Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Picking A Photographer

This can apply to any occasion; wedding, newborn photos, family photos, etc.

You really want to do some good searching and researching. If you like photos of friends or family, ask them who they used.

If no photographers have been recommended to you and you're searching on your own, then there is something important you need to know.
Make sure the pictures you're looking at come from the photographer listed. Let me explain. There are individual photographers and companies with multiple photographers. The companies post the best pictures on their website. If you choose to use a company with multiple photographers, make sure you find out which photographer belongs to which pictures, then make sure you book the photographer you like the most.

Once you have it narrowed down to a few photographers, there are a couple of things to compare to help you make your final decision. The two main things are package options and cost.
These days it seems customary for photographers to offer a variety of packages, especially for weddings; most photographers have a package that includes engagements, bridals, and wedding day coverage.

Packages will also include different amounts of time, locations, and clothing changes.
Once you have looked at all the photographers and their packages, compare the prices and decide which one gives you the best value.

Another thing to keep in mind; how much experience does the photographer have?

And finally, give the photographers a call. Ask them questions and make sure you're getting what you want.

Good luck finding your photographer!

P.S. For my engagements, bridals, wedding, and newborn photos I used Darla Roze Photography. Her work is wonderful and she's great to work with! http://www.rozephotography.com/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fresh Bean & Corn Salsa and Salsa Chicken

I have two recipes for you this post; the salsa could serve as the appetizer and the chicken as the main course.

I'm sure you've all made, if not had the fresh bean and corn salsa. There's got to be a million recipes out there for it, but this is the one I use. I don't follow it to a T; I like to go by look (it's so colorful and pretty) and taste.

Fresh Bean & Corn Salsa

1 15oz can Yellow Corn
1 15oz can White Corn
2 15oz cans Black Beans
2 lg. Tomatoes
¼ cup Cliantro
5 Green Onions
1 sm. Red Onion
1 Tbs Garlic – minced
¼ cup Lime Juice
1-2 Avocados
2 Tbs Olive Oil

·     Drain & Rinse: Corn & Beans
·     Chop Tomatoes
·     Finely chop Cilantro
·     Cut Green Onion into thin slices
·     Dice Red Onion
·     Cut Avocado into small pieces
·     Add ALL ingredients together and enjoy! 

The last time I made it I used all white corn, added more tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. I used half a red onion and 3 green onions. I also added some salt and pepper.

I got this simple Salsa Chicken from my mom. She just came up with it one day. It's super simple and easy and just a good way to spice up chicken.

Salsa Chicken

Desired amount of Chicken Breasts
Salsa of choice
Cheddar Cheese


  • Broil your chicken breasts on low for about 30 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a sauce pan. 
  • Once the chicken is cooked, put it in the pan and cover with salsa (haha, I use Pace), then cover with cheese.
  • Cover the pan with a lid to let the cheese melt.
  • Once the cheese has melted serve it up with some avocado.

We don't have a grill and I'm horrible at cooking chicken in a pan. I discovered that broiling chicken on low is awesome! It keeps the chicken tender and juicy. Besides the slow cooker, it's the only way I cook it. Just a little tip.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Best Baby Socks

If you're a mom, then you know that it's nearly impossible to find baby socks that stay on. I've found one brand that do; Gap.

They have the nice tight elastic at the top, so they don't slide down and off those little feetsies. But they do leave the elastic indentation, but what do babies know? You also pay the price for stay-put socks, but it's worth it, because you don't have to keep replacing all the lost socks.

Have you found any baby socks that stay on? If so, please share!

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Mom's Fabulous Spaghetti Sauce

My mom has always made the most delicious spaghetti sauce! If I'm being technical, it's Ragu sauce. You can really use it on any type of noodle, but I've always known it as spaghetti sauce. Everyone that has it really enjoys it, if not loves it. So it's your lucky day: I'm sharing it with you.

