thanksgiving & nora musings

Nov 29, 2010

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I fully realize I've done very little Nora updates over the past couple of months... oops. This is supposed to be our family blog...I know. So for all of you who have been waiting patiently for a Nora update you'll see plenty of our little pumpkin below :)

First let me start with a Thanksgiving update. If you didn't get a chance to read my pre-
Thanksgiving prep post on Scottsdale Moms Blog be sure to do so. And today I posted a "My DOs and DON'Ts of Thanksgiving" post on SMB as well so be sure to read that too. We sure learned a thing or two about hosting (and we're even more thankful to those who have hosted us in the past - thanks mom, grandma Eileen & Mary and aunt Jane)!

Our Thanksgiving day was fabulous... just what the doctor ordered. Lots of family time (just the three of us), delicious food and great family and friends to share in the holiday.

We started the day at the Fountain Hills Thanksgiving Day Parade (the only Tday parade in AZ mind you). Everything about this parade was so wonderful - the horses, Veterans riding on old cars, Boy Scout Troups, HS Marching Bands, Fire Trucks, etc. It actually made me forget about living in such a large metro area and made me think I was in a small midwest town.
After the parade we headed home to start preparing for the evening's festivities. We spent the day cleaning, prepping, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, sampling, cleaning... you get the point. With so many things to prepare let's just say our dishwasher ran at least 3x that day. :)

All in all everything was a great success. Here's a pic of our table all ready for our guests to arrive. Note: Our table decor was very simple - candles, sunflowers, gold chargers and napkins tied with twine and thyme (now - that's a tongue twister - say that a couple times).

Now a little about Nora....

- Since starting to run and only taking one nap I spend most of the day running after this girl.
- She's more adventurous than most 16 month olds and is a fearless little girl - which is good and bad.
- She still LOVES dogs. The minute we walk outside it's as if she assumes there will be dogs around because the first thing out of her mouth is "woof."
- This girl is going to be a chatty-cathy. She's learning words (and signs) every day and when she's not saying those words she's talking in some language only God understands.
- I discovered the trick to keeping shoes on this girl - boots! We loves these boots. They're cute, warm AND most importantly - not easy for little girls to take off.
- She's suddenly very interested in babies. I wonder why (wink, wink). If you missed it - see this post.
- We're all enjoying this early Christmas gift from Nana. If you're looking for a Kid's Nativity Set be sure to check this one out.
And lastly we'll leave you with a video of Nora (and me) singing "O Christmas Tree" - just to put you in the Christmas spirit (excuse the singing please) :)


Steph's Pick | DIY Monthly Development Onesies

Nov 26, 2010

I'll admit - I'm constantly on the lookout for do-it-yourself baby shower gifts. I don't know what it is about it but I just love putting the extra love into a DIY gift (that's cute of course - that's they key).

When I started planning my friend, Brittany's, baby shower, I also started my search for the
perfect DIY gift for this girl. Here's the great thing/problem about Britt - she's SUPER creative, trendy and cute so I had a lot to consider when choosing a project. So when I stumbled across these on BabyCenter (written by one of my favorite blogger's - Young House Love) I knew I just had to do something like it. She'd love it for sure!

Now Young House Love actually does a weekly picture (which is crazy ambitious) AND they do the design work via photoshop - so my version is a bit different - but you get the point.

Here's what you do (it's easy-peasy, I promise)....

* Buy 12 white onesies in appropriate month sizes. (I bought packages of Gerber onesies)
* Buy Iron-On Transfer paper - You'll need 2 sheets. (found in most paper/craft sections of
Target, Walmart, Michaels, etc)
* Pre-Wash Onesies & Iron them for easy iron-on transfer
* Print the two documents below. (downloads are already flipped for iron-on needs)
Click HERE for file (1-6 months)
Click HERE for file (7-12 months).

* Cut out each month image being sure to trim the image leaving a small border.
* Iron-on images one at a time to corresponding month onesie (following iron-on transfer instructions)

Here are some project notes: These were made for a little boy so colors could be changed to be more girly if needed. And lastly in my opinion - packaging of these are the key. I rolled mine up and put them in a super cute round zebra box (Hobby Lobby) with turquoise ribbon (not shown). It turned out soooo great - if I do say so myself :)

Stay tuned for my "Do's and Don'ts of Thanksgiving" - it's a must read.... you always learn a lot when hosting your first Thanksgiving. :)

***UPDATE: If you're interested in the "Girl Edition" of these onesies (plus some must read practical tips for making them) please go to this post.


Thanksgiving & Baby Showers

Nov 23, 2010

Interested in what's going on in our home? Although I'll admit I've been slightly neglectful of all of you devoted Flies Blend readers, I've been busy blogging about all things Thanksgiving and Baby Showers at Scottsdale Moms Blog over the past couple of weeks.

