make and I hope you'll enjoy using them as much as I plan to :)

Here are some helpful printing tips:
1) Use 100 lb bright white card stock for best results; if you only have regular paper, that will be fine, but not quite as sturdy and crisp
2) Ensure scale of document is set to "fit to page" so that no parts of the graphics get cut off
3) Print, cut out, and enjoy!

Download Links:
helen h. press 2011 Christmas Gift Tag Set
Christmas Tags Only
Celebration Tags Only

Follow the links above and choose "download original" to obtain best quality.

Christmas Tags

Celebration Tags

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Lights

Starting with last Friday's Mad for Plaid, I'm dishing out a new happy wallpaper every week in honor of the season, just to help your countdown go a little faster :)

Even if you don't have a house or tree to adorn with lights, at least your phone will be properly decked out!

Have a great weekend!

Right click to save the image and then email to your phone and upload as your iPhone background. If accessing via your iPhone, simply press down on the image and save - then select the image to be your phone's background.

View the complete collection of helen h. iPhone wallpapers here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

THE frosting

I can take absolutely no credit for it, but I also don't want to withhold such tasty information.

Joy the Baker - you've done it again.

The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
via Joy the Baker (adapted from Delilah Bakery)

1 1/2 C (3 sticks...oops) unsalted butter, softened
1 C cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 C powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C milk
1 C heavy cream
2/3 C Ovaltine (blast from the past, right??)

Cream butter, cocoa powder and salt together. I learned that having soft butter is key - this will save you lots of effort during the "creaming" process. Also, a stand mixer would be ideal... I was working with my Kitchenaid hand mixer, which I adore, but let's be real, it's no Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.

Continue mixing and add in powdered sugar while adding milk and vanilla extract. Hubby and I learned this was a great teamwork opportunity. No WAY I could have mixed in all that good stuff without absolutely spilling it everywhere.

Increase mixer speed and beat until smooth.

Separately in a 2C measuring glass, stir together heavy cream and Ovaltine. Pour this into the frosting slowly until the consistency is to your liking.

You're done!

I wish I had an equally awesome cake recipe to share, but this time due to scheduling limitations, we had to go with the box. Shhh.... don't tell anyone! The cake was made particularly with my grandfather in mind. He is crazy about his chocolate cake, so I knew this would be a fun Thanksgiving/92nd birthday treat!


We may or may not still be eating the remaining frosting. Out of a bowl. With no accompaniment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mad for plaid

Happy December to all!

Enjoy this Christmas plaid for a festive touch to your iPhone for the holidays - consider it an early present  :)

Right click to save the image and then email to your phone and upload as your iPhone background. If accessing via your iPhone, simply press down on the image and save - then select the image to be your phone's background.

More helen h. iPhone backgrounds here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Projects in progress...

(all iPhone photos... yikes!)

DIY headboard

the BEST chocolate butter cream frosting

and.... helen h. press print orders galore!

Though, my real job keeps me sup-biz these days, I can't wait to share these fun projects with you!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

POP! A baby shower for Levi

Last weekend some good friends and I had the absolute JOY of hosting a baby shower for our dear friend and her baby boy-to-be. The lady I've been BFFs with since age two is now about to be a mother - it's crazy how carpools turn into proms turn into graduations turn into weddings turn into baby showers... as they say, it is true: time flies.

To honor the mommy-to-be, we went with a POP theme to give a fun and festive air. From decor to food to drinks, we tried to incorporate a little POP wherever possible!

It was amazing to see the pieces of the puzzle come together -  and it was of course a pleasure to collaborate with such talented and gracious friends. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the planning and partying!

Like the paper? It's all by helen h. press :) 

Just let me know how I can help with your paper needs! Cards, invites, labels, you name it - I'd love to help you create the perfect accents for your special celebrations and occasions.

helenhpress at gmail dot com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A day in the life...

... of Dixie.

She just found out about "Boo the Dog" and was feeling a little jealous. She wanted me to post her best glamour shots to make up for it:

PS - did you see Tory Burch's genius puppy accessories campaign featuring Boo?! Adorbs - almost makes me want to justify spending $85 on a new collar or $95 on a new leash for Dixie! Sorry, Dixie, emphasis on almost :)

Via the Tory blog

Friday, November 11, 2011


Here's a surprise peek at a special shower for a special someone and her special little man-to-be...

