Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2k11 RECAP!


almost an entire week late. 

Eh...To be honest, I think we should be thankful all year round and don't need a turkey and cranberry sauce on the table to remember that. But this year I am definitely thankful for these two :)

As I mentioned earlier, I hosted Thanksgiving this year and totally let myself down. No, I didn't burn my dishes or set my kitchen on fire but I did let my perfectionist side get the best of me. I was so concerned about the house being clean, the centerpieces and having everything look good when that really shouldn't matter AT ALL and I regret getting so wound up instead of having a good time. In the end, nothing came together and guess what...Thanksgiving went on. I wanted to chuckle the weeks before Thanksgiving and see everyone posting pictures of the "perfect table setting" and such because although they are GORGEOUS, who really gives a rats ass what the table looks like. I would NEVER want my Thanksgiving table to look like this, it looks sterile to me. Too clean, too clear cut. Where is everyones mix matching tupperware and how on earth did it all fit on that table? In my house, we take up every inch of counter space with our foil wrapped goods and make it buffet style.

I didn't really whip my camera out too much, I was on cooking overload, but I still managed to get some photos of some of the dishes I cooked:

Brown Sugar Carrot Curls º Garlic & Cheese Mashed Potatoes º Stuffed Mushrooms º Caramel Apple Dump Cake º Squash Casserole º Cream Cheese & Homemade Glazes º Pumpkin "Cakies"º

Over all, everything was delish and I impressed my family and quite honestly, myself. The fan favorites were by far the carrots, stuffed mushrooms and pumkin "cakies" (I call them this because it's a perfect mix between a cookie/cupcake!) and you can find the original recipe from Ruthie Hart here!

I have to brag about my stuffed mushrooms, y'all. They were SLAMMING. I had never even attempted making them before and was so amazed how well they turned out. I used cream cheese, bread crumbs, the mushroom stems, basil, Asiago cheese, seasoning and and 1 egg yolk for the stuffing and cooked at 400º for 30 minutes. DELISH.
One thing I am thankful for EVERY DAY is how close mine and Travis' families are. It is very rare that families mesh as well together as ours do. Our parents talk to each other on just about a daily basis, in fact our GRANDMOTHERS talk weekly and when my parents lived here, both our entire families would gather at least twice on the weekends. It came up in conversation last Sunday about having to split Holidays between families and I just couldn't imagine having to do that. We also always gather in a huge circle (try to anyways) before a big meal and pray. I captured it RIGHT before the prayer this time (I wasn't peaking okay... ;) 

To conclude this post I'm sharing some pictures Travis took of Baja and Bobby and they sincerely melt my heart. They are perfect. You can see some of my husbands commercial work here and see what mission work he is looking to do here

Oh and P.S.:
My Baja is GENIUS and used the left over stuffing for deviled eggs for dipping with celery. It was amazing!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving....I still feel like a 9879874 lb. brick is in my stomach. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What a weekend!!!

I feel like I have been the energizer bunny since Friday, I just keep going and going and going and goi...
you get the point. 

Friday, Baja and Bobby came to visit! Not only was she comic relief BUT also a HUGE help keeping Amelia occupied while I cleaned my house for a few gals to come over. 

Leave it to grandmas to give babies candy :) This was Amelia's very first lollipop. She LOVED it...who wouldn't? After entertaining us with her sticky ways, we gave her a bath and Baja offered to take her for the night so I could finish cleaning and get some alone time. As much as we all want to be supermom and never give ourselves a break, it is so healthy and rejuvenating to pass the kiddos onto to someone else for a night...or two. 

Every month my "moreno girls" and I have dinner together alternating houses. They are sisters who I have known since I was in 4th grade and interestingly enough, met over walkie talkies only living a few houses apart. Our dads became BEST FRIENDS and are tight as ever to this very day (it is the only "bromance" I have ever witnessed my father having..he loves his David.) I love them to death. I would do ANYTHING for these two and I know they would do the same for me. Come December, there will be no "Moreno" left because the last sister, Rebekah, is getting married...it makes me so sad, I don't like talking about it hahah!