Missed it? Not from the Phoenix area? No problem!

Click here for my preparation for our first time hosting Thanksgiving. I'll be sure to post an update here next week about how things went :)

And finally remember my friends baby shower I was telling ya'll about in this post? Well - I posted about it over at Scottsdale Moms Blog too. Click here for those details :)


Steph's Pick | Tiramisu Eggnog Trifle

Nov 19, 2010

Alright folks - you're in for a real treat today! I'll even go so far as to agree with what SkinnyJeans said on Twitter last night "Mouthgasm: Eggnog Triffle dessert w/ spice cake, rum, eggnog & chocolate chips." No joke people. This is one of the most amazing desserts I've had in a VERY long time.

First a little context...

Alan and I (along with my friend, Karis and her hubby) were treated to a night out downtown at the Orpheum Penthouse at Fresh & Easy's Holiday Party. It was FABULOUS! The great people, scrumptious food and getting out of the house combined to make a great evening.

I HAVE to start with a shout out to the fabulous people at Fresh
& Easy. I've been shopping Fresh & Easy for quite some time and love everything about this little marketplace. I was especially thrilled when they asked Scottsdale Moms Blog to host a product launch party - read about it here.

Now on to the recipe... because that's what you're waiting for, right?! Couple things to consider... Please note that because the party was hosted by Fresh & Easy - there are a number of Fresh & Easy ingredients (which could obviously be substituted if you don't live near a Fresh & Easy store). And lastly - I do not like eggnog.... one bit.... so for those who are skeptical know that I LOVED everything about this dessert :)

Tiramisu Eggnog Trifle

2 cups fresh & easy eggnog
2 8-oz containers room temperature mascarpone cheese
1 cup chilled whipped cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 fresh & easy spiced rum bundt cake, sliced 1/2" thick (you could obviously make this yourself)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, finely ground in processor

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggnog and mascarpone cheese. With an electric mixer, beat whipping cream until you have soft peaks. Add vanilla and mix for a few seconds. Fold in mascarpone mixture.

In a small saucepan, simmer 1 cup water, add sugar and espresso powder, remove from heat and stir until dissolved.

Place a layer of rum cake on the bottom of the trifle dish. Soak the rum cake with espresso mixture. Spoon a layer of eggnog mixture over rum cake until fully coated. Sprinkle even coat of chocolate chips. Repeat layers, finishing with eggnog mixture and chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Picture Credit: Food photo: SkinnyJeans iPhone. Candid Motherhood & Steph: Candid Motherhood's iPhone :)


Steph's Pick | Trader Joe's Pumpkin Mixes

Nov 12, 2010

Before I even begin this post I have to apologize to all of you non-pumpkin lovers out there. I feel like this fall I've been all about pumpkin because well, a) it's yummy and b) it's festive. BUT I know that there are people that get the stomach aches (I know what those are like - I get 'em when I think of olives - yucky!) when I talk about pumpkin - so for you few people - sorry!

Moving on...

I LOVE me some Trader Joe's. Seriously - they always come through for me and I have especially loved them this holiday season as I've gotten a chance to try two of their Pumpkin mixes. Hey - you can't make everything from scratch, right?!

Without further ado... here they are...

1) Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix - Just seeing it in the picture makes me want to make myself a waffle :) These make the most delicious (and light) waffles in the entire planet. Soooo good. Well worth the $3/box.

2) Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix - I'll be honest - I have a great made-from-scratch pumpkin bread/muffin mix that I use quite often but oftentimes there just isn't time or energy for that so I've opted for the second best option - Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix. Like the Pancake & Waffle Mix - it makes our family's stomachs happy AND for roughly $2/box it's hard to beat!

Happy eatin'!


Nov 11, 2010


Steph's Pick | Jessica Wood Fine Paper Goods

Nov 5, 2010

I'll admit it - I'm a sucker for all things personalized. Case in point - remember this post back in May of 2008 on Personalized Stamps?

Not only do I love personalized things I also LOVE to send cards to family and friends. There is just nothing like getting snail mail. I'm that dorky girl that insists on walking to our mailbox (yes - we walk - we live in a condo complex) EVERYDAY. No joke. I just get so excited about the possibility of getting "fun mail" (i.e. not junk).

Well my dear friend Jess knows this about me and so when thinking of what to buy me for a birthday gift this past year she covered the best of both worlds - Personalized Greeting Cards. And not just any personalized greeting card - some of the cutest cards I've ever seen in my whole life. And if that isn't enough they come from a Minneapolis girl's (♥) Etsy shop (♥♥)!!! I fell in love at first site!

Check out Jessica Wood's Etsy Shop today! Christmas time is right around the corner - they would make GREAT gifts for those people you're just not sure what to buy this year :) Or snail mail junkies like me!

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