But I can't tell you everything today because the shower is on Saturday! Stay tuned for full details after the weekend :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My run-in with RR

The only thing better than knowing Ryan Reynolds is in your town filming an upcoming movie is actually running into Ryan Reynolds on your way home from work!

Let me set the scene:

It is Monday and I decide to stick around the office slightly longer than usual so my next morning will run smoothly, but at about 6:45, I decide it is time to begin the journey home.

I head down my usual route, call my dad and we begin to discuss our latest recipe tries and successes. I note to him that "oh, they're filming again" as I plow toward Park Street and and make my way. However, this time something is different. Silent. I can't help but notice a determined looking fellow wearing a Red Sox hat guiding two confident men across the street - the two men and I exchange glances and smiles - and as soon as I have the good sense to understand what was going on he had passed. I JUST RAN INTO RYAN REYNOLDS! Oh, and Jeff Bridges, too.

Clearly, I didn't have the good sense to snap photos ASAP, however, my Dad can attest to my instant loss for words and teenager-like drooling over this superstar who just locked eyes with me.

The next day, I and a pal from the office returned to the scene with the hope of catching just one more glimpse, but alas, producers heeded us away. 

We: giddy girls with iPhone cameras

They: serious security men clearly enjoying their sudden authority

I got what I could, so here are some day-after shots from the fortuitous location - my for-sure new favorite intersection in Boston:

Case in point, I'm not good at recognizing celebrities, so I'm glad you can share in this small milestone with me. Also, the movie they are filming is called RIPD, scheduled to premiere in 2013. Thought it seems an eternity away, I have no doubt it will be here basically tomorrow. Until then, I'll keep scouting and bringing you updates as necessary. Over and out.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chile Verde Pulled Pork Tacos

Here's one of those little recipes that helps us overcome our Tex-Mex withdrawal blues. Those of you who haven't developed such an addiction are sure to be in for a treat as well because this dish checks so many crucial boxes otherwise: savory = check, slow-cooked = check, slight spice = check, can-eat-it-from-a-bowl = check... there are many more qualities but, I'll let you discover for yourself. These good-as-street-style tacos are sure to please, be it by bowl or tortilla, and I guarantee they'll leave your posse begging for more.

Chile Verde Pulled Pork Tacos (original Lewis recipe)

2-3 lb pork shoulder roast
2 large white onions, finely chopped
1 lb tomatillos, washed and roasted
3-4 poblano peppers, washed and roasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C chicken broth
Salt, pepper
Kosher salt
Queso fresco for topping
Corn tortillas
Tortilla chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 500

Place tomatillos/poblanos directly on wire rack for roasting; place foil below to catch any drippings; roast for 10-12 minutes or until roasted, turning a few times.
Once roasted, remove stems and seeds from peppers and chop finely; set aside. (Need help remembering how to roast? Check my crash course here)

Pour a few Tsp canola or vegetable oil into medium-medium-high Dutch oven.
Season pork shoulder with kosher salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour.
Once Dutch oven is fully heated, sear pork roast 2 min/side until dark golden brown coating forms. Then remove pork and set aside on a plate. Discard oil from Dutch oven.

Add into Dutch oven 3 Tsp vegetable oil and bring it back to medium heat. Add onion, saute. Add minced garlic once onions are almost sauteed. Stir a few minutes and turn heat down to medium-low. Add finely chopped tomatilos and poblanos. Add salt, pepper, oregano and cumin to taste. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture reduces.

Add pork shoulder back into Dutch oven. Pour in chicken broth until it covers 3/4 pork shoulder. Turn down heat to a low simmer and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 3 hours, turning the pork every 45 minutes/hour; add broth when the liquid gets low.

Remove the roast and it should be fork tender at this point. Turn up heat on green chile sauce to medium and stir and reduce for 10-15 minutes. Pull pork shoulder using forks and add back into chile sauce.

Serve in corn tortillas with yummy queso fresco and a squeeze of lime! Also delicious in a bowl atop tortilla chips - you won't be disappointed :)


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