I documented our night below...

uh... caught Elizabeth taking photos of herself...toot toot ;)

We tried really hard to make this work...

And we concluded the night with good old fashioned "beauty salon". Come on, you know you played this when you were younger. I am going to attempt to do Elizabeths hair for Bekah's wedding and we were just practicing....

I made a pretty cute arrangement for the dinner too...

And I got to use my new napkin rings!!

Saturday night, I put on my high school jeans and my "I don't give a sh*t attitude" and went to see a band I use to listen to "Between the Buried and Me." I had fun pretending to be the girl I pretended to be in high school. It was fun for a night, but three hours of screaming metal is enough for me this year...


So. My best friend is getting married :) I am so excited and honored to be part of their special day next July and can't wait to see sweet Amelia in a flower girl dress!! I remember when Chelsea told me about Clint and I remember how they were SO serious, SO fast. I never questioned if they would make it or not...before even meeting Clint, I knew Chelsea has such a level head on her shoulders that I never questioned her judgement. Fast forward almost 2 years and I will be the first one to tell anyone how much I LOVE Clint. I love the kid. He is perfect for her and he makes her so happy. Their love is so genuine and playful, it is hard not to be in a good mood around them. 

Today, I was blessed to shoot their engagement shoot! Now...I usually leave the shooting up to Travis but since this is my best friend, I wanted to take the reigns! I didn't let the fact that I literally hadn't shot in  months and months scare me...I was PUMPED about this session! We went with a 1930's theme because it truly fits miss Chelsea to a tea and she ROCKED IT. I was SO surprised with Clint...he is a model in the making! He was telling Chelsea where and when to look away/down/straight and made it so easy on me. He also had some amazing ideas for some photos and I love when people bring that to a shoot. I love you Chelsea and Clint and can't wait for little Carr babies :) Here are a few of my favorites from today....I will dedicate an entire post to them when I am done editing!

Hope you had a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NTC: Thanksgiving Paper Towel Napkin Rings!

Does anyone remember making these stylish hats in elementary school? They were totally my inspiration for my next craft! I came across this adorable blog a few weeks back and thought "what a clever idea to use toilet paper rolls for napkin rings!" I knew I wanted to do something along these lines for Thanksgiving. 

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year under ONE condition: I don't have to cook the ham or turkey HAH! I am not ready to ruin a holiday in my own home yet...maybe next year ;) Since we have remodeled our home, I have been an eager beaver to have a party at our house! I really want to impress everyone with the decorations, even though it is just our families. I LOVE when Baja compliments on all my efforts, she notices every tiny detail which leads to stories of when she was younger. 

I present to you this weeks N.T.C: 
Paper Towel Roll Napkin Rings

Materials you will need:
-Paper towel roll (makes about twelve 1in. napkin rings)
-felt (I know I always use felt but you can't beat 4/$1)
-Glue gun/glue

First, cut your paper towel roll into equal rings. I just eyeballed it :)
Next, cut your felt into strips large enough to cover your paper towel ring. They can be larger than the ring, the paper towel is just being used as the structure. Glue the strip directly onto the paper towel ring. 

Next, glue on your feathers and bling or anything you want to use as decoration! This is the fun part, be creative!! I put the feathers on the seam of the felt so it hides it completely.

see my killer rash that is taking over my hand?? :(

I went with two different colors for the large feather, orange and brown to give it that Thanksgiving feel.

Using the feathers makes every one unique and different and makes it impossible for mistakes. If my dad taught me anything about art it was "There are no mistakes." Any time I would paint the wrong color, he would always remind me to just paint over it....easier said than done to a 6 year old. 

Did a practice setting and I think they look so good! Don't judge my etiquette, I have no idea where the silverware goes. 

It took me about 20 minutes to do 6 and I have 6 more to go....that will have to wait for another nap time :)

Since this is the time for ThanksGIVING, please read my husbands blog on his mission trip next August! He is GIVING his time and talent to Ghana Christian Missions to do a documentary and needs YOUR help! TravisTank.com
Do you have any other fun crafts using paper towel rolls?! Please share!