Judy’s Deliciously Famous Spaghetti Sauce

1 6oz can Tomato Paste
1 15oz can Stewed Italian Tomatoes
2 15oz cans Tomato Sauce
1-2 cans Water
To Taste:
Dried Parsley
Italian Seasoning
Garlic Powder
Brown Sugar
Parmesan Cheese
1 lb Hamburger

  • Blend or puree Stewed Italian Tomatoes.
  •  Cook Hamburger just until cooked. Leave it a tiny bit pink because it will cook the rest of the way in the sauce.
  •  Brown Tomato Paste with a little bit of Olive Oil in big pot.
  • Add ALL ingredients, including the Stewed Italian Tomatoes and Hamburger.
  • Let the sauce simmer on low for a couple of hours before serving. Don’t cover with a lid that will make it runny. Cover it with a screen to avoid splattering.

The trick is to let it simmer for a few hours so it's nice and thick. Enjoy, it's so yummy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sharing of Recipes

So it has been WAY too long since my last post. We've had a couple of changes happen within our little family (I quit my job, sold my car) and I've just been doing a little adjusting and enjoying. Now onto the real reason I'm posting.

A while back I decided I wanted to share my favorite recipes on this blog and I came up with a way to incorporate them. But I really didn't need to think of some creative way, because this is also a blog for mothers and mothers want to be good cooks, right? This means I can simply post a recipe when I want, without having a reason. So that's what I'm going to do. I will continue to run with the themes that I have already started; dessert party and breakfast party, but I will also just throw in my other tride and true favorite recipes here and there.

So if you try out any of the recipes I share, please feel free to let me know what you thought of them.

P.S. I will be posting on a regular basis once again!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bouquet for Bridal Pictures

I did a bouquet for a bridal photo shoot on Saturday. I hadn't done a bouquet in a while and I forgot that they're harder to do then a vase arrangement.

Lilies prove to be an extra challenge. As I was arranging them I said, "it's like putting a puzzle together". Though not perfect, I was pleased with my finished product.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Floral Arrangements

These are the arrangements I did for my mom and mother-in-law. Simple but pretty. If you're a mother, I hope you got showered with love and appreciation on Mother's Day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Face Blankies

There are many tricks when it comes to getting your little one to sleep. Depending on the the baby, some tricks may or may not work. A face blankie is one that works for us.

Since birth, my son has buried his face between my arm and body when falling asleep. Once asleep, he ends up with the blanket pulled over his face; I guess he just likes that comfort. When he has a hard time getting to sleep, I bust out a face blankie and he's out within minutes. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, I simply put a face blankie to his cheek and it's right back to sleepy time. The face blankie works like a charm for us.

So if you've run out of things to try, I highly suggest giving a face blankie a go. And the softer the better!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mother's Day Flowers

I'm doing floral arrangements for Mother's Day this year. 

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing an arrangement or two send them my way! 
The orders need to be placed by Midnight on April 30th, 2012. 
I am willing to do arrangements without a pre-order; the day I pick up the flowers, but options may be limited at that time. So if you are the "last minute" type of person, I'm your flower gal.  

For more information about the arrangements, prices, etc. contact me. If you need my contact info, let me know.

So remember the woman who's given you everything and give her something nearly as beautiful as she is!
Don't forget the mother of your children either, she deserves something beautiful as well!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stay Organized

When planning anything, especially a wedding or arrival of a baby, it's vital to stay organized in order to stay sane. Now this is coming from an organizational fanatic, you could say I'm a little OCD. But it's all for a good reason; if everything is organized you know exactly where to find things and it just makes life easier.

Nowadays, there are many tools to staying organized. You can purchase wedding binder/planners, you can set up a profile on websites (The knot, The bump) that gives you a list of all the things you need and should do (even though everything listed isn't really necessary). They have deadlines for when you should have tasks checked-off your list. The world has made it very easy to stay organized.

So I highly suggest using these sources. They will make life much easier and less stressful for you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just For Fun Parties: Breakfast Party {recipe #1}

I love breakfast! I love it any time of day.

I think holding a shower or party at the time breakfast or brunch is served is a superb idea! Not only is it delicious, it tends to be an easier meal to prepare. And if you're going to have a party "just for fun", then I definitely think a breakfast party should be considered!

So here is one of my go-to recipes when my husband and I have a hankering for breakfast food, even if it's for dinner.

