Thursday, July 22, 2010

You can have your cake, and eat your pie too!

This year we celebrated Ben's 30th birthday!!! With this busy week, which included my mom's birthday and my sister's wedding, we barely had time to celebrate, especially since I traveled up to Idaho for the wedding. However, I knew I had to do something special for my man.

So what did I do? I made a pie! Now you might be wondering why in the world I would choose to make a pie, especially as I have limited pie making skills. The week before, I had bought some peaches and apples to make pies for a party. And, I only got as far as the apple pie, which didn't turn out exactly like I wanted. So, I had some very ripe peaches on hand, and remembering the one wonderful pie I made last year, I ventured to try another pie.

My fresh peach pie from last year's Fourth of July BBQ.

Because I was making the pie on Ben's birthday, I felt like he deserved some input, and instead of my fantastic fresh peach pie, he requested a baked peach pie. I found this recipe, which was fantastic! For the crust, I used the Lion House Pie Crust recipe. I've included it here, just so that

Lion House Pie Crust Recipe
(for 2 nine inch pie crusts)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lard
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. nonfat dried milk
3 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup ice cold water, plus about 1 tbsp more

Put dry ingredients together in a bowl with only about 1/2 the amount of flour. Mix well with butter and lard, then add the water and remaining flour. Divide the pastry into two equal balls, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about one hour. Remove and roll out as needed for pies.

I decided to make the pie more decorative than I usually do, and so I used my little star cookie cutter to cut out the shapes from the center. Then, I used the scraps to make additional stars, which were then used to line the crust. Didn't it turn out well?

After making the pie for Ben, I decided that he needed a birthday cake as well. Really, you can't have a birthday without birthday cake, right? So, using a boxed cake mix and packaged frosting, I made Ben his chocolate cake:

For dinner, Ben requested Chicken Caesar Salad. It's kind of an odd request coming from him, but he said that he had been craving it all day. And I thought pregnant women were the ones with the cravings! So I made the salad by cutting up romaine lettuce, broiling chicken tenders, and then dicing them. I topped it off with shredded parmesan cheese, croutons, and salad dressing. I added some sparkling soda for the beverage, since we definitely had something to celebrate. Doesn't the birthday boy look pleased?

After dinner, we watched Alice in Wonderland (2010), which was a fantastic film. We both really enjoyed it. Then, we finished the day by eating cake AND pie!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Phil and Teds Stroller

Ben and I have been in the process of purchasing baby items for the past two months. In the beginning, I didn't even want to think about all the things we would need to buy; it just seemed so overwhelming. Well, piece by piece, we have been adding to our baby collection. And my most recent addition is the Phil and Teds Sport Stroller.

I really wanted a jogging stroller that I could use to go walking, as well as for everyday pushing. The Phil and Teds stroller seemed like a perfect fit because while I enjoy walking and jogging, I don't run extensively, and I liked the inline style and double kit, so that I can continue using the stroller with my next baby.

The only deterrent for me was the hefty price, because looking at the Phil and Teds site and even, I did not want to go over budget on the stroller. I had looked online at and, but there were no Phil and Teds strollers for sale, so I decided to get the B.O.B. Revolution stroller because it was less expensive and a really good jogging stroller.

However, last week I found a Phil and Teds stroller for sale on KSL! I was ecstatic, so I called the woman that posted the ad, and I found out it was still for sale. It was even in Red, my favorite color. The woman lived up in Syracuse, so I asked her if I could see it and possibly purchase it the next day when I headed out of town for my baby shower. She agreed, and even marked the ad as SOLD, to deter other possible customers. A few hours before I was scheduled to leave work, however, I received a phone call from her and she let me know that although she had been holding the stroller for me, her husband sold it to someone else. I was so disappointed!

Imagine to my surprise when I found another Phil and Teds stroller for sale on KSL, the day after I got back from Idaho! It was a demo model that was pushed around in a baby store up in Ogden, and then were letting it go for less than it would cost to get it online. I called the store, and they agreed to hold it for me until the next day when I could get up there. The stroller came with the doubles kit, and was in Navy Blue, which I consider a gender neutral color. The next day I left work in the middle of the day to go purchase my stroller. I pushed it around the store, practiced folding it a few times, and then forked over the money! The only thing I wasn't happy about was paying sales tax, since I was purchasing it from a business. Even so, I am in love with the stroller and the company Phil and Teds now. There is actually a spring loose on the belly bar, which I noticed at the Ogden store. The lady helping me said that she would contact the company, and they would probably send me a replacement bar. Just a few hours later, I received a call from Phil and Teds, and they let me know that the problem was the spring, they would be sending me a new one which I could easily replace, and it would be arriving later in the week. How's that for Customer Service?

Now, I just need to get the rest of the Car Seat adapter for the stroller to go with the Chicco Key Fit 30 car seat I will be purchasing later this month. I really don't have much time left to go!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Remington's Baby Shower

After long consideration, I have finally boarded the blog train. This has only come about after receiving frequent suggestions from several friends. And so chronicling my life online begins...