1 ½ cups Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
¼ tsp. Salt
2 Eggs (separated)
1 ¾ cup Milk
½ cup Vegetable Oil

·     Mix Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt (DRY)
·     Beat Egg Yolks
·     Add Milk & Oil to Egg Yolks (WET)
·     Add WET to DRY
·     Stiffly beat Egg Whites, then fold into batter
·     Set aside 10-20 minutes before making
·     Serve with fruit, whipped cream, syrup, and more

These waffles are light with a little crispiness on the outside. They honestly are SO good! Give them a try and enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just For Fun Parties: Dessert Party {recipe #1}

This idea is nothing new. I first caught wind of them and hosted a couple when I was in college, but I'm sure they've been around a lot longer then that. You can do a dessert party for any occasion; shower, birthday, engagement, baptism, blessing.

When it comes to dessert parties, there is a wide variety of desserts you could include. You could center it around one type of dessert; cookies, cupcakes, bars, pies, etc. Or you could do a mixed dessert party. I typically do the latter.

The first dessert recipe I'm going to share with you is the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I've been told I'm a master cookie baker. I'm not sure about that, but I'll credit my baking skills to my genes. My grandpa was a baker and owned his own bakery and my mom worked there as she grew up. My uncle later took over the bakery and I used to visit all the time, so I say it's in my blood. The love for sweets is also in my blood, which is not a good thing, if you know what I mean.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
1½ – 2 cups Oatmeal
1 cup Shortening
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
About 2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips

  •      Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  •      Lightly grease cookies sheets
  •      Beat to combine: Shortening, Brown Sugar, Eggs, Vanilla (WET)
  •      Whisk to combine: Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Oatmeal (DRY)
  •      Add the DRY mixture to the WET (in 3 additions)
  •      Stir in the Chocolate Chips
  •      Spoon dough onto greased cookie sheets.
  •      Bake 8-10 minutes, a tiny bit golden on top.
  •      Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From Body To Bed

When my baby was a newborn, he'd wake up every time we'd put him in his bed. We wondered what the cause was, because frankly, it could've been a number of things. But after using our noggins and trying a thing or two, we found the trick to keeping him asleep.

Heating up his bed was the trick. 

When we'd take him away from our warm bodies and put him in a cold bed, it'd wake him up. As a result, we got a little heating pad and warmed up his bed before putting him in it, that way his bed matched our body heat. And being safe as always, we'd move and turn off the heating pad before laying him down.

So if you find that your baby is waking up when you put them in bed, try this trick, especially if it's colder out!

Friday, March 16, 2012

What To Ask Your Caterer

When it comes to your wedding or party, you want to be well informed. You want to know all the little details. And you want to get the best bang for your buck. There are so many questions to be asked and one group you should be asking a lot of questions to, are potential caterers.

Here are some questions you should ask caterers.
What does the cost include:

  • Do they provide the linens or do I need to find those elsewhere?
  • Do they do the set-up and take-down of tables, chairs, table settings, buffet, etc.?
  • Do kids eat free? If so, at what age do you have pay for them? 
  • If more people come then planned on, then what will happen? Will I be charged extra? If so, how much?
  • What if there is left-over food, what happens to that?
  • What's the customary amount of gratuity people give?

These are just a few questions that you could ask caterers. Hopefully this will get the question juices flowing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Preventing Baby Hair Loss

I can't claim this next tip as my own; I got it from a friend.

If you don't want your baby to rub all their hair off when they sleep, then buy some satin and put it in their crib. It doesn't necessarily have to be satin, just a slick fabric. I don't think I bought satin, I just bought what was cheapest.

I folded the fabric so it was just big enough to cover the whole area of his head. You also want it long enough so you can tuck it into the sides of the mattress, you don't want loose fabric for safety and efficiency reasons. It's that simple!

If you really want to prevent hair loss, then you could have a piece of fabric that you move around with baby, so that wherever baby is, satin is there too. I think that's a hassle, but if you're all for it, more power to ya!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Party Dress

I don't know how I have failed to blog about THIS WEBSITE. I stumbled across it some time ago; perhaps a year or two ago.

I absolutely love it! It is SO inspirational and it just makes me want to throw and host constant parties. Not only do they have inspirational ideas, but they have a shop where you can purchase some of their fabulous products.

They also started a magazine; they just released the 5th issue, which you can read here. It's great being able to view the magazine online, but you can also purchase a wonderful copy to hold in your hands. One day I'll catch up and buy them all or if I'm lucky, I'll win the give away that's going on right now.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be the one randomly selected!
So I highly recommend taking a peek! And I guarantee if you do, that peek will turn into an obsession.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ditch The Stink & Cut Down On Trips

I think there is some debate out there on whether or not a diaper pail is a necessity.

I have to say for me, it is.
I live in a condo on the third floor, so to take a dirty diaper to the trash every time I change one isn't realistic. If I lived in a house with my own garbage can just outside the door, then it might be a different story.
But even then, it is still a hassle to take multiple trips to the outside trash can, that is why they invented diaper pails. You cut down the number of trips to the outside garbage, but contain the stinky smell (for the most part).

The diaper pail I have, Baby Trend Diaper Champ, works great! Bonus: you don't have to buy special trash bags for it, you can just buy the generic brand. It keeps the stinky smell trapped for the most part. The exception is when you open the trap door to throw a diaper away or to change the bag, a little bit of stink slips out. I'm trying to find a way to neutralize the smell, so if you have any tips for that, I'd love to hear them!

So if you'd like less trips to the trash can and a stink-free baby room, then I'd definitely invest in a diaper pail!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wedding Program

If your wedding calls for a program i.e. a sit-down function, then you want it to flow. Keep the speaking portion short and sweet. Yes it's nice to hear from your loved ones and to express your gratitude, but you don't want your guests to get bored, as well as yourself. It's a party, not a conference.

Here is an example of a program outline from my wedding:

  • Dads speak 
  • Bride's "person" speaks
  • Groom's "person" speaks
  • Bride & Groom thank everyone
  • Bride & Groom start the buffet line
  • Cutting of the cake
  • Bouquet & garter toss
  • Dancing: Daddy-daughter THEN Bride-Groom 
  • Bride & Groom send-off

This is not "the way" to do it, just an example that flowed well and was short & sweet. 
Good luck creating your program!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Just For Fun Parties: Idea #1

I've been thinking of ways that I could share some of my favorite recipes and still have them connected with the purpose of the blog. So I've come up with some ideas for "just because parties." These will be themed around food. Here is the first idea.

A pizza dinner party.

Each guest can make their own pizza. Supply all sorts of sauces and toppings.
Some of these could include marinara, Alfredo, BBQ sauce, chicken, pepperoni, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, fresh veggies, ricotta cheese, and on and on.
You could really get creative with your toppings.

I have a great pizza dough recipe that is fairly simple and quick to make, as well as on the healthier side. Unfortunately, I can't claim this as my own recipe. I got it here.
Just a side note, it tends to be a thicker, heartier dough, so be sure to roll it out thin enough.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Never Told You

I failed to let you know the result of these.

They ended up in here.

Here is the story why.

When I got to work the following Monday, there was a floral arrangement on their kitchen counter, but it wasn't one of mine. It was in one of the vases I used though. 

I was a little curious what the situation was. My guess was that someone else had brought an arrangement and she gave all the ones away that I had arranged and kept that one. I planned on calling her to see how things went on Saturday, but she called me first and this was what had happened.

I had called Noah's on Friday to arrange bringing the flowers that night so they would already be there for Diana Saturday morning. I, with the help of my husband and two friends, delivered the arrangements Friday evening and the girl working at Noah's was expecting me. She showed me to a small room where I could put the arrangements for the night and the room would stay locked. I left a message on Diana's phone telling her where the flowers were.

Well.......Diana never saw the flowers. There was a miscommunication with the cleaning lady and she threw them all out Friday night! What made it worse is that room usually doesn't get cleaned on Friday night. Just my luck!

As Diana told me what had happened, I got a little sick and emotional. I had worked hard on those and I felt they looking pretty dang good and NO ONE saw my work! That was the most devastating part! I thought for sure that once I got off the phone with her I was going to shed a few tears, but I stayed tuff and didn't. I told her I had pictures and would show her. It was neither mine nor her fault; it was Noah's!

So Noah's staff used their floral people and had one made up for her, no charge. I don't think it looks nearly as good as mine DID

Hopefully next time I do arrangements for something similar, they won't get thrown out.