The subject of my first baby shower!! This past weekend, I drove up to Idaho to attend the baby shower my mother arranged for me, with some much needed help from me. My younger sister is also getting married this month (in two weeks) and so my mom has been preoccupied trying to arrange two events at the same time. Luckily, for me, the baby shower was a hit.

Just to give a little background about the baby shower theme, I decided on a Construction theme, as our little baby is currently "under construction." I found some cute invitations online, but they were pretty expensive, so I found a graphic designer on Etsy and she designed these cute invitations. You can check out her other creations at her Etsy shop. We paid $15 for the image, and then took it to a local print shop to pay for the copies and envelopes. Overall, it was much less expensive than the premade invitations you can order online. And we received a ton of compliments on the invitations:

For decorating, we started out with basic construction colors: orange, yellow, black, and white. However, after we found some cute fabric from the Joann's Fabric Store with construction trucks, we had to add in some other colors. We used the fabric to make these fantastic table runners.

The funny thing is that I was going to sew the edges of the runners so they didn't fray. However, with everything going on, I was just too tired, so I just ended up cutting them. Even so, I think they turned out pretty nice. I figure with the leftover fabric, I can make a cute quilt for little Remy. My mom and I added some construction toys as decorations for the tables, with the bigger toys serving as balloon weights. Underneath the fabric runners, there are orange tablecloths that we made from the plastic vinyl at Zurchers. We also added some Construction signs, but I didn't get any pictures of those.

My mom is also super creative, and so she made cupcake toppers from a puzzle she bought for Remy. She took the puzzle pieces to the same print shop and had them make copies reduced in size. Isn't the puzzle so cute?

Then, with some zots, toothpicks, and scrapbooking paper, she made these wonderful cupcake toppers. I helped assemble the toppers and made the cupcakes, but all credit goes to my mom. Here is the finished product on the cupcake stand:

For guest favors, my mom and I decided to give out little bags of M&Ms with a tag. This was somewhat of a last minute decision, and involved a midnight trip to Winco's bulk food section. To make the favors, we just used plastic bags and curling ribbon. My mom made the tags because she is a scrapbooking fiend, and once again, I was on assembly duty. They turned out really cute though. As it turned out, we used all the M&Ms making the favors, but there were some leftover, which I brought home and my husband Ben is appreciating.

As for the actual shower, my sister-in-law Deborah was in charge of the baby shower games. And we played quite a few. The first one was to guess the amount of candy in these baby bottles. And, the winners were all from Ben's side of the family! His mom, aunt, and cousin's wife were the winners. I smell conspiracy!

We also played Jeopardy using questions and a board that Deborah made up. Some of the questions were surprisingly tricky, including those from the category "Famous Baby Names." Guessing the names of Britney Spears children and Angelina Jolie proved quite the challenge. However, I think it was the game that was the most fun.

Other games included guessing the type of chocolate that was melted in diapers, and guessing how big my belly was. Here I am getting my belly measured by Deborah. Caitlan, my sister was the closest, but that was due to some help from me.

Then, it was time to open presents. I got quite a few things for little Remy including many outfits. This is just one of my favorites. The little out fit with the fish says, "I'm a Keeper." Thanks Caitlan!

I got this cute overall outfit from my sister-in-law Nic. She couldn't go to the baby shower, so I got her gift in advance, but opened it in front of everyone so that they could see.

This is a little outfit I received from my mother-in-law Vicki. You can see my little niece Aurora helping me display the gifts. She was so cute and handed me each gift so that I could open them. What a big help!

This is also one of my favorite gifts. This is a diaper bag that my mom's friend Kathy made for me. She is an avid quilter, and you can see how cute the bag is. It folds in half so you can carry it around like a purse, and she made a matching changing pad. She also made a really cute quilt for Remy, which is super soft and will be well-loved.

My mom, in addition to putting on a baby shower for me, bought the crib bedding that I picked out. It is the Nojo Jungle Tales Series. The pictures though, don't do it credit because it has so much texture to it. She bought the 6 piece crib set, extra valences, extra crib sheets, the rug, and the hamper.

Other favorite gifts include the baby afghan that my Aunt Sherron made for little Remy, and the quilt and outfit my grandmother made for me. My grandmother passed away at the end of June, and we had her funeral a week before the baby shower. Although she was 93, her passing was unexpected, so it is very touching that she already had a gift for me. In fact, when I showed the gifts to my husband Ben, I burst out crying because of all my emotions, which are super enhanced due to the pregnancy.

Here is another one of my favorite gifts, which is from my sister Ashley. She bought me a baby food maker! It must be known that I found this baby food maker on the Williams and Sonoma website about two years ago. Upon its discovery, I immediately called Ashley and said, "When I have a baby, this is what I want you to get me." So when I was planning the baby shower with my mom, Ashley told me she already knew what to get me. Isn't she awesome?

After opening the gifts, everyone went home, and I took a much needed nap! Remy's baby shower took a lot of planning and work, and although it was a lot of fun, I am glad it is over!